Massive cheating mars UTME
Teachers, invigilators, parents involved Candidates charged N500, N1000 to use mobile phones
EXCLUSIVE SAM EFERARO, TUNBOSU OGUNDARE, IJEOMA EZEIKE AND OLUWASEUN LAWSON
Vol. 31 N0. 610 115
espite strenuous efforts by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, to reduce malpractices in its examinations
to the barest minimum through the introduction of hi-tech devices and procedures, the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, held CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Manipulate judiciary, risk anarchy, Soyinka warns FG PDP suspends 27 legislators in Rivers P.5,44
Tuesday, Tuesday,June April7,30, 2011 2013
Insecurity: FG to buy 36 helicopters Jonathan cautions police against rights abuses I receive about 1000 calls daily –IG
N150 N150 OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
rked by the wave of terrorism and armed robbery attacks across the country, the Federal Government yesterday said it would soon procure helicopters for the 36 states police commands. The government, which admitted that the times are tough, said it had, however, set up a Special Trust Fund to strengthen the aerial power of the police. President Goodluck CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
INEC denies rejecting APC registration
Syrian Prime Minister escapes assassination P.48 attempt
How assassins entered Funsho Williams’ house – Witness Lagos govt’s applications stall al-Mustapha, Sofolahan’s appeal P.7,52
Police helicopters and some patrol vehicles inaugurated in Abuja, yesterday.
Don’t be scared of probe, Presidency replies Obasanjo
...’We’re not after Ezekwesili, others’ P.2 Aregbesola’s phone thief bags 45 years jail P.8
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Don’t be scared of probe, Presidency replies Obasanjo OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Presidency has told former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the erstwhile Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili that they do not need to be scared of probe even as it advised former and current public office holders to be mindful that probe is inevitable in government system. The Federal Government also reacted to the grounding of a jet belonging to Rivers State Government. It said that immunity or not, any public servant who
flouted the law would face the consequence. The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, in a chat with journalists in Abuja yesterday said that President Goodluck Jonathan was not bothered about who emerged as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, stressing that Jonathan was willing to work with any of the governors. Ex-President Obasanjo had on Sunday in Abuja during the 50th birthday celebration of Ezekwesili told the government to leave his aides while in government alone but rather
probe him for whatever transpired during his eightyear rule. But Gulak said that President Jonathan had not indicated that either the former President or the former minister would be probed and that no government official had said that the former minister would be probed. He, however, reminded them that “probe is an examination of what is happening or what has happened or what will happen and people should not be scared of it. “I believe that the former President expressed his opinion or his fears but Mr.
President has not said he will probe Oby Ezekwesili but the fact is that Nigerian government especially this government is always and constantly under probe. “You have seen the National Assembly up and doing in the probe of this administration; the subsidy, the pension, the power sector and the National Assembly by its oversight function are constantly probing this administration and they are doing it irrespective of whether Mr. President has given the order because they have the constitutional rights to do so.” On the alleged witchhunt of Governor Rotimi
A branch of a commercial bank at Ringim destroyed when gunmen attacked the town in Jigawa State, yesterday. Inset: The police patrol vehicle destroyed by explosion caused by an improvised explosive device on Sunday at the Police Divisional Headquarters, yesterday. PHOTOS: NAN
Insecurity: FG to buy 36 helicopters CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Jonathan said this at the grand finale of the 2013 Police Week celebration in Abuja where he also launched seven new helicopters and 293 security vehicles for the force. The Eagle Square and the entire Three Arms Zone was temporarily shut by eagle-eyed security operatives to forestall security breach. During the event, two police helicopters hovered round the Three Arms Zone even as most areas were restricted to human and vehicular traffic. Former Imo State Governor Ikedi Ohakim was kept waiting for six minutes outside the State Box by security operatives who stopped him from entering. It took the intervention of a senior police officer for the security operatives to allow him enter. The National Security
Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), service chiefs and other dignitaries were already seated in the box awaiting the arrival of the President. President Jonathan, however, charged the police to emulate the military in developing an efficient maintenance culture for its facilities. He said that Nigerians still lagged behind in maintenance. President Jonathan said: “As a nation, we are not too good at maintaining what we have but presently that aspect is changing.” The President frowned at a situation where armed robbers have been reported to hold a state hostage for several hours unchallenged, describing it as unacceptable. “This is quite a trying moment for this country in terms of security. We have challenges from the North
to the South, East and West. “The police must be wellequipped and kitted to protect us while on land, air or water. “My commitment is that every state command must have helicopters. This is why we set up a special fund. The idea that armed robbers would take over a state and operate for three hours unchallenged is unacceptable. “We must invest in airpower for the Nigeria Police. “My vision is to create a robust and efficient Police Force well motivated to discharge their constitutional obligations without fear or favour.” President Jonathan, who noted that a vibrant force was vital to societal peace, well-being and development, said it was normal for every society to demand a lot from the police.
He also emphasized the need for training and retraining while urging the police to increase its response time during emergencies. The President who also called for the observance of a minute silence for all slain police officers, said government would continue to assist the families they left behind. In demonstration of that, Jonathan conferred presidential awards on 15 police officers and men. While conceding that the task of policing the country remained highly challenging, the president stated that every policeman and woman must also change with the tide. He tasked the police on maintaining human rights, stating that under his administration he would not condone all acts of rights violation. He added that the
Amaechi over his presidential ambition, the political adviser said that the governor’s travails has no presidential connection. “People have been talking about Amaechi’s private jet of late, if you are a governor and you are flying a private jet, you must do it within the extant laws. “There are laws governing the usage of private jets in this country and the world over and because you are a governor does not give you the licence to flout the laws governing your country. Nigerians should be told in clear terms that no governor is above the law and the fact that you have immunity does not mean that you flout the law the way you want.” He also said that Mr. President is ready to work with any chairman of the NGF, arguing that after all, the president is a constitutional organ while the NGF is not known to the constitution. “If you are talking of the National Economic Council, NEC, where all the governors are members you can say yes this body can relate with the President because it is a constitutional organ. But as far as Mr. President is concerned, Nigerian Governors’ Forum is not a constitutional organ. The body cannot pursue certain
things as the President is at liberty to listen to their advice. So why should Mr. President care about them. He does not care about who becomes the chairman of NGF. Gulak was emphatic that the crisis which has already befallen the All Progressives Congress, APC, will hasten its collapse even as he exonerated both the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the registration hurdles that party is encountering. He said: “INEC, apart from conducting election, is supposed to supervise the political parties, register political parties and before you are registered as a political party, there are rules and regulations that you must meet. I am confused about why the quarrel over a simple name like APC, why can’t they register with other names? It is not the name that matters but who are the actors? Is it Buhari who left the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, to the Congress for progressive Change, CPC, and now want to come back and form alliance with ANPP? They are still the same actors, the same strange bed fellows. I assure you, APC will be dead on arrival if it ever arrives.”
government and Nigerians expect maximum discipline from the officers and men of the force. President Jonathan also urged policemen to be mindful of the rights of the ordinary citizens in carrying out their operations. He stressed the need for the police to avoid abuse of human rights but have regards for human dignity and sanctity of life in the course of their duties. “I will also charge the police that while doing their work, to be mindful of the rights of ordinary citizens because that is very sensitive. “While policing us, you must know that the rights of the citizens of this country must be protected. “In that regard, respect, maximum discipline from officers and men of the Nigeria Police is required,” he said.
Police Affairs minister, Caleb Olubolade, had in a remark described the police week as an opportunity to foster a cordial police-community relations. He also commended the president for upgrading the Police Academy in Wudil, Kano, to a degree-awarding institution. Earlier, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar pledged the commitment of the force to ridding the nation of all criminal elements. He said the police would remain professional and community-driven as well as civil to the citizens but potent enough to respond to any threat to internal security and national cohesion. According to him, the efficiency of the police rests on the extent to which the police can bond with the people “whom they are CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, April 30-, 2013
ard work does not kill” could be a popular motivating aphorism in this part of the world but scientists say this should not be taken to heart because their findings have revealed that physically demanding jobs may increase individual’s chances of developing heart diseases! According to the researchers, doing a hard day’s work increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 per cent more than office workers, while the risk increases with the amount of exertion involved. Dr Demosthenes Panagiotakos, who led the Greek study, said people in physically demanding jobs could be under extra stress as they are often poorly paid and might have less access to healthcare. He however noted that it was unclear why hard work increased heart disease risk when greater physical activity was normally linked to a lower risk. “But the higher risk experienced by manual workers should make them targets for prevention by healthcare staff”, he added. The study by Dr Panagiotakos, Associate Professor of Biostatistics-Epidemiology at Harokopio University, Athens, looked at 250 patients who suffered a first stroke and 250 who had a first heart attack, and they were compared with a control group of 500 healthy people. According to the researchers, they discovered that stroke and heart patients were more likely to have physically demanding jobs than those in the control group - with the more demanding jobs carrying the greatest risk. They claimed that having a sedentary job led to a 20 per cent lower risk of a heart attack or stroke. A second study from Belgium and Denmark on the other hand also showed that exercise in a gym improved the coronary health of office workers but had a detrimental effect on those who already carried out manual labour as part of their job. Dr Els Clays, who led the Belgian and Danish study, stated that: “the results of this study suggest that additional physical
Hard work increases risk of heart disease –Study
activity during leisure time in those who are already physically exhausted from their daily occupation does not induce a ‘training’ effect but rather an overloading effect on the cardiovascular system.” The investigators of the studies (in Belgium and Denmark) which were presented recently at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Rome looked at more than 14,000 middle-aged men who did not have heart disease and followed them for three years on average. They discovered physically demanding work was a risk factor for developing coronary heart disease. They also found that men in physical jobs who also did moderate to high levels of exercise in their spare time had a fourfold higher risk of heart disease. Dr Clays further added that “From a public health perspective, it is very important to know whether people with physically demanding jobs should be advised to engage in leisure time activity”.
YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
Coffee may help prevent recurrence of breast cancer -Study
rinking coffee could decrease the risk of breast cancer recurring in patients taking the widely used drug Tamoxifen, a study at Lund University in Sweden has found. Patients who took the pill, along with two or more cups of coffee daily, reported less than half the rate of cancer recurrence, compared with their Tamoxifen-taking counterparts who drank one cup or less. The team followed over 600 breast cancer patients from southern Sweden for an average
of five years. Approximately 300 took Tamoxifen. The drug, a common hormone therapy after breast cancer surgery, reduces the risk of new tumours by blocking oestrogen receptors. How coffee interacts with the treatment, however, isn’t immediately known. “One theory we are working with is that coffee ‘activates’ Tamoxifen and makes it more efficient,” says Maria Simonsson, doctoral student in Oncology at Lund University. -Science Daily
However, men are not the only ones hit by cardiovascular diseases as a result of job characteristics, women are equally affected. According to a recent study published in a journal PLoS ONE, women with high job strain are 67 percent more likely to experience a heart attack and 38 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular ailment than their counterparts in low strain jobs. The researchers, led by Dr. Michelle Albert of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, did not find any correlation between job insecurity and long-term cardiovascular disease risk. Dr. Albert disclosed that “Elevated job strain, a form of psychological stress, has long term cardiovascular health effects in women and could suggest the need for health care providers to incorporate assessment of and identification of useful interventions that minimize
rinking one (or one extra)* 12oz serving size of sugarsweetened soft drink a day can be enough to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%, a new study suggests. The research is published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) and comes from data in the InterAct consortium. The research is by Dr Dora Romaguera, Dr Petra Wark and Dr Teresa Norat, Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues. Since most research in this area has been conducted in North American populations, the authors wanted to establish if a link between sweet beverage consumption and
the effects of job strain.” The study monitored over 22,000 female health professionals in the US over 10 years. Based on self-reported job characteristics, the researchers found that higher job strain was correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. But then, not all office workers are completely free from coming down with cardiovascular diseases. Working more than 11 hours a day rather than the usual 9am to 5pm also increases chances of having heart disease conditions. According to the recent study findings published by UK based researchers in Annals of Internal Medicine, the magnitude of risk goes up by 67 percent for people who work long hours. The University College London team based their findings on over 7,000 civil service employees whose health they had been tracking since 1985, adding that “medical doctors should now be asking their patients about their working hours”. Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimäki said: “Considering that including a measurement of working hours in a GP interview is so simple and useful, our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice. “This new information should help improve decisions regarding medication for heart disease. It could also be a wake-up call for people who overwork themselves, especially if they already have other risk factors.” Confused about where to start from? Cardiologists – medical experts, who manage heart - related conditions, advise you take it easy with physical exercises if you are on a physically demanding job such as brick layering, labourer, journalism, among others.
Sugar-sweetened soft drink can increase risk of Type 2 diabetes -Study
type 2 diabetes existed in Europe. They used data on consumption of juices and nectars, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and artificially sweetened soft drinks collected across eight European cohorts participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC study; UK, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, Netherlands)***, covering some 350,000 participants. As part of the InterAct project, the researchers did a study which included 12,403 type 2 diabetes cases and a random sub-cohort of 16,154 identified within EPIC.
The researchers found that, after adjusting for confounding factors, consumption of one 12oz (336ml) serving size of sugar-sweetened soft drink per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Chairman, Zinox Technologies Limited, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh; Chairman, SURE-P, Dr. Christopher Kolade; Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, at the interactive session of the Graduate Internship Scheme, in Abuja, yesterday.
L-R: Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; former Minister for Industry, Mrs. Onikepo Akande and the Agba Akin of Ibadanland; Chief Adebayo Akande, at the inauguration of Adebayo Akande Hall in Ibadan, yesterday.
L-R: Treasurer, ASHON, Mr. Sam Onukwue; Chairman, organising committee for the Capital market night, Mr. Greg Otsu and Chairman, ASHON, Mr. Emeka Madubike, at the media briefing for the forthcoming Capital market night in Lagos, yesterday.
L-R: Executive Director, Special Projects, Globacom, Mike Jituboh; Group Chief Operating Officer, Jameel Mohamed and ZTE’s Managing Director, Mr. Zenghong Ma, at the signing of a $500 million Glo network modernization and expansion contract with ZTE, in Lagos, yesterday.
Newswatch, Ibrahim accuse Ekpu, Agbese, others of delay K AYODE KETEFE
he Newswatch Publication Ltd, NCL, and its publisher, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, yesterday accused the four former directors of the publishing company, Messrs Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade, of deliberating plotting to delay the hearing of the substantive suit filed against them. The accusation was made through their lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, shortly after the lawyer to the directors, Mrs. Folasade Bankole-Oki, prayed the court for an adjournment of the case, which was scheduled to start yesterday. Newswatch, Barrister Ibrahim and Global Media Mirror Limited have brought the suit, praying the court to declare that Ekpu, Agbese, Mohammed and Akinrinade have since ceased to be directors and, therefore, could not legally do anything on behalf of the company. The plaintiffs are also asking the court to declare that the former directors have no competence to de-
clare a trade dispute under the Share Purchase Agreement, SPA, between them and the NCL. The plaintiffs are therefore, praying the court to restrain Ray Ekpu and the others from taking measures that may be inimical to the interests of the NCL. At yesterday’s proceedings, Mrs. Bankole-Oki, informed the court that the defendants have filed an application, dated April 23rd 2013 and served it on the defendants. She added that the application is contending that the substantive matter could not be determined by the court through the affidavits evidence alone and that the parties ought to file pleadings. Since the new application concerned the mode of determining the substantive matter itself, she added that it ought to be heard before the originating motion of the plaintiffs is decided. It was on this grounds that she applied for an adjournment of the matter. It would be recalled that it was still the same defendants who applied for adjournment of the matter at the last adjourned date of March 21, 2013 on the grounds that they needed
time to respond to the plaintiffs’ further affidavit. In his response, Chief Ayorinde said: “We have just been served with the defendants’ application dated April 23, 2013. Your Lordship cannot look at the application yet. I intend to rigorously oppose this application as it is only designed to delay the expeditious determination of this very straightforward originating motion.
“We shall file our response within the time allowed by the rules.” The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, who referred to the defendants’ application as a “latter day application” adjourned the matter till May 13, 2013 for hearing of both the defendants’ application and the plaintiffs’ originating motion. The judge clarified that on the next adjourned date
if the defendants’ application succeeds, the court would order the parties to file pleadings and if it does not, the court would go on to hear the substantive suit. Justice Abang had on March 6, 2013 struck out the preliminary objection of the defendants praying the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs had no locus standi; that there is no reasonable cause of action and that
the suit was commended through faulty procedure. The judge had dismissed the preliminary objection on all grounds, stressing that the plaintiffs had locus standi, that there was reasonable cause of action and the procedure the plaintiffs adopted in instituting the suit was legally valid. The court on that day also awarded the sum of N15, 000 in favour of the plaintiffs against the defendants.
Glo extends 2013 network investment to $1.2bn KUNLE A ZEEZ
igeria’s indigenous telecoms service provider, Globacom, has signed a new $500 million contract with ZTE, a global Information and Communication Technology solutions provider, for network upgrade, bringing the former’s network investment for 2013 to a whopping $1.250 billion. It will be recalled that the telecoms operator, last week, Globacom had signed a $750 million pact with Huawei, a global telecommunication infrastructures provider for the same purpose.
The latest contract, which is for a four-month period is to enable Globacom to “massively expand its current huge capacity.” Globacom’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mohamed Jameel, who spoke at the contractsigning ceremony held at the company’s head office in Lagos, explained that the network enhancement project was part of the plan to enhance the experience of millions of subscribers on the Globacom network. He said the contract with ZTE was to enable the network operator upgrade its facilities to the very latest technology in global telecommunications.
The massive expansion project will involve network upgrade and overhaul of infrastructure across the country as well as expansion and densification projects that will on completion in four months enable the network to cater more for its existing and potential subscribers. Under the partnership, Globacom will build new switches, increase mobile switching centres to ease congestion and construct additional 4,000 km of optic fibre cable which will complement the existing fibre optic facility which is the most extensive fibre coverage of Nigeria. Glo has state-of-theart IP/MPLS and TDM
technologies (30 gigabyte capacity) to meet requirements of enterprise customers, video, voice and data services. The TDM network will also be upgraded to a fully integrated Generalised Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS). Jameel said part of the upgrade will also include installation of new base stations and densification of existing ones; setting up of three new mini call centers across the country to take care of vast increase in subscriber figures and upgrade of the radio access network which will ensure that data customers enjoy unparalleled speed and reliability.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Manipulate judiciary, risk anarchy, Soyinka warns FG SAM OLUWALANA
obel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday warned against manipulating the judiciary. He said that non-adherence to the warning might lead to the breakdown of law and order. Soyinka also expressed his opposition to amnesty
for the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Prof. Soyinka, who was in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to attend the World Book City, expressed concern at the way the judiciary was being debased and manipulated. He was fielding questions from journalists at the Rivers State Government House on the recent Abuja High Court ruling
that removed the Chief G. U. Ake-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, state executive in the grounding of the plane belonging to Governor Rotimi Amaechi. “I think that the judiciary right now, while it is trying to reform itself, recognises the fact that there are still some dark areas and I think it is the effect of the dark areas that seems to be creating a crisis in Rivers
State right now. “I am just alarmed. I am alarmed that a situation exists at all where it strikes me; it appears to me that the judiciary is being manipulated. That is the impression which I had and that is an alarm which should be sounded in every corner of the nation,” he said. Soyinka also lashed out at pettiness in governance at any level, saying that it is not
L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Magnus Abe; his counterparts in Gas, Nkechi Nwaogu; Petroleum Industry Bill, Emmanuel Paulker and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Umaru Dahiru, at the Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill Workshop in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
appropriate for any government in a democratic setting to pay attention to small and unimportant issues, at the expense of serious matters. Reacting to the allegation of witch-hunting by the Federal Government, Soyinka said: “Witch-hunting is a very heavy word. Let me just say this generally, that I hate evidence of pettiness in governance. I think pettiness at any level is unbecoming of any democratic situation. That is all I want to say about that. “I see that I cannot escape all what is going on. I have also put some questions myself, I mean, obviously, I am a citizen of this nation, so I am affected personally by what is happening at the opposite end of the nation. Those who feel that any kind of transgression of the collective rights of groups will not affect, or will not have a kind of ripple effect which will affect other parts of the nation must be living in the cloud and so I am concerned. “I will be quite frank with you. I am very much concerned about the im-
broglio in which this state (Rivers State) appears to be involved in at the moment and my main comment is for heaven’s sake, whatever happens internally between parties and so on, please don’t debase and don’t manipulate the judiciary. That is my appeal to governance at all levels. Please do not manipulate the judiciary because when you do, you have chaos, you have total anarchy, you reduce the nation to a space of complete breakdown of law and order which is what this nation had better avoid.” On the issue of amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect, Soyinka sarcastically ask; “Why stop at amnesty alone, why don’t you just make Shekau the president so that they can come to the table and dialogue with the government” He congratulated the government and people of Rivers State for the emergence of Port Harcourt as the 2014 World Book Capital, and stressed the need to use knowledge to fight the forces of retrogression in the Nigerian society.
Massive cheating mars UTME CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
last Saturday across the country was characterised by large scale cheating by candidates, National Mirror can now reveal. School teachers, JAMB invigilators and even parents of candidates actively participated in the cheating. In Lagos, many candidates in virtually all the centres visited by our reporters had access to the supposed answers before the commencement of the examinations. As early as 6:30a.m. some candidates were seen copying answers from their phones into pieces of paper, which they tucked in different parts of their bodies. Most of them later entered the exam halls unhindered as the papers could not be detected by the metal detector and body searches by officials. It was not however clear how or when the JAMB question papers leaked to the public. Nobody saw the papers but most candidates started receiving the supposed answers via SMS text massages very early in
the morning. A candidate was overheard telling her friends that she got the physics answers from one Mr. Ajala her Physics teacher. Another was overheard confirming he had got answers to all her subjects except Accounts which he urged the party on the line to send as fast as possible. From Vetland Senior High School, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government; Ojota Grammar School, Ojota; Agidingbi Grammar School; Isolo High School, Akute; Opebi High School; Ogudu Senior Secondary School, Ogudu GRA; Dolphin High School to Boys Academy, Lagos Island, the story was the same as the candidates were seen either copying the prepared answers or making calls to obtain the answers, which appeared to be in wide circulation across the country. In one of the centres, many of the candidates did not enter the exam hall until well over an hour after the exam had started. They were seeing copying from their phones and only entered after they had tucked
the small pieces of papers under their belts, inside their socks and other hidden parts of their bodies. They were later allowed to enter in batches well after the paid time. National Mirror investigation also revealed that the candidates were assisted by invigilators. In two of the classes in one of the centres, candidates paid N500 and N1,000 respectively to invigilators to be able to use their phones and their prepared answers. The invigilators also watched out for JAMB officials and often warned the candidates each time they approached the classroom. National Mirror is in possession of a question paper with omission of three questions, which a candidate asked to be changed by the invigilator. She was however ignored because according to her, she refused to pay the ‘levy’. One of the invigilators at a centre in Agege, Lagos openly advised the candidates to “help” themselves. “Feel free to show your neighbour your paper,” she urged. Also to ensure
that the candidates “use” the correct answers, an invigilator was seen in one of the centres warning candidates to be sure that the answers they were copying from their phones were for the right questions. Parents were also deeply involved in the malpractices. For instance, at Dolphin High School, Lagos, many parents were seen making calls to get the supposed answers, which they passed on to their wards in the exam halls with the help of invigilators. Although many supervisors denied knowledge of such massive cheating by the candidates, a JAMB official in charge of the 11 centres in Ikotun/Idimu area told National Mirror that over 30 candidates were caught cheating at different centres in the area with the connivance of some invigilators. He disclosed that he had to transfer some invigilators at Comprehensive College, Ikotun, having sensed that foul play was about taking place in the exam. In Ogun State, no fewer than 82 candidates were arrested from different cen-
tres for using their phones in the exam hall or copying from pieces of papers. Also in Abuja, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, personally caught a candidate for impersonation. “We were able to fish him out because the registration number of his answer sheet is different from the one on the slip. His slip ended with DA while the real answer sheet ended with FH. “He came with wrong slip, in order to be sure, we went to the internet and discovered that the owner of that paper is from Enugu. This boy came to impersonate and unfortunately we were able to catch him. I took him to the biometrics and ask him to thumbprint, but there was no record of his registration. I tried it myself; there was no record of my registration. He has been handed over to the civil defense who will hand him over to the law enforcement agency. “He registered for centre 021 but came to centre 022 and 023, he was handed answer sheet of 022.We
discovered that the owner of the number was meant to be in Enugu which is O21 centre,” Ojerinde told newsmen, adding that the boy later confessed that his father did it for him. Also at Model Secondary School, Maitama, two students were caught with mobile phones while another was caught with a calculator. JAMB’s spokesman, Mr. Fabian Uchenna, however pledged the Board’s resolve to sanction those involved in such malpractice, saying it was already investigating all the established cases and would not hesitate to apply appropriate sanction on any candidate found guilty. He told National Mirror yesterday that the examination body would soon come up with a comprehensive figure of candidates involved in malpractices across the country before the end of this week. Uchenna, however, denied that the leakage of JAMB questions would have emanated from the Board’s officials saying its staff are “people of integrity”
OMEIZA AJAYI AND KEMI OLAITAN
he Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has denied reports that it had rejected the proposed merger of some political parties to form the All Progressives Congress, APC. This is as indication emerged yesterday that APC may adopt a new name before its convention. In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, the commission said contrary to the reports, it had never written to the merging parties to stop their bid. The statement said INEC only declined an application by another associ-
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
INEC denies rejecting APC registration
•Party may adopt new name, says Senator
ation seeking to register as the All Progressives Congress of Nigeria, APCN, in line with provisions of the law. INEC said it took the action as a result of the fact that the acronym proposed by the association was similar to that of another already seeking registration. The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has been drawn to reports in some newspapers today, Monday, April 29, 2013, that it has rejected a bid by some political parties to merge as the All Progressives Congress, APC. “The commission has
not written to stop the merger bid as APC. “The commission, in a letter by its Secretary dated April 23rd, 2013, only declined an application by another association seeking to register as the All Progressives Congress of Nigeria, APCN, for the reason that the acronym proposed by the association is similar to that of another already seeking registration. “The commission here-
by reassures Nigerians that it will always do the right thing as a dispassionate and impartial regulator of the political process.” Two newspapers yesterday carried a report of how INEC wrote the APC, asking it to forget its merger bid. A source at the commission told our correspondent yesterday that the reports might have been sponsored by some politi-
cians hell-bent on discrediting its modest efforts at reforming the electoral system. Meanwhile, APC may adopt a new name before its convention. The Chairman, Contact and Mobilisation Committee, South-West zone, for the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Senator Solomon Ewuga, made the disclosure while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He said the party had the option of registering with another name before the elec-
tion. Ewuga, who led other committee members to the ancient city, said the CPC leader, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), was not insisting on being the APC presidential candidate in 2015. He said the former military leader had said that he would only contest if the party decided to make him its flag bearer, adding that the APC had the sole responsibility of picking its presidential candidate without any imposition.
Insecurity: FG to buy 36 helicopters CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
paid, trained and directed to serve and protect.” He told the president that in spite of “our institutional inadequacies, we have continued to courageously display loyalty, courage and zeal as part of our inter-agency instrument towards confronting internal insurgency. We celebrate the gallantry of our men who daily engage deadly armed robbery gangs, kidnapping syndicates, murderers, fraudsters, rapists, and other heinous criminals who target our children and youth community”. Abubakar added: “We also on this auspicious occasion pass a clear message to the criminal community that the wind of change is now blowing through the police; a cultural reorientation that is premised on adoption of international best policing practices is emerging, and the new Police Force will display team spirit, loyalty, zeal, courage, civility and renewed commitment towards confronting criminal elements”. Meanwhile, the IGP yesterday explained how the growing wave of insecurity in the country has exerted tremendous pressure on security operatives, announcing that since he made public his mobile telephone line, he now receives an average of 500 to 1,000 calls per day.
Abubakar, who spoke at the commissioning of a police mini Hall of Fame inside the Force Headquarters building in Abuja, urged officers and men of the force not to be discouraged, saying the force has an efficient system of reward and sanctions. He added that the force has also concluded arrangements to establish a museum in order to allow for the preservation of some fond memories of the force. Olubolade, who commissioned the Hall, tasked Nigerians on providing regular support for the police. He said: “The Police must be supported by the public and if we encourage them, they will serve us better. “The public must give useful information to the police. The police can unravel any crime if the public would give useful information to the police. Any other information is a waste of time”. Olubolade also stated that the police must remain in the forefront of providing internal security for the nation, adding that the military can only come in when their support is needed. “The police must be at the forefront of internal security. It is only when they need support that the military can join them. This is how it is, and that is what they are doing,” he stated.
L -R: Nigerian Ambassador to China, Ambassador Aminu Bello Wali; Mongolia’s President Elbegdorj Tsakhia; Nigeria’s VicePresident, Mohammed Namadi Sambo and his wife, Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo; during the 7th session of the Conference of Community for Democracies at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, yesterday.
How ThisDay office was bombed –Star witness ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday heard the graphic account of how a self-confessed member of Boko Haram, Mr. Mustapha Umar, bombed the offices of ThisDay, The Sun and The Moment newspapers in Kaduna on April 26, 2012. The blast killed three innocent people instantly and injured others. Some people also died later. The testimony by four prosecution witnesses, who were all masked, came moments after the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, threw out an application by the suspected bomber to oppose the plans by the prosecution to subject him to a secret trial. All the four witnesses, who took turn to mount the witness box, looked like masqueraders. The accused, who stared
occasionally at the witnesses, laughed all through over their appearance. The witnesses gave their account for over three hours. Three other witnesses are expected to give further evidence against Umar today. But the defence team, which was apparently not satisfied with the ruling of the judge on the public trial for the accused, may proceed to the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal this morning. The lead defence counsel, Mr. Nureni Sulymon, said yesterday that he had never witnessed the kind of trial his client was subjected to. He wanted the witnesses to remove their masks, identify themselves by names, occupation, residential addresses, office addresses and history of their career which the prosecution said was not possible. Although Sulymon al-
lowed the prosecution witnesses to give evidence in the matter notwithstanding his opposition to the procedure of the trial, he vowed to test the ruling of the court at the appellate court. The notice of appeal, if lodged, may stall Umar’s trial. Only counsel to both parties, court support staff, journalists and Law School students on externship programme were allowed to witness the proceedings yesterday. First to mount the witness box was the star prosecution witness who was simply identified as XYZ of Oxford Street. In his evidence-in-chief, he narrated how Umar allegedly bombed the offices of the three newspapers thus: “On 26 April, 2012, at about 10am, I was passing along Kotangora Road in Kaduna when I saw people gathered around SOJ Plaza. “In the plaza, they sell
flowers at the basement of the building. On the upper floor are the offices of ThisDay, The Sun and The Moment. I moved closer to find out what was happening. On getting closer, I saw one Honda car very close to the wall of the building. I saw about two people trying to rescue the accused from the vehicle. He was sitting in the driver’s seat. I joined in attempting to rescue him because I thought it was a car accident. “But as much as we tried to bring him out, we failed. This is because the doors to the vehicle were locked from inside and we could not open them. But we eventually forced the doors open to rescue him. “Immediately we brought him out, to our amazement, he started shouting that he brought bomb to the premises and that it could explode any moment. He was speaking in Hausa language ‘bomb Che, bomb Che, wallahi’.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
How assassins entered Funsho Williams’ premises –Witness •Says exhibits got spoilt due to epileptic power supply
arms were tied behind him. His head region was under the bed and we observed blood around the head on the floor. “He was wearing a multicoloured Ankara in ‘Buba and Sokoto. The Sokoto had shifted and thereby revealing white under pant. There was evidence of ransacking the whole upstairs including, the family’s living room and master bedroom. “We processed for finger prints, shoe prints and noted the position of things considered to be relevant for our forensic work, which included one empty scab board without the dagger. “We did not move the body from the position we found it. The pathologist who subsequently moved the body discovered the dagger under it.” The witness noted that there was a manhole in the ceiling which was a concrete ceiling, saying: “An
opening of 2x2 covered with a plywood board was made in the ceiling. The manhole was just two feet from the dividing wall of the duplexes and it was similar to the other side. The building has a common roof ’’. According to Oyokomino, the police at that time relied on the mode of entry into the apartment to effect arrest and two suspects, who had previously broken into apartment in similar pattern, were nabbed. He said DNA materials were collected from the suspects and tested in a forensic laboratory in Britain, adding that the suspects were later released after the DNA report exonerated them. Besides, Oyokomino told the court that Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in charge of the case later came back with suspects apprehended with the cell phone of the deceased,
which was removed the day the incident occurred. The witness said: “We obtained the blood sample from the suspects while in detention. Samples were sent for DNA profile, which was reported inconclusive. This was reported to the prosecuting counsel who immediately set in motion to obtain fresh smoke through a court order at the High Court. “I was later informed that the judge at the time gave an order but I never saw the Certified True Copy till now. It was only recently that I learnt that the order could not be carried out because the presiding judge at that time died without signing the order she made.” He also told the court that a fresh order had been secured from the Magistrate’s Court to obtain blood samples of the new suspects along with those of the police men who were attached to the deceased and his private security guard.
Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Forensics, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Ovie Oyokomino, yesterday gave a vivid description on how assassins gained entry into the late Funsho Williams’ apartment. Williams was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Lagos State in 2003. Oyokomino, a prosecution witness, told the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Adebajo, of a Lagos High Court that the perishable evidence such as blood samples as well as sample extracted from the diseased’s eye got bad due to interrupted power supply in the course of refrigerating. He told the court that he visited the scene of the crime at about 12:30pm following a call from the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone II. He disclosed that a green rope that was notched in various places was used by the killers to gain access into Williams’ duplex. The witness said: “The assailants gained entry into his apartment (his wing of a twin duplex) from the unoccupied second wing of the twin duplex. “They used a green colour nylon rope notched in a number of places for easy usage to descend into the deceased’s apartment. We collected the rope, mattress, containing shoe print, cushion in the living room that had shoe print. We also found a blood stained Kong sleeve shirt, pink in colour, in a Samsonite suitcase in the third room.” According to him, a mattress and cushion contain- A road show to mark the 2013 World Malaria Day in Abuja, yesterday. ing shoe prints were collected from the deceased’s house at Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, addIn a statement yesterday, results of the people’s public ing that a blood stained pink TORDUE SALEM the Press Secretary to the sessions, the Adhoc ComABUJA coloured shirt was found in Deputy Speaker of the House mittee of the House of Repa Samsonite suitcase in the he House of Represen- and the Chairman of the Ad resentatives on the Review third bedroom. tatives Committee on hoc Committee on the Re- of the Constitution is set to He said: “I got there at the Review of the 1999 view, Mr. Oke Epia, said the embark on a retreat for its about 12:30pm with my men. Constitution will begin its re- retreat would prepare mem- members in preparation for There were many people treat tomorrow in Abuja. bers for the next stages of the the next stages of the ongothere. We could hardly get The retreat is preparatory review. ing constitution amendment into the scene with our ve- to a debate on bills that will The statement reads: exercise.” hicle. form a new constitution for “Pursuant to the successful The committee had, on “The deceased was in a ly- the country. presentation of the collated April 18, presented a report ing position on the floor; his
FG asks polytechnics to stop running Post-HND programmes IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
he Federal Government yesterday warned the nation’s polytechnics to stop running Post-HND programmes (Post Graduate Diploma). The government said it is outside the jurisdiction of the polytechnics to run such programmes. Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, gave the warning in Abuja at the inauguration of the governing councils of 15 federal polytechnics, 19 federal colleges of education and two federal parastatals. Rufa’I urged the governing councils to streamline the programmes of polytechnics and colleges of education so as to meet national and international standards. The minister said to make tertiary education more relevant to the needs of the economy, it is necessary to refocus institutional mandates of
Reps begin retreat on constitution review tomorrow
of 43 responses on the issues that will feature in the next constitution. Hon. Eziuche Ubani, Chairman, Sub-committee on media, in a press statement, said yesterday that “the retreat will afford members of the committee an opportunity to deliberate on draft bills on the aspects of the 1999 Consti-
teaching, research, training and community services. According to her, this requires a critical review and implementation of the various programmes and curricula of polytechnics and colleges of Education. Rufa’I said: “Another major challenge which has to be seriously addressed by the governing councils is the issue of Institutional Master Plans. “Approved Mast Plans that facilitate the development of well organised tertiary institutions with facilities in place should be strictly adhered to.” The minister also warned that the position of Rector/Provosts and other principal officers should be open to all qualified Nigerians irrespective of their state of origins, adding that the Provost and Registrar of Colleges of Education should sign NCE certificates as obtained in polytechnics and universities. The councils were also tasked to ensure that issuance of certificates to graduating students is a prerequisite for approvals for holding convocation. Rufa’I added: “The governing councils and managements of the institutions are to ensure immediate implementation of the external audit reports. “You are expected to effectively implement the views of the government on the Visitation Panel Reports to your institutions as soon as they are available. “I assure you that the Federal Ministry of Education will render assistance in relation to this issue whenever the need arises.” tution that Nigerians will want to see amended as was clearly indicated by the voting during the peoples public sessions held in the 360 federal constituencies on November10, 2012.” Ubani said: “The retreat, which holds May 1 to May 3 at the Protea Hotel apartments in Apo, Abuja, will usher the committee into the next and crucial stage of its work of amending the constitution.”
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Ondo PDP reconciliation move shaky HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
fforts to resolve the crisis rocking the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have been hampered by the uncompromising attitude of the
two factions of the party. While the Elders’ Forum supported and expressed its confidence in the leadership ability of the state Chairman, Ebenezer Alabi, the Prof. Olu Agbi faction said there was no executive committee in the state, describing Alabi as an illegal occupant of the
post. The two factions presented their case before the Toye Olofintuyi-led Resolution Committee which was set up by the South-West Secretariat of the party to reunite the various warring factions. The Elders’ Forum said before any meaningful recon-
ciliation could take place, the Agbi-led faction must publicly renounce its support for Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The forum also said the faction must withdraw the case instituted against the duly elected executive of the party. It indicted some leaders of
the party like Senator Bode Olajumoke, Chief Segun Adegoke and Agbi for fuelling the crisis in the party after the emergence of the party flag bearer for the 2012 governorship election. The forum said these leaders supported Mimiko for second term on the assumption that the PDP candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, could not win the election. Besides, the forum accused the faction of raising Dr. Akin Olowookere, who scored zero during the PDP congress to destabilise the party. However, the forum said it was ready to reunite with the ‘leaders’ if they showed remorse and towed the part of reconciliation. “In the spirit of give and take, we plead with the leadership of the party to be ready to forgive and forget
all the identified anti-party activities of the group and restore its leaders and members to their previous positions of recognition within the party,” the Elders’ Forum said. But the faction loyal to Agbi maintained that the party had no executive which it could relate with as the court of competent jurisdiction had dissolved the Alabi-led committee. In its position presented by Chief Adegoke, the group said a new caretaker committee comprising the two factions should be constituted to run the affairs of the party for either three or six months before a new executive would be installed. The group said it abhorred a situation where the party was seen as a property of an individual.
I have no godfathers, says Fayemi L-R: Chairman, Lagos Housing Fair, Mr. Aderoju Adepoju; Managing Director, Beechland Resources Limited, Mr. Moses Ogunleye (back); a building consultant, Mrs. Iyabode Bolarinwa; former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, at the opening of the 13th Lagos Housing Fair in Lagos, yesterday.
Aregbesola’s phone thief bags 45 years jail ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
n Osogbo High Court yesterday sentenced 31-yearold Kelvin Igha Ighodalo to 45 years imprisonment without an option of fine for stealing a Sony Ericson phone valued at N50,000 belonging to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. The phone thief, who was standing trial on a six-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining properties by false, stealing, impersonation and advance free fraud, pleaded
guilty to the charges. He was sentenced to 10 years each for the first three counts and also bagged five years jail term for each of the last three counts. But the sentence will run concurrently. The convict, who stole the state governor’s phone during his swearing-in, was said to have earlier served six years’ imprisonment in Ikoyi Prison for murder, stole the governor’s phone on November 27, 2010 at the state Technical College Sport Grounds. The charge sheet reads
in part: “Kelvin and others now at large were on May 24th, 2011 impersonated the governor by using his phone with intent to defraud and obtained the sum of N500,000 from his royal majesty, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolara Owa-Obokun of Ijeshaland. “Similarly, impersonating Aregbesola, the convict also accosted one Shenge Rahman and having defrauded him of a sum of N200,000, he later met his waterloo while furthering the mischievous act.” Ighodalo’s counsel, Mr.
Doctors, others fight over UCH top job KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
risis is brewing between doctors and other medical personnel at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan on who to fill the vacant position of the Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, DCMAC, of the hospital. The Nigeria Union of Allied Health Care Professionals, NUAHCP, had said at a press conference last week that the post of DCMAC should not be monopolised by medical doctors but thrown open to other
medical personnel within the system. The union also called for caution so that filling of the position would not rupture the cordial relationship between all professional bodies in the hospital. The union comprising pharmacists, radiographers, laboratory technologists and, physiotherapists faulted the appointment of a laboratory physician as DCMAC, saying that one of their members should have been picked. But the Oyo State chapter of the Nigerian Medical
Association, NMA, taking a holistic view of the situation at a press briefing yesterday, said “if the idea of
Ameachi Ngwu, had prayed the court to commit the convict to community service, stressing that he should not be incarcerated but be placed where people could see him as a convict. However, the prosecution, who is also the assistant principal state counsel, Mr. Biodun Badiora, told the court that the convict had committed an offence contrary to Section 8(c) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Free Fraud and other related offences Act, 2006. In his judgement, Justice Falola said the convict did not deserve to have contact with community. appointing a deputy for any officer is to have somebody that can step into the officer’s shoes when not available, then, the only suitable person for the post of DCMAC is a medical doctor.
ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
kiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi said yesterday that the transformational agenda of his administration was dictated by the will of the people of the state. Fayemi, who denied having any political godfather who set the tone for governance in the state, said his pursuit of the people’s dictates was the reason he enjoyed their support since his election in 2007. The governor spoke in Ado-Ekiti while hosting participants of Course 35 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru on a study tour of the state. The governor said he had mentors, but not godfathers. Fayemi added that it was impossible for him to impose the will of a
Lekki toll: Lagos asks court to dismiss suit KAYODE KETEFE
he Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, yesterday prayed a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to dismiss a suit challenging the proposed collection of toll on the new Lekki - Ikoyi suspension bridge. A Lagos-based lawyer
and human rights activist, Mr. EbunOlu Adegboruwa, instituted the suit against the Lagos State Government, in which he is contending the legality of erecting the bridge on a federal navigable waterway and imposing toll on it. During the proceedings yesterday, Ipaye told the court that Lagos State Government had filed a preliminary objection to the suit to
challenge the jurisdiction of the court to entertain it. According to the Attorney-General, the suit is incompetent and premature on the grounds that the state government had not yet taken a decision whether or not to introduce any tolling on the road. He said: “All remedies sought by the applicant are in respect of the tolling; after all they have not suggest-
godfather on the people renowned for their high intelligence. He said: “I don’t think we should denigrate mentorship. Mentorship in politics has been bastardised, but we don’t suffer any problem of godfatherism because it can’t succeed in this state. “Everybody in Ekiti State is a governor and has a sense of how government should work. Ekiti people are my godfathers because they send me short message service, sms, everyday on what they want done and that is exactly what I do because we run a participatory government.” The governor said that if he had got into office through some manipulations or godfatherism, it was unlikely that he would respect the wishes of the ordinary citizens. According to him, a credible system will produce good governance. ed that the bridge should be removed. “In the first place, the applicant commenced this suit by an originating summons, which ought not to be the appropriate mode of commencing an action of this nature. “There are uncontroversial facts that the bridge in question has not even been formally handed over to the Lagos State Government and so, the applicant’s action is too early in the day.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Violence: PDP threatens ‘fire for fire’ in Ekiti
Osun to renovate hospitals with N1.7bn
A BIODUN N EJO
kiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday said it will henceforth return ‘fire for fire’ for any attack on its members from the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. PDP state Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, said the opposition would no longer tolerate “any act of brigandage from the ruling party” and would henceforth meet force with force. Ogundipe, who spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday while receiving the Letter of Intent from a PDP governorship aspirant in the 2014 election, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said: “We have been given the marching order from Abuja to reply ACN fire-for-fire.” The PDP chairman, who cited the killings and attacks on the party’s members and the destruction of PDP governorship aspirants’ billboards as acts of victimisation, said: “They
don’t have monopoly of violence, but we were only being conscious of the fact that we do not want to destabilise Ekiti. But henceforth, we will no longer tolerate this act of brigandage.” Adeyeye, a former Afenifere spokesman, who was at the state PDP secretariat with his supporters, said his decision to vie for the PDP governorship ticket and the exalted governor’s office, was borne out of his genuine desire
to transform the state with his “11 Priorities” agenda. The governorship hopeful, who also formally opened his campaign office in Ado Ekiti, said he would reenact his culture of developmental innovations, if given the ticket and elected, saying: “You all know the innovations I brought to Ekiti primary education in just two years when I was the chairman of SUBEB in Ekiti. I am going to replicate this and take
Ekiti to higher heights.” He promised to use his platform, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement, PAAM, to unite the PDP to be able to rescue power from ACN in the forthcoming election. Adeyeye assured Ekiti people that he would tap the talents of Ekiti people who “are familiar with the plights of the people to develop our dear state if elected. Importation of brains to me is of no use.
fresh crisis is brewing in the Ondo State chapter of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, over the romance of some of its members with the proposed All Progressive Congress, APC. The romance has led to the suspension of some members of the CNPP in the state which include the state Secretary of the conference, Femi Ajibola, the Treasurer, Samuel Akinbobola and the Financial Secretary, Victor Ogunbodede. Speaking on the suspension of the members yesterday in Akure, state Chair-
man of the CNPP, Chief Ayo Isijola, said the people were suspended because of their disloyalty to the cause of the CNPP and their romance with the APC. Isijola said some members of the group have been working against the decision of the conference before the latest romance with the APC. He explained that the last governorship election in the state had pitched members against one another, saying some members of the conference acted contrary to the decision of the group, which endorsed Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, for the purpose of the poll. He said some of the suspected members supported with the Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, during the election contrary to the general agreement of the conference. Ajibola and other suspended members were said to have attended a meeting organised by the senator representing Ondo North senatorial district, who is also a chieftain of the ACN, Ajayi Boroffice, where the ongoing merger talks to produce APC was discussed. Isijola said; “As a conference, we now feel we should let the public know the truth, there was never a time we turn our back to the collective decision to support Governor Olusegun Mimiko during and after the last gubernatorial election.”
The CNPP chairman, however, said that Lawrence Kehinde, from Akoko SouthWest Local Government Area, had been elected as the conference’s secretary following the suspension of Ajibola. However, Ajibola denied knowledge of his suspension as claimed by the leadership of the conference, saying there was no letter to that effect. He explained that he was elected as the secretary of the conference by the general assembly of the CNPP, saying it was the body that has power to suspend him. Ajibola said, “CNPP elected me their secretary and put me in the position, if I will be removed, it has to be by the general assembly.”
Flood victims appeal to Ajimobi to pay compensation KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
ictims of the August 2011 flood disaster in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, whose houses and property were demolished or marked for demolition, have appealed to the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to pay them compensation to start
sun State government said it has earmarked N1.7 billion for the renovation of hospitals in the state while it has also committed N92 million to the procurement of drugs and medical consumables for its free health programmes in the state. State Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Temitope Ilori, who made this known yesterday at the ministe-
L-R: Institute’s Librarian, Mr. Emmanuel Mamman; Senior Fellow and visiting professor, Sonny Tyoden; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Team Leader, Prof. Aja Aja, during a courtesy visit by Course 35 participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
Crisis brews in CNPP over romance with APC HAKEEM GBADAMOSI
life afresh. Spokespersons for the victims, Major R.O.A. Salawu (rtd); Alhaji Azeez Adeyemo; Oloye Isiaka A. Salaudeen; Alhaji Fatai Akere and Alhaja Kudiratu Ogun, made the appeal in a release jointly signed and made available to journalists yesterday at the end of a meeting held in Ibadan. They said the appeal be-
came inevitable because since their houses and other property had either been marked for demolition or demolished, no compensation had been paid to any of them and they had been suffering in silence. It will be recalled that after the August 26, 2011, flood disaster in Ibadan, the state government directed that
all houses and other landed property located along banks of rivers and streams be demolished in order to avert a recurrence of the disaster in the city. The spokespersons continued: “Some of us have become homeless, roaming the streets; others are still living in the remaining parts of their dilapidating buildings.”
rial quarterly press briefing of the ministry, said the present administration in the state would do all it could to see that hospitals in the state are in good order while adequate drugs would be made available to the people. The commissioner said the contractors that would handle the renovation of the hospitals would soon be mobilised, assuring the people of the state that classical improvement would in no distance time be recorded in the health sector. Ilori, who said many hospitals had been shut down by the ministry due to lack of registration of their premises, unqualified personnel , semitrained workers and so on, affirmed that due process must be followed to provide the best for the people of the state. He stressed further that 57, 623 cases of malaria was recorded in the state and pledged that all necessary arrangements have been made by the Aregbesola administration to get the disease reduced drastically in the state.
Lawmakers pass vote of confidence on Ikuforiji MURITALA AYINLA
embers of the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday passed a vote of confidence on the Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. According to the lawmakers, the Speaker has been able to pilot the affairs of the House despite the many challenges confronting him. The move by the lawmakers was not unconnected with the ongoing trial of the Speaker at a Lagos High Court over alleged money laundering charges. The vote of confidence was passed after a motion raised by Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Agege Constituency 2, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance. Ogundimu said: “My intention is very clear on this motion, based on the performance of the leadership of the House in spite of his recent political experience and court trial, a vote of confidence is declared for Mr. Speaker and the leadership.” The lawmaker noted that the case against Ikuforiji has been on for too long a period. He recalled the pronouncement of the presid-
ing judge that; “This case has witnessed unprecedented delay,” adding that such a statement coming from a presiding officer shows that the statement is pregnant with meaning. “The judiciary on its part has put in place measures to accelerate the case, but was always meeting a stumbling block. “There are some faceless people that are really interested in slowing down the pace of work. “They have adopted a time wasting strategy, this matter is more of a political case than legal,” the lawmaker said. On his part, Sanai Agunbiade, from Ikorodu Constituency 1, cautioned his colleagues over making judgemental statement over a case that is already in court, saying; “When a matter is adjourned sine die, the court still bars a public pronouncement over it.” While reacting to Agunbiade’s comment, the Deputy Speaker, Taiwo Kolawole, who presided over the proceedings, stated that the matter is still open for debate, but enjoined members to restrict themselves to the political aspect of the issue.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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NIMET’s prediction: NEMA moves to prevent likely disaster DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he South-East Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in collaboration with states affected by flood in 2012, has embarked on early awareness campaigns in vulnerable communities. NEMA embarked on the campaigns following the rainfall prediction for 2013 by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET). Speaking during one of the campaigns at Otucha in
Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, NEMA’s Director-General, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, sympathized with those affected by last year’s flood. It will be recalled that no fewer than eight local government areas were ravaged by the flood last year in Anambra State. Sidi, who was represented by NEMA’s Coordinator in South-East, Dr. Onimode Abdullahi Bandele, told participants at the awareness campaign that the disaster may recur this year based on NIME’s prediction.
Sidi said the prediction was also to enhance preparedness against climate risks and associated hazards. The NEMA Director General urged the people to adhere to the warning. He also urged the 36 state governments to embark on radio jingles, advocacy and further awareness campaign to reduce the effects of a likely flooding this year. Sidi, however, stressed the importance of community and grass root participation in disaster risk reduction. Also speaking, the Secretary to the Anambra State
Government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, commended the Federal Government for providing relief materials and rehabilitating the flood victims. According to him, last year’s flooding was unexpected. He added that the state would have recorded more than six deaths if not for the early warning meeting held at Abagana last year. Sidi appreciated effort by NEMA and relevant agencies for sensitizing members of the public on NIMET’s rainfall prediction, stressing that community resilience to
disasters could be achieved through such platform. During a similar programme held at Egbema for vulnerable communities in Imo State, the state government, represented by the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Mrs. Uche Ezeonyeasi, praised NEMA for bringing the NIMET’s rainfall prediction to those he described as end users. Ezeonyeasi promised that the government would ensure that radio and television advertisements were put in place to enhance dissemination of information
to every nook and cranny of the state. Early warning/flood sensitization programmes were also carried out at UzoUwani and Ikwuano local government areas of Enugu and Abia states respectively. The objective of the campaigns is to sensitize the flood-prone communities on NIMET’s rainfall prediction so as to inculcate in them relevant proactive measures in case of a likely disaster. It is also to ensure reduction in the vulnerability of the communities and their infrastructure.
Excitement as pupils get Okorocha’s stipends
Treason: FG asked to stop plan to retry Uwazurulike
upils were excided yesterday as Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha paid their stipends as well as distributed instructional materials to them. The governor, last year, promised to embark on the programme in both primary and schools even as some critics described the project as wasteful. Flagging- off the programme at Owerri City School, Okorocha said the exercise was aimed at encouraging school children in their studies and to further create conducive environment for learning. The governor, who was represented by his wife, Nneoma, said each secondary school pupil in the public schools would receive N500 while their counterparts in primary schools would get N300 every term. Okorocha described education as a vital instrument to a child’s development, adding that his administration would remain committed to transforming the education sector. He, however, advised the pupils to concentrate on their studies and respect elders. The governor said: “I see in you a fulfillment of great things to come. Therefore, you must not fail. To succeed, you much be guided by the following values: hard work, honesty, respect for elders, service to your fatherland, upholding the tenets of your mother tongue and being prayerful.”
President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) and South-East Council of Traditional Rulers during their visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Anambra 2014: Group mobilises against electoral fraud NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
he National Working Committee (NWC) of South-East Development Initiative (SEDI) has announced measures to stop rigging in future elections, particularly during the 2014 governorship election in Anambra State. SEDI National Chair-
man, Prince Harrison Onyemaelu, said yesterday after the NWC meeting held in Awka that said the group had been mobilising the people through workshops and visitation to churches and schools to educate them on the dangers of electoral malpractices. Onyemaelu said: “We must not relent. We will soon host our annual sym-
posium and other enlightening seminars and workshops to redirect the minds of our people on some salient issues because the battle for the hearts of men is won by printed words. “It is on record that the incumbent governor has done excellently well and it is obvious that we all must sweat together to sustain his dreams and aspirations by shopping
for credible candidate. “A sure ticket that must deliver and surpass the laudable achievements of the incumbent governor. The last four years of this administration, despite some flaws, is a case of a fact speaking for itself. “SEDI is already mobilizing structures to make sure Anambra people are not taken unawares”.
‘Contradiction in constitution responsible for Nigeria’s woes’ ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
he Ebonyi State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Chief Bailse Oji, has condemned what he described as the raging ethnic/ community clashes in some parts of Nigeria. Oji said that the security challenge confronting the country was as a result of the contradictions in the nation’s constitution. Answering questions from journalists yesterday in Abakaliki, the state capital, the deputy speaker stressed
that the violent clashes among ethnic communities in Nigeria could be traced to indigene and non-indigene issues. He said: “The contradiction in the constitution is causing ethnic/ community clashes in the country. “In Nigerian society today, different ethnic groups and sectional constituencies engage in intense struggle with one another for access to power. “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which seeks to emphasise the rights and obligations of the citizens has also been seen to encourage discrimination
in the area of state of origin under the guise of the federal character and quota system as states are encouraged to freely discriminate and operate distinction between their indigenes and non-indigenes in job placement, admission into schools and payment of school fees.” The lawmaker added that the nature and character of the Nigerian state promotes indignity, which in a way adversely affects the survival of the country. He, however, mentioned the indignity to include the ban by the Zamfara State
Government of non-indigenes from public schools, the violent clashes between indigenous Kataf and the immigrant Hausa community in 1992 in Kaduna State, the ethnic clashes between the indigenous Jukun and the immigrant communities in Wukari, Taraba State. The deputy speaker said: “The indignity is making Nigerians become second class citizens in states outside their state of origin in spite of the provision made in the nation’s constitution instituting the citizenship status of Nigerians.
group, the Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), has urged the Federal Government to stop the plan to retry the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, and six members for alleged treason. Addressing journalists in Akwa, the Anambra State capital, the BZM leader, Mr. Benjamin Igwe Onwuka, said that the planned retrial was to scuttle the Biafra’s agitation, which he claimed had reached advanced stage of its actualisation. Describing the Federal Government’s plot of relisting a charge that had taken eight years as abuse of judicial process, Onwuka said that any case that has not been prosecuted within five years should no longer be reopened in the court. He said: “Under no circumstances should the matter, which started in 2005, should not be brought back in court.” Onwuka, however, threatened to mobilise members of the group to fight “injustice meted to the Biafrans since 1967 if the MASSOB leader is tried again.” Reacting to the proposed amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect, Onwuka described the amnesty as the manifestation of the purported reality that Northerners are in control of Nigeria.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Gunmen kidnap five expatriates in Bayelsa EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
unmen yesterday abducted five expatriates on board an oil vessel, MV City of Xiamen, off the coast of Sangana in Brass Local Government, Bayelsa State. The whereabouts of the expatriates are still unknown as at the time of filing this report. The abduction came barely five days after gunmen
kidnapped nine Nigerian oil workers who are employees of Octopus Clan Nigerian Limited and Deck Services along the creek of Ikebiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state. A security source, who confided in National Mirror in an interview, said the kidnapped expatriates included three Sri Lankans, one Russian and a Myanmar national. Already operatives of the Joint Military Taskforce,
JTF, have launched a manhunt for the gunmen and had deployed 20 gunboats into the creeks of Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Governments of the state. The heavy deployment of troops to Southern Ijaw local government has heightened fears among residents of the area. Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed this to our correspondent, saying that its operatives stumbled on the
reported abduction of two oil workers that are employees of O and O Nigeria Plc at Sangana in Brass Local Government. According to Nwachukwu, one of the kidnapped oil workers reportedly drowned while attempting to escape from his abductors. In an interview, the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said last week’s kidnap of nine oil workers prompted the de-
ployment of the gunboats to the creeks. Iworiso-Markson reiterated that Governor Seriake Dickson had maintained zero-tolerance on the issues of kidnapping in the state. He said: “We have been informed by the security hierarchy that they are on top of the situation as it concerns the recent kidnapping. The governor’s posture is the same and this is why the governor will be disposed to signing the death warrant of anyone
found guilty to the charges of kidnapping in the state. “The two people arrested over the two previous kidnapping cases in the state are undergoing prosecution .The state governor will not hesitate to sign their death warrant if found guilty. “We are assuring the indigenes of the coastal communities to be calm and assist the security agencies in ensuring the arrest of the kidnappers,” the governor’s media aide explained.
ASUU flays Rivers varsity leadership OLUFEMI OLARINDE PORT-HARCOUT
L-R: National Coordinator, State Peer Review Mechanism, Dr. Afeikhena Jerome; Director-General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Asishana Okauru and the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, during the director-general’s meeting with state executive council members in Asaba, yesterday.
Cripple, three others remanded for rape SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
n Oredo Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State, at the weekend, remanded four men, including a cripple, in prison custody for allegedly gangraping a 22-year-old girl (names withheld.) The accused persons, who were arraigned in court to take their plea include: Messrs Saturday En-
abulele, 28; Moses Okoeki, 18; Osasumwen Enina, 17, and Junior Odubu, 20. They were alleged to have committed the crime on April 13, 2013 at No. 9 Akugbe Street, situated off Siluko Road in Benin City. According to the police prosecutor, the accused persons allegedly beat up the girl, tore her skirt, pulled off her pant, after which they allegedly had canal knowledge of her. While the three co-ac-
cused persons were having a field day by forcefully sleeping with the victim, the cripple, Mr. Saturday Enabulele, was allegedly filming the rape session with the camera of his cell phone. Apart from filming the session and showing same to other people, according to the prosecution, the accused persons and others now at large, also forcefully collected the victim’s Nokia cell phone and cash amounting to N10, 000.00
contained in her wallet that was seized during the unlawful act. While all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to a 12-count charge that was brought against them, the trial Chief Magistrate, Mr. Peter Edo Asemota, ordered the prison authorities to remand them in custody in view of the prevalent rate of the offence of rape within the court’s jurisdiction. Thereafter, Asemota adjourned trial till May 7, 2013.
Dickson identifies factors hindering dispensation of justice EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, yesterday blamed the absence of non-functional prisons services as one of the major factors hindering the speedy dispensation of justice in the country. While blaming the congestion of prisons across the nation on inadequate facilities, the governor said the presence of functional prisons, would to a large extent, ensure the speedy dispensation of justice, especially in the area of criminal justice and also reduce the cost of litigation. Dickson spoke yesterday
in Yenagoa, when the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, visited him in his office; he tasked federal ministries, departments and agencies on employment generation in the country. The governor later commissioned a federal prison facility with a capacity of 340 inmates located at Okaka axis of the state capital. The project, which commenced in 2008, was jointly built by the state and federal governments. Dickson said: “The delay in the dispensation of justice was occasioned by the absence of a federal prison facility in the state as its indigenes had to be transferred
to the Ahoada Prisons in Rivers State which posed challenges for litigation and transportation. “Without a federal prison, the infrastructure of justice administration, particularly that of the criminal justice system is not complete and we in Bayelsa, over the years have that problem. So, I want to thank the Federal Government for the decision to establish a federal prison here.” He continued: “Before now, as you rightly said, all our Awaiting Trial Inmates, all those who have to be detained or kept in custody for one reason or the other are usually taken to other places of detention outside Bayelsa State.
“That meant a lot of inconvenience and cost to them and their relations as well as created a lot of problems for their legal representatives.” The governor assured the Nigeria Prisons of more logistic support, as he appealed to the minister to absorb Bayelsans in its various agencies towards reducing the problem of unemployment in the state. Earlier, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, described as unacceptable, the absence of a federal prison in the state, noting that the establishment of the state command would go a long way in addressing the problems of litigation.
triking lecturers and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, at the Rivers State university of Science and Technology, RSUST, have condemned the activities of the ‘imposed’ ViceChancellor of the university, Prof. Barineme Fakae. Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, ASUU Chairman in the institution, Comrade Felix Igwe, decried what he termed anomalies currently being witnessed in the administration of the university. He called on the authorities to allow for due process in the selection of the university’s vice-chancellor so that the striking lecturers can go back to work. He said doing this will also stop jeopardising the future of generations to come. Igwe reiterated that the reason for their strike was the imposi-
tion of Prof. Fakae on the institution, saying that he was not qualified for the position. According to him, “There is an anomaly in the system today. The vice-chancellor of RSUST has not been appointed following due process. If we don’t correct the anomaly now, we will be setting a dangerous precedent that will be difficult to correct in the future. There are laid down procedures for the appointment of a senior officer in the university. The vice-chancellor was imposed on the university with impunity.” However, on the speculation about ASUU’s readiness to sheath their sword, Comrade Igwe said they have always been open to dialogue but that: “Since the strike started on August 13, 2012 till now, we have not been invited for any kind of dialogue or discussion on how to end the strike or how to correct the anomaly that led to the strike. As we speak, we have not been engaged in any way.
Cross River invests N6bn in secondary education RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
ross River State Government yesterday in Calabar, said it has invested over N6 billion in the funding of secondary schools operating in the state between 2007 and 2013. Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, disclosed this while speaking at the ICT/Elearning retreat organised by the state Ministry of Education in conjunction with EDUComp Solutions Limited to train teachers on the use of computers. Cobham stated that at the primary school level, the government has fulfilled its obligations by paying more than N2.7 billion being counterpart fund for the projects that has led to the rehabilitation
and construction of over 500 classroom blocks in primary schools across the state. He said government has also established five new secondary schools and three primary schools to expand access to education and ensure that school-age children are not denied access to qualitative education. According to him, this has translated to an increase of about 25 percent to 30 percent enrolment in public primary and secondary schools; stressing that investment in the sector included manpower development through scholarship, printing of textbooks for primary and secondary schools at subsidised rates, payment of WAEC and NAPTEB registration fees, which according to him have also impacted positively on the generality of the people.
AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
he Jigawa State Government yesterday confirmed that no fewer than five persons were killed in Sunday night Boko Haram attack at Ringim. Ringim is the home town of the immediate past Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Hafiz Ringim.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Five killed in Jigawa Boko Haram attack The victims of the unprovoked attack were three police officers attached to the Ringim Police Division and two bank guards. Reports also revealed yesterday that a car dealer in Kano, who was simply identified as Abdullahi Abdulkadir, was shot dead in the mid-night of
Sunday by gunmen. The Kano victim was said to have been killed behind the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital on Zaria Road. A security source, who did not want his name mentioned, said that the man was killed as he was about to enter his house.
Sources hinted that the former IGP’s house was touched, while the Police Division and the bank were attacked with explosives. The Acting Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud Gumel, visited the scene of the attack with some senior government of-
ficials yesterday, after which he confirmed the death of five victims. He, however, attributed the incident to robbery attack, saying it was unfortunate that criminals had resorted to attacking innocent citizens in their quest for blood money. Gumel urged residents
Aliyu alleges plot to frustrate polio immunisation
Illegal structure: Nasarawa to extend demolition to Lafia, others
PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
iger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has disclosed plans by some people to frustrate the national campaign against the Wild Polio Virus following the circulation of audio and video cassettes in some parts of the country. Aliyu, who made the revelation in Minna, the state capital, said that those behind the alleged plan were seen selling the audio cassettes in markets and other public places. He said the development was capable of preventing parents from presenting their children and wards for polio immunisation. According to the governor, the materials the people circulated claimed the wild polio vaccine is capable of causing barrenness. Aliyu, however, said his administration constituted a technical committee to look into the content of the materials and submitted its report. He said that those circulating such materials would soon be arrested, saying they are ignorant of the importance of the vaccination. Aliyu said: “Those behind it will be arrested for prosecution so as not to mislead people in the interest of Nigerian children.” Receiving the award for being the best improved state in Nigeria in the routine polio immunisation campaign from the Society for Family Health, the governor said the state would soon pay its counterpart fund of N40 million to enable it draw another N40 million to fight the war against the disease. The Director of the Society for Family Health, Dr Hajo Sani, commended the state government for investing in effort aimed at eradicating the disease.
to go about their normal businesses without fear of intimidation, promising adequate security measures. However, panic-striken Ringim residents claimed they heard multiple explosions and sporadic gun shots which lasted for several minutes.
L-R: Kaduna State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Saidu Adamu; Democratic Governance Development Programme (UNDP) Project Director, Dr. Deme Mourtada and National Orientation Agency (NOA) Director-General, Mr. Mike Omeri, at the Essential Forum of NOA Peace Project held in Abuja, at the weekend.
Why it’s difficult to tackle fake drugs production –NAFDAC HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
he National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, has explained why it is difficult to curtail production of counterfeit drugs. Orhii said that the committee set up to review the penalty for manufacturers of fake drugs and recommend stiffer penalty frustrated his efforts at getting a death sentence for offenders. Dr Orhii spoke yesterday at a NAFDAC Consumer Awareness and Sensitisa-
tion Forum held at JS Tarka stadium in Gboko, Benue State. The NAFDAC DG also revealed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is on the verge of registering 11 indigenous manufacturers to produce drugs of international standards so as to reduce the incidences of fake drugs production. According to him, the agency has already vetted the companies and as soon as the WHO gives them a clean bill of health, they would commence production of drugs. Dr. Orhii said NAFDAC had proposed a death sentence as penalty for those who engaged in the manu-
facturing of fake drugs due to the severity of the offence, but was opposed by members of the committee who claimed that death sentence was no longer fashionable. He said: “The offence of the manufacturers of these fake drugs is greater than that of armed robber. While armed robbers give you the option of redeeming your life, manufactures of substandard drugs do not give you the option of remaining alive.” Dr. Orhii cited the instance of three persons that lost their lives to fake drugs in Benue State in January, adding that while two of them died when they were administered with a banned
product, Gentamycin 280mg, the death of the other was as a result of illegal administration of procaine penicillin injection. Orhii explained that as an agency responsible for the needs of the people, it would educate members of the public on the harmful effects of the substandard products. He noted that the choice of Gboko for the awareness campaign was due its strategic position. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of NAFDAF Governing Board, Prof. John Ibu, said the agency was not out to witch-hunt anyone, but to protect the health of the Nigerian populace.
Gombe: 14 area, magistrate’s court judges sworn in DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
he Chief Judge of Gombe State, Justice Hakila Heman, has cautioned the 10 newly sworn-in Area Court judges and four Magistrate Court judges against financial fraud. The judges, who were also sworn-in yesterday,
were warned not to act as revenue officers while carrying out their judicial functions. Speaking after the swearing-in at the Gombe State High Court, Justice Heman advised them to shun all corrupt practices that could tarnish their reputation. He said: “As judicial officers in the temple of justice, you are charged with
the delicate duty of administering justice to people without fear or favour, affection or ill will. “As all of you are literate and trained, you are expected to record your proceedings yourselves. You should have full control of your courts and guide and direct your staff, particularly your registrars in the day to day running of the courts”.
The judges were also asked to be conversant with the nation’s constitution, the Evidence Act, the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. The appointment of the judges followed the recent promotion of some magistrates as deputy chief registrars, as well as the retirement and deaths of some Area Court judges.
etermined to rid some major towns in Nasarawa State of slums, shanties and illegal structures, Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura has said that the ongoing demolition exercise would be extended to Keffi, Akwanga and Lafia. Addressing journalists in Abuja through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Press Affairs, Sani Musa Mairiga, the governor said the exercise became imperative in view of the fact that some structures were built near the main roads, pipe lines and under high electrical cables, while some did not give the mandatory 30 meters away from the roads. He said: “We can no longer allow this to continue and all structures built near the main road in Keffi, Akwanga and Lafia must give way. Also, makeshift shops and traders who display their wares on major roads will be cleared by the Special Task Force on Development Control set up by the government.” The governor said the demolition was aimed at opening up streets and access roads in the affected towns, as well as restore their atheistic beauty. Al-makura also expressed concern over the indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the AbujaKeffi dual carriage way. He said the government spent huge amount of money daily to evacuate the refuse. The governor, however, directed the Ministry of Land and Urban Development to collaborate with relevant agencies to find a lasting solution to the problem.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Relief underway for tinted glass car users
2015: Nigeria preparing for war, not elections –Fasoranti
The past two weeks have witnessed an unprecedented verbal attacks between the Presidency and the opposition parties, writes OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU.
Festival of attacks for Jonathan, Buhari, Tinubu et al
he last two weeks have witnessed a festival of verbal attacks that borders even more on mudslinging involving the opposition leaders and their parties and the Presidency and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This is not the first time the opposition parties and their leaders and the party in government and President Goodluck Jonathan would be throwing brickbats at one another, in fact, it has become a major pre-occupation in the polity, but the intensity of the recent attacks, began penultimate Thursday during the last national convention of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), when Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, national leader and 2011 presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu upbraided the PDP and the Jonathan administration, describing them as the worst things to happen to Nigeria. Vowing to wrest power from the ruling PDP in 2015, the leaders of the opposition threatened to resist any attempt from any quarters to rig the polls and described the reign of the PDP since the advent of democracy in the country as “years of the locust.” Making a veiled reference to the marching order given by President Jonathan to the national chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur to win 32 states in the 2015 election, the opposition leaders declared that the reverse would be the case, saying that rather than the PDP winning 32 states, the merger party in progress, the All Progressives Congress (APC), formed by the ACN, CPC, the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), would win 32 states come 2015. While pledging that the merger, which is a unique opportunity for Nigerians to vote for people “with a mission and vision that can translate to good governance different from election riggers of the past,” Buhari said: “I must say here that an average citizen of this country is tired of insecurity, unemployment among young graduates, epileptic power supply and unaccountable of pension fund. I want to repeat here that there will be a change in the political history of our great nation come year 2015.” The national chairman of the ACN, Bisi Akande, said that the PDP government had drawn Nigeria backwards. His words: “In the over 13 years that the PDP has been in power, not only has it failed to deliver on its promises, it has infected all institutions of state with its moral infirmity, aversion to the rule of law and entrenched monumental corruption never seen in the history of this country.” Akande said that “the urgent need for
THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT’S TRADEMARK IS TO
change and the crushing desire to rescue our country from decay compel us to act quickly to provide an alternative leadership for Nigeria. This endeavour has become necessary, given the efforts of the ruling party to stifle democracy and destroy its institutions. “As democrats, we must strive to put a stop to the present lamentable state of affairs in Nigeria by constructively engaging the political process with a view to overcoming the challenges that arrest our development as a nation.” Not done with lambasting the PDP and President Jonathan’s administration, the national chairman of the CPC, Tony Momoh said: “I am amused by the PDP’s recent statement that they are going to win 32 states during 2015 general elections. I believe that they are speaking the opposite, because I am very confident that the PDP will lose 32 states in 2015.” To Tinubu, Nigeria has found herself in an unfortunate situation where people who are visionless and have no solution to the country’s myriad of problems are at the helm of affairs. He said: “This is not the way a great nation is being governed when heartless people put the interest of few individuals to replace the collective interest of the majority. “The current government’s trademark is to throw empty words and hollow action at our problems as if doing nothing will cause our troubles to leave from sheer boredom. Instead, trouble mounts. If this is
THROW EMPTY WORDS AND HOLLOW ACTION AT OUR PROBLEMS AS IF DOING NOTHING WILL CAUSE OUR TROUBLES TO LEAVE FROM SHEER
BOREDOM. INSTEAD, TROUBLE MOUNTS the government’s idea of transformation, I will have none of it. It seems their notion of change is to go from slow motion to no motion at all. “If they want to stand still, that is their right. However, they have no right to force the whole nation to stagnate with them. We have things to accomplish and progress to make for the good of the people. “To rescue Nigerians from the plight of the misgoverned, we must join hands with like-minded progressives in other parties and organisations. We must sacrifice our current partisan identity to create a larger one capable of assuming leadership at the national level. This and only this offers the best chance for Nigeria at this stage.” Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, while making reference to the 2015 elections warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to play the
role of unbiased umpire. According to him, “we are beginning to hear from the ruling party the number of states that they are going to win, even before the dates for the next elections have been fixed. “The most successful football club in the world does not know how many goals it will score against its weakest opponent unless it has reached an agreement with the referee. As if that was not bad enough, we are already hearing also from them that they will go back to do what they always know how to do best. But this time, it will not happen.” Two days later, the Presidency replied the opposition leaders through the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, to the president, Doyin Okupe, who dismissed the criticisms of the Jonathan administration. Okupe described Buhari and Tinubu as “heavily burdened political liabilities.” Okupe said Buhari and Tinubu, the arrowheads of the move by the ACN, CPC and ANPP to fuse into the APC, lacked what he called “the antecedent that support their claim of possessing what it takes to move Nigeria forward.” His words: “It is evident that the proposed merger revolves around two personalities only, Tinubu and Buhari. Unfortunately, both are heavily burdened political liabilities. “The opposition leaders are fond of using every platform to denigrate this nation and its government, confuse innocent members of the public and deceptively present themselves as possessing what it takes to move Nigeria forward.” Describing the proposed merger as “incongruous alliance of political weaklings, dysfunctional Lilliputians and repeatedly CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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2015: Nigeria preparing for war, Leader of the pan-Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, believes that Nigeria is heading for the cliff going by the happenings in the polity. In this interview, he speaks on the build up to the 2015 elections, security challenges confronting the country, the state pardon granted ex-convicts, among other issues. AYODELE OJO reports.
How would you describe the state of the nation? Most of us who knew when the first civilian government was in place, are now appalled with what we are seeing. Our dreams have been shattered and we must find solutions to some of these problems if we want to continue to sustain our stands. There is the problem of unemployment, teeming millions of young university graduates without jobs. Then, we have the problem of Boko Haram, which is a new phenomenon. We have never seen this before. The government is not doing anything positive to contain it. The stand of the Federal Government is very dicey, speaking from both sides of the mouth, denouncing it and at the same time, relaxing. I’m not happy with the state of our country which, about 53 years ago on independence, held hopes for the black race but which today has become almost a joke and a concern for humanity. We need to see what we can still do to arrest its downward and precarious drift to disintegration. One major area the present administration has been challenged is security with loss of lives and destruction of property. What is your take on this? Never in the history of our country, except the civil war years, have our people been more insecure than they are today. Hardly is any news segment complete without the word “kill” in it. Life has become short, nasty and brutish like in the Hobbesian state of nature. There is little or no value again for human life in our country as casualty figures would have to be in scores for any tragedy to make front headlines in our bulletins. It is such high rate of killings that warrants presidential promise of “we shall find the perpetrators” that we hear. The regular killings of defenceless and innocent citizens by blood-thirsty Boko Haram terrorists have been unfortunately complemented by the nefarious activities of kidnappers, assassins, armed robbers and other petty criminals, who, seeing themselves as deprived and abandoned are always poised to take a pound of flesh. Sadly, there has not been any concrete, serious and effective efforts to nip these crises in the bud and assure our people that they can sleep with their two eyes closed. It became so bad that some people with weird sense of joke in the midst of these tragedies came up with a formula for crossing the road in Nigeria “check left and right that a kidnapper’s car is not approaching, look up that a plane is not drop-
ping from the sky and look carefully at the culvert that a bomb is not planted near it”. Unfortunately in the last three years, we have devoted a substantial proportion of our national budget to security with all the money without being able to buy safety. What is your take on the amnesty being planned for the Boko Haram insurgents? On daily basis, Nigerians, including the Yoruba, are being slaughtered in major cities in the North. The Federal Government is now considering giving them amnesty, which will mean rewarding them financially and possibly with appointments. Is it in our character to always reward those who threaten our collective security? We are deeply worried about the Federal Government’s stance. It appears to be contradictory. These are people who have been killing and maiming people all over and you turn around and say you want to pardon them and reward them. We think it is a contradiction in terms. For instance, we agree that granting amnesty in the Niger Delta Region per se is in order. But we find it hard to defend the monumental abuse going on especially among the elite managers of the scheme and are disturbed as to whether the scheme will bring a lasting peace given episodic restlessness still being demonstrated. Yet, we have created a set of emergency billionaires from amnesty while the conditions in the creeks remain virtually what they were. It is with this at the back of our mind that we have been so sceptical over the socalled amnesty for Boko Haram which is a much more dangerous group than the Niger Delta insurgents who were known and whose demands were clear. It would be a tragedy if we embark on another money sharing spree in the name of amnesty with all the blood that has been shed. Granting amnesty to dare-devil, blood thirsty insurgents whose identities and grievances are yet to be properly ascertained is preposterous, offensive to common sense and retrogressive in its entire ramifications. Our stand is that any decision on Boko Haram should be holistic. We should not just be talking of the insurgents but also their victims and the causes of this menace with a view to ensure it doesn’t happen again. For sometime now, the South-West has complained of marginalisation in public offices at the federal level. Do you share this view? We have expressed our views that we are worried that the whole of the SouthWest is excluded from key appointments, for instance, in the first 10 political appointments in the country, executive, legislature and judiciary. We have made our stands known through the Yoruba Unity Forum; we listed and published our stand in details. That is where we stand up till now: That we are not getting our fair share of political appointments in this country. We have spoken to the President and he has promised to do something and we are
GRANTING AMNESTY TO DARE-DEVIL, BLOOD THIRSTY INSURGENTS WHOSE IDENTITIES AND GRIEVANCES ARE YET TO BE PROPERLY
ASCERTAINED IS PREPOSTEROUS, OFFENSIVE TO COMMON SENSE AND RETROGRESSIVE IN ITS still waiting.
Even when the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives was zoned to South-West, politicians from the zone worked against the zoning. What you mentioned is true. Some of our own people in the National Assembly did what they did. But that does not explain our marginalisation. We are not talking of marginalisation in terms of paucity of Yoruba people in political positions. We went down to the bureaucracy, to the professional cadres and were able to demonstrate statistically that there are some positions of the Federal Government, where there is no Yoruba of any standing. That is not election or party politics. It means there is marginalisation going on in terms of intake, deployment and positions. That is what we mean. It is not the political thing. We are saying that not being Speaker does not explain why no Yoruba man has been director for certain positions for 61 years. We are talking of the fundamentals. What you said does not address 90 or 95 per cent of the marginalisation. Has the President done anything to address the marginalisation of the Yoruba? And would you consider this factor in the 2015 poll? There is none to my knowledge. You mentioned 2015. If he comes to us for support, don’t you think that will be one of the issues? We are talking of being fairly
treated like every other group in Nigeria. We are not asking for favour. That’s all. Before now, we only hear about violence in the North. But recently, we have been hearing about incursions into the SouthWest, like the discovery made at Ijora. Are you nursing any fear about the Boko Haram infiltrating the Yoruba land? Naturally! But we want to say that our people should be vigilant. Not only that, the security agencies should also be vigilant, so that the South-West should be kept out of this. I am also worried that Northern leaders have not spoken boldly against Boko Haram. They have been very ambivalent in what they are saying. They have not decried the spate of violence; they have been very accommodating. In the past, Afenifere had a solid grip on the politics of the South West. But recently, it hasn’t been so. What is the relationship between Afenifere and political leaders of the zone? It is a very difficult question to answer because Afenifere is not a political party. But we have our ideologies. If we are not all together, it is difficult to control those who are not with us. We are not the same. Afenifere is not an ethnic thing; it is ideological. There are Yorubas who did not support Awolowo in his life time; they were Yoruba people. There are Yoruba people who are not members of the Afenifere; they are Yoruba people
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not elections –Fasoranti and can still be our friends or relations. But when it comes to politics, Afenifere has a distinct credo, which is progressive politics with the welfare of the people as the main commitment. That translates to so many policies and programmes that we can spend two hours here discussing. People who don’t share that with us, can be our brothers but cannot be our members. The credo is what binds us together. In Nigeria of today where there is no ideology, it is important that the Afenifere ideology should take the centre stage because a society that has no ideology cannot endure. Opportunism and money will disappear and ideology will endure. That is what distinguishes us from other people and other Yoruba. Is Afenifere still factionalised? There is no faction in Afenifere. Pa Ayo Fasanmi has never claimed to be the leader of Afenifere. What you said is true but that was many years ago. How many meetings has Fasanmi held since then? He has reached out to us that we should reconcile and the reconciliation has taken place de facto. Are there moves to reconcile with other groups, particularly that of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu? Reconciliation is ongoing. No father will reject any of his own children. Even in the Bible, the prodigal son returned home and his father embraced him. There are several groups in Yoruba land. Before now, Afenifere was the dominant force. What are you doing to bring all the groups together? Two, are you part of the new UPN that is coming back? The man making the move for UPN now was never in the UPN. I think he is trying to read the mood of the people and try to see if he can get the people’s support. We will wait until his party is registered. We read it on the papers. He has not contacted us. Afenifere will always back a party; a party that reflects our philosophy. If Fredrick Fasehun registers a party and shares the same philosophy with us, we will be willing to talk with him. It is not strange that there are many groups in Yoruba land. It has always been like that even in the Awo days. There’s has always been a war of attrition between the Awo philosophy and the rest of Nigeria, using fifth columnists within Yoruba . All of them claiming to be pan Yoruba, but at the end of the day, you see them working with other platforms that are opposed to Awo.
It is not strange in history. Zik even organised one Yoruba group with the locals. It took Zik to launch it. Can you imagine that? It has been Awo and the rest of them. There is no way you are going to bring all of them together. What we are saying is that there’s no way that 50 million Yoruba people will all be in the same association and that we have always had plural groups in Yorubaland. Those who have the same philosophy with us, we will work together with. But we have no means of persuading everybody to work with us. We do what we can. The more the merrier. Anybody whose ideology matches with Awoism will be encouraged to join a national alliance. There are progressives in PDP and there are progressives everywhere. Recently, major actors in the polity have been making statements that have the potential to heat the polity ahead of the 2015 elections. What is your advice to the political actors? We are also worried that a large section of our political class pretends not to understand the signs of the time and what needs to be done. We have in our hands a country that appears to be preparing for a war but almost all are pretending that it is all build-up to the next elections. The sabrerattling going on among some major party and political actors are not healthy for the democratic project as most of the noise going on is not even about solving any of the major challenges confronting the country but power mongering. Rather than creating an enabling environment for rational discourse and contestation of ideas for the electorate to be able to make informed choices, many of the political actors are making inflammatory remarks to inflame passion and deepen the divisions within our country to make political gains. Afenifere warns these actors to desist
ANOTHER IMMORAL PARDON WAS THAT OF MAJOR BELLO
MAGAJI WHO WAS BOOTED OUT OF THE ARMY FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING YOUNG MALE CHILDREN OF FELLOW SOLDIERS IN THE BARRACKS
from over-heating the polity as no one can predict the outcome of the drive to the cliff that they are propelling the country toward. What the country needs at the moment are statesmen-politicians whose preoccupation should be the next generation and the survival of the polity not just only the next elections. Let it be known that we in Afenifere are committed to bringing about moderation to bear in the midst of the chaos we are in, work with like minds across the zones who are committed to the well-being of Nigeria and its people in the project of restoring order, progress and development to our country. We shall intensify building consensus for a national dialogue that will see Nigeria return to a proper federation that would keep all the federating units busy rebuilding from the ruins of years of militarism and unitarism as against the present ratrace to capture the center and use its concentrated powers to the exclusion of others. We remain firmly committed to fairness, justice, equity and fair play. These are what define us as Afenifere in that the good we seek for ourselves we seek for our neighbours.
In the 2015 election, would Afenifere back the PDP? No, no, no. We are talking to individuals, who have been part of Afenifere. Realignment means that individuals can leave where they are stranded now and not the parties. The question of backing PDP is out of it. We see the PDP as representing the conservative alternative. In politics, you don’t say never but it is highly unlikely that we will back PDP. There are strategic reasons we can back them. For instance, in war situations, all parties work together. You don’t rule out anything completely. We are progressives. Backing them is most unlikely. What is the restructuring going on in Afenifere? Wait until we finish, you will get the details. There are several anti-graft agencies in the country. But recent development in the polity, especially granting of state pardon to ex-convicts, has called to question the war against corruption? There have been worrying signals of late, that corruption may have become the fifth estate in Nigeria, given the way it is being promoted almost like a direct objective of state policy. It is not only that state officials are corrupt but corruption has become official. In years past, people talked of corruption in millions of naira, today they refer to it in billions and trillions with reckless impunity. We saw how a pension thief who confessed to stealing N32 billion was recently given a slap on the wrist with N750,000 fine in a country where a thief who stole N5,000 worth of vegetable in Abeokuta was given three years imprisonment. Another “Oga on top” in pension scam thereafter got a perpetual injunction against investigation, arrest or prosecution. Our elected and appointed officials continue to live large on unearned income in the midst of mass misery of our people. The anti-graft war in the country has been put on comatose confirming the late Chief Gani
WE HAVE IN OUR HANDS A COUNTRY THAT APPEARS TO BE PREPARING FOR A WAR BUT ALMOST ALL ARE PRETENDING THAT IT IS ALL BUILD-UP TO THE NEXT ELECTIONS Fawehinmi of blessed memory’s prediction seven years ago that a day was coming when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officials knock at financial criminals doors, such people open the door and say: “Sit down. What can we offer you – soft drinks or alcohol?” Nothing riles more than the recent state pardon granted to former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepriye Alamieyeseigha, who was convicted of corruption and still a wanted man for financial crimes in the United Kingdom. While we recognise that our constitution provides for prerogative of mercy, it is our position that such has not been exercised judiciously and for public good in the present instance. And it has bombed our sense of value, sound judgement and wise discretion in conduct of public affairs. Is it any wonder that a robbery suspect on media parade by the police asked for the moral standing of our society to deal with petty criminals “when everybody including politicians is busy stealing. We are all robbers”. What an ironic message from a thief ! Another immoral pardon was that of Major Bello Magaji who was booted out of the army for sexually abusing young male children of fellow soldiers in the barracks. He appealed the decision up to the Supreme Court which unanimously upheld the army authorities’ decision. But such a man has now been reintegrated into the society. The question that must be answered is: what values does this country hold dear? How do you see the growing rate unemployment in the country? A major fallout of the mismanagement of the economy and wanton corruption is the denial of opportunities for enterprise to flourish and stunting of economic activities. This has led to a situation where an estimated 60 million youths are unemployed in our country. This is quite frightening as we have built a large factory for all sorts of negative activities such as robbery, kidnapping and even terrorism. Many victims of violent crimes who are lucky to survive have described their assailants as mostly young and educated. This was the message former US President Bill Clinton was getting across to us when he said that any country that does not give hope to its young people cannot but have some of the challenges we are going through. The time has come for government at all levels to critically examine ways of generating gainful employments for our young people as against youth abuse presently going on with all kind of joke schemes paying ridiculous starvation wages to even university graduates. A major key to driving the economy in the direction of creating job opportunities is fixing the power sector. A stable power CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Atiku decries militarisation of democracy FELIX NWANERI
ormer Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said that despite the end of military rule more than a decade ago and the advent of constitutional democracy in Nigeria, the culture of political intolerance and impunity still pervades the country. Atiku, who stated this yesterday while speaking in Switzerland as a guest speaker of the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, regretted that members of the opposition in Nigeria and some other African countries are treated as enemies of the state. In his paper entitled “Deepening Democracy in Nigeria: Implications for Africa,” the former vice president said as a result of lip service to democratic principles, disregard for rules and regulations and the utter impunity with which they are committed, democracy in the country is militarised. According to him, many retired military chiefs, who came into power as politicians entered the democratic arena without being able to shed their military mindsets, thereby exacerbating the culture of intolerance and entrenching impunity, which characterises today’s political reality in Nigeria. His words: “The long period of military rule ensured the permeation into the fabric of society of a culture of command and control, intolerance of opposition, disregard for rules and regulations and utter impunity, which characterised military rule in Nigeria. Indeed governance and politics became militarised. Thus, by the time the military was, once again, forced to hand over power to civilians, this culture of intolerance of opposition, disregard for rules and impunity had become pervasive. “To make matters worse, many of those who came into power as politician-successors to military rulers were themselves former-military officers. This was a logical development given the length of time the military had been in power, the wealth that many of them had acquired during their tenure, and the influence the departing military leaders had exercised in selecting and empowering their successors.” Atiku noted that despite the democratic challenges, the freedom of speech, association, right to organise politically and the liberty to criticise the government were restored with the return of democratic rule, adding that the courts are now more relatively independent in addition to freedom of the press that came with it. The former Vice President, however, regretted that these democratic gains are being threatened by the persistent perception of political opposition as an enemy that has to be crushed rather than patriots. He said: “Despite this military-political complex, we saw early democratic gains. Many freedoms were restored to Nigerians: freedom of speech, including speech critical of the government, freedom of assembly and freedom to organise politically. Our courts also cast aside some of the shackles of an authoritarian justice system and moved towards a more democratic judicial practice. The mass media, which remained resolute under the military, also became less constrained in their work, now less afraid of holding government to account and acting occasionally as the conscience for the society. “Unfortunately, we were not able, as a country and as a leadership, to fully purge ourselves of the former dictatorial military culture and pervasive insidious corruption that feeds it. Thus, under the civilian democratic dispensation, we continued to see the political opposition as the enemy that has to be crushed, rather than patriots, as loyal opposition, who happen to disagree with us simply because they hold political ideologies and points of view different from ours. “This culture of intolerance best characterised the post-military political era, especially the period after 2003 as attempts were being made to remove tenure limits of a sitting President beyond the period allowed
by the country’s constitution. Intolerance was by no means directed only at the members of the opposition political parties. “Targeted members of the ruling party were also severely punished for any perceived opposition to the sitting president or other executive power holders. The attempt to change the constitution to extend the tenure
UNDER THE CIVILIAN
DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION, WE CONTINUED TO SEE THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION AS THE ENEMY THAT HAS TO BE CRUSHED, RATHER
THAN PATRIOTS, AS LOYAL
OPPOSITION, WHO HAPPEN TO DISAGREE WITH US
of the sitting president led to attacks by the Presidency against democratic institutions including the parliament, the judiciary and even the ruling party itself. These attacks significantly undermined these institutions and their ability to execute their duties according to democratic principles.” Despite these negative features of Nigeria’s democratic order, Atiku said the performance of the economy, particularly in the first eight years of the democratic experiment, has provided a flipside to these unpleasant realities. According to him, the new democratic order in Nigeria in the first eight years has created “a stable exchange and interest rates in addition to reducing the rate of inflation, reduction of public debts and increase in foreign reserve.” He also praised the privatisation of inefficient and wasteful state enterprises and what he called “an overall improvement in the business environment, which enhanced the potential for rewarding foreign investors.” The former Vice President, however, told his audience that Nigeria’s political leaders were unable to significantly translate these macro-economic gains into major micro-economic improvements, largely because of the politics of constitutional amendments and rising level of corruption which distracted our government from its economic goals. Atiku also painted a bleak picture of rising poverty in Nigeria with 70 per cent of Nigerians living below the poverty line and maternal mortality accelerating at 840 deaths per 100,000 live births. According to him, Nigeria ranks the 9th worst in the world in 2008 and 10th worst in 2010 in terms of maternal mortality and with a death rate of 74 per 1,000 live births. This, he said, ranks Nigeria the 16th worst in world’s infant mortality. He maintained that there is no justification why an oil-rich country like Nigeria should maintain these levels of poverty, maternal and infant mortalities, calling on friends of Nigeria abroad including Switzerland to help the country in terms of foreign direct investment to reinvigorate the economy and ensuring credible elections. He said Switzerland and other Western nations should go beyond economic investments by exerting political pressure on local leaders to “open up the political space.” According to him, observers should follow up all the processes needed to produce credible elections instead of merely monitoring the casting of votes on polling days and insisting on the neutrality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agents.
2015: Nigeria preparing for war, not elections –Fasoranti CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
supply will create a revolution in the industrial sector and a flourish of the informal sector that will take millions of youths off the streets .The fact is that with a large army of unemployed, we now sit on a keg of gunpowder that can explode anytime. Nigeria will be 100 years old in 2014. The centenary celebrations have commenced with several programmes. Do you think we have cause to celebrate as a nation? Ordinarily, nothing is particularly wrong or awry in setting aside a day in the year in human existence for a modest celebration. But
when such remembrance is held with pomp and pageantry, out of decorum as if all is well and marked out of step and tune with prevailing circumstances, then, indeed, something is wrong with the psyche of celebrants. Today as mentioned, our country lies almost prostrate with palsied unemployment problems of graduates and able bodied youth, debilitating insecurity of life and property, rife and festering corruption in our body polity, wanton killings and assassinations, indiscriminate bombings, senseless kidnappings for existence, discordant drums of impending religious wars et cetera
et cetera. We ask: do we have to celebrate our failures or reflect on them? Then, think of it, too: the said Amalgamation we are planning to celebrate is riddled with controversies. It was enacted by the fiat of a colonial bureaucrat without any consultation with the people. How can we honestly celebrate the arbitrary and illconsidered creation of a country plagued by growing insecurity, injustice, corruption and worsening poverty? Perhaps we can only thank God for surviving, so far. That is why if we must celebrate, it has to be done with deep empathy for the
down hearted and extreme caution with the hope of salvaging an already prostrate situation. We are opposed to any elaborate and costly celebration which at the end of the day will only foul the air and throw up more corrupt and fraudulent individuals. Such will further embitter and infuriate, in particular, our endangered species – the unemployed frustrated youth, and in general, all right thinking Nigerians. I, therefore, suggest a celebration based on sober reflections of our lives, using such an occasion to ruminate on where we have missed our ways and proffer solutions.
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Mike Adenuga: Limitless @ 60! EBERE WABARA
ccording to Ark Linkletter, there are four stages of man: infancy, childhood, adolescence...and obsolescence, but in the case of this icon, youthfulness characterizes his personage at 60. Perhaps the greatest secret of the success profile of The Big Boss is that he does not believe in pleasing everyone. He does not care about what his hypercritics think of him and does not flow with the current. The mogul we are celebrating today, especially, and at other times, has no immediate plans to retire from economic activism even as he begins the eventful journey to 70 and beyond. Did you know that at the age of 26, Dr. Michael Adeniyi Ishola Adenuga, Jr. was already a multi-millionaire by American standards? Dr. Adenuga laid the foundation of what he is today by learning the ropes from his late mother whom he cherished till her last breath. He owes everything to her. Family members will intimate you to the fact that this Grand Commander was most loved and favoured of all her mother’s five children. And that the virtuous woman in her heyday imbued this last-born with entrepreneurial spirit. This multi-billionaire even at the age of 60 still looks so youthful that you will think the Adonis is just about 40! It has to do more with gracefulness than deep pocket. His dreams, vision and astounding entrepreneurship are unparalleled in this part of the world. With the celebrator, there is no dull mo-
THE SUPERFLUITY OF HIS PHILANTHROPY, WHICH TRANSCENDS CONSANGUINITY, IS
SUCH THAT HE DOES NOT LIKE SEEING PEOPLE SUFFERING ment, and life must be lived to the fullest? His fountain of compassion and philanthropy is an ocean that never dries? His generosity is confounding. He does not segregate on grounds of religion, ethnicity, gender or class? All those who have encountered him will readily confirm this. Dr. Adenuga has a passion for good life, which explains why he is splashing more than N100 billion on his aristocratic home on Banana Island (Lagos) where he neighbours Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Birds of a feather flock together! Virtually everything for the massive residential network of buildings is imported! What do you expect from a man with paradisal taste? This is unimpeachable: he is the principal owner of Globacom Telecommunications Limited. Of course, there are institutional and individual investors, but he remains the core stakeholder. It will eternally be on record that it was Dr. Adenuga’s bullish entry into the GSM industry that revolutionized Nigerians’ way of talking through the instrumental-
ity of per-second billing, which MTN had intransigently and exploitatively insisted was not feasible! The superfluity of his philanthropy, which transcends consanguinity, is such that he does not like seeing people suffering. There have been instances where he met less-privileged members of the society in sorry situations and had to intervene with alacrity in changing their lives. He does this without any class or other extraneous considerations. I doubt if there is any Nigerian, living or dead, who has given out houses, service flats and cars for permanent ownership to fellow countrymen and even expatriates in his employ. This economic wizard’s generosity is breathtaking. Another intriguing aspect of this consummate humanist we are gladly celebrating this weekend, especially, and other days, is his quintessential humility and simplicity. Simply put, this man has affected and continues to affect uncountable lives, many of whom I know. He enjoys offering Nigerians and non-Nigerians unlimited opportunities particularly through the instrumentality of Globacom, as long as they believe in themselves. Most times, those who have access to this sports benefactor wonder if he has time for relaxation considering the maze of documents that crave his attention daily, including weekends, multifarious meetings that span all day and other official engagements that are equally time consuming and energy sapping. Hypercritics of the Bull (Dr. Adenuga’s fond name at Ibadan Grammar School) accuse him of intellectual snobbery because
he never suffers fools gladly. They allege that he carries on too confidently and depends essentially on his cerebral capability and capacity. He unapologetically believes, according to them, that nobody is superior to him, knowledge-wise. Interestingly, this brain power has worked for him in the past 58 years! A very ambitious man and a study in diligence, he rejuvenated—after acquisition—National Oil and Chemical Marketing (NOLCHEM), which metamorphosed into Consolidated Oil (Conoil) with upstream and downstream prospecting portfolios. It was the first indigenous oil company to strike oil on December 24, 1991. Clearly, he is a generational anchor endowed with divine blessings. He personifies entrepreneurship strewn with benevolence. A gentleman with Midas touch who has mastered his environment by conquering all the latent constituents and elemental forces against all episodic odds, this investment captain remains an embodiment of industry, a beacon and blistering light in usually impossible tunnels and difficult terrains. As I round off this tribute, let me paraphrase the Psalmist: May the Almighty cause your name to be celebrated in all generations. On retirement—if ever—you will be remembered for your unfazed economic nationalism and philanthropic superfluity. Happy birthday, sir! Wabara, a seasoned journalist and communicator, wrote from Lagos
NAFDAC’s drug business revolution MARTINS F.O. IKHILAE Continued from last Friday
or the purpose of resources conservation, the state governments may sought partnership with corporate organizations, or upgrade their central medical stores (CMSs) to meet the necessary State Drug Distribution Centers. (SDDCs) standard. Under this arrangement, licenced and NAFDAC certified pharmaceutical products, either manufactured locally or imported, will be compulsorily channelled to both the regional and state’s drug markets for thorough re-examination and re-confirmation by officials of the agency honed in the deployment of modern anti-counterfeiting paraphernalia and stationed in these wholesale drug markets. Upon certification of products quality, the wholesalers will then be allowed to commence sales to the retailers, comprising community pharmacies, public/primary health care centers, private health institutions, as well as the patent and proprietary medicines vendors (PPMV), who will in turn sell to the general public based strictly on prescription from the appropriate medical experts. At the recent Federal Ministry of Health launch of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, the Nigerian National Pharmacovigilance Policy and Implementation Framework and Drug Distribution Advocates of Nigeria in Abuja, those in attendance, which included the Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu ,Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ifeanyi A. Okowa etc, expressed pro-
found optimism that the ongoing revolution in the procurement and marketing of pharmaceutical products will impart positively on the nation’s health care delivery system. There is no doubt that our previously haphazard drug distribution regime accounted for the presence of a considerable degree of adulterated, sub-standard and fake pharmaceuticals in circulation. Undoubtedly, the current arrangement ,which will be driven by the organized private sector and state governments, but regulated by the Federal Government (that is, NAFDAC), is certain to usher in an era of affordable, safe and good quality drugs for human consumption. While it will help ease identification of pharmaceutical products including, mode of distribution, its sources at every level of healthcare provision and mode of distribution will also be easily identified, thereby instilling orderliness and absolute confidence in the distribution channels and quality of products. The new drug business template will ensure that “drug”, a precious health boosting commodity, is accorded its revered status. This is because drugs will no longer be carelessly displayed and sold in the open markets since the manufacturers and importers will be compelled to channel them through only certified drug markets. The arrangement will equally ensure that only the healthcare facilities owned by government and licensed private individuals and organization, source and procure drugs nationwide. It is equally important to state that the current NAFDAC’s resolve to positively and urgently reverse the current ugly trend whereby drugs meant for curative and preventive purposes are easily accessed and sold by quacks, will be achieved. It will also deter importers, smugglers, pro-
THE NEW DRUG
BUSINESS TEMPLATE WILL ENSURE THAT
“DRUG”, A PRECIOUS HEALTH BOOSTING COMMODITY, IS
ACCORDED ITS REVERED STATUS ducers and marketers of counterfeited or fake pharmaceuticals to desist from flooding the nation’s health centres, hospitals, pharmacies and stores with life terminating cum endangering substances. While it would help restore and boost the previously eroded integrity, confidence and reputation in the pharmacy profession in Nigeria, the new system, when entrenched, will successfully make drug trade a no go area for quacks. Expectedly, the current ubiquitous drug selling and distribution order, will give way to an ideally sanitized system where all drug dealers will conform to a tight and efficacious products sourcing regime that is unified, accountable, reliable and scientifically manned at the points of supply. The new system will only accommodate big time pharmaceutical dealers who will take delivery of drug consignments meant for Nigeria markets from which small time drug dealers/sellers nationwide will depend for product supply which would have been thoroughly examined and positively certified by NAFDAC for public consumption. Undoubtedly, under this regime the agency will have a well equipped operational base with full staff
complement in each of the drug markets. The problem of influx of fake or counterfeited pharmaceutical products into the country through Nigeria porous land borders will be finally resolved by the anticipated international standardization of her drug markets, which incidentally will act as a single channel through which pharmaceutical products can gain entry into all the nooks and crannies of the entire federation. Without doubts, enormous benefits are derivable from this initiative. Infants and adults death mortality rates will be seriously reduced to its barest minimum level. Apart from boosting patronage for home made drugs in the West African sub region with the resultant expanded revenue base, this new regime will boost employment in the economy while also guaranteeing job security for those employed in such firms as involved. The system will maximally restore previously eroded confidence on locally produced drugs as fakers will be chased out from the markets. While equally guaranteeing efficacy of our indigenous medical services, it will also help preserve and boost foreign exchange earnings for the nation via commercialized medical services. Concluded Ikhilae, firstname.lastname@example.org, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Lagos Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
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Tukur’s criterion for political appointments
he issue of who occupies what political position in the country and under which platform appears to be giving the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its chieftains sleepless nights. The party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, declared recently that henceforth, Nigerians not having the membership card of the PDP will no longer be appointed as ministers. “No minister will get cleared without the party card; you must be a card carrying member, you pay your dues, we know you, the people know you, the governor knows you and you are registered and known in your ward. Let us have a disciplined party; we must move from the ordinary to what is better,” he said in an angry response to the fact that ministers from the North-East geopolitical zone shunned the zonal meeting the PDP held in Bauchi recently. First to publicly express such reservation at the Bauchi meeting was Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), who argued that politicians work so hard to clinch power, and when in the saddle, those appointed as ministers turn out to be nonparty members that owe no loyalty to the party. It has, however, been the tradition to appoint experts, sea-
soned technocrats and intellectuals to high offices where they can prove their mettle and not just sermonize on their capabilities. Nigerians, too numerous to mention, have been so appointed in the past, even under military regimes. Lately, the eight-year tenure of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo saw quite a number of such people being appointed to sensitive positions. Among them was Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, the current Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Also working with the present Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration are the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke; Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu; Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru; Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Ita Okon Bassey, and several others working in various capacities. The issue broached by the national chairman of the ruling party in particular is as unfortunate as it is pathetic, given the retrogressive path the country has been treading in the hands of mediocre, incompetent and corrupt politicians and their cronies, as against resourceful, effi-
BELONGS TO ALL,
(POLITICIANS AND NON-POLITICIANS ALIKE); AND NO PARTY OR LEADER CAN CLAIM THE PROPRIETARY RIGHT OF THE NATION cient and competent persons. Apart from the primitive and scarcely progressive slant of the reasoning, what Tukur, a man many respect as an elder statesman, is preaching is nothing but zero sum game or ‘winner takes all’ approach to politics. This newspaper sees this mindset as the source of many of the country’s knotty socio-political and economic problems. Such political greed has created crises, as well as generated bad blood, violence and misrule in many emerging democracies. In advanced democracy like the United States, for example, expertise and patriotism are considered foremost when it comes to appointments to sensitive or technical jobs. President Barak Obama’s defence minister, Chuck Hagel, is a member of the Republican Party, the platform he was first
elected a senator in 1996, got reelected in 2002 before retiring in 2008. The Republican Party is the strongest opposition party to the ruling Democratic Party. There are other such appointments that Obama made based on competence and patriotism. Why then are Nigerian political leaders always in the news for the wrong reasons? Why are their frequent trips overseas yielding more selfishness, greed and gluttony, instead of better and rewarding ideas? The position taken by Tukur and Ningi on the appointment of non-PDP members to high political offices is myopic, extremely self-centered and anti-development and progress in every material sense. Such reasoning should be discountenanced if the nation truly desires greatness. Nigerian experts in all corners of the world should be encouraged to return home and contribute their quotas in the task of nation building. The emphasis should be on capabilities and excellence in the best interest of the nation. Any party or individual in power or position of authority is just a trustee of the Nigerian state. The country belongs to all, (politicians and non-politicians alike); and no party or leader can claim the proprietary right of the nation.
ON THIS DAY April 30, 2009 Seven people were killed and 17 others injured at a Queen’s Day parade in Apeldoorn, Netherlands in an attempted assassination on Queen Beatrix. The 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal Family occurred when a man drove his car at high speed into a parade which included Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and other members of the Royal Family. The occasion of the attack was the Dutch national holiday of Koninginnedag (or Queen’s Day).
April 30, 2004 The United States’ media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. The city of Abu Ghraib is located west of Baghdad. After Saddam Hussein’s fall, the Abu Ghraib prison was used by American forces in Iraq. In 2003, Abu Ghraib prison earned international notoriety for the torture and abuses by members of the United States Army Reserve during the post-invasion period.
April 30, 1982 Sixteen monks and a nun belonging to the Ananda Marga at Bijon Setu, Calcutta in West Bengal, India, were massacred. They were dragged out of taxis that were taking them to an educational conference at their headquarters in Tiljala in Kolkata’s southern suburbs. At three spots simultaneously, they were beaten to death and then set on fire. The killings were witnessed by thousands of people. However, not a single arrest has been made to date.
AOC issuance: Stakeholders disagree on NCAA’s regulations
Operators urged to adopt selling in local languages 37
Tuesday, April 30, 2012
Dearth of funding for new businesses slow job creation efforts Harsh, unfriendly and an unpredictable business climate in Nigeria have made nonsense of efforts geared towards job creation by small and medium scale enterprises. Issues bordering on lack of funding, government policies and non functional infrastructure are some of the challenges, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.
A model of job seekers on a queue
or graduates of vocational training facilities and institutions in Nigeria, putting their newly acquired skills to use with the objectives of creating jobs and contributing towards economic growth and sustainability in the country, is a big and near insurmountable challenge. The reasons for this may not be farfetched, as experts and stakeholders including
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economists and vocational training graduates agreed that going into business, or becoming an entrepreneur on a small scale level in the country has remained rather daunting in spite of recent efforts by the government to make things work. Moreso, the experts say small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs), and those trained in various vocations are constantly confronted with a lack of a support system that could make their dream of self employment, a reality. Speaking with National Mirror, a graduate of the In-
dustrial Skill Training Centre, (ISTC), which is an arm of the Industrial Training Fund, (ITF), Mr. Alaba Ekundayo, explained why jobs are not being created as expected ,particularly from SMEs and the vocationally/technically trained, saying the “reasons are obvious and much as they are elusive.” Explaining that he trained and major in fabrication, welding and maintaining cooling systems, Ekundayo said he has not been able to add any value to the economy despite the quality training he received since his graduation from the ISTC, due to his
inability to get started financially. He told National Mirror that he would require at least amount within the range of N3m and N5m, if he is to be able set up shop in Lagos, Port Harcourt or Warri, and engage at least a minimum of three trainees and employ an assistant for a start. He said because cooling technicians and well trained fabricators and welders are few in the country, that he would be able to repay a loan of about N5m within three years, if he can secure such assistance, adding that the CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Airlines’ global year profit expected to grow to $7.5bn – IATA
Job creation: Bayelsa graduates laud SURE-P on GIS initiative
High demand for shopping spaces spurs construction in Lagos
Business & Finance
Tuesday, April 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Dearth of funding for new businesses slow job creation efforts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 number of his trainees would have increased to between 12 and 15 within the same period, and by so doing, creating job for himself, others with the skill and also contributing to economic growth. He lamented that visits to several banks in both his home state of Ogun and Lagos where he is based brandishing the reference letter given him by the training firm, and promising to release his ISTC certificates as collateral did not yield any result. “It was only at Diamond Bank that even listened to my request, and that is where it ended as I never got to hear from them again”. Ekundayo, who now practices his trade in a makeshift workshop in Idimu area of Lagos with some friends, revealed he was not alone in that dilemma of trying to figure out how to create jobs for himself and others through his acquired skills, saying many of his fellow graduates that had plans to move into self employment after their training were either now roaming the streets, or eking out a living through other means. Economist and Business Analyst, Mr. Hassan Fetuga, said the failure of financial institutions and wealthy individuals to assist SMEs and vocational training graduates has contributed in no small measure to the prevailing low economic growth in Nigeria, and the inability of the system to create sustainable and long lasting jobs. According to Fetuga, “All the critical factors of production recognised by economists are not working in the favour of SMEs and vocationally trained. And where they seem to do, it works against the interests and chances of survival of critical and fundamental economic drivers like technical graduates and SMEs operators” He added until those factors that aid job creation, particularly consistent government policies, infrastructure and fair competition is in place in the country that joblessness will continue to reign supreme in the land, with its attendant social economic implications. Speaking to National Mirror on why he was compelled to close his farm, Small Scale Agric Entrepreneur, Chief Utomwen Osifo said he used to have over 10 regular employees and more than 40 casuals that worked in his farm, picking and packing eggs, feeding the birds and doing other jobs on the farm. Osifo said he had already put in a lot of money in the small poultry, pig and grass cutter farming business and was not looking to any financial institution or partners for support, lamenting though that he had to send all his casual workers away and pay off his regular employees, when it became apparent the business will not survive, due to the challenges of power supply and ever changing government policy.
ALL THE CRITICAL FACTORS OF PRODUCTION RECOGNISED BY ECONOMISTS ARE NOT
SMES AND VOCATIONALLY TRAINED. AND WHERE THEY SEEM TO DO, IT WORKS AGAINST THE WORKING IN THE FAVOUR OF
INTERESTS AND CHANCES OF SURVIVAL OF CRITICAL AND FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC DRIVERS LIKE TECHNICAL GRADUATES AND
He explained to our correspondent that there was no way a small sized poultry and pig farm can survive, much less create jobs and employ others, when over 80 per cent of the poultry product consumed in the country is imported through legal and illegal entry routes into the country by those that should protect the economy. According to him, he had resigned from a bank in order to focus on his passion of farming and producing food, saying however that that passion was not to see the light of day, as the farm had to be shut down after only four years, because they never had enough power to keep their cold room constantly functional, while the money being spent daily on petrol and
diesel was not just sustainable to him. He said, “Slaughtering, cleaning processing and freezing the pork and chicken were completely out of the question. Pork decays faster than other meat. The grass cutters except one all died from overheating and later, out of adequate feeding, as our resources could no longer carry us after paying off all the workers, and since I didn’t want to be indebted to any bank having put in my personal funds to start the farm, I felt it was better to simply close the place down and move on with my life. My wife agreed.” Osifo lamented. Agriculture Economics Expert, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, told our correspondent that hundreds of thousands
DG, ITF Sambo Wapmuk
of jobs can and are still being created from the agric sector, adding it (jobs) could even be more, if stakeholders can join hands with each other for the sake of creating jobs and moving the economy forward. According to him, there is no doubt there are challenges regarding how to create jobs and do business in Niegria ,either as an SME or trained technician with a vocational inclination. The key to surviving, Oyeleye added, is to remain focused and consistent in the pursuit of such initiatives, and that the challenges of creating jobs were not peculiar to the agric sector or Nigeria alone, since other nations and sectors are also grappling with the same challenges. Be that as it may, other analysts said effecting necessary changes to make jobs easier to create through support for SMEs and trained vocational and technical experts is the responsibility of government. However, Business Analyst, Mr. Emeka Ifezulike, said the business environment in the country has remained structured and operated in a way that creating jobs is difficult. Making reference to the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) 2nd quarter 2013 aggregate Business Confidence Index report which said the country recorded only a modest 16.5 per cent improvement from the previous 10.5 per cent it achieved in the first quarter, Ifezulike who is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN), said investors and entrepreneurs large and small are still very wary and sceptical about the state of the economy. According to him, poor access to credit, multiple taxation and the inconsistent tendencies of monitoring and regulatory agencies, alongside insecurity, por public power supply and inability to pass and approve budgets and expenditure early are also some of the challenges inhibiting job creation in the country.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, April 30, 2012
Communal clash threatens Mobil’s oil output UDEME AKPAN
WITH AGENCY REPORT
clash between Esit Urua and Mkpanak communities in Eket Local Government Area and Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State over land ownership may affect operations of Mobil producing Nigeria Unlimited, a leading oil and gas producer in the nation. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN stated that: “Nigeria’s crude oil output drop appears imminent following Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPNU, closure of its operations in Akwa Ibom State, following a crisis between two of its host communities. “The crisis, which started on April 25, led to destruction of properties in the two neighbouring communities, causing paralysis of social and economic activities in the area as markets and other businesses had remained closed NAN said. It added that the clash spread to the Eket-Ibeno Road Office of Mobil and the management of the company reportedly shut the premises and directed the work-
L-R: Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Precise Financial Systems, Yele Okeremi; Group Managing Director, Bitcom, Mr. Biodun Omoniyi and Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System Plc, Mr. Kyari Bukar, at the Digital Africa Conference held in Abuja, at the weekend.
ers to “go and remain at home till further notice for security reasons.” “The situation in the area forced the management to shut the premises and evacuate most of the expatriate staff by helicopter from Qua Iboe Terminal to its housing estate in Eket,” a company source said. The Chairman of the Akwa
Ibom Chapter of the Artisanal Fishermen of Nigeria, ARFAN, Mr. Samuel Akwayadi, told NAN that the area was tense and that traders from the Eastern part of the country that came to buy fish were stranded. However, the General Manager, Public & Government Affairs of Mobil, Mr. Paul Arinze, stated that the clash has not af-
fected the firm’s capacity to produce oil. He said, “Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN joint venture confirms that contrary to media reports there has been no shut down in operations at its Qua Iboe Terminal, Akwa Ibom state, following clashes between
two neighbouring communities. Arinze maintained that: “Operations at all facilities continue uninterrupted.” Exxon Mobil Corporation is the world’s premier petroleum and petrochemical company, operating to the highest standards of financial and technical excellence, business ethics, safety, health and environmental awareness. ExxonMobil, through its affiliates, has a presence in some 200 countries and territories. The merger between Exxon and Mobil Corporations in December 1999 brought together three major companies in Nigeria: Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL), Mobil Oil Nigeria plc (MON) and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN). The three companies have notable history, proven experience and a strong record of contributions to Nigeria’s development, which were pooled together for improved performance. The three companies combined have over 2,000 employees, with over 90 percent being Nigerians.
We’re not responsible for high cargo Poor knowledge economy ‘ll hamper Nigeria’s Vision 2020 - Report clearing cost in Nigeria - Concessionaires U O on intellectual capital. omy can accelerate the needed DO
embers of Seaport Terminal Operators’ Association of Nigeria (STOAN), umbrella body for all private concessionaires operating in Nigeria’s seaport industry have they are not responsible for the high cost of doing business at the ports as insinuated in some quarters. Most stakeholders had over the years accused these concessionaires of imposing arbitrary charges on port service users, a development they believe makes Nigeria’s seaports one of the most expensive to operate in. Chairman of the association, Princess Vicky Haastrup, who spoke at the weekend on behalf of the association, exonerated private concessionaires operating in Nigeria’s port industry from any complicity in the high cost of doing business in Nigeria. She said: “Contrary to the malicious information being peddled by the enemies of port reform, terminal operators have actually reduced the cost of doing business at the ports especially in the areas where they have direct influence. “The concessionaires did not bring about the increase in the cost of doing business at the ports. Of course, people
do not want to hear this but that is the truth. At the ports, there are so many factors that can militate against bringing down costs of operations. We have so many people who operate within the port system. We have the concessionaires, the ship agents, clearing agents and numerous government agencies”. Haastrup, who doubles as the vice chairman/chief executive officer of ENL Consortium, which operates terminals C and D of the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa under the concession agreement also said that the concessionaires have made a lot of investments for efficient operations of the ports. “For instance, within one year that the concessionaires took over after the reforms, the ports have been able to record increase in the turnaround of vessels by about 75 per cent and in three to four years, that has doubled, this is a great achievement. If the concessionaires do not develop the ports or do not invest in port operations, how can this be achieved”, she queried. According to her, in view of all these cost saving achievements, the concessionaires have actually helped in drastically reducing cost especially through the reduction in the dwell time of vessels.
he Federal Government’s intention of becoming one of the top 20 global economies in 2020 may be hampered by lack of knowledge economy. According FDC’s economic monthly for April said the nation’s desire to be in the class of top 20 economies in 2020 may not be fulfilled until the nation substantially develops its knowledge economy, among other things. A knowledge economy the report said is defined as a system of production and consumption that is based
According to the report, “Advanced nations have sizeable knowledge economies, which contribute positively to GDP as a compliment to existing manufacturing, service- based and other industries. “Knowledge economies are characterised by original, innovative content that seeks to improve present living conditions by asking and attempting to answer thought- provoking questions.” The report also said technological innovation, research studies, and think tanks are staples of knowledge economies, adding that the improvement of the nation’s knowledge econ-
growth in the country not just the total dependence on natural resources. FDC said out of 145 countries on the World Bank’s 2012 knowledge economy rankings Nigeria is ranked 119th. “The four metrics used by the World Bank to rank the countries are; economic incentive and institutional regime, innovative and technological adoption, education and training and information and communication technologies”. It said for Nigeria to see a marked improvement in the four areas mentioned, attention will have to be focused on education sector, which is arguably the most important metrics.
NEMA lauds NACCIMA on N250m emergency relief project STANLEY IHEDIGBO
irector General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, has commended the Nigeria Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), N250million corporate social responsibility emergency relief programme project, aimed at supporting the national relief efforts for victims of disasters in Nigeria. Speaking at the launching of the project in Abuja, Sidi, said that the group has come at the most appropriate time of the
national development in which several communities are confronted with diverse challenges of natural and human induced disasters. According to him, the N250million fund to support the disaster relief effort in the country by NACCIMA is borne out of the strong desire to reduce the impact of disasters, ensure the speedy recovery of affected persons and their means of livelihoods and partner with government in the sustainable development of the country. The NEMA DG advocated for concerted efforts and synergy between government and the pri-
vate sector to restore normalcy and ensure the achievement of the set targets of development. He said, It is gratifying to observe that the private sector in Nigeria through NACCIMA is not looking beyond the profit margins of its cooperate shareholders and also investing a substantial amount of their resource to the service of humanity as part of cooperate social responsibility. “This commendable initiative of NACCIMA, which is in line with global best practices presents a win-win scenario for both the private and public sectors of the economy.”
Business & Finance
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Kolade seeks OPS support for SURE-P GIS’ success TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Chairman of the Subsidy Re-Investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade, yesterday appealed to the organised private sector to provide all needed support to the SURE-P Graduate Internship Programme (GIS) in order to create a strong and highly knowledgeable manpower base for Nigeria’s future development. Making the appeal at the interactive session of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, with stakeholders on the GIS in Abuja, the seasoned corporate management expert pointed out that government was looking up to the OPS for the success of the scheme which, he said, was designed to expose the interns to corporate best practices and by so doing developing in them
key competences required to turn them to major contributors to national development. According to him, in order to give the needed support to government to successfully implement the GIS which is a component of the SURE-P’s job creation programme, the private sector should see their support for the GIS as a new concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) functions that go beyond taking care of their immediate operational environment but extends to looking at such functions from national developmental agenda perspectives. Kolade said: “I see the Graduate Internship Scheme as one that provides the opportunity for these young people to contribute something, not only by doing physical work, but also by applying intellectual and potential to building a strong and powerful nation. The question that we all should answer today is; do we actually have any faith in the potential of
this endeavour? Do we belief that putting graduates through this scheme is one of the ways that they can build our nation? This is our joint responsibility to rebuild this nation. “Therefore I have a word for my colleagues in what we call the Real Sector of the economy. I think we should now be embracing a new concept of CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility. I think we want to see CSR as not just the company providing the money for infrastructure, for solving the problems of today, but something that takes our people, and today we are talking about our graduates, to greater heights, to project a future for this country. “In other words, the reason why the real sector, business people are so prominent in this Graduate Internship Scheme is because you are the ones with the capacity to actually give these graduate interns what they need”, Kolade said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Occupational accidents, diseases lead to 4% loss in GDP – Arik Air OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he largest carrier in the country, Arik Air yesterday estimated that occupational accidents and diseases in work places result in an annual four per cent loss in global gross domestic product, GDP, which is equivalent to US$2.8trn, in direct and indirect costs of occupational injuries and diseases. The airline in a statement signed yesterday by its spokesman, Mr. Banji Ola attributed the statistics to the International Labour Organisation, ILO. The statement was issued to mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The airline however reiterated its readiness to safe and healthy working environment
Access Bank partners ‘Friends Africa’ on sustainable health financing UDO ONYEKA
L-R: Executive Director, CAP Plc, Mr. Joe Dada; Managing Director/CEO. Mrs. Omolara Elemide; Managing Director, WOW Company, Mr. Tokun Odebunmi and Marketing Manager, CAP, Mr. Oladeji Dominic, during the flag off of Dulux Mobile Room makeover in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO
Aviation professionals challenge NASS on new NCAA DG OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he continuous delay in confirmation of Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu as the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA by the Senate has been challenged by concerned aviation professionals in the country’s aviation industry. The professionals said the delay in confirming the appointment, which was announced over three weeks ago by President Goodluck Jonathan has put the agency in the doldrums since the removal of the former Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren. The aviation professionals under the aegis of the Congress of Aviation Unions and Professional Associations, CAUPA, in a statement jointly
signed yesterday by its Convener and Secretary, Engr. Sheri Kyari and Mr. Austyn Njoku respectively urged the National Assembly, to conclude its oversight functions soonest so that a legally and professionally qualified director-general may continue to oversee the job of the regulatory agency without further delay. The statement reads in part, “The delay in confirming the already pronounced appointment, has stagnated the full function of the agency’s regulatory role in the industry. This is not good for safety and standards, and the Category One rating the industry recently attained. “We call on the National Assembly to expedite the process and allow the organisation to move on. The nation’s image in the aviation world is being tainted by this delay in giving
the industry its chief regulator. The Director-General is supposed to have taken his seat in the global aviation community by now and CAUPA is not particular on who is appointed, but is worried about the lengthy process this time around.” CAUPA also called for full investigation into the primary causes of Nigerian airlines dying prematurely, noting that the country had lost over 30 airlines within a space of thirty years due to poor management. The body challenged the industry regulator, NCAA to scrutinise properly prospective operators and continue to monitor the operations of airlines in the country, to ensure their survival and avoid the pitfalls that encourage airline failures. On national carrier, the body wanted the government as a matter of urgency through the Federal Ministry Aviation to pursue the policy of reestablishing a national carrier for the benefit of government and Nigerians in general.
to all its employees, contractors and others affected by its operations. Ola quoted the Senior Vice President, Operations, Arik Air, Capt. Ado Sanusi as saying that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Sanusi said Arik Air is proud to be associated with ILO and other relevant bodies worldwide in celebrating the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which focuses on ‘The Prevention of Occupational Diseases.’ Sanusi estimated that around 5,500 to 6,300 work-related deaths occur every day as a result of various types of workrelated diseases (occupational diseases) and that an estimated 160 million cases of non-fatal work-related diseases occur annually.
ccess Bank Plc in partnership with Friends of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) a PanAfrican non-governmental organisation on Friday hosted a high- level stakeholder Engagement Forum tagged: Sustainable Health Financing In Nigeria in Abuja. This was contained in a statement issued by the bank. According to the bank’s Group Managing Director, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, “the Bank is committed sustainably to the eradication of the AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, this informed the initial donation of $1million to the Global Fund
to fight this pandemic and the partnership of the Bank with Friends Africa to host the Sustainable Health Financing Forum in Nigeria. Aig-Imoukhede stressed that the Global Fund’s “Gift from Africa project” was designed to “provide the African private sector with an opportunity to provide responsible leadership and demonstrate to the world that Africans are prepared to play an active part in solving the continent’s challenges.” He observed that through the advocacy effort of the organisation, “Over one million Africans are now on ARV therapy, 2.8 million on tuberculosis treatment and 30 million bed nets distributed to protect the people against malaria.”
Internet body holds AGM in Lagos KUNLE A ZEEZ
he fifth Annual General Meeting of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) is scheduled to hold at the Function Room, Muson Centre in Lagos today. The Chief Operating Officer and Secretary to the Executive Board of NiRA, Mr. Ope Odusan, confirmed this in a press statement made available top National Mirror yesterday. Odusan noted that the necessary notice prior to the AGM, as stipulated in NiRA’s Constitution has been duly executed, having announced same on the NIRA website via the membership mailing list and Short Messaging Services. According to the statement, the agenda for the AGM include the receipt of the Annual Report and Financial Statement for the year ended December 2012, together
with the Auditor’s Report. It will also include receipt of a Business Plan and Budget for the period of the current financial year beginning January 1, 2013 and considerations of other issues that may be brought before the before the meeting According to Odusan, the Special Business of the AGM is to hold new elections into the two0-tier boards of NIRA which include the Board of the Executive Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees. Giving further insight into the scheduled meeting, Odusan clarified that the last election to the Executive Board was held at the 3rd AGM on August 26, 2010. “Consequently, the next election into the Board would have been at the AGM of 2012 as the Board has a two-year tenure. However, the accounting year of NIRA was changed in 2011, leading to a breach year.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Job creation: Bayelsa graduates laud SURE-P on GIS initiative In what appears to be one of the most vital steps in its socio-economic interventions targeted at improving the well-being of Nigerians, the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), has flagged off the human capital development component of its programme for unemployed youths with the induction of scores of graduates for the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) in the country. EMMA GBEMUDU reports.
he Project Director of the scheme, Mr Peter Papka, had penultimate week in Abuja told journalists that orientation and induction of qualified applicants for the scheme will be conducted across the geo-political zones in the country in a structured way that would make it possible for the managers of the scheme to empower, through orientation and capacity-building trainings, the initial threshold of 50,000 interns for employment in the private sector on a yearly basis.
Papka explained that the maiden orientation and induction ceremonies were being organised for participating firms and interns in order to train the latter on work ethics, motivational issues and to exchange ideas on how to move the programme forward. And so on April 22, the three-day induction ceremony for qualified graduates for the GIS in Bayelsa State took off amid pomp as scores of the candidates were taken through trainings in a manner that suggested that the scheme may soon become one of the most resourceful initiatives being undertaken by the SURE-P to make long-lasting impact on socio-economic development of the country. As human capital experts believe, if we build the youths, then, the development of the country would be guaranteed. In his presentation at the Induction ceremony in Yenagoa, Papka said the scheme was designed to address one of the vital links in the nation’s human capital development – partnering with private sector to build the needed capacities in young graduates and by so doing make them employable and become productive agents in national development agenda. While noting that past experiences showed that many corporate organisations don’t engage fresh graduates who are seen as lacking working experience, the project director pointed out that the GIS was created as a practical skill and other capacitybuilding programme that would not only address such deficiency in young graduates that go through the scheme but avail them opportunities of employment after the one year internship. Papka said: “Government observed this and came up with the Graduate Internship Scheme to prepare them for this change. The GIS commenced on October 9 last year, with the mandate to engage 50,000 Nigerian graduates. By attaching them to firms where they will acquire working experience and skills, they will build their capacities and through that become employable in such organisations or elsewhere after the internship. “Each graduate is to be paid a stipend by government while on internship and is supposed to be on the scheme for a period of 12 months. Interns are being engaged in their neighbourhood, so they don”t have to spend much on transportation and other expenses”, Papka explained. According to the director, interns and firms had been mobilised for this scheme and matching had been done for about 900 out of the 85,000 that have shown interest. Over 200 companies out of about
EACH GRADUATE IS TO BE PAID A STIPEND BY GOVERNMENT WHILE ON INTERNSHIP AND IS SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE SCHEME FOR A PERIOD OF
12 MONTHS. INTERNS ARE BEING ENGAGED IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD, SO THEY
DON’T HAVE TO SPEND MUCH ON TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER EXPENSES 1,900 that have indicated interest. Some of the inductees who spoke with National Mirror about the scheme lauded the SURE-P Board and management for availing them the rare opportunity of participating in the scheme which, they said, would be fully explored to ensure that they get employed by their organisations after the scheme. In her remarks, Miss Ine Ebiwari, a Biochemistry graduate of the Niger Delta University said the programme was educative and interesting and that she gained a lot from the training which she intends to put into practice during internship. She said: “I really benefitted from what they have taught us, beyond what we learnt in school. I’m sure the interns have the same impression of the programme like myself. We learnt about skills and how to exhibit boldness and confidence in whatever one does, doing things in the right way and at the right time and we also learnt about motivation and speed to enable us perfect our skills. “I’m looking forward to great opportunities in this programme. So far, my mindset has been opened to new ideas. I think I should be able to make use of them and perfect them to become an employer of labour. This is the first batch of the programme from Bayelsa State,” she explained. Another intern and graduate of Political Science of the University of Nigeria, Omietimi Maxwell, said the training programme was all about retraining the graduate youths to secure jobs in most likely the oil and gas sector. Omietimi said an intern is required to gain spe-
cific skills that these companies need, adding that the “skills are like auto arc designs, web design. I could also be self employed or also work for an employer”, he said. Speaking in a similar tone, another intern, Miss Augusta Godin Nestor, a Geophysics graduate from the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, described the programme as wonderful. “I thank the Federal Government for initiating this programme. They should assist the young graduates that lack skills. No company wants to employ fresh graduates. This was our experience over the years. The internship is a year programme with Mount Tech Engineering Limited ,”she noted. Speaking further on the scheme, one of the facilitators and Head of Services, GIS, Kalu Anthony, said the objectives of the programme was to put the interns in a form that they can acquire new skills and also mentor them. He said: “They will be employable by the firms that need their services. The implication on a larger scale is to reduce unemployment among the youths in the country. The programme is for every graduate. There is a scheme under the employment project, this will be the unskilled and semi-skilled, the community service scheme. The target for the graduate scheme is 50,000 at the end of the year. The 30 interns for the take off in Bayelsa State is not poor in context”, Anthony added. In his comments, General Manager, Mount Tech Engineering Ltd, Engr. Isaac Ugwu, said the firm was partnering with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the SURE-P and also training the interns. According to him, at the end of the programme, the firm will conduct its analysis to examine those that can fit into the system. Among the topics treated during the training include, Why organisations exist, Understanding yourself, Employability skills, Your role in a team, Making your ideas heard, and Act like the owner. Others are, Think like the customer, Business communication, Working Ethics and Etiquette, and group presentation after which the programme was concluded. The orientation and training, according to the organisers, is designed in such a way that the company and interns will learn from each other and collaborate for mutual benefits. The presentations were designed to guide each intern to understand him or herself, what drives them, what they are capable of doing and to expose their innate capacities.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Five million jobs coming by 2015, says minister MESHACK IDEHEN
he Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, said the Federal Government is commitment towards creating at least five million jobs by 2015. Speaking during the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment meeting at Ibadan, the minister said the feat would be achieved through industrialisation in the country, adding that the economic transformation of the country requires the support and contributions of every Nigerian. He said the nation had in recent time, become the number one investment destination in Africa, and that the country had grown by seven per cent in the last 14 years, saying with that level of
investment, that unprecedented level of delegations and investments had trade missions to Nigeria than we have ever had in our history. According to him, the President of Indonesia was in Nige-
ria with 100 businessmen a few weeks ago and before then, the President of Brazil with another 50 businessmen. The Poland President came not too long ago and said his feelings about Nigeria has not been this higher. The minister said the efforts of the government was to provide institutions that would drive industrialisation, adding that the nation was now less dependent on imported goods. “For the first time as the Minister, I have not issued any licence for the importation of cement and some other major commodities. For decades, we relied solely on oil and gas, but now government has made the diversification of the economy a priority. I am very confident that with each of you working together, the nation would be delivered,’’ he added.
Tips for career development
emembering that the responsibility for career development rests on your shoulders as an employee,is important,as it will assist in making such employees gorw and develop quickly.
The people whose careers seem to grow the fastest follow similar patterns of behavior: they understand competition exists, they recognize the steps they need to succeed, and they understand who is responsible. They take charge of their career and accept full responsibility for their growth. Build your dream-It is very important to think about your dream and the vision for your own life and career. You need to think of it as a whole. You cannot distinguish between your personal and your professional life. You only have one life and you need to define your goals and ambitions. These may change over time and that’s perfectly fine. But without goals nothing can be achieved. Put in writing your mission, vision and goals. If you write something down, there is a 100 -percent chance that it will get done. Write your personal mission statement, and if necessary, write a “stopdoing” list. Set three goals: the secret to getting on top of time management is setting three goals set three goals for the year, the quarter, the month, the week and the day. Believe in yourself-As your skills increase, you gain more experience and a clearer understanding of your significance to your organisation. Believing in yourself, your skills, and your ability to succeed are critical success factors for your career development. And never forget the people who have helped you along the way.
Never stop learning-A proven way to advance in your career is to be continually acquiring new knowledge. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field and make sure that your current résumé reflects those needed skills. Take specific actions to improve your skills. Look for opportunities for training. Read books. Read blogs. Make an effort to learn new skills and practice them as much as you can in your current job. Always remember these words If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. Sharpen your people skillsStrong interpersonal skills play a crucial role in gaining the respect of your boss and coworkers; they will also attract the notice of outside influencers who might open new doors of opportunity for you. Be friendly, outgoing, and personable. Listen carefully to people, and practice being a clear and effective communicator. Expand your networkStrengthen your personal network by attending industry conferences. Also, joining a professional association in your field of choice is a great way to tap into a career network. Meeting people who work in your prospective field can give you valuable insight into what life is like in that career. Gather information by gathering contacts. The more people who are aware of your strengths and abilities, the better your chances of hearing about any new opportunities that might arise. Find a mentor-Develop mentoring relationships, either inside or outside of your company. Recent studies have shown that four out of five promotions are
influenced by a mentor higher up in the company. Mentors are also great sources of information and career guidance. The perfect mentor is someone who works well with you and who has the experience and success you seek. Build your reputation-In business, your reputation is the most valuable thing you own. Be known for being dependable, professional, and cooperative. Act and look the part by dressing professionally. Make a name for yourself by attending conferences, delivering speeches, or writing articles. Stop telling, start sellingLearn the fine art of self-promotion. If you have had major accomplishments or created successful programs, make sure people know about it especially those in influential positions who could help you advance professionally. Let it be known that you are seeking a promotion or the next step up in your career. Develop trust-People naturally want to surround themselves with people they trust. Developing trust takes time and consistent effort. Trust goes two ways: you need to behave in such a way that people will trust you will do what you say. And equally important, you need to trust others. Pay back-Think about who you’ve met and how you can help someone else. Do some volunteer work. Explore possible career tracks and build a strong networking base through volunteer activities. Volunteering teaches you about yourself and your world while preparing you for the future and connecting you to your community. Source: yahoojobs.com
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
vailable vacancies for this week is led by the international position of a Property Consultant (www.dubai.dubizzle.com) to be based in the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. The company, Fifth Avenue Real Estate, said it required commitment for a full time consultant with a minimum work experience of 1-2 years. The description for the job said it is an opportunity for smart, presentable and educated people with a can-do attitude, and requires people who are organised, possess self confidence and are a peoples’ person. Other needed requirements include: having great interpersonal skills with command over written and spoken English, and a valuable real estate brokerage experience in Dubai. From www. jobberman,com is the post of Graduate Trainees in Lagos, requiring minimum qualification of a Degree and entry level experience of 1- 2 years. Other qualifications and requirements are ability to work with little or no supervision, should be able to think outside the box, must be a goal getter, Should have good command of English language and must be a computer literate. Also from www.jobberman.com is the post of Sales Account Executives in Lagos based firm that is into agriculture, poultry and fishing Requiring a minimum qualification of an HND, the recruiting company said some of the responsibilities for the sales accounts executives are they will be responsible for designated or territorial account development and continuity, drives sales and profit targets and presents products and other services to target customers Other requirements are a B.Sc. or HND in any related field, post NYSC experience not required, and must be a good team player and goalgetter. Again from Dubai, is the vacant post of a security, Health and Safety Officer (www.dubai.dubizzle. com) which is to be based in Dubai? The employing firm which is well reputed oil and Gas engineering company said it is currently seeking to recruit the Security, Health and Safety Officer who will be reporting directly to the Manager of Facilities Man-
agement Primary Function. The responsible for implementation of Security and Health and safety policy and procedures amongst other functions are the major responsibilities of the incoming. From www.findjobafrica. com is the position of a Chief Financial Officer who is to be based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. The description for the job is to serve as a strategic partner and adviser to the Managing Director on the organization’s financial, budgeting, treasury, capital purchasing, investor relations, risk management and accounting processes — with an eye to continuously developing and improving systems. The candidate is expected to develops tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the and make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations, while at the same time, provide leadership in the development for the continuous evaluation of short and long-term strategic financial objectives. The qualifications is a Bachelor’s degree in accounting/economics or related field Master’s degree in accounting, finance or business professional qualification such as ACA, ACCA, required banking experience. www.findjobafrica also provides an opening for a Civil Engineer/Sales Engineer who is to be based in Lagos. The company which is into formwork, scaffolding and engineering, said the responsibilities for the post includes creating calculations, offers, drafts, general arrangement drawings, construction and production drawings on the basis of information given by the sales department respectively our clients Other are supporting of export business, including customer contact and willingness to travel in West African countries For qualifications, a Diploma or Degree in Civil Engineering/Design Engineering, AutoCAD operating skills/experience is essential. Experience in formwork, structural design, drafting and static calculations. MS office skills, English Language skills are required, French is appreciated, Team player, the ability to learn quickly and to work independently are also crucial.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Real Estate & Environment email@example.com 08033312578
Trinity Mall, Ikeja, Lagos.
High demand for shopping spaces spurs construction activities in Lagos ...As developer of Trinity Mall set June completion date
While the residential segment of real estate sector has continued to witness high vacancy ratio, especially in highbrow Lekki and Ikoyi areas, the retail segment has been experiencing boom occasioned by high demand for office and shopping spaces. DAYO AYEYEMI, reports
espite low recovery of the real estate sector since the global economic crisis of 2008/2009, demand for office/shopping spaces has continued to rise in high brow locations in Lagos. Catching on this opportunity are real estate investors/developers, who have continued to take the bull by the horn, rolling out high profile modern shopping malls such as The Palms in Victoria Island, Adeniran Ogunsaya Shopping Mall in Surulere, and Ikeja City Mall among others to meet the demand. The monthly economic report released by the Financial Derivative Company (FDC) Limited at the weekend showed that there was higher demand for office spaces than for residential houses in the highbrow areas of Lagos in first quarter of 2013. Consequently, the report stated that
MUCH OF THE SPACES HAVE BEEN BOUGHT OR LEASED BY DISCERNING SHOP OWNERS WHO WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE UNIQUE
TRINITY MALL HAS, IN TERMS OF ITS LOCATION, STATE-OF-THE ART FACILITIES
AND AMBIENCE the vacancy rate for residential properties was higher than that of commercial properties. “In fact, some landlords began to convert their residential buildings to commercial ones,” it stated Meanwhile, expanding the scope of shopping malls in Lagos is Omais Homes that has come out with a new develop-
ment at the centre of Ikeja. The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Omais Homes, Chief Omochiere Aisagbonhi, told National Mirror that he has committed over N600milion to develop a new shopping arcade in Ikeja, Lagos to meet people’s yearning for office/ shopping spaces. Known as Trinity Mall, the shop-
ping arcade, which construction started about one year ago, will be opened to members of the public in two months’ time - June, 2013. Conducting journalists on a tour of the edifice and to confirm the high demand for the product, the CEO of Omais Homes stated that 55 per cent of the shopping spaces have been bought. He said, “Much of the spaces have been bought or leased by discerning shop owners who want to take advantage of the unique advantage that Trinity Mall has, in terms of its location, stateof-the art facilities and ambience. “Some of the spaces have been taken over by IT and telecoms companies, clothes and accessories, eatery and so on.” Aisagbonhi revealed that there were people that demanded for outright purchase, while others preferred lease and rent, adding that the arcade came with 40 shopping spaces, banking hall and eatery. Price for shopping space in Trinity Hall ranges between N6 million and N15million depending on size. One of the subscribers, Mrs Omonike Adesokan, who spoke with National Mirror, said she was fascinated by the location and quality construction of the shopping mall, and that she bought into it in order to meet people’s need for clothing and other accessories. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ogun goes green as UNIDO, stakeholders pledge partnership DAYO AYEYEMI
gun State’s going green advocacy project aimed at improving the environment to ensure sustainable development and reverse the adverse effects of climate change is yielding results, no thanks to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and other stakeholders that have indicated interest to partner the state government in the exercise. This was disclosed during the Uplifting the Environment- Ogun State Goes Green, International Conference and Workshop held in Abeokuta at the weekend. The two-day conference, organised by the wife of Ogun State governor, Mrs. Foluso Amosun, had many stakeholders including both local and international experts and major investors in attendance. Speaking, the UNIDO Regional Director and Representative of Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Patrick Kormawa expressed the readiness of his organisation to partner Mrs. Amosun and the state government in their Going Green initiative in order to increase environmental protection and ensure waste-towealth scheme through Public Private Partnership (PPP). Kormawa, in his paper entitled, “Strategies of Regional and International Entities to Foster and Support Going Green-related PPP, Joint Ventures and FDIs,” said UNIDO would partner Ogun State government through UNIDO Green Industry Initiative and Global Environment Facility to ensure universal access to modern energy services by financing projects that focus on biodiversity, climate change, waters, land degradation, the ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants. He noted that the creation of public awareness on the use of energy to improve the environment was germane to achieving the going green projects. He explained that development could not be possible without energy, saying at present, 1.3 billion people in the world have no access to electricity and an additional one billion is under-served due to poor supply and intermittency problems.
Participants at the conference
To achieve any sustainable development, the UNIDO director noted that governments and private organisations should pay conscious attention to the environment. He stated that recent urban crises have remained food, fuel and financial, population outburst and global climate change. As a way to ensure green environment in Ogun State, he maintained that investments in renewable technologies such as solar panels, small hydro power and bio metres are key. Besides, he stated that government must enact long term policies and strategies to promote PPP investment in green projects. He explained that focus must be on efficiency use of energy in homes and industries, adding that targets must be set to support and monitor progress of green projects. Also speaking, Mrs Amosun called for enlightenment campaign beginning from the grassroot to achieve sustainable development to reverse the effects of climate change. She noted that lack of knowledge and understanding of environmental issues was a major challenge and setback to nation building. She said, “Going Green means adopting basic principles like reducing pollution, converse resources, reduce waste energy, protect the earth’s ecological balance and recycling products to pro-
tect the environment from harm, as well as ensuring living on earth is sustainable for human and other creatures.” She pointed out that it was no longer news that Africa has become the focus of global deliberations on the international scene; mainly because of its vast resources and its huge potential for degradation if not sustainably managed. “With Africa’s extensive tropical rain forest and its potential to act as the global carbon emission sink, there is a responsibility to manage the resources on different levels. There is therefore, a huge burden on businesses, organisations and government bodies to develop sustainable environment models and system aimed at intervening in the way we impact negatively on the environment,” she said. She noted that lack of knowledge and understanding of environmental issues as well as lack of access to funds to drive environmental initiatives is a challenge in Nigeria, pointing out that the level of environmental awareness is still at its cradle stage and as such, any movement, message, project and program that attempts to drive the campaign is worthy of note. The wife of the governor added that her green advocacy strategy included the Green Empowerment for the Youth (GEFTY), describing youths as vibrant, adaptable, mobile and upward moving, informing the audience that she planned
to organise a Green Youth Conference to educate youths on green culture. She appealed to relevant stakeholders in the environmental sector to continue to partner with her Uplift Development Foundation and Ogun State Government in its mission to rebuild the state through the Going Green initiative Also speaking at the occasion, the House of Representative Committee Chairman on Environment, Hon. Uche Ekunife, noted that the concept of going green was to ensure the objective of improving the environment, maintaining that the issue of climate change has become a global challenge which governments at all levels and stakeholders must work together to address. She said, “We must create green environment, access to clean energy and water, pollution-free environment, reduction in waste and immensely improve our ecosystem. This will make companies to pursue profits in more sustainable ways and ensure economic benefits for all.” She noted that efforts to support conventional ways of granting access to energy and electricity must be geared towards generating energy from renewed and alternative sources which would preserve the environment, urging other legislators to update the policies in all spheres of life to reflect environmental improvement and initiate bills that are people and environmental friendly.
High demand for shopping spaces spurs construction activities in Lagos CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 She got a lease of 50 years. Strategically located on the bubbling Obafemi Awolowo Way in the heart of Ikeja, Trinity Mall boasts of several world-class facilities and the design is a mix rugged Nigerian and fine-honed international structural details. Shop types come in various shapes and sizes, with the provision of lock-up, open plan and see through styles and categories. It comes with ample parking space, an elevator, constant power and water supply, security coverage including CCTV surveillance.
Rising demand for shopping mall is not the case in Abuja and Port Harcourt as commercial properties, according to FDI’s findings, had higher vacancy factor than residential properties. It stated, “In Abuja, the need for residential properties spawns from the high demand from civil servants who require accommodation, coupled with the limited supply of residential properties. “Similarly in Port Harcourt, there is higher demand for residential properties as several federal parastatals located in other states have transferred some members of staff to their branch-
es there.” Meanwhile, security risks has remained a major challenge in several parts of the country, and as a result, Nigeria, according to experts would continue to expect slow recovery in the real estate sector until the security issue has been resolved. In Lagos, many new properties sprang up in different parts of the city (Ikoyi, Lekki, Ikeja GRA and Yaba. The demand for properties at this particular time was influenced mainly by rental price, quality of the property and availability of facilities. For example in Lagos, according to
FDI’s report, despite the top quality of properties in highbrow areas such as Lekki, V.I and Ikoyi, high vacancy rates were recorded during the quarter under review due to exorbitant rental price. It said, “In fact, the supply of properties in these areas outweighs the demand for them as buyers are unwilling to pay such high prices. “In Port Harcourt, excess capacity compelled landlords to forgo the high price of properties. For example, the rental price of a duplex that would normally be let for N7 million was cut down to N3.5 million.”
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
How Nigeria can regain athletics reckoning –Udo-Obong 30
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Blame me if we fail, says Mourinho
eal Madrid’s coach, Jose Mourinho, expects to take the blame instead of his players if they fail to overturn a 4-1 deficit against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League semifinal second leg today.. Mourinho was hired from Inter Milan three years ago to help Real win the 10th European crown that has eluded them since 2002 but the La Liga side are on the brink of a third straight failure at the last-four stage under his stewardship. “In practically all football clubs success belongs to everyone, but failure is always the fault of the coach. I am perfectly calm because I know that is the situation,” the Portuguese told a news conference yesterday, ahead of the clash. “There are fantastic coaches in football who have never won the Champions League; I have won two, for which I must thank God. But I will continue to fight for a third.” Mourinho, who won Europe’s elite club competition with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010, again had to answer a host of questions about his future amid speculation he will leave Real at the end of the season despite having a contract until 2016. Some reports have said he is poised to rejoin Chelsea, where he failed to win the Champions League, and that Real had lined up Paris St. Germain coach, Carlo Ancelotti, as a replacement. “If you want to know about contacts between Real Madrid and Ancelotti you have to ask Madrid not me,” Mourinho said.
who dazzled at the Nations Cup in South Africa, where the scored two tournament-defining goals against Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. “He has been cleared to play for us in Angola in the Champions league this weekend. And once we are back we will hope to finalise on his transfer,” Ozor told MTNFootball.com. Rangers technical director, Innocent Obiekwo, also confirmed the 24-year-old Mba will be on the trip to Angola. The Coal City Antelopes have already agreed a fee of N8million for the transfer of
NPFL: Axe dangles on 3SC coaches
goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim and this allowed the Super Eagles’ goalkeeper to make his debut against Recreativo in the goalless draw in Enugu about a fortnight ago. Rangers are the only surviving Nigerian club on the continent this year after Kano Pillars crashed out of the Champions league and both Lobi Stars and Heartland were ousted from the CAF Confederation Cup. The Nigerian representatives walk a tight rope after playing a goalless draw with Recreativo in the first leg played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
I’ll revive boxing in Nigeria –Adeniji-Adele EVEREST O NYEWUCHI
mmediate past Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele, has given reason why he is seeking election to the board of the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF). In his Manifesto tagged ‘Path To Glory’ which he made available to National Mirror yesterday, AdenijiAdele says that he wants to pursue an agenda of returning amateur boxing in Nigeria to the path of glory. “In doing this, I draw from the experiences I have garnered serving as Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development in Lagos State, from my days as a national athlete, from other public responsibilities I have been privileged and from the contacts and networks I have made through the
years,” he said. The 57-year-old for-
Possibilities will give this game to Madrid. Let’s wait and see how things go at the end of the game - Real Madrid legend, Zinedine Zidane
CCL: Wolves clear Mba for Rangers frica Cup of Nations (AFCON) South Africa 2013 hero, Sunday Mba, will make his Rangers debut this weekend at Angola’s Recreativo Libolo after he was cleared “in national interest.” Rangers general manager, Paul Ozor, disclosed that Mba would be on the trip to Angola after his club reached an agreement with the player’s former club, Warri Wolves, because he is on “a national duty.” Mba has yet to debut for Rangers after Wolves demanded for a staggering transfer fee for the star forward
mer Chairman of the Lagos Island Local Gov-
ernment explained that he would adopt a development model which he used while at the helm of Lagos sports affairs that revived boxing and football in the state. Specifically, the prince said that the monthly Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame which has kept amateur boxers in the state busy and competitive would be replicated at the national level to revive boxing in the country. “We conceived the programme to provide a platform for regular training, competitions and benefits for both male and female boxers in various categories and age grades. “The programme has taken a life of its own and currently enjoys international exchange for partnership for training of boxers and coaches abroad. The project has also built an ultra-modern boxing gym of its own in the heart of Lagos.”
oaches of the Shooting Stars FC could be the first major casualties in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after the Ibadan club crashed to a fifth away loss at ABS on Sunday. Hakeem Busari and Tunde Odubola have been in temporary charge of the Oluyole Warriors since the middle of last season, but as the team have struggled to find their bearing especially away from home, they may well be looking elsewhere for a job. “They have failed again,” a top 3SC official disclosed to MTNFootball.com on Sunday in reference to the caretaker coaches. Shooting Stars fell 1-0 to hosts ABS in Ilorin for their fifth straight loss on the road this season. ABS match winner came in the 62nd minute through Ibrahim Abdulahi, who fired in a shot from 20 yards which Laide Okanlawon in goal for 3SC did not have an answer for. Meanwhile, the race to win the top scorer award in the NPFL this season is heating up as five players have now shot to the front rank. Sunshine Stars’ striker, Dele Olorundare, leads the race with six goals along with Isah Akor of Heartland. The goal-scoring credentials of Olorundare cannot be questioned as he netted 12 goals in the league last season for Sunshine and this term he has netted a brace twice. Heartland’s new boy, Akor, on the other hand was the 2012 Federation Cup top scorer and is ambitious to dethrone Sibi Gwar as the king of goals in the league by the end of the season. Gwar, who has moved to Enyimba, scored 17 goals last term to finish as goaleador.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
England r mum ove
Champions Planet hosts Babangida
helsea Manager el Benitez, is k quiet over the pect of Blues captain Terry making an En return. The 32-year-old de made back-to-back a ances for the first time February by featuri Sunday’s 2-0 defeat of sea which saw Chelse solidate its position Premier League top fou Terry has hinted at sible England retur Benitez declined to com on the prospect of th per coming out of in tional retirement whic prompted by his F
member of the Nigerian Dream Team that won football gold at the Atlanta ‘96 Olympic Games, Tijani Babangida, will be the ‘Legend of the Night’ today at the Heineken Champions Planet in Lagos. Organisers said Babangida’s visit would enable the former Nigeria international who won Nations Cup silver at the 2000 AFCON co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria to interact with fans and other guests at the planet while Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund jostle for the final ticket of the Champions League in the second leg semi final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu. “I watched Chelsea’s historic win here at the Champions Planet last season and the frenzied atmosphere on that day has remained indelible,” the former Ajax Amsterdam, winger said yesterday. “I am happy this fresh opportunity to rub minds with football fans again, particularly at this time when the Champions League tempo is at its height,” he added. Guests will have opportunity to ask Babangida several questions on issues about Nigerian football, as well as the way forward for the beautiful game which has witnessed fresh crisis on the local scene in recent weeks. “We are all stakeholders and the more we have this auspicious occasion to exchange ideas the better it will be for the future of football in our great country,” the former player, who is best remembered for the two goals he scored against South Africa in the AFCON 2000 semi final, further said. Former internationals Austin Eguavoen, Christian Chukwu, Austin Okocha, Victor Ikpeba, Daniel Amokachi and Samson Siasia have preceded Babangida at the Planet in the ongoing UEFA Champions League season.
Subotic downplays Final berth
Essien unleashed on Dortmund G hana midfielder, Michael Essien, is likely to start for Real Madrid at right-back in the Champions League second leg semi final game against Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabeu today. This follows the confirmation by Coach Jose Mourinho of the injury to Alvaro Arbeloa ahead of the second-leg semi final tie against the dethroned German champions. Real Madrid must overturn a 4-1 deficit suffered last week in the first leg game in Dortmund to have any chances of making it to the Wembley final on May 25. Essien sat out that heavy defeat as he was still recovering from his muscle injury. Having fully recovered to play in Saturday’s 2-1 win at rivals Atletico in La Liga, the on-loan Chelsea player looks set to start in this crucial game. Essien will be handed the difficult task of stopping flying Ger-
man winger Marcos Reus who constantly tormented Sergio Ramos at the right side of the Real Madrid defence in the first leg clash. The versatile player should however be up to the task of carrying out his duty on the night with tons of experience behind him in the right-back position from his days with Chelsea. Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s medics are sweating on the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo going into this encounter as any hope of the home team’s revival lies on the Portuguese overcoming a thigh strain he suffered in the first leg. Ronaldo has scored 50 per cent of Madrid’s 24 goals in the competition so far this season, but missed Saturday’s 2-1 win over Atletico in the Madrid derby, although he underwent a solitary training session with physical trainer Carlos Lalin on Sunday.
orussia Dortmund defender, Neven Subotic, insists that the German team does not already think it is in the UEFA Champions League final. The Serbian defender played a starring role as Dortmund shocked Real Madrid with a 4-1 win in their semi-final first leg last week. “We are professionals, we know this is half-time now and we can lose everything in second leg of the game,” he said yesterday. “”We don’t even have one foot in the final yet, at most all we have is a small toe “We are happy with how we played and we are confident if we play like this in Madrid we will be through. “Nobody expected it to be like it was, we
dominated. Real Madrid played well but they did not play great as we did not allow them to. We limited their chances through good defending and had our own chances and for a long period of time the game was dominated. “As soon as we lost the ball we put pressure on them and they are not used to it.” There are injury worries in Dortmund, with Polish international full-back Lukasz Piszczek struggling with a groin injury he picked up in the first leg. Midfielders Ilkay Gundogan (neck) and Mario Gotze (hip) are also carrying knocks as coach Jurgen Klopp made 10 changes for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf.
ottenham Hots down talk of a Lane. The 23-year-old’s co Spurs towards a top fo Spanish giants Rea teams already linked focus is on Tottenham “I just take no noti thing about it,” he sai “I just concentrate and do my best for the Meanwhile, Spurs l luting Bale’s excellenc remains at White Har “He really is a great ing, “He is one of thes “I expect that he w play for the club for tw of things to do for Tot
Today’s Match Madrid
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
return: Benitez CBN Tennis: Rookies cruise to main draws er Terry
r Rafa r, Rafaeeping e prosn John ngland
efender appeare since ing in Swanea conin the ur. t a posrn but mment he skipnternach was Football
subAssociation charge and sub sequent ban for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. “That is not my business,” Benitez said. “My business is to keep him as fit as possible for every game. I only speak to him about Chelsea.” Benitez also hailed Frank Lampard who netted his 201st Chelsea goal on Sunday against Swansea. “Frank is a great player,” Benitez said of the experienced player whose Stamford Bridge future is uncertain. “Hopefully, Frank can score five between now and the end of the season and we’ll be much happier for it.”
spur winger, Gareth Bale, has played summer move away from White Hart
onsistent performances have propelled our finish this season. al Madrid and Barcelona are among the with Bale, but the player insisted his m. ice, it’s all speculation, I can’t do anyid on Sunday night. on my football and play as well as I can e team.” legend Ricky Villa has joined those sace and then spoke of their hope that he rt Lane this summer. t player, a top player,” Villa said, stressse players who can do different things. will stay at the club and I expect him to wo or three more years as he has a lot ttenham.”
he CBN Senior Open Tennis Championship kicked off last weekend with some interesting twists in the events which saw some unheralded players advance to the main draws. In the preliminary rounds played on Sunday, Mohammed Mohammed, Kayode Savage, Serena Abang, Nifemi Ojo, Fortune Aderemi and Comfort Eku swept past their opponents to qualify to the main draws. The contests featuring mainly unseeded players attracted fans at the Tennis Courts of the National Stadium where unseeded Mohammed of Kano defeated Nasiru Ibrahim from Lagos, who is also unseeded in two straight sets of 6-2, 6-3, while Lagos-based Savage defeated Chima Chukwu of Delta, 6-1, 6-2. Unseeded Abang of AkwaIbom defeated Oluchi Odinaka of Imo 6-4, 6-3 as Abuja-based Eku thrashed Oluwafunmilayo Balogun 6-0, 6-0 to qualify. Ibadan-based Ojo beat his fellow Oyo counterpart, Martins
Komolafe, 6-0, 6-1 and unseeded Aderemi also knocked out unseeded Bassey Ude 6-3, 6-4 The preliminaries witnessed a total of registered 155 players consisting of 100 males and 55 females. Sixteen males qualified from the preliminaries to join the 48 players already on the main chart to complete the 64 players in the men’s singles main draw. In the women’s category, eight players qualified from the preliminaries to join the 24 players already on the main chart.
NTF boss, Ndanusa
…Embraces Wheelchair Tennis IKENWA N NABUOGOR
ponsor of the Senior Open Tennis Championship, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has included wheelchair tennis in the events of the 35th edition of the tournament, which commenced last weekend in Lagos. CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, who was represented by Head, Internal Communication of the apex bank, Odessa Ogunmola, said the measure was aimed at ex-
panding the tournament. “It’s our contribution at encouraging participation of the physically challenged in sporting activities,” Ogunmola said. “Wheelchair tennis was played as an exhibition match to mark the celebration of the 50th anniversary of CBN at the finals of the tennis championships in 2009. “The event will represent the trials for the selection of players for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup scheduled to hold in Turkey from May 17 to 26.”
T/tennis: Union Bank wins Oniru League YEMI OLUS
nion Bank Table Tennis club emerged overall winner of the maiden Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru Lagos State Table Tennis League at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Center, Rowe Park, Yaba. The duo of Ashimiyu and Shola Oyetayo of Union Bank table tennis club defeated Ahmed Adeyinka and Mojeed Olayiwola of SpringFresh Club by three straight sets in the team event which comprised doubles and singles. Ashimiyu and Oyetayo, who outplayed the duo of Kazeem Adeniyi and Dotun Ayelumo of Union Bank, had won the weekly event for five weeks before wrapping it up with the final victory as they carted home N50, 000 as Adeniyi and Ayelumo won N30, 000. In the Women’s event, Rashidat Ogundele and Fatima Bello of Union Bank defeated Atinuke Olaide and Europe-based Ganiyat Ogundele 3-2 to win a N50, 000
prize. Oyetayo said her latest feat was motivated by her performance at the National Sports Festival last year. “Eko 2012 elevated my status and I couldn’t believe my outing in the Oniru competition,” she said. Meanwhile, Olaide, who plies her trade at Portuguese Division One team Ponta Do Pargo, has expressed delight at the players’ performance during the Oniru League. “It is an indication that the players are on the verge of achieving bigger things for states and Nigeria in the near future,” she said.
Why East African players lag–Lauren
ormer Arsenal and Cameroon defender, Lauren Etame Mayer, has said that East African players need more self belief to make an impact abroad. Lauren, who was part of Arsenal’s 2003-2004 invincibles team, was in Uganda alongside Gunners partner service executive Luke Wilson on a planned visit courtesy of Airtel Uganda and Arsenal for the Airtel Uganda rising star project intended to help disadvantaged children to have access to quality education and football training. “Breaking into top flight football is more of the self
belief first before you think about other factors,” Lauren said in Kampala on Sunday. “If players in the East African region learn to have the self belief, work hard and also listen to the coaches, they will break into the top leagues in the world like Spain, England and Germany,” he added. “West African players dominate in Europe because they are so passionate about football, work hard and also have good contacts. “In Cameroon even the fans are very crazy about football and that means a lot to the ordinary player in terms of driving them to work harder.”
File copy of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola during Nwankwo Kanu’s testimonial at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
On the track with
YEMI OLUS firstname.lastname@example.org
How does it feel to have finally realised your dream of winning an Olympic gold medal? It is a great feeling. It is also nice for everyone to officially, call one an Olympic gold medalist. We won Nigeria’s third Olympic gold medal and I feel that it puts me up to the top of the Nigerian Olympics table with gold and a bronze. I’m an Olympian of Olympians like my president will say. It just gives one personal pride which one feels deserving. But you are the only one among the quartet whose gold medal has arrived… Talking about only me getting mine, others had their chance to get theirs. There is integrity in whatever I do. All I needed to do was to return the silver and get the gold. I was told to return mine which I did and the gold has come. Others who have not got theirs have themselves to blame. But it’s their medal. So, anytime they return the silver, they will get the gold. But your colleagues claimed they weren’t informed. What’s your take on this? Everyone was informed. Nobody can say he wasn’t informed. I informed all of them and have records and evidence of that. I have email exchanges. It is their own decision not to return their medals and the responsibility lies on them. No matter how much they tried to make it a case on social media, everyone was informed to return their medals and I spoke to each of them individually because they were my team mates. It even got to a point that they were asking if I was working for the AFN and they were accusing me of different things. I went to London during the last Olympics to try and see if we could get the medals. Some said it’s not my job, it is the federation that should do it, but at the end of the day, it is not the federation’s medal. It is your medal and you have to go and claim it, no matter the deficiencies or shortcomings of the federation. What have you been up to this year? Well a group of us, concerned Nigerians, reviewed the year 2012 and saw that there was a big hole in Nigeria’s participation in athletics. We went to the Olympics and didn’t win any medal while other countries like Jamaica with 2.9million people won over six gold medals and we asked ourselves, ‘Why can’t Nigeria win?’ What does it take to become
Enefiok Udo-Obong (below in green trunk) believes government can help fill the empty stands when these young athletes run in Nigerian stadia
How Nigeria can regain athletics reckoning –Udo-Obong Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist, Enefiok Udo-Obong, has been engaged in several projects that include the production of a documentary titled ‘The Making of Champions’. He spoke about the project and other issues on athletics in Nigeria. a champion? How can we make champions? So we said let us do a little research and put it in a documentary form on the making of champions and I happen to know a little bit of that because just as we decided on the format of the documentary, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent a letter saying that I was a champion and my Olympic gold medal so it was befitting that I should present such a programme, go round to see some of these champions, see the systems and programmes that have been put in place for them, look at how they became champions and why we can’t be champions. The documentary is due out very soon. What really makes a champion? Well, I cannot release my secrets now otherwise you wouldn’t buy my DVD but there are a lot of processes involved in making a champion. Sometimes when we sit down and point out the things that are wrong with our athletics, we can say it is from the grassroots. But those are just theories. When you go to where things are practically done, you now realise that some of your theories are right but there is a key element that is missing in Nigeria which is present in other countries. One
example is passion. When kids want to compete, the passion you see in a country like Jamaica is unequalled and unrivalled in the world. As a matter of fact when we went to Jamaica, we told them ‘look we want to know your secrets’. They said ‘we can tell you, we will show you, we will open it but it is inimitable. You cannot replicate, reproduce or copy it. It is inherent.’ This triggered something within us, the producers of ‘The making of champions’ and we thought, if it is inborn in them, it can be inborn in us. We did an in-depth research talking to a professor in Transatlantic Slave Movement at the Emory Univer-
sity in Atlanta and we saw that 40 per cent of Jamaicans are not just from Nigeria, but from the Eastern part of Nigeria, the old Calabar region were the port was. We have evidence of that. So it shows that if it is inside them, it is inside us because we are their ancestors, they gained that from us. It is a documentary that goes into history, science, sports and sociology and it is very revealing and educative. It is a big project that is taking me around four continents and seven countries. It is a documentary for the world audience but with focus on Nigeria. How can Nigeria replicate such passion? As I said, we were told we could not replicate and quite frankly, I don’t think we can replicate it. During the high school meet held in Jamaica last month, the capacity of the stadium was 40, 000 and they had 60, 000 shouting, cheering fans watching secondary school children run. It’s amazing. In Jamaica, everybody is affiliated to something. Most Jamaicans pass through secondary school in their country and so you have a school you’re supporting. The biggest sport in Nigeria is football and it doesn’t get bigger than the Super Eagles. They are the
African champions so it can’t get better than that. We said, ‘let us compare the atmosphere we got in Jamaica with the atmosphere in the stadium where the Super Eagles played their first match as champions of Africa’. So we went to Calabar where we had less than 15, 000 fans and they were very quiet fans. You could be in a library while that match was going on, you could do calculus or algebra during the game because it was that quiet. I’m talking football, not even athletics in Jamaica you couldn’t even hear yourself think; it was a secondary school meet that had six days of competition. Newspapers were dedicating 17 to 20 pages to the meet; the front and back pages were focused on the competition. Nothing else mattered in the country. Their Prime Minister was there for three days. The country was on standstill. Imagine a country of 2.9million people and then you have 60, 000 people in the stadium alone. That’s a high percentage of the country’s population in the stadium. We have to develop that passion. We did a little survey around the stadium and we discovered that not one Nigerian could mention a current Nigerian athlete. The most they could remember was Chioma Ajunwa and Mary Onyali. So how can they support athletics if they don’t know who is running? Jamaicans will sit down confidently and tell you that for the next 15 years they don’t see any country that will topple them because they know, they have seen it. I asked them if they were surprised about the champions and they said no because they knew what was going to happen. Why were they not winning before? We discovered that this occurred as a result of their athletes going to America. Now they’ve stopped it and most of the athletes train at home. So there are many things we have to replicate and many things we have to learn. What do you expect from Nigerian athletes in this season of World Championships? Quite frankly Nigerian athletics is at a stage where we don’t expect much on the world stage. I expect Ajoke Odumosu to probably be in the semifinals and Blessing Okagbare to try in the 100m and get to the final again. Apart from that, I don’t see any other Nigerian doing anything remarkable in Moscow this year.
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Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
We need a paradigm shift to optimise potential in housing sector –Expert Mr. Nya-Etok Ezekiel is the Chairman Forum of Advocates for Social Housing and CEO Novone Consulting Ltd. In this interview with OLUFEMI ADEOSUN, he advocated a paradigm shift if government must unearth the potentials in the housing sector, as well as address the acute housing deficit.
commission has evolved over time and the Ministry of Communication is now feeding fat from on it . In the same way, a lot of money can come into housing if we have a regulatory agency. Think in terms of all block moulders in this country. As it were in the housing sector, no agency is giving standards and that is why you have a lot of shady practices with the attendant waste in human and materials. Having an agency would not bring the needed funds, it would help to monitor the activities of all players to ensure that they conform to standards. If you look around the country, particularly the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja you will notice that there are more un-occupied estates while a number of Nigerians are without homes. What do you think is responsible for this? I will tell you two things; we do have housing deficits and we do have affordability gap. Any business man who goes to borrow funds, knows he has to pay back and as such, he carefully works out the dynamics of whatever housing project is embarking upon, and line up the financial details, but any man who is looking for a way to launder money can afford to build an estate, puts irresponsible price on that estate and keeps the doors closed. No shrewd business minded fellow would do that. I look forward to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) looking into locked up properties that have been there for years with a view to investigating the sources of income of the developers or the owners. Definitely these people will have one or two questions to answer. I have seen a number of houses with “to-let” and which have remained so since I came to this Abuja.
How best do you think we can revamp the housing sector in Nigeria and close the housing deficit conservatively put at 17million? My first take on this is that, we sometimes have short memory in this country and I wish we could use the success story in telecoms industry to explain the inherent potentials in the housing delivery sector. There was a time when telephone was a major challenge in this country and it seemed that making that available to Nigerians was such a major challenge that government needed to invest so much in. It only took a paradigm shift for somebody to unlock the massive potentials within the area with respect to providing service, providing employment and generating funds for the government. When you take those three things together, and with the benefit of hindsight, you wonder where we have been all along. How come we have not done this a long time ago? We unlocked through policy, the potential in the telecom sector and today, so much employment have been generated, so much funds and so much services have been provided for the people of Nigeria. I dare say with every sense of responsibility that, the next big thing in Nigeria is housing. With a deficit of about 17million housing units at a conservative estimate of N2.5 million for a house, (Which is almost three times that), an investment opportunity of over N42 to N45trillion can be generated. That is the market potential of the housing delivery in Nigeria. What can government do to take the advantage of this investment opportunity? The first thing government needs to do is to come to the realisation of the benefit it can get from housing delivery, not the responsibility. The paradigm shift has to be in our helping government to see housing delivery as a one-stop-shop to solve a lot of problems. Housing has the one-stop-shop potentials than any other sector of the economy. It has the capacity to generate money for government; it has the capacity to generate the highest level of employment and the capacity to trigger economic activities. The role of government in this is
THE FIRST THING GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DO IS TO COME TO THE REALISATION OF THE BENEFIT IT CAN GET FROM
HOUSING DELIVERY, NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY to come up with good polices and regulations to tap into this large market. Now, it is still on the blind side of government. I want to use this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the present minister; Ms Amal Pepple is making to ensure that this is brought to the front burner of our national discourse and to the doorstep of government. Last year, President Goodluck Jonathan approved two major policy documents-the National Housing Policy and the Urban Development Policy. What extent do you think these policies will redirect the course of action in the sector? The first thing is that government operates through specified commitment. Having housing policy is the most crucial and the most fundamental step that the government has taken. Step two is looking into the dynamics of that policy, setting up the relevant structures and agencies. For instance, social housing runs on very peculiar principles which have to do with Aids, and grants from donor agencies. But it would interest you to know that these people have global standards and modus operandi for accessing the funds which they will not change because of you. Embedded in the housing policy, is the provision for a regulatory agency, which can be set up at minimal cost. But some people are arguing that it would further shoot up government expenses. I tend to disagree, if government wants to create at minimal cost and have result, then, it can employ the Nigerian Communications Commission’s model. The
Let us also examine the efforts of government in the provision of affordable housing for the low income earners. But the houses end up in the hands of money bags and politicians, thereby denying those entitled to it the opportunity. What is your take on this? Two factors may be responsible for this lapses. One is insincerity and the second is ignorance, or both. Insincerity in the sense that, the buildings are not originally built for the poor in the first place. Ignorance, because government is completely at a loss on the right step to take to address it. The primary responsibility of government is the good to the greatest number. Government is ever socialist. That is what is called social infrastructure. Government is the only one that builds road without taking a dine. Government schools are the cheapest, government hospitals are the most affordable. On the other hands, the private man is out to do business and make profit; he owes the poor nothing. The government owes the poor everything. Any government going for housing delivery must be for social housing. You don’t go and compete with the organised private sector for the middle class or the top class. It amounts to unfair competition. All that government needs to do is to give the houses for the rich to build and give them to the poor. What is your take on the debate for the abrogation of the Land Use Act? The issue with the Act is that we have turned it to a political tool in hands of governors and to take away the power from them would be an uphill task. Nobody surrenders power. Governors use lands as their own gold. They would remove you from Maroko because of the proximity to the Victoria Island and it becomes prime land. So, to think that you will take the power from the governors like that, I am not as optimistic as some people. Number two, do we really need to take the ownership of land from government. The decree came into being in the first place because of the exorbitant fees government pay to get lands for development purposes from the locals who controlled it, was a problem. The land in the possession of governors now, is being held in trust for the people for overriding public interest. What is wrong with that? However, there are certain parts of the law that are absolutely antithetical to progress. If you buy land today and you are giving consent to the land by the way of Certificate of Occupancy that is good to the extent that it has a title. If you want to then sell the property, you don’t need consent from any government again. Exercising this kind of discretionary power by the governor is not really needed. That should be the least thing to occupy the attention of government. Any governor that holds on to such power is definitely oblivious of the responsibility and the capacity of his office. What we should do is to amend some sections.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Bed sheets for a good nightâ€™s sleep Having a good night sleep would not only be achieved by drinking warm milk. A nice and comfortable bed at night is also a factor. Selecting good bed sheets should, therefore, be put to mind when purchasing new ones. Here are some of the instructions on how to select. Look for sheets that match your room. Others opt to buy beddings due to aesthetically overwhelming designs. There are designs; no matter how pleasant they are doing not match the room colour and theme. For instance, if the theme of the room is African Safari look, you may consider buying sheets with animal prints. This does not only add to the wildness of the room but it will also
complete the jungle look. Consequently, it follows that robotic or flower printed bed sheet would not fit in the theme. Know the materials used. This is important especially if the person who will use the sheet is sensitive and prone to allergies. For this type of person, a sheet made up or organically grown cottons and wool is advised because they can less likely trigger allergies.
Courtesy: www. EzineArticles.com
Checking the materials would also hint the buyer about the durability and softness of the fabric. For beddings as gift, buy those with versatile colors and design. This will allow the receiver to match the bedding to any design and colour of the room. Plain colour beddings are recommended for choosing a sheet as a gift. This colour would easily matched and fit in
with any other colours in a room. Moreover, it can also be used in contrast of the colours in the room to let the bed stands. These simple steps will help anyone in buying new sheets, either for family use or as a gift. Remember, itâ€™s not all about the design, find a sheet that would match the room and would give comfort and security to the user.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Lagos accelerates works to ensure flood-free city STANLEY IHEDIGBO
he Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had predicted 275 rainy days in Lagos. Since NIMET’s prediction, the Lagos State Government has not left any stone unturned to ensure that the state is floodfree during the rainy season. Among programmes embarked by the state authority through its Ministry for the Environment are the cleaning of primary and secondary drainages across the state, construction of new ones, dredging of major water channels, sanitations and enlightenment campaigns to sensitise citizens living in flood-plain locations on the need to relocate to save neighbourhoods. However, in continuation of the measures to avert flood disaster in the state, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, at the weekend, inspected the on-going drainage clearing and evacuation on the Lagos Island. He charged residents of the affected areas to assist government by reporting
L-R: Managing Director, UPDC, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran; Chief Executive Officer, 3Invest, Ruth Obih; and Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Africa University, Mr. Peter Bamkole, during the launch of Loyalty Program by 3Invest in Lagos, last week
any one found blocking the waterways in their locality. He told the residents that government
High demand for metals calls for rethink of recycling practices, says panel
he growth in demand for metals, which could see needs rise by almost 10 times current levels, calls for a rethink of recycling practices in order to address negative environmental impacts, according to two reports released at the weekend by the UNEP-hosted International Resource Panel. Launched during a high-level dialogue on Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Management of Metals in Berlin, Environmental Risks and Challenges of Anthropogenic Metals Flows and Cycles provides an overview of the environmental challenges of metals and the potential contribution of recycling to mitigate them. Metal Recycling – Opportunities, Limits, Infrastructure outlines improvements required to metal recycling systems in the 21st century. “As populations in emerging economies adopt similar technologies and lifestyles to those currently used in OECD countries, global metal needs will be three to nine times larger than all the metals currently used in the world,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “A far more sophisticated approach is urgently needed to address the challenges of recycling complex products, which contain a broad variety of interlinked metals and materials,” he added. “Product designers need to ensure that materials such as rare earth metals in products
ranging from solar panels and wind turbine magnets to mobile phones can still be recovered easily when they reach the end of their life.” Metals are an essential part of the global economy as core raw materials for infrastructure. Demand is expected to remain strong in the future: in developing countries because of rapid industrialization, and in developed countries because of modern technologies. While renewable energy technologies— as part of the transition to an inclusive green economy—cut greenhouse gas emissions from metals production, they are likely to increase demand as they are more metal-intensive than fossil-fuel energy sources. “An increased share of recycling of metals can be expected to alleviate some of the adverse environmental pressures from the use and production of metals,” said Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Ashok Khosla, co-chairs of the IRP, in a joint statement. “However, increased recycling rates alone will not be sufficient but need to be accompanied by a levelling off of the demand curve for metals.” The integrated use of metals and their compounds cause local impacts from mining and use 7-8 per cent of the global energy supply. There are also issues related to metal emissions from sources such as fossil fuels and phosphate fertilizer, and the need for a final disposal solution for certain metals where supply has exceeded demand.
had received early warning signal on the possibility of floods in the state during the rainy season.
The commissioner inspected Lekki 11-Ikota River project and lining of Agungi channel, as well as Osapa-Lagoon channel under construction. However at the Agungi channel, Bello instructed the contractor to reconstruct the drainage and other works in the area. The commissioner threatened to seal houses blocking the water channels and drainages, pointing out that such building contravene the law of the state by blocking the water ways. On the promise of the Federal Government to assist the state to intervene in some of the drainage works, Bello explained that the state government could no longer wait for the former since its promise is not forth coming. He pointed out that some of the projects are in the state and that residents would be the ones to suffer as result of delay by the Federal Government. He added that the inspection of drainage works, clearing and evacuation is an ongoing one till government discovers that the state is free of flood where lives and properties are secured.
Developing nations put climate change at heart of plans
epresentatives from governments in Africa and Asia have formed a network to support their efforts to factor climate change into their development plans. According to the statement signed by the Spokesperson of International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Mike Shanahan, the group developed its plans at the 7th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change, which ended at the weekend in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Government Group Network on Climate Change Mainstreaming and Development includes members from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, The Gambia and Zanzibar – and will expand to include other countries.
The network exists to enable policymakers in countries at risk from climate change to share information and collaborate in ways that can strengthen their policies and plans by ensuring they consider how climate change could affect development. The network has developed a framework for assessing and planning how to integrate climate into the business of national and sub-national planning professionals. The building blocks of the framework are political will, information and awareness, and resources for programmes and projects. The CBA7 conference – organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) -- brought together over 250 international
practitioners, scientists, government and non-government policy and decision makers. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the conference with a strong call for rich countries to help poorer ones to adapt, but also pointed out that developing nations were already leading the way in adaptation. “This year’s event was especially important in bringing on board significant participation from governments, who now join the civil society based groups that have been mostly involved so far,” says Saleemul Huq, senior fellow in IIED’s climate change group. “This seventh annual meeting has demonstrated how far and fast the community of practice has grown over just a few short years.”
Black carbon flows from soil to seas
harcoal and other forms of black carbon do not, as previously thought, stay where they are buried: they migrate to the oceans and recirculate the carbon they contain. Climate scientists may have to rethink some of their old assumptions about carbon. US and European researchers have just established that black carbon, soot and biochar - the burnt remains from countless forest fires - doesn’t stay in the soil indefinitely. Around 27 million tons of the stuff gets dissolved in water and washed down the rivers into the
oceans each year. Black carbon or biochar has been hailed as one possible way of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, by taking carbon out of circulation. But this study, according to a report in the journal Science, “closes a major gap in the global charcoal budget and provides critical information in the context of geo-engineering”. Forest, bush, scrub and peat fires produce somewhere between 40 and 250 million tons of black carbon every year. Had this burning been complete, this would have ended up as carbon
dioxide, back in the atmosphere. So researchers have counted the biochar locked in the soil where it enhances fertility - as carbon out of circulation for millions of years. But analysis of water from the world’s 10 largest rivers - the Amazon, the Yangtse, the Congo and so on told a different story. “Each sample included a significant amount of black carbon”, said Anssi Vähätalo, now of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. “On average, the amount of black carbon was 10 per cent of the amount of dissolved organic carbon.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
AOC issuance: Stakeholders disagree on NCAA’s regulations The strict conditions imposed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, for the issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate, AOC, to intending airline operators has come under scrutiny. While some operators condemned the measures, others described it as the best for the industry. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
he requirements for obtaining an Air Operator’s Certificate, AOC, for an intending airline operator vary from one country to the other, but at a time in Nigeria, AOC for intending carrier could be acquired with just an applicant indicating interest to set up an airline in the sector. With the system then, the intending airline was put under a mild or no scrutiny at all by the industry regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. But all that has changed since 2006 when the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode ordered NCAA to embark on recapitalisation exercise for the airlines; aftermath of the crashes that consumed the sector between 2005 and 2006. Today, it is easier for the camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an intending airline operator to get a new AOC. Such a new operator is expected to close different phases set out by the industry policeman, NCAA, which could take it up to two years or more being issued an AOC. Generally, an intending operator is expected to have sufficient personnel with the required experience for the type of operations requested, airworthy aircraft, suitable for the type of operations requested acceptable systems for the training of crew and the operation of the aircraft (Operations Manual). Also, an intending operator is expected to have a quality system to ensure that all applicable regulations are followed, the appointment of key accountable staff, who are responsible for specific safety critical functions such as training, maintenance and operations. Besides, there should be carriers Liability Insurance (for airlines); operators are to have sufficient insurance to cover the injury or death of any passenger carried, proof that the operator has sufficient finances to fund the operation, operator should also have sufficient ground infrastructure, or arrangements for the supply of sufficient infrastructure, to support its operations into the ports requested. For Nigeria, NCAA included a minimum of 50 hours demonstration flights for intending operator. An intending operator in the country’s aviation industry is expected to fly empty with full crewmembers and NCAA inspectors for minimum of 50 hours. NCAA argues that the essence of the 50 hours demonstration flight is to ensure that the applicant could carry out scheduled operations with all the safety standards without compromise.
Aero Airlines’ aircraft on the tarmac
SO, WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF LAWS AND CONDITIONS, REGULATIONS FOR SOMEONE TO GET AN AOC TO DEVELOP THIS INDUSTRY. ALL OUR AIRCRAFT IN THE COUNTRY ARE JUST 57 AND THEY ARE NOT EVEN UP TO AN AIRLINE. However, the process of acquiring a new AOC as mapped out by NCAA has received kudos and knocks from stakeholders and professionals in the industry. While a section described it as too rigorous and called for relaxed rules, another said it is a way of ensuring safety of flight operations in the industry, but NCAA insisted it would not relax its rules, saying this is necessary in order to achieve total safety for passengers and aircraft in the sector. Speaking on the issue, the Managing Director, Capital Airlines, Mr. Amos Akpan said that it is necessary for NCAA to base its issuance of AOC to intending operator on the airline’s type of operations for effective purposes. Akpan insisted that the process of certifying operators by NCAA should be discriminated upon by the regulatory body to create rooms for more airlines to come into the sector, stressing that the requirements for operators must be separated based on their type of operations. He said, “The process of certifying operators to issue them AOC must try to discriminate or separate applicants need of infrastructure suitable to the airlines operations. They become a burden after the exercise. “The statutes of NCAA requires certain offices to be established and occupied whether relevant or not to the airlines type of operations. This is the reason we have very few airlines with AOC because you must meet same requirements irrespective of your type of operation. “A small operator who does not wish to operate all routes, but be a scheduled passenger and cargo carrier hires a director of flight operations, hires a chief pilot, hires safety pilots, hires operations manager, and hires flight dispatch-
ers, like Aero or Arik? An AOC applicant can tick his choice of type of operations while filling the application. But at inspection and certification of facilities, he must have all required offices and infrastructure or the certifying inspector marks x, which means failure. The common denominator to every flight operation is safety.” Besides, the Managing Director, Mishaviation College, Capt. Adamu Msheila recently told journalists that Nigeria has the most complex process of acquiring AOC anywhere in the world. Msheila emphasised that in some countries, AOC could be acquired within three months and wondered why the same could not be replicated in the country, saying that this led to the springing up of several domestic carriers in Ghana. He said, “We have several domestic operators springing up in Ghana, because its take less than six months to process an AOC in Ghana, if the intending operator is serious, he will get it in about 90 to 100 days. “This is not to say that they have shortcuts. No! It’s as thorough as anywhere else, but their approach is what makes the difference, I believe. Also there is no ban on age for aircraft, but I know of only a ban on eastern bloc aircraft. This facilitates things and has opened the market every well in recent past.” Also, the Secretary-General of Aviation Round Table, ART, Mr. Sam Akerele, emphasized that conditions attached to the acquisition of AOC in Nigeria by the NCAA was too stringent and discourage interested investors from coming into the system. He insisted that the stringent measure was not healthy for a developing economy like Nigeria, adding that in other
climes, their Civil Aviation Authorities, CAA, sit down with the operators and fashion a way of moving the industry forward, which he said was lacking in the country. He said, “You don’t just sit down there and regulate the airlines out of existence. If you do that, you will kill the airlines and run them out of existence. This issue about safety, safety, safety, for God sake, we know ourselves. As a professional, we know those who are not professionals, it doesn’t take a whole year to be able to identify an airline operator as a serious person. “If you are spending between 18 months and two years to acquire an AOC, it’s just trying to kill the person, discourage him and this is why most people don’t want to come into the airline business. If they want to put down their money running into billions of naira, they will rather prefer to go into another business and make more money. “So, we need to find ways to reduce the number of laws and conditions, regulations for someone to get an AOC to develop this industry. All our aircraft in the country are just 57 and they are not even up to an airline. South African Airways has about 67 aircraft in its fleet. Delta has over 400, so, we are only joking around here. There must be a way to let people come into the industry without jeopardising safety. “It is the same NCAA that licensed the personnel, check the aircraft, the maintenance organisation. If at any point in time, somebody has an AOC and he’s not doing well, it is the same NCAA who should let the people know and withdraw, suspend or revoke the AOC. It is there in the law. So, why do they shy away from doing their job? They can not continue to claim the past; we all came from the past.” But, the Managing Director, MedView Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole supported the process adopted by the NCAA, especially the compulsory 50 hours demonstration flights for an intending operator, which he described as a step in the right direction. Bankole recalled that it took the airline over two years of hardworking and processes before it got its AOC in October 2012 and commended NCAA for not compromising the standard for any operator despite condemnations in some quarters. He said, “First and foremost, I want to commend the NCAA and the DirectorGeneral who probably in his own wisdom decided to enforce the compliance. It is a good thing for this nation and the industry. Demonstration flight, we will not condemn it, it is the best because you don’t carry commercial passengers when you are not sure that your aircraft is safe for flying. In the case of MedView, NCAA insisted that we must fly 50 hours and in the process of acquiring the certificate, we flew 50 hours, 35minutes and it’s on record that we gave them 7hrs39minutes extra. If anybody is talking about flying compliance, I should be able to say that I’m complaint. I’m very proud of this, there were no cutting corners, we went for it and we earned it.”
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
FAAN assures air passengers of prompt response to emergencies STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Regional Manager, South-West Airports of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Edward Olarerin, last week assured air travellers of quick response during air emergencies anywhere within the country’s airports. Olarerin gave this assurance during an air emergency mock exercise demonstration by various government agencies at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos. At the mock exercise, a burning dummy aircraft was used to demonstrate a real life situation of an air accident. Olarerin said that the authority and aviation stakeholders were prepared to handle every air emergency situations in the country, noting that the authority just received state-of-the-art ambulances in the South-West region, out of which one was delivered to the MMIA. He said, “The ambulances are fully equipped. I was at the
Emergency Operational Centre as the incident commander with other security agencies. I had to activate the emergency centre. We have 54 people on board the dummy aircraft. We rescued 49 injured people while five died. “The demonstration flight actually took off from Lagos to Abuja, but unfortunately had an accident due to a failed engine, shortly before landing. The pilot had made a air return when he noticed that one of the
two engines failed.” The regional manager assured that the airport authority would make the mock exercise mandatory according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, Act. According to ICAO, accident mock exercise is expected to be carried out one in two years. the last time Nigeria had such exercise was in 2011 at the same airport. He explained that ICAO Act stated that FAAN should be in charge of any accident that happened within the airport environment or five kilometers to the airport while the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, should be in charge of accident outside the airport environment. All the relevant agencies involved in search and rescue were involved in the mock exercise. The agencies are National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigerian Red Cross Society and the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps.
Delta Air Lines announces $85m Q1 profit
elta Air Lines last week announced the first quarter financial profit of $85m, with year to year result improvement of $124m, including $78m in special item and GAAP records of $7m net income. Delta generated the sum of $1.1bn of operating cash flow and $457m of free cash flow ending the quarter with adjust debt under $11.0bn reducing the company net debt by $6bn since 2009. An online statement from the media consultant to the airline in Nigeria revealed that passenger revenue increased by $107m compared to prior year period, leaving cargo and other revenues to decrease by $6m and $14m respectively. The airline gave kudos to its own employees towards meeting the company’s financial and operational goals with $43m of incentives, including $20m in employee profit sharing and $23m in shared reward within 3 months. The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Anderson stated that its results represent Delta’s strongest March quarter financial and operational performance in over a decade and commended the staff for all the hard work that went into producing these results for the company. He said, “This performance is proof that we are on the right path to making Delta the airline of choice for our shareholders, employees,
Chief Executive Officer, Delta Air Lines, Richard H. Anderson
and customers. With a solid financial foundation and building momentum from initiatives like our LaGuardia expansion, Virgin Atlantic investment and new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, we are well positioned to generate significant improvements in Delta’s profitability going forward.” According to Delta’s President, Ed Bastian, “Our March quarter units revenues grew four per cent, showing that the investments we have made in operations, products and service, combined with our capacity discipline, have built a solid revenue-producing foundation. “We are taking actions to mitigate the decline in close-in demand we saw in the last part of March, and we expect the impact of the sequester, combined with a softening of leisure demand, to result in a two or three per cent decline in April’s unit revenues.
“However, a key benefit from a consolidated industry is that we now see a much stronger correlation between revenue and fuel; so while we are seeing some revenue softness, we are also benefitting from lower fuel costs, allowing us to continue our path of margin expansion even in a sluggish economic environment.” Delta extremely improved on its operational performance, resulting in an on-time arrival rate of 86.2 per cent and 12 per cent fewer customer complaints compared to 2012, while continuing the company’s ongoing investment in high-quality facilities through the renovation of LaGuardia Terminals C and D with the addition of a connecting bridge and improvements to the Delta Sky Clubs. However, Delta Air Lines fuel expense for March quarter relinquish $78m year over year, excluding mark to market adjustment, as a result of fuel prices and consumption. Operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $22m loss driven by supply disruptions related to super storm Sandy and a short-term outage in gasoline production. In addition, Delta has introduced new Fly Delta app for iPad and iPhone as part of a broader rollout of a significantly improved online and digital customer experience.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Airside email@example.com 08186007273
FAAN, please walk the talk
ecently, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said that it has concluded plans to relocate all the fuel tankers parked near the access gate to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos for safety purposes. FAAN speaking through its spokesman, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said the vehicles would be relocated to a new place outside the precincts of the toll plaza and added that the relocation of the tanker drivers would bring relief to airport users, especially staff of agencies working at the airport. Good talk. However, Airside is concerned that it was not the first time the agency was reading out the riot act to these illegal
tanker drivers who park indiscriminately on the road at the airport, but so far, FAAN is yet to achieve any tangible thing with its previous threats. All talk no action. Airside thinks for safety to be achieved at the airport and in order to avoid turning the serene airport environment into Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, where the illegal tanker drivers have suddenly become the kings of the road and daily causing avoidable mishaps, FAAN should match word with action. Airport users cannot continue to tolerate the problems created by these tanker drivers at the airport. Time for FAAN to take action on these drivers.
Port Harcourt needs some little attention
o doubt, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah and the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, are doing some good works with the remodelling exercise of the Port Harcourt International Airport, PHIA and other airports in the country. Airside was at the airport last week and was impressed with what was on ground. In fact, it’s an image booster for the country, but Airside
wants to call the attention of FAAN to an oversight. During the visit by Airside, it observed that most of the empty lands close to the runway are being overtaken by weeds. This is inimical to the airside workers as the weed could be a save haven for especially small birds animals. Airside uses this medium to urge the respective authorities to action and clear the surrounding for safer environment.
Etihad launches daily flights to Belgrade
he national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways says it will commence daily nonstop flights between its home base of Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, from June 15, 2013. The airline notes that Serbia’s national carrier, JatAirways, will place its JU code on the new service, as well as to 21 destinations on the Etihad Airways network while in return, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on 23 of JatAirways’ European flights. But said the agreement is subject to government and regulatory approval. An online statement signed by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria, stated that these new Etihad Airways flights will help provide better access to Belgrade for several hundred thousand Serbian nationals living around the world. The statement added that Etihad Airways will oper-
ate a two cabin Airbus A319 aircraft on the service between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, configured to carry 106 passengers, with 16 seats in Pearl Business Class and 90 seats in Coral Economy Class. The Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, Mr. James Hogan, Mr Hogan said that the partnership development with JatAirways, will catre for the significant and growing demand for air travel between the UAE and Serbia, as well as cities with large Serbian populations around the world, particularly in Australia and the US. He added, “Etihad Airways’ strategy of working closely with a local partner in new markets has brought impressive results and we are confident that the cooperation with JatAirways will benefit both airlines and, most of all, air travellers who will now have better connections and services to and from Serbia.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Operators urged to adopt selling in local languages Operators in the insurance industry are gradually trying to penetrate the economy with attempts to sell products through communication in local dialects. Stakeholders say the move should be encouraged for peculiar reasons, writes MESHACK IDEHEN.
he emerging initiatives by insurance operators in the country to begin selling their products and services in local languages have continued to draw various comments within and outside the sector. However, one common ground amongst which analysts and industry stakeholders have agreed upon is that the trend, though still in its early stage, represents a shift from a convention form of practice for an industry that will soon be a century old in its operations in Nigeria. Thus, while calling for the speedy and if necessary, compulsory adoption of the concept by insurance firms as a way of boosting insurance penetration amongst the populace, and connecting the industry with the grassroot, other experts harped on the need for the initiative to be adopted and implemented with some regulations by government, in order to provide a common template for operators that seek to explore such platform. Insurance practitioner, Mr. Charles Ibelegbu, told National Mirror upon enquiries, that the ball is now in the court of sector’s regulators, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), to initiate and effect necessary regulations that will guide the proper use and place of creating and selling insurance products to Nigerians in local dialects. He said it was important for NAICOM to effect such move, because it was possible, due to the varying and multifaceted socio political and economic interests in the country, and due to the deep and near cut throat competition in the industry, for operators to manipulate or try to manipulate languages in order to have a head start, or enjoy some form of language based advantages over competitors. According to him, the development, if not properly streamlined and controlled, could also see the polarisation of the sector along cultural and language lines, as operators might seek to consolidate on their strength, based on their acceptance in parts of the country. He, however, commended the management of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, which said it has adopted a nationwide radio campaign already in local dialects to sell some of its personal line products. It is to be recalled that STI Plc had said in a statement about two weeks ago that the campaign to start selling in local languages will leverage on jingles in the major languages and including in Pidgin English in some selected radio stations across the major commercial states and cities. Assistant General Manager/Head, Direct Marketing of STI Plc, Mr. Lanre Ojuola had told journalists that the move to embark on the radio vernacular campaign became necessary to erase the impression that insurance is only meant for the rich.
WE HAVE CAREFULLY STUDIED THE MARKET AND CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT A GREATER PERCENTAGE OF OUR PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS RESIDE IN THE GRASSROOTS AREAS AND COULD BE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY OF KNOWING WHAT BENEFITS THEY COULD DERIVE FROM HAVING AN INSURANCE COVER, HENCE, THE NEED
TO TAKE THIS INFORMATION TO THEM VIA THE LOCAL LANGUAGES ON RADIO STATIONS “We have carefully studied the market and came to the conclusion that a greater percentage of our prospective customers reside in the grassroots areas and could be denied the opportunity of knowing what benefits they could derive from having an insurance cover, hence, the need to take this information to them via the local languages on radio stations,” he explained. In the same vein, STI, spokesperson, Mr. Segun Bankole, agreed on the need to drive the sector through with the move noting that the adaptation of the media campaign in vernacular is to further en-
trench the brand’s recall rate amongst the identified social class with a view to developing strong business opportunities in those climes. On his part, United Kingdom Risk Manager of the year 2009, Mr. Joachim Adenusi, explained that the idea behind the initiative was to ensure that the generality of the target audience are well covered and can easily connect with the product, while also giving them opportunity to make informed decision in taking any of the policies applicable to them. According to him, it is the expectation of insurance stakeholders in Nigeria, that the campaign which is also targeted at teachers, traders, mechanics, carpenters, fashion designers, hair dressers, casual labourers and others in the non-formal sector of the economy will expand penetration of the sector in Nigeria. He explained that fears being expressed in certain quarters about the long term sustainability and public acceptance of the initiative were not justified, as the sector is only following in the footsteps of its banking sector counterparts, which have been creating and selling banking products and services for many years. Adenusi added even companies in the Fast Moving Consumers Goods (FMCG) sector have had reasons, and justifiably so, to create and markets products in local dialects, adding if controversy did not arise amongst competitors in that sector, that it was unlikely to happen in the insurance industry, saying also that the sector has developed enough in Nigeria to know when an initiative should be adopted and supported. “As an unbiased stakeholder, it is my earnest belief that insurance business move assumed its pride of place. This attempt to penetrate the market using the leverage of our local dialects is surely a welcome one”, he added.
Insurers’ balance sheets getting better, says CIIN boss
he President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Dr. Wole Adetimehin, said the new regime of ‘no premium, no cover’ is improving the balance sheet of insurance companies. He said also that operators have started developing a better balance sheet that will support good retur ns on investors’ funds and that in
the foreseeable future that the nominal value of shares in the capital market will experience a tur naround. Adetimehin described the no premium, no cover policy as laudable and should be given all the support it deserved, explaining that in the short run, it had affected business generation, but
later, all stakeholders would be better and happier because any business underwritten is good premium ear ned. The CIIN boss also stressed the need to impress it on the gover nment to build structures that could boost activities, which would, in tur n, develop the insurance sector.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Many insurance marketers are not well trained, says expert STORIES:MESHACK IDEHEN
n Insurance expert, Mr. Yemi Soladoye, has emphasised on improvement in customer services in the country, saying that many of the insurance marketers are not well trained to properly do the job. According to him, one of the objectives of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) is for the insurance industry to open channels to non-traditional areas in order to market micro insurance products through other means such as cooperative societies and big shopping plazas. Speaking with journalist recently, he said operators have restricted themselves to the traditional distribution channels; adding that this method makes the usage low in the market. Soladoye, who is a consultant
to the National Insurance Commission, said also that insurance firms need to improve on their distribution channels in order for product sales and penetration to be achieved. According to him, the traditional means of using only the broking channel to push insurance penetration and sales was insufficient to drive
insurance to the grass roots and achieve desired objectives. He explained that the purpose of Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) is that insurance companies develop products that are relevant and problem-solving for Nigerians, thereby expanding the market and the sector. The insurance expert also observed that the mortgage sector had yet to recognise the importance of insurance in its activities, saying also that mortgage cannot develop without a well developed insurance market because it is only in insurance that you can get funds of long term gestation. He maintained that through bankassurance, which is a collaboration between the insurance and banking sectors that a lot could be done to bring insurance closer to the grass roots.
PRA: PenCom sanctions firms over non-compliance
he National Pension Commission said it has sanctioned more than 1000 organisations for failing to open Retirement Savings Account for employees and comply with the Pension Reform Act, 2004. According to PenCom in its latest financial report, the commission issued caution letters to 487 organisations for failure to comply with the provisions of the PRA. In addition, monetary penalties were imposed on 618 organisations during the period under review, adding that it had been following up to ensure that the organisations complied with the Act. On its part, the Pension Operators Association of Nigeria also said recovery agents were appointed by PenCom to go after companies and organisations registered under the Contributory Pension Scheme, but which
had failed to remit employees’ contributions to their various Pension Fund Administrators. “The recovery agents have visited over 5,584 firms out of 15,750 firms identified as non-compliant with the law, and the amounts so far recovered are from 105 of these firms,” said the Penop Chairman, Mr. Dave Uduanu. He said PenCom had recently released an exposure draft of the framework for the participation of persons operating in the informal sector in the CPS, saying the draft was exposed to operators for comments and was currently being finalised. He added several additional incentives were being proposed to make the scheme more beneficial to persons working in the informal sector, who account for over 60 per cent of the working population in Nigeria. The chairman said that the frame-
work once released, would ensure the participation of persons working in the informal sector and effectively increase the coverage of the CPS. According to him, PenCom has previously exposed the proposed multi-fund structure to operators for comments and review as far back as March last year. The decision to introduce the multi-fund structure, he noted, was to allow enough time for public education and sensitisation by the commission and also to allow operators enough time to be ready to implement the structure. Uduanu said, “The multifund will be primarily differentiated by its overall exposure to variable income instruments and a contributor’s choice of funds may be limited based on the age of the contributor.
Royal Exchange to open South-East regional office
oyal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited is set to inaugurate a regional office in Enugu, which will serve the needs of the South-East geo-political zone. A statement by the Managing Director, REGIC, Mr. Richard Borokini, described Enugu as a functional location from which its customers in the South-East could access premium insurance products and experience excellent customer service. He said the firm has noted the centrality of Enugu and its importance in the historical and socio-economic development of the region,
and it is our firm belief that Royal Exchange can leverage on this to take insurance deeper to more of the critical mass of the people. According to him, the firm’s new focus on retail insurance means that more job opportunities will open up through its agency programme, thereby complementing the government’s efforts to meaningfully engage the youth in the country. “Royal Exchange has taken note of the low insurance penetration in Nigeria and is embarking on a deliberate policy of developing and deploying an extensive branch network replete with
the requisite skilled manpower throughout Nigeria to be able to reach out to the masses and elicit their interest in insurance,” Borokini said. He added that ined a low key presence in Enugu and Aba, but going forward, the company intended to reinforce its unique attributes of enviable claims profile, robust technological backbone and pleasant customer experiences through an audacious branch expansion programme covering the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tips to finding the right commercial auto insurance
or small business owners who require employees to drive for them, be it deliveries via company vehicles, visiting clients to discuss business, or attend trade shows and conferences where some driving is necessary, having the right auto insurance should be a top priority. That being said, some business owners are sometimes found asleep at the wheel when it comes to making sure that any and all employees are properly insured the minute they leave their office. When looking for a commercial auto insurance plan for your business, consider the following tips: Your real coverage needs-It is not uncommon for small businesses to have employees making deliveries, pick up supplies, and meet with clients and more. Employers may assume that their business owner’s policy and/or personal auto coverage covers business vehicles, however it does not. With a commercial auto insurance plan, business owners will have protection for autos, trucks and vans that are used by them and/or their workers towards business functions. Many providers will offer normal auto liability, the option for comprehensive and collision coverage, along with uninsured motorist protection. Finally, check to see if rental coverage is available in the event say a delivery vehicle is temporarily put out of service; Vary your quotes-Just like you would obtain a number of quotes for any sizeable purchases for your small business, make sure you do the same for commercial auto coverage. Along with using any referrals, review each insurance website you con-
tact and compile information from them in any notable online insurance forums, along with running them past the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look for how long they have been in business (including the experience of the specific agent that you deal with), the company’s relationship with customers, any financial stability issues, and pricing options (see more below), including looking for any ‘hidden’ fees; What will I pay-One of the most important factors will obviously be the price involved for coverage. Among the things you want to look at include whether or not you will pay monthly, every quarter, every six months or once a year. Also define if the company offers flexible payment options, online billing and payments, along with automatic deductions from your company’s bank. Customer service-Just as you try and provide your customers with top-rate service, you expect and need the same from a commercial auto insurer. In the event you or one of your employees is an accident with a company vehicle, you need immediate claims service, not one that will take many days or even weeks. Again, this is where getting referrals, along with some homework on your part will be important. You need a provider that makes you its first priority, not the other way around. With the right commercial auto insurance policy for your small business, you can drive forward knowing both you and your company are protected each time you hit the roads. Source: tweakyourbiz.com/ management
Buying life insurance
uying life insurance for the first time can be overwhelming. You’ll run into a lot of terms that you may not understand at first. These tips are designed to help you create an organized approach toward investigating life insurance so that you can find the policy you need without the hassle. Know why you need life insurance-Life insurance is a serious investment that shouldn’t be made on the spur of the moment. Don’t buy a policy just because someone says you should. Many people hear ads about life insurance so many times that they begin to feel an instinctive concern about needing life insurance. Understand the type of policy you need-There are two basic types of life insurance policies: life and whole life. Term life insurance policies last for a speci-
fied period of time. Term life is less expensive than whole life because it usually expires before the benefits are used.Whole life insurance lasts from the day you the policy until the day you die, no matter. Know when to choose termIf you are in a situation your dependents will not rely on you financially forever, your best bet is probably a term life policy. For example, many parents choose term life policies that are in effect until their children move out and become financially independent. Know how much to buy-Understanding the potential needs of your beneficiaries can also help you decide how much insurance you should have. Don’t follow any “rule of thumb” guidelines you may read. Your needs are specific to you. Your decision will depend on the math. Source: Insure.net
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Nigeria leads Africa’s syndicated loans with over $10bn –Reuters
igeria’s borrowers have led the way in Africa’s syndicated loan market so far this year, with more than $10bn of deals signed or in the market. Reuters reported yesterday that the appetite has been driven by a growth in confidence among international lenders as the continent’s second-largest economy makes inroads into resolving transparency and credit risk concerns. MTN Nigeria became the latest borrower last week when it agreed a $3bn loan to expand its network through Guaranty Trust Bank and other lenders Citigroup, Standard Chartered, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Development Bank and China Construction
Bank. Meanwhile, Dangote Group, West Africa’s largest conglomerate, is in talks to raise a debut $3.5bn loan to fund fertiliser and oil refinery projects with lead banks Barclays, Guaranty Trust Bank, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered. Combined, the two jumbo loans almost match the $7.96bn Nigerian borrowers raised throughout 2012, which is the country’s highest-ever annual loan volume. “The feeling is that Nigeria will have outstripped South Africa as the top market by 2015 from a loan market perspective. You have already seen that this year – you can’t ignore Nigeria,” one London-based banker said. Also this year, Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation agreed a $1.5bn corporate deal in January, Indorama Eleme took a $800m project finance loan in mid-February to fund a $1.2bn green field fertiliser project, and oil and exploration company Neconde Energy marked its debut in the market with a $470m corporate deal in early April. Nigerian banks have traditionally been rare borrowers in the loan market, but Skye Bank became the first since 2008 when it agreed a $150m debut in May last year, while Fidelity Bank recently agreed an oversubscribed $100m debut deal through co-ordinators Citigroup and HSBC. The deal’s success is expected to buoy appetite
from fellow bank borrowers, with First City Monument Bank expected to return after a four-year hiatus and Skye Bank already eyeing the market for a speedy return. “Nigerian banks have been through their reshuffle and I think there is a bit more trust and transparency from the banks than there previously was,” a second Londonbased banker said. Increasing transparency and the rapid growth of strong parent companies — South Africa’s MTN Group for MTN Nigeria’s multi-billion deal, for example — means more international banks are opening up their books to cash in on what is considered a huge potential market.
Skye Bank grosses N34.7bn in Q1 on risk management JOHNSON OKANLAWON
kye Bank has declared a gross earnings of N34.7bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, an increase of 25 per cent when compared to N27.8bn recorded in the same period of 2011. Interim report and accounts for the first quarter showed that the bank recorded double-digit growth year on year in income and profit, with revenue growth largely driven by an impressive increase in its core banking op-
erations. Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, said the first quarter results placed the bank in a good stead to sustaining its impressive yearon-year performance. He said, “We are glad to announce our first quarter 2013 results with measured growth in key performance indices. Our improved risk management processes and various efficiency practices are a signpost towards an optimistic financial year. “Interest income grew by 18 per cent year on year from
N23.0bn to N27.2bn and a reduction of 78 per cent year on year in impairments.” Further analysis of the result showed 56 per cent growth in the bank’s noninterest income lines, while a moderate increase in operating expenses resulted in a profit before tax growth of 13 per cent year on year from N4.1bn to N4.6bn. The balance sheet size remained relatively flat but robust at N1.1trn at the end of the quarter with a six per cent year to date gross loan growth of N601.9bn. According to the result, the bank’s core deposit vol-
umes grew by two per cent year to date and four per cent with the inclusion of other deposit liabilities bringing the total deposit liabilities to N821.9bn. Durosinmi-Etti said, “We remain confident that despite intense competition, we are on track to deliver on our set targets for the year”. He added that the report raises expectations that the bank would, in the current financial year ending December 31, 2013, significantly surpass its performance in the previous year, when the bank had recorded the highest industry growth in net profit.
ASI drops 0.39% on profit taking DAMILOLA AJAYI
he benchmark index of equities continued on bearish note on Nigerian Stock exchange yesterday, as more investors took profit from the gain recorded last week. The All Share index dropped by 0.39 per cent to close at 33,030.83 points, compared to the decrease of 0.34 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 33,159.08 points Market capitalisation depreciated by N4bn to close at N10.56trn, higher than
the depreciation of N3bn recorded the preceding day to close at N10. 60trn. The Banking index led the sectorial indices by 0.30 per cent to close at 389.27 points, followed by the Insurance index with 0.22 per cent to close at 142.18 points. The Consumer Goods index increased by 0.04 per cent to close at 957.37 points, while the Industrial Goods index shed 3.19 per cent to close 177.66 points. The Oil and Gas index dipped by 3.04 per cent to close at 179.56 points, while the Lotus Islamic index fell by 1.67 per cent to close at
2,205.17 points. The NSE 30 - index dropped by 0.36 per cent to close at 1577.85 points. Wapic Insurance Plc led the gainers’ table with nine kobo or 9.68 per cent to close at N1.02 per share, followed by Ikeja Hotel Plc with seven kobo or 9.09 per cent to close at 84 kobo per share. Royal Exchange Plc appreciated by five kobo or 8.77 per cent to close at 62 kobo per share, while UBA CapItal Plc gained eight kobo or 7.21 per cent to close at N1.19 per share. Honey Flour Plc increased 15 kobo or 5.34 per cent to
Market indicators All-Share Index 33,030.83 points Market capitalisation 10.56 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 9.68
Primary Market Auction close at N2.96 per share. On the flip side, Cutix Plc lost 16 kobo or 9.88 per cent to close at N1.46 per share, while Total plc shed N15.00 or 9.55 per cent to close at N142.00 per share. John Holt Plc declined by 14 kobo or 9.09 per cent to close at N1.40 per share while Air service Plc fell by 29 kobo or 8.81 per cent to close at N3.00 per share. First City Monumental Bank Plc dropped by 40 kobo or 8.51 per cent to close at N4.30 per share. A total of 197.1 million shares valued at N2.76bn were exchanged in 4,818 deals
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at April 29, 2013 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Festival of attacks for Jonathan, Buhari, Tinubu et al CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 frustrated political power mongers,” Okupe said that the promoters of the merger party were only desperate to upstage the Jonathan administration, “forgetting that one million giant ants can never muster the required strength to lift a concrete pole much less of a nationally entrenched pillar and structurally established institution like the PDP.” Picking on Tinubu, Okupe said: “The leader of the opposition, Tinubu, who spoke disparagingly about the Federal Government on a number of issues was once a governor of Nigeria’s richest state for eight years and we all have the record of what he made of that position. “Tinubu who spoke about meagre wages for public servants in Nigeria was known to have ignored calls of Lagos civil servants for a N7,500 monthly wage and when he eventually buckled to the pressure of labour leaders, he wickedly sacked the arrowhead of the struggle, Ayodele Akele, who was never re-instated. “Yet Tinubu spoke of the present government as ‘heartless and mean that put the interest of small elite above the interest of the common working man and woman who are the backbone of this nation.” Taking the leading opposition party, the ACN, to the cleaners, Okupe described it as lacking internal democracy and was “notorious for outsourcing” its presidential candidates from the PDP, which it gleefully vilify. His words: “It is noteworthy that the major plank of this motley assembly, the ACN, is notorious for outsourcing its presidential candidate from the ranks of the same PDP it gleefully vilify. “In 2003, their choice was (former) VicePresident Atiku Abubakar, who now knows them better. In 2011, it was a protégé of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nuhu Ribadu, who filled the slot although he was later betrayed and sacrificed on the altar of self interest. “Presently, the debates within the factionalised alliance suggest that they will not mind fielding another PDP stalwart as their presidential candidate.” The ANPP was also not spared of Okupe’s venom when he said that it “had existed for 13 years without any meaningful impact on the polity.” Okupe berated Akande, saying that he lacks the credential to talk about promotion of workers’ interest or democratic etiquette because it was on record that while he served as governors of Osun State, he laid off over 9,000 workers. Reacting to Okupe, the ACN’s spokesman, Lai Mohammed, said: “Lagos State government under Tinubu was the first state to increase workers’ salaries without them asking him. Osun State witnessed unrivalled infrastructural development during the tenure of Akande, these records are there for all to see.” But Akande said that he would not dignify Okupe with any response to his tirade, saying: “Okupe doesn’t need to be dignified with a response. He is an attack dog. He has enough problems of his own.” The CPC, in its reaction through its spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, said: “A hunter’s dog that is about to get lost forever will never hear the whistle of the hunter. This administration is about to get lost irredeemably.” Tinubu also fired back, describing Okupe’s diatribe as “entertainment by the
Abuja theatre circus,” adding that “it had become obvious that there was a fear within the ruling PDP that the end had come for the party.” In a statement by his media aide, Sunday Dare, Tinubu said: “Nigerians once again are being entertained by the Abuja theatre circus. Figures and numbers that translate to nothing for the ordinary Nigerian are being bandied as achievements. Their penchant for dancing naked in the market place is now commonplace. “The small-minded media minstrels of Abuja are at it again. They call former Lagos governor, Tinubu and Buhari insignificant and are nothing to fear, yet they seem to spend so much of their time on them. Does the eagle fear the sparrow or does an elephant fear a blade of grass? Despite their huffing and puffing, they know they are not the eagle or the elephant. Deep in their hearts, they fear that the APC has the potential for change that they lack.” Saying that he and Buhari enjoyed the attention the Presidency has showered on them, Tinubu said that if the Jonathan administration had done its work well, there would have been no need for the opposition and millions of Nigerians to talk about its incompetence, adding: “Instead, they chase after the opposition leaders like street kids running after a moving car. “Their incompetencies need no contestation. It is writ large in the policy somersaults, mis-speak and economic and security malaise now prevalent. Nigerians are currently saddled with a government asleep at the switch, a government engaged only in dynamic inactivity, of motions and gyrations without moving Nigeria forward.” Dare added that in the attempt to belittle what Tinubu had done in Lagos, the Federal Government had shot itself in the foot, saying: “The Federal Government presides over failure after failure yet they spend time criticising the success that is Lagos. Tinubu and Fashola can walk anywhere in Lagos in peace and without an army to protect them. I wonder if they can make that claim about their leaders and the whole of Nigeria. No one needs a President on lock down in Aso Villa all the time completely isolated from the people he governs. A leader who locks down every city he visits in Nigeria for security reasons is not our idea of a successful citizen-friendly leader. There is no greater liability than such a Presidency.” Reacting to this sable-rattling going on in the country, the spokesman of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said that it was not healthy for the
country. In a chat with National Mirror, Odumakin said: “The ongoing altercations between the opposition and the Presidency are uncalled for. They are not about policies that make life meaningful to the ordinary Nigeria. It is all about self aggrandisement and personal ego. “Both sides should sheath the sword and lower the tension in the polity and engage in robust discussion that can move the country forward, rather than these personal attacks that are divisive.” Addressing a press conference in Lagos last Tuesday, the leader of Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, said what is going on is not what Nigeria needs at this point in her history. Rather, he said that Nigeria needs statesmen-politicians whose major concern should be the survival of the polity. His words: “The sabre-rattling going on among some major parties and political actors are not healthy for the democratic project, as most of the noise going on is not even about solving any of the major challenges confronting the country but power mongering. “Rather than creating an enabling environment for rational discourse and contestations of ideas for the electorate to be able to make informed choices, many of the political actors are making inflammatory remarks that inflame passion and deepen the divisions within our country to make political gains.” A chieftain of the PDP, who pleaded anonymity, in a chat with National Mirror, said that the Presidency ought not to respond to every diatribe from the opposition, if it really has focus and commitment to transforming Nigeria, because according to him, it seems the opposition are hell bent on derailing the Jonathan administration and the President has been inadvertently playing into their hands. His words: “It seems the Presidency is not occupied, despite the myriad of challenges
IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE PROPOSED MERGER REVOLVES AROUND TWO PERSONALITIES ONLY,
TINUBU AND BUHARI. UNFORTUNATELY, BOTH ARE HEAVILY BURDENED POLITICAL LIABILITIES
facing the nation, especially in the area of security. If it was, it won’t have the time to be responding to everything the opposition says. “The opposition seemed determine to derail the Jonathan administration and he seems to be playing into their hands by acting their script. He ought to have ignored them and concentrate on his transformation agenda to take Nigeria to the next level. What is going on is nothing but a grand plan to make him fail.” Also speaking on the development, Second Republic Presidential Adviser, Tanko Yakasai, said the criticism of government by the opposition should always be on the positive note in the interest of moving the nation forward. “It is a healthy development indicating that the opposition will now concentrate their attention on the activities and policies of the Presidency which would encourage the Presidency to be on the alert at all times. “If the opposition is dormant the government will tend to relax and the Nigerian people will be the one to suffer for it,” Yakasai told National Mirror. Also, former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Bashir Tofa, said the disagreement is healthy for good governance. Tofa said: “I believe that both Buhari and Tinubu are confronting the PDP and the Presidency to uplift the profile of the incoming APC. Yet, I will suggest they take it easy and pass the task to the publicity machineries of their parties. I do not want this to be portrayed as if it is a personal war between the two of them and the President. “Let us reserve some of our pungent attacks for the campaign days.” Political analysts opined that these altercations, which have even gone to the extent of the use of gutter language in some situations, are not what Nigerians want. To them, that rather than engage in such negative ventures, the Federal Government should concentrate on salvaging the Nigerian nation, by proffering solution to the avalanche of problems confronting the nation, especially in the areas of security and power and reducing corruption and poverty, while the opposition should concentrate on convincing Nigerian why it is the better alternative. To many of them, this is nothing short of dancing naked in the market place, on the parts of both the Federal government and the opposition, an adventure that is of no benefit to the hapless and suffering Nigerian masses, who daily continue to wallow in abject poverty due to no fault of theirs but bad leadership over the years. Is it really true the opposition game plan is to derail Jonathan from delivering on his campaign promises? Who will bell the cat? Will the Presidency and the ruling party leave the mundane and concentrate on transforming Nigeria through the Transformation Agenda or will they continue to leave the substance and chase shadows? Will the opposition rise to the occasion and present itself as a better alternative to the ruling party rather than make mountains out of molehills of government actions or inactions? Questions and questions yearning for answers, which no one seems to have. But Nigerians are watching! And the days ahead would determine which way to go as the 2015 elections steadily approaches.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
PIB: Why zonal hearings flopped THE
The start was zealous and enthusiastic, but the House of Representatives’ hearings last week on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may have failed primarily because of a dearth of ideas by the leadership of the PIB Committee, TORDUE SALEM reports.
here was no doubt from the beginning that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would generate a storm. But what was never expected was that the public hearings on the very important bill would be a failure. But the defying odds climbed higher last week and the public hearings that were held in six zones of the country on the piece of legislation that seeks a radical liberalisation of Nigeria’s slimy oil industry witnessed low turnouts in the North and South alike. The bill had earlier torn the Senate apart on geographical lines because of allegations by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang (PDP-Akwa Ibom), that the North dominated the oil industry and 83 per cent of the oil blocs were owned by Northerners. The House, although was ahead on the contentious piece of legislation, it had to sort some of its disagreements along regional lines. It intensified consultations and proceeded to ram the Bill through a second reading, after which a 23- member ad hoc committee led by the Whip, Mohammed Ishaka Bawa (PDP-Taraba) was inaugurated to organise public hearings and gather the opinion of Nigerians on the organic bill. Last week, the ad hoc committee went ahead and organised public hearings in all the six geopolitical zones. The hearings held simultaneously, but they however failed to convince stakeholders on while the Bill deserves positive attention, so the response from the public was unsatisfactory and the hearings ended dismally. For example in the South-East, where Enugu hosted, only two states: Anambra and Enugu made submission on their position on the bill to the committee. Curiously, both Abia and Imo, which are oil producing states stayed away from the exercise. Less than 10 memoranda were presented to the ad hoc committee at the Enugu centre. The story was almost same in all the geopolitical zones. Although, some blamed the poor turnout on low publicity given the exercise, others attributed it to the relationship with the National Assembly pertaining to the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution. The situation was so bad that no councillor or local government chairman or member of any of the state assemblies in any of the five South Eastern states attended the hearing. The recurring issue on the front burner was the case for Petroleum Host Communities Fund. On the proposal for a Host Communities’ Fund, a non governmental organisation, Centre for Democracy and Development, in its submission suggested that the proposed 10 per cent Petroleum Host Communities’ Funds should instead be situated in another bill that would cover all host communities of extractives around
NORTHERN LEGISLATORS MUST NOT TO BE BOUGHT OVER LIKE DURING THE CASE OF THE
OFFSHORE/ONSHORE DEBATE IN
the country. According to the group, “this would give a holistic perspective to the PIB within the general regulatory framework that exists in the extractive industries in Nigeria.” Of course, both Enugu and Anambra states welcomed the idea of Host Communities’ Fund. Two North Western governors, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano and Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna states, dismissed the entire content of the bill, saying it would worsen poverty in Kano and Kaduna. Kwankwaso, who appeared at the Kaduna centre, which hosted the North-West told members of the ad hoc committee that the people of Kano State were not impressed by the content of the bill. Yero on his part said the term “host communities” would inadvertently establish a fourth tier of government. According to him, “The decision is that we kick against the bill after due consultation with stakeholders and the ordinary citizens of Kano State. Northern legislators must not to be bought over like during the case of the offshore/onshore debate in 2002. The people of Kano State will not be deceived to endorse the Petroleum Industry Bill. The South South has a Federal Ministry; it has13 per cent derivation; it has an amnesty programme as well as Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, against other parts of the country.” On his part, Yero who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, Hajia Hauwa Dalhatu, said: “There is also in existence Ni-
ger Delta Development Commission and Ministry of Niger Delta, in addition to the autonomous amnesty programme. To create a host communities’ fund therefore, will not only be tantamount to creating a fourth tier of government, but also making provisions that will further alienate other parts of the country economically. The term host community as used in the bill is nebulous.”
Powers of the Minister There was however, a convergence point on the bill, regarding the issue of the powers of the minister. Stakeholders agreed that the powers vested in the Minister of Petroleum in the bill needed to be whittled down. In all the centres, they agreed that the powers of the minister and the discretional powers of the president as contained in the bill should be clarified. The bill empowers the minister to coordinate and supervise all activities in the petroleum industry including powers to grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke upstream and downstream petroleum licences and leases. In fact, the draft law stipulates that the Minister of Petroleum Resources only gets the approval of the president. The argument was that if these powers are not toned down, they can be susceptible to abuse.
Jobs and environment Stakeholders also agreed that the proposed law must be pro-people. A majority argued that there was need to address an impending loss of jobs as changes in the oil and gas industry would upset the sector and lead to job losses. They, therefore, proposed that the bill must ensure the protection of health, safety and the environment in the course of petroleum operations.
Highlights of the bill Even with the armada of dissent against aspects of the piece of legislation, some of the participants at the hearing, agreed that the PIB has the potential to improve transparency in the petroleum
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industry such as the application of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) principles, the removal of confidentiality on financial and other data, and a clear and open process for the award of petroleum rights. Of course, various reports have shown that the management of the oil industry has been opaque and lacks transparency, which has engendered graft and encouraged militancy in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country. Many then believe Petroleum Industry Law would change the fortunes of the oil and gas sector, which provides for more than 70 percent of the country’s annual earnings. It was also held that the passage of the bill would help to diversify the economy by helping the efficient utilisation of resources derived from petroleum in the provision of infrastructure that can support the growth of agriculture, technology, entertainment, education and health. Above all, passing the bill will promote the development of Nigeria. But the weak point in the drive towards achieving this desirable goal remains with the leadership of the PIB committee. Besides having a poor command of the complexities in the industry, the chairman of the PIB Committee, Bawa, has not shown sufficient skill in public relations. Many analysts believe that the failure of the hearings could be attributed to the committee’s failure to reach out sufficiently to stakeholders and explain sufficiently clause by clause how the ordinary Nigerian stands to benefit from a Petroleum Industry Law. Besides the lack of adequate information on the Bill, before the hearings which held in Enugu, Gombe, Ilorin, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Kaduna simultaneously between April 22 and 23, the committee was still groping around for funds. National Mirror gathered last week from a staff of the committee that the “the committee” was “so broke”, that they had “only one support staff.” Though the chairman of the committee at a briefing before hearings, debunked claims that it was broke and under pressure from oil firms to compromise the low publicity for the hearings and the general failure of the exercise. “Nobody is mounting pressure on me or the committee. So far I can authoritatively tell you that I am not under any pressure. Yes we have received some letters and memoranda from oil firms,” the committee had claimed. The committee also denied that Northern caucuses in both chambers were lobbying them to include or drop certain clauses in the Bill. Asked if his committee had received a position paper by Northern senators on the bill, Bawa said the panel was not concerned about the stand of the Northern senators or any other group on the bill. He promised that his panel will examine and debate every clause of the bill dispassionately, but with the stance of the governors of Kano and Kaduna and even other governors in the North, the decision not to reach out to the region by the committee, exposed a failure on their part. The Senate, which is behind the House on the piece of legislation may do well to learn from the failures of the House and do a tidier job on the Bill, to make sure the law, when finally made would be implementable.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Relief underway for tinted glass car users THE
PARLIAMENT Owners and users of vehicles with tinted glass who have been undergoing varying degrees of harassment and extortion by the police now have cause to heave a sigh of relief as the bill seeking to amend the motor vehicle (prohibition of tinted glasses) act passed second reading at the Senate last week, writes GEORGE OJI.
he occasion was apt for senators to relieve their unpleasant experiences in the hands of the police who have been all over the nooks and crannies of the country trying to enforce the tinted glass laws as recently directed by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar. From George Sekibo (Rivers West) to Bolowaji Kunlere (Ondo South) and Adegbenga Kaka (Ogun East), the stories and experiences ran along similar lines; harassment by the police. This was during the debate on the bill for an act to amend the motor vehicles (prohibition of tinted glass) act cap, M2L, laws of the federation of Nigeria 2011 and for other matters connected there with. The bill was sponsored by Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North-East). Sekibo, who was the first to relive his experience in the hands of the law enforcement officers told his colleague-senators during his contributions to the debate that “my driver drove out one day in Port Harcourt and he was held for about two hours, I called and they did not release him so I had to send some people to go and rescue him, my security personnel went and rescued him. He was harassed because he was driving a tinted vehicle. “I believe he was so treated because he was not carrying my Senate official number. I may not be in the Senate for ever and after now we will be facing the same harassment other Nigerians are facing. For me, the bill is trying to address a very fundamental issue.” Kunlere’s experiences were not too far from those of Sekibo’s when he narrated it thus: “Only last week I nearly became victim of this law because I have a car that I call airport shuttle. I was not in the car and there was no policeman in the car, they went to the airport to pick somebody on my behalf in Akure, the fellow was arrested. I had to call them to say I am sorry. I was directed to go to Abuja to register the car, I told them that they should give me some time. That was why they obliged me.” In the main, the bill by Enang was out to cure two major defects in both the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) act and the National Roads Traf-
IN THE LONG RUN, WE MUST FIND A WAY OF DOING AWAY WITH TINTED GLASSES BECAUSE IN ADDITION TO THE SECURITY IMPLICATIONS, SOMETIMES IT
DOES CAUSE ACCIDENT.
THIS IS BECAUSE IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING A VEHICLE THAT IS TINTED, IT MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO SEE BEYOND THAT VEHICLE
fic Regulations (2004) Law. Section 1(1) of the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act Cap, M2L, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2011, which was first promulgated in Nigeria as decree no 6 of 1991 states that: “Except with the permission of the appropriate authority designated for the purpose of this act and for such good cause as may be determined from time to time by the appropriate authority, no person shall cause any glass fitted on a motor vehicle to be (a) tinted or (b) shaded or (c) coloured lightly or thickly or (d) darkened or (e) treated in any other way so that the persons or objects in the motor vehicle are rendered obscure or invisible.” Also regulation 63(2) of the National Road Traffic Regulations (2004) provides that: “All glass fitted to a vehicle shall be clear and transparent to enable persons outside the vehicle to see whoever is inside the vehicle and all the glass shall in no way be tinted except as may be approved by the police for security reasons.” Then section 3 of the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act goes further to provide thus: “It shall be the duty of the buyer, owner or importer of a vehicle with tinted, shaded, coloured, darkened or treated glass to change all the glass within a period of 14 days from the date of arrival in Nigeria or date of purchase (whichever is applicable in each circumstance.” Enang’s argument was that, while the reason behind the laws are appreciated, it would appear from the laws as indicated in the original Act that there is no distinction between factory and manually fitted tints, thus making it rather far-
fetched, particularly when it is clear that the person who buys the car did not have a hand in fitting the car with the tint as different from a person who voluntarily fits the tinted glass. To cure the above defect, the lawmaker proposed in section 3(1) of his bill that, “any person who buys or imports a car with a factory tinted glass shall make such representation to the Inspector General of Police or a relevant police commissioner in any state of the federation, which may be concerned with the registration of such a factory fitted tint within 90 days of the importation of such a vehicle.” According to the lawmaker, extending the days, within which one is expected to get the permit from 14 days to 90 days will also make the process easier for the applicant. He further proposed that where such a person has been issued the required permit, such will not be held as breaking the law in so far as such an imported vehicle was not tinted locally. The lawmaker also proposed an amendment to the N2,000 fine, which is contained in the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act to N50,000. According to him, “This is because the fine of N2,000, which was sufficient then in 1991 is now too weak for the offence. It is also to prevent the offence from being another milking point for unscrupulous elements along the highways.” Heinekin Lokpobiri (Bayelsa West), former Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and also a lawyer, in his contributions tried to simplify Enang’s presentation when he stated that, “What the bill is trying to achieve is very clear and I do not think it will attract any
opposition. The bill is merely seeking to clear an ambiguity that already exists, based on the provisions of the extant law. “The extant law in clause one talks about prohibition of vehicles that were not tinted by the manufacturer but when they get into the country, any owner takes it to where they will be tinted and then uses them. The extant law does not contemplate factory tinted vehicles. The police in the exercise of the law had extended it to include all cars, whether factory tinted or not. “Section three talks about anybody who wants a permit from the police to use tinted glass should apply within 14 days. What this bill is talking about essentially is extending the 14 day period to 90 days. I believe that it is not ambiguous, it is not something that is contentious. It is a bill that we should all support so that we can cure the ambiguity in the extant law.” Kunlere among other contributions appealed for the reduction of the fine as proposed in the new bill. “I will like to appeal that the proposed N50,000 fine will serve as another opportunity for extortion and exploitation. I hope that when the bill goes to the committee they should look at it again and reduce it.” It was Kaka who proceeded to suggest that the fine be reduced to N10, 000. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the day’s plenary, while not opposing the bill, listed a number of dangers tinted vehicles pose to the drivers. He urged that once the security challenges, which justifies the use of tinted glasses are addressed, the country should quickly do away with the tinted glasses. According to him, “the bill is actually seeking to feel a gap because it appears to me that both the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Act and the National Road Traffic Regulations do not cover tinted glasses that are factory tinted. I believe that this issue of tinting of motor glasses should be within the period we now find ourselves now, that is within this period of security challenges. “In the long run, we must find a way of doing away with tinted glasses because in addition to the security implications, sometimes it does cause accident. This is because if you are following a vehicle that is tinted, it makes it difficult for you to see beyond that vehicle. If you are driving you must know that you need to be seeing clearly in order to have fair judgement in terms of when others are applying brake in order to enable you do the same. But when the vehicle in your front is tinted, you find it difficult to see beyond that vehicle and to be able to determine when to apply your own brake and often this causes accidents. “As soon as we are able to come out of this our security challenges, we must find a way of doing away with tinted glasses. I believe the tinted glasses must be regulated and in regulating it must include those that are factory tinted.” The committees on police, judiciary, human rights and legal matters, which were asked to conduct public hearing on the bill were given 14 days within which to report back to the Senate.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Rivers crisis: PDP suspends 27 legislators Gives Amaechi 48-hour ultimatum to explain ownership of aircraft
AMAECHI OKONKWO PORT HARCOURT
he internal crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems far from over as the court-imposed state chairman of the party, Felix Obuah, and his state executive council yesterday announced the suspension of 27 members of the state House of Assembly. The state executive council also gave the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, a 48-hour ultimatum to disclose the ownership of the Bombardier B.D 700 aircraft, alleged to belong to the state, which was grounded over the weekend
by the Nigerian Civil Aviation authority (NCAA). At a briefing in Port Harcourt yesterday, Obuah said the 27 members of the 32-member Assembly were suspended for ignoring the 48-hour ultimatum given to them to rescind their suspension of the chairman, vice chairman and 17 councillors of Obio/Akpor Local Government last week. Obuah stated that the decisions were taken after an emergency meeting of the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party, where the main agenda were the issues of the grounding of the Rivers State government aircraft and the dissolution of Obio/Akpor Local Government. He also
declared their seats vacant in line with the appropriate electoral laws. The affected legislators included the Speaker of the House, Otelemaba Dan Amachree and all principal officers of the House, who Obuah accused of flagrantly disobeying the party’s order to rescind their suspension of the Obio/Akpor council chairman and his councillors. Obuah said: “The party hereby suspends all the 27 members of the House of Assembly that carried out
such action while their matter is referred to the Disciplinary Committee for further action.” On the grounding of the state owned aircraft, the party said Amaechi owes an explanation to the “entire people of Rivers State and the PDP in particular as to the true owners of the Bombardier BD 700. He should also explain the role the Bank of Utah of the USA in the purchase of the aircraft and the identity of the owners of the company to be unveiled.”
It also demanded explanation from the governor “concerning the whereabouts of the billions of naira expended on the aircraft or face disciplinary action from the party in the state.” He said that from records made available to the party and the statement credited to the acting director of the NCAA, Joyce Nkemakolam, the aircraft purportedly bought by the state “was false as its registration showed that it is owned by the Bank of Utah Trustee of Salt Lake City, in the United States of
America.” Obuah added “that the aircraft is operated illegally as the clearance approval expired on Tuesday, April 2 and had since been operating in total disregard of the rules of the civil aviation authorities”. “The PDP government led by President Goodluck Jonathan has zero tolerance for corruption therefore, as a unit of the government, we will not condone or align with anybody or group of persons who fraudulently and corruptly enrich themselves or divert, misappropriate public funds for personal use under any guise,” Obuah warned.
2015: Uyo unites to battle Eket for gov ticket TONY ANICHEBE UYO
head of the 2015 battle for the successor of Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom State, the people of Uyo Senatorial District met yesterday to strategise, close ranks and present a formidable front to displace the Eket senatorial district in the race for the Government House. The governorship seat is being hotly contested by the Eket senatorial district which claimed that in the spirit of fairness and equity, it should be given the slot in 2015. Speaking at the meeting, the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Uyo senatorial district, Dominic Okon, said that the party has taken steps to bring back its members who were aggrieved during the 2011 elections. He said that over 98 per cent of those who left the party for the opposition have returned and this accounted for the success of the 2012 local election government in which the party won in all the local governments of the state. Okon opined that with the strength of the PDP in Uyo senatorial district, the zone will produce a competent successor to Governor Akpabio. The leader of the Elders’ Forum of the PDP in the district, Otuekong Sunny
Udo, who spoke on behalf of Etinan federal constituency, said that the zoning being clamoured for by the Eket senatorial district is not feasible. Udo said: “It is not going to be possible. It was not possible before, it will not be possible tomorrow. Anyone who wants to aspire to the seat of governor of Akwa Ibom State, no matter where he comes from should be allowed to do so.” He assured the people that with their support Uyo senatorial district will certainly produce the next governor. Anietie Okon, the senator representing Uyo distric in the Senate, advised the people not to engage in any war of words with the people of Eket senatorial district, noting that everything is in favour of Uyo senatorial district to produce the next governor. Former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Otuekong Idungesit Nkanga, however said that what should be paramount is someone who would sustain the giant strides of Akpabio. He said: “The heat that has been put on zoning is unnecessary. PDP was not established for zoning, PDP was set up to deliver good governance, let us zone to the most qualified candidate that will add to the many projects Uyo senatorial district has already benefited from Governor Akpabio.”
Prince Adedayo Adeyeye (right) acknowledging cheers from the crowd of supporters that thronged the PDP secretariat in Ado-Ekiti for his declaration of intention to contest the Ekiti State governorship election in Ado-Ekiti yesterday.
ACN condemns grounding of Amaechi’s plane, says it is political FELIX NWANERI
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the grounding of the Rivers State government’s private aircraft by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as a glaring case of political witchhunt, despite the tepid denial of all concerned. The party, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said the action also amounts to gross abuse of national institutions, and a pointer to what
lies ahead for all perceived enemies of the Goodluck Jonathan administration. According to the ACN, the worst part of the issue is the fact that a body like the NCAA, which is supposed to carry out its all-important duties without political interference, but in accordance with stipulated global standards, has now become a tool in the hands of vindictive politicians. It added that the inconsistent reasons given for grounding the plane have exposed the shenanigans of those who feel they could easily pool the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.
The party said: “First, the plane was ostensibly grounded in Akure because the pilot did not declare the flight’s manifest to the appropriate authorities. Then it was said that the plane’s clearance certificate has expired, hence it was banned from flying in the Nigerian airspace. How low can a government sink just to get at a perceived enemy? “The questions that arise, therefore, are: Has the clearance certificate for the plane really expired? When did it expire? Was this communicated to the Rivers State government before the plane was
Governance in Ekiti no longer for touts –Awe SINA FADARE
he Ekiti State chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Olajide Awe, has said that governance in the state is no longer for touts, as the era of politics of gangsterism was gone. Awe, who disclosed this in a chat with National
Mirror in Lagos, noted that “the era of recklessness and disrespect to the rule of law has gone forever in the state,” adding that the people are now wiser and will never pray for that era to come back. He said: “Governance is a serious business not for the area boys (street urchins); we are talking on how to improve the lives of the people, not
gambling with their lives. Yes, Ayo Fayose as an individual has the right to say that he wants to come back to politics, but the onus lies with the people to say yes or no to his ambition. It is left for the people to decide who will rule them.” Lamenting that the entrance of Fayose into the 2014 gubernatorial race has heat up the polity,
grounded? If so, when, and if not, why not? In any case, would the NCAA have acted with so much alacrity if the plane had belonged to a state whose governor has no political differences with President Jonathan? “While the NCAA must be free to carry out its regulatory duties without hindrance, it must be careful not to be seen to be acting on the orders of politicians. If this is the new modus operandi of the NCAA, then the nation is in trouble, and must be ready to see the reversal of the positive strides recorded in the aviation sector in the past few years.”
Awe added: “That is the fallout of his return to the politics of Ekitii State. We have been saying this, he has records of violence. We have no record of such in the state before Fayose came in, if it is happening again today, you can see that it is a repeated history.” He reassured of ACN’s commitment to the development of the state.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Community Mirror Nigerians urged to appreciate security agents
“Nigeria is very close to being a failed state than being successful. ”
OSUN STATE GOVERNOR; RAUF AREGBESOLA
OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
64-year old senior Apostle, Abass Olatubosun, has been burnt to death in his car at Okitipupa, Ondo State. Olatubosun, a former town planner, was found dead in his car which purportedly crashed into a heap of sand by the roadside. It was learnt that Olatubosun’s car, a Mercedes Benz 230 car with Registration Number Ondo: AH 746 AKR crashed along
Cleric dies in car fire following crash
the Industrial Estate Road, off Old Aye Road and caught fire, even as the deceased was burnt to death. The incident has generated controversy among family members, who are insinuating he was killed and his car deliberately set on fire, even as some residents believed he committed suicide. Narrating the events of the period preceding the death, his widow, Catherine Olatubosun
said: “On Thursday morning, my husband left to warm his car on the Old Aye Road. There was no apprehension when he did not return on time because he sometimes visits his friend, Deacon Oyebokun. It was a great shock when the story of his death was brought to us.” She added: “In spite of his problems, he was a happy man, a caring husband and father to his children. He could not have com-
mitted suicide.” The widow said her late husband was found dead with his seat in flat position to make it appear as if he was killed before the car was set ablaze. A commercial motorcyclist who introduced himself as Omo Alade said, the heap of sand which was not more than half a meter high could not have caused an accident resulting in a fire outbreak. According to Alade, “even if
the car was on a high speed and veered off the road, it would only overrun the sand”. An eyewitness said he saw the deceased when he drove into a filling station to buy petrol. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Wale Ogodo confirmed the incident, saying the news, did not indicate any foul play, adding that the corpse has been released for burial on request of the family.
Ogun backs community sentencing FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
s a way of decongesting the prisons, the Ogun State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, has assured that community sentencing would now be part of justice administration in the state. The Attorney General gave the assurance in Abeokuta, the state capital at a meeting with the advocacy committee of the Justice Development and Peace Movement, JDPM, in the effort to facilitate justice delivery. At the meeting, Mrs. Akeredolu assured that her ministry would diligently study the draft bill on community sentencing so it does not conflict with the state version of the Criminal Procedure Act, CPA. She assured that the administration, through the legal department, would not hesitate to sponsor the bill to the State Assembly. “We are prepared to cooperate with you and it is good to see that you have a draft bill for review. That is very proactive and something I like to see in people and groups. I see that you have prepared a draft bill and be assured we will support you in every way”. “In the course of your speech, you’ll discover that I brought a copy of the constitution; that is because I wanted to know the extent of our powers in this regard. It is part of my love for pro activity and initiative but we must not exceed our powers’. “I will want to study the position of the law and see if we have the power to do what we are trying to do. If we don’t have the power to do what we are trying to do, we must begin to think of ways round it and maybe the bill would have to go to the National Assembly”.
The burnt remains of the estimated 1,500 shops at the El Kanemi Shopping Complex in Maiduguri after it was gutted by fire recently.
Police boss decries rivalry among security agencies FRANCIS SUBERU
he Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umaru Manko has called on security agencies to put a halt to unnecessary rivalry among them. Manko stated this at the 22nd meeting of the Military, Police and Paramilitary Public Relations Officers Forum, MILPOPROF, hosted by the command at Ikeja. Manko, represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Mr Tunde Shobulo, noted that such rivalry has made the security agencies lose respect before the public, particularly criminals, who cash in on the crises to carry out evil designs.
“There should be no rivalry among security agencies in Nigeria. We all have a common goal. We are to provide security at one place or the other for the people. The Nigeria Police Force is constitutionally empowered to provide general security within the country. Other security agencies are not doing different jobs. We are working for the same purpose. We must work together. Each agency must acknowledge the importance of others. Every duty is important in Nigeria. Agencies must therefore share information. Nothing prevents one agency from cross checking information with another in any matter as to get to the facts,’’ Manko said. The Commissioner urged the
public relations officers of the agencies to always protect the image of one another, stressing the need to exchange phone numbers with a view to having a better relationship. Manko, who commended the establishment and effort of MILPOPROF in bringing peace and oneness to all sister agencies, stressed the need for such forum at all levels. Earlier, the Coordinator, Mr. Chibueze Hosea-Igwe, noted that the forum started seven years ago at the police officer’s mess, noting that other agencies have hosted it. He commended the service chiefs for supporting the forum, stressing that only friendships between them would help in the fight against crimes in the country.
An Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Dera Nnamdi, noted that MILPOPROF has reduced inter-agency conflicts since inception in 2006. He noted that the forum was initiated by Hosea-Igwe, Col. Mike Umor and few others after clash between the army and police personnel at Ojuelegba, which resulted in the burning of Surulere police station in 2005. He called on members to be careful while responding to issue that can cause conflict between them, urging them to be committed to the survival of the forum. About 40 person from the military, police, customs, rode safety, civil defence, immigration and NDLEA participated in the forum.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Nigerians urged to appreciate security agents FRANCIS SUBERU
n the wake of rising security challenges in the country, a media practitioner and chairman of the Crown Media Limited, Chief Dr. Austin Izagbo has urged Nigerians to appreciate the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to maintain internal security. Dr. Austin gave the charge in Lagos at a press conference to unveil the forthcoming 2013 Nigerian Security Merit Award, NSMA, scheduled for Abuja. According to him, “Nigerians often blame our security agents for what they do wrong
but fail to praise them for what they do right. That is why we are unveiling the maiden edition of The Nigeria Security Merit Award 2013 in collaboration with Soundz and Meknitz Limited. The award is meant to appreciate individuals who have shown interest in the country’s security situation as well as create security consciousness in Nigerians. We are inviting everyone to be part of it, so people who are rarely appreciated for their efforts on the nation’s security are encouraged.” Speaking, the Managing Director of Crown Media, Emma Nwabuiku said like never before, security has occupied the
front burner in Nigeria owing to terrorism, kidnapping and militancy. He said: “Like other countries of the world, Nigeria has witnessed and still having series of security breaches and challenges ranging from militancy, homeland crime, political brigandage, robbery, kidnapping and all sorts of sponsored and organised crimes. Often, we are busy carrying out our duties, while some Nigerians, though trained to fight crime, provide security to the nation, either fighting or chasing criminals at the risk of their lives and that of their families, of which many have
The police barrack at Costain bus stop Lagos, begging for renovation.
died and disabled. Hence they should be appreciated.” The award which is scheduled for July 17, 2013 at International Conference Centre, Abuja has 10 main categories including: Most Outstanding Officer (junior and senior officers), Life Time Achievement, Most Peaceful State of the Year, Most Secured State, Most Outstanding Security Reporter of the Year, Most Outstanding Private Security Organization, Most Outstanding Government Security Agency of the Year (marine/land), Most Supportive Corporate Organization of the Year, Most Supportive Government/Governor of the Year and posthumous award.
PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO
Lawmaker lauds Songhai farm initiative JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
he Katsina State Songhai Farm Initiative has helped improve the agricultural sector in the state. The state House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Ya’u Umar Gwajo-Gwajo stated this when he led delegation of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, on a tour to the Songhai farm project site in Dutsinma Council Area. Gwajo-Gwajo said, the state has progressed since the introduction of the project as farmers are trained on how to use improved seeds and farming methods. The Speaker, who is also chairman of AFAN, said essence of the tour was to ac-
quaint farmers with the successes being recorded in the Songhai initiative, to enable them adopt same in their farms. He said the state Songhai farm was first of its kind in the northern part of the country and that same showed the foresight in developing the agricultural sector. The chairman, state Songhai farm initiative, Dr. Salisu Ingawa said the farm plans to rear 10, 000 broilers and another 10, 000 layers. Ingawa said, interested youths and farmers would be trained on how to carry out agricultural activities to enable them create jobs. He said the initiative was borrowed from Benin Republic where the system has been practiced for many years.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Musa Funtua said the government would continue to give priority to the sector to ensure
food security in the state. He said the state’s population is increasing and efforts are being made to produce more food to feed them.
Group donates asthma drugs to LASUTH
non-governmental organisation, Stacey Okparavero Art Exhibition for Life, supported by Nigerite Limited, has donated drugs worth millions of Naira to asthma patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). The materials which were bought out of the proceeds from the Art Exhibition tagged, “Art for life” in memory of Stacey’s only sister who died of asthma last year, were received by the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Ad-
ewale Oke. Speaking at the event, Prof Oke said the drugs donated will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of asthma patients because they are essential drugs needed for the treatment of the patients. “You can never imagine how much you are going to touch people’s lives with these drugs because these are the drugs that determine life in an asthma patient. You have really done us a great favour at LASUTH. On behalf of the management and patients we say thank you.”
FG to audit teaching hospitals MARCUS FATUNMOLE AND JOEL AJAYI
nternally-generated funds of government hospitals will henceforth be audited, the Federal Government has said. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu hinted of his readiness to begin the process of probing accounts of governmentowned hospitals in Nigeria. According to him, the exercise will start with the nation’s oldest teaching hospitals namely University College Hospital, Ibadan, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, University of Benin Teaching Hospital,Benin, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ife and Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.” The Minister said this at the inauguration of the governing boards of federal tertiary hospitals, and agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja. He charged members of the newly reconstituted boards to ensure that the management of the institutions account for the internally generated revenues, adding that the ministry would conduct special audit of the six oldest teaching hospitals. “The task is not light when considered against the backdrop of work required for the comprehensive transformation of the health institutions. Let me start by urging you not to betray Mr. President’s confidence and trust. Your role as chairmen or board member should be clear from the onset. This is adequately defined by laws, rules, regulations, policies and guidelines,” the minister stressed. While charging members not to be involved in the day to day management of the establishments as according to him, management function resides with the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of the hospitals. He explained the main function of the board “is to provide oversight on the management to ensure the implementation of government policies, the effective and efficient utilization of resources, the observance of extant laws and regulations and to ensure accountability for funds and performance. You should ensure that available resources are devoted for the good of the patient and the institution. “It is important to look at the issue of incompetence and negligence being leveled against care providers: medical doctors and non doctors. While not condoning such, please ensure that sanctions are meted out according to laid down procedures. The key words in this regard are firmness, fairness, equity and justice,” the Minister stated.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Syrian prime Minister escapes assassination attempt
Video shows Mandela in ailing shape PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
outh African President Jacob Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits” yesterday but a video of his encounter with the ailing anti-apartheid icon belies those cheery words, showing him with a vacant look on his face. It’s been more than three weeks since Mandela was released after a 10-day stay in the hospital, the third time in five months that he was hospitalized for a recurring lung infection. “We saw him, he’s looking very good, he’s in good shape,” Zuma told the South African Broadcasting Corp. on the doorstep of Mandela’s Johannesburg home. “We had some conversation with him, shook hands, he smiled, as you can see him, that he’s really up and about and stabilized. We’re really very happy, we think that he’s fine.” But the SABC video shows Mandela in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow, his
legs on a footrest and covered by a blanket, looking grey-skinned and unsmiling with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask. Zuma jokes and laughs with two officials of the governing African National Congress, some Mandela family members and the former president’s medical team while Mandela stares straight ahead, unresponsive. Zuma tries to hold Mandela’s hand but, given his lack of response, ends up covering it with his own. “Smile, smile,” Mandela is urged as one of his grandsons grabs a cell phone to take a picture. Mandela attempts a weak smile but, as the flash goes off, he closes his eyes and purses his lips. Mandela is known to dislike camera flashes, as his eyes are sensitive after years of working in the glare of a limestone quarry when he was imprisoned on Robben Island. Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, except for an “Oh,” that could have been a gasp
“We saw him (Mandela), he’s looking very good, he’s in good shape” - South African President, Jacob Zuma WORLD BULLETIN
Cameroun’s ruling party sweeps senate elections Cameroun’s ruling party won 56 of the 70 seats contested in the country’s first senate elections held on April 14, according to results issued yesterday by the Supreme Court. President Paul Biya will appoint another 30 senators himself, ensuring his Cameroun People’s Democratic Movement has tight control over the new 100-seat legislative body. The creation of the senate is intended in part to clarify succession in the African oil producer nation, whose long-serving President Biya is now 80 years old. The constitution says the head of the Senate would assume the interim in case of a mid-term presidential vacancy. It is unclear when a head of the senate will be appointed.
Commissioner defends ECOWAS’ role in Mali Mandela
for breath and one word to his medical doctor. Monday’s video likely will cause more concern for the many South Africans who revere Mandela as the founder of a free South Africa and who were buoyed by the aging icon’s release from hospital and family statements that he is doing as well as can be expected, for a 94-year-old. Mandela’s 95th birthday is in July. Zuma is expected to run for reelection next year and Mandela’s
name is the biggest drawing card of his ruling African National Congress party. Mandela’s forgiving spirit and belief in racial reconciliation helped hold South Africa together when it came to the brink of civil war before elections in 1994. The Nobel Peace laureate who was imprisoned for 27 years by the racist white regime became the first democratically elected president of South Africa that year.
Ghanaians abolish killing of children with deformities
ocal leaders in northern Ghana have announced the abolition of the ritual killing of babies born with physical disabilities, who were believed to have been possessed by evil spirits. “Spirit children” were thought to have been a sign of impending misfortune and given a poisonous drink to kill them. One campaigner told the BBC that improved healthcare and education meant such beliefs were becoming less common. Activist Raymond Ayine welcomed the ban, which covers seven towns. But he said he could not guarantee that the practice had been eradicated from the whole country. The BBC’s reporter says the Kasena-Nankana region, where
the ban has been announced, is the part of Ghana where such beliefs are most widespread. Sometimes, babies born at the same time as a family misfortune were also accused of being “spirit children” and killed. The “concoction men” who used to give the children the poisonous drink have been given new roles; they will now work with disabled children to promote their rights. Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that he took a plastic doll to a soothsayer, saying it was a child with eating problems and physical disabilities. “He consulted the oracles, jumped up and down and after this said that the oracles confirmed that the child was an evil
child and that the child needed to be killed immediately, and that the child had already killed two members of my family,” he said. Local chief Naba Henry Abawine Amenga-Etigo said that anyone caught trying to harm children from now on would be handed over to the police. Ayine, from the campaign group Afrikids, said he was “saddened that in today’s era, a child could lose its life because of such a barbaric practice”. He noted that in rural areas where such beliefs are more common, women often give birth without ever seeing a midwife, let alone having a pre-natal scan. As a result, childbirth leads to complications more often than elsewhere, he said. He also said that even before the official ban, there had been no re-
ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop, has affirmed the regional body’s total involvement in the crisis in Mali and attributed the current global interest in the country to the untiring efforts of West African leaders. The Commissioner was addressing the opening of a two-day workshop and annual general assembly of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa recently in Abuja. The Commissioner debunked suggestions that ECOWAS did not show sufficient interest in the Malian crisis, insisting that from the onset, the organization declared zero tolerance over the March 2012 coup d’état that toppled former President Amadou Toumani Toure and attempts by insurgents to split the country.
260,000 died in Somali famine –Report
These children were accused of being possessed by evil spirit. Photo: AFRIKIDS
corded case of the killing of “spirit children” in the area for the past three years. He put this down to awareness campaigns, as well as improved access to education that meant more people understood that physical disabilities had a medical explanation.
Officials in East Africa say a report to be released this week estimates that 260,000 people died in Somalia’s 2011 famine, more than double previous estimates. The report by two U.S. government-funded famine and food agencies gives the highest toll from Somalia’s 2011 famine. One previous estimate said between 50,000 and 100,000 people died. A Western official briefed on the report told The Associated Press that it says 260,000 people died, and that half the victims were 5 and under. Two other international officials briefed on the report confirmed that the toll’s report was in the quarter-million range. All three insisted they not be identified because they were not authorized to share the report’s contents before it is officially released.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Russia, Japan step up peace treaty effort
Cyprus to limit president’s immunity from prosecution Cyprus plans to limit presidential immunity from prosecution and increase government transparency, its president said yesterday, a move to win over a public jaded by graft and economic mismanagement that saddled it with brutal bailout terms. Cypriots have been left in shock by a series of events which tipped the euro zone’s third smallest economy into a chaotic bailout last month, with bank savings raided and the island’s second-largest bank forced to shut down. In power for little over two months, President Nicos Anastasiades unveiled significant changes he said would boost public confidence and modernise the function of the state on the eastern Mediterranean island. They included changes to the constitution to broaden the offences under which a president could be prosecuted, limiting an incumbent’s term in office to two consecutive terms, lifting immunity on lawmakers and forcing those who hold important state or political positions to submit income statements.
Powerful blast injures 35 in Prague A powerful blast believed to be a gas explosion ripped open an office building in the center of Prague on Monday, injuring at least 35 people and sending shockwaves through the Old Town tourist district. The blast shattered windows in the scenic area of charming streets and postcard-pretty buildings, sending glass flying. Authorities closed a wide area around the site and some tourists were stranded on street corners with baggage-loaded trolleys, unable to get into their hotels. Authorities said two or three people were still believed to be missing, but sniffer dogs searching the rubble had not indicated that anyone was buried and the prime minister said it appeared no one had died.
Iran has not yet crossed red line –Netanyahu Israel’s prime minister says Iran is edging closer to nuclearweapons capability but has not yet reached the “red line” he laid out in a speech to the United Nations last fall. Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud Party on Monday that Iran is “systematically” getting closer to developing a weapon. He says Israel cannot let Iran cross this point. Israel says a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to the existence of the Jewish state, citing Iran’s repeated calls for the destruction of Israel. Netanyahu has repeatedly hinted that Israel would be prepared to attack Iran unilaterally if international pressure fails to curb the Iranian nuclear program.
Syrian fire fighters extinguishing burning cars after the car bomb exploded in Mazzeh, Damascus, yesterday. Photo: AP
Syrian Prime Minister escapes assassination attempt
yria’s prime minister escaped a brazen assassination attempt yesterday when a bomb exploded near his convoy in Damascus, state media reported, in the latest attack to target a top official in President Bashar Assad’s regime. Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi was not hurt in the explosion in the capital’s western neighbourhood of Mazzeh, state TV said. The TV showed footage of heavily damaged cars and debris in the area as firefighters fought to extinguish a large blaze set off by the blast. The state news agency said alHalqi condemned the bombing, and quoted him as saying that the assassination attempt exposes how armed groups “are bankrupt” after the latest advances made by Syrian troops around the country. As evidence that the prime minister was unhurt, the staterun Al-Ikhbariya station said alHalqi went into a regular weekly meeting with an economic committee straight after the bombing. The station broadcast video of the prime minister sitting
around a table in a room with several other officials. But in comments after the meeting, alHalqi made no reference to the blast, nor was he asked about it by reporters, leaving doubt as to whether the footage was filmed before or after the bombing. There were conflicting reports about casualties. The state news agency said one person was killed and several were wounded in the blast. Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said the explosion killed five, including two of al-Halqi’s bodyguards and one of the drivers in his convoy. Syria’s conflict started with largely peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011 but eventually turned into a civil war that has so far killed more than 70,000 people, according to the United Nations. The daring attack in the upscale neighborhood, which is home to many embassies and government officials, was another blow to the Assad regime, exposing its vulnerability in the
very heart of his power base. State TV quoted Syria’s Information Minister Omran alZoubi as saying that targeting al-Halqi, who is in charge of carrying out the political program to end Syria’s crisis, shows that some in the opposition “reject a political solution.” In January, al-Halqi formed a ministerial committee to conduct dialogue with opposition groups. The dialogue is part of efforts to implement a peace plan, including a national reconciliation conference, Assad outlined in a speech earlier that month. The opposition says it will not accept anything less than Assad’s departure, and progress has been made on the dialogue since it was announced. A Syrian government official told The Associated Press that an improvised explosive device was placed under a car that was parked in the area and was detonated as al-Halqi’s convoy passed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
he leaders of Russia and Japan have instructed their diplomats to intensify efforts to work out a peace treaty between the two nations. Russia and Japan have yet to sign a formal peace treaty ending hostilities from World War II due to a dispute over four islands that were captured by Soviet forces at the end of the war. Nevertheless, they have pursued economic ties. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met Monday in Moscow with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said both countries told their foreign ministries to “intensify contacts for devising a mutually acceptable way of settling the problem.” “President Putin and I confirmed our understanding that it’s an abnormal situation when 67 years have gone by after the end of the war between Japan and Russia and no peace agreement has been concluded,” Abe said at a news conference following the talks. There was no elaboration on possible compromise areas and Putin acknowledged that increased efforts “doesn’t mean that everything will be resolved tomorrow.” In 2011, Russia vowed to deploy military hardware to the islands. With rival China also pursuing closer energy cooperation with Russia, Japan has more incentive than ever to put its historical roadblocks with Russia aside. Russian and Japanese companies signed an array of documents on the sidelines of the visit. Putin said the Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom intends to participate in building an LNG terminal in Japan.
Owner of collapsed Bangladeshi building faces angry crowd
he owner of a building that collapsed in Bangladesh killing hundreds faced an angry crowd when he appeared in court. Mohammed Sohel Rana, wearing a police helmet and bulletproof jacket for the hearing, was remanded in custody for 15 days to face questioning by police. Officials say there is little hope any more survivors will be found in the rubble of the devastated building. It has emerged Bangladesh refused an offer of foreign help with the disaster which has claimed more than 380 lives. Both the UK government and the United Nations have confirmed to the BBC that their offer of expert help in such emergen-
Rana appearing in court in Dhaka a day after his arrest
cies was turned down by the Bangladeshi government. It’s unusual for countries to decline help when disaster strikes whether they are rich or poor. Hundreds of rescuers converged on Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, for example. They
Photo: Getty Images
performed similar work to that needed in Bangladesh. Japan, a far richer country, also accepted substantial help following its earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Bangladesh’s Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir said
no help was needed because the local emergency services were well equipped. This would appear to have been contradicted by the sometimes poorly-equipped volunteers scrabbling through the rubble and the apparent starting of a fire by people trying to cut their way through the building. A senior diplomat with the UN’s International Search and Rescue Advisory Group said an offer of help was made to Bangladesh very early on “because the lifesaving window of opportunity is in the first few days”. But, according to the diplomat, the Bangladesh government said it would manage the situation through domestic means.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Displaced herdsmen, flood victims get relief items •Also Baga Victims Receive Relief from NEMA
elief came the way of at 300 herdsmen who were victims of the recent sectarian violence in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State and victims of 2012 flooding in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State recently when the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) delivered relief materials to them. The herdsmen located at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Tafa, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna state got relief materials worth millions of Naira. While delivering the
items, NEMA North West Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Musa Ilallah observed that “the victims at the IDPs camp in Tafa, Kagarko LGA are from neighbouring Bokkos LGA in Plateau State who were displaced during the crisis, where about 30 people lost their lives, 25 still missing, hundreds rendered homeless and hundreds of cows still missing”. He challenged communities to live in peace and to be God fearing because no religion teaches such barbaric acts. According to him, people should know that every soul must account for its deed
adding “violence has been the challenging factor and bane of our development.” Meanwhile NEMA has delivered massive emergency relief materials to residents of Baga in Borno State where a clash between members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and Boko Haram insurgents recently led to some humanitarian crisis. The NEMA team was led by its Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade and was mandated to stay in the town and ensure that relief was delivered to residents. The team delivered items like food, medical
supplies, mattresses, blankets, buckets, mats, soaps, tents, sanitary wares and others. According to Manzo Ezekiel, an Information officer with NEMA, the items were being distributed to the citizens who are taking refuge in displaced persons camps (IDPs). Ezekiel said the distribution of emergency relief materials was sequel to a directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to the NEMA Director General, Muhammad Sani Sidi to urgently provide immediate succor to the people. The team was working jointly with the Borno State Government.
NGO decries governments’ attitude
non-governmental association has accused the federal and state governments of not doing enough to assuage the suffering of victims of 2012 floods across Nigeria. The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), said there has been poor distribution of relief materials to victims and called on appropriate governments to be “transparent, fair and accountable in their encounter with flood victims.” In a statement jointly endorsed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs, Zainab Yusuf, the association condemned the N3,000 offered to flood victims by Kogi State government. Many of the Kogi victims rejected the money, while victims in other states like Taraba and Plateau have also cried of abandonment. The group said the amount was condemnable considering “the several billions of naira raised by both the Aliko Dangote-led flood victims rehabilitation presidential panel and the funds disbursed from the presidency by President Goodluck Jonathan last year.” HURIWA also called on the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the groundswell of allegations that the fund for the flood victims are being systematically stolen and/or mismanaged by state government officials.
Burning fuel tanker in front of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic in Zaria on Sunday.
Journalists receive training on disaster reporting
n order to mainstream the media into disaster management activities, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA North Central) has organised a one-day training workshop for the media titled ‘the Role of Media in Disaster Management’. A lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Jos, Mr. Taye Obateru, in the lead paper titled “the role of the news media in disaster management” described the media as an integral part of
disaster management team. Beyond education, information, entertainment, Obateru urged the media to have responsibility to work for society’s wellbeing. Speaking on the agenda setting theory of the media, he stressed the need for the media to see disaster management reporting as part of national development and as such, make it an agenda in their news coverage. Earlier in his welcome address, the Ag. Zonal Coordinator of NEMA North
Central Mr. M.B Abdulsalam said that reporters, commentators, editors, broadcasters and all members of the media can do more than just inform and raise awareness about disasters. He urged the media to always explore the root causes of disasters from authentic sources and their social dimension. The media can help communities and countries understand what makes them vulnerable and what they can do to increase their capacities to cope with disasters.
Musa Ilallah stated at the workshop urged all disaster managers in this states to provide effective mechanisms that would aid stakeholders at all levels in mitigating and responding to the anticipated 2013 floods whenever the needs arises. “The agency hereby reiterates its commitment to building a culture of preparedness, prevention, response and community
resilience to disasters in Nigeria and the minds of the populace”, Illallah said. He added that the agency will continue to unite, work together, protect and improve the lives of vulnerable citizens as well as enhance the resilience of the communities by mobilising and sensitising all segments of the society to checkmate disasters.
NEMA organises refresher course for staff
orth West Zone of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has conducted a refresher training programme for THE NEMA/NYSV EMVs in Sokoto and Kebbi states to equip the emergency vanguards to respond promptly to likely floods in these states as predicted by NIMET for this year’s rainfall”. Zonal Coordinator,
Kano builds free houses for flood victims
ano state governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has launched the construction of 792 houses, under the second phase of building free, spacious two-bedroom houses for victims of last year’s flood, in three local government areas of the state. Under the first phase, 366 houses were constructed in Warawa, Makoda and Kunchi local government areas of the state. Speaking during the occasion, the governor said the decision was informed by the fact that persistent flood have ravaged the same communities since he first came into office in 1999. Kwankwaso added that government had no option but to look for a lasting solution. He said a committee of experts submitted a report to the government indicating that the areas affected by flood annually were located in river valleys, adding, “and it was suggested that evacuation and relocation of the people living around these areas is the only measure to prevent them from further being victims”. Governor Kwankwaso said each house will cost about N800, 000 adding that the houses, which
will be given to the peasants free because they are poor, are not just for ecological expediency but will save government the problem of disrupting academic calendar, by using schools as resettlement camps, whenever the villages become waterlogged. In the meantime, the governor explained that after leaving their former villages, the victims are expected to convert their old environment to irrigation land to grow rice and other crops that will improve their economic status. He therefore advised the beneficiaries of the houses to make optimum use of the opportunity to better their living condition, pointing out that the government has taken drastic steps including construction of roads with drainages, clearing of culverts and proper refuse disposal to minimize recurrence of flood in the state. Governor Kwankwaso recalled that his administration had spent millions of Naira and worked with NEMA, Dangote Foundation and other stakeholders towards providing relief materials to about 10, 385 victims of flood in the state last year.
Olowu wants emergency staff to be more diligent
taff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have been admonished to be diligently committed to national service in the cause of comprehensive disaster management and the provision of succour to the distressed. The Pioneer Director General of NEMA, Chief (Mrs) Oluremi Olowu made the statement at the South West Zonal Office in Lagos while on NEMA’s Pensioners’ verification exercise. She gave kudos to the current leadership of the Agency saying that the challenges of managing disasters are enormous which require selfless, dedicated, diligence and commitment of all staff for the benefit of the Agency. In a statement by Ann Inobi Agbo, Olowu recalled that the transformation of the National Emergency Relief Agency (NERA) to NEMA was enormous because many people
were not in support of the change and the situation at the time of military regime was tasking. She added that the present Director General is on course because the concept of the obligations of NEMA is that it is continuous due to dynamic nature of disasters in the world. The former Director General then challenged the staff to be dedicated and ready to build their own capacity as step in moving the agency forward and the nation at large. In her words “the present set of Nigerian youths are lazy and do not have the habit of reading widely with the aim of getting themselves equipped against the challenges of the contemporary society and it is only when you are ready to build your own capacity that you and the Agency can enjoy your service and you will be useful yourself in and out of service.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (136)
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” –Napoleon Hill BUILD AN EMPIRE OF DESIRE! I am told repeatedly that what you don’t desire, you do not deserve. Desire by itself is a potent magnet. There is a way one can desire something so much that the thing desired will be strangely pulled to us. I have seen this happened to me several times. It is enlightening to know that what we are seeking is seeking us. Here is how I have seen this worked for me: whenever you want something, burn the pictures of that thing into your mind by consistently visualizing it. See yourself using that thing with your imagination and other things will naturally happen. You will be pulled into taking definite action. A wise man once said that the proof of desire is pursuit. Desire is the starting point. Desire must lead you to action, otherwise you are just hiding! Until we take actions on our desires, they will remain just desires, and this can consume us. Let your desire fire you to perspire and then acquire that which you desire. Desire can work for us positively or negatively, so we must mind what we desire from time to time. Look at yourself right now. What your life is surrounded with represents the power of your past desires. Do you want something better tomorrow? Desire something better today! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me on Twitter @folutile
1 4 million 1.4 illi M Moscow residents id take part in city cleanup
here’s spring cleaning, then there’s this: More than 1 million Moscow residents took part in a mass cleanup event at city parks and squares, officials said. Moscow Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov said 1.4 million city residents
braved some terrible weather to pick up litter and beautify city streets, parks and public squares. The so-called subbotnik, Russian for “Saturday cleanup,” stretches back to the Soviet era, RIA Novosti said.
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Students cheat in their assignments through internet, social media
niversity at Albany (N.Y.) officials say they are investigating allegations about 100 of 650 students in a class paid for someone to complete their homework. University spokesman Karl Luntta told the Albany Times Union the school is conducting an investigation into allegations of cheating in one class, but he declined to confirm how many students were involved. The university prohibits academic dishonesty and fraud, which includes buying and selling assignments. Students found guilty of violating the code of conduct face a range of penalties including expulsion, Luntta said. Professor Peter Ross, whose Computer Applications in Business course students are part of the investigation, said he has tried to stop cheating for at least five years. Students use a unique password to log in to a class
website to complete their work, but he discovered some students were copying the files of others so he tried to thwart that by using two separate publishers with programs that identify duplicated work. Despite this, Ross said
he caught 20 students cheating by copying work this semester. One student, who asked to remain anonymous, said his friends chided him for doing the course homework assignment, “when you can just buy the assignments.” The Internet and
Students listening to U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured).
social media have made college assignments part of a free market where classmates look to buy and sell assignments, the Times Union reported. In one recent post a student offered to pay someone to finish an internship, the newspaper said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Plot to clip governors’ wings will fail –Aliyu PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
overnor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has blamed the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the plot to clip the wings of the governors. Aliyu, however, said the plan would fail.
The Chairman of Northern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, also said the challenges facing the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, were surmountable as it would emerge stronger at the end. The governor also disclosed that the PDP Governors’ Forum would remain subservient to the NGF. Aliyu stated this in
Minna during a courtesy visit by the Forum of PDP secretaries from the North Central. He said: “People should stop wasting their time in trying to clip the wings of the governors. A little part of the crisis in the PDP today is this desire to clip the wings of the governors and you cannot cut our wings.” The governor said that
soon after using the governors during the PDP congresses and conventions to produce the leadership, there were plans now to clip their wings. He said: “We did all we can to produce the leadership of the party at the national level. We know what happened then. And why is it that after all these, you now want to clip our (gov-
ernors’) wings? Now 2015 is coming, if you clip now, you will only be clipping your own wings and not the governors’ wings.” According to him, the NGF is an association dully registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and as a union, it cannot be dictated to on how to administer its affairs from outside, except by mem-
bers of the forum. He said: “Nobody can kill the NGF, even with the formation of other segments such as the Northern State Governors’ Forum or the party’s governors’ forum; they will all be subservient to the main governors’ forum, no matter what happens during the election for a new chairman of the party.”
Bomb scare: Katsina deputy gov’s security details flee over auto crash JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
Wife of Gombe State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Sintiki Rubainu (left) presenting a cash of N20,000 to one of 500 women under the Women Empowerment Programme, Malama Firdausi Umar, in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
10 new power stations ready soon –Maku tisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, was to achieve constant power supply. He said government was on the verge of commencing work at the Mambilla power project expected to supply about 2,000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid. Maku, however, urged Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Government as efforts were being taken to improve the power and oth-
er important sectors across the country. On his part, the state Deputy Governor, Garba Faskari, said the rural project was one among more than 100 others that would soon be completed and inaugurated across the state. Faskari said such projects would cost state government over N77 million while many rural communities would soon begin to enjoy electricity supply.
nformation Minister, Labaran Maku, said the Federal Government had commenced the restoration of key infrastructure across the country. Maku also said 10 new power stations would be completed this year. He said this yesterday while inspecting a rural electrification project at Maigora village in Faskari
Local Government Area of Katsina State. The minister, who was in the state as part of ongoing Good Governance Tour, said government had made electricity provision its priority, adding that efforts would be made to make power available to Nigerians within shortest time possible. Maku said Nigerians would have stable power supply before the end of the year, adding that the priva-
Stakeholders anxious over Plateau LG polls
JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
takeholders in the 17 local government areas of Plateau State are anxious about the forthcoming council elections in the state. Those who spoke with our correspondent expressed the hope that the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC, would conduct a credible poll. A chieftain of Labour Party said expectation was high. He said: “Everyone is expressing a great deal of interest, a great deal of hope and excitement for the poll. All
stakeholders want the election to be conducted soon in a free and fair manner. “I think the preparations are ongoing and expectations are high, especially on the side of the electoral commission. We expect that the election should be transparent, free and fair from the beginning to the end. On our part, we are set for the poll anytime it is conducted.” But another party stalwart, who spoke on the issue, wondered why PLASIEC was yet to announce the date for the elections even when
Governor Jonah Jang had directed the commission to do so. “We are surprised,” he said, while urging the electoral umpire not to betray the confidence reposed in it by the people of Plateau State. Although no date has been fixed for the election, Jang had during the inauguration of members of the state electoral commission assured the people of a level playing ground for political parties and the candidates as well as a conducive atmosphere for the conduct of the polls.
He said: “It is not government’s desire that local government elections have not been held as at now. “Following the expiration of the tenure of the last elected council chairmen in the state, we had set machinery in place to immediately conduct elections, but we were constrained by the barrage of litigations by some of the political parties. “This was to be compounded by the strike by local government workers in the state. I am, however, glad that we have got to this point of inauguration.
here was a mild drama yesterday at the Katsina-Zamfara border when some policemen and other security agents attached to the Katsina State Deputy Governor, Garba Faskari, took to their heels following a road accident. The impact of the accident had sounded like a bomb explosion, which led many people to run for their lives. Some of the security agents, who summoned up courage and rushed to the accident scene, cocked their guns in anticipation of a confrontation before realising that it was an accident. The deputy governor had gone to the border to welcome the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who was coming to the state as part of the ongoing Good Governance Tour. But Maku had delayed
his arrival from neighbouring Zamfara State, forcing the deputy governor to wait for three hours at the border area. Most of the vehicles that came with Faskari’s entourage had lined up on both sides of the road while the deputy governor and other political officeholders were waiting for the minister. But the two Golf cars trying not to brush the vehicles beside the road collided in the process. The vehicles, a red Golf car with registration number AA 342 TWB and a blue one with registration number AE 28 SKK, were coming from opposite directions. In each of the cars were a driver and a female passenger. Security operatives at the scene, however, arrested the driver of the red car, as they accused him of being responsible for the accident.
Amnesty committee needs free hand to succeed –Ex-Immigration chief WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
or the Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, otherwise called Boko Haram Amnesty Committee, to succeed in its assignment, it must be given free hand and logistic assistance by the Federal Government. A former Assistant Comptroller-General of Immigration, Alhaji AbdulMumeen Abdulmalik, said this in a statement issued in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital yesterday. Abdulmalik, who headed five commands such as Yobe, Adamawa, Ogun, Edo and Sokoto states while in service, commended the planned amnesty for Boko Haram members but urged the Federal Government to at the end
implement the committee’s report. He said: “The setting up of two committees on amnesty for Boko Haram members and peace/reconciliation related matters recently by the Federal Government deserves some level of commendation. “Considering the Joint Task Force, JTF/Boko Haram mess in Baga a couple of days ago and if one goes by the cliché of ‘better late than never,’ the action is a significant step towards achieving lasting peace in the country. “However, there is a strong need for the committees to be given not only the free hand but also needed logistic support so that the underlying factors and causes of the increasing insurgency in the country could be laid bare and subsequently addressed.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Four killed, eight houses razed in Eket, Ibeno communal clash TONY ANICHEBE UYO
he civil disturbances that erupted last weekend between Eket and Ibeno communities in Akwa Ibom State have degenerated into a full blown crisis with four persons reportedly killed, some missing and about eight houses razed in the skirmishes. The crisis affected movement of vehicles in and out of Ibeno as irate youths barricaded the road, set bonfire and ordered all vehicles back. Exxonmobil with it operational base (Q.I.T) located at Ibeno was also affected as its personnel were trapped inside the facility till about 9.00pm yesterday when rescue came through a combined theme of security agencies and military personnel. National Mirror reliably gathered that the genesis of the fracas may not be unconnected to the purported sale of a parcel of land known as
Iko Abribah in Esit Udua by an influential figure in Ibeno for the construction of a police station. Our correspondents gathered that the sale of the land was perfected with the consent of a top politician who attracted the project to the community. It was further gathered that when bulldozers arrived the site for clearing, youths of Esit Urua intervened, demanding to know on whose authority was the clearing being done, but youths of Ibeno, who accompanied the contractor to the site got infuriated, withdrew and regrouped for an attack on Esit Urua, leaving in its trail burnt houses and property in Iko Abribah. A resident of the community and the Pastor of Glory of God Zion Church, Umana Edemekong, confirmed the attack on the village by Ibeno youths. He thanked God that the church building was not affected. Another resident, who did not want to be named, said;
Abubakar calls for housing for low-income earners DAYO AYEYEMI AND OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
ormer Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, have urged government at all levels to intervene in the construction of housing units for low income earners yearning to have a roof over their heads. Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 13th Lagos Housing Fair yesterday, the former head of state said the call became necessary because people in the low income category are people that would normally not be able to pay the market value of houses built by real estate developers. He said; “Although, a school of thought have argued that government need not be involved in direct construction of houses while this may be true to some extent, I say it will be necessary to intervene for the sake of low income earners in the society.” He argued that matters of housing are important to the citizens and are necessary for the growth of the economy. He pointed out that apart from providing opportunities to meet the physiological needs of man, “housing depicts one’s culture and style, as well as provide citizens the
much needed security.” Currently, Nigeria has about 17 million housing deficit and needs to build an average of one million houses every year for the next 20 years to bridge the gap. Government has said it would not be involved in direct construction of houses for the citizens anymore, shifting the responsibility to the private sector. Meanwhile, a group under the auspices of the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations, SSACTAC, of the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, has called on the Federal Government to review the present Public Private Partnership, PPP, model being executed by the FHA. It said the execution of projects under that model had failed in the delivery of housing, especially in the FHA. President of the association, Mr. Saad Usman, who spoke with journalists in Abuja yesterday, advocated for a return to the direct model of construction, whereby funds would be released to the association for housing delivery. He said, “We are not against the Federal Government’s plan on the initiation of the PPP model, but due to non-performance, the model should be reviewed.”
“We wanted to take on Ibeno youths, but changed our mind when we saw their numerical strength, weapons and the determination on their faces, we concluded that these boys were acting a script written by some influential person in the community. “Not satisfied with Ikot Abribah, they went to Edi Udua, burning houses and inflicting injuries on innocent citizens” the source said. A youth leader in Esit Urua, Mr. Mike Bassey, confirmed that Ibeno youths at-
tacked them, burning many houses and injuring many others, including women and children. The paramount ruler of Eket, Obong Nathaniel Oduenyie, confirmed the incident, describing it as unfortunate and unwarranted. He called on the state government to intervene in the interest of peace and to forestall the breakdown of law and order and reprisal attacks. Oduenyie appealed to the warring factions to sheath
their sword in the overall interest of all. Meanwhile, fierce looking military and security personnel have taken over along the said Eket-Ibeno Road as movement have been restricted. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPNU, instructed its personnel, contractor and other categories of their working staff at Qua Iboe Terminal (Q.I.T.) to remain at home till further notice. National Mirror reliable
gathered that the directive affected all official functions of Mobil scheduled for last Friday which invitations had earlier been distributed to concerned parties. Equally, the zero vehicle movement on the said road had adversely affected hundreds of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board, JAMB, candidates who converged at Marina Junction at about 9.00am for taxis to convey them to their respective examination centers along the said road.
Representative of the Minister of Information, Mr. Lohda Ndam; Director-General, National Film and Video Censors Board, Ms. Patricia Bala and chairman of the occasion, Dr. Tom Adaba, at the first NFVCB Consumers’ Forum in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Lagos govt’s applications stall al-Mustapha, Sofolahan’s appeal WALE IGBINTADE
wo separate applications filed by the Lagos State government yesterday, stalled the hearing of the appeal instituted by the Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza al-Mustapha and Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, challenging a death sentence passed on them by Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. When the matter came up
yesterday before the Court of Appeal Lagos Division, state counsel, Femi Adamson, informed the appellate court, presided over by Justice Chuma Nweze, that the state had two applications dated April 29, 2013 seeking for extension of time to enable the state government file its respondent’s brief of argument. Adamson, an Assistant Chief State Counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, informed the court that the failure to file the respondent’s brief of argument within the time stipulated, was not a deliberate act to disrespect the court. He added that the proceed-
ings at the lower court was protracted, hence the record of proceedings were voluminous. He urged the court to grant extension of time in the interest of justice and fairness. Counsel to Major al-Mustapha, Joseph Daudu, SAN, and Olalekan Ojo, lawyer to Sofolahan while not opposing the application for extension of time, said the development was not fair in its entirety. While the court granted the application, Justice Nweze berated the state in its approach towards the hearing of the appeal saying; “It’s not encouraging.” He said; “Gentlemen, as you
can see, it is not the fault of the court not to hear the appeal. Counsel should desist from the attitude of filing applications late in any case.” The court thereafter adjourned the appeal till May 30, 2013 for hearing. Meanwhile, the two appellants (al-Mustapha and Sofolahan) have decided to consolidate their appeals. This was done in order for the two appeals to be heard the same day and time. It will be recalled that Justice Dada had on January 30, 2012 convicted and accordingly sentenced the duo to death by hanging until they are confirmed dead.
ASUU UNIABUJA begins two-week warning strike OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he University of Abuja, UNIABUJA, chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, yesterday commenced a two-week warning strike to compel the Federal Government to implement the report of the Special Visitation Panel on the university. ASUU had invited journalists to acquaint them with the decision to begin a two-week warning strike to compel the
Federal Government to accede to its demands. But the journalists had a raw deal in the hands of the university’s security men as the men stationed at the gate barred them from covering a meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, insisting that the university authorities had issued an order that journalists should not be allowed into the campus. The no entry order prompted ASUU to relocate from the Indoor Theatre of the university to a nearby
hotel in from of the Specialist Hospital, Gwagwalada, to continue their meeting. Speaking during the briefing yesterday, ASUU UNIABUJA Chairman, Comrade Clement Chup, insisted that the only thing that would bring back sanity to the university was for the President to implement the recommendation of the panel, insisting that until such is done they would not call off the strike. Chup, who said the warning strike, which at first instance, was meant to make
government see reason in delivering the university from impending collapse, noted that should government fail to act, the union would be compelled to embark on an indefinite strike. He said ASUU believed that the recommendations and their implementation held the key to the struggle to re-invent, reconstruct and reposition the university and that the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Adelabu, from office would be a starting point.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nigeria polio: Immunising the vaccine fears The deadly polio disease has become a subject of concern and controversy in Nigeria. Unfortunately, while this rages on, many children, especially in the northern parts of the country continue to be infected. According to this BBC report, the continued spread of the disease is brought about by a deadly mix of religion, politics and ignorance.
A child being immunised
Usman Al-Hassan with some of his children. INSET: Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad
wo-year-old Abubarkar Al Hassan has the unfortunate tag of being Nigeria’s first polio victim of
2013. “It’s quite upsetting to see that my son cannot play with his friends when they come here,” says his father Usman Al Hassan, who lives on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. “He cannot move unless someone carries him. This makes him cry.” As Mr. Al Hassan strokes his son’s legs, some of his daughters sit around and one of his two wives prepares a meal in a tiny kitchen off the courtyard. “I have 14 children and 13 of them are vaccinated; it is very unfortunate that when the vaccinators came around this area they missed my house and my son was not vaccinated,” he says, looking at his son who is sitting on his lap. In the long winding alleys of this community, houses are packed close together. Open gutters like streams run like central veins carrying household waste water from homes. Passers-by leap over them to avoid the dirty greyish sludge. Nigeria has been making some strides in the battle against the polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, but the task has been slow and fraught with challenges. The West African nation is only one of three countries where polio is endemic - Afghanistan and Pakistan being the other two. Last year, 122 cases of the virus were reported and the government is hoping to keep the numbers down this year. Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus which invades the nervous system and may cause irreversible paralysis. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented.
POLIO IS AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE CAUSED BY A VIRUS WHICH INVADES THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND MAY CAUSE IRREVERSIBLE PARALYSIS Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life. “As long as a single child remains infected with polio, unvaccinated children in all countries are at risk. We still continue to miss too many children. In a campaign where you aim to reach 32 million children house-tohouse there are number of challenges,” says Melissa Corkum spokesperson for the UN children agency’s polio campaign in Nigeria. “In Nigeria there are a lot of nomadic populations on the move… there is no fixed address where you can knock on their door during the campaign. This leads to many children being missed in the exercise,” she says. Together with the government of Nigeria, Unicef is running nationwide immunisation campaigns. In the past few months there have been violent attacks against health workers believed to be connected with polio vaccination drives. In the most recent attack nine female health workers were killed in Kano State. It is possible that these attacks were the result of religious and political leaders who have opposed the vaccine, saying it is a Western plot to sterilise Nigerian Muslims. Suspicions about vaccination programmes were fuelled in part by the
Pfizer scandal in 1996, when the US drugs firm used an experimental drug during a meningitis outbreak in Kano. Eleven children died and dozens became disabled as a result. In 2003, these fears and conspiracy theories led to the suspension of vaccination campaigns in Kano, leading to a high number of children contracting the disease. Then earlier this year, a Muslim cleric and two journalists from Kano were arrested for broadcasting a report saying the vaccines were not safe. Not all religious leaders are of this school of thought and some regret the harm caused by their colleagues. “The problem was caused by those who were preaching against it,” says Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, the Emir of Anka in the northern-western state of Zamfara. He blames the slow response by the government to the statements. “They allowed them to have a field day before the intervention, and you know it’s difficult to repair damage,” the emir said. Polio cases in Nigeria are mostly found in north of the country He and other traditional rulers in the area have been trying to counter criticism of the vaccine. During the last polio campaign in this area, a father refused to have his child immunised. He was brought to the emir who convinced him to immunise his child.
However, the talk of polio remains a very sensitive subject and many in these communities shy away from talking about refusing immunisation. But the Nigerian government says they are making strides in reducing suspicion among vulnerable communities. “People are becoming more aware and are realising that in fact the vaccine is safe, it’s efficacious, and that other parts of the world have actually used it to eradicate this disease,” says Dr Ali Pate, Nigeria’s Minister of state for health who also heads the presidential campaign against polio. “This is a collective effort. For the first time, you have the entire global community focusing on a single disease, after smallpox, to eradicate it.” Part of the government campaign has involved community mobilisation of workers who talk to people about the benefits of the vaccine. In the case of Abubarkar, his contracting polio has had a positive effect on his neighbours. “People are aware, now they know that the disease is real,” says Yakubu Yahaya, a social mobilisation officer. Usman Al Hassan says he hopes his son’s case will prompt others to immunise their children. He has in the past had difficulties convincing the people in that community that polio as a disease was a reality. “They were saying it is either politics or religion or because they want to make their children infertile,” he says. “So they are really now ready to comply with all the vaccinators.” For Abubarkar and his father, the lesson learnt has been a harsh one. “I do not blame the vaccinators for missing my son, what has happened was God’s will,” says Mr. Al Hassan. “At least because of him, others can now take this seriously and immunise their children.” Those working on the government’s drive against polio are also hoping that lessons can be learnt and they can indeed make strides towards eradicating the disease by 2014. Story by Chritiene Otieno of Abuja.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Fire at the Euro-Asia Plaza on Breadfruit Street.
Fire: Battling to contain a rising epidemic in Lagos
Burning buildings in a Lagos market
The frequency of fire outbreaks in Lagos remains a constant worry to the authorities, as no month passes without such incidence being recorded in parts of the state. More worrying is the fact that the cause of some fires remains a mystery. Here, OKAY OSUJI documents the series of recent fire outbreaks and the battle by authorities to stem the tide.
THE ALADE MARKET
DIFFERENT PARTS OF
ecently, the Alade market on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, was engulfed in a fire. Fortunately, the damage to properties was not as extensive as had feared, as only two shops were gutted. Eye witnesses said the unruly nature of street urchins at the scene prevented firefighters and their equipment from promptly reaching the distressed shops. It was gathered, that while the firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire from the base, the urchins were heckling them to fight the fire from the top and in the ensuing confusion, the water hoses were disconnected from the fire trucks, even as the firefighters were physically attacked. Such attack brings to three the number of assault on firefighters in different parts of the state in recent times. Few months ago, a firefighter was critically injured while trying to put out blazing fire at Ketu plank market. It was learnt that the refusal to allow emergency workers have free access to disaster scenes is getting complicated and the problem of crowd milling around such scenes is making intervention difficult and uncontrollable. According to the Information Officer of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, South west, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, “It is pertinent to state that firefighters are human beings who have families and will be mindful of their safety as they are struggling to save others’ lives. Therefore, threatening their safety is not in the interest of anyone”. The Alade market incidence has brought to fore the spate of fire outbreaks in different parts of Lagos State. Commentators and watchers are at a loss comprehending the development. While some are speculating sabotage, others attribute it to lack of modern urban planning, even as some see it as an Act of God or even ignorance and carelessness on part of those involved. For example, on November 21, 2012, the head office of Independent Communication Network Limited, publishers of The News Magazine and P.M. News was gutted by fire. The inferno razed down the entire last floor of the three-story building.
The incident, which started at after 7:00p.m., completely affected the A.M. Sports section and some other companies on the floor. Also, the second floor, which houses the advert, circulation, credit control and audit units, as well as offices of the top management staff members, was affected. According to source at the publishing firm, cause of the fire was traced to electrical spark, from one of the air conditioners left working even after closing hours. It was also gathered that traffic congestion on Agidingbi and Awolowo roads undermined emergency response of the Lagos State Fire Services from reaching the place on time. Before then, a fire outbreak occurred on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the Euro-Asia Plaza Breadfruit, Lagos Island at the Popular Balogun Market on Martins Street. On December 26, 2012, the Jankara Marke at Isale Eko area was involved in a fire outbreak which started from a building stocked with firecrackers, killing at least one person and injuring 40 others. The fire also affected 12 other buildings in the vicinity, while 10 vehicles were completely destroyed. According to residents, the fire started from a makeshift warehouse located on 45 Ojo Giwa Street and spread to other houses. An occupant of the building where the fire started, Chibuzor Ukandu, said he sold electronics equipment on the ground floor of the two-storey building, as all were destroyed in the inferno. On December 30, 2012, a section of the Osborne Road residence of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire was gutted by fire. A source said the fire, which occurred at 6:15pm, threw the workers in the expansive mansion into a state of confusion. The Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe said, the fire was caused by a spark from the electrical metre board, but however nothing was damaged. “It was a minor spark. We went there for
INCIDENCE HAS BROUGHT TO FORE THE SPATE OF FIRE OUTBREAKS IN
Inferno at Jankara Market
safety reason and to ensure the fire did not get out of hand. The building has all equipment to combat fire. On New Year day of January 1, 2013, another fire gutted two buildings on Jones Street, Ebute Metta, as the occupants lost most of their properties. It was learnt the fire started from the kitchen of one of the tenants. On January 8, 2013, an 11 year old boy was injured, while property worth millions of naira was destroyed when fire razed three buildings at Ajegunle in Olodi-Apapa Area of the state. The fire was said to have started from No.6 Mba Street before it engulfed two other buildings. The buildings which housed a pharmacy store, boutique, transport equipment, electronic shop and a supermarket were burnt after a suspected power surge from a shop, sparked the fire. The boy was said to have been knocked down by an oncoming vehicle as he tried to escape from the inferno. On January 9, 2013, more than 3,000 people lost their homes following an inferno at the Ebute Metta plank market. The market was made of sawmills that process timber. On March 7, 2013, a late night inferno, razed the popular Ketu plank market at Demurin Street, Ketu, , resulting in heavy losses of goods and equipment worth several millions of naira. Eyewitnesses said the fire broke out from the plank section, situated beside a canal, even as no one could explain the cause. On January 1, 2013 fire, gutted a storey building on Igando Road, Ikotun. Residents said the fire stated from the
apartment at 64, Igando Road, Unity Bus ap Stop, following an electrical spark in one of S the four-room apartments. th Two children were rescued from the inferno, which would have caused a major dife saster but for the timely intervention of fire fighters. Following this, the Director of the Lagos State Fire and Safety Service, Fadipe Idowu, has expressed concern over incessant fire outbreaks in the state. Meanwhile, another fire incident at 1, Jones Street, Ebute Metta, rendered several families homeless. Eyewitnesses said fire from a cooking stove had spread to two apartments. The situation could have been tragic but for one Toefeek, a seven-year-old boy, who raised the alarm and saved his siblings from being killed. Narrating how the fire started, Toefeek said: “I went to a store to buy things. “On my way back, I saw fire coming from the ply wood. “I screamed to alert our neighbours to rescue my siblings and my mother who were fast asleep. A victim, one Omole, stated that a neighbour kept a hot stove close to a generating set, which exploded and caused the fire. “Two buildings were affected but we lost property and our means of livelihood. Five children – Emeka, 12; Ifeanyi, 10; Chinasa, 8; Joy, 6; and Bright, 4 – of the same parents were burnt to death at 29, Comfort Oboh Street, Kirikiri after a fire from a candle stand spread and burnt their wooden apartment in December. According to the Lagos State Fire Service, more than 200 houses were razed in the state in the last six months. The fire service said it is overwhelmed by increasing cases of fire outbreak in recent times ,even as it urged residents to take precautionary measures to avoid further tragic incidents.
Largest centipede Vol. 03 No. 610
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The largest species of centipede is the 26-cm-long (10-in) giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) of Central and South America. The species, which is also known as the Peruvian giant yellowleg centipede, has modified jaws on its head, which can trap and deliver venom to its prey, such as mice, lizards and frogs.
Counting cost of kidnappings
he recent abduction of the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area in Lagos State, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan, who was lucky to return home alive, brings to mind again the dangers in the latest onslaught by desperate hoodlums to extort money in exchange for freedom. There was anxiety immediately the kidnapping was made public even up to the time contact was made with the group which initially demanded for $1 million, which would have amounted to about N158 million.
he Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) secretariat erupted in celebration yesterday when it received the remaining five gold medals won by Nigeria’s 4x400m relay quartet at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games following the disqualification of the USA team who were the original winners over
TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba
email@example.com 08053069514 (sms only)
Shortly after he regained freedom, Bamigbetan had cause to celebrate in a unique way in spite of parting with ransom of about N15 million. His family, friends, colleagues and associates must have heaved a big sigh of relieve that, at least, it was thanksgiving and not his obituary that was celebrated as many others who were not lucky to come out of that experience alive. Ditto for the family of the teenager who was also kidnapped in Lekki area of Lagos on his way to school. The boy was rescued last week by the police somewhere in Ilaro, Ogun State, with one of the kidnappers shot dead and the second arrested. Kidnappings involving politicians could easily be traced to politics. With the Ejigbo council boss, the kidnappers were desperados who wanted to forcefully extort money from their victim. In these instances and particularly for the teenager whose rescued bid recorded one fatality, no one would have enjoyed the experience of being denied his or her freedom under such uncertain circumstances involving once life and destiny. Not just that of the individual but that of many souls dependent on that person in captivity. Given the account of Bamig-
THIS DANGEROUS TREND HOWEVER PLACES ADDITIONAL BURDEN ON SECURITY AGENCIES AND GOVERNMENT THAT THERE CAN BE NO END TO EVOLVING STRATEGIES THAT WILL ROOT OUT THESE HOODLUMS betan’s ordeal in the kidnappers den as narrated by himself. it could not have been without an insider’s connection. They can be counted as lucky to be alive today in spite of unpleasant experience they had gone through but the family of the former deputy governor of Anambra State in the Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife’s administration, Dr. Chudi Nwike, was not that lucky. Only the living can tell the story of what happened for the num-
ber of days the man was abducted before his corpse was discovered somewhere in Delta State with a note to identify him. The man was killed after the family had struggled to raise some money to meet the demands of the abductors. Definitely something went wrong and the man’s life wasted. There is no amount of money demanded or paid that can be sufficient to replace the life of an aspiring statesman; neither can any explanations be strong enough to calm the family for loosing such a life that had contributed to the society such that he rose to become the number two in the state. Without being told there is none of the kidnappers that would have been successful both in family life and other endeavours as the man who they killed for no offence of his .but their selfish desires to have access o money they never worked for. The cost of these phenomenons cannot be quantified enough in terms of its implications on the society at large. Apart from the sense of insecurity which limits the individuals, it is gradually getting dawn on Nigerians that what the society stands to loose goes beyond the ransom being demanded by the abductors. From the account of those that have been arrested, a majority of them have not been able to make success from the loot they receive from such operations. This dangerous trend however places additional burden on security agencies and government that there can be no end to evolving strategies that will root out these hoodlums from the midst of law abiding citizens in order to record meaningful progress in a peaceful and quiet environment.
NOC receives Bada, others’ medals dope violations. Secretary General of the NOC, Hon. Tunde Popoola, could not hold himself when he shouted that “the gold medals are here.” The staff led by the Admin
Manager, Emmanuel Nweri, gathered and Popoola generously popped champagne for the gold medals. The five gold medals are for late Sunday Bada, Nduka Awazie, Jude Monye, Clement Chuk-
wu and Fidelis Gazama. Enefiok Udobong, the other member of the squad had received his medal because he was the first to return his silver medal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC.)
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