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Obama’s aide in trouble over $100,000 lecture fee in Nigeria PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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senior aide to the United States President Barack

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Obama, David Plouffe, is facing criticisms for receiving a $100,000 speaking fee from MTN Group; a firm believed to have links to businesses in Iran, The Washington Post

has reported yesterday. Plouffe managed Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The report said the payment came from a CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

JJimoh IIbrahim ssuspends Newswatch ppublication

... ...says Magazine due fo o corporate surgery for P.6

Tuesday, August June 7,7,2011 2012

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Gunmen attack church in Kogi, kill 16 worshippers It’s decision day as govs take stand on state police

OBIORA IFOH, ADEMU IDAKWO AND AZA MSUE

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unmen yesterday attacked the Deeper Christian Life Bible Church at Otite, in Adavi Local Government of Kogi State, killing 16 worshippers, while several others were injured. Eyewitnesses said that the hoodlums, numbering about 10, stormed the church, located opposite the Federal College of Education, Okene, with sophisticated weapons. It was gathered that CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Six policemen die in fresh Sokoto bombing

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L-R: Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Mr. Umana Okon Umana; Governor Godswill Akpabio and Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe during Akwa Ibom Economic Summit in Houston, Texas, USA at the weekend.

New tenancy law: 17,501 Lagosians file petitions, one year after P.4 DAY 19

‘No pilgrimage without P.50 knowledge’

PDP, ANPP, CPC divided over call for Jonathan’s resignation Boko Haram’s request, meaningless, say AYCF, OPC, IYC

Police invite cleric over assault on National Mirror’s reporter

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News

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PDP, ANPP, CPC divided over call for Jonathan’s resignation OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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igerian political parties were yesterday divided over the call by the Boko Haram Islamic sect on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign from office for peace to reign in the country. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, called on President Jonathan to ignore the call by the group since their reasons were not backed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The party said that the Nigerian constitution recognised the plural nature of the country and that being a Christian or a Muslim was not a condition for aspiring for the highest office in the land. The National Legal Adviser, Mr. Victor Kwon, said that “religious affinity is not one of the grounds for resignation of office. “The constitution recognises the plural nature of this country and everybody is entitled to aspire to any position irrespective of the religious belief.

“Calling President Jonathan to resign over his religion has no bearing in the constitution as religion is not a condition for any elective position or that of resignation in the constitution. “Any aspirant could be a Christian or Muslim, the constitution did not say that the President should belong to any religion.” Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Chief Emma Eneukwu, dismissed such request from Boko Haram,

saying that it had never been heard of that a president of any nation succumbed to such blackmail. Eneukwu said: “Why would the President resign? Why would they say that he should resign on religious grounds? “Everybody has the right to practice any religion he likes and it is guaranteed by the constitution. “Heaven is for everybody and, therefore, you cannot tell a president to resign because he does not belong to your religious group or because he is not

Director, of National Aeronautics Space Agency, Christopher J. Scolese (left) jubilating with Descent and Landing Engineer Adam Steltzner and others while watching the first images to come from the Curiosity rover shortly after it landed on Mars on Sunday, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, United States.

a Muslim. That is unheard of and that should be ignored.” But the spokesperson of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said that from evidence available to him, “Boko Haram is only a political wing of the ruling party and if they think that their leader, President Jonathan has overstayed his welcome, he should resign.” He told National Mirror that the general belief “is that Boko Haram is PDP and PDP is Boko Haram and that the President is the head of the sect which is the political arm of the party.’ Fashakin added: “PDP has used them to achieve what they want. So, let the President heed to their request. “Senator Ndume is accused of running the arm for the party and he has made it clear that all the activities of the sect are traceable to the Vice President and the PDP. This shows that they are the political wing of the PDP; so, if they are now asking for his head, he should oblige them. After all, what has the rest of Nigerians got to do with them.” President Jonathan had at the weekend replied

the sect, insisting that he would not resign. He described the peace condition given to him by the sect that he should embrace the Islamic faith and become its ardent member or resign from office as blackmail and rude intimidation. The sect had said that it would not go into any further dialogue with the government and that the only way they could stop the bloodletting and spate of bombings was for the President to resign. Meanwhile, condemnation yesterday trailed the request by the Boko Haram that President Jonathan should become a Muslim or resign from office. Reacting to the development, the founder of the O’odua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, said that no group in Nigeria had the right to make such demands. Fasehun explained that it was only the National Assembly that could remove the President. “I blame the government, especially the security operatives, for being too accommodating with these terrorists and their cohorts,” he said. The President of the Arewa Youth Consultative CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Gunmen attack church in Kogi, kill 16 worshippers CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the gunmen arrived the church in a Toyota Liteace bus and that on reaching the church premises, started shooting everyone on sight. National Mirror gathered that the attack took the worshippers who were attending evening service by surprise, even as all exit points were blocked by the terrorists to prevent any escape. An eyewitness confirmed that 16 dead bodies had so far been recovered from the scene of the massacre, while nine others who were seriously injured had also been rushed to the hospital. “As I am calling you now, we have just counted 16 dead bodies while nine people have been rushed to the General Hospital, Okene,” the source said. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Simon Ile, confirmed the incident, adding that

the information at his disposal was still very sketchy. He said the command was still awaiting further report from the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of the area, adding that the command would go after the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice. It could not be immediately ascertained how many worshippers were in the church as at the time of the unfortunate incident. It will be recalled that some suicide bombers had attempted to attack the Living Faith Church on Lagos Road, in Okene LGA last month before they were prevented by the heavy presence of security operatives. Governor Idris Wada yesterday summoned an emergency meeting of the state executive council over the attack. Furious about news of the unfortunate situation, Wada vowed that he

would spare no resources in smoking terrorists out of Kogi State. According to him, the perpetrators of the heinous crime are wicked, devilish, ungodly and deserve no place in a sane society. Kogi State, he said, has always been known for peace and any act capable of tarnishing the image of the state will not be tolerated at all. He called on all citizens of the state to remain calm. Meanwhile, the 19 Northern governors and their counterparts in the South are set for direct confrontation on the issue of state police as they meet today in Abuja under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF. Already, tension is mounting within the polity over the reluctance of the 19 Northern state governors to shift ground on their opposition to the creation of state police, a po-

sition which the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, had earlier adopted. Sources told National Mirror that the governors had been mobilising members to attend today’s NGF meeting to achieve numerical strength in the event that a vote is called over the vexatious issue. The Northern governors are opposed to the creation of state police on the grounds that the country is not ripe for it and instead demanded the strengthening of the Nigeria Police Force. It will be recalled that the NGF had, in a communiqué after its meeting in Abuja on June 24, asked the Federal Government to urgently consider the creation of state police as a solution to the state of insecurity in the country. It also demanded a special fund to fight violence in the North. But the Northern governors in a communiqué

after a meeting attended by 18 out of 19 members and presided over by the Chairman, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, said that the constitution should be amended to enable them to control Commissioners of Police in their respective states. Reacting to the Northern governors’ volte face, the NGF Chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and other governors had expressed surprise at the current stance of the Northern governors on the issue. Amaechi said that the June 24 decision of the governors at a meeting, which was attended by 31 of the 36 state governors, could not be altered and, therefore, declared that the later position of the Northern governors could not overrule the earlier decision. Amaechi noted that he could not understand why some of the governors backpedalled after an agreement on the need for state police had been

reached. He, however, expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved in today’s meeting. One major issue to be discussed was the decision of the northern governors not to support the recognition of the six geo-political zones in the country. Also, their resolution that the onshore/offshore dichotomy be reverted will be tabled. It is also believed that the crack in the NGF is becoming more obvious even within the South South geopolitical zone where the governors appear to be working at extreme ends over the 2015 general elections. The governors of the zone are divided over the ambitions of some of their members eyeing the presidency even when the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, who is from the zone, is yet to declare his interest in the 2015 presidential election.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Photo News

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), with the new Sector Commander Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos State Command, Corps Commander Nseobong Charles Akpabio (2nd left) and other members of his entourage during a courtesy call on the Governor in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Erelu of Lagos, Abiola Dosumu; Amb. Dapo Fafunwa and Prof. Emeritus Tekena Tamuno, at the brainstorming session on the 1861 annexation of Lagos as a British crown colony in Lagos, yesterday PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Head of Department, Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye; Author, Human Communication: Principles, Processes and Contexts book, Prof Daniel Awodiya of Suffolk County Community College, Brentwood, New York and Mr. Olumide Ogundero, at the launching of a book in Lagos.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Danland Ifasi; his Counterpart from Ministry of Transport, Engr. Nebolisa Emodi and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council , Capt. Adamu Biu during Union of African Shippers’ Council’s Sub-regional Workshop in Abuja, yesterday.

National News

New Tenancy Law: Lagos records 17, 501 complaints one year after K AYODE KETEFE AND MURITALA AYINLA

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lmost one year after Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State signed a new Tenancy Bill into law on August 24, 2011, 17,501 complaints have been lodged by aggrieved landlords and tenants in the state. One of the provisions of the law, which aims to regulate the relationship between tenants and landlords in the state, is the introduction of restriction on rent arrears payable by tenants. Section 4 of the law prohibits the demand for rent in excess of six months from a monthly tenant or one year from a yearly tenant as against the practice of demanding for two or three years as advance rent. The section specifically said: “It shall be unlawful for a landlord or his agent to demand or receive from a sitting tenant rent in excess of six (6) months from a monthly tenant and one (1) year from a yearly tenant in respect of any premises without prejudice to the nature of tenancy held at the commencement of the

tenancy.” Subsection 5 of the section provides for penal consequences for infringing this law by stating “Any person who receives or pays rent in excess of what is prescribed in this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100, 000 or three months imprisonment.” The statute provides that the high court or magistrates’ court as the case may be shall have jurisdiction to determine matters in respect of tenancy of any premises and by agreement the parties may resort to the CMC for amicable resolution of disputes. In consonance with expectation that the law would trigger controversies, National Mirror gathered that CMC has since last year been receiving an average of 1, 500 complaints every month, most of which centered on disagreement over rent, forceful ejection by landlords or holding over by tenants all in contravention of the provisions of the law. Investigations showed that the complaints were lodged at the Lagos State Citizens’ Mediation Centre, CMC, an organ of the state’s

Ministry of Justice, which is statutorily charged with the responsibility of settling disputes between landlords and tenants under the new law. A breakdown of the available statistics exclusively obtained by National Mirror from the CMC showed that 7,119 cases were recorded from August, when the new law took effect till the end of last year. The figures showed that 1,382 complaints were received in August, 1,531 in September, 1.441 in October, 1,422 in November and 1,343 in December. A further breakdown of the statistics showed that 1,388 complaints were received in January this year, while the figure for February was 1, 941. In March, the number of complaints received was 1, 897; in April, 1, 656, in May, 1, 873, while in June (which is the last time the figure was collated for this year) about 1, 627 complaints were recorded. In addition to the complaints at the CMC, it was further gathered there has been an upsurge in lawsuits at different Magistrate Courts since the new law came into effect.

However, unlike in the case of the CMC, there was no segregated statistics on the suits between landlords and tenants available at the headquarters of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, when National Mirror called. An officer of the court who did not want his name mentioned, nonetheless confirmed the increase in the number of cases between landlords and tenants. One of such cases involved a journalist with a national daily, Mr. Ranti Thomas, who was dragged before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court by his landlord (name withheld). The landlord had allegedly unilaterally increased the rent from NI50, 000 per annum to N360,000. When Thomas sought dialogue with the landlord to resolve the astronomical increment, he refused all entreaties and later brought eviction proceedings against hm. Another journalist, Mr. Olaleye Dada, complained that his landlord demanded two years’ rent, which is clearly in excess of statutory limit. Dada’s protest was resented by the landlord, who

instructed a property manager to issue him a quit notice. A community leader and landlord in Agbado area of Lagos State, Mr. Sina Adams, who spoke with the National Mirror, justified the collection of excessive rents from tenants by landlords. He said the law ought not to have imposed restriction on rents arrears because the measure is capable of introducing rancour between landlords and tenants. He said rather than venturing into the issue of landlords and tenants, the state government should have concentrated on the menace of land owners (Omo onile). He stressed that this is the real problem facing Lagos residents. Adams said: “Where will the government get anybody to convict on the issue of demanding rent in excess of stipulated amount? What some landlord have resorted to doing is to find any other excuse to eject a tenant who insists he would not pay rent advance in excess of six months or one year as the case may. “You cannot blame these landlords because it is not

the government that built the houses for them, why should government be regulating rents?” The immediate past Chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Adebamigbe Omole, doubted the workability of the law. Omole said: “The law provides that a landlord cannot take more than one year rent in advance from a new tenant and that as a sitting tenant, you cannot be asked to pay more than three months in advance. “Well, the law is good in its conception, except that I am skeptical about its workability. Let me tell you, Brigadier Mohamed Buba Marwa, during his tenure as the Lagos State governor, tried the same thing, but the law was more honoured in its breach than obedience. It is the same problem we are going to have. “The reason is that we have shortage of houses and it is a matter of demand and supply, where the demand outstrips supply, there is bound to be problem. Although Governor Fashola has been trying, the demand for houses far outstrips supply in Lagos.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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NAICOM suspends A&G Insurance, broking firm OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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he National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has suspended the operations of Alliance and General Insurance Company Ltd, its life company, A&G Life Assurance Plc and Fidelity Bond Insurance Brokers for violations of the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act 2003. In a directive for immediate compliance, NAICOM Deputy Commissioner, Technical, Mr. Ibrahim Hassan, said the two insurance companies and the broking firm were suspended for six months with effect from August 6, 2012. He said: “The suspen-

sion is as a result of the failure by the respective companies to comply with relevant provisions of the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act 2003. “Specifically, the offences of the companies include non-rendition of accounts; misrepresentation and non-disclosure of liabilities; non-remittance of premiums and commissions and corporate governance abuses.” Hassan added that the suspension, which was done in the exercise of the powers conferred on the commission by the enabling laws, could be extended at the end of six months until when the commission was satisfied that the violations had been addressed.

A&G Insurance Company Limited (A & G Insurance) is a member of the Fidelity Bond Group and was established in 1987. Mr. Gbadebo Oladejo is the Managing Director of the Alliance and General Insurance. It will be recalled that the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, had at the recent House of Representatives public hearing on insurance hinted that 10 insurance companies were operating below acceptable standards. Daniel had said: “Ten insurance companies are currently under regulatory watch, following observed deficiencies relating to solvency.” Daniel, who did not reveal the names of the af-

fected insurers, said that to assist them, NAICOM had given the insurance company the privilege to operate below the commission’s acceptable standard. The commissioner also revealed that eight other insurance companies had been sanctioned for operational infractions, while 19 companies were penalised for breach of oil and gas insurance guidelines. He explained that 38 companies had been penalised for failing to submit copies of evidence of their reinsurance arrangements. Daniel said that the guidelines for oil and gas insurance were issued by the commission following the enactment of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development,

Beggars protesting indiscriminate raid and extortion by members of the Lagos State Environmental Task Force, in Lagos yesterday.

Obama’s aide in trouble over $100,000 lecture fee in Nigeria CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

subsidiary of MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company, which at that time was actively involved in business with a state-owned Iranian telecommunications firm. The funds covered two speeches Plouffe made in Nigeria in December 2010, about one month before he became the White House adviser to President Obama, the newspaper reported. MTN Group is now being scrutinised by the US authorities over its activities in Iran and Syria, The Post said. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said criticising Plouffe would be unfair because MTN Group’s role in Iran was not widely known at the

time of the speeches, the paper noted. “He gave two speeches on mobile technology and digital communications and had no separate meetings with the company’s leadership,” The Post quoted Schultz’s statement. “At the time, not even the most zealous watchdog group on this issue had targeted the Iranian business interests of the host’s holding company. Criticism of Mr. Plouffe now for issues and controversies that developed only years later is simply misplaced.” Last week, Obama imposed new economic sanctions on Iran’s oil export sector and on a pair of Chinese and Iraqi banks accused of doing business with Tehran. Obama said measures

would be taken against firms that have dealings with the National Iranian Oil Company, the Naftiran Intertrade Company or the Central Bank of Iran or that help Iran buy US dollars or precious metals. He accused the Bank of Kunlun in China and the Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq of arranging transactions worth millions of dollars with Iranian banks already under sanctions because of alleged links to Tehran’s nuclear weapons programme. Obama said these two institutions would henceforth be denied access to the US financial system, as would any banks caught dealing with Iran in future. Meanwhile, President Obama and the Democratic National Com-

mittee raised $75m last month for the November 2012 re-election campaign. The total was well below the $101m that GOP rival Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised last month. July is the third straight month that Romney and the Republican Party have raised more money than Obama and the Democratic Party. He is also facing an onslaught of fundraising by well-funded, GOPleaning political action committees. Obama’s campaign said 98 per cent of the $75m it raised came from people who donated in amounts of $250 or less. The campaign said the average donation was about $53.

NOGICD, Act 2010 and the commission’s inclusion on the board of the Nigerian Content Monitoring Board, NCMDB. The Act was to ensure compliance with the insurance aspects of the Local Content Act. He had revealed that the commission had issued several guidelines, some of which were operational guidelines for insurers and re-insurers. They include operational guidelines for intermediaries, code of

good corporate governance and anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism regulations. Others are guidelines for developing a risk management framework; claims management guidelines (draft); guidelines for oil and gas insurance business; guidelines for the divestment of banks from insurance institutions; and Nigeria insurance industry ICT policy guideline.

NUC lifts suspension order on 3 private universities

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he National Universities Commission, NUC, yesterday lifted the suspension order on three out of the six universities it initially suspended. This is contained in the NUC Monday Bulletin, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja. The universities are the Joseph Ayo Babalola University, JABU, Ikeji-Arakeji, the Achiever’s University, Owo both in Osun State and Tansian University at Umunya, Anambra State. It said the suspension was lifted because of the corrective measures taken by the universities to rectify the infractions, leading to the suspension of their operational licences. The statement said that NUC would soon send a team to conduct

fresh forensic audit on the six private universities, whose licences were earlier suspended. The NUC listed the six universities as Madonna University, Okija; Achiever’s University, Owo; and Tansian University, Umunya Others listed by the commission are Caritas University, AmorjiNike, Enugu, Lead City University, Ibadan, and Joseph Ayo Babalola University, JABU, IkejiArakeji, Osun. The statement said that the auditing would cover all aspects of the universities’ operations. It will also continue to monitor the universities implementation of agreed actions. It said that the commission would, however, ensure continuous compliance with its extant guidelines and regulations.

PDP, ANPP, CPC divided over call for Jonathan’s resignation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Forum, AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said that the sect lacked the powers to make such demands. “The threat is neither constitutional nor right,” Shettima said. He urged the group to take advantage of the dialogue being sought by the Presidency to make peace with Nigeria. “Somebody must come forward to take responsibility and represent the sect. Government cannot dialogue with people it cannot see,” he said. The President of the Igbo Youth Congress, IYC, Mr. Bright Ezeocha, de-

scribed the demand as meaningless. “The President should not have even dignified them with a response. It is ridiculous. “President Goodluck Jonathan was not voted in by the Boko Haram sect, and the sect has no morals to make such a demand, with the high number of innocent Nigerians it has killed,” he said. Ezeocha urged Jonathan to deploy more security operatives to fish out the members of the group and those behind its activities. “We must learn to respect the office of the president,” he said.


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National News

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jimoh Ibrahim suspends Newswatch publication SEGUN ADIO

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ewswatch, one of Nigeria’s oldest news magazines, has suspended publication from this week in order to carry out a process of turn around and rebranding. The Chairman of the Board of Directors and publisher of the magazine, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, announced the suspension in Lagos yesterday. The decision followed a two-hour meeting with

•Says magazine due for corporate surgery management and staff of the company held at its Oregun, Lagos office. Addressing the staff, Barrister Ibrahim announced that the company would henceforth operate from the head office of the Global Fleet Group on Broad Street, Lagos Island. Ibrahim, who said he invested in the magazine because of his respect for journalism and for love for the cause the late Dele Giwa died for, also commended

the journalistic contribution of the editorial staff of the company, adding that the magazine, regrettably, was due for “corporate surgery.” He said: “In my capacity as the publisher of Newswatch magazine, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, I hereby suspend the publication of Newswatch magazine from the newsstands with immediate effect.” The publisher told the

staff that the decision was already approved by 51 per cent shareholders of the company, which is the Global Media Mirror Limited. He reminded the staff of Newswatch that National Mirror newspaper, now competing favourably with its peers in the country, also went through a similar rebirth. Ibrahim also told the workers that the suspension was to, among others, enable the group to over-

haul and reconstruct the old office of the company. Promising that no worker would be sacked, the publisher, however, said that “any staff not in agreement with the latest development is directed to collect any outstanding salaries from the Accounts Department immediately. “I commend the publishers of The News magazine for operating in a modern office with new technology, while I see the Tell magazine’s facelift and rebranding as unprecedented in the

history of Nigerian journalism. Newswatch cannot be an exception to modern changes and the old style must go once and for all.” Ibrahim, who acquuired majority stake in Newswatch in May 2011, also thanked the readers and customers of the magazine for their unalloyed loyalty, while assuring them that the magazine would return to the newsstand “as soon as the surgical operation is completed and the magazine is rebranded”.

Damaturu: Soldiers, policemen’s killings barbaric –Mark GEORGE OJI AND EMMANULE ONANI

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L-R: Marketing Executive, M-Net Africa, Mr. Femi Ojo; Strategic Marketing Manager, Flavours, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Bolajoko Bayo-Ajayi and Associate, Coca-Cola, Ms Timi Bode-Ejiwunmi, during the live viewing of Big Brother Stargame finale in Lagos …yesterday.

Reps move to ban importation of rice, wheat, others TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives is contemplating a law to ban the importation of food items into the country. Nigeria reportedly spends billions of naira monthly to import cereals and other food items to the detriment of home grown equivalents and the agriculture sector. The proposed law sponsored by Hon. Kaka Gujbawu (PDP/Borno) is entitled: “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Food Security Advancement Fund, FOSAF.” To stop food item imports, the Bill proposes that the Fund shall “promote and ensure sufficient local production of the four topmost food items - wheat, rice, sugar, fish - through intervention in development of infrastructure and programmes related to their production.” It also seeks in part to: “Promote and develop a high technology based food production industry

through enhancement and support for agricultural research institutions, faculties, as well as sponsorship of agricultural related studies. “Facilitate the progression of peasant farmers’ activities from subsistent level to a more commercially viable status through provision of concessionary loan schemes and improved extension service. “Assist small scale agroallied enterprises to grow

and develop into medium level commercially viable business concerns.” The Board of the proposed Fund would have a “chairman which shall alternate between the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and that of the Ministry of Water Resources.” It shall also have representatives of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Central Bank, Director of

Dams, Irrigation, Ministry of Water Resources, Director of Agric Services and one representative from the six zones.

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he inquest by a Lagos State Coroner into the Dana plane crash on June 3 was abruptly suspended yesterday as a result of an electrical fault which caused smoke in the courtroom. The court was filled with smoke which forced the Coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, to suspend sitting. Komolafe said there was need to suspend hearing in the matter because of the safety of the people and to

enable the technical crew of the court check and rectify the fault. Earlier, at the resumed hearing of the matter, the Coroner requested that the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, to tender an extract of the technical log book of the Dana aircraft. In his testimony, Mr. Emmanuel Dilla (an engineer) said that the technical log book of the aircraft was in AIB’s custody. Under cross-examination by Funmi Falana, Dialla told the court that the technical log book contained the

FCTA to demolish over 10,000 houses in Mpape OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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Smoke halts inquest into Dana crash WALE IGBINTADE

enate President David Mark has decried the killing of six soldiers and two police officers who were members of the Joint Task Force in Damaturu, Yobe State. Mark, who described the killing as shocking, said the action of their killer was “barbaric and inhuman.” In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiya, the Senate president also noted that it amounted to painful loss as they died in the active defence of

records of the aircraft on a daily basis. When asked about the location of black box, he said there were two black boxes namely; the Flight Recorder and the Copy Voice Recorder, CVR, adding that the two boxes were located at the tail end of the aircraft. Dialla said the Flight Recorder could not be recovered due to the overheating but the CVR was recovered. He added that the CVR was burnt but they were able to download all the necessary information needed for the investigation.

their fatherland. He said: “They died in active defence of the people as well as their fatherland. They will not die in vain because their acts of valour shall be etched on the conscience of our nation.” Commiserating with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, the Senate president urged them not to relent in their fight against Boko Haram and other forms of terrorism in the country. He added that the rank and file must also keep their obligation to the country.

he Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, said it was ready to demolish about 10,288 illegal structures earlier marked for demolition in Mpape area of Abuja. The FCTA, which explained that it had intensified sensitisation and consultation with village chiefs and the residents of the area, also welcomed an Abuja High Court pronouncement last Friday which staved off efforts by the residents to halt the impending exercise. Justice Abubakar Kutigi had said that the residents did not plead any evidence of their legal rights to the structures they were seeking to protect. The judge added that he would not make an order which would be in vain, es-

pecially since injunctions were not granted on the basis of grace or routine. However, at the FCT operations’ briefing yesterday, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said while the FCTA would uphold the rule of law, safeguarding the Abuja Master Plan had become more imperative. He explained that demolitions were usually carried out for sanitary and security reasons because threats in these realms had to be nipped in the bud. The minister added that apart from the over 500 shanties removed from the Gwagwalada Motor Park, the FCTA had, in the last one month, removed about 398 illegal structures, sealed 10 structures violating the Master Plan-designated land uses and cleaned up posters under overhead bridges and other locations in and around the Federal Capital City.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

National News

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Say what you know about Boko Haram, Nzeribe tells Clark OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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s the fireworks between Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark and former military leader, President Ibrahim Babangida intensified, maverick politician, Senator Arthur Nzeribe, yesterday joined the fray challenging Chief Clark to tell Nigerians all he knows about the sponsors of the Boko Haram sect. He said the chief should stop casting aspersions on some Northern leaders on account of the sect. He also berated President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to heed to the National Judicial Council’s recommendation that Justice Ayo Salami should be reinstated as the President of the Court of Appeal after being cleared of any wrongdoing in the prolonged battle with former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Katsina Alu. Chief Nzeribe, who once represented Imo State at the senate, said that President Jonathan’s flagrant abuse of the law is being allegedly copied by state governors such as Rochas Okorocha

of Imo State, who he said no longer respects court orders. He also described as an effort in futility, the threat by the House of Representatives to impeach President Jonathan, stating that the high level of corruption in the system makes it impossible for any serious-minded legislature to successfully carry out an impeachment process. Nzeribe, who spoke at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Sunday, said he was concerned about the political developments in the country and in his home state of Imo. He said the state is not only groaning under a rudderless leadership as evidenced in the activities of Governor Okorocha, but may also sink deeper with the ‘cowardice’ being exhibited by those who should ordinarily speak against the ‘democratic apathy.’ Expressing fears that the state may degenerate into the Hobbesian jungle, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart called on his colleagues in the state to shake off the posture of helplessness and work towards providing purposeful

leadership. Answering questions on the general insecurity in the country and the Boko Haram menace, Nzeribe

condemned the measures being taken by the government to tackle the challenge and other sundry issues. He said: “I don’t seem to

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etectives from the office of the Lagos State Police Command, yesterday, steppedup investigation into the case of an attack on a Lagos-based journalist with National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. Richard Eghaghe, by one Prophet Chris Okafor and other suspects in his Mountain of Liberation and Miracle Church, Ojodu, a suburb of Lagos. The police were reported to have stormed the church premises at about 11.00 am yesterday to effect the arrest of the prophet, who was also alleged to be at the centre of a stage-managed kidnap saga that claimed the life of a police officer. But, a close aide simply identified, as Pastor

•Gunmen kill four in Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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ix policemen, including a Superintendent of Police, SP, were feared killed in Sokoto State yesterday night after an attack was launched on a police station by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect. National Mirror learnt that the attackers hit the Shagari Police Station, about 70 kilometers from Sokoto town with a vehicle, loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices, IED, killing himself and the policeman. The station is said to be few metres away from the resident of former President, Shehu Shagari. The attack, National Mirror learnt took place around 6.45pm, when policemen were busy trying to change over their duties. However, another account said the attackers

came on motorbike and threw dynamites at the police station, while at the same time firing gun shots at the policemen on duty. Acting Force Police Public Relations Office, FPRO, Frank Mbah, who confirmed the development in an interview last night however said he did not have the details. He said: “I just got the information now, and I am trying to ascertain the veracity of the report. When I get the details, I will get back to you please. But certainly there will be casualty as police stations are usually busy,” he said. Meanwhile, Ffur persons were on Sunday night reportedly assassinated in their homes by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect. Two of the victims of the killings were residents of the notorious Lawan Bukar, where Alhaji Fan-

Wounds on Richards back

Mazi, said the prophet was still being expected in the church that morning. Not deterred, the police served letters of invitation on the prophet and the other suspects through Pastor Mazi, to report themselves at the Oduduwa Police Command in Ikeja, for interrogation, unfailingly before the end of the day. Eghaghe was at the church to recover a N45, 000 debt owed his publishing house for copies of newspaper supplied to the church on request on Friday, July 20, 2012. The newspaper had published a two-page interview on the controversial prophet after his purported kidnapping saga with the church promising to buy

why has he not made any arrest? We should know who they are beyond the President telling us that they are in his government.”

Six policemen die in fresh Sokoto attack

Police invite cleric over assault on National Mirror's reporter

Alleged terrorist prophet Okafor

agree with the way the President is handling the matter. The President once said the Boko Haram people have penetrated the government,

300 copies. However, repeated calls by Eghaghe on the prophet did not yield any result until he was assaulted by members of the church on the fateful day. Eghaghe’s words: “On Friday, July 20, 2012, at about 11.00 am. I visited the church as usual, I was ushered in by the security men at the gate who have become familiar with my face and offered a seat. Pastor Sylvester confided in me that the G.O. was on his way. “Soon, the G.O. drove into the premises. As he alighted from the car, I stood up where I was seated for recognition. But one of the pastors (Sylvester), reacted furiously, ordering me to sit down.

“I responded saying that I don’t think I want to sit down because I want the prophet to notice my presence and do something about the indebtedness that was two months. He got angry that I spoke in that manner before the ‘man of God’ and ordered the security men at the gate to throw me out of the premises. “Before I knew it, the security men were all over me. Without a word, they grabbed my trouser savagely by the waist band, dragged me to the main gate like a sheep to the slaughter and pushed me outside. In the process, my trouser got torn. I fell down but quickly got up for people not to notice the humiliation.”

nami Gubio, who was to be the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in the Borno State governorship election, was killed soon after returning from performing his Friday prayers at the Central Mosque in the metropolis. Another victim was killed at another notorious area of the town, the Railway Quarters, where the headquarter of the sect used to be located before the 2009 clampdown where it’s leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed by security operatives alongside dozens

of his followers. One other person was killed at yet another notorious spot, Gamboru ward and this has caused apprehension among the residents of the town. Though, there was no official confirmation as at press time as the cell phone of the spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, was not going through, a military source, who does not want his name mentioned, told journalists that the military has intensified efforts at getting the culprits.

Ogun govt acknowledges N10m fraud FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State government yesterday acknowledged that N10 million was involved in the tax fraud rocking the state Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as against the N100 million reported in the media. The state government also refuted the allegation of redeployment of the governor’s aide and other top officials of the agency allegedly involved in the fraud stress-

ing that it was part of a normal reorganisation going on at the state revenue service. State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who spoke with journalists on phone in Abeokuta, said the matter was still being investigated. Also, a release issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, confirmed the fraud but exonerated Amosun’s Senior Special Assistant on Taxation, Chief Olufemi Allen, as culpable.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Traffic law enforcement not now –Lagos AG MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State government yesterday said the full implementation of its new traffic law will not commence immediately, urging the citizenry to comply with the law rather than wait to be caught flouting it. Speaking with National Mirror yesterday, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said

•Commercial vehicles’ operators get 90 days to re-register although the new law became effective as soon the governor signed it into law last Thursday; he, however, added that it will only be fully implemented when it has been gazetted. He said the state is not banning commercial motorcyclists, known as Okada, but was only restricting their operation in the metropolis, saying that only 470 roads have been outlawed by the state which,

according to him, is about five percent of the roads in the state. His words: The law has already taken effect, but we are delaying the enforcement pending when we get the gazette and get more people aware of the new law. All of those streets and roads where we don’t want Okada to ply, we need to publicised them. The ones they know they are not to ply like the Third

Mainland Bridge, Ikorodu Road, they can be arrested if they do. The other ones that we have included are going to be publicised. As far as the law is concerned, it is in effective, it is just that the enforcement may not have full effect now. “They were banned from470 roads out over 9,000 routes, which is five percent of the total roads in Lagos. We have left all the small streets and roads where ef-

fective public transportation are not available and they constitute the majority after the ones in the metropolis,” he said. Meanwhile, the Lagos State government yesterday gave a 90-day ultimatum to commercial transport operators in the state to re-register their vehicles as a means of ensuring safety and security of residents. The ultimatum came

even as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) threw its weight behind the new Lagos Road Traffic Law. Speaking at a meeting with leaders of commercial vehicles’ operators in the state, the state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who gave the directive, said a new data base will be established by the government under the new development to identify the owner of the vehicle, driver as well as the vehicle’s conductor.

BoI, Ondo govt give N1bn loan to SMEs HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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L-R: Managing Director, UTC Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Foluso Olaniyan; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Minister for Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina and Chairman, Master Bakers, Ekiti State, Mr. Bosun Oshaloni, at the official launch of cassava bread initiative in Ekiti State, yesterday.

1861 annexation of Lagos: Dosumu’s role heroic –Eminent Nigerians

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minent Nigerians yesterday unanimously faulted historical claims that the role played by late Oba Dosumu of Lagos on the 1861 annexation of Lagos was against the interest of the city, saying that Dosumu was heroic in his dealings with Britain. They also described the annexation as a commercial adventure, adding that it was not driven by human interests as claimed by Britain. This was disclosed yesterday in Lagos at a forum convened by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) titled 11th Brainstorming Session On The 1861Annexation of Lagos: Matters Arising. Those at the event, which attracted notable people from the academia, diplomatic corps, legislature, traditional institutions, among others, were the former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Senator Olorumimbe Momora; Ambassador George Obiozor; Erelu Abiola Dosomu; Mr. Sam Amuka; Dr.

Walter Ofonagoro and Ambassador Robert Clark. Others also include; Prof. Rafiu Akindle; Prof. Tekena Tamuno; Prof. Margaret Vogts, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa; Ambassador Dapo Fafowora; Prof. Alaba Ogunsowo, among others. In her remarks, Ereulu Dosomu, regretted that Oba Dosomu’s role in the annexation of Lagos as a British colony, had been wrongly placed in history. According to her, “While

it is tempting to want to join the argument on the different and sometimes distorted accounts on the role of Oba Dosomu in signing the treaty ceding Lagos to the United Kingdom, I simply would like to use this opportunity to welcome you to the celebrations which started a year ago, where experts, historians, actors and actresses are putting the records straight through intellectual discusses, workshops and a host of other interesting activities.

“If there is any other massage I have today, it is the fact that the treaty of Lagos was about trade. It established a relationship with Her Majesty, Queen Victoria’s government and Lagos, which later expanded to Nigeria as a whole. The treaty of Lagos was about promotion of trade and investment and economic cooperation in general and not territorial takeovers, which my extensive research has revealed.”

Implement popular programmes, new LG bosses urged

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ewly elected local government chairmen and councillors in Ogun State were yesterday charged to implement programmes that will impact positively on the lives of the people of the state. The state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, gave the charge while breaking his Ramadan fast with political leaders across the state. Governor Amosun said the electorate deserved good governance and should not be taken for granted, adding that the chairmen and

councillors should remain committed to bringing governance closer to the grassroots. Thanking the people of the state and other stakeholders in the electioneering process for achieving a free and fair local government election recently, the governor emphasised that even the opposition parties admitted that the election was free and fair. He enjoined the political office holders to continue to deliver democratic dividends to the people and always remember that it was

the people that elected them into office. Speaking earlier, state Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Tajudeen Bello, advised party members to give accurate feedback to the government to engender even and sustainable development in all parts of the state. He counselled them to take advantage of the holy month of Ramadan to be closer to God, be fair in their dealings with fellowmen and contribute their quota to the development of the state.

he Bank of Industry (BoI) yesterday said that about 80 indigenous Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs across Ondo State have benefited from the N1bn loan jointly sponsored by the bank and the Ondo State government. The Zonal Manager of BoI in the state, Mr. Kola Adewole, disclosed this yesterday in Akure, during a stakeholders meeting of beneficiaries of the ‘ODSGBoI Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Fund.’ Adewole said about N950 million had been disbursed while the remaining N50 million meant for microbusinesses would soon be dis-

bursed in the next few week. The BoI representative also informed that about 150 projects from various firms in the state have been approved by the bank, saying it would require at least N1.7bn to fund them. Adewole said: “The BoI had exhausted the initial N1bn being the pool of fund sponsored by both parties under the phase one of the N2bn scheme. The Ondo State government had said it will release the second tranche for the second phase soon. “The remaining 70 entrepreneurs, whose projects had been approved but who are yet to be mobilised, will definitely benefit from the second phase of the scheme which will start in a couple of weeks.”

Osun govt sets up new security outfit WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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etermined to ensure the security of lives and property in the state, Osun State government yesterday set up a joint security outfit called ‘Swift Action Squad’ (SAS). The joint security outfit which comprised of the army and the police was inaugurated yesterday in Osogbo by Governor Rauf Aregbesola. The new body was to ensure a 24-hour surveillance across the state. Speaking on the occasion, the governor said the primary responsibility of government as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution was the security and welfare of the people. According to Governor Aregbesola, the security of lives and property of the people of the state is not negotiable, adding that his administration would make the state a ‘no-go area’ for criminal-minded people within the state. Noting that the language of criminals have always

been violence as they leave blood and sorrow in their wake, the governor said the state government would not expose its people to criminals, hence, it would meet them with superior language of force. The governor said there was need to impose peace and security in the state so that people would be able to do their businesses without fear, let or hindrance. According to Governor Aregbesola, his government was committed to fulfilling its security obligation, adding that the administration had worked in the past with the regular security arrangement, which he said brought about the relative peace currently enjoyed in the state.

Aregbesola


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South West

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Police kill two robbery suspects, arrest one in Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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olice in Ogun State said they killed two of the armed robbery suspects who en-

gaged them in a shootout on the Shagamu - Benin Expressway. Also, men of the antirobbery squad attached to the State Criminal and Investigation Department, SCID, intercepted a five-

man robbery gang at Papa Lanto in Ewekoro area of Ogun State and arrested one of them. The state Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement that the two suspects

were members of the robbery gang who engaged the police in a gun duel at the J4 Junction on the Shagamu Benin Expressway at the weekend. Adejobi added that the robbers had in the early

The arrested members of the Nigerian Army Cadet with the Nigerian Army kits and paraphernalia by Men of the 3Battalion, Effurun Barracks, yesterday.

hours of Saturday hijacked a commercial bus with registration number (Delta) XC 291 EFR belonging to one of the popular transport companies plying the eastern route with 15 passengers. He also explained that the police officers attached to Ogbere division, who were on patrol on the Shagamu - Benin Expressway, combed the area after the gun duel and found the two suspects in the bush with bullet wounds. According to him, the injured suspects died on the way to the hospital. Adejobi also said that men of the anti-robbery squad attached to the SCID at Eleweran in Abeokuta led by one Inspector Faleti intercepted a five-man gang at Papa Lanto in Ewekoro area, about 8.30pm on Sunday.

My govt doesn’t owe any bank - Aregbesola

PDP warns SWCs against dissolution of LG, ward executives G

WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

ABIODUN NEJO AND SAM OLUWALANA

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West Zone has threatened to sanction any of its State Working Committee’s, SWCs, which flouts the party constitution or engages in unlawful practices. It warned the SWCs against unlawful removal

of duly elected members of local government and ward executives of the party. The PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, said in a statement that the party had received reports on the removal of duly elected members of local government and ward executives of the party in some states in the zone. He said: “Such actions are illegal, null and void and of no effect.”

The party said it would no longer condone any act of indiscipline and flagrance disobedience to its constitution. The statement reads in part: “We wish to state that such actions are not only an affront on our party’s constitution, but also against the spirit of Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebuilding, 3Rs, policy of the National Chairman of our great party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur.

“Dissolution and or removal of wards and local councils EXCO members carried out by the SWC in any state in the SouthWest is therefore null and void. “Therefore, any member of our party executive at the local council and ward levels that has been unduly removed from office should disregard such removal and continue to carry out the functions of his or her office.”

overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has denied the allegation that his administration was indebted to a commercial bank to the tune of N25bn. The governor, who made the denial at an interactive session with journalists in Osogbo at the weekend, said there was no iota of truth in the insinuation that a debt of N25bn was hanging on the neck of his administration. Aregbesola explained that what was erroneously described as a debt was the

Lagos Traffic Law: Group knocks CJ over parley with executive K AYODE KETEFE AND SINA FADARE

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Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Access to Justice, has criticised the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayoola Philips, for attending the ceremony where Governor Babatunde Fashola signed the new Traffic Bill into law last Thursday. The Traffic Law, which purports to sanitise the problematic traffic situation in Lagos, has generated a lot of controversies because of some of its unusual provisions. For example, the law raises driving against traffic from a mere traffic mis-

demeanour to an indictable offence punishable by imprisonment for three years with an option of a heavy fine. Appraising the matter against the background of likely conflict that might be generated over the law, Access to Justice, AJ, said the CJ, as the head of the third arm of government, should not have attended the ceremony where Fashola signed the bill into law. Its Executive Director, Mr. Joseph Chuma Otteh, said in a statement that the presence of the CJ at the ceremony might give a wrong signal to the public that the head of the judiciary was already favourably disposed to the new law.

He said: “On Thursday, August 2, 2012 the Chief Judge of the Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice Ayoola Philips was among other dignitaries in attendance to witness the assenting of the new Lagos State Traffic Law. “As the head of the third arm of government in Lagos State that may ultimately decide questions about the legality or constitutionality of the said law, the presence of the CJ at that function questions the fundamental principles of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, especially if viewed in the light of society’s concern over the erosion of judicial integrity.” “The judiciary is an in-

stitutional watchdog over the rights and liberties of the citizens, it as well watches over the exercise of legislative and executive powers to ensure that it observes the respective limits of constitutional powers. Judges therefore have a primary responsibility to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Agenda for New Nigeria, ANN, Comrade Rasak Oloko-Oba, has commended Fashola for his laudable initiative in the new traffic law, saying it was a right decision at a right time.

He said a member of the gang, who was apprehended by the squad, was identified as Akin Adeleye. The police, according to the PPRO, recovered from the gang four live cartridges, a gun and a motorcycle with registration number (Lagos) FKJ 596 QA which they used for their operation. He, however, said that other members of the gang escaped with bullet wounds. Meanwhile, the Ogun State Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has arrested about 50 vehicles for violating traffic rules in the state. The Itori Unit Commander of the FRSC, Fatai Bakare, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abeokuta yesterday.

Aregbesola

N25bn credit line secured by his administration for developmental projects, which the government had not drawn and as such could not be regarded as a debt. He said: “My administration does not owe any bank any kobo. What we got was a N25bn credit line which we have not even used. So it cannot be said to be a debt until we make use of it. It is there for us to use anytime for developmental projects, but until it is drawn, it cannot be a debt.” Aregbesola, who said that his administration inherited N18.3bn debt from the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, also explained that to save the state from the debilitating loan which was drawn by the immediate past administration, his government decided to buy back the loan by negotiating better terms, interest and longer period of repayment with another bank.

Society of Engineers honours Osun gov today

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he Osun State chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, will today honour Governor Rauf Aregbesola as its patron. The investiture slated to hold at the Living Spring Hotel, Osogbo, is expected to attract chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, from the South-

West states. A former governorship aspirant in the state, Chief Gbenga Owolabi, would be the chief launcher of the maiden edition of the group’s bulletin. The NSE honour is expected to put to rest the allegation that Aregbesola was not a qualified engineer.


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‘Budget non-implementation, bane of Nigeria’s development’ CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oyewuchi Ezenwa, has identified the non-implementation of the nation’s budget as the bane of development in the country just as he said that there was no relationship between Lawan Farouk’s case and the threat to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan. Ezenwa who was interacting with journalists at

the weekend in his home town Orji, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, said many projects have been abandoned in different parts of the country because the Federal Government has failed to implement the budget. He observed that the nonimplementation of the budget was one of the reasons why insecurity has persisted in the country, adding that security agencies are underfunded, a situation he said has hampered their inability to source for information.

“If the government has implemented the budget and money is released to the security agencies, the situation would have been different today. We must pay for information, put money into security to get the information we need and if you get the information you need, you will be able to curb crime,” he emphasised. According to him, it was wrong for the people to insinuate that the lawmakers want the president impeached because of the Lawan Farouk

saga. “That is not true, we have insisted that the budget must be implemented fully because we know that the budget is not only fundamental to the National Assembly, it is the only means we can bring development to our people.” He wondered why the government had failed to fund projects it had budgeted for when all agencies bringing in revenues for the country are exceeding their targets. “If you look at our

roads, you will see particular roads taking up to seven years before they are completed. And we are saying to Mr. President, why don’t you fund these projects, why don’t you release money as provided by law and appropriation; because if you look at our income, it is not dwindling, you look at revenues from the Customs, they are exceeding their targets. “If you look at oil sales it has not fallen, the lowest is $80 going up to $100. So why can’t we fund our projects, why can’t we

implement our budget. That’s the question we are asking,” he pointed out. He said if the government had implemented the budget up to 50 percent, every Nigerian would have felt its impact, adding that it would be difficult for the government to achieve such percentage when it was not executing projects according to priority. “Money approved for a particular project would be used to execute another project and this has caused decay in the nation’s infrastructure.”

LG ordered to pay N31m for breach of contract

100 entrepreneurial graduates get N20m

GEORGE OPARA

AWKA

CHARLES OKEKE

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ABIA

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n Abia State High Court sitting at Osisioma, has ordered the Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Council to pay a company, Mgborukwe Enterprises Limited, over N31 million for breach of contract agreement between them. The court, presided over by Justice C. C. Thomas Adiele, also ordered the council to pay the company N15.61 million being 50 percent of the said contract sum as compensation for wrongful termination of the said contract. Justice Thomas Adiele further awarded the company N10, 000 as cost against the local government council. Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Council had in 2005 given the company a contract to build the Osisioma Motor Park on Build, Occupy, Transfer (BOT) term. The contract agreement stipulated that the company would manage the park for a period of 25 years to recoup its investment and transfer it to the council. However, it was learnt that in 2008, barely two years into the agreement, the then council chairman, sacked the company from the park and took it over. Irked by this, the company through its Managing Director, Chief George Mgborukwe, approached the court to seek redress.

L-R: Glo’s Commercial Director, Ike Oraekwuotu; Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi and Glo’s Divisional Director, SouthEast, Michael Ehumadu, when the Glo team visited the governor at the Government House, yesterday.

Youths threaten violence over alleged police brutality NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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ouths from Nise community in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterday said they may resort to violence if by today, the state police high command fails to produce one Inspector Charles Odigwe, to face trial alongside Corporal Felix Igbosun for allegedly torturing one Osita Okafor, a one-time detainee at Ogidi police station to death in 2010, while still in police custody. The youths had mobil-

ised themselves for the demonstration on Wednesday, July 25, when the court sat last and threatened to strike out the case if by the next adjourned date, Inspector Odigwe was not produced in court. But, the President-General of Nise Town union, Chris Onoh, pleaded with them to shelve the proposed demonstration exercise. Confirming this to journalists yesterday in Onitsha, Onoh said he stopped the youths from embarking on the demonstration exercise because the community has forwarded a strongly worded petition to the state Commis-

sioner of Police, Ballah Nassarawa, to kindly produce the police inspector in court to answer the murder charge preferred against him. In the petition written on their behalf, by their legal counsel, Chris Ajugwe, the community recalled that after the duo of Inspector Odigwe and Corporal Igbosun had conspired to torture Osita Okafor to death in custody on August 15, 2010, at Ogidi Police Station, the two were subjected to Orderly Room trial, after which they were found guilty and charged to court. He said after this, Igbosun, a corporal was dismissed instantly, while Odigwe was

recommended to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Police Service Commission (PSC) for dismissal. The community alleged that since they were charged to court, both of them have been absent to answer the murder charge, rather, they have resorted to the use of their fellow police colleagues, both retired and serving, to frustrate their trials by refusing to appear in court to take their plea. They therefore urged the CP, as the chief law officer to order the police officers to appear in court to take their plea on the murder charge.

Okorocha signs autonomous communities bill into law CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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mo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has finally signed the fourth-tier government known as “Community Government Council” bill into law as he fore-closed the creation of

new autonomous community in the state. Okorocha, who disclosed this while addressing Imo State council of traditional rulers at their Secretariat in Owerri, expressed joy that the fourth-tier government has been accorded full legal backing to function.

Okorocha said culture and agriculture, would be two cardinal points on which community government council would be anchored, stressing the readiness of the state government to grow agricultural produce in order to stabilise grass root development.

Okorocha

ne hundred trainees who have just completed the Entrepreneurial Programme of the University of Nigeria, Awka-Etiti Centre, have been paid N20 million as settlement allowance. The ceremony, which took place at Awka-Etiti in Idemili South Local Government, was held under the supervision of Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi. Speaking during the ceremony, Governor Obi promised that his administration will continue to partner with individuals and organisations that are involved in activities capable of creating employment opportunities for the people. The N20 million was distributed to the first batch of Awka Etiti trainees of the university’s Entrepreneur Development Centre at Awka Etiti Town Hall. The scheme, one of the empowerment programmes of Akiota Works Limited, involves the 100 beneficiaries who were individually trained and provided with a revolving interest-free loan repayable after two years. The donor, Mr. Okwui Emejulu, said the scheme was part of the corporate responsibility of his company to complement efforts of government to empower the people and fight poverty. Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of certificates and cheques by the governor.


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Edo guber: PDP disowns Airhiavbere’s petition against Oshiomhole SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he internal crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following its defeat at the July 14 governorship election, assumed a new dimension yesterday as the party washed its hands off the petition by its candidate challenging the outcome of the poll. In a statement, the state PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, dissociated the party from the last Thursday petition by Major-General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (rtd). He, however, demanded an apology from the winner of the election, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, for wrongly

•I have full respect for Anenih, says governor

accusing PDP leaders of complicity in the murder of the governor’s Principal Private Secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde, and the convoy accident which killed three journalists. But as if bowing to Orbih’s demands, Oshiomhole described the PDP National Leader, Chief Anthony Anenih, as a man he had “full respect” for, despite their political differences. Although the PDP candidate could not be reached for his reaction as he neither picked his calls nor replied our correspondent’s text message, one of his aides said that Airhiavbere was not happy about the manner his party leadership abandoned him, even before the formal pre-hearing conference of the peti-

tion. However, Orbih reiterated that the PDP suffered under ACN’s instrumentalities of intimidation and fraudulent practices to lose the election. He said: “With the above assessment of the results, PDP is aware of the divergent views and expressions by the public. PDP is also aware of the legal options. However, PDP has fully consulted the leadership of the party both within and outside the state. During these consultations, legal opinions were sought and it is the conclusion of the

party that while we appreciate the effects the results declared by INEC will have on our teeming members, we are also mindful of the consequences which the state may run into with protracted litigation. Consequently, though painful, for now, PDP has decided not to file any petition before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in the interest of the state.” Oshiomhole also hailed the candidate of the party in last month’s governorship election, Major-General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (retired), whom he

called upon to join him as a friend and contribute towards the development of a great Edo State instead of the two engaging and fighting over an election to the detriment of the lives of the people of the state. However, demonstrating his respect for Anenih, Oshiomhole said yesterday that the PDP decision not to contest the July 14 election at the tribunal was a step in the right direction. The governor said the result of the election showed an overwhelming support for the ACN across the 18 local government areas

and 192 wards in the state. He said: “I want to restate my full respect for the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih, whom I hold and will continue to hold in high respects. I also wish to assure the PDP candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (retired) whom I regard as a friend, that now that we have put the election behind us, my doors are open (to him) so that together, we may lift our state to the high level where it should be. I, however, wish to state that other issues raised by the PDP will be commented upon on another occasion.”

2015: It’s our turn to produce Delta gov - Anioma people AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA

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he people of Anioma in Delta North Senatorial District have reiterated their preparedness to produce Delta State governor in 2015. Briefing journalists yesterday in Asaba, the Protem Chairman of “Anioma Agenda,” Mr. Alex Onwuadiamu, an Asaba based-legal practitioner, said that it was the turn of the Anioma to produce the next governor, based on the principles of zoning,

equity and justice. He said: “We, the Anioma people, have watched with keen interest behind the scene manoeuvres and sometimes open interest being orchestrated in the governorship of Delta State by some certain people of Delta origin other than those from the Anioma area or Delta North senatorial district.” Onwuadiamu added that it was the inalienable right of the Anioma people to occupy the office of the governor of the state in 2015.

Why Bayelsa security outfit was disbanded – Governor’s aide EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ayelsa State Government has given a fresh insight into why Governor Seriake Dickson disbanded the state security outfit, “Bayelsa Volunteers,” shortly after he assumed office in February. The Special Adviser to the governor on Political Affairs, Fred Agbedi, who spoke on the issue at an interactive session with civil society organisations in Yenagoa yesterday, said many “ghost” names and other inconsistencies were discovered in the nominal roll of the outfit scattered in the eight local governments of the state. He said government would no longer recruit sy-

cophants and miscreants into Bayelsa Volunteers. Agbedi said some policemen in another disbanded security outfit, “Operation Famou Tangbe,” were now facing a probe panel over their roles described as counter-productive in the outfit. He disclosed that a Judicial Commission of Enquiry was set up to investigate cases of extra-judicial killings by the cops facing investigation. The Bayelsa Volunteers was established in 2000 by the Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s administration to combat sea pirates in the waterways, but the outfit was used as a political patronage by former government functionaries to employ their friends, political thugs and relations.

A flooded house at the verge of collapse at Agwuagune, Abi Local Government Area of Cross River, yesterday.

Corruption, killing LGs, says Dickson EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday lampooned the local government system in the state over its abysmal performance. The governor said the councils had been turned to George Orwell’s Animal Farm where corruption was the order of the day. Dickson said comprehensive reforms in the tier

of government would turn around the hinterlands, begging for development. The governor spoke in Yenagoa, shortly after inaugurating the State Local Government Service Commission, the House of Assembly Commission, the State Independent Electoral Commission and State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB. Others sworn in are the former Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, now Commissioner of Sci-

ence and Technology and Manpower Development, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack and four Special Advisers to the governor. He said: “If we are able to turn around the local governments, they will actually be a useful level of government to accelerate the development of our people. A situation where all the revenues accrued are not accounted for, problem of non-existing workers, funding of nonexisting projects are there.

PHOTO: NAN

Recurrent expenditure surpasses capital expenditure. It is unacceptable to us. “Since we came on board, we made it clear that no deductions will be made from the local government accounts. Not even a kobo has been deducted by the state government from monies accruing to the local government. My policy is to have a local government system that has official workforce.”

Don’t approve NDDC budget, communities beg NASS AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA

A

coalition of the Coastal/Swampy Oil Producing Communities of Bayelsa and Delta states has called on the National Assembly to stop the consideration and approval of the 2012 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The group said the call became necessary because of the poor implementation the NDDC’s 2011 budget.

The coalition made the appeal in a protest letter signed by one Mr. Francis Amamogian, chairman, Amatu I community, Mr. Victor Disi, chairman, Agge community and chairmen of 14 other communities - Azamabiri, Bilabiri I, Amatu II, Bilabiri II, Bisangbene, Ekeni, Ezetu, Orobiri, Ogbeintu, Letugbene, Egbemo-Angalabiri, Odimodi, Beniboye and Ogbotobo. The group said in the letter, which was addressed to

the both chambers of the National Assembly and made available to our correspondent in Asaba, that until a satisfactory evaluation of the 2011 budget of the commission was done, its 2012 budget should not be approved. It also urged the lawmakers to, as a matter of urgency, constitute an independent panel to evaluate the implementation of the 2011 budget of the NDDC. The coalition alleged that the activities of the

management of the commission were infringing the provisions of Section 7 (1) (b) of the NDDC Act which stated that the commission ought to conceive plans and implement same in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for sustainable development of the Niger Delta areas in transportation including roads, jetties, water-ways, health, education, employment, industrialisation and others.


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Terrorists steal cars for suicide attacks –JTF INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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he Joint Task Force, JTF, also known as Operation Restore Order, has advised the public to report cases

of stolen vehicles immediately at its office or the nearest police station for necessary action. This came on the heels of the surge in cases of car snatching and stealing in Maiduguri, the Borno State

capital. The JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, who gave the advice in a statement, said information available to security agencies showed that some terrorists would soon embark on mas-

sive car snatching for their suicide missions. He said: “JTF wishes to alert members of the public on the desperate move by some Boko Haram members to snatch/steal vehicles for suicide bombing,

therefore, anyone whose car has been stolen should please report immediately to the police, as any vehicle discovered to have been used for such deadly mission, even if stolen and has not been reported to security

agents, the owner of such vehicle would equally be treated as an accomplice.” He, however, urged the people to continue their normal businesses as JTF was ever ready to protect them and their property.

Plateau: 102 underage ‘prostitutes’ arrested during raids

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L-R: Secretary to Sokoto State Government, Alhaji Sahabi Gada, Governor Aliyu Wamakko and the Commissioner for Information, Malam Danladi Bako, at the inauguration of a new Outside Broadcasting Van for Rima Radio and eight official cars for the state media organisations in Sokoto, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Police discover 27 explosives in Okene ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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olice in Kogi State said they had recovered a vehicle loaded with 27 Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, in Okene. The state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Muhammed Musa Katsina, said at a press conference yesterday in Lokoja that the weapons of mass destruction were recovered from a mobile armoury

of some suspected armed robbers who wanted to raid a filling station in the area. He said the dare devils, who were in a Gulf car, which was turned to their armoury, engaged his men in a shootout. The commissioner said the gang leader, identified as Lukeman, escaped with bullet wounds, while two policemen were killed in the battle. Katsina, however, said no arrest had been made in connection with the in-

cident. He also disclosed that the fleeing suspects also manufactured missiles which were sold to terrorist groups and armed robbers in some parts of the country. Parading 14 armed robbery suspects, the commissioner also gave a breakdown of the items recovered from men of the underworld during separate operations in different parts of the state. He said 11 vehicles, 25

guns, and 1,614 ammunition of different made were now in the custody of the police. Katsina also ruled out the possibility of the presence of Boko Haram in the state. He added that as a police officer, he could not allow speculation to lead him in his investigation. The commissioner also disclosed that his men were on the trail of Lukeman and other members of the gang.

bout 102 underage girls believed to be prostitutes have been arrested by the police in Jos, the Plateau State capital. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, disclosed this yesterday at the command’s monthly news conference in Jos. He said: “The girls are aged between 12 and 16 years and they were arrested dancing naked at Pleasure Inn at Shendam Street and Mandela Hotel at Rwang Pam Street.” Ayeni said the arrest followed a security tip-off that made security men to raid the hotels. “The suspects were interrogated and on request, handed over to the Plateau State Ministry of Social Development for rehabilitation,’’ he added. The commissioner said that officers and men of the command had carried out extensive raids on criminal hideouts in Jos and Bukuru, where 109 suspects were arrested. He said: “In the last one month, a total of 13 cars and 11 motorcycles were recovered at different locations and some of them have been released to the owners. Property

Bomb attacks: Remain focused, CNPP urges Wamakko FELIX NWANERI

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he Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, has called on the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Magartakada Wamakko, not to be distracted by the recent terror attacks on the state but instead intensify the developmental programmes of his administration as a tool to ensure security. The CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said in a statement that the suicide attacks on the zonal headquarters of the

police at Marina in Sokoto metropolis, the office of Police Officers’ Wives Association near Unguwar Rogo divisional police station and Arkilla divisional police station were uncalled for and had raised concerns about the spread of terrorism in the country. He said: “This is a new dimension in the insecurity that is besetting the nation because Sokoto State, hitherto offered some sense of assurance that not all the states in the North were under terror attacks. The recent suicide bombing in the state is there-

fore alarming, especially as it has the potential to interfere with the ongoing developmental strides of the Wamakko administration.” Ezugwu added that beyond the use of force to fight the insurgency, creative concepts, targeting poverty and unemployment, should be given priority since the state government’s efforts at addressing poverty contributed to the measure of peace the state enjoyed prior to the attacks. He therefore urged Wamakko to increase the

tempo of his policy directive anchored on the objectives of poverty reduction, wealth creation and educational empowerment as a means of insulating the state against further terror attacks since experts had tied the upsurge in violence to poverty and unemployment. The CNPP particularly charged the Wamakko administration to strongly consider expanding the adult education programme of the state to include capacity building and skill acquisition for youths as this had the po-

tential to mop up the idle hands that could be recruited for future attacks. It also called on opposition political parties in the state to rally behind the governor to combat the security threats as well as ensure success of the administration in the interest of the people. Commiserating with the victims of the attacks, the conference urged the Federal Government to come up with new measures to combat the rising insecurity since insurgents had continued to strike and often with deadly precision.

valued at N11m were also recovered.” Ayeni said that some armed robbery syndicates, who had been terrorising people in other parts of the state, were also smashed, “through meticulous and dexterous use of intelligence”. He disclosed that many suspects had been arrested with ammunition, ranging from locallymade pistols to live cartridges and other weapons. The commissioner restated the command’s resolve to end the violence in Plateau State.

Security operatives recover 15 guns in Gombe

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olice in Gombe State said yesterday that they recovered 15 guns during a routine search operation in the state. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Fwaje Atajiri, said in a statement that the guns were recovered during a routine operation on the Gombe -Yola Road. He said that two suspects were arrested at the scene in Kaltungo Local Government Area of the state. Atajiri added that six stolen laptops were also recovered by the command in Gombe metropolis. The police spokesman said that two suspects were also arrested in connection with an attack on the Caretaker Chairman of Billiri Local Government Government, Malam Adamu Sansani.

IGP Abubakar


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SUPER TUESDAY Jonathan should stop appeasing his enemies – Ezeife

14,15&44

The bitter days of struggle for environmental rights by the Ogoni ethnic nationality, which led to the execution of the campaign’s arrowhead and playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa may be far from over, following last week’s declaration of political autonomy for the area by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), writes FELIX NWANERI.

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ast Thursday’s declaration of political autonomy by the Ogonis, an indigenous people in Rivers State, finally capped their campaign for environmental and minority rights which has spanned over two decades. In what seems a fulfilment of the “prophecy” by the late playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who kick-started the struggle, president/spokesman of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, who made the declaration, affirmed that self-government within Nigeria will secure for the Ogoni people, their indigenous rights, enable them meet their needs and interests as well as end internal colonialism. Saro-Wiwa was hanged alongside eight others in 1995, in what has come to be known as “Ogoni 9.” He had said before the special tribunal that tried them: “I predict that the denouncement of the riddle of the Niger Delta will soon come. The agenda is being set at this trial. Whether the peaceful ways I have favoured will prevail depends on what the oppressor decides, what signals it sends to the waiting public. In my innocence of the false charges I face here, in my utter conviction, I call upon the Ogoni people, the people of the Niger Delta, and the oppressed ethnic minorities of Nigeria to stand up now and fight fearlessly and peacefully for their rights.” So, it was not surprising when Diigbo in a live broadcast on a newly established radio station: Voice of Ogoni, vowed that by the declaration for self-government, the Ogoni people are determined to enforce the United Nations (UN) Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without fear or retreat. His words: “Acting on the General Assembly mandate on the questions relating to the Political Autonomy of Ogoni in Southern Nigeria, and in the spirit of the General Assembly motion DPA/001/2012, and its resolutions DPA/002/2012 and DPA/003/2012 adopted and approved on July 31, 2012; in accordance with the wishes of the Ogoni people contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights of 26 August, 1990 as revised on the 26th of August 1991; expressing the collective will of the good people of Ogoni in the referendum of 2010 and the second referendum of 2011, obey-

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Impeachment: What next for NASS after Okonjo-Iweala’s budget defence?

42&43

Ogoni: From environmental rights to self-rule OGONILAND: A TROUBLED HISTORY 1958: Oil struck in Ogoniland 1990: Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) formed and led by Ken Saro-Wiwa 1993: 300,000 Ogonis protested neglect by government and Shell 1993: Shell pulled out of Ogoniland after employee was beaten 1994: Four community leaders killed. MOSOP leaders, including Saro-Wiwa, arrested 1995: Saro-Wiwa and eight others tried and executed; widespread condemnation of government 2003-2008: International attention switched to armed conflict started by other communities in the Niger Delta 2011: Shell accepted liability for two Ogoniland spills ing the command by the Ogoni people and their elected representatives...; conducting this solemn affair in accordance with the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by UN General Assembly in New York on September 13, 2007, guided by the purposes and principles of international law in accordance with the UN Charter, I, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, hereby make this historic statement, to announce the proclamation of this General Assembly Declaration of Political Autonomy for the Self-determination or Self-government of the Ogoni people within Nigeria, today, the 2nd day of August, 2012.” The Ogoni Bill of Rights calls for political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people; control and use of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development; adequate and direct representation as of right for Ogoni people in all Nigerian national institutions and the right to protect the Ogoni environment and ecology from further degradation. The MOSOP leader explained that the Ogoni self-government became urgent following the need to arrive at a consensus to collectively review the disputed UNEP Ogoniland Oil Assessment report, as any dialogue must be with the genuinely elected representatives of the people, expected to enforce indigenous rights without dictation. He said: “In order to make indigenous rights practicable in Ogoni, we have through a very transparent electoral college process, beginning with community

Jonathan

Saro-Wiwa

by community elections, set up 272 village councils, while the village councils in turn elected representatives for 33 district councils and the district representatives went on to elect representatives to serve at the centre as custodians of customs and traditions, otherwise called lawmakers. “The lawmakers in turn elected the executive arm of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA) with checks and balances inbuilt to ensure corruption-free, effective, efficient and answerable system of grassroots self-government instead of

the old, corrupt and mismanaged local government system endured by the Ogoni for decades. “In taking these measures, we are quite aware of the discomfort to about 56 local politicians that control local government politics in Ogoni. However, we care more about the 1.2 million people that have for too long been excluded,” he stated. He also announced that a Transitional Committee has been set up to facilitate dialogue to ensure peaceful transition, within 30 days, while consultation with the national government and international community begins without delay. He advised the people to remain law-abiding and act non-violently, saying: “We are acting with legitimacy to reclaim all of our rights, without exception, and for the sake of peace and security; let no one test the collective will of the Ogoni people, because we will not surrender our indigenous rights anymore.” The Ogonis, who are predominantly farmers and fishermen with a population of more than a million and divided administratively into four local government areas; Eleme, Gokana, Khana, and Tai, like other ethnic groups in the Niger Delta, have had a chequered history since the discovery of oil in the area in 1957. The 1970s and 1980s saw government’s promises of benefits fall through. This led to the formation of MOSOP in 1992. Spearheaded by Saro-Wiwa, the group became the major campaign organisation representing the people in their struggle for ethnic and environmental rights. The Ogonis have also been victims of human rights violations. In December 1992, the conflict between them and the oil companies escalated to a level of greater intensity. Both parties began carrying out acts of violence and MOSOP issued an ultimatum to Shell, Chevron, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay about $10 billion in accumulated royalties, damages and compensation and immediate stoppage of environmental degradation as well as negotiations for mutual agreement on all future drilling. The refusal to heed to the ultimatum led to protests in 1993 that were designed to stop contractors from laying new pipelines for Shell. Anti-riot policemen were deployed to quell the unrest, but in the chaos that followed; over 27 villages were raided, resulting to the reported death of 2,000 Ogoni people and the displacement of over 80,000 people. But not deterred, the people threatened further mass action to disrupt the operations of the oil companies if they fail to meet their demands, insisting that extraction of the natural wealth of the Ogoni homeland will not continue while they CONTINUED ON PAGE 41


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Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife is a former governor of Anambra State. In this interview with OMEIZA AJAYI, he bares his mind on sundry national issues and urges President Goodluck Jonathan to be firm in dealing with enemies of the country even as he described the current threat by the House of Representatives to impeach the president as grossly misplaced. Excerpts:

Would you say he has handled the security situation in Nigeria as best as possible? Yes, he has handled the situation as best as he can. Maybe another person would have handled it as best as that person can, but the result may be the same or worse or better. Now, he has handled the situation with sympathy and appearing to Nigerians as not fighting back. But what is happening now, is an improvement, we hope it continues because Boko Haram seems to be relenting in its interest. People who are sponsoring them must look into the future and see the bleakness of the consequences of their actions. I think he has done his best in the circumstances. What is your opinion on the impeachment threat against

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Jonathan should stop

Ezeife

NM

How would you rate the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in the last two years? Assessing Jonathan’s performance is not an easy thing. The first year, he threaded on a very insecure surface and rarely answered his father’s name after the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua. He has shown consistency in humility; he has also shown consistency in transformation. The second year of Jonathan is the easier one to assess. If you do not say he has been excellent you cannot say he has been poor. If you don’t say he is very good you cannot say he is very bad because he had no opportunity to perform exactly as he wanted to. Before the elections, we heard it said by some people that they will make the country ungovernable. How do you assess the tenure of a person who is governing a country that in truth was made ungovernable, where blood have been flowing on a regular basis and the man is a religious person who is praying. Let me tell you a common story in my area. if you help a person with a bag of salt put on his head and you make heavy rain to beat the person, not only do you lose the right to ask how much salt is left in the bag, you also will be guilty of the fact that the man cannot even see because your salt has entered his eyes. I don’t know any other president who has worked in an atmosphere where some people deliberately make governance impossible. Ghana-must-go was a period in history, when Nigeria was making some kind of progress relative to that of Ghana. That period has been in the long past. Ghana organised herself, provided electricity and security and there is relative peace in the country. No tribe is fighting the other viciously. Blood has not been flowing in Ghana. All these positives that I have said about Ghana cannot be said of Nigeria. When you rate somebody, you rate him in comparison with other people. The situation faced by the president of Ghana, certainly is not the situation faced by the president of Nigeria, who is working under circumstances he never envisaged. None of us expected to have the kind of Nigeria we are passing through and it is a phase in our history which we know, has no equivalent. The civil war was a different thing. It was one sided, but the reason was clear; Nigerians killed the Igbo people massively in a pogrom and the Igbo people decided that if they were rejected in Nigeria they would go to their own conclave, but Nigeria changed its mind and wanted to maintain one Nigeria. Therefore the country went to battle. What did Gowon do apart from fighting the war? No too much development. So, once you do not have the centre right, you cannot calculate the circumference. Any effort to assess the government of Jonathan must go into its equanimity. The only area I have little appreciation of, is the way he has adopted the appeasement strategy in dealing with his foes. It shows no thorough understanding of the character of the various people of Nigeria. There are some people you can appease and there are others for whom an attempt to appease means provoking more problems.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TUESDAY INTERVIEW NIGERIA HAS THE

RESPONSIBILITY TO BE A SUPER POWER AND ENHANCE THE DIGNITY OF THE BLACK MAN BUT TODAY WE ARE BRINGING SHAME ON THE BLACK MAN the president by the House of Representatives? Impeachment is a dreadful word to be used only in dreadful situations. We are just talking about insecurity in our country. This country is too hot for now. Why should anybody want to heat it up? Impeachment is something reserved for special, serious situations. The House of Representatives is interested in the budget being implemented. I am also interested in the implementation of the budget. Nigerians are interested too. In fact, we need a faster implementation of the budget so as to revive the economy which Boko Haram has dampened so much, but ‘implement before September or face impeachment’ seems to be over-killing, unnecessary,

dangerous, uncaring and politicised. We should try to calm things down and not heat them further up. Now they are beginning to compile offences for impeachment but what they told us about impeachment is budget implementation. There may be difficulties they have in the budget, may be some of the approved budget by the House is in excess of what the administration in its calculation estimated. If they are having difficulty with the budget, impeachment threat is not the way to deal with it. And Nigerians are very suspicious. Is the threat because of something else? Is it because of constituency projects or is it because they are very much concerned about the economic growth of Nigeria? All of us are so concerned that impeachment sends signals for underinvestment. Impeachment tells foreigners to be wary, that the country is unstable and you do not know what will happen tomorrow. Assuming you impeach the president and Vice President Namadi Sambo becomes the president, do you think we will live in this country? Do you see the Igbo in the 2015 election power equation? There are many ways to look at it; you can look at it from the argument of those who would say that this country is on a tripod; Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba. Two legs of the tripod have been president, but the third leg has not. Again they come with the zonal argument that there are now six zones in the country. Each of the zones except the South-East has produced a president. What justice, fairness or equity can make anybody to oppose the Igbo of the South-East producing the next president? These are the selfish ways of look-


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Politics

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

15

appeasing his enemies – Ezeife ing at it. There is another way; there is a people in Nigeria who unlike any other people in the country have voted for one Nigeria with their two feet. The Igbo have voted for one Nigeria, even the Hausa have said if you get to a place and there is no Igbo man there, leave there because it is not worthy of human habitation. Now, if you go to anywhere in Nigeria and you take away the population of the indigenes, the next highest population is the Igbo. From that point of view, it should not be the Igbo making the argument; the argument should be made by everybody. The Igbo have acted as the glue holding the country together. After the civil war, they went back rebuilding Nigeria as if nothing happened. Anybody who is a Christian or a good Muslim should be able to make case for the Igbo. That is the other angle to look at it, but I want to look at it from a totally different perspective. It appears it is time for Nigeria to shine. We have tried every group in leading Nigeria but we have not made much progress even after about 52 years. How is the Igbo man different? Usually he will come not very rich to settle in small space where those who live there are not so rich and within a short time he becomes a force to be reckoned with. What gave him that opportunity if not God? Is it not time to allow God to work for Nigeria through the instrumentality of an Igbo president? Look at the talakawas. If the Igbo man becomes a president he will look at them mercifully and change their situation. Look at the Almajaris, they were born by people, but are now abandoned and they are roaming the streets and are being called bad names. No Igbo man allows his child to roam the streets. That culture of not leaving children as Almajaris will be sold to Nigerians. The culture of massive education and pursuit of technology and industrialisation, egalitarianism and upward social mobility are things that make nations great. So you are of the view that an Igbo presidency will make an impact in Nigeria? The problem is that since 52 years ago, no Nigeria leader has made the economic development of Nigeria a priority, instead we dwell on pride, religion and things that divide us. The naira has no enemy because anybody who generates naira is a friend of all. An Igbo president will generate naira the way he does in his own affair. The black man was among the number one in the ranking of humanity. In that ranking, the Egyptians were number one followed by other blacks, and then Indians and number four and last were the blue eyed barbarians; that is the whites. Today it is totally a complete reversal of that order. Nigeria has the responsibility to be a super power and enhance the dignity of the black man but today we are bringing shame on the black man. Of the three major tribes in Nigeria, anywhere you go outside the country and you find an Igbo man then he must be from Nigeria. You cannot say that of the Yoruba or Hausa because the person might be from Togo or Niger. So, anybody who wants something good for Nigeria should vote for the talakawas or the downtrodden. Doing that would require a vote for the most industrious people who have demonstrated in every way their capability in transforming nothingness to something and who have demonstrated their commitment to the development of Nigeria. Some northerners would say if we make an Igbo president, he will bring back Biafra. Now there are more Igbo outside Igbo land. The Igbo people have more properties outside Igbo land than any other group. Why would they want to be isolated? Igbos are surplus in America and holding sensitive positions in nuclear arsenal. Igbos are in the rest of the world at the frontiers of technology. Other countries in the world are exploiting them. Bart Nnaji was number three in technology; Emegwali is number one in computer. One of my friends was the person to give Kodak instant photography decades ago. So, Nigeria should choose whether to remain as it is or join the rest of the world in over taking some other countries. Northerners are advocating a review of the current revenue allocation formula. Do you share their sentiments? If you divide Nigeria into North and South and calcu-

20 per cent is near and we can even beg them to accept that for some years instead of going all the way to 50 per cent because why do we worry about that? Tomorrow, you may discover gold in Anambra or Kano. So, wherever the source of revenue, those who produce it must have the lion share and then the whole country must benefit from it. If it should be whatever you have in your own place you keep all to yourself, then the case for one country is untenable. The North has interest in one Nigeria, because, development wise, they are backward compared to other parts of the country. We have never had presidential power in Anambra but the World Bank says the state is the richest rural community in Africa. We don’t have Almajaris there because everybody is made to be taken care of at the stage he must be taking care of and to take care of himself by the time he should and to take care of whoever he brings into the world. It is in the far North that we usually have this Almajari system. Every Igbo man is a king in his own right and that is why they say the Igbo have no king, but we follow good ideas and those who think we cannot act as one are deceiving themselves. When the tough things come, you will see us together just like during the burial of Ojukwu. Even in our votes for Jonathan, we were like sheep and we dumped all our eggs in Jonathan’s basket. Those who have ears let them hear, those who have eyes let them see, things have changed. Yes, it remains true that the Igbos are the main problem for an Igbo Nigerian president, but even that is under control.

late the total allocation to the North and South, they will be right, but the South includes Enugu State that has no oil. Same for many other states. When you talk about South taking the highest allocation, you are only talking about Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Cross River, but Cross River has even lost most of her oil wells. So, on the basis of North-South, they are wrong. When I argued for the permanence of one Nigeria, there is no way to avoid the six geopolitical zones becoming the federating units if we want to keep Nigeria going, but anyway we do it, we must always remember national interest. There must be national interest in revenue allocation, but derivation is something historical. There was a time when it favoured the North and it was 100 per cent. I think we would reach a common ground in revenue allocation, but derivation should take a higher ratio, however, we must provide for national interest for even development. We cannot have one state in Nigeria looking like New York and another state replicating Ajegunle. There must be principle of national interest and even development but argument should be made from a proper perspective because anybody talking as we are talking is just blowing hot air. Derivation principle has not reached where it should be. The South-South is demanding 50 per cent. We had agreed to take it to 18 per cent before the 2005 conference. May be

ONE OF US WENT TO LONDON AND LOST EVERYTHING IN JAIL BUT IN

NIGERIA, NOBODY EVEN

GETS FINED AND PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE DONE WORSE THAN HIMSELF ARE WALKING THE STREETS FREE IN

NIGERIA.

THE JUDGES CART AWAY MONEY... AND THEY GIVE JUDGEMENT. THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN NIGERIA

What is your take on the single term tenure of five years proposal for president and governors? I buy into it 110 per cent. You get into office in the present situation, find your feet and begin to work and barely two years in the process, somebody begins to tell you that election is two years down the line and you begin to dash away public money to please people for the next election and raise thugs who will go and beat up your opponents. You begin to do anything that is inimical to the progress of the society and then tension rises. Money becomes an instrument of winning elections instead of manifesto, ideology, commitment to a cause. So, if you have a single term and you go in there, the moment you are elected you begin to work and you are a president for everybody. If I am to choose as a person, I will vote for one term of six years not five. The subsidy report seems to have been rubbished by the current scandal trailing the House of Representatives ad hoc committee chairman... (cuts in) Nigeria is about to shine. We go to bed and it is dark, it gets a little lighter and towards the dawn it becomes darker. When it is darkest, the dawn is near. Now is the darkest period of our time. Corruption has eaten up everything. A few of us are demoralised. There was a programme we did in Lagos and somebody threw a challenge that anybody who was in government office and did not steal money should stand up. Only myself and Olu Falae stood up. But even now, if you say it again, it will be more difficult and you tell me it is the same thing to give as to take. Nonsense! So, it is good we have got all these things out in public domain. We now know that they stole our money in the name of subsidy. Whether you catch them or kill them is secondary but we now know how people squandered our money. We are only teaching the young ones that stealing is not a problem. That is the only worry I have now because if thieves are not punished it sends a wrong signal. One of us went to London and lost everything in jail but in Nigeria, nobody even gets fined and people who may have done worse than himself are walking the streets free in Nigeria. The judges cart away money. Their own is so cool. They cart away money and they give judgement. There is no justice in Nigeria, so everything has come to a head. The subsidy thing and even this impeachment threat is being related to the subsidy issue. They are saying the House of Representatives is defending itself against the president for exposing this thing as if President Jonathan actually did the exposure. Things have become darker and I presume the dawn is near and Nigerians are the ones who CONTINUED ON PAGE 44


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Politics

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Still on budget implementation

ASO ROCK FILE

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with

Rotimi FADEYI

Jonathan, his media team and ‘attack dog’

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here were telephone calls last week from the headquarters of different media houses to their Abuja Bureau seeking to know if President Goodluck Jonathan had effected a major change in his media team. The concern really was whether Dr. Reuben Abati has vacated his seat as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President because of the appointment of Dr. Doyin Okupe as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs. Okupe was Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and like Abati, he is also from Ogun State. However, as there was no official statement from the media officers working in the office of the President on the appointment of Okupe unlike in other appointments made by the President, it was difficult to take a stand on the appointment. But the cloud over the appointment has cleared, Okupe has since assumed office as Senior Special Assistant to President Jonathan on Public Affairs. To put the record straight on the different duties of the two men from Ogun State in the media team of the President, an early morning press briefing was organised last Tuesday. For Abati, the appointment of Okupe does not pose any conflict or friction in their separate duties in the information management of the administration of Jonathan. He said that they will work harmoniously to ensure the good image of the President and the Presidency before Nigerians.

“I know there will be all kinds of interests who will like to give an impression that they are fighting in the Villa; that they are confused, that they have Reuben Abati, why do they need to have Dr. Okupe again. There is no conflict at all, we are working together as a team and you are not going to see any kind of friction. If anything, you are going to see us engaging the public with a lot of coherence,” Abati stated Okupe on his part, made it clear that he has not come to take over Abati’s position, adding that he was not appointed to be the ‘attack dog’ of President Jonathan as some people are made to believe.

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t was the turn of the Federal Ministries of Health and Housing last week to give account on the implementation of this year’s budget with the Health Ministry recording 36 per cent performance in the utilisation of N287 billion of the appropriated sum. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, specifically lamented the reduction of the budget of the ministry by the National Assembly which had made it difficult to discharge some of its responsibilities. Chukwu disclosed that the reduction of the budget of the ministry by the National Assembly in areas of response to emergency situations from N88 billion to N44 billion has made it difficult for the ministry to respond to emergency situations created by frequent Boko Haram attacks. The Minister further explained that while the President provided N582 million for control of Lassa fever, cholera,

R-L: Vice President Namadi Sambo; Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Bello Adoke and Information Minister, Labaran Maku at a meeting at the State House

Just before Attah-Mills’ burial he shocking news of the death of late Ghanaian President, John Attah-Mills on Tuesday, July 24 reverberated across the world. The incident threw the country into a state of mourning. Two years ago, precisely May 5, 2010, former Nigerian President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua also died in office as a result of health challenges. Just like President Goodluck Jonathan, who was Vice President as at the time Yar’Adua died was sworn in as President; former Vice President John Dramane Mahama has stepped into the shoes of Attah-Mills. Last week, Mahama sent a five-member delegation, led by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Muhammad Mumuni to formally inform Jonathan about the death of Attah-Mills and to invite him to attend the burial scheduled for Friday, August 10. While disclosing the burial arrangement, Mumuni said the funeral rites of Attah-Mills starts tomorrow when his body would be laid in state before he is finally buried on Friday. Jonathan assured President Mahama

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of Nigeria’s continued support and cooperation, stating that “Nigeria will continue to work with Ghana. We will continue to consult on bilateral, regional, continental and global issues.” Speaking after his meeting with Jonathan, Mumuni said: “We are here at the behest of the President Mahama of the Republic of Ghana; he has asked us to come in accordance with our revered African customs and tradition to formally announce to President Jonathan the untimely and the unfortunate demise of his brother and colleague, President AttahMills and also to announce the funeral arrangements that are being made and also to deliver to him an invitation to attend the funeral. “When President Attah-Mills was alive, he had good working relations and very good chemistry with Jonathan. They consulted very closely on issues of national, regional, continental interest. We think it is a personal loss to President Jonathan as well and he has expressed grief sentiments of condolence, sympathy and support and solidarity which we will dutifully convey to President Mahama.”

measles and other disasters for Federal Ministry of Health intervention, the National Assembly appropriated N78million. “So if you have any major thing, it puts a strain because there will be no appropriation to deal with it as far as the Federal Ministry of Health is concerned,” Chukwu said. Such emergency situations, the minister noted, include Boko Haram attacks, road accidents and similar disasters where the ministry is ordinarily expected to intervene to check the spread of epidemics and other health challenges. Chukwu explained that the ministry has achieved 36 per cent performance in the utilisation of funds approved by the National Assembly. According to him, the National Assembly approved a total of N284.97 billion while capital budget is N60.2billion. He maintained that out of the N60.2 billion, a total of N14 billion had been released, saying that the Ministry had already spent N5.72 billion while the parastatals and agencies had expended N19.29 billion The Minister of Housing, Ms. Amma Pepple, said her ministry will generate N4.9 billion this year through services being rendered, stressing that N6.7 billion has so far been released for capital projects, which represent about 16 per cent. According to her, there has been progress on the five key performance indicators set by the ministry which include access to qualitative and affordable housing, now at 37 per cent, stressing that the target is 50 per cent before the end of the year. She further said that the ministry would also ensure job generation for professionals and artisans; capacity building for personnel and using land available efficiently on contractors finance basis.

Economic policies gets kudos from abroad

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hose who think the present insecurity in the country will dwindle the rate of investment in the country, had better have a rethink as global investors at an Investment Conference in London, the United Kingdom gave kudos to its economic policies instead of writing off the country in terms of security threats to investment. The Coordinating Minister for the

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair 2. Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Muhammad Mumuni 3. Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar 4. National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki 5. Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa 6. Chairman of IBTC Bank, Atedo Peterside 7. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe 8. Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu 9. Minister of Housing, Ms. Amma Pepple 10. Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji

Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was elated that the Transformation Agenda of the present administration received the endorsement of the investors and this she conveyed to members of the Federal Executive Council at its weekly meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja last Wednesday. At a post-FEC briefing, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku said Okonjo-Iweala during the meeting disclosed that leading investors that attended the conference expressed confidence in the economy of Nigeria and interest to invest in the country. “It is very clear that Nigerian economy is heading in the right direction and that our macro economy policies are applauded and the investment community across the world also appreciated these reports and it is a re-affirmation that President Jonathan administration particularly as far as the economy and its management is concerned is working. The reforms that are being implemented is leading this nation towards an economic transformation,” Maku added.

MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41 - 44


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Views

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

17

Time to unbundle Nigeria MAGNUS ABE

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hen an organisation becomes unwieldy, inefficient, corrupt, wasteful and incapable of bringing value to its stakeholders, one likely solution is to unbundle it into smaller, more efficient organisations with greater efficiencies of scale. In Nigeria, we are already applying this principle to some of our public corporations - PHCN and NNPC after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), for example. This principle can also apply to a country. Nigeria comes to mind. She is more unwieldy than NNPC, more inefficient than PHCN and more corrupt than both put together! The Nigerian federation is not working and cannot work in its present form because we have a sharing federation. A lorry cannot fly, for the simple reason that it is not designed to fly. In the same vein our federation cannot succeed as a productive nation because it is not designed to produce. Nigeria needs to be unbundled to create a productive federation where all parts can produce and contribute, not equally but in equal strength. The argument has been made that the present structure of Nigeria was necessary to curb the strength of the

OUR FEDERATION CANNOT SUCCEED AS A PRODUCTIVE NATION BECAUSE IT IS NOT

DESIGNED TO PRODUCE.

NIGERIA NEEDS TO BE UNBUNDLED TO

CREATE A PRODUCTIVE FEDERATION WHERE ALL PARTS CAN PRODUCE AND

CONTRIBUTE, NOT EQUALLY BUT IN EQUAL regions and ensure the stability of the country. The result has been an overkill. We now have states that are clearly incapable of meeting even the elementary requirements of organised modern government, and not to mention preparing its citizens to compete in the global economy. Every federation succeeds on the strength of its federating units. A federation where the federating states have no capacity, authority or freedom

to deliver, is a tragedy. We must never make the mistake of thinking that Nigeria is more important than its citizens. The future of Nigeria as a united country is meaningless except it guarantees the safety, security and prosperity of her people. Our greatest absurdity as a nation is that the federation in its present structure is designed as a sharing unit. Nigeria has 36 states and a federal capital territory, 774 local government areas, hundreds of useless federal and state ministries, agencies, committees, parastatals, commissions etc. spread across the land. All these bodies are in a fierce competition to draw resources from one source: the Federation Account. The nature of this competition is responsible for the rot that is Nigeria; it promotes deceit. That is why we lie about everything from our census to school enrolment figures. It promotes disunity; that is why our country cannot be united. In other to justify their share of or demand for a greater share of the national cake, politicians and other leaders are compelled to exploit the differences among peoples to demand for an increase in the allocation of resources or positions. All offices are calculated in the sharing arrangement, and must be used to the advantage of whatever interest is able to capture them.

“Juicy’ offices are regarded as another legitimate way of sharing the national cake. Nobody can be successfully punished for corruption in this sharing structure because the idea of eradicating corruption is a parody in a sharing federation. People are appointed primarily to “take”, “collect”, or “settle” themselves, and “carry along” their people, or interest group. Corruption in office begins from the day of appointment, when the villagers abandon their farms to celebrate their good fortune of having one of their own in a big political office. The most important tool in the fight against corruption is the disapproval and opprobrium of the society and your peers. We will never get that in our sharing federation because every means that you employ in getting something out of the system will meet the approval of your community and your peers, who are similarly engaged in an equally desperate quest for any advantage in getting a share of the national cake. The sad reality of our situation is that the population has clearly overtaken the entirety of available resources, and everything is now stretched to breaking point. To be continued Senator Abe represents Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly

76 oil well ruling: Cross River State’s right to grief (2) ANDEM OFFIONG Continued from last week

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lmost toeing the same line of logic as The Guardian Editorial, Professor Bola Akinterinwa, the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), warned that the restive Bakassi Peninsular looked set to become Nigeria’s next theatre of war. In his column in Thisday, Sunday July 29, 2012, Prof. Akinterinwa observed that Nigeria would soon “be faced with the problem of conflict between the obligation created by the ICJ ruling on Bakassi and the right to selfdetermination of the Bakassi people. He pointed out that the people had already set up a liberation movement known as the Bakassi Self-determination Front (BSDF), which had issued a two-week ultimatum to people living in the ceded territory to either voluntarily vacate it or risk attack. “Perhaps even more poignant is the obvious fact that the resolve of the people to make a strong case for themselves on grounds of self-determination has gained more momentum from the position of the National Assembly on Bakassi, which states that the cession of Bakassi to Cameroon was in conflict with Section 12 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. It is instructive that all these are swirling up at this moment in time. These are, however, signs that should not be taken lightly”.

What the situation calls for is caution, not the triumphal dance that Akwa Ibom State government has mounted on the national stage. The sponsored publication of the judgment in the newspapers, as we have recently seen, weakens the case for Akwa Ibom and re-emphasizes the need for a more pragmatic political solution to the issue. In addition to being the most sensible approach to a potentially turbulent case, it also seems rather common intelligence that all of 76 oil wells should not have been handed over to Akwa Ibom which already has many oil wells, while Cross River with its large army of injured and displaced indigenes, is left to rue its losses. Though former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been blamed for many ills of the Nigerian federation, his pragmatic approach to this brotherly dispute was full of wisdom. In engineering a peaceful agreement between the former governors of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, which led to the temporary cession of the oil wells to Cross River, Obasanjo accomplished two things – he secured Nigeria through a clear demarcation of its territorial waters on what used to be the Bakassi estuary and two, he made amends for the loss of Bakassi to Cameroon. There was a level of appeasement of the people of Cross River State while the state retained the oil wells. However, with the Supreme Court declaration of Cross River State as a nonlittoral state, a few crucial issues have been raised. First, the Nigerian Navy will have to obtain clearance from Cam-

OBSERVERS BELIEVE THAT A MORE SENSITIVE LED

PDP-

FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT SHOULD RISE TO THE CHALLENGE AND NIP THE FOREBODING CONFLICT IN THE BUD BEFORE IT FLOWERS AND FESTERS TO THE DISCOMFITURE OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY eroon before patrolling aspects of the nation’s territorial waters. Again, with the judgment, the people of Cross River state and the masses of displaced Bakassi indigenes have been forced to re-evaluate the terms of their engagement with a country which guarantees them neither protection from external territorial grabbers nor equity from neighbourly aggressors. These are the basic considerations that fuel the prevailing sense of outrage in Cross River State and the niggling fear that with the recent ultimatum issued by the Bakassi Self-determination Front, the hitherto peaceful Calabar region

and its huge tourism industry, might be plunged into an intricate civil unrest that might assume the mode of guerilla warfare. Going by the well reported influx of illegal arms into the country, a breakout of another armed resistance in any part of the country will worsen the nation’s security concerns. Observers believe that a more sensitive PDP-led Federal Government should rise to the challenge and nip the foreboding conflict in the bud before it flowers and festers to the discomfiture of the entire country. All things considered, what cannot be gainsaid is the fact that wittingly or unwittingly landmines are being laid in Cross River State. The loss of Bakassi to Cameroon and the consequences of handling the hordes of displaced people who are yet to be properly resettled to this day and the sudden loss of oil wells to Akwa Ibom State are tinderboxes waiting for ignition. It is hoped that the government of Akwa Ibom State under Godswill Akpabio has enough good sense not to strike a march with its advertorials and sponsored articles and set Nigeria’s most peaceful sub-region ablaze. Concluded. Offiong wrote from Calabar. 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.


Editorial

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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

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STEVE AYORINDE

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

The proposed East-West rail line project

ransportation commissioners from the 17 states in the South East, South West and South South geopolitical zones met recently to fine tune modalities to actualize the long-conceived East-West failed railway dream. The project was kept in view since 1960 when the country gained independence. When translated to reality, the Lagos-Calabar rail line would traverse the entire western, eastern and southern states. The BRACED Commission, comprising the six South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta, convened the meeting of the state transportation commissioners in Calabar, Cross River State; though the South-South Economic Summit was the precursor of the meeting. Director-General of BRACED, Mr. Joe Keshi, in a communiqué at the end of a recent meeting of the Commission, said the three geopolitical zones constitute the busiest commercial belt of the country. A railway line linking them, he stated, would ease the movement of goods and services, especially petroleum products and farm produce for exports and local consumption. The Lagos-Calabar rail, according to Keshi, promises to be the most viable and sustainable in the national network; and would change the economic dynamics of the regions and the nation at large. The communiqué urged the affected states to open up dialogue with the Fed-

eral Government to include the East-West rail in the national rail network agenda as well as create the enabling environment that would encourage private sector investments in rail development in order to achieve the Vision 20-2020 dream of modern transportation. Brilliant as the proposed EastWest railway vision might seem on paper, it would most likely remain as wishful horses that beggars would never ride, should the 17 southern states depend on the FG for its success. Coming to fruition of the Lagos-Calabar rail depends largely on the political will of the governors of the 17 cooperating states, and not necessarily on FG might or support. The FG’s policy on rail development, for example, seems insincere and confusing. It woos private investors, on the one hand; and on the other, scares them away. The FG relishes awarding contracts for rail projects that the private sector or state governments have shown interest in undertaking. Not long ago, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a $1.49 billion LagosIbadan standard gauge rail line contract to the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the same firm that bungled the rehabilitation of the old Lagos-Kano rail track. The proposed FG’s modern gauge rail is expected to cover 2,733 kilometers in six phases, spanning Lagos-Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna, Kano, Abuja, Kaduna.

THE FIRST MARK OF SERIOUSNESS IN

MAKING THE NATION’S RAILWAY WORK IS FOR THE FG AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO

PRESSURE THE NATIONAL

ASSEMBLY TO ABROGATE THE NRC MONOPOLY ACT

Incidentally, the Oodua Group of Companies, owned by the western states, had a couple of years ago, signed an agreement with a foreign firm to build a 20-minute Lagos-Ibadan rail, but was frustrated by the Nigeria Railway Corporation’s retrogressive monopoly Act which forbids private firms and states from building or engaging in rail transportation business. Sadly, too, the National Assembly (both the Senate and the House of Representatives) has refused to abrogate the colonial and obnoxious NRC Act to allow private investors and state governments expand rail networks to enhance rapid national development. There is, therefore, the urgent need to repeal the NRC monopoly Act; reform rail transportation to establish an independent regulatory agency and create laws and

regulations to guide local and foreign investors interested in the sector. It’s sheer foolery or wishful thinking to expect investors to put their money into a rail sector in which a giant state operator (the NRC) is permitted by law to be a monopoly and a regulator in an industry it operates and competes. No one should be judge in his own cause. But that is exactly what the FG has done and has continued to do by allowing the nation’s prostrate NRC have a legal chokehold on rail transportation in the country. Consequently, the first mark of seriousness in making the nation’s railway work is for the FG and state governments to pressure the National Assembly to abrogate the NRC monopoly Act to create a level playing field for competitors in rail transportation to invest and operate in a fair business environment. In addition, the cooperating 17 states must demonstrate seriousness in accomplishing this laudable project, considering its potentials for massive jobs creation. With reliable rail transport, farming communities would spring to life with the opportunity provided for farmers to cheaply and safely move their harvests to market in the cities where they can make commensurate profits from sales. The FG should strive to roll out a policy framework on rail development in order to reduce the current stress on the nation’s highways, as well as avoidable road accidents and deaths.

ON THIS DAY August 7, 1999 The Chechnya-based Islamic International Brigade invaded the neighbouring Russian Republic of Dagestan. The Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade was the name of an international unit of the Islamist mujahideen founded in 1998.The unit was composed of between 400 to 1,500 militants, most of them Dagestanis (mainly Avars and Darginians), as well as Chechens, Arabs, Turks and other foreign fighters. Its Emirs (leaders) were the Arab Mujahid Ibn Al-Khattab and Chechen Shamil Basayev.

August 7, 1998 The United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya killed approximately 212 people. The 1998 US embassy bombings were a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the US embassies in the East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad brought Osama bin Laden to US’ attention.

August 7, 1955 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, sold its first transistor radios in Japan. Sony found its beginning in the wake of World War II. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in a bomb-damaged department store building in Tokyo. The company had $530 in capital and a total of eight employees. Joined by his colleague, Akio Morita, the next year, they founded Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (Sony Corporation), commonly referred to as Sony.


ATSSSAN blames past govts for aviation woes

Brokers seek support from law officers on electronic database

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‘Nigeria loses over 30 % of GDP to failed transport integration’

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he story of rail transport system in Nigeria is no doubt one of a decent from grace to grass occasioned by the failure of successive governments in Nigeria to fix the rail system despite huge investments in excess of N10bn by various governments. It was probably in the light of this that Minister of Information once admitted that the rail industry remains Nigeria’s area of shame, especially in her march towards socio-economic development. The industry at a point in time became the easiest way of siphoning the nation’s meager resources by top government officials and their cronies through the award of fabulous contracts, many of which were never executed. The result of this over time is that Nigeria’s rail system is currently near a comatose state. The rail system of transportation, which remains the most affordable means of mass movement of people and goods, currently accounts for less than two per cent of movement of goods and people due largely to several cases of fraud and sabotage in the industry by successive government. However in a country like India as densely populated as it is, rail transport constitutes over 80 per cent of means of movement of goods and people. Little wonder the Indian economy, which had been in the woods about 10 years ago, is currently rated as one of the fastest growing economies of the world. But the question most Nigeri-

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Arik Air

NRC train coaches

Despite the investment of over N50bn in the rail system in the last few years, the industry still accounts for less than two percent of movement of goods and people. FRANCIS EZEM reports that inefficient transportation system has resulted in untold economic losses. ans seem to be asking is what actually went wrong with the rail system, which was before now the highest employer of labour in Nigeria. Assistant Director in charge of public relations department of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. David Ndakotsu traced the beginning of the failure of the rail system to the British Colonial Masters themselves, who established the railways. According to him, the concept of the rail system as conceived by the colonial masters was a means of transportation of agricultural produce like cocoa, kola nuts, coal and ground nuts, which were exported to Britain for its industrial use, which were later exported to Ni-

FG begins foreign firms’ investment proposals appraisal

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geria as finished goods. It was gathered that this selfish economic consideration of the British Colonial Government informed why the rail system was located in towns like Lagos, which houses the seaport for the export of these goods, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Oshogbo, Ilorin, Jebba, Minna, Kaduna and Zaria. Others include Kano, Nguru, Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Oturkpo and Makurdi, among others. Ndakotsu also noted that this British economic consideration also accounted for why all the rails were narrow gauge, which came in the zig-zag format designed to locate and link those agricultural towns as well as few others where there were

commercial activities then. But apart from the selfish and narrow economic interest of the British Colonial Government in establishing the railways in the country, some experts have blamed successive governments in the country for their failure to sustain the existing rail infrastructure, blaming the death of the NRC on excessive intervention in the day-day management of the corporation. A stakeholder who spoke on the condition of anonymity noted that appointment to the management of the NRC at a time became an issue of settling political associates of those in government and so professionalism was thrown to the winds. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

German-style apprenticeship scheme can tackle unemployment – Experts

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

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Real estate developers groan under harsh operating environment

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Business & Finance

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Nigeria loses over 30% of GDP to failed transport integration’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 This anonymous stakeholder argued that the death of NRC was gradual because most of the infrastructure were not maintained and over a period of time, those passengers who had got used to the rail as a means of transportation gradually began to loose confidence as they were no longer prompt and efficient. A transport and logistic expert, Mr. Francis Ehiguese, who spoke in terms of lack of institutional and policy framework for the transport, noted that Nigeria loses the value over 30 per cent of her Gross Domestic Product annually due to inefficient transport system in Nigeria. While decrying the total absence of rail-road integration, which he said, is the in-thing for efficient transport system globally, Ehiguese, who is national executive director of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Lagos, regretted that this development is taking its toll on the nation’s economy. “If the roads have failed, the rails are not working as they should, the Nigerians are not having a fair share of the both the domestic and international air traffic, among others, the country loses nothing less than 30 percent of her total GDP to failed transport system”, he said. It was probably worried by the ugly development that the current government embarked on massive rehabilitation of the various narrow gauge rail lines as well as construction of standard gauge to carter for modern day transportation. Ndakotsu had disclosed that part of the strategic policies of the current management is the gradual movement from narrow to standard gauge, which is faster and more efficient. It was probably in line with this policy that the Federal Executive Council approved the $1.488bn Lagos-Ibadan railway contract, which is a Standard Gauge

I WANT TO SAY THAT THE HUMAN RESOURCE

ISSUE IN THE RAIL SYSTEM IS BEING ADDRESSED.

BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH WHAT THEY ARE DOING

Rail Double Track with Double Formation under Addendum No. 2 (2nd segment) of the ongoing modernisation of Lagos-Kano railway project. Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who spoke recently, said the contracts were awarded in favour of Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Company Nigeria Limited in the sum of $ 1,487,782,196.00 payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, inclusive of all taxes with a completion period of 36 months. It was gathered that council approved contracts including the implementation

High T-Bill yeilds will facilitate forex inflow, say dealers ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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he Financial Market Dealers Association (FMDA) has said that the rising investors confidence in Nigerian treasury bills and the fixed income markets on the back of attractive yields will further facilitate foreign exchange inflow. According to the FMDA Monthly Financial & Economic Report for July, “The rate of return on the primary market auction dipped on average in the month under review when compared with the average rate of the previous month.” But it said these rates seem highly attractive to investors, particularly the offshore institutional investors, considering the abysmal low returns on similar instruments in some other countries across the world. Hence, its issuance successfully attracts sufficient inflow to support the naira

MD, NRC, Sijuade

Minister of Transport, Umar

and ease excess liquidity in the system. According to the association, the Central Bank of Nigeria allotted N335.45bn last month against N373.16bn bills in June. It said further that subscription in the month increased to N738.63bn relative to N683.67bn in previous month. The market dealers however expect naira to retain the relative appreciation recorded against the dollar in July near term following the Monetary Policy Committees’ resolutions to support the naira relative to price stability. Moreover, the behavioural pattern of yields on FGN bonds at the close of last month under review is believed would continue in the near to medium term following the issuers bent on floating Diaspora bonds and more Eurobonds in an attempt to strategically reduce Federal Government domestic debt on the back of high interest rates.

of Addendum No. 2 (2nd segment: LagosIbadan to the main contract for the railway modernisation project (Phase 1; Lagos-Kano) for the Ministry of Transport. The council had also approved the variation of the scope of the contract for design and construction of Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project (Lots 1&3) from the initial work span of 60.67km to 45.245km (Lots 1A &3). Investigation showed that over 30 per cent of the preliminary works on the new rail lines had been done, even as the mapping had been concluded. The NRC chief image maker had not-

ed that the new rail tract, which will also be straight, will when completed compare with what is obtained in the Europe and America as well as other developed economies. Maku, who assured that the Goodluck Jonathan government is more than ever committed to fixing the rail system in the country, however said that this is in line with the administration’s vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and those of the Vision 20-20-20. With the assurances of the government, there are feelings that there is light at the end of the tunnel. These feelings were further reinforced by the rehabilitation of many of the existing narrow gauge rail tracks, many of which are currently functional. While responding to assurances by the government, Ehiguese said: “I want to say that the human resource issue in the rail system is being addressed. Because I have been associated with what they are doing, I can say this. The government has been able to put in place a process that ensures quality human resource in the Nigeria Railway Corporation. Secondly, the rehabilitation of the rail tracks is on. I am sure that between now and the end of the year, we might be enjoying Lagos-Kano. The standard gauge they are putting together is on course, Abuja-Kaduna route has also reached an advanced stage, with all these I will say the rail system is beginning to wake up and we believe that if these efforts of the Federal Government are sustained, it will be possible for Nigerians to sing halleluiah very soon as far as rail actually plays its strategic role in long range haulage and again in the freight carriage system”. It is hoped that this government will not dash the hope of the people like its predecessors.

Terrorism financing: GIABA partners stakeholders on information sharing JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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o reduce money laundering and terrorism financing, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa has urged stakeholders in the society to share information and experiences. Speaking at the opening session of a regional sensitization workshop on Anti-Money Laundering/ Counter-Financing of Terrorism for civil society organizations in Dakar, Senegal yesterday, the Director General of GIABA, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, said that the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders. According to him, the group recognises the valuable contributions that civil society can make to the public policy and called for awareness about the impact of money laundering and terrorist

financing among civil society in order to empower citizens to take appropriate actions. He said, “Without any equivocation, the efforts and interventions for change by the civil societies have greatly impacted on freedom of information, business deregulation, privatization, procurement reforms and monitoring governments’ actions and decisions in an effort to reduce corruption. “In using persuasion as a strategy, civil society needs to understand what specific contribution they can, and have to make in efforts to combat the menaces of money laundering and other organised crimes.” He added that as a catalyst for change and promotion of good governance, the civil society has a big role to play in the area of building viable legal and legislative frameworks to fight crime and promote accountability. In his summation, the former President of West African Bar Association, Mr. Femi Falana de-

scribed corruption is the most resilient disease plaguing mankind that has almost defied and openly resisted all antidotes. “It is found all over the world and exists almost everywhere even in the developed nations or advanced democracies with very strong institutional mechanisms for fighting it,” he said. Falana noted that the effects of corruption are felt more sharply in sub-Saharan African Continent and other emerging democracies because many of these young democracies feature weak institutional infrastructures such as bad leadership, weak judiciary, frail legislature, anemic police system and compromised anti-corruption agencies. The Minister in-Charge of Human Right, Peace, Refugees and Humanitarian Issues, Republic of Senegal, Prof. Amsatou Sow Sidebe said that the country has benefitted considerably from the active and vibrancy of the civil society in shaping the society.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business & Finance

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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FG begins foreign firms’ investment proposals appraisal TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government has commenced the appraisal of thousands of investment proposals of foreign companies received during the just concluded three-day investment forum held in the United Kingdom with a view to determining areas they could add value to current drive to reposition the economy on the path of sustainable growth. Disclosing this yesterday in Abuja when he received a delegation of Brazilian companies on a fact-finding mission to the country, Minister Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said recent experiences have continued to demonstrate increasing investors’ confidence in government’s initiatives aimed at transforming the economy. He said in view of this positive development, efforts would be geared towards encouraging them, through en-

abling fiscal and other policy frameworks, to support such companies’ aspirations of investing in critical sectors of the economy. The minister, who described the Brazilian delegation’s visit as desirable for the infrastructure development agenda in view of the companies’ capacities, assured that the Federal Government would consider their proposals when submitted as a step towards the realisation of their investment dreams in the economy. Aganga, who recalled his recent visits to Brazil and the level of interest shown by many investors to invest in the Nigerian economy said as a follow the visits, the Nigeria high commissioner in Brazil has been having follow up meetings with some of those investors, particularly those that are interested in investing in infrastructure meaning rail, road, power, housing, amongst other sectors. “This is the kind of experi-

Aviation professionals raise the alarm over industry OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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rofessionals in the Nigerian aviation industry have raised the alarm over possible collapse of the country’s aviation industry in the light of absence of viable indigenous carriers. Those who spoke with National Mirror warned that if the government does not take an immediate step to redress the situation by creating an enabling environment for investors, the country’s aviation industry may collapse in the next five years. At present, only Arik Air, IRS and Aero Airlines operate scheduled operations among the indigenous carriers while Chanchangi, First Nation, Dana and Air Nigeria suspended flight operations for various reasons. Speaking on the issue, President, Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI), Capt. Dung Pam, faulted the policies of government, which he said had continually crippled the operations of domestic operators in the last couple of years. Pam warned that if care was not taken, the country would not have any indigenous airline whether a regional or domestic carrier flying in the country’s airspace, stressing that foreign airlines may take over the domestic scene any moment from now. He said, “I guarantee you that we will not have any airlines in the

next five years. All the ones that we have now will go, but you know what, they will be replaced and the replacement may not even be an African carrier. “I don’t know if you are following events as they unfold now. Telus, the former Chairman of Easy Jet and Robica Group are planning to invest about $500m to start up a low-cost carrier based in Accra, Ghana”, he said. He said when the agreement with Easy Jet eventually comes to fruition, traffic emanating from the Nigerian aviation industry would be shifted to Ghana thereby leaving Nigeria at the receiving end. He said, “As you know, Nigeria is at the moment 18 per cent of the population of the whole of Africa, we are 47 per cent of the population of the whole of West Africa, we provide 65 percent of all the traffic in West Africa now, none of our airlines has proven to be making profit. He posited that the way out of the present quagmire state was for the country’s indigenous airlines to form an alliance, which would make them compete with foreign and stronger carriers, which he said are gradually penetrating the continent. Also, the President, Sabre Networks and former Executive Director, Belleview Airlines, Mr. Gbenga Olowo queried the government on the death of domestic airlines, suspecting that some of them might have died due to political reasons.

L-R: Chairman, Redbricks Consultants Company, Dr. Abdul-Ganiyu Obatoyinbo; Senior Marketing Manager, Ms Dupe Tokan and Lead Consultant, Mr. Niyi Afolabi, during a sensitisation forum on Direct House Ownership Scheme in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

ence we had in London last week where we had a three day investment forum. Every day was oversubscribed, at least 1000 investors wanted to come in and we

were only able to accommodate about 550 each day. “The idea is that we are compiling names of those investors and we would have follow up where we would

invite them to the country. I will also be meeting with them in London soon to get them to commit and invest in the country”, Aganga said.

High inflationary trend to persist, expert says ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

T

he Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Ltd, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, has expressed the fear that the inflation rate may remain high despite monetary tightening by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Rewane said this while reviewing financial sector activities in the first half year at the monthly Lagos Business School Executive Breakfast meeting organised by the last week. He said that due to the impact of an increase in fuel prices, electricity tariff hike and kick-in of import tariffs on wheat and rice, the inflation is expected to average 12.15 per cent in second half year. Rewane, however, said the inflationary pressure will douse by year end to 12.4 per cent. Currently, the inflation rate stands at 12.9 per

cent as at June. “Core inflation and food inflation will trend higher to an average of 13 per cent and 14 per cent respectively,” said Rewane. The financial analyst affirms that previous monetary tightening measures, slow growth in monetary aggregates and low consumer spending could moderate the inflationary trend in remaining half year. As the CBN considers ways to cushion the pressure on naira, Rewane said the dilemma of maintaining low inflation, interest rates and exchange rate stability remains a challenge to the apex bank. According to him, the CBN’s “wait and see approach” will continue with limited interest rate hike while use of Open Market Operations (OMO) and other policy tools is expected to increase. Rewane said with the continual deployment of these measures by the CBN, the monetary policy eas-

ing expected in 2013 as inflation improves. On the interest rates, he said the “CBN is faced with three possible options reducing Monetary Policy Rate (MRR), maintain neutral stance and hike rate furthers as part of efforts to reduce broad money supply. With the possible 50 basis points reduction in MPR to stimulate growth (40 per cent) Rewane forecasts that the Nigerian Interbank Rate (NIBOR) will decline to an average 12 per cent, further weakening of the foreign exchange rate to N165 to a dollar at the official market while the external reserve is expected to deplete to $32bn from $36bn currently. But if the CBN maintains a neutral stance, Rewane said will NIBOR remains flat at an average of 14.5 per cent with a slow depreciation of naira to N157 to a dollar. He also expects a slow growth of external reserves to N37bn.

Naira gains as Shell, ExxonMobil sell dollars

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he naira strengthened against the U.S. dollar on the interbank market yesterday with support from dollar sales by energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil to some lenders, Reuters report. According to Reuters, naira closed at N161.70 to the dollar on the interbank market, firmer than the 161.90 to the dollar it closed at last Friday. According to traders who spoke with Reuters, Shell sold about $100m and ExxonMobil

sold about $45m to some lenders, boosting greenback liquidity in the market. “There was strong demand for the dollar ... but for the inflows from the oil companies, the naira would have weakened today,” one dealer said. The central bank two weeks ago raised the cash reserve requirement for lenders to 12 per cent from 8 per cent and reduced net open foreign exchange positions to one per cent from three per cent to support the naira.

Traders said its impact has been limited because of high dollar demand. “We expect that the naira will depreciate again in the coming days because of the prevalent strong dollar demand in the market, unless there are more inflows from oil companies,” another dealer said. Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Financial Market Dealers Association told National Mirror that the fluctuation of naira is normal as CBN may not want to dip hand into the reserve to support naira.


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Business & Finance

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

FG demands diligence report on power generation from states JOHN UWE ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday directed state governments with capacity to generate power to complement the national power sector requirements to come out with reasonable diligence report before committing funds. Primary in the checklists announced yesterday was the certainty of gas supply to such power plant as well as ascertaining the primary point of evacuation of electricity when operational. The Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji gave this directive when the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi visited him with some American Investors/ Partners. Nnaji said that the proposed

1000mw Power Plant by Ebonyi State Government should be located at the nearest point of gas supply, national grid and that operational licenses from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Gas Aggregator obtained as specified by law. The minister assured the governor that the Federal Government would come to the State’s aid “because the expected 1000 megawatt would help boost national supply”. “Federal Ministry of Power would provide you with experts to collaborate with your team and vet the team’s report study,” Nnaji said. He noted that 1000mw of power plant will need 300 million standard cubic feet (scuf) of gas annually and that the supply of this quantity to a power plant required meticulous proactive plan

and sustainability. Speaking earlier, Governor Elechi said the Americans under the aegis of Cress River Consulting have been in Ebonyi State helping to give the Ebonyi State University a facelift, noting that the state government does not have the resources to operate a multi campus system and therefore has to review the original plan of the institution to provide a state university that would meet the yearnings of the State and her citizens. Elechi said the state government had spent N1bn on three most modern rice milling machines from Japan. The machines, according to the Governor, were capable of isolating broken grains and sand (stones) and could mill five tons of rice per hour.

Nigerian businesses need IT transformation –EMC KUNLE AZEEZ

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usiness organisations in Nigeria have been asked to undertake efforts aimed at transforming their Information Technology infrastructures to meet their business needs in the current global IT-driven economy where data management has become critical to business success. The wake-up call was made by EMC Corporation, a global leader in enabling businesses and services providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service, during a seminar organised for organisations in Nigeria in Lagos at the weekend. Speaking while addressing

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Nigeria, Egypt partner on products standardisation STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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rade and investment relations between Nigeria and Egypt may have received a major boost, following the signing in Cairo, of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries. Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu said that the MoU seeks the harmonisation of standards issued by the parties as part of the efforts of his agency to combat the import of substandard products into the country. While Nigeria was represented at the event by SON, Egypt was represented by two key governmental agencies – the General Organisation for Export and Import Control (GOEIC), and the Egyptian Organisation for Stan-

dardisation and Quality, (EOS). Odumodu added that both countries agreed to harmonise quality standards issued by their respective standards bodies in accordance to international and regional specifications in a bid to remove technical barriers to trade. They are also to exchange experts, training, testing as well as standardisation and conformity assessment activities. This is coming at the time that the SON is working to stem the incidence of substandard products in the country, and the signing of the memorandum of understanding g would help the agency to pursue and achieve its targets. SON said the agreement came about because Egypt is considered a major gateway to the Arab world and enjoys tremendous advantage in the areas of popu-

lation and boisterous economy. According to the MoU, each party is expected to recognise conformity assessment certificates issued by the other party, alongside the exchange of information vital to the jobs of products standardisation. Speaking to journalists after the signing, the SON boss expressed the optimism that the MoU has now provided an opportunity to consummate a relationship that would to more mutually beneficial relationship, adding that his agency would start implementation of the agreement immediately upon return to Nigeria. He said the success of the MoU would be measured in terms of the volume of trade that would be recorded between both countries, expressing the hope that this should be more than double in the next three years.

journalists on the seminar, Channel Manager, EMC West Africa, Mr. Olumide Erinle, said urged businesses to embrace could computing as a way of transforming their IT operations in business. Erinle explained that cloud computing transforms IT, delivering the maximum possible IT efficiency and making it possible to store, manage and analyse all of the world’s information even as information continue to grow. “As a result, and in order to me the service-level demands required by businesses today, IT organisations recognise the need to transform their infrastructures and operations in order to address the cost, efficiency, scalability and agility of infrastructure.”

London Olympics: Glo crashes roaming tariff by 77% KUNLE AZEEZ

Chief Executive, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey (left) and Managing Director, LASACO Assurance Plc, Mr. Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, during the presentation of a N2million cheque to Security Trust Fund in Lagos, recently.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

eading telecommunications operator, Globacom, has introduced a special promotion which offers subscribers up to 77 per cent reduction in charges for roaming in the United Kingdom. The promotion, called, Summer Olympics Promo, is targeted at Glo Nigerian prepaid subscribers who travel to the United Kingdom for this Summer holiday, or for the 2012 Olympic Games which will be held from July 27 to August 12. The reduced charges are for making and receiving calls and sending text messages, SMS, and will last from July to September, 2012. The Head of Glo Gateway and Glo 1, Mr Steve Stretch, said, “Prepaid subscribers roaming on the Glo network in the UK between

July and September will enjoy 77 per cent reduction in tariffs when making calls by paying only N100 a minute instead of the old rate of N441. Similarly, the tariff for receiving calls during the period of the promo has been reduced by 39 per cent from N49 to N30 per minute, while the SMS charge has been slashed from N63 to N30, which is a 52 per cent reduction.” Stretch assured all Glo prepaid subscribers roaming on the company’s partner networks in the UK that they would enjoy seamless communication with their Glo lines while making and receiving calls and SMS. He explained that the huge tariff slash was made possible through special discount deals Glo negotiated with its mobile operator partners in the UK.

1,000 Akwa Ibom youths to benefit from Diaspora training

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ver 1,000 youths from Akwa Ibom State have been earmarked by the State government to benefit from the first batch of training and economic empowerment programme designed by a group of Akwa Ibom professional under the auspices of the Ibom Diaspora Trust to help in embedding the culture of entrepreneurship in the state. Governor Godswill Akpabio, who disclosed this while addressing the first Akwa Ibom Economic Summit and Investment Expo in Houston, United States of America at the weekend said the programme was a major step in the partnership between the government and Akwa Ibom Diaspora in developing skills and man power that

will drive Small and Medium Scale business growth and the overall economic advancement of the State The governor commended the Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network for organising the summit to discuss the economic fortunes of the State and explore ways and means of attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the State. He said the Summit was most auspicious especially since that the State government had laid the requisite infrastructural foundation for the industrialisation and economic growth. By this Summit, ‘you have fanned the flame of Akwa Ibom Patriotism and nationalism in the hearts of Akwa Ibom people and particularly those in the diaspora’ Akpabio enthused.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The high level of youth unemployment where the supply of skilled labour has failed to match employers’ demand has stakeholders to call for the adoption of German style apprenticeship scheme for Nigerian youths, writes MESHACK IDEHEN.

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German-style apprenticeship scheme can tackle unemployment –Experts

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ver the years, one of the major reasons that have been put forward by experts as responsible for the spiralling rate of unemployment in Nigeria, nay Africa is the ceaseless production of graduate job seekers, whose training and education, the experts insists, have no bearing with what the employing industry needs. Specifically, most employers, particularly those in the real, oil and gas and telecoms sectors, had in the past complained that majority of the graduate job seekers produced from the nation’s tertiary institutions lack basic business skills; a situation they (employers) said can be blamed on the educational system of the country; and which they added has made most graduate job seekers not fit for employment. Other stakeholders, including recruitment experts and human resources professionals told National Mirror that the present “low employability status” of graduate job seekers in the country would change , if they (job seekers) can afford to bring a little “hands on experience” to the recruitment table. In that regard, those in the know said the “inability” of Nigeria’s tertiary insdtitutions to produce “employers compliant graduates”, have brought to the fore, the need to explore and possibly adopt alternative solutions to confront the challenges, including initiating vocational training schemes that can enhance employment chances, and thus reducing unemployment in the country. Speaking with National Mirror on the need to adopt the German style apprenticeship scheme in the effort to produce job seekers that can meet the need of employers, former President of the Nigeria Institute of Training and Development, Mr. Femi Kolajo, said amongst the industrialised countries of Europe, Asia and America, it is believed that the reason Germany has the lowest jobless rate among young people of any nation in the world can be found in its dual vocational training system. Describing the dual vocational training system as a time-tested economic model that has now been incorporated into that country’s law, Kolajo said the programme has kept unemployment, including amongst youths to less than around 7 percent or 8 percent, while other developed countries youths; including from the United States of America are struggling to find employment after graduating from high schools and colleges. Explaining how the German concept works, the former NITAD president said that after students complete their

Ajanlekoko

Rotimi

NIGERIA CORPORATE SECTOR DOES NOT YET SEE TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING AS ONE OF ITS KEY RESPONSIBILITIES, AND AS SUCH, IT IS NOT YET READY TO INVEST IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING, BEYOND A FEW WEEKS OF INDUCTION OR LEARNING ON THE JOB THAT THEY PROVIDE FOR THE FEW THEY ANNUALLY EMPLOY mandatory years of schooling, they apply to private companies for a two or three year training contract, and if accepted, the government supplements the trainee’s on-the-job learning with more broad-based education in his or her field of choice at a publicly funded vocational school. He said further that unlike the daily classroom training that undergraduates are made to go through for several years, that under the German scheme the trainees usually spend three to four days at work and one to two in the classroom, adding at the end of the day, they come out with both theoretical, practical and technical skills that will, and has enabled them to compete in the global market, along with a good overall perspective on the nature of their profession. According to him, graduates also receive a certificate for passing company exams that are designed and administered by industry group, saying also that the credential allows the trained graduate to transfer to similarly oriented businesses, should the training company not retain them beyond the initial contract. On his part, President of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Mr Olusegun Ajanlekoko said

the advantages associated with vocational training in growing the economy, producing skilful workers and creating jobs are clear and cannot be over emphasised. According to him, the dual vocational training system ensures that there is a job ready for every young person enrolled in vocational school, because no one may be admitted unless an employer has already offered a training contractor a rise in the number of employees projected for that sector He explained that the system was far better, when compared to years of hard work in universities which may go unrewarded by the labour market where many young individuals spend huge amounts to attend colleges and graduate school, only to find no job placement in the end. Ajanlekoko said the country’s leaders and stakeholders need to address the issue of skills, because as things stand according to him, the emphasis and interests in degrees and credentials will not benefit the country or its economy in the long term. He said, “Vocational and technical training will lead to lower youth unemployment over the next few years, especially if the emphasis will be on new model based on cooperation companies

and the employing community where an apprentice can earn credits toward his or her degree while earning money, and learning, on the job. Essentially, this work-school programme is equivalent to the German model”. Speaking in the same vein, Author and Human Resource Management Expert, Mr. Kunle Rotimi said local and multinational companies operating in Nigeria also have a fair share of the blame concerning the lack of employment enhancing skills for the country’s graduate job seekers. According to Rotimi, “Nigeria corporate sector does not yet see technical and vocational training as one of its key responsibilities, and as such, it is not yet ready to invest in technical and vocational education and training, beyond a few weeks of induction or learning on the job that they provide for the few they annually employ.” Moreso, he said in order to create an effective system that Nigeria must end the stigma attached to vocational and technical school as a fallback for those who had failed in higher education. Rather, the training system should be embraced because it works, as the German youth unemployment rate has consistently shown for more than a decade.


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Labour warns FG over subsidy fraud suspects, economy MESHACK IDEHEN

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rganised labour under the auspices of the National Executive Council of the Trade Union Congress of the Nigeria (TUC), said it is bemoaning the state of the country’s economy. In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting of the National Executive Council of TUC, the congress said it has resolved to encourage and support the ongoing fuel subsidy fraud trials, while also calling on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators of are brought to book. The communiqué which was signed by the President and General Secretary of the TUC, Mr. Peter Esele and Chief John Kolawole, said further that while it is in support of the statement credited to the Attorney General of the federation that it will not be business as usual for all those indicted, also added that the congress is worried about the withdrawal of the charges against some of the subsidy fraud suspects by the Federal Government.

Omar

Esele

According to TUC, “the nature of persons presently standing trial over the fuel subsidy scam does not represent the quantity and quality of the persons indicted by the various reports by both the House of Representatives and the Aig Imokhuede Panel”, adding that it should be noted that the

amount of money involved in the subsidy fraud runs into trillions of naira, but that the amount allegedly stolen by those standing trial presently is N304bn. “We then ask what about those who have cornered the other trillions? When will they be brought to trial to face jus-

tice? If this is an attempt to try these persons and use it as a cover to hoodwink the people of this nation, we want to warn that we shall resist it and it must fail. “The Federal Government is therefore called upon to quickly bring to trial all the fuel subsidy scammers so that all the funds looted from the national coffers will be recovered and returned to the national treasury”, TUC said. While vowing to resist the campaign by some to have minimum wage removed from the exclusive legislative list, the congress said it has resolved to resist all such attempts, adding that the minimum wage is the fulcrum that holds the society together, without which there would be total anarchy. “Nigerian workers will resist any further attempt by the lawless governors and their supporters who have failed to comply with the relevant laws of the land especially as it concerns the minimum wage, to muzzle and impoverish Nigerian workers more by trying to implement these intentions”.

75 million youths looking for work –ILO Interview tips for job seekers MESHACK IDEHEN

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he International Labour Organisation (ILO), has said the global unemployment amongst youth is on the rise, and that more than 75 million youths willing to work can not get jobs. According to the United Nation labour organisation, urgent steps need to be immediately taken by countries, in order to stave off the impending implosion that acute global youth unemployment could trigger in the coming years. The Director General of the ILO, Dr. Juan Somavia in a statement that was made available to journalists over the weekend, said further that the world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis, adding also that young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. While warning member countries of the ILO about a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, Somavia said in the statement that increased inactivities and precarious work situation and experience in developed countries, as well as persistently high poverty in the developing world may push the figure of 75 million youths worldwide that are looking for work, to

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op on this section of Jobs and Career this week, is the recruitment of 2000 Graduate Drivers. ( www.joblistnigeria.com) by a large conglomerate with interest in diverse sectors of the economy Aiming to empower graduates that may want to choose driving heavy duty vehicles as a full time career, the company said a minimum of first degree is required to be qualified to apply. Futhermore, the position of a General Manager Operations (www. findajobinafrica.com) for a Lagos

more than twice that number. On what the ILO’s programme on youth employment are, the ILO director general said the organisation which operates through a global network of technical teams from its Geneva headquarters provides assistance to countries in developing coherent and coordinated interventions on youth employment. He said this integrated approach combines macro-economic policies and targeted measures which address labour demand and supply, as well as youth employment.

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hese interview tips will help you cover everything you need to know to successfully ace a job interview. From checking out the company to sending an interview thank you note, these job interview tips cover the basics needed for interviewing success, and will help the job seekers cover everything they need to know on how to successfully pass a job interview.

round of consideration for employment or knock you out of contention

Check out the company

Practice interviewing

How much do you know about the company that just contacted you to schedule an interview? It should be plenty, and all the information you need is available online. Get the inside scoop on the company culture, and use connections that can help you get an interview advantage.

Taking the time to review typical interview questions you will probably be asked during a job interview will help give you a framework for your responses and will help calm frazzled nerves, because you won’t be scrambling for an answer while you’re in the interview hot seat. Practice interviewing with a friend or family member ahead of time and it will be much easier when you’re actually in a job interview.

Dress for interview success The first impression you make on a potential employer can make a big difference. The first judgement an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview.

Somavia

While you are actively job searching, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview on a moment’s notice. You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk.

Use your contacts

Improve your interview technique

Who you know at the company you are going for interviewing with really does matter. Get an insider advantage so you can ace the interview and impress the interviewer.

A job interview gives you a chance to shine. What you say and what you do is going to either move you to the next

Source:(jobsearch.about.com/interviews)

Job vacancies based company is on offer. With the job description including providing leadership and direction in all functions of the company and formulating and executing company’s strategic plan; the incoming is also expected to establish and lead the execution of operation strategy and set and achieve key performance targets for: sales, delivery, cost, expenses and other measurements of operational

Prepare for a phone interview

performance; Qualifications for the position include bachelor’s degree from a recognised university and at least 10-15 years of relevant experience. The position of a Risk Manager (www.jobgurusng.com) is also on offer on job vacancies for this week. A professional consulting firm made up of highly skilled and intellectual professionals, the company said the

incoming risk manager must have the required skills, amongst which is knowledge of statistics, data collection, analysis and data presentation. Other skills required include those of writing, ability to multitask and meeting deadlines. For educational qualifications, a minimum of university degree in relevant field, with 10 years’ post qualification experience of which at least eight years must have been in the financial sector and four years in management position is needed.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Real Estate & Environment dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com 08033312578

Real estate developers groan under harsh operating environment

Real estate development at Asokoro District, Abuja

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his is not the best of time for real estate developers as activities in their sector look too dull four months to the end of the year. Unlike before that they blamed low construction activities in their sector around this period of the year on raining season, it is now issues of harsh economy, lack of legal framework, non-conducive operating environment, paucity of funds, high cost of building materials, high cost of borrowing and insecurity in some parts of the country. Besides, the developers are yet to come out of financial crises that rocked the economy with its negative impacts on their activities for over two years now. Many of their high profile estates built in some exclusive neighbourhoods of Lekki, Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Lagos are still begging for buyers. Investigations by National Mirror showed that Lekki and Ikoyi have the highest number of property’s vacancy ratio followed by Victoria Island. The fear is that, it may become difficult to provide affordable houses for Nigerians in need of accommodation if the downturn remains. Lamenting over various issues that have crippled real estate activities in recent time, Vice President of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN), South West, Mr. Akintoye Adeoye, said they were enormous, noting that as at now, activities in the sector have remained dull. “The sector is dull. As you can see we are now in August, it has been dull and everything about property market is slow,” he said, blaming slow performance and non implementation of the budget which he said has affected macro and micro economies negatively for the downturn in real estate activities. According to him, most of the fundamentals that are paramount to sector performance are yet to be tackled. These fundamentals, he said included

Estate developers are lamenting the downturn in their sector, blaming it on the inability of governments to tackle some of the fundamentals germane for the growth of the industry. DAYO AYEYEMI, reports. land reform, development of infrastructure, funding and creation of enabling environment. He bemoaned the Federal Government for not addressing the issue of land reform which has been pending over four years now, saying that government needs to tackle the issue of titles to land which is part of what the land reform is all about. According to him, the issue of titling has to be addressed for the sector to become vibrant. He commended Lagos State Government for jump-starting the process of making issue titling less cumbersome, saying that land should be commoditilised, saying it should be seen as a commodity to be off loaded anytime. He noted that many people have one property or the other that are without title and thus remain dead asset, saying this scenario is affecting the performance of real estate sector negatively. He noted that one of the contributing factors to high cost of housing units is the cost of infrastructure, urging that government needs to tackle this issue for better performance of the sector. He said, “Developers have to cope with the challenge of providing infrastructure and this contributes to high cost of housing. The most unfortunate thing is that there is no money in the economy; even banks are not ready to grant loans to developers. As if that is not enough, Federal Inland Revenue Service, state Inland Revenue Service and even local governments will be pursuing developers for all forms of taxes. All these are affecting the sector because the fundamental issues are not tackled. “It is like you are doing business in a confused economy. Federal Government

Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Peppe

should try and tackle these fundamentals.” He lamented how his members who invested heavily in Ogun State were being tossed around by the authority two years after, saying that it is easier to do business in Ghana than in Nigeria. He said,“For example, the money that members of REDAN invested in Ogun State for estate development is so huge and government is persecuting us by coming up with stringent conditions. Every investor is looking for money and the one coming is not free. It is easy in Ghana to fund project that in Nigeria because a lot of stringent conditions that government put in the wheel of progress here.” He also decried stringent conditions attached to the issue of bank guarantee, say-

ing it is not easy to come by in Nigeria as most banks are demanding for collateral that is worth the loan being requested. Lagos Based estate surveyor and valuer, Mr. Akin Olawore, expressed mixed reactions, saying activities in the sector seem to be picking up but expressed reservation on property values. He said activities are picking up in the middle and low income segments but that construction activity is slow. In some cases, he stated that some developers are now changing their funding model from banks to private equity model. President of REDAN, Chief Olabode Afolayan while analysing the sector stated that based on the fund available to developers, they have functioned very well. He said, “The funds are not there. There are still gaps but the meagre resources have been judiciously spent with the support of stakeholders.” He blamed lack of government’s involvement for low activity in the sector, saying that it is only in Nigeria that the sector has been 99.9 per cent private sector driven. “In other countries, it has always been supported one way or the other from government and the authorities,” he said. In Rwanda where he said he had the opportunity to attend the Annual General Meeting of Shelter Afrique with African Ministers of Housing , Afolayan said he discovered that where governments do not have funds to spend in housing , the contributions of such governments will assist the operators in term of transaction cycle time.


26

Real Estate & Environment

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Building collapse: Residents of distressed buildings urged to relocate DAYO AYEYEMI

...BCPG canvasses monitoring of building sites

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t is no longer news that cases of collapsed buildings have become prevalent in Nigeria, especially Lagos State which has recorded highest number of incidents in recent times. What is news is how to permanently put an end to the menace which formed basis of discussions at the just concluded national conference of building professionals under the umbrella body of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) at Enugu, Enugu State. Just 21 days after the meeting, it came as a rude shock last Wednesday as another building caved in at the Lagos Island Business District. At least 25 people escaped death when the three-storey building located on 3, Anikatamon Street on caved in and injured one. Investigation by National Mirror showed that the collapsed nine-year-old building was among the 120 structures marked by the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LSPPDA), to undergo integrity test in 2008 in the wake of the cases of collapsed buildings in the state. It was also discovered at the weekend that two adjoining properties to the collapsed building are already showing signs of distress. Already, government has ordered residents living in the buildings to relocate to allow it carry out demolition. Some of the residents, who spoke were asking government to give them enough time to relocate while others were asking for palliative measures to get new accommodation. Some of them claimed they have just paid a-three year rent to the developers of the house who they claimed has been at large since the next building collapsed.

The collapsed three-storey building at 3, Anikantamo Street, Adeniji Adele, Lagos, last week. Photo Ademola Akinlabi

Speaking to National Mirror about the ugly incident, Chairman of Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, expressed surprise over it, saying that it showed that a lot of silent damages are still being committed somewhere despite several warnings. He, however, canvassed that monitoring of building sites be made practical by involving building professionals in the crusade. He blamed the collapsed of building on “lack of proper monitoring of building sites.” According to him, unlike before, monitoring of building sites has suffered decline, making it all comers as people now builds without supervision.

“This scenario is on in many construction sites without proper monitoring, and until it becomes more practical about it, it will continue, “ he said. He disclosed that BPCG has begun a lot of activities to see how the problem could be addressed pragmatically. A witness who claimed anonymity narrated how the building collapsed like a pack of cards, saying it caved in around 12:30 p.m when many residents had gone out. One of the residents, who escaped unhurt, Mr. Godday Onasanya, 43, said occupants of the building had complained to the developer of the house. He said: “We did not see any sign that the building was going to collapse ex-

Kwara Governor goes tough over land dispute WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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wara State Government has read The Riot Act to Share and Tsaragi, the two warring communities in Ifelodun and Edu Local Government areas respectively to stay off a marked buffer zone or face the wrath of the government. Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed who gave the warning at a meeting he held with the leaders of the two communities directed the communities, to desist from encroaching on the Kange Buffer Zone which has been gazzetted as state government land. To show his seriousness over the matter, Ahmed also directed security agencies in the state particularly the ones in the area to maintain law and order in the area. “Anyone found violating this directive, thereby stoking violence in the communities will henceforth face the full weight of the law”, the governor had warned, adding; “Anybody seeking to use portions of the land must obtain permission from the Kwara State Bureau of Land”.

He, however, implored the two communities to maintain peace as the matter is before a competent court of jurisdiction. According to the governor, it is only in an atmosphere of peace and harmony which the state is renowned for, that can ensure socio-economic development of the communities. While advising the leaders of the two communities not to allow intruders to spur them into bridging the peace in the area, the governor warned mischief makers to desist from inciting the communities against each other. Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said the governor expressed concern over the occasional infraction and feud between the two communities adding that the white paper on the report of the committee which looked into the crisis remains sacrosanct. Speaking on the issue, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kamaldeen Ajibade, explained that no member of the two communities can have access to the Kange Buffer Zone for farming or oth-

er activities without the permission of the Kwara State Bureau of Lands. The Etsu Tsaragi, Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi Kpotwa who led the Tsaragi delegation and the Balogun of Share, Alhaji Olayinola Balogun who represented the Olupaka of Share assured Governor Ahmed that peace will prevail in the two communities.

Ahmed

cept that we noticed that the house vibrated when there was a street party. We complained to our developer. The developer was about patching part of the collapsed portion of the pillar of the house when the building caved in. We told him to stop hitting the pillar of the building and about two minutes later, it collapsed. About 25 people are living in the building.” The Deputy Director of LSPPDA, Mr. Rufai Adekunle who also confirmed the incident said the authority told owner to conduct integrity test on the building and some other ones in the area. “The buildings around the place may have to undergo integrity test after which we may have to demolish them if they fail the test.”

Ogun govt assures completion of ongoing road works

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gun State Government led by Senator Ibikunle Amosun said it is not relenting in its urban renewal and modernisation drive to complete the massive road construction and rehabilitation works ongoing throughout the state. As the government is building new roads, culverts and bridges across the state, routine maintenance is also on-going to ensure the roads in the state are in good conditions. One of the roads commissioned recently was the six-lane 2.4 kilometre Ibara-SokoriTotoro road which also has unique bus stops and pedestrian bridges nearing completion. Commenting on levels of works going on in the state, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Kayode Ademolake, described them as enormous, saying a number of roads that were constructed before the advent of the present administration were in shambles, adding that a number of new roads, bridges and culverts are springing up throughout the state. Ademolake stressed that the Amosun administration has not relaxed the zeal with which it kicked off the implementation of its five cardinal programme, of which urban renewal is key, adding that government believes that the provision good roads is a vital ingredient for the success of its mission to rebuild Ogun State.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympics 2012: I’m not here to win–Pistorius 30

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

What happened at the London Games was a real eye-opening experience. I have learnt well - Nigeria table tennis star, Aruna Quadri

Okagbare resumes medals chase

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inalist in the women’s women s 100m and Nigeria’s medal hopeful, BlessOkagbare, ing in g Ok Okag agbare, will today ttry tr y to salvage sal alva vage ge her her personper erso sonso npride al p ride ri d as de as the th he Women’s Wo W ome m n’ n’ss qualification Long Jump qualificat tion io on rounds roun ro nds begin. beg egin in.. The 23-year Th 23--yea 23 earr old, o d, who ol who won won n bronze bron onze ze in in the eventt att Beijing Bei eiji jing ng fourr years yea ears r ago, iss competing com omp peting peti ng in Group G Gr ou up A alongside alongssid ide e double double World indoor in ndo d or and and outdoor outdo oor o championchamp pio i nships, ship ps, Brittney Bri ritt ttney Reese Reesse of the United Uniite ted d States, S tates, wh who o is topping the he field fie ield ld d with wit ith ha personal season’s and dp e sonal best of 7.23m. er 7.23 23m. 23 m Nastassia Mironchyk-IvaNa astassia a a-nova from m Belarus Belaru rus is also ru als lo contender a strong g contend nder er with wit ith h while 7.08m wh whil ile e Russia’s Elena Sokolova Soko So kolo lova va also has a season’s best season n’s b e t of 7.06m. es Okagbare Okag a bare approaches the competition with best a season’s b estt of 6.97m es which she whic wh ich h sh he achieved ed during dur uring African the e Af Afri rica can n Championships Cham Ch mpionsh s ips in July Jully when she she emerged champion. cham mpi pion o . Bu Butt she sh dashed country’s the co country’ ’s hopess when she finished fini nish shed ed eighth eig ight hth h in the he women’s wom omen en’s ’s against expectations, 100m 10 0m a g instt expectation ga o s, blammperformance ing g th the e perfor rma manc nce e on a hamsstring tring ng problem-although pro robl blem-altho houg ugh h she has has declared declar de ared herself her erself fit the long long g jump. jum ju mp. Meanwhile, M Me ean anwhil ile, e national and African A rican Af n champion cham ch ampi pio on in n the men’s triple le jump, jum u p, Tosin Tosi in Oke, Ok will will also begin beg gin his his chase chas ch a e for a medal meda me dal al when when n the he event eve vent nt underway gets u n errwa nd ay today. who has Oke, w ho h ass a sseason’s easo ea s n’ so n’ss and and an personal best bes est of 17.23m m which whic wh ich h jumped he jumpe ped d in Calabar Calab bar in in June, June Ju ne ne, e will will compete com o pete in Group p includes A which in incl c udes heavyhea eav vy vyweight, Claye we eight ht,, Will ll C laye la y off the United Unit Un ited it ed d States, Sta tate tes, te s, who s, who has has a season’s se ea aso on’ n’ss be best st of of 17.70m and Chris17 7.7 . 0m a nd C hris hr isis ttian ti an Taylor Tay aylo l r (17.63m). lo (177.6 (1 7.63m) m)). Claye Clay Cl ay ye already a re al ead ady y won wo bronze a br bron onze ze medal med edal al i the in the long lon ng ju jjump mp p during d du uri rin ng the the weekwee e kend d with with a leap lea eap p of 8.12m. 8.12 2m.

Bolt

Bolt targets 200m

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amaica’s Usain Bolt has little time to bask in his extraordinary 100m victory as he now turns his attention to the event he loves the most, the 200m, where once again he is aiming to break new ground. Bolt, who on Sunday became the only man to cross the line first in two 100m finals, putting him notionally ahead of Carl Lewis, who won in 1984 and was awarded gold in 1988 after the disqualification of Ben Johnson, now hopes to become the first man to win two 200m Olympics finals and position himself as unquestionably the greatest sprinter in history. In Beijing, Bolt became the ninth man to complete the 100m/200m double, both titles coming in world record time, and he knows exactly what is at stake now. For all the eye-catching glory of Bolt’s 9.58 100m world record at the 2009 world championships, his 19.19 200m was arguably the better performance.

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Ogoke loses semis ticket

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igeria’s last boxer standing, Edith Ogoke, yesterday bowed out of the Olympic Games after a 10-point defeat by rival, Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova who gained the last semi-final spot in the women’s middleweight division. Ogoke threw more punches, while the Russian waited for a decent opening. The Nigerian bombed forward in the second forward as Torlopova continued to move and pick her shots well. It was the Russian who took a six-point lead after two rounds that were fairly even. Torlopova’s superior accuracy saw her stretch that lead to 14-6. Ogoke continued to punch forward in the final two minutes but bowed out of the competition as the score stood 18-8. Nigeria is officially out of the boxing event as the duo of Muideen Akanji and Lukmon Lawal were earlier sent packing after their first bouts.

After days of missed chances, Blessing Okagbare is spearheading Nigeria’s hopes for its first medal again.

Edith Ogoke, yesterday

London bits… Map reader Of course, the tube, the

If you want to visit or live in England, especially in London here, you must be a geographer, with specialisation in map reading. You must beat the military in this field. Wherever you go, you must carry your map. There is a map for your immediate neighbourhood, map for the entire city, map for number of buses and bus routes.

underground train and other overhead stations have theirs. It is maps, maps...maps. Read them yourself, know your bearing, or you’ll end up asking for directions from the police or people every now and then.

Ex-Punchers meet A few days after I arrived here, I accompanied a cousin and his wife to visit one of their family friends, somewhere in Plaistow. At the apartment, we were still climbing the stairs to the sitting room and my eyes not completely adjusted to the light therein that evening, when a woman screamed my name and jumped on me.

My cousin and the wife looked aghast as the lady held tight unto me in warm embrace and hug. Behold, in my hands were Ann Nwosu (her surname has changed), a former Senior Advert Executive of The Punch, who resigned her appointment in 2006 to join her hubby here. Ann is a ‘twin’ friend of Kemi Ogungbe. The re-union was emotional.


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Sport

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Okoye nears discuss medal

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igerian-born British Lawrence Okoye yesterday underlined his medal credentials with an impressive final throw in discus qualifying in the Olympic Stadium. The 20-year-old produced a throw of 65.28 metres with his third attempt, the fourth furthest of qualification, to go through to the final automatically. The former rugby player, who has deferred a place at Oxford to study law to concentrate on athletics, is appearing in his first major championship in his home town. He improved his British record to 68.24m in May and his qualifying throw was little more than a metre down on Estonia’s Gerd Kanter’s longest effort. “It was unbelievable, really tough. The standard this year is much higher than it’s ever been,” he said. “It took a lot to get through and I’m glad to get the job done. Tomorrow (today) I have a bigger job to do with the big guys coming through. “It’s going to be tough to get amongst them but I am ready to do it.”

Okoye

Usain Bolt powering to a new Olympics record in the 100m final on Sunday

I’m not yet a legend – Bolt

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ewly crowned Olympic 100m champion, Usain Bolt, insisted he cannot be considered a legend until he wins gold in the 200m final. Bolt smashed the field in Sunday night’s 100m final to retain his title, clocking an Olympic record of 9.63 seconds to see off a stellar line-up, with every man bar the injured Asafa Powell going under 10 seconds. “This gold means I am one step closer to being a legend, so I’m work-

Makhloufi gets IAAF axe

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lgerian 1,500 metres medal hope, Taoufik Makhloufi, has been disqualified from the London Olympics for not trying in his 800 metres heat. Makhloufi, who qualified for the 1,500m final in comfortable style, was forced to run in the first round of the two-lap race as his team failed to withdraw him before Sunday’s deadline. The 24-year-old therefore lined up at the start of heat five on Monday morning but clearly had no interest in launching a serious bid in the shorter of the middle distance events. Makhloufi dropped to the back of the field immediately after the start before stopping and pulling out of the race around the 200m mark. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) deemed his performance to be worthy of a disqualification. “The Referee considered that he had not provided a bona fide effort and decided to exclude him from participation in all further events in the competition,” an IAAF statement read. The decision is a dramatic blow for

Makhloufi, who easily defeated Olympic and world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop in the semi-finals of that event on Sunday. An IAAF spokeswoman said he could only be reinstated for Tuesday’s 1,500m final if he gets a medical certificate from a local doctor.

Makhloufi

ing towards that,” Bolt, who confirmed he was unaware of an incident which saw a bottle thrown on to the track just before they starting gun fired, said. “That’s just one step, I have the 200m to go so I can’t celebrate.” “This gold means I am one step closer to being a legend so I’m working toward that.” The bottle incident saw a Dutchman arrested and Bolt said he did not hear the bottle land just metres

behind him before he launched himself down the track to glory. “No, I keep hearing that,” he said. “I don’t know who would have done that. The atmosphere was wonderful. I knew it was going to be like this.” He, however, admitted to enjoying Sunday night’s triumph even more than Beijing, saying: “The reason it’s sweeter is because a lot of guys doubted me, so I had to show the world I am the greatest.”

Osagie makes 800m semis

W

orld indoor bronze medallist, Andrew Osagie, is through to the 800m semi-finals, although Michael Rimmer and Gareth Warburton both bowed out. Osagie lived very dangerously as he claimed the third place needed to progress in his race by 0.03secs. In a race controlled by world record holder and gold medal favourite David Rudisha, Osagie left himself plenty of work to do in the home straight, just managing to come through before the line to finish in 1:46.42. Asked if he was breathing a sigh of relief, Osagie said: “A little bit. The heats are always nervous. I am renowned for running rubbish in the morning. “I was in a really relaxed position. I just wanted to settle down, with this sort of crowd it’s easy to get out of control and get an adrenaline rush. I wanted to use them as a barrier and wait until the last 120 metres. “The kind of performances the guys put in at the weekend means if you don’t run well you’re going to be the laughing

stock of the team.” Warburton, who won selection on appeal after initially being left out of the Olympic team, went out, finishing fifth in his heat in 1:46.97.

Osagie


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

29

FROM THE LONDON 2012 LENS

Serbia’s Milos Nikic (l) spiking the ball against Russia’s Segey Grankin(c) and Dimitry Muserskly during their men’s Group B volleyball match.

Aliya Mustafina of Russia competing in the Artistic Gymanstics Women’s Uneven Bars final

Abdul Buhari of Great Britain competing in the Men’s Discus qualification

Tiffany Porter of Great Britain competing in the women’s 100m Hurdles heat at the Olympic Stadium

Elizabeth Tweddle of Great Britain in the Artistic Gymnastics Women Uneven Bars fin al

Mark Oldershaw of Canada powering his way through the water in the men’s Canoe Single 100m Sprint semifinal

Tarik Belmadani of France (top) competing with Jarkko Ala-Huikku of Finland during their men’s Greco-Roman 60kg Wrestling bout

Country

G

China USA

S

B

Total

31 19

14

64

28 14

19

61

Great Britain 18 11

11

40

Republic of 11 5 Korea

6

22

France

8

9

9

26

Italy

7

6

4

17

Kazakhstan

6

0

0

6

Russian 5 Federation

17

15

37

Germany

5

10

7

22

Hungary

4

1

3

8

DPR Korea

5

0

1

5

Netherlands

3

3

4

10

South Africa 3

1

0

4

New Zealand 3

0

4

7

Japan

2

12

13

27

Australia

2

12

8

22

Denmark

2

4

2

8

Romania

2

4

2

8

Belarus

2

2

3

7

Cuba

2

2

1

5

As at press time


30

Sport

Tuesday,August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti

Brazilian claims gymnastic gold

A

Li Xiaoxia (l) and Guo Yue of China during their Table Tennis semi-final yesterday

rthur Nabarrete Zanetti claimed a dramatic victory in the men’s rings final at the North Greenwich Arena. Defending champion Chen Yibing of China looked set to retain his Olympic title and led all the way through the competition after he performed first and scored an impressive 15.800. Zanetti was the last man to comepete and powered to gold with a score of 15.900, with Italy’s Matteo Morandi finishing in bronze medal position. Iordan Iovtchev, competing in his sixth Olympic Games at the age of 39, scored 15.108 to finish in seventh position.

T/tennis: China aims clean sweep

C

hina remained on course yesterday to claim all four Table Tennis gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics after Li Xiaoxia, Ding Ning and Guo Yue booked their place in the women’s Team final. The Chinese aim heading into the Games was to claim a maximum medal haul of four golds and two silvers. They made a perfect start when Li overcame countrywoman Ding in the singles finale before Zhang Jike did

likewise in the men’s against Wang Hao. China has also made comfortable progress in the longer format, too, with its trio of women setting up a final versus Japan, who were last night guaranteed a first medal in the sport. Ai Fukuhara, Kasumi Ishikawa and Sayaka Hirano beat Singapore 3-0. Afterwards, Hirano said: “This is such an achievement for table tennis in Japan and now our goal is to win gold for the

three of us. It is something Japan has been waiting for, for such a long time.” Their hopes of winning gold were dealt a blow this morning when China cruised past Republic of Korea. Olympic champion Li delivered the first blow, overcoming Seok Ha-jung in straight games before Ding Ning repeated the trick against Kim Kyungah. Li and Guo then finished the job by brushing aside Seok and Dang Ye-seo.

I’m not here to win–Pistorius

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outh Africa’s Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, has insisted he is not at the London Olympics to prove a point as he bowed out of the 400 me-

Tom Slingsby competing in the men’s Laser Sailing class yesterday

Sailing: Slingsby wins Laser gold

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om Slingsby has secured Australia’s second gold medal of London 2012 with victory in the Laser Sailing class. The 27-year-old went into the Beijing 2008 Games as overriding favourite to top the podium but did not even make the medal race and finished in 22nd place. Slingsby put that behind him today to top the podium by seeing off the threat of Pavlos Kontides, whose silver is Cyprus’ first medal in Olympic history. The Australian impressed

throughout the week in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, and came into the medal race with a 14-point lead over his nearest rival. Slingsby was quick to get himself in front of second-place Kontides in a bid to keep him away from the front of the fleet, where he could potentially challenge for gold. Slingsby rounded the first mark in eighth with his rival forced back to 10th. The Australian eventually came in ninth to secure gold and was visibly overjoyed at the finish line, cel-

ebrating so wildly the boat toppled over. There was also joy for Germany’s Simon Groteluschen, who won the medal race to put him sixth in the overall standings ahead of Great Britain’s Paul Goodison, who would likely have been amongst the medal contenders had it not been for a back injury. With Slingsby and Kontides wrapping up the top two spots, it was a straight battle between Sweden’s Rasmus Myrgren and Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic for bronze.

tres. The 25-year-old, who made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in an Olympics, finished last in his semi-final in 46.54 seconds. The public support for the South African is almost unrivalled with roars greeting his instruction the crowd. Pistorius, whose aim had always been the semifinals, said: “I am struggling to find a way to describe it. It is really humbling all the support I have had. “It has been an unbelievable experience. I didn’t come here to prove a point. I wanted to do the best I could possibly do and push myself as hard as I can. “I won’t know who to shout for [in the final] tomorrow. They are such gentlemen. This has been one of the best experiences of my life. Just being out in front of this crowd, 70, 000 felt like 170, 000 was an unbelievable experience.” The four-time Paralympic champion, who had his lower legs amputated at 11 months old after being born without a fibula in either leg, swapped name bibs with Grenada’s Kirani James after the race after the world champion approached him. “When we crossed the line, for Kirani James to give me his number shows the kind of sportsmen we have in the Olympic Games,” Pistorius, who will be back in the stadium for the 4 x 400m Relay, added. “We have a lot of respect for each other. For him to ask for my bib number shows what a true gentleman he is.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Real Estate & Environment

31

Developers must ensure judicious use of housing funds to enhance delivery - REDAN boss How would you rate the performance of the housing sector in the last three years based on funding needs and problem of high interest rates on bank credit to operators? Performance is a function of the needs. So going by the funds available, I want to authoritatively say that estate developers have functioned very well. The funds are not there. There are still gaps but with meagre resources have been judiciously spent with the support of stakeholders. Based on what you have said, could you give an estimate of the total funding estate developers may have invested in the sector in the past few years? Most unfortunate for us in Nigeria, Nigeria is the only country where you discover that the sector has been 99.9 per cent private sector driven. In other countries, it has always been supported one way or the other by government. I was in Rwanda recently where we were attending the Annual General Meeting of Shelter Afrique in which 43 Ministers of Housing from different countries attended and we shared views. We discovered that in other countries where the governments do not have funds to spend housing, the contributions of such governments were enormous in the sense that they have assisted the operators in the sense of the transaction cycle time. This is so short that you do not need too much funds to operate as a big player in the industry. For instance, in Zimbabwe, it takes just three days to get legal perfection completed on titles. So in that country, you can just borrow money at any rate, or you can collect money from friends or whatever, get your houses developed in three, four days get that houses roofed. The process is so short that it makes it investment-friendly. In Nigeria, we have always been faced with what I call institutional problems. The private sector in housing development is never in doubt. But do you think it is feasible for government to allow private investors to take over the industry especially now that the funds are not there and housing gap is widening by the day? The aspect of government allowing private sector to drive housing sector is good but it will be best if structures are in place. If you look at it carefully, you will discover that countries with the fastest economies are being driven by private sector initiatives. But then, there are structures like legal framework, are in place to support private investors. You discover in Nigeria, for instance, as a developer, you sell houses to people or Private Mortgage Institutions create mortgages because somebody is not paying his mortgage, it is difficult for PMIs or whoever created the mortgage to re-possess the house because here there is nothing like re-possession. Also, you discover that in short time after serving notice of repossession, may be you are operating from Lagos, and your customer or tenant just go to one High Court in Gombe or another state to get an injunction without serving you and say you have been asked not to eject him.

Chief Olabode Afolayan is the President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN). In this interview with TOLA AKINMUTIMI, he spoke on the basic challenges confronting the housing sector, new housing policy and necessary measures to be put in place by the Federal Government to make the industry vibrant.

Afolayan

So, where investors are being faced with these challenges, it will be difficult to do anything. So, coming back to your question after giving this background, it will be a good thing for government to allow private sector to drive the housing subsector. But it will be the best thing for government to create enabling environment for everybody to play their roles in such a way that will make cost of funds cheaper and create the more opportunities for Nigerians to own decent homes. The minister just said the sector will now experience the wind of change, considering what has been happening in the past good policies and intentions of government, do you share the view? When she talked about the wind of change, definitely she is talking about positive change. But except we all come together, including the media who will join us in advocacy programmes, everybody carries out what they are expected to do as at when due this dream may not be realisable. On the part of developers, we are making it as a promise to come up with houses that are affordable to the people. The PMIs should remove as much as possible bottlenecks in the process of creating mortgages. The government of the day should come up with ideas or programmes and policies that would enable us to operate in a most effective and efficient manner and to the people, we must come up with value change. That is, change our cultural approach to issues. Anybody that is owing should believe that the right thing to do is to pay or meet your obligation as at when due.

NIGERIA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY WHERE YOU DISCOVER THAT THE SECTOR HAS BEEN

99.9

PER CENT PRIVATE SECTOR DRIVEN The Federal Government has just adopted a new housing policy which it says would usher in a new era of transformation of the housing sector. Could you say if adequate consultation was made with key stakeholders, including your association, before the policy was approved by FEC? Fortunately, I was a member of the Presidential Committee on the Review of the draft National Housing Policy that was just approved by the Federal Government. So, from the beginning to the end, I was part of every little thing that came into being a few days ago and one basic thing that I observed was that 7080 per cent of members of that committee were people from the private sector and that is why I was telling you that the main thrust of the housing policy is all about private-sector driven approach. On the part of REDAN for instance, what the new policy stipulates is that with effect from the date of the approval of the policy by the Federal Government, membership of REDAN is now professionalised which means

that with effect from that date, we do not have members of REDAN any longer. All certificates are withdrawn as people will now be subjected to new process of membership registration and as part of the leadership of the association, we’ll quickly meet and set up the Registration Council. The Registration Council will have as its reference document the National Housing Policy and what they need to actually look into because what the policy says is that in housing delivery now as private developers, we must adhere strictly to the National Building Codes. And what we have in the National Building Codes in respect of construction of houses is for us to ensure that we engage the services of professionals in this industry. Two, we should ensure that we utilise, to a reasonable extent, local materials and in this aspect, we are expected to work closely with the National Building and Road Research Institute for them to come with ideas to enable us make the best use of available local materials without compromising standards and quality. Lastly, it is expected of us too that we will make the best use of the funds that are like to accrue to the housing sector from the commercial banks who, we believe, will contribute 10 per cent of their loan portfolio annually into the National Housing Fund as well as the Insurance firms. They are expected by law, by the NHF Act Section 5 to contribute 20 per cent of their life and non-life premium to the NHF. These are things that will make the funds cheap or affordable and in the long run it will equally make us to provide houses at affordable price. We have heard the issue of one million houses from the regime of late President Yar’Adua and nothing came out of it. As a professional, do you see the government’s target of one million houses annually feasible? Like I said earlier, output is simply a function of input. For instance, if you go to Rank Xerox to buy a photocopier, they will tell you this machine is 50 copies per minute. Obviously, if for one minute you are talking carelessly without operating the system for 35 seconds, by the time you care to do what you are supposed to do earlier, you might not be able to make the 50 pages per minute. Basically, the issue of one million units of houses per annum is a function of input. Input in the sense that we have the land, government must have done their homework to ensure that the land required to develop that number of houses is available and affordable. Two, the finance let us assume that a unit will cost three million, so you are talking of about N3trn. If you look at it, do we have the N3trn? If you want to do it in phases, how long will it take to build those houses and how long will it take you to complete a transaction cycle? If it is six months, that means you need N1.5 trillion to get half of the number done.


32

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Modern ceiling designs for your living room

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he ceiling of the house is a very important part of the house. When you have a plain ceiling with absolutely no design, you need a chandelier or lamps hanging from it to make it look attractive. But when the ceiling is designed with a type of pattern, having decorative chandeliers and lamps is an optional accessory. Therefore, it is always preferred to make designed ceilings, at least in the living room, to make the room look large and occupied. Designed ceilings are usually used when the house is large with huge rooms and high ceilings. Higher ceilings give the room a very empty look and thus when these are designed, they fill in the empty space. Some great ceiling design ideas are mentioned below:

Ceiling Decorating Ideas There are different types of ceiling design ideas, which are well known for their styles and patterns. Most people think ceiling decoration is an unnecessary piece of expenditure, but when you have homes with a wooden or asbestos ceiling, these designs are needed to protect the room from certain weather conditions also. Vaulted Ceiling Design Ideas Vaulted ceilings are one of the most used ceiling design ideas, as they give the room a very homely and cozy touch. Decorat-

ing rooms with vaulted ceilings include roofs steeply raised in the upper direction, sometimes giving a half barrel shape to the ceiling. There may be many variations in the shapes of these ceilings like arched, domed and barrel, which are the commonly used ceilings in many homes. They give a beautiful cathedral like look to the room and are a little expensive on the budget. They are usually used in case of wooden ceilings and look wonderful in any colour. Drop Ceiling Design Ideas If you have a modern house or an apartment, the best choice you can go for in ceiling design ideas, are the drop ceilings. These ceilings are lower in height as compared to the other wooden and sculpted high ceilings and thus, make the house look smaller in size. They are also used to give the room a very modern, elegant and cozy look, with light arrangements placed on them. Usually used as bedroom ceiling design ideas, these ceilings are also used in kitchens and drawing rooms of many modern homes. They are quite hassle free and are flat surfaced, sometimes rough and brightly coloured to give the room a unique lighting effect. Also read about how to install drop ceilings. Tray Ceiling Design Ideas Another great choice of ceiling types is the tray ceiling design, which is exclusively used for high ceilings.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Real Estate & Environment

‘C of O applicants with fake documents risk jail’ MURITALA AYINLA

O

wners of landed properties processing Certificate of Ownership through fake document risk one year jail term as the Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola has ordered prosecution of anyone with such fraudulent acts to serve as deterrent to others. The governor also issued a six- month deadline to land owners in the state without proper documentations to perfect their title documents or risk forfeiting their allotted plots. Speaking shortly before signing the Land Use Act Title Document Regulations 2012 into law at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, Fashola explained that the essence of the law was to make acquisition of land easily available to the people, put an end to recurring issues with land speculators, urging people with faked documents awaiting his consents to come forward to withdraw them before they are prosecuted. He said: “Our officers at the Land Bureau are constantly inundated with forged applications by land owners seeking Certificates of Occupancy on their land. “Some of them present receipts having dates earlier than 1978 to create the impression that they acquired their land before the state’s Land Use Act was promulgated. “Also, we know some corporate organisations apply with fake certificates of incorporation and other documents. This is forgery and it violates the law of the state”. “I urge those who have applied for C of O with forged documents to honourably

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Hakeem Muri Okunola; Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye and the Executive Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Mr. Aina Salami; shortly after the signing of the State Lands Use Act Regulation into Law by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola last week.

withdraw their applications or risk prosecution”. The governor said the new law was demonstration of the state’s response to problems associated with improper land documentation, adding that it also aimed at enhancing the capacity of the state to render efficient services. Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Ade Ipaiye said the background to the new regulation is found in the procedure that a lot of parties to land transactions had adopted in trying to perfect their titles. He added that what has been witnessed over time is that up until these days, a lot of purchasers of interest in land still come to the Lands Bureau to present receipts that they bought the land before the enactment of the Land Use Act. The Attorney General also said a closer look at the applications and the files showed that some of the applicants were

not born as of 1978 and they purport to have bought the land before 1978, adding that it is apparent that a lot of forgeries, a lot of misrepresentations goes on in the process of seeking the Governor’s Consent or a Certificate of Occupancy. He stated that the state has looked closely at the cause and in trying to ascertain why people do it this way; it appears that they want to eagerly fulfill the requirements of the Land Use Act which entitles anyone who held land prior to the commencement of the Act to apply to the governor for Certificate of Occupancy. Shedding more light on the provisions of the new regulations later in an interview with journalists, the Permanent Secretary in the Lands Bureau, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola said the implication of the new law is that people will now have title for documents and they can vouch for the integrity of same.

‘Conserving mangroves an economic way of mitigating greenhouse gases’

Mangrove forest

P

rotecting mangroves to lock carbon away in trees may be an economic way to curb climate change, research suggests. Carbon credit schemes already exist for rainforests; the new work suggests mangroves could be included too. But other researchers say the economics depend on the global carbon price. Presenting their results in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sci-

ences (PNAS), the US-based team emphasises that protecting mangroves has important benefits for wildlife as well. Mangrove habitats comprise less than 1percent of all forest areas across the world. But for the biodiversity they support, and the benefits they bring to communities in the form of fishing habitats and storm protection barriers, they are extremely important.

They are also being lost at a greater rate than tropical rainforests. Similar to rainforests, they store carbon within their “biomass”, which is released when the habitat is destroyed. Their ability to capture carbon may be on average five times that of tropical rainforests, so they have become of interest to carbon-focused conservation strategists. Now, Dr Juha Siikamaki of the think tank Resources for the Future and his US colleagues have shown that protecting mangroves and thereby reducing the amount of CO2 released may be an affordable way for countries to mitigate their carbon emissions. “We make the surprising finding that in most places, preserving mangroves is justified solely based on the avoided emissions, without any regard for the many other ecological and economic benefits mangroves are particularly well known for,” Siikamaki told BBC News. The research, which used new high resolution surveys of global mangrove biomass, suggests that protecting these habitats could be a viable means for reducing emissions in comparison to other

33

Interior repair tips for home sellers

S

elling your home is difficult enough in good times, but a depressed housing market makes initial impressions of your home even more important. Here, Bob Formisano at About.com Guide, lists top 10 pre-sale interior home repair areas that should get your attention before you list your house: Basement dryness You want your basement as dry as possible. A wet, damp or musty basement will be a turn-off to a buyer and a sure-fire inspection report item. Fortunately, many damp basement problems are fairly easy to solve. For example, a seemingly serious wet basement problem may be caused just by improper roof downspout discharge not draining away from house or improper grade draining into the house. Other problems such as a general mugginess or dampness may be solved with a dehumidifier. Water heater operation Your water heater must be operating properly, be correctly vented and not be leaking from any of the connections or valves, such as the T&P valve. You also don’t want to have any rust or corrosion at the base of the tank or visible in the combustion chamber. It is a good idea to do a maintenance drain of the tank as described in the 3 Easy Step tutorial below and generally check for proper operation of the water heater. Waste line drainage Clogged or slow draining sink or tub drains, or worse yet, poor draining toilets are sure to turn off your buyer and their inspector. Make sure all your drains are free flowing and that all toilets drain properly. If you have any slow draining drains they can most likely be cleared using the tutorials below. If not, then it is money well spent to get a professional plumber or drain cleaning service to “snake” out the waste lines and make sure all drains are unobstructed. Leaky faucets and pipes Leaking faucets or pipes will surely be noticed. Check all faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms for leaks. Your home will have one or more faucet types including Ball, Disc, Cartridge or Compression. Repair any leaky faucets using the tutorials below. Check in the basement or crawlspace for any leaking pipes or valves, such as the water heater Garbage disposal operation If the buyer doesn’t flip the garbage disposal switch themselves, you can rest assured that the inspector will, so you need to make sure this basic kitchen appliance is good to go. Make sure the disposal is free flowing and works properly. If it is stuck, repairing the disposal is usually an easy fix using the tutorial below. If you need a new unit, please follow the installation tutorial. Electrical panel Your home’s electrical power panel will definitely get a visit by the buyer and inspector. Make sure the area in front of the panel is cleared of debris and clutter and that the panel is cleaned.


34

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Transparency increasing in global real estate markets –Survey

T

ransparency in global real estate markets is increasing with Central and East Europe improving and approaching the levels of Western European markets, a new index shows. Recovering real estate markets have created new impetus for improvements in transparency following a slowdown in progress during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, according to the report from consultants Jones Lang LaSalle and LaSalle Investment Management. Property Wire reports that nearly 90 per cent of markets have registered advances in real estate transparency during the past two years, driven by improving market fundamentals data and performance measurement, combined with better governance of listed vehicles. The 2012 Jones Lang LaSalle index is published every two years and calculates transparency in 97 real estate markets worldwide by weighting 83 different factors, provides investors and corporate occupiers with data and analysis critical to transacting, owning and operating in global markets. The Index also assists governments and other industry organisations interested in improving transparency. The United States ranks as the world’s most transparent real estate market in 2012, fol-

New Alumni complex at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.

lowed closely by the United Kingdom and Australia. Also in the highly transparent category are the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, France, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. The gap in transparency between Western Europe and some of the main Central European markets has been virtually eliminated as core CEE markets approach the mainstream. For example, Poland ranked 19th globally, has transparency levels comparable to Western

Europe and is now considered by some investors as a ‘core’ market, says the report. Environmental sustainability has emerged as an important transparency factor with the United Kingdom, Australia and France the most transparent markets in terms of real estate sustainability. The Czech Republic, CEE leader in the sustainable development, comes in fifth. The Index reaffirms the ascent of the MIST growth mar-

Firm takes facilities management training to schools

Home development in Australia

DAYO AYEYEMI

I

n a bid to promote a culture of safety consciousness among Nigerian youths, Alpha Mead Facilities & Management Services Limited, has launched the first phase of its Corporate Social Responsibility project targeted at students in senior secondary schools within Lagos. Speaking to SS2 students of Akande Dahunsi Memorial Senior High School, Ikoyi, the very first beneficiaries of the project, General Manager, Corporate Services, AM Facilities, Mrs. Wale Odufalu, explained that the firm is in the business of

ensuring that their homes and other facilities they use are well maintained and safe at all times. She said, “This year, we decided to look at the younger generation because we believe in Nigeria and we believe in your future. Many of you gathered here today have dreams of becoming a doctor, a teacher, a facility manager, an engineer and others, but if you are in bad health or there is a fire, it could affect this dream. We are giving you this training on fire safety awareness at this young age so that you can know how to put out a fire in an emergency or be able to detect if it is a big one and know the right numbers to call because health is wealth.”

In his demonstration of how to put out a fire using a fire extinguisher, Quality Health Safety Environment and Security Coordinator of the company, Mr. David Owolabi, took the students through the PASS principle. He said, “PASS stands for Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, then, Sweep from side to side.” He also instructed that empty canisters should be placed lying in horizontal position to signal that they have been used, otherwise someone else might try to use them during an emergency and be disappointed. In addition, the students were advised to always map out an escape route before confronting a fire so that they can easily escape when it becomes overwhelming, then immediately call the emergency numbers of the Lagos State Fire Service which are 112 and 767. The company also presented a First Aid box and writing materials to the school which was received by the principal, Mrs. Margaret Mabude.

kets, that is Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey, which all feature among the leading improvers. Turkey once again leads in transparency improvement, with Romania and Croatia rated fourth and fifth respectively. Regionally, Latin America has seen the strongest progress in transparency. Brazil’s Tier 1 cities rank second globally in transparency improvement and now sits in the transparent category. Mexico sits in third

position globally in terms of progress. While the world economy is still in recovery, the 2012 Index reveals that real estate investors and corporate occupiers are widening their activity across a broader range of markets. This cross border activity encourages faster rates of transparency improvement in growth and emerging economies as the markets open up further to international competition and their real estate sectors embrace global best practices. ‘Central and Eastern Europe is a clear beneficiary of the greater cross border activity of investors. Strong market fundamentals are encouraging greater capital flows into the region which is now a leading outsourcing destination in Europe,’ said John Duckworth, managing director, Central and Eastern Europe at Jones Lang LaSalle. ‘Importantly, markets such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia have seen transparency levels enhanced by the establishment of Research Forums in the major cities of these countries,’ he explained, adding that these collaborative forums were founded by international real estate service firms such as Jones Lang LaSalle to provide a platform to share non sensitive real estate market information.

Yaba TECH alumni inaugurates multi-million naira edifice DAYO AYEYEMI

I

n their drive to register their presence within the institution that made them, the Yaba College of Technology Alumni Association has constructed a fourstorey complex within the college campus. Constructed by Sojimi Services Limited, the four-floor structure, which was handed over during the weekend is tagged “Alumni Complex.” The edifice encompasses banking hall and multipurpose hall on the ground floor; offices, committee rooms and hall on the first floor; and computer training centre and open office on the second and third

floor respectively According to a statement by the building construction company that built the structure, Messrs Sojimi Services Limited, the firm is also owned by an alumnus of the college, Mr. Olatunde Jaiyesimi Commenting on the new structure, Jaiyesimi, who is the current Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch, said the unique thing about the building was that all the professionals comprising architect, structural engineer, soil engineer, mechanical/electrical engineers and quantity surveyor that were involved in the construction were alumni of Yaba College of Technology.

New homes sales increase in Australia

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ew home sales increased for a second consecutive month in June due to a spurt in multi units, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry. The HIA New Home Sales report, a survey of Australia’s larg-

est volume builders, showed a rise of 2.8percent last month due to a 15.7 per cent jump in the sales of multi units. However, it said that detached house sales continued their disappointing run in 2012, growing by only 0.7 per cent in June following a decline of 2 per cent in May.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aviation

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ATSSSAN blames past govts for aviation sector woes STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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resident of Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria, Comrade Benjamin Okewu has blamed the present predicaments in the country’s aviation sector to neglect by previous governments. Speaking with National Mirror in Lagos, Okewu noted that aviation in the country was relegated to the background by previous governments until recently when sanity was restored after series of crashes that enveloped the sector in 2005 and

2006. He said that for the sector to measure up to the minimum safety standards, government needed to inject more funds into acquisition of state-of-the-art facilities while also setting aside funds for its regular maintenance. He said, “Government has not spent enough money for it to hands-off the sector. All over the world, governments don’t hands-off aviation business because of security and other implications. The government needs to inject more funds into the sector for the survival of domestic airlines. The airlines

need to acquire new aircraft for their operations.” He challenged the government to take a cursory look at the maintenance hangar facilities of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, which he said had been abandoned for over 20 years, stressing that once this is done, capital flight as a result of checks carried out on aircraft would be reduced. He noted that with the human resources available in NCAT, maintenance of aircraft should not be cumbersome and urged the government to compliment the maintenance hangar facilities being built by the

Akwa Ibom government to keep the aviation sector on its right track. On the call for the declaration of emergency in the sector by the Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines, Okewu cautioned against politicising the emergency call, saying that it should not be a ploy to lay off workers, but rather to save the sector from total collapse. He reiterated confidence in the country’s airspace and maintained that it was safer now than 2006. He also exuded confidence in operating aircraft in the sector.

L-R: Olu Owolabi, MD/CEO Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, Kingsley Nwokoma, Merchant Express, Olu Odebiyi, AGM, Operation; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SAHCOL, Adigun Olaniyi, AGM, Sales and Marketing at Eltihed Airlines cocktail in Lagos, recently.

Aero commences third party maintenance of medium sized aircraft

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ero airline has announced the commencement of third party C-checks for airlines operating in the country. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had in 2011 approved Aero as an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation for A and B checks on Boeing aircraft, various levels of checks on other airplanes, wheels and brakes, airframes, boroscope, avionics and battery. The Managing Director of the airline, Capt. Akin George told National Mirror in Lagos that with the certification of Aero as an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation, the airline intends to expand existing hangar to enable it meet the requirements of aircraft maintenance work includ-

ing third party work, service the West African sub-region market for third party maintenance work. George said that with the commencement of the checks for aircraft, the company would further provide job opportunities for the unemployed, embark on training for staff and enhancement programmes for employees. He said, “A lot has been said about carrying out C and D checks abroad. The expected savings currently anticipated from the checks in Nigeria are quite little due to the current taxation policy. “Nigeria has relatively high import duties on aircraft parts. Airlines typically fly their aircraft to places like Turkey to have them serviced and relevant parts replaced.

Once that aircraft flies back to Nigeria, the new parts are not subject to import duties as they are already installed on the plane. This puts Nigerian maintenance provider in a big disadvantage against foreign players. “A Nigerian maintenance provider would need to import all spares used in maintenance and thus incur the import duties that those maintaining their aircraft abroad avoid completely. The resolution to this issue can be either that spares imported as installed on a plane are subject to import duty or that Nigerian maintenance businesses would get import duty relief. If Nigeria ever wants to allow for aircraft maintenance business to develop in Nigeria, it needs to create a level playing

field between domestic and foreign operations.” Also, the General Manager, Head of Operations, Port Harcourt of the airline, Capt. Patrick Agbonlahor has said that the carrier at present has 10 helicopters in Port Harcourt, which included five from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, one from Akwa Ibom government and four from belonging to the airline. He said that the oldest helicopter in its fleet is 23 years old while some are less than a year old. Commenting on its personnel on rotary wings, he said the section had 228 staff comprising 39 engineers out of which 33 were Nigerians, 48 pilots with Nigerian pilots being 35, ground staff, 55 and 86 admin staff.

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Bristow Helicopter calls for training of technical personnel

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he Managing Director of Bristow Helicopter, Capt. Akin Oni has challenged other domestic airlines in the Nigerian aviation industry to train more technical personnel if they want reduction in the influx of expatriates into the sector. Speaking with journalists last week in Lagos, Oni condemned the continuous poaching of technical staff by other airlines in the industry while spending little on training and retraining of pilots and engineers for the industry. He warned that if the trend was not changed soon, most technical personnel would be dominated by foreigners. He lamented that most of the technical staff trained by the airlines are poached by other carriers in the sector, maintaining that the company spends millions of dollars on training of engineers and pilots annually. He said, “It is the responsibility of our competitors to embark on training of professionals for this industry as we are currently doing, but unfortunately, what most of them do is to poached trained personnel from airlines who spend substantial parts of their revenues on training. We need to train to have a large pool of people. “We should not be complaining when expatriates take over the entire industry. The truth is that we will all pay collectively if we don’t train pilots and engineers for the industry.” Oni condemned the Federal Government’s intervention fund of N300bn to indigenous airlines, saying that the sector had never managed intervention funds from government well in the past. He noted that the only intervention fund in the sector was the one granted the American carriers by the United States government after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack stressing that no such funds was released to by the Nigerian government to aid airline operations. He mentioned insecurity, obsolete infrastructure and inadequate manpower as some of the challenges confronting the sub-sector in the country. Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly, Oni said that the signing into law of the bill would further boost exploration activities in the oil and gas industry while also boosting the country’s aviation sector.

Oni


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Aviation

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lufthansa Airlines calls for reduction in levies of carriers in Nigeria

Lufthansa Aircraft

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he management of one of the leading foreign carriers flying into Nigeria, Lufthansa German Airlines has called on the Federal Government to reduce levies charged carriers operating into the country, saying that this will further enhance productivity in the sector. The airline also declared a profit of 60 million euros in its flights to Nigeria in the last 12 months. Speaking at a press briefing to mark the airline’s 50 years of operating in Nigeria last week, the Managing Director, West

Africa, Lufthansa German Airlines and Swiss International, Mr. Claus Becker said that it was necessary for the government to reduce the numbers of levies charged in the sector. Becker insisted that the reduction in the number levies charged by regulatory authorities in the aviation sector is germane to the improvement of the infrastructure in the sector, creating wealth for the industry and bringing prosperity to the country. He also commended the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah for the ongoing remodeling of 11 airports in the first phase and called for speedy completion of works to ease the challenges of operating carriers to

the airport. He said, “We all know that an efficient airport structure determines the success and the economical prosperity of the country. I think you are also committed as a country in putting this in place. And the minister of aviation, Princess Stella Oduah is doing a great job of really supporting whatever is needed in order to implement these infrastructures in this country. “But I can only say follow that part, continue to support it because lowering taxes, lowering regulation, is key to international airline market, and is key to supporting and strengthening infrastructure and finally brining wealth and prosperity to the country. “And I believe that is something which is well under way in the country. Building infrastructure and airlines being part of that is something very critical for the economic development of the country.” Becker revealed that the German carrier declared a profit of over 30bn euros in its group network and about 60m euros in the Nigerian aviation sector, but said the firm could have made more if the imposed levies by the various agencies were reduced.

Unionist stresses importance of employers’ consultative council

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n aviation unionist, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu has called for the establishment of Employers’ Consultative Council for the aviation industry. Saidu, who is also the Managing Consultant of Radusi & Sons Nigeria Enterprises made the call last weekend at the opening of a three-day industrial relations workshop for representatives of management and branch of trade union leaders of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency. The three days workshop with the theme; Labour Unity and Industrial Democracy as Solution to Peace and Harmony, focused extensively on the relationship between management and personnel. According to him, the establishment of such a body would further engender industrial harmony between workers and various managements of the government agencies in the industry as it is the case with the manufacturing and industrial sector of the economy. Saidu said this was neces-

Saidu

sary, especially in the areas of enhanced and harmonised salary and welfare package of the workforce in the aviation agencies. He declared that an organisation without industrial democracy would experience disharmony while employers of labour would always seize the opportunity to exploit and further disunite the workforce. Saidu enjoined participants at the conference drawn from the management and union officials of NAMA not to see

themselves as antagonists, but partners in progress in moving NAMA to greater heights through the creation of industrial harmony. He also pointed out that it was time government reviewed all contradictory policies including; privatisation, outright sale of government-owned companies and several other anti-labour policies, which he said had led to massive unemployment in all sphere of the country’s economy including aviation.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Qatar Airways expands African network to Kilimanjaro

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atar Airways has further expanded operations in Africa with the launch of daily scheduled flights to Kilimanjaro – its 18th gateway on the diverse Continent and second destination in Tanzania. Operating via the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro takes Qatar Airways’ global network up to 118 destinations and also marks yet another move by the Doha-based airline into underserved markets. An online statement signed by its media consultant in Nigeria stated that Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker said that Africa had been long under the radar of the company’s planning team as the region was highly underserved with a lack of international air services. “Kilimanjaro signifies the importance Qatar Airways places in looking at airports around the world where capacity is limited, yet passenger demand is strong. “We are pleased to be reinforcing our presence in Africa with the addition of scheduled flights to Tanzania’s tourism centre of Kilimanjaro, home to the infamous Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing us to further develop our business on the African conti-

nent. “Kilimanjaro is an established tourist centre and is also fast emerging as a growing economic centre, thanks to its abundant wildlife, natural scenic beauty and natural resources. We have great confidence in the Tanzanian travel market ever since we launched flights to Dar es Salaam in 2007.” Addressing guests at the airport ceremony in Kilimanjaro, Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat said: “I would like to thank the Tanzanian government and officials at Kilimanjaro International Airport for the warm welcome and supporting our newest route launch. “The exposure of Kilimanjaro to the world through Qatar Airways’ global network will enable Tanzania to attract even more tourists and businesses alike.” The dynamic region of East Africa has long been the focus of Qatar Airways. The airline already has a successful operation to Dar es Salaam and Nairobi with double daily flights to both capital cities, as well as daily services to Entebbe in Uganda and the Rwandan capital Kigali.

British Airways celebrates loyal customers

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he oldest foreign carrier flying into Nigeria, British Airways once again took time out to host its corporate customers to an elaborate dinner in Lagos in appreciation of their patronage and support over the years. Speaking at the event the Regional Commercial Manager, Africa, Mr. Ian Petrie said that like any other business, British Airways would not be where it is today without its loyal and consistent clients who had stood by it over the years, pointing out that this was why the airline places so much premium on customer satisfaction. “At British Airways, we place huge emphasis on customer satisfaction, because our customers have always been at the heart of our business, and will continue to be. This is why we are investing so much to ensure that we continue to provide them with first rate services for which they have come to know us,” he said. For instance, he said, BA has invested in new aircraft like Boeing 777-300 ERs, Embraer London City fleet, A380s and Boeing 787s. “We are also introducing new cabins, and have invested £100 million in our new First, World Traveller and World Trav-

eler Plus, as well as new in-flight entertainment systems. We are enhancing catering for customers onboard, with Tuck boxes for World Traveller, Club World meals for World Traveller Plus and Laurent- Perrier Grand Siècle in First,” he said. In addition to this, Petrie said, the airline has also equipped its cabin crew with the latest technology devices like the iPad to provide bespoke services for customers. He disclosed that the airline’s obsession with customer satisfaction was at the heart of its merger with Iberia and American Airlines because it means more choices and better value for money. “Our transatlantic joint business gives customers greater access to discounted fares, more convenient connections and better access to a global network of more than 500 destinations,” he said. Speaking in the same vein, the Country Manager, BA and Iberia, Mr. Kola Olayinka said that the recent increase in Iberia’s flight frequency on the LagosMadrid route has further underlined the importance it attaches to Nigeria. British Airways, he said, sees Nigeria as an integral part of its business operations.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insurance

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

37

Brokers seek support from law officers on electronic database

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he Nigeria Insurance Industry Database (NIID) project, has continued to draw support from law enforcement agencies in the country. The NIID is an information technology based system that will facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistical and other information relating to insurance on one hand while it will also serve as a vehicle for easy identification of genuine insurance documents by authorised persons. Presently, one key objective of NIA is to collate insurance data from its members, generate reliable insurance statistics and other information to all stakeholders and cut-off issues constituting leakages in the industry. Among other benefits, the electronic database will help identify fake vehicle registration in the newly introduced fully automated licensing scheme in the country. It will put an end to faking of insurance documents, facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistical and other information relating to insurance, ensure easy verification of genuine insurance certificates, the monitoring and authenticating insurance transaction and policies, minimize fraudulent claims and provide authentic qualitative and comprehensive data on With the deployment of the NIID, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), along with the insurers, brokers, agents and other stakeholders are excited and expectant of results to be achieved when full scale enforcement commences. This time specifically, the NCRIB used the opportunity of its July edition of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurers Brokers (NCRIB) members evening held in Lagos recently to solicit the support of the law enforcement agencies. NCRIB President, Mrs Olaide Osijo in her speech said the invitation of the Federal Road Safety Corps and LASTMA officers is borne out of the need to extend the frontiers of interaction between the insurance industry and strategic stake holders in the society. According to her, the two institutions are important to the propagation of insurance awareness, especially motor insuwwrance. She said, “We look forward to these institutions making input into how best the industry and particularly insurance brokers could maximize their collaboration with them for the mutual advantage of the both parties”. LASTMA Admin Officer in charge of Pension and Insurance, Mr. Giwa lawal urged the industry to accelerate its public awareness campaign on insurance in the country. While requesting for better collaborative relationship between the insurance industry and their various institutions, as well as urging the industry to accelerate its public awareness campaign for better growth and development of the insurance indus-

Stakeholders in the insurance industry have continued to drum up support for the Nigeria Insurance Industry Database project expected to end fake insurance and leakages in the industry. This time, it was the brokers under the auspices of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurers Brokers (NCRIB). OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO reports.

FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka

Osijo

MD, Prestige Insurance Brokers, Feyisayo Soyewo

THERE IS POOR PERCEPTION BY THE PUBLIC AND THEY WOULD RATHER HAVE A ‘POLICE LET ME GO’ DOCUMENT INSTEAD

OF GOING TO THE INSURANCE OPERATORS TO BUY ORIGINAL POLICIES. THIS IS VERY RAMPANT IN MOTOR INSURANCE AND THIS HAS RUBBED OFF NEGATIVELY ON THE INDUSTRY AND THE NATION AS A WHOLE try. Assistant Corps Commander, Lagos State Sector Command, Mr. Arinze Igwe on his part said the problem with insurance is wrong perception by the public. He said, “There is poor perception by the public and they would rather have a ‘Police Let Me Go’ document instead of going to the insurance operators to buy original policies. This is very rampant in motor insurance and this has rubbed off negatively on the industry and the nation as a whole. “It is not a good development but insurers need to make the general public understand the implication of a vital motor insurance policy among other. They need to know that when there is an accident, the insurance company will pick up the bill whether it is third party or comprehensive”, he said. NAICOM commended the NIA for the development and deployment of electronic database to eliminate fake third party motor and marine insur-

ance certificates in the country. The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, was excited for the development of the database by the association. He advised the insuring public to patronise only insurance companies licenced by the commission so that in the event of claims they would obtain their rights, by way of payment of compensation. Also, the immediate past chairman of NIA, Mr. Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi said the dematerialisation and codification of insurance documents which was given impetus last year has become a reality. Ladipo-Ajayi appealed to member companies to fully upload their motor insurance businesses and ensure prompt daily or on-line upload as this will prevent likely embarrassment of their clients when full scale enforcement commences. He acknowledged the contributions and support of stakeholders including Nigeria Police Force, Vehicle Inspection Officers, Nigeria Customs Service, NAICOM and FRSC.

He noted that arrangements are on the way for other modules to follow. Before now, the Assistant Corp Marshal, Ademola Lawal of FRSC in charge of Ogun and Lagos, endorsed the database and assured that FRSC would partner insurance industry to fight fake insurance certificate based on the database. He also disclosed that the insurance database would further compliment the recent pet project of FRSC geared towards collation of car owners’ statistics through new plate numbers and issuance of new drivers’ licence. Reverend Bayo Otuyemi of Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), Ogun State Command, said that the introduction of insurance database was a milestone in the history of Nigeria, adding that it should be sustained by genuine insurance operators in the country. According to him, fake operators sprung up because genuine operators shy away from their responsibility of claims payment.


38

Insurance

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

N1trn MDRI target still achievable –Soladoye STORIES: OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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consultant for the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), on the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), Mr. Yemi Soladoye, has said that the N1trn target of the MDRI project is still achievable despite challenges in the nation’s economy. The MDRI project is a medium term plan 2009-2012 of installing the first phase of the necessary reforms in the areas of Industry capacity, Market efficiency and Consumer protection in the Nigerian Insurance market. According to NAICOM, the MDRI is expected to deepen and grow the insurance market and move the industry’s gross premium from N164bn in 2008 to NI.0trn 2012. But for now, the N1trn seems like a tall order considering the fact that the ndustry only generated N200bn premium income in 2011. Some analysts have also argued that the present economic situation will fraustrate the plan. Soladoye stated that sales is ongoing by the insurance companies on the five compulsory insurance which includes motor vehicle third party insurance, builders liability insurance, statutory

Soladoye

group life insurance, occupiers liability insurance, and health care professional indemnity insurance. He said he does not believe that the economic problem in the country is frustrating insurance companies’ effort in achieving the desired result or the sales of compulsory insurance policies. He pointed out that companies like Mutual Benefit, Leadway Assurance, NICON Insurance among others are

making progress on the sales of the policies. “I disagree that the economic condition can frustrate the efforts of the underwriters in selling these products because, if this is the case, it will affect the whole economy. Whether the economy is good or not is debatable and some people and institutions are still making a lot of money from the system.” He noted that the underwriters only need to be persistent in insurance marketing for them to surpass their target. “I know that some of the underwriters are making efforts in ensuring that the set goals in the industry are achieved because they call me for clarifications. Based on my own conviction, I am sure that they will meet the target though I don’t know how much they have genuinely sold. “All they need to know is that the businesses that would make the N1trn achievable is with everybody and the industry that have not taken insurance before because each person have needs. They should stop asking where the business is in a country of 150 million people. If insurance companies target 10 million Nigerians for one form of insurance or the other or for one product of which they would pay an average of N10,000, this will go a long way for the industry.”

NICON Insurance delights travellers with four new products

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oised by its desire to continually meet the demands of its cutomers, NICON Insurance Plc has introduced four new products. Managing Director of the underwriting firm Mr. Emmanuel Jegede who disclosed this recently said the products are Overseas Travel Insurance Policy (OTIP), Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (DOLI), Events Management Insurance (EMI) and Travelers Personal Accident Insurance Scheme (TIPAS). According to him, the company entered into partnership with Europe Assistance, Portugal. This, he said will provide Nigerian passengers financial succour in case of death, permanent disability, surgery and medical expenses resulting from hospitalisation while abroad. “The second product introduced into the insurance market is tagged Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (DOLI), which was newly approved by the National In-

surance Commission (NAICOM), the apex regulatory authority of the insurance industry in Nigeria. “The product is designed to cover Executives, non-Executive Directors and Officers in managerial or supervisory capacities. This policy covers Directors’ and Officers’ legal defence costs when sued for their actions and in inactions in the course of their employments”, he added. Jegede added that the company has also introduced Events Management Insurance (EMI), which would put smiles on the faces of event planners, organisers, individuals, companies and governments. He explained that the EMI is designed to cover various types of event such as marriage ceremonies, get-together parties, burial ceremonies, festivals, religious programmes, political parties’ conventions and town hall meetings, adding that professional and academic events, trade fairs, seminars, workshops and exhibitions are

AIG posts higher first-half profit

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merican International Group Inc.’s net income for the first six months of this year rose by 76.8 per cent to $5.54bn, the insurer reported Thursday. The New York-based insurer’s Chartis Inc. Property and casualty unit generated pre-tax income of $1.87bn during the first six months of the year, a 313.9 per cent increase over that of a year earlier. However, Chartis’ net premiums dropped 2.3percent to $17.92 billion during the first half. The unit’s combined ratio improved to 102.3percent from 111.1percent a year earlier. For the second quarter, AIG’s net in-

come rose 27 per cent compared with a year earlier to $2.22bn. Chartis’ pretax income for the period rose 16.3 per cent to $961m while net written premiums declined 0.8 per cent to $9.10bn. Chartis’ combined ratio improved to 102.4 per cent from 104.0 per cent a year earlier. “AIG’s insurance operations and aircraft leasing business posted solid profits this quarter,” AIG President and CEO Robert H. Benmosche said in a statement announcing the results. “The performance of our businesses and our stock price enabled the U.S. government to continue to profitably reduce its outstanding assistance to AIG, which includes the U.S. Department of

Jegede

also inclusive. He also said that the TIPAS has also been re-introduced to the market by the company for organised transporters especially the Mass Transit Buses, moving passengers within and outside the states. The cover pays compensation for accidental death, permanent disability and medical expenses of passengers, he said. theTreasury’s $5.7bn AIG equity offering in May 2012. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Maiden Lane III loan was also paid in full during the quarter.” Benmosche said AIG is proud of its accomplishments “and believe(s) we are close to achieving our goal of returning to America all that it provided to AIG during the crisis, plus a profit,” he said. “At Chartis, second-quarter results demonstrated the continued progress in strategic initiatives to improve the mix of business, loss ratio and risk selection, all of which ultimately increases the intrinsic value of our global franchise,” Mr. Benmoshe said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Problems with insurance?

07080735854 or e-mail:omobola_m@yahoo.com Send a text:

Tips on Frequently Asked Questions on Management of the New Pension Scheme (Part III) How will the money contributed be managed? The total contributions will be paid out by the employer directly to a Pension Fund Custodian (PFC) and will be managed and invested by the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) of the employee’s choice. How is the new scheme to be regulated? The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is empowered by the Pension Reform Act 2004 to supervise and regulate new pension scheme. What are the main functions of the national pension commission? PenCom issues licences to PFAs and Custodians, regulates their activities and generally formulates, directs and oversees the overall policy guidelines on pension matters in Nigeria. Who is a pension fund administrator (PFA)? A (PFA) is a company licensed by the PenCom to manage and invest the pension funds in the employee’s Retirement Savings Account (RSA). How do i know which pfa to choose? PenCom will publish a list of all licensed PFAs and make it available to the public. Can a PFA have access to the money in my RSA? The PFA cannot collect or spend the pension money in the RSA. Who is a “closed pension fund administrator (CPFA)?” Any employer managing its existing pension scheme before the enactment of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004 may apply to PenCom to be licensed as a Closed Pension Fund Administrator to continue to manage such pension scheme. A closed PFA cannot open or manage RSA for employees other than its employees or employees of its parent company if it is a subsidiary. Who is qualified to be licenced as a closed PFA? Any employer having existing pension fund assets worth N500,000,000 or more who also meets the requirements of the PRA 2004 may apply to PenCom for a closed PFA licence to enable it manage the pension funds of its employees directly or through its subsidiary. Can any employer be allowed to continue to maintain its existing scheme if the total assets in the scheme is less than N500,000,000? Any employer with existing scheme of less than N500,000,000 can still maintain the scheme but the scheme will have to be administered by a PFA separate from the organization. Is it only employees that join an organisation after the commencement of the pra that can elect to opt out of a closed PFA? Every employee may decide to join the contributory pension scheme or move his RSA from a closed PFA to a PFA of his choice subject to such rules and regulations as may be issued by the National Pension Commission. Can a subsidiary company apply as a closed PFA? A subsidiary of any company may apply for licence to operate as a closed PFA provided it satisfies the requirements of the PRA 2004. Can a new multinational company without an existing pension fund but with capacity for fully funded defined benefit pension scheme apply as a closed pfa to manage the pension of its employees? In accordance with the provisions of the PRA 2004, only an employer with a pension scheme existing before the commencement of the Act can apply to be licensed as a closed PFA. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

39

MPR hike: Banking stocks may face pressure JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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anking stocks may face sell pressure in the short run following the tighthens of monetary policy rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The CBN had on July 24 increased banks’ cash reserve ratio to 12 per cent from eight per cent and also reduced the net foreign exchange open position to 1.0 per cent from 3.0 per cent, but left the monetary policy rate unchanged at 12per cent. In a report by the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company

Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, the increase in MPR may adversely impact stock market sentiment. According to him, long term expectations of stock market returns remains unchanged, but initial impact is unpredictable. He hinted that a likely correction of about four per cent to the Ngerian Stock Exchange on the downside, but added that any irrational fall in stock prices will be an opportunity to buy. Already, he said that government securities coupon rates have benefited from the market tightness. “We believe the short end of the yield curve remains

the most attractive,” he said. Rewane, however, advised investors to take position in good companies and hold them for long term, noting that timing the market may be easy in theory, but it is difficult to practice. He urged investors to select winners in different sectors and create a diversified portfolio, adding, “only invest in wide moats with strong cash flow.” Rewane maintained that the further tightening will affect banks’ loan growth and the cost of funds. “Manufacturing com-

panies also face challenges as their cost of borrowing increases, there will be sharp increase in the Nigerian Interbank Offered Rates (NIBOR) and we expect a further rise in bond yields “Higher interest expense squeezes the net-interest margins (NIMs) of banks. NIM’s are expected to shrink by 1.50 per cent,” he added. The economist also said that the value of cheques in Lagos declined by 5.21 per cent in June to N1.52trn, adding that the value of property in areas such as Maryland, Agege, Gbagada, all in Lagos, appreciated last month.

Source: NSE

Islamic index gain fails to lift equities on NSE JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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ains recorded in the Lotus Islamic sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday could not lift benchmark indices of equities. The index, which was created to track performance of Shari’ah compliant equities trading on the floor of the Exchange such as Ashaka Cement Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Larfage WAPCO Plc, Nahco Plc, Unilever Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc among others, rose by 0.01 per cent to close at 1,373.17 points. Losses recorded mostly in oil and gas stocks dragged the All Share

Index to 23,418.66 points, from 23,523.16 points at which it closed on Friday, a decline by 0.47 per cent. Market capitalisation shed N34bn to close at N7.45trn, in contrast to the increase by N11bn recorded on Friday to close at N7.49trn. The oil and gas index dipped by 3.54 per cent to close at 176.03 points, while the consumer goods index lost 1.11 per cent to close at 353.33 points. The NSE-30 index dropped by 0.58 per cent to close at 1,091.82 points, while both the banking and insurance indices depreciated by 0.33 per cent to close at 353.33 points and 123.79 points respec-

tively. Continental Insurance Plc led the gainers’ table with three kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share, followed by International Breweries Plc with 29 kobo or 4.89 per cent to close at N6.22 per share. Eterna Oil Plc gained 10 kobo or 4.72 per cent to close at N2.22 per share, while Smurfit Print Nigeria Plc appreciated by five kobo or 4.63 per cent to close at N1.13 per share. UTC Plc rose by three kobo or 4.48 per cent to close at 70 kobo per share. On the flip side, Airservice Plc shed nine kobo or 4.97 per cent to close at N1.72 per share, while

Berger Paints Plc declined by 36 kobo or 4.91 per cent to close at N6.97 per share. Mobil Oil Plc depreciated by N5.75 or 4.84 per cent to close at N113.00 per share, while WAPIC Insurance Plc fell by three kobo or 4.76 per cent to close at 60 kobo per share. Ikeja Hotel Plc dropped by five kobo or 4.31 per cent to close at N1.11 per share. Transaction volume in equities dropped by 9.4 per cent, as a total of 188.02 million shares valued at N1.75bn were exchanged in 3,661 deals, compared to 207.42 million shares worth N2.35bn traded in 3,738 deals on Friday.

US stocks rise on Europe as earnings beat estimates

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nited States stocks rose, sending the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index to a threemonth high yesterday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government backed the European Central Bank’s bond-buying plan and earnings beat forecasts. Bank of America Corporation, Caterpillar Incorporation and Alcoa Incoporation jumped at least 1.8 per cent to pace advances among the largest US companies. Best Buy Company surged 12 per cent as founder Richard Schulze offered to take the electronics retailer private, while Regions Financial Corporation added 1.9 per cent after Bank of America Corporation raised its

recommendation on the shares. Knight Capital Group Incoporation, the firm driven to the brink of bankruptcy by trading losses last week, tumbled 21 per cent. About five stocks advanced for every two falling on US exchanges. The S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent to 1,398.38, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 76.48 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,172.65. Trading in S&P 500 companies was down 15 per cent from the 30-day average at this time of day. “There’s better general feeling,” Richard Sichel, who oversees $1.6 bn as Chief Investment Officer at Philadelphia Trust Company said in a phone interview. “We’ve had a

good earnings season and better than estimated data last week. The weekend didn’t bring any painful news out of Europe and there are expectations the ECB will buy bonds.” A four-week rally took the S&P 500 to the highest level since May on August 3. Spanish and Italian twoyear notes climbed for a fourth day amid speculation the European Central Bank will buy the securities in an attempt to calm euro-region turmoil. About 73 per cent of the S&P 500 companies which reported second- quarter results have beaten analysts’ earnings estimate even as 59 per cent missed sales projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Raw-material and tech-

nology shares gained the most among 10 groups in the S&P 500. Bank of America increased 2.6 per cent to $7.62. Caterpillar rose 2 to $86.70. Alcoa added 1.8 per cent to $8.52. Hewlett-Packard Company surged 2.6 per cent, the most in the Dow, to $18.74. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporationn climbed 11 per cent to $64.23. The provider of consulting and outsourcing services reported earnings and sales that beat analysts’ projections. Best Buy surged 12 per cent to $19.69. Schulze, who stepped down as chairman this year, offered to take the electronics retailer private at $24 to $26 a share, according to a copy of a letter he sent to the board yesterday.

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,418.66 points Market capitalisation 7,453trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

CONTINSURE

0.61

0.64

0.03

4.92

INTBREW

5.93

6.22

0.29

4.89

ETERNA

2.12

2.22

0.10

4.72

SMURFIT

1.08

1.13

0.05

4.63

UTC

0.67

0.70

0.03

4.48

FIDSON

0.76

0.79

0.03

3.95

STERLNBANK

1.10

1.14

0.04

3.64

NASCON

4.46

4.60

0.14

3.14

HONYFLOUR

1.91

1.96

0.05

2.62

UBN

4.41

4.50

0.09

2.04

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

AIRSERVICE

1.81

1.72

0.09

-4.97

BERGER

7.33

6.97

0.36

-4.91

MOBIL

118.75

113.00

5.75

-4.84

WAPIC

0.63

0.60

0.03

-4.76

IKEJAHOTEL

1.16

1.11

0.05

-4.31

TOTAL

133.00

128.01

4.99

-3.75

CUSTODYINS

1.35

1.30

0.05

-3.70

GOLDINSURE

0.56

0.54

0.02

-3.57

NB

122.30

119.00

3.30

-2.70

FIRSTBANK

12.00

11.70

0.30

-2.50

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,057

13.90

9-Aug-12

182-Day

50,000.00

16.10

9-Aug-12

364 -Day

60,000.00

9.05

9-Aug-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

252-Days

26,036.45

16.39

9-Aug-12

248-Day

11,644.09

16.40

9-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$250m

N/A

$250m

6-Aug-12

$250m

N/A

$250m

1-Aug-12


40

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

41

Ogoni: From environmental rights to self-rule CONTINUED FROM 13 continue to suffer neglect from the Federal Government. The government responded by banning public gatherings and declaring that disturbances of oil production were acts of treason. Oil extraction from the territory slowed to a trickle of 10,000 barrels per day, representing five per cent of the nation’s total. The ban, however, did not resolve the crisis. In May 1994, four Ogoni chiefs on the conservative side of a schism within MOSOP over strategy were brutally murdered. Personnel of the then Rivers State Internal Security were deployed to search for those directly responsible for the killings. Nine activists, among them Saro-Wiwa, were arrested and accused of incitement which led to the murder. The playwright and his comrades denied the charges, but were detained for over a year before being found guilty and sentenced to death on November 10,1995 by a specially convened tribunal set up by the then Head of State, late General Sani Abacha. The trial was widely criticised by human rights organisations and the governments of other states and their execution was met with an immediate international response. The Commonwealth of Nations, which had earlier pleaded for clemency, suspended Nigeria’s membership. The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) all implemented sanctions against Nigeria. The return of democratic rule in 1999 however saw Ogoniland witnessing relative peace, though not much conscious effort was made to bring about justice by investigating and prosecuting those involved in the violence and property destruction that occurred in the area. Only a class action lawsuit was brought against Shell by individual plaintiffs in the U.S. The calm, notwithstanding, the Ogonis have continued to resist the resumption of oil exploration in their homeland. Only recently, they threatened to occupy strategic economic targets in the area if the Federal Government continues to stall the implementation of the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the devastation of their land. The threat was contained in a resolution of the Congress of Ogoni People, the highest policy organ of MOSOP. In a sixpoint resolution, signed by the chairman of MOSOP Provisional Council, Prof. Ben Naanen and six others, the group said they were deeply concerned by the failure of the government to implement the UNEP report nearly one year after its release. The report, which is regarded as the most detailed study on any area in the Niger Delta, was paid for in part by Shell after a request by the Federal Government. It states that it could cost $1bn (£613m) and take between 25 and 30 years for Ogoniland to recover fully from the damage caused by years of oil spills. It states in part: “The environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be brought back to full, productive health. In at least 10 Ogoni com-

Amaechi

Sumonu

OGONI AUTONOMY IS NOT ACHIEVABLE. THE MAN WHO DECLARED

OGONI AUTONOMY

WILL RUN INTO THE BUSH TOMORROW

MORNING.

WHAT

DIIGBO IS DOING IS TREASONABLE FELONY munities where drinking water is contaminated with high levels of hydrocarbons, public health is seriously threatened while some areas which appeared unaffected were actually severely contaminated underground.” In one community, the report said, families were drinking from wells which were contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, at 900 times recommended levels. The report, which was based on examinations of some 200 locations over 14 months, further said that Shell created public health and safety issues by failing to apply its own procedures in the control and maintenance of oilfield infrastructure, adding that the local people are also to be blamed, as they sabotaged pipelines in order to steal oil. Shell has, however, accepted liability for two spills, saying all oil spills were bad for Nigeria and the company. “We will continue working with our partners in Nigeria, including the government, to solve these problems and on the next steps to help clean up Ogoniland,” Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), said in a statement. Amnesty International, which has campaigned on the issue, said: “This report proves Shell has had a terrible impact in Nigeria, but has got away with denying it for decades, falsely claiming they work to best international standards.” It was against this backdrop that MOSOP insisted on the involvement of the people of the area, who are the primary

beneficiaries of the programme. It said: “In implementing the UNEP Report, the Ogoni people, as the presumed primary beneficiaries of the proposed clean-up programme, must be consulted in accordance with the doctrine of prior, free, and informed consent in order to address issues of corporate social responsibility and the requirements of Nigeria’s Content Act which will enable the Ogoni people to be given first consideration in the distribution of the economic and social benefits of the clean up programme and ameliorate the dire poverty and hopelessness in Ogoniland, it is hereby emphasised that the Ogoni people will not co-operate in any exercise that excludes this prior consultation.” However, while it is an established fact that Ogoniland, like other oil producing communities have been neglected over the years by the government and oil companies, analysts have questioned the feasibility of a section of the country, having selfgovernment, warning of the consequences of such declaration. Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi, in whose domain, Ogoniland falls into, in a swift reaction, described the act as treasonable felony. His words: “On Ogoni autonomy, I wish them well. Ogoni autonomy is not achievable. The man who declared Ogoni autonomy will run into the bush tomorrow morning. What Diigbo is doing is treasonable felony. You do not declare autonomy on the pages of newspapers and magazines or on radio and television.” Former governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who also described the action as a treasonable offence, opined that it is likely to plunge the country into further crisis if not handled properly. “We are heading to a worst situation than we have known before because the declaration is a challenge to the government. It will give the Jonathan administration a serious problem even more than the Boko Haram,” Musa told National Mirror. A legal luminary, Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN), whose reaction was also sought on the issue, said he would rather wait for the official reaction of the government before commenting. “I want to see the reaction of the Federal Government, first,” Ahamba told National Mirror on phone. The government on its part has said it is unaware of the declaration. Minister of

Information, Labaran Maku, through his spokesman, Mr. Joseph Mutah, said the Federal Government is not aware of the Ogoni declaration of political autonomy and may not respond to it. “For the Minister to appropriately respond, he must have seen the story. In this case, we haven’t seen the story,” said the minister’s spokesman. But despite the treason charges dangling before him, Diigbo sees nothing wrong in his action. In a swift reaction to Amaechi’s statement, he said: “I think Amaechi needs proper advice on international matters. It is because of international instruments that citizens who want to live in organised society are able to aspire to self-government, freedom and to organise and subordinate their rights. You cannot pick and chose certain aspects of civilisation and corruptly opt for primitivity as you deem fit. “Article 20 (1) of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is very clear that they have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.” Interestingly, he is backed by the ProNational Conference Organisation (PRONACO) which has saluted MOSOP’s courage. The group in a statement said: “Kudos to the great people of Ogoniland. We fully back them and will give them all support needed to succeed up to the UN. We are glad indigenous people in Nigeria are beginning to heed to our call on July 29 to go for UN recommended political autonomy rather than wait endlessly for a national conference that may not come or can be ultimately bastardised.” But despite the argument for and against, it is not yet Uhuru for thousands of Ogonis who trouped out last Thursday to celebrate the political freedom, as a major crack has surfaced in MOSOP. The group loyal to the successor of Saro-Wiwa, Ledum Mitee, has disowned the declaration, describing it as misleading and not the wish of Ogoni people. “MOSOP has received with dismay the purported declaration of Ogoni Autonomy Day by Mr. Goodluck Diigbo. He had, earlier this year, falsely claimed that the Ogoni people had voted for autonomy in a referendum. At no time did the Ogoni people take any decision to establish a sovereign nationhood. “The Ogoni Bill of Rights is clear on the aspiration of Ogoni people in Nigeria. The Ogoni, according to the bill, want adequate representation in all the institutions of the Nigerian state as a matter of right. They want their economic, social and political rights to be protected in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A people aspiring to sovereignty cannot also be asking for representation at the same time,” it said in a statement signed by its secretary, Dr. Meshach Karanwi. While the voices of secession continue to grow louder, not only in Ogoniland, but across the country, given the prevalent situation in the nation, it may not be out of place if the Federal Government considers calls for a sovereign national conference of the various ethnic nationalities on the way forward for the nation.


42

Politics THE

PARLIAMENT

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Impeachment: What next for NASS

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appeared before the Senate joint committees on Appropriation, Finance, Planning and Public Accounts last week and insisted that government was not only on course with the implementation of the 2012 Appropriation act but also pledged government’s commitment to implementing the budget in full before the end of the year. Could this be interpreted to mean that the minister’s intervention have calmed frayed nerves and stalled further impeachment moves? GEORGE OJI writes.

I

ndeed, the threat of impeachment against President Goodluck Jonathan by members of the House of Representatives last month, to many, just dropped from the blues. From available facts, there was nothing in the order paper of that Wednesday July 25 by way of motion to suggest that the lawmakers had contemplated that line of action. The only item that was remotely linked to the issue was the motion by the chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Busines, Hon. Albert Sam-Tsokwa and 20 others on the violation of the 2012 Appropriation Act. Even though a summary of the House members’ contributions on the performance of the 2012 budget implementation by the executive were on the average, very dismal, it was Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, House Minority Leader that introduced the issue of impeachment from nowhere. Citing section 143, of the 1999 constitution as variously amended, the lawmaker argued that the President was culpable of gross misconduct going by the position of earlier speakers on the performance of the budget implementation. The submissions of Gbajabiamila expectedly threw the House into a rancorous mood as members rose in support of his views. The intervention by Nadu Karibo (PDP Bayelsa) who cited order 7(57) of the House’s rules that impeachment should not even be mentioned because it was not relevant to the debate could not persuade the lawmakers to change their attitude and consequently, Karibo was shouted down. It, however, took the intervention of the House Leader, Hon. Mulikat AdeolaAkande to calm her colleagues. “I plead that before we come back from recess, we will definitely witness changes,” the leader said, drawing a loud applause. It is also on record that at the end of the day, the resolution of the House on the motion was to urge the President to ensure the implementation of the provisions of section 6 of 2012 Appropriation Act by directing the Minister of Finance to release immediately, all outstanding funds appropriated to the MDAs for the first and second quarters and begin forthwith to comply with the act by ensuring that the funds appropriated under the act to the MDAs for the remaining third and fourth quarters are released as and when due. The following day, both the House and the Senate proceeded on their annual eight weeks vacation. Meanwhile, the impeachment threat, no doubt provided a feasting ground for Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the administration of President Jonathan to latch on to continue to ensure that the matter does not abet and continues to hunt and distract the government. Hardly any day passed since then that mention is not made of the said impeachment. It was as if to say that the Nigerian media deliberately embarked on a race, each trying to outrace the other. In the

L-R: Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yarima Ngama with the Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during the interactive session with the Senate Joint Committee on AppropriaPHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA tion and Finance on implementation of 2012 budget at the National Assembly, Abuja.

AT THE RISK OF BEING ACCUSED OF TAMPERING

WITH THE BUDGET...THEY RECEIVED THE BUDGET THE WAY AND MANNER THEY WANTED IT, SO

THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION WOULD BE MUCH

MORE EASIER.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION HAS BEEN ANYTHING LESS THAN COMMENDABLE thick of this, and perhaps not wanting to be labelled anti- people, the Senate, which was already two weeks into its annual vacation, hurriedly asked its joint committees on Appropriation, Finance, Planning and Public Accounts to hold a public hearing to ascertain the level of performance of the 2012 Appropriation Act. The absence of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala last Tuesday when the public hearing was billed to hold provided an opportunity for members of the upper chamber to prove to Nigerians that it meant business and are indeed out to protect their interest. Thus in a well rehearsed move, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who was billed to declare open the public hearing decided to demonstrate the seriousness that the red chamber attached to the matter of budget implementation. Obviously conscious of the array of reporters at the event, Ekweremadu said the Senate had decided to call off the event to ensure that Okonjo-Iweala must be present in person the next two days to respond to the issues to be raised by the lawmakers on the budget performance. To further rub it in, he threatened that the Senate may be left with no other option but to issue summons on the minister if

she failed to appear on the appointed date. Indeed, to further underscore the seriousness of the matter, Ekweremadu said the Senate was not ready to entertain the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, who had come to represent the coordinating minister at the event. Ekweremadu tried not to compromise his serious mien despite all entreaties by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim who deliberately was at the Senate that day to calm his former colleagues down. Perhaps in order not to give any opportunity to Anyim to intervene in the matter, Ekweremadu ruled and adjourned the matter immediately, and led the way out with his colleagues following in tow. It would appear that the stage was set for a serious confrontation between the senators and the minister. In his brief remarks before calling off the event, Ekweremadu said the executive arm of government had in the past blamed the non-performance of the budget on what they considered as the tinkering of the budget by the National Assembly. Ekweremadu said what they had wanted to do was to hear from the executive what those tinkering were. “Let us hear and let the people of Nige-

ria hear what the National Assembly did to the budget that made it impossible for it to be implemented so that our committee chairmen here would have the opportunity of responding,” Ekeremadu said. He added that it was not enough for the executive or the Minister of Finance to continue to accuse the National Assembly of tampering with the budget and claiming that such made it impossible for the budget to be implemented. The lawmaker said it was this thinking that informed the decision of the Senate to call for the interactive session where the press would be the arbiter; they (press) will listen to the lawmakers and the executives and then know where any of the arms of government went wrong on the matter. And that at the end of the day if there are areas that the National Assembly should be blamed and the Nigerian public should hear and if they have response from the National Assembly, the Senate’s appropriate committees should also respond. Ekweremadu said the Senate was worried about Okonjo-Iweala’s absence. His words: “We had expected the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy to be here today because she’s central to all that we are going to discuss here as our chairman on appropriation had mentioned this matter was supposed to be discussed last week but the minister was unavoidably absent. “We learnt that she went to Asaba to declare open a SURE-P. We consider our meeting with her on issue that has to do with budget implementation to be more important than any other assignment. Today we have also been told that she’s gone to London to represent the President on an investment forum for which we know there are other ministers and government officials that could as well have done that to enable her to be here with us this after-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

43

after Okonjo-Iweala’s budget defence?

Ekweremadu

Gbajabiamila

Anyim

noon. So it is regrettable that she is not here. “I recall that when the 2012 budget was presented to us as a draft bill, we in the NASS decided that we are going to do everything possible to send it back to the Executive the way it came, so that there will be no argument on whether it will be implemented or not, because over the years we’ve had this issue of non-implementation of the budget, and the reason or whatever reason they give surrounds the area of NASS input, so we decided that we are going to make minimal input if there’s need to make any input at all. “So, on the basis of this we returned the budget the way it came and even when we identified the areas on which some adjustments need to be made we had to bend over at the risk of being accused of tampering with the budget. We had to do that to ensure that they received the budget the way and manner they wanted it, so that the implementation would be much more easier. Unfortunately, the level of implementation has been anything less than commendable and that’s why we are worried.” The very large turnout of reporters, both local and foreign at Room 022, new Senate building, venue for the re-scheduled public hearing was not surprising at all, especially, given the huge media mention the threat by Ekweremadu to OknojoIweala attracted the next day in the papers. Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba who represented the Senate President, David Mark to declare the session open spent the first part of his opening remarks expressing the displeasure of the upper parliament over the absence of the minister in honouring their invitation on several occasions on the matter, noting that the last time, the minister gave the excuse that she was on her way to Asaba, Delta State for an official engagement, an action he said did not go down well with the Senate. Okonjo-Iweala who responded immediately blamed the incidence on what she described as miscommunication. The minister said she held the Senate and indeed the National Assembly in very high esteem and would not deliberately go out of her way to disrespect the lawmakers. The apology accepted, Ndoma-Egba continued that the event was called to discuss the performance or non-performance of the budget. He said the information the

senators got from the media regarding the performance of the budget vis-à-vis the information available to the Senate did not seem to tally, hence the need to have the minister present to reconcile the conflicts. Ndoma-Egba stated that because of the importance the red chamber attached to the issue at hand, especially given the blame the Senate had received for the nonperformance of the budget, Senate decided to hold the event in the public, in the full glare of the media. He said as a parliament, the Senate can afford to take all the wiping from the public but definitely not the blame as the scapegoat for the failure of government. According to him, that informed the Senate’s decision not to make the interactive session just a family affair but a national meeting to be conducted before all Nigerians. Ndoma-Egba said one of the issues for which the Senate, indeed the entire National Assembly had received public bashing and blamed for the slow performance of the budget was the constituency projects. He said the reports reaching them was that ministers were complaining that members of the National Assembly were tampering or distorting the budget implementation processes through their constituency projects for which there were no proper budgetary provisions and for which the lawmakers were insisting must first be executed. “We have heard that members of the National Assembly were tampering with the budget implementation and we will like to know who did the tampering,” the lawmaker said. The Senate Leader traced the origin of the constituency projects to 2008, during the period of the late President Musa Yar’Adua when a negotiated threshold of N100 billion was agreed as constituency projects for the entire National Assembly members, in the ratio of N50 billion for the Senate and the same sum for members of the House of Representatives. He wondered how a mere N100 billion could constitute the problem for the implementation of an Appropriation Act that involved a whooping N4.7 trillion. He also stressed that none of the lawmakers ever has any hand in the award or in the execution of the constituency projects, except the executive. In his concluding remarks, NdomaEgba said, “A lot has been budgeted for

the construction of roads, hospitals, education, employment, provision of water, general infrastructure and Nigerians will like to know what is happening to the 2012 budget.” In her usual calm, simple and coordinated candour, the minister who arrived the public hearing venue in company of Ngama; the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi; Director-General of the Budget Office, Bright Okogwu; Accountant General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla and the Auditor General of the Federation, Samuel Okura, took her time to allay the fears of the lawmakers concerning the position of government on the budget. She said the executive had not in any way violated either the letter or the spirit of the 2012 Appropriation Act, noting that the budget was being implemented step by step. She pledged government’s commitment to the full implementation of the budget by the year end. The minister blamed the media for all the misinformation being bandied around about the 2012 budget, stating that, “A section of the media has been miseducating the public and I am amazed at some of the things I read.” She said when this became so disturbing, she had to issue a written statement to clear the air on the position of government on the implementation of the budget, yet it did not stop the misinformation. She reassured that the 2012 budget was being managed in a way that protects and enhances the best interest of the country, noting that transparency and prudence remained the key priorities of the Federal

THE COUNTRY IS ABSOLUTELY NOT

BROKE.

THE COUNTRY

MAY HAVE CASH FLOW PROBLEMS

FROM TIME TO TIME, THAT IS NORMAL,

BUT THE COUNTRY IS ABSOLUTELY NOT BROKE

Government in the management of the 2012 budget. “Our objective is to achieve both higher budget implementation and better management of the country’s resources,” the minister said. Commenting on the vexed issue of constituency projects, Okonjo-Iweala said, “We have absolutely no problems with the constituency projects in the budget. Neither the president nor anyone of us asked the ministers not to implement the constituency projects.” She explained that because some of the constituency projects were new, government is taking steps to ensure that the project designs and plans are gotten right so as not to stall their implementation midway. In response to other questions, the minister said the Federal Government does not intend to extend the implementation of the 2012 budget beyond the end of December this year. According to her, the practice of extending the implementation of the budget till March the following year was not a good budgetary practice and that the present administration has decided to put a halt to it. “The practice is very wrong, we should stop it, and indeed we should implement the budget on a yearly basis,” the minister said. Okonjo-Iweala used the occasion to refute the allegation that the country was broke. She said: “The country is absolutely not broke. The country may have cash flow problems from time to time, that is normal, but the country is absolutely not broke.” She stated that transparency and prudence remains the government’s key priority in the management of the nation’s resources and in particular the 2012 budget. Shedding light on the progress of the budget implementation, the coordinating minister assured that the implementation of the 2012 budget was on course. She said so far government was releasing funds to the ministries, departments and agencies as and when due. She pointed out that the 2012 budget was on its fourth month implementation period since the Appropriation Act was passed into law only in April. She disclosed that out of the N1.3 trillion budgeted for capital projects, her ministry has released N404 billion to the MDAs, out of which N324 billion was cash-backed. According to the minister, while N184 billion of the amount, 56 per cent has so far been utilised by the MDAs, 44 per cent of the rest amounting to N140 billion is still unutilised and domicile with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Okonjo-Iweala explained that the improvement in the implementation ratio of the 2012 budget from 39.2 per cent by the end of May to 56 per cent utilisation of cash-backed resources by June 20 was made possible by the direct leadership of President Jonathan who is personally leading the drive for better budget management. She expressed confidence that there will be further improvement in the level of implementation of the budget before the end of the year. The minister explained that contrary to some media reports the President and indeed the executive has absolutely no opCONTINUED ON PAGE 44


44

Politics

P ligist Senator Nagogo repents? Senator Yusuf Musa Nagogo until last month represented Nasarawa North in the Senate. Before the Supreme Court judgeNagogo ment of Friday July 6, which replaced him with Barrister Solomon Ewuga, a former Minister of State of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it was very difficult to get Nagogo to comment even on some vexed national issues as he would normally not pick his calls or in rare cases promised to call back which he never did. However, since that landmark judgement, the former senator now picks his call immediately he is called. Indeed, no condition is permanent.

FCT Minister and his overzealous aides In most parts of black Africa and especially in Nigeria, aides of some Very Important Personalities (VIPs) are usually overzealous to the point of syMohammed cophancy. Whether in the area of protocol, media, security and others, such aides usually take actions that are bereft of any sense except in their own skewed minds. One of such aides, a female, is a political appointee of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed. At a recent function in the minister’s office, Poligist learnt that the

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 woman (who is fond of shouting and laughing aloud to herself) decided to act as both a protocol officer and security aide to the minister. She practically stopped journalists who covered the event from going forward to place their voice recorders before the minister. Even when journalists decided to hand over their recorders to a media aide to assist them place the equipment before the minister, the overzealous female aide embarrassingly barred the aide. A journalist had to resort to selfhelp and call the lady’s bluff as he went forward to drop the recorders before the minister. The earlier the minister cuts some of his aides to size, the better for his image as such embarrassing and needless altercation with the press is grossly unhealthy.

Oyo govt’s order of protocol As a norm, the state governor is usually the number one citizen of the state while his deputy is the number two. In Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi Ajimobi, is the first citizen, while his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, should be the number two citizen. However, this position is certainly not the case as the first family have the number one and two positions. Indeed, since the assumption of the present government in the state, any programme organised by the government would be such that in the order of protocol, after the governor, his wife, Florence, would come before the deputy governor. This was the situation at the Security Trust Fund launched recently at the Ibadan Civic Centre with the pamphlet

used for the event having the picture of Governor Ajimobi ahead of others, followed by that of his wife before that of the deputy governor and other government officials. What this simply means is that after the governor, the next person on the order of protocol and number two citizen is Mrs. Ajimobi not the elected deputy governor.

some that an industrial action may be looming in the state following the committee’s report of the huge amount being owed workers. Whether labour and government would dialogue and compromise on how to pay the arrears without the state suffering financially is what remains to be seen.

Katsina and the minimum wage dilemma

Even when God began the work of creation, the Christian Holy Book reports that He rested on the seventh day. This presupposes that humans, who Wogu were made by God, are also expected to rest rather than spend the whole of the year or their entire lifetime in active service. Hence, both in the organised private sector and the public service, it is a standard practice for a worker to go on an annual leave, usually for a month. Interestingly, there is one messenger within the Federal Secretariat Complex who is said to have refused to observe his annual leave for the past four years. Poligist gathered that the messenger, who is in his 50s usually gets a lot of “tips” from people who throng his boss’ office for one favour or another. He is said to be so dependent on such tips than even his salary. Hence, rather than go on leave and lose such tips, he prefers to forfeit his leave. Interestingly, he does his job so well that even his boss wants him around always. There is however an effort to force him to observe his leave this year. Such effort, Poligist learnt, is being resisted by the messenger through prayer and fasting. Who will convince Papa Messenger to go on leave?

Katsina State government is in a dilemma on how to effectively pay the N18,000 national new minimum wage. On one hand, it is Shema obligated to pay the new wage, while on the other hand the wage is draining resources and threatening developmental projects, especially at the local government level. The state government owes its workers over N11 billion in accrued arrears with the amount expected to substantially increase by the end of this month. After paying the new wage, most of the state’s 34 council areas are left with little or nothing in their coffers. One council area weeks back, was left with less than N50,000 after paying the wage, an amount hardly enough to cover for overhead cost of the council’s secretariat. The state gets about N5 billion monthly from federal allocation, Internally Generated Revenue and so on. It spends more than half of that in paying workers alone. A committee set up to look into the accrued arrears has recommended that government dialogue with labour on how to effectively offset the N11 billion. However, fears are being nursed by

Impeachment: What next for parliament?

CONTINUED FROM 43 position to the implementation of the constituency projects of the lawmakers. She said the concern of President Jonathan and indeed the entire Federal Executive Council was to ensure not only the proper implementation of the budget but also proper utilisation of the nation’s resources, a concern the minister said the lawmakers also share. Okonjo-Iweala further revealed that her ministry has so far released the sum of N1.57 trillion for the recurrent expenditure comprising salaries, personnel costs as well as statutory transfers. The minister said so far government has realised 66 per cent of its projected revenue from the customs, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). She also maintained that there was no selective implementation of the budget as alleged noting: “There is no issue of selectivity in the funding of projects by the finance ministry.” The minister explained that all the monetary releases made by her ministry to the MDAs are with the CBN and said it was wrong for people to allege that her ministry was holding back funds earmarked for the execution of projects.

She stated that to maximise results, her ministry was being careful and methodical in releasing funds to the MDAs, stressing that given the rate of utilisation, there is still room for more implementation. The minister said in terms of prudent management of resources of the country, her ministry will not toy with public resources because they belong to all Nigerians. The event eventually turned out to be an anti-climax after all. The senators who earlier were spoiling for war with the Finance Minister over the alleged slow implementation of the 2012 budget went home ‘disappointed’ after the minister had painstakingly explained every action of government to judiciously implement the budget act. “The interaction has been worthwhile because it has put both sides in a better picture about the workings of the budget. We are now better informed about the budget and some of the grey areas,” Senator Ahmed Maccido, chairman of the Appropriation Committee and Senate joint committees said in his closing remarks. Even before the session was formerly drawn to a close, most of the senators sensing that ‘war’ was not imminent as had anticipated, quietly took their exit such that at the end of the event only a few of

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the lawmakers were still left seated at the high table. The question arising there of is could this be a positive sign that the issue has been rested for now? The truth of the matter is that the Senate has on such matters always played a stabilising role vis-à-vis their colleagues in the lower chamber of the nation’s parliament. It is hoped that members of the House of Representatives like their colleagues in the Senate will see reasons and be convinced by the explanation of the minister that government and the lawmakers are on the same page regarding the need for full implementation of the budget and that further threats by the lawmakers on the same matter can only work against the good intentions of the legislature. What is also more is that both arms of government must see themselves as functioning for the interest of the Nigerian people and ensure that their actions do not negate the overall well-being of the people. Like the House Leader pointed out, the period of the annual vacation for members of the National Assembly should serve as sober moment and it is hoped that when the lawmakers resume, they should work jointly with members of the executive arm to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people.

A messenger and his ‘leave’

‘Jonathan should stop appeasing his enemies’ CONTINUED FROM 15 need the Igbo president more than the Igbo need the president. Would you say Nigeria is ripe for state police? Let me tell you, we already have a semblance of state police. We have vigilance groups working with the police very closely. There is need for reform in the police but the best reform we can have is this zonal arrangement where the six geo-political zones become the federating units and we make the police a zonal affair. There may be a national police but the zones control their own police. There will be authority within the zones where the governors in the zone will nominate people to participate but if you have state police, then this is what will happen; you want to run for governor but there is an incumbent governor and he has police orderlies. You are at the table having dinner with your wife and then all of a sudden there is a noise at your door. And you open and they enter, the next thing is to arrest you, grab your wife and as they shove her aside, they will say, “Look im nyansh, she wants to be First Lady.” This is the state of our moral decadence. We are not yet ripe for a state police with so much power behind somebody who has not accepted politics as a game but rather as a do or die affair.


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Community Mirror Explosive materials are cheap and common –Expert

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“The House of Reps committee on capital market even thinks our attempt to clean the system is what caused the collapse of the capital market, which happened long before I was ever appointed.” GOVERNOR OF CBN, MALLAM SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI

Polo Industries ignores order to pay debt WALE IGBINTADE

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ix years after a Lagos High Court ordered Polo Industries Limited to pay N45.9 million debts owed to NIC Securities Trust Limited; the company has continued to flagrantly disobey order of the court. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, had in her judgment in suit NoLD/1848/06 entered judgment against Polo Industries and ordered it to pay the judgment sum, following it default of appearance and defence. NIC Securities had in a Motion on Notice brought pursuant to order 10, Rules 2, 3 of the Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004, prayed the court to enter judgment in its favour, being an outstanding loan granted to Polo Industries limited. The applicant also prayed the court for an interest at the rate of 21 percent until judgment and thereafter 6 percent interest until final liquidation of judgment sum. The facts of the matter are that, on October 26, 2004, the defendant (Polo Industries) approached the claimant (NIC Securities & Trust Limited) for a loan of N22 million. In its statement of claim, the claimant through it lawyer, Abu Steve, averred that the loan was granted based on an understanding which was reduced into writing and signed by both parties. The claimant averred that the

loan and the interest as at October 31, 2006 stood at N35, 883, 473, 73 and that the defendant admitted the loan and the interest by a letter dated October 5, 2005. The claimant further stated that despite various demands by its solicitors for repayment of the loan, the defendant persistently refused and neglected to pay back the loan and the interest. The defendant was duly served with all originating and front loaded processes but it failed to file a defence. However, the defendant filed a Notice of preliminary objection on November, 2008 and a Motion for extension of time to file and serve its statement of defence. But, the court struck out both applications for want of diligent prosecution on June 8, 2009 and July 13, 2009 respectively. Meanwhile, by a Motion on Notice on November, 2007, the claimant pursuant to Order 20 Rule 1 of the of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rule, prayed the court to enter judgment in its favour. In an 8-paragraph affidavit in support of the application, deposed to by one Ibukun Adewenekan, a legal practitioner in the chambers of the claimant’s solicitor, he stated that the claimant was entitled to judgment since the defendant’s request for extension of time was refused. Ruling on the application, Justice Oyebanji said. ‘“I agree

A crowd waiting to make ATM transactions in a bank at Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

with the claimant’s counsel that since the defendant’s application for extension of time to file defence has been struck out. It

Transporter petitions IGP, CJN NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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commercial bus owner, Michael Ejim has petitioned the InspectorGeneral of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar and Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mrs. Mariam Alooma Mukhtar, asking them to compel the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Ballah Nassarawa, to obey a Federal High Court order by releasing his Mitsubishi L-300 Mini-truck from police custody. Ejim said that he obtained the order from the Federal High

Court sitting in Awka, the state capital, presided over by Justice Peter Olayiwola since June 22, directing the CP to release the truck with Reg. No. Lagos XA 581 KJA to him from police custody at the 3-3 Divisional Police Station, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, but to no avail. In separate petitions, of July 23, Ejim, through his legal counsel, Chris Muo, complained that barely six weeks after obtaining the court order and serving same to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigations Department, CID, the Officer

in charge of Legal Department and the Divisional Police Officer, DPO in charge of the station, the vehicle is yet to be released to him. He contended that after serving all the aforesaid, the officers have now resorted to the excuse that they were yet to receive directives from the CP. He alleged that before he got the court order of June 22, someone who identified himself as the Divisional Crime Officer, DCO of the station, had called him on phone, asking that he come and take possession his vehicle on bail with the sum of N350,000 or

means, he has no valid statement of defence before the court. I am satisfied that the defendant has failed to file a defence within

the time stipulated by the Rules under Order 15 Rule 1(2) of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004.’’

else it would be auctioned as an exhibit. He said he had already complied with all the conditions and bonds stipulated by the court in granting his application for the release of the vehicle, which included among others, that it be released on bond of N3 million in default, in addition to an undertaking that it be produced in court on each day of trial until it is over. Also in a Motion on Notice of July 23 and filed against the CP, DCO and the state Director of State Security Services, SSS, which has been fixed for hear-

ing today, August 7, at the Chief Magistrate Court, Nteje in Oyi Magisterial District, Ejim is seeking an order of the court to commit the CP and his subordinates to prison for contempt. In the Motion No MISC/34/2012, the complainant is also seeking the Magistrate Court order to compel the SSS director to arrest and deliver the bodily persons of the respondents/contemnors to the state Comptroller of Prisons, so that they be kept in another prison custody outside the state, until they purge themselves of contempt of court.


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Community Mirror

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Explosive materials are cheap and common –Expert FRANCIS SUBERU

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ontrary to widely held views that materials used in making Improvised Explosive Device (IED), otherwise known as bomb are smuggled into the country; an expert, Emmanuel John Umoren, an Assistant Superintendent of Police attached to Anti-Bomb Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, has said most materials for making IED are cheap and easily obtained in the neighbourhood.

He said this while delivering a lecture at this years’ African Security Conference at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The conference entitled: “Challenge of Terrorism in Africa” was organized by ASIS International. According to Emmanuel who represented the Commissioner of Police, Anti-Bomb Unit, Adebanjo Folusho at the conference, there are just four major components needed to fabricate an IED, even as he said relevant information to put the materials

together as bomb could be obtained on the internet. He said: “What is used in fabrication of IED can easily be found in our environment. We all know what is called fertilizer which we all have access to and we equally have access to diesel but when these two things are missed together, we have high explosive material. “To fabricate an IED, you need just four components. The first one is the container which could be anything, like a bag, a bottle or a cylinder. The

second component is battery or power source; the third is the wiring system and fourth is the explosive. These things could be parked up and contained in a manner that you may not know. We have high and low explosives. Low explosives include fireworks that we buy for festivities. However, if these low explosives are brought together and combined, the damage could be as much as that of high explosive”. ASP Emmanuel equally said that most equipment

available for detecting IED in the country are obsolete and cannot detect carefully fabricated IED, saying it will take deliberate and collaborative efforts from the public and security operatives to stop the menace of suicide bombing. He advised that people should be watchful and immediately report any suspicious object or movement at the nearest police division. “We have to be conscious of everything that is going on in our environment. There are five things we can on suspicion of an object;

we call it five Cs. Number one, you have to call. The person to call could be head of the security unit in the organization or the DPO of the nearest police station or bomb squad department. “Two, you have to confirm. You need to confirm whether that object is really an IED. Thirdly, the area has to be cleared. This means that you have to remove people out of the area. The fourth is cordon off the area, so that no one is allowed in and fifth is to control the area”, ASP Emmanuel said.

Governor’s wife calls for healthy living WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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ife of Osun State governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola, has called for healthy living among rural dwellers in order to achieve a hygienic environment. She made this call on a television programme alongside the Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye. Aregbesola, who also is the United Nation Ambassador on Community-led Total Sanitation, stressed that cleanliness was the only way to achieve healthy living and reduce cost on medical expense. She charged the people to be conscious of their attitude to health related issues, adding that the administration would always encourage healthy living. Speaking in the same vein, the commissioner disclosed that the state Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency (RUWESA), was collaborating with the governor’s

wife to spread the message of hygienic environment because of her position as the CTLS ambassador in the state. She stated that the agency, through the African Development Bank (ADB), and UNICEF was constructing 240 boreholes in Ejigbo Local Government Council Area of the state to enhance access to water among the people. Oyawoye added that the state under the assisted programme, was also building toilets in 17 public schools to discourage indiscriminate defecation. She further stated that in the second phase of the programme, 24 local governments have been selected to benefit, which include the sinking of 50 boreholes and 20 toilets each to increase access to clean water and enhance hygienic environment. According to her, only Osun and Yobe states are currently benefitting from the UNICEF/ADB assisted programme because of the commitment of the administration to the development partners.

A highway manager with the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) taking a rest from work.

PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Taskforce arrests prostitutes in Ikeja MURITALA AYINLA

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ifty-two suspected commercial sex hawkers on Isaac John and Toyin streets in Ikeja Area of Lagos State have been arrested by officials of the state Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) even as they vowed to extend the raid to Lagos Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Island among others. Community Mirror

gathered that the arrest was not unconnected with the report published in one of the nation’s news magazine which x-rayed the activities of commercial sex workers in Ikeja. It was also learnt that the officials raided the area in the wee hours and arrested the suspects. The prostitutes, whose ages range from 18 and 34 years, were taken to the taskforce office in a Black Maria vehicle. Confirming the arrest,

the taskforce chairman, Mr. Bayo Sulaiman, said it came as a result of complaints and outcry over the nefarious activities of commercial sex hawkers on Isaac John and Toyin streets, where there is a popular hotel whose owner also runs a night club. He said: “Isaac John is where we have the Government House and it is a criminal offence to engage in prostitution by the roadsides. The people in the area have been complain-

ing about the surge of prostitutes in the area and the traffic gridlock caused by the night club.” He added that Pekas Hotel and its night club had been causing untold traffic menace at Toyin Junction, saying that the owner of the properties had been served notice to abate the nuisance in the area. He added that contrary to reports that once prostitutes are arrested, some persons will pay the taskforce officials for their

release, the agency never took bribe from anyone. He added: “The government will no longer condone this act of prostitution. These people are bad example to the youths. We have taken their photographs and finger prints and when we apprehend them again, the punishment would be severe. We acted based on report that the day was going to be ‘ladies’ night. We had to wait for the time to strike and arrest them. We

have arraigned many of them in court in the past and we had gotten convictions. The issue of collecting money is out of it. The so called ‘big boys’ in the club do not pay us out”. Sulaiman warned that the taskforce would extend the raid to Ikoyi, Lagos and Victoria Islands, where their activities have been on the increase, while urging those still in the trade to stop as wrath of the law would soon catch up with them.


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World News

Syrian Prime Minister defects to opposition

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“Looking across Africa, we see enormous economic growth even as the global economy continues to struggle.” - United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

Another six soldiers, one assailant killed in Ivory Coast attack PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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t least six soldiers have been killed in an attack by gunmen on an army base in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan. One assailant was also killed in the gun battle which lasted several hours in the Riviera district of Abidjan. This follows the shooting of five soldiers on Sunday in an attack on a police station and an army checkpoint in Yopougon to the east of the city. It is not clear who was behind the attack. Ivory Coast is recovering from months of unrest after a disputed poll. The two attacks are said to be the biggest in Abidjan since former President Laurent Gbagbo was ousted in April 2011. The BBC’s reporter in Abidjan says there is a gory scene at the Akouedo military camp, with bodies lying on the ground and blood spattered over the walls. Corp Ousmane Kone, who took part in the fighting, told Reuters news agency that the attackers had made off with guns. “They took lots of weapons, loaded them in a truck and drove off with them. They took AK-47s

Soldiers patrolling near the Akouedo camp after the attack in Abidjan, yesterday.

[automatic rifles], machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades,” he said. “Akouedo was attacked from 03:30 (03:30 GMT) in the morning. The guards were able to react. The situation is under control,” said the head of the national assembly, Guillaume Soro, on his Twitter account. This incident will also increase tensions between those in the new unified armed forces about who is loyal to whom. The army struggles both from

a lack of weaponry because of the continuing UN arms embargo, but also from its mixed make-up of former rebels from the north, regular troops and recent volunteers due for disarmament. With so many small arms in circulation, and limited progress on reconciliation, this may not be the last of this type of incident. “The attackers just want to give the impression that the security situation in Ivory Coast is precarious,” he added. The army is patrolling the ar-

Libya’s NTC to hand over power on Wednesday

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ibya’s interim authorities say they will hand over power to a newly elected congress on Wednesday, less than a year after its fighters overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. “We affirm that August 8, 2012 will be the day that power will be transferred peacefully,” Saleh Darhoub, spokesman of the outgoing National Transitional Council (NTC), told journalists in Tripoli yesterday. Libyans cast ballots on July 7 in the country’s first free elections following a 2011 popular uprising that escalated into a civil war and overthrew the regime of now slain dictator Gaddafi. They elected a 200-member legislative assembly comprising party and independent representatives, which will replace the NTC and lead the country until fresh elections are held on the basis of a new constitution. But the transition comes against a backdrop of heightened insecurity. On Sunday, unknown assailants attacked a compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Libyan port of Misrata with grenades and rockets, forcing it to suspend

Photo: Reuters

eas east of Abidjan looking for the attackers. The news agency says while there is no firm information about the assailants, there are two main theories - they were either supporters of Gbagbo were trying to cause trouble, or there was a disagreement between the disparate groups, some with little formal military training, who are being integrated into the military. BBC also says it is not clear whether the two attacks are linked.

its work there and in the eastern city of Benghazi, the agency said. The ICRC said seven of its aid workers were inside their residence when it came under attack. No one was hurt, but damage to the building was extensive. It was the fifth time in less than three months that violence was directed against the independent aid agency in Libya, the ICRC said in a statement, which stressed its neutrality. “Given the circumstances, we are forced to announce, with considerable regret, that we will be suspending all our activities in Misrata and Benghazi and that our delegates in those cities will be temporarily relocated,” said Ishfaq Muhamed Khan, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Libya. In Geneva, ICRC spokesman Jean-Yves Clemenzo said that the seven staff had withdrawn to its delegation in the capital Tripoli. “We do not know who carried out the attack. Grenades and RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] were used, it was a serious incident,” he told Reuters. Several violent incidents have rocked Libya in Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) recent days. chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil Photo: Reuters

WORLD BULLETIN

Egypt sends gunships after deadly border attack Officials say Egypt has deployed at least two helicopter gunships to the Sinai Peninsula in the hunt for militants behind the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers at a checkpoint along the border with Israel. Security and military officials said yesterday that more aircraft were expected to arrive in the town of El-Arish ahead of a military campaign against the militants in the area. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Suspected Islamists on Sunday evening attacked the Egyptian checkpoint, killed the troops, then stole two of their vehicles and burst through a security fence into Israel. Israeli aircraft then halted their assault. Meanwhile, Egypt’s military vowed yesterday to hunt down those behind the killing of its 16 soldiers at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel. It called the attackers “enemies of the nation” and suggested they were Egyptian Sinai-based militants who received Palestinian support from the Gaza Strip.

Kenya charges Venezuela’s envoy in murder case A Venezuelan diplomat has been charged with the murder of the acting ambassador in Kenya, Olga Fonseca, BBC has reported. Dwight Sagaray, who was the Venezuelan embassy’s first secretary, appeared before a judge in Nairobi and was remanded in custody. Olga Fonseca was found strangled to death at her official residence in Nairobi on 27 July. A prosecutor said Sagaray was a key suspect in the killing. The diplomat denies the charges. Judge Florence Muchemi also charged and issued an arrest warrant for Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, who went missing after the murder.

Malians protest thief’s hand amputation Hundreds of people in northern Mali have protested against plans by an Islamist group to amputate the hand of a thief, reports say. A second demonstration was held after a radio presenter was beaten by Islamist gunmen for urging residents of the town of Gao to back the protests. The punishment has now reportedly been delayed.


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World News

Briefs

Satellite captures image of rover descending Mars

A spectacular image of the Curiosity rover descending to the surface of Mars on its parachute has been obtained by an overflying satellite. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter played a key role in yesterday’s (GMT) historic landing by recording telemetry from the robot as it approached the ground. But Nasa also tasked it with trying to get a picture of the new arrival. The remarkable feat repeats MRO’s effort in 2008 when it also managed to sight the incoming Phoenix lander. The one-tonne vehicle landed in Gale Crater - a deep depression near the planet’s equator at 06:32 BST (05:32 GMT). The rover will now embark on a mission of at least two years to look for evidence that Mars may once have supported life.

Blast kills four in Russia’s volatile region

A blast ripped through the capital of Russia’s volatile Chechnya region yesterday, killing at least four interior ministry soldiers and injuring three people, a local government source said. The explosion, which Interfax news agency said happened as the soldiers left an armoured vehicle near their garrison quarters, shattered the fragile peace of the broader North Caucasus region, where militants trying to create an Islamist state use violence daily. A Reuters witness saw the remains of three people in camouflage clothing lying at the roadside after the blast. Local law enforcement officials said the blast could have been carried out by two suicide bombers. Residents said they heard two explosions, the second of which sent flames and smoke into the air. “Measures are being taken to determine the identity of the terrorists as well as a search for their possible accomplices and organizers of the explosion,” the local Interior Ministry said in a statement published on the Chechen government website.

Chile marks second anniversary of mine collapse A cross in the middle of the world’s driest desert now marks the spot where a mine collapse trapped 33 men a half-mile under the earth for 69 days. Chile on Sunday marked the second anniversary of the cave-in at the San Jose mine in the Atacama desert, honouring the miners who survived in entrapment longer than anyone else before. President Sebastian Pinera travelled to the northern city of Copiapo to join the men at the mouth of the mine that nearly became their rocky grave. They unveiled a five-meter (16 1/2-foot) cross as part of a monument known as the “The 33 miners of Atacama: The miracle of life.” “In such extreme, difficult circumstances you were able to bring out the best in yourselves,” Pinera told the miners at a ceremony.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Syrian Prime Minister defects to opposition

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yria’s prime minister defected to the opposition seeking to overthrow what fleeing premier Riyad Hijab called the “terrorist regime” of President Bashar alAssad, marking one of the highest profile desertions from Damascus, Reuters has reported. Hijab, who like much of the opposition comes from Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, is not part of Assad’s inner circle, but as the most senior serving civilian official to defect his departure dealt a heavy symbolic blow to an establishment rooted in the president’s minority Alawite sect. His departure is unlikely to have repercussions for Assad’s grip on power. That is rooted in the army and a security apparatus dominated by Alawites, which was rocked by a bomb last month that killed four senior officials, including his brother-in-law. Syrian state television said Hijab had been fired, but an official source in the Jordanian capital Amman said he had been dismissed only after he fled across the border with his family. “I announce today my defection from the killing and terrorist regime and I announce that I have joined the ranks of the freedom and dignity revolution,” Hijab said in a statement read in his name by a spokesman and broadcast by Al Jazeera. “I announce that I am from today a soldier in this blessed revolution.” Khaled al Hbous, a senior figure in the rebel Free Syrian Army for the area around the capital, said that his fighters had helped Hijab flee the country: “Between 5:30 and 7:30 this morning we did it,” he told Reuters by telephone. “We secured his entry to Jordan and the Jordanian army took him from us.” He gave no details - Damascus lies 100 km (60 miles) from the border - but said more high-level defections would follow. The opposition Syrian National Council said a further two ministers and three army generals had defected with Hijab. That assertion could not immediately be verified.

Riyad Hijab (left) being sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in June this year. Photo: Syrian News Agency

Syrian state television reported Hijab’s dismissal as government forces appeared to prepare a ground assault to clear battered rebels from Aleppo, the country’s biggest city. There was also violence around the capital, where rebels said government shelling had killed three Iranians the rebel forces were holding. They threatened to kill other captives if the army did not halt its bombardment.

Hijab was a top official of the ruling Baath party but, like all other senior defectors so far from the government and armed forces, he was also a Sunni and had no real authority over a state ruled by the Assads for the past four decades. “Hijab is in Jordan with his family,” said the Jordanian official source, who did not want to be further identified. The source said Hijab had defected to Jordan before his sacking.

Ex-US soldier suspect in Sikh temple attack

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ade Michael Page, a former US soldier, has been named as the suspected assailant in shooting in a Sikh temple in the mid-western state of Wisconsin that left six people dead, Al Jazeera has reported. Though police officials have not officially released the identity of the 40-year-old assailant, US media outlets and officials speaking on the basis of anonymity, said yesterday that Page had links to racist groups in the US.

Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the 9mm handgun used in the attack was purchased legally and had multiple ammunition magazines. No other details on the weapon were released. Page was shot dead by police on the scene at Sunday’s attack on worshippers preparing for religious services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in the Madison suburb of Oak Creek.

UK’s coalition govt in crisis over parliamentary reform

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ritain’s coalition government suffered its worst crisis to date yesterday when the junior partner in the two-party administration rebelled after its ally in power, the Conservatives, killed its plans to reform the House of Lords, Reuters has reported. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said the coalition formed in 2010 had now entered new territory, though he said he would not bring down the government by withdrawing his party’s overall support. Stung by the humiliation of announcing the demise of a reform his party has championed for over a century, Clegg said his party would retaliate - by opposing boundary changes to Britain’s constituencies that would have benefited the Conservatives in an election in 2015. The rebellion is a potentially serious blow to Prime Minister

David Cameron who is trying to hold the coalition together at a time when public anger at the sickly state of the economy is high and the opposition Labour party is ahead in the polls. “The Conservative party is not honouring the commitment to Lords reform and, as a result, part of our contract has now been broken,” Clegg told reporters at a hastily convened news conference. “We are in slightly new territory.” Steven Fielding, a politics professor at Nottingham University, said Clegg’s rebellious riposte was probably the only way he could have responded. “It probably guarantees the coalition will continue, but probably not as the vital force we saw in 2010,” he said. The development means that the House of Lords - the unelected upper chamber of the British parliament - is unlikely to be reformed anytime soon despite widespread criticism that most

form, a key plank of the coalition agreement struck in May 2010 with Cameron’s Conservatives, is particularly damaging for Clegg as it fuels the perception that the Liberal Democrats have gained little from going into government with a party that was not their ideological ally. Clegg said his working relationship with Cameron was “fine” but the strains of the row over Lords reform could usher in what some Liberal Democrats have warned could be a chain rePrime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg during the Opening action of disagreements between Ceremony of the London 2012 Olymthe coalition partners. pic Games recently. Photo: Getty Images That could reduce Cameron’s of its members are political ap- already limited room for mapointees and that the so-called noeuvre as he grapples with hereditary peers owe their seats spending cuts and a $2.5 trillion (1.60 trillion pounds) economy to an accident of birth. Although the chamber does which has contracted for the past not have the power to initiate three quarters. However, neither governing new legislation, it scrutinises new laws and can seriously delay party is eager to sink the coalithem or propose serious changes tion and spark an election during a recession, and while polls show to them. The scuppering of Lords re- both parties are unpopular.


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Ramadan Special

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

We need peace to develop –Ahmed T he Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has advised Nigerian Muslims who are performing the spiritual exercise of lesser Hajj to be good ambassadors and pray fervently for Nigeria to overcome her prevailing security and other challenges for development and the preservation of her pride in the international community. Governor Ahmed made

the call in Ilorin yesterday in a message to Muslim faithful in the state on the eve of their departure to Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj. He noted that it was only in a peaceful atmosphere that the potentials of Nigeria could be achieved emphasizing that we need peace for the ultimate transformation of our dear country from a potentially great one to a pride of the black race, anywhere in the world.

In a press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, he also called on the good people of the state to remain ceaseless in their support and prayers for the realization of his administration’s shared prosperity programme designed to transform the State from a core civil servant state to an economic hub of the

nation and urged all to use the remaining period of the holy month of Ramadan to benchmark the spirit of good neighbourliness and good practices in their individual and national lives. “Nigerians should always bear in mind that it was God’s design that we are of diverse religious and ethnic persuasions which should be our point of strength rather than weakness”, he said.

‘Be your brother’s keeper’

Day 19

HENRY IYORKASE

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Makurdi-based Islamic leader and business tycoon, Alhaji Dahiru Shuaibu aka DASH has enjoined Muslim communities in the state to continue to live in peace with one another for the sake of togetherness and love. Shuaibu made the disclosure yesterday in a chat with National Mirror in Makurdi, the Benue state capital and called on the Muslim adherence to pray for the peace and tranquility which co-existed among the Christians and Muslims since time immemorial in the state. He was of the view that the harmonious coexistence among the followers of the two religions should be sustained and urged Muslims in other parts of the north to emulate the good virtues of friendliness devoid of acrimony. Shuaibu asserted with enthusiasm that the atmosphere that bounded the followers of both religions in Benue is second to none and urged others to imbibe the gesture. He noted that if other Nigerians could borrow a leaf from this gesture, there would be no issue of religious dichotomy in the country. He enjoined those fomenting trouble in the name of terrorism to use this season of Ramadam to refrain from the diabolical acts which has claimed lives of Nigerians regardless of age and religion and disclosed that the monster killing of men, women and children is not religious and urged the aggrieved to bury their hatchet for the sake of Ramadan which is the season to forgive.

Group disburses food items to needy AZA MSUE KADUNA

L-R: Executive Director, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, Chairman, ZSF, Alhaji Sulaimon Olagunju (R) with Alhaji Mutiu Anthony Chairman/CEO, Easy and Quiet Limited presenting a generator to a beneficiary at the Zakat distribution ceremony held at the Multipurpose Hall, Lagos Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa-Lagos.

L-R: Administrative Secretary, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), Ma’aruf Ahmed; one of the Zakat beneficiaries, Company Secretary First Bank Nig Plc Alhaji Tijani Borodo and the Executive Director, ZSF, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib during the presentation of a wiping machine to a beneficiary at the Zakat distribution ceremony at the Multipurpose Hall, Lagos Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa-Lagos.

Hold on to true Islamic legacy –Don L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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lecturer at Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies University of Ibadan, Dr. AbdulHafeez Oladosu has called on Muslims to hold on to the true legacy of Islam by depicting the true picture of Islam which is a religion of conviction and choice rather than that of compulsion and violence. He stated this during the 5th Dr. Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo Memorial Ramadan Lecture at De Blue Roof, Lagos Television, AgidingbiLagos, where he spoke on

the topic: Islam a Worthy legacy and urged Muslims to have the right understanding of Islam in order to stop people from associating wrong attributes to the religion. He recalled the days of Prophet Muhammad who he said only fought battles to defend himself and his people from external aggression and that he never fomented trouble nor initiated any war throughout his life. “The religion is universal, practicable and comprehensive which is why Islamic principles should be given opportunity in governance for peace to reign in the country.” He urged Nigerians to be more committed to putting

people of intellect and integrity into governance which is the only way fairness and justice can prevail in government. He commended Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation for usually giving out millions worth of Zakat to several beneficiaries across the country. They are given to support the economic empowerment of the less-privileged. Interested individuals and corporate bodies can pay into ZSF Access Bank Account: 0030378184 or GTBank: 0016101110. Other areas of disbursement include healthcare, education, accommodation, debt-relief and welfare supports.

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he Committee for the Assistance of Orphans, in Birnin Gwari local government area of Kaduna State has disbursed foods and property worth millions of naira to orphans and widows in the area in the spirit of Ramadan fasting. The food items include hundreds of bags of grains like millet, corn, maize and rice, cooking ingredients such as oil, salt, maggi, consumables and yards of clothes. Speaking at the occasion, the committee chairman ,Alhaji Nuhu Idris Abdurra’uf, reminded the Muslims of the great rewards apportioned to assisting vulnerable children and orphans. “We want to foster better living conditions for the orphans and widows.”

Earlier, Chief Imam of Birnin Gwari central mosque, Sheikh Shehu Usman Yahaya, called on Muslims to be conscious of Allah, reminding them that death is an inevitable journey upon each and every being. Sheikh Yahaya lamented that many are maltreating orphans by pushing them into unnecessary trades. In his address, the Interim Committee chairman of the LG, Dahiru Adamu Kuyello, called on the committee to diversify its coverage areas to other nearby towns and villages. On his part, member representing Magajin Gari constituency in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Khalid said government would consider the committee’s works and see how to assist by legislating some of its activities.

‘No pilgrimage without knowledge’ PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he National Hajj Welfare Commission said hence forth, no intending pilgrim will be allowed to perform the yearly pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia without acquiring adequate knowledge on the purpose of embarking on such religious journey. Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, who stated this in Minna, said that before pilgrims are allowed to travel; education and sensitization programme would be organized for them to know what the journey entails. He ex-

plained that the step became necessary because many intending pilgrims do not understand the import and benefits of performing the spiritual journey as they see the pilgrimage, which is the 5th pillar of Islam as pleasure. Bello also stated that the commission arranged for the airlift of 120, 000 pilgrims for the year, but the authority of Saudi Arabia only approved 95,000 pilgrims from Nigeria. According to him, the excess capacity of 25,000 out of the total figure of 120, 000 would now be used in conveying pilgrims from other West African countries to the Holy Land.


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Police recover N11m property from criminals JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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lateau State police command yesterday said it has recovered over N11 million worth of property from armed robbery suspects at different locations in the state within the last two months. The state Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ayeni, who disclosed this yesterday at the command’s headquarters in Jos while briefing journalists on the activities of his command within the last two months, said the property comprised mainly of stolen cars and motorcycles, some

of which he said had been delivered to their owners. He said during the period under review, his command was faced with many challenges, but that his men were able to surmount the impediments which led to the recovery of 16 arms of different sizes, 257 ammunition and 24 cartridges. According to the commissioner, the command also carried out extensive raid on criminals’ hideouts in Jos and Bukuru metropolis, where 109 suspects were arrested. He added that items recovered from them include large quantities of Indian hemp, dangerous weapons and handsets.

Nasarawa govt blamed for falling education IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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ducation Secretaries in Nasarawa State have blamed the state government over the fall in the standard of education in the state. They said government’s laxity on educational matters was responsible for the fall. The state Chairman of Primary Schools Education Secretaries, Yusif Abdullahi, said this in La-

Gov. Al-Makura

North

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

fia, the state capital, at a meeting of education secretaries in the state. He said government’s lack of seriousness in its failure to employ more qualified teachers to stem the decay of education of the state led to the current state of decay. Abdullahi observed that; “Persistent decay of infrastructure and instructional materials has become the order of the day in the state, which is the major challenge facing the growth of primary school education in the state.” He equally decried the non-payment of primary school teachers’ salaries in the state by the government running into several months. He, therefore, called on the state government to urgently address the trend to promote and uplift education in the state.

Jonathan’s impeachment threat, a joke – Tofa AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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he presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) in the annulled 1993 presidential election, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, has described the threat by members of the House of Representatives to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan, as a joke meant to secure relevance and create an impression of a people who are serious. Tofa told National Mirror in an in an interview that the impeachment threat

was not only diversionary, but was part of a grand design to attract publicity and attention. “It’s just another game to look serious, they are not going to do anything and maybe there is something they want which they are not getting. “They are trying maybe to use the threat to achieve personal ends. They won’t do anything as I do not see any difference between President Jonathan and the House members,” he said. He also expressed doubt that the ongoing trial of suspected fuel subsidy cheats would yield any result.

KADUNA

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday declared its intention to drag the Kaduna State House of Assembly to court over the passage of a bill reducing the threeyear tenure of elected local government officials in the state, to two years. The ACN said the twoyear tenure spelt out in the bill falls short of the established democratic

practice envisage by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, describing the action as an abuse of legislative powers and privileges. In a statement signed by the ACN Kaduna State Chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Soba, the party called on Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, not to assent to the bill in the interest of the people. The statement reads in part: “We call on the Kaduna State legisla-

“The subsidy trial may not take us anywhere, it will soon disappear like others before it, because I see a deliberate attempt to ensure that no one is brought to book,” he added. The elder statesman said it has happened in the case of the pensions fund and many other financial scandals that were not dealt with properly. “The only hope we have is, if it gets to London, then the court will do something about it, here in Nigeria, forget it. “I don’t think the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is free

to do exactly what they want to do, their hands are tied, I was reading in the papers recently that the attorneygeneral of the federation demanded the withdrawal of some cases by EFCC involving some oil companies. “If that is the attitude of government to the anti-corruption war, it won’t work; to interfere with cases in court and the functions of EFCC,” he said. He observed that for the anti-corruption war to be effective, the judiciary and the EFCC have to work together, ‘otherwise, people will continue to steal public funds with impunity.”

Guns, ammunition and motor-cycles recovered from armed robbers displayed at a news conference at the Police Command Headquarters in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Bauchi to resettle displaced persons with N7.21bn • To partner with WAEC against exams malpractices EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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he Bauchi State government yesterday said it requires about N7.21bn to

re-settle those displaced by the political and ethnic turmoil that engulfed the neighbouring states of Plateau, Yobe, Taraba, Kaduna and Gombe. This was made known

ACN to sue House over tenure of council chairmen A ZA MSUE

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tors to have a rethink over their anti-people stance and rescind their decision on the two-year tenure or risk legal action as we will no longer fold our arms and watch a few people play with our collective destiny in a manner that suggests political rascality and irresponsible lawmaking procedure.” It will be recalled that the Kaduna State House of Assembly recently passed an executive bill relating to the tenure of

elected local government officials to a two-year term. The party further explained that stakeholders were invited by the legislators for a one-day public hearing on the passed bill, but nothing was discussed about reducing the tenure of elected local council officials from three years to two years, adding that even the original executive bill did not propose the amendment of threeyear term.

to journalists in Bauchi by the Permanent Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Mahmmod Garba, who said the bulk of the money is to provide enabling environment for the displaced persons, who are presently quartered in 13 camps across the state. The permanent secretary added that over one million people have already been re-settled while about 862 families are yet to be re-settled in Toro, Tafawa-Balewa, Bauchi and Dass Local Government Areas of the state with a charge on the federal government to complement the state’s effort through financial support. Among the 13 IDP’s are Wuru-Jauro, Marraban-

Liman Katagum, WuroMagaji, Lere, Zabir and Magama Gumau, Road Block, Rijiyar Malam, Takanddan Giwa, Nabordo, Pan-Shanu, Kellutu, among others, in Bauchi State. Alhaji Mahmood said from 2001 to date, the Yuguda administration has released about N50 million for the re-settlement of IDP’s through procurement of building materials, construction of schools, health institutions and the provision of social amenities like water and electricity. Meanwhile, the state government has expressed its determination to partner the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to fight against examination malpractice in the state.


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Emergency Update

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Panic in Ibadan over mock emergency evacuation KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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here was near pandemonium last week at the Oyo State Secretariat, Mokola, Ibadan as officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) conducted a mock emergency evacuation exercise to sensitise civil servants on steps to take in the event of a disaster. The NEMA team led by its South-West Coordinator, Mr. Iyiola Akande, made a mock fire at the Ministry of Lands and Survey and ordered civil servants to leave through emergency exits from their offices while a fire brigade vehicle and the ambulance vehicle of the agency were positioned to ensure that the mock fire did not become a real disaster. Two people attempted to jump down from the three-storey building when the alarm was raised and a phone call operator in the ministry who identified herself as Alhaja Wulemotu Ibrahim, was seen panting and blaming herself for her presence at the ministry. Iyiola, while addressing the civil servants later, however, allayed the fears of the civil servants and apologised for the pandemonium, adding that the action of the agency was for a purpose. His words: “We are sorry for the panic. It was not meant to create any in-

jury, but to create awareness on how to exit from a disaster prone infected area. We don’t want any casualty in case of emergency. It was intended to educate our people that when emergency happens, we don’t want people to be wounded.” He stressed the need for a fire alarm at all the ministries and other high rise buildings while all encumbrances that could hinder the movement of vehicles on emergency support services should be removed. The NEMA boss added that the sensitization programme became imperative following the United Nations building bombing in Abuja some months ago which led to the loss of several lives, stating that some of the lives could have been saved if the people as of then had been aware of steps to take in emergency situations. The Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr. Isaac Omodewu, described the sensitisation as a normal thing to save life. He said he approved the supply of fire extinguishers to the ministry on assumption of office when he realized that the ministry had none to defend itself in case of fire outbreak. He assured that the ministry would soon embark on the training of the civil servants in the ministry to assist them on how to fight fire and locate exit points at the time of emergency.

A section of Ogunpa market annex gutted by fire in Ibadan, Oyo state, recently.

UN to strengthen NEMA’s intervention Efforts

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he United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator Mission to Nigerian has expressed its readiness to strengthen its collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in areas of Nutritions, Humanitarian impact and Food security. The Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Sahel, David Gressly stated this when he visited the NEMA headquarters in Abuja. He said he was in Nigeria to discuss the challenges contributing to the heightened vulnerability of the people in the Sahel region of the country and opportunities to enhance the part-

nership and collaboration between governments, regional organization and the humanitarian community to address the challenges. Earlier, the Director General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi sought a stronger partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in addressing copious disaster related challenges ravaging socio-economic activities in countries on the Sahel region. He also appealed that Nigeria should be designated the hub of its humanitarian activities within the West African sub-region. Sani-Sidi said: Nigeria

being the major destination of most displaced due to the Sahel crises deserves special assistance from the UN system to be able to build stronger resilience and cope with the crises. The Sahel region is characterized with fragile ecosystem which is highly vulnerable to climate change due its geographical location in the southern edge of the Sahara desert coupled with the strong dependence of the population on rain-fed agriculture and livestock as a means of livelihood, the D-G explained. He said a combination of natural and human induced disasters were making life difficult for

those living within the region but informed that most climate models predict that the Sahel region will experience lower than average rainfall in the 21st century. He identified the Sahel region as an area which characterized with fragile ecosystems , highly vulnerable to climate change due its geographical location in the desert coupled with the strong dependence of the population on rain-fed agriculture and livestock as a means of livelihood. Sani sidi said the States include Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Kaduna,Bauchi and Gombe.

TIPS AGAINST DISASTERS

CAUSES OF OIL SPILLS 1. Corrosion of pipelines and tankers associated with rupturing 2. Equipment outdate, irregular inspection, and poor maintenance 3. Theft and sabotage attempt primarily through bunkering 4. Oil production /operations process 5. Loading and off loading offshore platforms 6. Spill from improperly disposed oil refuse or waste oil 7. Equipment failures 8. Industrial/Human error, carelessness and fatigue 9. Fires and explosions at the ports or terminals 10. Loading and discharging at ports or terminals PREVENTIONS AGAINST OIL SPILLS 1. Poverty eradication through creation of massive employment opportunities 2. Full implementation of the 2006 National Oil Spill Contingency Plan 3. Issuance of environmental regulatory guidelines and standards in the petroleum sector 4. Effective inspection and maintenance of all machinery and piping systems 5. Instituting appropriate community enlightenment/ sensitization programme 6. Double-hulling into vessels to reduce the risk and severity of a spill in case of a collision or grounding 7. Effective oil Spill Prevention Containment and Countermeasures (SPCC) program 8. Adequate training and supervision for oil workers 9. Establish necessary measures against fire and accidents at deports and terminals 10. Sufficient oil production facilitiesDelete ReplyReply ForwardSpamMovePrint Actions NextPrevious

... Volunteer rescue workers remove debris from collapsed building on Anikantamo Street, Lagos Island, recently.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Features

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Makoko: The destitution and pains of eviction from a slum Residents of Makoko are still reeling from the shock of sudden demolition of their homes on the sea. They have taken their protests to the seat of government, claiming of unfairness and making them refugees in a place they have lived for generations. FRANCIS SUBERU visited the slum and reports.

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akoko, a slum area of Lagos State is in every way marginalised and without sign of government presence. Densely populated, the inhabitants lifestyle suggests that the place was already an abandoned turf, as the structures look more like prehistoric and ancient monuments employed in the service of deities. On a visit to the place, the first contact was with a 25 year old man who introduced himself as Mr. Joseph Ajayi, and claims to be born and bred in the slums. Ajayi however, volunteered to be a tour guide through the complex warrens that go for streets in the slum. The affected area of the Makoko/Iwaya waterfront, according to an eviction notice issued by the Lagos State government was made available to National Mirror by the community leader, Mr Ewajane Osowo. Speaking, Osowo lamented the high -handedness and shabby treatment meted to inhabitants of the area, as he expressed shock that people who have been settlers in the area for more than 100 years should be asked to evacuate their homes within 72 hours and with no alternative accommodation made available to them. On the evacuation notice, government claimed that the people failed to heed several warnings earlier issued against an unwholesome erection of illegal structures and shanties around the waterfront. The notice claimed that the shanties built along the coastline constitute environmental nuisance, security risks, and impediments to economic and gainful utilisation of the waterfront such as navigation, entertainment and recreation. The community leader, claimed that Makoko is both main land and a lagoon ,but the government had appropriated the area for business and industrial activities and it intends to sell to rich land speculators who in turn will sell them to the very rich people to the detriment of the poor and helpless who are now homeless. A tour of Makoko, revealed that majority of the children there looked malnourished and unkempt, making one to wonder wheth-

Makoko Village

Members of the demolition squad at Makoko

AT MAKOKO ONE COMES FACE TO FACE WITH A PEOPLE LIVING WITH NATURE, AS

THE WATER IS NOT ONLY PUTRID BUT THE SCALE OF HUMAN FAECES MAKES THE AIR AND ODOUR OVERPOWERING AND PUNGENT er irrespective of claims, they are happy in such desolate place. According Ajayi, he has lived all his life in Makoko, and is not happy the way the government has destroyed their homes, pleading that an alternative accommodation should be made available to them to ease their present plight. At Makoko, one comes face to face with a people living with nature, as the water is not only putrid but the scale of human faeces makes the air and odour overpowering and pungent. Another displaced resident, Tobi Seun, recalled how they dug borehole through the brackish waters to get potable water. She said they usually buy sachet water for drinking, while that from the

Aerial view of Makoko

The slum before demolition

borehole is used for bathing, washing their clothes ,cooking and in extreme cases drinking when they run short of money to buy sachet water. She added that she is not happy with the way the governor of Lagos State destroyed their houses within short notice and making them refugees in the state. Another community leader said the reason government gave for the demolition was that the community is very close to the power grid and the Third Mainland Bridge, and in the event of an accident, many people would become victims to electrocution. For those houses that are still standing, the government has vowed to demolish them. But for now what has saved them is the massive protest we undertook to the governor’s office at Alausa and the intervention of the United Nations, World Bank and even President Jonathan who have called on the Lagos State Government to tarry in their demolition exercise. For now, the state government plans is to get a court order in this regard which will empower them to carry on with the exercise. Before now, it did not get any court order to demolish our houses in Makoko. Rather those officials, who supervised the demolition exercise, claimed it was done on the strength of a letter from the Environment Ministry. Another traditional leader in Makoko , said it is not done anywhere there is rule of law, that anyone or government

would forcibly evict a people without due process and court order in a very short period of time. It is immoral to ask people to leave like their homes, especially ones they have lived over long periods of time. Most of the victims have been forced to relocate to their villages or stay with their relatives, while others are now around sleeping under the bridges or inside their boats, or sharing accommodation with neighbors whose houses have temporary been spared demolition. According to many of those who spoke, they claimed that the pre dawn demolition exercise was carried out with team of soldiers, police and other uniformed paramilitaries of the government who manhandled many of the inhabitants who protested over the brutal ways they were treated. The Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, a DSP said that last week, the Commissioner of Police visited the area, to condole with the people of Makoko, as she revealed that he assured them that justice would be done in the matter “We were not there; we did not know what really happened, so the only way out is to allow justice to take place, since lives were lost during the demolition exercises”. “The police are responsible for protecting lives and property, and not to take them. Given the ugly situation, we will leave no stone unturned until justice is done”, the traditional leader insisted. “The police man who shot and killed one of the inhabitants has been arrested and detained at the state CID Panti, while investigations are on to ascertain the circumstances of the death as we assure the people of Makoko that justice must be done”.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

People queueing to buy kerosene in Lafia, the state capital.

Nasarawa: Fighting climate change by providing kerosene for citizens The devastating effects of climate change have been blamed on the excessive felling of tress by people, especially in rural communities. To curb this, the Nasarawa State government recently unveiled a scheme to supply kerosene at a cheaper price to the citizens. IGBAWASE UKUMBA was at the inauguration and writes.

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t is a fact that most people, especially the poor, who use kerosene for their cooking needs, have been groaning over the sudden disappearance of this domestic product, which has become a money spinner for those who now retail it. The few filling stations and retailers that have the product, have over the past decade been smiling to the banks, while majority of Nigerians who rely on the product are bleeding over its exorbitant price. The product is hardly sold at the advertised pump price of N50 but it is mostly sold for N150 in many filling stations and N200 at retail shops in Nasarawa State. The NNPC Mega Station in Lafia, the state capital, has assumed the functions of a wholesale shop, where Kerosene is sold at night to retailers who in turn sell to end users. The unpleasant situation saw a sizeable number of Nasarawa residents taking solace in the use of firewood and charcoal as sources of domestic fuel, thereby exacerbating the threat to the environment, resulting in massive felling of trees. It is a fact that the situation will unmake the otherwise serene and orderly environment by exposing inhabitants to the risk of desertification, erosion and soil degradation on a large scale. For these reasons the Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura deemed it fit to mitigate the twin ills of kerosene scarcity and its skyrocketing cost due to the activities of black marketers by launching the NNPC/Capital Oil KeroDirect scheme in Lafia, on July 7, 2012. The scheme emanated from the resolve of the administration to alleviate the hardship faced by the people on account of scarcity of and cost of the product in the state. Addressing a crowd of men and women, boys and girls gathered at the College of Agriculture, Lafia, to witness the launch, AlMakura noted that government has aimed at vigorously addressing what he described as the age-long decay in infrastructure cutting across power, potable water, roads, education and health, among others, point-

GIVEN THE ENORMOUS CLIMATIC DANGERS TO WHICH OUR ECOSYSTEM IS

EXPOSED, WE NEED TO SAVE OUR TREES AND FORESTS AS A MEASURE TO CHECK EROSION AND FLOOD ing out that the administration is gradually coming to grips with ameliorating the problems facing the state. To prove that it is committed to the implementation of the Kero-Direct scheme, he said: “Government has acquired, through the NNPC, all necessary infrastructures for the smooth take off of the scheme. These include surface tanks, mobile self-dispensing trucks and site for off-loading and lifting of Kerosene for distribution to the people. In addition, it has purchased 120,000 litres of keresone to kick-start the sales in Nasarawa State. Three self-dispensing trucks were procured to cover the three senatorial districts. This is with a view to ensuring even and equitable distribution of the product to end-users in the state.” In a determination to ensure sustainability of the scheme, the governor said that Nasarawa State has signed a Memorandum of Understanding,MoU, with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), to provide 120,000 litres of kerosene every two weeks to the state for onward dispensation to end-users at cost of N50 per litre. Perhaps, the benefit to be derived from this scheme cannot be quantified, given that scarcity of kerosene products caused by ac-

tivities of black marketers has compelled people to embark on the indiscriminate felling of trees for firewood as this has caused a lot of hazards to the society. Hitherto, the scheme will, help to discourage massive use of firewood with attendant adverse effect on vegetation and environment. Against this background, the governor cautioned that: “Given the enormous climatic dangers to which our ecosystem is exposed, we need to save our trees and forests as a measure to check erosion and flood. We also need to save our environment from air pollution due to burning of firewood, which is one of the causes of global warming.” He however, warned mischief makers, particularly government officials and others involved in distributing the commodity against sabotaging the efforts of government. Accordingly, “they must not connive with black market operators to divert the product and in turn, sell them at exorbitant prices to the people.” He stated categorically that the administration would not condone any unpatriotic acts in the implementation of the Kero-Direct scheme in the state. “We will not fold our arms and watch

Rows of firewood for sale in Nasarawa.

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individuals or groups frustrate our effort.” At the ceremony, the Nasarawa Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed, observed that the essence of government and governance is to enhance the access of the citizens to the basic necessities of life and to make life meaningful, purposeful and less burdensome for them. Ahmed said the Kero Direct scheme has the potential of curbing the allure for charcoal and firewood as sources of domestic energy and fuel, thus protecting the vegetation resource from mindless depletion and attendant fatal consequences. He therefore, assured the government that the NNPC and Gas Company and government of Nasarawa State will remain true and committed to the objectives of the scheme as it has direct impact on lives of the residents. Speaking with National Mirror, the National Coordinator of the programme, Ben Chucks Nwosu, said the programme is designed in phases to ensure that Nasarawa residents access the product and at very affordable price. He disclosed that the product is sold to families at the rate of N1,000 per family for 20 litres, while the state is to get a total supply of 322,000 litre trucks of the product in the first phase. Nwosu explained further that the first phase of the programme in the state would to cover Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi and environs. On his part, the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, assured that his company would ensure demand for the product by people of the state is met without hitches. The launch of the Kero-Direct scheme is seen by most residents as a breath of fresh air. According Abdullah Umbugadu, a student of the College of Agriculture, Lafia, the scheme, will go a long way to lessen the exorbitant burden been faced by indigent students and consequently pave way for these student to access other essential commodities, to ameliorate their learning environment. However, a housewife, Anthonia Eze, said she is skeptical of the scheme, hence, will not join the bandwagon in their celebration until she sees the sustainability of the programme. Eze, therefore, reminded the governor of his pledge at the launch that mischief will not be allowed to hijack this good intention brought to people of the state, as anything short of this would dent the image of the administration. Being that as it may, as the government unveiled the Kero-Direct scheme for Nasarawa people to have a breath of fresh air; it is pertinent to re-echo the need for all to be vigilant against possible loopholes which middlemen could exploit to cause the disappearance of Kerosene from the designated selling points; while persons found to be sabotaging the good intention of the government should not be spared in accordance with the enshrined philosophy of the administration in the state.


WORLD RECORD

Strangest animal diet Vol. 02 No. 420

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

N150

An internal examination conducted on a dead ostrich (Struthio camelus) that had been living at London Zoo, UK, revealed that during its life it had swallowed (among other things) an alarm clock, a Belgian Franc, two farthings, a roll of film, three gloves, a handkerchief and a pencil!

Issues in Reps’ impeachment threat

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he recent threat by the House of Representatives to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan appears too ordinary to be taken serious when it first sounded the alarm. The move was taken with a sense of disbelief by as many Nigerians that have taken time to study Nigerian affairs and who understands the political calculations within the polity. To me, the Nigerian politician remains the easiest to deal with based on principles when compared to their counterparts the world over. The reason for this is simple. In other climes, public office seekers are known and even made popular by their antecedents on major issues long before they indicate the intention to contest for election. This has accounted largely for the support and respect independent candidates enjoy and and which

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overnor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has tasked Nigeria’s London 2012 Olympics sprint star, Blessing Okagbare, not be dampened by her low return on the track as Nigeria continues its medals chase. Okagbare competed in the Women’s 100m final on Saturday, coming last in the race after rais-

TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba

seyifasugba@yahoo.com 08053069514 (sms only)

make them excel where others fail. In such an environment where people are known on account of their performance in office or personal contributions to the welfare of the generality of the populace, it has always been easy to predict where they will stand on major issues of national importance. The Nigerian case, though different from what obtains in the West, still provides opportunities for those who want to be different from the pack. Such opportunities exist in relative terms; that is to such an extent where it will not affect the interest of the party, the platform for which the candidates are recognized in the National Assembly. The overriding interest of the parties and politicians once elected cannot be underestimated. A careful examination of this is bound to reveal a trend keen to the pattern of lawmakers’ reactions to major issues in the polity in recent times. Even before the current legislative assembly, the pattern had remained the same; which is somewhat disturbing and making the threat of impeachment of little or no meaning any more. Rather than being a tool for checking the excesses of the executive for derailing in delivering the expected dividends of democracy, impeachment is already becoming an instrument for harassing political office holders by the legislature. Events in the last few days have es-

ALAS, THAT WAS NOT TO BE AS THE COMMITTEE

CHAIRMAN,

HERMAN

HEMBE WAS

IMPLICATED BY THE SAME SET OF PEOPLE tablished that except, otherwise proved. There is no doubting the fact that members of the House had been on the receiving end in recent days, given the outcome of their several attempts to probe some key areas of the economy. First, the rot that led to the collapse of the stock market was the focus of the House Committee on the Capital Market. Nigerians had eagerly waited for an expose that would only not have given us reasons for the capital market crash but also identified those behind the unpatriotic act. Alas, that was not to be as the committee chairman, Herman Hembe was implicated by the same set of people they were to probe for collecting money not accounted for. He denied the allegations initially but today Nigerians know better. Hembe was recently released on bail while the trial continues. Perhaps the biggest of all the bribery

allegations was the Faroukgate; involving the chairman of the House ad hoc Committee on the Fuel Subsidy Probe, Hon. Lawan Farouk who, as it were, was caught in the web of a sting operation as claimed by the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr. Femi Otedola, a key figure among the oil companies being investigated, who accused the lawmaker of collecting $620,000 bribe to clear him from those to be indicted. The case got to the crescendo when the chairman eventually admitted that he collected some money but for a different purpose. The matter is still unfolding, but the ego of the House was again bruised with the development and everyone is pointing at the executive arm as the brain behind the two incidents. Even if it is true that the lawmakers were set up, this underscores their individual character and their readiness to exploit the system for pecuniary interest and not that of the electorate. Shortly after these embarrassing episodes, the lawmakers suddenly woke up to their responsibilities and then the threat of impeachment against the President surfaced. The local adage has it that there is a link between the cry of a witch the previous night and the death of a child the following morning. This is too glaring for one to gloss over, no matter how worried or concerned the House might be over the grounds for impeachment. At the risk of defending the executive and the President in particular, the House needs to do an internal cleansing and be able to vouch for the integrity and conduct of members in order to control the excesses of others and make the electorate believe in them. Respect is earned and not conferred on anyone. But if the purpose is to advance, defend the interest of the electorate, the support will be so overwhelming such that no one will be prompted to carry placards to demonstrate his or her displeasure unlike the charade going on that has no bearing on the people.

Sport Extra

Be steadfast, Uduaghan urges Okagbare ing expectation of a spectacular outing in the star-studded event, although she blamed her poor performance on a hamstring problem. According to the governor, however, Okagbare posted her best

time ever in the Olympics outing. “As always, I put a call to her today (yesterday) and encouraged her not to despair but remain steadfast in her quest to win medals for Nigeria in the upcoming races, one of which is starting to-

morrow (today),” Uduaghan said. “I also told her that Delta State is behind her with prayers and we will not relent.” LONDON 2012 B/BALL RESULT

Nigeria

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France

Governor Uduaghan

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012