PDP crisis: Tukur rules out truce with five governors
Stolen oil vessel sinks in Bayelsa
...says party unaware of their grievances OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
ational Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has ruled out the possibility of invit-
ing the five northern governors for reconciliation. Responding to questions on what the party leaders CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Anxiety mounts over Eko bridge Vol. 31 N0. 685 115
Tuesday, Tuesday,June August 7, 2011 13, 2013
Ashafa laments huge loss to oil theft P.5
Akande: APC dares Motorists, commuters lament poor state of 30-year-old bridge Jonathan to go to court EXCLUSIVE
he sorry state of Eko Bridge in Lagos has become a source of worry for thousands of motorists and commuters plying it daily. Stakeholders claimed that the dilapidating state of the bridge has been responsible for prolonged traffic jam, damage to vehicles and the stress commuters encounter on the bridge as they travel to and from Lagos Island. The Eko Bridge or Second Mainland Bridge is a crucial link between Lagos Island and mainland areas including Surulere, AnthoCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
From The Civil Service
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PENCOM indicts PFAs over nonremittance of N9.6bn DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN: (Main picture) Dangerous gap at an expansion joint on the Eko Bridge around Ijora Olopa. (Inset) Worn out support pillar bases. PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI AND OLUFEMI AJASA
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Anxiety mounts over Eko bridge CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
ny and Ikeja. Many have blamed poor state of the bridge on lack of proper maintenance through the years. Narrating his harrowing experience when plying the bridge, an insurance broker on Broad Street, Lagos, Mr. Ayo Olugbenga, said big gaps created by the bridge’s worn expansion joints have affected his vehicle badly and made the route a nightmare for him and his colleagues. Apart from the stress of having to endure the traffic jam due to poor state of the bridge, he said passing through some spots when climbing the bridge from Iponri and Costain and when descending from Apongbon to link upper Marina has become an unpleasant experience to motorists. He said that motorists have to slow down at the locations of the expansion joints and bumps, leading to huge traffic jam as they struggle to outwit each other. The most notorious gap is located about the chimney stacks of the old PHCN Ijora Power Station Another commuter, who identified herself simply as Alhaja Bilikis Aruwajoye, said gaps in the expansion joints have spoilt her car’s shock absorbers on at least three occasions. Besides, she said with the look of things, the bridge is becoming dangerous for users. Expressing disgust over the state of the bridge, a journalist Mr. Frank Obi, had a bitter experience yesterday as he was plying the bridge to attend a meeting when the front tyre of his car ruptured as he drove over the expansion joint gap at Ijora. Our correspondent, who toured the bridge reports that some of the expansion joints that were exposed had widen more than normal while the iron coverings for the joints had fallen off, creating big gaps at intervals which motorists have to drive over. Some of the gaps are six inches wide in some areas. At one section, some of the railings at the pedestrian side of the bridge are missing, while few ones that are available have been damaged and have not been replaced.
One could not ascertain when last a routine maintenance of the bridge was carried out. Under the Apongbon end of the bridge traders have taken over with vegetable sellers competing for space with those who deal in clothes, shoes, table wares, wines, vegetables and household items. It was gathered that high cost of rent at Ebute Ero and Balogun markets was responsible for their continued stay under the bridge. They are not there for free anyway, but with a fee. One of the traders, who did not want his name mentioned, however, said anybody could only be allowed to do this after paying an unspecified amount of money to certain individuals. When National Mirror contacted the Office of the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos at the weekend, the Deputy Director in charge of Highways, SouthWest Department, Mr. N.U.O Ukpong, an engineer, said the office had been notified about the state of the bridge and would do something about it. He said: “We will send officers from the field office to go and carry out investigation of the bridge. We are going to write a report to the headquarters.” Inasmuch as the office would have love to move to action immediately, he said it was constrained with funds as there are many other projects begging for attention. Apart from Eko Bridge, he said the investigation would be extended to include Carter Bridge, which was the first to be constructed during the colonial era. Our correspondent gathered from another source that the Federal Government undertook the underwater inspection of Eko Bridge along with the Third Mainland Bridge to ascertain the state of their structural elements, which had hitherto not been inspected since the bridges were constructed decades ago. While noise was made about the Third Mainland Bridge, which led to its repair at a whooping N1.1bn in 2012, Eko Bridge and others were left unattended to. Speaking on the danger posed by the bridge, former President of the Nigerian
Institute of Structural Engineers, Mr. Victor Oyenuga, said: “Any facility that is not maintained will deteriorate and fall”. He advised the government to ensure that maintenance exercise carried out on Third Mainland Bridge is extended to Eko Bridge and others. He added that the infrastructure has just 50 years lifespan. “The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike On-
olomemen, should look into it and investigate the condition of the bridge.” Another engineer and former Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch, Mr. Olatunde Jayesimi, said the dilapidated state of the bridge has damaged many vehicles. “Nothing one will say that has not been said; everything borders on maintenance culture. When infrastructure has a little
fault, government does not pay attention to it until disaster occurs,” he said. He said that when the bridge was constructed over 30 years ago, there was maintenance manual attached, urging government to look at the manual and do the needful to ensure the facility is safe for users. Eko Bridge is the second of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland. The bridge
starts from Alaka on Funsho Williams Avenue on the mainland and ends at the Apongbon area of Lagos Island. The lagoon section of the bridge spans a distance of 430 metres. The bridge and its landward extension of 1,350 metres were constructed in phases between 1965 and 1975. It serves as the preferred access point for vehicular traffic approaching Lagos Island from the Apapa and Surulere areas of Lagos.
President Goodluck Jonathan (right) with a member of Mara Group/Grand Son of Nelson Mandela, Mr. Ndaba Mandela during their visit to the Presidential Villa Abuja , yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
PDP crisis: Tukur rules out truce with five northern govs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
have been doing to reconcile the governors during an interactive session yesterday with journalists at the PDP national secretariat, Abuja, he that said the party was unaware of their grievances. Tukur also stressed that the party did not need to merge with any political party to win elections even as he maintained that he is leading a formidable political organisation that could not be intimidated by the antics of the opposition. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliu has been leading four of his colleagues, Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Sule
Lamido (Jigawa) on a tour to some aging former leaders on what they termed consultations ahead of 2015 general election. Tukur said that as far as the party was aware, “they (governors) are still consulting and when they finish consultation they will let us know”. Earlier in his speech, Tukur stressed that the national leadership of the party would not go back on its carrot and stick policy to instill discipline in the party and at the same time reward those that respect the rules and supremacy of the party. He said his commitment to the ideals of the founding fathers of the party is total and unwavering.
“In trying to actualise these ideological pursuits, the leadership of the PDP has taken a number of decisions also to ensure the proper institutionalisation of discipline in the party as the basis for ensuring internal democracy and smooth administration of the party under my leadership. “As part of these programmes and efforts, a disciplinary committee headed by Dr. Umaru Dikko has also been set-up to make sure that our party members respect and function in consonance with the letters and spirit of our party constitution and manifesto. “As much as we as a party respect the constitutional right of individuals to public opinions, movement and
association, such exercise should be done with some element of civility and in keeping with the norms of the society, the party’s constitution and guidelines. “To this effect, it is advisable that the party faithful who are aggrieved should use the party’s internal resolution platform, that is the party’s reconciliation committee or the leadership of the party,” he said. On the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, Tukur explained that the party’s national leadership would ensure that the mistakes of the past that culminated in the loss of the governorship election did not repeat themselves. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
L-R: Head, United Nations Population Fund, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin, Officer-in-Charge, UN Information Centre, Lagos, Mrs. Olajumoke Araba, President, Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment, Mrs. Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, and Permanent Secretary, Office of Youth and Social Development, Lagos State, Dr. Segun Oshinyimika , at a programme to celebrate the International Youth Day in Lagos, yesterday.
L-R: President, Zonta Club of Lagos, Ms. Shade Bembatoum-Young; Senior Cultural Staff, US ConsulateGeneral, Ms. Uche Bene; Public Diplomacy Officer, US Consulate-General, Ms. Rhonda Watson; President, Campaign for Democracy (CD) Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Public Officer, US Consulate-General, Mrs. Dehab Ghebreb, during the US Consulate General opinion leaders forum on the U.S. - Nigeria Bilateral Relationship in Lagos, yesterday.
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L-R: Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Wilsher; Head, High Value Events and Sponsorships, Etisalat Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi; Afro Juju icon, Sir Shina Peters; Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steve Evans and R&B Singer, Seyi Shay, during the Lagos Edition of Etisalat Cloud 9 Music Platform, in Lagos yesterday.
L-R: Members of the Advisory Board for The Literature Prize, Dr. Jerry Agada and Prof. Ben Elugbe, Chairman of Advisory Board, Prof Emeritus Ayo Banjo; General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria LNG Limited, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke; Chairman Panel of Judges, Prof. Romanus Egudu, and members of the Panel of Judges Dr. Andrew Abah during the announcement of short list of 11 for this year’s edition of Nigeria Prize for Literature yesterday in Lagos.
Kindergarten presidency: APC dares Jonathan to go to court OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to go to court, if he felt libeled by the description of his presidency as kindergarten by its Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande. The party also denied the existence of a feud between two of its leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). According to the APC, the PDP and the presidency have been peddling lies over a phantom feud because they could not fathom how its leadership could put national interest above personal considerations. In a statement issued in Accra yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said Chief Akande merely told the truth by his characterisation of the Jonathan presidency. It also said there was nothing strange or wrong in criticising a democratically-elected President, noting that Jonathan is neither an Imperial President, a Monarchy nor an Emperor.
APC said nothing confirmed Chief Akande’s assertion that Jonathan is running a kindergarten presidency than the crude manner it (presidency) responded to the frank but constructive criticism by Chief Akande. “In the true character of this presidency, its increasingly irreverent and undignified spokesman failed to respond to the issues raised by Chief Akande, and instead, chose to haul abuses at a man who is old enough to be his father. Such irresponsible act does no credit to the spokesman or the president he is serving, and Nigerians will definitely not forget such crudity in a hurry. “Where is the presidency’s response to Chief Akande’s assertion that he has written two letters to the President over the serious challenges facing the country, without getting a response? Where is the presidency’s response to Chief Akande’s assertion that President Jonathan is witch-hunting political opponents? These are the issues that Nigerians are interested in, not how many hours the President sleeps at night because he is supposedly
working tirelessly. “In any case, if indeed this President is working tirelessly, we need to ask who he is working for, because Nigerians have yet to feel the impact of his administration. They are also not interested in the fact that the President once served as a deputy governor, governor and Vice President, because the experiences he supposedly garnered from doing so have not impact-
ed positively on his duty as President. “That’s not a surprise, considering that the President owes his meteoric rise in politics to luck and destiny. Nothing else!” the party said It described the presidency as an under-achieving one, always eager to celebrate tokenism, using questionable statistics. “As the presidency was composing its empty response to the serious is-
sues raised by our highlyrespected chairman, the African Development Bank was saying in its annual report (African Economic Outlook), quoted by the local media on Sunday, that the proportion of people (Nigerians) living below the national poverty line has worsened from 65.5 per cent in 1996 to 69.0 per cent in 2010, most of those years under the PDP and the last four under President Jonathan.
‘”What therefore is there to celebrate in a presidency under which power generation has fallen to 2,500mw? What is there to celebrate in a presidency that has only given Nigerians widespread insecurity, unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, oil theft and unbridled corruption. “Of what use is the touted 6 per cent increase in the GDP when over 40 per cent of our youth are unemployed?” APC queried.
Budget implementation to improve in Q2 –Budget Office CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
n a bid to forestall a repeat of last year’s crisis between the Executive and the House of Representatives over budget implementation, the Budget Office of the Federation, BOF, has assured Nigerians that budget implementation is set to improve in the second quarter of the year. This was contained in the first quarter 2013 Budget Implementation Report, BIR, just released by the BOF. According to the Director General of the Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, the implementation of the
budget in the first quarter met with some challenges. Okogu said: “The implementation of the 2013 budget in the first quarter was challenging in several respects. It will be recalled that the 2013 budget proposal was prepared in record time and submitted to the National Assembly that also worked hard to review it early enough. “However, at the beginning of the year when the National Assembly version was reviewed, there were several challenges, which had to be revisited and resolved through the proposal to the National Assembly for the amendment of the 2013 budget.
“This particularly affected the capital releases and utilisation by MDAs in the quarter, which I believe will significantly improve in the subsequent quarter of the year.” Okogu said data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that real Gross Domestic Product, GDP, grew by 6.56 per cent in the first quarter. This growth was 0.22 per cent higher than the 6.34 per cent achieved in the corresponding quarter of 2012 but fell short by 0.43 per cent, when compared with the 6.99 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012. “As expected, the non-oil sector remained the ma-
jor contributor of growth with a contribution of 7.89 per cent as against the decline of 0.54 per cent by the oil sector. The inflationary trend fell to a four-year low in the first quarter of 2013. Inflation rate was 8.6 per cent as at March 2013 reflecting a decrease of 3.5 per cent below the 12.1 per cent rate recorded within the same period of 2012. “Nigeria’s gross external reserves posted a considerable increase in the first quarter of 2013. It rose from U$35.2 billion at the end of March 2012 to $47.88 billion as at 31st March, 2013 depicting an increase of $12.68 billion (or 36.02 per cent),” he said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Stolen oil vessel sinks in Bayelsa UDEME AKPAN AND MURITALA AYINLA
large barge suspected to be carrying out an illegal operation has sunk with commercial crude oil in the Atlantic Ocean in Bayelsa State. The accident, which occurred at the weekend, was attributed to serious wave which pushed the barge from its original route, causing it to sink. The spokesman for the Joint Task Force in the state, Lt-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the development
in a telephone interview yesterday said: “The selfpropelling barge was conveying crude and negotiating out of the creek at about nine nautical miles when the incident occurred. Nwachukwu, who also noted that the strong tide was responsible for the barge’s sinking, added that rescue efforts had begun to minimise negative consequences. He said that efforts aimed at reducing negative consequences such as a huge spill were being carried out by the Navy and officials of a major multinational oil compa-
ny in the area. Nwachukwu said that the rescue operation, led by Navy Commander Bala Idris, had made progress as there was no casualty. He said that another facility was being used to offload the crude oil to avoid any serious environmental pollution in the area. “We will continue to monitor developments in order to know the progress of work,” Nwachukwu added. Residents of the coastal community confirmed the presence of the distressed vessel but said they did not know where it was
coming from or its destination. Chief Mark Eketekpe, a community leader in Ijawkiri area of Odioama was said to have noted that: “Actually, something like that happened a few days ago, but we don’t know where the vessel came from. “Besides, the authorities have come around to arrest and take away the captain of the vessel.” Another resident said: “Yes, we heard that a vessel has run aground within our environment.” Investigations, however, showed that many legal and illegal crude oil
L-R: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Governors Theodor Orji (Abia); Gabreil Suswam (Benue) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) during a joint meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited and the National Council on Privatisation in Abuja yesterday.
Gunmen kill 44 in Borno
uspected Boko Haram Islamic militants have killed 44 people who were praying at a mosque in Borno State, according to security agents cited by AP. The bodies were only counted on Monday, although the deadly attack by the militants took place on Sunday morning, some 35 kilometers outside of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Along the way from Maiduguri to Konduga, civilian activists encountered ‘fierce resistance from heavily armed terrorists’, said Usman Musa of the civilian vigilante group. Four people from the civilian group were also killed after responding to calls for help.
Although no one has taken the responsibility for the incident, the police said they have not excluded the possibility that Boko Haram was behind the attack. Meanwhile, Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau has claimed a series of recent deadly attacks on security forces in the northeast. Shekau, in a video obtained by AFP yesterday also insisted that he was in “good health” despite an ongoing military offensive aimed at crushing the insurgent group he heads. “You have not killed Shekau,” he said in the video distributed through a local intermediary in a similar manner to previous Boko Haram messages.
Seated on a short stool with a Kalashnikov rested on his right shoulder, Shekau said Boko Haram was “responsible” for several deadly raids over the past month. These include attacks on the police and military in the towns of Malam Fatori and Bama, which sparked clashes that killed at least 35 people, according to military authorities. The video contained what Shekau claimed was footage of Boko Haram gunmen opening fire on the military in Bama, using heavy weapons mounted on flat-bed trucks. Shekau also referred to fighting in the towns of Baga and Gamboru Ngala near the border with Cameroon.
The Boko Haram leader has been declared a global terrorist by the United States, which in March put a $7 million (5.3 million euros) bounty on his head. “I’m challenging Obama,” Shekau said in the video. He voiced similar challenges to French President Francois Hollande and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “They are no match for me,” he proclaimed. Boko Haram is believed to be made up of different factions, with Shekau leading the most radical Islamist cell. He has ruled out any dialogue with the government and says he is fighting to create an Islamic state in the north.
facilities still parade the nation’s coastal waters despite efforts targeted at eliminating them. Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan charged the governors in oil producing states, service chiefs and multinational companies to work out an aggressive approach to tackling crude oil theft. Meanwhile, following the report of increasing oil theft and the attendant huge economic loss, the lawmaker representing the Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, yesterday lambasted the inability of the People Democratic Party, PDP, to address the problem and other challenges confronting the nation. The lawmaker lamented that it was disheartening that despite the economic huge loss recorded in oil theft, the current administration had allowed the problem to worsen in the last four years. Ashafa said that the report that Nigeria was losing about $22bn to crude oil theft was a sad story for any progressive thinking Nigerian, saying the earlier the government contained the scourge the better for the country. “The report that Nigeria is losing about $22bnto crude oil theft is bad. We can’t afford to continue with another four-year of PDP. Four years ago, what was the amount of money stolen through oil
theft? Why is it escalating yearly? Then it was $5bn, this year again it is the report of about $22bn loss. The fuel subsidy issue is there, so many trillions of dollars and so on and so forth. “Of recent, even Great Britain had said that they could not send any aid to Nigeria anymore. The world is getting tired of this government.” Speaking while hoisting the flag of the newlyregistered All Progressive Congress in line with the party directive to its lawmakers, Ashafa added that “APC is the only alternative platform for Nigerians to change for better governance from the current state of the nation.” He expressed optimism that Nigeria would make it as a country, if the media published quality stories that uncover the rot in the system. Ashafa added that more Nigerian lawmakers were currently planning to join the new party, saying “the change that we are witnessing is the one that will bring about people, lawmakers both in the upper chamber and the lower chamber, coming to join the new APC party. “You can see the moves of some of the progressive senators. It is so obvious, the progressive among them are moving. More governors who are progressively minded are also coming into the fold.”
PDP crisis: Tukur rules out truce with five northern govs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
“As the national chairman of the PDP, I will take the party to greater heights under my leadership and ensure that we recapture most of the states we lost to other parties and win more states for our party. “Our commitment to the people of Anambra State is to work hard and put in place a PDP administration in the state that will deliver in abundance, democratic dividends to the people of the state as is reminiscent in other PDP controlled states nationwide.” On INEC registration of the All Progresives Congress, APC, Tukur said that the PDP as a party in power
at the centre and most of the state governments welcome the APC onboard the political terrain of Nigerian politics but emphasised that the merger would not stop PDP winning streak. “PDP as a united and formidable political organisation under a big and unshakable umbrella does not require a merger or coalition with any political organisation to face any other political party in the country to implement her genuine economic programmes aimed at alleviating the sufferings of Nigerian masses under the Transformation Agenda of our dear President Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
11 poets shortlisted for NLG Prize TERH AGBEDEH
leven poets have made the shortlist for the $100, 000 Nigeria Prize for Literature, NLP announced by the promoters, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG in Lagos yesterday. The poets are: Afam Ake (Letter Home and Biafran Nights), Amatoritsero Ede (Globetrotter and Hitler’s Children), G’ebinyo Egbewo (Marsh Boy and Other Poems), Iquo Eke (Symphony of Becoming), Obari Gombi (Length of Eyes), Tade Ipadeola (The Sahara Testaments), and Okinba Launko (Seven Stations up the Stairways). Others are: Amu Nnadi (Through the Window of a Sandcastle), Obi Nwakanma (Birthcry) Promise Ogochukwu (Wild Letters), and Remi Raji (Sea of My Mind). Making the announcement at a press briefing, which also had members of the advisory board for the prize as well as the judges for this year’s edition devoted to poetry present, the company’s General Manager, External Relations, Dr. Kudo
Eresia-Eke, said the list was arrived at after three months of intensive scrutiny by the panel of judges. “Today, August 12, 2013 in Lagos Nigeria, the Advisory Board for the Nigeria Prize for Literature approved an initial shortlist of 11 out of the 201 books submitted for the 2013 edition of the prize,” Eresia-Eke said. The panel of judges this year was led by Prof. Romanus Egudu of Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, a renowned poet, literary critic, and former President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, NAL. Other members are Prof. Omolara Ogundipe of the department of English, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Dr. Andrew Aba of the Department of English, Benue State University, Makurdi. Chairman of the Advisory Board, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo, said the final shortlist of three will be released in October. Other members of the board are Prof. Ben Elugbe, former President of the NAL and Dr. Jerry Agada, former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA.
CBN to launch MSMEs Fund on Aug 15 CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has unveiled plans to launch its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, Fund on August 15, 2013 as a means of strengthening the link between entrepreneurship and access to financial services. To this end, CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the bank has also established six Entrepreneurial Development Centres, EDC, across the country to encourage and build the capacities of business minded youths. “Through the EDCs, we equip them with requisite entrepreneurial skills to develop their concepts into businesses and effectively manage such businesses. Our financial inclusion strategy also provided for youth empowerment and access to financial services. The bank also announced plans to introduce financial literacy at all levels in Nigerian schools’ curriculum to resolve the unmet needs of the society. Represented by the Director, Development Finance
Department in the CBN, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, at the Abuja 2013 Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, SAGE, World Cup Awards and Dinners, the governor, who stressed the need for investment in youths entrepreneurial capacity in the country said; “Investment in youths entrepreneurial capacity as future leaders of national economies was not only desirable but must be pursued with vigour.” Sanusi said CBN would make the SAGE team one of its financial literary champions in its campaign. The governor said the apex bank was committed to collaborating and supporting initiatives such as SAGE, which is to develop the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in order to resolve the unmet needs of the global community. He said: “We understand the critical nature and needs of this important segment of our community and have developed targeted policies to enhance their access to finance while also evolving programmes aimed at strengthening their capacities to develop their enterprising ideas into virile and flourishing business.”
L-R: Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba; Director-General, State Security Service, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Azubike Ihejirika and Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, after a meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
FG worried over damage of gas facilities
ice-President Namadi Sambo has expressed concern over the spate of vandalism of gas and oil facilities in parts of the country. Sambo, who spoke yesterday during the joint meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and National Council of Privatisation, NDPHC/ NCP, at the State House, Abuja said the activities of vandals have impacted negatively on the output of electricity supply in the country. He said the aim of the administration is to achieve 10, 000MW of electricity by 2014 and 20,
000MW by 2016. He therefore appealed to every Nigerian to support the effort. On the issue of power outage in the country, Sambo said he has asked the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduake and her counterpart in the power sector, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, to inform Nigerians whenever maintenance is carried out and such maintenance should be done in a way it would not affect power supply. The board also considered and approved some prayers put before it. Earlier, the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Technical Committee,
briefed the meeting on the report of the Expression of Interest, EoI, and said the committee received 110 submissions of EoI and passed 82, amounting to about 386 EoI on various plants. Suswam said: “We have about 46 consortia that were shortlisted for Bariam power plant; we have 44 consortia expressed interest that were short listed for Benin, 42 were short listed for Omotosho, 41 for Egbema, 41 for Omoku, 39 for Geregu, 37 for Calabar and 36 for Ogwurode, 30 for Olaoji, 30 for Oloronshogo, making 386 in all.” The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, also briefed the meeting on the effect of vandalism of gas
facilities which, according to him, has affected power output in the country. He noted that some months ago, the western axis of the gas pipeline leading to the plants in the West were vandalised, resulting in very severe damages and drop in the power supply. He also said a couple of weeks ago, the Akoloma plant in the Eastern axis was vandalised and the damage was extensive. Nebo lamented that this act of vandalism was the reason for power drop in parts of the country in addition to the low level of water in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams, which need to be properly managed so that power plants can operate.
Anenih queries N3bn Calabar dredging contract FRANCIS EZEM
ewly re-appointed board Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Chief Tony Anenih, has queried the N3 billion contract for the dredging of Calabar Port and the Ibaka Deep Seaport channels. The 82-Kilometre Calabar channel dredging contract had over the years constituted a major drain pipe on the country’s economy since the former military government under the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, awarded the contract sometime in 1996 at the cost of N3 billion, it has never been executed as the channels have remained shallow. NPA had also awarded the contract again sometime in 2002 under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administra-
tion at the cost of $56million (N8.7billion), which was also not executed. However, the contract was re-awarded in 2006 under the administration of Dr. Abiye Sekibo as Minister of Transport and Chief Adebayo Sarumi as managing director of the NPA at the cost of N14billion to two foreign firms, Van Oord Limited and Jan de Nul Limited, which was also meshed in controversies. But maritime industry stakeholders are worried over what may be the likely outcome of the current disagreement between the board and the management of the NPA. Meanwhile, the decision of the current managing director of the authority, Mr. Habib Abdullahi, to re-award the contract under controversial circumstances, drew the ire of the current Chairman,
Chief Anenih, who petitioned the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar, protesting the terms and conditions of the contract. More than four months after the Minister was petitioned, nothing seem to have happened, a development that aroused the concerns of stakeholders as to whether the issue has been swept under the carpet or not. Some maritime stakeholders, who expressed concern over the prevailing and disturbing silence of the Minister, noted that the current protest by the chairman presents the best opportunity to resolve all the scams associated with the repeated award of contracts for the same project in the last 20 years or thereabout. According to them, nearly five months after the chairman petitioned the Minister,
during which he raised some critical and fundamental flaws both in content and process of the award of the contract; nothing has been said by the Minister in terms of the issues raised. A stakeholder who pleaded anonymity said: “I am particularly disturbed that there are clandestine plans by the NPA management to cover up such fraud once again as suggested by both the silence of the authority and that the Ministry.” “The Calabar Port channel dredging contract has for too long provided an avenue of succeeding managements of NPA to fleece public funds and this time around, stakeholders will rise in unity of purpose to ensure that the current management does not have its way as it has been in the past,” the stakeholders had warned.
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EFCC grills Saraki for alleged financial infraction OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday quizzed former Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki for alleged financial infraction while in office. Saraki appeared at the EFCC office in Abuja shortly after he arrived from Saudi Arabia where he had gone to perform lesser Hajj. Sources told National Mirror that Saraki was immediately whisked to the interrogation room on arrival where he was drilled for several hours by a team of operatives. It will be recalled that Saraki had denied having any issue with the antigraft body, dispelling any talk about his investigation as mere speculations concocted by the media. When contacted, the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren confirmed that the former governor submitted himself for interrogation.
EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde
Uwujaren was, however, not categorical whether the former governor would be detained or granted administrative bail. Asked which office Saraki was being investigated, he said he could not be specific because he was not part of the investigating them. On whether the former governor could be granted administrative bail, he said: “I cannot be specific on that. As I speak with you, I am at home. However, he was still being interrogated when I left the office at about 5:0pm.” Clearing the air on why it took the anti-graft commission over two years to
investigate Saraki’s tenure in office as governor, Uwujaren said: “Investigation is not time-bound. It is when you are sure of what you have gathered before you can make any arrests or invite an accused person.” He denied the allegation that Saraki was being unduly vilified because of his perceived political differences with President Goodluck Jonathan. Uwujaren said: “We are not affiliated to any political party and our operations are non-partisan. I can tell you that this case has nothing to do with politics. We are working based on the evidences we have gathered.”
Minister urges states to adopt UN strategy on youth development TOLA AKINMUTIMI, TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE AND ALIUNA GODWIN
he Federal Government yesterday urged states to adopt the strategy suggested by the United Nations to develop youths’ potential. This is even as the government hinted on its plans for elaborate activities for youths scheduled for August 23 as part of its weeklong programmes to mark the International Youth Day. The Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, who spoke at a media briefing to mark the global event in Abuja, said it had become imperative for all countries desirous of positive transformation to invest in empowerment of youths in order to secure their future. Abdul-Kadir said it was in recognition of the pivotal roles youths play in national development that
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Youth Development and other relevant ministries and agencies as well as local and international partners, initiated various programmes that would enable the nation’s youths to channel their creative and entrepreneurial talents towards building a greater Nigeria. Also yesterday, Mr. Abdul Abiola, the son of the late acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola and others youths appealed to the Federal Government to declare June 12 as Nigerian Youth Day. They spoke during a walk organised by the Nigerian Youth Leadership Group (NYLAG) to mark the World International Day of the Youth in Lagos. They said Nigerian youths deserved a day as “Nigerian Youth Day” in replica of the August 12 set aside by the United Nations to mark the World Youth Day. Speaking after the walk,
which kicked off from the late MKO’s residence through LTV 8 Ground and terminated at the Governor’s Office at Alausa in Ikeja, Abdul Abiola said June 12 could be set aside as a special day for Nigerian youths, who according to him, took active part during the June 12 annulment struggle and who also contributed to the electoral success of the late MKO. He, however, explained that setting the June 12 date aside as Youth Day did not mean that it should not be set aside as Democracy Day as advocated by many Nigerians.
Age discrepancy: Edo starts teachers’ verification SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he verification of 1, 300 Edo State primary school teachers over irregularities in education certificates and age records began yesterday, a week after the government summoned them before a committee. The teachers were seen at the Staff Training Centre in Benin, venues of the verification exercise, with files containing their certificates. Although the exercise is expected to continue today, no statement was issued by the verification committee to the effect. But sources told National Mirror that the teachers had not been able to explain the discrepancies in their certificates and age records. It will be recalled that Governor Adams Oshiomhole disclosed at a town hall meeting on August 1, 2013 that an audit carried out by the state’s Information and Communications Technology Agency showed that 789 out of 1, 379
teachers obtained Primary School Leaving Certificates before the age of eight or nine years old. The governor further disclosed that only 1, 287 teachers representing nine per cent of 14, 484 total number of teachers in the state have accurate and proper records. About 91 per cent have various forms of discrepancies in their records, according to him.
Oshiomhole had said: “About 1, 379 teachers representing 11.5 per cent claimed that they obtained their Primary School Leaving Certificates after they had been employed as teachers. In fact, some obtained their Primary School Leaving Certificates not more than two years ago from the school in which they were employed as teachers.”
Police begin administration of pension scheme OMEIZA AJAYI
he Nigeria Police Force has begun administering its own pension scheme with a promise to tackle all issues associated with its administration in the past. Declaring open a threeday workshop for Capacity and Human Resources Training for Police Pension Desk Officers in Abuja, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said a good pension fund administration remained
critical to the existence of the Force, promising to ensure that officers and men get their dues at retirement. Explaining his difficulty in getting the Force to administer its own pension just like the military and the State Security Service (SSS), Abubakar said since the police had now taken its destiny in their own hands, they could not afford to fail. He recalled that managing police pension had become cumbersome leading to the frustration experienced by most retired police officers.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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APC may replace senator representing Oyo South KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
crack may have occurred in the newly formed All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State as it is looking for a replacement for the erstwhile Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, senator representing Oyo South senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Femi Lanlehin. A reliable source in the newly formed party said yesterday that the position of the party with regards to the senator was borne out of what the hawks in the party considered to be his demonstration of tendencies that could endanger the future of the new party in the state. The source said; “Such people as Lanlehin could be pardoned for expressing disavowal with Governor Abiola Ajimobi over the running of the defunct ACN, he has carried this too far and he is moving towards being used to destroy the APC even ab initio. “This is a dangerous trend that we cannot stand
it. I must tell you; the overall belief here is that Lanlehin is being used by the Accord Party to destroy the APC.” The source added that even though the ACN was the “biggest” partner in the APC merger, it was unsettled by the “embarrassment” caused the new party recently by the “gang-up” of some defunct CPC and ANPP party faithful who signed a release calling for the boycott of the APC rally held at Mapo hall in Ibadan on Sunday. It was further gathered that the hawks in the party were of the conviction that Lanlehin was behind this “gang-up” and thus needed to be weeded out of the party. It was, however, gathered that at a recent meeting of the party in Ibadan recently, some of the high-ranking members of the party kicked against this move, stating that moving against Lanlehin would portray the party in bad light, but majority of those at the meeting believed that rebellion is cancerous and needed to be cut off to ensure the existence of the other parts of the body.
Osun 2014: PDP summons four governorship aspirants ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
s the 2014 governorship election approaches in Osun State, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state yesterday summoned all the four aspirants vying for the position on the platform of the party to decide on whom to pick for the race among them. The leadership of the party appealed to the aspirants to agree on how a single candidate would emerge without any bickering, charging them to settle their differences in the interest of the party. The aspirants, who also spoke in the presence of the stakeholders of the party, affirmed that consensus could be reached among them provided there would be fair treatment for them from the leadership of the party, adding that if this condition was not met, they would all go for the primary. The four aspirants are; the former Minister of Youth Development, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, former Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore, the former
Secretary to State Government in the Oyinlola administration, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade and a former member of House of Representatives, Hon. Wole Oke. They said; “We have all resolved to abide by the decision of the party executives, provided it satisfies certain conditions which include a free, fair, transparent and credible process as some of the leaders were accused of not being neutral in their approach to their aspirations. “We have all resolved to work together as a team to ensure total victory at the poll, for any candidate picked at the end of the exercise either by consensus or through party primaries. “We further want to appeal to the executives of the party to ensure transparency in the choice of the party’s candidate to avoid what can lead to disenchantment among the other aspirants.” Speaking on the newly formed APC, they described the party as a paper weight one saying; “It is a gang up of the opposition against the ruling party which will fail the test of time.”
L-R: Deputy Chairman, defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Ekiti State, Chief Dele Falusi; Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor (Policy and Strategy), Mr. Biodun Omoleye, and Governor Kayode Fayemi, at the unveiling/hoisting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
Amnesty, SERAC accuse Lagos of forceful eviction KENNY ODUNUKAN
uman rights organisation, Amnesty International and a non-governmental organisation, Social and Economic Rights Action Centre, SERAC, yesterday accused the Lagos State government of gross violation of human rights by forcefully evicting about 9, 000 residents of the state. The two bodies also accused the state government of unannounced demolition of structures at the highly populated Ijora Badia area of the state. National Coordinator of SERAC, Mr. Felix Muoka, disclosed this in Lagos yesterday even as he appealed to the state government to provide effective remedy and reparation to all those who were forcibly evicted
from Badia East. Mouka said about 200 heavily armed police officers supervised the demolition and that several residents who tried to resist the demolition were beaten up by the police. He further alleged that; “No adequate notice was given to the residents of the community before the demolition commenced,” but noted that “On Wednesday, February 20, a notice of eviction was given to the Baale (the traditional district head) of the community - just three days before the demolition started.” SERAC also said; “No compensation has been paid to residents; the evicted people have not been offered alternative housing and many people have been displaced. “The demolished houses included both wooden and
Lawmaker threatens court action over invasion of father’s house FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
ollowing the arrest of 26 suspected cult members in the Ijebu axis of the state at the weekend, a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Remmy Hazzan, has threatened to institute a legal action against the state police command over what he described as the invasion of his father’s house in Omu-Ijebu. Speaking with journalists in Abeokuta yesterday, Hazzan, who expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of the police for carrying out a raid on his father’s house in the community, also alleged that the raid was politically motivated.
It will be recalled that Omu Ijebu, the country home of the lawmaker, was over the weekend, raided by men of the state police command who were searching for known members of a particular cult group. National Mirror recalled that the police, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Muhammad Abdulkadir, had last Sunday carried out a raid in Omu Ijebu, while looking for the younger brother of the lawmaker, Adebayo Hazzan, in connection with alleged cult activities. In the course of the raid, the house belonging to the lawmaker’s father, Pa Hazzan, was also ransacked to fish out Hazzan Adebayo.
concrete structures. Some of the displaced residents owned their homes, while many were poor tenants.” Amnesty International Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Oluwatosin Popoola said; “The eviction of people from their homes was carried out without the appropriate legal and procedural safeguards, including prior and adequate consultation, adequate notice and the provision of adequate alternative housing, these constitute forced eviction and a gross violation of human rights including the right to adequate housing.” Popoola also said that the exercise, which was carried out on February 23, this year was only one of several other demolition exercises carried out by the state government without due process and consideration for the rights of the
people. Amnesty International said the satellite images it conducted on the affected area showed that a densely populated area, containing concrete houses and other structures was razed to the ground. The organisation said the demolition seriously affected people who are already poor and impoverished with little hope. The body called on the Lagos State government to “stop the on-going demolition; embark on a genuine consultation with the affected community; immediately provide adequate alternative housing to all those who have been forcibly evicted; and provide emergency relief, including access to food, shelter, water, sanitation and healthcare services to the affected people.”
e-Purse takes ‘Lagos Connect’ card to commuters MURITALA AYINLA
he organisation behind the newly introduced electronic ticketing for the operations of the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, and Bus Franchise Scheme, BFS e-Purse Systems, has commenced work in major bus shelters in Lagos to intimate commuters about the viability of the e-card known as “Lagos Connect.” The state government had, on July 30, this year, launched the e-ticketing project to revolutionise the state’s transportation system. Speaking with National Mirror, Managing Director of e-Purse Systems, Dayo Aderugbo, said the campaign was to raise awareness among the commuters about their personalised e-card,
adding that commuters can travel cashless on the various bus routes. He said: “Apart from being a cheaper way to travel because commuters will be able to pay as low as N20 for some routes, the card will also reduce loss of manpower currently being suffered by commuters due to double queues at the various bus stops,” he said. Aderugbo said since the launch, the company had deployed an extensive campaign around Lagos which had seen them visit virtually all BRT and BFS stations including Mile12, Ketu, Ojota, Maryland, Idiroko, Anthony, Obanikoro, Palmgrove, Fadeyi, Stadium, Costain, Leventis, CMS, TBS, Ikeja along, Ikeja Under bridge, Cement, Iyana Ipaja, Egbeda, Ikotun, Igando, among others.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Group wants alleged manipulation of Ondo voters’ register probed OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
group, the Ondo Rescue Mission (ORM), has petitioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over the alleged manipulation of the voters’ register used to conduct the October 20, 2012 governorship election in Ondo State. The group urged Jega to set up a panel to investigate how over 100, 000 illegal names were injected into the voters’ register with a view to prosecute those behind the act. ORM said: “If elections are to be successfully
conducted and litigations curtailed in Nigeria, government and relevant agencies must genuinely take bold steps in fishing out bad eggs for punishment.” The petition, a copy of which was obtained by National Mirror, was signed by the group’s chairman, Otunba Razak Isijola; Publicity Secretary, Asiwaju Wale Ozogoro and Legal Adviser, Mr. Supo Ijabadeniyi. Copies were sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Chairman of the Senate Committee on
Public Petition and his counterpart in the House of Representatives. Part of the petition read: “The 2012 register of voters, which ought to be the foundation of any election, was compromised through the unlawful injection of over 127, 000 names. “It is pertinent to note that there was no regis-
tration of voters exercise conducted between 2011 and 2012 and, therefore, there was no legal justification for the additional 127, 000 names contained in the 2012 register of voters, thus making the register not only questionable, but defective. “The unlawful injection of 127, 00 names was
vigorously canvassed in the election petitions of the candidates of all the political parties that challenged the outcome of the October 2012 governorship election in Ondo State. “INEC could not produce a witness to controvert the allegations and the unlawful injection of names was confirmed in the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal and further reaffirmed by the Court of Appeal.”
NANS divided over ASUU strike KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is divided over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). University of Ibadan Students’ Union President, Mr Babatunde Badmus, yesterday claimed that the body was divided while featuring on a television programme in Ibadan. Claiming that the leadership of NANS led by Mr. Yinka Gbadebo had failed Nigerian students, Badmus alleged that the union’s leaders had jettisoned the interest of students by using the strike to make money. He said: “We young and vibrant union’s presidents are not supporting other NANS leaders on this. NANS ought to be a body that should fight for the rights and privileges of students and ensure that we have good educational system. “But a situation where-
kiti State Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, has described the late Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola, the father of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as a legend whose death should be celebrated rather than mourned.
by you have a NANS leadership that tours offices to collect money for its selfish interest and later go to shout and address the press, telling them lies that what ASUU is doing is wrong, is totally unacceptable. ASUU is fighting for a very good education in the country. If we don’t have a befitting education in the country, how will our future be secured? The NANS president is on his own.” He hinted that the students’ body had uncovered plans by the Federal Government to destroy public education so as to deny children of the poor quality education. Badmus said: “We are ready to fight for our rights. We are not happy to stay at home doing nothing, but we must tell the Federal Government to secure the future of our youths. I am not born with a silver spoon. I need a secured future for my children and that is only sure if I have good training today. That is why we are supporting the struggle by ASUU.”
L-R: Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Oluremi Tinubu; Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and his wife, Abimbola, during Tinubu’s condolence visit to the governor over the passage of his father, the late Pa Ibrahim Ademola Bayo Fashola, in Lagos, yesterday.
Fayemi assures of change as APC berths in Ekiti •CPC shuns rally, gives condition ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he All Progressives Congress (APC) was flagged off in Ekiti State yesterday with the declaration by Governor Kayode Fayemi that the party would provide the needed change in Nigeria Fayemi spoke at a rally where the flag of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was lowered in Ado-Ekiti. The governor, who assured members of the different defunct political parties that formed the APC of fairness, said the new party leadership would be based largely on members’ contributions and the party’s popularity. Fayemi said APC would
bring about real evolutionary and transformational changes necessary to restore the country glory which he said had been bastardised by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 1999. He said: “PDP was in charge of government for 14 years, no stable electricity, poverty level had increased, corruption is on the increase, there is electoral rigging in the land! So the emergence of APC, has automatically signed the death knell of PDP in Nigeria.” Stressing APC represented integrity, incorruptibility, performance and good governance, the governor expressed hope that the new party would trounce the PDP in next
Ekiti deputy governor condoles with Fashola She said the deceased lived a fulfilled life and left indelible imprints for the society. Adelabu spoke at the weekend when she paid a condolence visit to the governor at the Government House in Marina,
Lagos Island. Commending Fashola for making Lagos State a shining example and a model of what governance should be, the deputy governor urged him keep the tempo in the spirit of the legendary legacies of his
late father. She said: “Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola lived a fulfilled life and has immortalised himself in not only giving birth to, but donating Governor Raji Fashola, who is one of the best governors in
year’s governorship election in Ekiti. But one of the parties in the merger, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), stayed away from the rally, saying it expected things to be done in a manner all parties to APC would be carried along. The state CPC Chairman, Mr Babatunde Ajayi, while addressing the party’s members at the Basiri area of Ado Ekiti, said the manner things were handled showed that “something was fishy.” He said his members resolved to attend the rally “only on the condition that the governor comes to our party secretariat and show us solidarity. That means they recognise us, otherwise, there is no going back on our boycott of the rally”. the country to sustain his good legacies.” Adelabu, who noted that her boss, Governor Kayode Fayemi, had earlier visited his Lagos State counterpart, said her presence was to further demonstrate the love of Ekiti people towards Fashola.
How D O Fagunwa died 50 years ago –Widow NGOZI EMEDOLIBE
fter 50 years of myth that has beclouded the circumstances surrounding the death of D. O Fagunwa, pioneering Yoruba author, evidences surfaced at the weekend to validate the fact that the novelist actually drowned in a river, contrary to speculations that he disappeared. The deceased’s widow, Elizabeth Adebanke Fagunwa, confirmed that the novelist died on December 9, 1963 at River Wuya in Bida, Niger State, while returning from a book tour of Northern Nigeria. Elizabeth Fagunwa was one of the participants at the international conference which ended on Saturday in Akure to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Fagunwa’s death. A posting by a renowned filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, reads: “Mrs. Elizabeth Adebanke Fagunwa narrated yesterday at the Fagunwa Conference, Akure, Ondo State, to a captive audience how D.O. Fagunwa died at River Wuya, Bida, Niger State, while returning from a promotional tour to Northern Nigeria on Monday December 9, 1963. “His corpse was brought to Oke-Igbo and buried at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church cemetery on December 10, 1963. “This account, I heard with my ears from the horse’s mouth, puts to rest all myths and tales surrounding the death of D.O. Fagunwa.” The conference, which was jointly hosted by Fagunwa Study Group, the Fagunwa Foundation, the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU) as well as the Ondo State Government, was designed to further deepen the knowledge from the various literary works of Fagunwa, whose style and message shaped the careers of many literary giants in the country today. Fagunwa wrote “Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale,” which wa widely considered as the first novel written in Yoruba language and one of the first to be written in any African language.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Confusion as INEC stops Anambra PDP ward congress CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
onfusion yesterday trailed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward congress Anambra State expected to be supervised by Prince Ken Emeakayi-led State Executive Committee of the party. The confusion followed a statement by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) directing Emeakayi to stop overseeing the exercise, even as it urged the police to arrest any person who attempted to violate the directive. Checks at the key voting centres in Awka, the state capital, revealed that by 1:0pm, when the exercise supposed to have begun, party members and aspirants for the three delegate posts in most of the 326 wards were stranded as
they waited endlessly for several hours for INEC officials to monitor the conduct of the congress. The situation was made worse when INEC released a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Egbo, in which it vowed to recognise only the congress conducted by Mr. Ejike Oguebego. The statement claimed that INEC recognised Mr. Ejike Oguebego as the
chairman of the PDP in Anambra State. Stressing to monitor only the congress conducted by Oguebego, the statement read: “INEC recognises Mr. Ejike Oguebego as the chairman of the PDP in Anambra State. It is therefore his faction of the PDP that the INEC will monitor its ward congress. Any other PDP congress slated for August12, 2013 in Anambra State by any
one is illegal and the police have been informed accordingly.” However, PDP members and aspirants were shocked and confused shortly after the INEC’s position was made known to them. Many of them stood speechless at various congress venues. As the confusion lingered, efforts by journalists to get the comment
from the Chairman of the PDP Ward Congress Adhoc Committee, Hon. Ude Okoh, on the development were abortive as the team were busy holding closeddoor meeting at the Marble Arch Hotel, Awka. The latest directive by INEC contrasted sharply with the stand of the National Working Committee of PDP which had on Saturday directed Emeakayi to supervise the ward congress.
NBA accuses MASSOB of attacking its secretary NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
he Onitsha branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday accused the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) of allegedly attacking its secretary, Onyechi Ononye. Addressing journalists in Onitsha, the NBA chairman, B.C. Maduechesi, said that the MASSOB members also dispossessed the victim’s wife of her wrist watch, jewelries and mobile phones. He said the secretary, who is now receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital, also lost two mobile phones to the attackers. According to Maduechesi, the incident occurred at the weekend when the victim’s wife rammed into the MASSOB members on Old Hospital Road in Onitsha and shortly after, the hoodlums manhandled her before dispossessing her of the items. Following a tip-off that
his wife was being manhandled, Ononye rushed to the scene where he was also attacked by the MASSOB members until he lost consciousness. Reiterating the resolve of NBA not to allow the perpetrators to go unpunished, Maduechesi, however, said that the association would meet tomorrow to deliberate on how to handle the matter. But the MASSOB Security Coordinator, Mr. Nnaemeka Onyemaechi, denied the allegation. Onyemaechi said MASSOB was not responsible for the assault, urging the NBA, the police and other security agents to assist in fishing out the perpetrators for prosecution. He said: “On our own part, we will continue to hunt for the criminals and if arrested, we will hand them over to the police because some criminals have been in the habit of using MASSOB name to rob members of the public and commit other criminal acts.”
Anambra State Governor Peter Obi receiving Francis Cardinal Arinze (left), at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, yesterday.
Police arrest 10 suspected MASSOB members in Asaba
he police in Delta State yesterday said it arrested 10 suspected members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in Asaba. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Lucky Uyabeme, announced this at a news con-
ference in Asaba. He said the suspects were arrested on August 6 at about 4p.m. when they were allegedly attacking the vigilantes at Power line and Ominigboma areas of Asaba. “Consequent upon the information, a team of operatives moved in and arrested the suspects.”
He added that the leader of the group, 52 year old Emeka Okafor, a native of Nkanu in Enugu, was arrested with five other suspects on August 7. “Items recovered from them include 114 Biafran flags, two boots, 129 Biafran pounds 10 shillings, 32 membership forms and other documents,
Iwuanyanwu makes case for Nigeria’s unity CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has described Nigeria as the hope of the black race. He called on stakeholders to support effort to develop Nigeria, saying the nation’s likely disintegration would have ripple effects not only on Nigeria, but on the whole of black race. Iwuanyanwu, who spoke yesterday when the Hausa community in the SouthEast led by Alhaji Adamu Sokoto visited him in Ow-
erri, the Imo State capital, appealed to the people to forge stronger ties through tolerance and peace He said that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable and urged all ethnic groups to embrace peaceful existence for the development of the nation.
Iwuanyanwu said just as people from the South-East had made remarkable contributions to the development of the country, other ethnic groups, including the Hausa have also contributed immeasurably to trade and commerce in the South-East. According to him, the Igbo and Hausa have intermarried and that it would be impossible to break the country along ethnic lines. He, however, said the Boko Haram insurgency had nothing to do with Hausa or Fulani, but should be seen as Nigeria’s common enemy which must be con-
demned by all. On the crisis rocking the PDP, Iwuanyanwu said: “It is common with big parties and at the end, PDP will be stronger. The crisis will soon be over and those who have left will all come back.” He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for registering the All Progressives Congress (APC), but added that the new party would not be a threat to the ruling PDP. Iwuanyanwu said: “I have not been happy that there is no strong opposition, democracy survives
when you have strong opposition, but this APC is not going to work.” The elder statesman, however, claimed that APC members only came together without known ideology or policy to fight PDP. Chief Iwuanyanwu said the former eastern region of Nigeria where President Goodluck Jonathan hails from should be allowed to take eight years after which power returns to the North. Speaking earlier, the leader of the Hausa community, Alhaji Sokoto, pledged the community’s continued support for PDP and the Federal Government.
and 10 pairs of complete Biafran police uniform with tags. “Others are three cutlasses, seven hard cover note books of their minutes of meetings from 2010 till date, two military belts and one expended cartridge,” he said. He said investigations were in progress, adding that the suspects would soon be charged to court. Uyabeme also said that no fewer than 64 cultists had renounced their membership in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state. He appealed to others in such groups to borrow a leaf from their members who have denounced their membership and embrace more productive ways of living. He warned that the command would not allow any part of the state to be used as a breeding ground for any criminal activity. “The actions of the suspected MASSOB members are treasonable and government will not condone such lawlessness.”
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Boat mishap: Bodies of Azazi’s relation, other victim recovered P
Resign if you have political ambition, Akpabio tells aides
EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
he bodies of a relation of the late National Security Adviser to the President, Mr. Felix Azazi and a yet to be identified man who lost their lives last Friday in a boat mishap in Bayelsa State, have been recovered. Their corpses were reportedly deposited at an undisclosed hospital at Ughelli, Delta State.
The incident occurred along Ekeremor River in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that the corpses were recovered last Sunday by local divers and youths in the community. It was learnt that both corpses were recovered in an area identified as “Beautiful Gate” close to Torugbene in neighbouring Delta State.
A source who did not want his mentioned, said an inhaler was reportedly found in late Azazi’s pocket, an indication that he was an asthmatic patient. It was gathered that Azazi, an indigene of Peretoru in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state and an unidentified man of Urhobo extraction, drowned when their boat was capsized by a wave while over taking another boat.
The deceased were traveling to Ojobo, Delta State for a wake keep when their boat capsized at about 7.30pm. Azazi and the boat driver reportedly bought a touch light at Tuomo waterside before they embarked on the journey. “The news of the boat mishap and the death of the two occupants is still a surprise to us. The late Azazi had no bruises on his body,” he added.
ublic office holders in Akwa Ibom State wishing to go for elective positions in 2015 in the state have been given the option of resigning their positions in accordance with the electoral law. State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, who answered questions at the weekend from Government House correspondents in Uyo said; “I want to encourage anybody who wishes to declare for any position to please do so. If you do so, you can opt out of government, you can resign or you can step aside whichever way you like it. But what it means is that you are still ready to serve the state.” On whether his govern-
ment plans to reshuffle the cabinet, he responded; “I definitely hope not. But if anybody wishes to contest any election, the law states that you should resign. If you resign, we will have no option than to make a change. “The electoral law expects that any public officer that wishes to declare his/ her intention for any election should resign the present position and thereafter makes his declaration. “So if there is any officer of government that wishes to declare his/her intention to contest for any elective office, the person has the right to resign. You cannot force somebody to sit in a position forever,” he remarked.
Rivers crisis: PDP chieftain tasks Jonathan’s wife on peace OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
A L-R: Acting Chairman, Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC), Chief Sylvester Okonkwo; Consultant, Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE), Mrs. Nawe Kamukama and UNDP/BRIDGE representative, Mr. Adebowale Olorunmola, at the BRIDGE election administration module workshop in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
AGIP loses 20, 000 bpd to oil theft
he Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, yesterday in Yenagoa, said it is losing 20, 000 barrels of crude oil per day to oil theft, thus necessitating the discussion initiated by the Bayelsa State government on how to tackle the menace. The tripartite meeting held at the state Banquet Hall had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Gboribiogha John Jonah, representatives of NAOC and surveillance contractors engaged by the company to tackle the scourge. In his address, the deputy governor said the government was losing a lot of revenue due to crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. According to him, crude oil theft was impacting negatively and adversely on the economy of the nation, which is dependent on oil, hence, government is worried at all levels and was
making efforts to ensure that the menace is checked. The deputy governor also expressed concern over the damage done to the environment as a result of oil exploration activities of the international oil companies in the Niger Delta. He also said that the Federal Government had already constituted a committee headed by the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, which comprises governors of the South-South region to deal with the issue of crude oil theft in the region. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Francis Ikio, said that the mechanism of crude oil theft is very technical which can only be carried out by persons that have professional knowledge to do so, adding that the international oil companies should check their internal systems as there is the pos-
sibility of an insider abuse. In his comment, Manager, Security, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Mr. Albert Ijuwe, thanked the state government for the initiative to curb oil theft in the state. He also said that the company was losing about 20, 000 barrels of crude oil per day due to oil theft and even had to shut down production early this year to enable the company effect
repairs on 162 theft points. In his remark, Chief Nengi James, one of the surveillance contractors said that the meeting was a welcome development, given the activities of pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta. He also said that apart from the adverse effects on the national economy, occasioned by oil theft, the ecosystem in the Niger Delta has been damaged due to oil exploration activities.
s politicians in Rivers State initiate fresh moves to restore peace in the state, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Anthony Mac Pepple, yesterday appealed to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to fasttrack the ongoing move to re-unite the Minister of State for Education, Nyeson Wike and Governor Chibuike Amaechi, as a recipe for peace in the state. The PDP stalwart also advised key players in the protracted crisis to desist from making utterances that would further fuel the trouble in the state. He told the First Lady that as a mother of all, she should be ready to pardon any wrong done to her, knowingly and unknowingly by any of them in the course of the crisis. Chief Pepple also
tasked the warring factions in the state to lay down their arms and embrace the ongoing peace initiative by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said in a statement made available to journalists yesterday, specifically commending the former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Dr Sam Sam Jaja, for his fatherly role in the current move to restore peace in the state. He, however, appealed for possible return of Dr Jaja to his seat in the party ahead of the PDP convention. He said; “I want to use this medium to call on our party leaders and faithful to go back to the drawing board and ensure the return of our brother to the National Working Committee, NWC, come the August 31 Convention. His victory will be a victory for all Rivers people, a victory for the South-South and a victory for peace.”
Sylva’s ex-aides bicker over unpaid severance allowances EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ormer Commissioners, Special Advisers and other political aides that served in the immediate past administration in Bayelsa State are bickering over their unpaid severance allowances by Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration. The former aides, who
served in the administration of Governor Timipre Sylva, lamented that barely 16 months after they left office, the present administration has failed to pay their allowances after serving the state in various capacities. It was learnt that the sour relationship between Dickson and Sylva worsened, following the probing of the expenditures of the
Sylva administration. Dickson alleged that there were lots of fraudulent activities in the immediate past administration, but Sylva had dismissed the allegations, describing them as baseless. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that some of the aggrieved former commissioners are threatening court action over the governor’s refusal
to pay them their entitlements. One of the former commissioners, who would not want his name in print, regretted Dickson’s alleged action, describing it as pathetic and unacceptable. According to the ex-aide, they have tried all avenues on the need for the government to settle their allowances, but that none has worked.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Varsity alumni flay incessant ASUU strikes AUGUSTINE MADU WEST KANO
he Kano University of Technology Alumni Association has decried the industrial action embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Addressing journal-
ists shortly after its annual general meeting at the Murtala Muhammad Library in Kano, the association secretary, Fahad Ibrahim Danladi, said incessant strike by ASUU was no longer unfashionable in Nigeria. Danladi urged the striking university lecturers to focus on issues that would enhance the development
Ex-Offa LG boss alleges plot to manipulate poll
he Brigade Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Brig- Gen. Fattai Oladipo Alli, has charged military officers to dedicate themselves to the corporate existence of the country. The commander, who spoke yesterday during the decoration of nine officers in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, said that the military would not tolerate any act of sabotage as much was expected from them. He told the newly promoted officers that the military could only tackle the current challenges confronting the country through dedicated leadership demonstrated by them. Alli asked the officers to provide robust leadership by closely monitoring and supervising their subordinates. Stressing the impor-
tance of education to the officers, the commandant said if they must succeed in their career, they must embrace continuous reading and knowledge appreciation. According to the commander, understanding the nitty gritty of their profession was an indispensable tool in tackling the terrorism confronting the country. Asking them to embrace discipline, Alli said it had come to the knowledge of the Brigade that some officers had been reported to be involved in the settling of land matters among the civilians, which he said were at variance with the assigned role of the military. He, however, warned the newly promoted officers not to get involved in civilian affairs or use their positions to molest them.
• Say action no longer fashionable of education instead dissipating their energy on incessant strike. He said: “Resorting to industrial action as a way of arm twisting the Federal Government has not in any way yielded any positive result. I personally believe that the lecturers’ approach to issues should be different from the current practice.
“Personally, I don’t subscribe to strike that has been made notorious, it has not work out anything and I don’t think it is a panacea to the lingering problem confronting education in Nigeria.” Decrying the negative impact of strike on students, Danladi claimed that he spent six years in the university not because
L-R: Plateau State Head of Service, Ezekiel Dalyop; Rector, Plateau State Polytechnic, Mr. Dauda Gyemang and Commissioner for Education, Mr. Athanasius Dashen, at the induction course for civil servants and voluntary agencies in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Army tasks officers on professionalism WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
ormer Chairman of Offa Local Government Area of
Kwara State, Prince Saheed Popoola, yesterday alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to force the state electoral commission (KWASIEC)
Nigeria emerges winner of 2013 SAGE World Cup OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
igeria has emerged winner of the 2013 edition of Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) World Cup. The weeklong competition, which featured participants from eight countries out of the eleven that were scheduled to partake in it, was concluded Sunday night in Abuja. The United States, Canada and Ukraine had opted out of the SAGE competition organised in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and other Federal Government agencies due to security challenges
in the country. Nigeria has won the SAGE World cup seven times by consistently defeating countries like the USA, Russia, China, Singapore, Canada South Africa, Great Britain and Ghana among others. SAGE is a global non-profit organisation aimed at advancing youth entrepreneurship and community service around the world, emphasising ethical business practices, social responsibility, civic engagement and environmental awareness. The SAGE World Cup is an international entrepreneurship competition where teenage entrepreneurs from around the world showcase their innovative business and community service projects to a
of poor academic performances, but because of the incessant industrial action embarked upon by lecturers. He said: “I was supposed to spend only four years as my basic academic year in the university, but for ASUU industrial actions, I spent two more years before I could graduate from the university.”
Danladi said though ASUU may fight a genuine course, he urged the union to embrace alternative way of resolving issues in the interests of students and parents. According to him, Nigerian students and their parents are tired of incessant ASUU strikes, adding that the development had continued to plunge the nation’s education sector into state of abyss.
panel of judges. The competition has two major categories which include Socially-Responsible Business (SRB) and Social Enterprise Business (SEB). Nigeria, represented by the Junior Secondary School Jikwoyi, Abuja took the lead in the Social Enterprises Business (SEB) category while China came second as South Africa came third and Ghana took the fourth position. Besides, Nigeria also represented by University of Calabar International Schools came second in the Social Responsibility Business ((SRB) Category. The Global Coordinator of SAGE, Prof Curtis DeBerg, who announced the result of the keenly contested competition, said
Nigeria was leading in the integration of entrepreneurship into the school curriculum. He said that entrepreneurship was currently not well thought in any country in the world, but Nigeria had taken the lead in integrating. SAGE Africa Continental Coordinator, Mr. Agwu Amogu, said SAGE was a transnational social movement initiated to create a conscious effort to galvanise the enormous creative energies and resources in the world to eradicate poverty. According to him, the programme will also help to make future dreams come through for Nigerian young people by teaching them entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills needed to be successful.
to conduct fresh election into the council without following the law. In a statement in Offa, Popoola dismissed as futile the alleged plot to disqualify him from contesting the election on the ground that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) under which he once contested had ceased to exist. The statement reads: "Our attention has been drawn to a meeting Senator Bukola Saraki held with PDP stakeholders at the weekend in which they resolved to railroad the KWASIEC into holding a rerun election into Offa Local Government Area any moment from now. "While we remain confident that the people of Offa will serve out the appropriate punishment to people who see Kwara as their fiefdom and make no pretence about their intention to lord it over all of us, we wish to remind the PDP and of course
KWASIEC that the law governing KWASIEC is that a notice of 150 days shall be given for election into local government council. And this is not retroactive! We hope the PDP will bear this in mind as they plot to impose themselves on the people of Offa by all crooked means. "We also wish to remind them, as regards their futile effort to disqualify me on account of ACN having merged with other parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) that KWASIEC Law did not say that a party must be 90 days old before it could field a candidate for any elective post. “Since the PDP prides itself as very popular, it should be bold enough to participate under a free and fair atmosphere." But PDP through its state Director of Publicity, Alhaji Masud Adebimpe, denied the allegation, asking APC and its candidates to stop chasing shadows.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
SUPER TUESDAY APC may wrest power from PDP in 2015 –Kaita
2015: Buhari’s ambition and APC’s dream to unseat PDP
The insistence by a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the newly registered All progressives Congress, APC, is likely to have implications on the fortunes of the new party, writes FELIX NWANERI.
“My decision will be tied to the constitution of the APC. If the party chooses me as its candidate, I will contest. If the members do not consider me, I will not contest but I will still support the party. My decision to run for 2015 will solely be that of the party,” he said. He revealed that he had thought of a merger of political forces to wrest power
Senators who want to be governors
t is not yet uhuru for the newly registered oppositions’ mega party – All Progressives Congress, APC, despite the euphoria that greeted its registration recently, as the issue of who flies its flag in the 2015 presidential election is already causing uneasiness within the party. Though leaders of the party, who realised the tricky nature of the issue, carefully left it out during talks between the various parties that merged to form the APC to avoid upsetting its apple cart, the insistence of a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to contest the election is likely to have implications on the fortunes of the new party. His ambition is however said to be at variance with an earlier understanding that he and the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, regarded as principal promoters of the merger arrangement that gave birth to the APC, would not run for any elective office to give the new party a “semblance of a new beginning.” Already, some names have been touted and they include the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as well as the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha. But former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Rotimi Fasakin, who insisted that nobody can stop Buhari from testing his popularity at the APC’s presidential primary, said there was no time such an arrangement precluding Buhari from contesting for the presidency was made. Fasakin, who said that he has an inside knowledge about the initial agreement on the merger, described the purported arrangement to oust Buhari and Tinubu from the APC presidential race as a ruse, adding that only the decision of the party members at the presidential primaries can alter the former Head of State’s plan to run for 2015 Presidency. He said: “We all know that the said arrangement is a mere propaganda to stop Gen. Buhari from again testing his popularity but it will not work. Come 2015, Gen. Buhari will participate at the APC presidential primaries and nobody can stop him, I repeat, he will contest and no one can stop him from doing so.” Buhari, who also spoke on the issue last week, however said whether he would run in the 2015 poll or not would depend on whether the APC wanted him or not.
from the PDP in 2007 because none of the opposition parties can challenge ruling party successfully. “I thought about this merger in 2007. This is because I found out that none of the opposition parties can challenge PDP successfully. But if we come together with those that have representation at the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly and go back to sensitise our constituencies, even if the PDP want to rig they would find it impossible to rig. “I discovered that by being so divisive, we made ourselves very vulnerable. So, the best way to survive and for this country to stabilise, we just have to come together and I believe, along the line, we made necessary sacrifices. “The tension in the country has already come down; people now think that they have a viable alternative. These feelings and belief is across the country, not only in the North or in the South-West. There
WHILE IT MAY BE TOO EARLY TO DRAW A CONCLUSION ON WHAT BECOMES OF BUHARI’S AMBITION IN 2015, AS POLITICS REMAINS THE DOCTRINE OF THE POSSIBLE, THE POWER PLAY IN THE MONTHS AHEAD WILL DETERMINE IF THE
FORMER HEAD OF STATE... WILL RETURN TO THE SEAT HE VACATED CLOSE TO THREE DECADES AGO
is a good feeling about the party in all the political zones of the country. Our next important step is the mobilisation of constituencies to make sure that elections are conducted according to the law.” However, some APC chieftains, who are not comfortable with Buhari’s position, particularly his ambition, opined that he should talk less on it. A party source, who spoke to a team of journalists in Abuja, last week, disclosed that “Buhari’s posture to run is coming rather too early.” He added: “Our earlier thinking was that the two leaders (Buhari aand Tinubu) should provide leadership for the new party and groom an acceptable candidate that will beat PDP’s Goodluck Jonathan, because from all indications, the PDP will present him. “By our calculations, a younger and vibrant politician should run as our candidate so as to give the PDP a good fight; but from the way things are, we are stuck in between telling Buhari out rightly not to run and allowing him to continue with some ripple effects coming our way later.” The source added that the APC was already working on the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, to join its camp, with a view to presenting him as the party’s candidate in 2015. Tambuwal, he explained, is younger with an appreciable appeal across party lines, and partly because he is from the North-West, which is the highest voting bloc in the country. The Katsina State-born general is not new to the presidential contest, having made three unsuccessful attempts in the past. His first shot was in 2003, on the platform of the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but was defeated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP. He was back in 2007, also on the platform of the ANPP, but was defeated by late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who hailed from the same state with him. In March 2010, he left the ANPP to found the CPC (also defunct). He described the party then as a solution to the debilitating, ethical and ideological conflicts in the ANPP. It was under this platform that he vied for the 2011 presidential election against the incumbent, Jonathan (PDP), scoring 12.2 million votes against Jonathan’s 22.4 million. The intrigues and power play which characterised the elections, especially the collapse of an alliance between the CPC and then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which would have given the PDP a run for its money, forced Buhari to declare at the eve of the presidential poll that he will not seek any elective office again. At the grand finale of his electioneering campaign, Buhari said: “This campaign is the third and last one for me since after it I will not present myself again for election into the office of the president.” He, however rescind the decision last year saying: “I am still in active politics unCONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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APC may wrest power from PDP
Alhaji Lawal Kaita was a former civilian governor of old Kaduna State and a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The Katsina-born veteran politician and advocate of Northern presidency in 2015 speaks with AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST in Katsina on burning political issues, including the registration of All Progressives Congress, APC, which he admitted remains a threat to the PDP, the crisis in the ruling party, the genesis of the President Goodluck Jonathan/Governor Rotimi Amaechi face-off and the position of the North on the 2015 presidency among other national issues. Excerpts: The All Progressive Congress, APC, was recently registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a political party and it is expected that it would play a pivotal part in the polity and also contest the 2015 elections. How do you feel about this development? The registration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as a party is a healthy political development for Nigeria because the country, since the inception of the present democratic dispensation has been operating without a viable opposition or checks and balances. We in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, particularly, have been doing things our own way, sometimes circumventing the principles of good governance with brazen impunity; again because there was no serious opposition party, we have also taken a lot of things for granted. With the registration of the APC, we are now going to face serious challenges that can cause us the seat of power in 2015, if care is not taken. There is now strong fear within the camp of the PDP that the APC can take over the government in the next dispensation, in fact the success of the merger leading to this registration of the APC remains a serious threat to the PDP hegemonic hold on the polity, absolutely serious, especially with the internal squabbles in the PDP. Now that the PDP is aware of the threat posed by the emergence of the merger party, APC, what do you consider the necessary steps to be taken by the ruling party to ward off this threat? Like I said earlier, the APC possesses the capability of stopping the monopoly of power enjoyed by the PDP. And to prevent such ugly fate befalling us, what the PDP needs to do now is to sit down and sort itself out; we need to know what to do, we, the elders of the party, in order to avoid disgrace need to take the bull by the horn and put the PDP house in perfect order. There must be a serious deviation from our political altitude of the past. What in your opinion are the major problems militating against the PDP? Everyone in the party, even the fanatical party loyalists, know and believe that in the PDP, there is virtually no party as it is now, because the party at the state level is run by the state governors while at the federal level it is the Presidentâ€™s project. The meaning of this development is that the leadership of the party at the national level is not only subservient to, but also under the firm control and grip of President Goodluck Jonathan. This
situation affects the party seriously and very negatively. The party has no clout to do things the right way, it all depends on what the governors or President says or wants done at both the state and federal levels respectively. The issue of presidential candidates for the 2015 election has taken the centre stage. We are aware of the speculations in the PDP that the partyâ€™s presidential ticket will remain with the incumbent, President Jonathan, how true is this? President Jonathan cannot pick the PDP ticket, not with his current quarrel with different people in the party, especially with the governors. Of course, you know that the governors have the capability to stop him from achieving that because they control the delegates. Apart from their control of the delegates, they also control the party at their various states and possess the financial/economic muscles to push their way through. These governors have severally stated in unequivocal terms that President Jonathan must step down his ambition to remain in power beyond this dispensation. What happens should President Jonathan and the governors settle their score before the PDP picks its presidential candidate for the 2015 election? Even if he settles his problems with the governors, their only condition is that he must not run again; that is the position of the governors. Where does the North stand on which zone produces the next president come 2015? As far as we are concerned, the position of the North is that in 2015, we will have to produce the president and this is the position of almost 80 per cent of the Northern population, but I assure you in the next few months, it would be 100 percent of Northerners who are in favour of a Northern president in 2015, and I am one of those in favour of a Northern presidency in 2015. What about the perceived division in the North, particularly the desire of the Northern minorities to emancipate themselves from the power domination of the Hausa/Fulani political class? Everywhere is divided, the whole country is divided, and the North is divided, in how they talk, how they act, and how they do things. If you say the North is divided, tell me any section or region or zone that does not have division among them. It is obvious; of course that
every section of the country is divided, but when the chips are down, the North would be united for the presidency. And even President Jonathan himself does not have the full support of his people in the South-South; they will not even support him. This is why we are convinced that power is coming to the North, whichever way you look at it, come 2015. The disturbing crisis in Rivers State chapter of the PDP has been traced to the face-off between President Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Ameachi. As a leader of the ruling party, do you see it
that way? The genesis of the Jonathan/Amaechi problem could be traced to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The problem started when the former President endorsed the Sule Lamido/Rotimi Ameachi presidential ticket for 2015, and Jonathan was not happy about it, because he sees the action as an affront by his own kinsman, who he perceived was being used to stop him or to frustrate his ambition. Amaechi accepted this proposal and perhaps that was why he was fighting to retain his chairmanship of the Nigerian
THE APC POSSESSES THE CAPABILITY OF STOPPING THE MONOPOLY OF POWER ENJOYED
PDP. AND TO PREVENT SUCH UGLY FATE BEFALLING US, WHAT THE PDP NEEDS TO DO NOW IS TO SIT DOWN AND SORT ITSELF OUT; WE NEED BY THE
TO KNOW WHAT TO DO
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
in 2015 –Kaita PRESIDENT
JONATHAN HIMSELF DOES NOT HAVE THE FULL SUPPORT OF HIS PEOPLE IN THE
THIS IS WHY WE ARE CONVINCED THAT POWER IS COMING TO THE
dependent minds and the guts to call the President to order or advice him properly when he goes astray. How can the conflict between Ameachi and Jonathan be resolved with the various factions - Godswill Akpabio-led PDP Governors’ Forum, PDPGF; Jang faction of the NGF and Amaechi faction of the NGF that have polarized the party the more? Forget Akpabio, I don’t think he is a factor in the problem at hand. What we have are the Amaechi and Jang factions. The truth of the matter is that Amaechi won the NGF chairmanship election; I don’t know why they are disputing that. In the actual sense, we don’t even need a governor’s forum, but it works for the country, because it solves the problem between the governors and the Presidency. Whatever was the reason why the Governors’ Forum was created; at least it hasn’t harmed anybody, and infact we don’t even care about it. It is functioning between itself and the Presidency.
Governors’ Forum, NGF, and the President on the other hand decided to use his own apparatus of government to stop him at all cost. It was obvious that Amaechi won the NGF chairmanship election. There was no doubt that but Jonathan doesn’t want him on that seat, so the governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang had to be used as the hatchet man for the dirty job. In a decent society, there should have been no conflict about this, because Amaechi won clearly, there is no dispute about this and that conflict was the most disgraceful thing Nigeria has ever done. It is even more disgraceful that the President was involved in it. What type of leader would you describe Jonathan as? I see him as weak and unfocused leader. Besides, he does not seem to be in total control as he appears to be remotely controlled by forces beyond him; his aides are also not helping matters, because they are composed of people who are favour-seeking, people who have no in-
Two years after, how would you assess the performance of the present PDP-led Federal Government? With President Jonathan at the helms of affairs, would you say that this country has actually moved forward two years of his been in the saddle? In the actual sense and to my mind, the country hasn’t moved forward; rather, it is going backwards as far as I can see. What is there in the country now? Nothing, except quarreling, fighting, killing people, insecurity and pervasive poverty staring us all in the face everywhere in the country. Nothing at all in the country and I put the blame on the Jonathan-led Federal Government. The insurgency that is happening in Nigeria today is part of the resultant effect of bad leadership. After all he is not the first leader in the country, there were other leaders and there was not this kind of killing and insecurity and all that. The weakness of the President is the course of this insurgency in the country; he is too weak and I must say that he is not a good president and leader. If he is a good president, then all this evil would have stopped, but he is not. He is the president; he knows what to do to stop it, just like the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua knew what to do to stop the insurgency in the Niger Delta, took the initiative and stopped the problem.
Opposition lawmakers shun Rivers’ commission, seek disband of tribunal SAM OLUWALANA PORT HARCOURT
ive members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, popularly regarded as antiRotimi Amaechi lawmakers, yesterday shunned the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Rivers State government to look into the recent fracas in the hallowed chambers of the state House of Assembly, even as they had sought a court order to bar the commission from sitting. Representing the five lawmakers, Hon Victor Ihunwo, (Port Harcourt Constituency III) yesterday, approached a Port Harcourt High Court to among other things stop the commission from going ahead with its activities, as he argued that members of the commission were appointed by Governor Amaechi, who he said is also a party in the crisis to be investigated by the commission. Ihunwo argued that: “His Excellency, Rotimi Amaechi, the 10th Respondent and his government represented by the 11th Respondent instigated the crisis and supervised the execution of the said crisis which he now purports to inquiry into by the instrumentality of a Commission of Inquiry selected, appointed and inaugurated by him, that is, the so called judicial commission of inquiry comprised of the 1st set of Respondents.
“The 1st set of Re- commission, Justice Biohad spondents as the Judicial bele Georgewill, Commission of Inquiry adjourned sitting of the instituted by the 10th Re- commission till Thursday, spondents lacks jurisdic- after counsel to the Speaktion to inquire into the er of the state House of terms of reference subject Assembly, Barr. Ken Atsuwete and the counsel who matter of the commission. “The 10th Respondent represented the other 25 cannot be a judge in his lawmakers pleaded for 24 own cause, wherein he can hours’ extension to enable choose the members of the them put their documents commission who are to in- in order. Granting the requests, quire into the same crisis which he did not only pre- Justice Georgewill called cipitate but participated on all parties in the crisis to be free to file their memos, actively in. stressing that the Commis“The membership of the Commission as consti- sion was merely on a factfinding mission, adding: tuted is against the rule of ”No kobo needs to be paid natural justice.” He prayed the court for to file your memo. Just do “an order of injunction re- it with the Secretary of the straining the 2nd set of Re- Commission. Even if you spondents from receiving don’t have a lawyer, the any report from the 1st set Commission has a lawyer of Respondents, or in any for you. This Commission manner whatsoever imple- is for everybody affected by menting or putting into the crisis and anybody who use any report, findings or has one thing or the other opinion tendered by or sub- to tell us. It is a fact finding mitted by the 1st set of Re- Commission. We are not spondents in their capacity here to imprison anybody. as a Judicial Commission We are out to get to the root of Inquiry or under any of the matter.” guise whatsoever.” He also prayed for “such further or other orders as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.” Justice Iyayi Lamikanra, who is set to hear the case has slated Friday, August 16, for ruling on the matter. However, the Amaechi chairman of the
Anambra 2014: APC will rescue Anambra –Okonkwo TOPE OGUNBANKE
ll Progressives Congress, APC chieftains yesterday said the APC is the only platform that can rescue the people of Anambra State from the unfair leadership they have gotten from the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the last seven years. Speaking yesterday during a meeting with some of the party’s governorship aspirants for the forthcoming November 17 Anambra gubernatorial election in Awka, the state capital, the APC Deputy National Chairman
(South), Senator Annie Okonkwo, said the party has come to restore Anambra State. Okonkwo, who is one of the party’s governorship aspirants, said that the people of Anambra State have suffered in the hands of the present government. His words: “We know that people are not happy with what is happening in Anambra today, but we are promising every citizen of Anambra State that APC will change the face of Anambra State. “The major aim of government is to protect lives and properties but today, there is no security in Anambra State. The
ruling party in the state has failed. No jobs for the youths, no security to protect lives and property and no electricity.” Okonkwo however, charged members of the party to work hard to ensure that the party wins the election, adding that the party’s door is open to accept decampees and new members. Also speaking, another APC governorship aspirant, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, said that the APC is the only organised political party in the country and appealed to members of the party to ensure they register in the voters’ registration exercise that will commence soon.
Ramadan fast, not an easy task for President
ASO ROCK FILE
Jonathan declines invitation to join APC S hortly after the registration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, its interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande extended an invitation to President Goodluck Jonathan to join the party if he was tired of the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. At a press conference in Abuja, Akande stated that Jonathan was welcomed in the party as many people are very anxious to be part of the APC, which he said was set to displace the PDP in the next election in 2015. The invitation from Akande gave the Presidency the opportunity to point out that the party lacked credible candidates for the 2015 election and thereby shopping for those who could make the party acceptable to the people. Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in his reaction to the invitation said that his boss was not ready to quit the PDP and the umbrella under which he came to power. Although Akande may have made a general invitation to Nigerians, including Jonathan to join the newly registered APC as an alternative to the PDP, Abati said the fact that invitation was extended to the President was an acknowledgment of his leadership qualities and performance in governance. Abati said that the Presidency viewed the invitation as a compliment and recognition that Jonathan is the best man for the job at present.
He was of the opinion that the leaders of the APC formed a party only to realise later that they do not have a credible candidate. Among key leaders of the APC is General Muhammadu Buhari, who contested the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC with Jonathan. The former military Head of State later challenged Jonathan’s victory the Supreme Court but the result of the election was upheld and the apex court affirmed Jonathan as President. Abati said: “I think it (the APC’s invitation) is a compliment. What Chief Akande has said in essence is that President Jonathan is the best man for the job. “They formed a party only to realise they don’t have a candidate. We thank him for his acknowledgment of the President’s leadership qualities, but he (the President) is happy where he is. “We thank Chief Akande for his expression of confidence in President Jonathan’s credibility but the President is happy where he is, as a member and leader of the PDP to which he remains loyal, and under the umbrella of which he is leading a transformation agenda for the betterment of the lives of Nigerians.”
hough he is of the Christian faith, President Goodluck Jonathan took part in the 30-day Ramadan fast in solidarity with the Muslim faithful in the country. The fasting period ended last week with the celebration of Eid-el- Fitri and Vice President Namadi Sambo led Muslim community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sallah homage to the official residence of Jonathan at the Presidential Villa. For many people in the gathering, it was a pleasant surprise for them to know that Jonathan always participates in the Ramadan fast in solidarity with the Muslims. Jonathan, while relating his experience to the gathering in an amusing manner admitted that the fasting period was not an easy task as his trousers were falling out of his waist. “Sometimes, when you are not involved in fasting you will think it is an easy thing to go through. My trousers are just falling out from my waist. So you should know that it is not easy to forego food for a reasonable period within 24 hours of the day,” the President said. Jonathan maintained that there was no way one would imagine a Nigeria without Muslims and Christians, a situation which is yet to be fully exploited for the benefit of the nation. “We cannot imagine a Nigeria without Muslims and Christians; you can call it another name, but not Nigeria. So it is a blessing that this is one country that you have significant population of Muslims and Christians and this religious
diversity will enhance our development because we can get across the whole world, wherever we go we are accepted. That helps us in so many ways. “We are not even exploiting our diversity because of the myopic views about situations. Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters and we must live together.” The President also has a word for those who are predicting that Nigeria will separate based on frontlines as at the time of amalgamation, by 2015, saying that the predictions will never come true. He urged Muslim brothers and sisters to continue to pray for peace not just in Nigeria but all over the world. “As a nation, for our children to get where we want them to be, we must create a very peaceful environment for them so they can develop mentally and be focused and use their brains in a manner that will bring economic changes to us. In Nigeria, we are very religious people and we believe in one Almighty God and as we continue to pray to that God, He will see us through. There are some few challenges now, but surely Allah will see us through,” he said.
Presidential Villa’s visitors 1 2
3 4 5
The denial of request to visit IBB
ust before the end of the Ramadan fasting last week, the presidency came out to deny report that President Goodluck Jonathan sought to visit former President Ibrahim Babangida in Minna to show spirit of comradeship but was turned down by the former military president. Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati said in a statement that although Jonathan participates in the Ramadan fast every year in solidarity with Nigerians of Islamic faith, he has never as Vice President or President of the country visited the residence of any individual to break his fast “Rather, it has been the President’s custom to regularly invite Moslems from all strata of society to break their fast with him at the Presidential Villa during the month of Ramadan,” he added. Abati said in keeping with that established practice, Jonathan was busy hosting Muslims most evenings of the Ramadan period “As much as he respects and holds former President Babangida in high regard, President Jonathan has never indicated any interest in visiting him at Minna during the current Ramadan. Therefore, there could not have been any ‘turning down’ of a visit of President Jonathan by the former president.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
8 9 10 Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide; Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Muhammed; Vice President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan during the presentation of Sallah card to the President.
Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim Former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Ahamadu Ali Former Minister of Sports, Ismailia Sambawa Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar Chief Imam of Abuja Central Mosque, Alhaji Musa Muhammed Senator Andy Uba Senator Phillip Aduda Outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter
IG’s crusade against corruption in police force
nspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, was at the Presidential Villa last week where he spoke against corruption and indiscipline in the police force. He said the force would not condone any act of indiscipline and corruption during his tenure as the police boss, but would uphold professionalism in their duty to secure lives and property. Abubakar was reacting to the claim in some quarters that the dismissal of the police officer caught receiving bribe in Lagos State was too harsh. The Inspector General of Police said apart from regular warnings to the officers and men of the police force, the force also adopted different strategy to discourage corruption in the service including setting
officers up. “You can see that we are IT compliant, we know what is happening in You Tube, we know what is happening all over the world. And because we believe that we have to do what is right, we warn our officers and men, sometimes we set them up to ensure that we get them on the act. And so whosoever is caught on the act is being dismissed. “There is a process that is going on. If the man who witnessed that corruption has taken place is willing and ready to come and give evidence in court, he would be charged to court.” On the claim that the dismissal of the officer was harsh, he said: “For somebody who is corrupt, I will not run a corrupt police service.”
Speaking on the Rivers State crisis and the call for the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu to be transferred out of the state, the Police Inspector General said that a professional police officer is not a politician that could be drawn into politics. “The situation is okay. We are not politicians; we cannot be brought into the politics of this country. Professional police officers are supposed to do what they are supposed to do to protect lives and property and that is why we remain where we are and we charge the commissioner of police to be a professional police officer providing safety and security for the good people and development of Rivers State,” Abubakar said.
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-43
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Ladoja’s last chance desperation AKINLOLU HASSAN
he former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, at first sight may not strike you as a brilliant man. But those who mis-read his grasp of ‘dirty politics’ often live to regret it. His major strength lies in the tendency of his traducers to take him for granted. Those who take him for granted never exist on the political front to tell the story. He makes mincemeat of them via his deadly political punches. For instance, aware of the populist disposition of the Lam Adesina Alliance for Democracy (AD) government and desirous of making an inroad into the government of the time, Ladoja began the systematic tar-brush of the governor as an Ebira man. Before Great Lam could wake up from his defense that his great grandfathers’ umbilical cords were interred on Ibadan soil, Ladoja’s lie had metastasized in the consciousness of the people like cancerous cells. During the April 2011 elections, his group also spearheaded the campaign round the state against Adebayo Alao-Akala. They alleged he served school children poisoned bean cakes. The rest, as they say, is history. Right now, Ladoja is fighting a battle of his political life. Considering that at age 72 in 2015, he has the last chance to take a shot at the Agodi Government House. And so, he is desperate to hone his political skills and
THE TRUTH OF AN ARGUMENT IS INCONSEQUENTIAL IN LADOJA’S
TAR-BRUSHING PROPAGANDA make ample use of the wiles of his trade. But with his cousin, Ajimobi, he has struck a dead end. Undoubtedly, the most debilitating punch rained on Ladoja by Ajimobi is the construction of the Mokola fly-over in Ibadan. This fly-over is a tool to reduce traffic conflicts, reduce accidents, loss of lives and man-hour wastages within the vicinity. Hence, this fly-over is mindful of the historical import of the route and takes into cognizance the trajectory of the MokolaSango-Dugbe Road. When Ajimobi began the construction of the bridge, Ladoja realized the shine it would take off him, so he tried to appropriate it. On a radio interview, he told his audience that he owned the fly-over blueprint as it was one of the bridges he had dreamt of constructing. Assailed by the deluge of kudos to Ajimobi over it and the massive encomiums he is receiving for restoring the beauty of the state, Ladoja began his usual campaign of hate and calumny targeted at weakening the support base of the Ajimobi
government. His attacks are based on a quartet prong. One, that the fly-over is substandard. Second, that its price was inflated and third, that it was not necessary. On a different level, he attacks the government as not having a human face for, in his words, removing traders from markets without alternatives. Even though the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State sees the weakness of Ladoja’s arguments as unbecoming of an engineer, it failed to see the Ladoja’s gambit in totality. The truth of an argument is inconsequential in Ladoja’s tar-brushing propaganda. Ladoja’s mischief is most vivid on the cost of the fly-over. Deploying his manipulation instincts he put the cost of Ibadan flyover as N2.9 billion and a longer in Abeokuta at N1.5 billion! Let me make these observations. First, before the award of the construction, the Oyo and Ogun governments never came together to compare notes and as such do not have same bill of quantity. Second, the Ibadan bridge goes with several ancillary furniture, while that of Abeokuta does not have them. These are 500mm water mains of steel pipes of about 2km, as the old water pipelines were replaced. Moreover, there is a 1.2 kilometer road network that was rehabilitated and widened beside the Ibadan bridge which is included in the costing, as well as the cost of relocation of NEPA (electrical) and telecommunications facilities. Also included is the cost of compensation for demolished
buildings and beautification around the flyover. Not done, Ladoja has intensified the campaign to paint Ajimobi’s government as inhuman due to its removal of street traders. He cited the example of the Bola Ige government which relocated traders from Old Gbagi to Old Ife Road. Again, the Ladoja disinformation is that Ajimobi never relocated traders from any market but street traders, for whom he has constructed an ultra-modern shopping complex and is still building more. But, the question to ask Ladoja is, while he was governor and he pulled down shops, did he construct any in replacement? To achieve the aim of acting as the dissembler of the panegyrics heaped on his cousin, Ladoja has sent his henchmen to the streets; mechanic workshops and the nooks and crannies of the state, on a mission to tar-brush the governor and odorize him. For this, he made up with a major hatchet man of his successor and sent him on the errand of achieving this in the media. But why would a man who should be a statesman embark on such Samsonic pulldown-the-house campaign that can be likened to the proverbial Yoruba rat which vows that rather than it not having a bite of the cowpeas, it would rather scatter the beans tray? Hassan teaches Literature-in-English in a secondary school at Monatan, Ibadan
Of Nigeria, America and China YUSHAU A. SHUAIB
t the time President Goodluck Jonathan was visiting China, his American counterpart, Barak Obama, was rounding off his tour of selected African countries. At the same time, a new book, “Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s Last Frontiers Can Prosper”, was released. Authored by Kingsley Moghalu, a Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria, the book highlights major causes of African underdevelopment. When it comes to image-building, a national leader must rise up and project the dignity of his country in the comity of nations without being too overzealous or confrontational like the late Muammar Ghaddafi of Libya, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Apart from the undisclosed politics behind the Chinese tour, President Jonathan, who led a multi-sectoral high-powered delegation comprising influential cabinet members, chieftains of industries, governors and politicians to the Asian superpower; he later discussed investment prospects with top executives of several Chinese conglomerates. The success of the tour is underscored by Jonathan and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, signing five bilateral agreements on financial, trade, economic, technical and cultural relations that could expand Nigeria’s domestic manufacturing capacity. The pertinent question is if Nigeria is now tilting more towards the Asian tigers rather than its traditional western allies. Moghalu’s book points out that the entrenchment of so-
cialism in Asia and capitalism in the West do not really matter as most countries practise different types of capitalism. He noted that state capitalism is practiced in China; crony capitalism in Russia and to some extent, Nigeria; welfare capitalism in Europe and entrepreneurial capitalism is practised in United States of America. The author insisted that Nigeria must develop its clear worldview based on fundamental understanding of globalisation and identifying and protecting its core national interests. He also warned African leaders against turning their countries into destination of consumers of the products of globalisation. Nigeria is a strategic partner to both America and China, the world’s biggest economies. A recent report in The Guardian of London disclosed that “China’s GDP per capita is $9,100, whereas the US boasts a figure of $48,900. There is also an extreme contrast in their respective current account balances - the US has the world’s largest deficit burden, while China has the world’s greatest budget surplus. In its series of exclusive interviews with top diplomats in Nigeria, the Economic Confidential magazine published interviews with US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence P. Mc Culley and his Chinese counterpart, Ambassador Deng Boqing in November and December 2012 respectively. The two top diplomats in the separate interviews agreed that Nigeria has enormous internal and huge regional market for foreign investors. They also admitted that one of Nigeria’s most important resources outside oil and gas, is its energetic, dynamic and diverse people who have re-
THE AUTHOR INSISTED THAT NIGERIA MUST DEVELOP ITS CLEAR WORLDVIEW BASED ON FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING OF GLOBALISATION mained together despite speaking over 250 different languages. While McCulley explained that the US assistance to Nigeria exceeded $600 million with an investment portfolio of more than $5 billion, the Chinese ambassador told the same magazine that the accumulated Chinese investment in Nigeria exceeded US$10 billion while its non-financial direct investment was $8.7bn as at December 2012. Nigeria is the fifth largest crude oil supplier to USA, but its crude oil export to China is relatively lower, constituting between 1 and 2% of its total crude oil export. Meanwhile, it is the fourth largest trade partner to and the second largest export market for China in Africa. In 2011 Nigerian farmers exported 1.1 million metric tonnes of cassava chips to China. The United States supports Nigeria’s national priorities, especially internal security. Apart from supporting the health sector in containing malaria, eradicating polio, and helping millions of Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS, through USAID, the American government has an agro-sector program called MARKETS, which supports farmers needing technical assistance. It is
also committed to assisting Nigeria’s efforts to reforming the power/energy sector. On the other side, China’s wide range investment covers sectors such as petroleum, free trade zone, iron and steel, agriculture, manufacturing, pharmacy and mining. It has offered to establish three petroleum refineries in Bayelsa, Kogi and Lagos states and is railway rehabilitation, power generation, telecommunications projects as well as the provision of houses in Nigeria. While America is deeply involved in democratic or political processes in many countries, China is more concern with business interests, especially in developing countries. As the second largest economy in the world with its foreign reserve exceeding $3 trillion, China has enormous capacity to invest outside its shores. Its increasing investment in Africa is influenced by the reluctance of traditional economic partners such as US, Europe to invest in the continent due to their debt crises. Moghalu in his book warns against turning Nigeria or Africa into the ‘last frontier’ for economic exploitations. To get round it, he posited aggressive infrastructure provisioning in the power and education sectors. Shuaib, firstname.lastname@example.org, wrote from Abuja Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Strike threat by health workers
ince early last year, the Federal Ministry of Health and its Labour and Productivity counterpart have been battling with rivulets of sweat in their bid to stave off a nationwide strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU). JOHESU is constituted by unionised workers in the nation’s health sector other than medical doctors. They include the Medical and Health Workers’ Union (MHWUN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nigerian Union of Pharmacists (NUP), Senior Staff Association of Universities’ Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes, and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASUEAI), Allied Health Professionals (AHP), physiotherapists, etc. They had threatened a nationwide strike last April if their 10-point demand from the Federal Government were not met. Among the demands were the promotion of their members from the Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS) 14 to 15; implementation of 2008 job evaluations report; review of retirement age to conform with that of their counterparts in the universities; implementation of the Justice Abdullahi Bello’s Presidential Committee Report on Harmony in the Health
Sector submitted to the FG in 2011; and reconstitution and equitable representation of other health professional associations and unions in the hospital management boards. We recall that the National Chairman of JOHESU, Dr. Ayuba Wabba, had claimed that whereas the union and the FG reached an agreement on May 10, 2012 for these issues to be implemented on or before July 31, 2012, no such thing happened, despite a 15-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Ministry of Health that led to a three-day warning strike between February 21 and 23, 2013. Along the line, however, reports said the Minister of Labour and Productivity referred some of JOHESU’s demands (skipping CONHESS 10 salary grade; non-payment of specialist allowance; issues of consultancy status for allied health professionals; and call duty allowance re-negotiation) to the National Industrial Court (NIC) for adjudication in September 2012. President of the NIC, Justice B.A. Adejumo, in his ruling on Monday, July 22, 2013, “ordered the implementation of Shift Duty, Call Duty and other allowances for members of JOHESU but dismissed the union’s reliefs on the National Health Bill”, according to reports. Penultimate Sunday in Abuja, JOHESU again threatened the FG with a 21-day ultimatum to comply with the court
August 13, 2010 The MV Sun Sea, a Thai cargo ship tracked by multiple countries from June 2010, docked in CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada, carrying 492 Sri Lankan Tamils. It was intercepted off the coast of British Columbia on August 12, 2010. Escorted by Canadian authorities, it docked at CFB Esquimalt on August 13 with 492 Sri Lankan refugee seekers on board, some with possible links to the violent group, Tamil Tigers.
THE FG SHOULD NOT CAUSE BAD BLOOD AND STOKE INDUSTRIAL STRIFE IN THE HEALTH SECTOR BY PLAYING A SET OF PROFESSIONALS AGAINST OTHERS order or risk a massive industrial action in the health sector. No tangible response, to public knowledge, has come from the Federal Ministry of Health or the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity on the latest development. If, indeed, it is true that JOHESU and the FG reached an agreement on May 10, 2012 on the implementation ‘on or before July 31, 2012’ of the demands at stake, the government ought to have explained in very clear terms the reasons why it repudiated the agreement. And if the assumption is that the delay in the implementation was occasioned by some grey areas which the FG wanted cleared by the NIC, the July ruling by the industrial court seems unambiguous, especially when it was the government that dragged the matter to the court. It is immoral and dishonourable for the FG to be notorious for non-fulfilment of agreements.
ON THIS DAY
August 13, 2004 About 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees were massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi. The Tutsi or Abatutsi are an ethnic group in East Africa. Historically, they were often referred to as the Watutsi, or the Wahuma. They are the second largest population division among the three largest groups in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu (largest) and the Twa (smallest).
First, it was the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), followed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); and now JOHESU. While just one month might be considered too early to hold the government responsible for disrespecting the court’s order or the non-implementation of portions of the purported agreement supported by the court, the Federal Ministry of Health and its sister, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity should not be seen as playing the ostrich by pretending that no agreement ever existed, let alone the NIC ruling of last month, as appears to be the case presently. Special Assistant to the Health Minister (Media and Communication), Dan Nwomeh, was quoted as saying they were yet to be notified about the court ruling, for instance. Likewise Isiaka Yusuf, the Chief Press Secretary to the Labour Minister. The FG should not cause bad blood and stoke industrial strife in the health sector by playing a set of professionals against others. What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. For its part, JOHESU should demonstrate restraint and maturity. If it can bear the injustice till date, it should be able to tarry a while to have the matter properly sorted out, especially in view of the NIC ruling.
August 13, 1964 Peter Allen and Gwynne Evans were hanged in England for the Murder of John Alan West. They were the last people executed in the United Kingdom. John Alan West was a 53-year-old laundry van driver from Seaton, Cumberland, England. He was murdered on April 7, 1964. Forty-eight hours after West’s murder, Gwynne Owen Evans (24) and Peter Anthony Allen (21) were arrested and charged with the crime and were eventually executed.
Alliance, mergers: Way forward for African carriers -Experts
Moving insurance sector forward with NIA, IMF partnership 37
Tuesday, August 13 , 2013
Poor power supply: Electricity consumers switch to solar
resident Goodluck Jonathan was not pleased with the state of the nation’s power sector when he got the mantle to preside over the affairs of the nation in 2010. After much contemplation, Jonathan stated in the nation’s power sector that: “My appraisal of the sector over the past few years has revealed that the factors that affect reliable electricity service delivery in Nigeria include the absence of a sustained and deliberately deployed long term power development strategy under exploitation of our abundant energy endowments and the absence of adequate and unknown implementation of reforms. The president thereafter constituted two committees to fast track the resolution of all issues pertaining to power sector. These included the Presidential Action Committee on Power and Presidential Taskforce on Power. The Presidential Action Committee on Power has the responsibility to provide leadership and guidance and to determine the general policy direction and strategic focus of power reform, the committee meets weekly while the Presidential Tax force on Power is the engine room for the day to day planning, and it is charged with the responsibility of developing and driving forward the action plan of the Nigerian power sector, with achievable targets, especially with refer-
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Despite efforts of the Federal Government in the past few years, the supply of electricity remains epileptic in many parts of the nation with consumers experiencing also massive exploitation from Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs. UDEME AKPAN who has been following the trend reports that many consumers have started to switch to solar.
Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-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) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)
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IRS Solar panel
ence to the areas of Power generation, transmission, distribution, as well as fuel to power. The president maintained that: “I have declared that on the attainment of stability in the sector, the government will disengage from generation and distribution of electricity in the country. Government will encourage the private sector participation in these areas. Therefore, as articulated in the electric power sector reform act, the private sector will be responsible for generation and distribution, while government will still own the transmission grid, but with private sector management. We are in the process of commissioning independent
power producers, international oil companies to produce at least 5,000 megawatts of new capacity. These plants will begin production in 2012 and 2013. Government will provide the credit enhancement that will enable them invest in the construction of the power plants. Jonathan also stated that: “The key factor to realising government goals in the power sector is appropriate tariff regime. The tariff on electric power in our country today is much lower than what is paid in countries across the West African sub region. The present tariff regime will be adjusted in line with government’s determination to provide reliable electricity to the
consumers but this will be done in a way that it will not affect ordinary consumers. Investigations showed that some achievements have been made in the past few years. For instance, efforts have been made to increase the nation’s electricity generation from less than 2,000 megawatts, mw to the present over 4,000mw which is still 8,000mw less than the nation’s estimated 12,000mw national demand. Arrangements have reached an advanced stage to handover the nation’s 15 Electricity Generation Companies, GENCOs and Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs to
Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
CRR: Lending rate increases by over 5%
Expatriate quota abuse linked to high unemployment
Cumbersome approval, titling processes stunt real estate growth
Business & Finance
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Poor power supply: Electricity consumers switch to solar
MD PHCN, Lambo Husien
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 preferred bidders who are expected to manage them better and deliver more electricity to consumers. More than that, concerted efforts have been made to improve transmission through the engagement of Manitoba Hydro International to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria. Despite these and other feats, the government has not yet met its set targets in the sector. Power supply remains low at over 4,000mw against 12,000mw estimated demand. Many consumers lack electricity meters. Consequently, the DISCOs continue to give them crazy bills amounting to between N10, 000 and N15, 000 per month whether they have supply or not. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has not been mute. Recently, the Commission issued a 14-day ultimatum to DISCOs, requesting them to submit a list of all customers who paid for meters since January 2011, and commence metering them with immediate effect. Specifically, the Dr. Sam Amadi –led Commission expressed its utter dismay that all DISCOs have been in complete violation of the order as it relates to customers who have made payments within the given time frame, and have not been identified for immediate metering. NERC had earlier in the year issued an Order on CAPMI – Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation. CAPMI was a response by the regulator to address the lingering issue of non-issuance of meters by the electricity companies. However, while awaiting these and other issues to be solved, many consumers have taken to the use of solar. The Chief Architect, GoSolarAfrica, Mr. Femi Oye stated that: “Many consumers have already shifted from the use of public power to renewable, especially solar because of some advantages such as low technology cost, wider service coverage, short and simple trainings required for efficient operations. Oye who puts the rate of adaptation to solar at 37 per cent in the past three years (formerly 5-7 per cent) attributed it to
BY USING SOLAR ENERGY AS OUR FUTURE SOURCE OF ENERGY, WE CAN AVOID THE CRISES AS WELL AS MEET NIGERIA’S IMMEDIATE ENERGY NEEDS. THE APPLICATION OF SOLAR CAN BE BROADLY CLASSIFIED INTO TWO CATEGORIES; (A) THERMAL ENERGY SYSTEMS WHICH CONVERT SOLAR ENERGY INTO THERMAL ENERGY AND (B) PHOTOVOLTAIC
ENERGY SYSTEMS THAT CONVERT SOLAR ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY other factors such as confidence building on the reliability of solar in the nation. Low cost of components, especially solar panel and battery. For instance, he stated that solar panel which used to be N1, 000 now cost only N300 per wax. He stated that the lightness of equipment which requires low transportation cost, community resource mobilisation and community management of the decentralised energy system also promote social integration. He maintained that: “By using solar energy as our future source of energy, we can avoid both the two crises as well as meet Nigeria’s immediate energy needs. The application of solar can be broadly classified into two categories; (a) thermal energy systems which convert solar energy into thermal energy and (b) photovoltaic energy systems that convert solar energy into electrical energy. Oye who has spent his entire life assisting consumers to maximize the use of solar stated that the shift to solar would not have been possible without the efforts of two Solar Energy Research Centres at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. As he puts it: “Efforts at both Centers and other Solar Energy Research Laboratories resident in other Nigerian universities and polytechnics have been geared at designing absorptive surfaces for the effective harnessing of solar radiation. The solar expert who believed the bold steps would go a long way to eliminating BlackOut in Africa stated that the devel-
opment would assist to clean the environment, stem global warming, strengthen the energy grid, and support national security and energy independence, while enabling consumers to become energy independent. He counseled potential consumers to make use of competent consultants to avoid making regrettable mistakes. For instance, Oye stated that: “CarbonCredit Network pays for, installs, owns and operates the Solar Home System (SHS). All you do is pay for your monthly electricity usage from your panels. Your contract rate for this electricity is based on the outcome of your energy audit + your average carbon footprint for your utility during the prior year. We “lock in” this rate so that it never goes up for the entire duration of the contract, up to 10 years. We give you back your power, you produce your own electricity, and you keep the savings every month. He remarked that no upfront equipment investment. No waiting for discount or solar to become cheaper. Oye stated that CarbonCredit Network obtains all permits and handles engineering, procurement, and construction. He maintained that consumers only pay for what is delivered. Oye stated that: “After you sign up for a no obligation account on our CarbonCredit Network and activate your account to receive your welcome carbon offset pack, a demonstration that you are a Carbon Neutral Citizen. Your
Carbon Offset Pack contains a tradable Solar lanterns, Energy Saver Lamps and Clean Cook Stove - These can be used and share with others or re-sell to low income house-holds, helping them further reduce carbon and green house gases. He explained that: “Solar energy begins with the sun. Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic, are used to convert light from the sun, which is composed of particles of energy called “photons”, into electricity that can be used to power electrical loads. Light from the sun is a renewable energy resource which provides clean energy, produced by solar panels. Solar panels can be used for a wide variety of applications including remote power systems for cabins, telecommunications equipment, remote sensing, and of course for the production of electricity by residential and commercial solar panel systems. Oye maintained that: “When deciding to use solar the following are to put in consideration - How much power you consume, How many hour of direct sunlight the panel will receive, make inventory of all electric appliances you use, estimate the number of hour your equipment will run on batteries in a day, add up all the wattage, purchase the solar panel that suites your wattage ratings and divide the total appliances wattage by 5 to get the solar panel wattage to be used.” This approach seems to be appropriate. An Uyo-based consumer, Mr. Godwin Etuk who used the approach to get his solar installed stated that with the massive importation of solar components from different parts of the world, especially India and China, the prices of components have crashed substantially. He remarked that this makes solar affordable to many consumers now than in the past. Etuk who called for local production of local components to further reduce the cost stated that solar is gradually becoming a reliable source of energy and that the DISCOs may have to work harder to attract and retain the loyalty of this class of consumers in the coming years.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
CRR: Lending rate increases by over 5% UDO ONYEKA
ank lending rates have risen by up to five per cent since the Central Bank of Nigeria, increased the cash reserve requirement for public sector deposits to 50 per cent as it moved to curtail the liquidity surfeit in the system. The cash lockdown had so far removed about N1trillion from the banking system and banks have hiked interest rates on existing and new loans to cover up for losses that would arise for their inability to trade with the kept funds. Interest on deposit rates have also gone up as banks compete for funds in the market to shore up deposits. Former President of Chartered Institute of Bankers, CIBN, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, said it was natural for interest rate to increase on the heels CRR hike. Speaking to National Mirror Unegbu, a former Managing Director of defunct Citizens International Bank, said banks would want to use the funds left for them after the cut to make
L-R: Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo; Manager, African Development Bank Institute, Prof. Temilade Abimbola and Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Gambia, Mrs. Oumie Samba, at the regional workshop on Islamic Bonds for Infrastructure Development in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
profit, adding that the law of demand and supply would set in, as the same of borrowers would now go after less fund. Unegbu, who said that the liquidity gap created at the money market, would also affect the capital market, as investors seek alternative instrument of investing and borrowings, also said interest rate increase is ex-
Jumia sacks 187 staff within 2 years –Investigations ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
eading e-commerce firm in Nigeria, Jumia.com has sacked 187 out of 200 workers engaged since it opened shop in 2012, sources told National Mirror. The online retailer, which marked its second anniversary a few weeks ago is said to have within its first year of operations hired about 200 employees and fired about 187 of them while it now engages temporary staffs as a cost saving measure. In an attempt to consolidate on funding, Jumia.com was said to have sold a major equity to Rocket Internet, a global e-venture company, which afterwards laid-off about 50 workers of Jumia.com which was then compelled to resort to outsourcing support functions. Also, following the merger of other e-ventures under Jumia.com, some staffs were also reportedly sacked, all within a year. However, the CEOs of the Africa Internet Holding, which controls Rocket Internet, Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, told National Mirror that the information was not correct. “The numbers are false. In the past one year, only one per cent of our over 500 employees resigned. We employ more than 1,500 people
in nine African countries. Jumia alone has over 500 employees scattered around in six cities – many of them under the age of 30 and most important 95 per cent are Nigerians. We were looking for these local top notch experts for the last year and we hired them mainly from top universities. “Now, we take care of everything we do directly in Lagos – whether it is marketing, customer’s services, logistics, sales, operations and IT. We are deeply committed to provide the best environment for every employee,” Hondara and Poignonnec said in a joint e-mail response to National Mirror. Also, the Public Relations Manager of Jumia.com, Mr. Afam Anyika refuted the mass sack at Jumia.com. “This is exactly untrue. Our sales have not dropped. We are concentrating more on consolidating with our partners to grow the business. On the issues of engaging temporary staff, it is untrue though we have interns working with us on that basis but we have about 500 staffs permanently working for us,” told National Mirror. Meanwhile, while celebrating its first year anniversary two weeks ago, Jumia unveiled plans to move into its 90,000 square foot warehouse located in Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, just a month after it raised $35 million in funding from Millicom.
pected to be temporary as thing would normalise in due cause. National Mirror gathered that the liquidity gap, which analysts had predicted to result in a 3-4 per cent spike in interest rates, has actually risen to over 5 per cent. According to Mrs. Razia Khan, and economist at Standard Char-
tered Bank, raising the costs associated with public-sector liability mobilisation, encourages the banking sector to raise deposit rates to compete for other, nonpublic, liabilities,” adding that deposits rates will go up as banks resume fight over deposit liabilities”.
The former CIBN President was of the view that the increase in interest rates prompted by the MPC decision, will occasion rise in bond yields, coupled with appreciation of the naira, “will make investment in Nigerian fixed income instruments more attractive to foreign investors. Consequently this will enhance increased inflow of foreign portfolio investment into the economy.” Similarly, analysts at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited said the increase in interest rates due to the funding gap created would however make interest rates in Nigeria more attractive relative to its emerging market peers. “This we project would result to an increase in hot money of approximately $1-2 billion. Hot money inflows into Nigeria were estimated at $12bn in Q1’13, which has declined to a current estimate of $10 billion”. Also, analysts at the Ecobank Group said the indirect tightening of monetary policy would lead to a rise in the cost of funds.
CPC urges FAAN to review N2,000 luggage charge OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has protested the reported attempts by officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to force passengers arriving the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to pay a N2000 charge on all checked-in luggage. According to a statement by the agency spokesman, Mr. Abiodun Obimuyiwa, CPC Director General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki in a letter to FAAN, has advocated urgent review of the luggage charge policy in the interest of airline passengers. She added that since the new service charge came into force,
there had been public outcry against its indiscriminate implementation. Faulting FAAN’s position on the matter, the council said, “It is worrisome that while FAAN, as monitored in the media, is saying that the N2000 luggage charge was not imposed on all passengers, but strictly on cargo agents, who use passenger planes to transport their cargo at the airport, passengers, who are not cargo agents, have complained about being indiscriminately charged for their checked-in luggage by FAAN officials”. Blaming the situation on “the seeming inexistence of proper guidelines that clearly differentiate a “cargo agent” from an ordinary passenger”, CPC stressed that FAAN should “review the implementation of the N2000 (Two Thousand Naira)
luggage charge, in order to clearly delineate and adequately sensitise the affected group. Apart from that, the council also urged the airport authority to put in place a seamless implementation framework that would not pose any problem to ordinary consumers of air transport services. Atoki said, “It is a core tenet of market liberalisation that producers and service providers would at all times ensure transparency and fairness in the marketplace by putting in place clear terms and conditions for products and services, orientating their officials/agents on their interface with consumers, educating consumers on products and services and giving them adequate notice for anticipated changes in operational environments.”
S&P rates Skye Bank ‘B/B,’ issues stable outlook DAMILOLA AJAYI
tandard and Poor’s (S&P), has assigned ‘B/B’ counterparty credit and ‘ngBBB/ ngA-2’ national scale ratings to Skye Bank Plc. A statement from the bank yesterday quoted the rating agency as saying that the stable outlook reflects the bank’s business and financial profile which it said would remain broadly unchanged over the next 12 months. It also forecasts that the positive economic prospects in the country will further support
the bank’s earnings growth. “Our ratings on Skye Bank reflect its anchor of ‘bb-’, as well as our view of its moderate business position,moderate capital and earnings, moderate risk position, average funding, and adequate liquidity”, the statement said. S&P said the bank has a modest, but profitable franchise, which accounts for about five per cent of the Nigerian market, with a little over N1trn ($6.9bn) in assets. “We view Skye Bank’s overall funding and liquidity as adequate. Similar to peers in Nigeria, the bank is largely
funded by customer deposits, which accounted for 70 per cent of the total funding base. Deposits are remarkably stable, despite their contractually short-term nature”, the agency noted. While noting the bank’s plan to issue debt in 2013 to lengthen its deposit maturity profile and liquidity gap, the agency said the bank also has huge investment in government securities. According to the agency, the bank is moderately capitalised, with a Standard & Poor’sriskadjusted capital ratio, before adjustments, of 5.5 per cent as at December 31, 2012.
Business & Finance
PenCom indicts PFAs over non-remittance of N9.6bn MESHACK IDEHEN
he National Pension Commission (PenCom) said it has observed the violation of the code of corporate governance for pension fund operators (PFAs) as issued by the commission, and that about N9.6 billion has not been remitted into the workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA). A statement by the commission on Monday said the compliance report showed some inconsistencies on the part of Pension Fund Administrators, (PFAs) which included un-reconciled and un-credited contributions that amounted to N8.367 billion and N1.29 billion.” PenCom said it discovered about 146 cases of unpaid benefits
that had earlier been approved by the commission and wrongful debit of N39million on some RSAs by a Pension Fund Custodian, adding it, had forwarded compliance letters to the concerned operators on the listed inconsistencies. According to the commission, other issues include non-implementation of commitments made during examinations of operators; violation of the Pension Reform Act, 2004; violation of regulations, guidelines, circulars, and framework; and non-issuance of statements of account and Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) to customers by some operators. The need to ensure the safety of pension assets, fair returns on investment and sustainability of the industry, according to Pen-
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 Com necessitated the need to proactively regulate and supervise the industry in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the PRA 2004. PenCom said during the third quarter of 2012 that it observed some irregularities in the risk management reports submitted by operators, some of which included unprocessed benefit applications and un-credited contributions by a PFC; discrepancies between contribution schedules and the payment instruments forwarded by some employers; delay in the payment of retirees’ benefits and non-compliance with the fund accounting guidelines by some operators. Another challenge the commission said it observed, was in the area of information communication technology (ICT) in core application software, servers and other support equipment, “letters had been sent to the affected operators to address the issues”, the commission explained.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nigeria emerges winner of 2013 SAGE World Cup
igeria has emerged winner of the 2013 edition of Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) World Cup. The weeklong competition, which featured participants from eight countries out of the 11 that were scheduled to partake in it, was concluded Sunday night in Abuja. America, Canada and Ukraine had opted out of the SAGE competition organised in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and other Federal Government agencies due to security challenges in the country. Nigeria has won the SAGE World cup seven times by consistently defeating countries like the USA, Russia, China, Singapore, Canada South Africa, Great Britain and Ghana among others. SAGE is a global, non-profit
organisation aimed at advancing youth entrepreneurship and community service around the world, emphasising ethical business practices, social responsibility, civic engagement and environmental awareness. The SAGE World Cup is an international entrepreneurship competition where teenage entrepreneurs from around the world showcase their innovative business and community service projects to a panel of judges. Nigeria, represented by the Junior Secondary School Jikwoyi, Abuja took the lead in the Social Enterprises Business (SEB) category while China came second as South Africa came third and Ghana took the fourth position. Also, Nigeria also represented by University of Calabar International Schools came second in the Social Responsibility Business ((SRB) Category.
Chinese firm, senator partner on drug plant in C/River RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
L-R: Delta State Commissioner for Oil & Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah; winner of N1million in the ongoing Glo “Recharge to Stardom” promo, Pa Julius Okomayin and Edo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Louis Odion during the prize presentation ceremony in Lagos at the weekend.
Foreign airlines criticise FAAN over relocation of offices OLUSEGUN KOIKI
oreign airlines operating into the country have kicked against the relocation of their offices to the third floor of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. The President of Association of Foreign Airlines Representatives of Nigeria, AFARN, Mr. Kingsley Nwokoma told aviation correspondents over the weekend that the action was wrong and not in the interest of the foreign operators. He explained that stakeholders were not carried along by the authority before ordering them to relocate their offices to the third floor of the airport. He also decried the dilapidating state of the avio bridges at the international airport and challenged FAAN management to
replace them soon, emphasizing that the infrastructure was an embarrassment to the nation despite the ongoing remodelling exercise. He said, “We are not happy, we are not carried along and we feel it is not acceptable and government should know that without the core stakeholder’s in this industry, nothing moves. If today, the airlines decide collectively that we have an issue and we are not coming in, everybody will sit up and questions will start coming up.” “If you look at the avio bridges, they are still the old ones there, we have had in the ‘80s, they are leaking; they are not in good conditions. We expect that those avio bridges should have been changed with a lot of innovations going on around the airport, but the reverse is the case. Commenting on the security challenges in the country at large and the airport in particular, Nwokoma called for the
installation of Closed Circuit Television, CCTV, Cameras in strategic places within the airport environments and equally agitated for proper illumination of airports at night especially at the air side. “Yes, agreed, the minister is doing well, but the safety issues must be tackled first because it is when the safety issue is tackled that we can be talking of remodelling and others.” He noted that the cargo ramp apron can no longer accommodate more than three wide bodied aircraft because the ramp apron was constructed years back and called for expansion of the apron to ensure that aircraft come in and leave on schedule. He also blamed the management of FAAN for the situation at the cargo area of the Lagos airport and called for the automation of cargo activities, just like in other developing and developed aviation industries around the globe.
rrangements have been concluded between Senator Patrick Ani and a Chinese drugs company to build gigantic $1bn (N155bn) alternative drug manufacturing company in Cross River State. The Senator, who Calabar, said the pharmaceutical company was targeted at creating 30, 000 direct and indirect jobs for youths in the state and the South-South region. He hinted that the plant will be located at Akpabuyo Local Government of the State, stressing the drugs will be produced with international best standard. He said the drug has been in roots and herbs form, but will be converted to capsule form to
make it more affordable to low income earners who may relevant health problems. Ani assured that apart from messages of commendation from Nigeria public, the Chinese firm has gone through a laboratory test on the efficacy of the roots and has expressed satisfaction with the African root in curing disease. The former senator said the drugs to be produced include remedies for prostate enlargement, weak libido and immune system boosters as well as products that could reduce the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. According to him, the plant would achieve a dual purpose of producing enough for local consumption as well as for export to other African countries, Europe, Asia and America after the gestation period.
Bayelsa retiring civil servants cautioned over dupes EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd.) has cautioned retiring civil servants in the state civil service to be wary of individuals who would approach them on how to invest their retirement benefits. Jonah reminded that quite a number of retirees had fallen victims to such fraudulent persons who come up with supposedly brilliant ideas on,y for them to lose their entire benefits. The Deputy Governor spoke in Yenagoa while declaring open a three pre-retirement workshop organized by the office of the Head of Service for civil servants who will retire this year from the service.
While advising the civil servants not to be apprehensive about retirement, Jonah noted that retirement was an opportunity to commence a new phase of life and also a moment to identify new challenges in life. He said: “I congratulate the civil servants that are due for retirement after serving the state meritoriously .Some of you may still be called upon by government to serve in various capacities even after retirement.” In his comments, Lead Consultant of Patkairos Consult, Dr. Patrick Okpah, who organised the workshop said the event was academic and would also deal with psychological issues, stressing that a number of retirees had to deal with emotional challenges such as writing of wills and management of estates.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Expatriate quota abuse linked to high unemployment Aided by unscrupulous elements in all tiers of government and supported by large and medium scale corporations, foreign workers are arriving into Nigeria under different guises and putting more pressure on local job seekers. Meshack Idehen reports.
n spite of the advantages inherent in allowing large numbers of expatriates into the country, this is now taking its toll on jobseekers, as foreigners remain the preferred applicants in the labour market.
Moreso, expatriate quota abuse, which stakeholders said is mostly noticeable in the manufacturing, oil and gas, telecommunications and commercial sectors, may have also crept into other sectors of the nation’s economy, thereby compounding Nigeria’s unemployment woes. The proprietor of a private secondary school in Lagos who wished not to be named told National Mirror that the efforts of the Federal Government to tackle unemployment stand the risk of failing, unless a major step is taken to resolve the issue of expatriate quota abuse in the nation’s economy. She said the issue until recently has never really bothered her, explaining the scourge has swiftly and silently crept into the country’s educational sector as foreigners are now junior and senior teachers, Montessori, pre-school and crèche experts and even principals and administrators in almost all the leading private schools in Lagos and across the country. According to her, “Foreign expatriates from Europe, India, South Africa and Ghana especially have taken over most private schools in various capacities. It is now a status symbol amongst private school owners to have expatriates as principal and teachers despite the abundance of highly qualified teaching professionals in the country”. In the same vein, other analysts said the same scenario is playing out in the maritime, automotive and some other sectors where majority of those that are usually on board vessels working in Nigeria, for instance, are expatriates. Some of the foreigners, the analysts maintained, take advantage of the Nigeria’s porous borders to make their way into the country, while others use official entry points under the guise of being expatriates with skills not available in Nigeria, with the authorities looking the other way. These developments, they insisted has increased the unemployment level amongst employable Nigerians, while nations like the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand are the better for it. Making reference to the 1963 enabling Act of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which made provision for the employment of foreigners in areas where Nigerians are lacking the required skills as obsolete and retrogressive, the President of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Mr. Anthony Nted, said expatriate quota abuse is directly linked to unemployment, particularly amongst Nigeria’syouths. He said since 1963 when the law that empowered the NIS to issue business permit and expatriate quota to foreigners in order to ensure effective transfer of technology to Nigerians and eventually indigenise the position occupied by the expatriates, there has been no monitoring and there has been no technology transferred to Nigerians in whatever form. Nted lamented the law has been abused as foreigners can now be seen at construction sites, factories, autosale outlets, telecommunications and maritime companies doing semi-skilled and even menial jobs that should have been reserved for Nigerians in order to reduce unemployment in the country. “They are even competing with market women and men in the open markets now”, he added. Decrying expatriate quota abuse and blaming it
Minister of Interior, Abba Moro
EUROPE, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA AND GHANA FROM
ESPECIALLY HAVE TAKEN OVER MOST PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES. IT IS NOW A STATUS SYMBOL AMONGST PRIVATE SCHOOL OWNERS TO HAVE EXPATRIATES AS PRINCIPAL AND TEACHERS DESPITE THE ABUNDANCE OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHING PROFESSIONALS IN THE COUNTRY largely for the unemployment crisis ravaging the country, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said it is concern over the influx of foreigners and the unemployment challenges it produces. Its Director-General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said the abuse is worse in Lagos State where foreigners, according to him, has taken over jobs where Nigerians had competencies, saying the government needs to check the trend because many of the expatriates, when compared to some unemployed Nigerians lacked qualifications to work in the country and they get paid high wages The LCCI boss said also that government efforts at creating jobs would be in vain if the trend was allowed to continue unchecked. In the aviation sector, the story is similar, as the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff of Nigeria, ATSSSAN said they are poised to challenge the trend, and are ready to partner government to tackle some airline operators over abuse of expatriate quota. President of NAAPE, Mr. Isaac Balami, decried the situation, saying the aviation sector like other sectors had been taken over by foreigners, while its Nigerian members remain jobless. He said the use of expatriates has drained the resources of the sector while foreign maintenance organisations are gradually taking center stage in the industry even when the country has local capacity. “Abuse in expatriate quota regime means that
there are Nigerian pilots and engineers roaming the streets because foreigners have taken the jobs they are qualified to do. There are huge disparities between salaries paid to Nigerians and that paid to foreigners, which makes Nigerian pilots and engineers second class in their own country,” he said. According to him, moves by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB to ensure expatriates working in the Nigerian oil and gas industry undertake biometric registration as part of conditions they must fulfill before their organisations can secure expatriate quota approvals should be hastened, and not limited to that sector of the economy alone.. It would recalled that the NCDMB has long said it will capture details of all foreigners working for operating and service companies in Nigeria on the electronic platform – Nigerian Content Joint Qualification System, NOJICJQS being operated by the Board in a bid to grapple with expatriates quota abuse and deal with unemployment. NCDMB Executive Secretary, Ernest Nwapa, said “The registration will help the board evaluate the skills of the expatriates and confirm that such skills are not available locally in the industry. It will also assist the board to electronically track the numbers of expatriates in the industry, their length of stay, compliance with provided succession plans and expected date of exit”. As for the construction industry, few Nigeria workers left in that industry said they are urging government’s intervention in the abuse of the expatriate quota by many companies and employers in the country. Speaking jointly under the auspices of the National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers, NUCECFWW, they lamented that the implementation of the quota is not in tandem with the Nigerian Content Development Act, which states that Nigerians should be considered first in any employment before foreigners or expatriates. President of the union, Oba Samuel Adeoye and General Secretary, Mr. Babatunde Liadi, told National Mirror that they had, on several occasions, urged the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to ensure that there is need for expatriates in any company before granting work permit to any foreigner, and that the government should step up efforts to check the influx of expatriates into the country. The sector leaders explained that the understudy clause in the Nigeria expatriate quota law be respected, while many of the companies should comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Development Act, as employment generation is one of the greatest problems facing the country.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Tips for maintaining productivity
ome of the best strategies for improving productivity involve changes that can be made in the way both owners and managers run a company. Here are some strategies recommended by experts and entrepreneurs to help maintain productivity. Send less email---About 53 per cent of workers waste one hour a day because of distractions such as email, according to a recent survey by online market research firm uSamp. That might not seem like a lot, until you consider that this easily amounts to about 250 hours of wasted time a year. “When companies and bosses are in the habit of overusing email, it devastates productivity across the board. Empower employees to skip meetings---Many workers complain that meetings are sucking up much of their time, leaving few opportunities to sit at their desk and, for instance, write a report, or engage with clients. However, they feel they have
little control over how they spend their days because their company culture makes it hard to say “no” to meeting invitations, even when their role is minimal. Tell your team: “If you want to say no to a meeting, I’m going to give you permission to do that, and I’ll have your back.” Then, don’t hold it against them if they occasionally want to opt out of a meeting you’ve planned, so they can get a project done. “We need to allow people to protect their time. Let employees hunker down-- The productivity of some employees in a firm almost doubled when it started to allow a team of, say, two web developers or two marketers work in tandem on a project at the same desk and same computer for two days a week with no interruptions, It forces everyone to stay on task. The workers take scheduled breaks to check email and phone messages, so they aren’t incommunicado. If you must hold a meeting, stick to the allotted time---To
avoid late starts, avoid scheduling meetings close to the morning rush hour, when transportation delays are often beyond employees’ control. Insist on “hard starts” and “hard stops” for meetings, so they don’t expand to fill half of your employees’ day. Improve your document management---A recent survey found that workers spend an average of 2.5 hours a week trying to find documents they need in their inboxes, file servers, cloud storage and other places. One way to minimize the time that team members spend searching for digital files is to store them in a centralised location, such as Microsoft SharePoint or Drop box.Use a universal filing system, so everyone is filing in a similar manner. The more you minimize petty distractions, the greater are the odds that you’ll find enthusiastic volunteers for a new project you want to get rolling. Source: yahoojobs.com
Applicants waiting to be interviewed
IPRC urges employers to take time to hire MESHACK IDEHEN
he Director General and Chief Executive of the Institute of Professional Recruitment Consultants, (IPRC) Nigeria, Mr. Nick Odife, said employers and recruiters must take time to hire new employees because recruitment is not all about filling jobs that are currently vacant. He said instead that recruitment is a continuous, long-term investment to build a high quality workforce capable of accomplishing the organization’s mission now and in the future. In a statement, Odife said selecting job applicants to interview, drafting good interview questions, and ultimately deciding which person to hire can be a daunting chal-
lenge, saying an effective and efficient hiring process is essential to the employers’ personal and business success. According to him, employers must hire people who can put forth their company’s positive image while performing with accuracy and efficiency, because their trained, conscientious employees are their most valuable assets. The IPRC president added that a thorough review of applicants’ backgrounds is also essential to the hiring process and the recruiter’s subjective evaluation of how well their personalities and work ethics will fit into the operation is also important. “The hiring process requires a lot of time spent reviewing job applications, going over details presented on resumes, mapping competencies, short-listing, filtering,
carrying out psychometric tests and interviewing candidates to decide what technical, communication, and personal skills they can bring to the company. Time invested in careful hiring procedures will save time in the long run by helping you avoid a bad hire.” He explained if Nigerian recruiters, or outsourced recruiting agencies, are not skilled in behavioural hiring techniques, it is predictable, over time, of what is likely to happen in terms of the company’s performance. “IPRC Nigeria believes that by using more skilful, behavioural interviewing methodology, a talented recruiter can dig deeper into a person’s background, determining the more subtle and even more important aspects of a candidate’s ability to perform in a given job.
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pening available vacancies for this week is positions from a secretariat being opened within the financial service regulator to be based in Abuja. Some of the available post are, the head of secretariat, a strategy coordination manager and a data manager who will support the implementation of a financial service programme for the low income population and perform the data gathering, analysis and management functions. Interested and qualified applicants should visit the recruitment page of HCP Website at www.hcp-ng/resourceng for more details. A company in the FMCG products segment said it is interested in filling vacancies for openings that includes those for a safety and environmental manager, an assistant safety and environmental manager, a quality assurance manager and a market research officer. Other positions on offer are for an administrative officer, production and mechanical engineers, human resource manager, regional sales manager, van sales supervisor, marketing manager and a brands manager. Most of the openings are based in Agbara, Ogun State, while interested applicants are advised to send curriculum vitae to FMCG Recruitments at PMB 40001, Ikoyi, Lagos. From Multichoice is a Lagos based vacancy for a systems broadcast engineer who is expected to make outputs in the areas of products service, programmes and information. The incoming is also expected to ensure world class operations and maintenance of the outside broadcast service to ensure quality service delivery to customers. Full details of requirements, qualifications and job specifications can be sent to tohrservicesng@ multichoice.co.za. A nutrition specialist, whose job description includes collaborating with R/D in developing commercial viable innovations and patent development is needed by a vibrant and fast growing manufacturing company in Lagos. Qualifies and interested applicants are urged to send details and their curriculum vitae to email@example.com From www.findjobafrica. com is the post of a Management Accountant who is to be based in Lagos. The requirements includes
to prepare, examine, and analyse accounting records, financial statements, and other financial reports, handle treasury and payroll management, maintain, forecast and analyse budget and be involved in the preparation and posting of accounting journals, including accruals and prepayments Qualifications needed are a university degree in accountancy or related degree ,minimum of 5 years work experience in similar position, proficiency in using latest accounting applications like peachtree, sage, quickbook, SAP and knowledge of MS Office suite of applications with advanced excel skills is an essential requirement. Good communication, numerical skills, analytical skills are also necessary. Still from www.findjobafrica.com is the position for a Marketing and Sales Manager expected to be based in Lagos. The incoming sales and marketing manager is to formulate and implement marketing strategies to maximize customer acquisition, brand visibility and profitability, Drive new product development strategies to achieve a diversified and competitive portfolio, Increase market share of the company’s products to agreed targets and Achieve and deliver overall budgeted profitability. Others are to manage team and individual performance through regular reviews, give suggestions on product brand and market analysis on each product. Source and develop clients’ referrals and maintain an awareness of all company products, promotions and advertisements Qualifications are a university degree in marketing, business administration or related discipline MBA would be an advantage. Minimum of 5 years work experience in online retail marketing Experience with technology and the internet especially e-commerce, good people skills with the ability to communicate effectively are also essential. A finance and Accounting Manager is also required by a Lagos based company (www. findjobafrica.com) Responsibilities are monthly reporting; quarterly reporting and year-end closing and reporting to the headquarters and group management in Germany. Accurate bookkeeping in accordance with the Nigerian legislation as well as group accounting guidelines.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Real Estate & Environment
Cumbersome approval, titling processes stunt real estate growth Block of flats at 1004 Estate, Victoria Island , Lagos.
The seemingly slow growth of the real estate sector has been attributed to many factors by experts; chief among them are the cumbersome planning approval procedures and title registration processes, which discourage major investors. DAYO AYEYEMI reports.
igeria’s real estate sector has a lot of potential considering the nation’s housing deficit of about 17 million units, shortage of shopping malls and trading centres and acute infrastructural deficiencies. Despite these potential and efforts of government to reposition the sector, activities in the real estate sector have remained low barely four and half months to the end of 2013. Asides the well-known funding issues, experts in the sector have put the blame squarely on cumbersome planning approval and title documentation processes. Currently, Nigerian real estate sector accounts for less than 2.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the International Finance Corporation recently put the estimated size of the housing deficit in Nigeria at about $600 billion. Bemoaning the slow growth of the sector, Managing Partner, Archi Text Design Associates, Mr. Olufemi Shodunke, attributed the seeming lull in the real estate industry to many causes, especially the delay by various government regulatory agencies in-charge of planning approval processes and issuance of Certificates of Occupancy (C of
O). Expressing disgust over the bottleneck procedures associated with the grant of planning permit and issuance of C of O, he said, “If you want to develop any property, you need to go through hell to get your title and planning approvals. If you develop the property on land not properly titled, you are running a risk.” “Securing planning approvals is another problem people go through as it may take, depending on the magnitude of the project, 6 to 12 months to get your permit. “To get your title, some people spent 18 to 24 months.” Shodunke said in other climes, real estate is seen as a serious index to promote economy. ‘‘According to him, apart from near
easy building approval process in the developed countries, affordable mortgage system has remained a tool to promote home ownership among their citizens, adding “this is not the situation in Nigeria’’. He stressed the need to look at the real estate sub-sector of the Nigerian economy and fashion a way to speedy up
IF YOU WANT TO DEVELOP ANY PROPERTY, YOU NEED TO GO THROUGH HELL TO GET YOUR TITLE AND PLANNING APPROVALS. IF YOU DEVELOP
THE PROPERTY ON LAND NOT PROPERLY TITLED, YOU ARE RUNNING A RISK
processes of building plans approval by the appropriate planning authorities. Former chairman, Lagos Chapter of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Makinde Ogunleye, remarked that bottleneck approval and title processes still remain a major problem to real estate growth in the country. He said title documentation is still difficult to come by in Lagos and other states, adding that the procedures for granting it have been very cumbersome. “At times it takes 6 or 12 months. You know investors want to have a timeframe for their projects but this is difficult due to delayed approval process,” he said. Besides, he also bemoaned the absence of infrastructure development, attributing it to low pace growth of the sector, urging the government to invest in infrastructure expansion so that investors would not need to bother themselves on the provision of road, electricity and water supply. To ease cumbersome procedures of planning permit, Ogunleye advised that the building approval process should be done by the local planning authorities, saying they are directly involved in the preparation of the plan. He said, “Governors and commissioners should stop granting approval but give the responsibility to the local planning authorities” “Government should make access to housing easy by ensuring that the mortgage system is revitalised. It should also invest in infrastructure development to revamp real estate sector.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 25
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Ogun govt plans Abeokuta City Centre DAYO AYEYEMI
f plans by the Ogun State Government see the light of the day, Abeokuta will be the delight of everybody including foreigners. The state government is already collaborating with a Malaysian consulting firm Urbanisma, to come up with a world class master plan for Abeokuta City Centre which would be first of its kind in Nigeria and in Africa. Disclosing this to jour nalists, the state Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Daniel Adejobi, said the city centre would be a source of affection that would attract local and foreign investors. Adejobi further pointed out that different business units such as shopping mall, hotels and relaxation centre would be situated under separated buildings. He said, “The plan would be of 60-storey building and the project CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 In a recent interview, the Managing Director, UPDC Plc, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, said land titling has remained the greatest problem faced by the players in the real estate sector, lamenting that the current legal framework did not guarantee title to land at any time in the transaction chain. He explained further that in the absence of an indefeasible title to land, developers, financiers, buyers and investors are exposed to high risks. The situation, he said was worsen by the provisions of the Land Use Act relating to the Certificate of Occupancy. He also decried the consent provision of the Land Use Act, saying, “Laudable as the provision may be for town planning purposes, various state governments, in the unmitigated drive for revenue, lay ambush for applicants for consent to collect numerous fees ranging from consent to stamping, registration, taxes and levies. “In some cases, the consolidated perfection cost may be as high as over 20 per cent of the capital value of the property.” He said the permitting and approval processes were largely ambiguous and the rules were ever changing, pointing out that with multiple regulatory bodies involved in the processes, they became complex. Recently, in demonstration of its resolve to fast-track the processing of building plan applications, the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority cleared a backlog of 581 building plan applications within five days. The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, who made the disclosure, said this had shown that it is possible to process building plan approvals within a short time. Ayinde enjoined members of the public to submit their plans for approval through the appropriate channels and refrain from seeking short cuts, as the
First overhead bridge in Abeokuta. Inset: Amosun
would be handled by professionals in such a way that the outcome would attract indigenes abroad to come home, as this would increase
the standard of living of the people.” He further disclosed that the centre would be described as a modern
city centre inside an ancient city which would be situated along Prison Way, Ibara, Abeokuta, down to the old government secretariat.
Cumbersome approval, titling processes stunt real estate growth
Afolayan, Redan President
GOVERNMENT SHOULD MAKE ACCESS TO HOUSING EASY BY ENSURING THAT THE MORTGAGE SYSTEM IS REVITALISED. IT
SHOULD ALSO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT TO REVAMP REAL ESTATE SECTOR ministry was now better positioned to speedily process building plan applications. He said obtaining planning approval before the commencement of construction was critical to quality of life in terms of urban planning and development, and the ability of the government to easily provide services in wellplanned areas with approved buildings. Also recently, built environment professionals decried the delay in processing building plans approval by the La-
gos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. They described the delay as the greatest obstacle to urban development in the state. The professionals, who brainstormed at the 2013 edition of Lagos Architects’ Forum maintained that delays in approving building plans had adversely affected the delivery of projects to clients. The Chairman, Practice Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Architects,
Mr. David Majekodunmi, who moderated the “Roundtable on Global Best Practices in Planning and Building Approval Processes,’’ session posited that the delay in processing building plans and charges demanded by the state government have slowed down development of built environment in the state. Narrating a personal sordid experience with the approving ministry, Majekodunmi said it took him about two years to process a building plan. He further alleged that the charges demanded by the ministry are usually higher than the cost of a plot of land in some cases. Buttressing this allegation, Majekodunmi said one of his clients who owns a property on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, was charged N2 million for processing his building plan. According to him, in some cases, the property in question could be an inheritance from the family which cost might not be up to the charges being demanded by the planning authorities in the state. He therefore called on the state government to put in place a process whereby approval of building plans is fast tracked for timely delivery of building projects. “The certificate of occupancy (C of O) is a document usually issued by state governments in Nigeria to individuals and organisations confirming that they have right to a particular piece of land. “A Certificate of Occupancy is an important document you must have at hand to be able to claim compensation whenever government wants to claim an area for development purpose. The C of O can also used as collateral for obtaining bank loan. When it comes to land and property transactions, most property buyers will normally ask for the C of O document to determine if the land or property is genuine or not. As important as the Certificate of Occupancy document is, you will be surprise that most property and land owners in Nigeria don’t have it”, he said.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Okagbare’s feat, a new dawn –Nesiama 30
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I think the Bafana are ready for Super Eagles. It’s going to be an interesting game in Durban –Former South Africa’s captain, Lucas Radebe
Heartland fires Coach Nduka
L-R: Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke, Chigozie Agbim and Sunday Mba arriving at their hotel in Durban, South Africa, yesterday.
eartland Football Club’s coach, Ndubuisi Nduka, has been fired after a poor run of results, officials announced yesterday. The players have also been placed on half pay. On Sunday, Heartland lost 1-0 at home to Kwara United. The Owerri-based side has now asked two assistant coaches, Bob Acholonu and Mbwas Mangut, to take charge of the team. “The management has asked two assistant coaches, Bob Acholonu and Mangut Mbwas, to be
in charge of the team temporarily following the suspension of Coach Ndubuisi Nduka’s led crew due to poor performance,” Team Media officer, Cajetan Nwokpara, told MTNFootball.com the action taken by Fan Ndubuokeled management. “Negotiations are ongoing in an effort to employ a new technical adviser for the team. The players have also been placed on half salary.” He added, “The decision was taken due to failure of the coaches to meet the 12-point target from five matches set for the team.”
Mandela Challenge: Eagles have last work out for Bafana EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
uper Eagles yesterday settled in at their Southern Sun Maharani Hotel in Durban, after earlier arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa, for tomorrow’s Mandela Challenge match against the Bafana Bafana. Coach Stephen Keshi and his technical crew led four home-based stars - Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwueke, Sunday Mba and Godfrey Oboabona – to South Africa and met on ground foreign-based stars, who had arrived earlier. Team Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, informed National Mirror that only three players, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Fegor Ogude, are expected to join the team this morning for the match slated for the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban tomorrow. Among the early arrivals were late call ups, James Okwuosa and Gege Soriola, who are both based in South Africa. Also in camp ahead of the team from Nigeria were Obinna Nsofor, Elderson Echiejile, Uche Nwafor, Efe Ambrose, Ogenyo Onazi and Brown Ideye. By afternoon time yesterday, Newcastle United striker, Shola Ameobi, strolled in along with stand in skipper, goalkeeper Austin Ejide.
…Mikel, Moses in today
Ameobi said he was happy to rejoin his teammates after missing the last Nations Cup that Super Eagles eventually won. “Am so happy to be back with this set of players who always show me love and care and I promise from now on to always give my best to the team,” Ameobi said. Eagles had their first training beginning at 6:30pm yesterday and will train at the same time today. The match will kick-off at 7:15pm tomorrow. Earlier on arrival at the Oliver Tambo International Stadium, Johannesburg, Coach Keshi urged Nigerians to pray for good health for the players. “Nigerians should pray for the boys to be in good health; if they are in good health they will be able to give Nigerians what they like to see, which good football is,” Keshi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Despite the friendly nature of the match, Keshi stressed that the match bordered on prestige. “Every match is important for us, especially against an important opponent like Bafana Bafana and every match we engage in is very important. “So we won’t travel six hours from Nigeria to South Africa not to
be committed to victory.” Bafana Bafan have not won the Mandela Challenge since 2009 when they beat Norway and they have a particularly poor record against the Super Eagles, with just one win from seven matches. Their only in 2004 when goals from Shaun Bartlett and Benedict Vilakazi saw Bafana to a famous 2-1 win over Nigeria in Johannesburg.
…Okwuosa ready to shine IKENWA NNABUOGOR
uper Eagles’ latest invite, James Okwuosa, has vowed to prove his mettle and convince Coach Stephen Keshi for future callups should he get a chance to play against the Bafana Bafana tomorrow. The 22-year-old Chippa United central defender was a late minute invite alongside Free States Stars’ central defender, Gege Soriola, as a cover for injured Chelsea defender, Kenneth Omeruo. Okwuosa, who was on short holiday in Nigeria
when he was called up, was one of the early callers at the Durban camp yesterday. Okwuosa, who was not aware of his invite until the news was broken by his wife, said he was delighted his time has finally come and promised he would be at his best to justify his inclusion. “I was surprised and at the same time grateful for Keshi and his assistants for this great opportunity I’ve really longed for,” Okwuosa told National Mirror exclusively. “This is the time for me to show what I can do and I’m optimistic I will shine if
I get the chance. I will be at my best to fight for shirt but the final decision rests on the coaches. He added, “It has always been my dream to play for my country but I have always believed my time will come considering my age. I’m still very young and I’m delighted the chance has finally come and I will not let the great chance slip.” Okwuosa was first spotted by ex-Eagles coach, Shuabu Amodu, while playing for Lobi Stars in 2009 and was invited for the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique in Abuja.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Alves dreams Luiz partnership
arcelona fullback, Daniel Alves, would love to be joined at the Nou Camp by Chelsea defender David Luiz after the Spanish club had an offer for the player turned down by Chelsea last week. “I would be very happy if David Luiz came to Barcelona,” Alves said. “I always want the best for my friends and I recommend them to go to Barcelona whenever the opportunity arises. David is not only a friend, but also has a lot of qualities. “The problem is I do not think Jose Mourinho will let him join us. “It would mean that he makes us even stronger. It is incredibly difficult, almost impossible.”
Clint Dempsey made his Seattle Sounders debut last weekend as his new club beat Toronto FC 2-1 at BMO Field. “There has been a lot of talk, a lot of speculation, a lot of media stuff for me but what I enjoy is being on the field and playing,” Dempsey, who last played for the club in 2004, said.
Eto’o enters Blues’ radar
helsea Manager, Jose Mourinho will soon unite with Russia club Anzhi striker, Samuel Eto’o, who is desperate to change club. According to reports, Mourinho is looking at making a shock move for Eto’o should Chelsea fail in the bid to land want away Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. The Blues had been confident of prising England international Rooney away from Old Trafford after United new Manager, David Moyes, insisted he would be second striker behind Robin van Persie. But with the EPL champi-
Kayode nears Croatian contract
eports yesterday said Croatian club Hadjuk Split is open to sign Flying Eagles beleaguered striker, Olanrewaju Kayode, after his proposed move to Tunisia’s Esperance crashed last month. Kayode was set to join Esperance only for the move to be scuttled by a five million Euros release clause as the player and his Germanybased agent Emeka Ezeala therefore left Tunis without signing a contract. Hadjuk Split could well offer the former Asec Mimosas star striker a lifeline even though his handlers
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are demanding for an improved deal from the top Croatian club. “His agents want an improved Hadjuk offer, both in terms of transfer fee and the player’s salary,” a source informed MTNFootball.com Three players have so far signed for foreign clubs from the team to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Chidi Osuchukwu has joined Sporting Braga in Portugal, Umar Aminu has signed for Turkish club Samsunspor and Alhaji Gero has linked up with Swedish side Osters IF.
on putting a wedge between Rooney and the exit door, however, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may have lost his patience for the burly forward who is currently in the national camp preparing for tomorrow’s friendly with . The situation has sensationally seen Mourinho turn to Eto’o with whom he enjoyed god relationship while he was gaffer at Inter Milan three seasons ago. Reports said the Cameroon international has engaged Anzhi in talks over a possible transfer as he nears end of his contract with the billionaire club.
AC Milan midfielder, KevinPrince Boateng, is confident overcoming PSV Eindhoven in their Champions League qualifier next week, as Milan faces a tricky tie to reach the Champions League group phase. “We are working well and the team is getting stronger every day,” Boateng said yesterday. “There are still almost two weeks before we have to take it seriously, so we are perfectly within the planned schedule,” the Ghana international said.
Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, says he’s happy at the club. Benzema has been linked with AS Roma and Arsenal this summer. “It’s the best club. I came to work and I’m really pleased to be here,” the France international said. “Now I’m a footballer and I’m living my dream.”
Barcelona winger, Cristian Tello, is delighted with his call-up to the Spain squad. Tello is in Vincente Del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s friendly with Ecuador tomorrow. “I’m the happiest man in the world,” Tello said, stressing, “For me it’s a dream come true as I have spent my entire life waiting for this moment. But it was a big surprise.”
Bradley Wright-Phillips will be available to play for New York Red Bulls next weekend, according to Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. The 28-year old English forward recently signed with the Red Bulls but is yet to have obtained his US working visa, restricting his eligibility to play Major League Soccer. “It’s an administration thing. It’s a process we think I’ll be resolved next week,” Roxburgh said.
How La Roja attaine
Former Spain captain, Fernando Hierro tire generation of Spanish players. The sented Spain at the World Cup in 1994 whole range of topics that include the viding insight on coaches Pep Guardio What’s the secret of the successes achieved by Spain coach Vicent Del Bosque whom you singlehandedly brought into the job? The key to his success is his intelligence. He’s blessed with so much emotional intelligence: he’s a man who’s great at psychology, someone who sees everything so clearly and naturally. For me personally, three years working alongside him was like going to university. Staying humble throughout, he’s built on the success Luis Aragones’ squad enjoyed in 2008, continued to win trophies and given the credit to the players, the federation and the previous coach. That’s what I mean by emotional intelligence. He’s also very adept at making decisions at crucial moments during games, as well as being a really great representative of Spanish football on the international stage. So, what do you see happening after Del Bosque’s reign ends? Well, Spain’s winning run has gone on for five years now. Nearly four consecutive years at the top of the World Ranking too, and that’s a lot! Looking at what other national teams have achieved, their golden periods haven’t lasted as long. There’s a very fine line between winning and losing. A penalty shoot-out win against Italy in 2008 may have changed the whole history of Spanish football and made us start going into games already feeling like winners. The players’ talent has also played a part too. I’m one of those who think it’s going to be very tough to replace this extraordinary generation of players. There’s no shortage of new players but, when you’re
talking abo European ing about th That’s alwa you go arou how much Spanish fo that was un
Have you fe crop of Spa I’ve neve ented gener team, positi tremendou they’re all world in the
Do you thin would have I don’t kn thought, bu ter defensiv Sergio Ram mean, two go up and shoot-out. central def team’s firs speaks volu ability.
Looking ba remember riod betwee and Barcel Vicente w ed in the g knowledge time, every out. Both s do that and the likes of Carles Puy no doubt th when it se would be m
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Toure clinches Ivorian award
ed winning height –Hierro
ro, was one of the undisputed leaders of an ene imposing former Real Madrid star, who repre4, 1998 and 2002, spoke to FIFA.com about a Spanish successes in recent years while proola, Jose Mourinho and Del Bosque.
out becoming world or champions, you’re talkhe very best in the world. ays hard to find. When und the world you realise admiration there is for ootball. Five years ago, nthinkable.
elt at all envious of this ain players? er seen such a hugely talration. If you look at the ion by position, we’ve got us players. What’s more, among the best in the eir roles.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
sorted out. There were also certain outside influences that didn’t help things much, but I’d rather remember how mature the players were. What do you mean by ‘outside influences’? People who spent all day asking what had or hadn’t been going on. Those outside influences were more interested in the media repercussions of it all than anything else. Personally, I knew that Vicente would be amazingly good at pulling the right strings, just as he always is.
nk Hierro in his prime e broken into this side? now, I’ve not given it any ut I doubt there’s a betve duo in the world than mos and Gerard Pique. I centre-backs who both volunteer for a penalty It’s not normal for two fenders to be among a st five kick-takers. That umes for their technical
Were you surprised by Pep Guardiola’s coaching success, having played alongside him for the national team? Not at all, he always thought like a coach. He’d come and join up with the national team and want to make us play the way he wanted. He’d live each game so intensely. He prepared himself very well for his coaching career. He is very intelligent and he always knows exactly what he needs to do.
ack, what do you about the turbulent peen Spain’s Real Madrid ona contingents? was intelligent and trustgroup of players, in the that little by little, over ything would sort itself sides looked for a way to d the maturity shown by f Xavi, Iker Casillas and yol did the rest. There’s here were odd moments eemed unlikely progress made, but in the end it was
Do you still stand by your opinion that Jose Mourinho managed to wield the greatest amount of power at Real Madrid? Perhaps, he’d say he didn’t have as much authority as he’d have liked. But everyone knows him perfectly, with regard to the work he did, his professionalism and the fact he took the team into European semi-finals. But Madrid is a club where you have to win and it’s a place that can wear you down– where people have a different way of thinking. Every club is different and Madrid is even more so.
eigning African Footballer of the Year, Yaya Toure, was yesterday named Cote d’Ivoire Player of the 2012-2013 season after winning 32 per cent of the vote from the country’s sport journalists and internet users. The 30-year-old Manchester City influential midfielder is followed on the list by Didier Drogba who raked 24 per cent of the vote while Swansea new signing Bony Wilfried finished third with 17 per cent. Arouna Kone, who joined Everton last month from Wigan, came fourth with 15 per cent while Gervinho, who won the accolade last year, gathered 15 per cent to emerge at 5th position. Toure is winning the Prix Sport-Ivoire for the third time after his successes in 2008 and 2009. Cote d’Ivoire will play a friendly match against Mex-
ico tomorrow at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, USA, with the Elephants captain Didier Drogba returning to the fold six months after he last played with the outfit at the AFCON finals in South Africa.
All Stars, Ajide mourn Fashola AFOLABI GAMBARI
he All Stars International FC of Lagos, a collection of former Nigeria internationals and other retired national footballers, has commiserated with Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) on the death of his father, Pa Ibrahim Ademola. “We received the News of his death with great shocks and sadness,” President of the All Stars, Ugo Ugorji, said in a statement in Lagos yesterday. “Papa was an honest man, who was also very unassuming and humble. He recognised friends of his son from a distance and treated them accordingly. We will miss him.” The All Stars team comprised two former presidents, Amanze Uchegbulam and Yomi Pearse. Others are Friday Ekpo, Lati Danmola, Godson Uti, Chucks Mbakwe, Francis Agbata, Raham Alarape, Muyiwa Olaofe, Mike Maiyaki, Marshall White, Uduak Evans Udoukpong, Sunny Joe, Olomo Tulagha, Famous Utakpowen, Dominic Mordi, Olumide Fawole, Morankiyo Fawole, Kelechi Egiogu, Sally On-
Late Pa. Fashola
yebuchi, Austin “Master” Nwokolo, Kyrian Ukah, Festus Ojinaaka, Kunle “Aroso” Salau, Femi Toki, Said ‘Eko’ Odeyale, Austin Amimodu, Ekpeyong, Ene Ita, Muyiwa Eweje and Saidu Yahaya Abdullahi. Former footballer and incumbent chairman of the Surulere Local Government, Hon. Tajudeen Ajide, has described the late Fashola as a fulfilled man who equally lived to see his son become two-term Governor of Lagos State. “As modest as he lived, he achieved greatly and has gone down as a supremely fulfilled man,” Ajide remarked while praying God to grant the deceased’s family the fortitude to bear the loss.
U.S. baseball scouts storm Nigeria
ecretary of the Nigeria Baseball and Softball Association (NBSA), Kehinde Laniyan, disclosed yesterday that U.S. Major League Baseball scouts, will soon arrive in the country for a two-day scouting programme. Laniyan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the programme would hold from September 7 to September 8 at the Adewole Park in Ilorin. He added that players from other neighbouring coun-
tries like; Benin Republic, Togo and Cameroun would also participate in the programme. “Scouts from Major League Baseball from the U.S. will be in the country to scout for players that will be given the opportunity to play abroad. Nigeria will be the centre because other countries from this region will also be part of the programme,” Laniyan said. He added that the selected players would go through another trial in South Africa to further test their ability in the sport and urged the players to take advantage of the programme to boost their career.
T/tennis: Quadri plays down ranking YEMI OLUS
ortugal-based Aruna Quadri y e s t e r d a y charged Nigerian players to ignore the ranking of some of the foreigners expected to feature in the first Lagos International Table Tennis Classics scheduled to smash off in Lagos next month. A, rules out the dominance of the foreigners, saying ranking does not matter in the game. “I have played with some of the world’s best players and one of the things I learnt is that only the one who claims victory will be rated high,” a confident Quadri told National Mirror. “Seeding and rankings do not win matches and I want to enjoin my colleagues to train hard in order to do well in the competition. “The fact that Egypt’s Assar and other top play-
ers are coming will not take the shine off some of us because we are also battle ready to face them.” Quadri, who won the Portuguese League with GDSR Toledos earlier this year, believes that Nigerian players can give their foreign counterparts a good run for their money if presented with the right opportunities. “Players like Assar have featured in most of the big tournaments in the world, while some of us hardly attend such events. It will be a tough competition for the foreigners and we will see the best in Nigerian players,” he said. The former African champion also lauded the organisers of the Classics, saying, “This is a sign of good things to come and I am particularly impressed with the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) board led by Wahid Oshodi.”
Tuesday, Tues essd e da ay, y, A August ug gust 113, 2013
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On n the track with
YEMI OLUS firstname.lastname@example.org
2013 World Championships Championships
Okagbare’s feat, a new dawn –Nesiama E
Bolt mulls C’wealth run
orld 100m champion, Usain Bolt, saids he is keen to make a first Commonwealth Games appearance in Glasgow next year. The Jamaican, who won his second world 100m title on Sunday, missed both the 2006 and 2010 Games through injury. But with no World Championships or Olympics in 2014, he wants to add another title to his list of honours. “On off-years I try not to stress myself too much but I’ve never been to the Commonwealths so that’s something I’m thinking about,” the Jamaican star said. “It’s always something good to add to the resume. Next year I’ll have to train hard and push myself. I’ll be on the circuit trying to run fast times,” he added. The athletics competition takes place from July 27 to August 2, 2014 at Hampden Park and the presence of the six-time Olympic gold medallist and 100 and 200m world record holder would be a huge draw for the event.
ncomiums have continued to be showered on the country’s female leading sprinter and long jumper, Blessing Okagbare, after she broke Nigeria’s 14-year-old medal drought at the ongoing World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The African record holder over 100m on Sunday evening cemented her reputation as one the world’s best jumpers when she made an impressive leap of 6.99m in her fifth attempt to clinch the silver medal behind American, Brittney Reese (7.01m) at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Technical Director, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, who spoke from the competition venue yesterday, stated that the federation would build on the success recorded in the World Championships. “Blessing’s feat is a good sign for a new beginning,” Nesiama said. “In addition, I need athletics loving Nigerians and corporate bodies to embrace the AFN’s strategic project ‘RIO 2016’ released late last year. It’s something that can work for us as a country as we hope to achieve more,” he added. A number of Okagbare’s colleagues also commended the African
long jump champion on the social media. “Blessing’s medal in the long jump has shown that athletes can become world beaters if they are invested upon; no matter their background. Congrats Blessing, more power and turbo speed,” one of them wrote. Former national hurdler, Orode Oyiki, also wrote: “Congrats Blessing Okagbare! You have done us proud! London 2012 seems ages ago now. We wish you more successes in the remaining events. God bless you and our nation.” By winning in Moscow, the 26-yearold Reese entered the history books by becoming the first woman to win a hat trick of titles consecutively in the women’s long at the World Championships. Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic followed Okagbare in third place with 6.82m. Earlier on the day, the Beijing 2008 bronze medallist led her heat in the 100m when she returned with a time of 11.03secs which was the third fastest time in the heats. After her long jump final feat, Okagbare, who is also expected to feature in the 200m and the 4x100m relay, said she was focused on brilliant outings in subsequent events.
Okagbare leaping to long jump silver on Sunday
Dasaolu gets Bailey tips
ritish sprinter, James Dasaolu, must adopt a gladiatorial mentality if he is to realise his potential, says double Olympic champion Donovan Bailey. The 25-year-old finished last in Sunday’s World Championships 100m final, after clocking 9.97 seconds in the semis, which was won by Usain Bolt. Dasaolu set 9.91 this year to become the second-fastest Briton of all time. “He needs to understand the gladiatorial mentality and adopt that very quickly,” Bailey said yesterday. Dasalou, who arrived in Moscow as the fourth fastest in the world on paper, had struggled with a tight hip flexor injury after recording his lifetime best at July’s British Championships and had not been seen on a track competitively until he lined up for the 100m heats in Moscow. The Briton scraped into the
semi-finals as a fastest loser after easing up before the line and missing out on third place which would have seen him qualify automatically. However, he ran the second quickest time of his career in the semi-finals to become the first Briton since Marlon Devonish in 2007 to make the 100m final. “James has to understand it is the marquee event and I guess he made the mistake of running 9.91 so everyone now knows who he is and he can’t hide anywhere,” Bailey added. “Ultimately he can’t have a defeatist attitude. There are a couple of Diamond League meetings left and I think he can actually go faster.”
…Team Nigeria eyes relay feats
espite Blessing Okagbare’s impressive performance so far, other members of Team Nigeria are yet to enjoy a lucky ride as they were eliminated in trickles. One of such is reigning women’s Commonwealth and African champion in the 400m hurdles, Ajoke Odumosu, who was disqualified from her event after beating the gun on Sunday. Odumosu was meant to compete in Heat 2 alongside world leader, Zuzana Hejnova, who led the pack with a time of 55.25secs. Compatriot Ugonna Ndu, who is making her first appearance at the World Championships, also crashed out of the heats, having placed a distant seventh with a time of 57.27secs. Former African champion, Hayat Lambarki, from Morocco failed to make it to the next round as she posted an unim-
AFN boss, Ogba
pressive time of 58.00secs. In the women’s 400m, defending champion, Amantle Montsho, put paid Regina George’s dream of making it to her first world championships final as she coasted home with 49.56secs while George was third in the same heat with a Personal Best of 50.84secs. Only the top two athletes from each heat in the semis and best two losers got a final
berth. Omolara Omotosho’s mark of 52.38secs wasn’t good enough to make it past the semis. It remained unclear at press time if Noah Akwu would run the 200m as his name was not listed in the IAAF entries. The quarter miler was also not listed for the men’s 400m. An official of Team Nigeria, however, contended that the country’s focus had shifted to the relays. “I won’t make any undue comment on the exit of some of our athletes from the individual events because we were not too optimistic of their chances at medal haul as their standards before the competition wouldn’t have allowed that,” the official said. “However, we have a good plan for them for the relays and this is our next main focus. We will also give them the psychological peps and support to excel.”
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Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Our involvement in Idimu’s Police Housing Estate –RemaxRealtors boss
onstructed on 11 hectares of land situated at Pipeline Road, Idimu, Lagos, the Police Housing Estate is designed to serve as post-retirement homes for its workforce and other senior civilian citizens, just like the Army, Navy and other paramilitary force have such schemes. Developed by RemaxRealtors in collaboration with the Police Cooperatives Association, 300 units of housing have already been completed in the estate within eight months. The estate had been commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan recently. Narrating her involvement in the project, Chief Executive Officer of RemaxRealtors Limited, Mrs. Adefunke Adesoji, explained that she keyed into the scheme at the point when it was being conceptualised, saying she became interested base on what her company and staff have passion for by adding values. She said after the foundation laying ceremony of the 500 units, the project tempo subsequently slowed down until it was re-energised by the Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar. According to her, the initiative is being driven by the Police Cooperatives Association and RemaxRealtors, disclosing that the latter is also handling other projects for the Police, some of which are: Agege Police Housing Estate, Police Housing Estate, Badagry, and Harvestville Estate at Alapere, Lagos. On finance arrangement for the project, she said, “The Police provided the land while RemaxRealtors sourced the funds for its construction. The company was only able to secure a N200m from a mortgage bank, the rest were from the firm’s purse and the Police Cooperatives.” A unit of 3-bedroom flat in Idimu’s Police Housing Estate costs N8million. Adesoji said there was an arrangement that 60 per cent of the estate would be sold to men and officers of the Police Force while 40 per cent would be offered to the public. She said, “The officers, after initial deposit would be paying in instalments over the period of their service year in
A block of 3-bedroom flat at the Police Housing Estate, Idimu, Lagos.
THE OFFICERS, AFTER INITIAL DEPOSITS WOULD BE PAYING IN INSTALMENTS OVER THE PERIOD OF
FORCE. HOWEVER, ANYBODY WHO CAN AFFORD ONE-TIME PAYMENT THEIR SERVICE YEAR IN THE
IS NOT PROHIBITED FROM HAVING INTEREST IN ACQUIRING THE ESTATE the force. However, anybody who can afford one-time payment is not prohibited from having interest in acquiring the estate.” Adesoji, however, reassured members of the public that they do not have any reason to entertain fear for purchasing the houses since there would be legally binding agreements on transfer of the
properties, pointing out that two organisations have already indicated interest. The two organisations are New Prudential Building Society that has indicated interest to purchase 54 units and Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Cooperatives buying 18 units. On high price tag on the housing units, she hinted that the Police Estate to be
PFAs seek ways to fund housing development
he Pension Fund Administrators are currently reviewing how their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders could be helped to build or buy their own houses, using part of their pension savings as collateral, the Managing Director of ARM Pension Managers Limited, Mr. Sadiq Mohammed, has said. He said PFAs are also concerned about what other stakeholders’ complaints and are determined to evolve ways of using pension funds for the development of critical infrastructure in the country. He stated that the industry has come together and is trying to address the issues raised by stakeholders. According to him, it has an initia-
tive on housing because there have been complaints around the industry that these funds are not being utilised meaningfully for economic development or to the benefits of the subscribers themselves. “Therefore, the industry came up with the initiative on how to fund housing or mortgages particularly, so that if you are an RSA holder, you should be able to use some part of your balance as collateral to secure a mortgage,” Mohammed said, adding, “This will be an exclusive product only for RSA holders rather than for everybody.” He said PFAs are also seeking to use the programme, when it takes off to attract employees of states and local governments to embrace contributory
pension. He said, “This could be an incentive for other states that have not complied to try to comply. For example, because Lagos State Government has complied, its employees should be able to benefit from this product when it comes on stream, whereas other states that have not complied will not be able to benefit until their state complies.” The ARM Pensions boss said RSA holders with his firm have access to mortgage facilities. “Within the group, we have a real estate business called ARM Properties Plc, so we are able to offer our clients real estate products such as low income housing at promotional prices when they are available,” he said.
built in Badagry which is designed as 2 and 3 bedroom bungalows would be comparatively cheaper and take care of the low income earners. For proper maintenance of the units, she said her firm is collaborating with the Police Cooperative on the need to entrench good maintenance culture, disclosing that FreeHold Services Limited has been appointed as the estate’s facility managers. The RemaxRealtors boss said, “The maintenance of the estate commenced from its conception; from knowing the land, soil test, determination of the type of foundation, fillings, stripes and grilling. As professional construction firm, maintenance is factored into architectural structures; all materials are tested and certified by the pertinent agency of Lagos State Government and University of Lagos to assure durability and stability of columns and pillars. “Beyond this measure, the estate will be regularly painted, regulated and monitored by the Landlord/Resident Association. An occupant can alter the interior but the exterior can only be altered with the express permission of all the authorities; the Police, developer and facility managers.” The Police Housing Estate is modelled after an estate in China, with car parks and play grounds. The interlocked floor is designed to allow for flowers and grass, and there are a lot of green area and trees. It is garnished with well constructed drainages that linked with a bigger, underground drainage constructed by the General Yakubu Gowon administration.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Many residents often rely solely on style and cost when select a new fan. However, experts at www.delmarfans.com say location, room dimensions and motor construction are among factors to consider when selecting a new ceiling fan
or many households, ceiling fans are as common as a tall glass of sweet tea. A ceiling fan produces a cooling breeze that allows residents to feel comfortable in a room while reducing energy cost year-round. Newer fan models integrate lighting fixtures, remote control features and are available in a range of designs and finishes stylish enough to be the focal point in a room. Owning a ceiling fan is an economical and eco-friendly way to cool and heat a home. Homeowners about to purchase
a fan can look forward to the following benefits: â€˘ Reduced energy use: Fans cool and heat a residence yearround at a fraction of the energy consumed by traditional air conditioning units. During the summer, the fan blades rotate in a counter-clockwise direction and produce a wind chill effect that makes a room feel up eight degrees cooler. Homeowners can raise the thermostat and save 40 per cent on cooling cost. During the winter, the fan blades rotate in a clockwise direction and push warm air accumulated near the ceiling down
to the floor. This allows residents to save up to 10 per cent in heating. This allows residents to reduce the use of air conditioning and heating devises. â€˘ Comfort: A ceiling fan creates a wind chill effect that makes a room feel up to eight degrees cooler without actually changing the temperature. This allows homeowners to raise the thermostat without sacrificing airflow and comfort. Residents are reminded to turn off the ceil-
ing fan when leaving a room as fan cool people, not rooms. â€˘ Savings: One of the primary benefits of owning a ceiling fan is the savings on utility bills. During the summer months, a ceiling fan cost an average $0.10 per day to operate while a typical air conditioning unit can cost an average of $3.00 to $5.00 per day to operate. A fan also reduces the cost of heating fuel during the winter months. Some residents
report an annual savings of $500. However, savings vary depending on location, home construction and cost of energy. When purchasing a new ceiling fan, homeowners must consider the benefits and multiple factors before making a decision. Some of the factors have to do with location, size, height, motor, blades, style, finishes, lighting, control and cost.
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Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Scientists discover new renewable energy technologies DAYO AYEYEMI
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
innish scientists have found a way to turn dead wood into high quality biofuel for less than one euro a litre. According to reports from Climate News Network, these scientists believe they can convert more than half the energy of raw wood into something that will drive a taxi, a tractor or a tank. Biofuels were long ago proposed as an alternative to fossil fuels. They are not exactly carbon-free, but they exploit the carbon freshly captured by plants so the carbon dioxide returned to the atmosphere was going to get back there anyway, from compost, leaf litter, food waste or firewood. In the years of agricultural surplus in Europe and the US, farmers embraced the idea as an alternative source of income; environmentalists cheered them on because large stands of trees, shrubs or grasses provided at least some fresh habitat for birds and insects as well as ground cover to prevent erosion; economists applauded because real estate was being used for some form of income. One new candidate for farmgrown biomass is the black locust – Robinia pseudoacacia – which in the US Midwest grows swiftly and puts on weight three times more lustily than the next
best species, and is now under test at the University of Illinois as a potential biofuel crop. But opponents argued that land needed for crops to feed an increasingly hungry world was being employed wastefully and promoted instead the idea of biofuels made from leftovers, from straw, corn husks, wood chippings, bean stalks, food scraps and so on. The Finnish solution, ready for commercial-scale production, says the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a good compromise for Finland, a country with a big timber business with a lot of waste, a very large forested hinterland, a very cold winter and a government that has endorsed the low-carbon economy by setting a target of 20 per cent of transport fuels from renewable energy by 2020. The VTT scientists and engineers reckon they can use pressurised fluidised bed gasification technology to deliver commercial quantities of methanol, dimethyl ether, synthetic gasoline and some of the lowsulphur hydrocarbons known as Fischer-Tropsch liquids. They tested the process in prototype plants in Finland and in the US. They will be able, they believe on the basis of case studies, to achieve energy efficiencies of 50 per cent to 67 per cent from bark and waste wood biorefineries and - if the surplus heat from the process is then
captured for district heating or other uses - raise the overall efficiency to 74-80 per cent. Bio-refineries with 300mw capacity could supply fuel for 150,000 cars at a cost of 58 to 78 euros per MWh, or 50 to 70 cents a litre. There is also encouraging news for the fans of not just the low-carbon economy but the no-carbon economy. Scientists at the University of MadisonWisconsin have devised a new and less costly catalyst that can produce hydrogen from water. The hydrogen, when burned with oxygen, delivers high levels of energy and a waste product that is entirely water.
Nigerian company, QMB Builders’ Mart, a onestop shop for building accessories, has secured the sole franchise to market all range of kitchen appliances manufactured by Fotile Kitchen Ware Company Limited, a multi-national company. The new partnership was struck by both companies after the Chief Executive Officer of QMB Builders’ Mart, Mrs. Toro Biobaku visited Fotile, following
recommendations by the former supplier. Narrating how the deal was struck, Biobaku said, “At the point of disengagement, the former supplier assessed all its distributors in terms of organisation, credibility, sales record and future plans to get the company that can best represent them nationwide. After looking at everything, vis a vis the potential of the product, who has the right value, then they approached us to take over from him and they recommended us to the Fotile signed exclusive franchise with us this year
the American Chemical Society that they used nanotechnology to put layers of molybdenum disulphide on graphite to make a semiconductor and then applied lithium to create a metallic material with unexpected properties as a catalyst. All these elements are relatively common. They say the new catalytic cocktail looks promising although not, as yet, as efficient a catalyst as platinum. But they are continuing the research. “There are many hurdles to achieving a hydrogen economy”, says Lukowski, “but the advantages in efficiency and pollution reduction are so significant that we must push ahead.”
Solar feeds technology bringing renewable energy to the grid
Builders’ Mart seals deal with Fotile to market kitchen appliances DAYO AYEYEMI
The catch has been that to make the reaction work reliably - and it certainly had to work reliably in the fuel cells devised for the Apollo moon landings and later adventures in space - the process was catalysed by platinum, a rare and very expensive metal. Catalysts are not themselves consumed in a chemical reaction, they just help it along. Even so, as long as fuel cells depend on platinum, they are likely to remain expensive toys, or energy sources reserved for high-cost, high-demand technologies. But Mark Lukowski and colleagues report in the Journal of
“Some kitchen appliances manufactured by Fotile include, hardware like kitchen-hood for extraction of oil and smoke; burners, microwave, oven, sterilisers, hotplates, among others. These appliances are suitable for our style of cooking with oil and fries. They are better than the EuroAmerican appliances that are not suited for our way of cooking,” Biobaku said QMB, she maintained has introduced lower prices for these products and is making good sales, which is the reason the company is looking for credible distributors nationwide. According to officials of Fotile, the company focuses on the production of high-end built-in kitchen appliances, and “dedicates to provide leading design, humanised kitchen technology and reliable quality high-end builtin kitchen appliances to those who pursue a high taste life.” The company is also environmentally conscious as it advocates healthy and green life-style, and lets millions of families enjoy more in their homes.
Increased confidence in Scottish property market as sales jump
roperty sales are soaring in Scotland, up over 8 per cent in the last quarter but prices are down 0.3 per cent, according to the latest official figures from the Registers of Scotland. The total volume of sales across Scotland from April to June increased by 8.1 per cent compared to the same period one year ago. This has been consistent with the previous two quarters, with Registers of Scotland figures now showing a gradual sales volume increase over the previous nine months. All property types showed an increase in sales volumes with Flats showing the biggest increase in sales volumes by 16.5 per cent. ‘It’s extremely positive to see an upturn in the market with sales volumes increasing by 8.1 per cent over the past three months. There have been some areas that have experienced a decrease, but with the total value of sales increasing by 7.7 per cent compared to the previous year, it’s an encouraging indica-
tor of improvements in the residential property market,’ said Registers of Scotland’s director of commercial services, Kenny Crawford. And although prices have fallen overall, he pointed out that across Scotland some areas are experiencing significant price increases. In particular, Aberdeenshire is performing well, with an average price of £215,589, this is a 5.6 per cent rise from the same period a year ago. East Renfrewshire recorded the highest percentage price rise of 6.2 per cent. However, prices in Argyll and Bute have experienced a drop of 11.9 per cent. Detached, semi detached and terraced properties all showed a decrease in average price with terraced properties showing the biggest decrease at 2.9percent. The average price for flats remained the same as last year’s quarter. Nevertheless, the average price of a residential property this quarter was £153,102 which is a decrease when compared with last year’s figures.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Dubai cautioned over new real estate bubble D ubai Emirate has been urged on the need to intervene in its property market to prevent another boomand-bust cycle of the kind which brought it close to default four years ago. Over-inflated Dubai real estate prices crashed by more than 50 percent in 2009 and 2010, triggering a corporate debt crisis which unsettled financial markets around the world. The economy and the property market are now recovering, but so strongly that the IMF worries another bubble could form - and because Dubai’s debt has continued to rise, it might have difficulty
coping with fresh instability. Harald Finger, The International Monetary Fund , IMF, mission chief to the United Arab Emirates, noted that by one commercial bank’s estimate, listed Dubai property prices soared 35 percent from a year ago in June. “It is too early to speak of a bubble, but should price increases continue to take place at this pace, action will need to be taken to prevent a bubble,” he said after annual economic consultations between the IMF and the United Arab Emirates. Last year the UAE central bank tried to introduce caps on home mortgage lending as a way to head
off another bubble, but suspended them after lobbying by commercial banks, which complained their business would suffer. The central bank is now negotiating revised caps with the banks, but Finger said that because much home buying in the UAE was done with cash rather than mortgages, the mortgage rules would need to be complemented by other measures. If property prices continue to surge, one suitable step might be introducing fees on real estate market activity, he told a media conference call. However, Dubai’s business success has been built on a low-tax
Dubai real estate
E-Waste shipment: NESREA hails conviction of two culprits in US OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has commended the conviction of two top executives in the United States of America for exporting e-waste to developing countries. The two executives of a US-based recycling company; Executive Recycling Inc, Tor Olson and Brandon Richter were handed 14 and 30 months’ jail terms respectively by U.S District Court Judge William J. Martinez for the act. In a statement signed by the spokesman of the agency, Mr. Sule Oyofo, the Director General of NESREA, Dr (Mrs.) Ngeri Benebo, described the two convictions as a welcome development which “further strengthens punitive measures against defaulters and will serve as warning to other exporters of e-wastes”. Benebo also warned that unscrupulous businessmen who bring e-waste into the country would be made to face the same music, stressing that the Agency is all out to prosecute anyone found to be engaged in importation of e-waste into the country. She urged importers of used elec-
trical/electronic equipment to ensure that they are duly registered with the Agency and should adhere to the Guide on Importation of used electrical electronic equipment into Nigeria. It would be recalled that until recently, Nigeria was a safe haven for importers of e-waste as unscrupulous business men and women shipped into the country, all manners containers loaded with end-of-life obsolete electrical/ electronics products into the country. With the advent of NESREA however, e-waste import had been brought to almost zero level in the country. Through the enforcement of the National Environmental (Electrical/Electronic
environment, and it is not clear whether the emirate would be willing to consider such a step. Finger said he had discussed the idea of fees with Dubai officials, who had replied that they might be considered but would need careful coordination with the rest of the UAE to ensure that Dubai’s competitiveness was not damaged. Dubai property developers, many of them linked to the government, have announced a string of massive real estate projects over the past nine months, including high-end housing, shopping malls and amusement parks - reminiscent of previous building crazes that included the construction of palm-shaped man-made islands and other highprofile projects. The Al Bayan newspaper, a UAE publication, calculated that if they all went ahead, the projects would require total financing of over AED666bn ($180bn). Finger said that since Dubai’s government-linked enterprises (GREs) were still saddled with debt from the last crisis, they would need to tread carefully to avoid being vulnerable if another bout of volatility in global financial markets hit the emirate’s property sector. “These projects increase business confidence, but they also call for prudent economic policies in order to prevent a possible buildup of a renewed boom-and-bust
cycle in the UAE.” In a report, the IMF said the total debt of the Dubai government and its GREs had risen $13bn to $142bn between March 2012 and April 2013, reaching 102 percent of the gross domestic product of Dubai and the UAE’s small northern emirates. Finger called that level “a source of concern”. The government’s debt rose $4.5bn as Emirates NBD , Dubai’s top bank, lent it more money. The concentration of ENBD’s loans to the government is high, raising corporate governance and risk management concerns, the IMF said. ENBD has said it is managing its loan book prudently and this month cut its estimate of non-performing loans this year because of a strengthening local economy. The IMF estimates that about $64 billion of debt held by Dubai and the GREs will come due between 2014 and 2016, some of it the result of debt restructuring deals done in the wake of the last crisis. A plunge in Dubai bond yields last year shows that financial markets believe the emirate will have little trouble repaying that debt. But the IMF said: “Although Dubai’s operating environment improved markedly, these large rollovers, particularly for the GREs, could still prove challenging.”
Investigation launched into UK quick property sale firms
he Office of Fair Trading in the UK has opened formal investigations into three quick house sale firms for alleged unfair practices that may have led to some customers losing tens of thousands of pounds. According to Property Wire, the announcement came as the OFT publishes a report on the sector, which found that quick house sale firms can be beneficial to consumers who need a fast, hassle free sale. These firms offer consumers a faster sale than might be achieved on the open market, with the seller usually agreeing to receive a below market value price for their home in return. Sales are usually 10 to 25 per cent below the market value of the property. The OFT found the sector to be dynamic and innovative, with some businesses dealing with customers in an open and fair manner. However, it also found that some firms risk giving the industry a bad name by using trading practices that may prevent customers from making informed choices when selling their home, or exploit their difficult financial circumstances. Some of these practices may result in sellers receiving significantly less than they were originally expecting. Examples are reducing the price offered at the last minute after the seller is
financially committed to the transaction and making misleading claims about the value of the property or level of discount to be applied. Some firms also have misleading marketing material that says a property can be sold in seven days rather than the more typical time of three to four weeks. There have also been examples of firms inducing sellers to sign long term exclusivity agreements that prevent them selling to other buyers, with severe penalties for breach of contract. A high proportion, some 70 percent of the complaints received about quick house sales came from vulnerable consumers who may be particularly attracted by claims of a hassle free service, with no viewings or hold ups. Older people, for example, may wish to sell their property quickly due to declining health, or home owners in financial difficulty may look for a quick sale to help reduce their debts. Others using quick house sellers include those disposing of an inherited property, or relocating due to a change of job or to emigrate. The OFT has also written to almost 120 providers advising them to check that their business practices and contractual terms comply with their legal obligations. Discussions are also underway with businesses in the sector on developing self regulation.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Alliances, mergers: Way forward for African carriers –Experts In a bid to avoid sudden death before 2020, experts at the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, conference, challenged carriers in the continent to form alliance, merger and equally charged governments in the continent to provide enabling environments for operators. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
frican airlines are faced with myriads of challenges. These challenges prevent them from competing with their counterparts in the globe. While some may argue that the unfavourable working environment for the continent’s carriers contributes to the crises confronting them, several other professionals attribute their closure of shops to unprofessionalism conducts among the players especially the airline owners. At the recently concluded 13th National Delegates Conference of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, stakeholders and professionals who gathered at the two days event said that unless the carriers in the continent especially in Nigeria merge or form alliances, they will continue to die in droves. The professionals also challenged the African governments to create enabling environment for private investors either in Public Private Partnership or in Build, Own Operate and Transfer, BOOT, scheme. They also agitated for reduced in charges collected from the airline operators. A presentation by the Managing Partner, Ernst &Young, Mr. Zemedeneh Negatu from the United States of America, with the theme: ‘The African/Nigerian Airline Industry: Safety, the Balance Sheet and Growth of the Industry,’ noted that 95 per cent of African airlines including South African Airways and many other Nigerian carriers are insolvent or in distress. Negate observed that “stand alone” policy was one of the major contributory factors to the death of carriers in the continent, emphasising that the airlines are too small to stay alone and challenged them to create “bulk” by merging or creating alliances to enhance their long term viability. He insisted that the days of stand alone by African airlines aiming to be long haul trunk carriers and flag bearers was no longer realistic, maintaining that the industry was too globalised, rapidly changing, highly safety conscience, highly regulated and too capital intensive. He said that for the carriers in the continent to remain in business, they required hundreds of new airplanes in the next 20 years, costing more than $70bn. He added that many global carriers were convinced that they were too small to compete on their own and therefore merged and insisted that even as stand alone carriers (European carriers), they were each several times bigger than all sub-Saharan African airlines combined. Among the mega carriers that merged are American-US Airways, United-Conti-
NIGERIAN AIRLINES ARE NOT MAKING PROFIT
AT THE MOMENT BECAUSE OF VARIOUS FACTORS.
IT IS IRONICAL THAT NIGERIA HAS THE RICHEST AND MOST VIBRANT AIR TRANSPORT MARKET IN THE CONTINENT, BUT ITS CARRIERS ARE COLLAPSING ONE AFTER THE OTHER
nental, British Airways-Iberia, LAN-TAM and Air France-KLM. He added, “There will probably be only three major airline groups in Sub-Sahara Africa by 2020 – Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Kenya Airways. Nigeria has the potential to create one or more major airlines but first, significant challenges must be addressed in the aviation sector in Nigeria.” Among the challenges in the Nigerian aviation industry according to him are poor airport infrastructures, which he said makes airline operations expensive in the continent. Also, he mentioned small airport traffic as some of the challenges militating against the growth of the sector, stressing that very few airports in Africa have 500, 000 passenger per year, which he said makes profitability impossible for the airlines. He also identified landing fees, overflying charges, ground handling fees in the continent as some of the challenges facing operators in the continent, stressing that charges in the continent are high when compared to that of the United States and Europe. He added, “Capacity of African based financial institutions in Public-Private Partnership, PPP, form should be developed to enable these institutions to serve Africa’s growing aviation sector. “African governments must either invest or encourage investment of sizeable percentage of their gross domestic product in aviation infrastructure in order for
their aviation sector to grow and contribute to their economies growth. “Many African airlines have weak balance sheets and operational performances and sub-optimal or no credit experience. These pose major challenges in the financing advisory we conduct for our clients. More reason why African airlines must be run on a commercial basis, regardless of ownership.” Also speaking at the conference, an aviation analyst, Mr. Nick Fadugba said that for African airlines to improve from their comatose state, they should take a cue from the management of Ethiopian Airlines, which he said is 100 per cent owned by the Government, but yet, the Government does not interfere in the day-to-day running of its operations. He pointed out that the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways was ran aground due to unnecessary government interference in its operations and challenged African governments including Nigeria to be judicious in the spending of public funds in their care. He decried that apart from two carriers in the continent, other airlines are heavily indebted and closing shops one after the other, stressing that encouragements from the governments would help revitalise their operations. On the proposed re-launching of a national carrier for the country, Fadugba called for wide consultations on the part of the Government, emphasising that without this, the exercise would be another failure.
He added, “Nigerian airlines are not making profit at the moment because of various factors. It is ironical that Nigeria has the richest and the most vibrant air transport market in the continent, but still its carriers are collapsing one after the other. “To be out of this logjam, it is pertinent for Nigerian Government to implement critically the current Aviation Master Plan of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. The Government should also ensure that all the sectors of aviation industry are carried along with the steps taken by the government. “We want Nigeria aviation airline industry to be safe, profitable and secured for all. There must be no compromise on safety despite the desirability of profit. There should be job security, decent salaries and prospects for the workers of the Nigeria aviation industry. All Nigerians deserve a safe, profitable and realistic aviation industry.” Besides, the Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Konsult, Mr. Chris Aligbe in his paper observed that the global trend in aviation is consolidation and wondered why it has been difficult for carriers in the continent to consolidate or merge despite the opportunities therein. He warned that if the airline subsector refuses to merge, they would collapse in the next few years and called on private investors to invest in the industry in the form of PPP. He also challenges African Governments to reduce aeronautical charges for the airlines, encourage low cost carriers, and boost financial institutions for the continent’s carriers to assess loans and buld good corporate governance. Aligbe noted that no fewer than 20 African countries have signed an ‘Open Skies’ agreement with U.S alone, but wondered why it is difficult for the same African Governments to make ‘African Open Skies’ a reality for operators in the continent.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Transformation agenda achievable if stakeholders work together –DG NCAA STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu has said that the only way the ongoing transformation agenda of the present administration can be achieved is for all players, especially parastatal heads in the sector to work in tandem. He warned that without cooperation of all and sundry, the industry would not move forward. Akinkuotu stated this last weekend while receiving the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh and his management team in his office headquarters at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos. He however, lauded the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah for her passion and dynamism in propelling the industry forward. He described the zeal of Oduah to transform the sector as a huge challenge to all the parastatals in the industry, but explained that leaders of the parastatals are the people to deliver the promises
of government through their actions. He said, “The honourable minister is putting everything in place; infrastructure and adequate manpower to ensure our nation’s airspace is safe. “People talk about leadership and oftentimes ignore followership. The minister has shown that she is exemplary in carrying out her duties and this has culminated in the changes the sector has witnessed lately. We need to face the challenge of providing continuous improvement in our operations. The transformation is all encompassing, it
Reasons young Nigerian pilots are not employable –Expert
s Nigerian fresh pilots continue to search for jobs after graduating from various institutions of learning, an aviation expert and the Accountable Manager, AirFirst Nigeria Limited, Mr. Gbolahan Abatan, has given an insight into why some of them are not being employed by airline operators in the country. Abatan attributed the low hours for insurance cover for the fresh graduates as one of the major reasons they are not offered employment by the airlines. He said that a situation where fresh graduate pilots roam the streets with just 230 hours instead of the required 500 to 700
hours for certain category of aircraft, does not augur well for the industry. He said, “Every single pilot you see in this world started flying from General Aviation. Nobody just jump into Boeing 747 to become a pilot of Boeing 747. No, I have never seen that. You must fly these smaller aircraft for a start. Cessna 172, Cessna 152 and other smaller airplanes are General Aviation aircraft. You must start with these aircraft before progressing to fly bigger aircraft and everybody started this way.” He disclosed that as far back as 2008 ,when he was in South Africa, the country already had about 11,40 private flying schools,
involves everybody. We all need to make our contributions to its success.” He described the NAMA’s helmsman has a good friend and supporter who has the love of the sector at heart. Responding, Udoh said aviation is one family, adding that both parties have been in the sector for several decades and described Akinkuotu as a core professional. He said, “I remember advising you to quit engineering job and become a pilot for better emolument, which you did and it paid off. NCAA as a regulator and NAMA the service provider have been working together and will continue to work together. “We are here to give you our support and ensure that your tenure is successful. We are not unaware that a lot of congratulatory messages have come to you; our motive is to respond to your call to build, cement and join you in ensuring safety and security in air transport operations in Nigeria.” Udoh reiterated the unity in aviation industry, saying professionalism, teamwork, safety and identity are the signpost and character in the sector. adding that Nigeria with about 160 million people have just two training schools and not a single flying club. Abatan explained that unlike in Nigeria where every fresh pilot wants to fly with big carriers, the reverse was the case in the United States as flyers there seek jobs with smaller carriers. He said that young pilots are not employed by big airlines like Delta and United because they don’t have the required flying hours. In a bid to encourage fresh pilots coming into the industry, Abatan advocated for strong General Aviation, adding that Nigeria aviation is having this problem because the country did not train pilots for a very long. He added that while pilots were not trained, some of the airlines were busy employing foreign pilots to work for them because it was cheaper to secure their services. He said, “In most countries they have general aviation functioning. General Aviation is the beginning. It is like you having an educational system and scrapping primary school. You cannot start your education from secondary school, nothing says you cannot start really, but you must get to a certain age before you can start secondary school.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Airside email@example.com 08186007273
Can Aviation Master Plan be sustained for 20 years?
t is safe to say that before the coming of the present Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah into the Nigerian aviation industry, the sector lacked effective and practicable master plan for its growth, but immediately she was appointed in July 2011, the minister brought out several plans for the sector. While some professionals and stakeholders applauded the master plan, others insist the master plan is unachievable, but so far, she has been able to put something on ground for stakeholders to judge her with. The concern of Airside is
the sustainability of the aviation master plan beyond this present minister and government. The bane of growth in the aviation industry over the years has been continuity of government programmes by succeeding governments or ministers. Airside thinks it will do the industry a lot of good if the current master plan is sustained for the next 20 years as we have in other African countries like Ethiopia and Kenya and even South Africa. Despite the fact that their governments have substantial interest and control in the sector, continuity has been the major reason they are where they are today.
Benin Airport closure: A bad precedent
he unexpected closure of Benin Airport by the Edo State Government about two weeks ago over unremitted taxes by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, came to many as a rude shock. It was the first time any state government would have the nerves to shut down any airport in the country for whatever reason. While the Edo State Government claimed that both agencies owed it about N39m in backlog of tenement rates and other charges and that it took the decision after receiving a court order, both agencies disagreed with the figures
being peddled by the state government. Airside is however concerned about the consequence of the action of the state government. Aviation globally is strategically placed and is seen as one of the major security centres for any country. So, governments all over the world don’t toy with it as a brief shutting down of operations may create security lapses. Airside thinks that rather than shut the airspace for 24 hours by the state government, the government should have devised another means of driving home its point and collects whatever is due to it from the agencies. This is undoubtedly going to be a bad precedent and Airside hopes other state governments will not follow suit .
Etihad Airways outlines expansion to Australian operations
he national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways recently outlined a range of major changes to its Australian operations, including new aircraft, new routes, additional flights and new airport facilities. Speaking in Sydney at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, the President, Etihad Airways, Mr. James Hogan, said Australia was a key and long-term market for the airline and one for which there were exciting growth plans. A media statement by the airline’s consultant in Nigeria stated that the airline’s future steps for Australia included Airbus A380 aircraft from Sydney and Melbourne to Abu
Dhabi, construction of premium lounges at Sydney and Melbourne Airports from 2014, additional flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to Abu Dhabi and commencement of nonstop flights between Perth and Abu Dhabi. Hogan also reaffirmed that Etihad Airways was already moving to increase its equity in Virgin Australia, following recent approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board to increase from a 10 per cent shareholding to 19.9 per cent. The statement reads in part, “Virgin Australia is a key member of our ever-expanding airline equity alliance, and Etihad Airways is an active and longterm investor in Virgin.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Moving insurance sector forward with NIA, IMF partnership The recent disclosure that the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will work together to harness insurance potential in the country has set the industry abuzz, with stakeholders already looking to the future, writes MESHACK IDEHEN.
nalysts are upbeat that good times may be around the corner for the nation’s insurance industry, what with the disclosure recently that the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are exploring means to harness and turn the potential of the insurance industry into economic growth opportunities for the country. For a sector that has endlessly been under the spotlight for its alleged underperformance and failure to fully tap into the boundless opportunities the industry offers, experts say the announcement of the partnership between the IMF and the NIA could not have come at a better time. In particular, experts noted that the NIA, which was established in 1971 as an umbrella organisation for all insurance companies in Nigeria to promote and uphold universally accepted standards of business ethics and professional integrity among its members, may have taken the first crucial step to position the insurance sector for greater heights. According to the association, the goal of the NIA is to protect and advance the common interests of insurers in Nigeria by creating and sustaining a positive image for the insurance industry and contributing to legislation and decisions made by the government and other public authorities in the best interest of the industry in particular and the national economy in general. Be that as it may, Director-General of NIA, Mr. Sunday Thomas, told National Mirror that the representatives of the association’s Governing Board led by Pro-
President, NCIB, Laide Osijo
AMONG THE OBJECTIVES OF THE MISSION IS TO ENSURE THAT STABILITY IS SUSTAINED WITHIN THE SYSTEM.
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
IMF HAS STATED
THAT THE OUTCOME OF THE MEETING WILL BE PUBLISHED WITH RECOMMENDATIONS MADE ON HOW TO MOVE THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY FORWARD fessor Joe Irukwu, have already met with the representative of the IMF, led by Dr. Rodoyo Wenrhan to discuss how the nation can maximise the enormous insurance potential, adding the parties hope to work out how to sustain stability on insurances’’ contributions to the economy.
More employers embracing group life insurance M ESHACK IDEHEN
ore employers have been embracing the group life insurance policy made mandatory for all employers to arrange for their employees as stipulated in Section 9(3) of the Pension Reform Act 2004. In the latest report released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), the commission said that the pension industry recorded an increase in the number of organisations implementing the group life insurance policy as the number of complying organisations increased by 564 from 858 as at the end of the second quarter of 2012 to 1,422 in the third quarter, representing an in-
crease of 65.73 per cent.” PenCom also said that out of the 581 private sector employers it requested to provide evidence of compliance with group life insurance policy during the quarter, that 396 employers provided evidences of providing group life insurance policy for their employees. An analysis the commission showed that the commercial activities sector topped the list of organisations that implemented the insurance policy in the third quarter at 233, followed by the manufacturing sector at 60, Financial Institutions (7), Educational Institutions (1), Construction (42), Oil and Gas (0), Hospitality (31), Government (0), and Pension Operators.
“Among the objectives of the mission is to ensure that stability is sustained within the system. The representative of the IMF has stated that the outcome of the meeting will be published with recommendations made on how to move the insurance industry forward”, the NIA DG said. Not surprisingly, National Mirror observed that many operators in the sector are already positioning themselves to make the most out of the proposed collaboration with the IMF; with some saying the collaboration will go a long way to deepen insurance penetration in the country, and make expansion drive on the continent by operators more effective. Others admitted the IMF/NIA arrangement would give domestic insurance operators better leverage in accessing funds for growth, and access to world class advisory avenues on how to harness the potential of the industry. Executive Director of City Insurance Limited, Mr. Godswill Igunbor, told our correspondent that the insurance industry in Nigeria has within the last three years recorded a growth of one million subscribers, noting the IMF/NIA collaboration will take the number of policy holders to tens of millions in a few years. He pointed out that it was only few
countries on the continent have had the privilege of working directly with the global financial organisation, saying Nigerian operators and insurance stakeholders should take full advantage of the collaboration to make the Nigeria insurance industry the dominant sector in the country and on the continent. Commending the NIA and National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, for ensuring that the partnership with IMF saw the light of day, Insurance Expert, Mr. Obasi Ngwuta, said operators should use the opportunity to challenge foreign owned insurance companies operating in Nigeria, and wrest big businesses from them Making reference to the lucrative oil and gas sector, Ngwuta pointed out that operators can now boldly make reference to the IMF as partners when negotiating deal with potential domestic and international clients, adding the domestic market in particular should not be neglected. He noted also that the figures quoted by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel on the number of insured in Nigeria which presently stands at about 1.5 million out of a population of over 165 million should be improved upon, using the benefits that comes with this partnership with the IMF. It would be recalled that the insurance sector regulator had explained that noted that the Gross Premium Income, GPI, of the sector has increased from N157 million in 2010 to N250 million in 2012. On his part, former director of Great Nigeria Insurance Company, Mr. Rotimi Adesegan, said moving the insurance sector in the country forward can only be possible with this type of partnership. He explained operators now have no reason to complain of difficulties, as the IMF is sure to improve the reach and capacities of operator to become more effective in order to deepen insurance penetration in the country, and contribute its quota to the financial service sector. He urged other regulatory bodies in the countries to look for ways of effective collaboration and partnership with world bodies in order to make their sectors more relevant to the everyday needs of Nigerians.
‘Consolidated Hallmark records N4.14bn premium’ MESHACK IDEHEN
he Chairman of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Ugo Obi Ralph Ekezie , said the company recorded a gross premium income of N4.142 billion for the year ended December 3, 2012, compared to the N4.099 billion the company recorded for the 2011 financial year. He said this while addressing shareholders at the 18th yearly general meeting held in Lagos saying the performances was the resilience of your company in spite of the enormous challenges posted by the business climate. The company chairman said profit before tax grew by 278 per cent
to N560.466 million as against the N148.231 million in the previous years adding a profit after tax of N395.207 million was recorded, representing a significant growth of 158 per cent growth from the 2011 figure of N153.389 million. He explained that total assets of the company in 2012 rose to N6.678 billion as against N6.078 billion in 2011, and that shareholders’ fund was equally enhanced by seven percent to n4.187 billion in 2012 from N3.911 billion in 2011. He explained that the company is aware of recent capitalization efforts, mergers and acquisitions trends in the insurance industry and are monitoring these development s with a view to ensuring that the company is not caught off guard.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
West African insurers want regulatory frameworks harmonised S TORIES:M ESHACK I DEHEN
nsurance operators in West Africa said they are calling for the harmonisation of legal and regulatory frameworks governing the sector as part of efforts to facilitate insurance integration in the sub-region. This resolution followed the meeting of insurance stakeholders in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) consisting of Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in Abuja, recently. The delegates said they have observed that there is need to harmonise the rules and the entire regulatory framework for the insurance sector across the West African sub-region to boost industry cooperation across borders. Some of the jurisdiction dissimilarities identified at the forum includes measurement of assets, minimum capital requirements, regulatory solvency capital, insurance laws, solvency laws, policyholder priority during wind-up, scope and coverage of insurance policies and the
Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel
existence of other types of policyholder protection. Apart from taking into account the provision of a platform for regulatory cooperation and harmonisation, the regional insurers also called for the facilitation of mutual recognition, promotion of the development of regional insurance market structures, and the promotion of insurance literacy in the region. Having realised insurance penetration is generally low in all member countries of WAMZ and that the insurance sector contributes less than 1 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in
these countries, the insurance operators informed that the issue was being addressed by the focus on micro insurance in some of the affected countries. The insurers stressed the need to pursue an integration agenda that not only allows for cross-border insurance in terms of setting up of insurance companies of one origin in other member countries, but by developing policies that allow for mutual recognition of insurance operators within the region. The meeting therefore resolved to establish the West African Insurance Sector Integration Council (WAISIC) to oversee the integration of the insurance sector in member countries of the WAMZ. The WAISIC to be made up of the Heads of National Insurance Regulation in member countries and the CEOs of Insurance Associations in member countries. The CEO of the ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme and the Private Sector Department of the ECOWAS Commission, West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) and West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) are observer members.
SA Life unveils Valuplus travel insurance product MESHACK IDEHEN
tandard Alliance Life Assurance Limited said it has launched a Valuplus travel insurance policy to meet the growing demand for cover by the travelling insurance consumers. Managing Director of the company, Mr. Austin Enajemo-Isire, while unveiling the product in Lagos said, it is a common knowledge that most travellers to countries that require Schengen visas often demand for a valid travel insurance to support their visa application.
He said unexpected expenses such as repatriation and other emergencies could occur, adding It is in response to this obvious gap that the company created the valuplus travel insurance policy. According to him, the product has a number of benefits, including medical emergency and hospitalisation expenses, repatriation cost, repatriation expenses in case the unexpected happens, in case of accident, permanent disability and cost of recovering lost passporst and luggage. The SA Life boss, said “Our travel policy comes with some
unique benefits, which are corporate cover with special discounts designed for their staff, free cover for children under the age of two years, medical cover up to the tune of €30,000, in-house emergency care every day. Cover for permanent total disability up to the tune of €1,000. He said, however, for more adventurous travellers that there is a Valuplus Go Explore package with higher disability benefits specifically designed for them, distinct from the valuplus standard travel insurance cover. Cover for loss of passport and luggage to the tune of €100 each.
Insurers advocate compensation for nuclear damage
he Director-General of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Sunday Thomas, said the nation’s insurance practitioners are advocating that there should be an insurance arrangement in place to cater for liabilities that may arise as Nigeria explores its potential in the area of nuclear energy, He said the representatives of NIA have met with the Ni-
gerian Atomic Energy Agency (NAEC) on the establishment of an insurance framework for the compensation for nuclear energy damage, saying a committee has been set up by the NIA to come up with the association’s position on the issue. It would be recalled that the Federal Government had stressed its commitment to engage the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) and relevant stakeholders, in ensuring safe application of radioactive materials in its quest for power generation to drive economic growth. According to the government, the nation’s choice of power generation from nuclear sources would come with various challenges that require urgent attention, as the nation has had no experience with nuclear power generation.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Travel insurance: Tips on finding best deals
t pays to shop around for the best deals on travel insurance prior to holidays and business trips. These tips will help in that regards. Never buy from a travel agent, tour operator or airline-This will almost certainly cost you more. Check what is already covered by your home insurance policy or bank--Home policies often include insurance for personal possessions when away from home, so you can opt out of having baggage cover and save money. You may also have a credit card or current account that includes travel insurance but check that the cover is sufficient for your needs – such “free” insurance can sometimes be very basic. Choose annual cover if you travel more than three times a year--if you travel three times or more a year then getting an annual policy that covers the entire year’s travel for one fee is likely to cost you less than buying separate single-trip policies. But note that annual policies won’t cover backpackers on extended trips: they usually cover trips up to a maximum of 31 days. Look out for age limits and medical exclusions--Many policies, particularly the cheapest, will not insure anyone aged over 65, however fit and active. Most standard policies will also not cover any pre-existing conditions. So, for example, if you are asthmatic and suffer an attack on holiday that requires medical treatment, your policy will not pay out. Tell your insurer about any ongoing medical conditions and answer questions honestly. Some insurers may then agree to cover certain conditions for a small extra premium or, if your condition warrants
it, refer you to a specialist insurer. Even horse riding is adventurous--Many policies exclude “risky activities”, which can be horse riding, scuba diving, jet skiing or mountain climbing. If you are going on a skiing holiday make sure the policy includes comprehensive winter sports cover. Independent travellers should opt for scheduled airline failure cover--If you tend to make your own flight and accommodation arrangements, rather than booking a package, it’s important your insurance includes scheduled airline and end-supplier failure cover, which protects you if an airline, villa company or ferry firm goes bust after you’ve booked your holiday. Note that even five-star policies may not cover airline failures. Get an EHIC card--If you are heading to Europe, get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which gives you access to state-provided healthcare, at a reduced cost or sometimes free, when temporarily visiting an EU country, and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Some travel insurance policies will waive the excess for medical claims if you use your EHIC to get medical treatment while travelling in the EU. The easiest way to apply for, or renew, an EHIC – which is valid for up to five years – is at ehic.org.uk. Alternatively, you can call 0845 606 2030 or pick up an application form from the Post Office. You’ll need to supply the NHS or national insurance number, surname, forenames and date of birth of applicants. Source:moneysupermarket.com
How to be a good Insurance agent
f you have ever contemplated becoming an insurance agent or wondered whether this career path could be right for you, then there are several qualities that you will need to possess. People Skills--Puts the needs of the client first - An agent who is only out to earn a commission, regardless of the needs of the client, is not likely to last long in the business. Agents and brokers who listen carefully to what their clients and prospects say will be able to earn their trust, which is the hardest part of their job. Those who are willing to put their clients into a product that pays a lower commission because it better fits their needs are much more likely to be successful. Good customer service Customers who are able to get a hold of their agents when
they need them are much more likely to stay happy and reassured. A timely response to inquiries and phone calls is a must, and you must be able to do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it - or at least have a good reason as to why you can’t. One of the major complaints of those who buy life insurance policies is that there is no one around to answer their questions after they have purchased the policy. Emotional intelligence - This includes the ability to listen and empathize with clients on a deeper level in order to discern what they really want and need. A good agent is tactful and knows how to help a client see financial reality clearly, even when the client is dead set against it.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
ASI drops 0.59% as Wapic Insurance leads gainers DAMILOLA AJAYI
he bench mark index of equities continued on bearish note on Nigerian Stock exchange yesterday, as more investors took profit from previous gains. The All Share index dropped by 0.59 per cent to close at 37,813.43 points, compared to the decrease of 0.49 per cent recorded on Wednesday to close at 38,038.79 points Market capitalisation depreciated by N71bn to close at N11.975trn, higher than the depreciation of N60bn recorded
on Wednesday to close at N12. 046trn. All the sectorial indices shed substantial part of their value except the Insurance index which rose by 0.21 per cent to close at 139.67 points and the Alternative Securities Market index which remained flat. The Oil and Gas index lost 1.73 per cent to close at 204.38 points, while the Banking index dipped by 1.51 per cent to close at 409.17 points. The NSE 30- index fell 0.66 per cent to close at 1,774.04 points, while the Lotus Islamic index declined 0.36 per cent to close at 2,649.00 points.
The Consumer Goods index dropped by 0.32 per cent to close at 1,073.80 points while the Industry Goods shed 0.25 per cent to close at 2,280.47 points. Wapic Insurance Plc led the gainers’ table with seven kobo or ten per cent to close at 77 kobo per share, followed by Champion Breweries Plc with N1.46 or 9.97 per cent to close at N16.10 per share. Sterling Bank Plc appreciated by ten kobo or 3.57 per cent to close at N2.90 per share, while IPWA Plc gained three kobo or 2.94 per cent to close at N1.05 per share. RT Briscoe Plc increased four kobo or 2.74 per cent to close at N1.50
per share. On the flip side, Evans Medical Plc lost 48 kobo or ten per cent to close at N4.32 per share, while Thomas Wyatt Plc shed eight kobo or 9.88 per cent to close at 73 kobo per share. Forte Oil Plc declined by N4.30 or 9.78 per cent to close at N39.65 per share while ABC Transport Plc fell by nine kobo or 9.57 per cent to close at 85 kobo per share. University Press Plc dropped by 40 kobo or 9.52 per cent to close at N3.80 per share. A total of 489.3 million shares valued at N3.16bn were exchanged in 5,797 deals
First Bank raises N47bn to boost banking services JOHNSON OKANLAWON
BN Holdings Plc yesterday said that its largest subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has concluded a debt capital raising exercise in the international markets through a N47.1bn ($300m) subordinated Tier 2 transaction. A statement from the company said the proceeds from the capital raising will be used by First Bank for general banking purposes. The statement explained
that in line with the bank’s capital management strategy, the institution has chosen this route to ensure that it remains well capitalised with an improved total capital adequacy ratio of 22.5 per cent, up from 20.1 per cent as at the end of March 2013. It stressed that the transaction further diversifies and extends the maturity of the bank’s foreign currency funding. “The Tier 2 capital transaction has a sevenyear maturity and is callable on the 5th anniversary of the issuance date.
“The issue carries an initial coupon of 8.250% on the nominal par amount, which resets at the call date to a new fixed rate (no step-up) until maturity. The Tier 2 capital treatment amortises over the last 5 years prior to maturity,” the statement said. According to the company, the successful offering was achieved within the context of volatile debt capital markets, especially for emerging market borrowers. It added, “This transaction is FirstBank’s second
Tier 2 capital raise, following on its debut 2007 $175m Tier 2 capital raise which carried a 9.750 per cent coupon rate and which was called by the institution in 2012. “This makes FirstBank the only Nigerian banking institution to carry out not only one, but two consecutive subordinated Tier 2 capital raising transactions in the international debt markets.” Citigroup and Goldman Sachs International acted as advisers and joint Lead Managers to FirstBank on the transaction.
Stronger miners keep European shares around two-month highs
uropean shares steadied around two-month highs yesterday, propped up by mining stocks after positive newsflow out of top metals consumer China, as investors awaited German economic data later in the week. Heavyweight basic resources stocks advanced 1.6 per cent after reassuring Chinese economic data last week. The sector was also helped by a report in the South China Morning Post saying Beijing was quietly offering financial stimulus to key cities and provinces. Mexican silver and gold miner Fresnillo, up 7.7 per cent, and Randgold Resources, 2.9 per cent firmer, were among the biggest gainers as gold hit
its highest level in nearly three weeks. The FTSEurofirst 300 was trading up 0.14 point at 1,229.72 points, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 also traded flat, at 2,825.74 points. With the summer holiday season fully underway and no significant macroeconomic data set for release until later in the week, volumes were thin, with trading on the FTSEurofirst 300 just 48 per cent of its 90-day daily average. German ZEW economic sentiment data, due at 0900 GMT on Tuesday, could confirm the euro zone’s powerhouse economy is stabilising after narrowly avoiding a recession early this year. “There’s a chance that we could see an upside
surprise, just on the basis that we’ve seen decent numbers out of the euro zone and out of the UK over the course of the last couple of weeks,” CMC Markets trader Matt Basi said. “Any significant beat could send us much higher on small volume but I think the likelihood is that an in-line number will see us just continue to drift sideways until bigger numbers later in the week.” German second quarter GDP data is due on Wednesday. A Reuters poll forecasts growth of 0.6 per cent but a German government minister said on Friday it was likely to be 0.75 per cent, its strongest rate in more than two years, although the pace of expansion
would slow in the second half of 2013. Investors will keep a close eye on United States data, with retail sales, consumer prices, housing starts, industrial production and surveys of regional manufacturing all due this week. Strong numbers will increase the chances of a cut in the US Federal Reserve’s bond purchases, which have supported equities, especially cyclical shares, in the past months. The Euro STOXX 50 rose 0.5 per cent last week, notching its fifth consecutive weekly gain. The index, which has jumped some 13 per cent since late June, is trading within a whisker of two-year closing highs hit in May, at 2,835.
Market indicators All-Share Index 28,956.83 points Market capitalisation 9,254trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 10.00
% CHANGE -10.00
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 12, 2013 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
2015: Buhari’s ambition and APC’s dream to unseat PDP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 til the polity is sanitised and people enjoy the fruits of democracy at all levels of government.” Though a political school of thought is of the view that the detour unsettled some elements in the North, who have been waiting to step into Buhari’s shoes, some analysts have argued that age is no longer on his side for a tough contest such as that for the presidency. The former military ruler would be 73 in 2015. Others, however, opined that he would be embarking on another “political gamble” that may jeopardise the oppositions’ bid to unseat the ruling party. But how will Buhari’s ambition affect the fortunes of the APC? Many have asked. The PDP National Chairman, Bamangar Tukur, whose party, the opposition alliance is poised to confront, believes that the ambition of the former Head of State will tear the new party apart. His words: “Don’t worry, this is not the first time Nigerians would hear about merger. Let elections come and everyone will see the problems within them. They will be torn to rags because of ambitions.” The pessimism over Buhari’s chances is not only held by members of the ruling party. A Kaduna-based human rights activist, Salihu Lukman, who is believed to be working for a chieftain of the APC interested in the 2015 presidency, had in reaction to Buhari’s renouncement of his decision to stay off active politics, said that such move will not bring the desired changes expected in the polity. In an open letter to Buhari, titled: “Your aspiration for 2015 is ill-advised,” Lukman advised Buhari to drop his aspiration to contest the 2015 presidential election. The letter read in part: “To strengthen opposition parties in Nigeria would require a strategy that would throw up completely new candidates at all levels in 2015 including the presidential election. Your moral authority to serve as the facilitator of this will engrave your name in the sands of Nigerian history as one nationalist who sacrificed everything, including his personal aspirations to ensure that the monster called the PDP is defeated.” But Buhari’s camp, in allaying fears over his ambition, however said the former military ruler is electable and would be accepted by the APC because of his high electoral value. It said: “Many people do not understand the average Northerner. The preponderance of these people is in rural areas. These are people Gen. Buhari is popular with. The general belief is that Gen. Buhari is adjudged as a leader. “There are not many of these Northern elements that have the kind of popularity that Gen. Buhari has. The electoral value of Gen. Buhari is never in doubt. It is a fact. He has created a niche for himself. The truth of the matter is that Buhari is a man with amazing and remarkable character. He is a dependable leader in terms of service delivery.” The assurance, notwithstanding, most analysts believe that a Buhari candidacy is unlikely to gain the support of some people in the South, particularly the South-East, who see the APC as a Hausa/Yoruba party despite the fact that one of the merging parties, the ACN, enjoys an almost absolute control of the South-West zone.
This, perhaps explains their call for the Bisi Akande-led interim National Working Committee, NWC, to unveil the party’s power sharing formula and other vexatious issues such as zoning to convince them that not only the South-East, but even the South-South where the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan hails from, have a stake in the party. They argued that the North-West (Buhari’s zone) and South-West, which are key partners in the merger deal, have taken their respective turns to rule the country for no less than a decade each, both during the military and civilian era, as opposed to the South-East that has not taken a shot at the presidency. But Senator Annie Okonkwo (the party’s Deputy Chairman, South), who allayed the fear of marginalisation of the zone in the new party, said: “We, the people of the South-East observed that the only political party where an Igbo man will have a say and ample opportunity to actualise his presidential ambition is in the APC.” He added: “With the signatory of the Imo State governor, Okorocha, APC has become a recognised national party and every position will be shared equally. The focus point of APC is internal democracy and I am very optimistic that an Igbo man will emerge as the presidential candidate of APC in 2015.” The question then is: Will the leadership of the APC opt for a zone with “less stake” in the party to produce its presidential flagbearer in 2015, even when it is indisputable that Buhari enjoys a near cult-followership in the North? The party’s interim National Chairman, Akande, who doused the tension on the issue after the maiden meeting of the APC Interim NEC in Abuja, last week, said: “We listened to some people talking
about presidency, talking about governors; we have not reached that stage at all. Our major preoccupation is to set up the structure of our party. It is after that, maybe in November or December when we hold our national convention where our national executives will be elected; there is yet no idea about who becomes president or who becomes a governor.” The presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the 1993 elections, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, who proffered a way out of the seeming impasse, said it would be a mistake for the new party to insist that Buhari drops his ambition. His words: “Dropping Buhari and Tinubu’s ambitions will be a serious blow to the APC, in my opinion. So, they must be allowed to aspire to whatever they fancy, and let democracy determine their nomination for that position.” Tofa argued that Buhari and Tinubu, and not their parties are the important factors in the merger arrangement, saying that the former Head of State will lose his political relevance, while Tinubu will also lose his interest if they are compelled to drop their respective ambitions in 2015. “Buhari and Tinubu must be allowed to aspire to whatever positions they fancy, and let democracy determine their nomination for that position. If Buhari withdraws, 95 per cent of CPC is out. If Tinubu loses interest, 50 to 70 per cent of the funding is lost. But if they genuinely decide on their own without any pressure from anywhere to opt out and remain faithful to the new party, that will be a big credit to them. But, I do not see that happening without a serious loss to the new party.” A member of the APC Merger Committee and National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties,
BUHARI AND TINUBU MUST BE ALLOWED TO ASPIRE TO WHATEVER POSITIONS THEY FANCY, AND LET DEMOCRACY DETERMINE THEIR NOMINATION FOR
THAT POSITION... BUT IF THEY GENUINELY DECIDE ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT ANY PRESSURE FROM
ANYWHERE TO OPT OUT... THAT WILL BE A BIG CREDIT TO THEM
CNPP, Osita Okechukwu, who also agreed that Buhari has the right to contest APC’s presidential primaries, noted that internal democracy in the new party would be strong enough to decide those to contest elective positions on the party’s platform. Okechukwu said: “The most prominent thing that the members and supporters of the APC have put ahead is to save the country, to save our democracy and even save our constitution which the PDP has bastardised. So, the song is to redeem the country because if there is no country there is no ambition to talk about. “For them, this thing is about the country. Nigeria is drifting dangerously into a failed state. So these patriots are saying that they are going to salvage this country and let personal interest go down the drain.” The CPC’s governorship candidate in Enugu State in the 2011 election, Okechukwu, while assuring that Buhari is ready to give maximal support if a more formidable candidate emerges as the party’s presidential candidate in 2015, said the former Head of State’s statement about his presidential ambition was misunderstood and misconstrued. Okechukwu said that in the unlikely scenario that Buhari did not emerge as APC’s presidential flag bearer, he will support a better candidate, as a liberal democrat. His words: “If you understood what Gen. Buhari said, he indicated interest to run under the banner of the APC. He gave a caveat that if there will be a better or more formidable candidate, he will support the person. So, it is not as if Gen. Buhari is going out of his way to say if I am not the presidential candidate, there will be no APC – of course he did not say so. “To be honest and sincere, Gen Buhari had always said: ‘I support the merger wholeheartedly and if the merger adopts or elects me as its presidential candidate, fine, but if it doesn’t, I will support the person that will be elected as the presidential candidate.” Similarly, a former Secretary to the Lagos State Government, SSG, in the Second Republic and chieftain of the APC, Olorunfunmi Basorun, who expressed optimism in the ability of the APC to resolve issues concerning Buhari’s presidential ambition, however insisted that the former Head of State does not require the intervention of people to persuade or dissuade him from his bid to come back to power. He also expressed optimism that Buhari will abide by the decision of the APC leaders that everyone subsumes his or her ambition for now until when everything has been put in place. “He has said the party will decide who would be. So, if he has surrendered himself to the party, let us take him for his word,” Basorun said. While it may be too early to draw a conclusion on what becomes of Buhari’s ambition in 2015, as politics remains the doctrine of the possible, the power play in the months ahead will determine if the former Head of State, who has always predicated his interest to lead the country again on two compelling objectives - need to sanitise the Nigerian polity and ensure that Nigerians enjoy the dividends of democracy at all levels of government - will return to the seat he vacated close to three decades ago.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Senators who want to PARLIAMENT THE
GEORGE OJI profiles some members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly who are gearing up to govern their states come 2015.
he current trend in Nigerian politics is for governors to seek election into the Senate after serving out their tenures as state chief executive officers. In the current Seventh Senate, the population of former governors in the red chamber has risen to eleven, from four in the Sixth Senate. While some current governors have not hidden their ambition to proceed to the Senate after their current tenures, some senators, at the same time, are angling to take over from such governors in their various states.
Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West/PDP) Even though he has tried a couple of times to deny that he has any gubernatorial ambition, political watchers of events in Enugu State still believe that Ike Ekweremadu’s gubernatorial ambition is still alive. In May this year, at two different interviews with the media, the Deputy Senate President refuted any such ambition. Also, during the last routine interactive session with Senate correspondents in his Apo Quatrers, Abuja official residence, Ekweremadu categorically denied ever having any gubernatorial ambition. But somehow, this rumour has failed to disappear. But the truth of the matter is that Ekweremadu’s gubernatorial ambition predates 2007. Towards the twilight of the Chimaroke Nnamani’s eight year term, Ekwereamddu was generally perceived as a possible successor to Nnamani. That dream was only thwarted by none other than Nnamani himself with the opposition forces within the Ebeano political camp. Those who are strongly convinced that Ekweremadu still nurses strong gubernatorial ambition in 2015 point to the fact that in recent times, he has commissioned so many projects in his constituency, more than any senator of the federation has attracted to his senatorial zone. The projects include some state and federal government projects. The lawmaker has also executed a number of empowerment projects for the youths and women through his famous Ikeoha Foundation. Political analysts in Enugu State and beyond believe that one of the strongest factors in Ekweremadu’s favour, should he decide to take a shot at the gubernatorial project is his huge financial muscles as well as the political influence he enjoys within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP both at the state and the federal levels. He is, in addition entrenched in the politics of the seat of power at the federal level. But a major problem Ekweremadu may encounter in the project is the Sullivan Chime factor, who comes from the same zone; Enugu West with him. The governor has never hidden his belief that it will be politically immoral and smacks of sheer injustice for another Enugu West indigene to succeed him after his eight year tenure.
Also, the governor feels that he needs to redeem his pact with the people of Enugu North during his 2011 campaign to zone the governorship to Enugu North come2015. The governor used that agreement to garner support for his return for the second term bid. That arrangement somewhat vitiates Ekweremadu’s ambition.
Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South/PDP) A one-time deputy governor of Abia State under Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, is believed to be in strong contention to be the next governor of the state. He comes from the Ngwa stock, which is believed to be in line to produce the governor of the state. His current status as a senator is a strong factor for his ambition. Also, having been a former deputy governor puts him in strong contention for the office above other contenders, because experience counts so much in his favour. Political observers in the state and at the federal level believe that financially, Abaribe has mustered some real strength; having been in the Senate for two terms and is currently chairing the Senate Committee on Media, Information and Public Affairs. The lawmaker, who also belongs to five other committees in the Senate is seen by the elite in the state as a person who is patient, understanding and level-headed and who is not a political enfant terrible. During his trying period as the deputy governor of the state, Abaribe received a lot of support and sympathy from the political elites in the state and even from the media because he was seen as suffering unnecessary political persecution from Kalu. The economist, teacher and politician is entrenched in grassroots politics and that makes him popular among the youths and women, who constitute the bulk of voters in the state. However, one of the greatest challenges Abaribe may face will come from some of his kinsmen, who are also interested in giving a shot at the same office. For instance, Emeka Nwogu, who is a two-term serving Minister of Labour and Productivity is one of those who are likely to pose some serious obstructions to Abaribe’s ambition. One factor going for Nwogu is his closeness to President Goodluck Jonathan. Nwogu’s wife is an Ijaw, from Jonathan’s home state. This naturally presupposes that Nwogu is more likely to gain the support of the President for the project than Abaribe. Besides, there is also the Kalu factor. Chances are that the former governor will sure want to thwart Abaribe’s ambition at all costs, particularly given the cantankerous manner the senator was forced out of office by the former governor.
Ayogu Eze (Enugu North/PDP) Senator Ayogu Eze has never concealed his ambition to become the governor of Enugu State. Indeed, at every event, Eze has always sounded this ambition loud and clear, such that at any time the Senate President, David Mark, wants to gain Eze’s attention at the Senate, he would always refer to the lawmaker as, “Enugu Government House.” A journalist by profession and practice, one of Eze’s strongest advantages in his gubernatorial quest is that he is
THE STRONGEST FACTORS IN
EKWEREMADU’S FAVOUR, SHOULD HE DECIDE TO TAKE A SHOT AT THE GUBERNATORIAL PROJECT IS HIS HUGE FINANCIAL MUSCLES AS WELL AS THE POLITICAL INFLUENCE HE ENJOYS intellectually sound and politically very influential in his native Enugu State. He is also very experienced in the politics of the state. While this may count as an advantage to him when it comes to grassroots support, the same factor may likely work against him within the elite class of his Nsukka kinsmen, who perceive him as too ambitious and indeed a desperado. Watchers of Enugu State politics believe that in the Enugu North senatorial zone where he comes from, and in particular, Nsukka area, the lawmaker has issues with a lot of political leaders there. The
elite see him as craving for political dominance, which most of them found distasteful and unacceptable. For instance, he has fallen out of favour with the Nwodo brothers who are supposed to be his political benefactors and mentors. At a recent stakeholders’ meeting in Enugu where the issue of power rotation in the state was discussed, a governorship aspirant, Chief Dubem Onyi, former Minister of State, Foreign Affairs moved the motion for the zoning of the governorship to Enugu North. The motion was unanimously adopted by all at the meeting, including the governor, Chime and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. Observers believe that the endorsement of the governor no doubt provided great fillip to the ambition of Eze, who hails from that zone. The action of the governor provided an opportunity for the former PDP National Chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo to admit publicly that all along, he had misunderstood the governor and never knew that he (Chime), meant well for the state. Another strong factor that may play in Eze’s favour is that he has the ears of Governor Chime, even though fifth columnists have been trying to create a hedge between them. Eze, also have the financial muscle, particularly as he has been in the Senate, in the past six years. Through the influence of the Senate President, Eze, who is seen as, “one of Mark’s boys,” got the slot to chair the Senate Committee on Works,
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
UBAH IS SEEN AS A COME-BACK KID,
Hope Uzodinma (Imo West/PDP)
STINT AS GOVERNOR
Senator Hope Uzodinma is an influential member of the ruling PDP both at the state and the federal level. He is a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the party and recently, he was made the head of the special panel that was mandated to look at the leadership crisis in the Taraba State chapter of the PDP, which was occasioned by the long absence of the governor, who was involved in an air crash. Uzodinma is not only personally close to the national chairman of PDP, Tukur, he as well enjoys cordial relationship with the chairman of the party’s BoT, Chief Tony Anenih. At the Senate, where he is a first time lawmaker, Uzodinma was able to muzzle his way through to chair the very strategic Senate Committee on Aviation. He is also seen as a member of the kitchen cabinet of the Senate President, Mark. The lawmaker spends hugely in the media and has also reaped massively from it. He was recently enmeshed in a certificate scandal, where some of his political adversaries accused him of not possessing a school certificate as he claimed in his resume. But somehow, that scandal has fizzled out, almost as it came. Uzodinma may not have serious difficulties obtaining the ticket of PDP to run for the gubernatorial slot for Imo State, but he may have to contain with Ifeanyi Ararume, who was the party’s candidate in the 2007 election and is believed to still be interested in the project. However, the PDP will have to be very careful on who flies the flag of the party in the next election in order to wrestl the state back from the All Progressives Congress, APC.
HIS TENURE WAS ABORTED BY A COURT PROCESS
which is considered as a Grade A committee and which will in some ways help in oiling his gubernatorial ambitions.
Nkechi Nwogu (Abia Central/PDP) Politically and traditionally, Abia State is still a sexist society; an essentially male dominated society. This makes it a herculean task for Senator Nkechi Nwogu to actualise her ambition of becoming the next governor of Abia State. But those who know the Abia Central Senatorial district representative well will tell you that she is not a person that is easily cowed by predominant beliefs and prejudices. Indeed, it was her strong belief in confronting challenges, no matter how daunting that saw her unseating the former senator and becoming the current senator for the zone. A two-timer in the Senate, Nwogu made her marks in the red chamber in the Sixth Senate when she was the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Banking, where she used her position to get the banks to conform to good corporate practices. Her experience as a former member of the House of Representatives has played a key role in her robust parliamentary activities in the Senate so far. Currently, Nwogu is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Gas, where National Assembly watchers believe that she is yet to stamp her full marks. At the grassroots politics, Nwogu has shown a lot of understandings, particularly with her close-
PARLIAMENT ness to the women and youths. One of her Achilles’ heels in this project may be her attitude to holding very tightly to money, as she is reputed to being too miserly with funds. Also, the dominant male political leadership in Abia State has not yet come to the consciousness that it is time for a woman to lead the state.
Andy Ubah (Anambra SouthPDP) Anambra State is peculiar in the sense that it is populated by money bag politicians. This is more so with the Southern part of the state where Senator Andy Ubah hails from. He will be slugging it out with the likes of Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu, another money bag, who has vast interest in real estate business and enjoys government patronages through contract awards. The battle will also be joined by Ifeannyi Ubah, an oil and gas mogul who also comes from the same Southern part of the state. Ubah is seen as a come-back kid, having had a brief stint as governor of the state until his tenure was aborted by a court process. Generally, Ubah wields a great deal of
tions. The lawmaker will be seeking election as a clear alternative to the PDP and APGA options.
HAVING HAD A BRIEF OF THE STATE UNTIL
influence in the politics of Anambra State through his huge financial resources and political influence. In fact, the lawmaker is said to be worth over N1 trillion in cash and assets. In the PDP, the Ubah family controls the politics of the state through the younger, Chris. Ubah will be leveraging on this advantage. This means that he will be relying on two factors to foster his political ambition. These are his huge financial clout as well as his family political structures in the PDP. What may work against him is the issue of credibility. The people of Anambra State are yet to forget the events of 2003, involving the kidnap of the former governor, Chris Ngige. The elite in the state are not particularly disposed to Ubah and indeed the Ubahs, because they see them as vicious politicians. They will also see the emergence of any of the Ubahs as a process of ceding the state to former President Olusegun Obasanjo because of their closeness to the former president. Ubah’s chairmanship of the Senate Committee on INEC is seen by National Assembly watchers as part of his early ploy at nurturing his 2015 gubernatorial ambition. However, the hurdle Ubah may have to scale through is how to grab the ticket of the party at the primaries to fly the party’s flag at the 2015 polls. Already, the lawmaker has suffered the first blow in this regard, because the preferred candidate by the NWC of the PDP for the chairmanship of the state party, who is also the choice of the Ubahs, Ken Emeakayi, has been unilaterally replaced with Ejike Oguebego by the national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. This is seen as a bad omen for his ambition.
Chris Ngige (Anambra Central/APC) A former governor of Anambra State until he was unseated by the court, Senator Chris Ngige may not be financially endowed but he enjoys grassroots support in the state. He will be relying on the financial support of the leadership of the new All Progressives Congress, APC, to prosecute his gubernatorial quests. Ngige, who became a senator under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and now will be seeking election as governor of Anambra State under the new APC, owes his popularity with the people of the state due to his being actually the first person that made the people of Anambra State feel the impact of government through his massive investments in infrastructure. Ngige still enjoys the goodwill of the people and it was the same goodwill that enabled him to defeat the former Information Minister and very popular Prof. Dora Akunyili at the poll to become a senator. Ngige will still be relying on the same goodwill to prosecute his 2015 gubernatorial ambi-
Chris Anyanwu (Imo East/APGA) Senator Chris Anyanwu will have to fight a very herculean battle if she must actualise her ambition of winning the ticket of APGA for the gubernatorial race. The first challenge she may have to contend with is that of Mrs. Kema Chikwe, who until recently was the national women leader of the PDP. It is believed that Chikwe played a vital role in denying Anyanwu the senatorial ticket in the PDP, which made her to return to the Senate under APGA. Besides, there is also the Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho factor. Even though the former Interior Minister belongs to the PDP, he was said to have supported Anyanwu greatly in actualising her ambition of returning to the Senate despite serious oppositions from Chikwe and the former governor, Ikedi Ohakim. Now that Iheanacho is said to be nursing similar gubernatorial ambition, Anyanwu can no longer rely on his support since he (Iheanacho) will concentrate all efforts towards actualising his own objective. There is also the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha’s factor. Both Anyanwu and Ihedioha come from the same zone of the state and it is no longer secret that Ihedioha is eyeing the Government House, Owerri. The implication is that both lawmakers will be competing for the votes from the same place.
Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta North/PDP) There is a current political agitation in Delta State by the people of Anioma that it is their turn to produce the next governor CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Senators who want to be governors
Solomon’s position is that it is the turn of Lagos West to produce the next governor of Lagos State. A two-term senator, in 2011, Solomon was cruising home to becoming the Senate Minority Leader until Tinubu intervened to cede the office to Senator George Akume. Indeed, National Assembly watchers believe that if the office was to have been voted for by the opposition senators, Solomon would have clearly dusted Akume. Solomon was compelled to settle for the Senate Minority Whip. The major problem Solomon may encounter in actualising his gubernatorial ambition is the Governor Raji Fashola factor. It is believed that the governor may not be favourably disposed to handing over to the lawmaker. The governor, according to watchers of the Lagos State politics, would instead prefer a technocrat to succeed him. But again, those who are versed in the politics of the state will argue that the decision as to who becomes the governor of Lagos State will not entirely taken by the sitting governor.
PARLIAMENT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 43 of the state. Indeed, since the creation of the state, none of the Aniomas have had any shot at the governorship of the state. If this sentiment gains the support of the other ethnic groups in the state, then this will put Okowa, who comes from that part of the state in good stead for the office. A medical doctor by profession, Senator Okowa was the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, SSG, from 2007 to 2011, under the present governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, before proceeding to the Senate. Okowa has done relatively well in the Senate where he is the current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health. The chances of the lawmaker, becoming the next governor of the state will depend, to a very large extent on whether the present governor, Uduaghan, will buy into the sentiment that it is the turn of the Aniomas to produce the next governor of the state.
Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central/PDP)
Magnus Abe (Rivers South-East/PDP) Before the current political crisis in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe was seen as the, “Khalifa,” the successor to the throne in the state. It was believed in political circles in Rivers State that Governor Chibuike Amaechi was favourably disposed to handing over to Abe come 2015. His choice was among other reasons, intended to address the age-long marginalisation of the Ogonis. A very loyal and avid supporter of Amaechi, it is therefore no gainsaying that one of the major casualties of the on-going political crisis in the state is indeed Senator Abe. One time Commissioner for Information, a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Abe has done very well in the Senate where he chairs the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream). Abe has maintained a very clean record of integrity
in a sector that is reeking with high degree of corruption. He chaired the Senate Joint Committees that probed the fuel subsidy scam in 2011 and came out very clean of scandals at a time the same probe led to massive allegation of corruption against members of the House of Representatives. A lawyer by profession, Abe is said to be in very good stead to govern Rivers State given his experience in both the private and public sector. If Amaechi goes ahead to concede the gubernatorial slot to Abe, the governor will be going against the zoning arrangement in the state that it should be the turn of the Kalabaris to produce the next governor for the state after the Ikweres.
Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon (Lagos West/ APC) Senator Ganiyu Solomon is widely acclaimed to be a grassroots politician in Lagos State, particularly in the highly populated Mushin area of the state, where he comes from. He is believed to be highly open-minded, a great political mobiliser and closely associated with the leader of the defunct ACN, Bola Tinubu. Solomon has not hidden his interest to govern Lagos State. Indeed, earlier this year, he came out openly to announce his interest in the contest, an action that caused a lot of political upheavals in the state.
A two-term member of the House of Representatives, where he rose to become the Majority Leader of the House before coming to the Senate where he is the current Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi is a grassroots politician in his state. A vibrant lawmaker who contributes actively to debates on the floor of the Senate, he has gathered great parliamentary experiences and it is believed that the next stop for him is to take a shot at the chief executive slot for his state. Ningi is a loyal party member, who is well connected to the leadership of the PDP and the Presidency. He also maintains a very good relationship with his current governor, Isa Yuguda. Ningi is also credited to being close to the traditional institutions in Bauchi State. What may work against his gubernatorial project is the zoning arrangement in the state.
Blame govs for political crises, says ex-Senate President FELIX NWANERI
ormer Senate President, Ameh Ebute, has blamed state governors for the crises in the polity, saying that the imposition of their stands on critical national issues on the generality of Nigerians does not augur well for the system. Ebute, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Lagos, also faulted calls by some Northern governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the sack of the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. He said: “The problem we have in the polity is that the governors’ always
gang up and impose their positions on the people,” warning that the tolerant nature of President Goodluck Jonathan should not be seen as weakness. The aborted Third Republic Senate President further berated the governors, saying their insistence on being leaders of the parties in their states was responsible for the crisis rocking the various parties, especially the PDP. He said while the position of the governors in the party cannot be ignored, the various chairmen of the state chapters of the party are the authentic leaders of the PDP in the various states. His words: “The PDP constitution did not make
any provision for a governor being the leader of the party in his state. This scramble by the governors to be leaders of the party in their states is all about how they will continue to hold the local government areas to ransom.” On the call for Tukur’s sack, Ebute averred that “the demand by the five Northern governors for the President to remove Tukur as the PDP national chairman is not tenable,” adding that Tukur was elected for a four-year tenure and could only be removed at a national convention of the PDP. While calling for discipline among PDP members, Ebute added that those who cannot abide by the party’s rules and reg-
ulations should be shown the way out. On disenchantment in the North against President Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015, Senator Ebute advised political leaders in the region to support the President for a second term for him to complete the laudable projects he has started in the power, aviation and road sectors. He however ruled out an automatic ticket for the President, saying that such will amount to a contravention of the Electoral Act. “There wouldn’t be an automatic ticket for President Jonathan in 2015, because that will contravene the Electoral Act. The President will contest the
PDP presidential primaries with others who are interested in the presidency, but I will assure you that he will win the primary,” he said. On the emergence of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ebute dismissed the possibility of the opposition party posing any threat to the ruling party, even as he expressed surprise that the former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would fraternise with the likes of former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. He said: The APC merger will not work, I can
assure of that, but I am surprised that someone like Tinubu, who was detained with us during the June 12 struggle would go into a political marriage with the likes of Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Community Mirror I welcome the registration of APC and any other political party. The beauty of democracy is the opportunity given to all and sundry to partake in the democratic process.
Man apprehended for impersonating army oﬃcer
AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNOR, GODSWILL AKPABIO
Army Chief decries rising crime in barracks FRANCIS SUBERU
he Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika has lamented the rising crime wave and other social vices in military barracks, even as he charged army chaplains to work towards cleansing the system. Ihejirika, who said this at the annual seminar and retreat by the Roman Catholic Chaplaincy of the Nigerian Army, charged
army Catholic Chaplains to work towards ensuring that moral vices within the barracks are eradicated. The Army Chief said that ethnic tendencies, nepotism and corruption have brought problems including terrorism, noting that chaplains must ensure that these vices are fought both from within and outside the barracks. He said: “We all know how much a herculean task this has become in recent times because of the incessant intrusion of
threats of corruption, nepotism, negative tribalism and ethnic tendencies and what is worse, the new wave of terrorism. As we battle these from without, we cannot overlook the fact that there are still traces of gross misconduct, rape, drunkenness and social dichotomy and other related crimes from within.” The Army Chief who was represented by the Commandant of the Nigerian Army Signal School, Major General Don-
ald Oji, urged the chaplains to see themselves as prime collaborators in eschewing these vices within the barracks. He also told them to utilise the retreat and seminar to pray for the peace and general well being of the country and the army, commending them for the counselling they have provided for troops in peace time and at theatres of war. Earlier, the Director of Chaplain Services of the Roman Catholic, Colonel Charles
Iroegbu said the theme of the seminar which is anchored on Pope Benedict XVI declaration of year of faith, was to ensure that it furthers the role of chaplains in realising the Chief of Army Staff ’s vision in building an enlightened and committed workforce at the grass roots. He said that it is in pursuance of this, that the chaplain assistants were assembled from various units of the force, especially since they are the ones to carry the message to the people.
NANS honours philanthropist with award A ZA MSUE KADUNA
he National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has honoured a philanthropist, Alhaji Umar Abdullahi Tsauri for providing social amenities for Muslim and Christian communities. National Vice President of NANS, Comrade Ahmad Jibril explained that the award on Tsauri as “2013 epitome of Hope” was based on his positive contributions to society, even as he called on wealthy citizens to emulate him. While presenting the award to Tsauri in Kaduna, the association urged the beneficiary to redouble his effort towards poverty alleviation among the people.
The body called for government restructuring of the educational sector to avoid further decay in the system. “We are happy with your humanitarian activities in Funtua and Katsina states. We will always be with you in prayers. Our award is not for sale, but strictly for people like you who have impacted positively in their community and Katsina as a whole without discrimination” Commending NANS for the award, Alhaji Tsauri said he would continue to offer services to humanity in any capacity. He however called on youths to be in the vanguard for peace in order for development to take place, stressing that without peace the country will continue to be backward.
Youths trained on skills in Kaduna A ZA MSUE KADUNA
nongovernmental organisation, ‘Sufter International’ has commenced the training of one million youths on entrepreneurship and Information Communication Technology, ICT, as part of efforts to tackle insecurity in the northern part of Nigeria. Programme Coordinator of the group, Yusuf Zakari stated this in Kaduna at the graduation of 100 students. Yusuf said the graduates received free training adding, that the organisation has also introduced computer programme for Almajiris to reduce street begging. While decrying educational
backwardness in the north, Yusuf called on parents and governments to redouble their efforts towards technology and entrepreneurship. He said: “We have trained youths on entrepreneurship skills and ICT in two years. Our target is to train one million people, especially youths in the northern states. We trained them free of charge because they do not have money. The programme will help to reduce insecurity we are experiencing in this part of the country. “We also introduced computer programme called ‘illimin Computa’ for Almajiri children and those who are not attending school. We are calling on people who give alms to street beggars to send them here for training, and the children will be transformed.
Goods being displayed at Abubakar Gumi Central Market, Kaduna as business resumes after Sallah holidays yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Court adjourns suit on chieftaincy crisis KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
n Ibadan High Court presided over by Justice A. L. Akintola, has adjourned hearing on the chieftaincy tussle to the seat of Onitede of Tede, Oyo State, between Oba Rauf Oladoyin and Prof. Solomon Olaniyonu to October 13, 2013. In suit number I/785/2001 between the state and three others, Olaniyonu is challenging the right of Oba Oladoyin, to the throne following a 2003 judgement to the contrary. The applicant is asking the court to decide the validity of the consenting authority of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, to the appointment of the present Onitede in 2011. However, Justice Akintola,
while addressing the court, said the case should be adjourned till October for mention in view of the absence of the Alaafin and his counsel in court. Counsel to the applicant, Mr Segun Jayeola, said, “The whole matter now revolves around the Alaafin who is the consenting authority. “The issue before the court is to decide whether there was a consenting authority of Alaafin on the appointment of Onitede of Tede. There was a judgement of the High Court in 2003 which nullifies all the actions of the governor in installing the first respondent as Onitede. “We want the court to clarify the issue on who among the two is authentic by law. The court is now to say whether the consenting authority given prior to the
judgement of the 13th of June, 2003 subsists or not. “As at June 2003 the High Court declared the stool vacant”. But counsel to Onitede, Mr. Adele Aderogba, said, “The issue is that the Onitede of Tede, Oba Rauf Oladoyin, had been installed as far back as December 2001. The applicant is labouring under a wrong impression that the Onitede’s chieftaincy is governed by 1954 Declaration. That is not true. “The court has made a pronouncement that the chieftaincy is governed by 1958 Declaration. A court of competent jurisdiction has given a verdict that the applicable declaration is that of 1958. Besides, the appointment of Onitede is also not based on the Adio Commission of inquiry”.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Man apprehended for impersonating army officer NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
oldiers from Onitsha Military Cantonment in Anambra State have apprehended a 26 year old man, Mr. Chinenye Nnagbogu for allegedly impersonating as a military police officer. Parading him, the Second-inCommand of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Lt.-Col. John Majebi, said Nnabuogu who was arrested near the cantonment gate, had been extorting money from commercial motorcyclists
plying the Enugu-Onitsha road while posing as an army officer. Majebi, who admitted that it was difficult to suspect that the impostor was not a genuine
army personnel, having carried out his nefarious activities close to the barracks, explained that the Army had been on his trail for more than three months, since receiving complaints from the public. He said, he reliably gathered that Nnabuogu had even introduced himself to the Onitsha Police Area Command as an army officer, ostensibly to make his extortionist act easier. Majebi, however, urged the public to promptly report any suspicious character and develop-
Young groundnut hawkers waiting for customers along Obafemi Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Lagos.
LCDA boss praised for infrastructure development FRANCIS SUBERU
he Managing Director of Klass-Com Technical Global Limited, Mr. Omoniyi Olufeyimi has lauded the development strides of the Chairman of Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area, Mr. Bolaji Kayode Robert. Olufeyimi said the achievements have become a reference point, especially the initiative in Information Communication Technology, ICT. He made the commendation during the presentation of new computers to Mr. Kayode in his office. Olufemi praised the chairman for his resolve in showcasing the local government and his concerns for education, especially in bringing the computer age to bear in the council. “Information Communication Technology benefits the business world by allowing organisations work more efficiently and maximise productivity.Also, electronic stor-
age and the protection of records are advantages that ICT can have on enterprises”, Olufeyimi said. He noted that Information Communication Technology has to do with computer applications, which every work environment is dependent on, since computerised systems are advantageous in any organisation. He also commended the LCDA boss for putting the council’s activities on the websites, which has made it possible to be on the global stage. He further said the achievements of the council in infrastructural development, health, education and rural development are major feats any local government in the country should emulate. Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Bolaji Kayode Robert reiterated his primary objective, which is establishing a legacy for others to follow. He said “everything among others is God’s gift, as it shows in all ramifications that the ideal thing is to achieve the best in the interest of the people”.
ment to the security agencies for investigation, stressing that the impersonator would be handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution. In his confessional statement, Nnagbogu, who claimed to be a trader, said he had been in the act for only three months. He however denied extorting money from commercial motorcyclists, adding that what he did was to ask them to pay daily dues, even as he admitted that he introduced himself as an army officer.
Youths protest attack by Fulani herdsmen CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ore than 300 youths from Umuekwune Irete in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State,have staged a peaceful protest to Government House following attacks by Fulani herdsmen. The herdsmen shot and killed two people while several others were wounded last week, when the villagers tried to stop cattle from grazing on their farmland. One of the victims, Chibuzor Okorie was shot in the stomach with machete cuts all over his body, while another victim identified as John had his hands chopped off. The angry youths barricaded the gate demanding to see Governor Rochas Okorocha over their plight. They complained that more than 10 villagers are lying critical in the hospital following gunshot wounds sustained during the attack. They were however disappointed when they were told that the governor and other senior officials had travelled to the United States of America. But the youths
disrupted traffic in the area chanting war songs and carrying placards some of which read: “We are tired of these attacks on us”, “Our women and girls are constantly raped”, Our farmland are destroyed by these herdsmen, “ The protesting youths also displayed photographs of the victims. Speaking, one of the youth leaders, Kyria Okeh demanded to know who gave the herdsmen AK 47 rifles with which they opened fire at harmless villagers. “These herdsmen were armed with AK 47 rifles; we want to know who gave it to them”. According to him, several attempts had been made in the past to report the activities of the herdsmen to the government without result. He said their plight has always been the case in most communities in the state. “Almost on a daily basis, cattle destroy farmland and crops cultivated by the people. On several occasions, these communities have reported the matter to the government and nothing has been done to check the menace.”
Hoodlums threaten to demolish 4,000 buildings MURITALA AYINLA
xcept there is urgent intervention by the Ogun State Government, land grabbers in Orodu Community in Ifo Local Government will start demolishing more than 4,000 buildings in the area. Residents are now calling on law enforcement agencies to investigate the continuous invasion of their community by gang of hoodlums who are threatening to demolish their buildings and take over other land. According to the community leader, Prince Oduntan Oyeakan, the hoodlums began invading the area some two years ago, claiming their forefathers sold the land to their principal, one Bashorun Adebayo Ajao since 1972. He said the hoodlums claimed to have bought the entire land covering 653 acres. He added that the move was after land grabbers had petitioned the community over series of allegations. He said: “The hoodlums arrived in four buses and began to mark our houses for demolition, claiming to have bought 653 acres of land since 1972 on which we have over 4,000 buildings. They claimed my father; the late Bale sold the land to them 41 years ago. They also alleged my father signed a document. There was no way my late father could have done that. He was an illiterate and could neither read nor write. I don’t know where they forged the signature. Even when he was alive, he forbade any member of his family to sell land. They began to harass us immediately he died. “Even after his death, there was no record showing that any parcel of land was sold to anyone. There is no court injunction to that effect. We have been to the Lands Ministry in Abeokuta, and could not substantiate Bashorun Adebayo’s claim. Meanwhile, counsel to Bashorun Adebayo, Mr Sola Lamidi said ownership of the land by his client is covered by the ‘Deed of Conveyance’, even as he insisted that it shows that 653 acres was sold him.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
“This is wrong. I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour.” –British Prime Minister, David Cameron
Israel names Palestinians to be freed before peace talks
Mali awaits results in presidential poll
Marikana shooting: South African union leader killed
alians await the outcome of a presidential election run-off they hope will usher in a new era of peace in the West African nation - with international monitors reporting satisfaction with voting conditions. The process of ballot-counting began on Sunday, as polling stations around the country closed shortly after 6pm local time (1800 GMT) as scheduled. An electorate of nearly seven million had been asked to choose between former premier Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and ex-finance minister Soumaila Cisse to lead Mali’s recovery, following last year’s coup. The two candidates have declared themselves confident of victory in the run-off, called after none of the 27 candidates in the first round on July 28 achieved an outright majority. The European Union’s election observation mission was to present a report on turnout and voting conditions yesterday. Al Jazeera’s reporter in the capital Bamako said that EU observers were happy with the vote, the result of which should be known by the end of the week. “Logistics problems in the first round were largely solved,” he said. “They were happy, thinking that this will probably run according to plan.” However, he said bad weather and apathy may have affected turnout. “There is a fear that the turnout will drop by 10 percent on the first round,” he said. About 50 percent of Mali’s seven million voters participated in the first round of voting.
Zimbabwe’s poll: Mugabe tells critics to ‘go hang’ PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
imbabwean President Robert Mugabe told critics of his re-election to “go hang” yesterday, making clear he would brook no questioning of his disputed victory either from the West or his main rival, who is challenging the result in court. In his first public speech since he and his ZANU-PF party were declared overwhelming winners of the July 31 presidential and parliamentary
elections, Mugabe dismissed his defeated rivals as “pathetic puppets” and “Western-sponsored stooges”. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of Mugabe’s rival Morgan Tsvangirai filed a court challenge on Friday against Mugabe’s announced landslide re-election, alleging widespread vote rigging and intimidation of electors by ZANU-PF. The result extends by five years the 33-year rule of Mugabe over the southern African nation that was for-
Benin Republic president scraps PM’s post
enin Republic President Boni Yayi has removed the post of prime minister in a new 26-member cabinet announced late on Sunday, fanning speculation about a leadership rift in the cotton-producing West African state. Yayi dismissed his entire government in a surprise move on Friday, declaring only that the decision was intended “to breathe a new dynamic” into the cabinet. He did not reappoint Pascal Koukpaki as premier or name any replacement. Local newspapers have for nearly a year speculated that Koukpaki, who is widely viewed as a top contender for the presidency in elections set for 2016, had fallen out of favour with the president. Neither man has publicly commented. “It’s his discretionary power,” Yayi’s spokesman, Vincent Dassi, said yesterday in response to Re-
uters’ requests for the reasons behind Koukpaki’s removal. “A certain number of projects were struggling. The head of state wanted to unblock the situation and give a new dynamic to his program,” he said, declining to give further details. Finance Minister Jonas Gbian and Foreign Minister Nassirou Bako retained their jobs but the 26-member cabinet counts 12 new ministers. Francois Adebayo Abi-
ola, in charge of higher education and scientific research, is the most senior figure in the government with the sole minister of state post. Yayi headed the government himself during his first mandate before he appointed Koukpaki in 2011 and is expected to again assume the job of coordinating the activities of his cabinet. Benin, situated to the west of Nigeria, has enjoyed two decades of political stability since multi-party democracy was restored. Yayi won the last election with an outright majority in the first round. Yayi has said he wants to amend parts of the constitution to introduce bodies like an independent election commission and a court to oversee state audits. He has pledged not to pursue any amendment that allows him to stand for a third term. Critics suspect his camp has not ruled out this idea.
merly known as Rhodesia. At 89, Mugabe is Africa’s oldest leader. Pointing to multiple flaws in the vote cited by domestic observers, Western governments - especially the United States have questioned the credibility of the election outcome and are considering whether to prolong sanctions against Mugabe. In contrast, observers from African diplomatic groups broadly approved the Zimbabwe vote as orderly and free. “We won so overwhelmingly that some people are hurting badly,” Mugabe told a rally in Harare to mark Heroes Day, an annual celebration of those who fought to liberate Zimbabwe from white minority rule, leading to its independence in 1980. “If they cannot stomach it, they can go and hang,” Mugabe said, drawing cheers from thousands of ZANU-PF supporters. Tsvangirai’s MDC, which calls the July 31 vote a “monumental fraud”, boycotted the rally at the National Heroes’ Acre shrine, saying it did not want to associate with “election thieves”. Zimbabwe’s constitution says the country’s top court must rule within 14 days on the MDC challenge to the presidential election result. Analysts predict the challenge is unlikely to prosper because they say Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party dominates the judiciary and state institutions.
A female union official has been shot dead at South Africa’s Marikana mine, where 34 striking miners were killed by police a year ago, her colleagues said. The shop steward from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was killed on Monday morning. The NUM described the death as “cold-blooded murder,” and said it was “outraged”. Tension between rival unions at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine has led to several shootings over the past year. Local NUM spokesperson Mqashi Sthethi told the BBC that the woman, who was in her 50s, was shot outside her home at 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT). It is not clear whether Monday’s killing is connected to the conflict between the NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which was formed last year. The NUM said it was “disappointed” at the lack of progress in arresting suspects for what it termed the “assassinations” in Marikana. A spokesperson for Lonmin, Sue Vey, told Reuters that the South African police were investigating the death.
Sudan sets deadline to allow flow of South Sudan oil Sudan will extend a deadline to allow the flow of oil from South Sudan until September 6 in a move following mediation by the African Union to keep crude exports flowing, the Sudanese state news agency said. “There will be an extension to the flow of South Sudan oil for two extra weeks until September 6,” it said. Sudan, the sole conduit for South Sudan’s oil exports, last month extended an August 7 deadline two extra weeks. Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting anti-Khartoum rebels operating across their border. South Sudan denies the claims. The African Union has stepped up efforts to prevent the production shutdown, starting an investigation of the Sudanese allegations. Ethiopia also mediated between the former civil war foes. South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011, relies heavily on oil exports for its economy and the shut down could have serious economic and political implications.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
‘Bribery routine for foreign pharmaceutical firms in China’
Typhoon batters northern Philippines
ribes are routinely paid by major foreign pharmaceutical firms operating in China, the BBC has learned. Five drugs salesmen for foreign companies told the BBC their firms paid bribes in order to increase sales of their products. None of them wanted to be identified, fearing they would lose their jobs. The revelations come as Beijing widens its investigation into drugsprice fixing amid a bribery scandal engulfing drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline. One of the salesmen said his company paid about $1,000 (£647) to get its product back on the shelves at one hospital. “I don’t deny [giving money to doctors] happens in foreign companies,” the sales representative said. “It is rare though and only very few people get it,” he added. But he described an incident where a product had been cleared from a hospital’s shelves, which proved to be “an embarrassment” for him and his company.
Israelis holding pictures of their family members who were killed by Palestinians during a protest against the release of Palestinian prisoners, at Israel’s Supreme Court in Jerusalem, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Israel names Palestinians to be freed before peace talks
srael yesterday named 26 Palestinian prisoners to be freed this week under a deal enabling U.S.-backed peace talks to resume, although Palestinians said these had been undermined by newly announced plans to expand Israeli settlements. Some Israelis reacted angrily to the scheduled release on Tuesday or Wednesday of the long-term Palestinian prisoners. “Shame on the government and shame on the prime minister and his supporters,” Zvia Dahan, whose father, Moshe Becker, was killed while tending his orange grove in Israel in 1994, wrote on Facebook. One of Becker’s three killers is to be freed. The 26 prisoners are the first of a total of 104 Israel has decided in
principle to free as part of an agreement reached after intensive shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to renew talks for Palestinian statehood. Israel sweetened the deal for farright members of its governing coalition on Sunday by announcing plans to build 1,187 new dwellings for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and parts of the territory it annexed to Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war. “Those who do these things are determined to undermine the peace negotiations, are determined to force people like us to leave the negotiating table,” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters. Commenting on the latest projects, a spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Cath-
erine Ashton said: “Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.” Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the new construction would take place in areas Israel intends to keep in any peace agreement. “This in no way changes the final map of peace. It changes nothing,” he said. Some 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem amid 2.5 million Palestinians. Israel withdrew in 2005 from the Gaza Strip, which is now governed by Hamas Islamists opposed to permanent co-existence with the Jewish state.
Dutch Prince Friso dies after year in coma
utch Prince Johan Friso has died after a year and a half in a coma following an accident at an Austrian ski resort, officials said, in a report from the BBC. Prince Friso, who was 44, was moved from hospital in London back to the Netherlands last month, but had since suffered complications. He was hit by an avalanche in February 2012 and buried for 15 minutes. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are said to be on their way home from a holiday in Greece. “Prince Friso has died of complications related to the hypoxic brain injury, which he suffered as the result of his skiing accident in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012,” a royal palace statement said. He died yesterday morning in The Hague, the palace added. The prince’s wife, Princess Mabel, is said to have spent her 45th birthday on Sunday
at his bedside. Shortly before becoming king on the abdication of Queen Beatrix, his elder brother, Willem-Alexander spoke in April of the “terrible situation” the family had lived with for more than a year. Prince Friso with daughter Zaria (February 2011) Prince Friso, seen here skiing in Lech in 2011, had two daughters Prince Friso’s wife and Beatrix had been doing their best to be there for him every day “to give him a chance”, he said. The prince had been skiing off-piste with friends in Lech when the avalanche struck. An emergency beeper he was wearing enabled rescuers to find him but medical officials in Innsbruck said it took some time to revive him and he suffered “massive” brain damage. They said he had suffered a heart attack lasting some 50 minutes.
Indian home-built INS Vikrant
India unveils home-built aircraft carrier
ndia has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier from a shipyard in southern Kerala state. The 37,500 tonne INS Vikrant is expected to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the navy by 2018, reports say. With this, India joins a select group of countries capable of building such a vessel. Other countries capable of building a similar ship are the US, the UK, Russia and France. Yesterday’s launch of INS Vikrant marks the end of the first phase of its construction.
The ship will be then re-docked for outfitting and further construction. The ship, which will have a length of 260m (850ft) and a breadth of 60m, has been built at the shipyard in Cochin. It was designed and manufactured locally, using high grade steel made by a state-owned steel company. Vice-Admiral RK Dhowan of India’s navy has described the launch as the “crowning glory” of the navy’s programme to produce vessels on home soil.
At least one person has been killed and 13 others are missing after Typhoon Utor struck the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods. The national disaster agency said on Monday it was concerned for 13 missing fishermen, as more than 7,000 people have been forced from their homes. “They went out to sea before we declared that a storm was approaching,” said Reynaldo Balido, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Later on Monday, the government disaster agency reported that seven of the missing fishermen from Camarines Norte had been found. The weather bureau said Utor, packing gusts of 200km per hour, was the strongest storm of the year. “It looks like the death and damage toll is going to go up... with wind like this, you can expect a lot of damage,” Francis Rodriguez, a senior officer with the disaster agency, told the AFP news agency. There were also concerns for remote towns and villages that had been isolated by the storm, with telecommunications networks to the areas out of order and roads cut off by landslides. After building strength in the Pacific Ocean, Utor hit the northern regions of the main island of Luzon at 3:00am local time on Monday (19:00 GMT on Sunday). Television footage from Aurora province, along the east coast of Luzon where Utor made landfall, showed uprooted trees that had fallen on top of houses, while roofs were ripped off some buildings.
Yemen’s al-Qaida leader vows to free prisoners
The leader of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot vowed in a message posted yesterday to free fellow militants from prisons and urged jailed fighters to remain faithful to the terror group’s ideology. The note by Nasser al-Wahishi, a onetime aide to Osama bin Laden, came after last week’s closure of 19 U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa. The shutdowns were triggered by the interception of a secret message between al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and al-Wahishi about plans for a major attack. The message also followed an announcement by Yemeni authorities that they had discovered an al-Qaida plot to target foreign embassies in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and international shipping in the Red Sea. In the note, al-Wahishi rallied al-Qaida prisoners not “to be lured by their jailers” and false promises of a “lush life if they abandon jihad,” or holy war. He addressed his message to “prisoners who are in the jails of the oppressors because of their religion” and tells them to “rejoice ... as your brothers are pounding the walls of injustice and demolishing the thrones of oppression.” Al-Wahishi also said “victory is imminent” to ensure their freedom, adding: “We have not forgotten you and will never forget you.”
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
For the musical types: Pop stars Rihanna and Michael Jackson may have also run their fingers across the keys of the Steinway grand piano found in the Royal Penthouse Suite’s second living room
World’s most expensive hotel suite costs N12.75 million a night
here do the rich and famous stay when they’re planning a getaway on the shores of Lake Geneva? Michael Jackson, Richard Branson, Rihanna and Bill Gates have all enjoyed stays here, the world’s luxurious hotel suite - a snip at only £52,000 (N12.75 million) a night. The Royal Penthouse Suite of the President Wilson hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, is believed to be the most expensive hotel suite in the world. Occupying the entire eighth floor of the hotel and spanning a massive 18,000 sq/ft, it boasts panoramic views overlooking the Lake Geneva and the Alps as well as a built in gym and jacuzzi. Perfumes emanate from the wardrobes of the 12 bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom and guests can either play billiards
Surely you’re not spending all this money just to watch TV? Nevertheless, the President Wilson hotel’s Royal Penthouse Suite comes with an impressively sized Bang & Olufsen flat-screen to stare at. Photos: Caters News Agency
or have a tinkle on the Steinway grand piano for entertainment. And after a hard day seeing the sights of the the Swiss capital they can relax with the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision flat-screen TV and audio installation - or simply admire their sumptuous surroundings. A hotel spokesman said: ‘No matter where one looks, an oeuvre d’art is for contemplation. Should it be an art deco vase; a prestigious painting, or a Persian carpet, each object has been chosen for its unique value.’ But that’s not all, the staggering price also includes a private butler, chef and security team, who are placed at the beck and call of guests, who in the past have included Hollywood stars like Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. What really sets the Royal Penthouse Suite apart is its range of tight security features that have made it a firm favourite with such
Decision time: Business leaders like Richard Branson and Bill Gates may have held important meetings in here, the suite’s ‘royal boardroom’
heads of state as Prince Albert II of Monaco, former Soviet leader Gorbachev and Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, now a jetsetting global diplomat and consultant to major investment banks, has also enjoyed a stay there. To allow VIP guests to feel completely safe there are surveillance cameras in the corridors and at the entrance of the
As befits a suite with 12 double bedrooms, the suite also includes this immense dining table, with views across Lake Geneva towards the Swiss capital.
suite, as well as steel lined entry doors, periphery walls and bullet proof glass windows. There are also magnetic contacts outside the suite which can detect if there is an intrusion and the two main bedrooms have panic buttons which are linked to the hotel’s security. And if all that wasn’t enough, there is a human-sized armoured safe which has its
own security system and key. If you wish to experience the extravagance of the world’s most expensive hotel suite, it will set you back 75,000 Swiss Francs per night. However, since it has 12 double bedrooms, a prospective guest could potentially club together with 23 others and pay just £2,166 each... a night. •
Culled from Daily Mail
Norwegian Prime Minister goes undercover as taxi driver
orway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday released a campaign video of himself going undercover as a taxi driver and engaging with potential voters in the back seat, just as his three-party centre-left coalition lags in polls before next month’s elections. “The rest of the day will be quite different from most Fridays,” Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Stoltenberg said in the video. After a weekly government council with King Harald in June, the prime minister, 54 years old, put on a cabdriver’s uniform and sunglasses and picked up the first passengers nearby his office in Parkveien. “Have you started driving a taxi?” one of them asked after recognizing him. Others just laughed. Judging from polls, Norway is
Stoltenberg discussing with a passenger during his undercover operation as a taxi driver Photo: CTVNEWS
facing a political earthquake next month. After 86 years, the Labor Party may lose its position as the country’s largest party. Polls show a majority for the Conservatives and the far-right Progress Party, which would be a significant turn to the right for the small, Nordic nation.
“In taxis, people say what they really mean,” Mr. Stoltenberg said in the video, explaining that a prime minister needs to listen to his people. Passengers complained about Mr. Stoltenberg’s lousy driving skills, as the automatic transmission made him stop short several
times. The prime minister said he hadn’t driven in eight years, as he usually rides in the back seat of a black government car. The stunt was picked up quickly in social media, with some welcoming fun in a somewhat tedious campaign and others complaining that Mr. Stoltenberg should have done it before if he was so eager to listen to people. One tweeter suggested that in most countries, the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs. “Driving a cab was a good way to meet people and discuss their issues,” Mr .Stoltenberg said. “The surprise was good fun, and I probably enjoyed it every bit as much as my passengers. That said, I think it’s better for the taxi passengers of Norway that I am the prime minister and not a cab driver since my driving was less than perfect.” The stunt was planned by Try, a
PR agency run by Mr. Stoltenberg’s friend Kjetil Try, the VG daily reported. The movie was published online and will be shown in theatres before the Sept. 9 elections. The Labour Party’s election machinery, with scores of volunteers distributing roses and knocking on doors all over the country, has traditionally boosted the party significantly in the last month before the elections, while its main competitor, the Conservatives, tends to fall back slightly in the last month. After winning two elections in a row, the popular and charismatic prime minister is an important card for the Labour Party, helped by his massive social media following that included 217,000 Twitter followers and 300,000 Facebook followers. During the election campaign, he has regularly posted photos of himself with voters.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (188)
“To add value to others, you must make yourself more valuable. You can’t give something you don’t have.” –John C. Maxwell MAKE YOURSELF MORE VALUABLE! When we seize the eternal secret that the life of giving is the powerful life, we will become unstoppable at making things possible. My utmost focus is to keep telling and molding my children to approach situations and life with the mentality of, “What can I give here?” When one is focused on what he or she can get from life and situations, the person will be so limited and miserable. The thing to do on a constant basis is to build our capacity. The more we know, the more powerful we are in touching lives. No one can lead effectively without a continual hunger for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. No one can truly succeed with ignorance. We need to keep pushing ourselves to live a larger life and touch humanity. Those who live a life of giving rarely lack. When we take the pains to check through history, we will see more and more facts confirming the truth that givers never lack. Do you want to impact lives? Do you want to make things possible again and again? Do you want to be relevant as long as you live? The chief thing to do is to keep making yourself more and more valuable. Add value to lives. Add value to things. Build your capacity. The world is at your feet!
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Woman delivers 13 -pound baby naturally
British woman set a new Spanish record for big babies by giving birth to 13-pound whopper in Alicante last week, doctors said. Maria Marin was born early Wednesday to Maxime Marin, who
toughed out the natural delivery without the benefit of epidural and later described the process as fairly painless. The expatriate hairdresser, who lives in Alicante with her husband, spent less than
three hours in labour. Not-so-little Maria was moved to intensive care, but more for monitoring purposes than due to any health issues, doctors said. Maria’s size was not the only twist to the
maternity ward drama, ThinkSpain said Saturday. Mother Maxime hadn’t even planned on getting pregnant with what would become her fourth child because she had an ovary removed a while back due to a cyst.
DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me on Twitter @folutile
A Angry elderly ld l patient ti t attacks tt k doctor with machete
n Italian doctor needed 40 stitches from her colleagues after authorities said an unhappy 81-yearold patient came at her with a machete. The elderly farmer was reportedly unhappy with the care he was getting from Dr.
Daniela Vivani and made his displeasure known by charging through the clinic waiting room and striking Vivani in the head and hands. Police in Urbina said suspect Enrico Bostreghini told officers he was angry at the level of treatment he had been getting from Vivani.
Newborn Maria Marin who is the biggest baby born naturally in Spain.
PHOTO: PA WIRE
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Flooding imminent in 90 LGAs –NEMA
he National Emergency Management Agency has identified 90 local government areas that are likely to be affected by floods in 2013. The agency’s press officer, Mr. Manzo Ezekiel said Lagos, Cross River, Ogun, Kogi, Oyo, Imo, Plateau, Kaduna and Bayelsa states would be the most affected. He said the agency carried out a vulnerability study and identified 90 local government areas in states named by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency rainfall prediction for 2013 to be affected by flooding. Ezekiel said the vulnerability study was done through NEMA’s Geographical Information System and in a partnership with a non-governmental organisation on disaster awareness creation at the grass roots.
Tuesday, August 13, 2010
He said disaster awareness campaign was also being carried out by the agency’s six zonal offices in areas that were likely be affected by the floods. Ezekiel said NEMA had organised a consultative workshop on the 2013 rainfall prediction that was attended by state governors and their representatives on measures to be taken to avert disasters. The prediction showed that there would be more rainfall in 2013 which might translate to flooding in most of the states. The NIMET’s DirectorGeneral, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, recently said the rainfall for 2013 would be above normal as compared with the volume of rain in 2012. He said there would be more rains in 2013 in the northern states of Sokoto,
Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and Zamfara. According to Anuforom, catchment areas of River Niger and parts of the Niger Delta had higher chances of even more rainfall this year than previous years. He said his worry was heightened by the likelihood of some communities in Cross River to be permanently dislocated. The DG said two other communities in Cross River would be resettled permanently from their ancestral homes for fear of being destroyed. “We have two major communities that should be relocated. These communities are those that will suffer another major destruction, when the next flood comes. They are Eja in Obubra and Agwagune in Biase,” he said.
Scene of fire disaster at Ogunpa Agbeni Market, Ibadan, Oyo State recently.
Youth volunteers undergo training on managing emergencies
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abuja Operations Office, has commenced training of 70 youths and stakeholders under its volunteer emergency management programme. The NEMA Coordinator ,Abuja Operation Office, Mr Ishaya Chonoko, said the training targeted 70 youths each from Kwara, Niger, Kogi and the FCT. Chonoko said the involvement of youths in disaster management was informed by the need to prevent disasters following the 2013 NIMET annual rain prediction. He said the decision by the office to engage youths in volunteer service was borne out of the fact that they were always among the first to get to disaster scenes. “We decided to involve youths in emergency volunteer service so that they can channel their patriotism to the country to saving lives,
it is a fact that they are always among the first to get to accident or emergency scenes. “We believe that if they are well trained and equipped with the necessary kits they will be vanguards of prompt emergency response and a means of saving lives,’’ he said. He said the NIMET rainfall prediction for 2013 required the involvement of all and sundry to curb the menace. According to him, volunteerism was an integral part of disaster management, while capacity building among stakeholders is a way of equipping emergency volunteers in carrying out the task of saving lives. He said the training was also an effort at ensuring that the scale of destruction was reduced to the barest minimum if floods occur. He appealed to states and local governments to replicate the idea of engaging youths as emergency
responders in their various domains. Earlier, the DirectorGeneral, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FCT EMA), Malam Abbas Idris, commended NEMA’s efforts at reducing casualty rates through the engagement of youths in emergency response. Represented by Mrs Nnenna Ochea, FCT EMA Desk Officer, Idris said the office was working with other stakeholders, especially NEMA to safeguard lives of residents and visitors into the territory. The Principal Programme Officer of FCT National Orientation Agency, Mr Eben Kolawole, said the office had commenced awareness campaigns on the need for residents of the FCT to have a positive attitude towards disaster prevention. He advised people against the construction of structures and dumping of refuse on water channels capable of causing flood disasters in the FCT.
A section of Ikoku Market in Port Harcourt, Rivers State consumed by fire.
Communities urged to cooperate on flood control
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged the communities in the North Eastern part of the country to complement government’s efforts in order to reduce the impact of flooding and other disasters that may occur in their areas. NEMA Head of operations office in Gombe, Mr. Apollos Jediel, made the appeal in Bauchi at the recent retraining and inauguration of Grassroots emergency volunteer corps in Bauchi.
He said the aim of the training is to impact basic skills and knowledge on disaster management to the selected volunteers drawn from Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe States. Jediel said the volunteers would be trained with disaster management concept, their responsibilities and how they can help to prevent disaster and what they can do to support themselves others and relief workers where necessary. He recalled that “flooding ravaged 23 states of the
federation in 2012, and the training was necessitated going by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s prediction of heavy rainfall in the year and the prediction painted a clear picture of what the nation should expect this year when compared with the devastating effect of the 2012 flooding that ravaged about 23 states of the federation.” Jediel added that NEMA had engaged competent hands from the Red Cross, Civil Defense, Federal Road Safety, Fire Service and NEMA officials to de-
liver lectures and to train and retrain the participants who would be taught on how to prevent mitigate and respond to major hazards in their localities. The Bauchi State Chairman Relief Distribution Committee and response to emergencies, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Bello, said “the lesson from this workshop is to get us prepared to avoid impending losses”, and advised the communities to stop erecting houses on the floodplains and desist from dumping waste arbitrarily.
Bello said Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency had already sensitised communities in all the 20 local government areas of the state on the best way to reduce the impact of flooding by advising those on the riverside areas to move to the areas that are safer and people to clean their drainages in order to allowed flood to pass.” Participants at the workshop urged NEMA to increase the number of days for such kinds of training in order to help
the trainees to understand the training better so as to train their larger communities when the time comes. In a related development, in its effort to coordinate resources towards efficient and effective disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response, the NEMA Gombe operational office has drilled personnel of security agencies and voluntary organisations on their roles during the event of an outbreak of any form of disaster.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Governor tasks Emirs on school enrolment DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
ombe State Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, has called on traditional rulers in the state to as a matter of urgency sensitise parents in their areas on the need to enroll their children in school. The governor, who said at his assumption of office in May 2011, he met a serious challenge where a good number of children were not enrolled in school, he
asked the traditional rulers to encourage parents to send their children to school since they are the leaders of tomorrow. He stated this yesterday when all the traditional rulers in the state paid him Sallah homage at Government House in Gombe. According to him, it is the responsibility of the traditional rulers to sensitise parents to encourage their children to behave themselves. He said in 2011, out of 100 percent of children in the
state, only 78 percent were able to attend school, noting that the present administration has done its best by encouraging the public to sensitise children to be good leaders. He said, however, that the rate of low participation has reduced to 35 percent in 2013. The governor noted that with the small revenue that the state is getting, it is still trying its best to ensure that all projects awarded are completed on time. In his part, the Emir of Kaltungo, Engineer
Saleh Mohammed and the Deputy Chairman of the state Council of Chiefs and Emirs thanked Governor Dankwambo for the services he had rendered to the people of the state. He said in less than two and a half years, Governor Dankwambo was able to transform Gombe to one of the modern cities in Nigeria, stressing that traditional rulers in the state are proud of him and called on the governor to assist them to enable them perform their legitimate functions.
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Plateau to upgrade information system with N1.35bn JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he Plateau State government yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with a firm, Teqbridge Limited, for the upgrading of the state’s Geographical Information System, PLAGIS, at the cost of N1.35 billion. State Commissioner of Land, Survey and Town Planning, Mr. Yilji Gomwalk, signed on behalf of the state government while Mr. Chiemeka Ngwu, Managing Director of Teqbridge signed for his company. Speaking at the occasion, Gomwalk described the event as “very significant” and “crucial” to the smooth operation of the ministry and management of land on the Plateau. “Today is very significant to us as a state government and land ministry, seeing the signing of this MoU of N1.35 billion contract coming to pass after the ap-
proval given by Governor Jonah Jang sometime back. “This is the beginning of good things to come in our efforts to have very smooth management of land in the state. “We are optimistic that by the time the project is completed, the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, C of Os, and Rights of Occupancy, R of Os, would be done without any problem,” he assured. Gomwalk also said that by the time the project was completed, other ministries could key into it for their data storage and collection. He enjoined Teqbridge not to relent on its part to perform, but should ensure that the project was properly done and completed within the time frame. Responding, Ngwu thanked the state government and the Ministry of Land, Survey and Town Planning, for given his company the opportunity to carry on the upgrading of PLAGIS.
Aliyu swears in 19 perm secs, NSIEC members PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo (middle), with Emirs and Chiefs who paid him Sallah homage in Gombe, yesterday.
Court may issue warrant of arrest on SSS director WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, may issue a warrant of arrest against the Director of the State Security Service, SSS, for non-compliance with its order to set free a terrorist suspect, Abdullahi Berende, who is being held by the service since December 2012. Berende, an Ilorin Islamic preacher was allegedly linked with the Republic of Iran and through that engage in errands on terrorism matters. He had consequently gone to court to seek his release on bail and the high court on May 24, 2013 granted the relief and invalidated his continued incarceration, an order the SSS was yet to comply with. While delivering his ruling on the prayers of Berende then, Hon, Justice Olayinka Faji, had
awarded N1.5 million against the SSS. National Mirror yesterday gathered that a certain ‘Form 49’ would be needed by the family of the suspect from the court to effect issuance of service of the warrant on the SSS director. The form was said to be an application for sanctions for disobedience of court order after the family must have successfully administered ‘Form 48’ last June and that with the administration ‘Form 49’, it would only take 24 hours to enforce the court warrant on the service in the event that it did not comply. As at yesterday, the matter had begun to draw some interests and stakeholders in legal matters have continued to comment on the matter. Among those who expressed their views was the state the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Alhaji Kamal-
deen Ajibade, whose position was that a court order should be obeyed or a judicious process of appeal is commenced as a mark of respect to the court. Similarly, the State Secretary of the Nige-
ria Bar Association, Mr. Sulynman Abaya, joined the Attorney-General to plead that the process of legal administration be followed in the matter to earn respect for the court and legal procedures.
iger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday swore in 19 permanent secretaries, including five women and a commissioner in the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission, NSIEC. He charge them to work to the best of their ability to build a virile civil service as
Monarch reclaims throne nine years after DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
mir of Pindiga, Alhaji Mohammed Seyoji Ahmed, deposed by the immediate past Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammad Danjuma Goje in 2004, has been re-appointed yesterday by Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. Delivering the appointment letter at the Emir’s Palace in Pindiga, Secretary to the Gombe State Government, SSG, Alhaji Abubakar Sule Bage, said the appointment followed the deposition of the former Emir, Alhaji Adamu Haruna Yakubu, two weeks
after a committee set up by the government to investigate the many complaints brought against him, found him guilty. According to Bage, the committee investigated and found the former Emir to be disloyal and not supportive of the state government. He said the new Emir was appointed based on the recommendations of the reconstituted kingmakers council of Pindiga Emirate which received applications from six interested persons within the three ruling houses of the emirate which include the House of Shuaibu, Hassan and Yakubu. Bage then called on the
new Emir to be responsible to all within his emirate and avoid revenge or discrimination of whatever sort because his enthronement was ordained by God. He also drew the attention of the Emir to the need for obedience by ensuring that he takes permission before travelling out of the state at any point in time. The SSG also announced some adjustments in the emirate where one of the contestants to the throne, Alhaji Mustafa Aliyu Hassan, was appointed the District Head of Kashere while Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Jauro, the District Head of Kashere was moved to Gwaram as the District Head.
government will hold them accountable for any failure in policies and programmes of the administration. Aliyu at the swearingin ceremony in Minna, lamented the dearth of qualified top ranking officials in some local government areas that made it hard for the government to get civil servants from such areas both within and outside the state to be appointed as permanent secretaries. He said it is against this back drop that the state government has made it compulsory for civil servants to obtain a minimum of second degree before rising to the position of a permanent secretary in the civil service. And to encourage further education, the governor announced the preparedness of the state to fund the bill of any director that is ready to do a Master’s Degree programme in any African university while it would foot one fourth of the cost for those outside the continent. Hampering on the need not to divulge government secrets, the governor said; “You are part of the government, you should not divulge government secrets."
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Kaduna refinery: When unrelenting gas The joy that greeted the revival of the Kaduna Refinery and Petro-Chemical Company, KRPC, after years of infrastructural decay may soon be over, as the relationship between the organisation and host communities is turning sour. AZA MSUE, writes that the indiscriminate gas flaring from the refinery is turning a major health hazard to the residents who are now fleeing the area in record numbers.
t is on record that Nigeria is the largest oil producing country in Africa and sixth largest in the world. More than 40 years after some oil refineries were built; gas flaring still persists in spite of the known health and environmental hazards. Communities within the vicinity of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, are not finding life easy due to indiscriminate gas flaring. Many residents are reportedly deserting their homes for safer areas. Residents of Kaduna, especially those living in their ancestral homes close to the refinery are raising alarm over the health hazard posed by this action. According to them, the poisonous gases emitted from the refinery chimneys hover dangerously in the air to more than 10 kilometre radius, thereby affecting many of the residents in the southern axis of the city. National Mirror observed that apart from the gas emissions, host communities like Rido among others, have remained among the poorest in Kaduna and environs, even when the refinery had created many multi-millionaires. Sadly, many of the indigenes live in slums and abject squalor and always in the constant shadow of unrelenting noxious fumes. Gas flaring is not peculiar to Kaduna; as it is more common in the Niger-Delta region where cities like Warri and Port Harcourt also experience the same hazards. Experts say that Nigeria currently flares 1.3 and 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day. This is only second to Russia that flares three times that of Nigeria. They claim that the damage to land, water habitat and humans due to constant gas flaring cannot be quantified. They say that even when adequate research has not been concluded on the effects of gas flaring on humans, the negative consequences on those living close to oil refineries are all too visible. The signs and symptoms include vomiting, cancer, lung diseases and asthma. They added that the emitted gases include nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphuric acid and nitrogen oxide, which combine with rainfall to cause damages to the soil. Experts have called on the Nigerian government to allocate enough funds to institutions for comprehensive research on such gases. The concern on gas flaring and environmental degradation has led to mass movements and activism, especially in the Niger-Delta region of the country. The gas being flared is a constituent of crude oil which experts say can be efficiently utilised as a valuable source of energy, but is continuously spewed into the atmosphere thereby worsening the impact of global warming. Even when subsequent administrations in the country have passed laws and issued deadlines for the cessation of gas flaring, oil firms have rather opted to paying fines rather than adopting modern technologies to end the menace. A report by Justice in Nigeria Now, JINN, an NGO, said since 1969, the deadline to end gas flaring has been shifted for more than five times. In Nigeria, where Shell has been burning off natural gas from their oil developments for 25 years, local people report a long list of environmental damages in addition to the health effects that they are suffering. According to reports, gas flaring is related to acid rain, crop failure, water pollution and a decline in the populations of many species of animals. The chemicals and toxins that are released from the burning gas inhabit the soil, water and plants of the surrounding areas. Unlike in more developed areas, where gas is flared between 50 and 75 meters above ground level to make the damage less noticeable by dispersing it,
the flares in Nigeria are at ground level In 1995, renowned writer and activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed by the military administration of the late Gen. Sanni Abacha for oil related activism. Despite the hue and cry, the government has not taken notable steps at impressing on the oil companies to stop the practice. Early last year, a United Nations Environmental Programme Report, indicted the Shell Oil Company operating in the Niger-Delta for contaminating the soil and environment of Ogoniland in the past 50 years. A resident, Shehu Garba who lives close to the refinery, said the daily gas flaring has saturated the area with poisonous fumes which are now posing serious health problems to them. Garba said: “People working there are big men and women driving exotic cars and using other expensive gadgets but abandoning us to die in our poor ancestral homes. We allowed the government to establish a refinery here, but not to force us out of this place. Our children are not employed in the refinery. Incidentally, the only ones benefitting in our community are the leaders who are not interested in our welfare. The continuous emission of carbon dioxide is causing skin cancer among the residents. In the morning, the gas always envelops the area like a dangerous mist, making it difficult for us to breathe; it is also the same in the evening. The odours are very pungent and overwhelming to bear. If we are eating, it is like we are swallowing the substance alongside the food.” Another resident in Malaban Rido, Mr. Joseph Anka, expressed fear that if urgent measures are not taken by
IN THE MORNING, THE GAS ALWAYS ENVELOPS THE AREA LIKE A DANGEROUS MIST,
MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR US TO BREATHE; IT IS ALSO THE SAME IN THE EVENING
Petroleum Minister, Allison-Madueke
Gas flaring at the refinery
the authorities, the residents might not be able to bear it for long. “We are calling on the government and refinery management to take immediate measures to stop this gas flaring, because what we are inhaling is poisonous and is capable of killing us all. Some tenants in this community have left, leaving only the landlords with no place to go”. The Managing Director of KRPC, Bolanle Ayodele, who confirmed the hazardous practice of gas flaring, said they are concerned with the effects of this on humans and the environment, and are working at minimising the black smoke emission. But, Ayodele said it was not possible for the company to stop gas flaring completely. “We are aware of this problem and very soon, will correct it because we are also concerned about the environment.” Just some months ago, the Minister of Environment,
One of the chiefs in Rido speaking on gas flaring
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
flaring threatens host communities
Gas pollution in Rido Town
SOME OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN FOLLOWING NEWSPAPER REPORTS PARTICULARLY ON THE
KRPC AND KEPA ARE THOSE THAT ARE GEARED TOWARDS ENSURING THAT THE PROBLEM
Hajiya Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafiya visited the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company and set up a committee to investigate the alleged toxic waste dumped in Rido community, which was said to have led to the death of many birds in the area. Some media report had it that toxic waste dumped by the KRPC had caused the deaths of three persons and hundreds of chickens close to where the sludge was dumped in the community. However, the Principal Scientific Officer of Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency, KEPA, Maureen Oyedoja said the waste was not toxic, which was as the result of the laboratory test carried out. “We arrived at KRPC with the Director of Laboratory Services and went to the dump site in question where samples were collected from three different spots into bags, and they are currently being analysed in our laboratory. So far, tests showed there was nothing toxic about the waste. For the meantime, we are still waiting for the
Section of Kaduna refinery
IS RESOLVED final chemical analysis. And because of crisis in Kaduna, our staff are reluctant to come to work, that is why the final result is yet to come out”. The minister who was represented by the Deputy Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health, in the ministry, Kasim Bayero said, the need to embark on fact finding mission was because of the enormity of the allegation concerning the toxic waste which was alleged to have affected humans and animals. According to the minister, “It is always good to investigate issues properly and that is why we are here because sometimes when you read these things in newspapers, they may not be grievous as they are being presented, and sometimes they could even be more serious. “But where it raises serious concerns, it has to be followed up to know the actual situation, so that Nigerians can be informed on what is actually going on. So, this is essentially why we are here.
“As earlier said, the fact finding mission is a direct instruction from the Minister of Environment. So far, we have undertaken a tour of the affected places. We went to where the waste was initially dumped, and where it was evacuated to. We also visited Rido community to meet the village head, we heard his own views, and all we gathered, will appear in our report including the recommendations and we hope it will take off from there.” “Some of the actions taken following newspaper reports particularly on the KRPC and KEPA are those that are geared towards ensuring that the problem is resolved, particularly for the fact that the environmental was at the site, took samples, analysed them in the laboratory, and we have seen nothing toxic for now, even though we were told that the chemical analysis is yet to be completed. We hope that by the time it is out, it would give a clear picture of the nature of the waste. But looking at it, they are more of office and domestic materials, which are not dangerous to health. But in the end, the laboratory analysis will determine the next line of action”. Ayodele said the waste dumped by the company was more of solids than toxic as has been reported. “We are happy that you are here to see the so called waste dump. I want to say that reports have wrongly referred to it as toxic waste, it was solid waste generated from within our system, comprising broken furniture, stationeries and cooking materials. “These are some of the things we have in our temporary dump site over the years.” The Kaduna State House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Environment, Mallam Haruna Inuwa who visited the company over the alleged toxic waste, commended the KRPC for the various support projects such as primary schools blocks, clinic, borehole and toilets for the community, stressing that the company should not be discouraged from providing social amenities to the people, as there are still more to be done for the host community. KRPC had recently embarked on vaccination exercise of more than 5,000 children and adults against killer measles and meningitis in Rido community. Speaking during the exercise, KRPC Public Affairs Manager, Abdullahi Idris, said the company would not relent in its drive to provide Social Corporate Responsibility, CSR, to its host communities for peaceful coexistence and development. He said that apart from its youth empowerment and host communities electrification programmes, the company’s desire to eradicate measles which has become a menace in the various communities, especially during dry season would remain a priority. Idris, said the KRPC has constructed school blocks, health centre as well as boreholes at various locations to alleviate the host communities’ sufferings.
First sports car to be fully submersible Vol. 03 No. 685
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The first fully-submersible sports car is the Rinspeed sQuba car, manufactured by Rinspeed (Switzerland) and officially unveiled at the Geneva motorshow, Switzerland on 6 March 2008.
IGP’s fight against corruption
he Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, as expected, wasted no time in sanctioning the dismissal of the police sergeant, Chris Omeleze, caught on video negotiating for bribe with a motorist arrested for traffic offence. The IG, while confronting newsmen in Abuja, was bold to defend his action that the policeman, having been tried and found culpable, be dismissed to serve as a lesson to others who take liberty in abusing the privileges of wearing the uniform. Well, one down many more to go should be the summary of the scene that
frican record holder over the distance, Blessing Okagbare, finished a distant sixth with a time of 11.04secs. The London 2012 finalist had the second fastest time prior to the championships and was tipped to add a sprint medal to the silver she won at the long jump on Sunday.
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had been concluded with the dismissal of the greedy cop who threw caution into the winds while negotiating for N25,000 from a hapless motorist who was even prepared to pay something. The story of corruption in the police is not new just as their method of extortion is legendary. Just like the disgraced cop, there are many whose motive of joining the force is not for the opportunity to serve but looking for ways to exploit the system without caring for the integrity of the force. Subsequent regimes have tried to fight the monster in all ramifications but it appears the rot is too entrenched to bring about the desired change. Even in spite of the fate of Omeleze in this instance, there are numerous cases that are yet to see the light of the day. But for the courage of the motorist in question that succeeded in capturing the development which was posted on the net, the same cop would have denied involvement and no one could have believed the story except that ‘pictures don’t lie.’ While commending the IGP for responding promptly in eliminating the cancerous cop from service, he must also be reminded that the deal has not been perfected until the co-conspirators
WHAT HAPPENED IS ALSO AN EYE OPENER THAT THE TIME IS RIPE TO MONITOR ACTIVITIES OF MEN ON PATROL AND OTHER ASSIGNMENTS WITH HIDDEN CAMERAS of the cop are also identified and given appropriate treatment and sanctions. From the conversation of Omeleze in the video, he said it clearly that he was not acting alone. Before calling one Wasiu to relate the message to the boss, the cop said repeatedly. Under no circumstances would the greedy cop operate alone without the backings of his own Oga at the top as usual to who he reports to after each operation. The battle against corruption must be fought with determination if the monster must be subdued in the police. To think that the confrontation would be easy is an admission of failure even before confronting the brutal fact. Until the IG is ready to restrain himself from han-
dling the issue with kid gloves, it may not achieve the desired results. Therefore, the need to employ the highest form of sanction to ensure compliance with the established norms of a civilised society needs not be overemphasized. It is time for the force to acknowledge that the war against corruption among its rank and file cannot be successfully waged within the service alone but more effectively by collaborating with other civil groups in beaming the searchlight into the activities of its men particularly when on operation. But for the initiatives of a courageous citizen using the advantages of social media by posting the video on Youtube from where it went viral on the web, it could have been difficult to convince the police sergeant himself that he actually demanded for N25, 000. There is no doubt that the motivation for the likes of Omeleze to go on patrol was not to ease the congestion on the roads but to corruptly enrich themselves. Apart from the few ones lacking in integrity, there are many upright Nigerians in the police whose gallantry in the service of fatherland must be rewarded often in order to serve as encouragement to others. In addition, the remuneration and allowances must be enhanced to inspire them to go on patrol in national interest knowing full well that their needs are secured and guaranteed. What happened is also an eye opener that the time is ripe to monitor activities of men on patrol and other assignments with hidden cameras and other gadgets in other to reveal certain unpatriotic behaviours particularly of non- conformists who are out to tarnish the reputation of the police. Certainly there are bad eggs among the cops but the earlier they are flushed out, the better for the overall wellbeing of this country.
Moscow 2013: Okagbare misses sprint medal Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica lived up to her billing as championship favourite as she stunned her opponents to the women’s 100m gold medal with a world lead of 10.71secs at the ongoing World Championships in Mos-
cow, Russia. Murielle Ahoure of Cote’d Ivoire scooped silver, having returned with a time of 10.93secs. Following this development, the Ivorian has entered the history books as the first African woman to win a
medal in the sprints at the World Championships. Daegu 2011 gold medalist, Carmelita Jeter, picked bronze with a time of 10.94secs while her compatriot, English Gardner placed fourth in 10.97secs.
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