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North responsible for Boko Haram –Sultan P.5

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North responsible for Boko Haram –Sultan …as CAN accuses Northern govs of criminal silence over killings OLUFEMI ADEOSUN AND A ZA MSUE

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resident, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday said that the northern states were responsible for the present insecurity posed by terrorist group and other associated challenges. He stated this during the meeting of the Northern Governors’ Peace and Reconciliation Committee held in Kaduna yesterday. The Sultan, who is the President-General, Jamatul Nasril Islamm, JNI, however, said that dialogue with any aggrieved party would always remain the only solution rather than violence or force. He added that the problem of the North would remain the problem of the entire country, stressing that the zone could not be left with its problems. Abubakar also said no one would Islamise the country, stressing that the traditional and religious leaders had played their parts in times past, even though they were not giving up until the challenges were solved. Sultan also lamented the

inability of the relevant government authorities to implement well articulated recommendations that would help to address the challenges yet to see the light of the day. He said: “Let us sit and talk freely and articulate positions that will bring us out of the quagmire we put ourselves. “It is important that, the religious and traditional rulers from our various states sit together so that each and every one of us will talk freely, articulate a position as the way out of this quagmire we put ourselves in, because whatever that is happening in the North is our own doing, because we did not do what we are supposed to do. “And since we know that, we have to solve our problems ourselves. So, I think, it is not a bad idea that the committee was set up. “We wrote a memo of about nine pages or thereabouts, covering various issues affecting the country and the North in particular to the then acting President and now President Goodluck Jonathan by the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council, NIREC, where we suggested solutions to the problems. Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan,

attributed the security challenges facing the North and the country to high level of poverty, especially in the region. Cardinal Onaiyekan said another aspect of the problem was associated to religion, saying that the bad image of the country had spread in the outside world and there was need for the stakeholders to address the issue to end the problems. The cleric noted that the emergence of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria should not be seen as an accident of history, but God’s designed that could not be changed by anyone, adding

that the main problem of the country was bad governance and once that was addressed other problems would be tackled. The Chairman of the committee, Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim and a member and Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, expressed the committee’s commitment to discharge its responsibilities with fairness. He said: “We got assurance during the inauguration of this committee that, whatever we recommend, especially if the recommendations are justifiable will

be implemented. “Because several committees had been set before and they submitted their reports and nothing had been done, but we got assurance; even this morning, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero, said that they are waiting for our own report and they will see what they can do.” Kukah said that the essence of the meeting with the religious leaders was to articulate their positions on the areas of concern from the religious perspective, saying, “religion is part of the problems of this

Gridlock on Abuja-Zuba outer northern expressway, yesterday.

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it has completed work on the rehabilitation of Arepo pipeline that exploded on Friday after a breach by vandals. The immediate rehabilitation of the pipeline has led to the restoration of petrol supply from Atlas Cove to inland depots including Ejigbo, Mosimi, Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin where major and independent marketers lift petroleum products to their outlets. The Manager, Public Affairs and External Relations of the Pipelines Product Marketing Com-

pany, PPMC, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe, who confirmed the development, said the facility had been repaired. He said: “Arepo pipeline has been fixed. Our engineers fixed it a few hours after the incident to prevent shortage of fuel, which became imminent after the destruction of the pipeline at the weekend.” The manager, who disclosed that the pipeline was repaired shortly after the visit of Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, said the restoration of fuel supply would step up availability in the South-West. He said that security had been beefed up in the area to prevent further damage to the facility, which had been van-

dalised in the past few months. . Imodagbe, who called for the cooperation of stakeholders to ensure the pipeline was well-secured, added that there were about three other entrances to the facility apart from the NNPC Right-of-Way. Investigations showed that fuel loading was ongoing at the various depots. Major and independent marketers said they did not have much difficulty lifting the product to their outlets. However, NNPC has expressed shock at the renewed attack on the System 2B Pipeline at Arepo barely a month after it was fixed following a fire caused by vandals who had ruptured the pipeline in August 2012.

The Acting Group General Manager Group Public Affairs of the corporation, Ms Tumini Green, in a statement made available to journalists disclosed that product thieves hacked at the pipeline again yesterday causing fire that reportedly killed three persons. “The corporation is appalled by the repeated attacks on the pipeline at the same spot in Arepo in Ogun State. A similar attack on the pipeline in August last year and the difficulties the corporation had in effecting repairs as a result of security issues caused a lot of hardship in product distribution, which was responsible for the emergence of long queues at fuel stations across the

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PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASUNA

NNPC repairs Arepo pipeline to restore fuel supply UDEME AKPAN AND MESHACK IDEHEN

country.” Meanwhile, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has accused governors of northern states of criminal silence over the spate of killings in their domain. This is even as gunmen reportedly invaded a church in Jakano, a village located few kilometres from Maiduguri, Borno State, killing five of the worshippers, including their pastor. A statement from the Special Assistant, Media/ Public Affairs to the CAN

country in the last quarter of 2012,” Green stated. She said the NNPC is shocked by the statement credited to the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, alleging that the incident was as result of negligence on the part of NNPC. “It is sad that the governor of Ogun State who should know the importance of national assets like pipelines and do everything in his power to protect them is engaging in a blame game when every responsible Nigerian citizen is wondering why Arepo which is in his domain has become such an attractive spot for oil thieves and pipeline vandals,” she stated. She urged Amosun to emulate his Abia State

counterpart who has mobilised security personnel to protect the pipelines in his domain to sustain product supply to the state rather than engage in unnecessary rhetoric. Green further stated that few months ago, the NNPC/PPMC approached the Ogun State government seeking for synergy on the fight against pipeline vandalism “but to our surprise the Ogun State government is yet to give a positive response.” Green said the PPMC has mobilised its men to site and effected repairs after putting out the fire and would have commenced pumping of products but had to stop to fix another breach on the same line at Ijeododo. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>


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PDP crisis: Tukur replaces Oyinlola with Onwe ...as Jonathan, Obasanjo feud deepens OBIORA IFOH AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has peaked with the sacking of the National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, yesterday over his allegiance to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In a letter signed by the

National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Oyinlola was replaced by the Deputy National Secretary, Mr. Solomon Onwe, in acting capacity. The letter reads in part: “Pursuant to the powers conferred on the National Chairman by Chapter V Section 35 (1), 35 (1)(b) as well as section 36(2) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (as amended), the Deputy

National Secretary of the PDP, Barr. Solomon Onwe is hereby directed to assume duties as the Acting National Secretary of the PDP. “Onwe shall by this directive, conduct all correspondences of the party, issue notices of meetings of the national convention, the national executive committee, the national caucus and the national working committee as stipulated

in the Constitution of our great party. “This directive takes immediate effect and is hereby communicated to all the levels and offices of the party.” But sources available to our correspondent confirmed that Tukur wrote the letter shortly after a meeting with the President where he sought and got the permission to sack the national secretary. The source added that

L-R: National Vice-Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, South-West, Mr. Segun Oni; Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Yemi Adefulu; Chairman, PDP, Ogun State, Mr. Dapo Odujinrin and former Governor of Ondo State, Chief Olusegun Agagu, at a briefing on the civic reception for former President Olusegun Obasanjo by the South-West PDP in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

North responsible for Boko Haram –Sultan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

President, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, said two members of the EYN church in Kubruvu, Damboa Local Council of Borno State, were also killed two days before the latest tragedy. Reacting to the latest killing by the men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, Oritsejafor expressed misgivings over the inaction and outright silence of the governors of the affected states He said: “I am uncomfortable with the blanket of silence and inaction by the

governors of the affected states. I am calling on the governors of these states to, not only condemn the ongoing killings of Christians in their states but to also take proactive actions that would protect Christians. “I also call on all human rights, civil society groups and indeed, the international community to take interest in this matter of attempts to deplete the population of Christians in Nigeria through the deployment of brutal and heinous means and also to note the abuses on Chris-

tians. “As rights and corrective groups, it would be unjustifiable to turn their eyes away from what is happening to Christians and their churches in Nigeria. I, therefore, call on the international community to wade in and to find lasting solutions to these crimes being committed against Christians in Nigeria.” He said with the pattern in which the groups were targeting Christians and their places of worships, it would be mischievous for anyone not to recognise

the spate of killing as annihilation of people of contrary faith. “With this trend where no other houses of worship or persons of other faiths are being attacked and killed, it is most uncharitable, devilish and mischievous for anybody to claim that these killings have no religious undertone. These attacks on churches and killings of Christians are a clear deliberate act aimed at population cleansing, based on religion and ethnicity,” he added.

NNPC repairs Arepo pipeline to restore fuel supply CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

She called on all Nigerians to be vigilant and report all suspicious movements around pipelines to the security agencies, adding that the protection of pipelines should be the responsibility of every citizen especially as they are usually at the receiving end of the hardship

caused by the activities of vandals. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has condemned the activities of oil vandals, especially the recent vandalism of an oil pipeline in Arepo, which left some people dead when it exploded.

According to NUPENG, the vandals should be arrested, treated as economic saboteurs and made to face the wrath of the law. NUPENG in a statement by its General Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare, on Monday also called on the special unit of the anti-pipelines vandalisation squad in the of-

fice of the Inspector General of Police to be alive to its responsibility in monitoring, intelligence gathering of the system 2B area, which carries fuel from the Atlas Cove to Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Kwara states The union in a statement insisted on 24 hours CONTINUED ON PAGE 7>>

Oyinlola had backed exPresident Obasanjo against President Jonathan in the cold war between both leaders. The sacking of Oyinlola by Tukur is a major blow in the camp of Obasanjo whose candidate, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, was recently blocked by the Presidency from assuming the chairmanship of the party’s board of trustees. An aide of Tukur, who did not want to be named, told National Mirror that the national chairman had warned Oyinlola about the danger of some of his activities, particularly his romance with PDP members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, whom he said had refused to cooperate with his leadership since assumption of office in March 2012. Oyinlola, had last week, led nine other members of the NWC to challenge Tukur’s position in the Adamawa PDP crisis. Rising from a meeting, the 10-man NWC in what could aptly be described as a palace coup, rescinded the party’s decision on the caretaker committee and concluded that the meetings it had conducted were null, void and of no effect. It said the ward and local government congresses in the state were not authorised. But Tukur said that he felt betrayed by the actions of some members of the NWC as he had opted to stay away in all matters that affected Adamawa State. “This is just a case of betrayal of trust. The documentations and correspondences in this matter will justify that the congresses in the state was approved by the NWC,” Tukur had said. Last Friday, Oyinlola was sacked as PDP national secretary by a Federal High Court in Abuja following a suit filed by the Ogun State chapter of the party led by Mr. Adebayo Dayo, in what was believed to be a consequence of the current infighting within the NWC. Speaking to National Mirror shortly after the court judgement, the PDP National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, said the party would file an application for stay of execution of the court order. Meanwhile, the ousted national secretary has

urged the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which sacked him from office on January 11. In a Notice of Appeal prepared by his counsel, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, the former Osun State governor invited the appellate court to set aside Justice Abdu Kafarati’s “devastating” judgement on the grounds that, the learned judge “erred in law” when he dismissed his preliminary objection, which had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain a matter he argued was purely an “intra-party affair”. Oyinlola also invited the Appeal Court to hold that intra-party matters were “not justiciable”, since they were internal affairs of the PDP, which no one could assume jurisdiction over. In the Notice of Appeal dated January 11, the appellant, who incidentally was axed as Osun State governor via a Court of Appeal judgement in 2010, contested his removal on three grounds. They are: •The judgement and or decision is against the weight of evidence. “The learned trial judge erred in law when he overruled the preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court and assumed jurisdiction and delivered judgement when the first defendant/appellant and the second defendant/respondent, against whom the principal reliefs are sought, are an individual and a political party who are neither Federal Government nor an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria. •The learned trial judge erred in law when the court disregarded the ruling of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal in CA/35/12 delivered on June 25, 2012 and held that the entire action does not constitute an abuse of court process.” The appellant further contends that Justice Kafarati’s verdict conflicts with the “ruling of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division in CA/35/12 delivered on the 25th of June 2012, granted a stay of all proceeding predicated on Suit No: FHC/L/ CS/1248/11. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7>>


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EFCC arrests Alakija’s aide over N3m fraud OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested Mr. Vincent Ayewah, an aide of the Chief Executive Officer, The Rose of Sharon, a nongovernmental organisation, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, over an alleged N3m fraud. Six others were also ar-

rested by the operatives of the commission on the same deal. A statement by the spokesman of the commission Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that their arrest was sequel to a petition by Alakija, alleging that Ayewah, one of her employees, fraudulently misappropriated the funds meant for the beneficiaries of the foundation’s empowerment scheme.

In the petition, she had alleged that Ayewah impersonated and stole various cheques and withdrew monies meant for orphans and widows in care of the foundation. The statement said that Ayewah allegedly forged the cheques of the foundation’s Stanbic IBTC bank account and got one Miss Florence Ayewah and their friends to cash the forged cheques by presenting them

with fake identity cards. The statement reads: “In the course of investigation, it was discovered that Vincent used his position to enlist his family members as beneficiaries of the scheme. “Specifically, the foundation had been able to establish his mother, who is a widow in a petty trade and was paying the school fees of his sister, Florence Ayewah, a student of Lagos

City Polytechnic. “Vincent confessed that he fell for the scam due to his poor background and being the only breadwinner of his family. He admitted that when cheques are ready for some beneficiaries of the foundation, “I divert them and get my siblings and friends to cash at banks. I also arrange ID cards bearing the name on cheques with their faces on it for bank clearance.” Florence was arrested at a Stanbic IBTC bank in Lagos while trying to cash a forged cheque number 03378 in the sum of N97, 000 in favour of one Ms Olubunmi Juliana Ishola.

Besides Vincent, six other members of the syndicate involved in the scam and who have also been arrested are: George Ehizibolo, Onwuwa David, Okonkwo Chikadibia, Emmanuel Ayewah, Florence Ayewah and Chinyere Awanah Vincent admitted to have at, various times, sent his younger sister, Florence and her friend Chinyere and his younger brother, Emmanuel, to banks with fake identity cards. He also admitted to have acquired a Honda Accord car with registration number: UA 845 AAA from the proceeds of the crime. The suspects will be arraigned in court soon.

‘829,429 patients attended FCT hospitals in 2012’ OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

T Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, during the press conference on the proposed farmers’ cellphone subsidy project in Abuja yesterday.

Tukur replaces Oyinlola with Onwe CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

He maintained that since both Suits FHC/L/ CS/347/12 and FHC/ CS/282/12 are predicated on the judgement in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1248/11 already stayed by the Court of Appeal, “the entire action was an abuse of Court process as it seeks to “cleverly” circumvent the subsisting order of stay of all proceedings/execution made by the Court of Appeal.” In the face of the foregoing, Oyinlola is seeking “an order reversing the decision and or judgement of the learned trial Judge and substituting thereto an order striking out and or dismissing the entire action with costs.” It will be recalled Dayo and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo, had prayed the lower court for an order nullifying the recognition of the candidacy of Oyinlola as National Secretary, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which

was listed as 3rd Defendant. Counsel for the applicant, Dr. Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN) had formulated the following questions for determination: “Whether the candidacy of Oyinlola as a nominee of the South-West zonal chapter of the PDP and his consequent election to the office of National Secretary at the National Convention in March 2012 were not invalid, null and void by reason of the order and judgement of the Federal High Court made respectively on the 27th of April 2012 in suit no FHC/L/ CS/282/2012 and 2nd May 2012 in suit no FHC/L/ CS/347/2012 nullifying the South West zonal congress of March 2012 from which Oyinlola emerged or ought to have emerged? “Whether the candidacy of Oyinlola as a nominee of the South-West Zonal Chapter of the PDP and his consequent election to the office of National Secretary at the National Convention

in March 2012 were not invalid, null and void by reason that he was not a valid nominee of the South-West zone? “Whether the candidacy of Oyinlola as a nominee of the South West Zonal Chapter of the PDP and his consequent election to the office of National Secretary at the National Convention in March 2012 were not invalid, null and void in the combined circumstances of the said order and judgement of the Federal High Court?” Other orders made by Justice Kafarati were: “That a declaration is hereby granted that the candidacy of the 1st defendant as a nominee of the South-West zonal chapter of the 2nd defendant and his consequent election to the office of National Secretary of the 1st defendant, at the National Convention of the 1st defendant on March, 2012, were invalid, null and

void by reason of the order of the Federal High Court made on the 27th of April, 2012 in suit No. FHC/L/ CS/282/2012 nullifying the South West zonal congress of the 2nd defendant conducted in March 2012 from which the 1st defendant emerged or ought to have emerged. “That an order is hereby granted removing the 1st defendant (Oyinlola) from the office of National Secretary of the 2nd defendant. “That an order is hereby granted directing the 3rd defendant to rectify the records of the 2nd defendant by deleting the name of the 1st defendant as the National Secretary of the 2nd defendant and replacing same in accordance with the provision of the constitution of the 1st defendant with candidate nominated at a valid congress of the SouthWest zonal chapter of the 1st defendant to be held within twenty-one (21) days of the order of the court.”

he Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has disclosed that its 12 districts and general hospitals provided health services to no fewer than 829,429 patients in 2012. The Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, stated this yesterday at a meeting with some senior staff of the secretariat. He explained that out of this number, 300,181 were male patients while

529,348 were female. Onakomaiya said that the general outpatients (pediatrics) departments accounted for the highest number of patients with 178,531. He added that in 2012, the FCT Administration provided free ante-natal services to about 74,142 pregnant mothers. The number comprises of 51,664 old and 22,478 new expectant mothers. The secretary added that during the year under review, the FCT Administration hospitals undertook 11,816 normal deliveries and 2,563 caesarean sections.

NNPC repairs Arepo pipeline to restore fuel supply CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

surveillance of the Arepo end, saying also that the swampy area should be cleared so that there will be visibility instead of the present bushy environment where the pipelines traverse. Aberare, who accused the government surveillance agencies of not tackling the security challenges appropriately, said NUPENG is reiterates its earlier call that it is high time that the country established a Pipelines Protection Agency that will be fully saddled with the responsibility of manning, protecting and providing security for the over 5,150km stretch of oil pipelines spanning through the nooks and crannies of the country. “The Federal Govern-

ment should also equip the agency with helicopter gunships, gunboats, specially trained men and women to police the pipelines in the country because the present arrangement of using the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps has not yielded any positive result and the country continues to lose billions of crude and refined products to vandals and loss of lives of its citizenry,” Aberare added. The NUPENG scribe said the Arepo incident must not be allowed to happen again, as the union calls on the security agencies to liaise with the host community leaders and vigilante groups to nip further assault on the pipelines in the bud.


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2013 budget implementation starts this month –Senate •NASS won’t give up on Maina, says Abaribe GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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mplementation of 2013 budget will still begin this month, despite the controversies surrounding its signing into law. The Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who made this clarification yesterday while fielding questions from Senate Correspondents ahead of their resumption from the Christmas and New Year break tomorrow, noted that what was important was that both chambers of the National Assembly officially passed the budget on December 20 last year. According to Abaribe, any other thing that is still on-going now concerning the budget is the normal course of the bureaucracy involved in any such bill. He said: “The important thing to note is that the 2013 budget was passed on December 20 by a concurrence of both houses of the National Assembly and that officially is the passage of the budget by the parliament. “This is January 14 and whenever the accent is done this January, the budget can start to operate. I would want us not to focus on this question of whether there is some lag. I do not think that such lag is significant for it to mean that the operation of the budget will not start from January.” Commenting on wheth-

er the budget has been sent to President Goodluck Jonathan for his assent, Abaribe said: “I will have to assume that such has been done because after you have passed the budget, what is left is simply mechanical, you get a clean copy and then, you send it. I am assuming that it must have been passed.” Regarding the failure of the Chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Force Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to appear before the Committee on Establishment and Public Service, State and Local Government Administration despite a warrant of arrest issued by the Senate, Abaribe vowed that the Senate would pursue the matter to its logical conclusion. He said: “On the matter of Maina, let me state unequivocally that the Senate cannot be said to be helpless on the matter. On the contrary, the Senate will, and I want to underline that word, the Senate will, pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.” The Senate said last week that it had concluded plans to summon the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to explain his failure to arrest Maina as directed by the red chamber. The Chairman of the Senate Joint Probe Committee on Establishment and Public Service and State and Local Government Administration,

Aloysius Etok, made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen at the National Assembly. The Senate President David Mark had on December 13 last year signed an arrest warrant against Maina following his refusal to appear

before the Senate probe panel investigating pension management and administration in the country to answer to his stewardship as the acting Director of the Customs, Immigration and Police Pensions, CIPPO. The warrant of arrest

was served on the Inspector General of Police to execute. On December 17 when Maina was expected to be brought before the probe committee, he was nowhere to be found and there were no explanations from the police for his non-appearance. The probe committee subsequently adjourned further sitting sine die.

Managing Director, Pipelines Products Marketing Company, Mr. Haruna Momoh (left), and Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, during the inspection tour of vandalised NNPC System 2B at Arepo in Ogun State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FG must pay revenue allocation in dollars –Experts

SINA FADARE

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conomic experts have called on the Federal Government to stop the payment of allocation of monthly resources to the tiers of government in naira but in dollars. This, according to them, is to avoid excess liquidity which the economy is facing every month. Mr. Henry Boyo and Dr. Dele Sobowale who made this submission yesterday in Lagos at a roundtable conference to mark the first anniversary of Occupy Nigeria, organised by the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, noted that the presence of this supposed ‘surplus cash’ in the system was responsible for

the prevailing high and burdensome anti-industry interest rate regime making Nigerian products uncompetitive. Speaking on “Nigeria’s fiscal and Monetary crisis: The way out,” Boyo regretted that the ever-present scourge of excess liquidity caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s frontloading of naira in substitution for dollar revenue had caused accumulation of an unnecessary debt burden that attracted huge interest payments annually to predominantly the same banks that were the prime beneficiaries of the largesse of deposit of huge naira allocations every month. According to him, the CBN and the Debt Management Office crowd the real sector when they borrow

about N200 billion every month from the banks for the purpose of mopping up the excess liquidity and dousing the rate of inflation. Boyo lamented that excess liquidity mopped up by the apex bank was a daylight robbery that urgently needed to be corrected. He said: “CBN practice of substituting naira for dollarderived revenue has led to the ever-declining rate of the naira as this framework translates to too much naira chasing relatively modest sums of dollars auctioned by the CBN every week. “The dollar component of monthly allocation to the three tiers of government must be settled with the instrument of registered dollar certificates, so that each

beneficiary (36 state governments, the Federal Capital Territory, 774 local governments and several Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs) can directly approach the banks to change their dollar certificates to naira.” In his own submission, Sobowale noted that in order to move the economy forward, the Land Use Act should be expunged with immediate effect because it was a clog in the wheel of the country’s economic breakthrough. He argued that the CBN could not solve the economic crisis of the country alone, adding that all hands should be on deck to drastically reduce the current high poverty rate in the country. Sobowale explained that

if the government solved the power problem, it would have a multiplier effects on the economy, noting that very few privileged Nigerians had cornered the country’s wealth which had encourage wide gap between the few rich and the poor. Saying that all hope was not lost, the CBN Director of Communication, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, pointed out that the apex bank had mapped out some monetary policy particularly in the area of agriculture that would assist the economy. In his earlier welcome address the convener of SNG, Pastor Tunde Bakare said there was need for such a roundtable discussions to address the salient issues ravaging the economy.

Nigeria’ll deploy troops to Mali this week –Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday disclosed that Nigerian troops would head for Mali this week as world leaders join forces to reclaim the country from Islamic terrorist group. Speaking when he hosted diplomats to a cocktail party last night at the State House, Jonathan said Nigeria would work with other nations to solve the problem in Mali. According to him, Nigeria’s technical team is already in Mali ahead of the arrival of the troop before next week. He said: “We are presently confronted with a situation in Mali. Let me assure you and the global community that as a nation we will work with other nations to make sure that the problem in Mali is solved.” The President said that the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, would meet this weekend to ensure that most other countries of the sub-region that pledged troops would be in Mali to liberate the country from the extremists. He said: “We can no longer surrender any part of the globe to extremism, because it doesn’t pay and we don’t know the next victim. “We must collectively discourage individuals or group of individuals that will take laws into their hands and make the world a place that is not safe for all of us.” Jonathan expressed appreciation to the diplomats and leaders of their home countries for standing with Nigeria during the flood that ravaged the country. He also thanked them for their condolences and sympathy during the Dana airline crash and other air crashes as well as during terrorist attacks and when he lost his younger brother. The President said that he was looking forward to stronger relationship with the diplomats and their various countries, adding that Nigeria would continue to play her role to ensure global peace.


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Gunmen kill two police officers, injure two civilians AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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wo police officers were yesterday killed while two other civilians were injured in an attack by suspected Boko Haram members at a police check point in Tinshama in Hotoro area of Nassarawa Local Govern-

ment Area of Kano State. Reports said about five members of the sect opened fire on the police officers on duty while the two civilians that were injured were preparing for the afternoon prayer at a road side. The officers have been at the check point before the New Year. Already, operatives of

the Joint Task Force (JTF) have cordoned off the area. The state police command’s Public Relations Officer, Musa Majiya, who confirmed the attack, said two policemen were killed and two civilians were hit by bullets in the gun battle that ensued and that the injured and were receiving treatment in an undis-

closed hospital in the city. Majiya said that the police are on the trail of some of the gunmen who escaped with bullet wounds. He confirmed that the suspected terrorists stormed the scene in tricycles, adding that the police and JTF operatives are combing the area to arrest possible suspects.

L-R: Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina; Executive Director, UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet; Secretary, FCT Social Development Office, Mrs. Blessing Onuh and others, during Bachelet’s visit to Ushafa Pottery Centre in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Free-for-all at Lagos Airport over hotel construction OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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t was a free-for-all yesterday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, over the construction of a hotel within the complex by a private investor. The hotel, A. I. C Hilton, which was concessioned to Chief Harry Akande’s company in 1998, has been under construction since then. Our correspondent gathered that the sponsor of the hotel project, Akande was at the site throughout the period of the imbroglio between the two parties. Pandemonium broke out when the personnel of the hotel company purportedly attempted to send out some staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, who were on the landed property. But, FAAN insisted that the controversial land belongs to the agency and not to any concessionaire as

claimed by the company. The hotel personnel accused FAAN staff of illegally breaking into the landed property by destroying the fence and the gate sited by A.I.C Hilton Limited on the land against court interlocutory injunction given by Justice R. O. Nwodo on February 18, 2002 restraining FAAN from taking possession of the land as well as disturbing A.I.C Limited’s workers or contractors whenever they wanted to carry out their construction work. Our correspondent gathered that after chasing out the officials of FAAN from the land, A.I.C officials reerected the fence that was hitherto allegedly broken by FAAN, which gave its personnel the opportunity to use the property as a Very Important Person, VIP, car park. Speaking to journalists on the issue, the General Manager, Administration and Business Development,

A.I.C Hilton, Chief Niyi Akande, said that the concessionaire won the bid to construct a hotel on the parcel of land from FAAN on February 17, 1998. According to him, the concession agreement was to run for 50 years, but decried that not long after the commencement of work on the site had FAAN officials disrupted the project, which had since prevented the concessionaire from completing the project as scheduled. Akande said the Federal High Court ruled in favour of the concessionaire, adding that the arbitration headed by Justice Friday Esun, also awarded a $46 million fine for lost of profit and income that the company suffered against FAAN in favour of A.I.C Limited. Reacting, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said the land in question is being used

as a temporary car park to ease up the traffic at MMIA. Dati said the parcel of land in question belonged to the authority and not to any concessionaire or any other organisation. He recalled that about a decade ago, a concessionaire had requested for land for the development of a hotel and such was granted, but noted that the transaction was subsequently enmeshed in controversy which resulted in arbitration. He however agreed that the arbitrator awarded damages to the concessionaire while the land remained the property of FAAN. “The on-going development around the airport environment is for the general benefit of all and therefore overrides any personal or group interest. FAAN remains committed to fulfilling its mandate of providing a secure, safe and comfortable airport experience.”

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FG budgets N12bn for media labs in education colleges IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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inister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufa’I, has disclosed that the Federal Government has earmarked N12 billion for multimedia microteaching laboratories in all the states and federal colleges of education across the country. The minister, who made the disclosure while playing host to GEMS Education Solution based in the United Kingdom with the aim of partnering with the ministry in promoting quality teachers across the country, said the ministry will also spend N6.6 billion on technical colleges to ensure that they are well equipped for better quality. Rufa’I said the ministry will also place more priority on the quality of teachers in the country, which she said will go a long way in enhancing

and refocusing the entire education sector. According to her, “There is need for teachers’ training and development, we know that teachers are the most critical factors in the classrooms, if we have good teachers, half of our problems are solved, we need to have better quality to ensure that we enhance our system at all levels.” She pointed out the need to have adequate data management that will help to give good statistics of teachers. She said; “In terms of whatever we do in the system, it will be based on statistics that will be germane. Data is what we have been working on, we need to partner with GEMS to ensuring that we have current information at all levels, we need to work closely to ensure that we have data that can be used, we are also working with the World Bank, because they indicated interest in partnering with us on data.

NOA plans 774 FM stations nationwide CHIDI UGWU AND BLESSING OKWORI

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he National Orientation Agency, NOA, has said it plans to establish about 774 Frequency Modulated (FM) radio stations in all the 774 Local Government Areas in the country. Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, who disclosed this during a press briefing organised in commemoration of his one year in office, said that the stations would allow NOA reach out to the every locality in the dialect they understand. To this end, the director-general said NOA had already established an inhouse station at the cost of N5 million to prove the feasibility of the project. According to Omeri, the stations which are among the various platforms being developed by NOA to ensure efficient communication through effective broadcast content control would be in line with the new policy of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission

(NBC). He said the agency is currently processing the acquisition of licence from relevant authorities, adding that the requisite structures, terms of man power, are already on ground in all the local government areas. “We are processing the acquisition of licence, we have not established in 774 local government areas yet, we are only advocating that it be established in the 774 local government areas, and that we have the man power and the structure it takes, that is NOA offices in these local government areas, either in partnership with state governments, or the Federal Government it is something that can be achieved. “I have told you the cost of the smallest transmitters that we have acquired in the agency just to demonstrate to you that it is attainable and as an agency we know how to get the transmitters. They are modern, digital and I am sure will be in line with the new policy of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) if allowed” he said.


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South West

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Obasanjo Presidential Library unveils plans to feed Africa FEMI OYEWESO AND KEMI OLAITAN

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he management of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) yesterday unveiled eight plans of action that would ensure food security to feed the entire African continent. At a press conference held at the International Conference Center of OOPL to unveil its programmes for 2013, the Center for Human Security (CHS), the academic arm of the library said the project, which will run for 10 years, was aimed at employing 10

•To employ 10 million young farmers

million youths throughout Africa within the period. Management of CHS, which included professors drawn from across Nigerian universities, said the move became necessary against the backdrop of disturbing reports that Nigeria imports about 80 per cent of its annual food consumption despite its rich arable lands. Project Co-coordinator, Prof. Peter Okebukola, who spoke in Abeokuta yesterday, explained that the CHS was aimed at supporting African governments in the

implementation of policies and programmes that would guarantee food security in the continent. Okebukola said misplaced priority, lack of political will, usage of crude agriculture equipment as some of the factors responsible for the inability of African continent to feed itself. He listed some of the projects to include; Feed Delta Project; Feed Ogun Project; School Farm Com-

petition; Young Farmers’ Club; Africa Regional Intercollegiate Debate as well as “School Farm as a Resource for Teaching and Learning in Secondary School” as part of the project which the center intended to explore during the year. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan, former Ghanaian President, Mr. John Kufour and the 36 state governors are expected this week at the OOPL audito-

rium for a civic reception in honour of the former president for his voluntary retirement from office as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The two-day event comprises lectures and cultural night on January 18 with General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido as chairmen of the two separate occasions respectively. Apart from Lamido as chairman of the cultural

night, his brother governors from Akwa Ibom and Delta States are special guests of honour of the one-day event. The South-West PDP which is organizing the event, said the day two would feature a civic reception at Ake Palace ground on Saturday, January 19, with the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and President Jonathan as chairman of the occasion and special guest of honour respectively and the governors across the federation.

Oko Baba fire: Victims divided over relocation to relief camp ...As LASEMA promises succour for 1005 victims

MURITALA AYINLA

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isplaced victims of Oko Baba fire yesterday expressed mixed feelings over their relocation offer to Abowa Relief Camp by the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, just as the Lagos State Emergency Agency, LASEMA promised succour for 1005 internally displaced victims. While some of the displaced residents commended the state government for rehabilitating them at the relief camp, others expressed worry over the socio-economic implication the new abode would have on them. Speaking with National Mirror, one of the victims, Muftau Bakare, said though they were still devastated by the incident, he commended the government for providing succor for the victims. “The relief camp is good and conducive, although it is incomparable with the kind of life we are used to here. We appreciate government for this,” he said. However, another resident; Mr. Haruna Muniru, expressed displeasure at their rehabilitation, saying they had been completely removed from their livelihood. “The camp is good, but how do we survive? For how long are we going to depend on government and get us kicked out when they are tired of us? But, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Femi Osanyitolu, said the thrust of the relocation of the victims was to cushion the ef-

fect of the disaster on them. His words: “Our goal is to make sure they are psychologically and emotionally stable through the relief packages and treatment at the relief camp.” He stressed that the camp is not a regimented place, saying that the 1005 internally displaced victims enumerated would be given freedom to go about their businesses as the place is just to shelter them. Meanwhile, Bakare said they were gradually integrating into their new environment and that it was a matter of time that they would put the tragedy behind them and move on with their lives. “We are happy with the government’s intervention. We are happy with the facilities at the camp. Although, we are not happy about the incident, we are getting some relief here.”

L-R: Convener of Save Nigeria Group, Pastor Tunde Bakare; his wife, Layide and President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe-Okei Odumakin, during a lecture organised by the SNG tagged: “Nigeria’s Fiscal and Monetary Crisis: The Way Out,” to mark the first anniversary of Occupy Nigeria protests in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Ajimobi charged on ACN agents of disunity in govt KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he crisis in the Oyo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has taken a new dimension as chairmen of the party in the 33 local government areas of the state, yesterday urged Governor Abiola Ajimobi to immediately relieve agents of disunity as well as old and over-aged men

Amosun reinstates suspended council officials FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State government yesterday announced the immediate reinstatement of the suspended executive and legislative arms of the Ijebu-East Local Government Area of the state in Ogbere. A statement issued yesterday in Abeokuta by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the state government took the decision following the recommendation of the panel it had earlier set up to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis which erupted between the two arms of government

early last month. Adeoluwa further stated in the statement that the Ibikunle Amosun administration in the state noted that normalcy had returned to the council area following the intervention of party elders. It will be recalled that the state government recently announced the suspension of the executive and legislative arms of the local government as a result of the crisis which broke out between them. Although details of the crisis were not made known to journalists, the state government, however, constituted a four-man panel of inquiry to investigate the causes and proffer lasting solutions.

currently in juicy positions in his government. This was just as the five local government party chairmen in Ogbomoso zone passed a vote of confidence in the executives of the party under the leadership of the state chairman, Chief Akin Oke, for winning the 2011 elections in the state and restoring cohesion to the party, asking the national leadership of the

party to disregard call for the sack of the party executives. It will be recalled that a group within the party, “Integrity Parliament,” had, last week passed a vote of no confidence in the ACN executives in the state and called for the dissolution of the party offices from the ward to the state level in order to guarantee future electoral victory for the party in the state.

Some of those in the group are Chief (Dr.) Adebisi Busari (Chairman, State Universal Basic Education); Chief Ayo Eniade; Pa Lasunsi; Chief Lasisi Ayankojo (Chairman, Local Government Service Commission); Chief J.A. Adewale; Chief Bisi Akande; Alhaja Ramota Balogun; Mr. Muritala Ahmed; Reverend Joseph Ogunremi and Chief Kunle Sanda.

Osun auto crashes claim 178 lives ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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he sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, in Osun State, Mr. Imoh Etuk, yesterday revealed that about178 persons lost their lives in 285 motor accidents that occurred between January and December 2012, in the state. Besides, he said that 21 persons also died as a result of road mishaps between December 15, 2012 and January 13, 2013 in the state. Speaking at a press

briefing, Etuk also said that the state command apprehended a total of 24,072 traffic offenders who committed 24, 986 various offenses out of which 68 were driving against the traffic within Osogbo township from January to December 2012. “On the number of offenders tried by the command’s mobile court during the period under review, no fewer than1, 671 offenders were arraigned and prosecuted in the mobile court, out of which 1, 438 of them were convicted for various offences.” The sector commander

while attributing the spate of accidents that occurred on the state major roads majorly to man-made ones said that many of them were not natural and warned motorists against over speeding, reckless driving and at the same time advised them not to disregard traffic regulations. Etuk, who argued that in the area of rescue services, the sector command carried out 285 rescue operations involving 442 vehicles, he gave the number of people involved in the crashes as 1, 607, with 1, 223 injured, while 178 died.


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No country can develop without security –Ajimobi

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yo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said that without security, no society could make any meaningful development. Ajimobi said this at a send forth organised in honour of the immediate past state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Tambari Yabo Mohammed, who is now an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, in Ibadan at the weekend. The governor said it was in realisation of this that his administration, at inception, courted all the security agencies in the state and had been maintaining harmonious working relationship with them. This, he said, had paid off with the peace and tranquillity, as well as the security of lives and property currently reigning in the state which used to be known for violence and brigandage before the coming of his government. Ajimobi said that the entrenchment of a peaceful atmosphere had given room for all the developmental projects his administration had been able to execute in the last 19 months. These projects, the governor said, had changed the face of Oyo State and improved its economy. He said his administration would continue to support all the security agencies in the state, to sustain the peace and tranquillity currently being enjoyed. Ajimobi described Mohammed as a committed, dedicated and disciplined officer, saying that he exhibited high level of professionalism in the discharge of his duties while in the state. The Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr. Adeolu Akande, in his opening remarks, noted that although the former commissioner spent only six months in the state, his stay was eventful and witnessed improved security.

Ajimobi

South West

Tuesday January 15, 2013

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Lagos, media houses, firms square up over traffic law MURITALA AYINLA

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risis is brewing between Lagos State Government and corporate organisations over refusal by the former to approve the operation of the recommended 200CC engine motorcycles. The Lagos Traffic Law 2012 prohibits operations of motorcycles otherwise called Okada on 475 major roads in the state.

Based on this, the government advised courier firms and other corporate organisations, including media houses, using the services of dispatch riders to buy the 200CC engine motorcycles for their business operations. Following the enforcement of the law, newspaper houses and the courier companies acquired the recommended 200CC engine motorcycles, seeking approval of the Motor

Vehicle Administration Agency, MVAA. But the Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, added another twist to the law when he said individuals and corporate organisations must apply for the approval before acquiring the recommended motorcycles, which is contrary to the dictates of the law. The commissioner said he had the power to either approve or withhold ap-

proval for the brand of 200CC motorcycles purchased by the companies. Exercising the said powers, Opeifa has refused to approve the 200CC motorcycles acquired by some newspapers such as ThisDay, PM NEWS, National Mirror and others as well as several courier companies. Speaking with our correspondent, an employee of ThisDay newspaper bemoaned what he called ‘show of power’ by the

commissioner. He said the commissioner had refused to approve 12 new motorcycles purchased by the media house. “Virtually all our motorcycles had been confiscated, that was why we purchased the recommended motorcycle 200CC. But to our dismay, the commissioner insisted that the motorcycles were fake, insisting that he will not approve the letter of authorisation,” he added.

Integrate ethics in school curriculum, NGO urges FG KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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L-R: Special Assistant to Lagos State Governor on Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Idowu Senbanjo; mother of the celebrant, Alhaja Riskat Bakare and actress and film producer, Laide Bakare, during the premiere of the film, Jejere, in Lagos, at the weekend. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

College of Education holds convocation for 12,100 graduates Assuring that the stu- honoured at the convoca-

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti in Ekiti State will on Thursday hold convocation ceremony for its 12,100 graduates. The Provost of the college, Prof. Francisca Aladejana, said yesterday that the figure covered eight graduating sets. Aladejana, who said all the graduates would get their certificates at the convocation ground, regretted the hardship the previous

management of the institution had made the students passed through without certificates. The provost, who blamed the backlog of convocation ceremonies on non-completion of results of the different graduating sets, said on assumption, she ensured clearance of all outstanding results and as well liaised with the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, which made the convocation possible.

dents would henceforth get their certificates as at when due, Aladejana said over 5,000 certificates had been signed by the management and National Council for Colleges of Education for graduates to advance their careers. Aladejana, who said her efforts to reposition the institution for academic excellence had been yielding positive results, said three eminent Nigerians, Senator Remi Tinubu, Prof. Sola Adeyeye and Chief Wole Olanipekun would be

PDP lifts suspension on scribe ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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kiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has lifted the suspension placed on its Secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko. Aluko was suspended last week on allegations of anti-party activities. The state Deputy Chairman of the party, Hon. Femi Bamisile, said in a

statement yesterday that it was unanimously agreed by all the State Working Committee members at their weekly meeting to pardon the secretary, describing what happened as a “family affair”. The state PDP had said last week that Aluko’s suspension was to enable it carry out investigations on the allegations levied against him with a view to ensuring discipline

among its members. Meanwhile, a chieftain the party in the state, Ambassador Gbenga Olofin, has called on the people of the state to engage in politics without bitterness to be able to build formidable democratic structures in the state and the country at large. Olofin, who spoke yesterday during familiarisation visits to PDP stalwarts in Ado-Ekiti,

tion to serve as role models for the students. She said her insistence on higher degrees for all academic staff of the institution had culminated in high quality academic standard for the students as holders of Masters Degree and Doctorate in the college had increased by over 70 per cent. The provost observed that training and retraining of teachers should be the first step before they were evaluated and assessed.

Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ijero, Ekiti West and Efon local government areas, said people-centred politics should be the target of his party members. The PDP leader said Ambassador Gbenga Olofin Movement, AGOM, was his platform to realise his major concerns of “economic empowerment, freedom from political oppression, and improved quality of life for the people of Ekiti State.”

Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Initiative for Ethics and Value Orientation, IEVO, has called on the Federal Government to immediately declare state of emergency on the education sector. The organisation also asked the government to integrate ethics as a subject in primary and secondary schools’ curricula. The group in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday and signed by its Programme Officer, Comrade Olalekan Fadare, said the only way for government to avert the unimpressive performance of candidates in the WASCE and NECO examinations’ results was the timely inclusion of ethics in the curriculum. Fadare maintained that there was the urgent need for the Federal Government to fashion out ways of raising the country’s educational standard, especially at the primary and secondary schools level, for Nigeria to be able to face the challenges ahead, considering the global technological advancement. According to the programme officer, the importance of ethics as a rational foundation in reasoning about values which shape human behaviours cannot be over emphasised hence the need for its timely inclusion in the curriculum. He said: “Nigerian students have jettisoned the values of hard work and now seek alternative means of passing exams without toiling and moiling.”


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South East

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Imo Dep Gov’s protocol officer kidnapped, killed CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Protocol Officer to the Imo State Deputy Governor, Chief Laz Anyanwu, was yesterday found dead in Owerri, four days after he was kidnapped in the Imo State capital.

Laz, a former Director of Administration and Services, DAS, in OhajiEgbema Local Government Area, was discovered dead along bush paths at Nwaoriebe in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday afternoon. It was gathered that

the late Anyanwu was kidnapped near the Government House on Friday evening without a trace as to his whereabouts until he was found dead. Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who was to address stakeholders’ meeting at the Govern-

ment House was visibly shaken when the body of the late Anyanwu was said to have been conveyed to the Government House. It was gathered that no ransom was placed on his head, a situation government sources claimed was politically motivated.

Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze near Owerri, Brig.-Gen. M. A. Alkali (left) and Commander, Onitsha Military Cantonment, Col. Taritimiye Gagariga, during the 2012 West African Social Activities (WASA) of the Nigerian Army held at the Onitsha Military Cantonment in Anambra State, at the weekend.

Gunmen kill journalist in Onitsha NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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unmen suspected to be hired assassins at the weekend shot and killed a journalist in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State. The incident, according to sources, occurred when the deceased journalist, I. K. Udendu, the editor of Anambra News, a monthly newspaper based in Onitsha, was returning from Onitsha to his country home, Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state. According to a family source, Udendu had left the family house on Saturday morning to a commercial printing press in Onitsha to check if his monthly paper had been produced for distribution, but he never returned home alive. Confirming his death yesterday in their family home at Ogidi, his elder brother, Chukwulozie Udendu, who is also a veteran journalist and Publisher of Anambra News, said the body of his slain younger brother had been deposited

at Iyi-Enu Hospital Mortuary, Ogidi for autopsy. Chukwulozie, who said to his knowledge, the slain journalist had no misunderstanding or disagreement with anybody that could warrant his gruesome murder, disclosed that he received an anonymous phone call on Saturday night telling him to go and pick his brother’s corpse in front of one Okay Okay Restaurant at Afor Nkpor and behold, when they rushed out to the spot, they found his

lifeless body. Chukwulozie said the family members later contacted the vigilance groups who in turn, contacted the police from Ogidi Police Station who now came down and remove the corpse to Iyi-Enu Hospital Mortuary. The elder Udendu further disclosed that taking a glance at the corpse, it was discovered that the gunmen had shot him in one of his hands which penetrated his ribs and lungs, adding that a close examination of the bullet

riddled part showed that he had been killed somewhere else few hours before and his body brought to Afor Nkpor because the blood was no longer fresh, neither was there any trace of blood in the area. State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa, who expressed concern over the incident, told journalists yesterday in a telephone chat that he would personally involve himself in investigating into the matter with a view to unraveling those behind the act.

FG re-awards Zik’s mausoleum contract for N1.49bn CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he Federal Government yesterday reawarded the construction of the Zik’s mausoleum in Onitsha to Bouygues Construction Company, a French company at the cost of N1.49 billion. The project is expected to be completed within 13 months. Handing over the contract documents to the representatives of the company yesterday, the Project Coordinator, Federal

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Pat Odogwu, said the project was re-awarded to the company because of their competence and technical expertise. Odogwu said the Federal Government was very eager to complete the project, which she said had been long overdue and urged the contractors to make sure they deliver the project on time and according to specification. She said the ministry had kept their own part

of the agreement and had mobilised the contractor with about 15 percent payment. She promised that the project won’t suffer any paucity of funds. “This project is very important to the Federal Government, especially when we look at the importance and great influence the late Zik had over Africa. We want you to deliver on this project within 13 months and be rest assured that the ministry will not lag behind in the area of funding,” she stressed.

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Stop harassing Igbo people, group warns FG NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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socio-political organisation, NdiIgbo Peace Movement, NPM, has warned the Federal Government over what it described as incessant harassment of illustrious and outstanding Igbo personalities in the country. In a press statement issued to journalists yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State, the President and Secretary of the group, Chief Uzoma Anunihu and Mr. Onyeka J. Onyeka, said it is glaring that Ndigbo are being targeted for victimisation and humiliation through constant harassment by Federal Government agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The statement further said that recently there was a re-investigation of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, when he declared his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election on the buried issue of his eight years in office as governor of Abia State.

“Chief Ifeanyi Uba, the Capital Oil and Gas boss was equally a victim of EFCC harassment and intimidation that was brought about by his alleged intention to contest the 2014 Anambra governorship election. “The most recent was the arrest and questioning of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who also had the intention of contesting the Anambra 2014 governorship election,” the statement further stated. It added that while the likes of Hon. Farouk Lawan and Mr. Femi Otedola, who have high profile bribery scandal issues, are still walking the streets un-arrested and un-questioned, Igbo sons and daughters are being harassed with impunity. According to the statement; “NPM is totally in support of objective prosecution of anybody indicted over a crime, but warned that any further harassment of Ndi-Igbo would not be taken lightly.”

MASSOB’s accusation against us baseless –AVS NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Anambra State Vigilante Service (AVS) in Anambra North senatorial district has described as frivolous, grievous and baseless the allegation made against it by members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB. MASSOB had accused AVS of attacking and killing their members for no just cause, to the extent that one of its prominent members, Basil Ogbu (a.k.a. Chelsea) was shot dead by the AVS at the Onitsha Main Market on December 7, 2012. But denying the allegation, AVS Public Relations Officer for Anambra North, Mr. Joshua Nnabuaku, alleged that the role of AVS, as a constituted security outfit operating under the laws of Anambra State, was to complement the efforts of the police and other law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace and security in the state. Nnabuaku also said that

the role of the AVS was to help reduce crime in the society, maintain peace and orderliness and protect lives and property of the citizenry. He therefore denied going against any particular group like MASSOB. He said no order was given to them against MASSOB as alleged, adding that according to their security report, they knew MASSOB as a non-violent organisation under the leadership of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, but not for the group of jobless youths like the deceased Basil Ogbu. “Some influential MASSOB officers in Onitsha have reported that the Basil Ogbu-led MASSOB group has since been suspended by the MASSOB leadership when they started deviating from its principle of non-violence,” he said.

Obi


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SUPER TUESDAY I was constrained as a governor because of godfatherism – Orji

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When Tukur took over from Abubakar Baraje, he came on board with a wellarticulated agenda to return the party to the path of honour as was planned by the founding fathers which, coincidentally, he happened to be one of. Tukur’s agenda is encapsulated in his 3R (Reconciliation, Rebuilding and Reforming) programme. The agenda, he noted, if implemented holistically, may be the panacea to the myriad of problems confronting the PDP. But events in the past few days are beginning to cast shadow of doubt on the preparedness of the entire national leadership of the PDP as represented by the NWC to implement the 3R agenda wholesale as approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party. As said earlier, one of the three legs of the 3R agenda is reconciliation. During the era of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, there was a mass movement out of the PDP by aggrieved faithful over the garrisonstyle of administration in the party. Those who laboured to build the party were practically chased out and left in the cold. The move to reconcile the aggrieved members commenced when late President Umaru Yar’Adua took over from Obasanjo. This led to the inauguration of the Alex Ekwuemeled Reconciliation Committee, which did a thorough job after going round the country to reach out to those that had grievances. So, the present NWC took a bold step in September last year when it came out with a policy to readmit former members who are desirous of returning to the party as part of efforts to reconcile old members who had one reason or the other to leave the party. The move was applauded as a step in the right direction. In a statement signed by Tukur, announcing the ‘amnesty’ to the former members of the party, the PDP said any old members be-

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Obasanjo Jonathan

Tukur’s 3R agenda

Tukur Oyinlola

Tukur’s elusive peace in PDP Barely 10 months as elected members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Bamanga Tukur -led executives have continued to be embroiled in one crisis or the other and questions are beginning to fly around on when and not if the umbrella would be torn. OBIORA IFOH takes a look at the crisis in PDP and where the future lies.

ing frustrated from returning to the party at the ward level can go to the local government chapter to complain and reapply for membership. It also said if they are faced with the same problem, they are at liberty to go to the state chapter or zonal office to reapply. In any event they are denied access to return to the party at the zonal level, the PDP national leadership gave the returnees a leverage to come direct to the national secretariat in Abuja where their cases would be treated on individual merit. The first indication that PDP has no intention of keeping fate with its own decision to readmit some former members desirous of returning to the party came from

Politics

House: Of holidays, recesses and legislative workload

42&43

n March 24, 2012 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s delegates from all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) converged to elect a new set of leaders in line with the tradition of the party every four years. At the end of the exercise about 20 party stalwarts were elected but only 12 were to be known as members of the National Working Committee (NWC), while the remaining eight formed the backup or deputies with absolutely no executive functions. While the former governor of Gongola State and a frontline businessman, Bamanga Tukur was unanimously elected as the National Chairman, a former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola emerged as the National Secretary. The team indeed was laced with very eminent personalities and politicians who have paid their dues in so many areas. And so the journey started with a promise that the party would be transformed as not just the biggest party in Africa, but also the best in the continent.

13

the party’s national legal adviser, Victor Kwon, who inferred during an interactive session with newsmen that it is indeed going to be a selective exercise. According to him, those considered to be “snakes and reptiles” will not be allowed to return to the party. He said: “This party is a large party and capable of accommodating everybody and of course just because you want to accommodate everybody does not mean that you will accommodate snakes and reptiles.” With that pronouncement, many intending returnees were told they cannot be readmitted into the fold and they include former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu amongst others.

Unresolved crisis in state chapters One other major challenge that the Tukur-led leadership met was the untidy situ-

ations in almost all the state chapters of the party, chiefly amongst them were the Adamawa, Kogi and Anambra crises which up till the moment have not been resolved. In states like Anambra, the party parades about three factions of the executives. The primaries that enthroned Governor Idris Wada as the party candidate in Kogi State has paralysed the chapter with over half of the membership working at variance with the party. In Anambra, the division, it was believed, cost the party the governorship in the 2010 election in favour of the incumbent Governor Peter Obi, even when PDP appears to be more popular and with commanding number of membership. The intra-party crisis also in almost all the SouthWest states and even in the enclave of the former President Obasanjo in Ogun, where the faction loyal to him and that loyal to former Governor Gbenga Daniel have failed to achieve any truce. In Nasarawa State, the party is divided alongside two former governors – Dr. Akwe Doma and Senator Abdulahi Adamu, but it is the case in Adamawa chapter which incidentally is Tukur’s home state that is causing ripples at the moment.

His crisis with Oyinlola and NWC Shortly after the NWC settled for business, a major disaster was averted in the administration of the party when the former Chief of Staff to the National Chairman, Habu Fari, allegedly went beyond his briefs to encroach on the functions of the National Secretary of the party. Fari had claimed that he was carrying out the instructions of the National Chairman and part of his sins were that even memo to and from the National Chairman including that of the NWC members must pass through him. He was also accused of forcing himself on the meetings of the NWC with his physical presence, a development which the NWC members felt was not appropriate. Efforts to prevent the development led to collision between Tukur and Oyinlola. Though, Fari was sacked to appease the NWC members, but the damage to their relationship had already been done. Both Tukur and Oyinlola were merely coexisting as most often, they had had occasion to disagree on most party positions. This was the situation until last week when Oyinlola led other members of the NWC to disagree with Tukur on his position on the Adamawa PDP crisis. Only last Friday, Oyinlola was sacked as PDP National Secretary by a Federal High Court in Abuja, following a suit filed by the Ogun State chapter of the party led by Adebayo Dayo, in what is believed to be a consequence of the current in-fighting within the NWC. However, Oyinlola’s fate now hangs in the balance, though the PDP National Legal Adviser, Kwon, has indicated that the party would file an application for stay of CONTINUED ON PAGE 14


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Politics

CONTINUED FROM 13 execution of the court order but it is not known what the position of Tukur will be. There is an indication that a major crisis is already brewing up as Oyinlola, according to sources, has sworn that if Tukur fails to protect him, then he would go down along with him. Tukur replaced Oyinlola yesterday with Barr. Solomon Onwe, the Deputy National Secretary of the party.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tukur’s elusive peace in PDP

Funding of the party and complaints Funding is another major problem in the party. Before now, one major source of fund for the PDP has been from the governors and party chieftains as the party is not known to have any business concern that generates money to its coffers. Also fees are generated from party primaries and registration or dues from members. When the former National Chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo came on board, he saw the precarious financial situation where the party would go to governors and businessmen-members for assistance, and felt things must change. He said that the party would have sold its conscience if it is not financially independent. He muted the idea of e-registration and consultancy approaches as ways of fast tracking the financial straits in the party. He however could not put the policies into practice before he was kicked out. However, when Tukur came on board from the business background, he totally refused to approach the governors or even the presidency for support; though, he may never have succeeded because of the strained relationship he has with the governors. National Mirror gathered also that Tukur’s NWC met a huge debt profile and running the party at onset was very difficult hence he chose to fund some of the activities of the party from his purse.

Governors’ uncooperative attitude It is no longer news that there was never a relationship between the party leadership and the PDP governors, since the assumption of the present NWC. Recall that barely a week after Tukur took charge of the party, he summoned the 23 state governors who are members of the party to a meeting at the Legacy House in Abuja, but only Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), the late Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna), Captain Idris Wada (Kogi) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) attended with few deputy governors. That was the first major outing of the National Chairman and the failure of the governors was not explained, but Tukur has also failed to force the governors to a round table ever since then. The most embarrassing moment for Tukur in his scarred relationship with the governors was when they again failed to honour the chairman at his 77 birthday anniversary. Only three governors namely, Theoredore Orji of Abia, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and late Yakowa honoured him with their presence at the book launch of his biography, the ‘Global Villager’. The governors, it was noted, were all in Abuja as many of them turned up at the Presidential banquet that night and even Tukur himself expressed surprises. The frosty relationship had only intensified recently when the governors decided to challenge the powers of the National Chairman over the suzerainty of the Adamawa governor, Murtala Nyako, as re-

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Sambo

gards the running of the party in the state. The governors wanted to sound a warning that it would not compromise any attempt by the party leadership to interfere in the control of party affairs in their states. Naturally, they took sides with their colleague in Adamawa and had even visited the national headquarters to register their displeasure about the situation in the state. They also followed up with several meetings at the Villa with President Jonathan warning on the consequences of not allowing the party at the states to be under the care of the governors. It would be recalled that the frosty relationship between the governors and Tukur predated the present NWC. Before the National Convention, the Northern governors had met and chosen former acting National Secretary, Babayo Shehu, as their candidate but President Jonathan had preferred Tukur and had insisted on him. The governors to the president but have sworn not to have anything to do with the chairman.

Faceoff over Adamawa PDP On the surface, the crisis in Adamawa PDP was due to the fact that the Mijinyawa Kaugama-led state executive of the PDP was forced on the party members illegally, but beneath the scenario was the raging personality clash between the governor and Tukur, first, on who controls the party; second, on who succeeds Nyako in the 2015 governorship election and thirdly who controls the state ahead of the 2015 presidential election. The crisis rocking the state chapter of the PDP reached its elastic limit when the party’s headquarters dissolved the Adamawa chapter. The National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said a Caretaker Committee had been set up to manage the affairs of the party in the state pending further directives. He cited Article 31, Section 2(e) and 29, 2 (b) of the 2012 amended constitution of the party, adding that the dissolution took place after repeated breaches of the constitution by the Adamawa State chapter. Rising from a meeting presided over by the Deputy National Chairman, Sam Sam Jaja, last Tuesday, the 10-man NWC, in what could aptly be described as a palace coup, rescinded its decision on the caretaker committee and further screwed it in that the congresses it had conducted were

Amaechi

EVENTS IN THE PAST FEW DAYS ARE BEGINNING TO CAST SHADOW OF DOUBT ON THE PREPAREDNESS OF... THE

PDP AS

REPRESENTED BY THE

NWC TO IMPLEMENT THE 3R AGENDA WHOLESALE null, void and of no effect. It said the ward and local government levels congresses in the state were never authorised. Jaja, said they rescinded the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive, as it was never the decision of the party in the first place to conduct the congresses. Jaja, however, said the NWC at its 315th meeting on December 12, 2012, had agreed to reverse the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive of the party that was dissolved on October 17, 2012. He said but for the helicopter crash that led to the death of Kaduna State governor, Yakowa and others, it would have been announced. But Tukur in his reaction said that he felt betrayed by the actions of some members of the NWC as he had opted to stay away in all matters that affected Adamawa State. Embarrassed with the situation, President Jonathan summoned a meeting of party caucus, governors and NWC members to resolve the crisis. Even as reports suggest that truce has been reached and a vote of confidence passed on Tukur, feelers from the party point to the fact that Tukur may need more than mother luck to stay on as it seems that the chickens are gradually coming home to roost and the governors are calling the shots.

BoT chairman: The politics For the third time, the efforts of the party to elect a chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) failed to yield any positive result when it met last week, but one thing that is clear is that the chairman may never come from the North as the only contender

from the zone, Ahmadu Ali, was effectively checkmated with the endorsement of Senator Walid Jibrin as the secretary. In his resignation letter in March last year, former President Obasanjo had said he was quitting to enable him have more time to attend to pressing international engagements. But his leaving has equally created tension in the party, as he has continued to be one of the greatest critics of the President Jonathan-led PDP government. He has also sought to install his successor in Ali, a decision that has attracted bashing along the lines. It is believed that President Jonathan would prefer former occupant of the seat, Tony Anenih. Some other stakeholders have also canvassed for the former Senate President, Ken Nnamani. But in all, about 12 candidates have indicated their interest to contest the office. Major contestants to the position are former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, Anenih, Nnamani; former Deputy National Chairman, Shuaibu Oyedokun; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Senator Onyeabo Obi; Chief Don Etiebet; Chief Richard Akinjide and Yekini Adeojo.

2015 and the plots In the meantime, it has emerged that though the PDP primary election to pick its presidential candidate ahead of 2015 still falls rather far in the future, governors elected on the party’s platform have adopted various strategies to push their postgovernorship agenda. National Mirror gathered that many Southern governors on their second and last constitutional terms are scheming to pair as running mates with their Northern colleagues believed to be nursing presidential ambitions. The plan is to ensure that the respective Southern states support en bloc particular Northern presidential aspirants, preferably from among the PDP governors. The scheming is happening amid grave polarisation of the PDP NWC over permutations for the 2015 presidential election. Some of the governors, who are showing interests in 2015 presidency include Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi). It was learnt that the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio is strategising to become the running mate to Vice-President Namadi Sambo, in case Jonathan does not run. While Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, is said to be working behind the scenes to become Lamido’s running mate, Amaechi has variously denied he was nursing any such plan. While these governors are scheming, the appointees at the NWC have practically shredded the party with entrenched interests which are geared towards serving their masters’ interest. For instance, it was gathered that the National Organising Secretary of the party, Abubakar Mustapha, is the point man of the vice president while Oyinlola is believed to be that of the PDP governors. The Deputy National Chairman, Jaja, is at the NWC at the instance of Governor Amaechi. The division has really helped in putting the party in most awkward position that has made peace so much elusive at the moment.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Politics

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jonathan, PDP and the meetings in the Villa

ASO ROCK FILE

F

with

Rotimi FADEYI

Time for ministers to buckle up

W

ith few months left to the end of the first half of the four-year term of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, accelerated development in all sectors of the economy has now become a task that must be achieved to ensure the full realisation of the transformation agenda of the administration. At the first Federal Executive Council meeting for the year held last week, President Jonathan told his ministers to sit up and improve on their performance by aligning with the priorities of his government. Though many of the ministers were just returning from the yuletide break, they are expected to work harder and move faster as they must remain on top of the situation in their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Information Minister, Labaran Maku, who spoke after the FEC meeting, said that the ministers have been ordered to work harder and faster since the administration would soon be half way into its tenure. According to Maku, the President acknowledged the progress that has been made so far particularly in the area of infrastructure development but warned the ministers not to take anything for granted but must remain on top of the situation in their various MDAs. He said: “Mr. President gave ministers his priority for the year. He gave us the marching orders to work harder, faster. By May, the administration will be half way through. Hence, the need to move faster and harder to give Nigerians results.” Another issue which also dominated discussion at the meeting and which also got the blessing of the the Council was

the establishment of three additional federal universities for the three states left without such institutions. The universities would be sited in Gusau in Zamfara, Gaza in Yobe and Birnin Kebbi in Kebbi states. Education Minister, Prof. Ruqqayat Rufai said the initiative marked the fulfillment of the promise by the Jonathan administration that every state of the federation should host a federal university before the end of his tenure. “We have made a case and the president approved it. Every year, we have made case for access to education. We have seen applicants scramble for placement in the universities, over 1.3 million of them every year but we don’t have space for more than 200, 000 candidates,” she justified the creation of additional universities.

P

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1. Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme 2. Senate President, Senator David Mark 3. Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal 4. Former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide 5. French Special Envoy to Nigeria, Mr. Jean Palanon 6. Sudanese Special Envoy to Nigeria, Mr. Nafie Ali Nafie, 7. PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur 8. Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio 9. Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswan 10. Nigeria Ambassador to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe

or members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Presidential Villa became the venue of meetings to discuss affairs of the party aimed at finding solutions to some of its internal crisis. However, there were questions from many quarters as to why meetings on party affairs should be held at the Presidential Villa instead of the National Secretariat of the party, which should have been responsible for the cost of holding such meetings. The argument is that the cost of holding such meetings is passed to the Presidency and by doing so, taxpayers are indirectly surcharged for the cost of the meetings. The first of the meeting was by the members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party where they were expected to elect a chairman. However, at the end of the three-hour meeting, the members did not announce a chairman. But during a press briefing at the wee hours of Wednesday, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada and former National Secretary of the party, Ojo Madueke said

L-R: Former Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara; former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme; Senators Bode Olajumoke and Onyeabo Obi at the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting at the State House, Abuja.

President pledges support for peace between Sudan and South Sudan

resident Goodluck Jonathan has said that African Heads of States and Governments must take the lead and do all within their powers to peacefully resolve the lingering boundary dispute between Sudan and South Sudan.

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Speaking after receiving a briefing on latest development in the dispute over the Abyei region from Nafie Ali Nafie, a Special Envoy of President Omar El-Bashir of Sudan, Jonathan pledged that Nigeria will initiate further talks on a peaceful settlement of the dispute at the next summit of the African Union scheduled to hold in Addis Ababa this month. The President said that African leaders must unite in support of the peaceful and amicable resolution of the dispute over Abyei and all other boundary issues that resulted from the separation of South Sudan from Sudan because they will continue to cause problems between the two countries if left unresolved. “It is an African problem and African leaders must take the lead in resolving it. We cannot wait for others to come and do it for us,” Jonathan said. Nafie assured President Jonathan of President El-Bashir’s commitment to the peaceful demarcation of the boundaries between Sudan and South Sudan, and the establishment of friendly relations between both countries.

that the party decided to streamline its members before going into election of chairman in order to make such election credible. Jonathan also hosted another meeting to resolve the disagreement between the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) At the end of the meeting, Tukur told journalists that the NWC members have resolved their differences, saying that they were all members of the PDP family. Tukur said: “Like any other family, you may have some disagreements but based on principle, not any other thing, you resolve it. And we have resolved our differences.” On his allegation of betrayal of trust over the meeting of 10 NWC members who excluded him, Tukur said that the situation has been resolved. He noted that the NWC would address the status of Adamawa executive and the congresses of the party at the appropriate time. The day after the NWC meeting, Jonathan also hosted another meeting with governors of PDP-controlled states at the Presidential Villa to review the performance of the party in the area of good governance and the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people. After the meeting which lasted over two hours, Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio told jonalistss that the meeting was a kind of a peer review mechanism where the PDP states come together to look not just at governance at the state level but also at the party itself at the national level. “We looked at things that can strengthen the party and also looked at what Nigerians want, while we are delivering dividends of democracy which other areas Nigerians are clamouring for improvement. And I think this is good for the governance of the country. We must commend Mr. President for this initiative”, he added.

France wake-up call on Nigeria over Mali crisis

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he French government has pleaded with the Nigerian government to intervene in the crisis in Mali in order to ensure peace in the West African sub-region. Speaking with journalists after a closed door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, French Special Envoy to Nigeria, Jean Palanon said that Nigeria has a major role to play in ending the crisis He therefore solicited for the assistance and cooperation of Nigeria in bringing the crisis to an end. Palanon also disclosed that how to accelerate the political process in stabilising and finding the proper way of a smooth transition in Mali were also discussed at the meeting. His words: “The adoption of resolution 20/85 at the Security Council opened a new face in the handling of the Malian crisis. The French President wished to crave a very strong signal that the co-operation between France and Nigeria was essential to going together to finding so-

lutions to the Mali crisis,” Palanon said “When it come to the practicalities, as you know, we are now embarking on double track approach which infact was suggested by ECOWAS: a political and military approach, and we must ensure that the two progress on balance,’’ he added. Palanon explained that the implementation of Resolution 20/85, which is to redouble efforts to bring about a political solution in Bamako and in agreement between the North and the South would soon come into effect. According to him, this would ensure the earliest possible deployment of the African force to support the Malian Armed Forces. Speaking in the same vein, Minister of state for Foreign Affair II, Nurudeen Mohammed said that resolving the crisis in Mali was a major concern to the Nigerian government stressing that Nigeria and France would work together to bring about peace

MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-43


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

17

The silent epidemic HANATU MUSAWA “

I

am an addict, a seemingly normal 22 year old Nigerian boy from a prominent family. It is ironic that my parents dedicated their lives to my siblings and me, giving us the best of what money could buy and the morals and values which it could not. My childhood memories are happy with a solid foundation in education at one of the most reputable private schools in the country. During my JS II, my father believed that the boarding school I was in was not an ideal learning environment. He came to this conclusion whilst visiting me at school and observed the ceiling and walls in our hostel were covered with damp patches. He had a taste of my school lunch and was not impressed. Even now I remember the question he asked me, “I have always prided myself in providing the best for my children and I am not happy with this school. Son, how do you feel about going abroad to study?” Most of my older brothers and sisters were studying abroad, so it only seemed natural that I follow suit. I was never a particularly intelligent student, but was always creative and I was able to express my feelings through paintings

WHILE SHOPPING IN ONE OF THE

LONDON’S BIGGEST STORES, MY FRIEND DARED ME TO STEAL A BANDANA OFF THE

RACK.

GIVEN THAT I

HAD JUST TAKEN TWO GLASSES OF VODKA,

I FELT I COULD DO ANYTHING

and sketches. I was always top of my Art class. My father enrolled me in a private school for boys in England; I knew he wasn’t expecting A’s, but neither was he prepared for the downward spiral my life would soon take. I found myself drawn to a group of Nigerian boys with a similar background to me. Even though we all had guardians residing in the U.K, we were always longing to come home and began spending our pocket money recklessly, trying to impress each other. One cold, bleak winter – we were on a weekend outing and behind

a dingy fast food place - my daring new friends encouraged me to take my first sip of alcohol and inhale my first joint. After the initial coughs and sputtering, I discovered with foolish wonderment that I felt so alive, happy and free. I felt invincible! The R. Kelly song sprung to mind; I believe I can fly…. I did believe I could fly! All hesitation and anxiousness I had before disappeared. I found myself drawn to a new hobby… and it wasn’t Art! My friends and I became professionals at covering our tracks. We helped each other with class work and home work, for we knew that if we started failing in school then too many questions would be asked. It became routine to sneak in papers for tests and exams and as a result my grades remained average yet stable. Inevitably, like anyone leading a double life I was to have a rude awakening. While shopping in one of the London’s biggest stores, my friend dared me to steal a bandana off the rack. Given that I had just taken two glasses of vodka, I felt I could do anything. I took several bandanas and stuffed them into my pocket, and of course, as soon as I stepped outside, I was arrested. I then became that stereo-typed rich boy turned failure, a statistical problem common globally. My disappointed but ever supportive father had no choice but to bring me back to Ni-

geria where I was to face my demons. I quickly found out that at home it was even easier to feed my monstrous habits. After all, even when denied pocket-money I could steal a watch, a mobile phone or anything remotely valuable from my mother and sell it off for a quick fix. I knew my mother wouldn’t expose me and I knew the police would not be involved. With rising unemployment and poverty engulfing our nation, it wasn’t difficult finding people who would do almost anything for a quick deal. I became a stranger to my family and they became my enemy, an obstacle to my dark sordid world. By the time my family clocked on to my reality, I was too far gone into my new obsession. My mother became a nervous wreck, continuously crying and praying for me. My father, sisters and brothers became angry and distant with me. I defensively reacted by retreating into my shell and became even angrier and volatile with my relatives and myself. I was my own worst enemy. Physically, I was a skeletal ghost, a shadow of my former self. In and out of Nigerian rehabilitation clinics I went. To be concluded Musawa, a lawyer, lecturer, columnist and human and woman rights activist, lives in London

On the quest for LG autonomy MICHAEL JEGEDE

A

utonomy for local government (LG), which is the third tier of government in Nigeria, is one of the cardinal issues listed for consideration in the current effort of the National Assembly to further review the 1999 Constitution in order to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians. As a way of ensuring that Nigerians are completely carried along in the exercise, both chambers of NASS, in November 2012, held public sessions and public hearings. The House of Representatives held the people’s public sessions across the 360 federal constituencies, while the Senate conducted public hearings in the six geo-political zones of the country. Reports at the end of the exercise by the Green and Red chambers of the National Assembly clearly indicated that majority of Nigerians are in total support of the strengthening of local government councils. It was indeed the only item that got the ‘yes vote’ from participants in all the 360 federal constituencies. Similarly, various speakers at the zonal public hearings spoke very strongly in favour of LG autonomy. Unfortunately, the recent outburst of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has shown that the governors are people opposed to any form of autonomy for the LGs. Autonomy is the key to LGs’ effectiveness and efficiency. The NGF chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, reportedly said they (governors) would do everything possible as a pressure group to

stop lawmakers (state and federal) from granting autonomy to local governments. Asked why the governors took this stance, Amaechi had said: “Let a state governor or let the states create as many local governments as they want to create. Don’t put it there as a constitutional issue… The governors are a pressure group, if we succeed in putting the pressure on both National and State Assemblies and say look there are two tiers of governance, there is no country in the world where there are three federating units; there are only two all over the world. Why should you say that there must be three federating units in Nigeria?” Notwithstanding the whys and wherefores propounded by the NGF for kicking against the agitation for independent LGs, informed Nigerians know the real motive behind their stance on the matter. It is a known fact that state governments are in the habit of emasculating local governments under their control, thereby reducing them to mere appendages against their recognition as the third tier of government in the constitution. The governors have continued to take advantage of the deficiency in the constitution, where even though local councils are acknowledged as a tier of government, framers of the constitution failed to give them the full autonomy needed to operate as such. Local governments are subjected to the control of the state governments in a manner that they really cannot do anything on their own. And this, in the views of most Nigerians, has adversely affected development at the grassroots level. Reacting to the position of the NGF,

THE GOVERNORS HAVE CONTINUED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DEFICIENCY IN

THE CONSTITUTION, WHERE EVEN THOUGH LOCAL COUNCILS ARE ACKNOWLEDGED AS A

TIER OF GOVERNMENT, FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION FAILED TO GIVE THEM THE FULL AUTONOMY NEEDED TO OPERATE AS SUCH Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Nurudeen AbatemiUsman, said there was no cause for alarm. According to the Senator, representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, the governors do not have the constitutional power to hinder the granting of autonomy to LGs in the ongoing constitution review process. Abatemi-Usman, whose bill seeking for financial autonomy for local governments had scaled through seconding reading and was referred to the Senate Committee on Constitution Review in March last year,

argued that of all the items listed for consideration, nothing could be more necessary than LG autonomy. He observed that the operation of the state/local government joint account, as currently practiced, was an aberration that must be corrected in the interest of Nigerians, regardless of the position of the governors. His words: “I have always been an advocate of autonomy for local governments. This was what prompted me to put up a bill for their financial autonomy when I became a Senator in 2011 to free them from the stranglehold and claws of the state governors. I am very much happy that the entire Nigerian people have seen the need for local governments to be granted autonomy, as reflected in the public/ people’s sessions held by the House of Representatives in the 360 federal constituencies and the public hearing conducted by the Senate in the six geopolitical zones. Therefore, the people’s desire will definitely prevail over that of the governors. How can they (governors) stand against the wish of the generality of Nigerians, who elected them into office?” To be continued Jegede, a media practitioner, 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.


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FG’s 30 aircraft for local airlines

he Federal Gover nment’s New Year plan, as announced recently, to bail out domestic airline operators with 30 new aircraft with a view to positively and decisively intervening in the nation’s distressed aviation industry, seems a tonic that would boost the efficiency of the beneficiary airlines, especially if the airspace challenges of the industry are frontally addressed as well. The Corporate Communications General Manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, who made the initiative public during an inspection of the renovated Benin Airport in Benin City, the Edo State capital on the second day of January this year, stated that when eventually purchased, the 30 aircraft would be distributed to domestic airlines operator. Though long overdue, the gesture by the FG is commendable. Particularly welcome is the new template (FG’s direct purchase of aircraft) now replacing the old order of doling out cash to airlines instead of aircraft, which they truly need. Likewise significant is the fact that this direct intervention is coming on the heels

of an earlier respite by the Presidency in the for m of removal of tariffs and taxes on aviation spare parts, to scale down the operational costs of domestic airlines. We consider these as signals of a new dawn in the aviation industry. Indeed, measures capable of drastically reducing air fares for local flights. Ideally, a 50-minute flight from Lagos to Abuja ought not to attract more than N10,000 or N15,000 fare for the economy class, instead of between N20,000 and N30,000. Hopefully too, domestic airline operators would reciprocate the latest FG intervention by bringing down air fares as soon as they take possession of the 30 aircraft. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Aviation, FAAN and other relevant managers of the nation’s aviation industry should work out sound modalities for recouping FG’s investment in the 30 aircraft to guarantee a revolving fund for sustained future intervention in the industry. In addition, the FG should ensure that the 30 new aircrafts to be purchased are truly confir med as new; NOT refurbished aircraft whitewashed and presented as new ones. Care must also be taken to ensure that professionals

THE FG SHOULD EXTEND THE KIND OF GESTURE IT IS PLANNING FOR THE AVIATION SECTOR TO THE NATION’S RAIL, AS WELL AS ROAD TRANSPORT SYSTEMS and experts verified and endorsed the quality and safety conditions of the aircraft; while all relevant stakeholders, especially the beneficiary airlines, should be properly consulted and carried along to avoid disputes and ensure that legitimate procedures are followed in the acquisition of the new aircraft. The nation’s airports should also be fenced to enhance security and ward off straying animals; the runways properly and regularly maintained; while radar services and other relevant air control management facilities should be up-to-date to ensure that pilots no longer fly “blind”. Perhaps more importantly, the relevant authorities need to be more committed to adequate and effective monitoring of airline operators to

ensure compliance with acceptable safety standards. We think, however, that the crisis that bogged down the nation’s aviation sector in recent times was a wake-up call for the FG to decongest air transportation for domestic commuters by embarking on a rapid rail transport development programme. The acquisition of 30 new aircraft is an appreciable effort, yet it is elitist and cannot significantly address the nation’s transportation needs and challenges. Not only has the rail become inevitable, it is safer, cheaper; and has the greatest capacity for mass transit and the haulage of goods. What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Consequently, the FG should extend the kind of gesture it is planning for the aviation sector to the nation’s rail, as well as road transport systems which are patronized by most Nigerians, for its current efforts in the aviation industry to bear bountiful fruits. Equally paramount is the need for the FG to engage professional road construction companies, as against dubious political contractors, to rebuild the nation’s highways that have tur ned death traps because of their terrible state.

ON THIS DAY January 15, 2009 United States’ Airways F light 1549 made an emergency landing in the Hudson River shortly after take-of f from the LaGuardia Airport in New York; but all passengers and crew members survived the mishap. F light 1549 was US Airways’ scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight from LaGuardia Air port in New York City to Charlotte/Douglas Inter national Air port, Charlotte, North Carolina.

January 15, 2001 Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, went online. Wikipedia is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 24 million articles, over 4.1 million in the English Wikipedia alone, have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site, and it has about 100,000 active contributors.

January 15, 1970 Nigerian Civil War: After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafra surrendered. The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the NigerianBiafran War, July 6, 1967 – January 15, 1970, was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the selfproclaimed Republic of Biafra. The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria.


Controversy trails planned acquisition of aircraft for domestic operators

Why MDRI didn’t achieve result ─Experts 37

SUPER TUESDAY

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How reversal of crude export policy can address trade imbalance M

ost Nigerian stakeholders in the oil and gas sector as well as shipping industry have probably resigned to fate following the inability of succeeding governments in the country to address the lopsided trade policy under which her crude oil export is lifted on the basis of Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF). The frustration may have also been reinforced by the fact that imports into the country are carried on the basis Free On Board (FOB). The CIF model is an international trade term of sale in which, for the quoted price, the seller, exporter or manufacturer clears the goods past the ship’s rail at the port of shipment (not destination). Under this policy, though the buyer determines the vessel of carriage, the seller is also responsible for paying for the costs associated with the transport of the goods to the named port at destination. Under this model, on which Nigeria’s crude oil is carried, the buyer determines who freights the cargo. On the other hand, FOB is an international trade term of sale in which, for the quoted price, the seller, exporter or manufacturer clears the goods for export and is responsible for the costs and risks of delivering the goods past the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. Unlike in CIF, the seller determines who freights the consignment. The Indigenous Ship Own-

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Nigeria’s inability to address the trade imbalance in the carriage export of her crude oil on the basis of Cost Insurance and Freight as against the Free On Board on which her imports are based, costs the nation over N2trn annually. However, the recommendation by a post-Presidential Maritime Retreat Committee for the reversal of this imbalance leaves stakeholders with doubts as to whether the current government can muster enough political will to do this. FRANCIS EZEM reports.

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)

Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)

IRS 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 Crude export tanker

ers Association of Nigeria, umbrella body for indigenous Nigerian –owned shipping companies raised the alarm over what it described as monumental loss due to this trade policy, saying the country loses over in excess of N2.2 trillion annually. Secretary General of the association had disclosed in

Lagos that apart from the loss of over N2.2 trillion to capital flight in the freighting of her crude oil, the country also loses over 5,000, 000 jobs yearly to foreign ship owners arising from the failure of Nigerianowned vessels to lift the products, which has been made exclusive preserve for foreign shipping firms.

According to him, Nigeria exports over 2.6 million barrels per day at the cost of $2.5 per barrel of the product, which is the benchmark charged by the foreign shipping companies to freight the product. The ISAN-scribe had alleged that indigenously shipping CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Why we’re providing mobile phones for farmers ─Akinwumi

Experts highlight sector that will yield most jobs

Hot spots for property development in 2013

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Business & Finance

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Allison-Madueke

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 companies have been schemed out of the freight contract of the product by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its foreign collaborators under the guise that the indigenous operators do not have the needed capacity to lift the product. ”Due to the exclusion of the indigenous shipping firms from lifting the crude costs Nigeria over 5,000,000 jobs annually, this development will continue to work against the Nigeria and her citizens with the attendant high rate of youth unemployment”, Labinjo regretted. It was probably worried by this that former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman announced in Lagos during a stakeholders meeting that the Federal Government was putting measures in place to revert to this trade term. The minister had also assured that relevant government agencies like the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the NNPC as well as its subsidiary companies were already working together to make the new scheme a reality Many stakeholders could not hide their excitement that at last the government was trying to wake up from its age long slumber. But more than three years after, this excitement has been replaced with loss of hope, which also made them to resign to fate. Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who seems to share in the frustration of the stakeholder, said apart from the carriage of Nigeria’s crude on the basis of CIF, which implies that the buyer determines the terms of the contract, the NIMASA Act 2007 also provides that Nigerian shipping firms should lift 50 percent of cargo belonging to the Federal, State and Local Governments and their agencies, which includes crude output. “Nigeria is not in short supply of relevant laws and policies that could transform the country if properly implemented, but succeeding governments in the country have been playing politics with these laws and policies”, he observed. He regretted that the result of is the domination of the nation’s economy by foreigners, who have for several years exploited the nation’s common wealth

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Aganga

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dikko

How reversal of crude export policy can address trade imbalance NIGERIA IS NOT IN SHORT SUPPLY OF RELEVANT LAWS AND POLICIES THAT COULD TRANSFORM THE COUNTRY IF

PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED, BUT SUCCEEDING GOVERNMENTS IN THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN PLAYING POLITICS to the detriment of the citizens. However a committee on the harmonisation of views of the stakeholders at a recent presidential retreat has made far-reaching recommendations, which includes the reversal of the trade imbalance. The one-day retreat was summoned at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan, icentred on the theme: ‘Harnessing Maritime Potential towards a sustainable economic growth’. To underscore the importance of the retreat, the President attended the retreat in person. Senior Special Adviser to the president, Mr. Leke Oyewole, said in an interview that the retreat was meant to bring all stakeholders in a no holds barred discussions as part of measures to move the industry forward. According to him, the essence of the retreat was to bring the stakeholders together with a view to identifying the problems and coming up with deliverables. “The retreat had become necessary to gather all shades of opinions of the stakeholders on the challenges faced by the industry”, he said. A high point of the retreat was the setting up of a

high powered committee headed by the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar and assisted by Mr. Olisa Agbakoba to harmonise all the views of the participants at the event as a working document for far reaching reforms, has since been presented to the president for his endorsement and possible implementation. “The report is quite comprehensive and far-reaching and touches all aspects of the oil and gas sector as well as the shipping industry”, the presidential aide noted further. Oyewole, who is also a member of the committee, noted that part of the responsibility of the committee is to l assign responsibilities to the various government agencies and parastatals on critical issues and reforms in order to achieve efficiency and growth. While making projections for the 2013 year, Oyewole disclosed that the president has directed that the report be presented to the economic management team. He also assured that the committee would continue to monitor the recommendations at the various levels of government, adding that the decision of the president to refer it to the team was in order not to see the recommendation as an imposition by the presidency. But in all these, stakeholders have adopted the ‘wait and see’ attitude towards the possible enforcement of the reversal since some governments had made similar moves in the past. They believe that going by current statistics, Nigeria will save over N2 trillion annually in addition to the creation of over 5, 000 jobs on a yearly basis. This is because the indigenous shipping firms, which have been excluded from lifting the crude with the attendant loss of jobs, will bounce back and employ many more Nigerians. This will also boost government’s employment generation drive. The earlier this is done, the better for the entire Nigerian system.


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Business & Finance

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Why we’re providing mobile phones for farmers ─Akinwumi ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

Denies plan to spend N60b on purchase of phones

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inister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina yesterday said the provision of mobile phones for farmers in the country would to check corruption in the distribution of fertilizers and seeds to poor farmers in the rural areas. He, however, insisted that there was no plan by his ministry to spend N60 billion on the purchase of mobile phones for farmers, saying it would be inconsistent for government to start direct procurement and distribution of phones. Adesina said what government would make available to farmer would be subsidy for the purchase of such phones which would be accessed from the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) USPF is a special fund generated from 2 per cent tax paid by mobile telephone operators from their annual profit. Clarifying the controversy surrounding the provision of the phone while briefing State House correspondents, Adesina said that though the total amount that would come as subsidy has not been worked out, the mobile phone system would solve a lot of problems particu-

L-R: Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi; Minister of State for Agriculture; Alhaji Buka Tijani; Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina, during the Bankers’ Committee meeting with Ministry of Agriculture in Lagos recently.

larly corruption in the area of fertilizer and seeds distribution. Stressing the importance of the cell phones to farmers, Adesina said, “It is actually the cell phone that has provided us with the tool to directly access each farmer thereby saving them from corrupt middlemen who make their fortune from exploiting the poor.” “Some people think that our farmers are uneducated and cannot use cell phones. The evidence does not support that.

NCAA warns pilots on safe operations in poor weather OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned airline operators and pilots flying within the country’s airspace to adhere strictly to the approved weather minima advice during the harmattan period to prevent accidents caused by this weather phenomenon. A statement signed by the Director-General of the agency, Dr. Harold Demuren and made available to journalists yesterday advised pilots and airline operators to be safety conscious in their operations in the interest of safe flight operations in and out of Nigeria’s airspace. He said that the current weather conditions could be deadly to aircraft on approach or departure from an airport, adding that it had been responsible for a number of fatal accidents in the world. Demuren said that it was mandatory for pilots to obtain weather briefing from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency including en-route and destination weather information before embarking on any flight opera-

tions. He stated, “This circular is to reiterate the need for pilots to exercise restraint when adverse weather is observed or forecast and be patient enough to wait and allow it subdue or pass over the airfield before commencing flight. “The effect of the harmattan is comparable to that of heavy fog. Thus, air-to-ground visibility is considerably reduced; aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed minima and in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways and markers over wide areas making visual navigation impossible. “It is therefore mandatory for pilots to obtain weather briefing from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) including departure, en-route and destination weather information prior to flight operations. You are required to ensure strict compliance with the laid down regulations.” He, however, appealed to the travelling public to exercise some restraints whenever their boarding is delayed or cancelled by the airlines due to unfavourable weather conditions and equally urged the airlines and their flight crews should keep passengers informed of the situation.

Under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES), scheme, we made it possible for farmers to transact business in their own local languages using their cellphones.” “Let me also state loud and clear, there is no N60billion

anywhere to be used to buy cellphones. The Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Communications Technology are partnering together to implement this policy. “We intend to use the GES scheme to distribute these

FG to woo legislators on PIB UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government may soon woo legislators to support the early passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB which seeks to restructure and reposition the oil and gas industry to achieve more transparency, accountability efficient operations. This measure to be executed through relevant Committees that assisted the government to repackage the bill for submission to the National Assembly aims at ensuring that the BIP is passed into law before the end of 2013. A Presidency source who preferred not to be named said over the weekend that: “The PIB is a

very important bill that should not be allowed to fail because everything in the industry and by extension the economy depends on its smooth passage. He said the government would not initiate a bill of that nature and then fail to educate and mobilize every important stakeholders needed it enable it succeed. The source said: “Some people may not understand all the issues contained in the bill. That is why is becomes imperative to ensure they understand the real issues.” The Chairman of the Petroleum Industry committee at the Senate, Senator Magnus Abe said in a telephone interview that the government should embrace and address issues raised

phones. To be entitled to a phone, farmers must be registered on the e-wallet platform. Paper vouchers will be issued to farmers who do not have phones. The government will provide a subsidy to the farmer through the voucher to buy the phone. The farmer takes the voucher to the local mobile phone operator and pays the balance which is the difference between the value of the voucher and the cost of the phone” “Once a farmer buys a phone and a SIM card, his new phone number will be updated on the e-wallet database and he will be able to receive his e-wallet voucher which will entitle him to purchase fertilizer and seeds at subsidized rates. Phones will be sold directly to farmers by local mobile phone service providers”, Adesina said. He stated that the total number of transactions done by phone with respect to the GES scheme was 4.9 million, according to the date collected based on farmers’ use of cellphones to access fertilizers and seeds last year. by those who have expressed fears on the bill. Abe said the PIB is a bill everyone would like to support because of its promise to make the oil and gas industry become more efficient, create jobs as well as boost revenue generation for the benefit of stakeholders. He said: “I believe all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe will welcome any legislation that will make our oil industry more efficient, create jobs and provide revenue for all stakeholders. Legitimate concerns must be addressed to ensure multi stakeholder buy in. Abe said every stakeholder who has any strong position to express should be encouraged to come and state it enable the nation have a comprehensive law that represents the collective interest of the nation.

Diamond Bank boosts entrepreneurship development UDO ONYEKA

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n continuation of its support for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, Diamond Bank in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan African University is set to unveil the five successful entrepreneurs for the final phase of the ‘Building Entrepreneurs Today’ series (BET 2). This is the second edition of the capacity building initiative. According to Head, Corporate Communications of Diamond Bank, Mrs. Ayona Trimnell,

Building Entrepreneurs Today is a programme that teaches budding entrepreneurs various skills for running profitable businesses. The unveiling will hold in Lagos on Wednesday. The BET programme is in three phases. In the first stage, from a host of applicants, 50 entrepreneurs are selected to undergo a 30 day intensive Entrepreneurial Management Training. In phase two, 15 top entrepreneurs emerged and embarked on a Business Development Support programme. In the just concluded final stage, five entrepreneurs will be selected for the Next Level Award where they shall be pre-

sented with N3million each as seed money for their business and a nine months Support Service provision by the bank. “Diamond Bank has always demonstrated its commitment to help entrepreneurs develop capacity to run profitable businesses. The BET programme has proved to be a very successful means to achieving this. That is why we have once again sponsored resourceful entrepreneurs to learn how to run their businesses successfully. It is our hope that they will make good use of the lessons learnt and run thriving businesses in the not-too-distant future,” she said.


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UBA appoints new boards for subsidiaries Nigeria, others falter on monetary convergence agenda U TOLA AKINMUTIMI (ABUJA)

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ope of achieving a fully integrated financial system in West Africa through the monetary convergence agenda being championed by various sub-regional governments in the proposed West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) by January 2015 appeared slimmer yesterday as most of the countries failed to improve on their 2011 convergence criteria ratings on the planned unifying monetary system. The scorecard of the poor ratings of the countries, including Nigeria, despite their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth prospects, were the major highlights of the concern of delegates at 34th meeting of the Technical Committee of the WAMZ in Abuja even as there are strong indications that the proposed January 1, 2015 set for the take-off of the fully integrat-

ed monetary system in the subregion may be feasible. The Acting Director General of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), John Kitcher, who spoke elaborately on the macroeconomic state of the economies and the implications for the collective agenda, rated the performances of the member states as not too assuring to guarantee the meeting target date for the monetary union. Specifically, the WAMI boss disclosed that four countries, namely: Gambia, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria were able to meet the targets of three primary criteria out of the six set while Sierra Leone satisfied two criteria and Ghana fulfilling only one criterion. According to him, as was in the previous assessment periods, most of the countries were still contending with inflationary and fiscal deficit challenges in their economies, a situation

which, he said, poses serious challenge of meeting the 2015 deadline set for the convergence, especially at a time of increasingly worrisome developments in major economies in Europe, Asia and Americas. On the secondary convergence criteria, he disclosed that four countries: Gambia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone - complied with two out of the six criteria, while Ghana also satisfied only one criterion, and Liberia none. He explained, “Average real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the WAMZ is projected to remain strong in 2012 at 6.9 per cent, compared to 8.7 percent in 2011 adding, “growth is expected to decelerate in Ghana and Nigeria, while picking up in the four other member states. Sierra Leone is expected to record the highest growth rate of 21.3 per cent in 2012, supported by the commencement of iron ore mining in the country.”

BA Plc has announced key board appointments to its investment banking, insurance, registrar and real estate businesses in a move to position the companies for the challenges ahead. The companies according to a UBA statement are: Africa Prudential Registrars Plc; UBA Capital Plc and Afriland Properties. The appointments took effect from January 2, 2013. The new board of UBA Capital Plc, the investment banking, insurance, trustees, stockbroking and wealth management entity which is composed of highly experienced bankers and business leaders, and includes Ms. Angela Aneke, (Chairperson) Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa (Managing Director/CEO), Ambassador J.K. Shinkaiye, Mr. Chika Mordi, Mr. Yoro Diallo (Senegalese), Mrs. Stella Kilonzo (Kenyan) and Mr. Adim Jibunoh. Olaoluwa, a first class graduate in civil engineering, brings

NCAA releases names of MD 83 aircraft experts OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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L-R: Head, Human Resources, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Osa Osowa; Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Joe Dada; Awardee, 25 years long service award, Mr. Rasaki Ogundiran; Group Managing Director/CEO. Mr. Larry Ettah; Personal Assistant to GMD/CEO, Mr. Christian Njimogu and Mrs. Sherifat Ogundiran, during the 2012 long service award ceremony in Lagos at the weekend.

‘NigComSat-1R’s DTH platform can earn Nigeria N20bn’ KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Managing Director of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, Mr. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, has said The Direct to Home, DTH, platform of the Nigerian Communications satellite 1R, NigComSat-1R can generate over N20 billion for the nation’s economy if the right policies are put in place by the government to support its patronage. Speaking during g a tour of the company’s facilities by the executives of the Nigeria Society of Engineers led by its National President, Mr. Mustapha Shehu in Abuja, where they raised questions on the technical capacity, durability, life span of NigComSat-1R and projections on revenue generation for the nation. According to him, the capa-

bilities of the Micro-Electronic Centre, MEC, and the Direct to Home, DTH, satellite broadcasting platform which enables viewers to receive a minimum of 200 to 300 channels. He assured the engineers that when fully deployed, content providers would have an opportunity to ride on the platform and leverage its use to revolutionise the broadcasting media in Nigeria and contribute immensely to the improvement of broadcasting in general especially that we have a few year to migrate to digital broadcasting. Rufai said the satellite has a lifespan of 15 years plus and was in a very robust position to meet the needs of Nigerians adding that the DTH alone could generate an average of N20 billion for the country if the right policies are put in place. Speaking after the tour, which

Sheu said was his first and that of most of the exco-members to NIGCOMSAT headquarters in Abuja, said: “I am quite impressed with what we have seen here today,” adding that the Federal Government would do the citizens a world of good if it puts in place policies that could encourage Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, to leverage on what NIGCOMSAT has for the benefit of the people. “The Federal Government which came up with this project means well and after spending huge sums of money, cannot allow this to go the Ajaokuta Steel way”, he said. He also called on the State Governments, Organised Private Sector to patronise the NIGCOMSAT facilities if they must join the rest of the world in technology acquisition and economic emancipation.

market leading experience as a banker, with more than two decades in retail and investment banking. He has held a series of senior appointments in the industry, including Managing Director of Universal Trust Bank. At UBA, he held strategic management positions, including CEO UBA Africa, where he pioneered the expansion of UBA’s presence in 18 countries. His last position was Executive Director UBA Nigeria-South. At Africa Prudential Registrars, Mrs. Eniola Fadayomi was named Chairperson, with Peter Ashade as Managing Director/ CEO) while Mrs. Ammuna Lawan Ali, Mrs. Yinka Abiodun, Mr. Sam Nwanze were named directors. Peter Ashade was Managing Director of UBA Registrars, the precursor of Africa Prudential Registrars. He is a highly experienced registrar and capital market player, with a track record of more than two decades in the Nigerian capital market.

ontrary to reports by Aviation Committees of the Senate and Houses of Representatives that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) does not have competent engineers for McDonnell Douglas MD 83 aircraft flying in the country, the agency yesterday released the names of its engineers who are type-rated on the aircraft type. A statement released by the Media Assistant to the DirectorGeneral, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, Mr. Sam Adurogboye stated that the agency has two Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) and two pilots who are type rated on McDonnell Douglas MD83. It will be recalled that the Aviation Committees of the two Houses of Assembly had in last December claimed that most

NCAA inspectors are not type rated on MD 83 aircraft. It also recommended that the inspector who inspected and cleared the Dana Air aircraft that crashed should be dismissed for not carrying out its job professionally as expected from him. Adurogboye in the statement listed the names of the inspectors who according to him had successfully completed the type training on the aircraft type as Adetu E.E.(2008) and Asiru F.A (2010) with the reference International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) document 8335,chapter 6,sections 2.1 and 2.2 (Manual of Procedures for Operations Inspection, Certification and continuing Surveillance. Also, he mentioned the two pilots type rated on the MD 80 series as Capt. Adeoye Oludeji Isikalu and Capt. Sidi Maikano Abdullahi.

Access Bank hosts stakeholders’ forum on anti money laundering UDO ONYEKA

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ccess Bank recently organised a Stakeholders Awareness Forum to enlighten its customers and other stakeholder groups on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directives to Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria and other financial institutions on additional Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs). Specifically, the apex bank has mandated all financial institutions to obtain evidence of registration of DNFBPs with the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Federal Ministry of Trades and Investments prior to establishing business relationships. Addressing participants, the

Bank’s Group Managing Director, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede represented by Pattison Boleigha, Chief Compliance Officer acknowledged the contributions of the regulators towards the growth of the Nigerian banking sector and described the fresh directive as a regulatory effort to elevate the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in Nigeria to a much more commendable height. He informed the Bank’s customers at the occasion, whose profile fall into the category of the Designated Non Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) that the gathering was organized to provide an opportunity to address all gray areas concerning the registration requirements and interact with the relevant regulatory authorities for proper understanding of the directive.


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

23

Experts highlight sectors that will yield most jobs For many analysts, jobs created by the Federal and state governments last year were only on paper, and that it was time stakeholders focus on critical sectors that can make those jobs become reality, writes MESHACK IDEHEN.

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espite widely held views that jobless youths constitute national and international risks, and that one of the greatest challenge that facing Nigeria is the high level of unemployment amongst youths and professionals alike, the low performance on job creation being annually recorded by the Federal and state governments, calls for a different approach towards combating the challenge that unemployment poses to the nation.

Due to what some experts have described as the country’s over reliance on petroleum products, alongside its limited multiplier effects to grow, sustain the economy and create jobs, other analysts said this economic pattern is doing the country in as it stifles the opportunity and initiatives by potential entrepreneurs to look into other sectors that can massively create jobs and contribute to Nigeria’s gross domestic products (GDP). Taken together, stakeholders said it was important for government and other critical partners to highlight sectors in the economy that have the potential to create sustainable jobs especially for the youths, irrespective of whatever challenges that may be associated with such initiatives. In that reagards, those who spoke with National Mirror, said when these job creating sectors are highlighted for the benefits of Nigerians, particularly employment hopefuls, that the unending debates on whether jobs created by government exists only on paper or not would become a thing of the past. In a paper presented on how the agricultural sector can go a long way towards solving the nation’s job creation needs, an Analyst and Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in Rivers State, Comrade Chika Onuegbu, enumerated how to create jobs through the agricultural sector and by so doing, keep Nigerians in gainful employment According to Onuegbu, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is burgeoning, and at the moment stands at well over 30 per cent of the nation’s workforce. He said when segregated that the figures become more alarming especially the figures on youth unemployment which he disclosed stands at about 70 per cent in the urban areas and 60 per cent in the rural areas. He said solution to unemployment in the country remains with agriculture, and that agriculture can create new jobs as it engages a large percentage of the population directly in its processes, such as land cultivation for crops, both in small and large holdings, poultry, piggery and dairy farms for milk production, adding also that agriculture has not been the basic driver of job creation because of distorted national policies, and that as agricultural development dwindled, unemployment worsened, showing

Onuegbu

Adesina

AGRICULTURE CAN GENERATE JOBS IN ITS VARIOUS STAGES AND PROCESSES FROM THE

PREPARATION OF LAND, THE

PLANTING OF CROPS, TENDING

AND CARING, HARVESTING AND STORAGE AND PROCESSING

INTO VARIOUS END OR SEMIEND PRODUCTS a strong correlation between them. The Rivers State TUC chairman added that the nation’s rate of unemployment is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, while saying however that agriculture can bail the youth out of unemployment by ending the drift of young men and women from the rural areas to the cities in search of jobs which can be addressed through agriculture. “Agriculture can generate jobs in its various stages and processes from the preparation of the land, the planting of crops, tending and caring, harvesting and storage and processing into various end or semi-end products. The same can be done with the other segments of the agricultural sector”, he explained. On his part, Business Consultant, Mr. Tope Awosegba, said the financial service sector (banking and insurance especially), based on some of the recent reforms by government will go a long way to address unemployment this year and in the coming ones. Making reference to the new Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy that allows for the provision of agent banking services, Awosegba said when fully operational that the policy can take over 500,000 youths and experienced professionals from the unemploy-

ment market. It would to be recalled in that regard, that the CBN said last week that its policy on agent banking is capable of creating over 200,000 sustainable jobs in the financial service sector. Bemoaning lack of quality attention by Federal and State governments to the solid minerals sector, Management Expert, and Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Ifezulike, said the solid minerals sector when fully harnessed can create over a million jobs. Ifezulike said further that countries like Australia and China thrive on the full exploitation of the solid minerals deposits in those countries, saying also that countries like South Africa and India are also nations that over two millions of its citizens are gainfully and productively employed in that sector. According to him, “the neglect for the essentials solid minerals by certain state governments especially those in the middle belt region of the country is inexplicable” adding some of those states are even richer than their counterparts in the south when consideration is given to the deposits of various solid minerals in their domain. Calling for the “opening up” of the leisure and tourism sector of the nation, the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria, Mr. Adeyemi Mapaderun, said the sector is potentially the highest employer of labour in the country. Mapaderun who is also the registrar of the institute said with a little support from government and the private sector, that the leisure, tourism and hospitality sector in the country can annually create up to a million jobs especially targeted at the youths. He added that training in vocations should also not be left out, as more and more people are developing their vocation into careers, and that government should also focus on providing training as a way of creating employment.

World Bank forecasts more jobs in developing countries MESHACK IDEHEN

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new study by the International Finance Corporation, (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, said the much-needed jobs in developing countries can be created at a faster rate, if policymakers and development institutions make it a priority to remove obstacles to

growth that private-sector companies face. This the IFC said, is cheery for developing economies like Nigeria, as the World Bank has projected a marked increased in job creation in 2013. According to the study, “Assessing Private Sector Contributions to Job Creation,” four obstacles pose a particular challenge to job creation in the private sector, some of which are a weak investment climate, inadequate infrastructure, limited access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises;

and insufficient training and skills. Removing these obstacles, the studies disclosed, can significantly increase job creation. The study which was released as a companion report to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2013 on Jobs which was released last October. In a joint communiqué issued at the launch, 25 leading international finance institutions pledged to work together to address job creation, and learn from others’ experience.


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Manufacturing sector decline worries organised labour MESHACK IDEHEN

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he General Secretary of the National Union Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers’ of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, said statistics from global bodies is indicating that Africa’s share in global manufacturing fell from 12percent in 2000 to 11percent in 2010, while that of developing Asia rose from 13percent to 25percent in the same period. Aremu lamented that while Africa was talking about industrialisation, countries like China was working itself into global economic hierarchy. Speaking at an event facilitated by Friedrich Ebert Stiftund, as part of African Industrialisation Day celebration that was attended by key industrial unions in the manufacturing sector like the National Union Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers’

of Nigeria, National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees; Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association among others, Aremu said since the country cannot beat or even compete with China that Africa should emulate China. Explaining further at the programme that was also attended by the Food and Beverage Senior Staff Association, Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria, Agriculture and Allied Workers Union, and the Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisations of Nigeria, the NLC chieftain added that Nigeria must reindustrialise if it must be part of the 20 leading economies in 2020. He said the nation with an open unemployment rate of 50percent must wake up to industrialisation to get Nigeria back to sustainable employment, income earnings and

Aganga

Aremu

poverty eradication.” Also speaking, President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu, said a blueprint had been sent to the government on the improvement of the manufacturing sector in line with the strategic vision 2020:20. Jamodu explained that it is evident that no developing

CIPM to clamp down on unregistered human resource practitioners MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, (CIPM) said it will begin its clampdown on human resource practitioners in the country that fails to register or meet with this institute’s criteria this year. In the same vein, the Institute said organisations in the public and private sectors in the country must strive to embrace internationally accepted standards in the management and development of their human resource. According to CIPM which said it is reiterating the inviolability of human resource as the best assets that can be owned by corporate organisations, the continuous exposure of employees to global standard in training will improve such company’s productivity in the immediate and long term. In that regard, the institute said in 2013 that it will focus on how to meet with and partner with stakeholders to fashion out ways and means through which the nation’s employees and by extension the country’s economy can benefit from those exposure. The President of the Institute, Mr. Abiola Popoola, said in an interview on Thursday, that the CIPM is more than ever before committed to its

mission which according to him, is the regulation of the practice of human resource management in Nigeria, and the promotion of excellence in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills by practitioners thereby contributing to sustainable national development He explained that CIPM which is the Institute charged by law with the duties of determining what standard of knowledge and skill are to be attained by persons seeking to become registered as personnel management practitioners will also move this year to apply appropriate sanctions on

O

n job vacancies for the week, position exists for Survey Administrators (www.jobberman.com) in Kaduna and other locations across the country. The minimum qualification required is a degree alongside experience of between 1 – and 3 years. For these positions, some of the responsibilities include the distribution of questionnaires to target respondents for a multinational consultancy, providing a consistent source of contact with clients to support their needs and ensure future and making decisions on how best to serve clients, and handle issues when necessary. Also on offer for the week,

organisations that consistently fails to meet basic human resource management criteria within their organisations. According to him, raising the standards of human resource management training from time to time as circumstances may permit, securing in accordance with the provisions of the decree the establishment and maintenance of a register of members and publication from time to time of the list of those person, and regulating and controlling the profession in all its aspects and ramifications are some of the areas that the institute will also focus on in 2013.

nation has successfully transformed its economy from developing to industrialised sta-

tus, without first dramatically increasing the condition of manufacturing sector.

Interview tips for fresh graduates

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oing to a job interview is a scary prospect for many first timers, particularly fresh college graduates. Whether you will be facing an intern or the CEO, it is best that you come to the interview prepared for every question they may throw at you. Here are some of the usual queries that occur in an interview. Say something about yourself-Many candidates cave in to this opening query mainly because they are focused on other possible questions that may arise during the interview. It is important to know that this question is often used by interviewers to see how well you can handle yourself when thrown off with a question that is not related to the position or the company. Tailor your answers for the interviewer and job at hand-While delving into your personal history is necessary in an interview, do not focus on it too much. Match your qualifications and strengths and

explain why you are the best person for the position. Know what the interviewer is looking to buy, and you’ll be better able to sell yourself to them. Emphasise your accomplishments-Prepare a brief yet concise summary of your professional achievements and milestones. However, you need to pick stories that fit well with what the company is looking for. For example, if the position requires meeting deadlines, provide them with a story that fully describes your attention to time management and how such a trait earned you recognition in your prior employment. Be candid, but avoid coming across as arrogant-When you are in an interview, be confident but do not exude any hint of arrogance. Research about the company and about the position you are applying. Do not go in tense, but do not show that you are too relaxed either. Sources: yahoojobs.com

Job vacancies is the position for Sourcing Manager, (www.jobsvanguardngr.com) in a firm in Lagos. Like others, the minimum qualification required is a degree and the required experience is between 5 and 7 year. Some of the responsibilities for the position are forecast price movements of key materials to operating units to assist with local budgeting and financial plans, complete regular reviews and annual adjustment to global cost projections to reflect market movements and evaluating and analysing allocated portfolios. Other skills required are computer expertise especially

in MS Word, MS Excel , Access, PowerPoint, MFG Pro, good knowledge of supplier base analysis and a good knowledge of supply chain analysis and business Forecasting. Excellent negotiation skills and excellent oral and written communication skills will also come handy. Also on offer are the positions for Shift Managers (www.jobsvanguardngr.com) in Kwara and some states, that requires a minimum qualification of a degree and required Experience of 1 - 3 years The responsibilities are to Lead the shift to achieve operational excellence in the key performance indicators(OEE, LTAs, conversion cost, qual-

ity defect, absenteeism),drive improvements in the shift through effective leadership of the team thereby creating a conducive atmosphere for innovation, and Ensure that packing hall operates according to world class standardssafety training ,TPM, Housekeeping, Shift changeovers, Plant utilization, etc. Other qualifications and requirements are a minimum qualification of BSc (Chemical engineering, Mechanical Eng, Materials Eng), or any other relevant Engineering or management discipline. Must be good on Microsoft Office – Excel & Word and Have strong communication skills.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

25

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Real Estate & Environment dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com 08033312578

Prototype of proposed residential units in Badagry axis of Lagos.

Hot spots for property development in 2013 As economic conditions improve and with the completion of some ongoing infrastructure projects, locations such as Lekki, Victoria Island, Badagry, Yaba in Lagos; Airport Road, GRA and Aba Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State; and Abuja are expected to witness more developments in 2013. DAYO AYEYEMI writes.

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he 15 percent improvement in property values toward the end of last year as the market stabilised from the bust, is renewing investors’ confidence in real estate development. Analysis from Financial Derivatives Company Limited showed that the market grew by 10.24 per cent in third quarter of 2012 compared to 10. 86 in third quarter of 2011. As a result of stability in the market, some neighbourhoods are expected to attract more investments in terms of property development, no thanks to the accelerated road and rail infrastructures, and urban renewal ongoing in these locations. However, investigation by National Mirror has shown that locations such as Victoria Island, Lekki, Ikeja GRA, Yaba, Badagry axis in Lagos, Airport road in Abuja, and GRA, Aba and Airport roads in Port Harcourt, Rivers State will hot spots for property development in 2013 as economic conditions improve. Speaking with National Mirror, Principal Partner, Akin Olawore and Company, Mr Akin Olawore, said with the rate of ongoing road infrastructures devel-

WITH THE RATE OF ONGOING ROAD

INFRASTRUCTURES DEVELOPMENT, THE

POWER

REFORM PROJECT, IMPROVED SECURITY AND INCREASED DEMAND FOR ACCOMMODATION, CITIES SUCH AS

LAGOS, ABUJA AND PORT

HARCOURT WOULD WITNESS MASSIVE PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT THIS YEAR opment, the Power reform project, improved security and increased demand for accommodation, cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt would witness massive property development this year. In Lagos, he explained that the delivery of road infrastructures would shape real estate sector in 2013. Some of the locations to attract property development, he said included Lekki, Victoria Island, Yaba, Ikeja GRA and Abule Egba on the outskirt. National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, mentioned Abuja, La-

gos and Port Harcourt as cities that will continue to witness rapid physical development in Nigeria. According to his projection, near absence of flood in Lagos area in 2012 would encourage real estate developers along Lekki road, Badagry axis and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to intensify their activities. Despite security challenges in the northern part of the country, he explained that investors in real estate still consider Abuja relatively safe and positioned to bring greater returns on investment. He stated that in Port Harcourt, especially towards the Airport and along

Aba Road and Eleme axis would witness growth in physical development considering the relative peace there and high cost of accommodation. He said, “The underlying factor here is the ability of the Rivers State government to improve on the road network. Attraction of developers to Badagry axis will definitely increase in the anticipation of monorail operation commencement by June this year.” Principal Partner, Stephen Jagun and Associates, Mr Stephen Jagun, said people are now more interested in apartment more than before and that smaller accommodation is becoming more attractive. According to him, two and three bedroom flats are becoming hot cake. He stated that locations such as Ikeja GRA, Lekki and Victoria Island are going to be hot spots for property development, adding that “Yaba on the Mainland is another location people are moving development to.” He said, “At Yaba, investors are buying old buildings and redeveloping them. People have found out that it is cheaper to buy a house at N25million in Yaba and redevelop it and make their money rather than going to the outskirts which have not been developed and where there are no infrastructure.” On government side, Jagun advised that it should concentrate on site and services by providing infrastructure to boost property development. He is of the opinion that because of economic crunch, high end area will be limited to the rich while the middle income earners will be forced to areas where land is affordable. He urged government to carry out deliberate policy about the amendment of CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Hot spots for property development in 2013 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 the Land Use Act, adding that because land buyers have been at the receiving end due to major faults in the land law. “As a result of the law, land buyers buy land twice; first in the hand of omoonile and again, from government. This increase cost of building,” he said. He enjoined government to release Pension fund for housing development, saying the National Housing Fund is not enough. The locations below will witness massive property development this year: Lekki: The corridor is expected to attract more property development following the ongoing Lekki-Ajah road project by the Lekki Concession Company, LCC; the Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the Independent Power Project and Lekki Port projects that are coming up in this location. All these projects, Olawore said would further open up the location for businesses. He added, “Investors are keen to take position along Leeki Peninsula way, but they are also want to see that the infrastructure that are going on will come up quickly as possible.

Pepple

Jagun

Olawore

“When the infrastructures come up, then it is a case of whether your business is at the FTZ or island. So, distance will no longer be a problem.” Victoria Island: Improved infrastructures in Victoria Island and its closeness to Lekki and Lagos Island, the commercial hub of Nigeria put it at an advantage for property development by investors. It is expected that the traffic in Victoria Island will improve following the completion of the rehabilitation work on Lagos’ Third Mainland Bridge and the anticipated completion of Lekki-Ikoyi bridge and Lekki-Epe road. Yaba: Already properties are already changing hands in

Yaba following the sale of some of the Federal Government landed properties in the area. More people are still buying old buildings in this area for redevelopment. Buyers of these properties are already demolishing them for redevelopment. So, Yaba neighbourhood is expected to attract more property development this year. Badagry: It is expected that with the ongoing reconstruction and expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway and the upcoming light rail project which is expected to commence operation by June, coupled with the Chinese Free Trade Zone in the area, Badagry axis will further

Awobodu

open up and attract more people and property development investment around AgbaraTown. Abuja: Akin Olawore, a Lagos based estate surveyor, pointed out that there have been a lot of movement to Abuja by corporate interests and that investors would take decision base on the fact that “wherever government is, there is money moving around there.” He said a number of institutions’ investors have shown interest in Abuja and now a couple of malls have come up there. He expressed hope that more malls would be developed in Abuja this year while housing developments would come up too.

Port Harcourt: In Port Harcourt, Rives State, there is upgrade of coast line on going. Also the government in the state is carrying out urban renewal on the city. Also, a number of banks have moved to the state, while its economic tempo is increasing. There has been improved security in the state. Light rail project is also coming up in the state. Some developers are already showing interest to developed high and medium income housing units to widen its landscape. More property developments are expected along the Airport road, GRA, Aba and Eleme when the urban renewal project is completed.

Lagos reveals plans to meet water supply challenges DAYO AYEYEMI

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lans at meeting the water needs of Lagos residents, especially, those in the suburbs and blighted areas are on course, the Managing Director, Lagos Water Corporation (LWC), Mr. Shayo Holloway, an engineer, has disclosed. The plans, he said are in line with the Water Master Plan put in place by the Lagos State Government. He disclosed that the global plans that involved the establishment of mega water works in different parts of the state are getting nearer to producing results. To meet the current water demand of 540 million gallons per day (mgd) and the projected demand of 733 million gallons per day (mgd) by year 2020, the managing director of Lagos Water Corporation, said the water agency is growing its present installed capacity of 210 mgd to 745 by year 2020 through its Lagos Water Supply Master Plan (LWSMP). “The major water works of Adiyan (70mgd), Iju (45mgd) and Ishasi (4mgd) are presently undergoing rehabilitation to bring them back to optimal capacity, which will be completed by April 2013, “he said. To boost capacity utilisation at the two major waterworks of Iju and Adiyan which are jointly responsible for about 90 per cent of water supply to the metropolis, the state government had constructed a dedicated 12.15mw power plant in 2010 for continuous power sup-

Ajegunle mini water work

ply, while similar plant is being planned for the Lagos Island to serve some strategic water works. This initiative, according to Holloway, was first of its kind in any water agency in Nigeria. Shedding more light on the plan, the managing director disclosed that in line with the master plan, construction of Adiyan phase 2 (70mgd) which commenced in November last year would be completed in 36 months. This, he said, would boost current service delivery to the western axis of the state presently under served, boost supply to Ikorodu Township in the North Eastern axis, and enhance present hydraulics in the metropolis.

He disclosed that the state government is working on the expansion of Ishasi waterworks from its present 4mgd to 8mgd for better service delivery to the growing population of the LagosBadagry axis, while the construction of the Ota-Ikosi regional water scheme (4mgd) to serve 11 communities between Ikorodu and Epe will be completed within the first quarter of year 2013. According to him, the three aforementioned major waterworks are supported by 48 mini waterworks (ground water treatment plants), which are severely hampered by erratic power supply from the national grid, with the concomitant effects of frequent damage to equipment by surges there from.

To address this challenge, the government is systematically providing power to the mini works through the State Electricity Board from its independent electricity projects. Under the Master plan, he said the Odomola regional water scheme (210mgd) is being procured under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme to serve the South Eastern axis of the state from Epe to Victoria Island, and Ikoyi; whilst six additional water schemes are billed under similar model, noting that preliminary studies to these projects are currently underway. In areas where laying of water pipes is not feasible due to swampy terrain, he disclosed that water vendors were appointed with long service connections to serve the inhabitants. The areas which benefit from such scheme include Otumara, Otto; Badia, Ijora and Ilaje, Bariga. Explaining further, the financial involvement in making water supply available to the residents, the Executive Director of Operation, Lagos Water Corporation, Mr. Deji Johnson, noted that the process of water supply involves different processes that cost a lot of money. He said, “From abstraction of water from either river or borehole, to pumping where a lot of energy is consumed, to storage and treatment, the water goes through purification process through the use of chemicals, then filtration before pumping out for consumption, all these require a lot of money.”


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Iworima targets hitch-free season

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

I am perhaps the most pilloried sport person in recent history. I have accepted my fate and moved on –Retired cyclist, Lance Armstrong

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No cause for alarm, says Yobo

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Nigerians underrate my team – Keshi Yobo marshalling Eagles’ defence in a match.

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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ive days to the kick-off of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, is not happy that Nigerians are not giving his team its due and respect it deserves. In a lengthy interview published on supersports.com yesterday, Keshi declared that the players under his tutelage in Faro Portugal were better than his set handled by Dutchman, Clemens Westerhof that won Nigeria’s second AFCON title in Tunisia in 1994. “Many Nigerians don’t know how good this team is; I see great potentials in them and they can go places. In (Emmanuel) Emenike I see a player who can be like Rashidi Yekini and Godfrey Obaobona will grow in his position,” Keshi said proudly. Keshi as a player and captain of Nigeria played in five AFCONs reaching the final in three of them. For him, these experiences should come in handy in South Africa. “Maybe I might be able to help them handle the expectations. My playing will give me

the insight into how to handle the younger players - those just starting out and making their way in the national team” Asked how he had coped with the players in the run up to the competition, Keshi replied, “I just make sure I concentrate on the players and make sure they understand and buy into what we want to do. Nigeria is a place that you can never satisfy every person so we just make sure we do our best.”

Nigeria crashed out in the quarter-finals at the Ghana 2008 edition, won bronze at the Angola 2010 and did not qualify to last year’s championship cohosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, but it is believed that Eagles had better preparations this time. “We have had no distractions. The NFF have been very supportive and we are just focused on the job at hand,” he said.

Fans want FG to resolve AFCON telecast

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ome football fans have appealed to the Federal Government to wade into the simmering 2013 AFCON broadcast rights dispute. The dispute is between the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and LC2 the broadcast rights owner. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ongoing impasse may deny majority of Nigerians the opportunity to watch live transmission of matches from South Africa if it is not amicably resolved. Chairman of BON, Alhaji Abubakar JIjiwa, had said last week that no amicable resolution had been arrived at on the

amount of money the organisation should pay to, CAF marketer, LC2. Against this backdrop, Festus Agwu, a student said that it would be a disgrace for the country not to receive live broadcasts from South Africa. He urged the government to take urgent steps to resolve the imbroglio before it was too late. “It will be a thing of shame if all the Nations Cup matches are not shown on our local television stations for people to Watch,” he said. A businessman, Tunde Olaniyi, said the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission should have tackled the issue long before now.

uper Eagles’ skipper, Joseph Yobo, has assured that Nigeria will shine at the impending AFCON even though the Eagles have struggled in their preparations. Yobo told MTNFootball. com in an exclusive interview from the team’s training base in Faro, Portugal, that it was worth highlighting the fact that the Eagles have not conceded a goal in their last two warm-up games. The Eagles played out a goalless draw against Cape Verde and defeated Sparta Rotterdam 1-0 after they forced Catalonia to a 1-1 draw in Spain. “We hear back here (in Portugal) that many Nigerians are beginning to have doubts aboutthe team. There is no cause for alarm. The essence of these friendly games is to test players’ pairings, team formation and

make corrections,” he said. “Personally, I think we have achieved a lot already because the team is bonding real fast. Remember we have not lost a game from our last three friendlies and we won the last one. We have like eight days before our first game and I think that is enough time for us to put finishing touches to our preparation.” Yobo, therefore, said the team’s dream to win a third AFCON crown was still very much intact. “I think everything is possible by the grace of God. I have been opportune to be at the last five AFCONs and we only missed out at the last one due to luck or our mistake, whichever one you want to call it,” he said. Nigeria plays its final warmup game against Portuguese second division side, Farense, today before the Eagles depart for South Africa tomorrow.

Police to recruit 200 sports persons OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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he Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has reaffirmed the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to sports development in the country, announcing 200 slots for sportsmen and women in the forthcoming recruitment exercise in the Force. The move which he said would strengthen the sports unit of the NPF is, however, preconditioned on meeting other extant requirements to be listed into the police. Abubakar who spoke yesterday at the unveiling of the 2013 Police Games Logo at the Force Headquarters in Abuja also urged the Super Eagles to go win the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. “I want to tell you that in any of our recruitment that is coming up this year, I have made a special arrangement of 200 candidates for good sportsmen and women in this country so that those of them who are agile, younger, fit and capable would be recruited into the Nigeria Police but they must also have met all the requirements for qualification and other medical tests”, he said. On the AFCON, Abubakar said Nigerians do not deserve anything else than for the Super

Eagles to bring back the cup, saying the team’s managers have no excuse for failure. The IGP advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that it immediately tackles any challenges that may be confronting the Eagles before the commencement of the tournament on Saturday. “They have no excuse than to win because that is what this country needs. In sports development, we need to do more. We need to go back to the drawing board to get things right,” said Abubakar. This year’s Police Games which is scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State between February 24 and March 2, is expected to gulp N500 million.

IGP Abubakar


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Sport

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lampard gets Cech’s support C helsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech, yesterday joined the clamour for Frank Lampard to be offered a new contract at Chelsea. A Stamford Bridge exit seems imminent for Lampard following his agent’s admission that a deal beyond the summer had not been forthcoming. But Cech has echoed supporters in calling for the England international to be rewarded for a series of impressive performances this season, with the latest at Stoke on Saturday, and insists he remains a key figure. “There are still six months to go until the end of the season so we will see whether he stays or not. I’m not a director but if he keeps playing like that he will keep asking about the extension,” Cech said. “The team has changed, his age has changed, but he’s still important for the team. He might not start every game or play every game but when he plays he plays well with his quality and experience, so this is something that is great to see. “I’ve known him for a long time and he’s been a fantastic player for the club, and he continues to be so.” Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez appears to have no say in the decision but insists the uncertainty is not causing a problem.

Frank Lampard

Sharapova shines on Day One

N

tolina 6-2 6-4, 2011 runner-up Li eased past Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1 6-3 and Stosur dug deep to see of Chang Kai-Chen 7-6 (7-3) 6-3. Julia Goerges, the 18th

seed, the closest of the ranked players to bowing out early on in Melbourne but the German recovered to beat Vera Dushevina 7-5 2-6 6-4.

Surulere set for monthly tourney AFOLABI GAMBARI

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hairman of the Surulere Local Government Area, Hon. Tajudeen Ajide Yusuf, has approved monthly sports championship in what he called his effort to empower youths in the council. Ajide told National Mirror in Lagos yesterday that the gesture was part of a programme of action initiated by his administration and would be executed in the first quarter of this year. “We have constituted an Expert Assessment Committee to understudy plans to involve the private sector in this bid to give people of Surulere the dividends of democracy which include regular organisation of competitions in ta-

My plans for Nigerian handball –Bamidele Former Chairman of Plateau Handball Association, Rev. David Bamidele, is aspiring to lead the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN). The former captain of the Nigerian junior handball team spoke to JAMES ABRAHAM on his ambition What informed your decision to vie for the presidency of the Handball Federation of Nigeria? The backwardness of the game motivated my aspiration. I played handball for over 20 years, starting from the grassroots. I played the junior, intermediate and senior locally, nationally and internationally. So I saw the game at its peak, bringing fame, fortune and recognition. I have also witnessed its descent to the present state. I know what the problem is and I know what the solution is. I know as well that I have what it would take to remedy those problems. These are man-made problems because those who run handball at the moment should have no business with handball because they cannot give what they don’t have. If the federation does not give direction, the coaches and the players cannot do anything. You will agree with me that if the head is sick, every part of the body will also be sick.

AUSTRALIA OPEN 2012…

umber two seed Maria Sharapova yesterday got off to a flying start with comprehensive first-round 6-0 6-0 win over fellow Russian, Olga Puchkova. Sharapova, who is slated to clash with Venus Williams in the third round in Melbourne, remained on course for the mouth-watering clash on a day dominated by the seeded players. Williams brushed aside Galina Voskoboeva 6-1 6-0 while in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska recovered from a shaky start to overcome Australian wild card Bojana Bobusic. Radwanska, who has yet to drop a set in 2013 after tournament successes in Auckland and Sydney, recovered to win 7-5 6-0 having seen Bobusic serve for the first set. Fifth seed Angelique Kerber, number six seed Li Na and home favourite Sam Stosur, ranked ninth, also progressed in straight sets. Kerber beat Elina Svi-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ble-tennis, boxing, basketball, cycling and football,” he said. “The LG intends to exploit sports as a unifying factor and with our target on the public/ private sector partnership, we will not spare any effort at resuscitating and sustaining sporting activities in the local government this year. The Surulere LG boss, however, said the council had received support on the venture from various stakeholders that include student bodies, labour unions and civil society. The council had recently embarked on people-oriented programmes that encompassed donation of patrol vans to the Police, care for the widows and aged as well as donation of equipment to hospitals in Surulere.

What makes you think you have an edge over other contestants? I have an edge over them because I have direction. I have vision. I have been there and am still in the circle of the handball family. I think every visionary will vote for me and pray for me to be the

Rev. Bamidele

president. Every well wisher of handball will also cue in because you don’t have to be in the circle before you wish the Handball Federation of Nigeria well. Look at what is happening with Basketball now as it has witnessed a tremendous turnaround. That is the kind of motivation I want to bring to handball. What specific things would you bring on board if given the opportunity? I will bring innovation. I will go back to the grassroots because that is the starting point. In the first year of my tenure, we will concentrate on grassroots development and we will encourage every state to do the same. I will meet with various state governors. I will also encourage the states to host tournaments so they will upgrade their facilities in the process. There must be competitions at the junior, intermediate as well as the senior. I can also guarantee you that we will participate in local, national and internal competitions. How have you gone about the campaign so far? Well, I have been going around reaching out to the stakeholders in various states, organisations, groups and even individuals for support. From the signals so far, I am hopeful.


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Sport

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Nigeria aims at third title Will the Coach Stephen Keshi’s 23-man army made up of six players from the local league and 16 players making their Nations Cup debut at the 2013 AFCON break Nigeria’s bronze jinx in South Africa? IKENWA NNABUOGOR takes a hard look at the team and writes that lack of Nations Cup experience could pose a huge threat to Eagles’ title aspiration.

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igeria’s Super Eagles have not reallyenjoyed the best of times at winning the AFCON title considering their pedigree in the Africa. They were not in the frontline in the early stages of the AFCON which was dominated by Egypt, Ghana and Ethiopia. After several attempts at making touching distances at the diadem, their best moment came in the 1980 Championship which Nigeria hosted and they won the title. Failing to defend their title at Libya’82, Eagles bounced back to claim runners’ up titles two times in the 1980s before claiming their second title in Tunisia in 1994. That feat remains their best till date. The last AFCON staged in Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea last year saw the Eagles not participating for the first time since 1986 when Zambia prevented them from seeking glory in Egypt. South Africa 2013 will be their 17th Nations Cup appearance since they made their debut in 1963 in Ghana. For this 29th edition, Coach Stephen Keshi brought a whole new dimension to the national team by massively including localbased players in his plans since taking over from sacked Samson Siasia in November 2011. Inheriting the team made up of all foreign-based players from Siasia in his first two games in charge, Keshi, for the first time in many years, began to build his team around local-based players, calling to camp as many as 30 of them just before he kicked off his 2013 Nations Cup qualifying campaign. Keshi kept the team together for a long time in a camp, played several friendly games and gradually continued to build a team. Players were invited, tested, dropped and kept as he continued to build a team made up of mainly home-based players against public outcry. Keshi would keep faith in his army of home-based squad as he named as many as 12 in the qualifying games. Players such as Warri Wolves’ central defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe; Rangers trio, goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, Ejike Uzoenyi, Sunday Mbah; Sunshine Stars duo of centre back Godfrey Oboabana and left back Solomon Kwambe, had done well enough to command first team shirts among the foreign-based players as Keshi’s confidence in them soared leading the ex-Eagles captain to boast that he was naming as many of seven of them in the final 23-man squad. It was only six that made the final cut from the motley crowd and for the first time since 1992, Eagles will parade six home-based players. Egwuekwe remains the most regular player in Keshi’s Eagles having played in 12 of Eagles’ 13 games under the former Togo and Mali manager. How Eagles Qualified Nigeria qualified having beaten Liberia 8-3 in goal aggregate in the two-legged final round of the qualifiers. They had earlier beaten Rwanda in the first round to advance to the final round.

Super Eagles’ line-up in their last qualification match played in Calabar last year.

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea/ ENG), Fengor Ogude (Valerenga Oslo/NOR), Rueben Gabriel (Kano Pillars/NGA), Eddy Onazi Ogenyi (Lazio/ITA), Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers/NGA), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis/SPA), Obiora Nwankwo (Calcio Padova/ITA), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers/NGA) Strikers: Ikechukwu Uche (Villareal/ SPA), Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Musa Ahmed (CSKA Moscow/ RUS), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Moscow/UKR)

Keshi

Form Guide 12 January 2013 Vs Sparta Rotterdam 1 -0 International Friendly, Faro, Portugal 9 January, 2013: Vs Cape Verde 0-0 International Friendly, Faro, Portugal 2 January, 2013 Vs Catalonia 1-1 International Friendly, Barcelona, Spain 14 November, 2012: Vs Venezuela: 3-1 International Friendly Miami, USA SA 2013 Squad Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv/ISR), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR), Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers/ISR) Defenders: Joseph Yobo (Fenerbache/ TUR), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves/ NGA), Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga/POR), Juwon Oshaniwa (FC Ashdod/ ISR), Efe Ambrose (Celtic/SCO), Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag/NED, Godfrey Oboabana (Sunshiine Stars/NGA)

Key Players: Joseph Yobo Eagles captain is fast chasing a century of caps having eclipsed age-long Muda Lawal of record of most capped Eagles. The former Everton strongman will be adding more caps to his 89th when Eagles open their Nations Cup account next week. He’s also set to equal Nwankwo Kanu’s six Nations Cup appearance record at this AFCON. Having made his Eagles debut in 2001 in the Nations Cup qualifier against Zambia in Chingola, Yobo has remained a constant face in the team. He was appointed captain following the retirement of Kanu. 2013 AFCON could well be his last outing. Musa Ahmed Once seen as the busiest Nigerian international donning the colours of Super Eagles, Flying Eagles and the Olympic team, Musa will be making his first Nations Cup appearance. He’s expected to transform his club’s killer form at 2013 AFCON as Nigeria will be banking on his goals and assists for glory. Capped 19 times with meagre three goals, Musa will be hard pleased to prove his worth at senior level where he’s yet to replicate his impressive youth form. 1st Round Fixtures 21 January Vs Burkina Faso in Nelspruit

25 January Vs Zambia in Nelspruit 29 January Vs Ethiopia in Rustenburg Prediction Super Eagles have always remained the favourites but their form of late leaves a lot of questions to ask on their title aspiration. Eagles have a chance to win their third title just like other top favourites like Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Zambia, but will have to do something extraordinary to nick it. Too bad for them should they rue the absence of top performers like Kalu Uche, Obafemi Martins and Osaze Odemwingie. RECORD 1957 – 1959 – Did not enter 1962 – Did not qualify 1963 – Group Stage 1965 – Did not enter 1968 – Did not qualify 1970 – Did not enter 1972 – Did not qualify 1974 – Did not qualify 1976 – Third Place 1978 – Third Place 1980 – Champions 1982 – Group Stage 1984 – Runners up 1986 - Did not qualify 1988 – Runners up 1990 – Runners up 1992 – Third Place 1994 – Champions 1996 – 1998 – Did not enter due to ban 2000 – Runners up 2002 – Third place 2004 – Third Place 2006 – Third Place 2008 – Quarter-finals 2010 – Third Place 2012 – Did not qualify


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On the track with

YEMI OLUS danyella172003@yahoo.com

Iworima targets hitch-free season

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ommonwealth Games silver medallist, Otonye Iworima, is expecting a smooth season after spending some time off the track following a surgery she had on her leg last year. The triple jumper told National Mirror yesterday that she had resumed training but would not put herself under pressure in a bid to make an impressive comeback, saying her energy would be focused on fitness while expecting a splendid performance this year. “I am taking it easy this year so I won’t force myself to do anything extraordinary because this is a year to play,” the athlete said. “For me the major event will be the national trials; that’s my target. I am also considering the World Championships in Russia but it will not be the main thing for me as my focus is 2014.” Despite not making it into the team that featured at the London 2012 Games as the highlight of last season, the 36-year-old commended the performance of her colleagues at the games. “In spite of everything I would say that they did well. We got into more finals than we had at any Olympics so that is what I would count as progress. It was a job well done.” The All Africa Games bronze medallist, who supported the National Sports Commission’s decision to throw the National Sports Festival open to elite athletes, advised that underage competitions should be organ-

Toblow extols late coach

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oremost athletics, coach, Tobias Igwe alias Toblow, has described his late colleague, Samuel Akinyemi, as one of the most consistent and experienced coaches Nigeria ever had. Akinyemi died on January 7 after an undisclosed illness at the State Hospital in Ado Ekiti. Fondly referred to as ‘Erin’, the late coach discovered and nurtured the likes of Damola Osayomi, Fatima Yusuf and Seun Ogunkoya to stardom and was also with the Ondo State team to the last National Sports Festival hosted by Lagos. “I received the news with shock because Samuel was one of the greatest coaches we had in Nigeria. He was very consistent and produced national champions such as Mary Akinyemi who was the first Nigerian athlete who ran 51secs in the 400m,” Igwe said.

Farah lures Queen to ‘Mobot’

D Otonye Iworima

ised to discover athletes as the NSF had not served the purpose effectively. “The underage competitions would be a better platform to discover athletes rather than the prevailing scenario where athletes are

not allowed to compete after three festivals.. “I think the festival should be a platform where all our athletes, both home and foreign based would take part in our own mini-Olympics,” she stressed.

ouble Olympic medallist, Mo Farah, is aiming to get the Queen to do the Mobot when he picks up his CBE, according to his brother. The 29-year-old twin Olympic gold medallist’s brother, Omar, revealed that the sportsperson confessed to him that he would tease Her Majesty about her helicopter plunge when he meets

Para-athletes get more events

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aralympic athletes will have eight new events to compete in this year, as the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has decided to launch a series of meetings that mirror the IAAF Diamond League for able-bodied athletes. The grand prix circuit is something that Paralympic athletes have been calling for, with very few events to look forward to in their calendar year. T44 100m final winner Jonnie Peacock recently complained that he had only one event to train for, the Athletics World Championships in the summer.

“His death is a minus to the athletics family because of his invaluable contributions. He was one of the most experienced of us and a lively person. He was a regular coach in the national team and I will miss his jokes and company.” Yusuf is a Commonwealth and African champion as well as an IAAF World Championships finalist who also won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics with the women’s 4x400m relay team. Ogunkoya was a two-time African champion, one-time record holder in the men’s 100m and an IAAF World Cup silver medallist. Osayomi is a four-time gold medallist at the African Championships and won the sprint double at the 2007 and 2011 editions of the All-Africa Games, as well as a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The series is due to begin in April, with the final likely to be held in Birmingham. Two events will be held in the UK, recognition of their triumph in hosting the Paralympic Games. Other host countries may include Germany and the Netherlands, with one meeting also held in Rio di Janeiro. The 2012 Paralympic Games broke the mould in terms of the attention it garnered, with spectators turning out in their tens of thousands. Every athletics session was sold out, and athletes such as Jonnie Peacock, Sarah Storey and David Weir became household names.

UK Athletics have followed up on this success by also choosing to incorporate races for elite disabled athletes into the British Athletics International Match this month. The televised competition, held in Glasgow on January 26, will feature four new events, with Paralympic medallists Libby Clegg and Steph Reid making an appearance at the Emirates Arena. The British Paralympic Association are also ‘hopeful’ that the Paralympic World Cup will continue to be held in the same manner that it was up to the Summer Games.

Mo Farah

her at Buckingham Palace. “When Mo collects his CBE he’ll be really excited, as he likes the Royal Family and is a big fan of the Queen,” Omar said. The twin Farah, who spent six months in a young offenders’ institution after he was arrested during the 2011 riots, said that his brother helped him turn his life around.


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

31

Three months after, subscribers of demolished N3bn Minanuel Estate cry for justice DAYO AYEYEMI

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hree months after the demolition of 500 housing units at Minanuel Estate in Abuja, its developer and subscribers are yet to get any succor or compensation from the Federal Government. Against this background, the subscribers of are calling on the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, to prevail on the FCT minister to compensate them having lost their resources and resettle them as subscribers who paid to own a home. They also urged the international communities and human rights organisations to call the attention of government of Nigeria to the great injustice meted on them. Updating journalists at the weekend on the plights of the subscribers since the estate was demolished three months ago, Spokesperson, Minanuel Estate Subscribers’ Union, Mr. Festus Adebayo, stated that nothing has been done to overturn the injustice meted on them. According to him, three months after, subscribers are yet to receive any succor, compensation or hope for resettlement from the government. He said, “It is painful to inform you today being the third month after this estate was pulled down by FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, because of the Senate Committee on FCT who claimed to be the owner of the land in which our estate was built through their radio advert, we have not received any succor, no comment from the Presidency, no compensation and no hope for resettlement.”

Subscribers of Minanuel Estate protesting the demolition of their houses.

Ruins of the estate.

Minanuel Estate, comprising 500 housing units was demolished by the task force attached to the Development Control Department of FCT on October 1, 2012. The spokesperson of subscribers’ union, wondered why the Presidency has refused to order for the probe of what led to the demolition of the estate if it is

really committed to providing affordable housing units for Nigerians. He said, “We want to say it categorically that if President Goodluck Jonathan is really committed to housing Nigerians, he would have ordered for a probe of what made 500 Nigerians lost their homes at a swoop from the

evil bulldozer of the FCT Minister. “The president would have ordered for our resettlement or have we committed a crime for aspiring to own a home in our country? “Destroying 500 houses is like destroying a village; our hope of home ownership has

been murdered and yet, the government that supposed to protect lives and property has refused to console, investigate, compensate or resettle us.” He noted that recently, the Minister for Information Mr. Labaran Maku highlighted the achievements of the present administration in the area of housing. He wants the minister to tell the whole world the number of Nigerians especially in FCT that were rendered homeless through inhuman and illegal demolition in 2012. “It is impossible to believe that President Goodluck Jonathan is commitment to public private partnership in housing development when the investment of developers, banks, and subscribers are not protected,” he stated. Adebayo condemned the recent threat of the FCT Minister to demolish another 31 housing estates, saying the exercise would kill the hope of another set of subscribers. He said, “The threat is not against the developers in FCT but it is a threat to demolish the economy of the Federal Capital Territory and indirectly demolish the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “There is no way President Jonathan and the Minister for Housing can genuinely keep their promises of making housing units available for Nigerians, no matter the number of time they make the promise, the issue of Minanuel Estate demolition must be addressed,” Adebayo said, calling for the removal of Mohammed and the need to reposition the Development Control Department and Land Administration System in Abuja.

Delta begins accelerated issuance of C-of-O

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elta State Government has set a target of three weeks for the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) on all government allocated lands and three months for private lands. Besides, the government has directed that any building commenced without a valid building permit would be pulled down without notice. Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, who announced these decisions in Asaba during the State Economic Dashboard meeting, explained that it was part of measures to sanitise the system and make it more efficient and result-oriented. The meeting which was a review mechanism for self evaluation of government’s performance, the deficiencies and how to overcome such deficiencies and improve on the areas of strength of the ministries, departments and agen-

...Targets 21 and 90 days for govt, private land cies. According to the governor, indiscriminate erection of buildings without valid permits was responsible for uncontrolled urbanisation, flooding, sanitation challenges and other environmental problems faced in most towns and cities across the state. “Beginning from last Tuesday, if a building is started without a building approval or permit, the building will be pulled down. An approval must be gotten from the Ministry of Lands before the construction of any building is commenced”, he stated. Similarly, any official found wanting in the issuance of a building permit when such permits should have been denied, would be sanctioned. On C of O, the governor said

that targets of three weeks and three months have been set for government lands and private lands respectively to get a certificate issued. He said, “A target has been set that when an applicant puts up an application for a Certificate of Occupancy for a private land, that applicant having done everything correctly must get the Certificate of Occupancy within two months. For a government land, the Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained within three weeks”. He said that the measures have become necessary to remove the clogs hindering economic growth and development of the state as well as enable the government achieve its dream of building a state with less dependence on oil

revenue. In addition, Uduaghan said these measures would attract investors and tourists to the state thereby increasing the revenue profile. Also, he disclosed that the laws establishing the State Waste Management Board and the State Direct Labour Agency would be reviewed to make them report directly to the Ministry of Environment and Works respectively to eliminate conflicts and make for better service delivery. He said the state Environmental Protection Agency (DELSEPA), would be organised and strengthened for better service delivery adding that a waste recycling plant would be installed in the next six months and nine months in Asaba and Warri. He said the relevant bills

Uduaghan

would soon be sent to the House of Assembly to give legal teeth to the envisaged changes, promising to relocate the Asaba dump site presently disturbing activities around the Asaba International airport. “We are going to manage cleanliness in Asaba to ensure that all streets are kept clean. We will also not allow the walk ways to be abused because presently, mechanics and petty traders are abusing the walk ways,” he added.


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How to remodel your kitchen on an affordable budget Interior decorator, Melissa Michaels, from the Inspire Room has carried out the redesigning of her kitchen and has useful tips on how to remodel your kitchen on an affordable budget:

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ssess the situation ahead of time and get a lot of opinions Let professionals come over and give their opinions. Get bids on doing individual projects like new counters as well as bids on the entire kitchen. Eventually you’ll start to get a feel for what is necessary, what you could do without and who you want to work with. Find a creative contractor: We interviewed at least five contractors before we decided on one. While the estimate was important in our decision, finding someone who had creative solutions was by far the most important thing to us in the long run. Our contractor would suggest things that made our kitchen look more custom and high end but didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I am not a contractor so I don’t always know what can be done, so having his opinion was invaluable. Take your time to plan: I was super anxious to have a working kitchen,

but my husband and I spent many hours looking at magazine photos for inspiration, thinking creatively and drawing up sketches to show our contractor. I estimate we saved about $30,000 by doing a lot of the thinking and creative planning ahead of time. We found solutions to what could have been very expensive fixes simply by taking the time to solve them creatively. Do some of the prep work yourselves: Neither my husband or I are particularly handy with tools or building things. But, we do know how to use a sander and a paint brush. So, we (okay, I really mean my husband) spent countless hours sanding rough dark beams, priming them and painting them. I cannot even imagine how expensive it would have been to replace the beams, let alone have someone else do all the prep and painting. Details, details, details: The key to a

Culled from: www.divinecaroline.com

custom looking kitchen is in the details. I don’t mean fancy pants hand carved marble corbels either. You can choose things that look unique and special, or you can chose something that is plain and nondescript. Don’t be afraid to speak up: I think we drove our contractor crazy sometimes because we wanted everything to be just right. Sometimes would get out our level and let him know if things weren’t quite level. We actually overheard one of the subs tell his boss that we were using a “piece of crap level” (can I say that here?) because to his eye, it looked fine. But, we were paying a professional and we deserved to have things look right to OUR eye. Mix things up: Don’t be boring when you can be special! Mix things up! Yes, you can use more than one style of hardware and more than one cabinet finish. We had five kinds of cabinet pulls in

our kitchen. We chose four types that were hammered black iron, but various shapes and styles. And then for our glass cabinets we chose glass knobs with an iron base. Drawers are better than cupboards: If you are putting in any new cabinetry or retro-fitting an old cabinet, I must tell you that I love drawers more than cupboards. I find cabinet doors clumsy. And I especially do not like the cabinet doors that you open and then have to pull out a drawer. Too many steps for me! Creative concealment: my money saving weapon: I do not like to spend big money to rip things out if I don’t have to. I had the craziest window in my kitchen. Work with what you have: We kept the basic footprint of our kitchen intact. We were able to keep plumbing and electrical costs to a minimum, as well as avoided replacing a tile floor by simply leaving our floorplan the same.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Real Estate & Environment

33

Why Lagos is stockpiling housing units DAYO AYEYEMI

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Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (right) being conducted round the scene of the fire outbreak at Okobaba Sawmill and shanties by the Chairman, Mainland Local Government Area, Mr. Oladele Adekanye (2nd right) during his visit last Thursday.

Fashola unveils plans to construct 1008 flats in Ijora/Iganmu DAYO AYEYEMI AND MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed plans to construct 1008 housing units in Ijora/Iganmu, area of the metropolis this year. If the plans come into fruition, Ijora/Iganmu neighbourhoods will come alive and become be the largest concentration of modern housing units in recent times since the construction of 1004 Estate three decades ago. Governor Fashola unveiled these plans at the weekend during the tour of all ongoing projects in Lagos, and when expressing displeasure over media report that his administration is planning to demolish 50 distressed buildings in Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos. Expressing plans to solve housing problems in the state, Fashola said plans are underway to build the biggest housing estate, 1008 flats in Iganmu area of the state, adding that the residents would be able to enjoy the light rail transportation system expected take off by June 2013. He said, “People should be able to live close to the train station and walk about a kilometre to their homes. So it is a dream, it is beginning to come together. This is what we saw and we will deliver it.” He stated that rather than demolishing, his government has embarked on the construction of many housing projects including the ongoing 400 units each at Igando and Ogba; 500 units in Sangotedo, 600 units at Agbowa. He said, “All the sensationalism about demolition is not consistent with what we are doing. We are building over 400 housing units here, we are building another 400 plus in

Ogba, about 500 in Sangotedo and over 600 in Agbowa. “We are starting Ajara in Badagry. I also told you about what we are going to do in Ijora from this year with about 1008 housing units. That is not consistent with a government that is demolishing. We are builders and not demolishers. We are focused; we know where the target is.” The governor explained that the need to forestall avoidable loss of lives mostly necessitates demolition of distressed building by the government, saying that his administration doesn’t pull down structure for selfish reasons. Fashola said that government had not demolished any structure without plan of replacing it even with better and stronger ones, adding that for any structure to be pulled down, the due process must also be followed. Harping on his administration’s resolve to have human face while executing capital projects in the state metropolis, he said a bridge project was split into two Ajao Ejigbo in order to save some properties, wondering why government does not get credit for such action which cost more. Fashola however blamed the perceived slow pace of work of some of the ongoing projects on several challenges confronting the state government, saying that apart from the usual paucity of fund, the state is also confronted with court litigations by some property owners and payment of compensation to some of the residents whose properties were affected in the course of executing the projects. Some of the ongoing capital projected sites inspected by the governor include Lite Rail Stations at Iganmu, Alaba and Mile 2. The construction of central library of the Lagos State University (LASU); Maternal and

Child Care Centre in FESTAC; construction of Okota-Ago Palace Road, construction of Ejigbo-Ajao Link Bridge, Network of roads around Jimoh Ajao Street and Igando HOMS Others are construction of Resettlement Relief Camp, Igando, projects at Alimosho General Hospital (School of Nursing and Hostel among others) and Samuel Jinadu Street in Markaz area of Orile Agege among others. On the progress of work on the Lagos Badagry road expansion, the governor stated that contrary to insinuations in certain quarters work has always been in progress on the road, adding that replacement of infrastructural amenities like PHCN, gas pipeline and telecommunication cables also responsible for the few delays He added that what is going on now is a soil replacement process as shown by the observed heaps of sands because the soil in the area has become unsuitable having been used as a refuse dump over the years. “We are at the stage where we are relocating facilities. That is why to the uninformed, it would appear as if we have stopped work. We have not stopped work, relocation of those facilities is going on”, he stressed. Fashola also said the issue of relocation is also on going as compensation is being given to people who have had to give up their properties so that the work can get done. At the Lagos State University, Ojo, where he inspected the Students’ Arcade, the Law Theatre, Main Library, Senate Building, School of Transportation and other projects, Governor Fashola promised that most of the on-going projects would be completed soon adding that the Government is working with the new Governing Council of the institution to upgrade its infrastructure.

t is now common to see completed housing schemes initiated by the Lagos State Government unoccupied. Dozens of such unoccupied housing units exist in locations such as Gbagada, ijaye/Ojokoro, Ikorodu, Epe, Igando and Agege among others, giving passers-by the impression that the dwelling units have not been able to attract buyers due to high cost, considering the unfavourable financial climate in the country. But an impeccable source at the Lagos State Ministry of Housing, told National Mirror that it was a deliberate policy of the state government to stockpile the housing units in order to jumpstart the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagHOMs) . The source said, “Lagos State government is stockpiling the houses so that we have enough to jumpstart the Lagos Home Ownership

Mortgage Scheme. . Government has housing schemes in Ijaye/ Ojokoro, Igbogbo in Ikorodu and it is still building more homes in Agbowa, Shita in Surulere, Ogba, Magodo. “Government is preparing these housing units toward the LagHOMs. Government is positive about the initiative and large number of first buyers is key into the objective of mortgage to buy their homes. “Government wants to have reasonable number of houses to kickstart and very soon, the modalities and application will be made public. The prices of the houses have not been fixed, so the issue of government building costly houses does not arise.” The criteria for locating the housing schemes, the source said, was based on availability of land and the deliberate policy of government to spread development across the state in order to decongest locations where there are over concentration of people.

Stop environmental pollution, commissioner urges residents

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esirous of ensuring a sustainable environment, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, has urged the people of the state to guide against environmental pollution to guarantee a healthy living. According to the statement from the ministry, the commissioner gave the appeal at the flag–off of the awareness campaign on environmental pollution organised in partnership with the International Innerwheel District 911 Nigeria, to mark the year 2013 World Innerwheel Day. Bello said the awareness campaign on environmental pollution was timely as the need to educate the citizenry on the importance of cleaning their immediate environment could not be overemphasised. He explained that the awareness programme would further help to

change the attitude of the citizenry towards their environment, adding that the people would do well to desist from the habit of dumping refuse in the drainage, blocking drainage channels and obstructing drainage alignment. The environment commissioner also hinted that the issue of pollution is paramount to the state government as the population of the state keeps increasing , the present administration is faced with different challenges such as keeping a healthy environment, providing qualitative healthcare system, construction and maintaining of roads which is part of the 10 points agenda of state government. According to him, the issue of pollution is a serious one because it also has everything to do with congestion; when people congest an area they will inevitably pollute the environment.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Opinions divided over new mortgage curbs in UEA O pinion is divided over whether the proposal by the UAE Central Bank to cap mortgage lending to expats to 50 per cent of a property’s value will help or hinder Dubai’s recovering real estate market. According to report from Property Wire, The policy also restricts lending to 40 per cent for a second property for expats and restricts the amount UAE nationals can borrow to 70 per cent for a first property and 60 per cent for a second. Some analysts believe it could help curb a rise in property prices and thus prevent the boom scenario that led to the market crashing in 2008 and prices falling by up to 60 per cent. Others think it will have little impact as many expats rent rather than buy. ‘Most of the investors who are driving up prices are cash buyers. Investors don’t use mortgages, those are taken by the genuine users,’ said Kabir Mulchandani, chief executive of Dubai based real estate investment firm Skai Holdings. He believes it could benefit the rental sector. Mulchandani thinks that the decision could lead to a sharp uptick in rental

prices, particularly in Dubai’s property market. ‘If this regulation continues, rents will go up because end users cannot come up with 50 per cent. It will lead to more investors owning property than end users,’ he added. According to Craig Plumb, head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle the policy will dampen price growth but it won’t make much of an impact on rents. ‘Sales price growth this year would have been less than 2012 anyway, but as a result of this new policy that’s going to certainly reinforce our view that the growth will be less,’ he explained. ‘I don’t think we are expecting it to impact on the rental price. What is likely to happen is that developers who aren’t able to sell the properties will rent them out themselves so the pool of properties will be about the same,’ he added. However, Nicholas Maclean, Middle East managing director for real estate consultants CBRE does not think it will have much of an impact at all. ‘The mortgage buying section of the buying community is relatively small. We think it’s between 20 and 30 per cent. So the majority of the market is unaffected. I don’t see this having a major impact on the mar-

Dubai property

ket place but do think it’s going to have a stabilising impact on the market,’ he explained. Lenders in the UAE have already asked the central bank to delay the new policy. The Emirates Banks Association has written asking for 30 day delay while the

full implications are considered. It wants to see the cap for expats put at 60 per cent and 80 per cent for UAE nationals. The introduction of a cap follows a partial recovery of house prices in Dubai and new plans for several new projects in the emirate.

UK homes up 1% to £57bn last year, new data shows

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Residential apartment in Singapore

Property prices still rising in Singapore despite govt’s restrictions

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he price of new homes in Singapore increased to a new record by 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the latest figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority show. On an annual basis prices increased by 2.8 per cent, much less than the 5.9 per cent increase in the previous year. The mass property market segment, which are commonly units located in the suburbs, increased by most, up 3.4 per cent. The high end of the market saw price increased of 0.8 per cent. According to analysts the governments market cooling measures, such as the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty and the latest mortgage tenure curbs, have been slowed price growth. Some analysts expect the Eurozone crisis to drive high networth individuals to invest in real estate in Singapore, boosting the high end property market. Overall

they expect a slower start to the year with price increases of up to 3 per cent and then an overall increase of 7 per cent for the whole of the year. Others think that the mass market segment should also see double digit increases of 10 to 15 per cent in 2013 due to a rapid increase in land prices. Resale prices also reached a record high in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 2.5 per cent on the previous quarter, the largest growth since the third quarter of 2011, when prices increase by 3.8 per cent. Total growth in this sector for 2012 was 6.6 per cent, down from 10.7 per cent in 2011 and 14.1 per cent in 2010. Experts say this was due to a short supply of resale flats in the market. The Resale Price Index rose 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, 1.3 per cent in the second quarter and 2 per cent in the third quarter.

K homes gained £57 billion in value during 2012, reversing fall of £124 billion in the previous year but properties are still worth 10 per cent less than in 2007, new research shows. And the data from property website Zoopla also reveals that there is a considerable regional variation in growth with London accounting for £42.4 billion, almost 75 per cent , of the increase. It means that the combined value of Britain’s residential property stock was £5.963 trillion at the end of December, up 0.97 per cent from £5.906 trillion at the end of 2011. The 2012 increase in property values brings the total British market value back to the same level as at the end of 2009, following a gain of £67 billion in 2010 but a fall of £124 billion in 2011. The total market values were calculated by Zoopla by combining the estimated current market value of every individual home in Britain. Property values in England fared much better than Scotland and Wales during 2012, with the overall value of the residential property market in England growing by £64.8 billion, 1.2 per cent, whilst falling by £1.2 billion, 0.3 per cent, in Scotland and by £6.6 billion, 3.1 per cent, in Wales. Two thirds of the biggest 250 urban areas in Britain experienced increases in total proper-

ty values in 2012. And amongst the 20 largest cities across Britain, the biggest gainers in 2012 by total increase in value were London which was up £42.4 billion, Bristol up £2.3 billion and Edinburgh up £922 million. The biggest value losers over 2012 were Sheffield which was down £286 million Doncaster down £160 million and Stokeon-Trent down £149 million. ‘These figures highlight the varying performance of the property market in different regions around the UK last year. While some areas saw decent growth in property values, others are still facing an uphill struggle,’ said Lawrence Hall of Zoopla. The data also shows that despite the relatively flat performance of the market over

A UK home

the past three years, the total value of all homes in Britain combined has risen by £1.9 trillion or 46 per cent over the past 10years. And despite property values not rising in Scotland and Wales during 2012, they have actually outperformed property in England over the last decade with England having seen a rise of 43 per cent or £1.6 trillion while Scotland has seen 84 per cent growth or £183 billion and Wales 57 per cent growth or £74 billion. The biggest annual decrease over the last decade occurred in 2008 when 12 per cent or £792 billion was wiped off the value of Britain’s housing market. Prior to the collapse in 2008, the British property market peaked at a total value of £6.617 trillion at the end of 2007.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aviation

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

35

Controversy trails planned acquisition of aircraft for domestic operators The announcement by the Ministry of Aviation to acquire 30 aircraft for domestic airline operators is receiving mixed reactions from professionals and stakeholders in the sector, but the government says it is a way to ensure safety and boost efficiency among the operators. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.

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ust recently, the Federal Government through the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah disclosed its plans to acquire 30 aircraft for domestic operators to cushion the challenge of insufficient capacity, particularly in terms of operational aircraft through an intervention fund. The government said it will no longer release the intervention fund to the airlines directly, but will help them negotiate with lessors and manufacturers for the supply of modern aircraft to be paid for by the government. Oduah said the government has already opened talks with representatives of Embraer Aircraft manufacturer from Brazil and other manufacturers on the subject matter. She said that Federal Government has changed its strategy for the development of the aviation sector in respect of domestic airlines, with its intention to assist them increase their fleet with new aircraft from reputable manufacturers around the world. She said, “Domestic carriers use wrong equipment for most of their operations. There is no established record of sustainability for these airlines mainly because of the use of wrong equipment. Intervention fund by the Federal Government in the past to assist them re-fleet has failed because there is no evidence that the money was ploughed back into the airlines. ‘’Government wants to change this model entirely by floating a fund for the acquisition of new aircraft for the domestic carriers. In this regard, government is seeking a partnership with Embraer that will lead to a discussion on how these new aircraft will be procured at very competitive, fair, and concessionary rates.” After the statement above, there were reports in some quarters that the Federal Government had secured a $500million loan from China to acquire 30 aircraft for local operators, which the Ministry of Aviation had since debunked, but confirmed that it is purchasing 30 aircraft for the operators with the federal government’s intervention fund. However, the acquisition of the aircraft for the airline operators either through a loan from China or through the intervention fund is receiving divergent views from stakeholders and professionals in the sector, but the government is insisting that it is a form of ensuring safer, fuel efficient and more convenient equipment for the airline operators. Speaking on the issue, the Managing Director, Capital Airlines, Capt. Amos

Oduah

Akpan

WHO NEEDS THESE AIRCRAFT? WHAT FEASIBILITY STUDY HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT, WHICH CONCLUDED THE SUITABILITY OF THAT PARTICULAR AIRCRAFT FOR A PARTICULAR ROUTE NETWORK? IN WHAT

PROPORTION WILL THE 30 AIRCRAFT BE SHARED

AMONG THE AIRLINES, WHICH INDICATED INTEREST OR HAVE REQUESTED FOR THESE AIRCRAFT?

Akpan agreed that the initial N300billion intervention fund for the airlines by the government was wrongly applied, but noted that the new procedure of buying aircraft for domestic airlines was not yet made clear by the government. He predicted that it would end up being another wrong application of good intentions by the government. He explained that aircraft acquisition is a product of fleet expansion, upgrade, or additions based on what specific airlines need at a stage, but stressed that the plan of the airline would determine the aircraft type to be used for operations. Akpan insisted that no airline should be given money to buy aircraft, rather, when such an operator identifies the aircraft that suites its operations, the operator should get the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to inspect and approve while the government pays through its bank and retains the title of ownership and the airline acts as an operator. He added that insurance must be paid by the title owner who retains the right of first loss payee and added that the scheduled maintenance checks must be financed or funded by the owner when the maintenance by calendar or by hours is due. He said, “What type of aircraft is required, for what route and which operator? Is it for an airline operating tourist flights to Obudu and Yankari, the airline linking Akure, Kebbi, Ibadan, Gombe, Ilorin, to Abuja, Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt or the airline linking Sao Tome, Malaba, Doula, Calabar to Port Harcourt or even the intercontinental carrier from

Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt? “If an operational module has been identified; research of availability of passengers and cargo identified. The frequency and capacity required must be determined. This then determines the size and type of aircraft. The safety envelope of categories of airports and the facilities they offer must be critical inputs too. We should not jump into lopsided amelioration again. “Payments for salaries, training, spare parts and line maintenance must be on an open requisition program to avoid default. These are budget items. Fuel credit scheme must be such that payment is automated between the banks and the fuel company on presentation of audited vouchers. Monthly payment on the aircraft from the sales must be automated to avoid default on lease rentals. All of the above will ensure there is no hiding to create excess capacity on one route because of high traffic while under developing other routes.” Also, the President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Capt. Dele Ore described the plan to acquire aircraft for domestic operators as ridiculous and unnecessary and predicted that it would be an exercise in futility. He warned against creation of bad debts to the next generation and queried the process and conditions attached to the loan for the carriers. Ore argued that international best practices dictate that most airlines don’t need to own their aircraft outrightly, but rather lease them through various financial institutions like banks, insurance companies,

aircraft leasing companies and others. Besides, he explained that the Cape Town Convention, which Nigeria is a signatory to, had made acquisition of aircraft easier for any interested airline company in the country without the involvement of the government and urged the domestic airlines to take full advantage of this for the acquisition of aircraft for their operations. He said, “Who needs these aircraft? What feasibility study has been carried out, which concluded the suitability of that particular aircraft for a particular route network? In what proportion will the 30 aircraft be shared among the airlines, which indicated interest or have requested for these aircraft?” he queried. But, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), said it backed the Federal Government’s plan to acquire the airplanes for domestic operators. TUC’s General Secretary, Mr. Musa Lawal, told journalists in Lagos that the congress was supportive of any positive policy that would enable the government to achieve its objectives. He recalled that in the past, Nigeria Airways was grounded because some people booked seats without paying under the guise of being on official duty. The TUC scribe said that government must ensure that the funds to be invested were recovered. Oduah however said that fund for the acquisition of the aircraft would be sourced from the government’s intervention fund and explained that government was not taking loan from any financial institution or country to finance the project. Asked if it was the role of government to provide equipment for the operators, Oduah speaking through her Special Assistant, Media responded that, “it is not the role of government to provide aircraft for operators, but it is the role of the government to intervene in critical aspect of the economy and intervention can come in different forms.” He explained, “This time around, if the airlines require aircraft, why not intervene? Government’s role is to intervene in the critical aspect of the economy when that intervention becomes very expedient and necessary. In terms of aviation industry, one of the critical requires of the industry is the provision of fuel efficient aircraft, brand new aircraft for operations. “Everybody needs new aircraft; both airline operators and the flying public, we all know we need more efficient aircraft and we all know this is a critical need of the industry. Just like the government is intervening in the area of removal of customs duties. It is not the role of the government to provide this, but it is the duty of the government to intervene in the critical aspect of the economy, which is the equipment (aircraft).” He emphasised that the ministry had in last December met with the operators on their needs and identified lack of efficient aircraft as one of the challenges facing their operations.


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Aviation

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MMIA to be commissioned by 2nd quarter of 2013 –FAAN OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has assured that the ongoing remodeling work at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), will be completed and commissioned by the second quarter of this year. This is just as it informed that work will commence on the construction of new terminals in this fist quarter. It be recalled that last December, the extended wing of MMIA, ‘E Wing’ had commenced operations with the installation and operations of the newly acquired conveyor belt. FAAN had in September procured three conveyor belts for MMIA as part of the ongoing remodeling of the airport. Speaking with National Mirror in his office, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati said that the modification work would be 100 per cent completed by the government and appealed to the travelling public to bear with the government on the ongoing exercise at all the airports in the country. Also, he explained that the government would commence con-

Dati

struction work on the new terminals in Lagos, Abuja Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu Airports, adding that the government had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with foreign investors on the project. He said, “Construction work is going to be completed totally in the second quarter of this year, but also, you know that by the first quarter of this year, construction of brand new terminals will commence. An MoU has already been signed with the contractors. “The brand new terminals will be located in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. That is what being is done in terms of facilities now. We are talking about

two world facilities on the ground.” On the recent international online rating, which rated MMIA and Abuja Airports as the worst and fifth worst in the continent, Dati said he was not aware of the survey and the parameter that was used to adjudge it. He noted that for over three decades, most of the airports did not witness any growth, which led to their deplorable conditions, but assured that on completion of the ongoing remodeling work, the country’s rating would improve. He said, “The fact remains that if you take back the clock to one and half years ago, before the minister came onboard, you will recall that most of the remodelling works being done commenced in 2012, so, if there was any analysis, it is probably different from what is being done at the end of 2012 because before then, you and I know that the state of our airport was an eyesore. “I believe that by the end of this year, the report would be different because if you go to most of the airports today, you will see physical works that are being done including the MMIA. Subsequently, we will begin to see most of the impacts, which will improve our rating, but right now, people are looking at what were on the ground before now.”

British Airways to pick six Nigerian students to visit facilities in UK

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s part of its £5billion investment over the next few years, British Airways said six lucky students from Nigeria will have the opportunity to spend four days working at British Airways head office at London Heathrow. An online statement sent by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that their internship will include shadowing the British Airways Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Keith Williams for a day in London and shadowing the airline’s Country Commercial Manager, Nigeria, Mr. Kola Olayinka for a day in Lagos, to get a unique glimpse into the workings of a global airline. The competition, the airline said will be open to all schools and universities across Nigeria to find the six top performing students who will have the rare opportunity to spend time with the leaders of British Airways, and to advise British Airways on what customers of tomorrow are looking for, from a global airline. All of the interns will receive a British Airways accredited certification to mark their graduation

from the Leaders of Tomorrow. To enter, the airline requested interested participants to send a 500 word submission about how the work experience would benefit your career progression to ba@quadrantcompany.com by 31 January 2013. The airline stated that the competition will be run in April 2013 while an Independent adjudication panel will judge the entries submitted by the participants. Meanwhile, BA said it is equipping its 3,600 pilots with iPads to further improve customer service and operational efficiency levels. The move, which follows the airline’s rollout of iPads across its cabin crew and ground operations teams, is part of the company’s £5bn investment in new products and technology to provide the best possible flying experience for British Airways’ customers. By having access to additional real-time operational data, shared with ground colleagues, pilots will be able to plan the flight more efficiently using the most accurate information available pre-departure.

Williams

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Airside shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

How not to conduct search at airport

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or the past two weeks, air passengers and other users of the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos have been going through some harrowing experiences in their attempt to access the airport. No thanks to the activities of the security personnel who regularly barricade over 50 per cent of the road. On a daily basis, vehicles entering the airport are randomly searched by the stern-looking security personnel while air passengers had to resort to treking in order not to miss their scheduled flights. Some of the passengers use wheel barrows to ferry their luggage while others simply put their luggage on their heads. The problem of the users of the airport most especially the air passenger is compounded due to lack of motorcyclists who usually come to their rescue during this period. While Airside believes the activities of the security agencies is geared towards ensuring safe and comfortable air-

port environment for all users, it equally thinks that the frisking of vehicles can be carried out without creating the unnecessary vehicular traffic on the road. Rather than barricading half of the road with used tyres, Airside appeals to the relevant authorities to acquire electronic devicesequipment, which trigger off in case a vehicle with threat substance is detected. It is unfortunate that it is in this part of the world that we still experience security officers mounting the road with AK47s and other dangerous weapons whereas in other countries even in neighbouring Ghana, security operatives are armed but without any of their weapons displayed to the public. Relevant authorities should do something about this and stop the avoidable sordid experiences users of MMA airport are daily exposed to all in the name of tightening security at the airport.

Now that Dana Air has made a return

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t was a tug of war between the National Assembly on one hand and the executive (Aviation Ministry and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA) on the other hand before Dana Air, which aircraft crashed in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, killing 163 victims, could return to flight services on January 4, 2013. While the National Assembly members insisted that the airline must not be allowed to return to flight operations because of the crash, the executive felt the airline should be allowed to continue from where it stopped before the crash. The airline eventually returned to flight operations with the re-issuance

of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to it by NCAA. While Airside supports the recommencement of flight operations by the airline, it hopes it has equally learnt its lessons from the crash and now knows that Nigerians are not the type that can be toyed with. Although, Airside aligns with the views of professionals who say there is nothing wrong with the MD 83 aircraft type, but advises the management to gradually phase out the fleet and replace them with either Boeing or Airbus due to the controversies generated by the aircraft type after the accident. Airside wishes Dana happy flying times ahead.

Delta Air Lines serves about 1.5m wine bottles each year in BusinessElites

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o fewer than 1.5 million bottles of assorted wines are served worldwide in Delta’s BusinessElite cabin every year for all its BusinessElite passengers in all its flights worldwide. This was revealed last week at in London, United Kingdom as the airline announced the selection of wines to be served on board its BusinessElite cabin in 2013. The selection profiles wines from four continents and includes wines from four European countries: Italy, Spain, France and Portugal; as

well as from California, Australia, Chile and South Africa. Delta says it chooses its BusinessElite wine cellar each year in a rigorous weeklong process during, which Delta Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson evaluates and samples more than 1,600 different wines from more than 50 wineries worldwide. The airline says numerous factors are considered including: the complexity and intensity of the wine; aesthetic details such as the image of the bottle and its label; and logistics such as the amount of

production necessary to fulfill Delta’s requirements. A total of 22 winning labels are profiled in cycles throughout the year, including eight red wines, eight white wines, four dessert selections and sparkling wines. “Delta wants to offer an exclusive experience to its BusinessElite customers who tell us they truly appreciate a great wine,” Robinson said. “This year I have made two selections I label as ’discoveries’ – Banfi Rosa Regale dessert wine and Barco Reale di Carmignano.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insurance

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

37

Why MDRI didn’t achieve result –Experts Following the implementation of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative, in 2012, it was expected that the Insurance industry would have generated N1.01tr gross premium income. This did not come to fruition as it barely generated N200billion. Experts in the industry give insight into why the desired result could not be achieved. OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO reports.

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o the National Insurance Commission, the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative, MDRI was carefully designed for the transformation of the nation’s insurance industry. Though the project was accepted by insurance operators, it was not pursued with the vigor expected to spur the vision into action hence, the poor result achieved. This is evident owing to the fact that as at September 2012, the total industry gross premium income recorded according to the commission was about N170billion out of the N1 trillion expected to be achieved. No doubt, a lot of money has been spent by NAICOM on the implementation and enforcement of the project as it embarked on zonal launching of the project, downscaling of the newly developed products and guidelines to the operators, appointment and coordination of the activities of the State implementation and monitoring committees, immediate presentation of the MDRI project to the media and regular briefings and meeting with headship of other government enforcement agencies by the commission. NAICOM is however set to restrategise on how the industry can achieve better result this year. Suffice to state that the MDRI project is a medium term plan of installing the first phase of the necessary reforms in the areas of Industry capacity, Market efficiency and Consumer protection in the Nigerian insurance market within 2009 to 2012. In August 2008, when the current administration of NAICOM under the leadership of Commissioner for Insurance Mr. Fola Daniel, decided to put in place some measures that will transform the industry critical issues such as implementation of compulsory insurance in Nigeria, modernization, sanitization and standardization of insurance agency system were adopted to be addressed. Others are wiping out fake insurance institutions in Nigeria and the introduction of risk-based supervision. The first three items were compressed into a single project code-named MDRI which together with other financial inclusion products have been adopted by the FSS 2020 as some of the critical success factors in which the nation’s Vision 2020 is dependent upon. Sixteen insurance products were identified to be directly or indirectly made compulsory in Nigeria. Five out these16 insurance products were said to be capable of generating about 55 percent of the industry premium income. The five compulsory insurances and the laws creating them are Motor Third Party Insurance (Third party Insurance Act 1950, and Ins. Act 2003); Builder’s Liability Insurance (Section 64, Insurance Act 2003); Occupiers’ Liability Insurance (Section 65, Insurance Act 2003); Health Care Professional Insurance (Section 45, NHIS Act 1999) and Statutory Group Life Insurance (Section 3(2)), (9(3)) of Pension Reform Act 2004). Expectations by the commission were rife on the full implementation of the project by the end of 2012. It expected increase in gross premium income of the industry from N164.50b in 2008 to N1.01tr by 2012. The commission believed that the rel-

Houses burnt in firecracker explosion in Lagos Island recently

THE STRATEGY ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION WAS RIGHT, BUT WE HOPE TO FINE-TUNE AND RESTRATEGISE FOR A BETTER RESULT. WE WILL COME OUT WITH A REVIEW SOON evance of insurance as a tool of stimulating growth will be seen and felt the moment insurance begins to make significant contribution to the nations GDP. It was a postulation of the MDRI that the industry will be contributing up to 3 percent into the nation’s GDP by 2012, from the less than 1 percent contribution in 2008. In its further attempt to increase insurance contribution to the nation’s GDP and the premium per capita of the Nigerian citizens, the commission had embarked on series of measures deliberately aimed at deepening the insurance market. These measures include nationwide publicity and enlightenment campaign particularly on the need to buy the compulsory insurance products, the introduction of some financial inclusion products such as Microinsurance, Takaful insurance, and Agricultural insurance which includes climate based insurances. The commission also showed greater interest in the life arm of the insurance business hoping that there will be more premium income being generated and such more funds will be available for long term investment. In a recent update on Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) by Mr. Leo Akah, Deputy Director, Authorization & Policy, NAICOM said though the target for the project is by no means a high expectation, it was achievable going by the indices they received as at September. He, however, said that a lot still need to be done by all stakeholders, particularly the operators. Akah pointed out that the insurance market presents vast opportunities for the citizens, the industry, the financial services sector and the economy. According to him, the market however

is not efficient and lacks capacity and consumer trust adding that the net effect is that it does not grow and makes no meaningful contributions to the macro-economic indicators. He added that building consumer trust and confidence in the market was also vital to the success of the project. “One sure way of achieving both consumer trust and confidence, is by ensuring that the underwriters improve in their claim settlement administration procedure. Genuine claims should be paid without undue delay. Until this is achieved, it may be practicably difficult to attain the self set goal. Akah stated that globally, the World Insurance Premium Income from 2006 to 2008 as presented by Sigma Publications shows that Life insurance has contributed more premiums, an average of 58.86 percent than the Non-Life business, an average of 41.14 percent. He noted that the reverse is the case in Nigeria as 17.9 percent represents Life business as against 82.10 percent for NonLife. He said, “This calls for serious concern. Presently, we have 27 companies writing life insurance business in Nigeria as against 42 companies writing non-life insurance business. “The Insurance gap in Nigeria is presently put at 94 percent which implies that less than 10 percent of Nigerians have any form of insurance. The wide gap is attributable to public inertia and apathy. The Insurance density on the other hand is put at N875.00, this means that Nigerians on the average spend less than N1, 000 annually on insurance. “For the set target to be achieved, the insurance gap must be lowered from the

present 94 percent to a minimum of 70 percent, with 2012 as the target date. Marketing Executive, Goldlink Insurance Plc, Mr. Dapo Owoeye highlighted part of the reasons MDRI could not achieve the desired result as poor enforcement by government, inadequate awareness, poor image of insurance. He also said there was insufficient human capital in the industry to redefine and simplify these products in such a way that they become attractive to the insuring public, there is no full backing from the Government. Besides, he said, insurance credibility is questionable to a common Nigerian. He suggested that since NAICOM is ready to restrategise, operators should work with Government and lobby the National Assembly to make public buildings, buildings in the course of erection, and two story buildings and above compulsory for insurance. He also suggested that if the new license and plate number which is additional cost to Nigerians is made compulsory by National Assembly, everybody will comply. In the same vein, President of the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN), Mr. Kingsley Obuvie said NAICOM should improve on implementation and enforcement of the project. For him, part of the reasons NAICOM did not achieve much on MDRI project was because it did not give the operators enough freedom as a regulator. He said, “Not much was achieved on MDRI. As a regulator, you need to give the operators free hand to do what they want to do. For instance, in the area of pricing, NAICOM should have allowed the underwriters to do the pricing of the products.” On the part the operators, he said they are not good businessmen adding that they are too technical and have refused to fund the market for it to open up. They need to advertise the products both on print and electronic media. They also need to encourage insurance agents, he said. Spokesman of the Commission, Mr. Lucky Fiakpa in a telephone interview with National Mirror over the weekend on the other hand posited that the MDRI cannot be said to have failed despite not achieving N1trn benchmark on premium income. Fiakpa said, “Part of what was achieved can be seen in Lagos State where the Governor of the state, Mr. Babtunde Fashola ensured that they came out with their own building law. Imo State Government is also doing the same. They have an agreement with brokers such that for any hospital or school to be opened, the owner must come produce an insurance cover to the government. “The strategy adopted before by the commission was right but we hope to finetune and restrategise for a better result. We will come out with a review soon. We believe we can go about it in a more effective way and at a lower cost level.” He urged industry observers not to judge the success of the project with premium income recorded at the end of 2012 but look at it from the awareness that it has created.


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Insurance

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ARIAN decries rate cut for agents STORIES: OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

Obuvie

is also infinitesimally small compared to the population and the insuring opportunities. The commission put in place some measures at encouraging and improving the agency system as it became clear that compulsory insurance products cannot be enforced without an efficient agency system. “The situation where the Nigeria insurance Market is simply referred

to as Brokers’ Market does not augur well for the Industry. In most jurisdictions that have a developed market, the agency system is always the driving force. The vital role of the agency system is more prominent in the life assurance arm of the business where retail marketing plays more prominence as against wholesale marketing”, the commission had noted.

Nigeria’s UN mission: $1.6m gratuity paid to disengaged staff

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he Nigeria Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York has paid cheques worth $1.6 million as gratuity to its local staff who served for between 30 and 40 years. Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Professor Joy Ogwu disclosed recently that 17 beneficiaries included Nigerians, Beninios, Nigeriens, Ethiopians and Senegalese, while 12 of the beneficiaries were formally handed letters of

disengagement, five would be reabsorbed under a contract arrangement to be renewed every two years. The re-absorbed local staff would be given added responsibilities. She described the distribution of the cheques as a milestone in the history of the mission. She expressed optimism that the development would inspire hardwork among the staff. The Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Usman

Sarki, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja directed the mission to adhere to the approved staff limit due to scarce resources at its disposal. One of the beneficiaries, Mr Rober Vohougla from Niger, who spoke on behalf of others, commended the Nigerian government for giving them the opportunity to serve the country. Vohougla said Nigeria was the only country that allowed other African nationals to work in its mission.

Niger Insurance Plc announces retirement of CEO

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iger Insurance Plc has formally announced the retirement of the Managing Director, Dr. Justus Uranta. There has been speculations towards the end of 2012 that Uranta had voluntarily resigned from the organisation after spending 35 years. However, the company’s board of directors has retained Dr Uranta as a Director of the company in view of their conviction that he still has a lot to contribute to the insurance firm. The Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Kolapo Adedeji, has been named the acting CEO pending confirmation of his appointment by the insur-

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Ways to lower your health insurance premiums

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resident of the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley Obuvie has expressed dissatisfaction at the recent cut in commission paid to insurance agents from eight percent to 4.5 percent by the industry regulator, the National Insurance commission (NAICOM). In a recent interview with National Mirror, Obuvie who said the recent cut is a big setback for agency growth noted that underwriters usually pay insurance agents eight percent commission for the policies they sell. He said he is saddened because instead of the industry to encouraging insurance agents, they are rather discouraging them. Obuvie stated that the regulator reduced their commission and increased brokers commission to nine percent. He said, “How does the regulator encourage agency growth if it is reducing the commission. The cut is a big setback for us because we taught the regulator was for supporting us . Today, we have a lot of corporate agency that want to go into insurance business but the commission has refused to give them the license to do the business”. It will be recalled that before now, the Nigerian insurance agency system has been an all-comers affair and a stop-gap arrangement for the job seekers in Nigeria. According to the NAICOM, the number of people engaged in the business

Adedeji

ance regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). It would be recalled that that Ni-

ger Insurance had from a loss of N124million in the financial year ended 2010 grown its profit after tax to N1.23billion. The board of Directors approved a dividend payment of 2.5k per share. Under the current year, its gross premium income rose from N7.04billion in 2010 to N7.81billion, while the shareholders funds increased from N4.3billion in 2010 to N5.5billion and total assets stood at N21.1billion. Uranta told journalists during the company Annual General Meeting that the company made this feat despite three years of harsh economic climate.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ou can shop around for health insurance quotes just as you would for better car insurance rates. Fortunately, lower premiums don’t mean shoddy health insurance plans. Here are ways to get the most for your health insurance dollar Stay healthy Yes, this is easier said than done, but staying healthy goes a long way toward controlling health insurance costs. If you’re buying an individual health plan, you’ll be charged based on your health, including weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and other pre-existing health conditions. The uninsured provide a good snapshot of what happens when routine medical care is overlooked or delayed. An October 2007 report by the National Coalition on Health Care pointed out the uninsured receive less preventive care and thus aren’t diagnosed until they are more advanced disease stages. Once diagnosed, they tend to receive less care and suffer higher mortality rates than insured individuals. Due to health care reform, most insurance plans cover 100 percent of preventive care for routine checkups, immunizations and diagnostic tests. Stop smoking You’ve heard all the reasons why you should quit smoking, but it’s also bad for your health insurance premium. “If you use tobacco, quit — smokeless or any other type,” says Laden. “This can result in savings in your health insurance after a period of time, generally a year, depending on the insurance company. The reduction is significant, so it’s definitely something to consider.” Health insurers may pay for smoking-cessation programs. At renewal time, having quit smoking can amount to substantial savings. Increase your deductible Whether you are enrolled in a group or individual plan, the more you pay out of pocket, the less you will have to pay in premiums. You may want to think of your insurance as a safety net for major health disasters rather than a payer of all routine medical costs. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the lower your deductible, the more likely you will make a claim with the health insurance company. Health insurance companies compensate for this by increasing the premium on low-deductible plans. In order to get more bang for your buck, set your deductible at $1,000 or higher. Change your co-insurance ratio Your co-insurance ratio is how much you will pay after you have met your deductible. A common ratio is 80/20. This means that after you pay your deductible toward health care expenses, your insurer pays 80 percent of the bill and you pay 20 percent. Changing this ratio so you pay more will mean a lower health insurance premium. Just as with raising your deductible, you have to weigh the costs versus risks. Tax savings Health-expense tax deductions could make a financial difference for you. You can deduct medical expenses from your taxes if they exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. Expenses that can be deducted include dental work, medical tourism, laser vision surgery, drug treatment and others. For more, see IRS publication 502. “HSA plans can help you save on both your health care needs and your taxes,” says Laden. “Our customers typically save significantly on HSA-plan premiums when you compare them to more traditional plans.” Compare your anticipated health expenses with potential savings. The young and healthy could fare well with an HDHP paired with an HSA. HSAcenter.com, a site from Golden Rule, provides a calculator for comparing a traditional health care plan with an HSA to estimate cost savings.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

39

Index rises 0.34% in bullish trading JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors appetite on stocks rose further. Specifically, the market capitalisation rose by N34 billion to close the day at N9.339 trillion as against N9.373 trillion recorded on Friday. The All Share index also rose by107.69 basis points to close at 29,309.70 points from 29,202.01 points. Thirty-nine stocks re-

corded price appreciation in the days trading as against 17 companies which emerged losers Lafarge Wapco cement Plc led that gainers pack with N1.65 increase to close at N60.00 per share. CAP Nigeria Plc followed with N1.45 increase to close at N30.45 per share, while GlaxoSmithkline ranked third with N1.43 gain to close at N46.33 per share. Cadbury Nigeria Plc and UAC-Properties that were the last two on top five gainers table added N0.73 and N0.68 to close at N29.99 and N13.09 per

share respectively. On the other hand, Unilever Nigeria Plc led the losers, dropping by N1.40 to close at N45.00 per share. Nigeria Breweries lost N1.29 to close at N149.12; Ecobank Transnational Incorporation went down by N0.20 to close at N11.60. John Holt shed N0.14 to close at N2.78, while Dangote Sugar fell by N0.10 to close at N6.80 per share. Further analysis shows that the banking sub-sector was the investors toast as 293.8 million shares worth N2.37

billion were exchanged in 2,955 deals, followed by the insurance sub-sector with traded volume of 78.7 million shares worth N57.8 million in 223 deals. UBA Plc posted 88.5 million shares valued at N530.3 million in 641 deals, while NEM Insurance netted 43.1 million shares valued at N23.3 million exchanged in 43 deals to emerge the most active in their respective sectors. On the whole, investors bought 474.1million shares valued at N3.52 billion in 6,316 deals.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 11 JANUARY 2013 & 14 JANUARY 2013 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

S&P, Nasdaq dip as Apple weighs

W

all Street slipped on Monday, weighed down by shares of Apple in the face of demand concerns, while investors faced a busy week for earnings in what is expected to be a lackluster quarter. Apple lost 2.8 per cent to $505.84 as the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 .NDX indexes after reports that the tech company has cut orders for LCD screens and other parts for the iPhone 5 this quarter due to weak demand. The stock earlier hit a session low of $498.51, the first dip below $500 since February 16. “There is this speculation building ‘Is this the end of Apple?’” said Carol Pepper, chief executive of Pepper International in New York. But Pepper said Apple

also “doesn’t have to grow at the rate it was to do extremely well. It’s still going to be one of the marquee companies of the U.S. and the world.” According to Reuters, Apple suppliers also lost ground, with Cirrus Logic off 6.8 percent to $29.43 and Qualcomm down 1.2 percent to $64.13. The S&P tech sector .GSPT gave up 0.9 percent as the worst perfumer of the 10 major S&P sectors. The pace of earnings season picks up this week with 38 S&P 500 companies set to report, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Inteland General Electric. Overall earnings are expected to grow by just 1.9 percent in this reporting period, according to Thomson Reuters data.

President Barack Obama is expected to hold a news conference, which will cover looming budget and debt ceiling due dates on Monday, White House officials said. “We could have some more noise because they are trying to get people to focus on their issues, but I don’t think they are going” to allow the government to default, said Pepper. Separately, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be speaking on monetary policy, recovery from the global financial crisis and longterm challenges facing the American economy at 4 p.m. (2100 GMT). The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI added 6.79 points, or 0.05 percent, to 13,495.22. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX shed 3.37

points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,468.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC lost 14.16 points, or 0.45 percent, to 3,111.48. Appliance and electronics retailer Hhgregg Inc slumped 9.6 percent to $7.13 after the electronics and appliance retailer cut its same-store sales forecast for the full year. Transocean Ltd has disclosed that billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a 1.56 percent stake in the offshore rig contractor and is looking to increase that holding. Its shares rose 2.5 percent to $55.43. The Dow, which does not list Apple as one of its components, fared better than the other two indexes as Hewlett-Packard rose 3.8 percent to $16.78 after JPMorgan upgraded its rating on the stock and raised its price target to $21 from $15.

UPS drops 5.2bn-euro bid for TNT over EU competition

P

ackage delivery firm United Parcel Service (UPS) has pulled out of its 5.2bneuro ($6.8bn; £4.3bn) bid for Dutch rival TNT Express after discovering EU competition authorities would probably block the deal. UPS said it saw “no realistic prospect” of approval of the deal from the European Commission. UPS had offered to buy TNT in March in a bid to expand its European business the BBC said yesterday. UPS said it would pay

TNT a 200m-euro break fee for dropping the deal. “UPS informed TNT Express that UPS sees no realistic prospect that [European Commission] clearance can be obtained and that UPS will not pursue the transaction on any other basis,” TNT said in a statement. UPS had offered to sell parts of the company’s small package operations and airline assets to try to appease the Commission’s concerns, but said it had decided to pull out after a final meeting with regulators last week.

“We proposed significant and tangible remedies designed to address the European Commission’s concerns with the transaction,” UPS chief executive Scott Davis said. Davis said he was “extremely disappointed” with the stance taken by regulators. The Commission had been due to announce its official decision on the deal early next month. Shares in Amsterdamlisted TNT, Europe’s second-largest delivery company after Deutsche Post’s DHL, plunged 50%

immediately after the announcement, before recovering slightly to trade 42% lower at 4.762 euros. TNT, which reported a 3m-euro loss for its third quarter in its most recent trading update, said the “protracted merger process has been a distraction for management”. It said it would now focus on reassuring customers, encouraging employees and making money. “Management will provide an update on its strategy in due course,” the firm added in a state-

11-Jan-13

14-Jan-13

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 29,309.70 points Market capitalisation 9,373,900trn

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

WAPCO

58.35

60.00

1.65

% CHANGE 2.83

CAP

29.00

30.45

1.45

5.00

GLAXOSMITH

45.10

46.53

1.43

3.17

CADBURY

29.26

29.99

0.73

2.49

UAC-PROP

12.41

13.09

0.68

5.48

FLOURMILL

65.00

65.60

0.60

0.92

FO

9.83

10.32

0.49

4.98

CONOIL

21.52

22.00

0.48

2.23

SKYEBANK

5.44

5.89

0.45

8.27

DIAMONDBNK

5.75

6.12

0.37

6.43

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

UNILEVER

46.40

CLOSING 45.00

1.40

-3.02

NB

150.41

149.12

1.29

-0.86

ETI

11.80

11.60

0.20

-1.69

JOHNHOLT

2.92

2.78

0.14

-4.79

DANGSUGAR

6.90

6.80

0.10

-1.45

NASCON

8.39

8.30

0.09

-1.07

REDSTAREX

3.09

3.00

0.09

-2.91

DANGFLOUR

8.48

8.40

0.08

-0.94

CUSTODYINS

1.57

1.55

0.02

-1.27

IKEJAHOTEL

0.93

0.91

0.02

-2.15

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

90-Days

49,874.02

14.08

17-Jan-13

91-Days

97,481.64

14.10

17-Jan-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$50m

N/A

$11.8m

14-Jan-13

$100m

N/A

$43.2m

09-Jan-13


40

Capital Market

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The House of Representatives has failed for the 13th year to meet the constitutionally required days for sitting, which has affected legislative work of the parliament with several issues left unattended to. TORDUE SALEM writes on the development which is being occasioned by series of recesses and holidays.

House: Of holidays, recesses and legislative workload THE

PARLIAMENT

O

n resumption today, the House of Representatives would have spent half of a year on recesses, leaving several important bills, committee reports and several treaties unattended. Starting from 2007, the National Assembly in general, and the House of Representatives in particular, has not met the 181-day sitting minimum required by the constitution. Section 63(1) of the 1999 Constitution states: “The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each sit for a period of not less than one hundred and eighty-one days in a year.” Despite the clarity of the issue in the constitution, lame and untenable excuses abound: the most favourite of them from the hallowed chambers is that committee meetings, investigative sessions and oversight functions factor into the sitting days prescribed by the constitution. But the universal understanding of the word legislative “sitting” excludes oversight and committee meetings. Committee meetings, oversights, etc are supposed to be auxiliary to plenary sittings or offshoots of plenary resolutions. They are mostly supposed to arise from decisions in plenary but should not be substitutes or same as sittings. While embarking on holidays, the House has neglected very key bills, buried followups on key resolutions and seen key investigative sessions to the gutters and Nigeria has not quite been better for it. The few days to the last recess in 2012, for example, saw over 10 reports, bills and other key pieces of legislation that should have been considered deferred. Some of these items were: The Committee on Interior report on Act to Amend the Passport Act”. The report seeks a clear definition of the “persons eligible for the Issuance of Diplomatic and Official Passports.” Another report of that committee that featured several times on the order paper without consideration is the report on a bill on the “Need to look into the Population of Persons Awaiting Trial in our Prisons.” The Bill on prisoners has been in the House since 2010. The House also listed for several times but never considered “A Bill for Act to Provide for the Development of Local Content in the Nigerian Construction Industry for Local Content plan, for Supervision, Coordination, Monitoring and Implementation of Local Content.” The last time it was listed was December 18, 2012. The House also adjourned consideration of a report on a “Bill for an Act to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all Forms of Violence including Physical, Sexual, Psychological, Domestic, Harmful Traditional Practices, Discrimination against persons and to Provide Max-

41

Tambuwal

Ihedioha

THE

HOUSE HAS

NEGLECTED VERY

KEY BILLS, BURIED FOLLOW-UPS ON

KEY RESOLUTIONS AND SEEN KEY INVESTIGATIVE SESSIONS TO THE GUTTERS AND

NIGERIA HAS NOT QUITE BEEN BETTER FOR IT imum Protection and effective Remedies for Victims and Punishment of Offenders.” The suspension of debate on this on December 18, 2012 would be the fourth time the House would be doing so, either out of the Justice and Human Rights committee’s failure to submit report at the scheduled time or the failure of the presiding officer to apply diligence. Other bills affected by regular holidays are: “A bill for An Act to Provide for Civil Claims and Remedies in Forfeiture of Properties and Assets procured by Unlawful Activity.” This Bill sponsored by the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Jagaba Adams Jagaba (PDP-Kaduna), was one of the earliest bills made in 2012, but is yet to be listed for first reading. The bill seeks among other things to provide a reasonable guide to the seizure of ill-gotten property by anti-corruption agencies in the country. Another key climate-oriented and environment-friendly bill that has suffered delay in the House, is a Bill for “An Act to Prohibit the Importation, Sale, Distribution, Use of Incandescent Light Bulbs,” which has been lying fallow in the House for over a year, without even a first hearing, as the

House Committee on Climate Change continues to push for the establishment of a Climate Change Commission. The House, because of its limited sitting days, also failed to give much-needed attention a bill that seeks to protect public officers who have offshore accounts. The piece of legislation, either way it went would have sparked some debates in the polity on the propriety or otherwise of such accounts. Recall that former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, was docked by the Code of Conduct Bureau a year ago over alleged offshore accounts. Legal brickbats were thrown here and there on the case, before he was let off the hook. But the case remains an interesting one, just as many motions passed in the Green Chamber remain without follow-ups by the House Committee on Legislative Compliance. One of such important motions was on the alleged extortion of applicants by government agencies. The House had last year urged ministries and agencies of government to stop the alleged extortion of these applicants, but about a month after, nothing was heard on the floor regarding compliance. The House has also buried its report proposing the establishment of a Diaspora Commission that would attract investments to Nigeria from its nationals living and working abroad. This report which was first laid nearly two years ago, never featured again on the Order Paper last year, until the House closed to resume today. The House has also embargoed the consideration of the anti-terrorism bill, as terror ravages the entire country. A bill which was on the hot list of both chambers of the National Assembly has suddenly receded to its shelves as states seek measures to tackle the violence that has the Northern part of the country worst-hit. The House despite the seriousness of the 2013 Budget, also failed to turn in its report on the evasion of taxes by ministries and agencies of government seven months after the matter was referred to its Committee on Finance.

The Green Chamber had on May 24, 2012 set up an Ad hoc Committee to investigate the volume of taxes and revenue denied the Federal Government by individuals, agencies of government and other corporate bodies subject to laws of the federation. The piece of legislation sponsored by Hon. Babangida Ibrahim, also sought in part to force these entities to remit their earnings to the consolidated revenue fund in line with section 80(1) of the 1999 Constitution to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The decision for the motion, Babangida in his lead debate said, was to help remedy the over N1 trillion deficit in the 2012 budget. The sponsor of the motion claimed that “recent preliminary findings have revealed various discrepancies and manipulations undertaken by some companies largely in almost all the sectors of the economy.” He worried that “corporate companies operating in Nigeria have undeclared income in terms of Company Income Tax, Withholding Taxes and VAT which forms the major bulk of tax revenue to the government and have failed in their statutory responsibilities of full or significant compliance with relevant revenue laws of the Federal Government.” According to him, “over 50 per cent collectable revenue are lost yearly, worth billions of naira and have robbed the country of the required resources commensurate with its responsibilities to provide infrastructure like roads, hospitals, schools etc.” The lawmaker lashed at state government or federal ministries and parastatals for failing “in their statutory obligations to remit Withholding Taxes and VAT deducted on contracts to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). This has led to a heavy loss in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the Federal Government of Nigeria.” The legislator was disturbed “that various complaints on some companies refusal to operate according to Nigerian laws on taxation and even international best practices especially in the oil industry and financial sectors” have not been dealth with. He sought for an investigation in order to recover unpaid taxes, and that “the investigation in order to recover unpaid taxes, and that the investigation unit in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and State Board of Inland Revenue (SBIRS) should devise ways to catch tax dodgers or tax evaders in the last six years with a view to increasing tax revenue generation.” Many lawmakers who spoke in support of the probe, including the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Leonard Ogor (PDP/ Delta) urged the committee to hasten up its work and submit the report for legislative input in the budget that was expected for 2013. Before the House got frustrated with the Presidency and threatened to impeach him over the shoddy handling of the 2012 Budget, Ogor had regretted: “While the nation’s budget was facing a deficit, agencies of government were busy investing huge sums of money generated internally in banks and CONTINUED ON PAGE 44


42

Politics

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I was constrained as a governor Today, Governor Theodore Orji feels he is free from the bondage of a godfather. In this interview, he speaks on how governance in Abia State was ‘incapacitated’ in his first term through lack of foundational structure, kidnapping and godfatherism. OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU reports.

People believe that Aba alone is capable of generating the required revenue for the state. Why have you not been able to turn Aba around for the benefit of the state? This state has the capacity to generate over N1 billion every month and most of that revenue is expected to come from Aba. But the truth is that our people are averse to tax payment. They don’t pay taxes. So, what we have done is to tutor them on the need to pay taxes through advocacy. We are teaching them the need to pay taxes and they are responding. Two, there is fraud, not only from the people who pay taxes, but those collecting it for the government. Some of them collect and put in their pockets. That is why we have now brought out another system of direct lodgements into the banks, so that we can have a hold on taxes. We have re-engineered our Board of Internal Revenue, so that it can be more effective. All these are geared towards generating more money, especially from Aba. So, if we can effectively do that, plugging the loopholes and stopping people from putting money meant for the government into their pockets, the revenue will come. That’s why I have moved into Aba. It is the commercial nerve centre of the state, even though the money we expect from there hasn’t come. Go to Aba and tell the traders to pay tax, they will come out and fight you that this government is this or that. One would be tempted to ask what has happened over

Orji

NM

How has it been rebuilding Abia? You see, Abia State has to have a foundation. There are basic infrastructure that should be on ground to allow government take off properly. Those facilities were not on ground when I came into office. I give you an instance; there has not been any secretariat in Abia State that can accommodate all the civil servants. The one you saw there was built by the Federal Government. So, the ministries were all scattered. We want to have a composite building that will accommodate all civil servants because they are the engine room of government and you have to provide for them. Look at the Government House; in my sitting room, if people are many now, some of them will be standing. This has been in existence since the creation of Abia State. If you go upstairs, it doesn’t contain my family. I have been doing demolition and adding. It has never occurred to any of those governments that have been here to build a standard Government House for Abia State. I said no, this is the time for me to build a new Government House. Moreover, I am from this town and my people have said severally that ‘if you don’t do this now, it is going to be difficult’. So, I decided that I will build a new Government House and I am praying that I will be the first person to open it, so that other governors can live here. These are the basic things that a government is supposed to have. We are also expanding the health sector to make sure that the people are healthy. As journalists, you have to be healthy to be asking me questions. So, Abia people must be healthy in order to enjoy dividends of democracy. So, in all the areas, we have brought out a template that a house must have a foundation. When the house is not solid, it will collapse. I want to put on those foundations, enduring structures for the state. We are in a haste to develop Abia State. All these projects are ones I can finish before I leave office. Like the Shoprite that is coming up in Umuahia, it is through partnership. I bring my own fund and they bring theirs. Some of the housing estates are partnerships.

TUESDAY INTERVIEW

the years in Abia State that you are now laying the foundations at this time. What happened with your first term that everything is happening fast now in your second term? You have said what has happened in the past? You better go and ask those people who were here before me what happened when they were here. I was not here then. We’ve had two civilian governors before I came; Ogbonnaya Onu was here, my friend, Orji Uzor Kalu, was here. You better ask them what they did because anything I say here will be twisted and misinterpreted. But you can now see the difference between this government I am heading and the previous ones. In my first term, you see this issue of godfatherism is a useless thing. I was constrained as a governor. Things I was supposed to do for my people, I could not do them because there was a godfather somewhere. We are not hiding it. Why we could not do the much we are doing

THIS ISSUE OF GODFATHERISM IS A USELESS THING.

I WAS

CONSTRAINED AS A GOVERNOR.

THINGS I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO FOR MY PEOPLE, I COULD NOT DO THEM BECAUSE THERE WAS A GODFATHER SOMEWHERE

now was because we were in the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and PPA was a political party owned by one family and they used it to emasculate the government in power because I was in the party. They were actually dictating what was happening. As a governor, I would like to appoint my commissioners, but they would bring a list for me to announce. Will you tolerate that as a governor? You want to embark on a project and they will tell you no. Maybe, so that I will not shine more than any other person. The major constrain I had was being in PPA. That’s the way I want to put it. Could it be that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wanted to frustrate you because you were in PPA? Was your funding tampered with then? No! Not at all! The funding I was getting that time was what we were supposed to get. You should also know that as a party in opposition, it wasn’t easy for me. If not for my personal disposition, with the man who is now the president, because when I had problems I would go to him. He was the Vice President then because when I was in PPA, Yar’Adua was the president and I don’t know how many times I sat with Yar’Adua and discussed with him. It wasn’t the major constrain then. The major problem then was that I was in PPA. You can now see the difference. Since I left PPA, these things that I have achieved within the two years of my second tenure, for sure, have surpassed those who stayed here for eight years, what they did in eight years. Those that have been here before can point at business empires that are their own. That was their achievement. That is the difference. I am not a businessman, I have come here to work for the people. That is why you see the foundations we are laying. My only constraint now is funding ,because nobody teleguides me, nobody calls me on phone and says this is what you are going to do or not. I am a godfather to myself.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

43

because of godfatherism – Orji

and that brought us together. We are united here. That is why a senator can now donate ambulances to Abia North, South and Central.

Before now, Abia State was famous with kidnapping until you combated it. Can you tell us the magic you performed that saw to the end of it, so that some of your colleagues will learn from you? Thank you very much. You see, that magic is my secret and like we say it is security. You don’t discuss it before journalists or else, these hoodlums are all around. If I say it and you write it, they will say, oh, is that it? And they will go and find another means of countering it, bringing back another method, which will make me to start fighting back. So, those secrets are my weapons. Except maybe, any of my colleagues ask, of course you know everybody has his own ego. One or two people have come to me and I said do this or that. You remember we were the first state in the South-East to ban commercial motorcycles as a means of transportation. We saw that it was Okada that was used by kidnappers to run into the bush. People said all kinds of things, but today it has paid off because those who were riding Okada are happier today with tricycles and it is safer too. Since we stopped Okada transport, go to the Federal Medical Centre in the state, you don’t see people with their legs hanging for months. One doctor congratulated me for making their jobs easier for them.

During the kidnapping era, what was actually playing up in your mind and how much does it cost the state financially? You see, that kidnapping era was my worst period here. In the first instance, I didn’t cause kidnapping. It was unknown to us in this part of the world. In Abia, what we knew before was things like armed robbery, murder or the likes. But for kidnapping, we have never experienced it before. It came when I became governor and it became a serious challenge for me. You know, kidnapping is a bit sophisticated; it is a technological crime. By the time it came, we hadn’t gotten the technology or wherewithal to handle it and it became a serious challenge. Abia’s own was out of proportion to the extent that they were using Abia as an example and our enemies cashed in on that, especially those who didn’t want this government to stand and those who said they will make governance uncomfortable for me. They cashed in on that. At that time, if a rat misses in Abia, it was front page news. Even newspapers owned by an Abia State indigenes, if a mosquito misses in Abia, it becomes front page news, just to discredit my government. The thing was blown out of proportion and criticisms were coming from everywhere and as the man in charge, you will feel highly demoralised, especially that time they kidnapped those kids; 15 of them in Aba and the journalists. For the first time kidnapping went on the CNN. Who went and put it there? How many kidnapping incidents have we seen on CNN? It was just to discredit the government. But then, it brought out the spirit, the fighting spirit and the indomitable spirit in us to fight. God came and brought ideas. Tactics were coming; methods were coming in numbers and we were using them one after the other. Some were working, others were not. But today, you see our state is a model. Anybody who wants to do any case study on kidnapping comes here to learn from us. It is one of the achievements we have made that has elevated this state and myself to the highest pedestal; that we are able to forestall kidnapping because another cankerworm that is worse than kidnapping, Boko Haram, has come and is facing all of us. I am sure that the situation I was then is what some of my colleagues with Boko Haram are in now. So, the fact that we overcame this kidnap saga is a plus for this state. That’s why I have said that I can stop all projects to invest all the money I have here on security to make sure that we are safe. That is the first thing because any government that fails in that, it becomes dangerous for that government. So, that’s why I am happy that we have overcome that. I told you how I felt at that time. I felt bad, terribly bad and people didn’t even give us a chance. Some thought we would not overcome because some kidnappers were being sponsored. Some were sponsored and people were coming to take money from us by 419. Some highly placed persons

The South-East is agitating for additional states; how realisable is the issue of the sixth state or more? For sure, we are desirous of having an additional state before you give us more. We are disadvantaged. We have only five while others have six or seven. How about the viability? Give us, it will be viable. All the states are viable and if all the states are viable, the ones you create will also be viable. You cannot have all the resources; it is the capacity to manage all that you have that is important. We will like to have more states. But will states be created? When you look at all things, from the constitution to what other states are saying, you have to go and get the consent of all the Houses of Assembly. That has been the reason civilians cannot create states. No civilian government has created states here. All these states were created by the military. The way out is for the people to go across and lobby and some aspects of the constitution that are constraints can be set aside to allow the states to be created. But if you go by the dictates of the constitution, it will be difficult. The hurdles put by the constitution makes it difficult for states to be created.

AS A GOVERNOR, I WOULD LIKE TO APPOINT MY

COMMISSIONERS, BUT THEY WOULD BRING A LIST FOR ME TO ANNOUNCE.

WILL

YOU TOLERATE THAT AS A

GOVERNOR?

YOU WANT TO

EMBARK ON A PROJECT AND THEY WILL TELL YOU NO came and told us they knew the kidnappers, that I should bring money. I gave N20 million and the following day, they kidnapped 10 people at Osisioma. What do you think of autonomy for local government? There was a time local governments were given autonomy during Babangida’s time. Did it work? No. How are you sure it will work now? Recently, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe donated ambulances to some hospitals in the state, could it be part of the new vision in the state where the so-called Abuja politicians are now back to the state? If it was before now, I don’t think either Senators Nkechi Nworgu or Enyinnaya Abaribe will make that donation because we fought a common battle. It was a battle everybody was involved in. We fought against the type of roguery that was here before. It was a personalised roguery. We were not practising democracy. At that time, mamacracy – government of one family, by one family and for one family – was brought into our lexicon. That was what we were practising here. So, the people and stakeholders stood away from governance. If I don’t respect you, you will not respect me. So, the stakeholders stood away, no contribution, no collaboration, no advice. When we took over, all those people formed opposition camps; not against me. At least, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu has said it severally. It was against what was behind me, I am telling you honestly. But eventually, we liberated ourselves from that type of bondage. We had a war here and the doors were thrown open for people to contribute and know that they are a part and parcel of Abia; that they own Abia and benefit from what is here. When that happened, participatory government started

Are you thinking of a successor? Right now, what we are thinking of are the projects we are doing. A lot of people are showing interest and you sit quietly and contemplate on those people who are showing interest. At the appropriate time, you make up your mind. If you are doing a good thing, it will be difficult for somebody to come and avoid a good thing. It is only if you are doing a bad thing that the man will come and say let me do it differently. If you are doing the right thing, the man who will come will fall in line and work towards maintaining the structures because they are in the interest of the people. How do you feel when your critics say you are not doing anything? When you say my critics, you know the person who is saying it. You know him. When you say my critics, it will seem as if everybody is doing it. It is coming from Orji Kalu and the people he is sponsoring. I want to place one thing on record: I didn’t know Kalu before and he did not know me. I have been a government man all along. Because the government knows I am capable, they were giving me sensitive appointments. And because I had a sensitive assignment, an important position, where he felt I would be of use to him, he started looking for me. It was the mother who came and opened the corridor before he now surfaced and we became friends. I want it to be on record that I never knew him before, I never went to him before for anything. It was because of my position which the government gave me, because of my competence, that he felt I would be in a position to assist him; he started looking for me through the mother. They came with a ram and we became friends. Because we were friends and he saw sincerity in me, after the election, he first made me Principal Secretary and then made me the Chief of Staff. I remain the only appointee that worked with Kalu for the eight years that he was the governor. The others were sacked, today and tomorrow. That I remained the only appointee, who was with him for eight years, means that I was an asset to that government because if I was useless, they would disengage me. I devoted myself to work. I didn’t look at contracts because the first thing he told me was don’t look at contracts. There was no day I went to him and said give me this contract so that I can pay my children’s school fees. We never discussed anything about that. I did my job with dedication for the eight years. If I was an asset for the eight years, how come, he now sees me as a nuisance? Now that I am a governor, I am no longer an asset. That’s the question I want you people to go back and give me an answer.


44

Politics

WANAEMI JAMES

T

he frenzied taste for media attention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its prosecution of certain Nigerians it has accused of corruption is a good starting point for gauging the beliefs that determine the attitude of the commission. Widely condemned as inappropriate and, in fact, antithetical to the commission’s statutory mandate of fighting corruption, the predilection for underhand publicity is a bold statement of where the interest of the commission’s operatives actually lies. It seems apparent that EFCC is simply interested in using publicity stunts around its cases as leverage in political negotiations for leaders of the government of the day. No other era in the life of the 10-yearold agency has seemed to prove this dubious renown than the current one under Ibrahim Lamorde. Only last November, the EFCC commenced some curious radical appearances around Dr. Wale Babalakin, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in connection with funds allegedly looted by former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori. Consistent with the commission’s strategy of celebrating an aimless battery of charges in the media, it pressed a 27-count charge against Babalakin and four others. All this barely 48 hours after the contract awarded to his company to manage the Lagos-Ibadan expressway was revoked. Suspicion was rife immediately the EFCC onslaught against Babalakin began that it was actually politically motivated and meant to try to forestall any attempt by Babalakin to sue the Federal Government, and demand compensation over the controversial manner the contract was revoked. Besides, the whole ordeal was believed to be a way of sending a message to Babalakin’s political godfather, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has recently voiced his opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s ways in office. The rigmarole that followed seemed like a revealing force of the political nature of the case. This is more so when the case of money laundering for which Babalakin was being prosecuted was said to have been resolved long ago. The Babalakin case was prosecuted more in the media than in the court by the EFCC. Another case that has witnessed so much media display by EFCC in recent times is that against the former Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva. Just recently, the media was awash with reports about some 48 properties allegedly belonging to Sylva that were confiscated by EFCC based on a court order. But the story, obviously, syndicated by the commission, was littered with inconsistencies. In some of the reports, EFCC was alleged to have obtained its claimed court order on December 28, 2012, but in other reports the

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Politics of EFCC’s anti-graft campaign

Lamorde

Sylva

order was said to have been obtained on December 21, 2012. The commission has yet to explain the inconsistency in the story it pushed to the public. Besides, in all the reports about the supposed confiscations based on a court order, no single sentence or phrase was quoted from the alleged order of court, a situation that had fuelled suspicion of foul play on the part of the agency. It was in apparent response to the mounting suspicion that EFCC began what seemed like a damage control exercise that would, however, further expose what many have described as the commission’s game of victimisation and falsehood in the guise of an anti-corruption campaign. What came to light later was that the EFCC lied by claiming in the stories it had pushed out that Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had granted an order of temporary asset forfeiture to the commission on December 21, 2012 in re-

spect of properties belonging to Sylva. The EFCC had sought an interim order “temporarily attaching/forfeiting the properties listed in schedule A hereto to the Federal Government of Nigeria pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of the respondent.” But the judge had ruled as follows, “That an interim order is hereby made temporarily attaching the properties listed in the schedule to this application to enable the applicant investigate the alleged complaint submitted to it against the respondent in respect of the said properties listed in the schedule and attached to this order.” Legal experts have said that the order was clearly not an asset forfeiture order, as claimed by EFCC in its media stories. The interim order was to last only two weeks and was meant to be served on the respondent, Sylva, while the suit was adjourned to January 10, 2013. However, Sylva’s lawyer, Mr. Benson Ibezim, said his client became aware of the interim order only on January 4, a day after the life of the order ended. EFCC claimed to have served Sylva with the interim order and even pasted it on the alleged properties belonging to him. Sylva’s Media Adviser, Doifie Ola, reacting to the alleged seizure of 48 properties belonging to Sylva, said: “Sylva’s properties are intact and fully covered by the order validly issued by Justice M.M. Kolo of the Abuja High Court on December 27, 2012. It was issued based on Sylva’s application to the court for “an interim order of court for the service of the originating process on the respondent to serve as a stay

SEVERAL NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN VICTIMS

EFCC’S MEDIA HYSTERIA... THE

OF

CASES HAVE FIZZLED

– UNTIL, PERHAPS, ANOTHER OUT

POLITICAL NEED ARISES

House: Of holidays, recesses and legislative workload CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

capping it up with tax evasions.” The lawmaker regretted that at “the end of the day, government would go to these same banks to borrow” from the money stashed away in those banks with interests. The lawmaker, who quoted section 80(1) of the 1999 Constitution to buttress the point of compulsory remittances to government coffers by agencies, urged the

House to take a measure that would stanch loopholes on tax evasion. The Committee was given two months to turn in its report, but eight months after, the report is yet to be received in plenary. Other key pieces of legislation have suffered worst fates, as a result of fewer sitting days, where reports on bills are received and the most important legislative decisions are taken. The House of Aminu

Waziri Tambuwal has also not really helped matters by extending the sitting time from 10a.m. to 11a.m. Even at that, the lawmakers hardly keep to time leading to shorter sitting time and hurried plenary sessions. The House attitude to work may have improved from the last House, but a lot remains undone about legislative priorities and putting Nigerians first.

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of all actions in respect of the properties – plot no 262, Cadastral Zone A02, Wuse 1, District, Abuja, plot 3192, located within Cadastral zone A06 Maitama District, Abuja, plot 232, Cadastral Zone A07,(No. 8 Mistrata Street; Wuse II, Abuja) - by the respondents, their agents, privies, representative or any other person deriving his/her authority from them.” Ola maintained that Sylva had three houses in Abuja, contrary to EFCC’s claim of 48. Perhaps, most important is the fact that in the said “Schedule A” on the basis of which EFCC sought and obtained the interim order attaching Sylva’s houses to the list of properties it was investigating, there are nine properties. How the commission came about the 48 properties it sold to the media remains a mystery. EFCC has also engaged in persistent harassment and persecution of Sylva’s relatives and friends. On June 15 last year, operatives of the commission stormed the Abuja residence of Sylva’s brother-in-law, Mr. Tommy Richie Imoh, and arrested him after ransacking his house for several hours. Ibezim stated in a petition to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on December 17 last year, on the alleged harassment of Imoh and other relations and friends of Sylva: “While in detention, he was severally asked to implicate our client and numerously told that they were not after him but after our client. Several devices were put in place to get him to implicate our client, including dictating his statements to them, torture and threat. “Upon the release of our client’s in-law, he was asked to report severally to them, for which he did, and at the end of the day, nothing incriminating was found against him.” Surprisingly, however, the EFCC claimed in media publications that the June 15 last year’s operation at the house of Sylva’s inlaw had led to the discovery of large quantities of cocaine. The commission later denied finding any drug at Imoh’s residence, but it was a denial that was widely dismissed as a dishonest postscript to the achievement of EFCC’s original mission of scandalising Sylva. EFCC has seemed to act like an agency merely given to fads. Its strongly targeted, but brief enthusiasms about the cases of particular public figures has been described as the biggest crisis of the anticorruption war in the country. Several Nigerians have been victims of EFCC’s media hysteria. Not long ago, the commission’s several uncoordinated and unproven stories about its investigation of former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, were objects of a media feast that last only a while. Former governors of Ogun and Abia states, Gbenga Daniel and Orji Kalu, respectively, were also at a time subjects of the media jamboree. The cases have fizzled out – until, perhaps, another political need arises. Many political analysts have condemned the commission’s strategy of rushing to the media with unsubstantiated allegations. But it seems that the EFCC is bent on acting scripts written by someone – or it is trying to impress someone or raise stakes that would enhance pecuniary opportunities for its own operatives. In all of these however, the anti-corruption war and Nigeria’s integrity before the world are the greatest victims. James is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror

45

“You must know that where there is no peace, no development will strive.”

Robbers invade Ibadan Baptist Church

46

RIVERS STATE GOVERNOR, ROTIMI AMAECHI

Security, education top LG budgetary allocation FRANCIS SUBERU

S

ecurity, education and environments top priorities in the 2013 budget of Amuwo Odofin Local Government. This was made known at a recently held 2013 retreat, organized by the LG in preparation to planning the 2013 budget. At the event, the Executive

Chairman of Amuwo Odofin LGA, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, stated that last year’s budget recorded appreciable performance despite numerous challenges. He said “in spite of that, I make bold to state that Amuwo Odofin LG is working with lots of rehabilitation and construction concluded and several projects in progress to consciously strengthen infrastructures.’’ The LG boss said, to improve

the IGR, plans have been concluded to engage the services of AlphaBeta, a firm in the area of revenue generation and management. He stressed that this will guarantee effective revenue generation and management process. Comrade Ayodele Adewale, said the issue of tax evasion by the trade fair complex traders would be pursued vigorously with a view of finding lasting solution to it.

One of the resource persons, Mr Olu Badejo, representing the Lagos state Auditor General for local government, stressed the need for budget retreat. He said that budget is a tool for change hence, the need to be careful in making decisions at the retreat. Prince Fuad Alade Oki, former commissioner in the Local Government Service Commission, and a human resource expert,

talked on all the grey areas in budget planning and implementation. He noted that, there is need for quarterly retreat to reposition government activities. Another resource person, Mr Okechuwku Okeke of AlphaBeta, assured that the company would help its automated system in enhancing enforcement of tax payments and instant receipting for all payments, amongst others.

Lawmaker donates items worth N70m GEORGE OJI ABUJA

C

hairman of the senate committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Mathew Nwagwu has donated cash and other items worth N70million to indigent students, artisans, and persons with disabilities. Nwagwu, who made this gesture at the town hall of Amuzi, in Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State, said he was motivated by the urge to build on his late father’s philanthropic gesture. The lawmaker said his late father; devoted his time and resources toward community development, even as he expressed concern at the level of development in the zone, and called on the leaders to join in salvaging Okigwe. He assured the people of quality representation in the senate and thanked God for giving him the opportunity to serve them saying the gesture was in fulfillment of his campaign promises, adding that more of such empowerment would be made available to the people. A total of 500 beneficiaries from the 64 wards of the six local government areas in Okigwe zone benefited from the gesture. A breakdown of the beneficiaries showed there were scholarships for two students in institutions of higher learning from each ward; N50,000 for one physically challenged person from each of the 64 wards. A total of 64 motorbikes, 64 sewing Machines, 64 grinding machines, 30 vulcanizing machines, 22 welding machines, 30 KVA generator sets, 48 barbing clippers, and 30 hair dryers were also distributed. The lawmaker said he was

troubled with the neglect and snail speed of political and economic development in Okigwe senatorial zone and called for emergency attention on roads, electricity and youth empowerment to alleviate the peoples’ sufferings. He insisted that the zone would need only God fearing leaders and quality representation to fast track development, even as he tasked politicians to see their campaign promises as bond between them and the electorate. Chairman at the occasion, Chief Chris Ekwebulem thanked Senator Nwagwu for his positive representation of Okigwe zone in the National Assembly, adding that the empowerment scheme would go a long way to reducing unemployment in the area. Also speaking, co-ordinator of senator’s economic team, Dr Chinaeme Anyaeze described the scheme as another stage in the transformation of Okigwe.

Hardwork: Two men carrying a steel pipe at the Orinsumbare Iron Market in Orile, Iganmu, Lagos. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

FG moves to strengthen Civil Defence Corps OMEIZA AJAYI

T

he Federal Government has said it intends to deepen the operations of

Persons with disability honour Commissioner, NURTW chairman OSEYIZA OOGBODO

T

he Lagos State chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers,NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, and Ogun State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Elizabeth Olayinka Shonubi, were among five personalities honoured for their support of Persons With Disabilities (PWD). The others were Mrs. Mohammed Jumah of the Nigerian Firm Craft Centre for the Blind and business personalities, Alhaji Idowu Ayuba Akangbe and Mrs Shadiat Rasheed.

The awards were presented to them by the Competent Handicapped Industries and Vocational Training Centre (CHIVTC), an organisation for disabled persons at their annual party. Speaking on the awards, the CHIVTC president, Dr Oluwatele Olaide Moruf, who is blind, said, “They were chosen on merit. They are people who have helped the disabled, so we thought it best to show appreciation by honouring them with awards. In this vein, we call on governments and public spirited individuals and organizations to support us as is done in the developed world.”

the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, with special focus on increasing the staff strength, as well as management of newly-procured arms. Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, who made the disclosure in Abuja said it was informed by the increasing demands of Nigerians and in recognition of the services of the officers in averting security challenges in different parts of the country in 2012. The minister stated that maintaining internal security will be a major focus of the ministry and the Corps, in consideration of its style of operation. He expressed optimism that arming a section of the Corps to combat non-civil disturbances would increase the achievement of peace in the country. “The area of their service continues to increase every day, as people see their bravery where others fail. We will increase their human capacity. Nigerians expect more proactive steps in addressing the internal security challenge.

There is no doubt that the level of armed banditry and insurgency has had negative impacts on the lives and economy of the country. Both Nigerians and foreigners desire nothing less than a safe haven to live. The old method of response to security is no longer applicable in the case of security challenges we have witnessed in recent years. “I want to assure that this year; efforts will be concentrated on capacity building and facilities for regular institutional training and re-training. With the provision of all they need, we expect them to cooperate with other security agencies to ensure that 2013 puts an end to insurgencies in the country. If you are not prepared, there is no way you can meet the challenges,” Moro added. Earlier, Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin, said the Corps was re-strategizing based on lessons learnt from previous years to ensure a better security in 2013.


46

Community Mirror

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Robbers invade Ibadan Baptist Church KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

D

are-devil armed robbers have invaded the Apata Baptist Church, injuring

the pastor, Reverend Bode Idowu and members of his family. Community Mirror gathered that men of the underworld carted away valuable items including laptop computers, mobile phones

and large sums of money. It was learnt that the cleric had announced that God mandated him to pray for commercial motorcycle operators, popularly known as Okada in Apata and its environs against

road accidents and untimely deaths in the New Year. In response to this, many commercial motorcyclists were in attendance at the prayer session when the six armed robbers invaded the church premises and

demanded for the tithes and other offering collected by the pastor. The robbers reportedly tied the security guards to lamp posts as they broke into the pastor’s residence to steal money and other valuables.

It was gathered that the robbers demanded that Revd. Idowu handed over all monies collected as offering from the Okada riders, and his refusal led the hoodlums to manhandle him.

No ban on tricycles –Union FRANCIS SUBERU

T

Motor transport union members trying to stop a taxi driver for dropping off a passenger under a bridge in Abuja. PHOTO: NAN

Task force on flood visits Cross River OKAY OSUJI

T

he Task Force on Flood Disaster Intervention from the Federal Ministry of Health has paid a visit to Cross River State. The team leader, Dr. David Atowo said it was borne out of concern on the consequences of water borne diseases especially among internally displaced persons. Dr. Atowo disclosed that the task force would visit the 21 affected states for post flood as-

sessment, to enable it achieve the specific mandate for health interventions, even as he stressed the ministry’s commitment to prompt detection, control and future prevention of the scourge. According to him, the team is to establish the extent of the disaster on affected communities in local government areas within the states, identify the pattern of injuries, disabilities, morbidity and mortality resulting from the flood and determine the general nutritional status of children in refugee camps.

He also said the team is to assess the status of water supply and sanitation, determine the effect of the flood on the health system, document the response by the states and partners during flood to identify gaps, evaluate the level of preparedness to address post flood disease and challenges. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mrs. Angela Oyo-Ita, commended the Minister for Health for setting up the task force and maintained that all local government areas affected by the flood are vulnerable

to health issues. She described the visit as timely, as she assured the team of maximum co-operation to ensure the plight of affected victims and communities is assuaged. Mr. David Akate of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), disclosed that Boki Local Government Area was the worst hit in the state by the flooding and as a result the communities lack even drinking water, as the streams have been polluted with debris from the Affi mountains.

Lawmaker promises roads rehabilitation

T

he people of Anambra North Senatorial zone comprising Omambala clan of Oyi, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Ogbaru, have been assured that all access roads in the area will remain top priority of the state government. Making the assurance

at the palace of Igwe Nnaluo Nnaba of Nando, Anambra East Local Government Area during her investiture as “Ada-Iguedo,” Senator Chuba-Okadigbo disclosed that she had earlier discussed the issue with Gov Obi who promised that he would mobilize contractors to site when the people resolve on the roads to be given priority.

The senator therefore appealed to people to cooperate with the government in the provision and protection of infrastructure for the benefit of the area. She promised to protect the welfare of the zone and bring democracy dividends from the federal and state governments to the constituents. At a reception, the com-

munity through its President General, Dr Kenneth Offorkansi, assured her and Gov. Obi of their support and cooperation to enable them achieve maximum success,even as chairman of the political forum, Chief Ik Anigbata appealed for more infrastructure including roads, hospital, jobs and appointments for the indigenes.

he Chairman of Three Wheelers Beneficiaries/Operators Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, Comrade Moses Buhari, has called on members to debunk rumours that tricycle operations have would be banned by the state government in line with the new traffic law. In a press release made available to Community Mirror, Comrade Buhari described the rumour as false, saying it was a deliberate attempt by some unscrupulous elements to endanger the cordial relationship between the association and government. The release said: “I know the news is being sponsored by some unscrupulous, selfish individuals, who want to use the relative peace existing between our association and government to destabilize the state for their own selfish interests. I would like to state that the information is misleading, mischievous and biased, as it is a misrepresentation of facts on government position on public consumption, maintaining that the association has always provided

detailed and consistent information to its members as a matter of priority. Buhari, further explained that as law abiding citizens, who support the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola, the association prefers to dialogue with the government in order to seek ways of actualizing a viable transport system for a mega city like Lagos. The chairman therefore called on the members to remain calm and go about their normal businesses without fear of being harassed by law enforcement agents. He enjoined them to always report any persons or group, planning to foment trouble to law enforcement agents, while advising the general public to disregard such fruitless information as there is no iota of truth in it. In his reaction, state secretary of the association, Alhaji Hakeem Abdullahi, advised the members not to panic as there is relative peace between it and the state government, even as he assured that any information, would be communicated through the right channel.

Ex-militant alleges interference by oil company EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

A

ex-militant, Keithy Sese, alias Gen. Numokeme, has alleged interference by Chevron Nigeria Limited in the selection of board members in Southern Ijaw and Brass local governments of Bayelsa State, saying the action is capable of generating crisis in the area. The communities are Koluama, Ekeni, Fish Town, Foropa , Ezetu and Sangana. Sese who spoke in

Yenagoa, alleged that officials of the company are collaborating with some representatives to impose themselves on the communities, even as he warned that they would go to court if the state government failed to resolve the dividing the communities. He lamented that they were still suffering from the January 16, 2012 gas explosion that ravaged the communities, even as a company official who pleaded anonymity, denied claims that it was meddling into affairs of the communities.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

World News

Obama stakes out position in US debt ceiling

48

“We want our national sovereignty and the Americans want the safety of their soldiers. They don’t want their soldiers to be under the laws of another country.” - Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai

French forces intensify bombing, enter central Mali PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

Islamist rebels seize another town

F

rench military forces yesterday widened their bombing campaign against Islamic extremists occupying northern Mali, launching airstrikes for the first time in central Mali to combat a new threat as the four-day-old offensive continued to grow. Early yesterday, an intelligence agent confirmed that shots rang out near the Diabaly military camp in what is still nominally government-held territory and that soon after, jets were heard overhead, followed by explosions. The agent insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. A Malian commander in the nearby town of Niono said the bombardments did not stop the Islamist fighters and that they occupied Alatona, and yesterday, they succeeded in reaching the north-south road which connects Diabaly to Segou, the administrative capital of central Mali. Meanwhile, the Islamist rebels have taken control of the central town of Diabaly, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said yesterday, according to CNN af-

A French Rafale jetfighter landing after a mission to Mali in N’Djamena, Chad. Photo: Reuters

filiate BFM TV. Fighter jets late Sunday dropped bombs in the central rice-growing region of Alatona after a rebel convoy was spotted 40 kilometres (24 miles) southeast of Diabaly, until recently the site of a major, U.S.-funded Millennium Challenger Corporation project. The rebels, said a Malian commander in the nearby town of Niono, were trying to reach Diabaly, home to an important Malian military base. The commander, a major, insisted on anonymity because he

was not authorized to speak to the press. Furthermore, the U.N. Security Council discussed the conflict in Mali yesterday as a military offensive to wrest Islamic militants’ control over part of the country rages on. The meeting comes as more world bodies, including the United Kingdom and the United States, consider more support for the Malian government as it fights insurgents controlling the north. Drian yesterday insisted that

the situation in Mali “is evolving favourably.” However, he acknowledged challenges in the west. “There is still a difficult spot in the west, where we’re dealing with extremely well-armed groups and where the operations are ongoing at this time,” said Le Drian. He did not name Diabaly, but military officials in Mali say it is near Diabaly that the fiercest fighting is now occurring. French radio Europe 1 broadcast a telephone interview with Omar Ould Hamaha, a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, which controls part of northern Mali. In it he dared the French to “come down on the ground if they’re real men. We’ll welcome them with open arms,” he said. “France has opened the gates of hell ... it has fallen into a trap much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia.” The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, known by its initials in French as MSF, said Monday that 12 people wounded in the conflict were being treated by an MSF team at a regional hospital in Timbuktu, a roughly seven-hour journey from the conflict zone.

Libya to step up diplomatic security after attacks

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ibya plans to create a special force to protect diplomats, government sources said, after a gun attack on an Italian consul highlighted the precarious security situation in the country. Unidentified gunmen in Benghazi opened fire on Guido De Sanctis’s armoured car on Saturday. The diplomat was unhurt, but the attack was a reminder of the September 11 attack on the US mission there that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. “We are discussing putting in place a force that would look after diplomats. There are also plans to protect foreigners working for foreign companies,” a defence min-

istry source said, declining to be named as the proposal was still being discussed. “The idea is it would be mixed between police and army but would likely come under the command of the defence ministry.” The source said the members were likely to be trained abroad, but did not give an estimate of how many there would be. Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi said Saturday’s attack was “an attempt to destabilise the institutions of the new Libya.” “Italy expresses its strongest condemnation and reaffirms its total support of the democratic path and the reforms that the Tripoli authorities have started,” he said in a

WORLD BULLETIN

US Embassy employee murdered in South Africa

The U.S. Embassy yesterday confirmed the death of Christopher “Norm” Bates, who was the information management officer at the Johannesburg U.S. Consulate. He was an 11-year State Department employee. An official in South Africa said a woman suspected of murdering an American Embassy employee over the weekend will appear in court today. Police Lt. Col. Lungelo Dlamini said the 41-year-old Bates was allegedly stabbed to death Sunday morning around 3 a.m. at a Johannesburg apartment. Dlamini said a guard heard a woman screaming and saw the woman with a knife in her hand and Bates with stab wounds. Dlamini said the 29-year-old woman would appear in court Tuesday.

Tunisia marks Arab Spring revolution Tunisians are marking the second anniversary of veteran dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s flight into exile in the first of the Arab Spring uprisings but insecurity and social tensions persist. A deadlock over a new constitution and the growing influence of radical Islamists are further challenges facing the nation since Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia. President Moncef Marzouki will kick off the celebrations at 07:00 am GMT by hoisting the national flag over Kasbah Square in Tunis, near the headquarters of the ruling coalition led by the Islamist Ennahda party. Later the government will seal a “social pact” with trade union leaders and business executives at the National Constituent Assembly, in a bid to boost a sluggish economy.

Somali militants to post message on fate of French hostage

Scene where unknown gunmen shot at the Italian consul’s car on Saturday Photo: Reuters

statement. An Italian foreign ministry spokesman said security around officials in Benghazi was already high before Saturday’s attack, which will strengthen views that the city is seen as too dangerous

a place for foreign diplomats and workers. There was no immediate indication who might have been behind the attack. More than a year after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, security in Libya remains in disarray.

Somali militants linked to al Qaeda said yesterday they had reached a decision on the fate of Frenchman Denis Allex, held hostage since 2009, and that a message “containing the verdict is forthcoming”, according to the SITE monitoring service. Al Shabaab also said a French commando had died of his wounds in their custody after a failed bid to rescue Allex at the weekend. French Special Forces went into southern Somalia by helicopter under cover of darkness on Saturday to try to free Allex, but militants put up fierce resistance.


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World News

Briefs

Iraq frees hundreds of inmates An Iraqi deputy premier says authorities have freed hundreds of inmates in recent days, an apparent concession to Sunni protesters demonstrating against the Shiite-led government. Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani announced the releases at a ceremony at a Baghdad prison yesterday attended by dozens of those set free. He says 335 detainees have gained their freedom in the past week, but he did not give details on their backgrounds or alleged crimes. Protesters in predominantly Sunni parts of Iraq have been demonstrating for more than three weeks against what they see as unfair treatment by the government against their sect. The release of detainees held without charges has been one of their main demands. Al-Shahristani oversees a recently formed government committee charged with looking into protesters’ demands.

Court denies Berlusconi bid to halt sex trial A Milan court yesterday rejected a bid by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi to halt his sex-for-hire trial because of Italy’s general election campaign, a ruling that means a verdict could come before the February vote. The judges deliberated for four hours before deciding that the trial would go ahead. The defence also decided they didn’t need to hear testimony from the Moroccan woman at the centre of the case, Karima el-Mahroug, the last witness. El-Mahroug had appeared in court yesterday ready to testify after having failed to show on two previous dates, purportedly because she was in Mexico on vacation. Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby, when she was 17 and during his notorious “bunga bunga” parties — supposedly racy soirees featuring many young women — and then using his office to cover it up. Both deny sexual contact.

UK refuses British veterans to accept Russian medal The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said British sailors cannot accept the Ushakov Medal because they are in line to get a medal from the British government, and also because the events took place more than five years ago. Reay Clarke, who risked his life on World War II Arctic convoys, felt snubbed by Britain’s decision yesterday to keep him and other veterans from accepting bravery medals offered by Russia. “I honestly feel sore about it,” said Clarke, 89. “I think it’s disgraceful that we can’t just say yes to the Russians and tell them to go ahead and issue the medal. I think they are kind and thoughtful to remember what we did. We should just say, ‘Thank you very much.’”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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S President Barack Obama yesterday staked out his position in a debate over the government’s authority to borrow money, which could expire next month. In the last White House news conference of his first term, the Democratic president also took questions on gun control. On the debt ceiling, House Republicans have threatened not to allow its rise, in a bid to extract spending cuts. Obama has vowed not to negotiate over the limit. Monday’s press conference came a week before the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC that will begin Obama’s second term. Obama said that another standoff over the debt ceiling would be “absurd” and “a self-inflicted wound on our economy”, as he warned Republicans not to act “irresponsibly”. “America cannot afford another debate with this Congress about whether or not we should pay the bills we’ve already racked up,” he said. Speaking on a day that marked one month on from a massacre at a primary school in Connecticut, Obama said he would present proposals for gun control later in the week. He said stronger background checks, control of high capacity magazine clips, and an assault weapons ban were all measures he believed made sense. “Will all of them get through this Congress?” he asked. “I don’t

Obama stakes out position in US debt ceiling

President Barack Obama meeting with his senior advisors in the Oval Office, recently

know.” Ahead of the debt ceiling fight, the White House in recent days has stated it will forgo two extraordinary measures suggested by the president’s allies and by left-leaning pundits. The White House will not order the treasury to mint a $1tn (£623bn) platinum coin - an accounting measure that would allow spending to continue. Nor will Obama invoke a clause in the 14th amendment to the US

constitution declaring that “the validity of the public debt of the United States... shall not be questioned”. White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Saturday: “There are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or they can fail to act and put the nation into default. The last debt ceiling battle between Congress and Obama ended in July 2011. The ceiling was raised $2.4tn in exchange for auto-

Millions bath in Indian rivers to mark religious festival

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everal million people have been bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers at Allahabad in India, on the opening day of the Kumbh Mela festival. At least 10 million pilgrims are set to do so by the end of the day. The event, every 12 years, is billed as the biggest gathering on Earth. More than 100 million people are expected to attend the 55-day festival. Hindus believe a festi-

val dip will cleanse sins and help bring salvation. In 2001, more than 40 million people gathered on the main bathing day of the festival, breaking a record for the biggest human gathering. The festival formally started at dawn on Monday. All roads leading to the Kumbh Mela grounds are packed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. There was a chill in the air as holy men sprinted into the waters

in Allahabad, but the day dawned warmer than in recent weeks when a cold snap hit northern India. Police estimated that by the late afternoon about 7.5 million people had bathed. For festival-goers, one of the most memorable spectacles of the day was when the Naga sadhus, or ascetics, sprinted into the river reciting religious chants, many clad only in marigold garlands.

45 killed in Syrian military attacks

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ttacks by government forces on Damascus’ rebellious suburbs killed at least 45 people, including eight children, activists said yesterday. Sunday’s death toll was part of an intensifying regime offensive to dislodge rebels from strategic areas

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

around the capital. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that 24 of the dead, including all eight children, were killed by government air and artillery strikes in the eastern Ghouta district on Sunday. The rest of the casualties were in towns

and villages outside the capital, the Observatory said, and included 13 rebels killed in clashes. Activists said the bombardments were some of the heaviest in the Damascus region since the government launched a series of offensives there in November.

Photo: White House

matic across-the-board spending cuts scheduled for 1 January 2013. Obama had previously said he wanted a permanent extension of the debt limit as part of a deal to avoid those spending cuts which, combined with a package of tax rises, was known as the fiscal cliff. A last-minute deal in Congress avoided most of those tax rises and deferred the spending cuts by two months, but the debt ceiling limit was not part of the negotiations.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (80) Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things. –Robert Louis Stevenson * * * MY NOTE: Every problem is a decision waiting to be made. Decisions are powerful especially when they are made on concrete that cannot be easily erased. Let’s make the decision to be happy in life no matter what we experience on daily basis. Set this decision on concrete. This can be a powerful decision for us! The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. -Charles Schwab TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Dog tags returned after 45 years

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retired U.S. Marine in Florida said it is “unbelievable” that he has been reunited with the dog tags he left in Vietnam more than 45 years ago. Officials returned the once-missing dog tags to Jim Alderman Saturday during a ceremony in east Orange County, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported. “I’ll remember this day till the day I die,” he said. Alderman lost the tags in 1967 after he was shot in his wrist and chest. As his

Cocktail

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

wounds were being treated, his boots -- which held his dog tags -- were removed and placed in a pile near a group of a dozen dead soldiers. He said he “had enough respect for the deceased not to go through their gear” to retrieve his tags, so he was issued a new one. More than 30 years later, a Wall Street trader traveling in Vietnam bought a lot of 100 dog tags for about $100 for someone selling them in Ho Chi Minh city, the Sentinel reported.

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Oddities

Nickel sells for $1.41 million at auction

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ne of the first U.S. coins ever minted, a 1792 nickel, sold for $1.41 million at an auction in Orlando, Fla., Heritage Auctions said. The auction house, based in Dallas, said in a news release Friday the coin -- also called a silver nickel and thought to have been minted from silverware belonging to the first U.S. first lady, Martha Washington -- is one of 250 coins still around from the minting of the first U.S. coins following passage of the Mint Act. “This is a storied and famous coin in American numismatics,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. “Not only is it widely reported that these coins were struck from Martha Washington’s silver service -- at the behest of George Washington, no less -- some numismatists over the decades have theorized that Mrs. Washington also posed as Ms. Liberty for the engraver. Whether that is really the case, however, is lost to history.”

The coin -- also called a Half Disme and often referred to as The Floyd

A 1792 nickel

Starr Example -- was part of a rare coin and currency auction that

brought in more than $50 million Thursday, the news release said.

PHOTO: UPI


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South-South

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Akpabio signs 2013 Appropriation Bill into law TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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L-R: Governors Peter Obi (Anambra State) Theodore Orji (Abia), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) after a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja, yesterday.

Gunmen kidnap Bayelsa speaker’s 78-year-old mother EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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unmen yesterday kidnapped the mother of the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson, at her residence in Korokorosei in Southern Ijaw Local Government. Mrs. Bethina Benson, 78, was abducted by about 10 gunmen, who invaded the area with two speed boats about 12.30am. They shot sporadically into the air before taking their victim away. The whereabouts of the speaker’s mother were unknown at press time. This generated panic among family members yesterday. The speaker said in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Piriye Kiyaramo, that they were yet to establish contact with the kidnappers. He said the matter had been reported to the police. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Fidelis Odunna, confirmed the incident. He said policemen had been deployed to creeks to rescue Mrs. Benson.

Although no reason was given for the abduction of the speaker’s mother, investigation showed that the abduction might not be unconnected with the looming crisis over Korokorosei Community Development Committee election.

It was gathered that the election of the chairman of the committee used to rotate from one compound to the other, but the speaker allegedly imposed his brother, Iniokpoemi Benson, on the community as the next chairman. The imposition, accord-

ing to investigation, is not going down well with majority of members of the community. But the speaker’s loyalists said Benson did not impose his brother, adding that he was not instigating crisis in the community.

S’Court verdict, a boost for good governance –Oshiomhole ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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do State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday said his victory at the Supreme Court had further strengthened his commitment to serve the people. Oshiomhole commended the judgement of the apex court on the case brought against him by General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over his victory in the July 14, 2012 gubernatorial election. Speaking with State House Correspondents after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, Oshiomhole said he was not surprised by the judgement as the judiciary had always come to his rescue, particularly when he was a labour leader.

He noted that Airhiavbere lost his polling booth, ward and local government, saying that going to court to challenge his victory was like wasting the precious time of the court. The governor said since his people gave him overwhelming support in the last election, he was ready to continue to serve them to the best of his ability. According to him, Airhiavbere has no basis and lacked the moral standing to challenge his academic qualification. He said: “I am not a first term governor. I am a second term governor, so I wonder how the same certificate that qualified me for my first election should not qualify me for a return. “He (Airhiavbere) complained in 52 units out of about 2,600. So, even if he takes all the units where

he complained of malpractices, he won’t go anywhere. It is like a bucket out of an ocean. I won in all the local government areas.” The Supreme Court had last Friday thrown out an application filed against Oshiomhole and set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeal. Oshiomole had challenged the appellate court in Benin which had ruled on an application filed by Airhiavbere that there should be a retrial of the petition that queried the governor’s educational qualifications. Airhiavbere had alleged that the certificates used by Oshiomhole in obtaining clearance from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were bogus and therefore not eligible to run for both the 2007 and 2012 elections.

kwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has given assent to the N470.08 billion 2013 Appropriation Bill as passed by the state House of Assembly. Akpabio said the budget comprised N351.285 billion capital expenditure and N118.79 billion recurrent expenditure, adding that it was to complete all ongoing projects as well as create jobs for the youth. The governor said the budget placed premium on capital expenditure and reassured the people that the government would increase momentum and work harder to deliver on the budget as passed. He said: “We have started 2013 well. Today, we stand on a bridge of hope... We will increase the momentum and work harder to take advantage of the dry season.” Akpabio commended the House for the speedy consideration of the budget and appealed for more cooperation. He said by the achievements of his administration had now become a reference

point for good governance. The governor added that it was the budgetary process that started the transformation agenda. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bassey Akpan, said the government had maintained and sustained the pace of development in the state, as well as laid a solid foundation for a safe and prosperous Akwa Ibom State. He said the budget had continued to maintain 80 per cent capital and 20 per cent recurrent expenditure performance, which had led to the massive development of the state. Meanwhile, Akpabio has eulogised the sterling qualities of a Catholic priest, Rt. Rev. Monsignor Peter Andrew Inyangetor, as he turned 70. Akpabio spoke on Sunday at Rt. Rev. Inyangetor’s 70th birthday thanksgiving mass which coincided with his 40th anniversary of priestly ordination and the launch of the late Chief Andrew Akpan InyangEtoh Education Foundation at Parish of Assumption, Ukana Iba in Essien Udim Local Government Area.

Ex-Edo AG petitions CJN over ‘wrong’ conviction SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he immediate past Attor ney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Edo State, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, for his fiveday stay in Benin Prison early last year. Justice Adamu Hobon of the then Federal High Court Benin had last year sent Obayuwana to prison over a business deal that predated the Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole’s administration. He was convicted of contempt of court over the botched attempt by the Churchgate Group to purchase the Bendel Brewery Limited from the Edo State Government. But in his fresh petition, Obayuwana regretted that he was yet to get justice from the National Judicial Council, NJC, almost a year later. The petitioner bemoaned NJC’s inability to treat his

petition despite efforts made to get the attention of the body to act on the unlawful treatment meted to him by Hobon at the time even when he was the attorneygeneral of the state. According to the petition he made available to journalists in Benin yesterday, Obayuwana accused Hobon of doctoring court records in order to commit him to jail. He said: “I brought the attention of the NJC to acts of forgery and doctoring of court records proceedings signed by Justice Hobon which portrayed the existence of a charge against me, even before the contempt proceedings were in contemplation. “I affirmed that this ostensibly was on account of Justice Hobon’s belated coming to terms with the grievous nature of the atrocities he had committed against me, which he proceeded to compound by engaging in forgery and doctoring of records.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

51

Court remands Kaduna deputy speaker, others in custody A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna yesterday remanded the state Deputy Speaker, Dr. Dogara Mato and six others in custody over the N17 million local government contract fraud charges preferred against them. While Mato was remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; the other six were remanded in prison custody. Mato, who was charged with the others, would re-

main in custody until their bail application is heard on January 24, 28 and 29, 2013. The case with charge number FHC/KD/3C/2013 that was brought before Justice Marcellous Awokulehin of the Federal High Court, Kaduna, was between the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Complainant) Mato and the six others (Accused). The suspects were slammed with two count charges of fraud. The first count charge reads: “That you, Kabiru Tahir Malali, being the interim Chairman of Lere Local Government Area

North-West zone accounts for 70% of almajiris PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he North-West geopolitical zone of the country accounts for at least 70 per cent of the almajiris roaming the 36 states of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory. The Dean, Post-Graduate School of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Prof. Ahmed Adam Okene, made the disclosure in Minna, Niger State. He said recent research showed that 30 per cent of children in northern region are on the streets begging. Okene, who was the chairman at a one-day workshop on ‘Street begging in Niger State,’ organised by the Niger State Law Reform Commission, called for joint efforts between all the 19 state governors of the region to end the problem of alamajiri and street begging.

He noted that the challenges caused by this syndrome are behind the series of security breaches in the northern part of the country, adding that countries like Malaysia and Thailand passed through similar problems but that through diligence and political will, they overcome such problems. Okene also called for emphasis on reforms in the north and the country at large, pointing out that with proper education of the citizens, the challenges confronting the nation can be adequately addressed. Speaking also, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Alhaji Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, stated that at the moment over nine million young boys are roaming the streets as almajiri in the nation. He also lamented the development has hampered growth and development of the northern part of the country.

(LGA) of Kaduna State, Dr. Dogara Mato being the Deputy Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA), Ahmed Yahaya, being the former Director of Finance Lere LGA; Billy Graham Amos, former Director of Works, Lere LGA; Yushau I Aboki being the former Director Personnel Management Lere LGA, Mrs. Hannatu Iliya, Head of Health, Lere LGA and Eric Alhassan, being former acting Chairman of Lere LGA, sometimes between March, 2011 and

February 2012 in Kaduna State, within the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, conspired among yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: Obtain money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.” The second count charge also reads that: Malali, Mato, Yahaya, Amos, and Aboki, “Some-

times between May, 2011 and March, 2012, at Kaduna State, within the jurisdiction of this court with intent to defraud, obtained via fraudulent award of contract for the renovation of Government Lodge Saminaka the sum of N17 million, the property of Kaduna State government which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006

and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”. The deputy speaker and the six others all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Counsel to the EFCC, Barrister Sa’ad Hanafi, asked that the other six be remanded in prison custody pending when he would be able to produce witnesses to prove his allegations. He, however, said that Mato was not to be taken to prison custody since he had been granted administrative bail already.

Kwara partners Saudi Arabia on education WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Kwara State government said it will partner with the International Islamic Foundation of the World Muslim League in Saudi Arabia on its education policy. According to Wahab Oba, the chief press secretary to the governor, the

idea will help in the promotion of qualitative education, especially technical and special needs education in the state. State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, gave this indication when the General Secretary of the Foundation, Dr Ali Magbul Al-Amri, paid him a visit at the Government House, Ilorin. He said this was part of

his administration’s effort at enhancing human capital development in the state. Ahmed said the proposed 2013 fiscal budget accorded biggest vote to the education sector as an indication of the government’s commitment to the development of qualitative education in the state. “Our decision to put much emphasis and fund-

Gov. Ahmed

ing in the education sector is because education is one of the most important instruments that mankind can use for growth and development,” he added.

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo (left), welcoming the new Emir of Dukku, Alhaji Haruna Rasheed, to the Government House in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Gombe postpones release of Again, eight killed in renewed violence in Nasarawa I U LG poll guidelines DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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ombe State Independent Electoral Commission, GOSIEC, yesterday said it has postponed its earlier plan to release local government election guidelines for the conduct of councils’ poll in the state. Speaking during a meeting with chairmen of political parties, the Chairman of GOSIEC, Mr. Caleb Maina, said it has become necessary for the commission

to put off its earlier plan because of the series of complaints received from some members of the political class in the state. He said it was alleged that most of those claiming to be leaders of their political parties were actually not recognised by their national headquarters or members in the state. According to him, because of these reasons, there was need for the commission to authenticate the allegation by obtaining the list of actual leaders from INEC in Abuja.

GBAWASE LAFIA

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KUMBA

t least eight people were yesterday feared dead in a renewed violence in Nasarawa State. National Mirror gathered that the violence took place during an early morning raid on Agbashi, headquarters of Ekye Development Area of the state. Reports said some unidentified gunmen suspected to be Fulani mercenaries launched attack on Agbashi town at about 6.00am killing over eight people and set-

ting many houses ablaze. The cause of the attack was not immediately known, but sources said that it might be a reprisal action for alleged attack on them by Agatu people in the past. Sources equally confirmed that apart from those killed; scores of others sustained varying degree of gunshot wounds while hundreds of others were displaced by the ugly development. It was gathered that two Fulani men were allegedly slaughtered during Juma’at mosque in Agbashi last weekend by some

people believe to be of Agatu extraction in the area. Gunshots were still being heard just as fire was burning in Agbashi as at the time of filing this report yesterday. Also, security personnel were sighted in trucks heading towards the crisis area. In a related development, soldiers were yesterday reported to have gunned down five people at Tudun Wada area of Lafia, the state capital, five kilometres along the Lafia-Doma road, for allegedly shooting soldiers who were on patrol duty in the crisis-torn Burumburum

area in Doma Local Government of the state. One of the four wounded soldiers, simply identified as Bayo, who was first treated at a private clinic, New Era Clinic, Doma and later moved to Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, was in critical condition as at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, soldiers have taken over Tudun Wada, a village dominated by the Eggon ethnic nationalities in search of militants believed to have been harboured by the villagers to attack Fulani in the troubled area.


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North

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pension arrears: Retirees shut NIPOST offices in Bauchi, Gombe EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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undreds of retirees yesterday shutdown the offices of the Nigeria Postal Services, NIPOST, in Bauchi and Gombe states over nonpayment of their pension arrears. The retirees, who said six of them had died due to untold hardship brought on them by the non-payment of their pension, swooped on the offices exactly 8am when the workers were about to report for work. The protest in Bauchi State attracted passers-by at the ever-busy Wunti roundabout in the heart of the Bauchi metropolis. The retirees carried playcards with various inscriptions such as: “NIPOST management are dead woods,” “We are tired of fake promises,” “Post Master General, you have killed hundreds of retirees,” “Goodluck remove post master general,” among others. Speaking with journalists, the Chairman of the retirees in Bauchi/Gombe states, Mallam Yahaya Mohammed, said his members were owed between 25 and 44 months arrears, apart from under-payments of gratuity and pension ar-

rears despite a series of notices to the management to address the issues. Yahaya said that owing to untold hardship faced by the retirees about six of them had died while their children had dropped out of schools. He added that some of them also had difficulties paying their house rents. Yahaya also the protest would be sustained until they were paid. The chairman called on

President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Post-Master General with immediate effect for failing to pay the retirees. He said: “It is unfortunate that up till now, none of the office of the postmaster general, accountant general of the federation or PENCOM office has been able to determine where the money meant for NIPOST retirees is.” Mrs. Abarack Veronica, one of the retirees who

spoke with newsmen in tear, said the post-master general was incapable to address the issue. Speaking with journalists on the development, the Public Relations Officer of the Bauchi/Gombe NIPOST Territory, Mallam Dantani Attah, said the demonstration was in NIPOST offices nationwide. Attah disclosed that territory had already contacted the territorial headquarters in Abuja to address the situation. He, however, urged the retirees to end the protest.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Man held for attempt to defraud Kano of N300m AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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olice said they had foiled an attempt to defraud Kano State Government of over N300 million through fraudulent contracts. One Zaharaddeeen Abdullahi, an employee of the School of Entrepreneurship, Kano, is being detained at Bompai headquarters of the Kano State Police Command for allegedly attempting to defraud

A beneficiary of Governor Mukhtar Yero Skills Acquisition Training Scheme, Malama Madina Shehu (left) receiving a sewing machine from Wazirin Zazzau, Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu, in Zaria, Kaduna State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

WHO, group kick out polio UNILORIN matriculates 7,098 students W A through drama A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he World Health Organisation, WHO, and Journalist Initiative Against Polio, JAP, have adopted drama performance in non-polio compliance communities to sensitise residents to the efficacy of the polio vaccines. WHO Supervisor in Kaduna, Dr. Abdullahi Bello Galadima, said the method being introduced by JAP was effective towards addressing non-compliant cases of polio immunisation, especially in the North. Speaking in Ikara and Igabi local government areas of Kaduna State during one of the drama presentations, Galadima expressed surprise at the turnout of

parents and children at the venues of performances in Kurmin Kogi market, among other areas. He the war against polio would be won with the present strategies adopted by JAP. “This includes regular town hall meetings with traditional community leaders and parents during theatre performances at market places to attract more children to accept polio immunisation,” the supervisor said. He called on Nigerians to fully vaccinate their children against polio and other killer diseases. According to him, Nigeria has no reason to be still battling with the epidemic, considering its high level of civilisation and the clamour for development.

OLE ILORIN

DEDEJI

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he University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, yesterday matriculated 7,098 students for the 2012/2013 session. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, who made

this known in his address at the matriculation, said only 8,093 out of 64,121 candidates that scored above 200 marks in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, representing 18.45 per cent of those who applied to the institution for 2012/2013 session, were offered admission.

However, only 7,098 of this number, representing 11.10 per cent, finally scaled registration for matriculation held yesterday. Ambali admonished the students to make the best use of the opportunity they had throughout their stay on campus. He disclosed that the

Niger PDP seeks stronger ties with Plateau ahead 2015

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op officials of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Niger State, led by the state Chairman of the party, Dr. Mahmud Abdulrahman, yesterday visited Jos, the Plateau State capital. The officials were received at the PDP Secretariat in Jos. Abdulrahman said they were in the state to seek closer ties with Plateau

State, especially given the support which the Niger State chapter of PDP received from the state during the just concluded national convention of party. He said the support from Plateau State made it possible for Niger State to produce the PDP national youth leader. Abdulrahman urged Plateau State to maintain the current tempo of political

relationship between the two states. He said: “In view of the 2015, we are also calling for similar support in whatever position that Niger State may be interested in so that the two states will join hands to support each other.” Responding, the Plateau State PDP Chairman, Dr. Haruna Dabin, expressed appreciation for the visit, which he said underscored the love which the two states had for each other.

the state government of the said amount. The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Musa Majia, said in a statement made available to journalists, that Abdullahi was arrested for forgery, cheating and attempt to defraud Kano State of N300,842,042. He said the suspect forged documents of Kano State Ministry of Works and Housing and fraudulently awarded contract for the construction of classroom blocks at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kano. Majia disclosed that the fraudulent contract was awarded to ZAPPOS Construction Company Limited for the said amount. It was learnt that the document to that effect was purported to have been signed by the director of Projects and Planning, permanent secretary and commissioner for Higher Education, Kano State. The suspect was said to have collected N1.2 million as upfront payment from the management of the said construction firm to facilitate the deal. According to the statement, during interrogation, Abdullahi confessed to committing the offence, while the forged contract documents were recovered from him. Senate of the institution had approved the establishment of more faculties and the splitting of some departments to create more openings for admissions. The VC warned the students against secret cults and any other unregistered organisations on the campus. Urging the matriculating students to be serious in their studies, Ambali reminded them that they had only been offered provisional admission. The VC also charged the students to abide by the institution’s rules and regulations, adding that their suitability to belong to the university depended on their character and knowledge. He said: “It will be a shame if you are found to be defective in character and unsuitable in learning, two major factors that make students ‘exit’ before the completion of their courses.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Features

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Rivers: When women protested destruction of the environment

Another mangrove in the community. A mangrove swamp in Ataba

The massive destruction of the environment to make way for infrastructure development has become a worrisome phenomenon in the country. SAM OLUWALANA reports that the Ataba Women Association in Rivers State has taken to protesting against such mindless action which not only robs communities of their means of livelihood, but also protection against natural disasters.

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r. Dan Cowling, President of The Communications Group, writing in New FoundNation, a blog spot for community leaders, stressed the important roles women play in development, even as he regretted that they are among the most underutilized resources in community development. Also speaking on the same subject, in a presentation to the Community Development Society, in United States of America (USA), Dr. Paulette Meikle made a forceful case on how women can contribute to achieving successful community development efforts. She noted that: Even when men and women interpret and enact plans differently, women should be viewed as agents of change and advocates of success, they will focus on quality-of-life issues, and that they will provide unique responses in the face of social injustice, while noting that not being aware of or focusing on women’s roles in community development can limit positive outcomes. She therefore concluded that “Communities do better when they tap into women’s unique abilities for building capacity and resiliency”. Cowling agrees, insisting that “if a community development plan is to be successful, it must be inclusive, as women bring valuable assets to the table that should be utilized.” However, despite the obvious strengths of the womenfolk and massive potential inputs they make to the development of their communities, undermining their roles appears to be a worldwide challenge, which is more pronounced in Third World countries, including Nigeria. But despite the societal constraints and obstacles placed in the path of so-called weaker sex, women in Ataba, a community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State are determined to make profound contributions to development of their community. Operating under the aegis of Ataba Women Association and founded in 1950, their objective include environmental protection, mangrove forestation and planting, Nypa

palm removal, adult education, welfare and library development. In recent times, these women have embarked on frontal attack against child and maternal mortality by staging and sustaining campaigns to tackle the rising menace in Ataba of those women who on getting pregnant shun conventional hospitals and healthcare centres and rather prefer going to religious houses for antenatal care and delivering their babies. While these efforts have not completely eradicated the practice, the awareness created has had a positive impact on child and maternal mortality. The women have also called attention to the menace of Nypa palms, and the health benefits of adequate child spacing. The latest challenge the women are grappling with, is the threat to their natural environment. The Ataba Women Association (AWA), have expressed unhappiness with plans to remove the mangrove forest protecting the community and in its place build a shore protection embankment. That was one of the issues at the front burner in their 2012 annual conference held between November 9 and 11, 2012. The women have also beseeched chiefs of the community to see the wisdom in their position, explaining that they are not against development, but stressing that cutting down the mangroves popularly called Ngala is too huge a price to pay for development because of its economic value, and protection it offers from adverse weather. In a petition to HRM (Dr.) Benson Egwenre, the Clan Head of Ataba Kingdom signed by its president Hon. Kakpoilo Eyekit, and secretary Mrs. Elizabeth Crowther and other members of the executive, the women said they are not against developments, but expressed sadness that all the mangrove in the town would be removed, stressing that it is where the women pick periwinkle, crayfish and firewood for sustenance. “The women of this town feel very strongly about this development and will want the com-

munity to know this”, the petition said, adding that they have tended and cared for these graceful, giant mangrove for generations, a responsibility that have been carried out joyfully by our mothers and now us”. They added: “We feel strongly sad on their destruction because, we care for them and know their importance”, adding that “we are fisherwomen who depend on the mangrove swamp for livelihood”. The women reminded the clan head that the community has not suffered any major disaster through harsh torrential storms peculiar to such coastal communities because the mangroves act as wind breakers protecting houses in the area. Moreover, they also noted that the Ngala is a thing of pride to the community because they make Ataba Town look elegant, beautiful and magnificent as an ancient community to visitors. “For trees that have faithfully and beautifully protected us from the elements to suddenly become worthless, evil and only good for destruction is unfair, unjust and a crime against nature and environment”. “We will not want our beloved community to make such a historical mistake of destroying our pride and heritage”, the group said, stressing that Ataba town should keep its only historical heritage of worth because the beauty of Ngala mangrove will not depreciate.” Speaking, the Rt. Hon. Ataisi Charity Wellington, leader of Andoni Legislative Assembly, Guest at the told National Mirror that the Ngala is strategically important to the community, and that she will join the women in their campaign to preserve it. Weighing in on the matter, Mr. Kentebe Ebiaridor, project officer, Energy and Climate Change, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, said women have a right to pursue the protection of the mangrove, especially as their experience has shown that Ngala shields the community from the negative effects of unpleasant weather conditions. Moreover, he advised that development projects should be arrived at from engagement between the people and the governed. “The women actually have a right to protect their environment, especially if they have noticed that these mangroves act as an economic base for them and a natural habitat for building resilience to climate change and other issues. We are not totally against development, but if because of it they have to remove the mangrove, then it they have to ask the people, they have to seek from them what is going to be in their best interest”, the environmental

IF YOU WANT TO BRING DEVELOPMENT, YOU HAVE TO SEEK THE MANDATE OF THE

PEOPLE. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP WITHOUT REMOVING OUR MANGROVE rights activist said. Miss Keziah Clifford Okpojo, Gender Officer of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Port Harcourt, said removing the Ngala is not necessary as it is very important. She pointed out that if New York City had a mangrove forest like the one in Ataba, the destruction that “Hurricane Sandy” caused would have been minimal. Moreover, she stressed that “we don’t need to destroy our ecosystem” for development. “If you want to bring development, you have to seek the mandate of the people, if you want to give us development; there are other ways you can help without removing our mangrove, because it is protecting our environment”. Furthermore, she noted that mangroves are resilient and can help the land to heal after oil spills which have become the norm in the Niger Delta. “If you go to Goi where oil spill has destroyed the entire environment, it is like an open field, you know Ngala does not die easily. If the crude oil spill is not massive, it will start growing again”, she said, adding that the women whose canoes cannot go into open waters search for prawns and periwinkles in creeks inside the mangroves. “If they want development, I don’t think destroying the mangrove is a good idea. You have to discuss with the people, know what they want. You know that the mangrove has seed which fishermen use to wash their boats after fishing. They also use the seed turned sponge to wash the fungi in the boat, so you can see it is of great importance to the people”. While discerning observers have expressed hope that Ataba women succeed in preserving their Ngala, their efforts have indeed shown that women should be regarded as important stakeholders in the development process, and involved in all community building arrangements.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Charred remains of houses and shops

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Market stalls engulfed in the inferno

Day a distressed tanker brought disaster to Mbiama

The rate of accidents due to bad roads are becoming rampant all over the country country. Even the continued protests by concerned citizens have not ameliorated the situation. EMMA GBEMUDU reports that residents of Mbiama in Rivers State recently became victims of this negligence when an oil tanker ran into a bad portion on the East-West Road

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he recent tanker explosion at Mbiama, on the EastWest road in Ahoada West Local Government of Rivers State, cannot be forgotten in a hurry by the residents. The incident which occurred on Friday, January 11, 2012 at 8am threw the entire area into pandemonium, as they dashed to rescue belongings in their shops and makeshift apartments. The incident disrupted business activities, as traders and artisans remained in shock and confusion over what happened. Four persons were declared dead in the tragedy. A widow, identified as Mrs. Oyime, 60 also died, while three others gave up the ghost in the hospitals barely 24 hours after being admitted. Many residents attributed the accident to the poor state of the East-West road .They lamented that the contractor Setraco was too slow on the on-going dualization of the road started more than six years ago. It would be recalled that the priest in charge of Bomadi Catholic Diocese, Rev. Hyacinth Ogbebor at a requiem mass in honour of the late National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi, on December 29,2012 took a swipe at the Federal Government on the poor situation of the road,even as he called on President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure it was completed. Ogbebor, had blamed corruption for being responsible for the slow pace of construction on the road, stressing that he was nearly killed while shuttling from Bomadi in Delta State to Yenagoa to conduct a Sunday mass. In total, more than 25 shops houses including 10 vehicles were razed by the inferno. Sadly, driver of the tanker and conductor fled for fear of being lynched by irate mobs. Traffic grid lock took over at the scene, while three trucks of the Rivers State Fire Service and its Bayelsa State counterpart battled to put out the fire. The incident is coming barely six months after the Okogbe fire that claimed more than 90 lives. Five victims have been placed on danger list in various hospitals. The late widow and local gin seller in one of the burnt stalls, Mrs. Onyime, hailed from Isoko in Delta State. She had lost her husband two years ago. By the time the fire was put out, the charred remains of late Onyime laid in the midst of the ruins. When our correspondent visited the scene, other shop

owners were seen hurriedly evacuating their wares, even as where about of the driver was still unknown, while the police claim they are on his trail. Eyewitnesses said the tanker with registration number XS 942 KJA bumped into a bad portion of the road while trying to evade it. This resulted in the skidding of the vehicle as the driver lost all control. It was gathered that the petrol spewed out and into many of the shops that are being used as canteens and eateries,as this increased the ferocity of the blaze. Incidentally, Mbiama community is host to a weekly major market that operates on Tuesdays. Traders and farmers from communities in the South East and South South geopolitical zones of the country bring their farm produce for sale in the market. Due to this, there is always traffic gridlock on market days and more over, on the East-West road on which the market is located. In an interview, an eyewitness and landlord of some of the shops and houses, Brown Egbo,lamented that several of his rooms and shops were razed by the fire. Egbo, said the tanker driver lost control owing to the narrowness of the road which made petrol from the tanker to spew out igniting fire that engulf the area. “Suddenly, there was fire. The value of my property will run into millions of naira. I’ve lost all I had laboured for in life,” Egbo wept. Another victim, Enoch Emmanuel who lost his belongings in his one room apartment, regretted that he could not rescue his personal effects before the fire that engulfed the area. Emmanuel is therefore solicit-

TRADERS AND FARMERS FROM COMMUNITIES IN THE SOUTH EAST AND SOUTH SOUTH GEOPOLITICAL ZONES OF THE COUNTRY BRING THEIR FARM PRODUCE FOR SALE IN THE MARKET

Burnt cars at the scene

ing for assistance claiming that he is now homeless following the fire incident. In the same vein, Pastor Egua Moses, described the fire incident as unfortunate and pitiable owing to the bad East-West road now posing as death trap to motorists and pedestrians. Another victim who sells school bags, Frank Eze, said he went to fetch water when he heard a loud noise, especially when the tanker fell close to the shops .According to him; it was like a bomb explosion. “Before I could reach the spot, I saw fuel gushing out of the tanker and some of the neighbours were cooking in their shops and with stoves. We have many canteens around here. There was nothing we could do than run for dear lives, as the fire enveloped everywhere,” Eze narrated. In an interview, Onise Osoin, a victim, told our correspondent that she lost over N200, 000 cash in her burnt shop .Osoin said she was outside her shop when the fire started. In an interview with the Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Ahoada , Rivers State, Mr. Theophilus Egwim, blamed the accident on recklessness and obstruction on the part of the tanker driver. He confirmed that one woman died and eight others were injured in the accident, stressing that the patients have been rushed to various hospitals. Ben James, a commercial driver called on the Federal Government to re-award the dualization of the East-West road to a more competent construction company, noting that the present contractor lacked the technical expertise to undertake such massive project which is now six years late. “We want government to look into this bad road. By right, this road needs to have a parking space. Can you imagine this disaster? It is a big loss. People have lost property worth millions of naira, while souls are gone,”he said.


WORLD RECORD

Longest ice skating trail Vol. 03 No. 535

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

N150

The longest ice skating trial measures 8.5 km (5.26 miles) and it is the naturally frozen Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail, at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, as measured on 26 January 2008.

Issues in ministers’ appraisal

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ometime last year, President Goodluck Jonathan did sign performance agreement with serving ministers in his cabinet, an exercise meant to measure the performance of the public officers in projects implementation of his administration. The idea is not just novel, but equally commendable, in that for the first time in recent times, government officials agreed to sign a document with which they were to be evaluated to see how far they have gone in aligning with the vision of the President in meeting the yearnings of the people. The proposal, which was well received by the cabinet ministers, going by the fact that none of them rejected the offer after almost one year must have matured and Nigerians told how the public officers have

L

atest reports said Scottish golfer, Colin Montgomerie, is favoured to be Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2014. Originally thought to be a straight battle between Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke, Montgomerie has only recently been brought into the mix. According to the reports, a source

TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba

seyifasugba@yahoo.com 08053069514 (sms only)

fared in complying with some Key Performance Indicators, KIPs, as contained in the appraisal forms. It was part of the first year anniversary celebration of this administration but with a few months away from the mid-term, getting a peep into the performance of each of the ministries cannot be under estimated. While explaining the rationale behind the exercise shortly before the official ceremony, the Minister of National Planning, Mr. Shamsudeen Usman, told Nigerians that the performance indicators were designed to bind the ministers to promises and mandates given to them and for which they were expected to deliver. Though not indicated was the timeframe within which the indicators were to be measured to ascertain whether the operators were on track and, or deviating from the goals set to achieve by this government. There is no doubting the fact that this is a way of bringing serious approach to governance but suffice it to say that for this to manifest, key operators must be committed to the ideals and also be prepared to work with them. The President brought them on board to actualise his mandate freely given by Nigerians who in turn are looking forward to see an improvement in their living standard and the provision of basic amenities that enhance good health. Good that the performance indicators were spelt out for the operators and what

THIS IS A WAY OF BRINGING SERIOUS APPROACH TO GOVERNANCE BUT SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT FOR THIS TO MANIFEST, KEY OPERATORS MUST BE COMMITTED TO THE IDEALS that means is that each minister should be held responsible for the inability of his ministry to measure up to the approval rating of the governed on behalf of who they are accountable to. And no matter what is contained in the performance indicators, what Nigerians want to see is the empirical demonstration of performance on ground and not the readiness of the ministers to please the Presidency and the powers that be without anything tangible, touchable and durable to point at as the outcome of this exercise. For instance, Nigerians have lived almost perpetually under the illusion that it is impossible to enjoy a functional and effective power distribution and generation

system under the old arrangement even before the new effort to unbundle NEPA. The frustration in the hand of this government monopoly is so much that consumers have taken solace in coining names to express their anger such as Never Expect Power Always, in describing the ineffectiveness of the outfit that preceded the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and ditto for the Power Holding Company. The only understanding that can assuage the feelings of the electorate is to see the old order reversed to justify the performance appraisal form signed with the President. Other key areas that the performance of the operators can be effectively measured include the maintenance of existing roads by the Works Ministry, not even the construction of new ones. What other KIPs would be needed if, before the second anniversary of this administration, Nigerians failed to see the reality of good network of roads. The fact that the people are the genuine link to measure performance of public office holders, cannot be over emphasized in this context. In almost all the states of the federation, federal roads are in pitiable condition such that they are now being practically disowned by agencies of the states. To a greater extent this has portrayed the Federal Government as not caring for the people and has lost touch with the real problems Nigerians are confronted with daily. And given the weather-beaten, potholeriddled and the dilapidated nature of major highways that are federal roads in the urban centres like Lagos for instance one wonders if there should be any performance indicators expected of the Works Minister than to fix the roads to convince everyone of his sincerity to make the difference in this government. For instance, the Ikeja to Ota axis of the Lagos Abeokuta express road is an eyesore and it will beat the imagination of any sane person to think that the Minister in charge could be adjudged as performing in an enlightened society with this level of neglect.

Sport Extra

Golf: Montgomerie nears Ryder Cup captaincy close to the Montgomerie camp believed the vote would go his way. Recent policy has been for the European skipper’s job to be a one-stop deal and is the view of world number one Rory McIlroy. “Ryder Cup captaincy should be

a one-time thing,” McIlroy had said recently, adding, “Everybody deserving gets his chance and moves on.” However, the Americans’ decision to bring back 1993 winning skipper Tom Watson as captain for 2014 could sway opinion, with one line

of thought believing Europe need a bigger name than McGinley to be up against the iconic five-time Open winner. Montgomerie has been revered as one of the most influential golfers in recent years.

Colin Montgomerie

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013  

PDP crisis: Tukur replaces Oyinlola with Onwe. North responsible for Boko Haram –Sultan. NNPC repairs Arepo pipeline to restore supply.

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