Jimoh Ibrahim lambasts a section of social media
...asks masquerades to dance in the open
oremost entrepreneur and Group Managing Director of Energy Group Conglomerate, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, has lambasted a section of the social media that has been circulating baseless and unfounded rumours about him.
Vol. 31 N0. 665 115
He has therefore challenged those involved to come out in the open if they are ready to withstand the legal consequences of their actions. Ibrahim, in a press statement issued yesterday, said his attention has been drawn to false information
circulating on the internet about Air Nigeria and a purported invitation to him to deliver a lecture on anti-corruption in the United Kingdom. He said the statement was false; and that at no time did any person
or organisation invite him to deliver any lecture on corruption in England. Ibrahim said the only invitation he received was from the Nigeria Police Force to deliver a lecture in CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Tuesday, Tuesday,June July 7, 16,2011 2013
Boko Haram: Military arrests Shekau’s in-laws
...closes in on sect’s commanders
Al-Mustapha still in service –Defence Headquarters
OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
he Defence Headquarters, DHQ, has arrested the “parents in-law” of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Disclosing this yesterday, the DHQ, apparently satisfied with its onslaught on the foot soldiers of the sect, also said that its Special Forces were now on the trail of “Amirs” or cell leaders of the sect. The commanders are mostly involved in recruitment of suicide bombers and planning attacks. This was even as the NiCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Electricity workers in violent clash over privatisation
No going back on tariff hike, FG insists P.2
L-R: Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko; President Goodluck Jonathan and Prime Minister of Ethiopia/African Union Chairman, Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, unveiling the response plan for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria at AU special summit on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Corruption: Tambuwal tasks EFCC on N2trn seized assets P.5
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Electricity workers in violent clash over privatisation SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN AND
embers of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, and their junior counterparts of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, engaged in a violent confrontation yesterday morning in Benin City that left scores with severe bodily injuries. Our correspondent reliably gathered that the angry workers openly engaged themselves in the free-for-all over certain issues relating to the transfer of the company to a core investor selected under the privatisation programme Trouble started as early as 7a.m. when members of NUEE barricaded entrance to the headquarters of the Benin Distribution Company on Akpakpava Street, preventing people from the premises. Their grouse was that they were excluded from the meeting being held between representatives of the core investor, the senior staff union and PHCN management in the run up to the handing over. Vigeo Power Consortium won the bid for the Benin Disco earlier this year and has paid the 25 per cent mandatory deposit. A leader of SSAEAC sustained serious injuries in the fracas before he was rushed to an undisclosed clinic for treatment. A cameraman of the Independent Television, ITV, in Benin was also manhandled in the process with his camera damaged even as some other journalists narrowly escaped being attacked. Members of NUEE accused members of the SSAEAC of conniving with management of the PHCN to short-change their members in the transfer of the company to the new investors. Explaining the issues behind the clash, the General Secretary of NUEE, Comrade Joseph Ndem, accused the leadership of SSAEAC of conniving with PHCN leadership to short-change them on the issue of welfare. He said: “It is an issue of labour. We have issued notice to the management of PHCN before now that
we are going to shutdown services until all the issues are addressed. By the time we came out (today) to carry out the directive, our sister union came up to tell us that we have no right to lock the office. It was on that premise that an argument ensued and degenerated into scuffle.” Ndem said all the offices of PHCN in Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states said to be under the control of the Benin office were to be locked up until the workers’ grievances were addressed. He added that the fracas ensued because SSAEAS, which leaders and PHCN management were alleged to be holding “secret meetings” with the new investor to the exclusion of NUEE, stopped them from locking up the office. The Benin Disco Branch President of SSAEAC, Comrade Chris Egunyanga, confirmed that one of his members was seriously injured when they were trying to prevent NUEE members from locking up the office. He added that the union actually has no issues to grind with members of NUEE or even with the management of PHCN. “We don’t have any problem. Our sister union said they have issues with the management here. They came here on Thursday, drove our members out of the office and told them not to come to work today (Monday). On our part, we saw it as an affront and told them if they have issues, they should engage the management but they should not involve our members. We are not part of the issues they have with management. We want to work but they said we should not work,” he said. Egunyanga also denied the allegation by NUEE that his members were secretly discussing with the new investor for the Benin Zone in collaboration with PHCN management. In his reaction, the Public Affairs Manager of Benin Electricity Distribution Company of PHCN, Mr. Babatunde Fadipe, denied any connivance between management of the distribution company and the senior staff association. He said that the management would not interfere in the issue between both unions. Meanwhile, the Electricity Regulatory Commis-
sion, NERC, yesterday said it stand by the new tariff despite concerns raised by Nigerians over the recent increase in the fixed charges for some class of consumers, insisting that it remains the best option in the circumstances. The Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, who made this known at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, said anybody who is not comfortable with the tariff could formally petition the organisation for due consideration. Amadi urged consumers and civil society groups to
get more involved in the activities of the commission, adding that its business rules allow for any person aggrieved by the orders of the commission to file a proper petition for the review of the order upon due consideration. “We believe that the civil society people, the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, are very reasonable and patriotic Nigerians. So, we believe that NERC stands by this tariff because it is best in the circumstances. This is not a case of we, and them, I do not expect any fight, I expect that if NLC
will come and talk to us, if consumers feel strong on good ground that there is a framework better for this industry we will receive and consider it. That is why we said there is opportunity for anyone to formally petition NERC concerning the tariff, but we are not doing this for ourselves, therefore we think this is the best for the country. We defend it. There is no fight everybody means well for the sector.” Amadi, who insisted that tariffs, which consumers pay are ‘fair, reasonable and necessary to guarantee continuous improvement
in electricity supply, noted that NERC had conducted two minor reviews which findings it published as required by law when the second edition of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2) came into force on June 1, 2012. According the NERC chairman, a minor review under the methodology involves an examination of interest rates, exchange rates, inflation rates and available generation capacity of which a change of plus or minus five per cent individuCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Supporters of Trayvon Martin at Times Square following the not-guilty verdict for his alleged murderer, George Zimmerman, where they marched from Union Square before continuing uptown at the weekend.
Boko Haram: Military arrests Shekau’s in-laws CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
gerian Army explained that the career status of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, saying he is still a military officer. Speaking at a briefing by the Joint Security Services Public Information Committee yesterday, a representative of the Army spokesman, Col. Emmanuel Ajim, however, said that issues regarding Al-Mustapha’s rank would be decided administratively. After his release by a Court of Appeal in Lagos, Al-Mustapha, whom some of his peers are now Brigadiers-General, had said he remained a military officer. Defence spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who chaired the session, said that despite occasional attacks, the war on terror was being won. He said that Shekau’s inlaws were arrested after a
raid on the Bulabulin area of Maiduguri. He said: “Notwithstanding the sporadic asymmetric attacks on certain soft targets, you would have noticed a drastic reduction in bombings and attacks on places outside the NorthEast epicenter of the terrorists. “The improved security situation as indicated in the general assessment has resulted in the ongoing phased restoration of telecommunication services in the states where it had been withdrawn at the beginning of operation. “Several terrorists, including their foreign members, are being tracked down. Key terrorists, especially those in the cadre of Amir as well as those helping in their renewed mobilisation and recruitment of minors, are being hunted. “A recent encounter in the terrorist main enclaves in Bulabulin Nganaram,
Aljajeri and Faluja in Maiduguri metropolis led to the death of Amir of Bulabulin Nganaram, one of the kingpins on the Joint Task Force, JTF, wanted list. “Many women and minors were rescued and handed over to their families by the JTF. A number of terrorists have been apprehended by the Special Forces. Many of them have also died in battle with the forces. “Various resources, including trained military police dogs, facilitated the arrest of insurgents who try to infiltrate the cities after being dislodged from their bases at the onset of the operation. Cordon-and-search operations have started enjoying tremendous cooperation of locals. “Troops on cordon-andsearch operations in Bulabulin area in Maiduguri last week discovered underground tunnels connecting houses and many bunkers
some of which have the capacity to accommodate over 100 persons. “More corpses were also discovered in soak-aways and various weapons were also discovered in the same area. Abubakar Shekau’s parents-in-law were picked up in the raid, which also discovered various audio recordings of terrorists’ messages. Recoveries are made almost on daily basis as the operation progresses. “The recoveries include eight AK47 assault rifles, one G3 rifle, nine AK47 magazines, one rocket propelled grenade charger, five rocket propelled grenades, three FMC magazines, one G3 magazine, 14 IEDs and 166 rounds of 7.62mm special. “Others are: three 35mm bazooka; 34 rounds of 5.56mm, 1,740 rounds of 303 inch, 10 rounds of 7.62 NATO, one round of .50mm, one dane gun, one locallyCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
L-R: Minister for Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu; Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Jerry Gana; Abia State Governor Theodore Orji; Chief Executive Officer, Jades Hotel, Rev. (Arc.) Benson Ezem and his wife, Pastor Mrs. Ezem, during the opening of the hotel in Abuja on Saturday.
L-R: Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Engr. Emeka Ezeh; Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji and former Head of Service, Mr. Steve Oransanye, during a stakeholders’ forum on PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA debarment procedure in Abuja, yesterday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Panelists, 2nd Annual Women in Africa Conference, Eniibukun Adebayo; Human Resource Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Tolulope Agiri; Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Center, Nneka Okekearu and Communications Director, General Electric Africa, Patricia Obozuwa, during the conference in Lagos Business School recently.
.L-R: Immediate Past President Rotary Club of Victoria Island East, Osaro Ekomwereren; Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Jibril Aku and President, Rotary Club of Victoria Island East, Tiyan Alile, during the commissioning of the refurbished Iru/Victoria Island Health Centre, a Rotary Club of VI East project sponsored by Ecobank Nigeria in Lagos, yesterday.
NBA okays Kalejaiye for trial over Osun election petition tribunal
...faces Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee today ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
rominent member of the inner bar, Chief Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, is to face trial over the alleged illicit telephone exchanges he had in 2008 with the then Chairman of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Thomas Naron. The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, recommended his trial after a prima facie case was established against him. Justice Naron headed the tribunal that heard the petition filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and its candidate, Rauf Aregbesola against the election that got former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to office. Justice Naron was tried by the National Judicial Council, NJC, over the matter and had since been sacked. Until he was dismissed, Justice Naron served on the Plateau State High Court bench NJC is the statutory body created by section 153
of the 1999 constitution to discipline erring judges. Although, a prima facie case was established against Kalejaiye when the matter was investigated by the NBA, nothing was heard again until recently, when the matter was listed for hearing before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC. The LPDC is the judicial organ of the NBA, which also has wide powers over erring lawyers. But its decision, like that of the NJC, is appealable. Kalejaiye is to appear this morning before the LPDC to enter his plea to a three count complaints preferred against him. Details of the alleged illicit telephone exchanges he had with Naron may also be made public today. The LPDC, headed by Joseph Daudu, SAN, began sitting yesterday at the Court of Appeal, Abuja. In the complaint, signed by lawyer to the NBA, Dele Oye, Chief Kalejaiye was accused of unprofessional conduct by engaging in “private and confidential
telephone conversation” with Justice Naron. This was done without the knowledge of the other party, while the tribunal was yet to conclude hearing in the petition involving Kalejaiye’s client. The complaints reads: “That you Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, as a legal practitioner involved in the election petition before the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun State sometimes in the year 2008, engaged in constant, private and confidential telephone communications with the Chairman of the Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Thomas Naron, during the pendency of the said petitions, without informing the opposing counsel or allowing the opposing counsel to be present and by so doing, you created the impression of special personal likelihood of favour from the chairman of the petitions tribunal and by so doing, you have failed to maintain the high standard of professional conduct expected of a legal practitioner.
“That you, Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, as a legal practitioner involved in the election petition before the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun State sometimes in the year 2008, engaged in constant and regular telephone communications with the Chairman of the Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Thomas Naron, during the pendency of the said petitions, conducted yourself in a manner that is likely to obstruct, delay or adversely affect the administration of justice and by so doing, you have failed to maintain the high standard of professional conduct expected of a legal practitioner, by engaging in a conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner. “That you Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, as a legal practitioner involved in the election petition before the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun State sometimes in the year 2008 engaged in constant, private and confidential telephone communications with the Chairman of the Election
Petitions Tribunal, Justice Thomas Naron, during the pendency of the said petitions, conducted yourself in a way calculated to erode the confidence in the Chairman of the election petitions tribunal and by so doing, you have failed to maintain the high standard of professional conduct expected of a legal practitioner, by engaging in a conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner. Kalejaiye was, by his alleged unprofessional conduct, said to have violated Rules 1, 15, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36 and 55 of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession 2007. The LPDC also considered some complaints yesterday, including those against the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, DDPP, Anambra State, Azubike Onyedika Okeke as well as those against G. T. Ahembe and Chikwendu Kalu. Okeke, against whom a three-count complaint was filed, was accused of abusing his office by allegedly acting as a private solicitor, while still in public service.
Kalu was, in a threecount complaint, accused of defrauding his client. He was accused of receiving N1.2 million from Nze Jerry Nwampa as deposit for a property at 2, Okorcha Avenue, Umungasi, Abia State. He claimed to have kept the money in his office for days and later accused the client of breaking into the office and stole part of the money. Kalu was said to have breached Rules 1 and 23 (1) (2) and 55 and liable under Section 12 of the Legal Practitioners Act 1990 (as amended). On his part, Ahembe was accused of receiving N5 million on behalf of his client, but only gave the client N5,000, a conduct that is contrary to Rules 1, 14 (4) and 55 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007. The lawyers denied the allegations while adopting their final written addresses. They prayed the committee to hold that their actions did not amount to professional misconduct as alleged in the petitions against them.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Corruption: Tambuwal tasks EFCC on N2trn seized assets TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to account for assets seized since 2003, alleging that an estimated N2trn worth of assets and money was not properly managed by the commission. Tambuwal, who spoke through the Deputy Lead-
er of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor, at a three-day public hearing on seized assets by EFCC, conducted by the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, insisted that the commission must account for its statutory activities since its inception in 2003. The Speaker accused the EFCC of seizing assets worth billions and allowing same to rot away, stressing that huge sums taken from criminals were still unaccounted for.
“I have learnt that between 2003 and now, the EFCC has confiscated over 200 mansions and large sums of money through 46 forfeiture court orders. “These landed property, monies, and business concerns which were estimated to be worth in excess of N2 trillion, include bank accounts, shares in blue chip companies, exotic vehicles, fuel stations, holdings, warehouses and shopping malls. “However, there have been many reported cases
of vandalism, improper storage, abandonment and waste. “We have reports that some of these properties have fallen into disrepair and that some cannot even be accounted for. “We cannot allow a situation whereby over 400 cars seized through the diligence of the EFCC, for instance, continue to rot away. “We have a vicarious responsibility to ensure that assets seized through forfeiture court orders are prudently and carefully man-
L-R: Director-General, National Institute for Legislative Studies, Dr. Ladi Hamalai; Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa; Senate President David Mark and Chairman, Governing Council, NILS, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, at the foundation laying of NILS Village in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Boko Haram: Military arrests Shekau’s in-laws CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
made pistol and two megaphones.” On the purported threat by Shekau to attack more schools in the North, the DHQ vowed to accord special protection to schools. Olukolade said as relative peace was being restored to the affected states, peace and confidence building mechanisms had been provided to consolidate on the achievements of the forces. “One of the gains of the confidence building process is that civilian populace are now not only willing to volunteer information on suspected individuals in their vicinity but are prepared to get physically involved in apprehending them. “Defence Headquarters assessment teams who visited the states observed increased commercial activities as banks, markets and other public places have been opened and are in business,” he added. He called on the international community to support Nigeria in these trying
times, saying the terrorists had violated Nigeria’s sovereignty and “have committed mindless atrocities against citizens and there is no way such abuse, lawlessness and hate ideology could be encouraged or allowed to continue.” He added: “While the forces will remain accountable, the prying eyes of various activists should equally focus on the unending and condemnable atrocities of terrorists rather than desperately trying to play to the gallery by seeking evidence to indict the forces of non-existent human rights abuses. “The forces are not on any revenge mission but purely on a mission to restore law and order. “The misinformation in terms of reporting human rights issues has been enormous and more mischievous than real. “There are more attempts to screen terrorists from justice by indicting the process of apprehending and presenting them for justice. The attempt to
set subjective standards in rating compliance with human rights here is unfair and should be condemned. “Our citizens should beware of running errands for those whose motives on our nation’s integrity and security remain suspect.” Olukolade also said that the anti-oil theft patrol teams of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Pulo Shield, operating in the Niger Delta recently arrested three self-propelled barges and a tugboat in the waterways of the Niger Delta. “Two of the barges were laden with over 6,000 litres of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil, AGO,” he said. In a related development, troops have uncovered 35 illegal refineries and an illegal fuel dump concealed in a shrine in Warri SouthWest Local Government Area of Delta State. According to the DHQ spokesman: “A total of 15 suspects have been arrested while three barges have been impounded. Some illegal refineries earlier destroyed were noted to have
been reactivated elsewhere. This indicated the desperation of criminals engaged in the business. “Some notorious leaders of kidnap groups have also been arrested. The troops are currently engaged in aggressive patrols to sustain this tempo of activities to checkmate and forestall emergence of new criminal groups in the Niger Delta.” In Plateau State, he said that the Special Task Force, STF, despite its efforts and successes in executing its mandate, recorded unwarranted attacks on its men leading to deaths and injuries. “This disturbing trend has, however, been nipped in the bud as no incident of such has been reported recently. “Apart from the rampant attacks on communities, the crime of cattle rustling was also prevalent in the state. The STF has, however, been able to tackle this crime to some extent by recovering the stolen cattle and returning them to their owners,” Olukolade added.
aged to avoid waste and to ensure they are maximally disposed of for the benefit of the public. “It is not enough to just seize assets, we need to ensure that they are quickly utilised as part of the restitution for the
original crime.” The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, told the Committee that it recovered over N500 million in different CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Jimoh Ibrahim lambasts a section of social media CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Lagos two weeks ago and he had informed the Commissioner of Police in charge that he would be represented by the General Counsel of Energy Group, who prepared the paper and was fully authorised to deliver the paper on his behalf. He pointed out that the Police in return sent a plaque to him in appreciation of the gesture. Ibrahim warned jobless people “who have nothing to do to return to university classrooms for proper education since their degrees have expired.” He further alluded to the fact that governments of various countries and Harvard Law School students had invited him in the past to give lectures and that only last year he delivered a lecture in Chicago at the African-American Business Roundtable which was co-sponsored by the government of the United States and government of several African nations. Ibrahim said he bought Air Nigeria with his own money and it is left for him to do what he likes with it; saying it is not a crime to
sell his shares or stop it from operations. He added that he had no apologies for those shedding crocodile tears. The Energy Group GMD posited that if the so-called critics could not criminalise him, they should be bold enough to initiate civil proceedings against him and “get themselves disgraced.” Ibrahim, who noted that he had not acquired up to 50 per cent of assets held by Bill Gates said the world still owes him a lot of assets to acquire and advised the general public to disregard such fake allegations that are being sponsored by businessmen who cannot withstand competition. He said that as at last count, the Energy Group of Companies has over 10,000 employees on its payroll all over the world. Ibrahim advised the youths to be focussed and that they should not give room for distractions, especially from people who consider life as a burden. He said that nothing can stop youths from being successful if they do not engage in any form of illegality, adding that success is not a crime.
Electricity workers in violent clash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
ally will be applied to the tariff published for each distribution company during the preceding six months. He said that the two minor reviews did not result in any increase in tariff because the fundamentals of MYTO methodology and the financial model have not significantly changed but the changes noticed by customers in their electricity bills recently were announced by the commission on the June 1, 2012. According to him, the MYTO stipulates tariff for the five-year period from June 1, 2012 to May 30, 2017 based on the expected cost of generating, transmitting and distributing the electricity for homes and businesses during these years. “This means that the
tariff order issued to every distribution company has an approved tariff for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Except there is a minor review of the MYTO, which takes place semi-annually, with results announced on 1st December and 1st June each year” explained Amadi. He stated that the fixed charge approved for residential customers who use single-phase meters or three-phase meter (R2) remains N500 for 2012 and N700 for 2013. Amadi however, regretted that the Discos have not been very committed to meeting their obligations in the MYTO stressing that the quality of service has not seen significant improvement especially in the area of metering and accurate billing of customers.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Strike: Govt, ASUU’s negotiation breaks down GEORGE OJI ABUJA
he leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Education, the Minister of Education, Prof. Rukiyattu Rufai and heads of some agencies under her ministry failed yesterday to resolve the strike embarked upon by the union. The meeting called by the National Assembly Joint Committees on Education failed to achieve its objective following the breakdown of the negotiations. Despite spirited efforts by the Federal Government
team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, as well as members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Education to appeal to ASUU executives to backpedal on some of their demands, the union insisted on full implementation of the nine-point agree reached with the government in October 2009. After a protracted negotiation, which lasted for close to eight hours at the National Assembly, venue of the parley, ASUU National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, who led the team of the university teachers, insisted that: “It is either a 100 per cent implementation of the nine-point agreement
or nothing.” The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who presided over the meeting also appealed to the ASUU team to change its stance. He said: “Having explored all avenues to address the matter, the National Assembly is appealing to ASUU to give us two or three days or even a week to ruminate over all the positions reached and come back to us with a new position, particularly the non-academic allowance that the Federal Government conceded to pay five per cent in the interest of our children who are staying idle at home and in fact roaming the streets.”
The SGF, who also joined in the appeal, had explained to the teachers the difficulty in raising the huge amount of money required to offset the backlog of the arrears of their demands. He noted that it would require rigorous budget appropriation process to be able to raise the amount and that government would do anything within its powers to see as much of the funds that would be contained in next year’s budget. The meeting thus ended on a deadlock as ASUU remained adamant on its position. However, Chukwumerije said later that: “Gentlemen, I think we have to adjourn this meeting to meet again at a later date.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FG, states, LGs share N718bn TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he three tiers of government yesterday shared N718.103 billion being the statutory and other distributions for the month of June 2013. At the end of the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, meeting in Abuja, the Chairman and Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, said out of the amount shared, N623.767 billion was distributed as statutory accruals to the Federation Account for the month under review. Ngama disclosed that the Federal Government received N294.038 billion or 52.68 per cent, state governments got N149.140 billion or 26.72 per cent while the local governments took N114.981 billion or 20.6 per cent of the disbursements. The minister said there
was no augmentation for the month because the May 2013 augmentation arrear of N92.436 billion was distributed in June. The sum of N7.617 billion was refunded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as part of indebtedness to the Federation Account and distributed in June an amount which was also shared along with the N35.549 billion to the three tiers of government from the SURE-P programme. Similarly, N51.170 billion was shared among the tiers of governments as proceeds from the Value Added Tax, VAT. The gross revenue of the month, according to Ngama, was N863.026 billion compared with the N590.777 billion gross earnings for May. This indicated N272.249 billion increase in the revenue profiles for June.
Corruption: Tambuwal tasks EFCC on N2trn seized assets CONTINUE FROM PAGE 5
Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Dr. Abdullahi Dikko (right) at a medical screening organised by the service in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Mark kicks off construction of N51bn legislative institute OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
enate President, David Mark, yesterday flagged off the construction of N51 billion National Institute for Legislative Studies village. Located on airport road, the legislative building, which will be constructed by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, is expected to be completed within 24 months. Upon completion, the institute is expected to ensure adequate training and research as well as advocacy in the legislative business at the federal, state and local government levels. Speaking at the event in Abuja, Mark urged the contractor to fulfil its own side of the deal by completing
the construction on schedule. The Senate president, who vowed not to be a party to a white elephant project, said Julius Berger must not stop work even if the National Assembly did not fulfil its obligation. He said: “Very often we accuse the executive of not completing projects, I will not be a party to a white elephant project and I will not lead any group that will be a party to a white elephant project. Therefore, this project must go on schedule. “All the parties involved must honour their own side of the obligation. If by any reason, one side is not able to honour its own obligation that is for instance, if we are not able to meet our obligation in time, Julius
Berger must not stop work. We are men and women of honour and we are committed to this project. We know it is an expensive project because we want it to meet international standard. “I have gone through the various drawings and we are satisfied that it meets international standard. Earlier, the Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Mr. Wolfgang Goetsch, said the company was proud to construct an institute that would have a decisive influence on the further development of the country’s legislation. Goetsch promised that standards and specification would be adhered to in the delivery of the project. Teh MD assured that the project would generate sev-
eral thousands of jobs during the construction work. He said: “The construction work includes the turnkey preparation of a total of 32 buildings including the convention centre, the administrative building, the library, lecture theatre, hotel, clinic and residences. “The accompany infrastructure works include the preparation of roads and parking areas, underground services as well as the construction of several technical buildings on an area of more than 80,000 metre square.” Goetsch added that during the first project phase, focus would be on core buildings like the library, the lecture theatre, the administrative building and the convention centre.
currencies on 70 cases between 2006 and 2013, as well a large quantities of fake currency notes. Giade said the agency between January 2006 and January 2013 had investigated and transferred 70 cases involving money laundering and narcotics to the EFCC apart from the money. He gave the breakdown as N27,822,410; $2,832,878 (N441,928, 968) and $7,144,166 fake dollars (N1,114, 489, 896); £20,300 (N4,872,000) and fake £938,487 (N225,236,880); 11, 266 (N2,309, 530) and fake 6,400 (N1,312, 000); CFA93,750,517 (N28,125,155) and five Ceddis (N400). The Chairman of the Drugs and Narcotics Committee, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba (PDP-Kaduna), was however, surprised that two former chairmen of the EFCC - MallamNuhuRibadu and Mrs. Farida Waziri - did not appear before the committee to respond to queries over seized and recovered assets. While Ribadu was the pioneer chairman of the commission between 2003 to 2008 with a record of 270 convictions, Waziri presided between 2008 and November 2011 until she was replaced by Ibrahim Lamorde. “I am sounding this warning to those we have summoned and refused to come. “According to Section 89 (c) of the constitution, we have the legislative power, in fact, we can declare you
wanted, including other agencies that are not here. “You cannot treat the National Assembly the way you want. They all have up to Wednesday this week to appear by 10a.m.,” Jagaba said. Meanwhile, EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, will tomorrow appear before the committee, having been unable to do so yesterday due to some prior commitment. He, however, sent a letter of apology delivered by top EFCC management led by the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Bukar Abba. He told the committee that Lamorde travelled to Lagos for an earlier scheduled appointment and, therefore, pleaded with the committee to allow him appear on another date. Abba said that Lamorde held the committee in high esteem and would be ready to appear before it as soon as he returned to Abuja on Tuesday. The committee, therefore, directs that the EFCC chairman appears before it tomorrow. The committee also directed that the chief executive officers of the organisations scheduled to appear before it should come in person and not delegate subordinate officers. Earlier, Jagaba had said that the committee was carrying out its legislative functions to ensure proper accountability in public sector, a view that was corroborated by Tambuwal.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
ARG identifies SNC as solution to nation’s injustice SINA FADARE
he Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) yesterday reiterated the call for the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC). The group identified convocation of the SNC as the major solution to all the injustice going on in the country. In a statement issued yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, AGR regretted that if the Court of Appeal could pronounced Major Hamza Al- Mustapha, the Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, as not guilty in the killing of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O Abiola, then there is urgent need that the country should return to a dialogue table. The group said: “It is also instructive that no one has been pronounced guilty of any of the numerous high profile murders in this country, which
makes it difficult not to believe that Nigeria’s justice administration system is not skewed against the poor and ordinary citizens languishing in our prisons for frivolous charges. One is being forced to believe that justice in Nigeria is defined by influence and power instead of equality before the law. “Despite all the revelations that came to the fore during Justice Oputa reconciliation panel, no effort was made to heal the wounds of evil that have been perpetrated by those who wielded power unduly. “Oputa panel was only good for the media frenzy it created and did nothing to make us forget evils of the past so we can forge ahead as one true nation. “We are of the opinion that building a just society is even far more important than any form of development and it is the reason we have been sounding the gong for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, without which true and lasting peace may remain elusive to us, cutting us short of attaining our full potential.
Igbo youth group accuses MASSOB of killing four members NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
resh facts have emerged on the losses allegedly suffered by members of the Association of Igbo Youths Organisation (AIYO) after last Sunday’s alleged invasion of their camp by supporters of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). It was learnt that MASSOB on Sunday morning swooped on AIYO’s camp along City Biscuit Road at Ugwuagba Layout, Obosi, near Onitsha, killed four AIYO members and injured others. Speaking yesterday in a telephone chat, MASSOB’s Onitsha Region Four Director for Special Duties/Information, Anyanwu J. C., said MASSOB invaded AIYO’s office to rescue some kidnapped victims. He added that a detachment of soldiers, policemen and Naval men stopped them (MASSOB) from rescuing more kidnapped victims. But AIYO accused MASSOB members of killing four
of its members and injuring five others. It identified its members killed by MASSOB as Chimezie Duru, Samuel Dike, Emeka Fryo and Dragon. AIYO, who spoke through its Anambra State leader, Chukwuemeka Ogar, alleged that MASSOB launch the attack to frustrate his group, which he claimed had begun gaining popularity and acceptability in the South-East. Ogar said: “At about 4:0am on Sunday, July 14, about 500 MASSOB members came in chartered buses, stormed our Onitsha/Owerri office and destroyed our office, chairs, tables, laptops and other valuables before they opened fire on our boys.” He, however, denied that his group was using the camp as a hideout for kidnappers, adding that the office which MASSOB invaded was located in an open place along Onitsha/Owerri Road. Ogar also denied that the group’s members raped innocent women. He accused MASSOB of extorting money from Onitsha traders, commercial motorcyclists and visitors.
A section of the Orilowo Ejigbo Road in Ejigbo Local Council Development Authority of Lagos State, yesterday.
Group seeks arrest of Sudanese President Al-Bashir DAYO AYEYEMI
group, the SocioEconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has called on the Federal Government to arrest International Criminal Court (ICC)-indicted Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. The group said that “Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and, as such, has international legal obligations to ensure that this country does not become a safe haven
for alleged perpetrators of crimes under international law like AlBashir” It will be recalled that the ICC issued two arrest warrants for Al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, indicted him with criminal responsibility on 10 counts, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape. In a statement signed by Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation
FG, AU launch new HIV/AIDS plan for Nigeria MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan and the Africa Union (AU) have launched a new HIV/AIDS plan for Nigeria. The initiative was entitled: “President Comprehensive Response Plan (PRCP). Jonathan said the initiative would help Nigeria bridge existing gap, address key financial system and coordination challenges, promote greater responsibility and accountability on HIV/AIDS responses at national and sub-national levels. Unveiling the plan at the ongoing Abuja+12 Africa Union Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria yesterday in Abuja, AU Chairman and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said
it would help Nigeria in mitigating the effects of the diseases and that the plan was a right step towards homegrown sustainable health financing framework being canvassed by the AU. President Jonathan challenged African leaders to “look inward in the search for solution” to the diseases which are most rampant on the continent. He said: “I strongly advocate that Africa should look inward in the search for solution. We must begin to deemphasize reliance on external funding and importation of essential medicines. We must stand in solidarity with one another and be proactive to health challenges and increase intercontinental scientific research partnership and development efforts to complement various national and regional plans already underway.”
said that the government risks sanctions by the UN Security Council if it fails to arrest Al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC at The Hague. SERAP said: “President Goodluck Jonathan now has a rare opportunity to assist the ICC and support the demand by the international community for justice for the victims of genocide and war crimes in Darfur. “Ignoring the ICC arrest warrants will have huge legal ramifications for the country, and it is therefore in Nigeria’s national interest to act in this case by arrest-
ing Omar Al-Bashir and surrendering him to the ICC to face fair trial for the allegations against him.” It pointed out that the Sudanese President is expected to attend a health summit in Abuja this week. When the UN Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005, it urged all states to co-operate fully with the Court. According to the ICC, Al-Bashir’s capacity as head of state does not exclude criminal responsibility or get him immunity.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
30 buildings distressed in Ebute-Metta –Agency MURITALA AYINLA
he Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) has discovered over 30 distressed buildings in Ebute-Metta area of the state, just as the agency’s General Manager, Mrs. Abimbola Odundayo, blamed victims of col-
lapsed structures on negligence and sentiments. According to her, casualties recorded in the incidents would not have been much if residents obey the evacuation order after their distressed buildings were marked for demolition. Odunayo said residents of distressed buildings often flout the quit notice is-
sued by the control agency for sentiment, even when the agency is striving to ensure their safety. She said: “Once a building is marked or identified as distressed, we asked the residents to vacate the building, but unfortunately, they behave stubbornly and refuse to leave their dilapidated houses.
“When the building is locked and sealed off, they forcibly break their way in. Ours is to seal off for safety precaution, but they come back on the ground that they have nowhere to go” Odunayo, however, decried the attitude of property owners who engage the service of quack labourer to fix their houses.
L-R: Director of Information, National Planning Commission, Mr. Olugbenga Adegun; Secretary, Mr. Ntufam Ugbo and Oyo State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Nurudeen Olarinde, at the Conference of Directors of Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS) in the Public Sector held in Ibadan, yesterday.
Appeal Court upholds Eleruwa’s removal
KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan presided over by Justice M.B Dongba-Mensan yesterday dismissed the suit filed by the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola, against his dethronement, a day to the anniversary of his ascension. Justice Dongban-Mensan, who thanked the learned counsel - Messrs Demilade Olaniyan and Tona Akande, for their industry, dismissed the mon-
arch’s appeal. It will be recalled that Oba Adegbola and six others had brought a suit against Mr. James Olatunde Idowu and four others following a judgement delivered by Justice Ladipo Abimbola of the Oyo State High Court on January 26, 2011 that the monarch was wrongly picked for the throne. The presiding judge examined some issues raised by the appellant and said the eminent jury were satisfied with the process of the earlier court conducted the case and thus
affirmed the judgement of the High Court. Oba Adegbola became the Eleruwa in 1998, following the death of his predecessor, Oba Bolanle Olaniyan in 1994. His removal by an Oyo State High Court was on the grounds that his selection, nomination and approval by the state government were irregular, null and void. The monarch, while speaking with journalists after the judgement, said his counsel would appeal at the Supreme Court. In the same vein, Alhaji Ra-
sheed Oyedepo Ajao, said the victory of the 15-year legal battle has further confirmed that the judiciary remains the hope of the common man. He said: “Today, the entire Eruwa community is set free as a result of the judiciary which restored our hope. We stood by truth for 15 years that Samuel Adegbola was illegally picked by some cabal in Eruwa, but today, God revealed himself. “I thereby called on the Oyo State Government to ensure the implementation of the court order “.
Why Fajuyi’s memories are evergreen –Fayemi ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
kiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday paid glowing tributes to the memories of the late military governor of the defunct Western Region, Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, saying he personified courage and love for neighbours. The governor said: “In Ekiti, we know what Fajuyi meant to us. He represented integrity, courage and com-
passion for one’s neighbour. In 1966, if he were to be a lily-livered soldier, he would have disappeared from the scene of the coup, but he was ready to take a difficult challenge. That is why his memory will remain evergreen in Ekiti and Nigeria”. Fayemi spoke when paid a condolence visit to Fajuyi family in Ado Ekiti over the death of the wife of the late governor, 85-year-old Eunice. The late Adekule Fajuyi
was killed in the July 1966 coup detat. The governor, who extolled the virtues of the late Eunice, who lost her husband 47 years ago, said the state government would bestow befitting honour on her, adding that she would have been honored alive during her 85th birthday anniversary earlier billed for this week. He said: “After the death of the former governor of the old Western Region,
Mama kept faith in the Lord. She did not remarry despite her elegance. She decided to keep the memory of her late husband in her mind forever and this she achieved. “She lived a great life of commitment to her husband, children and even Ekiti State. So, our government will do everything to preserve the legacies these icons left behind and that is the most important thing we owe them.
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Ekiti SURE-P beneficiaries get N60m for April, May ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he sum of N60 million has been released to beneficiaries of the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) in Ekiti State for their April and May allowances. Coordinator of the programme’s implementation committee, Hon. Femi Akinyemi, urged the 3,000 beneficiaries, who were engaged for community services, to reciprocate the gesture by demonstrating diligence at their duty posts. He said in a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti that injection of N60 million to the economy of Ekiti State would positively impact the lives of the beneficiaries. According to him, less than three weeks after the beneficiaries received their first monthly allowance through e-payment, another N60 million was paid to them as their April and May allowances. Akinyemi urged the beneficiaries to check their banks for confirmation of the payment, saying: “Anyone whose ac-
count is not credited by the close of work today should inform any of the SURE-P officials.” Each of the 3,000 beneficiaries of the SUREP Community Services, Youths and Women Employment Scheme,is paid N10,000 monthly for carrying out services like vigilance, clearing of drainages, sewage disposal, filling of pot-holes on township roads, cleaning of markets, palaces, schools and other public places. Akinyemi said: “By now, those who said the programme was not real must have started eating their words and I can assure that very soon, we will add another 2,000 to the 3,000 beneficiaries that we already have”. Commending President Goodluck Jonathan for initiating the idea, he said: “Like I have said before, N10, 000 per month might appear too insignificant, but those who had experienced being at zero financial level before and were elevated to a level at which they can feed will appreciate this kind gesture from the President.”
Scores of PDP members defect to ACN in Ekiti
cores of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in Ise/Orun Local Government Area of Ekiti State yesterday defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The defectors, who were led by Mr. Kingsley Ogunbolude, said they were fascinated by the performance of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration. They were received by the Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, and the ACN Chairman, Chief Jide Awe. Prof Adelabu commended Ogunbolude for leading his supporters to the “winning team.” She assured that the ruling party would not disappoint them, urging others in Emure Local Government to join the winning train. The deputy governor, whose mother hails from Oraye Quarters in Ise-Ekiti, urged residents not to disappoint her as their representative in the administration of Governor Fayemi.
Ogunbolude said that the invitation to defect to ACN was offered him by the deputy governor. He said: “The government of John Kayode Fayemi is doing it right more than any government in the past. I have now decided to abandon politics of arrogance which I played in the PDP for politics of truth and development.” Ogunbolude urged his friends and other political associates in the PDP not to hesitate in defecting to ACN, which he described as the progressive and winning party. He promised to cooperate with party leaders and the government to the development of the state. Awe, who presented the defectors to the deputy governor, warned party leaders against division within the ACN fold, which he described as indivisible. He reiterated that Governor Fayemi remained the choice of the party for the 2014 election based on his administration’s achievements in the last two years.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Uduaghan advises NSCDC on intelligence gathering D elta Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has urged the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, in the state to sharpen its intelligence gathering machinery to combat crime effectively. He made the call in Asaba, the Delta State capital, at an NSCDC meeting with security stakeholders tagged: “Critical Infrastructure Protection: A New Security Dimension.” The governor was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Dr. Festus Okubor.
I’ll reposition PDP as National Secretary –Oladipo ISE-OLUWA IGE
he newly anointed National Secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipo, has assured to help in repositioning the party for the task ahead. “Our appreciation goes to the national leaders of the party who allowed the position to remain in Osun. I will do my best to ensure the repositioning of the party for victory in all elections,” he noted. Oladipo re-affirmed his full support for the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for second term in office by the party’s SouthWest caucus. The South-West chapter of the PDP had a month ago declared for President Jonathan’s second term bid. Oladipo, who said there was no going back on the stand, also pledged to work with the party chairman, Alhaji Bmanga Tukur in strengthening the PDP family. Speaking with newsmen, the nuclear physicist stated that he remained resolutely committed to the president`s second term re-election in 2015, describing the President as a democrat who deserves the support of all well-meaning Nigerians. “I stand by the endorsement of the President by South-West chapter of the party and as a prince of Ife, I will mobilise royal fathers and the intellectual community for the second term election of the president,” he said.
Uduaghan said that a high degree of intelligence gathering would enable the organisation to be ahead of criminal elements in the society. He added that it was safer and more cost-effective if security agencies operated ahead of criminals. “Criminals live and operate among members of the society and they can, with good intelligence network, be stopped before they embark on their nefarious activities,” he said. The governor, however, commended NSCDC in the
state for collaborating with the state government to fight crime. He noted that the efforts of the command helped to reduce kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, armed robbery and other criminal activities.
The governor added that NSCDC had contributed immensely to the peace and security prevailing in the state. Earlier, the Commandant of NSCDC in the state, Mrs Obiageli Obiajulu, said that provision of security was a collective responsibility of everyone in the society. He called on the members of the public to assist the organisation through volunteering information to enable it to track down offenders. Obiajulu noted that there was nothing the security
provider could do without the active support of the public. She advised the public to stop undue interference in the duties of the command and desist from collaborating with some security officers to perpetrate corruption. In a lecture entitled: “The Challenges in Protecting National Infrastructure by NSCDC in Nigeria”, Dr. Emmanus Odikaesieme, remarked that although the organisation had good mandate, it lacked facilities for discharging its responsibil-
ity. Odikaesieme said that if necessary facilities were available to NSCDC, it could perform better than the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He urged the government to provide modern security equipment and funds for NSCDC to enable the organisation to perform effectively. He also stressed the need for the organisation to have good network with other security agencies in the country to complement its function.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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N47.1bn fraud: Akingbola loses bid to stop trial KENNY ODUNUKAN
ormer Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola, yesterday lost an application seeking to quash the N47.1 billion theft charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, dismissed the application for lacking in merit. Onigbanjo adjourned the case till September 19 for
mention. Akingbola is standing trial alongside the General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited, Bayo Dada, for allegedly stealing the money belonging to the bank. The defendant had in the application filed on July 10 by his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), asked the court to quash the charge. Olanipekun had argued that the EFCC had no power to initiate criminal proceedings at the state High Court without a fiat issued by the attorney-general of the state. He also argued that there
was no nexus in the proof of evidence linking Akingbola to any of the counts in the charge. However, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), who opposed the application, urged the court to dismiss it. In his ruling yesterday, Onigbanjo said the Court of Appeal had settled the issue in its ruling on a previous appeal filed by Akingbola against the ruling of the
former trial judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru. He said the Appeal Court had held that the EFCC, as a government agency, was qualified to institute criminal proceedings under Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution. Onigbanjo said he could therefore not rely on another ruling on a similar issue delivered by Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson of a Lagos High Court in
Igbosere. He said: “There is no decision on this issue yet by the Supreme Court so the Court of Appeal’s decision takes precedence over the decision of the lower court. I am bound to respect the Court of Appeal’s decision, irrespective of my personal conviction. “Since this court is lower in hierarchy to the Court of Appeal, it cannot wish away the Court of Appeal’s
decision on the same issues filed earlier by the same parties.” The judge also held that a prima facie case had been made against Akingbola in the proof of evidence attached to the information. He said in his statements to the EFCC, Akingbola never denied knowledge of various transactions relating to the sums of money allegedly stolen during his tenure at the bank.
4,000 Ondo youths to get vocational training HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
ndo State will train about 4,000 unemployed graduates in various vocational skills in the next one year under the newly introduced graduate conversion scheme. The Commissioner for Vocational and Technical Education, Aderemi Olatubora, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Akure, the state capital, on efforts of his ministry to check unemployment. Olatubora said the ministry would train unemployed graduates in various vocational skills. He explained that as a developing country, vocational education and training should be an important component of Nigeria’s education. The commissioner added that out of the 4,000 listed for the programme about 1,000 unemployed graduates would be trained in building technology while 500 would be trained in garment technology. He said about 40 craftsmen would be invited from Dakar in Senegal and Mali to train the unemployed youths in modern designs and fabric making. Olatubora, who disclosed that over N167 billion was spent on importation of different fabrics to Nigeria in two years, said the state government was poised to reduce dependence on imported clothing materials. The commissioner, who said the enormous amount spent on importation of clothing materials could used for other developmental projects, disclosed that
the country had the capacity to produce cloths for local consumption at initial stage and for exportation later. As a prelude to the pushing for the banning of importation of clothing materials, Olatubora said the state would be ready to provide alternative to the people by producing materials for local consumption by December. He said: “More importantly, we want to sow for the people of this state in December, using available facilities and manpower. “We want to bring 40 draftsmen from Dakar and Mali to train our young girls and adults in the art of cloth-making because to solve a practical problem, a practical approach is required.” Besides, Olatubora said some unemployed graduates would be trained in the modern automobile repairs as artisans would be brought from Philippines to train youths on automobile assemblage and repairs. The commissioner said others would also be trained as builders, which would consist of electricians, masons, concreting, makers of Plaster of Paris, POP, tillers and many others needed in building.
FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, chairmen in the 20 councils in Ogun State yesterday endorsed Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s second term bid. The endorsement, coming barely one and half years before the end of
L-R: Son of the late Alhaji Ganiyu Bolakale Ipaye and Lagos State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Rahman Ade Ipaye; his sister, Justice Olutoyin Ipaye; widow, Alhaja Sidikat Ipaye and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, during the governor’s condolence visit to the family in Agege, Lagos, on Sunday.
‘Operators’ desire for flexible rules behind air disasters’ SEKINAH LAWAL
he desire of aircraft operators to have flexible safety rules has been blamed for many of the disasters in the nation’s aviation industry. A former top shot in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Dr. Folasade Odutola, said this in an interview with our correspondent. Odutola said operators wanted flexibility so that they could determine how to comply with safety regulations, depending on their financial means. This, according to her, is to enable them continue to operate in the meantime, irrespective of the likely hazards their inaction may pose to the public. Nigeria, she said, was
generally weak in the faithful implementation of rules, regulations and laws, adding that there was a lot of deceit, dishonesty and hypocrisy in the public service. She said: “That is always the case in a society wherein everything is politicised, if not tribalised. The results of all the shenanigans going on in the industry, which are mostly not evident to a lot of outsiders, would sooner or later be coming out for all to see.” Odutola disclosed that her solid stand on safety compliance was as a result of the fact that no one could tell who the victims would be. She said: “When politics and political interference are allowed to come in the way of public service performance, we get nowhere.” Odutola said many industry players believed that
appointment to leadership positions should be based entirely on seniority in service or on other banal considerations. She said: “These were uncooperative and incorrigibly indolent officers who followed the bad examples set by the majority of public servants and political office holders.” But development in the industry, according to her, is not determined solely by the number of airports in the country or how beautiful they are. The aviation expert said the industry was suffering from systemic failure. She said: “This sort of failure points to only one thing; we are not doing things properly. “A Yoruba adage says ‘if we don’t do things the way they are supposed to be done,
ACN endorses Amosun’s re-election bid the governor’s first tenure, followed what the chairmen described as Amosun’s satisfactory performance in the last two years. Rising from a crucial closed-door meeting, the chairmen said they had noted Amosun’s unwavering commitment to de-
liver on his electioneering promises as manifested in the ongoing infrastructural development in the state. They added that the governor needed more time to complete the projects. Speaking with journalists after the meeting, the chairmen’s spokesper-
son, who is also the ACN Chairman in Yewa South Local Government, Samuel Mathew Akinyemi, hinged the governor’s endorsement on his efforts at rebuilding the state in the areas of roads, education, security, health as well as agricultural development among oth-
they can never be the way they should be.’” Odutola advised that there should be no compromise of any kind. “With respect to safety, it is of utmost importance that enforcement of safety regulations is devoid of interference. “There is a symbiotic relationship between safety and economy but putting safety first enhances passengers and other consumers of aviation products’ confidence, thereby increasing the level of patronage thus improving the operators’ finances. “The aviation agencies must be allowed to function professionally. The regulatory authority must regulate the industry without fear or favour and the service providers among them should operate in a business-like manner,” Odutola said. ers which, he said, had remained a reference point in the history of the state. In a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting which was read by Akinyemi, the chairmen commended Amosun and emphasised that if the governor was given an opportunity to serve another term, Ogun State would become a better state.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Appeal Court retains Umeh as APGA national chairman DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu yesterday set aside the February 8 judgement of Enugu State High Court and reaffirmed Chief Victor Umeh as the national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. In a unanimous judgement, the court quashed the judgement of Justice Innocent Umezulike which sacked the entire members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of APGA on the grounds that their tenure expired in 2010. In a lead judgement delivered by Justice Tom Yakubu and concurred by two other justices on the appeal panel, Justices Paul Galinje (chairman) and Modupe Kwasami, the appellate court granted all the four reliefs sought by the applicant (Umeh) and resolved all the issues set out for determination in his favour. The lower court had in its ruling on the case filed against the APGA national
chairman by an expelled member of the party in Enugu State, Mr. Jude Okuli, ordered Umeh’s removal on the grounds that his tenure had expired and went ahead to declare the November 10, 2011 National Convention of the party where Umeh and other NWC members were re-elected as unconstitutional. Umeh thereafter went to the appellate court to challenge the decision of the lower court. In the course of the proceeding, the court granted a stay of execution of the Umezulike’s judgement, paving the way for Umeh to continue as APGA national chairman pending the resolution of the substantive appeal. Delivering judgement on the appeal, Yakubu dismissed all the objections raised by the respondent (Okuli) against the appeal, saying the lower court had no jurisdiction ab initio to entertain the case brought before it, since according to him, the plaintiff, having been expelled by his state chapter of the party, had
no locus standi to institute the action. He said even if Okuli was not expelled from the party, he was neither a contestant for the position of national chairman nor a member of the NWC whose interest might be affected if Umeh remained in office. The court also frowned at the decision of the lower court to restore Okuli as a member of the party when he had, in his affidavit, admitted that he was expelled from the party, stressing that the trial judge went beyond his powers in granting a relief not sought by the plaintiff. He said: “The court must concern itself to the issues submitted to it by parties, the judgement of the lower court smacks of a sympathiser weeping more than the bereaved and the court is not supposed to be a Father Christmas or a charitable organisation. “I am of the considered opinion that the respondent (Okuli) has no locus standi to institute the action and the trial court shouldn’t have wasted time trying the
matter because it assumed jurisdiction which it did not possess. “There are several authorities (who have said) that the courts should not interfere with the internal affairs of the political parties except on issue of wrongful substitution as contained in Section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act 1999 as amended.” Reacting to the judgement, Umeh, who was nearly mobbed by a large crowd of supporters including members of the APGA NWC, former governorship candidate of the party in Imo State, Chief Martins Agbaso and the state chairmen of the party, said it had rekindled his confidence in the judiciary. He attributed his victory to God and the tremendous support he enjoyed from party members. Addressing the large crowd of APGA members who converged on the Appeal Court premises after the ruling, Umeh, flanked by members of his NWC, said: “All those listened to the ruling of the Appeal Court heard that all the decisions against me by the
Enugu Chief Judge have been set aside. “All our grounds of appeal were successful; that the Chief Judge of Enugu State has no business prosecuting me; God has vindicated me and APGA today. We thank God Almighty. “Before we leave this arena, may I thank the Nigerian judiciary, this has restored our confidence in the judiciary. This is a case of David and Goliath. We did not have money but God gave us victory because we have God. From today, by the decision handed down by this Court of Appeal, our party is coming back.” Umeh also assured the leadership of the party in Anambra State, purportedly sacked by Governor Peter Obi’s faction, that they remained the authentic executive of the party in the state. In a swift reaction to the court verdict, one of APGA’s gubernatorial aspirants in Anambra State and a member of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, described it as victory for democracy. Ekwunife, therefore, urged both Obi and Umeh
NIPP: Property owners allege fraud in compensation payment GEORGE OPARA ABIA
roperty owners in Umuode, AbayiOgbuligba, UrattaUzoiyi and the popular Timber and Allied Integrated Market in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State, are seething with anger. The property owners, whose properties were affected by the 330kva power lines traversing the OwerriAlaoji axis of the commercial city under the right of way of the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, and marked for demolition, are protesting alleged short-change in the compensation payment. The property owners alleged that the land evaluators involved in the compensation process employed many tricks to underpay them. At Umuode Village Hall on July 10, the aggrieved property owners demonstrated their anger. The protesting property owners carried placards, some of which read: “President Goodluck Jonathan and your able cabinet,
Protesting property owners. Inset: The building valued at N37.5m, b butt the th owner was paid id N8.6m. N8 6
please, save us from the hands of evil valuers who want to displace owners of properties without due payment at 330kva - Owerri - Alaoji - Aba, Abia State,” “We no get trust for valuers o o o,” “President, save us from the hands of the valuers in Nigeria. They are evil,” “They are a big disappointment,” “We are unable to relocate because
we were short-paid by the valuers.” The Coordinator of Abayi-Ogbuligba property owners, Chief Amana Anthony Nwogu, decried the alleged callous manner the evaluators handled the project. He said the agreement between them and the evaluators was that the property owners would take 90
per cent while evaluators would receive 10 per cent from their compensation. But Nwogu said the agreement was not adhered to. To support his claim, the coordinator disclosed that during the evaluation exercise, some properties were valued at N65 million, N38 million and N66 million. But the evalua-
tors allegedly paid the owners N13 million, N8 million and N10 million, respectively. Other property owners like Hon. Ihezuoke Ufomba, Chief Uzoma Emmanuel, Ambassador Emeka Komo and many others who jointly gave power of attorney to the evaluators, corroborated Nwogu’s claims. The properties marked for demolition were said to include residential buildings, stalls, shops, markets, schools, crops and churches. The aggregate number of the property involved was said to be 1,500. Komo accused one of the evaluators, of collecting N9 billion from NIPP for the compensation. But instead of paying them the actual amount, Komo said the evaluator had been inventing different ways to cheat them and to pay them peanuts as compensation. According to him, they were compelled to open an account with the bank without documents and essentially bank account numbers to show that it
to reconcile their differences in the interest of the party. She said: “This is victory for the people; it shows we still have trust in the judiciary to ensure that people get good judgement. We don’t have need for this division. We will be facing a major election in Anambra State in the next three months. “Obi and Umeh should come together for the sake of some of us that are following them. They should come together. There is no victor, no vanquished in this matter. They should reconcile as brothers so that the party can go and win election. “If by any incident, their division affects the party from winning the gubernatorial election, history will not forgive them and posterity will not judge them right. “None of them is running for governorship, Obi is not re-contesting, neither is Umeh running, why should who will be the governor tear the party apart? They should reconcile, so that we can go for free and fair primary.” was a genuine transaction. Komo added that they later got bank account numbers into which they were individually paid paltry sums of money. Apart from the allegations of short-changing and underpayment, many structures initially captured during the evaluation exercise were omitted from the list of payment of compensation. The aggrieved property owners said many of them had died, including one of their lawyers, in the struggle for compensation which started in 2010. They also disclosed that legal action on the issue did not yield the desired results. Also petitions sent to the Senate, former Minister of Power, Prof. Bath Nnaji and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, failed to bring them succour. Apparently frustrated, the aggrieved landlords and property owners have vowed not to allow their properties to be demolished for the NIPP if proper and urgent steps were not taken to ensure prompt payment of full compensation.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Edo sues FG over deduction from LGs’ allocations EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
do State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Henry Idahagbon, has sued the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over matters relating to deductions of monies accruing to the 18 local government areas of the state. Also named as codefendants are the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Jonah Otunla and the Incorporated Trustees of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON). In the suit lodged by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN),the plaintiff want the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to answer the following questions: whether having
regards to the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 162 (3), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, the defendants are legally competent to make deductions at source from the Federation Account, for any purpose whatsoever, any amount standing to the credit of the 2nd to 19th plaintiffs which is their share of the amount distributed among the Federal, State and Local Government Councils of Nigeria without the prior consent and authorisation of the 1st plaintiff; whether having regards to the clear and unambiguous provision of Section 162 (6) and (8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered, the defendants can legally tamper with the amount standing to the credit of the 2nd to 19th Plaintiffs
which allocation is to be kept in the “Edo State Joint Local Government Account” and is meant to be distributed amongst them on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Edo State House of Assembly; whether having regard to the clear decision of the Supreme Court in the case of A. G. Bendel State v. A. G. Federation & Ors (1983) ALL NLR 208; (1983) LPELR-SC.108/1982, and the case of A. G Abia State v. A. G. Fed (2006) 16 NWLR (Pt 1005) p. 72, paras G-C; (2006) LPELRSC.99/2005, the Edo State Government does not become seised of the share allocated to the Plaintiffs from the Federation Ac-
count in line with the provision of Section 162 (4) (5), (6), (7) & (8) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, and in keeping with the fundamental principle of Federalism on the autonomy of the constituents States free from any interference whatsoever by the Federal Government or any of its Agencies, Ministries or Parastatals. Other are: whether being members of the 1st defendant association, without more, entitles the 1st defendant, in collaboration with the 2nd and 3rd defendants, to unilaterally invade and tamper with the 2nd to 19th plaintiffs allocation from the Federation Account or
State Joint Local Government Account under the thin guise of deduction at source for alleged liabilities to third parties, without the prior consent and/or authorization of the 1st plaintiff and the Edo State House of Assembly; wherein the questions so formulated are answered in the plaintiffs’ favour, they are seeking “a declaration that having regard to the provisions of Section 162 (3), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, the defendants are not legally competent to make deductions at source from the Federation Account, for any purpose whatsoever,
any amount standing to the credit of the 2nd to 19th plaintiffs which is their share of the amount distributed among the Federal, State and Local Government Councils of Nigeria without the prior consent and authorization of the 1st plaintiff and a declaration that having regards to the clear and unambiguous provision of Section 162 (6) and (8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered, the defendants cannot legally tamper with the amount standing to the credit of the 2nd to 19th plaintiffs which allocation is to be kept in the Edo State Joint Local Government Account.”
EDSTMA personnel abandon duty posts over attack on colleague S EBASTINE E BHUOM HAN BENIN
ersonnel of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) yesterday abandoned their duty posts in some parts of Benin following an alleged attack on one of them by a policeman. The incident almost resulted into a violent clash between the police and the EDSTMA personnel. It was learnt that the scuffle occurred after a policeman, who was driving through the streets, allegedly breached traffic rules and attempted to flee before he was chased, blocked and apprehended by the EDSTMA personnel. The EDSTMA personnel were, however, annoyed because their boss, Mr. Sunday Nosa Aideyan, did not take any action when the policeman attacked their colleague. Sources said that the policeman, who was in plain clothes, breached the traffic rule and at-
tempted to escape before he was chased and stopped at Okhoro Junction along the New Lagos Road. One of the sources, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “The policeman breached traffic rule. Our men caught him at Okhoro Junction and he did not identify himself. He just brought out a stick and hit one of them on the head. “Our boss was there, he did not do anything which was why we left our duty posts. The policeman took our staff away and everybody was annoyed.” Confirming the incident, EDSTMA Head of Operations, Mr. Sunday Nosa Aideyan, said he responded swiftly. He said the injured official is still receiving treatment at the hospital. Aideyan said: “We were surprised when the man hit my man on the head. I am still at the hospital with him now.” The police spokesman, Mr. Moses Eguavoen, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.
L-R: Rivers State Head of Service, Mr. Samuel Long John; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Joeba West and Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Nabbs Imegwu, during the Civil Service Week/Awards day in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Delta commissioner accuses parents of aiding exam malpractices A MOUR U DEMUDE ASABA
elta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, has accused parents of encouraging examination malpractices. Muoboghare accused parents of inducing education officials with money during exter nal examinations so that their children could be allowed to engage in malpractices. The commissioner, who spoke yesterday
at a press briefing in Asaba, the state capital, said: “Most of the ille gal collections done in schools are for examination malpractices at the instant of parents who will entice of ficials with money in order to allow their children and wards car ry out malpractices during exter nal examinations.” Muoboghare said in a bid to discourage such acts and disabuse the mind of of ficials especially schools principals from ille gal collections, the state gover nment had
deemed fit to increase schools subventions. He said: “The policy of the gover nment is that there should be no any for m of collection in primary and secondary schools. So, many of ficials have been dismissed and some others demoted.” To improve the standard of education, the commissioner said the gover nment has shot over 600 ille gal private primary and secondary schools across the state. He said: “We also discovered that over the years, principals
of public secondary schools were enticed with money by proprietors of ille gal schools to enroll their pupils for exter nal examinations, such practice is ille gal and against the gover nment’s policy. “We shall also close down re gistered private schools that operate in ramshackle and temporary sites because they were given five years to meet up with all the necessary requirements. Though, as soon as the requirements are met, the closed down schools would be re-opened.”
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Rivers crisis: Senate divided, set uncommon precedence
All governors are President Jonathan’s men –Fayemi
Constitution amendment: The issues, debates, contributions et al Following the conclusion of debate on the draft bill of the 1999 Constitution last week by the Senate, GEORGE OJI, who followed the exercise looks at some of the issues raised and hazards the possible voting pattern of the senators on the major issues up for amendment today.
t last, the much hyped and talked about debate of the 1999 draft constitution review bill, which took place in the hallowed chambers of the red chamber turned out to be an anti-climax after all. The quality of contributions by senators to the debate on the draft bill, to say the least, was very drab and uninspiring. Except perhaps for a few of the senators who came prepared, by taking some time out to research their presentations, the rest, in reality, merely spoke for the sake of speaking. From every indication, the earlier counsel by the Senate President David Mark that, “senators should take home the draft bill, study it seriously and come prepared for the debate,” was not taken seriously at all. Unfortunately, most of the senators in their contributions went way out of the issues up for debate as they busied themselves with matters that had no direct relevance and bearing to the issues placed on the table before them. For instance, the issue of the immunity clause, which was not one of the proposals before the Senate and obviously not one they will be required to cast their votes when voting commences today, yet senators expended so much time and energy debating it and in the process failed to accord appropriate attention to a number of the proposals put on the table for them by the review committee. Also, perhaps, because of its sensitive nature, the single term of six years took a lot of energy from the lawmakers, such that every senator commented on the issue even when most of them were merely repeating the points previously made by their colleagues. The result was that the debate generally lacked the excitement and enthusiasm expected of such an important and epoch-making process. However, when this issue was taken up with the Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba, expectedly, he was quick to put up some defence for his colleagues. “The debate offered an opportunity for the senators to ventilate their opinion in all the is-
TOP STORY sues that have to do with the constitution. They were at liberty to comment on any of the issues they felt like,” he said. Then, of what value was such a wasted approach to the process, one may be tempted to ask when each of the senators were already restricted to five minutes contribution time and a time keeper appointed to enforce the rule? To simplify the entire process, the review committee had synthesized the issues and provided a direction for the senators to follow, just to make the whole exercise less cumbersome. The committee clearly provided a road map to guide the debate by setting out and itemising the proposals and recommendations up for consideration. Indeed, NdomaEgba also did admit this fact when he stated that voting would only take place on the items or proposals that were placed before the Senate by the review committee. “When voting starts this week, the Senate will only vote on the proposals placed before it by the Constitution Review Com-
mittee and not any other matters,” he stated. The 46-member Senate Constitution Review Committee headed by Senator Ike Ekweremadu, had from the onset, delineated 16 thematic issues for review from the 1999 Constitution. The essence of that, according to Ekweremadu, was to properly guide the amendment process so as not to dissipate much energy unnecessarily. The thematic areas are: the devolution of power, creation of states, recognition of six geo-political zones in the constitution, role for the traditional rulers, local government, taking out (land use act, NYSC act, code of conduct), fiscal federalism and amendment of provisions relating to amendment of the constitution; state creation and boundary adjustment – to remove ambiguity. The rest are immunity clause, Nigerian Police, judiciary, executive, rotation of executive offices, gender and special groups, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the residency and indigene provisions. However, following over one year of extensive research, study tours, collating proposals from the public, strategic collaboration with key partners, consultations with stakeholders and feedbacks from
THE ISSUE OF SINGLE TERM OF SIX YEARS TOOK A LOT OF ENERGY FROM THE LAWMAKERS... THE RESULT WAS THAT THE DEBATE GENERALLY LACKED THE EXCITEMENT AND ENTHUSIASM
EXPECTED OF SUCH AN IMPORTANT AND EPOCHMAKING PROCESS
national and zonal public hearings, when the Senate Review Committee eventually presented its report to the Senate shortly before the end of the second session of the 7th Senate on June 3, the 16 thematic issues were further compressed to about 10. The final draft document placed before the Senate for consideration by the review committee contained therefore just about 10 items or thereabout, and these are only the items that will be voted for. These items are the single six-year term for the elected executives (president and his vice and the governors and their deputies), removal of state-local government joint accounts, an elected mayoral system of administration for the Federal Capital territory (FCT) and the separation of the office of the Attorney General from that of the Minister of/Commissioner for Justice. The rest are the procedure for drafting and enactment of a new constitution, presidential assent, creation of first line charge for certain bodies and offices at the state level, the process for the alteration of acts, devolution of powers and the remuneration of past presiding officers of the National Assembly.
Six-year single tenure The single tenure recommendation is contained in section 135 of the draft constitution (for the president and his vice) and section 180 (for the governors and their deputies). For the president and his vice, section 135 states that, (1) Subject to the provisions of this constitution, a person shall hold office of President until: When his successor in office takes the oath of that office; He dies whilst holding such office or; The date when his resignation from office takes effect; or He otherwise ceases to hold office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. (2) Subject to the provisions of this subsection (1) of this section, the President shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of six years commencing from when: (a) in the case of a person elected as President under this constitution, he took the oath of allegiance and the oath of office and: (b) in any other case, the person elected to that office under this constitution took the oath of allegiance and oath of office or would but for his death, have taken such oaths.
Succession of President Concerning the succession of a president by his vice, the committee recommended that the vice president can only serve out the remaining tenure of his prinCONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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All governors are President Jonathan’s men –Fayemi
Says many NASS proposals for constitution amendment may not see light of day
Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been in the saddle in Ekiti State for almost three years. In this interview, the governor speaks on the crisis rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, his endorsement for second term, why the ongoing constitution amendment might fail and the state of security in the country. AYODELE OJO reports. Your party leadership has endorsed you for a second term; what does this mean to you? I have become very wary about this word, endorsement. It has become a bastardised word courtesy of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF’s election. Seriously speaking, I think it is a burden when people say that you have done well. It means you have to consistently do better in order to sustain the acclamation from the people. That is what has come out of the endorsement that our leaders gave to me last December and the affirmation by Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during their recent visit. I also think seriously that what we have learnt from Lagos and Edo experiments is that if good governance is to be entrenched, it will be useful and helpful for political parties not to change candidates arbitrarily unless there are compelling reasons to do so and those reasons listed in the Nigerian constitution like temporary or permanent insanity, ill-health etc. So, if we are to consolidate on things that we have achieved, it makes sense to keep the team unless the candidate chooses not to contest. Two, our constitution allows second term. Obviously, you cannot legislate
against people having the ambition to contest against an incumbent. These two reasons apart, you also have to ask the objective question; what will the opposition bring to the marketplace to sell? Lies? Pretense? Propaganda? At the risk of sounding immodest, there are clear, tangible and palpable changes everywhere you turn in this state. This is “eye-marking” not “ear –marking.” But, the important point here is that endorsement is not an election. We have a lot of work to do. It’s great that our leaders recognised the work that we have done so far but the election is not going to be a child’s play. We are preparing for a very tough election because we know fully well that the other side is targeting Ekiti in 2014 as part of the dress rehearsal for 2015. Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele appears not to have accepted your endorsement by the party for second term. What’s your response to his disagreement? You want to make me do what I don’t really do. The truth of the matter is that I don’t think I want to join in elevating Opeyemi to the level that I honestly don’t think he belongs. When somebody makes himself obviously at loggerheads with the party, the party has ways of dealing with that. I am not the party; I am an interested party in this. I don’t think it is fair to comment. The party will take care of that appropriately. What is your take on the ongoing constitution review, especially the submission of the House Ad Hoc Committee for the removal of immunity for President, Vice-
President, Governors and their Deputies? I have both conceptual and practical problems with constitutional reform as being carried out by the National Assembly. With the greatest respect to members of the House of Representatives, when they claimed that they held 360 meetings in their constituencies to gather feedback from the people, I think it is a fundamentally flawed and disingenuous way of conducting constitutional reform process. Either in terms of global best practice or even in terms of elementary feedback mechanism, I don’t think it qualifies. Some of us have argued for more than a decade that the process is as important if not more important than the product of constitutional reform process. What has happened has not met the basic requirement of legitimacy. Some of us believe that this process will end up in referendum that all Nigerians will have a say in. Constitution is a serious matter to exclude the citizenry from it. No matter how intelligent people’s representatives are, we thought we’re likely to get to this position. My opinion is that the current constitution we operate says it is only the National Assembly that can amend it and that could be done with the ratification of two-thirds of the State House of Assembly of the 36 states to become a legal and accurate constitution amendment. But then, it comes back to the question: is everything legal legitimate? On immunity, although my own position tallies with what the House of Representatives recommends, in the sense that I have consistently said immunity should be limited to only civil matter and that anyone who commits a crime and expect to be protected by the law is first, not democratic and second, not interested in good governance. Since we all agree that the bane of our country today is corruption, criminality in high office, whether it is electoral criminality or grand theft of the public
WHAT WILL THE OPPOSITION BRING TO THE MARKETPLACE TO SELL?
LIES? PRETENSE? PROPAGANDA? AT
THE RISK OF SOUNDING IMMODEST, THERE ARE CLEAR, TANGIBLE AND PALPABLE CHANGES EVERYWHERE YOU
TURN IN THIS STATE.
THIS IS ‘EYE-MARKING’ NOT ‘EAR-MARKING’
treasury, criminality is criminality. I have always believed that the only justification for immunity is when pedestrian and irresponsible cases are filed in court to distract public office holders. That has nothing to do with criminality and I think I still hold strongly that view. Immunity for civil matters should be adhered to. However, lawyers can be dangerous and difficult. They can turn civil cases to criminal issue depending on what they are fighting for and that is the only reason why I think this should be very well defined in the constitution. In that wise, I don’t think immunity is a matter for just the National Assembly to decide. Majority of the proposal that I have seen from the lower chamber have truly undermine the spirit and the law of federalism throughout the world. For example, on SIEC, in some parts of the world, the unit that is responsible for election is the local government or county. Many countries don’t have what is called federal electoral body; Britain, USA, all of them. We only do our own thing in Nigeria in reverse order and yet, we expect to get correct outcome. It doesn’t work that way. There is logic to the principle of federalism and that logic is subsidiarity. Expunging SIEC makes little sense. But in our country, we want to be unitary state, yet masquerade as a federal state. But I do know that many of the National Assembly proposals for constitution amendment may not see the light of the day unless they are not coming to the state House of Assemblies. Nigeria is presently faced with security challenge; what is the way out of the situation? We have almost moved to a point where we need an economic cum security strategy. I don’t know how that is going to happen but the Council of State and opinion leaders might need to step back and look at the possibility of organising Security Summit. One, there is a body led by the Minister (Turaki) talking to the various players in this unfortunate development. But I do think what we are confronted with now is poverty- insecurity complex. That is the challenge that we must address. The most prominent aspect of the Boko Haram issue is the religious angle but it is not as devastating as the economic strand. It is when people feel they have nothing to lose that some of these things happened. That is why we need the equivalence of a marshall plan for the areas ravaged by terror and insecurity. We ought to also pay more attention in involving the military in civilian affairs. I know the implication is that we appear not to be in charge and that the military should come and rescue us. That rescue can be defined in elastic terms involving military in civilian matters. You are sending a sub-minimal message to the military that you cannot take charge of the situation and that must be worrisome in the light of what we have seen in Egypt.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
to the debate at the National Assembly. The governor decided to take the bull by the horn because 48 of his citizens were killed in one day and our police cannot do anything about it. Governors have come to conclusion that if the police cannot help their state after they have bought uniform, patrol vehicles, bullets, some electronic equipment and Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, for the police, they will look for alternative way to protect their citizenry. We are actually running the police. Many of our colleagues train police personnel even abroad. If we are doing all these, how can someone turn back and talk about federal police. Many of these things are a clear distortion of federalism.
It should worry us that we are playing with fire. What is our youth development programme in Nigeria? We have 60 per cent population under 25, and majority of these young people are totally fed up with the Nigerian state. For one to be young and idle, other forces will find use for you. That’s the part of the country’s major problem and we are not dealing with it the way it should be done. Those who are in the power corridor seem to be totally detached from their people. We certainly need a coherent strategy and that strategy must be a Marshal Plan. State of emergency should have been a component of the comprehensive marshal plan that we need in this country. And the plan must be based on special economic security because we must be able to cut off the oxygen that is fuelling what is going on. If you don’t cut that oxygen off, it will continue to spread to other parts of the country. I happen to know the governors of Borno and Yobe very well. They are some of the smartest governors we have in this country and it’s been so sad that Boko Haram has diminished the impact of the work they are doing in those states. I think there is a fifth columnist in this government that is desirous of this crime being perpetrated so that it has impacted on politics in 2015; or it helps to put the president in the bad light. It could be either way; those who are out to get the president and destroy him and or those who seek to protect him and protect his agenda of return. Maybe their thinking is that if we keep the North perpetually busy, with these crises, election may not take place there in 2015. I’m throwing this out as my own reflection rather than certainty. But we are not the only country afflicted by this kind of challenge but it refuses to go because of the little attention we
WE FELT MR. PRESIDENT IS THE PRESIDENT OF ALL. OUR PRESIDENT IS NOT A CANDIDATE IN THE NGF ELECTION. HE HAS NO INTEREST BECAUSE HE MADE THAT VERY CLEAR TO US THAT HE HAS NO INTEREST IN THE
I DON’T WANT HIM TO BE DRAGGED INTO THIS NGF ISSUE BECAUSE IT DIMINISHES THE PRESIDENCY ELECTION AND
pay to intelligence gathering and analysis. Up till now, the police intelligence unit is virtually operating at zero, military intelligence is not as impressive as one expects. We are just left with the State Security Service, SSS. That seems to have a bit of teeth in it. And that leaves us with enormous challenges. May be there is something the Americans saw which we didn’t see when they predicted that Nigeria may disintegrate by 2015. But, we don’t need to resign ourselves to fate. We need to make a clarion call to Mr. President and all of us in leadership positions to begin to respond to issues. This is one of the issues discussed at NGF and we proposed that we should make resources available to the afflicted states. In our view, you cannot have about 10 million idle children out there and not see the correlation between helplessness and hopelessness of these young people. There is correlation somewhere, poverty and violence are related and we must do specific things to separate them. We can take specific steps. Right now, the bulk of what is happening under the state of emergency is being paid for by those states. So, you can see what is happening that if Borno State gets a monthly allocation of say N5 billion every
month and it devotes N2.5 billion to keep the Joint Task Force, JTF, in place. There is an opportunity cost there. The economic and development opportunity that should benefit from that money is lost to security and yet there can’t be development without security. With the security challenge in the country, do you see state police playing a role in this? Well, my position is that I am an advocate of multi-level policing. If you bring me from Ekiti to go to Zamfara and you dumped me at Talata-Mafara and you give me a gun to protect people; who am I protecting at the place when I don’t have clue about the language? I see multi-level policing having a key role to play in the country. In the light of what we have also seen in Rivers State, I can tell you that some of our colleagues who are opposed to multi-level policing are changing their views now because they could see the blatant abuse of federal police within a local entity simply because somebody is not on their side of the debate. Many of us are setting up alternative security forces in order to protect our people and our environment. That is what Zamfara State wanted to do that led
But we are made to understand that all the governors agreed to the one per cent deduction to fund the police? Not all the governors agreed to the idea. Some governors came out to address the media on it. I have raised it with the Chairman of NGF. I wasn’t there when the idea was tabled to governors and I know that some governors who were there did indicate they will go to court. I’m elected by Ekiti people. I cannot subscribe to that deduction without going to my people first. It’s their money. Do you just sit at one economic council meeting and decide on your own to accept the deduction because they put a paper before you to agree to one per cent deduction from federation revenue? What is the modality for that? Will one per cent deduction from our allocation address Ekiti State security challenges? Who dictate what happens with the one per cent? Is it Abuja or Ekiti? Do I have total control over what Commissioner of Police does in my state? Even with what we bought for police; we don’t have total control over them. In this country, we just keep dodging fundamental issues which are structural. It is the nature of the Nigerian state that we must address, not the symptoms of the malaise as it is manifested in the police. Once we do that, even if everything will not fall into place, we’ll begin to get a direction. As an insider, what actually happened with the NGF election and the fallout? Our colleagues who have found themselves defending this albatross round their necks also know that this will come to haunt them. A lot of them have lost their credibility. First, they said there was no election. When we came out with tape, Nigerians knew that there was an election. When the ballot was counted, they said the chairman did not vacate his seat. We had two hours of debate before the election. This is what most people are not aware of. Before we got to 35 votes being cast and counted, we have had three hours of debate on one, consensus. We said at the last meeting we concluded that with the decision that Okauru (NGF DG) was going to organise election and whoever wins becomes our chairman. Later they said we should vote via open ballot, show of our hands; we said we are adults, we were not doing show of hands, we would vote by secret ballot which is recognised in the country’s Electoral Act. They agreed again. We moved to the issue of agents for the candidates both candidates agreed on one agent, he was there with the DG. We all sat, voted and the agent supervised this. They knew the truth, that is why it saddens me because those who CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
No going back on peace deal with Boko Haram
ASO ROCK FILE with
Rivers Fracas: When Council Chambers turned viewing centre
n ugly and bloody fight occurred in the garden city of Port Harcourt on July 9. The venue was the hallowed chambers of the state House of Assembly and those involved are the lawmakers who have decided to be lawbreakers considering their unruly and violent conduct which left many of them severely injured. It was like a scene that could only happen in the movies but it was not a movie; it was real life situation, as lawmakers were running after each other with dangerous weapons inside the chambers of the Assembly where they make laws for the state. The violent situation which played out in the Rivers State Assembly was captured by a Lagos-based television station and the video clip went viral on many other television stations and social network. At the Federal Executive Council, FEC, weekly meeting last Wednesday, the video clip appeared on the giant screen inside the Council Chambers and the small screen placed in front of each minister as the technical personnel in the State House started playing the video shortly before the commencement of the meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo. The ministers stayed glued to the screen, watching the video of the violent clash
which was being played in order to form part of the review of the security situation in the country. Many of the ministers expressed great shock that members of the Rivers Assembly who are expected to be honourable in their conduct and behaviour descended so low to engage each other in a fight with the intention to maim or kill. The Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, who is from Rive State and a key actor in the politics in the state was in the Council Chambers when the video of the fight was being played. Immediately some of his colleagues, who were milling around him pointed his attention to the video and Wike, who did not show any shock as he watched the video said what happened was part of politics and that the insinuation that he could be behind the incident was not correct. The ministers continued to watch the video and engage each other in low tone discussion as to the implication of the incident on the democracy in the country.
or many Nigerians, particularly those who live in the northern part of the country where the Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, had carried out their deadly activities, any move towards a peace deal with the group would always be a welcome relief in order to put an end to the killing of innocent people and the destruction of property. So, when President Goodluck Jonathan initiated a dialogue with the sect with the setting up of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, many people saw it as a step in the right direction if it would bring peace and stability to the country. Last week, the Minister of Special Duties and Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki (SAN) said the Federal Government was totally committed to the peace deal which has been reached with the group and there was no basis for any side to back out of the ceasefire arrangement and agreement that has been put in place considering the level of discussion by both sides. Although Turaki said the framework
Presidential Villa’s visitors 1.
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar
Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim
Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji
Yunus Ustas Usman (SAN)
Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade
Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Taminu Turaki (SAN)
Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro
Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House.
for the terms and conditions of the ceasefire is being worked out, he noted that the ceasefire agreement is not a temporary arrangement but was designed in such a way that it would put an end to the violence and bombings in the country. “The ceasefire is not something that is done for a specific period of time, it is something that should be forever. As far as we are concerned it is something that has been agreed and I don’t think there will be any basis for anybody rescinding on the agreement,” he said. Turaki explained that one of the things the Boko Haram sect took into consideration before the agreement was the sincerity of the committee which by necessary implication also means the sincerity of the President regarding resolving the issue of insecurity in the North. Apart from taking into consideration the period of Ramadan to cease fire and give peace a chance, the minister also said that members of the sect were also convinced that it was not a trap for them. “Unlike their thinking that the committee was meant to serve as a trap for them, they also realised that not only is the committee very sincere, government and indeed Mr. President is also very sincere about the whole discussion. “They also took into account the fasting of the month of Ramadan which is on and felt that they should give peace a chance so that our Muslim sisters and brothers will be able to perform their religious obligation this month without any harassment, without any fear of any bomb exploding and any firing at them while they are in their place of worship,” Turaki said. He further said that the ceasefire does not mean the end of state of emergency in the three affected North Eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, stressing that the military would have to observe and assess the situation and ensure that normalcy has returned.
Passionate plea to striking lecturers FG takes steps over sale of NITEL
he Federal Executive Council last week appealed to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to return to the classrooms in the interest of the nation and the students as government was making efforts to ensure that their grievances are addressed. The Council expressed deep concern over the lingering strike which has paralysed academic activities in the nation’s tertiary institutions. Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, explained that members of the Executive Council noted that the issue of education was of utmost importance to the present administration in ensuring progress and development in the country. Moro said: “On issues of national concern, the current impasse between
the ASUU and the Federal Government was considered with some concerns by the Federal Executive Council. We took a general overview of what has been happening in the educational sector and expressed the concern of average Nigerians, stakeholders, parents and students and came to the conclusion that passionate appeal should be made to ASUU to consider the overall interest of Nigeria, in terms of the education of our children, and to see the possibility of using a strike, which has become too incessant in recent times as a last resort.” He explained that the Federal Government was also concerned about the various challenges in the education sector which has forced many Nigerians to seek admission in other institutions outside the country.
ith the success and impressive financial gains recorded by private telecommunication firms in the country in the area of mobile telecommunication, the Federal Government has now taken steps towards the sale of the national telecommunications carrier, NITEL/MTEL, with the appointment of a liquidator by the National Council on Privatisation, NCP. The choice of Olutola Senbore as liquidator with a six months mandate was reached after the final analysis of the several bids that were received from eight companies out of which five firms were pre-qualified. Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama who announced government’s plans on the sale of the national telecommunication company said government was interested in selling the firm off to interest-
ed buyer as ongoing concerns that would continue in the same line of business. The Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, assured that there would be no dismembering of the assets of the firms and then selling them differently, but the process would be similar to the sale of national fertiliser company in Onne, Rivers State to global fertiliser giant, Notore. According to the BPE boss, the process of liquidating the firms intact is to protect the shareholders in the company. The liquidator and interested investors are expected to carry out due diligence on the national telecommunication company after which preferred prices would be set by the BPE ahead of the privatisation process.
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-43
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Obasanjo vs Fayemi, Ajimobi, Mimiko and others I TOLD THEM TO BE
TUNDE O LOFINTILA
he frontline legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), recently clocked 50 at the bar. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, chaired the commissioning of Phase II of the legal icon’s office complex at Ibadan and the public lecture delivered by the erudite jurist, Hon. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (JSC) to commemorate the Golden Jubilee. The tone for the rib-cracking witticism unintentionally lined up for the day was set when the duo of Oyo and Ekiti state governors, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Dr. Kayode Fayemi respectively, got to the commissioning site at 10.30 am on July 9 and made their way to where OBJ was seated and sat on his laps. End of scene one. The hilarious jokes, both verbal and non-verbal, resumed at the ultra modern Bar Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, donated by Babalola to Ibadan NBA where the public lecture was held. As the chairman of the occasion, Chief Obasanjo was offered the microphone after the opening prayer by the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti and former Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Oba (Justice) John Ajakaiye, himself an Emmanuelite, as lawyers who pass through Babalola’s Emmanuel Chambers, are fondly called, to make his pleasantries. He looked right and then left, a wry smile playing on his lips and said:” Your Excellencies, our royal fathers,
CAREFUL BECAUSE THE
ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS (APC) IS WATCHING
distinguished ladies and gentlemen, those of you who witnessed the commissioning of Phase II of Emmanuel Chambers earlier this morning would have noticed that when Governor Ajimobi and Governor Fayemi came in, they both sat on my laps. I will now tell you all what I told them. I told them to be careful because the All Progressive Congress (APC) is watching”. This threw the full capacity crowd in the hall into laughter. When it was time to extend courtesies, he referred to Fayemi, Ajimobi and former Ekiti State governor, Engr. Segun Oni, as ‘Your Excellencies’. But when he wanted to pay complements to the Police Affairs Minister and former Balyesa State military governor, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), he looked teasingly in Fayemi’s direction and said: ”I don’t want to address the Minister as Excellency (probably forgetting that Olubolade once piloted the ship of Balyesa state and is also angling to become Ekiti State governor in the next dispensation) so that someone here will not feel uncomfortable. Ministers are addressed as Honourable Ministers. Fayemi responded by
flashing his ubiquitous toothy smile. Now to Fayemi and his predecessor, Oni, who sat beside each other, Obasanjo gave them a jab of his witty side. He said: “Why are we here this afternoon? We are here to celebrate excellence because that is what Aare Afe Bbabalola stands for. Look at everything around him, then you will appreciate what I am saying. Let me tell you what I noticed when Fayemi and Oni came in. Each of them had a stern and hard face, not looking in the direction of each other. They didn’t know I was watching them and I had to tell them that, hey, there is no ‘Ekiti Parapo’ here and they both loosen up, laughed, embraced each other, shook hands, almost refusing to let go”. It was after this that he veered into his treatise on how he had made many mistakes in his career and public life, mistakes which he said turned out to be successful mistakes, which he is proud of and would like to make all over again and which many people are daily praying to make. End of Round 2. Ajimobi seized the opportunity of his goodwill message to send some coded messages to Obasanjo. He said by accepting them to sit on his laps, Obasanjo has told the world he was on his way to APC. The Oyo governor did not spare the celebrant either; he expressed his displeasure that Babalola chose to establish his wave-making Afe Babalola University, which has been variously de-
scribed as a model and the fastest growing university in Africa, in his home town, Ado-Ekiti, despite the fact that he had lived in Ibadan continuously for 50 years. He, however, said that his charge that Babalola had not done enough for Oyo state would be instantly withdrawn if he (Babalola) would build a befitting institution or industry in Oyo State within the next 18 months. Fayemi gave it to Obasanjo when it was his own turn to speak. He encouraged Obasanjo to shun partisan politics and become the ‘Father of the Nation’ who people could run to for counsel and guidance whenever there are issues to resolve. When it was Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s turn to speak, he advised the former President not to allow himself to be cajoled by APC or anybody or group of persons to ‘bring the gear of his political vehicle to neutral as this impair his movement’. Indeed, the July 9 celebration of Babalola’s 50 years at the bar was a day when serious business of the commissioning of Phase II of his office complex, the public lecture and the presentation of two books, was garnished with rib-cracking jibes, witticisms and backslapping, as well as warm camaraderie. Case closed.
Olofintila, a lawyer, wrote from Ibadan
Global recognition for NAFDAC boss JOHN AINOFENOKHAI
he manufacture as well as distribution of counterfeit drugs is a genre of corruption, and like corruption, which fights back, the menace of counterfeit drug fights back at the society. The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, is well at home with this fact as he leads the agency’s battle against drug counterfeiting. He, however, at a recent press conference in Abuja, assured Nigerians that the agency would never be overwhelmed by the activities of drug counterfeiters. In both national and international forums, Dr. Orhii has always bolstered the campaign for a society that is free of counterfeit drugs. One such forum was the honourary dinner reception for him by the Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Policy of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP), Dr Hilary Shelton, in conjunction with US Congress. Held at the James Madison Hall of the US Library of Congress, Capitol Hill, Washington DC, the forum provided an opportunity for NAFDAC boss to receive an award of Special Congressional Recognition for his global frontline role in the fight against counterfeiting. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Orhii disclosed that the global fake and counterfeit drug business has an international annual
market value of $200 billion (N32 trillion). He therefore, solicited international collaboration against the menace, which according to him, “requires no visa to cross inter-regional borders.” Orhii has indeed expanded the frontiers of the fight against counterfeit drugs in Nigeria with the deployment of cutting-edge technologies such as the Truscan, Mobile Authentication Services (SMS), which has put the power of detecting counterfeit medicine in the hands of the consumer, and the Black Eye, which is a device using infra red technology to detect counterfeit medicines. These technologies are complementary to the traditional method of burning impounded fake drugs to ensure that they do not find their way back into the market. This feat has positioned NAFDAC as one of the top 10 medicine regulators in the world. These innovations and other strategies have continued to attract industry applause as well as national and global recognition. A good number of the 42 awards in Orhii’s kitty are in recognition of his frontline role against fake medicines. One of the most significant of the awards is the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) conferred on him by President Goodluck Jonathan in September 2012. The award was in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the development of Nigeria in the area of medicine and food regulation; and especially the committed prosecution of the increasingly successful war against counterfeit drugs. Besides, Orhii has been travelling to
THE AWARD OF SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL RECOGNITION ENDORSED BY CONGRESS WOMAN, JANICE HAHN, WAS A CELEBRATION OF THE SUCCESSES RECORDED BY
ORHII AND HIS TEAM AT THE NAFDAC
many countries and continents to meet minds with his contemporaries on the challenges of regulating medicines and food. He had made presentations at such international events as the Second African Regulatory Conference in Johannesburg (2010); the 4th Open Forum on Tuberculosis Drug Development in Addis Ababa 92010); symposium on “Ensuring Food & Drugs Safety in a time of Increased Globalization” at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (2011); and in 2012 he was twice in Washington DC, Ghana, the United Kingdom, New York City, Turkey and Belgium for various global conferences on the same subject. Besides the conferences, he has set in motion the machinery for a review of the NAFDAC law to make drug counterfeiting and distribution or sale a capital offence. The proposed amended law has been endorsed
by the Presidency preparatory to its presentation to the National Assembly. The award of Special Congressional Recognition endorsed by Congress woman, Janice Hahn, was a celebration of the successes recorded by Orhii and his team at the NAFDAC. Right there in Washington DC, Orhii celebrated the legal victory he recently won in the court against a Lagos-based pharmaceutical company and some of its top management staff members for the sale of a killer teething mixture called “My Pikin” which killed scores of children in Nigeria in 2008. The US event held on June 24, 2013, was witnessed by family members; representative of the Benue State governor; and top management staff of NAFDAC including, Acting Director of Special Duties, Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh; Special Assistant to the DG, Dr James Mbachiantim and Special Assistant (Technical) to the DG, Dr Barbara Chukwurah. Orhii, who basked in the euphoria of the recognition, dedicated the award to the Federal Government and the NAFDAC family. Ainofenokhai, a freelance journalist, sent this piece from Abuja Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Court verdict on appointment of service chiefs
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja recently nullified the appointment of the nation’s key military chiefs. Affected by the ruling are the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba. The court held that their appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan was fraught with irregularities. The president was accused of making their appointments public without the input of the Senate as required by law, and therefore, the act was declared a nullity. The presiding judge, Justice Adamu Bello, frowned at the breach of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and went ahead to issue a separate order restraining “the president from further appointing service chiefs without first obtaining the confirmation of the National Assembly’’. It may be recalled that a Lagos lawyer and activist, Mr. Festus Keyamo, had dragged the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua before the Abuja Federal High Court a couple of years back for failing to get the consent of the Senate before appointing service
chiefs. Yar’Adua had taken a cue from the precedent set by his predecessor, and President Jonathan following the same precedent, again appointed the service chiefs without the input of the Senate. Kayemo had, among other prayers in his suit, sought a declaration that the appointment of the country’s service chiefs without the confirmation of the Senate was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void. He also sought for an order restraining the president from further appointing service chiefs for the country without first obtaining the confirmation of the Senate. The presiding Judge, in his wisdom, answered all these prayers. Several reactions have so far trailed the development; however, the Presidency has maintained a studied silence on the ruling that most probably jolted it. Reports said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, would fully examine the judgement and come up later with the official position of the Federal Government on the matter. Popular imagination is that in making sensitive appointments like those of the service chiefs, care ought to be taken in ensuring that due process is
July 16, 2008 2008 Chinese milk scandal: The scandal involved milk and infant formula, and other food materials and components, adulterated with melamine Sixteen infants in Gansu Province, China, fed with the tainted milk powder were diagnosed with kidney stones. In all an estimated 300,000 infants were affected. A kidney stone is a solid concretion or crystal aggregation formed in the kidneys from dietary minerals in the urine.
THE EXCITEMENT DEMOCRACY OFFERS REVOLVES AROUND THE PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION OF POWERS AND RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW followed to avoid embarrassing interrogation of the propriety or otherwise of the act and all other issues that might compromise the legitimacy of occupants of such offices. This newspaper shares this sentiment. The court ruling having been pronounced, due cognizance should be given to the fact that the nation is operating a democracy, where the spirit and letters of the law must be respected as a guide when sensitive decisions are being taken. Section 218 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) makes it clear that the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and has power to determine the operational use of same. Sub-Section 2 also confers on him powers to appoint military chiefs , as well as heads of other branches of the armed forces as may be established by the Act of the National
ON THIS DAY
July 16, 1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr., son of former United States President, John F. Kennedy, piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, died when his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. His wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, were also killed. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. (November 25, 1960 – July 16, 1999), often referred to as John F. Kennedy, Jr., was an American socialite, magazine publisher, lawyer, and pilot.
Assembly. But Sub Section (4) of the same section provides that the NASS has power to make laws for the regulation of the powers exercisable by the president in his capacity as the commander-in-chief, as well as the appointment, promotion and discipline of members of the armed forces. The Constitution does not in specific terms spell out the method for appointing service chiefs. However, Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A 20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, provides that the president can appoint service chiefs without the confirmation of the National Assembly. These legal prescriptions are capable of creating the type of lacuna in which the nation has now found itself. It is, therefore, a big relief that the process of rectifying the alleged irregularity has been put in motion with the recent Abuja High Court judgement. Security is very sensitive an issue to be trivialized, especially now that the country is grappling with daunting security breaches, including terrorism. The excitement democracy offers revolves around the principles of separation of powers and respect for the rule of law. It is expected that this engaging case should not be an exception.
July 16, 1973 Watergate Scandal: Former White House aide, Alexander P. Butterfield informed the United States’ Senate that President Richard Nixon secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations. The scandal resulted from the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted coverup of its involvement, which cost Nixon his job in 1974.
Dana crash: Stakeholders differ over compensation deadline
Imperative of growing life insurance patronage 37
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Combating menace of vandalism in power sector
here are myriad problems militating against the stability of Nigeria’s power sector but perhaps the most daunting of all is the issue of vandalism. This is more so because often times the authorities is faced with no option than to replace pricey equipment which has been vandalised for personal uses before electricity is restored to the affected areas. There have been lots of hues and cries following the increasing spate of vandalism and its attendant consequence to the much desired stability in electricity supply. Irked by this ugly development, Vice President Namadi Sambo vowed that government would not tolerate vandalism because of its negative impact on the sector and economy, stressing that, vandals would be treated as economic saboteurs. Some analysts say the Nigerian nation is paying for its long years of not being able to provide employment for its teaming youths living the unscrupulous ones with no choice than to resort to criminality. The Minister of Power Professor Chinedu Nebo, recently admitted that the situation has gotten out of hand with the country continuously grappling with the activities of the vandals and the enormous challenge of delivering stable electricity to Nigerians.
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As it is the case in the oil and gas industry, the high rate vandalism of power installations is contributing to crippling power shortages nationwide, CHIDI UGWU 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 High capacity power transformer
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), one of the 18 companies that emerged from the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), responsible for wheeling electricity from the various power stations to the load centers across the country raised the alarm saying the entire power delivery system is being threatened by acts of vandalism. According to TCN, these vandals like cankerworms attack and destroy its lines and towers carting away equipments worth billions of naira to satisfy the selfish greed of a few people. Recently, the vandalism of two major gas pipelines which supply gas to eight power generation stations across the country
Rep blames banks for Nigeria’s economic woes 21
drastically cut power supply by 1,598 megawatts (MW). The affected pipelines take gas from the Okoloma gas plant and Escravos and supply to Egbin/AES thermal stations, Olorunsogo, Omotoso, Geregu NIPP as well as Afam IV and VI thermal power stations and Independent power station in Rivers State. Following this major vandalism of gas pipeline which threw almost the whole nation into darkness for days, the Chairman, South West Branch of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mr. Olumide Ogunmade, said it had become necessary to carry out 34 hour security surveillance along pipeline routes in System B2 in the South West.
He said: “They have ruined our economy and our business. They are destroying the nation’s legacies. We want to say that enough is enough. We are now coming out forcefully on the vandals” In the last few years, there were several incidences of vandalism recorded on the Alaoji-Owerri 132kV line, Jebba-Siroro 330kV lines 1& 2 Osogbo-Ayede 330kV line, Oshogbo-Benin 330kV line, Oshogbo Ikeja 330kV line JebbaShirioro 330kV line, Benin-Ikeja West 330kV line, Sapele-Benin 330kV line Delta-Sapele-Benin 330kV line, Sapele-Benin 330kV line, Benin-Ajaokuta 330kV lines 1& 2 and the Abuja-Keffi 132kV
Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Nigeria’s corporates, workers grappling with outsourcing challenges 23
Security risks, cash crunch mar recovery of real estate sector
Business & Finance
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Combating menace of vandalism in power sector CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20 line. Some of these lines were vandalized more than three times. A social analyst, Mr. Mike Onyeacho, described the incident as “national calamity” which calls for national rethink and prompt collective action in order to stem the tide and bring the culprits to book. Onyeacho said he was baffled at the persistence of the hoodlums, adding that transmission towers are Nigerians’ collective property, and that ‘the continued effort to improve the entire system is to engender development, for collective growth and effort. But as a select few continue to tamper with this noble project, they commit crime against Nigerians not just PHCN’ he explained. The Minister of Power Prof Chinedu Nebo said there are difficulties in fixing the problems due to lots of man-made causes and the age-long neglect calling on all stakeholders to safeguard power infrastructure throughout the country. The minister, who noted that the situation in the power sector is getting out of hand, called for the support of Nigerians in checking vandalism of the facilities being put in place by the government. Speaking while receiving the report of the technical investigative panel on system collapses headed by Fatai Olapade, Nebo insisted that Nigerians must see and protect public infrastructure as their own. He said, “Some of the causes of system collapses could be corrected by very simple work that could be done effortlessly. I will like to plead with the generality of our people to understand that we are facing very difficult times in the power sector. Some of these problems are man-made; some have accrued from years of under-funding and under-development of the sector.” He added that occasional vandalism of gas pipelines result in hardship due to power rationing and expressed the hope that with time Nigerians will mature to a level where we would start regarding infrastructures put in place by government for the empowerment of the people as a sacred trust that should not be abused. Though Nebo did not reveal the content of the panel’s report, National Mirror gathered that vandalism was key among what Olapade’s Investigative Panel’s report captured as major causes of frequent system collapse in the country. The situation got so bad that at one time the people of Ado-Odo/Ota, decided to respond to the clarion call to join hands with PHCN, the police, military and paramilitary in protecting PHCN installations in their area culminating in the arrest of two transmission tower vandals. The actions of the people of Ado-Odo / Ota elicited loud commendation from the general public and a call for every community to take a cue from them for the benefit of the nation. Also, that the ministry of power recently partnered with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), to tackle the menace of vandalism of power infrastructure in the country. The Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Dr Ade Abolurin, called for information sharing and surveillance in the
IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, THERE WERE SEVERAL INCIDENCES OF VANDALISM RECORDED ON THE
ALAOJI-OWERRI 132KV LINE, JEBBA-SIRORO 330KV LINES 1& 2 OSOGBO-AYEDE 330KV LINE, OSHOGBO-BENIN 330KV LINE, OSHOGBO IKEJA 330KV LINE JEBBA-SHIRIORO 330KV LINE, BENIN-IKEJA WEST 330KV LINE, SAPELEBENIN 330KV LINE DELTA-SAPELE-BENIN 330KV LINE, SAPELE-BENIN 330KV LINE, BENIN-AJAOKUTA 330KV LINES 1& 2 AND THE ABUJA-KEFFI 132KV LINE course of protecting power equipment, added that the NSCDC had been protecting infrastructure for all the sectors of the economy since its inception. The situation in the power sector has resulted in accusations and counter accusations among various organs of government with the House of Representatives heaping the blame of the deteriorating power supply in the country on the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for allegedly failing to release power sector funds. The Chairman of the committee on Power, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, criticised the Coordinating Minister of the Economy for the Federal Government’s refusal to provide funds for the running of power generation and distribution companies in the 2013 budget. But, in swift response, the minister refuted the allegations saying that contrary to the erroneous impression of the committee, the ministry had received N72.7 billion as at May 23 to cover various items in line with the implementation of the Power Roadmap. According to her, a breakdown of the figures shows that N59 billion was paid in the first quarter while N13.7 billion had been paid so far in the second quarter. She said: ‘As stated in a news release issued by the Ministry on May 23, the Federal Ministry of Finance has paid a total of N72.7 billion to the Federal Ministry of Power so far this year to cover various
items in line with the implementation of the Power Roadmap. ‘The amount includes the sum of N45 billion paid to Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, workers as part of the power privatisation programme. ‘It also includes the sum of N5 billion paid for the Multi Year Tariff Order, MYTO.’ Okonjo-Iweala explained that other beneficiaries include the Power Ministry headquarters, PHCN, National Rural Electrification Agency, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, National Power Training Institute, National Electricity Liability Management Limited/ GTE, NELMCO, and Bulk Trader. The minister said the statement credited to Ikhariale, blaming her for allegedly failing to release funds meant for the power sector, was not only completely wrong but tended to personalise an important national issue. She noted that it also betrayed a limited understanding of the current status of power sector financing which the present administration had made a key priority in the implementation of the Power Roadmap. Also, Okonjo-Iweala said that the $1 Eurobond recently floated by Federal government was designed to support infrastructure projects with emphasis on enhancement of power sector. “We are building a gas pipeline from
the East of the country to the West where you have all these power stations with no access to gas. We have spent about $400 million so we want to complete it. We are also looking at funding transmission. We must keep up investments in transmission in order to make the entire genre of power work. There is also support for the Bulk Trader, an organisation created to support the power market within the country to make sure that when power is generated if there should be any lapse in Distribution Company’s ability to purchase this power that power market will not fail. The Bulk Trader will come in and make that market work, so the importance that President Goodluck Jonathan gives to the power sector comes through. And we are going to try and make sure that these investments are visible, ones that Nigerians can see”. She described as “unthinkable” the acts of vandalism being perpetrated in the power sector by Nigerians citizens calling on a patriotic people to rise up against such acts. “We do not want to make any sensational accusations, but the minister of power said the other day that there are some acts of vandalism going on the power sector, we do not know by who, I do not know, but I do want to implore that these investments we are making as we all love our country, and we want our country to move forward, It is unthinkable that citizens of the country would again go to vandalise any asset that is designed to provide a basis for comfort and economic empowerment of this country. Electricity touches on everything, for children to read when they come back, and do their home work. For people to power their small businesses, and so on. That is why it has become the central demand of Nigerians and that is why the President has focused on this. Imagine a situation where you are trying to do this and people are busy sabotaging it. So we must rise up as Nigerians and say no. these are some of the things that we must plead with ourselves as Nigerians and say please, do not do these acts, do not cut power lines, do not take copper cables that have been laid’
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
BPP blacklists 13 firms, vows to sanitise procurement system TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) yesterday said at least 13 companies had been debarred from participating in federal public procurement processes for their attempt to offer monetary gratification to people and outright misrepresentation of facts about their capacities with a view to manipulating the outcome of a procurement process. Giving this hint at the Stakeholders Workshop on the Presentation of Debarment Procedure held in Abuja, Director General of the Bureau, Engr. Emeka Ezeh, said the affected companies, which he declined to name and whose identities were not found in the Bureau’s website, were sanctioned to serve as deterrent to others, adding that with the debarment the entities, they cannot for now do business with the Nigerian government or its agencies. He explained: “There are about 13 companies that have already been debarred. If you go to our website you will see them.
L-R: Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, Mr. Nick Imudia; Head of Marketing, Nokia West Africa, Deborah Shepard and Growth Manager Africa, Facebook, Mr. Nicola D’Elia, displaying the newly launched Asha 210 and Asha 501 at the launch party in Lagos
“It is like the whole traditional system of social sanction, in which if you do something that is criminal, the community will bring you to the market square and say that this person comes from a family that is known to be thieves and everybody will stop dealing with you. That is even more effective than trying to go to court and then we’ll be there forever and nothing will happen. “Specific sanctions for offenders include that they would be debarred
Rep blames banks for Nigeria’s economic woes TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chudi Uwazurike, yesterday blamed banks for the nation’s economic woes citing their failure to provide financial support to the manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy at affordable interest rates. Uwazurike, who spoke at the formal launching of the 2013 Economic Report on Africa (ERA) published by the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA), specifically carpeted the banks for their structurally defective interest rates on credit over the years which, he claimed, had sustained non-productive sectors to the detriment of key sectors that could help in achieving sustainable national development. The lawmaker said the banks were more disposed to lending to agents that constitute economic parasites and have over the years been ripping off Nigerians through their various anti-people economic activities that encourage the depleting of the country’s foreign reserves and worsen the poverty level in the country. The legislator, who is the Chairman of Appropriation Sub-Committee on Petroleum
and Niger Delta, wondered why interest rates on bank credit in the country continued to remain high when rates in other climes had dropped considerably in the face of global economic slowdown, pointing out that there was no way the economy could grow unless the banks put national economic interest above their profitability drive. “I personally look at the banks as the worst culprits in the Nigerian system with 20 to 22 per cent interest rate. It is a total disaster in a global economy where interest rates have so collapsed: it is only in this magical world of ours that the rate is abnormally high. “How can we say that bank rates for human beings not in moon, not in Mars but on planet Earth would be practically one fifth of the total value of every hundred units? It does not make sense at all. “If the interest rate is not below nine or eight per cent in Nigeria, what it means is that somebody is ripping us off. I doubt if what the banks are doing is really banking”, the lawmaker said. While noting that despite the disagreement between the Executive and the Legislature over the yearly budget implementation, the former university don and economist believes that such altercations with the political undertones have helped
from doing business with the Nigerian government for not less than five years and then a fine of 25 per cent of the value of the procurement in question. The 13 entities were debarred for offering corruption money to people, and generally misrepresenting facts and lying about their capabilities with the view to changing the outcome of a procurement process”, Ezeh added. He pointed out that the develop-
ment of the Country Debarment Procedure which is modelled after those other international good practices operating in other climes was intended to give additional mileage to the Bureau’s efforts to drive the successful implementation of tis enabling Act. Citing the provisions of the Act, particularly Sections 6 (e, g and h) and 56 (6a-b) to justify the latest initiative, Ezeh said by the provi-
sions of the section, the Bureau has power to “debar any supplier, contractor or service provider that contravenes any provision of the Act and regulations made pursuant to this Act” While noting that the Debarment Procedure is not new in the procurement value chain globally, he explained that the proposed procedure would be one of the mechanisms developed to punish procurement related corrupt practices and inculcate the required discipline in the nation’s public procurement system and ultimately improve the way to do business to meet international best practices. In his goodwill message at the forum which attracted participants from both public and private sectors, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Pius assured Federal Government’s support to ensure full implementation of the debarment procedure once adopted by stakeholders.
FCMB fortifies network for improved e-commerce KUNLE A ZEEZ
irst City Monument Bank Plc, said it will continue to upgrade its network security to provide improved services to players in the emerging electronic commerce in the country. Disclosing this to National Mirror at an e-commerce forum orgainsed by an online retailer, Jumia.com, in Lagos at the weekend, Head of Transitions Banking, FCMB, Ms Rolayo Akhigbe, said the bank understands the threats that come with online transactions and has continued to comply with global standards in online security. “We constantly invest in security infrastructure as a way of fortifying our network to ensure maxi-
mum security for individual and corporate customers. Many merchants like Jumia.com and others are connected to our networks and we guarantee them secure and seamless transactions” she said. Akhigbe said, with increasing concerns for Information and Communications Technology in Nigerian, it was evident that enterprises gain significantly from e-business and the execution of tasks electronically. According to her, in terms of e-commerce services, FCMB provides business-to-business, B2B, and business-to c-consumer, B2C operating modes, covering wholesale, retail, real estate trading and other fields. “Also, on the aspect of financial services, we provide customers with things such as online pay-
ment, trusteeship, guarantees and financial intermediation all woven around strong security infrastructures”, he said. Apart from FCMB, other partnering brands at the Jumia first anniversary e-ecommerce conference include DHL, Interswitch, Intel and Paga, among others. Speaking in the same vein, Head of Marketing and Communications, Mr. Ikechukwu Kalu, explained that customers desires were becoming more sophisticated stressing that customers wanted more than just plain banking services. He said: “Enhancing our ecommerce portfolio is good for boosting customer loyalty. If you don’t provide e-commerce platform, they will go and find it someplace else.”
Cashless: 400 MDAs’ officials set for E-PPAN forum KUNLE A ZEEZ
he E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria has said over 400 top level government executives from over 100 Ministries, Department and Agencies are billed to gather at its second’s Annual EPayment for Government Summit holding later this month. This was confirmed by the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of E-PPAN, Mrs. Onajite Regha at the weekend. Speaking on the efforts made so far ahead if the July 31 event,
scheduled to at the Shehu Musa YarAdua Centre, Abuja, to examine more ways electronic payment can enhance public sector payment processes in order to deepen the adoption of cashless Nigeria, Regha said all activities were on top gear to ensure success of the event. According to her, the event would bring experts together from the ecosystem of the payment industry to examine issues faced in the public sector in the implementation of the e-payment system. She said the experts will also share necessary steps and pro-
cedures needed to develop more government-centric e-payment products to enhance efficiency in the public sector. “With access to over 400 top level government executives from 100 MDAs from around the country, the summit will present a unique platform for industry leaders and the government executives to establish a sustained partnership relationship which will aid in the continuous exchange of knowledge on best practices, policies, processes and strategies of implementing and achieving an efficient payment system,” she said.
Business & Finance
Our charges constitute less than 2% of logistics chain cost –APMT FRANCIS EZEM
ontrary to earlier insinuations, APM Terminals Apapa Limited, operators of former Container Terminal Port under the concession arrangement has said that port concessionaires’ charges constitute less than two per cent of the entire logistic chain cost incurred in the process of clearing imported goods. Importers and clearing agents have over the years accused terminal operators of imposing arbitrary charges on port service users, thus describing Nigeria’s seaports as most expensive in terms of cost of clearing cargo in the West and Central African sub-region. Managing Director of the company, Mr. Dallas Hampton, who addressed journalists in Lagos, denied any complicity on the part
of port concessionaires in the exorbitant cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports. “So many people may find it difficult to believe, but it is a fact that less than two per cent of the entire logistic chain cost come to the terminal operators”, he insisted. “It is also wrong for people to say that terminal operators collect demurrage charges. Demurrage charges are for shipping companies and they collect that in respect of the containers because they need to turn them (the containers) over,” he added. He also said that the company’s greatest challenge in trying to enthrone a regime of port efficiency in Nigeria is the Nigeria Customs Service’s policy of carrying out 100 per cent physical examination on more than 70 per cent of the container traffic.. According to him, request by the service to carry out physi-
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 cal examination of containers i has remained un-paralleled anywhere in the world, and hinders efficiency. The APMT-boss, also disclosed that another major challenge faced by the company was the delay by the customs and other security agencies in clearing vessels before the company could begin to discharge containers on board. “It takes upwards of 12 hours for Customs and other security agencies such as Immigration and Plant Quarantine to give their approval without which we cannot lift a container out of the ship, elsewhere it takes less than one hour to clear the ship”, he noted. On allegations that the company failed to provide conducive space for the customs to do its physical cargo examination, he disclosed that the company constructed a physical examination bay with offices and modern facilities at over $4million but regretted that the service abandoned it on the flimsy excuse that it is too small.
L-R: Director, MTN Foundation, Mr. Dennis Okoro; Executive Secretary, Ms. Nonny Ugboma; Director, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi and member, MUSON Board of Trustees, Chief Femi Williams, during the sixth MTNF Muson Scholars graduation Concert on Saturday.
$500m Nigeria, China loan agreement below 3% interest –FAAN OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, yesterday revealed that the $500 million loan agreement the Nigerian Government signed with the Chinese Government for the construction of four new international airport terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano is at below three per cent interest rate. FAAN said that the invest on loan will start running after a grace period of 10 years. The facility is for 30 years. The agency speaking through its General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Yakubu Dati said that the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, has already moved into the country with it’s skill
and expertise to deliver these state-of-the-art airports in less than two years. He said, “The massive intervention of the Nigerian Government in the aviation sector, by way of infrastructural, safety and security upgrades as well as human capital development is repositioning the Nigerian aviation sector as a major player in the African continent. “The designation of airports to make them more viable and embarking on international road shows, to showcase the birth of a transformed sector, as contained in the Aviation Master Plan, has caught world attention. The Aviation Master Plan, as developed by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has culminated in beneficial business relationship with key international investors.”
Dati explained further that the completion of the four international terminals within 24 months would further serve as a turning point in the country’s quest to play its leadership role in African aviation. He recalled that the $500 million agreement signed by President Goodluck Jonathan was one of the Memorandums of Understanding, signed by the president in Beijing, China. Dati added that construction work on the terminals would soon begin and the funds from the Chinese EXIM Bank, would guarantee its completion on schedule. He emphasised that the simultaneous construction of four international airports, in addition to the on-going work in 16 airport terminals nearing completion across the country would create ready employment for the youthful population, which he said accounts for 44 per cent of the estimated 170 million people.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Manufacturers asked to improve on quality of consumer products
he Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has urged manufacturers of consumer products in the country to improve on the quality of their products. Mrs Ngozika Obidike, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of the Council, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos. Obidike said that most manufacturing companies reduced the quality of their products as soon as they gained acceptability in the market. According to her, such tricks do not favour the industry and the image of manufacturers in the country, saying
that such practices rather reduced the demand for madein-Nigeria goods. “The Consumer Protection Council is working on its mandate by the Federal Government to reduce substandard products in the market by 15 per cent by the end of 2013. “As part of the initiatives to rid the country of such substandard products, the council is engaging other countries in bilateral agreements in this regard, ‘’she told NAN. Obidike, therefore, urged Nigerians to be aware of their consumer rights and should not hesitate to report cases of poor services and substandard products so that the companies could be called to order.
Diamond Bank, largest employer of talent –Trimnell
iamond Bank has said it is the largest employer of talent in the nation’s banking sector. According to Head, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Ayona Trimnell, “The recent performance review is an annual exercise for us at Diamond as we seek to continuously recognize and reward members of staff who have excelled. We believe that the bank’s performance is linked to the quality of the staff it retains. As such, in the last few days, 677 staff members who have excelled have been promoted, while 61 members of staff, who have consistently performed poorly over the last three years, have been disengaged.” She said the bank has recently concluded its Annual Performance Review exercise is line with global best practices, where institutions periodically review their human resource talent as a means of driving their corporate growth agenda. The bank statement also indicates
that the performance review exercise is hinged on the Bank’s Enterprise Assessment Framework called the Balanced Score Card. The framework spells out carefully itemized parameters with which members of staff are measured and these parameters are communicated to all staff at the beginning of each financial year. It said with well over 1,600 new recruits in the last financial year, of which 1,352 are fresh graduates from reputable universities around the country, Diamond Bank is the largest employer of talent in the Nigerian banking industry. The bank boasts of a robust personnel engagement strategy that helps it to continually attract and retain the best talent in the industry. This is in fulfilment of its corporate vision of becoming a leading financial institution, with the best people, providing unequalled customer experience and delivering superior shareholder value.
Unity Bank takes banking to streets TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
nity Bank Plc has intensified its grassrootsoriented banking with its road shows organised in five cities in the first phase of the nationwide programme. The road shows, which were held in Lagos, Abuja, Bauchi, Port Harcourt and Dutse in Jigawa State during which bank staff took to the streets to deliver the message of its latest Savings Promo headlined as 3-in-1 Savings Advantage are part of the bank management’s initiatives being undertaking to grow its stature as one of the foremost retail bank in the country. During the shows, the bank provided entertainment via mu-
sic and dances, comedy, skating and durbar (festive horse rides show) to the delight of customers and prospective bank customers over a period of about seven hours on the streets of the designated cities. The participating staff and volunteers provided free financial advisory services, distributed information leaflets and opened savings accounts for a number of bank services consumers. It would be recalled that at the launch of the 2nd season of the bank’s Aim, Save & Win promotion last month, the Managing Director of the Unity bank Plc, Ado Yakubu Wanka had indicated that the bank would be taking steps to re-emphasize its retail banking orientation and would do everything to explore the niche.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Nigeria’s corporates, workers grappling with outsourcing challenges Outsourcing or contract staffing has become a good option for many Nigerian companies seeking to save cost and focus on core functions, but sharp practices by contracting firms, low pay and unfavourable condition of service often lead to strained labour relations. MESHACK IDEHEN reports.
ccording to Wikipedia, outsourcing is a contracting or subcontracting of non-core activities of a business to a third- party organisation to free up cash, personnel, time and facilities for activities in which a company holds competitive advantage. That is, companies having strength in other areas may contract that data processing, legal, manufacturing, marketing, payroll accounting, or other aspects of their businesses to concentrate on what they do best and thus, reduce average unit cost. Outsourcing is often an integral part of downsizing or re-engineering of a business. It is also called contracting out. The term “outsourcing” became popular in the United States near the turn of the 21st century because of remarkable changes in the macro-economic environment. Outsourcing sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another, but not always. Outsourcing is a practice that should not be considered without considering the impact on an organisation. The opposite of outsourcing is called insourcing, which entails bringing processes handled by third-party firms in-house, and is sometimes accomplished via vertical integration. However, a business can provide a contract service to another business without necessarily insourcing that business process. Cost saving is the principal motivation for outsourcing. Other reasons include avoidance of overbearing regulations, high taxes, high energy costs, and unreasonable costs that may be associated with defined benefits in labour-union contracts and taxes for government-mandated benefits. Outsourcing has also taken root in Nigeria as companies operating in the country re-engineer their operations to remain competitive in the face of global competition. Also in this regard, an Outsourcing Development Initiative of Nigeria (ODIN), a non – profit organisation based in Abuja has been formed. The initiative was conceived in the first quarter of 2008 between selected organizations in the private and public sector of Nigeria in collaboration with the World Bank. ODIN’s mandate is the promotion of Nigeria as an alternative Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destination of choice for organisations the world over seeking new and cost efficient destinations to outsource the non-core elements of their businesses to. The need to develop the ICT, ITES and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), sectors in Nigeria cannot be ignored or over-emphasised, it is on this platform that the World Bank in conjunction with members of ODIN decided to create an avenue for stakeholders in the various sectors to come together and find ways to initiate the development of these sectors. Some of the leading companies in outsourcing in Nigeria include Accenture and Phillip Outsourcing Services Nigeria Limited. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 266,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.
Challenges of outsourcing in Nigeria Though Nigerian companies have been outsourcing their non-core functions to third-parties for sometimes now, not much was known about how Nigerian workers on the employ of outsourcing firms were treated until the recent sack of about 3, 000 workers in the Call Centre Service of Airtel Nigeria by Spanco Channel BPO and Tech Mahindra, two Indian firms. In a related development, third-party support personnel
Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Alex Otti
INSIDERS SAY THAT THE BANK LOST ABOUT N300 MILLION DAILY DUE TO THE STRIKE WHILE THE BANK MANAGEMENT INSISTED THAT THE WORKERS SHOULD HAVE GONE TO COURT
INSTEAD OF HOLDING THE BANK, WHICH IS NOT THEIR ACTUAL EMPLOYER, HOSTAGE
posted to Diamond Bank Plc have recently had challenges with their employer –C & M Exchange, an outsourced contractor. As these issues are yet to be resolved, the third party personnel want Diamond Bank to intercede to resolve the differences. In a bid to press home their demands, these staff under the umbrella of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions’ Employees (NUBIFIE), have since last Wednesday embarked on a three-day warning strike in all branches of the bank across the country, thereby making several customers of the bank to be stranded. A financial industry analyst, Emman Bankole, posited that Diamond Bank is a victim of circumstance in this situation, saying that instead of the affected employees of the outsourced company venting their anger on their employer, C&M Exchange; they decided to use Diamond Bank as guinea pig, thereby making it look as if they were directly employed by the bank. According to Mrs. Ayona Trimnell, Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank, the layoff were based on a performance review exercise carried out recently. Explaining further, she said, “The recent performance review is an annual exercise for us at Diamond as we seek to continuously recognise and reward members of staff who have excelled. We believe that the bank’s performance is linked to the quality of the staff it retains. As such, in the last few days, 677 staff members who have excelled have been promoted, while 61 members of staff, who have consistently performed poorly over the last three years, have been disengaged.” She added that the performance review exercise is hinged on the bank’s Enterprise Assessment Framework called the Balanced Score Card that spells out carefully itemized parameters with which members of staff are measured and these parameters are communicated to all staff at the beginning of each financial year. Insiders said that the bank lost about N300 million daily due to the strike while the bank management insisted that the workers should have gone to court instead of holding the bank, which is not their actual employer, hostage.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu
Sharp Practices This development has raised issues about the quality of labour relations in many outsourcing organisations in Nigeria. Also, it has brought to the fore, sharp labour practices that some of them engage in at the expense of the companies that contracted them in the first place. Many outsourcing companies pay as little as 20 per cent of the amount collected to place outsourced workers, who also have no disengagement benefits or tangible perks enjoyed by staff employed directly by client companies. These are issues that labour unions have been trying to get government to address to no avails leading to strained labour relations in large organisations from time to time. President of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Mr. Olusoji Salako, said despite steps taken by organised labour in general and ASSIBIFI in particular, that the issue of outsourcing remains a challenge the banking sector in Nigeria is still grappling with. Salako said his union through its parent’s body; the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has repeatedly urged the Federal Government to invoke the relevant laws of the country against companies that enslave Nigerians through the practice of casualisation and contract staffing. According to him, central labour bodies including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is also seeking appropriate sanctions against companies, including those outside of the financial services sector like the oil and gas companies that violate the expatriate quota rules and promote casualisation. Speaking in the same vein, the National Industrial Relations Officer of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Senior Staff Association, Mr. Chika Onuegbu, said oil and gas companies especially in the country have remained adamant despite all previous conferences and dialogues between organised labour and the management of the companies to address the issues of casualisation of workers in the sector. Onuegbu who is the Rivers State Chairman of the TUC told National Mirror that in times past, what was obtainable in the industry was that working for a period of two years in the oil and gas industry automatically qualifies such individual to become a staff, particularly once such individual is able to discharge his or her duties well. According to him, what is in vogue now, and what the various unions have been fighting against is contract staffing and casualisations, saying once you are a casual or contract staff, it means you can wake up in the morning and by four o’ clock, you are out of job. “In this country now, there are people who have been casuals and contract workers for up to 15 years and they don’t have any benefits attached to their contract of employment. All these, we must put an end to through policy formulation and adequate engagement with those involved, alongside invoking relevant laws when necessary”.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
How to overcome first job interview fears
A job interviewee
eing called for a first interview as a fresh graduate is an exciting prospect, but it’s also one that is stressful. Here are some tips to help jobseekers overcome first timer’s interview fears and how to present self in the best possible way. You won’t arrive at the interview on time-Look up the company address online and make a dry run before the day of the interview. If the directions are not clear, call to clarify before your appointment. You aren’t sure of the spelling or pronunciation of the name of the person you will be meeting with-Making a mistake in someone’s name is a major faux pas when going on a job interview, and one you will want to avoid at all costs. It’s better to call the company to get clarification about someone’s name than to say it incorrectly at the interview. You may find it helpful to write it down phonetically and practice saying it a few times before your meeting. You won’t be dressed appropriately for the interview.When in doubt, err on the side of being too conservative when getting dressed for an interview. You don’t necessarily
need to wear a suit, but a neatly-pressed shirt and a tie is not a bad choice for men. Women can wear a skirt and blouse or a dress to an interview. Make sure your shoes are shined and in good repair, and keep jewelry to a minimum. You won’t appear confident to the interviewer-While it’s natural to feel a bit nervous when meeting new people, being interviewed shouldn’t shake your basic confidence in yourself as a person who is competent and has a lot to offer an employer. Take some time before your meeting to remind yourself of what you can bring to the table, and how you can help the employer reach its goals. Your handshake will be too hard or a too soft- Shaking hand is a skill, and you can practice this in advance. Enlist the help of a friend or a family member until you feel comfortable. Ideally, you want to give a firm handshake that does not squeeze the other person’s hand too hard. You will become tongue-tied when trying to describe your strengths and weaknesses-Before sitting down with a potential
employer, go through a list of common interview questions and practice your responses. You want to be well prepared for your meeting, but do avoid offering a “scripted” response to the questions on interview day. You will not be able to remember dates or other important information from your resume-Bring at least two copies of your resume and any documentation you wish to rely on at the interview with you. You can refer to it during the interview, if necessary, and it’s a good idea to provide a copy to your interviewer as well. You will not be able to persuade the interviewer you will be a good fit-Go through the job ad in detail before the interview and make note of how your skills and abilities would fit each point the employer is looking for. You won’t fit in with the corporate culture if you are hired-Do your homework about the company before the interview. Go online to check it out thoroughly. See if you know someone who works there or if anyone you know knows someone who does. Source: Yahoojobs.com
Microsoft Nigeria’s helmsman resigns, joins Zinox Group KUNLEAZEEZ
ountry Manager and Head, Microsoft Anglophone West African countries covering Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, has resigned his appointment at Microsoft to join Zinox Technologies Group, an indigenous integrated Information and Communication Technology firm. Onyeje’s movement was announced in a statement signed by the Corporate Affairs Consultant of Zinox, Mr. EzukaEchika, and made available to National Mirror yesterday. The statement said Onyeje is a
thorough bred ICT professional, whose career has inadvertently turned out to be a summary of the development of the ICT sector in West Africa. As a young man, Onyeje, the statement said, showed an early promise three years after graduation when he originated and led a project team to develop Nigeria’s first Microsoft Windows Application in 1992. “Onyeje, who is a digital wizkid and technology strategist turned around the fortunes of the No. 1 global software company and achieved sustained unbroken records until he left Microsoft to join Zinox as the Group’s Chief Operating Officer. “He had worked as the Chief
Information Officer of the United Bank of Africa Group before joining Microsoft seven years ago. Mr. Onyeje with strong educational background at Bedford, England, also earned a Second Class Upper degree in Electrical Electronics from the University of Jos in 1989.” According to the statement, “Onyeje, well known for his depth of character, ability, determination and dedication, will bring to Zinox Technologies, his global experience in Information and Communications, numerous certifications from world-class Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, and active participant hindsight in software development and networks maintenance.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
ne curriculum vitae does not fit all job vacancies. It is important for job seekers, fresh graduates and experienced professionals alike, to specifically tailor make their CV, when applying for any fresh job vacancies. It is also imperative for employment hopefuls to do a background check on any company they are looking to work, so that insider’s information obtained can be put to the best use. On available vacancies this week, a member of Dangote Group, (www.dangotegroup. com), Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, a company considered as the largest sugar refinery in Africa leads the pack, with various openings up for grabs by qualified job seekers looking to make a career with the group. Positions of two General Managers; Sales and Marketing with the primary role of designing, developing and innovating sales and marketing strategies, amongst others, that of Supply Chain, with the objective to lead and manage the company’s supply chain functions are on offer. Also available from the group is the position of Head, Corporate Sales, whose primary objective is to ensure the company’s dominance of the industrial sugar market, and management of the relationships between DSR and its industrial customers. All the positions attract first and second degress, with several years of experience, excellent interpersonal, communication and leadership skills and proven track record of performance in large reputable companies. From Nigeria Bottling Company, (www.nbcltdcareers. com), are various positions
“This Nigerian born professional, credited, everywhere he worked, with saving costs and exceeding targets in triple digits without sacrificing customer satisfaction will also enhance the competencies of Zinox with his vast end user database, immense end user goodwill and credibility. “In the past two years, spurred by the vision of the founding fathers to build the most integrated ICT firm in Africa and the rising expectations of a democratic Nigeria, Zinox Technologies has deliberately employed the best Nigerian ICT professionals locally and abroad to enhance her Systems Integration, Software Solutions, Digital Energy, Digital PC Assembling and Advanced Biometric Solutions offerings to domesticate world class standard.”
that are up for grabs, including openings for Utilities Engineers, Generator Managers, Refrigeration Systems Engineer, National Spare Parts Manager, Steam Boiler Engineer, and Automation Engineer amongst others. Interested job seekers are advised to visit the company’s website and follow instructions on how to apply for the jobs. The position of a Buying Specialist (www.jobberman. com) is also available on job vacancies this week. The incoming is expected to be based in Lagos, considering the job is in the financial service sector. Description for the position includes ability to manage the procurement process for buying and conduct proactive expediting of orders to ensure on-time delivery with a focus on “Just in time” principle, obtaining quotes daily for goods or services to be procured, to identify savings opportunities on day-to-day procurement activities and to establish and maintain sound stakeholder management principles Other responsibilities are to execute day-to-day procurement tasks within agreed turn around time, develop and manage catalogues and limit orders and review, update and approve catalogue and non-catalogue shopping carts. Minimum qualifications are relevant degree, while required experience is between 5 - 7 years. Still from www.joberman. com are positions of Insurance Marketers that are expected to be based in Lagos and one other location. Experience of between 1 - 3 years is required, while the incoming are expected to be in functional area like marketing, advertising and branding. The post of a Business Development Officers (www.jobberman.com) is also on offer this week; the incoming is to be based in Abuja. Responsibilities for the position are to manage and control the relationship between products and target audience, promote whatever products or services that on offer and developing new marketing strategies. Others are to generate and follow up on leads and prospect, manage customer relationship and market insurance products. Qualifications and requirements needed are minimum of SSCE, should be energetic, have an outgoing personality, have ability to canvass and have flair for marketing of Insurance products. No previous knowledge or experienced is required as adequate training will be conducted.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Real Estate & Environment firstname.lastname@example.org 08033312578
Ongoing Eko Atlantic City Project, Lagos.
Security risks, cash crunch mar recovery of real estate sector Contrary to predictions of a promising sector at the beginning of 2013, the real estate sector has experienced a lull in the first half of the year owing to insecurity in the northern part of the country, kidnapping and jailbreak in the South East and South West. These factors are affecting the perception of investors in the sector. DAYO AYEYEMI, reports.
xcept in Lagos and Rivers states where few developments, including the Eko Atlantic City Project and Greater Port-Harcourt City Project are ongoing, activities in the nation’s real estate sector have seen a decline in the last seven months, no thanks to insurgency and insecurity in the north which led to the declaration of State of Emergency in three states; fear of flooding as a result of climate change; kidnapping and jailbreak cases in the South East and South West. Besides, efforts of government to revamp the sector through the implementation of the new housing policy have refused to yield positive results owing to bureaucracy and paucity of funds.
Although, the Federal Government promised to inject funds to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and establish the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company with the injection of $300 million by the World Bank, millions of Nigerians seeking a roof over their heads are yet to see these materialise. While majority of developers are apprehensive of where to move into for housing development, perception of foreign investors about the insecurity in the country and safety of their investments has not helped matters. According to analysts at Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC) in their monthly report for July, security risks would remain a major challenge in several parts of the country. Due to security challenge, it noted that Nigeria will continue to witness slow recovery in the real estate sector
until security issue is resolved. However, vacancy rate of residential apartments in exclusive quarters of Victoria Island and Ikoyi in Lagos, has continued to increase on the average of 45 per cent and 25 per cent, according to FDC’s report, despite availability of top quality properties in the locations. Exorbitant rental prices in Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi has also continued to weigh down on demand for properties in these enclaves, widening the vacancy rate It is on record that the supply of properties in these neighbourhoods outweighed the demand for them as buyers are unwilling to pay such high prices. Rental values of properties in locations such as Yaba, Surulere, Maryland, Ilupeju and Anthony Village are also increasing due to influx of people who cannot afford exorbitant rental price demanded in highend neighbourhoods.
WHILE MAJORITY OF DEVELOPERS ARE APPREHENSIVE OF WHERE TO MOVE INTO FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, PERCEPTION OF
FOREIGN INVESTORS ABOUT THE GENERAL INSECURITY IN THE COUNTRY AND SAFETY OF THEIR INVESTMENTS HAS NOT HELPED MATTERS
It is also noted in the first half of the year that there was higher demand for office spaces than for residential houses in the highbrow areas of Lagos. Prices of properties in highbrow areas of Lagos show that residential flats cost between N3m and N13m per annum; duplex goes for N3m and N20m; and shopping malls cost between N30,000 and N80,000 rent per square metre. Speaking with National Mirror, Vice President, (South West), Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr. Akinloye Adeoye, maintained that the insecurity in the country has impacted negatively on the sector. Explaining further, Adeoye said security challenge is affecting the perception of both local and foreign investors which, according to him, would not like to invest their money in troubled locations in the country. He explained that real estate activities in the northern states and Abuja have totally collapsed. He said, “Even in the South western states of the country, the perception of investors is not favourable considering the jailbreak that occurred in Akure recently.” The downturn in real estate activities in Nigeria, Adeoye said has further been heightened by high rate of unemployment CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Security risks, cash crunch mar recovery of real estate sector CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 in the country, adding that majority of the citizens are not empowered. To overcome the situation, he said the government must ensure that general peace returns to all the states of the federation. He enjoined the Federal Government to inject funds into the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), adding that the Pension Fund should also be invested in mortgage to address the housing needs of low and medium income earners. By doing so, he expressed hope that there would be activities in the sector and the housing market would rebound. Lagos-based estate surveyor and valuer, Mr. Akin Olawore, also attributed the slow recovery of real estate sector to insecurity in the country and dearth of funds in the economy. Apart from insecurity, he said developers could not access funds, while people who need houses could not access mortgage owing to dearth of funds. Except the government injects money into the sector, he maintained that the situation would remain bleak. Also speaking with National Mirror on the issue, President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Chucks Omeife, said, “The real estate sector is neither here nor there for now.” The NIOB president pointed out that the security challenge in the country had weighed down on investment in real estate industry. He said, “When you look at the region where the issue of insecurity has escalated, the issue of development becomes the last thing anybody can think of. “Even in some areas where there are no serious security challenges, the general feeling is that of “wait and see”, and this has affected potential inflow of investment into the sector.” He maintained that the period between when the security challenges started and when it would come to an end would reflect a decline in the output of the sector. Declining output in the real estate sector, he noted is not good for the country considering the volume of predicted housing deficit.
Housing Ministert, Pepple
According to him, lack of regulation in the sector has made it very difficult to predict the prevailing situation in the sector. “Yes, one can see different forms of development in the sector but the aggregate data that will inform and assist in arriving at a verifiable prediction or forecast is not available and this makes it a bit hard to determine the sector performance. This is the private sector involvement,” he stated. On the government’s side, Omeife explained that a lot of work is being done in implementing the suggestions in the national housing policy, adding that the result might take time to be visible. On the way forward, he said, “What I think is that if government can intensify efforts in implementing the provisions of the housing policy, then, we would have gained something that can greatly impact on the sector.” Lack of implementation of policy, the issue of Land Use Act, housing finance, mortgage system and many others, according to him, have been the major challenges confronting the growth of the real estate sector If these inhibiting factors are removed, Omeife said this would give room for the creation of the much talked about
enabling environment that would can impact on availability and affordability of real estate products. The experts at the FDC expressed hope that with the Eko Atlantic project in Lagos, Greater Port-Harcourt City project in Port Harcourt and release of budget funds for infrastructure development, level of activities in the sector would increase in months ahead. The report from FDC noted that the real estate sector witnessed an improvement in activities as new properties sprung up in different parts of Lagos including Ikoyi, Lekki, Ikeja GRA and Yaba among others. According to the FDI report, demand for properties was influenced by three factors namely: Property rental price, quality of the property and availability of facilities. It stated, “High quality properties with good facilities and a moderate price sold out quickly. It must be noted that the price of the property played a larger role in determining demand than the other two factors.” But in Port Harcourt, according to the quarterly report by FDI, excess capacity compelled landlords to forgo the high price of properties.
“For example, the rental price of a duplex that would normally be let for N7m was cut to N3.5m,”it said. Also in Abuja and Port Harcourt (PH), findings revealed that commercial properties had a higher vacancy factor than residential properties in these cities. In Abuja for example, it was noted that the need for residential properties came from high demand from civil servants who require accommodation, coupled with the limited supply of residential properties. “Similarly in Port Harcourt, there is higher demand for residential properties as several federal parastatals located in other states have transferred some members of staff to their branches in PH,” it said. In its latest assessment of the GDP, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), reported that the real estate sector grew by 11.09 per cent in fourth quarter of 2012, which is a considerable increase over the growth of 10.24 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2012. However, the sector recorded a decline in growth year-on-year as it grew by 10.41 per cent in 2012 compared to the 10.55 per cent growth recorded in 2011.
How African land deals can benefit investors, communities –IIED DAYO AYEYEMI
he time is ripe for a new approach to the large-scale land deals that ultimately connect millions of consumers and savers in rich nations with millions of poor rural farmers in Africa, a new book by one of the world’s leading experts in such deals has said. The book entitled, “The Great African Land Grab”, written by Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Dr Lorenzo Cotula, was launched by Zed Books in London, yesterday. The book charts path from harmful land grabs to people-centred investment in Africa According to a statement by the spokesperson of IIED, Mr Mike Shansha, the book
showed how governments, investors, civil society organisations and farmers could act to ensure that investment in agriculture responds to the aspirations of poor communities, whilst providing returns on investments. Cotula, a senior researcher at IIED said, “The growing body of evidence shows that the majority of large-scale land deals have had net negative impacts on local populations. “They have rendered people landless without compensations, have broken links between land and livelihoods, culture and social identity and, in some cases, have sparked conflict.” It doesn’t need to be this way. When properly structured, investments can create new opportunities for local producers – for example, where a company invests in a processing plant and sources from local
farmers. “Small-scale farmers remain the main source of investment in African agriculture, and it is through promoting investment in these farmers, not in their land, that African governments are most likely to increase food security,” he said. But historical legacies, powerful forces in markets and policy, and biased legal frameworks make local landholders vulnerable to dispossession. “The law offers strong protection to investors who acquire land, but the rights of people affected by the deals are weak under national and international law,” says Cotula. “When competing claims come into contest, more vulnerable groups get squeezed out. The people the deals affect have little or no say, and gain few benefits.” But, Cotula also warned that the debate on “land grabbing” has become polarised,
and that this has not helped efforts to find practical ways forward. Strong views in favour of either large or small-scale agriculture ignore the evidence that demands a more fine-grained analysis of each model, and of the many models that involve collaboration between small and large-scale operators. Cotula outlined what governments, investors, international agencies and civil society could do to promote inclusive models of investment. He said that without the necessary changes to policy, law, transparency and power relations, a better deal for Africa from incoming investment would remain elusive. “Decisions taken now will have impacts for decades to come,” said Cotula. “The time has come for placing people at the centre of investment processes.”
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
IAAF WYC: We’ve learnt useful lesson –Nesiama
Ameobi targets World Cup with Nigeria
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Assuring as Bafana’s berth in the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals looks, we still have to work harder –Former South Africa international, Aaron Mokoena
ewcastle United’s strik- ria must not lose if they are to er, Shola Ameobi, has secure a final play-off spot for set his sights on playing next year’s showpiece in Brazil. Ameobi is desperate to make for Nigeria at next year’s World an impact. Cup in Brazil. “I’ve got to get into this inAmeobi is available again for Nigeria after the removal credibly talented team, make of a clause in his club contract sure I give my best, show my that stopped him from playing experience and make a signifiat the 2013 Africa Cup of Na- cant contribution. I made my (Nigeria) debut at 31, now here tions in South Africa. Capped only once, the I am and hopefully my experi31-year-old is eager to make up ence will enable me to develop at this level,” he added. for lost time. “Every player is looking to “It would be incredible for play at the World Cup. I think me to represent Nigeria again. we’ve got every chance of qualAnd to help them qualify for the World Cup would make it ifying - but we must fight and earn the right to be there.” extra special,” he said. Before that, he could make Ameobi’s sole appearance for the Super Eagles came in a his return when Nigeria play 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela South Africa in the Nelson in Miami, Florida in November Mandela Challenge on August 2012 - in which he set up his 14 in Durban. Keshi’s squad list for the side’s third goal. The former England Un- game is expected to be made der-21 international had one public this week. year earlier received clearance from FIFA to switch his national allegiance to the country of his birth. But his Nigeria career failed to take off because of an agreement with Newcastle which has been expunged. “My full focus is now on helping the Super Eagles to be successful,” he told BBC Sport. Coach Stephen Keshi is expected to call on Ameobi for September’s World Cup qualifier at home to Malawi - the final Group F match which Nige- Ameobi
Heartland appoints Mangut as coach
igeria cup holders, Heartland, have appointed their former captain, Mbwas Mangut, as assistant coach. The 34-year-old Mangut will assist Coach Ndubuisi Nduka. “I thank the club for giving me this opportunity and I hope to contribute my quota to their success,” he said. Mangut’s appointment takes effect immediately and his wealth of experience as an explayer and his qualifications as a coach will be of help to Heartland. “We have a new assistant coach, he is Mbwas Mangut. He was an experienced player. He played here before and he was a legend,” a Heartland player
informed MTNFootball.com “I hope to gain from his experience to add to what the head coach has taught me.” The former Sharks player starred for Heartland between 2002 and 2006 before he left for Enyimba and returned for his second stint in 2007 to 2010, when he was captain for the three years. He has a coaching certificate in India, National Institute for Sports (NIS) (Lagos) and CAF C licence. He played in Colombia for five years for America de Cali and Deportivo de Cali, in Saudi. He also played for Al Hilal, Al Arabi (Qatar), Sunzihu Elfu(Japan) as well as in India.
Sunday Mba (left) tussling with a Burkina Faso defender in the final match of the 2013 AFCON held in South Africa.
Int’l transfer: Mba awaits January window N
igeria international, Sunday Mba, is holding out to leave Glo Nigeria Premier League club, Warri Wolves, on a free transfer. The contract of the Super Eagles’ midfielder at Wolves is expected to run out in December this year. Mba, 24, is now exploring the option of securing a move to Europe in the January transfer window of 2014 when he becomes a free agent.
The midfielder, who is temporarily on loan to Enugu Rangers from Wolves on compassionate grounds, is already attracting fresh interests from French and Turkish clubs. “There are a number of offers for Sunday Mba at the moment. Clubs from Turkey are interested in him but nothing is done yet. “He is considering leaving in January when he will be a free agent so as to avoid any form of issues over his transfer,” said foot-
ball agent, Friday Nwankwo Kujah. Mba has been a subject of a transfer row between Glo Premier League clubs, Wolves and Rangers, before the intervention of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) declared the Warri club owners of 100 percent rights to the player. The midfielder has also been linked with clubs in England and Norway following his eye-catching performance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Man United wants Fabregas for £25m
anchester United have bid £25m for Barcelona’s ex-Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas but the Gunners have first refusal on him at the same price. United’s offer is being considered but is understood to be below the Spanish club’s valuation of the player. While Fabregas is not pushing for a move, it is believed he is open to a return to England The 26-year-old will be guided by whether Barcelona are
prepared to accept an offer for him. Fabregas came through the Spanish club’s La Masia academy before Arsenal signed him as a 16-year-old in 2003. He developed as one of the London club’s key players under manager Arsene Wenger before becoming Arsenal captain in November 2008. The Spanish international spent eight years with the Gunners, playing 303 games and scoring 57 goals.
However, he returned to the Nou Camp when he signed a five-year deal with Barcelona in a £25.4m move in August 2011. He has since helped the Catalan club win the Copa del Rey in 2011-12 and La Liga in 2012-13. Fabregas has played 96 times in two seasons with Barcelona, including 60 league games, but has rarely featured in his preferred midfield role, with Xavi, 33, and Andres Iniesta, 29, ahead of him in the Nou Camp outfit’s pecking order.
Sport Tit bits...
Alcantara Bayern Munich has confirmed the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona. Champions League and Bundesliga holder Bayern announced the news on its official Twitter account yesterday. Thiago, 22, is set for a medical with Pep Guardiola’s side ahead of penning a four-year contract at the Allianz Arena, having been targeted by Manchester United this summer.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Beckham tips Moyes for success
Sahin tips M
Luis Alberto Liverpool new signing, Luis Alberto, insists he is looking forward to featuring across the front line for Liverpool and is adjusting well to the Premier League after moving from Sevilla. The 20-year-old forward arrived in June for £6.8 million after registering 11 goals and 17 assists last season during a loan spell with Barcelona B.
Vito Mannone says he cannot wait to begin a new chapter in his career with Sunderland. The Italian ended his sevenyear stay at Arsenal in order to join Paolo Di Canio’s side for an undisclosed fee earlier this month, having made just 23 first-team appearances for the Gunners in total. Mannone is now targeting regular involvement at the Stadium of Light, and has hailed the atmosphere at the club ahead of Di Canio’s first full season in charge.
West Ham Manager, Sam Allardyce, has confirmed his side’s interest in Inter midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic but insists he is unaware of any potential move. The 25-year-old Serbia international spent three-and-a-half seasons with Wolfsburg before joining Inter in January this year, where he has attracted attention for his passing ability. “Zdravko is a player I like, but I know nothing about it so cannot comment,” Allardyce said.
Westwood Aston Villa midfielder, Ashley Westwood, is poised to sign a new deal at Villa Park, according to reports. Westwood has established himself as a key member of Paul Lambert’s side since arriving from Crewe last summer. The 23-year-old was a standout performer for Villa despite the club’s struggles at the wrong end of the table and he is tipped for a big future.
ngland legend, David Beckham, thinks Manchester United Manager, David Moyes, faces a difficult job in his first season at the club, but is tipping him to win the Premier League. “I’m sure he has had lot of mentoring, he is one of those managers that has always picked up the phone and spoken to Sir Alex,” Beckham said yesterday. “It was always going to be difficult job for whoever succeeded Sir Alex because of what the manager has brought to Manchester United and what he has brought to the game.
“But the same players are there and I’m sure a few more will be added over the next few weeks.” Beckham, however, believes it will be another thrilling year in the Premier League and is confident that there will be first-time success for Moyes. “Jose Mourinho is back and that’s exciting. It’s going to be interesting, but I still think United will win the league,” the retired footballer said. Beckham believes the backroom changes at Old Trafford can only have a beneficial effect as the club looks to build on Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy.
Gerrard pens new deal
iverpool captain Steven Gerrard has agreed a two-year contract to stay at Anfield until 2015 beyond his 35th birthday. Negotiations between Gerrard and the Liverpool hierarchy have been ongoing since the end of last season and he is expected to sign the fresh terms prior to embarking on the club’s pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia this weekend. Gerrard had one year remaining on his existing deal but Manager Brendan Rodgers was determined to remove any doubts about his captain’s immediate and long-term future. Having already lost Jamie Carragher through retirement, it was essential for Rodgers to retain the services of the most decorated player still on the playing staff. Gerrard, who recently turned 33, will now spend his entire career at one club having joined the Reds as a boy.
anchester City’s Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, aims to add to his attacking options before the start of the new season. City side has been strongly linked with Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo and Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic. With Sergio Aguero yet to link up with the squad’s pre-season trip to South Africa, Edin Dzeko is the only senior forward at Pellegrini’s disposal. But, having seen his team beaten 2-0 by Supersport in his first game in charge at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, he is confident there will be additions before the new campaign begins. “We are working on new players that can arrive at Manchester City. We are not in a hurry to bring them now but we are clear that we need two or three more players. It’s important to have a very good squad. “It’s difficult to say a date but before July finishes I think we will have more players,” he said. Pellegrini has confirmed that Brazil defender Maicon, who only joined from Inter Milan last northern summer, is set to leave the club to Serie A side Roma.
Martinez assures on Toffees
Wenger hails ‘new Giroud’
rsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, believes striker Olivier Giroud has much more to offer the club after seeing him score twice in Jakarta on Sunday. Giroud came off the bench to quickly net twice from Bacary Sagna crosses as the Gunners romped to a 7-0 victory over an Indonesia Dream Team. The France international striker is likely to face increased competition for his place up front in his second season at the Emirates, as Wenger looks to bring in extra firepower. “I like Olivier very much. He scored
Pellegrini targets new blood
17 goals in his first year in England when he needed to adapt and I’m sure he will respond,” Wenger said yesterday. “It’s been a very positive night for us. There is still a lot of work to do before we are ready for the new season, but this is a good start. Everyone did very well. We played with pace, good passing and technical skill and we could also test some of our young players. “The difference was our physical power and though there is still a lot of work to do before we are ready for the new season, this is a good start.”
verton Manager, Roberto Martinez, remains positive about Everton’s development despite defeat in the side’s opening pre-season encounter with Austria Vienna. The Spaniard watched on as the Toffees fell 2-1 to the Austrian champion on Sunday but found plenty of positives after getting a good look at the bulk of his squad. “We were playing against a side who are one week away from the start of their season and that’s what we wanted,” the Italian said. “We wanted to push ourselves to the maximum from a physical point of view, and I thought we responded really well. “We will carry on our preparations for the season.”
orussia Dortmun fielder, Nuri Sah expecting Real M and Barcelona to lead a S backlash in this season’s pions League. Many pundits tippe Clasico duo to reach final at Wembley but t gest game in club footb instead an all-German between Bayern Munic Dortmund. “The Spaniards were hurt by last season and very strong in the comin the Turkey internationa On a personal level, is now hoping to get reer back on track and with greater regularity Champions League th son, having been forced a bit-part role in Dortm run to the final followi January arrival from pool.
‘No plans to Juve’s Matri’
azio President, dio Lotito, yeste revealed that he h interest in signing Juv forward Alessandro Ma The former Cagliari er has been deemed su to requirements in Turi lowing the summer arr of Carlos Tevez and Fe do Llorente, with both and AC Milan repor registering an interest i Italian. But Lotito insists th ancocelesti will not be ing a move for the 28-yea striker, whose current runs until 2017. “We have never negot for him. He is not our o tive, for a number of sons,” Lotito said yester “We want to streng the team and not weak We rely on Candreva, as as on Lulic. We have re nated the squad, tryin find a mix of experie players and young pl that can attain the men of a great team.” Lazio only finished enth in Serie A last se but ended itscampaign massive high by beating rival Roma in the final o Coppa Italia.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
nd midhin, is Madrid Spanish s Cham-
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e really will be g year,” al said. , Sahin his cafeature y in the his seato play mund’s ing his Liver-
“At the moment, I am just happy that after two years I can finally start a campaign having done a full pre-season,” he confessed. Sahin left Signal Iduna Park for the Santiago Bernabeu in 2011 but failed to settle in the Spanish capital, making just four La Liga appearances for los Blancos.
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Criticisms trailed Paul Pogba to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. But the France whiz kid proved his worth to lead his country to the ultimate glory. The Golden Ball winner spoke to FIFA.com on his ambition, among other issues
How do you feel after winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup on penalties? There are no words to describe it. It’s wonderful and I can hardly speak. I’m really happy; we all are. I’m delighted that this was how it all ended. It’s amazing.
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How we shone at Turkey 2013 –Pogba
Ruiz gets Jol backing
ulham Manager, Martin Jol, has said that Bryan Ruiz will play a pivotal role for the club next season. The Costa Rica forward netted in the London side’s first fixture of their pre-season campaign, a 3-0 win over Cartagines in his homeland on Sunday. Although Jol accepts Ruiz is best employed in a traditional No. 10 role, he believes the 27-year-old can utilise his versatility in order to make a big impact next term. “Bryan wore number 11 last year because someone else had the number 10 but I think he is a typical number 10. He can play as a midfield player and he can play as a second striker,” he told reporters. ‘I have to say in one of our games at the end of last season he scored two goals and then I played him on the right and he played in Holland of course in a different system on the right. Bryan Ruiz is an offensive quality player who can play in three or four positions.”
What did you say to your teammates one by one during extra time and before the penalty shootout? I told everyone that we’d managed to reach the final, but that there was no reason we should stop there. We hadn’t won yet, so we didn’t have the right to stop. I also said that this was the moment we needed to give everything, to fight for each other. And that if we did that, it would all work out. We all shared the same mentality, and that helped us to become world champions. Were you trying to beat the world
record for slowest run-up when you took your penalty? That’s just my own way of taking penalties. It’s how I’ve always practised them. For the moment, it’s effective, as I’ve never missed one! It actually helps me a lot. It’s a sort of duel between the goalkeeper and me. I look and I keep looking, and because most ’keepers are always on the verge of diving, when I see them starting to make a move, I shoot in the opposite direction. That’s the way I’ve always done it, even in training sessions with Juventus. The coach is always apprehensive when I take penalties, but he still has confidence in me, because I’ve not missed any yet. You hardly put a foot wrong during the final game against Uruguay… Honestly, I didn’t even think about it, because it was the team performance that mattered. We all played well, and we got our
just reward. But the Adidas Golden Ball is not awarded to an entire team, just to you… That’s true. I felt really focused. It goes without saying that you need to be at your best in World Cup finals, especially as a lot was expected of us, especially me. Right from the start, I was determined to do well, and I’m sure that was obvious from my first few touches. And I was rewarded with the U-20 World Cup trophy and this individual award I’m holding right now. Did you feel extra pressure on your shoulders during the tournament? Truth be told, yes. Even at the pre-match press conference, the Uruguay coach spoke about me as special. I wouldn’t use the word ‘star’, but they were clearly singling me out. But it all went well in the end. I did make some mistakes, particularly with a through ball for Lucas Digne that I messed up. It wasn’t a perfect match and I can always do more and do better. I hope to do so in the future. Did your coach, Pierre Mankowski, give you a similar speech before the match? He’s always telling me that! But it’s in my nature; I always try to do something well, to do it better, and sometime that means that I do too much. But his advice is useful, because you need to keep things simple. You come from a family of footballers, as your two older brothers also play professionally... I spoken to my brothers over the phone after the match. They’re really very happy for me, but they’re not surprised. So this victory is also for them, as it’s actually a way of thanking them and others that are close to me and always supportive of me. Without them, I’d not have got anywhere, I’d not be the same player, and I’d certainly not have won the U-20 World Cup.
Maigari, Keshi, Obuh brief minister on recent bad outings JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
inister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday summoned President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, and coaches Stephen Keshi and John Obuh to his office, to explain Nigeria’s recent bad outings in international tournaments. Maigari led the NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu; Technical Committee Chairman, Barrister Chris-
topher Green and executive committee member, Ahmed Kawu, to answer the summon. Super Eagles’ coach, Keshi, was accompanied by his assistants, Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu, while Obuh who had earlier announced his resignation of the Flying Eagles’ coaching job, was accompanied by the team’s goalkeeper trainer, Aloy Agu. National Mirror learnt that the Minister demanded from the delegation full details of Super Eagles’ participation in the FIFA Confederations Cup held in Brazil last month and the Flying Eagles’ partici-
pation in the just-concluded U-20 World Cup in Turkey. A top official of the NSC, however, denied that the meeting was a query of the officials by the minister. He said, “The visit was not a probe as many people may have insinuated. The NFF officials, the Super Eagles crew and Flying Eagles crew paid a routine visit to the Minister of Sports. They are here to brief the Minister and to review the Eagles participation in the Confederation Cup in Brazil and the Flying Eagles participation in the just-concluded FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Turkey.”
Match-fixing: Nasarawa condemns scandal IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
asarawa State Government yesterday condemned in strong terms the recent match fixing scandal that embarrassed the nation across the sporting world. Special Adviser to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura on Sports Development, Silas Agara, told National Mirror in Lafia, the state capital, that the scandal had brought Nigeria to shame while urging the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to immediately institute a high-powered probe panel to investigate the matter with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book. “It is a shame and posterity will not forgive us if we don’t condemn the act and punish those that acted the mischievous scripts,” Agara said. “This is indeed a serious indictment on players and managements of the four clubs as well as officials that handled the two ill-fated matches,” the special assistant added. According to Agara, Akurba United which purported to represent the state in the Nationwide League had travelled to Bauchi without the consent of the Nasarawa government. “We are not aware of their assignment,” he contended.
Volleyball: NVBF decries visa denials
he Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) yesterday lamented the visa denials to its team, preventing it from participating in international tournaments in Poland, Croatia and Portugal. First Vice President of the federation, Ebenezer Morakinyo, who expressed the displeasure in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the national female beach volleyball team was also denied visas by the Embassy of Poland earlier in the year, and failed to participate in the U-23 Championship in that country. “When we applied initially, we were denied and we approached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene and we were told to reapply, which we did. Unfortunately, the embassy still refused the players visas, which denied them the opportunity to participate in the championship,” Morakinyo said, adding that the National Sports Commission (NSC) would be approached to intervene to forestall future occurrence. Coach of the team, Charkuma Ismail, also told NAN that the recurring problem had affected the morale of the players. “The team is psychologically down because we have been in camp for the past two months, preparing for the championship and at the last minute, we were denied visas,” Ismail said.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
On the track with
YEMI OLUS email@example.com
Agbaje relishes model status
Doping: adidas disowns Gay
ational sprinter, Fred Agbaje, believes he has earned the right to encourage up-and-coming athletes not to give up in the face of obstacles as they target a professional career in athletics. Agbaje secured a Track and Field scholarship to the Dickinson State University in the United States in 2011 and has established himself as a formidable part of the school’s team, with various laurels to show for his effort. He recently met his younger colleagues at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos where he counselled on how to develop in the sport. “I talked to them about talent and education and the whole process was humbling; I give thanks to God and my coach, Adu Uruemu, for the opportunity. I talked about how never giving up is the only way and how education and talent go hand in hand. I tagged it ‘Fun, Passion and Glory.’ “In order to make it fun, they need to be very passionate about what they want because it is the only way to remain focused. Disappointments and discouragement will come even from the people they love most, such as their family members but in the end, the glory will be theirs.” The Edo State-born athlete says he is keen on giving back to the society in the nearest future. “I am still in school so all I can do is to talk to them verbally. I will be organising clinics where I will involve other people to come and talk to them. It’s not going to be about track and field only as I will try and involve talents from other works of life and commit my resources to this project when I start working. My ultimate dream is not only to win an Olympic gold medal, but to inspire the younger ones and to be an example to them.”
AFN director, Nesiama
IAAF WYC: We’ve learnt useful lesson –Nesiama T echnical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama has described the experience at the IAAF World Youth Championships which ended in Ukraine on Sunday as an eye opener in various respects, saying lapses discovered will be improved upon ahead of the future. Nigeria failed to win a medal at the five-day championship, even as members of the contingent made it to the final of four events namely the 200m (boys), 400m (girls), 110 hurdles and the medley relay (boys), a slight improvement from the last edition in Lille, France where the country only made it to the final of three events. Injury to top two athletes that include Divine Oduduru also dampened the Nigeria’s medal hopes. “Competitions are meant to test the effect of training efforts put into an athlete,” Nesiama explained yesterday. “The result achieved indicates whether the programme is right, adequate or not. This is the reason why it is imperative to expose our athletes to international competitions of this na-
ture as it helps to erase the fear factor and boosts confidence. “At this level of competition, we surpassed our previous achievements. We recorded a lot of personal bests which in itself is progressive. Our youth athlete, Divine Oduduru, is currently the national leading athlete in the 200m with a time of 21.13s However, from what we’ve seen, we now know the areas to make changes in our training strategy in order to assure podium performance in future meet. “Unfortunately, inadequate funds also prevented the inclusion of some other athletes travelling with team and they could have made a solid backup for the injured. Nesiama also disclosed that coaches would undergo intensive training to keep abreast with the global emerging practices in the sport. “Our coaches will have to be re-trained no doubt and be more scientific in their training application and athletes’ nutrition also has to be improved upon,” the AFN official said, adding, “We will immediately use the forthcoming National Youth Games to scout for replacement for
the current ones most of whom are advancing to the junior category.” Jamaicans topped the medals table with six gold and two bronze medals. Kenya and Ethiopia followed closely in second and third positions with four gold, three silver and four bronze medals and three gold, three silver and two bronze medals respectively. Australia was fourth with three gold and a silver medal while the USA which finished in fifth spot with two gold, seven silver and eight bronze medals.
portswear manufacturer adidas has suspended its sponsorship of sprinter Tyson Gay after the American failed a drugs test. An out-of-competition test completed by Gay in May tested positive, according to the US Anti-Doping Agency. “We are shocked by these recent allegations. Even if we presume his innocence until proven otherwise, our contract with Tyson is currently suspended,” a spokesman for Adidas said yesterday. Gay, 30, is the joint-second fastest man ever over 100m. He is also the fastest man in the world this year and won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 2007 World Championships. “I don’t have a sabotage story,” Gay had said on Sunday shortly after the story broke. “I basically put my trust in someone and was let down. I know exactly what went on, but I can’t discuss it right now. I hope I am able to run again, but I will take whatever punishment I get like a man,” he added. The triple world champion will have his ‘B’ sample tested this week, but has already pulled out of the USA’s World Championships team and Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Monaco. News of his positive test emerged on the same day fellow sprinter and former world record-holder Asafa Powell was listed among
five Jamaican athletes to have failed drugs tests for a banned stimulant. Usain Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms said that his client was not implicated in the scandal, but Olympic relay gold medallist Sherone Simpson confirmed she had tested positive for oxilofrine at Jamaica’s national trials last month. Unconfirmed reports claimed that 27-year-old Nesta Carter, who ran 9.87sec in a Madrid 100m on Saturday night, had also fallen foul of the authorities. If proved, the three quickest men over 100m this year will have failed drugs tests and will miss next month’s World Championships in Moscow, leaving the sport in crisis.
Minister to launch Nestle Kids
ports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, will launch the Nestle Kids’ Athletics Programme at the Opebi Model Primary School, Lagos on July 25 with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) playing complementary role on the occasion. Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria Plc, Dharnesh Gordhon, said the partnership would enhance the nutrition, health and general wellbeing of the school kids through greater physical activity. The programme aims to encourage school age children to develop positive physical, health and social skills by engaging in sporting activities while enhancing development of future athletes in that country Meanwhile, AFN President, Solomon Ogba, has said the company’s expertise will not only help promote balanced and
healthy lifestyle for children, but also augment athletics development in Nigeria. The Nestle Healthy Kids initiative was launched in Nigeria in 2011 and reaches more than 15,000 children between 6 and 12 years old in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Experts canvass pathway to addressing desertification Scene of desertification in northern Nigeria.
One of the pressing environmental challenges confronting the nation is desertification. Predominantly a northern phenomenon peculiar to the 11 frontline states, desertification has continued to eat up the country’s landmass with all its socio-economic implications. OLUFEMI ADEOSUN presents experts’ viewpoint on how to stem the tide.
erhaps, because its effects does not manifest immediately, like other environmental challenges confronting the nation, the issue of desertification has not received the needed government attention. This is not to undermine the recent efforts by the Presidential Initiative on Afforestation, which culminated in the release of N5billion to raise one million seedlings in the 36 states of the Federation and the Great Green Wall programme in which N10billion was approved to tackle desertification in the 11 frontline states of the North. This financial commitment, according to environment experts, was rather low when compared with the magnitude of the effects of desertification on the socioeconomic lives of the people. Yet, according to a recent UN report, Nigeria loses about 1,355 square miles of cropland and rangeland to desertification yearly with the 11 frontline states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara being the worse hit. Besides, the country is also said to be losing approximately 320,000-350,000 hectares of land per year with over 35 million Nigerians facing threat of hunger and economic downturn. Apart from the problem of inadequate funding, they also argue that not much has been done by government to mainstream issues of desertification into the country’s developmental agenda. It is against this background that the one-day brainstorming session convened by the National Committee on Ecological Problems of the Ecological Fund Office last week in Abuja, is viewed by experts and environment activists as a good step in the right direction. With the theme: “Formulating Sustainable Drought and Desertification Control Projects,” the workshop which featured scholars from the university community and stakeholders from the environment sector, is aimed at strategising on how to formulate and drive projects that can effectively checkmate and control desert encroachment on a sustainable basis in such a way that would impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of the affected communities. The Permanent Secretary, EFO, Mr. Goni Sheikh, an engineer, who chaired the brainstorming session, charged all the stakeholders to come up with practical knowledge-based ways of formulating and designing sustainable drought and desertification control projects. He raised the alarm over the increasing spate of
BETWEEN 50 PER CENT AND 75 PER CENT OF THE 11 FRONTLINE ARE LOSING ABOUT 1,355 SQUARE MILES OF THEIR CROPLAND AND RANGELAND AS A RESULT OF DESERTIFICATION.
BECAUSE OF THIS DEVELOPMENT, NIGERIA IS BELIEVED TO
BE LOSING APPROXIMATELY
32,000-35,000 HECTARES OF LAND PER YEAR; WITH A LEAST 35 MILLION PEOPLE FACING THREATS OF HUNGER AND ECONOMIC DOWNTURN DUE TO THE PRESENT SCALE OF DESERTIFICATION desert encroachment in the country, stressing that over 35 million Nigerians are currently facing the threat of hunger arising from the scourge. He said, “Between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of the 11 frontline are losing about 1,355 square miles of their cropland and rangeland as a result of desertification. Because of this development, Nigeria is believed to be losing approximately 32,000-35,000 hectares of land per year; with a least 35 million people facing threats of hunger and economic downturn due to the present scale of desertification.” In order to forestall the drift and its attendant consequences, Sheikh therefore advocated more action in the government’s drive to rehabilitate and improve the agropastoral systems for a more effective and sustainable management of cropland, rangelands as well as evolving alternative livelihood systems. According to him, the brainstorming session is or-
ganised to complement the various efforts of the Federal Government in combating the menace of desertification. Also in his paper, entitled: “Combating Drought and Desertification in Nigeria-Lessons from other Sub-Saharan African Countries,” Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo took an exploratory analysis of the phenomenon and concluded that assessing the current status of desertification in Nigeria remained a crucial step in understanding and correcting the problem. The environment expert, who described desertification as a chronic disease, enjoined policy makers across the three tiers of government to focus more on long- term projects to address both its direct cause (land management) and the indirect cause which is rooted in poverty and inconsistent government policies. Other areas of focus, according him, include establishing priorities for desertification through detailed national assessment maps, involving the affected communities in all the processes and adoption of proven local and advanced technologies. In the area of capacity building, Oladipo advocated the strengthening and upgrade of the Department of Desertification Control and Drought Amelioration to National Centre to Combat Desertification. According to him, doing so would enable it function as an office of interdepartmental and interdisciplinary technical management and coordination of desertification measures in Nigeria. Explaining further, he stated that the CDD would also focus on formulation of the strategy and of the programme for management of desertification control, implementation of the management programmes and projects at national and even trans-boundary levels and conduct such activities like post implementation activities, environmental impact monitoring, evaluation, reporting where necessary. In a paper: “Combating drought and desertification through strategic intervention” by Professor Haruna Ayuba, the environmentalist also canvassed for the establishment of drought and desertification information centre (DDIC), which according to him, will serve as an operational framework that provides practical and field based information to farmers, pastoralists and extension service regarding the type of soil, crop development, agricultural practices, pest management, irrigation requirements, climatic risks, stored water in the soil, water balance, crop field and weather forecast. “There is need to also strengthen existing research centres such as the Centre for Arid Zone Studies, University of Maiduguri, the Lake Chad Research Institute(LCRI) Maiduguri, the Energy Research Institute(Sokoto),Institute for Agricultural Research(Zaria) and other related institutes that assist in tackling the problem of drought and desertification,” he said
Real Estate & Environment
Classic and stylish option for office reception area
eception areas are the forefront of any business or office space, usually this will be a potential clientâ€™s first interaction with your office space which is why itâ€™s so important to get it right first time. A great reception area needs to be welcoming and exude warmth and professionalism. All offices should consider having a reception area and receptionist as part of their team as this is the only way to guarantee a good first impression. Placement of reception A reception area should be at the front of the office, serving as a meet and greet point for visitors. It is important to ensure the place looks like a reception area, so be sure to select the right style of office furniture. Seating options Along with a desk or counter for the receptionist, it is also important to have a seating area set in place for potential customers and visitors as part of your office furniture. It may be that they cannot be dealt with immediately and without the option to sit down, they will
linger awkwardly and this will give them a negative first impression of your business. Create a welcoming atmosphere by having a seating area put in place to make guests feel well looked after as soon as they enter your office space. Personal Touches You can put the personal touch on your reception area with a few little, thoughtful details. Along with choosing office furniture that is classic and stylish, you should consider the lighting. Often harsh strip lighting can be unwelcoming and make a place look cold and formal. Choose warm lighting especially for your reception area to give a great first impression. You can also brighten up your reception area with a vase of flowers or a few potted plants.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Kogi govt takes over 100-bedroom Confluence Beach Hotel
he Kogi State Government is gradually actualising its strategic plan to make Lokoja a tourist destination for all fun loving Nigerians and foreigners. The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Thomas Acholo, while speaking during the official handing over of the newly built 100-bedroom Confluence Beach Hotel in Lokoja, explained that the state government had mapped out plans to develop its potentials, by transforming the entire landscape of the state. The commissioner who represented the state governor, Capt. Ichalla Wada, at the event where Messrs Enyser Limited (a member of Petrolog Group), handed over the project. The commissioner said, “Historically, the state is endowed with a number of monuments around which the rich culture of the people revolves. Lokoja provides the right environment for credible investors in the hospitality business to make the best returns on investment in tourism opportunities.” Reflecting on the good quality of the Confluence Beach Hotel, Acholo commended Enyser Limited for a job well done, saying the firm would be considered for further projects as the state government would soon build similar hotels in one of the islands in Lokoja in the near future. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Chairman of Enyser Limited, who is also the Chairman of Petrolog Group, Dr. Vincent O. Ebuh, observed that Kogi State has made history in the annals of Nigeria leadership with the conception, execution and completion of the newly built 100- bedroom Confluence Beach Hotel in Lokoja.
ATOPCON expands scope, inducts new members DAYO AYEYEMI
he Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), has inducted five new firms into its fold. The firms include Great Scale Planner; Vistaplan Consulting; Igboloro and Associates; Racharkins Consulting; Tola Olayiwola and Company; and Biodun Adeyeye and Company. Speaking during the Annual General Meeting/Induction Ceremony, ATOPCON’s President, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, said the association has grown its membership from 30 to over 90 members. He stated that the association now has a befitting secretariat located at Alausa, Ikeja. One of the key challenges of the profession, Ayinde said was the inability of key players in the Nigerian economy, comprising policy makers and investors to appreciate the value of physical planning. Ayinde, who is the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State, said that a change in the trend would lead to a turnaround
Newly built Confluence Beach Hotel, Lokoja
He was particularly delighted at Governor Wada’s approach in ensuring that the project was not included among the statistics of abandoned projects littering the nooks and crannies of the country. He urged other state governors to emulate “this good precedence, as government is a continuum.” Ebuh who also expressed gratitude to the Deputy Governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, an architect, for ensuring the success of the project, said the modest achievement could be a platform for tourism developin the practice of the profession. He said, “As our services will be required more, firms will be busy, while members will be better fulfilled.” He enjoined town planning firms to see a change in the tread as germane and make effort to promote the ideal of the profession from wherever they operate from. Expressing joy over the induction of his firm, Principal partner, Igboloro and Associates, Mr. Isaac Okumolawa, said. “It is always a good thing to join your colleagues to brainstorm on major development of your profession.” Meanwhile, first Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Dr. Femi Olomola, has called for an upward review of the fee of town planners. He described the existing scale of fee as peanut, urging ATOPCON to look at the modality of getting appropriate payment for their services. He enjoined the association to do a study on how to improve charges for the services being rendered by town planners, noting that other professional bodies have devised means of charging appropriate fee for their services. Olomola, while appreciating the progress made by ATOPCON, said he was looking forward for more cooperation between it and NITP as regards professional practice.
ment in the state. He commended the Managing Director of Enyser Limited, Mr. George Ebuh and Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Carlos Garcia for a job well done. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mubo Eniola, reiterated the state government’s determination to make a success of the project and disclosed that in the next three months, the hotel would be bubbling with visitors from all parts of the world.
Uphold ethical standards, NSE urges new fellows OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
resident of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Mr. Mustafa Shehu, has urged the newly inducted fellows of the society to rededicate themselves to the cause of engineering profession. The new inductees, who were ushered into the highest position in the engineering profession last week in Abuja at the society’s 2013 Second Quarterly Dinner, were also charged to uphold standards while carrying out their professional duties. Shehu, who conferred the fellowship status on the new members, explained that the honour was being bestowed on them because they had been found worthy in learning, practice and contribution to the growth of the profession. He urged them to always justify the confidence reposed on them by the society by upholding its ethics throughout the course of their professional careers. ”Fellowship of the Nigerian Society of Engineers is the highest honour bestowed by the society on members with in its fold who have been found worthy of such honour, in learning, practice and contribution to the growth of the noble profession of engineering, as well as to the development of his immediate society and the nation in general. “Tonight, 39 of such engineers of distinction will become Fellows of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, joining the league of elitist professionals in delivering value services to the development of our beloved nation,” he said. Rather than resting on their oars, the
NSE president implored the new fellows to see their conferment, as a wake-up call to galvanise them and increase their interest in and contribution to the growth and development of the engineering profession and the nation as a whole. He also said,’ This conferment must not be seen as an end in itself but an opportunity to be of greater service to the Nigerian Society of Engineers; supporting its projects and programmes and lending voice and muscle to any of its quests where possible. “I, therefore, charge you to see yourselves as worthy ambassadors of NSE, especially at this time in our history when we are on a threshold of self discovery.” While briefing members on some of the giant strides recorded by the executive, informed them that work on the construction of the Phase 11 of the society’s headquarters building, named National Engineering Centre, had reached and advanced stage. Shehu, who solicited members’ support to put finishing touches to the building, assured that the next Council meeting of the NSE would be hosted in the auditorium of the building. In the area of capacity building, he explained that the Engineering Practice and Resource Centre (EPRC), had been commissioned to deliver training and re-training of members. According to him, he has taken delivery of educational software pack worth over N38.1million from MIDAS of South Korea to further boost the capacity of the training centre. These software, he maintained had been distributed to 12 Nigerian universities to boost the capacity of engineering students.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wealthy real estate investors attracted to luxury property in Morocco
he second home industry in Morocco is expanding and attracting domestic buyers as well as wealthy property investors from around the globe, according to a new report. Over the last decade, Morocco has benefited from strong macroeconomic policies that have contributed to its economic growth, improving social indicators and expanding middle class, says the report from Aylesford International. It points out that according to Wealth-X there are now 35 ultra high net worth individuals in Morocco, with a total wealth of US$5 billion who are interested in property as an investment. According to Property wire report, political reform introduced with a new constitution in July 2011 has made Morocco not to experience the social unrest of the wider north African region and as such, tourism and the second home industry have continued to expand, attracting both fashionable domestic clientele as well as the international elite, and have been key to driving the country’s economy. The report also says that there is now a substantial expatriate community in Morocco. Foreign residents are primarily from Francophone countries and the United Kingdom, as well as those from much further afield. They are attracted to Morocco’s moderate property transaction costs, liberal inheritance laws, and supply of exceptional, high end properties. Recently, slow growth in the European
Playa Vista , a superbly positioned resort development on Morocco’s green and beautiful Mediterranean coast
Union, particularly in France and Spain which are Morocco’s key export partners, has had an impact on economic performance, and the current deficit is thought to have increased to 8.8% of GDP in 2012, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. To that end, Morocco’s Budget in 2013 has sought to tax both high income earners as well as companies that produce large profits. Effective as of 01 January 2013 for three years until the end of 2015, the ‘social contribu-
Property prices in Dubai soar in popular locations
eople living in Dubai could be prices out of the market if the emirate’s residential real estate recovery continues at its present pace, it is suggested. Figures show that property prices have increased by up to 75 per cent in some sought after locations in that last year and rental prices are up around 20 per cent. The latest data from global real estate firm Knight Frank found rental values in Dubai rose more in the past year than anywhere else in the world, up 18.3 per cent in the year to March. Average apartment sales prices in Dubai increased by 12 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 and are up 38 per cent year on year, according to the latest figures from property consultancy firm Asteco. However, prices in Discovery Gardens have soared 75 per cent in the last year to reach AED7,550 ($2,055) per square metre, making it the fastest growing area in the city. The Greens also saw prices increase by 44 per cent to AED12,400 per square metre and Downtown Dubai is the most expensive location with prices up by 38 per cent to AED17,750 per square metre. The second half of 2013 has not witnessed any slowdown in transaction volumes, leasing or sales growth, while new project launches have become a weekly
occurrence,’ said John Stevens, managing director of Asteco Property Management. Rental rates have also increased with average apartment and villa up rates up 20 per cent and 17 per cent respectively over the past 12 months. International City saw the biggest increase, where a lease for a two bedroom unit increased 27 per cent year on year to an average of AED42,500. The popular expat district of Dubai Marina saw prices up 20 per cent to an average of AED110,000 for a two bedroom apartment. ‘Some residents will be priced out of established communities into less developed, more affordable areas,’ said Stevens.
A Dubai property
tion’ applies to individuals whose net, Moroccan sourced salaries are above 360,000 dirhams (£28,200), at progressive rates from 2% to 6%. The highest rate is applied to salaries in excess of 840,000 dirhams or £65,800. The report details what taxes are payable on buying and selling property in Morocco. When buying there is an agent commission of 2.5per cent , at Notary fee of 1 per cent plus VAT at 10 per cent plus a Notarial tax of 0.5 per cent. There is also a land registration
fee of 3 per cent to 4 per cent plus land registry tax of 1 per cent. When selling a property there is no inheritance tax as such but gift tax may be levied at a flat rate of 20 per cent. Capital Gains Tax applies to the sale of a property unless it has been the owner’s principal residence for six years. Gains are subject to the tax on real estate profits at a 20 per cent rate. The minimum tax is 3 per cent of the transfer price. However, gains derived from the sale of property amounting to a maximum of MAD140,000 per year are exempt. As far as local property taxes are concerned owners face and annul urban tax from local municipalities which are progressive from 0.025 per cent to 0.5 per cent. There is a tax d’habitation which is an annual property tax based on 0 per cent to 30 per cent of the rental value of the property. Only 25 per cent of the assessed rental property value is subject to tax when it is a primary residence. Properties that are attracting wealthy buyers in Morocco include a five bedroom villa in Marrakech with two guest houses, pool, tennis courts and a three hectare garden priced at €2.9 million. There is also a four to six bedroom villa on a private estate which includes an 18 hole golf course, luxury boutique hotel, and spa which is due for completion in 2015 which start at €1.91 million.
Lagos plans to register estate agents
One of the real estate investments in Lagos
n order to make real estate safe for investment, the Lagos State Government is concluding plans to register all estate agents in the state for proper coordination. The effort by the state government, according to the Director of Estate in the Ministry of Housing, Mr. Kehinde Alao, is meant to sanitise the sector of quacks and fraudsters, who are inflicting pains on innocent Nigerians in their bid to transact business in real estate. Alao, who represented the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State, Mr. Bosun Jeje at the exhibition of Luxury Living Africa Property in Lagos at the weekend, said, “There is need to sa-
nitise the estate business by putting in place a regulation that will require you to register with the Ministry of Housing . The intention is to make real estate safe for investors.” The Luxury Living Africa Property Exhibition, organised by Campaign Hype Limited, witnessed players in the real estate sector, including developers, building materials’ manufacturers, mortgage banks, investment promotion agencies and home automation companies, who came all over the country to exhibit their products. According to the Head of the Organising Team, Mr. Steve Ike, the exhibition aimed at creating a platform for business promotion, investment opportunities and market development for all stakeholders in the real estate sector.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Dana crash: Stakeholders differ over compensation deadline The December ultimatum issued to the management of Dana Air for the payment of full compensation to the families of the June 3, 2012 plane crash in Lagos by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah did not receive favourable responses from aviation stakeholders and professionals as many cited litigations as major bane of payment. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
he gory site of the crashed Dana Air MD 83 crash of June 3, 2012 in a densely populated area at IjuIshaga area of Lagos, can not be forgotten in a hurry as over 160 lives both on board and on ground were lost. Till date, most of the affected families are yet to get out of the shock of losing their loved ones over a year after the crash. The crash also destroyed several properties on ground as well as a house whose occupants included a couple that died, rendering their three young children orphans. The Managing Director of Dana Airlines, Mr. Jacky Hathiramani at an event to mark one year remembrance of the accident disclosed that no fewer than 23 of the 125 families involved in the ill-fated flight had received full compensation of $100,000 as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO. Of the 125 families, Hathiramani also disclosed that 65 of the families both Nigerians and foreigners have instituted different legal actions against the airline in the country and abroad while eight other families were yet to show up for claims as at June this year. To this end, payment of full $100, 000 compensations as recommended by ICAO to the families of the bereaved, have been an uphill task for the airline and its insurance companies who continually say that funds are on ground to compensate all the affected families. Hathiramani attributed several reasons for the delay in paying the compensations to the affected families. Among the reasons according to him are the issue of multiple claims, incomplete documents and internal wrangling among the victims’ families, but assured that the airline would ensure payment of all the victims involved in the crash when all the issues were settled. He said, “On the slow compensation, I want to say that this is wrong because over 100 families have received compensation in terms of advanced payment. The balance is not paid yet due to incomplete documentation, multiple claims. About 23 families have been paid full compensation of 100,000 including the ground victims.” However, at the 2013 ministerial briefing organised by the Federal Ministry of Communications in Abuja recently, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah ordered the management of the airline and its insurers to ensure the payment of all claims to the dependants of passen-
Capt Dele Ore
THE DEADLINE GIVEN BY THE MINISTER IS UNNECESSARY. THE MINISTER’S DEADLINE CANNOT AFFECT THE JUDGEMENT OF THE
COURT, OR MAKE THE AIRLINE TO PAY THE COMPENSATION gers and others who lost their lives in the crash before the end of this year. Oduah insisted it must clear the outstanding debts this year or face severe sanction from the government. She said, “The challenge of Dana is that of multiple claims. When you have multiple claims, it becomes difficult to ascertain who should collect. And until they are able to do that, they will not pay multiple claims and we will continue verifying and re-verifying to ascertain who should be the next-of-kin to claim the money. “But I think Dana has actually done about 60 per cent, if not more, because I don’t have the actual figure. However, Dana is given till December, and if it fails to pay completely, we will have to sanction them and they are aware of that. So, I am sure they are working on the process.” Besides, since the minister gave the order, several aviation stakeholders and professionals have added their voices to that of Oduah. While many aviation stakeholders see the order of the minister as unachievable due to several lingering court cases from families of the victims especially foreigners, others say the order will enable the airline to fast track the payment process and meet the deadline date. Those who spoke with by National Mirror urged the minister to use her influence to assist the airline to ensure that all outstanding issues relating to payment of compensation are sorted out quickly. For instance, the President, Aviation Round Table, ART, Capt. Dele Ore said that the December deadline issued the airline by the minister was unrealistic. He said that rather than the deadline, the minister and all aviation players should further encourage the airline to remain in business, stressing that the
minister must have been ill-advised by some people in the industry. Ore also emphasised that several deadlines were issued in the past without many of them coming into fruition and maintained that without resolving the legal issues by the complainant, it would be difficult for the airline to pay compensation to those who have instituted legal actions against it. Besides, he explained that airlines like Aviation Development Company, ADC, and Sosoliso Airlines whose planes also crashed between 2005 and 2006 were yet to pay any form of compensation to the families of the victims, stressing that nothing has been done about the airlines’ managements till date. He said, “We have seen many deadlines in the aviation industry given by the ministry. They said that Dana will not fly, but today, Dana is flying. “The deadline is unnecessary and uncalled for. We must commend the efforts of Dana so far. They should not harass an airline that is trying to stabilise and survive. The minister’s deadline is a distraction and it can lead to accident.” Ore said further that payment of compensation would not come from the airline’s purse, but from its insurers, suggesting that plans were underway by the ministry to ground the airline in order to pave the way for setting up of another carrier in the industry. Also, the former President of Cabin Crew Association of Nigeria, CCAN, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo insisted that the December deadline should not have emanated from the ministry, especially when the airline was making gradual efforts to stabilise after the unfortunate crash. Ohunayo also doubted if the December deadline would be met by the airline, especially in the face of several
litigations instituted against it by families of 65 victims. He insisted that the legal actions against the airline would further slow down the pace of compensation payment. He said the action of the airline so far has given credence to the fact that the airline and the crashed plane were adequately insured, contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the aircraft was not properly covered by insurance. “I just hope she was misquoted on the December deadline considering the multiple litigations and claimants, which will hinder expeditious payment, “Dana Air has proven their insurance papers were up to date. The insurance firm has also accepted to pay as the families resolve lingering issues among them. Sincerely, the deadline is unnecessary, perhaps may be they need to give the national carrier soft landing. Dana has gone through a lot recently what they need is support not deadlines.” But on his part, the Assistant Secretary General, National Union Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Comrade Abdulkareem Motajo, said that the order of the minister was intended to hasten the airline in ensuring that due compensations were paid to the families on time, but agreed with others that the ultimatum was unnecessary. Like others, Motajo said that since some of the families of the victims have instituted cases against the airline, there was nothing the management could do until these cases are decided in courts. He said the minister ought to have waited for the cases in court to be decided, before issuing the ministry’s deadline based on the court judgement. He emphasised that information at the disposal of the unions indicated that the airline was committed to payment of full compensation to the families, but noted that apart from those who are in courts, some of the families made payment difficult with incomplete and multiple documentations. “The deadline given by the minister is unnecessary. The minister’s deadline cannot affect the judgement of the court, or make the airline to pay the compensation,” he said.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
ACHAN, FAAN on collision course over charges
Day ‘radicals’ were exposed
Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.
Harcourt Airport, PHA, Lagos but explained that its members had been told not to accept the execution of such levy until the issue was resolved. He said, “We are already talking to them on this matter through our lawyers who have written to the management twice without any response and we know that the people are very crafty because it is in their character to ignore all entreaties in a matter like this and later come out to say a decisions has been jointly taken by affected organisation and it would not be reversible. “They said we are not recognised, yet, they are planning to impose charges on us, but we are registered with the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, and we deliberately refused to take the matter up with NUATE because it is still an allegation, which FAAN has
declined to respond to in spite of our attempt to confirm it. “But we learnt that they are saying they have to charge us more because they have to generate fund to run their operations since they are not enjoying any subvention from government. However, what they are planning to take from us is outrageous. You can imagine what they will be taking from each operator in a year if you have to multiply the new charges. It is going to be several millions of naira.” He also disclosed that FAAN had concluded plans to compel car hire operators to replace their vehicles with new ones if they are to continue their operations at the airports. On the activities of illegal cab operators around the airports, Yinusa said that FAAN should be blamed for this as its security unit failed to monitor the illegal operators in all the airports.
Dana Air announces special fare for Ramadan
ana Air late last week announced that it will offer its Muslim guests a special in-flight service throughout the period of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, which commenced last Wednesday. The airline’s Head of Commercial, Mr. Obi Mbanuzuo in a statement signed by the spokesman for the airline, Mr. Tony Usidamen stated that Dana all through the fasting period would include special fruits onboard
Airside firstname.lastname@example.org 08186007273
STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI here are indications that the Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria, ACHAN, and the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, may be on a collision course over the alleged plans of the latter to impose higher charges on the former. National Mirror over the weekend gathered that there were plans by FAAN to charge each car hire operator the sum of N500 for each trip made from the airport to passengers” destination while they will also be made to pay toll fee into and out of the airports on each trip. This is apart from the N2,500 annual renewable registration fees currently charged the operators by the agency. The Chairman, Board of Trustees, ACHAN, Alhaji Muili Yinusa, in an interview with our correspondent confirmed the development, but noted that the association was already discussing with FAAN management on the issue. Yinusa, however, emphasised that the association would kick against the implementation of any additional charges by FAAN and called on the Federal Ministry of Aviation to prevail on FAAN to shelve such plan. Apart from the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, where he alleged that FAAN was perfecting plans to introduce new levy, he said that the agency had also taken the same step in Port
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its in-flight catering due to the numerous health benefits they bring. The service, the statement stated was to encourage its Muslim guests who are observing the daytime fasting to take along their in-flight meals while disembarking until they are ready to break their fast. It would be recalled that Dana Air first introduced the special Ramadan service in 2009 in line with its vision of being ‘Nige-
ria’s most reliable and customer-friendly airline’, and the initiative has been well received and commended by guests of the airline. The annual fast of Ramadan is considered one of the five “pillars” of Islam. Muslims who are physically able are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Qu’ran. Dana Air currently operates 12 flights daily on the Lagos-Abuja-Lagos route, four flights daily on the Lagos-Port Harcourt-Lagos route and two flights daily on the Abuja-Port Harcourt-Abuja route. The airline is reputed for its efficient customer services, world-class in-flight services, on-time departures and arrivals, innovative e-airline products and high quality standards.
he Nigerian aviation industry is in serious need of proven and objective critics who will analyse activities in the sector without minding whose ox is gored, but Airside observes that such analysts are short in supply. At the inaugural meeting of the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu with aviation sector stakeholders recently, one of the chief executive officers in the agencies exposed the behind the scene deals of some of the ardent critics of the present government. According to the CEO, in order to shut some of them up on the performance or otherwise of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria, TRACON Project, he said, ‘I invited them to see the TRA-
CON site in Lagos. First, I lodged them in a hotel, fed them and treated them well. So, when they gave their verdict on the TRACON Project, they said it was working fine. What do you expect them to say after all I have done for them?” In fact, Airside and others present at the meeting were stunned by this revelation, especially when those accused of being ‘treated well” by the CEO could not challenge the helmsman, but rather kept quiet throughout the proceedings. In fact, some of them only managed to stay on till the end of the meeting. It is a shame to see those highly revered and those whose voices are perceived as law in the sector to be so ridiculed in the open because of what they regularly do in the darkness.
Need to drive carefully on airport road
ust recently, two persons were killed when two vehicles collided on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos road around the Air Force Base Bus-Stop. Eyewitnesses claimed that an oncoming car rammed into another car parked around the Air Force Base of the link road, about 200 meters to the domestic terminal, killing the driver and a passenger on the spot. It is pertinent to note that
most drivers over-speed on the smooth airport road, especially when the traffic is light. Some even drive as fast as 120kph on a road where Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, conspicuously displays that speed limit should not exceed 50kph. Airside advises road users to be cautious when driving on the airport road to avoid unnecessary loss of lives as witnessed on the road recently.
Etihad Airways records 8% increase in Q2 2013
tihad Airways last week announced eight per cent increase in second quarter of 2013 passenger revenues, generating $921m while passenger revenues for the same period reached $1.8bn, up by 13 per cent. In second quarter of 2012, the airline had posted $855m as passenger revenues while in the first half of 2012; it earned $1.6bn as passenger revenues. An online statement sent by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that revenue generated by code-share and equity alliance airline partners was $184m in second quarter 2013, which was 25 per cent above the $147m turnover in the same period of 2012. Partnership revenue comprised 20 per cent of the airline’s total passenger revenue in both second quarter and the first half of 2013.
Commenting on its earnings, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said the company’s second quarter and half year results were achieved despite the continuation of unsteady economic and geopolitical factors, with airfare yields slightly lower for the quarter, compressed by strong competitive capacity growth and resultant price competition. “Despite the tough global trading climate, we have still achieved record, double digit growth in both second quarter and the first half of 2013. This reflects not only the continuing popularity of our Abu Dhabi hub, but the growing maturity of our airline partnership strategy and the strength of our cargo operations, which continue to well exceed industry growth rates,” Hogan stated.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Imperative of growing life insurance patronage Rising workplace challenges, pervasive insecurity and increasing uncertainties in the polity should be enough reason the business of life assurance should be booming in Nigeria, yet few Nigerians consider buying a life policy worthwhile. MESHACK IDEHEN reports.
erhaps, it was in recognition of the peculiar security challenges the nation is currently going through, that encouraged the Federal Government to recently restate its intention to strengthen group life assurance scheme for its workers. To some observers, the poor performance of life assurance business in the country may be responsible for the government’s plans to seek improvement on its life assurance scheme for its workers with the hope of invigorating the sector. According to a retired federal civil servant, Mr. Atkins Iguemo, the development, even if it is coming a little late, becomes more imperative when consideration is given to the large number of workers at both Federal, state and local government levels that have paid the supreme price in the course of discharging their responsibilities. Iguemo told National Mirror that the move announced by the Director in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, should however not be limited to workers in the federal civil service alone. He said the scheme should also be extended to states and local government workers, including those in the private sector, if part of the objective, which is to give boost to the business life assurance business in the country, is to have positive effect. Industry experts explained that the move by the government may still not be enough to expand and encourage the business of life assurance in Nigeria, due largely to the apathy with which most Nigerians view operators of life assurance business. Besides that, other analysts explained that majority of the lapses observed in the processing and settlement of life assurance claims, as well as improper documentation arising mainly from the part of operators, are issues which had prevented effective and efficient implementation of the scheme and which have not been adequately . An insurance practitioner who specialises in the life business, Mr. Mark Obote, while explaining why life assurance business should be encouraged in the nation’s insurance industry, said group life assurance scheme is a statutory provision of Section 9(3) of the Pension Reform Act, 2004, which requires that all employers with not less than five employees maintain policy (life), in favour of each employee for a minimum of three times of the employee’s annual emolument. He said the benefits of taking life assurance policy knows no limits, saying the scheme provides that in the event of the death of any serving officer, his next of kin will be given a relief three times the annual total emolument of the deceased, in addition to the normal entitlement of the deceased officer after service. According to him, life insurance business is low in Nigeria, unlike in developed economies where there are viable life insurance industries and business that drives the insurance industry. Obote said unlike what obtains in Nigeria where life insurance business contributes less than 15 per cent of the insurance sector total premium, that life assurance sub sector alone makes the industry flourish in other climes, adding if encouraged, that the
Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel
WITH THE POTENTIAL AVAILABLE IN NIGERIA’S POPULATION,
creased, there will be positive effects on life assurance business in the country. Also speaking in the same vein, the President of National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mrs. Laide Osijo, while pointing out that life assurance on its own has the potential to stimulate individual patronage through innovative products, however stressed that the high level of poverty amongst the populace is largely responsible for the poor performance of life assurance business in Nigeria. The NCRIB president said because the net income of many Nigerians is on the low side, it becomes difficulty to convince people to take up life assurance policies, despite the numerous benefits associated with it. Osijo said that in order to encourage life assurance to make a rebound in the country, underwriters should add more incentives in packaging the products, so people can see the numerous advantages in taking up the policy. She said the situation can also be linked to many Nigerians attitude of “leaving everything in the hands of God”. According to her, holders of life assurance policies in times past can approach financial institutions like banks for loans, once their policy is mature, saying such incentives should be brought back, in order for the sub sector to move forward, adding that life assurance agents selling the various life assurance products also need to be also motivated. Also harping on the need to encourage life assurance patronage in Nigeria Managing Director of Royal Exchange Prudential Life, Mr. Larry Ademeso, said life assurance business is still developing in the country, adding what the operators had done in the past was to sell the same traditional products until recently, when new products became visible. Ademeso explained that insurance, life or conventional is not accorded high priority by Nigerians due to the low economic power of the average man, wondering how someone who is struggling to feed his family and have a roof over his head, will want to talk about tomorrow because insurance, including life’s is all about tomorrow. “Until there is an environment where a man can take care of his needs reasonably and comfortably, he cannot think about future security.”
THAT IF THE COUNTRY IS WELL
POSITIONED, IT COULD BECOME
AFRICA’S HUB IN INSURANCE BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY IN LIFE ASSURANCE
business of life insurance alone can take the insurance sector to its desired level. Insisting that Nigeria’s huge population of over 165 million people is capable of driving the biggest life assurance market in Africa, Managing Director of City Insurance Brokers, Mr. Robin Igunbor, said the county has continued to record minimal patronage in Africa’s life assurance market, because the sector’soperators have not deemed it fit to invest quality time and resources on making it appealing to the generality of Nigerians. Comparing Nigeria to South Africa, which has the largest conventional and life assurance market in Africa, though with only a population of about 40 million people, Igunbor said the insurance sector in South Africa contributes about 80 per cent of the continent’s premium, while its life assurance sub sector contributes more than 60 per cent, unlike in Nigeria where the insurance industry contributes less than one per cent of the country’s GDP and only about 2.3 per cent of the continent’s total premium. “The life assurance sector is even worse, as its contributions to the insurance sector and the nation’s GDP is not even felt. The life (assurance) arm of South Africa’s insurance market alone generates about 70 per cent of the industry’s total income. In Nigeria, the life arm contributes far less than that”, he explained. Igunbor said with the potential available in Nigeria’s population, that if the country is well positioned, it could become Africa’s hub in insurance business, especially in life assurance. He said that if infrastructural problems are solved, and the disposable income of the potential policyholders is in-
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Expert urges insurers to adopt risk-based regulatory frameworks MESHACK IDEHEN
he Chief Executive of Conrad Clark Nigeria (CCN), Mr. Joachim Adenusi, has said risk management involves far more than the prevention of untoward events. He said businesses need to learn to manage upside and downside risk effectively, without which they might miss out on growth opportunities and suffer declining performance and profitability, pointing out that effective management of risk is not a function that occurs within the risk management department. In a statement, Adenusi said his company, Conrad Clark Nigeria Limited, is setting a standard in the measurement of compliance and adoption of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) by organisations and risk managers in Nigeria, saying the practice of ERM has grown exponentially over the last 10 years, particularly since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008. According to him, regulatory bodies across the world have adopted risk-based regulatory frameworks in a wide variety of sectors including financial services, insurance, and healthcare, explaining that here in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) and the National Insurance Com-
mission ( NAICOM), who have both led the way with risk-based regulation. Adenusi, who was a director of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) in the United Kingdom for seven years, and was the UK/EU risk manager of the year 2009/10, told National Mirror that the enthusiasm with which organisations in Africa have adopted ERM, as well as the unique ways in which ERM has been implemented has been exciting. He said Conrad Clark has observed that irrespective of the countries visited, that companies that implement ERM properly and thoughtfully have higher positive impact on the bottom line and organisational reputation in the medium to
long term. Speaking on the upcoming Nigerian Risk Awards, Adenusi said special organisations and individuals that are pioneering the practice of ERM in Nigeria across a variety of industry sectors will be celebrated, pointing out that in recent years companies in Nigeria have gone the extra mile in the management of risks and many of them have employed innovative and practical strategies to embed risk management, to drive cultural change and influence decision making. “We are now inviting them to submit these examples for consideration for the awards”. The successful Risk Manager of the Year 2013 will have an allexpenses paid trip to attend one of the international annual risk management conferences 2014 in the UK or USA”. According to him, the submissions for the Nigerian risk awards will be independently assessed and judged by a panel of highly distinguished individuals, drawn from within and outside the country, adding the awards will be presented for the categories in banking and financial services, insurance and pension services, telecoms and media services; manufacturing, productive and industry, alongside oil and gas services risk awards.
NHIS engages Accenture to boost growth
he National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has engaged global consulting firm, Accenture to develop an effective and industry-wide platform for sustainable growth, as well as financing plan for scaling up the scheme’s coverage. The effort is being implemented in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health working in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank. Acting Executive Secretary of NHIS, Dr. AbdulrahamanSambo, told journalists during a consultative forum with stakeholders, that the objective of the engaging Accenture is to reposition the scheme towards effective implementation of its programmes for the benefit of citizens and promised that NHIS will to adhere strictly to the findings and recommendations of the consultants. The NHIS boss, however, challenged stakeholders of the scheme to complement efforts of the NHIS towards the
attainment of universal coverage through prompt service delivery, adding that healthcare facilities providers should brace for the task ahead and ensure that the scheme’s mandate of universal coverage is achieved. On his part, Programme Manager, Accenture, Mr. Martin Eigbike, said the group’s task is providing services in four key areas, which include reviewing the regulatory policy frame work, designing an IT system, reviewing current business practice and proposing new ones to ensure sustainability. He said their task also includes conducting a review of long term funding requirements and identifying other strategies and mechanisms for securing potential sources. According to Eigbike, this assessment is aimed at identifying existing constraints to achieving universal health coverage and specific opportunities to improve the effective-
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Tips for buying insurance Know what you need-Prepare beforehand to have a better idea of the coverage that you and your family will require. By knowing what you need, you could save your family a lot of money and trouble down the road. Know what you want-Do you want term life, or whole life? To add any benefits in case of accidental death or dismemberment?To cover any possible long-term care? Knowing the type of policy you want can help greatly as well. If you only need to cover certain things for a specific period of time, term life is best, but if you want to have coverage your full life, as well as some savings built up, consider whole life. This way you will know how to budget your money and what you can afford. Shop around-Don’t buy the first policy from the first agent you talk to- There may be a company elsewhere that can provide you with better benefits at a better cost. Insurance is a competitive market, so there is a great variation as far as rates go. Many insurance brokers usually offer a comparison of rates from several life insurance carriers. Know who you’re buying from-Always check to make sure the company you’re considering or buying from has a good reputation. Check to see if there have been any customer complaints filed, and what the complaints refer to. It is a good idea to check the state of their finances as well, just to safeguard yourself against loss. Understand your policyNever buy anything you don’t understand. Have your agent go over every aspect of the policy with you, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. It is better to ask questions and make sure the policy is best for you than to pay premiums on something that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, so to speak. Know if you are able to
change your policy-There may come a time when you wish to convert your policy from term life to whole life, or any other number of changes. Know that these options are available should the need arise. Understand any changes- If your agent wants you to change your policy, make sure you understand why. Will these changes actually benefit you, or will they benefit the insurance company? Will you suffer any losses in the process of changing your policy? Make sure you understand and do what is best for you. Always wait until your new policy is paid for and in effect before you cancel your old policy as well, as there may be a gap between coverage. Update your policies as needed- When you first purchase insurance, you may be young and without a family or a mortgage. As you get older and gain these assets, you will likely need more coverage to protect them. Other things can change your needs as well, such as debts incurred. Always update your coverage to make sure there is as much protection available as possible. Don’t buy something you don’t need-Agents may try to talk you into coverage you don’t actually need, such as child life insurance. Because you are striving to replace your income in the event of death, and children usually have no substantial income to speak of, these policies are not worth your money. Save it for their education instead. Make sure you can afford the premiums-If you become unable to pay for your insurance down the road, you could lose your coverage and any money that you have put into it. You do not want to forfeit any benefits or savings, so make sure that the premiums are affordable enough in case of temporary loss or change in income. Source: www.insure.net
Consolidated Hallmark’s accounts gets NAICOM approval MESHACK IDEHEN
Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu
ness of NHIS, adding the assessment will also establish the foundational principle that will guide the design of a blue-print for scaling up the capabilities of the scheme. He explained that the review of the legal framework to make the scheme mandatory would go a long a way in accelerating the attainment of universal coverage.
he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), said the 2012 accounts and reports for the financial year of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc prepared using the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), have been approved. According to NAICOM, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc thus joins the league of three other insurance companies whose financial statements for 2012 have been approved by the industry’s regulator.
NAICOM’s Director of Supervision, Mr. N.O. Opara, in a letter to the insurance firm, informed the company of the approval by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel. Expressing delight while speaking on the development, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, said the approval by NAICOM is a positive development and attributed it to the determination of the management, board of directors, the entire staff as well as other stakeholders including the company’s auditors.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
NSE posts highest gains in African markets JOHNSON OKANLAWON
merging markets grew faster than their developed counterparts in the first half of the year, recording better performance when compared to the latter. The United States, some African Exchanges and Japanese stock indices recorded good performance, while the Indian, Russian and Chinese indices closed bearish. Specifically, Nigeria All Share Index led the African Exchanges with 28. 8 per cent return, followed by Botswana with 15.7 per cent, Mauritius 10.9 per cent and South Africa 10.5 per cent. Kenya All Share Index dropped by 23.4 per cent to close at 639.68 points, while Egyptian market recorded 18.3 per cent decline to close at 4,685.09 points. A cursory look at the per-
formance of the G7 countries in the half year reveals that Japan Stock Exchange recorded a 27.1 per cent gain with the US Nasdaq coming a second close with 12.7 per cent, while the Italian and Canadian markets both recorded nine per cent and 4.45 per cent losses respectively. Stock analysts at Proshare reported that one of the reasons adduced for the buoyancy in developed markets was the huge overflow of money from their central banks which found its way into various asset classes including stocks and helped fuel the stock market rise. A similar review of the BRICs countries also revealed that they all recorded negative returns with the Brazilian market witnessing the highest loss of 23.8 per cent. Speaking on the performance of Nigerian capital market, the Managing
Director of Trust Yields Securities Limited, Alhaji Rasheed Yussuff attributed the result to good corporate actions from companies, return of local investors to the market and good corporate governance maintained by the companies. Local investors have piled into Nigeria’s stock market, accounting for 57 per cent of trades in March, compared with 39 per cent in all of 2012. Net foreign inflows into Nigerian equities amounted to N29.3bn in March, compared with N93.8bn in 2012, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh, recently said that despite the downturn recorded towards the end of the second quarter, the Nigerian capital market did very well in the first half of the year.
She said that indicators in the market showed that the market would likely close positive at the end of the year, as investors were still showing increased interest in the market. “The market has done very well in the first-half of the year. The market capitalisation of the listed equities hit a new height of N12.85tn last month and it still remains among the top 10 best performing markets of the world. “We see the market doing better even up till the end of the year, because the opportunities in the Nigerian market are vast, and investors, especially the portfolio investors are looking for where to invest their funds to earn good returns,”she said. She added that the regulators are coming up with a lot of initiatives meant to reposition the market to play its role in the development of the economy.
Equities rise by 0.90% as Champion Breweries leads gainers DAMILOLA AJAYI
he benchmark index of equities rose further on Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took positions on stock with good earnings. The All Share Index appreciated by 0.90 per cent to close at 37,720.32 points, higher than the increase of 0.15 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 37,382.49 points. Market capitalisation gained N107bn to close at N11.94trn, higher than the rise of N17bn recorded on Friday to close at
N11. 83trn. All the sectorial indices closed on a positive note except the Alternative Securities Market which remained flat. The Consumer Goods Index led the sectorial indices with 1.49 per cent to close at 1,062.21 points, followed by the NSE 30- index with 1.10 per cent to close at 1,778.09 points. The Insurance index rose by 1.09 per cent to close at 141.99 points, while the Lotus Islamic index appreciated by 0.99 per cent to close at 2,605.39 points. The Banking and the Oil and Gas indices gained 0.44 per cent and 0.28 per cent
to close at 422.24 points and 177.15 points respectively, while the Industry Goods index appreciated by 0.07 per cent to close at 2,279.92 points. Champion Breweries Plc led the gainers’ table with 70 kobo or 9.90 per cent to close at N7.77 per share, followed by IPWA Plc with eight kobo or 9.76 per cent to close at 90 kobo per share. 7UP Plc gained N4.99 or 9.07 per cent to close at N59.99 per share, while Conerstone Plc appreciated by five kobo or 8.77 per cent to close at 62 kobo per share. Custodian Insurance Plc rose by 12 kobo or 7.50 per cent to close at N1.72 per
share. On the flip side, ARBICO Plc lost 62 kobo or 9.97 per cent to close at N5.60 per share, while Berger Paints Plc shed N1.09 or 9.96 per cent to close at N9.85 per share. Neimeth Pharmaceutical International Plc dropped by nine kobo or 6.92 per cent to close at N1.21 per share, while Eterna Oil Plc dipped by 19 kobo or 5.67 per cent to close at N3.16 per share. NEM Insurance Plc shed four kobo or 5.26 per cent to close at 72 kobo per share. A total of 189.5 million shares valued at N2.46bn were traded in 5,284 deals.
Miners help prop up European shares after China GDP data
uropean shares rose yesterday after Chinese Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data assuaged fears of a sharp slowdown that could hit global growth and technical indicators pointed to further upside. Miners rose 0.5 per cent after data showed China’s economy grew 7.5 per cent in the second quarter, in line with forecasts and better than some investors had feared, although it was the ninth slowdown in the last 10 quarters. “While (Q2 GDP) is still below the 8 per cent that at
one point was considered the minimum acceptable growth rate, it would indicate a stabilisation in the economy that could provide some support for the equity market,” J.P. Morgan Asset Management Global Market Strategist Dan Morris said in a note. European equities extended a recovery which has seen the euro zone’s blue chip index rally 6.7 per cent from lows in June, underpinned by central banks’ continued commitment to monetary stimulus, especially in Europe.
Funds invested in European shares recorded their biggest weekly inflows in more than a year in the week to July 10, according to EPFR data. Steve Ruffley, chief market strategist for spreadbetting and CFD provider InterTrader, said the Stoxx 50 has found support around 2,662 and is now looking to test the upper daily Bollinger band and key resistance at 2,746. “From a technical perspective, the markets look to be pushing higher, and are being driven by the
fundamental words from (Federal Reserve chairman) Ben Bernanke. Unless this week’s data hold surprises, the bulls are back in town,” he said. German lender Commerzbank rallied 3.9 per cent on a weekend media report that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has spoken to UBS about the possibility of the Swiss bank buying the government’s remaining stake. Frankfurt’s DAX index was around 50 points off its intraday high at around 8,227.
Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 12 JULY 2013 & 15 JULY 2013 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00
1 2 -J u l -1 3
1 5 -J u l -1 3
Market indicators All-Share Index 36,790.14 points Market capitalisation 11.66 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at July 15, 2013 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Constitution amendment: The issues, debates, contributions et al CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 cipal and not be eligible to run for the office of president again. That recommendation is contained in section 136 of the draft constitution. Section 136 (2) states that, “Where a Vice President-elect or Vice President succeeds the President-elect or the President in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, he shall not be eligible to contest for the office of the President in any subsequent election.
Hope dims for single tenure Going by the plethora of opposition to the single tenure proposal during the debate on it on the floor of the Senate, one will not but wonder how the committee came about the recommendation in the first place. Indeed, all the senators who contributed to the issue spoke in unison in rejection of the proposal. For instance, in his presentation on the issue, Senator Ali Ndume (Borno North), said: “I don’t even know how the committee came about this recommendation in the first instance.” For Ndume, instead of thinking of a single tenure, there should be a provision that should require elected representatives to go back for mid-term to review their mandate with the people. “I am even thinking that we should start thinking of mid-term elections whereby the electorate will have the opportunity of passing vote of confidence on us. In two years, we should be able to go back to the people to decide,” the lawmaker said. For Senator Isah Galaudu (Kebbi North), the proposal, if approved will be retrogressive because it will not give the motivation and punishment for good behaviour and would instead encourage corruption. “There will be more polarisation, more tension in elections for a single term because opposition will want to do everything possible to capture power from the ruling government,” he said. Senator Clever Ikisikpo (Bayelsa East) in his opposition to the single term proposal stated: “I do not agree with it because it does not look like a democratic system of government; it is undemocratic. If we allow a government to stay for a single term, anybody in power will want to behave as he likes because he will say it is my turn and since I am not coming back, let me do what I want.” Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) simply opined that the single tenure is an investment in disaster, invitation to chaos and anarchy, stressing that it is undemocratic. Senator Mohammed Magoro (Kebbi South) on his part was of the view that single term is an indication of our inability to mature politically in this country and that legislating against the current office holders nails the coffin on the proposal. Senator Victor Lar (Plateau North), who stressed that his opinion on the matter was the reflection of his constituents’ views, described the proposal as an institutionalisation of corruption, since it will also enthrone dictatorship and impunity on the elected officials. Considering the summation of the views of the lawmakers on the proposal, there is no doubt that this recommendation will fail to scale when voting is taken on it by the Senate.
Local government autonomy On the issue of local government autonomy through the abolition of the joint states/local government account, the review committee stated that it arrived at this recommendation to make for accountability and effective local government system. The review committee proposed that all funds due to each of the local governments from the federation account shall be paid directly to such council areas. This of course is with a caveat i.e. for any local government to be a beneficiary of this new financial regime; it must be a democratically elected council. Section 162 where this is contained states in subsection (5) that, “any amount standing to the credit of the local government in the federation account shall be allocated and paid directly to the local governments for their benefit on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly. (6) The amount standing to the credit of a local government without a democratically elected council shall be withheld until there is a democratically elected local government council in such local government.” However, opinions on this proposal were greatly divided during debate on it by the senators. For instance, while some lawmakers called for a wholesale adoption of the proposal as presented by the review committee, others were of the view that good as the proposal may be, there is need to refine it and bring in some checks such that it will not serve as a meal ticket for council chairmen to embark on fragrant abuse of council funds. Senator George Sekibo (Rivers East) in supporting the proposal observed that the performance of the local government councils in the country currently is not proportional to the quantum of funds available to them; whether through direct or indirect funding. He was, however, of the opinion that direct funding is better because it will not be tampered with by the state governors. This, he noted, is with a caveat because if there is no adequate supervision or people to monitor how the funds are going to be spent, the council chairmen will not use the money properly. The alternative way out, for the lawmaker was perhaps to make a law directing the state governments to ensure that they do not tamper with the funds of the local government councils. Senator Robert Boroffice (Ondo North)
CONSIDERING THE SUMMATION OF THE VIEWS OF THE LAWMAKERS ON THE PROPOSAL, THERE IS
NO DOUBT THAT THIS RECOMMENDATION WILL FAIL TO SCALE WHEN VOTING IS TAKEN ON IT BY THE
was very vehement that financial autonomy should not be extended to the local government council authorities. “I believe that we should not grant them any autonomy because if you look at the quality of people who serve now as chairmen and councillors of councils in some parts of the country, I don’t think they can be entrusted with that kind of economic power,” he said. In his contribution on the issue, Senator Mathew Nwagwu (Imo North), while supporting the abolition of the joint state local government account, subsequently recommended that the Auditors General of the various states should audit the accounts of the councils. For Senator Ndume, “This is quite commendable because we should be concentrating on building and strengthening our institutions;it is only when we so do that we will be strengthening our democracy.” If the overriding opinion of the senators on this recommendation is anything to go by, then the final verdict when the voting is done will be that this proposal will scale through.
Mayoral status FCT Concerning the proposal for a mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the Senate Constitution Review Committee explained in its recommendation that a mayoral status for the FCT was not only in keeping with the practice in many capital cities of the world, but it is also to ensure efficient administration of the FCT. According to the proposal, there shall also be a deputy mayor for the city. It also rec-
ommended that the mayor and his deputy must emerge through the process of an election. It further made similar provision for state governors for the mayor as well. Section 302 where this provision is contained states in subsection (1) that, “There shall be for the Federal Capital Territory a Mayor. (2) The National Assembly shall make law to provide for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of the office of Mayor of the Federal Capital Territory. Almost all the senators who contributed debate to this proposal favoured the recommendation but with some minor observations. For instance, Senator Mohammed Magoro (Kebbi South) said the issue that needs further clarification on is whether the mayor that will be elected will be attending the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting? Sekibo, while supporting the proposal observed what he described as a leaking point with that provision, said. “I agree with it but there is still a leaking point. If you read sections 81 and 121 of the constitution and you also read sections 291 and 301 (a) of the constitution, it states that the moment we allow that status to FCT it assumes the status of a state, therefore there must be a provision for the process of accessing their budget. “Its budget has to come to us through a communication from the Presidency, the budget has to come to us as if it is a state of the federation and be laid before the National Assembly before it is transmitted to a committee of the National Assembly to vet. If we do not do that, we will be making some mistakes.” Commenting in a similar manner, Senator Clever Ikisikpo (Bayelsa East) observed that, “The recommended status talks about a mayor that will take the status of governor and deputy governor, but the practice elsewhere such mayors usually assume the status of local government chairman within the locality. We need to look for a very good name that can do the work. I support the mayoral status but the name does not get down well with me.” Going by the aggregate view of the senators on this proposal, it should have a smooth sail on the voting day.
State police not on the table On state police, even though the review committee objected to the issue of state police and preferring instead to retain the present federal structure, senators commented extensively on the subject matter. For senators from the South-West, the issue ought not to have been dismissed like that by the review committee. Boroffice while stressing his strong belief on state police said the fear that state police would be abused by the governors can be addressed by ensuring that the Attorneys General are elected and they are in charge of the state police as is the case with the United States. He noted: “If we have that arrangement here, the fear of using state police to oppress opposition will not arise.” Lar, another strong advocate of state police observed that the review committee was not fair enough for state police agitators by the way the committee dismissed the matter. He noted that the current hapCONTINUED ON PAGE 43
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Rivers crisis: Senate divided, set uncommon precedence
The decision of the Senate to intervene in the political crisis of the Rivers State House of Assembly, which boiled over last Tuesday, for the first time in the life of the 7th Senate, led to the call for a division of the red chamber, even as senators openly aligned along political and ethnic lines, writes GEORGE OJI.
he incident of last Tuesday, in Port Harcourt, where members of the State House of Assembly were enmeshed in an open confrontation, which nearly led to loss of lives and unconstitutional impeachment of the Speaker of that Assembly was serious enough to have attracted the urgent attention of the nation’s apex law-making body, the Senate. The unfortunate incidence was also considered dangerously far-reaching enough to have warranted the Senate to have temporarily suspended the very important debate on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution, which it had set for the entire week. As the lawmakers filed into the hallowed red chamber for the day’s proceedings, which was supposed to be the continuation of the debate began the previous day for the amendment of the nation’s constitution, anxiety was visibly written all over their faces. It did not therefore surprise many when, after the usual opening formalities, which involves the saying of the prayers, adoption of the previous legislative day’s votes and proceedings, the reading of communications and announcement of visitors to the chamber (if any), then straight away the presiding officer and the Senate President, David Mark, directed that every other persons vacated the legislative chambers for the Senate to retire to an executive session, otherwise commonly referred to as closed session. By the time the lawmakers reconvened slightly more than an hour afterwards, and after settling down to work, what subsequently followed was clearly a well rehearsed replayed version of the script that was perfected at the closed-door session. First, the Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi raised a point of order to seek the leave of the Senate to tender a petition written by one member of his constituents. This was immediately followed by a shout of point of order by Senator Magnus Abe. Rising under order 43 on personal explanations, Abe proceeded thus; “There is a matter that is of interest to the entire country at this moment and I just want to make a personal explanation of it for the benefit of this distinguished assembly.” To this, Mark chorused, “Yes give the explanation.” Abe subsequently fired on. “As we are all aware, yesterday there was an incident at the Rivers State House of Assembly in Port Harcourt. Briefly, what happened was that since May 6, 2013, the Rivers State House of
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THIS SENATE WILL DO EVERYTHING
POSSIBLE, EVEN IF IT MEANS SACRIFICING OUR BLOOD TO UPHOLD
CONSTITUTION OF THIS COUNTRY. WE THE
WOULD DEFEND THE ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO ARE VOICELESS AND WHO HAVE NOBODY TO DEFEND THEM EXCEPT THOSE OF US WHO ARE ELECTED TO REPRESENT THEM Assembly had not sat and the state’s police command withdrew police protection for the House of Assembly. “However, after about 63 days that the Assembly could not sit, the Assembly received a communication from the governor that he wanted to come and make a presentation to make some alterations in the state’s budget. The Assembly therefore wrote to the police and decided to reconvene. “When they met in the premises of the assembly, a faction of the House, five members of the House out of a total of 32 members, came into the Assembly and tried to impeach or destabilise the House and beat up the Speaker, the Majority Leader and other members of the Assembly who were forced to run out of the Assembly and then they tried to impeach the Speaker. “The Rivers State House of Assembly has 32 members and the quorum of the House should be 11 members, the majority members were able to come back and then the House sat. But before that happened, there was a fracas, there was a fight and several members of the House were injured. “Surprisingly, this was happening at the House of Assembly, which is directly
opposite the Rivers State Police Command headquarters on Moscow Road. Because of the letter the Speaker had written to the police the assumption of everybody was that the police were there to protect the Speaker and all members of the House of Assembly, but unfortunately, this was not the case. This incidence happened right under the nose of the police headquarters. “So, I want to bring this to the attention of the Senate, confidence that this August assembly is committed to holding the principles of the Nigerian Constitution and we all know that from our constitution, the impeachment of a governor or Speaker, twothirds of their Assembly is required and that this incidence, disturbing as it is has ramifications that is beyond the House of Assembly. “It is capable of disturbing, if not undermining and destroying the democratic institutions in the state, it could lead to a breakdown of law and order and even as we speak, the incidence has continued to generate tension in the state and even this morning I heard there was shooting of tear gas even into the Government House. “It is clear that the Rivers State police command under the command of the present Police Commissioner is incapable of controlling the situation in the state and that this Senate needs to do something in order to save not just the House of Assembly but indeed to save Rivers State and to save our democracy. I submit these explanations for your considerations sirs.” After Abe’s rather lengthy explanations, then Mark took it from there. “Senator Magnus Abe discussed the issue with me and I also discussed the issue with majority of the senators. “Clearly what is happening in Rivers State is an embarrassment to legislators across the length and breadth of this country. And it is in the interest of state Assemblies not to do anything that would portray legislators as irresponsible because that is not what we are. “Clearly also, what is happening is totally unacceptable and it must be condemned in the strongest possible terms in its entirety, irrespective of who is directly involved
or who is behind it. It is not a situation that we expect and we will not want it to continue beyond this point where it has reached. “Democracy involves dialogue, give and take and that at every point, people must learn to dialogue, to discuss and bring issues to the table. Not to fight over issues to the level where it has reached. But because of the urgency, I also believe that this Senate must take immediate steps to protect democracy, protect this country and to ensure that democracy continues to grow and improve in the country. “Senator Abe has raised very serious issues and it is proper that we take steps to ensure that the Rivers State House of Assembly is restored to normalcy so that they can continue their activities in terms of legislation. In respect of this, I would hand over some resolutions to the Senate Leader, so that he can read it out from there because I cannot propose resolutions from here. “In order for us to be able to get the facts so that we are properly briefed, and that we are not operating just by the things that we hear and see from the media only. I think it is appropriate that we send our committee to go and investigate for us. In the meantime, while that is going on, I want to appeal to all the parties involved that they sheathe their sword until we are able to get a feedback from our committee and we are able to take a resolution. “Let me also state here in very clear terms, that this Senate will do everything possible, even if it means sacrificing our blood to uphold the Constitution of this country. We would defend the ordinary people who are voiceless and who have nobody to defend them except those of us who are elected to represent them. And there should be no mistake in anybody’s mind at all as to our stand on that basic and fundamental issue. “I also believe that the relationship between the governor and the Commissioner of Police is not the best at the moment and the IG must take immediate steps to ensure by whatever means that this situation does not continue because the governor and the Commissioner of Police must learn to work together in all the states not just in Rivers State. “There has to be synergy, there has to be understanding based on terms as specified in the constitution. As human beings there may be disagreements but it must not be to the extent to result to the breakdown of law and order.” Subsequently, Mark handed down the decision arrived at during the closeddoor session to the Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba to read out. One by one, as the decisions were read, they were put to vote and adopted as resolutions of the Senate. Trouble, however, began when some senators felt that the decision on the Rivers State police commissioner, which read that, “The Senate should urge the Inspector General of Police to take immediate steps to address the issue of broken relationship between the governor and the commissioner of police,” had been waCONTINUED ON PAGE 43
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
PARLIAMENT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 penings in the troubled state of Borno today has further proven the imperatives of state police. According to the lawmaker, “that the Senate excluded this is not fair and we believe that it is a matter that should be revisited. My governor and my state have been in the forefront of canvassing for state police. We do not have a better way to express such necessity than what is happening today in Borno State where civil JTF have mobilised to support the military JTF and you can see the outcome of that collaboration. It is an incontrovertible fact that the civil JTF have arrested more Boko Haram than the military JTF have been able to do in many years.” It is not certain the position the Senate will take on this matter; whether it will be re-listed for review or just consigned to another round of future review when it will be more matured for re-consideration as the committee proposed.
Separation of Attorney General and Minister/ Commissioner for Justice The issue of the separation of the office of the Attorney General from that of the Minister/Commissioner for Justice as proposed by the review committee also attracted some commentary from the senators. The review committee had in its proposal designated the Attorney General of the Federation or the state as the Chief Law Officer of the federation and the state as the case may be. To further guarantee the holder of the office of the Attorney General, the committee recommended that the appointment must be made by the presi-
Constitution amendment: The issues, debates, contributions et al WE MAY BE
WATERED-DOWN VOTING TODAY AS INDICATIONS POINT TO THE DIRECTION THAT NOT ALL THE MAJOR AND FAR-REACHING
PROPOSALS MAY SCALE THROUGH THE VOTING PROCESS TODAY dent and confirmed by the Senate. Also, the tenure of the Attorney General must be tenure-based. In this regard, the committee recommended a seven year, nonrenewable tenure. Also to further insulate the holder of the office from politics, the committee recommended that such a person must not be a member of any political party nor a civil servant. The justification of this recommendation according to the committee is to guarantee the independence of the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF. Only a few senators commented on the issue. However, some of the lawmakers who contributed to the debate on this proposal expressed disapproval of it. For instance, Lar said his people outrightly opposed the idea. Also, Nwagwu said his people also opposed it because they we were of the opinion that it will be double counting and counter-productive. It will be difficult to call, how voting on this item will go since there were not
Many senators who commented on this proposal urged caution because the proposal conveys the impression of authoritarianism and lack of adherence to the principles of separation of powers. Ndume while disagreeing with such proposals noted that democracy is all about interchange of ideas. He believed that, “adopting the clause as recommended by the committee will be tying down the hands of the president and that is not fair.” For Lar, “My people said they do not subscribe to dispensing with the presidential assent and governors as proposed in section 58 and 110 of the proposed amendment bill.” Boriffice, who bought into the recommendation, argued that he did so, “because we are the elected representatives of the people and when we send any bill to the president, we are representing the views of our people in the bill.” The take is that the senators will be inclined to listening to the voice of reason and not approving of the proposal
Devolution of powers, roles for traditional rulers, state creation
enough opinion on the proposal by the senators.
Presidential assent on bills/consent on a new constitution Another proposal that may be very difficult to predict how voting on it may swing is the issue of presidential assent on bills as well as presidential consent on a new constitution. Section 9 of the constitution, which deals with the procedure for drafting and enactment of a new constitution now denies presidential assent for a new constitution to come into being, while section 58 and 100 now makes it automatic for bills passed by both the National and states Assemblies to automatically become law if at the end of 30 days, either the president or governor as the case may be, refuses to assent to the bill.
The issue of devolution of powers will most likely scale through as many senators who contributed to the proposal demonstrated inclination to it. It is not certain whether the issue of roles for the traditional rulers may be listed for re-visiting because there were convergence of views that it was unfair on the part of the Senate to have deliberately refused to make provisions in that line. The same also may apply for state creation as the majority view of the senators favoured the re-visiting of the issue based on the emotions and sentiments attached to it by the electorate. In all, we may be witnessing a watereddown voting today as indications point to the direction that not all the major and farreaching proposals may scale through the voting process today.
Rivers crisis: Senate divided, set uncommon precedence CONTINUED FROM PAGE42 tered down from what they had previously agreed at the executive session, and consequently openly opposed the decision. When the decision was put to voice vote, the first time, it was not quite clear who had the day between the ayes and nays, thus prompting the Senate President to put the question the second time. This time around, Mark demanded to have the decision from the Senate Leader, Ndoma-Egba and to personally read it out. By now the atmosphere was charged, senators became uncontrollable, most of them left their seats, moved freely across their friends to form groups to discuss the matter, some on top of their voices. The floor became really rancorous. Abe kept shouting, pacing up and down and in the process exhibited unbridled anger as he kept charging at the Senate President, accusing him of wrongful decision. Mark on his part was calm and busy holding series of courts with some of the principal officers to resolve the imbroglio. He met with one group after another as he tried to seek a way out of the rather messy situation. After much horse-trading and consultations, the resolution was amended to read that, “The Senate urges the IGP to take immediate steps to address the issue of the
broken relationship between the Rivers State Commissioner of Police and the state governor.” After very passionate and persuasive appeals for the senators to understand the implication of their voting and that a nay vote would mean an automatic death to the resolution, the Senate President again put the issue to vote. “Before I put the question, we must be conscious of the fact that the IGP has operational responsibility over the Police and in making our recommendations we make sure that we make recommendations that in the position of the IGP with his operational capability he would make a judgement that will be in the interest of the police. “So, I just to want caution before we make a resolution that may appear to be difficult or contravene the operational responsibility of the IGP,” Mark said. The verdict by Mark subsequently, that the ayes had the day prompted Senator Babajide Omoworare (Osun East) to immediately jump up from his seat to challenge the ruling, citing order 73 of the Senate standing rule and calling for a division. By this time the Senate became further charged as the house became divided between the majority and opposition. Ef-
forts by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu to avert a possible division of the house by calling for point of order and asking Mark not to proceed with the division proved abortive as Omoworare insisted on challenging the ruling of the Senate President. Not even several wise appeals by some opposition members
BY NOW THE ATMOSPHERE
WAS CHARGED, SENATORS BECAME
UNCONTROLLABLE, MOST OF THEM LEFT
THEIR SEATS, MOVED FREELY ACROSS THEIR FRIENDS TO FORM GROUPS TO DISCUSS
THE MATTER, SOME ON TOP OF THEIR VOICES.
THE FLOOR BECAME REALLY RANCOROUS
to allow the sleeping dog lie could make Omoworare change his mind as he was hell-bent on the division. Following this development, Mark invited the Clerk of the Senate who called for the clearing of the lobby, to signal the division and commencement of individual voting on the matter. At the end of the voting, the ayes again carried the day as they polled 50 votes to the 47 polled by the nays, while four senators abstained, seven absented. An obviously enraged Mark was nonetheless able to control his anger as he proceeded to deliver the following words of wisdom. “I believe that this issue of the relationship between the Rivers Governor and the Rivers CP should not have taken this turn but however, we have exercised our legislative rights once more. We are looking at the nation not at Rivers State. Whatever decision we take here is in the best interest of democracy and in the best interest of the nation. On that basis, I would like to read the amended resolution by the Leader.” What actually happened during the voting was clearly a replay of the politics of All Progressives Congress, APC, versus the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as voting visibly took place along that political line.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
PDP SPECIAL NATIONAL CONVENTION
Tukur suspends Gana’s convention committee OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has suspended the activities of the Special National Convention committee for overreaching their duties. This is coming a few days after the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, locked out Prof. Jerry Gana and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, chairman and secretary respectively of committee
EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court yesterday adjourned till July 25 to deliver ruling in a motion on notice seeking to stop the forthcoming National Convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Justice Suleiman Belgore arrived at the date after entertaining arguments from plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) as well as counsel to the PDP, Mr. Emeka Etiaba. Specifically, Abba Yale, Yahaya Sule and Bashir Maigudu are praying the court for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and other officers from holding the scheduled special convention, which date was announced by chairman of
from his residence, The NWC at its meeting yesterday said it thoroughly considered issues surrounding recent developments in the party and resolved to put the activities of the committee members on hold. In a statement by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Tony Caeser Okeke, the party said: “In view of the anomalies and breaches of the constitution of the PDP observed in the actions so far taken by the Special National Convention Planning Committee, the NWC has directed the
Committee to put on hold all activities relating to the Special South-West Zonal Congresses and the Special National Convention pending the regularisation of the anomalies and breaches so as to forestall a repeat of the events that affected the party’s convention in 2012.” The party consequently cancelled the August 31 date earlier proposed by the Planning Committee for the South-West convention and special national convention, saying they are in the circumstances untenable. On the controversy sur-
PDP, NWC know fate July 25 the committee and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana. The plaintiffs, apart from seeking to restrain Tukur and acting members of the party’s NWC, are also urging the trial court to set aside or nullify all steps and processes that led to the appointment of the latter as national officers of the party. Besides, the suit further asked the court to restrain Tukur “from performing any functions or duties assigned to the National Working Committee, NWC, of the defendant, following the resignation and removal of all members of the NWC of the defendant set out in article 29 (1) (b)-(1) of the constitution pending the hearing and determination of this case.” In his argument, Okutepa observed that “the resignation of former Deputy
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 are against the result of the election are highly respected people. They came back and said there was no voting when every single one of them voted. Of course, you have seen Niger State governor’s comment, you have heard Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa and Sokoto governors’ comments on the issue. They have come out to say who voted for whom. Ours was clear because we voted in bloc. It was those who joined us that were not clear to Nigerians. And those who did it have come out to say they did it. Really, it is worrisome. What is worrisome there is the reaction from the other side. We felt Mr. President is the president of all. Our president is not a candidate in the NGF election. He has no interest because he made that very clear to us that he has no interest in the NGF election and I don’t want him to be dragged into this NGF issue because it diminishes the Presidency. The occupant of that office should not be diminished. We must not do anything to diminish the office and the occupant. That is why some of us are vociferous in our own meeting. NGF meets only once in a month on the eve of the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting. How should we shift our meeting because we want to make an impression? We won’t do that. The NEC meeting has been scheduled and the eve turned out to be the day the Presidency wanted to have dinner. We went for our meeting but while there, we said, the invitation to the dinner was a
National Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, and 16 others was an affront on the integrity of the court.” He contended, among others, that “since the matter was still pending in court, the PDP (defendant) would have allowed it to be decided by the court, rather than proceed to appoint members
rounding the Anambra State executive of the party, the NWC invited major stakeholders in the state to an enlarged stakeholder’s meeting on July 18 to commence consultations towards finding a lasting solution to the problems of the party in the state. On the crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the party, the PDP NWC also resolved to invite the National Vice Chairman, South South, to come and brief it to enable it take an informed decision that will lead to a prompt resolution of the crisis in the state. to act in the stead of those that resigned. “The PDP chose to pick unqualified people to constitute the NWC, which was initially composed by equally unqualified members, who resigned. “A lot of injuries have been done by PDP, not to itself alone, but to the administration of justice. No person should be seen to be disparaging the court.”
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‘Adeniran, best candidate for scribe’ OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
ormer Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has been described as the “best man” suited for the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the forthcoming Special National Convention. The Director-General of the Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Dr. Musa Moda, while addressing journalists yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said the former ambassador to Germany, towered above all the aspirants from the South-West, jostling for the position, as he possessed the necessary experience to tackle the challenges of the ruling party. Moda said that Adeniran’s past track record of achievements in politics, education, human resources and administration, put him in a good stead among all the aspirants, adding that the present situation in the PDP, where most
states are crises-ridden, requires that the party’s national secretariat be manned by someone of Adeniran’s calibre, who is highly respected among party members across the country. His words: “There is no doubt that Prof. Adeniran has all it takes to serve as the National Secretary of the PDP, as he is loved by the teeming party leaders, supporters and stakeholders all over the country. Indeed, his antecedents as an administrator, ambassador and a staunch party member par excellence put him ahead of those angling for the position. “At this point in time, he is the best candidate to unite all the members of the party, chart a new agenda to transform the party as well as the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. He was the one that organised the party’s national primaries convention that produced President Jonathan as the presidential candidate of the party in the last general elections, which was adjudged as the best so far in the history of the party.” Moda said that as a founding member of the G-34 which transformed into the PDP and the chairman of the party’s Elders’ Caucus in Ekiti State, Adeniran has numerous contacts all over the country to turn the fortune of the party around and prepare it for the challenges of the 2015 general elections and beyond.
All governors are President Jonathan’s men –Fayemi trap. We went for our meeting and we have met technically. We didn’t meet to take any decision. We went to the dinner because it was our President that invited us and we must not do anything to diminish him. But, we have been diminished before Nigerians because they don’t really make difference between 19 and 16. They just say these governors can’t even hold simple election and they want Nigerians to come and vote in 2015. I think the president must find a way to exercise his moral authority on this matter. We must also find a way to meet the president in supporting him to exercise that moral authority because it doesn’t augur well for us, for some people to be hiding or creating the impression that they are the president’s men. We all are president’s men. We are the president’s governors. So, we are all his men. The president was once a governor, a member of the forum. So, he knows that he must not do anything to denigrate the forum. He must not allow people to hide under his apron string to undermine the forum. The truth of the matter is that, there is only one NGF that is running. Although someone claimed that he is the Sole Administrator of another NGF. Even the terminology is a problematic one. Are we still in the military era when we used to have Sole Administrators? When we talk of programmes, NGF is still NGF. We still run programmes and all the 36 states
still run programmes for NGF. The other NGF has no office. It has a place called office but there is no soul in that office. It has no programme. We have programmes that are jointly run with the World Bank, DFID, other institutions of state and the workers there are about 50. I think we need to do something. It is not about Amaechi. This is another problem I find disturbing. The issue is not Mr. President versus Governor Rotimi Amaechi. It has nothing to do with President Jonathan and Amaechi as many of us in the Governors’ Forum don’t see it that way. For many of us, it has to do with integrity and independence of NGF. There is a danger in presenting two forums. What’s your perception about other governorship candidates in the state? They are about 20 running in PDP at the last count, but we would not underestimate anyone of them. Whoever is running is important to us because it is an election. Everyone is important and I take them very seriously. I take election as a scientific process in which you cannot ignore anyone, no matter how inconsequential the person might appear. We have all sorts of people whether it is in Accord Party, PDP or Labour, all of them will meet us on the field.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Community Mirror We will continue to search our file, review our files with security agents; especially police to ensure security of lives and property in Lagos State LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR; BABTUNDE RAJI FASHOLA
Employees kidnap boss over poor pay FRANCIS SUBERU
wo employees of a Lagos based firm, Taiwo Aduloju and Ufot Akanyene have confessed to arranging the kidnap of their boss, Mr. Kuang Vingjun, a Chinese over poor wages. Until their arrest, the duo worked at ZTE Nigeria Limited, Osborne Estate, Ikoyi and they connived with eight others to kidnap the foreign national and management staff of the company. The kidnap kingpins collected a ransom of N8.5million from Kuang’s relatives before
releasing him. All the suspects were on Monday paraded by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko. The police boss gave the names of the other suspects as: Jimoh Olalere , Rotimi Shegede , Michael Sunday , Adeyinka Jagbjagbo , Kabiru Jagbojagbo, Adeshina Mutiu and Ope Dada. Speaking with journalists, shortly before parading the suspects, Mr. Manko frowned at the payment of ransom to kidnappers, saying such acts always encouraged them. The police boss said that Aduloju and Jimoh were arrested at Elemoro in connection with the
kidnap of one Kingsley Ifeanyi , whose relatives also paid N500, 000 ransom. Investigations by the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the state command, led by Abba Kyari revealed that the gang had, in the past, been operating on the Epe Expressway. Manko said, “Ufot, a staff of ZTE, who also resides in the boys’ quarters at 20 Udi Street, Osborne, confessed to have given information leading to the kidnap of his boss. A search on the residence of the gang’s armourer, Michael Sunday, led to the recovery of two locally-made pistols and 18 live cartridges.” Speaking with Community
Mirror, the gang leader, Taiwo said they decided to kidnap Mr. Vingjun because the company’s remuneration to the staff is very poor. He said: “One day, I approached Ufot and we discussed our monthly pay which was too small. He said there is nothing we can do about it. Later, we decided to arrange for the kidnap of Vingjun and it was successful. We have never done it before. We got N8.5million and my share was N600, 000.” Ufot who corroborated Taiwo revealed that he was lured into the act by Taiwo, saying he believed he was hypnotized. He said; “I did not know how I
Court frees driver for alleged robbery
Lagos High Court presided by Justice Christopher Balogun has ordered the release of a commercial bus driver, Olumide Ogunteluwo who was charged for armed robbery. The 35-year-old driver was arrested in December, 2008 for al-
Residents benefit from free medical service HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
Farmers harvesting rice at the Dadin Kowa irrigation farm in Yamalyu/Deba local government area of Gombe state yesterday.
got myself into it. Initially, when Taiwo told me of the plan, I refused, but he kept pestering me. He said the Chinese are using and paying us peanuts. I later agreed to be part of the kidnap gang and I got N700, 000. I gave N200, 000 to my dad, paid N250, 000 for my mother’s accommodation and another N50, 000 for her medical bill. The rest, I spent on myself.”
leged offence of armed robbery which he denied. He was in police custody until March 3, 2009 when he was arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court for armed robbery with one Imole Mustapha (2nd Defendant). They were subsequently detained at Ikoyi Prison awaiting the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP.
While the 2nd Defendant was released on bail, Olumide remained in custody until the DPP’s advice came which recommended his prosecution for armed robbery. Sometime in 2011, the defendants were charged before Justice Balogun in suit No. LCD/68/2011. However, the case was referred to the Legal Aid Council by the
trial Judge as the defendant and his parents could not afford to engage the services of a private legal practitioner. When trial commenced, it took the prosecution more than a year to bring the 2nd defendant to the court, further delaying the case, even as it suffered five adjournments due to failure of prosecution counsels to produce witnesses.
any residents of Zion Pepe community in the Ilaje Llocal Government Area of Ondo State have benefitted from free medical service organised by Danilux Chemical Industries. The free health services organised in collaboration with American-based physicians, led by Dr. Neil Johnson and Prince Tolulope Adeyemi, was to treat and screen people of malaria, hypertension and other related diseases. Speaking during the exercise, the Managing Director of Danilux, Apostle Rapheal Danilola who is also a member of Ilaje League of Professionals said the initiative was taken to assist the indigenes. According to him, the free health service was meant to help the government health policy, adding that development programmes should not be left for government alone. He explained that the idea of embarking on free medical services was initiated when he went on a business trip and thought of ways to help his community. He disclosed that those whose situations could not be treated due to limited health facilities will be referred to medical experts outside the state, while one of the patients would be flown overseas for comprehensive medical attention. He called on well-meaning individuals to assist the rural communities in the country, even as he lamented that health facilities are not available to many people at the grassroots.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (179)
Most people live in a very restricted circle of their potential being. We all have reservoirs of energy and genius to draw upon of which we do not dream. â€“William James. * * * Go For It! There is so much we can be that we are not even attempting! So much can come out of us that we are yet to see. Each of us has that yearning within us calling us to noble acts. It is time to go for it! It is time to explore our potentials to the limit. It is time to FIRE YOUR EXCUSES! It is time to attempt the seemingly impossible. Studies indicate that we use not one-tenth but one ten-thousandth of our capabilities!
Man killed as cow falls through his roof
cow fell through the roof of a house in Brazil, killing a sleeping man and narrowly missing his wife, authorities said. The 1 1/2-ton cow had gotten out of a hillside pasture in Caratinga and wandered down the slope
and on to the roof of Joao and Lena Maria de Souza, which quickly gave way. The animal crashed down on the De Souza's bed and left Joao De Souza, 45, with multiple injuries, Britain's Daily Mirror said Saturday. He died of internal
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S di h ttown b Swedish buys plastic l ti dogs to scare off geese
fficials in a Swedish town used plastic sculptures of dogs to keep geese out of public parks but one resident said geese don't seem afraid of the statues. Sollentuna officials said the plastic dogs, modelled after German shepherds, were purchased from a Minnesota
company called Watch Dog Goose Patrol, which sells the products for $60 apiece on its website, The Local.se reported Friday. Officials did not reveal how many of the faux canines, which the website says last at least three years, were purchased.
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Family members staring at the coffin of Maria de Souza
bleeding while waiting for treatment at a hospital. "Being crushed by a cow is the last way you expect to leave this earth," his brother-inlaw told the Brazilian newspaper Hoja em Dia. "In my view it
wasn't the cow that killed our Joao, it was the unacceptable time he spent waiting to be examined." The Daily Mirror said the Civil Police in Caratinga began in investigation into the strange death.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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“He (Snowden) came to our territory without invitation. And we weren’t his final destination... But the moment he was in the air... our American partners, in fact, blocked his further flight.” – Russian President, Vladimir Putin
More protests in US over Zimmerman verdict
UK expresses disappointment for Nigeria hosting al-Bashir PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he British government yesterday voiced its disappointment against Nigerian government for hosting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The International Criminal Court in 2009 slammed Bashir with an arrest warrant for his role in the Darfur genocide. Speaking yesterday, the UK’s Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said: “The UK has a strong and abiding bilateral relationship with Nigeria. I am therefore disappointed that Nigeria has chosen to host President Al Bashir of Sudan at an African Union event, despite International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants against him for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. “This undermines the work of the ICC and sends the victims a dismaying message that the accountability they are waiting for will be delayed further. The British Government takes seriously its obligations as a State Party to the Rome Statute and consistently urges other State Parties in all parts of the world to do the same.” Meanwhile, Human rights groups have condemned Nigeria
Sudanese President, Al-Bashir, was in Abuja on Sunday.
for hosting Bashir, and have demanded his arrest on genocide charges. Bashir is attending a health summit convened by the African Union (AU) in the capital, Abuja. His visit was an “affront to victims” of the conflict in Darfur, rights groups said. The International Criminal Court (ICC) accuses him of com-
mitting genocide in Darfur, a charge he denies. The African Union decided in 2009, soon after the arrest warrant was issued, that member states should not enforce it. It accuses the ICC of complicating peace efforts in the region, and unfairly targeting Africans. Bashir received a full guard of honour when he landed in Abuja
on Sunday to attend the summit, which will focus on tackling malaria, HIV and tuberculosis in Africa, BBC has reported. Nigeria has long had a strong relationship with Sudan, which is home to one of the largest diaspora populations of Nigerians - some estimates put the figure at three million. This goes back to the early 1900s when Nigerian Muslims left for Sudan at the end of the Sokoto Caliphate when the British took over northern Nigeria. Sudan is also a convenient place to start the pilgrimage to Mecca. So the authorities in Abuja certainly do not want to risk jeopardising the livelihoods of their citizens abroad. If President Omar al-Bashir was arrested in Nigeria, it could lead to reprisals against these expatriates. Nigeria also has nearly 4,000 peacekeeping troops in Sudan - and was involved in mediating in the Darfur conflict, hosting two major conferences that led to a peace deal. Economically both countries have relied heavily on oil but want to diversify. Last year Khartoum invited Nigeria’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, to invest in the agricultural sector; he also looks set to venture into the oil and cement industries there.
Egypt snubs top US envoy during visit
he first senior U.S. official to visit Egypt since the army toppled its elected president was snubbed by both Islamists and their opponents yesterday. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns arrived in a divided capital where both sides are furious at the United States, the superpower which supports Egypt with $1.5 billion in annual aid, mostly for the army that deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi two weeks ago. An Egyptian cleric and a supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi holdup a placard against Egyptian Defence Minister, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi Crisis in the Arab world’s most ing in Cairo, on Sunday. Photo: AP populous state, which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the Brotherhood, has so far refused and the Tamarud anti-Morsi prostrategic Suez Canal, has alarmed to say whether it views Morsi’s test movement both said they had allies in the region and the West. removal as a coup, which would turned down invitations to meet Thousands of supporters of the require it to halt aid. Burns. ousted leader took to the streets The State Department said “First, they need to acknowlyesterday. Burns would meet “civil society edge the new system,” Tamarud Washington, never comfortable groups” as well as government of- founder Mahmoud Badr said of with the rise of Morsi’s Muslim ficials, but the Islamist Nour Party the Americans. “Secondly, they
must apologize for their support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s party and terrorism. Then we can think about it,” he told Reuters. In a further slight, Badr posted a copy of his invitation, including the U.S. embassy’s telephone number, on the Internet. Nour, sometime allies of Morsi’s Brotherhood who have accepted the army takeover, said they had rejected meeting Burns because of “unjustified” U.S. meddling in Egypt’s affairs. The Brotherhood’s political party said it had no meeting planned with Burns. It was not immediately clear whether it was invited. While its opponents accuse Washington of backing Morsi, the Brotherhood suspects U.S. involvement in his removal.
Suspected rebels in women’s clothing invade Congo Fresh fighting has erupted in eastern Congo, after more than 100 armed men, disguised in women’s clothing, entered the country from Rwanda, say residents. The heavy fighting between the Congo army and M23 rebels resumed Monday morning after starting on Sunday following the arrival of the armed men in women’s clothes, say local inhabitants. “They were wearing kikwembe” — a Congolese shawl worn by women — “over their uniforms, and women’s headscarves,” said Bifumbu Ruhira, a farmer at the village of Kanyarucinya on the front line between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels, who started fighting the government last year.
Shark kills girl during swim in Indian Ocean A teenage girl has been killed by a shark while swimming off the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, The BBC has reported. The 15-year-old victim, a French holidaymaker, was attacked yesterday while snorkelling a few metres from the shore at Saint-Paul on the west coast, local officials say. It is the second fatal shark attack near the island so far this year. Previous fatalities have been surfers attacked further offshore, AFP news agency reports. It said the girl had travelled from mainland France to visit her father in Reunion. She was swimming with another girl when the attack took place. Fire and rescue services and a police helicopter are being used to search for body parts, public safety director Gina Hoarau told AFP.
Zimbabwe’s chaotic voting enters 2nd day Police, soldiers and officials are lining up to vote across Zimbabwe for a second day after earlier polling was mired in chaos with ballot papers, ballot boxes and other materials not delivered in time on Sunday. Officials of Zimbabwe’s election commission said special voting for about 80,000 government personnel who will be on duty during the nation’s crucial national elections on July 31 got off to a slow start Monday. Electoral commission deputy chair Joyce Kazembe said no voting took place at some of the 210 polling stations countrywide Sunday because printing of election papers was delayed. More than 9,000 voting stations are planned for full elections two weeks away.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Assad’s forces advance into rebel-held district
Iran’s president-elect criticises Ahmadinejad Iran’s president-elect yesterday levelled his first criticism of the outgoing administration since June’s election, saying it has mismanaged the country’s economy. Several newspapers quoted Hasan Rouhani as saying his team of experts see the government’s economic assessments as sugarcoated and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as having left much work to be done. “We asked current officials about the situation of the country but their reports and those of our teams were very far from each other,” he said in remarks published by the pro-reform Shargh daily. Despite Ahmadinejad’s claims of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, he added, only an average 14,000 were created annually over the 2006 to 2012 period.
San Francisco crash: Asiana to beef up pilots’ training Asiana Airlines said on Monday that it would enhance training for pilots seeking to convert to flying new aircraft, part of a series of measures it is undertaking after the fatal crash of an Boeing 777 plane in San Francisco. Three Chinese teenagers were killed and over 180 people injured when the Asiana flight from Seoul crash-landed at San Francisco’s international airport on July 6. The pilot in charge of landing the plane was in training on the 777, while seated next to him was a co-pilot on his first flight as an instructor. Both were experienced pilots, although they had not flown together before, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said. “We will bolster our training program...when a pilot converts to a jet from a different manufacturer,” Asiana said in a presentation to the government, which was shown to reporters.
Bangladeshi Islamist leader found guilty of war crimes A war crimes court has found Islamist leader, Ghulam Azam, guilty of five charges relating to Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. Ghulam Azam was sentenced to 90 years in jail for his involvement in mass killings and rape during the war. Supporters of Bangladesh’s main Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party, which he led from 1969 until 2000, clashed with police ahead of the verdict. It is the fifth sentence passed against current and former party leaders. The court found Mr Azam, 90, guilty of five charges including conspiracy, incitement, planning, abetting and failing to prevent murder. He faced more than 60 counts of crimes against humanity for his role in setting up militia groups which carried out atrocities during the war. Azam has denied the charges, which his supporters say were politically motivated.
Many African-American protesters - like this woman holding a sign in Jacksonville, Florida - identify with Trayvon Martin and his family. Photo: AP
More protests in US over Zimmerman verdict P
rotests have taken place across the US after neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, was cleared of murdering an unarmed black teenager. Most demonstrations were peaceful, demanding justice for the family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and questioning the fairness of the justice system. The biggest protest was in New York, where a small rally grew into a crowd of thousands. President Barack Obama has appealed for calm reflection after the verdict. He acknowledged on Sunday that the case had elicited “strong passions”, but said: “We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.” The Department of Justice says it is investigating whether a civil case can now be brought against Mr Zimmerman. The 29-year-old neighbourhood watch volunteer had faced charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter due to his fatal shooting of the teenager last year. Trayvon Martin supporters rally in Times Square The rally in Times Square was peaceful, but people were clearly very angry at the verdict
After the not-guilty verdict was announced late on Saturday, there were protests in cities across the US including in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Boston, San Diego and Atlanta. In New York City, thousands of people marched to Times Square on Sunday night, chanting “Justice for Trayvon Martin!’’ Police attempted to keep the crowd in controlled lanes, but the demonstrators made their way around the officers into the square. Derreck Wilson, 46, who came to Times Square from the traditionally African-American neighbourhood of Harlem, said protesters were there “to say in a peaceful way why we are angry. We are angry, scared and anxious.” In San Francisco, protester Rand Powdrill, 41, said he came to march with about 400 others to “protest the execution of an innocent black teenager”. “If our voices can’t be heard, then this is just going to keep going on,” he said. In Los Angeles, protesters blocked traffic, and several roads were closed. Police said most of the protesters were peaceful, but several splinter groups were more aggressive, report-
edly throwing rocks and batteries at police at one location. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged protesters there to “practise peace”. Later on in the evening, about 80 protesters gathered in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, near the CNN bureau. According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 100 police officers converged on the crowd, declaring an unlawful assembly and ordering them to disperse before making arrests. Seven arrests were made across the city on Sunday and early into Monday. In Boston, about 500 protesters marched alongside police escorts. “They’ve been very orderly,” Boston police superintendent William Evans told reporters. Trayvon Martin was also remembered in many church services across the country on Sunday. “Trayvon Benjamin Martin is dead because he and other black boys and men like him are seen not as a person but a problem,” the Rev Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, told his congregation.
yrian troops backed by tanks and artillery moved into a rebelheld district of Damascus yesterday, stepping up efforts to drive opposition fighters from the capital and build on battlefield gains elsewhere in the country, a rebel commander said. Opposition sources said troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad advanced into the neighbourhood of Qaboun after subjecting the Sunni Muslim district to heavy shelling. Two adjacent rebel-held neighbourhoods have been under sustained fire in recent weeks to cut off the movement of rebel fighters. Diplomats and security sources said Assad appeared intent on securing the capital from rebels that pose a threat to his troops, who are dug into positions in the centre of the city. Backed by guerrillas from the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, Assad has recaptured important regions in central Syria in the past two months, linking Damascus to his Alawite heartland on the coast. His troops now appear focused on eliminating the rebel threat to the capital. Assad’s gains, after more than two years of a war that has killed more than 90,000 people, come amid growing signs of rebel infighting that has pitted Islamist fighters against the Western- and Arab-backed Free Syrian Army. In Qaboun, Republican Guards troops detained hundreds of people in public places to prevent rebel fighters from hitting government troops as they breached rebel defenses and entered the district, activists said.
‘6,000 missing one month after Indian floods’
ndia officially declared on Monday that nearly 6,000 people were missing a month after flash floods ravaged large parts of its northern state of Uttarakhand, but stopped short of saying they were presumed dead. The figure of 5,748, based on tallies of missing persons from around the country, was the first official estimate following weeks in which the numbers of dead and missing fluctuated wildly from a few hundred to several thousand. Their families will now be eligible for financial relief, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna told a news conference, adding that his government would pay 150,000
Indian people showing photos of their loved ones who went missing during Photo: AP monsoon flooding in Uttarakhand, India, recently.
rupees ($2,500) to families in the state, besides compensation from the federal government. “We are not getting into the controversy whether the missing persons are dead or not,” said Ba-
huguna. “We are abiding by what the families of the victims say, and if they think that they haven’t come back and have no hope as well, (then) we are providing them monetary relief.”
The official death toll still stands at 580, an official of the National Disaster Management Authority told Reuters. More than 4,600 of the missing in Uttarakhand had come from elsewhere in India, said the official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media. Record rains in June caused devastating landslides and flooded rivers in Uttarakhand, trapping tens of thousands of Hindu devotees, who flock there each year on a pilgrimage to the temple towns of Kedarnath, Gangotri, Badrinath and Yamunotri. The rains buried villages in silt and washed away roads, while raging rivers like the Ganges swept away homes on their banks.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
NEMA donates relief materials to refugees
ollowing the declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States the Federal Government deployed military and other security personnel to flush out the insurgents. With likely apprehension and fear among the ordinary citizens staying within such communities, it was expected that some palliative measures would be put in place. The justification for the State of Emergency was very obvious when some communities and ocal government were
completely under the control and administration of insurgents. Only an irresponsible government would allow his territory to be annexed and control by militants. Before the emergency rule, we are all living witnesses to the unruly behaviours of militants which led to the unfortunate development in Bama and Baga. The pictures of some of the atrocities become clearer on various interventions of the Federal Government to amelio-
rate the suffering of the victims of terrorists’ attacks. While commending the Military high command and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA for their swift response in investigating the incident and rehabilitating the victims, President Goodluck Jonathan reiterated his position that where any kind of misconduct is established, the Federal Government would not hesitate in ensuring that due sanctions are enforced and that jus-
tice is done. The President said that what happened in Baga, was most regrettable and unfortunate. He reaffirmed his full commitment to doing all within the powers of the Federal Government to speedily end the threats to national security which necessitated such confrontations. The government has since then continued to work with the relevant states to ensure that the people affected by the crises receive every possible relief and support to facil-
Scene of an accident where a fuel tanker rammed into passenger vehicles, killing several people on the spot in Abuja on Saturday evening.
OLA LOOKMAN ABUJA
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has reactivated its Executive Volunteer Corps for effective disaster response, the DirectorGeneral, Alhaji Mohammad Sani-Sidi, said recently in Abuja. Sani-Sidi spoke at an interactive forum with members of the corps and stressed that disaster management was ``everyone’s business’’. Represented by NEMA’s Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Hakeem Akinbola, the director-general said the organisation decided to reactivate all organs that were necessary to improve disaster management in the country. ``The frequency of disaster occurrence and the pursuit of an effective approach to disasters have prompted the need to re-evaluate the agency’s mechanism and strategies for search and rescue operations and disaster response,’’ he said. According to him, the agency considers it imperative to establish a volunteer
Emergency Volunteer Corps reactivated unit which is domiciled in its Search and Rescue Department. ``This unit has the Emergency Management Vanguards (EMVs) drawn from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Grassroots Volunteers from the local communities. ``These crops of volunteers create awareness in their communities and also serve as responders during emergencies. He said NEMA also employed the services of executive volunteers made up of professionals from various sectors to boost the agency’s response capabilities. Sani-Sidi said the forum was expected to serve as a platform for the volunteers to keep abreast with new trends of disasters being experienced in the country and to suggest innovative ways of responding to them. Earlier in an address of welcome, NEMA’s Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, urged volunteer groups of the agency to be proactive in responding to disasters.
Otegbade who decried the poor participation of volunteers during emergencies, urged them to see themselves as major stakeholders in disaster management. He urged them to always act promptly in the event of disaster occurrence in their domains. Otegbade said the workshop was organised in realisation of a gap created by the inactive operation of the Executive Volunteer Corps. Otegbade said volunteer groups should ensure that they were well kitted during emergencies to avoid embarrassments from other responders. Meanwhile as part of measures to ensure adequate mitigation and risk reduction during disaster, South-East Zonal oofice of NEMA in collaboration with the Imo State Emergency Management Agency have organized a one day workshop for students in secondary schools to help them gain knowledge on emergencies, risk reduction and mitigation. The workshop,with the
theme “Role of children in emergencies, risk reduction and mitigation in secondary schools in Imo state”, was held at Government Secondary school in Owerri, the Imo state capital. The South East Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Bandele Onimode said the workshop is aimed at ensuring that adequate measures and sensitization are put in place to ensure that there is reduction in disaster this year especially after receiving another Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) prediction on the subsequent heavy rainfall that might likely occur. Mr. Onimode added that it was also an avenue to instill in the students how to manage emergencies, risk reduction and mitigation in their immediate environment. He reiterated that the workshop was aimed at instilling in students mainly disaster risk club members what early response, early mitigation and risk identification would do to help mitigate the effect of disaster if it occurs in their immediate environment.
itate their speedy rehabilitation. While the military provides the security in the protection of lives and property, the local people have started to support the government in the establishment of volunteer groups like civilian JTF. Other agencies of government whose impressive performance must be acknowledged is the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). In response to the directive of President, the agency sent teams to most of the prone areas to pave way for immediate humanitarian relief. Not only did it identify the displaced persons, it set up an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in to provide immediate succour to the affected persons with relief materials. The agency had earlier delivered building materials to support some states in the North-East for construction of houses for communities that were displaced by the 2012 flood in the state. It also delivered building material for the rehabilitation of schools that were destroyed by insurgency. In tackling the needs of the displaced people, NEMA developed a mechanism where it involves the collaboration of other stakeholders, especially the response agencies and volunteers. The volunteers assist the agency in providing medications, clothing and foods to distressed and displaced people in the affected communities. In a statement by NEMA’s Malam Abdulkadir Ibrahim, it said this was in line with the agency’s mandate of providing succour to Internally Displaced Persons (IEDs). “The agency has embarked on the distribution of food items to communities affected by the state of emergency in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. The gesture is aimed at tackling acute food shortages due to the on-going military offensive against terrorists in the area.’ The items distributed included bags of rice, millet, beans, noodles, sugar, milk, beverages, among others. Drinking water too was provided to the
communities to ameliorate their hardship. The North-East Zonal Cordinator, Alhaji Muhammad Kanar who led the team called on the citizens to be law-abiding and go about their normal activities. He also advised the people to co-operate with security operatives by reporting suspicious movements and strange people in their localities. While most of the worst hit-communities affected in the three states have so far benefitted from the federal gverment gestures, other Nigerians who took refuge in neigbouring countries were also supported. The agency deployed relief assistance to the displaced Nigerians that fled into the nearby Republic of Niger to provide them with immediate succour. Before the exercise, the basic needs of the refugees were identified by a special assessment carried out by a technical team that had been dispatched to the Niger Republic to ascertain the conditions of Nigerians that had crossed over the border into the country. The assessment was carried out along with officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Niamey, Nigerien authorities and resident representatives of United Nations OCHA, UNHCR and the Red Cross. The relief intervention ease the pressure brought on local resources of the host communities by the refugees. Most of the refugees were found to be in Bosso and its environs in the Diffa Region of the Republic of Niger. NEMA reiterated the commitment of the Agency to provide necessary supports to Nigerians in distress within and outside the country. The relief deployed to Niger Republic are made up of food, non-food items and medicals. What all these effort signify is that, the response agencies in Nigeria including the military, NEMA and volunteers are conscious of their responsibilities and discharge their mandates to satisfy the yearning and aspiration of the citizens. By Ola Lookman
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
300-level students can’t write letter –ASUU •Says strike not about salary increment T he Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has decried the level of decay in Nigerian universities, saying 200 and 300 level students could not write simple letter. The Chairman of the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, branch of the union, Dr. Mohammed Aliyu, said this yesterday while addressing a news conference in Zaria. He said: “It is disheart-
ening to note that students in 200 level, even 300 level, cannot write simple letter. This has shown how poor our education standard is.” Aliyu said the ongoing strike was not about salary increment, but to compel the Federal Government to honour the 2009 agreement with the union. He said: “After three
years of serious negotiation, government signed the October 2009 agreement with our union. “The agreement was aimed at addressing the rot in the Nigerian university system and enhancing its overall efficiency. “The agreement focuses on funding requirements for revitalisation of the Nigerian universities, Federal Government as-
sistance to state universities. “Progressive increase in annual budgetary allocation to education to 26 per cent between 2009 and 2020 and amendment of the pension/retirement age of academics on the professional cadre from 65 to 70 years.” The chairman said after signing the agreement, both Federal and state
governments developed cold feet, forcing the union to embark on a warning strike before proceeding on an indefinite action. Aliyu said ASUU had tried to avoid another round of crisis in the university system by writing to the Secretary to Government of the Federation and the Minister of Education in February, reminding them of the pending issues. He said: “The letter highlighted outstanding is-
sues in the 2009 agreement and the subsequent 2012 memorandum of understanding.” The chairman listed other issues to include, the non-injection of N100 billion intervention funds in 2012 as Federal Government assistance to state universities, payment of earned academic allowances, raising education budget to 26 per cent and setting up research units in companies.
Why I backed Al-Mustapha –Fasehun
Group vows to sue Yero over Kaduna financial status
A ZA MSUE
he leader of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, yesterday explained to the Yoruba community in Kano why he was championing Major Hamza Al-Mustapha’s release. Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, was released from Kirikiri Maximum Prison on Friday, after almost 15 years in detention over the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola. Fasehun accompanied AlMustapha to Kano on Sunday where the former CSO openly acknowledged the role the OPC leader played in the campaign for his freedom. Al-Mustapha told Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso at the Government House on Sunday that: “I have found a father, highly dogmatic, a senior citizen of this country, a detribalised elder, a person that is a father indeed with a wide shoulder and big heart, a man that is very reliable, responsible, dependable, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun.” Aware of the possible hostility that may trail his pro-Al-Mustapha stance from some of his kinsmen, a man widely perceived to be the mastermind of the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Fasheun met with Yoruba in Kano at the Yoruba House at Sanusi Street in Sabon Gari area of the city yesterday where he tried to justify his romance with the former CSO.
L-R: Governors Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, Idris Wada (Kogi) and Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), during the Abuja + 12 African Union Special Summit of Heads of States and Governments on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Commissioners, advisers looting Taraba treasury –Forum ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, the Taraba Justice Forum, yesterday alleged that some commissioners and top advisers in Taraba State Government were looting the state treasury. The forum said the affected public officers were using Governor Danbaba Suntai’s ill-health as cover. Its Secretary General, Mr. Ambulus John, said in a statement that the same top public officials had been blocking efforts to activate a constitutional clause that would empower the state House of Assembly to set up a medical team to ascertain the health status of the governor.
Eight months ago, Suntai was involved in a chopper crash and was flown out of the country, necessitating the crowning of his deputy, Alhaji Garba Umar, as acting governor. The forum, however, showered encomiums on the state House of Assembly for its unrelenting fight against corruption being perpetrated by the commissioners and top advisers in government. It also called on Umar to break away from a cabal using political uncertainty as a cover to milk the state dry. The statement described the action of the Assembly as the best for the state while also commending the acting governor for supporting the lawmakers in the fight against corruption in the
state. The statement reads in part: “The lawmakers are acting in the right direction by exposing corruption and acting against corrupt officials. We urge them to go after other corrupt officials in the State Executive Council. “We also call on the state acting governor to increase his level of support for the Assembly in the fight against corruption.” The forum observed that many corruption cases being unearthed in Taraba State was the reason why a cabal of officials was afraid to let the whole world know the truth about Suntai’s state of health. The statement added: “Because they have soiled their hands, they are
afraid of change. They are afraid that their records and accounts will become public and Tarabans will know the truth. This is why they are opposed to the setting up of medical panel to verify the state of health of the governor. “We want to make it clear to the acting governor that he is accountable for management of the state resources. As the acting governor, he has the power to hire and fire, especially when corruption cases are involved. “Any official that is fingered should quit government or be sacked to preserve the integrity of the government. “If the acting governor fails to act, he may unconsciously be shielding a cabal that is troubling the state.”
group, the Kaduna Human Rights Association, yesterday threatened to sue Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero for failing to explain how much the late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa left in the state treasury. Its Executive Director, Sadau Garba, who issued the threat while speaking with journalists, said the group would take the governor to court if its demand was not met. He said the people of the state deserved to know its financial status. Garba also faulted the explanation offered by the governor’s Director-General, Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, who told the BBC Hausa section that the group’s demand was baseless and unjustifiable. He said: “What we are asking is the amount of money the governor met in the state’s accounts and local government joint accounts. “We are also asking that he should tell the citizens loans profile of our state, both local and foreign, liabilities of the state and how Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, funds are being managed in the state as our people are yet to feel the impact of the scheme. “We also want him to brief us on other matters that are beneficial or injurious to the state. This is highlight of our letter to him on 26th June, and till today there is no reply.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Oloffa tussle: Ruling House wants Appeal Court verdict implemented WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
Wife of Transition Committee Chairman, Faskari Local Government, Katsina State, Hajia Sa’adatu Faskari-Ahmad (right) distributing food and detergent to the less privileged women as Ramadan fasting assistance, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Suspected armed robbers kill two policemen in Gombe DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
wo policemen on duty at the NNPC Mega Station in Gombe were shot dead by some suspected armed robbers yesterday night during an operation that lasted about 10 minutes. Narrating the incident to journalists, the Assistant Station Manager, Sa’idu Yahaya, who was the only worker left behind after the day’s business at about
7:40pm, said he was compiling records when he heard gun shots within the premises. Yahaya said when he came out to see what was happening, three young men armed with AK 47 rifles approached him and asked for direction to the station’s cash room. He said he told them that there was no cash as the worker handling money had closed for the day. He said the armed men thereafter forced him to
the cash office where they found no money. Yahaya added that the suspects left him and join their accomplices outside the cash office before they fled in a waiting vehicle. According to him, he came out a few minutes later to discover the lifeless bodies of the two policemen on the floor, while the premises was littered with blood. Confirming the incident to journalists, the Police Public Relations Officer
(PPRO), Fwaji Atajiri, said investigation had begun and that two of the armed robbers escaped with gunshot wounds after an exchange of fire. He, however, called on members of the public to watch out for anybody with bullet wounds and report such person to security agencies. Atajiri said: “The Gombe State Police Command will not rest in its ores in ensuring that the state continues to enjoy peace.”
Alakyo violence: Four bodies still unclaimed at Nasarawa hospital IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
ot fewer than four unidentified bodies believed to be those of the policemen and State Security Service (SSS) personnel killed about two months ago by some suspected members of Ombatse cult group at Alakyo village in Nasarawa State are still lying in the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia. The four bodies, according to investigation, were deposited at DASH alongside those of other security
personnel following a cross fire between the security operatives and members of the Ombatse cult group in May 7, 2013. It will be recalled that many people, including security personnel were killed by the cult group aside the 11 police patrol vehicles and other valuable property destroyed. DASH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Yakubu Ahmed Ashuku, confirmed to National Mirror that there were four bodies still lying in the hospital which nobody has come to claim. Ashuku said other bod-
ies deposited with the four at the hospital had been claimed and collected by their relations for burial. He said: “The four corpses still in our mortuary were burnt beyond recognition; hence it became difficult for families or relations of the deceased persons to identify and claim them for burial.” Commenting on the issue yesterday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Public Relations Officer, Dr. Abdullahi Idris, who was involved in the evacuation of the bodies of those killed from Alakyo village to some hos-
pitals, said that the agency was not aware of the four unclaimed corpses. The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Hamza Elayo, denied that the government is aware of the unclaimed bodies. The Force Headquarters’ Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, denied knowledge of the unclaimed bodies. Mba said he was not aware, stressing that it would be difficult for him to comment on something that he did not have information about.
Aliyu urges mechanised farming as nation’s oil revenue declines PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
overnor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has described the drop in oil income is a wake-up call to the nation to embark on mechanised farming so as to reduce over dependence on oil. He said presently, Nigeria’s oil production has re-
duced from 2.5 million bpd early this year to 1.92 million bpd in May thereby creating panic. Speaking while inaugurating a 15-man Agricultural Transformational Committee in Minna, the state capital, Aliyu noted that the situation could become worse if the United States commences the sales of its crude oil. The governor, a member
of the National Economic Council, (NEC), said: “We must no longer over rely on oil as it is now found in virtually every country in West Africa. And people are finding other ways other than oil. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the United States will, in the next two months, struggle for the oil market. So, we must be con-
scious of this fact because since May, we have been finding it difficult with what is coming into the federation account. “Just last week, the Federal Allocation Committee (FAC) meeting was postponed because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) could not pay money into the Federation Account.”
he Olugbense Ruling House that won the appeal case against the Oloffa of Offa has urged the Kwara State Government to execute the order of the Court of Appeal which directed that Prince Abdulrauf Adegboyega Keji should be crowned the monarch forthwith. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Ilorin, state yesterday, the family, led by Prince Saka Adebayo Keji, said the fact that the Anilelerin Ruling House indicated willingness to file an appeal at the Supreme Court had not signified an indication that the subsisting court order had been vacated. The Court of Appeal on July 9, 2013 ruled that the selection, appointment and installation of Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye of Anilelerin Ruling House by the government and the kingmakers was wrong and ordered that Abdulrauf Keji of Olugbense
Ruling House should be appointed and installed in his place forthwith. Speaking at the press briefing yesterday, Prince Saka Keji said: “The judgement of the court that it was the turn of Olugbense Ruling House to fill the vacant stool of Oloffa of Offa after the demise of Oba Olawore Olanipekun in 2010 has put the Oloffa chieftaincy status in the right perspective.” He denied the rumour that his family had agreed to some overtures to “allow sleeping dog to lie and allow perfidy to continue,” adding that the “family does not wish to sell its birthright.” Prince Keji said: “At this juncture, we want to passionately appeal to the state government to immediately enforce the Court of Appeal judgement by installing Prince Adegboyega Keji as the new Oloffa of Offa in the interest of peace, justice, fairness, equity and adherence to the principle of the rule of law.”
RMAFC demands memoranda from stakeholders on new formula DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
he Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has conducted a one-day sensitisation workshop on the proposed new revenue sharing formula. The decision is to gather adequate input that will be acceptable to Nigerians and end all controversies trailing the current formula, The commissioner representing Gombe State at the Commission, Ambassador Saidu Mohammed Fawu, invited individuals, groups and communities to submit memoranda to RMAFC concerning the proposed new revenue sharing formula. According to the commissioner, the exercise, which is being conducted across the country, would also welcome suggestions that are devoid of sentiments and sectionalism from stakeholders on how to achieve a reliable and sustainable revenue sharing formula for the country. Fawu explained that the issues upon which inputs
are needed include percentages to be allocated to the federal, state and local governments, as well as derivation to oil producing and solid mineral producing states. The commission said that before it embarked on the sensitisation exercise, it had assiduously studied and carefully reviewed literatures of previous revenue sharing formulas in their bid to fashion out a perfect document that would be presented to President Goodluck Jonathan for onward submission to the National Assembly as a bill. The commissioner, who said all sub-heads enjoying federal grants needed inputs from organizations (government and private), groups and individuals for the enrichment of its final report, hinted that the commission had met with the states, local governments and other relevant groups, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and was expecting to receive their inputs any moment from now. The workshop was, however, attended by the Emirs of Gona and Pindiga.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ramadan 7th, 1434 AH
‘Help the less-privileged’ DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
Kaduna-based business tycoon and philanthropist, Alhaji Abdulkadir Hamma Sale has called on wealthy Muslims to support the needy during this Ramadan as he embarked on the distribution of food items
to over 2,000 patients on admission in nine general hospitals. According to Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu Mohammed who represented Sale, the gesture was in line with the teachings of Islam which enjoined wealthy members of the public to reach out to the needy in this period of Ramadan. According to Ad-
amu, Alhaji Sale who is the Managing Director of Hamsal Air Limited said the less privileged constitute the majority of patients on admission in government. The items presented to the patients were done through Abdullahi Isah, Deputy Head of Administration, who took the philanthropist round.
DIGNITARIES AT THE ANNUAL NASFAT RAMADAN LECTURE IN LAGOS RECENTLY
L-R: National Women Affairs Secretary, NASFAT, Alhaja Nafisat Arogundade; Prof. Lateef Adetona of the Department of Religious and Peace Studies, Lagos State University and Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Yunus Salihu.
L-R: Amirul-Hajj, Osun State, Barrister Dhikrullai Hassan and World President, NASFAT, Alhaji Sheriff Yusuf.
Be more concerned about Hereafter –Oyekola AISHA TITILAYO
clarion call has gone to Muslims to fear Allah in all their dealings and be more concerned about the Hereafter and Judgement Day. Giving this admonition at the weekend was the Lagos State Missionary, Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jamaat, Missionary Quasim Oyekola during the weekly Ramadan lecture organized by the Jamaat at the Ahmadiyyah Mosque, Ojokoro-Lagos. He explained that man is in loss; loss of children, money, life, peace, position, whereas, all these are just trials from Allah (SWT). “Man is in a haste to get the things of this life which is just a passing of time and they are all vanities.” Adekola noted that all the things of this life are not certain and that the only thing that is certain is death. He therefore advised that man should not let the things of this life take away their religion and the fear of Allah but rather be concerned with the Hereafter. He reminded the audience that what leads to paradise is sincerity in religion and good deeds we are able to do. “Faith, good deeds, patience and truth are the way out of this loss. Man should be patient because one will surely get to where Allah has destined for one,” he concluded.
Yero tasks parents on education AZA MSUE KADUNA
aduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has said that children belong to the classroom stressing that governments at all levels and parents should take advantage of the Tsangaya and the Almajiri system of education to move all indigents children out of the streets. Yero made the remarks at the 8th annual Ramadan lecture organized by Voice of Nigeria (VON), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) held in Kaduna. Yero said Islamic knowledge will help in moulding children overall character, while western education provides opportunity to participate in the dynamic global economic system just as he expressed dismay that the country still have millions of children roaming the streets and begging for alms.
“Most of these kids never enjoyed parental love and guidance and they feel rejected by the society. You will agree with me that most of them have been exposed to harsh realities in the streets and they have no basic foundation in receiving sound moral upbringing. This poses a great challenge for peace and stability of our country. Aside providing standard education for children, parents must also ensure that they closely monitor the kinds of friends their children keep. We have seen children from well-respected homes that turned out to be consumed by deviant behaviours. Parents must therefore be close to their children, make sure they worship and pray at the right time and that they keep only friends that are morally upright.” Yero said Muslims must live exemplary life, worthy of emulation by others, while keeping strictly to tenets of the religion.
‘It is suicidal for Muslims to boycott politics’
L-R: Chairman, NASFAT, Zone 2, Alhaji Abdulrazak Lawan; his counterpart in Zone 1, Alhaji Remi Adeseun and Business Secretary, NASFAT, Alhaji Ayodeji Rauf .
Cross section of male participants at the lecture.
uslims have been called upon to take active part in politics as doing otherwise will be stupid and suicidal. Alhaji Dhikrullah Hassan gave the advice in Lagos at the annual Ramadan lecture organized by NASFAT. According to him, for Muslims not to take part in politics claiming it is dirty and violent is stupid and suicidal, then, if you are not involved, who decides your faith? Hassan queried.
Speaking on the topic; “Muslim participation and the Nigerian Political Future; Challenges and Prospects”, Hassan explained that politics is about investment and noted it is not for the weak; rather, it is for the strong. “There is rigging, corruption and thuggery in Nigeria politics, however, it will be stupid and suicidal for Muslims not to take part in it because if you are notinvolved, who then decides your faith? He encouraged
Muslims to participate actively in politics and should be exemplary when they get there, they should do it right and be conscious not to put the Muslim Ummah to shame. “A leader should also know that he will die one day and will surely account for all his deeds on the Day of Judgment.” Also, Prof. Abdul-Lateef Adetona talked on Islam and politics in Nigeria: A theoretical framework for aspiring Muslim politicians.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
One of the refuse dumps behind Bisco Primary School, Sabon Tasha.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Another refuse dump at Barnawa Primary School.
Kaduna: Where schools and pupils are overwhelmed by refuse The alarming rate of refuse dumps at some schools in Kaduna and environs has become a source of concern in spite of government‘s effort to stem the tide. AZA MSUE writes on the adverse effects the hazard is posing to both the pupils and environment.
n spite of the existence of relevant waste management agencies such as Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development, KASUDA, and State Environmental Protection Agency, among others, many primary schools in Kaduna city and its environs have turned into refuse dumping sites with health hazards on pupils and teachers. Investigations revealed that refuse dumps are either sited behind or on the entrance of primary schools. For instance, one of the largest dumps in the areas was situated at Local Education Authority, LEA, primary schools in Bisco, Barnawa, Badarwa among other locations within the Kaduna metropolis. The school where the habit of cleanliness is expected to be inculcated into the pupils has turned out to be a dumping site for refuse thereby, exposing the children to contaminated air, disease vectors and consequently, health hazards. These heaps of refuse behind school buildings are commonly noticed in the low density areas where there are deplorable roads without drainages, than in high brow areas, thereby exposing pupils to offensive odour and polluted air. The situation of schools in Kaduna is not different from other urban and rural areas in Nigeria where illegal open waste dumps are found dotting its environment by the host communities without any consideration to the learning condition of children. However, a teacher at LEA,Barnawa Primary School who pleaded anonymity for fear of sack, cried out to Kaduna State governor, Mr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero for immediate intervention as refuse dump affects learning. The teacher said: “God is with us in this school. We spent about six years with that refuse dump without help from government. We wrote to Ministry of Education and other environmental protection agencies over this menace but no posi-
WE SPENT ABOUT SIX YEARS WITH THAT REFUSE DUMP WITHOUT HELP FROM GOVERNMENT tive action yet. Just last week, we saw two trucks of caterpillar here for evacuation but a day after, they disappeared again. When we asked one of the drivers, he told us that no diesel in their vehicles and they cannot do the work again. We are appealing to Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero to save his children from air borne diseases and other health hazards over this refuse dump.” A female teacher in one of the affected schools, Mrs. Veronica Agya said the refuse dump had destroyed a house behind their school, stressing that her school buildings may collapse even during school hour. “Thank God you have seen it yourself; this school is in danger unless urgent steps will be taken by the government to remove the heap of waste disposal behind our school. It has blocked our way to school; sometimes we climb on the waste site to enter our school premises. We blame the host community too because this school belongs to them. Even if government cannot evacuate the refuse they should look for elsewhere to dump their refuse. Government should re-vitalize and sustain sanitary house-to-house inspection by health officers and sanitary inspectors,” she said. A six year old pupil, Solomon Ayuba begged government to safe their health from the refuse dump “We are begging government to help park the refuse, we are his children. Our parents ‘no get’ money to put us in private schools,” he appealed. Meanwhile, apart from refuse dump
sites around primary schools, lack of latrines for pupils remains unresolved. A United Kingdom agency for international development, Education Sector Support Program in Nigeria, ESSPIN, had constructed about 70 ventilated pit latrines in schools across Kaduna State to reduce unhygienic condition facing primary education. The refuse dump heaps are not restricted to public schools alone; other locations too have their own share as residents expressed sadness over the heaps in some suburbs of the city. A cross section of the residents told National Mirror that the manner in which the refuse was piling up was alarming and a serious threat to public health. Mrs. Felicial Okoh, a resident of Angwan Television, said some parts of Kaduna city have become an eye sore and called on the state government to intervene before the situation leads to outbreak of diseases. She said public refuse collection companies have not been able to reach most areas inside residential areas as they only evacuate some waste sites on the main roads where people can easily notice. Another resident, Mr. Timothy Bako Philip who claimed to be health expert alleged that some of the solid wastes companies had converted graveyards in some locations into a refuse dump. He blamed the solid waste companies for dumping refuse that was evacuated from other areas of the city in the community, thereby causing discomfort to residents. “These micro-organisms could find their way into uncovered foods, water in the environment and the children’s favourite edibles such as ice-cream, bean cakes and confectioneries. And you notice that our food vendors, popularly called `mama put’, have this common habit of leaving their food half-covered most of the time. This could lead to increasing cases of diarrhoea, cholera and other communicable diseases” he said. Interestingly, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had warned residents of Kaduna against dumping of refuse near electricity transformers and poles. Managing Director, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Alhaji Idris
Mohammad said the organisation had assigned inspectors to identify such sites with a view to taking appropriate action. Mohammad lamented that several of such refuse dumps, especially in Angwan Shanu area have been reported, saying that the company would not hesitate to prosecute offenders. He noted that apart from the health hazard to residents, the dumps often triggered off power surge leading to the blowing up of transformers and collapse of electricity poles, adding that Kaduna State Government should provide adequate dumpsites to curb indiscriminate disposal of refuse in the city. Before the demised of the immediate past Kaduna State governor, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, government had engaged 48 contractors to provide 300 waste bins and polythene bags on major roads and streets within Kaduna metropolis to improve waste management in the state. National Mirror gathered that government had in 2009 done something similar, before it hosted the National Sports Festival, but regrettably over 90 per cent of the bins have been removed. Also, Kaduna State Government had entered into an agreement with an investor to establish a N3 billion waste recycling firm through a private-public-arrangement. Alhaji Saidu Adamu, State Commissioner for Information, had said the state government would provide the land as part of its equity contribution, while the federal government would contribute its quota for the take-off of the project but the result is not yet on ground. Meanwhile, efforts to speak with KASUDA and KEPA, state agencies charged with the responsibilities of protecting the environment over the refuse dump failed.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The declaration of emergency rule in Borno State, following Boko Haram’s insurgency, has forced many residents to flee and take refuge in neighbouring Cameroun and Niger republics. INUSA NDAHI, visited these places and writes that the refugees are reluctant to return home.
Borno: When Boko Haram created wave of refugees
Assorted food items for distribution to the refugees.
Some of the refugees announcing their unwillingness to return home.
Deputy Gov. Borno State, Alhaji Zama Mustapha and other government functionaries addressing the refugees.
orno State, which is the epicentre of Boko Haram sect and now under emergency rule, has forced over 20,000 Nigerians living in Ashigashiya, Ngoshe, Jubrili, Abadam, Malamfatori and other mountainous and desert areas of Gwoza and Abadam local council areas of the state, to take refuge in Cameroun and Niger Republic. Our Correspondent who accompanied the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha with other government functionaries to the communities, observed that over 20,000 Nigerians have crossed over the river boundaries in between Ashigashiya and Cameroun, Abadam/Malamfatori and Bosso, Niger Republic, where they all vowed not to come back. They said that they are tired with the system of Government of Nigeria as they alleged that they have been chased out of Nigeria by Boko Haram insurgency and the ongoing military operations in the state. Although some Christian leaders in Barawa, Ashigashiya and other communities in Gwoza said, all the allegations are not true; instead, it is politically motivated. Reverend James Ayuba, a Christian leader in Barawa in an interview with our Correspondent said, all those who fled to Cameroun villages are guilty of being associated with Boko Haram, as the security agencies deployed to the area are doing their responsibilities according to the rules of engagement. However, narrating the reasons that forced them to relocate to Cameroun to the Deputy Governor, Abdul Ashigashiya alleged that their people in Ashigashiya, Ngoshe and other villages along the border are being killed by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) since the declaration of the state of emergency in the state. He said “I have lived in this community for the past 50 years, and I have never seen one of my people who killed his/her fellow human being in the name of religion, but it is unfortunate that Nigerian soldiers are coming into this community with a list killing our people that they are members of Boko Haram.” He said the only means that would make them come back to their houses is when the government has assured them that no any soldier that would come to harass them any longer.
SOMETIMES I HAVE TO GO TO SOME OF THE VILLAGES IN
CAMEROUN TO SEEK WORK TO FEED MY FIVE KIDS Corroborating Abdul’s claims, Mallam Sidi Ali said, the people of Ashigashiya have been living in cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims, but immediately after the declaration of the state of emergency, specifically on June 15 and 24, over 10 people were killed in the community including a Principal of Government Secondary School, Ngoshe by the JTF, and that all their complaints to Colonel Hassan who is in charge of security in the area fell on deaf ears. Also speaking, a civil servant with the state Ministry of Agriculture, Suleiman Dalhatu and Abubakar Talamu, who are among those who crossed over to Cameroun, alleged that they have lost many of their relations to the JTF and nothing would convince them to come back to Nigeria.They claimed that they were satisfied with the assistance being rendered to them by the Camerounian Government. A teacher with the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Chikide village who is among the refugees that fled from Agapalwa to Jubrili village of Cameroun Republic, Mr. Musa Hassan said, some of their people are ready to come back to Nigeria if government will guarantee their safety from both Boko Haram sect and the JTF. “We are really suffering. As you see me now, I am a teacher with the UBE; I don’t have anything to eat with my family. We relocated to this village for over three weeks now; we have nowhere to stay not to talk of what to eat. Sometimes I have to go to some of the villages in Cameroun to seek work to feed my five kids”. Hassan stated. Mustapha, while addressing the refugees/ displaced persons in Ashigashiya town assured them that government has provided food items for them to come back and resettle in their various houses. He pleaded with them to bear with the suf-
Cross section of refugee children.
fering they might have encountered in the face of security challenges bedevilling the state. He said government will start to monitor the activities of the JTF, as any security agent that kills innocent civilian will face the wrath of the law. He assured the refugees that no military or men of the JTF would harass them again, if and when they would ensure peace and unity amongst themselves irrespective of their religious or tribal affiliations. Mustapha urged them to emulate the effort of the vigilante youths popularly known as ‘Civilian JTF’ in Maiduguri, who have been assisting the security agencies in identifying and arresting members of Boko Haram, which he said, have really helped in solving the security challenges in the state. He urged the traditional, religious leaders and stakeholders to select about 150 to 200 volunteered youths in each of their community who would be paid monthly allowances by the state government in talking the security challenges in their domain, as according to him, security of lives and property should not be left in the hands of security agencies alone, but a collective responsibility. Likewise, the border communities of Jubrilli, Kughum and Barawa in Gwoza Local Government Area have been directed to return home and form their own youth volunteer vigilante groups, consisting of 100 members each to patrol their villages and protect them from Boko Haram or military invasion. The Deputy Governor gave the directive when he visited the localities following reports that the villagers had fled into Cameroun for fear of the Boko Haram and military attacks. Addressing the people of the three villages who had assembled at the border on the side of the Cameroun Republic where they had gone to seek refuge, the Deputy Governor said, “I have heard your complains as to why you left your villages and crossed over to Cameroun. I want to assure you that if you
agree to work together to defend your villages from the Boko Haram and also agree to handover all Boko Haram among you to the security, the soldiers will no longer come to look for them in your villages”. “You will have to ensure that there are no more killings. I am therefore directing you to form youth volunteer groups consisting of 100 to take the responsibility of patrolling your villages. These volunteers must be made up equally of Muslims and the Christians among you to forestall any abuse.” Zanna explained that in Maiduguri, the state capital is witnessing relative peace as volunteered youths who are now addressed as ‘Civilian JTF’, have taken over the operation stop- and- search in their various wards which led to the arrests of several Boko Haram members before handing them over to JTF. He informed the refugees that if they will emulate such gesture, no security agencies will visit them, as they will be the ones to safeguard their communities against Boko Haram infiltration. Earlier the villagers from all sides had been accusing one another of inviting the military by giving them a fake list of alleged Boko haram members who were taken away to nearby bushes and shot dead. When our Correspondent asked Peter Zadva a Christian why he fled his village, he said, “The Boko Haram were hunting for all Christians in the area to kill us, so I fled”. On his part, Usman Warabe a Muslim said, “The soldiers were killing the Muslims alleging that we are Boko Haram so I fled”. At the end of the visit the refugees in Cameroun Republic had agreed to form the vigilante groups as directed by the Deputy Governor. In the same vein, the Deputy Governor Mustapha urged the 6000 communities of Abadam local government area who fled to neighbouring town of Bosso in Niger Republic following the military operations against Boko Haram insurgents to return home.
Largest internet search engine Vol. 03 No. 665
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Google.com no longer publishes its index size – owing, it says, to inaccurate data and duplicate sites – but in terms of the number of searches carried out, it is certainly the most popular search tool.
Celebrating Mandela at 95
he strongman of Africa and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, will on Thursday turn 95 years, a day that is worth celebrating on the continent, given the impact of the former antiapartheid campaigner on the lives of his people and by extension restoring the dignity of Africans. Born on July 18, 1918, Mandela who dedicated his life to fight the white rule, has achieved much for the benefit of humanity even at the expense of his own life, family and career. Though he eventually became the
orld number one, Tiger Woods, says he expects to be fully fit for this week’s Open Championship at Muirfield despite his recent elbow injury. Woods, who is chasing a 15th major title and has not played since the US Open at Merion last month, has been drawn to
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President of a free South Africa in 1994, Mandela made it clear that his intention for fighting the obnoxious regime of his days was not to occupy the office but for the emancipation of the blacks who were treated as second class citizens on their own soil by the white settlers. To prove this point clearly, he voluntarily relinquished power and there was no doubt that he became the most influential leader not only in the country but also on the continent. As the leader of the African National Congress, ANC, the platform he used for the liberation struggle for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment, it was not a surprise that he eventually won at the polls to emerge the first democratically elected President of South Africa. Unlike sit-tight leaders in Africa who have become a burden to their people, Mandela, as a modest leader, quit the office when the ovation was loudest. His decision to step down after one tenure in office was again a lesson in leadership. He did not force himself on the people and at a time he could have asked for another term without any opposition, Madiba decided to leave to enjoy his life as a statesman and father of modern South Africa. He did not nurse any ambition that
THAT HE IS STILL ALIVE MANY YEARS AFTER TO SEE HOW THE FREEDOM HE FOUGHT FOR HAS TRANSFORMED THE LIVES OF HIS PEOPLE AND THE BLACK RACE WORLDWIDE IS ENOUGH FOR THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE HIM NOW BEFORE HE DEPARTS would have divided his people and which perhaps might have led to the death of innocent souls. I strongly believe that his decision to quit then, sighting old age, should have been the reason for him to continue in office. Unlike many African leaders who were also freedom fighters in their own right, but who could not see into the future and quit at the right time rather than when their influence begins to wane, Mandela’s choice, with the benefit of hindsight, has indeed paid off. Today he is regarded as a symbol for the unity of South Africans irrespective of colour, religion, eth-
nicity or race. He is even celebrated beyond the shores of his native country as a man who dedicated his life to a free and just society which the former apartheid enclave has become now. But for his recent challenge with lung infection which has kept him in the hospital for about five weeks now, Madiba would have witnessed how the country rose up to pray for his quick recovery. This show of love was indeed the only way the new generation of South Africans can pay back and to some extent show appreciation for the sacrifice Mandela made to guarantee the life and the freedom they now enjoy as a people. Going through the story of his life, and as one of the elites of his days, Mandela could have compromised the fight for freedom for a comfortable living for himself and his immediate family in order to abandon the struggle, but he despised the pleasure which would have been temporary anyway, to bear the pain for the benefit of the majority. That he is still alive many years after to see how the freedom he fought for has transformed the lives of his people and the black race worldwide is enough for the world to celebrate him now before he departs. Just recently the first Black man to rule the United States, President Barrack Obama, was in South Africa to visit Mandela’s family and as a mark of respect for the man he called his hero, visited the Robben Island where Mandela spent part of his 27 years imprisonment and where he was subjected to a most dehumanising treatment to force him change his mind on the struggle. Thank God he was not only focused but also strong-willed in his decision to live and die with the struggle. Today it is a sweet story to tell.
Golf: Woods eyes Muirfield honour, partners McDowell, Oosthuizen play alongside Graeme McDowell and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen in the first two rounds of the championship. “I started chipping and putting a little over a week ago
and I’m full go for the Open,” he said yesterday. “I’m very confident that my left elbow strain won’t be a problem and I will be able to hit all the shots I need to hit.
That’s why I took the time off, so it could heal, and I would feel comfortable playing again. “I’m still taking anti-inflammatory medication for my elbow and getting treatment, but the big thing at Muirfield Golf Club will be to avoid the rough.”
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