Private sector investments in agric hit N80bn –Jonathan
Keep Jonathan out of NGF mess, Fayemi tells governors
Rice price drops as Nigeria, Indonesia cut imports
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
Vol. 31 N0. 660 115
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the agriculture sector attracted over N80 billion worth of private
sector investment commitments within the last one year. He spoke in Abuja at the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Tuesday, Tuesday,June July 7, 9, 2013 2011
Misconduct: 4 police AIGs, 17 CPs face trial
...action to uphold rule of law, human rights –DIG OMEIZA AJAYI AND JOEL AJAYI
51 PROTESTERS KILLED IN EGYPT
he Police Disciplinary Committee is set to investigate about 195 police officers for various offences bordering on unethical conduct. They include four Assistant Inspectors- General of Police, AIGs, and 17 Commissioners of Police, CPs. The police authorities said the measure is meant to uphold the rule of law, professionalism and respect for human rights. There are 12 zonal commands of the police, while there are two sectional AIGs - Force Secretary and AIG Medical. Aside the 36 state police commands, there are CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Gunmen kill soldier, kidnap expatriate P.12
An injured man is brought to a makeshift hospital after Egyptian soldiers and police fired on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, yesterday. PHOTO: AP
UK to ban Boko Haram, Minbar Ansar Deen sects ...supporters may bag 10 years imprisonment
Confusion trails Industrial Court’s decisions
45.5 million phone lines redundant in Nigeria –NCC
N’Assembly summons minister, union leaders P.4
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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L-R: Book presenter and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Managing Director, Standard OCC, Mr. Korede Adenowo and author, “Awesome Digest”, Mrs. Olajumoke Adenowo, during the launch of the book, in Lagos on Sunday.
L-R: Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquayyatu Rufai; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala and Executive Seretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, at the presentation of the symbolic key of the City of Little Rock, Arkansas, United States, for advancing educational development in PHOTO: NAN Nigeria, at a meeting of vice chancellors in Abuja, yesterday.
L-R: Representative of the Chairman, National Population Commission, Dr. Festus Uzor; Member, House of Representatives Committee on Population, Hon. Charles Odedo and Federal Commissioner, Nasarawa, Alhaji Umar Zakari, at a news conference in commemoration of the 2013 World Population Day in Abuja, yesterday.
L-R: Satellite imagery expert, Mr. Thomas Harling; Director, Mapping, Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Mr. Reuben Edozie and Surveyor-General of the Federation, Mr. Peter Nwilo, at the opening of the PHOTO: NAN Free Generic Training on Satellite Imagery Map of Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday.
Strike: National Assembly summons Minister, ASUU
...union adamant, insists FG honours agreement EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
he National Assembly has summoned the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, over the ongoing strike in the nation’s tertiary institutions They are to appear before the Senate and the House of Representatives’ Committees on Education today. This was disclosed yesterday by Prof. Rufai, during her meeting with the Com-
mittee of Vice Chancellors of federal, state and private universities, in Abuja. While reiterating the Federal Government’s commitment in ensuring that universities operate without interruptions, Rufai, however, appealed to the striking lecturers to sheath their swords, in the interest of the students. She said: “We and ASUU and all those that are concerned are going to meet with the Senate and House of Representatives tomorrow. But, the good thing is that we plead that the lectur-
ers go back to classes, so that our children will go back...” The minister also expressed concern at the way and manner some universities abuse the award of honorary degrees, even as she urged administrators to look into the issue, so as to restore sanity in the process. On wrong mobilisation of students for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Rufai warned that some universities will henceforth be sanctioned over the issue, adding that “students from unaccredited institutions will be dis-
qualified, and universities that engage in wrong mobilisation sanctioned.” Against the backdrop of reported incidents of armed robbery and other crimes on campus, the minister advised university managements to liaise with relevant government agencies, to ensure safety of students. The minister also expressed the determination of government to use the instrumentality of the National Universities Commission, NUC, to sanction erring universities that charge more than N2000 for UTME. Meanwhile, ASUU yesterday vowed that the strike
Jonathan’s visit to China not to spite Obama –Presidency ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
he Presidency yesterday dismissed insinuations that President Goodluck Jonathan’s five-day state visit to China was a junket or intended to spite United States President, Barrack Obama for refusing to visit Nigeria during his recent trip to Africa. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, told State House corre-
spondents before Jonathan departed the country yesterday that the visit to the Asian country was to attract Direct Foreign Investments. He explained that China is the largest market in the world with its 1.35 billion people and also the world’s largest creditor nation and large consumer of primary commodities, including crude oil, stressing that after the US, China is the largest importer of crude oil from Nigeria. Abati stated that the
claim that Jonathan’s visit was to spite Obama for refusing to visit Nigeria was not true, saying that the trip was planned about a year ago. “We have excellent relationship with the US and the truth of the matter is that nobody can overlook America. But China is also an important partner. China has shown a lot of interest in Africa in the last few years. “Nigeria is a major trading partner with China. We have over 30 Chinese com-
panies operating here. It is in our strategic national interest to have very good relationship with such a country. Nobody can call this trip a junket. “To show the importance Nigeria attaches to this trip, there are 13 ministers traveling as part of the President’s delegation. It is not only about the President’s delegation. It is also about the interest the private sector in the country has shown in the trip. A lot of investors are going to China,” Abati said.
will be called-off only when government honours the letter and the spirit of the 2009 agreement. ASUU President, Dr Nasir Fagge Isa, made this position known in Abuja, during a review of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Mid-Term report, with specific focus on Education, Agriculture and Transportation. The review was organised by a non-governmental organisation, the Civil Society Forum. Isa said: “It is time government did the right thing, and that is the only way forward. Whether the strike will continue or be called off, is depending on government’s decision. “If the government does what is right, I assure you that we will call off the strike immediately, we will look at what government has done and we will review the situation.” Reacting to the Federal Government’s argument that no proper notice was issued before the strike, Dr. Isa said that it was not mandatory for the union to issue any notice. “I must remind you that a strike is a fundamental right of a worker, if it be-
comes clear to a worker that the dialogue with his employer is becoming the dialogue of the deaf and dump, the worker has the right to withdraw his services, that is a fundamental right; it is enshrined in the International Labour Organisation, ILO, conventions, and it is part of the right of Nigerian citizens. “We have realised that, each time we reached an agreement with the government, government finds it difficult to faithfully implement the provisions of the agreement and that is the reason why our members nationwide advised that we just go back to the trenches. “You should ask the government, out of the nine provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we had how many have been implemented. “Of all the problems identified in the Need Assessment report, how many have been implemented? Our universities are still the way they are; we don’t want to continue deceiving ourselves. We expect that dialogue should produce results, we have been dialoguing for one and half years and we are tired of doing that, we want actions,” he said.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
UK to ban Boko Haram, Minbar Ansar Deen sects ISE-OLUWA IGE, PAUL ARHEWE AND AZA MSUE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he British government yesterday proposed to ban the Boko Haram Islamic sect and a local extremist group in the UK, known as Minbar Ansar Deen. The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, said the two radical Islamist organisations should be banned under terrorism laws. If approved by the Parliament, both sects will be banned from operating in the UK as from Friday, the Home Office said yesterday. The Home Office added that Minbar Ansar Deen, also known as Ansar alSharia UK, promotes terrorism by distributing content through a forum on its website, which encourages individuals to travel overseas to engage in extremist activity, specifically fighting. If the two groups are banned, it will be illegal to support or become a member of either group, to arrange meetings or wear clothing in support of them. Offenders could face fines of up to £5,000 or up to 10 years in prison. The Home Office has not yet offered further information on why it is pursuing the ban of both groups. Raffaello Pantucci, senior research fellow at the RUSI think tank, said the move indicated that the government sees them as a “potential threat”. Banning the groups will give the police powers to tackle their support networks. The UK-based Minbar Ansar Deen’s website has links to Abu Nusaybah, who was arrested after appearing on the BBC’s Newsnight programme talking about Michael Adebolajo, one of the suspects in the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Pantucci said: “It is impossible to say that this constitutes ‘a link,’ but looking at the group’s website they certainly seem to come from the same ideological constellation.” Historically there is little evidence of Boko Haram targeting the UK, Pantucci said. “Britain’s Nigerian community is 90 per cent Christian,” said Pantucci, adding
that Nigerian terror suspects in the UK were “usually Muslim converts”. However, earlier this year Boko Haram kidnapped a French family in Cameroun. A report revealed the group was paid more than £2m (N480m) before releasing its hostages. The Home Office’s move to ban the group could indicate that it is becoming more international, “or leaning in that direction”, Pantucci said. Theresa May flagged up Boko Haram, among other extremist groups, in a speech on terrorism in July 2011. She said: “Increasingly, the threat to Britain comes not just from al-Qaeda’s core leadership itself, but from these so-called al-Qaeda’s affiliates in places like Yemen and North Africa... and from associated groups like al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.” There are 49 international terror organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000, including al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and Islam4UK. In a related development, the three Lebanese businessmen standing trial before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, over terrorism related offences yesterday openly admitted to receiving military training from Hezbollah in Lebanon as claimed by the Federal Government. The accused Lebanese are Mustapha Fawaz (49 years), Abdullahi Thahini (48) and Tahal Roda (51). But they quickly added that the training from Hezbollah was received while growing up in Lebanon around 1991 and that the training could not be stretched to mean they were terrorists. They spoke through their lead counsel, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), yesterday in court while pushing for their bail to enable them attend to their health and prepare for the trial. Clarke argued that if his clients, who grew up in Lebanon, where young male children were compulsorily subjected to military training could be called terrorists, “it means all Israelis, who are also subjected to such training, could also be held for terrorism.” But the Federal Govern-
ment asked the court to refuse them bail. The suspects are being tried along with two of their companies - Amigo Supermarket Limited and Wonderland Amusement Park Resort. The government, which is kicking against their request for bail, contended that they might not only jump bail in view of the serious nature and punishment of the offence they allegedly committed but also endanger the fledgling peace of the country, particularly the North. The acting Director of
Public Prosecution, Mr. Simeon Egede, who is personally prosecuting them, told the court that it was no longer a secret that the suspects had confessed to having undergone training under the military wing of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah but that they also confessed to financial relationship between them and the international group considered a terrorist organisation by the United States. Egede also told the court that the suspects had a minimum of two and maximum of three citizenships with the passports found
on them, saying they could jump bail. The ongoing trial of the Lebanese was witnessed by two young women said to be the wives of two of the accused persons. National Mirror reports that the two young women were not watching proceedings in court or giving physical solidarity to their loved ones in the dock but were busy meditating with the Holy Quran in court. Six other Lebanese also joined the two young women in court to register their support for the accused persons. Egede, who was reacting
to their bail application, said the charge of terrorism for which the accused persons were being tried was a serious offence, requiring them to present a special circumstance on which the court allowed them on bail. Stressing that the prosecution has presented sufficient evidence to warrant the refusal of the bail application, Egede said the amount of ammunition found in the custody “is sufficient to sustain a civil war.” He listed the weapon to include mortars, landCONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
L-R: President, Rockfeller Foundation, Judith Rodin; President Goodluck Jonathan, Prime Minister Kwesi Ahoomey-Zunu of Togo; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the Pan African Summit on Agricultural Finance in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Private sector investments in agric hits N80bn –Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
opening of a two-day summit by Rockefeller Foundation as part of the activities to mark its centennial celebration. The President said that over 1.5 million farmers had benefitted from the electronic-wallet system, developed by the administration. The e-wallet system allows farmers to receive electronic vouchers via mobile phones to redeem subsidised fertiliser, improved seeds and other farm inputs directly from private sector seeds and fertilizer companies. He explained that the present administration was committed to ensuring that agriculture was not just a development programme by government but a viable business venture. The President said: “To drive our agriculture, we have ended the approach of agriculture as a develop-
ment programme; we now take agriculture as a business. “Private sector investments are expanding rapidly from sales by fertiliser companies and agriculture processors. “In the last one year alone, over N80 billion of private sector commitments have been made to the agricultural sector. We developed staple crops processing zones to attract the private sector to invest in rural areas to process and add value to all of our crops.” President Jonathan said that as the world largest producer of cassava, the desire of the government was to make Nigeria the world largest processor of cassava. He stated that government took bold steps to cut down importation of wheat by embarking on a major innovation to use high quality cassava flour to replace some of the imported
wheat flour. “Today, cassava bread made out of composite flour from 20 per cent cassava and wheat flour has hit our markets. This alone has saved Nigeria, N254 billion (about $1.5 billion) in import bills on wheat,’’ he said President of Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Judith Robin, commended the transformation agenda in the agricultural sector, stressing that the future of Africa depended on new innovation framework and financing strategy in transforming the agriculture sector. She said that the Rockefeller Foundation provided funds of about $1 million for the Africa Fertiliser Summit, leading to the historic Abuja Declaration in 2006. Meanwhile, the price of rice has dropped in the global market amid rising stockpiles by major producers and lower demand from Nigeria, Indonesia and other importers.
Rice stockpiles are now at a 12-year high as production increases to a record, adding to a worldwide surge in agricultural output that is poised to diminish the $1.1 trillion global food-import bill, Bloomberg said in a report yesterday. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that rice reserves would gain for a seventh year, rising 2.7 per cent to 108.6 million metric tons in 2013-2014; output would climb 1.9 per cent to 479.2 million tons, exceeding demand by 2.8 million tons; prices for five-percent broken Thai white rice, an Asian benchmark, would drop 13 per cent to $455 a ton by December, according to the median of eight trader and analyst estimates. Combined global output of rice, corn, soybeans and wheat will advance to a record as fields in the US and Europe recover CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Misconduct: 4 police AIGs, 17 CPs face trial CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
other commissioners of police manning strategic units, directorates or squads. Chairman of the Force Disciplinary Committee, Suleiman Fakai, a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, DIG, said the officers would face the disciplinary committee for various act of misconduct in the discharge of their duties. Speaking at the Force Headquarters in Abuja
yesterday, Fakai said that two Deputy Commissioners of Police, DCP, six Assistant Commissioners of Police ACP, and others in the lower cadre were among those the committee had pencilled down for trial. Fakai, however, declined to give the names of the officers concerned, especially those of the AIGs. But National Mirror gathered that one of the
AIGs would face the disciplinary committee based on complaints from a political party, which accused him of bias in discharging his mandate. There were also indications yesterday that Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi might have sent a petition to the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, asking him to redeploy the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.
The governor accused the CP of contributing to insecurity in the state. The IG had last week stated that he was yet to receive any petition from the governor in respect of Mbu. Police sources could not immediately confirm if Mbu’s name was on the list of those to face the panel. Another Commissioner of Police, who was caught in a cross-fire between the
Cross section of the clergy at the interdenominational service in honour of Tinubu’s mother, the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji in Lagos on Sunday.
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in one of the South-West states is also believed to be among those to face the committee. Fakai explained that the committee would deliberate on the misconduct of some of the police officers for the next one week and hand down the necessary judgement to officers found guilty of allegations against them. “The committee essentially serves to review disciplinary matters involving senior officers from the rank of ASP and above who may have erred in the course of their duties, and make appropriate recommendations to the Police Service Commission. “This is in line with the extant provisions and the force policy guiding discipline, geared towards upholding professionalism, respect for rule of law and observance of human rights among the senior police officers in the performance of their duties.
“The FDC, therefore, meets fortnightly with emergency sittings convened when the situation demands to ensure that disciplinary matters affecting officers are speedily dispensed with and enable the punishment of guilty personnel as well as exoneration of innocent ones,” he said. Fakai said when the committee came on board, it “had over 3,000 cases but today we have 195 cases,” adding that all the other cases had been resolved. He added that from January 22, 2012 till date, the committee had made remarkable achievement in giving adequate judgement, explaining that while over 15 officers had been compulsorily retired, not less than 20 officers had been dismissed even as 21 others, who were deemed redundant, were sacked. Fakai said the Committee has five days to complete the investigation and is expected to submit its recommendations to the Police Service Commission on before July 12, 2013.
Private sector investments in agric hits N80bn –Jonathan UK to ban Boko Haram, Minbar Ansar Deen sects CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
from droughts last year, the USDA reports. Wheat, corn and soybeans are already in bear markets, contributing to two consecutive months of declining world food costs tracked by the United Nations. Inventories of rice, the staple for half the world, are now equal to almost three years of annual trade. “The stocks are so big, I don’t think anyone can talk about a bottom in prices,” said Geneva-based Mamadou Ciss, the President of Alliance Commodities SA, who has traded rice for almost three decades. “There is oversupply for sure in the world. The crops are pretty good everywhere.” The Thai grade fell 10 per cent to $524 a ton this year as the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agriculture Spot Index of eight commodities retreated 15 per cent, Bloomberg said. Expanding rice production and stockpiles mean less demand for imports, which the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation in
Rome estimates will drop to 37.6 million tons, contracting for the first time in four years. Global inventories expanded 44 per cent since 2006-2007, USDA data show. Government subsidies are encouraging more production even as prices decline and inventories expand. Thailand, once the biggest exporter, spent 588.7 billion baht ($18.9 billion) stockpiling 27 million tons of milled rice since October 2011 under a policy that paid farmers as much as 50 per cent more than local prices, Bloomberg said.. Domestic output will expand 4.5 per cent to 21.1 million tons in 2013-2014, the USDA estimates. Thailand lost about 137 billion baht through the buying programme in the last crop year, according to a government estimate, and Moody’s Investors Service said last month the policy was undermining efforts to balance the budget by 2017. The government kept the purchase price at 15,000
baht a ton this month, reversing a proposal to lower it to 12,000 baht, and said that it would keep selling from stockpiles. India, last year’s largest exporter, increased the minimum price it paid farmers to a record. That will mean a six per cent drop in shipments to 9.5 million tons in the 12 months to March 31, according to Vijay Setia, a former president and member of the All India Rice Exporters Association. The USDA says Indian output will rise 3.8 per cent to a record 108 million tons. Global demand for imports is contracting, according to the FAO. Purchases by Nigeria, the largest buyer last year, will drop 10 per cent to 2.7 million tons. Imports by Indonesia, the third-biggest, will slide 28 per cent. “It’s a buyers’ market with ample supplies of rice and other grains around the globe,” said Kiattisak Kanlayasirivat, a Bangkokbased director with Novel Commodities SA, which trades about $600 million of rice a year.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
mines, AK 47 rifles, antitank rocket launchers and hand grenades. Egede told the court that some of their alleged accomplices had escaped and were currently at large. He added that one of the accused was arrested at the airport, while planning to board a plane and escape outside the country. The government prosecutor also urged the court to refuse the accused persons’ prayer that their companies be reopened. He argued that the opening of the companies would jeopardise ongoing investigations on the premises. Arguing the bail application earlier, Clarke urged the court to allow his clients on bail because they had been held in state custody for about two months. He assured that they would not escape trial or tamper with prosecution witnesses, adding that the Lebanese ambassador was willing to stand surety for the accused persons. Egede urged the court to ignore that assurance
because the ambassador was covered by immunity and could not be held liable even if he gave such undertaking and reneged. Clarke denied Egede’s claim that his clients confessed to the crime. He said the statement referred to by the prosecution as confessional statements were mere histories of the life of the accused persons. Clarke said their admission to having been trained by Hezbollah was in respect of the training they had while growing up in Lebanon around 1991. He argued that if his clients, who grew up in Lebanon, where young male children were compulsorily subjected to military training could be called terrorists, it means all Israelis, who are also subjected to such training, could also be held for terrorism. “It is not confessional statement, but mere history of the accused persons,” he argued. He contended that “what happened in 1991 cannot be brought out now to support a case of 2013.”
Clarke urged the court to discountenance that part of Egede’s argument and admit his clients to bail. Trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has fixed ruling for Thursday, while the ruling on their enforcement of their fundamental human rights would wait further. Meanwhile, a Muslim organisation, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, yesterday urged the Federal Government to end terrorism now just as it called for total restoration of GSM services in affected states under emergency rule. A statement signed by JNI Secretary- General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, and made available to National Mirror yesterday said the callous and barbaric attacks in Yobe State were condemnable, especially as the sacred month of Ramadan was approaching. JNI also called for investigation that would forestall future occurrence. The statement, however, appealed to Muslims to utilise the period of Ramadan to pray for the restoration of peace and security in Nigeria.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Nigerians don’t want single term, state police –Ihedioha TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he House of Representatives did not adopt immunity for federal and state executives, state police and single tenure for the President and governors because they did not tally with the wishes of Nigerians. The Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, explained this yesterday at a meeting in Abuja with civil society organisations. He said: “The submission of the committee on those and every other issue on the constitution review is a clear reflection of the views and position of the broad generality of Nigerians as reflected and documented in the results of the people’s public sessions conducted by the House of Representatives in November last year.” Ihedioha added that the process used in writing the report of the committee, was “all-inclusive, thorough and painstaking”. He said: “As has been clarified on many occasions, the work of the committee was designed in such a manner that it relied on the input of Nigerians to arrive at its decisions. And the civil society organisations have continued to play major roles in all the stages of the process so far. “The House Ad-Hoc Com-
mittee on Constitution Review conducted a painstaking consultative process with major stakeholders as jointorganisers. These stakeholders include the NLC, TUC, NUJ, NUT, CSO’s, NULGE, NCWS, Youth and students’ organisations, NBA, etc. “The results (of the people’s public sessions) were collated publicly with all the stakeholders present. The results have been presented and published for people to dispute and correct. In the absence of any convincing reason to the contrary, we stand by these results. “Standing by the results as collated means that the committee reflected the decisions of Nigerians
during those sessions. “The recommendations of the committee are not the personal views of members of the committee or the leadership of the House. They are the collective views of Nigerians.” On the proposal to abrogate the State/Local Government Joint Account, Ihedioha said “295 federal constituencies voted in favour whereas 62 federal constituencies voted for its retention and three constituencies absented”. He said: “Celebrated pundits and constitutional lawyers have repeatedly canvassed that local governments should squarely be a state responsibility.
“Should the constitution be amended so that the process to create local government areas now rest exclusively with the states, such that states assume responsibility for the funding of local governments, the people voted overwhelmingly to reject this proposal by 276 federal constituencies to 78 with six abstentions. “Should the local government areas be accorded the status of a third tier of government properly so called with its own legislative list? 291 federal constituencies answered ‘yes’ in support and 66 federal constituencies returned a ‘no’ answer with three abstentions.”
I’ve no link with Madalla bombing –Kabiru Sokoto ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
uspected mastermind of the 2011 Christmas Day bombing at St Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, f Niger State, Mr. Kabiru Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto), yesterday denied knowledge of the planning and execution of the dastardly act. Sokoto, who testified for himself before an Abuja Federal High Court yesterday, said he was being made to answer charges he knew nothing about. The suspect told the court that he is a native of Gagi in Sokoto South Local Government Area of Sokoto State, adding that he was a teacher and an
L-R: Barrister Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi; the renowned constitutional lawyer and author, “Ben Nwabueze: His Life, Works and Times - An Autobiography” Volumes 1 & 2, Prof. Ben Nwabueze SAN and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, during a courtesy visit to the governor in Lagos, yesterday.
Native laws’ misapplication may cause chaos, CJN warns judges ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
he Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar and the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute, NJI, Abuja, Justice Umar Eri, yesterday advised judges of the Customary Court of Appeal against misapplication of native laws. They warned that the misapplication of the law could cause chaos or disaffection among people of a particular locality. The CJN and Eri spoke at the opening ceremony of the national workshop for judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal hel-
din the NJI auditorium. In her keynote address, Mukhtar warned that the native laws were timehonoured practices of natives which should not be tampered with or wrongly applied in order not to cause chaos or disaffection among people of a particular locality. She said: “These native laws and customs are the time-honoured practices of the natives, so much, so that any deviation or distortion or misapplication in their interpretation and application will not only produce injustice but will create chaos and anarchy in the communities affected.” The CJN urged judicial
officers of the Customary Courts to always work assiduously to dispense justice only to accepted norms, rules, ethos and native laws of the locality where they hold forte. She also reminded the participants that they preside over courts that deal with ancestral heritage, cultural values and hallowed practices, warning them to shun corruptive tendencies that make them compromise. According to Mukhtar, the specialised training has become imperative because most customary courts are now presided over by qualified legal practitioners. Earlier in his opening
remarks, Eri observed that the judges of Customary Courts of Appeal play a critical role in justice delivery system in the sense that they adjudicate over laws based on people’s traditional belief system and age-long culture. He said the rationale behind the workshop was to ensure that judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal, who interpreted and applied the native laws and customs within the confines of their jurisdiction, were well informed and updated on the current trends in judicial administration and justice delivery. Speaking on the theme: “Repositioning the Cus-
tomary Courts of Appeal for Better Justice Delivery System,” the NJI administrator said the workshop was the first of its kind organised by NJI in fulfilment of its mandate of providing continuing education for all categories of judicial officers. He, however, warned that these vital attributes might not be fully attained without sufficient training in the use of tools of the trade such as “deep knowledge and understanding of the applicable native laws and customs, time and courtroom management system, for a responsive, effective and efficient justice delivery in the various jurisdictions”.
islamic scholar. He said he was arrested at the Borno State Government Lodge, Abuja on January 14, 2012 but did not say why he was at the lodge. Sokoto, who claimed he was tortured by the police and later made to write statements, said nothing incriminating was found in his house when security agents went there to search. He denied knowledge of the crime for which he was being tried. The suspect said it was his interrogators who told him about one Habib Barma, whom they claimed coordinated the bombing at the Mandalla church. The accused was made to open his defence yesterday after court’s ruling last week, dismissing his nocase submission. Sokoto, who also concluded his evidence-inchief yesterday, would be cross-examined today by the prosecution. The Federal Government had accused Sokoto of withholding information on the plan to bomb St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, from law enforcement officer, an offence contrary to Section 7(1) and punishable under Section 33(1) of Terrorism and Prevention Act 2011. He was also accused of facilitating the commission of terrorist act to wit: by planting and encouraging some boys (now at large) at Mabira Sokoto, in Sokoto State with the intention to bomb the police headquarters and some other government agencies in the state contrary to Section 15(2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under the same Act. The Federal Government had called eight witnesses to testify against Sokoto. But moments after the Federal Government closed its case against him, Sokoto announced in court that rather than defending the case by calling his own witnesses, he said he would file a no case submission which he eventually filed and argued. No case submission is a submission by an accused to the effect that the prosecution has no evidence linking him to the charge.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Awarding contracts to foreigners at Nigerians’ expense wrong –Falana DAYO AYEYEMI
ormer President of the West African Bar Association, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has asked experts to force the government to stop awarding building contracts to foreigners at the expense of Nigerians. Falana, who was a guest speaker at the meeting of built environment professionals under the auspices of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), said the experts must put their house in order to fight the injustice. He noted that it has become a common practice by the government to award building contracts to unqualified foreigners while many Nigerian firms that meet the criteria are jobless. Falana urged experts in the building industry to rise to the occasion and stop Nigerian authority from going on with the practice He said: “No foreigners can practise law in Nigeria without attending the Nigerian Law School. Also, no foreign doctors can practise medicine in Nigeria without being a member of the Nige-
rian Medical Association (NMA). “Today, young boys and girls that just passed out of schools all over the world are unleashed on our country and because of colour, government are deceived in giving them contracts. The practice must be stopped. ” Falana urged the experts to take advantage of their knowledge of the profession and tackle it from the procurement angle. He said: “Your profession is to enrich yourselves and not to pauperise yourselves. I know a company in Nigeria that has over 5,000 Chinese workers; this means 5,000 job losses to Nigerians. Be ready to fight government on this issue. Indigenalisation Decree is to ensure those jobs that can be handled by Nigerians are giving to them.”
PDP may overrule Daniel’s suspension FEMI O YEWESO ABEOKUTA
ndications emerged yesterday in Abeokuta that the National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may overrule the suspension of former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel earlier placed on him by the state chapter of the party. It will be recalled that Daniel was suspended for alleged anti-party activities by the state chapter through his ward 12 in Shagamu Local Government Area of the state. He was alleged to have been actively involved in the funding of the Labour Party (LP). But speaking at the commissioning of the Abeokuta South Local Government secretariat of the party yesterday, PDP National Chairman,
Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, said the former governor could only be suspended by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party and not as it was shabbily done by the state chapter. Tukur, who was represented by a PDP chieftain, Mr. Ezekiel Adeniji, said Daniel remains a statesman who must be accorded his deserved status in the party. He said: “If the suspension was not legally followed, the suspension may be reviewed by the National Executive Council. Daniel is still a member of PDP”. Speaking on allegation that Daniel was tactically romancing the Labor Party, Tukur said: “Peradventure some of his followers decided to join Labour Party, they can go to any party and he can’t stop them.”
L-R: President, Rotary Club of Egbeda, Abdullahi Lawal; immediate past president, Chuks Okonkwo; Mrs. Oluwakemi Oyatomi and President, Kunle Oyatomi, at the unveiling of the plaque of the club in Lagos, at the weekend.
N5bn contract scam: Court orders Borishade to appear today EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
ustice Sadiq Abubakar Umar of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court yesterday ordered a former Minister of Aviation, Prof. Babalola Borishade, to appear in court unfailingly for continuation of his trial within trial. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Borishade and his former aide,
Tunde Dairo, for alleged irregular award of contracts to the tune of over N5 billion. Justice Umar had adjourned till yesterday for continuation of the trial, after ruling that a statement made by Borishade’s personal assistant was obtained under duress. But Borishade and his counsel failed to appear yesterday, thereby forcing the court to adjourn. In a letter addressed to the court, Borishade hinged his failure to attend trial on the
50th anniversary celebration of Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) as a legal practitioner. The chambers of Chief Babalola is defending Borishade. At the last adjourned date, the court rejected the disputed “confessional statement” tendered by the EFCC to the effect that there was neither competitive bidding nor invitation for tender for the contract, which was said to have been awarded by the minister. While rejecting the state-
ment, Justice Umar held that from EFCC’s submissions as well as those of the defendants, it was his considered view that the anti-graft commission failed to discharge the burden of convincing the court that it obtained Dairo’s statement voluntarily. He said: “I wish to state that the prosecution has failed to prove the voluntariness of the statement made on July 28, 2008. “Accordingly, the said confessional statement is hereby rejected.”
Fani-Kayode: Keyamo seeks transfer of case to new judge KAYODE KETEFE
he prosecution of the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, who is charged for the offences of money-laundering before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, took a new twist yesterday, as the lead prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, prayed the court that the matter should be transferred to a new judge. It will be recalled that Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia had, on June 25, 2013, restrained the prosecutor, Mr. Vitalis Ahaotu (from Keyamo Chambers) from further prosecution of the case. The judge gave the order on the grounds that the prosecutor did not have the authorisation of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to prosecute the case. Justice Ajumogobia held: “There is no doubt that the AGF has the power to issue a fiat to any lawyer to prosecute a case on his behalf, but the prosecutor has shown
no evidence of delegation in this respect. “The prosecutor claims it possesses the fiat of the A-G, when in fact it has not been exhibited before this honorable court. “I hold that Ahaotu cannot continue to represent the Federal Republic of Nigeria in this case” But at the proceedings yesterday, Keyamo applied to have the trial transferred to another judge as the authority of his chambers had been questioned by the judge. Keyamo, who claimed to have been given a fiat (dated June 24, 2013) from the Attorney-General of the Federation which instructed him to prosecute the case, said: “As a consequence of that, we have written a letter to the Honourable Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to transfer this matter from this court to another judge.” Counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe, prayed the court to strike out the case on the grounds that the prosecution had not put its
house in order. He added that his client had been on trial since 2008, stressing that it would be “oppressive” for Keyamo to now be asking for the transfer of the case to yet another judge. The judge declined to strike out the case, but adjourned the matter indefi-
nitely pending the decision of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, on the issue of transfer. It will be recalled that the former minister was arraigned afresh on February 11, 2013, on a 47-count charge of alleged money laundering.
We’re still studying Oronsaye’s report –FG OMEIZA AJAYI
he Federal Government has said that it is still studying the report of the Steve Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalization of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies. The government dismissed the claim that that it is planning to merges some agencies It, however, described the claim as mere “widespread speculation and rumour”. In a statement by the Sec-
retary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, the Federal Government said: “Government wishes to clarify that the Report of the Steve Oronsaye Committee as submitted is undergoing the process of consideration, after which Government’s decisions on the Report will be gazzeted and made public. “Members of the public are, therefore, advised to ignore and disregard the speculations and rumours being circulated and wait for the decisions of the Government on the Report”.
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KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
yo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, has set up a panel to investigate the killing in Ibadan of one Ojo Obisesan by a police officer. It was learnt that the police boss has directed an
Police raise panel to probe Ibadan killing Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Mr. Dasuki Galadachi, to monitor the panel and report back to him soon. Hell was let loose on Sunday at Idi-Ayunre/OdeAje area when Obisesan, who was said to be prepar-
Yoruba may revolt, ex-envoy warns Jonathan KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
ormer Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Prof. Akinjide Oshuntokun, has called on the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to address marginalisation of Yoruba before a revolt from the South-West. Oshuntokun, a professor of History, gave the warning during the 74th birthday lecture of the Chairman of Splash FM, Chief Adebayo Akande, held at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan. Speaking on the topic; “The place of the Yoruba in the ethno-political configuration of Nigeria,” the former ambassador said: “It is in the overall interest of the country that the Federal Government must be fair to every zone irrespective of its political leaning.” According to him, the Jonathan administration must not wait until there is
rebellion or armed militancy of the youth of the SouthWest before embarking on fire-brigade or palliative measures. Classifying the political structures in Yorubaland into “mainstream” and “home rule,” Oshuntokun said: “The people who believe and advocate belonging to mainstream and joining those in government have had their position weakened by the fact that there is nothing to show for the time when one of their sons was at the helm of the Presidency between 1999 and 2007. “Yoruba people watched helplessly as their roads became unmotorable and all other features of modern life collapsed. They were rightly not singled out for favour. “If the truth must be told, the Obasanjo government bent over backward to accommodate other ethnic groups at the expense of the Yoruba.
Don’t undermine court, judge warns NLNG, NIMASA KAYODE KETEFE
judge of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Justice Mohammed Idris, has warned parties in the Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas, NLNG, versus the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, suit not to engage in any action that would undermine the integrity of the court. Idris gave the warning yesterday at the resumed hearing of the suit instituted by NLNG against the NIMASA and others. NLNG and NIMASA had engaged in legal battle over the issue of non-payment of certain statutory levies and charges which the latter claimed were due to it from the former. Idris had on June 18 in the suit FHC/L/CS/847/2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
between NLNG and Attorney General of the Federation and Global West Vessels Specialists, granted an ex parte order restraining the defendants from charging, imposing, demanding or collecting the three per cent of gross freight earnings or any other sums further to Section 15(a) of NIMASA Act 2007 on all of NLNG’s international inbound or outbound cargo ships owned, contracted or subcontracted by it. At the proceedings yesterday, NLNG lost its bid to get this order reaffirmed as Idris turned down an oral application to that effect by its counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN. The judge, who declined to give a categorical re-affirming order, warned all the parties to desist from engaging in acts that could undermine proceedings in court.
ing for the naming of his newly born child, was allegedly shot and killed by a police officer attached to the Agugu Division. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Olabisi Clet-Ilobanafor, who spoke on the incident yesterday, dismissed the report that the man was deliberately shot for refusing to leave the road where he was collecting money
from his fellow motorcycle operators, being a union official. She said: “A distress call was received by the patrol team at Agugu Division that some hoodlums were forcefully extorting money from members of the public. “The patrol team led by ASP Timothy Adedeji with two other officers thereafter stormed the scene and
there was pandemonium and ASP Adedeji fired a shot which hit the deceased. “The angry mob thereafter descended on the patrol team, injuring Adedeji and Corporal Samuel Babatunde while Oluwatobi Ojo escaped unhurt. “The injured police officers had been admitted at the hospital where they are receiving treatment.
“The hoodlums also snatched AK47 rifles with number BA-343862 and 562-4011876 with 15 rounds of 6.72mm live ammunition. Both arms were later recovered through community relation.” Speaking on what the command would do to the police officer, Clet-Ilobanafor said “that was the reason the police commissioner set up a panel to investigate the incident and if he is found culpable he will face the wrath of the law”.
L-R: Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; his wife, Sherifat and President, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria Alumni Association, Mr. Zak Jonathan, during the presentation of award for Excellence in Leadership and Good Governance to the governor in Osogbo, yesterday.
Ekiti secondary school teachers insist on 27.5% allowance ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
econdary school teachers in Ekiti State are insisting on full implementation of the 27.5 teachers’ peculiar allowance in view of their “strategic position in the education ladder”. The state Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, Comrade Sola Adigun, said the request, coming a week after the Nigeria Union of Teach-
ers, NUT, in the state suspended the strike embarked upon by teachers in public primary and secondary schools over the demand for payment of 27.5 per cent special allowance, was borne out of necessity. Adigun faulted NUT for agreeing to the 16 per cent offered by the state government and calling off the strik. He said: “The suspension made the 31-day strike an exercise in futility as the government had
offered 15 per cent even before commencement of the industrial action.” Adigun said in a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday that the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration should take a cue from Kogi, Edo and three other states which had implemented the 27.5 per cent Peculiar Allowance for secondary school teachers, adding that Ekiti should not be an exemption. According to him, out of the N172 million that
the payment of the new allowance would gulp, going by statistics released by the state government, only N70 million would go to secondary schools. The ASSUSS chairman, who lauded Fayemi for acceding to the payment of 16 per cent Peculiar Allowance to teachers despite the poor financial status of the state, said full implementation of 27.5 per cent to secondary school teachers would further boost government-teacher relations in the state.
$1.69m fraud: Ajudua asks Oyewole to disqualify self KENNY ODUNUKAN
r. Fred Ajudua, standing trial for $1.69 million fraud, yesterday asked Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of an Ikeja High Court to disqualify himself from handling the case. Ajudua, charged alongside with Charles Orie by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of US$1.69 million, had earlier been denied bail by Oyewole. The judge had in a ruling
on Ajudua’s bail application, ordered a day-to-day trial for the defendants, for defaulting in the previous bail granted him after his arraignment in 2003. At the resumed hearing of the trial yesterday, Ajudua’s counsel, Mr. Allens Agbaka, asked for an adjournment of proceedings pending the decision of the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, on the defendant’s petition, seeking transfer of the trial to another judge. In a motion on notice dated July 4 and brought pursuant to Section 36 of the con-
stitution and Section 56(1) and (2)(A)&(B) of the High Court Laws of Lagos State, Agbaka sought an order disqualifying the judge from the suit in the interest of justice. Agbaka hinged his application on the grounds that the judge’s remark during his ruling on June 25, in which he allegedly accused his client of tampering with the prosecution’s witness, was prejudicial. According to the motion supported by a six-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Bridget Akhagbe, it was averred that in making those remarks “the trial judge had
given cause to a reasonable fear and apprehension that the first defendant (Ajudua) has been found guilty even before the conclusion of the trial”. Agbaka also said that the mere mention of the judge’s name in a previous petition written by Major Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd) to the EFCC had a ripple effect on the trial of his client. In the said petition, Bamaiyi allegedly accused Ajudua of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars from him while they were together in Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Confusion trails Industrial Court decisions as appeals pile up WALE IGBINTADE
here is palpable confusion among lawyers over the nature of appeals emanating from the decisions of the National Industrial Court (NIC) that can be heard and determined by the Court of Appeal. Investigation by National Mirror showed that all appeals from the decisions of the Industrial Court brought before the Lagos Division of Appeal Court are yet to be decided. The confusion emanated from the alteration of the third amendment of Section 243 (2) of the 1999 Constitution which states that “an appeal shall lie from the decision of the National Industrial Court as of right to the Court of Appeal on questions of fundamental rights as contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution as it relates to matters upon which the National Industrial Court has jurisdiction’’ The implication of this provision is that only appeals based on fundament human rights, such as right to fair hearing could be
heard by the appellate court. However, Section 240 of the constitution says: “that the Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to the Exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria, to hear and determine appeals from the Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Customary Court of Appeal of a State and from decisions of a court martial or other tribunals as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly’’. National Mirror gathered that in order to resolve this knotty issue, a full panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Amina Adamu Augie, was appointed to deal with the matter, but the panel is yet to come out with its pronouncement. As result of this dilemma, several appeal cases emanating from the NIC are still pending before the appellate court. Hitherto, Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution has exclusively excluded the NIC from the hierarchy of superior courts of record in the country. But with the enactment
of the third alteration to the 1999 Constitution, the provisions of the constitution had been altered to provide for the establishment of the NIC under the constitution. Speaking on the issue, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Gani Adetola-Kazeem , said that it would be dangerous and risky to allow a single judge to take matters to finality and make it a final court, adding that it would be better if the Court of Appeal was allowed to
he call for the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) reverberated yesterday in Ibadan as the lawmaker representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, stressed the need for the country’s federating units to decide whether they want to remain united or not. Lanlehin spoke at his 60 birthday anniversary held at the School for the Handicapped, Ijokodo, Ibadan. He said the masses should come together to decide their fate rather than just embarking on the review of the 1999 Constitution. He said: “We must sit down and decide whether we want to stay together or
HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
embers of the Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday visited Akure, the Ondo State capital, to understudy the implementation of the safe motherhood programme of the state.
•Makes case for the poor
not. We must discuss the terms of our togetherness if we want to survive as a nation. We must go down to the basics as stakeholders and recognise the importance of the people. The people are very core to democracy and should be treated as very important. “The National Assembly is trying to review the constitution, but we have not gone far. The people should come together to decide their fate rather than just embarking on the review of the 1999 Constitution. “Our dream of Nigeria is that of a growing country that would be able to cater for its citizens irrespective of their challenges”. While lamenting the plight of the poor in the
power corrupt absolutely. I think we should allow the Court of Appeal to entertain appeal from the National Industrial Courts. This is because three good heads are better that one. When a single judge makes mistake that cannot be corrected by anybody, it could destroy the reputation of the court itself’’. A Lagos-based lawyer, Sola Salawu, said putting a limit on the nature of the appeals stemming from the
decision of the Industrial Court would be an infringement on peoples’ right to fair hearing. According to him, it would also limit their access to court as enshrined in the constitution. Salawu said Section 240 of the 1999 Constitution had already conferred jurisdiction on the Court of Appeal to hear appeal from the State High Courts, National Industrial Courts and Federal High Courts.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun (right), receiving some publications from the Chairman, National Hajj Commission, Alhaji Mohammad Musa Bello, during a visit to the governor in Abeokuta, yesterday.
Time for SNC is now, says Lanlehin
entertain appeals from the NIC irrespective of whether they are on fundamental rights or not. He said: “We have sympathy for that law, but we also have reservations. At the time it was first inserted in National Industrial Court Act (NICA) 2006, it was mandatory that the court will sit as a panel of three judges. But now, it has been narrowed down to a single judge to determine matters. “Power corrupts absolute
country, the senator said: “The rich are enjoying themselves and are having the best in this country. The rich don’t need the rich. The poor are the people for whom everyday is a challenge. “Those who are privileged have cornered the nation’s resources for themselves. As we speak, over 90 per cent of the resources are wasted by the rich and kept in foreign accounts. “The wealthy in this land drink and eat lavishly. The rich must obviously change their ways. The vulnerable and the less privileged should be catered for. The political class and the civil servants must get their acts together or else there would be problem in this country.
“The leaders, politicians and the civil servants should see how we can go back to the days when things were done right before the citizens themselves take power into their hands. What happened in Egypt showed that power belongs to the people. It is the people that matter. The people, in turn, should not sell their right.” As part of activities marking his 60th anniversary, Lanlehin donated food items, mattresses and pillows and beverages to the School for the Handicapped, Home for the Deaf and Motherless Babies Home, all in Ibadan. The daughter to the founders, Home for the Deaf, Mrs. Temitope Omilabu, urged the wealthy and those in positions of authority to always remember the less privileged.
Police kill three robbery suspects in Ogun
he Ogun State Police Command says three out of the five suspects, who allegedly robbed Agarau Shopping Complex in Ota on Sunday, have been killed by its men. The command’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital. Adejobi said: “We heard about the robbery operations and the command’s men swung into action. We met the robbers at the scene and engaged them in a fierce gun battle that lasted for 30 minutes. “We were able to kill three of the robbers on the spot while two of them escaped with bullet wounds.
“The robbers robbed the owner of the complex of N1.2 million before the police anti-robbery team attached to Onipanu Division, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Oyeniyi Yemi, arrived at the scene. “The team recovered the N1.2 million, one locally made single barrel, doublebarrel and triple-barrel guns and four live cartridges. “We also recovered two expended cartridges and a motorcycle.” He urged residents of the area to help the police fish out the fleeing robbers. Adejobi said that the command, led by the Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, had promised to make the state safe for all.
Sokoto lawmakers visit Ondo to understudy Safe Motherhood programme The team is to study the conception and implementation of the law on Confidentiality Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in Ondo State. Speaking during the team’s visit to the state House of Assembly, Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Samuel Ad-
esina, pointed that lots of positive result had been achieved in tracking down maternal death since the passage of the bill into law. Adesina said: “The Abiye Safe motherhood project, which has remained a functioning healthcare system for maternal and child
health, is no doubt one of the greatest advancements made in maternal care in Nigeria”. Addressing the Sokoto lawmakers, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, hinted that the state had reduced maternal mortality by al-
most 50 percent since the introduction of the Abiye safe motherhood programme in 2009 by the administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Adeyanju said the Abiye safe motherhood was inaugurated to track pregnant women to have
safe delivery in health facilities across the state and explained that more than 18,000 deliveries had been carried out by the Mother and Child Hospital in Akure while the new hospital in Ondo town recorded 1,800 deliveries in six months.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Police arrest two robbery suspects in Onitsha
•Recover two AK47 riffles, pistol
NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
L-R: Sports Coach of Urban Girls Secondary School, Enugu, Mr. Echefuna Okafor; Team captain, Onu Ogochukwu; Igwe of Ogui Nike, Igwe Tony Ojukwu and Vice-Principal, Mrs. Okankpa Obiamaka, during the presentation of overall winner of Enugu State Secondary School Sports Festival trophy to the Igwe in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
INEC may organise fresh election for Oguta CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may conduct a fresh election for Oguta constituency in Imo State, it was learnt yesterday. The June 29, 2013 re-run election in the constituency was marred by alleged violence and massive falsification of election results. INEC declared the election as inconclusive as a result of the development. According to a source, who did not want his name mentioned, the fresh election would be organised under tight security. It was also learnt that as part of its resolutions, the INEC state Commissioner, Prof. Selina Oko, may be replaced ahead of the fresh election as both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alli-
ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
he Federal Government has been urged to reduce poverty through the granting of micro-credits loans to youths and farmers to alleviate suffering of the rural dwellers. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abakaliki, the Leader of Federal Government delegation to China, Chief James Aroh Nweke, said good and focused leadership is very critical to the reduction of poverty in Nigeria, stressing that the fact that China with its vast population could feed its citizens, Nigeria could achieve the same feat.
ance (APGA) have expressed their dissatisfaction over how the last rerun poll was conducted. Meanwhile PDP and APGA have continued to engage each other in a verbal war. While PDP felt it was impossible for the party not to get a single vote in Osemoto, APGA said it was in protest against the PDP for marginalising the community over the years. Addressing journalists yesterday in Owerri, the Managing Director of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPDAC), Dr. Henry Okafor, an indigene of Osemoto community, said residents decided to support APGA candidate, Walter Uzonwanne, as a protest against PDP because of the pain and humiliation which community had suffered in the hands of the PDP leaders in Oguta.
He recalled that suspected PDP supporters invaded Osemoto in 2002 and burnt houses and killed the community’s union president. Okafor said the suspect arrested in connection with the arson and the killing was to be prosecuted for the offences, but was released through the instrumentality of Senator Arthur Nzeribe, a PDP chieftain. He said: “When this happened, we protested to the then governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, but our plea was not heeded. Thereafter, the PDP structure was handed over to Nzeribe and he formed the PDP executive for Osemoto without including any member of the community and this further drew the anger of the indigenes who again reported to the PDP leadership to no avail. “After this, the community joined the Action Con-
gress of Nigeria (ACN) for the 2011 election to support Rochas Okorocha and the PDP got zero in Osemoto even in the governorship election. “During the last re-run election, we continued with our protest vote against the PDP and voted en-masse for APGA. PDP chieftains knew that they would not get a vote in Osemoto. In 2011 they got zero and during the re-run, we mobilised and it was a protest vote against the ills we suffered under the PDP. “If election holds 100 times in Osemoto, PDP will score zero. In the community, it is almost a taboo to talk about the PDP.” But the member representing Ohaji/Egbema/ Oguta Federal Constituency, Hon Gerald Irona, dismissed the Osemoto result as fraudulent, insisting that no voting took place in the community.
FG urged to reduce poverty among rural dwellers Nweke, who is also the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Poverty Reduction, said that delegates from 19 states of the country were in the People’s Republic of China to attend an international seminar on “Rural Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction”. He said other delegates selected him to lead the delegation, pointing out that as a cabinet member in Ebonyi State Government; deliberations at the seminar were like an eye-opener on what the government could do to banish poverty. Nweke said: “What we
learnt at the seminar is all encompassing. In China, what they do is that all the departments operating in each city are engaged in poverty reduction in the sense that if they see people engaged in any form of production or are under-privileged, they evacuate them, build houses and open up a cooperative society for them. These people would be working there till year end.” While hinting that he had submitted the report of the tour to the Minister of National Planning, Nweke added that the seminar, which lasted for 15 days, showed
clearly that Nigeria has all it takes to clothe, feed and shelter its citizens if only the country’s leaders are focused and stick to the rule of law.
wo suspected armed robbers have been apprehended by the police in Onitsha, Anambra State, as they were allegedly planning to attack the commercial city. The suspects, whose identities were yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, according to a source, were arrested at Okpoko area of the city by a team of Onitsha Vigilance operatives and anti-robbery police team attached to Okpoko Police Division. According to the source, the two suspects were neatly dressed and carried bags pretending as if they were travelling before they were arrested. Shortly after their arrest, the suspects were searched and items such as two AK47 riffles and one pistol were found neatly concealed inside their hand bags.
The source added that men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) were immediately invited to whisk the suspects away. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Okpoko, Mr. Emeka Ugwu (CSP), who confirmed the incident, told journalists in a telephone chat that there would be no hiding place for criminals in his division. A prominent Onitshabased businessmen, who did not want his name mentioned, said that criminals in the city no longer had a hiding place as the police and the vigilance group are daily picking them up. He commended the Onitsha vigilante group and the police for their efforts in combating criminal activities in Anambra State. The businessman, however, called on members of the public to assist security operatives with useful information to comb the state of criminals.
APC’ll guarantee good governance for Anambra –Ngige CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
he lawmaker representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Dr. Chris Nigige, has assured that the people of Anambra State would experience sustained good governance under the yet-to-be registered All Progressives Congress (APC). ACP is due to be launched in the state next month. Ngige said that the APC is being structured to make a big and positive difference in Anambra politics. The senator, who is being touted as the likely APC candidate in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election, spoke when he thanked the people of Idemili North and South for their support for him during the
last Senatorial election at St Alphonsus’ Catholic Church in Nkpor. Speaking on the pressure he claimed was being mounted on him by individuals and groups to contest the governorship election, Ngige said that he would soon announce his position on whether to contest or not. He said the decision he would take would be guided by the need to provide qualitative service to the people. The senator said: “There is no big deal about being a governor any longer, I have been one before. My only urge in public offices is service; I seek to touch your lives in a positive way so that you will smile again. By the end of this month, we will formally launch the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra and we believe that it is the party that will make a difference in the state.”
Enugu 2015: PDP cedes guber to Nsukka zone DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he Enugu State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has zoned the 2015 governorship seat to Enugu North Senatorial District otherwise known as Nsukka zone. The decision followed a motion by former Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia. Senator Ben-Collins Ndu seconded the motion. Onyia hinged his motion on the agreement PDP chieftains had in view of Enugu State historical antecedents. There was no dissenting voice when the decision to zone the governorship seat to Enugu North was put to vote by the state PDP chair-
man, Mr. Vita Abba. It was at the PDP caucus meeting held at the Governor’s Lodge. Earlier, Governor Sullivan Chime called for sacrifice and understanding, especially from the elected representatives, saying: “We have to respect agreement based on zoning in order to make transition easier and smoother.”
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Gunmen kill soldier, kidnap Israeli expatriate SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
unmen yesterday shot and killed a soldier guarding officials of SETRACO Construction Company in Benin, Edo State. The gunmen also abducted an Israeli working with the company. Another soldier was shot and wounded during the operation while a third soldier on duty escaped unhurt. The Israeli, whose name could not be ascertained at press time, was said to be helping with the construction of Upper Mission Road in Benin,
one of the state government projects being undertaken by the company. When contacted, the spokeswoman of the 4th Brigade, Nigerian Army, Capt. Roselyn Managbe, said she was yet to get official details of the incident. But the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Moses Eguavoen, confirmed the killing and the abduction. He said the command had commenced investigation in order to apprehend the attackers. Eguavoen assured the public of the determination of the police to protect them and their property.
L-R: Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio; Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Mahesh Sachdev and the governor’s wife, Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, at a dinner with Sachdev in Abuja.
N6.5bn fraud: Again, Sylva seeks court’s nod to travel ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
ormer Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva, has again re-packaged another application seeking a fresh permission from a Federal High Court to travel abroad for medical attention. This came about a month after the court refused his request to travel abroad. The first application was to get the court’s nod
to be allowed to accompany his wife on a medical trip outside the country. The court had faulted the application on sundry grounds, including that the information provided by the former governor suggested that he was not telling the truth about why he wanted to travel out. But in the new application, Sylva is praying the court to release his international passport deposited as part of his bail conditions.
He also wants to be allowed to travel on the grounds of ill health. The trial of the former governor for fraud was to begin yesterday. But his application for permission to travel out stalled proceedings yesterday before Justice Adamu Bello. The court had, while dismissing his last application on May 30, adjourned to yesterday for the commencement of trial. Sylva is being pros-
ecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for money laundering-related offences. When the case was called, his counsel, Okunade Olorundare (SAN), informed the court about the new application. The application was, however, not heard because of the opposition by prosecution lawyer, John Ainetor, who said he was just served with the application and needed time to study it and respond.
Kingmakers re-elect dethroned Obong of Calabar RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
he Etubom Conclave, the kingmakers, yesterday in Calabar re-selected Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu of Adiabo, Ikot Mbo Otu house of Calabar as the new Obong of Calabar. Abasi Otu’s selection followed the nullification of his earlier appointment as the Obong of Calabar by the Appeal Court on July 4. A statement jointly signed by the Chairman of
Etubom Conclave, Etubom Micah Archibong, Secretary, Etubom Okon Etim Asuquo and 13 others said the Conclave elected the new Obong in accordance with the provision of the Etubom Council of 2002. The statement added that the Conclave did so in compliance with the rules of natural justice in order to comply with the court order by taking necessary steps leading to the convening of the Etubom Conclave and the selection of the Obong of Calabar.
The statement also said it was the turn of the Ikot Mbo Otu house to produce the next Obong of Calabar, after the demise of His Eminence, Edidem Nta Elija Henshaw the VI, from the Atai Iboku group of houses, as provided for under the constitution of the Etubom Council. The statement said that the qualified Etuboms from these groups were communicated and directed to produce and present their nominee to Etubom Conclave yesterday.
It added that the most senior Etubom, Lawrence Edet Asido, presented the unanimously selected nominee for the throne of the Obong of Calabar in the person of Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu of Adiabo. The statement said that having been fully satisfied with the candidate’s qualification and eligibility and because there was no dissent whatsoever among the kingmakers, the Etubom Conclave declared Otu as the successor to the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
Isoko group declares for APC, mourns Ewherido SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he Isoko Political Front, IPF, has resolved to pitch its tent with the yet-to-be-registered All Progressives Congress, APC. In a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting at
Ozoro, the headquarters of Isoko North Local Government in Delta State and made available to journalists in Benin yesterday, IPF said it adopted the position because of imperativeness of all progressive-minded groups to embrace the wind of political change blowing across the country.
IPF is a socio-political pressure group of Isoko Progressive Forces, which allied with the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, during the last governorship election in Delta State. The communiqué was signed by the National Secretary of IPF, Prof. Isaac Adakpo and Deputy National Sec-
retary, Mr. Dillion Oyuwe. It reads in part: “Arising from recent national political developments leading to the coalescence of the progressive forces nation-wide, it becomes imperative for the Isoko to identify with the progressive political movement wind of change across the nation.
Bayelsa now investmentfriendly –Agency
he Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, BIPA, said it had created an investmentfriendly environment in the state for local and foreign investors. The BIPA DirectorGeneral, Ms. Ruth MurayBruce, said yesterday that the agency had established a one-stop shop to assist investors desiring to do business in Bayelsa State. She said the establishment of BIPA in August 2012 attracted the interest of over 50 foreign and local investors to the state. Muray-Bruce told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Yenagoa that the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson was keen on attracting investors so much that it removed all obstacles to investment in the state just as it put in place various incentives to woo investors. She said: “We are meant to ensure that Bayelsa State is seen and viewed by everybody as the investment area, the place to be and that is one of the critical functions of this agency. “Another critical func-
“Consequently, IPF rising from its general session held today, Sunday, 7th July 2013 formally endorse the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the vehicle for Isoko political expression and liberation. “IPF thus hereby directs all Isoko sons and daughters, youths, market women, professional groups and associations to register en-masse with the APC.”
tion is to showcase to potential investors, that there is an agency of government that is there for them. BIPA is for investors, preinvestment, during investment and post-investment. “Pre-investment: we address all their inquiries; any information they need about Bayelsa State, we are there; we go to the airport, we pick people up from the airport. For example, this weekend we had an investor from South Africa. “And we were busy all weekend; I and the Honourable Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, Commissioner Massa were together all weekend long, taking people around, showcasing, trying to sell Bayelsa State. “And post-investment: we don’t just leave them, we help them to make sure that all they need especially in the area of community relationships are handled. If they are having any challenges with the investment or whatever is going on, we are there for them. “So, BIPA is there to make sure that any investor can actually come into Bayelsa State successfully; and when they are here to work we carry them through and when the investment is on ground we protect them.” Muray-Bruce said the investment drive had taken the agency to several countries, adding that the organisation was planning to host an investors’ forum in Yenagoa to interact with potential investors.
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Immunity, scrapping of SIECs, LG autonomy top House report
North must produce the president in 2015 without negotiation –Shuluwa espite the warning handed down by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to the political class over the existence of ban on political activities, according to the relevant sections of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), different groups and individuals have continued to engage in various forms of campaigns for the 2015 elections, with the electoral umpire not being able to arrest the situation. The latest in the various methods politicians have continued to use to maintain the tempo of political activities towards the 2015 elections, was the gale of endorsements that have swept across the landscape in recent times, with different groups and individual doing everything to outdo one another in the sycophancy game. Political analysts and watchers of political events in the country have become apprehensive with the avalanche of endorsements that has come the way of President Goodluck Jonathan in recent times as the race towards the 2015 presidential election gathers full steam. As at the last count, the South-West Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; the PDP leadership, the South-South, the North Central, the South-East and the North-East geo-political zones have endorsed Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election. And if the endorsement of a particular candidate simply transmutes to victory, then every other candidates jostling for the 2015 presidential election may have lost the poll even before the start of the race. Other groups have also continued to endorse Jonathan and prominent among these groups is the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, SNPA, led by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, Ijaw National Leader and foremost supporter of Jonathan’s re-election bid, Edwin Clark and Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi. Individuals also have not been left out of the endorsement fever. The SNPA, after a two-day conference in Lagos last month issued a communiqué which indicated that Jonathan’s 2015 reelection bid foot soldiers, have infiltrated the rank and file of the Assembly. The communiqué read in part: “Accordingly, the Assembly passes a vote of confidence on Mr. President and notes that within the realm of constitutionality, nothing inhibits him to seek re-election if he so desires. “The choice of who becomes the President of Nigeria in 2015 resides with the Nigerian people and not subject to the authority, whims and caprices of any one person or persons.” Analysts believe that whichever language it was couched, the communiqué was a tacit endorsement of Jonathan for 2015. The South-West chapter of the PDP in endorsing Jonathan said: “After carefully xraying the President’s qualities and in view of the fact that he is constitutionally qualified to seek re-election, the forum unanimously endorsed him for a second term in 2015.”
2015, Jonathan and politics of endorsement Ahead of the 2015 general elections, several groups and individuals have continued to try to outdo one another in endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term. OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU examines the intrigues and politics behind the gale of endorsements of Jonathan for president in 2015.
TOP STORY The zone also passed a vote of confidence in the transformation agenda of Jonathan. The PDP, speaking through its Board of Trustees, BoT, chairman, Tony Anenih canvassed for automatic tickets for not only Jonathan, but governors on its platform who have performed well. But analysts saw through the gimmick and concluded that the main beneficiary of that position by the PDP would be President Jonathon. Anenih disclosed this game plan last month at a dinner hosted by the President
and attended by the leadership of the party. Anenih had said at the dinner: “I do not see anything wrong if the party grants automatic tickets to its president and governors, who are seeking a second term. With President Jonathan’s achievements in the power sector and others, I don’t think the party should find it difficult to give him an automatic second term ticket.” Coalescing under the aegis of the Congress for Equality and Change, CEC, the South-South and Middle Belt elders also joined the endorsement bandwagon, when they declared their support for President Jonathan. Led by Clark, the Congress, after a meeting with Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, last month told journalists that
ASO ROCK IS NOT VACANT. THE NORTHERN AGITATORS WILL ALL AT THE APPROPRIATE
TIME JOIN THE MOVING TRAIN.
PRESIDENT JONATHAN CONTESTING FOR PRESIDENCY IN 2015 MAY HAVE THEIR OPINION, BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT PRESIDENT JONATHAN WILL REMAIN AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, COME 2015
anyone who is qualified to be the president of the country, be it from the minority or majority, must be given the opportunity. Clark said: “Shehu Shagari did it in 1979 and 1983. Obasanjo did it in 1999 and 2003. In 2007, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory did it and if he had remained alive, he would have done it again in 2011. “So Jonathan is not a different person; he is a Nigerian. As the President of Nigeria, therefore, he too has the right to contest again. Nothing new about it because the constitution says you must contest for two elections and rule for eight years; it is only when you are disqualified.” Earlier in May, the Rivers State chapter of the PDP declared its total support for Jonathan saying that at the appropriate time, the party and the people of the state would stand by the President. Among individuals who have been singing the endorsement song are former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who declared that there was no vacancy in Aso Rock come 2015. Former militant leader, Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo not only endorsed Jonathan, but threatened that Nigeria would no longer exist if Jonathan did not return as Nigeria’s president come 2015. Alamieyeseigha, who was recently granted a presidential pardon by Jonathan after his conviction for looting Bayelsa State treasury when he was the governor, must repay the presidential kindness and went all out to endorse Jonathan because of the heavy burden he removed from his head. He said: “Aso Rock is not vacant. The Northern agitators will all at the appropriate time join the moving train. Those against President Jonathan contesting for presidency in 2015 may have their opinion, but I can assure you that President Jonathan will remain as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, come 2015.” To Asari-Dokubo, “There will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta, but everywhere if Goodluck Jonathan is not president by 2015, except God takes his life, which we don’t pray for.” Most surprising was the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, who said that Nigerians have not been fair to Jonathan. Fasehun, who had severally in the past been very critical about Jonathan’s government, has suddenly turned a new convert after allegedly cornering a multi-billion naira contract to protect oil pipeline, said that the President should be given enough time to prove his mettle. His word: “We all talk about Jonathan. He is not responsible for our ill luck. These probCONTINUED ON PAGE 13
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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North must produce the president in Chief Abu King Shuluwa, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Benue State and chairman, Tiv Elders’ Stakeholders’ Forum, is unarguably the most vocal opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid for re-election in 2015. He tells HENRY IYORKASE that come rain or sunshine, the North, which constitutes two-third of the Nigerian population, would fight tooth and nail to ensure that it captures power in 2015. He also talks on the agitation for Apa State, among other salient national issues. Excerpts: Recently, some sections of the North endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term. Does this signify the desire of the people? I happen to read from the newspapers, even though from your question, you did not specifically mention names, but I read that the former Senate President, Senator Ameh Ebute, was taken to the Villa by Chief Edwin Clark and he endorsed Jonathan on behalf of the North Central. Then Senator Wash Pam and General Lawrence Onoja also went to see Jonathan and endorsed him on behalf of the North Central. It is rather absurd that these gentlemen will go and endorse Jonathan without consultation. Definitely, they are not representing the interest of the North Central and more so, they are not representing the interest of the Benue people and worst of it all, they are not representing the interest of the Tiv people. They are not competent to speak on behalf of North Central. As the clamour for which of the geo-political zone produces the occupant of Aso Rock come 2015 continues, what is the permutation of the North in the ongoing struggle? I have said this time and again that definitely, come 2015, the Presidency of this country will come to the North. We are not negotiating that position at all; it is non-negotiable, because in 1998 when we decided that former President Olusegun Obasanjo should become president, the decision was that after eight years tenure of the South, the Presidency should return to the North. I happened to be very close to those people who were there because I was one of the founding fathers of the PDP and I know, because when a 15-member delegation went to Otta, I was there. Of course, the position came to the North, after Obasanjo had served eight years but the most unfortunate thing was that when Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died, and because the constitution provides that when the president dies, the vice-president takes over, Jonathan took over. Some of us were against his contesting in 2011. He took over to finish up the first tenure of Yar’Adua and so he could have simply withdrawn to allow a Northerner complete the remaining four years. Perhaps, he could have come out in 2015, it would have been much better, but he did not. What Jonathan is trying to do now is to go into history as the longest serving president of this country. He wants to serve longer than Gowon, he wants to serve longer than Babangida, he wants to serve longer than Obasanjo. No! We will not allow that happen. In case your efforts to wrest power from Jonathan or the South-South fail, what
happens next? How should it fail? Politics is a game of number and we are more aware, the awareness now is more than before. We have seen exactly what has happened. We have heard the utterances of the South- South people, we have heard the utterances of people who wants Jonathan at all cost; people like Clark, people like Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo who are even threatening war if Jonathan did not return as president in 2015. We are not afraid of war, but the battlefield will never be in the North. The battlefield will be in the SouthSouth, if they are calling for war. But I don’t think we are interested in warfare, what we are interested in is democracy. Politics is a game of number and it is the game of who is better to convince people. We are in a better position this time to convince the people. We are in a better position to say that no, we cannot sell Jonathan; we are in the position in the North to say enough is enough; we are in a better position to say Jonathan has failed this country and therefore, we cannot allow him to continue. Again, consider that in 2011, all the governors were in one accord. Where are they today? It is an indicator that all will not be well with him should he go ahead with the idea of a come-back in 2015. Now that the North is not speaking with one voice, how will it be possible for the region to win the Presidency in 2015? The North was not speaking with one voice in 2011. Today, if anybody tells you the North is not speaking with one voice, that person doesn’t know what the North is; that person doesn’t know exactly what the North is going through. There is absolute poverty in the North and this poverty has been created by the Southern Presidents, Obasanjo and Jonathan and we are all aware. Let me give you an example, if you see any beautiful car being driven in Abuja today, it belongs to or is being driven by an Ijaw man, if you see any better position which is being held by any Nigerian today, it is occupied by an Ijaw man, if you see any contract, federal contract which is given to anybody, that person is an Ijaw man. That is why the militant leaders get billions of naira contracts for the purported aim of protecting the oil pipelines. Yet we have the military, the police and the militants are in the better position of protecting those pipelines? And you give them those billions of naira in the name of protecting pipelines
COME 2015, THE PRESIDENCY OF THIS COUNTRY WILL COME TO THE NORTH. WE ARE NOT NEGOTIATING THAT POSITION AT ALL; IT IS NONNEGOTIABLE, BECAUSE IN 1998 WHEN WE DECIDED THAT FORMER PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO SHOULD BECOME PRESIDENT, THE DECISION WAS THAT AFTER EIGHT YEARS TENURE OF THE SOUTH, THE PRESIDENCY SHOULD RETURN TO THE NORTH when that money can buy equipment for the Navy, Army and the Police. So, when the time comes, we as grassroots people will go to the grassroots and tell the people, don’t vote for Jonathan. That is all. Clark and Asari-Dukubo had at several fora threatened fire if Jonathan is not given a free hand to contest. How would you view the consequences of their utterances? These people cannot stop Nigeria from being one. The issue is that Nigerians other than this two people are ready for any fight to make sure that Nigeria remains one. I said it before; both Edwin Clark and AsariDukubo do not know Nigeria. If they know Nigeria, they will not be talking like that, they will not be calling for warfare, because for anything today, the Igbo man would not want his area to be a battlefield; the Yoruba man would not want his area to be a battlefield and definitely, the battlefield cannot be in the North. Then we will shift the battlefield to the creeks; we will push Edwin Clark and Asari-Dukubo to the creeks to re-
main there and then Nigeria will continue. So, we in the North are not afraid of these people. Unfortunately, Clark and AsariDokubo are not knowledgeable about Nigeria; they don’t know what Nigeria is. What they are doing is just sycophancy; they are looking for money. Jonathan should give them money, but we are not looking for that kind of money. In the part of Nigeria where I come from, that is North Central, Benue and Tiv; we have not benefited anything from Jonathan. Nothing! And this is the only government that the Tiv people have got nothing from; this is the only government that has discriminated against the Tiv people. There is no committee that Jonathan has ever put a Tiv man, none. All the committees, all major appointments, all major employments, all major contracts, we have never seen any major contract in Tiv land. How many Tiv people are occupying chairmen of federal boards today? The highest position we have in Jonathan’s administration today is a junior minister. There is no contract there; the man cannot
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2015 without negotiation –Shuluwa
give any Tiv man or Benue man a contract. He cannot even employ anybody. What is the democratic benefit we are gaining from the government of Jonathan? Nothing! His government is the worst for the Tiv. I am speaking as the chairman of the Tiv Elders and Stakeholders’ Forum and we are saying the Tiv people, where I belong, will do everything, door to door to make sure that Jonathan does not get any vote from Tiv land. Except they will go and sit in Abuja and write those votes but if it is going to the grassroots and campaigning for one man one vote, Jonathan should forget it, he is not going to get it from the Tiv people. You once predicted that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2014, do you still hold on to that notion? The idea is that of Clark and Asari-Dukubo or some cliques in the South-South; that is what they are looking for because they have oil. They want to use the issue of amalgamation, create crisis in Nigeria to turn round to say that we can no longer be part of Nigeria. And I said this because I wanted Nigerians to watch 2014. It’s coming; in 2014 Nigeria will be 100 years old and that clause is still there. The entire crisis that we are seeing is heading towards that assertion that if care is not taken, some people particularly, the oil-producing states, will start declaring themselves independent states or republics. But that will be resisted, just as we resisted the State of Biafra. Any attempt to disintegrate this country will be resisted by all and sundry; all well meaning Nigerians, even if it means taking arms against whoever, we will do so.
Nigeria will clock 100 years in 2014, what lessons have we learnt as one indivisible entity? We are better off in the past years than today. There is no democracy in this country today. There was democracy before and yet we thought there was no democracy. Elections were properly conducted. There is more corruption today than before. Hospitals have become mere clinics, no drugs; schools are worse off, citizens do not have shelters over their heads, the roads are going from bad to worse, infrastructure is zero and yet we make noise. In those days when we didn’t have the money, the roads were there, the hospitals were still there; you could go to a hospital and get treated; education was better. I went to school where I was not paying school fees, except three pounds. I had uniforms, I had books, everything was free, today you pay school fees. Hundred years of Nigeria, there is no water, I am living by the river side; River Benue, and no power. Benue is still a rural state after a 100 years? Take a ride from here to Gboko to Katsina-Ala, look at the roads, roads are better off in those days than today. Individually, we are better off because people have stolen money for their own personal use and are building houses for their own use, they are doing things for their own use and not in the interest of the nation any longer. If you go to Bauchi, you can never see a house belonging to Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister; you will never see a house belonging to the Sarduna, show me which is Joseph Tarka’s house; the house in Gboko was built by the Tiv people for him. Where is Tarka’s house in Makurdi? Show me Aper Aku’s house in Makurdi, show me Aper Aku’s house in Abuja. Go to Gboko and let them show you Aper Aku’s house, our first civilian governor. As one of the founding members of the PDP, what steps are being taken by the founding fathers of the party to confront the crises which are threatening its existence? I am not in the position to do that. I am a founding member, I am not a member of the executive council of the PDP at the national level, I am not a member of the Board of Trustees; I am just but a floor member. I don’t have the power; the PDP is in the hands of the executive: the President, the
governors and the chairmen. More so, those who are running the affairs of this party were not members of the PDP from the word go. They all decamped from other parties into the PDP. They are afraid of the executive because members of the executives are the ones paying the piper and he who pays the piper dictates the tune. So, the executives are the ones financing the PDP, so the PDP is in their hand which is different from what we used to have in the defunct Social democratic Party, SDP and National Republican Convention, NRC, where the parties in our hands. We were all joiners; we give mandate to the governor, you don’t have any right to control the party at all because we were running the party. I remember I was the sole administrator of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, here in Benue State and the governor could not tell me what to do. We put him there as a party, therefore, he must follow the manifesto of the party not the party following what he is doing. The current crises that have engulfed the PDP, you should expect it; everybody wants to be part of where the cake is being baked and where you have a cake being baked, everybody wants to have a share of it and definitely you would have crisis.
Recently, Governor Gabriel Suswam publicly announced the withdrawal of his membership of the Northern States Governors’ Forum. What is your take on the issue? As a person, he has the right to do what he has done. I am sure he is not withdrawing Benue State from Northern Nigeria; I think that was not his statement. The Forum is for Northern governors only and so he has the right to withdraw but I don’t think Suswam is withdrawing Benue from the North which is impossible; it can never happen because Benue belongs to the North and we are still part of the North. So, for him to withdraw from the Forum, fine, he is a governor. His withdrawal to me is personal. If he had said I want to withdraw Benue State from the North that is where we would have questioned him and let him know that we didn’t give him that mandate. But as a governor, he said no. When we were giving him our mandate, we didn’t ask him to belong to any of the forums; we didn’t say belong to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum or the Northern States Governors’ Forum. So,
SINCE I JOINED POLITICS, THERE IS ONLY ONE SEAT
I HAVE BEEN CONTESTING: THE GOVERNORSHIP. FOUR TIMES I HAVE CONTESTED FOR GOVERNORSHIP AND FOUR TIMES
FAILED TO GET THE POSITION
as far as I am concerned, he has the right to do so. It is personal to him. How do you view the implication of such action? The implication is personal to him; whatever is the implication, it is personal to him, whether good or bad. You have signified interest in contesting the senatorial seat. The incumbent governor also has his eyes on that same slot. How do you view this, as both of you are from the same axis? Let me correct one impression: I have never signified interest for a senatorial seat in Zone A. People are calling on me to do so but I have not. I have not told anybody I want to contest. Since I joined politics, there is only one seat I have been contesting: the governorship. Four times I have contested for governorship and four times I have failed to get the position. If people in their wisdom feel that I should come out to contest, it doesn’t mean that I have signified interest to contest as you have just said. I have not made my mind as to what to do. On the other hand, Suswam has the right to contest if he wants to contest any position at all. Suswam contested for House of Representatives, he got it; eight years later, he came back, he wanted to be governor and contested, he was given. If having contested the position for the whole Benue and won and he now wants to go and contest for a position of a senator of Zone A comprising of seven local governments, so be it. It is his own wish, if he wants to go and contest for the chairmanship of Logo and his people want him, fine. If he wants to contest as a councillor in his own ward, after all my friend, late Ajene, former Deputy Governor, went back and contested for councillorship in his ward and won and he was a councillor. The governorship of Benue ahead of 2015 is beginning to generate ripples as the three senatorial zones that make up the state are laying claim to the seat. How do you see to these agitations? There is nothing wrong in any group of people or section wanting to be governor. There is nothing wrong whether you are in Zones A, B or C. If you want to become governor, come out and tell us, give us your manifesto, and tell us why you want to be governor. We will judge you according to what you are. What I do not support is where some people will sit somewhere in Otukpo and say this time, the Tivs have had their turn, therefore we should have it now in Zone C. And when it gets to Zone C, they will say no it should be Idoma not Igede, not even Agatu man. Let us be very fair. We shouldn’t concentrate on sharing the governorship position only, but we should consider sharing all appointments, be it in the military, be it in the customs, immigration, or federal boards. Let us share them according to the senatorial zones. I have never heard somebody in Zone C saying look, these appointments, these boards appointments must be shared according to Zones A, B and C. When Zones A and B are suffering marginalization from Jonathan, Zone C is deeply enjoying. Is that fair? Is that justice? It is not.
When Rivers PDP leaders pitch tent with Jonathan
ASO ROCK FILE with
Jonathan and the fight against HIV/AIDS
ast week, stakeholders involved in the fight against the HIV/ AIDS gathered at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa to discuss the Emergency Response Plan in Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan was not impressed by the action plans presented to him, saying that there was lack of adequate plan by relevant agencies to tackle the scourge coupled with poor funding and insisted there must be a comprehensive plan for the management of HIV/AIDS in the country. The President was not also comfortable with the 80 per cent universal target for the control of the diseases that was set by the National Agency for the Control of Aids, NACA, in line with global standard, saying that his administration was committed to achieving 100 per cent scale up against HIV/ AIDS in the country. According to him, no Nigerian deserve to die of the disease, saying when the target is 80 per cent, what happens to the remaining 20 per cent affected by the disease, should they be left to die? He appealed to all stakeholders to spend funds available to them in a judicious manner in order to be able to tackle the disease. Jonathan directed NACA to come up
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
with a detailed document that would serve as an implementation manual that would assist the government in the management of the disease in a sustainable and not an ad-hoc manner. Making presentation of the two-year plan to tackle the disease, the Director General of NACA, Prof. John Idoko, noted that the HIV disease is a burden in the country as Nigeria ranked second in Africa in the prevalence of the disease, which he said was concentrated in 13 states of the federation. He said in 2011, the total number of people living with HIV in the country was estimated at 3.5 million people stressing that 388,864 new infections occurred in that year while an estimated 217,148 people died from AIDS related causes. While speaking on poor funding in the national response to HIV, Idoko stated that the National AIDS Spending Assessment, NASA, showed that Nigeria was highly dependent on international funds which accounts for 75 per cent while domestic funding was 25 per cent. He noted that the N377.5 billion fund required to achieve universal access in the fight against HIV comprises of N179 billion domestic contribution to the Presidential Emergency Response Plan (PERP) and N198.5 billion external donors to the national response.
t is no more news that there is a frosty relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi and when it seems that the political differences have been resolved considering the open warm embrace between the duo when they met at Port Harcourt Airport during the visit of the President to Bayelsa State, the turn of event last week showed that there is still a long road to the resolution of the matter. The leaders and elders of the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were in the Presidential Villa last week to meet with Jonathan without the presence of Amaechi, who is supposed to be the leader of the party in the state. The Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, who led the group to the Villa while explaining the absence of Amaechi at the meeting said the governor has been suspended from the party. “The governor is suspended, so he can’t come. It is only when he comes back to the party, then he will join us. You can see the men of timber and calibre, the leaders of the party,” Wike said. For the Rivers State chairman, Felix Obuah, the visit was to pledge their loy-
alty to the administration of Jonathan. He also said party members are not happy that Governor Amaechi was in opposition against the President, describing the action of the governor as shameful. “We are pained and our hearts bleed today that the main champion of opposition in the country against Mr. President and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria is our own son, Governor Rotimi Amaechi,” Obuah said. For former Governor Peter Odili, the cordial meeting with the President would serve as a tonic for the elders of the party in the state to work toward resolution of all issues with a view to achieving peace and ensuring the progress and development in the state. At the meeting, Jonathan told the Rivers PDP leaders and elders that the party would no longer tolerate any act of indiscipline in the party. According to the President, “Rivers State is a key state to South-Easterners. It is a key state that needs very strong leadership, focused leadership, committed leadership and maximum political unity and stability. Otherwise anything could happen and affect the whole country.”
Promises of bright future for youth entrepreneurs
he lobby of the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa where the young entrepreneurs displayed their manufactured products became the centre of attraction shortly before the meeting of the Federal Executive Council last Wednesday Impressed after inspecting the products along with members of his cabinet, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged assistance to all Nigerian youths in the area of developing their skills and business expertise to become entrepreneurs of international ranking. The youth entrepreneurs were the first batch of 1,200 who benefited from the YouWin Programme introduced by the present administration as a way of reducing the rate of unemployment in the country. After inspecting the products on display including cake made from Cassava flour, V-Sat Internet connectivity gadgets, coconut cooking oil, and preserved moringa tea, the President said his administration was committed to building a country that the future generation would be proud of. He explained that the concept of You-
Win is to build entrepreneurs that would start from the scratch, develop their skills and their business acumen and grow them to the known larger businesses in the world. The President explained that government must constitute a virile society where hope thrives and the youths are given the opportunity to realise their potential. He said his administration would ensure that the spirit of youths are lifted up to encourage commitment to the ideals of patriotism, self reliance and to make meaningful contributions to economic development of the country. “We must build a society where our young people will see a different Nigeria, see a Nigeria that they will believe in, a Nigeria that they will have a high degree of patriotism for, a Nigeria that will also protect them. And that is what we are doing,” he said. The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the team was a small section of the first batch of 1,200 YouWin beneficiaries, adding that over 16,000 jobs had been created by the first batch of winners of the programme.
Cross section of members of Rivers State Peoles’ Democratic Party Officers, Leaders and Elders during their visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at Presidential Villa, Abuja recently.
Voters’ card reader for credible elections
n order to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country, the Federal Executive Council gave approval for the procurement of 17,000 Smart Card Readers to verify the identity and authenticity of voters. The approval followed a memo brought to Council by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said the Council approved the procurement of 17,000 smart card readers Zenox Technologies Limited at the rate of N27, 000 in the sum of N459 million with a completion period of six months. According to him, the 17,000 Smart Card Reader would be the first batch, saying that there would be other two instalments before meeting the required number needed. Maku maintained that the Smart Card
Readers would be deployed to voting centres to verify the identity of registered voters in future election.
Presidential Villa’s visitors 1.
Former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili
Former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye
Former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu
Governor Gabriel Suswam
Governor Jonah Jang
Former Taraba State Governor, Jolly Nyame
Former Deputy Speaker, House f Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche
Director-General, NACA, Prof. John Idoko
Rivers State PDP Chairman, Felix Amaechi Obuah
NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu
Senator Jonathan Zwingina
Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq Gwadabe
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-43
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Obama’s Africa visit and Nigeria KINGSLEY CHINDA Continued from yesterday
e expend so much effort fostering peace and integration in other countries, but sadly are torn apart at home by sectarian and religious strife. We emphasise ethnicity and religion even in the selection of our national soccer teams, fashioning out our educational system, posting of judicial officers and even on private sector appointments, etc. Vice chancellors must come from the communities where universities are located, yet we expect our universities to challenge established orthodoxy and win international laurels. Our oil money pays for irredentism, promotes ineptitude, which explains why the local elite still meet and condone one another. We need to ask ourselves at some point whether we have another country to which we can be first class citizens. Quite inexplicably, we have simply refused to learn from Sudan, Somalia, old Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Ethiopia. With so much potential, is it not an irony that what we export to the outside world today is prostitution, religious extremism and violence? Is it not a shame that our bright minds perform very poorly when they come home to serve, but excel abroad? It is because ethnicity and reli-
WHEN WE HAVE A NATIONAL LEADER FROM ONE SECTION
OF THE COUNTRY, THE LEADERS OF OTHER ETHNIC GROUPINGS PLOT HOW TO BRING THE ADMINISTRATION DOWN gious extremism simply won’t let them excel? Why decry Obama’s not visiting us when we should be thinking of how to learn to live with one another? A serious country should not bother about the leader of another sovereign nation not visiting it. I doubt if President Jonathan is losing sleep over the issue; rather I expect him to be concerned over how to add value to governance, education, health and agricultural sectors, and administration of justice. Nigerians simply do not believe in Nigeria, yet they demand from her all that are not immediately achievable. The country needs citizens, but citizens that believe in her and in her institutions; but certainly not in sub-national institutions that promote ethnicity and nepotism. Every country has its challenges, but an integrated nation gets every
one joining hands to surmount these challenges. We expect Obama to come to visit who? The Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani, Ijaw nations etc? What can we showcase as our niche? Our tourist industry has not developed to a world standard that could be a foreign exchange earner; our industrial base is still in its rudimentary stage, agricultural sector is so inefficient it cannot feed our teeming population; we have to complement with huge food import bill every year. So what exactly will bring Obama to our shores? Our ferocious centrifugal forces have turned every Nigerian a scavenger waiting in the wings for his/her opportunity to devour the national cake, with no thought on how to bake a bigger one. When we have a national leader from one section of the country, the leaders of other ethnic groupings plot how to bring the administration down. The nation walks many steps backward, despite all the prospects offered by bounteous earnings from crude oil sales. All that the members of the political class and their ethno- religious cohorts do best is plan how to squander the huge resources from oil. Our leaders do not fall from heaven, they project our thoughts to the national stage; they reflect our collective pessimism for the Nigerian project, and the ingrained mindset of our people. Professor Claude Ake of blessed memory once said that every society gets the kind of leadership it deserves.
Nigeria will continue to produce exceptionally wealthy persons amidst an ocean of grinding poverty. The wealthy will also continue to live in fortresses called homes and become prisoners of their inability to see the larger picture. They will continue to enjoy freedom outside this country and continually move internally with big security escort. If we do not start a serious campaign against the evil of ethnicity and religious extremism, which breed and sustain corruption, we cannot think of anybody taking Nigeria serious on the global stage, or benefit from the seemly positive drive that the visit of an Obama or any serious leader for that matter could bring to a nation hungry for unity and national integration. The US president has packaged a $7 billion power development aid for Africa. That is conveniently the equivalent of money stolen by five or six Nigerians and stacked in foreign bank accounts in the last decade. So who is deceiving who with this seeming indignation over Obama’s non-visit? What anticipated change would Obama’s visit have made to the challenges facing us as a nation? Perhaps, we should have expected moral and tangible support from him. Concluded Chinda is National Coordinator, Citizens Initiative for Unity and National Integration in Nigeria (CINI)
Who is afraid of Gbenga Daniel? K AYODE AJALA
n Tuesday June 28 2013, Nigerians woke up to the shocking news that Otunba Gbenga Daniel has been unceremoniously suspended from the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, the political platform with which he piloted the affairs of the state for eight years as governor from 2003 to 2011. According to newspapers reports, the Remo North Federal Constituency of the party took the decision after a meeting at Isara in Remo North Local Government Area and the announcement was delivered by Doyin Fakoya, chairman, Ogun East Senatorial District of the PDP. The circumstances under which the suspension was carried out were not only shrouded in intrigues, the question of the legality of the action also begs for attention. How can the suspension of a political figure of such status in the party and the state be the preserve of the chairman of a senatorial district of the party when even the state chairman was not in the know? Who in Ward 12 Sagamu Constituency 2 (OGD’s ward) actually signed the suspension letter? How many people have actually seen this suspension letter? By the way, who convened the meeting and who attended that meeting? According to news reports, the state chairman of the party, Adebayo Dayo, who was out of the state at the time of the development, admitted reading about it in the newspapers. He chided the Ogun Senatorial District chairman of the party for his action
without prior consultation with the state leadership! The only plank for Fakoya’s action was that a disciplinary committee was constituted to look into the case of anti-party activities established against OGD and that it recommended his suspension as a disciplinary action against the ex-governor and some other party members. The question is who constituted this disciplinary committee, when and on whose authority? It should not be a surprise to anyone if the concerned members of the executive do not have answers to the above question. Let those who orchestrated the action against OGD define ‘anti-party activity’. We understand that part of their grouse was his involvement with PPN and Labour Party. But by what parameters did they measure this involvement with other political parties and by which barometer did they gauge the risks of such involvement to PDP? The truth remains that underdogs like Fakoya and the shadowy bigger figures that manipulate the strings controlling them are the problem of PDP today. These are people for whom self aggrandizement is far more important than the common good of the party, and indeed that of the nation as a whole. These megalomaniacs will lead to the fall of PDP in 2015 unless they examine their conscience and change their ways. Already, the opposition is capitalizing on their pigheadedness to weaken the party; and rather than they being perceptive and mend their ways, they are busy orchestrating more self-centred and wicked intrigues. Their divisive politics has impaired the party’s central management, led to the fall
THE STATE CHAIRMAN OF THE PARTY, ADEBAYO DAYO, WHO WAS OUT OF THE STATE AT THE TIME OF THE DEVELOPMENT, ADMITTED READING ABOUT IT IN THE NEWSPAPERS of PDP in the South West, and was responsible for all the recent defection from the party, and may eventually lead to its fall in the months ahead. Let no one be fooled, PDP is under serious siege. Okay, so what if Gbenga Daniel leaves PDP and how has it strengthened the party? Moreover, he will be leaving with 12 other chieftains suspended along with him. Where does this leave PDP? Indeed, who should be prosecuted for the anti-party crime of weakening the party through this plot to rid it of all valuable stalwarts? Fakoya and his sponsors, or Daniel? Gbenga Daniel used the PDP platform to win the state’s governorship election in April 2003, and got reelected in April 2007. His achievements included massive infrastructural development of the state, probably the result of his solid engineering background. He built roads, recreational centres and stadiums in the three senatorial districts of the state. He established a University of Education, and he was also responsible
for the total reconstruction of the state secretariat. The circumstances under which he was able to hold government together in Ogun State and perform as a governor, despite the massive internal wrangling within the party is a testimony to his resilience as a leader and managerial acumen. In a state that is replete with superpower political brokers, OGD refused to be intimidated; he commendably weathered the storm and still piloted the state into a re-election. Otunba Daniel is an asset, a fact the opponents in the state are not comfortable with. They want him out of PDP apparently to weaken the party in the state. It is unfortunate that this very opposition elements are deeply entrenched party members who are working for their own profits, no matter where it comes from and no matter whose ox is gored as long it is not theirs! The PDP as a party should grow above individual power blocs. As things stands today, the PDP is ailing and desperately in need of fixing to put its own house in order, even as the opposition is waxing stronger in the state. If the party destroys itself by ejecting its valuable members and driving them into the arms of other parties, it will have itself to blame. Ajala wrote this piece from Lagos Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Saving the 2013 federal budget
or the majority of Nigerians, the current face-off between the Presidency and the National Assembly on the implementation of the 2013 federal budget has been an embarrassing spectacle. The reasons for the feud and the interests such reasons are meant to serve are even more puzzling. If a budget is a plan of expected revenues and projected expenditure, it stands to reason that the all important document should capture how the government wants to run the economy in the interest the nation and the entire populace. In other words, the budget is all about addressing the socio-economic deficits of the nation for the appropriation year, in this case 2013. If this is so, the raging face-off is not in the interest of Nigerians who have been at the receiving end of the ridiculous feuds, ineptitude and corrupt predilections of those opportuned to run the affairs of the nation for some time now. The feuding parties should caution themselves and expeditiously harmonise and implement the budget if the intention of raising the document in the first place is to improve the lot of the nation and its citizens. We recall that last February, when President Goodluck Jonathan assented to the 2013 budget, he had stated that his delay in assenting to the appropriation bill was to make sure
“… the best is done in the interest of Nigerians.” However, midway into the 2013 financial year, conflict of interests within the political class has rendered the budgetary process inconclusive and hampered the practical implementation of the fiscal plan. It is important to return to the fundamentals of budgeting as the preserve of the executive arm of government that need only the approval of the legislative arm. If the NASS had stuck to its primary role of dictating cogent discrepancies and passing the appropriation bill to law, instead of tinkering with benchmarks that only the executive has authority and expertise to handle; and if the executive had called the bluff of this legislative meddlesomeness, the current severe dislocations in the economy that have become a major setback to this year’s budget would have been avoided. Quite nauseating is the fact that the same National Assembly that threatened fire and brimstone last year over poor budget implementation is superintending over the 2013 budget crisis. Why then the crocodile tears over delayed meeting of last year’s budget targets? When on October 20, 2012, Jonathan presented the Appropriation Bill to the NASS, Nigerians thought that was the end of the era
July 9, 2011 South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan is a landlocked country in eastcentral Africa. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. But the capital city is planned to be moved to the more centrally located Ramciel in the future. South Sudan is bordered by Ethiopia (east), Kenya (southeast), Uganda (south), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (southwest), Central African Republic (west), and Sudan (north).
WE THINK THE INTEREST OF THE MAJORITY OF
NIGERIANS – THE
HIGHLY IMPOVERISHED, JOBLESS YOUTHS… DECREPIT ROADS AND OTHER BASIC
INFRASTRUCTURE… SHOULD COUNT FIRST when budgets were presented several months behind schedule. Work on the bill was concluded by both the Senate and House of Representatives by December 20, 2012, ready for President Jonathan’s assent. The presidential assent only reluctantly came on February 26, 2013. That the final budget was a product of compromise became noticeable when the Presidency, last May, raised alarm that its implementation might be severely impaired by shortfalls in oil revenues. Two factors were fingered for the development namely: fall in the spot market prices of oil and massive oil theft by a cabal the Federal Government has been unable to tame. By now the NASS should have restrained itself from forcing its meddle-
ON THIS DAY
July 9, 1999 The killing of a student by riot police in a night raid sparked six days of demonstrations and rioting throughout Iran, during which at least three other people were killed and more than 200 injured. The said protests were before the 2009 Iranian election protests, the most widespread and violent public protests in the country. The protests effectively began on July 8 with peaceful demonstrations in Tehran against the closure of the reformist newspaper, Salam.
some benchmark price of $79 per barrel of crude oil as against $75 proposed by the executive on President Jonathan. Even the executive’s benchmark projection of 2.53 million barrels per day has become unrealistic because of massive oil theft. It is sad that federal lawmakers have chosen to play the ostrich despite the gargantuan financial crisis on the palms of the FG. Perhaps, the lawmakers are denying the Presidency the cooperation it eminently deserves in times like this because of the non-release of the billions of naira appropriated for their “constituency projects”. This may be the undeclared reason why the rescue plan proposed by the Presidency in the amended budget represented to the NASS has been shabbily treated by the lawmakers; and by September or October, the Senate and House of Representatives are likely to proceed on their annual recess. The NASS should not grind governance to a halt and hinder the deliverance of the dividends of democracy to Nigerians because of the grouse of its members against the executive arm of government. We think the interest of the majority of Nigerians – the highly impoverished, jobless youths, the education system and students, decrepit roads and other basic infrastructure and social amenities, should count first.
July 9, 1900 Boxer Rebellion: The Governor of Shanxi province in North China ordered the execution of 45 foreign Christian missionaries and local church members, including children. The Boxer Rebellion was a pro-nationalist movement by the “Righteous Harmony Society” in China between 1898 and 1901, opposing foreign imperialism and Christianity. The uprising took place in response to foreign “spheres of influence” in China.
Stakeholders advise NCAA DG on training, BASA funds
IFRS: Insurers face compliance challenges 37
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Financial inclusion: CBN, experts chart course to achieve target
he Financial Access Initiative (FAI), has estimated that 2.5 billion adults, just over half of the world’s population, do not use formal financial services to save or borrow. Sixty two per cent of adults, nearly 2.2 billion, living in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are unserved. Nigeria is no exception with a large population of financially un-served people put at 46.3 per cent in 2010, according to Enhancing Financial Innovation Access (EFInA), a financial research firm. In Africa, Nigeria lags behind South Africa and Kenya in terms of the percentage of the population who are financially served. This is manifested in dearth of access to financial services such as credit, savings, payments/financial remittances and insurance as a result of financial exclusion. This is mainly caused by inadequate access points, high cost of financial services, low financial literacy, onerous requirements and lack of income. This has continued to pose serious challenges to economic growth and development in the country and therefore calls for concerted efforts towards financial inclusion by all stakeholders. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, financial inclusion is somewhat
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In order to achieve the benefits of financial inclusion, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and stakeholders strategise on how to increase financial penetration in the country. UDO ONYEKA 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 A banking hall
a revolution that would change the entire financial landscape for the better said financial inclusion would reduce the number of adults excluded from access to financial services. Sanusi, who spoke yesterday in Lagos, at the launching of the Geospatial mapping of financial institutions in Nigeria in conjunction with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) said the broader aim of financial inclusion was the proposed 80 per cent target to be included at least 70 per cent would be in the formal sector. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), EFInA, Mrs. Modupe Ladipo, said to increase the level of financial inclusion Nigeria, stakeholders would com-
45.5 million phone lines redundant in Nigeria –NCC
bine their strengthen. According to her financial inclusion is achieved when adults have easy access to a broad range of formal financial services that meet their needs and are provided at affordable cost. “Access to finance for poor and other excluded groups could assist to alleviate poverty and promote development by enabling them to save, borrow and invest in the growth of the productive sector”. She said making funds available to excluded groups would lead to increase production of goods and services, support reduction of food related inflation, Provide better credit and better portfolios and diversification of port-
folio thereby strengthening risk management stance. According to Ladipo other benefits of financial inclusion include; increased economic activities particularly from the MSME subsector and boosting exports, increase foreign exchange earnings, stability of exchange rate and ability to manage foreign reserves. EFInA tries to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria. The organisation has carried out national surveys of adults of 18 years and above in 2008, 2010 and 2012 with the aim of providing “relevant and reliable data on the demand for and usage of a
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
Incessant strikes hurting oil, gas sector 23
Robust funding for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway assured
Business & Finance
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Financial inclusion: CBN, experts chart course to achieve target
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 range of financial products, both formal and informal in Nigeria”. The outcome of the organisation’s 2012 survey corroborates those of the Global Findex as it is documented that: Although 60.3 per cent of Nigerians are financially served, only 43 per cent are formally included- Males 47.4 per cent are more financially included than females 38.3 per cent. According to inclusion in the formal financial sector varies across the geo-political zones in Nigeria in the following order; North West 22.5 per cent ; North East 25.7 per cent; North Central 48.2 per cent; South East 52 per cent; South South 52.3 per cent and South West 57.7 per cent. According to EFInA report the proportion of adults that are formally included increased from 23.6 per cent in 2008 to 36.3 per cent in 2010 and 43 per cent in 2012. “This implies that the number of financially included adults in Nigeria increased by 10.5% between 2008 and 2012”. Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Tunde Lemo, said Nigeria declared to reduce the percentage of the financially excluded adults from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent by year 2. He said that financial literacy component of Financial Inclusion supports better delivery of financial services by educating the targeted excluded group and creating informed financial service providers and better informed users. According to Lemo, volume of cash management to the financial system estimated at N192 billion in 2012, “ adding that 65 per cent of the cash in circulation in the Nigerian economy is outside the banking system. Mobile payments and Agent banking systems will reduce expenditure of currency issues and management thereby free resources for development of important sectors such as infrastructure and other public utilities.” Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN Dr. Kingsley Moghalu
A STABLE FINANCIAL SYSTEM IS A PRECONDITION FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND
DEVELOPMENT, HENCE, FINANCIAL INCLUSION, ESPECIALLY WHEN PROMOTED IN THE BROADER CONTEXT OF ECONOMIC INCLUSION, CAN RAISE FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND IMPROVE THE STANDARDS OF LIVES OF THE POOR AND THE DISADVANTAGED had said at a forum in Lagos last month that, financial stability serves to instil confidence in users of financial services, adding that it also encourages and facilitates productive economic activities and contributes to overall well-being and progress of the society. According to him CBN as a regulator is responsible to maintain public confidence in the financial sector by addressing all factors that would undermine the sector’s long-term stability, without which it would lose its relevance as a medium of economic interaction and payments. Maintaining public confidence demands ensuring that the sector keeps up with all pertinent global developments to make sure it remains relevant to the needs of the public from which it derives its mandate. He said that for the financial system to be relevant to society, it needs to ensure that as much of the eligible target population has the opportunity to access a variety of financial services ranging from credit, savings and payments, remittances, pensions, capital markets and insurance services. Inclusion is an essential pre-condition to enhancing wealth creation and poverty reduction and ultimately broad based economic development. Moghalu said the CBN is concerned with the levels of financial inclusion because individuals and households lacking adequate access to a full range of responsibly delivered, affordable and convenient formal financial services would be severely constrained in participating fully in the economy. “This will imply that the financial sector would be
constrained in terms of expansion and intermediation because the disposable income in the hands of excluded persons could constitute greater savings and a wider deposit base for banks and other financial institutions. This could hold back overall economic development. Thus, financial inclusion is essential for the attainment of a stable financial system. A stable financial system is also a precondition for economic growth and development, hence financial inclusion especially when promoted in the broader context of economic inclusion, can raise financial conditions and improve the standards of lives of the poor and the disadvantaged,” he said. Access to affordable financial services would lead to increasing economic activities and employment opportunities for rural households with a possible multiplier effect on the economy. Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Philip Oduoza, said achieving the target of financial inclusion requires the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders in the financial industry. Speaking recently in Lagos, Oduoza said financial institutions are capable of attracting those excluded or unbanked through innovative services. Acting Director, Consumer and Financial Protection Department,CBN, Mrs. Dutse Umma Aminu, said that apart from innovative products, financial literacy and protection through enforcement of consumer rights hold the ace in fast tracking the success of inclusion
in the country. Aminu explained that financial literacy became imperative to ensure that consumers are given the knowledge, skills and confidence to understand and evaluate the information on financial products and services. She said that there must be clear rules of conduct for financial institutions, combined with improved financial literacy for consumers and increased consumer trust in the financial system. “We have sent out a help desk circular, mandating financial service providers to set structures for complaints’ handling that must be accessible, affordable and fair to consumers. Currently, we are working to design a Complaints Management System to improve efficiency and provide multiple complaints channels to consumer,” she said. Explaining the rationale for financial literacy and consumer protection, she noted that it is a way to regulate the conduct of financial service providers to support prudential requirements in ensuring financial stability, which is necessary for consumer confidence and trust in the system.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
45.5 million phone lines redundant in Nigeria –NCC KUNLE A ZEEZ
o fewer than 45. 5 million telephone lines are currently inactive in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said. According to the industry regulator in its latest industry’s subscriber data for first quarter ending April 30, 2013, while the total number of connected telephone lines in the country stood at 16.8 million, only 119.3 million were active, leaving about 45.5 million inactive. The inactive lines, comprises phone lines from the Global System for Mobile Communications, GSM, networks; the Code Division Multiple Access networks and fixed line operators. According to the latest data, active telephone subscriptions in Nigeria increased from 113.1 million to reach 114.4 million, 116.6 million, 117.2 million and 119.3 million in January, February, March and April respectively.
L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steve Evans; Director, Lagos Photo Festival, Mr. Azyu Nwagbogu; Co-Curator, Lagos Photo Foundation, Mr. Joseph Gergel and Mr. Leonard Eze of Eko Hotel, during the press conference on Lagos Photo Festival, “The Mega City and Non City” in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
The total connected telephone lines in the country now stand at 164.8 million at the end of April, 2013, having increased from 161.9 million, 159.8 million and 154.5 million in January, February and March respectively in the first quarter. The additional 6.2 million telephone lines which were
Air passengers’ ‘Bill of Rights’ comes into force month end – NCAA OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Folyele Akinkuotu, has disclosed that plans are underway to implement the passengers’ Bill of Rights,’ before the end of the month. This is just as the agency is seeking massive compensations for passenger whose rights are unnecessarily violated by the airlines especially the domestic operators. Aknikuotu, who revealed this over the weekend in an interview with aviation correspondents in Lagos, insisted that the Bill of Rights would be enforced before the end of the month, saying that passengers hardly get compensated in the country when airlines are unable to fulfill their part of the contract entered into with them. He stated that adequate information would be passed across to air passengers and airline operators on the bill, while the NCAA would ensure full compliance. He said, “The passengers’ rights must be respected by all especially the airlines. We need to make sure that we give them good deals and encourage them to see that safe operation is the way to go. We can’t continue, as before as things must change.
“So, the passengers’ Bill of Rights will be enforced before the end of this month and we as the regulator will ensure total compliance with the scheme.” However, investigation carried out by our correspondent over the weekend revealed that the agency is seeking massive compensation for passengers whose rights are unnecessarily breached by the airlines. The bill, according to investigations specifies that a passenger whose luggage is delayed or lost in transit must be compensated within five business days unlike now that most passengers with lost luggage are not compensated or adequately attended to by the airlines’ personnel. Also the bill states that if a passenger’s flight is re-routed or delayed, such a passenger must be notified at least two hours in advance, adding that for a passenger with a ticket or print-out that shows a confirmed reservation for a specific flight and date, an agent cannot deny the passenger boarding because of lack of reservation in the computer. Besides, passengers according to the bill, are entitled to compensations if their flights depart before the ticketed time even as the airline is responsible for passengers, whose flights are delayed for over an hour, cancelled or denied boarding.
added in the quarter pushed the current total active mobile subscriptions in the country up from 113.1 million at the end of December, 2012 to 119.3 million at the end of April, this year. The NCC latest data showed
that overall; the industry grew its subscriber base by 7.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, as over 6.2 million additional telephone lines were recorded on various mobile networks during the period. The NCC data has revealed an
increase from teledensity from 80.85 in December 2012 to 81.78, January; 83.29 per cent in February; 83.77 per cent in March and 85.25 per cent at the end of April, in the first quarter. Teledensity is the percentage of connected lines in relation to the population at a given period of time and its growth is proportional to the growth in subscriber base. Highlights of the subscriber data also revealed that telecoms firms continue to spend on network expansion to be able to accommodate more subscribers on their networks. The latest official data also showed that installed capacity has reached 237.4 million as at April 2013. The figure stood at 237.3 million; 226.6 million and 226.6 million in January, February and March respectively. Installed capacity is the total number of telephone lines which telecoms networks have build their network capacity to accommodate at a particular period of time.
BPP to partner govt agencies on procurement process TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), has indicated its intention to work with relevant government agencies as part of ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring that the nation’s procurement process conform with international best practices. Giving the assurance when he received the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mike Omeri, in his office at the weekend in Abuja, the Director General of Bureau, Engr. Emeka Ezeh, pointed out that for the procurement process to be improved upon, officials of government and the private sector have to have to do what they have been contracted to do with all sense of purpose and transparency.
He explained: “It is not the institution that is corrupt, it is the human beings. When you change the character or attitude of people, ones will start working better. People do not live by laid down tenets and that is why we have problems. “Our job as an agency will be a lot easier if people are able to carry out duties for which they are engaged. We have to learn to manage resources on behalf of the people,” Ezeh said. As a demonstration of the agency’s commitment to ensure that transparency and fairness guide procurement process in the public sector, Eze charged Nigerians who are dissatisfied with any procurement exercise to forward their complaints to BPP and assured that such issues would be looked into and resolved. He clarified further, ”The law
says agencies of government should advertise when they have vacancies and then competent people can apply. The law also says before ore-qualify, you must let the people know the requirements. It is setting the marking scheme before you per-qualify. “We know some agencies are going against this in their bid to favour some people more than others. But if they are caught, they would be dealt with according to the provisions of the law” Ezeh added. According to him, being a Director General or a Chairman does not give any Nigerian the right to circumvent the law and warned that if anybody involved in procurement in any MDA is caught, such an official would be prosecuted and possibly bag a 10 years imprisonment if convicted by the court.
Town planners seek upward review of professional charges DAYO AYEYEMI
ettlement experts under the auspices of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) have been urged to consider upward review of charges for their services. Speaking during the Annual General Meeting of the association, first Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Dr. Femi Olomola, described the existing scale of fees as peanuts, urging ATOPCON members to look at the modality of getting appropriate pay-
ment 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 gotten the template for their fee He explained that other professional bodies, especially the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors has devised means of charging appropriate fees for their services, urging town planners to follow suit. According to him, a lot of things have to be built in the new charges such as the cost of consulting and laboratory test in the case of Environmental Impact Assessment reporting and others
in order to make it robust. Olomola said while the NITP appreciated progress being made by the association, it is looking forward for greater cooperation, especially in matter relating to Town Planners Registration Council as regard professional practice. Giving his scorecard, ATOPCON’s President, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, said the association, for the first time, now has a secretariat and has grown its membership from 30 to over 90 members. One of the major highlights of the event was the induction of new planner’s firms into the fold of the association.
Business & Finance
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
‘National Infrastructure Master Plan’ll boost manufacturing’ TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, has said that the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), which development is being coordinated by the National Planning Commission, will enhance productivity and value addition in the manufacturing sector Usman, who was a guest speaker during the 41st Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), held in Lagos, explained that one of the benefits of the NIIMP to manufacturing sector is improved availability, reliability and effectiveness of critical infra structure needs, such as power, fuel, transport, amongst others, for enhanced productivity and
value addition in the sector Speaking on the topic “Nigeria’s National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan” the Minister also listed industrial clustering to optimise infrastructure, promotion of specialisation and inducement of economic per capita income in the sector through investment and improvement in infrastructure as other great promises of the Plan for the real sector. He explained that in order to translate the immense opportunities of the Plan to economic gains, the private sector is expected to contribute to the development of the NIIMP in the areas of mobilisation of inputs for the NIIMP development process through the Business Support Group (BSG), as professionals and sector experts and mobilisation of financial resources for implementation of projects and programmes.
Other roles he identified that the OPS would play are, building, operating and maintaining infrastructure assets, enforcement of standards and quality control, in addition to investment in research and development” Usman also disclosed that infrastructure stock in Nigeria was inadequate for development and therefore constituted a constraint to socio-economic development in the country, and also pointed out its significance as a key driver of economic growth and development and an enabler of competitiveness globally. The Minister said “the objectives of the NIIMP is to adopt a coordinated approach to infrastructure development, strengthen linkages between infrastructure sectors and national economy and harmonise and integrate various infrastructure plans”
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Ex-workers picket Unity Bank over N5.6bn unpaid benefits OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
usiness activities at the head office of Unity Bank Plc in Abuja were disrupted yesterday as the irate ex-employees of the bank picketed the office over N5.6bn unpaid severance entitlement. The over 100 ex-staff were part of the about 2,000 workers said to have been disengaged from the defunct Bank of the North about nine years ago. Brandishing placards with various inscriptions, the exworkers blocked all the entrances into the bank, thereby denying both staff and customers access into the bank premises. Some of the inscriptions read: “Unity Bank is a disgrace to corporate Nigeria,” and “EFCC should prosecute management of Unity Bank for Pension scam”. One of the ex-staff, Mr. Em-
manuel Aileku told National Mirror that his family had been living miserably since he was disengaged about nine years ago. He said that apart from being unable to pay his rent, Aileku stated that his children could no longer go to school owing to his inability to defray their school fees. “We are surprise that nine years after bank consolidation, all efforts to get our entitlements have met brick a wall. This is against the order of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and Central Bank of Nigeria that all the entitlements be paid, he said. However, the bank in a release said that the agreement reached with the disengaged workers during the merger in 2006 was that their liabilities would be paid by the owners of the defunct Bank of the North, which are the governments of the 19 northern states and not Unity Bank Plc.
Increased rice farming will cut importation DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
L-R: Sales Manager, Multipro Enterprise, Hypo, Mr. Jude Nzeata; Chairman, Primary Health Care Board, Lagos State, Dr. Babatunde Sagoe; Special Adviser to the governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina and Permanent Secretary, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Riskat Akiode, during the year 2013 first round of Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Lagos at the weekend.
We’ve invested N64bn in vessel acquisition, firm tells minister FRANCIS EZEM
papa Bulk Terminals Limited (ABTL), said it has invested a total of N64bn ($400million) in the acquisition of vessels in the last seven years to improve its operations in line with the Federal Government port concession programme. ABTL, the port operating arm of Flour Mills Plc, is the concessionaire in charge of Terminals A and B of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa. Newly-appointed Managing Director of the company, Captain Mohammed Bashir, made the disclosure when he addressed members of policy and monitoring committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in Lagos at the weekend.
The managing director also told members of the committee led by its chairman, Dr. Shamsudden Usman, who is also Minister for National Planning that in addition to investing in ship acquisition to improve its operations, it has also taken steps to improve storage capacity. According to him, before the concession programme, the company had a total of 60, 000 metric tonnes of silos factory for storage, which it has increased to over 200,000 metric tonnes as part of measures to improve port capacity and reduce congestion. “We are into rice and sugar refining. Our operations are geared towards the backward integration policy of the Federal Government. We have made massive investments over the years, one of which is the $400million on vessel acquisition and we are
optimistic we will recoup our investments in 25 years, which is the duration of the concession”, he said. While assessing the port concession programme, the ABTL chief executive officer noted that the programme has done very well, describing it as the best thing to happen to the nation’s seaports, especially in the recent past. He however told the minister that the concessionaires have over the years been facing serious challenges in their bid to increase port efficiency, one of which is the bureaucratic nature of government activities in Nigeria, which takes a long time for them to get approval for some of their activities. He cited that the delay in securing approval for the company to increase to depth of its berths in order to attract bigger vessels with the attendant economies of scale has negatively affected its operations, not considering the urgency of such projects.
ollowing recent improvement in rice farming in the country which now covers all seasons, the Federal Government has expressed determination to maintain the tempo as it embarked on an aerial spray of pesticides on rice farms in the entire North-Eastern states. The Main target of the spray,ing exercice which was flagged off at the Gombe Airport, are Quelea birds, which have continued to wreck havoc on farm yields and cause nightmares to thousands of ambitious rice farmers in the region. Mr. Johnson Waziri, the NorthEast zonal Coordinator of the Quelea Birds Control Programme stated at the occasion that as part
of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda, it has considered agriculture as the main stay of the country’s economy, as such, would explore all ways to continue improving on rice farming so that importation would be gradually eliminated. He said, “One of the encouragements that have come out of recent is the all-season production of rice. It is meant to reduce heavy resources on imports as well as the principal aim of achieving food security as well as economic empowerment of individual farmers”. According to him, “It is unfortunate that the production of rice, both paddy and rain fed has been under great threat of transboundary pests. These include Quelea birds, locusts, grasshoppers and others”.
Etisalat takes Internet service campaign to major cities KUNLE A ZEEZ
igeria’s fourth largest telecoms operator, Etisalat, has embarked on a 24-state experiential tour campaign of its 3.75G High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) broadband Internet service popularly referred to as Easyblaze to major cities in the country. The Easyblaze experiential tour is in partnership with Qualcomm, leading manufacturer of wireless chipset and software technology, the Opera Group, makers of the world’s most famous mobile browser opera mini, social networking site Facebook, and technology companies Samsung, Nokia, Sony, Huawei and Techno. The campaign will cover major
centres in Lagos, Abuja, Suleja, Nasarrawa, Warri, Benin, Aba, Enugu, Uyo and Port-harcourt and move on to other cities in the country. According to Etisalat, the tour was designed to give both current and prospective customers the opportunity to fully experience the Easyblaze broadband service on a variety of internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and MiFi hotspots, amiong others. Easyblaze 3.75G offers high speed data of up to 42mbps, allowing Etisalat customers achieve high speed internet access, faster file downloads, video calling and streaming and other related activities. Etisalat is now set to take ‘speed to town’ with the experiential tour campaign to major cities in the country.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Incessant strikes hurting oil, gas sector
Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke
The tension that oil and gas workers consistently put the nation into through strikes or threat of it should be discouraged if the country is to make any headway in its quest to become economically vibrant, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.
ithin the space of about three weeks, oil and gas workers have almost thrown the nation into confusion with warning and potential strikes; a situation that concerned stakeholders said may spell doom for the economy. This view by observers of this critical sector of the nation’s economy, becomes more relevant, considering that majority of the issues usually raised by the workers as the challenges they are grappling with, and which they want addressed, are almost unrealistic in the immediate term. From disagreements that can easily be resolved like the dispute between the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the management of some oil firms like Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Agip Oil Company, to demand for government to immediately fix all the bad roads in the country, oil and gas workers, according to Small Scale Entreprenuer, Mrs Beatrice Uwakama, has added more to the sufferings of the people than alleviating it. According to her, “ Directing all its members at the depots and loading bays to stop loading petroleum products for days in order to protest alleged inhuman treatment of its members by the management of only three multinational oil companies does not make sense, is still the poor Nigerians that suffer whenever such action lasts”. Wondering if NUPENG; the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) are in tune with current realities in the country, Economist, Mr. Eghosa Godwin, said calling members (oil and gas workers) out for a national strike that may last for days or even weeks without first comprehending its are implication on the people and the economy, does not speak well of oil union leaders, neither does it portray them as being sensitive to the everyday challenges the majority of the people are facing.”
Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu
Godwin said, if as an individual with education I cannot understand why oil and gas workers will call for warning strike of three or more days because the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), refused to implement an agreement with petroleum tanker drivers, how then does the ordinary man on the streets, the uneducated market men and women or even commercial drivers understand?” Calling for restraint and a high level of tolerance from the oil and gas sector union leaders, he emphasised that “unions like NUPENG and PENGASSAN must understand that the era of aggressive labour unionism was long over, and that the world including Nigeria now lives in an age where dialogue and negotiations rules, since economic, political and careerinterests, including those of labour leaders in the sector are interwoven”. Explaining that the effect of any strike action called by NUPENG or PENGASSAN is felt all over the country and even beyond, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria (ISM), Mr. Adeyemi Mapaderun, said motorists in particular and Nigerians in general usually resort to panic buying following artificial scarcity of petroleum products created by owners of filling stations. Mapaderun said with such situations, that long queues for petrol and other petroleum products like diesel and cooking gas surfaces, leading to hike in price, which in turn will lead to high cost of living. “Oil and gas workers should be conscious of the damage and disservice they are doing to the economy and Nigerians. You do not kill a fly with a sledge hammer. Threatening to close down the economy through strike, or embarking on strike for demands they know cannot be immediately met is not in the best interests of Nigerians”. He added that stakeholders are fed up with the activities of oil and gas workers as far as going on strike was concerned that recently made the Association of Distributors and
OIL AND GAS WORKERS SHOULD BE CONSCIOUS OF THE DAMAGE AND DISSERVICE THEY ARE DOING TO THE ECONOMY AND
Transporters of Petroleum Products (ADITOP), to reject the warning strike declared by NUPENG and PENGASSAN. It would be recalled that the National Coordinator of ADITOP, Mr. Isa Tijjani, said workers in the association are to resume work immediately while issues raised by the unions would be looked into with a view to resolving them. According to Tijjani, the strike was causing his members considerable losses, stressing that the continuation of the industrial action was inimical to the growth of the country. “We are gravely concerned and disturbed by the strike because of its potential to reverse the lofty gains of the Federal Government in stabilising fuel supplies across the country, thereby eradicating the ugly sight of long queues in our filling stations. “Nigerians can bear the Federal Government’s witness to the efforts it has made to resolve the issue of fuel availability and as such, nobody should serve as a willing tool to reverse these commendable efforts,” he said. Making reference to the declaration last week by oil and gas workers in the nation’s free trade zones, that it was issuing a 60 days ultimatum to the government to end oil theft in the country, coupled with the call by oil workers on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to stop the ongoing divestment in oil leases by multinationals in Nigeria, Industrialist, Mr. Tope Awosegba, said the workers should concentrate on their jobs and leave policy issues for the government to handle. He said it was obvious that union leaders derive some form of pleasure from creating tension in the sector and preparing themselves for greater political offices through consistent attacks on the authorities, saying the demands by oil workers are not justified in some instances. According to him, the issues of oil companies divesting from oil blocks in Nigeria and go to reinvest in other African countries and demand for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is currently before the National Assembly by PENGASSAN should and must not lead to strike. The demands also by NUPENG President, Mr. Igwe Achese, which includes the high level of insecurity in Nigeria, bad state of the roads, rising oil theft in the Niger Delta, non-adherence to guidelines on contract staffing/ casualisation in the sector and abuse of expatriate quota should in this day and age, not also lead to calling for industrial action.
TUC condemns plans to devolve wages to state governments MESHACK IDEHEN
rade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), said it is condemning plans by the Senate to devolve more powers to the 36 states of the Federation by moving some items, including wages from the 68 items contained in the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list to allow state houses of Assembly legislate on them. The congress said while it is not against the debate and review of the 1999 Constitution, it reiterates that the move will create more industrial crises, especially as some states are yet to implement the new minimum wage of N18, 000
even though President Goodluck Jonathan signed it into law in March 2011. TUC President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigaima, said in a statement, that there had been serious crises in Plateau and Enugu states because of their refusal to implement the law, saying the major issue is if Nigerian workers and lawmakers buy from different markets? Kaigiama said as it stands now, that the average Nigerian worker is struggling to survive, adding if states are allowed to determine what they pay to their workers it means the future of the Nigerian workers have been mortgaged. “Over the years, the claim by defaulting governments has been that they cannot pay the N18, 000 minimum wages
because they are not oil producing states, whereas a sitting senator from Kaduna State earns the same salary and allowances as a senator from the Niger Delta. For us these arguments are baseless because what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. “The congress wishes to advise that to ensure peaceful industrial atmosphere, the issue of wage should remain in the exclusive list so that states do not mortgage the destinies of workers and their wards. In the alternative, the congress proposes a significant restructuring of the revenue allocation formula in favour of the states so that they can effectively shoulder the added responsibility of increased wage payment”, the TUC president said.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Tips for finding seasonal jobs T
Young Nigerians queueing for jobs
here is ample evidence from jobs and career experts that certain seasons provide certain types of jobs in abundance. The challenge according to them is how to beat the rush, due to the large number of job seekers also seeking seasonal jobs. If you want to get a distinct advantage over other would-be seasonal workers, plan your job search carefully, using these tips. Know where to look-The best opportunities for seasonal job seekers will be at the large discounter’s shops and manufactures, amongst other businesses, which will be heavily favored by cost-conscious consumers during holiday season. Be prepared to look past retail sales jobs for other opportunities. Big stores need extra workers on the floor, but they also need extra workers in their shipping facilities and overnight stocking positions. Opportunities also exist outside of retail, in areas like catering and with shipping companies. Start early-Employers already
know how many people they will need, so start searching today. Even if a job doesn’t begin for another month, it’s best to lock in an opportunity sooner rather than later. Dress the part-When you’re looking for any kind of job, show up dressed in business-casual attire, at the very least. Even if the seasonal work for which you’re applying is outdoors, wear neat slacks, polished shoes and a collared shirt. Be prepared-If you are stopping into an establishment to shop for seasonal work, be prepared to fill out an application and participate in an impromptu interview. Bring your own pen, necessary documentation to prove you can work legally, a resume if you have one and all contact information for your professional references. Be sure you block off enough time to meet with a few supervisors should the opportunity arise. Know what you want-If you are applying for seasonal work, know precisely what you offer to a potential employee -- and what
you want in return. Determine what hourly rate is acceptable to you, what hours and days you’re available, if you’ve got the wherewithal for a particular position (some may involve lifting heavy boxes or standing for the greater part of your shift), and if the location is viable in terms of fuel costs and transportation options. (Will you always have access to a reliable car or a convenient subway or bus line?) You don’t want to make a commitment only to leave an employer in the lurch during the hectic holidays. Be flexible-The best way to make sure you stand out from other seasonal talent is to present yourself as flexible -- but only if you really are. A hiring manager revealed that demanding a specific schedule from prospective employers is a sure way to jettison your chances at landing a job. Temporary workers must be prepared to be flexible, whether it is hours or type of work. Either can vary as the holiday season progresses. Source: Yahoojobs.com
AUN founder awarded doctorate by Geneva School of Diplomacy MESHACK IDEHEN
ounder of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, has received an honorary Doctorate of International Relations from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. AUN said in a statement by its Vice President, Public Relations and Communications, Mr. Abba Tahir, that the honnour was bestowed on Abubakar for his exemplary leadership as vice president of Nigeria; his democratic and courageous re-
sistance to the militarisation of national politics and his r insistence that political opposition should not be treated as enemies of the state but rather, respected for needed loyal opposition. GSD President, Colum de Sales Murphy on his part, said Abubakar,s as an entrepreneur and a role model in the business arena; coupled with his dedicated fostering of development and education as evidenced in his visionary and historic founding of the AUN; alongside his deep-seated understanding of democracy, also made him qualify for the honnour.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
he recent increase in the activities of job scammers operating in cities like Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Port-hacourt has given rise to the need to warn job seekers to be wary and suspicious of those asking for cash and other items not directly related to employment enquiries. In the same vein, employment hopefuls, particularly those interested in joining the public service should take steps to verify and confirm the availability of such vacancies from relevant ministries and agencies, before proceeding to part with anything that must at all circumstances exclude money. However, if the job seekers by chance have already fallen prey to the antics of job scammer through loss of money, identity or self-integrity and honnour, the right step to take is to report to the appropriate authorities, including but not limited to the Nigeria Police Force, Special Fraud Unit. On available vacancies this week is the position of a Base Superintendents (www.findjobafrica. com) who is to be based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. Description for the job position includes focusing on ensuring that all the operational locations/ facilities, including office and residential accommodation, of the company remain functional and in usable condition for optimal productivity. Other responsibilities include participating in developing strategic base plan for resources management to support project and other needs of the company, ensuring cleanliness and orderliness of company bases and other locations and monitoring and inspection visits to all operational locations/bases and company facilities at least weekly. Other responsibilities are providing guidance and direction in a complex environment and multi-tasks contracts conditions, towards accommodating personnel and other resources at locations as may be required, participating in the hiring, training, appraisal and use of personnel in the department that are responsible to him and supervising and organising the jetty base in such a manner to effectively support all company operations (land, swamp & offshore). Qualifications requires that the Ideal persons must have considerable facilities management experience, be very organised and able to work under stress and at short notice as well as communicate effectively (oral/written) with strong attention to details. The individuals should have 5 years hands-on facilities management exposure at supervisory level with at least Higher National Diploma (HND) or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in engineering or management. Ability to use the computer and fall Microsoft suites (word, excel etc) will be very necessary. Still from www.findjobafrica.
com is the opening for a Financial Management Consultants that will be required to be based in Ikoyi, Lagos. The ideal candidate will be responsible for setting up and managing financial management and accounting systems in various organisations and programmes. S/ he will be also be required to provide support in strengthening the internal control processes as well as overseeing and reviewing the preparation of financial reports and budgets. Also involved in this role is the provision of support to state/regional offices to ensure compliance and adherence to implementing partners and donors requirements. She/he will ensure that monthly reconciliation of programme expenditure and invoices are carried out and made available for Implementing partners and senior management team members of the programme. Another fundamental responsibility of this position is to ensure smooth working relationships in terms of financial data and information between the finance team at all levels – state offices, national office and its several international partners. Qualifications required are an accounting or a first degree in any of the social sciences is required. The ideal candidate must have at least 7-10 years working experience with a proven track record of high performance in setting up and reviewing financial management systems and installing accounting packages. Previous working experience in a consulting environment, donor agencies or development programme in a similar role will be an added advantage. Other essential skills needed are extensive experience in installing and operating accounting systems preferably QuickBooks or its equivalent, extensive experience in generating and reviewing financial reports from accounting packages, excellent communication (oral and written) with demonstrated ability to provide supportive advice to finance/accounting staff in client organisation. From (www.jobberman.com) are positions of Electrical Engineers that are expected to be based in Lagos. The minimum qualification required for the positions are an HND, while required experience 1 - 3 years. The recruiting company which said it is experienced in creating innovative and cost-effective power solutions for the most challenging and seemingly impossible situations associated with power equipment, said some of the responsibilities are to handle all electrical works, troubleshooting any challenge that may arise, handle shift operations and preventive electrical maintenance and provide technical electrical supports to handle all electrical works.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Real Estate & Environment firstname.lastname@example.org 08033312578
Robust funding for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway assured
An accident scene on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
Recurring accidents, unprecedented traffic jams and continued public outcry on the state of disrepair of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will soon become a thing of the past as President Goodluck Jonathan launched its reconstruction and expansion at the weekend, assuring that adequate funding arrangements have been put in place to ensure its completion in 48 months. DAYO AYEYEMI, reports.
resident Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians, especially residents, commuters and motorists plying the dilapidated Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that adequate funding would be made available to see its reconstruction through to completion as scheduled. The president disclosed this at the weekend during the flag-off ceremony for the reconstruction and expansion of the road at Shagamu Interchange, Ogun State. While assuring Nigerians that his government is committed to timely completion of the project, he explained that adequate arrangement for its funding has been put in place. Besides, he stated that his administration has commenced negotiation with The Infrastructure Bank Plc (TIB), to complement Federal Government’s contribution
to the project cost. He said, “In addition to annual appropriation for the project, this administration has commenced negotiation with The Infrastructure Bank Plc (TIB), to complement Federal Government contribution to the project cost. “With this arrangement, funding is assured and the project can be completed as scheduled.” He maintained that the flag-off of the reconstruction and expansion of LagosIbadan Expressway was in fulfilment of his promise to re-award the contract after the termination of the concession agreement earlier entered into between the Federal Government and Bi-Courtney for reconstruction. Contract for the reconstruction of LagosIbadan Expressway, spanning 127.8 kilome-
tres was awarded to Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) Limited at a total sum of N167 billion. Both companies have a period of 48 months to complete the projects. It is estimated that 83,000 vehicles ply the road daily. The road project has been divided into two sections with section one spanning Lagos to Shagamu , while section two encompasses Shagamu to Ibadan.
Messrs Julius Berger is in charge of section one of the road which commences from Lagos to Shagamu interchange, while RCC is in charge of section two of the project starting from Shagamu Interchange to Ibadan. The reconstruction and expansion of Lagos-Ibadan dual carriageway from Lagos to Shagamu, a total length of 43.6 kilometres, commences at Old Toll Gate in Ikosi-Ketu in Lagos State and terminates at Shagamu interchange in Ogun State. The scope of work in section one involves the reconstruction of the existing two lanes carriageway in each direction and addition of a third lane to give three lanes in each direction. The work also includes the construction of an interchange at Redeem Camp and five pedestrian bridges, as well as the maintenance of 10 existing bridges among other ancillary works. From Shagamu to Ibadan, the project commences at Shagamu interchange in Ogun State and terminates at Ojoo interchange in Oyo State, and has a total length of about 84.0 kilometres. The road is made up of a two-lane dual carriageway of 7.3metres for each direcCONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Experts seek review of laws impeding mass housing delivery DAYO AYEYEMI
n order overcome challenges confronting the housing sector in Nigeria, built experts have joined other stakeholders, calling for speedy review of the regulatory and legal framework of institutions and practices obstructing mass delivery of affordable houses to the citizens. The experts who made their position known during a two-day conference tagged, Abuja Housing Show organised by FESADEB Communications Limited, said this was necessary in order to accelerate development in the housing sector. Besides, they said the review of the laws became imperative in order to influence housing policy and delivery with a view to proffering solutions to the nation’s housing backlog. The review, experts reaffirmed, must affect the following real estate related laws as a matter of urgency: The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Act (Decree 82, 1993); Primary Mortgage Institution Act (Decree 53, 1989); National Housing Fund Act (Decree No. 3, 1992); Land Use Act 1978; Mortgage Institution Act; Federal Housing Authority Act (1990); Trustees Investment Act 1990; Insurance Act 2002; Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Act (1993); Employees Housing Scheme (special provisions) Act; Public Lands Acquisition Act and; Federal Government Staff Housing Board Act. The conference was held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, last week Speakers at the summit want the Federal Government to stop paying lip service to the need to pursue an aggressive private-sector driven real estate and mortgage finance market, with privatisation, structural and
Cross section of Participants at the Abuja Housing Summit last week.
institutional reforms as ways to enhance depth, liquidity and efficiency of the sector. As at the last count, the nation’s housing deficit stands at 17 million. In a communiqué signed by the facilitator of the housing summit, Mr. Festus Adebayo, stakeholders, comprising estate developers, lawyers, bankers, government officials and policy makers canvassed for the transformation of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), into a government interventionist agency to stabilise the market and enhance investors’ confidence through the application of government-backed guarantee. They also urged the Federal Government to declared “a State of Emergency” in the housing sector, canvassing the creation of special stimu-
Robust funding for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway assured CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 tion. The works also include the maintenance of 12 existing bridges among other ancillary works. The Federal Government had in 2009 entered into a concession agreement Messrs BiCourtney Highway Services to reconstruct and expand the road to 10-lane expressway. Four years later and due to non-performance by the concessionaire which resulted in recurring fatal accidents, unprecedented traffic jams, security breaches, compromised public health and safety and the continued public outcry on the state of disrepair of this road, the concession agreement was terminated in May, 2012. After two reputable companies were deployed by the federal authority to carry out emergency repair works on the road to ease the flow of traffic and at the same time, commenced the process of procuring the contracts for reconstruction and expansion. After the procurement of contracts for the road was completed, two construction companies: Julius Berger Plc and RCC emerged as successful bidders and were subsequently awarded the contracts. Expressing gratitude to President Jonathan for the intervention, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, drew the attention of the president to other federal roads in the state begging for attention. He mentioned Shagamu-Ogijo-MosimiIkorodu road; and Shagamu-Papalanto highway as two federal roads that required
urgent intervention in the state. He enjoined President Jonathan to compel the Federal Ministry of Works to consider the routine maintenance of LagosIbadan Expressway when completed in order to safeguard the huge investment in reconstructing the highway. In a statement by Julius Berger Plc, the company said the project would generate thousands of jobs during construction and promised to deliver on time. Speaking earlier, Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolomemen, an architect, said his ministry would ensure that the reconstruction of the road is given adequate supervision to guarantee quality on completion. He added that the federal authority would also collaborate with the private sector to ensure that the project is adequately funded in order to bring it to quick completion. The road is the first dual carriageway in Nigeria, constructed over 35 years ago. The road is a major artery that connects Lagos, the economic nerve centre of the nation and host of major Nigerian sea ports to other states of federation. Some of the dignitaries at the flag off include PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Adefulie –Orelope, cabinet ministers, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Alake of Egba, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and Awujale of Ijebu, Oba Sikiru Adetona among others.
lus package or intervention fund similar to what was done for the agriculture, aviation, education and maritime sectors. The speakers said there was need to create sufficient awareness on the housing situation in Nigeria, urging collaboration with government on a workable housing policy for the nation. They stated that there was need to liaise with research centres for effective research on housing and make the results of such research efforts available to government and practitioners for implementation. Some of the recommendations made at the end of the summit include: ”Facilitating the collection and analysis of genuine and reliable data on housing with a view to providing quality information and data for
planning purposes; facilitating the process of housing delivery by private and public agencies; networking with other faculties and other professional bodies in the built environment in all desirable ways towards enhancing housing delivery process in Nigeria.” The summit called for the provision of land and basic infrastructure by government to reduce the huge capital outlay on private developers. They also called for comprehensive restructuring and reorganisation of the Federal Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development in order to make it more effective as the ministry strives to implement the new Housing and Urban Development Policies.
Surveyor-General urges amicable resolution of boundary disputes OLUFEMI ADEOSUN AND SEYI ANJORIN ABUJA
he Surveyor-General of the federation, Mr. Peter Nwilo, has urged states and other communities that may have been embroiled in boundary disputes to evolve honest and peaceful strategies to resolving them. Speaking in Abuja during a workshop on the modalities for the adoption of transformation parameters for Nigeria, the SGOF explained that all that is needed to settle boundary disputes was for the parties involved to be honest to themselves. He said,” Boundary dispute is just an aspect of our Nigerian map, and so it’s not going to solve the border problems, rather, it is Nigerians that will resolve to solve the border problems. “Nigerians have to be truthful and honest in their dealing because border issues depend on available information. We therefore hope that Nigerians take steps and be honest with one another. If we become honest, we’ll resolve a lot of our problems.” On the country’s transmission parameter, the Surveyor-General explained that Nigeria would determine its own
transmission parameter, adding that Nigeria would soon be mapping on global datum, “so that the world can be mapped seamlessly.” According to him, the OSGF has gathered a number of experts who have worked on that to present the papers on it and will soon take decision on what to do. Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, underscored the importance of transformation parameter, stating that they are essential dataset to any nation. According to him, the prevailing situation where different sectors such as the Federal and state government, oil and gas industry and other multinational are using different parameter sets would not support uniform infrastructural development. He described the workshop as a huge step taking by the office of the SurveyorGeneral of the federation “in its effort to find solution to the problems of transformation parameters from the old Minna Datum to more recent World Geodetic System (WGS 84) and vice versa. Transformation parameters are essential dataset in developed and developing countries around the world”.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Oduduru, others set for Donetsk challenge
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Playing for the Pope on August 14 is worth looking up to. I think I cannot wait for that day –Argentina forward, Lionel Messi
Sydney 2000 gold: FG to reward relay team AFOLABI GAMBARI
here are fresh hopes that the reward expected for the Nigerian gold medallists in the 4x400m relay race at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games would be announced by the Presidency soon. Nigeria had won silver in the race after USA clinched the gold. But investigation revealed several years after that the Americans had used performance-enhancing drugs and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ordered the retrieval of the gold medal last year and re-awarded it to Nigeria. The development had caused widespread jubilation among the Nigerian athletes and their families who include the late Sunday Baba whose wife, Sumbo, described the milestone as “a dream come true.” When President Goodluck Jonathan hosted some athletes recently in Abuja for their feats in recent times, however, the Sydney heroes were omitted, raising questions on the possibility of them getting their due recongition. But Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has told
National Mirror that the athletes have not been forgotten. “There is no disclaiming the fact that the Sydney heroes did Nigeria proud and deserve their reward,” Abdullahi said. “The ministry has since taken delivery of the gold medal from the Nigeria Olympic Committee and has forwarded them to the Presidency. “We await a response from the Presidency after which we would contact the athletes accordingly, but I expect we would get the response soon.” Abdullahi, whose tenure since November 2011 has ensured adequate compensation for Nigeria’s sports representatives, however declined giving details on the reward to be accorded the Sydney gold medallists. “At this moment, I cannot say anything until the Presidency comes up with its declaration. Suffices it that everyone just awaits further development,” he submitted. The beneficiaries of the impending government largesse are Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye, late Sunday Bada and Enefiok Udo-Obong who ran in the final, as well as Nduka Awazie and Fidelis Gadzama who were in the reserve list.
POC Achebe for burial on Friday
he remains of the late three-time Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Pa Philip Onuora Chikaodili (POC) Achebe, widely known as “Mr. Football” wll be laid to rest in his hometown, Ikenga Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State on Friday. According to a programme released by the family, there would be a wake for the departed ace football administrator in his residence at the Riverside Housing Estate, Abakpa Nike in Enugu tomorrow, July 10, with a service of songs in his hometown, Ogbotu in Ikenga Ogidi, Anambra State the following day. His body will lie in state
at the family compound on Friday morning before burial service and interment at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Ogidi same day. POC Achebe first held the reins as secretary general of the NFA in 1971, replacing Tunji Fagbemi. He left the seat for Dan Enajekpo in 1973. He began a second term in 1975, again replacing Fagbemi. He left in 1976 for Numa Uzoh. In 1991, he mounted the seat for a third term, replacing Momodu Kadiri, and left in 1992. He died in the United States of America on March 9, 2013 at the age of 83 and is survived by his wife, Juliet Ikwoyen Achebe, and six children and grand children
Kano Pillars’ Rabiu Ali (left), tackling Enugu Rangers’ Dada Bitrus in a recent Glo League match.
Ministry sets up panel to fix Eagles’ bonuses T
he Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has set up a six-person panel to investigate the bonus row which almost led to the Super Eagles boycotting the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament held in Brazil last month. In a statement issued yesterday by Julius Ogunro, his Special Assistant on Media, Abdullahi announced that the committee, which includes former international midfielder, Garba Lawal,
and is chaired by former presidential adviser, Segun Adeniyi, will be inaugurated on Thursday. Adeniyi served as a member of the Presidential Task Force which jacked up the Eagles’ winning bonuses from $5,000 to $10,000 in 2009 in order to motivate the team to secure a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Also on the panel are sports journalists, Onochie Anibeze and Aisha Falode, joined by Shehu Dikko - a member of the League
Management Committee - and Akin Oshuntokun, a former managing director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The panel has been charged with determining the cause of the crisis, developing a code of conduct for players on national assignments, and making any other recommendations deemed necessary. They have been given two weeks from their July 11 inauguration to submit a report on the subject.
...We will get better -Agbim
uper Eagles’ goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim, has hailed the home-based team’s performance after their resounding 4-1 win over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier, even as he disclosed his displeasure at the goal that he conceded. The former Golden Eaglets star said after the match in Kaduna on Saturday that despite the win, the goal the team conceded was the only dark spot in a near
perfect match. “The game was okay. Although we did pretty well, we conceded a sloppy goal when our defenders went to sleep,” Agbim told supersports.com. “We switched off at the wrong time and we paid for it. We have learnt our lessons and we will not make such mistakes again.” Coach Stephen Keshi was visibly angry at the goal that was conceded and Agbim confirmed that indeed Keshi was disappointed with the goal.
“The coach congratulated us for the win but also expressed his sadness over the goal we let in; he felt we should have done better. We had some new boys in the team, but we have all learnt from the game,” Agbim, who captained the team in the game, added. “We will approach the second leg with all seriousness and we call on all Nigerians to continue to support the team in our quest to qualify for the CHAN and ultimately the World Cup,” he added.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Al Shabab de
Alonso Real Madrid is preparing to sell Xabi Alonso, according to latest reports. The Spanish giant will sell the midfielder once it wraps up a deal for Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi. Madrid will, however, seek €12 million for the 31-year-old midfielder who has less than 12 months to run on his existing deal.
Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, admits it will be a strange pre-season without the retired defender Jamie Carragher. “Of course, from a selfish point of view I wish he was coming back and doing one more season,” Gerrard said yesterday. “Hopefully the replacements we get in perform well for us because Jamie’s are certainly big shoes to fill.”
Real Madrid Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, yesterday said he is not keen to see experienced defender Pepe depart this summer. The defender is a big money target for Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, with a€25 million offer lodged. Reports said Ancelotti has asked his board to resist all offers for Pepe, even as the Portugal international is weighing up his options after he lost the confidence of several of Madrid’s powerbrokers last season.
Former Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, believes the club is progressing but still has some way to go to match the best in Europe. “I would say City are a bit like Juventus. They are growing but are still a bit behind the big European clubs,” Mancini said. “There is need for experience and the right squad to win the Champions League and there aren’t many games. So if you get two wrong then you’re out of the running.”
Jose Mourinho (l) and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich yesterday
makes Mourinho at Stamford Kone Wigan switch Bridge, begins work E R eturnee Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, yesterday arrived at the club’s training ground for the first day of pre-season training. The Portuguese, who began his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge last month, has recruited two players so far with Chelsea completing the signing of midfielder Marco van Ginkel from Vitesse Arnhem last Friday. The Dutchman’s arrival follows the
Agyemang-Badu on Palace radar
talian side Udinese is studying a proposal from Crystal Palace on a transfer of Ghana international Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu. The newly-promoted English Premier League side has identified the midfielder as a key summer signing as it intends to retain its top-flight status. Reports say Udinese is willing to sell Agyemang-Badu if the offer is
good. Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin will not deny the 22-year-old the opportunity to move on after four years in Italy. The hardworking player, who has garnered enough experience playing for the Little Zebras in the Serie A, made 25 appearances for Udinese who managed to book a Europa League spot.
Moyes targets trophies
Alcantara Barcelona has accepted a bid from Manchester United for Thiago Alcantara. Reports said yesterday that United will announce the transfer this week after meeting Thiago’s 18 million buyout clause after personal terms were struck a fortnight ago with his camp. The final points of the deal will be settled in the next 48 hours, although United will have to offer above Thiago’s buyout clause due to local tax demands.
signing of Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle two weeks ago. Chelsea’s first match of the pre-season tour takes place on July 17 when the Blues take on the Singha All-Stars in Bangkok. The Stamford Bridge side then takes on a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpur July 21 followed by a trip to Jakarta to play the Indonesia AllStars on July 25.
verton has completed the signing of Ivorian striker Arouna Kone from Wigan on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. The forward had been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside and has now followed former Latics’ boss Roberto Martinez to Goodison Park. Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan said last week that he expected the 29-year-old to leave after Everton met the £5m buy-out clause in Kone’s contract. Although there was also reported interest from Newcastle, Kone has opted to be re-united with his former boss who left Wigan for Everton following David Moyes’ appointment as Manchester United manager. Martinez originally signed Kone from Spanish side Levante in 2012 and the former PSV Eindhoven man scored 11 goals last season, although Wigan was still relegated from the Premier League.
anchester United’s Manager, David Moyes, insists that he wants more than just the league title in his first season as Manchester United manager. The Scot also insists that United will be looking to win everything next term. “You have to do well in all competitions and not just the Premier League,” Moyes said yesterday. “At Manchester United my thinking is you have to go for everything, you attempt to win everything. “Maybe you miss out sometimes, but you have to try to win all the trophies. “I’ve done it everywhere else I’ve been and I’ll certainly do it here because I have a bigger squad, quality players and a club with the tradition of being used to winning things.”
audi Arabian club bab has ruled out for former World of the Year winner Rona after admitting the Br can’t be controlled. The 33-year-old midfiel been linked away from hi American club, Atletico ro, with Asia a likely desti But after being told th to lure the former Wor winner away from Bra Shabab Vice President Bu Humaid reigned in hi interest while slammin star’s off-field behaviour. “We wrote back to Ro ho’s agent last week and d his offer,” Bu Humaid sa terday.
Abidal complete Monaco move
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Abidal. The Frenchman penned a one-year with the option to ex his contract by a fur 12 months, the club nounced yesterday. Abidal was a free a after La Liga champ Barcelona decided n renew his contract. 33-year-old, back pla following a liver tr plant, returns for a se spell at the Ligue 1 after originally depar in 2002 to sign for Lill Abidal, who has peared for France o occasions, is the late a series of high-pr signings that include damel Falcao, James driguez and Ricardo valho as newly-prom Monaco looks to pu gether a team capab challenging for the L 1 title.
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Italy will shine at Brazil 2014 –Buffon Juventus and Italy goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, has been one of the best in the game for more than 15 years and will, doubtless, be remembered as such for generations to come. The 35-year-old spoke to FIFA.com on his recent Confederations Cup performance, among other issues
“He’s just overpriced and the second thing is his attitude off the field. If they could not control him at Barcelona then he can’t be controlled at Dubai.”
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Cavani attracts Blanc
aris Saint-Germain Coach Laurent Blanc believes that Edinson Cavani could forge a good partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Napoli forward has been strongly linked with a move to the Ligue 1 champion, and has also courted interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea during the close-season. Blanc is a big admirer of the Uruguay international, and feels that he would be a perfect foil for Swede Ibrahimovic. “If Cavani could join PSG, I’d be happy,” Blanc said. “Cavani and Ibrahimovic are compatible and their styles complement each other.” The former France manager is busy preparing his squad for the 2013-14 season and is actively looking for new recruits. As well as Cavani, Blanc also confirmed that he would be interested in a deal for Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, adding: “Yohan is a wonderful player but it depends on what players we have available. We are interested because he provides options.” Blanc, however, refuted claims that Brazil international, Thiago Silva, will join Barcelona, adding that Silva could be handed the club captaincy. “I think he will be in Paris this season and he has a great chance to be the captain,” Blanc remarked.
Had you ever saved three penalties in a shoot-out like you did against Uruguay? Yes I had, but I don’t see it as anything special, it’s part of my job. Of course it’s great to win on penalties, especially after saving three of them, but doing it in the match for third place takes some of the shine off, as you can’t help thinking that you should have been in the final. In fact, if I’d managed to keep out just one of the penalties against Spain we would’ve been playing in the Maracana! Are you not being a bit harsh on yourself considering your displays during the tournament? I’m just more used to being self-critical than celebrating my achievements. Obviously I enjoy success, but I’m very demanding of myself. What did you make of the game against Uruguay? It was a tough match, both because of the opponent and the intense heat, but we kept going until the end and I’m happy I could play my part. Another defeat would’ve been very disappointing, so we should celebrate our ability to show our character even when our legs were tired. What can Italy take from the tournament? There’s no doubt we did well overall, so that’s satisfying. We showed we’re a good team that’s able to compete on an equal footing against anyone, which is a great quality to have. An-
other advantage is that we have a fantastic group of players, and that isn’t always the case in a team, especially at international level. How do you rate your personal performances? I think I also had a good tournament, apart from a bad half an hour or so against Brazil and I’m happy I could finish on a high with those saves against Uruguay. Obviously it’s difficult when things don’t go your way against the host team, but I prefer to look at the bigger picture, which I believe was a positive one. Do you think playing in the FIFA Confederations Cup will help Italy at Brazil 2014? We learnt so many little things that will help us prepare better for next year. From the weather to the level our opponents are at, there were lots of interesting details to take from it. I honestly think it’s been great to have a dress rehearsal before the World Cup because it’ll give us a small advantage over everyone else. Given the results against Brazil and Spain, do you believe Italy is currently on a par with the world’s best teams? No, we’re at a different level. We’re a side that’s been improving steadily over the last few years. We hope to continue that process to be able to get to where we want to be, but for now our focus isn’t on drawing comparisons with other teams, but to reach the level we want to be at for Brazil 2014.
Katsina wins Shema cup IFEANYI EDUZOR
ost Katsina has won the 3rd Governor Ibrahim Shema U-17 Boys Soccer tournament after beating defending champion Bauchi 1-0 over the weekend at the Katsina Township Stadium. The match which was watched by a capacity crowd which included the state’s Director of Sports, Alhaji Nabo Iro Kankia saw both teams exhibiting good football artistry to the delight of the fans. But it was not until the dying minutes of the first half that Kat-
What needs to be done to achieve that? I think we’re on the right track, but it’s a process so we constantly need to hone the finer details. We did well at the Confederations Cup and we upheld the reputation Italy has earned over the years. We’ll try to do the same at the World Cup but we need to be in good form to do so. That’s what we’re working towards.
What did you say to Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera before the shoot-out? Goalkeepers usually tend to have very good relationships with each other. We talked about how difficult the game had been, how long the tournament had been, the fact that we were playing for third place, extra time, penalties…I just told him they had a slight advantage over us because they hadn’t gone through it all already in the semi-finals.
sina scored the only goal of the match through a penalty converted by Nafiu Danladi. The Katsina State Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Alhaji Manir Ibrahim Talba, commended all the participating teams and officials for their spirit of sportsmanship at the tournament while pledging government’s continuous sponsorship of the championship. He noted that the state was constructing a 35, 000-capacity ultra modern stadium which on completion would Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi (l), Super Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo and wife, Adaeze, when the governor hosted the couple in Port Harcourt recently benefit youths of the state.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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On the track with
YEMI OLUS email@example.com
Gora raises Okagbare alarm
Pistorius makes show appearance
urder suspect Oscar Pistorius is set to appear on magician Dynamo’s new show despite being charged with killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The South African Paralympic athlete admitted shooting his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day earlier this year but will still appear on the show with the Bradford born magician. The scenes for the third series of Magician Impossible were shot back in November when Dynamo, real name Steven Frayne, was on a tour around South Africa. TV channel Watch did consider axing the scene but has decided to go ahead with it barring any new developments in the criminal case. Local sources said it would not be disrespectful to Reeva’s parents, saying Pistorius’s segment would be presented as part of Dynamo’s journey through South Africa. “It is just a short clip of Oscar doing a magic stunt with Dynamo and is a small part of the overall show. The episode it is due to feature in hasn’t been finished yet and bosses did consider whether it should be cut,” one source said. “But they have decided it will stay, barring any major new evidence that comes to light in Oscar’s case. They are continuing to monitor the situation to see if anything happens that would cause them to take it out.” Pistorius, who has denied murder, saying he mistook Reeva for an intruder when he shot her, is due back in court in Pretoria next month with his full trial not expected to start until next year.
Oduduru, others set for Donetsk challenge M
embers of the Nigerian contingent to the 8th IAAF World Youth Championship will be aiming to take their continental domination a notch higher when the competition begins on Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine. The team is made up of athletes who represented Nigeria at the maiden African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC) hosted by Delta State earlier this year. Among the athletes are Divine Oduduru who won the sprint double and his female colleague, Deborah Odewale. Other members of the team are Fabian Edoki, Ifeanyi Atuma, Bashiru Ibrahim, Akerele Omei-
za, Edidiong Odiong, Abimbola Junaid, Esther Oluwatobilola, Oluwatobi Amusan, Rebecca Oshinbajo, Daisy Akpofa, Glory Nathaniel, Kasie Veronica Ugeh, Judith Aniefuna, Sarah Loveth Malagu, Ismail Yusuf, Ini-Oluwa Victor Oye, Samson Natahniel, Daniel Agboola and Theophilus Ejovi. Some of the events the athletes will feature in are the boys’ and girls’ 100m, 200m, 400m, boys’ triple jump, 110 hurdles, 800m, 5,000m and relay medley among others. Oduduru, however, has his work cut out as he faces the likes of Jamaica’s Michael O’Hara who comes with the best time of
10.39secs as against Oduduru’s 10.61secs. Other athletes to watch out for in the men’s version of the shorter sprint are Youxue Mo of China (10.41), Reynier Mena (10.46), Mario Burke (10.55), Waseem Williams (10.55) and Shunto Nagata of Japan (10.58). The Nigerian team faces a bright prospect in the medley relay with a world leading time of 1.54:58 Angela Tenorio of Ecuador tops the girls 100m list with 11.30secs. She is followed by Irene Ekelund of Sweden (11.35) and Arianna Washington (11.39) and Ky Westbrook (11.45), both of the USA.
igeria’s Chef de Mission at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, Elias Gora, says Blessing Okagbare needs to concentrate on winning medals when it matters most, and not recording impressive performances before major championships. The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist has been in impressive form in the build-up to the IAAF World Championships even as she won the long jump event with a Personal Best of 6.98m at the Diamond League Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland last week. She also placed second in the 100m behind Shelly-Ann FraserPryce with a time of 10.93secs in Paris over the weekend and enjoys one of the leading times in the 200m. However, Gora believes that she needs to rise up to the occasion when it demands. “To run in the circuit or any Grand Prix to win money and make a name for herself is okay,” Gora said. “But to win a medal at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games or Olympics are those that matter most,” he added. The five-time national champion over 100m put up a brilliant performance just before last year’s Olympic Games where she beat world leaders, Carmelita Jeter and Fraser-Pryce, at various meetings before the London Games. She, however, failed to make the final of the long-jump and finished in eighth position in the 100m final at the games.
Nigeria missing at world varsity games
he absence of Team Nigeria at the ongoing 27th World University Games which took off on July 6 in Kazan, Russia is glar-
ing. Nigeria was scheduled to participate in some of the events but failed to compete alongside their counterparts from other parts of the globe as an estimated 750 men and 650 women are expected to compete. London 2012 semi-finalist and national 400m women’s champion, Regina George, was listed to feature in the quartermile alongside Patience Okon who placed second in Calabar while male compatriot, Noah Akwu, has to participate in the men’s event which Sydney 2000 gold medallist, Clement Chukwu holds the games record of 44.81secs.
Kalu Stephanie was billed to take part in the women’s 100m event while winner of the 100m hurdles at the national trials, Ugonna Ndu was looking forward to representing Nigeria at the games. One of the athletes selected for the games but who spoke on condition of anonymity, hinted that the team’s non-appearance bordered on inadequate funds. “The Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) invited some of us for the games but on getting to Lagos, we were told that there was no money to pay our allowance,” the athlete said. “We were registered for various events while the 4x100m relay team was supposed to try and get the qualifying standard for the World Championships. I am very disappointed because this
wasn’t the initial plan. Nigeria was listed to feature in table tennis, chess, athletics and judo. NUGA Secretary, Bola Orodele, had last month said the association was sourcing funds for the games. “We ran into troubled waters with funding because we were not captured in the 2013 budget,” Orodele explained. “We enjoin the government and corporate bodies to render us assistance so we can send our team to Kazan because money put into student sports is an investment for the future,” he pleaded. It remained unclear at press time if members of the team would travel for the world varsity games which ends on July 17.
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Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
NHF Act can’t cater for housing needs -Ogunjobi Chief Bisi Ogunjobi is the Chairman, Board of Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). The former Vice Chairman African Development Bank (ADB) spoke with OLUFEMI ADEOSUN and a few other journalists in Abuja on the challenges facing the operation of the National Housing Fund and the urgent need to amend the Act establishing the fund in line with the current reality in the housing sector. In your remarks during the last sensitisation workshop on National Housing Fund, you spoke on the challenges facing the fund, as well as the need to review the existing Act governing it. Can you throw more light on this? My statement was an analysis of the situation. It talks about the challenges we are facing, the operational environment, and the achievements of the fund, particularly in the last two years. First and foremost, it would interest you to know that the NHF is 25 years old and as such, the Act guiding this institution by now has become obsolete. When we say obsolete, it is not with a negative connotation; what we are saying is that the parameters that were used at the time of setting up the institution have changed because of the dynamic situation in the Nigerian economy. For example, we say you have to contribute 2.5 per cent of salary earned. If you are earning N3, 000 a month, how much was the minimum wage at that time compared with the N18, 000 we have today? The 2.5 per cent of N18, 000 today amounts to N450.How many years would you contribute 450 for you to buy a house of 5 million? That is to say yes at that time, the amount was sufficient, but when you look at the situation today, it is not correct anymore. Therefore, there is a need to reverse or amend the act to take care of the current issues. I also said that, like most agencies in this country, one cannot say that the performance has been optimal, there is no need to deceive ourselves, but I did clearly state that over the last two years, the contributions and collections which we have been able to make which is about N22bn is over 40 per cent of what was collected over the last 18 years. We have our weak points and our strong points, all we need do make the scheme achieves its desired result of adding to the country’s housing stock, is to build on the strong points. Apart from the Nigerian Workers who are statutorily mandated to contribute this 2.5 per cent, are there other stakeholders that are captured in the Act? Yes, the amount being paid is not limited only to these stakeholders, but also to commercial banks and insurance companies in the country. According to the Act, the two categories of stakeholders are supposed to make investment into the NHF. However, up till-date, they are not doing so. The Central Bank of Nigeria that is mandated by law to enforce the contributions of the commercial banks has equally failed to do so. How then do you intend to work with the management of the FMBN to restore confidence in the scheme? We know that till date, not all the states in the country have signed up to it. You are correct, till date only 18 states are contributing
just holding ourselves to the NHF providing ministry, we are expanding this, not just to the civil servants, but to the private sector and the informal sector. We have also worked out a model which would enable Nigerians in the diaspora own houses of their own. All these encompassing strategies are aimed at widening the scope of the fund, thereby making it attractive to contributors.
ACCORDING TO THE ACT, THE TWO CATEGORIES OF STAKEHOLDERS ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE INVESTMENT INTO THE
NHF. HOWEVER, UP TILL-DATE, THEY ARE NOT DOING SO. THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA THAT IS MANDATED BY LAW TO ENFORCE THE CONTRIBUTIONS
OF THE COMMERCIAL BANKS HAS EQUALLY FAILED TO DO SO to the scheme. However, what we have been doing over the last two years is to convince and persuade the states that have withdrawn to come back and in the last two years, more than 10 states have come back so we have 8 left and we are working to see how they will come back. The question then is, how would they come back? They need to see the benefits of their contributions to NHF and that will bring us to the production of housing stock. Over the last few years, FMBN has been making efforts to increase production of the housing stock. As part of the strategies to win back confidence, we now engage in dialogue with other relevant stakeholders like the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Nigeria Employees’ Consultative Forum (NECA), Trade Union Congress, (TUC) with a view to ensuring that we have a common understanding. Apart from that, we are equally committed to making the NHF a key element in the provision of houses to the Nigerian populace. But more importantly, one of the things which this institution is going to do is to strive toward efficiency as an institution. We must provide good services to the people; we must have new products and that is why we say we are not
It is a known fact that the current N5billion capital base of the FMBN is grossly inadequate to cater for the housing need of the people. What efforts are you making to ensure the bank is recapitalised? About two months ago, President Goodluck Jonathan made an announcement that they were going to recapitalise the bank. But again, we also need to look at the parameters because FMBN is not the only avenue by which the government put money into housing. The ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development itself is a very big channel for the provision of housing. Apart from that, government has also created what we call the National Refinancing Corporation which will address another aspect of provision at houses to the upper segment of the society .So government is looking at various ways, and the state governments are also doing their own beat, the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police and the Navy are all making contributions. It is in this regard that we cannot look at FMBN figure in isolation. Secondly, what is the correct figure of the housing demand? When we talk of 16 million deficit, how robust is that statistics? For me as an economist, we need to look at that very carefully, because in most developing countries like Nigeria, statistics are just somehow. It is when all these issues are looked at critically that we can put a figure on the needed capital base. Do we really need accurate statistic to know that a good number of Nigerians are homeless? It is a common sight all over the country and government seems comfortable with it. There is no government that has the objective of making people perpetually homeless. If you say that policies are not effective, I can understand. Again, why are policies not effective? I am not giving to superlatives. Based on the N200billion recapitalisation proposal by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Amal Pepple, we are looking at various segments of the society and under that arrangement, FMBN is supposed to attend to the lower end and the middle while the high income group will be handled by another scheme, called NRC. Towards extent will all these efforts help in bringing down the high cost of housing in the country? First of all there has to be a distinction between the houses built by FMBN and other models. None of the housing projects financed by the bank can be more than N5million. Again, I must also tell you that a lot of factors contribute to the high cost of buildings in the country. Most of the materials are imported from abroad and as such come with prohibitive cost which invariably affects the actual value of houses. So it is not the FMBN as an institution that will address that; it is a job for the entire country. And that is why in the minister’s speech at the last stakeholders’ meeting, she said the new product which the ministry is coming up with will not only consider infrastructure, model of houses, but at same time the one that will ensure that a two bedroom cost N3.5 million, one-bedroom N1.5m respectively. The pilot project is ongoing in Nasarawa State.
AUA boss lauds Nigerite on innovative building components DAYO AYEYEMI
resident of Africa Union of Architects, Mr. Tokunbo Omisore, an architect, has commended Nigerite Limited, for its innovative building components solutions, saying the company’s corporate and product philosophy is in tandem with the Pan-African professional body, as recently articulated by AUA in
Tangier, Morocco. He said, “Prior to this event, our valued partner on this journey – Nigerite Limited has adopted the vision of the Africa Union of Architects and her strategy to promote Africa’s Research and Development, and most importantly encourage ‘Made in Africa’ to promote affordable developments for sustainability.” Disclosing this in a speech during the presentation of awards to young architects and students winners in the
African Union of Architects Pan-African competition, Omisore decried African leaders for ‘copying’ the developed world without reference to the cultural values of their communities and as such promoted developments which are not only unaffordable but also unsustainable. While not against promotion of innovative solutions to curb housing deficit in Africa, he advised African governments to encourage and ensure research that will be implemented and adopt ‘Made in Africa’.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Essential tile flooring care for homes
Tile flooring is a durable choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the home that might get wet from time to time. With the proper care, experts at www.wikihow.com, say tile flooring can look like new for years, urging homeowners to learn basic tile flooring care, deep cleaning techniques, and how to clean stained grout. Sweep or vacuum the floor daily: This removes loose dirt, food crumbs and other pieces of debris that can accumulate on tile floors. Dirt that is allowed to sit in wet areas can quickly turn into hard-toremove grime. You should also sweep or vacuum the floor before mopping or cleaning it. Run a dry cloth duster or dust mop over the floors after they have been swept. Mop the floor with warm water: Cleanse the mop in fresh warm water after mopping one section of the room, and repeat until the entire floor is mopped. For everyday shine, simply run a clean damp dusting cloth over the floor. Dry the floor: Whether you use water or water mixed with detergent, run a dry mop over the floor when you’re finished mopping. This will prevent new dirt from quickly accumulating and staining the grout. Clean up spills promptly: If you drop a glass of juice or even water, clean it up right away. The longer it sits, the more time it will have to soak into the grout. Clean the dirtier spills with disinfectant: If your pet has an accident or you drop a raw steak on the floor, spray a disinfectant directly over the spot and wipe it up right away. Deep Cleaning Techniques: Mop the
floor with warm water and a vinegar solution: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar with a gallon of water and proceed to mop as usual. If the floor still doesn’t look as clean as you would like, mop the floor again using fresh water and detergent. Rinse the floor with clean warm water after you are done washing it. It is important to remove all residual soap from the tiles so it doesn’t remain on the floor to attract and hold dirt. Do not use vinegar or chemicals on marble flooring. Remove stains from tile floors: If a spill is left to sit for awhile, it can stain your tile floor. Make a paste to spot clean the area. Prepare a paste using a 50/50 mixture of scouring powder and warm water. Rub the paste on the stain using a clean cloth, and then allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes. Scrub the area with a soft brush, then wash the area with warm water and a cloth to remove all remains of the paste. Repeat the process if the stain is still visible. Clean mildew from tile floors: Tile floors in bathrooms tend to get mildew sometimes. The best prevention method is to air out the room after you’ve showered and keep the floors dry. If mildew does accumulate, an ammonia solution should take care of it.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Environmentalists call for urgent action on climate change DAYO AYEYEMI
nvironmentalists, who gathered in Lagos last week during the maiden African Environmental Action Summit, have called for urgent action to save the planet from the challenges of extreme weather condition, excessive sea level rise, devastating flooding and desertification threatening human survival created by climate change. They bemoaned the recent research findings and various environmental disasters that have affected nations of the world resulting in loss of lives and means of livelihoods. Powered by Green Afrique Network in collaboration with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and The Rock Foundation, the summit provided opportunity for stakeholders comprising built environment professionals, developers, politicians and policymakers to brainstorm on ways out of the challenges. Speaking, Chairman, Lagos Urban Furniture and Animal Care (LUFACI), Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, described the situation as ‘critical’, adding that it must be attended to before it get out hand. He urged stakeholders to be up and doing, saying the environmental challenge is everybody’s responsibility. Majekodunmi, who spoke at the maiden African Environmental Action Summit, powered by Green Afrique Network in collaboration with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and The Rock Foundation in Lagos on Friday, said environmental crisis at hand could be controlled if everybody is prepared to change the situation. He said, “The warnings by the United Nations boss, Ban Ki Moon that climate change challenge is critical is not some-
L-R: President of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Chief Philip Asiodu; Chief Executive Officer, Tadef Inc. Ms. Tosin Adefope and wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs Olufunso Amosun, during a conference on climate change action in Lagos
thing that should be taken for granted.” From various disasters that been recorded all over the world, Majekodunmi said time has come to be more serious about managing the environment. He also cautioned that the warning by the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) of imminent flooding in 2013 should not be dismissed to avoid disaster that was experienced in the country last year. “There is crisis at hand and the crisis is within our control if we are prepared to act. It is within our control and very soon, if we do not act, it will be beyond our control,” he said. Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, in her keynote address,
Structural engineers seek interest in project monitoring DAYO AYEYEMI
embers of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE), have called on the Lagos State Government to outsource to them the process of checking on behalf of the state authority the structural engineering calculations, drawings and specifications submitted for approval by developers in the state. In a presentation made by the institution before the Tribunal of Inquiry on Collapsed Buildings in Lagos State on the second day of the public hearing, its President, Dr. Busola Awojobi, said the outsourcing must be followed by project monitoring during construction by structural engineers. He said, “The main solution is to outsource to the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, the processes of checking on behalf of the state government all the structural engineering calculations, drawings and specifications submitted for approval by the developers.” The 18-page memorandum submitted to the Tribunal is entitled: “Use Corporate `Structural Engineers to Curb Incidences of Collapsed Buildings”. Awojobi and Dr. Isaac Akiije, both engi-
neers, represented the institution. To corroborate the opinion expressed by other professionals in the built- environment, the institution proposed solutions to the problem of shortage of qualified and competent professionals, particularly civil engineers currently working in the state’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. The institution also offered to train the ministry’s civil and structural engineers and those in other state government ministries; in order to improve their competency and efficiency. “The training may also be extended to the local government civil engineers and technical staff,” he said. It would be recalled that Governor Babatunde Fashola, had on Monday May 21 inaugurated a Tribunal of Inquiry into collapse of buildings in the state. The seven-member Tribunal is headed Mrs. Abimbola Ajayi, an achitect. With three months within which to turn in their report, members of the Tribunal are to enquire into the causes of the immediate and recent collapsed buildings in the state especially those that recently collapsed and look into the quality of building materials and building methods employed in the state generally and with respect to those buildings in particular.
stated that Nigeria has significant roles to play in the war against climate change because of its position in the African continent. She called on all sectors of the economy to pay more attention to the issue of environmental management because of its threat to the human race, saying “there is no time to claim ignorance to the challenge of climate change.” She listed lack of fund and knowledge as some of the problems facing sustainable management of the environment. President of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Chief Philip Asiodu, described the debut of the new group as a welcome development. He attributed this
to increasing awareness about the need to care for the environment. He noted that the increasing population in the country has continued to put pressure on resources, hence, the need to ensure that they are well managed so that the future generation would have something to live on. Asiodu lamented the poor management of the meagre ecological fund that was supposed to be used in addressing some of the nation’s environmental challenges. Expressing his disgust, he said that unfortunately, the ecological fund has not been used by the government to serve the purpose to which it was voted for.
Ogun set for regional integration through infrastructure provision
s part of efforts towards ensuring South West regional integration and development, Ogun State government has started the construction of roads to link the state with other South Western states. The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, stated this while presenting a paper on “Provision of Infrastructural Facilities for Rebuilding and Transformation of Ogun State, SIA’s Rebuilding Agenda and South-West Regional Integration,” at the fourth summit of the South-West Heads of Service in Abeokuta. According to him, Governor Ibikunle Amosun led administration has started the construction of a 29 kilometre Ofada - Mowe - Ibafo road to decongest Lagos - Ibadan Expressway and link Lagos. Adegbite added that efforts had also reached an advanced stage on the construction of four other major roads that would link the state with others in the region. He revealed that the roads are, Sagamu - Ogijo - Ikorodu Road, Ijebu Ode - Epe Road, OGTV - Ajebo Road and Sango - Ojodu Abiodun Road.
The commissioner also disclosed that two new trailer parks are to be created along the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway to complement the one already existing in Ogere to further decongest and prevent avoidable accidents resulting from haphazard parking of articulated vehicles on the road. Other plan of the government to link the South west states according to him is the light rail project to be extended to the borders of Oyo State and link the Lagos rail project which he expressed optimism that when completed, other states would link up with the project. He said the project would enhance movement of goods and people and ultimately, boost economic activities for the general well-being of the region. While calling for collaborative efforts among the states of the region in such a manner that there will be joint efforts on the development of infrastructure, he expressed the urgent need for all states in the region to join hands and improve cross border connectivity through increased investment in roads, railways and air transport towards enhancing economic activities for the general well-being of the region.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Road reforms: FERMA seeks minister’s clarification on status OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
midst rumours of its impending scrap, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), has asked the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, to clarify its status under the ongoing road sector reforms. Apart from pursuing aggressive road construction across the six geopolitical zones of the country, Onolememen has embarked on various reforms aimed at repositioning the road sector for a better service delivery since he assumed office in 2011. Part of the ongoing reform agenda are the creation of Road Authority and Road Fund. However, stakeholders fear that FERMA would have no role to play by the time they become operational with the passing into law, the Road Reform Act by the National Assembly. The FERMA board chairman, Mr. Olajide Adeniyi, who led other members of the board to a meeting with the minister, demanded clarification on the matter. Other issues he wants the clarification of the minister on include tolling and concession issues, Right of Way (RoW), establishment of state road
L-R: Members of Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Ojodu cell, Mr Erasmus Faseyi, Mr Abiodun Ogundare; Mrs. Imo Jarleth; Managing Consultant, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, Mr. Shola Famakin; members of BCPG, Mr. L. Saka; Mr Dominic Ibeh, Mrs. Olasupo Bolaji (and Mr Femi Ogunleye; during an inspection tour of the laboratory at the weekend.
maintenance agencies, parks and issues regarding user charge. He said, “We want to hear from the minister on issues relating to the Federal Road Authority in relation to FERMA functions and mandates, the establishing of state roads maintenance agencies, issues relating to Right of Way,
COREN tackles NYSC over posting of engineering graduates to schools OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has resolved that it would no longer tolerate a situation whereby engineering graduates would be posted to secondary schools to teach during their service year. The decision was taken by members of the council at the weekend in Abuja during its 138th meeting. President of COREN, Mr Kasim Ali, said the council frowns at the recent trend of posting graduates of engineering to teach in secondary schools during NYSC. According to him, the one year training for a graduate engineer requires working under a senior engineer with the principle of COREN standard and practice. He explained that the law guiding COREN provides that the service year of a graduate engineer should be with the discipline not to waste away deviating from his or her line. Ali said the council had forwarded its decision to all relevant authorities and hope it would be adhered to. He also said that the council in fulfilling the content of its Act had established its Engineering Regulation and Monitoring (ERM) inspectors across the country. In order to achieve the expected results, he said, “Council has charged all ERM inspectors to be proactive and respond promptly to cases of structural failure and report incidences as soon as they occur.” This is even as he maintained that ERM was set out to eliminate quackery in the
profession. He said the council had also established an investigative panel and registered engineers’ disciplinary tribunal. “ The investigative panel carries out preliminary investigation into any case of alleged unprofessional conduct to establish ‘prima facie’() and thereafter send this case to the tribunal. “ The tribunal will then try any such registered engineering personnel. A sentence is passed and it is gazetted for enforcement in all parts of Nigeria taken by the council to eliminate sharp practices,” he said. According to the COREN boss, the tribunal set up to come with sanctions to members who are culpable of professional misconducts, has considered many cases in the last four years with members found wanting taken into account. He also said, “In the past four years, the tribunal has considered many cases, and engineering personnel found wanting received stiff sanction in accordance with the law. Sometime in March this year, the council sanctioned three of its members for irregularities and failure to comply with rules guiding the profession.” The three culprits, according to him, included Martins Ojo, who was suspended from applying for COREN membership and practising engineering for two years, adding that Obajimi Kehinde, was suspended for one year for fraudulently obtaining COREN certificate. The third, which is A. Bello was said to have been suspended also for a year for stamping and sealing a student’s drawing found to be faulty.
tolling and concession and issues regarding user charge. Responding, Onolememen assured the board members that the ongoing reforms in the road sector would not lead to sack of the agency but rather work towards improving the sector to attain international best practice.
He, however, maintained that the two agencies, Federal Road Authority and FERMA may not remain in the same shape after the Road Reform Act is passed by the National Assembly. “The ongoing reforms in the road sector are not political but to attain best practice. Don’t be frightened by the reforms, be rest assure that FERMA will be protected. The road maintenance arm will still be there. “The objective is to re-position the road sector to be at pace with international best practice. It is not against FERMA but to strengthen the sector. Both agencies may not remain in the same shape but certainly for the good of the sector,” he stated. On the right of way, Onolememen noted that it was under his purview but that as long as what FERMA does on the right of way was in conformity with its functions, it was fine. He also clarified the issue of tolling on federal roads saying that the main focus at the moment is to recover all the failed sections of the road. “The Federal Government is clear on the issue of tolling. The need to recover failed sections of the road is paramount and until we attain that, it will be unfair to toll,” he stated.
Lagos govt pays N54.96m compensation to property owners
he Lagos State Government has released a total sum of N54.96 million as compensation to owners of landed properties that were affected by developmental activities in Agbowa/ Owu Ikosi in Ikosi/Ejirin Local Council Development Area of the state. In a statement by the spokesperson of the Bureau, Mr. Moshood Adebisi, made available to National Mirror at the weekend, the compensation paid to the owners of the properties was as a result of the acquisition of their land as well as farm crops for overriding public interest which is in conformity with the provisions of the Land Use Act, which stipulate that owners of landed properties as well as cash crops being acquired by the government for developmental purposes should be compensated. The compensation was paid to ben-
eficiaries from Owu-Ikosi and Agbowa communities in Ikosi/Ejirin Local Council Development Area of the state. The Baale of Imofa, High Chief Musilu Kasali, while receiving the compensation at Alausa expressed his gratitude and commended Governor Babatunde Fashola led administration for paying the compensation as well as relocating the Okobaba Sawmill from Ebutemeta to Agbowa/Owu Ikosi in Ikosi/Ejirin Local Council Development Area. According to him, the laudable project would enhance economy activities of the area. The state government is also intensifying efforts to process the compensation of other beneficiaries whose landed properties were affected by developmental programme and activities in the state .
Minister to highlight housing policies at Luxury Living Africa Property
ven as more than 100 companies from Nigeria and over 15 countries have indicated interest in showcasing their real estate projects, products and services at an event, ‘Luxury Living Africa Property Exhibition’, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Amma Pepple, is set to highlight various government policies and developments at the forum. Billed for July 11 to 13 in Lagos, the minister , according to a statement by the organiser, would also highlight various opportunities for stakeholders in the nation’s real sector industry. Also, Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development in Lagos State, Bosun
Jeje, is also expected at the event. The property exhibition is being organised by Campaign Hype Limited. Luxury Living ARICA Property Exhibition, according to the Head of the Organising Team Steve Ike, would have in attendance major real estate developers in Nigeria, as well as from foreign countries including USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Dubai, Malaysia, Cyprus, Turkey, India, Russia, Ghana, Gambia, and France. “Organisations that have confirmed participation include residential, commercial and retail real estate developers, architects, building component merchants as well as interior décor & luxury furniture companies, he said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Stakeholders advise NCAA DG on training, BASA funds Stakeholders in the Nigerian aviation industry say for the newly appointed DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu to succeed, he must take the bull by the horn and continue from where his predecessor stopped. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
he screening and eventual confirmation of Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu by the Senate as the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, dragged for almost four months as the National Assembly dilly-dallied over the appointment after the unceremonious exit of the erstwhile Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren. NCAA as the industry regulator is expected to oversee activities in all the agencies, companies and airlines operating in the sector and its Director-General is supposed to be a proven professional who is capable of propelling the industry with several progressive policies and programmes for the sector. The removal of Demuren and delay in the confirmation of Akinkuotu brought about fears among stakeholders and professionals that the cherished American Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Category One Status, which the country attained in the last quarter of 2011 may be lost due to interferences from different quarters. However, with his eventual confirmation recently, players in the industry expect Akinkuotu to move the sector forward from where his predecessor stopped and charged him to ensure stability among the airlines as most of them are battling to remain in the air due to several factors. Speaking with our correspondent, a member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Engr. Sheri Kyari tasked the new DirectorGeneral to improve on the operations of NCAA already on ground like the airworthiness, flight operation, medical assessment and everything that has made the country to retain the Category One Status till date. On the capability of Akinkuotu to perform like his predecessor, Kyari said, “When the former Director-General was coming, nobody knew that he could do what he did. So, I don’t want us to judge the young man like that. I want to believe that he is capable of building on what he’s going to meet on ground. Also, the immediate past Assistant Secretary of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur assured Akinkuotu of unalloyed support of the umbrella body of airlines in the country. But challenged him not to take safety of the industry with levity and curb any unhealthy practices among the airline operators and other stakeholders in the industry. “It is necessary for everybody to protect the aviation industry, but one thing is clear, there is no going back on whatever illegality that has been perpetuated in the last few months. “A situation whereby an agency like the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, NCAA, the Federal Airports Au-
TO BE A SUCCESSFUL DIRECTOR-GENERAL, YOU MUST BE A POLITICIAN, A DIPLOMAT AND A MAD MAN, AND TO GROW ALL THAT WITHIN A SHORT TIME IS DIFFICULT. TO ME, IT IS UNHEARD OF ANYWHERE TO HAVE AN AG. DIRECTORGENERAL SIGNS AN AOC; IT’S CRIMINAL AND IT WAS INTENTIONAL thority of Nigeria, FAAN and Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET among others can not award a contract of more than N1m, they are only able to sign for stationeries. The ministry has taken over every contract in this industry. “Unfortunately, they can’t voice out and when you ask them, they will lie to you that everything is ok; they are pretending and crying inside. That is the truth. Nobody is going to shut us up and stop us from talking, but we hope he is able to stand his ground on several illegalities that have crept into the system since Demuren was removed and take us to the next level. We will support the new Director-General and we hope he will do everything to protect the sector,” he said. Besides, the Secretary-General of Aviation Round Table, ART, Mr. Sam Akerele exuded confidence in Akinkuotu, saying that as an engineer, pilot and an instructor, he would performed creditably well, but urged him to fasten his seatbelt and move on from where his predecessor stopped. He also challenged him to focus on the training of technical personnel in the industry and block the seemingly gap being created by lack of training over the years, adding that he should also make known to the public the amount of money left in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, BASA, account and what it is being used for. He said, “He needs to fasten his seatbelt and move on. So, we will like to ask him of his agenda and how he wants to move. Then, looking at BASA, which I think the custodian is NCAA and domicile in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. We will like to know how much is in the BASA fund, what is it being used for? “We have a lot of problems with manpower development. No airline wants to train anybody; most of the pilots don’t have the required number of hours to train them. So, somebody needs to train them and operators don’t want to do this.
So, NCAA should come in, maybe, train some of the pilots and engineers and try to put money into manpower development and bridge the gap between those adequately trained and under-trained personnel. For a country that has spent so much money on aviation, we don’t need that gap, we should start thinking about the future.” The Managing Director, Air First, Engr. Gbolahan Abatan said stakeholders in the industry expect Akinkuotu to bring back the glory of the sector and ensure that government’s new aviation policy favours the country in the international community and the indigenous airlines. Abatan also urged him to create rooms for new comers in the industry to participate in the sector. The President, ART, Capt. Dele Ore decried that several illegalities have been perpetuated within the few period Demuren was removed and said all the Air Operators’ Certificates, AOCs, issued within the period did not meet the safety standards in the sector. He alleged that the main reason Demuren was removed was to thwart developments in the sector, overrun the industry and plant unqualified personnel in strategic places, stressing that it is impossible for Akinkuotu to change activities in the sector within few months of resuming. He said, “Since Demuren left this place, you can be rest assured that any AOC issued within the period is fake. Those AOCs issued do not meet the standards and it is something that the world should not hear. I am telling you the main reason Demuren was removed is to thwart the sector, overrun the place and they have turned the place to a tribal union and the standards are lowered. “To be a successful Director-General, you must be a politician, a diplomat and
a mad man, to grow all that within a short time is difficult. To me, it is unheard of anywhere to have an Ag. Director-General sign an AOC; it’s criminal and it was intentional. “The Senate dragged their feet on his screening after the President has nominated him. The Senate has set a terrible precedent by not allowing him to resume immediately after his nomination by Mr. President because he was supposed to resume immediately he was nominated by the President. I pity him in the atmosphere he has found himself because I don’t know how he’s going to work among the wolves that he’s been surrounded with. He needs a madness to be able to succeed, but he’s a gentleman, but we will shine our eyes and make sure they don’t derail this industry.” It would be recalled that Demuren was sacked on Monday, 11th March, 2013 as the helmsman in the agency after allegedly “failing to give satisfactory answers to several industry issues raised by professionals in the sector.” Akinkuotu, is a 44 years veteran of the aviation industry who still maintains current Airline Transport Pilot Licence, started his aviation career early in life. In 1972, he qualified as an aircraft engineer and joined the defunct Nigeria Airways, as an engineer he practiced for five years and became a duty engineer in the Presidential Fleet. In 1978, he proceeded to USA where he was trained and became qualified as a Commercial Pilot and Flight Engineer. He taught briefly at the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics as Flight Engineer PTM and CPT instructor. Later, he returned to Nigeria to join Nigeria Airways as an airline pilot. He flew as an Airline Captain for Kabo Airlines, served as a Chief Pilot at ADC Airlines and became the Executive Director, Technical Operations at the ADC Airlines. In 2001, Akinkuotu was contracted to set up and run the start up of IRS Airlines and was the pioneer Managing Director of the airline. He later joined Virgin Nigeria (now AIR Nigeria) as Captain B737 in 2006 and he progressed to be the Technical Pilot, Line Training Manager B737 fleet, Type Rating Examiner, Director Flight Operations and Executive Director International Operations.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
NAMA’s AIS reaches 97% completion
When thugs invaded Lagos Airport
The Executive Director, Business Development, NAHCoaviance, Mr. Gordon Gofwan receiving the 2012 Ground Handling Service Provider of the Year Award won by the company from Deputy Regional Director, ICAO, Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr. Boitshoko Sekwati in an event organised by the African Airlines Association, AFRAA in Nairobi, Kenya while the Customer Relationship Manager (Africa), NAHCoaviance, Mr. Abiodun Adewuni looks on.
Eket and Escravos. He added that Shittu led a delegation of AISAN executive on a courtesy visit to NAMA management and commended the Managing Director of the agency, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh for his relentless effort to actualise the dream of AIS automation. He also lauded the management for the migration to e-flight plan since November, 2012, which he said was in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s, ICAO, directive and the recent deployment of more staff to the department. Shittu he said also urged Udoh to ensure that Nigeria transits from AIS to Aeronautical Infor-
mation Management, AIM, on or before the 15th November 2013 according to amendment 37, annex 17 of ICAO convention. The statement added, “The NAMA boss, appreciated the effort of the association, assuring them that the project, with the support of the Federal Government through the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah would be completed as scheduled, so that the traveling public would continue to enjoy seamless air navigation. “He also solicited the co-operation of staff to ensure that the vision of the Federal Government in transforming the aviation sector into a world class entity is achieved.”
Etihad Airways lauds Nigerian travellers over patronage
he management of the national carrier of United Arab Emirates, UAE, has commended the Nigerian trvallers over its patronage since its commenced flight operations into the country in July 2012. The airline said that the since it began operations into Nigeria, it has received positive responses from the Nigerian travellers, saying that there is a massive amount of international interest and investment currently focused towards the direction of the country. The General Manager, Nigeria and West Africa, Mr. Maurice Phohleli recalled in a statement signed by its media consultant in Nigeria that the airline had commenced Lagos - Abu Dhabi route on July 1, 2012 with six flights weekly, but said that the frequency was increased to daily in March 2013 as a result of its success on the route. He said, “We have received a very positive response from the Nigerian market since launching our service a year ago. There is a huge amount of international interest and investment focused towards Nigeria. Our fast growing global route network continues to prove popular for the large numbers of international traders and the busi-
Airside firstname.lastname@example.org 08186007273
STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI he Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, said its Aeronautic Information Service, AIS, scheme has reached 97 per cent completion stage, saying that on completion, the country’s airspace will be among the safest in the world. This is just as the Aeronautic Information Services Association of Nigeria; AISAN, has commended both the Federal Government and the management of NAMA for accelerating action on the AIS automation, which it said has led to the installation of two antenna each at 11 airport stations across the country. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, Mr. Supo Atobatele stated that AISAN President, Comrade Babatunde Shittu, informed that AIS automation would further boost air safety in Nigeria and enhance search and rescue operation as National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, is incorporated into the project. According to the statement, the airports to benefit from the project include; Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ilorin, Jos, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Owerri, and Yola. Others are Zaria, Calabar Osubi, Minna, Kaduna, Enugu, Katsina, Ibadan, Benin, Akure, Bebi, Bonny,
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
ness community flying between West Africa and the UAE, and the major cities in North and Southeast Asia and the Indian Sub-continent. “We also continue to support the growing leisure market out of Nigeria with the introduction of a range of special products and services dedicated to Nigerian holiday travellers. For example, our recently announced free 30-day UAE tourist visa and a special 50 per cent discount offer for children travelling with an accompanying adult.” Etihad Airways’ service, comprising a mix of morning and evening departures, is operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft configured to carry 22 Pearl Business Class and 240 Coral Economy Class guests. The airline currently flies to eight destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Johannesburg, Khartoum, Casablanca, Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Tripoli and Mahé in the Seychelles. In February 2013, the airline announced a commercial partnership agreement with Kenya Airways, which allows it to codeshare on Kenya Airways flights from its gateway hub in Nairobi to a number of key destinations across East, Central and West Africa.
Etihad Airways, GM, Phohleli
t was a free-for-all last Tuesday, June 2, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos when crisis broke out between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and its supposed concessionaire, AIC Hotel Limited. The duo have been in battle for 15 years over the construction of a five-star hotel at a large expanse of land at the airport. While Airside is not commenting on the legality or otherwise of the contractual agreement between the two parties, it is however surprised at the behaviour of one of the FAAN’s senior officers while the imbroglio lasted. The most appalling was the attitude displayed by the Chief
Security Officer, CSO, of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Col. Carl Dalub Onalu who was persistently throwing stones and other dangerous weapons at the concessionaire. In fact, Onalu, apart from leading thugs who pulled down the reconstructed perimeter fence also physically assaulted the team, cursed journalists and threw stones at them for daring to report the crisis. As an ex-military officer and as someone who rose from the rank and file to the position of Colonel before ‘retirement’ at an early age, Onalu is expected to behave like a learned man, but failed all on the said day. He in fact disappointed all.
Pot calling kettle black
he recent dissolution of the executive members of Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, was long overdue. The Dr. Steve Mahonwu led team held the industry by the jugular for over two decades despite not having “a stake in the industry.” The ‘rebels’ ensured that the sit-tight excos were eased out of office after much struggles, accusations and counter-accusations at the annex office of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, inside the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA. In fact, they almost exchanged blows before sanity prevailed. However, barely 48 hours after the dissolution of the excos, some so called aviation stakeholders and professionals started calling the out-gone excos unprintable names, accused one of them of arrogating power to himself throughout the period and alleged that
the exco members ran aground a former national carrier as its helmsman. Airside thinks those who stay in a glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Some of those accusing the out-gone excos of misdeeds while in office equally did the same if not more in their respective positions. Some of them today have practically become unofficial mouthpiece for some of the agencies simply because their palms have been greased. Ironically, the same set of people were critical of the actions of the managements they today praise to the high Heavens. But now that their bread has been buttered by the Chief Executive Officers and wander around their offices regularly without tangible contribution to the growth of such agencies, they no longer see anything wrong in the same managements. Airside says pot should not call kettle black.
Delta to commence renovations of flight museum at $6.3m
elta Air Lines says it is starting renovations funded by a $6.3m grant from ‘The Delta Air Lines Foundation’ and will kick-off a corporate sponsorship campaign to refurbish Delta’s historic hangars on the company’s corporate campus. Delta says on completion of the project, the facility will open to the public as the Delta Flight Museum offering daily tours and a unique private event facility. Online statement signed by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that the hangars, originally built in the 1940s for Delta’s aircraft maintenance, were
repurposed in 1995 as the site of the current Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum. It added that its mission then was to preserve the history of Delta’s people and culture of exceptional customer service forged by founder C.E. Woolman. The site has served as the backbone of the company’s global headquarters for more than 70 years. “Returning Delta’s historic hangars to their original glory helps preserve the history and rich Delta employee culture for generations of aviation enthusiasts; the new Delta Flight Museum
will offer a one-of-a-kind experience for the Atlanta community and visitors from around the world,” said the Vice President, Community Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum, Tad Hutcheson. Hutcheson said that the renovation project will last 12 months and is scheduled to be complete in advance of Delta’s 85th anniversary of commercial aviation service on June 17, 2014. Some of the major improvements include the addition of a welcome theater, installation of an elevator and construction of a new mezzanine level.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
IFRS: Insurers face compliance challenges The deadline for insurance and reinsurance companies to become International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) compliant has come and gone, with less than 10 per cent compliance level by operators. MESHACK IDEHEN examines why compliance became a challenge for insurance industry players.
n spite of warnings, support and cajoling, including issuance of guidelines and threats of sanctions given by insurance industry regulators the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the failure of insurance firms to comply with directives to become IFRS compliant, analysts said, is not good for the sector and the economy. Thus, with about 48 insurance firms failing to meet the deadline set by NAICOM, the goal of the adoption of IFRS in Nigeria, which is to make international comparison with other financial systems as easy as possible has not only suffered a major setback, but the development has also painted the nation’s financial system, and the insurance sector in particular as incapable of meeting global standards and demands. Considering that each country has its own set of rules for the adoption of IFRS, it becomes important, said Bancassurance and Reinsurance Specialist, Mr. Obasi Ngwuta, that operators, stakeholders and insurers know what went wrong and why many of them could not meet the deadline for the IFRS adoption. Citing the example of the difference between the Canadian adoption of international financial reporting standards and that of the United States of America (USA), a nation considered by experts as the biggest insuring country in the world, he said synchronising accounting standards across the globe, Nigeria inclusive, is an ongoing process in the international accounting and financial reporting community, saying NAICOM should be more proactive; anticipate mass non compliance, and adopt strategies to deal with insurance firms on a more individual basis. Blaming the non compliance by operators also on the envisaged light penalties that was expected to be dished out by the regulators in the case of failing to meet the deadline by insurance companies, Ngwuta said the penalties were way too light, a situation he said will make compliance directive more challenging for the commission. Indeed, National Mirror recalls that while announcing penalties for defaulters,NAICOM had said the defaulting companies are being made to pay a daily fine of N5, 000 for all the days they breached the regulation directive. Explaining further that only three out of the 49 insurance and two reinsurance companies under its supervision were able to meet the deadline set for the submission and approval of 2012 financial report for operators, NAICOM also said only companies like Mansard Insurance Plc, Wapic Insurance Plc and ADIC Insurance Company Limited were able to meet the deadline.
Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel
STAKEHOLDERS HAVE ASKED THE COMMISSION TO RAISE THIS AMOUNT OF THE FINE SIGNIFICANTLY TO ENSURE THAT OPERATORS COMPLY On his part while putting the blame on NAICOM for the non compliance, Insurance Broker, Mr. Osita Agbo, told National Mirror that it was only four or five weeks ago that the commission started mounting pressure on operators to comply with the IFRS directives, saying majority of the operators had all along not taken the commission serious on the critical need to comply with the IFRS compliant directives. He said NAICOM had also came up few weeks ago with about five pages write up to explain common problems operators were grappling with in the quest to beat the deadline set by the commission, adding that move was made by NAICOM, because the commission could not go back on its already made promise to the Federal Government and the international community of making this year a year of transition to IFRS,irrespective of whatever transitional difficulties that may arise from the exercise. Osita said it could be recalled that the insurance industry regulators said only last week, that it has not only produced five pages of explanatory note to help and guide operators making the transition to IFRS, but that the commission said it also created a help desk in NAICOM where about 13 people were stationed to encourage operators to ask questions before submitting their accounts, so they (operators) can clear areas where they have doubts, with a view towards shortening the approval time. Those steps by the commission, according to the Managing Director of City Insurance Brokers,Mr. Robin Ogunho, are coming a little bit too late, as many operators in the sector were not even aware of such help desks or outlets, until after the expiration of the deadline. He said though all the blame should not go to NAICOM, and that numerous operators were also bent
Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
on circumventing or elongating the process, due to the “worrisome manner of business, deals and transactions” that goes on the industry, he said the commission could have done more, especially in the areas of regular guidelines on how to go about the transition. According to him, the numbers of insurance firms that failed the compliance deadline would not have been this high, considering that more than 90 percent of companies actually made concrete efforts to meet the deadline, if only NAICOM had been more cooperative and forthcoming as it is doing now. He added that NAICOM’s policy of instructing that every account submitted must either be cleared in four days or be reverted in four working days, must be reviewed, saying also that the policy of sending application that does not meet with the commission’s requirements with a query back to the respective companies also went a long way in encouraging the non compliance,as most firms are scared of receiving repeated queries from the sector regulators. He said the commission should allows companies under its supervision the three months operators are asking for from the preceding year to submit and get their financial reports for the previous year, saying the move will encourage the firms to reciprocate the gesture of the regulators. Admitting that the commission has been inundated with calls from stakeholders to raise the fines and penalties currently being applied by NAICOM in order to make operators see the imperative of complying, the Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at NAICOM, Mr. Salami Rasaaq, told journalists that the commission may eventually raise the fines and apply stiffer penalties on defaulting insurance companies, “Stakeholders have asked the commission to raise this amount of the fine significantly to ensure that operators comply”, he said. Tracing the low turn out to the difficulties associated with the conversion to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, saidthe commission had in place necessary machinery to help the operators cope with the IFRS challenges.
N3.4tn PFAs fund to be invested in infrastructure MESHACK IDEHEN
ension Fund Administrators (PFAs) are to invest part of the pension funds in infrastructure after the Pension Reform Act 2004 must have been replaced with a new act, this development was contained in a memorandum submitted by the National Pension Commission to the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service and the House
Committee on Pensions. Acting Director-General, National Pensions Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, said the commission proposed that the funds should be utilised for national development. According to the content of the bill, “There is a consensus among stakeholders that the PRA should facilitate the optimal utilisation of pool of funds generated by the Contributory Pension Scheme towards national development.”
The Bill also adds that provisions had been made in the bill for the expansion of permissible investment instruments to accommodate initiatives for national development, such as investment in the real sector. The latest investment guideline by PenCom, however, stated that without the Federal Government floating an infrastructure bond, the PFAs could not be allowed to invest the funds in infrastructure, with PenCom noting the funds could not be in-
vested in electricity without the issuance of government or private bonds, which must align with Pencom’s requirements for investing the pension funds. Major highlights of the guidelines are the consent of pension operators to invest the assets in Exchange Traded Funds; introduction of guidelines for global depository receipt, notes and eurobonds and maximum restriction of transactions done by PFAs with related parties such as stockbrokers to 30 per cent.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Linkage Assurance gets N1.4bn Tips for buying insurance fresh capital injection STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN
hareholders have injected N1.4 billion into Linkage Assurance Ltd, following its botched merger with Cornerstone Insurance Plc. This development, the insurance underwriting firm said it is hoping to find a suitable partner to merge with in the future, considering that shareholders of the two companies had disagreed on merger arrangement of a 30:70 ratio which was in favour of Cornerstone. Shareholders of Linkage Assurance it would be recalled, had, during the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM), asked the company’s board to discontinue the merger discussions, insisting that if the company intends to merge with another firm, it should not be Cornerstone. A shareholder, Mr. Nona Awo, had also threatened that shareholders would not allow the company’s board to railroad them into a merger arrangement of 30:70 in favour of Cornerstone, saying minority
of shareholders would move against it. Also, the President of the Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, Mr. Timothy Adesiyan, said while they are not against merger of the company if the need arises but not merge with Cornerstone. Nevertheless, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Gus Wiggle, said one of its shareholders increased its holdings from 17 per cent to about 53 per cent by injecting about
1.4billion into the company. He said the next stage for the company is to grow organically while management shops for people it can partner with, noting that the industry is fragmented at the moment and as such, there is need for more mergers and acquisition. He also cited the recent merger between Custodian and Allied Insurance and Crusader Insurance as setting the pace for others to follow. “Until we are able to streamline our numbers and are able to work in a smaller number which is what the market really wants, we may not have companies in the industry that can compete favorably in the global sphere”, he said. On why the merger with Cornerstone did not work, he said the numbers which is the reason for the merger did not add up, explaining the indices of what propelled the merger in the first place suddenly did not add up and we just felt there was no reason for it to continue. He added that the shareholders have the final say and because they believe their interest was not been considered, the company had to respect their view by ending the merger.
Legacy Pension pays N69.2m dividend
egacy Pension Managers said it has approved the sum of N69.29 million dividend pay-outs to its shareholders for its 2012 financial period, a move that translated to 88 kobo per share. Chairman of the company, Mr. Mahey Rasheed, said the challenges in the operating environment had forced the company to resort to efficiency initiatives such as cost discipline and tighter risk management regime. Speaking recently after the Annual General Meeting of the firm, Rasheed said the company’s profit after tax (PAT) grew by 24.6 per cent to N346.47 million in 2012 from N278.07 million in the previous year, while its assets under management increased by 32.93 per cent to 120.03 billion from N90.3 billion. He said the outcome of these developments, is that the company’s 2012 results speak of progress, the strength of its business model, the expanding value the company bring to its contributors, and the unwavering determination to give stakeholders good return on their trust in the firm. On his part, the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. MisbahuYola,
Chairman, Pension Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dave Udaunu
said the firm kept costs under control despite some challenges, as total assets rose by 54 per cent to N1.742 billion, while shareholders’ funds increased by 72 per cent to close at N1.285 billion. He said its retirement surplus fund grew 84.83 per cent to N623.460 million from N337.308 million in 2011, while N8.53 billion was paid as benefits in 2012, compared to N4.99 billion in the previous year. According to him, pay-out of retirement and terminal benefits remains a crucial part of the success of the scheme and the crux of our business, adding the company has made steady
progress in this regard as the numbers of retirees on its payment system have continued to increase. He stated the number of retirees drawing pension from the funds had grown to 2,066 from 1,543 in 2011, while it recorded a 15.3 per cent growth in enrolment figures, which stood at 222,544 as at December 2012. “Our company performed credibly well. The results show impressive improvements over the previous year. Challenges do remain. We are determined however, to continue to do better to create value that will surpass shareholder expectations,” he said.
Buying insurance can be a frustrating process for business owners. Providing all the information to the insurer can be time-consuming, and if the policy is then declined it can be very disheartening, and the whole process can seem like a waste of valuable time and resources. These tips from (www.smallbiz. com/co) will come in handy when buying insurance. Start by thinking about why you need insuranceSome examples include protection from catastrophic loss, stabilization of cash expenses, offloading defense of claims, and funding early settlement of claims to manage the size of a loss. Make a commitment to paying attention to every small detail. An underwriter can only make decisions on the information you provide.
Give the underwriter a reason to write the accountThere will be basic underwriting guidelines for any underwriter, but this framework is not intended to address every possible situation. Give the underwriter a reason to fit your business into the guidelines, or to make an exception if it’s necessary. Make a point to emphasize what’s good about your organization: good works, prevention and risk reduction programs, professional operations, and more. Let the underwriter know if you have a renewal quotation for an existing policy- This can provide a baseline, giving the underwriter a chance to match or beat the other quotation. Having the renewal quotation can help you negotiate more favorable terms. Give lead time for an underwriting review- Submitting your insurance application well in advance of the desired coverage date gives the underwriter an opportunity to review your application and clarify any questions. This advance time also gives you an opportunity to figure out all the features of the insurance product, solicit competing quotations, and compare terms. Complete the applicationThis might sound like an obvious tip, but make sure you answer every question. Each one is important to the insurance company, and an incomplete application will either be declined outright or sent back to
you to complete. Checking to make sure you’ve finished the application can save you a lot of time and hassle. Include all supporting information- The insurance company wants to see each piece of requested information in order to accurately underwrite your policy. List each enclosed item in the cover letter, and perform a second check to be sure that each item is in the package before you send it in. Be accurate and honest when you provide information-The insurer often doesn’t discover false information until you file a claim, and by that point the insurer is generally within its rights to deny you coverage. This can result in a loss of the protection you thought you’d been paying for. Anticipate questions and answer them up front- Provide explanations for answers on the application when you consult with your insurance agent, and explain any unique exposures related to your business. Provide all the information that the underwriter needs to evaluate the risk in a single submission.
Respond promptly to any requests for additional information- Quick action saves you time and keeps the process moving, and it also demonstrates that you are professional and cooperative. Respectfully negotiate quotation terms- Sometimes an honest mistake, misunderstandings about the risks involved in your operations, or unreasonable underwriting guidelines can lead to an unacceptable quotation. You have every right to question the basis for the quotation and try to get more favorable terms, but make sure you do it respectfully and don’t alienate the underwriter. Act reasonably to the underwriter, and give the underwriter a chance to act reasonably in return. Offer alternatives for unacceptable quotation terms- Show a willingness to work with the insurer to find a solution that works for every party. For example, if the insurer declines at first to cover an activity, offer to implement an insurer-approved risk management plan. S o u rc e : w w w. s m a l l b i z club.com/co
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
CBN, stakeholders collaborate on financial inclusion UDO ONYEKA
he Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has reiterated the need for stakeholders to collaborate with the apex bank to achieve targets set in the Nigerian Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). Sanusi stated this yesterday in Lagos at the formal launch of the Geospatial mapping of Financial Institutions in Nigeria in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). He recalled that the Nigerian National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was launched in October, 2012, targeted at reducing the number of adults excluded from access to financial services from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent in 2020.
As a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), he said Nigeria’s declaration was in line with the Maya declaration in 2011. According to him, it is targeted that at least 70 per cent of the proposed 80 per cent adult Nigerians to be financially included, would be in the formal sector, with specific targets for services such as payments, savings, credit, insurance and pensions. On its part, he said the Central Bank of Nigeria had since approved a number of initiatives aimed at improving financial inclusion. He listed some of these initiatives to include the development of Agent Banking Guidelines, tiered K n o w - Yo u r - C u s t o m e r (KYC) requirements to encourage Financial Institutions to reach out to under-served segments, the development of a Consumer Protection Framework under a newly set up Con-
sumer Protection Department and a National campaign to promote Financial Literacy. Sanusi traced the partnership between the CBN and the BMGF to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum in 2012, where the Foundation pledged to support the CBN to achieve the targets set out in the NFIS. “The BMGF identified certain areas for collaboration with the CBN based on their assessment of Nigeria’s needs with respect to Financial Inclusion as well as the capacity of their partners. These areas include; GeoSpatial Mapping, Capacity building initiatives for the Shared Services Office (which drives the Shared Services initiatives including the Cashless Nigeria Policy) and Capacity building Support for the Financial Inclusion Secretariat (which
would drive the implementation of the NFIS),” Sanusi explained further. Expantiating on the importance and potential uses of geospatial mapping, the CBN Governor said the Bank was excited to be partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the project, which he noted will act as a catalyst in the realization of the targets outlined in Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy. Speaking further, he noted that “Financial Inclusion efforts rely largely on evidenced-based data which is why tracking the progress of our National Financial Inclusion Strategy needs to be data driven. “This tool as developed by BMGF will go a long way in providing the necessary support for gathering, monitoring and analyzing data as we move to the implementation of the Strategy,” he added.
he benchmark index of equities closed on a bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took profit from the gains recorded last week. Specifically, the All Share index dropped by 0.37 per cent to close at 36,790.14 points, as against the increase of 1.14 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 36,926.29 points. Market capitalisation depreciated by N4bn to close at N11.65trn, in contrast to the appreciation of N13bn
recorded on Friday to close at N11.69trn. All the sectorial indices shed substantial part of their value except the Industry Goods index which led with 0.52 per cent to close at 2,216.05 points. The Oil and Gas index shed 2.09 per cent to close at 173.19 points, followed by the Alternative Securities Market index with 0.57 per cent to close at 970.55 points. The Consumer Goods index lost 0.49 per cent to close at 1,033.72 points, while the Banking index dipped by 0.48 per cent to close at 412.85 points. The NSE 30- index decreased by 0.43 per cent
to close at 1,732.95 points , while the Insurance index declined 0.35 per cent to close at 139.45 points. The Lotus Islamic index dropped by 0.24 per cent to close at 2,574.06 points. Beta Glass Plc led the gainers’ table with N1.00 or ten per cent to close at N11.00 per share, followed by Portland Paint Plc with 65 kobo or 9.89 per cent to close at N7.22 per share. IPWA Plc rose by six kobo or 9.52 per cent to close at 69 kobo per share, while May and Baker Plc declined by 15 kobo or 5.36 per cent to close at N2.95 per share. Wema Bank Plc appreciated by five kobo or 4.27
per cent to close at N1.22 per share. On the flip side, Costain Plc lost 15 kobo or 8.98 per cent to close at N1.52 per share, while Cornerstone Plc fell by five kobo or 8.47 per cent to close at 54 kobo per share. Unity Bank Plc dipped by four kobo or 6.15 per cent to close at 61 kobo per share, while Courtville Plc declined by five kobo or 5.88 per cent to close at 80 kobo per share. Mc Nicholas Plc depreciated by seven kobo or 4.02 per cent to close at N1.67 per share. A total of 188.5 million shares valued at N2.15bn were exchanged in 4,082 deals.
Access Bank UK grows assets portfolio by 200% JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ccess Bank UK Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Access Bank Plc, has said that its assets under management in its private banking and asset management business has increased by over 200 percent to $18.5m by the end of 2012 raising total AUM to $66m. According to a statement by the bank yesterday, the increase in AUM has been driven by deepening of client relation-
ships by expanding its product portfolio beyond its traditional focus on banking and asset management services. It explained that Buyto-let property loans, Investor Visa and discretionary portfolio lending provide new routes for customers to access hard currency outside of Africa, the bank said. According to the statement, the bank provides private banking services to African/Nigerian Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) in the UK and Sub Saharan Af-
rica. Services provided include traditional private banking services, property and discretionary portfolio lending. “The number of customers has grown year on year since the launch of the Private Bank in 2009. The growth in number of customers has been driven by the increased inflow of African UHNWIs into the UK due to its increased popularity in Africa as an international financial hub,” the statement added. Commenting on the development, Chief Execu-
S Source: Afrinvest
Market indicators All-Share Index 36,790.14 points Market capitalisation 11.66 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS
ASI drops 0.37% on profit taking DAMILOLA AJAYI
tive of Access Bank UK, Mr. Jamie Simmonds, said: “I am delighted that Access Bank UK has established itself so strongly in its first five years. “The bank is committed to sustainable banking and to passionate, innovative customer service. The fact that we have seen such a large increase in our AUM in our private banking and asset management business is testament to that and our ability to deliver products that perfectly match our clients’ needs.”
% CHANGE 10.00
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at July 8, 2013 1st Tier Securities
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 lems have been building up for decades and are the results of the activities of previous governments. Jonathan is not a magician, the problems that have built up over four decades, you wouldn’t expect Jonathan to come up and solve them all. And Nigerians are not giving him the opportunity to have the peace of mind to deal with the problems. During election, certain people said they were going to make the country ungovernable for him. Is the country governable now?” Senator Bode Olowoporoku, a Second Republic Minister and chieftain of the PDP from Ekiti State, believed that Jonathan’s adoption and endorsement was not only a good omen for the country, but a fundamental issue that a minority is ruling the country, adding that in the history of the country, this is the first time the minority will have the opportunity to rule the country, therefore his adoption for a second term would be a welcome development. He said: “It is the minority who do not want Nigeria to scatter. The other major ethnic groups had one time or the other threatened the unity of Nigeria. Therefore, giving him the opportunity of second term is a good omen.” At the presidential dinner, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, apparently speaking on behalf of the South-East, castigated those who were sermonizing about a decision Jonathan reached to serve only one term and who were hell-bent on frustrating his second term ambition. This was just as former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, was quoted as saying: “You are with us, nobody can defeat you. We supported you the last time; we will do it again,” also apparently speaking on behalf of the South-West. The traditional rulers are not left out of the endorsement syndrome. At a meeting of traditional rulers from South -South and South-East last week in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the royal fathers pledged to support President Jonathan’s re-election. The monarchs expressed their preparedness to mobilise support for Jonathan to ensure the actualisation of his political ambition. They spoke in Yenagoa at the inauguration of the South-South and South-East Traditional Rulers’ Forum. According to them, the President had provided effective transformational leadership despite the glaring challenges facing the country. But, as the spate of endorsement support continue to pour in for Mr. President, the man himself is yet to make a statement about his participation in the 2015 election or otherwise. Since November last year, Jonathan has continued to say that he would only speak on his 2015 ambition in 2014. But despite this declaration, analysts believe that the President’s body language was different from his utterances. But the tragedy of all the endorsements was that those advocating for Jonathan’s return to the saddle come 2015 have not been able to convince Nigerians on the performance index upon which the President deserves a second chance, except playing the ethnic card. To the Oyo State chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mr. Akin Oke, it is within the rights of expression of the endorsers to endorse Jonathan for President, but he added that it doesn’t matter who adopts who or who endorses who, as long as there was a level playing field for a credible, free and fair election to take place.
Politics of endorsement
IT IS ALL ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THE SUSTENANCE OF THE UNDUE ADVANTAGE THAT ACCESS TO THE SEAT OF POWER HAS CONFERRED ON THEM. IT’S NOT EVEN ABOUT
JONATHAN, AS THEY WOULD DO IT FOR ANY PRESIDENT ON THE THRONE
His words: “The truth of the matter is that Nigerians will determine who is going to be their president when election comes, not somebody, somewhere adopting anybody. Whoever is adopted does not matter as long as there is free and fair election and Nigerians are given the opportunity to elect their president at the right time without any intimidation of any kind.” Also Senator Gbenga Kaka said: “We are not producing the president of the SouthEast, South-West or South-South. We are trying to produce the president of Nigeria. Let anybody try to adopt/endorse whoever he/she desires, when it is time, the people of Nigeria will determine their president.” Kaka told National Mirror that he has no problem with those endorsing Jonathan because they were exercising their fundamental human rights, but “we are just at the half term of the current tenure, therefore rather than overheating the polity, they should allow all of us that are elected to concentrate on the assignment given to us so that we may have time to confront the problems in our hand. It is too early to adopt this or that. They should not put cotton wool on the faces of Nigerians otherwise the consequences may be too grievous for all of us.” Analysts opined that going by the PDP’s interpretation of endorsement, Nigerians may be in for a big surprise in 2015, if the election did not go the way of the expectations of some people and thus seize the opportunity to create havoc. This was against the backdrop of the fact that there is the likelihood of different groups and individuals using the avalanche of endorsements for the President to create a lot of ripples in the political landscape. This was as other stakeholders in the PDP, especially those with their eyes on the plum job, like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, have kicked against the endorsement circus. Some of these stakeholders may remain quiet for now, watching what some of them called the drama of the absurd and wait for the opportunity
to strike back, yet others may continue to counter every move of the pro-Jonathan agitators and endorsers, not only in the PDP, but also outside of the party. It was therefore no wonder that the sociocultural pan-Northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, quickly dissociated itself from the purported endorsement of Jonathan for second term by the CEC, disowning one of its own, Gen. Lawrence Onoja, saying that he was not representing the interest of the ACF. The Forum expressed dismay at Onoja, who was at the CEC closed-door meeting with Jonathan, saying: “We noticed with dismay that some members of this organisation have gone to the president and assured him that he must contest in 2015 election. We are really surprised that some members that went there are also members of ACF. “It is very sad that the Presidency has employed the divide and rule against the North. I am speaking particularly of two gentlemen; the two gentlemen I am referring to, one is ACF and the other is of Northern Elders’ Forum.” The reference here was to Onoja while Senator John Wash Pam was the other. The ACF further added: “We were surprised that they have gone to see the president, particularly Onoja that is here with us in ACF. We have gone with Onoja to every meeting we have held, and he turned round to say the president must contest in 2015, using the word, must.” Also, the Lagos State House of Assembly, described the series of endorsements of Jonathan for second term as “paid endorsements” which signified “the deep fears and trepidation been nursed by the PDP as the 2015 general elections continued to draw closer by the day.” Speaking through the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Hon. Segun Olulade, the House maintained that PDP leaders have become desperate following the poor performance rating of the Jonathan ad-
ministration in addressing the various challenges facing the country and the intra-party crises that threatened to tear the ruling party apart. It said that these added together has culminated in the “resort to crude ploys aimed at cajoling Nigerians and the rest of the world that all is well with the country.” Reacting to the gale of endorsements sweeping across the country, the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the APC is not losing any sleep over the endorsements coming the way of Jonathan. Mohammed said that it is easier to get endorsements than winning election, saying: “If I go to the traditional ruler of my town to say I want to contest my state governorship election, whether he likes my face or not, he will surely openly endorse me or else he would face the wrath of the people who would accuse him of truncating their chance of producing the governor. But that he publicly endorses me does not mean that he approves of my ambition or is ready to support me at the polls. “So anybody can endorse anybody; endorsements do not translate to victory at the polls and can never translate to victory. We are not fazed by the spate of endorsements across the country, because endorsements don’t win election.” Meanwhile, some observers connect the ongoing endorsement spree to same weird events during the military transition programme, shortly after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections, where so many political elites abandoned their parties and endorsed the then military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha; saying that what is ongoing in the polity now is not new. It is just politicians playing their usual game. National Publicity Secretary of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said that what is happening now in the polity is just an entrenchment of personal interest by political jobbers, who see what they are doing as simply feathering their own nest. His words: “It is clear to those power entrepreneurs that the ground is shifting and something must be done to sustain the production line. It is all about themselves and the sustenance of the undue advantage that access to the seat of power has conferred on them. It’s not even about Goodluck Jonathan, as they would do it for any president on the throne.” But more worrisome is the fact that despite glaring infringement of the extant electoral laws, the electoral umpire, INEC, either deliberately or due to lack of the political will, has refused to take appropriate sanction against erring politicians, perhaps, as many in the opposition have come to say, for the simple fact that the President, who pays the INEC’s piper and therefore dictates the tune and the ruling party are involved. Or how else would one describe the INEC’s lack of action, despite its call on security agents to arrest anyone found flouting the law; or are the orchestra of endorsements for the President not breaking the law? As the race for who occupies the Presidential Villa come 2015 begins to gather momentum; and the foot soldiers of the President continue to strategise on how to outshine one another, Nigerians are watching with bated breath how the political class will play the game, but what is uppermost in the people’s minds is that the democratic experiment must survive.
PARLIAMENT The House of Representatives last week proposed for the ouster of immunity for the President and other members of the executive, the scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions, SIECS, and autonomy for local governments among other constitution amendment proposals. TORDUE SALEM reports.
everal months after a tedious, but thorough reworking of the 1999 Constitution, the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, on Thursday, last week, presented its report before the Green Chamber wherein farreaching recommendations were made. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, tasked with the amendment process, presented the report in plenary, urging the House to expedite consideration of its clauses before results of lawmakers’ voting on the document would be forwarded to the State Houses of Assembly for another round of voting. The House of Representatives which introduced a new and people-oriented approach to the review of the organic document in 2012 also took a radical departure from the Senate by removing a clause that gives life pension to former Heads of State and other principal public servants after leaving office.
No immunity for president, governors The House Committee in its report proposed the removal of immunity from prosecution while in office for president, vicepresident, Governors and their deputies. The Senate on the other hand about a month ago retained the odious section 308, arguing that to deny the executives immunity from prosecution while they are holding office, would cause “anarchy” in the system. On the removal of immunity, Ihedioha said: “Section 308 was amended in line with the results from the Peoples’ Public Sessions. The Committee also removed the immunity from prosecution from criminal offences for persons occupying the position of president, vice president, governor and deputy governor, and to stem impunity levels.” This is a departure from the Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Amended) which precludes the occupants of the offices from criminal prosecution. Specifically, Section 308 subsection 1(a) states that: “No civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against a person to whom this section applies during his period of office.”
Modify existing laws The Committee also altered section 315
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Immunity, scrapping of SIECs, of the Constitution by removing the powers of the president and governors of the states to modify existing laws.
Indigene-settler issue The Ad Hoc Committee also seeks to end the indigene-settler problem that has pitted communities against each other from Umuleri and Aguleri to Fulani-Plateau communities and other flashpoints, by lowering the bar for settlers in any part of the country to be regarded as indigenes of those areas. The Alteration of heading of Chapter III Section 25, Ihedioha said, was done “in order to address the various conflicts and crises surrounding the question of who is an indigene or settler in the community, the Committee has redefined citizenship to take away this divide meaning that a person who has lived in a community for a specified period is entitled to the same rights and privileges as citizens of that community. “The amendment under this chapter fully defines indegeneship in a way to eliminate the conflict that this has posed in the past.”
ate failed to register. The Committee of about 56 members also seeks to bar unelected local government chairmen from getting funding from government purse. The subsisting practice across the country, today, is that caretaker chairmen appointed by governors and not elected by the people are allowed access to funds by the governors; the monies that should be reserved for elected chairmen of those local governments. Section 8 on New States and Boundary Adjustment goes thus: “the Committee reviewed the provisions of section 8 to emphasise the importance of elected local government councils, by inserting alterations that will ensure that only elected lo-
cal government officials can participate in the process for creation of new states. Also, clarifying that only registered voters in a local government area can participate in a referendum for the creation of a new state.”
Local government administration The Committee in “Section 7 on the Local Government System”, followed from the recommendation of the People’s Public Sessions, clearly underscored the need to create independence and autonomy for local government councils and give the councils their deserved role as catalysts for development at the grassroots level. Accordingly, the Committee created a fixed uniform term of four years for local government councils and prescribed denial of appropriation to councils that are not democratically elected. The reforms proposed by the Committee prescribed the mode of election of local government officials, their functions, tenure, qualifications for elections, and other related matters. But while the Committee got it right on the conditions for eligibility of local government chairmen to vote in the event of the creation of new states, they missed a salient point in section 8 on the same issue regarding local government electorate, considering that there would be possibilities that INEC may not capture all electorate in a given local government, as a result of system default and not because a particular member of the elector-
IT DELETED THE EXISTENCE OF SIECS AND VESTED THE POWER TO CONDUCT LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS ELECTIONS
• • •
NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION, INEC
• • • •
On the contentious joint accounts for state and local governments, the committee proposed the abrogation of such policy. Hence, the committee altered the contentious Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution “to abrogate State Joint Local Government accounts and empower each local government to maintain its own special account to be called “Local Government Council Allocation account” into which shall be
• • • • •
Joint account for state/LGs
Removal of immunity from criminal prosecution for President, vice-president, governors and their deputies Scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commissions, SIECs Dispenses with the requirement for Presidential assent for alteration of the Constitution. Provides for independent candidacy Stipulates a time limit for presentation of the annual budget Confers immunity powers on state legislatures Providing roles for traditional rulers Separates the powers and functions of the Attorney-General of the Federation from that of the Minister of Justice Joint state/local governments account abolished To deny appropriation to unelected Local Councils To create a fixed four-year term for Local Councils across the country Deletes president’s powers to modify existing laws
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LG autonomy top House report ensure timely passage of the National Budget and discipline in expenditure. The report stipulated that budget be submitted by the executive for approval no later than 90 days before the expiration of the fiscal year.
Roles for traditional rulers Traditional rulers also find roles in the proposal. In its report, the Committee amended “Section 201 and 3rd Schedule, Part I: Role for Traditional Rulers to “create a role for traditional rulers at the federal and state levels providing for representation of traditional rulers in the National Council of States and the creation of a State Council of Chiefs at the state level.”
for the amendment of the Constitution. The Committee came to the conclusion that the rigorous provisions for the alteration of the Constitution by members of the National Assembly and the participation of the 36 State Houses of Assembly represented such adequate participation of Nigerians and that assent of the President negated the principle contained therein”.
Section 12 On treaty, he said the Committee altered the provisions in Section 12 relating to Nigeria’s international treaty obligations, to provide for National Assembly’s ratification and enactment.
paid directly allocations made to the local governments by the Federal Government from the Federation Account and from the government of the state.”
Abrogation of SIECs Under the amendment proposed, elections into local government councils will be managed by the national election management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The Ihedioha-led Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution altered Section 197 to abrogate State Independent Electoral Commissions, SIECs. According to Ihedioha, “to protect the integrity of the electoral process at local government level and respond to the complaints of partisanship of State Independent Electoral Commissions, SIEC, accordingly, it deleted the existence of SIECs and vested the power to conduct local government councils elections across the federation in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.”
Alteration of constitution While considering Section 9 in this section, the Committee sought to clarify and remove ambiguities in language with respect to the alteration of the Constitution and further dispense with the requirement for assent of the president to be obtained
The Committee altered section 42 of the Constitution to specifically prohibit discrimination against persons living with disability.
New sections 45A – D The House also introduced a new section 45A – D into the constitution to make “enforceable certain socio-economic rights as fundamental rights and incorporating them into Chapter IV, the justiciable part of the Constitution, thus creating as justiciable, the rights to education, right to favourable environment, right to free primary and maternal health care services, and the right to basic housing.”
Independent candidacy In Section 65, the Committee agreed to allow for independent candidacy in elections in Nigeria. This would however be subject to conditions stipulated under the Electoral Act.
Electoral offence The Committee also amended Section 66 to give seriousness to the issue of electoral offence. The Committee said with this section, it has now provided grounds for disqualification of a candidate from contesting elections where he has been found guilty of an offence. This is also applicable at the state level. The committee in its report in Section 153 felt that the issue of electoral offences is of such importance as to warrant the creation of an independent electoral offences commission to handle it.
WHAT IS CERTAIN IS THAT... THE REPORT IS BOUND TO SPARK A LOT OF CONTROVERSY THAT WOULD TEST THE FAITH OF
NIGERIANS IN A
The Committee in this section and across the entirety of the Constitution deleted the word “Force” from the name of the Nigeria Police providing for the name of the Police to now be “Nigerian Police” rather than “Nigeria Police Force” The Committee also amended Section 241 “to address concerns over delay in the courts by limiting the use of interlocutory appeals to stay proceedings in court”.
Exclusive and Concurrent Lists The Committee altered the Constitution to provide for the transfer of Railways, from the Exclusive Legislative to the Concurrent List to further boost devolution of powers. Health, Housing and Electricity were also transferred to the concurrent list.
On federal offices In the report, the committee also reworked the constitution to entrench the independence of the offices of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Auditor-General of the Federation, and insulate them from political control. As such, the committee put these offices on the first line charge of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation. In Sections 84A – C, the Committee included a new section in the Constitution creating a new office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation and AccountantGeneral of the Federal Government to ensure that persons are appointed into these two separate offices for professional management of resources. The Committee also reworked Section 150 to give effect to the results of the Peoples’ Public Session which voted to separate the office of the Minister of Justice from that of the Attorney-General of the Federation. It made amendments to reflect this and insulating an independent office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from partisanship and to be managed by a professional lawyer. This is also applicable at the state level. The committee altered Section 80 and “strengthened the provisions of section 80 of the Constitution to plug leakages from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and public funds of Nigeria to ensure that no expenditure is made by any organ of government without appropriation by the legislature.”
Budgeting On budgeting, Sections 81 and 82, according to the Deputy Speaker, was altered to
State creation The House in its report also towed the path of the Senate on creation of new states, saying the requests fail to meet the requirements. Ihedioha told the House that: “The Committee received requests for creation of states running into more than 35 states. None of the requests submitted to the Committee complied with the procedure for creation of states outlined in section 8 of the constitution. Accordingly, the committee was unable to treat any of these requests. The committee, however, recognises that the existing provision in the Constitution for the creation of new states is unclear and cumbersome. Accordingly, the Committee has clarified the process to make it more coherent”. In his response, the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, said the House will consider and adopt the report before proceeding on annual recess. “We shall consult with the leadership and look at the possibility of considering the report before we go on vacation,” he said. He said that copies of the amended constitution would be made available to members preparatory to the consideration of the report. The Speaker applauded the committee for its commitment to the amendment process. It is not yet clear if the House would begin considering the report as presented this week, but what is certain is that like some contentious aspects of the Senate version, the report is bound to spark a lot of controversy that would test the faith of Nigerians in a brighter future.
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Fayemi to governors: Keep Jonathan out of NGF mess AYODELE OJO
overnor Kayode Fayemi has urged his colleague governors not to drag the name of President Goodluck Jonathan into the mess created by the chairmanship election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF. According to him, doing that diminishes President Jonathan who was not a candidate in the NGF election. “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,” Fayemi said. He admitted that the state governors have been diminished in the face of Nigerians over the outcome of the NGF election.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos at the weekend, the Ekiti State helmsman, however, said the President should exercise his moral authority to resolve the NGF crisis. His words: “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 impression that they are the President’s men. The truth is that we all are President’s men.” Dr. Fayemi also cautioned some of his colleagues not to appropriate the President to themselves, insisting that all the governors are Jonathan’s men. “We are all 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 damage the forum. So, he must not allow people to hide under his apron string to undermine
the forum.” He, however, said there is no crisis in the NGF. He said: “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 Administrator and other nomenclature? 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; many of us in the Governors’ Forum don’t see it that way. For many of us, it has to do with integrity and independent of NGF. There is a danger in presenting two forums.” Fayemi also provided insight into the NGF election, saying the fallout of the poll portends bad omen for the 2015 elections. His words: “It was a very dangerous omen for 2015. Our colleagues have found themselves defending this albatross round their neck,
but this will also come to haunt them. A lot of them have lost their credibility. First; they said there was no election. When we came out with a tape, Nigerians knew that there was an election, when the ballot was counted; they said the chairman did not vacate his seat. We have 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 full hours of debate on consensus issue. We said at the last meeting, we finished about the idea of consensus. We have taken a decision that Okaru is going to organise the election and whoever wins becomes our chairman. Later they
said we are doing open ballot; show of our hands. We said we are adults, we are not doing show of hands; we would vote because secret ballot is what was recognized in the country’s Electoral Act. They agreed again. We moved to who is the Returning Officer and who is the agent? They also agreed that the Director General is the Returning Officer. On agent, both candidates agreed on one agent (a governor), he was there with the DG. We all sat, voted, we sat down quietly, the agent supervised this. “They knew the truth that is why it saddens me because those who are against the result of the election are highly respected people.”
Unemployment, big problem in Kogi Central –Prof. Jegede OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
ioneer Vice Chancellor of the National Open University, NOUN, and Secretary to the Kogi State Government, SSG, Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, has identified unemployment as one of the major problems confronting the people of Kogi Central Senatorial District in Kogi State. Jegede, an indigene of Ogori/Magongo, one of the five local government councils in the senatorial district, made the observation at the second year constituency briefing of Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, the senator representing the district in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. Commending the senator’s quality representation of his people in the Senate, the SSG noted that a lot still need to be done to bring about total transformation in the senatorial district and Kogi State in general. He said: “I must say that personally I know many other things the senator has done that are not here (scorecard publication).
And that is to tell you that he has taken not only giant but bold strides that are significant for us in our Central senatorial district. But there are issues and the issues border more on encouraging him to do more. I wouldn’t want go over all the issues but for me the most important is to make sure that employment of all our youths, our able-bodied people return to our senatorial district. We are still grappling with the issue of the steel industry. We are still grappling with the issue of the iron ore industry.“ The former Vice Chancellor of NOUN added: “In this country it has been identified that there are 29 important mineral resources in Nigeria. Kogi state has got 23. In fact, I have just been told that we have 24 out of 29. Kogi State has the largest deposit of Iron Ore. We have the largest deposit of limestone. And apart from that Kogi State produces 60 per of the cashew that are exported from the country. So, really we shouldn’t be talking about unemployment at all.”
Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi(right) and former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, at the burial ceremony of the mother of international businessman, Kase Lawal, Alhaja Limota Lawal in Ibadan on Sunday.
‘Our govs didn’t shun Lagos-Ibadan Expressway reconstruction flag-off’ OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he claim by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, governors in the South-West shunned last week’s flag-off of the reconstruction of the LagosIbadan expressway by President Goodluck Jonathan has been described as fallacious by the ACN. The ACN, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while reacting to a statement by the PDP, which had in a statement by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Tony Okeke, alleged that the governors deliberately stayed away from the flag off ceremony for “parochial partisan reasons,” also said that only the governors of Lagos, Oyo
and Ogun were invited to the ceremony, adding that while Ogun governor, Ibikunle Amosun personally attended the flag-off, Lagos and Oyo states governors were represented by their deputies because both of them were outside the country at the time. Mohammed said that it was therefore “inaccurate to give the impression that all the ACN governors in the South-West were expected to be there.” His words: “How then could anyone who believes in the truth, and nothing but the truth, infer in a public statement that the governors shunned the ceremony because of politics? How difficult is it for a self-respecting party spokesman to check the veracity of the information at his disposal before feeding such to the public? “Is it possible that a spokesman for a ruling
party does not know that Deputy Governors can stand in for their principals even at statutory meetings like the National Council of State and the National Economic Council? Or does the PDP now believe that peddling outright lies is the way to go to give its flagging image a rebound?” Saying that PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Tony Okeke, has undoubtedly embarrassed his party and its leadership with the level of ignorance and amateurism he has so far exhibited on the job, the ACN said: “Mr. Okeke should realize that in his frenzied attempt to impress his masters and hold on to the job, he is actually embarrassing them. Mohammed added that “if he did not personally attend the flag-off, he could have asked if indeed the invited governors
were represented and at what level. He could also have cross-checked with the Presidency to know who and who were invited to the ceremony.” The statement concluded that perhaps the PDP National Publicity Secretary was not in the scheme of things in his party, admonishing him that “no party spokesman can be effective by peddling beerparlour information as facts.” In a related development, the South West governors on the platform of the ACN have also come out to defend their absence from the flag-off. The Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, said that the PDP’s claim was a mere fabrication capable of misleading the general public.
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Community Mirror “Here in Niger State, we do not play the politics of religion as such attitude would negate the development drive of the state and the country at large.”
Ikorodu residents want Oro festival stopped 46
NIGER STATE GOVERNOR; MUAZU BABANGIDA ALIYU
MASSOB accuses Igbo youths of kidnapping NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
embers of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday accused members of the Association of Igbo Youths Organization, AIYO of abducting a MASSOB chieftain, Chief Arinze Igbani. MASSOB’s Deputy National Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha who raised the alarm yesterday via an SMS, said AIYO members abducted Igbani since Saturday afternoon and were demanding a ransom of N500,000 for his release. Mocha recalled that the same
AIYO members had abducted another MASSOB top brass, Stephen Ahaneku few days ago and brutalized him so much that he nearly lost his right eye for his failure to bail himself with money and for allegedly exposing them in the burning of police vehicle during the June 8 MASSOB sit-at-home exercise. Also, MASSOB’s Onitsha Region Four Director for Special Duties and Information, Anyanwu J. C. confirmed yesterday in a telephone chat that AIYO members abducted Igbani who is the Regional Administrator for Onitsha Region Four at City Biscuit Road, near Old Motor Car Spare Parts Market, Ugwuagba, Obosi
and took him to an unknown destination. Anyanwu who therefore gave MASSOB 28 hours to release Igbani or be prepared for war, said they have reported the matter to the police at both Awada Police Division, Area Command and Police headquarters, Awka for prompt action, but that the police authorities merely asked them to come over to the police station and put their statement in writing, instead of swinging into action with immediate effect. But in a reaction, yesterday, AIYO denied the abduction accusations and gave MASSOB some stringent conditions for reconciliation.
Briefing newsmen in Onitsha, the leader of AIYO, Chief Venatius Muoneke accused MASSOB of committing so many atrocities in the South East, especially Onitsha and its environs, adding that the movement had sometime in April, this year set AIYO vehicle ablaze and killed two of their members. Muoneke also accused MASSOB of setting a police van ablaze and robbing some passengers along the highways of Anambra State, including an American based medical doctor during the MASSOB June 8, 2013 sit- athome order and went to national dailies to publish that the police vehicle was set ablaze by AIYO.
He however noted that AIYO would be ready to negotiate for a peaceful co-existence with MASSOB if MASSOB pays for the burnt items and other damages done to AIYO, since both parties are Igbo sons and daughters The abducted Igbani who called and said he was in his hospital bed yesterday, told newsmen that he was sure that those who abducted him were AIYO members, based on their utterances telling him to resign from MASSOB and join AIYO, adding that they tortured him to excess and then threw him into a nearby bush unconscious where some passersby picked him up and rushed him to a nearby hospital.
Oyo PDP frowns at killing of Yoruba traders
Men taking a nap in log of wood conveyed by a lorry at Alaka, Funsho Williams Avenue in Lagos.
t was an emotion-laden moment for two communities, Deeyor and Deken in the Gokana Local Government Area over the weekend, when the Senator representing Rivers South-East in the National Assembly, Magnus Abe, reconciled them. The peace move had hitherto started with K. Dere and B. Dere Communities continued with senator’s initiative until the residents decided to embrace peace. The communities it was gathered were at loggerhead over land and boundary issues. Senator Abe who watched majority of the people indicate interest in
PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Ogoni warring communities reconciled peaceful co-existence assured that his peace efforts in the district will continue but acknowledged God as the fulcrum for peace in the communities. “Many people have fought for so long in several communities, they have developed hatred for one another, they have deep-seated misunderstanding, it’s not possible for you to decree peace, it is only God who can bring sustainable peace”. The chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), said as part of the initiative, representatives from the communities would work with him to restore
peace in other warring areas in the district. “We have asked them to nominate their own representatives, that will come together to create the terms and conditions under which talks will hold; we are looking for home-grown peace- based on forgiveness, togetherness and understanding because it is our responsibility to hand over our communities peacefully to the next generation”. While urging the people to recognize the sanctity of human life, he cautioned on vengeance, noting that vengeance is of God. “Vengeance does not belong to
man, it belongs to God. I’m not a judge; I cannot bring peace, only God can bring peace and nobody. So if today God brings peace, let nobody say that it is Magnus Abe who brought peace because no man can give peace, peace comes only from God”. The traditional ruler of Deeyor Community told the crowd that he lost two sons to the crisis. He revealed that both of his sons who were killed in the dispute which has consumed hundreds of lives in the past seventy years, were both undergraduates before their untimely death.
yo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has frowned at the killing of 10 Yoruba traders in Borno State by the Boko Haram sect. The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the party Honourable Kehind Salawu, in a release said the killing of the traders was a proof that security of lives was still a mirage in Borno. He called on the Federal Government to intensify proactive security stance to emasculate and weaken the support base of Boko Haram to stop the insurgency. The PRO said that the killing of traders who had gone to Borno to transact business was wicked, ungodly and anti-Islam. He appealed to traders at Bodija market in Ibadan not to take law into their hands or take retaliatory action against northerners among them. He prayed that God would grant the bereaved families and traders at Bodija the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss. “Islam does not allow killing of a fellow human being not even for religious purposes,” adding that Boko Haram sect’s sense of humanity is warped. Their end, he said was near.
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Ikorodu residents want Oro festival stopped FRANCIS SUBERU
esidents of Ikorodu in Lagos State have voiced their oppositions to the annual celebration of Oro festival, an ageless traditional festivity in many Yoruba community observed to ward off evils and sickness in the society. Their opposition was based on the insinuations that human sacrifice is involved in the celebration and the injunction that female members of the community have to remain indoors whenever the festival is
observed. A female resident at Itamaga in Ikorodu, Mrs. Florence Ayobami said though she does not believe the festivity requires human sacrifice, she is of the opinion that civilization has caught up with the barbarism of keeping people indoors unnecessarily. “You can imagine a festival that compels everyone to remain indoor even during the working days of the week. To me, that is barbaric and unreasonable. I am a Christian and I believe the blood of Jesus is enough to chase evil away from
my domain. I don’t subscribe to it. I am not saying those who are traditionalists should not practice their faiths, but that should not be at the expense of others,” she said. An Hausa resident, who resides at Orimedu area of Ikorodu, said as a non indigene, he finds the festival strange, but had learnt to cope with it. According to him; “I am Hausa and I find it difficult to understand when I just came to Ikorodu. But over the years, I have understood them and I am coping. However, I will advise that more security personnel be
deployed to the town whenever the festival is taking place so that non indigenes can feel more secured.” A banker, who simply identified herself as Wunmi, said the festival is not only out of tune, but also frustrating. She said it is high time traditionalists in Ikorodu put things in proper perspective by recognizing that the town has strategic importance to socio-economic development of the country and consider that many residents in the town are non indigenes. However, a traditionalist, Fawore Akeem who resides at
Itamaga said anyone advocating for the stoppage of Oro festival is ignorant of the importance of the festival to the survival of the people living in the town, adding that Oro is an age-old custom that is observed to ward off evil presence in the community. He said: “there is no possibility of stopping it because the evil it will bring cannot be justified by any reason. The people however could advocate for its modernization such that the festival is only observed at night. By that, people will not complain that it is disturbing them from going to work. Community Mirror gathered that the festival is celebrated twice a year in Ikorodu; the first time in the month of April and the other in the month of May. It is usually at the weekend and it is normally for just one day. Many Ikorodu indigenes told Community Mirror that there is no iota of truth in the allegation that human sacrifice is involved in the festivity.
14-year-old boy drowns in Osun River ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
T People queuing in the rain to register their blocked SIM cards in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Family asks court to stop monarch from demolishing houses WALE IGBINTADE
he family of Adeshiba Ayeloja Adedewe yesterday asked a Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice Agnes Nicol-Clay to stop the Ojora of Ojora, Oba Fatai Aromire from demolition of houses on a vast area of land measuring approximately 1, 324 hectres situated in Awori, in Badagry area of Lagos State. Other defendants in the suit are the Odofin of Ojora land, Chief Fatai Sulaiman, the Attorney General, Lagos, the Surveyor General, Lagos State, Lagos State Physical Planning, Surveyor General of the Federation, the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State respectively. The claimants namely She-
hu Adedewe, Nureni Adedewe and Morufu Adedewe suing for themselves and for the family are also asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from selling, allotting, destroying or building any structure on the land in dispute. The claimant through their lawyer, Chief Segun Raji are seeking for a declaration that their family is entitled to customary and statutory right of occupancy of their family land which particularly delineated on the plan of Opake Eganyimu land dated 1917 which was also reaffirmed by the colonial government’s survey plan of December 20,, 1917. They also urged the court to declare that the first and second defendants (Ojora of Ojora and Odofin of Ojora land) are not entitled to the land in dispute hence all the transaction
and dealings of the defendants on the disputed land are unconstitutional, null and void. Specifically, the claimants want the court to set aside the judgment granted the 1st and 2nd defendants in suit NoLD/562/72 alleging that the said judgment was obtained by fraud. The claimant in the 92-page statement of claim averred that the land in dispute had exclusively belonged to their great grandfather, Adeshiba Ayeloja Adedewe over 500 years ago. They further averred that their great grandfather had been in possession of the land before the Lagos Colony was divided into three. According to the claimant, it is crystal clear from history contained in intelligent report from an interview granted in Lagos by the Oluwa Onitana, the Olumegbon elders and
other elders of the Iga Idunganran in 1934 that the Awori people, such as the claimants’ ancestors, did not come to Lagos Chiefs until the time of Oba Ado. But, the 1st and 2nd defendants in their statement of defence and counter claim filed by their lawyer Ola Okunniyi urged the court to dismiss the suit being an abuse of the judicial process and having regard to the final judgment of the Supreme Court in suit NoSC/54/2005 which determined the rights and interest of parties in respect of the land in dispute. They prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the claimants whether by themselves, servants, agent or privies from further trespassing or attempting to exercise proprietary rights over the land.
ragedy struck in Osogbo, Osun State capital last Sunday when a 14-year-old boy, Sefiu Sikiru got drowned in Osun River along Gbongan-Ibadan road of the town. The incident, which occurred around afternoon when the deceased went on fishing expedition, threw residents and inhabitants of the area into a state of mourning. The boy had gone to the river in company of two of his friends. He reportedly got drowned at the middle of the river; even as all efforts by his friends to rescue him proved abortive as nobody was bold enough to swim near him since he was at a very deep part of the river. The matter, it was learnt, has been reported at Ataoja Police Division, Osogbo while fire service men and divers had been invited to bring out the corpse of the dead boy. Speaking with Community Mirror on the development, an elderly man who identified himself as Adedokun Adelabu warned children against fishing on river this time around when there is heavy rain. Adelabu further charged parents to warn their children against moving about while raining.
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“We don’t think even God wants Zimbabwe to remain in a permanent state of suffering. We know that we did not get the reforms that we wanted but because we are people who believe in God, we will succeed.” – Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai
Pope Francis visits Island to commemorate migrants’ deaths
51 more protesters killed in Egypt • Tension soars • Interim leader calls for calm PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
ifty-one loyalists of Egypt’s ousted president were killed yesterday while demonstrating against last week’s military coup, triggering an Islamist uprising call and dashing the army’s hopes for an interim civilian administration. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has led demonstrations against Wednesday’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, said its supporters were “massacred” by troops and police during dawn prayers in Cairo. The military blamed “terrorists” while witnesses, including Brotherhood supporters at the scene, said security forces fired only warning shots and tear gas, and that “thugs” in civilian clothes carried out the shootings. Condemnation poured in, with Germany expressing “shock” at the violence, Turkey calling it an attack on “humanity” and Brotherhood backer Qatar urging “selfrestraint” and “unity”. Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood said it “clearly showed the truth about the bloody military coup”. The United States called on Egypt’s military to exercise “maximum restraint”. Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb of the Cairo-based Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning,
An Egyptian man crying outside a morgue after carrying the corpse of his brother killed near the Republican Guard building in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. Photo: AP
said he would “remain in seclusion” until the bloodletting ends “and those behind it take responsibility”. The army-appointed interim president, Adly Mansour, set up a judicial commission of inquiry into the killings. The conservative Islamist AlNur party, which won almost a quarter of the votes in 2011-2012 parliamentary elections and had backed the army’s overthrow of Morsi, said it was pulling out of talks on a new government in response to the “massacre”. The bloodshed happened outside the headquarters of the elite Republican Guard, which the Brotherhood accuses of betraying Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected
president. Islamists hurled stones at the security forces who responded with tear gas, as firefighters battled a blaze in an apartment block. “Morsi supporters were praying while the police and army fired live rounds and tear gas at them,” said the Brotherhood. Emergency services chief Mohammed Sultan told the official MENA news agency at least 51 people were killed and 435 wounded. Emotions ran wild as people searched for the names of missing loved ones on a list of the dead in hospital, where dozens of bodies were laid on the bloody floor of a makeshift morgue. The army said “armed terrorists” tried to storm the base, killing
one security officer and critically wounding six. It later warned it would not allow anyone to threaten national security, reiterated a call for protesters to stay away from military installations and urged them to end their sit-ins. The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for “an uprising by the great people of Egypt against those trying to steal their revolution with tanks”. It urged “the international community and international groups and all the free people of the world to intervene to stop further massacres... and prevent a new Syria in the Arab world”. A security official said prosecutors later ordered the closure of the FJP’s Cairo headquarters after police discovered weapons they alleged would be used against Morsi opponents. Yesterday’s bloodshed came just hours before caretaker president Mansour had been due to name his interim prime minister. It followed another day of duelling demonstrations across the Arab world’s most populous nation in an escalating crisis some fear could spark extremist attacks. “They are attempting to reverse the situation by creating panic,” analyst Hisham Kassem said of the Brotherhood.
Kenya detains 1,000 under-age drinkers in Nairobi
ore than 1,000 children suspected of under-age drinking were arrested in Kenya’s capital Nairobi over the weekend, police say in a report from the BBC yesterday. Bars and clubs were raided after complaints that they had become crowded with schoolchildren during a three-week teachers’ strike. Most of the children were later released because there were not enough cells to hold them, police said. Teachers are on a nationwide strike to demand better pay. The Secretary General of the Kenya National Association of Parents, Musau Ndunda, said it was sad that children spent their time in bars and clubs instead of
school. “But it is the government which should be blamed for not being keen to resolve the teachers strike,” he said. “Instead of playing politics, why not pay the teachers and they will go back to class and our children will definitely stream back to school.” Nairobi central police chief Patrick Oduma said the raids were carried out to put a stop to young boys converging on “reggae music discotheques”. “To our surprise we found there is a very big number of under-age children [drinking],” he said. “We have arrested the bar operators although we are yet to get the owners.”
WORLD BULLETIN Mandela remains in hospital -South Africa Nelson Mandela remains in a South African hospital, where he is in critical, but stable condition. There was no official update yesterday morning on the health of the 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid leader, who was admitted June 8 to the hospital for a recurring lung infection. People in South Africa and around the world have expressed concern for Mandela, sending messages of support for a man seen as a global symbol of reconciliation. Mandela spent 27 years in prison during white rule and was released in 1990. He led the shift from apartheid to democracy and became president in all-race elections in 1994.
Zimbabwe PM forges coalition with ex-Mugabe allies
Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday unveiled a coalition with former allies of Robert Mugabe, in a bid to unseat the veteran president at elections later this month. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has joined forces with Mugabe’s former finance minister Simba Makoni and the ZANU-Ndonga party ahead of elections on July 31. The three formed a “coalition for change” behind Tsvangirai’s bid for president, according to a joint statement. Makoni, a former senior official in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), quit the party in 2008 to form his own party MavamboKusile-Dawn and challenge Mugabe in the presidential race. The third partner in the coalition is ZANU-Ndonga, a party that was allied with Mugabe during the fight for Zimbabwean independence, but later split.
South African police arrest five for botched circumcision deaths
People watching those arrested being transported to a police building.
Oduma said 116 of the children have been kept in custody. The rest were released because police cells were full, he added. The detained children laughed and shouted as they were taken in a police lorry to court, the BBC’s reporter at the scene, said. Dozens of parents, mainly women, had gathered to hear the
fate of their children, he says. Teachers are demanding a pay increase from a deal with the government that dates back to 1997. The deal would cost the government $540m (£362m) in increased allowances for teachers and a further $175m to hire new teachers. The government says it cannot afford to meet the demands.
South African police have arrested five people on suspicion of murder for botched circumcisions that led to the deaths of about 30 boys in coming-of-age rituals in the rural Eastern Cape province, a police spokeswoman said yesterday. Police were also investigating suspected assault, gross bodily harm and unlawful circumcisions that left 300 others injured across the province over the last week, police spokeswoman Sibongile Soci said. Every year in South Africa, boys aged 10 to 15 from several of the country’s tribal groups are circumcised in traditional “initiation rituals”. The ceremonies usually take place over a number of weeks in remote rural areas.
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Pilot of crashed Asiana plane was undergoing training
Pope Francis (C) waving to faithful as he arrives to lead a mass on Lampedusa, yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Pope Francis visits island to commemorate migrants’ deaths
ope Francis celebrated mass on the tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa yesterday to commemorate thousands of migrants who have died crossing the sea from North Africa, underlining his drive to put the poor at the heart of his papacy. The choice of Lampedusa for his first official trip outside Rome was highly symbolic for the pontiff, who said news reports of the deaths of desperate people trying to reach a better life that had been like “a thorn in the heart”. Thousands of islanders waving caps and banners in the Vatican’s yellow colours welcomed Francis at the fishing port where he arrived aboard a coastguard vessel accompanied by a flotilla of fishing boats and cast a wreath into the water. He spoke to young African migrants before
celebrating mass in a sports field that served as a reception centre for tens of thousands of mainly Muslim migrants who fled Arab Spring unrest in North Africa in 2011, greatly increasing an exodus that has gone on for years. His trip came at the start of the summer months when the island, one of the main points of entry into the European Union and just 113 km (70 miles) from Tunisia, sees a steady flow of rickety and unsafe boats arriving on its shores. He saluted the migrants, many of whom are preparing to fast during Ramadan, and thanked the people of Lampedusa for taking them in and setting an example of solidarity to a selfish society sliding into “the globalization of indifference”. “We have become used to other people’s suffer-
Suicide bomber kills eight in northwest Pakistan
suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a progovernment tribal elder’s vehicle in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing at least eight people, police said. The elder, Malik Habibullah Khan, was not in the vehicle at the time of the attack, but his brother and a guard were killed, said police officer Aleem Khan. The explosion in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
also wounded nine people, several of whom are in critical condition, the officer said. The blast damaged several nearby vehicles and shops. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Suspicion likely will fall on the Pakistani Taliban, which has been fighting a bloody insurgency against the government that has killed thousands of civilians and security personnel.
ing, it doesn’t concern us, it doesn’t interest us, it’s none of our business!” he said during his homily from an altar built from an old fishing boat painted in Italy’s red, green and white colours. With the Church struggling to get to grips with financial shenanigans at the Vatican bank and memories of the pedophile priests scandal still fresh, the visit to Lampedusa was an opportunity to turn away from internal upheaval. He had harsh words for people smugglers who he said profited from the misery of others as well and asked pardon for “those, whose decisions at a global level have created the conditions which have led us to this drama”.
he pilot of the Asiana plane that crashed at San Francisco International Airport was still in training for the Boeing 777 when he attempted to land the aircraft under supervision on Saturday, the South Korean airline said yesterday. Lee Kang-kuk was the second most junior pilot of four on board the Asiana Airlines plane. He had 43 hours of experience flying the long-range jet, the airline said yesterday. The plane’s crew tried to abort the descent less than two seconds before it hit a seawall on the landing approach to the airport, bounced along the tarmac and burst into flames. It was Lee’s first attempt to land a 777 at San Francisco airport, although he had flown there 29 times previously on other types of aircraft, said South Korean Transport Ministry official Choi Seungyoun. Earlier, the ministry said Lee, who is in his mid-40s, had almost 10,000 flying hours. Two teenage Chinese girls on their way to summer camp in the United States were killed and more than 180 people injured in the crash, the first fatal accident involving the Boeing 777 since it entered service in 1995. The Asiana flight from Seoul to San
The crashed plane
Francisco, with 16 crew and 291 passengers, included several large groups of Chinese students. Asiana said Lee Kang-kuk, whose anglicized name was released for the first time on Monday and differed slightly from earlier usage, was in the pilot seat during the landing. It was not clear whether the senior pilot, Lee Jung-min, who had clocked up 3,220 hours on a Boeing 777, had tried to take over to abort the landing. “It’s a training that is common in the global aviation industry. All responsibilities lie with the instructor captain,” Yoon Young-doo, the president and CEO of the airline, said at a news conference yesterday at the company headquarters. The plane crashed after the crew tried to abort the landing with less than two seconds to go, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Kidnapping in Rivers deliberate to frustrate Amaechi –Tsav HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
Members of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North during their courtesy visit to Adamawa State Governor Murtala in Yola on Sunday. PHOTO: NAN
Ex-staff picket Unity Bank in Ilorin
WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
•Allege diversion of N5.662bn entitlements Kwara State coordinator of the Bank of the North pensioners, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, said the pensioners decided to embark on the peaceful protest after all their appeals to the management failed. He said that NDIC and CBN had for years directed the bank to settle all liabilities after the 2006 capitalisation, which he alleged the management rebuffed. Usman called on the appropriate authorities to come to their aid and save them from untold hardships and perpetual penury they have been subjected to.
He also appealed to the Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF) to assist them prevail on the bank’s management to pay the entitlements. Usman claimed that many of the supposed beneficiaries of the entitlements had died while waiting for the payment, as a sizeable number of them are critically sick. The Ilorin zone Controller of NDIC, Mr. Omotayo Simon, said the issue would be settled. He urged the protesters to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands.
o fewer than 183 former workers of the Bank of the North, now Unity Bank, yesterday stormed the Ilorin branch of the bank and prevented customers and others from gaining entrance into the premises. The former workers, carrying placards with various inscriptions, called on both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Deposit and Insurance Company (NDIC) to order the management of the Unity Bank to pay them their eight-yearold entitlements.
Some of the inscriptions read: “Bank of the North, pay our entitlements please; NDIC, make Bank of the North account for our N5, 662 billion meant to pay our entitlements; NDIC, CBN probe Unity Bank now.” The protesters were said to be picketing the bank branches across the country to demand the payment of their entitlements. They accused the Unity Bank of diverting the sum of N5.662 billion set aside to pay the entitlements after the capitalisation of banks in 2006. Addressing journalists yesterday in Ilorin, the
Customs kills suspected rice smuggler in Katsina
n official of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday killed a suspected rice smuggler, Abubakar Sharihi, 28, for allegedly evading arrest. Eye witnesses said incident occurred at about 3:0pm. They said Customs operatives chased and shot the deceased on Jibiya Road, specifically at the Jibiya/
Shinkafi Roundabout, near 35 Battalion Army Barracks in Katsina. The witnesses said the Customs personnel chased the deceased, who was transporting 35 bags of rice from Niger Republic in an unmarked Peugeot GR model. According to one of the eyewitnesses, the Customs personnel initially threw a tyre on the road to obstruct the deceased’s movement be-
fore they shot him. The witness said: “Sharihi, however, abandoned the car and was about running when one of the Customs personnel ran after him and shot him.” He said that the Customs operatives fled the scene immediately after one of them fired the shot. The witness Sharihi was, however, rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Kat-
Niger stops sponsorship of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
overnor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has said that the state would no longer sponsor Muslims on the yearly Holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. He ordered that 90 per cent of seats for intending pilgrims should be allocated to first timers. Aliyu also called on local governments to stop allocat-
ing complimentary seats to traditional rulers and political elite. The governor spoke during the flag-off of sale of grains to members of the public in, the state capital. Aliyu said that due to the limited seats available to the country as a result of the renovation works in Mecca, ballot system should be adopted in the 25 local government areas for all intending pilgrims to ensure equity
and fairness. He said: “As a result of the reduction in the number of seats to the country to the Holy Land, we have decided that 90 per cent of seats should be given to first timers. The Customs and Immigrations official s have been directed to screen the passports of all intending pilgrims very well so that those who have performed the journey before are not allowed to go.
sina where he was certified dead by doctors. A source, who visited the medical centre, noted that the deceased was shot on the chest as his lifeless body bore signs of bullet wounds. Reacting to the incident, Deputy Controller in charge of Administration of Customs, Mr. Masaya, said he was still awaiting reports from his men concerning the occurrence.
“And I must warn against bribing officials to circumvent the law. Any local government found to have bribed to get more seats will have the number of seats allocated to it withdrawn.” The governor, however, said the government decided to start the sale of the grains to coincide with the Ramadan season to make room for the less privileged to them have access to food during the Holy month.
ormer Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, yesterday described the spate of kidnapping ravaging Rivers State as a deliberate attempt to frustrate Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s administration. In an interview with National Mirror in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Tsav regretted that rather than finding solution to the general insecurity in the country, the Federal Government is folding its arm, while hoodlums are having a field day tormenting the people. The former police commissioner said that the spate of violence and kidnapping taken place in Rivers State and other parts of the country was
regrettable, adding that the Federal Government is doing nothing to tackle the menace. He said: “I Am sorry to say this; it is sad and disheartening that these people are behaving like bush men and illiterates. Those in power are apparently politicising security issues instead of finding solution to resolve the impasse. “There should be conscious efforts towards resolution of all the security issues as well as the terrorist acts confronting the country. It is the only way we could bring peace and tranquility to the country, anything short of this will spell doom for the nation.” Tsav, however, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to meddle into the differences arising from the recent Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) election.
Benue School of Nursing loses accreditation HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
he Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has withdrawn the accreditation of Benue State School of Nursing and Midwifery in Makurdi. The withdrawal was as a result of inadequate facilities at the nursing school. The facilities were said to have failed to meet the required standard of the Council. It was learnt that the Council frowned at the dilapidated structures of the school, some of which were erected over 30 years ago. The Council also decried lack of laboratories as well as poor sanitary condition in the students’ hostels. The Council’s officials visited the school recently and discovered that the institution was not living up to the billing and ordered instant closure until the needed facilities were provided. Part of the requirements, National Mirror, gathered were the establishment of new structures where it could accommodate management
staff as well as modern laboratory and other logistics. When our correspondent visited the school yesterday, rehabilitation work was in progress, but the contractor handling the project declined comment on how soon it would completed. A source at the school, who did not want his name mentioned, said that the Council withdrew the accreditation and stopped the management from further admitting applicants into the school. When contacted, the school’s principal, Mrs. Pauline Atser, said she could not comment on the development and referred enquiries to the Director of Nursing in the state Ministry of Health.
Benue State Gov. Gabriel Suswam
WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
wo members of a robbery gang have been killed during a gun battle between them and the police at Ankpa in Kogi State. The police also intercepted a car thief at Okehi Local Government Area of the state. The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Hillary Opara, disclosed this while briefing
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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Two robbers die in shootout with police journalists on the activities of his command at his office in Lokoja yesterday. Opara said the command would not relent in its efforts to eliminate criminal activities in the state. The commissioner explained that the four-man gang, operating in a Golf car with registration number KNA 56XA and a Honda
Civic car with registration number Benue AG601 BGT, attacked a filling station in Ankpa and stole an unspecified amount of money. He added that when his command got wind of the attack, policemen from Ankpa Area Command swung into action and went after the robbers. Opara added that when
the robbers discovered that they were being trailed, they opened fire on the police. The commissioner said the police responded with a volley of shots, adding that in the ensuing gun duel, two of the robbers died while the remaining two fled with gunshot wounds. The items recovered from the robbers, according
to him, are four AK47 rifles, one Barrett Pistol, six live ammunition, nine magazines, six GSM handsets, one National Identification Card, a green Golf car, a white Honda Civil car and N46,000 cash. Opara also said his men apprehended one Omotayo Ladipupo of Akoko Owo market at Okehi during a
stop-and-search at Okehi. He said when the car Ladipupo was driving was searched, the police recovered a pair of lady sandals and a telephone number. The commissioner said when the police called the number, the receiver confirmed that the Toyota Camry car was snatched in Ibadan on Saturday. He disclosed that the suspect had been helping the police in their investigation.
Health workers’ strike paralyses ABUTH A ZA MSUE KADUNA
Sympathisers watching the reckage of a car involved in an accident on Bukuru Road in Jos, plateau State, yesterday.
Again, herdsmen kill two in Nasarawa IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
unmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have reportedly attacked and killed two people, burn several houses and rendered scores of people homeless in Tiv settlements in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. One of the victims of the attack, Mr. James Orjime, whose body had been deposited at Sandanji Hos-
pital’s mortuary in Lafia, the state capital, was the Personal Assistant, PA, to the Commissioner for Community and Rural Development, Hon. Godwin Mbatsav, who is a Tiv man. The commissioner’s late PA was said to have met his untimely death at Abuni village while searching for his wife who was among the displaced people during the attack. Another victim is identified as Mrs. Timbee Unzughul of Gidan Chiakaa
of Jangaru Ward of Awe Local Government. Unzughul’s step son, Christopher Unzughul, who escaped with gunshot wounds, is receiving medical treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the state. A source said the gunmen, who dressed in military uniform, were going to attack Iordye village in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State but opened fire on the settlements they came across
on the way. The source disclosed that the assailants also burnt the house a former Commissioner wih the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission, NASIEC, Hon. Thomas Gaar, in Jangangere Ward in Awe Local Government. But when contacted on phone yesterday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Cornelius Ocholi, denied knowledge of the attack.
Zamfara vigilance groups: Senate’s stand unfortunate –Ex-lawmaker DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
ormer senator representing Zamfara Central from 1999 to 2007, Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, has upbraided the Senate for not allowing the Zamfara State Government to arm vigilance groups to protect the people. Dansadau, who is a staunch critic of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government, told journalists in Gombe that his people had lost faith in the ability of the police to protect them and their prop-
erty. The politician also accused the police of having a hand in some of the armed robbery attacks and killings in the state. He said: “I was dismayed when I saw the debate on the floor of the Senate a few days ago. “Somebody sponsored a motion opposing the idea of Zamfara State Government’s plan to arm vigilance groups so that the communities will be able to defend themselves against criminals, since the police authorities who have been constitutionally charged with the responsi-
bility of protecting lives and property of the people have failed woefully in protecting the people of Zamfara State.” Dansadau explained that the state government had no option but to device ways to help the people to protect themselves and their property against criminals. He said: “The way I saw the debate, I am compelled to believe that the Senate is biased against Zamfara State. Biased in the sense that since the inception of the present democratic rule in 1999, wherever there is loss of lives, the Senate will set up a committee to go and sym-
pathise and condole with the people over the loss of lives and in some cases donate money to the people”. “Now, instead of the Senate doing that, somebody is sponsoring a motion to oppose the plan by the Zamfara State Government to protect its people. “It is my belief that the senator that sponsored the motion did that out of ignorance of what is happening in Zamfara State and I don’t think that is right.” Dansadau said the state government was trying to set up a community-based security system.
he National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, yesterday shut down the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, Shika, Zaria in Kaduna State. The nurses and midwives were protesting the refusal by the management of ABUTH to attend to issues relating to their welfare. Declaring the indefinite strike at ABUTH, the Chairperson of NANNM, Kaduna State chapter, Comrade Cecilia Musa, said the hospital management failed to respond to their grievances despite a seven-day ultimatum issued by the union. Musa explained that nurses were finding it difficult to discharge their duties owing to acute shortage of consumables, alleging that they used their meagre earnings to acquire some working materials to keep the hospital services on.
The chairperson said 28 days’ allowances and other allowances must first be paid to newly employed nurses since 2009. She said: “Our negotiation meeting with ABUTH authorities turned to a physical combat between the management and the health workers’ union leaders. “The ABUTH director of administration stood up to slap our union secretary and that was how the physical combat started. The director went ahead to call security agents to come and forcefully send us out of the teaching hospital. “We gave ABUTH management seven days’ ultimatum to resolve all issues relating to the welfare of our members here in ABUTH but they failed. “We can’t sleep until our members get what rightly belongs to them. Anybody who wants to boycott the strike will face sanctions. Our council will not renew that person’s practicing licence.
Embrace APC, youths urge Southern Kaduna TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE
he Southern Kaduna All Progressives Congress, APC, Youth Forum has called on the people of Southern Kaduna and the entire Kaduna State to embrace the yet-to-be-registered party for rapid social economic development of the state. Speaking with journalists in Lagos yesterday, the General Secretary of the forum, Mr. Nuhu Kadu Sunday, said APC was the only option for the people to save the region from selfish politicians. Sunday also solicited support for APC leaders in the area, Senator Caleb Zagi and Mr. Mataimaki Tom Maiyashi, to deliver the area from social economic woe. He said: “It is still fresh in our memory, the tremendous progress witnessed when Senator Caleb Zagi
was representing the Southern Kaduna people in the lower and upper chambers of the National Assembly. “He attracted a lot of federal projects, including scholarships and youth empowerment, to the area. Today these leaders are leading us to APC.” Sunday noted that gone were the days when people voted blindly without assessing the past. He added: “It should be clear to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its promoters in Southern Kaduna that they have no electoral value in our area, because the new APC leaders have won the people’s heart through their past record.” Sunday, however, advised Nigerians and the people of Kaduna State to embrace the emerging APC so that the entire country would be saved from total collapse.
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LGs to establish response team
he 774 Local Government Councils in the Nigeria may soon have Emergency Response Team to respond to emergency situations whenever they occurred in any part of the country. The Zonal Coordinator for NEMA in the SouthWest, Mr. Iyiola Akande, who disclosed the plan of the agency to establish emergency response team in all the local governments areas across the country, said members of the grassroots response team would include various stakeholders such as community leaders, NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs), members of voluntary organisations, political leaders, traders and other stakeholders. Akande, who spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at a workshop on ‘Straightening Mechanism for Response to Emergencies’, which was organized by the agency for various stakeholders in the state, added that the workshop was important given the 2013 seasonal rainfall prediction above normal level for Akure and Ondo towns along with other communities in the South-western states.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Represented by the Assistant Training Officer in the agency, Mr. Kadiri Olanrewaju, Akande said no matter the type of disaster, proper emergency response could protect family members and even save lives if carried out by relevant response agencies and communities. He said one are that NEMA always emphasized is the mobilization of the grassroots which has very important roles to play in response to emergencies. “NEMA appreciates the roles of grassroots in response to emergencies, adding that by having appropriate and correct information, the agency and various responders would know the appropriate action and tools to take along during disasters. These details would enable the emergency workers have an idea of what types of equipment, personnel or stakeholders to mobilise before getting to the scene,” he said. The coordinator enjoined state governments not only to establish State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), but to fund the agency so that they could response to calls during emergencies.
Emergency Rule: NEMA provides relief materials
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has provided relief materials to states under Emergency Rule and states assisting Internally Displaced people. The Gombe State Government has received relief assistance to support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Other displaced people in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, who were currently residing in the state as a result of the declaration of state of emergency are also benefiting from the relief intervention. The Director General of NEMA, Mr. Muhammad Sani Sidi, while speaking during the presentation of the relief items on behalf of the federal government to the Governor of Gombe
State, Ibrahim Hassan DanKwambo, in his office, said the items were meant to cater for the large number of IDPs in the state due to the current challenges faced in other neighbouring states. Sidi commended the state government for the support and collaboration with NEMA and for allocating a befitting accommodation and storage facility to the Operations Office in the state. The director-general, who assured the governor that more equipment would be deployed to enhance the operational capability of the office, appealed to the state government to take the disaster risk reduction campaign by NEMA seriously, especially with this year’s annual rainfall prediction
of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and its implications for flooding. Receiving the relief assistance, Dankwanbo thanked the federal government for it prompt response to the plights of the displaced persons, who were residing in the state. Meanwhile the Zonal Information Officer of NEMA in North-East, Mal Abdulkadir Ibrahim said that the agency had begun the distribution of food items to communities affected by the current State of Emergency. Ibrahim said the gesture was part of the agency’s mandate of assisting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country. `This is in continuation of the agency’s mandate of providing succour to IDPs in areas
affected by the declaration of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Ibrahim said the items distributed included rice, millet, guinea corn, noodles, sugar, salt, milk, vegetable and palm oil. ``The distribution of food items and drinking water to communities affected by the state of emergency is a continuous exercise. ``The distribution began in Marte on May 23 by the Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Muhammed Kanar, in New Marte. `NEMA team has been received warmly by the locals in all the locations visited while their leaders expressed appreciation to the agency for providing the food items at the time of their need,’’ he said.
Agency set to tackle anticipated flooding in South-East
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday assured residents of the South East zone of the agency’s preparedness to respond to any emergency on flooding in the zone. The Co-ordinator of NEMA in the zone, Dr Onimode Bandele, said that the agency had been carrying out awareness campaigns in riverine and low land communities in the zone in the past three months. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had predicted that two states in the zone – Anambra and Imo – are likely to experience flooding in 2013 due to increased volume of water in rivers and their tributaries occasioned by ocean surges and global warming. Bandele said that the agency had already stockpiled relief materials and other necessities to meet the challenge of the NIMET prediction. “We have done our own homework; and we have gotten ourselves ready stockpiling relief materials and whatever, but the states
should take pro-active measures too before the rains get to its peak. “Yes, the message for both individual and corporate citizens around floodable area is that they should please listen to weather forecast, jingoes or announcements that may come on radio or TV from time to time. “And take pro-active measures to evacuate floodable areas when the time comes.” The co-ordinator said that NEMA had been working in close collaboration with the various State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs). He said that NEMA had transferred a lot of expertise and best practice to the SEMAs through regular interactions and workshops organized by the national agency to build-up the capacity of the state agencies. Bandele said that the zonal office of the agency received feedback from the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on the gradual increase of the volume of water in the River Niger.
Sympathisers evacuating the dead body of Morufu Alabi, after a tanker he was sleeping in was rammed into by a container truck at Iganmu along the Lagos-Badagry expressway in Lagos on Sunday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Sustaining civil-military relationship against terrorism OLA LOOKMAN
olice have been brutally massacred, military personnel ambushed and butchered while rescue workers are either intimidated or attacked, yet not many Nigerians could appreciate the risk and agony our security personnel face tirelessly in their fight against terrorism. From MEND, to MASSOB and to now mother of all militants, Boko Haram, Nigeria continues wage wars against undesirable elements that give us sleepless night. Concern about the rate of terrorism and other criminalities in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan at the 150th Nigerian Army Day Celebration, commended the effort and commitment of military in their fight against insur-
gency adding that they have remained focused in the task of building peace, promoting unity and defending our sovereignty. He therefore urged Nigerians to appreciate their sacrifice and contribution to the development of our fatherland. He disclosed that reports made available to him, shows that the state of emergency he declared in three Northeastern states was yielding results, which majority of Nigerians have attested to. “Terrorism is anti-people, it is anti-progress and we must stamp it out of our nation. This administration with stern resolve to do everything within our constitutional powers to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding citizens, it is a commitment that we have made and kept with great dedication and we will continue to keep it. “We recall the circum-
stances that led to the declaration of the current state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states some seven weeks ago, which falls within our comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, and became impending following the increasing destabilizing activities by terror groups. The National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki recently echoed the need for an improved relationship between the military and civilian towards better understanding of necessity of security operation in the fight against terrorism. He therefore called for support for the military to enable its personnel tackle the multifarious security challenges facing the country. According to him, the military alone cannot single-handedly suppress the security challenges in the country, including terror-
ism, without the support of the civil populace. Dasuki, speaking at a session of the National CivilMilitary Dialogue in Abuja, stated that it would be difficult for the military to evenly take on the security challenges of the country without the trust, will and cooperation of other Nigerians. He explained that the past one decade had witnessed various forms of crime, including armed robbery, kidnapping, electoral, communal and ethno-religious violence as well as terrorism, all of which have made the presence of the military within Nigerian communities a routine. It is undeniable the fact that Nigeria’s continued fight against men of the Boko Haram Islamist sect and perpetrators of other acts of terrorism has placed a heavier burden on the Military.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (175)
“Before success comes in any man's life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure.” –Napoleon Hill Refuse to Give Up Many of us had given up many times at the edge of breakthrough. l read about a lone survivor from a shipwreck who kept trying to drink water from the ocean and discovered that the water was too salty. He tried many times and gave up dying of thirst. But alas his dead body was discovered on clean fresh water. He unknowingly actually stop trying a few metres to where fresh water was! We may fail many times on the road to success; let's train ourselves not to give up trying for the best that we can be!
Three arrested for allegedly stealing massive chicken statue
hree men from Florida were arrested after they allegedly stole a 9-foot-tall chicken statue, strapped it to their truck, and went for a joyride, police said. The escapade began at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, when a resident in Florida's Putnam County
saw three people stealing the chicken statue, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported. The local sheriff's office said the suspects then hooked the chicken to a Chevrolet truck and pulled it down the road for about a mile. Then, one of the suspects
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Body B d iin river i tturns outt tto b be liliving i g woman
n apparent dead body spotted floating in the River Trent in central England turned out to be a 73-year-old woman who was very much alive. The original report came from the captain of River Princess Cruises, the Nottingham Post reported Friday. He spotted what looked like a body early Tuesday
afternoon in the Trent in the suburb of Colwick. Police officers who responded drafted Alex Bell, who lives on a canal boat in the area and was out in his motorboat, to help. "She was so motionless and pale," Bell said. "She was just floating in the water and the policeman thought she was dead."
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The stolen massive chicken statue
mounted the statue and and rode it. After that, the suspects unhooked the chicken and fled the scene. Putnam detectives arrested Darrin Luke Edwards, 19, Tyler Lee Jones, 21, and James Joseph Smith, 18, the next day for the stunt.
Edwards was charged with grand theft and violation of probation, while Jones and Smith were charged with grand theft. The bird, which suffered a lacerated leg, a cracked claw and scarred side, was later returned to its owner.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Illegal police checkpoints still on The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, on February 13, 2012, ordered removal of all checkpoints across the country. But investigations by National Mirror show that the police personnel have ignored this directive by mounting illegal checkpoints and extorting motorists, as Assistant Features Editor, OKAY OSUJI reports.
espite orders from the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, that all illegal police checkpoints across the country should be dismantled immediately, evidences show that some police formations are still to carry out the instructions. Investigations by National Mirror reveal that illegal check points mounted by police personnel are still visible on many of the country’s highways. For example, in Katsina State, such illegal checkpoints are still found along some of the highways, even as commuters and motorists bemoan their presence. Those who spoke on the issue confirmed that illegal check points are found on highways linking Katsina metropolis with Batsari, Funtua, Malumfashi, Jibia, Dutsinma local governments among others. According to them, police personnel can be seen carrying out routine stop and search but at same time, extorting money from motorists. They said whenever they were stopped, the police would often pretend to be carrying out the routine duties; while keeping the vehicle waiting sometimes indefinitely, expecting the motorists to pay money before being allowed to go. Sometimes, a senior police officer would be seated in a vehicle some distance away from the roadside, with the purpose to direct the juniors to demand for money from motorists. A commercial vehicle owner, Mallam Ibrahim, said hardly a day goes when he does not part with amount ranging from N100 to N500 to policemen on the highway whenever he is plying the KatsinaKaduna road. Ibrahim said while incidents of illegal check points had reduced of recent, they nonetheless remain a feature on some major highways. A private vehicle owner, Mallam Abdul said he has been made to part with money many times by police personnel on the road. Abdul said the check points where monies were usually collected from motorists were many, but that the KatsinaBatsari road was notorious for such incidents. He also said motorists were often made to pay as little as N20 and as much as N500 to N1, 000 depending on what the policemen as such check points think as appropriate. Reacting on the issue, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Magaji refuted allegations of police officers mounting illegal check points on major highways in the state.
He said the only time there were police check points was when armed robberies were very frequent in parts of the state. He said it is the military that has the authorisation to mount check points as way of checking the insecurity problem, and even if police check points were allowed, it was usually for a short period of time. The police commissioner however said personnel on patrol assignment were often permitted to conduct stop and search on vehicles on highways, as such is aimed at addressing crime and checking vehicle documents. In Owerri, Imo State capital, illegal checkpoints can be seen at Emmanuel College Bus Stop on Douglas road where some policemen often engage in heated arguments with motorists over illegal tolls. Often times, the policemen are seen threatening motorists including commercial tricycle operators who refusing to pay illegal toll, are delayed for several hours before allowed to go. Another illegal checkpoint is along Nekede Polytechnic Road near Naze Industrial clusters. Recently, some motorists threatened to shut down economic activities in the state to protest constant police harassment and extortion at new checkpoints across the state. The group called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar to prevail on the Commissioner of Police, Musa Mohammed Katsina, to dismantle the illegal checkpoints on the highways, alleging they are being forced to pay toll ranging from N50 to N100 at the different checkpoints. One of the commuters, Chief Innocent Nwaneri said, “Police checkpoints are fully back in the state, they force motorists including tricycle operators to pay toll at all the checkpoints in the state capital and along the highway”.
OFTEN TIMES, THE POLICEMEN ARE SEEN THREATENING MOTORISTS INCLUDING COMMERCIAL TRICYCLE OPERATORS WHO REFUSING TO PAY ILLEGAL TOLL, ARE
DELAYED FOR SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO GO
Policemen in training.
On several occasions drivers have been brutalised and their vehicles delayed for several hours for refusing to pay money to policemen, even passengers are not spared the harassment, as police personnel , often manhandle any hapless passengers for daring to question their actions”. A driver who gave his name as Uche Uguoma observed that, “the checkpoints returned since the new CP was posted to the state”. However, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Joy Elemoko, said the police were drafted to strategic points across the state on a stop and search duty. According to her, “policemen are out there on a routine stop and search duty and not to extort members of the public because the CP has zero tolerance for corruption”. In Plateau, the police are yet to comply with the directive to dismantle all illegal road blocks in the state.
Checks by National Mirror reveal that even when the number of roadblocks have drastically reduced, the practice however, still persist in some locations in the state capital and some major roads. For instance, the police roadblock is a regular feature on the adjoining street linking Rock Haven to Rukuba road and also at the railway crossing on Jos-Abuja road in Riyom Local Government Area. Some motorists complained they are forced to part with money ranging from N20 to N200 before being allowed to proceed. Checks also revealed that the most notorious areas are at various local governments outside Jos, where police personnel extort money from farmers bringing their farm produce from the rural areas to the cities. Speaking with National Mirror, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Felicia Anslem, denied the existence of road blocks by the police in the
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
highways –Survey ...Another illegal road block.
Two policemen manning an illegal checkpoint on a highway in Enugu. Police mount road block on the highway. P
THEIR TACTIC IS TO HIDE IN SECLUDED PLACES ON THESE STREETS,
WHILE WAITING FOR MOTORISTS PLYING THE ROUTES, EVEN AS THEY SUDDENLY SWOOP ON UNFORTUNATE DRIVERS TO EXTORT MONEY FROM T THEM AT GUN POINT
A policeman at an illegal checkpoint trying to extort money from motorists on Abakiliki road,Ebonyi State.
state. According to her, the command has since complied with the IGP’s directive to dismantle all of them, saying what people see as road blocks is a routine stop and search operation. There is a difference between police road block and stop and search operation”, she said. In Bayelsa, illegal police check points have become an enduring feature in Yenagoa, despite directives from the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to dismantle them. Some of the check points are erected at obscure locations where police personnel extort money from motorists in the guise of “stop and search operation”. It was learnt that these cops operate both in the night and daytime and collect from N100 and N500 from motorists, especially commercial drivers. But, the police authorities claim said the check points have been mounted to check the influx of criminals coming into the state.
Investigations revealed that some of the check points in Yenagoa include the Harbour Road axis at Ovom, Azikoro village, Winners’ Road by Sliver Bird Galleria, Swali Market Road and Tombia Road. In an interview, a commercial bus driver, George Eze lamented the extortions, as he appealed to the IG to revisit the illegal check points in the state capital .He alleged that extortions by police personnel are now mostly carried out at night. In a reaction, the Police Public Relations Officer,PPRO, Alex Akhigbe denied allegations of illegal check points in the state, as he debunked claims that the officers extort money from motorists. “The Inspector General has ordered the dismantling of road blocks in all parts of the state. We don’t operate illegal check points”, he said. In Anambra, the issue of illegal police check points has become contentious, even as such is denied by police
authorities. Investigations revealed that illegal check points are indiscriminately erected at strategic junctions and streets in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, where police personnel extortion money from motorists. But the police spokesperson, Emeka Chukwuemeka, a Deputy Superintendent, had maintained that officers of the command are only engaged in stop and search exercise to deter crime and hoodlums. However, findings by our correspondent show that these illegal check points are found at Works Road junction, Dike Park section of Zik Avenue, Aroma Junction, Ifite Road and Kwata Junction in Awka metropolis. Their tactic is to hide in secluded places on these streets, while waiting for motorists plying the routes, even as they suddenly swoop on unfortunate drivers to extort money from them at gun point. A commercial motorcycle operator, who gave his name as Theo said:” They will pounce on you and impound your motorcycle and would only let you go after you have paid some money to them. Those unable to pay the amount demanded will have their motorcycles towed to the police station until the owners have
paid bribes to get them back”. In Kaduna State, the insecurity challenges posed by the Boko Haram are now being used as excuse by police to extort money from motorists and motorcyclists at illegal checkpoints. National Mirror investigation uncovered their mode of operation whereby some policemen are always stationed at some spots on the highway, while others patrol from one location to another checking vehicle documents among other things. Such mobile check points are always erected at nights. It was observed that illegal road blocks and extortion of money are now on the increase within the metropolis, despite orders of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to dismantle them. In most cases, the police demand N50 and above due to what they called “subsidy removal”. Those motorists, who refuse to cooperate, end up being detained for hours. One of the victims, Mr. James Okwe, a graduate turned commercial motorcyclist, said: “ Only God is helping us, the policemen are everywhere, especially at night they will insist you pay from N50 to N100 before being allowed to go. Sometimes you encounter five to six night road blocks within two streets. Sometimes, you see police personnel in patrol vans stopping suddenly to demand money from motorcyclists. Now they hide under the BokoHaram threat to intimidate motorists to part with their money.” However, efforts to reach the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer,DSP Aminu Lawan, for reaction proved abortive. With additional information from Aza Msue(Kaduna),Emma G b e m u d u ( B a y e l s a ) C h a rl e s Okeke(Anambra),Dennis A g b o ( E n u g u ) J a m e s Abraham(Plateau)Chris Njoku(Imo) James Danjuma(Katsina) and Henry Iyorkase(Benue).
First photosynthesis Vol. 03 No. 660
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Chemical evidence in ancient rocks from Greenland suggest that photosynthesis was occurring on Earth 3.7 billion years ago - around a billion years earlier than previously believed.
Egypt: Holding the tiger’s tail
he events unfolding in Egypt is indeed one of the lessons needed for a deep understanding of what it takes for any democratic system of governance to succeed. The Egyptian Army penultimate week rolled out the tanks in what they believed was a response to the genuine cry of the people to save them from the directionless democratically elected government of President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the party that won the last election which ended years of military rule in that country. What the Army considered a rescue mission to save the country from an imminent
igeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has named President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, as Chairman of its Technical Commission. President of the NOC, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, announced the appointment with the tacit approval of the Board and Executive members of the NOC during their
TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba
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chaos, given the dimension of the opposition-backed protest against the policies of the Morsi-led government, has however attracted worldwide condemnations likely to create a bigger problem for the interim administration sworn-in to provide solutions. While world leaders have continued to refrain from acknowledging the role of the Army, they have equally refused to embrace the military-backed interim government for the sake of democracy. The military which had played a major role in government tactically removed the country’s first democratically elected government since independence from Britain in 1922, in a coup to install the interim administration headed by the judge of constitutional court, Adly Mansour. After many decades of living under an authoritarian rule, there is no doubt that an average Egyptian never knew what democracy means since the monarchical government of King Farouk was overthrown in 1952 by a group of military officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser in the country’s first military coup. With this exchequer history, it was therefore not a surprise that the country could not be patient to nurture a democratic government which they considered alien to them and for which they knew too little about. The action of the military against the government elected by the people as influenced by the opposition parties was a clear indication of the impatience, on their part too, with the new experiment at civil rule and particularly the government of
THE CRISES ON GROUND HAVE GONE BEYOND WHAT THE MILITARY AND THE OPPOSITION BARGAINED FOR the people by the people and for the people. There was no doubt that the elections for the first time in the Arab nation produced a government from a party that was more organized than the opposition parties to assume power. Even while organizing protest against the government of Morsi, they are still not together to present a common front and a better government than that of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed administration. For every action there are bound to be counter-reactions. The events unfolding since the ouster of President Morsi is a signal that the Army has created a bigger problem for the polity in their uncivilized move to overthrow a democratically elected government. The world is watching how the military intends to silence the people against voicing their opinion, their choice and exercising their right to determining who governs them. Not even in the light of the democratic waves sweeping across the Arab world. Something similar to the Egyptian experience almost occurred in Turkey when anti-government
protest was also initiated by the opposition parties but for the experience of the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who not only responded to the occasion promptly but also granted concessions to douse the tension. The inexperience of President Morsi in governance also manifested during the antigovernment protests in Cairo long before the Army issued ultimatum for him to meet the demands of the people. A smart political negotiator would have acceded to the demands for an all-inclusive government from the opposition parties if only to douse the tension for a moment and in the process stave off any military intervention in politics. It was this kind of pressure on Robert Mugabe that brought the leading opposition candidate in Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsangrai, to government as the Prime Minister. This to a greater extent achieved peace, while the move for a regime change is still on in the southern African country. While Morsi lacked the experience to sustain him in power and to protect the fragile democracy, Egyptians also failed to understand that the new system also comes with its own brand of capitalism which had nearly crippled the economy. The country was not only transiting from one system of government to another but also from a state-controlled economy to that of market forces determined economy. The crises on ground have gone beyond what the military and the opposition bargained for and this should serve as a lesson to politicians in military uniforms that they no longer have any business interfering in politics. Nigeria had her own share of this transition when the Second Republic under the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari was truncated by the power hungry military dictators and not until the third attempt at democracy that we all knew that it takes time for the system to grow and mature. Today, Nigerians know that the worst civil rule is far better than the most benevolent military government. It appears the violence is just starting and the end may not be soon.
Olympian, Igali, bags NOC job meeting in Lagos yesterday. “We know you are loaded but can still cope with the new assignment,” Ndanusa said. “Igali is an ex-athlete, a paragon who capped his time as an athlete with an Olympic gold medal and
is an Ambassador and member of the Bayelsa House of Assembly. He is wearing many caps but merits the caps,” the NOC boss added. Ndanusa urged Igali to employ his wealth of experience of reposition the technical commission
ahead the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, among other international competitions. Igali, in his response, said he was humbled by the appointment and promised to bring out the best for Nigerian athletes with the co-operation of other federation presidents.
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