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Pope Benedict to step down on Feb. 28

Pope Benedict is set to resign at the end of this month, confirmed Vatican officials. Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, the 85-year-old became Pope in 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II. The Vatican have confirmed that he will step down on February 28. A Vatican statement said the pope was unable to continue in office due to

his age and diminishing strength. The papacy will remain vacant until a successor is elected. He is the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. The pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals. He said: "After having repeatedly examined my conscience

before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," "I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering." He added: "However, in today's

world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary - strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately the ministry entrusted to me."




Captain of the Nigeria National team, Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo lifts the AFCON 2013 trophy.

I-G assures PROMISING PROGRESS IN Nigerians of NIGERIA'S ANTI-TERRORISM better policing

FIGHT - President Jonathan MARUFF AJIMOTI

ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigeria's President * Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration is waging an unrelenting fight against terrorist groups in the country.

According to him, the Federal Government of Nigeria is recording some successes in its anti-terrorism fight, and before long, Nigerians would breathe a sigh of relief. President Jonathan gave the assurance in a series of speeches, interviews and addresses, where he noted that contrary to widely-held

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beliefs, the Nigeria's security apparatuses have not been overwhelmed as a result of different violent crimes being perpetrated in the country by different groups. At his meeting with the Ambassador of Continues inside



ABUJA, Nigeria - The Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, has promised that the police would work tirelessly in the Year 2013 to tackle violent crimes. The Police I-G, who made the pledge in Abuja, therefore, charged officers and men of the Nigeria Police to re-dedicate themselves to the service of their fatherland. He also enjoined them to exhibit the highest Continues inside

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Switzerland, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel at the State House, Abuja, President Jonathan said that the country is meeting its security challenges. He said: “We are making significant progress in meeting our recent security challenges and we shall continue to improve, so investors have nothing to fear,” he assured, saying further, “Nigeria is a huge market, with many green areas waiting for investors.” The Swiss Embassy in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) recently held a workshop on how to stop terrorist groups from accessing funds. Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said that taking proactive steps to thwart the sources of terrorism funding would reflect a winning prospect in the fight against terrorist groups especially when such groups need money to operate. “We in Nigeria are determined in our resolve to continuously improve national response to terrorism and related challenges in the country,” the Permanent Secretary assured. Speaking in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour recently, President Jonathan agreed that the group 'Jama'atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda'awati Wal Jihad' popularly called Boko Haram could pose an existential threat to the country. “If Boko Haram is not contained, it would be a threat not only to Nigeria, but to West Africa, Central Africa and of course to North Africa,” he said. “Elements of Boko Haram link up with some of al Qaeda in northern Mali and other North African countries.” For that reason, he said his government is “totally committed” to working with friendly nations to help contain problems in Mali. Like many other world leaders, Jonathan said the problem there has been exacerbated by the free flow of weapons out of Libya since the fall of dictator Muammar Gadhafi. President Jonathan admitted that initially Boko Haram caught Nigeria off guard; now, he said, the country has been making progress to contain “the Boko Haram saga.”

He said his government is working day and night to make sure that the deadly attacks on an Algerian oil field do not happen in Nigeria. “If you look at the last six months, incidents of killing started dropping,” President Jonathan contended, insisting that the government is gaining control. He denied suggestions from the U.S. State Department that the Nigerian government has conducted a large quantity of arrests and killings that have been indiscriminate, possibly driving more people into the hands of Boko Haram. “No security agency ar rests anybody just for the love of arrest. We have intelligence that enables us to arrest the people who have been arrested,” he told Amanpour. President Jonathan also insists that poverty and unemployment are not fueling the violent rise of Boko Haram citing religion as the primary motivation of this jihadist group. As part of a counter terrorism effort, P resident Jonathan's national security adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki has sought to engage in dialogue with Boko Haram. Jonathan told Amanpour that the discourse has helped the situation, and that he will continue to pursue this strategy. Late last year, President Goodluck Jonathan also called for the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral cooperation to fight international terrorism. Mr. Jonathan made the call while declaring open the Regional Conference on Counter-Terrorism, which had the theme: “Containing Terrorism in West Africa”, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. The president, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the collaboration became imperative in view of the transnational nature of terrorist activities. He said Nigeria had strengthened bilateral and multilateral cooperation with countries in the region. “I have had extensive discussions with most of my brother presidents on the issue of collaboration on security matters in the region and we have constantly stressed the need for better collaboration among all our security agencies. The President had charged the

workshop to champion a comprehensive regional counterterrorism strategy. According to him, recent developments in the region are potent threats to Africa and indeed the global community, urging the participants to proffer practical policy options that would assist West African States to overcome our current security challenges.” In West Africa, the regional body charged with the task of preventing terrorist groups from accessing finance is the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA). Established in the year 2000 as a special institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to fight economic and financial crimes, GIABA has an additional task of preventing terrorist financing. As part of its activities, GIABA has initiated a number of technical assistance to member States of ECOWAS, Nigeria inclusive. It has also mounted advocacy so that countries could formulate and adopt their national counter-terrorism strategies. At a recent 3-day training workshop

I-G assures Nigerians of better policing Continued from Page 1

level of patriotism and selflessness while carrying out their duties. Abubakar then thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for his passion for the nation and his resolve to tackle the country's security challenges. He commended governors of the nation's 36 states, Minister of the Federal C a p i t a l Te r r i t o r y a n d L o c a l Government Chairmen across the country for supporting the police with logistics and other crime-fighting equipment in 2012. Abubakar also thanked Nigerians

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for their vigilance and support without which policing during the period would have been near impossible and urged them not to relent. He said the police management team was committed to the vision of reforming and professionalising the force and bequeathing a truly people-friendly police to the nation. Abubakar said such police would be effective, efficient, and intelligence-driven to respect the fundamental rights of the citizens and adequately positioned to tackle the dynamic challenges of crime prevention.

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on AML/CFT for North and West African States in Abuja, Director General of GIABA, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu called for close monitoring of borders and intensified international cooperation both within and outside of the West African region in order to check the activities of terrorists and money launderers. The call came against the backdrop of reports indicating that Al-Qaeda has sleeper cells in several West African countries including Senegal and Guinea-Bissau and representatives of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has its roots in Mali, were working in silence, recruiting and doing field work. In this regard, the GIABA Director General is calling for a reexamining of laws against money laundering and financing of terrorism in the sub-region. Presenting a paper on “The Challenges of Implementing Counter the Financing of Terrorism Regimes in West Africa”, Dr Shehu noted that the current Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework may force money launderers and extremist

groups to make frequent tactical changes and thus produce more grievances or fertile grounds for the recruitment of new set of criminals. “Most parts of the AML/CFT framework of countries in the subregion are products of imperfect and incomplete information, hence the need to establish and address the root causes of terrorism to ensure the successes recorded by the AML/CFT framework are enduring,” Dr Shehu said. According to him, there is a need to re-examine the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures in West African countries to ensure they do not induce superficial compliance by countries. The GIABA Director General then called on member States to demonstrate a high political commitment in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing at the international, national and regional levels with a view to promoting a safe and sound international financial system.

Oyo Govt. urges EFCC to release N700m property, cash recovered from Ladoja, others NAN IBADAN, Nigeria - The Oyo State Government has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release to it more than N700 million cash and property seized from former Gov. Rashidi Ladoja and others. The government also called on the anti-corruption agency to expedite action on the trial of former Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala and other coaccused over misappropriation of state funds and resources. The requests were part of the resolutions adopted at the State Executive Council meeting held in Ibadan on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Taiwo Otegbeye, said in a statement. The government said the money and property recovered by the agency

were still outstanding. The government said it was demanding the refund to enable it to use the money for the execution of development projects. It commended EFCC for “investigating, arresting and prosecuting the two former governors for offences relating to misappropriation and conversion of the state funds and resources’’ but noted that the trials of the former governors had yet to begin. The government asked the commission to release money and property, including vehicles allegedly bought with the seized funds for some family members by the accused. “The council pledges the support and cooperation of the Oyo State Government to EFCC in its task of ridding the country of corruption,” the statement said.

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Oyo ACN okays Ajimobi for 2015 re-run NEWS IBADAN, Nigeria - Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has gotten the nod of his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to seek reelection as Oyo State Governor in the 2015 gubernatorial elections. The endorsement came in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital when members of the party from the 11 local government councils in Ibadan met to express their confidence in Gov. Ajimobi. In a communiqué read out by Mr. Isiaka Alimi, state Deputy Chairman of the party, the members said they associate themselves with Ajimobi's sterling performance in office and thus took the decision in order to ensure contin uity in governance. Governor Ajimobi has stayed only one year and seven months as Oyo State governor. The party stalwarts also endorsed the governor as the leader of the ACN in the state, to replace former Governor Lam Adesina, whose death on November 11, 2012 created a void in the leadership of the Oyo State ACN. “Further, and in consonance with the tradition of our progressives

predecessors and in consonance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, “We hereby unanimously adopt Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi as the sole candidate of our party in the eleven local government councils consisting Ibadan land as the gubernatorial candidate for 2015 governorship election in Oyo State. “We equally pass a vote of confidence on our national leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande (National Chairman) and the entire national executive of the ACN,” the communiqué reads. Alimi also appealed to the other five political zones in the state to emulate Ibadan zone. On his part, chairman of the Transition Committee of Ibadan South East Local Government, Mr. Najeem Abass, the agreement was reached af ter series of meetings with representatives from the 11 local government areas in Ibadan, adding that it was not too early to endorse the governor as their candidate, taking cognizance of his achievements in office. Abass said: “Senator Abiola Ajimobi cannot be compared to any other

Gov. Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi

* ACN party loyalists at a rally

governor the state has had in the past years because of the transformation the state has had in the last one and half years and we believe he will also be endorsed by other political zones.” Also speaking, chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Busari Adebisi hoped that Ajimobi would set the

record as the first governor of the State to be re-elected into office, noting that Gov. Ajimobi has made unparalleled progress in transforming the state within a short time in office. According to him, there was need for continuity in order to fully achieve his aspiration of reformation, transformation and

repositioning of Oyo State to be the pacesetter state. The communiqué was signed by 11 members representing different zones and council areas. They include Alhaji Isiaq Akeem, Alhaji Ganny Alade, Dr. Busari Adebisi, Hon. Oyeniran Oyeniyi, Hon. Awoleye Dada, Hon. Mojeed Olaoya, Alhaji Najeem Abbass, Chief Laoye Sam, Chief Ayo Eniade, Mrs Matel Williams, Chief Jamiu Adewale.

Group wants revamped child and maternal health NEWS LAGOS, Nigeria - A nongovernmental organization, Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria, CRUDAN, South West, has decried the worsening state of child and maternal mortality rate in the country. In a position paper titled, “Commitment to Family Planning/Childbirth Spacing for Healthy Families and National Development”, the group's South We s t c o o r d i n a t o r, A d e s i n a Adeduntan, said CRUDAN's worry emanated from various findings it gathered from programmes it organised with civil society and community based organisations. “Recent data reflect the poor state of maternal and child health in the country as they show that Nigeria is losing women and children as a result of high risk pregnancies (pregnancies below age 18 years, above age 34 years, birth interval of less than 24 months apart and birth order of 5 and above),” the statement read. Citing United Nations estimate of year 2000, CRUDAN noted that about

52,000 Nigerian women still die every year as a result of pregnancy, delivery or post delivery complications, while out of every 1000 live births, 201 children die before they attain the age of 5 years. The group further noted that if the worsening trend is to be mitigated, there must be a commitment to increase the use of family planning, child birth spacing methods (CBS contraceptives and natural). “Evidence abound that Family Planning, FP/Child Birth Spacing, CBS will reduce 88, 400 of the current 340,000 infant deaths annually if women in any risk category avoid pregnancy. Also, the lives of about 13,000 women who die annually as a result of induced abortion will be saved if there is increase in uptake of Family Planning, FP/Child Birth Spacing, CBS services, among others,” the statement read. CRUDAN also urged government at all levels to show more commitments in improving the nation's health care delivery system through structural and legislative frameworks. “CRUDAN hereby calls on government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders to: formulate Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing

* Pregnant women wait for prenatal care at a hospital.

policy, enact laws promoting Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing issues, create budget lines for Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing and release allocated funds, promote and strengthen Public Private Pa r t n e r s h i p s f o r Fa m i l y

Planning/Child Birth Spacing programmes, support capacity building of service providers and the provision of equipment and commodities for Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing as well as and Include Family

Photograph by Edward Echwalu

Planning/Child Birth Spacing services in the National Health Insurance Scheme,” the statement read. Via Daily Trust

FRSC refutes recruitment exercise Oyo First Lady assures on women empowerment NAN ABUJA, Nigeria - The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), has called on prospective job seekers to discountenance a purported advert for recruitment into the commission. This is contained in a statement in Abuja signed by Mr Jonas Agwu, the FRSC's Public Enlightenment Officer. According to the statement, some fraudsters had created a fake recruitment portal in the name of the commission to extort money from desperate job seekers. “These scammers have placed an FRSC recruitment exercise advert for 2012/2013 on the Internet with a

directive for prospective candidates to purchase forms online through a non-existing First Bank account for N10,000.” It added that the scammers issued “an enquiry line 08050907157 of one Dr Gbenga, purporting same to have been authorised by the FRSC management. The management of FRSC wishes to dissociate itself from this criminal act and advises the general public, especially job seekers to disregard such unauthorised and mischievous publications,” it said. The statement added that the commission had no immediate arrangement to embark on any recruitment.

NEWS IBADAN, Nigeria - Wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, has reiterated the commitment of the present administration in the state to women empowerment. Mrs. Ajimobi said this at the distribution of food items to 500 women in Ibadan North East Local Government of the state. According to her, the distribution of the food items to the beneficiaries was in furtherance of the 'Ajumose Food Bank Initiative' supported by Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

She underscored the commitment of the state government to revitalize the lives of the citizenry through empowerment, welfare and poverty alleviation programmes, as she urged the people to support the ongoing effort of the State Governor aimed at restoring the state's glory. The ongoing development drive, she added, would attract both foreign and local investors to the state. Aided by the caretaker chairman of the Ibadan North-East L ocal Government Area, Aboderin Alatise, Mrs. Ajimobi distributed food items to women from Oje Market, Alli Iwo Bus-Stop, Agodi Gate and Yidi areas. Mrs. Florence Ajimobi

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Kwara schools The Kwara State Government has closed five private primary schools in Alapa, Asa Local Government Area for non-compliance with the government policies on qualitative education. Director of the State's Quality Assurance Bureau, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin. Mohammed said that the Bureau's Task Force embarked on monitoring and evaluation of private schools in the state. He told NAN that the taskforce was empowered to close schools that lack adequate facilities and environment conducive for learning. According to him, the mandate of the taskforce was to ensure that private schools in the state meet the minimum standard. “A private school must have the basic infrastructures and facilities like classroom, furniture, teaching and learning materials and qualified teachers,” he said. Abubakar, who is also the Chairman of the Task Force, said that schools must be located in an atmosphere conducive for learning and registered with the state Ministry of Education. The schools closed were: Rightway Nursery/Primary School at Gaa Lamba, Alhuda Nursery/Primary School, Brightway Model International School, Brilliant Model Nursery/Primary School and AlImam Nursery/Primary School all in Alapa. Abubakar explained that the gover nment embarked on the exercise to rid the state of 'kangaroo schools' and to sanitise the education sector.



New studies show rising mercury threat in developing countries Communities in developing countries are facing increasing health and environmental risks linked to exposure to mercury, according to new studies by the United Nations environmental agency. The studies, produced by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), note how parts of Africa, Asia and South America could see increasing emissions of mercury into the environment, due mainly to the use of the toxic element in small-scale gold mining, and through the burning of coal for electricity generation. “Mercury, which exists in various forms, remains a major global, regional and national challenge in terms of threats to human health and the environment,” UNEP's Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said in a news release on the studies. Mercury a naturally-occurring, silvery-white metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures can be harmful to humans and the environment. When released from industr y and other man-made sources, it can circulate in the environment for up to centuries at a time. This, according to UNEP, means that it is likely to be several years or decades before reductions in mercury emissions have a demonstrable effect on mercury levels in nature and the food chain. One of the UNEP studies, the “Global Mercury Assessment 2013” which provides a comprehensive breakdown of mercury emissions by region and economic sector reports that emissions of the toxic metal from artisanal gold mining have doubled since 2005, in part due to new and better information, but also due to rising gold prices that are expected to lead to further increases.

It further notes that due to rapid industrialization, Asia is the largest regional emitter of mercury, and accounts for just under half of all global releases. The UNEP study also assesses, for the first time at a global level, releases of mercury into rivers and lakes. Much human exposure to mercury is through the consumption of contaminated fish, making aquatic environments the critical link to human health. In the past 100 years, man-made emissions have caused the amount of mercury in the top 100 metres of the world's oceans to double. Concentrations in deeper waters have increased by up to 25 per cent. The study highlights significant releases into the environment linked to contaminated sites and deforestation, with an estimated 260 tonnes of mercury previously held in soils being released into rivers and lakes. Along with a parallel UNEP study, “Mercury: Time to Act”, the new assessment will be formally presented at the International Negotiating Committee on Mercury, to be held in Geneva from 13 to 18 January this year. According to UNEP, governments attending the conference are aiming to conclude discussions on a global legally binding treaty to minimize risks to people and the environment from exposure to mercury The UN agency notes this would reduce cases of neurological and behavioural disorders, and other health problems linked to mercury, as well as the contamination of soils and rivers caused by man-made emissions of the metal. Governments gave the green light

to negotiations towards a global treaty at the UNEP Governing Council held in Nairobi, Kenya, some years ago. “In 2009, at the UNEP Governing Council, nations agreed to launch negotiations for a legally binding treaty aimed at bringing down releases from sources such as industr y and mining, address mercury-containing products, and tackle historical pollution sitesthe final negotiations begin in just a few days' time,” said Mr. Steiner. “Mercury has been known as a toxin and a hazard for centuries but today we have many of the alternative technologies and processes needed to reduce the risks for tens of millions of people, including pregnant mothers and their babies,” the UNEP chief added. “A good outcome can also assist in a more sustainable future for generations to come.” The UNEP studies state the fact that mercury released from manmade sources can circulate for such a long time reinforces the need for swift action by governments, industry and civil society to strengthen efforts to reduce mercury emissions and releases. Delays in action, according to the reports, will lead to slower recovery of ecosystems and a greater legacy of pollution. Amongst other findings in the studies, UNEP highlights the rising levels of mercury present in the Arctic, where an estimated 200 tonnes of mercury are deposited each year, generally far from where it originated. Studies have shown a ten-fold increase in levels of mercury in certain Arctic wildlife species in the past 150 years, due mainly, it is thought, to human activity.

The two UNEP studies state that global emissions of mercury have remained relatively stable in the last 20 years, with 2010 emissions from human activities thought to be just under 2,000 tonnes. H o w e v e r, d e s p i t e i m p r o v e d availability of data on mercury, the emissions estimate is still subject to uncertainty, and covers a range of 1,010 to 4,070 tonnes. Coal burning is responsible for some 475 tonnes of mercury emissions annually, or around 24 per cent of the global total. UNEP notes that despite increased coal combustion in certain regions, more stringent regulations on pollution in several countries have contributed to reducing overall mercury emissions from coal burning and off-setting part of the emissions arising from increased industrial activity. Along with coal burning, the use of mercury to separate metal from ore in small-scale gold mining remains the chief source of emissions worldwide, according to UNEP. Annual emissions from small-scale gold mining are estimated at 727 tonnes, or 35 per cent of the global total. Greater exposure to mercury poses a direct threat to the health of some 10-15 million people who are directly involved in small-scale gold mining, mainly in Africa, Asia and South America. An estimated three million women and children work in the industry. Mercury-free methods and other low-cost solutions for reducing emissions during gold extraction are available, UNEP notes, but socioeconomic conditions, and low awareness of the risks of mercury, are barriers to adopting safer techniques.

Gynaecologist counsels women Governance, institutional reforms key to performance of Osun Roads on foul vaginal discharge water utilities — World Bank

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun on Friday said the state government would spend N16 billion to rehabilitate 218 kilometre roads in parts of the state. The governor announced this in Osogbo while presenting 30 per cent mobilisation fees to contractors handling the projects. The governor said the rehabilitation included some ongoing projects which were at different stages of completion. Other projects, according to him, include 20 inter-city, 13 intra-city and eight roads inherited from the former administration of the state. Aregbesola said the contractors were selected on merit from the list of those that scaled through pre-qualification test earlier carried out by the government. The governor urged the contractors to be diligent in the execution of the projects and comply with the contractual agreements. He said the agreements included the laying of 50mm asphalt of stone base with concrete drain, where necessary. The governor said the projects belonged to local governments, adding that they had been saving for it since 2010. Aregbesola said the intervention by the state government was only on quality control and financial engineering of N10 billion bank loan at a good rate and condition. E a r l i e r, M r K o l a p o A l i m i , Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, said efforts must be made to ensure a good job by the contractors. Responding on behalf of the contractors, Mr Shittu Adegoke, commended the government for its initiatives to develop the state.


ABUJA, Nigeria - A gynaecologist, Dr Prosper Igboeli, has advised women not to misuse antibiotics so as to avoid foul vaginal discharge. Igboeli, who is the Managing Director of a Fertility and IVF Centre in Abuja, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday. He said that women who stopped the use of oral contraceptives could suffer from such vaginal discharge. “Increased vaginal discharge has been seen in women who stopped using the oral contraceptive or who have undergone some course of antibiotics or who have contracted venereal diseases following unprotected and unsafe sexual practices. “After treatment using antibiotics, some women experience an overgrowth of yeast; that is what we call yeast infection and that is because the antibiotic went and killed the lactobacillus that stabilises the environment of the vagina. “It is actually the abuse that causes some of this thing; normal vaginal discharge is usually white, yellow or green; the discharge means the beginning of an infectious process, and this is usually associated with an offensive or unpleasant odour. “When a woman has a need to wear a pad to protect her underwear from being soiled by a vaginal discharge, then that discharge can be described as excessive. Such a setting can be suspicious for an infectious process.” He said the most notorious impurities were yeast infections

(moniliasis) and trichomonas vaginalis. “Other infections like herpes progenitalis can cause severe abnormalities even in the unborn babies apart from causing severe lesions and discomfort to the mother. “The virus can be seen on the vulva, the vagina and the cervix. It also affects the male penis.” Igboeli said vaginal discharge with offensive odour can cause a husband not to engage in sexual activities with the wife. He urged women to make themselves presentable through cleanliness and avoidance of infections through safe sexual practices with use of condoms to prevent infections. “It is, therefore, of uttermost importance for the woman to constantly keep herself clean and reserved and to quickly consult with her doctors when she suspects abnormal discharge. “Vaginal infections can also ascend to destroy the uterus and block the tubes.” Igboeli said in recent times, it has been noted that many couples use different creams to enhance sexual experience. According to him, these vaginal lubricants influence sperm mobility and viability. “Most of these jellies and creams applied intravaginally during coitus will completely abolish mobility after 30 minutes of contact with sperm. “Therefore, it is not advisable for any couple having problems with conception to use any of these vaginal lubricants.”

NAN ABUJA, Nigeria - The Country Director of the World Bank, Mrs Marie Francoise, says good governance and institutional reforms are key ingredients of improved water utilities' performance in the country. Francoise made the statement at a capacity building workshop on “championing water utility reform in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja. “Governance and institutional reforms are really the key ingredients that will unleash the full potential of performance for water utilities. "It will create room for good ser vices to clients and the conditions to mobilise additional sources of funding. “Water utilities currently face tremendous challenges, including financial instability, population growth, urbanisation, industrial and agricultural growth and climate change,” she said. The country director said that access rate to water in Nigeria was 58 per cent which constituted the lowest on the continent. She said Nigeria, being a strategic country on the continent and the world, the World Bank Group was committed to supporting it in the area of capacity building.

“We will accompany the states as fast as they want to go in the reform process and provide support and training to those that may be lagging behind. “International Finance Corporation (IFC) can mobilise funding for private operators. "Also the bank can mobilise International Development Association funding as bridge financing; it will be based on performances,” Francoise said. Similarly, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, said the current low performance of the sector called for concerted efforts that would ensure the necessary changes. “There is apparent need for water utility reform champions or drivers in the sector. “When the reform know-how is built across board with the accompanying political-will, our collaboration with government and the private sector will be enhanced to harness available resources for the sector development." The workshop was initiated by the minister to expose the 36 state commissioners to the reform agenda which would focus on 12 states, mainly Kano, Edo, Gombe and Anambra. Others are Plateau, Benue, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Jigawa, Abia and Bauchi states.

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Ban urges achievement of development goals United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, praising regional and national leaders for striving to improve conditions for the people of Africa, urged the step-up of efforts to reach agreed development goals as he touched on a range of issues in Addis Ababa today. “I see Africa on the rise. I welcome great progress on development, good governance and human rights,” Mr. Ban told correspondents on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia, during a day devoted to security in the Great Lakes, malaria, poverty and a gamut of other issues. “We have 1,000 days to reach our Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Ban said of the time remaining until the 2015 deadline for the programme to slash extreme poverty and a raft of other global ills. “Now is the time to finish the job by accelerating progress,” he urged. Affirming the UN's continued commitment to support those efforts, he added: “The United Nations has been Africa's strongest partner

throughout this half century. We are firmly committed to standing with Africa now in the future.” Mr. Ban said that he had “very successful” meetings today on malaria and yesterday on maternal and child health, recalling that this week also saw the launch of an initiative to help Africa train and deploy a million community health workers by 2015. “We are working for a future where virtually all African mothers survive childbirth and raise their HIV-free babies into healthy adults,” he said. He also called on African leaders to join in ending the silence and denial surrounding sexual violence in conflict. “I call on African leaders to join me in raising our voices on behalf of victims. They need our unrelenting advocacy,” he said. He added that women must play a significant role in peacebuilding in conflict societies. “The African Union took an historic step when it appointed its first female Chairperson,” he said, congratulating Nkosazana Dlamini-

Zuma of South Africa on her appointment. Commenting on a range of African conflict situations, Mr. Ban welcomed what he called the “decisive action” of the French Government in Mali and pledged the UN's readiness to undertake a “major, system-wide effort” for peacebuilding, governance, security sector reform, physical reconstruction and regional cooperation for the Sahelian country. While in Addis, Mr. Ban met with some 20 national leaders. In a meeting today with Boni Yayi, President of Benin, he commended Mr. Yayi on his accomplishments as outgoing President of the AU and discussed regional initiatives to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, according to information provided by Mr. Ban's spokesperson. The spokesperson said that in his meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Secretary-General welcomed progress in the country and discussed the future of the UN presence there,

UN calls on African leaders to end poverty, violence United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on African leaders to boost efforts to lift millions out of poverty and end recurrent cycles of violence to accelerate development in the region. He said this in his address at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. "Africa has the experience to forge solutions to its own challenges and contribute to our global goals of inclusive growth, social justice and protecting our environment," Mr. Ban said in his address to the Summit's opening session. He noted that many countries have made important gains to achieve the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a 'Global Partnership for Development.' "More African children are in schools, especially girls. More clinics are helping more women survive childbirth. More African women sit in Government and key decision-making positions," Mr. Ban said, adding that in spite of this progress, he is still concerned about hundreds of millions of Africans living in poverty. Mr. Ban urged African leaders to accelerate efforts to achieve the MDGs before their 2015 deadline, and stressed that success will depend on ownership by governments and civil society. "Our destination is clear: A future where Africa's wealth enriches all of Africa's people. Where misrule is only found in history books. Where Africa's goods get a fair price on the global market. Where global partnerships mean shared prosperity." Young people and women will be key to drive peace and development in the continent, Mr. Ban said, underlining the importance of investing in their health and education, and providing them with a secure environment. "We especially need to speak out against rape and sexual violence in conflict. Governments must support victims and end the culture of impunity," he said. Mr. Ban underscored that peace is essential for development, and reaffirmed the UN's commitment to work with countries in the region to address conflict and violence. Regarding the crisis in Mali, Mr. Ban

Malian rebels

said the UN is determined to do all it can to help the people in the country, with humanitarian agencies currently assisting civilians in need. "The United Nations has also sent specialists on the military and political tracks. This is a moral imperative for all in the international community," he said. Fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in northern Mali last January, after which radical Islamists seized control of the area. The renewed clashes in the north, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d'état in March have uprooted hundreds of thousands of civilians. Last month, the Security Council authorized the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali, known as AFISMA, for an initial period of one year to assist the authorities in recovering rebel-held regions in the north and restoring the unity of the country. Mr. Ban called on Malian authorities to embrace a comprehensive political process, and agree on a roadmap leading to full restoration of constitutional order. In addition, he reiterated his full commitment to ensure that the UN stands read to undertake major peacebuilding efforts as well as security sector reform, reconstruction and regional cooperation once the combat operations come to an end. In the Democratic Republic of the

Congo (DRC), Mr. Ban said the UN Stabilization Mission in the country (MONUSCO) is doing everything it can to protect civilians, and encouraged regional leaders to endorse a peace, security and cooperation framework to address the causes of violence in the country. During the Summit, Mr. Ban also addressed a special event on the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), where he pledged the UN's support to expand the campaign so that pregnant and nursing mothers in the continent have access to nutrition and healthcare. The Secretary-General also met with various African leaders on the margins of the Summit, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, with whom he discussed the situation in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Mali and DRC. Mr. Ban also met with the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and commended the progress in the country, while stressing the need for reconciliation and disarmament to ensure stability. In a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Ban reiterated his strong support for the Palestinian people and discussed the need for renewed momentum on the peace process. In addition, Mr. Ban met with the Chairperson of the AU Summit, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, with whom he exchanged views on collective efforts to address the situation in the DRC and Mali.

encouraging the Government to strengthen its political authority throughout its territory. With the P resident of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Joseph Kabila, he commended efforts to find a durable solution to the crisis in the east of the countr y, reaffir ming the UN's commitment to address remaining challenges. He also discussed the situation in the Great Lakes region with Rwandan P resident Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in separate meetings. The Secretary-General noted that leaders had planned to sign a political framework on the DRC earlier today. There were no fundamental differences over the content of the framework, but some procedural issues did arise, and the SecretaryGeneral said that the parties have agreed to postpone the signing. Also, Mr. Ban and Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete discussed issues in Madagascar and

Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General

Zimbabwe, in light of the security leadership role the country is currently playing in the South African Development Community (SADC), the spokesperson said.

Obama turns to police in gun control fight US President Barack Obama has asked police officials from the three communities hardest hit by mass shootings last year for help in securing tough new gun legislation. At a White House meeting on Monday, Obama said no group was more important in the gun debate than law enforcement representatives. Obama said, "We recognize that this is an issue that elicits a lot of passion all across the country. And (Vice President) Joe (Biden) and my Cabinet members who have been involved in this have been on a listening session over the last several months. No group is more important for us to listen to than our law enforcement officials. They are where the rubber hits the road." Obama has promised to take on board their views concerning gun violence. He added that he believes Congress will respond to appeals from

President Barack Obama

police. The White House meeting comes two weeks after Obama put forward a broad package of measures aimed at curbing gun violence. It includes a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity clips, alongside improved background checks on would-be owners.

Morsi reinvites opposition bloc for dialogue CAIRO, Egypt - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in the national dialogue late Monday renewed his invitation to the main opposition bloc (NSF) which earlier refused to participate in the meeting, official Ahram website reported Tuesday. During the four-hour long Egyptian national dialogue, Morsi said "I am ready to communicate personally with the leaders and members of the NSF and reinvite them to a dialogue," according to the report. The NSF refused the president's call for the dialogue as it ignored the front's main demands for forming a national unity government and amending the constitution, said the NSF at a press conference. "We don't refuse the dialogue with the presidency in general, but we refuse the dialogues that won't benefit the Egyptian people, " said Hamdeen Sabahy, a leading member of NSF. Based on the dialogue, a legal political committee to study and prepare the document over the controversial articles of the newly drafted constitution will be formed, including five members of politicians and another five from legal and constitution field.

The participants in the dialogue chose six members for drafting the document, and left the other four to the NSF to choose. Another four internal committees will be formed, respectively in charge of political, economic, media and security affairs. More details about the dialogue will be announced at a press conference on Tuesday. Due to the tense political conditions which left more than 50 dead and almost 2,000 injured over the past four days, Morsi issued on Sunday a statement that invited 11 parties and some independent figures for dialogue on Monday, including alD o s t o u r P a r t y, t h e M u s l i m Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, al-Wafd Party, Strong Egypt Party and others. Morsi also decided Sunday to impose a 30-day curfew and a state of emergency on Port Said, Suez and Ismailia after bloody clashes between anti-government protestors and securities in the three governorates. However, a lot of anti-government protesters took to the streets and violated the curfew despite of the deployed armed forces.







he core objective of The News Journal is the improvement of the society through the gathering and distribution of high quality and absolutely impartial news, information and entertainment. Thus, our goal is to publish content of the highest quality and integrity. Our motto shall be “The Truth, Honestly Told”. he focus of The News Journal shall be development of the nation. It should be recognized that Nigeria as a country and Africa as a whole has continued to be described as developing for decades. Yet, most of the African countries are about 50 years into their independence from colonial administration. It is a known truth that if a human has not achieved its full potential by age 40, people usually count such individual out of any good fortune. Is this the case with Africa? e believe that development is possible and that the news media has a great role to fulfill in ensuring that the society is enhanced, that the people have such information that they could use to improve their lives. he News Journal promise to deliver this. Our promise is to cover the news impartially and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and all parts of our society fairly and openly, and to be seen as doing so.





The men around Mr. President only make it worse W

e have the Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, the Special Assistant on New Media, the Honorable Minister for Information and a number of other guys that come up once in a while, speak for the Presidency and then withdraw again. The President and Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan PhD, seems like a nice guy! There, I have your attention. There have been many rejoinders to the rejoinders of articles emanating from the Presidency on the perceived financial profligacy of the current administration, so I will not add my voice to them. However, a certain aspect of the entire ‘show’ is to me very deplorable. This is the part that concerns the performance, in the strict sense of the word, of Mr. President’s supposed image launderers. They come in different sizes, shapes and most importantly, titles. I must confess that I had to do an internet search of the exact description of their titles. We have the Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, the Special Assistant on New Media, the Honorable Minister for Information and a number of other guys that come up once in a while, speak for the Presidency and then withdraw. I want to give Mr. President the benefit of doubt that each of these titled men has different job descriptions. I have no doubt however that their overall aim is to in the best possible manner, intimate the public of the administration’s policies and obtain feedback on such. It is only logical that if I were to choose a person to speak on my behalf, it will be someone my audience would listen to and who most importantly will communicate my actions in an acceptable manner. Companies understand this concept so well that they earmark huge sums of money for public relations consultants, advertising agencies, human relations departments, customer care units etc. People’s perception of your service is actually as important, if not more, than the service you actually render. Despite the fact that a lot of customers have lampooned BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) the manufacturers of BlackBerry phones on the many flaws of its products, the company still churned out $4 Million for advertisement during the super bowl on 3 February 2013. I will concede that this might justify Mr. President’s expenses on a retinue of image makers. Public communication boils down to the right choice of words, body language, diction, aura, physical disposition and a lot of other attributes that are actually taught in schools. It is not only the ability to weave together a couple of English words

that makes you a public communicator. I do not doubt the individual qualifications and achievements of Mr. President’s titled men but they have done everything but positively launder his image. I am not aware of the brief Mr. President gave each of them upon engagement but with their daily utterances, it seems like all they thought they were coming in to do was notify us of Mr. President’s travels, his meetings, dinner dates and decisions. It is now so bad that anyone that questions any of their press releases or criticizes the acts of the Presidency immediately becomes a member of the opposition, sponsored interest group or a political jobber. In response to such people, they each release an article, a press statement or tweet that says basically the same thing. I agree that Nigerians can be very rude and annoying in communicating their thoughts. While I try not to justify this bad attribute, can you blame them? No one will experience what Nigerians go through each day and not get aggressive. As a matter of fact, you cannot imagine the level of aggression Nigerians exhibit towards one another on a queue, in a danfo bus, in traffic, on twitter and a host of other places. What do you then expect when they converse with people they are of the opinion are the cause of their woes. What stands you out as a good communicator is not getting drawn into the frustration of your audience and responding alike but sifting the salient issues and addressing them. Name calling, mud-slinging and shameless comparisons are not professional ways of fulfilling your mandate as a person’s spokesperson.

The funniest of the titled men is the Assistant on New Media (basically facebook and twitter). On Twitter, he interesting follows only 232 people and has at the time of this article a little o v e r Fo u r T h o u s a n d t w e e t s . Seriously? I would think he would be following the most people on twitter to efficiently sample opinions and to civilly engage them. If he is not calling someone a wicked step-mother today, he is talking about how someone was homeless yesterday and a lot of comments that are otherwise beneath a secondary school student. Another titled man actually enjoys being called an attack dog. A google-search of any of their names since they joined the administration yields no positive post. Despite the fact that he had to defend many policies that the public were against, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr. in his capacity as Minister for Information from 2003-2007 communicated the Federal Government’s position in such a civil, gentlemanly and decorous manner as would make you have a rethink about your stand on the policy. No company will engage a PR organisation that has lost its credibility. Why can’t we run government like a company? No

matter the extent of abuse rained on a customer care operator, he is NEVER allowed to abuse the customer. I mean, customers are always right. As the mouthpieces of the President, I would have expected very creative forum for public interaction and not just the sarcasm ridden, abusive articles and once in a while derisive tweets they send out. They communicate every little achievement of the government like it is a favour done us. We are not begging for these things. You are there at our behest. When they intimate the public of what the government is doing, rather than talk about the project, they first go around abusing their ‘haters’ before passing across their message in a “soon you will say we are not working” manner. These people need to change the “it is my time in government” mentality and get really professional in performing their duties. The truth is, it doesn’t take too much to win Nigerians over. The Super eagles can testify to this. Governor Raji Fashola SAN of Lagos State in my opinion has not done anything spectacular. All he has done is to employ a part of the vast resources coming to the State and put them into visible projects while consistently articulating and updating the citizens of the progress, impediments, decisions and projections of the government. In the face of stringent criticisms, when he addresses the State, there is the appearance that he indeed respects the sensibilities of the people and this has earned him the title of the People’s Governor. President Jonathan might be doing some things right but the manner of communication by his titled men is sincerely not helping. Oh, and this manner of referring to Nigerian as ‘ordinary Nigerians’… Sigh. Are there super-Nigerians? I know you can never please everybody and Nigerians are perhaps the most difficult people to govern but dear Mr. President, it seems your titled men have all slept and faced the same direction. ————————

Demilade Olaosun is a media and entertainment lawyer that provides strategic advisory services to practitioners in the Nigerian entertainment industry. He had previously practiced law in one of the top law firms in Lagos State, providing various local and foreign clients with services in the areas of e l e c t r i c i t y l a w, t a x f o re n s i c investigation, transaction support and general project advisor y services. He is a director at Ribbon & Blue Maverick Media, a media and entertainment business advisory and transaction support firm. Follow him on twitter @OlaosunD.




COMMENTARY The need for ownership of African problems and solutions Zainab Usman

“Africa's story has been written by others; we need to own our problems and solutions and write our story.” -Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda


ith these words, Paul Kagame did two things simultaneously: he earned a spot in the top10 memorable quotes from the recently concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) Summit 2013 at Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. More importantly, his remark implied that Sub-Saharan Africa today is underscored by a profound failure of African ownership of lingering problems and potential solutions a failure of an African conceptualisation of these problems and their solutions and consequently a failure of taking responsibility for successes and failures. Recently, Africa has come under the spotlight as the rising continent of “opportunity” far from its hey days of being the melting pot of “darkness” and “hopelessness”, in the paraphrased words of Joseph Conrad and The Economist. The pockets of high economic growth fuelled by a boom in global commodity prices of which many African countries are merely exporters, and the purchasing power of an elitist “middle class” and of diaspora Africans goingback-home has led to a wave of justified Afro-optimism. More recently, this bubble of optimism has been punctured by those toeing the line of caution, myself inclusive, on the need for more sustainable economic growth, equitable distribution of resources, and institutionalisation of effective governance. The evident polarisation in the discourse on Africa's fortunes between the optimists and the skeptics is arguably due to the lack of ownership of the African situation today and of the discourse as well. This variation in this discourse on 21st century Africa was discernible at the WEF where the movers and shakers in global politics, global economy, the academia, entertainment and the International NGO circuit exchanged ideas, visions… and contact details. On the one hand were African leaders such as Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan marketing Nigeria's Agricultural Transformation program to investors; South Africa's Jacob Zuma with a presently expanding leadership role on the continent speaking about ambitious infrastructural projects and efforts towards greater regional integration to boost intra-continental trade and several CEOs of global firms like Renault and Coca-Cola stressing the vast opportunities for profitmaking in Africa. A more cautious position was adopted by Louise Arbour, President of International Crisis Group while highlighting significant challenges of governance, weak institutions and political and economic exclusion which foster inequitable distribution of resources, create grievances and eventually culminate in conflict, a serious threat to economic prosperity. While Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi adopted a middle ground tone in emphasising that despite significant successes in governance, infrastructure and resource-based industrialisation is needed for Africa to move up the value-chain. Where does ownership come in within the discourse on Africa's fortunes? It is precisely due to the lack ofownership that Africa's story today is varied and that a divergence is apparent between the optimists and the cautious skeptics. This (lack of) ownership means that economic successes across much of the continent are driven by external factors: the boom in global commodity prices on which the economies of many African countries Nigeria, Botswana and Zambia among others depend on and the global financial crisis prompting many diaspora Africans to make the

strategic move back home and global firms to look for new frontiers of massive profits in modernising African cities and of course, the role of foreign development aid. Africa's current economic successes can hardly be credited to conscious and deliberate policy by African policy makers, thereby questioning the sustainability of this “success”. The concept of ownership as identified in this context by President Kagame means African policy makers should take responsibility for problems: poverty, unemployment, inequality, infrastructural deficits, weak institutions and corruption. It means African leaders should take the lead in formulating transformational policies to address these problems: inclusive policies which will close the poverty and inequality gap and address hard infrastructure (such as roads, electricity and security) and soft infrastructure (such as governance, rule of law and regulatory environment) deficits to enable local businesses thrive whilst encouraging foreign investments. Overall, ownership of problems and solutions should mean that there is a strong link between the actions taken by African governments and resultant successes in addressing these problems, and that such successes

are not merely the coincidence of external factors the boom in oil prices, aid donors or the pinch of the global financial crisis. Effective ownership of problems and solutions means that in a few years, we should be able to quantify the jobs and agri-businesses that sprout from Jonathan's Agricultural Transformation program or a significant bridging of the yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots in South Africa. This will be the real test of African success in owning the problems and solutions, and for more sustainable prosperity across the continent.

Zainab Usman is a research student (PhD) in International Development whose research focus is on governance and political economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her broad interests are in international political economy, development within the African context and women and youth empowerment. Zainab r e g u l a r l y b l o g s a t She tweets from @MssZeeUsman




Nigeria's Economic Development Aspirations & The Leadership Question: Is There A Nexus? Sanusi Lamido Sanusi


t is indeed a great honour for me to be invited to be a part of the 2012 Yakubu Gowon Foundation (YGF) Distinguished Annual Lecture Series, the second in the series. I consider it, a unique opportunity and privilege to be asked to present this year's Annual Lecture, which is to commemorate the 78th Birthday anniversary of an illustrious and eminent Nigerian, General Dr. Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, for his invaluable contributions to the continued existence and development of our dear nation. Permit me to crave the indulgence of the distinguished personalities gathered here, to express my sincere appreciation to the Management of the YGF for tenaciously pursuing the vision of the founding father of the YGF, of making the world and, indeed Nigeria, a better place. This vision encompasses amongst others: supporting communities to have access to sustainable healthcare, education and agriculture as well as fostering peaceful co-existence through strategic partnerships. This vision remains a laudable and important trajectory for the elevation of mankind. I would like to start by placing on record, the immeasurable and unforgettable contributions of the Celebrant, to ensuring that the country remains an indissoluble and indivisible entity through his committed, engaging and conciliatory leadership style which he bestowed on Nigeria during, unarguably, the most difficult and challenging times of her existence. The task “To Keep Nigeria One” and his vision of 'a united and prosperous Nigeria' which he led during the trying period of the nation would have remained a mirage if not for the commitment and doggedness demonstrated by him and other compatriots living or dead. In the same vein, it can be said that the economic foundation of modern Nigeria began with his administration's pursuit of infrastructural expansion through the construction of numerous road networks, water works, airports, educational institutions,dams and power infrastructure, etc., across the length and breadth of the country. Others include the decimalization of the Nigerian currency, the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme and the judicious spending of the petro-naira, which providence bequeathed on the nation in the early/mid-1970s, to mention a few. It is against this background of his achievements in leadership and the current public perception of a disconnect by the leadership with the developmental quests of the country, that I have, with the liberty accorded me by the organizers, chosen “Nigeria's Economic Development Aspirations and the Leadership Question: Is there A Nexus?” as the title of my discourse at this distinguished gathering today. This choice is also to provoke our thoughts on the need to accelerate the process of grooming and development of leadership across the various strata of our society. You will agree with me that it is appalling to observe that five decades after Nigeria's independence, our nation has remained beleaguered with the challenges of leadership, particularly, those imbued with selfless and unflinching desire to steer the course of our economic development and national unity. NIGERIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASPIRATIONS As you will recall, in the quest to improve the material well-being and welfare of the citizens, various governments have over time embarked upon numerous developmental policies, plans, programmes and projects. Notable among these was the First National Development Plan (1962-1968), which was designed to put the economy on the path of accelerated growth by prioritizing agricultural and industrial development as well as training of high-level and intermediate manpower. The Second National Development Plan (1970-1974), through to the Third National Development Plan (1975-1980), were devoted primarily to reconstruct and rehabilitate infrastructure that were destroyed during the civil war years. This period witnessed massive investment of resources into the rehabilitation and construction of new infrastructural facilities. Moreover, the Fourth National Development Plan (1981-1985) was designed to reduce the dependence of the economy on a narrow range of activities and broaden the economic base as well as develop the technological base. The economic downturn of the early 1980's necessitated the implementation of Economic Stabilization Measures and later the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which was aimed at creating a more marketfriendly economy and to encourage private enterprise through the removal of cumbersome administrative mechanisms in economic management. The economic deregulation and liberalization policies of the late 1980's and 1990's had the goal of fostering effective allocation of scarce resources. Furthermore, Nigeria's Vision 2010 was aimed at “transforming the country and focusing it firmly on the path to becoming a developed nation by the year 2010”. According to the document, the private sector was expected to be very active, within a market-oriented, highly competitive, broad-based, private sector-driven development process. In addition, the return of democratic governance in the country in 1999, brought along with it the introduction of a series of reforms, aimed at redressing the distortions in the economy and restoring economic growth. The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) of 2004 was a home-grown poverty reduction, value-reorientation and socio-economic development strategy for the country.

* Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria

In 1970, while Nigeria had a GDP per capita of US$233.35 and was ranked 88th in the world, China was ranked 114th with a GDP per capita of US$111.82. However, with the visionary leaderships and the collective resolve of the citizens, China had recorded an impressive average annual growth rate of GDP of 9.5 per cent at the start of its market reforms in 1978 to 1994. Thereafter, China has sustained this rapid growth, perhaps, the highest in the world and has been transformed to the second largest economy in the world behind the USA. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is instructive to also note that the experience of Indonesia offers us a great deal of lessons due to the fact of being a plural society with over 200 languages and ethnic groups and a population of over 250 million. Indonesia with a per capita income of about $55 in 1965, has recorded a faster growth by year 2000 compared with other major emerging markets. This was made possible by the good leadership that was able to surmount the numerous challenges, and achieved tremendous growth and development such that it now towers over Nigeria in all material aspects of development. As a matter of fact, being the largest economy in South-east Asia, the government has introduced wide-ranging reforms. These included the pro-poor, progrowth, pro-employment economic policies coupled with the removal of artificial economic distortions, as well as the promotion of conservative fiscal policies, which resulted in a fiscal deficit of less than 2 per cent, among others. By 2011, Indonesia's per capita income had risen to US$2,981, with more than 60.0 per cent of the population having access to safe water, compared with 39.0 per cent for Nigeria. With a per capita GDP of US$299 in 1960, Malaysia has successfully transformed from a producer of raw materials to an emerging multi-sector economy. In 2011, the real GDP growth rate stood at 5.2 per cent, while the population living below the poverty line is less than 4.0 per cent, with unemployment projected at 3.1 per cent. Electricity production was about 118.2 billion kw/h while consumption stood at 93.8 billion kw/h. Foreign exchange reserves stood at US$129.6 billion while her total debt stood at about US$78.2 billion. The transformation of the country's economy from mono-primary product exporter to a dynamic and vibrant industrialized nation has been linked to a variety of pull factors namely, political stability, prudent and influx of foreign investors, business-friendly policies, productive workforce,

It is clear that the economy has not actually performed to its fullest potential, particularly in the face of its rising population. The Nigerian economy has grossly underperformed relative to her enormous resource endowment and the achievements of her peers/other developing nations with similar characteristics.

Let me reiterate the fact that all plans, programmes and visions enumerated above, were to guarantee Nigeria's economic development by altering the model of economic structure of production and consumption pattern, reduce dependence on oil, diversify the economic base, generate employment, create a globally competitive and stable economy. Looking back, it is clear that the economy has not actually performed to its fullest potential, particularly in the face of its rising population. The Nigerian economy has grossly underperformed relative to her enormous resource endowment and the achievements of her peers/other developing nations with similar characteristics. This is, particularly so, because agriculture has remained largely peasant, while the high contributions of the tertiary sector to output suggest that the sector is not really servicing the Nigerian economy but, indeed, other economies. Little wonder then that the diversification index remains below 0.4 per cent over the years in spite of the numerous reforms that have been put in place. COMPARISON WITH COUNTRIES WITH ALMOST E Q UA L E C O N O M I C S TA N D I N G AT N I G E R I A ' S INDEPENDENCE Nigeria's economic performance has been rather weak and does not reflect its level of resource endowments, especially when juxtaposed with the experiences of some emerging Asian economies that faced similar challenges and choices about five decades ago. A number of East Asian countries, notably, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were far behind Nigeria in terms of GDP per capita in the 1970s. Today, these countries have transformed their economies and are not only miles ahead of Nigeria, but are also major players on the global economic arena.

developed infrastructure that is comparable to that of any western country, and a host of other amenities making the country a good destination for foreign investments. By 2011, Nigeria was still lagging behind with GDP per capita income of $1,500 compared with Malaysia's US$2,981 and 87.0 per cent of population having access to safe water. In 1960, Singapore's GDP per capita was $395 which grew to $925 by 1970, while Nigeria's rose from US$96 to US$219. By 2011, with GDP per capita income of US$1,500 Nigeria was seriously lagging behind Singapore's US$43,865 per capita GDP. The proportion of the population with access to safe water increased to almost 100 per cent of the population of Singaporeans. Today Singapore ranked as the world's 2nd most open economy in the Asian Pacific region. The country is highly developed, and operates under a successful free market system and an environment devoid of corruption. The government runs efficient and competitive tax rates and low public sector expenditure. The regulatory environment has been flexible and transparent with a strong tradition of openness to global trade and investment, which continued to boost the country's productivity. As a fall-out of best practices, the private sector has been the source of Singapore's economic success, while the government continues to play a proactive role in guiding its economic development. The country is ranked as the 3rd wealthiest nation in the world. The Singapore miracle was made possible by years of successive visionary leadership that were able to transform the economy through consistent policies. A cursory examination of these three emerging economies reveals how these economies have been remarkably transformed over a space of 50 years. A closer look at the aforementioned




Nigeria's Economic Development Aspirations & The Leadership Question: Is There A Nexus? indices signaled to the fact that Nigeria failed to keep pace with its contemporaries, despite being more resource endowed than these countries. As a matter of fact, history has it that Malaysia at the early stage of its development procured improved oil-palm and rubber seeds from Nigeria and became the world's largest palm-oil producer/exporter and a major exporter of rubber, with Nigeria having nothing to show for it, but instead has become a major importer of these commodities. Perhaps, at this point we must ask ourselves why these countries fared better than Nigeria. The obvious answer no doubt points to the leadership question. Today, these countries have been able to successfully surmount the economic quagmires that characterized their economies at the early stages of development having transited from poverty, corruption and political imbroglio into a more stable and prosperous nations. Therefore, the success stories of these East Asian countries attested to the truism that leadership plays a crucial role in the development of any society. The commitment and good governance by the leaders in these environments translated the societal aspiration and vision into concrete terms as demonstrated in the amazing economic and political progress. Visionary leadership and good governance, no doubt, remains the hallmark of pushing the growth and development frontiers as well as accelerating the pace of economic progress. We can, without any fear of contradiction assert that these leaders were nationalists, visionaries and uncompromising leaders in their various rights. At this juncture, it will not be inappropriate to affirm some of those leaders who championed the course of development in their countries. Mohamad Mahathir of Malaysia, Jiang Zemin of Peoples' Republic of China, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Suharto of Indonesia, to mention a few, were reformers and change champions in their own right. The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammed was responsible for the creation of a world class economy in Malaysia, and was able to guarantee higher standards of living, higher literacy and higher life expectancy for his people. Accordingly, he implemented appropriate economic policies to encourage enterprises in Malaysia to grow and expand by adopting latest technology and management practices and ultimately compete globally. Mention should also be made of the former President Jiang Zemin of the Peoples' Republic of China. His leadership qualities were extolled for exposing centralized communist economic system to capitalist market stimuli and achieving spectacular progress for China. WHAT CAN BE GLEANED FROM THE A SIAN EXPERIENCE Certainly, the rapid growth in Asian emerging economies has the potential to provide some lessons to Nigeria. The remarkable success of the economies of the Asian countries raises the question of factors that accounted for these success stories. The Asian miracle was able to create resources which were managed efficiently to promote economic growth and development. The structure has helped in freeing the countries from corruption as resources are directed to areas that produce high economic returns. An indispensable lesson from the East Asian experience is the pivotal role that the political leadership played in directing their growth paths toward ensuring economic progress and development. This also underscores the importance of a stable and enduring political environment that is conducive for establishing the ideal condition for economic and industrial takeoff, particularly focusing on technology-driven industrialization to support exports. The political stability should encompass adequate security to foster the requisite environment under which business and commercial activities can thrive. Another important lesson from the Asian Tigers is the systematic and coordinated policy intervention by the government to steer the economy to the right path. Worthy of mention is the areas of industrial policies directed at developing strategic sectors of their economies as well as the cooperation between the private sector and the government. Government policies were primarily geared to ensuring private sector competition between small and large companies as well as promotion of export-led growth. The issue of research and development, (R&D) was at the front burner of the development strategies of the Asian nations. These countries were able to adapt and customize the products of R&D as the bedrock of their technological advancement to support the export-led growth strategy. The adaptation of R&D was instrumental to ensuring the diversification and widening of the export base. CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE LEADERSHIP QUESTION Let me state emphatically that though the Nigerian economy has achieved some considerable progress, the accomplishment is far below her realizable potentials given her abundant human and material resource endowment. The country is still grappling with numerous challenges, which has continued to militate against the achievement of economic transformation. First, from the standpoint of leadership, the country is seriously beset with numerous shortcomings in the leadership arena, be it in the spheres of politics, corporate or at the community level, etc. In fact, the case of Nigeria could be rightly classified as leadership

Finally, policy incoherence and inconsistencies and occasional policy somersault also pose a major constraint to economic development in Nigeria. Though, government policies, plans and initiatives tend to be laudable, they are most often discontinued with any change in regime. Thus, regime changes in the past had often truncated the implementation of good projects and programmes.

* President Goodluck Jonathan

decadence across all spectrum of human endeavour. The bane of leadership in our environment could conveniently be grouped into the following broad categories. ? Prevalence of executive/legislative/judicial lawlessness and corruption within the body polity as the personal interests of many leaders override collective goals. The frenzied quest for wealth over and above all other considerations has rendered leadership most ineffective. ? Abuse and manipulation of ethnic relationship by leaders in authority by way of nepotism, tribalism, favouritism and religious bigotry. ? Lack of leadership education and skills to discharge expected roles and perform leadership duties effectively. ? Inadequate motivation of subordinates and followers leading to disconnect in leadership and followership relationship. Second, the economy is yet to achieve the necessary structural changes required to jump-start rapid and sustainable economic growth. The attitudinal and structural changes needed for economic transformation are still very much lacking. This is traceable to the manifestations of structural rigidities occasioned by the apparent weak linkages existing among the primary, secondary and the tertiary sectors of the economy. The huge foreign exchange inflows from oil have also not been effectively harnessed to ensure a comprehensive diversification of the economy. Third, the economy is faced with widespread dilapidated and dysfunctional economic and social infrastructure. This has hindered the growth of the economy, and was the result of decades of neglects, weak technological base and poor maintenance culture over the years. It is also a reflection of the low research and development efforts on the part of the government. Fourth, corruption has become endemic and has continued to ravage the entire strata of the society. In fact, corruption is a direct result of the weak leadership, poor value and reward system in the country. According to the Transparency International 2012, Nigeria's position in the Corruption Perception Index for 2011 was 143 out of a total of 183 countries with a score of 2.4/10, which clearly reveals Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Fifth, the menace of weak governance constitutes a serious challenge to the various efforts and reforms meant to achieve economic growth for sustainable development. Thus, the prevalence of weak institutions, poor governance as well as poor ethical standards in most public and private organizations, constrain the realization of economic policy objectives of the government. The effect of all these have permeated the country's regulation and law enforcement, rendering them ineffective. Sixth, is the environmental factor, particularly the weak investment climate, owing to the legal and institutional challenges as well as the spate of insecurity, which has continued to constrain massive flow of investment in the key potential wealth-creating and employment generating sectors of the economy.

ADDRESSING THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES: WHAT TYPE IS IDEAL FOR NIGERIA? Given the various challenges confronting economic performance in the country, one pertinent question to ask is How do we refocus our energies (political and corporate elites as well as the ordinary citizens) to attain the much desired economic progress and development? I am sure you all know the answer Leadership rejuvenation at all strata of our society. This is because leadership is the hub upon which every other thing revolves. According to ATG Educational Series, leadership is the process or the ability to motivate others to unite and work towards achieving a common goal. From the standpoint of our current situation, Nigeria needs leadership at all the various levels of society to manage the wide spectrum of our socio-economic and political activities. As the leader of all leaders, the political leadership is very vital in achieving the total transformation of the economy as seen in the case of the East Asian Economies that were able to transform over a space of fifty years from minor to major players on the world economic stage. For Nigeria, it is essential for the political leaders to be visionary and transformational, to be able to see, project and assemble a vision of a desired future for the nation. In addition, they should be selfless, engaging and motivational as these are the fundamental prerequisite for mobilizing followership, particularly in a multiethnic, multi-religious and multicultural society like Nigeria. As a motivator, leadership vision must be clear, attractive and attainable. An engaging leadership would be able to build bridges across divides, and as such be able to foster necessary harmony for collective good. Leadership that would be effective in a setting like Nigeria must also be courageous to take radical and progressive decisions/actions. Finally, such leadership must be committed, determined and persistent to be able to realize a vision as well as attain the desired goals and objectives. As engraved on the plaque on the wall of Ray Krocan American businessman who was behind the success of McDonald's Corporation: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talents. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”. In the light of the foregoing quotation, Nigeria would require committed, determined, and persistent leaders in order to be able to realize the collective vision and to take our nation to the 'promised land'. Therefore, the attainment of the Vision 20:2020 to be among the top 20 largest economies in the world by 2020 is contingent upon our contributions as leaders in our various callings. CONCLUDING REMARKS Ladies and Gentlemen, I will like to close my discourse with a quote that would serve as watchwords in the discharge of our leadership duties and responsibilities. These words are golden and would assist us in reevaluating our ways and actions as leaders.According to Phil Dourado author, Speaker, Leadership Development, Speaker and Journalist, and Creator of the Leadership hub: “People need to know who you are and what you stand for; before they agree to be led by you. Leadership is an agreement. You lead with permission. If your self-story is not absolutely consistent and based on integrity - who you really are - people will see through it and not give you permission to lead them. Most often, they will hide their disagreement and your apparent leadership will be fake”. Given the inability of Nigeria to realize its development aspirations during the past 52 years of political independence, and the seemingly forlorn hope for realistic progress by many citizens, it is obvious that the country needs a new kind of leadership. Such leadership should be inspiringly creative and resolutely courageous. It is this kind of leadership that will be capable of taking the country into new frontiers of development, as has been demonstrated by the Asian countries that I had enumerated earlier. Leadership with a different kind of mind leadership that sees beyond the obvious to spot the unusual solution if we are to realize the aspirations of the Vision 20:2020 document. Eminent Personalities, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is on this note that I implore all of us to imbibe the right attributes of leadership in our various endeavours so as to able to reposition our various organizations on a higher pedestal towards advancing the course of our national development and ultimately improve the welfare of our people. I thank you all for your attention. Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria presented this paper at the 2012 Yakubu Gowon Foundation (YGF) Distinguished Annual Lecture Series; October 2012

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Brian Tracy

Personal Strategic Planning:

4-Step Action Plan to Strengthen Your Personal Skills


nly by discovering your innate, personal skills and developing and exploiting them to their highest degree can you utilize yourself to get the greatest amount of satisfaction and enjoyment from everything you do. Creating an action plan through personal strategic planning can give you the highest rewards for your efforts and is the starting point in getting the best out of yourself. C o r p o r a t e v s . Pe r s o n a l Strategic Planning When we do strategic planning for corporations, we begin with the premise that the whole purpose of the exercise is to reorganize and reallocate people and resources to increase the rate of return on equity, or capital invested in the business. Invariably, this is done by emphasizing some areas and deemphasizing others, by allocating more resources to areas with higher potential return and by taking resources away from those areas that represent lower potential retur ns. By developing or promoting newer and better products and services and by discontinuing those products and services that are less profitable, the company and all the people in it can channel their resources to maximize their returns. In doing personal strategic planning, the first thing you want to think about is increasing your personal “return on energy,” rather than return on equity. You need to realize that the most

essential and valuable thing that you have to bring to your life and to your work is your ability to think, to act and to get results. Your earning abilitywhich is a function of your education, knowledge, experience and talentsis your human capital, or your equity. And the way you develop your personal skills and use your earning ability will largely determine the quality and quantity of your rewards, both material and psychological, both tangible and intangible. Action Plan Step 1: Clarify Your Values This first part of personal strategic planning is called “values clarification.” You ask yourself, “What values and virtues do I most admire and wish to practice in my life?” If you wanted to discover your strengths and personal skills in the work world, first you would define your values as they apply to employment. The values that companies settle upon would be similar to the values that you organize your work life around. Often, both companies and individuals will choose values such as integrity, quality, respect for others, service, profitability, innovation, entrepreneurship, market leadership, and so on. In a similar vein, you could use those values to define your position with regard to your work. In your personal strategic planning, you could decide to plan your work life around the values of quality, excellence, s e r v i c e , p r o f i t a b i l i t y, a n d innovation. There are dozens of

values that you can pick from, but whichever you choose, and the order of priority you place on your choices, will determine your approach to your work. Action Plan Step 2: Create Yo u r P e r s o n a l M i s s i o n Statement Your next step is to create your personal mission statement. T h i s i s a c l e a r, w r i t t e n description of the person you intend to be in your work life. I have often found that this is even more important than setting specific financial or business or sales goals. Once you have decided how much you want to earn, you need to write out a personal mission statement that describes the kind of person you intend to become in order to earn that amount of money. Remember: Your goal is to identify your personal skills and strengths so that you can deploy yourself in such a way as to increase your personal return on energy. In personal strategic planning, one of the best mental techniques that you can use to develop your personal skills is to see yourself as a “bundle of resources” that can be applied in a variety of directions to achieve a variety of objectives. As a bundle of resources, the amount of time and energy that you have is limited; therefore, your time and energy must be put to their highest and best use. Stand back and imagine that you're looking at yourself objectively, as if through the eyes of another person, and you're thinking about how you could apply

yourself to bring about the best results. See yourself as your own employer or boss. What could you do to maximize the output of which you're capable, and where could you do it? Action Plan Step 3: Perform an Audit to Strengthen Personal Skills Once you have defined your values and written out your mission statement, the next step of personal strategic planning is to do what is called a “situational analysis.” Sometimes we call it a “performance audit.” This is the process of analyzing yourself thoroughly before you begin setting specific goals and planning certain activities. You begin your performance audit by asking yourself some key questions. One of those questions should be, “What are my marketable skills?” Think about it. What can you do for which someone else will pay you? What can you do particularly well? What can you do better than others? What have you done particularly well in the past? A wage or a salary is merely an amount of money that is paid to purchase a certain quality and quantity of labor or output. The results that you're able to get by applying your personal skills and strengths largely determine your rewards in life. If you wish to increase the quality and quantity of your rewards, you have to increase your ability to achieve more and better results. It's very simple.

Action Plan Step 4: Deter mine Your Area of Excellence Finally, in personal strategic planning, the aim is always to achieve leadership in your chosen market niche. Business leaders have the authority to determine the area of excellence in their business. Analogously, on a personal level, you can choose the thing at which you're going to become absolutely excellent and achieve extraordinary results. So in what areas are you going to work to achieve results that are far beyond what the average person could be expected to accomplish? You were put on this earth with a special combination of talents, abilities, and personal skills that make you different from anyone who has ever lived. Whatever you're doing today, it's nowhere near what you're really capable of doing. The key to a happy and prosperous life is for you to regularly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, to become very good in the areas you most enjoy, and then to throw your whole heart into what you're doing. I hope you enjoyed this article on personal strategic planning and how to develop your personal skills to achieve ultimate success. I'd love to hear your personal mission statement, action plan or steps you have taken to develop your personal skills and strengths.

Setting Goals and Building Self Confidence Through Personal Development


ne of the most valuable exercises you can engage in, when setting goals is to ask yourself, “What is my limiting step?” What is the one factor that determines the speed at which I achieve my goal, or whether I achieve it at all throughout my personal development? Your ability to identify your limiting step is one of the best demonstrations of your intelligence and a set towards building self-confidence. Your capacity to eliminate this limiting step is one of the best demonstrations of your overall competence in achieving anything you want. Building Self-Confidence Is Critical In studying everything that has been written or said about personal development and

success, the conclusion I came to was that your level of selfconfidence is probably the critical factor in everything you accomplish. When you have enough self-confidence, you will try almost anything. Because success is largely a matter of averages, or probabilities, the more things you try, the more likely it is that you will achieve greatly. Try More Things The same is true for you. By setting goals, trying more things, engaging in more activities, and exploring more opportunities, your probabilities of success increase dramatically. The only real limiting step that you might have is your level of selfconfidence. When you reach the point at which you believe in yourself absolutely, the barriers that exist in your external world

will not stop you. The major obstacles to success always lie within the mind of the individual. They are not contained in external circumstances, situations or people. By building selfconfidence you win the inner battle, the outer battle seems to take care of itself. Three Great Ideas for Personal Development I have learned three important ideas for building selfconfidence. First, accept complete responsibility for yourself and for everything that you are and ever will be. Second, accept that you can change your situation only by going to work on yourself and learning the things you need to know to be better. Third, setting goals with time lines for the things you want and then work every day to bring

those goals into reality.

changes in every area of my life.

We Sabotage Ourselves Our natural tendency is to work hard until we find a method or technique that works for us, whether in life, work, or relationships, and then, for some perverse reason, we promptly abandon the technique and go back to behaving in our old way, in a random and haphazard manner. A mental exercise program for personal development, like setting goals and positive thinking, is very much like a physical exercise program. If you expect it to really work for you, you have to practice it persistently, every day, and keep at it indefinitely. When I began to apply these proven success principles to my life, and worked on them every day, I was able to bring about almost miraculous

Setting Goals: The Secret of Success Every successful man or woman that I have ever talked to or read about has come to pretty much the same conclusion. By every measure, you have more talent and ability than you could use in 100 lifetimes. You, too, can step on the accelerator of your own potential and begin moving forward at a speed that will amaze you by setting goals. Many people who have listened to my programs or gone through my seminars have come back to me and told me that they cannot believe how fast their lives began to improve by setting goals on a daily basis.

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THENEWSJOURNAL VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT TheNewsJournal is a development-oriented newspaper, with primary focus as the South West of Nigeria. Our core belief is that news reporting should enhance the livelihood of the citizens, promote good governance and offer alternatives for the betterment of the society as a whole. We have vacancies for people of high integrity in the following positions: SENIOR REPORTERS Senior Reporters are expected to be highly motivated and have passion for high level as well as high volume reporting in virtually every beat. They are expected to be good sources of encouragement to other more junior colleagues. INTERMEDIATE REPORTERS Intermediate Reporters are expected to be selfchallenging, while they pursue their writing interests with vigour. They must also be receptive to learning as well as be adaptive to work systems. JUNIOR REPORTERS Junior Reporters can learn how to be starters while they aspire to greater heights. They are expected to put the heat on themselves to meet up with journalistic demands. FREELANCE REPORTERS Freelance Reporters like all the other categories have the nose for news and pick it up with passion. While the heat may not be on them to meet some deadlines, they should always consider an option in big news and features writing. TRAINEE Trainees are expected to have an open mind to learn both from others and from self. They will be expected to read and write a lot till they could perfect their journalistic skills. TO APPLY Applicants should send in a letter of application. They should state what positions they are applying for as the subject of their letter. Each application should include: (1) Cover letter (of about 700 words) indicating what

you have done before; what you can do; and values you can contribute. State also the average number of stories you can write in a month, as well as a field of interest you are passionate about. (2) Clips of stories you have written before that qualifies you for the present position. (3) A detailed curriculum vitae that tells us about you, your education; your job experience. Don’t forget to say what your roles and responsibilities were and the duration of each of these. (4) Photocopies of academic degrees and certificates. NOTE: We value self-motivation, expertise, and readiness to learn. All applications must be received via email on and copied to by March 11, 2013.


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THESTRATEGYBOX Making time management the organization’s priority To stop wasting a finite resource, companies should tackle time problems systematically rather than leave them to individuals, FRANKKI BEVINS and AARON DE SMET write.


hen a critical strategic initiative at a major multinational stalled recently, company leaders targeted a talented, up-and-coming executive to take over the project. There was just one problem: she was already working 18-hour days, five days a week. When the leaders put this to the CEO, he matter-of-factly remarked that by his count she still had “30 more hours Monday to Friday, plus 48 more on the weekend.” Extreme as this case may seem, the perennial time-scarcity problem that underlies it has become more acute in recent years. The impact of always-on communications, the growing complexity of global organizations,1 and the pressures imposed by profound economic uncertainty have all added to a feeling among executives that there are simply not enough hours in the day to get things done. Our research and experience suggest that leaders who are serious about addressing this challenge must stop thinking about time management as primarily an individual problem and start addressing it institutionally. Time management isn’t just a personal-productivity issue over which companies have no control; it has increasingly become an organizational issue whose root causes are deeply embedded in corporate structures and cultures. Fortunately, this also means that the problem can be tackled systematically. Senior teams can create time budgets and formal processes for allocating their time. Leaders can pay more attention to time when they address organizational-design matters such as spans of control, roles, and decision rights. Companies can ensure that individual leaders have the tools and incentives to manage their time effectively. And they can provide institutional support, including best-in-class administrative assistance—a frequent casualty of recent cost-cutting efforts. Approaches like these aren’t just valuable in their own right. They also represent powerful levers for executives faced with talent shortages, particularly if companies find their most skilled people so overloaded that they lack the capacity to lead crucial new programs. In this article, we’ll explore institutional solutions—after first reviewing in more detail the nature of today’s time-management challenge, including the results of a recent survey. Time: The ‘infinite’ resource When we asked nearly 1,500 executives across the globe2 to tell us how they spent their time, we found that only 9 percent of the respondents deemed themselves “very satisfied” with their current allocation. Less than half were “somewhat satisfied,” and about one-third were “actively dissatisfied.” What’s more, only 52 percent said that the way they spent their time largely matched their organizations’ strategic priorities. Nearly half admitted that they were not concentrating sufficiently on guiding the strategic direction of the business. These last two data points suggest that time challenges are influencing the well-being of companies, not just individuals. The survey results, while disquieting, are arguably a natural consequence of the fact that few organizations treat executive time as the finite and measurable resource it is. Consider the contrast with capital. Say that a company has $2 billion of good capital-investment opportunities, all with positive net present value and reasonably quick payback, but just $1 billion of capital readily available for investment. The only options are either to prioritize the most important possibilities and figure out which should be deferred or to find ways of raising more capital. Leadership time, by contrast, too often gets treated as though it were limitless, with all good opportunities receiving high priority regardless of the leadership capacity to drive them forward. No wonder that so few leaders feel they are using their time well or that a segmentation analysis of the survey data revealed the existence not only of dissatisfied executives but of four distinct groups of dissatisfied executives—“online junkies,” “schmoozers,” “cheerleaders,” and “firefighters”—whose pain points, as we’ll see, reflect the ways organizations ignore time. Initiative overload The myth of infinite time is most painfully experienced through the proliferation of big strategic initiatives and special projects common to so many modern organizations. The result is initiative overload: projects get heaped on top of “day jobs,” with a variety of unintended consequences, including failed initiatives, missed opportunities, and leaders who don’t have time to engage the people whose cooperation and commitment they need. Organizations often get “change fatigue” and eventually lack energy for even the most basic and rewarding initiatives. Many dissatisfied executives, particularly firefighters and online junkies, struggle to devote time and energy to the personal conversations and team interactions that drive successful

initiatives. The online junkies spend the least time motivating employees or being with their direct reports, either one on one or in a group; face-to-face encounters take up less than 20 percent of their working day. The communication channels they most favor are e-mail, other forms of asynchronous messaging, and the telephone—all useful tools, but often inadequate substitutes for real conversations. Muddling through Another unintended consequence of our cavalier attitude toward this supposedly infinite resource is a lack of organizational time-management guidance for individual managers. Imagine someone on day one of a new job: she’s been through the training and onboarding, arrives at the office, sits down at her desk, and then . . . ? What determines the things she does, her schedule, the decisions she gets involved with, where she goes, whom she talks with, the information she reviews (and for how long), and the meetings she attends? Nine out of ten times, we find, the top two drivers are e-mails that appear in the inbox and meeting invites, albeit sometimes in reverse order. Diary analyses of how different people spend their time in the same role—sales rep, trader, store manager, regional vice president—often provoke astonishment at the sharply contrasting ways different individuals perform the same job. The not-so-good performers are often highly fragmented, spending time on the wrong things in the wrong places while ignoring tasks core to their strategic objectives. Our survey suggests that a laissez-faire approach to time management is a challenge for all four types of dissatisfied executives, but particularly for the schmoozers (CEOs are well represented) and cheerleaders (often C-suite executives one

level down). These individuals seem to be doing valuable things: schmoozers spend most of their time meeting face to face with important (often external) stakeholders, while cheerleaders spend over 20 percent of theirs (more than any other dissatisfied group) interacting with, encouraging, and motivating employees. But consider the things these people are not doing. Cheerleaders spend less time than other executives with a company’s external stakeholders. For schmoozers, more than 80 percent of interaction time takes place face to face or on the phone. They say they have difficulty connecting with a broad cross-section of the workforce or spending enough time thinking and strategizing. The same challenge confronts cheerleaders, who spend less than 10 percent of their time focused on long-term strategy. The bottom line: muddling through and devoting time to activities that seem important doesn’t always cut it, even for a company’s most senior leaders. Troublesome trade-offs When new initiatives proliferate without explicit attention to the allocation of time and roles, organizations inadvertently make trade-offs that render their leaders less effective (see sidebar, “Drowning in managerial minutiae”). Companies often exacerbate time problems through the blunt application of “delayering” principles. One organization we know applied “the rule of seven” (no more than seven direct reports for managers) to all parts of the organization. It forgot that different types of managerial work require varying amounts of time to oversee, manage, and apprentice people. In some cases (such as jobs involving highly complicated international tax work in finance organizations), a leader has the bandwidth for only two or three direct reports. In others (such as very simple call-center

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THESTRATEGYBOX Making time management the organization’s priority operations, where employees are well trained and largely selfmanaging), it is fine to have 20 or more. While the average span of control might still work out at seven, applying simple rules in an overly simplistic way can be costly: managers with too few direct reports often micromanage them or initiate unnecessary meetings, reports, or projects that make the organization more complex. Conversely, when managers don’t have enough time to supervise their people, they tend to manage by exception (acting only where there’s a significant deviation from what’s planned) and often end up constantly firefighting. We saw these dynamics most at work among our survey’s firefighters. General managers accounted for the largest number of people in this category, which is characterized by the amount of time those in it spend alone in their offices, micromanaging and responding to supposed emergencies via e-mail and telephone (40 percent, as opposed to 13 percent for the schmoozers). Such executives also complained about focusing largely on short-term issues and near-term operational decisions and having little time to set strategy and organizational direction. Respecting time The deep organizational roots of these time challenges help explain their persistence despite several decades of research, training, and popular self-help books, all building on Peter Drucker’s famous dictum: “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.”3 So where should leaders hoping to make real progress for their organizations—and themselves—start the journey? We don’t believe there’s one particular breakdown of time that works for all executives. But the responses of the relatively small group of satisfied executives in our survey (fewer than one in ten) provide some useful clues to what works. Overall, the key seems to be balance (Exhibit 1). On average, executives in the satisfied group spend 34 percent of their time interacting with external stakeholders (including boards, customers, and investors), 39 percent in internal meetings (evenly split between one on ones with direct reports, leadershipteam gatherings, and other meetings with employees), and 24 percent working alone.4 Of the time executives in the satisfied group spend interacting with others (externally and internally), 40 percent involves faceto-face meetings, 25 percent video- or teleconferences, and around 10 percent some other form of real-time communication. Less than a third involves e-mail or other asynchronous communications, such as voice mail. The satisfied executives identified four key activities that take up (in roughly equal proportions) two-thirds of their time: making key business or operational decisions, managing and motivating people, setting direction and strategy, and managing external stakeholders. None of these, interestingly, is the sort of transactional and administrative activity their dissatisfied counterparts cited as a major time sink. In our experience, all of those dissatisfied leaders stand to benefit from the remedies described below. That said, just as the principles of a good diet plan are suitable for all unhealthy eaters but the application of those principles may vary, depending on individual vices (desserts for some, between-meal snacks for others), so too these remedies will play out differently, depending on which time problems are most prevalent in a given organization. 1. Have a ‘time leadership’ budget—and a proper process for allocating it Rather than add haphazardly to projects and initiatives, companies should routinely analyze how much leadership attention, guidance, and intervention each of them will need. What is the oversight required? What level of focus should the top team or the steering committee provide? In other words, how much leadership capacity does the company really have to “finance” its great ideas? Establishing a time budget for priority initiatives might sound radical, but it’s the best way to move toward the goal of treating leadership capacity as companies treat financial capital and to stop financing new initiatives when the human capital runs out. One large health system we know has established a formal governance committee, with a remit to oversee the time budget, for enterprise-wide initiatives. The committee approves and monitors all of them, including demands on the system’s leadership capacity. Initial proposals must include time commitments required from the leadership and an explicit demonstration that each leader has the required capacity. If not, the system takes deliberate steps to lighten that leader’s other responsibilities. 2. Think about time when you introduce organizational change Companies typically look at managerial spans of control from a structural point of view: the broader they are, the fewer managers and the lower the overhead they need. Augmenting that structural frame of reference with the time required to achieve goals is critical to the long-term success of any organizational change. The hours needed to manage, lead, or supervise an employee represent a real constraint that, if unmanaged, can make structures unstable or ineffective.

Getting this right is a delicate balancing act. Excessively lean organizations leave managers overwhelmed with more direct reports than they can manage productively. Yet delayering can be a time saver because it strips out redundant managerial roles that add complexity and unnecessary tasks. One major healthproducts company we know recently made dramatic progress toward eliminating unnecessary work and taming a notorious “meeting culture” just by restructuring its finance organization, which had twice as many managers as its peers did. Likewise, when another company—this one in the technology sector—reset its internal governance structures, it saved more than 4,000 person-hours of executive time annually while enhancing its strategic focus, increasing its accountability, and speeding up decision making. In particular, the company revamped complex decision-making structures involving multiple boards and committees that typically included the same people and had similar agendas and unnecessarily detailed discussions. 3. Ensure that individuals routinely measure and manage their time At one leading professional-services firm, a recent analysis revealed that the senior partners were spending a disproportionate amount of time on current engagements, to the exclusion of equally important strategic priorities, such as external networking, internal coaching, and building expertise. Today individual partners have a data-backed baseline as a starting point to measure how well their time allocation meets their individual strategic objectives.

the interfaces), for managing performance (course-correcting actions must be adopted at such meetings, or they are really just for reporting), or for making decisions (meetings where everything is approved 99 percent of the time don’t count, since they too are really for reporting). Executives at the highestperforming organizations we’ve seen typically spend at least 50 percent of their time in decision meetings and less than 10 percent in reporting or information meetings. But most companies allocate their leadership time in exactly the reverse order, often without knowing it: the way people spend their time can be taken for granted, like furniture that nobody notices anymore. 5. Provide high-quality administrative support One of the biggest differences we saw in the survey involved the quality of support. Of those who deemed themselves effective time managers, 85 percent reported that they received strong support in scheduling and allocating time. Only 7 percent of ineffective time allocators said the same. The most effective support we’ve seen is provided by a global chemical company, where the CEO’s administrative assistant takes it upon herself to ensure that the organization’s strategic objectives are reflected in the way she allocates the time of the CEO and the top team to specific issues and stakeholders. She regularly checks to ensure that calendared time matches the stated priorities. If it doesn’t, during priority-setting meetings (every two weeks) she’ll highlight gaps by asking questions such as, “We haven’t been to Latin America yet this year—is that an issue? Do you need to schedule a visit before the end of the year?” Or, “Are these the right things to focus on? Since you’re already

Companies should routinely analyze how much leadership attention, guidance, and intervention each of them will need. What is the oversight required? What level of focus should the top team or the steering committee provide? Executives are usually surprised to see the output from timeanalysis exercises, for it generally reveals how little of their activity is aligned with the company’s stated priorities. If intimacy with customers is a goal, for example, how much time are the organization’s leaders devoting to activities that encourage it? Most can’t answer this question: they can tell you the portion of the budget that’s dedicated to the organization’s priorities but usually not how much time the leadership devotes to them. Once leaders start tracking the hours, even informally, they often find that they devote a shockingly low percentage of their overall time to these priorities. Of course, if you measure and manage something, it becomes a priority regardless of its importance. At one industrial company, a frontline supervisor spent almost all his time firefighting and doing unproductive administrative work, though his real value was managing, coaching, and developing people on the shop floor. The reason for the misallocation was that shop-floor time was neither structured nor measured—no one minded if he didn’t show up—but he got into trouble by not attending meetings and producing reports. The same issue exists for senior executives: if their formal and informal incentives don’t map closely to strategic priorities, their time will naturally be misallocated. The inclusion in performance reviews of explicit, time-related metrics or targets, such as time spent with frontline employees (for a plant manager) or networking (for senior partners at a professional-services firm), is a powerful means of changing behavior. So is friendly competition among team members and verbal recognition of people who spend their time wisely. And consider borrowing a page from lean manufacturing, which emphasizes “standard work” as a way to reduce variability. We’ve seen companies define, measure, and reward leader-standard work, including easy-to-overlook priorities from “walking the halls” to spending time with critical stakeholders. 4. Refine the master calendar To create time and space for critical priorities, business leaders must first of all be clear about what they and their teams will stop doing. Organizationally, that might mean reviewing calendars and meeting schedules to make an honest assessment of which meetings support strategic goals, as opposed to update meetings slotted into the agenda out of habit or in deference to corporate tradition. While many large companies create a master calendar for key meetings involving members of the senior team, few take the next step and use that calendar as a tool to root out corporate time wasting. There are exceptions, though: one global manufacturer, for example, avoids the duplication of travel time by always arranging key visits with foreign customers to coincide with quarterly business meetings held overseas. In our experience, companies can make even more progress by identifying which meetings are for information only (reporting), for cross-unit collaboration (problem solving and coordination at

going to Eastern Europe, what else should we schedule while you’re out there? Do we need to clear the decks to make more time for strategic priorities?” In addition, the CEO’s administrative assistant “owns” the master calendar for corporate officers and uses it to ensure that the executive team meets on important topics, avoids redundant meetings, and capitalizes on occasions when key leaders are in the same place. Finally, to give senior leaders time to reflect on the big picture, she creates “quiet zones” of minimal activity two or three days ahead of significant events, such as quarterly earnings reports, strategy reviews with business units, and board meetings. Such approaches, which make the executives’ allocation of time dramatically more effective, underscore the importance of not being “penny-wise and pound-foolish” in providing administrative support. The time pressures on senior leaders are intensifying, and the vast majority of them are frustrated by the difficulty of responding effectively. While executives cannot easily combat the external forces at work, they can treat time as a precious and increasingly scarce resource and tackle the institutional barriers to managing it well. The starting point is to get clear on organizational priorities—and to approach the challenge of aligning them with the way executives spend their time as a systemic organizational problem, not merely a personal one. About the Authors Frankki Bevins is a consultant in McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office, and Aaron De Smet is a principal in the Houston office. The authors wish to thank Caroline Webb—an alumnus of McKinsey’s London office and a senior adviser to McKinsey on leadership, as well as chief executive of SevenShift Leadership—for her contribution to the development of this article. Notes 1 For more on global organizational challenges, see Martin Dewhurst, Jonathan Harris, and Suzanne Heywood, “The global company’s challenge,”, June 2012; and Toby Gibbs, Suzanne Heywood, and Leigh Weiss, “Organizing for an emerging world,”, June 2012. 2 The online survey was in the field from November 8 to November 18, 2011, and garnered responses from 1,374 executives at the level of general manager or above. Respondents represent all regions, industries, company sizes, forms of ownership, and functional specialties. To adjust for differences in response rates, the data are weighted by the contribution of each respondent’s nation to global GDP. 3 See Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive, first edition, New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1967. 4 About 3 percent said “other.”

14 |




Brazillian girl auctions virginity to take care of mother WASHINGTON DC - Rebecca Bernardo is not the first Brazilian woman to auction off her virginity. Last October, another young Brazilian woman, Catarina Migliorini, age 20, reportedly sold her virginity to an online bidder known as “Natsu” for a final price of $780,000. Even though the transaction has reportedly not been completed, Migliorini has received an offer to pose for Brazilian Playboy and she is apparently inspiring other girls to follow suit. Rebecca Ber nardo lives in Sapeaçu, Brazil, and at first glance looks like a regular teenager. The 18-year-old has stated that she is selling her virginity to pay medical bills and future healthcare costs related to her mother's recent stroke. The stroke has left her mother unable to care for herself and Bernardo claims that her jobs as a waitress and cosmetics salesperson have simply not been enough to cover all of their bills. Bernardo does not have a high school degree, her sister passed away a few years ago, and her father is not in the picture. She says that desperation drove her to try to imitate Catarina Migliorini and auction off her virginity online. So far, however, Bernardo's auction has not turned out quite the same. Even though the YouTube video is getting more hits, close to 165,000 at last check, the highest bid has reportedly been $35,000. Even though reaction in her small town was mostly negative at first, people seem to understand that Bernardo has nobody to turn to and that her situation is dire. It is also important to note that there are no laws against adults exchanging sex for money in Brazil (there are laws against operating brothels or employing prostitutes in any other way). Bernardo's mother is against her daughter selling her virginity, saying she would rather she get a job than “prostitute herself.”

Rebecca, however, says that “If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer.” Despite the altruism on the surface, the entire situation is sad, exploitative and reeks of hypocrisy. Many people suffer from grinding poverty and lack of resources for medical bills but do not resort to prostituting themselves on the Internet. While both girls claim that their actions are not prostitution, it is hard to call selling sex for money anything else. Both girls say their motives are altruistic. They claim they are not just selling their virginity for money; they are doing it to help others. When Miglori's auction started to get worldwide attention, she claimed that she was doing it for charity. Migliorini stated that she would donate 90% of the auction price to build homes for the poor in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. This came as a shock to the organizers of her auction, who stated that they believed she was selling her virginity purely for financial gain. So far, no buildings for the poor have materialized in the poor Brazilian state. Bernardo's motives seem to be similarly “fuzzy.” Soon after news of the auction surfaced, a Brazilian television network offered to pay her mother's medical and care expenses if Catarina withdrew form the auction. However, the teen has rejected the offer and now not only wants enough money to care for her mother, but also wants enough to relocate to another town, according to CNN. She will not say exactly how much money she will need to do this. Another troubling aspect of the virginity-for-auction play is the behind-the-scenes orchestrators who almost certainly are benefitting from selling the 18 and 20 year old Brazilians. Details of who is backing

Bernardo's auction are sketchy, but there is plenty of information on the person running the Migliorini auction. Migliorini's auction was organized by Justin Sisley, a little-known Australian documentary filmmaker. Migliorini was not Sisley's first “subject” (or victim?). In 2011, Sisley recruited a young man and woman to auction off their virginity as a part of an Australian reality TV show. The “participants” would reportedly receive $20,000 plus 90% of the auction revenue. The project ran into trouble when Sisley was threatened with prosecution under Australia's prostitution laws. Sisley then announced that he was moving his enterprise to Las Vegas, where he was not as welcome as he thought he would be. Sisley again showed up on the international radar last year as he and an unknown production company organized the online auction for Migliorini's virginity as

part of the website “Virgins Wanted.” It is unknown what type of fee arrangement they have with the 20-year-old. As noted above, the “exchange” between Migliorini and Natsu has not taken place. According to the H u f f i n g t o n Po s t , t h e a c t u a l transaction will take place aboard an airplane flying between the U.S. and Australia, before which both participants will be examined for sexually transmitted diseases and Migliorini will be examined to ensure that she is in fact a virgin. Natsu will have to wear protection and Sisley will interview both on camera for his documentary before and after the encounter. According to the VirginsWanted website's terms and conditions, “the virgins themselves are the only ones who profit from the auctions.” This statement from Sisley is extremely difficult to believe. If nothing else, Sisley has gone from an unknown documentary maker to

often-searched Internet query thanks to all of the publicity he is generating. Additionally, rationalthinking people have to doubt that Sisley is matching virgins and buyers for any reason other than profit. What could possibly be the philanthropic rationale for pimping? The Migliorini project has experienced a roadblock. Brazil's attorney general, Joao Pedro de Saboia Bandeira de Mello Filho, has stated that the auction amounts to human trafficking. The Brazilian government is trying to block Catarina's visa permits, preventing her from boarding that fateful airplane in Australia. She claims to still be a virgin and looking forward to posing for Playboy. Bernardo is still awaiting a higher bid for her virginity. And the rest of the world is waiting to see what the Internet will offer for sale, and at what cost, next

Cult accused of grooming sex slaves for 'Christ' busted in Mexico Mexican officials broke up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sexslavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border, authorities said Tuesday. The "Defensores de Cristo" or "Defenders of Christ" cult allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincar nation of Christ. Followers were subjected to forced labor or sexual services, including prostitution, according to a victims' advocacy group that said it filed a complaint more than a year ago about the cult. Federal police, agents of Mexico's National Immigration Institute and prosecutors raided a house earlier this week near Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, and found cult members, including children, living in filthy conditions The institute said 14 foreigners were detained in the raid and have been turned over to prosecutors,

pending possible charges. Those detained include six Spaniards, and two people each from Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela. One person from Argentina and one from Ecuador were also detained. Spain's Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed its citizens were among those arrested. The institute said 10 Mexicans were also found at the house, mainly women, and are presumably among the victims of the cult. The Attorney General's Office said the investigation was still under way as to what charges, if any, might apply in the case. Given the binds of sect loyalty that had been built over an estimated three years, prosecutors were still trying to work out which of the detainees may be considered victims, and which were abusers. The institute said the sect's leaders made members pay "tithes," with money or forced labor. An official of the institute who was

not authorized to be quoted by name said that women were recruited to the sect and then were forced to have sex with sect elders; the official described it as a form of human trafficking that included prostitution. Spaniard Ignacio Gonzalez de Arriba set up shop in Mexico about three years ago, after a stint in Brazil and other parts of South America. He quickly became involved in offering courses on "bioprogramming," an esoteric practice that claims to allow practicants to 'reprogram' their brains to eliminate pain, suffering and anxiety. But according to the Defenders of Christ website, he quickly moved on to claim that he was Jesus Christ reincarnated. Photos of Gonzalez de Arriba are juxtaposed with a painting of Christ, purportedly showing how the Spaniards eyebrows, nose and

mouth are "exactly like" those of Christ. Myrna Garcia, and activist with the Support Network for Cult Victims who has worked with victims of the Defenders of Christ cult, said Gonzalez de Arriba "mixed bio-programming, Christian and New Age doctrines and fears about the end of the world ... to control followers, to keep them terrorized." "He made them believe he was Christ," said Garcia, whose group filed a complaint with Mexican authorities about the cult's abuses about one year ago. "Like Christ, they have to adore him, if not they will lose their souls ... they have to give their lives for him." "There were women who were forced into prostitution," Garcia noted. "It was a form of human trafficking that was extraordinarily effect from the criminal point of view," she said, because the women were terrified of being separated from the sect.

How the cult managed to thrive in an area of Mexico that is tightly controlled by the violent Zetas drug cartel remains a mystery. However, there could be some link; Gonzalez de Arriba first set up shop in the northern city of Torreon, which also has a strong Zeta's influence. The immigration institute said in a press release that the Defenders of Christ was headed by Venezuelan citizen Jose Arenas Losanger Segovia, but according to Garcia and the cult's website, he was clearly a lieutenant of Gonzalez de Arriba. The Interior Department said the Defenders of Christ had not registered as a religious group, as required under Mexican law. Garcia said cells of the cult might still be active in Peru and Argentina.




The Return of the Super Eagles! Segun Odegbami


ecall from last week: It is the evening of the eve of the final match of Afcon 2013. I am looking at my crystal ball, and I see an eagle hovering high up in the sky in majestic splendour, its squinted eyes riveted on a target below – a gold trophy. Suddenly, like a meteorite falling from the sky, the eagle dives down headlong, its wings spread out, its two feet hanging menacingly loose. It smothers the trophy, almost covering it from sight with its flapping wings. With powerful claws, in one seamless movement, it lifts the crown and soars back high into the sky just as darkness descends upon the face of the earth. In that same moment, the pounding hooves of a galloping stallion punctuate the scene, it’s breath a labored panting, its nostrils flailing, spewing smoke and fire, and dripping spittle. It screeches crazily to a shuddering halt, looking helplessly and hopelessly into the darkening sky at the retreating eagle, the prize between its feet, flying away and fading into the distance, into the night, into the darkness. My crystal ball goes blank and then black for the last time. The

drama that has gripped the whole world is over. The eagle has won!

throne at the summit of African football.

The sound of trumpets pierces the night in concert with the melody and eerie sounds of the vuvuzela! Vuvuzela? Yes, South Africans are celebrating, but not the coveted crown that has been taken away by the eagle. They are celebrating the success of a great feast of football that has successfully, again, taken place over the past three weeks in their land, setting records in attendance and profit beyond expectations. So they celebrate, merging the sound of their vuvuzela with the rhythmic drumming, trumpeting and singing of the celestial supporters from the West – from Nigeria!

It is a deserved and well-earned victory, and even the angels have joined the rest of the world to mark the return of the Super Eagles in the melodic chorus: ‘Fly Eagles Fly’.

In great titanic battles, the eagles tamed the lions from Ethiopia, dodged the coppered bullets of the warriors from Zambia, over-powered the old lumbering elephants with giant ivories from Cote D’Ivoire, gave hunting tutorials to the smaller eagles from Mali, and then finally outran and outsmarted the stallions from Burkina Faso. It has been a great fight till the very end, but the king of birds has used its strength and speed and agility to dominate all opposition and rise again and seat on the

Keshi’s experiment worked! The triumph of the Super Eagles is well earned and merited. Looking back and going through the entire championship they were easily the strongest team. They improved from match to match even as they started shakily largely because of the bad pitch they had to play on and the lack of faith openly demonstrated even their own closest officials and people. But a champion team is one that still manages to win even when it sometimes plays badly! Keshi knew this and stuck to his strategy to win first and complain later. National coach, Stephen Keshi’s experiment, was to build a new team made up generally of younger players, of several players from the domestic league and of only professional players from abroad that are playing regularly in their foreign clubs. He was going to shun and discard old players that had had their time and ‘failed’ and were only going to

be a source of indiscipline and unnecessary distraction for the team. It succeeded. Keshi returned the team to the good old days of a calm and efficient goalkeeper, of wingers that are really athletes running at defenders and tearing up defenses with speed, power and precision shooting, a midfield of tireless runners organized by a maestro (Mikel Obi), and an impregnable defense of big, strong, efficient and hard-tackling players. The Westerhof football philosophy was written all over Keshi’s assembly. He has learned well. Best team in Africa After Afcon 2013, the Super Eagles have really returned as Africa’s undisputed African football kings. The team will reign for some years to come. Through out the championship, they were never under any threat of a defeat. They did not lose any match. They were not dominated by any team. They were so vastly superior that they outran, outsmarted and overpowered every opposition. They were simply the best and the strongest team at Afcon 2013. Some highlights The coach of the championship is undoubtedly Stephen Keshi.

Several teams really impressed. They include Cape Verde Islands that proved that the size of a country has little to do with the quality of their football; Burkina Faso, that showed that a team of committed and hardworking fighters can go places; Ethiopia, that showed that the Tiki Taka style of Spanish (Barcelona FC) football is not only a delight to the eyes but is berthing also in Africa; and Mali that showed what impact one great player in a team can have. South Africa did well in hosting another great football festival. Poor officiating raised serious questions about the integrity, competency and ability of African referees. Many matches were marred by decisions that could interpret as incompetency, bias, or even corruption. The television coverage of the matches, the technical analysis on Supersport channels, and the racy commentaries were a great credit to the development of television broadcasting in Africa. Overall, Afcon 2013 has been a great advertisement for African football.


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Super Eagles gets ‘cashful’ welcome after heroic AFCON 2013 win


overnor Babatunde Fashola of L agos State Friday became the latest benefactor of the Super Eagles, as he showered a whopping sum of N59 million on them for their exploits at the just-concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa. A breakdown of the figures shows that coach of the team, Stephen Keshi, got the sum of N2.5 million, while his immediate assistant, Daniel Amokachi, got N2 million and captain of the team, Joseph Yobo, N1.5 million. Four other assistant coaches got the sum of N1.5 million each. The 22 members of the team got the sum of N1million each and N500, 000 per goal for each of the 11 goals they scored during the tournament, while N15 million was donated to the backroom staff of the Super Eagles. The Rauf Oladipo-led Supporters’

Club also got N4.5 million, bringing the sum total to N59 million. Speaking at the reception held for the team at State House, Alausa, Lagos, Fashola said the donation was the state government’s ‘token’ appreciation of the team’s exploits and for doing the country proud in South Africa, which has brought the country back into reckoning in world football. But he immediately cautioned them against complacency, advising the team and sports administrators to do sustain the momentum and strive towards greater success. Fashola said: “Now that we have won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy, the question to ask is what next? We have Kenya to contend with in a few days. “Let us remind ourselves that Zambia, the immediate defending

champions of the tournament, did not make it to the second round. The governor, a football enthusiast, harped on upgrading the local league and grassroots football, both of which he stated has the potential of impacting on Nigeria’s performance in international competitions. Fashola attributed their success to the Nigerian spirit, which he said must be rekindled, just as he urged sport officials to desist from undue interference with national teams, especially in the affairs of coaching and team selection, which he said has undermined the successes of national teams in competitions. “Everybody in Nigeria today is a football expert. Let us respect those we have employed to do this job. If we think that they can’t do it, let us set time line and change them and I think that the practice where people badge

into the dressing room and have time with officials uninvited should stop. That is the team coaches to domain. “The NFF should do more in this respect. The era of Keshi should do this, Keshi should do that by those who have never kicked foot ball should stop.” he counseled. At a special reception held in honour of the Super Eagles in Abuja on Tuesday evening, President Goodluck Jonathan also splashed millions of naira, plots of land in Abuja and national awards on the players and officials of the team for lifting the Africa Cup of Nations. He announced a cash reward of N10 million to the Head Coach of the team, Stephen Keshi, and N5 million to other coaches and players. The team’s technical officials are to receive N2 million cash award each. In addition to the cash award, the players and

officials are also to get a plot of land each in Abuja. President Jonathan also conferred National Honours on them. Keshi was conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Niger, while his assistants Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu and team captain, Joseph Yobo, were awarded the Officer of the Federal Republic. Other players were conferred with the award of the Member of the Order of the Niger. The players and officials were decorated with the national honours by Jonathan shortly af ter he announced the incentives. Also, billionaire business moguls Tony Elumelu and Jim Ovia donated half a million dollars each to the Super Eagles, while Aliko Dangote donated N5 million to each player and technical crew of the Super Eagles.

Wenger wages war on drug cheats A

rsene Wenger has warned that football could have a major drugs problem. And the Arsenal boss has called for a far tougher testing regime to root out the game's cheats. Players are only subject to urine testing under UEFA regulations, although the FA do have the option of asking for a blood test. But Wenger says blood testing must be mandatory to make sure there is no repeat of the Lance Armstrong scandal that has rocked sport. "It's time that we tackle this problem in a very serious way and that people who cheat are punished in a very severe way as well," he said. "Sport is full of legends who are in fact cheats. We had a recent example and we have a responsibility to fight against that. "Honestly, I don't think we do enough. It is very difficult for me to believe that you have 740 players in the World Cup and

you come out with zero problems. Mathematically that happens every time. "When you have a doping control at UEFA, they do not take blood, they take only urine. I have asked many times in Geneva [for that to be changed]. "I hope we do not have a big problem with doping, but we have to find out and see how deep we can go into control.” The FA carried out around 1,300 tests last season across the professional and amateur game, with just four coming back positive. 1,300 tests last season across the professional and amateur game, with just four coming back positive. But Wenger believes the higher the stakes, the more likely it is a player will turn to cheating. "Look at psychological tests that have been done on people who are at the top in all sports," said Wenger. "Ask them if they would take a gold medal or a world championship, but

means that they died in the next five years, and 50 per cent say yes, they would take it. That is quite scary. "That is absolutely massive. That is how far people are ready to go to win in all sports, not just football. "If you go to amateur level and do that test, only two per cent say they would take it. We are at the level where people are ready to do anything to win.” Australia has been rocked this week by allegations that drug taking in sport is rife in the country. And former Real Sociedad chairman Inaki Badiola has admitted sacking two doctors in 2006 when an investigation discovered players at the club had been involved in doping for six years and payments had been made for "strange medicines". Badiola also said the club had paid £280,000 a year to Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor on trial for doping cyclists.

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