MTN probe: Senate hires international forensic experts Chukwu David Abuja
he Senate has employed the services of international forensic experts in the on-
going probe of MTN and others accused of violating the nation’s Foreign Exchange Monetary and Miscellaneous Act.
The hired international forensic experts made up of lawyers, accountants and others are to assist in the comprehensive inves-
tigation of the alleged repatriation of $13.9 billion by MTN. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking,
ExxonMobil exits Nigeria’s downstream sector
Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Rafiu Ibrahim, disclosed this to journalists at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, yesterday. Ibrahim said that the
experts had already arrived Nigeria and had commenced work with other local forensic experts to unravel possible hidden details from the documents CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Sanctity Of Truth
NIGERIA’S MOST AUTHORITATIVE NEWSPAPER IN POLITICS AND BUSINESS
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Pomp as Bini Kingdom gets new Oba today
Vol. 3 No. 974
'My wife is dating our pastor, my brother' }9
Maritime operators owe NIMASA $420.5m – Peterside }39
@newtelegraph1 www.newtelegraphonline.com @newtelegraph1 www.newtelegraphonline.com
NDLEA recovers N175m from two suspects
Gunmen invade community, kill 10 }41
Troops kill seven militants, pirates Cult clash claims 3 in Anambra Buhari to Chibok girls: You’ll enjoy the best the world can offer
President Muhammadu Buhari (fifth right), Vice-President Yemi Osinabjo (sixth left) and the 21 freed Chibok schoolgirls, during their visit to the president in Abuja…yesterday.
Alleged bribery: PDP demands Amaechi’s probe
lSays APC shields corrupt politicians lAdeyeye: Justice Okoro’s allegation weighty }5 High-stress jobs raise early death risk
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Kalu’s trial: SAN petitions CJ over EFCC’s plot to transfer case Foluso Ogunmodede and Tunde Oyesina
oremost Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Solomon Ukaegbu Akuma, has petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, accusing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of a “surreptitious” plan to convict his clients without recourse to rule of law and due process. He said the anti-graft agency had perfected plans to truncate a judicial process in a corruption case initiated against his clients, Udeh Jones Udeoguand Slok Nigeria Ltd, without recourse to due process following a pending ‘surreptitious’ application being pushed through the backdoor to facilitate transfer of his clients’ case from the Abuja division of
the Federal High Court to a preferred judge in Lagos. This, according to Akuma, was not only curious and suspicious, but had shown the EFCC’s desperation to obtain a predetermined judgement on the matter as its action was nothing but “forum shopping” where its clandestine plot would be achieved with relative ease. Akuma, who is representing Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited in an alleged corruption case initiated against them alongside a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, said that while the anticorruption fight must be supported by every wellmeaning Nigerian, the fight must be done within the ambit of the rule of law. In a letter dated October 18 and addressed to the chief judge, Akuma, who cited a Supreme Court verdict on Ibori.v. FRN (2009), All FWLRpt 487 p.
159 at 189, accused EFCC of infringing on his clients’ right to fair hearing. His fear however came days after Kalu raised the alarm on plans by the EFCC to convict him at all cost following the agency’s application to transfer the case from Abuja jurisdiction to a Lagos judge of its choice without due process. However, Akuma, in the letter, asked Justice Auta to “be guided by the law and not to act on the behest of the EFCC on this matter in order not to scandalize the judiciary.” The letter reads in part: “The major plank of the appellants’ contention is that the presiding judge was not designated to hear EFCC cases and for the prosecution to seek him out and file the charge directly before him is forum shopping. Forum shopping occurs when a party attempts to have his action tried in a particular court
or jurisdiction where he feels he will receive the most favourable judgement or verdict. “Secondly, the offences upon which the defendants were charged to court were allegedly committed in Umuahia, Abia State and not in Lagos. It would work hardship on our clients to go to Lagos with their witnesses and defence lawyers to defend this matter. “Thirdly, the EFCC application for transfer was not made in good faith. The said application will neither promote the end of justice nor be in the interest of public peace as required by section 98 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. “We respectfully urge Your Lordship to discountenance this application for transfer made by EFCC and allow the matter to proceed to trial in Federal High Court No. 5 Abuja as earlier adjourned.” The Federal Govern-
L-R: Government Affairs Director, West and Central Africa, Qualcomm, Dr. Bienvnu Agbokponto Soglo; Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; Senior Director, Qualcomm, Elizabeth Migwalla and Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, during Qualcomm's management visit to the commission… yesterday.
that had been submitted by those facing investigation. He said: “The Senate sees this as very important; it is a weighty allegation and we are going to deal with a lot of documents spanning 16 years. Based on that, we got the approval of the leadership of the Senate and we have engaged international and local forensic experts, accountants and lawyers. “The team has been fully assembled and they have started working: this is not going to be a normal periphery investigation because it involves a lot of documents. “We will be starting the investigative hearing tomorrow, we will listen to each of them and we will take it from there,” he said. The committee chairman stated that a lot of private individuals and government agencies had been invited to brief it today, noting that some of those invited had submitted requested documents
trial and was assigned to Justice Anuli Chikere. At the last adjourned date, plea was taken and matter adjourned to the 6, 7 and 8 of December 2016, for definite hearing. It was after that the anti-graft agency applied for the transfer of the case to Lagos division without the knowledge of the defendants.
IMF: Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy
new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy, despite its current challenges. Nigeria is placed ahead of South Africa and Egypt, which are second and third respectively. In August, Nigeria was reported to have lost its position as Africa’s biggest economy to South Africa, following the recalculation of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for October puts Nigeria’s GDP at $415.08 billion, from $493.83 billion in 2015, while South Africa’s GDP was put at $280.36 billion, from $314.73 billion in 2015. According to the report, Egypt’s 2016 data is not
available, but its 2015 size remained at $330.159 while that of Algeria, one of the largest economies on the continent, is put at $168.318 billion. The United States, China and Japan maintain their spots as the largest economies in the world, ahead of Germany, United Kingdom and France. According to a review in September, the current economic recession will outlast 2016, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contraction of 1.7 per cent. The IMF had predicted that Nigeria’s economy would grow away from a recession in 2017. The country last witnessed a recession, for less than a year, in 1991 and experienced a prolonged one that started in 1982 and lasted until 1984.
Nigeria’s aviation: 47 airlines close shop in 30 years Philip Nyam Abuja
MTN probe: Senate hires international forensic experts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
ment had in 2007 arraigned Kalu alongside two others before a Federal High Court, Abuja. Following the rulings, which did not go down well with the defendants, they appealed up to the Supreme Court. The matter was however remitted back to the Federal High Court in 2016 by the Supreme Court for
and indicated willingness to be at the hearing. “MTN has submitted and they promised to attend. Diamond Bank has submitted, Standard Chartered Bank has submitted and they promised to attend. Stanbic has submitted and they promised to attend. “Mallam Ahmed Dasuki has no submission yet, Col. Sani Bello, no submission, but we are expecting them tomorrow. Other names that will appear are Gbenga Oyebode and Dr. Victor Odili,” he said. Others expected to appear before the committee are Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; former Chairman of Diamond Bank, Dr. Paschal Dozie, and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. Senator Dino Melaye, who blew the whistle on the alleged repatriation, expressed satisfaction with the level of attention given to the allegation.
He said: “I am particularly excited that the Senate has engaged forensic auditors who also double as lawyers and who have already commenced work. I can tell you that even preliminary investigations have revealed that the $13.9 billion is far lower than what the outcome will look like. We have realised from these preliminary investigations that it is actually outrageously higher than the $13.9 billion.” Meanwhile, Enelamah, in a letter to the committee, denied any involvement in the alleged fraudulent repatriation of funds. In the letter HMITI/ GEN.CORR./VOL.1/, dated October 7, Enelamah said he had neither had any engagement with the MTN nor earned dividends. “I was never owner of Celtelecom Investment Limited or a shareholder in Celtelecom as recorded on pages 402 and 403 of the Votes and Proceedings of the Senate of Tuesday, September 27.
“Between 1998 and 2015, I served as the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Alliance, a wholly owned subsidiary of African Capital Alliance (ACA), an investment company. “Two funds managed by ACA together with some individuals and entities invested in MTN with Celtelecom as the investment vehicle. “I served as a director in Celtelecom representing the ACA management fund. I have never claimed that I invested in MTN; neither did I obtain a Certificate of Capital Importation on 7th February, 2008," he said. The minister informed the committee that, according to standard business practice, investors did not have responsibility for the remittance of proceeds from the company they invested in. Accordingly, he said, “so, at no time was I ever in position to transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN.”
orty-seven airlines have closed down operations in the country in the last 30 years. Secretary-General of Aircraft Operators Association of Nigeria, Capt Mohammed Joji, disclosed this yesterday at the on-going public hearing on rescuing the aviation industry from collapse by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation. He explained that the closure of airlines in Nigeria was caused by “policy formulation deviation and contradiction on the part of the executive.” Jooji added that the “high operation cost leading to unstable operating environment such as NAMA charging dollars for domestic operators flying within the Nigerian airspace, affects the sector.” According to him, “it was for that reason the Presidential Task Force set up by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo submitted its report in March 2006. “Government accepted the recommendation to grant zero tariff and VAT
on the aircraft, its spare parts and ground equipment. Government also approved the removal of the five per cent VAT on the ticket sales and cargo charges. “The task force,” he further stressed, “also noted that VAT is never charged on transportation in any part of the world because transportation is a basic service which drives the economy.” The secretary-general noted that “the approval of multiple destinations to foreign airlines has denied local operators earnings and this has to be stopped. “NCAA policy of levying operators flying on scheduled flight out of Nigeria is a punitive measure devoid of any economic sense to the airline. FAAN charges the most expensive land rate in the world at N60,000/sq. meter that is more expensive than choice lands in Victoria Island, Lagos and Asokoro in Abuja.” Also in his presentation, the Managing Director of Medview Airline, Olanrewaju Lukman, said “if anything meaningful must be achieved in the proposed plan to rescue the aviation sector, then transparency must be the watchword.”
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ABIODUN BELLO email@example.com 08023938212
...CRIME, CITY WATCH, COURTS
Gunmen invade community, kill 10
lTroops kill seven militants, pirates, arrest 75 suspects lCult clash claims three in Anambra Cephas Iorhemen, Okegwo Kenechukwu, Chris Ejim and Ola James
en people have been shot dead when gunmen invaded Tor Donga community in Gaambe-ya District, KatsinaAla Local Government Area of Benue State. The assailants also injured scores of others. But the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attack, said only three persons were killed. Also, three persons were killed during a clash between members of Aye and Baga fraternities at Umusiome Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State. More than 10 others sustained various degrees of injury. Yesterday, men of the Joint Military Task Force deployed to the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, said they had killed five suspected militants, two pirates and arrested three suspects in several operations in the past three days. This came as the Nigerian Navy (NNS Delta) yesterday paraded 75 persons suspected to be involved in illegal oil bunkering, militancy, kidnapping and impersonation of naval officers. In Benue State, Yamu said investigation into the attack had commenced and the killers would soon be brought to book. It was learnt that the assailants, who were on two motorcycles, invaded the town about 9p.m. on Tuesday. They went straight to a popular drinking joint where they opened fire on customers. At least, 10 persons
died on the spot. Witnesses said many other persons who sustained various degrees of injury were rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention. The Sole Administrator of the local government, Mrs. Vera Akua, condemned the attack, which he described as most unfortunate and barbaric. Akua, who spoke through her Special Assistant on Media, Godwin Iwanan, expressed concern that the attack was coming barely a month after a traditional ruler in the area was gruesomely murdered by yet to be unidentified persons. She regretted that the acts of cruelty were being perpetrated at a time government was making concerted efforts towards ridding the state of criminal elements as exemplified by the stick approach of the Governor Samuel Ortom’s amnesty programme. The sole administrator condoled with the families of those who lost their lives as well as the injured. She appealed to the people to remain calm and assured them that government would do everything possible to ensure the safety of lives and property in the area. In the cult clash in Umusiome Nkpor, trouble started when Aye stormed the stronghold of Baga on Tuesday and reportedly killed one of its members. Dissatisfied with the loss of their member to the rampaging Aye group, armed members of Baga yesterday went on a revenge mission at Umusiome. They killed two of Aye members and left over five
Scene of violence in the North
injured. As at the time of filing this report, residents have deserted the area for fear of being arrested by security operatives. When contacted, the Commander of the Anti-Cult Squad, Mr. Ali Okechukwu, declined to make comment. He referred our correspondent to the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nkiru Nwude. However, when contacted on the phone, the PPRO denied knowledge of the incident. Troops of Operation Delta Safe also rescued a boat laden with rice and passengers from suspected Niger Delta militants who were killed in the rescue effort on Parrot Island in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State. The spokesman for the joint task force, Lt.-Cdr. Thom-
as Osuji, said yesterday that the feats were achieved in the ongoing operations against criminals and oil thieves in the Niger Delta region. According to Otuji, troops of Sector 4 and local vigilance group ambushed and killed five suspected Bakassi Strike Force militants, who hijacked the cargo-laden boat and passengers. He said: “The militants had earlier seized the boat conveying large quantities of rice from a marketer and passengers on board and the owner of the rice was asked to pay N500,000 ransom. “The troop placed ‘bait’ during the rescue operation and later professionally engaged the militants in gun duel, killed five of them and rescued the passengers unhurt.” Meanwhile, the Navy
said it also impounded three vessels and 80 Cotonu boats loaded with stolen crude oil. Commander NNS Delta, Commodore Joseph Djunve, who paraded the suspects, the impounded vessels and boats at the NNS base in Warri yesterday, said they were arrested in different parts of the Niger Delta particularly in Delta State. According to him, the arrests were made during operations carried out by the Operation Delta Safe team in compliance with the directive of the Chief of Naval staff who wanted zero tolerance for illegal oil bunkering, piracy and other criminal activities. Djunve said many of the arrested persons were involved in destroying pipelines and stealing crude oil which “they cook at illicit refining camps to produce
diesel and kerosene”. He said: “All manners of weapons were fabricated at a workshop we uncovered and intelligence indicated that they also used their equipment to rupture pipelines to steal petroleum products. A box full of all sorts of equipment used in the illicit act was paraded with the suspects at the Naval Base in Warri.” Djunve also disclosed that several of the seized boats and products were anchored at the Sapele Naval yard. One of the arrested persons, who gave his name as Joseph Oba, said he was a loyalist of the Farah Dagogo, a militant leader in Bayelsa State. He added that he was invited by some persons to join the gang without knowing what he was walking into.
‘Police must end extra-judicial killings, torture’ Sex worker sells daughter Camillus Nnaji
any innocent Nigerians have lost their lives through some bad eggs in the police who engage in extra-judicial killings and torture. The President of Women Arise Initiative/Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said this yesterday in Lagos at beginning of a threeday training for all State and Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives in the 12 police zonal commands in the country. Okei-Odumakin, who is the convener of the training, said there must
be an end to torture and extra-judicial killings. She said: “The course of human rights in the purview of police assignment is the reason we are here. And I encourage all of us to make this important part of history the turning point in our operations through our actions henceforth. Be sure we are making the citizens understand that there is new police in town, with whom they must fully give all required cooperation for collective security.” The training, which is held simultaneously in all the zonal commands, is championed by the Inspector General
of Police, Idris Ibrahim, in collaboration with a human rights group, Nigerians Unite against Terror. The training focuses on the essence of human rights in the dispensation of police duty with a view to have a new police force in a democratic setting. The training in Zone II Command, comprising Lagos and Ogun states, was kicked off by the AIG, Zone 2, Abdulmajid Ali. Ali said the workshop on human rights and citizens’ relations showed the IG’s seriousness on police public relations and the institution of a democratic policing.
suspected sex worker, Grace Aghomi, who allegedly sold her daughter for N60,000, yesterday appeared before an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on a two-count charge. The 37-year-old Aghomi sold her child to a woman simply identified as Endurance, on September 30 at Badagry, Lagos, according to the prosecutor, Inspector Daniel Ighodalo. Ighodalo told the court that Endurance was at large. He added that the offences contravened sections 142 and 274(1) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
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NDLEA recovers N175m from two suspects
‘My wife is dating our pastor, my brother’
The seized money
orried by his wife’s alleged adulterous acts, a businessman, Mr. Kolawole Okeeyi, yesterday asked the Igando Customary Court, Lagos, to terminate his 31-year-old marriage. The 51-year-old Okeeyi accused his wife, Funmilayo, with whom he had five children, of infidelity. She said: “My wife is having an affair with my pastor. I got to know when I did not have credit on my phone and wanted to use her phone to call our pastor to report her for starving my mother of food. “I picked her phone and I saw on the screen ‘sent message’ I mistakenly press it and the message opened, I saw several love messages my wife sent and received from our pastor. “I showed her the messages when she came in, but she begged me, I seized the phone and later confronted our pastor with those text messages, but he told me to do my worst. “I also caught her with my brother in a hotel in Oyo State; I wanted to ignore them, but I later confronted them so that they will not deny later.” The petitioner said that his wife was after his life and that he had been attacked on two occasions. He added: “On August 20, 2013, I got to the front of my gate, as I horned for my children to open the gate, suddenly three men jumped down from a motorcycle, pointing gun at me. “But for the timely intervention of the police, I would have been killed. When I entered my house, I told my wife what happened, but she did not say anything. “Four months later, while coming from work, three men intercepted me, pointing gun at me to come down and enter the booth, I complied and they drove me off.
My wife highly promiscuous –Husband
40-year-old clearing agent, Andrew Ekpenaslim, yesterday told an Igando Customary Court in Lagos that he had caught his wife, Saraphina, on several occasions with some of her lovers. Ekpenaslim said this while seeking dissolution of his marriage, citing his wife’s alleged infidelity and threat to life. He said: “My wife is promiscuous, she dates different men. I have caught her several times with some of her lovers. She is also having affair with our pastor, I got to know when her cell phone rang and she left our room to receive it. “I trailed her behind without her knowing and l eavesdropped and heard her telling the pastor, ‘I love you’ when she ended the call. When she returned to the room, I secretly copied the number unknown to her and saved it on my cell phone. “I dialled the number on my cell phone; it was our pastor’s name that appeared on the screen. “My wife had two boys from two men, before we got married, but she did not tell me, a reliable source let the cat out of the bag and told me the boys were my wife’s children. “After our marriage, she brought them to live with us and I was paying their school fees,’’ he said. But, Saraphina, 42, businesswoman, denied all the allegations. According to her, she has been faithful to her husband. She said: “I have been faithful to my husband since we got married. I am not dating our pastor; he is just a spiritual father to me.”
fficials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have recovered N175 million from two suspects. According to the NDLEA, the money, €325,640, as well as $30,000, approximately N175 million, was being smuggled from Greece and Austria. The NDLEA spokesman, Mitchel Ofoyeju, said the money, concealed inside envelopes and shoes, was seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos during the inward screening of passengers on a Turkish airline flight. He said: “Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the smuggled
currencies.” One of the suspects, Edos Nicholas, was found in possession of 279,190 euros. The second suspect, Hallowell Lovely, was in possession of 46,450 euros and $30,000. Nicholas, who claimed to be a worker in a bakery in Austria, said that the money found on him was given to him. He said: “The money does not belong to me. The money was given to me by different people in Europe to give to their relatives. I have been living in Vienna, Austria for over 15 years.” Lovely also said that the money found on him, belonged to people. He said he was asked to deliver the money to different recipients in Nigeria. “I live in Athens and I work in an African shop. I have lived there for 12 years. The
money belongs to many people and some of them are my friends,” the suspect said. The NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, said the money was found during routine search of passengers. He said: “During the inward screening of passengers on a Turkish flight, we discovered €325,640 and $30,000. Two suspected passengers, Edos Nicholas found in possession of 279,190 euros and Hallowell Prince Lovely, found in possession of 46,450 euros and $30,000 were also apprehended.” The Chairman of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd.) has directed the Director of Assets and Financial Investigation of the agency, Mrs. Victoria Egbase, to take over the investigation. He said: “This is a suspected case of money laundering. Criminal groups seek to conceal the origin of illegally obtained money. It is pertinent therefore for us to trace the origin of the money and prevent the introduction of criminal funds into the economy. Consequently, I have directed that the case be meticulously investigated.” Ofoyeju said preliminary investigation revealed that both suspects were frequent travellers usually the targets of international drug trafficking organisations. He added: “Besides, their sources of income must be verified.”
Customs killing: Victim’s family demands justice Taiwo Jimoh
esidents of Mosholashi area of Alagbado have demanded the arrest and prosecution of officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) who reportedly shot a commercial motorcyclist last Thursday. In a telephone interview yesterday the relatives of motorcycle rider, Saheed Omotosho, accused the Customs of being insensitive to their plight. The Customs officials had reportedly chased a truck carrying bags of rice which they claimed were smuggled into the country through Idi-Iroko border route. The smugglers and the ubiquitous street urchins popularly called area boys were said to have tried to stop the Customs men from impounding the truck and bags of rice. This forced the Customs officials to open fire on them. The Customs officials were said to have called for reinforcement and started shooting sporadically. According to witnesses, stray bullets hit the victim. Some of the residents, who protested to the customs office on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, said they were prevented from seeing the officers respon-
The late Omotosho
sible for the victim’s death. The Chairman of the motorcycle riders, Mr. Kazeem Adekunle, accused the Customs of trying to sweep the incident under the carpet. He said: “This is not the first time such incident had happened in this area. They cannot be chasing smugglers from Idiro-
ko into community, because they were at the border post when the goods were coming into the country. “We are not violent people. All we are asking for is justice to be done in the death of our colleague. The deceased was not part of the smugglers fighting the Customs officials; he was only trying to take his motorcycle away when the flaying bullets hit him.” The Public Relations Officer (PRO), Federal Operations Unit, NCS, Mr. Jerry Attah, said those who claimed they lost someone had come forward to show the person’s death certificate. He said: “It was Mr. Rashidi Oyedeyi, who incited mob attack against our operatives who were armed with dangerous weapons which resulted into a shootout between our men and the smugglers. “While some of the hoodlums confronted our operatives, others rescued one of the arrested vehicles loaded with smuggled rice. That fact that smuggled goods have evaded scrutiny by following unapproved route that does not guaranteed the goods from being seized.” Attah, however, said that Oyedeji and Mr. Shuaib Sheyi, arrested in connection with the confrontation, had been arraigned on a nine-count charge bordering on smuggling of prohibited items.
Stop roadblocks, AIG warns policemen Sola Adeyemo Ibadan
ssistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 11, comprising Ondo, Osun and Oyo states, Mr. Dan Bature, has warned policemen against mounting roadblocks, which according to him, disturb traffic and irritate motorists. Bature issued the warning yesterday at the Eleyele Police Headquarters, Ibadan,
during a two-day familiarisation tour of the zone. He was hosted by the Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Sam Adegbuyi. Bature said it was re-affirmation of the order of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim, that all roadblocks be dismantled across the country. He said: “This is not making Nigerians feel free whenever they are driving on our major highways. For those of you on our major highways, I urge you to desist from
blocking our ways so that Nigerians can feel free whenever they are on the highways. “Most importantly, our IG has put ban on it and I am here re-affirming it. There is no need for any of you that are in the squad of Saver Highway Patrol to be disturbing the drivers for their vehicle details. That is not your work. It is meant for the traffic police and men of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
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Ashafa Stiffer penalty’ll discourage drug trafficking
Politics Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was on President Muhammadu Buhari’s delegation during his recent state visit to Germany. He speaks in this interview on the controversy trailing the public outburst between the president and his wife, Aisha, among other issues. Anule Emmanuel reports What does Nigeria stand to gain from President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Germany? The visit to Germany was a worthwhile visit, we enjoyed a lot of courtesies. I feel very proud as a Nigerian and to see our nation’s flag flying in Germany and the President discussed issues of common interest with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. We are beginning to gain back our dignity and respectability among nations, I think this is not far from the type of leadership Nigeria has now. The respect that is given to Nigerians now is the respect given to our President that is trickling down. I feel proud in spite of the challenges we are facing as a nation. So, what were the issues discussed? The President and the German Chancellor, among other things, discussed on the need to de-emphasise the issue of formal education for vocational education just like the trade test that we used to have in Nigeria. This goes to say that Nigeria was going along the right way but deviated. What drives Germany today is not formal education but information education, skill acquisition. On refuge crisis, as you are aware that the German Chancellor decried the situation. In Nigeria, we have almost two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and not only displaced, the entire school system was shut down for about four to five years. So, we have a lot of challenges in that regard but Mr. President made it clear that he intends to restore economic activities in the North-East and would like partnership or assis-
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Ikponmwen NJC must rid judiciary of corrupt judges
Buhari’s wife means well for Nigeria – Okorocha there is a quarrel between the two but I am sure that as we are hitting out heads with each other on what they have said, they are there having their nice time.
tance from any caring nation and the German government is willing to assist Nigeria in that regard. Most importantly is to stamp down the cause of the refugee crisis, which is the activities of Boko Haram. This government is making frantic efforts to bring it to an end. The post-Boko Haram challenges are even bigger than the Boko Haram activities itself, but Mr. President is doing something about it. How would you react to the comment by the President’s wife regarding the performance of the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led Federal Government? I am concerned, and let me say that our nation is passing through very difficult times now ranging from economic to security and political challenges This is the time that all Nigerians irrespective of political party, religion and culture must come together to see what we can do to salvage the situation in order to build the Nigeria of our collective hope and aspiration. And this is what we must emphasise at this time and we do not need any form of distraction whatsoever at this time. We should support President Buhari to achieve these three key things-economic, security and power and fight against corruption, so that we can make headway. I think we are beginning to see light at the dark end of the tunnel. What is now trending in the social media is the comment of Mr. President and interview of his wife. I was there when Mr. President
made the comment. I think both the interview and the comment were taken out of context. I can understand why the international community spoke on the matter because of human rights and all that is going on around the whole world. I tend to believe that Nigerians should understand this matter because I do not think those were the intentions as being described on the social media and those condemning the act. I can put it this way that it is a joke taken too far outside the shores of Nigeria.
Post-Boko Haram challenges are even bigger than the Boko Haram activities itself
Why do you say so? If you have been with the President and where he cracks jokes, you will understand with me that it could be his style of jokes because even when he was responding, he was smiling. I don’t think the meaning that is given to it is what it is. If not, why would he has his five daughters having Masters and Ph.Ds and his wife educated and putting women in key positions in the country. I don’t think it is. Aisha Buhari who granted the interview didn’t give that interview to bring down her husband’s government, she was only trying to make peace among perceived aggrieved members in the polity. I have situations where my wife joins commissioners and my workers to condemn what I do, that does mean she is fighting me, rather she provides a bridge of peace between me and them. I would have loved to make further comments if I do not see President Buhari and his wife having nice time, then it means that
Some people are saying that the President needs to rejig his cabinet going by what his wife said. What is your take on that? Quite frankly, I am a governor and I know where the shoe pinches more. It is natural that people who are in the game and those who are outside tend to see more. If there is a clarion call for Mr. President to take a look at his cabinet and bring in more people, there is nothing wrong for Mr. President to take note of comments by people, because if everyone keeps saying the same thing, there may be sense in what they are saying. But that is not really the situation that would create a hullabaloo. Most members of the party feel that they have not been carried along. I know that many of them are complaining every day, they want board appointments released so that there will be calm. Those from the South East say that they have not been appointed; people from the North-East and even from the North-West, where Mr. President comes from say they have not been appointed. Some local governments and villages are saying they have not been remembered, so at what point do we draw the line? But there is always room for amendment because there is no perfection. You were with the President in Germany. Did he go for medical check-up? At least I was with him till 1 a.m. after dinner before I left him and he went to bed and I went to bed. The following day I came to see him in the morning. The President didn’t go for any medial trip at all. The hospital we went to was to see an Army general who had an accident. These are some of the things on which people make uninformed comments on and I do not know why people in this part of our world are always happy when somebody is going down. I think there is need to change our attitude. If the issue was the one that had to do with how to move Nigeria forward, nobody will make comments or talk about it. But once it is anything that is perceived to be in the negative, Nigerians are awake. I think we must change our attitude and see how we can build this nation. If Nigeria is succeeding, it is not Buhari that is succeeding; it is Nigeria that is succeeding. If Nigeria fails, it is not Buhari that has failed; it is Nigeria that has failed. So, we must support him to succeed so that all of us can succeed.
THURSDAY, OCTOber 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Takeaways from Buhari’s visit to Germany Garba Shehu
for energy partnership in renewable energy. Several states characterized by hot weather, mostly in North have signed for solar Independent Power Project, IPPs. A 30 Megawatt power plant is coming up in Adamawa while Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina and some others are on the queue.
resident Muhammadu Buhari returned to the country after a threeday intensely busy state visit to Germany which, as is usual with his foreign engagements, was characterised by punishing schedules. Unfortunately, an important trip such as this one planned to boost trade and investment, enhance security partnership and pitch the country to eager investors became overshadowed by public outcry over some remarks President Buhari made in Germany, which have sadly been misconstrued by the media and some members of the public. I can assure that President Buhari’s sense of humor is one of his most distinguishing characteristics, despite his stern mien. His comments clearly do not reflect his attitude towards women, a number of whom he has appointed into key positions in his administration; neither do they reflect his attitude towards his wife, Hajiya Aisha, as anyone can see from their history together. President Buhari has been an invaluable support to his wife, and I know that he has great plans for every Nigerian woman. Five of his daughters have acquired university degrees. One of them just graduated from the Law School and another one is undertaking a higher degree programme. I hope that all well-meaning Nigerians will put an end to the unfair insinuations that have been generated by President Buhari’s jocularity. Seeing a well-meaning leader being so misunderstood is painful for me. Let us hope that God continues to give him the grace and wisdom he requires to steer Nigeria through this difficult time in our country’s history. In the course of this historic visit, he held formal talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, a roundtable with the German President Joachim Gauck, a meeting with business leaders and an interactive session with Nigerians resident in Europe. A number of side, but equally important meetings were dotted in-between these. Three big-ticket items on President Buhari’s Berlin agenda were security, trade and investment, climate change and its consequences for the Nigerian eco-space. A breakthrough was achieved in all areas covered by the discussions. Bilateral relations Chancellor Merkel was the first leader of a major economic power in the world to have foreseen what a Muhammadu Buhari administration would mean to Nigeria, Africa and the world. As Chairperson of the G7 group of industrialised nations, she extended a hand of fellowship to him upon his victory in the 2015 elections. She asked him to be ready with his wish list and be present at the G7 meeting to brief its leaders. Since that time, there had been a big demand for President Buhari all over the world, a demand that our officials in Foreign Affairs insisted must be cashed on or else we missed the opportunity. President Gauck came here in February at the head of a business delegation, a visit that pushed the existing relations up by several notches as manifested by the setting up of a one-stop investment center to facilitate foreign investment and partnerships. Germany has also proposed a twining of two cities, Lagos and Frankfurt to facilitate the sharing of experience, meeting of businesses, trade and investment as well as exchange of visits by officials. In the course of the visit by President Gauck, a pledge by the EU to spend 50 million against terrorism in the Lake Chad basin area was announced. President Buhari’s state visit brought closer the relationship between Nigeria and Germany
Security Germany has offered Nigeria support in the war against terrorism with mine detectors, radar equipment and a field hospital. Chancellor Merkel also pledged increased involvement of Germany in supporting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the reconstruction of their destroyed communities.
President Buhari and German Chancellor, Merkel, during a joint press conference
in addition to breakthroughs in several areas of negotiations. Business/Investments The other key success area is investment. The President and his team held a highly successful business forum, which had in attendance over 100 Nigerian and German business leaders with interests in manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, construction, training, agro processing, power, mining and consumer businesses In a speech at the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari decried the current low level of trade and investment between both countries and Nigeria’s openness for business and long-term investment from Germany. He highlighted the steady work of renewal that has started in the country and the progress that is being recorded in the government’s pillars of security, governance and the economy. He also presented a strong case on Nigeria’s compelling fundamentals and stated the priority sectors of the government in which investments are being sought as being agriculture, industrialization, solid minerals, digital economy and infrastructure, especially power generation. The biggest gypsum producer in the world has already obtained an exploration license for the mineral and is looking to commence local production in Nigeria. A well-known consumer brand with over 50,000 employees worldwide is considering production of its laundry detergent locally. The company has already invested $250 million locally with 900 employees. The transition to local production will significantly increase the number of Nigerians employed. A Nigerian-based pharmaceutical company in partnership with a German conglomerate is also to commence a renal testing business in Nigeria before the end of the year Finance The President stated that the Nigerian Development Bank will soon commence operations to help provide additional funding to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). As a large contributor to the economy, funding to the SMEs will help spur inclusive economic growth. He thereafter charged government officials and the business community to enhance the process of achieving tangible results that are mutually beneficial to both countries Economic relations A significant takeaway from the presi-
A significant takeaway from the presidential engagement in Germany is the agreement to give vocational skills training to thousands of our youths
dential engagement in Germany is the agreement to give vocational skills training to thousands of our youth. Germany is always known to be a strong developer of apprentice skills. In addition to their reputation for quality education, the distinguishing feature of the German economy is that emphasis on skill development. What President Buhari got from this trip is a commitment by Germany to share with Nigeria their skills in agriculture, IT, telecommunications, machinery, aviation, vehicles, healthcare, construction and so forth. As part of the steps towards imparting the vocational skills, there will be collaboration between the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and a Nigerian conglomerate to build a technical school for artisans. The school will train Nigerians for three years, of which 50 per cent of the time will be spent in the school and the remaining 50 per cent of the time spent gaining practical experience. This model will be scaled up for the other parts of the country based on the success of this cooperation. Agriculture Nigeria and Germany had useful discussions on a programme of food processing locally, rice and oil milling with the aim of leveraging on the country’s experience to create wealth in rural communities. There also plans for a financing fund for agriculture in Nigeria to assist small and medium size entrepreneurs and cooperatives in the agricultural sector. Energy/Power A renewable power company with advanced and affordable solar technologies is going to commence operations in Nigeria. The company is headed by a Nigerian and has commenced the groundwork to commence operations early next year. Following the MOU at the Bi-national Commission, agreements were also struck
Immigration Another key area of cooperation is immigration. There are thousands of illegal immigrants from Nigeria currently in Germany. On their records, 20,000 Nigerians enter their country each year. This is a sore issue for Germany. Of these numbers, only about nine per cent of those who enter clandestinely qualify for legal asylum. To deal with the issue, they have indicated to Nigeria their willingness to train all prospective deportees in skills they can use back at home. In addition to this, two other Nigerians will be given free vocational training for every one deported illegal immigrant. Climate Change President Buhari never missed an opportunity to make a case for the recharging of the Lake Chad, now only 10 per cent of its original size, whenever he met the leaders of rich countries. He has been persuaded a long time ago that the best way to save the lake and the people who inhabit its basin from the corrosive effect of climatic change is to divert water from the Congo Basin to the Lake Chad. A study financed by Nigeria indicated that $15 billion will be needed to do this but it is the kind of money that neither this country nor its neighbors can muster. Having successfully established that the climate change has a lot to do with the drastic decline of livelihoods in the area and is at the root cause of the Boko Haram insurgency, the President is convinced that recharging the lake is no longer the sole business of the Lake Chad Basin countries but that of the wider world. Given her commitment to saving the environment, Chancellor Merkel had shown keenness in the project and is willing to be a part of the effort. Her reported earmarking of 18 billion for the project was misconstrued from her speech. After a repeated playback of the speech, the same conclusions were unfortunately drawn. Merkel’s commitment is however to the tune of 18 million on the Nigerian side and the rest 32 million to the rest of the Lake Chad basin countries, with all of the money coming from the European Fund. Nevertheless, 18 million to support ongoing efforts in the North East is still a mouthwatering amount. New and pending Issues The Nigerian delegation also had useful discussions on road and rail development, gas exploration, equipment and surveillance for the protection of oil and gas infrastructure in Niger Delta, upgrading of Defense Industries Corporation, DICON, cooperation in rule of law and polio eradication. Last but not the least, the President used a moment of his time in Germany to act his role a Commander-in-Chief by paying a visit to a recuperating army officer injured in the course of duty in the North-East. •Shehu is the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President
POLITICS \ INTERVIEW
THURSDAY, OCTOber 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Why are you so passionate about the amendment of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act? The involvement of Nigerians in the illicit global drug trade and the increase in domestic drug abuse by Nigerian youths is alarming. First, the bill was read for the first time on the floor of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly on May 31. The National Drug Enforcement Agency Act CAP N 30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 provides for stringent penalties for persons involved in the importation and exportation of hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin, sell or buy hard drugs or knowingly possess or use hard drugs. These penalties range from life imprisonment to 15 years, which is the minimum penalty.
Stiffer penalty’ll discourage drug trafficking – Ashafa A bill seeking stiffer penalty for drug traffickers is being sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who is representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the National Assembly. He tells Muritala Ayinla why he is pushing for the passage of the bill, which recently scaled through second reading on the floor of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly. Excerpts: NDLEA officials at the gate of the Kano Prison and taken to Lagos to complete his initial jail term. This is the kind of problem created as many people believe that even if they are caught and sentenced to jail, they will be out in no time. The deterrent nature of the punishment, which the NDLEA Act seeks to provide, is therefore defeated.
Why do you think the drug offenders should be handed stiffer penalty? The Act specifically stipulates the maximum sentence of life imprisonment and minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment for the above-mentioned offences in the Act. There is nowhere in the provisions of the NDLEA Act that gives to the Judges discretionary power to reduce the minimum sentence stipulated in the Act. However, rather than a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years or maximum term of imprisonment for life as stipulated in the Act, for some unknown reasons, some Judges of the Federal High Court have continued to pass varied and discretionary sentences short of the what is prescribed by the NDLEA Act. Perhaps, they are relying on the constitution for such judgements… No, not all! There is nowhere in the provisions of the NDLEA Act that gives to the Judges, discretionary power to reduce the minimum sentence stipulated in the Act. Recently, Malaysian authorities issued a strong statement that 40 per cent of foreigners arrested for drug offences are from Nigeria. So far, 30 out of 80 foreign students arrested in 2015 were Nigerians, in a country where drug trafficking attracts the supreme retribution. Apart from the cases in Malaysia and Indonesia, at least one Nigerian is on the death row in Singapore for drug-related offences. But the situation in China, which also punishes drug trafficking with death penalty, is alarming. Two Nigerians were executed in China in April 2015, but 120 other Nigerians are still on the death row for drug-related offenses, with 74 of them being held in Guandong and Guangxi provinces. Harm Reduction International (HRI), a United Kingdom based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), said 33 countries impose the death penalty for drug related offenses. Do you think stiffer penalty and review of the anti-drug law will make a difference here in Nigeria? It will certainly make a difference and make the illicit business unattractive. Just allow me to provide you with some cases in which the Federal High Court has found accused persons guilty of an offence under the NDLEA Act and in clear disregard of the provisions of the NDLEA Act, lesser sentences were imposed. For instance, a welder, Shola Adeitan 32 and a scavenger, Bello Adam, 37, were sentenced to five and two
years’ imprisonment respectively, for dealing in cocaine and marijuana. The judgement of the court was published online in Tribune Newspaper of September 27. There was also a case of a 19-year-old Pakistani, Iftikhar Arslan, who was in 2015, sentenced to 18 months in prison by a Justice of the Federal High Court, Lagos, for importing 25.4kg of heroin. This, again, was also published in Premium Times Online Newspaper of July 19, 2015. I am also aware of a 38-year-old businessman, Chibueze Onedigbo, who was in 2015, sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Federal High Court in Lagos for drug trafficking. The judgement of the court was also published in Premium Times Online Newspaper of November, 2, 2015. Worse still is the fact that when some of the Judges pass these light terms of imprisonment, the convicts in some cases are further given options of fines, which is only available for accused persons found guilty of obstruction of the agency or authorised officers, not for actual perpetrators of the offence. I have also read the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Commander in Abia, Mr Bamdele Akingbade, who, in an interview published disclosed that 22 accused persons were convicted by the Federal High Court for drug related offences. Amongst the 22 convicts, four of them were given an option of fine while 18 of them were sentenced
The purpose of the stiff punishment provided by the Act is to deter people from engaging in drug related activities
to serve between six months to five years in Jail. This, I think, is not what the Act stipulates as penalty for drug offenders. The purpose of the stiff punishment provided by the Act is to deter people from engaging in drug related activities. Where a person caught with cocaine is sentenced to few months’ imprisonment or given an option to pay a fine as can be seen in certain cases, one wonders what signal the country is sending to drug dealers and traffickers, their countries, our youths and the international community? The arbitrariness that is being perpetrated by the trial judges by not following the provisions of the NDLEA Act clearly can lead to corrupt practices. As a matter of fact, it only encourages illicit drug practices. How do you mean that it could encourage trafficking in drugs and lead to corruption? An example is the case of Ejike Martins, 53, which was published on May 18, 2015. Martins was arrested with 1kg of cocaine in 2005 at the Lagos airport by NDLEA officials on his way to Spain. He was charged to court and sentenced to two and half years in prison. He somehow got out of custody without fully serving his sentence. Three months later, he was arrested at the Kano airport with 4kg of cocaine and given a five year jail term. On completion of his jail term, Martins was re-arrested by
Beyond seeking amendment of the law, what better way do you think the problem could be addressed? Let’s have the Act amended first to serve as deterrent to other potential drug traffickers. You may have noticed that there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of drug couriers apprehended at our airports, this is a direct consequence of these illegal and unholy sentences adopted by some judges. The government or NDLEA could appeal these obvious cases of unwholesomeness being perpetrated by these judges, but the process is very long, tedious and expensive as the cases go right up to the Supreme Court, meaning that they could take up to seven to 10 years for final adjudication. So, the proposed amendment will close any loophole by having a clear, unambiguous and unequivocal provision that Judges cannot vary the sentences provided by the Act by reducing the penalties or giving option of fines which the NDLEA Act has not provided. This is because, as the news of these light sentences spread, more people are encouraged to go into the drug trade, hence the phenomenal rise in the number of youths engaged in the illicit abuse of narcotic substances and of course this also contributes to the negative image of our country in the international community. What other areas do you think worth amending in the NDLEA Act? There is equally a minor but significant error in the principal Act. The word “heroin” was misspelt as “heroine,” The two words means different things and are not synonymous. An amendment is therefore being proposed to change the word “heroine” which means a female protagonist in a work of fiction or female hero to “heroin” which means an addictive narcotic derived from morphine, which is intended in the Act. The last amendment being sought concerns the penalty for obstructing the agency or authorised officers of the agency in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on the agency. The principal Act imposes a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine of N20,000 or both. The amendment is seeking to increase the option of fine from N20,000 to N100,000 because the economic reality in Nigeria today has rendered the N20,000 fine paltry and unrealistic.
POLITICS \ INTERVIEW
Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose is a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State and All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial aspirant. The daughter of first civilian governor of old Ondo State, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, in this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, speaks on the outcome of the Ondo APC governorship primary election and some national issues What is your take on the outcome of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Ondo State? First of all, I must commend the leadership of the party for finding solution to the crisis that erupted immediately after the primary election. There is no doubt that I am an active participant in the election as an aspirant and personally, I think the primary election was free, fair and transparent and the chairman of the primary committee, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State should be commended for doing an excellent job. So, I am in support of the action the leadership of the party has taken so far. You said the election was credible but there were lots of petitions on the primary election over allegations that non-accredited delegates voted during the exercise... I think the people who saw non-accredited delegates voting should have raised the alarm at the venue of the voting. They should have made their position known to the chairman of the primary election committee at the venue of the exercise. Anything that nobody was unable to complain about that very day or the second day, but three days after is an afterthought. I didn’t petition anybody or complained because I witnessed the primary election and I believe it was free, fair and transparent. APC leaders are at loggerheads over the Ondo gubernatorial primaries at the moment. Are you not worried about that? I am not in a position to discuss the leaders of my party. Whatever the rift or disconnect that the public can see in the leadership of APC, I don’t want to be involved, because the leadership is made up of men, and men have a way of settling their differences. Don’t you think the division will affect your party’s chances in the governorship election? I am sure that leaders of the party will mend fences and make sure that everything is settled before the election. Whatever differences they have would be settled before the election, they are men, and men don’t keep malice for long. They know how to settle their
THURSDAY, OCTOber 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
APC‘ll defeat PDP in Ondo – Anifowose
differences. They will settle and manage the affairs of the party so that the party can win the election.
be governor. Do you see your party defeating the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the anointed candidate of the incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko? Did we not defeat Goodluck Jonathan who was incumbent president during the 2015 presidential election? Our party defeated the incumbent president and defeating an incumbent is not something new. So, if we could do it at the presidential level, what stops us from doing it at the gubernatorial level. We are going to come together and face the incumbent.
What is your take on the boast by one of APC’s governorship aspirants that Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu will win Ondo State without the support of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is the party’s National Leader and factor in South-West politics? Definitely, we need Tinubu all the time. We need him to be very supportive of us and we are making overtures to him to come to our aid and I am sure he is not going to leave us to go into the election alone. He will definitely support the party. What is likely to play out if he refuses to support the party? I am not going to look at it that way. If it is the Tinubu that I know; he will always make sure that he is in the forefront to ensure that the candidate of his party wins during election. He is not going to deviate from the picture I have of him. He is a party man and no matter the problem, he is the one who is going to solve it at the end of the day. People have made overtures to him and I am sure that in few days time, the problems would be solved. Definitely, Tinubu will come and support us in Ondo State. Apart from Tinubu, some of the aspirants are yet to accept the emergence of Akeredolu as the APC candidate… It is only Olusola Oke, who has gone to another party – Alliance for Democracy (AD). Olusegun Abraham has come out to say that he is not leaving APC and he has advised his supporters to stay in APC. The same thing with Senator Ajayi Boroffice, who said he is not leaving APC because he is one of the founding fathers of the party in Ondo State. He has said that he is going to support the party and the candidate. Out of all the aspirants, it is only Chief Olusola Oke, who has pitched his tent with another party because he wants to
Defeating an incumbent is not something new... if we could do it at the presidential level, what stops us from doing it at the gubernatorial
So, you are confident that APC will defeat the PDP? Definitely, and that is a foregone conclusion. What gave you that confidence? If we could do it at the presidential level in 2015, what stops us now when we have a state with just 18 local government areas? We fought a president in 36 states and now we are just fighting a governor in 18 local governments and 203 wards. There is no doubt about it that we will defeat the governor and his party because all our focus will be in Ondo State and members from across the country will be around to assist us. The governor knows that he no longer has people around him. Who are his supporters? Let him mention them. All his supporters have left him. Who are the people in Ondo PDP that we will help the governor? Even those with the governor are working for us. Are you insinuating that some PDP members are working for APC? Yes! Even those in the governor’s cabinet are working for us. As a lawyer, what is your take on the recent clampdown and arrest of some judges by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS)? Personally, I don’t support it
because there are better ways of arresting the judges if there are evidences warranting their arrest but I don’t subscribe to going to judges’ houses late in the night and disturbing the peace of the environment. There are better civilised ways of arresting them instead of going with people in masks; without even seeing people who are arresting them. It is crudity in the real sense of the word and I don’t think in this time and age, we should witness such. With foreign currencies and millions of naira allegedly found in the residence of the judges, would you agree that the Nigerian judiciary is corrupt as alleged by some people? If you have experienced people lying against you before, you won’t take what DSS officials said as the truth. When Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari and Brig. General Tunde Idiagbon were in power, Idiagbon came on national television to say that Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) governors had confessed to taking N10 million from contractor. At that time the UPN governors had not even been interrogated. So, DSS can come with any funny claim that they found this and that. Because I have experienced it, I know what security agents can do. They lied against my father. The day after Idiagbon came on national television to say that UPN governors had confessed to taking N10 million from a contractor, we got permission from the defunct National Security Organisation (NSO) to visit my father at Kirikiri Prison. When I asked my father questions about the money, he said nobody asked him any question and nobody came to him on the matter. I told him what Idiagbon said on national television. So, if people had lied against you before, you won’t take what DSS did to the judges with seriousness. What is your take on the recent release of 21 Chibok girls by the Boko Haram sect? I want to congratulate the Federal Government for the release of the girls. It shows that we are moving forward in respect of the Chibok girls and BringBackOurGirls campaign. I commend government for the release of the 21 girls and I want to encourage them to do more to bring the other girls back home to their parents. It is when they are back that we can really praise the powers that be. There are speculations that government may likely pay ransom and swap some arrested Boko Haram members for the remaining Chibok girls. Would you support such arrangement? Whatever methods they are going to adopt to bring back the girls, once they are not ones that would be against public interest should be adopted to bring these young girls back home. It is not a joke losing your child for almost three years. If you put yourself in the shoes of those children, you will know the agony they are passing through every day. Some of the parents had even died because of their missing children and I learnt that some of the abducted girls too have died in the course of been kept by Boko Haram. So, whatever method the government can adopt to rescue the girls, let it implement it as soon as possible to rescue the girls.
POLITICS \ INTERVIEW
THURSDAY, OCTOber 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Brig. General Don Ikponmwen (rtd) is the former Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army. The general, who represented retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association of Nigeria at the 2014 National Conference, speaks on anti-corruption war, challenges facing the country’s judiciary and the way out. CAJETAN MMUTA reports
As a member of the Nigerian Bar Association of many decades, how would you react to the arrest of some judges by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) over alleged corrupt practices? I will tell you very frankly that it was a shocking and disappointing news but not surprising to me because I have over the years pointed out during lectures as guest speakers at different occasions that there are lots of problems with our judiciary, and that the judiciary more than any organ of government should not accommodate corrupt practices or corrupt judges even as I have greatest respect for the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man. I have no problem in pointing out or exposing corrupt judges; it is a duty that must be performed by any government that wants to cleanse the society and put it on the path of progress. When we say it is wrong for judges to accept bribe and pervert justice, it is not attacking the judiciary as an institution, we are attacking individuals, who are behaving in a perfidious manner. I am surprise how some Nigerians will abandon substance and be pursuing the shadow. If a judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal can stoop so low to accept and accumulate money to the tune of hundreds of millions in their houses, what are we talking about the time of his arrest and how he was arrested? I want to say as a trained detective and investigation manager that arrest is an exercise of force. You don’t beg people to submit to arrest and there must be in many cases the element of surprise because if you lose the surprise, you lose the case. Do you tell a man, who has accumulated money in his house that you are coming? In doing so, you lose the case. I was a crack detective in the Nigerian Army. I headed the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) in the Army. I was Provost Marshal during my period as the commander in the SIB. We carried out so many surprises and arrested so many so-called untouchables in the army, police and banks, and some of these period coincided with President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure as military Head of State and we contributed seriously to the no-nonsense posture of that regime. We invaded their houses
Ikponmwen: NJC must rid judiciary of corrupt judges and got important evidences for their prosecution through surprise raids, which are normal and has nothing to do with the rule of law. What is rule of law? This is the problem over the years. Different people use rule of law to justify their actions, but the rule of law that I know is about everybody being subjected to the same law. The law in its making is predictable and known. Who doesn’t know in Nigeria about the existence of DSS? Who doesn’t know that the officer of the DSS exercises the same power of a superior police officer, including the power of arrest and investigation? Even though it is known that their job is mainly security based, you and I know that security is capable of a wider meaning than criminal actions, large scale crime that affect the nation’s economic health and fraud that endangers the justice administration in Nigeria. The DSS was established by the National Security Act in Nigeria and enacted in 2004 in such a way that the President can use the DSS to investigate any security breach, and he can assign any other duty to the agency. The command of the DSS has direct access to the president and the other way round. The president has the power to use the DSS and power to investigate. Nigerians should be happy that for once, there were signs that people in high places got involved in very unwholesome transaction and that government lived up to the expectation and got them picked up. If at the end of investigations, the allegation is not true, good luck to those involved. But I cannot for one minute imagine that a state organ like the DSS would want to victimise some judges. Why didn’t they come to arrest a judge in Benin, who I know is upright and can’t be influenced? We have been hearing some of the subterranean activities of these judges before now. Is it not in Nigeria that they said James Ibori (former Delta State governor) had no case to answer? Is it not in Nigeria that the Supreme Court interpreted the resource control law and defined the territorial boundary of states to be the water mark, which is completely unknown to Nigeria legal lexicon? We have angrily laughed to watch some of these happenings. We have some good judges no doubt and we have the bad ones too. They must be fished out and dealt with if the society must genuinely fight corruption. Kudos should be given to Buhari and I believe that Nigerians must give useful meaning to the interpretation of the rule of law. But some of your colleagues and politicians have argued that the clampdown on the alleged corrupt members of the judiciary was an attempt to arm-twist and intimidate the judicial arm of government to get favourable court rulings? That is absolutely unattainable argument. The only thing that I know and I have said so many
times is that in the battle against corruption, we must not have secret cows. It must apply to everybody regardless of whichever political party, whether it is a friend to the president, brother or sister. I was glad to hear the vice president saying that even if the president’s friends are found to be involved in fraud, they will not be spared. I will urge this government to continue the fight against corruption without looking at anybody’s face. I don’t believe it should be selective.
Some of the conflicting judgements we have been getting in this country are due to some judges soiling their hands
Some people have blamed the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for shielding some corrupt judges. Do you agree with that? Yes, the NJC have been too accommodating in my view. There is no way the NJC will not know the bad eggs among it. Sometime in the past, General Sani Abacha (late Head of State) fished out some of these judges and dealt with them. I have greatest respect for the judiciary as an institution, but I believe they have not done enough at the same time and I must urge them even as a senior lawyer of over 36 years to do more. Could that be why we are seeing some conflicting judgements in the country, especially the judgements by high courts in Abuja and Port Harcourt on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis? I can’t say that for every conflicting judgement money must have been given out, but I can tell you that when money starts changing hands, truth becomes evasive. You can’t take money from litigants and still go ahead and have the conscience to pronounce against them. So, once a judge, who is influenced, makes a judgement which has no justification or legal basis, you are bound to have another conflicting judge-
ment from another judge. I will say some of the conflicting judgements we have been getting in this country are due to some judges soiling their hands. Looking at the problem with the Nigerian Judiciary, where will you say the judiciary got it wrong? I joined the Army in 1968 and I was commissioned into the regular Army in 1971 before the military regime started in 1966. Even during the military era, Nigerian courts were known to be effective and fearless. I remembered clearly the case of Lakumi and other cases where the judiciary came down on the executive to say what they did was not right. Lakumi was a classic case. I think this corruption has continued to build up especially after the military handed over power to the civilians. The judiciary is part of the society and if corruption has become pervasive, little wonder judges have become corrupt. Corruption has become a cankerworm in Nigeria and that is why people are saying corruption must be fought from the root. The House of Representatives has called for a declaration of state of emergency on kidnapping. What is your take on it? State of emergency simply means getting back on track and taking decisive action to deal with a problem. It is a call that is welcome. The security and welfare of the people are the primary purpose of government and I am beginning to think that our Criminal Justice System is relapsing. It has become necessary to look into the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases as they do in civilized countries. Let the accuse person prove that he is not guilty. So, I totally support the call for a declaration of state of emergency to curb kidnapping.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Opinion Arrest of Supreme Court justices Turning Point MIKE ARAYUWA WILKIE email@example.com 0802-3097-251 (sms only)
he General Muhammadu Buhari administration’s war against corruption has been heightened to ensure that so much money is recovered from those who stole from our national commonwealth. The impression being created, is that, the fight against corruption is directed straight at the opposition, especially members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the other perceived enemies of the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC). However, these opinions and views have been altered with effect from October 7, 8, 2016. At the moment, the focus on alleged corruption has been shifted to the doorstep of some Nigerian Judges, eminent men who are adjudged to be honourable and distinguished in their profession and career. Simply put, the Department of State Services (DSS) has accused a few Nigerian Judges of corruption in terms of the acquisition of enormous wealth and physical cash which amounts to several millions and thousands in both foreign and local currencies. Hence, the DSS swung into action in a bid to arrest and detain such suspected Judges, in order to act as a deterrent to others and other Nigerians. For the avoidance of doubt, the DSS operatives had stormed the residences of Justices Inyang Okoro (Supreme Court); Sylvester Ngwuta (Supreme Court); Adeniyi Ademola (Federal High Court, Abuja); Kabir Auta (State High Court, Kano); Muazu Pindiga (State High Court, Gombe); Mohammed Tsamiya (Court of Appeal, Ilorin) and I.A. Umezulike (Chief
Judge of Enugu State). Almost all of these Judges were arrested at 1:00am in their residences, in the early hours of October 8, 2016. At the time of writing this piece, however, the said Judges had been granted administrative bail and were directed to report at the DSS headquarters in Abuja, everyday at 10:00am, until they are duly charged to court for the alleged offences. Perhaps, as a result of the condemnation of the modus operandi of the DSS, the arrested and detained judges were quickly released in order to douse the tension which such action has generated. Reacting to the scenario, Chief Justice of the Federation Justice Mahmud Mohammed said that the arrest of the Judges was sad, regrettable and unfortunate. Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) told President Buhari to call the DSS to order. He added that the arrest of the Judges was illegal and unconstitutional and a threat to the Independence of the Judiciary, which is aimed at intimidating the legal profession and core judicial officers. The NBA President further condemned the military style operations which are not acceptable in a democratic setting. And, finally, Abubakar Mahmoud, rejected the explanations of the presidency about the arrest and detention of the Judges. These reactions, from all perspectives, may not solve the problems already created by the DSS in view of the fact that two major issues are at stake, that is, allegations of corruption already leveled against some Judges and the Gestapo mannerism adopted by the DSS to apprehend them at midnight. From the totality of the allegations leveled against the Judges, we are told that they kept volumes of assorted currency notes in their houses. Where, for God’s sake, did
The judges are still deemed to be innocent until found guilty
they acquire monies of such magnitude which they kept at home? Are court Judges no longer salary earners or have they suddenly and miraculously become the front liners of an abracadabra multi-national corporate? Still, the terminal benefits of these Judges on voluntary or compulsory retirement cannot even serve the purpose of the embarrassing huge sums of money which were found in their houses by the DSS. Perhaps, such Judges may have registered community banks with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable them operate in their residences. However, the judges are still deemed to be innocent until found guilty by courts of competent jurisdiction. The terrorist method adopted by the DSS was too combative for the comfort of Nigerians including Nyesom Wike, the youthful Governor of Rivers State. It is fundamentally relevant to draw the attention of the DSS that Nigeria has long passed the era of the Jean Bedel Bokassas of the Central African Republic. Hitlerism in Germany; Jerry Rawlings of Ghana; Benito Mussolini’s Italian Fascism dictator; the Saddam Husseins of Iraq, Muammar Gaddafis of Libya and Baby Doc of Haiti. It has been revealed that the DSS contacted the National Judicial Council (NJC) on this boiling national issue but could not secure its co-operation. The proper process the DSS should have invoked was to ensure that the suspected Judges were invited for interrogation in order to get to the root of the matter. This was not done. I am to add that Judges, are of course, not immune to the law and therefore, ought to be handled like other Nigerians. It is my candid and unshakable conviction that the status of the Judges is officially sacrosanct and sacrilegious. The arrest of such high profile legal titans must not be left in the hands of the infant DSS security apparatus, which lacks the relevant legal and political experience to handle such a volatile assignment.
Case transfer: EFCC is getting it wrong Izuoma Ibe
t is a ritual for me that I must endeavour to go through the national dailies before setting off for my day activities. Hey! That is after my prayers. Today, I performed same ritual and to my disbelief, I stumbled on a title on The Sun Newspaper: “Kalu raises the alarm over plot to transfer EFCC case to Lagos”. What a daze this is on the judiciary. I was provoked by a set of analogical questions which enveloped my sanity as I read through the bases of the accused on the matter raising alarm. What will demand a change of match venue when it is time for penalty kicks after playing out the required duration of a match without victory from both sides? Why? This is set time for the players to file out and face the penalty kicks only for the idea of changing the pitch from Abuja National Stadium to Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. Worst of the matter is that ‘Jose Mourinho’ the coach of the Brazilian team went be-
hind the back to work out the process of transferring the penalty session to Lagos without the due consent of ‘Coach Alex Ferguson’ of Nigeria. Regardless of how the fans of both teams may see this development, it is obvious that there is an ulterior motive for such a clandestine move by the Special One, either that he has found a favourable ground to defeat the Nigerian team with a new referee whom he has control over or to impose more spending on the Nigerian side knowing the economic crises in the country which may lead to the team not travelling to Lagos for the session as it wasn’t easy getting a chartered flight to the match venue. This will mean a walk over which automatically implies the defeat of the Nigerian side. This must be addressed duly! This is not different from the move by EFCC to transfer suit No.FHC/ABJ/ CR/56/07-Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 Ors which has lasted not less than nine years and has been slated for definite hearing on the dates of 6, 7 and 8 of December, 2016. The truth is that, I could not look through other stories on the dailies but took up my PC to ask questions seeking answers to why such mishandling
by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should occur. This incident is not just occurring but it is at a time the independence of the judiciary is on the checks. This romance between the EFCC and Lagos is a matter which should draw not public concern per say but the absolute concern of the Attorney General of the federation and the Hon. Chief Judge, Federal High Court. EFCC has no moral or legal stand to reposition a case which has all the while enjoyed due jurisdiction. As exposed by the legal representative of Kalu whom I have no reason to speak for but interested on the basis of abuse of process, Kalu relocated to his country home in Igbere, Abia state after serving as governor of the state but had to move fully to Abuja, a location where the case is been heard, his team of five senior advocates are also resident in Abuja. On my last check, Abuja is the seat of power and there resides the ‘Federal Government’ whom the accused is standing trail with. If these ‘two individuals’ are at the location of trial (Abuja), who is in Lagos as to be considered for the judgment to be transferred yonder? What considerations are neces-
sitating the transfer of the suit to Lagos from Abuja? If the EFCC is working out a convenient location for both parties, how would that favour them? Why weren’t both parties consulted prior the plot for relocation? But, if the EFCC is working out a convenience for herself, on what basis is such? Much as the matter should be ‘remained’ at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the alternative should have been the state or place of crime (as accused) and not a ‘strange’ ground, Lagos. Who on this planet would keep quite when a matter as this level is ‘played child’ with as it has turned out in the hands of the EFCC? More to this matter is that EFCC should get committed to ensuring that fair hearing is engaged. The idea of ensuring that any accused is convicted is never a tenet of judicial process. We must try our best to ensure that the trending to abyss by the judiciary as portrayed by trending events is halted back to sanity as the judiciary is the hope of the common man. The sanctity of the judiciary should not be dragged to the mud by EFCC. • Ibe is a Sociologist and Writer. He writes from Abuja via firstname.lastname@example.org
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Governors and children’s future
here is no doubt that the future of Nigerian children is being sacrificed and mortgaged on the altar of dysfunctional governance orchestrated by some state governors. Apparently, this is traceable to the attitude of some governors in providing for the developmental needs of the children, especially their education, which is the basis for laying and building a solid foundation for their future. This untoward attitude not only calls for questioning, but it is also suggestive of lack of foresight and direction, essentially of our political leaders to shape the future of the nation today. For whatever situation, the expected future of the younger ones, which should be paramount in the scheme of national development, greatly depends on the conscious attention accorded the laying of the foundation for solid education and other social needs in all ramifications necessary, as the children grow up. Certainly, any default necessitated along that process will go a long way in hampering and truncating whatever remains of their tomorrow, especially in a nation like Nigeria, where government, as a critical element in the growth and development of the children, lacks the temerity to provide and meet those fundamental needs. Therefore, given the scenario of these deficiencies and particularly the failure of governance, which ordinarily is all about
the welfare and concern for the people, based on the resourcefulness and accountability of the leaders, the future of these children inadvertently is being put on the rope. In fact, many students will miss their admission into higher institutions this year in some states owing to the failure or refusal of their governments to pay the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) registration fees for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and for which the examination bodies withheld the results of candidates in the affected
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pay for, the same government refused to remit the fees paid by the parents to the examination bodies. Due to the non-chalant posture of the state government, led by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello towards the education of the children, the seizure of the candidates’ results following government’s inability to pay the fees has denied the candidates opportunity to process their admissions into tertiary institutions this year.
Many students will miss their admission into higher institutions
states. For instance, states such as Kano, Bayelsa and ten others, whose candidates’ SSCE results were seized by WAEC over nonpayment of the students’ registration fees, were said to have two weeks ago, paid the registration fee, when most of the universities had already closed their admission portals for the 2016/2017 academic session. In the meantime, the case of Niger State deserves special mention, although the parents paid the registration fees for either WAEC or NECO, as directed by the state government, which agreed as part of its free education policy to pay the one the parents did not
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As part of its admission of failure, the governor announced the withdrawal of state government’s assistance to
the students and their parents by cancelling the N800 million it spends yearly on registration fees for candidates in public secondary schools across the state. The governor had said: “We must review the issue of the payment of NECO and WAEC fees because at the moment, the state is owing NECO and WAEC about N800 million. It is appalling that government is spending that huge amount of money on students who could not obtain credit in four subjects in the examinations, as only about five per cent of students obtained credit in four subjects and above.” According to the state Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fati-
ma Madugu, the current financial challenges have prompted the state government to withhold funds meant for the payment of the children’s registration fees. Government has every right to re-plan its strategies, the concern of every discerning mind is that any government that is responsive to the educational needs of its citizenry should make education number one priority. Education of the people should not be allowed to suffer at the detriment of other social services, given the critical role of the sector as the fulcrum of development, and its place in the Human Rights, which makes education an inalienable right of every child and which must be provided by the state. These state governments have erred in this direction and they should without further delay admit their wrong doing by providing funds to pay the examination bodies for the children to access their results. Failure to do this will amount to a deliberate action on the part of the affected state governments to compromise the future of the children and jeopardise the future development of their respective states and by extension, the country at large. Any governor or government, who, for whatever reason or reasons, does not value education of the children and is openly exhibiting such retrogressive tendencies, does not deserve to lead the people.
THURSDAY, OCTOber 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Niger State pot house
Pots made by Madam Olotu
Pottery: Killed by modernisation Pots have disappeared from homes because of civilisation, which has killed the art. Ceramic and plastic wares have replaced pots, reports KAYODE OLANREWAJU
t used to be our main source of livelihood and income generation as most of us then used the proceeds from pot making to fund the education of our children from primary to secondary school levels. But today that has become history as pottery business is no longer in vogue. “It is only a few of us who are still remaining in the industry. None of our children is interested in pot making because of education. Interestingly, which parent would want his or her children to go into pottery now that there is no money in the art?” These were the words of Madam Mary Olotu, an 80-year-old potter at Okeagbe-Akoko in Akoko North-West of Ondo State. She said pottery was fast going into extinction. That is the unpalatable story of once booming and thriving pottery (earthen pots) production and business in various parts of the country, including Okeagbe-Akoko and Erusu-Akoko, agrarian communities in Ondo State; as well as Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which has today disappeared owing to civilisation. At a point in the life of the country, the use of pots or earthen wares was common in most homes, as the main cooking utensils as well as for eating, fetching of water and for preserving and cooling drinking water. Now, the situation has changed
completely owing to modernisation, which now sees the use of pots in homes as either barbaric or fetish. While reminiscing on the good old days when pottery was the main source livelihood and income mostly for women at Aje community in Okeagbe-Akoko, who smiled on every market day, one of the monarchs in the town, the Ewi of Aje, Oba Oloruntoba Bello, said the disappearance of pottery from Aje quarters, which was once noted for pot making, was a major concern to the people. He, however, recalled that his primary and secondary school education was funded through income from the sales from pots by his mother. “The proceeds from pot making were used, apart from paying the school fees of many of us then, to buy clothes for us during festivities such as Christmas, Easter and New Year or other community festivals. We assisted our mothers to collect clay from the location to the house despite that we were in
Madam Omonaiye at work
Children are no longer interested in learning the art and we cannot blame them
school, but no child wants to do that now as the children see it as a dirty job. “Nowadays, there is no money in the business of pot production, as it was in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. I remember vividly that when I was going to Lagos about 40 years ago, I took along with me a big pot for my drinking water. Pots served as refrigerators then. That was the practice then because people were using pots of different shapes and sizes for cooking food. The big pot (called Odu) was used for storing water, the small flat type (Ape) was for frying things, while the small type was for eating. The big flat pot was for frying garri, which is still being used in the community till date,” Oba Bello said. But to the traditional ruler, there are too many challenges facing the continued production of pots, which he traced to the problem of digging clay, since there are no more able-bodied men who are ready to do it for the women. Besides, he blamed the extinction
of the art of pot making on modernisation, which promotes the production and use of ceramic and plastic containers which have replaced the use of pots in virtually all homes. A major challenge, according to him, is education as no child is ready to learn the art of pot making or participate in it. “Children are no longer interested in learning the art and we cannot blame them as most parents don’t want their children to go into pot making in place of acquiring education. The need for knowledge through education has discouraged the younger ones from going into the trade,” the monarch added. According to Bello, the special clay for making pot and the other one referred to as “Aayo” which is used to smoothen it are still available and free, but what is missing is the young men, who will dig the clay. When New Telegraph visited the community, there were only five or
Pots made by Madam Omonaiye
THURSDAY, OCTOber 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
A potter making a flower verse
six houses where pot making was still being done. One remarkable thing about this is that the few women still engaged in the trade are over 75 years old, and there are no younger ones interested in the trade. “The fear is that the art of pot making in Okeagbe, which had in the 70s and early part of 80s served as major pot market for people from Ekiti and Kogi states and other parts of Ondo State as well as the North, will die with us and that is painful,” one of the women said, while making some pots. Reliving her over 50 years’ experience of pot making, 86-year-old Madam Rebecca Omonaiye said she learnt pot making very early as a child. According to her, she spent two and half years as an apprentice, but noted that her younger ones are not ready to learn the trade or go into it. Omonaiye regretted that the art of pot making would probably die with her generation. “Those who were trained in the art had all grown old and died. The irony of it is that none of our children is doing it because of education, although we did not pray that our children should go into it. Pot making is no longer profitable,” the octogenarian potter added. Regretting that modernisation has killed pot making, Omonaiye disclosed that a pot for cooking soup sells for as little as N100, while big ones go for N500. According to her, the flat size used for frying garri costs about N2,000 and
A woman making pot in Abuja
the big water pot goes for N1,500. The process of making pots, according to her, is tedious as they have to go a long distance to get the special clay and that it requires able-bodied men to dig it. “We no longer have young men to do that for us, and we have to pay to transport the clay home,” she added. According to her, to prepare the clay, it takes three hours to pound it to the level it will be alright to use. “After this, we will cut it into sizes, mould the pots with design or inscribe various designs on them and after which we have to burn or heat the pots in the fire to make them strong,” she said. Like Omonaiye, Olotu told New Telegraph that many of her age mates were taught the art of pot making when they were growing up. Olotu, who, like Omonaiye, was at work moulding a pot, noted that she was about eight years old living with her grand-mother when she learnt the pot making, which she has since been doing. Olotu, who said she used the proceeds from pot making to fund her children’s education, however, noted that some of her children are graduates today. But, according to her, potters do not put prices on the pots while still moulding them, until all the processes have been completed because that can cause the pots to break. “We do not put price when we are still making the pots until we have finished so that it will not break,” she pointed out. Olotu said she used to mould 10 pots daily but as she has advanced in age, she could now mould only four or less. She listed the various types of pot to include the one to prepare herbs (Ikoko Agbo or Oru); big pot (Odu) for preserving drinking water; pot for soup; fetching of water; and the one for cooking and for frying garri. While saying that there is not money in pot making, Olotu pointed out that the use of plastic wears and ceramic had killed the pottery business. On her part, Madam Saratu Elisha has known no other job apart from pottery in her 72 years on earth. Elisha is one of the women whose lives revolve round pottery making at Bill Clinton Pottery Centre, Ushafa in Abuja. Despite her old age and inability to read and write, Elisha mesmer-
The idea of the centre was to train them in modern methods and machineries
Madam Olotu making a pot
ises visitors to the centre with her skills of moulding pots of different sizes, shapes and her extraordinary speed. It takes her less than an hour to mould a small size pot using bare hands, a half calabash and some tree fruits to dress and create patterns or inscriptions on it. According to her, she inherited the skills from her mother, while at the moment her children are already taking the skills from her. “This is where I feed myself and my family. This is the only work I know how to do,” she said through an interpreter. The septuagenarian potter said even if she had wanted to do any other job, lack of formal education would not have allowed her. Also, her father advised her to follow the trade since it was what her mother was doing. But owing to decades of pounding clay for moulding pots with mortar and pestle, she complained of constant back and legs pains. Despite this, however, she is still very strong and healthy, which she attributed to God. Despite the economic and commercial importance of the centre, it is however begging for attention following age-long neglect by the government. Established in 1990, under Better Life for Rural Women initiative of the late Mariam Babangida, wife of former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), the pottery centre has remained the only place that earned the name of Ushafa Town international recognition. It was named after former President of America, Bill Clinton, who visited Nigeria in 2000 and also visited the centre as one of the country’s tourist attractions. The centre, however, has suffered neglect after it was inherited by the FCT Administration despite being one of the best in the country where the best pottery, ceramics and sculptures are produced. According to the Production Manager, Joseph Jezhji-Gajer, the centre, which also serves as a training ground for students of higher institutions and apprentices, is a subsidiary of the Department of Art and Culture under the Social Development Secretariat of Federal Capital Territory Administration. But despite playing host to world leaders, including Bill Clinton, former U.S Vice President, Dan Quayle, former President Olusegun Obasanjo among other
local and foreign tourists, the centre can no longer attract tourists. Perhaps, the skills of local potters, their methods of moulding and improvised electric clay reel are some of the attractions at the centre. Apart from different clay works on display inside the centre, there are no insignias to show that a former US President or a former Vice President or even a past Nigerian President had ever visited the centre. The statue of a woman moulding pot that welcomes visitors to the pottery village in front of the main gate is long overdue for renovation, while some parts of the village have been overgrown with weeds. Though, the idea behind the centre was to enable the Gbagy potters to learn new skills as well as use new machines to carry out their work, they are not comfortable using modern the technology. Jezhji-Gajer said some of the women after undergoing training in modern pottery technology went back to their old process, complaining that they do not enjoy the use of the machines. “We work with them, but their own processes are different from our own. The idea of the centre was to train them in modern methods and machineries. Some of them after their training resorted to their traditional and local way of doing it. They do not enjoy using the machines and equipment. That has been their complaint,” he said. Jezhji-Gajer, however, said that the popular icon of Gbagy pottery, Ladi Kwali, was able to use modern technology even in Europe to make local pots. Against the backdrop of what the centre set out to achieve, there have been many unfulfilled promises made to transform the centre by the past Minister of FCT. In 2011, on assumption of office, one of the first ports of call of Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide was the Ushafa potters village. Apparently unimpressed by the poor state of the centre, Akinjide, the then Minister of State for FCT, immediately declared the ministry’s plans to upgrade the facilities by infusing fresh innovation that would make the place a tourist destination centre, not just for occasional visit, but one that could drive investment. Akinjide promised that the minisCONTINUED ON PAGE 20
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Potters’ attachment to traditional skills CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
try would work with the Ministry of Tourism to put Ushafa Pottery Centre on the global map. She said: “I am happy that the centre has been maintained; that the traditional skills have been kept alive. I believe that this place can be transformed into a major cultural centre and attraction for FCT. “I am very impressed about what I have seen so far and I intend to work with the Ministry of Tourism to make sure we upgrade and support the facilities here by bringing innovations so that the centre will be a tourist destination centre, not just for occasional visit but to drive investment and to showcase Nigeria’s rich culture and creativity, especially Abuja. You should expect that we will be working to institutionalise this place. “Where there is a will there is always a way. This place will attract public private arrangement. We have seen sculpture here, we have seen pottery. There is no reason why we cannot incorporate theatre and all the other forms of art. We will certainly need to invite private sector to see what they can do. We will make the centre a befitting place. “Whatever is done here, we have the workers in mind. The intention is not to dispossess them or to exploit them but to help them to realise their full potential. This is our cultural heritage and as a woman, I am sensitive to the plight of women and youths. “We need to look at a model that is sustainable. Indeed, gone are the days when government prescribes. We are going to sit together to come up with workable solution to the challenge of infrastructure confronting the centre. The work of the government is to facilitate and not to prescribe.” On a large scale, the then Minister of State disclosed that the FCT administration with the active collaboration with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), was coalescing efforts to produce FCT Tourism master plan to enhance the role of Abuja as a conference tourism destination and optimise the economic benefits of the tourism throughout the territory. Meanwhile, when New Telegraph visited the centre there was nothing to suggest any upgrade of the facility about six years after, neither were signs of public private partnership at the centre. The Klins where pottery and other sculpture works are burnt or heated are as old as they were five years ago, while the huts housing the Gbagy women, who are traditional potters, were not better off. This fact was also corroborated by the production manager, who insisted that the machines that were being used at the centre needed to be upgraded. On the importance and use of pots, a resident of Gbagy community, Gajere said: “Clay has a natural cooling ability as water inside clay pot is always cool regardless of the outside temperature unlike aluminium that increases the temperature of the water as outside temperature increases. “I don’t know how God made it. It is unlike aluminium that instead
A big pot for cooling at Niger pottery
Saratu making a pot
of cooling will get hot. No matter the temperature outside, the water inside pot is always cool.” But Gajere added that the water gets cooler as the pot is buried in the ground. “This is what we have been using in most of our villages if not now that we have modern cooling agents like refrigerators,” he said. Gajere also explained that the local pot gains its durability through the intensity of fire it passed through after moulding. For local klin, a pot, is heat by fired between one and two hours at the rate of 800 degree centigrade, while for the modern method, it takes up to four or five hours depending on the materials used. The longevity of a clay pot, according to Gajere, depends on how careful the owner is, but when broken, it cannot be recycled owing to the intensity of fire which it has passed through. Unlike plastic wares that could be recycled, broken pot pieces, are archaeological materials as they facilitate the work of the archaeologists. Nigeria, Gajere said, could compete favourably with China in the
Clay has a natural cooling ability as water inside clay pot is always cool
production of ceramic wears as well as ornamental wears if adequate attention is given to the centre. Having recently visited China and where ceramic wears are produced, he said Nigeria could make huge foreign revenue if modern technology was made available to the centre. According to him, China is far ahead in terms of technology for the work and Nigeria can only begin its diversification of its economy if proper attention is given to the Clinton Pottery Village which trains between 15 and 20 youths annually, apart from interns from tertiary institutions. He said: “Nigeria is just starting in this line, but I can tell you that our products can compete with made in China products. We need private partnership to develop this centre. I also want to say that many youths have to develop interest in pottery and ceramic skills. “At the moment, the centre produces for hotels, art galleries, as well as manufacture flower vases, kitchen wears and sculptures among other products.” The problem is not peculiar to Ondo State, as the Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre in Suleja, Niger State, is not immune to the neglect, as the centre, which is now dilapidated, is a shadow of itself. The Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre is one of the many governmentowned skills acquisition centres specifically built to provide skills in handicraft, to position the people to become self-reliant. However, findings by New Telegraph revealed that the centre, which was established in the 50s by an American pottery enthusiast, Mr. Michael Cardew, and used for pottery was sold for N6 million to a private owner, who left it in a shambles. Piqued by its neglect, the Governor Abubakar Bello-led administration has concluded plans to reclaim and revamp the centre to boost pottery production and tourism in the state. The neglect suffered by the Ladi Kwali Centre, which produces clay pots, bowls and plates, according to the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has warranted a renegotiation between the owner and government for its take-over. He said: “The centre, which
used to be a national monument, is a concern to government because of its proximity to Abuja. We need it back for our next generation to see and develop themselves. When we leave culture, we forget our history and our identity. “We cannot do anything as a government because the centre had already been sold by the administration of Governor Abdulkadir Kure for a meagre N6 million. That administration did not appreciate the importance of the centre otherwise it would not have sold it. “Nothing is happening there presently. I tell you, our culture is very rich and we can export to other countries, but now the centre is nothing to write home about. After several efforts, we gave the person who bought the centre two options; one is to allow us value it and pay him back, or he should form a partnership with government so that we could source for a developer, who can also manage the place.” The centre was renovated in 1980s during the Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s administration and was renamed after the famous pottery icon, Ladi Kwali, known for her immense skills in the art of pottery, which earned her international recognition, awards and accolades. It was rebuilt to be a skill acquisition centre, as well as revenuegeneration facility for the state, under the Niger State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative. But today, the state Director of Tourism, Alhassan Mohammed, wondered that “sadly almost all the structures at the centre are at various stages of decay”. According to him, most of the buildings have no roofs, while others are now overgrown with weeds. One of the workers at the centre, who gave his name simply as Ishaya Saidu, bemoaned the neglect of the centre, which had been generating revenue for the government, but sold to an individual, who had refused to develop it. Saidu said the selling of the centre had deliberately allowed it to rot away owing to some vested interests of some politicians at that time. He said: “When in full operation, people paid in advance and brought their designs and specifications of the products to be made for them. Some e even customised their designed with logo and names which were being used as gift items during occasions like weddings and other ceremonies. “People come from far places such as Lagos, Kogi, and Kwara and other states in the South to buy the products of the centre; our products are world class and have been displayed in many local and international exhibitions. “All the machines are broken down, the buildings are all in bad shape, as you can see, we are all sitting down doing nothing and we do not like it that way. We want government to reclaim the centre.” Saidu, therefore, advised that the resuscitation of the centre is more important so government must revive it for the benefit of all and for posterity. •With additional reports from Dan Atori and Yekeen Nurudeen
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
SouthEastFocus Two ignoble neighbouring schools GEOFFREY EKENNA coordinaTor
South South Focus
Hoping in hopeless situation
News Succour for cancer patients
File: Students in a public school during an examination
One is a primary school. The other a secondary school. But the stories emmanating from the schools are blood chilling. PAMELA EBOH, in Awka, reports on the two schools that teachers have lost control of
n recent times, in some schools in Anambra State, morals are fast declining in both public and private primary and secondary schools. Promiscuity has become a celebrated way of aligning or moving with the societal trend in order to belong. One may ask, what is the essence of moral instructions, Christian Religious Knowledge in both primary and secondary schools when the morals are not practiced by the students? At present, most schools in the state are awash with immoral behavior ranging from indiscipline, disrespect, lesbianism, cultism as well as unholy conjugation even during school hours. Anambra State, without doubt,
may not be alone in this issue of decaying morals in public schools but two schools that have stood out with time in this dark cloud is a Primary school and a secondary school both located side by side at Obinagu road in Awka South Local Government Area of the state. The schools, which have over the years trained a lot of well meaning indigenes of Anambra State are at present dubbed “schools for house maids and wild cats”. Funny as the nick name may sound, it is not far from the truth as about 80 per cent of the wards in both schools are people’s house helps. Though both schools are government owned, it appears the teachers employed to teach lack the muscle and audacity to impact discipline on the students or maybe they are not doing enough. The secondary school of the present age has become very notorious in the city of Awka as school where students walk lackadaisically to school as late as 9am, wielding a folded book in hand with sagged trouser when morning assembly is already over and sneak into class without any stress. It is also a school where students who fail a class sneak into the higher class and attend to lessons without being sent out. In this case, only the
While some of the male students go into gamble games and boast about it later in the class, the girls in their tiny groups of two or three on their part go out to visit their boyfriends
strong willed teacher may voice out by saying that she/he will only mark the books of the students that have been promoted to the new class. Five days of the week, students of the Secondary School are seen loitering along the length and breadth of Obinagu road during school hours. While some of the male students go into gamble games and boast about it later in the class, the girls in their tiny groups of two or three on their part go out to visit their boyfriends. Some of them end up returning back to school to gloat about it with peasant gifts of biscuits and few Naira notes which never goes above N2,000 while another tiny group will return home from their outing pretending to have returned from school. According to a teacher who teaches Home Economics at the school, (names withheld) most of the students are already wild and out of control, hence, the teachers try to play safe by keeping a blind eye to some of the things they do. “When we enter the class to teach, we concentrate and teach those in class who are willing to learn. Do you know that some of these small boys you see smoke weed, not just cigarette while the greater number belong to one cult group or the other.
A student had once openly threatened to deal with a female teacher who flogged him and shortly after that incident, there was a kidnap attempt on the principal. Since then, the teachers who are mostly women made up their minds to apply less of the disciplinary measure and simply concentrate on teaching,” she said. But in the sense of teaching, not all the students in class attending to lessons even have interest in what the teacher is teaching despite the call for people to embrace education. For example, when New Telegraph visited the school during school hours, two male students were seen with their heads on their desk, sleeping away their future, few others were seen fiddling with their phones while another tiny circle were busy chatting away as the teacher was teaching and writing on the board. It was discovered that those who sleep during classes borrow notes from the serious students to go home and copy to avoid being caught napping by their guardians but the end result is failure and repeating of class which is also common. With the teachers applying caution every step of the way, students are left to wallow in all manner of unholy devices which include, smoking, CO NTINUED O N PAGE20
Anambra in the throes of erosion It is a small state by its landmass. But Anambra State has a peculiar challenge-erosion. A large chunk of the small landmass is threatened by gully erosion. PAMELA EBOH, in Awka, reports
he “Light of the Nation State” Anambra, created 25 years ago, has indeed grown in leaps and in bounds, from teething infant to an independent adult with multiple challenges and responsibilities all competing for attention at the same time. Apart from the problem of a collapsed express road at the Awkuzu/Umunya point laced with untold hardship for transporters and commuters, erosion is also threatening the embers of the state’s 4,844 sq km land mass’ existence with a total of 195 erosion sites. Presently, it appears there is no community in the state devoid of one or two erosion disaster zone with the topography cascading the entire land mass like a ring of fire waiting to consume any vulnerable space. The areas already consumed by the devastation include the spot behind the abandoned new government house complex bestriding the building and the state judiciary complex linking to Abagana gully erosion in Njikoka Local Government Area. The one located at Osili Bridge and sizable portion of the Enu-agu village both in Enugu-ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area is presently going hay-wire, thereby occasioning untold hardship on the residents of the affected communities and road users alike. With the extent of erosion, there is apprehension that several houses and other valuable properties, including, farmlands may end up being gulped by the erosion menace unless measures are immediately taken to curtail it. However, the irony of the threat is that the villagers, despite their worry and fear, have converted the menaced area into a C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 1 9
sexual exploits in the bushes around the school, watching of pornographic magazines and videos on the internet and stealing. On one occasion, two students (male/ female) were caught in a nearby bush during school hours having sex by an elderly man who went to his farm to do some planting. Immediately the man shouted at them, they got up and took to their heels leaving behind one pair of sandal and a book. It was the book which the farmer brought to the school that led to their discovery and subsequent suspension. Another incident was when a student who had just been promoted to SS3 was caught sitting on the laps of a Youth Corps member inside the school library. The teacher that saw them sneaked back and called the attention of the principal who came in company with few other teachers and caught them kissing. When the student, Chidinma, who was popular in school for her good voice and leading in National anthems with two other girls was questioned by the principal, she said they were looking for a book while the Corps member in his defence, claimed he doesn’t know what the girl wants having come to the library to see him and sat on his laps without any prior invitation. At the moment, the said singer is pregnant and out of school as announced by the principal during the
An erosion site in the state
dump site for different kinds of waste thereby creating a serious health risk to those living in the area. The Enugwu-ukwu erosion menace further stretches down to Nimo Two, in Njikoka Local Council Area with a leap across Neni town to Agulu community in Anaocha Local Government Area. Another area being swept off speedily is Nanka in Orumba North council area of the state while the other flank of the Anaocha gully erosion is plunging towards Idemili North and Idemili South local government areas ttilting towards other communities like Ideani, Abatete, Oba, Alor, Uke, Nkpor and Nnobi. The erosion in Orumba North and South council areas has so far adversely affected towns in Aguata council area. The greatest of them being the spot behind the house of the former
Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme which has stretched to Federal Polytechnic Oko, other parts of the town and other communities like Amaokpala, Ndiowu, Ndikerionwu, Ekwulobia, Ifite, Ikenga Akpo, Isuofia, Uga, Umuchu, Achina, Igbo Ukwu, Umunze, Owerrezukala, Ogbaru, Awgbu, Ajali and Umuchukwu, rounding off in Isuochi town in Abia State. The level of devastation in the state as compared to other parts of the South East has led to several calls by past administrations in the state as well the incumbent governor of the state, Willie Obiano, for the Federal Government intervention. In a recent programme centred on ecology in the Anambra State, Obiano called on the Federal Government to declare the state an ecologically devastated state due to its numerous erosion challenges.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
He noted that despite the state’s small land mass of 4,844 sq km, it has lost a huge part of it to erosion and was still losing so much. He revealed that the state’s effort in tackling the over 960 erosion sites had attracted the intervention of the World Bank with 12 sites already pencilled for intervention. Other ecologists who spoke at the event also elaborated on the solution to reversing damage in the state through the “Acting Locally and Thinking Globally,” concept designed as an enlightenment campaign that places increased value on environment. The event was however part of government’s effort in creating awareness on the issue of collective resolve on environmental protection in which all hands must be on deck to ensure a safer, cleaner and erosion free environment in Anambra State by planting trees. The session featured presentations on ecological issues, including erosion management and control, renewable energy development and climate change. In the past, successive governments mapped out some huge amount of money annually to help subdue the creeping challenge but it appears that as old ones are being curbed, news ones would emerge. A case study is the Umuchiana gully erosion in Aguata Local Government Area of the state, which at some point was described as the Anambra tsunami because of the extent of damage recorded between 2009 and 2010, when it rendered a total of 1,642 persons homeless with about 825 buildings destroyed. The Federal Ministry of Environment at that time, released the sum of N1 billion to check the menace but though the gully appears to be gone at the moment, there are still apprehension that it may launch fresh onslaught on the people of Umuchiana town following some tale signs. Even the Ekwulobia prison made popular after the transfer of some Boko Haram suspects to it is also under the threat of gullies. The gully recently came alive again when the already forgotten Omaba phase II gully erosion situated between Onitsha and Nkpor towns earlier in the year cut off one lane out of the dual carriage Nkpor fly over along the Enugu/ Onitsha expressway. On inspection, it was discovered that the Omaba phase II erosion had as a result of this year’s rain fall, eaten deep beneath the Enugu-Awka-Onitsha express way.
Two ignoble neighbouring schools school morning assembly a fortnight ago. It was gathered from one of the teachers that a second singer had earlier stopped school because of unwanted pregnancy before Chidinma and that leaves only lead singer hanging in the balance. Apart from the two singers whose cases are still fresh, there are a lot of other drop outs who cut short their education as a result of unwanted pregnancies. The male students on their part also have a lot of thorns on their plate for a desert as one of them during the last promotion exam was placed on handcuffs while the security officer that brought him hanged around for him to finish his exam. Investigations revealed that the boy, a JJS 3 student, whose name was not disclosed broke into someone’s house with two of his friends and stole about N50,000 which the man kept in his house. Our source said that the boy knew the man who is a bachelor from the area he lived and was running little errands for him from time to time hence, he knew the way and about of the flat and where things were kept. However, when the man brought police to arrest him as the main suspect, the boy aged 14, confessed to the crime
Sometime ago, when I was teaching primary one pupils, I caught a little girl of eight sitting on the lap of a boy in the class
and named his accomplices but said the laptop had been disposed off while the proceed was split between him and his allies. The primary school section is not left out in the ugly meal of destruction raining down on today’s youths as the young teenagers now try to eat the food meant for the elders. A primary two teacher who doesn’t want her name on print, said that she has witnessed all manner of unspeakable immoral behaviors on the part of the pupils. She said, “Sometime ago, when I was teaching primary one pupils, I caught a little girl of eight sitting on the lap of a boy in the class. I scolded her and told her to get up. She refused. So , I had to go and pull her out because I am a mother myself. It was when I pulled her out that I realized that the boy of the same age actually had at it his tiny penis out of his shorts erect and looking at it. It showed that something was actually going one before I saw them. The little girl’s mother was called to come to the school and after hearing the details, the woman apologized for her daughter’s misbehavior and took her home. That was the last the girl was seen
in school as the mother transferred her to another unknown school.” Feelers have it that even in their tender ages; they have mastered the act of watching pornographic magazines while also having little partners that finger them at will. Corroborating what the teacher said, a primary two pupil of the school, Kelechi, said that sometimes when they go out on break, some of their male classmates and their seniors would go by the bush side in pretence of wanting to urinate and beckon on them to come along. It is in this school that people as old eight to ten years are admitted to primary school. This trend, it was gathered, was allowed because some of the girls who are brought as house helps from the village have little or no education at all and based on their eagerness to be educated, they are put into school as beginners. No doubt, in every 12, there must be a Judas. There may still be a tiny group who still have their morals untainted but with the hurricane wind of corruption blowing at a rapid speed and with the teenagers getting swallowed in swift succession, it remains to be seen what bake the society will be spiced with in the next 10 to 20 years.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Hoping in hopeless situation Dominic Adewole ASABA
t is celebration galore in Nigeria! While some celebrations have turned sour in the country, others have ended on good notes. For instance, when the country celebrated its 50th independence anniversary from colonial rule on October 1, 2010, in Abuja, two cars were bombed against the crowds that were celebrating the golden jubilee, such that thousands of those who went to catch a glimpse of the day’s fanfare, ended up scrambling to escape the venue. The country, on the first of next month, rolled out its drums of freedom again to celebrate 56th anniversary. Also, year in, year out, on May 27, our children file out to celebrate their day. Two days after, federal, state and local governments, mobilise political allies to celebrate years of unbroken democracy. The country has since celebrated, without tears, its 17 years of return to democratic dispensation. There are other anniversaries not elucidated upon, including, the May 1st workers’ day, December 25th Christmas day, Sallah celebrations and what have you. But, not registered by Nigerian Government for celebration, the country has the unbroken agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra and the ‘declaration’ of the Niger Delta Republic by the militant axis of the Niger Delta region to contend with. Unperturbed that the answer to Biafran agitation was still blowing in the wind, believers in the movement, last month rolled out their drums of hope, celebrating 17 years of unbroken agitation for the Republic of Biafra, expecting that ‘their day of salvation is near.’ The efficacy of their renewed vigour is beyond human comprehension. The renewed hope came barely four months after the country celebrated its 17 years of unbroken democracy, which equally coincided with Biafra agitation’s 17th year an-
niversary. Determined to secure hope by keeping expectation alive, hundreds of supporters of the agitation defiled the heavy downpour of that day, which cuts across the South-East and South-South geo political zones. Although, many lives have gone into the agitation, houses and cars have been burnt, even as some supporters till date remained maimed, the jubilation that erupted among the supporters at Ubulu-Uku town in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, left no one in doubt that adherents of the struggle were jolly-good-fellows with unfettered, focused and determined spirit. They held tenaciously to the saying that ‘determination leads to success’ during the celebration. They have refused to shiver in the days of evil. To them, hope is a remedy to despair, no crown without a cross. They are sure that ‘one can be perplexed in the course of a struggle but never to be despaired.’ Despite that about four persons were allegedly shot dead and 14 arrested by a combined team of the army, police, civil defence and drug law enforcement agents along Onitsha/Owerri road as the agitators trooped out to reaffirm their selfdetermination, the agitators were spirit-filled that they pleased their consciences. Words are not enough to qualify how supporters of the movement painted relaxation centres in Asaba, the Delta State capital, ‘red’ with bottles of beers and champagnes, in a desperate desire to prove their self realisation, determination and affirmation. Up till 12p.m on that day, it was celebration galore. Well-wishers were not discriminated upon. No wonder, on the fateful day, the Zonal Leader of the movement in Delta North (Igbo speaking axis of Delta State), Chief Chinedu Amaifeobu, supported by Chief Felix Ugorechina and Pastor Boniface Anosike Onyenwe, Regional Administrators, Ukwuani and Aniocha South respectively, who led hundreds of others in a procession at Ubulu-Uku, said, no amount of intimidation, harassment, killing and maiming by agents
Some agitators during the celebration
If our ability could sustain the agitation for 17 years, our character will make the struggle a reality soon
of the Federal Government would make its adherents to abandon the agitation, maintaining that “If we faint in the day of adversity, then our strength is weak.” The Commander for Security of MASSOB/BIM in Delta North, Prince Ignatius Adili-Ajama, who corroborated his Zonal Leader, who spoke on the significance of the celebration said, since the celebration was devoid of violence as instructed by the leader of the movement, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, the selfdetermination would end up in selfactualisation soon. “If our ability could sustain the agitation for 17 years, our character will make the struggle a reality soon”, he maintained. He said the ‘Let my people go’ procession that was conducted in Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, where Biafran flag and other kits were waved in jubilation and anticipation that the favourable day for the age-long agitation to materialise was near, was significant the United Nations (UN) to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the agitation for freedom being sponsored by Biafra people for the interest of peace. He said: “The celebration is a sign that the Republic of Biafra will come to fruition. We packaged this peaceful celebration to make us wake up from slumber, to enlighten the people of Delta State against regret. We don’t want the people to say ‘had we known’ on the last on the last day. “The celebration is also significant as it announced to the world about our struggle of ‘no violence, no exodus’ in the past 17 years despite incessant killing, shooting and detention of our supporters by the Federal Government of Nigeria through its security agents.”
While Amaifeobu decried the delay tactics of the Federal Government, he wondered why President Buhari went to Daura, his hometown, during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, to tell members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the locality that Niger Delta and Biafra agitators should forget the realisation of the struggle, as according to him, no amount of words of peace or intimidation would compel them to take up arms or go into wanton destruction of properties like the recalcitrant Boko Haram sect. “We want to thank Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, for introducing non-violence to the struggle. In him, we will live and have our being. We believe in him, we will continue to follow him until the Republic of Biafra is eventually declared”, Amaifeobu said. Amaifeobu’s commendation came after a member of the elders’ council of MASSOB-BIM, faulted monarchs and political leaders in Delta State for dissociating the state from Biafra agitation. The elder, Chief Larry Odinmah, described as “unfortunate” their stance, wondering why Delta North Senatorial District, which is an Igbo speaking axis failed to take their destiny in their hands. Prior to Odinmah’s lamentation, the Governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, had told those that cared to listen during his maiden press briefing at the Government House in Asaba, that the state under his watch has nothing in common with Biafra. The elders wondered why monarchs and key politicians in the state were distorting their true identity under acute marginalization by the Nigerian government, lamenting how traditional rulers and top politiCONTINUED ON PAGE22
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Ayade (1st left) Abubakar (3rd left) and others at the event
Succour for cancer patients Clement James Calabar
ntil her death, Theresa Ntui was a secondary school teacher in Calabar. When she was diagnosed of breast cancer in 2012, she knew that the end of life for her was near. Friends and family members mobilized funds for her to start treatment but after a while, she could not afford the cost of chemotherapy and other surgical procedures. In February this year, perhaps sensing that the bell that tolled so distant some years back was becoming so audible, she called the husband and her only brother and thanked them for doing their best to keep her alive. She told them how she wanted to be buried and how she wanted her three children to be taken care of. She told them that she was prepared for death and that her only regret was the fact that she would leave her children at very tender age. Six months after this meeting, precisely in August this year, she died. There are many more Theresa Ntuis dying daily of breast, cervical, prostrate, colorectal or any other type of cancer in Nigeria. To compound matters, the cost of treat-
ing cancer in the country is not only exorbitant, it is a daily, weekly or monthly ritual that spans over years. With the rate of poverty in the country and the weak exchange rate, it is doubtful if many Nigerians with this disease can afford the luxury of going abroad for treatment. Matters are not helped by both the inadequate and non-functional cancer centres in the country. What was supposed to be specialist centres for the treatment of cancer have been reduced to consulting clinics and the equipment, initially costing Nigeria a fortune have been left to rot like the refineries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria has the highest rate of cancer in Africa. As at 2008, Nigeria was said to have lost about 10,000 citizens to the disease annually, while not less than 250,000 new cases were being reported during the same period. Early this year, the Medical Director of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, Dr. Kodjo Soroh, said a recent study in one of the Teaching Hospitals in the North West showed that not less than 30 new cases of cancer was reported daily. He said:“The unfortunate aspect of cancer situation in Nigeria is not that doctors cannot treat it but the
The country is reported to have about nine cancer treatment centres, but none of them is functioning
Hoping in hopeless situation C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 1
cians in the district scuttled the struggle in 1967. He attributed the incessant persecution, humiliation and intimidation of the Biafran supporters by officials by the Federal Government of Nigeria and in certain quarters of Delta North, to fear of the unknown. He said: “This same thing happened between 1967 and 1970 when some traditional rulers and political leaders in the state denounced their true identity and sacrificed their tribe for political advantage. “The appeal to the mon-
archs and politicians who are in this habit is to stop humiliating our leaders and supporters in Delta State. After all, Chief Ralph Uwechue, who hails from OgwashiUku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta North axis of the state was once a President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Col. Joe Achuzia (rtd.) who hails from Asaba in Oshimili North council area of the state, was once the Secretary-General of the apex body.” He said, as against the insinuation that the group is notorious in violence, monarch
and the politicians, should be mindful of their utterances, maintaining that “MASSOBBIM under Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, is non-violent and will ensure full realisation of Biafra dreams through logical conclusion.” Amaifeobu, who laid emphasise on unity in diversity of the struggle, and emphasised the cord that knitted River Niger and Niger Delta region when he said, “If there is no River Niger, there can’t be Niger Delta”, urged the people of the region to stop deluding themselves that there are not part of the struggle.
cost of treatment and availability of medical equipment is grossly inadequate. Nigeria is not prepared for the Tsunami that is about to break in cancer. I did a little survey in the northwest of the country some two years ago. It was recorded in a teaching hospital that 30 new cases are reported every day. Cancer is killing Nigerians every day. The rate at which cancer is killing Nigerians is alarming. It is more than cases of deaths caused by Malaria, AIDS and Tuberculosis.” Continuing, he said: “The best way to get an idea on the prevalence is to go by the WHO statistics on cancer situation in Nigeria. The statistics is alarming. It says per hour, 30 Nigerians are dying of cancer. I say Nigeria is not prepared because, if you look at our National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cancer is not covered. So, if you develop cancer now, you are on your own. How many radiotherapy units do you have in Nigeria and the specialists, how many oncologists? Early detection and diagnosis are important. Once these are delayed, it spreads and causes more damage. If you have money to go out, then the cost is on your head.” As gloomy as this picture is however, not all hope is lost as there seems to be relief on the way for people in Cross River State in particular and Nigeria in general. This is because the foundation laying ceremony of Asi Ukpo Oncology centre took place two weeks ago in Calabar. The centre, which is owned by a former Minister of Information, Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo, drew dignitaries from far and near, including a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and his wife; the wife of the Niger State governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar (who incidentally is the daughter of Gen. Abdulsalami), the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade and his wife; his deputy, Prof. Evara Esu and wife; former governor of the state, Mr. Donald Duke and wife, among other dignitaries. According to Ukpo, the centre, which is expected to start operation in January, will have state-of-the-
art facilities like radiation therapy, brachytherapy, chemotherapy and a variety of surgical procedures. Machines such as MRI, CT Scan, Digital X-ray, Digital mammography, 4D color Doppler Ultrasound, ECG, among other equipment have arrived the country and only waiting for installation. Similarly, the centre would be supported by a brand new Mercedes Benz Sprinter RTW ambulance, fully equipped with mobile 3D colour Doppler scan, Sonography, Electronic respirator, Defibrillator, Automated suction and online blood gas monitoring systems. These, Ukpo said, would provide both basic and advanced life support of the highest standard for safe, timely and efficient ambulance transport service to patients, healthcare providers “as well as clients in the catchment area.” Promising to assist clients from the West African sub-region, Ukpo said; “In order to provide additional convenience to our patients and their families, we will be providing subsidized flight ticket into Calabar from all West African countries.” This, indeed, is good news especially when juxtaposed with the fact that of the estimated nine cancer centres in the country, none is currently functioning, leaving patients to look for scarce foreign resources to seek intervention outside the country. For Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Nigeria was losing its best brains to the cancer epidemic in the country. The former Head of State, who confirmed that Nigeria has the highest number of cancer patients in Africa, said many avoidable deaths have been recorded in the country because cancer treatment options have been limited due to lack of needed equipment. While commending Ukpo for establishing the Oncology centre, he appealed to the Federal Government to initiate incentives for local investors, especially at this time when the country was passing through difficult time. “I read a book that says Nigeria has the highest number of cancer patients in Africa and this number is not encouraging. With private initiatives such as this, the Federal Government should give incentives to local investors to ensure that that the health of Nigerians is protected,” he said. He added; “The country is reported to have about nine cancer treatment centres but none of them is functioning and this leaves many people with the option of travelling abroad for treatment. Of course, this is not good for our economy.” Abdulsalami, who advised the management of the Oncology Centre to seek to provide the highest standard of medical treatment which will attract people from across the country, also counseled them to undertake training of local specialists as well as research more on cancer investigations and treatment. “I will like to advise Asi Ukpo on three things; It should seek to provide the highest standards of medical treatment in the country; it should take the lead to bring healthy lifestyles to the people of the state, and it should train and research more on Oncology for the benefit of the country.” The former head of state, who said about $3billion is being spent annually by Nigerians on medical tourism, appealed to wealthy individuals in the country to initiate projects that will help in reducing the number of Nigerians who travel abroad for medical treatment.
THURSDAY, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Business What's new
Rent-toown policy: Stakeholders caution Lagos p.26
USAID: Nigeria eyes $1bn exports to U.S, others
Ease of doing business: Removal of obstacles reechoes
eWorld Curbing menace of pre-registered SIMs
L – R: Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Ade Bajomo; Executive Director, Capital Markets Division, Haruna Jalo-Waziri; Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Onyema; Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale; Managing Director, NASD, Bola Ajomale, and Moderator of the Panel, Harriet Agbenyi, at the NSE Market Data Workshop 2016 in Lagos .
Rates Dashboard INFLATION RATE Sept 2016 ..............................17.9% August 2016 ...........................17.6% July 2016...............................17.1%
LENDING RATE Interbank Rate....................12.57% Prime Lending Rate...........17.93% Maximum Lending Rate...26.83%
(Parallel Market as at October 14)
(Interbank as at October 14)
USD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N460 Pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N550 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N495
l Foreign Reserves – $24.187bn as at 13/10/2016
USD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N305 Pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N371 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N335
78% businesses threatened by digital start-ups, says report CHANGE
The Business Desk Ayodele Aminu
Businesses need to transform from brick and mortal model to IT-driven operations in the current digital economy
Deputy Editor (Business)
Asst. Editor (Maritime)
Asst. Editor (Insurance)
Asst. Editor (Money Market)
Dayo Ayeyemi Property Editor
Adeola Yusuf Energy Editor
Wole Shadare Aviation Editor
Capital Market Editor
Abdulwahab Isa Finance Editor
Industry, Agric & Brands Editor
Chuks Onuanyin Energy
Nnamdi Amadi Reporter
Asst Production Editor
igital economy is taking tolls on brick and mortal business approach, as 78 per cent of businesses currently believe digital start-ups will pose a threat to their organisation, either now or in the future, a new research from Dell Technologies has announced. According to the details of the report obtained by New Telegraph, the digital business phenomenon is propelling innovative companies forward and accelerating the demise of others. The study revealed that almost half (45 per cent) of global businesses surveyed fear they may become obsolete in the next three to five years due to competition from digital-born startups, as nearly one in two business leaders fear that digital start-ups will make their business obsolete within 3-5 years. Some companies, the report says,
are feeling badly bruised by the pace of change. “More than half (52 per cent) of business leaders have experienced significant disruption in their industries over the past three years as a result of digital technologies and the Internet of Everything (IoE), and 48 per cent of global businesses don’t know what their industry will look like in three years’ time.” The findings result from an independent survey by Vanson Bourne of 4,000 business leaders, from mid-size to large enterprises, across 16 countries and12 industries. “So far the fourth industrial revolution has proved as ruthless as its predecessors. If companies cannot keep up, they will fall behind or worse. The ‘delay until another day’ approach simply won’t work,” explains Chief Marketing Officer for Dell Technologies, Mr. Jeremy Burton. The study, thus, suggests that progress has been patchy to say the least, as companies trying to catch up with technologies are at different levels of digital adaption to their operations. According to the study, “Some companies have barely started their digital transformation. Many have taken a piecemeal approach. Only a small minority has almost completed their digital transformation. Just one in three businesses surveyed is
46% Being the number of companies which indicated, in the study, that they were already integrating digital gaols in their business
performing critical digital business attributes well. “While only parts of many businesses are thinking and acting digitally, the vast majority (73 per cent) admits digital transformation could be more widespread throughout their organisation. The study also revealed that around six in 10 companies are unable to meet customers’ top demands, such as better security and round-theclock faster access to services and information. The report said nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) confess to not acting on intelligence in real-time. “These are imperatives for success in a digital age. Failing to deliver in such a highly contested marketplace could trigger the beginning of a digital crisis,” added Burton. Dell Technologies’ Digital Transformation Index supplements the research and rates companies based on respondents’ perceived performance about their firms’ digital transformation. According to the benchmark, only 5 per cent of businesses have catapulted themselves into the digital leaders group; almost half are lagging CONTINUED ON PAGE 25
78% businesses threatened by digital start-ups, says report CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26
behind. “Five per cent digital leaders believe that digital transformation, in its various forms, is ingrained in the DNA of the business; 14 per cent agreed that they have a mature digital plan, investments and innovations in place; 34 per cent digital evaluators are cautiously and gradually embracing digital transformation, planning and investing for the future. “Also, digital followers believed that 32 per cent of businesses have very few digital investments; tentatively starting to plan for the future while 15 per cent digital laggards believe that businesses do not have a digital plan, limited initiatives and investments in place. Given the acute threat of disruption, businesses are starting to escalate a remedy. To advance their digital transformation, 73 per cent agree they need to prioritise a centralized technology strategy for their business, 66 per cent are planning to invest in IT infrastructure and digital skills leadership, while 72 per cent are expanding their software development capabilities. According to the study, in order of priority according to respondents, the top planned IT investments over the next three years are converged infrastructure, utra-high performance technologies, analytics, big data and data processing; and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Additionally, between a quarter to a third of businesses have created a full digital profit and loss (P&L) (36 per cent); are partnering with start-ups to adopt an open innovation model (35 per cent); have spun-off a separate part of the organisation or intend to acquire the skills and innovation they need through merger and acquisitions (M&A) (28 per cent). According to report, just 17 per cent measure success according to the number of patents they file and nearly half (46 per cent) are integrating digital goals into all department and staff objectives. “In the near future, almost every business will have software development expertise at its core. Many of these companies will be brand new; others – having not written a line of code in 20 years – will have been on a momentous journey. New digital products and services will drive the transformation of IT infrastructure as businesses struggle to manage 1000x more users and 1000x more data,” said Burton. Commenting on the study, Principal Analyst, Futurum Research, Daniel Newman, said, “Digital Transformation is the result of blending the power of technology with a rapidly adaptable culture that understands not only what technology can do for its business, but why it is so important in creating the future of the enterprise.
THURSDAY, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Rent-to-own policy: Stakeholders caution Lagos RECESSION
Lagos State plans reduction of 30 per cent down payment to five per cent Dayo Ayeyemi
ousing experts have urged the Lagos State Government to exercise caution in its plan to commence the implementation of rent-to-own policy to enhance homeownership among accommodation seeking residents. Besides, they also urged the government to rethink its plan to reduce the mandated 30 per cent down payment by home seekers to five per cent to attract buyers to some of its housing estates. The experts, who spoke with New Telegraph in Lagos, tasked the authority to do its ground works before launching the new scheme, noting that rent-to-own policy is prac-
ticable if residents’ incomes are regular. Former General Secretary, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Kunle Awolaja, urged the government to do more research about the new policy and find out if people could really afford monthly payment of rent under the scheme. He said: “Government should do more research on the policy to know whether people can really afford the property at five per cent now that the nation is in recession. “Will the income of people be enough to cover the monthly rent payment? Government should not just rush into the policy,” he said. Similarly, Chairman, NIESV, Lagos branch, Mr. Samuel Offiong Ukpong, noted that rentto-own policy is commendable, but warned the government to find out if resources of the target group could really cover the monthly rent payment. Besides, he urged the government to work out what people would be paying as mort-
gage and amortisation period to really know if civil servants can afford the housing units. Rent-to-own typically means the owner has promised to sell the property to the tenant for a certain price within a certain time frame. Often, a portion of the rent paid will go toward either the purchase price or buyer’s closing costs associated with the purchase in the form of a rent. The planned introduction of rent-to-own policy and reduction of mandated 30 per cent down payment to five percent for home seekers were not unconnected with huge number of vacant properties in the metropolis. This policy, this newspaper gathered, is aimed at attracting buyers, especially home seekers, who do not have the wherewithal to pay the mandated 30 per cent down payment before accessing the house units. A two bedroom flat in some of this estates cost N12 million, while a three-bedroom apartment cost between N15million and N18 million, depending on locations.
According to Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, the initiative is one of the solutions arrived at to solve housing problems, both on demand and supply sides in the state. On demand’s side, he disclosed that the government would be coming up with rentto-own mortgage scheme, noting that the mandated 30 per cent contribution by home seekers was becoming difficult for people to come by, especially in a recession period. He explained that under the regime of rent-to-own, prospective home seekers would pay just five per cent of cost of the house, while the balance will be spread over a period of time as rent on monthly basis. Ukpong wants the government to work with professional estate surveyors for sustainability of the policy. He raised some vital posers concerning the locations of the housing estates such as available infrastructure and their conditions in order to prepare would-be subscribers.
L-R: Head, Virtual Banking, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. Mr. Akeem Salam; Group Head, Communications, Mr. Charles Aigbe; Manager, Product Marketing Manager, Mrs. Kemi Fashina; Head, Consumer and Digital Banking, Dr. Yinka Adedeji; and Head, Cards, Mr. Obina Uma, during an interactive session on new initiatives on consumer and digital banking by UBA, in Lagos.
Export: Nigeria eyes $1bn worth to U.S, others TREATY AGOA allows duty, quota free incentives for the entry of 6,400 goods from African countries
igerian exporters intend to achieve $1 billion agricultural produce exports to the United States and other developed countries under the Agricultural Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) scheme, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has said. Chief of Party, USAID Nigeria, Bob Ezumah, said this in Lagos while mentoring stakeholders in Small and Medium scale Enterprises
(SMEs) on the potential endowed in AGOA at a SMEs forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). AGOA is a legislation approved by the U.S. Congress in May 2000. The purpose of the legislation is to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region. Ezumah said that some SMEs firms in the country are currently doing millions of dollars worth of goods exports especially agricultural produce to the US and others countries under AGOA. According to him, many SMEs in the export of goods/ items are not aware that 4,600 of AGOA products qualify for elimination of tariffs under the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) of the U.S. Additionally, Ezumah said that 2000 products were now
included in “import sensitive” under the GSP. He explained that the increase in the country’s export market might not be unconnected to South Africa’s exports to U.S, which already surpassed $1 billion. Specifically, he noted that South Africa exported goods/ items worth N1.2 billion to the U.S last year, against $2.6 million in favour of Nigeria. However, the USAID Nigeria boss said currently, there were some Nigerian companies involved in the export of $96 million (Cocoa), $38 million (Cashew) and $322 million (Shea Butter) under AGOA to U.S, India and Vietnam respectively. He added that this intensity in export market would generate lots of foreign exchange for Nigeria. “Under our AGOA scheme, we are currently handling some Nigerian companies
that are doing export of $96 million worth of Cocoa to the U.S, $38 million of Cashew to Vietnam and India and $322 million worth of Shea Butter export to the U.S. These agricultural produce exports will help generate huge foreign exchange for Nigeria. The only way Nigeria can get out of this recession is to export more local produce to foreign countries and bring in foreign exchange for the government to develop the country.” Speaking on the opportunities of AGOA, Ezumah stressed that the benefits and incentives spaned over 6,400 products broadly categorised into cashew e.g raw, roasted, salted, shea e.g shea butterbulk and finished product, Home décor and fashion accessories e.g furniture and wood products, hand-crafted pottery and baskets, leather hand bags and shoes etc.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
The National Assembly’s pledge to hasten the passage of 11 bills before the end of 2016 to tackle economic recession has reignited optimism on removing regulatory bottlenecks on ease of doing business. TAIWO HASSAN reports
lthough, the Nigerian economy is facing myriads of challenges triggered by economic recession, indications are, however, emerging that the economy is still a fertile destination for foreign investors who desire good returns on their investments. Bills to ease investment At the 22nd edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, spoke on the National Assembly’s move to use legislative instruments at resuscitating the country’s economy. Specifically, he said the Senate would pass 11 bills before the end of 2016 to tackle the current recession. No doubt, the Senate president’s statement was critical to members of the NESG and other private sector operators. Senate’s assurance to rollout the bills is expected to bring the desired change in the real sector of the economy going by its stance that since the beginning of the year, the Senate had worked so hard to fast-track over 40 priority bills. Saraki said the 40 bills were recommended by the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER), an initiative, which the NESG was a major partner. He also said that the Senate would ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in this administration by breaking the Bill into different sections for easier passage. It will be recalled that the passage of the PIB had been contentious since the life of the 6th Assembly. Indeed, the Senate is looking at passing the PIB as an avenue to generate more revenue from oil, thereby putting the nation on track out of recession. “By focusing more on outcomes, rather than processes, the Nigerian Senate has been able to pass 20 Bills for final reading in two weeks,” he said. However, Saraki also promised that the Senate would examine Nigeria’s multiple taxation laws for businesses when it considers the 2017 Appropriation Bill. Multiple taxation is one of the regulatory instruments that had been identified as hindering the growth and development of the country’s economy. “What we need to do is to improve our corporate taxation system. The Senate will be examining the different options
Ease of doing business: Removal of obstacles reechoes for achieving this in the 2017 budget cycle so that we can strengthen the tax value chain. We will also review other areas like the customs duties,” he said. Regulatory environment Several surveys on entrepreneurial activities in Nigeria indicate that most Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises struggle to survive and cannot compete with their counterparts in other countries due to high cost of doing business. The 2016 World Bank Ease of Doing Business report placed Nigeria in 169th position out of 189 economies. Some of the factors used in the report are ease of getting electricity, trading across borders, registering a property, paying taxes, obtaining construction permits, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, starting a business, getting credit and protecting minority investors. Over the years, the country has been consistently placed in the lowest category in the ease of doing business report. In 2010 and 2011, Nigeria occupied 133rd position. It slipped to 138th, 147th and 170th in 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively, but occupied 169th position in 2015 and 2016. While examining the environment in which small businesses operate during the Fate Foundation’s policy dialogues series, stakeholders involved in the coaching and mentoring of entrepreneurs noted that poor infrastructure and slow response by the government agencies saddled with the responsibility of supporting the MSMEs constituted major setbacks to their growth. They pointed out that the growth of the MSMEs was being hampered by unfavourable regulatory environment and lack of collaboration between the government agencies supporting small businesses and private sector players. According to the Managing Partner, Growth Capital Fund, Cocreation HUB, Tunde Eleso, it has
The country has been consistently placed in the lowest category in the ease of doing business report
been difficult to get investors to support start-ups with viable business ideas because most of them are only interested in return on investment. He, however, said they were able to convince some investors including the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support 20 entrepreneurs with $10,000 for early experimentation within 18 months. In spite of the available funds, Eleso said poor infrastructure posed a major challenge, adding that several government agencies that were approached responded slowly. Eleso also said: “There are key areas that are important to build a good ecosystem. Talent should be well developed but our institutions are not doing enough in this area. With a diverse talent pool, we can do a lot. “Funding is critical, especially in technology. Early stage funding is important for experimentation. We lack critical soft infrastructure and good working environment. These things would have helped us go far.” Collaborating Eleso’s remarks, Director, Policy Advocacy and Co-ordination, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Monday Ewans, emphasised the need for policy and regulatory framework for the MSMEs. According to him, the agency was established to coordinate, stimulate and monitor the development of the MSMEs in the country. He, however, said the agency could not do it alone, and had been partnering other agencies and business support organisations. Highlighting the challenges SMEDAN was facing in performing its role, Ewans said the agency had neither legal backing nor economic resources to support the MSMEs. He said: “SMEDAN does not have the requisite capacity to perform its role. The legal issue is very important. SMEDAN cannot
say this money is for the MSMEs because the law says we should facilitate access to funds. “There is no legal framework to interface with the Bank of Industry (BoI) for access to funds. Our finance partners don’t believe that start-ups sometimes fail. The MSMEs should not be treated like large corporations because their circumstances are different.” Chile model Sharing the success story of start-ups in Chile, Executive Director, Start-up Chile, Rocio Fonseca, said the model used by Chile to achieve an entrepreneurial revolution had been replicated by many countries around the world. Start-Up Chile, one of Chile’s economic development programmes, was created in 2010 to attract early stage; high-potential entrepreneurs and help startups in Chile expand globally. She explained that achievements of the government-funded initiative were made possible by setting two goals and ensuring they were achieved in five years. Fonseca said the first goal was to make Chile the leading innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America and change the Chileans’ mindset towards entrepreneurship. Reeling out statistics on the impact of the initiative, she said: “From 2010 to date, about 1,300 start-ups were mentored. Fifty countries created a start-up programme after Chile; 21 per cent of our start-ups have valuation of $1.31 billion. We have created 5,162 jobs globally.” Fonseca explained that the success of the initiative was based on its protection from political influence, which would have hindered its progress, and that the government did not expect instant economic contributions from the start-ups in the first five years. Conclusion The move by the Senate to intervene in revitalising the country’s economy is a welcome development at this period; but abolishing the regulatory bills that are hindering ease of doing business in the manufacturing sector is sacrosanct to Nigerian investors.
BUSINESS \ INDUSTRY
PROJECT GE is planning to invest $2.2 billion in Africa in 2017
Stories: Taiwo Hassan
nited States-based industrial fir m, General Electric (GE), has expressed its readiness to invest about $150 million in Nigeria by the end of next year. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jay Ireland, revealed this at the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja. The investment is part of $2 billion the company plans to spend in Africa. Already, GE had pledged to invest in a rail concession as the company targets to revamp, provide rolling stock, and manage some of Nigeria’s railway lines on behalf of the Federal Government. Last month, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that negotiations were ongoing for the concession of narrow gauge lines across the country to GE. “The entire western and eastern lines will be rehabilitated but we will concession the project to GE and they are bringing in $2 billion to embark on the project,” Amaechi said, adding that the concession would be for a period of 20 to 25 years.” Initially, GE had commenced a $250 million capital
BUA restates commitment to service delivery
he management of BUA Group has restated its commitment to service innovation and efficient service delivery, as the company joined other organisations around the world to celebrate the 2016 International Customer Service Week. The weeklong event, which was observed in Lagos and across its subsidiaries, according to a statement, had lots of activities for internal and external stakeholders. Speaking in one of the internal events to mark the Customer Service Week, the Group Chief Operating Officer at BUA Group, Chimaobi Madukwe, said the issue of customer service could not be over-emphasised or ignored by any forward thinking organisation. He said, “BUA reflects innovation, quality and hard work. BUA will consistently expand production capacity to meet market demand for its quality products in Nigerian market through innovation, investment in human capital and quality staff providing excellent customer services across the country.”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Firm plans $150m investment in Nigeria by 2017
expenditure for its manufacturing and assembly facility in Calabar, Cross River State. Specifically, the company described Nigeria as a regional hub for manufacturing, service and innovation. According to him, the company’s multi-million dollar investment in Nigeria was critical to the country’s growth and development. The CEO added that the investment was a vindication that there was still strong bilateral relationship
between the US and Nigeria. He disclosed that GE remained committed to localising operations in the country through job creation, technology and skills transfer, training and supplier development. He, however, said that Africa would require about $300 billion investment to meet its energy target. According to him, the company would continue to open its doors for private energy companies to boost
power generation in the continent. Ireland stressed that GE was currently operating in 22 countries in Africa, adding that Nigeria’s energy sector growth and development remained a top priority for GE. The GE boss stressed that the company generated about 2,000mw to the national grid in the last 14 months. He pledged that GE would continue to invest more funds in Nigeria’s power
generation. GE has operated in Africa for over 100 years and is committed to the first US-Africa Business Forum since 2014 and pledged to invest $2 billion in facility development, skills training, and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018. “GE is proud to remain a steadfast partner in Africa’s sustainable growth and will continue to invest in people and infrastructure across Africa,” Ireland said.
L-R: Customer Relations Executive, MTN Nigeria, Ms. Ugonwa Nwoye; Commercial Director Nigeria and Ghana, Air France KLM, Mr. Arthur Dieffenthaler; Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Rahul De; Human Resource and Corporate Services Executive, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola and General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Richard Iweanoge at the MTN – Air France KLM partnership announcement in Lagos.
FG rakes $400m from e-commerce I n a bid to demonstrate the importance of Information Communication Technology (ICT) potential to the country’s Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) sector, Federal Government has realised about $400 million as taxes from eCommerce firms operating in Nigeria in the last four years.
Country Manager, Oracle International in Nigeria, Adebayo Sanni, in a chat with New Telegraph, revealed this during the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Annual Symposium of the Small and Medium scale Enterprises Group in Lagos. He said that every SMEs operator needed to key into
the new digital age in order to leverage on the country’s SME business growth and development. In addition, he revealed that the firms also raked in over $1 billion in online sales last year. Sanni, while speaking on the theme of the workshop, ‘Repositioning SME as Non-Oil Export Solution to the Plunge in Petro-dollar: The Nigeria
MTN targets growth for Nigeria’s 18m SMEs Kunle Azeez
TN Nigeria, through its business-focused unit, MTN Business, has introduced Easy Accounting targeted at delivering cost-effective cloud-based accounting solution for over 18 million Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. MTN said the product, introduced as part of its commitment towards enabling SMEs with the right business tools for sustainable growth, was a bespoke solution that drives smarter operations for SMEs across Nigeria. According to the Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Enterprise Business at MTN Nigeria, Mrs. Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Easy Accounting is an online business management and accounting system for small businesses that is specifically designed for
people who may not understand or are having challenges with their accounting processes. “You do not need any accounting knowledge to use it. This is another tailor-made solution that helps SMEs run their businesses seamlessly under MTN Cloud Services. “It’s easy to understand and use. You capture simple information and the system converts it automatically into accounting entries. It provides everything your accountant needs to produce your financials,” she said. On the essence of the new solution in transforming SMEs businesses, Saint-Nwafor said: “This is a must-have for every smart business, as it is specially designed to take away all obstacles and barriers SME owners experience on a daily basis while trying to run their businesses. “The solution reaffirms our
commitment towards supporting small businesses and our recognition of the critical role they play in every economy.” In addition, General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, stated that the new solution provides everything you need in one convenient, easy-to-use system. He said: “It helps to manage your contacts, does your quotes and invoices; tracks all your money including any personal money used in the business. It provides simple reports so you can see who you owe and who owes you. It also does your payroll and so much more.” Ikenna-Emeka added that Easy Accounting for SMEs had been launched in Kenya and could be purchased either by airtime deduction, credit cards or debit cards, which makes it very easy to purchase.
Experience,’ explained that companies such as Wakanow, Konga, Jumia and the rest of other online marketing outfits, have leveraged on ICT to grow their businesses into world-class enterprises. The Oracle’s Country Manager noted that digital technology played key role in finetuning SMEs business growth in Nigeria, adding that many SMEs were currently facing challenges in their businesses today because of their inability of taking advantage of ICT in driving the growth of their businesses. Sanni added that a technology-driven SMEs business could not go down in the ongoing economic recession in the economy because of the enormous opportunities in the ICT sector. He said: “Eighty per cent of SMEs businesses are now done online and this is due to the power of digital marketing. Wakanow, Konga, Jumia and the rest of them are doing well in online marketing in Nigeria because they are well grounded in ICT compliance. I must say the future of SMEs in Nigeria depends on how the operators in the sector are able to maximise ICT growth and development. It is only technology-driven SMEs that will survive the current economic recession in Nigeria.”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Curbing menace of pre-registered SIMs Despite imposing sanctions on telecoms operators for indulging in preregistering subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is worried that the trend seems unabated. CLEM KHENA-OGBENA reports
ver the years, the country’s telecoms umpire, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has continuously battled telecoms operators for indulging in pre-registering their identity module (SIM) cards. Last year, the battle reached its crescendo, as MTN Nigeria was on a warpath following its refusal to deactivate about over five million unregistered SIM lines from its network. Though, NCC originally sanctioned MTN N1.04 trillion but, following six months of negotiation, the authority finally reduced the fine to N330 billion. The money is expected to be paid over the next three years. As if the MTN experience, which adversely affected their entire MTN operation was not enough lesson for the operators to desist harbouring of unregistered SIM lines on the networks, the regulator recently raised the alarm that instances of pre-registered SIMs still persist in the industry. The fresh alarm Speaking at NCC Day during the recently concluded 2016 Abuja International Trade Fair held in Abuja, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, had raised fresh alarm over the re-surfacing of the pre-registered SIM cards in the markets and on the streets of the country. “As we speak, there are a number of issues that are of major concern to the commission. The issue of pre-registered SIM cards is rearing its ugly head. The attention of the commission has been drawn to this menace and the commission is leaving no stone unturned to arrest the situation,” he said. Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of Public Relations at NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said: “We have sent directives to the service providers to ensure that their agents are not used to perpetrate this fraud. All service providers found culpable will be severely sanctioned. But we urge the consumers to be wary of this fraud to avoid being victims of the circumstances. “Members of the public are advised to desist from buying
Recent regulatory efforts Prior to the latest development, NCC had constituted a special task force, with a view to tackling the challenge especially within Abuja metropolis. The special force was, subsequently, deployed to market locations, where pre-registered SIM cards were reportedly sold to customers or subscribers, who, for right or wrong purposes, purchased such cards. In the popular Wuse Market in Abuja, for instance, the task force recently swooped on agents of GSM service providers involved in the sales, seized their products and arrested the culprits. Expectedly, stakeholders and watchers in the nation’s telecoms industry are also agitated by the unpleasant development. Their concern or worry is further strengthened by the socio-economic consequences associated with the re-emergence of the agents of pre-registered SIM cards with their activities.
he pointed out that the menace was capable of endangering the country’s security and promoting crimes. According to Teniola, “The issue of pre-registered SIM cards should have taught every telecom operator a lesson, the NCC having sanctioned MTN in view of SIM card registration violation. However, NCC should come up stiffer punishment this time to ensure that any SIM that is not properly registered is sanctioned. These types of SIM card are the ones used to register fake names and all that, but NCC should sanction telecom operators that are involved in this act, because it borders on Nigeria’s security.” He recalled that the SIM card registration issue partly led to the emergence of what is known as Boko Haram today. Also, in a similar interview, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, who slightly alluded to the recent shutting down of Wuse Market in Abuja and another one in Lagos by the NCC over pre-registered SIM card matter, however, said that there was no perfect system in the world. He said: “There are people in our society that are not following rules and processes. NCC can only regulate the service providers’ operations. We should focus on why people are abusing the SIM card registration process.” He noted that telecoms sector had been contributing substantially to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) since its revolution in country, unlike what it was in the days of the defunct Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), when “it was a serious issue to make any call.”
Operators’ reactions Reacting the latest development, the President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, in a telephone interview with New Telegraph, stated that telecoms operators should learn a lesson from the recent experience of MTN that was sanctioned by being fined over similar issue. While calling on NCC to come up with harsher measures against preregistered SIM cards rule violators,
Conclusion Going forward, stakeholders in the industry, whose comments were also in line with Teniola’s and Ogunbanjo’s views called for an urgent need for the authority to address the issue properly, by coming up with stricter, deterrent measures because, as one of them put it, “we have too much at stake if this trend should be allowed to rear its ugly head again, as it could further worsen security situation in the country.”
or using pre-registered SIM cards. The Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department of the commission has commenced nationwide search with law enforcement agencies, for perpetrators of this act, with a view to bringing them to book and sanctioning service providers found culpable.” More concerns According to industry observers, the NCC’s initial proactive responsiveness to the menace of pre-registered SIM cards within the Nigeria’s telecoms environment appeared to have failed to yield the desired result of having the ugly development nipped in the bud. Ditto, the recurrence of the trend, apart from pre-occupying the commission in a worrisome manner, has the inevitable implication of foisting on the telecom regulatory agency the task of invoking harsher and more stringent measures against telecom operators, alongside their agents found culpable in this regard. A more serious concern is the obvious tendency of calling to question the superintending competence and efficiency of NCC in handling matters such as this, generally known to be within its jurisdiction. Industry observers maintained that the consciousness of this and the urgent need to tackle it more fiercely have, unarguably, informed the action of the commission to raise alarm very recently over the return of the pre-registered SIM card activities in the country’s telecoms market.
Stakeholders and watchers in the nation’s telecoms industry are also agitated by the unpleasant development
Tech hub to raise software capacity Kunle Azeez
elta State Innovation Hub (DS-IHUB) has commenced the process of building capacity in the software sector in Nigeria. Already, the technology hub has opened the knowledge Olympiad floodgate Hackathon 2016 with a promise to deliver a 48 hours nonstop coding adventure into the world of Innovation and creativity. In the software contest, according to a statement, not
less than 300 Teams from all knowledge-walks of life will assemble at the DS-IHUB Asaba Knowledge City from 1st – 3rd of December 2016 to shoot at the passion of their lives in all areas of innovation. According to the Director General of DS-IHUB, Dr. Chris Uwaje, “This knowledge Olympiad will chase and set perhaps a new record in accelerated knowledge development -shooting at all aspects of innovation and creativity under the sun in conformity with International standard. “The DS-Open Innovation
Hackathon is an initiative of Mobile Software Solutions Limited (Winner of Would Summit Award for Best Africa Mobile Content 2014 (Lifestyle/Entertainment Category), in partnership with the Delta State Government under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) development model.” Uwaje said the platform is an Innovation Development Accelerator for Startups and Entrepreneurs. “Our mission is to establish responsive knowledge factory at all levels, as the core accelerator
for poverty reduction, attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and creation of wealth in Africa.” He explained that DS-IHUB Open Innovation Hackathon is a Corporate Technology event in pursuit of hunting technology idea capable of disrupting the Ecosystem and by extension, building new creative mindset through competition to help bridge the innovation gap that exists between the Nigeria Software Developers and the Institutional needs. It will embrace all Domain of Knowledge.
BUSINESS \ eWORLD
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
APPEAL Telecoms companies have appealed to the regulator to accelerate efforts on national roaming
L-R: Head, Virtual Banking, UBA, Mr. Akeem Salam; Group Head, Communications, Mr. Charles Aigbe; Manager, Product Marketing Manager, Mrs. Kemi Fashina; Head, Consumer and Digital Banking, Dr. Yinka Adedeji and Head, Cards, Mr. Obina Uma, during an interactive session held in Lagos.
elecoms operators in Nigeria have asked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to review the sector’s collocation/infrastructuresharing policy, even as they appeal for accelerated regulatory effort to make national mobile roaming a reality next year. The Infrastructure-sharing guideline was introduced by the Commission in 2006 to encourage telecoms operators to collaborate by sharing their infrastructure with a view to reducing capital expenditure. Nigeria’s telecoms market currently is worth over $35 billion, while more investment is still required to be made in the current age of broadband. According to the Director, Regulatory and Corporate Social Responsibility Etisalat, Mr. Ikenna Ikeme, “There is a need to consider a review of the infrastructure-sharing and collocation policy so as to make provision for active infrastructure to be sharable among the operators.” In the 2006 policy, only some infrastructure categorised as passive by the regulator are amenable to sharing while those categorised as active infrastructure of any operator is not amenable to sharing. But Ikeme believes that by reviewing the policy to include active infrastructure in those telecoms facilities amenable to sharing, the regulator would be doing the industry ‘a lot of good’ by deepening collaboration among operators and guarantee operational efficiency and accelerated achievement of pervasive telecoms services in the country. Passive infrastructure sharing is sharing non-electronic infrastructure at cell site such common equipment such as Antenna system, masts, cables, ducts, filters, power source and shelter while active sharing is sharing electronic infrastructure. In Nigeria, only passive infrastructure is allowed for sharing according to the Nigeria’s Collocation and Infrastructure Sharing Guideline 2006. Similarly, External Affairs Director, ntel, Mr. Osondu Nwo-
Collocation: Operators want active infrastructure sharing kolo, called on the regulator to pursue initiatives that make infrastructure-sharing model appealing in the country. Analysts have continuously canvassed collocation as a veritable operation model by the operator to widen coverage, improve services and cut capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX). However, while the operators also show understanding of the benefits accrued from infrastructure-sharing, find-
ings showed that they are playing hid-and-seek game instead of leveraging co-location in its full potential. The development, some stakeholders argue, affect smaller operators, which should have leveraged such opportunity to widen their coverage. Speaking with New Telegraph the status of collocation to the industry, President, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said, “One ma-
jor benefit of co-location for the environment is in the protection of our environment by reducing proliferation of infrastructure and facility installations, which do not make for the good road urban-friendly furniture. “In general, co-location reduces the infrastructure requirements, like telecom towers of operators. Infrastructure sharing also offers other benefits such as shared energies.” While pointing out that there were multiple options of shar-
ing among telecom service providers, Adebayo added that infrastructure sharing depends largely on “regulation and legislation.” According to him, telecoms subscribers benefit from colocation because it increases competition in the market and forces prices down. He said co-location brings a significant reduction in capital expenditure (CAPEX) outlay as well as recurring operation capital (OPEX).
GITEX: Nigeria to be game changer in tech space –DG
s GITEX Technology Week 2016 opened this week in Dubai, Nigeria has what it would position itself to be a major game changer in the global technology space. Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said this in a statement. “We have the potential as a country to be major game changer in the global technology industry and we have the human capacity to drive the momentum that could impact significantly on our economy and the rest of the continent,” Pantami said while interacting with the Nigerian startups community at GITEX. At GITEX, Nigeria is showcasing its startups and innovative technologies from some of its major ICT firms such as Precise financial Systems (PFS)
and Systemspecs, providers of the Remita solutions. The 2016 Gitex Technology week is hosting about 4,000 exhibiting companies and 64 participating countries in conference sessions, 230 global thought leaders will deliver insights across 65 sessions and 130 conference hours. Guiding organisations in their digital transformation, the GITEX Vertical Days conference programme will feature in-depth discussions
from industry leaders on the key industry verticals of marketing, healthcare, finance, intelligent cities, retail, education, and energy. Nigeria’s presence is foisted on the Nigeria Pavilion and the innovation hub, part of the GITEX Global Startup Movement where it is promoting 16 Nigerian startups as showpieces of the country’s fast growing startup ecosystem. The GITEX Global Startup
Movement, the most global weeklong startup event in 2016, debuted at GITEX this year. Although only in its first year of inception, the GITEX Global Startup Movement is already the most global in the world, with international participation from 60 countries, more than any other startup shows anywhere. This is now the world’s third largest weeklong event, with over 410 startups and over 1200 tech founders.
MTN, airline offer 5% discount, free calls
TN Nigeria, has partnered with Air France – KLM, to package an offer of up to 25 per cent discount on Business class tickets to London. The partnership between MTN Nigeria and Air France KLM will commence
the discount from October to December 2016. In addition, customers will enjoy free incoming calls on the MTN network while outside the country. Commenting on the partnership, General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN,
Gionee targets increased investment
hone manufacturer, Ginoee, said it was set to make investment towards expanding its business in Nigeria. The company stated this during official launch of its ‘Selfie Flash’ 8MP Front Camera Gionee phone in Lagos. Gionee S6s smartphone powered by 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6735 processor with 3GB of RAM was showcased at the Ikeja Shopping mall in Lagos.
The 5.50-inch touchscreen display smartphone with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 401 pixels per inch packs 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Gionee S6s packs 13-megapixel primary cameras on the rear and 8-megapixel front shooter for selfies. The Gionee S6s runs Android 6.0 and is powered by a 3150mAh
non-removable battery. It measures 154.50 x 75.60 x 8.15 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 161.00 grams. The Gionee S6s is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM Connectivity options including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM, 3G, 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Acceler-
ometer, and Gyroscope. Speaking at the product launch, Group Chief Executive Officer of Gionee, Mr. Chen Lei, said, “In less than two weeks, Gionee S6s would have been circulating nationwide (in Nigeria). Gionee S6s comes with super-camera quality, especially for selfie lovers. It comes with 13mega pixel rear and 8mega pixel front cameras; and ultimately the Seflie Flash; the first of its kind.”
Mr. Richard Iweanoge said, “The partnership was conceived towards rewarding our current platinum customers at this time. This is one of MTN’s ways of supporting its loyal customers as they engage in their regular travel for different purposes.” Iweanoge added, “The goal of our partnership with Air France KLM is to add value to our customers. Air France KLM and MTN are two companies that place a high premium on customers and with the Yuletide drawing near, there is no better deal for business travelers, tourists and holiday seekers than this offer.”
THURSday, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
News Local dogs more prone to rabies infection
Health Although, many people on autism spectrum have exceptional abilities in visual skills, music and academics, early intervention could unravel the potential of some of them with average to above average intellectual abilities. There are those with significant disability that are unable to live independently and the non-verbal group, who can learn to communicate using other skills. APPOLONIA ADEYEMI reports
Interview Nigeria must use local knowledge to fight malaria, says Mokuolu
Managing autism with nutrition, support
any parents whose sons and daughters live with autism never bother taking that bold step to get medical diagnosis of what is exactly behind the ‘peculiar’ behaviour of their kids. What is convenient for the majority in this group is to luck up the affected children in homes where they are completely relegated to the background. Many such parents feel ashamed to openly identify with the kids on the basis of their behaviour which is usually different from those exhibited by ‘normal’ children. However, by being ‘locked up’ some of the affected kids miss out not only on education but on other right issues that could aid their development and growth. For Mrs. Dotun Akande, Founder of Patrick Speech and Language Centre, the first step in addressing the issue of autism in a child is to acknowledge the condition and not lock same child up. Patrick Speech and Language Centre is a school for specialised educational services for developmentally challenged, hearing and speech impaired children. Akande who is mother of an autistic child, said, children living with autism should be enrolled in
Appolonia Adeyemi Health Editor
© Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited
Kids with autism face abuse and stigma
schools for children with special needs. Educating them in such environment will help them acquire skills that could unlock their potentials. Autism spectrum disorder, ASD, and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterised, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviours. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD however excel in visual skills, music, mathematics and art. Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between two and three years of age. Incidence of autism Globally, autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013. As of 2010, the number of people affected is estimated at about one to two per 1,000 worldwide. It occurs four to five times more often in boys than girls. Relating her experience in providing care for his own son, Akan-
Early intervention with proven behavioural therapies can improve outcomes in kids with autism
de whose search for a solution in his autistic son led to the establishment of the Patrick Speech and Language Centre, said early intervention with proven behavioural therapies can improve outcomes in kids with autism. “It is from their behaviour that one can deduce that something is wrong in a child with autism.” She added: “Intellectual capability and cognitive skill of the affected child needs to be developed.” This should begin with enrolling the child in the appropriate school, said Akande who spoke at the 10th Anniversary and Fund Raising Dinner of Patrick Speech and Language Centre which took place in Lagos. While lamenting that help from the public sector was slow in coming, Akande lauded the private sector intervention, saying it was changing the autism landscape largely in the country. Unlike during the past years, there are many centres now across the countries that were enjoying private sector support. So, a larger number of families can bring out affected children, she reasoned. However, Akande urged the government to formulate policies that would benefit all children, irrespective of the disability they face. According to the founder of Patrick Speech and Languages Centre, many children on the autism spectrum have their own mind. They
think out of the box and they are highly creative. They just need support and enough space to express themselves. “So, at Patrick Speech and Language Centre we can make do with another location. We have exhausted the 40 people we can accommodate. We can do with human capacity as well. So, the task is to raise N100 million for our permanent site,” Mrs Akande added. For Otis Osasere-Adam, whose three-year-old son, Osato was diagnosed with autism at ninth month of age, said acceptance that one’s child is autistic, will help parents and care givers in the management of the condition. Secondly, support by parents and family members are another factor that will help. These two factors have contributed immensely in the way forward for Osasere-Adam and his wife with regard to their son who lives with autism. According to Osasere-Adam, everything seemed normal about his son’s birth and delivery. “His delivery was okay and he weighted 4kg but when he was about seven months, his wife discovered that he cannot hear.” Investigations of the hearing impairment at the Military Hospital, Yaba, and Lagos revealed that it was more than an ear challenge and CONT INU E D ON PAGE 32
THURSday, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Local dogs more prone to rabies infection Esther Sodeke
ver the years, dog owners in Nigeria have overlooked the reasons to vaccinate local breed dogs, thereby focusing attention on foreign breed alone while protecting the latter from rabies. It is necessary to state that vaccinating dogs are not only for the protection of dogs but also for the owners and the general public. The local breed dogs are however more prone to getting infected with rabies compared to foreign dogs. Rabies is a disease caused by a rabies virus and can be transmitted into the human body by an infected animal through bite, or by direct contact with mucous surface. Although dogs seem to be the most popular carrier of the virus, it can also be contracted from bites of other animals including cats, bats, monkeys, goats, among others. When the virus gains access into the human body, it travels through the nerves to the brain, spinal cord and salivary glands where it multiplies progressively, causing fatal inflammation, making rabies a life
threatening condition. According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, an average of 60,000 people die from rabies annually, and more than 15 million people receive post-exposure prophylaxis every year due to attacks from dogs. The attack of Omonigho Abraham, a four- year old, by two big dogs in the Igando area of Lagos on September 25, 2014, is an example of dog bite. Mr.Idowu Ade, the owner of the two foreign breed dogs and a local breed, who reside in Akute, Ogun State, explained why only his foreign breed received vaccination against antirabies while the local breed was not treated against rabies. “I think it unnecessary vaccinating the local dog because they are not as frugal as the foreign dogs. I just think it was a waste of resource.” In another scenario, a 15-year old boy, Tope Oyeola who lives in Magboro, Ogun State, said he didn’t consider vaccinating his dog with the anti-rabies because he believes it’s not needed since his dog is a local dog. A veterinary doctor, Dr. Adibe Vera explained
Local dog breed may habour rabies infection
that the rabies virus only exist in the saliva of rabid animals. If there is any bite from animal whose vaccination history is not known, such bite victims are advised to take antirabies treatment. “Because the virus is contained in the salivaof an infected animal, it is advised that victims ofsuch bites go for a post exposure prophylaxis (a treatment for rabies given to humans) and that is if there is no evidence of vaccination of the animal.” Dr. Vera further explained that vaccination of animals against rabies is a
yearly procedure and if any animal is suspected to have become rabid such animal will be observed for a period of 21 days for any form of aggressive behaviour and if such is confirmed, the animal will be killed for the protection of the owner and the public as there is no form of post treatment for rabid animals. According to a GP, Dr. John Odusanya, who also made it known that the rabies virus in human is best treated at an early stage before it spreads to the brain and spinal cord in other to prevent harm on the victim.
Dr. John however explained the consequenceof late treatment of the rabies virus as he said it could paralyse the victim and also recounted his experince having seen victim of rabies bark and breathe like a dog due to untreated rabies virus, he affairmed. “Rabies can cause paralysis and not just that, I have also seen a patient bark like a dog before” Odusanya finally said that after the spread of the virus in the human body which can lead to barking or paralysis there is no cure again, this could finally lead to death, he said. An example of Dr. Odusanya’s claim was a video clip of a man, Malakia Malamba, who was showed to bark like a dog in Katutura Intermediate Hospital, Namibia on April 2016, while doctors tried to calm him down. It was however discovered that Malamba was bitten on his stomach by a dog a month before while walking in the street of Okuryangava in Namibia. Malamba was described to have been breathing heavily like a dog and also looking confused when he was visited by the Namibian press.
Nutrition, support play key role in managing autism CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31
that was when the issue of autism was suggested to them. He said: Before clocking seven months, Osato had a consultant paediatrician, who allegedly had no clue of what he was dealing with. “Despite being managed by the paediatrics, Osato kept falling ill. “Before he clocked a year, he had gone on admission about four times, spending about four days on the average in the hospital. To obtain the vein of a child that young was hell.” The management finally took Osasere-Adam and his family to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH where a female doctor enquired on what they were feeding Osato with. Thereafter, proper management started. “The doctor told them not to feed their son with noodles, wheat or anything that contains gluten. Practically, everything a child of his age should eat was forbidden,” he said. OsasereAdam felt slighted. “On applying the doctor’s advice however the results were encouraging. There was a significant and encouraging change. So Osasere-Adam and his wife realised that nutrition played a major role
in the improvement of their son.” As a couple, they were lucky to find family members that gave them the needed support. They also got the support of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank). It was about the time that the Osasere-Adams were trying to figure out what autism is that that they got information about the bank holding a conference on autism. They attended. And all the professional advice and consultancy they got were free, courtesy of the GTBank. From the information the couple got from autism conference, they contacted TLP Special School, Lekki where their son’s condition was evaluated and they were told the condition of their son arose from the autism spectrum. The specific condition of the spectrum was picked up and they were counseled to seek professional management through a good school. At the GTBank conference as well, they had heard of Patrick Speech and Language Centre, and they felt that as a centre for autism, they could talk to managers at the centre on the way forward. Though training a child with autism in that
firmed that if a child demonstrates symptoms any autism – can’t talk and or walk, something is wrong; the parents actually need to see a doctor to find out what is wrong.
school was a bit expensive, they decided to go for it. Similarly, they realised that it wasn’t easy for Akande to have set up the place without support from anybody. Osasere-Adam said his son will be four years in March next year. “Already, he has begun calling: ‘mummy’. “With the rapid pace he is developing, there is high hope that he will soon start calling ‘daddy’.” Although, some parents of autistic children especially in rural and farto-reach areas in Nigeria have actually resigned themselves to fate, believing that they are stuck with what some describe as ‘abnormal’ kids. There has been reports of some that threw their children away while some abandon
theirs altogether. Irrespective of these worrisome reports, medical experts said autism is not a disease. While confirming that autism is not a disease Titilayo Tade, a Medical Social Worker at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH), Idi– araba, Lagos, who is responsible for counseling, rehabilitation, social assessment of patients, said although, autism cannot be contracted as a disease, ‘in the course of formation, the medical condition arises as a result of some deficiencies which ultimately create the gaps. “Each case of autism is addressed according to its own peculiarity and that determines how care givers handle the specific case,” she added. Furthermore, Tade af-
Symptoms Among symptoms of autism are delayed speech development or not speaking at all, frequent repetition of set words and phrases, speech that sounds very monotonous or flat, preferring to communicate using single words, despite being able to speak in sentences, among others. Even if such a child is finally diagnosed with autism, Tade said it would be wrong to say the kid is abnormal. “Rather, the right thing to say is that the child is different or is developing differently from other children.” With the May 2013 publication of the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5), all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. Previously, they were recognised as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
Shape of baldness
ou must lose over 50 per cent of your scalp hairs before it is apparent to anyone. You lose hundreds of hairs a day but you will have to lose a lot more before you or anyone else will notice. Half of the hairs on your pretty little head will have to disappear before your impending baldness will become obvious to all those around you. Coconut water substitutes blood Coconut water can be used (in emergencies) as a substitute for blood plasma. Coconut water is often touted as a recovery drink because of the hydrating electrolytes it contains. The belief it can be used as a substitute for blood plasma stems from the fact coconut water possesses identical properties to that of human plasma, and since it can be safely injected directly into the bloodstream. A small scale 1999 study published in ‘The American Journal of Emergency Medicine’ found the use of coconut water served as a shortterm IV hydration fluid for a Solomon Island patient when nothing else was available. Jawbone, hardest in humans The hardest bone in the human body is the jawbone. The next time someone suggests you take it on the chin, you might be well advised to take their advice as the jawbone is one of the most durable and hard to break bones in the body. Right-handed people live longer Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. This doesn’t have a genetic basis, but is largely due to the fact that a majority of the machines and tools we use on a daily basis are designed for those who are right handed, making them somewhat dangerous for lefties to use and resulting in thousands of accidents and deaths each year. Bacteria multiplies into million cells It’s not just coughs and sneezes that spread diseases. One single bacteria cell can multiply to become more than eight million cells in less than 24 hours. Just imagine what’s on the toilet door handle you just touched, the taps and even on other people’s hands.
THURSday, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Olugbenga Ayodeji Mokuolu is a Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Ilorin and Director, Centre for Malaria Care at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. In this interview with APPOLONIA ADEYEMI, he discusses progress in the fight against malaria in the country, funding challenges as well as associated hindrances, and impact of malaria in pregnancy, among others
Could you clarify where Nigeria is presently in the fight against malaria? We have made significant progress. All the indicators are showing that Nigerian has progressed in terms of the major interventions. Ownership of the Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets, LLITN, has increased. Net utilisation has increased. Areas of spray in using indoor residual spray have increased as well. There are a few people who have even gone to the extent of imbibing that practice and organising themselves locally. Such practices have increased. The use of malaria-preventing measures by pregnant women has increased, though it is still at about 30 per cent. But for a very long time it pegged itself around 10 per cent. More recently that has also increased and then other impact indicators. The level of anaemia among children is also going down. So, if you look at it in a composite manner, you will see that it is going down and I did show you a personal report from my own institution (the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital), that also shows that we have experienced a remarkable decrease in the burden of malaria and the contribution of malaria to death such that in that center for instance, malaria now ranks as
Nigeria must use local knowledge to fight malaria, says Mokuolu
its own summit to really look at all the indigenous knowledge among its various researchers so that we can harvest these in order to give it a push. What is the effect of malaria on pregnant women in relation to their unborn or new born babies? Malaria among them can cause diverse effects. First, malaria can led to fetal wastages; there could be abortion. It can also make the woman to have more severe complications. On the baby itself it can result in the baby being low birth weight. That is, the weight of the baby is not optimal. It can precipitate a situation where the baby is then born with other challenges that are supposed to be responsible for transition to life outside the uterus because the precursor condition was already bad. In summary, it can also contribute to early neo-natal death and the woman herself can have severe anaemia.
number 10 cause of death among children in our emergency rooms whereas, it used to be the leading cause of death. What do we do to move forward? The low hanging fruits are intensifying the awareness by the public to access and use what is already available - diagnosis facilities, the mosquito nets that they have, etc. These are low hanging fruits but then, moving forward, we need to sustain some
News of artemisinin combination therapy resistance is spreading gradually
of the previous efforts and look at the few other innovations that we are going to add to what we have been doing currently. News of artemisinin combination therapy resistance is spreading gradually, (not in Nigeria at the moment) but in the south-east Asia. We must be in anticipatory mood for its curtailment in Nigeria. So these are issues that we need round table upon. Nigeria itself needs to call
How will the pregnant woman address these? It is for these reasons that we say that malaria pregnancy should be prevented and pregnant women, if we must prioritise, are particularly supposed to sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets. To also compliment that, they must have what is called Intermittent Preventive Treatment, IPT in pregnancy. This involves the intake of a treatment dose of about three tablets of the drug that we call sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and it is given after the period when the woman begins to feel the effect of the baby kicking. This timing is to be particularly certain that the pregnant woman is outside the first three months of pregnancy when certain organs are being formed in the body, so that there is no abnormality that is established because of that. Once she starts taking that drug, she takes it every month until the last month before delivery.
NAFDAC: Micronutrients key to good health, development Appolonia Adeyemi
oing by the devastating effect of malnutrition and poor dietary intake in the country, Acting Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oni has highlighted the need to expand and sustain food fortication programme in Nigeria. Oni who made the call at the National Fortification Alliance, NFA meeting in Lagos recently, noted that out of about 21 widely known micronutrients, five including Vitamin A, Iron, Iodine, Zinc and folic acid, were of public health significance.
She said the micronutrients contribute significantly to good health and are necessary for proper growth and development of the body and for human survival. According to her, infants, young children, teenagers, pregnant and breast feeding mothers were prone to becoming malnourished and as such require additional nutrients all the time. She emphasised that one in four children under the age of five suffers from vitamin A deficiency while thirty one per cent of mothers in Nigeria were iodine deficient. Available statistics show that nutrition contributes to over 50 per cent child mortality in Ni-
geria. These statistics made it unimaginable to question the importance of micronutrients to achieving the socio economic development of any country and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. Mrs Oni said that in order to meet set United Nations, UN targets, NAFDAC developed the Vitamin A Food Fortification Regulations, 2005. Amongst other contents, the Regulations address the prohibition of manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution and sale of any designated food vehicle that is not fortified with vitamin A and other elements as prescribed; control of advertisement of
vitamin A fortified foods -to be censored and given permit before use, labelling requirements for vitamin A fortified foods, logo on all packaged vitamin A fortified food-an eye with letter ‘’A’’ inside it, packaging specifications, interpretations and penalty for non-compliance, which includes administrative fines and prosecution. The acting director general of NAFDAC acknowledged that with the support of International organisations and relevant development partners such as Global Alliance for Improved Nutrtion (GAIN), United Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Micronutrient Initiative (MI), Nigeria has attained remarkable
success in addressing micronutrient deficiency problems. These successes include certification of Nigeria as Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) compliant in November/December 2005 and celebrated in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 17, 2007, packaging of table salt in smaller pack sizes of 1Kg, 500g, 250g and 100g, identification and procurement of iodine test kits for rapid quality monitoring and the upgrading of a laboratory for Reference Standards at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. This serves as Iodine Laboratory for Nigeria and the establishment of a functional Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD)/ USI Taskforce.
THURSday, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
UCH boss seeks production of affordable drugs Sola Adeyemo
hief Medical Officer of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, has said that provision of drugs at cheaper and affordable prices for the poor masses of the nation was possible for Nigeria if she could approach the World Health Organisation, WHO, for permission to produce vaccines and tablets. Speaking at a sensitisation forum in Ibadan, Alonge said Nigerians were always at the receiving end of bad government policy, and that the country would do a lot of favour to those who are in need of special drugs for treatment of complex ailment if the Nigerian government did what India did instead of importing drugs into the country. He said, “At my age, I think I am an opinion leader in this country. Because of the shortage of opioid in India, the country got permission from the WHO to produce their tablet under WHO watch and restric-
Drugs are essential for good health
tion. Because of this, tablets are cheaper in the country because they are produced in the country. “Why can we not have a company or two in Nigeria licensed to manufacture (drugs that are imported to Nigeria) and under the watchful eye of WHO and all monitoring agencies to ensure that particular tablets are produced for local use only and at cheap prices? “We are always at the receiving end of bad government policies. Insecticidetreated mosquito nets are manufactured elsewhere and brought to Nigeria. This is not a good practice for a country as big as Nigeria. The companies manufacturing it come to Nigeria and donate them to us. The truth is that they are paid by
WHO or UNICEF to do so.” Alonge said if the Nigerian government took the right step, apart from bringing down the cost of the drugs, it would also create a lot of employment and contribute to the nation’s economy, saying, “Let them manufacture in Nigeria and donate to Nigerians. By so doing, more people would be employed and the better for our people and our economy. The market is here after all. “The same goes for vaccine. Why do we go abroad to import them to Nigeria when we have experts that can produce them here? The cost of vaccine is not expensive but when it goes through a long process before it gets to the people, the cost increases,” he stressed.
n o n gover nmental organisation, Pathfinder International Nigeria, yesterday urged Nigerians to desist from patronising quacks in accessing family planning commodities. The organisation’s Project Officer, Dr. Adenike Jagun and the Family Planning Coordinator in the Ministry of Health in Ogun State, Mrs. Elizabeth Ikeobi gave the warning at a sensitisation seminar for media organisations in Abeokuta. The event, held in conjunction with Ad-
Family planning: Shun quacks, group urges Nigerians vocacy Working Group, discussed the truth, myths and misconceptions about family planning methods as well as the role of media on family planning advocacy. Jagun said Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world with 814 deaths per 100,000 births, according to 2015 World Bank data. She disclosed that maternal deaths account for 25.6 per cent of deaths in females of child-bearing age, adding that adoption of family planning methods can reduce maternal mortality to about
44 per cent. Jagun, who identified myths and misconceptions as major barriers against the use of contraceptives in the country, allayed fears about family planning drugs. The project officer urged journalists to be at the vanguard of correcting the wrong impression about family planning and reducing maternal mortality rate in the country. On her part, Mrs Ikeobi said Nigerians must visit qualified healthcare providers before they undertake any family planning method.
Refrigerating tomatoes damages nutrients
e have all heard that we should never store tomatoes in the fridge, but thanks to a team of scientists, we now know why. According to a new study published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ journal, storing tomato at chilly temperatures basically stresses the tropical fruit out, causing
molecular changes that rob the tomato of its flavor. When the tomatoes were stored in the fridge, at 41˚F for this study, the cold temperatures slowed the activities of genes— many of which produce the enzymes responsible for that sweet taste and grassy aroma of a justpicked tomato, which we all know and love.
Even when brought back up to a room temperature of 68˚F, the tomatoes’ enzymes never recovered. The damage is irreversible! That pretty much explains why most masssupermarket tomatoes— kept in cold storage after harvesting to extend shelf life—taste so blah, especially compared to freshpicked tomatoes.
Recession: Food, herbal products as wealth creation tool
hirty-seven years ago, my father told me that Nigeria is a great country with lots of potentials. I went to primary school, and my teacher told me that Nigeria is a great country with lots of potentials. When I was in secondary school, my teacher also told me that Nigeria is a great country with lots of potentials. Today, in my forties, I keep hearing that Nigeria is a great country with lots of potentials. I suddenly realised that I may grow old and die, while Nigeria still remains a country with lots of potentials. And I ask myself, for how long shall Nigeria continue to remain a country with lots of potentials? When will the potentials become a reality? In the same period of time that Nigeria has remained a country of potentials, poor countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, China, India and Singapore, have grown from potentially great countries to actually great countries.. In the same period, more than 600 million people in China have been lifted out of poverty. In 1976, Malaysia’s poverty rate was 50 per cent (same as Nigeria]. Today, it has reduced to less than five per cent, while Nigeria’s has increased to 80 per cent. In 1993, Vietnam’s poverty level was nearly 60 per cent, now it is under 20 per cent. These countries did not attain economic growth and development by depending on others for everything, but rather, they looked inwards to use their local technology, initiative and common wealth to transform the society. It could be argued that a lack of intellectual capital is the cause of poverty in Africa. Without African intellectual capital, bananas and mangos exported from Africa at give-away prices will continue to be imported into Africa as banana and mango chips and sold at 100 times of the raw value. Tomatoes and ginger exported from Africa will continue to be imported into Africa as tomato pastes and ginger tea and sold at 40 times of the raw value. To alleviate poverty, Nigeria needs to cultivate creative and intellectual abilities that will allow it to increase the value of its capital. There is no future for our communities and for Nigeria if we continue to
consume what we do not produce and produce what we do not consume. The result will be a nun ending cycle of increasing consumption,decreasing production, and increasing poverty. On my way to Owerri from Edo State, I travelled through Ekpoma to Benin to Agbor, Asaba and Onitsha. I was amazed at the number of sign posts of different churches calling for attention along the street. What is outwardly evident to a traveler in Nigeria are not sites of new manufacturing factories, sprouting of small scale industries or centers of excellence for research and information technology, post-harvest preservation, food processing and packaging technologies, infrastructural developments, social amenities and water technology, all of which are vital for poverty eradication. The only visible activities seem to be in the religious sphere, where new, gigantic churches are being constructed, millions of new small churches mushrooming, with huge bill-boards and media advertisements of miracle crusades, prosperity vigils and ‘spiritual war’. In my view, excessive religionism and spiritualism may be one of the greatest obstacles to progress of African nations. And the greatest challenge facing Africa today may well be her ability to cultivate a mindset steeped in chemistry, mathematics and physics and still maintain a reasonable and balanced approach to religion. We Africans need to codify those positive qualities in our culture and tradition, and arrange then into a system to power development. This is a task which only Africans can and must do. Unless the mental chains of the post-colonial and neo colonial mindset are broken through decolonisation, the
Tomatoes and ginger exported from Africa will continue to be imported into Africa as tomato pastes and ginger tea and sold at 40 times of the raw value
email@example.com twitter: @anselmadodo
new world which we Africans dream about will not be possible Culture here is not just about woven baskets, handicraft for tourists or traditional dances. Rather, it is about excavating the technologies behind these practices and artefacts, and creating the right social, political and economic atmosphere to allow individual and communal creativity to bloom. The ideal is to transcend the dichotomies of west and east, south and north, and engage in innovative co-creation, where identities are persevered and respected, without looking down on the other. The big barrier is the arrogance and misplaced superiority complex of formal institutions that are determined to continue with their imposition of the one-sided logic of western epistemology. Sadly, most African universities have become accomplices and, in fact, major tools, in the systematic mental colonisation of Africans. Rethinking and transforming education in Africa is an
urgent task. It is very important that universities in Africa focus on encouraging innovations and concentrate on building entrepreneurial skills among students to help them develop the capacity to transform ideas into business proposals, and actual products and services, otherwise they remain mere ivory towers with no impact on societal transformation. University education, as it is presently constituted in Nigeria and Africa, is geared towards producing graduates who are job seekers rather than job creators. Universities can also integrate into their local communities and help to promote local economic transformation. The acquisition of western knowledge has been and is still invaluable to all, but, on its own, it has been incapable of responding adequately in the face of massive and intensifying disparities, uncontrolled exploitation of pharmacological and other genetic resources, and rapid depletion of the earth’s natural resources. In that context, a return to indigenous knowledge, cast in contemporary guise, is all important. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now! This paper was presented at the recent HERBFEST conference in Owerri, Imo state last week.
THURSday, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Of wealthy families and spoiled kids
Parenting Girls spend 40% more time on chores than boys – UN report
The need to extend the frontiers of conversation for meaningful engagement and empowerment of women came to the fore last week following a partnership between AboveWhispers, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), and the first indigenous Women Radio in Nigeria. WALE ELEGBEDE reports
lthough men outnumbered women in population going by the 2006 population Census, it is a known fact that the numeric difference is inconsequential when it comes to the influence women wields in the society. Thus, series of calculated policies, events and strategies are usually set in motion to address the imbalances between men and women, which are majorly a product of cultural orientation. For the former first lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, one of the ways to extend the frontiers of engagement in order to improve the influence and wellbeing of women is to create a veritable platform where men and women, old and young, can have a no-holdsbarred conversation. This sense of mission for Mrs. Fayemi, who was named among the 20 most influential African Women in 2009 by New African Magazine, was the reason she founded AboveWhispers.com, which is aimed at promoting mature and vibrant engagement in African cyberspace through emphasising the essence of the continent’s shared humanity. Raising the bar of the popular website last week, the Above Whisper’s team, led by Mrs. Fayemi, took its advocacy to the
Oluwatosin Omoniyi City Editor
© Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited
L-R: Advisory Members, Above Whispers.com, Mr. Oyebisi Oluseyi; Veteran Actress, Mrs. Joke Silva-Jacob; Editor-in-Chief, Mrs. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi and Managing Director, WFM 91.7, Mrs.Toun Okewale Sonaiya at the official launch of ABOVE WHISPERS On AIR at WFM 91.7 Radio station, Arepo, Ogun State…yesterday PHOTO: GODWIN IREKHE
Above Whispers: Engaging women through cyberspace only commercially run women’s radio station in Africa, WFM 91.7FM. Joining the former Ekiti governor’s wife to cement a relationship with the popular radio station were the advisory members of the website including veteran movie actress, Mrs. Joke Silva; Mr. Oyebisi Oluseyi, among others. On hand to receive the team at the female centric radio station is the Managing Director of WFM 91.7, Mrs. Toun Okewale Sonaiya. The team had the first official launch of the Above Whispers on Air and then moved into a press parley with newsmen to explain the plan for the conversation which had the support of the Ford Foundation and Airtel communication. Speaking on the need for the partnership, Mrs. Fayemi said Above Whispers is an online community website that was launched in February 2016 to ensure a free flow of conversation among men and women. “The reason it was set up was because over the past two years or thereabout, there are a very restricted space for certain kinds of conversation online in the Nigerian cyberspace. We have a lot of websites, a lot of blogs, but the information in most of them is predominantly fashion, politics, entertainment, senansational news item and others. “But I am a huge fan of the Huffighton Post, I spend a lot of time online on the website and I ask myself why cant we have a website like that in Nigeria? A
Feminists are not fighting men, they are not against men, but they are fighting system that marginalise women
website where you can get a bit of everything- news, fashion, entertainment, career tips, among others. That is why I started Above Whispers.com.” While spelling out in context the essence of the website, the former first lady said, “Its about mature conversation, parenting and others. We don’t say that Above Whispers is exclusively for women or middle age audiences, the website is for everyone and all categories of people will find something to identify with at AboveWhispers.com. “But the key principle is that it is a platform for mature engagement; platform to share information that we think people found value in and it’s a space to discuss social justice and government issues. “We provide opportunities for people to engage in discussions about a range of issues such as politics social justice development financial security women’s right, popular culture. That is why decided to partner with WFM Radio. We are proud of partnering with them.” Clearing the air on believes that feminist’s are fighting for men’s position, Mrs. Fayemi said, “Feminists are not fighting men, they are not against men, but they are fighting system that marginalise women. And a lot of people don’t familiarize themselves with this argument and that is why we are initiating these conversations through different medium in order for us
to understand. “We may not all agree on the same thing but it is important for us to push out information on why it is important for women to be empowered and why it is important for men and women to partner on some development issues.” On her part, Mrs. Silva, “Part of our focus is women empowerment but we are not talking about patriarch. We are working towards as seeing ourselves as human beings first of all. There are already human rights laws, let us respect that first.” Expressing her delight at the partnership, Mrs. Okewale-Sonaiya, said the thematic discourse cut across all gender but the information is basically targeted at women. “Equality is genderless. Every girl and boy should have access to good education, healthcare, employment opportunities, among others. The thematic discourse here is that those who visits AboveWhispers. com cut across all ages and gender through a lot information tagetted at women. You must understand a woman to appreciate her. S “So, WFM and AboveWhispers are not out to eliminate men in the lives of women; we appreciate men and the values they bring. But we are also saying that we want to have control over decisions, we are not eliminating men.” With the stakes already raised by the AboveWhispers and WFM Radio, it is expected that the conversation about women empowerment would move from mere rhetoric to actionable plans.
THURSday, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Childhood Protection & preservation culture
Taiwo Akinlami firstname.lastname@example.org
We must not keep quiet, waiting for the manna of security to fall from heaven
MOM’S ALERT with
Safety within school system Of wealthy families
oday, I will address Safety within the School System. The more the state of our nation becomes dire, the citizens become more desperate...Sadly, I read last week of the invasion of a school in Epe, which was invaded by kidnappers during their morning assembly as about 8.AM, kidnapping children and teachers... The question is, what steps must we take to secure our schools in the face of the insecurity we face as it relates to external invitation and rapidly growing ‘Kidnapping Industry?’ The attitude of Government, whose primary responsibility is the security and the welfare of the people, according to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria seems to more of reacting than responding and preventive... In view of the foregoing, I think same way we have made alternative arrangement for all other social services, schools may begin to think about how to make adequate provisions for our safety and that of our precious children under our care. As far as I am concerned, having studied extensively, criminal psychology and victimology, I know 3 main social factors create the room for the commission of any crime: 1. Intention to commit crime, 2. Rewards from Crime 3. Possibility of unfettered escape...All of the foregoing are present with us today, the state of the nation and its pressure creates the pressure for crime and the intention thereof. The fact that kidnappers are paid huge ransom creates the rewards. The porousness and comprised state of the state security, with no plan for preventive measures as led by the police creates the room for unfettered escape. In view of the foregoing, at risk of sounding like a prophet of doom, I think the kidnappers are testing waters...They are rehearsing their anti-social acts by visiting some schools now... The more they are successful, the more their boldness to strike...The question therefore is who is next? Before we say God forbid, which we must actually, but not without adding corresponding actions to it, I make bold to say today that as someone, who has invested the large chunk of my breath on observing matters of the protection of our precious children in black Africa,
the kidnappers will remain miles ahead of us except we begin a serious conversation on this crucial matter. I think the leaders of the educational sector should declare a state of emergency within the sector concerning security, taking the following steps: • Urge each school to overhaul the entirety of the security system within their school system, engaging child protection and security experts on what professional steps could be taken to improve the internal security of the school, including school run services. We must understand that if kidnappers may visit a school, they may also hijack a school bus, filled with children. • Every effort must be made to engage the Government and her security agencies to design and implement a Security Framework for Schools at this time. The proposed security framework will apply the doctrine of necessity and focus more on prevention than cure. Permit me to say that inasmuch as I may not say all I think we should do today, but I know there is one thing we must never do in the very best interest of our precious children. We must not keep quiet, waiting for the manna of security to fall from heaven. We must act strategically. We must act decisively. We must act urgently. The safety of our precious children and their teachers is the number one responsibility of the school leadership and all other stakeholders...It must not be allowed a place under the carpet, noting that learning do not take place in an atmosphere of insecurity and fear. The only edge of evil over good is the silence of men and women of good conscience. Let the unfettered conversation start now on the most critical matter within the school system today, noting as the preacher has always said, enlightenment is superior to enforcement. The trauma and impact of kidnapping of children is eternal for the kidnapped children and the observing children, except there is divine intervention. I, the preacher shall be available for clarifications and professional guidance both at individual school and association level.
Girls spend 40% more time on chores than boys – UN report
irls spend 40 percent more time performing unpaid household chores than boys, according to a new report from the UN children’s agency. Unicef said the difference in time spent working amounted to 160 million extra hours a day worldwide. Two out of three girls cook and clean in the home, and almost half collect water or firewood. They also perform more “less visible” domestic work like childcare or looking after the elderly, the report says. It also found that the extra workload increased with time: between ages five and nine, girls spend 30 percent more time on chores and by 14 years of age, it rises to 50 percent. Tasks such as gathering water or firewood can also put young girls at increased risk of sexual violence, the report says.
Girls carrying buckets of water
In Somalia, girls between 10 and 14 years old spend 26 hours a week on household chores - the most of any country. Burkina Faso and Yemen also have some of the largest labour gaps between boys and girls. “Girls sacrifice important opportunities to learn, grow and just enjoy their childhood,” Unicef’s Anju Malhotra said. “This unequal
distribution of labour among children also perpetuates gender stereotypes and the double burden on women and girls across generations.” The report, which also includes data on violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and education, is being released to coincide with the UN’s international day of the girl child on 11 October.
and spoiled kids
n my last discourse I described one once attempted to differentiate how you and I as parents of today the two: the first group is called “forcould be raising spoiled kids and tunate,” where the children actually not even know it, all in the name see themselves as being recipients of being nice, loving, and desiring to of good fortune and are gratitude for give our children better life than we what they are given. In contrast, the ever had. It had been the general belief second group is “entitled” because that children born to affluent parents they expect what they have been are usually spoiled, but with the emer- given and feel that it is their right. gence of the middle class, there seems Two children can be given the same to be a rise in spoiled and fiscally ir- thing while Child X says “Thank responsible children. Many have sug- you so much!” Child Y says “Is this gested that it’s impossible to not raise all?” These divergent attitudes will spoiled kids in a family where there is undoubtedly express themselves in so much money to throw around for all aspects of their lives throughout childhood and into adulthood. obvious reasons. You might know a few affluent So, the question is: how can we families (and those who aspire to be) avoid raising spoiled children and who absolutely spoiled their children instead raise fiscally responsible chilrotten and the children of course are dren who have healthy relationships the worse for it. At the same time, we with money? Perhaps the most basic also know other families of means value about money we should teach who have raised children who are our children is that it should not polite, courteous, respectful, responsi- define them. Children need to learn ble, and compassionate, and are mak- that money, like most things of value ing real contributions to the society. in life, is earned rather than a right The difference between these or entitlement. Other values and two groups is not so much about skills such as delayed gratification, how much they have in the bank, respect, discipline, and decision makwhat properties ing should be taught early as they have a they own in exotic places around the powerful influence on world or how highthe attitudes and rely connected they lationships that chilRaising children are; both have it dren develop around all. What makes money. who are the difference is We can commuresponsible, hard the values undernicate these values through discussions, lying the wealth, working, honest spontaneous teachand how they reand considerate, late with money able moments, and and influence. For rather than spoiled even more by living it the first group, the out for them to see and brats, is the best emulate, actions speak accumulation of wealth is an end in far louder than words service any parent itself. The riches and we must live those can render to the are used largely values we want our to satisfy selfish children to adopt. The society purposes, mostly school system should for mind boggling not be left out too. Chilconsumption, status, and power. For dren can also learn by associating with the latter, wealth is a byproduct of peers who have positive values and passion and hard work, and their perspectives on money than they do. relationship with wealth is based on Teaching children responsibility is their most deeply held values; the vital. Children must learn that their desire to use that wealth to enrich actions have consequences and they their lives and for the good of others should be held accountable for their and the society. That is why you find actions, both good and bad. Ironically, the likes of young and super-rich many parents today seem to avoid this Facebook founder using his wealth even when they learned the lesson of responsibility early in their lives and to make this world a better place. Clearly, the messages children from knowing how that has contributed to each of these types of families receive their success. Yet they shy away from about money are hugely different and it and would even fight class teachers they will have very different experi- or anyone who does that. ences with money and develop very In this fast paced and hugely different values, relationships, and changing world we live in today, it practices with money. However, that is natural for us to worry about our does not only apply to wealthy families children’s futures, particularly in the but to those with less means alike. area of finance. Teaching children Most often we have an uneasy healthy values, attitudes, and skills feeling accepting that our children related to money and fiscal responare spoiled. I have seen some parents sibility are some of the best things trying to make a distinction between we can do to ensure that our children being ‘spoiled’ and being a ‘spoiled are prepared for whatever lies ahead. brat’ but any which way, spoiled is Raising children who are responsible, spoiled. What is a better definition hard working, honest and considerof spoiled brats than children who, ate, rather than spoiled brats, is the whether they do good, bad, or noth- best service any parent can render ing, they get what they want. Some- to the society.
thursDAY, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Guidance Idle funds at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are needed to revive real sector
he Federal Government may have to review the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy for Nigeria to quickly exit economic recession, a financial expert, Temitope Babalola, has said. In a note obtained by New Telegraph, he argued that the release of some of the TSA funds lying idle at the CBN to commercial banks for onward lending to operators in the real sector would hasten the country’s economic revival.
BUSINESS | Money Line
Expert: Review of TSA may boost economic recovery He said: “Certainly at this point an increase in the quantum of borrowed funds to the real sector through deposit money banks will reverse weakness in the channels of credit and help to smoothen out the flow of funds path. “A financial reengineering that allows the TSA to achieve a proper balance between macro prudential’s and credit creation will strengthen the multiplier effect. The ability to come out of this recession as pro cyclical shock rage on will depend heavily on how monetary authorities can subdue the turbulence in the liquidity corridor.” Continuing, he stated: “Certainly some relaxation in the TSA will help to subdue the turbulence in that corridor and provide stabilisation on short-term rate too: obviously we cannot afford to put a large
Unpaid taxes: FIRS shuts firms in Warri, Lagos, Ilorin
he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has ramped up its tax enforcement drive, shutting down premises of companies with tax liabilities in Warri, Lagos and Ilorin. In Warri, Delta State, the enforcement team according to a statement, visited two companies, evicted all the staff before sealing off the premises for unremitted taxes in excess of N400million, accumulated from 2013. In Lagos, the enforcement team, led by Chinazor Edeh, visited Dee Jones Petroleum and Gas Limited at Beachland Estate, Apapa. The company according to the statement is said to owe N31million, a tax debt the operational manager
said he was not aware of. He later phoned the company’s tax consultant, who admitted that the company owes but asked for more time to enable it pay. Edeh, who insisted that the company had to pay immediately, rejected the consultant’s plea and shut the premises at about 11.50am. The enforcement team in Ilorin, Kwara State, visited Kwara Hotels, where the new management, Integrated Services Limited, explained that it was neither aware that the previous management had a N10.5million tax liability nor of correspondences between the hotel and the FIRS. The argument ended when a call was put the FIRS headquar-
chunk of this genie (government deposit) in the bottle (CBN) any longer, it has to be put to work more efficiently (credit creation in the real sector).” He stated that the total deposit with the CBN by the end of the second quarter stood at N10.52 trillion compared to N9.17 trillion and N6.908 trillion in the previous and corresponding quarter respectively, pointing out that this showed that growth in total deposit with the CBN increased by 8.11per cent and 52 per cent compared to the previous and corresponding quarter. According to him: “The persistent upward trajectory in total deposit with the CBN is triggered by the ongoing policy of fiscal sterilisation (TSA). The amount of total federal government deposit with the CBN ters, which confirmed the existence of the hotel’s tax liabilities. The new management then signed an undertaking to reach the previous management and revert to the FIRS within 30 days. Also in Ilorin, the FIRS team visited Henry George Company Limited, which owes a little over N2million. But the company escaped being shut having paid a part of money last Monday and its officials were headed to the bank to pay the balance while the enforcement team was in the premises. Also, last Monday, an FIRS enforcement team visited the premises of Eagle Package Printing Limited in Ota, Ogun State, over a tax liability in excess of N21million. However, the company was not sealed, as members of its management ordered the payment of in N10million.
Economic Indicators As at M2* CPS* INF MPR 91-day NTB Bonny Light Ext Res**
Description 15.10 27-APR-2017 16.00 29-JUN-2019 15.54 13-FEB-2020 16.39 27-JAN-2022 14.20 14-MAR-2024 12.50 22-JAN-2026 10.00 23-JUL-2030 12.1493 18-JUL-2034 Tenor (Days) Call 30 90 180
N19,142,526.05m N18,579,219.49m 17.9
Mar, 2015 Mar, 2015 Sept, 2016
14 10.77 US$50.23 US$23,955,731,290
26/07/2016 Mar 2015 19/10/2016 18/10/2016 Source:CBN
1.07 3.24 3.87 5.82 7.95 9.81 14.31 18.29
Price 104.65 114.59 111.96 120.58 109.60 100.54 83.82 97.56
Rate (%) 4.4583 9.1071 11.0102 12.3790
Bid Yield 10.38 10.55 11.60 11.44 12.27 12.40 12.44 12.49
Change (%) -2.50 ▼ -0.74 ▼ -0.65 ▼ -0.68 ▼
Change (%) -0.02 ▼ -0.01 ▼ 0.00 ↔ 0.00 ↔ -0.07 ▼ -0.08 ▼ -0.03 ▼ 0.02 ▲
Price 104.80 114.89 112.26 120.88 109.90 100.84 84.12 97.86
Tenor (Months) 1 2 3 6 9 12
Offer Yield 10.24 10.45 11.51 11.38 12.22 12.34 12.39 12.44
Rate (%) 6.9949 7.2368 8.0819 9.2061 9.5872 10.5042
Change (%) -0.02 ▼ -0.01 ▼ 0.00 ↔ 0.00 ↔ -0.07 ▼ -0.08 ▼ -0.03 ▼ 0.02 ▲ Change (%) 1.12 ▲ -0.27 ▼ -0.17 ▼ -0.11 ▼ 0.03 ▲ 0.42 ▲
Maturity Date Discount Bid Yield Change (%) Discount Offer Yield Change (%) Rate (%) 7.67 7.82 -0.51 ▼ Open-Buy-Back (OBB) 3.83 30-Jun-16 7.92 8.08 -0.51 ▼ 6-Oct-16 8.59 8.34 8.71 -0.31 ▼ Overnight (O/N) 4.33 8.99 -0.31 ▼ 16-Mar-17 9.36 10.28 -0.07 ▼ 9.11 9.98 -0.07 ▼
Change (%) -1.75 ▼ -2.08 ▼
amount’s to N5.02 trillion, which presently account for 47 per cent of total deposit with CBN.” He noted that although the TSA was aimed at boosting transparency and reducing leakages, the policy also increased the pool of idle funds, adding this,
“gradually impedes deposit creation and could form credit blind on the medium term.” There have been growing calls in financial circles for a review of the TSA with some analysts contending that this is necessary to ease the pressure on banks.
Overnight interbank rate falls to 20%
vernight interbank rates crashed yesterday to around 20 per cent from 150 per cent after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold less foreign exchange than expected at a special auction, traders said. “The central bank has released the result of the auction, but the amount sold fell short of market expectations,” one dealer said, without giving details. The interbank rate fell after the auction, as banks had now more surplus liquidity from funds not used to buy hard currency, dealers said.
Banks had been required to fund their accounts to participate in the auction, causing the cost of borrowing to soar. Traders said the volume of the forex auction was not immediately available, adding that dollars were sold at a range of 310-350 per dollar by the central bank. The naira closed at the official spot market at 305.25 a dollar, around the same level it has closed since August. The cur rency weakened a little to N455 to the dollar on the black market from N453 a dollar the previous day.
FCMB restates commitment to boosting retail presence
he Group Head, Corporate Affairs of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Diran Olojo, has restated the lender’s commitment to sustaining the momentum of its leading retail presence, while supporting customers and sectors that will drive the prosperity of the markets in which it operates. He stated this at a media parley organised by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited for financial journalists in Lagos yesterday. He restated the bank’s commitment to continually engage and impact on the media and other stakeholders in a sustainable manner. Olojo said: “Given the importance of the media, especially financial journalists, this session presents a platform to empower the fourth estate of the realm, highlighting their role as key influencers, and arming them with the requisite knowledge that promotes values of professionalism and ethics. As a financial institution, FCMB is driven by the culture of excellence. We believe that our success as an organisation is hinged on our ability to ensure the long-term success of all our stakeholders. We need the full support of the media to actualise this objective. On our part, we
will continue to provide constant support for the media in their drive to practise and uphold ethical journalism at all times and in all situations’’. Speaking on the topic, ‘’Raising the Bar’’, the Chief Executive of Corporate Shepherds Limited, Mr. Idorenyen Enang Enang, who was the guest speaker, urged journalists in the country to adopt creative thinking and innovative skills in order to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced age. Mr. Enang, a former Managing Director of Samsung Nigeria and Marketing Director of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, added: ‘’it is important to emphasise that boosting creative and innovative abilities takes attentive practice. Creativity is the development of ideas; innovation is the execution of those ideas. So, we cannot be innovative without first lear ning how to think creatively. Recognising and honing one’s creative potential is a process’’. He therefore admonished media practitioners to expand the frontiers of their knowledge base by adopting practices that would enable them reinvent themselves and the entire media industry in order to contribute significantly to national development.
38 BUSINESS |Financial Market News ExxonMobil exits Nigeria’s downstream per cent, as there were almost sector TUMBLING two declining stocks for ev-
thursDAY, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Stock market falls for third day
…sells 60% equity in Mobil Oil to Nipco Adeola Yusuf
orld’s biggest oil company, ExxonMobil, yesterday exited Nigeria’s downstream sector with the outright sale of its 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria (MON) to indigenous firm, Nipco Plc. The company, which doubles as the second biggest oil firm in Nigeria in terms of assets and production, said it carefully evaluated opportunities across a wide range of market conditions and only advance projects generating long-term shareholder value. “Following these assessments, we sometimes find that it makes greater business sense to divest when the businesses are estimated to have higher value to others. This decision is in no way a reflection of our view on the local business climate, financial results or the workforce,” the company said. Nipco Plc., an indigenous Nigerian downstream oil and gas company, confirmed the acquisition of 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc (MON), which it described as a leading downstream player of high repute. Managing Director, Nipco Plc., Venkataraman Venkatapathy, said the acquisition was agreed with the execution of a Sales and Purchase Agreement with ExxonMobil. “With the signing, we will start the transition period and initiate the process of obtaining regulatory approvals from the requisite federal agencies – SEC and NSE,” he said at a press briefing, adding that the transition period “will also enable Nipco Plc. to effectively manage a smooth and successful completion of the transaction.” According to the Nipco boss, the leading indigenous downstream firm considers this acquisition an important synergy. “It is part of our strategic move to support Nipco’s continuous growth and expansion of its Nigerian retail footprint. We are confident of adding tremendous value to MON and likewise MON will add a huge value to Nipco,” he said. In furtherance of this value addition, Nipco, he said, will continue to maintain the Mobil brand on its retail outlets as well as continue to blend and sell the Mobil brand of lubricants under Branding Licence(s) from ExxonMobil. However, Mobil reported Q2 2016 results, which showed impressive growth for all key P&L line items. Sales of N27.6billion were up 79.9 per cent y/y while PBT and PAT grew by 86.6 per cent y/y and 82.5 per cent y/y to N3.8billion and N2.6billion respectively. Topline growth more than offset a marginal gross margin contraction of -29bp y/y, a 14.9 per cent y/y rise in opex and a double-digit decline in other income to N920m.
Investors’ wealth down by N26 billion
Stories Chris Ugwu
he Nigerian equities market yesterday tumbled for the third consecutive trading day, as sell pressure remained unabated, culminating in 20 losers and 12 gainers. Key market indicators, the NSE ASI and market capitalisation, each declined by 0.28
ery one, which advanced in value. Consequently, the All-Share Index dipped 77.27 basis points or 0.28 per cent to close at 27,478.04 as against 27,555.31 recorded the previous day, while the market capitalisation of equities depreciated by N26 billion or 0.28 per cent to N9.438 trillion from N9.464 trillion. Meanwhile, a turnover of 81.9 million shares exchanged in 2,520 deals was recorded in the day’s trading. The banking sub-sector
of the financial services segment was the most active (measured by turnover volume) with 27.760 million shares exchanged by investors in 631 deals. Volume in the sub-sector was largely driven by activities in the shares of United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and Fidelity Bank Plc. Also, other financial institutions sub-sector of the financial services segment, boosted by activities in the shares of FCMB Plc and United Capital Plc, trailed with a turnover of 26.4 million shares traded in
207 deals. Shares of Caverton Plc led the gainers’ chart, appreciating by 3.95 per cent to close at 79 kobo per share. Stanbic IBTC Plc followed with a gain of 3.03 per cent to close at N17.00 per share while Wapic Insurance Plc gained 2.00 per cent to close at 51 kobo per share. On the flip side, shares of Ashaka Cement Plc led the losers with 9.71 per cent to close at N13.57 per share. Forte Oil Plc plunged 7.67 per cent to close at N127.30 per share, while GSK Plc dropped five per cent to close at N15.78 per share.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, visits the exhibition stands at the AFRICAST2016 in Abuja… on Tuesday
GTB reports 60% growth in Q3 PAT
FMDQ to begin listing of short-term bonds
uaranty Trust Bank Plc has recorded 59.56 per cent growth in profit after tax for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016. The group in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed positive growth across financial metrics with profit after tax of N119.927 billion, representing a growth of 59.56 over N75.160 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2015. Profit before tax stood at N140.837 billion as against N92.062 billion, a year earlier, accounting for a 52.98 per cent growth. Interest income for the period grew by 5.17 per cent to N181.909 billion from N172.963 billion reported in the September 2015. Guaranty Trust Bank recorded 44.79 per cent growth in profit before tax for the half year ended June 30, 2016 as profit before tax stood at N91.381 billion over N63.111 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2015. Profit after tax stood at N77.461 billion as against N53.373 billion, a year earlier, accounting for a 45.13 per cent growth. Gross earnings for the period grew by 37 per cent to N209.9 billion from N153 billion re-
n order to support more inclusion and participation of corporates in the Nigerian Debt Capital Market (DCM), FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange through its various engagements with approval of the Securities and Exchange, Commission (SEC), has introduced Short-Term Bonds (STBs) to the Nigerian fixed income market. The management of FMDQ made this known in a statement made available to New Telegraph. As an innovation-driven Exchange focused on powering growth, through product and market development, FMDQ had, following extensive consultations with stakeholders in the Nigerian financial market space, identified the funding gap for corporates, between the money market debt instruments such as commercial papers with maximum tenors of 270 days and the traditional medium- to long-term debt instruments (e.g. bonds), which are typically issued for three years and above. STBs are essentially short-term debt instruments issued by corporate entities, for tenors of be-
ported in the June 2015; driven primarily by growth in fee and commission income as well as foreign exchange income. The bank’s loan book grew by 14 per cent from N1.37 3 trillion recorded as at December 2015 to N1.562 trillion in June 2016 with corresponding growth in total deposits, which increased by 23 per cent to N2.008 trillion from N1.637 trillion in December 2015. Further analysis revealed that the bank closed the half year ended June 2016 with total assets and Contingents of N3.42 trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of N453 billion. The bank’s non-performing loans remained within regulatory threshold at 4.39 per cent with adequate coverage of 170.1 per cent Commenting on the financial results, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said: “Going into the year, we knew it would be a challenging year and we prepared for it by focusing on effective management of the balance sheet and adapting our business model to changing market variables. The quality of our past decisions enabled us navigate the challenges that persisted in the business environment most of the half year period.”
tween one year and not exceeding three years. In addition to bridging the funding gap between shortand medium- to long-term debt instruments, STBs are designed to serve the liquidity needs of the medium to large creditworthy corporates and commercial entities by providing an alternative/competitive source of financing to bank loans. Also, STBs are beneficial to the DCM, as they will serve to boost the investment product bouquet for the buy-side (which comprises amongst others, the Pension Fund Administrators). The commission also approved the FMDQ ShortTerm Bonds Registration Process and Listing Rules (STB Rules), which were developed in furtherance of FMDQ’s commitment to provide effective market regulation and governance for the markets under its purview. “The STB Rules serve as a guide to issuers, STB sponsors and the investing public, amongst others. The Rules outline the governance structure for STB issuances as well as the procedure for the registration of prospective STB issuances.
national | news
thursday, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Dasukigate: DAAR's N2.1bn followed due process, says witness
Tunde Oyesina Abuja
Prosecution Witness in the ongoing trial of the Chairman Emeritus of Daar Communication, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Aliyu Mohammed, yesterday told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja how monies were transferred into DAAR Investment and Holding Limited for campaign purposes. The Federal Government is prosecuting Dokpesi over an alleged receipt of N2.1billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser being part of the funds meant for the purchase of arms. The witness, a manager in the payment section of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) told the court that the former NSA Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and the Director, Finance of the Office of the National Security Adviser, S. A Salisu, who were signatories of ONSA account, ordered the payment of N500 million into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company via a payment schedule/mandate dated January 21, 2015. Led in evidence by the Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Mohammed told the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, that the former NSA also ordered another payment of N500 million on February 2, 2015
and another N620 million into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company as payment for "media campaign". The witness also told the court that there was another mandate from ONSA to pay Dokpesi's company another N500 million on March 19, 2015 for the same media campaign purpose. Under cross examination by Dokpesi's lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN), the witness told the court that due procedures were followed before the ONSA account, which is being funded by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation was opened with the CBN. Responding to Olanipekun's questions on the payment schedules/mandates by ONSA, tendered as exhibits by the prosecution, the witness told the court that, Dalhatu Investment Limited, mentioned in Exhibit A1 (payment schedule) was paid N500 million for "supply of security equipment". He said the Presidential Air fleet was also paid N60.6 million, Makpad General Enterprises Nigeria Limited got N13.6 million for supply of rice to camps of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the C in C Security Department got N75 million from ONSA's account with the CBN. In Exhibit A3, the witness confirmed that apart from the money paid into the account of DAAR
Investment and Holding Company, "We have Online Nigeria Limited and N200 million was paid into the company's account for consultancy services, Vibrant Resources Limited was paid N450 million for security services, Jawaz Multipurpose Investures Limited got N148 million for supply of security equipment and A. R Secu-
rity Solution Limited got N2 billion for "personnel support and logistics". Other payments approved by the Office of the NSA, according to the witness, who is a manager with the Central Bank are, N100 million to Hydrocarbons Limited for energy consortium, N239.5 million to DPA Officer of the NSA for the funding of Nigeria
Radiation Project, N400 million to Cosst Limited for the supply of security equipment. The witness further told the court that all the payments as stated in the schedules/mandates of the ONSA were effected by the CBN because due process was followed. The prosecution counsel, Jacobs, visibly surprised
N4.7bn fraud: Fayose dismisses Police move to stop extra-judicial killings Emmanuel Onani Obanikoro's claims Johnchuks Onuanyim Abuja
he Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, yesterday dismissed alleged testimony by a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musikilu Obainikoro with N2.3billion of the N4.7billion on how he funded Fayose's election from the funds sourced from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) during the last administration. Obanikoro arrived from the United States of America(USA) on Monday and proceeded to the headquarters of the
EFCC in response to an earlier invitation extended to him by the anti- graft agency. The former minister, who is being accused of collecting N4.7 billion from the ONSA, reportedly confessed that he gave N2.3 billion to the governor of Ekiti State, in the run up to his election. But Fayose said that the testimony was masterminded by his detractors to implicate him and bring him to disrepute. In a telephone chat with New Telegraph, the governor said that he was not perturbed by the allegation, as it was another ploy by the Federal Government to nail him at all costs.
orried by reports of human rights abuses, extra-judicial killings, and other misconduct against some police officers and men, the Force Headquarters has begun training of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS). A three-day training, which commenced yesterday, is a collaborative effort between the Police and a non-governmental organisation, Nigerians Unite Against Terror (NUAT). Speaking at the event, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said the partnership with NUAT will address such core areas as
he trial of a former Minister of Aviation and Media Director of Goodluck Jonathan 2015 Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode and three others over alleged N4.6 billion fraud, could not commence yesterday before Justice Sule Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos owing to the absence of the judge. New Telegraph learnt that the judge was away to Abuja where he is attending a seminar. The trial is now expected to start on Friday. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) had on June 28 arraigned the former minister and three others on a 17-count charge of alleged N4.6billion fraud. Apart from FaniKayode, other accused persons docked by the anti-graft agency are former Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Esther Nenadi Usman, Danjuma
Yusuf and a company, John Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited. They however pleaded not guilty to the charge and were later admitted to bail in the sum of N250 million each.
Buhari mourns Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr Anule Emmanuel Abuja
resident Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed sadness over the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr. The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, extended his heartfelt condolences to the SaroWiwa family as well as the government and people of Rivers State. Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr, who served as a Special Assistant under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was the son of former Nigeri-
human rights violation by the police in the course of their duties as well as bringing the police closer to the people, with a view to creating a "better understanding between the Police through frequent and meaningful interactive sessions." The training will also facilitate establishment of an independent structure through human rights abuse or violations, which will be monitored, catalogued and reported to the relevant disciplinary units in the Force. According to the IGP, protection of lives and property, prevention and detection of crimes, as well as the maintenance of public order are the constitutional duties of the Police. Wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Nyesom-Wike (left), with wife of the Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Niger Delta North, Mrs Beatrice Kattey, during a courtesy visit by the women of Niger Delta North Diocese to Justice NyesomWike in Port Harcourt …on Tuesday.
N4.6b fraud: Judge's absence stalls trial of Fani-Kayode, others Akeem Nafiu
by his witness’ testimony, attempted to question Mohammed based on his response but the defence counsel objected. The court however asked the witness to clarify his response and he repeated that, "because they have complied with all the due process. We are comfortable and the process is legitimate to us.”
an writer and activist, Ken Beeson Saro-Wiwa, who was executed in 1995. President Buhari in the condolence statement also commiserated with the people of Ogoni Kingdom over the passage of their illustrious son, author and environmental activist, who was an ardent believer in the unity, progress and stability of his community. President Buhari joined them in mourning the sudden and painful passing of a promising Nigerian whose willingness and dedication to the clean-up of Ogoni land inspired a healing process in Nigeria after the death of his father, Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Operators owe NIMASA $420.5m
he apex maritime regulator, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that some operators in the maritime industry are owing the agency $420.5 million since 2004. Its Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, made the clarification yesterday during an engagement with the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Educa-
The net worth of Dina Merrill in 2016. Source: Fropky.com
tion and Administration in Abuja. Refuting a claim that the agency was owed monies in excess of $10 billion, Peterside explained that it was not correct. He noted that the freight element of shipping trade in the last four years was not up to $10billion. In a statement by the agency's Head of Corporate Communications, Hajia Lami Tumaka, the director general said: “The entire freight element of shipping trade in Nigeria in the last four years is less than $10billion”. Peterside, who made a clarification in response to a petition received by the committee purporting that the agency had
engaged a consultant to assist in recovering its money without following due process, told the committee that due process was followed in selecting the consultant as the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had also issued a Certificate of No Objection for the purpose. He noted that the agency had been making concerted efforts to recover these monies with little success. Peterside said that "this necessitated the management, utilising international best practices, to employ the services of a consultant to assist in recovering these funds."
NEWS | national
30 years after, stakeholders want Dele Giwa’s murder case re-opened Mojeed Alabi
xactly 30 years after the gruesome murder of the Editor of the now rested Newswatch Magazine, Mr. Dele Giwa, prominent Nigerians, including his former colleagues and the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, among others, have demanded the reopening of his murder case as advised by the Human Rights Violations Investigations Commission chaired by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. The call was made yesterday in Lagos at a colloquium organised in remembrance of the late journalist by the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The event, which was chaired by a former National President of NUJ and now Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on the Internally Displaced People, Mr. Sani Zorro, also had in attendance other dignitaries including the late Giwa’s partner, Mr. Ray Ekpu; Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai
Owoseni; Managing Director of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Eric Osagie; Dele Giwa’s wife and daughter, Olufunmilayo Giwa and Aisha Giwa respectively, among many others. In his lecture, entitled ‘Safety of Journalists and the Culture of Impunity in Africa’, human rights activist and former President of the West African Bar Association, Mr. Femi Falana, said unlike the Nigeria Police that had closed file of the murder case, journalists had refused to allow the case to die through advocacy and sensitization of the public. Falana, who was represented by the National President of CDHR, Mr. Malachy Ugwuanmadu, however, urged journalists to take the matter beyond advocacy and take up legal cases against the Nigerian state, particularly at the ECOWAS Court. He added that since President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the reopening of the killing of a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, and other politically-motivated killings, the case of Dele Giwa must be reopened.
High-stress jobs raise early death risk –Study Appolonia Adeyemi
esearchers have raised the alarm over the danger posed to employees engaged in high-stress jobs, saying the job might be killing them. A new study has found evidence to back up what many disgruntled employees have been saying all along – your job just might be killing you. Stress is defined as an organism's total response to environmental demands or pressures. Stress in humans results from interactions between persons and their environment that are perceived as straining or exceeding their adaptive capacities and threatening their well-being. The mailonline reported that analyzing more than 2,300 people during a seven-year period, the researchers found that employees in high-stress positions who have little decision-making freedom at work were more likely to die young. Along with this, they said these people often have a higher body mass index, BMI, than employees who have more control at work, as they may eat more, smoke, or engage in other behaviours to cope
with the demands of the job. The findings suggest that having a higher degree of discretion in your job could help to manage work-related stress, contributing to a longer and healthier life. In the study from Indiana University Kelley School of Business, researchers sampled 2,363 Wisconsin residents in their 60s over a seven-year period. Data were derived from the Wisconsin Longitudinal study, in which more than 10,000 people were interviewed at various intervals over the course of their lives, from 1957 to 2011. The researchers found troubling trends among employees in stressful jobs: 26 per cent of deaths occurred in people with front line service jobs, while 32 per cent of deaths were among people in manufacturing jobs, who reported high demands and low control at work. Overall, people in lowcontrol, high-demand jobs showed a 15.4 per cent increase in the likelihood of death compared with those in low demand jobs. But, those with highcontrol at work were linked to a 34 per cent decrease in the likelihood of death, compared with
thursday, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
CONFIRMATION/change OF NAME Arewa: I formerly known and addressed as Arewa Michael now wish to be known and addressed as Arewa Ayomide Michael. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
I, formerly known, called and addressed as Miss. Lizzy Adadkwu Echegbu now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Lizzy Adakwu Wommor. All former documents remains valid. First bank, Ignatuis Ajuru University of Education and general public take note.
I, formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Ekpagu Blessing Chinwendu, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Nnamani Blessing Chinwendu. All documents bearing my former name remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.
I, formally know and address as Hamza Abubakar now wish to be called Hamza Samaila All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I, formally known and addressed as Jame Omeje Ukwuma now wish to be know and addressed as Omeje James Oriyi. All former documents remain valid. Zenith bank and general public should please take note.
This is to confirm that the names Yinusa Abisola Comfort Aminat and Yinusa Abisola Aminat refer to one and the same person. Henceforth, I wish to be known and addressed as Yinusa Abisola Comfort. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Urama Messi now wish to be known and addressed as Onyeka Urama. Also, my date of birth was wrongly written as December 4, 1987 instead of December 18, 1987 which is the correct date. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Eze Benedeth Erigbo now wish to be known and addressed as Eze Benedeth Ebere. All former documents remain valid. Diamond bank Plc and the general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ebiegberi Osuluku now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Tamama Ebiegberi. All former documents remain valid. Ecobank Plc, Bayelsa State Judiciary and the general public should please take note.
I, hereby declare that my correct name is Manji Zubairu and not Manji Zuberu as wrongly written. All former documents remain valid. First bank Plc and the general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Rasheed Rukayat Adenike now wish to be known as Mrs. Ariyibi Rukayat Adenike. All former documents remain valid, GTB, LAUTECH and general public take note.
I, formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Ezeh Loveth Adaeze, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Nwafor Loveth Adaeze. All documents bearing my former name remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.
This is to confirm that the names Obasola Abayomi Adewale, Obasola Abayomi Victor And Abayomi Olatubosun Obasola are the same person. Henceforth, I wish to be known and addressed as Obasola Abayomi Adewale. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
I, formerly know and called Salihu Oyiza Ramat and wish to be called and address as Dahiru Oyiza Ramat. All former documents remain valid. General publich should take note.
I, formerly know and address as Modupe Edun now wish to be called Mrs. Modupe Ogunlumade. All former documents remain valid. Emmbassy, NYSC, BANKS, Ministries and general public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Nwanonaku Sandra Uchenna now wish to be known and addressed as Ubah Sandra Uchenna. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Nworie Mary Chibuzor now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Igwe Mary Anthony Ikechukwu. All former documents remain valid. Ebonyi State University (EBSU), N.Y.S.C, Banks and the general public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogbonnaya Ndidi Okoro now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ndidi Ogbonnaya Ibiam. All former documents remain valid. FCMB Plc, N.Y.S.C and the general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Offiawariowei Jamaica and Diafa Jamaica now wish to be known and addressed as Diafa Jamaica Offiawariowei. All former documents remain valid. Sterling bank Plc, Diamond bank Plc and the general public note.
Ubong: I, formerly known and addressed as Linus Asuquo Akpan now wish to be known and addressed as Ubong Asuquo Ubong. All former documents remain valid. Zenith Bank Plc and general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Muideen Babatunde Olawiyola now wish to be known and addressed as Olayiwola Muideen Babatunde. All former documents remain valid. Banks and general public take note.
ETERNAL HOPE FOR ALL NATIONS CHURCH
Reason: I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ugo Benigna Chinenye now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Reason Benigna Chinenye. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
My correct name is Amadi Praise Chibeta and not Amadi Loveth Chibeta and my correct date of birth is 12, Nov. 1982, not 12, Nov. 1987. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
I, formerly known, called and addressed as Ademuyiwa Akeem Samuel, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Olanrewaju Akeem Samuel. All documents bearing my former name remain valid. General public should note.
I, formerly known as Oguh Genevive Chinaza now wish to be known and addressed as Ejekwu Genevive Chinazo. All former documents remain valid. General public, please take note.
I, formerly know and address as Miss Lawal Afusat Funmilola now wish to be called Mrs. Olumegbon Afusat Funmilola. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajah Joy Ogonnaya now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Timothy Joy Ogonnaya. All former documents remain valid. Banks, N.Y.S.C and the general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Obe Louisa Nnedinso now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Omego Louisa Nnedinso. All former documents remain valid. Osisatech, N.Y.S.C and the general public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Rebecca Azibator Iguma now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Rebecca Azibator Taribaralate Allison. All former documents remain valid. National Youth Service Corps and the general public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Ishola Opeyemi Sukurat now wish to be known and addressed as Abdul Kadir Sukurat Opeyemi Ishola. All former documents remain valid. Banks and general public take note.
I, formally know and address as Zalihatu Abubakar now wish to be called Zalihatu Bashir S/Gobir. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Okanimee Chinelo Peace, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ugah Chinelo Peace. All documents bearing my former name remain valid. The general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Afosi Habeebat Yetunde now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adesanya Habeebat Yetunde. All former documents remain valid. TASUED, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, NYSC and the general public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ideba Chinelo Linda now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mbagwu Chinelo Linda. All former documents remain valid. Ebonyi State University (EBSU), N.Y.S.C, Banks and the general public should take note.
This is to notify the general public that the names Odo Marthias Omerio and Odo Marthias Oluchi refer to one and the same person. Henceforth, I wish to be known and addressed as Odo Marthias Omerio. All former documents remain valid. Union bank Plc and the general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ukoh Chioma Mary-Jane now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okoye Chioma Mary-Jane. All former documents remain valid. Sterling bank Plc and the general public should please take note.
This is to inform the general public that the above named FOUNDATION has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part 'C' of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Deaconess Marian Adeyinka Craig-Oladeinde 2. Mrs Kofoworola Adenike Williams 3. Pastor Tonye Wilfred Pepple AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ 2. To propagate and teach the doctrines of the Christian faith. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: M.OLADAPO ABUDU SOLICITOR TO THE FOUNDATION
DIVINE GRACE BREAKTHROUGH FOUNDATION
Notice is hereby given to the general public that the above named has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration under part "C" of the companies and allied matter act no.1 of 1990.
Notice is hereby given to the general public that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration under part "C" of the companies and allied matter act no.1 of 1990.
The Trustees are: 1. Paul Olumide Wesey-Ata - Chairman 2. Godwin Oyamendan - Secretary 3. Ata Ini Stella 4. Emmanuel Amhagibor Inaugwe 5. Onohon Osas Blessing
The Trustees are: 1. Miss Oluwafunmibi Abosede Doherty - Chair Person 2. Mr. Adelana Jonathan Doherty - Secretary 3. Mr. Adedayo Micheal Ajayi 4. Mrs. Olajumoke Adejoke Ajayi
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. To organize crusades, reachout to the needy and less priviledge 2. To reach out on evangelical missions and programmes throughout the world 3. To organize prayers and Bible studies and any other programmes that will enhance the spiritual growth of the members.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. Encouraging star children through empowerment 2. Raising future leaders through entrepreneurship 3. Encouraging disadvantage children through citizens empowerment 4. To establish orphanage homes for children and the less Privilege in the society 5. To assist the less Privilege in the society by providing basic necessity of life.
Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.
Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Amosun reshuffles cabinet as Pomp as Bini kingdom gets new Ambode sacks 3 commissioners Oba today Muritala Ayinla
hreecommissioners inLagosStateyesterday lost their job as they were asked to gobyGovernorAkinwunmi Ambodeinaminorcabinet reshuffle. Althoughnoreasonwas offeredbythegovernment, the Commissioners- Mr FolorunshoFolarin-Coker (Tourism),Finance,Dr.MustaphaAkinkunmi(Finance) andDr.EkundayoMobereola (Transportation)wereasked tohandovertoSpecialAdvisersandotherseniorofficers intheirrespectiveministries. Theirsackcameexactly one year after Governor AmbodeconstitutedhisExecutiveCouncilonOctober 19, 2015.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government,MrTunjiBello,theGovernorhasdirected theSpecialAdviser,Artsand CulturetotakeoverasActing CommissionerforMinistry of TourismandCulture,SpecialAdviseronTransportationwilltakeoverasActing CommissionerforTransportationwhilethePermanent SecretaryintheMinistryof Financewouldtakeoveras theActingCommissionerfor Financependingtheappointmentof newCommissioners intherespectiveministries. Governor Ambode had been under pressure to axe the commissioners for reasons bothering on performance, incompetence and their inability to key to his administration’s vision.
ioners Special Advisers. In a statement signed by th eSecretarytotheStateGovernment,TaiwoAdeoluwa,fo ur Commiss ionersandfourSpecialA dviserstotheGovernorwer e affected. It is with immediate effect. Those affectedincludeMrs.RonkeS okefunwhobeforenowwastheC ommissionerforAgricultur e, would head the Ministry of Urban and Physic alPlanning. BashorunAdebolaAdeifewhousedtobethe CommissionerforUrbanand Physical Planning was nowmovedtotheMinistr yof Inter-GovernmentalAffairs. Also affected is theerstwhileCommissionerf orSpecialDutiesandInterGovernmental Affair
lPolice, NSCDC deploy 5,300 personnel
Cajetan Mmuta and Philip Nyam
ll is now set for the coronation of a new monarch in the ancient kingdom of Benin as the traditional council will today crown His Royal Highness, Eheneden Erediauwa, as the 39th Oba of Benin. Already, a flurry of activities have been lined up for the epoch event, expected to attract first class chiefs, eminent personalities, including members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industry, associates of the monarch, cultural troupes, friends and well-wishers. It will be recalled that the Crown Prince on Tuesday picked a royal name at a colourful ceremony held in Use community, which would be made public today. The heir apparent had completed all the traditional and cultural rites that fortified and prepared him for the tasks ahead as the spiritual and political head of the kingdom.
However, among those expected at the coronation include President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, key national leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, former heads of state, members of the National Assembly, state governors and other top dignitaries. Royal fathers, who were billed to grace the event, also include the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammad Abubakar Sa’ad, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Highness, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, the forum of Niger Delta Traditional Rulers, Edo Indigenes in Diaspora, among many others. Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday described the coronation of the Oba as historic as it will
be the first time an elected governor and an indigene of the state will perform the formality of presenting the staff of office to the new monarch. The governor explained that only military administrators and foreigners had done so in the past. Meanwhile, the Edo State police command and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have deployed 5,300 personnel to the state capital to provide security within Benin metropolis during the coronation of the new Oba. The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, told newsmen in Benin that his command would deploy 5,000 policemen for the occasion. Gwandu added that the deployment was necessary in view of the number of high profile personalities from across the world that would attend the ceremony. He said: “We have decided to remain proactive to make sure that the town is not infested with unguarded elements who will disrupt public peace.
Obaseki begins work on 2017 budget
L-R: Chairman, Southwest, PDP, Eddy Olafeso; National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; PDP governorship candidate’s running mate, John Ola Mafo; governorship candidate of the party in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede and Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, at the PDP governorship campaign flag-off rally, at the Democracy Park, in Akure…yesterday.
Strike: Ogun, workers set for showdown Kunle Olayeni Abeokuta
he face-off between the Ogun State government and the organised labour deepened yesterday as Governor Ibikunle Amosun vowed not to allow any group or individuals to hold the state to ransom. Amosun, who spoke during a town hall meeting on 2017 Budget held at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, warned labour leaders against playing politics under the guise of agitating for improved welfare of workers. He spoke against the backdrop of the threat by
the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on indefinite strike today over unremitted deductions to workers in the state. The governor restated his administration’s commitment to the continued development of the state and its people irrespective of gender, location, religion or job stratification. He, however, said his government would not succumb to any group with selfish, parochial and ulterior motives. Amosun said workers
in the state who were interested in politics should have the courage to resign and join the politicians. He said: “Let me on my honour reaffirm our determination not to allow any group or individuals to hold the state to ransom for selfish, parochial and ulterior motives.” “The era of playing politics under the guise of labour movement and agitation for improved welfare and condition of service is over and gone for good in Ogun State. People that are interested in politics should have the courage and honour to resign and join the politicians.
Jegede receives PDP’s flag to contest Ondo poll Babatope Okeowo
he People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday presented the party’s flag to Mr Eyitayo Jegede SAN as the candidate of the party for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State. The Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye said any other
person presenting himself as the candidate of the party for the forthcoming election as counterfeit. Speaking after presenting the party’s flag to Jegede on behalf of the party’s Caretaker Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, Adeyeye said the Jegede’s candidature had fulfilled legal and political processes and as such remained the flag bearer of
the party for the election. According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Department of Security Service (DSS), Police and observers witnessed the party’s primary that was conducted in Akure, the state capital unlike the one that was conducted in Ibadan, Oyo State capital without the presence of relevant government’s agencies.
head of his inauguration on November 12, Edo State governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki has raised a committee to prepare next year’s budget. This, according to sources, will enable him hit the ground running and ensure that lawmakers get the budget this year. A member of the Transition Committee said Obaseki emphasised that next year’s budget estimates should focus on jobs and empowerment. At a media briefing after his election, Obaseki said he would not have a large State Executive Council, but would find other
means of empowering his supporters. During his electioneering campaigns, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate promised to create 200, 000 jobs. Asked how he would create such jobs, Obaseki said: “Take for instance agriculture, registered farmers in Edo State and in the 18 local governments outnumber 35,000 small holding farmers. This statistics is according to records at the Ministry of Agriculture. “This record also shows that each of these 35,000 farmers occupies at least two to five hectares. This
means 115,000 hectares with a labour requirement of three workers per hectare of production. “This means a rice farmer would have five workers per hectare of production; the same applies to cassava. Arithmetically, this translates to manpower of 315,000 and up to 500,000 workers. “This calculation in the agricultural entrepreneurial scheme is for two crops alone. This is the basis for the governor-elect’s conservative 200,000 jobs to herald the emergence of future stars and alleviate poverty, if it does not eradicate it.”
Pharmacists, technicians bicker over fake drugs Clement James Calabar
embers of the Council for Pharmacists, Technologists and Technicians Association of Nigeria (PTTA) concluding the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Cross River State chapter, yesterday traded words over which group was responsible for the production and circulation of sub-standard products in the state. While PTTA was accusing PCN of being responsible for the production and circulation of fake drugs, PCN has denied the allegation, saying such was borne out of envy, an attempt to paint a bad picture of pharmacists and
to cover up the activities of members of the PTTA. Speaking after presenting an award of excellence to the National Trustee and Chairman in Council of PTTA, Dr. Lawrence Henshaw, yesterday in Calabar, the state Chairman of the PTTA, Sir Henry Obuagu Tita, said PCN which regulated the activities of pharmacists should be held responsible for the prevalence of fake drugs in the country. “In my understanding, the issue of quackery is the creation of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), given the fact that there have been cases of fake drugs linked to their members,” he said. “In Ibadan, they man-
ufactured a drug called my Pikin, and again in Enugu, you also have another fake drug that the pharmacists produced and circulated. In fact, there is fake chloroquine in circulation right now which is produced by pharmacists in Lagos. But we have never heard of any case against pharmacy technicians because they are trained for that,” Tita said. In his reaction, PCN Chairman in the state, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong, while denying the allegation, said it was irresponsible for any individual or body to make comments that were uncomplimentary of an agency of the Federal Government.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Abia North: Court orders substituted service on Ohuabunwa
Steve Uzoechi OWERRI
he Appeal Court seating in Owerri has ordered that Senator Mao Ohuabunwa who participated in the last Senatorial rerun elec-
tion for Abia North Senatorial seat be served processes of court by substituted service. This followed an ex parte motion filed by Chief K. C. Nwufo, counsel to Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who urged the the court to serve Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, who seem-
ingly had been evasive of court processes, by substituted service. Ruling on the motion, the presiding judge, Justice R. C. Agbo, ordered that Ohuabunwa be served by substituted means, pointing out that the service should be by post to his residential
home. Nwufo had earlier told the court that several efforts made to serve Ohuabunwa processes of their appeal had proved abortive, leaving them with no other option but substituted service. Kalu, the Senatorial candidate of the Pro-
Ebonyi bans foreign rice
gressive People’s Alliance (PPA) in the Abia North senatorial rerun election had filed an appeal challenging the verdict of the lower tribunal which ruled that his opponent, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was duly elected and returned.
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (right); British High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Pau Arkwright, and his wife, Tricia during Arkwright’s visit to Governor Oshiomhole in Benin City… yesterday.
EFCC recovers N245m funds in South East Charles Onyekwere ENUGU
he South-East zonal head, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Johnson Babalola, has revealed that the commission had so far recovered N244,574,587.20. He also said that the commission recovered of USD $955,465, 10,000 and ¥3588 (China Yuan) were also recovered. Briefing Journalists in Enugu yesterday on the achievements of the commission, Babalola stated that the current fight against corruption, was given a renewed impetus under the leadership of the EFCC headed by Mr. Ibrahim Magu, which he said had yielded results.
He explained that the zone had successfully concluded some cases were monies were recovered out of which the sum of USD $130,750 has been forfeited and remitted in the coffers of the federal government. Speaking further on number of cases under investigation, Babalola stated that the zone had received a total of 522, 36 of them had been concluded and charged to various courts in the South-East region for prosecution while 14 convictions had been secured. “The zone is currently investigating some high profile cases that are of public interest in which billions of Naira are involved,” he said, adding that in one of the cases, the suspect collected N4
billion from the public on the pretext that certain percentage of the said sum would be paid to them monthly. The suspect, according to him is currently in detention. “This figure is just from two of the over 20 accounts he operates. By the time we are able to burst into the other accounts we should be able to give the near accurate figure he has collected. “It is suspected that a larger percentage of the funds he got from members of the public are stashed in an offshore account,” he added. Babalola said that the commission had received no fewer than 150 petitions against the suspect from members of the public he duped.
EFCC quizzes Abia officials over campaign funds T he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that some politicians in Abia were being investigated for N450 million campaign funds. Addressing newsmen in Enugu yesterday, the South East Zonal Head of the commission, Mr Johnson Babalola, said that the investigation was in relation to the 2015 general elections. Babalola said that the development was a national
issue and that everybody involved would be called to answer about the money given to them. He said that some government officials in Enugu and Ebonyi states had been invited over the campaign fund. “The 2015 campaign fund of about N450 million is subject to investigation in Abia State. “In Enugu, the former governor, Mr Sullivan Chime and some serving
commissioners have been called as suspects and the case is still under investigation. It is the same thing in Ebonyi State. “The sum of N450 million was given to Abia State and we are investigating it but cannot mention names now,” he said. Babalola said that in most cases as in the case of Ebonyi, the monies were paid through the account of the state governors.
Owerri FMC boils over sacked CMD’s reinstatement Steve Uzoechi OWERRI
ctivities at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, was yesterday grounded following crisis that erupted after the reinstatement of the suspended Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the facility, Dr. Angela Uwakwem by the Federal Ministry of Health. The different workers, unions locked up all the offices, medical units and wards in protest, just as they accused Uwakwem of compromising probe of alleged financial misappropriation brought against her. They noted that there was a pending case brought against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, coming up at Owerri High Court 11 scheduled for November 15. Our correspondent gathered that the Federal Ministry of Health had absolved Uwakwem of all the allegations levelled against her and reinstated her as the CMD almost about a year after she was sent on compulsory leave to enable a committee investigate sundry allegations of financial impropriety and high handedness levelled
against her by the workers. Imo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, yesterday, led Dr. Angela Uwakwem to FMC Owerri to assume duty as the CMD. Upon her arrival, all the departments embarked on an immediate shut-down to protest her reinstatement. However, President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr. Victor Dike told newsmen that their union members were not part of the strike action. The protesting workers argued that following Uwakwem’s investigation by the EFCC and trial on a two count charge of conspiracy and felony, she lacked the moral right to manage the hospital. They further accused the police and the hospital’s Director of Services, Dr. Wapada Balami of aiding the embattled CMD to break into the CMD’s office, Office of the head of administration and that of the head of accounts and took away sensitive documents and to forge them, so as to weaken the EFCC case against her which comes up on November 15. The workers threatened that they will down tools as long as Uwakwem remains at the helm of affairs.
Uchenna Inya ABAKALIKI
bonyi State government yesterday banned consumption of foreign rice in public functions to pave way for the full return of the popular Abakaliki rice. Governor Dave Umahi stated this in an interview with Journalists after the inspection of Iboko and Ikwo rice mill clusters, adding that he had directed persons who cook for the state government to turn to indigenous rice forthwith. “The parboiling process Abakaliki rice undergoes makes it durable, unlike the imported rice which does not undergo parboiling; that is why after six months it becomes chaff and unhealthy for consumption. “That is why we have banned our cooks from cooking any other rice except Abakaliki rice,” he stated. Umahi expressed confidence that the price of local rice which hitherto skyrocketed would be dropping gradually when government policies on rice production were fully implemented. He noted that the parboiling plants when fully installed in the two locations would enhance massive rice production in the state, adding that the lack of adequate water supply for optimal function of the machines would soon be resolved.
APGA to Ikpeazu: You’ve abandoned governance
Igbeaku Orji UMUAHIA
he Abia State working committee of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has lamented the state of affairs in the state, saying it is “pained by the obvious abandonment of governance by the Okezie Ikpeazu-led government.” In a media briefing yesterday at the Ikot Ekpene Road Secretariat, the chairman, Rev Augustine Ehiemere, said that governance had come to a halt in Abia State. Ikpeazu who arrived the state yesterday to attend the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly after a three week tour abroad, was accused by the opposition APGA of abandoning governance. “We regret to state that the present government has taken the disastrous path to failure by completely abandoning its primary responsibilities to the people of the state,” it stated.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Kaduna gives legal backing to Shiite’s ban Ibraheem Musa Kaduna
he Kaduna State Gover nment has released Gover nment Gazette, declaring the Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise referred to as Shiite an unlawful society, just as it reiterated respect for the freedom of religion. Addressing a news conference yesterday, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, the Media Aide to the Governor, Mallam Na-
sir El-Rufai, disclosed that the government had “not and cannot ban any religion, but it has a duty to declare unlawful any group that threatens peace and security.” According to Aruwan, the government upholds freedom of religion and all constitutional rights of every resident to practice the religion of their choice. He, however, said that it was the fundamental obligation of the government to preserve the security and uphold the rights of all citizens to practice their faith and
not be imperiled or distressed by the way others exercised their own. It would be recalled that the Justice Muhammad Lawal Garba Judicial Commission of Inquiry had recommended the proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). Aruwan pointed out: “Islamic Movement in Nigeria was never a registered organisation and it refused to conduct itself with full adherence to the laws of this state. The group has consistently ignored the law and neglected the obligations
of civility. “Other groups in the Shia tradition are active in Nigeria. Like adherents of all other faiths, they are free to practice their creed without injuring the rights of others. “Kaduna State has suffered and endured too many calamities, triggered by persons and groups that insist on foisting their faith or political preferences on others. It is a hallmark of civilization that every assertion of rights by a citizen is done with full acknowledgement of and respect for the rights of other citizens.”
Ganduje disburses interest-free loans to farmers Muhammadu Kabir KANO
ano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has disbursed N1 billion interest-free loans under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) to 517 farmers’ associations, comprising over 4,000 members across the state. While launching the scheme at the Government House in Kano, the state capital, Dr. Ganduje ex-
plained that the fund was secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the promotion of commercial agricultural enterprises. The governor said the loan, which would be disbursed to small and medium scale farmers’ groups is part of efforts by the federal and the state government to diversify to agriculture, reduce poverty, create more jobs and enhance food security. “Agricultural commodities included in the value added chain to be covered
by the loan are dairy production, fishery, cotton, maize, wheat and rice”, the governor noted. He added: “To actualise this initiative and fast track the development of agricultural section of the economy, the need has arisen to reduce the credit on agricultural production to enable farmers benefit from the potential of the sector in terms of increased output, employment generation and diversification of the revenue base of the state.” Describing agriculture
as the way out of the current economic recession and the opportunity for farmers to boost their harvest, the governor spoke of plans to organise a workshop to train beneficiaries of the scheme on efficient management of the funds. Consequently, the governor urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the loans, warning that a special mobile court would be constituted to prosecute any beneficiary who defaults in re-paying the loans at the end of its tenure.
NANS solicits FG’s assistance to rebuild UNIJOS library Musa Pam Jos
he National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, alumni and spirited individuals to assist the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in rebuilding the institution’s library razed by inferno last week. NANS Vice President (Special Duties) Felix Attah, made the appeal yesterday at the university, when NANS officials visited scene of the fire incident. “We appeal to the Visitor and Commander In-Chief of the Armed Force, President
Umar Abdullahi Sokoto
okoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has canvassed an inclusive education in order to minimise conflicts and ensure longterm development of the northern region. The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, made the call in Washington, USA at a three-day symposium, organised for northern governors under the Northern Governors’ Forum by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). According to Tambu-
wal, giving education the necessary attention will go a long way in ensuring easy mobilisation of the people for societal good. “Most of the problems associated with our region today could easily have been tackled if the vast majority of our kids are educated. Without educated and enlightened society, most of our problems will not be solved,” the governor said. In a statement issued in Sokoto yesterday by the Governor’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, quoted Tambuwal as saying that the conflicts in the northern part of the country has
now made it imperative to begin massive efforts at de-radicalisation of youths in the region. He said there should be sustained engagement of the youths on the need to have peace, harmony and respect for divergent views in the society. The statement reads: “We may disagree with each other on various issues, but that does not give anyone the license to become violent and cause harm to other people. “Closely related to that is inclusiveness. All leaders from grassroots level to the top must carry along all the people in their areas of authority since to favour
one group than another breeds unnecessary tension. When a leader opens his doors, that is when people understand his policies and that is when they will make input on how they are governed.”
The number of fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants of Ecuador in 2000. Source: Itu.int
The total number of refugees and people in refugee-like situation of Romania at the beginning of 2010. Source: Blatantworld.com
Muhammadu Buhari, to specially intervene in the University of Jos as the ivory tower desires a rapid response to enable it gain back its library through Presidential intervention,” he said. The association, however, called on the alumni and parents of the university to assist in the recovery of some of the vital documents that might have been lost in the unfortunate fire incident. “We also challenge the University of Jos Alumni Association and parents to rise up to the challenge and contribute meaningfully towards fixing the damage property,” the students pleaded.
Nasarawa sacks five school principals for extortion Cheke Emmanuel LAFIA
s part of a move to sanitise the education system and rid it of corrupt practices, Nasarawa State Government yesterday declared that it has dismissed five school principals for illegal collection of fees and other levies from students against the free education policy of the government.
A cross-section of Northern governors at a three-day symposium organised for Governors of Northern Nigeria by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washinton DC, United States of America.
Tambuwal: Northern leaders must prioritise education
The Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Ramatu Ajuji Abubakar, who disclosed this yesterday while addressing newsmen in her office, explained that the five principals were dismissed after confirmation that that they committed the offence. She said the fees and levies hitherto charged in public schools had already been abolished since the introduction of free education policy of Governor Tanko AlMakura’s All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in the state. Hajiya Abubakar disclosed that the state had recorded high influx of students and pupils in primary and secondary schools across the state, which she attributed to the free education policy of the government. According to her, the high school enrolment has over stretched the existing school infrastructure and as a result the government is currently carrying out intervention in the education sector by establishing more schools to address the challenge.
Chamber of Commerce tasks Adamawa on SMEsAccording to Ribadu, Ibrahim Abdul Yola
damawa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ADCCIMA) has urged the state government to embrace counterpartfunded projects aimed at supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the state. The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Alhaji Bashir Ribadu, made the call on yesterday in Yola, the state capital, while declaring open the third Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the chamber.
the payment of counterpart funds for some of the SMEs projects that could be accessed in the Bank of Industry (BoI), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), multilateral and multi-national organisations as being practised in some states, would go a long way in facilitating economic growth in the state. He said: “To forge ahead, there must be aggressive investment promotion in the state. It is against this background that I implore all and sundry to individually and collectively sacrifice to achieve meaningful economic progress in the state.”
NEWS | national
Senate probes judges arrested by DSS Chukwu Davud Abuja
he Senate yesterday, resolved to invite the six judicial officers who were recently arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS), for further investigation into the alleged corruption. The justices are to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to provide answers to certain questions from the Senate in respect of the allegations of bribery and corruption
preferred against them by the DSS. Disclosing this at plenary, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator David Umaru, who indicated the plan to invite the judges, sought the permission of the Upper Chamber to summon the jurists for investigation. He said: "Mr President, by virtue of the 1999 Constitution as amended and order 96, Rule 37 of our rules, the powers of this committee to oversight the Judiciary and particularly its powers include judicial matters and Judges and Justices of the court. I am bringing this to the
attention of the Senate so that we can take the permission of this senate to enable us conduct proper oversight on this matter and invite the justices to enable us interact with them in order to conduct proper oversight as we are enjoined by the provision of our rules and the 1999 constitution,” he said. However, the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, told the Committee Chairman that the Committee has powers provided in the Constitution to carry out its oversight functions on persons and agencies without seeking approval from the general house. He said: "You do not need to come to us, you have your powers under the
oversight and you should be able to use the powers and do whatever you deem necessary. So do your job in line with your powers.” Operatives of the DSS had embarked on a sting operation against some judicial officers on Saturday Oct 8, where it arrested six justices who were alleged to be corrupt. The affected justices are John Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court and a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Innocent Umezulike. Others are Nnamdi Dimgba and Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja; Kabiru Auta, from Kano; Muazu Pindiga of Federal High Court in Gombe.
thursday, october 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Tension in Enugu as Supreme Court delivers judgement today Charles Onyekwere ENUGU
ension has gripped Enugu State following today's judgment by the Supreme Court in the case of the 2015 governorship election of the state involving Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Senator Ayogu Eze. Eze, a former Senate Committee’s Chairman on Works, had gone to court to challenge the authenticity of the delegates list used in the conduct of the parallel primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)in the state won by Ugwuanyi. Eze, who participated in one of the parallel primaries
which he won, had asked the court to declare him the ‘authentic candidate’ of the party in the election having participated in the governorship primaries conducted with authentic list of delegates of the party certified by the Federal High Court, Abuja. The awaited judgment in the case has dominated discussions in the state since it was confirmed that the Supreme Court would rule on the matter today. Already, top government functionaries and other leaders have deserted the state for Abuja to witness the judgment which many believe would strengthen things in the state.
The capital importation of the Electrical sector of Nigeria in Q2 2014. Source: National Bureau of Statistics
NAFDAC crisis: Workers begin warning strike Isioma Madike
he festering management/staff crisis that has threatened harmony at the National Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) took an ugly turn yesterday as members of the institution’s union declared a two-week warning strike over what they called management’s insensitivity to their plight. The placard-carrying unionists, who stormed the NAFDAC Headquarters at Afrint Area of the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, brought activity to a halt as motorists and passers-by on the road got interested in the solidarity of the activists. Some of the placards inscriptions read: “President Buhari, give us Director General in NAFDAC”, “Impunity in NAFDAC must stop” among others. Chairman of the Federal Area Council of the Federal Ministry of Health Workers Union, Lagos, Comrade Attah Ibrahim, who spoke at the occasion, said the plight of NAFDAC workers across the country had posed serious danger
to the health of the nation while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene without delay. “NAFDAC is bleeding and bleeding seriously and if nothing is done to adequately address the suffering being encountered by the workers, the consequences will be disastrous for the country,” Ibrahim said. He listed the workers’ plight to include discrepancy in allowances with workers of Federal Ministry of Health, which he maintained was grossly against the rules establishing NAFDAC in 1994, non-promotion of staff whose status had been due for uplifting since 2012, in addition to the absence of a NAFDAC board and appointment of a substantive Director-General to replace the incumbent, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, who has operated on acting capacity. He said: “We expect all these complaints to be addressed within the next weeks of this warning strike, failure which we will be forced to embark on indefinite strike.”
L-R: Veteran Journalist, Mr. Ray Ekpu; Executive Secretary, Dele Giwa Foundation, Mr. Richard Akinnola; Daughter of Late Dele Giwa,Aisha; Mother, Funmi; Former National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists/Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Sani Zorro and Representative of Lagos state Governor, Mr. Tola Adeyemi at a colloquium with a theme: ’’Safety of Journalists and the Culture of Impunity in Africa” to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Dele Giwa in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: GODWIN IREKHE
10 Northern govs in White House, meet Rice, Kerry in Washington
en governors from northern states in Nigeria were yesterday hosted at the White House, America's seat of power in Washington, during which they held closed door meeting with President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor, Ambassador Susan Rice. The governors, led by Borno State Governor and chairman of the Northern States Governors ’ Forum, also held closed door meeting with U.S Secretary of
State, John Kerry, at the State department, also in Washington. The governors also held meeting with Gayle Smith, madam administrator of the multi million dollars United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The meeting held at the Ronald Reagan building, headquarters of humanitarian and development Agency in Washington. The three meetings focused on deepening collaboration on conflicts
elimination, prevention, humanitarian aid and partnerships on the solving development factors responsible for recurring ethno-religious violence in northern Nigeria. The symposium is being attended by Governors Darius Ishaku of Taraba; Simon Dalung of Plateau, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, AbdulAziz Yari of Zamfara, Bindo Jibrilla of Adamawa, Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, Kashim
Shettima of Borno, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto and Deputy Governor of Kano State, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, who is representing Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State The governors had on Tuesday begun a three-day symposium organized by the United States Institute of Peace which is an agency established and funded by the United States Government with headquarters in Washington DC.
Senate laments low funding of NCPC Reps want FG to declare emergency in Kaduna South Chukwu David Abuja
he Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, yesterday lamented the low funding of the Nigeria Christians Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) by the Federal Government. The Committee, during an oversight visit to the office of NCPC in Abuja, decried the allocation of N54m to the Commission in the 2016 budget, an amount
which it noted was insufficient for capital projects. Speaking during the visit, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Reverend Tor Uja, in his address of welcome, disclosed that the Commission was financially constrained as a result of poor funding. He added that the NCPC in the 2016 budget received an allocation of N54m, a sum which he said was a far cry from what is needed to implement certain projects by
the body. According to Uja, one of such capital intensive projects include the construction of a conference centre needed for carrying out orientation exercises for Christian pilgrims. Responding, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, assured the Commission of Senate's readiness to address the issue in the 2017 budget proposal when forwarded to the National Assembly.
Philip Nyam Abuja
he House of Representatives, yesterday asked the Federal and Kaduna State governments to declare a state of emergency in Southern Kaduna senatorial district. It also called for the setting up of a military strike force in the same senatorial zone as an interim security measure. The advice of the House was consequent
upon the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by Hon. Shehu Garba, Simon Arabor, Gideon Gwani, Sunday Katung, Jagaba Adams Jagaba and Yakubu Umar Barde. Also adopting the motion, which was tabled at yesterday's plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, the House urged the security agencies to intensify efforts to apprehend and bring to justice perpetrators of the attacks in the area.
It equally urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the internally displaced persons on account of the attacks. While presenting the motion, the lawmakers noted that since 2011, various communities in southern Kaduna senatorial districts have been consistently attacked by Fulani terrorists resulting in deaths, injuries, loss of properties and displacement of communities.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Did you know?
Sport Emmanuel Masha PORT HARCOURT
he Ijaw Youth Council, Worldwide has urged security agencies to thoroughly investigate the gruesome murder of former Shooting Stars player, Joseph Izu, who was brutally killed by some trigger happy soldiers at Okarki town in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday October 16. The IYC likened it to the growing trend of senseless and wanton killing of Ijaw youths by security operatives that are supposed to protect them from miscreants. The President of the IYC, Elvis Donkemezuo, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Tuesday called on the Niger Delta people to condemn the act of extra-judicial killing, brutality and gross inhumanity. He said: “The primary assignment and responsibility of our military is to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and not to maim and kill innocent, defenseless citizens like Joseph. We demand justice for the family. “We want to also put it on record that as at today, there is no militant camp inside Okarki community or in Okarki bush. “There was also no case of kidnapping, disturbance of peace or unlawful gathering of any kind at Okarki before or on the day and time Joseph was murdered by soldiers. “So we wonder what might have warranted the killing of an innocent, armless and defenseless youth who have done nothing but used his God-given talent to feed his family, save for a lust for blood and lack of respect for human life on the part of those soldiers. “We are more angered by the fact that Joseph’s murder is coming at a time when we are still mourning Innocent Kokorifa, a 17-year-old Ijaw youth, who was equally murdered by the Bayelsa Police, through
That Jordan Ayew on Tuesday converted a 90th minute penalty against Reading to hand Aston Villa their first away win in 437 days and it was a 2-1 win in just the second game under Steve Bruce
Slain 3SC play er
part of the appropriate authorities to act and do so swiftly will lead to consequences that would have farreaching effect on the interest of the government. “We urge all Ijaw Youths to remain calm and law abiding as we have already set in motion the machinery to liaise with you to ensure that this is not swept under the proverbial carpets.”
Rohr: Algeria no stranger to me
Mourinho: Ibrahimovic ready for Europa League
Ijaw youths demand probe a gang style execution in Yenagoa two months ago. Innocent’s autopsy was conducted on Monday and he will be buried within the week.” He added: “We call on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, the Inspector General of Police among others to ensure that those behind these killings and that of other Innocent Niger Delta youths do not go unpunished. “The Joint Military Task Force Operation Delta Save should live up to its name by ensuring that those who have taken the lives of the Niger Delta youths like Joseph, it was meant to save, must not get away with impunity. “The failure on the
anchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is available for his side’s Europa League match with Fenerbahce. S i n c e moving to Old Trafford in the s u m m e r, Ibrahimovic has featured in each of United’s 12 fixtures but Mourinho has suggested that he has no plans to rest the 35-year-old for
The late Izu
the game with the Turkish giants, despite fixtures with Chelsea and Manchester City coming up in the next seven days. The 53-year-old told reporters: “I am really happy. He is giving us exactly what we need from him, what we expect from him. “He is fit and always ready to play. The young guys look up to him and that’s great because he can only influence them positively.” Ibrahimovic has scored six times in all competitions this season.
Russia 2018: FIFA halts plot to stop Nigeria …picks Gambian ref for Algeria game The Sport Team Adekunle Salami Group Sport Editor
Emmanuel Tobi Assistant Sport Editor
Ajibade Olusesan Sport Correspondent
Charles Ogundiya Sport Correspondent
© Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited
he Federation of International Football Association has appointed top rated match officials for next month’s qualifying match between Nigeria and Algeria thereby thwarting move by the Confederation of African Football to play a ‘fast one’ on the Super Eagles. Group B leaders Nigeria welcome Algeria to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Saturday, November 12 as part of the continuation of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers. However, New Telegraph exclusively learnt that topshots of CAF, in a bid to frustrate the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation for daring to work against the leadership, had planned to use their match officials to halt Nigeria’s ambition during the game against the Fennecs of Algeria but FIFA’s decision to pick respected Gambian official Bakary Papa Gassama as centre referee, had frustrated the plot. Gassama, 37, and who has been an
international referee since 2008, is one of the most respected officials in Africa. He has already been appointed as referee for this year’s CAF Champions League final, second leg clash between Zamalek of Egypt and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, taking place in Alexandria on Sunday, October 23. Also expected to be on duty are Jean-Claude Birumushahu from Burundi as assistant referee 1, Marwa Range from Kenya as assistant referee 2 and Gassama’s compatriot, Maudo Jallow as fourth official. FIFA has also appointed Jean-Olivier Mbera from Gabon as referee assessor, Ghanaian Anthony Baffoe as match commissioner and Nicholas Chumba Musonye from Kenya as security officer. Birumushahu and Range will also be part of the officiating crew for CAF Champions League match, at which Nigeria’s Paul Bassey will serve as General Coordinator.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Rohr: Algeria no stranger to me Eagles vs Fennecs game now 5pm
Adeolu Johnson ABUJA
uper Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, has expressed confidence in leading Nigeria to victory when they battle the Fennecs of Algeria while adding that his knowledge of the North Africans is a big advantage. The Eagles began their Russia 2018 World Cup campaign by beating the Chipolopolo of Zambia away in Ndola 2-1 and will host Algeria in Uyo on November 12. Rohr said that Nigeria
Fenerbahce in emergency landing after bird hits plane
enerbahce’s team plane was forced to make an emergency landing after it was hit by a bird on its way to the UK for Thursday’s Europa League game against Manchester United. The private chartered aircraft was travelling from Istanbul in Turkey when it was diverted to Budapest, Hungary. A second plane was then sent from Istanbul to pick the team up from Budapest and take them to Manchester. The Turkish side play Manchester United at Old Trafford in Group A at 8:05pm today. The club’s Twitter account tweeted there was “nothing alarming” after the incident. Fenerbahce, who are ninth in Turkey’s Super Lig, are currently top of the Europa League group and a point ahead of United, who are in third. Their team includes exUnited striker Robin van Persie and former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.
would clinch the World Cup ticket based on his knowledge of group opponents in Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia. “We know the other teams; I played against them with other countries. With Gabon, we beat Algeria in their home. We have big chances to finish first,” he said. He calls for commitment on the part of the players, saying there is a difference between playing for their various clubs and the national team. “I want them to work for themselves, for the team and for the country. The motivation is here, the players understand what I want,” Rohr said.
AFCON: Algeria, Senegal in tough group
osts Gabon were handed a favourable draw for January’s Africa Cup of Nations, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s side to face Cameroon, Burkina Faso and the debutants Guinea-Bissau in Group A while the heavyweights Algeria and Senegal will face off in Group B. Elsewhere, the holders and favourites Ivory Coast were drawn in Group C and will face Togo, Morocco and DR Congo, while Algeria and Senegal – ranked
second and third in Africa by FIFA – will contest Group B with Zimbabwe and Tunisia. Ghana’s hopes of winning a first title since 1982 will rest of coming through a group that contains the seven-time winners Egypt, Mali and Uganda.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has won a protest it quietly launched following the release of the official match appointment, which set the kick –off time at 5.30pm. “The information we sent to FIFA was that we wanted the match to start at 5pm; we were surprised when the match appointment was released and the kick –off time was set at 5.30pm. The NFF immediately protested and eventually, on Wednesday morning, FIFA agreed that the match will start at 5pm,” NFF’s Director of Competitions, Bola Oyeyode, told thenff.com.
Ganduje fires Kano Pillars board Muhammad Kabir KANO
ano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, has dissolved the board of Kano Pillars Football Club, describing it as a terrible disappointment. The governor further directed the Chairman of the DRAW state sports commission to Group A: Gabon, Cameroon, draft a proposal on a new proactive board that would Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso work towards restoring the Group B: Algeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Tunisia glory of the club. “I made sure they got Group C: Ivory Coast, Togo, Morocco, DR Congo what they wanted and I Group D: Ghana, Uganda, Egypt, Mali even went to the extent of investing my personal resources in the club to ensure that they succeeded. Now that I am the Governor, the most shameful thing is that despite putting somehe nomination of three body whom I know to head Nigerian internationals Iheanacho of Manchester City the board, regardless of all for the 2016 African Play- for African Player of the Year er of the Year in the Glo-CAF Awards was released by the Awards has been applauded. Confederation of African FootA 30-man shortlist includ- ball on Saturday alongside 25 ing three Nigerians, Mikel nominees for African Player of Obi of Chelsea, Ahmed Musa the Year, based in Africa. of Leicester City and Kelechi Since then, Nigerians have irthday boy, Nigerian been commending the nominaClifford Enosoregbe, tion of the three players. Ma- failed to make it pass the jority of them believe that one second round of the secof the nominees will emerge ond leg (Futures 6) of the the continents’ number one 16th edition of Governor’s player at the 2016 Glo CAF Cup Lagos Tennis ChamAwards gala in Abuja on Janu- pionship as he could not ary 5, 2017. finish his match against Ex- international, Victor Tunisian Moez Echargui Ikpeba, believed that the nomi- in the game played at the nation of the Nigerian players Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, would inspire other Nigerian footballers across the world to work harder and make the country proud next season. “The nomination of Iheanacho, Mikel and Musa is a good development and will encourage others. Hopefully we will have more Nigerians on the list next year.” Ikpeba, a former African Player of the Year added. The Group Sports Editor of The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Ade Ojeikere, said: “This is a good development. Let’s hope that they will eventually make the top three and one of them will pick the award after many Enororegbe years.”
the support from the state government, the team is in disarray and has failed horribly,” he lamented. Ganduje, however, assured that the club would soon be resuscitated as the government was determined to get a new board, a competent coach as well as find good players, at whatever cost, to forge ahead.
Glo-CAF Awards: Nigerians hail nomination of Mikel, Musa, Iheanacho
Lagos Governor’s Cup:
Injured Enosoregbe bows out
Onikan on Wednesday. The Edo State bor n player, a wildcard entrant, who tur ned 27 yesterday, lost 3-6,0-4 (retired) to the Tunisian star with his head high believing that if not for the injury, he would have given his North African opponent a good fight. Other Nigerians, who played in the second round, were not able to scale the hurdles to the next round just like Enosoregbe. Maciej Smola of Poland beat Thomas Otu 6-2,6-2. Boy Westerhof from The Netherlands defeated Joseph Imeh Ubon in straight set of 6-3, 6-2,while top seed from Spain, Enrique Lopez - Perez beat Sylvester Emmanuel on another straight set of 6-4,6-4. Nigerian Mohammed Mohammed fell to Sasi Kumar Mukund of India in 6-2,6-0.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016 NEW TELEGRAPH
Aisha’s rebellion and Buhari Presidency “The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other” – Mario Puzo
he first clue that President Muhammadu Buhari would not be keeping his campaign promises to people began long before he entered Aso Rock Villa when he succumbed to pressure that made him disavow his earlier position that his Presidency would not recognize the office of the First Lady. Buhari had taken such earlier position not necessarily from a feminist standpoint but relying more on the fact that the constitution did not recognise the office. He however was persuaded to adjust the position by his party men and women when the crusading then First Lady Mama P was ransacking every nook and cranny of the country mobilizing the women for her husband Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP. A desperate panicky All Progressives Congress (APC) then fearing that Buhari’s radical position could back fire on them especially with large voting population of women in the country decided to drag the wife into the terrain from the “kitchen and other rooms” where she probably rightly belonged and for which the husband reiterated at the weekend in faraway Germany. If Buhari had been allowed to be himself, and Aisha remained in the kitchen where she belonged dutifully taking care of the husband, she would not have had the audacity to approach an international medium to lampoon the husband’s administrative style publicly. A lot has been said and written about this First Lady’s seeming revolt in the media but expectedly politics appears to have taken centre stage on the issue. The opposition has understandably been fishing on it. They have rightly seized the huge opportunity to hit back at the president and they should not be blamed for they are performing their constitutional duties. Even in advanced democracies, oppositions are not make-up artists who help paint a defaulting government in power. However from whichever angle you want to take it, Aisha is liable. Those praising her are only playing politics and even jeopardising her traditional kitchen role. If you view it from the point of religion, both Islam and Christianity admonish husband and wife to remove third party in anything in between them. Culturally, Hausa or Fulani tradition where the duo belongs abhors any of the partners dragging family tiff to the public domain. Even politically, they still insist in exhausting internal mechanism of any case before going public. There is no evidence that Aisha really exhausted all avenues or followed the religious or traditional injunctions. So my take in this entire hullabaloo about the Aisha interview is that she erred and to err is human. Even in crazy western world, when Bill Clinton was in power as US President ‘Lewisking’ in the office, the wife Hillary tried to manage the situation from the home front. At the last debate for presidential candidates in US when the atrocities of her lothario husband were still being heaped on her, she handled it with utmost care, perhaps an Aisha would have acted differently. My
IKE ABONYI email@example.com 0802-402-4029 (sms only)
The president’s family
Aisha should have shown more love to the husband
take is that Aisha should have stood by her husband at this trying time. After all Jim Butcher remarked rightly that “When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching are your family” The response of Mr President in trying to quarantine the role of his wife to only the kitchen while standing side by side with a woman leader he had gone to beg for her assistance is the height of indiscretion from a 73-year-old man. That action literarily worsened the matter for a man trying to tackle a family challenge created by a distraught wife, but, the blame should be rightly placed at the door step of his wife who dragged him out. A wife who knows that the husband is a stammerer and drags him to the village square to settle a case should not be amazed or frown at the people laughing at him when he stammers. Having said that, this discourse will now try to take a critical look at the Buhari Presidency against the backdrop of all the bizarre developments in the polity. What Nigerians are witnessing is what you get when you are given opportunity at a second chance to rule a plural society and you decide to carry on as if you are a single society. A polygamous man who decides to run his home from one kitchen instead of from his central
parlour should not expect a love card from the other kitchens. Why should a man who is denied justice be interested in peace? After all, the man who brings home firewood with ants, should expect lizard as his guest. One can say that all pressures on the Buhari Presidency are avoidable if he had taken into consideration the map of Nigeria and the circumstance and spirit upon which he rode to power. Even as everybody continues to lay claim to being the driver that drove the Daura born General to Aso Villa and a book even written to tell half-truth about it, not much is being said about the strategic meeting of the two foremost African diplomats former Secretary General of the United Nations Dr. Kofi Annan and former Secretary General
of the Commonwealth Chief Emeka Anyaoku midwifed by Senator Ben Obi, who was then the Presidential Adviser on inter party Affairs. At the Leadership Newspaper Award ceremony recently, President Buhari himself while trying to play down the unique role of former President Goodluck Jonathan in stabilizing the polity said much of the kudos should go to the international community whose pressure made the difference but he forgot to recognize the yeomen role of Obi, Anyaoku and Annan that ostensibly prompted the global community focus on the election and its outcome. If truth must be told, the foundation of this Buhari Presidency was laid as far back as June 12, 2014 at the international Conference Centre where it was agreed among others “that once a citizen is elected and sworn in as President he becomes the symbol, heart and soul of the nation” Flowing from this, on 14th January, 2015, was a national peace accord involving all political parties and critical stakeholders led by former military Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar and that also included the Sultan of Sokoto, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop Hassan Kukah, Ben Obi among others. This body working with then INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, did the rest of the road clearing act that culminated in the landmark April 1 2015 concession of defeat that became Africa’s brightest day for democracy. I have taken time to bring this issue out because the zig zag movement of our democracy in this country in the last 17months appear to have lost sight of where the journey began and how we arrived at this destination. Aisha Buhari’s outburst if truth must be told, is not wearing any garb of patriotism; she is just driven by her inability to push through her own interest in the system. Nor are the President’s lopsided appointments anywhere near the spirit that facilitated his coming to power. Where was Aisha in her new found nationalism when the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation zoned to the South East by the ruling party was given to her Adamawa brother? Where was she when in defence of his lopsided appointments the President in August 2015 told BBC Hausa service interview panel “If I select people whom I know quite well in my political party, whom we came all the way right from the APP, CPC and APC, and have remained together in good or bad situation, the people I have confidence in and I can trust them with any post, will that amount to anything wrong” So how did Aisha arrive at the husband not knowing 45 of the 50 persons he appointed into office? Aisha should have shown more love to the husband who is not lovable in the country now. “What people do who love you? They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable” said Debi Calletti Nigerians are yet to hear the truth about Aisha’s rage and when the truth unfolds, it would be clear that it has nothing to do with nationalism or love of country but selfish interest. That this country is currently embattled is just stating the obvious all because it negated Sen Ben Obi committee that brought in Annan and Anyaoku and later Gen Abdulsalami and his team. This Aisha issue in my humble view is a distraction that should be disregarded.
Never place your happiness in someone else’s hands because if they walk away, so does your happiness.
Sanctity of Truth
Aisha’s rebellion and Buhari Presidency
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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016
Kalu: Letter to FHC chief judge
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu
Solo U. Akuma
e are Solicitors to Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Ltd, the Second and Third Defendants in the above charge hereinafter referred to as our Clients and on whose instruction we write this letter to you. Our instruction is that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had surreptitiously presented an application to Your Lordship to transfer the above mentioned charge pending at Federal High Court No. 5 Abuja to another Judge sitting at Federal High Court, Lagos Division nominated by EFCC. The EFCC application was neither made available to us as Counsel to the Second and Defendants nor to the Second and Third Defendants personally. My Lord, it will be recalled that after the Supreme Court dismissed the Appeal of the First and Second Defendants; the Court ordered that the charge be heard on merit. Our Clients in obedience to the order of the Supreme Court appeared before the Federal High Court No. 5 Abuja where you had assigned the matter and took their plea on the 27th day of September 2016. All the Defendants pleaded not guilty to all the 34 Counts of the Charge. The case was with consent of all the Counsel in the matter and subject to the convenience of the Court adjourned for hearing to 6th, 7th and 8th December, 2016. It may interest you to know that Rotimi Jacobs, Esq., SAN, Counsel to EFCC was present in Court. He did not raise any objection before the trial Court for the adjournment of this case to the said dates for hearing. Our Clients are therefore surprised and deeply shocked at the application of EFCC for transfer of this case and have instructed us to raise an objection on their behalf to the said application. We submit with profound respect that
Justice Mahmud Mohammed, CJN
the application of EFCC to you would infringe on our Clients’ right to fair hearing/trial and tantamount; to forum shopping which our Law frowns at. In FRN (2009) All FWLR pt 487 p. 159 at 189. A case similar to the instant charge. The Court of Appeal held: “In this case, if a reasonable man is told that the appellants were arraigned before a court in Kaduna for offences allegedly committed in Delta State, and on the day they were granted bail after two months in prison custody, the court gave them one week to prepare their defence, would he be able to say that they were treated fairly by that court? How would the reasonable man see it if he is also told that within that one week, that appellants were expected to brief their lawyers and see to the movement of about 250 witnesses and volumes of vital documents from Delta State to a court in Kaduna that the EFCC handpicked to try them? Surely, any reasonable man would say that proceeding with their trial in that court would jeopardize the appellants’ right to a fair hearing/trial. The major plank of the appellants’ contention is that the presiding Judge was not designated to hear EFCC cases and for the prosecution to seek him out and file the charge directly before him is forum shopping. Forum shopping occurs when a party attempts to have his action tried in a particular court or jurisdiction where he feels he will receive the most favourable judgment or verdict”. Secondly, the offences upon which the Defendants were charged to court were allegedly committed in Umuahia, Abia State and not in Lagos. It would work hardship on our Clients to go to Lagos with their witnesses and defence lawyers to defend this matter. Thirdly, the EFCC application for transfer was not made in good faith. The said application will neither promote the end of justice or be in the interest
FHC Chief Judge, Ibrahim Auta
of public peace as required by section 98 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. We respectfully urge your Lordship to discountenance this application for transfer made by EFCC and allow the matter to proceed to trial in Federal High Court No. 5 Abuja as earlier adjourned. However, if in the unlikely event, Your Lordship may wish to consider this application, it behoves us to draw your Lordship’s attention to Section 98 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which made it mandatory that such an application should be referred
EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu
to an independent body comprising three reputable Legal Practitioners for investigation before you could exercise your discretion on the matter. We respectfully pray your Lordship to be guided by the Law and not to act on the behest of the EFCC on this matter in order not to scandalize the Judiciary. This letter will be endorsed to Rotimi Jacobs Esq., SAN, Counsel to EFCC and Chief Awa Kalu, SAN Counsel to Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu in this matter for their information. •Chief Akuma writes on behalf of Chief Solo Akuma, SAN & Associates, Abuja
Printed and Published by Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Ltd: Head Office: No. 1A, Ajumobi Street, Off ACME Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja-Lagos. Tel: +234 1-2219496, 2219498. Abuja Office: Orji Kalu House, Plot 322, by Banex Junction, Mabushi, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Advert Hotlines: (Lagos 0902 928 1425), (Abuja 0805 5118488) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.newtelegraphonline.com ISSN 2354-4317 Editor: AYODELE OJO.