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THE NIGERIAN

The Nigerian

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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol. 38 NO.446• MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014 • N 100.00

OPINION

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Pg. 13 Jonathan And Zero Allocation For Ajaokuta Steel

DISCOURSE Pg 19

Bombings And Need For External Assistance

BNCL gets 18-member board By TUNDE EIGBIREMOLEN BENIN CITY – An 18member Board headed by Mr. Dan Owegie has been constituted by the

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for the Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, (BNCL), publishers of the OBSERVER titles.

A Government Special announcement, signed by the Chief of Staff, Edo Government House, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, indicates that other members of

the Board include Mr. S.S. Airaoje, Alhaji Kadiri Afegbua, Mr. John Ewansiha, Barr. Jacob Abusomwan and Mrs. Elizabeth Osaigbovo. Continues on page 2

Immigration Jobs Tragedy

Nat’l Hospital releases 5 more bodies ABUJA - The Management of National Hospital, Abuja, has released five more bodies of those who died during Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment to their family members. “We are left with one Only one out of the body and it will be seven bodies deposited released to the family at the National Hospital members after proper mortuary on March 14 identification,’’ Haastrup was earlier claimed after said. proper identification. He said two women The hospital’s were still on admission spokesman, Dr Tayo in the hospital and Haastrup, said weekend hoped that they would that: “we had earlier be discharged soon. released only one body An eyewitness in the but in the last two days, hospital told newsmen we have released five that shortly after a more bodies to family directive of President members of the Goodluck Jonathan to deceased.

compensate the families of the deceased and the injured, more people had visited the hospital claiming to be injured. Haastrup, however, said

the hospital management had directed such people to the Nigerian Immigration Service office to state their claims.

“The management has a list of people who were treated and admitted at the hospital as a result of the stampede. “We cannot be

fraudulent and begin to include names of people we did not treat; so we have asked them to go to the appropriate office. Continues on page 2

Army chief tasks troops on terrorists ABUJA - The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, has charged officers and soldiers involved in ongoing operations in the North-East to ensure terrorists do not have room to manoeuvre. This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by Maj.Gen. Chris Olukolade, the Director of Defence Information. The statement said Minimah gave the charge in Maiduguri recently while addressing officers in Giwa Barracks during

his visit to see how the troops were faring. It said Minimah visited Borno, Yobe and Adamawa and advised the soldiers and officers that there should be no breach of security in any part of the areas under operation. “Minimah commended the troops for their resilience in the ongoing offensive against the terrorists, saying terrorists should not have the opportunity to perpetrate atrocities,’’ the statement said. The statement further said the Army chief also assured them that all

TIT BIT

“How can people be so careless about their rulers, when they know that the rum of power could be so intoxicating?” - Kingsley-Ogbeide-Ihama

necessary efforts were being made to ensure that troops did not lack any requirement. “This is considered vital to accelerating the success of the mission,’’ he was quoted as saying. The statement said Minimah, however, warned against any form of indiscipline or Continues on page 2

MEETING: President Goodluck Jonathan (left), in a handshake with the CEO of Shell Petroleum International, Mr. Ben Van Beurden during a meeting in Amsterdam Netherlands yesterday.

LAGOS - Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, former Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU) in Lagos, said the unit, under his stewardship, recovered

N6.45 billion from fraudrelated cases in two years. Ogunsakin, who was deployed to Rivers in February, 2014 as commissioner, said this

Police fraud unit recovers N6.4bn in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Lagos. He said that the Naira

component of the recovered money was N6.3 billion while

witnessed the investiture of 37 Knights in Benin Diocese of Church of

service held in Benin City, yesterday.

Dep Gov, others witness 37 Anglican Nigeria, Anglican By CLIFFORD AGBAJOR Knights investiture Communion, at a church BENIN CITY – Dignitaries from different walks of life, including

Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu,

Continues on page 2

931,069 dollars (about N152.69 million) was recovered. Ogunsakin said that during the period spanning March, 2012 to February 14, 2014, the unit handled a total of 1,142 fraud cases. “We had about 600 cases undergoing prosecution during the period,” he said, adding that the unit recorded nine judgement, Continues on page 2


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

News

Army chief tasks troops on terrorists Continued from page 1 mishandling of equipment available for the operation. It said the army chief emphasised the need for officers to continue to give the required leadership to the soldiers. “All the training and experience already imparted in all military personnel are now necessary and required, to ensure that the entire efforts at curbing the menace of terrorism succeeds as planned’’ he said. The statement said Minimah was accompanied by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu. It said the Army chief also visited the Military Hospital in Maiduguri and interacted with

troops who were wounded in the course of the operations. “He directed the hospital to forward to him directly any case that required referral for further treatment anywhere in the world,’’ the statement said. It said further that the

Continued from page 1

of the operations as well as the performance of the troops. “They noted that substantial expectations of the counter-terrorist campaign were being achieved satisfactorily,’’ it said.

Police Fraud Unit

Continued from page 1

including four convictions and recovered more than 13 vehicles. Ogunsakin said many arms and ammunition had been recovered from hoodlums in the state since he resumed duty in February. He described the quantity

BNCL gets board Others are Mr. Anthony Ogbodu, Mr. Moses Omoruyi, Hon. A.E. Asemota, Hon. Oyewole Samuel, Hon. Paul Lamai, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar, Mr. Friday Ojo, Mary Abhulimen and Hon. Igberase D. Igbelokotor. Also in the board of the Bendel Newspapers Company are Macauley Ovienria, Mr. F.A.O. Ehioze and Hajiya Mariya Umar Wunti. Similarly, a 19-member board to be chaired by Hon. Josef Omorotionmwan has been constituted for the Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS). The Board has as its ViceChairman, Comrade Godwin Erhahon while Hon. V.E.A. Usiomofo, Mr. Dickson Ehiwe, Mr. David Omoagbon, Mr. Osarumwense Osagiede and Mrs. Margarete Ezesibor are members. Other members include Philo Eriyo, Mrs. Grace Olaye, Mr. Friday Ebimaro, Fred Irefu, Mr. Patrick Ighobor, Mr. Marcel Okhakhu, Mr. Mogaji Sufuyanu Usman, John Ogbeta and Chief Vincent Eneraru. Also named as members of the EBS Board are Christopher Ekeikhomen, Godday Erumhuse and Osaretin Edosa. Ethiope Publishing Company has a 20-member Board to be chaired by Chief P.S. Okpo while other members include Idowu Obaitan, Mr. Kingsley Erhunmwunse, Mr. Gabriel Omoruyi Mrs. Patience Edosuyi, Mr. Francis Omofomwan, Mr. Simeon Tunfabor and Mr. S.E. Ogboi. Others are Mr. Peter Emovon, Raphael Edogamhe, Mr. Momoh Farouk, Mr. F.O. Uanzeki, Rev. Andrew Uadia, Mr. Maya Moses, Mr. Okosun Abel, Chief Alex Uduagbonmen, Mr. Godwin Sadoh, Mr. Vincent Efionayi, Comrade Joseph O.E. Okunoghae and Comrade Julius O. Onyon.

service chiefs also conducted a comprehensive air surveillance of the entire mission area covering Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and some key locations. The statement said the service chiefs expressed satisfaction with the progress

On the whole, the Edo State Governor has approved the Constitution of 31 Boards and Committees, among them the Library Board headed by Sir Raphael Arumah, Technical and Vocational Education Board, chaired by Lady Tina Agbarah, Fire Service Board headed by Deacon Brown Odia; Traditional Medicine Board, chaired by Prof. Thomas Omon Oleabhiele. Also constituted are the Waste Management Board headed by Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Ighadaro; Hospital Management Board with Dr. Ebegue Amadasun as Chairman and Governing Council, Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), chaired by Mrs. Modina Emovon.

He said that the management would release the list of the victims to the appropriate authorities when it was needed.

movement would be checked. He also assured that the command would put an end to kidnapping, which had become a major challenge in the state. “When I discovered that kidnapping was the main crime, I studied the operation of the kidnappers, the time and how they carry out their crime. “I deployed officers and men accordingly and we carried out stop and search operation in all routes. The number of arms recovered within two weeks was mindblowing and people were also arrested. “One of the suspects arrested was caught with explosives that can bring down many buildings same time, and he confessed that he supplies arms to Boko Haram in Yobe. “We are still investigating him. “We need more equipment to police the water areas and other black spots in the state.’’ On the House of Assembly crisis, the police commissioner said that the complex was still under lock, adding that that the issue was a legal one.

could tarnish their image. Some of the new knights who spoke with The Nigerian OBSERVER, including Sir Jim Adun, expressed delight over the honour done them, and thanked God Almighty for making it possible. Jim Adun who represents Ikpoba-Okha/Egor Constituency at the House of Representatives assured that

he would continue to do what is right within and outside the church. The new knights also included are (Sir) Abu Ikponmwosa, Akhigbe Benson, Ehorobo Jacob, Joseph Paul Najite, Ogie David, (Dame) Caroline Adebo, Patricia Edeki, Margaret Edosomwan, Patience Osifo and Mercy Sheidun.

By AUDU ADAMA

teachers comprising two females and ten males with two from the Primary Schools and the rest from the Post Primary Schools who turned up for the exercise had already been done as at nine thirty in the morning. Newsmen were however barred from taking shots of the Candidates writing the test in the Hall while the Chairman of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, Prince Steven Yerima and the Permanent Secretary, Post Primary Education Board, Hajia Nana Audu who both led their Teams from Benin along with Supervisors and Invigilators were all on ground to ensure a hitch – free exercise.

of recovered arms as “mind blowing”, adding that kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism were the major crimes in the state. He said various arms and ammunition were being recovered on a daily bases, adding that AK-47 Riffles topped the list of the recovered arms. The police boss said that many suspected kidnappers, armed robbers, and a suspected arms supplier to Boko Haram, had been arrested. Ogunsakin said that the command had achieved the feat with the assistance of other security agency, particularly the Nigerian Navy. He said that some of the arms were smuggled into the state through the water ways but assured that with strict policing of the water ways by the navy, illegal arms

Immigration Continued from page 1

37 Anglican Knights investiture Continued from page 1 In his homily, the Bishop of Kaduna Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon charged the new knights to make integrity their watchword, as they will be assessed based on their actions and doings. He reminded them that as knights, they have been called to represent Christ on earth, urging them to always study the Holy Bible to enable them know more about the word of God and be able to function effectively. The guest preacher advised the 37 knights made up of 24 men and 13 women to shun acts that could weaken their faith, stressing that they should lay a solid foundation in Christ, to enable them stand firmly as knights. Bishop of Benin Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen (MFR), enjoined the new knights to contribute their quota towards the advancement of the diocese as well as avoid acts that

Teachers’ Assessment test holds in Auchi

AUCHI - The much publicized Edo State Assessment Test for Teachers in Primary and Post Primary Schools in Edo North Senatorial district was last Saturday held at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi amidst tight security. When the Nigerian Observer arrived the Venue of the Assessment Test, Officers and Men from the Edo North Command of the Nigerian Police Force and those from the Security Unit of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi were on grounds to ensure a peaceful conduct of the exercise Accreditation of the twelve

NAPEP empowers farmers’ produce marketers in Edo, Delta By DOROTHY EGBOBAMWONYI BENIN CITY – The National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has empowered farmers and farm produce marketers in three Local Government Areas of Edo State to the tune of N7.5 million. The gesture which came through various multipurpose co-operative societies spread across the state resulted in beneficiaries in each of the local government area receiving a total of N2.4 million – N2.6 million each. The benefiting co-operative societies were Ofure Fadama III Papaw Marketers, Ofure Fadama III Livestock, Ehimen Poultry Farmers, Okugbe Oil Palm Fadama III and Oshioahu Fadama III Plantain, all in Esan North East Local Government Area which received a total of N2.5 million. In Owan East Local Government Area, the beneficiaries were Obomeile Fadama III cashew farmers, Ivbiaro; Jagbe Cassava Growers, Warrake; Oguido Fadama III Farmers and Upamabi Fadama III Farmers Otuo which received a total of N2.4 million. Those from Orhionmwon Local Government Area which received a total of N2.6 million were Nkata Fadama III fish farmers; Otukama West Cassava Growers; Grace Group Palm Growers Co-operative Society and Scarose Fadama III fruit juice processors. Shortly before the disbursement, state commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Abdul Oroh while enumerating all the avenue employed by the state government to eradicate poverty, appealed to Federal Government to take the issue of fighting the endemic poverty beyond the level of alleviation to ensuring total

eradication. While appreciating NAPEP for the initiative, Oroh pledge the state government steadfastness to continue to work with federal partners and other multi-national agencies to ensure the eradication of poverty. He appealed to the beneficiaries of the 10 percent interest revolving loan to invest it judiciously and pay back at the expected period to enable them benefit from subsequent ones. On his part, Alhaji Jafaru Suleiman who rerpresented the SSAP National Coordinator, NAPEP, Alhaji Abubakar Balewa disclosed that the exercise which is ongoing in about 12 states of the Federation was conceptualized by the SSAP National Co-ordinator as a panacea to addressing poverty at the grassroot. He emphasized that similar programme has been on since 2002 where about 720 household were considered, with 40 from each local government area receiving N5, 000 each as monthly stipend to improve their well being. Alhaji Balewa who informed that the loan been to the farmers was with three months moratorium and to be paid back after nine months, urged the beneficiaries not to betray the confidence reposed in them. He therefore appealed to state governments for programme as this to have counterpart support for its sustenance. The representative of Trust Fund Micro Finance, Mrs. Funke Adeyoyin, appreciates the initiator of the programme, Alhaji Abubakar Balewa and Edo State Commissioner of Agriculture and National Resource for putting the interest of farmers in the state above personal considerations. Highlight of the ceremony was the symbolic presentation of cheques to the various co-operatives.

Anglican honours 40 faithful BENIN CITY - About 40 Anglican Faithful of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican (Communion) Bendel Ecclesiastical Province will be honoured with an award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the church on April 5 2014 at St. Andrews Cathedral, Ekpoma at l0am. This was disclosed recently by the Chairman of the Planning Committee, The Rt. Revd. Dr. P.1. Onekpe, who is the Bishop of the Ika Diocese, Agbor, Delta State. He said this will be the second provincial award ceremony since 2009. Bishop Onekpe said, to be an awardee, one must be a communicant who is morally

upright and nominated by the Bishop of his diocese and have a good record of selfless contribution to the church and must be a husband of one wife or a wife of one husband. The provincial award is not a title, rather it is a testimony of God’s goodness in the life of the recipient.

Rt. Revd. Dr. P.1. Onekpe


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News

ECOWAS’ 44th Session To Discuss Mali, Guinea Bissau, Other Issues

ABUJA - Political and security situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau are among issues to top the agenda of the 44th Ordinary Session of The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. A statement issued by ECOWAS’ Acting Director of Communication weekend in Abuja said that the summit would take place in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire from March 28. “The summit will listen to the status report on the situation in Mali by the Mediator, Mr. Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso and his Co-mediator, Mr.

Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria’’. It said that the summit would feature the election of a new Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, to succeed the outgoing Chair, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, who held the position for two years. The two-day session would also consider the 2013 Annual Report of the President of the Commission, the reports of the 71st Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers, it said. Other reports to be

considered were the Council’s 12th and 13th Extraordinary Sessions and the report of the 31st Session of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC), the statement said. The statement said that the summit would be preceded by the 31st Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) on March 25, also in Yamoussoukro. It said that the session of the MSC would also discuss the political and security situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau,

particularly the regional mediation efforts in those two Member States. The statement said that the session would be followed by the 13th Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers on March 26.

It would consider the outcome of the Meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Negotiations between West Africa and the European Union, it said.

It said that the session would also consider a proposal by the ministers of national security on the introduction of biometrics identification card and the abolition of residence permit. The statement said that the ministers would also consider and adopt the report of the justconcluded meeting of the Community Judicial Council.

Aspirant Cautions Against Trading Vote For Money

By BETTY IDIALU WARRI – As political momentum begins to mount ahead of the 2015 general elections, the electorates have been charged to jettison the usual practice by politicians wanting to buy their votes as such actions is a calculated attempt to keep the electorates perpetually below the poverty level. Addressing stakeholders at a voter’s education forum at Ekurede Itsekiri, Warri, Delta State, a Warri based legal Practitioner Barrister Robinson Ariyo said the forthcoming elections present yet another opportunity for the people of Warri South Constituency 1 to vote for not just a change, but a ‘change they can trust’. Ariyo, a development consultant expert, who decried the big disconnect between the representative and the represented said, “the deepest pain I have felt in all these has been that I like many of us here

present. “I have never been able to access the representative of our constituency to share thoughts because the access is simply not there, and this I believe should not continue with the cycle of elections as there is the need for a change”, he said. According to him, “Given the derivative resources at the disposal of the state within the period in view, contrasted with the outcome of policy decision and developmental processes in our constituency, we could have recorded fairer impact on the lives of the people. He noted that it is disheartening to know that the Warri South I constituency appears to in fact be increasingly deteriorating, not because the resources are dropping, but because quality have sacrificed on the altar of “political dynasty.” Barrister Ariyo who indicated interest to join the race to the State House of Assembly, when

the time for electioneering begins, charged the electorate to vote, for what he christened “change we can trust” and shun inducements towards 2015 by voting a new order to accessible representatives that place as priority, the responsibility to consult with the constituents, execute sustainable projects as well as building synergy in Public Private Partnership to maximize development of the area. When you agree to sell your vote again, know that you are not only keeping yourself below poverty line, but also making it impossible to hold your representative accountable,” he said. Various stakeholders at the event lamented the non accessibility of representatives and pledged to be part of the intended new political order in the constituency while demanding aspirants seeking to represent the area to present their score cards.

L-R: Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mrs. Sola David-Borha; and Supervisory Minister of National Planning, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, at the close of the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja recently.

Ebo Community Swears-In CDA Chairman

By ROLAND OSAKUE

EBO (BENIN CITY) – The Council of elders, headed by the Odionwere of Ebo Community, Iyekogba, Benin City, Pa Otarobo Ogunrobo has re-affirmed Amb. Austin Enehizena as Chairman of the Community Development Association (CDA).

UBE Teachers, YES Staff Endorse Competency Test

BENIN CITY – Teachers employed under the Universal Basic Education Commission (U.B.E) and the Edo Youth Employment Scheme (EDO Y.E.S) in Edo State have thrown their weight behind the State

Government Drive, to ensure high Academic Standard in public primary and secondary schools in the state through the

competency test. A statement jointly endorsed by the President of the State U.B.E. Teachers, Comrade

Student panelists at the close of the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja recently.

Benson Odia and the President YES staff, Mike Osunde indicated that the assessment test is in line with global best practices to entrench standard in driving education sector as a road map to better society. The statement cautioned primary school teachers to separate themselves wholly from politics, stressing that a situation where some persons who are bent in dragging the state backward now use teachers to cause crisis in the education sector is unacceptable. The statement emphasized that the passion demonstrated by Governor Adams Oshiomhole since the inception of his administration has largely revealed government huge investment in the education sector for the benefits of Edo people. According to the statement, the huge investment in the Education sector, through massive infrastructural development could only be sustained when those saddled with the responsibility of imparting sound academic knowledge on pupils and students are also equipped with academic prowess.

Pa Ogunrobo, who disclosed this at the swearingin ceremony of the new CDA executive at the community’s “Ogua-odion” at the weekend, said the unanimous choice of Amb. Austin Enehizena was based on his (Austin) track records when he previously served the community in the capacity of youth chairman few years ago. Ogunrobo stated that the community had also experimented with other executive members saying their performance in office never went down well with the people due to very unpleasant reports involving crimes, such as cultism and incessant harassment of developers that had retarded the development of the community. According to him, the Choice of Amb. Enehizena by the people of the community was overwhelming as his track records had not been surpassed by any CDA or Youth executives since their search for development in the community. The Odionwere, who appealed to the chairman on the need to bring his wealth of experience into bare said the community called on Austin for a rescue mission in the areas of youth development, through skills

acquisition, infrastructural development as well as, stamping cultism from among the youths. Responding, the newly sworn-in CDA chairman, lamented over how the previous administration had slowed down the pace of development in the area, and promised to salvage the already vexed situation. He also used the opportunity to announce and present the Youth Chairman, Mr. Festus Omozusi to the elders’ council. Omozusi was subsequently sworn-in by the CDA constitution. Amb. Enehizena however urged the people to bring government’s presence to the locality, as well as to call on all owners of land in the area to go about their development without any fear of harassment.

Amb. Austin Enehizena, Ebo CDA Chairman


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News Governor Obiano Lauds Judiciary

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Igali; Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at a meeting on Power in Abuja recently.

Bishop Ojigbo Eulogises Apostle Joshua Osasuyi BENIN CITY - The spiritual leader and General Overseer of Christ Chosen Church of God Int’l, Worldwide, Most Senior Apostle Joshua E.E.O Osasuyi JP, MFR, has been praised for diligently discharging his responsibility in the service of God. The commendation was made by a clergyman and General Overseer of St. Jonah’s Church of God Int’l Inc, Ughelli, Delta State, Bishop Dr. Emmanuel Ojigbo JP, DLG, DS1, at an epoch event marking the 77th birthday celebration of Apostle Osasuyi, held at Oba Akenzua II Cultural Centre, Airport Road, Benin City, Penultimate Saturday. He described Papa Osasuyi as not only a legend, but an exemplary leader, whose passion for the service of God remained indelible in the minds of the people. Bishop Ojigbo noted that it is not an easy task to attain such age and that it takes an opportunity of a clean hearted man like Papa Apostle Osasuyi to attain it. Speaking to newsmen at the centre, the Bishop, averred that he has been close to him for over 25 years in the service of God, and that he has remained steadfast and focused in the preaching of the gospel of peace, unity and love among the Nigerian people, irrespective of tribe, culture, religious and social affiliations. He prayed for God’s intervention upon his life and his household, so as to pilot the affairs of the Christian religion to a greater height. Bishop Ojogbo recounted severally how Papa Osasuyi has variously counseled him on

the way forward in the Lord’s vineyard. He described him as his mentor and role model. In a related development, the Chief celebrant’s son, Mr. Eghosa Osasuyi, posited that he and his siblings were fortunate to have Papa Osasuyi as their biological father. He noted that for him to attain such age is divine and practical demonstration of patriotism to the service of God. Mr. Eghosa Osasuyi described the celebrant as a caring and loving father, who worked frantically to unite his family and gave them light through education. He prayed for long life and good health to enable him consolidate on his achievements in the service of God. In the same vein, the Chief celebrant, Most Senior Apostle Osasuyi, said that humility, honest and respect for elders have remained his guiding principles on earth. He said that his 77th birthday celebration was dedicated to the service of God.

Cross section of Oral Health Ambassadors at the National Oral Health Conference/World Oral Health Day in Abuja recently.

NUPENG Boss Advocates Incentives And Life Insurance For Workers BENIN CITY – The National Vice President of NUPENG in charge of Warri Zone and an erstwhile chairman, committee on the protection of Government Properties in Edo

Nigeria To Eradicate Polio By December ABUJA - The Federal Government said that it had taken adequate measures to ensure that Wild Polio Virus (WPV) was eradicated in the country before the end of 2014. Dr Ado Muhammad, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. He said compared to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the two other polio-endemic countries, Nigeria was likely the next to exit the list of polio

AWKA- Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra has commended the judiciary for contributing to the enduring peace and political stability in the state in the past eight years. Obiano gave the commendation during a familiarisation visit to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Peter Umeadi, in Awka. “The good people of Anambra appreciate and value your contributions to the peace that we have had in this state in the last eight years. “My administration will do everything necessary to

endemic countries. “There is progress in polio eradication; this progress is because of support from stakeholders, including governors, traditional leaders, local government chairmen, journalists, religious leaders and others. “The progress we made has resulted in almost the eradication of wild polio virus in Nigeria, this year. “We have just one case this year and when you compare this with other countries, Nigeria is doing better than other polioendemic countries.

State, Comrade Bello Aneru, has advocated life insurance scheme and bogus incentives for oil and gas workers across the country as a recipe for economic development. Comrade Aneru made this remark at his private office in Benin City, while speaking to newsmen. He noted that bogus incentives and life insurance scheme to oil and gas workers, especially the marketers and the petroleum Tanker Drivers could be a motivating factor boosting the economy of a nation like Nigeria and save them from total neglect. The oil magnate, who although, lamented the government neglect by successive administrations averred that the national body of NUPENG, headed by the president, comrade Igwe Achese, has worked out modalities of instituting this life

insurance scheme for it workers, but that the government at all level in Nigeria should as a matter of urgent importance, collaborate with the oil and gas body with a view to boosting the pedigree of the workers. The Auchi born Nupeng boss, especially thanked Comrade Achese, for his exemplary leadership of unraveling some inhuman circumstances since assuming the mantle of leadership. He further noted that NUPENG was characterized by rots prior to comrade Achese coming on board, and that the coming of Achese the national president, has returned to status quo as number one economic boost. Throwing his weight behind the call for national unity as initiated by President Jonathan, Comrade Aneru said that this national conference was long overdue.

preserve that balance. I have no doubt that my vision for Anambra needs the safe hands of the judiciary to come to reality. “It is a well-known fact that since our country’s return to democracy, nowhere has the judiciary played its role as the last hope of the common man as it has done in Anambra. “ Our recent political history bears the indelible marks of the judiciary. Your Lordships, I salute your courage. I salute the courage of the Nigerian judiciary,’’ he said. Obiano said the state’s history with the courts did not only underscore the importance of the role of the judiciary in developing the society, but showed that the people were becoming aware that their grievances could always be addressed in a court. “This is a sign of growth. We have turned 360 degrees from where we once were to where we must be,’’ Obiano said. He said that he was aware of the challenges the judiciary in the state faced and the imperatives of a comprehensive reform to make it more responsive to the growing needs of the people. “We shall build the structural and policy framework that will make for a strong judiciary in Anambra. “I am aware that the fiscal and social conditions under which you work need an improvement. It is one of the priorities of my administration to provide an environment that will enhance your efficiency in dispensing justice. “We shall explore the best ways in which the advancement in technology can be adopted to boost your efficiency and effectiveness to make Anambra judiciary a reference point in the country,’’ he said. He, however, advised the judges to reduce outstanding litigations by at least 50 per cent. Responding, the chief judge commended the governor for the visit and assured him of the quick dispensation of justice and purposeful partnership with the executive to succeed.


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News Cleric Lauds Jonathan For Signing Anti-Gay Law IBADAN-A popular evangelist, Prophet Olukayode Abiara, has lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the anti-gay bill into law. Abiara, who is the founder of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Vineyard Comfort (Agbala Itura), gave the commendation on Tuesday in Ibadan during a three-day crusade of the church. “President Jonathan and the National Assembly have done the right thing in the sight of God and the Nigerians by signing the anti-gay bill into law not minding the criticisms from the Western countries,’’ he said. Quoting from the Scriptures, Abiara said God was against homosexuality and that it was alien to the culture of Nigerians and Africans. He urged the nation to pray against air mishaps and sudden deaths of important personalities as revealed to him by God. “God revealed to me that there would be plane crashes and sudden death of some important personalities this year. “We should fast and pray to God to avert the calamities,’’ the evangelist said. On security and senseless killings in some parts of the country, Abiara said:“The blood of innocent Nigerians killed are crying for revenge and vengeance is of God.’’ He predicted that the nation’s security agents

would bring the Boko Haram insurgency to an abrupt end soon. “God revealed to me that the insurgents will brought to their knees and there would be great achievements on the part of the security forces to crush them. “The year 2014 will be a year of breakthrough and progress for those who put their trust in God and a year of tribulations for the wicked,’’ he said. He urged Christians to use the Lenten period to pray for God’s intervention in the country’s affairs. “The period is for people to humble ourselves before God, repent of their sins and ask for the forgiveness for God to heal our land.’’

Cross section of Oral Health Ambassadors at the National Oral Health Conference/World Oral Health Day in Abuja recently.

FRSC Warns Motorists Against Carrying Extra KANO- The Kano State Petrol Command of the Federal Road

Smiling children wave the National Flag at the National Oral Health Conference/World Oral Health Day in Abuja recently.

Amaechi Urges Collective Effort To Fight PORT HARCOURT- journalists, should play a intimidation, Insecurity assault, Government Chibuike vital role in this regard. kidnapping and to some Amaechi of Rivers has said that the fight against insecurity should be a collective responsibility of all Nigerians. Amaechi made the call in Port Harcourt on Wednesday at the foundation laying ceremony for the new secretariat of Rivers Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). He said that government alone could not fight insecurity and as such the people, especially

“Journalists should fight against insecurity because today it may be one media person kidnapped, tomorrow may be another, so journalists should report any acts of insecurity,” Amaechi said. He urged NUJ members to monitor the building of the press centre to ensure its completion because 100 per cent of the fund for the project had been released. Amaechi urged the contractor to ensure that the

project was completed in eight months. He said the “state government has released 100 per cent of the fund to Ministry of Information to ensure that the project would be completed in eight months time,” he said. The National President of NUJ, Malam Mohammed Garba, called on the state and Federal governments to ensure the safety of journalists in the country. ‘’For quite a number of times, we have recorded

extent, killing of some journalists across the country. “Our member, Anthony Akatapko of Wazobia FM kidnapped is still at large, one of our members with NTA, Kano, who was missing for some days, has been found dead. “This is outrageous and the situation is not only difficult for journalists but also going to put fear in journalists not to discharge our duties but I tell you journalists will not be deterred,” he said.

Safety Commission (FRSC) has in Kano warned motorists against carrying petrol in their vehicles to prevent fire outbreaks. Mr Ibrahim Garba, the commission’s Sector Commander in Kano, gave the warning in an interview with newsmen. “We have noticed the worrisome habit of drivers, especially commercial drivers, carrying extra petrol in their vehicles due to the shortage of the product in some states. “This is a dangerous trend that can lead to loss of lives. They should realise that vehicles easily catch fire when petrol is aboard. “The issue of saving time and cost by buying extra petrol will not compensate for the loss that

is likeable to occur in case of accidents,’’ Garba said. Reports state that vehicle owners who travel long distances now buy petrol in containers to avoid being held up in places where the product is scarce. Justifying the act, Malam Sale Mohammad, a commercial driver from Suleja, told newsmen he indulged in it because he would not want to waste passengers’ time by joining long queues. “This delay often does not allow us (drivers) to meet our target,’’ he said. Mohammad decried the situation where petrol was being purchased at exorbitant prices without control from concerned authorities, saying “it is the passengers who bear the brunt’’.

COEASU Strike: Union Commends Jonathan’s Intervention LAGOS- Mr Olayanju Taiwo, the Chairman, Colleges of Education Academics Staff Union (COEASU) Federal College of Education (Technical) chapter, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention in the lingering strike by the union. Taiwo spoke in an interview with newmsn in Lagos on Wednesday. Reports state that Jonathan had directed that the protracted strike by the lecturers in the Colleges of Education in Nigeria should be brought to an end.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, told members of the National Association of Nigerian Students Joint Campus Committee in Abuja that the President was keen on ending the strike. Taiwo, while lauding the president‘s intervention, however said he should give a directive for full implementation of the union’s demands. He said the union, at its Expanded National Executive Council (ENEC) meeting in Minna, on March 14, was resolute on carrying on with the strike, until all its demands were met.


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Abuja Jonathan Nominates Appeal Court President

Ezekwesili Canvasses Early Child Education ABUJA - The former World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, has said that focus on early child education would help the development of young generation in Nigeria. Ezekwesili made the observation in a keynote address at the ongoing 20th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja. The theme of this year ’s summit is “Transforming Education through Partnerships for Global Competitiveness’’. The former World Bank vice president called for permanent structural change that would enhance the quality of education and develop skills in Nigerian children. She said that Nigeria had a lot

to do in order to catch up and meet up globally. “That catching may be difficult except if it is strategic, the fastest way to do the catching up now is to make early child care education, put it on the front burner of the education system. “Countries like Finland had shown clearly that countries that emphasised early child care education and expand access to both the poor and the rich alike make huge success’” she said. According to her, country that bridges the inequality down and begin the process of getting the child before they go bad also achieve positive results. Ezekwesili, now, Economic

Abia Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Nne Nwaejike; Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consultant, Mr. Tajudeen Jinadu and NDLEA Enugu State Commander, Mr. Anthony Ohanyere at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Workshop on Illicit Drug Trafficking in Enugu recently.

Confab Decision

AD Urges NASS To Approves Referendum ABUJA - The National Secretary, Alliance for Democracy, Mr. Rafiu Salau, has urged the National Assembly to approve a referendum on the final decisions of the ongoing National conference. He said this in Abuja, while speaking with newsmen. According to Salau, this is the only way the citizens will have the opportunity to decide on how the country should be governed. He said: “ Legislators should ensure that referendum is part of the constitution of the country so that the people they represent can make inputs on national issues. “In democracy people are the masters and this is one of the ways to really prove that notion.” He said considering a referendum on the decisions of the national Conference would ensure that the efforts put in by the Federal Government in organizing the conference would not be in vain. He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for ensuring that the National Conference turned to reality. On refusal of some invited stakeholders to participate in the conference, Salau said it showed lack of interest in people’s progress.

L-R: Rev. Emeka Obi; Vice Chairman, Adamawa Muslim Council, Imam Salihu Umar and Adamawa State CAN Chairman, Rev. Moses Taparki at a news conference on peaceful co-existence organised by Adamawa State Chapter of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council in Yola recently.

Stakeholders Call For Regular Training Of Teachers

ABUJA - Panelists at the ongoing 20th Nigerian Economic Summit have called on the Federal Government to develop training programmes for teachers in public schools for better and quality performance. Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, Osun Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, said the solution to the national education crisis was

retraining of teachers for better performance. Tomori said that the Osun State government had trained about 8,000 teachers between 2010 and 2013 through the state’s in-service training programme. According to her, the state made arrangement with the state university to retrain teachers during the long vacation.

She also said that the purpose of education was to produce a total man who would be self reliant and contribute to national development Dr Victor Koh, Senior Leadership Consultant, International Leadership Foundation, said that Singapore developed her

Apo 6: Trial Of Policemen Suffers Another Adjournment ABUJA - The trial of six policemen at the FCT High Court over the alleged killing of six Abuja auto-spare parts dealers in 2005 suffered another adjournment. The adjournment was due to the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Ishaq Bello. The accused policemen are DCP Danjuma Ibrahim, ASP Othman Abdulsalami (at large); Constables Nicholas Zacharia, Emmanuel Baba, Emmanuel

ABUJA - President Goodluck Jonathan has forwarded the name of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as President of the Court of Appeal. In a letter addressed to Senate President, Jonathan said the nomination was in conformity with the 1999 Constitution as amended. The letter was read by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary If confirmed, Bulkachuwa would be the first female President of the Court of Appeal. It would be recalled Bulkachuwa has been holding the position in acting capacity since November 2012. Jonathan also forwarded the name of Mr. Showtime Gana for confirmation and reappointment into the Revenue Mobilsation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission. This was also contained in a letter sent to the Senate by the president. The president noted in the letter that the commission was one of the executive bodies established under Section 153(1) of the 1999 Constitution. “By the provision of Part 1(N) of the third schedule of the constitution, the commission shall comprise a chairman and one member from each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. “I have therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 154(1) of the 1999 constitution decided to reappoint Gana as a member of the commission,’’ the letter read.

Acheneje and Sadiq Salami. The office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation is accusing the policemen of killing Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Tina Arebun. The deceased, aged between 21 years and 25 years, were returning from a night party in 2005 when they were allegedly killed by the policemen. It would be recalled that the

APO-six trial had suffered several adjournments due to absence of the trial judge. The case was adjourned for continuation of hearing but could not proceed as scheduled because the judge, who was said to be on a national assignment, gave his consent for an adjournment. At the resumed sitting, the prosecution counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), and counsel to the first accused, Mr. Rickey Tara (SAN), were told that

Justice Bello “is still away on his national assignment’’. Bello was recently appointed the Chairman of the Anambra Election Petitions Tribunal. Reports state that June 4 was given as the new date for continuation of hearing. It will be recalled that on July 8, 2013, Justice Bello granted a request by the prosecution to recall a witness, Mr. Ede Ayuba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, a plea Tara objected to.

education sector through quality training for teachers. Koh said that the dependant on human capital compelled the Singapore to make education a priority in the nation’s economic development policy. “If we don’t spend to teach our people how to make a living, we end up creating criminals and cowboys,” he said. Koh also said that the purpose of education was not just to create a living for the citizens, but to teach them how to make a living for themselves. He said that the government of Singapore was concerned that its citizens needed the necessary skills and knowledge to be productive in a knowledgebased economy. Babs Omotowa, Managing Director, Nigerian Liquefied

Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, said that the quality of output from Nigeria’s education system had impact on the process of employment. Omotowa said that the poor quality of students from schools often made organisations to spend more in hiring them for jobs. He also said that most organisations spent more to send Nigerian graduates who eventually got employed for overseas training before they could perform. Mr. Wale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, said that there was misalignment between what was being taught in schools and what was required in the work place. He stressed the need for alignment of what government wanted teachers to teach and the expectation of government and the needs.


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Lagos Money Laundering

EFCC Witness Absolves Fani- Kayode Of Complicity

L-R: Programme Co-ordinator, Eko Free Health Mission, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe; Special Adviser on Health to Lagos State Governor, Dr. Yewande Adeshina; Lagos Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Governor Babatunde Fashola and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris at the inauguration of Eko Free Health Mission at Ojodu in Lagos recently.

LAGOS - A prosecution witness, Mr Bashir Abdullahi, has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that investigations by the EFCC had showed that there was no missing fund during the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode’s tenure. The witness gave the testimony at the resumed hearing of Fani-Kayode, who is tried for money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Abdullahi, who is an investigating police officer with the EFCC, told the court that the case file of the accused was assigned to him in 2008 for investigation. He said a letter was written to the defunct First Inland Bank to produce the bank statement

Encourage Importation Of Fishery Raw Materials, Olotu told newsmen in Lagos Olotu said if this was done, Expert Urges FG that most ingredients for makthen local production would be ing feeds such as maize were

LAGOS- Mr Adeyemi Olotu, the Managing Director, A1 Aquaculture Nigeria Ltd, has urged the Federal Government to increase the importation of fisheries raw materials especially, fish meal.

produced locally. He said that government could increase the supply of inputs so as to reduce the importation of fish feeds by 10 per cent.

boosted. “The importation of fish has hampered local production but what government should have done is to increase the importation of fish meal.

“There are raw materials for growing fish. Fish meal is the major raw material; other ingredients like corn, we produce them locally. “Government should look into

workshop the commission organised for ICT journalists. Represented by the Public Affairs Director, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, he said that the

regulatory body had noticed that most journalists covering the telecommunications industry basically reported news and developments.

According to him, informed analysis will create a deeper understanding of issues among the ICT stakeholders. ‘’It is for this reason that we invite the professionals covering this industry to look beyond reporting the news. ‘’ICT journalists should engage in critical and factual analysis of developments for the benefit of the stakeholders and the general public. ‘’Perhaps, this type of workshop would assist in bridging whatever gap may have existed in reporting ICT,’’ he said.

NCC Tasks ICT Journalists On Analytical uwah gave the advice in Reporting Lagos, at a capacity building

LAGOS- Dr Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), urged Information and Communications Technology (ICT) journalists to delve more into analytical reporting.

4 Men Docked Over Car Theft

LAGOS- Four unemployed men were charged before an Apapa Senior Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing a car valued at N1.1million. The accused — Tajudeen Garuba, 30; Francis Omotowoyona, 33; Lucky Dogbe, 30; and Amaechi Okoye, 49 — are all residents of OlodiApapa. They are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen goods. The prosecutor, Cpl. Michael Unah, told the court that the ac-

cused committed the offences on October 20, 2013 at Prince Fadina Street, Ajegunle, OlodiApapa. He alleged that the accused stole the car, property of one Akeem. “They sold the car to Okoye, who knew that the car was stolen, and converted it to his personal use.” The offences, Unah noted, contravened Sections 285, 326 (1) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. All the accused, however,

LAGOS- One person was confirmed wounded by a PHCN pole, due to a massive fire outbreak at Mobil filling station at Oba Akran junction, Ikeja, Lagos. This information is contained in a statement by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) made available to newsmen in Lagos. It stated that two cars, two buses and one jeep were burnt down completely in the incident. The statement said that the in-

cident occurred around 6.05 a.m. when a tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol was trying to enter the filling station. It stated that the vehicles on queue did not allow it access to the premises and in the process, an iron punctured the tanker, leading to petrol gushing out and the subsequent fire outbreak. The statement said that the fire was brought under control with fire fighting tankers from the State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

pleaded not guilty. The reports state that Section 285 stipulates three years jail term for stealing, while Section 326 prescribes 14 years imprisonment for receiving stolen goods. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs A.O Adegite, granted each of the accused bail in the sum of

supply of fishing inputs, so that local farmers can have enough ingredients to produce their feeds and importation of feeds will decrease by 10 per cent,“ he said. The hatchery expert also identified funding as a major hindrance to the commercial production of fish. Olotu said that producing or buying fish feeds in the long run, determined the price of locally produced fish. “A kilogramme of fish is about N300 and if you are producing about 50 tonnes of fish monthly, that will amount to about N15 million and that is a lot of money. “So the major challenge is funding, how can you promote commercialisation when acquiring the raw materials is a problem? “Government just needs to support farmers with funds because that is the major challenge,’’ he said.

of the accused, and same was deposited with the commission. The witness said that during investigations, the accused was invited to the EFCC, where he made various statements in writing about the Aviation Intervention Fund received during his tenure. Cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), the witness also told the court that investigations, however, revealed that no part of the funds was missing during the tenure of the accused as minister. “Our investigations revealed that a total of N19.5 billion was released as Aviation Intervention Fund (AIF) out of which a total of N8.5 billion was released during the tenure of Prof. Femi Aborishade, the predecessor of the accused. “During the tenure of the accused, N11 billion was released and out of this the accused disbursed a total of N3.8 billion, leaving N7.2 billion in the Ministry’s account. “Our investigations revealed that no part of the Aviation Fund was missing during the tenure of the accused, and there were no findings that the accused made any disbursement without going through the due process,” he added. The witness also affirmed that the accused, on assumption of office, set up a committee to probe the disbursement of AIF made by his predecessor. He said that following the findings of the committee, a report was then sent to the National Security Adviser on the disbursements. At this point, the prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo, asked the court for two dates of adjournment to enable him to produce the remaining witnesses and close his case. Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the case to April 16

One Person Wounded In Lagos Fire Outbreak

L-R: Chairman, Somolu Local Government Area, Mr. Gbolahan Bagastowe; Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos; Lagos Commissioner for Works and Infrastructures; Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and Zonal Divisional Engineer, Lagos Ministry of Works, Mr. Bimbo Makinde, inspecting the design of Bajulaye Road, during the Governors’ visit to the area recently


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Across The Nation National Unity

APC Chieftain Tasks Conference Delegates

SOKOTO- Alhaji Abdullahi Bafarawa, an All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart in Sokoto State, has advised delegates to the national conference to focus on how to strengthen the nation’s corporate existence. Bafarawa told newsmen in Sokoto that unity among Nigerians would enhance socioeconomic and political development of the country. “We need each other, if we really want to maintain our position as the giant of Africa. A united Nigeria has the capacity to maintain the position,” he said.

He called on the delegates not to tamper with the existing structure of the country but mutual respect for religion, ethnic and cultural differences should be sustained. Bafarawa advised the delegates to refrain from taking hard line position on sensitive issues like religion, ethnicity and cultural beliefs in the conference. He said the delegates should focus their attention on serious issues like security, education, agriculture and oil exploration for the overall development of the country.

College Of Health Technology, Closes

Protest:

BAUCHI - The Bauchi State Government has closed the School of Health Technology, Ninigi, due to students protest over the death of their colleague. Dr Sani Malami, the Commissioner for Health, told newsmen in Bauchi that the school had to be closed to forestall breakdown of law and order in the institution. “I have directed the indefinite closure of the college to forestall a complete breakdown of law and order. “This has become necessary following a riot orchestrated by a handful of the students, protesting against the death of their fellow student, allegedly of cholera. ‘Unfortunately, what began as a peaceful protest was hijacked by miscreants who seized the opportunity to molest and terrorise law abiding commuters on the Bauchi-Ningi-Kano highway. “This is totally unacceptable and we condemn the

abominable act in the strongest terms’’, he said. Malami said the authorities of the institution have been directed to conduct a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident. He expressed surprise that the institution, with three functional boreholes, best school clinic in the state, adequate WC and VIP toilets and a very hygienic environment, could be said to harbour cholera virus. “With these facilities on ground, how could the students have acquired cholera? “As matter of fact, up till this moment, there is no laboratory confirmation that we are dealing with an outbreak of cholera in the school’’, he said. The commissioner said that “nevertheless, we have strengthened our surveillance and epidemiological processes in and around Ningi town to

L-R: Director of Rivers State Television, Mr. Obele Chn, Public Relations Officer, 2 Brigade, Maj. Michael Etete and Assistant Secretary, Trade Union Congress, Rivers, Mr. Raymond Benson, at the Peace and Security Conference in Port Harcourt recently.

World Bank To Use 6 States To Measure Teachers’ Performance ABUJA- The World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Ms Marie-Francois Marie-Nelly, said the bank has identified six states to be used as pilot scheme to measure teachers’ performance in schools. Marie-Nelly disclosed this in an interview with newsmen at the ongoing 20th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja. The theme of the summit is “Transforming Education through Partnership for Global Competitiveness’’. According to her, the six states cut across the six geopolitical zones. “We hope to expand to the 36 states in the country to help track performance in the primary and secondary schools. “We want to find out some of the questions that parents would want to know.

“If the teachers are capable of teaching, how many hours do they spend in class and the kind of tools they use,” she said. According to her, the measure will also check the kind of materials and textbooks available for them to teach the students. She said that government had been spending resources on education sector and there was need to track performance to ensure there was value for money invested. She explained that current research by the bank showed that teachers in Nigeria and other African countries spent about three hours 45 minutes only per day in class for teaching. She said that it was observed that 25 per cent of their time was spent out of the class. The country director also added that findings showed that textbooks were very minimal as

three students shared one textbook in a class. “The findings from the pilot scheme will help the bank to design line of improvement to be presented to the states,’’ she

Senatorial Aspirant Donates To Widows

OBI (NASARAWA)- Mr Chris Omeri, an All Progressive Congress (APC) senatorial aspirant has donated 500 bags of fertilisers to widows in Nasarawa South Senatorial District in order to enhance their farming activities. The exercise, which attracted party stakeholders and widows from Obi, Lafia, Awe, Keana and Doma local government areas, took place in Jenkwe Development Area of Obi Local Government Area. Alhaji Jega Mallam, the Coordinator of Chris Omeri campaign organisation, said

Anambra Deputy Gov Pledges Loyalty To Governor

Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah (middle), consoling an injured soldier at the Maimalari Military Clinic during an unscheduled visit to Maiduguri recently.

AWKAThe Deputy Governor of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke, has pledged total co-operation and commitment to the Governor Willie Obiano, Okeke made the pledge in Awka in a chat with newsmen. He said that problems between governors and their deputies arose when the deputies began to seek and exercise authorities they did not possess. Okeke, who was a lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, prior to his election, said he was in government to serve the people

said. She urged parents to continue to help in ensuring accountability in schools across the country.

of Anambra and not to seek unnecessary influence or to pursue personal ambition. “I am ready to give the governor 110 per cent support to enable him actualise his vision and policies in Anambra State. “Whatever duty His Excellency assigns to me, I am ready to carry it out. “His Excellency has taken me as his younger brother and I want to remain as that,” he said. He said the government would soon look into the recent attack on the Orient Refinery at Aguleri-Otu in order to resolve it.

members were worried over the inability of the widows to access bank loans and other assistance from their late husband’s relations. Mallam said this prompted them to initiate the project mainly to support widows, especially now that the farming season had begun. He said the gesture was a practical demonstration of teaching somebody how to fish rather than to give him fish. Mallam then promised that the organisation would render more assistance to orphans and the less privileged in the society so that they too could feel a sense of belonging. Earlier, Mr Ahmed Mohammed, an APC chieftain from Awe local government area, lauded the initiative. Mohammed promised to give the senatorial aspirant the desired support in the forthcoming 2015 elections in the state. Habiba Abubakar, a beneficiary and women leader from Awe thanked the donor and wished him well in all his endeavours. In his speech, Omeri said he was satisfied with the progress of the programme. He thanked the widows for their warm reception and assured them that there would be more of such gesture, if God permitted.


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Across The Nation 100 Exhibitors Register For Centenary Trade Fair ABUJA – Mr. Joe Wenegieme, the DirectorGeneral, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA) has said about 100 exhibitors would be participating in the Nigeria’s Centenary Trade Fair. Wenegieme told newsmen that the fair with the theme, “Celebrating Creative Industrial Excellence in Production and Innovation through Unity in Diversity’’, was being organised to mark the country’s centenary anniversary. He said that the 13-day special fair, slated to commence on March 20 in Abuja, was targeted mainly at made-in-Nigeria goods and services. Wenegieme said that the aim was to primarily showcase the huge strides made by the country since birth in science, technology, industry, manufacturing and innovation. “So far, we have registered close to 100 exhibitors; these comprise federal ministries, agencies and parastatals, research and higher institutions, manufacturers, inventors, among others. “Also, exhibitors from India, Ghana, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and other Africa countries have registered for the fair. “The exotic tent we used for

the 8th International Trade Fair last year, which has 90 exhibition booths, has been fully booked. “There is enough space outside the tent to accommodate the spillover and this is what we are doing, we are ready,’’ he said. Wenegieme explained that alternative electricity supply, water, sanitation and medical facilities had been put in place at the complex in readiness for the fair. According to him, adequate security arrangements have also been put in place to ward off

ABUJA - Chevron Nigeria Limited has said that Nigeria’s desire to become a gas power in Africa will not be attained if security and other infrastructure are not strengthened. It said Nigeria’s potential in oil and gas would remain a mirage if issues of inadequate funding, poor policy implementation and low capacity building in the petroleum industry were not addressed. Chevron’s Managing Director Andrew Fawthrop supported by other chief executive officers of multinationals, made this known at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja yesterday. Fawthrop insisted that for the industry to be prosperous, infrastructure, security, capacity building of indigenous workforce, funding, discovery of new resources needed to be in place. Other facilities required to ensure viability and realisation of desired status in gas production, according to him, are policy implementation and partnership among oil companies and the industry’s regulators. He particularly identified the

existing situation where oil had been made priority at the detriment of gas as a big challenge to the nation’s gas projection and aspiration. He, however, said that with timely implementation of the right policies and provision of adequate infrastructure, “there was no reason for Nigeria not to be a gas power house”. According to him, the country should be bothered about the huge dependence on oil to the detriment of gas, which stands at about 184 trillion cubic feet. In his contribution, Mr Abiye Membere, Executive Director, Exploration and Production, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said that operations in the nation’s oil industry started on a “wrong footing”.

intending troublemakers and to guarantee a hitch free fair. Wenegieme said that the chamber had received “partial sponsorship’’ from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) with material support. According to him, the fair will be declared open by Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who would chair the opening ceremony. “The Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and members of the diplomatic corps are some of the dignitaries expected to grace the opening ceremony,’’ he said.

Rising Operational Cost Threaten Oil Sector’s Growth ABUJA - International Oil Companies (IOCs) has said that the rising operational cost was threatening the growth of the Nigerian petroleum industry. The IOCs made this known at the ongoing 2014 Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja. The group expressed the fear that the rising cost of production might adversely affect the sector’s growth. Meanwhile, the Independent and Marginal Fields’ Operators have blamed the delay in the growth of the sector on limited

Multinationals Identify Obstacles To Gas Dev

assets and inadequate funding. The Chairman ExxonMobil Companies, Mr Mark Ward, noted that the challenges of cost were necessitated by aging infrastructure, crude theft and difficult contracting process. Ward, who is ExxonMobil Managing Director, said facilities that were used in the early days of oil discovery in Nigeria were still being used in the sector. He said this was a serious challenge militating against the sector. The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, said that issues of cost inefficiency were capable of killing the oil industry. Sunmonu noted with concern that cost inefficiency would also make it impossible for both government and stakeholders to achieve their aims for the sector. According to him, the major drivers of costs are delay in the contracting process, the security situation and the challenge of funding. The Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director, Midwestern Oil and Gas, Mr Adams Okoene, expressed regrets on the high tax regime in the sector and the issue of limited assets. Mr Victor Briggs, Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), who spoke on behalf of the Independent, Small or Marginal Field Operators, said the ability of small producers were constrained.

RECONCILIATION/CONFIRMATION OF NAME

I, Oliomogbe, Ashley Imhoudu wish to bring for the information of the general public that I am the same person called Oliomogbe A.I, Oliomogbe, Zekeri as wrongly stated in my First School Leaving Certificate and Oliomogbe, Astley Izek also wrongly stated in my Secondary School Certificate. It should be known that I am properly known and called Oliomogbe, Ashley Imhoudu. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.


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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

NSE DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY (EQUITIES) AS AT FRIDAY (21/03/14) Stocks

Open

Close

Change

Deals

Units

Value

MOBIL

124.86

124.86

0

0

47,385

5,639,385.01

7UP

91

91

0

0

184,638

16,777,245.52

NAHCO

4.73

4.96

0.23

0

735,889

3,594,550.32

ABCTRANS

0.93

0.93

0

0

8,000

7,120.00

NASCON

11.48

12

0.52

0

239,392

2,810,681.10

ACCESS

7.88

7.61

-0.27

0

23,856,692

181,369,328.90

NB

146

152.89

6.89

0

2,649,897

394,468,451.50

AFRIPRUD

2.65

2.78

0.13

0

4,535,971

12,512,170.06

NEIMETH

1.6

1.6

0

0

34,200

54,821.36

AGLEVENT

1.34

1.34

0

0

55,350

77,026.08

NEM

0.74

0.74

0

0

1,179,900

855,899.00

958.8

973

14.2

0

216,547

211,657,199.00

7.36

7.36

0

0

2,000

14,000.00

AIICO

0.8

0.84

0.04

0

1,755,953

1,452,317.62

NESTLE

AIRSERVICE

2.93

2.93

0

0

15,785

44,040.15

NIG-GERMAN

ALEX

10.5

10.5

0

0

20

199.6

NIWICABLE

0.5

0.5

0

0

200

100

0.71

0.74

0.03

0

443,942

328,517.08

26.71

0

259,767,793

4,934,300,455.00

ALUMACO

7.75

7.75

0

0

20

147.4

NPFMCRFBK

ASHAKACEM

14.6

14

-0.6

0

1,042,447

14,613,871.46

NSE30

1676.26

1702.97

ASOSAVINGS

0.5

0.5

0

0

2,177,655

1,088,827.50

NSE50

1820.66

1848.92

28.26

0

281,183,608

5,008,986,918.00

37308.6

37790.12

481.52

0

309,713,031

5,060,016,342.00

374.59

385.57

10.98

0

207,438,325

3,325,341,910.00

BERGER

9.01

8.56

-0.45

0

183,627

1,573,450.36

NSEASI

BETAGLAS

18.25

18.25

0

0

10,600

190,800.00

NSEBNK

CADBURY

78

78

0

0

291,344

22,598,195.57

NSECNSMRGDS

915.16

926.24

11.08

0

14,671,816

1,003,991,055.00

2497.98

2494.57

-3.41

0

2,890,087

208,805,616.30

CAP

45

45

0

0

6,466

276,421.50

NSEINDUSTR

CCNN

8.75

9.15

0.4

0

119,870

1,074,985.00

NSEINS

134.05

135.35

1.3

0

16,557,627

15,309,458.77

CHAMS

0.5

0.5

0

0

511,000

255,500.00

NSELOTUSISLM

2661.92

2665.69

3.77

0

5,852,521

528,757,998.40

269.09

279.74

10.65

0

3,107,284

66,955,230.62

CILEASING

0.5

0.5

0

0

182,250

91,125.00

NSEOILGAS

CONOIL

51.9

51.9

0

0

16,356

806,514.36

NSLTECH

0.5

0.5

0

0

3,500

1,750.00

CONTINSURE

1

0.96

-0.04

0

904,691

868,764.40

OANDO

15.28

16.04

0.76

0

2,132,125

33,914,810.52

0.56

0.58

0.02

0

1,500,693

869,272.04

CORNERST

0.5

0.5

0

0

3,278,858

1,639,429.00

OASISINS

COSTAIN

1.33

1.27

-0.06

0

384,466

491,871.82

OKOMUOIL

42

42

0

0

683

27,251.70

CUSTODYINS

1.92

2.01

0.09

0

1,083,033

2,154,291.00

PORTPAINT

4.41

4.19

-0.22

0

595,377

2,499,640.63

CUTIX

1.74

1.82

0.08

0

50,000

91,000.00

PRESCO

38.8

38.8

0

0

46,520

1,785,426.00

DAARCOMM

0.5

0.5

0

0

2,200

1,100.00

PRESTIGE

0.58

0.56

-0.02

0

102,444

57,950.88

DANGCEM

228.51

228

-0.51

0

777,318

177,578,628.70

PZ

32.3

30.69

-1.61

0

1,482,271

45,507,593.16

DANGFLOUR

8.99

8.99

0

0

213,915

1,992,708.18

REDSTAREX

4.47

4.47

0

0

45,000

191,250.00

DANGSUGAR

9.23

8.81

-0.42

0

6,020,789

53,570,449.40

ROYALEX

0.61

0.61

0

0

30,000

17,700.00

DIAMONDBNK

6.8

6.48

-0.32

0

16,600,948

107,899,318.70

RTBRISCOE

1.35

1.35

0

0

2,000

2,580.00

DNMEYER

1.28

1.28

0

0

7,016

8,965.18

SKYEBANK

3.4

3.57

0.17

0

3,992,600

14,191,561.00

EKOCORP

3.72

3.72

0

0

30

106.2

STANBIC

20.07

21

0.93

0

958,048

20,057,373.84

ELLAHLAKES

4.26

4.26

0

0

25

101.25

STERLNBANK

2.22

2.22

0

0

4,575,912

10,172,210.98

EQUITYASUR

0.5

0.5

0

0

32,000

16,000.00

TANTALIZER

0.5

0.5

0

0

5,000

2,500.00

ETERNA

3.65

3.83

0.18

0

705,158

2,500,867.18

TOTAL

148

153

5

0

94,935

14,166,803.30

ETI

13.25

13.38

0.13

0

1,667,183

22,321,131.50

TRANSCORP

3.91

3.98

0.07

0

11,635,850

44,810,384.08

EVANSMED

2.22

2.22

0

0

49,814

106,792.04

TRANSEXPR

2.62

2.49

-0.13

0

393,194

979,053.06

FBNH

12

12.45

0.45

0

23,083,714

278,484,726.10

UAC-PROP

19.25

19.25

0

0

20,750

393,947.50

FCMB

3.25

3.41

0.16

0

2,509,163

8,332,818.45

UACN

58.9

59.99

1.09

0

518,704

31,093,686.54

FIDELITYBK

2.05

2.15

0.1

0

2,643,320

5,634,083.64

UBA

6.99

7.1

0.11

0

40,619,528

287,080,059.30

FIDSON

2.8

2.81

0.01

0

1,084,416

3,092,587.93

UBCAP

2.18

2.28

0.1

0

3,032,802

6,903,888.56

FIRSTALUM

0.5

0.5

0

0

11,600

5,800.00

UBN

10

10

0

0

568,435

5,721,222.14

FLOURMILL

70.78

67.25

-3.53

0

885,698

59,583,478.55

UNILEVER

45

45.1

0.1

0

756,618

34,020,767.80

FO

93.86

93.86

0

0

111,325

9,926,850.25

UNIONDICON

14.14

14.14

0

0

20

268.8

FTNCOCOA

0.5

0.5

0

0

353

176.5

UNITYBNK

0.5

0.5

0

0

46,285

23,142.50

GCAPPA

14.46

14.46

0

0

20

274.8

UNITYKAP

0.5

0.5

0

0

2,000

1,000.00

0.5

0.5

0

0

21,600

10,800.00

0.02

0

137,422

76,885.94

GLAXOSMITH

70

70

0

0

23,641

1,654,882.20

UNIVINSURE

GUARANTY

25.29

25.65

0.36

0

57,919,849

1,486,110,348.00

UTC

0.54

0.56

GUINEAINS

0.5

0.5

0

0

2,000

1,000.00

VETGRIF30

16.78

17.02

0.24

0

10,000

170,200.00

4.11

4.11

0

0

37,450

149,065.50

1.66

1.66

0

0

2,000

3,160.00

GUINNESS

165

163.85

-1.15

0

921,518

152,006,053.40

VITAFOAM

HONYFLOUR

3.83

3.7

-0.13

0

470,952

1,728,014.95

VONO

IKEJAHOTEL

0.63

0.63

0

0

24,500

15,495.00

WAPCO

109.1

109.1

0

0

104,382

10,906,818.58

0.68

0.71

0.03

0

6,460,781

4,545,357.87

INTBREW

24

23.14

-0.86

0

300,787

7,121,151.50

WAPIC

INTENEGINS

0.57

0.56

-0.01

0

1,681,525

970,381.10

WEMABANK

0.98

1.02

0.04

0

3,154,339

3,153,304.17

IPWA

0.61

0.61

0

0

2,000

1,160.00

ZENITHBANK

21.4

22

0.6

0

56,415,431

1,211,861,552.00

JAPAULOIL

0.5

0.5

0

0

571,500

285,750.00

JBERGER

75

75

0

0

9,133

650,726.25

JOHNHOLT

1.21

1.21

0

0

1,796

2,065.40

LEARNAFRCA

1.64

1.56

-0.08

0

602,671

940,166.76

LINKASSURE

0.5

0.5

0

0

10,000

5,000.00

LIVESTOCK

3.38

3.23

-0.15

0

1,965,834

6,387,300.68

MANSARD

2.1

2.1

0

0

2,781,400

5,842,940.00

MAYBAKER

1.85

1.94

0.09

0

278,777

538,656.31

MBENEFIT

0.5

0.5

0

0

40,000

20,000.00

TOP 10 GAINERS Stock NSEASI 481.52 NSE50 28.26 NSE30 26.71 NESTLE NSECNSMRGDS 11.08 NSEBNK 10.98 NSEOILGAS 10.65 NB TOTAL NSELOTUSISLM

Close 37790.12 1848.92 1702.97 973 926.24 385.57 279.74 152.89 153 2665.69

TOP TOP 10 10 LOSERS GAINERS Gain

14.2

6.89 5 3.77

Stock FLOURMILL NSEINDUSTR PZ GUINNESS INTBREW ASHAKACEM DANGCEM BERGER DANGSUGAR DIAMONDBNK

Close 67.25 2494.57 30.69 163.85 23.14 14 228 8.56 8.81 6.48

Loss -3.53 -3.41 -1.61 -1.15 -0.86 -0.6 -0.51 -0.45 -0.42 -0.32


THE NIGERIAN

12

IN 2012, the global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, ranked Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt nation in the world. THE Corruption Perception Index 2012 released revealed that Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to clinch the 139th position out of the 176 countries surveyed for the report. THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER is disturbed about this ranking which has become an annual humiliating ritual. We are also disturbed about the unimpressive remarks of the anti-graft watchdog. Our worries are heightened by the revelation that Nigeria, sharing the position with Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nepal and Pakistan, is said to have remained entrenched in corruption without making much progress to fight the menace. IT is sad that Since 1995 when TI commenced annual CPI publication, ranking countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys, Nigeria has not fared better in fighting a menace widely believed to be responsible for the impoverishment of vast majority of its populations and underdevelopment of the nation at large. IT is shameful that instead of facing the issue with the zeal and equanimity that it deserves, the authorities in Nigeria is grandstanding and mouthing its citizens whom they accuse of being responsible for the countries annual dismal outing. IT is quite reprehensible that the CPI 2012 confirmed recent media reports that

MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014 THE NIGERIAN

Winning The War Against Corruption President Goodluck Jonathan lied to the citizens when he claimed in his Independence day broadcast on October 1 that Nigeria was rated second after the United States by TI. TI, denial of issuing such a report even paints Nigeria in black colours. THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER is displeased that the report particularly criticized Jonathan for paying lip service to anti-graft war and not showing enough drive to fight corruption, especially corruption involving past and current actors in his administration. IT is equally shocking to note that the anticorruption watchdog carpeted President Jonathan for his reluctance in promoting transparency by failing to publicly declare his assets. The mere claim that he declared his assets alongside his late boss, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2007 is not enough ground for him not to declare his assets immediately he was sworn in as President for another four year tenure. IT is obvious that ranging from the monumental fuel subsidy scam to the massive corruption uncovered in pension administration as well as the scams at the Securities and Exchange Commission and

the Bureau of Public Enterprises, many Nigerians have already rated the Jonathan-led administration very low in the fight against corruption. GOVERNMENT cannot deny the fact that its officials, including some of President Jonathan’s associates have been named in the brazen theft of public funds. Sons of both a past and incumbent national chairmen of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party were indicted and are currently facing trial for robbing the country of several billions of naira under the fuel subsidy regime. Oil block licensing scam and widespread corruption and stealing in the oil industry suggest that Nigeria is far from combating graft. THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER expects the President’s aides to face the issues raised by Transparency International. The Ministers of Finance and Information, Dr. Nngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Labaran Maku should stop insulting Nigerians who they accuse of volunteering information used by the watchdog. The present administration should rise up and progressively fight corruption in Nigeria, NAME calling, back biting accusations and counter accusations would not in any way help at this time. The anti-corruption agencies should be made independent and autonomous so that they can get their revenue directly from the consolidated federation account. They must be allowed to do their jobs and stop being used as instrument for the persecution of perceived political enemies.


THE NIGERIAN

13

MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

Opinion

President Goodluck Jonathan

Architect Musa Mohammed Sada, Minister of Mines and Steel

Jonathan And Zero Allocation For Ajaokuta Steel

“ONE thing that is dear to Nigerians is the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and until we revive that complex, we cannot talk about Vision 20:2020. This is because for you to play big globally, you must industrialize and for you to industrialize you must produce steel. The Ajaokuta complex must be revived.” The above statement was made by President Goodluck Jonathan at his Presidential electioneering campaign rally in 2011 in Lokoja, Kogi State capital. This assertion by Jonathan, no doubt, clearly agrees with the position of many Nigerians on the need to advance the country’s economy through the entrenchment of a vibrant and viable steel sector. But what baffles most observers is that after three years of making such pronouncement, nothing much seems to have been done by the President for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL). Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, for instance, said recently that Jonathan has not shown enough commitment to steel development in Nigeria. He made the observation, while condemning the zero allocation for capital projects in Ajaokuta Steel Company in the 2014 budget proposal, during the budget defence of Ministry of Mines and Steel, conducted by Senate Committee on Power and Steel. Abatemi-Usman, a member of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, where the Ajaokuta Steel firm is located, noted that steel

development is the bedrock of any industrial revolution, wondering how the federal government wants to achieve the vision 20:2020 without the full operation of the largest steel complex in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Questioning the Minister of Mines and Steel, Architect Musa Mohammed Sada at the budget defence, Senator Abatemi-Usman said: “We spent billions for staff salaries every year, yet we are where we were as far as the revitalization of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) are concerned. Where is the place of Ajaokuta Steel in our bid for industrial revolution? Do we seem to understand the importance of steel and the significant role it can play in enhancing our economy? If you ask me, I will say Mr. President is just paying lip service to the issue of Ajaokuta steel and steel development in general. When he (Jonathan) came to Lokoja, Kogi State during the electioneering period in 2011, the thrust of his campaign promises for which our people voted for him was his pledge to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Complex. Over three years down the line, we’ve not seen much from him in that regard.” Responding, Sada insisted that despite the fact that fund was yet to be allocated for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel, the Federal Government (FG) remains fully committed to the revival of the steel outfit. He explained that government

By MICHAEL JEGEDE was working hard to clear some of the issues impeding the actualization of the steel project. Senator Abatemi-Usman, who has become a known campaigner for steel development and has never relented in drawing the attention of Jonathan to the need for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company, had equally suggested that FG should source for one billion dollars loan to revamp the steel firm. He made this suggestion last year at an interactive session with the Mines and Steel Minister in Abuja, perhaps, as an alternative means of ensuring the actualization of the steel project, for which the government has refused to allocate money for its completion over the years. The neglect of Ajaokuta Steel by successive governments has always been an issue of great concern to most Nigerians. Many believed that corruption and lack of political will on the part of government may have

been responsible for the noncompletion of the project, whose contract was awarded since in the 70s. Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, is one of those who believe that corruption has been a major factor militating against the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex. The Senator representing Cross River Central in the Red Chamber had in an interview last year said but for corruption, the project, which was started almost 40 years ago, would have been completed. Obviously worried by the pitiable condition of the steel company, believed to have the capacity of creating over two million jobs for Nigerians, he said: “I feel sad each time I remember the story of Ajaokuta Steel Company. The project was started when I was an undergraduate. In a few years, I would be a graduate of 40 years. Yet, the project is still ongoing. That the company hasn’t functioned is as a result of corruption. For

Heaven’s sake, even for the pride of the nation, I think the project has dragged on for too long that we should be embarrassed that almost 40 years later, we are still talking about an uncompleted Ajaokuta Steel Company.” On whether he agreed with the argument in some quarters that there were external forces teaming up with some selfish individuals within the country to discourage the government from completing the project, Ndoma-Egba said, “I don’t have evidence. I don’t have any fact. So, I can’t draw a conclusion. But one thing I can say with certainty, if we are determined to complete Ajaokuta Steel Company, we will complete it, external forces notwithstanding. I mean, no amount of external forces should stop the completion of a project capable of bringing transformation and advancement to our economy.” As noted in one of my previous write-ups on this issue, captioned: “Ajaokuta Steel: An abandoned national treasure”, it is indeed unimaginable that a project which has reached 98% technical completion as at 1992, after engulfing over $5

billion with just about $1 billion to see it through, has been recklessly abandoned all these years. We must understand the fact, as accentuated by Abatemi-Usman that the continued refusal by the federal government to make funds available for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel is really not good for the growth and development of the steel industry in Nigeria. Jonathan must be resolute in making the actualization of the Ajaokuta Steel project a dream come true. Mr. President should know he would forever be remembered and have his name written in the Guinness Book of Records, if only he could do everything within his power to give us a completed and fully operational Ajaokuta Steel Company in his time. It is expected that the National Assembly as the lawmaking body should be able to do something about the inclusion of allocation for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel in the country’s budget. For all intents and purposes, our federal parliamentarians at the two chambers should, as a matter of urgency, make provisions for Ajaokuta Steel and NIOMCO in the current budget before them and pass a resolution on why the President must execute the project.

“The neglect of Ajaokuta Steel by successive governments has always been an issue of great concern to most Nigerians. Many believed that corruption and lack of political will on the part of government may have been responsible for the non-completion of the project, whose contract was awarded since in the 70s.”


THE NIGERIAN

14

MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

Agriculture WHEN the Federal Government introduced the electronic system of fertiliser subsidy administration in 2012, many skeptics, including farmers themselves, doubted the government’s sincerity and as such never gave it any chance of success. Their cynicism stemmed from the fact that most farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, had never benefitted from the government’s subsidised fertiliser distribution programme on which billions of naira had been spent over the past 40 years. Dr Akinwuni Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the new fertiliser distribution arrangement was introduced due to the outcome of some studies. He said that the studies revealed that only 11 per cent of the country’s estimated 70 million farmers had been able to access the subsidised fertiliser over the past four decades. He added that the studies also revealed the fertiliser distribution scheme had been hijacked by “political farmers’’ who made the product available to their cronies and relatives as well as middlemen who, in turn, sold it in the open market at cut-throat prices. Genuine farmers were shortchanged and they were forced to procure fertiliser at exorbitant prices orchestrated by the shylock fertiliser mer-

chants. However, after two years of the implementation of the innovative fertiliser subsidy system known as the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES), there have been several testimonies about the scheme. Farmers, agro-dealers, agri-businessmen and women, agriculture sector watchers and other stakeholders acknowledge that the scheme is working very well in spite of some challenges. They describe the scheme as the best fertiliser subsidy programme ever conceived and implemented in the country. Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, said: “For somebody to say nothing is being done in agriculture, to me, it is strange; since the beginning of this country, this is the best agric policy; anybody who says anything contrary will have to give reasons. “As a participant in agriculture, and I have been part of government before; I have never seen a well-focused and a more articulated agric policy than that of this government. “The number of integrated mills in the country has increased from one to 15 through the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme. “The policies are well-defined and straight-

Assessing The Agricultural Transformation Programme forward; we that are in the processing industry are seeing the reality of the programme,’’ Aondoakaa added. The fertiliser subsidy regime is the flagship programme of the Federal Government under its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Through the programme, fertiliser and seeds are allocated to registered farmers via an electronic system known as the “e-wallet’’. Observers note that this is the first time that a

By NKECHI OKORONKWO

database of Nigerian farmers is being developed. Under the system, implemented via a publicprivate-partnership, registered farmers receive their allocation of fertiliser and improved variety of maize or rice seeds via their mobile phones and they are directed to go to identified Redemption Centres to redeem their allocations. Under the arrangement, the farmer pays 50 per cent of the cost of the

“In more pragmatic terms, the agricultural transformation programme is aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy away from oil and restoring the glory of agriculture in the nation’s scheme of things.”

fertiliser, while the federal and state governments defray the balance. The improved seeds are, however, given to the farmers free of charge. Within two years of implementation, the support scheme has been expanded to include other aspects of agriculture apart from crops, such as livestock, fisheries, cassava cuttings and oil palm, among others. In more pragmatic terms, the agricultural transformation programme is aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy away from oil and restoring the glory of agriculture in the nation’s scheme of things. Following the discovery of oil in the 60s and the oil boom in the early 70s, with attendant phenomenal increase in oil revenues, the agriculture sector was somewhat neglected. Gradually, Nigeria metamorphosed into an import dependent nation

with growing, massive food imports. Adesina said that studies by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that Nigeria’s food import bill peaked at approximately 11 billion dollars in 2011. In specific terms, wheat imports cost N635 billion (3.8 billion dollars), rice imports N356 billion (2.3 billion dollars); sugar, N217 billion (1.3 billion dollars) and fish, N97 billion (582 million dollars). Speaking on the objectives of the ATA, the minister ’s aide, Mr. Adetunji Oredipe, said: “We want to cut our food imports and build up the production levels of our local farmers. “The Agricultural Transformation Agenda Programme (ATAP) is also a means of developing the rural areas, reducing the poverty rate as well as checking the exodus of people to big cities such as Continues on pg. 15


THE NIGERIAN

15

MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

Agriculture Continued from pg. 14

Abuja and Lagos.’’ The minister once unveiled ATA targets and these include adding 20 million tonnes to domestic food production by 2015, creating 3.5 million jobs in the agriculture sector by 2015 and providing more than N300 billion of additional income for Nigerian farmers. Other targets are making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production by 2015 and reducing the level of wheat importation by substituting 20 per cent of bread wheat flour with high-quality cassava flour. On the successes so far recorded, Adesina said that so far, the scheme had improved the food security situation of not less than 30 million persons in rural farm households. He said that 6.4 million registered farmers had received agricultural inputs under the GES programme, while the number of registered farmers was expected to hit 10 million this year. “The system is working. In the past two years, the system has reached 6.4 million smallholder farmers and it has enhanced the food security of 30 million persons in rural farm households. “Women farmers, who never got fertilisers and seeds under the old system, now have better yielding fields with subsidised farm inputs which they receive through their own mobile

phones. Dignity has been restored to farmers,’’ he said. Similarly, the minister stressed that the number of seed companies had grown from 11 to 77, with the three largest seed companies in the world — Syngenta, Monsanto and Dupont – planning to establish seed companies in Nigeria. He also said that 3,000 small and medium agribusinesses in the input supply chain had sprung up across the country as part of the feats of the GES. Adesina noted that the country’s food import bill had dropped from N2.3 billion to N1.8 trillion within the past two years, while 15 million tonnes of food had been added to the country’s food stock within the period. He expressed the optimism that Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production by 2015. The minister, however, attributed the successes so far recorded to several factors which included the adoption of a new approach to managing agriculture as a business venture rather than a development programme. Besides, Adesina said that the government’s partnership with the private sector, which also focused on the value chains of all commodities, spurred the progress. “We have stated it clear from the beginning that agriculture would no

...Agricultural Transformation Programme longer be treated as a development programme but as a business concern. “Our approach was deliberate: We want to grow the agriculture sector, using the private sector to drive the growth,

minister at home and abroad. In recent times, delegations of farmers from different states across the country have paid courtesy visits to the minister to convey their appreciation

halve the number of people living in abject poverty and hunger. Besides, Adesina won the Forbes Magazine award as the “2013 Africa’s Personality of the Year’’. Recently, he was

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture while focusing on value chains for all commodities and connecting farms to mills, aggregators, storage, improved logistics, processors and value addition.’’ Observers note that these innovative ideas and the successes of the agricultural transformation programme have earned a lot of recognition for Nigeria and its agriculture

for the feats which the agricultural transformation programme recorded within two years. More importantly, in 2013, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) listed Nigeria among the countries which had achieved Goal One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — reducing by

“With the 2015 target date for the MDGs and ATA around the corner, agricultural stakeholders expect a quantum leap in the successes so far recorded. They, nonetheless, note that the allocation of N66.64 billion to the agricultural sector in the 2014 budget may not be sufficient enough to achieve the desired results.”

also named an “Ambassador of Goodwill’’ by the International Crops Research Institute for the Sahel and Tropics (ICRISAT). In spite of these achievements, the minister stressed that it was not yet “uhuru’’ because there were still some serious challenges, as revealed by an independent survey commissioned by the ministry. The survey listed the major challenges as infrastructure, finance, supply security and government regulations, tax and policies. Others are human capital, security, land and government coordination. However, Adesina said that efforts were underway to tackle these challenges frontally, adding that one of the strategies entailed development of Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs).

The SCPZs are expected to create 250,000 jobs across the country, while adding N1.4 trillion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The minister said that the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance, in partnership with the German Development Bank, had set up the Fund for Agricultural Financing (FAFIN). FAFIN is a private equity, quasi-equity and debt fund which will provide 100 million dollars in long-term finance to agribusinesses. As part of efforts to consolidate the gains of the agriculture transformation programme, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), which comprises about 20 companies, established the Nigerian Agribusiness Group. The major objective of the group is to help drive the ongoing regulatory and policy reforms so as to ensure that they are well protected and sustained. The group is expected to work closely with the government in efforts to further improve the business environment in agriculture. With the 2015 target date for the MDGs and ATA around the corner, agricultural stakeholders expect a quantum leap in the successes so far recorded. They, nonetheless, note that the allocation of N66.64 billion to the agricultural sector in the 2014 budget may not be sufficient enough to achieve the desired results. The stakeholders emphasise that the figure is lower than the 10 per cent of the annual budget, which was recommended by the African Heads of State in their 2003 Maputo Declaration. They note that only eight countries, excluding Nigeria, have been able to achieve the target set for the finance of the agricultural sector.


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Focus VIOLENCE against women, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation”. Also, the United Nations defines violence as any act of gender based infliction of bodily harm that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and men including threats under the influence of alcohol and other chemical substance that may contribute to violent behaviour. A drunk person will be less likely to control his or her violent impulse when he is angry. Experts define abuse as any physical sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threat of actions that influences another person. This include behaviours that freighter, intimidate, terrorize manipulate hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. Reasons for violence or abuse according to experts, is that people feel the need to central and dominate the other. Abusers may feel the need to control their

partners because of low self-esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties in regulating anger and other strong emotions, or when they feel inferior to the other partner in Education and Socio-economic background. This domination then takes the form of emotional physical or sexual abuse. Studies suggest that violent behaviour are often caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors. That means that abusers can learn violent behaviour from their family, people in their community and other cultural influences as they grow up, or they might have been exposed to violence as a child or a victim themselves. Furthermore, acts of violence against women or girls are of different forms. There is the dreaded rape which according to one definition is a forceful threat of bodily harm or taking sexual advantage of a victim without getting consent. Rape is a crime or violence and intimidation, in which a person is coerced or manipulated by another person into sexual intercourse. This is common among most men who are not just family friends but relatives and parent who take advantage of teenagers who are place in their care. Recent reports revealed

Addressing Violence A that a 95-year-old man allegedly raped an eighty-year-old girl who was his neighbours daughter. This happens yearly in different countries of the world. Statistics from the United Nations news centre recently, has shown there is an alarming rise in rape and violence against women

and the girl child in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu. “Our protection

monitoring teams have registered 705 cases of sexual violence in the region since January including 619 cases of rape” according to the UN high Commission spokesman who are rehabilitating the victims who were physically and emotionally abused in Congo.

Another form is Battering, which refer to violence actspsychological sexual and physical assaults by

“Experts define abuse as any physical sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threat of actions that influences another person. This include behaviours that freighter, intimidate, terrorize manipulate hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.”

By WINIFRED OSASOBO

an assailant against his wife and partner made with the intent of contriving their partner by including fear and pain on the victims. Around the world, at least one in every three women is beaten, coerced into sex or abused most often by some-one she knows

another, it is acquisition of peopl improper means suc force, fraud decep with the aim exploiting them. The issue of traffick affects virtually countries, whet development or n This has eaten deep the fabrics of the soc

including her husband or another male family member. An instance, was a woman identified as Osarumwense who was allegedly killed by her husband, Endurance Enadebe who resides at Oka quarters, Upper Sakponba, Benin City, few days to the naming ceremony of their twins. Children. Her husband hit her on the head for not breastfeeding their babies and she died in the process. Human trafficking is

and many families p their children into s crime due to pove Which the victims left to suffer consequence after so time, their might lea either loss of life contraction of dea disease that incurable. Similarly, there is a Female Gen Mutilation (FG which is the remova the female genita organ for non-med reason. According WHO, it has no he


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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

Focus

Against Women/Girl Child

the le by ch as ption of

king all ther not. into ciety

push such erty. are the ome ad to oradly are

also nital GM) al of alia dical g to ealth

benefit and causes harm to girls and women in many way FGM causes severe pains and has several immediate and

long term health consequences including difficulties in child birth. It also causes danger to the child says WHO.

Virtually every country in the world agrees that female genital mutilation is a violation of a female human right.

It is also seen as an extreme form of discrimination against females in the world. Violence against women

cuts across social and economic divides and is deeply embedded in cultures around the world so much so that millions of women consider. It as a way of life, while neglecting the danger it poses to them. Certainly, the female

gender faced with these abuses/violent acts, cannot contribute to the growth of the society and in order to reverse this trend of relegating the women folk to the background, these abusive tendencies and maladies must of necessity, stop!.

The Girl Child Phenomenon AN issue that is sure to attract much response when discussing about it, is the girl-child (woman) especially when not relating it to the kitchen profession. If we can retrospectively examine the off shoot of the personality called woman, a better result as to her importance is sure to be derived, not for the purpose of the kitchen as it were, but for all round societal transformation. The question as to the identity of a girl-child may not require definite statement or explanations but it will be appropriate to employ explanatory measures in order to drive the point of whom she truly is home. The greatness in every woman is perceived in her teenage age. It will be institutionally and religiously correct to assert that Eve in the manual, the Bible and other religion materials was described as the first woman in creation. In Genesis where it was first reported of her involvement in the events that unfolded in the garden of Edem, it would be note worthy to say that she was created from, Adam’s ribs as a girl and not as a child who was on her mother’s breasts. It was clearly stated that she was not made or manufactured from Adam’s ribs with a child in her womb. So, understandingly she was at that instance “a girl”. The Edem says as it is

well known provides for us an avenue to compare the punishment melted on both parties being accomplice to the crime of disobedience which section 7A of the criminal code cap 77, 1990 describes as principal offenders or parties to the offence “Every person who actually does the act or makes the omission which constitutes the offence” are parties to the offence. The criminal code as it is in the South and the criminal procedure code as it applies to the North will not have been merciful to them including, the serpent by reason of its provisions. It could therefore be right to posit that section 7A of the criminal code cap 77, 1990 derived its assertion to the code from the decision of the Almighty to the principal offenders in the Bible book of genesis. A voice from above sounded like the sound of an earthquake saying, “Adam where hath thou?” and Adam responded “the woman whom thou hath given me gave me the fruit of good and evil”. Who asked him? (that is usual the response of a failed general who could not prosecute a war at his advantage but defends his weaknesses by first instigating complaints one will be right to stat that eve was responsible in providing for the home in the first instance. Eve gave Adam an apple to eat which she worked for, probably to a lazy husband who went to drink “ogogoro”. A husband who knows how to give names to things he never works for.

It is therefore permissible to state that the punishment for the accomplice is simply a change in duty. As in, Eve would no longer be providing for you, put your muscles to work. Then for Eve, you will carry a baby in the womb for nine months, including maternity leave. Look at these! A man who is told to prepare for leg amputation state to cry, at the news, after the operation, the doctor prescribes a wheel chair or a sizeable working stick. But a woman who is pregnant cannot commence lamentation simply because of the said pain at delivery. She delivers and it calls for celebration (a blessing after all). Thanks therefore to woman for taking their duty so seriously and having not failed in her responsibilities, especially in the improvement in the world population. We must however guard against Adams errors by thinking that Eve was created only by her maker to make children rather than engage her or better still assist her to identify her God-given potentials which would have been of immense benefit to

By EMMANUEL U. OKORO

this was the same man who

By EMMANUEL U. OKORO Adam in addressing his I were God the child had advised his late

own part of the punishment. And so Adam remained in that error while his generation passed. Unarguably, a man who is ignorant or out of information can end up struggling with life while his generation ends like that of Adam. The resource in the girlchild is yet untapped, which to a large extent connotes that we can take advantage of the opportunities inherent in her untapped resource in this generation, develop it and then develop the world with it. Paradoxically, if you are a girl-child you are at advantage to benefit from this discuss. Gone are the days when little emphasis and regards are attributed to the birth of a female child. Any family that dwell in what I describe as “grand pa idea” are reasonably dwelling in the past and should please allow the 21st century for those who want to join hands to harness the repository benefit in the girl – child. A barren couple who have lived for 15 years without a baby cried and prayed “God even if is a girl – child …. Please Lord, give her to me”. If

giver… I’ll remain silent … prayer not answered. The girl child in not a last resort … she is a phenomenon we must know that there is an element of greatness in every woman. Someone in my neighborhood ended his life with excessive alcohol intake because the wife had six female children without a male. In the evenings he would go to a nearby beer parlour to drink himself to stupour years later, he came up with renal disorder which finally took his life. Few after his death his daughters were first to be reckoned with in the neighbourhood. It would have been a pitiable situation if those girls had sat on their oars and probably depressed by the daily embarrassment they suffered in the hands of their father, did nothing for themselves. But they worked hard, got good education, got married. Occasion attracted dignities from all works of life to great the wedding ceremony of one of the girls. An uncle of their lamented endlessly.. “how I wish my brother was alive … to witness thus great occasion …

brother to take a second wife for the purpose of having a male – child. It is important for us to be careful the kind of advice we accept from people, including family members especially those who talk ill of the girl – child and are gender biased. These are seven principles on how to develop confidence in the girl – child. Teach her to understand (know) that success in all ramification has no gender bias but gender friendly. *Consistently remind her that she can be better than she thinks she can. *Let her see you always happy each time you invest resources towards her education. *Never you express sadness in words or in action about her gender. *Besides, show her that she can do better than her male counterpart by instilling in her discipline and confidence while you help her to identify her God – given talents. *Teach her the ways of God and also the ways of successful living. *Above all pray for her always.

“We must however guard against Adams errors by thinking that Eve was created only by her maker to make children rather than engage her or better still assist her to identify her God-given potentials which would have been of immense benefit to Adam in addressing his own part of the punishment. And so Adam remained in that error while his generation passed.”


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Education

Getting Almajiris Off The Streets SIGHT of plate-carrying children, begging for alms and food is common in most states of northern Nigeria. Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Education, put the number of these children popularly called almajiris at nine million. The Federal Government, worried by this development, introduced the Almajiri Education programme in collaboration with the state governments and development partners. Almost all states in the north had introduced measures that would help to keep the children off the streets. Just recently, about 20,000 pupils of Quranic schools, spread across Katsina State renounced street begging, following the introduction of free school feeding and vocational programme by the state government. The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ibrahim Shema on Almajirai Affairs, Malam Lawal Gambarawa, said the scheme had recorded appreciable success within seven months. According to him, the 20,000 pupils are from the 100 Quranic schools selected for the pilot scheme across the 34 local government areas of the state. Gambarawa explained that 38 schools were selected from Katsina Senato-

rial Zone, while Funtua and Daura senatorial zones had 30 and 33 schools respectively. He said that the programme was aimed at improving the living condition of the pupils, curtail street begging, and train the affected youths on vocational skills to make them self-reliant. Gambarawa said that government was planning to expand the number of benefiting schools to 130 to enable other schools benefit. “In the first instance, the Katsina State Government started with 70 Quranic schools with about 15,000 Almajirai, and later increased the schools to 100 with 20,000 Almajirai benefiting. “The Katsina State Government is considering including more Quranic schools into the programme, which will bring down the number of Almajirai begging population.’’ The senior special assistant said that the state government has constructed schools in some local government areas to train the Almajiris to secondary and tertiary levels. He added that the menace of Almajiri and street begging would become a thing of the past in no distant time if all northern states adopt the Katsina approach. In order to attract the children to the Almajiri

By CHIJIOKE OKORONKWO schools, government feeds them every day. According to Governor Ibrahim Shema, government spends N32 million every month for the feeding of the pupils. He also said that government introduced mobile ambulance services to carter for the health care needs of the Almajiri schools across the state. Bauchi State, like Katsina State, is unrelenting in its effort to provide qualitative education to the Almajiris. Governor Isa Yuguda said that the government had built 620 Almajiri schools in the state between 2007 and 2009, and integrated same into the Universal Basic Education system.

The governor stated this at the inauguration of the Tsangaya Islamiya Model School (a Quranic school), in Buzaye in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State. He said the state government started integrating the Quranic schools into basic education with only three schools, adding that “now we have 620, with an enrolment of 35,531 pupils. “All the schools have classrooms with quality facilities such as furniture, instructional materials, as well as qualified teachers.’’ Yuguda said that three Tsangaya Islamiya Model Schools were built in the state by the Federal Government at the cost of N350 million.

Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who inaugurated the schools, said that the Federal Government had so far constructed 128 Almajiri schools in 28 states of the federation. He said that out of the 128 schools, 89 were constructed by Universal Basic Education Commission, while 39 were constructed by the defunct Education Trust Fund, now Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). “So far, 109 of the schools have been completed, while the remaining ones are at various stages of completion.’’ The vice-president said available records indicated that the number of Almajiris in the country was more than nine million. “This staggering figure does not only pose a great challenge in the achievement of education for all, it also

poses serious challenge to the attainment of the development agenda of our great country. “Any development plan that does not focus on comprehensive and all inclusive education programme will not lead Nigeria to the attainment of our desired social and economic development. “This is what informed Federal Government’s decision to include all Nigerian children in the transformation agenda of the education sector, the vice-president said. Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, on his part, said that the percentage of out-ofschool children in the state dropped from 78 per cent in 2011 to less than 42 per cent in 2013. Dankwambo stated this recently in Gombe when the Minister of State and Supervising Minister for Education, Mr. Nyeson Wike, visited him. He recalled that the statistics of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2011 showed that 78 per cent of children in the state were out-ofschool “But between 2012 and 2013, the number has dropped to less than 42 per cent. “A state of emergency was declared in the education sector, as the government built and renovated schools to decongest the existing ones, while recruiting qualified teachers. “This has contributed effectively to the development of education in the state. “We will not relent in our efforts; we will continue to invest in education because it is our number one, two and three priorities. “If a society is well-educated, other things will follow,” he said. Indeed, government at all levels should continue to give priority to education, as empowerment is the greatest gift to a child. (NAN)

“A state of emergency was declared in the education sector, as the government built and renovated schools to decongest the existing ones, while recruiting qualified teachers. “This has contributed effectively to the development of education in the state”.


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Discourse

I had sometime written on the need to seek for external assistance based on the various bombings in Nigeria that is not only denting but denigrating the image of Nigeria locally, nationally and internationally. The bombings have become like a one-time Minister of Petroleum Resources, Professor Tam David-West would say “enough is more than enough”. The issue of these bombings need to be adequately and genuinely addressed once and for all. The frequent bombings have left many Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora in a stupor of surprise, pangs of anger and righteous indignation. It is therefore condemnable and despicable. How on earth will a sect continue to bomb schools, kill students and teachers? Where do we go from here according to a popular musician? What was the offence of these innocent students and teachers or is it because Boko Haram believes that western education is a sin/evil? The frequent bombings are serious national and international embarrassment. To this end therefore, it has continued to raise fundamental issues about national security, governance, as well as Nigeria’s corporate existence. As far as I am concerned, Boko Haram is a group of school drop-outs and those who could not in the first instance commence western education. Members of a religious sect with a forbidden name as claimed by them, Boko Haram while their true name according to their leader, Abubakar Bin Mohammed popularly known as Shekau is Jama’atu Ahli Sunna Lidda’awati WalJihad that is, people Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad. Following all the bombings with loss of lives and properties and trying to make the country which is the giant of Africa ungovernable for President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR and his team, I think it is most appropriate to seek for external assistance to find out the

members of the deadly sect and their sponsors, whether individuals, corporate organisations, etc. The governors in the North East as the Chief Security Officers in their various states and the Chairmen of the Local Government Councils should be able to assist to identify the members by going “penetration deep down” courtesy of Zobridaya alias Nwodo how past four (a play Wright) but the reverse is the case. Frequent visits by the Governors of the North East to Aso Rock on the Boko Haram thereby abandoning their responsibilities without proper home work is not the best. They should study what is happening within their immediate vicinity and proffer solutions especially how and why the bombings are always taking place but the reverse is the case. In some cases, we say we want to negotiate with them. How can we negotiate with faceless people? What are their demands or annoyance? Negotiate with people who say western education is a sin/evil who also want Nigeria to become openly a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). They don’t want western education to continue in Nigeria. Let them know that education is not compulsory for them they should allow those who are interested to continue with their academics. It is a truism to say that they enjoy fully what western education has brought for us. Many of their people enjoy seniority in the public service based on quota or federal character principle as introduced by General Murtala Ramat Mohammed (of blessed memory) then head of junta while addressing the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) on Monday, 20th July 1975. Another big question is, Are they really Nigerians? If not how do they enter the country freely for their frequent suicide mission? The sect appeared to be having their operations executed without molestation. In the month of February 2014 it has been hectic. Why must it be so? On February 11, Boko Haram killed 39 ci-

Bombings And Need For External Assistance

vilians in Kondoga, February 15, members of the deadly sect invaded Izedge, a town in Gwoza Council, near the border between Borno and Adamawa States where they killed more than 106 civilians. It was rumoured that over 400,000 persons lost their lives since the sect

started their suicide mission. It seems to me that whatever restructuring carried out at the top hierarchy of the nation’s security operatives will not assist in this direction or bring sanity for the crushing of members of the sect. This is because it will only be putting a new wine in an old calabash or bottle. In other words, there must be people at the lower and middle cadres winning and dinning with members of the sect unknowingly to their superior officers and the country in general. One may wish to recall at this point, the notorious criminal, Lawrence Anini and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Iyamu (both from Edo State). Anini terrorised the nation for

“It is no exaggeration to say that the activity of the terrorist group has brought hardship to the entire people in the North East and this has affected the socio-political and economic life of the people. It has further affected the inflow of foreign investments. The Federal Government should address the issue of violence and terrorism where possible or necessary seek for external assistance for Nigeria needs peace and we need to end the war.”

By CHARLES IKEDIKWA SOEZE

months both men and officers of the police were killed or maimed by Anini and his corroborators. Later, it was discovered that DSP Iyamu was aiding and abetting Anini and his team. Was this not

in a most exemplary manner to serve as a deterrent to others who would ever think of engaging on destructive act. In my opinion all

ridiculous? Boko Haram has caused a lot of damage and economic hardship especially in the North East of Nigeria. In this connection therefore, we should go for external assistance and I think it has no security implication. The way members of the sect are going, if not urgently addressed, Nigeria will become hell on earth and a ‘no-goarea’ for visiting personalities though I am not a prophet of doom. However, let this be the time for sober reflection for us all. As Nigerians and international communities condemned the wicked and barbaric act, let everybody looks inward and reappraise what happened. Injustice and oppression (if any) cannot but ultimately produce a desire for revenge and or rebellion. Let our deep sympathy go to all who lost their lives, persons, properties, and sense of security. Nigeria needs to be made safe for all; and the Federal Government should lead and show the way to this, purposefully and decisively. Furthermore, the federal government should rise to the challenge of unmasking those behind the cowardly, deadly and dastardly acts no matter how highly or lowly placed and crush them

progressive and articulate Nigerians irrespective of religion and tribe must dislodge the idea of being agents of darkness and destruction. As a result, it is absolutely necessary with due respect, humility, and sense of responsibility to appeal to all Nigerians no matter the status to remain steadfast, focused on the path of truth, honour, fairness and justice so that Nigeria can make meaningful progress economically and politically. With these continuous bombings in the month of February 2014, one may boldly say that Nigeria’s democracy is therefore dangerous if not properly investigated. The way some are seeing these, it might lead to an extent that the falcon can no longer hear the falconer and that things will fall apart. This is not the best for Nigeria’s democratic structure. In the words of Desmond Mpilo Tutu, “Justice must be done to the poor and oppressed and if the present system does not serve the purpose the public conscience must be roused to demand another”. In other words, the federal government needs to investigate thoroughly if there was “crassa negligentia” that is,

gross negligence by any person no matter how highly or lowly placed in the society with political god-father or god-mother. It appears that some of those engaged in the dastardly act must be under sponsorship by God or Allah knows whom or group. Like Pope Benedict XVI, while appealing for peace in a message to commemorate the 2007 World Peace Day (WPD) said “Those with greater political, technical, or economic world power must not use the power to violate the rights of others who are less fortunate”. One may say that Nigeria appears as a weak state in the fight against violence and terrorism. What have made the sect to have stormed the Federal Government College (FGC), Buni Yadi, Gujiba Local Government, Yobe State and killed 43 students? Buni Yadi is 60 kilometres from Damaturu, the state capital. In January 2010, the US (most powerful nation) once more put Nigeria on a Terror Alert Watch List (TAWL) following the attempt by a Nigerian, Mukhtar Abdulmutallab, to blow up a Delta Airlines plane over Detroit, USA in December 2009. It is no exaggeration to say that the activity of the terrorist group has brought hardship to the entire people in the North East and this has affected the socio-political and economic life of the people. It has further affected the inflow of foreign investments. The Federal Government should address the issue of violence and terrorism where possible or necessary seek for external assistance for Nigeria needs peace and we need to end the war. I wish to say with humility to the sect of the 21st century, Rabbig-Fr Warham Wa “Anta KhayrurRaahimin”. Meaning, “O my Lord! Grant thou forgiveness and mercy”! For thou art the best of those who show mercy (Qur’an Surah 23, Verse 118). This is because of their ignorance as a result of lack of basic and western education in the 21st century, which is a big shame and set back. The sect should have this great mind and think of how to manipulate and improve on the environment for the betterment of the society not engaging in suicide mission. They have done a lot of massacre and let them change from Boko Haram that is deadly sect to Biko Haram meaning in Ibo


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Nutrition

Exploiting The Benefits Of Shea Butter

MEDICAL experts, have on many occasions, underscored the importance of Shea butter, an off-white or ivorycoloured fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree found in the semi-arid savannah regions of West and Central Africa. According to them, Shea butter promotes healing effects on burns, skin conditions, ulcerated skin, stretch marks, dryness and cell regeneration, among others. Cosmetologists agree that Shea butter is also non-toxic and beneficial; as the butter can be used in foods and cooking as well as soaps and beauty products. Analysts, however, believe that apart from medicinal benefits of Shea butter, the butter extraction processes from the nuts have offered

By OLABISI AKINBODE veritable employment and income-generation channels to many Nigerians, particularly those in the rural areas They note further that the benefits of Shea butter are well-known and accepted by dermatologists, adding that it has been an indispensable skin-care product in the market. Research has shown that some food manufacturing companies occasionally use Shea butter, especially those producing chocolate. In spite of its acknowledged benefits, Alhaja Sidikat Amusan, a producer of Shea butter in Ibadan, Oyo State, says that the traditional

method of producing the butter is quite laborious. She insists that the outer shell of Shea nuts — the source of Shea butter — must be removed, adding that this is traditionally done by women and young girls. “This is followed by

crushing of the nuts with mortars and pestles, while the crushed nuts are roasted in large pots. “Then, the nuts are ground to form a smoother paste by adding water and mixing the substance gradually by hand; after this, we separate the oil. “The oil is skimmed off the top and left to cool and in the process, two products, Shea butter and

Shea oil, are produced. “The Shea butter becomes solid upon cooling and the Shea oil, which does not contain a high percentage of waxy components, remains liquid. The Shea butter is later shaped into balls for sale,’’ Amusan explains. Vouching for the efficacy of Shea butter in treating skin problems like rashes, Mrs Faith Igwe, a nursing mother in Ibadan, says that her daughter became free from rashes when she started applying Shea butter on her. Similarly, Mr Jimoh Alegbe, a barber in Molete, Ibadan, says that he uses Shea butter as an after-shave ointment on his customers. Prof. Kunle George, a Consultant Dermatologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, also notes that Shea butter is effective as a moisturiser and skin ointment. “Shea butter has an anti-inflammatory particle that makes it efficacious in the treatment of burns or swellings in any part of the body; it is the skin’s best friend. “Pure natural Shea butter is an all-natural vitamin A cream; it is also a superb moisturiser with potent healing properties for the skin. “Shea butter is sometimes used as a base for medicinal ointments; it is also being used as a sunblocking lotion, limiting the capacity of the skin to absorb ultraviolet radiation,’’ he says. George says that Shea butter is used for the management of dry skin, skin rashes, eczema, dermatitis, cold, frostbites, aches and tensions, among others. “The moisturisers in Shea butter are of the

same kind as the moisturisers which the sebaceous glands produce,’’ says Dr Jody Levine, a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. However, some users of Shea butter often grumble about its nauseating smell, insisting that in spite of its proven efficacy in treating many skin problems, its smell is somewhat offensive. Mrs. Rosaline Uweke, a cosmetologist at Agbowo Shopping Complex, Ibadan, says that she has stopped using Shea butter because some of her customers usually complain about its smell. “The smell is the only bad thing about Shea butter; if something can be done about the smell, many people will be quite eager to use it,’’ she says. Irrespective of the complaints, cosmetologists insist that fresh Shea butter should not have a strong, offensive odour that lingers, long after rubbing it on the skin. They note that the strong, unpleasant odour of any Shear butter is a sign that the butter has become rancid because of improper production methods or age. They say the healthy, beneficial properties of Shea butter are no longer active in old or rancid Shea butter, adding those categories of Shea butter should not be used. All in all, cosmetologists note that raw or unrefined Shea butter is the purest form of the lard, adding that due to its manual extraction processes, the butter is able to retain its vitamins, minerals and other natural properties.

“However, some users of Shea butter often grumble about its nauseating smell, insisting that in spite of its proven efficacy in treating many skin problems, its smell is somewhat offensive.”


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Archival Matters

Mama Peace Got It Wrong

ON March 8, 2014, the chair person of African First Ladies Peace Mission, our own Dame Patience Jonathan, set Abuja alight with a national youth peace concert. The event, which was organised in collaboration with the office of the Special Assistant on Youths to President Goodluck Jonathan, saw several African first ladies in attendance. Our first lady – aka Mama Peace – informed us that the event was aimed at producing a youthful generation of peace ambassadors in Nigeria now in the trauma of violence, insecurity and conflict. Well, methinks, the event was more of a mobilisation of youths for her husband whose body language shows he is interested in seeking reelection in 2015. In other words, the event was not really a peace concert to anyone with the third eyes of vision. Therefore, my prayer at the end of the event was taken from the preachings of Pastor Luke. During a sermon on December 28, 2013 in Benin, he said in part: “God answer to your good heart, works belief and spirituality. Not your desires, needs and wants. “No one can deceive God and his true devotees. Indeed, so many things were out of place during the March 8, 2014 concert which disqualified it from being organized to produce youth ambassadors of peace. To start with, our Mama Peace wore a black gown to the occasion suggesting wardrobe misadventurism. I am not a fashion afficinado. But I know black dress codes are worn to funerals not a celebrative event like the

By MICHAEL ODIGBE

youth concert. Unfortunately enough, she was the only top dignitary at the occasion who wore black. From the look of things, I don’t think she wore the black gown to spite anyone or devalue the event. Something inside me believes that her aesthetic fashion riot was of the head, not of the heart. A fashion misapplication, not a miscalculation. It appeared to be a case of her playing down fashion functionalism. Having said this, let us go to more serious issues. At the Eagle Square, Abuja, where the concert took place, there was no visual, practiced manifestation that a real peace concert was holding. I expected to see words of wisdom being used to decorate the square. Yes, I thought I would see banners, billboards, flyers, handbills graffiti’s or other symbolisms in all nooks and crannies of the square carrying these words of wisdom. But I didn’t see any. Remember, words of wisdom speak truth to man. Moreover, through their repeated auto suggestion to the conscious mind over time, these words compulsively motivating us to hearken to their counsel. Behold here are some of such words of wisdom I expected to see Mahatma Ghandi, founder of modern India says: “An eye for an eye will make the world go blind” …… “Be your brother’s keeper, not killer” states Mr Anonymous…… Mrs Evi Edna – Ogosi admonishes: “Drop that stick: Stop the fight!!..... NTA, Abuja enjoins” “When you plan at youth, you enjoy at old age”… Kingsley Ogbeide –

Ihama, a columnist with NIGERIAN OBSERVER, appeals. “Never allow your revenge to portray you as a more evil person. Otherwise, none would remember how badly hurt you were initially hurt”. Painting the Eagle Square, Abuja red with such

peace with the appropriate lyrics, mannerisms, choreography, poise, balance, moral carriage character and personality. Without meeting this template, the message of peace cannot be delivered forcefully to our youths through music. Sadly enough, organizers of the

indiscipline, immorality and violence, the concert was right in serving the youths this sour dish of artistes. But, then, this is not what Nigeria needs today given the sickening depth of depravity. Any artiste who cannot add value to the moral regeneration of our youths should never have been allowed on stage to entertain them. Such an artiste is not a peace builder but a cheap pornographic

Dame Patience Jonathan

seminal words of wisdom and several others would have gone a long way to drive home Mama Peace’s message of peace building to our youths. Furthermore, providing them with Tshirts with various message of peace would have helped, also to reinforce the theme of the concert. Is this all? No. All performing artistes hired for the concert should have been true ambassador of

concert didn’t strictly keep to this rule. This is why most musicians paraded for the concert appeared bitter by Epicure as they sang, engaged in maniacal happing dance like grasshoppers on stage, strip teased spectators and wriggled their waists in bedmate, erotic formulations. Certainly, if Nigeria wants to create young ambassadors of

“All said, I therefore implore Mama Peace to convoke a true national meeting for building youth peace ambassadors for Nigeria to redeem her name and she can make it happen.”

artifact mean for the rubbish heap of the old troubled Nigeria we are aspiring to jettison, today. Did you watch the concert? If you did, you will discover that Mama Peace only paid attention to the gentle man from Ivory Coast who was one of few true ambassadors of peace at the event. She even held his hand as he sang a heartrending song with a thematic message calling for reconciliation among warring partners. His performance was impeccable. However, note that this commendation for the concert does not rule out the fact it was a big disaster if its aim was to churn out peace ambassadors. Once again, Mama Peace got it all

wrong by her choice of speakers at the event. All they did was to preach peace “from the mobile pulpit” in abstract terms. This extant tradition of peace advocacy in Nigeria is old-fashioned and unproductive. Youths don’t benefit much from it again as pastors, priests, evangelists, Muslim clerics, Garu Maharajas, elkan karists, rosocrucians, among others would truly confess. The appropriate mode of instruction which guarantees that a statistically significant number of youths are socialized into real peace ambassadorship is empirical pedagogy. Therefore, speakers invited to address youths at the event should not be the Gowns. They should have been people like repentant ex-soldiers from the defunct Biafra; former rebels from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast; victims of conflicts; as well as refugees including those from Central African Republic still in turmoil. Such speakers still bear the scars of violence. Therefore, they will be in a better position to empirically speak on peace and warn against conflicts, cross and wars which youths today delight in stoking with the fiery chorus of notin day happen. Yes, when a youth sees and hears someone without arms advocate peace, he/she learns faster. Additionally, methinks, provision should have been made to hold a workshop on safety/security peace and conflict resolution a day before the concert. Through the workshop, the youths would have been taught the practical skills of a peace ambassador. It is better to teach them how to keep the peace and be at peace with themselves than just telling them by word of mouth to be peace ambassadors. All said, I therefore implore Mama Peace to convoke a true national meeting for building youth peace ambassadors for Nigeria to redeem her name and she can make it happen. When woman back pickin e no day fall.


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Science

Autotrophy And Heterotrophs THESE are mainly the green plants, they produce their own food themselves. We have two types of autotrophs. They are the photosynthetic autotrophs and the chemosynthetic autotrophs. Photosynthetic autotrophs They use solar energy for the synthesis of their own food and they contain chlorophyll too. All green plants belong to this group. Chemosynthetic autotrophs They are also plants but instead of using solar energy, they use energy from chemical reactions in the soil to synthesize their own food. Producers They are mainly green plants that synthesize organic food from inorganic matter like carbon (iv) oxide, water and mineral salts.

All producers are autotrophic in nature, examples are green plants and because they are green plants on land they are the terrestrial producers while the planktons and algae are the aquatic producers. Both the terrestrial and aquatic producers are in the first trophic level. From research it has been discovered that the producers are more abundant in nature, they start off any food chain, because they are able to produce carbohydrates, during their photosynthetic activities, carbon (iv) oxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll and solar energy. Heterotrophs Heterotrophs are organisms that cannot produce food for themselves but depend on the food produced by the autotrophs. It should be noted that all consumers are heterotrophs

With Clementina Oyakhilomhe

examples are goat, sheep, cow and rabbit, because they are heterotrophs, they belong to the 2nd trophic level and are known as the primary consumers because they feed directly on plant materials and build energy or food for the carnivores. The secondary consumers are usually the animals, because they feed on the primary consumers like the carnivores like the dogs, cats and lizards. They belong to the 3rd trophic level in the food chain ominivores like man who feed on both plants and animals. The tertiary consumers are animals that feed on secondary consumers examples are tigers, hawk and lion. These organisms belong to the 4th trophic level of the food chain. Food webs and trophic level food chain This is the transfer of food energy from the producers which are the green plants to a series of organisms in a habitat. For any food chain to start, there must be a producer, which is the green plants and the green plants are also referred to as the autotrophs Gras – grasshoppers – lizard – snake (Terrestrial) Plankton – tilapia – water snake (Aquatic) Dead wood – termite – chicken – hawk Tropic levels These are the stages at which energy is found as it moves through different organism or it is the levels of transfer in the ecosystem. It is not cyclic being that it is an energy pyramid it goes from the producers up to a point where it cannot be used by living things any more. It is either the organisms uses it in ecosystem or it is lost to the atmosphere e.g the energy stored in a cow is also equal to the energy that is stored in the grasses it has eaten up. Nutrient movement This is the chemical energy which is in the form of carbohydrate, proteins and fats in conjunction with other nutrients that are distributed among producers, consumers and decomposes. Energy flow, food pyramid This is a representation of food chain where by the producers which is mainly the food producers, form the base while the carnivores forms the apex. Pyramid of numbers This is the progressive drop in the number of individuals in the population at each successive trophic level of a food chain. It could also be defined as the relives decrease in the number of organisms in a food chain as you ascends the higher tropic levels.


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MR. SAMUEL EDIAE CHIEF G. A. EGBON MRS. MERCY IMASUEN MRS. SUSAN ALI MRS. JUSTINA JOSEPH MRS. EDOWEN MERCY MR. AGBOEGBE PETER CHIEF FRANCIS OMOH HON. BENAINU EKHAINE MR. MARTINS SHAIBU ABU MR. TUNJI ARUYA ELIMIGBE THOMAS OKOEGUALE BENEDICT VICTOR OTOBOH PRINCESS BIDDY O. ADELE DORIS E. OGBEIFUN MR. AKIOYA MARTINS DEACON JOSEPH ABEGBE MRS. JOY OMOREGIE MRS. JUSTINA IDUOZEE MRS. PAT UWADIAE PAUL OBAYUWANA MR. BLESSING EDIGIN MR. KINGSLEY AMENBISAYO MRS. QUEEN UKA OKOH MRS. EBUN OMOREGIE BISI OBAZEE ENOGIE ANTHONY OSAGIE FRANK GUOBADIA WILFRED UWABOR OSAYOMWANBOR AIGBOGUN

LAND USE COMMITTEE 1. SIMEON OMOFUMA 2. MRS. ADESUWA AJAYI 3. MRS. ELIZABETH OSEMWENGHAE 4. BARR. R. OSAZUWA 5. MR. LAWRENCE IGBINOSUN 6. MRS. LORETTA UHUNMWANGHO 7. MR. MESHACK ERHABOR 8. ELDER ROLAND EVBADE OSADOLOR 9. MRS. MARIA ENOMA 10. MR. JOHNBULL OSAEGONMWAN 11. MRS. VICTORIA OYEGUE 12. MRS. OMO OHAKHENA 13. MR. JOHN JESUROBO 14. JULIA ORU 15. ELDER JOHN ADODO 16. MR. DAVID ILEVBA 17. MR. MOSES ARASOMWAN 18. DR. SEGUN OSEH 19. MR. NICHOLAS AROKHAMONI 20. CHIEF (MRS.) KADIRI 21. CHIEF PETER OKPO 22. COL. B. O. MUSA (RTD.) 23. ALEX BRAIMAH 24. MR. SULE SHAIBU 25. MISS. LILIAN EMUOBOME 26. CHIEF S. O. IMAFOGE 27. CHIEF SHAGARI ONI 28. BARR. UKPEBOR 29. ONOHO-OMHEN O. EBHOHIMEN 30. CHIEF OKOROR 31. MRS. MERCY OBOH 32. MR. JOHN INEGBENEBOR 33. BARR. HARRISON OJEME 34. PASTOR SAMUEL E. ODIGIE 35. MRS. ROSE EWEKA 36. MRS. CLARA IMARHIAGBE 37. MRS. HELEN IDEHEN 38. MR. DUKE OSHODI 39. UGBEKILE ANDREW ESQ. 40. OLA OSAYEMWEN 41. ENGR. J. OMOREGIE 42. MR. JOHN JESUROBO 43. GENERAL P. ONAGHISE (RTD.) 44. MR. EDDY OGUNBOR 45. PAT IGBINOVIA COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT 1. MR. MUTARI OSAGIE 2. MR. SHAKA MOMOH 3. MR. ADAMU ABBAS 4. MR. JULIUS OGIDA

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MR. MAXWELL AIGBE MR. FOSTER IYANGBE MR. FRIDAY WISE OSA MR. KINGSLEY EDEGBE MR. SAMSON ODIA OSAHON OMODAMWEN MR. VINCENT AIGBE MR. CHARLES NEHIKHARE MR. JOHNSON IDIARO MR. SUNDAY AGHO OGBEBOR UYI MR. PETER OSAGIE MR. MATTHEW IDEMUDIA MR. WEST ODARO OKOROMI IMIEGBE MR. EZE ERIYO MR. OBANOBI SYLVESTER MRS. M. A. AIYEDUN HON. RASAQ MOMODU COMRADE JOSEPH OLEGHE HON. CHIEF JAMES IMHANOBI SIR RAPHAEL ARUNAH MR. ALFRED OLAGUNJU MRS. IYANGBE ANTHONIA AUGUSTINE OKOSUN IBHAKEWAN HENRY MR. LUCKY EBOMENSE AMENAWON OMEBEN MR. S. A. OKIHIE MONDAY AIWANFO MRS. ALICE LAWANI MRS. JULIE AIGBOGUN MRS. JANET IYASERE MRS. MERCY IGHARO WELLINGTON EGBON MR. OSAGIOBARE GLORY IGHO OSAYANDE OBASEKI MR. EMMANUEL ASUEN GABRIEL OSEI ISIBOR AIGBOBO

COMMITTEE ON PROTECTION OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY 1. MR. AUSTINE GARVEY EDEGBE CHAIRMAN 2. AFIGI OGHENE 3. MR. ADOGAN SUNDAY AKOGU 4. MR. OMORODION OBASEKI 5. MR. BRIGHT AISIEN 6. MR. BENJAMIN OBASEKI 7. MR. CHARLES OWIE 8. MR. GODWIN OZIGBO 9. MR. WEST OGBEMUDIA 10. MR. OSARETIN OSAWE 11. MR. ANTHONY IKHIONGHAE 12. MR. DAVID EVBUOMWAN 13. MR. ODUWA C. OMORAGBON 14. AIGBEKAEN OSARO 15. MR. DAVID IMARUGHE 16. MR. SAMSON OMO-OJO 17. TIMI ROBERT 18. MR. SAMUEL AGUEBOR 19. MARTINS OSHODI 20. HON. DAUDU AFOLABI 21. MR. JOHN OTARU 22. AMBROSE ANAVHE 23. ALHAJI MUSTAPHA CHARLES 24. MR. R. A. IRALE 25. BENSON OTSEMOBOR (BEBETO) 26. CHIEF PETER UANZEKI 27. DANDY OSERI 28. MR. MACAULEY ISEMEDE 29. MR. FRANCIS UWAIFO 30. GABRIEL EGWEMI 31. ODIBOH JULIUS 32. AIGBONKHAN EMMANUEL 33. SAMUEL O. EIGBE 34. EMMANUEL BORO EHIZOGIE 35. MR. IDEMUDIA MOMOH 36. UMORU IDRIS 37. BINANU EKPEA 38. PHILIP EBHOJAYE 39. FRANK AYORE OGUNDEZI 40. MR. EGHE NABUS 41. MARTINS OKWUKE 42. OROBOSA OSARENOGOUWU Continued on pg. 27 43. JOSEPH EKOMA


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DOUGLAS IDIARU MR. SHOLA CLEMENT PHILIP IYANOBOR

CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE 1. CHIEF RALPH EHIGIE 2. JOSEPH ASINA 3. MR. ODARO IZE-OMOREGIE 4. MR. GODWIN OSAZUWA 5. MR. CHRISTOPHER UHUNMWANGHO 6. MRS. MOBOLAJI OMOLABAKE 7. MR. CHRISTOPHER IMATITIKUA 8. BARR. SAMUEL AGIDIGBI 9. MS. IVIE ADUN 10. MRS. STELLA OKUNZUWA 11. MRS. GLADYS IGBINIKEN 12. MR. OSARO OSOLASE 13. MR. VICTOR OGIUGO 14. ELDER A. I. EDOLOYI 15. TINA EMERGBOR 16. TITILAYO AFADAMA 17. MR. AMEDU TITUS 18. MR. THOMAS OGHENA 19. MR. UDUAFEME SUNDAY 20. MR. UMORU MOMODU 21. LEWAN ZAINAB 22. FATAHI BRAIMOH 23. MR. OMO UMORU 24. AIEOLOSHAN OBEMEATA 25. BARR. TONY IKUENOBE 26. OBOH EVELYN 27. BARR. GODWIN O. OGBEBOR 28. BARR. INNOCENT O. USIFO 29. MR. IMASETOBA JOHNBULL 30. HELEN OWIE 31. PHILOMENA ERIYO 32. IMUETINYAN RACHAEL 33. STEPHEN IMAFIDON 34. MRS. QUEEN AFIANGBE IGEIN 35. MARK OSHIOKAMEH 36. MRS. ESTHER OMORUYI 37. MR. MICHAEL IYAMU 38. MADAM CHRISTIANA OKHOMINA 39. MRS. EBUN AKIOLA 40. FLORENCE OMOGIADE 41. MRS. CHRISTIANA OMOKARO 42. COMRADE (MRS.) ROSALYN OSAWE PRODUCE COMMITTEE 1. MR. ROMEO SHAIBU OMOIKE 2. NAPOLEON ENOGIOMWANO 3. EGBE ELEGON 4. MRS. NOSAKHARE EDENAZOGIE 5. MRS. FLORENCE OKOSUN 6. MRS. STELLA EKHATOR 7. MRS. AYO OSAYANDE 8. MR. LUCKY ENOWOKERE 9. MR. OSARO EFOSA 10. MRS. CHRISTY OGBOHODOR 11. MR. SAMUEL OKUNDIA 12. MR. TRUST IDEMUDIA 13. MRS. FELICIA OKUNROBO 14. MRS. JULIE OSAZUWA 15. MRS. MERCY OMRORUYI 16. MR. UGIAGBE IDAHOR 17. PRINCE AYENI J. B. 18. HON. C. S. LAWANI 19. MR. MUSA LADAN 20. MR. OBA STEVE OBA 21. MR. PIUS AIZENOBOR 22. PAUL ASEORA 23. DIRISU OYAREBU 24. SIR P. F. EDORE 25. MR. MANDY EVIEN EJEMAI 26. MR. JUSTIN KANKANBU 27. EUGENE UTUBOR 28. MR. SUNDAY EBOIGBE 29. EGHONGHON BEST ELOKIEL 30. PIUS ABHULIMEN 31. FELIX EHIGHAMEN 32. MISS. UHUNOMA IMALELE 33. MR. OSARIEME AIWERIOGHENE 34. MICHAEL OKOJIE 35. MRS. YEMISI OMOREGIE 36. MRS. OMOSEDE OBAKPOLOR

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MRS. FELICIA ALOHAN MRS. VIVIAN OBAZUAYE MRS. ESOSA EKHATOR MS. IFUEKO OBANOR MRS. IROWA OGIAMIEN THEO A. EGHAREVBA AJIBADE ADESINA COMRADE (MRS.) ABIGAIL OSADEBE

COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY MANAGEMENT 1. MR. SAMSON ABU 2. MR. DENNIS EDOMWONYI 3. MR. LAWRENCE IDABIE 4. MR. BENSON U. OGBEBOR 5. MR. ANTHONY ISERHIENHIEN 6. MR. OSAGIE EDOSOMWAN 7. MR. EHIGIATOR OSAMWONYI 8. IGHIWIYISI NOMWENGHO 9. MR. PAUL AVANRENREN 10. MR. VICTOR EKHATOR 11. MR. ROLAND OSARENWMINDA 12. PRINCESS SONATAN EWEKA 13. BETA MABIRI 14. MR. OLADOKUN OSAGIE 15. MR. PETER IMUETINYAN 16. MR. JOHN ENADEGHE 17. MR. BALOGUN B. O. 18. MR. MICHAEL ADESUNLOYE 19. ALHAJI ZAFARU ALOAYE 20. MR. BRIGHT EMUEYAKI 21. ANTHONY AKPOGOMEH 22. MR. MOMOH SULE 23. HAJIA RUKAYETU HARUNA 24. VICTOR OGEDENGBE 25. MR. F. K. IFIDON 26. MR. MONDAY ALAO 27. PETER IMAFIDON 28. CHARLES OSEMEDE 29. AGWI VASCO 30. FIDELIS OGBEJIELE 31. GODWIN OMEDE 32. FRANCIS UBENE 33. MR. CHRISTOPHER AIKOHI 34. HON. JOHN ILEGBINOSA 35. HON. BORONI AIGBOKHAEBHOLO 36. ABDULAZEEZ MUHAMMED AWEL 37. ALHAJI MUHAMMED ABUBAKAR 38. MR. RICKY EHIOROBO 39. MR. KINGSLEY UYIGUE 40. MR. OSAZE URHOGHIDE 41. MR. NOSA AVIELELE 42. MR. JIMOH FADAIRO 43. SUNDAY OSAGUONA 44. OSAGIE EDOKPAYI 45. CHRIS IYIRHIARHO 46. PAUL OKPE 47. EVANS OKUNGBOWA 48. ALHAJI ADAMU TIJANI COMMITTEE ON COCOA PRODUCTION 1. HON. ALE MORRISON OMOGIATE 2. BARR. FRIDAY IKHANE 3. MR. PETER ABUSOMWAN 4. MRS. GRACE EDOGHOGHO 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

AIYEKI EHIOZE HON. OSAMUYIMEN GUOBADIA MR. OBENDE OFEI MR. OSIRIEMEH OMOBA AWEH STEPHEN ALHAJI OSIOMAYE AHONSI JANET AYEMERE PROMISE B. A. ADENNI-AKPETO

Signed HON. PATRICK OBAHIAGBON Chief of Staff, Government House.

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Arsenal In A Very Bad Situation, Says Wenger ARSENE Wenger accepts his side’s “nightmare” defeat at Chelsea has left Arsenal’s title hopes in a “very bad situation.” Wenger had gone into his 1,000th match in charge of the Gunners hoping to record a victory at Stamford Bridge that would have put them a point behind the league leaders with a game in hand, but a 6-0 loss leaves them in fourth place, seven points behind the Blues. “It was a nightmare and I take full responsibility for it,” Wenger said on his club’s official website. “It leaves it [the title race] in a very bad situation, but we want to respond.” While he acknowledged that the size of the defeat to the Blues was hard to take, he took consolation from the 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur last week, which represented a major boost to their top-four hopes. “We had two difficult away

games at Tottenham and Chelsea,” he said. “If we had played two draws, we’d have two points. Having won one, we have three points. But today is a huge disappointment of course. When you don’t turn up in a game of this stature — nobody takes that easy.” Wenger refused to say whether he believed Arsenal could still win the title and said the focus now is purely on beating Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. He said: “We have to win the next game. That is what we have to focus on now and give a strong response.” Meanwhile, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has said it would be wrong to stand down Andre Marriner following his error in

the Gunners’ defeat. Marriner apologised for his error in the match, which saw Kieran Gibbs mistakenly dismissed after Alex OxladeChamberlain had handled the ball. Former World Cup referee Clive Thomas subsequently called for Marriner to be stood down for the rest of the season, but Gallagher told BBC Radio Five’s Sportsweek programme: “I can’t see that would do a referee any good. I can’t see it would do Andre any good. “You’ve got one of the leading referees in not only England but in Europe, and you’re going to stand him down? That doesn’t do

the Premier League any good because he is a top top-flight referee — he’s made one mistake and his confidence would be shattered if that happened. “I can’t see that would do him any good whatsoever.” He added: “It’s an error that can be corrected off the field for Arsenal later this week. Arsenal will appeal that Kieran Gibbs didn’t handle the ball, which the DVD quite clearly shows, and his red card will be rescinded and obviously OxladeChamberlain will say he handled the ball and he will be the one suspended for (Tuesday’s match against Swansea).”

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Boss

emergency centre-half. Both sides will be missing top-class forwards on Tuesday as City’s Sergio Aguero is injured, as is United’s Robin van Persie, but Moyes could also be without key defenders through injury as Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling were ruled out of the West Ham game. Moyes, who will be able to welcome back captain Nemanja Vidic following suspension, was nonetheless hopeful victory in east London, which followed an aggregate win over Olympiakos in the Champions League last week, would be preparation enough for such an

‘Don’t Axe Marriner For Red Card Blunder’ Gunners for his error in Saturday’s match at Stamford Bridge, which saw Kieran Gibbs mistakenly dismissed after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had handled the ball. The foul resulted in a penalty in the 17th minute of the match, which led to Jose Mourinho’s

Man Utd Agree Deal For Carvalho reports are to be believed that his agent was in England to discuss the move are true, then it looks like United may have this one sorted already. Marouane Fellaini hasn’t quite reached the heights that Moyes would have expected in a United shirt, but, with the hype surrounding the Angolan-born youngster, the United boss could well have his man to fill that role in the heart of his midfield.

Moyes Eyes Derby Triumph After Rooney Double DAVID Moyes is confident Manchester United have found form in time to win the Manchester derby after a make-shift side won comfortably at West Ham on Saturday. Manchester City will arrive at Old Trafford on Tuesday 12 points ahead of the hosts, who were beaten 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium in September in Moyes’ first derby assignment as Alex Ferguson’s successor. City thrashed Fulham 5-0 on Saturday before United’s 2-0 win at West Ham, which saw Wayne Rooney score both goals — the first one from almost 60 yards — and Michael Carrick play as an

REFEREE Andre Marriner’s confidence would be shattered if he was stood down for the rest of the season for sending off the wrong Arsenal player at Chelsea, according to former Premier League official Dermot Gallagher. Marriner apologised to the

MANCHESTER United have wrapped up a deal to sign Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho. The defensive midfielder - still relatively unknown on the global scene - will sign for the Red Devils for a whopping £37 million and will join up with his new team-mates after the World Cup. The Mirror report that Carvalho’s agent was at United’s Carrington training ground last week and will become David Moyes’ first big summer acquisition. Paper round’s view: With David Moyes having missed out on a number of highprofile targets in a very much publicised fashion last summer, the Scot will be keen to wrap up his business early on. £37 million is the reported release clause in Carvalho’s contract, and if

Barclays Premier League leaders going 3-0 up en route to a 6-0 rout. Former World Cup referee Clive Thomas subsequently called for Marriner to be stood down for the rest of the season, but Gallagher reckons that is the last thing the 43-year-old

Kieran Gibbs is mistakenly senf off by Andre Marriner

needs, and would be happy to see him straight back into the action at the next available opportunity. “I can’t see that would do a referee any good. I can’t see it would do Andre any good,” he told BBC Radio Five’s Sportsweek programme. “You’ve got one of the leading referees in not only England but in Europe, and you’re going to stand him down? That doesn’t do the Premier League any good because he is a top top-flight referee - he’s made one mistake and his confidence would be shattered if that happened. “I can’t see that would do him any good whatsoever.” Gallagher thinks the experience will help other officials. “Every referee will learn from this and identify what they can do if a similar situation ever occurs again,” he said. “For Andre, maybe he wants to get straight back into a game next week, maybe he just wants a cooling-off period to take pressure off. But he certainly doesn’t need to be out for the rest of the season.”

important game. “You can see that we are playing better and there is a bit more belief coming back,” he said. “We will have to keep showing that if we can. “We scored three at West Bromwich, against Olympiakos we scored three and we’ve got a couple today so we are showing signs of doing better. “If anything they picked up on that performance in midweek. A lot of players who had been given opportunities earlier in the season and hadn’t done as well as they would have liked, I thought they played very well. “It’s great for me because it makes the job much easier when you know everyone is ready and available to play — and we are going to need it with the amount of games in the coming weeks.”

David Moyes

Rooney’s opening goal was an eye-opener as he lofted the ball over home goalkeeper Adrian from fully 60 yards. “It was a great goal by a top, top player with great technical ability,” Moyes added. “The only worry was whether it was going to bounce under the bar or not.” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, who has now seen his team lose their last three games, insisted the wondergoal should not have stood. “It was such a wonderful goal from Wayne Rooney early on but it was a bit of a sickener because I thought it was a blatant foul on James Tomkins, who was easily going to head the ball away,” he said. “Wayne Rooney took him off his balance when he jumped so he missed the header. “So technically the referee has made a big error because the opposition have scored from that error.”


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Rummenigge Angered By Klopp Remarks BAYERN Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has expressed his concern at the relationship between his side and Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was recently critical of Bayern, saying that their director of sport Matthias Sammer “should thank God every day” for being given the opportunity to work with the Bavarian club. “That sentence shocked me at first, and then it angered me,” Rummenigge told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “Matthias won the Champions League as a player with Dortmund, and then he coached them to the Bundesliga title. “Bayern would never permit themselves so say anything

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

about somebody in Dortmund who used to be with us and is now with them. We’re at a level which reminds me of the relationship between Barcelona and Real Madrid. We need to return to a level of decency.” The transfers of Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern have been one of the main causes for Dortmund’s ill-

feeling towards their rivals, but Rummenigge insists his club have not willingly tried to hurt their opponents. “It’s not like we sign players from Dortmund or Schalke to hurt other clubs,” he said. “We only sign players who will give Bayern more quality immediately.”

FIFA Apologises To Brazil For ‘Advice Gaffe’ FIFA performed an embarrassing U-turn and apologized, saying it had withdrawn publicity material for the World Cup in Brazil that poked fun at local customs. Just weeks after sports merchandiser Adidas pulled from the market two shirts which Brazil viewed as sexist, FIFA has now removed material which depicted Brazilians as unpunctual, impatient and even chaotic. Having regularly complained to Brazil about the slow pace of construction of stadiums for the June-July World Cup — six out of 12 missed FIFA’s original December 31 deadline — football’s world governing body felt moved to add: “In Brazil, things are largely done lastminute.” FIFA admitted its attempts at

humor had backfired. “The material was lighthearted and at no time was meant to criticize Brazil,” a FIFA statement said. “The objective was to show the laid-back characteristics of the Brazilian people. “At any rate, we have withdrawn the content from the Internet and apologize if it was interpreted as criticism of the country.” FIFA “advice” for visitors to the World Cup host had offered “10 tips for avoiding any cultural misunderstandings.” They included giving Brazilian friends some leeway when arranging appointments. “Punctuality is not an exact science in Brazil,” was just one observation, which added that “15 minutes is the tolerated

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke caused a storm on a visit to Brazil two years ago when, frustrated at slow progress in preparations, he deemed the country needed a “kick up the backside.”

Sepp Blatter, FIFA President

Guardiola Poised To Win Bundesliga In Record Time

and flags and warned fans not to gather outside the stadium for yesterday’s match. The club has also indefinitely locked out all members of the supporters’ group responsible for the banner, and promised root-and-branch reform to stamp out crowd trouble.

MUNICH coach Pep Guardiola is poised to win the Bundesliga title in record time tomorrow at Hertha Berlin on his debut season with the Bavarian giants. A 19th consecutive league can be champions in the capital. victory at Berlin’s Olympic “We’ve extended our record to Stadium will give Bayern their 18 wins on the trot. That’s the 24th German title with seven result of a lot of hard work.” matches left, beating their own Having won 14 of a possible record they set last season. 19 titles during four years as Bayern’s 2-0 wins at Mainz 05 Barcelona coach, Guardiola is on Saturday left them a massive set to claim his third title in nine 23 points clear in the league and months at Bayern having already they will be uncatchable if they won the UEFA Super Cup and win at Hertha. Club World Cup. “I’m just pleased about Having won the treble of winning against one of the Champions League, Bundesliga toughest teams we’ll face this and German Cup under season,” said Guardiola in Guardiola’s predecessor Jupp Mainz. Heynckes last season, Bayern “We only need one more win have continued their now. It’s in our own hands. We

stranglehold on the German league title. Guardiola’s side are just eight matches away from becoming the first team to ever go through an entire season in Germany’s top flight unbeaten. Bayern left it late at Mainz with midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger striking with a header on 82 minutes. His Germany team-mate Mario Goetze then netted the European champions’ second four minutes later. Bayern fired in 23 shots on goal to Mainz’s four as they extended their record unbeaten run to 51 Bundesliga matches and earn their 18th consecutive league win.

MARSEILLE’s bid for European football next season received another major blow when struggling visitors Rennes inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Jose Anigo’s side at the Velodrome. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s 76th minute goal from a sparkling counter attack left Marseille in sixth place, a yawning nine points off the last Champions league spot, third-placed Lyon, and four points off the Europa league spot inhabited by Saint Etienne. Those gaps could well increase with the teams above Marseille enjoying a game in hand.

Saturday’s upset came on the back of last week’s 1-1 draw with Reims and a 1-0 loss to Nice. It was Marseille’s sixth home loss of the season and Anigo’s out of form team have now gone four games without a win. It promises to be a long end of season run in for Marseille who were booed off their pitch by unhappy home fans. “I’m not going to talk at length because you can’t defend the indefensible,” stormed Marseille president Vincent Labrune. “Our form at home is catastrophic.” Anigo said: “The players haven’t done their jobs. I’m

bottom club Ajaccio edged Valenciennes 3-2, Bastia beat Reims 2-0, and the games between Bordeaux and Nice and Toulouse and Evian ended in 11 draws. On Friday runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain kept up the momentum on their title defence with a 1-0 win on Lorient’s artificial pitch, Thiago Motta scoring the winning goal. Second-placed Monaco host third-placed Lille on Sunday looking to increase the gap between the teams, which sits at nine points, while Saint-Etienne host Sochaux and Lyon in fifth go to Guingamp.

Japan’s Urawa Play In Empty Stadium

BEST-supported club Urawa Red Diamonds played in an empty stadium yesterday as punishment for a racist “Japanese only” banner put up by hardline fans that deeply embarrassed the J-League. Urawa’s match against Shimizu S-Pulse was played behind closed doors after league officials hit the club with an unprecedented one-game supporter ban over the sign, written in English and hung over an entrance to the stands at a match on March 8. Urawa president Keizo Fuchita has said it was a warning to foreign visitors to stay away from the “sacred ground” at Saitama Stadium, a 2002 World Cup semi-final venue. Urawa, the former J-League and Asian champions with an average home gate of more than 37,000 last season, have been punished several times in the past for fan misbehaviour. Fans brawled with rival supporters and then penned them inside the stadium in 2008, and the club was fined $50,000 in 2010 over racist abuse yelled at Vegalta Sendai’s overseas players. Urawa have banned banners

norm.” A further comment was that “patiently waiting in line is not in a Brazilian’s DNA... Brazilians prefer cultivated chaos.” It is not the first time FIFA has put its foot in it.

Rennes Inflict Further Misery On ‘Indefensible’ Marseille disappointed because when you wear this shirt you have to put in the work.” Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena acknowledged: “It’s our fault we are in the position where we are today.” For Rennes this was a welcome victory, pushing them up a place to a comforting six points above the relegation zone. Rennes’ goal scorer Doucoure commented: “We knew we could pull off a result here and I’m happy for the team. Now we have to fight till the end.” Nantes beat Montpellier 2-1 for their first win in two months,

Having drawn Manchester United in the quarter-finals, Bayern have made no secret of their desire to be the first team to defend the Champions League title. “We’re not really concerned about when we win the title, we want to maintain our rhythm,” said Bayern goal-scorer Schweinsteiger. “You always have to work hard for victory here in Mainz. “They’re very aggressive and they press high up the field. “The first half wasn’t easy, but they were tired towards the end.” Bayern’s Germany defender Jerome Boateng said he is relishing the clash against Hertha at Berlin’s Olympic City having been born in the capital. “It’s wonderful that we could win the league in Berlin, which is where it all started for me,” said the 25-year-old, the half brother of Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. “We’ve prepared the way for it today and taken a step closer.”

Pep Guardiola


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NBBF To Provide Medical Insurance For Players Next Season NIGERIA Basketball Federation (NBBF) has assured clubs it would work with them to ensure that players got medical insurance from the next editions of its annual league competitions. Tijani Umar, President of the federation, gave the assurance at a news conference in Abuja to kickstart the 2014 Zenith Bank National Women Basketball League. NBBF organises both the Zenith Bank National Women Basketball League and the DSTV Men’s Basketball League. “The federation has agreed that it needs to give insurance cover to our players, that we need to safeguard their careers, and we need to defend their health and get them fit every time. “From next year and for the Zenith Bank and DSTV Leagues, the federation is going to work with the clubs to find an insurer. “We need to make sure that even if it is medical insurance that we can get, it will take the weight of the financial cost off the clubs. “If we do that, it shows that we are working as a responsible organisation,’’ Umar said. He said the federation would partner with hospitals to ensure that proper medical attention was given to players who sustained injuries on the field of play.

Dr. Tomuno Danagogo, Sports Minister

The first phase of the 10th edition of the Zenith Bank National Women Basketball League began on Friday, March 21 and end on Sunday, March 30. It is holding at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium. Umar said 16 clubs were being expected to participate in the league, and that registration was still open for clubs to include one or two foreignbased players in their teams. He said the second phase of the league would take place in Ilorin, Kwara for two weeks sometime around June. “The final phase which is the play-offs is to be held in Lagos later in the year,’’ the NBBF president said. He disclosed that the federation had released a total of N90 million as sponsorship fund from Zenith Bank. “This is to run the league for the period of three years from 2014 to 2016,’’ Umar said. He said the cash prize for the overall winners was N1 million, N750,000 for the first runnersup and N500,000 for the second runners-up. Meanwhile, the 16 clubs in the competition were drawn in two groups at the Technical Meeting held Friday at the NIS conference hall at the Abuja National Stadium. Defending champions First Deepwater from Lagos, Coal City Queens of Enugu, Nigeria Customs of Lagos, FCT Angels of Abuja and AHIP Queens from Kano are among those in Group A. The rest Group A clubs are Benue, Dolphins from Lagos and former champions First Bank of Lagos. Group B has Sunshine Angels of Akure, Nigeria Immigration, Delta Force, GT 2000 from Kaduna and Taraba Hurricane from Jalingo. The others in the group are Oluyole Warriors from Ibadan, Plateau Rocks from Jos and IGP Queens.

Mr. Wellington Okoh flanked by the two female boxers, Ogoke Edith and Oluwatoyin Aladeji

Wellington Okoh Honours Two Female Boxers EDO – born female boxers that represented Nigeria and won Gold and Bronze medals at the just concluded African Boxing Championship in Yaounde Cameroon have been commended for bringing honour to the state. The Boxers, Ogoke Edith while commending the and Oluwatoyin Aladeji who female pugilists, gave them fought in 75kg and 51kg cash donations a token of categories respectively won appreciation for their Gold and Bronze Medals. Mr Wellington Okoh, Sports enthusiast, philanthropist and commissioner representing Edo Central Senatorial District in EDSOGPADEC

exceptionally brilliant performance at the international boxing competition. Mr. Okoh said he was proud of them as they are worthy ambassadors of Edo State, pointing out that if adequately encouraged

GOVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River has said the state would not be hosting the 2014 National Sports Festival (NSF) with plans to win the event at all cost. Imoke said this in Calabar when he officially unveiled the logo for the 19th NSF tagged “Centenary Games, Calabar 2014’’. Festival will hold in Calabar from November 27 to December 7. “We are not hosting to win, but we are hosting to give you the best games ever,’’ the governor said. He said there was the need for transparency during the games. Imoke said the state, in collaboration with the National Sports Commission (NSC), the owners of the event, was ready to upgrade the games to meet international standards. In his speech, Mr. Efiok Cobham, the Chairman of the festival’s Local Organising Committee (LOC), said the festival was coming home as Calabar was the first capital of

Nigeria. He said the state’s promise of organising the best festival ever in Nigeria was not a fluke, adding that the state was well prepared for the event. Cobham, who is also Deputy Governor of Cross River, further said the unveiling of the logo, mascot, website and festival songs was a testimony that the state was on course. Former 100 metres champion, Mercy Nku, unveiled the mascot for the games, nicknamed Bamaba, representing the name of one of the surviving gorillas in the state’s Boki Local Government Area. Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the festival’s Main Organising Committee (MOC), Mr. Gbenga Elegbeleye, described the event as a landmark in the preparation for the games. He also said the MOC had earlier undertaken the tour of facilities for the games, saying it was satisfied with what was on ground. “So with the level of

2014 National Sports Fiesta

Flying Eagles Name 35-Man EAGLES coach Manu Competition has been Squad Garba will this week name a fierce as over 55 players provisional 35-man squad ahead of a 2015 African Youth Championship qualifier in May.

Coach Manu Garba

have been slugging it out daily for consideration by the Nigeria U20 team. They include the players

they would perform better in their future engagements. He urged them to continue training towards improving their skills as Edo people expect them to win more medals from similar international competitions.

picked from a two-week open screening and the 20 players from the U17 World Cup-winning squad from last year. “The level has been encouraging and we should expect a few surprises in the final squad,” said coach Manu. The Flying Eagles are to break camp on Tuesday and regroup on Sunday after a short recess. They will battle the winners of next month’s match between Kenya and Tanzania in the second week of May. They will play the first leg away from home. Senegal will stage the 2015 AYC in March, while the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup will be hosted by New Zealand.

C/River Not Hosting To Win At All Cost - Imoke preparations so far, we can say that Cross River is ready to go. “On our part, we are ready to support Cross River to make the festival a huge success,’’ Elegbeleye, who is also the Director-General of the NSC, said. At the occasion, the festival’s theme song, called “Standing Tall’’, was performed by Sunny Neji, a popular musician from the state.

Governor Liyel Imoke


THE NIGERIAN

CMYK

32 OPINION leaders, eminent Nigerians and indeed, the generality of our people have risen in condemnation of last Saturday’s killing of over 23 Nigerians in the ill-fated Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, aptitude test. The revelations that are coming out as to what the Peoples Democratic Party PDP-led Federal Government did regarding immigration test are mind boggling. First, it was revealed that over one million people applied for the 4,650 spaces and were compelled to pay N1,000 each. It was widely speculated that the wife of the Senate President, David Mark got the contract for the recruitment exercise which of course did not follow due process. By implication, both the Nigeria Immigration Service and the socalled consultant got more than a whooping N1billion from the unemployed in the country, what a shame! Secondly, the consultant and the Immigration authorities felt that the best way to weed out majority of the applicants was to conduct an aptitude test and in their best of reasoning felt that aptitude test had to be conducted in various stadia nationwide. The question here is: where in the whole wide world is aptitude test conducted in the stadium? Such madness is only possible in a country where the ruling class of PDP extraction reason with their buttocks. Are there no decent classrooms in universities, colleges of education and even secondary schools where such tests could be conducted? Thirdly, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro had assured the applicants, and indeed the entire nation that

MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014 every arrangement had been concluded for a hitch-free aptitude test and that it was going to be better than what have been witnessed in previous exercises. His exact words on the eve of the aptitude test day reads: “Adequate arrangement has been

condemnable. Ordinarily, Abba Moro should have resigned on his own without any prompting from the Jonathan administration, but political elites of the PDP extraction lack honour, so will want to hang on to power even after taking a decision that has dispatched over 23

By DAN OWEGIE By OKHAREDIA IHIMEKPEN announced automatic employment for three relations of those who died and all those who

of those who lost their lives, what happens to the children left behind by young mothers who died? Who will now be

the immediate refund of the NI,000 collected from the poor unemployed by the dubious NIS officials

Immigration Jobs Tragedy

Edo PDP Should Speak Now! made for security and effective conduct of the aptitude test.” This promise of his was observed more in a breach as Immigration officials were seen even on television cameras using Horse whips to flog applicants who became desperate to get ordinary question papers for the test following the trashy preparations. So many of them did not get the question papers after all. Many others suffered various degrees of injuries and are in critical conditions in many hospitals. What was now more disturbing was the minister’s wishy-washy and unacceptable explanations when it was reported that over 18 applicants died in various parts of the country following fatal stampede that resulted from the poor preparations. His exact words as was captured while reacting to the deaths and injuries: “The applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise. Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one. This caused stampede and made the environment insecure.” In my considered view this comment was inhuman and high

persons to their early graves. But most shocking is the stark reality that all the Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party grave diggers have

were injured in Saturdays Immigration job stampede, it shows that the PDP government will wait for young men and women to die in large numbers first or be seriously wounded before

responsible for their upbringing and education? The Federal Government should announce automatic scholarship up to university level for their

Abba Moro, Minister of Interior maintained pin drop silence. Where is the loquacious Dan Orbih? Where is the garrulous Pharmacist Mathew Urhoghide? Are they not in Nigeria? Will they not call a press conference again or is it only where Oshiomhole is that they can speak? No, this is bad. Dan Orbih must call pressmen immediately and tongue-lash Abba Moro. They should call for his immediate sack and all the names they call Edo State Governor. Although President Goodluck Jonathan

they are given employment. Rather than wait for injuries and deaths before giving our youths jobs, government must be pro-active. We cannot waste more lives so that few persons could be employed. Government has a constitutional responsibility to provide all Nigerians of workable age gainful employments. What is needed is the creation of the right environment. Period. If automatic employment is announced for relatives

children. What about the pregnant women that died? The Federal Government should increase the job slots to such families since two persons or three if she was carrying a twin. Government should revisit their case. Also, the President ought to have sent the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to investigate the e m p l o y m e n t racketeering with a view to bringing all found culpable to justice. He ought to have announced

and the contractor collaborators. It is sad that so much money have been sunk into electricity generation and distribution, billions of dollars, yet Nigerians, the industrialists and manufacturers do not have electricity. Poor electricity supply did not only succeed in killing or dislocating existing industries or led to shut down of many, it has in like manner discouraged new ones from being established. It is a disgrace to the PDP that the nation’s economy is still running on generators. There is no nation in the world that relies on generators as much as Nigeria. This is a shame and a sign of a failed government. As we approach the next general election, Nigerians should be wiser by massively voting out the PDP from the Federal Government so that a more progressive All Progressive Congress can take up the duty of providing the needed environment that will jobs as labour in itself creates wealth. That is the way to go now if we must prevent a repeat occurrence because the PDP has no workable solution . · Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Edo State.

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Nigerian observer 24 03 2014