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KINGSLEY KUKU VS THE ABUJA INQUIRER…

EFCC To Testify Against Kingsley Kuku By Mfon UDO-EMA

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has been

...Abuja Inquirer Opens Defense… subpoenaed to appear in court to testify for the defense in the Libel case

brought by Kingsley Kuku, former Presidential adviser on

Amnesty against The Abuja Inquirer newspaper. Mr. Magu is

expected to testify against Kuku on March 14 at the Abuja High

court in Maitama. This was disclosed in court by the very brilliant Barrister Bassey Offiong, who led Continued on page 16

www.theabujainquirer.com

KIDDIES CORNER >>>PAGES 11 First Published March 2004

Vol. 12 No. 05 ISSN: 1597-2895

February 13 - 19, 2017

Price: N100

500 POLICEMEN ‘INVADE, OCCUPY’ BERGER CAMP IN ABUJA By Austine ELEMUE

O

ver five hundred a r m e d policemen have invaded the Julius Berger camp in Kubwa, one of the satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory to forcefully eject exworkers of the company from their houses Our correspondent

gathered that about 7,800 workers of Julius Berger were declared redundant by the company in June 1999, which was challenged in court by the aggrieved workers, and got judgment to maintain their homes until the matter was decided on One of the aggrieved Continued on page 3

$9.8M RECOVERED FROM EX-NNPC GMD:

Will The Whistle Blower Get 5%?

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s Nigerians come to terms with the huge amounts of monies recovered from the Kaduna home of Mr. Andrew Yakubu, the former Group Managing Director of NNPC, not a

few people have been asking if the whistle blower who tipped off the EFCC will be paid the 5% commission. A recent Continued on page 3

Aisha Buhari >>PAGE 8 returns to Abuja

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, (seated, middle) with members of the South East-South South Professionals (SESSP) as well as management staff of FIRS when the new SESSP Executives, led by its new President, Mr Denzil Kentebe (seated, 3rd from right) visited FIRS last week in Abuja. Mr. Emeka UgwuOju, ex-President of SESSP is seated 3rd from left.

Delta CP gives herdsmen 2-weeks to Trump’s Executive Orders: Deserving Nigerians >>PAGE 10 vacate community Will Be Issued Visas, US Envoy >>PAGE 17


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February 13 - 19, 2017

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NEWS

500 policemen ‘invade, occupy’ Berger camp in Abuja Continued from page 1 workers told our correspondent that worried by the prolonged litigation, Julius Berger devised various means to forcefully eject the workers from the camp to pave way for development. The latest development according to him was the use of men of the Nigeria Police Force to force them from their homes, a development which resulted in a clash between the police and some affected ex-workers. Addressing the protesters on Sunday at the camp, the chairman of National Union of Construction, Civil Engineers, Furniture and Wood Workers of the company, Comrade Esike Emmanuel, told the affected workers not to vacate their homes until the determination of the case in court, stressing that workers should join hands to fight their common enemy (Julius Berger). “To us, the police is not our enemy. The police is our friend, but we should join hands to fight our common enemy, which is Julius Berger. However, I call on you not to vacate your houses until justice is done to our workers who are declared redundant since 1999. Julius Berger know that they don’t have a case in court and they have resorted to violence to inject us from our homes. But we want to state firmly that we are not going anywhere until they do the needful. “It is only in Nigeria that such inhumanity against a fellow Nigerian can be allowed. They cannot do such thing in their home country. They declared about 7, 800 workers redundant in just one day against Labour Laws since June, 1999 without paying us our entitlements. We challenged the action in a court of law and the matter has gone to the Supreme Court. Julius Berger not comfortable with the way the case is going, they have resorted

to intimidation to inject us from our quarters. “This month, precisely February 1, 2017, they connived with the electricity generating company to remove the two transformers that supply the camp light. One of the transformers removed was bought by the aggrieved workers. They also connived with the FCT Water Board to disconnect the source of water supply to the camp. Just yesterday, Saturday,

over 500 policemen invaded the camp on the ground that Julius Berger has leased the camp to them for a period 18 months. We are going to resist them until they do the needful by paying us our entitlements,” Emmanuel stated. The spokesman, however, tasked the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order before the situation results to total anarchy, warning that the

aggrieved workers might be pushed to the wall. The National Human Rights Commission had invited both parties with a view to resolving some of the issues raised by the affected workers. A letter obtained by our correspondent dated February 3, 2017 and signed by the Ag. Executive Secretary, Mrs. Oluyemisi Akhile reveals that the meeting has been scheduled to hold February 8, 2017, this

week The letter with reference number C/2016/ 1177138/HQ titled: “Re: Alleged Victimization, Abuse, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment” reads in part “The Commission would like to invite you to another meeting which will this time include management of Julius Berger. This is to address some issues raised in the correspondence and to find an amicable and

lasting solution to matter”. During the period of the briefing, policemen could be seen fighting each other over some of the buildings forcefully taken over. A policeman was rushed in a van following injuries he sustained on the head while fighting over kitchen space, while others could be found moving in their household belongings in a truck.

Dan Akpovwa, Publisher of The Abuja Inquirer, in the Witness box at the Abuja High Court, talking to his Lawyer, Barrister Bassey Offiong, at the resumed hearing of the Kingsley Kuku Vs Abuja Inquirer Case yesterday

Will The Whistle Blower Get 5%? Continued from page 1 parliamentary act passed by the National Assembly, made it a law that people who provide information leading to the recovery of money believed to be proceeds of corruption are entitled to 5% of what is recovered. In this instance, $9.8 were recovered from Mr. Yakubu and 5% of that amounts to $490,000, which has a street value

of N245 million. On many Nigerian chat groups on social media, my people are saying this would be a true test of the Federal Government’s sincerity to adhere to its own law. Meanwhile, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has commended Adamu Dan Musa, the Commission’s head of operations in Kano

Zonal Office, who led the EFCC team that recovered over $9.8 million from the residence of a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, in Kaduna. He said the officer and his team demonstrated courage, professionalism and integrity in executing the raid.

He called on staff of the EFCC to emulate the team as the Commission is poised to take the fight against corruption to new heights. The EFCC boss also used the opportunity to clarify the misleading information in a release by the Police Service Commission, PSC, concerning the promotion of six policemen for o u t s t a n d i n g performance.

One of the newly promoted officers, Suleiman Abdul, who is currently on secondment at the EFCC, was purportedly promoted to the rank of A s s i s t a n t Commissioner of Police because he “recently recovered N42 billion for the Federal Government”. Mr. Magu said he was unaware of any recent recovery by the officer.


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FCT REPORT FCTA expresses worry over 500 abandoned buildings Stories by Austine ELEMUE

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he Acting Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, Hajiya Safiya Umar, has stated that the high rate of abandoned buildings in the nation’s capital has become a source of worry to the FCT Administration, as such uncompleted buildings pose serious security challenge to residents of the territory. While stating that the administration was not considering demolition of such buildings, she, however, stated that the authorities are still considering giving the owners the prerogative of seeing whether they could go and complete their buildings. Umar, who made this disclosure during a press briefing last week, also stated that such buildings have been identified as hideouts for criminals operating in the territory. According to her, “the Council and the FCT Administration as well as the security operatives knows that these places are the hideout of criminals. But the issue of either demolishing or revoking them, there are so many committees that have sat on the issue, and have made several recommendations. The Council is not in a position to tell you exactly the present position since it is being worked on from the top. “I cannot actually tell when the uncompleted buildings will be demolished or even whether it will actually be demolished. But equity and good conscience have made the FCT Administration to reach out to the owners of these structures, through n e w s p a p e r advertisement in recent past. “I think we are still considering giving them the prerogative of seeing whether they could come

in and compl ete their

buildings, before the powers that be decide on next line of action”. In the same vein, Acting Director, Development Control Department, Mukhtar

Galadima, puts the total figure of such structures at over 500. He said the department forwarded the list to the Department of Land Administration, which gave it the addresses of the owners, and with the

approval of FCTA, the AMMC published the names of these individuals, given the timeframe within which to comply, failure of which the administration will decide appropriately. Commenting on the recent High Court

judgment stopping the planned demolition of illegal structures in Mpape, the director said the Department is still discussing with its head of Legal team for the possibility of appealing the judgment.

FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello (right) with the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, News Agency of Nigeria NAN, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, when the latter paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja…Thursday. Photo: FCTA.

FCTA sets committee on cattle grazing, rustling

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he FCT Administration has constituted a highpowered technical committee aimed curtailing the menace of cattle grazing and rustling in the Federal Capital Territory. Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, who inaugurated the 22-member committee, last week, also directed the committee to build on the works of similar committees set up by p r e v i o u s administrations to jumpstart its activities for immediate impact. According to him, the terms of reference of the committee include discussing with the various secretariats, departments and agencies, SDAs, to see what plans are already on ground within the

FCT administration for the proper use of grazing reserves and to cater for farming communities as well as the needs of other stakeholders. Other mandates of the committee include, “to study the recommendations of relevant committees of the past and also from the various MDAs and come up with harmonized implementable action plan and template that will guide how the FCT can have a very efficient system that guarantees safe living by all within the city and even the surrounding suburbs and area councils”. “In a way, you will notice that what your committee is doing is being done by similar committees all over the country and particularly a national committee under the Inspector

General of Police. “So, I will expect that you would reach out to some of these Committees, especially those within the North Central GeoPolitical Zone or even the office of the Inspector General of Police to be able to leverage on some of their works and some of the information available to them. “At the end of the day, we want to have a Territory that is very peaceful, that is vibrant economically and is a melting pot where everybody comes in and relates freely with the other party,” Bello said. The chairman of the committee, Engr. Uthman Mohammed, who responded on behalf of the members appreciated the confidence and trust the administration has reposed on them, and promised that they would

not disappoint. The chairman said that cattle grazing and rustling are not peculiar to the FCT alone but if not well managed could get out of hand. He promised to take the assignment very seriously and work assiduously to achieve the set target. The 22-member committee has the Acting Secretary of the FCT Area Council Secretariat, Hajiya Amina Abubakar as secretary. Other members include the FCT Police Commissioner, FCT Director of DSS, Commandant, Brigade of Guards, FCT NSCDC Commandant, Chairmen of the Abuja Municipal, Bwari, Kuje and Gwagwalada Area Councils as well as the Ardo of Bwari, Kuje and Abuja Municipal respectively.

Gidan Mangoro, other resettlements to be opened up —AMMC

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esidents of Gidan Mangoro and other resettlement communities would soon heave a sigh of relief as the FCT Administration is working to open up road networks aimed at decongesting the city centre. Acting Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, Hajiya Safiya Umar, who gave the assurance while addressing journalists also revealed that satellite towns development will receive priority attention by the present administration. She said it was the duty and responsibility of the AMMC to manage the city and offer advice to the area councils on how manage their councils, adding that the council is committed to minimise the challenges of the residents of these r e s e t t l e m e n t communities. The acting coordinator revealed that apart from Gidan Mangoro, other r e s e t t l e m e n t communities that have been mapped out for opening up the road networks by AMMC include Shere resentment, Kichuku, Apo Mechanic and Kubwa Mechanic village resettlements. Umar said the Department of Development Control was done with the infrastructure design of these communities and that they were ready to move in whenever funds were made available. Speaking on the danger posed to motorists by the vandalization of manhole covers, Umar assured that the Department of Facility Management has started replacement of some of the vandalized manhole covers with materials that are not valuable, while calling on the security agents to increase surveillance on major routes across the Territory to safeguard public utilities.


February 13 - 19, 2017

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FCT REPORT Group donates relief items to IDPs in Dakwo

Zuba FRSC commander harps on value of speed limiter

By Ateed YUSUF

A

By Ateed YUSUF

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he unit commander of Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Zuba unit command, Muta’a Chorrie, has harped on the values of speed limiting device, even as he enjoined motorists to install the device on their vehicles for prevention of avoidable accidents on the road. The unit commander stated that the FRSC m a n a g e m e n t introduced the devise with a view to reducing road carnages on the road which is line with commission’s desire to achieve the 25 percent reduction in loss of lives and 15 percent accident on the road. He tasked commercial and noncommercial motorists to support the good initiative of the corps towards ensuring sanity in the high ways, saying that the advantages of the speed limiter include reduction in fuel consumption, confine driver to move within the recommended 100 kilometer speed per hour, accident reduction and vehicle durability among others. The UC said that the command under his leadership would continue to carry speed limiter campaign members of NURTW in Zuba in order to comply, even as he reiterated the commitment to work closely with various stakeholders in the area so as to ensure that members of the public desist from route violation. Chorrie implored on the students of College of Education, COE, to make use of the pedestrian bridge to avoid being knocked down by cars, just as he tasked the management of the school to mount a barricade, noting that the act would in no small measure curtail the incessant crossing of the highway.

Hundreds of unpainted taxis and tricycles impounded by Joint Task Team for Cleaning of Abuja City.

“AEA supported 4,863 persons, businesses in 2016” Stories by Austine ELEMUE

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s part of efforts to boost small scale businesses, the Abuja Enterprise Agency, AEA, of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has supported 4,863 individuals and businesses in 2016 in line with its mandate of job creation and poverty reduction. The breakdown of the support according to the agency include capacity training for 1, 498 entrepreneurs, 510 business owners, promoted 1, 010 enterprises, financed 154 businesses, created 216

enterprises, created 839 jobs among others. Also, the agency had last week empowered over 200 women and youths who have graduated in various skills acquisition programme of the agency in ICT/ entrepreneurship with starter packs and cash. The acting managing director of the agency, Malam Arabi Tukur, who made these revelations at the presentation ceremony of starter packs to beneficiaries of skills acquisition training also stressed that the agency has designed and sustained a number of initiatives to accelerate the development of

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, in the territory. Tukur also stated that the agency recorded successes in the area of youth development by organising the 3rd Abuja Business Plan Competition, Youth— ICT Training Programme, Youth Entrepreneurs Programme and the FCT Skills Acquisition Training Programme. “The FCT Administration through its support for 3rd Abuja Business Plan Competition built the capacity of 1200 youths. Furthermore, this project facilitated access to finance through the

provision of a credit facility of N20 million and Grants worth N6, 750, 000 to the top 21 performers in the competition. This led to the start-up and growth of 21 entrepreneurs,” he added. The AEA boss used the occasion to reveal that the 4th edition of the competition will commence in the first quarter of this year, and it is expected to accommodate over a thousand entries in areas of fashion, ICT and agriculture sectors of the economy, noting that the multiplier effects of the competition in the FCT cannot be overemphasized.

DRTS moves against insurance of fake driver’s license By Ateed YUSUF

A

rea commander in charge of Directorate of Road Traffic Services, DRTS, in Bwari area council, Mr. Kola Okunuga, has cautioned motorists to shun dealings with touts who take the advantage of some members of the public to issue them fake driver’s licence. He disclosed this to The Abuja Inquirer in his office while encouraging motoring public to

always visit VIO offices located in the six area councils to obtain genuine licence, even as he noted that any person who ask them to submit passport is an indication that such individual is a tout. The principal traffic officer explained that the proper guidelines for genuine licence include taking of biometrics, payment of recommended fee and submission of vehicle particulars among others, just as he warned motorists to avoid plying the road with rickety

vehicles. Okunuga tasked motorists to always abide by the traffic rules and regulations and cooperate with their officers while on patrol noted at present the management of DRTS in the FCT is marking efforts to enhance good relationship between its staffers and motorists. He called on resident s of Bwari and environs to visit VIO driver’s licence capturing centre in the area to renew their vehicle particulars when it

expired, warning drivers to avoid fighting their patrol officers that aggrieved individuals should channel their complaints to the appropriate quarters. The VIO officer stated that his strategy would be to focuse on public enlightenment campaign, educating motoring public to abide by traffic rules and regulation, while stressing the readiness to work with sister agencies in the area to ensure traffic violators are brought to book

group under the umbrella of ICareForIDPs has donated relief materials to hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in various communities in Kabusa and Dakwo settlement areas of Abuja Municipal Area Council. Our correspondent gathered that assorted relief materials mainly clothes and shoes as well as foodstuff delivered in a truck were officially received by officials of FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, and distributed to the beneficiaries. Presenting the items to FEMA officials, the facilitator and initiator of the #ICareForIDPs group, Mr. Terver Tyav, said the relief package was drawn from donations by spirited Nigerians interacting on social media across the country. Tyav, a broadcaster with the Africa Independent Television, AIT, said that “we have been reporting the plights of the IDPs, but very little have been changing all these years in terms of their welfare. We all know the reported cases of malnutrition, deaths and so on. So we felt it is time to do something about it, not just sticking to our duty to report, but we should also be part of the solution. “We approached the FCT FEMA, for where to give the items, because they are the ones coordinating the affairs of the IDPs in the Territory. We were told that for those IDPs within the city centre-the Kuchigoro, Durumi and others, people go there every often to render help. From the interaction with some of the IDPs in the area, in the last nine to twelve months, nobody has brought anything to them, which is a very touching revelation. “ While assuring that the group will continue to intervene, he appealed to those who have to donate whatever they could to the IDPs. “Our prayer is not to keep on doing this (distribution relief items to IDPs) every now and then, but that peace will return to their home towns and villages, so that they will go back”, he added.


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FEATURE

Getting Nigeria out of Recession With Bankable Infrastructure I

n the typical Nigerian context, infrastructure means different things to different people, hence the recurring disconnect in approach and attainment. In fact, infrastructure is not taught as a subject in any school. Indeed, infrastructure is conceptualized and envisioned by a rare capacity of developing linkage thinking now globally referred to as “design thinking As an opening shot, let us recall the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), released by the Federal Government to govern the use of the 2016 budget funds. At the launch, the Federal Government explained that the SIP would be a compendium of high-level interventions that it would initiate in the fiscal year 2016. According to the Federal Government “The SIP has been put together by the Ministry of Budget & National Planning, and the Economic Management Team under the leadership of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to be both a source of information on government priorities for 2016, as well as a means of tracking progress”. SIP assembled the Budget Interventions, and Fiscal, Monetary, Trade and Investment Policy Reforms to reflate and reposition the Economy. It also outlined more than 30 Specific, Measurable Priority Actions to be completed across 6 Strategic Intervention Areas,” The No. 3 of the 6-No. Intervention Areas was – “Critical Infrastructure (Power, Rails, Roads, and Housing): • Optimize the 7,000MW Installed Capacity by completing ongoing infrastructure projects in generation and transmission, and gas, and ensuring tariff reflects all costs; • Privatise the NIPP Plants; • Complete 186.5km Kaduna – Abuja, and 328km Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Warri Rail Lines, and complete negotiations for Calabar – Lagos Railway; • Commence construction of new (standard-gauge) Lagos – Kano Rail Line; • Commence construction of new Rail Line connecting Abuja to Ajaokuta; • Complete Rehabilitation of Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt Airports, and explore concessioning options; • Concession 2nd Niger Bridge; • Dualize Sections of 1-5 of Kano – Maiduguri Road; • Rehabilitate Enugu – Port Harcourt; Odukpani – Itu – Ikot

Infrastructure Nigeria By Gilbert Chike Obiefuna

Minister of Budget & National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma Ekpene; Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani; and Apapa – Oshodi – Oworoshoki Roads; • Construct 3,552 Mixed Housing Units as Pilot Schemes in each of 36 States and Abuja, under the National Housing Project. How we have fared on the above scheme, is left to our individual conjectures. However, it is obvious that more could have been achieved if responsible entities had been working in a more coordinated and integrative manner. Once again last December, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun announced a 10-point fiscal roadmap designed to stimulate the economy and set it on the path of recovery and growth. However, in this paper, our attention is on Point-2 of the roadmap - to mobilise private capital to complement Government spending on infrastructure, to expand the provision of infrastructure. As laudable as the intention of the Federal Government may appear, achieving any remarkable improvement in infrastructure projects design and delivery will take

a major reorientation and reformation of policy makers and implementing MDAs. For now, national infrastructure projects in Nigeria are designed and executed by stand-alone MDAs who do not interrelate in any meaningful way, nor build on earlier programmes to establish verifiable and integrative projects. Globally, Infrastructure is being proposed as the engine that can drive growth and wealth. But for us in Nigeria to fuel that engine we have to appreciate the need to grow the strong capacities and understanding for the challenges inherent in both the

design and procurement of infrastructure, hence the imperative of a new approach hereby canvassed. Infrastructure suffers its worst injury when, as has been the tradition, its bits and pieces such as roads, bridges, water supply, power, ICT, transport, schools, healthcare, etc are taken up independently, one from the other. This chronic fragmentation extends its havoc to professional disciplines where professionals define and design “their own” aspects of infrastructure without giving a hoot to others’ concerns. This disconnected, disjointed, “silos”- approach has resulted in the rash of “stalled”, “uncompleted”, “failed”, “abandoned”, “hanging”, “stranded”, “bridges-to-nowhere”, “whiteelephant” projects dotting the national economic space, bringing a trail of woeful tales of huge losses to the country. It has not occurred to many people that a road, power plant, bridge, hospital, water scheme, rail line, airport, port, etc standing alone is really not infrastructure! Until there is an active linkage of say, city - road – railway – seaport – airport, or power plant – transmission line - consumer, etc, there is not yet infrastructure per-se. At present, among the global community, there are indications that the above discordant state of affairs is being addressed, and that the silos are gradually being dismantled. However, much still remains to be done for infrastructure to emerge as a holistic, unified programme of activities and projects capable of sustaining the entire spectrum of socio-economic life of a people – to transit “from chaos to cosmos” - to attain the new global trend of Infrastructure Universe. ...to be continued. Mr. Gilbert Obiefuna is the National Secretary, Nigeria Infrastructure Development Association, NIDA

Infrastructure suffers its worst injury when, as has been the tradition, its bits and pieces such as roads, bridges, water supply, power, ICT, transport, schools, healthcare, etc are taken up independently, one from the other.


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Andrew Yakubu: A telling “gift” “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” ¯ Friedrich Nietzsche Andrew Yakubu, the former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, must be wondering why the gods decided to do him in. Last week, his cache of $9.7million was uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and laid bare for all Nigerians to feast on. Since the humongous amount was made public, Nigerians have gone into a frenzy and forgot that

President Muhammadu Buhari has been “missing” from the country. The irony of Yakubu’s malfeasance is that at his time at the NNPC, he was a prayer warrior and sort of a stickler for due process. Is it not said the hood does not make the monk? This is evident given the ingenious manner in which he went about hiding his stash of ‘gold’; in a non-descript, weather beaten and rundown neigbourhood. It tells you that he is a phony in moral rectitude. The most embarrassing aspect is his claim that his horde of dollars is a ‘gift’ from perhaps oil companies he was supposed to supervise. This makes it even more telling. If we are to believe

Yakubu’s tale by moonlight, apologies to that TV drama series, why did he not invest it? Why did he not set up companies and employ Nigerians, or at least build schools in his rustic village in Kaduna state? Now, imagine the odium and shame of it. The heartlessness of his action. Did he ever consider he could have just slept one morning and never woke up and his cache of filthy lucre could have been taken up by others and squandered uselessly? Indeed, like the Good Book says, the heart of man is desperately wicked, and Yakubu, like so many others out there, exemplify just that.

Idris’s curious award to Bello A

curious sort of award was dished out on February 8, 2017 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja. It was designated by the organisers as Best Governor on Security for the year 2016, and the recipient was the Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. The organizer of the event was no less an institution than the Nigerian Police Force headed by Mr. Ibrahim Idris The award is selfexplanatory: Best Governor on Security! First, the worrying matter is when did the police become an award giving institution, not in recognition of its officers and men, rather to politically exposed persons? Does it mean that other security agencies could borrow a leaf

and start dishing out ridiculous awards like the police? Now, if it is to ginger other governors to boost security in their states, then Bello’s choice is an irony of epic proportion. If truth be told, Kogi state is an example of what not a state should be security-wise. It is notorious for kidnappings, armed robbery, terrorist cells, and ritual killings. Not a week goes by without one sordid tale or the other. Only last Friday, the Federal Government raised the alarm of a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group planning nationwide bombings. And this was barely two days after an award to the governor! Available statistics

show that twenty two kidnap cases were recorded in Kogi state within the year in review and January. To underscore how important the award was to him, the whole state executive, traditional rulers, and the usual bootlickers were at the Hilton to ‘grace’ the occasion and sing how Bello is the next best thing to fresh bread! The IGP owes Nigerians an explanation as to how he reached the conclusion that Bello deserves such an award when we have Governor Ambode of Lagos state and others like the Sokoto state governor, Anambra amongst others. The times are, indeed, interesting.

For the ‘love’ of Buhari P

resident Muhammadu Buhari has lost his mystique since he won the presidential elections in 2015, and most profoundly since his famed ‘body language’ ebbed away. His faltering steps in addressing core issues of governance have left most of his supporters bedraggled and seeking for inexcusable excuses. Well, there seems to be some sort of near consensus since he left the country on

January 19, 2017 to the U.K to rest and see his doctors on “routine medical checks,” that the president should rest and come back re-energised. The wish of those who want Buhari to have as much rest as possible is not for anything else, but that there seems to be some sort of sanity since he went on this vacation. People readily point to Osinbajo’s meeting with protesting labour; his visit to the troubled Niger Delta, his “we hear you loud and clear,”

message to the #IstandWithNigeria protestors amongst others. Besides these, prayers are being offered across the country with as much as 350 Mosques alone in Borno offering prayers. What of the menace of marauding herdsmen, seems there is a lull in their savage attacks. So for the love of Buhari, he should just take as many weeks, perhaps, months as he desires.


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NEWS

Aisha Buhari returns from Lesser Hajj, prays for peace M

rs Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Mohammadu Buhari, returned from Saudi Arabia over the weekend, where she had gone to perform the lesser hajj. On arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, she urged Nigerians to pray for peace, progress and stability for Nigeria. She also urged Nigerians not to relent in their prayers and good deed for Nigeria to prosper among the comity of nations. The wife of the President, who expressed her gratitude to God for the successful trip, also prayed for Nigerian leaders and for peaceful coexistence of Nigerians. “I thank God for a journey mercy, I prayed for Nigeria and Nigerian leaders and we should not relent in prayers and good deed,” she said. She also expressed her gratitude to Nigerians for their support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration; urging them to sustain the tempo. “I want to use this opportunity to thank all Nigerians for the

goodwill and support for my husband and Nigeria in general,” she said. She was received by the wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki, former Deputy Governor of Plateau

State, Mrs Pauline Tallen and aides of the wife of the President. Also on hand to welcome the wife of the president are the wives of the service chiefs. The wife of Chief of

Army staff, Mrs Ummu Kulthum Buratai, Mrs Theresa Ibok Ibas, Mrs O m o b o l a n l e Olonishakin, Mrs Hafsat Sadiq and wife of Inspector General of Police, Mrs Asma’u Idris.

Also, at the Airport to welcome the wife of the president are the wives of the governors including Mrs Zainab Bagudu of Kebbi State and Mrs Rashidat Bello of Kogi State.

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, discussing with the Ag. Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, after a meeting of heads of anti-crime agencies and Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja...Thursday.

CBN to banks: contribute 5% profit to agric By Sarah NEGEDU

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he Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, has directed all Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, in the country to contribute 5 per cent of their annual profit after tax to boost agriculture. Director of Banking Supervision of the CBN, Mr. Ahmad Abdullahi, disclosed this at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting held in Abuja last Thursday. Abdullah said, the 5% profit, which will be domiciled with the apex bank, is to be used to boost agri-businesses and other sectors that promote the import-substitution programme of the federal government. He said: “The Bankers’ Committee has taken a decision to come up with an initiative in support of

the federal government export drive by supporting SMEs and other businesses. “Export drive as well as, import substitution and so have agreed to contribute 5 per cent of each bank’s profit after tax to a pool of funds that will be kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria and it will be used to finance eligible, bankable projects that are meant for export drive or

import substitution. “A Project Review Committee will assess submissions of projects and make recommendations to the Bankers’ Committee. The scheme is such that each bank has an equity holding based on its Annual contributions.” Also speaking, Mr. Chidi Umeanor, Head of CBN’s Shared Services reIntroduced Cashless

policy into the country with a view to capturing all states of the federation between May and October, this year. “He said, “there have been a lot of sensitization and immense infrastructure had been put in place to provide the necessary platform for its success. We now feel that it time for us to reintroduce the cashless policy which we started

in 2012. “In doing this we take care to ensure that the vulnerable among us are well protected. Clearly we know that a lot of transactions that happen in the banking industry in terms of cash withdraws and deposits that less than 10 per cent do anything above N150, 000 or N500k so nobody will be really affected negatively.”

Nigeria loses $80bn to militant attacks every year —Kachikwu

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inister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, says every year, Nigeria loses at least $80 billion to vandalism of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region. Militants are responsible for attacks on oil assets. Kachikwu made this

known at the resumed dialogue with Niger Delta stakeholders in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo led a federal government delegation to Bayelsa on Friday. Kachikwu said at least 10,000 sabotage incidents were recorded annually at

oilfields across the region. He regretted that within the last decade, estimated $30 billion revenue accrued to the Niger Delta area by way of derivation, but that the region had continued to wallow in abject poverty. Kachikwu urged people of the area to contribute ideas toward

the resolution of crises in the zone “and add value as well as derive some gains from the natural endowments of the region”. Appealing to the people to give peace a chance, Kachikwu said the challenges of the region could be turned into opportunities.

HURIWA to SSS: Stop persecution, profiling of Christians By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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he Human Rights W r i t e r s Association, HURIWA, has asked the State Security Services, SSS, to stop the alleged persecution and profiling of Christians in the country. The non-governmental rights body accused the SSS leadership of waging a psychological, physical persecution and torture of Christian leaders. In a statement, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, condemned as selective persecution and harassment, the recent interrogation of the national leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, over a global campaigns to attract funds to rebuild churches destroyed by Boko haram terrorists in North East. The group said there was absolutely nothing untoward for Christian leaders to canvass for genuine funding support to carry out evangelism including the rebuilding of Churches destroyed by Islamist terror group of Boko Haram particularly when Christianity is a universal religion just like Islam. The Rights group said the action of DSS amounts to profiling of Christian leaders only because of their religious status even as it dismisses the action as absolutely discriminatory and therefore unlawful and unconstitutional. E x p r e s s i n g consternation that the SSS has never interrogated leaders of the Islamic religion who constantly collect funds from international Islamic bodies in Saudi Arabia amongst other places, wondered when it has become a crime for the Christian leaders to scout for genuine funds to implement credible religious obligations of building befitting places of worship which in any case were destroyed because the government funded security forces including the Department of State Services failed to prevent the attacks by Boko Haram.


February 13 - 19, 2017

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NEWS

Forgery of indigeneship certificate: Kwara Assembly sets up committee By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin

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he Kwara House of Assembly has directed its Committee on Judiciary to investigate the alleged forgery of the state indigeneship certificates for recruitment into the Nigeria Army by nonindigenes of the state. The House gave the directive in its resolution after adopting a motion without notice on shortchanging indigenes of Kwara through substitution of candidates during recruitment exercise into Nigeria Army, last Thursday. The motion was moved by Ahmed lbnM o h a m m e d , representing KaimaWajibe constituency. Mohammed informed the House that nine people who are not indigines of Kaima Local Government secured indigeneship certificates of the local government for recruitment into the army in 2015 and 2016 called on the House to investigate the matter. The Speaker, Dr Ali

Ahmad, while reading the resolution of the House directed the committee on judiciary to investigate the matter, and directed the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for

Justice, Kamaldeen Ajibade, to explain to the House within seven days why the four people illegally discovered in Nigeria Army were not prosecuted. The House gave two weeks to the House

Committee on Judiciary two weeks to report its finding to the House. Also the Kwara House of assembly last week confirmed the appointment of Justice Mohammed OlaAbdulKadir as the

substantive Grand Khadi for the Kwara Sharia Court of Appeal. AbdulKadir who is the sixth substantive Grand Khadi replaces Justice Salihu OlohuntoyinMohammed who retired on July 10, 2016.

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leading solar power operator, Gen. Ademola Fadunsi, has called on the federal government of Nigeria to subsidize the cost of solar installation and cost of equipment to enable the Nigerian households to benefit from its reliable energy supply. Fadunsi, who is the chairman of AO Demarg Solar Nigeria Limited, made the call recently in Abuja while speaking with journalists during the Annual Praise and Thanksgiving Service/ Lunch tagged “AO Demarg Praise God.” The event had in a t t e n d a n c e representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, and other top military officers, Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Ooni and array of other

By Chuks NZEH

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Ag. MD/CEO, FERMA, Engr. Peter Ode Ibu with the Chairman, House Committee on FERMA, Hon. Jerry Alagbasso, during the committee’s oversight visit to FERMA Headquarters, recently. Photo: FERMA.

Fadunsi urges FG to tackle energy crisis with solar power By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

Fr. Nwora launches book, to marks 2nd priestly ordination

dignitaries. He called on the government to reduce the duty payable on deep circle battery, adding “government is still classifying solar battery like car battery where we pay 20 percent duty and 5 percent VAT.” According to him, “when you add all these charges to the cost of importation and then add your profit margin, the cost of the products becomes very high.” Fadunsi said that the

success of businesses in the year 2017 will be determined by the exchange rate, but alluded to the fact that it involves huge capital investment but zero running cost. He pointed out that there was no limit to what one can get from the sun depending on how much one wants to invest in it. “AO Demarg deals on all sort of solar solution like mini-grid for offices, estate and rural electrification. In fact we are in a position to

generate power in the neighborhood of a megawatt. “There is no any other source of power today that is cheaper than solar,” he said. The retired General said 2016 has been a very difficult year for business owners due to the erratic exchange rates. “Business this year has been tough because of the erratic exchange rates. What used to be sold at N100,000 now sells between N500.000 to N600,000. The more

money we spent on importation, the higher the cost of the product and the installation. The market has been tough but to God be the glory, we have been managing.” On the patronage for solar technology he said the market would have been wonderful because a lot of people are embracing it but because of the importance of electricity and Nigeria is blessed with enormous sunlight.

Security agencies hold simulation exercise By Chuks NZEH

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s part of measures to enhance its readiness to battle criminals and security threats in Abuja, the FCT police command is holding a joint scenario-based

simulation with sister agencies on Tuesday, February 14 from 6am to Noon. In a statement by ASP Anjuguri Manzah Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Police Command, weekend, he said “the exercise is to foster synergy among

security agencies and it will test the preparedness of the security agencies to respond to emergency. It will also accord participating agencies opportunity to further understand their respective roles while responding to

emergency situation.” Manzah urged the public to go about their lawful business and not to panic when they notice the mass movement of security agents and heavy security equipment to some parts of the Federal Capital Territory.

he Associate Parish Priest of St. A u g u s t i n e ’s Catholic Church, Lugbe, Abuja, Rev. Fr. Francis Ndubuisi Nwora, has launched a book, “God the Communion of Love” to commemorate his second priestly ordination. Fr. Nwora in his homily from the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16, urged the faithful to ensure that their lives reflects the light of Christ, who said, “we are the salt of the earth” and we should endeavor not to lose quality of Children of Light. He noted that, “the book, is my brain - child and can go a long way to promote the spreading of the gospel message far and wide. It has also been attested to be of immense help to those under formation for priesthood.” The parish priest, Rev. Fr. Matthew Dajo, also hosted a 3-day program which culminated to the book launch, tagged “3 days of Truth” from the February 1-3, 2017, which featured “Sound teachings on Catholic heritage, Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and S a c r a m e n t a l confession.” The guest speaker, Rev. Fr. Victor Ullam, who spoke on marriage and forgiveness, posited that the faithful should not break God’s commands to keep a spouse, adding that when you fornicate outside marriage you break God’s heart, “because your body is the temple of His Holy Spirit and God can allow your spouse to break your heart.” He urged the faithful to ensure their intending spouse respect constituted authority, and defines the essence of the relationship.


February 13 - 19, 2017

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NEWS Delta North PDP urges cohesion, unity

Lugbe market fire: Traders loss goods worth over N80m By Chuks NZEH

By Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

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raders at the popular Lugbe Timber market, located along the Airport road Abuja, are counting their losses as they are estimated to have lost over N80 million to a fire allegedly caused by a welder. According to an eyewitness, who gave his name as Madu, he said when he was going to buy items for his furniture he overheard a trader cautioning the welder who came to fix some metal components of another trader who just rented a new shop, to stop because foams which are highly inflammable were on display very close to where he was working. According to Madu, the welder continued with his work, until particles of fire ignited the foams at about 2:40pm and it became uncontrollable. A resident of the area, Ambrose Ademe, said he was at the scene with other neighbors trying to control the fire some minutes past 3:30pm when the fire service was called but they arrived at 4:08pm from the National Judicial Institute, NJI. The fire fighters, Ademe said, were overwhelmed by the raging fire, and needed backup which came much later and the fire was brought under control at about 6:20pm. Attempts to speak with some of those whose shops were affected could not yield any results, as they were still in shock. But Mr. Nwachukwu, who trades on shovels, head pans and other building accessories said he lost goods worth about N20million.

CHANGE OF NAME I, formerly known as AGU FRIDAY, now wish to be known as AGUODE FRIDAY. All former documents remain valid. Ecobank and the general public should please take note.

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L-R: Former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Austin Opara, Chairman, PDP Strategic Review Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Mekarfi, PDP National Secretary, Senator Ben Obi and Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin during the presentation of the final report of the Jerry Gana Committee at the Shehu Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja.

Delta CP gives herdsmen 2-weeks to vacate Aradhe community By Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

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he Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, has given a two week ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen at leave Aradhe community in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state. Giving the directives at a meeting held with the Local Government Council Chairman of

Isoko North, Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor, the Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on Arewa matters, Alhaji Usman Mukthar, representatives of Fulani herdsmen and representatives of Aradhe community, he frowned at the untoward behaviour by the herdsmen. The police boss who frowned at the destruction of farmlands and crops worth millions of naira at Aradhe community by

the herdsmen, warned the herdsmen to refrain from such acts across the state. Ibrahim was very furious when he learnt that the Fulani herdsmen who alleged that their cow was killed last year in the community, and collected N250,000 as compensation still remained in the community after their undertaking with the community that they will leave when the money

was paid. The commissioner then issued a two-week ultimatum for them to leave the community, and rebuked their despicable acts. The community, speaking through Mr. Omokobia, commended the commissioner of police for the manner he has been piloting the affairs of security of lives and property in the state, and promised him their co-operation at all times.

MPPP NEC Approves Santuraki As National Chairman T By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

he National E x e c u t i v e Committee, NEC, of the Mega Progressive People’s Party, MPPP, has approved Hon Hamisu Santuraki as acting national chairman of the party. It would be recalled that the NEC had placed the former Acting Chairman, Akanni Olayinka, on indefinite suspension on January 1, 2017, citing “gross misconduct, financial malpractices and misappropriation and refusal to attend to an invitation to give details of his stewardship to the party.”

The party in a communiqué issued at the end of its emergency NEC meeting recently in Abuja, unanimously supported the replacement of the former acting chairman with Hon Santuraki, also in acting capacity, pending the convention of the party. The communiqué said the meeting presided over by National Vice Chairman, North-west, Alhaji Lawal Ibrahim Mani, passed a vote of confidence on the other executive of the party. According to the communiqué signed by national Vice Chairman, North-west, Alhaji Lawal Ibrahim Mani and

acting National Secretary, Alhaji Muhammed Kanze, said: “The NEC received and considered the report on the poor performance of former acting Chairman, Mr Akanni Olayinka. “The former acting chairman’s disobedience to the constitution of the party by running a dictatorial system, corruption, fraud and general anti-party activities and unnecessary removal of some state chairmen and national officers. “However, the whole houses in terms of all members of NEC present had voted, were in favour and in support of the

suspension of Akanni Olayinka until further notice and also a vote of confidence was passed on the acting National Secretary, Muhammad Kanza and other national officers.” It further stated, “For avoidance of ambiguity, the NEC resolved by this communiqué to inform members of the party and general public that Akanni Olayinka has been suspended. “In order to ensure the smooth running of our great party the NEC appointed Hon Hamisu Santuraki as the acting national chairman of the party and Muhammed Kanza remains as acting National Secretary.”

n an effort to strategize for the 2019 elections, the Peoples Democratic Party, Delta North, has charged members on cohesiveness and unity to attain the desired success in future polls. At the Delta North meeting held at Ogwashi-Uku, presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the party faithful agreed to work together for the good of the party. Speaking at the meeting, Hon. Ossai N. Ossai, member representing the Ndokwa/Ukwuani constituency in the House of Representatives stated that with unity and oneness, the party will triumph in upcoming elections. He advised the party supporters to always identify with it, saying is the only party that will usher in development and growth of the various sectors in the state. He stated that with the achievement of the party from 1999 to date, he was very optimistic that Delta will always be for PDP. Another party chieftain, Hon Tony Anukwu, who also is the assistant treasurer of the party in the state highlighted that the PDP has a grassroots support with the achievements recorded by successive governments under the platform of the party appealing for all to retain their support. The chairman of chairmen youths, and also Aniocha South chairman National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, Mayor Chinedu Enujeke, stated that the youths in Delta State were behind the party, saying that a lot of empowerment scheme have been floated for youths in the state by Senator Okowa such as YAGEP, STEP and Songhai Agricultural Initiatives and maintained that Delta will always be for PDP.


February 13 - 19, 2017

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nce upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left, except for Love. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take

me with you?” Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.” Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered. Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.” “Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!” Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her. Suddenly, there was

a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went his own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?” “It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?” Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.” culled from http:// www.kidsworldfun.com.

With Uncle Godfrey email godakon@yahoo.com

RIDDLES 1. Four children and their pet dog were walking under a small umbrella but none of them got wet; how? 2. What do I possess but rarely use it; however, others make more frequent use of it? 3. What can you multiply the more you take? 4. If you drop me, I’ll crack, but if you smile, I’ll smile back. What am I? 5. What breaks in the water but never on land? 6. What do you throw out to use and take in when you’re done?

Answers

Love and Time

Kiddies Corner

1. Because it was not raining 2. My name 3. Footsteps 4. Mirror 5. Wave 6. Anchor

SHORT STORY

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KIDS AND HEALTH

How to Prevent Indigestion S

KID OF THE WEEK Name: Fulfil Soetan Age: 2 years old School: Shepherd Crech Nursery and Primary Schol, Dutse Alhaji, Abuja

ome people can eat anything and they never get upset stomachs. But other people are more sensitive to food and they might find certain ones just don’t agree with them. If you discover one of these foods, it’s best not to eat a lot of them or skip them entirely. (For Brandon, the problem was the onions on his cheesesteak!) In addition to avoiding problem foods, it’s a good idea to eat several smaller meals instead of a couple of really big ones. Here are some other tips to prevent indigestion: As much as possible, avoid

Quiz

fatty, greasy foods, like fries and burgers. · Avoid too much chocolate. · Eat slowly. · Don’t smoke! · Find ways to relax and decrease stress. · Give your body a chance to digest food. Don’t eat a huge meal and immediately go to sports practice. Try to eat at least an hour beforehand, or eat afterward. You might do all these things, but still get indigestion once in a while. If you do, just remember to say “excuse me” if it makes you burp! From kidshealth.org.

Did you know?

1. What is the fastest land animal? 2. What is the principal source of energy for the earth? 3. Which country has the second largest population in the world?

Ambition: Lawyer

4. What is the name of the currency used in Japan?

Likes: Singing

5. In which country is the city of Lyon?

l Did you know there are over 2500 different types of mushrooms? l Did you know water expands before it freezes? l Did you know 85% of plant life is found in the ocean? l Did you know in a day a mature oak tree can draw approximately 190 litres of water? l Did you know gold is about 8 times heavier than any metal on earth?

1. A cheetah 2. The sun 3. India 4. Yen 5. France

Answers


February 13 - 19, 2017

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PEOPLE SPEAK

Our concerns over closure of Abuja airport –FCT residents Ahead of the six weeks temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to carry out major repairs on the runway, from March 8, 2017, public outcry over the plight of people whose livelihood revolve around economic activities at the airport is growing. Some Nigerians who spoke to Chuks NZEH and Williams ABAH said the closure, which is coming against the advice of stakeholders in the aviation sector, would further aggravate unemployment. PETER AMEH A lot needs to be done in respect of this temporary closure of the airport for six weeks. I remember when the issue of the closure came up, all the airline operators faulted the action of the government, saying that they were not properly consulted before steps to reconstruct the airport were taken. I do not know whether they have resolved their differences, but there must be proper understanding between the airline operators and the government to ensure that those missing links between them that sometimes disrupt the management of the airport are resolved. Again, how will government guarantee the security of Nigerians who travel along Abuja/Kaduna Road? As it is now, a lot of business activities would congest the Kaduna airport which means that the Road linking Abuja and Kaduna will be busy. Government should put adequate security measures in place that can guarantee the safety of those persons plying that Road during the closure of Abuja airport and after the reconstruction to protect the life of those people who lived in that axis. AHMED INUWA The re-construction is a welcome development but my worry is the revenue losses that are likely to be recorded during the period. I will suggest that, the reconstruction be done in the night while other activities continue to function in the day time. If government embarks on complete closure of the airport for six weeks, it will affect so many activities. Look at the kind of business activities at the airport. Most Nigerians depend on the incomes they get from their trading at the airport and government wants to close the airport for a whole six weeks. This action, if eventually taken, would further heightened the hardship people are going through at the moment.

Peter Ameh

Tiri Misiu

Aminu Majidadi

John Abakpa

AMINU MAJIDADI Government’s decision to rehabilitate the existing runway is a welcome development but I have issues with the total closure of the Abuja airport for that purpose. The authorities should have properly prepared for it because of the distance from Kaduna to Abuja. It will really affect business schedules and other engagements. Talking about unemployment, for

six weeks, those able-bodied young men will be put out of their sources of income with the high cost of living presently in Nigeria. However, we still give kudos to the government for deeming it fit to repair the runway before any mishap occurs. TIRI MISIU Government should have left this repairs till the middle of the year so

that at least, we can hustle some money to save for our families. After you have spent so much during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, coupled with school fees and feeding, this January and February timing is not good for us. If you do not meet your responsibilities as a father it means you have created room for insults and people will look at you like an irresponsible man, even if you are doing your best to save the day. So for me, government should always think about the people first before taking their decisions. For instance, those young men who come to the airport to push trolley and others who come daily to look for something to do genuinely not the criminals looking for who to scam, what would they be doing for 6 weeks? We say we want to reduce crime and we are changing things that used to give people food. This would encourage those who are desperate to go into crime to survive because for now, what they know how to do has been suspended for a whole 6 weeks. It is only God that will help us to survive the difficult times that are coming ahead especially with the already expensive way things are in the market. JOHN ABAKPA It is a good idea for such international airport to be reconstructed and upgraded in line with global standards. But it is also important that government put certain measures in place as an alternative to take care of those persons who are involved in different activities at the airport. As it is now, all business activities will be shut down during the reconstruction period. I will also like the government to use this opportunity to provide the required facilities at the airport. Before now, passengers suffered because the needed facilities were not enough to serve them while waiting for their flight to take off.


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February 13 - 19, 2017

Compiled by Ere-ebi Agedah

Aretha Franklin: One more album, then retirement

2017 Cowbellpedia TV Quiz Show Opens

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ospel legend Aretha Franklin says she is retiring from recording music, but only after a final album this year that will feature Stevie Wonder. The singer, who has been recording music since she was a child in her preacher father’s church in Detroit, turns 75 next month and said she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. “This will be my last year,” Franklin told Detroit television station WDIV this week. ranklin said she will soon head to a studio in the city to record a final album with fellow Detroit music great Stevie Wonder producing several tracks. While describing the move as retirement, Franklin said she was open to performing a limited number of concerts. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” Franklin said. “I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.” Franklin, who has won 18 Grammys, is best known for the vocal power behind her feminist-tinged cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect.”

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My plans to revive performance poetry in FCT —Chukwumerije

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ward winning poet and novelist, Dike Chukwumerije, has explained that he is working to revive performance poetry in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. According to him, doing so requires a balance of intellectualism and entertainment. “We are doing it because we are trying to bring a bit of intellectualism into entertainment. It is highly intellectual and also highly entertaining. We have managed to fuse poetry with danceý, drama with music. It is an entire stage performance that involves collaboration across many arts forms,” he said. Chukwumerije said the Night of Spoken Words event would also chronicle the historical landmark of

Nigeria from 1914 till date using poetry. He said, “We have been organising Night of Spoken Words since 2013. Two times in a year, we invite performance poets from different parts of the country to Abuja to showcase their talents. Last year, we took the event to another level when we introduced a stage play based on performance poetry. It was titled Made in Nigeria. “This particular production tells the story of Nigeria from 1914 till date, using poetry, dance and drama. We held the show for the first time last year. The production ran for three days at the Merit House in Abuja. The reception was very good. We are planning to bring it back to Abuja soon. “Made in Nigeria is like a musical.

It is essentially based on 20 poems that are seamlessly linked by dance drama and music. We just came up through the decades telling different Nigerian stories that all together give you a feel of Nigeria’s socio-cultural political landscape over the years. “The production brings to life certain events that took place in the 1970s, including the politics of that period and the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. Also, it tells the story of the military era in governance across Africa, especially the period of military coups. It focuses on the 1980s and 1990s. There is also a poem about student unionism, which we have titled Aluta and which dramatises students protesting against the introduction of tuition fees in our tertiary institutions of learning, among others.”

romasidor Nigeria Limited has restated its commitment to girl-child education as the 2017 edition of Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics TV Quiz Show is now running. Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olivier Thiry, explained at a press briefing that girl-child education is very important to nation building and human capital development. He stated that the Stage One of the competition will continue with the initiative that was started in 2016 where mixed school were asked to nominate a minimum of two (2) girls for each category to represent such school. This, according to him, will encourage the girl child to take interest in education especially the STEM courses. In continuation, Thiry added that the minimum girl-child enrolment initiative which started last year paid off as it was an allgirls affair in the junior category and in the senior category, the 1st and 2nd runner up positions. He maintained that Cowbell Our Milk has been involved in the improvement of the standard of education in Nigeria especially in Mathematics over the last two decades. Like the previous editions, the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Quiz Show is open to Students in JSS3 and SSS2 from 10-18 Years of age attending full time secondary Education in both Public and Private Schools in Nigeria. The ultimate prize for this year’s edition is N1million and an all-expense paid educational excursion .outside the country while the 1st and 2nd runners up will go home with Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only and Five Hundred Thousand Naira only respectively.


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February 13 - 19, 2017


February 13 - 19, 2017

15

EDUCATION

FG stops training of lecturers in substandard varsities Stories by Godfrey AKON

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new policy by the F e d e r a l Government has stopped academic training of Nigerian lecturers in substandard universities abroad. The Nigerian government, through the academic staff training and development programme of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, offers scholarships to lecturers to undertake postgraduate studies abroad as part of efforts to improve the quality of tertiary education in the country. However, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr Abdullahi Baffa, observed that in the past, lecturers were sent by their institutions to study in mushroom and bottom-of-the-league universities abroad under the programme. Baffa, who disclosed this in Abuja at a meeting with the leadership of E d u c a t i o n Correspondents Association of Nigeria, ECAN, deplored the practice, stressing that public fund would only be spent to train scholars in top-of-the-league universities across the world. “We are sending scholars to pursue higher degrees abroad but we are not putting the interest of the country in trying to know what these scholars are studying and where they are going. “Our scholars who are supposed to be teaching and conducting research in tertiary instructions, who are supposed to be training and supporting the provision of high level manpower that would drive the nation’s economy should be trained in the best universities in the world,” he said. Speaking on its N3 billion National Research Fund, Bafa said there must be real feedback from beneficiaries of the research grant. “When we give you research grant, we expect

you to publish in First Quartile or Second Quartile Journals. We will also expect you to send that article to us as an evidence that you have conducted research. “By this, the country is gaining because you are improving the citation index of Nigeria, improving the citation

index of your institution and also improving your worth as a scholar by publishing in the best journals around the world,” he said. He further stated that the clamour by some research institutions and other agencies of government to be included in the

beneficiary list was against the law. According to Baffa, TETFund Act, specifically defines who the beneficiary institutions are- public universities, public Polytechnics and public colleges of education, adding that any tertiary institution that is not so named is

not qualified by the law to be on the beneficiary list. He also noted that he was not in support of any attempt to further review the Act, arguing that any attempt to increase the number of beneficiary institutions significantly would dilute the impact that TETFund is making.

L-R: Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. Usman Nuhu, a student of Government Secondary School Bwari, Bailey Emekoba, a student of Degraha Model School, Miss. Funto Oladipo, Project Officer, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Mr. Ganiyu Olowu, and another student of Government Day Secondary School Dutse Alhaji, Alebua Blessing, during the European Union/United Nations Development Programme anti-corruption workshop for schools in Abuja...Wednesday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

UniAbuja partners Saudi Arabia on peace studies

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uthorities of the University of Abuja have announced that the institution is collaborating with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on programmes that would boost academic learning, research, and promotion of world peace. Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications, University of Abuja, Mr. Waziri Garba, said in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja, that this was indicated during a recent visit by the Saudi Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad Abdullah Sefyan, to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Adikwu. The statement noted that Sefyan said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was ready to sponsor some programmes or projects that would be identified by both the university and officials of the Kingdom, while urging the university to identify areas of importance to its development for further discussion. The Ambassador noted that there were lots of benefits that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia could derive from mutual cooperation between the University of Abuja and their counterparts back home.

TETFund, IGR funded our 29 new buildings —OOU VC O

labisi Onabanjo University, AgoIwoye, has witnessed unparalleled development on areas of befitting infrastructures, facilities and equipment in all its campuses, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Saburi Adesanya, has disclosed. Adesanya, who spoke at the Joint 25th and 26th Convocation Ceremonies of the university in AgoIwoye, said 29 state-ofthe-art structures were recently constructed by the university using funds allocated by Federal Government, TETFund and its internally generated revenue, IGR. While commending

the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, for its role at providing infrastructures for tertiary institutions across the country, he said building projects have assisted the university to meet its accreditation needs, TETFund noted in a statement made available to our correspondent. “Management has left no stone unturned towards rebuilding the university; the university has witnessed an unparalleled development in terms of befitting physical infrastructure, facilities and equipment in all campuses of the University”.

“To achieve the above, Management judiciously utilised the allocations from TETFund, FGN-NEEDS and IGR to build befitting structures that now adorn the various campuses of the University. “Presently, we have about 29 new building projects most of which had been completed and occupied while others are nearing completion; in fact, some of these buildings were commissioned as part of highlights of events for this Convocation Ceremony in the University, by the donors,” he said. Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of

TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, represented by the Director Academic Staff Training and Development of the Fund, Dr. Jacob Alada, described research as the singular tool available to the scholar in the development and dissemination of new knowledge. Baffa enjoined managers of tertiary institutions in the country to encourage more cutting edge researches in their institutions. He urged government to make sustainable improvements in policy frameworks and adopt new management systems in order to overcome the various

challenges inhibiting the carrying out of meaningful research work in Nigerian higher e d u c a t i o n a l institutions. “The adoption of new concepts and proven models from other progressive countries will go a long way in halting the decline in research activities in Nigerian higher educational institutions,” he said. A total of 5,450 students graduated and were awarded different degrees at the joint ceremony which was attended by dignitaries including Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.


February 13 - 19, 2017

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NEWS

Senate will continue to support Buhari —Saraki By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin

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enate President Bukola Saraki has assured that the Senate will continue to support President Muhammed Buhari towards building a sustainable economic empowerment of Nigerians. Towards this end, Saraki has charged Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of the president in his quest to fix the nation’s economy. He spoke in Ilorin, weekend, during the closing ceremony of the 31 National Qur ’anic recitation competition organized by the Centre for Islamic studies of the Usman Danfodiyo Sokoto University, Sokoto. He explained that Qur’an remains the only book for all Muslims to be guided as it contains all that is required to live a fruitful and a successful life, pointing out that abiding by the teaching and learning of the Holy Qur ’an and deeds of Prophet Mohammed

guarantee a life of bliss here and in the hereafter. The Senate President, who spoke as a Special Guest of Honour, further charged parents to train their wards in the teaching and learning of the Holy Qur’an to reduce social vices and all forms

of criminal tendency. Earlier the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammed Saad Abubakar III, President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said that Nigeria could become great if all adherents of all religions live in peace with one

another. He stressed that Muslims would continue to abide by teaching of the Qur ’an to guarantee peaceful coexistence in the country. Also in his remarks, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari,

noted that the Qur ’an remains the only means for all believing Muslims to survive the current challenges facing the country as reciting the Holy Qur’an will enable the reader to be closer to God and benefit greatly from the words of God.

Ag President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, (middle) holds a Staff-of-Office received from King Alfred Diete Spiff of Bayelsa, (right) and the entire council of elders with Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State during his visit to continue the FG's Niger Delta dialogue last week. Photo: State House.

HIV/AIDS claimant seeks due process over drug cure T By Godfrey AKON

he Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Virology, Maduike Ezeibe, whose claim of finding the cure to HIV/AIDs was refuted by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, is making efforts to undergo due process locally. Deputy Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Nbibisi Iwe, said Ezeibe was moving toward the direction of taking the research findings to the appropriate agencies to harmonise them, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reported. “Normally, a scientist will end up at the level of having his name inscribed on the sands of time, obtaining all the permissions that are expected.

“And ensuring that he makes the most of benefit of his finding; Ezeibe is moving toward that direction. “What Ezeibe is telling the world is that there is the possibility of using his knowledge to assist those that are having problems of HIV/ AIDS. “As one of the managers of the university, I know that there is a lot of requests coming from all over the places to the University for Assistance and people have been receiving this assistance; and they have been attesting to it that this very assistance is useful to them,’’ he said. Recall that NACA and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, distanced themselves from the claims, last week, citing Ezeibe’s failure to go through the scientific steps needed to justify the claims in his

research. Observers however warned that the claims, which could be a scientific breakthrough should not be wished away on the basis of

processes. Meanwhile, the National Health Research Ethics Committee, NHREC, Federal Ministry of Health, says it has

requested the University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia, to provide details of clinical trials backing its professor ’s claim of developing a HIV/AIDS cure.

Valentine: Play safe to halt HIV spread, NACA DG counsels By Williams ABBAH

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s the world prepares to c e l e b r a t e Valentine Day on February 14, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has called on Nigerians to play safe especially during the celebrations. Director General of the agency, Sani Aliyu, in a statement on Friday, said that the season of affection is to share and show love responsibly. He said by so doing Nigerians can halt and reverse the spread of HIV in the country. “This is a special day for love. In the process of loving, love carefully, play safe and be faithful to your partner. “If you are young and not sexually active yet, abstaining from sex will keep you safe from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, otherwise protect yourself by using a condom at all times”, he stated. He also urged Nigerians to know their HIV status, stating that there are treatment available for anyone with the virus. “As we celebrate love, we should remember that safe sex is not just about protecting ourselves, but also protecting those we love.” he said.

EFCC To Testify Against Kingsley Kuku Continued from page 1 a very strong team of Lawyers for The Abuja Inquirer at the Abuja High Court when hearing resumed in the case of Kingsley Kuku Vs The Abuja Inquirer (Suit No. CV/263/15) presided over by Mr. Jude Okeke of Abuja High Court 12. Barrister Offiong opened his defense of the newspaper by inviting Dan Akpovwa, Publisher of the Abuja Inquirer to the witness box. Mr. Akpovwa submitted a statement under oath and urged the honorable court to adopt same. In his statement, Mr. Akpovwa said Kuku’s suit was frivolous, and an abuse

of court process, calculated to intimidate the media. He insisted the newspaper is not guilty in the case. Kuku ran the Amnesty programme under President Goodluck Jonathan. His tenure had come under serious investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. In 2015, he was invited by the EFCC as part of its ongoing investigation, but Mr. Kuku failed to show up. His lawyers wrote to the EFCC that he was in America for medical reasons and will honour their invitation by September 30, 2016, but he has not returned to answer

the invitation of the EFCC for almost two years now. Also, in his statement under oath, which was admitted in court, Mr. Akpovwa said: “the words complained of by the plaintiff were neither libelous nor slanderous, but well considered and made in the public interest.” Under cross examination by Kuku’s lawyer, Barrister C. Okorie from the Chambers of Karina Tunya, SAN, Mr. Akpovwa insisted that the Publication of the story was driven by pure public interest and not for any financial gains, pointing out that that fact

that Kingsley Kuku has not returned to Nigeria to answer the EFCC invitation buttresses the story. Mr. Akpovwa was the first defense witness called by Barrister Offiong, and was cross examined for nearly two hours. He urged the court to dismiss the suit “with costs for being frivolous, vexatious” and an abuse of court process. He also asked for N5,000,000 [five million Naira} in “general Damages.” The case was adjourned to March 14 where the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu is expected to testify for the defense.


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February 13 - 19, 2017

WORLD TIT-BITS France police avert ‘imminent’ attack

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n “imminent” terror attack on French soil has been averted with the arrest of four suspects in Montpellier, Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said. Three men and a girl of 16 were found with bomb-making materials by anti-terrorist police in a raid on a flat in the southern city. Home-made explosives similar to those used in the Paris attacks of November 2015 were discovered. Since the beginning of 2015, at least 230 people have been killed in jihadist attacks in France. Last week, a soldier received minor injuries when a machetewielding man tried to enter the Louvre museum in Paris. The man, a 29-yearold Egyptian named Abdullah Hamamy, was shot and critically injured. Photos from the scene in Montpellier show debris outside the door of the flat that police stormed on Friday morning. Early reports suggested that one of the Montpellier detainees was a would-be suicide attacker. A local news site, M6 Info, said the four were planning to attack a tourist site in Paris but a police source told AFP news agency that investigators had not been able to establish the exact target. The suspects were arrested after buying acetone, a police source told AFP. Acetone is an ingredient used in the making of triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a high explosive. TATP, the same explosive used in bomb vests worn by militants in the Paris attacks, was found in the city along with the acetone, a judicial source said. According to AFP, the female suspect had been spotted on social networks saying she wanted to leave for the Syria-Iraq conflict zone or mount an attack in France instead.

US President, Donald Trump

Trump’s Executive Orders...

Syria conflict: Turkey denies mistakenly telling Russia to bomb troops

Deserving Nigerians Will Be Issued Visas, US Envoy T By Mfon UDO EMA

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he US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, has said that the Executive Orders signed recently by US President Donald Trump, does not significantly affect Nigerians who want to visit the US, pointing out that deserving Nigerians will be issued visas to visit the US. He spoke at a press briefing in Abuja last week, to explain the importance of Trump’s Executive Order and how it affects Nigeria and Nigerians. The Executive Order, which temporarily banned nationals of some dominant Muslim countries, has since been stood down by the US Appeals Court. According to Amb. Symington, “Security is not the job of only one country. Let me reassure Nigerians that every single action the U.S. takes would be based on

legality and due process. Protecting America from terrorists would not affect the two year visa validity policy currently enjoyed by Nigerians or cause them to be discriminated against based on their religion” Recognizing that the United States is a nation of immigrants and the unique diversity which makes up Nigeria, Symington added that “no place has opened its doors to people more than the U.S. We haven’t said we have closed the doors and locked it, what we said is that we are going to take a pause, conduct checks and ensure the safety of the people in our country and the efficiency of the process.” According to U.S. Bureau Census data, Nigerian immigrants have the highest education attainment level in the United States, surpassing every other ethnic group in

the country and the impact of a Trump ban could not be over emphasized considering the strategic U.S.-Nigeria relations which dates back to 1960 following Nigeria’s independence from Britain. Elaborating on the issue, Meghan Moore, the Consular Chief at the US Mission in Nigeria, stated that the goal is to facilitate legitimate travel to the United Sates which is important for trade, education and family ties. Said she: “We issue two-year multiple entry visas to Nigerians based on reciprocity from Nigeria (how the Nigerian government treats American travelers to Nigeria) and this has not changed; there is no plan to change that validity policy to one year though there may be some exception based on specific individual cases. No one would be discriminated against based on their religion

or Islamic names and neither would any valid visas be revoked”. Moore however added that the only thing that has changed is the duration for visa renewal. Nigerians with certain visa classification like the B1/B2 (tourist) visas are still eligible for the interview waiver renewal program but only within 12 months of expiration via the DHL Dropbox. Applicants who are unable to renew their visas within 12 months of expiration would have to schedule an appointment for inperson interview. Contrary to popular believe that most applicants are denied visas, Nigerians were issued a total of about 150 thousand visas out of the 10.9 million nonimmigrant visas issued globally according to a 2015 Department of State data, a 10 percent rise from the 9.9 million visas issued in 2014.

urkey’s military has denied that it mistakenly told Russian warplanes to bomb a building in Syria on Thursday, killing three Turkish soldiers. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the pilots were “guided by coordinates” from “Turkish partners”. “There should not have been Turkish troops at those coordinates,” he said. But the Turkish military insisted the troops had been at the building for 10 days and that Russia had been advised of their position on Wednesday. The two countries, which support opposing sides in Syria’s almost six-year civil war, are working together to drive the Islamic State group from its last stronghold in Aleppo province. Turkish-backed rebel fighters have been besieging al-Bab from the north since December, while Russian-backed government forces are advancing from the south.


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August 12 - 18, 2013

BUSINESS FG speeds up visa process for foreign investors

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s parts of efforts to revive the economy and encourage foreign investors, the federal government said it is reinforcing its visa-onarrival policy at airports across Nigeria. The policy, which government said was poorly implemented in the past, has been strengthen to allow for prompt issuance of visas to investors on arrival so as to ensure their free movement in and out of the country. Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said Nigeria is open to investors from all countries, as visas can now be issued on arrival, since the challenges that had bedeviled the policy had been resolved by the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business Enelamah said efforts had also been put in place to ensure that visa applications are processed and granted within 48 hours as part of measures put in place to ensure free movement of investors in and out of Nigeria. He said his ministry will be partnering with foreign missions abroad to improve the export of local products, by involving the missions in the sale of products and services produced in Nigeria. He said the Trade Facilitation Agreement, TFA, recently signed by Nigeria in Davos, Switzerland will improve the export of local products, adding that the country’s trade policy is being updated every five years. “TFA simplifies trade, eliminates barriers and reduces red tape and customs clearance time. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate Continued on page 19

Banks in Nigeria move to legalise Bitcoins Stories by Sarah NEGEDU

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igeria’s Bankers Committee has said it is currently studying block chains ledgers like bitcoin and other crypto currencies to examine its feasibility and impact on the banking industry. The committee at the end of its meeting, last week, expressed concern over the emerging threat of virtual currency in the country, saying there is the need to separate block chain ledgers from other dubious virtual currencies that are flooding the country. Speaking to

journalists at the end of the committee’s meeting in Abuja, Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, cautioned customers to beware of “get rich schemes” so as not to lose their money to Ponzi schemes. “Another topic which has also become very tropical is the Block Chains. We are trying to separate Block Chains like bitcoin from other virtual currency. Central banks around the world including the Central Bank of Nigeria, are beginning to look at the impact of block chains like bitcoin and other crypto currencies.

“They want to understand it better before coming up with regulation either to support it or to prevent it. We are at the very early stages of this in Nigeria and the CBN is looking at it closely before coming up with any regulation for block chain types,” he said. Meanwhile, the committee has agreed to set aside five percent of the profit after tax of the banking sector to finance the agricultural sector as well as non-oil exports. The move the banks explained, is part of efforts to support the federal government in diversifying the

economy through export drive and import substitution. According to the banks, based on the balance sheet size of the banking sector for the 2016 financial year, about N25billion is expected to be pooled into the fund annually. The Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN, Mr. Ahmed Abdulahi, said the special equity funds will be kept at the CBN to be used to finance eligible bankable projects that are meant for export drive or import substitution. He explained that the move was borne out of

L-R: Managing Partner, Dox’ix Consult, Mr Niyi Akinsanya, MD/CEO, Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, and CEO, Time Economics, Dr. Ogho Okiti, during the 2017 Nigeria Economic

Rosabon Financial Services commences Abuja operations

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s part of its expansion drive, award winning Rosabon Financial Services has fully launched its operations in Abuja. The move was inspired by strong demands to launch into the Abuja market to ensure that its array of innovative financial products reach all

customers (current and prospective) within Abuja and its environs. Speaking on the move, Rosabon’s Online Marketing Manager, Kehinde Onasoga, said: “This new office is in line with our mission to build a first class, market oriented organization that creates wealth and facilitates growth. It also extends Rosabon’s

promise of providing innovative, affordable and quick financial solutions to our clients no matter where they are. We are very excited to be here and we would continually commit to serving our clients better.” Also speaking, Head, Strategy and Marketing, Chidimma Onyeokoro, who expressed her

enthusiasm about the new launch and described it as a giant stride. She said: “This new office is in line with our mission to build a first class, market oriented organization that creates wealth and facilitates growth. It also extends Rosabon’s promise of Continued on page 19

the conviction that the agricultural sector as well as the promotion of non-oil exports held the key to the diversification of the economy. Abdullahi said the money would not be given out to businesses in the sectors as loans, but would be provided by banks as equity contribution to such companies. This, he noted, would allow the banks to have equity stake in such businesses for a maximum of 10 years, adding that rather than charging interest, the banks would be entitled to dividend during the period of their investments. “The Bankers Committee discussed the new initiative concerning agric business, small and medium term enterprises. “Bankers Committee feel the need to help the Federal Government in diversifying the economy by coming up with an initiative that will help the export drive in the economy as well as import substitution. “The committee has decided that each bank will contribute five percent of its profit after tax to be used to finance eligible bankable projects that are meant to export drive of all import substitution. “The scheme will be controlled by the Bankers Committee where project review committee would be set up to review submissions by entrepreneurs that would require funding. That project committee will make recommendations to the board of trustees of the Bankers Committee. “The scheme is such that each bank has a contribution to the scheme based on its annual contribution from its annual profit,” he said.


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BUSINESS

WTO queries Nigeria’s trade laws Stories by Sarah NEGEDU

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he World Trade Organisation, WTO, has advised Nigeria to relax its trade laws with other countries so as to increase access to foreign markets, boost its exports as well as diversify the economy. The Counsellor, Head African and Management on Trade Policies Review Division of the organization, Mr. Jacques Degbelo, said Nigeria has to remove trade prohibitions and market restrictions in line with global free market policy that facilitates free trade across borders. Speaking at a workshop on ‘Strengthening Nigeria’s Trade Support Imitative: Making the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, CET, Work for Nigeria’ Mr. Degbelo, said Nigeria needs to establish modest conditions for exports as well framework for other countries to trade with the country. While acknowledging the need for countries to guard against harmful trade practices that may undermine economic development and kill local industries, the Dangbelo, warned that adopting outright protectionist strategy may be counterproductive. He said the WTO, including other multilateral agencies, were keen on helping the country develop appropriate trade regulations to help to significantly diversify its economy away from oil. On the need to eradicate all trade restrictions, including import restriction list for accessing foreign exchange and import bans on land borders, Degbelo said, “Trade means you have access to my market and I have access to your market.” He said the goal of WTO is to ensure that all countries promote exports but in doing so, no country should restrict imports. The WTF’S Trade Policy Analyst of the Trade Policies Review Division, Xinyi Li, said the on-going review of Nigeria’s Trade Policy

would enable dialogue among ministries, departments and agencies in the country in coordinating trade related issues. Li said the review will bring Nigeria into coherence with trade policies of other countries in the world to open up more markets to it for exports. Trade Advisor to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Chief Negotiator, Mr.

Chiedu Osakwe, said it is unfortunate that Nigeria has no trade defense mechanism, an anomaly, he said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, is currently working at correcting. Osakwe said there would be need to examine the existence of a 0.5 percent levy on export in line with Nigeria’s aspiration to grow export and earn

foreign exchange. He wondered why a country that is trying to promote export would impose a levy on export no matter how negligible the percentage of the levy is. The Trade Advisor also questioned the import per shipment levy of $600 per container which the country does not even benefit from and wondered if it is necessary. He said the review

would also try to consider the 1 percent charge which goes into import supervision and the necessity which the charge serves in the economy. Osakwe said though the country needs to guard against importation of heavily subsidized goods which undermine economic diversification, such regulations must be carried out in a “nonprotectionist” way.

L-R: Minister of Industry Trade & Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of State Industry Trade & Investment, Mrs.Aisha Abubakar and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, during a press briefing in Abuja, recently. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

RMAFC backs upward tax review

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he Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, has thrown its weight behind the new National Tax Policy recently announced by the Federal Government to shore up Nigeria’s declining revenue base. Reiterating the Commission’s support for the new policy, the RMAFC’s Head of Public Relations, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, said the new policy would shore up Nigeria’s dwindling revenue base which has suffered decline as a result of the shortfall in international oil prices and activities of militant and vandals in the Niger Delta region. Ibrahim, in a statement issued on behalf of the commission, said the RMAFC supports the revised tax

policy, as it will go a long way in boosting the nation’s revenue base for sustainable national development. Commending the federal government for the bold and courageous step, the commission stressed that stressed that taxation was seen as the most stable source of government revenue for economic development, globally. He said that the upward review of the existing Value Added Tax, VAT, rate on luxury items as contained in the New Tax Policy had buttressed the commission’s position. “Apart from the upward review of the VAT rate on luxury items, RMAFC also urges the Federal Government to support all monitoring agencies including the RMAFC to enhance

collection efficiency. It should also help with leakages in revenue collection and strengthen intelligence gathering mechanisms,’’ he said. Mohammed said this would also free more funds for government to expand the economy, ensure rapid economic development and create employment. Recall that the Acting Chairman of RMAFC, Shettima Abba-Gana, had in July 2016, canvassed for the upward review of value added tax from 5 percent to about 7.5 percent in order to improve the country’s revenue base. He said that VAT was a high tax revenue yielding instrument that could be used to shore-up revenue required for financing the ever-expanding public expenditure needs of all tiers of government,

adding that Nigeria’s current VAT rate of five percent was one of the lowest in the world.

FG speeds up visa process for foreign investors Continued from page 18 authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.” He said when implemented, the TFA would increase the volume and value of trade in goods, adding that the country would deepen its manufacturing base and connect to regional and global chains. The Minister further explained that President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, to drive government’s effort to identify and reduce bureaucratic processes and regulations that impeded private sector operations. “Other areas of improvement are improving trade beyond oil that is working with Nigerian Ports Authority to reduce the touch points in entry and exit of goods, reducing the time it takes to export and import goods through Nigerian Ports.” He expressed optimism that in the first quarter of 2017, the country would see improvements in its various international rankings, adding that there would also be increased participation of small and medium enterprises in government contracts.

Rosabon Financial Services commences Abuja operations Continued from page 18 providing innovative, affordable and quick financial solutions to our clients no matter their location. We are very excited to explore the Abuja market and we would continually commit to serving our clients better.” The Abuja annex office which is located at Nigerian Reinsurance Building, Central Business District, Abuja, its existing locations in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri.

Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN on April 22, 1993, Rosabon Financial Services has become an award winning member of the Concept Group having grown to be Nigeria’s leading Financial Intermediary and Equipment Leasing firm. Over the past two decades, the firm has remained committed to providing affordable lease, loans and treasury offerings to meet the financial needs of customers and clients.


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METRO

We are going bankrupt, car dealers cry out By Ismaila JIMOH

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he federal government had in the twilight of 2016, announced the ban on importation of vehicles into the country through the land borders. The ban which took effect from the 1st of January 2017, covers both new and used vehicles. A statement issued by the Nigerian Customs Service NCS, had explained that the restriction was sequel to a Presidential Directive restricting all vehicle imports to Nigeria through Sea Ports only. Since the announcement of the ban there have been divergent views by different stakeholders in the sector as to the effect of the policy on the economy. While some argue that the restriction would translate to more revenue for government since it will ensure proper payment of import duties on vehicles, others argue that the policy would only succeed in frustrating car dealers while straining the economy. It would be recalled that immediate past administration had in 2014, drawn up an automotive policy that raised the duty paid on imported vehicles from 20 percent to 70 percent, covering 35 percent duty and 35 percent levy. Though the policy was aimed at discouraging importation and increase patronage for locally assembled cars, Nigeria is yet to join the league of countries manufacturing cars. The policy seem to have become counterproductive as many Nigerians who could not afford to buy the expensive locally assembled cars, have abandoned the seaports and are patronizing cars from neighbouring countries of Benin Republic and Togo, where it was cheaper to import and bring into the Nigerian markets through the land borders. Many investors that built roll-out, roll-off, RORO- terminals, which specialise in handling imported vehicles, were out of business as over 60 percent of their cargoes were diverted to the above mentioned ports. This also led to massive loss of jobs for employees of these roll-roll ports and revenue for the port owners and the Federal Government. It was as a result of this development that this present administration took the bull by the horn by putting a stop to the vehicles importation through the land borders. Those who are in support of the new policy said the new policy if well implemented by the Customs Service, will reduce the smuggling of vehicles into the country and revive the operations of Roll-on-Roll-off terminals that handle all types of vehicles, some of which are at the

verge of shutting down. Vicky Haastrup, chairman of STOAN, while commenting on this issue recently put it this way “We are confident of the ability of Mr. President to turn the economy around. The earlier ban on importation of rice through land borders and now of vehicles is a welcome development. We are happy that the President has listened to our appeal to reverse incongruous policies inherited by his government from the former administration and which have deprived Nigerian ports of cargo,” she said. Haastrup further requested the Federal Government to take a step further and scrap the high import duty regime imposed on vehicles by the administration President Jonathan in 2013. “In addition to this, we appeal to Mr. President to return the import duties on vehicles to 20 percent from the prohibitive 70 percent tariff imposed by the former administration. The reversal will serve as an incentive for Nigerians to import legitimately through the seaports and make appropriate payments to government. This will boost revenue collection by the Customs and also lead to the return of lost jobs at the affected ports,” she stated. Some members of the public however consider the new policy as salt on injury, mostly because of the current economic recession which majority of Nigerians are battling with. Most hit are those into buying and selling of cars brought in through the land borders. Also affected by this ban are those who serve as drivers for importers of vehicles from neighboring countries, as most of them are now out of jobs. There were insinuations in some quarters that some corrupt Customs officers do connive with these drivers by allowing them to drive vehicles across the borders after collecting some amount of money from them which are not remitted to the government. Nigerians who are seriously praying hard so that they too could become car owners are currently having apprehension as prices of cars have gone up beyond their reach as a result of the new policy. Metro sought to know how the policy is affecting the automobile business in the country bearing in mind the current exchange rate. A car dealer, Alh. Bashir Zamfara, seems not to support the recent move by government. He complained bitterly about the issue of exchange rate and the high Custom duty which has made prices of cars soar higher.

In his words, “this business has been dull since the introduction of this land borders policy by the government. Before the ban, most of our customers were mostly civil servants, you know they are into this contributory scheme, but presently I can confirmed to you that we don’t see them again, which is an indication that there is too much suffering in the land. Some of us here have people who depend on us for their survival, but these days we can hardly meet those obligations.” zamfara stated. Another dealer, Buhari Muhammad, disclosed to the Metro that the importation of vehicles through the sea port is better compare to land borders. “Before now we used to pass through the land borders. We paid Custom duty two times, we paid in Cotonou then we still paid here in Nigeria, which amounts to double Custom duty. But now we only pay once in Lagos port. “Despite that we are still facing big challenge which is threatening the good intentions of government. The current exchange rate and high custom duties we are made to pay, affects the prices of these cars. For instance if you bring in a car of N3million here in Nigeria, you are expected to pay up to N1million as Custom duty, whereas in Cotonou one pays at most N400 thousand custom duty. All these are what is making the prices of cars goes up,” Muhammad explained. Kenneth Ugo who is also into selling of foreign used vehicles corroborated what the earlier speakers said, adding that the current exchange rate of dollar stand out as the big challenge for those of them in automobile business. He said some of their Customers cannot wait for two months that

would have taken them to import their chosen brand from Europe or America through the seaport. It takes us just four days to bring in any type of cars from Cotonou for our Customers, you can see the different,” Ugo disclosed. He disagreed with the notion that the new policy is to curb influx of ammunitions that dubious importers smuggle into the country through the land borders, saying that the recent arrest made by the Nigeria Customs Service concerning 661 pump actions rifle which came into the country through the seaport has rubbish that notion. However, the National President of Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria, AMDON, Prince Ajibola Adedoying, disclosed to the Metro that its Members are not against the new policy. “What we are against is the way it is being implemented, recently we met with the Comptroller General of Customs, and he promised to present our case to the President. At that meeting he told us that our association should have been invited for a meeting before the introduction of the new policy. “Although we were informed that Government was losing a lot of revenue and on our part we promised that we will ensure that our Members pay all the necessary dues to the Government. I can assure you that right now there is an ongoing partnership arrangement, like the one that is existing in places like Cotonou. “We are currently working on it, it is going to be a sort of synergy between our association and the Government. The pact, when operational, will make a lot of things better,” Adedoyin pointed out.


February 13 - 19, 2017

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Healthwise New treatment for men with recurrent prostate cancer

Modern parenting may hinder brain development —Research A

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ocial practices and cultural beliefs of modern life are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to an interdisciplinary body of research presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame. “Life outcomes for American youth are worsening, especially in comparison to 50 years ago,” says Darcia Narvaez, Notre Dame Professor of Psychology, who specializes in moral development in children and how early life experiences can influence brain development. “Ill-advised practices and beliefs have become commonplace in our culture, such as the use of infant formula, the isolation of infants in their own rooms or the belief that responding too quickly to a fussing baby will ‘spoil’ it,” Narvaez says. This new research links certain early, nurturing parenting practices — the kind common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies — to specific, healthy emotional outcomes in adulthood, and has many experts rethinking some of our modern, cultural childrearing “norms.” “Breast-feeding infants, responsiveness to crying, almost constant touch and having multiple adult caregivers are some of the nurturing ancestral parenting practices that are shown to positively impact the developing brain, which not only shapes personality, but also helps physical health and moral development,” says Narvaez. Studies show that responding to a baby’s needs (not letting a baby “cry it out”) has been shown to influence the development of conscience; positive touch affects stress reactivity, impulse control and empathy; free play in nature influences social

capacities and aggression; and a set of supportive caregivers (beyond the mother alone) predicts IQ and ego resilience as well as empathy. The United States has been on a downward trajectory on all of these care characteristics, according to Narvaez. Instead of being held, infants spend much more time in carriers, car seats and strollers

than they did in the past. Only about 15 percent of mothers are breast-feeding at all by 12 months, extended families are broken up and free play allowed by parents has decreased dramatically since 1970. Whether the corollary to these modern practices or the result of other forces, an epidemic of anxiety and depression among all age groups, including young children; rising

rates of aggressive behavior and delinquency in young children; and decreasing empathy, the backbone of compassionate, moral behavior, among college students, are shown in research. According to Narvaez, however, other relatives and teachers also can have a beneficial impact when a child feels safe in their presence. Also, early deficits can be made up

later, she says. “The right brain, which governs much of our self-regulation, creativity and empathy, can grow throughout life. The right brain grows though full-body experience like roughand-tumble play, dancing or freelance artistic creation. So at any point, a parent can take up a creative activity with a child and they can grow together.”

Sleep deprivation handicaps brain’s ability to form new memories

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tudying mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins have fortified evidence that a key purpose of sleep is to recalibrate the brain cells responsible for learning and memory so the animals can “solidify” lessons learned and use them when they awaken — in the case of nocturnal mice, the next evening. The researchers, all of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, also report they have discovered several important molecules that govern the recalibration process, as well as evidence that sleep deprivation, sleep disorders and sleeping

pills can interfere with the process. “Our findings solidly advance the idea that the mouse and presumably the human brain can only store so much information before it needs to recalibrate,” says Graham Diering, Ph.D., the postdoctoral fellow who led the study. “Without sleep and the recalibration that goes on during sleep, memories are in danger of being lost.” Diering explains that current scientific understanding of learning suggests that information is “contained” in synapses, the connections among neurons through which

they communicate. On the “sending side” of a synapse, signaling molecules called neurotransmitters are released by a brain cell as it “fires”; on the “receiving side,” those molecules are captured by receptor proteins, which pass the “message” along. If a cell receives enough input through its synapses, it fires off its own neurotransmitters. More specifically, experiments in animals have shown that the synapses on the receiving neuron can be toggled by adding or removing receptor proteins, thereby strengthening or weakening them and

allowing the receiving neuron to receive more or less input from nearby signaling neurons. Scientists believe memories are encoded through these synaptic changes. But there’s a hitch in this thinking, Diering says, because while mice and other mammals are awake, the synapses throughout its brain tend to be strengthened, not weakened, pushing the system toward its maximum load. When neurons are “maxed out” and constantly firing, they lose their capacity to convey information, stymying learning and memory.

Study: Possible link between early menstruation, stroke risk W

omen who started menstruating early in life could later face a higher risk of stroke. Women who started their periods at the age of 13 or younger, are about 1.8 times more likely to suffer a stroke, than those who started at the age of 15. These women are also more at risk for cerebral infarction, in which a section of brain tissue dies due to reduced blood flow and oxygen. This is according to research

recently published in the journal Neuroepidemiology. Women who stopped menstruating at 45 or younger are also more likely to get cerebral infarction, but not stroke, compared to women who began menopause at the age of 50. Growing evidence suggests that the age women start and stop their periods, known as menarche and menopause respectively, factor into many diseases. Understanding the

connections — if there is a direct cause or if it can merely help in prediction — might allow public health professionals to develop more effective prevention measures. To study the relationship between stroke and menstruation, a research team led by Tohoku University and Teikyo University School of Medicine followed a group of 1,412 postmenopausal women in the rural town of Ohasama,

Japan, between 1998 and 2010. Through initial questionnaires and follow-up surveys, they tracked the women’s ages of menarche and menopause, if and when they had a stroke, and other factors such as height, weight, heart disease and hypertension. After taking confounding factors into account, the researchers still found a statistically significant association between stroke risk and early menarche.

dding hormonal therapy to radiation treatment can significantly improve the average long-term survival of men with prostate cancer who have had their prostate gland removed, according to a new Cedars-Sinai study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The regimen also can reduce the frequency of spread of the cancer, the study found. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. men. An estimated 161,300 new cases will be diagnosed and nearly 27,000 deaths are expected in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society. “Our study indicates that hormonal treatments should be incorporated into the management of men who need radiation therapy after surgery for prostate cancer,” said Howard Sandler, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai and senior author of the multicenter study. More than 30 percent of prostate cancer patients face the return of disease one to four years after removal of the prostate gland, Sandler said. When a patient experiences a recurrence, physicians typically prescribe radiation therapy. “Our results show that adding hormone therapy could add years to patients’ lives,” Sandler said. The study, which included researchers at 17 medical institutions, tracked 761 prostate cancer patients in the U.S. and Canada during a 12year period after they had participated in a randomized clinical trial of the combined treatment, from 1998 to 2003. The study’s findings include: • After 12 years, the incidence of deaths from prostate cancer was 5.4 percent for patients who underwent radiation therapy plus hormone treatment, compared with 13.4 percent for those who had only radiation therapy.


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February 13 - 19, 2017

INTERVIEW

Buhari needs prayers to succeed —Ikon-Allah Barde Ikon-Allah Suleja is a frontline politician in Niger state. He is one of the privileged Nigerians close to President Muhammadu Buhari during the ANPP days. In this exclusive interview with our correspondent, Ismaila JIMOH, he reveals his personal encounter with the president on issues bordering on corrupt practices and other sundry matters. Excerpts: Sir, your popularity in the political arena in Niger state most especially here in Suleja is not in doubt, but can you tell us how you started your political journey? I started my political activity right from 1979. At that time, I belonged to the ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN. After that I later joined the Peoples Democratic Party in 1999, and through the party I became the Special Assistant to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government during the tenure of late Engr. Kure. But in 2003 when General Muhammadu Buhari came out to contest as president, I decided to move to his party the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP. I moved to the party because I believe in him.

told him why we were there to see him. Immediately I mentioned what we needed from him, he looked up and called my name, Barde, “You know I don’t have anything to do with people in government.” As soon as he said this he continued reading his newspaper. In fact, by the time I managed to get hold of myself and told him we are going, he only nodded his head, that was how we left his place very devastated. It happened in 2007.

You said you believe in Buhari that was why you joined ANPP, what do you mean? Yes, I believe in his ideology and I know that Nigerians need someone that is strong at heart to move the country forward. That was why when he lost that year’s election, I still remain with him up to the time of the merger to form the All Progressives Congress, APC. You talk about Buhari’s ideology, but do you think that ideology is really making things better now that he is president? Let me tell you that change is happening in the country. I am not saying everything is okay at the moment, but there are areas that are really working well. Look at the issue of security, you know what the issue of Boko Haram used to be in the past, you know what it is today. What about the issue of corruption? You and I know that Buhari’s administration has zero tolerance for corruption. The only area I know the government needs to put more effort is that of economic matters, but don’t forget there is recession everywhere in the world now, even Saudi Arabia that is the largest producer of crude oil. Rich countries are also experiencing economic recession, so it is not peculiar to Nigeria. Based on your long association with President Buhari, how would

Barde Ikon-Allah Suleja

you describe him? I will tell you that MPresident Buhari is not corrupt personally and he will never allow anyone around him to be involved in any corrupt dealings. Let me tell you a story that happened to me and my late friend, Suleiman Abubakar. This incident happened in 2007 during the election period. You know we were in ANPP together with General Buhari, so my late friend was contesting for the chairmanship of Suleja Local Government. We didn’t have money in the party, so we now heard that Kano state government wants to buy trucks for carrying of refuse. As I am into vehicles business, I told my late friend that since we are very close to Buhari, who was also our ANPP presidential candidate for that year’s election that we should go with our proposal to him to link us to governor of Kano state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau. What we had in

mind was to make gain from the contract and use part of it for campaign expenses. But to our surprise, as we entered Buhari’s office in Kaduna that day, we met him on the chair reading newspaper and I

What is your assessment of the performances of the APC government in Niger state? As a matter of fact, our governor is trying his best. You know this recession is affecting everywhere, but I can tell you he is doing well. We know him very well, he became governor with genuine intention to serve our people, so we are helping him with prayers. I personally want to thank him for the approval of a piece of land for the building of proposed medical research complex here in Suleja, an initiative of America-based Dr. Mohammed Lawal Ladan, who is also an indigene of Niger State. Very soon, we are going to do the foundation laying ceremony of the medical complex. Please, on President Buhari, I want to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to continue in their prayers for his government to succeed, because I know with prayers the government will conquer all the obstacles in its way.

Let me tell you that change is happening in the country. I am not saying everything is okay at the moment, but there are areas that are really working well. Look at the issue of security, you know what the issue of Boko Haram used to be in the past, you know what it is today. What about the issue of corruption? You and I know that Buhari’s administration has zero tolerance for corruption. The only area I know the government needs to put more effort is that of economic matters, but don’t forget there is recession everywhere in the world now, even Saudi Arabia that is the largest producer of crude oil. Rich countries are also experiencing economic recession, so it is not peculiar to Nigeria.


SPORTS February 13 - 19, 2017

Page 23

Sadio Mane double sees Liverpool past Tottenham Hotspur S

adio Mane scored twice against Tottenham as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool recorded their first Premier League victory of 2017. The result, courtesy of two strikes in as many minutes from Mane, lifted the Reds back into the top four and to within a point of their second-placed opponents. But it also handed leaders Chelsea, who travel to Burnley on Sunday, the chance to extend their advantage over Spurs to 12 points. That is of little concern for Liverpool, whose primary objective is to secure Champions League football — and condemning Mauricio Pochettino’s men to a first loss for two months did that bid no harm. The hosts’ start was electric and full of pressing and pace — most of it provided by Mane, whose monthlong absence at the African Nations Cup was a major factor in Liverpool’s recent slump in form. There was only one change from last week’s abject display at Hull but it was a significant one, with Georginio Wijnaldum replacing Emre Can. The Holland international’s inclusion was a key component as his intelligence, coupled with an outlet in Mane, had Spurs pinned back early on. Had it not been for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Liverpool could have emulated the 2014 demolition of Arsenal, when they were 4-0 up within 20 minutes. As it was, the 2-0 lead after 18 minutes came after Eric Dier, who spent the evening chasing shadows, had already denied Roberto Firmino and Toby Alderweireld had blocked Adam Lallana’s follow-up. The opener came as Firmino’s layoff to Wijnaldum allowed the Dutchman to play a perfectly weighted

Sadio Mane celebrates his second Liverpool goal through-ball to pick out Mane’s run, and the Senegal international confidently clipped a finish past Lloris. Liverpool’s highintensity game paid off again when Mane

pressured Dier into a mistake and, after Lallana’s shot was parried and Firmino’s effort blocked, the ball fell kindly for Mane to volley home. The winger was

denied a hat trick when his shot was diverted into the side-netting by the legs of Lloris, who then palmed Mane’s shot from the resulting corner around the post. Son Heung-Min had

a chance to get his side back into the game but Simon Mignolet, at fault for Hull’s first goal last weekend, saved with his legs. The chance failed to stop the red tide as Dier

cut out Mane’s effort and Lloris held Philippe Coutinho’s shot, while Christian Eriksen’s freekick hit the top of the Liverpool net. While the pace continued after the break, the game became tetchy as Tottenham attempted to knock their opponents out of their stride and the niggly foul count went up considerably, with Harry Kane booked for coming down late on Nathaniel Clyne’s foot. Still Liverpool had chances as Joel Matip headed at Lloris and Coutinho dragged a strike wide. Tottenham, who have not won at Anfield since 2011 and have taken just 10 points from the last possible 69 at the ground, did not record a legitimate shot in anger in the second half, with Kane flagged offside as he fired against the post.

Mark Clattenburg apologises to Hull players for missing Arsenal handball in build-up to opening goal

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eferee Mark Clattenburg apologised to Hull City players after missing the clear hand-ball offence that set Arsenal on the path to a 2-0 victory at the Emirates. Television replays clearly showed that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez 34th-minute opener came when the ball diverted off his hand and into the Hull net after visiting goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic had blocked his origanal effort. Clattenburg was at the centre of further controversy in the second half when Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs escaped with a yellow card despite appearing to be the last man as he fouled Hull’s Lazar Markovic. Marco Silva, Hull’s head coach, said: “My players said the referee apologised to them at the start of the second half for the handball. I am not happy. We

Referee Mark Clattenburg a[p;pgosed to Hull FC players for allowing Arsenal’s Alexi Sanchez first goal didn’t deserve the result. Some important decisions were not good for us.” Clattenburg did produce a red card, in

second-half added time when Hull’s Sam Clucas handled Lucas Perez’s attempt. Sanchez converted the resultant penalty.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger dismissed former striker Ian Wright’s suggestions that he will quit at the end of

the season. “I could be tired because I get up early in the morning. I gave no indication about my future,” Wenger said.


February 13 - 19, 2017

Leadership, accountability and Day of Judgment By Muhammadu Sanusi II

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he reason that there is any state is the ability to protect lives and properties within its borders. Once a state cannot protect lives and property, it ceases to have any justification for existence which is why in the ranking of failed state, security is number one. The more we work towards security, the more we all are. The country is facing too many threats. In the North East we have had for years a rampaging hoard who in the name of religion kill innocent people, kidnap children, rape young children, bomb mosques and irony is missing. You are a Muslim, you go to mosques, people are praying and you are killing them and saying, ‘Allah.’ In the Niger Delta, we have people who are fighting for resource control, they want money from oil and how do they get the money, the blow up the pipelines. There is such a lack of understanding, focus and sense to the violence. How do you blow up your pipelines, resources because you want resource control? How would you blow up mosques because you want to establish an Islamic system? In Southern Kaduna, we have people who lived together for decades and centuries killing each other because they have constructed fake identities - settler and indigene - and because of genuinely lack of enforcement of the law. Every time there is crisis in Southern Kaduna, people die, there is a tribunal, there is a report, culprits are identified and nothing happens. So, these small instances utterly lead to conflagration and therefore, it is important to address them at every point in time. I am pleased to say that security is top of our agenda. We all know that during the 2015 elections, this was our number one issue. Every Nigerian will tell you his number one issue is security, number two issue was corruption and the third was economy and we have made significant progress in dealing with security threats and part of it is the quality of personnel in charge of security. For the chief security officer of a country to identify a particular governor as the most security conscious governor, I am certain that we should celebrate and place demand especially now that he is not just relatively young in age but how long he has been in office. I have known the IGP for many years and so I know he is not a frivolous person. I usually do not allow

Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, Emir of Kano and Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria

myself to be co-opted into political agendas and into things I am not sure of. So, when the IG puts his name to something, I give it total credibility and legitimacy. And since that is the case and since as traditional rulers, our major concern across the country is to see that lives are protected and these violence stops and it is not just the Niger Delta militants, Boko Haram or Sothern Kaduna, it is kidnapping, cattle rustling, it is thuggery, drug addiction. You know we have a society that is at great risk of slipping into decay. So, every time you see a sign of someone succeeding, we all need to come together to encourage that person. My advice to His Excellency is to remember that to whom much is given, much is expected. For all of us in positions of authority, whether governor, emirs, police commissioner, the president, chairman of local government; we must remember that over 170million Nigerians were created by God, and when God choose us and put us in these positions, it is not because he does not love those not given the position. In fact, it is because he loves them that we were appointed to serve them and this responsibility, the realization that we are there not for ourselves but for those who are not there is the first test of leadership and that is what public service is about. If there is anything that has destroyed this country, it is people thinking that offices are for themselves and their families but it is not. We were given offices for those who are not in office, we were given office to not sleep so that they may sleep. We were given

office so that you can go hungry so that they may eat. You were given office so that you stay awake fearful of what may happen to them so that they may sleep in peace. People who think that they are office to enjoy, to have sound sleep, to have a comfortable life are the worst leaders ever. So, I say to the governor and myself and to all of us who have a responsibility, the prophet of Islam has one Hadith about leadership that is very frightening. He says, it is a trust and on the Day of Judgment, it is source of humiliation and regret. Everyone must remember that there would be a day that we will account for these privileges. When we come to places and people stand up because you are there, when they greet, pray for you, you did not create them or give them life neither did you bring them to this world and you think they just greet you and you have no responsibility? And you think you will not be asked for all of that? On that day, if you did not serve those people, you would regret and wish that you never had that office. You would wish that you were one of those greeting your leaders so that you watch them sweat while answering questions. So, if you think being in public office is something to be happy about, please think again. It is a responsibility and an opportunity to serve. If we are blessed and lucky and able to serve, and deliver as required by God, we shall celebrate, if we are not, it will be cause of regret. It is not one way street. This is what I feel we should be reminded as we continue to pray for our leaders and pray for peace and

security. We also need to call on our elites to stop being selfish; we have a country and a constitution that guarantees rights and freedoms. We have a country and a constitution that does not prosecute anyone for his faith. If you are not prosecuted for practicing your religion, you have no basis to undermine the security of your country. We do have other forms of violence because poverty is violence, lack of education, lack of healthcare, lack of shelter, lack of food is violence and we must remember that that silent violence breeds open violence. When people are hungry, when they are not homed, when they lack education, every small opportunity they have becomes one for violence. So, we must think of violence not just as carrying arms. A man who wakes up in the morning and cannot feed his family is a victim of violence and that is violence meted upon him by the unequal society we have created and by economic programmes that do not take care of the poor. So, we need to work on security, education, economy and we pray. Prayer alone will not solve our problems. We will pray but we must take the right steps, do the right things on the economic fronts, education front and the governance front. Let us also define our priorities. There are too many dreams from political leaders. Everybody wants to turn his state capital into New York. We define development in terms of beautiful streets, bridges, sky scrapers, everyone wants to have an airport and runway even when plane lands there only once in three months, they still want to have a runway. This misplacement of priority, this lack of resources, lack of allocation of resources has led to dangers untold. For every N1billion you put into that runway is the same that could go into agriculture, education, into primary healthcare and save lives. So, when uneducated people in the north, girls out of school, maternal mortality, infant mobility, should we be looking for runways and mega cities and beautiful sky scrapers? Is that what we need? It is important for those who have responsibility to make poor people their responsibility and their focus and their priority. The greatest support you can give people is to make them happy and comfortable. Sansui II is the Emir of Kano, and made these remarks at the police award to Gov. Yahya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja, recently.

The Abuja Inquirer is published by Gazetta Communications Limited. HEAD OFFICE: Plot 207, Jumai Kwanashie Crescent (Formerly 44 Crescent) CITEC Villas, Gwarimpa 11, ABUJA, NIGERIA. Tel: 0803 302 7995. E-mail: letters@theabujainquirer.com; Website: www.theabujainquirer.com. Publisher/Editor-In-Chief: DAN AKPOVWA

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