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Press Council Bill relic of Decree 4 – NPO By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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he Nigerian Press Organisation, NPO, has described the Nigerian Press Council Bill 2018 as relic of Decree No. 4, unconstitutional as it runs against the

principles and tenets of the rule of law. The NPO, which comprises of Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, Nigeria Guild of Editors and Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, at a meeting in Lagos last Thursday, on “The

Nigerian Press Council Bill 2018,” also observed that further hearing on the bill was sub-judice given that a case on the subject matter is still pending in the Supreme Court. In a communique signed by Nduka Obaigbena, Funke

Egbemode, and Waheed Odusile, for the NPAN, NGE and NUJ, respectively, they stressed that the “bill is, for all intents and purposes, draconian and anti-press freedom being an amalgamation of the obnoxious Public Officers Protection

Against False accusation Decree No. 4 of 1984 and the Newspapers Registration Decree 43 of 1993, both vestiges of the dark days of military rule and therefore incurably and irreparably bad, being also inconsistent with values of our democratic

society.” According to them, the bill seeks to criminalize journalism practise despite the fact the laws of the country already have enough provisions and avenues for seeking Continued on page 3

SOCIAL CIRCLE >>> PAGE 13 First Published March 2004

Vol. 12 No. 42 ISSN: 1597-2895

July 23 - 29, 2018

Price: 100

HEAVY RAINS:

FCT Residents Count Their Losses By Angela MURREY

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roperty, perhaps, worth millions were destroyed weekend, just as social activities like school graduation parties were disrupted following two consecutive downpour in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The rains which started as early as 4am and rained for almost three hours before letting up only to fall strongly from 10:30 am until late into the afternoon. As a result of the heavy downpour, some Continued on page 3

Oshiomhole’s night visit: R-APC says, ‘juicy offers too late’ By Williams ABAH

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he Reformed All Progressives Congress, R-APC, has criticised the ruling party for attempting to win back the support of

aggrieved members with offers, insisting that ‘juicy offers by the APC was coming too late.’ National publicity secretary of the R-APC, Continued on page 3

Dr. Alex Otti, the leading APGA aspirant, right, declaring his intention to run for the office of Governor of Abia State before a mammoth crowd at Ngwa High School, Aba, over the weekend.

New districts: Abuja natives warn Arrest Miyetti Allah leaders Inside FG, Discos war over against marginalization>>PAGE 4 now, Gowon tells FG >>PAGE 8 epileptic power supply>>PAGE 18


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NEWS

FCT Residents Count Their Losses Press Council

Continued from page 1 schools’ graduation passing prize giving day could not hold as scheduled. In Karu, a suburb of Abuja Municipal Area Council, most of the schools that penciled their prize giving day rued their decisions as the rains drove pupils and parents into the various classrooms as strong winds blew off the canopies. At the Redeemer

Nursery and Primary School, pupils and parents who had gathered for the event were forced in to various classrooms until late into the afternoon when the rains subsided and eventually stopped. Also, at the ECWA and Anglican Schools in the same area, pupils and parents were forced to use the main church building unlike outdoor as was planned. A parent at Redeemer

schools, Mrs. Chizoba Okonkwo, told our correspondent that it was ‘overflowing blessings and it did not dampened the mood of the event.” In Apo mechanic village, the despair was more palpable as most shops were submerged in high waters, while hundreds of commuters were stranded as there were no vehicles including tricycles ‘Keke NAPEP,’ were off the

road. The Abuja Inquirer learnt from eyewitnesses that fences came crumbling down and household items could be seen floating on the high waters while many of the occupants of such buildings expressed fears over reptiles and what their fate will be. “We are begging the FCT administration to construct proper drainage. You can see what has happened and

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru (R), receiving an award from the president, Senior Oil Workers Union, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, during a transformational leadership awards/workshop organized by the PENGASSAN-NNPC Group Executive Council in Abuja…Friday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

we don’t know what will happen to us,” one of the flood victims, Mr. Okere, lamented. At Orozo, cars and other road users could not cross the high floods that had submerged the road and had to wait for hours. Speaking to one Festus, he said, “this is a terrible experience that we go through every time it rains heavily it becomes difficult to reach our destinations,” pleading with the “government to please come and dualize this road or build bigger drainages to reduce the gridlock permanently for the residents of Apo mechanic and its environs.” In June, the administration issued a flood alert, warning residents to be alert as the rains enter its peak period. The minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Muhammad Musa, made the appeal when he visited to commiserate with people of Karshi after flooding overwhelmed the community. During that last flood, two people from the neighboring Kokosu Community of Nasarawa State, were confirmed dead in the flood.

Oshiomhole’s night visit: R-APC says, ‘juicy offers too late’ Continued from page 1 Mr. Kassim Afegbua, in a statement on Sunday entitled: “Dangling Juicy Carrots Won’t Help”, dissed moves being made by President Muhammadu Buhari and national chairman of the APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, to woo back aggrieved members as coming too late. He also advised those being approached with juicy offers, such as the president of the senate, Bukola Saraki, against taking the words of the president and the leadership of the APC. The statement reads in part: ”We members of the R-APC find it very amusing that those who boasted that they won’t lose sleep over our altruistic action, have

been hopping from door to door pleading with our members not to leave by dangling juicy carrots and promising them heaven and earth. “Such level of double standard is the reason why the R-APC was birthed in the first place because the leadership is not one that keeps promises and it’s the reason why no one should take the APC serious. “It is interesting to suddenly see Mr. President holding meetings with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, reportedly promising mouthwatering offers; the same leader who was ridiculed, scandalized, demonized, criminalized and called all sorts of names by agents of the

presidency just to give the senate president a bad name in order to hang him. As soon as the Supreme Court gave a resounding verdict on the trumped up and frivolous charges against the Senate President, Mr. President suddenly felt a need to praise the judiciary for standing on its own. Hmm, power as they truly say, must be a crazy aphrodisiac.” Afegbua further stressed that the ongoing attempts at reconciliation were dubious and should not be taken seriously. “Pronto, all the political conspirators in the APC swoop into dubious reconciliation assignment, hopping from door to door at the thick of the night to strike deals of reconciliation.

Those who said they won’t lose sleep over the R-APC, have become sleepless in the last two weeks. Does anyone need to be reminded that caveat emptor should be the operative words? Those who pleaded in the past, short of kneeling before their subordinates, ended up in the political belly of their benefactors when the re-election was concluded. It is an albatross that some people are still carrying till date. Examples abound in this our democracy and it is ringing bell in our consciousness every now and then. “This government is never a promise keeper and some of the promises contained in the manifestos of the APC have been jettisoned. The

president who has held himself in the inner sanctuary of the Presidential Villa is all of a sudden, opening his doors to one meeting or the other all in the name of re-election. “Just to make the point that it is too late in the day. The train has left the station. Leopards cannot change their spots no matter how much one tries to tame them. We enjoin all our members to remain steadfast and resolute in defending their rights and taking the appropriate action in defence of democracy. This democracy must survive on ethical grounds and not on lawlessness and exclusion. It must provide a level playing grounds for all participants”.

Bill relic of Decree 4 – NPO Continued from page 1 legal redress. “The bill smacks of an attempt at undue interference in the operations of the media in Nigeria as businesses registered under the relevant laws of the federation. “The bill seeks for a The Nigeria Press Council to usurp the powers of the courts by assuming extra-judicial powers. “The bill seeks to incapacitate the media in the exercise of the duties and obligations imposed on it by section 22 of the constitution to monitor governance and hold g o v e r n m e n t accountable to the people. The section states as follows: “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people”, a communique after the meeting stated. The stakeholders called on the National Assembly to drop the bill “forthwith until the determination of a similar case in the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” while urging the “Senate should borrow from best practices in other jurisdictions that has expressly provided for and guaranteed press freedom without any form of government interference.” However, the bodies promised that the media will continue doing all it can to further promote media ethics, professionalism, t r a n s p a r e n c y, accountability and selfregulation, to ensure that the public interest is served at all times.


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FCT REPORT New districts: Abuja natives warn against marginalization By Austine ELEMUE

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he creation of four new districts by the Federal Capital Territory Administration has attracted reactions from the indigenous youths of Abuja, as the umbrella body has warned against marginalization in the allocation of land in the new districts. The FCT administration had a couple of weeks ago created four new d i s t r i c t s namely: Mamusa North, Mamusa East, Parfun North and Parfun South, aimed at addressing the deficit of planned plots. In statement issued in Abuja by the president of Abuja Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment, Commandant Isaac David, and made available to journalists, he observed that the creation of the districts will engender development in the rural communities and further confirm Abuja as the fastest growing city in Africa. David also urged that the compensation of the original inhabitants should not be restricted only to the payment of economic trees on the land, stressing that some degree of preference should be accorded or right of first refusal considering that these districts have been the ancestral homes of the indigenes for decades. The indigenous youths called on the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, to dialogue with the leadership of affected communities and assuage their nerves, noting that the challenge of development in the FCT is an onerous task and nothing should be allowed to derail the trajectory of commitment to opening up the rural areas.

The statement reads in part: “Sir, we have received complaints from indigenes living in these districts of possible marginalization in the allocation of the lands as happened in Maitama ll under Mpape district,

Kpobi/ kuruduma axis and Apo Resettlement under Garki district. “It is pertinent to observe that the compensation of the original inhabitants should not be restricted only to the payment of

economic trees on the land. They should be given some degree of preference and accorded the right of first refusal for a given percentage of the allocations considering that these districts have been their ancestral

homes for decades. They have the same rights as other citizens and their economic handicap should not be allowed to work against them in their homeland as this will mean robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

L-R: Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, Adnan Mahmoud Bostaji, Executive Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Malam Abdullahi Mukhtar and FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, during the inauguration of the 2018 Hajj operations at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja...Saturday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

Sen. Melaye says FCT ‘minister incorruptible’ By Austine ELEMUE

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enate committee chairman on FCT, Sen. Dino Melaye, has said that he is impressed with the 2017 budget performance of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, just as he declared the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, ‘incorruptible minister of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.’ The senator made the declaration during a budget defence session at the National Assembly, last week, also confessed that his committee has set ‘several traps for the minister but he scaled through all temptations.’ Melaye, who expressed delight at the remarkable improvement recorded in the budget

performance for the 2017 fiscal year, which showed 62 percent level of accomplishment, also congratulated the FCT administration for the successful commissioning of the Abuja rail mass transit system. He used the occasion to harp on the necessity for honesty, prudence and transparency in the management of government resources. Earlier, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has proposed an expenditure framework of N271.532 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. The minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, who made the proposal in a budget session with the Senate Committee on FCT, also said that the figure showed an increase

of N49.171 billion over the appropriation for 2017 which was at N222. 360 billion. During his presentation, the minister gave a breakdown of the sectoral allocations which showed priority being given to capital expenditure, which got N154.232 billion representing 56.8 percent of the estimate, overhead cost came second with N61 billion or 22.5 percent, while personnel was estimated to cost N56 billion representing 20.68 percent of the total. The increase, Bello indicated, is based on the expected higher revenue generation by the FCT in view of the take-off of the FCT Internal Revenue Service, IRS, and expected increased funds from the federation account. Bello

revealed that the administration would pay important attention to the completion of ongoing infrastructure projects to make the city more liveable, just as N70 billion has been earmarked for this purpose. In the same vein, N4.7 billion will go to on-going critical new infrastructure projects, while N21.1 billion is proposed for ongoing as well as new infrastructure projects in satellite towns. The amount of N37.96 billion has been set aside for the education sector while the health received a whopping N22.8 billion. Other major expenditure areas include resettlement and compensation – N8.9 billion and transportation N20.5 billion.

Bello unveils $54 million Novare central mall By Edrina EMMANUEL

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he FCT adminis t r a t i o n ’s investment drive has netted a $54 million Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, as the administration unveils the Novare central mall in the heart of Abuja. W h i l e commissioning the world class facility, last week, the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, restated the commitment of the administration to ensure ease of doing business. “Once again, I congratulate the management and staff of Novare Real Estate Africa, for yet another addition to the Novare series. I would like to pledge the commitment of FCT administration to ensuring ease of doing business in the territory”, he said. Bello, who was represented by FCT permanent secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, further used the occasion to call on other investors to take advantage of the territory’s friendly business environment. He said: “I therefore reiterate my earlier call, during the opening of the Novare Gateway Mall on the Airport Expressway, for investors to take advantage of the Abuja’s ripe business environment now.” Earlier in his address, the chairman of Novare Central Mall, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, remarked that the FCT administration has provided enabling environment for investments. “Permit me to express our sincere gratitude to the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, whose continued support and positive disposition towards Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, has been most beneficial to the success of this project and investment in FCT,” Ajogwu said.


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FCT REPORT Bwari council chair appeals for more FERMA intervention

Mass defection rocks PDP in Abaji By Ateed YUSUF

By Chuks NZEH

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he chairman, Bwari area council, Dr. Musa Dikko, has solicited for the rehabilitation of more roads in the council by the Federal Roads Management Authority, FERMA. Dikko made this known, recently, when he visited the MD/CEO of FERMA, Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi, in his office in Abuja. He solicited for the help of FERMA to work on the shoulder of the road around Dutse axis, especially the market area to allow for free flow of traffic. The council boss also appealed to FERMA to consider repairs on the old road around Ushafa village that is a shorter route to connect Kaduna. He added that the rehabilitation of the road will help the council in its internal revenue generation and also showcase the tourist potential of Ushafa village.

UNIABUJA moves to address certificate complaints By Yusuf ATEED

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uthorities of the University of Abuja have set up a committee to address complaints over collection of certificates by graduates of the institution. Registrar of the university, Mrs. Rifkatu Swanta, who disclosed this exclusively to the Abuja Inquirer in her office at Gwgwalada recently, assured grandaunts that the management of the university was making efforts towards issuing certificates to them without hitches. Swanta appealed to all sets of graduating students yet to collect their certificates to exercise patience even as she attributed the problem to accumulation of backlog of certificates that were not issue by previous management. It would be recalled that the university had been inundated with complaints by some graduates over its failure to award certificates to them as at when due, leading to the constitution of the committee by its Governing Council.

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L-R: Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishak Bello, CEO,Stanbic IBTC Capital, Mr. Funso Akere, Chairman, Novare Real Estate, Prof. Fabian Ajogun SAN and Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa during the ribbon cutting and opening of the new Novare Central Complex in Abuja last Thursday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

Resettlement: Gov’t increases allocation to Gbagis in Garki village By Austine ELEMUE

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he FCT Administration through its Department of Resettlement and Compensation has increased issuance of allocation letters to indigenous people of Gbagi extraction within Garki village, to expedite their planned relocation to Apo resettlement site. Our correspondent reports that as part of its developmental policy, the FCTA recently reactivated relocation of indigenous people living in Apo, Akpmajenya and Garki villages respectively. The move is in continuation of the reinvigorated efforts to swiftly relocate and resettle indigenes within the Federal Capital City, FCC, to designated resettlement areas within the nation’s capital city. According to assistant

director, Department of Resettlement and Compensation, Nasiru Suleiman, the essence of issuance of allocation letters to the affected people, was to ensure that they can move as fast as possible to their appropriate resettlement area. Explaining that relocation is an ongoing exercise, he said the department has finished with all those in the affected settlements, except those of Gbagi extraction, whom are currently getting their a l l o c a t i o n letters. Suleiman noted that the exercise which commenced last week, is going smoothly, describing the people’s cooperation as very cordial. “It is part of the policy of the FCTA that indigenes within the FCC are to be relocated

to appropriate resettlement sites. We don’t know most of these indigenes, so their representatives of the affected communities are helping us to identify and verify those on the list we are working on. “For those that own houses, we are giving them two plots while those that don’t have houses, we are issuing them one plot respectively. And before we give them the allocation letters, the representatives have to acknowledge the receipt of the original papers, with two passport photographs of the real beneficiaries. It has been going on for years, and now we are about concluding everything,” he explained. Also speaking, the representative of the community in the FCT resettlement committee,

Mr. Lazarus Nyaholo, disclosed that the beneficiaries are those that were captured during the enumeration exercise held since 2005. One of the beneficiaries from Garki Village, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, said he was excited about the exercise, as it’s something they have been waiting for, over period of time. He said: “We really appreciate the current FCT Administration for giving us this opportunity to have what we can remember for a long time to come. “My advice to others is that they should be patient, take their time, because issuing the papers is never an easy task for the officials, so we should encourage delivering, in order for them to have their own allocation papers, just as I have collected my own.”

Abuja Rail: Commuters enjoy one month free ride By Austine ELEMUE

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ollowing the unveiling of the Abuja Metro Rail system, the FCT Administration declared one month free ride on train for commuters traversing Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Idu and City Centre route. Some of the commuters who spoke to

journalists during a media tour of the newly commissioned Abuja metro rail system, expressed delight over the long awaited project, just as they tasked government on security and maintenance of rail facilities. Expressing their delight, the passengers, mostly from Kaduna national rail route expressed delight, as it

further easy movement within and outside the Territory. They advocated for the FCT metro rail project to be replicated in all the states of the federation. Secretary, FCT Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, reiterated the readiness of the FCT administration to maintain the state of the art facilities throughout the 12 stations of the

metro system. He disclosed that the government is intensifying the realization of the entirety of the metro system in the territory Recall that the Abuja Light Rail Project awarded in 2007, flagged off construction in 2009 is packaged into 6 Lots with lot 1A and 3 commissioned for skeletal operation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

ass defection is rocking the P e o p l e s Democratic Party, PDP, as stalwarts of the opposition party have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abaji area council. Among those that joined APC, were the former chairman of the council, Alhaji Angulu Bello, Assistant PDP local government treasurer, Salihu Soje, ex-officio, Hajiya Ramatu Danjuma, vice chairman of central ward, Adamu Ozuye amongst 1, 500 defectors . Chairman of APC in Abaji, Alhaji Mohammed Yaba, who received the defectors, assured them that the party would always treat and give them equal opportunity in all affairs in the area, while calling on other residents of Abaji and its environs to join the ruling party in the area. Speaking on behalf of the defectors, the former PDP chairman, Bello said their decision to join APC was informed by the ongoing transformation under the leadership of Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya, in area of providing basic social amenities across the council more especially the construction of drainages in the area. He said the present administration since on assumption of office has been able to touch the lives of residents, irrespective of party differences, which he said inspired them to join the ruling party. On his part, the chairman of the council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya, said he was impressed that some opposition members were able to identify with what his administration has achieved within the last two years in the area of providing viable infrastructures despite challenges of funds. Ajiya called on them to be patience, especially the youths, assuring them that his administration is ever ready and determined to ensure it provide more employment and job opportunity for them.


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EDITORIAL

The humongous N242.4bn budget for 2019 elections

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n July 17, 2018, President of the Senate Bukol Saraki read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari on a supplementary budget with a whooping price tag of N242.45 for the execution of the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as well as security agencies. Buhari in the letter said the princely sum will be drawn from the 2018 and 2019 budgets. The breakdown of 2019 election spending proposal shows: Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC 2018 supplementary – N143, 512, 529, 4452019 budget – N45, 695, 015,438 Total: N189, 207, 544, 893, Office of the National Security Adviser 2018 supplementary – N3, 855, 500, 0002019 budget – N426, 000, 000 Total – N4, 281, 500,000, Department of State Security 2018 supplementary – N2, 903, 638, 0002019 budget – N9,309,644,455 Total – N12, 213, 282, 455, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps 2018 supplementary – N1, 845, 597, 0002019 budget – N1, 727, 997, 500Total – N3, 573, 534, 500, Nigeria Police 2018 supplementary – N11, 457, 417, 4322019 budget – N19, 083, 900, 000 Total – N30, 541, 317, 432, Nigeria Immigration Service 2018 supplementary – N530, 110, 0782019 budget – N2, 098,033, 142Total – N2, 628, 143, 320. The Total amount for the election 2018 ssupplementary – N164, 104, 792, 0652019 budget – N78, 314, 530, 535. Grand total: N242, 445, 322, 600 It was to be expected that the election budget was going to

Similarly, the cost of conducting elections in Nigeria is also higher than those of bigger economies such as Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Canada, for instance, spent $375 million on electoral expenditure where 17.5 million voted, while in United Kingdom spent £113 million during its 2010 parliamentary elections in which 45.6 million voted.

elicit divergent reactions, and it has. While some are of the opinion that the amount is inadequate considering the multi-sectoral agencies involved in conducting free and fair elections, many others have kicked against the huge amount in the face of prevailing economic realities. Nigerians mostly on social media have criticised Buhari’s government for proposing such money for elections, describing it as a waste of resources. Others accused him of trying to siphon funds for his re-election bid. @Iamonwoko “Are we all Nigerians traveling to the sky to cast our votes? When it comes to frivolities, money will be available. To fix refineries or build new ones, roads etc, they will remind us that past governments looted everything. God is watching! Similarly, tweeting @Abrahamitebu “Waste of public fund. Elections in Nigeria are scams, total fraud.”@Shaev “People are hungry, see the amount you want to spend for rigging! Go ahead.”@Jpeace19 “Wow! In a country of over 195 million people with over 75% of its citizens unable to have 2 square

meal a day, majority earning less than 30k a month and children out of school, #242.4bn for an election is the height of wickedness.” These and many more are the opinions expressed by critics of the budget presentation. However, at the benefit of hindsight, many Nigerians forget so soon that an estimated N1 trillion was spent by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, political parties and candidates for the 2015 elections. Out of this amount INEC spent N108.8 billion in 2015. Worried by this ugly development, concerned stakeholders have flayed high cost of elections in Nigeria with assertions that the high cost was the bedrock of the corruption that pervades the political system. No doubt, Nigeria’s elections are among the most expensive in the world, with the cost soaring from a little above N1 billion in 1999 to over N200 billion in 2019. It has been acknowledged that the country’s huge cost of elections has surpassed that of the world’s largest democracy. For example, India, with a

population six times bigger than Nigeria spent less. Nigeria, with 67 million registered voters, spent $625 million during the 2015 elections, translating into $9.33 per voter, according to data prepared by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS, in 2015. This figure is higher than the $600 million the Electoral Commission of India, ECI, spent during the 2014 general elections in which 553.8 million people voted out of 815 million registered voters. Similarly, the cost of conducting elections in Nigeria is also higher than those of bigger economies such as Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Canada, for instance, spent $375 million on electoral expenditure where 17.5 million voted, while in United Kingdom spent £113 million during its 2010 parliamentary elections in which 45.6 million voted. While it is the candid view of this paper that free and fair elections cost money due to logistics challenges especially in this part of the world, but the bottom line is that pervasive corruption that marred Nigeria’s public procurement process is largely responsible for the high cost of elections in Nigeria. It is therefore high time Nigeria and Nigerians address public procurement process. Perhaps Nigerians could begin to think about using ATM cards or mobile number to vote so as to crash the cost of elections in Nigeria.

Published by: GAZETTA COMMUNICATIONS LTD Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Dan Akpovwa Editor Emmanuel Ogbeche Associate Editor Jacob Edi Assistant Editor Austine Elemue Ovie Akpovwa Editor, Lagos Bureau Godwin Uzoma Okoro

Snr. Correspondents Sarah Negedu; Onoriode E. Atavwigho;; Mfon Udo-Ema London Correspondent Peculia Medinus Online Editor Lucky Akpovwa Advert/Marketing Executive Laraba P. Murey Photo Editor Wale Elekolusi

Correspondents Ambrose Imobhio (Asaba) Scholastica Joseph (Makurdi) Ayinde Olarewaju (Ilorin) Akon Godfrey Chukwuma Nzeh Ateed Yusuf Ere-ebi Agedah jeoma Ukazu Williams Abah Edrina Emmanuel Elizabeth Offiong

Admin Assistant Alex Ukershio Company Secretary Bassey E. Offiong Esq. Legal Adviser Gogo Karibi-Whyte Production Consultant Daniel Soetan


July 23 - 29, 2018

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Joe Igbokwe, thou art a serial falsehood peddler

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ooking back now, the Russian chess grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, and perhaps the greatest chess player of all time, Garry Kasprov, was speaking of Mr. Joe Igbokwe, the Lagos APC publicity secretary, when he said, ”The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” There has never been a time that Mr. Igbokwe does not lie without let. He relishes his own falsehood and delivers them with some glee and panache that anyone without the knowledge of his history will fall flat face down in belief. Some have mischievously say he is in competition to outdo the devil, the grandest liar of all times, in the lying department. For a man with the gift of the garb, Igbokwe rather than deploy his oratory to something edifying, rather prefers walking in the mud, splashing it on all, guilty or not. Recently, he fingers are getting burnt by the day as he dips into his Spring of Half Truths and Absolute Falsehoods. First, he was caught with his hand in the till when he posted a fake picture of President Muhammadu Buhari sitting behind a desk and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Obinna Chukwuka, walking past the president.

As a man given to annihilate the truth, Mr Igbokwe posted: “Please meet ACP Obinna Chukwuka, the tear rubber Chief Security Officer to Mr President.” Minutes after, Premium Times busted him. He apologized after making random excuses. Not done, he barefacedly lied against justices of the apex court and the Rivers state government that Governor Nyesom Wike procured his governorship in 2015. But this time, he was not to run away so easily as the activist lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, dragged him to court for abusing his privilege to court. Like the puny livered liar he is, Igbokwe retracted his statement and apologised profusely for it. “Please let it be known and it is hereby made known that I have withdrawn the post I did few days ago on Facebook suggesting that The Apex Court compromised on matters concerning 2015 Rivers State Governorship elections. “It was not a calculated attempt to cast aspersions, demean and disparage the entire Bar and the Bench which I hold to the highest esteem. I am too small and too insignificant to do this,” he begged. If anything, the Rivers state government will do well by dragging Igbokwe to court despite his apology as it might help him in the long run from further bringing odium to his family if not himself.

What is this transmission of confusion, Ortom?

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he governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, cuts a pathetic figure each time he speaks. Some of the faults are his, while others are clearly beyond his grasp. As governor of a state that has witnessed so much carnage orchestrated mainly by herdsmen, it is understandably that given the unending gore and madness, he could have been afflicted by the senselessness of it all. The worry about Governor Ortom is his indecision as to whether he still belongs to the All Progressives Congress or shopping for a new party other than that which he rode on to become governor. The governor is so indecisive like Hamlet that it is others that are asking on his behalf, ‘to be, or not to be, that is the question…’

For a man whose name is ‘Samuel’, meaning ‘heard by God,’ and anointer of kings, Ortom has shown that he is not hearing from God, though he claims to hear God. If he does, he should by now know that like Gandhi said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” Better still, as Saint Seraphim of Sarov said, “Save yourself, and you will save a thousand around you.” Ortom does not appear as a man willing to save himself talk less of saving others around him. As he keeps prevaricating and acting like a drunk sailor, one only hopes he sinks alone and not with the ship of Benue state in tow.

Saraki and the heroic ‘victory’ of Pharaoh Ramesses II

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eception is part of society especially in politics. Allies as well adversaries sometimes rely on it to gain advantage for good or bad. Last Thursday, it emerged that President of the Senate Bukola Saraki, the one they love to hate, but hate to love was locked in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Aso Rock. According to several media outlets, the meeting was to persuade Saraki not to embark on his imminent decamping from the ruling party. Since his emergence as senate president three years ago, Saraki has had to contend with all manner of allegations and attacks on his person and office. To have survived the blitzkrieg is no doubt because he is the son of the one true Oloye, the late grandmaster of Kwara politics albeit Nigeria, Olushola Saraki. Owing to infamous ‘sources’ that Saraki is asking for written guarantees from his familiar foes to stay back in the APC, it is instructive he realizes that these are people given to circumventing the law; they have scant regards for the almighty constitution, so what

assurances are there that a worthless agreement on a paper without the consent of millions of Nigerians will amount to anything? President of the Senate, Sir, it is in the nature of man to write his own history to gain glory and advantage. Over 3, 300 years ago, Ramesses the Great of the Ancient Egyptian Empire, engaged in a deception that many have taken after him. At the Battle of Kadesh against the Hittite Empire in 1274 BC, he was roundly defeated and forced to sign the first-ever non-aggression treaty in history rather than having his entire army wiped out. Do you know what he did? Ramesses to maintain his godhead lie, painted the embarrassing loss at Kadesh as a brilliant victory for the Egyptian Empire. To this day, Ramesses II lives in the sunken walls of the temple in Abu Simbel as scoring a brilliant victory. So, if you believe the stone carvings of Ramesses II’s victory, you can as well believe that Buhari will keep to his promise if he manages to win in 2019.


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July 23 - 29, 2018

NEWS

What I want to be remembered for –Dogara By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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he Speaker of the House of Reps, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has said he wants Nigerians to remember the Eight Assembly as one that fought and defended democracy. Speaking at an interactive session with some journalists, the speaker noted that each House of Reps have had their peculiar challenges, and that he presides over is entrenching democratic values and the rule of law. “Almost all Assemblies in Nigeria have carried a certain attribute that is linked to them. In Ghali Na’aba’s House, it was the independence of the legislature; there was constant in-fighting between the Parliament and the Executive. In Masari’s House, it was the issue of third-term; they had to stamp their foot and ensure democracy was saved. In Etteh and Bankole’s House too, there were countless issues that were resolved,” he said.

“For this Eighth House of Representatives, I want people to remember us for defending our democracy. I want Nigerians to remember the Eighth Assembly as one that had the courage to say ‘no’ when there was a need to do that. It

is a very difficult thing to do. It may sound very ordinary, but it is very difficult. This is due to the fact that we live in the midst of an epidemic of sycophancy. “When you have sycophants, all they do is to interpret body language and try and

read the leader’s mind so that wherever they feel the leader is going, that is where they go. I want Nigerians to remember us as a people of courage and one that fought for the common man. As a matter of fact, we have passed the North-East D e v e l o p m e n t

Commission Bill and that is due to the violence in the Northeast. One of the things threatening our democracy is actually violence. If we lose the fight against violence, there’s no way we can maintain our civilisation.”

L-R: Former chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission, Dr Suleyman Ndanusa,chairman, Abuja Zone, Institute of Directors, Mr Victor Alonge and Chief Executive Officer, Nexim Bank, Mr. Abba Bello, during the 2018 IOD induction of new members in Abuja. Photo: Cityvoix.

Arrest Miyetti Allah leaders now, Gowon tells FG By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi

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ormer Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has called on the federal government to arrest of the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore even as he expressed serious concerns over the security situation in the country. “Security agencies should invite and question the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who had threatened to unleash violence on Benue State and later justified the killings and their roles,” Gowon said. According to him, the situation if not immediately addressed, could lead to a religious war. Speaking on Saturday at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi, during a visiton Governor Samuel Ortom to commiserate with the government and the people of the

state over the wanton killings and destruction of properties in the state, the former Head of State, noted that the killings of innocent and unarmed villagers by armed herdsmen was worrisome. He said, “I am sad and worried at the religious

dimension the killings are assuming. It is worrisome to see innocent people being killed. Government should make more efforts to tackle the insecurity situation in the country before it descends into a full religious war.” While commending the governor and the state

government for the way they had so far handled the issues of killings and devastation of communities, stressed that, “For us to survive as a nation; we must learn to live together as one regardless of ethnicity or religion” The governor, who

was represented by his deputy, Mr Benson Abounu, thanked Gowon for the visit and commiserating with the people of the state as well as lending his voice to the call on the Federal Government to take decisive actions to end the orgy of violence.

Dasuki: Buhari being misled to disobey courts –Northern youths By Angela MURREY

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he Northern Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, has frowned at a statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that the federal government was not ready to release Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser, NSA, after perfecting his 6th bail granted him by the Federal High Court. In a statement by the president of NYCN, Isah Abubakar, the group said that President Muhammadu Buhari is being misled by a “northern cabal” for selfish interests.

The statement read in parts thus: “We are alarmed at the statement credited to the Justice Minister and to say that it is not only disgusting, myopic and insensitive but portrays the Attorney General as incapable of discharging his duties as the adviser to both the President and the nation. “Is it not unbecoming of a person labelled as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a Northerner to engage in activities seen to be against the rule of law as courts of competent jurisdiction have granted Dasuki bail 6 times? “We dare say that

President Buhari is being misled by northern cabals against other northerners, like in the case Sambo Dasuki. “Dasuki may not have been perfect but during his tenure as the National Security Adviser in the immediate past administration, he reinvigorated and facilitated the expansion of troops of Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) with neighbouring Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger towards combating the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency. “It is pertinent to note that virtually all

electorates in the abovementioned areas voted for President Buhari in 2015. The breakdown of results from these areas confirmed that the indigenes voted for him in that election. Sadly, the current government seems to have forgotten. “Finally, we must state that the statement by Justice Minister that the government has a right to detain a citizen against court order is not only disgusting, myopic and insensitive but portrays the Abubakar Malami as incapable of discharging his duties as the adviser to both Mr. President and the nation.

Nigeria Air: Don’t give free tickets to politicians, govt officials – Runsewe

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tunba Olusegun R u n s e w e , Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, has called on the Federal Government not to give free tickets to politicians and government officials that would patronise the services of the new national carrier. Runsewe, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja, said anybody that would patronise the national carrier should be made to pay the complete air fare. He added that it should not be business as usual, stressing that the former national carrier, Nigerian Airways, failed because of free tickets to government officials and other unprofessional business practices. “The name and logo of the new national carrier, `Nigeria Air’ was recently unveiled and would be inaugurated in December 2018. “I am appealing that there should be no free tickets; everybody should pay and get the right services like it is being done all over the world. “What killed Nigeria Airways was the patronage of the “who is who’’ in the system; but the body language of the minister has shown that the new national career is going to be strictly for business. “If the national career, `Nigerian Air ’ begins operation, it will definitely increase our GDP; I pray it comes to stay in December and this time, there will be no free tickets,’’ Runsewe stressed. On insecurity, the NCAC boss said that there was no anywhere in the world that had a perfect security system, adding that we should focus on our safety zones to promote our tourism products. “However, we must have a brand and that brand is culture; I am changing the narratives of that sector; every cultural product has a life span for it to be rebranded; so after two years, we know what to do to rebrand it’’.


July 23 - 29, 2018

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NEWS

APC hypocritical about Ortom –State govt By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi

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he Benue state government has described as hypocritical a statement credited to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state which it criticized of nonperformance. A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase, and made available to The Abuja Inquirer in Makurdi, states that the APC claimed that the party had raised issues of governance with Governor Samuel Ortom, following which he gave himself red card. “We find the statement as hypocrisy of the highest order. It is on record that APC in Benue state has on many occasions, passed vote of confidence on Governor Ortom as a result of his performance,” Akase said. The CPS explained that during the state congress of the party at Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, it adopted the governor as its consensus candidate based on the sterling stewardship of the governor. “But being the true democrat that he is, the governor decided that other aspirants be also allowed to vie for the governorship seat to deepen internal democracy in the party. “We challenge APC in Benue state to bring out facts to back their claim that they had faulted the performance of the governor. We equally challenge the party to make public evidence regarding their claims that bailout funds and Paris Club refund were diverted”. The statement expressed Ortom’s appreciation for the platform which APC gave him to offer service to the people of Benue state and also regretted that the same party has now turned to demonize him for obvious selfish reasons. “Governor Ortom has encouraged regular caucus and other stakeholders’ meetings at which he constantly gives briefings about the security and financial challenges in the

state. He also gets feedback and input at such meetings. “His successful conduct of the local government elections which APC candidates overwhelmingly won chairmanship and councillorship positions throughout the state is proof of the popularity of

his administration. “There has really been no need for the party to raise governance issues with Governor Ortom because he gives the leaders and the state working committee regular briefings at meetings and platforms mentioned above. “Besides, the

Governor announces to the people of the state receipts of monies and expenditures. “Governor Ortom gave the people of the state information about the bailout, Paris Club refunds and all other federal government interventions and explained how they could

not meet all the final obligations with respect to payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions. “The claim by the APC that such matters were raised at the last State Congress or at a secret forum is therefore not tenable, misleading and insincere,” the statement read.

L-R: Convener, End SARS, Mr. Segun Awosanya, Acting Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr. Dasuki Arabi, Team Leader, Nigeria Policing Programme, Mrs. Kemi Okenyodo and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Felix Okafor during a seminar on; The Effective Response of the Nigeria Police Force to Curbing Crime in Nigeria: The Role of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja last Thursday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

PDP warns Oshiomhole to stay clear of Delta By Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

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he Delta state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, has warned the All Progressives Congress, APC, led federal government to stay clear of the state as it will be resisted. Speaking with journalists, Esiso in reaction to series of boastings credited to APC’s national chairman,

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in using federal might to crush opposition and implement the rigging method applied in Ekiti state which produced a governor in favour of their candidate, Dr. Kayode Feyemi, he maintained that the APC was free to boast. He sounded the warning that the APC should take cognizance of the fact that Delta state is not Ekiti, adding that the opposition party has no

foothold in Delta. According to the PDP state chairman, Delta is a PDP state and will remain so for a very long time and there was little the APC can do about it. Esiso stressed that with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s performance in governance which has touched lot of lives and enhanced the development and growth of the various sectors in state with his SMART Agenda, it was improbable for Deltans to

trade it off. Eulogizing the governor further, he described him peaceful, calm, focused on improving the wellbeing of Deltans and delivering on his campaign promises, adding that he would never be distracted by the ranting of the APC. “A confused party without structure that could not win common local government election, can boast as much as they like,” he fumed.

Board to demolish all illegal structures in Benue By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi

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he Benue State U r b a n Development Board says it will demolish all illegal structures situated within the Makurdi metropolis and its environs. General Manager of the board, Apostle Saint Gbilekaa, disclosed this

in an interview with The Abuja Inquirer, in Makurdi. Gbilekaa, who assumed office after the former GM, Mr Richard Agwa, was sacked by Governor Samuel Ortom, said illegal structures remain the bane of urban development, saying the board will pull down illegal structures in Makurdi.

He said the board would look into the state’s master plan and any structure wrongly sited and without approved plans would be demolished. “Every house built in town is supposed to be approved by the board. If people have built on water channels or under electric lines, the houses will go down. We will have no option than to

demolish them,” he said. Gbilekaa said it is the duty of the board to give urban centres a facelift and provide infrastructures in layouts to make it conducive for residents. He, therefore, insisted that illegal structures and buildings without approved government plan and permit would henceforth not be allowed to stand.

Why we are mobilizing 40m votes for Buhari By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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he Dynamic Support Group, campaigning for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has revealed that it will mobilize 40 million votes for the duo come the 2019 general elections. National coordinator of the group in the North East, Alhaji Musa Azare, disclosed this while speaking with journalists recently in Abuja. According to Azare, the group has concluded arrangement to mobilize 40 million votes for Buhari across the 36 states and FCT Abuja, adding that the group would not rest on its oars in ensuring that this goal becomes a reality in view of what the region stood to gain if Buhari is returned to office. Azare said the group is committed to sensitizing citizens on the need to vote for Buhari, Osinbajo come 2019 with overwhelming votes that will return Buhari and Osinbajo in 2019 to guarantee the continuity of the APC led administration. Speaking on voter card, he said the group is also determined to sensitize teeming Nigerians who have not secured their permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to do so ”We have already received the assurance of over 20 million voters across the country. ”The group encourages eligible voters and supporters of the president who are yet to register to do so before the expiration of the date stipulated by the electoral body,” he said. He stressed that President Buhari deserved the votes of all eligible voters in the entire Northeast sub region, because of his love and commitment towards solving the socio economic and security challenges. “PMB defeated the insurgency in the North East, we need him to complete his assignment in that area.


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July 23 - 29, 2018

NEWS

Dickson: Killings greatest threat to Nigeria By Elizabeth OFFIONG

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overnor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has described the current spate of violence and senseless killings, particularly in the Northern part of the country, as the biggest threat to the nation’s corporate existence, since after the civil war. He faulted the nation’s lopsided federal structure, overcentralisation and politicisation of law and order as threats to c o n t e m p o r a r y governance in Nigeria. In statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Deacon Francis Ottah Agbo, the governor who spoke on Friday in Abuja while delivering a lecture entitled: “Cultural Values, National Security and Challenges of Contemporary G o v e r n a n c e : Perspective From Bayelsa State Experience”, organised by Institute of Security Studies, ISS, condemned the recent killings and warned that the country would cease to have a future if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to urgently mobilise Nigerians to build a non-partisan consensus to avert the nationwide senseless killings. He lamented that politicians were using the security structures

of the country to torment innocent citizens for their selfish ends and by so doing, causing national insecurity and instability. Dickson said, “It is very clear that Nigeria’s lopsided federal system and over centralisation of security powers and the politicisation of security by several agencies are a major clause of instability and poses a threat to National stability. “I was talking the

politics of insecurity and the insecurity of politics occasioned by the abuse of Nigeria’s federal system and the ease at which those who control powers at the federal level undermine law and order in parts of our country and make it difficult for our citizens to feel safe and to feel protected under the law. “When you correct this abuse of federal system, the governor of Benue and Taraba will be in the position to

mobilise the security resources of their states... I remember the governor of Zamfara said he didn’t want to be addressed as the Chief Security Officer of the state”. The governor added that although the military has made appreciable progress in its fight against Book Haram, recent events in the country shows that the war against terrorism was far from over. Dickson, however,

said that in spite of the contemporary security challenge facing Nigeria, the country has the potential of becoming country of great capability. “In spite of these challenges, we believe that a new Nigeria of peace and stability, equal citizens and egalitarian Nigeria is still possible. From the north to the south, east to the west, God in His mercy and wisdom has given us everything to be great”, he stressed.

Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, 2nd right and National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, when Atiku formally declared his bid for the 2019 Presidential Election in Yola, Adamawa State...Saturday, July 21. Photo: Cityvoix.

DSO: Minister tasks stakeholders on content dev’t By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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he Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has tasked stakeholders in the Digital Switch Over, DSO, to carry out a detailed research on understanding consumers’ preferred content and means of delivery in view of the growing influence of the internet in sharing videos. The minister gave the charge at the opening of the Creative Nigeria Summit 2018 with the theme: Content: The Future of Nigerian Film and Television in A Digital Era. “With respect to

content consumers in Nigeria, well-researched surveys of what the customer’s want, where they are, what they watch, want to watch, when and how they want it delivered, does not exist. “The stakeholders within the ecosystem of the DSO project are unfortunately focused on their immediate economic returns and convenient modules of implementation. ‘’But technological growth does not flow along those lines and, in the near future, smart media entities will outstrip all plans, institutions and government power and reach the customer,

leaving non-informed players with empty castles,” he said. Lai Mohammed said a research carried out on the 24 million TV households in Nigeria revealed that the digitisation of television required a much deeper understanding of customers, content and the quality of delivery of ‘video’, however they are delivered, including but not limited to television. He said everywhere in the world, video has exploded via on Demand and Live streaming, and that online TV or subscription services are now the norm. ‘’Videos are now

delivered via social feeds like Facebook, Wechat, LINE etc. Indeed, video is the future of media on the web and is competing with scheduled linear TV content for consumer attention. I implore the key players in the DSO project to focus on any of the above”. He disclosed that a recent survey done in over 42 countries revealed that expected video consumption on devices over the next 3 years will grow 45% on Mobile, 45% on Internetenabled TV, 40% on Tablet and 36% on Laptop computers. He said with the changing landscape, media and

entertainment companies that want to stay in the game may need to embark upon a holistic, coordinated and integrated program of digital innovation to focus their resources, investments and capabilities on the things that truly matter. While noting the role of Nigeria as a leader in raw content in Africa through Nollywood, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and Comedy, the minister observed that such contents are hardly monetized through production, distribution or royalty collection due to lack of investment in the production of compelling video content.

Institute trains journalists in Benue on agric policies By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi

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he International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI, has held a two-day capacity workshop for journalists in Benue to promote effective agricultural policies. In an online invitation made available to The Abuja Inquirer by the i n s t i t u t e ’ s communications specialist, Onyeche Douglas, in Makurdi, the training titled “Policy Communication for Journalists”, is organized as part of the activities of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project. The training is to promote inclusive agricultural productivity growth, improved nutritional outcomes, and enhanced livelihood resilience for men and women through improved policy enabling environment. The goal will also be achieved through increased national capacity of journalists to generate and analyze information and to formulate evidence-based policy options for considerations by decision makers and stakeholders. The training will improve policy processes that are driven by empirical evidence and based on active dialogue among relevant stakeholders Our correspondent reports that the Nigeria Agriculture Policy Project is designed to address policy research and capacity building. It is to ensure that Nigerian institutions are equipped to respond effectively and in a timely manner to the increasing capacity, knowledge and information needs of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD. The Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project is a five year, $12.5 million initiative, jointly promoted between Michigan State University, MSU, and the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Nigeria Strategy Support Program and funded by USAID-Nigeria.


July 23 - 29, 2018

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July 23 - 29, 2018

SHORT STORIES

The boy who cried wolf The boy sat on the hill weeping. “Why didn’t you come when I called out that there was a wolf?” he asked angrily. “The flock is scattered now”, he said. An old villager approached him and said, “People won’t believe liars even when they tell the truth. We’ll look for your sheep tomorrow morning. Let’s go home now”. Moral: Lying breaks trust. Nobody trusts a liar, even when he is telling the truth. From http:// www.momjunction.com.

The golden egg O

nce upon a time, a farmer had a goose that laid a golden egg every day. The egg provided enough money for the farmer and his wife for their day-to-day needs. The farmer and his wife were happy for a long time. But one day, the

farmer got an idea and thought, “Why should I take just one egg a day? Why can’t I take all of them at once and make a lot of money?” The foolish farmer’s wife also agreed and decided to cut the goose’s stomach for the eggs. As soon as they

killed the bird and opened the goose’s stomach, to find nothing but guts and blood. The farmer, realizing his foolish mistake, cries over the lost resource! Moral: Think before you act. From http:// www.momjunction.com.

RIDDLES 1. Flat as a leaf, round as a ring, has two eyes, but can’t see a thing. What is it? 2. A horse was tied to a rope 5 meters long and the horse’s food was 15 metres away from the horse. How did the horse reach the food? 3. What goes up when the rain comes down? 4. I have a head and a tail but no body. What am I? 5. What is the only way a leopard can change its spots? 6. What is dark and always on the run, without the light it will be lost? 7. What falls but never breaks?

Answers

After a while, he got bored and cried ‘wolf!’ again, fooling the villagers a second time. The angry villagers warned the boy a second time and left. The boy continued watching the flock. After a while, he saw a real wolf and cried loudly, “Wolf! Please help! The wolf is chasing the sheep. Help!” But this time, no one turned up to help. By evening, when the boy didn’t return home, the villagers wondered what happened to him and went up the hill.

1. A button 2. The rope was not tied to anything so the horse could reach its food 3. The umbrella 4. A coin 5. By going from one spot to another 6. Shadows 7. Nightfall

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nce upon a time, there lived a shepherd boy who was bored watching his flock of sheep on the hill. To amuse himself, he shouted, “Wolf! Wolf! The sheep are being chased by the wolf!” The villagers came running to help the boy and save the sheep. They found nothing and the boy just laughed looking at their angry faces. “Don’t cry ‘wolf’ when there’s no wolf boy!” they said angrily and left. The boy just laughed at them.

KIDS AND HEALTH

What Types of Germs Are There? G erms are found all over the world, in all kinds of places. The four major types of germs are: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. They can invade plants, animals, and people, and sometimes they make us sick.

Grandaunts Jimmik Surestart Schools giving a special presentation at their school's its 10th year graduation/prize giving day ceremony in Abuja.

Quiz

Did You Know?

1. What part of the body produces insulin?

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Did you know cucumbers are 96% water?

2. What is the capital of Ghana?

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Did you know most of the Vitamin C found in fruits is in the skin?

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Did you know an egg’s shell is 12% of its weight?

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Did you know in developed countries 27% of food is thrown away?

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Did you know an egg contains every vitamin except vitamin C?

3. How many players are there in a football team? 4. Which organ is used to taste food? 5. Where does a dog live?

Bacteria (say: BAK-teer-ee-uh) are tiny, one-celled creatures that get nutrients from their environments in order to live. In some cases that environment is a human body. Bacteria can reproduce outside of the body or within the body as they cause infections. Some infections that bacteria can cause include ear infections, sore throats (tonsillitis or strep throat), cavities, and pneumonia (say: new-MO-nyuh). But not all bacteria are bad. Some bacteria are good for our bodies — they help keep things in balance. Good bacteria live in our intestines and help us use the nutrients in the food we eat and make waste from what’s left over. We couldn’t make the most of a healthy meal without these important helper germs! Some bacteria are also used by scientists in labs to produce medicines and vaccines (say: VAK-seens). Viruses (say: VY-rus-iz) need to be inside living cells to grow

and reproduce. Most viruses can’t survive very long if they’re not inside a living thing like a plant, animal, or person. Whatever a virus lives in is called its host. When viruses get inside people’s bodies, they can spread and make people sick. Viruses cause chickenpox, measles, flu, and many other diseases. Because some viruses can live for a short time on something like a doorknob or countertop, be sure to wash your hands regularly! Fungi (say: FUN-guy) are multi-celled (made of many cells), plant-like organisms. Unlike other plants, fungi cannot make their own food from soil, water, and air. Instead, fungi get their nutrition from plants, people, and animals. They love to live in damp, warm places, and many fungi are not dangerous in healthy people. An example of something caused by fungi is athlete’s foot, that itchy rash that teens and adults sometimes get between their toes. Protozoa (say: pro-toh-ZOHuh) are one-cell organisms that love moisture and often spread diseases through water. Some protozoa cause intestinal infections that lead to diarrhea, nausea, and belly pain. From kidshealth.org/en/kids/ germs.html.

1. The pancreas 2. Accra 3. 11 4. The tongue 5. In a kennel

Answers


July 23 - 29, 2018

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Davido celebrates Wizkid on birthday

Kim KKar ar dashian cash in ardashian on fragrance release

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igerian musician David Adeleke aka Davido posted a heartfelt message to celebrate the birthday of Afropop star Ayodeji Balogun aka Wizkid. Davido, who is currently in Paris ahead of the Afro Punk concert, shared the message on his Twitter handle @iam_davido, as Wizkid turned 28, last week. He wrote, “Happy birthday brother!! @wizkidayo keep soaring! God keep you safe! Your children go see you live long. Amen Gbefun!”

The ‘Assurance’ crooner also took to his Instagram page @davidooficial to share a video of himself dancing to Wizkid’s hit song ‘Soco’. He captioned it, “Happy birthday @wizkidayo!!! Keep soaring my G.” Davido’s celebration of Wizkid birthday is an indication that they have buried the hatchet. This is the first birthday celebration that one or both of them have sent open messages to each other as they had a long standing rift which

ended in December 2017. The supremacy war ended when Davido and Wizkid appeared and performed in each other’s shows to showcase their reconciliation. Meanwhile, fans of the two star artists have expressed their gratitude over the open love shown in the message, with some fans pleading for a collaboration. @Onyeoma_Donald tweeted, “What about a collaboration between the two of you as birthday gift? RT if you agree.”

@King_naks wrote, “Amen. Strong prayer from the brother. Good heart. Live long and let love lead. Looking forward to your collaboration.” The singer, who started recording music at age 11, has been featured in the 2018 Guinness World Record for his contribution to Drake’s hit song ‘’One Dance’. He recently became the first African singer to walk the runway for international fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana alongside supermodel, Naomi Campbell.

IARA nominates Peter Okoye for awards

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nternational Achievement Recognition Awards, IARA, has nominated ace Nigerian singer Peter Okoye, Mr. P, for Best Male Artist and Best International Male Artist categories for IARA 2018. Mr P, who has ‘ebeano crooner’ as his hit so far this year, took to his Instagram handle: @Peterpsquare and thanked his fans for the nomination. “Two nominations: International Achievement Recognition Awards. Shout out to all my loyal

fans, this one is for you. My first ever nomination, not one but two! It can only get better and better”. “@iara awards, I am truly honoured and congrats to other nominees y’all are incredible,’’ he wrote. Mr. P will be going against Michael Dappah, Davido, George Ezra, Ihab Amir, Bread Boi, Louis Tomilson, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason in the Best Male Artist category. Other artistes nominated in the Best International Male

Artist’category are: Davido, Diamond Platnumz, Cassper Nyovest, Medikal, Black Coffee, La Fouine and

Mohammed Abass. The award ceremony is scheduled to hold on Sept. 22 at Hilton Hotel in London.

im Kardashian reportedly made a massive $5 million (£3.8 million) in just five minutes when she released her new fragrance earlier last week. Last Tuesday, Kardashian dropped a new range of perfume with three different fragrances, Kimoji Cherry, Kimoji Peach and Kimoji Vibes. And, according to TMZ, the reality star made around a million dollars a minute without spending anything at all on advertising. Social media was the only platform used to spread the word about the new releases,

which sell for $45 apiece. The publication also reports that the amount of bottles available on launch day this time was increased because of the expected high demand. The newest perfumes had a somewhat toned down exterior, taking the shape of fruits or a speech bubble instead of Kardashian’s body. 6 days ago, Kim Kardashian was slammed for ‘unrealistic’ body in new kimoji campaign when she posted a string of pictures of herself as an avatar holding bottles of her perfumes.

Tiw Tiwaa Sa Savvage’s ‘Vibe’ video hits No 1 spo ouT ube spott on YYouT ouTube

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iwa’s Vibe’, the new music video of Mavins first lady Tiwa Savage which was released last week, is currently trending as number one on YouTube channel. The ‘Malo’ crooner took to her Instagram page @tiwasavage on Wednesday to share the news. She wrote, “Wetin be this wey dey ginger YouTube right naa? Mama Jaa too (fire emojis)” The over 3-minutes dramatic video featured an all female cast and was directed by award winning director, Clarence Peter. Following the release of the song in May, the colourful

video showcased beautifully choreographed dance moves and lighting aesthetics. Meanwhile, fans of the mother of one, who is set to headline her own show in London on August 24, took to social media to commend the video. @Gleeglow wrote, “My Naija Queen. Abusing the replay button. This video reminds me of Kele Kele love. Tiwa is back.” @Tochukwu said, “Tiwa looked really good. Nie visuals by Mr Peters.” @Abiodun wrote, “Yes! This video made my day. Queen Tiwa is back. Give them.”


14

July 23 - 29, 2018

PEOPLE SPEAK

Abacha loot should be invested not shared- Abuja residents Recently, the presidency announced its decision to share $322million repatriated by the Swiss government from the billions looted by late Head of State, General Sanni Abacha, to the poorest of the poor. The government explained that the decision was in keeping with the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed with the Swiss government and the network of civil societies. However, some Abuja residents who spoke with Williams ABAH and Edrina EMMANUEL, faulted the move but rather called for investment of the funds. Excerpts: DANIEL OKOLO: For me, I think relevant authorities should first of all carry out further investigations on the looted funds to know which sector the money was stolen from, for accurate disbursement of the funds. Over the years, the Nigerian masses have suffered in the area of infrastructure such as basic healthcare, power supply, and other social amenities. You will agree with me that during military rule, all the civil policies were turned upside down. Now that the money has been recovered, there is need to ensure that the funds are channelled to appropriate agencies of government where the money was originally allocated so that some of the projects that were abandoned during the military era could be attended to. ADEBAYO ABDUL: When I heard that the recovered Abacha loot will be shared to the poor, I just laughed in my mind. Nigeria has no data of how many poor persons it has. For me, this is a calculated attempt towards 2019, general elections. It has been the traditional practice of politicians in this country to use all kinds of gimmicks when elections are drawing near to entice the electorate. How feasible is this disbursement of the said fund to the poor when we don’t even have a database to ascertain the number of poor people in Nigeria? What the government needs to do is to channel the recovered loot to all productive ventures across the country. Look at the ailing industries scattered all over the country. That money should be use to revive them so that Nigerians will be gainfully employed. As we speak, the Abuja industrial estate at Idu, is lying down with bushes. Nothing has been done there to attract companies to move their manufacturing plants from Lagos to Abuja. I think these are areas government needs to focus its attention in order to reduce the level of unemployment in the country.

the loot will not be heard of again. Rather than share the loot among the poor, why can’t the federal government create opportunities for young Nigerians? Why can’t they set up entrepreneurship programs in all 36 states, including the FCT? With entrepreneurship programs in place, government would not need to spoon-feed the poor, but empower them not to be dependent on government.

Abu Shuibu

Adebayo Abdul

David Ibiome

Nathaniel Lorshagher

NATHANIEL LORSHAGHER: I think it’s a decoy to get people into believing that the current administration is up to something good for the people. Let us not be quick to forget that elections are less than a year from now. Such actions will aim at making people forget all the bad things that have been done by this present administration. In summary, I think it’s a scam or else, why is the money not meant for all 36 states? They mean to say that only 19 states out of 36 have poor

people? We need to ask the right questions. I do not believe the loot will be shared equally, it will only end up in the pockets of our politicians. ISAAC RUFAI: I do not think that sharing the Abacha loot amongst the poor will make things better. Besides, what is the guarantee that the money will be disbursed equally? And how long will the government be doing this for them? Government will most likely share the money once and the rest of

DAVID IBIOME: It’s unclear to say if the federal government has good or bad intentions about the issue of sharing the Abacha loot among poor Nigerians. How would they know poor families? It is not just about announcing that they will share the money amongst the poor, they have to do a lot of homework for this to happen. In my opinion, if the federal government is sure it will be diligent and fair in sharing this loot, then it is not a bad idea. If not they should use the money to empower young Nigerians. For instance, we need a more developed Power and IT sector. We have a long way to go in developing this country. ABU SHUIBU: I welcome the fact that the anti-corruption fight has gone beyond the frontiers of this country. I think the Federal Government has taken the right step. The high rate of poverty in Nigeria is as a result of mismanagement of public funds. So if government has taken a decision to disburse the money belonging to Nigerians who are supposed to be the direct beneficiaries of these funds, it means the present administration is doing things differently. But I think government needs to carry out comprehensive mapping to ensure that it has data that captures the very poor. If we have good data before the disbursement, it would go a long way to address similar issues in the near future. I want to advice government to ensure that it captures the diverse interest of all Nigerians.


July 23 - 29, 2018

15

EDUCATION

Insecurity hampering girls’ education in Zamfara Stories by Godfrey AKON he wave of bloody attacks on Zamfara communities by bandits and cattle rustlers is weighing heavily on the education of girls in the affected communities. The violent attacks which have shut down some schools, have forced many young children of school age to relocate to safer communities along with their parents, leaving many girls out of school. P a r t n e r s implementing the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNUICEF, Girls for Girls, G4G, initiative in Zamfara state, have established that due to the frequency of the attacks, some girls do not attend school regularly. While highlighting the seriousness of the challenge, the Executive Director, Life Helpers Initiative, Mr. Tayo Fatinikun, said in the course of implementing the programme, their counsellors were unable to safely access some communities for mentoring. Fatinikun noted that the situation rather forced a change of approach on their part where they had to always invite persons assigned to mentor girls from the affected communities to safer locations; even as he called on the Nigerian Government to restore peace in the communities and provide security for schools. Meanwhile, at Tudun Wada Primary School in Talata Mafara, Zamfara State, the Headmaster, Malam Salisu Sule, told reporters that the primary school which was established since 1979 was witnessing a surge in population because of many students who were relocating from other communities as a result of violent attacks. Hitherto, the primary school had only two blocks of 6 classrooms. With a population of 650 pupils and a high possibility of rising further, Sule called on the Government, the private sector and wellmeaning individuals to

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provide more facilities for the school to cope with this new challenge. Sule said however, that girls’ retention level in the school was now on the rise as a result of the introduction of the Girls for Girls initiative which is aimed at encouraging girls to enrol and stay in school, complete and transit to secondary school.

But the headmaster also noted that while some are finding new schools to attend in other communities, the violence has discouraged many from going to school. Recall that only last week, over 30 people were killed when gunmen on motorcycles invaded five closely linked villages in the Maradun district of the

state, firing indiscriminately and stealing livestock. Distraught by incessant killings, the Governor of the state, Abdulaziz Yari, in April publicly resigned his role as the chief security officer of the state, citing constitutional margins disallowing him to take any significant step in the face of gruesome

killings of his countrymen. UNICEF is implementing its G4G initiative in 100 schools located in 6 Local Government Areas of Zamfara namely: Anka, Talata Mafara, Shinkafi, Kaura Namoda, Bugudu and Tsafe, with about 4,399 girls already enrolled in the programme.

L-R: Mr. Mark Obeten, logistics manager, Anastasia Amadi, GM ,Mani Robson, Chairman/CEO, all of Temple & Aegeandas, Lagos, Prince Samuel Ikpeme, Principal, Hope Waddell Training Institute at the book donations/institution of scholarship for students of Hope Waddell in Calabar, recently.

UniMaid draws over N11bn TETFund allocation -Baffa

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he University of Maiduguri, UniMaid, has accessed over N11billion allocation from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, out of the over N12billion allocated to it from 1999 till date. Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, disclosed this while commissioning an ultramodern senate building of the university named after President Muhammadu Buhari. Baffa, who noted that the funds were used for various projects including the ones being commissioned, described the university as one of the top notches in terms of beneficiary institutions that access TETFund intervention

quickly. A statement by the Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Relations, TETFund, Mr. Ebikwo Benn, said the TETFund boss lamented that some institutions still have allocations for several years waiting for them at TETFund while University of Maiduguri has accessed up to the 2016 allocation already. He used the occasion to inform the university community of the approval by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for TETFund to support the Regional Centre in Research and Production of Knowledge to Counter Violent Extremism at the University of Maiduguri. Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman,

who was at the commissioning ceremony, stated that the demand for upward review of accruable education tax to TETFund was justified given what was seen at the university. Suleiman added that tertiary institutions in Nigeria would have been mere glorified secondary schools without TETFund interventions. “Over the years, I have had the privilege of visiting, inspecting and commissioning public buildings, I want to say the percentage that is accruable to TETFund needs to be reviewed upward. For over two years, we have been debating, there is a huge resistance from other demanding sectors that we should not increase

provision for TETFund. “But everyone needs to know that TETFund has justified the call for upward review, there are no two ways about it; we all agree that without TETFund, our tertiary institutions would have just been glorified secondary schools,” he said. Also speaking, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar, said the occasion coincided with significant improvement in the security of the university’s host community, following intensive efforts by the Federal Government, especially the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies in dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency.

Stakeholders want an urgent policy on TVET

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s youth unemployment in Nigeria continues to soar, stakeholders have advocated an urgent formulation of a policy on Technical and Vocational Education, and Training, TVET, to address the challenge. Speaking at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Education, in Abuja, the Provost, B u s i n e s s Entrepreneurship Skills and Technical Centre, BEST, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, noted it was critical to get the policy on TVET developed. Adesugba expressed confidence that if formulated, the policy would take youths off the streets and ensure they remain on their jobs, urging the ministry to get involved in the dual vocational training partnership to make the subsector more successful. Earlier, the Project Coordinator, German Dual Vocational Training Partnership with Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Awoyele, who led the delegation of stakeholders to the education ministry, noted some challenges confronting TVET in the country to include inadequate skills among graduates from training institutions, lack of environment to adapt to competence based training and collaborative network between private and public sector. Awoyele noted that the establishment of the Nigerian-German Dual Vocational Training Partnership Programme has benefited more than 83 Nigerian companies from three zones in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State. “The programme has also trained over 310 Nigerian trainers by the German experts in four professions such as industrial electronics, industrial mechanic, technical faculty management and office administration,” he said. In her remarks, the director, Technical and Science Education, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Tina Eyaru, said the policy on TVET was been looked into and had been sent to the National Council on Education, NCE, for approval.


16

July 23 - 29, 2018

FEATURE

Realizing potential of Abuja rail Recently, the Federal Capital Territory Administration commissioned the 11 years old Abuja rail mass transit project to ease transportation challenges in the territory. In this report, our correspondent, Austine ELEMUE examines the significance of the project.

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he long-awaited Abuja rail mass transit project which commenced in 2007 was finally commissioned on July 12 by President Muhammadu Buhari with pomp. To make the project a reality, the Federal Capital Territory Administration worked tirelessly to ensure that the contractor handling the project (Lots 1A & 3), Messrs CCECC Nigeria Ltd, delivered on schedule. The contract for the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project, which was jointly financed by the FCT Administration and China EXIM Bank, was awarded on May 25, 2007 but work commenced two years later, precisely on May 28, 2009. The project which was originally designed as a 60.67km rail track was later revised in a contract argumentation to 45.245km while the

contract sum was scaled down from $841,645,898 to $823,540,545.87 in accordance with the contract argumentation. The initial project completion period was forty-eight months but later shifted to December, 2015. However, by the time this administration inherited the project in 2015, it has suffered several delays due to poor funding and left at 54 percent completion stage. On assumption of office, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration ensured that the contractor accelerated efforts towards completing the project, and the target has been met according to plan. There are several factors that led to the decision to embark on this historic project in the FCTA. Apart from the fact that the rail project will bring Abuja, Nigeria’s capital at par with other

major cities across the world in terms of infrastructural development, it will serve as a connecting link between the Abuja capital city and the surrounding satellite towns and communities when fully completed. In other words, it will integrate the entire Federal Capital Territory, as well as provide easy access to visitors from across the country. One significant feature of the new Abuja rail system is the modernity of its facilities which are all ultra-modern edifices with provisions for modern shopping centres and eateries comparable to the ones in Europe and America. Other benefits accruing from the Abuja rail mass transit project include providing FCT residents with efficient, safe and orderly transportation system. It will also reduce travel

times for the residents as well as provide them with an environmentalfriendly transportation system while also enhancing social, political and economic activities between the satellite towns and the Federal Capital City. More importantly, it will reduce traffic congestions in the city, especially with the daily influx of visitors from within and outside Nigeria. The three coaches and one locomotive which are now being commissioned were procured for the test run of the project. The ultra-modern coaches have a total capacity of 390 passengers with each having a carrying capacity of 130 persons. Also, twelve stations namely: the Abuja Metro, Stadium, Kukwaba I & II, Wupa, Idu, Bassanjiwa, Aiport, Gwagwa Dei-Dei, Kagini and Gbazango which traverse the rail-

line corridor have been completed and are ready for commercial operations. Key components of the project include the construction of a permanent way, subgrade cutting and filling stations and buildings; structures like railway bridge, flyover bridges on roads; frame bridges and other major components of the project include communication and signaling; power and water supply; provision of locomotives and rolling stock depot. Other features of the project are the construction of 45.245 kilometer length of double track rail line with a standard gauge of 1435mm. The project also boasts of culverts and four frame bridges. In addition, there are thirteen railway bridges, seven pedestrian overpass, one rolling stock depot and fifteen

flyover bridges on roads. Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Muhammad Bello, deserves commendation for the special interest he has shown and continues to do in the project since his assumption of office. His tenacity and hard work has ensured that the vision of President Buhari’s administration in using the railways to ease the transport needs of Nigerians and FCT in particular has come into fruition. Indeed, the project was further accelerated with the appointment of the FCT Transport Secretary Mr. Kayode Opeifa. His painstaking efforts to ensure a diligent and timely completion of the project attests to the aesthetic beauty of the project and the ultimate realisation of the longawaited mass transit rail project in the territory.

NEWS NDDC commissions Oku Iboku Roads, inspects UniUyo projects By Elizabeth OFFIONG

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he Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated the 5.15-kilometre Oku Iboku internal road project in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State. It also inspected the road and erosion control project which it is executing at the University of Uyo. Speaking at the commissioning of the Oku Ibokun roads and drainage, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, urged the benefiting communities to be grateful to the All Progressive Congress, APC, administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Ekere was accompanied by the Commission’s Executive Director Projects, Engr (Dr) Samuel Adjogbe, FNSE, Akwa Ibom State Representative on the NDDC Board, Dr Samuel George Frank, and other

directors from the commission. “I am very happy with what I am seeing today in this community. Oku Iboku is one of the very prominent towns in Akwa Ibom state. It has a history and pedigree. It is not wrong that the community was not even remembered before now. “Recall that we have had various vilifications and attacks by the government of Akwa Ibom State. They have repeatedly said that NDDC has not constructed even one kilometre of road in Akwa Ibom State. “Earlier today, we inspected the road that links Nsasak JunctionAkon in Essien Udim Local Government Area that connects Abia State. This is a 30-kilometre road project, out of which 15 kilometres have been completed. The contractor is currently working on the bridge to link both states. I saw 15-km of solid and quality road being handled by an

indigenous contractor, who is also from Akwa Ibom State,” Ekere said. Ekere expressed disappointment with the attitude of some officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government whom he accused of misleading people. He said: “Somebody needs to educate some of the officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government that as responsible officers of government, they should not speak until they are sure of their facts. Again, I repeat, NDDC is not competing with any of the state governments in the region. We are just here to complement the efforts of the state governments.” The village head of Ikot Essien, Chief Evans Enwan, commended the NDDC for building a quality road for his people but pleaded with the commission to extend the road to Mben Inyang. At the 1.2-kilometre University of Uyo dual carriage access road, Ekere said that NDDC took on

Mr. Nsima Ekere, Managing Director of NDDC, commissions the Oku Iboku Road in Akwa Ibom State watched by appreciative villagers.

additional responsibilities when the university authorities appealed for help to tackle the drainage challenges on the road. The MD said: “We include the 1.4 kilometres drainage outfall to address the challenge. That way we are sure that when the road is completed it will stand the test of time. Again, a local contractor has proved his mettle here and that is why we are committed to using them so long as they

are qualified and have technical and financial capacity. “We want to empower them to improve on their capacity so that ultimately they can engage the engineering graduates from our universities to give them hands-on experience in construction projects.” Ekere commended the UniUyo students for maintaining peace and allowing the contractor to work without hindrance.

He promised that the NDDC would put in more efforts to complete the hostel in the university. According the MD, “the hostel has been largely completed, what is left is external works and landscaping as well as a few finishing touches to the building. The contractor will meet the NDDC Director of Project Monitoring and Supervision so that whatever needs to be done is done urgently.”


July 23 - 29, 2018

17

Statement by the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and other Media Stakeholders on “The Nigerian Press Council Bill 2018” PREAMBLE

A meeting of the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) comprising the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Guild of Editors and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) as well as other media stakeholders was held on Thursday July 19, 2018 to deliberate on “The Nigerian Press Council Bill 2018” The meeting painstakingly studied the provisions of the proposed bill in the context of its implication for free speech, press freedom, media independence, safety of journalists and the right to operate as a business in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The meeting also took notice of the fact that a law suit instituted by the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) on the same subject matters of the bill is pending at the Supreme Court. Consequent upon the above the meeting observed and resolved as follows:

OBSERVATIONS AND OBJECTIONS: 1.

2.

The proposed bill is unconstitutional as it runs against the principles and tenets of the rule of law and is actually subjudice given that a case on the subject matter is still pending in the highest court of the land – the Supreme Court - in view of which the bill should not have been drafted in the first instance.

That the bill is, for all intents and purposes, draconian and anti-press freedom being an amalgamation of the obnoxious Public Officers Protection Against False accusation Decree No. 4 of 1984 and the Newspapers Registration Decree 43 of 1993, both vestiges of the dark days of military rule and therefore incurably and irreparably bad, being also inconsistent with values of our democratic society.

3.

That the bill seeks to criminalize journalism practise despite the fact the laws of the country already have enough provisions and avenues for seeking legal redress.

4.

That the bill smacks of an attempt at undue interference in the operations of the media in Nigeria as businesses registered under the relevant laws of the federation.

5.

That the bill seeks for a The Nigeria Press Council to usurp the powers of the courts by assuming extra-judicial powers.

6.

7.

That the bill seeks to incapacitate the media in the exercise of the duties and obligations imposed on it by section 22 of the constitution to monitor governance and hold government accountable to the people. The section states as follows: “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people”. That the bill violates the provisions of section 39 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) sections 1 and 2 of which state as follows: “(1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference. (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions”

At the same time it also violates Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act) No. 2 of 1983 to which Nigeria is a signatory and which is now part of the country’s laws.

8.

That the bill through some of its other obnoxious provisions seeks to indoctrinate Nigerians, THROUGH THE USE AND MISUSE of curricula in training of journalists and usurp the powers of the regulatory bodies in the educational sector affecting media training especially the National Universities Commission and the National Board for Technical Education.

9.

That the bill seeks to create the impression that the Nigerian media community does not take the issues of ethics and self regulation seriously whereas it is a well known fact that the mechanisms actually exist including the Code of Conduct of Journalists in Nigeria, the Ethics Committees of the NUJ and NGE and the recently launched Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage endorsed by media stakeholders.

OUR DEMANDS: 1.

That the bill should be dropped forthwith until the determination of a similar case in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

2.

That the Nigerian Senate should borrow from best practices in other jurisdictions that has expressly provided for and guaranteed press freedom without any form of government interference.

3.

That the Senate and indeed The National Assembly should enable the media in the exercise of its constitutional obligations as spelt out in section 22 by passing laws that will promote transparency, accountability and open government such as mandatory delivery of the State of the Nation address by the President and State of The State Address by Governors on specified days of the year; ensuring by law, Presidential and Governorship Election Debates before elections; complete transparency in election funding including public declaration of sources of election finance by all candidates and political parties and ensuring the integrity of our electoral process, etc, etc.

OUR COMMITMENT:

Meanwhile as responsible members of Nigerian society, we hereby state without equivocation that the media will continue doing all it can to further promote media ethics, professionalism, transparency, accountability and self-regulation, to ensure that the public interest is served at all times.

SIGNED:

NDUKA OBAIGBENA , President, Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria/President Nigerian Press Organisation FUNKE EGBEMODE, President, Nigeria Guild of Editors WAHEED ODUSILE, President, Nigerian Union of Journalists JOHN MOMOH, Chairman, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria

FOR MEDIA STAKEHOLDERS:

LANRE AROGUNDADE, Director, International Press Centre AKIN AKINGBULU PhD, Executive Director, Institute For Media and Society RICHARD AKINNOLA, Director, Media Law Centre


18

July 23 - 29, 2018

BUSINESS

FCT REPORT

Inside FG, Discos war over epileptic power supply F

By Sarah NEGEDU

or weeks now, the federal government and electricity distribution companies operating in Nigeria have been pointing accusing fingers at each other over their roles in decelerating the actualisation of adequate power supply in the country. While the government is insisting that the Discos are not making concerted effort to deliver on expectations, the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED, see the allegations as a political move to garner support in the coming elections. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, had at a news conference, penultimate week, expressed worry over the activities of some operators in the sector. Fashola while evaluating the sector’s performance in the last three years, identified some lapses in power generation and distribution. For instance he noted that while electricity generation had improved from approximately 4,000MW in 2015 to 7,000MW in 2018, power distribution had remained at 5,222MW in 2018. The minister blamed the DisCos for not taking enough power leaving 2,000MW stranded with about 1,150MW addition soon. Fashola also picked holes on some issues relating to metering, power generation and transmission capacities, among other challenges. He therefore directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to heighten enforcement actions on the DisCos, with a warning to the operators to deliver on their mandate or leave the stage for more serious companies. However, reacting to the allegations, the ANED stated that most of the comments made by the minister at the news briefing were significantly distorted. The 11 Discos in a joint response to the minister, alleging that ministry had consistently promoted policies that had resulted in sector-wide confusion. They stressed that the ministry infringed on the responsibilities of the various sector players, imposed its agenda on the regulator, compromising its independence, created lack of respect for contracts as well as distorted and redefined the law of privatisation. The 28 page document issued by the ANED’s Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Sunday Oduntan, faulted claims by the minister that Nigeria’s power generation capacity was about 7,000 megawatts and that the distributors were not taking about 2,000MW of the installed capacity. “We do not understand the constant references to the increase of generation capacity to 7,000MW from

Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria Minister for power, works and housing

4,000MW for the period of 2015 to 2018 that has been used as the basis of defining the Discos as incapable of taking on more power – the stranded 2,000MW. “A review of NERC’s ‘Daily Energy Watch’ for January 28, 2015 would indicate a generation availability of 6,421MW (divided into peak of 4,230MW and constrained energy of 2,191MW). In other words, it is misleading to state that available generation has grown from 4,000MW in 2015, as a measure of progress, given that a volume of generation slightly under 7,000MW already or previously existed, prior to the beginning of this administration.” The ANED insist that there is no stranded 2,000MW, “While there is an available capacity of 7,000MW, the best that can be generated, at this time, is 5,000MW. This is because there is insufficient gas to power the thermal plants due to gas line limitations (for instance, the non-completion of the Oben pipeline) and the absence of a commercial framework that would encourage gas exploration. Generation that is constrained by gas amounts to an average 1,500MW daily.” The minister had also at the briefing, ordered NERC to enforce the contract for the Discos to provide meters and end estimated billing. He said the directive became inevitable following the number of complaints received on meters, as well as concerns about estimated billing and mass disconnection.

Referring to several sections of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005, the Minister stated that it was necessary to direct NERC to step in to “enforce the contract of Discos to supply meters and act to ensure the urgent and speedy supply and installation of meters with a view to eliminating estimated billing and promote efficient industry and market structures.” But contrasting this, the distribution firms argued that at the 18th monthly power sector and stakeholders’ meeting held August 2017, the minister had clarified that the supply of meters to electricity customers was not exclusive to the Discos. “This is a contradiction of his convenient assertion now that customers with no meters should turn to the Discos. The metering gap, a major concern for our customers and us, unfortunately, has become a politicised issue. As a means of tracking and accounting for our revenues, there is no greater interested party in comprehensive metering than the Discos. ANED recognise that though there is a gap of about 4.1 million meters needed to satisfy customers’ demand for meters and end the estimated billing methodology, the firms noted that they have so far met 88percent of the Performance Agreement which required the firms to provide 1.7million meters in their five years of operation.

The Discos are however optimistic that with the farming out of the responsibility of metering to third party vendors under the Meter Asset Provider regulation enacted by NERC, the challenges of estimated billing will be minimised over time. On Fashola’s claim that no Disco was buying power directly from the any generation company, the distributors stated that in an environment of significantly limited supply, the determination that the Discos were unwilling to maximise the supply of electricity to their customers for some nefarious reasons was counter-intuitive. They stated that the only product that the Discos were selling to make revenue was electricity, and the only reason a Disco would not take more energy was due to the impact of the revenue shortfall in the industry, which limits the available capital available to invest to take the power. “The minister ’s position is inconsistent with the facts. Indeed, the various interferences in the past four years have simply created a continuous shifting of the goal post.” They conclude that the objective of the minister’s briefing was to demonise the Discos, who by the structure of the Nigeria electricity supply industry, were the faces of the difficult sector. “We are also left wondering whether such demonising of the Discos is a camouflage for the absence of the effective policy leadership that is desired for implementing the enabling environment that is necessary for the viability and sustainability of the NESI. “We recognise that we are on the crux of a political season, in which all manner of advantage is being sought by political contenders and we, however, do not want to be used as the whipping dog to advance other people’s agenda.” In the face of the damning revelation by Oduntan, the minister wasted no time in responding in a release he titled; My Directives on Improved Service Delivery in the Power Sector Went to Legal Entities, Not to an Interloper. According to Fashola, his directive was to legal entities and not ANED which is not a licensee. “If ANED is not a licensee, who is ANED? An NGO? If so, they should listen to consumers because Nothing is Going On about poor service. “The BPE, NBET and NERC, to whom my directives were made, contracted individually with DisCos not as an association,” the statement of the minister read. He accused the ANED boss of being a “saboteur not a builder, and he would do very well to acquaint himself and advise his co-travellers about the consequences of sabotaging the economy under our Laws,” but failed to address issues of power generation and capacity to transmit.


July 23 - 29, 2018

19

BUSINESS

CBN begins Naira, Yuan currency swap Stories by Sarah NEGEDU

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he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has officially begun implementation of the Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement, BCSA, signed with the Peoples Bank of China. The apex bank Friday, announced the flagged off its intervention in the sale of foreign exchange in Chinese Yuan, CNY, through a combination of spot and short tenored forwards. A statement issued by the bank explained that the exercise which shall be Special Secondary Market Intervention Sales, SMIS, retail, would be dedicated to the payment of Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit for raw materials and machinery and agriculture. The apex bank spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said that the CBN would receive bids from all authorized dealers. He added that due to the peculiarity of the exercise, the Bank would not be applying the relevant provisions of its Revised Guidelines for the Operation of the Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market, which direct all SMIS bids to be submitted to the CBN through the Forex Primary Dealers, FXPDs. Okorafor said CBN would also not be applying the relevant provisions of the Guidelines which equally provide that “Spot FX sold to any particular end-user shall not exceed 1% of the overall available funds on offer at each SMIS session”. Speaking on the bid period, he said authorised Dealers were requested to submit their customers’ bids from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm on Friday July 20, 2018, adding that bids received after this time would be disqualified. On funding, he disclosed that authorized dealers were to debit the customers’ accounts for the Naira equivalent of their bids, stressing that the CBN would debit authorized dealers’ current account on the day of intervention to the tune of the naira equivalent of their bid

request. The statement further explained that there would be no predetermined spread on the sale of FX Forwards by Authorized Dealers to end-users under the Special SMIS-

Retail, adding that Dealers would be allowed to earn 50 kobo on the customers’ bids. While also explaining that the bids were on Spot FX basis as the Authorised Dealers’ accounts with the CBN

would be debited in full for the Naira equivalent of the USD bid amount, he advised customers that were not willing to accept the settlement terms not to participate in this Special SMIS Retail.

The CBN emphasized that it reserved the right not to make a sale if it had the impression that the exercise did not provide an effective price for the determination of the CNY/NGN exchange rate.

L - R: Director of Finance, NNPC, Alhaji Isiaka Abdulrahman, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso and the SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapher, during the National Economic Council meeting presided over by the Vice President in the Aso Chambers, State House, Abuja on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

FG, states review right of way charges for telecoms T he federal and state governments have approved a downward review of the Right of Way charges paid by telecommunication companies, to encourage investment in the sector. With the approval, telcoms operators will now pay a token fee of N145 per metre to lay fibre cable anywhere in the country, as against the different sums ranging from N4000 to N8000 per square meter, charged in different parts of the country. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the agreement for a harmonised Right of Way charges was reached at the National Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo with state governors in attendance. The Executive Vice Chairman, of the commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, said before now, the operators were paying exorbitant sums in different parts of the country, adding that such arbitrary charges were a disincentive to

investment in the telecommunications sector. Speaking at a Stakeholders Engagement Forum With Relevant State Agencies in Charge of Telecommunications Matters in the country, the EVC said, “We need to build at least 80,000 Base Transceiver Station sites to close access gaps and improve quality of service, but ecosystem issues are holding back investments. “As industry regulator, the NCC finds this situation

both unacceptable and unsustainable. We are pleased to note that several efforts are ongoing to arrest these challenges, some at the very highest levels of government.” He added, “In this regard, we are encouraged by the efforts of the VicePresident, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, working through the National Economic Council and the Governors’ Forum,

respectively. “For years, we have over 19.2 terabytes of installed fibre capacity landed at our shores, but we have not been able to take sufficient capacity into the hinterlands mainly due to these ecosystem issues. “We want to augment the existing capacity with at least 18,000 kilometres of new optic fibre through our InfraCo model and other initiatives, but ecosystem issues are slowing us down.”

IPPIS: AGF assures military of hitch free enrolment

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he AccountantGeneral of the Federation, AGF, Mr. Ahmed Idris, has assured the military that their salaries will not in any way, be affected by their enrolment on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, scheme. The assurance became necessary to allay their fears about some of perceived issues the enrolment could present.

Responding to questions at a sensitisation programme for the enrolment of Nigerian Military on the IPPIS, the AGF said only statutory deductions, such as tax for officers and 2.5percent of basic salary for National Housing Fund, would be made on their salaries. Participants at the workshop had claimed that personnel of Nigeria Police Force had

incomplete salaries when they were enrolled. They therefore sought assurance that theirs would not be like that. Represented by Mr Usman Kudu, Director, Funds, the AGF took participants through a step by step approach on enrolment. He said the objective of the scheme was to centralise the database of all federal public servants and eradicate ghost workers from the system.

FG, states pay June salaries, to decide on NNPC

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he states and f e d e r a l governments have finally agreed to put on hold their prolong disagreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over its revenue remitted into the federation account. Recall that the disagreement with the revenue generating agency had led to delay in payment of June salary in some states due to the several adjournment of the Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting for June. However, the federal ministry of finance said that the urgent need to cushion the undue hardships being experienced by workers nationwide has made it necessary to distribute the May figures totalling N668.898billion to the three tiers of Government, while efforts are being intensified to address the unsatisfactory remittances. The N668.898billion is made up of statutory distributable sum of N575.475 billion and N 93.423 billion from the Value Added Tax. The total revenue realised for the month, was shared in line with the extant formula as follows: Federal Government N282.223 billion; State Governments - N181.167 billion; and Local Government Councils N136.490 billion. The Oil Producing States received N53.071 billion as 13 per cent derivation. The sum of N15.947 billion was paid to the revenue generating agencies as costs of collections. Analysis of the figures shows that statutory revenue of N575.475 billion received for the month of May 2018 was lower than the N613.057 billion received for April 2018 by a total of N37.582 billion. From the total statutory revenue of N575.475 billion, the Federal Government was given N268.770 billion; the States - N136.324 billion; Local Government Areas - N105.100 billion; the Oil Producing States N53.071 billion, and the revenue generating agencies received N12.210 billion as costs of collections.


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Luke 17:11-19 “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” Gratitude is gratefulness unto God. Gratitude is not the style or manner of dressing that you show forth, no gratitude is a matter of your heart. The depth of your positive thoughts about God’s goodness and mercies is an offshoot of the premeditations of your heart. Your heart will not cause you to praise God but it will show you why you should thank God. Gratitude is not like tithe, where you pay ten percent and keep the ninety percent. Gratitude is giving, using and showcasing all in appreciation unto God for his

The Thankless Nine benevolent acts and kindness. We desire a lot of good things from God, after a serious prayers and fasting and we tend to forget so quick what God has done for us that we start using the blessings self-centered. Reasons for ungratefulness 1. Forgetfulness: Every individual is bound yo forget about God’s goodness, but we must consciously determine and execute thanksgiving, gratitude and thankfulness to God for everything. Deuteronomy 6:12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 2. Few put the word of God to heart: Whatever you consciously put to heart determines your manner of gratitude unto God. The

understanding and enlightenment of God’s word makes you thankful and not thankless. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” 3. Lack of remembrance: We must avoid short term memory, if we must adequately thank God. The more you remember the good things God has done for you, the higher and bigger, they will keep

coming. We must not be overwhelmed by our challenges and do not remember the things he did for us before. Deuteronomy 8:18 “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” 4. We are in the latter days: we should not be too use to God’s blessings and forget that, the blessings of God is a privilege and not a right. 2 Timothy 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” 5. It is satanic devices: The devil is very crafty and cunny that he infuses the heart of men with the Spirit of ingratitude that averts God’s benevolent acts. Ezekiel 28:2-3, 8 “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:” “They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.”

NEWS

2019: Issa Aremu joins Kwara guber race T Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin

he General Secretary of Textile Workers Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, has formally declared to run for the 2019 governorship election in Kwara State under the Labour Party. He made the declaration at an event attended by politicians, thousands of trade union activists and wellwishers in Ilorin, last Thursday. Aremu said he was motivated to join the gubernatorial race because Kwara state needs “a radical change f r o m underdevelopment, mass hunger, and poverty”. He observed that few of the ruling elite had denied “the well- being” of many Kwarans, recalling that at creation Kwara was the “fastest growing” state with bold development plans which laid solid

foundations for accelerated economic growth, increased productivity in agriculture, industrial development and improved the quality of life of the people

through the provision of necessary infrastructure adding that “Kwara must return to development planning.” He lamented that Kwara state ranks 28th on the ranking of states

by states GDP “beaten to it by newest states like, Imo, Edo and Oyo, adding that his governorship will bring back productivity t h r o u g h reindustrialization.

APC mourns Commassie at 76 By David LAWANI

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he All Progressives Congress, APC, has said it mourns the passing of Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, the longest serving Inspector-General of Police, who died last Thursday at 76. National publicist secretary of the APC, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, in condolence statement, observed: “our great party extends condolences to his immediate family, Nigerian Police Force, Katsina Emirate, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, government and people of Katsina state.

May Almighty Allah grant the late Ibrahim Coomassie eternal rest and his family and loved ones the strength to bear this great loss. “The APC particularly hail the progressive role the late Ibrahim Coomassie played as chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF. He was a leading and influential voice who regularly highlighted the strategic importance of the country’s north within the larger Nigerian context and sought to correct the negative portrayal of the region.” The statement noted

further that he lived a well fulfilled life as a leader worthy of emulation by all. “While we mourn his passage, we take pride that the late Ibrahim Coomassie who held traditional title of Sardaunan Katsina, lived an accomplished, exemplary and impactful life worthy of celebration and emulation. “Even in death, we now have a collective duty to keep alive his struggle and campaign for a peaceful and secured country, particularly the northern region,” he said.

Intelligence gathering: Community partnership key –Police boss By Chuks NZEH

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he Area Commander in charge of the Life Camp, Utako, Jabi area of the FCT, ACP Nurudeen Sabo, has noted that in intelligence gathering partnership with community leaders is key to effective policing. He made this known recently in Abuja, while responding to questions from the media, where he noted that, “we have been able to proactively attack the issues of crime and criminalities that had once become the trade mark of some parts of this axis. “This, we did through intelligence gathering, in partnership with the local communities and the community leaders, and I must tell you that it has yielded fruit. “We have ensured that we operate a zero

tolerance to any form of crime and criminal tendencies in this area and the people are already enjoying the dividends.” According to him, “the issue of illuminating the environment where these criminalities are perpetuated is very important, because these crimes thrive when there is darkness, that is when issues of car snatching, hand bag snatching, etc. are usually perfected. “We also have the issue of justice delayed, you know our job is to investigate and refer to the judiciary for prosecution, when these judicial processes are delayed, and the law does not permit us to detain suspects beyond a particular period, it becomes a challenge. I will appreciate a faster judicial process to enhance the prosecution of suspects.”


July 23 - 29, 2018

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Healthwise

Cell phone radiation may affect memory performance - study R

adiofrequency electromagnetic fields may have adverse effects on the development of memory performance of specific brain regions exposed during mobile phone use. These are the findings of a study involving nearly 700 adolescents in Switzerland. The investigation, led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), will be published on Monday, 23 July 2018 in the peerreviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The rapid evolution of information and communication technologies (ICT) goes along with an increase in exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) in our daily life. The most relevant exposure source to the brain is the use of a mobile phone close to the head. Several studies have been conducted to identify potential health effects related to RF-EMF, though results have remained inconclusive. The research conducted by scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) looked at the relationship between exposure to RF-EMF from wireless communication devices and memory performance in adolescents. The study follows up a report published in the scientific journal Environment International in 2015 with twice the sample size and more recent information on the absorption of RF-EMF in adolescent brains during different types of wireless communication device use. These are the world’s first epidemiological studies to estimate cumulative RF-EMF brain dose in

adolescents. The study to be published on 23 July 2018 found that cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year may have a

negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents, confirming prior results published in 2015. Figural memory is mainly located in the

right brain hemisphere and association with RF-EMF was more pronounced in adolescents using the mobile phone on the right side of the head. “This may suggest

that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations.” said Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH.

FG assures WAHO of commitment By Williams ABAH

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inister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has reiterated the commitment of the federal government to advance the agenda of the West African Health Organization, WAHO, in the country and subregion. The minister made this known while receiving the director general, West African Health Organization, WAHO, Professor Stanley Okolo, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja. Ehanire assured Okolo that the Nigerian government was ready to support WAHO in strengthening the country’s health system in order to increase access to quality medicine and reduce cost of healthcare. The minister further

stated that Nigeria’s population is on the increase, hence the need to upscale drug and vaccines production, capacity buildings, emergency medicine, and bulk procurement, just as he also described WAHO as a clearing house for disease in West Africa. Ehanire added that the organization needed to synergize with the

Nigeria health sector in the area of postgraduate training in clinical specialties like radiology, pharmacology and capacity building for public health officers. He appealed to WAHO to support Nigerian pharmaceutical industries by entrenching their products in the subregions through policy

formulation, this, he said would reduce cost of drugs and improve access to health product in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries. Speaking earlier, Prof. Stanley Okolo, expressed his delight at the desire of the Nigerian government to support WAHO, adding that the purpose of his visit was to explore the area of collaboration.

Adewole charges states on population policy By Williams ABAH

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inister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has charged state governments to review their population policy and implementation approaches with a view to ensuring that families see the need for moderate family sizes. Adewole stated this

while speaking at the inaugural lecture on Professor Babatunde Oshotimehin in Abuja. According to the minister, Nigeria needs to invest about $62 million over the next five years on high impact family planning, noting that with over 190 million people and still counting, vigorous awareness creation

about the essence of moderate family sizes, especially in rural areas has becomes necessary. He informed that the rapid growth rate could be attributed to high fertility rate of 5.5 children per woman, and low contraceptive prevalence rate of 15 percent based on the 2013 demographic and health survey.

Health experts task PMB on TB advocacy By Chuks NZEH

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group of health experts under the aegis of Afrihealth Optonet Association, a coalition of civil society network and think-tank for systems strengthening and the promotion of health, have tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on tuberculosis advocacy ahead of the forthcoming United Nation High-Level Meeting, UNHLM, later in the year in New York. In a letter addressed to the president dated 4th July, 2018, by the national coordinator, Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje, the association said, “On behalf of the global TB stakeholders and communities, I would like to convey our appreciation for your continued leadership in the global fight to end tuberculosis, TB. “We look up to your continuous support even more as we now move towards a successful UN High-Level Meeting, UNHLM, on TB on Wednesday, 26th September 2018, taking place during the UN General Assembly in New York. “We understand that member states are initiating negotiations on a Zero Draft of the UNHLM Political Declaration. “Given this background, we are pleased to share with you the “Key Asks” that have been developed through our combined extensive engagement with the global TB stakeholders and communities, including UN agencies, high-burden TB countries, donors, civil society, people affected by TB, and the private sector.” According to the group, they are hoping that Buhari will pledge his commitment to accelerate progress towards ending TB by 2030, and outline key actions being taken by Nigeria to follow through on the commitments in the Political Declaration expected to be endorsed by Heads of State at the UNHLM.


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METRO

Five years after, 1, 500 IDPs in Abuja to go home By Austine ELEMUE and Chuks NZEH

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hey had fled their homes in the heat of Boko Haram attacks in 2013 and 2014. Some of them ran away with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their bodies. Survival, indeed, is the first instinct of man. They travelled through other states; Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, etc, particularly from Borno and Yobe states and to the federal capital territory they came to find ‘home.’ Five years after their long journey and sojourn, the Federal Capital Territory Administrations says it is about time that at least 1, 500 of the over 2, 400 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camping in Abuja should head back home. To this end, the administration says it will be assisting the IDPs get financial support to help reconnect them back to their ancestral homes in the north east and other parts of the country. Director General of the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Malam Abbas Idriss, said the funds are meant for logistics for the 1, 500 IDPs that have indicated interest in returning back to their states. Idriss, who was responding to questions from one of our correspondents on the prolonged stay of the IDPs despite government’s claim of dissipating the insurgents in the north east, said the IDPs are still in the camp majorly because their houses were destroyed. Though the FEMA boss did not disclose the amount set for the planned logistics, he said, “In fact as I speak with you now, some IDPS over 1,500 of them had indicated their willingness to go back to their homes. Graciously the minister of the FCT has approved funds for the logistics. “Once the funds are accessed and the security agencies give their clearance to that effect, we shall return them. We are planning a stakeholders meeting on that now since the movement involves so many MDAs.” Thousands of internally displaced persons thronged into the nation’s capital in 2014 following the sacking of some communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states by the dreaded Boko Haram group. When The Abuja Inquirer visited the IDPs’ camp in Durumi, secretary of the camp, Yusuf Bala, said the number of IDPs at the camp has reached 2,740 since it was set up on February 15, 2014. He said the Durumi camp which houses people from Nama and Gworza local government areas of

Some of the IDPs

Bornu state, basically, is a disease center as ailments like diarrhea, malaria and whooping cough are a common feature. Bala said only a few IDPs returned their states as most of them are still traumatised by their experiences with what they saw and felt. Hassan Usman, an inmate at the camp, warns that young men in the camps could constitute a security threat to the nation’s capital as most of them are now idle. “Most of the young men have nothing to do only a few are commercial motorcyclists, some move around to search for menial jobs and yet most time they come back without finding any. “This is dangerous for us, government should provide a vocation centre to engage these people and make them less vulnerable.” Though a primary school is available in the camp, Usman wants government to decongest the classrooms and also provide senior education for the older children on the camp. “The teachers are volunteers and have been helpful for the development of the children but the challenge is that it is only primary school that is in the camp, no secondary school and the inmates who were in secondary school students from have been idling away.”

On the level of security in IDPs’ camps in Abuaj, some inmates allege that there is little or no security presence at their camps, thereby exposing them to hoodlums and criminals. However at the Durumi camp, Bala said its proximity to the Durumi police station provides some semblance of security for the camp. He added that police officers sometimes patrol the area from time to time. “We are lucky in this camp because of our proximity to the police station here. The policemen here are quite helpful because they show up anytime we need their help and call for them. So to me I would say security is not a major challenge at IDP camps. Beside what will anybody what to take from us? We have lost everything to Boko Haram, the only thing we have left are our lives and we are thankful for that.” Speaking further on how the FCTA is addressing some of the challenges in the camp, the FEMA boss said the agency enrolled over 1,000 pupils and students into the FCT public schools and provided them with uniforms, books and writing materials. He said, “The health management of the FCT approved our recommendation for free medical care to the IDPs. As a result of that we designated Wuse and Asokoro District Hospitals to treat all manner of health related issues to them for free including surgery, antenatal

amongst others” He added that “Our interventions don’t conflict with that of others, because we based our interventions on need assessment. We don’t just intervene unless we carried out studies of their most needs.” Idriss said over 10,000 displaced persons that are taking refuge in the FCT are not camped. “They are living with the communities. Therefore it’s very difficult to monitor movement in and out of their settlements and also very difficult to give the best based on International Standards. “We also face challenges with the public who go direct to these people without coming through us, FEMA, to really know what these people need most. As such there are always duplication of efforts by these willing people and NGO’s. In most cases those settlements near the city centre attracts more supports than over 30 settlements spread across the entire FCT.” The National Commission for Refugees and Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NCFRMI, says Nigeria has over 2.2million IDPs and 6,050, refugees spread across the country. The commission has the mandate to coordinate the national action for the protection and assistance of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, stateless persons, Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and migrants.


July 23 - 29, 2018

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July 23 - 29, 2018

My job is a football player, not a politician, says Ozil

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ootballer Mesut Ozil said Sunday he had no regrets about his controversial photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany’s national squad ahead of the World Cup. Breaking his silence over the snapshot that caused outrage during the tournament, the Arsenal midfielder said in a statement on Twitter that he was loyal to both his Turkish and German origins and insisted he did not intend to make a political statement. “Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey,” he said. “I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish.” Ozil said he had first met Erdogan in 2010 after the president and German Chancellor Angela Merkel watched a Germany-Turkey match together. “Since then, our paths have crossed a lot of times around the globe,” he said. “I’m aware that the picture of us caused a huge response in the German media, and whilst some people may accuse me of lying or being deceitful, the picture we took had no political intentions.” Ozil said despite the timing of the picture with teammate Ilkay Gundogan and Erdogan — shortly before the president won reelection in a poll endowing him with sweeping new powers — “it wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country”.

After being knocked out the World Cup by Belgium, Brazilian striker Neymar said he found it hard to return to club football

I didn’t want to see a ball: Neymar recounts World Cup agony W

orld’s most expensive footballer, Neymar Jr. has for the first time narrated his agony over the disappointment suffered by Brazil in the Russia FIFA World Cup, which ended on 15 July. The PSG player told AFP in an interview that after Brazil’s quarterfinal beating by Belgium,

he “didn’t want to see a ball or to see any more football. I wanted to disconnect a bit from everything”. “I had moments of mourning, of sadness, of being just by myself. But sadness passes. “I have my son, my family, my friends and they don’t want to see me moping around. I have got more reasons to be

happy”, he said. Neymar came out of the weeks of agony on Saturday, taking part in the RedBull Neymar Junior 5-a-side tournament in Praia Grande near Santos in Brazil. He featured in the game, called World Cup Finals. The women’s competition saw an extremely popular

outcome, with the Brazilian team needing a golden goal to defeat Italy 1-0 in a tight final match to the delight of the home crowd in Praia Grande. However, the final of the mixed tournament couldn’t have been in sharper contrast. Mexico didn’t need the full 10 minutes to beat Argentina, running out 52 winners with 1m 10s

‘He wanted to take my whole team’ - Napoli president slams Sarri

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apoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has accused former coach Maurizio Sarri of trying to take his “whole team” with him to new club Chelsea. De Laurentiis replaced Sarri with Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season, a punishment for taking too long to make his mind up about his future. The coach remained contractually tied to Napoli even after his dismissal, before Chelsea

eventually reached an agreement with the club to bring him to the Premier League, sacking Antonio Conte as a result. Chelsea’s appointment of Sarri played a major role in the signing of midfielder Jorginho, who initially looked destined to join Manchester City. But Jorginho is not the only player Sarri tried to bring with him to Stamford Bridge, according to his former boss.

“I didn’t like him saying that we both made mistakes, as I don’t think I made any,” De Laurentiis told Sky Sport Italia. “He had a contract, so I could’ve said something because he was behaving in unacceptably, going against players he didn’t think were very good. “I was not wrong to not challenge him, even if it would’ve been the most obvious thing [to do]. “These players gave

him a lot. He massacred them in his famous training sessions, but they always reacted well. “After that, he wanted to take my whole team to England and dismantle it. I had to lay down the law to Marina [Granovskaia, director at Chelsea]. “He wanted Jorginho and I gave him away after talking with Ancelotti, who told me he was expecting a lot from [Amadou] Diawara and that he wants to play [Marek] Hamsik deeper.”

still on the clock. The winning teams each then went on to play against Neymar Jr and friends. Mexico suffered a taste of their own medicine, losing 5-2 inside the regulation 10 minutes. However, Brazil pulled off something of a shock, keeping it tight to triumph 2-1 over a team that not only included Neymar himself, but also stars such as Érika from PSG and Andressa Alves of FC Barcelona. However, Neymar could not forget the real World Cup in a hurry. He was disappointed that the referees could not protect him against fouls by opponents. “I didn’t go to the World Cup to suffer fouls. That is not why I went. I went to beat opponents and obviously they weren’t going to just leave me in peace. They weren’t going to let me pass without touching me, without committing fouls, because they knew if they didn’t commit those fouls, I would go straight to the goal”, he said.

The Abuja Inquirer is published by Gazetta Communications Limited. HEAD OFFICE: Plot 207, Jumai Kwanashie Crescent (Formerly 44 Crescent) CITEC Villas, Gwarimpa II, ABUJA, NIGERIA. Tel: 08033027995 E-mail: letters@theabujainquirer.com: Website: www.theabujainquirer.com. Publisher-Editor-in-Chief: DAN AKPOVWA

42 Edition The Abuja Inquirer  
42 Edition The Abuja Inquirer  
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