Kingsley Kuku vs The Abuja Inquirer: ‘We are headed for appeal court’ By Godfrey AKON
he Abuja Inquirer has indicated that it was headed for the Court of Appeal in the wake of the judgement delivered by an Abuja High Court last Wednesday, in
favour of a libel case brought by former Presidential Adviser on Amnesty, Kingsley Kuku. A member of the newspaper’s legal team, Barr Samson Esekhaigbe, said their client, Mr. Dan Akpovwa, had
instructed them to proceed to the appeal court hours after the trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke of FCT High Court 15 ruled in favour of Kuku. The judgment came as a surprise to those who had followed the case with some of them
voicing their worry that for two years that the matter ran, the plaintiff was nowhere near the court room, and had failed to appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to answer for his time in
office. Speaking on the outcome of the case, publisher of The Abuja Inquirer, Mr. Dan Akpovwa, said the matter was far from over as he was prepared to pursue the case even up to the Supreme Court.
“Well, the wheels of justice grinds slowly, and as a firm believer in our country’s justice system, I intend to see this matter even up to the apex court. The judiciary should be seen to aid in Continued on page 3
SOCIAL CIRCLE >>> PAGE 13 First Published March 2004
Vol. 12 No. 20 ISSN: 1597-2895
November 6 - 12, 2017
‘Operation Show Your Certificate’:
PANIC GRIPS FCTA STAFF By Austine ELEMUE
ove by the Federal Capital Te r r i t o r y Administration, FCTA, to verify certificates of is generating disquiet
amongst members of staff, The Abuja Inquirer has learnt. The administration, our correspondent gathered, has concluded Continued on page 3
SARKIN BWARI CRISIS: No settler will rule over us, Bwari natives warn By Sarah NEGEDU
he leadership crisis rocking the appointment of Sarkin Bwari has taken a dangerous dimension as indigenes of Bwari staged a protest to the office of FCT Minister on Tuesday demanding one paramount ruler for Bwari chiefdom. They alleged that the FCT Minister, Malam
Muhammad Bello, did not consult with the kingmakers in Bwari before the appointment of the new Sarkin, a development they said is unacceptable. Leader of the youth group, Comrade Awoyi John, explained that the process in the selection of who becomes paramount ruler in Bwari was distorted Continued on page 3
President Muhammadu Buhari and former Ghana President, John Dramani Mahama, when the former hosted the latter to a private diner at the State House last Thursday. Photo: State House.
Monkey pox: ‘FG fighting disease Students protest Open Varsity’ ‘No 3.0 Push-ups, sit-ups could add to without creating awareness’ >>PAGE 5 GP, No Graduation’ policy >>PAGE 16 longevity, research finds >>PAGE 21
November 6 - 12, 2017
November 6 - 12, 2017
Panic Grips FCTA Staff Continued from page 1 plans to embark on verification of certificates of all categories of staff as part of measures to enhance efficiency and rid the system of “deadweights.” A source, in the FCTA who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak, said the verification exercise will lead to mass redeployment of staff across departments and agencies where their potentials can be fully harnessed, explaining that there were many square pegs in round holes within the administration. The move which was contained in a circular with Ref. N0: FCTA/ HRM/S.18138/17, and signed by the Director of Human Resource Department, Hajiye Amina Abubakar, and obtained by our correspondent shows that the exercise will involve physical presence of all staffers with their relevant educational qualifications. “I am directed to inform all members of staff that the Administration is embarking on deployment of Human Resource Management Information System (HMRIS). “This will among other entails the capturing of the
Educational and other relevant documents of all members of staff. Furthermore, members of staff are to be physically present for the exercise,” the circular reads in part. Though, the circular did not state when the verification exercise will take place, but the source hinted that it will commence sometime in
November, noting that the exercise was long overdue. “It is my candid opinion that the certificates verification of members of staff will no doubt reposition the FCT Administration for effective service delivery because the present composition of staff could be best described as a
square pegs in a round holes. “We have seen a situation where some staff that studied Geography are in Account Department, others who studied basic sciences are Public Relations Department vis-à-vis other agencies and departments. With such staff composition, the
administration cannot boast of effective service delivery”. The source claimed that a cross section of the staff were uncomfortable with the development arguing that the administration should “concentrate on enhancing staff welfare rather than creating unnecessary tension.”
Emmanuel Ogbeche, Editor, left, presenting the Distinguished Journalist Award given by Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abuja Chapter, to Dan Akpovwa, Publisher of the Abuja Inquirer and winner of the award recently
Kingsley Kuku vs The Abuja Inquirer: ‘We are headed for appeal court’
Continued from page 1 transparency and accountability. If any public official cannot give account of his stewardship, then the basis of democracy will be defeated. “Libel is a personal matter that much I know. So it is curious to see that a plaintiff whom the EFCC has invited for over two years and by all intent and purposes seems not ready to honour the invitation to have the law on his side is really curious”, Akpovwa said. Kuku had instituted a libel suit against The Abuja Inquirer on August 19, 2015, over a publication on July 27, 2015 alleging he fled the country because he was wanted by the EFCC over allegations of corruption. After a year-long trial on the case with suit No. CV/263/15, Okeke in his ruling, found the publication to be wrong and awarded damages to the plaintiff, stating that the defendants failed to prove their allegations. The Abuja Inquirer, in its final written address on issues of law submitted on September 18, 2017, argued that the suit was incompetent because the plaintiff did not testify in person since the trial of the case commenced on March 16, 2016.
Sarkin Bwari crisis: No settler will rule over us, Bwari natives warn Continued from page 1 during Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime who appointed a parallel leader in the community. According to him, “the Bwari throne was founded in the 20th centuries and the Etsu of Bwari has been the custodian of the traditional stool of the place. “The sudden change in the appointment of another traditional ruler is actually threatening the peaceful coexistence of the people becau7se the mistake that was made during Abacha period, is now telling on the people. The minister did not consult anybody and neither did he consult the kingmakers before appointing Alhaji Awwal”. Specifically, the Gbagyi and other local people have expressed
disappointment over the appointment of a settler with Hausa title for a town that is predominantly of Gbagyi nationality. Also a palace chief in Etsu palace who do not want his name in print told our correspondent that enough of imposition of settlers on the indigenous people of Bwari by the FCT Administration, saying “we cannot have two captains in one ship.” According to our source, “It is on record that the late Sarkin came from Niger state as a tax collector to settle in Bwari. We the indigenous people accepted them wholeheartedly and extended hand of fellowship to them. However, as a result of their exposure with other ethnic nationalities, they started lording it over us.
We have tolerated this imposition for so long and we have come to the realization that enough is enough because you cannot have two captains in one ship”. The source however threatened to take the matter to court if the FCT Administration fails to address the illegality over the appointment of a Sarkin in Bwari chiefdom. When contacted, the Director in charge of Chieftaincy Matters and Community Relations in the FCT Area Council Service Secretariat, Mr. Jubril Shaba, described the claim the Etsu Bwari’s palace as false and lacks basis, stressing that the development is normal with the pronouncement of a new traditional chief. Shaba, revealed that the Sarkin Bwari was turbaned before the Ona of Abaji and the Sarkin is
among 14 traditional rulers recognised by law by the FCT Administration. “Bwari is an ancient town in the FCT. The claim that the late Sarkin came to settle in Bwari in 1976 is not true because he celebrated his 40th anniversary on the throne last year 2016 before his death this year. He was appointed in 1976 as the District Head of Bwari. “He later appointed all the secretaries that served at the village level at that time. They called them Mai-Angwa. His territory extends to far areas. He rules over Dutse, Mpape, Maitama down to Kubwa. These are areas he controlled at that time. However, there was a committee report in 1997 headed by Mamman Nasir of blessed memory who recommended 19 graded
Chiefs for FCT, and also recommended that the Sarkin should be upgraded to 1st Class Chief, but was later given 2nd Class Chief. “He was the first to be turbaned on July 23, 1997 by Late Jeremiah Usani, before Ona was even turbaned. Later the Etsu palace was created. The Etsu was recognised as a 3rd Class Chief, but it was not gazzetted. We have 14 gazetted chiefs in the FCT”, Shaba stated. The director acknowledged that there have been prolonged rivalry between the Sarkin and Etsu palace of territorial control, while expressing hope that it will soon be over. It could be recalled that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, had approved the appointment of Alhaji Awwal Musa Ijakoro as the new Sarkin Bwari in
Bwari Area Council of the FCT. Ijakoro succeeds his late father, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Ijakoro, who died on August 29, 2017. In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to FCT Minister, Cosmas Uzodinma, stated that the appointment of the new Sarkin Bwari was done pursuant to the powers conferred on the FCT minister under the relevant sections of the FCT Chiefs (Appointment & Deposition) Act, 1997 and in accordance with established customs and traditions of the Bwari Chiefdom. The statement also added that the nomination of Ijakoro was accordingly endorsed by the Bwari Kingmakers.
November 6 - 12, 2017
FCT REPORT STDD embarks on projects tour of rural areas Stories by Austine ELEMUE
s part efforts to ensure rapid infrastructural development in the rural communities across the territory, the coordinator, Satellite Towns D e v e l o p m e n t Department, STDD, Hon. Tanko Yamawo, has inspected some ongoing project sites in Abaji and Kuje area councils, respectively. The coordinator also visited some traditional rulers to seek their blessings for the smooth completion of the projects in their respective domains. Projects inspected include, the 6 km YabaKpache road project and feeder roads network at Senior Staff Quarters, in Abaji, where the team assessed the quality and progress of the projects. Our correspondent also reports that the palaces visited include: Ona of Abaji- Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa, Esu YabaAbdullahi Adamu, Esu Sai’ RubouchiMohammed Ibrahim Ladan, and Agabe of Gwargawa; all in Abaji and Kuje Councils, during which the monarchs spoke passionately about critical developmental needs of communities within their domains. The coordinator told the monarchs and other palace chiefs that his team were there to inspect ongoing projects in the councils, and also to know priority projects that should be captured in the FCT 2018 budget. Yamawo, however, stressed the need for robust collaboration with all stakeholders in the FCT, as the administration alone cannot drive rapid development of the territory. This, according to him would ensure that people will relocate from the densely populated city centre to the satellite
towns. Yamawo, while inspecting ongoing projects, expressed satisfaction with their status, and assured the people that the government would do everything required to ensure rapid completion, to pave way for their enjoyment. Also speaking, the Ona of Abaji, and Chairman of FCT Council of Chiefs, Adamu Yunusa, described the visit as laudable, but told the
STDD officials that there are no good access roads linking many communities within the council, a situation he said negatively affects the people especially farmers. The monarch also lamented the absence of pedestrian crossings and interchanges on the major highways traversing the area, saying the development has caused untold hardship and death in the council. He appealed for improved employment
opportunities for their children, who are qualified but are not employed, even after leaving school. On his part, Abaji Chairman, Abdulrahman Ajiya, expressed delight over the visit, saying that Abaji council has suffered a lot of underdevelopment because of its location. According to him, there are many abandoned and poorly executed projects in Abaji, which needs the urgent
intervention of the FCTA. Also, Chief Chris Nworgu, the chairman, M/S Coan (W.A) Limited, the contractor handling the ongoing Yaba-Kpache road project, which commenced work since May, 2014, attributed the slow pace of the project to delay in payment of certified works. He, however, assured that with the release of funds, the road will be completed and ready for commissioning by January, 2018.
FCT ,inister, Malam Muhammad Bello (middle), cutting the tape to commission the Buhari Support Organization (BSO) Secretariat in Utako, Abuja. With him are the Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang (2nd right), Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello (4th right), Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar (2nd left) and others.
Maina moves to reposition education in FCT
he Secretary for Education in the FCT, Sen. Isa Maina, has vowed to reposition the education sector, just as he urged officials of the secretariat to be more prudent with resources and avoid extra-budgetary spending in order to move the sector forward. Maina made this call while making his opening remark at a oneday management consultative meeting, at the Education Resource Centre, Abuja. According to the
secretary, the aim of the meeting was to engender building of synergy and evolve new strategies, and orientation towards actualizing the mandate of the secretariat, adding that he looked forward to seeing a more impressive state of education in the FCT. He also urged the forum to draw a new roadmap for rebuilding FCT education sector and reposition it for effective service delivery, beginning with the FCTA 2018 budgetary appropriation.
The secretary therefore commended the stakeholders for winning both national and international laurels for the FCT. A communique produced at the end of the meeting reveals that necessary observations were made in order to reposition the education in the FCT, including avoidance of extrabudgetary expenditure by being accurate in preparing budgets by agencies under it; early submission of transcripts on financial transactions
and the dire need to quickly rebrand the perception of the public about education delivery in FCT. Other observations by the meeting are the need for clearance of education liabilities before end of the 2017 budget year; the imperative for training and retraining of teachers; rehabilitation of dilapidated school facilities; as well as the need to enhance generation of revenue from private schools, among several others.
Bello moves to tackle Karmo market gridlock
esidents and motorists along Gwagwa –Karmo may soon heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Capital Territory Administration has moved to construct the road connecting the Jeremiah Useni Way Lifecamp, Gwarimpa with the Karmo Fish Market Road. The project when completed will break the persistent gridlock and also help reduce traffic from the Obafemi Awolowo Way as it would provide an alternative by-pass on the JT Useni road. Pupils of GSS Gwarimpa, who spoke to our correspondent during the tour expressed joy that the administration also constructed concrete walkways for pupils of the school as well as pedestrians in the neighborhood. The Director of Engineering, Engr. Hadi Ahmad, told journalists that the construction was in compliance with a directive by the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello. “The minister, had witnessed, first-hand, the trouble residents encountered on their way to and from work and market and had decided to do something about it,” he stressed. Ahmad said, the 500 meters stretch of arterial would significantly reduce congestion on the road as it will divert some traffic off the Lifecamp Junction, thereby cutting off a significant portion of the Karmo road. He also stressed that the project is a first resort solution as the FCT Administration is working to revoke the contract for the expansion and modernization of the Old Keffi road running from Karmo, across Idu to Dei-Dei. The contract had been awarded to a contractor who had abandoned the work for a long time now, leaving the Administration to no other option than to revoke and re-award the job to a more reputable company.
November 6 - 12, 2017
FCT REPORT AEDC moves to improve street lighting
Kwali LEA moves to motivate teachers By Ateed YUSUF
By Austine ELEMUE
ope for a significant and immediate improvement on power supply for Abuja streetlights was rekindled last week when the Managing Director of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mapwaya, visited the minister. FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, had at the occasion given guarantee of steady and regular cash flow to the company because of the strategic importance of streetlights for security, commerce and tourism in the city. Bello, who had paid up to N1billion to the company, since assumption of office, also indicated that the bills have to be metered so that the FCT Administration knows what it is paying for. The minister said, “as long as consumption is estimated based on subjective criteria, it is not going to be helpful to us. There is no need to spend unnecessary man hours just going over bills that can simply be done by leveraging the metering technology.” Confirming the 21 generating sets already installed by his administration as standbys, the Bello expressed concern over the negative implication of strewing major streets with backup power sources which he noted could cause pollution as well as disrupt the aesthetics of the Abuja city landscape. He used the occasion to reiterate his appeal to the electricity distribution company to meter all the streetlight facilities in the territory so as to ensure that government is billed fairly for its electricity consumption and to remove any ambiguities. In his remarks, the AEDC boss revealed that FCT had paid N1 billion naira as part of the debt owed the company by past FCT Administrations, while commending the administration for the gesture.
Ivoirians in Nigeria welcoming their President, Alassane Ouattara during his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, recently.
Vandalism: Bello seeks partnership of judiciary
Stories by Austine ELEMUE
n his determination to stem the menace of vandalism on public facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has called for the partnership of the judiciary. The minister made the appeal in Abuja on the occasion of the ceremony marking the commencement of 20172018 Legal Year of the FCT High Court, last week. “I would like to humbly solicit your hand of fellowship in the strident efforts we are making to improve the infrastructure and provide utilities for the Federal Capital Territory. “You may wish to however, note that in our drive to achieve these, we encounter serious cases of sabotage through the efforts of hoodlums who are bent on pillaging public utility facilities like electric poles, manhole covers, railways cables and line among others. We would seek your cooperation in the effort to check this menace as these culprits are arrested and brought to face the long arm of the law”, Bello said. Bello, who was represented at the event by FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, further remarked that though the country’s democracy is advancing,
there are however, still room for improvement. The minister also charged the third arm of government to work assiduously on addressing perennial issues such as prison congestion, pressure in courts and delay in the dispensation of justice. “However, we must acknowledge that Nigeria’s democracy is a growing one. Consequently, all the
various arms of government are also evolving and this of course, includes the judiciary. We have made significant progress, but we are not yet where we aim to be. Such issues as prison congestion, pressure in courts and the resultant delays in the dispensation of justice are issues which we think should engage the attention of my lords as we
resume the 2017/2018 Legal Year,” he urged. Earlier, the Chief Judge of the FCT and chairman, FCT Judicial Service Committee, Hon. Justice Ishaq Usman Bello, decried the absence of borstal institution within the FCT to cater for the penitentiary needs of children and young persons.
Abaji council to distribute free waste bins By Ateed YUSUF
ead of Department of Environmental Sanitation in charge of Abaji Area Council, Alh. Yusuf Simbabi, has revealed that the council would soon distribute free waste bins to residents with a view to tackling the menace of indiscriminate refuse dump in the area. He told The Abuja Inquirer that the initiative is a pet project of the chairman, Hon. Abdulrahaman Ajiya, aimed at encouraging the residents to cultivate the habit of good hygiene. The HOD tasked the people of Abaji and environs against indiscriminate refuse dump, noting that heath officers would continue to inspect houses, shops and offices to educate residents as well as enforcing environmental laws. Simbabi also called on households, and traders
to always keep their environment clean, just as he warned that the department would leave no stone unturned to penalise violators of environmental laws of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. He tasked the
residents to use this period of dry season to clean up blocked drainages and culverts before rainy season set in, noting that the act would in no small measure remain one of the remedies to erosion control.
he Local Education Authority, LEA, in Kwali Area Council under the leadership of Mr. Peter Philip has given indication to initiate programmes that would boost the morale of teachers of the council aimed at building their capacity. He disclosed this to The Abuja Inquirer in Kwali, explaining that the essence was to encourage and enhance the performances of the teachers to perform their primary assignment efficiently in the area of impacting requisite knowledge to the young ones. Philip tasked both teaching and nonteaching staff of the LEA to complement the efforts of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board, UBEB, and the area council to promote quality of teaching and learning in primary and junior secondary schools. The education secretary stated that the LEA under his watch would institute package for rewarding teachers who performed exceptionally in the course of discharging their primary assignment, just as he tasked teachers holding lower qualifications to make concerted efforts to acquire higher qualification.
NUT to support government on teachers training By Ateed YUSUF
he chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the Federal Capital Territory chapter, Comrade Stephen Knabayi, has reiterated the commitment of the union towards supporting government in the area of training and re-training of teachers. He disclosed this recently in a chat with our correspondent in Gwagwalada, noting that government and various stakeholders in
education sector need to provide necessary facilities for the conduct of electronic teaching aimed at enhancing quality of teaching. The NUT chairman called on those wishing to join teaching to acquire required teaching qualifications, just as he reiterated the position of the union against recruitment of quack teachers, noting that any person employed to teach must possess basic teaching qualifications. He implored the FCT administration as a matter of importance to
solve the challenges being faced by staff of the Local Education Authority, LEA, in delay of payment of their salaries, even as he called on the chairmen of the six area councils to pay teachers their promotion entitlements as at when due. The NUT boss warned members against indolence and lack of commitment urging them to show dedication to their primary assignments with a view to improving the standard of education in the territory.
November 6 - 12, 2017
AMAC Burden of Taxes
he Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 provides in the Fourth Schedule the main functions of the 774 local governments and six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory to include but not limited to the collection of rates, radio and television licences; establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, burial grounds and homes for the destitute or infirm. Other functions include licensing of bicycles, trucks (other than mechanicallypropelled trucks), canoes, wheel barrows and carts; establishment, maintenance and regulation of slaughter houses, slaughter slabs, markets, motor parks and public conveniences; construction and maintenance of roads, streets, street lightings, drains and other public highways, parks, gardens, open spaces, or such public facilities as maybe prescribed from time to time by the House of Assembly of a State. Apart from these exclusive functions, the function of local governments shall include participation of such councils in the government of a state as respects the following matters: the provision and maintenance of primary, adult and vocational education; the development of agriculture and natural resources other than the exploitation of minerals; the provision and maintenance of health services; and such other functions as may be conferred on a local government Council by the House of Assembly of the state.
There are a lot of leakages from these sources of internal revenue which tend to have negative impact on the finances of AMAC, hence the introduction of obnoxious taxes. Those in AMAC should demonstrate prudence and accountability in contract awards and cease cutting corners and arbitrary virements on contracts sum.
Going by the letter and spirit of the Fourth Schedule of 1999 constitution, the third tier of government has the responsibility to collect taxes within its jurisdictions and in turn provides basic amenities to the rural people. It is not surprising therefore that the Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido-led Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, has come up with myriads of taxable and untaxable items in markets and other public places within his domain aimed at raising the revenue profile of the council. Since assumption of office over a year ago, traders in AMAC are confronted with different ticketing and taxes on various commodities including tuber of yams before the authorities could allow a trader to sell in any designated AMAC-owned market. The administration has also made several efforts to reintroduce the failed “Park & Pay” for motorists plying roads within the municipality.
However, the recent tax of N2, 000 as “Radio Clearance/ Permit” by the management of Abuja Municipal Area Council has sparked off controversies among motorists and residents alike. In clear terms, this “Radio Clearance/Permit is alien to residents. Residents in AMAC have observed with deep concern that most of the constitutional responsibilities of the Abuja Municipal Area Council have been taken over by either the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, or Satellite Towns Development Department, STDD, in the areas of road construction and provision of other basic amenities including environmental sanitation of rural areas within the council. For example, all major engineering infrastructures in Maitama, Wuse, Garki, Asokoro and the Central Business District are provided by FCDA. On the other hand, the Satellite Towns Development Department
provides rural roads in Karshi, Karu, Kuje, and other satellite towns within the municipality. Therefore, it is imperative to draw the attention of the authorities in AMAC to note that the sudden charge on car stereo has led to face-off between vehicle owners and officials of the council, as motorists have observed that the development has exposed innocent citizens to untold hardship and harassment by AMAC officials. Some AMAC residents averred that the annual car radio clearance is ill-timed, coupled with the fact that the authorities in AMAC have failed to provide residents with necessary infrastructure to make life meaningful. This verdict by the people should not be ignored by the authorities in AMAC because the council has failed woefully in these areas in providing services, amenities and projects to the people and communities which they serve. While The Abuja Inquirer acknowledges the enormous demands with limited sources of revenue in AMAC, it has been observed with regret that the various internal sources are not fully exploited and accounted for. There are a lot of leakages from these sources of internal revenue which tend to have negative impact on the finances of AMAC, hence the introduction of obnoxious taxes. Those in AMAC should demonstrate prudence and accountability in contract awards and cease cutting corners and arbitrary virements on contracts sum.
Published by: GAZETTA COMMUNICATIONS LTD Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Dan Akpovwa Editor Emmanuel Ogbeche Assistant Editor Austine Elemue Ovie Akpovwa Editor, Lagos Bureau Godwin Uzoma Okoro
Snr. Correspondents Sarah Negedu; Onoriode E. Atavwigho;; Mfon Udo-Ema Correspondents Ambrose Imobhio (Asaba) Scholastica Joseph (Makurdi) Ayinde Olarewaju (Ilorin) Akon Godfrey Chukwuma Nzeh Ateed Yusuf Ere-ebi Agedah Ijeoma Ukazu Ismaila Jimoh Williams Abah
London Correspondent Peculia Medinus
Admin Assistant Alex Ukershio
Online Editor Lucky Akpovwa
Company Secretary Bassey E. Offiong Esq.
Advert/Marketing Executive Laraba P. Murey
Legal Adviser Gogo Karibi-Whyte
Photo Editor Wale Elekolusi
Production Consultant Daniel Soetan
November 6 - 12, 2017
Tinubu, what a fatal cut! “Human says time goes by Time says human goes by” ¯ Anonymous
ometimes, the cut is fatal, deep and without mercy. So it is for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban himself. Death came visiting Tinubu’s home and did so in such a way that it has tasted the very mettle of the man that has defined Nigeria’s politics in many ways. The Jagaban has weathered many storms, scaled hilltops and swam dangerous waters of politics, but in this new war, no one can tell if he can sail through this. His son, the heir apparent, the one who delights him to no end and embodies his legacy hence, crossed the Rubicon too early and unexpectedly. But is it not said life is taken at the sweetest? Do we not know it does not know the innocent from the guilty? That was that fate of Kazeem Olajide last Thursday. Jide died! He was young, vibrant, and seem healthy,
alas, cardiac arrested and he succumbed. Many now wonder that with all the wealth, with the best possible doctors and a gym at his beck, what possibly could have precipitated such an attack? But that is the mystery of life. Nobody could have summed up Jide’s life better than his father, the Asiwaju. He wrote: ”My son was a highly intelligent person with a vibrant personality and a zest for life. He followed his own course and made his own way on his own terms. Those who knew him could not help but like him. Yet, he was taken away by cardiac arrest when it seemed he had so much life to still live. This is a reminder that we must live each day to its best as none of us know when our last day shall be. Mortality comes upon us all. We have no choice in that but we do have a choice whether we shall be good or bad, just or unjust. Let us all strive toward the best in ourselves.” What words can console a grieving father who has lost a beloved son? One can only say; may the Good Lord, stand by and with you in your hour of Golgotha.
For Sabi, the fury of his constituents
riday, November 3, 2017 will remain one of the saddest days for the Senate spokesman, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, as his constituents assaulted and stoned him in Kontagora, headquarters of Niger North Senatorial District which he represents. The intriguing thing is that senator who was elected under the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a result of the popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari was insulted, disgraced and stoned not by some miscreants, but by the executives of the party in Kontagora. Sabi by now will know he does not ‘sabi’ anything given that it was he that called the meeting of the executive which turned out to be coup de grace. The angst of the party chieftains is that it was the first time he was having such a meeting since after his election in 2015.
When the senator was asked why he was coming to meet with them now when it was only a year away to 2019 General Election, he could not give any satisfactory answer. He was further asked to list the projects if any that he did/attracted to Kontagora or if he gave any financial support for students of his constituency, he responded that the Buhari Government has not given them any money nor funded their constituency projects. The humiliation of Sabi signposts the slow but steady awareness amongst Nigerians of their democratic right and power to decide how they should be treated. The days of the Abuja politician coming and having his way with the grassroots is gradually fading and one wonders what next for the senator owing to the humiliation by his own very constituents.
Ifeanyi Ubah: Unstable as the wind
ebecca McNutt in Bittersweet Symphony may have been writing about Ifeanyi Ubah when she said; “I’ve been alive a long time, long enough to know that the more baggage you carry in life, the more unstable you’ll be, until eventually you get sick of carrying it, and then you just fall down.” While it seems as a given that politicians in our clime are devoid of principle and any enduring ethos, Ifeanyi Ubah, owner of Capital Oil and Gas, seems to exemplify that more than ever. In the last few months, he has moved from PDP to APC back to PDP and now has pitched his tent with the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, where he first started. Having failed to land the guber ticket of the PDP and after the initial ‘garagara,’ Ubah returned on Saturday to his old hunting ground; APGA. As a man given to lots of baggage, it is hard to fathom what electoral value he will be adding to the wobbly train of Governor Willie Obiano in the November 18 Anambra
governorship. Speaking at his decamping, one can safely hazard a guess that his burning ambition to govern Anambra state may have informed his new found love for the party he had disowned. “I wish to state unequivocally that I have taken a position to fight for the sustenance and continued relevance of my state and the Igbo tribe. I am a very strong and proud Igbo man who is passionate about the protection of the Igbo name and the pride attached to it. I have dedicated myself to ensure that “Afa Igbo ama efu”. “To my steadfast supporters and umu nnem, Today marks a turning point in my political life as I take a giant leap into that which will spur the advancement of my dream for an ideal and prosperous Anambra State. It has been a bumpy ride considering where I started from, the rough roads I have been through and challenges I have faced in search for the light at the end of the tunnel.” Despite these sweet words, it is only a matter of time before things would fall apart.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Miyetti Allah threats on Benue: Assembly takes case to U.N. By Scholastica Joseph, Makurdi
orried by the repeated threats of the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, to attack Benue people over the passage of the Antiopen Grazing Law and the inability of the federal government to bring them to book, the Benue State House of Assembly has resolved to drag the case to the United Nations. The assembly made the resolution following a motion by the Majority Leader, Hon. Benjamin Adanyi, representing Makurdi South State Constituency to draw the attention of the U.N. to threats by the association to attack Benue communities. Hon. Adanyi had recalled that the 1999 Constitution (amended), section 4(6) and (7)(a) endows the House with the sole powers to make laws for the peace and good governance of Benue state while section 1 of the Land Use Act, Chapter 202 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 also allows state governors to administer land use within their territory. He said it was these laws that enabled the proposal and enactments of the open grazing prohibition law by the governor and assembly, respectively. Adanyi expressed sadness that since the enactment of the law and its assent by the governor, the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have been making unguarded and provocative statements challenging the authority of the entire Benue government to make such laws. The lawmaker further expressed the worry that despite repeated cross and calls by the government and people of Benue state for the federal government and security agencies to bring notably the president and secretary of Miyetti Allah to justice for their deliberate reckless and
dangerous declaration of hostilities against Benue state, they have been left free. The assembly concluded that it had exhausted all necessary avenues and were left with no option than to call on the attention of other relevant bodies to come to their aid. They resolved to draw the attention of the National Assembly, the
United Nations systems comprising of the entire Diplomatic Missions of friendly nations in Nigeria to what they described as holocaust which Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has promised Benue state by their threat to occupy the whole state from November 2017 when the Open Grazing Prohibition Law comes into effect and onward.
The House also resolved to send a distress call to Houses of Assembly of neighbouring states; Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River and Taraba States to intimate them of the development and to also urge them to be on guard so that they can assist in prevailing on the National Assembly to rise to the challenge of saving
Benue state and its citizens from impending destruction. The lawmakers expressed deep concern over the continued silence of the presidency in addressing the matter and maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari would be held responsible for any bloodshed in Benue if he fails to call the association to order.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima receiving the Rural Electrification Agency news journal from the Managing Director/CEO, Damilola Ogunbiyi, during a collaborative meeting with the Borno state government on the Bama Initiative at the REA corporate headquarters in Abuja last Friday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.
Stranded Students: Dabiri-Erewa Commends Saraki’ Intervention By Emmanuel OGBECHE
he Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has praised Senate President Bukola Saraki for his intervention in resolving the plight of Nigeria students on government scholarship stranded abroad. Dabiri-Erewa in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in Abuja on Thursday, said the Senate president’s meeting with the representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
responsible for the welfare of Nigerian students on scholarships abroad was commendable. Dabiri-Erewa, who had earlier, pleaded for the payment of the stranded Nigerian students abroad, said that the only way out is an appropriation to clear the outstanding backlog of the students’ allowances. “It is criminal to send students out on scholarship and turn them to scavengers’’, Dabiri-Erewa lamented. She appealed to the National Assembly to put a stop to the students’ lamentations by capturing the backlog in the 2018 budget.
The Presidential aide who had visited some of the students abroad and witnessed their pitiable conditions, expressed hope that with the National Assembly intervention, “the lamentations of students on scholarship would become a thing of the past’’. It would be recalled that the Senate in plenary session had mandated the President of the Senate to intervene and know why Nigerian students on scholarships in foreign countries are yet to be paid their scholarship funds. At the meeting on Wednesday, Saraki had directed the Federal Scholarship Board (FSB)
to urgently present a comprehensive report of all Nigerian students on scholarship abroad and their outstanding entitlements to the relevant committees of the Senate to enable the Senate make Appropriations for their settlement. “As some of you may know, I was in Russia last month to participate at the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and I heard first-hand the plight of our students for whom the expected scholarship funding has dried up,” Saraki said. “The overwhelming feeling on the part of these students is one of abandonment by their motherland.”
NNPC to establish biofuel plant in Ondo state By Godfrey AKON
he Nigerian N a t i o n a l Pe t r o l e u m Corporation, NNPC, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Ondo State Government to establish a biofuel plant in Okeluse, Ondo State. A statement by the c o r p o r a t i o n ’s spokesperson, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the plant, which is estimated to produce 65 million liters of biofuel per annum when established, would create one million jobs and reduce carbon emissions. Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, explained in the statement that the project was not a one-hundredper-cent NNPC subsidiary and that some investors were also bringing in Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, into the country for the project. Baru said the benefits of the project would include reduction of fuel imports, greenhouse emission to combat global warming, and boost in the production of animal feeds from byproducts of the plant. He also allayed fears of any possible negative impact of the plant on the supply of cassava-based foods for human consumption, stressing that the cassava that would be used for the biofuel project was a special breed that would not be in competition for human consumption or interfere with the activities of farmers cultivating other breeds of cassava or indeed other crops. “We have already discussed with you and you have agreed to make 15,000 hectares of land available towards the cultivation of this cassava. “It will, of course, in the process invite people who are used to farming cassava as well as new entrepreneurs who want to go into that business to participate in the cultivation of the cassava that we are going to use for the production of the fuel ethanol.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Candidates lament delay in UAS job placement By Williams ABAH
he ongoing recruitment in the United African States, UAS, an umbrella body for all African countries located in Abuja, has generated a lot of mixed reactions from candidates who applied for positions in the organization. It was gathered that UAS has been recruiting job seekers into the organization since mid2016, promising them that they will be contacted for induction training to be followed by issuance of placement letter. Investigation revealed that the large number of candidates who had undergone the induction training and have also obtained placement letter which is the pre-requisite for job placement, but none of them has been deployed to work in the organization. Most of the candidates described the situation as a scam, noting that the entire exercise fell below expectation as UAS management does not follow the guidelines stipulated in the recruitment form. Reacting to this development, one of the staff with UAS, who does not want her name in print, said that all necessary logistics are ongoing to ensure that all successful candidates will be gainfully engaged in the organization. When asked whether the Nigeria government is aware of the recruitment into the UAS, she said “government is aware of this recruitment, the United Nations Organization is also aware. I can authoritatively tell you that the relevant bodies are signatories to the existence and all the activities of the United African States, UAS, in Nigeria”. A cross section of the candidates interviewed expressed worry over the stress they went through while documenting their application forms and credentials. Mr. Chukwudi Okonta, one of the candidates said, “I have been coming to this office
since February this year after I applied online. I was told to paid N1,000, to enable me obtain identity card and placement letter. As I speak, I have paid the money, and up till now my I.D card was not issued to me”. Another candidate, Miss. Caroline Onuh,
said “they asked us to paid N 1,000 for identity card and placement letter, some of the candidates have paid the money, and had obtained the placement letter, with full completion of the induction training, yet no body has been deployed into the organization to work”.
Further investigation revealed that the influx of people into UAS on daily basis was massive, and they were all made to pay N1000 each before they can document for the recruitment exercise. It was also gathered that the money paid by the prospective candidates were not paid
into any designated bank, as the officers of the UAS were seen collecting money directly from the candidates and issued them the receipt for the payment. Efforts to reach the Chief Executive Officer of the UAS in Nigeria proved abortive.
L-R: Country Channel Marketing Manager, Glaxo Smithkline Nigeria, Mrs Ibukun Tola-Ogunyemi, Communication and Government Affairs Director, GSK Nigeria, Ehighebolo Omongiade, Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Elijah Mohammed, and Future Leaders Programme Graduate, GSK, Olanrewaju Lebiju during the signing of MoU between GSK and PCN on Youth Pharmacists Programme in Abuja, recently. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.
Court threatens to revoke Tsav’s bail condition By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi
magistrate court presided over by Isaac Ajim has threatened to revoke the condition of bail given to the Federal Commissioner, Federal Complaint Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav on self-recognizance. A visibly angry Magistrate Ajim, handed down the warning last week during the hearing of the suit between the Benue state government versus Alhaji Abubakar Tsav which hinges on corruption, regretted the way and manner the latter is trying to frustrate the case. Ajim was not happy with the non-
appearance of Alhaji Tsav and his substantive counsel when the case came up in court. Tsav had in a letter by his counsel, Anthony Agada, and read in court by Kenneth Ula who stood in for him, claimed that he could not appear in court because of an appointment with his doctor. But the presiding magistrate frowned at the content of the letter, noting that it ought to have been supported by a letter from his doctor, insisting that it is an attempt by the accused to frustrate justice. “We have spent so much time on just preliminary objections without hearing the real
merit of the case. I gave him bail on selfrecognition but he should be ready if I rescind on that decision. His counsel is misleading him. There are two (2) options given to him to either to allow the case go on or apologize”, he said. Counsel to the state government, Andrew Wombo, expressed displeasure at counsel to the accused for his refusal to serve the letter on him. “Counsel to the accused should have served us with a copy of the letter before the sitting. Somebody is trying to be crafty and I find this difficult. This is very unfortunate. It appears the accused is trying to play on the
intelligence of the court. The accused only comes to court to seek adjournment and thereafter, go back to cause more trouble. “He forged document and is summoned by the Inspector General of Police. There is a motion of jurisdiction and we are running out of patience. This attitude is against the Federal Government’s committee set up for speedy dispensation of corruption matters”, Wombo said. The presiding Magistrate therefore, adjourned the matter to November 15, 2017 warning sternly that the accused should stop playing with the law and do the needful.
NiMet to establish meteorological infrastructure in 34 varsities By Ere-ebi AGEDAH
he Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, is set to establish meteorological infrastructure in 34 universities across the country in furtherance of its target to increase the network of meteorological stations and boost its data collection across the country. This was disclosed by the Director-General/ CEO of NiMet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed. Prof. Mashi said that NiMet has embarked on an aggressive programme to massively expand the network of meteorological stations in the country to about 1000 by December 2017. He disclosed that one of the strategies NiMet will employ to achieve this is to partner with Nigerian universities. “Part of the things we said we would do is to see how we can extend our services to the Nigerian universities”, he explained. Speaking further, Prof. Mashi revealed that NiMet carried out an independent assessment of the universities and looked at the existing meteorological stations the universities maintained. He noted that one of the things that is missing is the linkage between the universities and the agency, stressing that NiMet has the expertise and knows what should be in place, while the universities have the capacity to teach, but may not have the technical competence to know the best equipment for the best results. “We feel that what we need to do, we need to come up with a way to help the universities get their infrastructure upgraded”, he said. In his response, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, assured him that the commission will fully support this initiative.
November 6 - 12, 2017
NEWS Nwaoboshi splashes N39m on 784 constituents
Nigeria can only be healed through transformative preaching -LPI
By Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba
By Ere-ebi AGEDAH
he Langham P r e a c h i n g Initiative, LPI, has stated that social ills witnessed in Nigeria can only be healed through transformative and incarnational preaching. While intimating journalists on the 10th anniversary of the organization, chairman of the board, Rev Pandang Yansat, revealed that Langham as a body was convinced that all Nigeria needed as a country was biblical preaching which would most definitely transform the heart of men. According to Rev Yansat, there was high rate of proliferation of the gospel which focused more on enrichment and as such leaving out the biblical goals of the word of God. He regretted the bad image of some spiritual leaders portrayed through political altar messages, stating that the LPI has over the last 10 years taken time to train and equip pastors who will rightly handle the word of God through preaching the gospel. He said this year ’s anniversary theme is; “Transforming Lives, Transforming Nations, the Heart of Biblical Preaching in Nigeria”. Also speaking, the chairman anniversary committee, Rev Jwan Zhumbes, stressed that history reveals that revivals around the world were rooted on sound biblical preaching. “Preaching that is rooted on God’s word ends up addressing not only the corruption that is in the heart but also the corruption that we see in society. God hates to see corruption survive as a part of the living fabric of our society. The goal of biblical preaching is to transform lives and thereby see such lives transforming society with Gods kingdom values”, Zhumbes said.
L-R: Chairmanship aspirant, Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, Rep member, Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency, Mr. Oghene Egoh, Director Organization and Mobilization, PDP, Chief Fatona Adewale and Mr. Ibrahim Aliyu when Bode George picked the party’s chairmanship nomination form in Abuja... Friday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.
SEMA distributes relief to flood victims in Benue By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi
he Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, has commenced the distribution of relief materials worth millions of naira to victims of flood disaster in the 23 local government areas. Making the presentation to the local government chairmen at the Industrial Layout, last w e e k ,
E x e c u t i ve S e c r e t a r y, SEMA, Mr Emmanuel Shior, said the relief materials were meant to assist the victims resettle quickly and to ameliorate their sufferings. Mr. Shior cautioned the chairmen against any diversion of the materials, saying that the items should get to the genuine victims who have already been identified for the intervention. The items include bags of rice, blankets,
wrappers, among other household items. He further explained that the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, would flag off the distribution of building materials to victims as soon as the collation of relevant information needed is completed. Speaking on behalf of the chairmen, ALGON and Guma local government chairman, Mr. Anthony Shawon, commended the federal
and state government and all Nigerians for their intervention in reducing the hardships faced by the victims through the distribution of assorted items and assured that only victims would benefit from it. Shawon also called on the federal government to make dredging of the River Benue a priority and construct standard drainage channels to reduce recurrence of flooding in the state.
Change will Continue To Fail Due To Knowledge Deficit-Igbuzor By Ere-ebi AGEDAH
he Executive Director, Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development Center, LSD, Dr. Otivie Igbuzor, has stated that the deficit of knowledge is the reason why change programs all around the world continue to fail. Igbuzor, while speaking with journalists during the launch of his book: “Leadership, Development and Change”, stressed the need for change to be more systematic in terms of planning, organising and managing it effectively. He maintained that
for any society to develop, there is need to put in place a change process that must be conceptualized correctly and managed effectively to desecrate the resistance that confronts it, adding that, “All over the world, 70 per cent of all change program fail because even people who need change don’t know what to do”. While stressing that leadership remains paramount to the development of any organization or country, he said, “the quality of leadership of a country will determine to a large extent the pace of development. That is the connection, the three issues that make up this
book and I am very sure that everyone will benefit from it immensely”. On the success of the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration, Igbuzor insisted that though challenges abound, the current administration is better than what the country has had in past years and also advocated for the inclusion of women in governance, saying that for society to develop women must be given a lot of premium. In his remark, the Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, while lauding the author for his numerous works on leadership, expressed his belief that those in
government should engage honestly with those that they lead. “ O t i v i e ’ s organization is also actively involved in works around mining, particularly as it affects communities and local small scale operators. So for me it is a pleasure and a delight to bear testimony to a leader who believe passionately in accountability, transparency and in sharing his own ideas on leadership”, he said. Earlier, the Chair Lady of the event, Timiebi Koripamo-Agari, held that if the nation cannot get its leadership right then it cannot get anything right.
enator Peter N wa o b o s h i p r e s e n t e d empowerment materials to 784 of his constituents aimed at boosting microcredit business and cutting down the effect of recession in Delta North Senatorial District. The 784 beneficiaries, who each received N50, 000 totaling N39.2 million, were selected from the nine Local Government Areas That Make Up The District. The Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North, Hon. Moses Iduh, made the disclosure in chat with journalists after presenting the empowerment package to 168 beneficiaries from Aniocha south and north local government areas, to round up the 2017 tranche of the programme. While Aniocha South received N4.4 million for 88 beneficiaries, Aniocha North got N4 million for 80 beneficiaries. Iduh, who led the committee chaired by Chief Lawrence Osiegbu during the presentation, said the programme was in fulfillment of Senator Nwaoboshi’s campaign promises. He disclosed that eight beneficiaries were randomly selected per ward from the 98 wards to make up 784 beneficiaries, adding that the empowerment was spread across the nine local governments of Delta North Senatorial District. Also speaking, Commissioner for Water Resources, Chief Fidelis Tilije, while commending the Senator, stated that Nwaoboshi had ensured, through various empowerment packages that he delivered on his mandate. Tilije advised beneficiaries against giving their money to party executive or for frivolous indulgences but rather put it to judicious use. Some of the beneficiaries who spoke commended the efforts of Senator Nwaoboshi and promised to continue to support the PDP.
November 6 - 12, 2017
November 6 - 12, 2017
RIDDLES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
The Ant and the Dove
a nearby tree had not seen her. Seeing that the ant was in trouble, the dove quickly plucked a leaf and dropped it into the water near the struggling ant. The ant moved towards the leaf and climbed up onto it. Soon, the leaf drifted to dry ground, and the ant jumped out. She was safe at last.
1. A clock 2. My name 3. Bottle 4. Nose 5. Moon 6. Secret 7. By putting it before the mirror
ne hot day, an ant was searching for some water. After walking around for some time, she came to a spring. To reach the spring, she had to climb up a blade of grass. While making her way up, she slipped and fell into the water. She could have drowned if a dove up
I am an object, I have a face and two hands but no arms or legs, who am I? Something belongs to me but people use it more than I do, what is it? What can run but cannot walk? I have been around for many years, but do not last more than a month, who am I? I am an object, I have a neck but no head, who am I? There’s something I have that I can’t share it, if I share it, I can’t have it, what is it? How can I easily double my money?
Just at that time, a hunter nearby was about to throw his net over the dove, hoping to trap it. Guessing what he was about to do, the ant quickly bit him on the heel. Feeling the pain, the hunter dropped his net. The dove was quick to fly away to safety. One good turn begets another.
KIDS AND HEALTH
Live a Healthy Life D octors say kids your age should be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. Here are some tips to keep in mind during physical activity:
1. Physical activity is fun! Being physically active doesn’t have to be a hard or scary thing. Did you know that riding bikes with your friends, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, and running around the park with your friends are all types of
aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing;
so, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off it and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals. Appearances are deceptive.
2. How many halves make one whole? 3. What shape is a math set? 4. What shape is a bicycle tyre? 5. What is the shape of a refined piece of sugar?
Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown
1. How many quarters make a whole?
1. four 2. Two 3. Rectangular 4. Cycle 5. Cube
A wolf in sheep clothing
physical activity? Any game where you are up and moving are great ways to stay physically active and make your heart, bones, and muscles strong. Keep it exciting: Ask your friends what their favourite types of physical activity are and make a list of all of them. Make a deal with your friends to try a new activity off the list each week. Who knows, you may learn a new game! Culled from www.heart.org.
Did You Know? l Did you know there are 31,557,600 seconds in a year? l Did you know smiling releases endorphins in the body, which makes people feel better? l Did you know an average person spends 24 years of his life sleeping? l Did you know 82% of people across the world believe in an afterlife? l Did you know you burn more calories sleeping than watching television?
November 6 - 12, 2017
Ras Kimono returns with new single
egendary reggae star, Ras Kimono, has dropped a new single after many years of hiatus from the music scene. The new single titled; “Blessed Africa”, already has been released digitally by his former record label, Premier Records Limited. The song is a reflection of what Nigeria and Africa at large have been going through despite the rich mineral, human and natural resources in the land. In a chat, Kimono said: “We are in a situation where Africans are poor even though we have plenty in terms of good soil, crude oil that has become a curse to the nation. We also have intellectuals that would prefer to take their intellects elsewhere other than Nigeria. We have musical talents that are being
exploited and left in penury, our pensioners cannot eat the fruit of their labour, our schools are in horrible conditions; we have halfbaked graduates who cannot complete a statement. What is really wrong with a continent that is really blessed by God?” Explaining why he still maintains his rub-a-dub style of music in an age where every artiste seems to be playing commercial music, the veteran musician said “Reggae music remains a genre of music that brings people back to reality and self-consciousness. ‘It’s also a conscious music through which message of hope is always passed across to the hopeless,” he added. The new single is currently enjoying airplay on radio stations across the nation.
Desmond Elliot Leads Annual Kwavithon 5K Race
Kwavi Agbeyegbe, Creator of the Kwavithon 5K Race
he much anticipated second Annual Kwavithon 5K charity race kicks off next Saturday in Lekki, Lagos state. It is tagged Miracles For Mirabel and will be led by Mr. Desmond Elliot, a ranking Nollywood actor and member of the Lagos state House of Assembly. This Annual Kwavithon 5K race debuted last year in Lagos and is the brainchild of a US based Nigerian, Mrs. Kwavi Agbeyegbe, an International Weight Loss and Lifestyle coach. According to Mrs. Agbeyegbe, this year’s exercise is to help raise funds for the Mirabel Center, that helps rehabilitate
women and young girls who have suffered any form of sexual abuse. “We want to assist them to provide a holistic and high quality medical and psychological services to survivors of sexual assault and rape” she says. Mrs. Agbeyegbe adds that this year’s race will also help create awareness about the “frequency of rape in our community and open up a conversation on what could be done to reduce rape and sexual assault in our society”. It’s a one-day event and potential participants can register at www.kwavithon.com.
Beware! Keyamo warns bloggers, journalists over Churchill, Tonto Dikeh’s video
he Festus Keyamo Chamber has raised the alarm over the release of edited video on Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh by her ex-husband, Olakunle Churchill, warning bloggers and journalists to steer clear of the said video or risk being dragged to court. The controversial actress whose marriage ended over several allegations of domestic violence and cheating has been seen in an online viral video released by her exhusband where she was fighting him. The video is said to be
portraying the actress as being involved in domestic violence against her ex-husband But reacting to the video in a statement issued by Okechukwu Ujuazorji, the Festus Keyamo Chamber warned bloggers and journalists not to use any edited video on Tonto Dikeh or face legal action. The statement said, “It has come to our knowledge that her exhusband, Mr. Olakunle Churchill, has perfected plans to release a short and edited video depicting and portraying our client as being involved in some domestic violence
against him. “Our client wants all bloggers and/or journalists to request for the full version of the video showing the said domestic scene which started with a physical abuse of our client by her ex-husband, which earned her a swollen face. “Her ex-husband only intends to release our client’s reaction to the assault on her and not the assault itself. We shall be prepared to take legal action against any blogger/ journalist that uses the edited version without insisting on or showing the full version.”
November 6 - 12, 2017
“Monkey pox: FG fighting disease without creating awareness” The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, confirmed 12 suspected cases of Monkey pox in Bayelsa State earlier in October, 39 years after the disease was last seen in the country. Subsequently, over 90 suspected cases have been reported across several states of the federation, triggering another national health emergency. To contain the disease, victims have been quarantined and treated, but the awareness campaign for the prevention of further spread of the virus has been faulted by some Nigerians who spoke to Ere-Ebi AGEDAH and Williams ABAH. Excerpts: Mr Akuye Jekoniya: I am aware that there is an outbreak of monkey pox in the country and I must say categorically that government is not doing enough. In my opinion, the federal government probably assumes that it’s just like the case of Ebola, bird flu and Lassa fever, but I must say that every situation must be treated on its own merit. No disease is common. What we’re faced with is a different epidemic situation which is not good for the security of the people of this country because the monkey pox situation may escalate if not properly managed. So the federal government has to resolve this issue immediately. Mr Sunday Akpa: I am a resident of Abuja and I have seen on the social media that monkey pox first broke out in Bayelsa state and it has spread to some other states. We hear it has not been discovered in Abuja and we pray it doesn’t get here. I understood the government is making effort to control the situation by quarantining the affected persons; which is the necessary thing to do so that the disease does not spread. I am confident that this would be handled because even the more serious ones like Ebola came into Nigeria and the government was able to curtain it and I am sure that this is a minor situation compared to Ebola. Government should bring out the experts in health sector to fight this immediately because we have a very large population in Nigeria. Some places are overcrowded, if it spreads further it will become too much for government to handle. KEN UJA: Government’s action to contain the outbreak of monkey pox is commendable. However,
to the people.
more needs to be done in the area of collaborating with private healthcare providers. Most of these tropical diseases can be controlled easily, if the government partners with healthcare providers within the communities. Primary healthcare centres and the community of pharmacies are the first points of contact when there is such an outbreak. Their medical services are just like first aid to the victim. Therefore, effort
needs to be intensified by the government to build synergy with health personnel in the area and equip primary healthcare centres to carry out their own responsibility. The community of pharmacies operating within the community is ready at any time to render health services to patients. Collaborative efforts can go a long way to end any outbreak of disease as the community of pharmacies, create awareness, and provide health tips
JOE AARON: I think the government needs to develop a culture of pro-activeness to sensitive issues that directly affect our lives. I cannot say that government’s response to the recent outbreak of monkey pox was poor. But the rate of public awareness was poor, especially in the rural areas where people are ignorant of many health problems. Look at the tension that was built up when it was announced that there was an outbreak of monkey pox virus. If proper awareness was carried out the tension wouldn’t have been so high. Rumours that monkey pox is a deadly disease caused serious stigma to the victims. However, I commend government’s effort in sending health personnel to conduct sample tests. From what I read in papers last week, the result of the samples was not bad. But government needs to step up action to create more awareness not only on monkey pox, but all kinds of communicable diseases. This can go a long way to reduce tension and stigmatization when such an outbreak of diseases occurs. SHOLA LAWAL: the response of government was indeed commendable. For the past one week now, there were no cases of monkey pox virus spreading to other states apart from the one earlier announced. This shows that government has made effort to restrict it from spreading to other parts of the country. I think there is need for us to have a reference laboratory like that of WHO in Dakar Senegal so that we can conduct any sample test when there is an outbreak of diseases. It will save lives and make us proactive in case of any emergency.
November 6 - 12, 2017
EDUCATION Negotiate with ASUU, others, Kogi unions warn Bello
CFTD trains over 300 French teachers in 61 COEs T
By Godfrey AKON
Stories by Godfrey AKON
s the third Nigerian French L a n g u a g e Project winds down, the Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, has said over 300 French teachers have been trained by the Centre for French Teaching and Documentation, CFTD, in 61 Colleges of Education. Anwukah, who described French language as one of the key international languages, said since Nigeria adopted French as its second official language, in collaboration with the French Government, the country has implemented two French Projects. The Minister spoke in Abuja during a visit by a French Expert on Evaluation, Mrs. E. Berard, as part of the ceremony for the closure of the third Funding Agreement between France and Nigeria earlier signed in 2015. Under the project, 20 teachers of French in COEs who were
outstanding at the CFTDs were sent to France for further training from 17th July to 11th August 2017, while fifteen lecturers were trained on the methodology of teaching French for business at the French Institute in Abuja for two weeks and one week in France.
Anwuka said the Nigerian school curriculum encourages the study and mastery of other languages to afford its graduates greater mobility in the international labour market, adding that the study of French was important to Nigeria in particular because most
of the country’s neighbours are Frenchspeaking. Also speaking, the visiting French Evaluation expert, Berard, said the third French project which commenced in 2014, gulped •500,000 Euros. According to her, 38 trainings were organized
for 300 lecturers from 61 colleges of education between 2015 and 2017. She noted that all the states in the South West, South-South and South East participated in the training with the exception of Ebonyi state which has no French programme in its college of education.
L-R: Head of Sport/Health Universal Basic Education, FCT, Dr. Oba Funsho, Marketing & Public Affairs Manager, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Gloria Nwabuike, Chairperson, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, FCT, Dr. Anyawu Chidi and member, NSN, Mrs. Yuonne Yinfaowei, during the Nestle Healthy Kids-Teachers workshop in Abuja...Thursday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.
Maina Gate: NANS urges Buhari to purge his administration T he National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has urged President Mohammadu Buhari to purge his administration of bad eggs whose corrupt activities continue to make a mockery of his avowed commitment to restore the dignity of Nigeria. National President of NANS, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, asked Buhari to swiftly suspend all heads of the commission, extraministerial departments and ministries involved in the saga. The statement issued a 7-day ultimatum to the government to act on this request with the highest
sense of sincerity or risk “a nationwide mass action against the perpetrators of this demeaning impunity against the people.” Obasi described as worrisome and embarrassing, the startling revelations emanating from government circles particularly in respect to breaches of service rules, insubordination, allegations and counter allegations on acts bordering on corruption and malfeasances in the last two months. “Just recently, a mind boggling revelation was made of how Mr. Abdul RASHEED Maina was smuggled back to the civil service after almost 5 years of absconding from service.
“The elevation of Mr Maina from Deputy Director to a Director at the Interior Ministry with evidences of official exchange of correspondence amongst many proxies of the government is nothing but an attempt to ridicule the public image and psyche of Nigerians and the civil service system. “As advocates of sane and corrupt-free Nigeria, we make bold to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to swiftly with unrestrained alacrity suspend all heads of commission, extra ministerial departments and ministries involved in this sour saga. “The Head of the Service of the Federation as well as the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service
Commission deserves nothing but immediate suspension from office and probe for allowing themselves to be caught in this cobweb of professional misconduct. “The National Association of Nigerian Students strongly believing the AntiCorruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari, wishes to urge the President to purge his administration of bad eggs whose daily alliance and romance with corrupt activities continues to make mockery of the avowed commitment of Mr. President at restoring the dignity of service and nationhood. “We recall that Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina had been a long time suspect
over allegations of corruption in the administration of the Pension funds while he presides over the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms. “A whooping sum of N100billion was allegedly siphoned while all avenue to seek redress has been surreptitiously frustrated by same corrupt cabals who have continued to shield Maina from possible arrest and prosecution,” the statement read. The students also demanded for Maina’s summon by the Police and EFCC to answer to the allegations levelled against him and shed light on how, and why he returned to the civil service he absconded from over 4years ago.
he Joint Action Committee, JAC, of trade unions of tertiary institutions owned by Kogi state has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to negotiate with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Kogi State University, Anyigba chapter, and other aggrieved parties affected by current industrial impasse. In a communique issued at the end of its special meeting on 31st October, 2017, the JAC warned that failure to negotiate with ASUU, the organized labour, JAC Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja and JAC Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja, and meet other demands spelt out in the communique, would compel other member unions of JAC to embark on industrial strike. The unions observed that “Kogi State Government has reneged from its commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Governing Councils of Tertiary Institutions owned by Kogi State, Kogi State Government and Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions of Tertiary Institutions owned by Kogi State on 21st June, 2017.” While stating that the purported proscription of all trade unions of tertiary institutions owned by Kogi State was a media gossip as no union has received any letter of proscription, the unions however noted that payments of salaries to their members has become a privilege, and no longer a right. In the words of the unions “Staff of Kogi State Polytechnics, Lokoja embarked on an industrial strike at the expirations of 21 day and 7 day ultimatums issued to Kogi State Government. To frustrate the strike, the School Management is intimidating workers to resume work. “Money deducted for cooperatives societies and check-off dues of trade unions are no longer remitted to the appropriate quarters.
November 6 - 12, 2017
NEWS NAAT frowns at poor rating of Nigerian varsities
Baha’I Bicentenary: Nigerians urged to imbibe virtues of selfless service
By Chuks NZEH
igerians have again been urged to live as one family and carter for the needs of others around so as to receive the blessings of God. Former FCT commissioner of police, Lawrence Alobi, made the call in Abuja at the Bicentenary anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith. He also urged Nigerian leaders to imbibe the virtues of humility and selfless service to humanity as exemplified by past messengers and prophets of God. Alobi, who is also the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in Nigeria, described people from all races and religions as fingers from the same hand and fruits from one tree, saying they must be united for a peaceful and prosperous world. While extolling the virtues of Baha’ u’llah in promoting equality among mankind, oneness of all religions and the universal principle of one God, the ex-police boss further urged leaders to abhor competition but to work together toward the betterment of the world. Speaking further, Alobi said: “The Prophesies of Baha’u’llah are already manifesting in the quest for mankind to seek a common front for peace and unity. Baha’u’llah stood for sustainable peace and harmonious progression of mankind. God sent prophets to guide mankind to success and save them from errors and Baha’u’llah born in November 1817 in the present day Iran is an evidence”. Also speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Bicentenary, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, urged Nigerians to see the merits on the lives and teaching of Baha’u’llah on religious tolerance, saying it is the only way the country can experience its
By Williams ABAH
he National Association of A c a d e m i c Technologists, NAAT, has frowned at the poor ranking of Nigerian universities, with none within the first 500 in the world, urging government to do more. The union described the situation as unfortunate, saying this is not unconnected with the low budgetary allocation to the education sector, which has consistently fallen below the UNESCO benchmark of 26%. In a communiqué signed by its General Secretary, Comrade Hamilton Iyoyo, the union said across the world, countries are budgeting hugely to improve their technological sector, stressing that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. The unions NEC also urged government to honour and implement agreements with reached unions, to forestall unquantifiable losses in man-hours, negative impact on the economy, and other losses occasioned by incessant strike actions. It posited that, “NAAT is concerned about the state of Nigerian roads and rail network. The Union urges Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, commence work on the dilapidated rail system in order to take pressure off the roads. At the same time, government should take more pragmatic steps to fix the roads and the adjoining drainages. “NAAT expresses dismay over the spate of criminality across the country in various forms, such as kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery and insurgency. The Union therefore urges government at all levels to intensify efforts geared towards creating a safe society for the citizenry”, the communique read.
L-R: Humanitarian Liaison Assistant, Office of Vice President, Mr. Olabisi Ogungbemi, Senior Technical Adviser on Disaster Risk Management, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Officer, Safety Awareness, Kogi State Government, Mr. Yahaya Muhammed and Special Adviser Protocol, OVP, Mr. Steve Oyatayo, during the flood risk mapping overview on emergency preparedness in Kogi State...Saturday. Photo: Cityvoix.
Students protest Open Varsity’ ‘No 3.0 GP, No Graduation’ policy By Godfrey AKON
tudents of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, have protested against the policy of no grade point average of ‘3’ or no graduation. The students in a statement in Abuja on Saturday signed by Tony Christian, Executive Director of SubNews Empowerement Foundation, claimed that the fate of over five thousand Post Graduate Diploma students hang in the balance as they were denied their certificates upon graduation. He appealed to the Minister for Education and the Executive Secretary, National University Commission NUC, to direct the management of NOUN to suspend the obnoxious ‘no 3.0 GP, no graduation policy’. Christian also urged the officials to demand that the NOUN “explains why it chose to conceal the policy from students at the point of admission, only to impose it on them at the point of graduation. “While it is a common knowledge that the policy is nothing but a deliberate scheme by NOUN to up its IGR- it was however not surprising that all
students affected by the policy were deliberately made to fail some courses in a bid by the institution to generate funds from payments arising from reregistration of carriedover courses.” He queried why “after writing these carried-over courses, with no outstanding course and scored at least 2.5 GP, it is baffling that NOUN have refused to graduate these students on the ground that they did not meet it’s 3.0 GP benchmark.
“In the history of Nigeria’s education system, it is unheard of that the certificate of a post graduate student was being withheld on account of the status of his or her GP. The standard rule is either a student passed or failed. Whichever way it goes; it is within the right of the student to be issued either certificate of graduation or attendance. No law or policy of any university is empowered to do otherwise. “It is therefore alien
that a post graduate student who has no outstanding course and scored at least 2.5 GP, which is by universal grading (second class lower), is denied certificate of graduation because he or she did not score up to 3.0 GP-which is still within the range of second class lower.” He warned that if the situation is not redressed, affected students would be mobilized to demand for the sack of the Vice Chancellor and Senate of NOUN.
Residents decry activities of touts at Dutse Alhaji market By Ere-ebi AGEDAH
esidents of Dutse Alhaji in Bwari area council have appealed to the chairman to tackle the menace of touts in the area who are alleged to be revenue collectors for the council. The market which is a beehive of activities and services Bwari, Gwarinpa, Kubwa and other adjoining areas could be abandoned if the matter is not urgently addressed, some residents warn. A woman, who was a victim of harassment and extortion by the agents weekend, narrated how
her car was clamped and her tyres deflated when she made a quick stop at the market to pick up a few items by the roadside. According to her, it was not a market day, neither was it a rush hour, but the so-called council agents besieged her alleging she parked at a no-parking area when there was no sign indicating that. “What the touts in name of council officials are doing is criminal. I think the proper thing is to have notices indicating no-parking rather than hide by the corner and clamp people’s car tyres
as well as rough handle them. “The Bwari area council better tackles the growing menace before something untoward happens. I am traumatized as these men harassed me, deflated my tyres and insisted I paid N2, 000 before I was let go”, the victim said. Our correspondent learnt that not too long ago, there was nearbreakdown of law and order as commercial cyclists tired of the antics mobilized against the touts but for the quick intervention of the police.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Catalonia crisis: Spain issues warrant for Puigdemont
Spanish judge has issued European Arrest Warrants (EAW) for sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his allies who went to Belgium. The five failed to attend a high court hearing in Madrid on Thursday when nine other ex-members of the regional government were taken into custody. One of those detained has been freed on bail of •50,000 (£44,000; $58,000). They all face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for pursuing Catalan independence. Mr Puigdemont has said he will not return to Spain unless he receives guarantees of a fair trial. Belgium will “study” the warrant, a spokesman for the state prosecutor told AFP news agency. The regional parliament in Catalonia voted to proclaim an independent republic a week ago, following an illegal referendum on independence organised by the Catalan government on 1 October No other country recognised the move and the Spanish central government moved swiftly to impose control, using emergency powers under the constitution. Mr Puigdemont was the president of the autonomous region of Catalonia until the proclamation of independence and continues to regard himself as the president of the newly proclaimed “Republic of Catalonia”. Mr Puigdemont and his colleagues travelled to Belgium to raise their case for statehood at the EU institutions and he insists he is not trying to evade “real justice”. He said in a Belgian TV interview aired earlier on Friday that he would co-operate with Belgian judicial authorities. He also said that he was ready to run in snap regional elections in Catalonia next month.
Sometimes, you just need a little help. This little boy prays ahead of his primary school exams, taking place at Kiboro Primary school in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, last Tuesday. Photo: BBC.
Lebanese PM Hariri resigns, fears assassination plot L
ebanese Prime Minister Saad alHariri has resigned, saying in a televised broadcast he feared for his life, while also fiercely criticising Iran. Mr Hariri’s father, former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, was assassinated in 2005. Mr Hariri accused Iran of sowing “fear and destruction” in several countries,
including Lebanon. He was named prime minister in November last year, after previously holding the position between 2009 and 2011. “We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik al-Hariri,” he said in the broadcast from the Saudi capital Riyadh.
“I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life.” Mr Hariri also attacked the Iranbacked Shia movement Hezbollah, which wields considerable power in Lebanon. He has made several visits in the past few days to Saudi Arabia, whose leadership is strongly opposed to Iran. Taking up the prime
minister’s office last year, Mr Hariri promised a “new era for Lebanon” after two years of political deadlock. Mr Hariri’s resignation has come as a big surprise, plunging Lebanon’s often turbulent political scene into new uncertainty. He has had a complicated political career, moving to and fro between Lebanon
and Saudi Arabia - his family’s key backer. His resignation follows recent visits to the Saudis, raising speculation that their influence is likely to be at play. Certainly, his ferocious denunciation of Iran and Hezbollah, which his own militia once battled unsuccessfully on the streets of Beirut, is in line with Saudi policy.
Zimbabwe police charge American over ‘anti-Mugabe tweet’
olice in Zimbabwe charged an American woman over a tweet that appeared to insult President Robert Mugabe, her lawyer has said. Martha O’Donovan, 25, is accused of referring to Mr Mugabe as “selfish man and sick man”, a charge she denies. She faces charges of insulting the president and plotting to overthrow the government, her lawyer told US media. Her arrest appears to be the first of its kind since the country’s cyber ministry was created last month. The charge of plotting to overthrow the government carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Ms O’Donovan, who reportedly manages Magamba TV, an
online-based satirical video outlet, was “arrested during a dawn raid at her Harare residence,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in a Facebook post. Police accuse her of tweeting: “We are being led by a selfish and sick man,” from the Twitter handle @matigary, said
Obey Shava, a lawyer with ZLHR who is representing her. The tweet in question, dated 11 October, includes an illustration of a man using a catheter, as well as a photo of Mr Mugabe with a circle drawn around his midsection. The US embassy in Zimbabwe did not
immediately return a request for comment. In a statement to police seen by the Reuters and Associated Press news agencies, Ms O’Donovan is said to have denied “the allegations being levelled against me as baseless and malicious”. ZLHR said that Ms O’Donovan’s arrest
marks the “first Twitterrelated arrest” after the Zimbabwean government created a Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation last month. Critics say the new ministry is a government effort to crack down on social media users.
Secret file release shows FBI questioned Martin Luther King Nobel Peace Prize
resident Donald Trump’s administration released a new batch of documents about John F. Kennedy’s assassination Friday that included a secret FBI analysis that portrayed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in a harshly negative light. The 20-page
document attempts to tie the civil rights leader to various communist influences and alleges financial improprieties at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization that he led. The document also contains insinuations and assertions about King’s personal life, including
extramarital affairs and other sexual improprieties that would have been deeply embarrassing to King at the time. It’s not clear whether the authors of the document verified any of the information. It covers a time in King’s life when he was pushing for monumental, and now
much-celebrated, change in America. The document makes clear the FBI’s focus on digging up dirt about a man who had become an icon. It has been hidden for nearly 50 years in intelligence agencies’ files about Kennedy’s assassination, even though it makes no mention of Kennedy.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Osibanjo task Africa, others, on global trade opportunities Stories by Sarah NEGEDU
ice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked developing countries, especially those in Africa, to take advantage of the $50 trillion export opportunity available in global trade by fully implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation. Osinbajo gave the advice in Abuja at the opening session of a twoday high level policy and private sector forum on trade and investment facilitation for development. The vice-president said that for Africa to maximise the benefits of its huge potential, there was a need to take the issue of trade and investment very importantly as it was vital for economic development. He told participating developing countries that the era of depending on resources alone was gone, as the tide is now shifting to trade and investment facilitation to grow economies. He described Africa as a land of immense opportunities, noting that Foreign Direct Investment inflow into the region was expected to hit $75.5billion by the end of this year. He said the expected investment inflows of $75.5billion into the region would be far higher than the $56.5billion recorded in 2016. In his words, “We are in a time of critical challenges and in a time of huge opportunities, our population will equal the population of India and China together by 2050. “Some say so earlier, by the same year we will have the youngest population in the world, climate change has great impact on Africa than elsewhere and security challenges stubbornly
L-R, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright and Coordinator, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Development, Mr. David Ugolor during a pre-consultative meeting on Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Abuja...Friday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.
remain in many of our states.” He added, “Yet consumers’ spending is projected to reach $1.4tn in the next few years and business to business spending to reach $3.5tn in the next eight years. “African economies are doing better than ever before despite the difficult global economic environment; Gross Domestic Product growth
rate, with average 2.2 per cent in 2015, is estimated to rise to 3.4 percent this year and to 4.3 per cent in 2018, all above the global average.” In his remark at the event, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said developing countries, including Nigeria, needed about $2.5trillion yearly
investment to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. He stated that the country’s improvement in the World Bank ease of doing business ranking was a demonstration of the effectiveness of the government’s recent policies. The Director General of the WTO, Roberto Azevedo, advised developing countries to
forge closer ties through trade collaborations and investment facilitations, including implementing fully the TFA. He said trade and investment had proven to be the best economic tool to stimulate development. The two-day event was hosted by Nigeria in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission and World Trade Organisation, among others.
AfDB denies calling off loan to Nigeria, considers $400m loan request
he African Development Bank, AfDB, has denied media reports alleging that the bank has called off a proposed $600m loan to Nigeria rather, it could consider Nigeria for an additional $400m loan if such a request was approved by its Board. The Director, Communication and External Relations of the bank, Dr. Victor Oladokun, said an additional $400m in support could be considered, if requested and approved by the board, “as part of a larger coordinated effort with other development partners, including the
World Bank and the International Monetary Fund,” The statement came on the heels of a report by Reuters on Monday in which a vice president of the AfDB was quoted as saying that the bank had called off a proposed $400m loan to Nigeria. The report had stated that the proposed $400m to be used to fund the budget, would now be used to fund directly specific infrastructural projects in Nigeria. The statement reads, “The African Development Bank wishes to categorically refute the statement that it has called
off loans to Nigeria as reported in Reuters and credited to the AfDB VicePresident for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott. “The African Development Bank is highly encouraged by the economic recovery of Nigeria from recession and salutes the government’s efforts towards diversification of the economy. “The bank also strongly supports the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan of the government and efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency.”
The statement added that the AfDB was in consultation with the Federal Government on how best to continue its support for “its laudable Economic Growth and Recovery Plan through investment projects that will help address existing structural challenges, including infrastructure, power, agriculture and support to boost private sector and job creation.” “The bank assures the Nigerian government of its full support for its continued reforms to diversify the economy and boost economic growth and development,” it noted.
Our strategies will ease debt service risk –Adeosun
he federal government has e x p r e s s e d confidence that the various revenue and debt management strategy employed by the current administration would mitigate the country’s debt service risk and fasttrack her development. According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, a key element of the economic reform strategy was the mobilisation of revenue to improve the debt service to revenue ratio. This, she said, is being undertaken through a number of initiatives including, the plugging of leakages and the deployment of technology revenue management. While welcoming the advice of Nigeria’s i n t e r n a t i o n a l development partners, including the International Monetary Fund, Adeosun said the strategy would achieve a number of objectives that include: mobilising revenue whilst reducing the debt burden by lengthening the maturity profile, increasing foreign exchange reserves, reducing crowding-out of the private sector, and creating savings in debt service cost. Adeosun specifically cited the example of the Health Pay, a pilot cashless revenue project in the health sector, which recorded material increases in revenue, adding that the ongoing Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, is equally expected to impact positively the level of tax collections. “The difference in our economic strategy is that we are changing the mix of revenue sources available to government from the traditional oil or debt to a combination of oil, debt and domestic revenue. “This is a long term strategic reform which is critical to our future economic growth and in the short term will enable our debt service to revenue ratio to improve.”
November 6 - 12, 2017
NCC moves to stop menace of unregistered, pre-registered SIM cards Stories by Sarah NEGEDU
he Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, said it is set to clampdown on owners and users of unregistered and pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module, SIM, cards in the country, saying the country cannot afford the risk such practices pose to its citizens. Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the declaration at a meeting with all the telecommunications operators. Making reference to security reports from the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and implication of noncompliance to the Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulation 2011, by the telcos, Danbatta said it can no longer be business as usual. “We must safeguard lives and properties of Nigerians who travel by road especially now and the festive seasons and others who may be threatened or blackmailed via unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards,” he stated. He said the menace of improperly registered, unregistered and preregistered SIM cards will no longer be tolerated, consequently, he set up a 12-man taskforce to bring up solutions to the problem. The terms of reference include operators must put in place a robust and active back end to check cases of improperly registered SIM cards before activation; the use of electronic back end is preferable; the taskforce should also look at the sources of the improperly and preregistered SIM cards by asking operators to look inwards to forestall insider abuse; clear up the systems regularly to
wipe off and segregate between real and fake data among others The taskforce headed by Mr. Efosa Idehen, Head, Compliance,
Monitoring and Enforcement of the NCC, has six weeks to submit its report to the EVC for onward transmission to the office of the National
Security Adviser. Other members include, Mr. Bashir Idris, Head, Projects; Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Head, Legal and Regulatory
Services and Mr. Salisu Abdu, Head, Enforcement all of NCC. The telecos are also represented in the taskforce by a member
L-R: Chairperson, Ethics, Welfare and Social Duties, Computer Forensics Institute of Nigeria, Ms Gloria Bassey, Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Adedeji Adekunle, President of CFIN, Dr. Peter Olayiwola and Digital Forensics Expert, Federal University of Technology Akure, Dr Adeola Oladele during the 6th International Digital Mobile and Computer Forensics Conference, in Abuja... Friday. Photo: Cityvoix.
each. They include Mr. Tobechukwu Okigbo (MTN), Mr. Oluwatosin Cole (GloMobile), Mr. Sola Adeyemi (Airtel) and Mr. Damian Udeh (ntel) as members. The NCC Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said the meeting on was the high point of several meetings initiated by the commission in the last two years with a view to finding solutions to the recurrent dangers of the improperly registered SIM cards in the country. He listed several security challenges that have bedeviled the country as a result of the menace of improperly registered SIM cards. He lamented that even where SIM cards were registered, the captured data represented strange figures different from the user of such SIM card. He said the dangers are real and everybody will lose at the end, hence the need to address it now before the situation went out of hand.
9 firms battle to monitor Discos and Gencos A
tleast nine consulting firms are battling for the right to monitor the Nigerian power sector, with the aim of managing postprivatisation challenges in the sector. The bid signals the recommencement of a process that was stalled two years after the procurement process for technical consultants to help monitor the privatised power companies started in 2015. According to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, the successful consultants will specifically help the bureau in monitoring the activities of the power generation and distribution companies and provide feedback to the government on the core investors’ adherence
to the performance agreements signed with the government with the aim of ensuring that the power sector reforms deliver adequate, reliable, and affordable power to Nigerians. In his address at the Financial Bids Opening for five subsidiaries of Nigerian Mining Corporation, NMC, and Technical Consultants for Power sector Monitoring, the Director General of the BPE, Alex Okoh, said the process is aimed at providing the bureau with external consultants to help put in place robust mechanisms to monitor and manage the issues facing the sector. “The Bureau’s role did not end with midwifing the privatised power companies. Our mandate requires us to ensure the success of
the privatisation through continuous monitoring of the enterprises for such periods as may be considered necessary and in line with the obligations covenanted in the agreements that the core investors and concessionaires signed with the Nigerian government,” he noted. Okoh explained that BPE has introduced a robust corporate governance framework for its representation of the government on the boards of enterprises in which it retains some equity holding or shares, and a strict code of ethics which guides the rules of engagement with the enterprises has been implemented. “In addition to these measures, the critical and complex nature of the power sector requires
that BPE seeks the assistance of external consultants with the requisite experience and technical know-how to help put in place robust mechanisms to monitor and manage some of the post-privatisation challenges facing the sector,” he said. The nine companies that bided for the technical consultancy services for DisCos i n c l u d e PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PWC, Halcrow Infrastructure Ltd, Indra/ Sigrum Africa Ltd, Fluentgrid Ltd and Emtech Energy Services Ltd. Others are Alsdur Ltd, Feedback Infra Private Ltd., India & Derekson Ltd. Nigeria, Energy People/Nextier Consulting and Pakistan Engineering Services, PVT, Ltd & OskanJo &
Partners Ltd. P r o s p e c t i v e consultants for the successor GenCos are PWC, Halcrow Infrastructure Ltd, Fluentgrid Ltd and Energy People/Nextier Consulting. The technical consultants will help monitor the performance of the various power GenCos and power DisCos. The ceremony also witnessed the opening of financial bids for five subsidiaries of the Nigerian Mining Corporation. The subsidiaries are Naraguta Bricks & Clay Company Limited, Jos; Maiduguri Bricks & Clay Products Limited, Maiduguri; Trrazzo Company Limited, Gurum, Jos; Kujama Quarry, Kaduna; and Gano Quarry, Kano State.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Bello: Easing city traffic congestion For years, residents of the Federal Capital Territory, especially those in the satellite towns, are faced with the challenge of traffic gridlock to their various places of work, especially during peak hours. In this report, our FCT correspondent, Aus tine ELEMUE ustine ELEMUE, examines the efforts of the present FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, in easing traffic congestion in the city center:
espite various efforts and ideas initiated by previous FCT Administrations to reduce traffic gridlock on different routes leading to the city center of the territory, most of those efforts have failed to yield the desire results. For years, motorists spend considerable man hours to get to their destinations especially during peak hours. It is worthy of note that even corporate organisations such as private radio stations have dedicated airtime to address the challenges of traffic congestion faced by motorists in the nation’s capital. One of the most popular programmes on RAYPOWER 100.5 FM, “Traffic Update” was designed to ease traffic congestion along major routes of Kubwa, Lugbe, Karu, Apo, and the notorious Nyanya/Mararaba traffic gridlock. Other private radio stations that have initiated programmes aimed at tackling traffic situation in the territory include ASO RADIO, WE FM, COOL FM, and KAPITAL FM, amongst others. Sadly, both government and public efforts have failed to provide solution to the lingering traffic crises, as motorists and commuters are frustrated while going and coming back from their various places of work. It is instructive to stress that many residents in the satellite towns are forced to relocate to the city center to avoid the trauma faced every morning and evening, even when they know that their meager salaries cannot afford the luxury of the city. An Abuja based journalist, Mr. Omeiza Ajayi, was forced to forfeit
Outer Northern Expressway his nine months house rent for the landlord after spending three months in a 2-bedroom apartment in Masaka. Narrating his ordeal to METRO, he described the traffic situation in Nyanya axis as “hell on earth”, adding that he took the right decision for relocating to Kubwa axis of the territory. According to him, “I have no regret relocating to Kubwa after spending 90 traumatic days in Masaka as a result of traffic gridlock. The traffic situation along that axis is another hell on earth and I decided to look for safety zone. Though, Kubwa has its challenges, but in my considered opinion, I took the right decision. During my brief stay in Masaka, I realized that I spent an average of two hours going to work and another two hours coming back. This situation will no doubt affect the life span of the car and even the driver”. However, on resumption of office as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Muhammad Bello, fixed his gaze firmly on leaving a positive imprint on the canvass of history of the territory, especially in the area of infrastructural development. The first fundamental thing the minister did was to embark on visits to several sites of on-going projects with a view to taking stock of inherited projects that have immediate and direct bearing on the lives of FCT residents and visitors alike. The minister has in the last few months commenced a hyperactive process of completing road projects that have been stalled for years.
Specifically, the 10-lane Kubwa (Murtala Muhammad) Expressway has been completed in addition with the Railway overhead bridges while the Airport road (Umaru Musa Yar’Adua road) has also be completed. The trumpet interchange at the Airport junction by Bill Clinton Drive is also being completed as efforts are being made to connect the loops (ramps) moving out from Bill Clinton Drive as well as motorists from Gwagwalada-Giri axis into the Airport and the city centre respectively. However, tangents connecting City Centre, Gwagwalada and environs have been completed and are currently being used, while potholes in the city centre are also receiving well-deserved attention. Also completed are the rehabilitation of M20 road leading to the popular Utako Motor Park, road shoulders along the Shehu Shagari Expressway in Maitama District and Ring Road I. The partial road opening of the Inner Southern Expressway (ISEX), known as Goodluck Jonathan Expressway from behind the National Christian Centre through the new Central Bank of Nigeria, bordering the Central Business District has brought relief to motorists coming from Nyanya axis to Federal Secretariat. Speaking to journalists after inspecting the major road project, Bello said: “the road we have just gone through now is called the B6, B12. It is basically the heart of the city. It is the road that links Diplomatic quarters and Central Business District.
“As a matter of fact, it is the road that carries traffic from the Airport, right into the city, terminating at the Three Arms Zone, where the Presidency and of course the National Assembly is located. “It is a road that is of priority to this administration and we have been funding this project for quite some time, and I thought this afternoon, it is good for me to come and see if the money is been used properly”. In realization of these modest efforts, residents of the Territory have no doubt commended the efforts of the present FCT Administration in provision of ongoing infrastructural development especially road networks and partial road opening aimed at easing traffic in the city center. Mr. Nnachi Chukwuemeka told METRO that traffic congestion in some parts of the city has reduced drastically, even as he applauded the method adopted by the minister in tackling traffic gridlock. “Things are beginning to take shape in Abuja because before now, I know the number of man hour from Karu to the city center. Today, the story is different with the partial road opening of Goodluck Jonathan road that connect Federal Secretariat and other parts of Central Business District. More importantly, we are witnessing massive infrastructural development that will lead to free flow of traffic when completed”, Chukwuemeka stated. He, therefore, called on the FCT Administration to sustain the tempo of infrastructural development that will further ease traffic gridlock across the city and the satellite towns.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Push-ups, sit-ups could add to longevity, new research finds P
ush-ups and situps could add years to your life according to a new study of over 80,000 adults led by the University of Sydney. The largest study to compare the mortality outcomes of different types of exercise found people who did strength-based exercise had a 23 percent reduction in risk of premature death by any means, and a 31 percent reduction in cancerrelated death. Lead author Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the School of Public Health and the Charles Perkins Centre said while strength training has been given some attention for functional benefits as we age, little research has looked at its impact on mortality. “The study shows exercise that promotes muscular strength may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling,” said Associate Professor Stamatakis. “And assuming our findings reflect cause and effect relationships, it may be even more vital when it comes to reducing risk of death from cancer.” The World Health Organization’s Physical Activity Guidelines for adults recommend 150 minutes of aerobic activity, plus two days of muscle strengthening activities each week. Associate Professor Stamatakis said governments and public health authorities have neglected to promote strength-based guidelines in the community, and as such misrepresented how active we are as a nation. He cites the example of The Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey which, based on aerobic activity alone, reports inactivity at 53 percent. However, when the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strength-based guidelines are also taken
into account, 85 percent of Australians fail to meet recommendations. “Unfortunately, less than 19 percent of Australian adults do the recommended amount
of strength-based exercise,” said Associate Professor Stamatakis. “Our message to date has just been to get moving but this study prompts a rethink about,
when appropriate, expanding the kinds of exercise we are encouraging for longterm health and wellbeing.” The analysis also
showed exercises performed using one’s own body weight without specific equipment were just as effective as gym-based training.
Frequent sexual activity can boost brain power in older adults By Williams ABAH
ore frequent sexual activity has been linked to improved brain function in older adults, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford. Researchers found that people who engaged in more regular sexual activity scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them. The study, published today in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social
Sciences, involved 73 people aged between 50 and 83. Participants filled in a questionnaire on how often, on average, they had engaged in sexual activity over the past 12 months — whether that was never, monthly or weekly — as well as answering questions about their general health and lifestyle. The 28 men and 45 women also took part in a standardized test, which is typically used to measure different patterns of brain function in older adults, focusing on attention, memory, fluency, language and
visuospatial ability. This included verbal fluency tests in which participants had 60 seconds to name as many animals as possible, and then to say as many words beginning with F as they could — tests which reflect higher cognitive abilities. They also took part in tests to determine their visuospatial ability which included copying a complex design and drawing a clock face from memory. It was these two sets of tests where participants who engaged in weekly sexual activity scored the
most highly, with the verbal fluency tests showing the strongest effect. The results suggested that frequency of sexual activity was not linked to attention, memory or language. In these tests, the participants performed just as well regardless of whether they reported weekly, monthly or no sexual activity. This study expanded on previous research from 2016, which found that older adults who were sexually active scored higher on cognitive tests than those who were not sexually active.
Gentle touch soothes pain of social rejection
he gentle touch of another individual soothes the effects of social exclusion, one of the most emotionally painful human experiences, according to new UCL research. The study, published in Scientific Reports and funded by the European Research Council, tested the impact of a slow, affectionate touch against a fast, neutral touch following social rejection and found a specific relationship between gentle touch and social bonding. “As our social world is becoming increasingly visual and digital, it is easy to forget the power of touch in human relations. Yet we’ve shown for the first time that mere slow, gentle stroking by a stranger can reduce feelings of social exclusion after social rejection,” said lead author, Mariana von Mohr. The discovery follows recent findings that affective social touch, and particularly gentle stroking of the skin, may be coded by a special physiological system linking the skin to the brain. Only three other studies have directly examined the buffering effects of social support on ostracism through the presence of friends, teddy bears and supportive text messages, this is the first to investigate social touch. In the study, 84 healthy women were led to believe that they were playing a computerised balltossing game with two other participants to measure their mental visualisation skills. After throwing and catching the ball several times, they answered a questionnaire that included questions about needs often threatened by ostracism including the feelings of belonging, self-esteem, meaningful existence and control.
November 6 - 12, 2017
Matthew 14:22-33 “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Christianity is a welcome key-note to all manner of storms. Storms are not excuses to backslide but opportunities to come forth towards our breakthrough. You can have
Faith our of the storm everything in this life, but you need faith to scale through all manner of challenges. If takes faith to glide out of any storm. Faith is the anchor between you and challenges that God can use to bring you out. An anchor is the word of God in your heart that you use to combat all plans, pains and gimmicks of the devil and his cohorts. Acts 14:22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Tribulations are common to man, but we must be ready to stay focused and glued to God, not giving room to doubts or fears. A ship will never sink, as far as water does not get into it, likewise, we must not allow doubts and fear into our subconscious mind, giving room for
us to sink. Every individual has a specified storm, they must pass through in order to get their testimony. Joseph had to go through the prison for the glorification of the palace, Hannah was childless, so that Samuel would come forth, Moses had to be hidden for three months for the deliverance of the Israelites, Jesus had to go through the cross, that all of our challenges be crushed into ashes. This not to allow fear but to prepare our minds that battles are compulsory for soldiers of Christ and as soldiers, it is optimal and not optional that we come forth successful. Challenges are an avenue for us to grow our faith. Doubts give room to fear and it is a robber of all good things. How to prevail in times of storms 1. Get a specific Rhema from God: Whatever endeavour or career or
decision you are involved in, get a word from God. A word from God is the anchor you will grip when the storms arise. The word of God is an unquantifiable anchor and surety, if we must not give up in the games of life. Abraham was the father of faith, but he had to wait for the heir, which was Isaac. Waiting is the game out of storms. Matthew 14:28-29 “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” 2. Cry out to God: God is a father and we must see him as the only benefactor we need. Learn to cry unto God and not unto man. The help of man is vain and temporary but the help of God is permanent. Concentrate and focus your help on the source, take your eyes away from the man who is also benefiting from the source. The man you are looking up to go this resources from Christ, rather than being interested in his resource, why not depend on the God of all resources. Psalm 107: 28-30 “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” To be continued…
SPECIAL REPORT 150 exhibitors to converge on Ilorin for 2017 agric fair By Muideen ALIU
he stage is set for Harmony Holdings Limited to host this year’s edition of Harmony Agriculture International fair, HAGIF, in Ilorin the Kwara state capital. According to organizers of the fair, over 150 exhibitors including research institutes, input suppliers, equipment manufactories, mechanized formers from the 16 local government areas of the state will be at the fair. Head of Harmony Agriculture desk, Mrs. Iyabo Amajo, said the exhibition will add value to agriculture business in the state in particular and Nigeria in general. She added that this year’s HAGIF is out to identify off-takers and out- growers with a view to having adequate and accurate data for proper planning.
Amajo revealed that the state government has released substantial fund aimed at empowering farmers as stakes-holder in the fair with over 2,400 farmers through cooperative societies will benefit from the scheme through empowerment programmes. The Kwara State Government in 2012, established the Harmony Holdings Limited as an investment vehicle for all the state business and commercial concerns to shift away from the conventional syndrome that government’s business yields no return on investment. This was consequent upon the dwindling and fall in oil prices at the international market, and the need to rise up to the global challenge as a government that places high premium on its timeline mandate This development
was aimed at providing good governance for sustainable development of the state. The foresight has not only added value to government business but has given hope to many a Kwaran that the future of the state is bright. Harmony holdings, among others is to ensure that all the state government’s business concerns are run profitably as well as to help drive the economic development of the state by partnering with both local and international businesses. It is hoped that the initiative headed by the professor of Political Economy and Emir of Illesha-Baruba, Alh. Halidu Abubakar, will yield good financial and social returns for the state. The team is also complemented by Mr. Temitope Daramola as the Group Managing Director and Chief
Executive Officer , with other Seasoned Executive Directors and Directors who had transversed the Nationals Sociopolitical and Economic landscape for decades to give the company the desired footings towards fully attaining its mandates. Speaking on the significance of Agriculture at last year opening Ceremony, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, emphasized that promotion of agriculture as a business for sustainable income and job creation will hasten attempt to overcome the present economic recession in the country. The Governor, who described agriculture as the largest employer of labour that guarantees sustainable economic development noted that the HAGIF encapsulates the state’s desire for economic diversification and believe that our dream of a resurgent
Nigeria Economy lies in planned and structured Agribusiness. “We promise to continue to work with the nextwork of investors, farmers, processors and other stakeholders represented here to strengthen the supporting infrastructure to ensure that quality standards defined and maintained across the value chain” Chairman of Harmony Holdings Limited, Prof. Abubakar recalled that the company decided to set up an Agriculture desk in recognition of the role of agriculture in diversifying the Nigerian economy since petroleum the main stay of the economy has crashed in the international market. “We believe that enhancing mechanization would enable farmers to
expand cultivated areas and achieve economies of scale in raising food production, ultimately smallholders’ farmers will earn decent income farm agriculture” Commenting on the HAGIF initiatives, one of the farmers, Mallam Azeez Bello from Arandun in Irepodun Local Government Area of the state, lauded the initiatives and support received from the HAGIF agriculture policy which will go a long way to increase high yield and promote food security in the state. Bello added that the support of HAGIF through cooperative societies was a right step in the right direction with high yielding seeds, fertilizers, herbicides and land clearing fees among others commending the state government for establishing the Harmony Holdings Company.
November 6 - 12, 2017
November 6 - 12, 2017
President Buhari and those ‘surrounding’ him L
By Niran ADEDOKUN
et me start by restating the trite point that there is no society entirely free of corruption. Tendencies for compromises and selfgratification are part of the human nature and they are emotions that all mortals, irrespective of colour, race or religion are susceptible to in the absence of sufficient restraints. There, however, seems to be a consensus that this malaise bares a destructive pervasiveness in Nigeria. This agreement is a main inspiration for the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. As a candidate, Buhari had what a majority of Nigerians saw as a sparkling personality. He was vocal about his hatred from the vain essence of the world and made the fight against corruption a major plank of his electoral campaign. Two years on however, discussions around the impact of the anti-corruption war initiated by the President centres round tokenistic victories of recoveries from past national plundering and the removal of current appointees who have been caught in the same act that their principal vowed to curb. And while at this assessment, Nigerians, usually too loving and awestruck of their leaders, would also make excuses for the President. The most common these days is to hear, “Oh, President Buhari is a decent man, it is just the people around him who are bad. They just want to destroy his good works and the man knows nothing about it.” Maybe, the President indeed has a lot of moonlighters around him but then, who do you blame for that? If I have no input in the selection of the people around you, why should I or anyone, even if they were “political godfathers”, take the blame for the misconduct of any appointee? An inalienable prerequisite for leadership should, after all, be the ability to analyse other humans. So, I would rather blame the President for the failure to select his closest allies from among people who share his character and vision for the country. There is another reason, though, why I think the attempt to situate the serial scandals that we have recently witnessed in high places, on those around the President is faulty. And I will explain. Leadership experts insist that a major requirement for effective leadership is constant communication without which a team would feel lost or left behind. Dale Roach, an American leadership expert while recommending the visionary virtue
President Muhammadu Buhari
to leaders notes that, “The challenge for every visionary leader is not to get so far ahead of the team in what they see that they leave them behind.” A leader who creates a vision must therefore be able to articulate that vision, drive the same with passion and relentlessly until the end. It does not seem to me that President Buhari communicated his vision of a decent Nigeria to his lieutenants in such a way that they would have clarity. Now, there is perhaps no other way in which lucid communication is important more than a reform aimed at the minds and behaviour of people. When a leader sets out to deal with an indulgence from which a huge number of members of the society had benefitted for years, consensus building is an essential ingredient and that must start with those people who drive the vision with him. He must explain, persuade and convince his closest helpers about the need to stay above board and put a reprimand structure, obvious to them all, in place from the outset; something like the “sign your resignation” letter in advance that the President Olusegun Obasanjo’s leadership introduced to Nigeria. This also brings to mind the exploits that the late Lee Kuan Yew made as Prime Minister of Singapore. When he became head of the country, Yew was said to have
felt “sickened” by the decadence and corruption in his country. He promised to rid Singapore of graft. Members of his government were his first crop of pictures. They wore white shirts and trousers when they were sworn into office just to signal the purity of their intentions. Yew delivered on his promise. Amongst a number of other initiatives, he communicated his vision and the repercussion of sabotage to his colleagues. Anyone caught thereafter faced the consequences. One of those was Teh Cheang Wan, an architect, Minister of National Development and his long term associate. In 1986, Wan was investigated for accepting kickbacks from two realestate developers. He committed suicide one morning leaving a note in which he apologised to Lee Kuan Yew and explained: “It is only right that I should pay the highest penalty for my mistake.” He was clear about the vision of the leader and knew the consequence of being caught at marring the same. What we have seen in the last couple of months hints at a disconnect between the President and his aides. From the dismissed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, on the
Abdulrasheed Maina matter, one can easily conclude that there was either no communication of the vision at all or the corollary of falling out of line was not stated. This has led to a confusion of the lines between right and wrong and an underestimation of the punishment inherent in contravention.This point can be further illustrated by the ongoing drama between the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and Senator Isah Misau representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District. While Misau was recently arraigned by the Office of the Attorney General before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, for alleged injurious falsehood against the Nigeria Police Force and the number one cop, there is no evidence of even an investigation of the allegations against the IGP.Yet, these are weighty allegations that a government who is bent on changing perceptions about the country should quickly investigate and lay to rest. Misau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, had alleged that the IGP made N10bn monthly from oil companies and other private individuals who enjoyed special protection from the security agency. He also alleged that police officers paid as much as N2.5m to get special promotion and posting through the Police Service Commission and that the IGP diverted money meant for the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers, Sport Utility Vehicles or other exotic cars. Misau also alleged, penultimate week, that the IGP was involved in amorous relationships with members of the force and had indeed got married to one officer who was promoted ahead of her peers not too long ago. Finally, he alleged that the IGP donated two Sports Utility Vehicles to the First Lady, Aisha Buhari. Although the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police, recently explained that a Toyota Sienna Bus and a Toyota Hiace Bus were vehicles approved for police personnel in the convoy of the President’s wife following a request from her Aide de Camp, one is forced to wonder if the protocol is for the police to provide operational vehicles for the convoys of executives and their wives across the country.What I am saying is that, it does not appear that President Buhari has successfully communicated his vision of a corruption-free society to those who work with him. It does not also seem that he has given them a sense of what punishment awaits anyone who dips his hands into public coffers or circumvents the laws of the land in any way. First published in The Cable
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: email@example.com: Website: www.theabujainquirer.com. Publisher-Editor-in-Chief: DAN AKPOVWA