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Dakingari wins Kebbi re-run as ANPP condemns election as sham


Vol. 8 No. 7

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jimadal Ula 11, 1433 AH



CBN urges Fire razes Kaduna govt to Bauchi Poly access agric funds hostel >>PAGE 2

Gunmen kill L/Govt chairman in Borno

>>PAGE 3

EFCC arrests Pastor over alleged stealing

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>>PAGE 4

Okene killings: Group alleges extra-judicial killings >>PAGE


Power outage

Nigerians import ice-block from Niger From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ue to the worsening outage of electricity in Katsina metropolis, the

residents, especially owners of businesses requiring refrigeration for their wares, now travel to neighbouring Niger Republic to purchase ice blocks.

Although Nigeria supplies the bulk of electricity used in the neighbouring country, Peoples Daily however, observed that residents of Katsina have for

months been experiencing acute power supply where it is now rare to have uninterrupted power supply for at least 30 minutes. A Fura and cold water vendor

along IBB Way, Katsina, Uztaz Muhammad Umar told our correspondent that he travelled from Katsina to Maradi in Niger Contd on Page 2

Miyetti, STF trade blames over killing of soldiers From Nankpah Bwakan & Bayo Alabira, Jos


he Plateau state Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Malam Muhammad Nura has alleged that men of the Special Task Force (STF) raided Mahanga village in Riyom local government area of Plateau and left one person dead and arrested three others. The secretary of MACBAN gave the name of the deceased as Ibrahim Muhammad while Muhammad Abdullahi, Yakubu Muhammad and Aliyu Abore were arrested by the task Contd on Page 2

L-R: Wife of Vice-President, Hajiya Amina Sambo, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and a Special Adviser to Sudan President, Dr. Ahmed Belial, on arrival of vice-president, yesterday at Khartoum International Airport, Sudan


























ACN calls for state of emergency on education, Page 40

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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CBN urges Kaduna government to access N50bn agriculture fund From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the Kaduna state government has failed to access the Federal Government’s N50 billion agricultural credit support scheme which is capable of transforming fortunes of the state. Speaking at the weekend during the 2011 Kaduna Bankers Dinner/Award Night, the Kaduna branch controller of the CBN, Mohammed

Ibrahim Gusau, said: “Statistics have shown that Kaduna state is left behind in reaping the benefits of viable economic development programmes such as the agricultural credit guarantee scheme. “As  we  all  know,  Kaduna state is endowed with the necessary human, material and land resources to become an enviable commercial nerve centre. “I cannot relent on my effort in calling on the

government and people of Kaduna state to participate and encourage in the deepening of the various Federal Government’s economic policies and programmes in the state for the betterment of Kaduna and its people. “I will also like to seize this opportunity to call on His Excellency, the Governor of Kaduna state to utilise the opportunity provided by the selection of Kaduna state as one of the pilot states for the

implementation of the Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), for the development and expansion of maize, ginger and soya beans productions in Kaduna state. “This would go a long way in improving the agricultural economy of the state, thereby creating more employment, reducing poverty, enhancing food security and generating higher tax revenue from a better, wealthier, peaceful and prosperous population.”

Adamawa hunters want more active role in combating crime


raditional Hunters Asso ciation in Adamawa state has called on the state government to support its members to enable them to contribute their quota in combating crime. The spokesman of the association, Alhaji Suleiman Namtari, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Mayo-Belwa, Adamawa, on the occasion of this year's annual festival of hunters, known as "Salala". Namtari said hunters needed to be encouraged by the state and local government councils, con-

sidering the current security challenges. “You need to go to neighbouring states to see the type of support our members are getting from their respective state governments to appreciate my lamentation. “For instance, in those states, our members are provided with patrol vans, uniforms, arms and allowances to serve as vigilante members who assist police and other security agencies in combating crime”, Namtari said. He said that no fewer than 50 criminals were arrested and handed over to the police last year by hunters in Adamawa, adding

that they could do more if given the necessary support. He lauded the cordial relationship between the hunters and the police, saying that such co'operation was necessary to combat criminals. Speaking on the festival, the spokesperson said that it served as a forum for hunters in Adamawa and neighbouring states to share ideas and pray for peace in the country and protection of members. He appealed to the government, individuals and corporate organisations to assist in sponsoring future editions of the festival to promote culture and tourism. (NAN)

Adamawa state Governor Murtala Nyako

Nigerians import ice-block from Niger Contd from Page 1 Republic to buy the ice blocks so as to preserve his goods. He noted that the huge special ice block made for sale to Nigerians cost between N300 to N500 adding “we use to wrap it in a rag or a special leather bag to prevent it from melting. We thank God that we have Niger Republic closer, otherwise we would have left this business for long”. According to him, “we play the role of retailers of this ice block too. Apart from buying for our use, we also break it into pieces for sale to other people who cannot travel to Maradi to purchase it. Our customers were usually pure water vendors”.

A pure water and soft drink vendor, Miss Moyo Esther Abe complained to our correspondent that they are facing hard times due to the irregular power supply which has forced them into other businesses that do not require any form of cooling for preservation. She therefore called on the Nigerian Government to urgently declare a state of emergency in the power sector, lamenting that it is an embarrassment that countries less endowed are having regular power supply while Nigeria, with all its oil riches, cannot provide stable power. It would be recalled that on Friday January 19, 2012, the

Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji said the country’s power generation would hit over 6,000 megawatts this year if gas supplies endure. He stated this while unveiling government’s plans to generate additional 1,000 megawatts at the Nigeria Power Sector Retreat in Abuja. The minister noted that the only challenge that could hinder the realisation of the target was scarcity of gas. “If the gas is available we will be generating 5,600mw today. And we expect to add at least a thousand megawatts to the grid. That brings us to over 6,000megawatts,” he said.

Nnaji, however, expressed hope that the gas supply challenge would soon as, according to him, history because the NNPC is tackling the situation. “The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation is working very hard to address the gas challenge. So, I think that is going to be resolved. All we want to do is to tell the Nigerian people the truth. Where there is shortfall we will say yes we have shortfall,” he added. The Federal Government has so far unbundled the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by transferring the task of generating and distributing electricity to 18 successor companies.

Miyetti, STF trade blames over killing of soldiers Contd from Page 1 force and taken to an unknown destination. Meanwhile, Captain Markus Mdahyelya, the STF’s Media and information Officer denied the allegation, saying that one of their men was killed in the area by the Fulani. Captain Markus further confirmed that three people from the village were arrested by the task force in connection with the killing of the STF soldier. But

Malam Nura denied the killing of any soldier by any Fulani man. He called for an immediate investigation into the incidents. Meanwhile, one civilian and a mobile policeman attached to the Special Task Force (STF) were killed and over 20 houses set ablaze at Jwol village in Barkin Ladi local government area of the state at the weekend. According to our sources, on Friday night unknown assailants shot and killed a mobile policeman

attached to the STF at his duty post at Jwol village. The sources disclosed further that STF soldiers also stormed the village, set over 20 houses on fire and killed a young man. Reacting to the report in a telephone interview with our correspondent, the spokesman of the STF, Captain Markus Mdahyelya confirmed the killing of their security aide, adding that some arrests had been made in connection with

the killing. Plateau state police command public relations officer, Mr. Samuel Dabai added that one person was injured during the attack and is currently receiving treatment at the Vom Christian. Both the spokesman of the STF and the PPRO however denied knowledge of any attack by security men on any com munity.



Fire destroys Bauchi poly students’ residence From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


L-R: Director Community Health Service, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Nnana Ihebuzor, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Jimada Muhammad, and Director Disease Control of the Agency, Dr. Emmanuel Abanida, during the health care management meeting, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Mission foiled as bomb explodes on assailant in Kaduna T From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna

here was pandemonium at the Unguwar Muazu, an outskirt of Kaduna metropolis yesterday as bomb explosion rocked the area killing the suspected suicide bomber with two others seriously injured. An eyewitness told our correspondent that the explosion occurred at about 6:40 pm. Police reports said the bomber was

dressed as a lunatic while trying to plant the explosive device when it detonated on him. He died on the spot. They injured persons were taken to an unknown destination for medical attention. Already, the affected area has been cordonedoff by security agents just as residents of the areas scampered for safety. The eyewitness said: “The explosion occurred in my presence.

I heard a deafening sound on my way from the area. In fact, I can say that it was just by God’s grace that I left the area before hearing the sound. I was coming out of Unguwar Muazu when I heard the sound behind me and by the time I turned back, residents of the area were running for their dear lives but I moved to the place. The bomb killed the person who carried it and injure two persons at the scene”.

Confirming the incident, Kaduna state police command spokesman, Aminu Lawan, a Deputy Superintendent of police(DSP) told our correspondent that there was an explosion and men of the anti-bomb squad of the command had been mobilised to the where the incident occurred. Said Aminu: “Yes it happened and we mobilised our Anti Bomb Squad to the area. I can tell you based on the report I got from the place that one person died.” However, information was still sketchy on the incident as at the time of filing this report.

…as Kaduna govt denies arrest of Boko Haram members


aduna state government has denied reports in sections of the media which claimed that about 33 suspected members of Boko Haram were arrested in the state. The Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Saidu Adamu, who addressed a press conference at the weekend, described the reports as speculative and untrue. According to him, there is no truth in the widely spread rumour

that suspected members of the sect were arrested. “Security investigations have been going on in questionable places and at odd hours and this is a normal routine in tackling the security challenges. It is quite unfortunate that a story of about two weeks ago, regarding security raid on a popular social center has been re-adjusted and is now causing fear and tension in the hearts of residents. This is

far from the reality of what really happened. We want to categorically state that there is no truth in that assertion that soldiers arrested 33 Boko Haram members in Kaduna”, he said. Adamu said, it was necessary to calm down tensions as “some even went as far as reporting that they were arrested when soldiers stormed their hideouts”,adding however “that security personnel can come in contact with people that will warrant them seeking

more information about them and it is not a new thing”. The commissioner added: “Security matters should not be compromised on sheer sentiment and interests, for the whole of the society bears the consequences. The Kaduna state government is on top of security situation and there is no cause for alarm as security agencies are working round the clock to guarantee continued adequate protection of lives and property”.

tudents’ rented apartments at the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi have been gutted by fired in Gwallameji village in Bauchi local government area of Bauchi state. The Public Relations Officer of the Polytechnic Mohammed Rabi’u Jama’are told newsmen in Bauchi that the fire started around 11 o’clock in the night and destroyed 20 different rented flats occupied by the students at the area. Jama’are said “the houses are self-contained units”, adding that no life was lost in the incident. He however regretted that the occupants lost all their belongings to the inferno. He said already the rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Shua’ibu Musa had visited the premises and commiserated with the victims and pledged that the polytechnic will meet with all owners of the structures to make sure they build their houses with good access roads that would enable the fire fighters to have easy access in case of need and provide all basic infrastructures in order to ensure the welfare of students.

Christians mark Palm Sunday By Ikechuku Okaforadi


hristians across the world yesterday marched through the streets with palm fronds to commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The ceremony, which marks the end of the season of lent, also heralds the Easter celebration, during which Christians remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In sermons preached in Churches within Abuja, Christians were charged to be peaceful and law abiding, as exhibited by Jesus Christ during his lifetime on earth. They were equally advised to emulate Christ, who was an embodiment of peace and love, and hose teachings revolved around love among neighbours.

Gunmen kill LG chairman as JTF gun down 2 Boko Haram members in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


nkno wn gunmen yesterday afternoon stormed the State Low Cost Housing Estate in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, killing the Caretaker Committee chairman of Chibok local government area, Mr. Wanangu Kachuwa. Our correspondent reports that it was not clear if the Boko Haram sect was behind the killing as the

latest incident has brought to two the number of local government bosses gunned down as late Alhaji Lawan Yarayi, the chairman of Kukawa couicil was also killed in August last year. Witnesses told newsmen that the incident occurred at about 12.40pm when two gunmen, who drove in a Volkswagen car, stormed the area firing assaults rifles in the air, before heading to the chairman’s house where they met him outside and hurriedly

blocked his way. The assailants were said to have fired several shots in the chest and head of late Kachuwa who died on the spot. The incident caused serious pandemonium in the town as residents scampered for safety while shops and other commercial centers were immediately shut down. Spokesman of the state police command, Mr. Samuel Tizhe, who confirmed the incident, said after killing the chairman, the gunmen took away his car, a red-colored Toyota Camry model with

registration number AH 926 JRE. Mr. Tizhe said no arrest was made in connection with the incident, noting that police have launched man hunt for the fleeing suspects. Meanwhile, operatives of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), said yesterday that two suspected members of the Boko Haram sect were killed during a gun duel in Maiduguri metropolis. Spokesman of the JTF, Lt-Col Sagir Musa, in a statement, said a team of soldiers were attracted by sporadic gunshots, while on a routine patrol behind the Vitafoam

Manufacturing Company along Railway Quarters. According to Lt-Col Musa, “at about 1200 hours, JTF troops heard a sporadic shootings from the area and immediately moved to ascertain what was happening as a group of gunmen, who sighted our men hurriedly opened fire on them, leading to a shootout”. He added that members of the task force had fire back and that at the end of the confrontation, two of the suspects were shot to death, while no casualty was recorded on the side of the soldiers.



NEITI advices companies to comply with audits By Muhammad Nasir


ll companies in the extractive sector have been advised to comply fully with the on-going NEITI industry audits or face severe sanctions. This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mrs. Zainab Ahmed on Friday while receiving the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum, Mr. Mutiu Sonmonu who paid a courtesy visit to NEITI secretariat in Abuja. Ahmad noted that all companies were expected to promptly pay their dues in full to the government in terms of royalty, profit tax, signature bonuses, tax, and other levies. All companies must also be prepared to disclose these payments to NEITI during the ongoing independent industry audits of the oil and gas sector and solid mineral industry, she said. She maintained that compliance to NEITI industry audits was not only statutory but mandatory and reminded all companies that failure to comply would attract severe sanctions in line with the law establishing NEITI. Ahmed also stressed the need for extractive companies to embrace corporate social responsibility in their host communities and contribute to the rebuilding of Nigeria’s social infrastructure, sports development, youth empowerment. She also assured all companies of NEITI’s readiness to work with them including the civil society in providing revenue management and sector governance.

Motorists lament sale of fuel above pump price M

otorists in Kano state have expressed concern over the continued sale of petrol above the official pump price of N97 per litre by most filling stations. A check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that the filling stations, especially the ones outside the state capital, sold the product between N104 and N107 per litre. Some of the motorists, who spoke to NAN on the issue in Kano yesterday, lamented that despite several warnings by the state government, the filling stations had refused to comply. They urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to rise up to its responsibility by sanctioning the defaulters. One of the motorists, Abdullahi Sulaiman who spoke to NAN at Mobil Filling Station on Gwarzo Road, Kano, said there was a need to check the excesses of the marketers. “I see no reason why fuel marketers in the state should be allowed to continue to sell the commodity at the prices they like, while there is a government agency which regulates their activities”. He urged the state government to take stringent measures to compel the marketers to sell the commodity at the approved pump price. Another motorist, Malam Musa Shehu, also expressed concern at the inability of the government to take steps to check the trend. “The state government should close down any station which sells the product above the official rate since most of them have not heeded

50 Kano farmers selected for wind-driven rice project From Bala Nasir, Kano


ifty farmers in Gwarzo local government area of Kano state have been selected by the state government to pilot its newly introduced wind-driven surface waterpump project in a bid to boost rice production in the state. Commissioning the project at Fada village, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso urged the people to make use of the project with a view to produce more food for the country. Government he said, was seriously disturbed by the rate of unemployed youth in the state and had to introduce the project so that the teeming unemployed youths in the state could find jobs in farming. He said government was doing everything to lift the status of the 44 local governments in the state in addition to opening job opportunities around them. Kwankwaso expressed the desire to create large job opportunities in the state before the expiration of his tenure to the extent that youths would have

no cause to leave their villages in search of work in the state. In her speech, the state’s commissioner for Agriculture, Barrister Baraka Sani said the new initiative in agricultural production introduced in the state would give farmers opportunities to grow cash crops in the rainy season and then use the new technology to grow crops. She urged the 50 farmers to make good use of the opportunity brought by the pilot the project in their meant to assess its workability after which it would be expanded to all the 44 Local Government councils of the state. In his remark, the representative of the New Era Energy Company, Mr. Albert May, who supervised the establishment of the new agricultural technology at Fadi village, stated that it had the capacity to generate 150 litres of water per day. It also has the capacity to generate tens of thousands of jobs in the area as farmers can grow cash crops during the rainy season and also use it to grow food crops during the dry season.

to the earlier directive”. When contacted, the chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Kano branch, Alhaji Bashir Bello said members of the

body should be commended for their effort to ensure steady supply of the commodity across the state. According to him, most of the marketers, who usually sold the commodity above N97 per litre,

bought the product from somewhere else not from the NNPC. “You don’t expect such marketers to sell the commodity at a loss”. (NAN)

L-R: Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, and Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq Umar, during the opening ceremony of the 26th Qur'anic Recitation Competition, at the weekend in Katsina. Photo: Lawal Sa'idu Funtua

EFCC arraigns pastor over alleged stealing, forgery From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arraigned the General Overseer of a popular Lagos based church, God’s Pentecostal Mission (GPM) in Iba, Archbishop John Obi Okeke at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja over allegations bordering on stealing, forgery, impersonation, obtaining by false witness and false declarations. Archbishop Okeke, who was alleged to have committed the offences between June 2004 and September 2005, was arraigned before Justice Lateefa Okunnu on a nine–count charge to which he pleaded not guilty. According to the charge sheet signed by EFCC counsel, Mr. Ben Ubi, the offences are contrary to Section 390 (8) (b), 467 (2), 468, 192, 484 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Laws of Lagos state 2003 and Section 2 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006. The EFCC acted on a petition sent to it by the solicitor for Immortal Impex Nigeria Ltd in the year 2009 accusing Archbishop Okeke of forgery of company documents and unlawful conversion of landed property in property allocation No. FHA/33 of February 18,

1993, worth N90, 000, 000.00. The major complaint that the anti graft commission investigated was the alleged fraudulent conversion and successful transfer of the property of Immortal Impex Limited to Motorcycle and Spare Parts mainland association using forged documents. One of the charge read: “Arch Bishop John Obi Okeke on or about 13th September, 2005 at Festac Town within the Ikeja Judicial Division of Lagos state, fraudulently converted to your use a parcel of land known as Plot H1 allocated by Federal Housing Authority situate along 2nd Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos state with Ref. No. FHA/EST/33 dated 18th February, 1993, property of Immortal Impex Limited. Another charge states that, “Arch Bishop John Obi Okeke on or about 13th September, 2005 at Festac town within Ikeja judicial division with intent to defraud , obtained the sum of seven million naira from Chief R. Ugochukwu Ezemedolu, Mazi Lawrence Njoku, Mr. Dickson Eruchalu and Mr. Gabriel Omeh, all registered trustees and representatives of Mainland Motorcycle and Spare Parts Dealers Association under the false pretence that it was the cost price of a parcel of land known as

plot H1 situated along 2nd Avenue, Festac town, Lagos state which you sold to them.” According to the petition that spurred EFCC’s investigations, the complainants were members of ArchBishop Okeke’s church at the time they applied for the allocation from the Federal Housing Authority, Festac Town, Lagos but because the directors traveled out of the country frequently, they were said to have entrusted the final processing and reception of their allocation title in Bishop Okeke’s hand and he did collect as well as sign for the title on their behalf and handed over to them. However, when they wanted to travel again in 2000, they entrusted to Bishop Okeke the money to pay their ground rent and the Bishop asked for the original copy of their document which they handed over to him but when they came back and asked for their document, the Bishop told them that the document is missing and they continue on this till they noticed trespassers on the land. After investigating from the trespassers, they discovered that the land had been sold to them by Bishop Okeke and further investigations revealed that the sale was made with forged documents.



Minimum wage: Resign if you can’t pay N18,000, PDP tells Ajimobi From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest has asked Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state to resign if he cannot pay workers N18,000 minimum wage to workers in the state.

PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon Kayode Babade said in a statement issued yesterday that it was the height of wickedness for a governor, who has over 1,000 political appointees earning average of N300,000 per month to deny civil servants just N18,000 as minimum wage.

Governor Ajimobi had said unless the Oyo state government borrowed N135 million monthly in addition to the state revenue (both federal allocation and internally generated revenue), it was impossible for him to pay the wage. However, Hon Babade in his

reaction said: "We in the PDP have an advice for him, he should please resign and let someone else, who won't see Oyo state government in terms of naira and kobo take over the affairs of the state." Babade said: "Let Governor Ajimobi be reminded that former governor Adebayo Alao Akala,

who approved the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage did so in understanding that the state has the capacity and capability to pay. “If Akala were to be the one in power, he would have been paying the N18,000 as approved since May, 2011.”

Jigawa commences polio vaccination at flashpoints From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


Niger state deputy governor, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto (right), administering oral polio vaccine (OPV) to a child during the flag-off 2012 Immunization Plus Day, at the weekend in Chanchaga local government area of Niger state. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Jonathan asks Plateau people to embrace peace From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


res iden t Goodluck Jonathan has advised the people of Plateau state to shun violence and embrace peace and unity irrespective of religion, ethnic and political differences as no meaningful development can take place without peace. Speaking at the interment of late Baba Alkali Nden Lar in Pangna village in Langtang

North Local Government Area of Plateau state, Jonathan prayed for the restoration of permanent peace in the state and beyond as there are greater benefits of living in peace with one another. The President, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Legislative Matters, Senator Isaiah Balat, condoled the Lar family and prayed God to strengthen the family’s heart in

bearing the irreparable loss of late Baba Alkali. He acknowledged the contributions of the pioneer national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Solomon Lar to the unity of Nigeria saying he would forever be remember for his role in ensuring that Nigeria a single entity. The President further praised Lar for promoting democracy in the nation saying he has made history for himself and the country as a whole.

cost of modern education technology. “Wastage are common phenomenon in education. It occurs in terms of poor management of man-hour, money, materials and other facilities. The issue of wastage border on institutional efficiency. In the educational system, the composite index of efficiency is the outcome and the output of students… wastage merely add to the cost of education because the system incurs cost on them more than once and resources that ought to have been used for others or released for other things will be utilized by them for a second or

third time in the same class,” he said. Durosaro also observed that other problem dragging the sector backward was lack of maintenance culture which he noted resulted in dilapidated structures, broken furniture in many schools across Nigeria. “Some of these school plants could still have been used if not for the poor maintenance culture. We have a culture of frequent replacement of parts and whole machines rather than planned plant maintenance and repair. This attitude affects the burden of cost that we bear particularly in education,” he declared.

s the polio immunisation exercise entered its second day in Jigawa state, the programme has recorded a low turnout in Birnin Kudu local government area, one of the places where the programme faced rejection in the state. Reports from the state indicated that despite the joint preparation for the success of this round of the exercise by the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, Jigawa state government and other health donor agencies as well as the four controversial local government areas, majority of towns and villages are yet to be reached for the immunisation. Investigations at the Birnin Kudu local government area by our reporter gathered that many parents in the Fulani hamlets were rejecting the polio vaccines while others hid their children or pretended that there were no vulnerable children within the ages for vaccination in their compounds. Investigations at places like Iggi village under the Yalwan-damai political ward revealed that only a team of three people had arrived the village with a population of about 300,000 people. Speaking to our reporter, the ward head of Iggi Kudu, Malam Salisu Bakin Kasuwa said “this is a big town, we have two village heads here, Iggi A and Iggi B, we have 13 ward heads with total population of about 300,000 families, how can three people be

assigned to vaccinate our children in only 4 days”. Malam Salisu Bakin Kasuwa maintained that “they started yesterday (Saturday) and continued today (Sunday) and they are still in the area of the third ward head”. He added that “my area is the 8th on their list and they are finishing on Thursday, there is every possibilities they cannot finish within the scheduled time”. Other places visited by our reporter in the area such as Jiboga, Warwade and Bigidan indicated that there were no immunisation teams in some of the villages. However, only in Bigidan did one Shehu Musa said "they came in the morning but in less than an hour they left after conducting the house to house exercise". The local government immunisation officer could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was not responding, but the area Cold Chain Officer, Malam Haruna Alhassan said that over 103,000 children were targeted for immunisation in this exercise. The Cold Chain Officer explained that over 290 adhoc staff have been recruited and over 83 teams were spread in the 11 political wards in the area comprising of vaccinators, recorders and supervisors. Malam Haruna Alhassan further stated that over 1,400 cartons of assorted soaps had been purchased to be distributed, expressing hope of immunizing more than the target beneficiaries.

Gombe gov’s wife offers free University links waste to education crisis VVF surgery to 50 women From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


university don and education expert from the Department of Education Management, University of Ilorin, Prof. David Durosaro has blamed wastage and deficiencies in Nigeria’s education sector for the crisis bedevilling it. Durosaro confirmed this at the 103rd inaugural lecture of the University of Ilorin entitled: “where the shoe pinches: The cost of education”, noting that the nation’s education sector was currently battling with population explosion, inflation, poor teachers allowances and high

From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


n an effort to eradicate Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) in Gombe state, wife of the state Governor, Hajiya Ummu Adama Dankwambo has introduced a health assisted project scheme that offers free surgery to about 50 women across the state at the Gombe Specialist Hospital. Speaking to Peoples Daily at the hospital, the Special Assistant to the First Lady on Special Duties, Alhaji Hassan Adamu said the aim of the programme was to assist women especially the less privileged. According to him, “vesico vaginal fistula had been a disease

suffered by our women over the years especially in the rural areas”. He also said, “the programme is continuous, starting with fifty now and when concluded, another fifty women are expected to join the programme so that in a few years time, we would be able to have VVF- free cases in the state”. Also speaking to our correspondent, the Consultant Fistula Surgeon, Dr. Sa’ad Idris, explained that VVF was a dangerous disease whose victims were often abandoned by parents in communities saying that the gesture by the governor’s wife was the best a woman could do for another woman.



Okene killing: ‘Soldiers murdered innocent Ebira people’ By Abdulwahab Isa


bira Unity Association (EUA) the umbrella body of professionals in Kogi Central senatorial district has debunked claim that those who engaged in shoot-out with military personnel in Okene on Saturday were members of the Boko Haram sect. The body said members of the gang were armed robbers who operated from two jeeps and had a shootout with security agents around Obehira Idoma section of Ebira land leading to death of a soldier while another security agent was wounded. The group’s leader, Engr. Haruna Ikotu in both phone conversation and a statement to

our reporter yesterday, said after the encounter with security forces, both police and soldiers searched homes killing innocent people in their residences while the armed gang fled into nearby bushes and mountain. EUA refuted the Boko Haram slant given to the incident by the military authority. The organisation said what took place was purely an encounter between armed robbers and soldiers. "After the incident, which involved casualties from the security agents, the soldiers and the police started entering people's houses dragging them out and shooting them at a close range. This led to the murdering of six innocent Ebira people. One of the men killed is

one Mr. Salihu who was amongst the three men dragged from the same house and shot. Salihu had a store in Okene central market where he sells educational items. Another man killed by the soldiers is Hausa business man that had a breadmaking factory in IdomaObehira, Okene. A pregnant woman was also among the casualties hit by stray bullet. We demand for an independent investigation and enquiry to these heinous killings of innocent Ebira people by the security agents who are being paid to provide security for the people" said the statement. A news report had quoted the Nigerian Army Brigade Commander in-charge of Chari Magumeri Barracks in Lokoja, Maj.-

Gen. Alphonsus Chukwu, as confirming the death of one soldier, an SSS official and nine gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect in a gun duel with Boko Haram members in Okene, Kogi state. The incident occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning. Maj.-Gen. Alphonsus said the SSS officials were now receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja. He said that a combined team of soldiers, SSS and police tracked the suspects to their hideout in Okene on Thursday adding that the team decided to invade the hideout, an uncompleted building, late Friday night.

Ogun ACOMORAN leadership tussle produces new chairman From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta he leadership crisis which engulfed the Ogun state chapter of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycles Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), at the weekend , took a dramatic dimension as a faction led by Alhaji Lateef Yekini insisted on resuming office as the chairman in spite of the controversy surrounding position. It would be recalled that, Yekini had earlier been dragged to court by a faction led by Prince Shamsideen Apelogun accusing him of financial misconduct, but Yekini in reaction said it was a ploy to tarnish his image. He accussed Prince Shamsideen Apelogun of deceitfully presenting Babangida Shehu Mahula to the Ogun State House of Assembly, the State Security Services and other government agencies as the President of the National Board of trustees, an act Yekini said showcased traits of fraud and insolence that could cause confusion and chaos in the Ogun state chapter of the association. Arguing further in a statement issued by the association's faction Public Relations Officer, Kayode Ogunbona, the factional chairman, Yekini said it was through this fraudulent way Apeogun was deceitfully and illegally presented as the bonafide chairman of the association.


Katsina NBA tasks police on delayed trial From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina

Registrar of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde (middle), displaying shoes with which students planned to cheat in the 2012 Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), during a press conference, on Friday in Abuja. With him are Director, Finance and Accounts of JAMB, Mr. Hamzat Balogun (left) and Director Admissions of JAMB, Mrs. Aisha Dahir (right). Photo: Mahmud Isa

Why Taraba state is peaceful, says Danbaba From Yush'au Alhassan, Jalingo


araba state governor, Pharm. Danbaba Suntai at the weekend highlighted reasons his state has been peaceful in a time other Northern states are faced with security challenges. Speaking at the funeral service of the late DIG Haruna John who lost his life in a plane crash in Jos, Suntai said "the secret of the lasting peace enjoyed in the state is because of love and respect we have for each other," as well as religious tolerance. As the body of late DIG Haruna John was laid to rest at a wellattended state funeral organised by the state government at the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN secretariat in Jalingo, Governor Suntai said the late DIG Haruna John had demonstrated love to all throughout his life time on earth. Governor Danbaba said, while

everybody on earth would be judged according to the dictates of the holy books, no one has ever decided his tribe or religion before he was born hence the need for harmony among all creatures. Leading the funeral oration, Pastor Stephen Mayo, who took his text from the book of Hebrews

Chapter 9 verses 27, said it was appointed on to a man to die once pointing out that God unquestionably determines when to take life and that appointment of death with God is divine. He called on people who want to show love to late Haruna John for his humanitarian service to extend

Sambo to address Board of Governors of IDB


ice President Namadi Sambo will today in Khartoun, address the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group at its 37th Annual Meeting holding in the Sudanese capital. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Vice President was given a special invitation by the IDB management during the bank's Business Forum in Nigeria last month. Sambo is also expected to deliver a keynote address at a special session of the African Governors Forum of the Group. The Business Forum in Abuja

witnessed the signing of the Bilingual Education Programme (BEP) between Nigeria and the bank. The programme aims at supporting the Federal Government's Almajiri education programme. The bank approved a special grant of 98 million dollars in support of the BEP. Nigeria became a member of the IDB in 2005 and is number five in the ranking, with a representation of an Executive Director. The bank has 56 members, 27 of them African countries. (NAN)

it to his family now that he is dead. Responding on behalf of his family, Ambassador Musa John thanked the Taraba state government for supporting the family adding that declaring a public holiday to mourn his late brother, was the first of its kind in the history of the state.

Ohimege of Koton Karfe passes on


he Ohimege of Koton Karfe town in Kogi state, Alhaji Shaibu Lafia, has died at the age of 100 years. The foremost traditional ruler, who ascended the throne in 1970, died on Saturday night at Koton Karfe. Gov. Idris Wada described the traditional ruler's death as the end to an era, adding that the people and government of the state would miss his wise counsel and fatherly role. He was buried on Sunday according to Islamic rites. (NAN)


he Katsina state chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Barrister Murtala Aliyu Kankia, has tasked police to avoid delay in sending case files to the justice ministry after completion of investigation by them. Kankia, who stated this during a courtesy visit on the state’s new Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji, noted that this delay was responsible for the prison congestion in the state. According to him, of the 739 prison inmates in Katsina central prison, 486 were awaiting trial, calling on the police to cooperate with lawyers in reversing the trend which he said was not healthy for the Nigeria's justice system. He said "the police should cooperate with lawyers on matters related to bail and other issues related to court processes. This is the only way we can ensure quick and efficient dispensation of justice. NBA in Katsina is fully committed to working with the police in these areas". In his remark, the Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji disclosed that he had since directed the 34 divisional police officers, DPO's in the state to cooperate with lawyers on issues related to bail applications and other court process.



Jang wants LG employees redeployed back home From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


lateau state governor, Grp Capt. Jonah Jang (rtd), has directed that all

local government staff should be redeployed to their LGAs of origin before the forthcoming council polls in the state. Speak in g at th e i na u gu r at i on of ra d io an d t el e vi s io n O ut s id e Bro adca stin g (O B) vans and

Sultan challenges health personnel on polio

From Sadeeq Aliyu, Sokoto


he Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa`ad Abubakar has observed that local government health personnel charged with polio vaccination in the state were not measuring up to expectation whenever the exercise comes up. Speaking at the flag off of the second round of polio vaccination in Chimola, Gwadabawa local government during the weekend, Sultan Abubakar stated that "there must be a problem between directors of health in local governments and their staff as whenever polio immunisation comes up, you hardly see the directors or senior health officials coordinating the exercise". The Sultan, who was represented by the Galadiman Gari, Alhaji Aliyu Attahiru, called on the state governor to prevail on council chairmen to accord serious attention to the prevention and eradication of polio in the state by making proper arrangement to tackle the disease. Flagging off the immunisation, the state governor, who was represented by permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Alhaji Bello

Isa Ambarura, announced that a task force would be put in place by the state government to monitor polio immunisation and directed all the 23 local governments in the state to do same with the aim of complete eradication of the disease. He said government would provide capacity human resource, renovate and equip all primary health centres; and provide adequate polio vaccine to ensure total eradication of the disease in the state. In his address, the director of the state's Primary Health Care Development Agency, Alhaji Garba Kadi explained that despite government`s support for routine immunisation, some communities in the state were still non-compliant, making it difficult to eradicate the disease within the shortest possible time. Kadi however said Sokoto state government was determined to stop the circulation of wild polio to stop the circulation of the virus in the state before the end of 2012 by conducting good rounds of immunisation. He said government had engaged 38 doctors, four senior community health workers to supervise the conduct of immunisation and r e s o l ve non-com pliance in h igh risk wards of the state.

Foreign national found dead in an Abuja hotel By Lambert Tyem


foreign national was last Friday found dead in a hotel (the Commandos Hotel), Wuse 2, Abuja. A staff of the guest house (names withheld), said the man had been a guest at the hotel and was hale and hearty before he checked into the hotel. Even though the information about the incident was scanty at time of filing this report, the FCT Police Command said detectives

had launched an investigation into the incident. The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood when contacted, said the identity and nationality of the man had not been ascertained, adding that an investigation would reveal the cause of his death. He stated that some of the hotel workers had been invited for questioning over the death of the guest.

o th e r st u di o e q ui p me nt fo r the Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC) in Jos, J an g e x pl a in e d t h at th e m ea s ur e w o ul d ch e ck th e ghost workers. A cc or d in g to h im , "H enc efo rth , e ve ry ind ige ne will work in his or her LGA so that if they mess their people up, the people will deal with them there rather than mess up ot her LGA s b eca use it is not their own". Jang disclosed that the era

o f sh a ri ng th e st a te 's fu nd s a mo n g f ew d i sg r un t le d politicians is over saying his adminis tration would rather u se th e s t at e 's re s ou r ce s t o e xe cu te p ro je c ts t ha t wo ul d i mp ac t me an in gf ul ly o n th e l ive s o f t he ci t ize ns of th e st at e. H e de cr ie d co rr up ti on i n t he st a te ' s ci vil se r vi ce, adding that t he bi o me t ri c da ta c ap tu ri ng ex er ci se w as fr us tr at ed b y gh os t wo rk er s a nd th e e x er c is e c o ul d s t il l

n ot de t er m in e t he ac t ua l workforce of the state. Jang disclosed that in the past contracts were awarded and payments were made but o nl y f or so m e p eo p le t o g o round and collect the money a nd th e c o nt ra c to r s w il l dis appe ar. A cc o rd i ng t o h i m, hi s a dm i ni s tr a ti o n w ou l d b e a strict one because he believes in u sin g p eo ple s' mo ney f or the betterment of the lives of citizens of the state.

L-R: Outgoing Permanent Secretary in the State House, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, handing over to the new Permanent Secretary, Mr . Emmanuel Ogbile, at the State House, on Friday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Kuku berates oil and gas coys for inadequate training of ex- agitators By Abdulwahab Isa


he Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters, Mr. Kingsley Kuku has berated oil and gas companies located in the NigerDelta region for gross and inadequate training of the over 1,000 ex-militants they absorbed for training. He said it was ridiculous that the oil and gas companies could be training youths in the Niger Delta region as tailors, caterers and other vocations that are of no relevance to the sector. Consequently, Kuku threatened that he would soon

embark on a tour of oil and gas facilities where the companies are training youths from the Niger Delta region, adding that "if I am not pleased with the facilities, the youths will be withdrawn from such sub standard facilities." Kuku spoke over the weekend at an investiture ceremony, where he was honoured as the "Maritime Man of the Year 2011", for his contributions in sending exmilitants for maritime related courses to fill the gap of local content in the sector. Kuku explained that the target of the amnesty office in

2012 was to train as many as over 8,400 ex-militants in many areas, such that people of the region could get job placement in the oil and gas sector, where many expatriates are holding the economy to ransom. He explained that there was no going back on the training of ex-militants in marine related areas, as the target of government is to ensure that in the next few years youth from the region will have the skills and competence to take all the jobs in the region, which were hitherto given to foreigners.

Oyo begins screening of new-born babies, pregnant women From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Oyo state government has embarked on the screening of new-born babies to ensure detection and treatment of any possible diseases. Besides, the state government has also established what it called "Abiyamo Programme" for pregnant

women through which they will be treated for any disease before delivering their babies. Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed this while flagging off the National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) activities at the Ibadan North local government council secretariat, Ibadan. He said the programmes were borne out of his personal conviction that children must be

given the best opportunities to survive and live in a healthy environment. "We are much concerned on the survival of our children and that is why we are concentrating on preventable diseases rather than the curative ones. If we can discover these diseases early enough, we can prevent so many preventable diseases", the governor said.

He expressed his administration's determination to transform the healthcare delivery system to improve on the standard of living of the people of the state. "As of today, health is being accorded top priority in our development agenda. The focus is to provide comprehensive range of healthcare that will address the needs of the citizenry,

with special attention to children, pregnant women and the aged", the governor pointed out. According to him, part of this `high impact intervention project' is the free health mission organised by the state government through which about 200,000 citizens have been treated from various diseases free.





FAAC allocation for the month of March 2012 S/N




FG (52.68%) States ( 26 .7 2% ) L/govt Councils (2 0.72 %) Derivation (13% of Mineral revenue-oil/gas) Value Added Tax (VAT) & Transfers

Sugar master plan to generate He said Master Plan had the 100,000 jobs potential to boost wealth creation By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem he Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said the proposed National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) would generate over 100,000 employments and also saving the sum of N68.6 billion in foreign exchange expended in sugar importation . The NSMP, which is scheduled to commence in 2015, would according to the Minister, provide the Roadmap for at least 100 percent local production in sugar as well as exportation to the world market. Aganga, made the disclosures over the weekend while declaring open, the first bi-annual training workshop for commerce correspondents organised by the ministry in Abuja.


Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-ABJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30. ABJ-LOS : 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ-S OK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-S OK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-S OK (WED /SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED /SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS -ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS -ABJ (SAT ): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU -L OS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU -LOS (SAT ): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10 ABJ-L OS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT /SUN): 13.05, 18.00 LOS -KANO: 08.10 KANO-L OS: 11.25 KANO-ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO: 10.08


and employment generation in the sugar industry and lamented the fact that Nigeria produces only about two to three percent of the sugar it consumes at the moment."The NSMP will ensure on an annual basis local production of 1,797,000 tons of sugar; 161.2 million liters of ethanol, 4000MW of electricity, 1.6 million tones of animal feeds, 37,378 permanent jobs and 79,803 seasonal jobs", he said. He said the ministry had commenced measures to formulate a new Industrial Policy that would provide framework for fast-tracking the country's industrial revolution and attracting investment into the critical sectors of the economy, especially where the country has competitive and comparative advantage "The policy document will look at specific interventions in the areas of industrial infrastructure development, innovation and technology, improvement of the business environment through rationalisation and simplification of business regulations, development of appropriate technologies, especially green technologies for sustainable development, as well as a structured and institutionalized industrial skills development programme that will provide jobs for our teeming youths." He explained that the Industrial Revolution was aimed at reviving and transforming the manufacturing sector into a dynamic and virile sector with the capacity to contribute at least 8 percent to the country's GDP by 2015 as against its current contribution of 4.5 percent. Aganga said the workshop was meant to "build the capacity for media practitioners and sharpen their reportorial skills in the specialised trade and investment cum business reporting. EXCHANGE RATES


LOS-ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45

KANO-LOS (S UN /SUN): 10.30

SELLING 0.3096 203.6739 244.7177 41.6127 156.06


ABJ-L OS : 11.30, 3.45, 4.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (S AT /SUN): 16.30 KANO-L OS: 07.30

28th Mar, 2012 BUYING 0.2896 202.3688 243.1496 41.346 155.06


BUYING 243 43 154

SELLING 257 45 159

NDIC pays 71,000 depositors of closed micro finance banks

Mob: 08033644990

Nigeria’s access to GARRI fund increased to $20million By Abdulwahab Isa

620.7 billion

- Pg 20


he executive management of Guarantee Fund for Private Investments in West Africa (GARI FUND) has raised Nigeria's funding limit from $15 million to $20 million (about N3.2 bn). Acting Managing Director/ CEO, of the Fund Mr. Nignon Jacques confirmed the raise when he received a delegation from the Nigerian ExportImport Bank (NEXIM) led by its Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Roberts Orya. Jacques said the strategic focus of GARI was to grow its interventions in Nigeria, which informed the enhancement of country funding limit for Nigeria from US$15million to US$20 million. He however, added that GARI's policies were still flexible and could be adapted and waivers granted on transaction-specific basis to increase Nigeria's transactions on GARI's portfolio. A NEXIM statement issued over the weekend by Head,

Corporate Communications, Chinedu Moghalu said Orya had led top management of the bank on a two day visit to Benin Republic and Togo, as part of activities to facilitate the takeoff of its flagship initiative. Orya expressed appreciation to GARI Fund MD and reiterated the commitment of NEXIM to the sustenance of the good relationship with the FUND. He also expressed a commitment to the prevalence of the favorable policy environment to enable the Fund expand the scope of its intervention in Nigeria even as he pledged NEXIM would forward some pipeline transactions within the next three months to GARI FUND for consideration. The NEXIM had earlier visited the management of West African Development Bank [BOAD] and ECOWAS bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and he emphasized that, the Sealink initiative was the missing ingredient towards achieving the intendment of the Protocol on Free Movement of

Persons, Goods and Services which was signed by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Lome, Togo since July 5th, 1985. At the end of the presentation, the officials of EBID welcomed the initiative, which they acknowledged was in line with the developmental role of the Bank and also stressed the position of the Bank to support any and every initiative that will promote regional trade. According to Mr. Ousmane Bocoum, the Director of EBID's Private Sector Operations, the Bank will like to invest in the equity and debt aspects of the initiative when they review the feasibility study report for a better appreciation of the project. Raising concerns about the relationship between the Sealink and ECOMARINE, which was set up to provide similar maritime logistics services, the NEXIM MD emphasised that the SEALINK project is strictly private sector driven by participants drawn from West and Central Africa.

L-R: Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, presenting NEITI audited report to managing director of shell, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, during his visit to NEITI, recently in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Management Tip of the Day Forget motivation, you need follow through


hen approaching a difficul t taskg et t in g t o t h e g ym , writing an important pr es en ta ti on -y ou m ay c hi de yourself for lacking m o t i va t i o n t o g e t i t d o n e . H o w e ve r , i t ' s o f t e n n o t a q ue st i on of m o ti va t io n , bu t

fo llow th roug h. You may want to do the task-you know it's important-but your brain ta lk s yo u ou t o f it . Yo u te ll yourself you can do it to morr ow or y ou have mo re urgent things to do. Don't let your mind

s ab o ta ge yo u r a sp i ra ti o ns . Make a specific decision about what you want to do and don't q ue s ti on it . T e ll yo ur s el f : I will work out tomorrow at 6 A M o r I w i ll f in i sh th e presentation by Tuesday at 1 P M. If y o ur mi n d s ta rt s t o argue wit h y ou, ig nor e i t.



COMPANY NEWS How Nigeria’s Oil, Gas Industry Can Develop - Lawmaker


on Kwanee who was speaking at the formal launching of the DFID Funded National Learning Groups on Evidences and Lessons from Latin America, said the people of the Niger Delta would want to know whether the environment of these countries were polluted and degraded with fauna and flora perishing with no aquatic life with little or no compensation.

Kim Lobbies for World Bank Job as Nigerian Mounts Challenge


im Yong Kim, the US candidate to head the World Bank, started a global tour to garner support among developing nations as Nigeria's finance minister mounted a challenge for the leadership

Shell: Nigeria Loses $5bn Annually to Crude Oil Thefts


evenue due to the government from Nigeria's oil resources will dwindle further in the wake of increased crude theft in the Niger Delta region, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, sai. Sunmonu, who disclosed that Nigeria was losing so much revenue to crude theft, stated that an average of $5 billion was been lost by the country annually to oil theft.


he interbank lending rates climbed last weekend to an average 15.33 percent, up from 13 percent previous week, as Treasury bill and bond sales soaked up cash liquidity. The distribution of about 620.7 billion naira ($3.94 billion) of oil receipts to government agencies last week had boosted liquidity and reduced the cost of borrowing. "The central bank had embarked on an aggressive liquidity mop-up since the release

Interbank rates jump on cash shortage of budgetary allocations last week, and coupled with bond auctions and flow to foreign exchange purchases, the cost of borrowing has been on an uptrend," one dealer said. Africa's top crude-oil exporter shares proceeds each month from oil sales held in a central account with its three tiers of government - federal, state and local - providing liquidity to the banking system.

The secured Open Buy Back rose to 14.75 percent from 12.50 percent last week, 275 basis points above the central bank's 12 percent benchmark rate, and 4.75 percentage points above the Standing Deposit Facility rate. Overnight placement jumped to 15.50 percent, compared with 13 percent, while call money traded closed at 15.75 percent against 13.50 percent last week.

NDIC pays 71,000 depositors of closed micro finance banks


he Nigerian D eposit Ins u ra n c e C or p or a t io n ( N D IC ) s a i d i t h a d d i s b u r s e d N2 b i l l i o n t o 71 ,0 00 de pos ito rs of t he cl os ed 10 3 Micro Fin an ce Ba nk s (MFBs ) in the country. The Managing Director of the corpo rat io n, Al haji U ma r u Ib ra h im , a n n ou n ce d this over the weekend at the 'NDIC S pe ci al Da y' at t he ongoing 23rd Enugu Int e r na t i on a l T r a de F ai r . Ib r a h i m , r e p r e s e n t e d b y t h e C o n t r o l l er , S o u t h E a s t , Mr G i d a d o S a m b o , s a i d arra nge me nts had been ma de to t ra nsf er the pa ym ent o f the depo si to rs th ro ugh e ig ht ag ent b an ks a c ro s s t he c o u nt r y . The banks are First Bank, Ac ce ss Ba nk, Un it y Ban k, Ma i n s t r e e t B a n k , U n i o n Bank, Wema Bank, UBA and Z e ni t h B an k . T h e MD a l s o d i s c l o s e d th at th e corporat ion h ad pa id N3.3 bil li on out o f t he N5.2 billion insured deposits of 35 depo sit mo ney ba nks th at we re li quida te d s in ce

1994. ` ` W e a l s o p a i d N6 . 1 bi ll ion o ut of th e N11 .5 b il li o n li q ui da ti o n di vid en d that was de cla re d to de po sit ors o f 35 depos it money banks,'' he said. Ib r a h i m s a i d t h a t i n orde r t o enh an ce publ ic co nf ide nc e, the b oa rd increased the depos it i n s u r a n c e c o ve r a g e l e v e l

from N2 0 0 , 000 and N1 00, 000 to N500 ,00 0 a nd N2 0 0 , 0 0 0 r e s p e c t i ve l y f o r de po sit m one y ba nks a nd MFB s. Ac co rdi ng to h im, t he new coverage level was used to s et tle depo si to rs of t he 103 MF Bs closed in 2010. Th e ch ief e x e c u t i ve o f f i c e r s a i d t h e ND IC h a d ma pped out s tra te gie s to enhance public awareness of i ts m an d a te and activities. T he y i n cl u de th e development of a website and establishment of toll-free 24hour help desk. He c om m en d ed th e organisers of the fair, saying

t ha t i t w ou l d h el p i n attaining the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jon atha n. In h is re m ar k s, th e ECCIMA Pre sident , Dr T heo Okonkwo, commended NDIC f or th e r o le it pl a ye d i n protecting depositors' funds. Okonkwo, however, urged t he co r p or a ti o n t o i n cr e as e t he co m pe n sa ti o n p ai d t o d ep o si t or s of d is t re s se d b an ke rs . He also urged the CBN to ensure that the rate of failed b an k s w as re d uc e d t o s ave d ep os i to r s fr o m going th rough ha rro wi ng e x p er i e n c e . ( NA N)

ECOWAS Bank’s committed to economic development of sub-region - Bank chief



S. Africa’s MTN slides on Iran corruption lawsuit


hares in MTN Group slid on Friday after rival Turkcell (TCELL.IS) filed a $4.2 billion suit against the South African mobile operator, alleging it bribed officials and lobbied support for Tehran's nuclear program to win an Iranian license. Turkcell, which lost the 2004 bid for the Iranian license to MTN, filed the suit in a U.S. federal court in Washington, accusing the Johannesburg-based firm of using its influence with Pretoria to arrange support for Iran's military. The Turkcell case threatens to tarnish the reputation of both MTN - a black-run company widely seen as a postapartheid success story - and the South African government, including former President Thabo Mbeki. It comes at a time when countries around the world, including South Africa, are under strong Western pressure to halt oil imports from Iran and cut other trade.

But the central bank regularly sells treasury bills to mop up cash from the system as part of measures to control the impact of oil money on consumer prices and to reduce pressure on the exchange rate. Traders said the market opened with a cash balance of about 7.9 billion naira on Friday, compared with 194 billion naira a week earlier.

Inflation rates from Mar, 2011 to Feb, 2012 Max = 12.8%, Min = 9.3% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 11.9% Source:CBN

he President, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Mr Bashir Ifo, said the bank is committed to the sub region's economic development. Ifo spoke in Dutse at the end of a three-day sensitisation programme organized by the bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said the bank would play its role through financing the projects and programmes of both ECOWAS and the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sensitisation programme on the operations of the bank was the fourth of its kind in the country targeting the business community in the North-West

Earnings Report for Banks

Source:Pro-share Nigeria

geopolitical zone. He explained that the bank's areas of intervention included transport, energy, telecommunications, bank infrastructure, industry, education, health, environment and natural resources. Ifo said that despite the bank's effort to ensure consistent financing of development programmes, ``there is no doubt that inadequate and inefficient economic infrastructure remains a constraint in the areas of energy, water sanitation, ports, aviation, among others. He commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Jigawa government for the support given to the bank. In her keynote address, Hajiya Hauwa Lawan, the Jigawa Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism, said that the government was committed to achieving a sustainable socioeconomic development anchored on the principle of Public-Private Partnership. According to her, this has placed the state on a sound and viable economic pedestal. (NA N)



NSE market capitalisation dips by N33bn


he market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last weekend recorded further depreciation as a result of price losses by major equities, dropping by N33 billion. The News Agency of Nigeria

(NAN) reports that the market capitalisation dropped by 0.5 per cent, to close at N6.55 trillion, in contrast to the N6.58 trillion recorded on Thursday. Also, the All-Share Index, which opened with 20,756.18, shed 103.71 basis points representing 0.5 per cent to close

at 20, 652.47 points. Market analysts attributed the persistent downward trend to profit-taking embarked upon by short-term investors. NAN reports that the market had remained on the downward trend since March 26, in spite of improved audited results

released by some companies. Nestle led the losers' chart with a loss of N21.96 to close at N417.30 per share, while NewGold followed with N11 loss to close at N2, 540 per unit. Total depreciated by N7.35 to close at N139.69, while Julius Berger dropped by N1.35 to close

at N30.25. NAN reports that Cadbury dipped by 66k to close at N12.64 per share. On the other hand, Guinness topped the gainers' chart with N11.42 to close at N239.84 per share. Okomu Oil gained N1.33 to close at N28.01, while NCR gained 65k to close at N13.69 per share. Nigeria Breweries appreciated by 50k to ATM, close so at than one account to an N97.50, while Ashaka Cement as to earn them commission rose by 34k to close at N10.70 whenever a customer decides to per share. NAN reports that the make transactions through the total volume of shares traded self-serving machines. It could be recalled that the apex bank recently reviewed downwards the charges or processing fee for cash transactions above the limits. For individuals, the charge cash deposits were reduced to 3 per cent per N1000 from 10 per cent, while for corporate accounts, it was reduced to five per cent from the original 10 per cent. The bank also raised the withdrawal limit from the initial N150, 000 to N500, 000 for individuals and N1 million to N3 million for corporate bodies. This consideration it believed would assist the bank customers the opportunity to easily adapt to the new trend even as they consistently argued that the apex bank should make provisions for policies that will afford them sufficient cash needed for transactions giving the present economic situation in the country.

Cashless Policy: banks commence charges on defaulters From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


anks in Lagos will today start collecting processing charges of 3 and 5 per cent for individuals and corporate bodies on withdrawals and lodgements above N500, 000 and N3 million respectively. This is in line with the CBN directive to ensure that bank customers maintained high level

of compliance to its policy, which will assist it in achieving its target of making Nigeria a cashless society. However, a careful survey of the customers' preparedness to carry on with this apex bank's pilot project revealed that customers have resorted to opening of multiple bank accounts as a means of evading penalty while making an

attempt to increase the cash they needed on a daily basis. It further disclosed a decline in the use of cheque booklets adding that customers have developed an alternative of patronizing savings accounts instead of transacting with current account to avoid charges on transaction (COT) associated with the account Consequently, some banks

which intimated our correspondent of the state of affairs concerning the project noted that they have started thorough refusal of customers on the counter (OTC) transactions, insisting that they use the automated teller machines (ATMs), which require paying of commission on transactions. These banks are equally looking ways of hooking up more

Enterprise Bank unveils model branch concept From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


s part of the efforts to boost Enterprise Bank Limited (EBL) brand equity and improve its customer service delivery especially with the dawn of cashless policy in the country, EBL at the weekend unveiled a prototype branch concept with an ultra-modern Automated Teller Machine (ATM) gallery, at its corporate head office in Victoria Island, Lagos. The new branch concept, which exhibits elaborate architectural aesthetic

expression, is one of the many strategic management plans to firmly establish the Enterprise Bank brand on the financial landscape in the country as well as provide comprehensive customer satisfaction to all stakeholders. According to the bank, the concept of the new branch model, which will be replicated across the country, recognises the unique nature of each branch location thereby accommodating the design of a befitting structure that will meet all customer expectations in that area. The new

design provides for an e-banking gallery (ATM, Internet banking facilities, etc) as a distinct area separate from the cash area for every branch. Such galleries are either incorporated as part of the branch building or provided as separate building to the branch. Speaking at the unveiling of the just completed structure at the bank's Head Office, Aminu Ismail, the Executive Director in charge of Service Bank said, the facility was designed because Enterprise Bank wants to remain in the forefront of driving the cashlite programme as a way of

satisfying the bank's numerous customers at all times. He said Enterprise Bank opted for such state-of-the-art design and the construction of same across its numerous branches nationwide because the bank wants to treat its valued customers as first class citizens among all bank customers in the country. Ismail added that the development is part of Enterprise Bank's quest for improved customer service, which remains the core of the bank's vision that says: to be the preferred bank for value creation.

EAC capital market regulators to issue common certificates R

egional regulators are set to issue common certificates to operators in all five East Africa Community (EAC) member states, which will act as a benchmark for competence to participate in the capital markets. The Kampalabased Securities Industry Training Institute (Siti) will award the certificates. The institution has campuses in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda managed by the stock exchange

of each country. The four countries together with Burundi make up the East Africa Securities Exchange Association (EASRA). Burundi, the latest EAC entrant, is at the initial stages of drafting legislation on the formation of a capital market and so far does not have a training institute. The institution has developed a training programme, which has been running in the EAC markets for the past two years.

However, professionals are trained at the institute on voluntary basis without formal assessment. "For the training programme to be certified, Siti will now start examining candidates and award certificates for the various courses that it offers" said Mr Robert Mathu, the Capital Markets Authority Council chief executive who is also the EASRA chairman. The aim is to provide a

benchmark for experts in the region, which will include licensing and annual renewal, a decision that was made by the regional association mid this month. "The EASRA consultative meeting unanimously approved the regional certification programme under the institute so as to make the programme attain its primary objective of developing professional regional market,"

Source:Pro-share Nigeria

said the association in a statement. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) runs six training sessions annually where participants are trained by peers on various modules under the regional programme. The institution's training covers investment, bond valuation, capital markets, corporate finance, asset m a n a g e m e n t , entrepreneurship and corporate governance. The industry seeks to replicate the legal profession where lawyers have to go through the Kenya School of Law before being allowed to practice in court, although they could still offer other legal services. "We have been having discussions with the CMA on the certification programme and modules," said NSE communications manager Caroline Karugu on the issue of anticipated costs. It is expected that the programme would provide some benchmarks for professionals in the sector and boost service delivery in money markets.



Sambo leads Nigerian delegation to IDB meeting in Khartoum By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


ice President Namadi Sambo is in Khartoum, Sudan, as the head of Nigeria's delegation to the 37th Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group which kicked off last Saturday. The official opening ceremony is scheduled to take place today

with the event terminating on Thursday. Vice President Sambo is joining leaders from eight other countries including Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are major shareholders in the bank. The meeting is also being attended by representatives of

MAN tasks manufacturers on trade fairs


he Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has expressed worry over the low participation of manufacturers in international and local trade fairs in the country. The Executive Secretary of MAN for Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states, Mr Peter Ezeibe, made the observation over the weekend in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the ongoing 23rd Enugu International Trade Fair. Ezeibe emphasised the need for manufacturers to participate in trade fairs to enable them to showcase their goods and services and also to network with other agencies. ``Some serious manufacturers still see trade fairs as a veritable platform to showcase their products and what they do. ``Even some government agencies that know the importance of trade fairs now participate. From the marketing point of view, no business person should shy away from trade fairs. ``Each time I attend trade fairs, I always have something new added to what I do. Let your presence be known to the public,'' he advised the manufacturers. Ezeibe commended the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) for continually holding the international trade fair in spite of the numerous challenges, especially the non-completion of the permanent site. In his contribution, the ECCIMA President, Dr Theo Okonkwo, expressed satisfaction with the number and quality of companies participating at the fair.

Okonkwo said that many companies were benefitting from the 'match-making centre' introduced by the chamber to network and exchange business ideas among foreign and local investors. The president maintained that trade fairs were the best places for investors to interact because they provided opportunities to see and know about business ventures. On the non-participation of many manufacturers, he said the chamber reached out to a large number of them individually and collectively and the serious ones participated. ``We have PAN from Kaduna, Dangote, Innoson, banks, government agencies, Indians, Koreans and Chinese and even local governments from Enugu State participating,'' he said. He urged the manufacturers and other companies to take advantage of trade fairs to boost economic activities in the country. (NAN) By Abdulwahab Isa


he Association of Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria (AMFSON) said it had uncovered a plan by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to halt distribution of petroleum products through accredited private filling stations across the country. The body in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan urged him to prevail on the corporation to desist from such as it will impose hardship on the masses due to attendant in

countries who are not necessarily major shareholders but are members of the group as well. The Vice President is expected to deliver an address today at the special meeting of IDB African Governors' Group on the Special Programme for the Development of Africa (SPDA). IDB is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia founded by the first conference of

Finance Ministers of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in 1973. The bank, which officially began its activities 1975, has 56 shareholding member states on the basis of paid-up capital. Sessions slated to hold during the annual event include 37th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of IDB, the 19th Annual Meeting of the

Board of Governors of the Islamic Corperation for the Insurance of Investments and Export Credit (ICIEC), the 5th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISDFD), the 12th Annual Meeting General Assembly of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the 7th General Assembly of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

Kwara State Governor Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (middle) with representatives of the Ten Micro Finance Banks, during the flag-off of N25million revolving loan scheme for small and medium enterprises, recently in Ilorin.

Group accuses NNPC of halting products supply ‌It’s a wild, hoax allegation says NNPC transport fares hike. The petition was signed by Chief Andrew Ashiga and Kenneth Nwachukwu, the National Chairman and National Public Relations Officer (PRO) respectively. It said the corporation had alerted its subsidiary, the NNPC Retail Limited which is on standby to cut supply when directed. But NNPC said there was nothing of such in pipeline and

described the story as mere hoax. NNPC General Manager (Group Public Affairs Division) Dr. Levi Ajuonuma in a phone conversation with Peoples Daily yesterday reputed to the claim of the group even as he expressed doubt over its identity allegation' . "This is a baseless allegation by some faceless members I doubt their identity. I don't know of existence of any association going

by mega filing station owners. Some people have just filling station of two nussle and claim they own mega filling station. We have criteria which allow a standard station having fulfilled all requirements to bear our products. If any group has issue of supply it's better for such group to seat with PPMC and iron issues out rather than resorting to wild allegation" Ajuonuma said yesterday.

ECCIMA lauds government agencies participation at Enugu fair


he Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) has commended the participation of various local, state and Federal Government agencies at the ongoing 23rd Enugu International Trade Fair. The ECCIMA President, Dr Theo Okonkwo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday that the chamber had not witnessed such participation in recent fairs. ``I am particularly delighted with the high rate of government agencies participating at the fair to showcase their goods and services,`` he said. Okonkwo noted that organisations such as the Centre

of Entrepreneurial and Development Research of the UNN had used the fair to educate the public on the need to embark on entrepreneurial training to boost their businesses. ``There is now a paradigm shift from buying and selling in fairs to showcasing and exchange of business ideas which trade fairs were meant for and I see it as a healthy development. ``The idea of trade fairs is to showcase your goods and services. Unless you showcase your goods, people will not be aware,`` he said. The president, however, commended the states in the south east and south-south geopolitical zones for their

participation, adding that their presence boosted economic activities at the fair. Representatives of some government agencies who spoke to NAN said the fair had afforded them the opportunity to create awareness about their activities. The Deputy Registrar of CEDR of UNN, Mrs Obi Nwala, said the centre used the opportunity to reach out to the public on the need for them to acquire training on entrepreneurial skills. ``The trade fair has afforded us the opportunity of meeting governments and the private sector to tap from our numerous activities. ``I moved from stand to stand to educate people on what we do

and I tell you, we recorded a huge success. People have been trooping in to our pavilion to get information and make contacts,`` she said. A dentist representing the Federal School of Dental Technology and Therapy, Dr Ijeoma Alamba, said the institution was at the fair to educate the public on dental hygiene which they did not consider an issue. Alamba said the school offered some services, including mouth cleaning and oral health instructions. At the pavilion of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), some youths were seen displaying

their skills. Mr Friday Akpan, who uses raffia palm to make shoes, bags, and belts said he was at the fair to showcase his products as well as solicit assistance from both government and private organisations. ``I am here to showcase my products and tell the public to promote and patronise made in Nigeria goods. ``I want the government and other companies to provide me with funds and training to enable me to produce in large quantity,`` he said. Other agencies participating at the fair include agricultural agencies as well as science and technology institutions. (NAN)




4, 218 MW remains highest ever achieved, but for a day - ex Power Minister A

t inception of the present democratic dispensation, the Minister of Power told Ni geri an s th at t he country’s power sector problems would be fixed in 6 months. More than a decade after, and trillions of Naira in investments, th e sect or d oes no t appear to be working ; in fact, the power supply seem to be going down. In your view, what are the key challenges militating ag ai nst the eff ic ient delivery of adequate and reliable electricity supply in Nigeria? I will start by telling you tha t the Niger ian po wer sec tor has seve n ma jor problems which have forced us to continue to have this cir cle of seem ing imp rovem ent and t hen going back again to very low pro duct ion. Unles s th ese issues are tackled, we will continue to have these very unfortu nate circles t hat make us feel we may never get out of the problems. The pro blem s sta rts w ith the policy. The current policy that drives the power sector is anc hored on t he Po wer Sec tor Re form Act. T hat clause simply says that the Nigeria power sector is going to be pri vately driv en. Looking at it on the surface, it is a very good policy; but

Engr. Bello Suleiman

Engr. Bello Suleiman, one time Managing Director of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), was a Minister in Charge of Mines, Power & Steel Development. He was also the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as well as Chairman of its Transition Board. He is presently into private practice. In this interview with Peoples Daily’s team of editors, he laments the frequent changes of managers in the power sector and says there’s a need to refocus the direction of the transformative process of the power sector. Excerpts: we made a v ery fun dament al mi stake. By the way, this same Act was sold to three countries by the World Bank as a panacea for solving their problems, but the other two countr ies have since abandoned the policy. Now, when we came up with a policy, we made that fun dame ntal mista ke t hat enacted it into a law which bec ame th e Pow er Sec tor Reform Act and the law not only defined the principles

but it went further to dictate the implementation and the timing. It also went further to not only define this policy of privat e sec tor par ticip ation but it w ent fur ther to de fine how the things happened. Now, it is a well known fac t th at p olic ies are supposed to be enacted as principles but the exigencies of time and sit uati ons det ermine how you implement those policies. So, when this Power Reform Act was enacted into law it tied eve rybo dy’s han ds, inc ludi ng th e Pre side nt, Vic e-Pr esid ent, policy mak ers and e ven the ministe r of Power. Almost eve rybo dy n ow b ecam e a servant of thi s policy, and how it should be done and the pat h wh ich you can follow now beca me v ery restricted. So, what was the result? The result is that it som ehow broug ht a big dis conn ect betw een the policy, law and the act ual sit uati on i n th e po wer sector. In other words, here we are trying to do A, B C & D b ut th e law pre vents us from doing it; the people who ena cted that law did not envisage such a situation. So from the day that law was ena cted the best that we cou ld s ay h as b een happening is that it has been observed in breach, to the ext ent t hat t he t imeta ble pro vide d by that law has been exceeded by five years. Still, every single day people are bei ng told that we are

following this Power Reform Act , as the p olic y of the government is to privatise the power sector. The second ele ment is t hat s ome structures were enacted and the most impor tant o nes inc lude the o ffic e of the regulator and the idea was that this office will allow the private sector to participate as the driv ers of t his new pow er reform a genda and the y di d. M ore than 40 different companies came in and the y wa nted to par ticip ate a nd t hey w ere given licenses but typical of how things are done in the cou ntry, many of t hem wer e  m ore  or  less spe culat ors; they grab bed the license hoping that there is going to be large sse com ing from all o ver the world so that they can now negotiate. But nobody came. So here we are with 40 differe nt licen ses, peo ple given permission to go and

erect their own Greenfield generating stations; but not a single one has taken off. The n, go vernm ent c ame wit h an othe r po licy to enc oura ge pr ivate sec tor par ticip ation , wh ich i s a kind of partnership with the oil companies, as part of the new polic y tha t all the com pani es t hat are operating in Nigeria as part of the agre emen t te rms must participate in power generation. We have one or two plants that were more or less erected by these oil partners but the rest have not don e any thing exc ept one com pany called Ge ome tric, which incidentally belongs to the current minister and which up till today has not yet gen erated  1  ki lowatt   of ele ctri city. This is the problem with the policy. Aft er s ever al y ears of discussion how do we solve thi s pro blem ? In the

It is a well known fact that policies are supposed to be enacted as principles but the exigencies of time and situations would determine how you implement those policies

meantime the law, which has vir tually han dicap ped eve rybo dy, is t he o nly sub sist ing law, w hich is aim ed at disba nding and selling of PH CN a nd ot her fac iliti es. N ow, the o nly means of power we have is this PHCN. They have not yet mad e the env ironm ent con duciv e for the priv ate sec tor t o com e in but you want them to be the engine of growth and the engine to dri ve thi s pow er sec tor reform, but you went ahead to enact a law to set up and disband the PHCN within a specified period. What that brought about is more or less sowing a seed of the scope of frustration within the PHCN family because from the day you tell me yo u are selling me off, I kn ow I have no future  there  and  you  will  not be plan ning to see the   effi cienc y  in  t his env iron ment impr ove because all you are thinking of is s elli ng, selling and selling Now look at the second  one.  In  any  society you mus t ha ve c apac ity bui ldin g to deve lop lea dersh ip b uildi ng, leadership mentoring and if tha t par ticular a spect is imp orta nt t o yo ur life you put you r be st t here to ens ure   they  prov ide  g ood lea ders hip and quality service and they deliver in good time. Unfortunately, in the power sect or, ev ery sin gle indiv idual in the country for the last 12 years has told gov ernme nt t hat

I hope government will have the courage to look at the Power Sector Reform Act which has been violated because it is observed in breach.  Let government look at it and come up with a policy and a programme which is not tied to a law. It is high time we get out of this bondage

Engr. Bello Suleiman

this is the most important thing in our life, fix it now. What is at stake here is, if I want to fix this problem, I will put the righ t peo ple there. Now, in the last ten yea rs t here have been so man y mini sters of po wer and none has stayed long en ough to make a difference. Thirdly, ninety per cent o f the m are all greenhorns in that area; by the tim e th ey a re m ade minister they know next to not hing . No mat ter how goo d one is, w hen go ing the re, one need s to go through a learning process even if he is among the best in the world. Th ere isn’ t th at con tinu ity requ ired to ens ure p ower in t his important sector. Fourthly, standardization of equipment. Overtime, I respect the process of due process and I think it is a good idea but there is a limit and I wa nt p eople to understand that. When the pow er sec tor s tarted in Nigeria, it used to buy the bes t, in equip ments and wit h th e be st c onta cts

though it costs a little more but it could last for decades but when we st arted due process it now provided for the wrong people to now use wrong contractors because jus t li ke w hat they say in com puti ng, garb age ingarbage out. One more point I want to mention is the insincerity of lea ders. When they m ake sta temen ts, s omet imes, it may not be their fault but is because of th is element of lac k of unde rstan ding of wha t th ey a re a ctua lly talking about. When a new minister recently appointed in a field they know nothing about, when he comes out he will sa y we are g oing to deliver six thous and meg awatts or s o; how do they come about that? But because he  is  there  and  has seen a document which talks about it, he goes on and says it as a politi cian, beca use  th ey  a re  us ed  to   mak ing promises, but as a technical person, let me give you an exa mple . If you hav e a generator of 20kva capacity will you tell yourself that I hav e a gene rato r 20 kva

24h ours a d ay 7 day s a week,   52  weeks in  a  year,  is it possible? It is not possible jus t beca use y ou hav e a 20k va gen erato r in y our house and you tell me I can sup ply 20kva a da y in my house I know you are lying bec ause the o nly capac ity you have is20kva and it is not consistent. Th e si x th ousa nd meg awatts that have b een con tinuo usly talk ed ab out the high est t hat has e ver bee n ge nerat ed is 4, 280 meg awat ts a nd t hat was only for a day, then we came down. S o, at any ti me, we may have 600 0MW ava ilable capa city, not achievable. People must be told the truth about what is achievable and what is not. The issue of inadequate gas supp ly to fire the power-generating plants is equally challenging, and which poses a threat to FGs efforts to revamp the sector. How do you think this can be resolved? The issue is the wrong prioritisation. As far back as 1998, government knew that gas was the most

important product that will make or mar power production in  Nigeria.  Every government has always boasted of putting a stop to the problem but we like to talk and do not put important things into consideration. We have to stop playing politics with it; this is a big embarrassment because we own the largest gas reserve in the world and have not yet been able to provide gas to anywhere in this country. For a problem we have known for fourteen years, it was only in the last three or four years that a gas supply Master Plan was put forward. In the petrochemical industry,  gas  is  the  least  in their priority, as it has been left 100% to the international oil companies like Shell, Chevron, Agip; the foreign companies still decide how much of it they are going to produce. For goodness sake, let us stop buying sensitive equipment from all over the world like someone buying a product from Alaba market. This is the most sensitive part of our lives; let us get the best equipment that can last; let us look for excellent contractors who are committed. I hope government will have the courage to look at the Power Sector Reform Act which has been violated because it is observed in breach.  Let  government look at it and come up with a policy and a programme which is not tied to a law. It is high time we get out of this bondage. Criticisms have trailed the proposed hik e in electricity tariff in the coun try. I s the hike justified? The rate we are paying for power in Nigeria is quite

low but it has always been an issue of what comes first between increase in the tariff and what to enable the government have enough to upgrade the sector or upgrading the present power supply status before the increase, but I support that the government should charge more and show a lot of transparency. Increase in tariff is going to be of benefit to the people and will allow more room for the private sector to participate. So, if you cannot guarantee power to the distribution companies how can they become viable? But we are always being told that the private sector will come in; they will improve the sector so we have to increase the tariff. Wha t app roach to finding a solution in the power sector should be adopted? We keep saying that the Nigerian Government has no business in the power sector because corruption has become our second name; is that an indication that we can never have people in Nigeria who can do things properly in the sector? In the last twelve years we have kept on saying the private sector is going to drive this sector and it has not taken us anywhere because the private sector has not been given the proper environment and provisions to effectively participate in the power sector .We can compare it to the telecom sector, but it did not spend all its time to buy NITEL, in fact, they enacted something completely different. Why is it that for a long time now, we have been talking about how to sell these three or four thousand megawatts? That cannot take us out of our problem? It cannot.



Re: Ikemba goes home (I) By Ola Balogun


have read with great interest the numerous comments that were inspired by my article on the late Emeka OdumegwuOjukwu. I enjoyed reading the diverse points of view, although one regrets that ad hominem attacks seem to have taken the place of genuine debate in some cases. To those who appear to concentrate on mounting personal attacks on individuals whose views they disagree with, I would point out in all humility that the right way to set about these things is to counter points of view you disagree with by mounting cogent and well thought out arguments of your own. In most cases, it’s a sign of immaturity to seek to concentrate on heaping abuse on someone whose views you feel you should counter. Why not take time to explain to everyone why you are convinced that the author of the views you disagree with is wrong? That being said, I would like to point out to all those who have contributed to the debate that was provoked by my article that the version of the article that was published in “Punch” was considerably shortened and edited by the newspaper editors, no doubt due to space constraints. As a result, a number of key paragraphs were left out which might have thrown more light on my views about the events surrounding Ojukwu and the civil war. I will endeavour to supply some of the missing links below, for the benefit of those who are genuinely interested in learning more about the issues. Before that however, I must say that I was deeply disappointed to note that many of those who posted comments on the Punch website or who wrote directly to me by email seem to have reduced the entire issue to one of ethnic politics. Becasue of this warped perspective, some of those who stubbornly insisted on viewing everything I had to say through ethnic tinted lenses arrived at the conclusion that I could only hold the views I expressed because I must somehow be an “igbo hater” of Yoruba origin. Although I generally dislike having to discuss myself as a person, I think I should reveal that although I am Yoruba by birth, my parents (both Yoruba) lived for nearly nearly three decades in Aba in the former Eastern region. (My father passed away in 1958 and was buried in Aba, which he considered to be his adopted home, while my mother decided to continue living in Aba and only left the East at the onset of the civil war, when Ojukwu ordred all non-Easterners to leave). Therefore, I happen to have been born at Aba (our home was at 47 St. Michael’s road, to be precise), and I attended primary school at CKS roman catholic school along with many other children from the former Victoria (now Limbe), Tiko etc in the old Cameroon and others from all parts of igboland. After pidgin English, the first language I learnt and spoke was igbo (I still pride

myself on speaking fluent igbo). In addition to our Yorunba names, my younger sister and I were given igbo names at birth by one of my father’s closest friends, a gentleman named Chief Ubani Ukoma. My late father had friends from all over Nigeria, but is so happened that his very closest friend (who lived very close to us) was a gentleman named Dr. Alvan Ikoku, father of the late Sam Ikoku. My father was also privileged to count among his friends individuals like the late Sir Udo Udoma (Ibibio), Bellgam (from Opobo), (Dr. Erokwu (from Onitsha), Barrister Josiah Obianwu (from Onitsha), Obafemi Awolowo (from Ijebu Ode) who often stayed with us whenever he visited the Eastern region, Chief S.L. Edu (from Epe) and many others too numerous to mention individually, including a wonderful gentleman of Nupe origin whom we only knew as “Baba Tapa”. In the course of a lifetime that is currently drawing to a close (I am 67 years old), I myself have been fortunate enough to form friendships with a wide variety of individuals from many parts of Nigeria, as well as from many parts of Africa and from all over the world. To this day, I remain proud of my igbo roots, and I take great delight in describing myself as being simultaneously a “Yoruba man” and an “Aba boy”. For anyone to accuse someone with my kind of background of being an “igbo hater” is totally incongrous, to say the least. Ironically, when I left Aba to attend secondary school in Lagos in 1957, I used to be classified along some of my other childhood friends and classmates at King’s College as an Easterner, side by side with other students of Yoruba origin who happened to have grown up in Aba and Port Harcourt, such as Kayode Adeniyi-Jones Tunde Cole-Onitiri. My pal and classmate Winston Bellgam, whose parents and mine were close friends, remains a close family friend till today, while older students like Kalu Idika Kalu have remained my friends and mentors till today. Let me also add that I was privileged to have enjoyed a close personal relationship which led to many stimulating intellectual exchanges with Comrade Uche Chukwumerije during the years when he was a strong panAfricanist. I hope that the above details about my personal life and background can help to dispel the odd notion that my refusal to pose as an unconditional admirer or Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (as many insincere opportunists have shamelessly been doing since he passed away) might be due to some latent prejudice I might hold against Ndigbo. Before saying much more about Ojukwu and Biafra, I would like to draw the attention of Ndigbo to the rather odd that apart from political office holders like the Governors of the igbo states, it has been left to a virtual political nonetity named Ralph Uwazuirike to play the role of

Late Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu mourner in chief at Ojukwu’s funeral. Why were most of the Igbo elders and statesmen who played prominent roles in Biafra keeping such a low profile all through Ojukwu’s grandiose funeral? Could it be that some of them were hesitant to step forward and reveal certain facts about what actually transpired in Biafra to the younger generation of Ndigbo? If some of those who have information to share have been too scared to open their mouths and speak up, I will crave indulgence to do so in their stead. For starters, young Ndigbo who did not personally witness the civil war years in Nigeria have a right to know that there was a lot of betrayal and cheating behind the facade of Biafra, and that it was definitely not the glorious adventure that folks like Uwazuruike now claim that it was. The war actually began on a false premise. It is obvious that alternatives to a shooting war were not sufficiently explored on both sides because the young military officers who were in power then (both in Nigeria and Biafra) were too inexperienced to foresee the terrible destruction and loss of life that would result from the civil war. If the truth must be told, we were all victims of the callousness of these young and mostly irresponsible military officers, whose thirst for power created great suffering all over the nation. We were all victims! Interestingly enough, some postulate that the Biafran national anthem and flag had been secretly prepared by Ojukwu and his entourage long before the massacres to which Ndigbo (and many other Southerners) fell victim to during the months of rioting that preceded the civil war

in parts of the north, and that the tragic bloodshed in the north merely gave Ojukwu and his cabal an opportunity of carrying out a plan that had been secretly nurtured for reasons that had to do more with political ambition than with protecting Ndigbo. This allegation remains a disputed point in the history of events leading up to the civil war. Whatever be the case, it is clear that Ndigbo were never given a proper opportunity to debate the options available to them properly in the emotion-laden atmosphere of the weeks and months that preceded the declaration of secession. Most importantly, Ojukwu deliberately misled his kinsmen about the quantity and quality of arms and ammunition that were actually available to fight the war, and that they were virtually led like sheep to the slaughter, given the lack of understanding of the vast disparity of forces. In addition, Biafra was a concept that was seriously flawed from the outset: What was to happen to be the fate of the minority ethnic groups from the riverine areas in an Igbodominated political entity in which the Ijaws, the Efiks, the Ibibios etc had been assigned the role of junior partners and forced participants in an adventure that they disapproved of? Even more crucially, many of the individuals in Ojukwu’s entourage who were entrusted with the task of travelling abroad to purchase arms simply disappeared with the money or seized the opportunity of becoming multimillionaires in dollars by ruthlessly exploiting the terrible suffering of millions of Ndigbo. It is common knowledge that one of the worst offenders in this respect was a gentleman named Mojekwu, who

happens to have been.....Ojukwu’s uncle! I publicly challenge Igbo elders like Uche Chukwumerije and Kalu Idika Kalu who were part of the inner political circle in Biafra to come forward and dispute the statement I have made concerning individuals like Mojekwu, if they feel that I am not speaking the truth. Because the paragraphs I devoted to the issue of the tragic massacre of Ndigbo in the north were left out from the version of my article that was published in the Punch, some commentators appeared to believe that I feel no sympathy for the unfortunate victims of those massacres. To dispel this erroneous impression, let me quote verbatim below the relevant sections of my original article. After reproducing what Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings had to say about Ojukwu and Biafra when he turned up for the funeral, I disputed his preposterous claim that Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a “great African” and then went on to write the following (all omitted from the Punch version of my article) : “(....) Even more puzzling, President Goodluck Jonathan (perhaps motivated by a futile desire to restore some of his fast dwindling store of luck with the people of Nigeria), came out boldly to declare that the late Ikemba was a great “patriot”! Well, the lucky accidental President of Nigeria is no doubt entitled to his opinion on the matter, but it does appear rather odd that he totally failed to localize Ojukwu’s supposed “patriotism”: Can Ojukwu actually be considered a patriot in terms of the Nigerian nation that he actively sought to break up? Was Ojukwu a patriot in terms of the Biafran nation from which he escaped at the bitter end, allegedly to go and conduct a shadowy “peace negotiation” with invisible protagonists in the Ivory Coast, leaving General Philip Effiong and others behind to sort out the legacy of defeat? Or could Ojukwu have been better described as a patriot of an entity that can best be defined as Igboland, which he eventually came back to Nigeria from exile to lead as self-proclaimed “Eze Gburugburu” of Ndigbo? In all objectivity, it might conceivably appear to be more appropriate to define Ojukwu as an unreconstructed igbo patriot who never really thought in terms of Nigeria as a whole, which makes it all the more puzzling to hear some apparently well-intentioned folks declare that “Ojukwu sacrificed himself for the sake of Nigeria” or (in a more extreme formulation) “Ojukwu died so that Nigeria and Africa might be saved”... Unfortunately, this proposition (no matter in what variant!) appears to fall flat on its face when one compares the late Ikemba’s political trajectory with those of clearly identifiable African leaders like Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Edouardo Mondlane, Steve Biko, Chris Hanni, Felix Moumie etc.



Rector defends professorship, says 2 Enugu varsities conferred honour


he former Rector of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Prof. Edwin Onyeneje, was challenged to defend his professorship before the institute’s panel of enquiry. The Deputy Registrar of the institute, Mr Jonas Abonyi, had questioned the professorship of Onyeneje through a memorandum to the panel. In his defence, the former rector tendered two certificates bearing ‘Offer of Admission for Profound Professor’ awarded to him by the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) in 2011 and the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Onyeneje, who was also accused of not implementing the 53.7 per cent enhancement of CONTISS, five years after other Nigerian polytechnics did so, explained that the institution lacked the financial muscle to carry it at the time he assumed office. He said that he concentrated on settling issues of monetisation arrears which was in the tune of N428 million. On the issue of over admission of students that led to the withdrawal of accreditation of the institute by the National Board for Technical Education, Onyeneje explained that it was geared toward making ends meet in the institution. He said the institution spent N98 million monthly on wage bill while the state government only gave it N20 million subvention monthly. The former rector noted that the school’s major source of internally generated revenue was the students’ tuition fees. “We get N20 million subvention form the state government monthly and the remaining N78 million to complete our wage bill is gotten from school fees which we generate. “We generate N100 million monthly and give and take, N1.2 billion yearly from the fees,’’ he said. The admission of so many students in IMT, he said, was also to meet the high demand for education in the state, IMT being the only polytechnic in Enugu State. Onyeneje, who was also accused of not erecting new structures in the institution in spite of the revenues generated, said he completed the 33-room ETF hostel abandoned by his predecessor. He said he also equipped the staff offices and laboratories in the school, adding that the institutions’ main gate was constructed in his regime. Reacting, the counsel to IMT, Mr Vincent Ene, said the accreditation of the institute was withdrawn because of the problem created by Onyeneje in the school. The panel, headed by Mr Justice Raymond Ozoemena, adjourned till April 2 for further hearing. (NAN)

Solid minerals: Kaduna Poly gets N500m World Bank facility From Agaju Madugba


fforts by the Federal Government towards the diversification of the nation’s economy has received a boost with the World Bank facility of about N500 million to the Kaduna Polytechnic, for the institution’s Centre for Solid Minerals Research and Development. A Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank, Dr. Tunde Adekola, gave the figure in Kaduna yesterday when he led a team of officials on inspection of facilities at the centre, located on the Polytechnic’s main campus at Tudun Wada. Adekola said there was remarkable progress in activities at the centre which was established in April 2011, designed to tackle the problem of low research output in key areas relevant to the solid minerals sector of Nigeria. The centre, which is also a collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences, Jos, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Federal polytechnic , Nasarawa and Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, is expected to collaborate with other institutions abroad in the areas of training and research in mineral exploration, mining, processing as well as metal extraction. In his remarks, acting Rector,

Kaduna Polytechnic, Dr. Aliyu Mamman, explained that, “the choice to pursue a researchbased centre in the minerals sector was borne out of the desire of the institution to add value to the solid minerals sector in order to assist the nation in the diversification of its revenue base and to ensure the

production of highly qualified manpower for the solid minerals sector. “Experiences with countries like Botswana, Ghana, Namibia and South Africa indicate that effective participation by all stakeholders in the solid minerals sector in research, investment and developments in

the minerals cycle can help optimize the contribution of solid minerals to sustainable development and poverty reduction. “The equipment that will be put in place will be modern and state of the art that will compete favourably with similar centres around the world.”

Students queuing for screening during the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, at Maitama Model Secondary School, recently in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Nasarawa varsity mgt lauds FG’s intervention in Education


he Management of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, has commended the Federal Government for setting up a Committee to assess the needs of public Universities in the country. Prof. Shamshudeen Amali, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, made the remark in Keffi when the Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities, led by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, visited him. According to him, the Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), has embarked on intervention projects especially in the area of infrastructure development. Amali recalled that the state university, which  was established in 2001, commenced academic activities in February 2002 with only 401 students. “We now have seven faculties and more than 15,000 students studying in three campuses. One of the immediate needs of the institution is physical facilities as a result of the growing number of staff.” The Vice-Chancellor said the immediate needs of the institution as a result of the growing number of staff were physical  facilities, a  central library complex, additional faculty buildings for

Engineering, Pharmacy, Health and Environmental sciences. Others included central laboratories, centre for solid minerals development, construction and rehabilitation of roads, lecture theatres and five blocks  of  classrooms. He said two abandoned projects in the school include, 200-seat  lecture  theatre being facilitated by Oceanic Bank, and Education faculty building being built by the State Government. Amali, however, said that the university was committed to resuscitating the projects. In his remarks, Yakubu said

the committee was in the institution not to assess completed projects but to assess the needs and challenges facing the university. He said the committee would also identify critical  areas  where the Federal Government would channel its limited resources. “If we pretend that there are no challenges, then we will fail to address the challenges. “There is the need for statistics as  one  cannot  plan  in vacuum, and again one should always channel intervention to critical and relevant needs of the institution.’’ Yakubu said the committee

would not pass judgment after visiting one institution, but would wait  until  all  the universities had been assessed. Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, a member of the committee, said that the visit was part of the effort by the Federal Government to reposition the sector. He regretted that the nation’s universities were yet to be ranked amongst the best 5,000 in the world. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee had on Tuesday visited the University of Abuja.(NAN)

Sokoto govt plans to shut down substandard private schools — Perm. Sec.


he Sokoto State Government says it will shut down private schools operating  below  set standards. Alhaji Bello Sifawa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, gave the warning in Sokoto   at  a   meeting  with  the proprietors of the private schools in the state. Sifawa said that the report of a committee recently set up by the ministry showed how most of the private schools operated in

environments hostile to teaching and learning. “Some of them are still operating in garages and makeshift structures and yet charged their clients exorbitant fees. “Some were also found to be operating in overcrowded classrooms, while  others  lack  the required standards for safe habitation.” He also expressed regret that the  report  had  shown increased rate of indiscipline

and indecent  dressing  by  some of their students. “This obnoxious situation must be urgently redressed while school fees can only be jerked up with the consent of the ministry and the various Parent Teacher   Associations.” Meanwhile, Sifawa  said that the  state  government  had approved the re-introduction of the teaching of both Christian and Islamic religious knowledge in schools to boost moral education.  (NAN)



Kaduna needs N6bn to reposition science, technical education


lhaji Mustapha Bawa, Chairman,  Science and Technology Committee, Kaduna State House of Assembly, said that N6 billion was needed to reposition the sector. Bawa (CPC-Zaria) made this known to  newsmen  in  Kaduna shortly after presenting his committee’s report on the condition of science and technical education in the state. He noted that even though N2 billion was allocated for the rehabilitation of some colleges this year, the amount was grossly inadequate for the exercise. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the committee was mandated by the House on Oct. 13, 2011, to conduct a thorough assessment of science and technical education and  make recommendations to revamp the sector. While presenting the report, Bawa said the committee conducted wide consultations and held several meetings with stakeholders as well as visited the affected institutions. According to him, the committee observe that the schools and colleges are in deplorable condition with poor infrastructure and amenities. Besides, he said that the schools lacked technical and laboratory equipment, water, electricity and health facilities. The chairman added that the sector was experiencing dearth of qualified teachers and vehicles. However, Bawa commended the contributions of ETF, MTN Youth Empowerment Foundation and Malam Muhammad Ali (CPCKawo) for empowering youths with various skills. He recommended urgent provision of the necessary facilities and adequate funding of the sector to salvage it from total collapse.

The committee also suggested the initiation of a private member bill for the establishment of a science, technical and commercial education board to address the ills bedevilling the sector. It canvassed repairing and upgrading of existing schools against the establishment of new institutions across the state. Members lauded the job done by the committee during the debate. Malam Muhammad Ali (CPCKawo) hailed the report, but advised against a quick adoption of the report and the writing of a commendation letter to ETF, noting that the fund was executing its mandate. Mr Philemon Gidanmana (PDPMakera) also urged the House to ensure that its recommendations were fully implemented by the executive. He appealed to his colleagues to be abreast of matters affecting the development of the state. Similarly, Malam Umaru Yunusa (PDP-Lere East), emphasised the need for members to x-ray the education sector and proffer suggestions for its revitalisation. After deliberations, the Speaker, Alhaji  Usman Gangaran,  deferred the report to April 17, for further debate to enable members make quality inputs toward uplifting the state’s standard of education. Also commenting on the report, Mr Yusuf Yakubu, the House Committee Chairman on Information, added that the report was stepped down to enable members to carefully read through it to enable them to make detailed input before it was adopted for action by the executive. Meanwhile, the House, which earlier adopted the votes and proceedings of the previous plenary session, had adjourned sitting to Tuesday, April 13. (NAN)

Don urges FG to prioritise education sector


senior lecturer with the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Mr Ray Njoku, has said that only the  government’s political  will can save  the  nation’s  education system from collapse. Njoku told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba, Abia, that the fallen standard of education had made Nigerian  graduates unemployable. He said the development had also affected the critical human capital needed to achieve the Vision 20:2020. The lecturer said the government must go beyond rhetoric and hypocritical window dressing, and adopt pragmatic approach to improve the country’s education system. He said only the government’s realistic approach with adequate funding could address the rot and decadence in the system. He said the half-baked graduates produced by higher institutions and being rejected for employment had made it imperative for the government to prioritise the sector. Njoku blamed the poor quality of graduates on the foundation laid for the country by the colonial masters.

“The colonial government was interested in designing and implementing educational policies to enhance their imperial interests. “Emphasis was therefore placed on the production of manpower development toward servicing  the machinery of colonial administration and providing support services to commercial and economic imperialists. “When the British left Nigeria in 1960, they left behind the production of mentally and psychologically subservient Nigerians with excess white-collar applicants.” He said their interest was on the production of more arts than science students, with little emphasis on technical and trade education, annual mental examinations and paper qualifications than capability tests. “Some of these issues and problems constitute the main areas to which the educational policies in Nigeria since independence seek to address. “But unfortunately, the implementation of the policies has always been the problems as they have been marred by corruption at every level, hence the persistent policy somersault witnessed in the sector,” he said.  (NAN)

Kogi education in disarray former commissioner sells JSSC to NECO From Sam Egwu, lokoja


any students may be denied writing West African Examination Council, (WAEC) in Kogi State due to fraud perpetrated in the Ministry of Education under the former commissioner for education, Mr Sylvester Onoja The shocking revelation was made recently during the concluded investigation by the Public Complaints Commission, (PCC) in Lokoja into a case of infiltrators who had stormed some schools in Kogi state. It followed a complaint presented to the commission by Parents-Teachers Association and proprietors of schools over the registration of foreign candidates in some schools for the forthcoming WAEC/SSCE examination in May/June, 2012. The complaints came on the heels of the decision by the former commissioner for education, Mr Sylvester Onoja to hand over the conduct of Junior School Certificate Examination, JSSCE, to National Examination Council NECO, which has been described by stakeholders in the educational sector as a rape on the education of future leaders. Stakeholders who spoke with Peoples Daily in Lokoja, the state capital on condition of anonymity alleged that the selling of JSSCE to NECO was a connivance between the state coordinator of NECO, Dr Ekele and former commissioner for education Hon Sylvester Onoja. The decision to sell the JSSCE examination, according to them will not only reduce drastically the number of candidates for an examination that was to be N1,200.00 as against N5,200.00 been charged by NECO. A visit to the Ministry of education revealed that the decision to sell the examination of JSSCE to NECO was unilaterally taken as neither a management nor stakeholders meetings was held on such a sensitive issue In the present circumstances, the PCC after its investigation carried out by Chief Eddy Eniola, into the illegal registration of candidates into schools in the state, especially, Yagba West and Yagba East, invited the former commissioner, Sylvester Onoja to know his level of involvement in the shady deal .The excommissioner passed the blame of the deal on the examination department of the ministry of education, saying, it was their lapses that created room for the infiltrators to be able to penetrate their website for the registration of bone fide kogi state students. The Commissioner further said that most of the staff of the ministry have constituted themselves into

Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i cabals and a clog in the wheel of progress in the education Ministry. Equally invited was Olori Magaret B Orebiyi, Chairman Teachers Service Commission and a team of the management staff of the TSC, they similarly stated their side of the matter that when their office discovered the problems, they wrote a letter to the Ministry of Education with Ref.No KGS/ TSC/SUB/70/Vol111/191 dated 15/2/2012 raising alarm and drawing their attention to the ugly situation that was happening concerning the registration of candidates for the forthcoming WASSCE even as the infiltrators have almost deprived the bona fide students' access to registration for which the state government had paid. The Teaching Service Commission in the third paragraph of their letter to the ministry of education read in part, "Report reaching the Teaching Service Commission from some parts of the state indicate that there were influx of prospective May/June SSCE candidates from Ekiti state into schools under this commission, adding, some of the schools affected were said to have as many as 150 names added to the lists of candidates registered for the Senior School Certificate Examination conducted by the West African Examination Council." The letter further stated that "In view of its wide range of implication for the education sector in Kogi state in general, the statutory function of this commission is to bring to the notice of the ministry. We also hereby suggest that the Ministry of Education should carry out an investigation with a view to determining the veracity or otherwise of this reports. Those who spoke with our correspondent said that the

decision to sell the conduct of JSCE to NECO negates the system of education where education is supposedly free. They wondered why Hon Sylvester Onoja did not sell the idea of handing over the JSSCE to NECO in his five years as Commissioner for Education and waited untill it was time for him to leave the ministry, suspecting foul play in the deal. Findings revealed the last Assembly passed a bill establishing Kogi state Examination board, but the bill was not assented to by the exgovernor due to alleged high powered lobby by the education commissioner, Hon Sylvester Onoja. Staffers of the Ministry of Education who complained to Peoples Daily said that selling JSSCE to NECO would not be in the interest of the stakeholders but rather provision of infrastructures like buildings, laboratories, library and other facilities necessary for conducive learning, standard teaching aids, re-training of teaching personnel, wondering, how asking NECO to set examination will determine standard. The Parents and Teachers said that while the same man who was alleged to have blocked the setting of an Examination board, could expect that transferring same to NECO at an amount beyond the reach of most parents would help to improve standard. Aside Kogi state, no other has given her examination to NECO, not even Niger state, the host state of NECO. It was also argued that if Kogi state examination set by teachers were adjudged one of the best, taking away this junior school examination from the state was an insult on the entire academia. A development that teachers with first and second degrees are bereft of ideas and do not know how to set good examination questions. It added that the responsibility of conducting JSCE is vested in the ministry of education by the Federal government as outlined in the latest National Policy on Education pg 54 section 109 sub "F". Unconfirmed reports alleged that the ex-Commissioner stands to benefit from the arrangement of selling the JSSCE to NECO. Those toeing this line of argument hinged it on why the excommissioner was in a hurry to mortgage the lives of young Kogites before the expiration of the Ibrahim Idris led administration while going ahead to also sell the idea to Capt Idris Wada. People are of the opinion that after five years with Alhaji Ibrahim Idris as Commissioner for education without proper direction for education in the state.



NPHCDA canvases healthcare waste mgt policy review By A’isha Biola Raji


he Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has advocated a review of the existing policy on health care waste management in the country. He made the call during at the weekend during a stakeholders meeting on healthcare waste management strategic framework and plan in Abuja. He said there was the need for an integrated approach to handling health care waste in the country to prevent health risk to the public. “There is also a need for a

robust strategy to ensure that health care wastes are properly managed at the all levels of health care delivery in the country, because of its implication to the public. And this is possible is the stakeholders in the health sector come together to formulate a plan on how best to tackle the huge wastes that is being generated in all the health care delivery in the country,” he said. In her presentation, the Director Community Health Services in the NPHCDA, Dr. Nnena Nyebuzo, said about 90 percent health waste generated at all levels of health care delivery were hazardous, hence the need

for disposal of the wastes to prevent transmission of diseases to patients and health workers. She said the objective of the meeting was to present the NPHCDA’s health care management strategic framework and plan to the stakeholders in the health sector and solicit their support towards it implementation. “Health care waste management ensures proper hygiene in the hospital and the safety of health workers. It also enables waste to be controlled in a responsible manner without causing harm to the health worker, the patient and the general policy,” she said.

R-L: Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, Minister of State, FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, discussing health issues during a recent Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Expert blames poor primary health care services on politicians By A’isha Biola Raji


ormer zonal coordinator, North East, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Mohammed Lawal Hadejia, has blamed politicians for poor primary health care delivery services in the country. Speaking as a guest lecturer at a symposium making the Medical and Health Workers week, at the weekend, Hadejia said instead of allowing the NPHCDA to engage in the establishment of primary health care (PHC) centres, as mandated by law, politician went ahead putting up PHC centre in the name of constituency projects without equipping them.

“The implication of establishing such centres are that will be counted as additional PHC centres, but people will not know that they are just PHC centres by name. This also create confusion as the NPHCDA will assume that since there are PHC centres in those areas there will be no need to establish any again, thereby preventing the people the opportunity to have a quality health care centre in their locality. There is the need for local government chairmen across the country to collaborate with the NPHCDA when embarking on such project so that it will be able to guide them toward the national PHC standard,” he said.

In his speech, the National President, Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the union had chosen the theme of the symposium “Primary Health Care Development: platform for attaining universal access to quality health services in Nigeria” because of the dear need to invest more on the PHC system in the country. “The event is organized to advocate better health services for Nigerians; and also see how we can partner with our employers to achieve effective health care services for all Nigerians. We are also conversing for capacity building for health workers and attitudinal change of our members,” he said.

Wellness with Charity Omenka

The problem of inmate neglect and its attending health consequences


ur prisons are saturated with inmates, some of whom are awaiting trial when there is little or no evidence to substantiate the cases against them. When arrested persons cannot pay imposed fines, they are remanded in prison pending the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution. This is how some end up waiting 2-5 years for a trial. This constitutes all kinds of abuse against their rights: to health, to innocence, to evidence of offence, to fair hearing, to counsel and rights against unduly long detention without trial. Arrest of persons many times does not follow due process. Some people are arrested ‘for questioning’ on mere suspicion, a questioning that can take a few years. Also, although the use of force by the Police is regulated, the police in most societies use force and violence beyond the limits permissible by law. The police are state officials charged with ‘law enforcement and order maintenance’ in society. They are, thus, empowered by the National constitution to use force where arrest is resisted or when suspects are trying to escape. Police violence like summary executions occurs frequently among Special Task Forces assigned to the patrol of highways and cities to curb armed robbery. Torture and other forms of physical assault frequently occur at all levels of police workcrowd control, arrest, investigation, and detention. The use of violence against citizens has been recognized as a global problem but this is worse in developing countries due lack of respect for the rule of law. It is widespread and persistent in Nigeria and acknowledged by the government, public and even police authorities. Rights illiteracy further compounds the problem. Even the average Nigerian graduate has no idea of what his/her basic rights are. Everyone should know that the law states that to be arrested, the police must tell you which law you contravened, and after being arrested, you have the right to be charged to court within 48 hours or granted bail. Hand-in-glove with rights illiteracy is the lack of awareness of what is expected of citizens. The knowledge of what is expected of a person as a member of civil society is necessary because ignorance of the law is never allowed as an excuse for committing an offense. Another complication is poverty. A lot of suspects cannot afford imposed fines or legal services. The state legal aid service does not have enough human resource to tackle this problem and this result in a lot of persons arrested and remanded unable to enforce their legal Rights to Counsel. Sometimes, when suspects do not have enough money to give the Police Officer in charge of their case to investigate the case, they are made to suffer untold hardship until

they can pay. Another indirect cause of overcrowding is recidivism, or a relapse into criminality by exinmates. This is oftentimes caused by the unforgiveness of society. No matter how repentant a former inmate is or how loudly he says he was never guilty to start with, he is many times unaccepted by his community but is ostracized and stigmatized. This contributes to the cycle of delinquency and recalcitrant behavior. Again, many believe that prisons are not meant to rehabilitate but solely to punish the accused, and protect the public retains. But the question is what happens to the public when he comes out, if he is not rehabilitated, if he is not given a chance to live rightly? While in detention, suspects are deprived of their dignity as they can be cramped into cubicles as tiny as bathrooms, 10-15 persons at a time. Some inmates are beaten, tortured, slapped, kicked, denied food, water and health care while kept in these cells. This situation breeds disease and anger in the minds of these inmates at the system. This leads to all forms of rebellion and civil disobedience. Also, inmates infected with the HIV/AIDS virus are not detected until they have gotten to an advanced stage. Some groups estimate that up to 15% of prison inmates in Nigeria prisons are infected because male inmates share razor blades and injections (for addicts) and this has helped to spread the virus. Furthermore, the virus is spread through homo- and heterosexual relationships in the prison. Intake of hard drugs is another problem facing a good number of inmates. Although, some were addicts before committing the crime that got them arrested, others take up the habit while incarcerated. Some sources estimates that almost threequarter of Nigerian inmates have mental health problems and or drug addiction problems. This deadly habit has to be broken before the inmates can live a healthy life. Classes should be organized for inmates on the dangers of drug abuse. Independent university studies show over a 5-year period that criminal recidivism will drop below 10% for those who are warned against drug abuse classes prior to release. Our prisons urgently need interventions in terms of early detection and treatment of various diseases, education on the dangers of drug abuse, access to legal aid, guidance and counseling, and improvement of facilities and other social amenities to reduce overcrowding. Barr Ruth Ehimika, Pioneer, Break the Shackles Legal foundation, a not- for-profit, voluntary organization.


‘Childbirth takes longer now than 50 years ago’


any tasks can be tackled more quickly now than 50 years ago, but delivering a baby is not one of them, a new U.S. government study finds. Compared with the 1960s, U.S. women have in recent years spent two to three hours longer in labour, according to researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The extra time is spent in the first stage of labour — the longest part of the labour process, before the “pushing” stage. New moms, themselves, are different now than 50 years ago; on average, they’re older and weigh more, and their newborns are bigger too. “But even when we take these changing demographics into account, labour is still longer,” lead researcher Dr. Katherine Laughon, of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said in an interview. “We weren’t able to fully address the potential reasons with this study,” Laughon said. One partial explanation may be epidural pain relief, which is far more common now than 50 years ago. Epidurals are known to slow labour down by about 40 to 90 minutes, Laughon said. And many women may gladly trade the extra time in labour for the pain relief. From there, the explanations get more speculative. Laughon noted that many more women now have labour inductions or planned caesarean sections versus decades ago. So women who actually go into spontaneous labour these days may differ somehow from their counterparts of 50 years ago. But whatever the underlying reasons, Laughon said the findings suggest that doctors may need to rethink the definition of “normal” labour — a concept that’s based on what was the norm for women a halfcentury ago. For example, doctors have traditionally considered labour to be abnormal if there’s no change in the cervix after two hours in the “active” part of the first stage of labour. At that point, they may intervene by either giving the medication oxytocin, which stimulates contractions, or doing a C-section. But based on these new findings, doctors may be able to wait longer before taking those measures — “as long as the mom and baby are healthy,” Laughon said. The findings, reported online in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, are based on two government studies done decades apart. One included about 39,500 U.S. women who delivered a full-term “singleton” between 1959 and 1966. The other tracked more than 98,000 women who had a full-term singleton between 2002 and 2008. All of the women had a spontaneous labour — that is, no labour induction. Not surprisingly, contemporary women were far more likely to get an epidural — 55 percent did, versus just four percent of their counterparts 50 years ago. And their doctors were much more likely to end up doing a cesarean to deliver the baby, or to use oxytocin. Source: Reuters


Managing cancer pain from bone metastasis I

f you have cancer that has spread to the bone, you probably have pain. It may be right at the place where the cancer has metastasized or in areas surrounding it. It may be worse at night and when you rest, or it may be better when you rest and worse with movement. No matter how pain behaves, it is the most common complaint of people with bone metastasis, says Julie Fasano, MD, medical oncologist with Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center’s Commack Facility in Long Island, N.Y. In fact, 70% of people with bone metastases, or “mets,” have bone pain. Pain can be scary, especially if you think you can’t do anything about it. But you can do something about pain caused by bone metastasis. “There’s a lot we can do to reduce the pain,” Fasano says. “There’s no reason why any cancer patient has to live with pain.” This guide can help you get started. Understanding and Tracking Bone Metastasis Pain Metastatic cancer cells damage bones and cause pain several ways: • They produce substances that can dissolve and weaken bones. This may cause a bone to break, which is painful. • As the tumor grows in the bone, nerve endings in and around the bone also send pain signals to the brain. • They may make bones harden. This is called sclerosis. It’s important to remember that not all of your pain may be caused by metastasis. Of course, it’s natural to think that may be the cause, Fasano says. But there are other causes of severe pain. For example, severe shoulder pain could be from a frozen shoulder or tendonitis, she says. So how do you know if it’s cancer pain? One difference is that cancer pain persists while other types of pain are more likely to come and go. Still, it’s important to get any new or changing pain checked out. “If you have persistent bony pain, bring it to the attention of your oncologist,” Fasano says. “I always encourage my patients to call with any questions.” Otherwise, she adds, the anxiety from not knowing can be very stressful. For the Best Pain Relief, Keep a Diary If you have bone metastasis, you can help manage the pain by keeping track of it. “A really clear understanding of the pain is going to help the most,” says Julie R. Gralow, MD, professor of medical oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and director of breast medical oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She advises keeping a pain diary so that you can answer questions your oncologist may ask, like: • When is your pain the best

Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that treats weak bones. They can be used to treat osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones get thin and weak. and worst — for example, with movement or when lying down? • How severe is the pain on a scale of 1 to 10? • What is the pain like? Is it burning? Sharp? Dull? • Where is the pain located? In one place? In several places? Providing this kind of information to your doctor can help ensure effective treatment, says Gralow. “Very good communication is going to get you the best pain relief.” Bone Metastasis: What Treatment Is Best for You? Your doctor will consider many factors when determining your treatment options. One is the location of the pain. For example, metastasis in a weight-bearing bone is more painful than in other bones, Fasano says. This may affect the approach to treatment. Pain management may also depend on how widespread the pain is. “If pain is focal — meaning just in one place — we would manage that somewhat differently than if it is in multiple places,” Gralow tells WebMD. If you have pain only in one or two spots, it is possible to target the cancer with radiation therapy. This uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and help relieve bone pain. Often, though, the pain is in several spots, Gralow says. It is not possible to focus a directed therapy such as radiation on many spots. “So we have to use a more total body treatment for the pain, such as drug therapy.” Treatments to Relieve Bone Metastasis Pain From simple pain medications to orthopaedic procedures to radiation therapy, a wide range of options can help control pain. And, of course, it is always important to get the disease under control with whole-body therapies, Gralow says. This might include

chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or other cancer treatments. Other commonly used treatments specifically for bone mets include: • Pain medication. This may range from nonsteroidal antiinflammatories to steroids or narcotics, Fasano says. In some cases, other types of drugs can also treat pain. For example, sometimes a bone fracture causes a vertebra to collapse, and this can pinch a nerve. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), along with your description of the pain, can help your doctor tell if this is the cause. If it is, a drug that targets nerve-related pain can help. • Radiation therapy. This is most helpful if bone metastasis is limited. With external beam radiation, a machine outside the body focuses a beam of radiation on the bone metastasis. It lasts only a few minutes. You may receive radiation in one large dose or in smaller doses over several treatments. In cases when cancer has spread to many different areas of bone, radiopharmaceuticals may be helpful. These drugs are given in a single injection and target the bone areas that have the mets. They release radiation that kills cancer cells and helps curb pain. • Bisphosphonates (Aredia and Zometa). These bonestrengthening drugs were first used for osteoporosis. Now doctors also use them to prevent and treat skeletal problems from bone metastases. They decrease pain while reducing bone damage and risk for fracture. They also lower blood levels of calcium that may be too high. They are usually given to cancer patients by intravenous (IV) infusion. • Denosumab (Xgeva). “Wealso have a new class of drugs we can use to help prevent bone

breakdown and help with pain,” Gralow says. Denosumab is injected under the skin, rather than by infusion. However, it’s more expensive than bisphosphonates, so some insurance companies will pay for it only after you’ve first tried a bisphosphonate. • Vertebroplasty. When the spine becomes weakened from cancer, the vertebrae can collapse. A specialist can do a vertebroplasty to fill the space and relieve pressure. “This technique was originally developed for fractures from osteoporosis,” Gralow says. The specialist injects bone cement into the fractured vertebra. It hardens quickly and can prevent further collapse. Vertebroplasty can help restore mobility and improve back pain within hours. • Orthopaedic surgery. If a bone breaks and causes pain, surgery may help. The surgeon may insert a device such as a screw, rod, or plate to stabilize bone. • Ablation Treatments. With this technique, a probe is directly inserted into a tumor and heat, cold, electric current, or a chemical is used to kill cancer cells. Bone Metastasis Pain Management: 3 Things to Remember As you work with your doctor to manage your pain, keep these points in mind: 1. It is better to prevent pain than treat it once it starts. So take pain medications on schedule. 2. There are many ways to relieve the pain of bone metastasis. However, they may not always work right away or stop all the pain. 3. Controlling pain can help overall treatment be more effective. Source: WebMD



Spicy dish is key to a healthy heart G

ood new for curry fans tucking into a spicy dish could be the key to a healthy heart. Researchers found that the compounds that give cayennes, jalapenos and other chilli peppers their heat can lower high blood pressure and reduce blood cholesterol. They said the chillies have great potential in protecting against heart disease, which is the nu mber one ca use of death in the developed world. Th e s tud y, fro m t he Ch ines e U nive rsit y o f Ho ng Kong, focused on a family of su bst anc es kno wn as ‘capsaicinoids’ - the part of the ch illi th at give s t hem the ir ‘kic k.’ Study author Dr Z hen-Yu Chen said: ‘Our research has re inf orc ed a nd exp and ed kn owle dge abo ut how the se substances in chilies work in improving he art health. ‘We now have a clearer and more detailed portrait of their innermost effects on genes and ot her mec han isms th at influence cholesterol and the health of blood vessels. It is am ong the fi rst re sear ch to provide that information.’ In the study they gave two gr oup s of ha mst ers hig h-

ch oles ter ol d iet s, befo re gi ving on e gr oup foo d wi th va ryin g a mou nts of capsaicinoids while giving the other control group food with no cap sai cin oids . T he sc ient ist s t hen ana lys ed t he effects. Th ey fou nd t he spi cy substances lowered levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol by reducing accumulation of cholesterol in th e b ody and in cre asin g i ts breakdown and excretion. They also blocked the action of a gene that makes arteries contract, restricting the flow of blood to the heart and other organs. By blocking it, the muscles relaxed and widened allowing more blood to flow. ‘We concluded that capsaicinoids were beneficial in improving a range of factors related to heart and blood vessel health,’ said Dr Chen. ‘But we certainly do not recommend that people start consuming chilies to an excess. A good diet is a matter of balance. And remember, chilies are no substitute for the prescription medications proven to be beneficial. They may be a nice supplement, however, for people who find the hot flavour pleasant.’ Source:

Hot stuff: Chillis extract their revenge through their fiery seeds but could be doing us good by encouraging blood flow

Rubbing toothpaste on your teeth ‘quadruples protection against decay’ ‘massage’ method proved to be at least as effective as a third brushing in increasing the amount of fluoride in the mouth. ‘Rubbing the front of your teeth with toothpaste can be an easy way of giving your teeth a third ‘shot’ of fluoride during the day, after lunch for example. ‘But this should not replace brushing with a fluoride toothpaste morning and evening - it’s an extra.’ She added that people should also avoid rinsing out their toothpaste with water after brushing. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents decay by strengthening the protective enamel coating on teeth. However, just 10 per cent of England’s water is fluoridated

The beneficial effect of brushing twice a day could be enhanced with a toothpaste massage


visit to the dentist always ends with the same advice - brush your teeth twice a day and make sure you floss in the evening. Now scientists have suggested rubbing some toothpaste into your gums after lunch as well.

A team from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found the technique vastly reduced the risk of developing tooth cavities. Study leader Dr Anna Nordstrom said: ‘Rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth increases the flouride protection by 400 per cent.’

The researchers were testing the effect of a high-fluoride toothpaste available without prescription in Sweden. They asked 16 volunteers to brush various numbers of times a day and also tested out the ‘finger rubbing’ technique. Dr Nordstrom said: ‘This

compared to 60 per cent in the U.S. due to health concerns. Opponents believe fluoride could be a risk to general health with potential side effects including an increased risk of bone cancer in boys. But the British Dental Association said fluoridation was a safe and effective way of reducing fillings and extractions. The latest research comes just a day after scientists revealed failing to brush your teeth properly could lead to potentially fatal heart problems. Bacteria that loiter in the mouth can cause lifethreatening blood clots via bleeding gums, which could trigger the rare condition infective endocarditis, according to Bristol University. Source:

Fluoride works by hardening tooth enamel



Senator Obi enjoins opposition join Jonathan to transform Nigeria By Nasir Mohammed


he Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, has appealed to political stakeholders in the country to join forces with President Goodluck Jonathan in building a stable and virile political system that will enthrone national development. Obi who spoke in Abuja during separate meetings with the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation and Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr David Macrae and the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Chris Cooter, restated the need for all political actors to show more commitment to the stability of the country rather than engage in diversionary political bickering. Describing the political parties as the bedrock of the country’s political stability, Senator Obi warned of the danger of allowing the country derail from the path of socio-economic growth into that of anarchy as is the case in some African countries. He noted that though Nigeria, for the first time, witnessed uninterrupted democratic experience for 12 years, it still had a lot to learn from Canada and countries in the EU. Senator Obi explained that his visit was motivated by the

desire to fast track the development of Nigeria by building appropriate frameworks that will enhance the growth of political institutions in the country. The Special Adviser to the President assured the two foreign diplomats that Jonathan is committed to leaving a legacy of a united and socio-economic prosperous Nig er ia . Obi disclosed that the InterParty office has developed some programmes that will enhance the achievement of these objectives. He assured that the nation’s political climate would not remain that way it is if the Inter Party office succeeds in executing it’s laid out programmes. He therefore solicited the cooperation of Canada and EU in achieving the set objectives. In their responses, the diplomats assured of the readiness of their countries in   helping  Nigeria  develop strong political structures that will enhance cohesion, unity and national growth. The EU ambassador expressed preparedness to assist Nigeria in achieving economic and political stability as well as social governance. The EU, he stated has consistently encouraged efforts towards the deepening of democracy in the country through the offer of assistance that will drive a sustainable

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


Senator Ben Obi free and fair electoral process. In addition Macrae disclosed that further support will be given to the country in building a credible judicial system, the transformation agenda of the federal government and the efforts in pursuit of vision 20-20-20. The Canadian Ambassador on his part restated his

country’s commitment to Nigeria’s efforts at building structures that will enhance national growth and development. He pledged to lend support to the programmes of the Special Adviser in the erection of frameworks that will promote unity and stability of the co untr y.

Dakingari emerges new governor of Kebbi From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


Alhaji Usman Saidu Dakingari

Anenih berates Oshiomhole over insecurity in Edo

lhaji Usman Saidu Dakingari of the People Democratic Party (PDP) has been declared winner of the Saturday governorship re-run election in Kebbi state. The Returning Officer, Prof. Lawan Suleiman Bilbis while declaring Dakingari the winner of the poll said out of the total 1,616,945 registered voters, 934,693 voted as the new governor polled 875,492 while Ahaji Abubakari Mallam of Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] scored 17,918 votes. He added that out of the 15 registered candidates from different political parties for the re-run gubernatorial election, Kabiru Tanimu (SAN) of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) scored 4,656 while ADC score the lowest with 320 vote just as 910,121 votes were ionvalidated. People Daily   recalls that last year April Gubernatorial election in Kebbi state was nullified by the Supreme Court which ordered for   fresh  election  in  the  state.

However, Dakingari whose election was nullified has been returned back after scoring the highest votes in the re-run election. Our reporter who monitored the election at the Zuru Emirate gathered that the election was free and fair but observed a low turn-out of the electorates Speaking to our reporter during the election in Zuru, the former chairman of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Alhaji Nasiah Mohammed, who also defected to PDP alongside the former Minister of FCT, Senator Adamu Aliero, said they decided to decamp in the interest of the state. Reacting to the result, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Dakingari on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Musa Arugugu, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s effort for conducting free and fair election even as he thanked the electorates for their support and cooperation toward the success of the election.

ormer Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, has berated the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) government in Edo state over alleged inability to tackle kidnappings and other crimes, stressing that time was of the essence for a drastic change of guard to reverse the trend. He said, “There is no day in Edo state when people are not kidnapped; there is no day in Edo state when people are not robbed; there is no day in Edo state where girls are not raped; there is need for change of leadership in the state”. Anenih spoke at the weekend when he presented the Edo PDP gubernatorial candidate for the July 14 gubernatorial elections, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd.) to royal fathers in Edo Central Senatorial district at the Royal Palace of the Uromi monarch, HRH Eidenijie II. He said the candidate was a man who has worked to the highest level of command and leadership, and therefore has all requisite expertise to pilot the affairs of the state. “We have brought our candidate, your son to seek for your royal blessings”. “The assurance I want to give to traditional rulers is that when we win the next election, traditional institutions will be highly respected; elders in the communities would be highly respected and we will not let elders who have made their marks to be rubbished. “It was this reason we have brought our candidate, your son to seek for royal blessing”. On his part, Charles Airhiavbere vowed to address insecurity, poor health care, poor standard of education and astronomical cost of students’ school fees which he said have been the bane of the development of the state once he takes over by November 12 2012. He said “it’s clear after analyses that Edo state has suddenly gone backward because the visions of our founding fathers have been abandoned. Edo state has dropped in education, sports, and even the security of lives and properties and the reason is very, very clear: it’s lack of leadership and vision. “Ewu Flour Mill is not working, Okpella Cement is not working, the Uromi Cassavita Plant is not working, the Ehor fruit Juice Company is not working, Bendel Brewery is no longer effective, Edo Line which used to employ over 5,000 workers is now moribund; there is erosion everywhere. All these have brought insecurity to the state. ‘Our Children will be given bursary which would cater for indigent students. And I can assure you that all our children that would do well in JAMB will be given scholarship, we need to encourage our children to go to school”, he said.



Supreme Court dismisses Suswam’s appeal against Ugbah, Saror T he Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue for a declaration that his victory at the April, 2011 governorship election could no longer be challenged. The governor, who ran the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had  prayed  the  court  to pronounce that Prof. Daniel Saror

of ANPP, and Prof. Steven Ugbah of ACN, were ineligible to contest his victory. Delivering the ruling on Thursday, Justice Walters Onnoghen led four other justices to describe the appeal as “mere academic exercise.” He held that the timeline allowed by the rules of the court within which to appeal the judgment of the apex court on the

matter had  lapsed. The appellant had argued that the 180 days allowed by law to hear and determine petitions arising from the April election had since lapsed at the time the re-constituted Benue State Election Petitions Tribunal commenced hearing on the petitions. The apex jurists, therefore, dismissed the appeal and asked the

parties to bear their costs. Speaking to newsmen after the ruling, Mr Simon Orkuma, counsel to the defendants, expressed  optimism that the ruling had paved way for his clients’ appeal against the decision of the tribunal which suddenly declined jurisdiction on the matter. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Benue state

South West politics will be local, says PDP Nat. vice chair

L-R: Kebbi state acting Governor, Alhaji Habibu Jega, the state newly elected governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; former FCT Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, and former Kebbi Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, during a campaign rally for the newly elected governor, last Thursday in Birnin Kebbi.

From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he newly elected National Vice Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) South West, Chief Segun Oni, has vowed to localize party politics in the zone. Oni  said  the  race  to  reclaim what Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) stole from PDP in the zone had begun. The former governor of Ekiti state disclosed this during swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected members of PDP South West Zonal Executives held at the zonal party headquarters, Bodija. Ibadan. Oni emphatically assured that recognition would be given to local politicians just as he asked intending political contestants to start from grassroot as he promised all inclusive administration.  According  to  him,  if  you  are popular, agile, strong, tough and committed, begin to demonstrate it in your local area as he insisted that politics in PDP South West will be totally local. He said, the strength we use against each other would be used to tackle opposition who painted themselves as real party. Oni declared that the spate of indiscipline which cost the party its fortunes in the region must stop. “We need to change our orientation, we cannot continue to fight ourselves, there is no doubt the fact that we have wronged ourselves, but, we must put the past behind us in order to move forward. In his farewell speech, Oni’s predecessor, Tajudeen Oladipo lamented discipline in the party which he noted accounted to the loss in the party in the region to opposition ACN and Labour Party. Oladipo lamented that the party was bedeviled with internal scuffle, resulting in maiming and killing of one another because of positions, noting that if half of the energy his party members deployed into in-fighting, had been deployed into electoral activities, the party could not have suffered the humiliating defeat in the hands of the rival parties.

Election Tribunal which assumed jurisdiction and got to the point of adoption of parties’ written addresses preparatory to judgment suddenly barred itself on grounds of jurisdiction. The defendants had argued that it was not the business of the tribunal to decline jurisdiction in a petition it had earlier claimed jurisdiction and which was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. Justice Dahiru Musdapher had on Nov. 14, 2011, ordered that the petition be heard on its merit.

Edo Consultative Forum advocates for true federalism


he Edo Consultative Forum (ECF) Lagos chapter at the weekend called on the National Assembly and the Federal Government to give each of the three regions autonomy. The Forum stated this in a statement by its Director of Publicity and Media, Mr. Matthew Aramunde, in  Lagos. The Forum  said the  call  was necessary following the rising agitation for a true fiscal federalism and the recent call by the Northern Governors for a review of the derivation formula.

It stated  that  granting autonomy to the regions would ensure their self development.  ”ECF  regretted  that  Nigeria’s chronic instability is sorely and mainly a consequence of its failing experiment in federalism. “The creation of more states that supposedly meant to bring governance to the grassroots has unfortunately become an instrument that  weakens  the power of the federating units. “The central government has practically subsumed the previously powers of the federating

units.” It blamed the military for implementing policies that encouraged Nigeria’s transformation into a unitary state by donating power to the centre, while weakening the constituent units. The organisation  urged  the Federal Government to imitate countries  like  Britain  and South Africa, where federating units operated and enjoyed substantial degree of autonomy in fiscal, general monetary and economic matters.

“To fully attain a true federalism, the government should ensure equitable distribution of national wealth, work towards the abolition of the onshore and offshore oil dichotomy as soon as practicable. “The Federal Government should also encourage non-oil producing states to develop new revenue generating capacity in other sector, especially agriculture and mining. “The government must also work towards increasing the oil revenue allocated to oil producing states to at least 25-30 percent.”

40 members of Cross River Exco renounce membership of secret cults


o fewer than 40 members of the Cross River Executive Council last week renounced their membership of any secret cult, fraternity or illegal society. Fifteen commissioners and 25 Special Advisers renounced their membership of cults and illegal societies during their swearing-in ceremony. Governor Liyel Imoke urged the newly inaugurated public officers to be ready to work for the accelerated development of the state within the next three years. He said that their assignment was not mere “job for the boys’’, stressing that they should view it as a serious business.

Imoke urged the new cabinet members to exhibit commitment to efforts to achieve positive results within the shortest time. “Today,  15 commissioners  and 25 special advisers have been sworn in; the appointment is for those with proven track records.  “You  all  must,  through  your work, impact positively on the lives of every individual in the state.  “We  do not  need to  wait to  be called to office for the success of the state. We must in our own way do our best to impact positively on the lives of those around us.’’  The  governor  also  used  the occasion to appeal to the husbands and wives of the appointees to be tolerant toward their spouses

because “you will be receiving late night calls and messages. “We have just three years to achieve a programme of six years. There is no appointment in my administration that is ‘job for the boys’.” Imoke also commended members of the House of Assembly for their cooperation with the executive arm, noting that their screening the new appointees was very thorough. In his address, Mr Mike Aniah, the Secretary to the State Government, said that the officers’ oath-taking was in line with Sections 194 and 196 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He said that the renunciation of

cultism had become a prerequisite for holding public offices in the state. The public officers who took their oath of office include Mr Peter Ojie, Commissioner for Local Government; Mr  Elemi  Etowa (Water Resources); and Dr Sandy Onor (Environment). Others are Mr Legor Idagbo (Works); Mr Akin Ricketts (Information and Orientation); Mr Patrick Ugbe (Youths and Sports); and Mr Bassey Oqua (Special Duties). Similarly, Mrs Edak Iwuchukwu (Women Affairs); Mr James Aniyom (Agriculture) and Mr Attah Ochinke (Attorney General/Justice) also took their oath of office.



Sen. Atiku commends Aliero  From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


enator Atiku Bagudu has described the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and former Kebbi state governor, Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero as a God fearing and hardworking man who dedicated his life to the services of the people and promotion of democracy in the state. Bagudu disclosed this at a campaign rally in Gwandu,

Aliero and Jega local governments area of the state adding that senator Aliero has demonstrated a lot in Kebbi state politics and development of the state. He explained that Aliero’s defection to PDP was another way of bringing developmental to the state ‘’ I’m very happy as Aleiro is back to the ruling party, things will change for good, we’ve been doing politics together during the CNPP and

also ANPP which his contribution was highly appreciable ’’ he said. Atiku further pointed out that Senator Aliero and Dakingari were very close friends ‘’ Aliero and Dakingari worked together and I m happy to see them together for better and for the progress of the state’’ he said. Senator Atiku, who represented Kebbi Central Senatorial District and contested together with Aliero

in the last April election, said that a lot had been done by the former FCT Minister for the people of Kebbi. He said that the recent peace witnessed in Kebbi politics was as a result of Governor Dakingari honest and transparent leadership stressing that his leadership was anchored on justice, equity, fairness with impetus for lasting peace, mutual respect and economic prosperity in the state.

Al-Makura promises to strengthen traditional institutions


overnor Umaru AlM a k u r a   o f Nasarawa has  said that  he would pursue appropriate policies that will strengthen traditional institutions in the state. He gave the assurance while receiving the Emir  of Nasarawa, Alhaji Hassan Ahmed 11, in Lafia recentlt. Al-Makura said the traditional institutions have tremendous relevance in  the  scheme  of  things, adding that the administration would welcome wise counsels  from the traditional rulers as the custodian of the peoples’ cultures. The Governor lauded the role of the traditional institution in fostering unity among various communities across the state, and assured them that government would streamline and strengthen their functions. He urged  traditional  rulers  to find meaningful  ways and means of contributing their quota to ensure peaceful co-existence among their subjects and other ethnic groups in their communities. “Peace is a veritable tool to national development, and as such, it is our responsibility to see that our people, irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic differences, live peacefully.’’ He described the Emir as a leader of reputable character. ”Your benevolence and good nature have  attracted  development  to your domain in particular and the state as a whole.’’ Earlier, the  Emir commended the Governor’s effort at bringing various developments to the people of the state, saying that the action had further given meaning to democracy.

L-R: Former Governor of Lagos state and national leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and his wife, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, during a Black Tie Dinner in honour of Senator Bola Tinubu as part of activities marking his 60th birthday, on Friday at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, in Lagos.



chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia, Emeka Nwachukwu, has called on politicians of Abia extraction to support  the  present administration in the state. Nwachukwu was reacting to a call by the leadership of APGA in the state under Chief Reagan Ufomba, for  the resignation  of Gov Theodore Orji for alleged nonperformance.   He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Thursday that  such  call  was unnecessary. Nwachukwu said that the time had come for stakeholders in the state to eschew all forms of malice and unite in the best interest of Abia.  According to him, the leadership of his party does not possess the moral rectitude to challenge the government, having failed in its bid to control the state. Nwachukwu urged the state governor not to join issues with “those that did not mean well for the state,” but should rather identify with the “progressives.” “I am not saying that people should not criticise, but such criticisms should be constructive instead of condemning what the governor is doing,” he added.

World Bank Presidency: PDP calls for support for Okonjo-Iweala By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party has called on the countries in the Africa continent and the world in general to support the candidature of the nation’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of the President of the World Bank. The party in a press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and made available to newsmen at the weekend stated that the Nigerian Finance Minister remained the most suitable of all the aspirants to

the position. The party described Dr. Iweala as a global citizen whose critical roles in global financial circles have positioned her as an eagle on the tallest Iroko in contest for the leadership of the world apex financial institution. “She is without doubt the best person to lead the World Bank at this material time of global economic challenges. Her decadeslong track record of excellence in financial management, locally and internationally is an unimpeachable score card, a rare

type that the global community is in dire need of at the moment,” added PDP. According to the party, the instantaneous worldwide acclaim and endorsement which her aspiration has been receiving since she declared her intention only confirms the popular lingo that a golden fish has no hiding place. “Her distinction in character, her definitive professional capacity and integrity could not escape the watchful eyes of the international community. We are not therefore surprised at the flow of global support”, it stated further.

Reps. to investigate land allocation in FCT he House of Representatives last week mandated the Joint Committee on FCT and FCT Area Councils to investigate land administration in the territory. The committees are expected to report back to the House within four weeks. The resolution emanated from a motion moved by Rep. Odebunmi Dokun (PDP-Oyo) and was unanimously adopted without debate. Dokun noted that the Land Use Act of 1978 was the principal law

APGA chieftain rallies support for Abia governor

guiding land acquisition, resettlement and allocation to eligible applicants. He said that the Act provided for the government to hold land in trust for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians. The lawmaker expressed concern over the manner in which land was being administered in the nation’s capital city. “This practice accounts for one of the  main  reasons  why  land is  not affordable for the common man in Abuja,’’ he said.

In another motion, the House has mandated the committees on Public Safety and National Security, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Police Affairs to investigate massive migration of Nigeriens into Nigeria and the resultant effect on Nigerian and Nigerien border communities. The matter was referred to the committees on FCT and FCT Area Councils for further legislative input. The committees also have four weeks within which to submit their report. The House also urged the Federal

Government to come to the aid of the border communities and the migrants by providing them with food and other relief materials. It further urged the Federal Government to immediately assist the people of Niger Republic by sending aid to that country. This resolution was sequel to a motion by Rep. Abdullahi Salame (PDP-Sokoto) which was unanimously adopted. Leading the debate, Salame noted that the situation had an overbearing food security challenges on Nigerian

The PDP commended all countries and international organisations who have risen beyond politics to emphatically declare their support for Dr. Iweala. “We commend all the nations and organisations that have declared support for this great daughter of Africa. We commend the Federal Government and the National Assembly for championing this noble cause. We appeal to the conscience of the international community to step aside politics and do the best in the interest of the entire world”, the party declared. and Nigerien border communities. He said that criminal-minded elements could also use the opportunity to carry out criminal acts in the communities and in Nigeria. Rep. Yakubu Alebiosu (ACNLagos), who opposed the motion, said that it would be out of place to send aid to illegal immigrants. Rep. Peter Edeh (ANPP-Ebonyi ) said that Nigeria had so many problems to contend with and should concentrate on solving them. He said that the Nigerien government should request for help before any call for assistance should be entertained.


PDP congratulates Dakingari By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated Alhaji Usman Dakingari and his running mate for their victory at the weekend governorship rerun polls in Kebbi state. The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, and made available to newsmen in Abuja attributed Dakingari’s success to the well articulated vision and sustained programmes of the PDP which he has been implementing since 2007. “Our National Chairman Dr. Turkur throughout his campaign and subsequent election has been harping on the imperative of credible performance for all elected officials on the platform of our great Party at all tiers. This is the only criterion that commends us to the generality of Nigerians. The reelection of Alhaji Dakingari has proved this once more.” The party urged Alhaji Dakingari to break new grounds in service to the people. “We urge you to move notches higher; we urge you to reach new heights with this fresh mandate. The success of the transformation drive of the Federal Government can only turn full circle with the replication of such feats at other tiers and you have over the years proved your capacity to deliver the goals.” The statement commended the people of Kebbi state for voting for the candidate of the PDP again. “We congratulate you for your preference for our party; for casting your lot with the PDP. The outcome of the election is not surprising since your state is home to the PDP. We wish to emphasise our re-assurance that Alhaji Dakingari will surpass his previous records in service to your dear State. The PDP is on irreversible march to transform Nigeria.” It further said the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Turkur also paid glowing tribute to the reconciliation and the return of some estranged members of the party in Kebbi state to the PDP family; a development the National Chairman averred assisted in no small way in the over whelming victory of the Party in the election. He therefore enjoined other states chapters that still have internal wrangling to borrow a leaf from the Kebbi state members of the Party.


ACN calls for state of emergency on education By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


orried by the mass failure recorded in the recently released NECO, JAMB and UTME examinations’ results, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has called for an emergency action, as a ‘Marshall Plan’ to uplift the declining standard of education in

the country, saying education was key to the development of any society. ACN in a statement issued yesterday in Accra, Ghana, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and made available to newsmen said it was deeply worried about the recently-released results of the

SSCE, conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO) in November/ December 2011, and that of the 2012 JAMB/UTME. “According to media reports, only 14.15% of those who took the core subject of English Language at the NECO exam passed. Similar poor results were recorded in Mathematics

R-L: President Goodluck Jonathan presenting a plaque to former acting National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, during the presidential dinner in honour of immediate past members of party's National Working Committee, at the State House, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

and the science subjects. Also, only 25% of the candidates who sat for the 2011 June/July SSCE passed at credit level. “For 2012 JAMB/UTME, the result is even worse, with only three candidates said to have scored above 300, compared to 2,892 that scored above 300 in the 2011 exam! “While no one is in doubt that our country’s educational system has virtually collapsed, these results serve as a wake-up call to Nigerians, whether in or out of government, to rise up and do something urgently to revamp the system. Otherwise, since no nation can develop without a welleducated workforce, all the development projects being bandied around by the government will fail,’’ it said. The party said it was not unaware of the fire brigade approach to the issue by federal and state governments in the past, saying those efforts amount to a mere tokenism when compared to the enormity of the problems besetting the sector today. “This is not and must not be seen as a partisan issue, but the federal government must take the lead in seeking a way out of the quagmire of a collapsed educational system, while all states, irrespective of their party affiliation, must support such efforts. Also, all other stakeholders must come on board. This is a national emergency and it does not call for any bickering or finger pointing,’’ the party said.

Dakingari says fresh mandate is show of public acceptance ByLawrenceOlaoyewithAgency reports


lhaji Saidu Dakingari, Kebbi Governor-elect, has said that the fresh mandate he received in Saturday's election was an indication of his acceptance by the people of Kebbi. This is as the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has accepted defeat at the recently conducted Kebbi governorship rerun polls blaming its failure on internal wrangling. Malam Alhassan Musa, the Media Adviser to Dakingari, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on yesterday that the

••• as CPC accepts defeat new mandate was an indication of the popularity of the governorelect's policies and programmes over the years. He promised to bring the opposition on board in efforts to develop the state. ``In this election, there is no victor or vanquished. The PDP will carry everyone along in major decision making and progarmme implementation,'' he said. Dakingari urged the people to expect development, especially in the areas of agriculture, rural development, education and health. He commended the

electorate for conducting themselves well and ensuring peace during the election and urged the opposition to join his administration to make Kebbi a home for all. Meanwhile the Kebbi state CPC Secretary, Alhaji Bashir Matawalle, when commenting on the outcome of the governorship polls stated ``The CPC has no problem with the result and shall not contest it in any court.'' ``The controversy over CPC's withdrawal from Saturday's governorship re-run election should not be blamed on INEC,

the CPC did not put its house in order,'' Matawalle said The party scribe decried the confusion in the party and pointed out that the withdrawal of CPC from the race was not formally communicated to INEC, while the state chapter of the party was not aware of that decision. The ANPP candidate, Alhaji Suleiman Agungu, has however dismissed the re-run election as a ``sham''. ``Going by the low turnout of voters, the general apathy to exercise and the lopsided nature of the results, it is clear that the election did not meet expected standards,'' he said.

Opposition counsels Niger Assembly to monitor road projects From Iliya Garba, Minna


he National Coordinator of the National Democratic Forum (NDF) and chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Niger state, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has called on the Niger state House of Assembly to ensure proper monitoring of projects being executed with the money raised from the capital market by the present administration of the state.

He made the call yesterday in a statement issued in Minna, saying it has become vital for the Assembly to supervise and monitor the construction of roads under the loans of N6billion and N9 billion approved by the administration in ensuring that such roads were of immediate economic and social value to the people. “The state lawmakers should stop approving loans when they do not monitor the expenditure of such

money. This is because such loans will be paid by the citizens of Niger state and even children yet unborn”, he said. Vatsa noted that the Assembly has been lacking in its oversight functions in the state. He pointed out that it was the responsibility of the state legislators to ensure that such loan, when taken, was sensibly used on projects that will have impact on the living standards of the people and not personal interest.

He said that the expansion of the Eastern bypass road in Minna and some other roads being constructed with the borrowed money were of no value to majority of residents of Minna, adding that roads like that of Kuta –Bomas, Kpagungu – FUT which have high traffic flow should have been given priority over the bypass road. ACN Chieftain maintained that the governor embarked on the reconstruction of the Eastern

bypass road despite the fact that it was located in a very low density area of Minna with low traffic flow because of his personal interest along the site. “The lawmakers should know that people will always ask them questions when they return to their constituency. They should know that posterity will judge them for their good or bad deeds while at the Assembly on the mandate of their constituencies”, Vatsa cautioned.

QUOTABLE QUOTE Indeed the whole world is imagination. Only He [Allah] is the real in Reality. Whoever understands this knows the secrets of the spiritual path — Ibn Arabi



Iraq want end to FIFA home ban


raq wants an end to a FIFA ban on hosting official matches that was imposed last year, and wants to be able to host friendlies in the interim, an Iraqi football official said yesterday. "We are seeking to convince FIFA to lift the ban on our national team playing in our stadium, and will present FIFA officials with (evidence that) will prove we are able to host games ... according to the rules of Fifa," said Abdel Khaleq Massoud, vice president of the Iraqi Football Association (IFA). IFA President Najeh Hmoud is to head a delegation to meet FIFA chief Sepp Blatter in Zurich on April 13 to discuss issues related to the future of Iraqi football, Massoud said. He added that the delegation would propose that Iraq be permitted to host friendly matches in Baghdad while the ban on official matches remains in place. FIFA barred Iraq from hosting matches following a September 2 match in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, due to the poor administration and organisation surrounding it.

Adebayor grabs double to sink Swansea


mma nuel Adebayor grabbed two late goals as Tottenham beat Swansea 3-1 yesterday to move level on points with north London rival Arsenal in the battle for the third Champions League spot in the Premier League. The Togo striker planted home headers in the 73rd and 87th minutes to take his tally for the campaign to 13 and end Spurs’ five-match winless run in the league that was jeopardizing their hopes of a topfour finish. With seven matches remaining, Tottenham is behind Arsenal only on a goal difference and five points clear of Chelsea and Newcastle. But Newcastle compounded Liverpools woes by beating 2-0 to make it six losses from seven games on the stretch in seven Meanwhile, Ajax moved top of the Dutch league after demolishing Heracles Almelo 60 yesterday with the goals scored from six different players.


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Our shrinking democracy I show you doubt, to prove th at f ait h exist s (R obe rt Browning, 1812-89)


ast week two events took place which made loud statements about the nature of our democratic dispensation. The first was the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which told the members of the Party and the Nigerian public the persons who will lead the party after weeks of engaging in every trick in the book known to democracy, except open elections. The second was the celebration of the life and achievement of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the undisputed leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and a man who represents the only visible source of opposition to the PDP, but does so only on his ability to play the ethnic card. Nigerians who had hoped that our democratic system would have grown and developed beyond the charade which was the PDP selection of its leaders; or the celebration of the person, and not the vital component of the democratic process (the political party) will be sorely disappointed. Worse, our sense of foreboding over what all this means for 2015 has been deepened. The PDP has always been the big man's party. Small people (citizens, voters, its members, opposition) have their values for the party, but each plays a strictly choreographed role. Citizens of Nigeria are useful to the party because the constitution says they own sovereignty. The PDP routinely goes through the rituals prescribed for relieving the people of this sovereignty through elections that have progressively been worse than the other since 1999. They are informed who will be their leaders, and every once in a while, they rise in protest over results, but the electoral process and the party has become adept at ignoring or surviving them. The Nigerian voters are mobilized with money, primordial loyalties or fear to line up on election days and serve a very important role of casting ballots. These, however, are not necessarily the votes that will count, as the experts and fixers who have gained competence and confidence in rigging elections move in even before voting is concluded to procure results. Members of the party have a major role to play, and do so by being paid to select delegates, who in turn are paid to attend congresses and conventions to hear who has been decided to emerge candidates or leaders on their behalf. Stubborn members who insist on running

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo against a small cabal which exists at every stage are dealt with in a number of established manners, the most popular being compensation with money, lucrative appointments or contracts, threats or humiliation of the type that will be remembered by grandchildren. The opposition is useful for the PDP to preserve the mirage of a democratic system; to provide targets for routine defeat, to provide candidates which can be poached or turned around; and to ridicule as ineffective and weak, unlike the largest party in Africa. The manner the new leaders of the PDP have just emerged shows clearly that PDP is the biggest threat to the Nigerian democratic process. Its affairs will be run by a small clique which has emerged as a result of decisions of not more than 20 people from a party which claims to have a membership running into millions. PDP's 'consensus' is preeminently the subversion of the popular will and elite dominance in its most destructive form. It represents the most odious contempt for the basic democratic principle of the exercise of choice, the distribution and exercise of power from the most humble cardcarrying member to the President, and the desperate need to improve intra-party democracy as the pillar for improving the Nigerian democratic and electoral process. In its 12 years of existence, the PDP has used the conspiracy of the

powerful which it called consensus to wreck thousands of genuine political ambitions; to foist the influence of money, incumbency and professional fixers, and to shrink the political space to a most dangerous level. The last conclave which produced a chairman rejected by his primary constituency, and a whole list of other officials who all owe their positions to a powerful person in the PDP, is no different from past conclaves. But it does raise a number of legitimate concerns. It will be impossible not to see the ambitions of President Goodluck Jonathan for another shot at the Presidency in 2015 in the manner the current leadership of the PDP has been cobbled together. In the event that the constitution bars him from being sworn-in three times as President, and the discredited zoning formula of the PDP is dusted up to serve his interest, he will still use the leadership of the party to play off the East against the North in the selection of a Presidential candidate. He, along with President Obasanjo and a few Governors will therefore retain the power to chose who the PDP fields, and may choose another weak and ineffective leader. The millions of people the PDP claims to have as members will have no say in this, as, indeed, they had none in its entire life. INEC cannot force the PDP to observe even a modicum of respect for intra-party democracy. If the PDP does produce the next President in 2015, he will be even less of a popular choice of members of the party, and less so for Nigerians. In spite of the huge drums rolled out to celebrate Tinubu's achievements during his 60th birthday, it is difficult to see how this event differs substantially from the dismal record and recent outing of the PDP. In spite of the spin and elaborate PR around the celebrations for Tinubu, there are really only two things that can be said about him. One is that he has succeeded in chasing Obasanjo out of the South-West, to a point where he is virtually irrelevant in Yoruba politics, and can only find space and clout inside the PDP, a

party he re-designed to serve the interests of the powerful. If Obasanjo's role in the manner our democracy is being shrunk is hurting the rest of the nation, then Tinubu could claim to have saved Yoruba people from its impact. But he has only done this by consolidating his power around Yoruba politics. Today, the southwest bears a close resemblance to a monolithic tribal enclave (give or take one or two pockets of resistance) working feverishly to build an economic and political framework for autonomy, or substantial autonomy from Nigeria. Many of his admirers will say he has done this in reaction both to the desperate battles to wrest the Southwest from the PDP and Obasanjo, and the manner the political dynamics since 2010 have made ethnicity as the most decisive factor in the struggle for power. In any case, here you have Tinubu, the most powerful politican in the southwest, but absolutely powerless outside it. On the other had, you have Obasanjo, a Yoruba man who won't get the time of day in Yorubaland, but who has powers to decide, along with a few others, who will rule Nigeria. Tinubu's admirers will mention how much he tried to build electoral alliances with the CPC, and how much he got his fingers burnt. They will say he and his party represent the only credible political opposition to the behemoth which the PDP has become. They may acknowledge that Tinubu realizes that the ACN, as presently structured and run, runs the risk of becoming an extremely successful tribal party, with limited influence over the manner the Nigerian state is run. The ACN and the PDP are choking the democratic process in Nigeria: one by elevating the limiting value of tribe and region to the highest value at a time they should be subsumed under a national democratic culture; the other by negating all the basic principles of a democratic system which recognizes participation, inclusiveness and respect for rules and laws. The Tinubu legacy should not be limited to a tribal enclave. He must reach beyond Yorubaland, and established real alliances with other parties and regions to provide real opposition and challenge to the PDP. This way, perhaps those few members of the PDP who say they are ashamed of the manner the party they love conducts itself and runs the nation, may be challenged to rise and reform this cabal which masquerades as a political party.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail: ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspapers, Monday 2nd, April 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspapers, Monday 2nd, April 2012 Hot Edition

Peoples Daily Newspapers, Monday 2nd, April 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspapers, Monday 2nd, April 2012 Hot Edition