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Vol. 11 No. 11

Monday, June 3, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Okonjo-Iweala drums support for FIRS chairman >>6

Rajab 25, 1434 AH


Buhari: APC ticket not do-or-die >>3

FG begins privatisation of 10 power plants T he Federal Government is to privatize the 10 independent power plants built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP). Mr. James Olotu, Managing

Director, NDPHC, made this known at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the power plants are: Omotoso in Ondo State (450MW), Sapele in Delta (450MW), Geregu in Kogi

(434MW), Olorunsogo in Ogun (750MW) and Ihovbor in Edo (450MW). Others are Gbarain in Bayelsa (225MW), Alaoji in Abia (450MW), Calabar in Cross River (561MW), Egbema in Imo (338MW) and Omoku in Rivers (225MW).

Olotu explained that a road show to indicate the commencement of the exercise would start in Lagos from Tuesday, June 4 to June 5 with 40 investors. He said that the road show would be extended to United Kingdom, United States and Hong

Kong. The NDPHC boss confirmed that six of the plants had been completed technically, while the remaining would be completed before 2014.. He explained that the Federal Contd. on Page 2

Again, PDP boasts: We’ll capture more states in 2015 By Lawrence Olaoye


he ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday took stock of the unfolding political events, including the merger arrangements by opposition parties, and submitted that there were positive signs and concrete indications that it will still win the Presidency and more states come 2015. The party dispelled fears that divergence of views and opinions among its members was capable of weakening it ahead of 2015. Instead, PDP said such squabbles are a reflection of its democratic stance where all members have an opportunity to air their views and to freely canvass their opinions, unlike what obtains in the rival parties where opinions and views of members are allegedly muzzled by political godfathers. The PDP also dismissed as “shadow chasing and day dreaming”, boasts by the leaders of the yet to be registered opposition coalition, the All Progressive Congress (APC), that they will take over government in 2015. It said the opposition alliance would soon be in disarray adding that most of those in the ranks will Contd. on Page 2

L-R: Company Secretary, First Bank Nigeria Holding (FBN) Plc, Mr. Tijjani Borodo, Chairman, Dr. Oba Otudeko; and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bello Maccido, during the 1st Annual General Meeting of FBN Holding Plc, on Friday at Eko Hotels, in Lagos.

Jonathan/Amaechi face-off: Rep alleges threat to life >>3



CONTENTS News 2-10 Editorial 12 Op.Ed 13 Letters 14 Opinion 15 Metro 16-18 Business 19-22 Stockwatch 23 S/Report 24-25 Law 26 Education 28 Health 29-30


Jonathan’s endorsement of Jang shameful, says CPC

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) at the weekend described as shameful, the recent statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan in which he allegedly endorsed the controversial election of Governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang, as the genuine Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF). In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Rotimi Fashakin, CPC said the alleged endorsement has proved insinuations that Jonathan was behind the recent division and crises in the NGF and its election. “It would be recalled that on Friday, 24th May, 2013, thirty-

five out the Nation’s thirty-six governors voted in an election to election a new chairman for a two-year tenure. The incumbent Chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, of Rivers state sought a re-election. “The President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, did not believe that the Rivers Governor’s reelection would be helpful for his re-election bid in 2015. He plotted, using the platform of his party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP, to truncate Mr. Amaechi’s ambition. “At first, a new platform for PDP governors was birthed with a fierce Jonathan-loyalist in charge”, the statement said. The CPC also alleged that the earlier date set for the election was put off to enable the anti-

Amaechi coalition, under the aegis of the PDP governors’ group, to gain some momentum for the task. According to the statement, “the high-wire intrigues deployed by the PDP high command belied the determination of the President to use the election as the litmus-test for his readiness to capture the country in 2015. “As a way of getting firm assurance of victory, endorsement of his preferred candidate, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state, was purportedly assented by nineteen PDP Governors before the election.” While emphasizing that this anti-democratic stance should not surprise anyone familiar with PDP’s brand of democracy,

CPC said the split in the NGF was the impetus needed by the leaders of PDP to unveil the plan for ensuring distortion of the Nation’s electoral process. “As a party, we are appalled by the President’s abandonment of the ship of state to cause needless overheating of the polity. The NGF, as it stands, remains a voluntary platform among Nigeria’s governors, with no constitutional function. “How the election of the chairman of the NGF captured the animated interest of the President, despite the seeming myriad of issues besetting the nation state, is still puzzling. This, of course, is another attestation of the President’s besmirched reputation for wrong priorities.” the party said.

Gunmen kidnap father of Borno Commissioner

From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

X-raying the division in Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Page 4

Int’l 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest 36 Politics 37-38 Sports 41-45 Leisure 47 Columnist 48

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group of gunmen yesterday evening kidnapped the father of the Borno state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajia Inna Galadina. Sources said Galadima, a septuagenarian, was kidnapped by three gunmen who stormed his

house in Maiduguri metropolis. Details of the incident were not immediately available as at press time as both spokespersons for the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) and state police command could not be reached. Security sources told newsmen that three gunmen stormed Galadima’s house in a Volkswagen Golf car and

fired sporadic shots into the air before forcing the old man enter into their car. It was further gathered that the family of the victim were plunged into confusion over his whereabouts, especially as they cannot communicate with the abductors following the teo-week long switch-off of the telecom networks in the

entire stste. “He is aged and has some health issues. We are really concerned about his condition of health now. To worsen the situation, there is no GSM service to contact the kidnappers. “It is a big problem and we are confused now,” a relation of the victim who declined identification told newsmen amidst tears.

FG begins privatisation of 10 power plants Contd. from Front Page Government would divest 80 per cent of its shares in the power plants, while auctioning would involve the Ministry of Power and the Bureau of Public Enterprises. Olotu, who did not disclose the expected revenue from the auction, said that proceeds realized would be used to build additional power plants and boost transmission lines in the country. ``With the planned privatization, there would be efficiency and effectiveness in the management of the power plants. “Government can play its role where it has relative advantage. Government will invest little but

more on transmission sector so as to build the country’s power infrastructure,” he said. Olotu stated that the Board of Directors of the company which has Vice President Namadi Sambo as its Chairman, had got the approval of the Federal Government to privatize the plants. He said the sale became imperative due to the fact that the company has achieved the mandate given to it in 2005. “The mandate was to build 10 independent power plants across the country with capacity to generate 5000 MW by end of 2013 and divest it. “We are confident to tell you

that this year will be a year of harvest in the power sector. All the power generating plants will be completed this year. “In fact, six plants are ready for commissioning while four others are about to be completed within the next few months. “We are divesting 80 per cent stake in each power plant as valued by our financial advisers. “We will retain 20 per cent in order to assure potential investors of our confidence in the plants we are selling,” he stated. Also speaking, Mr. Arif Mohiuddin, CPCS Transaction Adviser to the NDPHC, said submission of bid for the plants

was scheduled for July 19 while August 8 was fixed for short-listing of bidders. “There will be bidders’ conference on Sept.18 and Sept.19. Bidders are expected to submit their proposals on Nov. 8 and evaluation of technical proposal would come up one month later,” Mohiuddin said. He said names of successful bidders would be announced, while the handing-over of the assets to the investors would come up before June 2014. He gave the assurance that the plants would not be handed over until completion and commissioning. (NAN)

Again, PDP boasts: We’ll capture more states in 2015 Contd. from Front Page be betrayed and victimized by the godfathers who see the coalition as their personal estates. According to the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday, the party welcomes the opposition to the electoral contest in 2015 but predicted that they were already doomed to fail as Nigerians have since realized that they are

merely “strange bed fellows” who have nothing to offer but united by bitterness, frustration, and religious and tribal sentiments. Metuh said: “We welcome the opposition to the contest. However, they are already doomed to failure because Nigerians have since realized their undemocratic tendencies and desperation for power for selfish reasons. “Nigerians know that they

are merely strange bed fellows who are united by bitterness, frustration and religious and tribal sentiments and not for the national interest. “They have continued to betray their lust and inner disposition by their utterances in seeking to “seize power” which has remained their only agenda. “They fail to understand that in a democracy, power is not to

be seized. It is conferred by the people and this is the reason the people have continued to identify with the PDP.” “We challenge the opposition also to be bold enough to hold primaries when the time comes. Many of those singing praises of the alliance will be betrayed and victimized by the godfathers and it will dawn on them that they have been deceived.”




Buhari: APC ticket not do-or-die

By Lawrence Olaoye, Abuja and Femi Oyinlola, Kaduna


L-R: Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; Benue state Governor, Gabriel Suswam, and Minister of Trade and Investment , Mr. Olusegun Aganga, during the vice president’s meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, yesterday in Yokohama, Japan.

Jonathan/Amaechi face-off: Rep alleges threat to life By Lawrence Olaoye


member of the House of Representatives, Davies Sekonte, (Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency of Rivers state), has alleged threat to his life by persons who he says are not comfortable with his role in the on-going war of attrition between the Presidency and Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. Sokonte, in a statement issued

at the weekend, alleged that some faceless persons have been issuing him death threats for his refusal to dump the governor, even as some persons in the Presidency are allegedly making efforts at sustaining the ongoing crisis between the governor and President Goodluck Jonathan with a view to impeaching Amaechi. “These attacks have been in various forms like anonymous

phone calls, death threats, subtle coercing by others who request that I mellow down a bit on my position due to these threats on my life and those of my immediate family, near and far relations. “Please note that I am making this statement to all concerned that there is nothing anybody can do against the truth and as it is said, tyranny thrives when men of good conscience keep silent. “Also, note that cowards die

many times before their death and it is only the wicked and cowardly that will want to kill and maim to achieve their goals. “Finally, let it be known to all that for me, anybody who intends to kill me has just declared his or her own obituary. I have never shed anybody’s blood and nobody can shed my blood nor that of any member of my family. We are covered with the blood of Jesus,” he said.

NDLEA, army recover 3,166.15kg of cannabis, cocaine, heroin at Mushin market From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


combined team of officers with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian Army raided the Akala area of Mushin, a notorious criminal hideout in Lagos. The operation, which lasted several hours at the weekend, led to the arrest of 47 suspected drug traffickers and addicts with the

seizure of 3,166.15kg of narcotics including cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Chairman of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, commended the Army Commander, 9 Brigade Lagos, Brigadier General Adeniyi Oyebade for giving the needed back-up because of the notoriety of the area. “The Agency will continue to gather intelligence reports and conduct raids on criminal hideouts.

We are prepared to clean-up Lagos. This operation is a pointer to the fact that no criminal location is invincible. The understanding and cooperation of the Nigerian Army is highly commendable” he stated. Oyebade urged stakeholders to support the NDLEA in the eradication of illegal drugs in our society noting that “illicit drugs induce crime and aggravate insecurity. Considering the problem of drugs we are ready to

assist the NDLEA whenever they call on. I also urge other stakeholders to partner with the Agency in making the country drug-free”. NDLEA Lagos State commander, Mr. Aliyu Sule said that a cannabis warehouse was discovered during the raid operation. A total of 47 suspected drug traffickers including addicts were apprehended. They include 42 males and five females.

ormer Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 presidential election, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has described the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential ticket for the 2015 election as “not a do or die affair” for him, as he is prepared to accept the will of the people. He made this assertion during a live interview programme on Liberty Radio monitored in Kaduna yesterday. This is coming as the Deputy National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Boss Mustapha, yesterday allayed fears that the new opposition merger, All Progressives Congress (APC), could be hijacked by influential members of the party; he insisted that such cannot happen in the new party. Buhari further said that contrary to speculations, he would never dump his party if he did not emerge as its presidential candidate. Rather, the 2011 presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is prepared to support anybody who wins the party’s ticket in as much as the rule of the game is adhered to. “It is not all about the person who gets the ticket but whoever emerges the party’s candidate surely will receive our total support because our primary objective is to change the political landscape in the country for the betterment of the common man on the street,” he stressed. The APC chieftain also said that Nigeria, from the First Republic to date has not got any leadership because according to him, those who claim to be leaders in the real sense are the problem of the country. “They are elected to lead but you and I know that they are just there to loot the treasury. “Look at the way our natural resources are being stolen you will agree with me that it is only Nigeria that can survive such mass stealing and still remain as a county.” In a related development, Mustapha assured that no individual can hijack the APC, at the presentation of a book titled “Engendering Progressive Politics: Challenges of Reforming Nigerian Politics” authored by Salihu M. Lukman. He explained that the processes leading to the formation of the party was well structured.

MDGs: Study places 15 African nations on track

By Shu’aibu Adamu


onverting Africa’s impressive economic performance over the past decade into greater gains in the MDGs has remained a primary challenge for Africa, according to the MDGs 2013 report. The report, released by the African Union Commission (AUC) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, on Sunday said that the 2012 MDGs rating had placed 15 African

countries ahead of the 20 countries that made the greatest progress globally. The report, tagged “The MDG Report 2013: Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals’’ said that countries such as Benin Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Malawi and Rwanda had made impressive progress on a number of goals and targets. It, however, said that ``while

Africa is the world’s second fastest growing region, its rate of poverty reduction is insufficient to reach the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015’’. The progress report, prepared by the AUC, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), was launched as part of the yearlong celebration of OAU-AU golden jubilee.

On food security, the report provided insights into how food security would impact on other MDGs, particularly health-related goals and how concerted efforts to improve agriculture, food distribution and nutrition would fast-track progress toward achieving other MDGs. The report revealed that climate-related shocks, induced by extreme weather conditions, had destroyed livelihoods and

worsened Africa’s food insecurity, resulting in a high incidence of underweight children, widespread hunger and poor dietary consumption patterns. With fewer than 1,000 days to the 2015 MDGs target date, the report took stock of Africa’s overall performance in attaining the MDGs and identified the best performing countries via indicators, based on progress relative to each country’s initial conditions.

The Page 4 Report


X-raying the division in Nigeria Governors’ Forum By Obike Ukoh


he division in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has generated a lot of controversy. While some observers described it as healthy for the country’s current democracy, others decried the inability of the governors to conduct a rancourfree election. The concern of several stakeholders is that election to select the chairman of the NGF, established in 1999 to provide a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas among the governors, as part of efforts to strengthen the country’s democracy, has somewhat turned out to be a do-or-die affair. Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers was on Friday, May 24, declared the winner of the NGF chairmanship election but on Saturday, May 25, the election was faulted as Gov Jonah Jang of Plateau was declared chairman by a faction of the forum. Commenting on the NGF election, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, a lawyer, decried the inability of the ``first citizens of the states’’ to conduct a hitch-free election, adding that the development portended a bad omen for the 2015 general elections. ``If 35 governors could not conduct a free, fair and credible election that would produce a chairman of their forum in a manner that is less controversial; then, you can imagine when we have election in 2015 that involves the entire country. ``It is very appalling; it’s very sad and Nigerians are not happy; it portends bad omen,” he said. Ubani said that the rationale behind the forum’s establishment had been roundly defeated because of its members’ ``self-interest’’. He noted that the NGF was established as a mechanism for peer review among the governors and for stimulating activities that would boost development. On his part, Mr Bamidele Aturu, a Lagos-based human rights activist, called for the dissolution of the NGF. His words: ``In all democratic settings, it is sacrilegious to question the procedure of an election in which one took part after the announcement of the result, particularly when the procedure is not known to have violated the constitution of the association or of any known democratic norm. ``It is clear to me that the NGF itself, and I have said this before, is an immoral assembly that ought to be dismembered by all means necessary. It is nothing but an avenue for unnecessary waste of public funds,” he said. Sharing similar sentiments, Prof Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, described the crisis over the NGF’s chairmanship election as a disgraceful, anti-democracy debacle. ``What is unacceptable and treasonable in my view to the cause of democracy is when an election is held within an organisation of 35 members, the integrity of that election should be upheld as a service to democracy and as a lesson to the rest of the nation.

Gov. Rotimi Amaechi

Gov. Jonah Jang

``In this case, what they have done has debased the meaning of democracy and set us back several years. ``They are giving an indication of what will happen in the next general elections,’’ Soyinka said. Opposition political parties have accused the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of masterminding the NGF crisis because the party’s preferred candidate did not emerge as the forum’s chairman. The ACN, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the anti-Amaechi governors were undoubtedly acting out a script written for them by the PDP leadership, ``If an election involving only 35 governors can generate so much controversy and threaten to overheat the polity, what will happen when millions of Nigerians vote in 2015?’’ The Coalition to Save Nigeria (CSN), a coalition of civil society organisations, described the crisis over the NGF’s chairmanship election as a shame. In a statement signed by its National President, Mr Philip Ugbodaga, the group urged the governors to go back to their respective states and initiate development there. Besides, a human rights group, Forum for Justice & Human Rights Defence (FJHD), asked the Presidency to immediately disband the governors’ forum in the interest of national unity

and security. In a statement by its National Coordinator, Mr Oghenejabor Ikimi, the FJHD stressed that the NGF had further worsened the political crisis in the country by creating factions among the governors. However, Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, denied allegations regarding President Goodluck Jonathan’s complicity in the NGF election crisis. Abati urged the governors to ``quickly resolve the issues and differences amongst them to enable them to continue to contribute effectively to national development as a strong and progressive body.’’ All the same, Prof Jonah Onuoha of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), said that the crisis in the NGF was a positive sign that the country’s democracy was growing He said that the outcome of NGF election was an indication that the Forum could no longer by controlled by the ruling party (PDP), adding that opposition parties now had a say in the forum’s affairs. ``Before now, the ruling party decides even before the election who becomes the chairman of NGF. ``The present development is an indication that neither the ruling party nor opposition will have it easy in 2015

If an election involving only 35 governors can generate so much controversy and threaten to overheat the polity, what will happen when millions of Nigerians vote in 2015?’’

elections. ``What is happening in the NGF is a positive sign that our democracy is growing and that the 2015 election will be keenly contested,” he said Onuoha, however, advised governors from the ruling party and the opposition parties to be bold enough to accept defeat or victory in the spirit of democracy. ``If Gov. Rotimi Amaechi won the election and governors in support of Gov. Jonah Jang are not satisfied with the outcome of the election, they should go to court to seek redress. ``This idea of dividing the forum and inaugurating two factional chairmen does not show maturity and good leadership expected from the governors. ``The governors as the chief security officers of the 36 states of the country should stand for justice no matter whose ox is gored,’’ he said. Onuoha, nonetheless, described as unfortunate the decision of the PDP Working Committee to suspend Amaechi as a result of the fallout of the NGF election. Even prior to the NGF’s election crisis, an elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has criticised the current posture of the forum. In an open letter titled ``Enough Is Enough” and addressed to the forum, Clark conceded that following his enquiries about governors in the U.S., he learnt that an association called National Governors’ Association existed in that country. He, however, noted that the existence and operations of the group were within the confines of the law, adding that the governors’ association had never been a thorn in the flesh of the country even though it was formed as far back as 1908. ``Besides, the association is not politically ambitious as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum,’’ he said. Clark noted that when the NGF was managed under the aegis of former Gov. Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State, the forum functioned very much like its U.S. counterpart. He, however, noted that the situation changed when the NGF was chaired by former Gov. Bukola Saraki of Kwara, adding that Saraki was then accused of using the forum as a platform to enhance his presidential ambition. Clark criticised the NGF for its failure to use its peer-review mechanism to prevail on any of its members to do what was right. He also noted that the NGF made no comments about former Gov. James Ibori of Delta throughout his trial and conviction on corruption and money laundering charges, both in Nigeria and Britain. Despite the bickering in the NGF, analysts insist the forum is still relevant in the politics of the country but they want the forum to function like its U.S. counterpart and pay more attention to nation-building efforts. They warn against any attempt by ambitious members to use the forum as platform to actualise their political ambitions, saying that such aberration would render the NGF useless in the country’s political affairs. Source: NAN






ACN slams Jonathan for backing NGF factional group From Ayodele Samuel,


ction Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said it is a travesty of democracy for President Goodluck Jonathan to r e co g ni z e G o ve r n or J o n ah Jang of Plateau state as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). The ACN in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, noted that Jang lost to Governor

OkonjoIweala drums support for FIRS chairman

Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers state in what has been widely acknowledged as a free, fair and transparent NGF poll. The statement said the President’s ill-advised decision has shown that Jonathan has little or no respect for democracy and will stop at nothing to jettison time-tested ideals on the altar of political opportunism. It said the recognition of Jang has also shown that the President’s spokesmen either do not know the thinking of their principal or have chosen to engage in lies, in his

defence. He said: President Jonathan is frittering away whatever is left of his credibility by the day. “His spokesman said in a statement the day after the NGF election that the President had always shown a willingness to work harmoniously with any leadership freely and independently chosen by the NGF for the collective progress and development of all sections of the country and will continue to do so. “But it is now clear that

the Presidency’s statement is not worth the paper on which it was written because when viewed in the context of similar deceitful statements by the Presidency in the past, especially on the health of the First Lady, one can see a growing pattern of a lying Presidency, a Presidency that likes to hide behind one finger. “This President is daily cementing his unenviable reputation as the most divisive President in the history of Nigeria. “By raising partisan politics to a pedestal higher

than national interest, he has divided the country along religious, ethnic and political lines more than any of his predecessors. ‘’In the process, he has destroyed or about to destroy national institutions and organizations. “First, he succumbed to the pressure from his party to deal with the Judiciary for daring to reverse the outcome of some of PDP’s rigged polls. “But for a courageous Chief Justice of Nigeria who cannot be teleguided now in the saddle, the Judiciary would have been emasculated altogether.”

By Abdulkadir Isa


oordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has enjoined staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to support and accord its management under the leadership of Kabiru Mashi, full cooperation to realize its mandate. She described the Board as the nation’s foremost revenue earner and, therefore, enjoined every staff to give their support to enable Mashi achieve the set target. Speaking during an unscheduled visit to the FIRS corporate headquarters, Okonjo-Iweala expressed satisfaction with the leadership of Mashi whom she similarly commended for surpassing set revenue targets. She also used the occasion to clear the air on the appointment of a substantive Chief Executive for the service. “I do not want your morale to be lowered because every institution has to go this way even at the World Bank, we also advertise for positions. “The President called me that this position has to be advertised using a consultant. “The decision to appoint a substantive chairman is now in his hands and he has the list and we are also working with the National Assembly. “I urge you to give Mashi your support. When the President is ready he will tell us. Come June 1, we have to be up and doing our target is $500 million.” “We have to really work hard in the non-oil revenue direction i as you can see we have challenges in oil revenue due to oil theft. “Prices are crashing, we are experiencing two shocks- the price shock and quantity shock, and for Customs, we are also experiencing some shocks. “We are the biggest importer of rice in the world and by the time we become self-sufficient, the revenue in that area will drop.” she said. Also speaking, Chairman of the FIRS chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Comrade Samson Okere, assured the Minister that contrary to insinuations and faceless petitions, relations between staff and the management have been cordial and robust.

Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Lugbe, Reverend Timothy Akanbi (5th right); his wife, Mrs. Grace Akanbi (5th left); Youth Matron, Mrs. F. Bolarinwa (4th left), in a group photograph with members of Faith Baptist Youth Association, during the Nigerian Baptist Youth Week Worldwide celebration, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Solar energy: Korean firm injects $30bn, to generate 10,000 megawatts

By Etuka Sunday


inister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has reassured Nigerians that plans are on the way for the power supply to be increased by 10, 000MW through solar power for the next 10 years, as HQMC, Korean Company Limited is set to inject $30 billion into the sector. The Ministry, in a statement,

said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the HQMC, Korea Company Limited, was signed in Abuja at the weekend, with the Minister, stating that the addition, no doubt is a laudable effort, describing it as truly visionary, which is in line with the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. According to him, “the addition of 1,000 megawatts of

solar power yearly for the next 10 years will give the nation the required energy mix needed for sustainable development. “This scenario will also enable spread of power across the country and Nigerians even in the rural areas will benefit immensely from the proposed project. “Korea is a top ranking technologically advanced economy and undertaking projects of this

magnitude will provide Nigerians with job opportunities and skill acquisition that will positively impact on our youth. “So, Nigeria as an emerging economy is set to provide the best market for direct foreign investment especially in the power sector.” Nebo expressed optimism that his Ministry will continue to create more avenues for foreign investment and participation, so as to ensure the desired turn around

New national priority agenda for children underway, says Minister By Maryam Garba Hassan


inister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has said that arrangements have been concluded to launch a new National Priority Agenda that will comprehensively address the plight of all categories of Nigerian in July this year. A statement in Abuja by the Director of Press at the Ministry, Saghir el Mohammed, said that

the Minister made the disclosure when she received the new UNICEF Country Representative for Nigeria, Ms. Jean Gough, in her office at the weekend. Maina said the new Agenda on children will be multi-sectoral and aligned to Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. According to her, the purpose of the National Priority Agenda 20132020 in the country is to contribute towards the achievement of Vision 20:2020 by reducing children’s

vulnerability and eliminating unfair and avoidable circumstances that deprive them of achieving their maximum potentials. She said in implementing the Agenda, concerted efforts will be made to reduce the number of children living in poverty to 15 per cent, and to significantly improve the quality of life and wellbeing of vulnerable children and other children with special needs. “That is why after the launch of

the Agenda by the President and his wife in July this year, the document will be presented to the National Council of States for their buy-in”, she said. Earlier, the UNICEF Country c o m m e n d e d t h e N igerian government for its commitment to child development, especially through multi-sectoral approaches. “Your plan to launch a National Priority Agenda on Children is a right step in the right direction,” she said.




Emergency rule: Muslim group calls for prayers


ational Association of Muslim Youth Organization (NACOMYO) has urged Muslims in the country to pray for the people residents of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states presently under emergency rule. Nasarawa state branch President of the group, Uztaz Salisu Akaki Musa, made the plea at the weekend, on the occasion of the election of NACOMYO officials in Karu local government area of the state. Salisu, lamented the plight of the people of the states whose livelihood have been serious affected by strict regulations imposed by the Joint Task Force. From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia

7 killed in Bauchi auto crash


Dana: FG unveils cenotaph at crash site From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


s part of activities to mark the first year remembrance of the crash of Dana Air flight J9 992 on June 3, 2012 which killed a total of about 160 persons aboard and on ground at Iju/Ishaga area of Lagos, the Federal Government will today unveil a cenotaph in honour of the victims. Also, the aviation industry has instituted a safety week beginning today, and this will be done every year in honour of those who lost their lives in one of the most tragic accidents in the history of

air transport in Nigeria. The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, will lead the church service for the victims while the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, will be the chief host and the ceremony would climax with the unveiling of the cenotaph. The safety week is expected to kick off with the appraisal of the actions that had been taken by the aviation industry to improve safety in the sector and the lessons learnt by concerned authorities over the tragic crash. Spokesman of aviation parastatals, Yakubu Dati, said in a

statement that there had improvement on many safety equipment has since the Dana crash. Dati said issues of safety and security have been given priority attention with the implementation of the Technical and Administrative Review Committee (TARPDA) recommendations which over 80 per cent of the recommendations were implemented. According to the statement, “in the last one year, there has been improvement in the area of communication, navigation and installation of modern surveillance equipment in all the air-

ports in the country. “There have been massive training and human capacity development of Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and other technical personnel of all the agencies in the aviation sector and just few days ago the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) flagged off the area radar control which will further reduce the time of flight.

at the weekend returned unopposed. While Joshua Orogun emerged as the Vice Chairman with 239 votes against that of Imo, his rival’s 108 votes, J .S. Abuh defeated Ofom to become the General Secretary with 240 to 101 votes. According to the Chairman

of the ANDA Electoral Committee, Omiwole Adekunle, who announced the results, although most of the elective positions had only a candidate each, it decided to make available election materials for all the offices, in line with the Association’s laid down guidelines.


Abuja newspapers distributors elect new leaders

By Stanley Onyekwere


he incumbent chairman of the Abuja Newspapers Distributors Association (ANDA), Comrade Otu Otu Eno, and eight other candidates who vied for various positions in the association’s 2013 executive council elections were


t least seven people were killed while three others sustained injuries in an auto crash along Bauchi Gombe road in Alkeleri local government area of Bauchi state. It was gathered the incident occurred on Saturday at about 8.52 and involving an articulated truck and a red commuter Sharon bus. The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Sunday Henry Olatunji, who confirmed the incident, said a total of 10 persons were involved in the crash. From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

Women journalists decry boom in baby factories


omen journalists have decried the existence of baby factories and fake orphanages in some parts of the country, urging government at all levels to take a decisive action. They spoke during the meeting of the Lagos state chapter of Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ). According to them, the desperation among childless couples encourages child trafficking in places where sale of children seems to be rampant. A journalist with Federal Information, Patience Oko, condemned women indulging in the sale and purchase of children owing to lust for money and fear of stigmatization for inability to bear children. Another female attributed the boom in child trafficking to increasing number of childless couples who want babies at all cost. (NAN)

L-R: Mr. Omo Mark Ogiadomhe, son of Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, and his wife, Omobolanle Mark Ogiadomhe, signing their marriage register, during their solemnisation ceremony, on Saturday at the Cathedral Church Advent, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Transporters, traders bemoan deplorable state of Sabon Gari road in Minna By Stanley Onyekwere


esidents and transport operators plying the Sabon Gari road in Minna, the Niger state capital have expressed worry over what they described as the dilapidated and total state of disrepair of the road which leads to the Gwari-Market, P-Z and Gwadabe Market, describing it as nightmare. The road which is one of the oldest and most popular roads in the state used to be a beehive of activities as it also leads to the old Minna central market that has now paved way to the proposed

Minna city centre. Commenting on the status of the road when a team of the state’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officials visited the area, recently, a commercial driver who simply identified himself as Ogojoko, decried the “un-motorable” condition of the road “as the road is completely damage and commercial drivers suffer on daily basis plying the road.” On his part, a shop owner, Mr. Alower Machukwu, complained that traders no longer make sales as they used because the road is not good for the customers to

come do shopping especially during the rainy season. In the same vein, the youth Leader in Sabon Gari Area, Abubakar Yusuf, also appealed to the state government to assist and re-construct the road for the benefit of the people in the area. The state’s Focal Officer, Directorate of Strategies, M&E, Mallam Umar Mohammed Kwatachi, in a statement assured the people of the area that their complaints will be forwarded to the Governor, explaining that, “as a listening Governor, something will be done about the road soon.”

Borno shuts 20 private schools over poor standards

orno government has shut 20 private schools in the state for failing to meet the minimum standard set by government. The state’s Commissioner for Education, Malam Inuwa Kubo, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Sunday. He said the government took the action after several warnings by the inspectorate unit of the ministry of education for the proprietors to meet up with set standards. “The state government closed down the 20 private schools because of poor quality standard. “We found out that the proprietors of the schools were more inclined to making money, instead of maintaining standards in schools.’’ Kubo said that the schools would, however, be re-opened once the proprietors complied with the government’s regulations on standards, stressing that the government was disturbed over the proliferation of schools without standards. The commissioner noted that the government had in the last two years overhauled the education sector in its quest to address the long years of decay. “The state governor set up a high-powered committee on the transformation of the education sector shortly after assuming office in 2011.”

Gov. Kashim Shettima



USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, Illegal / Wrong Parking to kindly Call KAROTA through the following number – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.

100th Kano state executive council meeting


oday, Tuesday 28th May, 2013 (18th Rajab, 1434 AH), a day earlier than the usual Wednesdays, KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL held its 100th sitting presided over by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Eleven (11) MDAs submitted forty-one (41) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Twenty-seven (27) of them were approved for execution with an expenditure of Seven Hundred and Fifty Six Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy Three Naira, Twenty Five Kobo (N756,635,273.25) covering twenty-three (23) projects. Nevertheless, Wednesday 29th May, 2013 was deservedly reserved for Celebration of the 14th Anniversary of the Democracy Day and second year in Office of the incumbent administration. Recapitulating, the aspiring Governor to be, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, made several campaign promises, which were reiterated in his Inauguration Speech after winning the gubernatorial elections on 29th May, 2011 for a second tenure of four years yet as popularly elected Governor of Kano State. He told the whole world of his intentions, resolutions and commitments anchored on qualitative delivery of service in Governance to transform Kano State. Fourteen (14) sectors were initially pinpointed, which include Education, Health, Water Supply, Environment/ Sanitation, Agriculture, Infrastructural development/maintenance, Commerce, Empowerment/Provision of skill acquisition opportunities, Housing, Urban Beautification, Federal Projects, etc. All were significantly transformed in the foregoing eventful two (2) years during which Kano State Executive Council held 100 sittings at which an average of twenty (20) approvals were granted for execution of projects, programmes and policies per sitting. So, an average of 2000 approvals were granted in 100 sittings of Kano State Executive Council Sitting with an expenditure of over N250 billion spanning significant sectors of which only salient examples can be cited in this medium. Thus: 1. EDUCATION The Education Sector enjoys priority consideration in the transformation endeavour embarked upon by the present administration under the leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Main highlights of the transformation achievements accomplished regarding Education in the foregoing two years include: i. Construction of over 1560 blocks of Kwankwasiyya type Classrooms across the 44 LGCAs and additional repairs of several others along with provisions of furniture and provision of feeding and two (2) sets of uniforms for new intakes into Primary Schools. ii. Construction/establishment of many new Secondary Schools as heralded by conversion of several unused/ underused public building/facilities into viable Secondary Schools (i.e. Magwan Water Restaurant, Yadakunya Psychiatric Hospital, WRECA Workshop Tiga, etc.). Again, many Classrooms were constructed, repaired and furnished to expand admission capacities of several already existing Secondary Schools. iii. Establishment of the Northwest University, Kano while maintaining the already established KUST, Wudil.

iv. Sponsorship granted to 501 postgraduate Kano State Indigenous Students for studies in various Universities abroad. Again, 100 Pilots, 100 Medical Doctors, 100 female only medical Doctors, 100 Pharmacy Students, 25 Marine Engineers, etc. were sponsored for relevantly required studies at Institutions abroad while about 100 others were sponsored for studies each at Crescent and Bells universities all in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Much more was accomplished in the transformation of Education in all its ramifications of which many aspects had to be mandated to other MDAs. For example, professional and skill acquisition education/capacity building had to be addressed through relevant MDAs (Health, Agriculture, Commerce, etc.). 2. HEALTH Essentially, Health Care Delivery Services were transformed by intervention in two areas of the Health Sector. Firstly, the facilities and required functional infrastructure for qualitative Health Care Service Delivery were improved while in the second instance access to professional education/skill acquisition was ensured. Main highlights include: i.Physical Transformation a.Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital •General repairs and refurbishment •Provision of Dental Equipment •Reactivation of the Mortuary b.Hasiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital •General repairs •Provision of electricity generators c.Gaya General Hospital •General repairs •Provision of X – Ray Machines etc. d.Dawakin Kudu General Hospital •General repairs e.Gezawa General Hospital •General repairs •Provision of furniture f.Kano Infectious Diseases Hospital •General repairs g.Kano Dental Center •General reconstruction •Provision of required equipment h.Importantly, on the other hand, the laudable Kwankwasiyya Medical Outreach Programme was reintroduced and pursued vigorously. ii. Professional education/skill acquisition: a.Repairs and general provisions for Schools of Nursing Kano, School of Midwifery Kano and Dambatta. b.Establishment of School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa, College of Nursing Madobi and School of Health Technology Bebeji. 3. WATER SUPPLY Nature provides abundantly as regards water supply. All that is required is for man to access, harness/store, purify and transport it in good quality and quantities to areas of need. This administration has performed creditably in purifying and supplying good quality and quantity of potable water for urban and rural/ regional use. For example, over 6,000 metric tons of Aluminum Sulphate (alum) was procured along with other chemicals required in the purification processes undertaken by the several water treatment plants across the State. Diesel is continually supplied to run the electricity generators at the plants against the incessant power outages experienced throughout Kano State and the Nation in general. Again, 15Km 1000mm diameter,

Gov Kwankwaso 600mm diameter 42 Km length of Ductile iron pipes were procured for provision of dedicated water supply pipelines from Watari to Miltara, Challawa to Gwaron Dutse and Kafin chiri water treatment to Sumaila Town respectively. Much more had been accomplished in this regard. 4 . E N V I R O N M E N T A L SANITATION Importance attached to this sector prompted the present administration to reintroduce the laudable policy of the environmental sanitation exercise conducted weekly. Again, an Executive Committee on Drainage was enacted to supervise and advise Government on issues connected to drainage. Importantly, numerous vehicles, equipment and plants were procured for use by REMASAB in their mandate to rid the State of unwanted heaps of refuse scattered all over the State. New vegetation Shelter-belts were established to protect the State from the menace of desert encroachment while plant nurseries for the production of plants for planting were established. Over the last two years the afforestation organ of government raise over 5 million seedlings which were all planted throughout the state. 5.AGRICULTURE Kano State is blessed with abundant and available land and number of people of both genders to produce agriculturally once the relevant inputs, implements and skills are applied. The present administration has positively impacted on the transformation of the Agricultural Sector in the foregoing two years in the following ways: i. Purchase and distribution of 1,000 metric tons of NPK, 5,000 metric tons of UREA and 1,000 metric tons of organic fertilizer for distribution to farmers across the State as inputs for the 2013 cropping season. ii.Establishment of agricultural skills acquisition Institutes which include; •The Animal Traction Institutes at Kadawa, Bagauda, Gwarzo and Dambatta. •The Horticulture Institute at Bagauda. •The Livestock Institute at Bagauda. •The Fisheries Institute at Bagauda. •The Poultry Institute Tukwui. •The Irrigation Institute at Bagauda and Dambatta.

6.INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT/MAINTENANCE Provision of general infrastructure for use by the citizenry in Kano State has been a principal preoccupation of the present administration. In fact, in 100 sittings Kano State Executive Council approved the execution of projects on infrastructural development and maintenance more than any other one single sector. Highlights include the following; i.Revalidation of several important road construction projects and execution of abandoned roads project along major roads. ii.Approval granted for construction of 5KM roads in each of the 44 LGCAs of the State. iii.Approval granted for the construction of flyovers. iv.Renovation/refurbishing of Government House Kano. v.Construction of bridge Over the Jakara River. vi.Construction of major roads along Hadejia road, Zaria road, Gwarzo road, Sheik Jafar road, etc. vii.Installation/repairs of street and traffic control lights. viii.Laying of Interlock Tiles along Pedestrian Walkways along major Streets. ix.Rural electrification projects. etc. 7.EMPOWERMENT The unemployed/unskilled youths of both genders were adequately provided for in the foregoing two years of the incumbency of the present administration. Activities of the upgraded Kano State Community Reorientation Council (CRC) and establishment of eighteen (18) skills acquisition Institutes attest to this. Several youths and especially women were trained and provided with take–off capital/ equipment for the establishment of their personally owned businesses. Most recent beneficiaries are butchers (Mahauta) and Barbers (Wanzamai). A lot more can be said regarding the remaining seven (7) of the fourteen (14) sectors pin – pointed for transformation in the inauguration speech delivered two years ago by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. That has to be another time. Meanwhile, at its 100th sitting today, Kano State Executive Council received and deliberated upon memoranda submitted by MDAs as follows: 1.OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted twenty three (23) on behalf of other MDAs for deliberation by Council. Twelve (12) of them were approved for execution. Thus: a. Brief on Need and Request for Funds for the Purchase of Operational Raincoats:The contents of this memorandum, submitted by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport intimated Council that Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) operates 24 hours on our streets ensuring enforcement of traffic rules and regulations as well as control and management. The rainy season has commenced earnestly, which calls for the need to provide raincoats at the cost of N2,600,000.00 for distribution to the KAROTA personnel as required. Approval was granted as requested for the release of N2,600,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to procure 1,300 sets of raincoats for distribution to KAROTA personnel for protection against rainfall while on duty. b. Presentation on a Proposal and Request for Funds to Enable Training

of 1000 GSM Sellers and Technicians Selected from Across the 44 LGCAs in the State:Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted, on behalf of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Co-operatives and Tourism that, as part of the outcome of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE visit to India, contact was established with Messrs. LESDEP, a registered foundation specialized in propagating collaboration amongst Stakeholders around the globe on promoting skill development and incubation. In due course a proposal was initiated for the training of 1000 GSM sellers and Technicians selected from across the 44 LGCAs in the State. The training was proposed to be executed by a Consulting firm INDOCOP at the total cost of N28,577,000.00 inclusive of take – off seed capital of N25,000 for the prospective trainees. Details were presented for Council’s consideration. Nevertheless, the sum of N22,500,000.00 was requested for release by Council to cater for the training. Thus: i. N20,000,000.00 in respect of the 1000 prospective trainees at the rate of N20,000 each as take – off seed capital. ii. N2,500,000.00 in respect of the Consultant. Total N22,500,000.00. The request was considered relevant and in agreement with the empowerment policy of the present administration Council approved the release of the amended sum of N22,500,000.00 to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Co-operatives and Tourism to enable the conduct of the training of 1000 GSM sellers and Technicians selected from across the 44 LGCAs in the State. c. Request for Funds to Purchase NCAM Extension/Field Testing Proven Mechanization Technologies Fabricated By NCAM Ilorin:The contents of this memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources requested for the release of funds by Council to purchase NCAM Extension and Testing Proven Mechanization Technologies fabricated by NCAM Ilorin, which was launched by the Honourable Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development on the 21st March, 2013. The fabricated machines are Motorized Maize Sheller, Milling Machine with Cyclone, Groundnut Decorticator, Bean Dehuller and Mellon Sheller. However, the Federal Government declared to pay for 40% of the cost involved while the State Governments and potential beneficiaries pay for 60% of the cost. Details were presented for Council’s consideration on the cost of the fabricated Technologies, which total up to the aggregate sum of N1,155,000.00, 60% of which is the sum of N693,000.00 which was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to enable purchase of the fabricated technologies. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N693,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to process purchase of the stated technologies. d. Request for Funds for the 2nd Batch Training of 400 Participants on Fish Farming at Kano State Fisheries Institute


PEOPLES DAILY| MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2013 Bagauda:Office of the Secretary to the State Government respectfully referred Council to contents of a submission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources on request for funds for the 2nd batch training of 400 participants on Fish Farming training at Kano State Fisheries Institute Bagauda. Council was adequately informed of the successful graduation of the 1st batch of 400 participants from the Institute which attracted commendation of the Government from well-meaning citizens of the State. As such, the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources requested for the release of the sum of N11,466,000.00 by Council to enable the conduct of the training for the 2nd batch of 400 participants at the Fisheries Institute Bagauda. Considering the significance of the request to the empowerment policy of the present administration, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N11,466,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to enable conduct of training the 2nd batch of training for participants at the Fisheries Institute Bagauda. e. Request for Funds to Support 521 Kano State Indigenous Traders Based in Lagos State:The contents of this memorandum reminded Council of a visit by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE to Lagos where he met with representatives of Kano State Indigenous Community Resident in Lagos State, particularly the segment of traders. In the course of discussion with the traders, the Governor appreciated their predicament and promised to take appropriate action towards extending some form of support to enhance their various trading activities. Representatives of the traders followed up, expressed their appreciation and sought to redeem the pledge of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE to support them. So, Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented the case for Council’s consideration as an issue of empowerment for those in need which is among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. As such, Council was requested to magnanimously approve the release of the sum of N12,100,000.00 for disbursement to 521 Kano State Indigenous citizens resident in Lagos engaged in viable commercial activities involving Tomato, Onion, Carrots, Rice and associated food items. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N12,100,000.00 to be disbursed as support to 521 Kano State Indigenous traders resident in Lagos State. The gesture is usual with present administration in providing for the empowerment of its citizens when and wherever possible. f.Request for Funds to Procure and Allocate Operational Vehicles in Favour of the State Drainage Committee:Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted a request on behalf of the State Drainage Committee for the procurement and allocation of operational and official vehicles for use by its members and Chairman respectively. Council considered the request and approved the release of the sum of N6,950,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for purchase and allocation of one unit of Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up for use by the Drainage Committee in order to enhance its operations. g.Request for Funds to Sponsor 22 Qualified Kano State Indigenous Candidates Selected for Admission to Study Medicine at Makerere University, Uganda and Afhad University for Women, Sudan:The Kano State Ministry of Health processed and selected 15 qualified Kano State Indigenous Candidates to be admitted for the study of Medicine at University of Makerere, Uganda. Again, 17 qualified Kano State Indigenous Women Candidates were selected to be admitted for the study of Medicine at Afhad University for Women, Sudan. As such, Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested for the release of the sum of 18,200 US Dollars (equivalent to N2,912,000.00) to enable the Ministry of Health initiate the admission process for the 22 eligible candidates. The request was considered relevant and in agreement with the policy of

the present administration as Council approved the release of the sum of 4,200 US Dollars (equivalent to N672,000.00) to enable the Ministry of Health initiate admission of 22 eligible Indigenous candidates to study Medicine at Makerere University, Uganda and Afhad University for Women, Sudan. h.Request for Approval to Sign a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with Sasakawa Global 2000 and Release of N30,000,000.00 Annually as Counterpart Funding in Respect of Development of Wheat Farming in Kano State:The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources requested for approval to sign a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the State Government with Sasakawa Global 2000 as well release of N30,000,000.00 annually for the development of wheat farming in the State. Sasakawa Global 2000 will provide comprehensive submission on the collaboration and basis for the release of the money annually. In any case, highlights of outputs expected from the collaboration were summarized and presented for Council’s consideration as follows: i.60,000 farm families translating to 360 people will be exposed to improved technologies in a range of Crop Production. ii.Training of 20,000 disadvantaged women farmers who have not been reached previously by the traditional extension efforts. iii.Establishment of three (3) (one per Senatorial District) post-harvest extension learning platforms (PHELPS) and thirty (30) (ten per Senatorial District) Community based income generating Agro – Processing Enterprises in key value chains involving 600 rural people. iv.Training of 15 post-harvest Agro – Processing extension matter specialists and 30 field officers. Council noted, considered and approved the followings; •Approval granted for signing the MoU by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources on behalf of the State Government. •Release of the sum of N30,000,000.00 as counterpart funding for the envisaged project. i. Request for Funds to Enable Conveyance and Registration of Fifty Five (55) Successful Kano State Indigenous Candidates Who Gained Admission into the Nigerian Institute for Leather Technology, Zaria:Congruent with the empowerment policy of the incumbent administration Council approved the release of the requested sum of N2,119,500.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to be utilized for the stated purpose above as follows: •Registration fee N36,000 x 55 = N1,980,000.00 •DTA for 2 Officials N15,000 x 2 = N30,000.00 •Fueling of 2 buses N30,000 x 2 = N60,000.00 •Feeding for 55 Candidates N900 x 55 = N49,500.00 Total N2,119,500.00 The Directorate for Economic Empowerment should mandatorily execute the purpose. j.Request for Funds to Enable Removal of NITEL Poles along Major Roads of Kano Metropolis in View of the On – Going Expansion Projects:The present administration is currently executing repairs and extension projects on twenty eight (28) selected major roads in the metropolis all of which affect a total of 671 NITEL Poles. Details were presented for Council’s consideration which informed the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology to request Council to approve for the release of the sum of N8,052,000.00 through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to address the issue. Council noted, considered the request as significant and approved the release of the requested sum of N8,052,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Science and Technology to address the referred issued according to the details presented. 2.OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE Request for Funds to Facilitate Successful Conduct of the Celebration of the 2013 Civil Service Day:Office of the Head of Civil Service notified Council, through contents of this

PAGE ?? memorandum that, Kano State has been celebrating the Civil Service Day since 1999. Accordingly, the 23rd June is set aside for the purpose as was declared in 1994 in Tangier (Morocco) by the African Ministers of Administration and Civil Service to which Nigeria is a signatory. So, the aggregate sum of N3,473,000.00 was requested for release to the Office of the Head of Civil Service to enable successful celebration of the Civil Service Day on 23rd June, 2013. Approval was granted as requested for the release of the sum of N3,473,000.00 to the Office of the Head of Civil Service for the stated purpose. 3.MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES Nature provides abundant supply of water for man to harness, store, purify and distribute to areas of requirement by the citizenry. Kano State Government has done its own share of harnessing and storage of the water resource base by developing and maintaining over fourteen (14) dams. So, Council was politely reminded of its approval for the release of funds to the tune of N58,195,712.00 to execute repair/renovate Magaga and Guzu – Guzu Dams. In the same line, the State Ministry of Water Resources requested for the release of the sum of N62,773,640.68 to undertake repairs/renovation works at Tudun Wada Dankadai and Bagauda Dams. Details were presented for consideration by Council. Significance of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N62,773,640.68 to the Ministry of Water Resources to enable the execution of the repairs/renovation projects at Tudun Wada Dankadai and Bagauda Dams as follows; i.Tudun Wada Dankadai Dam N27,750,583.43 ii.Bagauda Dam N35,023,057.25 Total N62,773,640.68 4.MINISTRY OF HEALTH Three (3) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Health. Two (2) of them were approved for execution as follows: a.Presentation of Information Memorandum (MI) on Strengthening of Nigeria’s Vaccine Supply Chain:The Hon. Commissioner for Health informed Council, through contents of this memorandum that the Federal Government (in consultation with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)) recognized the importance of strengthening the Routine Immunization (RI) supply chain in order to achieve one of the goals of “saving one million lives” by the year 2015. Details on the program were presented for Council’s consideration. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and approved the acceptance of the program in the State as considered by the Federal Government and Development Partners. The Kano State Ministry of Health is to provide the required logistic support and form membership of the State Steering Committee on Vaccine Supply Chain. b.Request for Funds as State Counterpart Support for the Conduct of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) Step – Down Training for 120 Nurses, CHEWS, Midwives and Doctors in Kano State:With concern, Council was notified that, in Nigeria today one among every five (5) Children die before their 5th birthday. 70% of such deaths are due to one or combination of five (5) major disease conditions, which include Acute Respiratory Tract Infections – especially Pneumonia, Diarrheal Illness, Malaria and Vaccine preventable diseases. So, the strategy of IMCI was introduced by UNICEF and WHO in response to the continuing high morbidity and mortality of children aged 0 – 5 years in developing countries. More details were presented for consideration by Council which prompted the granting of approval for the release of the requested sum of N941,769.38 to the Ministry of Health to enable the conduct of the stated training in view of its importance as specified in the presentation. 5.MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Request for Funds for the Renovation of Ajasa Road:The sincere and laudable resolution of the present administration to provide qualitative infrastructure for use by the citizenry prompted KNUPDA to identify Ajasa Road for renovation. This road is

a major link from Civic Center ending at Obasanjo Road that has dilapidated to a point that causes vehicular damage and frequent accidents. Repairs and general renovation of Ajasa Road will certainly ease traffic congestion and provide for easy passage to the numerous road users, especially on Obasanjo and Ibrahim Taiwo Roads. Details on the works required were presented for consideration by Council which prompted granting of approval for the release of the requested sum of N304,015,340.43 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable KNUPDA execute the renovation of Ajasa Road project. 6. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT This Ministry submitted six (6) memoranda for deliberation by Council. All were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Execute Phase II Works for the Accommodation of Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) at Former E. E Rural Site:KAROTA has been established with plausible reasons by the present administration in the State to control traffic. What remains is provision of befitting premises for its Offices from which to coordinate conduct of its operations. The project was designed to be executed in phases. Phase one has already been executed to 100% level of completion. So, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N29,258,007.19 to enable execution of the second phase of the project. This was approved. b.Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of a Toll Gate and Diversion Road Near Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education Along Zaria Road:Zaria Road is the principal link and gateway into the State Capital with Southern Nigeria and other important neighboring States. This road is amongst the major gateways now under expansion and reconstruction. Council was reminded of its approval for the release of funds for the construction/ provision of toll gates equipped with HD Scanners along Zaria Road. So, for effective control of the City – bound heavy – goods – carrying – vehicles, especially trailers, a second toll gate (comprising of Toll Officers’ rooms, city gate and automated steel barriers) is intended for construction/provision near Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education. This will only allow entrance to the city by validly approved vehicles. As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N115,511,990.44 to enable the provision of a second toll gate on Zaria Road near Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education. Council approved the request due to its significance to the provision of security for the State. In the same vein, another tollgate was proposed to be sited at Rijiyar Gwangwan on Wudil road equipped with HD Scanners to control entry of all traffic and identify contents of respective vehicles coming into the State from Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, and other neighboring States. This will boost security and further prevent smuggling of banned goods into Kano City. The sum of N87,861,171.62 was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of the project. Considering the relevance of the request, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N87,861,171.62 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the construction of tollgate (with HD Scanners) at Rijiyar Gwangwan on Wudil Road so as to boost Security for the entire State. c.Presentation on Need and Release of Funds to Purchase Five (5) Fire Fighting Vehicles and Eight (8) Complete Engines With Gearbox for Mercedes Benz Vehicles:The contents of this memorandum concertedly reminded Council of its recent approval granted for the procurement of three (3) water tankers, fire-fighting chemical foams, hoses, and other valuable accessories worth millions of Naira to the State Fire Service. Such provision rescued the Fire Service Department and rejuvenated its capacity to tackle mandated responsibilities with more vigour and determination. So, to consolidate the achievements, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N105,910,000.00 to enable the procurement of five (5) fire-fighting

vehicles and eight (8) complete engines with gearbox for Mercedes Benz vehicles for use by the Fire Service Department. Council noted the request and approved the release of the sum of N11,160,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to purchase eight (8) Engines complete with Gearbox for Mercedes Benz vehicles for use by the Fire Service Department. d.Request for Funds to Enable Construction of Additional 1200M/12M Perimeter Block Wall Fence with Two (2) Gates and Gate Posts at Kwankwasiyya City, Zaria Road:The requested sum of N47,703,901.00 was approved for release to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the additional project stated above so as to further fortify the emerging Kwankwasiyya City as one of the laudable achievements of the present administration. In fact, Kwankwasiyya City is among the 3 newly established cities being constructed by the State Government to provide accommodation to the teeming population and decongest the old Kano City. Over N6 billion is expended on the project, which is to be sold at a profit to interested buyers. e. Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Students’ Cafeteria and a Hall at the Fisheries Institute, Bagauda:The Fisheries Institute, Bagauda was among the 21 skills acquired institutions established by this administration. Others are the Sports Institute, Informatics Institute, Livestock Institute, Hospitality Institute, etc. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport identified the need for the provision/construction of a befitting/modern cafeteria and a hall for use by students and other eligible persons at the Fisheries Institute Bagauda. So, Council was requested to approve for the release of the sum of N28,307,221.89 to enable execution of the project. This request was approved. 7. MINISTRY PLANNING AND BUDGET This Ministry submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Both were approved for execution as follows: a.Request for Funds for the Conduct of Training Program for Managers of the 44 Micro – Finance Banks and other Relevant Officers by the Kuwait Finance House:The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Planning and Budget politely informed Council that, a letter on the subject matter mentioned above was routed to his Office for advice. Outcomes of contents of the letter prompted Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE to visit Kuwait as a result of which the Kuwait Finance House pledged to strengthen the 44 Micro Finance Banks Management by training the Managing Directors and other relevant Officers. Progressively, in future, they have also agreed to: •Provide Technical Support now and in the future. •Upgrading of each of the 44 Micro Finance Banks in the area of ICT requirements. •Partnership with the Micro Finance Banks in projects management and finance. Essentially, Council was alerted of the fact that, this is an opportunity to ensure starting the Micro Finance Banks on solid foundation and entrenchment of sustainable mechanism. Further, the Management of the Micro Finance Banks would be exposed to International Best Practices in managing Small Banks and Islamic banking. This will also enable the Micro Finance Banks to initiate/ open Islamic Banking Units respectively. Again, this endeavour could also be the beginning of establishing mutual bilateral relationship between Kano State and Kuwait. Details of the financial requirements totalling up to the sum of N10,468,000.00 was presented for Council’s consideration and approval for release. The request was approved. b.Request for Funds to Enable Continuation of Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) Exercise Across the 14 Sectors of the State Development Plan:The contents of this memorandum reminded Council of the successful completion and launching of the Kano State Development Plan (KSDP) after




News Briefs

Ahmed makes case for UTME candidates


wara state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has lamented the inability of Nigerian universities to admit 1.2 million candidates left over from the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination(UTME) out of 1.7million who sat for the 2013 examination across the country. Ahmed who expressed his concern on the issue during the convocation ceremony of the Kwara State University(KWASU) at the weekend noted that if only 520,000 candidates could secure admission, the others should be provided with an alternative. From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

Community laments activities of motor touts


he Bakin Ruwa community of Kaduna south local government has called on the state government to rescue the community from the activities of motor touts in the area. The Youth Development Association of the community made this call in a press statement in Kaduna at the weekend. The Statement signed by the Vice Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Isa Abdullahi El-Kudan, stated that, “these men claim to be members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have turned themselves into lords by forcibly taking available land in front of our houses. From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

PTA donates entrepreneurship centre to NAF School


he Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) of Air Force Secondary School, NAF Base, Kaduna, has laid the foundation stone an entrepreneurship centre in the school, to train the students on entrepreneurship skills. According to the parents, the centre will be used to educate the students at their early stage of secondary education to acquire knowledge in entrepreneurship. Speaking during the ceremony at the weekend, the association’s Chairperson, Funke Bankole, said that, “we felt catching them young is the best thing to do so that while they are learning the theoretical aspect, they should also acquire practical and entrepreneurship skills. From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna

L-R: MD/CEO, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Joe Hudson; Chairman, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Ltd, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye; and Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser, Mr. Uzoma Uja, during the 4th Annual General meeting of the company, recently in Lagos. Photo: Olawale Rotimi

ExxonMobil renews commitment to anti-malaria fight From Mike Etim, Uyo


xxonMbobil has declared its intension to partner with relevant government agencies and reputable non-government outfits to fight malaria in the country According to the Manager, Mr. Mark R. Ward, ExxonMobil Subsidiary Companies in Nigeria, the foundation had so far spent over N157 million in grant and services to fight malaria in 16 malaria endemic countries making it the largest nonpharmaceutical donor for malaria

control. He spoke during the endof-project dissemination of community directed interventions for the prevention and control of malaria in pregnancy (MIP) and in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. The programme is jointly sponsored by ExxonMobil, John Hopkin’s Programme International Education Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), Akwa Ibom state government and Ellicott Dredges Company. Represented by Dr. Ayodele Fagbemi, Manager, Medicine

& Occupation, Ward stated that ExxonMobil will remain committed to eradicating malaria as it leaves debilitating effect on the socio-economic well-being of any nation. According to him, ExxonMobil has been working with local and international partners, “in reducing malaria impact through prevention, education and treatment. He noted that the project’s results have shown that community programmes can increase access to malaria prevention and control and also

increase care services adding that, “the project has donated six microscopes for diagnosis parasites, six blood analyzers for proper investigation of anemia in health facilities in the local government areas where the project is being implemented. On his part, the Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bassey Antai, government had equally provided Insecticide Treated Nets (LLITNs) as well as constructing the 20th Anniversary Hospital in Itu local government area, among other investments in healthcare projects in the state.

IPMAN wants capital punishment for oil pipeline vandals From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


hairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the western zone, Bashorun Joseph Akanni has advocated life imprisonment for oil pipeline vandals. Akanni stated this in Ilorin at weekend in an interview with journalists during the fidau prayer for Chairman of IPMAN, Ilorin depot, Alhaji Jamiu Bolaji Agboolade. He noted that various stakeholders have teamed to up to tackle the vandalism especially in the western zone. “It is economic sabotage to Nigeria generally but it affects independent marketers more because without fuel in our depots, we will be suffering great hardship and may be out of business. “The government is not doing what it is supposed to do and that is why we, the stakeholders have taken it upon ourselves fight oil pipeline

vandalism. “We expect government to have a law on pipeline vandalism that anybody caught should face a firing

squad or life sentence. “We want the National Assembly and the Federal Government review that law to

ensure that stiffer punishment is meted out to offenders. We advocate capital punishment for any pipeline vandalism.”

Association for the blind demands audible crossing sign posts From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo.


he Chairman AngloNigerian Welfare Association for the Blind, Ogie Eboigbe, has called on parents of children with disabilities to endeavour to send them to school to acquire special skills that will help them in life. Eboigbe made the call in his address at the closing ceremony of the train the trainers’ workshop on Braille, mobility and class for the blind, held in Mutum-biyu Gassol local government area. The chairman who was represented by the National

President, Danlami Bashru, said the workshop was organized to train the teachers who would impart the knowledge of mobility and independent living skills in blind persons. He expressed gratitude to the T.Y Dajuma Foundation for its financial support and called on government to assist blind persons move freely by removing all environmental barriers on their ways. He said Federal Government through the Federal Road Safety Commission should give the White Cane a pride of place in the Highway Code in other to sensitize

the public and vehicle users on its importance. The workshop also appealed to the government to construct audible crossing signposts at roadjunctions to enhance independent mobility by the blind. It urged the government to provide recreational facilities for the blind as education of the blind would not be complete without sports. It also challenges government and non-governmental organizations to sponsor more workshops that would improve the wellbeing of the physically challenged in the society.



Money Sense

How to be a millionaire


ow to be a millionaire? You may be wishing to have a million bucks, or you may be an aspiring young professional who wants to know if you are on the right path. Whatever the case may be, here are seven ways people become millionaires. Some are by pure luck but there’s no need to worry as others are based much less on chance and more on planning and wits. With some effort, you can have a big fat bank account one day too. First and the easiest, Win the Lottery – Without a doubt, this is the quickest way to become a millionaire. There are ton of ways to strike it big as well. The problem? Your chances are one in a billion. Good luck and start rolling the dice if this is the way you want to pursue wealth. Be innovative – Most people believe that the easy inventions are already out in the marketplace but yet, new gadgets come out every day. Ideas are everywhere, so put on your thinking caps. If you aren’t the thinking type, you can always… Learn from Madoff – You will also be on the front page of every newspaper and be in jail for 150 years but at least your wife can enjoy a good life with money you stole from other people.If you take this path by the way, let me know so I can report you.

Money Tip:

Ways to save money Use your talent to earn extra cash Let’s face it, if you’re not a pop star by the time you reach your 20s you’re never going to be. But you may be able to use your talent as a guitarist to teach other wannabes the rudiments of the 12-bar blues. Shop around for the cheapest household insurance Unless you drive - car insurance is mandatory - you don’t need insurance. But it’s strongly advisable. Can you afford to foot the bill if your house burns down? Probably not. Similarly, can you afford to pay over the odds for the same policy available elsewhere because you can’t be bothered to shop around? Possibly, but it’s not advisable. The internet has made finding cheaper insurance easy and you can compare hundreds of policies in minutes.


True success is the only thing that you cannot have unless and until you have offered it to others. -Sri Chinmoy

Corporate Slave – Okay, this is the first way to be a millionaire while avoiding the headlines. Many high paid professionals end up with significant wealth built up. Of course, they get beaten up at work daily as they climb the corporate ladder and then pay obscene amounts of government taxes afterward, but hey, nothing is going to stop you from becoming

a millionaire right? Forget millions; I was born a billionaire – Having rich parents aint’ a crime right? Even if you aren’t born that way, you might get a second chance by being adopted. Of course, no money is ever safe if you don’t know how to use it. Marry Rich – If you go to any bars or restaurants that are within close proximity to high

end neighborhoods, you will see many very attractive ladies at the bar. There are some fairy tales alright, but most die trying. Save your ass off millionaire – You can keep trying, but this is exactly how most of us will become a millionaire. It’s not glamorous like winning the nobel prize but no one will bother you (that’s a good thing when you are wealthy) because no one will

ever know you are rich either. Since this is actually the most probable way of becoming a millionaire, I’ve outlined a few steps you can take. Generate Some Income All the rubbish about a penny saved equal two pennies earned is true because pondering about that all day will save you exactly two pennies. If you ever want to save enough money to make your family proud, start earning some to begin with. This includes: • Stop watching TV. But everyone watches TV. Yes, couch potato the third, that’s why so few ever become millionaires. While you are watching TV, your competition, the more successful and the people you envy are all making money. Stop watching TV. In fact, cancel it if you always give in. • Working smarter and harder at work – If you have to choose between the two, please err on the side of being smart. Be friendly and helpful to coworkers, know when you should work hard and when to say no to distractions. • Get a side job – If you are earning less than N40,000 and trying to feed a family of four, you could probably write a book on money saving advice. Stop reading up on frugal living and write about it instead. Start your own business and earn more money.

Ascertaining the strength of your financial security


he issue of financial security is often raised during discussions because of its importance to the financial well being of individuals or households. To ascertain the strength of one’s financial security, it’s important that you consider certain thing and provide answers to these questions. • Do you have an emergency account? Creating and maintaining an emergency account will do you a world of good as setting aside funds for unforeseen circumstances will save you the stress and burden of financial constraints. It is quite disturbing that many people do not have the slightest idea about an emergency account and have to undergo financial stress in case of eventuality. • Do you have a Retirement Savings Account? Apart from the mandatory Retirement Savings plan your organization has put in place, it is also wise for you to have your own plans, setting aside some amount for your retirement. •How long do I intend working to earn a pay check? Do you intend working to earn pay check at sixty? Can your strength allow you work at an advanced age? Your financial plans for your old age will determine the strength of your financial security. • Are you debt free? If fifty percent of your earnings go to debt settling, then know that you are heading for a financial crisis. It

is therefore wise that you map out strategies to write off your debts and ensure that you don’t incur more debt. •How do you handle excess fund? Do you always try to upgrade your lifestyle each time you get a raise or excess money? What happens to this excess fund? Do you keep it aside for the rainy day, invest it or just blow up everything? Your answer determines the outcome of your financial security. • What is the worth of your insurance policy? Most often, clients tend to go for the insurance policy with the lowest premium not considering the benefit of such premium in the long run. Certain factors should influence

your choice of insurance policy, you should consider what you intend to achieve in the long run instead of just picking any insurance policy because of the low premium involved. For instance, it is advisable to go for a comprehensive insurance policy instead of picking a third party insurance policy for your car as this will leave the burden of fixing your car on your shoulders in event of an accident. • What is the spending habit of your spouse? The spending habit of your spouse determines the strength of your financial security. Is your spouse a spend thrift or a wise spender? If you operate a joint account then it is advisable that you spell out the rules like how often money will be withdrawn from the

account and how much should be withdrawn after due consultation and planning with your spouse to secure your financial future. •Do you have a will yet? Do you have a written will yet? Or are you too scare to put down your will on paper because you don’t want to think about death? You may feel that you don’t need to worry about financial security after your death but you have to be concerned about the financial security of your children, your bequest to your children and how your resources are managed long after you are gone as it is the popular saying that “a good man leaves inheritance to his children”. Failure to do this will leave you children and hard earned resources at the mercies of relatives.



hairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, made what can best be described as a bizarre proposition to the leadership of the party last Friday. He suggested that the party should grant automatic tickets to its public office holders to contest the general elections in 2015. In Anenih’s estimation, elected public office holders such as the president, governors and lawmakers who have “performed’ well should be saved the rigour of going through primaries to select the party’s flag bearers. The former Works minister better known as Mr. Fix It, perhaps more for his ignoble role in subverting the democratic process than upholding it, was living up to his name when during the PDP family dinner held at the presidential villa he declared: “It is my view that with the outstanding performance of President Jonathan in the area of power, rail, water, transportation, road construction, aviation reform, education, agriculture, job creation, etc, the party should not find it difficult in granting him the opportunity to serve a second term if he so desires”. Another reason why the party should seriously consider the automatic ticket option in picking its candidates was that it would put an end to the acrimony and infighting that dog the party during the primaries. “Our primaries have been the most serious source of rancour and disunity in our ranks and we usually invest so much resources and energy fighting ourselves in the primaries that

should have gone into the larger battle against our political rivals”, he said. That such a statement is coming a few days after the nation celebrated the so-called Democracy Day and from such a high profile actor in the 14 years of our new democratic dispensation, is shocking, to say the least. We are forced to ask: in which country is Anenih living that he would unashamedly assert that there have been improvements in the


Automatic tickets? Perish the thought

Anenih’s half brained idea should not be entertained by the party if it wants to be taken seriously by Nigerians areas he listed? Surely, not the same Nigeria as we do where the standard of education as evidenced in the WAEC and NECO exams has consistently been falling and the quality of graduates our universities produce is such that the majority of them are unemployable. Beside the hype, there is next to no improvement in the agricultural sector to suggest that it is well on track to becoming the nation’s alternative revenue earner as was the case in the past. The improvement in electricity supply can at best be described as marginal as is the case in other critical sectors. How then can Anenih sincerely

OUR MISSION “To be the market place of ideas and the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while delivering value to our stakeholders”

recommend an automatic ticket for the president and governors? Unless Anenih chooses to bury his head in the sand, like an ostrich, we are certain that as a leading member of the PDP, he should know that the reason for the acrimony within his party is not so much the primaries as the brazen manner in which its leaders have refused to allow internal party democracy to take root. It is this same attitude of foisting candidates and crushing dissent that has been the bane of the party. Examples abound where candidates that have won primaries have had their tickets withdrawn for the party’s favourites. Akwa Ibom state Governor, Godswill Akpabio, recently disclosed how he struck off the winner of the party’s senatorial primaries and replaced it with a candidate of his choice. Granting of automatic tickets is indeed alien to democracy. It is unheard of in the western democracies which we ape. Democracy is hinged on the idea of giving people alternatives to choose from; once that is taken away and choice becomes the prerogative of a few, then democracy suffers. We urge that Anenih’s half brained idea should not be entertained by the party if it wants to be taken seriously by Nigerians. PDP and, indeed, all other political parties in the country must do away with the idea of ‘consensus candidates’ and ensure a transparent process of picking their flag bearers so that the infighting that Anenih refers to can be nipped in the bud and democracy can firmly take root in the country.



Chairman Malam Wada Maida, Oon, Fnge Director/Editor-in-Chief Rufa’i Ibrahim Managing Editor Abdul-Azeez Abdullahi

Chief Operating Officer Ali M. Ali

Head, Advert/Marketing Hussaini Abdulrahman, Cna

Acting Editor, Daily Hameed M. Bello

Manager, administration Hassan Hammanyaji

Head, Lagos Bureau Adesoji Oyinlola

Acting Editor, Weekend Jamila Nuhu Musa

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Mr President, try sitting up By Ken Ugbechie


ometimes a student’s midterm assessment report card does not reflect the final report, but it tells in some way the stride, poor or otherwise, of the student in the first half of his term. If a student’s mid-term report reads poor, it does not mean the end of the road for the student, it only means that such a student should simply buckle up. He must put in more effort to come good. And if the mid-term report reads positive with excellent grades to boot, it still puts the onus on the student to work harder to keep his grade or even improve it. Either way, there is job to be done. President Goodluck Jonathan had his mid-term report made public as part of the Democracy Day celebrations. Anybody listening to the president’s cabinet members and to Mr President himself would be tempted to think both the president and his crew were talking about another Nigeria. The picture painted was that of a benevolent, hard-working, diligent and visionary president who has out-performed expectation, and has bequeathed to us a better Nigeria with a flourishing economy, and a subsiding din of social discontent. Nigerians were regaled with stories of an improved power sector, more jobs being created, a perking up agriculture sector, in fact a general assurance that the Nigeria enter-

prise is working. I am sure Mr President would be pleased as he listened to minister after minister ramble through a rehashed script dripping with achievements. I saw the president grin, then smile, then nod in unvoiced approval of the high marks awarded him by his ministers. But he was deceived. He was hoodwinked by men and women who deployed their mastery of sycophantic sophistry to make him look better than he really is. Somebody should go tell Mr President that Nigerians do not approve of the high marks awarded him by his swarm of ministers and courtiers. Somebody should nudge the president to wake up from his dreamy sense of fulfillment. The truth is that Nigerians are angry. They feel a sense of

betrayal. There is a pervasive halo of despondency on the streets, in the mosques, churches, malls, highways and byways. There is frustration in the land. And the people place it squarely on the shoulders of President Jonathan. They feel the man they massively voted for in 2011 has let them down. The people did not expect that Jonathan would be a cure-all president. They did not expect him to provide all the jobs, pick all the bills, help barren couples make babies, mend dying marriages and heal all broken hearts. Never! But they expected him to fight corruption with ruthless vigour; they expected him to make the country more secure, they expected him to provide them the tools and the ecosystem to create wealth. In President Jonathan, the

people saw a man they could connect with; a man with a familiar history; a man who had no shoes just like majority of the people. In Jonathan, the people saw a man they could call their brother, uncle, teacher, friend; a president they could call by his first name, Goodluck. In him, they saw a president whose first name soon became a national mantra such that many parents took a cue and christened their children Goodluck. He was their real McCoy, a trusted and dependable ally. But he has failed them. That’s the truth. The president may not like to hear this but the verdict in the streets is that Jonathan has joined the long list of failed Nigerian leaders. Yet, the president can still come good. It is only mid-term in his four-year term. He still has

The truth is that Nigerians are angry. They feel a sense of betrayal. There is a pervasive halo of despondency on the streets, in the mosques, churches, malls, highways and byways. There is frustration in the land. And the people place it squarely on the shoulders of President Jonathan. They feel the man they massively voted for in 2011 has let them down. The people did not expect that Jonathan would be a cure-all president, but they did not expect this mess either

the opportunity to make amend. To do that, he must shed weight. President Jonathan is carrying a lot of baggage in the form of under-performing and politicking aides. Rather than serve the people, some of his aides are busy serving themselves. Then, there is the other higher matter of corruption. President Jonathan is perceived as very tolerant of the highly corrupt and sleazy. He is seen to harbour a huge appetite for the dainties of venality. This is not a good epaulet for a president whom the people defied the odds to vote into office. On this, he must come good. He must demonstrate to the people that he meant it when he said he would fight corruption. I love President Jonathan; I voted for him but I feel he has not justified my vote and those of millions of Nigerians who rolled up their sleeves to ensure his ascendancy to the throne. This mid-term assessment offers him an opportunity to confront the knotty issue of good governance. That’s what Nigerians are demanding from him. He says he is the most criticized President. This may well be true but he must sift through the mound of criticism to pull the Lee Kuan Yew stunt for Nigeria. History will be fair to Jonathan if he pulls Nigeria out of the quagmire in the same way Yew guided Singapore from ruins to robustness. Ken Ugbechie is editor-inchief of Political Economist magazine.

How the opposition will re-elect Jonathan in 2015 By Bolaji Eletta


tortoise’s only son was caught by his father committing an unspeakable sacrilege and was adequately punished by Tortoise who tied the young tortoise to the tree in front of his compound. When people and passersby saw him on their way to the farm and market in the morning they wondered why such a young man should be so punished. But on being told what atrocity the young man has committed, they agreed that he deserved much stiffer punishment. It was a sunny day and by late evening when people returned from the market and farms, alas the boy was still tied to the stake! The people then felt the punishment had taken too long. After all, what is it that has not been witnessed under the sun? Tortoise must be a wicked fellow to have subjected such a poor boy to such horrendous punishment! This was the new mindset of the same people who felt that the boy deserved worse punishment earlier in the day. Now to the opposition and the Goodluck Jonathan issue. I am one of those who feel that the President is generally performing below par and could have certainly done better! Then, I have never been President and as such not too familiar with the intricacies of that

office. But I honestly feel I would have done more if I were President. However, you will agree with me that not many a president faces the kinds of security challenges our president wakes up to every morning. You will agree with me that Nigerians are a diversified set of people with complexities in traits and character warranting an almost mad man to satisfy her leadership peculiarities. Thus, the opposition ought to keep the ruling government on its toes at all times. They are to be breathing down the neck of those in government, become whistle blowers but most importantly, present themselves as a better alternative in subsequent election. And as far as I know politically, every nation’s democracy is made robust and deepened by the vibrancy of her opposition. Presenting and representing the opposition as a better choice in subsequent elections is the primary role of opposition. Sadly, a critical study of Nigerian opposition and activism generally indicates a deepseated hatred for an individual rather than a sense of patriotism for the nation. The venomous posts on social media space can be nauseating when one measures the bile level in the musings of those who pose as the opposition. It is very important to state clearly here that only a handful of opposition

activists set the baseline of their activism on patriotism. Many are soaked in the sweat of hatred that bears semblance to the sweat of Gethsemane. Many of us who would have love to be involved in the fair game of opposition within the confines of the rules of engagement find it very difficult to join league with operators of the opposition industry as the terrain has been polluted by miscreants, disgruntled elements, and “bad belles”. The handling of news with national appeal is another bane of the opposition and the way they react to government policies. When the ruling government releases new policies, I will suggest that a thinktank of opposition parties should go into their closets and study them objectively to see the pros and cons of such policies. They could then come out to dissect the policies by commending the good side and offering an alternative to the not so good side. Just one example here. Only a handful of respected social crusaders agree with the President on the declaration of a state of emergency in some parts of Northern Nigeria. As far as I know, only Femi Falana, Pius Adesanmi, and a few others agreed that it was a right step in the right direction and went ahead to publicly and unequivocally state their support for the President. But many big

guns of the opposition openly condemned the move. Yet, every sane Nigerian who has seen and witnessed the maiming and killings in Northern Nigeria will definitely feel the military option is ripe. But not our so-called opposition politicians who condemned the president’s move without even proposing a reasonable alternative. To them, everything is bad that comes from this administration! That is not the kind of opposition that breeds a mature democracy and development. If this trend continues into 2014, the opposition can just kiss Aso Rock bye-bye because they are merely shooting themselves in the leg. It looks like the only agenda that opposition party has in Nigeria is to vote out PDP. Every utterance, innuendo, statement, campaign slogan, convention statement is focused on the fact that they will kill, maim, destroy, castigate, circumcise PDP (forgive the choice of words). Many of the chieftains of so and so opposition party still have the rope of PDP on their neck depicting a recent breakaway from the ruling party because of disgruntlement or cross carpeting for electioneering advantage yet they talk with high-handedness and self righteous piousness into high heavens as if they were not part of the major players in the corruption

industry just yesterday. Many in the opposition talk as if they would fabricate or manufacture voters that will vote out the ruling party. I must confess that those in the ruling party are equally guilty of this political arrogance. I call it arrogance as it bears no semblance of any recognition of the sovereignty of the electorate. When a politician comes out to boast that he will deal with any other at the polling booth, such a politician needs some psychiatric evaluation. I want a robust democracy for our dear country. I want a vibrant opposition that would keep the ruling party on their toes for performance and overall development of our dear nation. I want excellent choices to be available to the electorate for subsequent elections. Not just gluttonous choices via N200, Ankara wraps, ballot stuffing or snatching nor intimidation or thuggery. If our opposition continues in their set ways, Nigerians and indeed the electorate will soon begin to feel that Jonathan is being unnecessarily castigated by the opposition and you can guess how they would then lean during the coming election…..towards Tortoise’s son of course! Bolaji Eletta’s professional profile is on LinkedIn


Letters & Opinion

My Pikin: The triumph of tenacity By Kayode Ojo


he conviction and imprisonment of two employees of Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, last week, on charges of producing and selling the killer baby teething syrup, My Pikin, are significant in many ways. Not only is it a defining moment for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in its fight against drug counterfeiting, it is equally a personal triumph for Dr. Paul Orhii, head of the agency who has tenaciously pursued the matter since 2009. The syrup which allegedly accounted for the death of over 80 innocent children between 2008 and 2009 has been the subject of a lingering, twisting court case. An alarmed Nigerian populace must have been impressed with NAFDAC which displayed an uncommon courage and determination since the matter broke open four years ago. The agency had adduced compelling evidence that the teething mixture was adulterated, and vowed to bring the culprits to book. It was not mere talk as events have since proved. The trial judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke had found the Company, its Production Manager, Mr. Adeyemo Abiodun; and the Quality Assurance Manager, Egbele Eromosele, guilty of conspiracy, manufacturing and selling the dangerous baby teething mixture. He therefore sentenced them to seven years imprisonment each on the offence, while he ordered the company to be compulsorily wound up and its

assets forfeited required by law. to the federal Nothing could be government. more pathetic in The judgement a country battling Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, is a landmark against drug text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written in the agency’s contamination. fight against The large number contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters fake and of casualties - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your counterfeit made it even name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be drugs. It is the worse, especially addressed to: first time in as the cause its 20 years of of death was existence that easily associated The Editor, the Agency with the drug Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, would secure administered. 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. a conviction Victory against drug against fake Email: counterfeiters. and counterfeit SMS: 08134607052 It is also a drugs has in befitting recent months outcome for NAFDAC which broke out in November 2008, been coming like rain drops had adduced strong evidence and concluded that its mandatory for NAFDAC whose Directorto conclude that the teething prescriptions legally stipulated for General, Dr. Paul Orhi, has been mixture was contaminated by the drug productions were flouted. consistent in battling the menace. manufacturer who used diethylene Investigations also found that He deserves commendation glycol in place of “propylene glycol” the company relied on a school for the diligent prosecution of in its production. certificate holder to buy raw the case, and for refusing to Diethylene glycol is an materials for the production be distracted, unlike in some ingredient used in anti-freeze and of “batch 02008” of the drugs, previous celebrated cases in brake fluids which is also used as and he had bought diethylene which the agency is involved. industrial solvent while propylene glycol instead of propylene This time, Nigerians were glycol is harmless and sweet, and glycol, the mistake that led to the impressed the way the agency used in a wide range of medicines contamination of the drug. provided strong evidence arising and foods. Barewa Pharmaceutical Evidence from laboratory from its meticulous tests and Company had opted for diethylene tests at different hospitals where investigations. glycol which is far cheaper, though the children died was that “renal Though the deaths associated it causes damage to the liver and failure” symptom as shown by with My Pikin started in 2008, kidney, attacks the central nervous inability to urinate, was common Orhii had reopened the case system and causes paralysis that to all the victims of the drug who immediately he assumed office hampers breathing. To every were admitted to Ahmadu Bello in 2009. It was a decision that well meaning Nigerian, it was an University Teaching Hospital, earned for him and the agency offence that should not be left Zaria, where the scandal first blew commendation for courage and unpunished, and one in which an open. The agency also established forthrightness. He determined example must be shown. Through that the quality control officer that the agency needed to pursue its Directorate of Establishment did not carry out the mandatory such litigations to the end, as and Inspection, NAFDAC had identification tests for all the a deterrent to others. Now, the investigated the scandal which materials before production as successful trial and conviction of


the case have brought another shocking revelation: that chemicals used in large quantities for such a sensitive manufacturing concern was handled by an unqualified personnel, a school certificate holder who knows nothing about them. Though the DG has been relatively quiet in prosecuting the fake drugs war-- a departure from the old way-- it is evident he has been no less effective. This is evident not only from the final determination of the instant case, but from the increasing effectiveness of its enforcement and regulatory functions. In the past few years, NAFDAC has introduced several hi-tech facilities for verifying the authenticity and validity of manufactured products for public consumption. It also introduced cutting- edge technologies, WHOprequalification programmes and other strategies in its operations, all of which have combined to improve production capacity and standardisation of the quality of drugs in the country. Within the period, Nigeria has also emerged the leading light in the use of cutting-edge technologies to fight drug counterfeiting. In addition to serving as an inspiration to other judges, this first successful conviction is likely to reenergise the fight against fake and counterfeit drugs, considering that previous efforts in the courts have yielded little results. It has been 20 years in coming, but for NAFDAC the war against fake and counterfeit drugs has just begun. Like it vowed, the agency has indeed followed the My Pikin case to its logical conclusion; what is expected is that it builds on this landmark and on the vision of the present leadership. Kayode Ojo is on twitter@

Amaechi: Victory as a ‘sin’ By Wale Odunsi


t the beginning of the face-off between the camp of Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the powersthat-be, I said that in not too distant future, a major player in the continuing battle would raise a disturbing alarm. That came to pass seventy-two hours days after the chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF. The duly re-elected chair of the body (as we’ve all now confirmed) at a gathering, alleged that “federal people” were after his life. “Pray for me”, he pleaded. As for Nyesom Wike, Minister of State for Education, he has given credence to the axiom: ‘best friends can be worst enemies’. Thanks to him, governors now have an impeccable reason not to nominate their Chief of Staff for federal appointments. I am sure Amaechi, even with 99% alcohol in his blood stream, will not repeat that faux pas if the hand of time is reversed. Wike is playing god and his body language corroborates this. He is emboldened by his possession of the Rivers state Peoples Democratic Party’s executive committee and the promise of a governorship ticket in 2015. Obviously to secure his political future, he has handed over his goodluck to Goodluck. On the issue of short-list for

national executive jobs, most governors eventually regret the choices they make. It appears that a demon enters some of the appointees soon after they land juicy posts; pertinent to add that Ministers and head of parastatals are the usual culprits. You need to see their intimidating convoy in Abuja, the nation’s capital. These are people that hitherto had only one or two cars. Merely weeks into their new found glory, they wear arrogance like a well-tailored babaringa. You then wonder how a man, who had to face 106 Senators for screening and probably asked to recite the National Anthem like a Primary Two student, suddenly lives and act like an emperor. The federal authorities and leadership of the PDP, supported by their apologists, claim that their common foe siphon monies meant for developmental projects; that his achievements does not match funds allocated to/ generated by the state; that he has marginalized some quarters; that he doesn’t kiss the foot of the President…bla bla bla. But do you on the basis of that scheme the man’s removal without following due process? I am not in any way supporting his deficiencies, but if you do not like an elected public office holder and wish to remove him, it is required that you at least respect the provisions of the

constitution. This is the genesis. Sometime in 2012, Amaechi at a meeting declared that as an Ikwerre from Ubima in Ikwerre local government area, it would not be fair for another person from same Ikwerre to succeed him in 2015. The statement which makes sense, in view of the peculiarity of our multi-ethnicity, did not go down well with Wike, also an Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom community; he has his eyes set on the State’s number one seat. Since then, he has colluded with the Presidency to make life hell for his one-time friend. The Rivers helmsman is now widely regarded as a hero and someone being victimized for daring to say NO to certain policies; for having the audacity to show legitimate interest in a attaining a higher position in life. I thought ambition is one of the attributes we all possess as human, so when did God label it a sin or have I been in coma since birth? I totally agree with the comment by Sokonte Davies, a House of Representatives member on platform of PDP. Reacting to the controversy surrounding the outcome of the NGF poll, he declared that this is the first time in history somebody is being punished for winning. At a time most of his colleagues in the party would

sit on the fence to avoid a clash with the overall Oga at the Top, Amaechi will always speak his mind. Few days to the disputed election, there were reports of how Jonathan forced some state governors to vote for his last-minute candidate, Jonah Jang of Plateau. Of course they bowed to his inclination because intelligence gathered against them revealed staggering and monumental corrupt practices. Come to think of it, PDP as a party has a thing for Septuagenarians. National chairman, Bamanga Tukur; Board of Trustees chairman, Tony “Mr. Fix It” Anenih and lately, favoured stooge, Baba Jang, are all above the age of 70! Not surprised though, the party’s National Youth Leader, Garba Chiza, is 61 years old! The treatment being mete out to Ameachi is prejudicial and I urge the 27 supporting members in the House of Assembly to remain unshaken in their resolute to do the right thing. Posterity will not take it lightly with them if they sell their conscience even for porridge worth billions. Two years to his re-election, President of the United States, Barrack Obama, invested heavily in the youth as well as information communication and technology. He embarked on sweeping health reforms, boosted foreign bilateral trade and partnership, and re-

moulded his country’s image in a bid to portray it as a friendly world power and not a war monger. Here, it is two years to general elections and electricity supply is yet desirable. In fact as I typeset this piece my generating set is on, while they are busy lavishing our collective wealth on a frivolity tagged ‘Democracy Day Presidential Dinner’. Healthcare and education sectors still cry for help yet we are building more federal universities and doing groundbreaking ceremonies for hospital projects; urban settlements still get royal treatment to the detriment of satellite towns which in actual context are slums; the SURE-P jobs they make so much noise about are only seen by them – we should ask our statistics’ managers to tell us if unemployment has reduced from 24% it was in 2011; internal security is at the scariest level with three states slammed with State of Emergency and others at the risk of same; one can go on. Instead of working vigorously to ensure that efforts (whether that is enough requires a separate debate) injected in these areas are seen and felt by the ever-expectant electorate, we are fuelling the split of our Governors’ Forum. What a shame; Oh, what a big shame! Wale Odunsi is reachable on



Comment Who is afraid of 2015 primaries? By Roz Ben-Okagbue


he full implication of the recent Nigerian Governors Forum election result was not lost on the powers-that-be even though many less politically inclined Nigerians were unable to grasp it. It clearly indicated that one cannot rely on the governors (or any delegates from their states) to ensure that the current President will scale the 2015 primaries. Indeed, it is obvious that should primaries be held today with the level of transparency with which they were conducted the last time, the President might lose. the overwhelming support received from the North in 2011 cannot be guaranteed this time around. No amount of magic can change that and Anenih (Mr. Fix It) is not willing to put it to the test. He would rather wave his magic wand and make the process disappear altogether. At the PDP Democracy Day dinner, he announced his new strategy to ensure that the incumbent president makes it to the polls. He stated that since the primaries tend to bring so much acrimony within the party, there is no need to continue with that process at all. Instead all incumbents should be given automatic tickets as long as they have performed creditably though it is not clear who will be the judge of that. To ensure that the new process (or “non process” as the case may be) does not appear to be partial to the president alone, he has thrown

in all PDP governors, senators and House members for good measure. Most of the PDP governors are in their second term so they may not benefit from this generous gesture but then it is not designed for them anyway. For senators and House members whose local governments have an internal rotating system, this could create a problem. It means that there will be no primaries to ensure a change of candidate and there will be discontent when only one area takes up 8 years instead of the 4 allocated to it. Anenih’s suggestion has much graver implications. Firstly, it is fundamentally undemocratic and could create even more bad blood than a lost election would. During the last primaries, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was floored. He was outwitted

in an indisputably transparent election. Indeed there was behind the scene politicking and possibly even bribing by one or both sides, but the crucial process was the one which we all witnessed live as it happened and that was the process that gave the president’s nomination credibility. There are other implications. The PDP constitution clearly makes provisions for the selection process of a candidate for the post of the President of Nigeria. Under Chapter VIII, section 50 (1) states that the National Executive Committee (NEC) shall be responsible for formulating guidelines and regulations for the nomination of candidates for public office. Section 50 (2) goes further to prescribe the manner in which the NEC can select candidates for elective office and

in subsection (3) it states that “In the conduct of primaries for the party’s candidate for the post of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the primary shall be held at the National Convention of the party specially convened for that purpose”. What this clearly means is that there must be a national convention specifically for the purpose of selecting the president and primaries must be held. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a duty to ensure that every party upholds the provisions of its constitution and all changes to the constitution must be communicated to INEC. In the event of a breach, INEC can intervene; alternatively or even in addition the aggrieved parties can go to court. In the past, INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a duty to ensure that every party upholds the provisions of its constitution and all changes to the constitution must be communicated to INEC. In the event of a breach, INEC can intervene; alternatively or even in addition the aggrieved parties can go to court. In the past, INEC has accepted candidates from other parties such as ACN and CPC without a clear democratic process and may therefore lack the moral standing to judge the PDP unfavourably. However INEC has recently demonstrated that they intend to take their regulatory responsibility more seriously

has accepted candidates from other parties such as ACN and CPC without a clear democratic process and may therefore lack the moral standing to judge the PDP unfavourably. However INEC has recently demonstrated that they intend to take their regulatory responsibility more seriously. The question is do they have the courage to disqualify the incumbent president if he is produced through a flawed process or one that is a subject of judicial action? For that matter for all their recent “huffing and puffing” does even the Judiciary have that courage? Most likely not and this is probably what Anenih is banking on if he has even considered the legal implication of his suggestion at all. What he definitely seems not to have considered is public reaction. The impunity with which the PDP governors truncated a democratic process involving governors from all parties left Nigerians reeling in shock especially after a tape was televised showing clearly that there was indeed a process despite the denials from three governors two of whom were from the PDP. Whether they accept it or not, the PDP was tainted by that incident more so as Governor Amaechi was suspended from the party two days later. Many people felt and rightly that it was an indication of what would happen if the PDP loses the election in 2015. Roz Ben-Okagbue is on LinkedIn

Youth unemployment: Lessons from Ethiopia By Andualem Sisay


n Hawassa City in southern Ethiopia, 250 kilometres from the capital Addis Ababa, 24-year-old Mitike Paulos, her younger sister and three friends are busy producing leather bags and belts for sale. Mitike and her sister learned the craft from their brother, who teaches at the government-run Leather Industry Development Institute in Addis Ababa. They started business in 2011 with a 35,000-birr ($2,000) loan from a small-loan lender. Today their business employs 10 people and as they plan to expand production, they also hope to hire more workers. “The more we work, the more we grow,” says Mitike. The Ethiopian government is encouraging young people to start small businesses in order to reduce the rate of youth unemployment, officially estimated at more than 50%. With 90 million people, the country is the second most populous in Africa, producing over 150,000 graduates each year. The government now wants to channel skilled labour into the massive-scale construction projects that have been springing up across the country in such areas as hydropower, railway

lines, roads, housing, water supply and irrigation. Government’s approaches: Young Ethiopians who want to become entrepreneurs are encouraged to organize themselves in groups in order to access microfinance. They are then trained by the staterun Federal Micro and Small Enterprises Development Agency in business start-up and management skills. The agency also gives financial support to youth starting small and mediumsize enterprises in areas such as textiles, leather, agriculture,

trading, wood and steel. Abozenech Negash, the agency’s public relations officer, says its focus is to address unemployment challenges, rev up the economic engine and ensure fairness in allocating national resources. Improving youth employment: Ethiopia’s ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (2010–2015), which includes developing industrial cluster zones and constructing 10,000 miles of road networks, is expected, upon completion, to reduce unemployment considerably. The plan also includes increasing

power generation from its current level of 2,000 megawatts to 8,000 megawatts, and building a 1,500-mile standard-gauge rail line. These projects have already employed hundreds of thousands of young people and further recruitments are ongoing, according to officials. Official data shows that in both formal and informal sectors, over 1.4 million jobs were created between 2006 and 2010, and over 1.2 million between 2011 and 2012. Many of those hired were young people. More efforts needed. Not everyone is satisfied with the

Ethiopia’s ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (2010–2015), which includes developing industrial cluster zones and constructing 10,000 miles of road networks, is expected, upon completion, to reduce unemployment considerably. The plan also includes increasing power generation from its current level of 2,000 megawatts to 8,000 megawatts, and building a 1,500-mile standard-gauge rail line. These projects have already employed hundreds of thousands of young people and further recruitments are ongoing, according to officials. Official data shows that in both formal and informal sectors, over 1.4 million jobs were created between 2006 and 2010

government’s efforts to reduce joblessness. Samson Wolle, a senior researcher at the Access Capital Services Share company, an Addis Ababa–based business and research firm, faults government’s “massive projects”: he says these often require years to complete and that once they are completed their operation requires less labour. The result is that thousands will once again go into unemployment. He would like to see sustained financing of existing small businesses in order to promote their expansion and growth. Mr. Wolle believes there must be an investment-friendly climate to attract domestic and foreign investors to labour-intensive technology industries. Improved access to electricity and clean water, and to quality education, hospitals and other social services, is a starting point. Such interventions, he further argues, will mitigate urban migration and encourage young graduates to work in the rural parts of Ethiopia, which are currently in dire need of educated and skilled workers. Despite such criticisms, analysts generally agree that Ethiopia is on the right course in tackling youth unemployment. Andualem Sisay on yahoo@




Negligence lands 2 guards in court


wo security men, Obadiah Dashe and Andrew Dauda, attached to Maitama Shopping Complex, were on Friday arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly abandoning their duty post. One Hanoga Theophilus of Suite A40 of the same complex reported the matter at the Maitama Police Station on May 23. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Monday Akor, told the court that the complainant’s Sumec 5.6 KVA generator was stolen from the front of his office due to the negligence of the security men. Akor said the offence contravened the provision of Section 196 of the Penal Code. Section 196 provides that any one guilty of negligence …shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. Their counsel, Mr Chike Nwosu, prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms. Senior Magistrate Nafisatu Ibrahim granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 each with one surety each who must live within the court’s jurisdiction. She adjourned the case to July 11 for further hearing. (NAN)


Security guard admits in court to rape


n Abuja Magistrates Court has declined jurisdiction in a case of alleged rape involving a 19-year-old security guard, Bado Longtong. The Magistrate, Mr Abdullateef Abolaji, said that having gone through the First Information Report (FIR), the court was convinced that the matter was a clear case of rape which it lacked jurisdiction to entertain.

…as Magistrate declines jurisdiction

``Going through the FIR, it reveals a clear case of rape which this court lacks jurisdiction and the case is hereby transferred to the High Court,’’ he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police had earlier arraigned Longtong of EFAB Estate Life Camp, Abuja before the Court for allegedly

raping a house help, Janet Emmanuel. Police prosecutor, Mr Simon Emmanuel told the court that one Emeka Ugoma of same address reported the matter at Life Camp Police Station, Abuja on May 21. Emmanuel said that on the same date the victim went to

fetch water from a neighbour’s compound and in the process the accused forced her into the security house and forcibly had canal knowledge of her. The prosecutor said that during police investigation Longtong admitted to have had sex with the victim without her consent. (NAN)

Businessman, 28, in court for receiving stolen property


businessman, Lawal Salisu of Mpape, Abuja, was charged before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court, Wuse, Zone 2 for allegedly receiving stolen property. The prosecutor, Mr Emmanuel Adikwu, said Benedict Okogu of Utako, Abuja, reported the matter to the Maitama Police Station on May 26. Adikwu said that on May 26, one Abdullahi Usman and Jerry Abel, who worked as security men for Okogu, allegedly stole 32 bags of cement and 37 pieces of iron rod from him. He said the stolen items were sold to Salisu for N32,000 and N14,800 respectively. The prosecutor said Salisu was arrested at the scene of the crime and taken to the police station. He said the act contravened the provisions of Section 319A of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty to the offence, which carries a maximum sentence of six months or fined or both. His counsel, Mr Frank Eze, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms. The magistrate, Mrs Chinyere Nwecheonwu, granted him bail in the sum of N100,000 with a surety in like sum. Nwecheonwu said the surety must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and that his official and residential addresses be verified by the prosecutor and court staff. She adjourned the case to June 17,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Members of Abuja Newspapers Distribution Association (ANDA), casting their votes to elect new executives of the association, on Saturday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo- Owo

Church sues tenants for alleged rent default


he Anglican Church Diocese, New-Bussa, Abuja, on Friday sued two tenants, John Samuel and Melvin Okpara, at the Chief Magistrates Court, Gwagwalada, FCT, for allegedly refusing to pay their annual rent. The plaintiff said that the

defendants had refused to pay N120,000 rent to the Church sinceit expired in December 2012. The plaintiff’s counsel, Mr Enoch Etsu, who filed the suit on behalf of his client, claimed that the defendants had refused to quit the Church apartment after repeated demands.

The Church property is located at Phase 1, Mega Screen, Gwagwalada, in the FCT. Both defendants were not in court. The plaintiff’s counsel said ``my lord, the matter is for hearing, but our witness, Mr Mamud Yanda, is not in court.

``He called me on my cell phone and told me that he was attending lectures at the University of Abuja’’. The Magistrate, Mr Lamido Kabir, after hearing the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel, adjourned the matter to June 13,2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

Men, women bag 3-month jail terms over public nuisance


Zuba Grade 1 Area Court in the FCT on Thursday sentenced four men and four women to three months imprisonment each for constituting a public nuisance. The convicts are Martins Ofrom, 45; Barnabas Ebene, 22’ Ezekiel Ebebe, 62; Chukwuma Augustine, 48; Sarah John, 23; Maryam Abdulkarim, 21; Precious Ene, 21 and Blessing Simon, 20, all of Tunga Maje in the FCT. The presiding judge, Alhassan Kusherki, who passed the judgment after the convict had pleaded guilty, said the court was lenient with them because ``they are first time offenders’’.

Kusherki, however, gave them an option to pay N15,000 fine each. Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Haruna Danlami, had told the court that on May 27, a team of police officers attached to the

Zuba Police Division, led by Cpl. Alimo Dubi, who were on patrol, arrested the convicts at ``a black spot’’. Danlami said that none of the convicts could give a satisfactory account of themselves when they

were interrogated. The prosecutor said that their actions amounted to a public nuisance and an offence, which contravened the provisions of Section 183 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

Man jailed 3 months for cheating


Zuba Grade 1 Area Court on Thursday sentenced one Aliyu Mohammed, 31, to three months imprisonment for cheating. The judge, Alhassan Kusherki, passed the sentence after Mohammed had pleaded guilty to the offence.

The convict was, however, given an option to pay N15,000 fine and compensation of N59,000 to the complainant. The police prosecutor, Sgt. Haruna Danlami, had told the court that one Sadiya Musa of Police Barrack, Zuba, Abuja, reported the

case at the Police Station on May 16. ``The complainant said that she gave Mohammed N59,000 for a business, and he converted the money to his own use,’’ he said, adding that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 322 of the Penal Code. (NAN)



Nigeria’s first 6-star hotel commissioned in FCT By Aminu Imam


ES Luxury Apartments, Abuja has made history by becoming the first 6-star hotel to be commissioned in Nigeria. The luxurious apartment was officially opened at a cocktail party organised for selected guests at the weekend by the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke. The official commissioning, which took place at the hotel premises, located at Daki Biyu District, opposite CITEC estate, along Jabi area, which is a mere 15 minutes drive in either direction to the City Centre, or the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, was witnessed by key personalities from both the public and private sector. The mission of the hotel, according to AES Group General Manager designate, Mr. Paul Murray, is to provide comfort and opulence as the clientele to the Nigerian hotel industry matures. AES is intended to be a destination place catering to all sorts of clients, whether business, leisure or corporate. The hotel intends to avieve this with the apartment’s 70 all n-suite rooms, each personalised with its own colour, distributed over four floors and a knit of complexes well laid out in the surrounding facility. Each room in the breath-taking hotel nestled in a beautiful groove of lush greenery blends contemporary furniture, refined materials, high tech entertainment units and superior finishing with an attention to detail. The 10 executive suites in the hotel come with a living room space, dining area and a considerably large and equipped kitchen. Its dual rooms come with sit down showers and Jacuzzis, both fitted with playful lighting and the latest technology in digital music players, while the luxury single rooms possess a warm and elegant feel with heavenly marble walls and floors that flow from passage ways which bounce light and creates illumination that is both soothing and refreshing. Among the standard services on offer is a private bar and coffee spot that will cater to in-house guests alone. In addition, there are four bars, a night-club, a gym and two restaurant promises to offer a menu of Mediterranean-Nigerian fusion while the other is French a-la-carte. The emergence of AES on Abuja’s hospitality landscape is particularly timely as patrons seek secure, yet opulent, alternatives to the few and often overcrowded 5-star hotels in the city. AES is not unmindful of a couple of luxurious brands that are expected to enter the ever-expanding Abuja hospitality market as the city pursues its dream of becoming Africa’s conferencing hub. But with the benchmark it has already set today, AES is ready to provide leadership in this sub-sector of the hospitality industry.

R-L: Chairman, AES Luxury Apartment, Mr. Oluyemi Ogunyomi, Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, former Ondo state Commissioner for Information, Dr. Eddy Olafesho, and wife of the Chairman, AES Luxury Apartment, Mrs Titilola Ogunyomi, during the official commissioning of the Luxury Apartment, on Saturday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

FCTA commences implementation of new transport policy By Adeola Tukuru


he new transport policy of the Federal Capital Territory Administration aimed at providing efficient transport operation within the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) takes off today with 350 high capacity busses deployed to various parts of the territory to convey passengers into the city centre. Mandate Secretary, transport secretariat, Engr. Jonathan Ivoke, said this at the weekend while conducting a road show to various parts of the city to sensitize residents on the administration’s preparedness to commence implementation of the policy stressing there it will drop fare by about 40 percent for commuters. Ivoke who spoke through the Director Mass Transit, Engr. Adewole Adeosho, said the commencement of the

policy will restrict mini-bus drivers operations to the earlier delineated routes outside the city as they are free to operate in the satellite town where they are permitted to ply their trade. He emphasized that their operations would terminate at the various interchanges on the Kubwa axis, Yar’ Adua expressway, and Nyanya interchange where they are to feed the highway with passengers for the high capacity busses to commute into the city. Taxis are exempted from the restriction as their services will still be needed in the wcity and other part of the territory. Ivoke added that the introduction of the full services of the high Capacity buses in the city will reduce the rate of accidents witnessed on the road as the drivers are trained to observe road codes and respect the speed limits. Making further explanation

on the level or readiness by the administration, the public relations officer, Mrs. Stella Ojeme told reporters that by the end of June the high capacity buses will be increased to 600 following more deployment by other licensees. According to her, by the end of “June another batch of 300 busses would be deployed into the city by the various licensed companies” and emphasized that the busses will be running on schedule thereby making it easy for commuters to meet appointments and increase manhour for public and private business operations. She noted that the lowest fare is N50 while the highest stands at N150 for the farthest distances of Gwagwalada, Kuje and Zuba. “The 350 buses to ply the city have been distributed to meet the volume of commuters in the various axis for Nyanya we have 80 busses to ply that route alone,

while we have 60 buses allocated to the Kubwa axis and the others are distributed to the other parts of town. “The buses are going to run scheduled services where each bus must take off every 3 minutes on the Nyanya, Zuba and Kubwa axis while in the case of low traffic areas like Gudu District the buses will take off at every 10 minutes. “We have some interchange points where the certified companies have already cleared to park their vehicle when they deploy them on Monday to pick passengers that the minibuses will drop-off for the high capacity busses to bring them into town, Ojeme stated. The administration also warned that touts who parade the streets to cause confusion should desist from such activities and allow the high capacity busses to meet the mandate they have been assigned in the territory as anyone arrested attacking or destroying such properties would be prosecuted.

Gwagwalada chair appoints secretary, councilors

By Adeola Tukuru


hairman, Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Abubakar Jibrin, has approved the appointment of five supervisory councilors and the council’s secretary. Jibrin, in a statement in Gwagwalada on Sunday said

Alhaji Usman Yahaya had been appointed the council secretary while the supervisory councilors were Mr Yusif Mohammed, Ismaila Kunkeri, Ishaq Kaura, Musa Sani, and Haladu Adamu. The statement said Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi who was appointed Senior Special Assistant on Media and

Publicity would also double as the chairman’s personal assistant. According to the statement, Mr Adamu Garba, Bello Abdullahi, Attahiru Shagari, Zakari Auta and Hajia Fatima Sani were appointed as special assistants to the chairman. The statement which said

the appointments were with immediate effect had called on the appointees to leave up to expectations in the discharge of their duties. It also called for cooperation and understanding from residents of the council to enable the council administration leaves up to its campaign promises.






Six states, FCT control 90% of cash transactions – CBN - Pg 20

NSE ASI settles below 38,000bpts

- Pg 21

L-R: Executive Director, Infrastructure Bank Plc, Mr Taiwo Dauda, Executive Secretary, Association of Investment Promotion Agencies of West African States, (IPAWAS), Mr Stephen Amase, Managing Director, Legacy Investment/Management Company, Mrs Enitan Obasanjo-Adeleye, and President/Chief Executive Officer, Executive Move Ltd/President, Nigeria-Usa Export and Investment Group (NUEG), Chief Funsho Abiri, during the press briefing on the forth coming 3rd ECOWAS Investment Forum 2013, recently in Lagos.

Aliko Dangote is Africa’s first $20bn man By Aminu Imam with agency report


liko Dangote’s 93% stake in the cement company is now worth $19.5 billion. Add this to his controlling stakes in other publicly-listed companies like Dangote Sugar and National Salt Company of Nigeria and his significant shareholdings in other bluechips like Zenith Bank, UBA Group and Dangote Flour; his extensive real estate portfolio, jets, yachts and current cash position, which includes more than $300 million in recently awarded Dangote Cement dividends, Dangote is now worth more than $20 billion. Put into context, the Nigerian billionaire is now among the top 25 richest people in the world, richer than Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, richer than India’s Lakshmi Mittal and running neck and neck with India’s Mukesh Ambani. He is catching up to such Americans as Google’s billionaire founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The unprecedented surge in Dangote Cement’s share price is largely a market response to the company’s impressive 2013 Q1 results.

The cement manufacturer’s unaudited results for the three months ending March 31 showed that the company’s pretax profit rose to $339 million, representing an 80.6% increase from last year and a strong indicator of the company’s future earning potential. The results also indicate a 79.5 % rise in its earnings per share over the corresponding period last year. Explaining the company’s share price boost in an email to Forbes, Carl Franklin, Dangote Cement’s Head of Investor Relations in the U.K said that in the first quarter of 2013, the company had a huge increase in demand across Nigeria, gas supply improved considerably and the capacity was much more ramped up. “So Q1 was the first sign of just how profitable we can be in Nigeria. The amazing thing is that 66% of our gas-fired production in Q1 was done at 84% gas. Imagine what would happen to margins if we did the same amount at 95%. This has given investors a good sense of what we can really do when everything goes in the right direction,” Franklin said. With a current market cap

of $20.5 billion, Dangote Cement becomes the first Nigerian company to achieve a market capitalization of over $20 billion. “It’s certainly a landmark for a Nigerian company and we’re proud to be the first to achieve it. Obviously we are focusing on building long-term and sustainable value for shareholders through our investments in Nigeria and Africa. Nigeria is a very entrepreneurial country and I can assure you that other companies will follow us in achieving this.” Other companies might eventually achieve this, but it’s going to take a bit of time. Dangote Cement currently accounts for more than a quarter of the total market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Dangote debuted on the Forbes billionaires list in 2008 with a fortune we pegged at $3.3 billion. His fortune dropped to $2.5 billion in 2009 and plunged further to $2.1 billion in 2010. His fortune surged 557% in 2011 to $13.8 billion after he took Dangote Cement public. He dropped to $11.2 billion in last year’s rankings, but

rebounded at $16.1 billion this year. Since March, his fortune has jumped another 30%. Dangote still likely has bigger ambitions. He told Forbes Wealth Editor Luisa Kroll at Davos in 2011 that he expected his firm to have a market cap of $60 billion within five years. At $20.5 billion, Dangote Cement still has a long way to go to live up to that dream, and while it is quite unlikely that Dangote Cement could hit a $60 billion Market Cap by 2016, don’t write it off as ‘impossible’. With Dangote, you never know.


NAGIS makes for ambitious revenue in Nasarawa

- Pg 22

MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Choose connection over conflict

t feels good to win an argument. But in every fight there’s a loser too, and your counterpart may leave the discussion feeling discouraged and disengaged. Instead of combating, try connecting: •Set rules of engagement. If you’re heading into a meeting that could get testy, outline rules to make it a productive, inclusive conversation. For example, make sure everyone has enough time to explain ideas without being interrupted. •Listen with empathy. Make a conscious effort to speak less and

listen more. The more you learn about other peoples’ perspectives, the more empathy you’ll feel. •Plan who speaks. In situations when you know one person is likely to dominate (that may be you!), make sure everyone is able to speak. Identify who in the room has important information or perspectives to share. List them on a flip chart and use that as your agenda. Source: Harvard Business Review



Money Market Company News

iStore Ikeja


Store Ikeja, Apple’s flagship retail store in Nigeria has announced the immediate commencement of its weekend super bonanza to reward and bond with loyal customers in Nigeria especially in Lagos. iStore Communications Manager, Taryn Hyam, said the super savings promo which will run for six weeks was designed to excite and reward Nigerian consumers who patronize official Apple products from the iStore. “The Super Savings promo which will feature in form of a whooping weekly deal on Saturdays for six weeks will have a lucky customer buy a device and get great accessories worth between N10,000 and N150,000 to complement the original product purchased, that is the deal,” she said.

Signal Alliance


ignal Alliance, a foremost systems integration ICT company has partnered SAP, the global leader in enterprise business solutions to offer best in class Business Planning and Execution solutions supporting business strategy, process design and integration and implementation to government and all industries in Nigeria. This partnership, which was flagged-off at a public sector event organised by Signal Alliance, in conjunction with SAP in Abuja penultimate week, to introduce the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software to the Nigerian market. EAM is a solution from SAP that ensures operational efficiencies, improves asset usage, reduces costs, and better manages capital expenditures throughout the asset lifecycle.

Egi MJG Float Glass


gi MJG Float Glass, a joint venture between the Egi Community, Mara Group, JS Group and Ghani Group in River State, ON Friday announced the groundbreaking for their first float glass manufacturing plant in Nigeria, which is valued at $210 million. The production facility in Rivers State which aims to produce 500 tonnes of float glass per day, will cost $110 million during the first phase, and an additional $100 million during the second expansion phase, Ventures Africa reports. During the ceremony, Prashant Manek, Director at Mara Group, declared: “Today’s groundbreaking is a first step in making Nigeria self sufficient in terms of glass manufacturing.

Six states, FCT control 90% of cash transactions – CBN

By Abdulwahab Isa


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that Lagos and five other states control about 90 percent of cash transactions in the country. The other states are Rivers, Anambra, Abia, Kano, Ogun. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is also on the list. CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo, who disclosed this, said this was the reason why these states were been slated for the second phase of the cash-less project billed to kick off on July 1, 2013. Acknowledging that there have been and there are still challenges with the cashless project, he said most of them are being resolved. He listed one of the major challenges to include interconnectivity in some of the clusters, which he said is being addressed. Lemo said that besides the use of alternative channels of

transactions such as Point of Sales (PoS), the cashless project would be driven through the telephone. Lemo also said the cashless policy had been successful in Lagos, adding that the number of Point of Sale (PoS) machines in Lagos has increased significantly from about 5,000 when the policy took off last year, to over 150,000. “We still have a few challenges, but if I look back, I really would say that we have done a lot to transform the payment system in Lagos through PoS,” he said.

The cashless policy, whose implementation began in Lagos in January, last year, is aimed at reducing the dominance of cash in the system. The policy specifies penal charges for individuals and corporate organisations that want to withdraw or lodge cash above prescribed limits. Under the policy, the CBN pegged the daily cumulative cash withdrawal or deposit limit for individual accounts at N500, 000 per day and N3 million per day for corporate accounts.

DMO to sell inflation-linked bonds within 4 years


he Federal Government plans to sell inflationlinked bonds to address the concern of investors about the impact of inflation on the domestic debt market, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said.

Inflation rates from May, 2012 to Apr, 2013 Max = 12.9%, Min = 8.6% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 9.1% Source: CBN

“The inflation-linked bond is part of our 2013 to 2017 strategic plan,” Abraham Nwankwo, director general of the agency known as DMO, told reporters Friday in the southeastern city of Enugu. Part of the plan may be implemented this year “where it is possible,” he said. Bloomberg reports that Africa’s top oil producer is also planning to sell N80 billion ($505 million) in federal government bonds “in the form of global depository receipts” and will introduce “bond switches and securities lending” to deepen the market, Nwankwo said. Nigeria’s inflation rate accelerated to 9.1 percent in April from 8.6 percent in the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The CBN has held the benchmark interest rate at a record 12 percent since October 2011 to check inflation and support the country’s currency against the dollar.

Earnings Report for Banks

F/Bank emerges best in West Africa By Abdulwahab Isa


irst Bank Nigeria plc has been crowned with the prestigious ward of ‘Best Bank in West Africa’ by publishers of African Banker at an award ceremony that held in Marackech city of Morroco. The organizers’ panel of distinguished professionals adjudged FirstBank as the sub-region’s best financial institution in recognition of its consistent performance, quality of its financial products/services, thought leadership status and contribution to the growth and development of the sector in the region. Publisher of the African Banker, Omar Ben Yedder, said “Given its consistently strong performances in the region’s financial markets, FirstBank is indeed a deserving winner of this prestigious and well deserved recognition. The bank’s pedigree indeed continues to soar not just in Nigeria but indeed the subRegion.” FirstBank has recently been the recipient of several awards including ‘Best Bank Brand in Nigeria’ (The Banker Magazine); Best Retail Bank in Nigeria (Asian Banker) and Best Bank in Nigeria (Global Finance) as it continues to drive innovation and financial solutions that speak to the needs of various customer segments. Commenting on the award, Group Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “It is indeed a great honour for FirstBank to be recognized as the best financial institution in West Africa as we continue to pursue our passion for service excellence and demonstrate unwavering commitment to good corporate governance and support for economic growth and development within Nigeria and the entire African continent. We dedicate the award to our over 7 million customers across the globe and assure them that it will spur us on to a higher level of service to our customers.” Onasanya added that the Bank’s ongoing upgrade to the Finacle 10 banking platform was another manifestation of the Bank’s resolve to enhance service delivery through continuous investment in technology. Organized by African Banker magazine, IC Events and BusinessinAfrica Events, the African Banker Awards celebrates excellence and best practices in African banking and finance sector. Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi won the award for Best Central Bank Governor during the event which was attended by the continent’s leading finance regulators, operators, policy makers, diplomats and their counterparts from other parts of the globe.




Capital Market Source: NSE/Proshare


Investors NewBits

PharmaDeko Plc

S NSE ASI settles below 38,000bpts

Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos stocks succumb to speculative pressure

he equities market closed on Friday on a negative note, as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) depreciated by -0.58% to close at 37,794.75 points, compared with the appreciation of +1.76% recorded previously. Its Year-toDate (YTD) return currently stands at +34.60%. The depreciation in the Index was as a result of the losses recorded in the share prices of Transcorp Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Okomu Oil Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank of Nigeria Plc, Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Holding Company, Total Nigeria Plc, UBA and Nigerian Breweries Plc. The Market Capitalization

also depreciated by -0.63%, to close at N12.07trn (US$75.47bn), compared with appreciation of +1.76% recorded previously to close at N12.15trn (US$75.95bn). NSE-ASeM, NSE-LII and NSEFood stocks were the most hit today as captured by NSE sector indices. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Champion led the price winners with above 9% gain each; NSE-30 inches up by +0.67% as NSE-Oil also moved northwards by +1.22%. Learn Africa lost 10.00% to close at NGN1.80 leading on the losers’ chart. Market outlook reveals the over-bearing postures of Big CAPs as stocks closed depressed despite improved market turnover and flat market breadth. This indicates the



short termist are gaining tempo. We expect investors to tread with caution as we envisage increased

speculative trading in the coming sessions while short term price correction is not in doubt.

Holdings, Mr. Bello Maccido attributed the growth of the company to the groups’ ability to execute on its core strategic plans – one of which was the stand-alone mobile money infrastructure that should open an in-road into a growing retail market. Affirming the performance of the banking group, the GMD of First Bank, Mr. Olabisi Onasanya took time to take the audience through the signposts of the activities in the year that culminated in the award of the best bank in West Africa from the AfDB – and attestation to its strides in the financial services sector. Shareholders overwhelmingly expressed satisfaction over the payment of the N1.00k dividend, even as they urged the bank to

sustain the tempo of performance. Highlights of the event was the re-election of Oba Otudeko, Mr. Bello Maccido, Mr. Olabisi Onasanya, Lt-Gen Garba Duba (rtd),Mr. Chidi Anya, Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale and Alh. Abdullahi Mahmoud as Chairman and Directors of the board respectively. IMF warns of SEC’s operational deficiencies Inherent administrative and operational deficiencies will continue to constrain the effectiveness the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These concerns were raised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its country assessment report of securities regulation in Nigeria which highlights major lapses in the

structure and operations of the SEC. According to the report, while there are comprehensive legal provisions to ensure a robust governance structure for SEC as the commission does not have sufficient internal policies, relating to its core functions. Of equal concern to IMF is the legal or practical power of the Minister of Finance and the Senate, which it says has the potential to undermine the SEC´s independence. The IMF advises SEC to implement a major overhaul of the capital requirements applied to broker-dealers, by raising their initial capital requirements and ensuring that they maintain sufficient risk-based capital on an on-going basis. (Bloomberg)

Profit After Tax (PAT) also recorded an increase from N55 million (adjusted) in year 2011 (18 months) to N206 million in year 2012; showing an increase of 274%. According to the Finance Director, Fidson Healthcare Plc Olatunde Olanipekun, the improvements recorded were a result of concerted efforts to raise performance and

productivity. “The company is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that it performs optimally and do excellently well on all our deliverables, both in terms of production and sales of products across the country. We have an obligation to deliver sustainable and profitable growth to our stakeholders and we don’t intend to compromise on that

obligation, despite the harsh realities of business operations in Nigeria,” he said. Olanipekun further said although a lot is happening in the country today and the flow of business operations is being hampered by the difficult economic environment, the company has devised strategies to weather the storm and make its growth sustainable.

Fidson Healthcare announces 51% increase in turnover


idson Healthcare Plc has released its audited annual financial report for 2012. The company’s report at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed it recorded a 51percent increase in turnover over last year’s 12 months period. Profit before Tax (PBT) of N540 million in year 2012 against N214 million in year 2011 showed a 152 percent increase.

Learn Africa Plc


The ‘Elephant’ waxes stronger

he FBN holding company held its inaugural AGM at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday. It was an event that attracted members of the First Bank family, from former Chairmen and Managing Directors to current members of the board and esteemed shareholders. Chairman of the group, Oba Otudeko welcomed everyone to the event, describing the feat of FBN holdings for the first year as remarkable. Supporting this premise, the external auditors report presented by PWC/PKF gave the FBN Holdco a clean bill of health and top rating for compliance with financial regulations. Equally speaking at the occasion, the GMD of FBN

hareholders of Pharma-Deko Plc have given the company a unanimous approval to raise fresh funds from the capital market. A statement by the company on Thursday, said that the approval was given at its 43rd Annual General Meeting. Shareholders said the company could raise the funds by way of rights issue. The Managing Director, Pharma-Deko, Mr. Adekunle Abibu, said the funds would be used to boost its activities and increase its working capital.

earn Africa Plc, formerly Longman Nigeria Plc, has reported that it controls about 60 per cent market share in the publishing industry. This, according to the management of the company, is recorded despite the numerous challenges faced by the business in the past few years. Speaking during its 40th Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Thursday, the Chairman of the company, Mr. Emeke Iwerebon, said the crisis rocking most parts of the North had hampered the full growth of its business.

May & Baker


he management of May & Baker Nigeria Plc has announced plans to seek fresh funds to support its effort aimed at business expansion. The company said that the additional capital would also be used to ensure the sustainability of the health care company to perform above competition. A statement by the company on Friday quoted the Chairman, May & Baker, Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), as saying this at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos.


Business Analysis


NAGIS:Birth of ambitious revenue source for Nassarawa govt. A

For the first time, the ministry is able to know the total number of all land files that are in its custody – in the Land Registry and the Land Archives. It is also now easier to trace and retrieve existing paper documents normally kept in paper files at both the Land Archives and the Land Registry”,

n ambitious revenue source is born in Nassarawa state courtesy of introduction of the computerized lands administration system called Nasarawa Geographic Information Systems (NAGIS), the first of its kind in Nigeria after that of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration pioneered the system in 2003 through AGIS. Sonny Agassi, a NigerianCanadian serving as head of Nasarawa Development Platform (NDP), on which initiative NAGIS was born, said that the outfit, at its full execution, will serve as a major revenue earner for the state, capable of raking in an upward of N5 billion monthly from a land size of about 27,000 square kilometers. Agassi said NAGIS, which he called “a baby of my boss, the governor”, was initiated in a bid to replicate the system in Abuja,

The era of hiding files, manipulating land owners and their request for titles is gone in Nasarawa state, reports Ali Abare Abubakar, with the introduction of international best practices in the management and administration of lands there.

behind the introduction of the reform programme, and by extension, the initiation of the NAGIS project.” NAGIS is a habitat project which seeks to put all of Nasarawa’s land on the computer, through a digitalized system to conform with international best practices. NAGIS, the N2.7 billion (UD$16,876,561) multi-faceted contract which execution will clock one year by the end of this month, has three components: Digital Area Mapping (DAM), carried out by Aeroprecisa Limited; Nasarawa Geographic Information Services, undertaken by GIS Transport; and the planning of cadastral districts, by a team of Nigeria’s leading town

– in the Land Registry and the Land Archives. It is also now easier to trace and retrieve existing paper documents normally kept in paper files at both the Land Archives and the Land Registry”, a presentation of the project work by the Project Manager, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said. NAGIS has also introduced the ongoing recertification which has phased out the old and bogus certification where the governor’s signature appeared in not less than 16 places. In Nasarawa, as is with many states, land titles are a function of one’s connection with Government House, a development which saw only above 600 Cs of O in the hands of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura displays a newly signed Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) while his wife, Hajiya Mairo, and Nasarawa state commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Sonny Agassi, and the Project Manager, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, look on during the project’s commission in Mararaba.

where AGIS, is raking in around N1.5 billion monthly from ground rents and other land charges, from a land size of about 8,000 square kilometers. He said, “This is His Excellency’s vision, to replicate Abuja in Nasarawa, and turn around the state as a twin city to Abuja with liveable features. We want to create the Maitama’s, the Asokoros, and Wuse IIs in Nasarawa, to take Nasarawa close to 21st Century.” “Our land interlocks with Abuja, at Mararaba in Karu, yet there is no advantage for us other than that much of the working population in Abuja has found a home in Nasarawa, in what makes us look like a dormitory. “His Excellency’s vision is to turn things around, take advantage of the proximity we enjoy with Abuja, and make the area an ambitious and dependable revenue source, to remove our reliance on the federally generated oil revenue. That is the brain

planners: Pragmatic Solutions Consult Nigeria, Envicons, and National Environmental Design Associates, in what will give a detailed planning and development control to phase out the growth of slums in the state. The implementation of the project has also seen the fast-tracking of NAGIS at the ministry’s headquarters in Lafia. This approach has seen the capturing of data to regularize and put all of Nasarawa’s land use in a digital database, which will also be housed at the NAGIS Centre in Mararaba. “File inventory of all the land paper files has been completed – so far, over 21,000 have been recorded in the new data base. These records include the new applications that were filed in the ministry and are yet to be processed as well as those that have reached various stages of processing. “For the first time, the ministry is able to know the total number of all land files that are in its custody

privileged property owners in 17 years. But that is being reversed now, with this project which has seen hundreds with their land titles in only months of the introduction of the reforms. One year into the project, its first phase was completed at Mararaba, the gateway to Abuja. Called NAGIS Centre, the edifice is constructed along AbujaKeffi Highway at Karu, an area designed as the largest business district of the state because of the investment potentials that abound from the proximity of the area with the FCT. It will centre NDP and the totality of NAGIS. The centre is a hub that link all of Nasarawa’s land management and administration, stream in revenue from the subsector, as well asalso make for development planning, according to Alhaji Jibril. At the weekend, Governor AlMakura streamed in guests from all over the country to commission the project at Mararaba. The

governor, on that day, signed 108 new Certificates of Occupancy (CsofO) to property owners, most of whom had resigned to fate that the much coveted certificate is only a pipe dream in a state where applicants need good connection with Government House before they can get one for their property. Al-Makura, who was accompanied by Nasir El-Rufai, a chieftain of the governor’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and former FCT minister said the NAGIS Centre is a hub where the totality of land management and administration will be streamed for development purposes. He said he was impressed with the high earned finishing on the edifice, and the execution, so far, of NAGIS by a consortium of firms under Siraj Consutling Engineers. The commissioning ceremony which was part of the Democracy Day celebration had former works minister, Dr. Hassan Lawal, and a former Kwara State military administration, General Abdullahi Adamu and other national figures of the CPC, in attendance. El’Rufai, who pioneered the computerized lands administration system in the country for Abuja, in 2003, when he served as minister said he was impressed that the only CPC governor did not only emerge as the only governor to have done this, but took Nasarawa the world map of GIS as the standard for other parts of Africa to emulate. El-Rufai commended the governor and his commissioner, Sonny Agassi, a NigerianCanadian supervising the project, as well as Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, George Elzoghbi and Roland Klaus, the same team that provided the FCTA with the system when he was minister. Sonny Agassi, a tough-talking reformist announced at the event that NAGIS, is an ambitious revenue earner which will completely remove the state’s dependent on federally generated oil revenue on a land size of 27,000 square kilometers, adding that he is expecting nothing less than N5 billion, over and above what the FCTA is generating on a land size of 8,000 square kilometers. “This threshold is an exciting turning point in Nasarawa State’s history. I boldly make this assertion because NAGIS will mark the beginning of the end of our dependences on monthly allocation from Abuja”, Agassi said.




Special Report

Children’s Day: ‘FocusKids’, inspiring music, and rousing message for youths By Sonde Abbah


e have a vision: we want to fill our dear country, Nigeria, with a generation of selfless, patriotic children and youths. We want to inspire a generation that that believes in what they can give to their nation, Nigeria.” Who said that? Goodluck Jonathan? No. The Jackson Brothers? Try again. The FocusKids? That’s it. A music group made up of four confident, talented and focused kids of the same parents, aged between nine and seven years. “

At such a tender age, the average kid would be prowling the neigbourhood, playing to his heart’s content, blissfully unconcerned about “big grammar” such as patriotism, selflessness, vision, and focus. But not theGbadebo Fowope kids. Right from the beginning the quartet – Oluwarimi, Temiloluwa, Moyin Oluwa, and Oreoluwa – have been involved in music with abiding passion. Just like Venus and Serena Williams flourished as tennis players under the guidance of their watchful Dad, the Fowope’s

have been blooming like roses under the watchful eyes of their dotting Dad. One of the high points of the fledging career of these starryeyed singers was unarguably their memorable encounter with the music icon, Tee Mac , on May 29. According to Mr. Gbadebo Fowope, not only did Tee Mac appreciated the youngsters, budding talents, he regaled them with the exploits of other notable kid starlets. Including the ‘Sunshine Sisters’. No less memorable was the FocusKids’ recent encounter with Laviva, the presenter

FOCUSED TO INSPIRED: The all-sibling music group, FocusKids during one of their recent shows

of a popular programme on Rhythm 94.7 radio station. So moved was the presenter by the kids’ innocent charm, confidence and creativity that she reportedly shed tears during the programme. “What particularly affected her was the heart-touching and inspiring lyrics of the children’s hit song, ‘The Dream’,” disclosed a source close to the young singers. “So touched was she, in fact that Laviva later offered them a ticket to perform at the Children’s Day party held at the Silverbird gallery in Abuja last week and, needless to say, they

were a sight to behold!” Truly so. Not a few of these at the classy occasion marveled at what one of them called “the accomplished performance of such small children.” Mr. Sadiq Kingsley, a musician of the wave-making “Next 2 Next” band, added that since he joined the music arena nearly one decade ago, he had never come across such a group of “remarkably talented and supremely confident kids.” It was, however, not only the performance of the “fantastic four” that elicited the standing ovation which trailed them

that day. Consider their song. Unlike the typical song which is crammed with plenty of sound and noise signifying nothing, every lyric of the Fowope’s “The Dream” was like a dream come true: inspirational, motivational, and as enlightening as they are educational. Indeed, according to an insider, “their mission is not just to sing, but to sing songs that are embedded with lifechanging messages.” She added: “the central focus of their message is the conviction that with godliness and faith in God, Nigeria shall rise above our

challenges and become as great as envisaged by our founding fathers.” The kids’ father cum

manager, Fowope, added that “their faith is now rooted in many t6hings that God promised to do in Nigeria and

In fact for the FocusKids as a group, their prayer is to sing and spread the “Voice of Focus” message to all Nigerians. As we do so our focus will be more clear and gradually but steadily we will all get to the top that God has prepared for Nigeria

through some Nigerians. Their anticipation and preparation for these great things that are bound to happen in this land are well outlined in the song titled ‘The Dream’ “In fact for the FocusKids as a group, their prayer is to sing and spread the “Voice of Focus” message to all Nigerians. As we do so our focus will be more clear and gradually but steadily we will all get to the top that God has prepared for Nigeria. “Our message to people out there is that ‘there are thousands of distractions out there, all you need is ‘Focus’. With proper focus, coupled with godliness, faith and, of course dedication and hard work, the sky is our limit.” This message is particularly imperative at a time like this when a nation is grappling with a myriad of seemingly intractable challenges. Insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping, inflation, decaying public utility, armed robbery and the like have taken the nation by the jugular. Caught in the midst of these unprecedented challenges are children and youths alike who are generally like sheep without shepherd. Enter the Fowode ‘Fantastic Four. With their names all ending with the divine appellation (Oluwa) one needs not be a rocket scientist to divine the direction which Mr. Gbadebo Fowope is deliberately steering his offspring. Just as it is said that “godliness exalts a nation,” this gentleman strongly believes that “armed” with a generation of disciplined, well mould youths, ‘Naija’ would soar high like an eagle as never before. Like Dad, like kids. Watch the quartet in action and you would be motivated to the brim with messages of hope, inspiration, possibility, and triumph. Indeed, their remarkable song, ‘The Dream’, which has been enjoying generous play on many radio stations across the capital city and beyond, “showcases the strength, wealth and achievements of Nigeria, including the Super Eagles’ recent African Nations Cup victory in South Africa.” Even as they continue to focus on their budding musical career while paying due attention to their studies, the FocusKids’ message to fellow kids is simple: Let’s be focused and together we shall actualize our noble dreams sooner or later.

Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir

Janet Jackson: She and her siblings also started their music career while they were kids




Battle for NGF leadership: Why Amaechi’s group turned to court By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he May 24, 2013 election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) that was supposed to be a litmus test for a free and fair general election in 2015, has led to a legal battle between the factions in support of the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang over the legitimate winner of the said election. The Forum broke into two factions after the forum’s secretariat declared Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers reelected as chairman of the group by 19 votes to Governor Jonah Jang’s 16. But a faction led by Jang and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom disputed the result, arguing that Amaechi should have stepped down before the election took place. The furore that greeted the election poses some threat to the nation’s democracy and its collective security and many concerned Nigerians said there is need for members of the Forum to put themselves in check and face the bigger task of national development. The fight for the control of the NGF between Amaechi, and Jang, took a different dimension as pro-Ameachi governors, represented by Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola had approached an Abuja high Court with a suit seeking to stop Jang from parading himself as the chairman of the Forum. Fashola, who filed the suit in his capacity as a member of the forum, asked the court to declare that Jang is not competent to be called the elected chairman of the NGF. Joined along Jang in the suit are the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru; the Sole Administrator purportedly

Gov. Amaechi appointed by Jang, Osaro Onaiwu, and the Registered Trustees of the NGF vested with the power to administer and manage the trusts of the NGF. In the writ of summons filed by a former Lagos Attorney General, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and former West African Bar Association President, Femi Falana (SAN), Fashola maintained that 35 governors participated in the election that returned Amaechi as the NGF chairman and asked the court to stop Jang from parading himself, “as the elected chairman of the NGF in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.” The Lagos State governor of the Action Congress of Nigeria (AC N) is also seeking a declaration that Jang is not competent to relocate the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum from No. 1, Deng Xiaoping Street, Off AIT Junction, Asokoro Extension, Abuja to No. 2, Nana Close, by Ene Crescent, Off Nile Street, Maitama, Abuja or to any other place. He said Okauru had been under pressure from Jang to handover the assets and documents of the NGF Jang and added that, Okauru “is not competent to handover the assets and documents of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to the first defendant, his agents, privies and servants in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.” Apart from these, the Lagos State governor also

asked the court to declare that the second defendant (Okauru) is not competent to use the name Nigeria Governors’ Forum in respect of any other organisation which does not have the 36 governors as members and/or in any other manner inconsistent with the constitution of the governors’ forum. He is also wants an Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining Okauru from handing over the property and documents of the NGF to Jang, his agents, privies and servants in any manner whatsoever and howsoever. In addition to these, Fashola asked for, “an Order of Injunction restraining the third defendant from parading himself as the Sole Administrator of the forum in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.” Fashola who said in the statement of claim that he would rely on the NGF’s registered constitution at the trial averred that,“The governors of Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara states took part in the election into the post of the chairman of the NGF held at the Rivers State Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja on

Gov. Jang Friday, May 24, 2013. “The four candidates who submitted nomination forms for the election were the governors of Bauchi, Katsina, Plateau and Rivers states. Before the said election, the governors of Bauchi and Katsina states withdrew from the election leaving the contest for the governors of Plateau and Rivers states. Thereafter, the 35 governors voted for the candidates of their choice. “At the end of the voting, the Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, scored 19 votes while his rival, the Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Jonah Jang, scored 16 votes. Consequently, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was declared the winner of the election. At the trial of this suit, the plaintiff will rely on the video recording of the election which has been broadcast by the AIT and Channels Television stations.” Reacting to Fashola’s court action, the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Prof. Shedrack Best, said if pro-Amaechi governors were in the majority, there was no need for a law suit, adding that Fashola does not need to go to court if he claims that his camp has the majority. Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who is in Jang’s camp, also said governors were free to stop being members of the forum “because it is a free association.”, 08050639900



Bauchi is witnessing revolution in the education sector - Dagauda Tafida Mohammed Dagauda is a renowned educationist who has taught for more than three decades. He is the principal of Yankari Academy, a school with about 20 centers across Bauchi state. In this interview with Ahmed Kaigama, he talks about the revolution the education sector is presently going through in the state, the challenges involved, and the way forward, among others. From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


t has been over a decade of civilian rule in the country. Do you think the era has added any value to the education sector, especially in Bauchi state? There are significant improvements in the education sector, especially in Bauchi state prior to other regimes where there were few schools in the state. The present government built more schools and provided infrastructure to make the sector vibrant. The policies adopted by the government to add value to the sector in terms of quality of teaching such as mass recruiting of more qualified teachersforbothprimaryandsecondary schools, organizing of training and re-training of teachers ,renovation of dilapidated structures and building of new ones is a welcome development. The present administration in the state inherited dilapidated structures in our primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions as well as inadequate teachers at all levels of our schools. In fact, the state was faced with the challenges of re-vitalizing the entire education sector of the state. As a result ofalltheseproblems,thisadministration has been able to achieve a lot. Other areas that have witnessed improvement include the provision of water in all secondary schools in the state, doubling of feeding allowance of all boarding students, general renovation and reconstruction of College for Legal and Islamic Studies, Misau. Procurement of text books for all levels of students in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions in the state worth N2.6bn. Gov. Yuguda has also introduced HATISS salary structure for teachers in our tertiary institutions in the state, payment of NECO examination fees for students annually, sponsoring of state indigenes to study aeronautics engineering and twenty one (21) students to train as pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers in the United States of America at the cost of N160 million annually, medicine in Egypt and other specialized courses in Brazil and Malaysia. We also witnessed the increment of scholarship allowances for both foreign and local students. The state has also witnessed improvement in condition of service of the staff of the state’s Agency for Adult and Non -Formal Education, and also


UNICEF seeks more collaboration with FG on states’ support for projects By Maryam Garba Hassan


he United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has called on the Federal government to support their efforts towards delivering more development projects in various states across the country. A statement issued in Abuja at the weekend by the Special Assistant, Media to the minister of Education, Aliyu Othman, stated that the call was made by UNICEF Country Director, Ms. Jean Gough when she visited the Minister. Gough said that there is the need for UNICEF to strengthen partnership with the ministry as a key sector along with the Health ministry for the desired results. She said UNICEF will appreciate Prof. Rugayyatu’s intervention to encourage states government to provide counter-part funds for their projects adding that a situation where responsibilities will be shared with states to ensure timely delivery on intervention projects will be appreciated, the statement said. According to the statement, the UNICEF Representative said they are ready to support the ministry’s effort to update data on school enrollment and make available the report by July, 2013. While thanking the minister for ensuring equity in the implementation of policies in the sector delivery system, she announced that UNICEF now have data on state by state enrollment and distribution waiting for final approval. According to her, Abia, Borno and Rivers states have not concluded their schools census saying that Borno state has shown interest by setting aside N20million for the data collection and management with Nasarawa state as its center for training of their staff and analysis of schools census materials. The minister however assured the UNICEF Representative that she will convey her message to the Governors in their next meeting and stressed that it is normal for states to provide counter-part funding for intervention projects, the statement added. The minister also assured UNICEF that the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states may not last up to six months based on the promise made by the President adding that despite the state of emergency in the three states, schools are still open with students attending classes.

Rector warns students against indecent dressing on campus From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

Tafida Mohammed Dagauda increment in the salary of teachers, establishment of Agency for Nomadic Education and introduction of Volunteer Teacher Scheme in the state. We are all aware that education is the key to development of any nation whichmakesthepresentadministration to consider it a cardinal social objective that must be pursued vigorously. What are the areas you think government should improve? Government should improve on mass enlightment of the general public on the need for education and proper maintenance of the infrastructures provided in schools. They should mobilize people on the need to send their wards to school, especially in this part of the country that is educationally backward. what is your take on the present parcentage of girl-child enrollment in school in the state? The enrollment has increase

with the establishment of girl child education centers in all the twenty (20) local government areas of the state. This development has boost the morale of parents and the communities to send their daughters to school. What is the way forward? Now that our nation has embarked on sustaining unity, democracy and economic growth, government should make more budgetary commitment to the sector, especially the basic education where there is inadequate learning materials, qualitative teachers and infrastructure. The new education plan should endeavor to create more viable and enabling programs amidst the challenges of private and public education, funding, instructional methods, research, and teacher education, citizenship education programs, and activities that have become crucial to sustaining the goals, objectives,andaspirationsofthenation.


ector of Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Dr. Shuaibu Mohammed Musa, has warned students of the institution against indecent dressing on campus. Shuaibu who gave the warning in an interview with journalists at the weekend in the state, said dressing speaks much about moral intellectuality of a person and his physical wellbeing. According to him, the increase in the rate of illegal sexual relationship and social psychological effect has a lot of effect on students. “Security operatives on campus are mandated to stop students who dress indecently from entering the campus and academic staff are also empowered to disallow erring students from attending their classes. Their identity cards should be seized pending the outcome of disciplinary committee investigations on such students.” He ordered. He further warned that violators are not to be allowed into the administrative offices to transact any official business. “If we allow that it will lead to academic failure because majority of such students spends most of their time on trying to get money to buy such wears or latest designs in town as well as promoting campus prostitution instead of reading their books”, he said. He however urged parents and guardians to take measures in addressing the menace adding that such indecent dressing derail the moral behavior of the youth in the society. He then call on the students to leave up to expectation as leaders of tomorrow and encouraged them to imbibe the tenant of the African culture which he said is morally superior.




UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, P.M.B. 1515, ILORIN, NIGERIA E-mail: Website: Tel.: 031821304 Fax: +234(0)31-222561

INVITATION FOR SUBMISSION OF TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL BIDS FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF EQUIPMENT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING 1.0 INTRODUCTION The Kaduna Polytechnic wishes to notify the general public of its intention to embark on a project for Procurement of Service Units for the Department of Chemical Engineering. The Project shall be funded from the Institution’s Internally Generated Revenue. Interested and eligible contractors are hereby invited to submit Technical and Financial Bids for procurement below. 2.0 SCOPE OF WORK The scope of work comprises of: • Procurement, Installation & Commissioning of Equipment Chemical Engineering Department 3.0 REQUIREMENTS The following documents should be submitted in the order listed for the purpose of assessment. 1. Evidence of incorporation of the company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). 2. Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company and an up to date annual return with the CAC. 3. Company profile with certificates, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of key personnel. 4. Tax Clearance Certificate for the last three years. 5. Company audited account over the last three years. 6. Evidence of VAT registration and remittance in the last three years. 7. Evidence of registration with the Pension Commission and remittance of contributions. 8. Evidence of successful completion of similar projects. (letters of commission and certificates of practical completion). 9. Reference letter from a reputable bank. 10. Evidence of registration with the Industrial training fund. 11. Sworn affidavit certifying the following: i. The company is not in insolvency or receivership. ii. The company does not have any director who has been convicted by any court for financial offence in relation to fraud or financial impropriety. iii. That no officer of Kaduna Polytechnic is a former or present director or shareholder of the company. iv. That there has been no promise of any gift in any form to any of the Polytechnic staff. 12. Verifiable evidence of relevant equipment and facilities and their location (where they can be inspected) with proof of ownership, hire or lease agreement. 13. All photocopies of documents should be submitted in colour. Originals should be made available for sighting on request. 4.0 SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS The Technical and Financial Bids should be put in separate envelopes and identified accordingly. The two envelopes should then be sealed in an envelope and marked “confidential” along with the title of the procurement at the left hand corner and sent to the address indicated below. Name, Telephone Number and mailing address of the bidding entity should be clearly stated on the reverse side of the envelope(s). THE REGISTRAR, KADUNA POLYTECHNIC, TUDUN WADA MAIN CAMPUS, KADUNA. 5.0 CLOSING DATE OF SUBMISSION Closing date for the submission of Technical Bids shall be on 2nd July, 2013 by 12 Noon while the opening shall be on the same date by 1.30pm at the Council Chambers, Central Administration Building Tudun Wada, Kaduna. The closing date for the submission of Financial Documents shall be on 16th July, 2013 by 12.00 Noon while the opening shall be 1.30pm at the Council Chambers, Central Administration Tudun Wada, Kaduna on the same date. NOTE Only the Financial Documents of pre-qualified contractors shall be opened on the date stated above. The financial documents can be obtained from the office of the Director Physical planning during working hours Monday through Friday after the payment of the appropriate Tender Fees. This advertisement shall not be construed as a commitment on the part of the Kaduna Polytechnic Management nor shall it entitle responding Tenderers to seek any indemnity from the Polytechnic by virtue of such Tenderers having responded to this advertisement. Signed: Alh. Zayyana Ibrahim Kukasheka REGISTRAR

Invitation For Prequalification Of Contractors For Projects At The University The University of Ilorin intends to engage in the construction of the following projects on its campuses in Ilorin:1. Central Research Laboratories Lot 36A (Tetfund SIP) 2. External Works to Central Research Laboratories Lot 36B. (Tetfund SIP) 3. Residential Accommodation for Central Research Laboratories Lot 36C (Tetfund SIP) 4. 600 Seater Lecture theatre for Faculty of Agriculture 5. 600 Seater Lecture theatre for College of Health Sciences 6. 600 Seater Lecture theatre for Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences 7. 600 Seater Lecture theatre for Faculty of Law 8. 300 Seater Lecture theatre for Faculty of Veterinary Medicine 9. Rehabilitation of Faculty Buildings 10. Procurement, Installation and Commissioning of Equipment for Programme Upgrade in Bio Systems and Agricultural Engineering Phase III. (LOT 21(Tetfund SIP) 11. Renovation of Two number Classrooms. (Tetfund SIP) 12. Renovation of Business Hall/Classrooms. (Tetfund SIP) 13. Renovation of Administrative Block of Business School (Tetfund SIP) 14. Renovation of 4 Number Classrooms (Tetfund SIP) 15. Construction of Internal roads and parking Area for Business School Complex (Tetfund SIP) 16. External Electrical Installation of a Substation and H.T Distribution for Business School (Tetfund SIP) Interested reputable contractors are hereby invited to submit pre-qualification documents. The prequalification Bid documents should include the following:(i) Company’s Tax Clearance for the last three (3) years (ii) Evidence of company Registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (iii) Evidence of registration with Federal Ministry of Works in Category “D” (iv) Value Added Tax Certificate (VAT Certificate) (v) Evidence of remittance of pension contribution of employees to PENCOM in line with section 16, subsection 8 (iv) of the Procurement Act (vi) Verifiable list of similar and other jobs successfully executed with their locations, together with letters of Awards and Certificates of Job Completion (vii) Company’s financial details and audited accounts for the last three years (viii) Verifiable list of plants/machinery with years of manufacture and locations of the equipment to be used in the project. Please state whether the items of equipment are on lease, hired or owned by the company with evidence of purchase where applicable. (ix) List of key staff who will execute the project with their Curricular Vitae and relevant positions. (x) Evidence of compliance with the provisions of the Industrial Training Fund Amendment Act 2011 in respect of contribution to the fund where applicable; (xi) An affidavit disclosing whether or not any officer of the relevant committees of the University of Ilorin or the Bureau of Public Procurement is a former or present director, shareholder or has any pecuniary interest in the bidding company, and confirming that all the information it presented in its bid are true and correct in all particulars. (xii) Evidence of financial capability and banking support (xiii) Sworn Affidavit in respect of non-affiliation to any staff of the University and that no director of the company is bankrupt (xiv) Short listed Contractors should note that they would be required to submit bid security in value of 2% of their quoted figure along with their financial bids. TENDER PROCEDURE Interested Contractors are required to pay a sum of fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000:00) for each project 1,3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 Thirty Thousand Naira (N30,000:00) for projects 2, and 8 to 16 in Bank Draft raised in favour of University of Ilorin as documentation fee. The drafts should be paid to the Bursary Department of the University where receipts would be issued. SUBMISSION All submissions in sealed envelopes should be delivered to the address below not later than 12.00 noon, on Monday 24th June, 2013. The envelopes should be clearly marked at the top-right-hand corner with the name of the project. Pre-qualification submissions will be opened at the Auditorium Basement, University of Ilorin at 2.00p.m. the same day the advertisement closes. The Registrar, University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin Note: i. The University reserves the right to reject any or all the pre-qualification packages; ii. Failure to comply with any of the above instructions or provide any of the listed documents may automatically result in disqualification. Signed Emmanuel Dada OBAFEMI Registrar



Healthy Living Breastfeeding mothers at lower risk of high blood pressure


study has found that breastfeeding mothers are least likely to develop high blood pressure even decades later.

The longer a woman breastfed, the lower her odds of developing high blood pressure were according to the researchers from the University

Of Western Sydney School Of Medicine. But the benefits of breastfeeding diminished after 64 years of age. The relationship between

the breastfeeding history and the prevalence of high blood pressure in 74,785 Australian women who were aged 45 years and above was investigated.


A lactation consultant showed me how to correct the latch and my nipples healed within days. “Breast pumps can also leave you hurting if you use them incorrectly.”Some moms make the mistake of putting the pump on too high a setting, thinking it will save time,” Dr. Jana says. You’re pumping, not blowdrying your hair! “Start with the lowest setting and increase it to a comfortable level,” she adds. Use a purified lanolin product, like Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, to soothe nipples after feeding or pumping. It can be complete bliss

Dr. Joanne Lind from the UWS School of M edi ci n e sa i d the f i n di n gs rei n f orce th e i mporta n ce of b rea stf eedi n g f or b oth ch i l d a n d moth er. “Hopef u l l y thi s resea rch wi l l a dd to the di scu ssi on b etween women a n d thei r ph ysi ci a n s a n d mi dwi v es. Wh en ev er possi b l e, women sh ou l d b e en cou ra ged to breastfeed as long as possible a s th e protecti v e ef f ect of b rea stf eedi n g i n crea ses wi th the l en gth of ti me b rea stf eedi n g,” sa i d Li n d, a sen i or l ectu rer i n mol ecu l a r b i ol ogy and gen eti cs. Li n d sa i d tha t the rea son s b eh i n d th i s l i n k b etween h i gh b l ood pressu re a n d b rea stf eedi n g a re sti l l u n k n own b u t i t i s possi b l e tha t th e hormon es rel ea sed du ri n g b rea stf eedi n g b en ef i ts mother’s hea rt. “Despi te u s n ot f u l l y understanding the protective mech a n i sm, b rea stf eedi n g h i story sh ou l d n ow be con si dered wh en a ssessi n g a pa ti en t’s l i k el i hood of h a v i n g h i gh b l ood pressu re i n l a ter l i f e,” she sa i d. The stu dy wa s pu b l i sh ed i n th e Ameri ca n Jou rn a l of Ob stetri cs a n d Gyn a ecol ogy.

7 secrets you didn’t know about breastfeeding


ou don’t need to eat like a dietitian “Your body is designed to make healthy milk,” says Laura Viehmann, M.D., clinical instructor in pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, in Providence. Because your baby gets first dibs on the nutrients your system stores, eating well is not so much about producing quality milk as it is the key to maintaining your own health and energy. So don’t agonize over eating certain amount of food. If your plate’s not brimming with vegetables, fill in nutritional gaps by taking a prenatal vitamin, which often has higher levels of calcium, vitamin D, and iron than a multi. You can welcome a fair amount of caffeine, about two cups of coffee into the fold, Dr. Viehmann says. You may develop a little cramp in yourbelly “It felt like bad menstrual cramps and got worse with each baby,” says Rebecca Glassberg, of Teaneck, New Jersey, mom to 6-week-old Eli, 2-year-old Talia, and 4-year-old Jonah. “Luckily, it only lasted a few days.” What’s going on? “The same hormone responsible for triggering milk letdown, oxytocin, causes your uterus to shrink back to normal, which reduces the

risk for uterine bleeding,” says American Baby advisor Laura Jana, M.D., pediatrician and author of Heading Home with Your Newborn. “Although it’s uncomfortable, cramping is a sign that your body is healing properly.” Some experts believe the pain may increase with subsequent pregnancies because your uterus stretches more each time. Your milk doesn’t look like cow’s milk It won’t look the same day to day, either. That’s because breast milk’s composition changes to meet your baby’s nutritional needs, Dr. Jana says. At first, you’ll produce sticky, yellowishwhite colostrum that’s rich in protein. In a few days, when your milk supply comes in, it will contain two parts, which might separate in the fridge: Foremilk is thin, watery, and may appear pale blue; hind milk, which has more fat, will be slightly thicker and creamier. Your breasts may leak a lot Blame it on those hormones again. “Anything that makes you think of your baby, like saying her name, talking about her, or even hearing another baby cry, causes your body to release oxytocin,” says Dr. Viehmann. The hormone helps you bond with your baby, but it also turns on the sprinklers when you least expect it.

might hurt “Your nipples may feel irritated at first because they’ve never had that degree of stimulation, but if you’re writhing in pain, you might have a problem with the latch,” Dr. Jana says. Talk to your Obstetrician, so she can rule out mastitis or blocked ducts and recommend a lactation consultant. “The first few days after my son’s birth were agony,” says Jen Geller, of Scarsdale, New York, mom to 3-month-old Will. “He’d clamp onto my nipple so hard that I could stand up and he’d probably still be attached.

“There was nothing like the feeling of my child relaxing into my arms while she nursed, says Katie Shur, of Queens, New York, whose daughter, Maya, is 21 months. “I felt absolute peace and quiet.” The oxytocin surge ushers in a cascade of feel-good emotions, says Joan Younger Meek, M.D., a pediatrician and editor-in-chief of The American Academy of Pediatrics New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding. And the release of prolactin, another hormone involved in milk production, makes you feel drowsy when you’re done. Can you say naptime?


Healthy Living


Donating blood good for your health and for the receiver By Emma Robertson


esearch discovered donating blood can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancer and reduction in iron levels which can thicken blood and increase free-radical damage. We all know giving blood provides an essential lifeline to those in need, but a growing body of research demonstrates that it could have health benefits for the donor too. Findings have shown that donating blood reduces the risk of heart attacks and even cancer. The news could come as welcome boost to blood banks. It is thought that the benefits arise from lowering high iron levels. Iron affects how thick and sticky the texture of the blood is. High iron level causes the blood to be thicker. Raised iron levels also accelerate the oxidisation process of cholesterol. This can affect blood consistency and create increased friction as it travels through blood vessels. As this increases wear and tear to the lining of arteries

it to

could then contribute cardiovascular disease. Because donating blood removes some of its iron content, it may therefore have a protective benefit if done on a consistent basis by helping thin the blood. According to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that those aged 43 to 61 had fewer heart attacks and strokes when they donated blood every six months. A study of 2,682 men from Finland found they had an 88 per cent reduced risk of heart attacks than those who don’t donate, reported Medical Daily. Likewise, a study published in the Journal of the National cancer Institute also links iron to an increased cancer risk as it’s believed to increase freeradical damage in the body. In line with this theory, a four-and-a-half-year study involving 1,200 people found those who made bi-annual blood donations had a lower incidence of cancer and mortality than those who didn’t because blood donations lowered their iron level. However, these benefits depend on making donations

on a regular basis, rather than once in a while. Another effect of donating blood is that it can burn a large number of calories too. After donating blood, the body replaces all of the

blood volume within 48 hours, and all the red blood cells within four to eight weeks. The University of California in San Diego estimate that for every one pint of blood donated, 650 calories are burned as the

body must replenish itself. Although this could be seen as an attractive effort-free way to lose weight, people are still encouraged to donate for altruistic purposes for the benefit others first, rather than for themselves.

naproxen was the safest NSAID. Researchers looked at the highest doses of painkillers prescribed by doctors, twice the daily amount recommended for headache and other minor ailments. They said a short course of tablets bought over the counter for a muscle sprain was unlikely to be hazardous. The study pooled the findings from 639 trials involving over 353,000 people after numerous small trials showed a link between NSAIDs and heart side effects.

Study leader, Professor Colin Baigent, of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit at Oxford University, said the results would help patients to balance the benefits and risks of using the drugs, and that they should not panic. Only a long term worry: Researchers said a short course of tablets bought over the counter for a muscle sprain was unlikely to be hazardous He said, “We’re talking about really low risks. The extra risk of a heart attack is very small. “But if patients are worried, they could talk to their Doctors about it and they can consider if the risks, which are real but small, are worth it for them.” The research found for every 1,000 people with a moderate risk of heart disease having one year of treatment with highdose diclofenac (150mg daily) or ibuprofen (2400 mg daily), about three would experience an avoidable heart attack, of which one would be fatal. In contrast, high doses of naproxen did not affect heart attack risk, said the study published in The Lancet medical journal. However, like other NSAIDs, it was linked with a doubling of heart failure risk and a two-to-fourfold higher risk of bleeding stomach ulcers. Arthritis experts stressed that

the drugs brought relief to millions, with many unable to lead a normal life without them. Professor Alan Silman of Arthritis Research UK said, “NSAIDs are a lifeline for many millions of people with arthritis, and when used appropriately can be extremely effective in relieving pain. “Doctors are aware of the risks of NSAIDs, and there has been a marked reduction in the use of diclofenac and a switch to naproxen in recent years. “For patients with arthritis, not smoking, a healthy diet and having their blood pressure checked regularly are more important factors in reducing the risk of a heart attack. “We would advise people with arthritis who are taking NSAIDs not to be unduly concerned by these latest findings and to seek the advice of their Doctor.” There were 17million prescriptions for NSAIDs in 2010, including one-third diclofenac, one-third ibuprofen and one-sixth naproxen. The safety of diclofenac is being investigated by a Europe-wide review due to report next month. Almost ten years ago, the anti- arthritis drug Vioxx was voluntarily taken off the market because of an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes of a similar magnitude to the findings in the latest study.

Painkillers that could increase heart risk: Prolonged use leads to significant danger

By Jenny Hope


igh doses of painkillers used by millions can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, according to the largest study of its kind. It confirmed a ‘small but significant’ extra risk of dying from heart problems after prolonged use. The drugs, known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), include

ibuprofen and diclofenac, and also newer medication called coxibs. They are used by people with arthritis and other forms of chronic pain. Risk: High doses of painkillers used by millions can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure For every 1,000 people with a moderate risk of heart disease taking them for one year, three extra people would have an avoidable heart attack including one death. The study however found that,




By Charles Onunaiju


t the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of Africa’s foremost regional body, the Organisation of Africa Unity, now the Africa Union, there were almost an unguarded optimism that the poorest and most conflict-prone continent is on the rise. The theme of the special anniversary summit, “Pan-Africanism and African renaissance ostensibly invoked the sentiment of pan-African anti-colonial struggle, which the founding of the OAU in 1963 helped to dilute by clinging to the sanctity of the arbitrary colonial partition of the continent with its consolidation of the territorial sovereignty of the post colonial States. The chairperson of the African Union, Mrs. Dlamini-Zuma has set the upbeat tone. She said that “this year has the potential of being a watershed year, since never before in our history has much been in our favour. Never before has the continent been favoured with such a young, vibrant and relatively more educated population. It is these comparative advantages that must be turned into meaningful opportunities towards a shared prosperity and last peace”. Even barring the transformation of Mrs. Zuma from anti-apartheid activist to high level State functionary and now, a regional bureaucrat-in-chief, her brimming optimism did not distract from the high sounding rhetoric that has characterized Africa’s trajectory in the past six decades or so and the current imperialist-induced neodependent cul-de-sac. The unbridled optimism of African renaissance in the context of the existing international financial and economic order, dominated by a more vicious and militarized imperialism is far more naïve than the optimism expressed in the immediate post colonial era, when the excesses of imperialist manipulation was constrained by the competing influence of the Soviet bloc. Mrs. Zuma said that at no time, “before, in our history has so much been in our favour.” However, beyond the political hyperbole expressed by the AU commission chairperson, national liberation and attainment of independence about 60 years ago presented the African nationalist forces with the historic dilemma, which the leader of the party of independence for Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and Africa’s most robust theoretician, Amilcar Cabral clearly spelt out as either siding with imperialist domination or committing suicide as a class, to be reborn as revolutionary workers identifying with the deepest aspiration of their people. The obvious easy choice of the African leadership mostly accounted for the legendry atrophy of the continent. It has been more than five decades of capitalist neo-dependence and imperialist plunder, and whatever the flicker of growth that is fueling the current optimism is historically bound to be burnt away in the same vicious circle as in the past decades, except a conscious political choice is definitely made to break with imperialist exploitation and capitalist dependency. The current commodity boom that is dictating the growth that fuels the optimism is an exhaustible economic aggregate. The existing commodity boom largely instigated by Asian industrial expansion will come to an end when the hyper-rising Asian region enters


A neo-Dependent or a Socialist Africa?

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma post-industrial stage which will be sooner or later as the dynamic region throttles to the post-industrial age. However, in spite of the fabled growth of African economies, most of its traditional economic ailment remained unresolved. The core economic question of disaggregation, disarticulation and distortion, characterized by lack of internal integration and complimentarity cannot be resolved by growth, fueled by commodity boom. Re-ordering the internal economic structure to attain complimentarity and internal integration would require a definite political action and mobilization demanding a radical change in the contemporary international economic architecture. The ideological imperative of such political action must be fundamentally anti-imperialistic. The economic and social paradigm essential for rebuilding the continent must proceed from socialist re-construction and transformation. This is not say that the continent would attain an economic and social paradise by the mere choice only. Just as when Leon Trotsky, the eminent socialist theoretician, second only to Vladimir Lenin observed in

his classic work “The Revolution betrayed”, the capitalist blind alley does not offer the developing countries any prospect of success in that line. Trotsky wrote that “the history of recent decades (and this was in 1936) very clearly shows that, in the conditions of capitalist decline, backward countries are unable to attain that level which the old centres of capitalism have attained. Having themselves arrived in a blind alley, the highly civilized nations block the road to those in the process of civilization”. Under this circumstance, Trotsky explained that “Russia took the road of proletarian revolution, not because her economy was the first to become ripe for socialist change, but because she could not develop further on a capitalist basis”. For Africa, “to develop further on a capitalist basis” is definitely historically impossible, thereby objectively opening the continent to the prospects of entering upon the socialist revolution, which Lenin described as “the weakest link in the capitalist chain”. The current growth in Africa’s economies which is clearly unsustainable given the vagaries of the

commodity prices in the international market, is only able to support the traditional and formal role of a neoliberal, dependent State to balance budget and fulfill such international dubious functions of repaying Africa’s debt and guaranteeing the massive flight of capital. Stripped of any meaningful social role and political direction in the lives of the African people, the State in Africa in its barest neo-liberal form has become a second grade international bureaucracy for the sustenance of imperialist international order. The exclusivist character of the African State and the huge reward system accruable to its elite operators account for the centrality of the State in Africa’s numerous conflicts. Usually at the centre of elite competition for primitive accumulation, the State in Africa encourages the politics of “do or die”, in which every means is deployed to acquire and maintain power. A democratic Socialist Africa would re-address the current economic structure in which the continent functions as a mere supply chain in an imperialist dominated international economic system designed without its slightest input.

. A Socialist planned economy in which the market would play a decisive role, shall deliberately seek to create internal linkages and mobilize Africa’s “young, vibrant and relatively more educated population” into the critical and strategic departments of meaningful and productive economic activities.

A Socialist planned economy in which the market would play a decisive role, shall deliberately seek to create internal linkages and mobilize Africa’s “young, vibrant and relatively more educated population” into the critical and strategic departments of meaningful and productive economic activities. Such autonomous economic activities arising from our own needs and requirement will prepare the continent for mutually complimentary role in the international economy. The Socialist transformation of Africa would recast the nature of the State in Africa from a bureaucratic appe ndage of i nte rnati onal imperialism to a democratic entity, whose political action would correspond to the social and economic needs of the vast and majority of its populations. When the State in Africa is democratic with an accommodation of the broad social tendencies, it will become less of a conflict theatre. The Socialist State in Africa would acknowledge our backwardness in several sectors of the human endeavour and seek deliberately and consciously to leap forward across the numerous socioeconomic lacuna that retards the African possibilities. The Africa’s narrative cannot be changed without affecting the fundamental structure which can only objectively set the continent on a collision course with imperialism. It is been more than a decade when the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, for its ineptitude and lethargy was transformed to the African Union, with a promise of renaissance. The new partnership for Development and African peer review were all new mechanism built into the new AU, to break with the inertia of the defunct OAU, but with an imperialistcapitalist international economic order and the role designed for Africa in it, nothing has really changed in the continent, except the deterioration in the quality of lives of the majority of the people. The visibility to Africa on international diplomatic circuit has not mitigated the tragedy of the continent as socio-economic life of the people continues to nose-dive. At the decline of European classical colonialism, the face of more deadly and vicious imperialism crept in. No less a figure, than Mr. Malcolm X who represented the then 22 million African American community in the U.S, warned an OAU summit in 1964 that “no one knows the master better than the servant. We have been servants in America for over 300 years. We have a thorough inside knowledge of this man who calls himself Uncle Sam. Therefore, you must heed our warning. Don’t escape from European colonialism only to become even more enslaved by deceitful, “friendly” American dollarism”. Africa is historically challenged to a Socialist construction and has now, only acquired the urgency, we can only ignore at our own collective peril.




AU summit: Jonathan was in a meeting, minister spoke for him, says permanent secretary By Abdulkadir Isa


ollowing reports from Addis Ababa over President Jonathan’s non-appearance for his slot to address the African Union conference the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs, Mr Martin Uhomoibhi has refuted this claim and urged Nigerians to disregard the report. Mr Uhomoibhi who was at the summit in Addis Ababa said President Jonathan had used the opportunity to meet other leaders present to express Nigeria’s interest in partnership and development through series of meetings and binational conferences. He said, “Jonathan discussed Nigeria’s interest with the prime minister of Jamaica, president and King of Swaziland,Presidents of Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast and he also participated in the HIV Summit”. Uhomoibhiemphasized that “President Jonathan was preoccupied with the meeting on Lagos-Abidjan highway forum which is critical for Nigeria, because he believes that, it will facilitate the movement of people and goods in the continent”. “But any president that chooses

Africa eyes selfreliant regimes to restore peace, stability


Permanent Secretary Ministry, of Foreign Affairs, Mr Martin Uhomoibhi (R)

to make statements and has another meeting going on simultaneously, gets his representative to make that statement on the president s behalf”. And so “PresidentJonathan’s statement was read by the minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, where he pledged Nigeria’s continued

loyalty to the advancement of the Blackman’s cause”. According to the permanent secretary, President Jonathans presence also pushed for alternative sources of funding for the AU as only 5 countries provided 75 per cent of the budget of the AU, and that budget funds only 15 per cent of the unions budget, forcing the

union to rely on foreign donors a situation which undermines the independence of the continent. The major achievement of that summit was the endorsement of Nigeria by the union to seek re-election as a non-permanent member at the Security Council at the United Nations in October in New York, he said.

Egypt’s top court nullifies upper house, Constitutional Assembly


gypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday ruled unconstitutional an article regulating the election of independent members of the Shura Council (upper house), as well as the law on the composition of the Constitutional Assembly,

the state-run al-Ahram online reported. The Shura Council will be dissolved after a new People’s Assembly (lower house) is elected, said the verdict. Islamists-dominated Shura Council has assumed the legislative power temporarily, as the People’s

Assembly was dissolved last year due to the unconstitutionality of the law articles that ruled the electoral process. The court also voided the Emergency Law, saying that it included exceptional measures that could be taken by the president during the emergency state.

The verdict was issued amid intensive security measures outside the court due to the possible ten s i o n s b e t w e e n supporters of Islamist-oriented President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents. Source: Xinhua

Prison inmates kill guards in Niger T hree prison guards have been killed and three wounded in Niger’s capital Niamey during what government officials said was a failed escape attempt by fighters convicted of terrorism charges. Saturday’s gun battle in the city centre came just a week after al Qaeda-linked groups raided a uranium mine and an army barracks, raising fears that the conflict in neighbouring Mali could spread to other West African states. Local residents said shooting

began at around 3pm local time (1500 GMT) near the entrance to the prison, which houses over 600 inmates including Nigerian Boko Haram fighters and members of other armed Muslim groups. The attack was carried out by “four individuals detained at the civilian prison of Niamey and prosecuted for terrorism”, MarouAmadou, justice minister, told AFP news agency. Three of the inmates were overcome, he said, while not confirming an earlier assertion that the fourth inmate was still in

Nigerien security forces surrounded the prison in Niamey after the attack

the prison grounds. Amadou said an investigation has been launched to determine how they obtained the weapons. They also seized a weapon from one of the guards. Official would not give further details on the inmates’ identities or explain how they had come to be armed. Officials had said earlier that security forces were looking for part of a group who had attacked the prison, believed to have fled aboard a lorry, while other armed men were thought to still be hiding out in houses near the prison. Local witnesses reported a number of civilians had also been lightly wounded and said they saw several men, their heads covered in turbans, open fire on the guards. They also said they heard a loud explosion. A senior official with the National Guard, which provides the guards for Niger’s prisons, said the three escapees included two Boko Haram fighters and a Sudanese arms dealer, who had been arrested separately over the last two years. Witnesses said gendarmes had rushed to the prison to reinforce

guards who remained under fire for around 45 minutes. Local residents fled on foot as police blocked off roads leading to the prison, allowing only ambulances into the area. A prison official said guards would only take a head count on Sunday morning, believing it was too dangerous to do so at night. Niger has emerged as a firm ally of France and the US in the fight against al Qaeda-linked groups in the arid Sahel region. Its army has deployed 650 troops in neighbouring Mali to take part in a French-led war on armed Muslim groups who seized the northern two-thirds of the country last year. The government has sought to shut its porous desert borders to the armed groups that are thought to have shifted their bases to southern Libya, and has allowed the US to establish a drone base on its territory. Niger’s soldiers are also participating in joint operations with neighbours Nigeria against that country’s Boko Haram fighters, whose armed insurgency and bombing campaign has pushed to government to launch a major military offensive.

isiting African leaders said here Sunday that African countries have made a great effort to restore peace and stability to the continent through their own mechanisms, suggesting they are creating more self-reliant regimes to eliminate insecurity. William Ruto, deputy president of Kenya, said in a plenary of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development that countries in the Horn of Africa are taking a much more proactive position. “We are providing a necessary leadership to resolve the issues touching on stability and security in our region. We now, in Horn of Africa, have internal mechanism that facilitates quick response to issues that affect our region,” Ruto said. Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma said that African countries have taken measures to restore peace and stability to the continent, adding the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) has become “the main decision making body on all matters of peace and stability” in Africa. He also mentioned that AU has formed a subcommittee on counter- terrorism against the background that maritime piracy, terrorism and violent extremism continue to threaten Africa. Furthermore, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said that Africa can not accept that foreign troops have the responsibility for peace and stability in Africa or seek to use instability or conflict in Africa as justification for their intervention and continuing presence. However, Mugabe said that extremists and international criminal gangs still operate in Africa so that the continent needs international supports to bring peace and stability. “It is clear that we will need support from our partners and broader international community if we are to effectively combat those schedules,” he said. “Support in the form of partnership and technical and financial assistance designed specifically to strengthen Africa its own peace and security structures or architectures is acceptable,” Mugabe added. Source: Xinhua




China leader in Trinidad and Tobago

President Xi Jinping (R), with Prime Minister KamlaPersad-Bissessar.


hinese President Xi Jinping has held meetings with the leaders of Trinidad and Tobago.Mr Xi is the first Chinese head of state to visit the Caribbean nation.

The leaders of the two countries said their talks had focused on improving cooperation in the energy sector. Trinidad and Tobago has large oil and natural gas resources,

while China is the world’s largest consumer of energy. Mr Xi is also travelling to Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States. “We both agree to actively

advance co-operation in key areas of energy, minerals and infrastructure development and also to advance our cooperation in new energy, telecommunications and agriculture,” Mr Xi said after meeting Prime Minister KamlaPersad-Bissessar. Ms Persad-Bissessar said her country sees China “as a key business partner and potential new market for our energy products”. Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said Trinidad was hoping to benefit from China’s strategy “to move the country away from coal and towards natural gas”. Mr Xi also announced that China would loan Trinidad and Tobago $250m (£165m) to build a children’s hospital. Trade between the two countries has been growing, with figures from the International Monetary Fund suggesting it has gone up from $174m to $450m over the last six years, On Sunday, Mr Xi will meet with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

Syria conflict: Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair


he Red Cross has expressed alarm over the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusair, and has appealed for immediate access to deliver aid. Thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped in the town, which lies close to the border with Lebanon. The battle for control between pro-government forces and rebel fighters has made medical supplies, food and water scarce, the Red Cross says. Russia has also reportedly blocked a UN “declaration of alarm” on Qusair. The draft Security Council declaration, which was circulated by Britain, voiced “grave concern about the situation in Qusair, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting”. Council statements such as these must be agreed unanimously. However, a diplomat said Russia blocked the draft text because the UN had failed to speak out when Qusair was seized by rebels.

An opposition activist told the BBC on Friday that around 30,000 civilians were still in the town. Rebel-held parts of Qusair are effectively blockaded by government forces and Hezbollah fighters. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement it was “alarmed” by reports of civilians trapped in Qusair and was prepared to enter the town immediately to deliver aid. “Civilians and the wounded are at risk of paying an even heavier price as the fighting continues,” said the head of the ICRC’s operations in the region, Robert Mardini. The UN secretary general’s office also appealed to the warring parties to allow residents to flee. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the fact that both the UN and ICRC have issued urgent statements at the same time is an indication of how desperate they believe the situation has become. Fighting in Qusair intensified last month with militants from Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed

Lebanese group, joining forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Reinforcements from the rebel Free Syrian Army are reported to have managed to break through from the north-east to support the embattled rebel fighters. Some Lebanese Sunnis have also crossed into Syria to fight alongside the rebels, who are drawn largely from Syria’s majority Sunni community. On Saturday, influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi called on Sunni Muslims from

around the Middle East to join the battle against President Assad. He told a rally in Doha that Iran and the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, Mr Assad’s main allies, wanted to exterminate Sunnis. Activists from the UK-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say rebels in Qusair are bracing themselves for another assault. Fifteen Syrian army tanks have massed north of the town, says Rami Abdel Rahman, the observatory’s director.

Government forces flood the streets of Qusayr

Lebanon to take Israel to UN over airspace violations


Israeli jets regularly fly missions over Lebanese airspace [AP]

ebanon’s foreign minister is set to to file a complaint with the UN over Israeli violations of his country’s airspace. The Israeli air force has intensified low-flying sorties over Lebanese airspace including Beirut, Lebanese security officials said on Sunday. Lebanon’s National News Agency reported that warplanes flew over southern Lebanon, Beirut, the eastern Bekaa Valley and the city of Baalbek. Last month the UN called on Israel to stop increased military air patrols over Lebanon after

two Israeli air attacks on Syria. Israeli warplanes regularly enter Lebanese airspace, but a Lebanese security official told the AP news agency that the Sunday overflights were among the most intense recently. There was no immediate comment from Israel. The flights come amid heightened regional tensions because of the civil war in Syria. Israel is believed to have carried out three airstrikes inside Syria this year reportedly aimed at weapons meant for the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Asia & Middle East

US calls for full Tiananmen massacre disclosure angers China


he Chinese government has accused the United States of “political prejudice” and “ignoring facts” for its recent comments on Tiananmen square, Xinhua news agency has reported. The US State Department had on Friday called on the Chinese government to fully account for those killed, detained or missing in the 1989 military crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square. But in response, Hong Lei, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson,on Saturday urged the US “to discard political prejudice and correctly treat China’s development”. “A clear conclusion has already been made concerning the political turmoil that happened in the late 1980s,” Xinhua said, citing Hong. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had said the US was remembering the “tragic loss of innocent lives” ahead of the 24th anniversary on June 4 of the violent crushing of studentled pro-democracy protests. “We renew our call for China to protect the universal human rights of all its citizens; release those who have been wrongfully detained, prosecuted, incarcerated, forcibly disappeared, or placed under house arrest; and end the ongoing harassment of human rights activists and their families,” Psaki said in her statement. But the Chinese government said the US “releases similar statements year after year, ignoring facts and making groundless accusations against the Chinese government,” which is a “rude interference in China’s internal affairs,” Xinhua reported. The Chinese government has never fully disclosed what happened when the military crushed the protests, which it branded a “counterrevolutionary riot”. Hundreds, possibly more, were killed. The topic remains taboo in China.




Turkey assesses damage in Istanbul as protesters reconvene


urkish police have arrested more than 900 people during two days of protests, the most sustained anti-government outburst for years. Interior Minister MuammerGuler said some of those arrested had since been released, others would be put on trial. He said 26 policemen and 53 civilians had been hurt, one seriously. Violence flared after police cracked down on a protest over a park in Istanbul. The protest sites were largely calm early on Sunday with protesters gradually making their way to Taksim Square. James Reynolds in Istanbul says a lot of people are fed up with the government, which they believe wants to take away some of their personal freedoms. P r i m e M i n i s t e r RecepTayyipErdogan has offered to talk to the protesters, but our correspondent says there is no clear leader of the demonstrators. In the early hours of Sunday there were isolated clashes around the streets of Istanbul. But witnesses said the atmosphere at dawn was calm and largely peaceful, with demonstrators milling about between burnt-out cars and gathering around fires. Our correspondent says that steady rainfall has dampened protests, and many of the demonstrators had gone home to get some rest. However, he says this has been a largely afternoon and evening protest, and that clashes may resume later in the day. Thousands of people had packed into Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Saturday as the police pulled back. The initial protest had been a local dispute over plans to build on Gezi Park, near Taksim Square. But police attempted to move the demonstrators using tear gas, sparking an angry reaction that snowballed into nationwide protests. Mr Guler said more than 90 demonstrations had taken place in 48 cities. He said one of the injured civilians was being treated in an intensive care unit at an Istanbul hospital, but gave no details of how the injury was sustained. Video footage from Ankara appeared to show one protester being run down by a police vehicle. Amnesty International claimed two people had been killed and more than 1,000 injured, though there was no confirmation of those figures. Amnesty’s Europe director John Dalhuisen said: “The excessively heavy-handed response to the entirely peaceful protests in Taksim has been truly disgraceful.”

Andorra to introduce income tax for first time A

ndorra is to introduce a tax on personal income for the f i r s t t i m e a s it fac es p ressu r e f r om t he its European neighbours to tackle tax evasion. Antoni Marti, the head of

the Andorran government, told French President Francois Hollande that he will introduce a bill before 30 June. The principality will “gradually meet

Antoni Marti

international tax standards”, according to the office of the French president. There is currently no income tax applied to individuals or corporations. EU finance ministers have agreed to start talks with Andorra - along with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino on swapping bank account information. Recently, the European Commission told the European Parliament it wants EU-wide exchange of all types of income data as part of the fight against tax evasion. EU tax authorities already automatically exchanged information for

Europe and Americas income such as employment, pensions and insurance but not for income such as dividends and capital gains. Tax evasion costs EU states 1tn euros ($1.3tn; £850bn) a year, more than was spent on healthcare in 2008, the Commission has said, and some MEPs are calling for a Europe-wide blacklist of tax havens. Mr Hollande was meeting with Mr Marti in Paris in his role as one of the two comonarchs of Andorra, which is situated in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. More recently, France’s Socialist government was hit by a scandal, as former minister Jerome Cahuzac was forced to resign over tax fraud allegations. He later admitted that he had hidden about 600,000 euros in a Swiss bank account.

USA accuses China over ‘cyber intrusions’


he US defence secretary has accused China of “cyber intrusions”, in one of the most direct rebukes from the US. Chuck Hagel reiterated concern over the threat of cyber attacks before adding: “Some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.” He was speaking at a conference in Singapore, attended by a high-level Chinese military delegation. The US and China have been embroiled in a war of words over cyber security for several years. Officials from both countries talk frequently of the threat of cyber attacks and accuse each other of involvement. They also stress that the US and China must work together.

Mr Hagel’s speech, at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, followed the same pattern. Just after chiding China, he said: “We are determined to work more vigorously with China and other partners to establish international norms of responsible behaviour in cyberspace.” Earlier this week US media published details of a leaked Pentagon report that claimed Chinese hackers had accessed secret US weapons programmes. The report said: “China is using its computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the US diplomatic, economic, and defence industrial base sectors.” The Chinese military said in a statement that there

were “misjudgements” in the allegations. “First they underestimate the security defence capabilities of the Pentagon, and second they underestimate the intelligence of the Chinese people,” said

the statement, attributed to national defence spokesman GengYansheng. “China is fully capable of building the weapons and equipment needed to defend national security.”

following published accounts of a video that apparently shows him puffing from a glass crack pipe. Ford, 44, swept to victory in Toronto’s elections three years ago on a wave of discontent simmering in the outlying neighbourhoods of Canada’s quiet, efficient financial capital.

Now, stories of extremely bad behaviour by Ford, a populist who refers to his conservative supporters as “Ford Nation”, have transfixed North Americans since the reports of the video first emerged. The groundwork for Ford’s election was laid when Toronto quadrupled in size by merging with five suburbs in 1998. Twelve years later, Ford, a former city councillor, rode a conservative backlash to City Hall, after initiatives like bike lanes in the business district were seen by suburbanites as wasteful, elitist intrusions. The result is that North America’s fourth-largest city is governed by a man who has shown evidence of troubled behaviour long before he ran for mayor. The controversies range from the trivial to the serious: Walking face-first into a television camera. Falling over in the middle of

a photo op while pretending to play football. Being forced, after repeated denials, to admit he was busted for marijuana possession in Florida in 1999. Various altercations with a city transit worker and a reporter. Ford was fired last week from his cherished side job as a volunteer high school football coach. A school board spokesman, John Yan, told the AP news agency the dismissal was not because of the crack allegations, but because of disparaging remarks Ford made to a TV network about parents and their children at the school. Ford now faces his greatest test. The Toronto Star has reported that two reporters watched a video that appears to show the 135kg mayor, sitting in a chair, inhaling from what appears to be a crack pipe. The Starsaid it did not obtain the video or pay to watch it.

Chuck Hagel

Protesters urge Toronto mayor to resign

Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford


undreds of Canadians have taken to the streets of Toronto for the first time to demand the resignation of Mayor Rob Ford, according to Canadian media reports. The protesters waved placards outside the city hall on Saturday, calling on Ford to resign over



Strange World sentenced to 50 Fluffy cows – models Man years for stealing ribs of the Bovine world A jury has sentenced a Waco man convicted of stealing a rack of ribs to 50 years in prison. Forty-three-year-old Willie Smith Ward was convicted and s e n t e nc e d o n r o b b e r y charges Wednesday. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that Ward’s theft of the $35 rack of pork ribs turned into a robbery after he threatened a grocery store employee who tried to stop him. The employee testified


ave you ever seen a cow that you simply couldn’t help want to cuddle? I hadn’t, until I saw these photos of extremely fluffy show calves that look like they’re modelling for some kind of bovine fashion magazine. I first spotted these real-life plush cows on Reddit a few days ago, and I simply fell in love with them. Not in a deranged way, but I just found them irresistible and wished I had one of my own so I could sink my face in its fluffiness. Okay, enough about my weird self. These cows don’t belong to any particular breed. They are show calves, a cross between two different highquality breeds, bred for bovine show-business. That means that apart from their genetic characteristics, owners go out of their way to make sure the cows look their best. Special feeding, basic manners training and grooming are all part of the show calf world, and believe me when I tell you a lot of effort goes into styling cattle. Just think of them as girls, but with their very own conditioners, hair sprays and lotions. Show calf trimming is also considered an art form among cattle enthusiasts, as it gives the animals that Photoshoplike boxy shape. But as you can see in the photos below, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

Photos @ Lautner Farms


The Vallejo Police Department sent a cadet to the intersection to ensure public safety throughout

that Ward told him he had a knife. The jury recommended Ward be sentenced as a habitual criminal. Ward has previous felony convictions for burglary, attempted robbery, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident and possession of cocaine, and four misdemeanor convictions, including two thefts. He must serve at least a quarter of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole.

Teenage nuclear reactor builder disqualified from science fair


Wyoming high school senior who built a nuclear reactor was disqualified from the International Science and Engineering Fair this month on a technicality. It seems that 18-year-old Conrad Farnsworth of Newcastle had competed in too many science fairs. According to the Casper Star-Tribune, the infraction was reported by the former director of the Wyoming State Science Fair, who later did not have her contract renewed. Officials at the University of Wyoming, which sponsors the state event, said after the international fair that the director acted outside her authority. The newspaper reports Farnsworth is one of only about 15 high school students in the world to successfully build a nuclear fusion reactor. Farnsworth says his

Conrad Farnsworth

disqualification was silly. He graduated this month and plans to attend the South Dakota School of Mines.

Sonoman paints own crossing path,arrested for felony

allejo-resident Anthony Cardenas, 52, was arrested May 30, 2013 for spray-painting a crosswalk on the roadway of a busy intersection. A 52-year-old man was arrested Thursday for spray-painting a crosswalk in the roadway of a busy intersection in Vallejo, according to police Police said Anthony Cardenas, a Vallejo resident, was seen committing the alleged graffiti on Sonoma Boulevard at Illinois Street at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. He told police the intersection needed a crosswalk. The crosswalk Cardenas painted is not your typical double-gold line crosswalk. He painted two white lines with a criss-cross pattern. The busy intersection already had three crosswalks in addition to the one Cardenas applied himself. The other three were also vandalized with diagonal white lines painted through them, according to a V a l l e j o- T i m e s He rald report.

the day Thursday. The cadets were there to tell pedestrians not to use the crosswalk.

Anthony Cardenas (l) with own-styled zebra crossing

Caltrans was able to paint over the graffiti by late Thursday afternoon. Cardenas was arrested

on suspicion of felony vandalism and booked into the Solano County Jail. His bail is set at $15,000.




Woman, want to reduce high blood pressure? Here’s how...

Women who breastfeed their babies are less likely to have high blood pressure in later life, according to new Australian research

By Emily Payne


t is known to have health benefits for both mother and baby, but a new study shows that breastfeeding can also lower the chance of mothers developing high blood pressure - even decades later. The researchers, from the University of Western Sydney, also found that the longer a woman breastfed, the lower her odds of developing high blood pressure before the age of 64. They investigated the relationship between breastfeeding history and the prevalence of high blood pressure in 74,785 Australian women who were aged 45 years and over. Data for the research was drawn from the 45 and Up Study - a large scale study of healthy ageing involving over 260,000 men and women in New South Wales, and the largest study of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Principal researcher on the study, Dr Joanne Lind from

the UWS School of Medicine, said the findings reinforce the importance of breastfeeding for both child and mother. Women aged 45 to 64 years, who had breastfed for more than six months in their lifetime, or more than three months per child, had a lower likelihood of having high blood pressure. ‘Hopefully this research will add to the discussion between women and their physicians and midwives,’ said Dr Lind, a senior lecturer in molecular biology and genetics. ‘Whenever possible, women should be encouraged to breastfeed as long as possible as the protective effect of breastfeeding increases with the length of time breastfeeding.’ While the reasons for the reduced likelihood of having high blood pressure are still unknown, it is possible that hormones released while breastfeeding provide long term benefits to the mother’s cardiovascular system. ‘Despite us not fully understanding the protective

mechanism, breastfeeding history should now be considered when assessing a patient’s likelihood of having high blood pressure in later life,’ said Dr Lind. ‘Even when we took into account potentially contributing factors such as family history and lifestyle - physical activity and BMI, history of smoking, drinking alcohol - we still found an association between breastfeeding and a lower likelihood of having high blood pressure.’ The current World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations encourage breastfeeding for a minimum of six months per child. Dr Lind added: ‘This study provides further support for the WHO recommendations, as both the total amount of time a woman spends breastfeeding in her lifetime, and the length of time she spends breastfeeding each child, are associated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of having high blood pressure.’

Women are encouraged to breastfeed as it has health benefits for both them and the baby


Why men do not respond to the sound of crying babies but women cannot ignore them


new study has discovered that women’s brains are hard-wired to respond to a baby’s cry, while men do not seem to react at all. Research, carried out by National Institute of Child Health in the U.S., asked 18 men and women to let their minds wander. During this time the scientists

Oblivious: Brain scans have shown that men’s brains do not react in the same way as women to the sound of a distressed baby

conducted brain scans. The researchers then played a recording of white noise interspersed with short clips of a baby crying. The scans showed that while women immediately became more alert after hearing a baby’s cry, the brains of men remained in a resting state. Specifically, the dorsal

medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate areas, known to be involved when the mind is allowed to wander, were recorded by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and later studied for results. ‘Determining whether these responses differ between men and women, by age, and by parental status, helps us understand instincts for caring for the very young,’ study coauthor Marc Bornsteinfrom the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development told Medical Daily. Although brain activity patterns differed between men and women, there was no difference in the brain patterns between parents and nonparents. The researchers also played the cries of infants who were later diagnosed with autism. Interestingly, hearing these cries interrupted the mind wandering of both men and women. A previous study has shown that the screams of infants who develop autism tend to be higher pitched than those of

other babies and that the pauses between cries are shorter. It has been long known that women’s bodies react to the sound of babies after pregnancy. Soon after birth, a woman’s ‘letdown reflex’ — the reflex that releases the milk produced by breasts — needs time to adjust to the sensation of feeding.

Frequent breastfeeding will help the reflex become attuned to particular stimulation, but until then, many sensations such as hearing screams and even certain thoughts may trigger lactation (the release of milk from the breast). Source:

Interestingly, the study found that both men and women reacted to autistic babies. Previous studies have shown that babies with the condition have higher-pitched cries



Emergency rule and the faceoff between Senate and Reps By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Umar Muhammad Puma


n recent times, it has become obvious that the House of Representative has adopted a radically critical disposition to some of the policies and decisions of President Goodluck Jonathan. Many have described this as the standard in every bicameral legislature even in advanced democracies, while others are saying that this is peculiar to Nigeria because there is no love lost between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and President GoodluckJonathan. Presently, there is a doctrine of solidarity surreptitiously adopted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This strategy is intended at placing both chambers in a better stead to defend their individual and collective interests, especially on issues of conflict with the executive. This became expedient considering the divide and rule politics which the executive, in the preceding years, had been playing to muzzle the legislature, particularly on issues of national interest. This has been working perfectly between Senate President David Mark and Speaker Tambuwal, resulting in united resolution by the federal lawmakers, especially on controversial issues between the executive and the legislature. One of such instances where this alliance played out perfectly is the case involving the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Aruma Oteh. It would be recalled that during the investigation of the near collapse of the Nigeria’s Capital Market, Oteh had publicly accused the House Probe Committee led by Herman Hembe, of demanding a bribe of N36 million naira so as to give the Commission a clean bill of health. This expectedly, had pitched the House against Oteh by extension, President Jonathan, resulting in zero budget approval to the Commission by the National Assembly in the 2013 budget. While the Senate, which earlier screened and qualified Oteh for the SEC job turned around to resolve that President Jonathan should sack her for not being qualified for the job, Jonathan on the other hand, has vowed not to remove her from office, even in the face of zero allocation. Though the Senate had no interest in the Oteh matter, it endorsed Reps resolution on zero allocation to SEC. Meanwhile, there had been other issues on which the Reps had similarly stood by the Senate, even though it does not affect their interests in any way. However, the greatest challenge before both chambers is how long

Sen. David Mark they will be able to sustain this comradeship, and when the need to strike a balance between unionism and national interest arises. Already, issues regarding the recent declaration of state of emergency in three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa by President Jonathan, is already causing some serious disaffection and crack in the hitherto cordial working relationship both chambers enjoyed. Pundits are of the view that this crack, if not carefully managed, would destabilize the federal legislature and apparently give the executive an opportunity to call the shots in both political and economic matters affecting the country. After Jonathan declared a state of emergency in those three states, the official gazette on that effect was addressed to the National Assembly within two days as required by the constitution. However, both chambers individually considered the terms and conditions of the emergency clauses as was brought by the President. And subsequently, amendments were effected on it by both chambers. In the amended version of the official gazette, the Senate approved the section which gave express powers to the President to use the funds of the affected states in tackling insecurity and other issues, the House version rejected it, giving conditions upon which the funds may be tempered with by Jonahan. Consequently, both chambers set up conference committees, headed by Senator Itah Enang (Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business) and Hon. Albert Tsokwa (Chairman House Committee on Rule andBusiness.) These two committees met and adopted some

of the amended version from the House and the Senate. Fortunately or otherwise, the Senate version which empowers the President to access and use the states’ fund was adopted by the conference committee of both chambers, in addition to other sections in the House’s version. This is the crux of the brewing dispute between the Senate and the Reps? It would be noted that the House has been map proving of allowing the President access to the states’ funds, particularly as the states herein concerned are opposition states. Against this background, the House in plenary few days ago, forbade the President from using the funds of the affected states, though after the conference committee of both chambers had met, ratified and adopted the amended versions. Reacting to this, the Senate queried the rationale behind the decision by the House to alter what has been adopted and passed by both Houses, saying that it contravenes the rule of operation. According to the Senate spokesperson, Sen. Abaribe, if an agreement is reached between both chambers on an issue

Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal through the conference committee, no chamber has the powers to debate such issue again, not to talk about passing a contrary resolution. He said that the Senate has taken a stand, questioning the rationale behind the decision of the House of Representatives to revisit the issue after it has been closed. On the contrary, the Spokesperson of the House, Mohammed Zakari, who addressed journalists over the weekend, said that the House stands by its resolution. According to him, “House derived its power from the laws of the land which allow it to make amendment to provisions of any state of emergency declared by the President.” He explained thus, “the powers of the House on the matter is very clear, the Emergency Power Act 1 Sub 1 of 1961, that gives Mr President powers to proclaim to the House or the National Assembly states or parts of Nigeria where issues of unrest are prevalent. The same provision allows us to amend, alter or revoke some parts of those powers given to Mr President. In other words, we can decide to say

Pundits are of the view that this crack, if not carefully managed, would destabilize the federal legislature and apparently give the executive an opportunity to call the shots in both political and economic matters affecting the country

that the powers given to him, even though it is coming from the National Assembly as a chamber, we can recall some things, back” When asked on the issue of the National Assembly rule which says neither the Senate nor the House should alter or reverse the decision of a harmonized conference committee of the two chambers, Zakari said: “as far as we are concerned what we did was in the best interest of the country and its democracy”, just ad he insisted that the House has not done anything wrong by preventing the President from spending the funds of the states affected by the state of emergency. “If the House decided that the governors should be given administrative powers to keep carrying on their day-to-day running of government, it then beholds that it will be a miss of step in the financial aspect. To that extent, the steps taken by the House are not out of place,” he said. However, the issue at stake, observers say, stemmed from the apparent displeasure in various quarters, over the way President Jonathan runs the government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This is true, considering how the Speaker of the House had been associating with the opposition and even attacking the policies of President Jonathan. On the other hand, Senate President Mark, had continued to play the role of a good party man, even though he had led the upper chamber to disagree with Jonathan on some policies. This new development seems to be the last stroke that will brake the legislature into anti and pro Jonathan, as already witnessed in the Nigerian Governors Forum, unless something urgent is done to nip the impasse in the bud.w




PDP urges Lagos Assembly to impeach Fashola From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Lagos State PDP yesterday urged the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) to jettison the request of Governor Babatunde Fashola to toll the new Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge and commence impeachment proceedings against him over his insistence to toll Lagos roads. The governor had last Wednesday announced plans to commence another tolling on Lagos roads especially the new 1

Km Lekki-ikoyi link bridge. In a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Taofik Gani, the PDP stated that it was immoral to allow the governor collect toll on a road wholly built with Lagos tax payers’ monies. “Even the ongoing tolling of the Lekki-Epe Road that the Lagos lawmakers acquiesced to is morally wrong as they know well that a project ought to be completed and delivered before it can be paid for. In this instance, the tolling has started whereas the

actual design and benefits from the said road have not even been completed which is exploitation” the party stated. According to the party, this is the real time for the state legislature to stand up for what is right by removing the governor. “The Lagos lawmakers must find their ways back into the hearts of Lagosians and particularly prove to lagosians that they are not stooges and puppets of the Governor” the party stated. The party stated that the

conception that lagos was in bondage of a business syndicate ably aided and abetted by Governor Fashola could be put straight at this time if the Lagos Lawmakers remained resolute and reject the tolling of the 1Km LekkiIkoyi link bridge. They must also at this point curtail the arrogant posture of governor Fashola in the Governance of Lagos State” “There is serious need for the Lagos House of Assembly to do a holistic review of all the antipeople policies by Fashola and find

ways to reverse them. Fashola’s imperialist system has pauperised so many people in Lagos and the time to stop it is now. “The present desperation to commence the tolling of the Lekki-Ikoyi linkbridge is indeed immoral, exploitative and further gives credence to the suspicion that even the purported repairs of some Federal Government roads in the state are indeed inflated to make extra profits into some private pockets.

CISLAC urges leaders to build strong democratic institutions


xecutive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Malam Auwal Rafsanjani, has urged Nigerian leaders to build strong democratic institutions to ensure transparency and accountability in governance. Rafsanjani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that strong institutions were needed in the governance of the country in order to deepen democracy. The director advised the political class to rise against personal interest in the course of discharging their responsibilities. He said it was imperative for leaders to give special attention to strengthening institutions than advancing the interest of any individual or groups. ``In every democratic society, governments come and go within a defined period of time but institutions remain permanent. ``Therefore, leaders should try and ensure the independence of institutions in running the affairs of the country.’’ According to Rafsanjani, it will be difficult for government institutions to work if the political class continues to make its personal interest to override national interest. Rafsanjani urged the Federal Government to renew its commitment in the fight against corruption, with a view to enhancing public confidence in governance. He decried the level of poverty in rural areas and unemployment among youths, advising government to formulate a policy that would reduce youth idleness. ``The country is making more money but poverty is on the increase and the rate of unemployment among youths is alarming.’’ He also urged the National Assembly to strengthen its oversight function with a view to checking duplication of funds in budget making and implementation. Rafsanjani, however, called for collective responsibility by Nigerians to ensure that the country took its rightful position in the comity of nations. ``Nigerians should come together to make meaningful contributions to the national growth and development of our dear nation,’’ he added.

L-R: Author of the book, Comrade Salihu M. Lukman; Deputy National Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Boss Mustapha; Dr. Garba Abari; and National Coordinator, League of Patriotic Progressive Youth, Comrade Asuzu Echezona; during the presentation to the Media of the book titled ‘Engendering Progressive Politics: Challenges of Reforming Nigerian Politics’ writing by Lukman, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

2015: Kogi CPC governorship candidate seeks APC nomination From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ampaign organisation of the governorship aspirant of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC in the 2011 general election in state, Alhaji Idris Maiyanga Usman, has called on members of the yet to be registered All Progressive Congress, APC to nominate him as a flag-bearer of party in the 2015 guber- poll in the state. The Publicity Director of the

organisation, Alhaji Sabo Haruna, who stated this yesterday in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja said he single-handedly established CPC in the state before a defeated governorship aspirant of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP came to snatch the party ticket from him. The former guber aspirant commended the supporters of the APC in the state for their steadfastness and commitment to ensure enthronement of genuine

democracy in the state. He said all the aspirants who came to fly the ticket of the party have collected their money after they had failed in the primaries but he was the only one who did not do that but remained resolute with the opposition party since 2007 to date. Us man, who prided himself as a transparent politician, claimed he was instrumental to the establishment of the Lokoja branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) while serving as

the National leader of the union. He said his call has become necessary since he has once participated in the activities of two political parties, CPC and ACN in the state which are also partners in the merger arrangement. According to the Publicity Director, there is a good prospect for CPC in Kogi state which would only manifest if its acts were properly harnessed stressing that a merger to flush out PDP would be the best.

Nasarawa state is my constituency, says Al-makura


ov. Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State on Sunday declared that the entire state was his constituency, even as he vowed to carry everybody along in all his activities. Al-makura made the declaration at the official inauguration of the Nasarawa Eggon water supply scheme. ``My administration will continue to carry all sections of the state along, irrespective of religious, political, cultural or ethnic differences,” he said. The governor specifically

described the Eggon ethnic group as his friends and colleagues, reminding all the stakeholders that the ``state belong to all of us”. Al-makura appealed to the Eggons to disregard speculations that he was against them, reiterating that he took an oath of office to carry everybody along and that he would abide by the oath. He commended the Eggon people for their efforts to ensure peace and unity in the state, urging them to disregard any speculation that he was against them. The governor assured

the citizens of the state that his administration would collaborate with all stakeholders in all development efforts in the Nasarawa state project. On the water project, Almakura said that the project would tackle the perennial water scarcity in the area. ``For over 10 years now, the people in the benefiting area have been lacking adequate potable water supply, a situation which has been causing untold hardship for them. ``It is unfortunate Nasarawa

Eggon and its environs had for several years been without pipeborne water for their daily use,” he said. Al-makura pledged that his administration would strive to tackle the problem of water scarcity facing the people, assuring them that bore holes would be provided in all communities. ``Water is life and it is also a key to the socio-economic development of the people; all will be done to see that the people enjoy regular water supply,” he said. (NAN)



Ewuga: Where the onus lies By Rayyanu Bala


enator Solomon Ewuga is no doubt, desperate to become the governor of Nasarawa state. He attempted several times since 1999. He jumps from one political party to another all in a bid to realize his hope which has indeed become so vital to him like his life. And like a typical Nigerian politician, Ewuga since then keeps running from pillar to post, exploiting all kinds of gimmicks to either drum support or sympathy for his plight. He often pose as a national champion but beneath this toga lies an ethnic jingoist. Nothing perhaps exposes Ewuga’s ethnic jingoism more explicitly than the interview he granted to TELL magazine of May 27, 2013, when he openly took side with his Eggon kinsmen over the brutal murder of security operatives in Alakyo village by the Ombatse cultists. All what Senator Ewuga kept emphasizing in the said interview was that his advice was ignored by the government. The question that quickly comes to mind here is: if an advice was ignored (if at all there was any) was that enough reason to justify the action of Ombatse which resulted in the killings of dozens of security operatives? Throughout the interview there was nowhere Senator Ewuga condemned the action of Ombatse nor called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of this despicable act. What he was trying to demonstrate or rather highlight was political, he was only trying to play politics with the whole sordid episode, while what is at hand goes beyond that. Indeed what is at hand as regards to Alakyo massacre is criminal, thus there is no any a criminal action that has to do with brutal murder of more than 65 security personnel can be brushed aside on the altar of politics. No matter what, the Alakyo massacre is criminal and stands condemnable and there is no amount of politics or brainwashing that could make the people or the authority look the other side. However, what is also intriguing in Ewuga’s interview was his response to a question put to him as regards to the grievances of Ombatse boys. He responded thus: ‘It is not that they are aggrieved; it is the fact that they have a belief system. But their war-like attitude assumed this dimension because of the continuing attack on the Eggon people. I want you to understand that in all the incidents, the Eggons were always the ones provoked. How does one address this kind of problem if the governor is not civic about it? The Eggons have constituted bodies the government could have used to get what it wanted if the intention was good. But this crisis is deliberate and it is to demonize

me so as to deny me the opportunity to be governor. I have taken this long quotation only for us to appreciate the depth at which Senator Ewuga is engrossed in politics of ethnicity to achieve his ambition of becoming the governor of Nasarawa state. Or else how on earth, could one who is aspiring to rule a state of about 27 ethnic nationalities reduce to the level of championing the cause of one single ethnic group to the detriment of the others? As a politician who claims to know his onion, Ewuga ought not to have associated himself with any tribal groupings or he ought not to have associated himself with atrocities committed by his kinsmen to the extent of even saying that in all the incidents, it was the Eggons that were always provoked. This position impliedly means justifying what Ombatse has done in Alakyo. And above that, I think there is no amount of provocation that can be quantified with the amount of loss in human life which the people of Nasarawa state and indeed, Nigerians recorded in Alakyo. There is an African proverb which says ‘if you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if want to walk far, walk together’ this proverb succinctly captured what is being play out in Nasarawa state today about the action of some misguided Eggons. In their haste to acquire power, they have indeed, selected to walk alone and the danger in it is that, the walk can’t go far. And that is exactly what is happening. And this is why they (some misguided Eggons) would always have the feelings that all other tribes in Nasarawa hate them. While in the real sense it is these misguided elements among the Eggons who, possessed by a crave to acquire power, blatantly refused to walk together with other tribes to enable them walk far and wide. And just like what a Hausa proverb would say: ‘Sai kaki naka kafin na waje su so shi’, meaning. ‘Until you refused to shower love on your own before outsiders can shower theres.’ History has indeed shown that right from on set, these misguided Eggons have never thrown out or refused their own, on any matter on the surface of the earth. And this is at root of the entire predicament they found themselves today. To say the least, these misguided Eggons are too egocentric. Even on the Alakyo massacre, these misguided Eggons are yet to show any sincere and open remorse over what has happened. Haba! However, on issue of believe system which Senator Ewuga insisted, in his interview, as factor which informed the formation of Ombatse, it is my considered opinion that, there is no where in the world where a


Senator Solomon Ewuga belief system is formed on violence and if it so in case of Ombatse, then it is not only unfortunate but most uncalled for and unwarranted deserving concrete action to stop this kind of believe system from causing further havoc. When we first heard of Boko Haram in this country, we were made to believe that it was a kind of belief system that forbids only members from acquiring western education and forbids anything that has to do with western technology but before we could say Jack Robinson, Boko Haram has snowballed and become a canker worm about to consume the whole country. Against this background, therefore, the authorities should not treat this issue of Ombatse with kid gloves, the way they treated Boko Haram at the initial point. Already the state government has, even before the massacre of these security personnel, outlawed the group after reviewing some of its activities which was considered inimical to the peace and security of the entire people of the state and the country at large. What was required is the might of the authority to bear on this occult group. Regardless of what the likes of Senator Ewuga may say, Ombatse is a terror group and there is no amount of white-washing that could divert attention from this, not even the recent media tour to Alakyo organized by Senator Ewuga. The course of investigation on the killings of security personnel in Alakyo must be allowed to continue as it is only through proper investigation that we can unearth the real perpetrators of Alakyo massacre. Thank God the state government under the leadership of Umaru Tanko Al-makura has indicated that it would set up a high- powered judicial commission of inquiry to appropriately find out those behind the group so as to bring them to justice. We, as a people of Nasarawa state, cannot afford to have the truth covered up; neither can we afford to let this crime go unpunished. Bala wrote from Lafia, Nasarawa state.




Navigating The storm: The Borno story By Victor Izekor


he story is told of the ancient people of the nation of Axum (Located on the Red Sea in Modern Ethiopia) discovered that the stormy winds of the monsoon season could be harnessed by sail for speedy navigation. Rather than dreading the high winds and rains, they learned how to navigate their way through the storm. Stormy circumstance are inevitable in life. They must come whether we like it or not. Just as the stormy circumstances are imperative to an individual so it is to community or society. According to Dennis Fisher, “although our first reaction may be to run from the problem, we can instead ask God to teach us how to trust Him to navigate us through the storm. In the words of Sper: When life feels like a storm-tossed sea with crashing waves of pain and grief, turn to the Lord and trust in Him, He’ll give you peace and bring relief. Trusting God for guidance in troubled times is a biblical theme and Hebrews 11 lists many who used their problems as an opportunity to exercise faith and to experience God’s grace, provision and deliverance: “who through faith subdue kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of the lions, quenched the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword [and] out of weakness were made strong”. Two years ago when Governor Kashim Shettima assumed the governorship of Borno, all was not well with Borno. While the traditional socio-economic problems and the related ones were starring their ugly heads the security challenges that engulfed the state and ready to consume it was visible. The destiny of Borno as an entity was shaking and the onslaught of Boko Haram sect already a nightmare to all. Everyone in Maiduguri in particular was a moving coffin as death could strike any moment either from the insurgents or members of the Joint Task Force in the colouration of “accidental discharge, mistaken identity” or for any other reason. Borno state with the cherished and abiding philosophy of “Home of Peace and Hospitality” suddenly assumed the toga of “Home of Pieces” as there was at this time no place to hide in the name of safety. Even where to swear in Government Shettima as the 6th Executive Governor of Borno state became an issue as a result of the precarious security situation of the state then. Traditionally, Ramat Square in the state capital normally play lost to such rituals, but its safety this time was in doubt. However, Ramat square finally got the nod with the assurance of heavy security in place. Thus while the handing and taking over ceremonies by governors in other states were done with pomp and pageantries, the ceremony in Maiduguri took place in an uncertain atmosphere and suspense. Though party faitfuls at the Ramat Square tried to dance and drum but all ears were to the ground and eyes wide opened. Inshort, for Shettima from the onset the road has been littered with huge boulders and crisis-crossed by several ravines and deep gorges. Roadblocks, both natural and artificial, expected and unexpected have been mounted on the route. He was now to bolster through the debris of catastrophe as he inherited amongst others a blood stained banner and a state in downward precipice. Fully aware of the complexities of the situation he inherited and the need to carry all along in the task of rescuing Borno from the utter collapse the state was descending, Shettima who has always being guided by the fear of God in all his dealings called on his Creator to grant him the wisdom of Solomon to deal with the complex nature of Borno. The first major Address titled “ISLAM AND PEACE IN BORNO” to the people of the state on assumption of office on July 17, 2011 was indeed a watershed. In what could be regarded as the Political Testament of the Shettima’s Administration, the Address revealed the Road Map of the Government for the next four years and beyond. Besides, it dealt extensively on the root cause of the socio-economic problems and present security challenges in the state and beyond, the course and possible remedies. While putting the square pegs in the square holes, the address never spared the group that escalated the security challenges in the state. Above all, the address enunciated various measures aimed at forward march. While the address reminded the people of the age -long leadership role of Borno in the sub-region in

particular, it made abundantly clear that the unity of Borno with a united Nigeria is not negotiable. The meticulous adherence to the Programme of Action in execution so far has endeared the governor to the people. Inshort, by being faithful to what he told the people governor Shettima has earned the confidence of the people. Cautious but firm, considerate but not extravagant, meticulous but not bureaucracyridden and nationalistic in his disposition. While his administration wears always human face Shettima shows love to all thereby conquering evils. Governor Shettima as a governor demonstrated “strength without brutality” courage without recklessness, intelligence without pendantry, compassion without sentimentality and always appreciate good deeds with rewards. With tact, cunning skills and diplomacy, he has been able to handle the delicate security situation in the state thereby minimizing the threat to lives and property and at the same time assuring the people that there is indeed a hope at the end of the tunnel. Inspite of the security impasse, Shettima never compromise the interest of the people as he tried to balance the competing interests. In various sectors, Shettima has made the mark. That he was able to resist the onslaught of various attempts aimed at diverting his administration from its set objectives and aspiration is great tribute to his statesmanship. Indeed an incurable optimist. He never believe in failure. He believes unequivocally that man-made problem must be given the dose of man-made solution. He is indeed a tailor made for Edgar guest who says, “there are thousands to tell you it cannot be done’ there are thousands to prophesy failures, and there are thousands to point out to you one by one the dangers that lie ahead. Just take off your coat and go to it. Just start to sing and you tackle the thing that cannot be done and you’ll do it:. This has been the abiding philosophy propelling on governor Shettima as people watch with awe the speed of meteor with which he moves the state forward in all directions in dexterity. This disposition of his has infused confidence in the people who now believe that no matter the circumstance, Shettima is there for them. Today, mid-way into his four year tenure, Shettima could heave a sigh of relief for a job well done. Two years after, Shettima has made Borno more stable stronger and viable than he met it. Two years after Shettima has given hope to the hopeless, through massive employment, and introduction of various poverty alleviation programmes. Two years after Shettima has made agriculture the greatest employer of labour through diversification of its various sectors, modernization, incentives to farmers especially the youths. Such incentives include free distribution of assorted seedlings and imputs to farmers, provision of silos for preservation and storage of agricultural goods and outright purchase by the state government of excess goods by the farmers to avoid loss and to encourage continuity in production. Two years after, Shettima has rebuilt broken homes through rehabilitation and compensation especially to the victims of the security challenges in the state. Two years after the burnt educational institutions by the insurgents have been rebuilt and in Shettima’s words. “I will rebuild these institutions even if they are burnt twenty times.” Two years after Shettima has assured civil servants including teachers in the state through large scale housing programmes that a reasonable number of them would have roof (houses) on their heads even before retirement. Two years after, the hitherto no love lost between the state government and Christian community in the state has become a thing of the past-thanks to the initiative of Governor Shettima. Two years after the voice of the minorities in the state is not only heard but noted. Two years after Shettima has strengthened the weak and hope for a better tomorrow. Mid-way into the four year tenure of Shettima’s administration has demonstrated that leadership is about good and responsive. What Shettima has done so far is to prove the pessimists wrong that Borno is already a failed state waiting for its funeral. He has also be lie the pessimists who say ours is a

Gov Kashim Shettima wasted generation. On his comment with regards the administration of Borno by Governor Shettima, Patrick Asago, the member representing Asuka/Igbo Eze South constituency of Anambra state in the Federal House of Representatives pointed out that, Shettima is on course adding Borno was not as bad as they were made to believe. Asago who chairs the House Technical Sub Committee on Health investigating the VAMED project stated this when his team paid a courtesy call on Governor Kashim Shettima at the Government House, Maiduguri. According to him, “Despite the challenges, we have gone round the state capital and saw people going about their normal businesses. Indeed, there is life in Borno. He went further saying “we believe that with good leadership, the insecurity bedeviling us will be surmounted.” Patrick Asago commended Shettima for “living above board despite the security challenges confronting the state.” Adding “Shettima is working as evidenced on work on ground.” On his own view on Kashim Shettima’s performance, Dr Audu Ogbeh, a former Minister of Agriculture and a chieftain of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) explained that the governor has adopted stratified measures to build Borno’s economy and create jobs in the state through agriculture. Dr Ogbeh who was speaking in Abuja pointed out that these measures will in the long run engage the restive youths and help to curtail the tendency for violence. According to the ACN chieftain, “I can speak for Borno, that perhaps there is more hope there than many other states because of what the governor is doing and in which I am seriously involved creating wealth through agriculture and agro processing. And I think that this programme of his, if pursued faithfully for the next two years will create changes that will amaze Nigerians. Here is a governor who is starting a programme to cultivate 100,000 hectares of rice in partnership with farmers in the state. Here is a governor who is starting a massive groundnut and groundnut oil production in the state” adding “I was in Borno on many occasions and knows what the government is working on.” Also speaking in the same vein, Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno Senatorial Zone on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has consistently maintained that Governor Shettima is an achiever that needs the support of the people. A French Philosopher once posited, “there are some occasions in one’s life which neither time nor circumstances can change nor obliterate from one’s memory” the administration of Borno by Kashim Shettima constitutes one of such occasions.



Some Interesting Facts 27. The guy at the end of this video exists. 28. If you say “my cocaine” you sound like Michael Caine saying his own name. 29. Male puppies, when playing with female puppies, will intentionally let the female win. 30. The next Star Wars will not be directed by George Lucas. 31. It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown. 32.The kingdom of Bhutan use ‘gross national happiness’ as a key national indicator. 33. The majority of European children born in 2013 will live to see the year 2100. 34. Cows have best friends. 35. Neurologically speaking, seeing somebody else smile actually makes you happier. 36. Every human being spent about half an hour as a single cell. 37. There are people, ombrophiles, who have a passionate love for rain. 38. Once your brain realizes that you’re dying, it releases DMT, one of the most powerful known psychedelics. This dilates your perception of time and allowing you to live inside your own mind for hours or even days. 39. No matter how long you live there will always be

Leisure an amazing new food for you try. 40. A group of porcupines is called a prickle. 41. Aside from a sample in a lab, Smallpox is completely extinct. No one else will ever die from it again. 42. A pig’s orgasms last thirty minutes. 43. We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. 44. Sloths only leave their tree once a week, to pee and poo. 45. Spinner dolphins sleep in pairs, one with the left hemisphere asleep, the other with the right. They each keep watch with one eye and half

a brain. They are known to sleep-mate for life. 46. At the time of your birth, you were, for a few seconds, the youngest person on the planet. 47. Cows produce the most milk when listening to the song Everybody Hurts by REM. 48. Somewhere, someone is losing their virginity right now. 49. If you spell out numbers in order, the first time you get to the letter “a” is at onethousand. 50. We’ve all been here forever. Every bit of matter we see has been here since the beginning of time and it always will be. 51. A monkey was once

tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana. 52. Happiness is a skill. You can learn it and it’s not hard. 53. Except when breeding, the Common Swift spend their entire lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in flight. They drink, feed, and often mate and sleep on the wing 54. Baby rabbits are called kittens. 55. Baby puffins are called pufflings. 56. Costa Rica is statistically the happiest nation on Earth. 5 7 . W o r m s communicate by snuggling. 58. 2013 is the first year since 1987 that consists for four different digits.

Say what?



This spectacular iceberg in the Jokulsarlon lagoon, Iceland, looks like it has had stripes dyed into it, but they are a completely natural phenomenon. Source:

MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2013


Mourinho to be named Chelsea manager, says Perez


eal Madrid president Florentino Perez has confirmed that Jose Mourinho is returning to Chelsea and may be officially announced by the Blues’ board today. Six years after an acrimonious departure from the west Londoners following a reported fall-out with billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich, Mourinho has long been rumoured to be on his way back. Mourinho won two league titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his previous stint in charge at Stamford Bridge, in just over three seasons, while he twice guided the club to the Champions League semifinals. In his three years at Real he won La Liga and the Spanish Cup once each while getting to the Champions League semifinals every year, but failing to reach the title game.

Robredo makes 86 years history as Federer struggles


oger Federer racked up his 900th tour win and reached a 36th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal yesterday while tearful Tommy Robredo also took the five-set route into the French Open quarterfinals. Second seed Federer battled back to defeat French 15th seed Gilles Simon, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Robredo, meanwhile, the forgotten man of Spanish tennis, became the first player in 86 years to come back from two sets to love down in three successive Grand Slam matches. His breathtaking 6-7 (5/7), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over 11th seeded compatriot Nicolas Almagro put him into the last eight in Paris for the fifth time. Federer, 31, also claimed a record-equalling 58th win at Roland Garros, but he did it the hard way, briefly staring at his earliest exit at a major since losing to Gustavo Kuerten in Paris in the third round in 2004. Federer goes on to face French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semifinals after taking his career five-set record to 22-1.

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. . . putting the people first

QUOTABLE QUOTE Would it not make more sense to fix intercity roads or the ‘death traps’ that exist in the states than building airports with no sustainable airlines, planes or passengers? — Nasir el-Rufai, ex-FCT minister, on President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2011 promise to build an airport in every state

I just hope it’s not another hogwash If the story teller is foolish, the listener isn’t - Hausa proverb


here is a lot of hogwash being hawked around. Every dawn brings forth a new brand of bunkum. But on closer scrutiny, the latest looks and smells like the last. The variables may differ but the plot remains predictably the same. The latest is the ‘discovery’ of an arms depot in Kano with links to Hezbollah. This is cheerless. The Joint Task Force (JTF) which made the shocking find shouted “eureka”. Its members jumped for joy. The JTF is peopled by operatives from the across the Armed Forces and the police. It is nobody’s favourite. God help the citizen unlucky to get caught in the snare of the JTF. In places like Maiduguri, citizens have suffered more in the hands of JTF than the insurgents they were sent to flush out. Only last week, a visiting friend who works and lives in Maiduguri told me how low JTF ranks in that troubled city. According to him, a Boko Haram element is more likely to win an election in a free contest than a JTF operative for the simple reason of the latter’s high handedness in dealing with the public. Boko Haram bombs and flees. A JTF operative brutalizes and destroys property indiscriminately, Shehu, my friend, sums everything up. So it is understandable if the JTF milks to the maximum the image boosting opportunity presented by the discovery of those arms. Just look at the sheer size. “The weapons include anti-tank weapons, rocket propelled guns, anti tank/anti personnel mines, among other dangerous weapons.” Part of the chilling press statement reads. It went on: “These discoveries

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Ali M. Ali

Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser were not accidental but the outcome of an ongoing robust counter terrorism investigation by the Department of the State Services, Abuja, in the past several months. The investigation also confirms the existence of a Hezbullah Foreign Terrorist Cell in Nigeria. Consequently, the DSS on 16 May 2013 arrested one Mustapha Fawaz, the co-owner of the popular Amigo Supermarket as well as the Wonderland Amusement Park all in Abuja. Thus, his arrest and confession unveiled other members of the foreign terrorist network which led to the interception of one

member of the syndicate named Abdullah Tahini, a Lebanese national, at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, with an undeclared amount of sixty thousand United States Dollars on him en route Beirut. Thereafter on 26 May 2013 one Talal Roda, also a Lebanese with a Nigerian passport, was arrested in this same house. “All those arrested have confessed to have undergone Hezbullah terrorist training and further implicated one Fauzi Fawad, also a co-owner of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park. However, the

These are trying times for the Nigerian “Intelligence Community”. Of late it has not acted like it had any “intelligence” at all. Most times, it has come across as a lousy actor in interpreting a script most probably written abroad. For example, some time in February, the SSS addressed a press conference and told a mostly disbelieving citizenry that a certain Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, 50, and a Shiite obviously working for Iran was plotting to “kill’´ two prominent Nigerians, both of them bearing Ibrahim.

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fellow is now at large. The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria; however, the security agencies are making frantic efforts to unveil the true situation. At the end of investigation, all those involved will be prosecuted”, the statement concluded. To that effect, Fawaz has been released but his businesses, from the looks of things, were the front, have been sealed. In the ensuing frenzy, a newspaper hit town with the purported arrest of Tahir Fadallah, chairman of the Lebanese community, in connection with the arms find. An obviously incensed Fadallah has refuted the story. But even at that, he did it with a certain style uniquely his. Apart from being born and bred in Kano, Fadallah speaks Hausa with native proficiency. He considers Kano his first home. Most of his bosom friends are natives of the state. With business in hospitality and furniture industry, it is difficult to picture Fadallah in bed with any terror group at home or abroad. These are trying times for the Nigerian “Intelligence Community”. Of late it has not acted like it had any “intelligence” at all. Most times, it has come across as a lousy actor in interpreting a script most probably written abroad. For example, sometime in February, the SSS addressed a press conference and told a mostly disbelieving citizenry that a certain Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, 50, and a Shiite obviously working for Iran was plotting to “kill’´ two prominent Nigerians, both of them bearing Ibrahim. In telling the country that Berende had confessed to plotting to kill Babangida and Dasuki, the SSS overplayed its hands. It may be dumbly unaware that toeing that line was blowing off the cover for Zionist interests. Everybody in the informed circle knows that there is no love lost between Iran and Israel. The question the SSS didn’t address was what strategic interest would the murder of these former leaders serve Iran? Fast forward to May 28th when the JTF discovered the bunker in Kano and the links to Hizbullah. For years, Hizbullah, mainly peopled by Shiites, has resisted Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is a political party primarily formed to expel Israel from Lebanon and a prelude to its final obliteration. It receives support from Iran. I strongly suspect that the Berende and the Kano arms discovery were not an accident. They are linked and I suspect too, more of such plots will follow. The Israelis are, after all, now security consultants in the country. I hope that this discovery is not just another hogwash.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 03, June, 2013  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 03, June, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 03, June, 2013 Edition