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Vol. 11 No. 35

. . . putting the people first

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sha’aban 27, 1434 AH


US to Nigeria: Address conϐlicts for democracy to thrive >>4

Mixed reactions trail Egypt coup FG, Jordan want democracy restored S/Arabia, UAE, others hail change By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


he Nigerian Government has criticised the sacking of the democratically elected

Egyptian President, Mohammed Mursi, by the Egyptian Armed Forces and the suspension of the country’s Constitution. The Ministry of Foreign

Affairs in a statement yesterday described the situation in Egypt as an “unfortunate development” which was a gross violation of the constitutive act of the African Union

(AU). The statement said the military intervention in Egypt was a “serious setback” for the remarkable progress which Africa

has made in fostering the culture of democratic governance in the continent. The statement urged the Contd. on Page 2

Reps insist on LG autonomy, independent candidacy By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, yesterday submitted its report, urging the House to consider granting autonomy to local governments and allow independent candidacy in future elections. The Committee also seeks to bar unelected local government chairmen from getting funding from government account. The House Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who is also Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee briefed the House at the plenary and gave highlights of the alterations contained in the Bill. According to him, the Committee followed from the recommendation of the people’s public sessions which clearly underscored the need to create independence and autonomy for local government councils and give them their deserved role as catalysts for Contd. on Page 2

L-R: Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Andrew Yakubu; President, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Igwe Achese and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Comrade Babatunde Ogun at the Oil and Gas Stakeholders Forum which held Wednesday at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.

Senate fails to stop p Yari from arming vigilantes >>4

PDP group wants ts court to stop convention >>2



News CONTENTS News Editorial Op.Ed

2-10 12 13

Letters 14 Opinion 15 Metro 16-18 Business 19-22 Stockwatch 23 Islam 26 Int’l 27-30 Strange World 31

PDP group wants court N1.8bn Edo fund: Oshiomhole drags Okonjo-Iweala to to stop convention complaints commission By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


ome aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have approached an Abuja High court with a suit seeking to stop the party from holding its planned convention. The plaintiffs, Abba Yale, Alh. Yahaya Sule and Bashir Maigudu had, through their counsel, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), are praying the court for an order restraining the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and other officers from proceeding to convene or hold the scheduled convention. Apart from seeking a restraining order of the court, the plaintiffs are also urging the court to set aside or nullify all steps and processes that culminated in the appointment of all acting national officers of the party whose nominations were ratified at the

aforesaid NEC meeting. They also prayed the court to restrain Tukur, “from performing any functions or duties assigned to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the defendant”. In the motion on notice, M/9381/13, predicated on three grounds, the plaintiffs submitted that the action of Tukur and the party’s NEC were a premeditated move to “undermine and disrespect the authority and power of the court”, even as he added that the decision sought to foist a fait accompli on the court. In a related development, Justice Suleiman Belgore, yesterday struck out the names of 18 former members of the NWC of the ruling party whose earlier election affirmation formed the subject-matter of litigation. Belgore’s decision followed an oral application moved in court by Okutepa.

By Lawrence Olaoye


do state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has urged the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) to prevail on the Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal, to release the N1.8billion Edo state allocation she withheld from January till date. The governor, who spoke yesterday, also urged the National Assembly to urgently enact the law that would strengthen the operations of the PCC. The Edo state governor also berated the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barr. Okey Wali, for his position on the crisis rocking the Nigeri

Governors’ Forum (NGF). He noted that the NBA used to be the voice of the people but is now being economical with the truth by making embarrassing statement over the NGF crisis. He equally condemned the European Union (EU) and its western allies for criticizing the execution of convicted criminals in his state and their visa policy progamme on Nigerians. While explaining the crimes committed by the convicted persons before he eventually signed their death sentence, he clarified that Nigerian social and cultural values are quite different from those of the Western world even as he urged them not to preach alien culture including same sex marriage in Nigeria.

Mixed reactions trail Egypt coup Curbing recurrence of flood disasters in Nigeria, Page 35

















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Contd. from Front Page Egyptian Armed Forces to allow democratic culture to thrive in that country. It called for the immediate restoration of democratic order following the “truncation” of the aspirations of the Egyptian people to freely express themselves through the ballot box. The statement also called on the people of Egypt to exercise “utmost restraint” in the peaceful pursuit of their legitimate grievances. There have been varied reactions from various world leaders just as the the U.S said it was “deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Mursi and suspend the Egyptian

constitution. On the other hand, King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia congratulated the military authorities in Egypt affirming that, “in the name of the people of Saudi Arabia and on my behalf, we congratulate your leadership of Egypt in this critical period of its history.” Turkish Prime Minister, RecepTayyip Erdogan’s Islamicrooted government which had formed an alliance with Mursi, reacted in favour of the ousted leader, saying the situation was “unacceptable” and calling for Morsi’s release from house arrest. And Syria’s embattled President Bashar Al- Assad celebrated Mursi’s fall describing

it as an end of “political Islam.” The United Arab Emirates, one of the Arab world’s most outspoken critics of the Muslim Brotherhood expressed its “satisfaction” at the turn of events in Egypt. And Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood yesterday also condemned the military coup, calling it a “US-led conspiracy.” “We condemn the military coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected and legitimate president,” the Brotherhood’s Shura Advisory Council said in a statement on its website after what is said was an emergency meeting. “It was a US-led conspiracy against the Egyptian people and their first democratic experience.”

“The outcome of the military coup is void and we call on free countries around the world not to recognise it and return to the legitimacy that was approved by the Egyptian people through unprecedented fair elections. “What happened will not stop change and it will not be the end of resistance and victory,” the Brotherhood’s statement said. Mursi came under huge pressure in the run-up to Sunday’s anniversary of his maiden year in office. The embattled 62-yearold President had proposed a “consensus government” as a way out of the crisis but was ousted by the Egyptian Army on Wednesday.

Reps insist on LG autonomy, independent candidacy Contd. from Front Page development at the grassroots level. “Accordingly, the Committee created a fixed uniform term of four years for local government councils and prescribed denial of appropriation to councils that are not democratically elected,” he noted. Part of the reforms proposed by the Committee also prescribed the mode of election of local government officials, their functions, tenure, qualifications for elections, and other related matters. Under the amendment proposed, elections into local government councils will be managed by the national election management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Committee reviewed the provisions of section 8 to emphasize the importance of elected local government councils, by inserting alterations that will ensure that

only elected local government officials can participate in the process for creation of new states. It also clarified that only registered voters in a local government area can participate in a referendum for the creation of a new State. The report also stated that, “in order to address the various conflicts and crises surrounding the question of who is an indigene or settler in the community, the Committee has redefined citizenship to take away this divide meaning that a person who has lived in a community for a specified period is entitled to the same rights and privileges as citizens of that community. “The amendment under this chapter fully defines indigeneship in a way to eliminate the conflict that this has posed in the past.” “The Committee altered section 42 of the Constitution to specifically prohibit discrimination against persons living with disability.”

“The Committee agreed to allow for independent candidacy in elections in Nigeria. “This will however be subject to conditions stipulated under the Electoral Act.” “The Committee also amended Section 66 to give seriousness to the issue of electoral offence. “The Committee decided that it now provides grounds for disqualification of a candidate from contesting elections where he has been found guilty of an offence.” The Committee, according to Ihedioha, also reworked the Constitution in order to entrench the independence of the offices of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the AccountantGeneral of the Federation and the Auditor-General of the Federation, and insulate them from political control. “The Committee also altered Section 80 and strengthened the provisions of section 80 of the Constitution to plug leakages

from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and public funds of Nigeria to ensure that no expenditure is made by any organ of government without appropriation by the legislature. “In Section 153, the Committee felt that the issue of electoral offences is of such importance as to warrant the creation of an independent electoral offences commission to handle it. “The Committee also altered Section 197 to abrogate State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs). “To protect the integrity of the electoral process at local government level and respond to the complaints of partisanship of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) accordingly, it deleted the existence of SIECs and vested the power to conduct local government councils across the federation in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”




National honours: Balgore, NBA, others fault move to strip President’s exclusive powers By Umar Muhammad Puma


o r m e r Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Alfa Belgore, has rejected the call for the removal of the exclusive powers of the President to award national honors to deserving Nigerians. Balgore’s position was supported by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) among

other stakeholders. Belgore who is also Chairman of the National Award Honours Committee also disagreed with idea of excluding serving public office holders from been recognized with the award, as proposed by the amendment. Belgore said yesterday at a public hearing organised by House Committee on Governmental on two bills seeking to amend the National Honours Act. One of the bills seeks to subject

the conferment of any award on the National Assembly as well as powers to revoke due to misconduct on the part of an awardee. The bill also seek to prohibit serving public officers, elected or appointed, from being conferred with the award while it also seeks to increase the fine payable upon conviction from N100 to N1 million. Belgore however appealed to the lawmakers to shelve any attempt at stripping the President

of the powers to award the National Honours on those he deems fit. “It is not done anywhere in the world, it is the exclusive power of the President and not the National Assembly. “I do not think this amendment is necessary because everywhere in the world, it is the prerogative of the President to preside over this award”. The NBA in its presentation, aligned with Belgore on the two issues and stated that limiting the

number of awardees to 100 would not be fair on deserving Nigerians. The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) agreed with the amendment that the powers to confirm the award should reside with the National Assembly. Earlier, the speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, while declaring open the hearing said exercise was in line with the responsibilities of the House to look critically into all issues of national importance.

Gov Elechi presents N16m house to police officer in Nasarawa From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mr. Nebolisa Emordi; Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar and Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, during the launching of track laying ceremony of Abuja-Kaduna fast train project, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: J oe Oroye

NUPENG strike: NNPC adopts 12-point resolution By Etuka Sunday


h e Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders in the Oil and Gas industry yesterday adopted a 12-point resolution to address the issues submitted by the industrial onions in the industry. This was contained in a statement issued by the NNPC after a meeting joint organised by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu. The meeting also had in attendance, the National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, his counterpart in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria,

PENGASSAN, Comrade Batunde Ogun, the National Deputy President of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Chief Ayoola Sadiq According to the statement, “in the 12-point communique jointly endorsed by representatives of all stakeholders, far reaching decisions was adopted on all the items put forward by the unions as areas of concern. “On the question of insecurity and pipeline vandalism/oil theft, the Forum announced that Government has put in place a Committee to x-ray the issues while stating that PENGASSAN and NUPENG will be further engaged by all the relevant Government Agencies and other Security Institutions on the progress being made. “The subject of bad roads also received attention. It was noted

that Government is already dealing with the issue extensively including applying resources from the SURE – P, therefore it was resolved that poor access road to the Port Harcourt Refinery would be captured in the ongoing reconstruction of the East – West road. “On the question of unfair labour practice, it was resolved that the unions should submit the list of all unfair labour practices to the 13-man committee headed by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources. “On the alleged breaches of the Guidelines on Contract Staffing and Outsourcing in the Oil and Gas sector, the trade unions were encouraged to make available specific cases on such breaches to the 13–man Committee and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

“On the question of Unionization, the forum was unanimous in their resolve that “unionization is an inalienable right of workers as established by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Standards of the International Labour Organization’’. “It was agreed that all issues of casualisation, contract staffing outsourcing, contract service and collective bargaining agreements should be referred to the 13-man committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources. “The Forum also resolved issues of; Nomenclature /Harmonization, PIB, Pension as well as the NARTO, Petroleum Tanker Drivers and Federal Inland Revenue Service imbroglio -where FIRS agreed to pay NARTO members all verified claims within 14- days from July 3, 2013.

bonyi state Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, yesterday presented the keys of a fourbedroom bungalow valued at N16 m to one Corporal David Ishaya, a police officer, as reward for his gallantry in singlehandedly shooting and killing some members of armed robbers who were said to have raided a branch of Zenith Bank in Afikpo local government area. The governor, who handed the keys of the bungalow to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, also announced a gift of N1 million. Earlier in an address at a function at the Lafia Government House where he was the special guest, Governor Elechi, appreciated the presence of the members of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) who graced the occasion, saying by this gesture, it goes to show that the people of Nigeria are united as one people regardless of their states of origin. While recalling that Nasarawa just like Ebonyi and other states were created on the same day, he described the states as “toddlers”, when compared to other states in the federation. According to him, “whatever happens to any of these states created in 1996, we in Ebonyi feel it because we were born on the same day.” He observed that since independence, the national unity within the country has being experiencing series of challenges. He regretted that hardly a decade passes without a complaint of a major problem or the other but however said these problems are temporary which the country shall overcome. Elechi while observing that Ebonyi state is a poor, agrarian state, appealed to the widows and relations of the security operatives who died in active service to accept a token from his administration. The Governor announced a donation of 25 tonnes of rice to the victims of the Alakio killings. “We will then hand over to you, Your Excellency, the keys of a little house we built for a police officer for his gallantry in 2009, which is long overdue,” Elechi said.




Chinese to set up irrigation projects in Borno


Chinese Agricultural Company is to supply and install 50 units of centre pivot irrigation equipment to cover 1,700 hectares of farm in different parts of Borno state. This is with a view to increasing the number of irrigation projects and the number of cropping periods in the state, according to a statement yesterday signed by Isa Umar Gusau According to the statement, an agreement was reached between Borno state government and Rainfine Irrigation Solution, after Governor Kashim Shettima along with some members of the state’s agricultural transformation team, assessed equipment, made selections and held discussions with management of the Chinese firm in Dalian, Shandong province of China. The contract provides two months within which the Chinese company is to customize, export and install the equipment in farms located in the three senatorial zones of the state, with particular focus on northern Borno which has the highest poverty and unemployment ranking in the state. When installed, each of the 50 units of equipment will provide artificial rains for crops, covering 35 hectares of land in each functional rotation. According to the statement, Governor Shettima said his administration was determined to harness the agricultural potentials of Borno which he said was the largest state in Nigeria with the most precious of natural resources and fertile land for agriculture. The statement said, “our goal is to be the centre point of agriculture not only in Nigeria but in subSaharan Africa and we are working very hard to achieve this. “Governor Shettima again requested a senior Counselor of the Nigerian Embassy in China, Mr Eche Abu-Obe who represented the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Amb. Aminu Bashir Wali at the meeting to assist Borno State by following up closely to ensure that irrigation equipment to be supplied to Borno meet laid specifications and in good time. The Governor also requested the embassy to monitor payments to be made in two weeks time to guarantee the integrity of the contract. “Chief Executive of the company, Mr. Bai Yongsheng, promised that the conglomerate will abide by terms of the contract.

L-R: Speaker Nigeria Children’s Parliament, Hon. Idara Thompson, Director Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Rabi Ali Galadima, Deputy Director,Hajiya Fatima Abdulkadiri and Speaker Anambra State Children’s Parliament , Hon. Uchime Ken-Michael, during a Capacity Building Workshop on Implementation of Child Rights Act 2003 in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

US tells Nigeria to address conflicts, for democracy to prosper By Abdulkadir Isa


nited States Ambassador to Nigeria, Terence McCulley has said that for Nigerian democracy to continue to prosper, the country must figure out a way to address its myriad of conflicts. According to him, the various differences in the country must be embraced alongside promotion of unity. The Ambassador who spoke during US National Day celebration in Abuja yesterday was also positive that Nigeria will find a way forward despite

the challenges. He said, “for Nigeria’s democracy to continue to prosper, conflict must be addressed, differences must be embraced and unity must be promoted as a core value. “I am optimistic and I am confident that Nigeria, despite the challenges, will find a way forward, as Nigerians have always done. “Our own President (Barack Obama) has said that we must find a way to reconcile our ever shrinking world with its ever growing diversity, diversity of

thought, diversity of culture, diversity of belief. We must find a way to live together as one human family.” “In America and in Nigeria, the common issues we face, the common hope we have, are all human issues, all human hopes. “We seek stability in our lives and we desire positive action from our leaders. “We expect transparency in governance and we seek economic opportunity and we demand high quality education for our children. And we work to protect the

Senate fails to stop Yari from arming vigilantes By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


motion by Senator Basheer Garba (Kano central), alongside other fifty senators to get the Senate prevail on President Goodluck Jonathan to bar Governor Abdulazeez Yari of Zamfara state from arming the state vigilante groups with rifles failed yesterday in the Senate. There were allegations that Yari

had already purchased the guns and seeking the approval of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, before distributing the rifles to the vigilante groups in the state. In the stead of the prayer by the 51 senators that Yari be barred from arming the vigilante groups, the senate requested President For a motion to

sail through, two-third majority is required but only 51 Senators signed for barring the governor’s policy. Leading debate on the motion titled, ‘The Plan of Zamfara State Governor to Arm the Vigilante Groups in the State with rifles, Garba expressed sympathy with the citizens of Zamfara over the security challenges bedeviling the state.

JNI advocates child birth registration in north From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jama’atu Nasrul Islam (JNI) has charged Emirs in the north to insist on the registration of every child born in their communities. The JNI Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, told journalists in Dutse yesterday that it does not augur well for the north as many births and equally death cases are not being

environment so that our children and our children’s children can enjoy the benefits of this bountiful planet. “I am convinced that America and Nigeria share these common goals and I am proud to say that we are friends whose relationship spans critical issues of global and regional import. “I wish emphasise to you that our strategic relationship remains as strong as ever, that the bonds that link our two nations remains solid, that Nigeria remains for America our indispensable ally in Africa.”

properly documented. According to him, Emirs and religious leaders must educate their subjects along with other members of the communities on the importance of registering every single birth. He said it was imperative for the north to know its estimated population as most of its inhabitants are predominantly Muslims. He also admonished Islamic

preachers in the state to guard against utterances capable of inciting the people adding that their preaching must be aimed at attitudinal change of the people. Aliyu assured that the JNI in collaboration with the Federal Government was doing everything possible to make sure utmost peace returns to Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.

The Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji Abubakar Adamu Maje who ia also the National Deputy Secretary of the JNI said the aim of establishing the association was to unite the Muslim ummah in the country with a view to bringing peace among members of the Muslim communities. He charged the Muslim groups to be united under the leadership of the JNI.

He noted that the decision of the Governor to arm vigilante groups in the state with rifles is capable of further jeopardizing the fragile security situation in the state. Also speaking, Ali Ndume said that security of lives and property should not be limited to the Federal Government alone. He observed that some individuals in the country have arms, wondering why a state government should not be allowed to implement policies that will protect the lives of the people. In his contributions, Magnus Abe said that the essence of having local security groups is to complement the deficiency of the central police force, adding that the worry of the ordinary Nigerians is the security of their lives, rather than using the groups for politics as being feared by few people.



NSA calls for civil military pact against insurgency By Evely Okakwu


he National security adviser, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki has called on Nigerians to join hands with the Military to find lasting peace to insurgency in the country. Sambo spoke at the National civil/ military dialogue in Abuja yesteraday. “There is no doubt that the military alone cannot meet all our 21st century security challenges. It will need the will, trust and support of the citizenry.” He said. He added that the present trend calls for constant and effective dialogue to ensure a harmonious relationship between the military and civil society who must learn to live together as friends rather than as forced neighbors. “It is my belief that the military can provide desirable assistance to civilians wherever they operate, while the civilian populace can reciprocate this in many other ways. Their vigilance and provision of information enhances the efficiency of the security agencies in the fight against insurgents, terrorists and all other forms of criminality. The changing role of the military has brought them closer to communities and the people who reside in them in a way that has been unexpected. This has not been without tensions as both groups chart a new way to accommodate each other,” he said. “The fact is that in the Nigerian society, just like in many other societies across the world, Military personnel’s are viewed with such fear by their civilian counterparts due to the forceful nature of the Military in handling issues, especially between them and civilians.” According to him, “the past decade has witnessed multiple forms of unrest from armed robbery, kidnapping, electoral, communal to ethno-religious violence. Currently, we are battling with insurgency and terrorism. This has raised the flag of security demands to levels higher than we have witnessed since the civil war. It has meant that the military are seeing more deployments in aid of civil authority than anticipated” “Our recent history has seen the military is in joint activities with other para-military outfits currently in about 28 states. In addition, the military is involved in checking armed robbery and other crimes on interstate roads. From mere intervention to assisting the police quell domestic violence; the military is now fighting the scourge of insurgency and terrorism,” Sambo said. “The military presence in our society is becoming routine. While this affects the level of professionalism of the military, it also generates new dimensions of conflicts between the military and civilian populace,” he said. certainly there is the need to throw more light on this very important fact necessary for the success of the activities of the Military which is aimed at en ensuring the much desired peace across the country, he said. He said also that recently, some police men were killed when on a mission to rescue some civilians in Nasarawa State, similarly the Military personnel have on many occasions been accosted by people among civilians who have made their assignments more complicated. As a remedy, he said the Federal government should enlighten Nigerians on the Limits of the Military in the fight against terrorism in order to erode the fear possibly in the minds of some Nigerians that Nigeria might be on the part to Military enthronement. The NSA also said the civil society must appreciate the efforts of the Military in ensuring the protection of their lives and must replace the feelings of fear with that of confidence in the military.


Constitution Amendment: Reps to adopt report before recess – Tambuwal


he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that the House would consider and adopt the report of its Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution before proceeding on annual recess. He said this while presenting the report of the committee to the plenary session of house yesteraday. “We shall consult with the leadership and look at the possibility of considering the report before we go on vacation,” he said.

He said that copies of the amended constitution would be made available to members preparatory to the consideration of the report. The speaker applauded the committee for its commitment to the amendment process. Presenting the report, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Emeka Ihedioha, said the committee received 35 requests for creation of states. He said that none of the requests submitted to the committee complied with the procedure

for the creation of states as contained in Section 8 of the constitution. “The committee, however, recognises that the existing provision in the constitution for the creation of new states is unclear and cumbersome. Ihedioha said that the committee carried out a ‘thorough job” in line with the mandate given to it by the assembly. He urged the house to expedite action on the consideration and adoption of the report to quicken its passage.

“The house should expedite the process of alteration of the constitution requiring collaboration with the Senate and the State Houses of Assembly, “he said. He said that the house referred about 25 bills to the committee for further legislative action, after they had been read the second time following debates on their general principles. The deputy speaker said that the review of the constitution was made possible by the support and encouragement of the speaker and the entire of house.

L-R: Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustafa Agwai, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Nasarawa state Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Niger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Nasarawa state deputy governor, Mr. Damishi Luka and Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, during the northern governors forum visit to Nasarawa to commiserate with the people and government of the state over the Ombatse killings.

1, 224 illegal immigrants repatriated from Kaduna


he Kaduna State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service has repatriated 1, 224 illegal immigrants in the last six months, the state Controller Alhaji Yarima Hamman, has said. Hamman said in interview yesteraday in Kaduna that the figure was higher than those repatriated in the whole of 2012, which was 1, 140. The controller said the arrests and repatriation followed “mop up operations by the command against illegal immigrants across the state”. He said most of those arrested were residing in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Zaria, Sabon Gari, Makarfi, Chikun and Kachia Local Government Areas. Hamman further said that most of the illegal immigrants were from Niger Republic and had entered Nigeria without valid documents. He also disclosed that a lot of them were engaged in menial jobs, including security guards in residences, dry cleaning and other services to earn a living. (NAN)

Obuah, others are favour-seeking mischief-makers -Amaechi


ivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has described a delegation of members of the Peoples Democratic Party from Rivers State who visited the President yesterday as comprising some mischief-makers whose political relevance depends on the amount of crises they are able to foment between him and the presidency. The delegation, led by factional chairman Felix Obuah, had, while on a visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, said it was in total support of the suspension of Mr. Amaechi, and accused the governor of already working with the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. The party leaders also apologised to the president for the governor’s alleged opposition-like actions, which they described as ‘shameful.’ But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES through the state commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, the governor said it was clear that the factional chairman of the PDP in the state, Felix Obuah, and some members of his

team were mischief-makers desperate to continue to poison the president’s mind against him. Mrs. Semenitari said, “We really do not want to respond to mischief-makers who believe the only way they can remain relevant is to continue to sow seeds of discord between the governor and the president. “Of course, they will continue to fail because the president was in Port Harcourt last week and the governor was at the airport to receive him. The presidency also recently issued a statement to say there is no crisis between the president and the governor. So, why are mischief-makers so desperate to set the president against the governor?” “As far as we are concerned, they are merely grandstanding. They are wasting their time and this governor will not waste his time responding to them. “We do not want to bother because we are sure the president has seen through their antics. The president is wiser and he knows this people are only scrambling for favours and political relevance.”

Describing Mr. Obuah and his team as a tiny faction of the larger PDP in Rivers, the commissioner said the delegation misrepresented itself by claiming it comprised of Rivers PDP leaders. “If they are PDP leaders, how come elected leaders from the Senate, House of Representatives and the House of Assembly were not part of their team? Even Obuah has no locus to parade himself as the state PDP chairman because PDP members are in court contesting his position. He did not participate in the congress that elected Godspower Ake as chairman of our party. He was even abroad at the time.” Mrs. Semenitari denied the claim by the delegation that Mr. Amaechi had already joined the All Progressives Congress, saying the governor remained a loyal member of the PDP. “The governor has not changed party,” she said. “He remains a loyal PDP man and has respect for the party and the president. He believes that ultimately, the party will do the right thing. There is no cause for alarm.”



Jonathan leaves for China Monday


resident Goodluck Jonathan will lead a high-powered team of governors, members of the National Assembly, ministers and representatives of Nigeria’s private sector to China next week for talks with Chinese leaders and captains of industry, aimed at increasing China’s direct investment in the Nigerian economy. President Jonathan who will leave Abuja on Monday evening for the five-day state visit is scheduled to hold separate meetings with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress, Mr. Zhang Dejiang.



Northern govs donate N100m to victims of Alakio killings T he 19 Governors of the northern states, under the aegis of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), has donated the sum of one hundred million Naira to the families and relations of the security operatives killed in Alakio, Nasarawa state. Chairman of the forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, who led a delegation of the NSGF, comprising the governors of Jigawa, Kaduna and Katsina states, announced the donation while delivering a speech at the Lafia Government House yesterday. While commiserating with families of the victims, the state government as well as the people of Nasarawa state over the unfortunate event, Dr. Aliyu however said members of the forum were

in the state to support and show solidarity to their counterpart in the quest to find the killers of the security operatives who died while on active service. Noting that no state in the country is not presently experiencing one form of security challenge or the other, the NSGF chairman, described what happened in Nasarawa as unique, as according to him, “those that have authority to help good governance were the ones attacked.” He observed that in many countries, nobody kills an authority, particularly the police and go scot free, stressing that when nations allow that to happen, “then you are questioning the whole foundation of governance.” In appreciating Governor

Umaru Tanko Al-makura’s proactive approach by immediately setting up a judicial commission of inquiry to fully investigate the killings, Aliyu however reminded his Nasarawa state counterpart on the vows he took while being sworn-in as governor, to protect the lives and property of the people of the state, urging him to go all out and do whatever is neces-

sary to fulfill this sacred responsibility. “That is why the NSGF at its last meeting delegated us to come and talk to you and also to encourage you to continue with the good work you are doing for the people of the state. So don’t do things because of the next election but for the good of Nasarawa state,” Aliyu said.

Insurgents get AK47 for N10,000, says Hameed Ali

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Reps probe alleged ATM dispensation of fake naira notes


he House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its committee on Banking and Currency to investigate alleged dispensation of fake naira notes by Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in parts of the country. A motion by Yusuf Ayo Tajudeen under the matters of urgent national importance, noted that despite its positive features, there has been growing incidence of fake naira notes dispensed by the ATMs. According to him, “many law abiding citizens have been victims of this unfortunate, unprofessional and immoral practice which has led to the loss of legitimate funds by Nigerians and that in most cases.” By Umar Muhammad Puma

Plateau poly students undertake N10.5m ICT project


ccounting students of the Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi, are constructing a 50-seat Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre, to boost the use of information technology facilities at the institution. Mr. Joseph Nyango, President, National Association of Polytechnic Accounting Students (NAPAS), said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Jos that the project would cost N10.5 million. According to him, it will provide an additional platform for the accounting students to meet up with current trends in the profession. (NAN)

L-R: FCT Commissioner, Public Complaint Commission (PCC), Hon. Obunike Ohaegbu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privilege and Public Petition, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Head Delegation, European Union to Nigeria, Ambassador David Nairae and the representative of former head of state, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Colonel Habibu Shuaibu (rtd), during the PCC second Annual Seminar on the role of Public Complaints Commission in a Democratic Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Rivers PDP berates Amaechi for romancing with opposition

By Lawrence Olaoye


ivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday at a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan berated the Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for aligning himself with the opposition. Rivers state chairman of the party, Felix Obuah, who made this observation at the Presidential Villa yesterday was in company of the former Governor of the state, Peter Odili. Apologizing to Jonathan over his disrespect for the President and the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Obuah, identified the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, as the leader of the

...recognises Wike as its new leader

party in the state As he pledged the party’s full support for the President, the Rivers PDP Chairman described the state Commissioner of Police as ‘God-sent’, adding that the the PDP will not falter in supporting the Federal Government. “We are pained and our heart bleeds today that the main champion of opposition in the country against Mr. President and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria is our own son, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. “This is indeed shameful and we do not know what has come over the young man.” “Is it that he wants to destabilise

the PDP before his eventual movement to his new party, having been handed over the ACN/APC structure in Rivers State?” He added that Amaechi had avoided every means of reconciliation brokered by well-meaning Nigerians. According to him, Amaechi failed to show respect for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria just as he pleaded that the Jonathan should forgive and forget saying “you do not visit the sin of the father on the son.” Amaechi was not the meeting but Wike told journalists that the Governor was absent because he was under suspension.


nsurgents in Nigeria are said to buy AK47 with 20 rounds of ammunition for just as little as N10,000, according to a former Military Governor of Kaduna state, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd). Ali spoke yesterday while presenting a syndicate report on peace and security in the north at a programme organized by the Arewa Research Development Project (ARDP). According to him, “today, if you go to Nigeria’s borders with Chad or Niger Republic, you will see AK47 being displayed like basket of tomatoes and they go for as little as N10,000 and nobody is checking this calamity. “We cannot be talking of solving a problem of insecurity while those perpetrating this evil have easy access to arms and ammunitions. That is why they kill and maim at will.” Ali listed security challenges in the north to include, the Boko Haram insurgency, the armed banditry in the north-west, environmental and result-based conflicts and ethno-religious crises. According to him, poverty, unemployment, bad governance, politics and serial mismanagement are responsible for these security challenges. He also expressed disappointment that the Federal Government is not sincere in address the issue of insecurity in the north. “The Federal Government has been paying lip service to the insecurity in the north. “First, they came out with a committee to dialogue with members of the Boko Haram while we are still looking for a way to see how the committee can go, state of emergency was declared in the three major states in the northeast. “And, before you know, the government banned the Boko Haram groups. “So, who are you going to dialogue with now; when the group has been banned? “Nobody will come out to tell you that he belongs to the Boko Haram group for fear of prosecution and the situation is not the best for the north”. “The armed bandits in the north-west is just like what happened in 1999 when armed men invaded Maiduguri and people said they were Chadians but when they finally found their feet they develop into the insurgents we are witnessing today.



Photos Splash

L-R: Alara of Aramoko, Oba Adegoke Adeyemi; leader, Yoruba Obas conflicts resolution committee, Oba Obateru Akinruntan; and Ajero of Ijero, Oba Adebayo Adewole, at the Yoruba Obas conflicts resolution committee meeting, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Kano state Governor, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and the Switzerland Ambassador to Nigeria Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel when he paid courtesy call on the former on Wednesday, at Government House.

Students of Lagos state secondary schools at the world toothbrushing challenge day in Lagos.

L-R: Commissioner, Government and Consumer Affairs Division, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Abba Ibrahim, Deputy governor of Kaduna state; Amb. Nuhu Bajoga, and Commissioner, Legal Licensing and Enforcement, NERC, Dr. Steven Audzenge, during the inauguration of NERC office, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

Photo: NAN

Students of Government secondary school, Dukpa, receiving free medical treatment from Nigerian Army Medical Corps, during their medical outreach at Dukpa community in Gwagwalada as part of 2013 Army Day celebration in Abuja. Photo: NAN




2013 Hajj: Balloting to determine intending pilgrims in FCT By Maryam Garba Hassan


Kano state Governor, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso (middle) listening to an address by the Regional Director of UNESCO, Dakar office,Mrs. Ann Theresa Ndong-Jetta (left), when she led a delegation to pay a visit on the governor yesterday. They are in Kano to study the Kano example of adult mass literacy programme so as to replicate it in other African countries.

Udughan sacks two commissioners From Prince Edward, Asaba


elta state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday walked out the Commissioner for Finance, Bernard Okumagba, and his counterpart in the Multi-lateral Relations, Glo-

ria Okolugbo, from the Executive council meeting, saying “they are no longer with me.” A source at the meeting told Peoples Daily that as the council convened, “Oga (Governor) pointed at Okumagba and said he

should excuse the council and directed Mr. Kenneth Okpara, Commissioner for Economic Planning to take over the Finance Ministry immediately while the female commissioner was asked to wait at the SSG’s office for further briefing.”

Okonjo-Iweala commends EU on PAYE remittance By Etuka Sunday


he Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has commended the European Union (EU) for the remittance of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) of its local staff since 2012. The Minister made the commendation in Abuja yesterday, at a one-day sensitisation workshop for local staff of embassies on PAYE, Withholding Tax (WHT), ValueAdded Tax (VAT) on contracts and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). The workshop is to facilitate partnership and collaboration between FIRS and foreign missions, international organisations to de-

duct and remit their local staff’s PAYE to the relevant tax authorities. Okonjo-Iweala who was represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Kefas Danladi, said the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)’s efforts to grow the nation’s revenue base remain a step in the right direction, most especially, in the face of the dwindling oil income. According to a statement by the Ministry, she said, “Everybody wants development, but nobody wants to pay tax that fuels development. The importance of taxation cannot be over-emphasised, especially in the wake of dwindling income from oil revenue. ``You cannot escape tax and claim to be a responsible citizen of

that country. “Once you pay tax, you can now have the benefits that come with payment of taxes. Tax payment is the backbone of any country’’. Okonjo-Iweala urged the Service to ensure administrative mechanisms for easy access to TIN that would in turn fast-track clearance of goods at the nation’s sea-ports as well as issuance of Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) to deserving taxpayers. Earlier, the Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, said that the workshop was organised to ensure appropriate understanding of the provisions of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act as amended.

he FCT Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board (MPWB) has said that that it would adopt balloting system to produce its intending pilgrims for this year’s hajj. A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the board’s Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Lawal Aliyu, said the measure became necessary sequel to the nationwide reduction of hajj slots by 20 per cent as directed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria. The statement further ex-

plained that after the removal of old timers from the list of those who deposited money for this year’s hajj, the board could still not balance the required number of pilgrims for this year and has to resort to balloting as the only means to get its intending pilgrims. Aliyu stated that the initial allocation of 2965 seats was slashed to 2372 in line with the directives by the Saudi Arabian government. He described the new development as “painful” and appealed to intending pilgrims to bear with the situation.

Police warn on fraudulent text messages By Lambert Tyem


he Police yesterday said it had commenced investigation into the activities of a company circulating online and unsolicited SMS to members of the public posing as agents of the police. The Police said some of the text messages request citizens to dial a number so as to obtain information on general and specific security issues, among other things. Police spokesman Frank Mba, said one of the messages currently in circulation reads, “The Nigeria Police is aware of fake men, posing as real Policemen. Avoid falling prey. Dial 7411 now to get ways in identifying real policemen. Call charges N50 per minute.” Mba explained that those behind the messages also encourage people to reach them in case of emergency. According to him, “the Nigeria Police wishes to state categorically that it has neither commissioned any person or group of persons to receive distress calls

or information on its behalf nor has it outsourced such duties to any organisation. “The Police wishes the public to also note that most of the information being provided by this organisation about the Nigeria Police are false and totally misleading, with the capacity of undermining national security, the image of the Force and current efforts at combating crimes and criminality. “The activities of this group are also suspected to be part of calculated plans to fleece innocent Nigerians of their hard earned income through the exorbitant charge of N50.00 per minute. “Members of the public are therefore advised to refrain from relating with this organisation or responding to GSM text messages and other online publications emanating from them regarding the Nigeria Police. “Citizens in distress should call the local police phone numbers while anyone with credible information should provide same to a senior police officer at the police station closest to him.”

Alleged N43m scam: Court frees former Minister By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday acquitted and discharged former Minister of Works, Hassan Lawal, and a former bank official, Adesanya Adewale, from the eight-count charge bothering on conspiracy and corruption of N43 million slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Lawal and Adesanya had earlier pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them, and consequently brought a no case submission after the prosecution had closed its case. In his ruling on the no case submission brought before the court by the duo, the trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello chided the anti graft

agency for a shoddy investigation. Bello held that the prosecution failed to prove the essential ingredients of money laundering before the court adding that the anti graft agency did not present any evidence to prove that the transferred funds were derived from illegal and corrupt proceeds. Dismissing the counts of conspiracy, the court held that having failed to prove that money transferred was from an illegal and unlawful source, it can’t be proved that there was conspiracy between the 1st and 2nd accused person. He also held that the charge of conspiracy to launder money failed in its entirety stating that from the exhibits before the court, there was nothing like conspiracy.

• Chides EFCC for shoddy prosecution Adamu held that the second accused person was an official of the bank and he was at then doing his official duty and that he could not be said that he conspired to launder fund meant for the execution of a contract. “Prosecution failed to prove that the money in question was derived from illegal source, even when the accused gave the prosecution a lead that he got the money from other transactions, such as the sales of his assets, the prosecution did not bother to ask whether the transaction is real or not. “Since the charge was in re-

spect of the contract awarded by the Ministry of works and housing and deposits being alleged were made before the 1st accused became the minister of works, it could not be said that such deposits were from illegal proceeds. “What now remains, having failed to prove money laundering and conspiracy as preferred in the charge, the accused persons are discharged of the charge and acquitted”, the judge held. Lawal was alleged of misappropriation of funds meant for the rehabilitation of the Guto-Bagana Bridge across River Benue while Adewale, was alleged to have as-

sisted him to launder the money. Counsel to Lawal, Ibrahim Ishaku (SAN), had insisted that the deposits in question were genuine transactions made by his client as payment for a housing loan procured from the bank. He urged the court to rule that Lawal had no case to answer, saying that the charge did not link him directly or indirectly to the allegation. “My lord, this is a mere allegation which to me was brought about by the new political leaning of my client. In fact, Lawal did not launder any money or misappropriate monies made for the contract he supervised,” he said.



News Briefs

Three students expelled in Benue over cult activities


hree students of the College of Education, Oju in Benue state were yesterday expelled by management of the college for alleged involvement in cult activities. According to the college authorities, the students were found to be in possession of dangerous weapons including a revolver with 10 rounds of live ammunition, cutlasses, an axe, a dagger and wraps of marijuana popularly known as Indian hemp. The college has remained one of the flashpoints of cultism amongst institutions in the state as clashes between rival cult groups had in the past led to death and closure of the school. From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Nasarawa tasks farmers on judicious fertilizer use


armers in Kokona local government area of Nasarawa state have been charged to make judicious use of fertilizers distributed to them, for improved agricultural yields in the area. The Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Emmanuel Brass Yaji, gave the charge while supervising the sales of fertilizer at the new palace of the Abaga Toni in Garaku. Yaji noted that this year’s distribution of fertilizers under the leadership of Governor Umaru Tanko Al- makura has helped to check previous practices of some selfish individuals who diverted the commodity for their selfish interests. From Maaji Dandaura, Lafia

Akwa Ibom to train pilots, engineers


kwa Ibom government has announced its decision to appoint a select committee to begin the training of more youth from the state as pilots and aeronautics engineers to man its airport. Governor Godswill Akpabio, who said this Wednesday while speaking with Government House correspondents said that, “we are putting in so much at the airport and by the time these things are through, it will be sad if major aircrafts are taking off and landing and you don’t see Akwa Ibom pilots or aeronautic engineers among them. “We will brush up our children who have already studied something in aviation industry and try to make sure that we re-certify them to be marketable.” From Mike Etim, Uyo

L-R: Yobe State Deputy Governor, Engineer Abubakar D. Aliyu, Deputy Governor of Adamawa State/Father of the Bride, Barrister Bala Ngilari and Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, at the wedding reception of the Daughter of the Adamawa State Deputy Gov. Barr. Bala Ngilari, recently in Abuja.

Subsidy protest: Killer police officer gets N250m bail From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday granted bail to a dismissed police officer, Mr. Segun Fabunmi, who allegedly killed a protester during the January 2012 subsidy fuel subsidy protests in Lagos. Justice Olabisi Akinlade granted him bail in the sum of N250 million with two sureties in like sum. He added that added that the sureties must reside in Lagos and must have three years tax clearance. According to her, one of the

sureties must also have a landed property worth N100 million while the other must be a director in either the state or federal civil service. AKinlade, in her ruling maintained that a medical report issued by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, which disclosed that the accused was suffering from renal (kidney) failure, was sufficient to grant bail to Fabunmi. The judge held that the accused would need special medical attention which he would not likely get in prison if denied bail. “What is important in granting bail is for a defendant to place sufficient

materials before the court for it to exercise its discretion in his favour. “I am satisfied that the defendant has provided sufficient materials before me,” she held. The court also ordered that the accused must deposit his travelling passport with the Chief Registrar of the court who will also appoint a police officer to verify documents tendered by the accused. The judge, who barred Fabunmi from travelling abroad until the determination of the case also ordered that the police officer appointed by the Chief Registrar of the court must swear to an affidavit to verify after completing

the exercise. Fabunmi, was arraigned on May 5, 2013, for shooting Adedamola Daramola to death on January 9, 2012 during the protests. He was also accused of attempted murder and causing of grievous bodily harm on Alimi Abubakar, Egbujor Samuel and Chizorba Odoh. Earlier, the Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Odugbesan, had at the hearing of the bail application urged the court to deny the accused bail. The Justice fixed July 16 for commencement of the trial.

Taraba SURE-P trains security, environment marshals From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Taraba state Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, has congratulated the members of the state SURE-P Implementation Committee on the success so far recorded in execution of the programme. Umar gave the commendation during the passing-out and

graduation ceremony of the first batch of Taraba marshals and fingerlings trainees at the Jolly Nyame stadium Jalingo. He said he was happy to inaugurate the first Batch of trainees as Taraba marshals and fingerlings producers as part of Taraba dreams of promoting the movement of the state to greater height and urged the trainees to put into practice what they have

learned during their training. He said government acquired a befitting office complex for the Taraba marshals at Jeka-da-Fari and assured that each Marshal was entitled to a monthly allowance under the proposed law. Earlier in his speech, chairman of SURE-P who is also the Commissioner for Social Welfare, Youth and

Sports, Abdulhadi Haruna Lau, explained that the marshals were trained in three different fields which include security marshals who will work closely with security operatives in the state, environmental marshals will work with the state urban development while the traffic marshals will be posted to different locations to ease traffic congestions in the state capital.

Muslim women group wants review of emergency rule conditions From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


he Initiative for Muslim Women of Nigeria (IMWON) wants the Federal Government to look review conditions of the emergency rule imposed on Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states to reduce the hardship of women and children there. In a communiqué at the end of its national conference

in Kaduna yesterday, the group also urged “wealthy individuals to use their wealth judiciously to help the society most especially widows, orphans, less privilege and divorces. According to the communiqué signed by Hauwa Ismail Jigawa and Bilkisu Ibrahim Abdulkadir, “women as home builders should be seen as

nation builders, preaching peace through uniting the families and communities.” The communiqué also urged the Federal and state governments to make concerted efforts at reducing poverty and corruption in society. Declaring the conference open earlier, Kaduna state Governor’s wife, Hajiya Fatima Muktar Ramalan Yero, charged

women to inculcate good moral values in their children to enable them become good citizens. In her remarks, the group’s National Director of the Organisation, Hajiya Rabi’ah Sufyan Ahmad, said the aim of the summit was to sensitise women on the importance of good upbringing for their children, assist widows and peace building.



Money Sense

Starting a business for financial turnaround Finding gaps in the market inding gaps in the market is one of the main ways people have changed their financial situation. What is lacking in your community or what is being offered at low standard that you can improve upon? In the western world people have found financial breakthrough from filling a gap in the market. Opportunities What opportunities are around you? Many take very little money to start. Say to yourself, I must present it differently?”Opportunities are in abundance where there are people. Many times the real challenge people face is not as much a money problem as it is a mind-set problem. Many believe they need money to start a business. Unfortunately money is the least of your worries to begin with. Do not get me wrong money is an


important part of the equation but it is not the main part and in some cases it turns out to be the very hindrance in setting up a business. You might wonder why I said this, when people have money at their disposal, there tends to be a lot of wastage. Then when they really need the money,it’s all gone. Be Creative We all have a sense of imagination. And from time to time we encounter some form of inspiration. For your business to stand out you must develop a creative mind. Look through magazines, buy books on successful people, read what they did to build their business. Be innovative Think outside the box. How can I make this the best product or service out there? Put a twist to your business. Become a niche Start a business where

people know you are the ‘go to person’ in that field. Niches are becoming the life of any business today. Think of something that will make you unique.

Model a successful person’s beginnings Look for successful people and ask them how they got started. Or get books on

Who manages your family’s finances?


ack when I was a stay at home mom, my husband and I used to joke that he’s in charge of making money and I’m in charge of spending it. But I’m proud to say that over the last decade, I have proven myself to be a capable investor – and this was NOT an easy decade for investors as we all know! So, now we say that he’s in charge of making (most) of our money, while I’m in charge of investing it and growing it, and – well, I’m still pretty good at spending some of it too. The family as a business unit Joking aside, I find that the trust he puts in me, the fact that I can manage our finances on my own and only consult

with him prior to making really big decisions, is priceless. A family is of course all about love, friendship and mutual commitment, but it is also a business unit of sorts. Just as it wouldn’t make sense for the CEO of a company to micromanage the CFO or the CIO, it doesn’t make sense for a couple to micro-manage each other. Trust Of course, this requires trust. For many couples, there’s very little trust when it comes to finances. A recent, disturbing study from American Express shows that a growing number of couples reports that they argue about money, and that in order to avoid those arguments, they sneak purchases, sock money away in a secret bank account,

or keep a credit card account hidden from their significant other. Assuming you agree with me that this is a sad state of affairs, how do you get to a place where you trust each other – where you know that you are in agreement when it comes to finances, and are working together to build your financial future? Financial compatibility I asked you, a while ago, “Is Financial Compatibility Important When Choosing a Life Partner?” Most of you thought that financial compatibility is important, and that marriages suffer when there are big differences between the partners. Leigh shared her own experience: “I am now going

through a divorce, and though there were many issues at play, I’d say it boiled down to money. Significant Other came into the relationship with a monetary philosophy that borrowing against the future is a-okay. While I worked to whittle down that debt, Significant Other refused to make any sacrifices that may have helped put us back in the black.” I agree with your responses to that post. I believe that financial compatibility makes it easier to trust each other and to work together to build a financial future. If my husband believed I would take all the earnings from our investments and spend them on jewelry and clothes, would he still be able to trust me to manage our portfolio? Gender Does it make a difference if it’s the woman or the man who manages the family’s finances? I would say it doesn’t – it all boils down to the individual and not so much to their gender. In addition, even if we assume that women and men have different investing styles, with women being more risk averse, each style has its pluses and minuses. I remember reading somewhere that over the long run, portfolios managed by women have better returns, because they trade less often and rack up fewer expenses. Interestingly, in a 2008 survey by Pew Research Center, 45 percent of women respondents said that they manage the money in the household, while 37 percent of the men said that they do. Perhaps it’s a question of perception, or of

successful people and model their beginnings. These are a few ways you can start up your own business for a lasting financial turnaround. needing a better definition of what it means to “manage the household finances” (balance the checkbook? Pay the bills? Make investment decisions?). Whatever the explanation is, it seems that women and men can’t even agree on who runs the household finances. (I wonder what my husband would have answered)

Money Tip Cut the cost of your fuel bills As the global demand for power threatens to outstrip supply, prices are rising. But that doesn’t mean you need to be ripped off. The domestic market for fuel is a competitive one and you can change supplier with a few clicks of the mouse. Your new supplier will take care of the formalities - you just pay less every month. Cut your home phone bills If you must use your phone there are scores of cheaper alternatives from cable companies that package your telephone, television and even broadband internet access to lowcost dial-up services that give you access to cheaper calls using your existing BT line. Pay your debts first You’re always going to have something due to somebody else and you’re paying interest. Try to pay everything off as early as you can before you’re just paying interest to everybody else. Make sure you pay off your debts – credit cards, school loans, car loans – you don’t want to be in the hole forever!”

Quote “There is something about a well-worded question that often penetrates to the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights.” - Brian Tracy: Speaker, Author




If guineaworm can disappear, why not polio too? W federal level and reaching down to the village level. “People in the communities are helping us to look out. If we see a stranger, we find out who the person is, and if he is afflicted by guineaworm, we report immediately,” said Mernyi. As part of the effort to confirm there has been no fresh case of guineaworm since 2008, NGEP recently announced a N25,000 reward for anyone who

orld Health Organization (WHO) officials who were in the country last week to assess its guineaworm eradication effort spoke optimistically of Nigeria’s chances of getting the world health body to certify us totally free of this health scourge. The team leader was asked if Nigeria is assured of a WHO clean bill of health. He would not commit himself one way or the other, but his body language suggested something good was in the offing for us. Guineaworm or Dracunculiasis is a crippling parasitic disease caused by a long thread-like worm and transmitted exclusively by drinking contaminated water. Although rarely fatal, it causes severe pain and disability. Therefore, it is considered a major public health challenge by the WHO. Nigeria’s success story dates back to 1998, when it reported 653, 562 guinea worm infections in 5, 879 villages. Almost a million cases. However, by 2008, the last known case was successfully treated, according to the Communication Officer of the Nigerian Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (NGEP), Ms. Dorcas Mernyi. NGEP has been working in collaboration with the WHO and the UNICEF. To achieve this stride, the partnership has relied on a surprisingly effective information reporting network, starting at the

Just as in the guineaworm case, the government must get local communities actively involved in the fight against the wild polio confirms any new cases. A sticker put up at community health centres across the country since June says, “Report guinea worm, get paid. If you see any person with guineaworm disease, contact the nearest health worker or clinic immediately or call Nigeria Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (NIGEP) on 08001001000 - toll free. If you confirm, you will be paid a cash reward of N25,000”.

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”

Apart from this internal control mechanism, there is a multilateral strategy which enables the federal government to collaborate with neighbouring countries fighting the same scourge. According to Mernyi, “What Nigeria is doing is collaborating with other countries. Recently, the National Coordinator for the guineaworm eradication programme went over the border to meet with officials of the countries bordering Nigeria. We are fighting this together, we don’t want any re-bounce of guineaworm case in the country. We are intensifying surveillance at the borders, screening people that come in.” We at Peoples Daily commend this first health success story to come out of Nigeria for a long time. It is the result of a painstaking effort by truly committed government officials and their international partners. We must not fail to acknowledge the exemplary contribution of the foundation set up by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, to the national guineaworm eradication campaign. If we can make this disease to disappear we don’t see why we shouldn’t succeed in the polio campaign. Just as in the guineaworm case, the government must get local communities actively involved in the fight against the wild polio. Local resistance is the only thing standing in the way of getting polio “kicked out” of Nigeria.











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Opinion Seme – Bene: Corrompre! By Salaudeen Hashim


virgin visitor (as often referred to first timers) to the boarder town called Seme, would have a hard time through the corruption, which could be referred to as an organized crime. While the mantra has not ceased, behind Nigeria’s backyard, corruption and corrupt practices by the officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) continue to thrive unabated with the attendant security risk to the nation. A visit to Seme, a border town with Republic of Benin, was an eye opener to the possibility that the current security challenges being faced by the country may not be unconnected to the nefarious activities of the officials of the NIS posted at the various border towns in Nigeria. The experience of the writer at Seme on June 23rd and 28th respectively, which apparently is a daily experience by other compatriots and non-Nigerians crossing the border, clearly shows that Nigerian government officials may have willingly contributed to the present security challenges bedevilling the nation. On June 23, I had embarked on a five-day visit to Cotonou in the Republic of Benin. Driving through the road to Seme, a major international gateway into and out of Nigeria, one can

begin to imagine the extent of infrastructural decay that has made living in Nigeria a hell on earth. Littered all over the highway were accidented vehicles in various degrees of metal decay. Huge craters in the middle of the road tasked the driving skills of our airconditioned Prado Jeep driver. All these notwithstanding, we made it to Seme border in one piece. Arriving at the border post at the Nigerian side, the driver enquired if we wanted our international passport to be stamped by the immigration authorities. I was nonplussed at this enquiry, as it is customary for any traveller crossing international borderlines either by land or by air to go through immigration formalities. We told him that it was the normal thing to do as a matter of policy from the organization that sent us and provided our international passport to him for immigration formalities. These same formalities were required at the immigration border post at the Beninois side. While waiting for the driver to complete the formalities, we noticed several commercial motorcycle riders and their passengers from both sides of the border crossing through the border barrier without as much as providing any international passport for relevant checks by either immigration authorities. My curiosity was further aroused upon

my observation that at intervals, the immigration officials from both sides of the border would stretch out their hands and some naira notes or CFA notes would be stuffed into their outstretched hands and the motorcycle operators and the passengers would wave through the border posts. I enquired from our driver, who seemed to be popular with the border officials, to explain the curious scenario playing out in full public glare. Then I heard the bombshell. The driver alleged that part of the fare we paid was used to “regularise” some international passport, as some team members’ passport was regarded as “virgin passport” by the immigration officials. A virgin passport will require N1,000 to be stamped by the Nigerian Immigration and thereafter, N500 for subsequent stamping. For those who are not interested in going through immigration like the motorcycle riders and their passengers, a guaranteed crossing without any challenge will cost between N1,000 and N5,000 depending on the bargaining power of the individual and how regular he passes through the border. Looking at my international passport, with visa on it, I wondered why my international passport could be considered as “virgin”. However, I dismissed the story as part of the driver’s justification for

charging us a rather exorbitant fare, especially since we didn’t accompany him to the immigration posts. But the explanation about the motorcycle riders and their passengers appeared very plausible, especially since we had witnessed the monetary exchange. The veracity of integration within the sub-region and the promotion of free movement of persons, goods and services is still questionable a far cry from reality. It is considered even more easier travelling to mother part of the world where the country share no diplomatic tie than any country within the subregion. One may argue that my incredulity at my experience at the Seme border fades to triviality considering the high volume of human traffic passing through the border, either for business or any other activity, and the fact that the corrupt practice has become part of their daily life. However, the impact of this corrupt practice on the reputation of the government and the security challenge it poses cannot be over-emphasized. If the NIS officials at the various border posts believe it is part of their responsibility to collect money from genuine travelers before stamping their passports for whatever flimsy reason, how then can the government challenge the indices from various international organizations placing

Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries on earth? Has any of the government officials visited the border posts to confirm the level of corruption going on in those places? For government officials who travel regularly to other developed countries, has any immigration personnel from those developed countries demanded for financial inducement at the immigration desks? Why would NIS officials demand money from fellow Nigerians or indeed any other traveler before stamping their passports upon entry into Nigeria? For government to truly tackle the massive corruption going on at the Nigerian land borders and reduce the present security challenge posed by Boko Haram and its widely reported foreign sympathizers, a complete overhaul of the Nigerian land border control is necessary. All activities that encourage corruption in that sector should be eliminated. The same level of professionalism exhibited in other land border areas in other developed countries should be introduced. For every act of corruption tolerated by Nigerians, our level of insecurity becomes more exacerbated. It is hoped that the Federal Government will take urgent steps to address the massive corruption and the attendant security risk posed by the corrupt practices of government officials at our land borders. WACSOF must begin to interrogate this impunity. Salaudeen Hashim is a Liason Officer with West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) Nigeria Platform

Need for quality political parties By Jibrin Ibrahim


ne of the weakest links in Nigerian democracy is the very poor quality and low capacity of political parties. Since parties emerged in 1922 to contest the limited elections allowed by the colonial authorities in the Lagos and Calabar Councils, they have always operated in a context of constrained democracy and often, excessive electoral fraud. The 1983 report of experts by the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) just before the 1983 elections, correctly predicted that the elections could not be conducted without massive electoral fraud because the parties in power were not ready to allow others to come to power. The report also showed that only the 1959 and 1979 elections were held without systematic rigging and that those two elections had one point in common: they were held in the presence of strong arbiters, the colonial State and the military, who were not themselves participants in the elections and who desired free and fair elections at those instances. Subsequently, the two other elections were considered relatively free and fair, they were the 1992 and 1999 elections. In contrast however, the 2003 and 2007 elections joined the list in infamy by being some of the most fraudulent elections in our history. There is a direct relationship

between rigged elections and the poor quality of political parties. When electoral outcomes are based on fraud rather the franchise of the people, what parties need are state resources, illegal use of security agencies, money and violence rather than the ability to convince voters. It is because of this link that Nigerian parties have been relatively underdeveloped over the years. Ruling parties use incumbency to determine electoral outcomes while opposition parties become despondent with the knowledge that no matter how popular they are, the votes they get or the votes intended for they but not obtained will not translate into victory. There is however a turning point that has emerged since the 2011 elections when the Attahiru Jega led INEC succeeded in turning the tide by organising elections that were much more free, fair and credible than previous ones. This tide has continued to improve in the elections since 2011. This creates hope but above all, inspires confidence that improving the acceptability of parties to voters is the path to success. It is in this context that the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies is this Wednesday launching the “Political Party Leadership and Policy Development Centre” in Kuru with support from the United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) Democratic Governance for Development Programme. The Director-General of the NIPSS, professor Tijjani Bande is keen to deploy his institute’s resources and capacity to provide non-partisan capacity building skills to registered political parties so that they improve their ability to carry out the constitutional responsibility of presenting clear issue-based policy alternatives to Nigerians who can then exercise political choice based on their assessment of how the parties can change their lives for the batter. The objective is to gradually move away from issues of personality, ethnicity and regionalism. The National Institute, he told me, is committed to playing its role in improving the quality of Nigeria’s democracy by placing improved policy formulation and implementation at the centre of the lives of political parties. We can only wish him success in this laudable endeavour. At the beginning of the Fourth Republic, only three political parties were registered. They are the People’s Democratic Party, the All People’s Party, later the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD). The 1999 elections led to the victory of the PDP but the two other parties were able to retain the regional support bases. Since then, the political party regime has changed considerably. The

number of political parties went up to 57 until INEC deregistered 27 of them bringing the number down to 25. In order to promote credible elections with the existence of strong political parties, section 78(6) of the 2010 Electoral act provided INEC with the power to de-register any political parties that failed to win any of executive and legislative seats in elections. Only ten parties won seats in the 2011 elections. It will therefore be interesting to see if more parties will be de-registered by INEC. My concern is that de-registration should be focused on parties that are not functional, have no activities or offices. The key challenge facing Nigerian parties is that they are run by godfathers and barons rather than members. They are arenas that have clientelist networks that are used by the party barons to “deliver” crowds for rallies and party congresses. Indeed, most parties treat their members with disdain and utter disrespect. We all recall the time in 2005 when a party boss once declared the “People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is full of members who fraudulently obtained their party membership cards” – Tribune, 23/11/2005. These were the words of Ahmadu Ali, the then Chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party to justify the decision of the party to dismiss all its members in November 2005 and request that

they all apply for new membership. For weeks, the PDP enjoyed the distinction of being the only ruling political party in world history without a single member. Following the dismissal of all party members, a thorough process of screening was developed to ensure only the right type of people are re-admitted back into the party. Among those refused registration when they re-applied were the then Vice President of the country and numerous state governors elected under the platform of the ruling party. Currently, there is a lot of effervescence in the lives of Nigerian political parties. Many parties are undergoing serious internal rift. Other parties are trying to merge so that they emerge as a strong viable opposition. All of them would benefit greatly from showing more respect to their members. They all need to embrace internal party democracy which is the ultimate demonstration of respect to party members. The new Centre should therefore focus not only on technical issues such as how to develop issue-based manifestoes, improved internal and external communication, good political diagnostics and better campaign skills. They should also emphasise the values of better bonding and mutual respect between party leaders and members. Jibrin Ibrhaim is on LinkedIn


Letters & Opinion


Amaechi and a bodyguard; Jonathan and the scare of Juju Wale Odunsi


ometime last year, I wrote in one of my articles that one of the reasons I will always love and pledge allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria is because, no day ends without at least one hilarious situation going on record. Whether in the creeks of the NigerDelta; a hut in the violence-ridden North-Eastern region; the jungles of the South-West or suburbs within Igbo land, a rib-cracking situation occurs hourly. It comes as no surprise; the ever-fortitudinous citizenry have adapted to the harsh reality of existence and as such, they just live life. Oh yeah, we are actually the happiest people on the globe despite our challenges; Good people, Great Nation! Initially, I didn’t see the entertainment in the latest headline-grabber which played out within the walls of highly fortified and expansive Presidential Villa, so I went to bed that night with the memory of a witty spectacle I witnessed forenoon. Two commuters – a man in mid-forties and a lady in early-twenties – had engaged in a quarrel following allegations by the alluring lassie that the fellow fondled her breasts while struggling to board the already packed high capacity bus, commonly called El-rufai (He introduced the fleet during his tenure as FCT Minster). It was a funny scene really; other

passengers and person of Rivers I burst into helmsman, peals of laughter Rotimi as the strangers Amaechi and ceaselessly his supporting Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, hurled insults at colleagues text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written each other. For attends a dinner contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters those familiar called by our with the city, dear President - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your do a quick Goodluck name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be calculation of Jonathan. He addressed to: the time it takes takes his seat, a slow moving subsequently ‘El-rufai’ to arises, and makes The Editor, get to Setraco his way to where Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, bus stop (the the Oga at the 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. defendant’s Top is seated destination) in company of Email: from Kubwa Madam President SMS: 08134607052 Second-Gate. of Malawi, Joyce Taking into Banda and as account the well as Liberian counterpart, Hellen Johnson and visioner, Bala Mohammed, stops in between, you’d say twelve, Sirleaf. has put us. A man who chose to may be fifteen minutes right? Trust As the People’s Democratic punish Abujarians for being poor, me, the argument was that long. Party rebel, who is on suspension restricted the operations of miniThe above is just one of reached seconds away from buses (Araba in local parlance) the many squabbles residents Mr. Jonathan, a stern-looking and substituted with a miserable currently face under the latest Presidential Bodyguard blocks 400 high-capacity, when least transport policy. These days in him with his huge chest. “I’m required is 1000. On my radar, the territory where the Seat of sorry sir, can’t let you pass” he Bala is reportedly on the verge of Power is situated, women usually said, a pronouncement that leads ordering cabs out of motorways don’t mind “accidental touch” to a round of dilly-dally the BG this July. Sigh. ‘God dey’, like the on the chest while men care less eventually won. common man says. about their shirts getting torn; However, I deduced a comic Apologies I digressed and so long they don’t get robbed by from that encounter; what if the back to the matter. So I woke up bandits who now take advantage President was scared that Amaechi the morning after the fondling of the new order. The bad guys might have some portion of Juju incident to the vivid imagination simply pose as commercial (Voodoo) with him? Probably of the Aso Rock imbroglio. It goes vehicle owners, dispossess you of rubbed on his palm, or swallowed belongings and speed off. Lobatan! thus: On the nightfall of May 26 or laced on his eye lashes, same 2013, a stubborn governor in the This is the level an astute thinker


This British ‘Pay As You Go’ Dele Agekameh The world has become a global village where all impediments to free movements should be done away with. Certainly, erecting new barriers to free movement is certainly out of the issue for now


he news was like a bolt from the blue. It was shocking, surprising and amusing as well. I mean the proposed £3,000 deposit by immigrants intending to enter Britain as from November this year. Immigrants of five countries – Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – have been singled out for this unfriendly treatment. Yet, these are members of the so-called Commonwealth countries that the British is so proud to sing about. In history, we learnt that the Commonwealth was an empire where the sun never set, a figurative expression to describe an empire that was adjudged to be the biggest in the universe, stretching North, East, West and South of the pole. Today, though the spirit of the Commonwealth is still very much alive, the principles behind it have been tinkered with again and again to the point that it has almost completely been obliterated. Now, it will cost a new immigrant from Nigeria a fortune, at least, more than a million naira to venture to England. I remember in the ’70s when Nigeria’s currency was at par with the dollar, it cost just a few naira to get on board an aircraft and jet to England and back. If I am not mistaken, it was about N180. With your Basic Travelling Allowance, BTA, and others, you might only need less

than N1000 to get to UK and back for holidays. Today, the story is different. You probably need to sell your child into slavery before you can raise the required money to undertake a trip to either Britain or the United States, the preferred destinations for most Nigerians. This is why one is not amazed at the flurry of criticism and resentment that has greeted this proposal. Olugbenga Ashiru, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, has been at the forefront of this groundswell of opposition to a policy considered discriminatory and obnoxious. Ashiru, who has proved to be a round peg in a round hole ever since he came on board a few years ago, has been doing everything to convey the message of the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people to the British government. He has been prompt and decisive. The other day, Ashiru summoned Andrew Pocock, the British High Commissioner in the country, to acquaint him with the government’s indignation and exasperation against a policy which is considered highly inimical to the interest of Nigeria. While this was going on, notable leaders of the National Assembly have been spitting fire and brimstone to the effect that Nigeria will reciprocate in a similar gesture if the British should go ahead to implement the unfriendly policy. That, in itself, will be a recourse to the Mosaic law, which says “a tooth for a tooth” or tit for tat, whichever is appropriate. On the day the news made headlines in the Nigerian Press, a group of well-meaning Nigerians were almost cut off in the hullabaloo that followed. The

Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, EO, Chapter in Nigeria, was to have a three-day training programme for both the old and new members who were recently successful in the interview conducted for them about a fortnight ago in Lagos. The three-day training was for the new intakes who would undergo what is called Forum Training, which is a cardinal operational part of the EO. As a new member, you are expected to belong to a “Forum”, which is the core of EO. That training took place at Protea Hotel, GRA, Lagos, on Thursday, June 27, 2013 from 8:00am till 5:00pm. The following day was Moderator Training, which is meant for those who intend to be moderators at various Forums. While the third day, Saturday, June 29, was reserved for Strategy Training for the Board members. All with the same time duration, that is, 8a.m till 5p.m on each day. Julia Lankraehr, a globallycertified trainer by EO Global, was to fly in from London on Wednesday, June 26, to undertake the series of training. When she applied for entry visa, she put business as her reason for travelling to Nigeria. Then the Nigerian High Commission requested her to get a work permit to enable it to grant her a visa even though she was going to be in the country for only five days. It took a sleepless night on Monday, June 24, with officials in Nigeria making frantic calls to the High Commission in London before the matter was resolved on Tuesday, June 25. Who knows what would have happened if this crude policy had been in operation? The EO is a global organization that has its headquarters in Virginia, United States of America. It was

founded in 1987 by some group of entrepreneurs who thought they needed a common ground and platform to discuss intimate issues concerning their businesses, family lives and other personal issues that could keep individuals endlessly awake at night. Today, the EO parades well over 9,300 members scattered all over 146 chapters in 46 countries of the world. They are everywhere. The Nigeria chapter was inaugurated in Lagos on October 4, 2012. Last year, the Nigeria Chapter of the EO was to attend an event hosted by EO, Cape Town, but all the delegates were denied visas in spite of the fact that all their papers, including hotel bookings, were intact. It was at the height of the diplomatic row between South Africa and Nigeria early last year. The humiliation suffered at the embassy was so much and time-wasting that I vowed never to submit any application for South African visa anymore in my life. Though I had several multiple entry visas to many countries on my passport, I paraded the place with others for more than three months before our empty passports were grudgingly returned to us without any convincing explanation. The most annoying thing there was that one could see some people whose means of livelihood or reason for travelling to South Africa could not be easily ascertained coming in and taking the visa. It was a terrible experience that I don’t find funny to relate to anyone. Even if you go to the embassy, you could be kept there for hours before you are asked to return another day. All for nothing in the end. I am sure if the proposal of

way our women apply mascara. I may be wrong though but hey, we cannot rule out that possibility. As a Yoruba, a number of our people still believe in voodoo, including some of those that claim they no longer indulge in traditional things due to modern day religious beliefs. The 2015 general election is less than two years and no one should blame Mr. Jonathan for being careful. According to his Political Adviser, Ahmed Gulak, Ameachi was prevented from advancing further to forestall breach of security. “The President was already on his seat. It would have been a breach of protocol and security for any security person to allow the governor access to the President. Such a security person would have been sanctioned if he had done that.” Although I take his explanation with a pinch of salt knowing full well recent circumstances, his defense was the best available. Well, protocol or coltopro, our leaders should for goodness’ sake bury the hatchet and work for the overall good of the country. Failure to do this will only worsen the present state of development which is still far from the promised “Promise Land”; still far from the “Breathe of Fresh Air” and certainly still far from the “Transformation” millions of the electorate desired. Wale Odunsi is reachable via £3,000 was still being debated in Britain, by now, David Cameron and his people should know that dire consequences await them if they go ahead with this discriminatory policy which is capable of destroying the umbilical cord of the Commonwealth family. I am not saying that Britain should throw its doors open to every Dick and Harry, but then imposing such a draconian policy will only paint the country in a bad light as far as civilisation, decency and decorum are concerned. It is the inalienable right of man that all individuals should be treated with some modicum of dignity, the colour pigmentation notwithstanding. It is apparent that the Britons alone cannot live in Britain. Other races must come and go. Forget that some citizens of other countries come into Britain and do menial jobs, if and when available. Britons also go to other countries to do jobs that the indigenous people could have done. After all, why do other citizens travel to other countries? Even the five countries mentioned in the new policy, you have Britons there. Why do they go there to do business rather than stay back in their country and get rotten? I have been to practically all the affected countries and there is no one where there are no Britons in their large numbers in spite of some of the atrocities these colonialists committed against the people in the past. The world has become a global village where all impediments to free movement should be done away with. Certainly, erecting new barriers to free movement is certainly out of the issue for now. Therefore, I will suggest that Britain should find a better and decent way to deal with her perceived immigration problems rather than stir up a hornets’ nest. Dele Agekameh is on LinkedIn




Africa’s disastrous existential philosophy By Abimbola Lagunju


he history and the present state of contemporary Africa and the apparent quagmire that Sub-Sahara Africa has found itself in, in terms of political and social orientation, development and occupying a dignified place among the comity of nations confound the observer and present a challenge to those who honestly believe in the potentials of its un-harnessed unified capacity to improve the conditions of lives of its people and to contribute to world development. Despite its historical claims to being the birthplace of the human race, Africa in the twenty-first century is still confined to and kept at basic survival levels more than five million years after the first African added reason and logic to instinct. Why is Africa still grappling with survival, when others on the same planet, having taken this level for given are focusing and working untiringly on improving the quality of their existence? Where does the problem lie? Who is to blame? The primary duty of the collective, under any pretext connoting an organized entity lies in enhancing the chances of its own survival by drawing on the collective effort and resources to provide conducive environment for individual survival. Survival thus becomes a crucial social responsibility of the collective towards individual members. In this situation, the individual, unhampered by inconsequential trivialities of life, feels free to harness his creative resources towards improving the quality of his existence and by extension, the quality of existence of the collective. In Africa, it appears that the

reverse is the case. The struggle for survival appears to have been left on the shoulders of the common man in a socio-political environment that does not only limit possibilities, but is also inherently hostile to potentials. The role of the state becomes an ethereal mystery only decipherable by god-politicians while the existence of government in its present form actively counteracts and subjugates the aspirations of the common man. This noxious cloud that hangs over the most basic needs of the African reduces any discussion (by African politicians and their foreign masters) of improvement of quality of life to a puerile daydream in a self-deluding trance of nebulous political discourse. The question of an African contribution to world development on equal platform with other nations, not as individuals in the service of different institutions of the world or as unconnected independent individuals, becomes distant particles of a dream unintelligible to the visionary eyes of the most politically progressive of telescopes. Africa has to move unaided from basic survival stages in order to give any relevance to its intention of contribution to world development. It does not suffice to romanticize the role of individual Africans who have excelled in different aspects of human endeavor or the forced, despicable contribution of slavery to the industrial revolution in Europe and North America as African contribution to world development. It is the unified contribution of Africa as a continent of diverse peoples and resources, making a mark predicated on its experience, its context and in its own manner,

as per universally acceptable parameters that would liberate Black Africa from prejudices. That Africa has what it takes in terms of its abundant human and natural resources, the bedrocks of any cultural, industrial and technological revolution, is not in doubt even in the mind of the most cynical critic. Africa is not however known in the world to have harnessed any of these resources to the betterment of the conditions of its citizens and the world at large, rather it is known as a compliant profligate source of its human and natural resources. The ease with which Africa parts willfully with its resources or is manipulated into doing so informs the view and the behavior of others towards African resources. African resources have taken the hue of god-given gifts, which should either not be paid for or underpaid for. From cotton prices to African footballers’ fees in Europe, the underlying concept has been the same since the first contact of the African with the foreigner. These gifts, either offered willingly by the African, or spiraled away under manipulation or in some cases by bullying have informed the nature of the relationship of foreigners with Africans. Unlike the African, foreigners recognize the importance of the enormous human and natural resources available in Africa as crucial in their march away from survival level to quality level. Winston Churchill, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, lent credence to this view when he said “the safety of the North and its industries is contingent on how it is able to control or manipulate the raw material base which is in … Africa particularly” (Tariff Reform

– Winston Churchill’s Address to Textile Workers. Lancashire, 1909.) The continent, still unsure of the potentials of these resources and not having any social, technical or even political infrastructure in place to put them to use, has taken the easy route of asking the beneficiaries of its profligacy for all forms of assistance – assistance in finished products and fractions of GDP. As a chosen or imposed policy Africa seems to have sentenced itself to a beggarly status, an inveterate recipient of aid, with all the attending contempt. The direct consequence of this is a near irreversible damage to the psyche and dignity of the African. Yoweri Museveni, Ugandan president, at the African Union Conference titled “Africa in the 21st Century: Integration and Renaissance”, held in Dakar in October 2004 confessed that “aid has failed to transform Africa. Whatever aid Africa received since independence has been wiped out several times over by the losses we have suffered in trade. The greatest subversion to Africa’s development has been …the protectionism in EU, Canada, USA and Japan”. One is inclined to ask from the point of view of a common man and at the risk of unleashing the fury of pundits, both local and international that if the words of Mr. Museveni were true, (which I believe they are), why then do African leaders continue to solicit and to accept unsolicited aid, being conscious of its nefarious effects on Africa? Why have they actively participated in making aid a major industry in Africa? Why have they consciously allowed aid to transform into potent instruments of manipulation as was the case with mirrors, guns, trinkets and alcoholic drinks during the slavery period? African history

appears to be going round in circles. The age-old vulnerability of the trusting African is still the same, only the price with which he sells changes with times. Arrogant Western ideology and restless social activism have however taught African leaders that there is a duality to manhood. It has become acceptable and fashionable for an African leader to lament his failures in the international arena. He attributes these failures to someone else’s making and plays the helpless victim to get some morsels from his Western superiors. And back at home he uses these morsels or concessions to exercise “manliness” through outright oppression of his people. He plays the Almighty at home and Lazarus once outside his own shores. Henry Kissinger, the former American Secretary of State in his book, “Does America Need a Foreign Policy” declared that it is only the “moral commitment of the American people and the international community” that could save Africa which he described as “the festering disaster of our age”. Mr. Tony Blair, the British Prime minister in Davos, Switzerland and on numerous other occasions declared Africa to be a “scar” on the conscience of the world in need of major plastic surgery of debt relief and more aid. In order to soothe the festering wound or conduct a keloid-inducing plastic surgery on the scar, Mr. Blair’s Commission for Africa Report released in March 2005 recommended that “….the developed world must increase and improve its aid……” For how long Africa? Abimbola Lagunju can be reached via abimbola.

State Police: The poverty of vision at NASS By Jiti Ogunye


ecently, the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ekeremadu submitted its Report to the Senate. In the Report, the Committee recommended that the Constitution, which, aberrantly, was promulgated into law by the General Abdusalami Abubakar Federal Military Government under Decree No.24 of May 5,1999, be further amended. The Constitution, previously, has been amended (altered ) three times, and these amendments are labeled first, second and third alterations. The National Assembly have rejected all suggestions that a sovereign national conference be convoked to discuss, write and agree on a new constitution for Nigeria, a constitution, which must be ratified in a popular referendum, to pass the test of legitimacy. Instead, the National Assembly has, thus far, embarked on an endless, time consuming and money-guzzling “panel-beating” of the congenitally flawed military decree being operated as the constitution.

The news media reported that in the Senate Committee’s Report, prisons, railways, stamp duties and wages are recommended to be removed from the Exclusive Legislative List, which contains items over which the National Assembly (or the Federal Government) has exclusive legislative authority, and put in the Concurrent Legislative List in the Constitution. This implies that if the Report is accepted by the Senate, and later the House of Representatives, and the requisite number of concurring or approving votes of the Houses of Assembly of the States are secured, the Constitution may be further amended (for the fourth time), and thus, both the Federal Government and State Governments will be able to separately run their prisons. States may also be empowered to operate intra state and inter-state railways, and disparately fix intrastate wages ( something to worry about, because of its implication for the national minimum wage, fixed under the National Minimum Wage Act). Under the prevailing situation, no State Government can establish a police force or operate a prison and no state legislature can enact any law on police or prison, police and prison being listed as item

45 and 48, respectively, on the Exclusive Legislative List. We have publicly posited that Nigeria’s Federalism is fake. It is an adulteration. It is false to label a unitary state a federal state. If Nigeria were to be practicing true federalism, every State in the Federation will not only have a state government, state legislature, state judiciary, but also a state police and a state prison service. Further, every Local Government in a State will have a police service and a prison. In the United States, you have Federal, State and County Prisons. And Federal, State and County Police. That is Federalism. In Nigeria, however, we have a distortion. We have three layers of government in Nigeria: Federal State and Local. The three layers, ideally, must have their respective law enforcement machineries and penal or prison systems, since lawenforcement is an intrinsic feature of governance. “State governments and local governments” without state police” and “local government area police”, are, therefore, an aberration. A government, without a law enforcement machinery is not a government, properly so called. It is ridiculous to have federal offences tried by a Federal High Court, state offences tried by a State High Court and local offences

that are tried by magistrate and customary courts, and yet have one centralized police system and one centralized prison system. The criminal law in breach of which a person may be arrested, investigated, detained, arraigned, tried and convicted and sent to prison or sentenced to death is a shared legislative responsibility of both the Federal and State Governments. For example, murder, kidnapping, stealing, and rape are state crimes ( that is criminal offences defined in, and punished by the criminal code laws or penal codes of the States in the “Nigerian Federation”). Terrorism and Treason are Federal Offences (that is criminal offences defined in and punished by the Criminal Code Act or Penal Code Act of the “Nigerian Federation”, and designated as federal offences therein; or defined in and punished by any other federal criminal legislation ( an Act of the National Assembly). What we have now is lumping together of both federal offenders and state offenders at the crime apprehension, investigation and prevention stage; and at the imprisonment or criminal judgment enforcement stage. If a criminal complainant or suspect writes a petition to the

Inspector-General of Police alleging bias, cover-up, corruption or lack of professionalism in the investigation of a criminal matter being handled by a State Police Command, the matter, under investigation, is transferred to Abuja, many times, along with criminal suspects. Other times, the Force Headquarters CID invites suspects to report in Abuja. Land disputes and chieftaincy matters with elements of violence, and homicide cases are transferred to Abuja - all in the name of conducting investigations. And suspects, their relatives and attorneys and complainants and witnesses start incurring huge boarding and lodging expenses. Not to talk of the pain of securing bail for detainees; bail, which the Police, in self-deceit, proclaims is free. We are amazed that the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the Constitution failed to realize that the grounds for proposing the re-federalization of prisons are also the same grounds for recommending the re-federalization of the Police, and even the Judiciary. Can they quickly make amends in the spirit of this constitution amendment exercise? Jiti Ogunye, a constitutional lawyer, writes from lagos.



Bwari council to get licenced refuse collectors B

wari Area Council of FCT will soon enjoy the services of licenced refuse collectors to curb indiscriminate dumping of refuse by scavengers to secure the environment in the area. Mr Haruna Labaran, the Head of Environmental Department in the council, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bwari on Wednesday. He said that the activities of

scavengers in the area had become worrisome to the environmental department of the council. Labaran expressed optimism that the licenced refuse collectors would ease the job of the department and ensure a healthy environment for the people. He said that the licenced refuse collectors would have to go from one house to another while every landlord would pay for the refuse

collected from his house. Labaran said that the charges would vary from residential buildings of different sizes to commercial outlets. He, however, said that the charge rate by the licenced refuse collectors would be determined by the FCT administration in a memorandum of understanding to be signed soon. The head of environmental department said that six licenced

An elderly man entertaining guests with his local trumpet at a public function in Abuja.

refuse collectors would render services in Kubwa because of the size of the area. He said that the services would also extend to Dutse, Dawaki and Bwari so as to keep the environment tidy in the area. Labaran warned that any house or business premises that failed to cooperate with the licenced refuse collectors would be sanctioned. (NAN)

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Metro NOA urges FCT women, others to be involved in politics By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, has urged Nigerian women to be more involved in politics, if the country’s democracy is to meet their governance needs. Omeri gave the charge at a one-day roundtable on Promoting Women Political Empowerment, Peace and Security organised by the agency in Karu, FCT. According to him, if Nigeria’s democratic system must speedily evolve into an efficient tool for meeting the governance needs of the people, Nigerian women should neither be excluded nor neglected. Omeri said that the country desired more active involvement of women at the three levels of governance as the country marched towards the 2015 general elections. He called on women to take a bold step and surmount all obstacles standing against their emergence as key leaders at all levels of the democratic process and governance. Omeri attributed the dismal performance of women in politics to their apathy to political party involvement, the socialisation process, as well as customs and traditions that restricted women to private domain. He identified other limiting factors as lack of internal democracy in political parties, monetisation of politics, zoning and administrative fiats. ``Register as members of any political party of your choice in order to have legitimacy to neutralise negative perceptions against female politicians, add quality to governance and enhance opportunity for party patronage and benefits,” Omeri said.

Nyanya residents to get free health service soon By Adeola Tukuru


he Graceville Christian Centre, Abuja will in November this year organise a free health medical check for residents of Nyanya, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The Health Mission that will be free for all categories of persons in the area is expected to cost the Church about N3.5 Million. The Senior Pastor of the Church, Pastor Tunde Ayeni who spoke with journalists in Abuja on the free health mission and other activities lined up for the second Anniversary of the Church scheduled for the 14th of July in the Abuja Headquarters said foreign medical personnel will be invited to attend to willing residents during the medical show. Speaking on the second anniversary of the Church with

the theme, “Grace to Grace”, Pastor Ayeni said with the story of the story which started from a sitting room to its present edifice in Maitama Area of the city now, it is purely a story of “Grace to Grace” He said various artists such as Samsong, Asu Ekiye, Solomon Lange among others will be on ground during the anniversary to entertain the congregation and other invited guests. Pastor Ayeni added that the church intends to embark on its Church building project and open more branches within Abuja and other states of the Federation. Speaking on plans to also set up a State of the Art Studio in the Church, the Senior Pastor said the Studio that will help to give young artistes opportunities to record their works at cheaper rates said the studio will be

equipped with gadgets that will make recordings very convenient. “Apart from engaging the youths, the church from time to time spend Millions of Naira in catering for the poor in the society, “we give food items to

the needy, we pay rents, school fees, recently, the church paid One thousand Dollars into the account of a foreign student in Malaysia to complete his studies” On security in Churches, Pastor Ayeni said community

Policing should be more encouraged as it has been seen to have worked well everywhere in the world. He said Children should be taught to be more observant and they should be enlightened on the benefits of security.

UniAbuja College of Medicine set to take off


he Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja declared that all is now set for the take-off of the College of Medicine of the University of Abuja. Chairman of the Council’s Accreditation Committee, Prof. Frank Akpuaka, announced this after inspecting the facilities of the College of Health Sciences of the institution. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the committee was set up to

ensure that the university put in place all facilities required for running a medical college. ``In the next few weeks, action will shift to this place. It is our hope that with what we have seen today, that will be possible. Akpuaka, however, said there were some outstanding responsibilities to be settled by the university, but expressed optimism that those issues would be resolved in few weeks. ``If you are a teaching hospital, you must graduate

students, so there are responsibilities,” he said. He called on the university to provide the remaining requirements such as the building a clinical hostel within the hospital premises and the provision of standard offices for the academic staff. The don listed other requirements as a college block and employment of adequate academic staff. He advised the lecturers to start writing their lecture schedules (NAN).



Perfumes, body sprays not known to cause cancer, says dermatologist


dermatologist with the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Olanrewaju Falodun , yesterday said that body sprays and perfumes had not been proven to cause cancer. Falodun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was, however, possible for an individual to have an allergic reaction to a particular perfume or body spray. He advised people who had allergic tendencies or asthma to avoid the use of perfumes and body sprays to avoid any form of reaction. (NAN)

E-payment has blocked leakages of revenue in FCTA

300 TB patients access treatment at Gwagwalada Town Clinic By Adeola Tukuru with agency news


wagwalada Township Clinic says it is offering free tuberculosis (TB) treatment to more than 300 patients in the area. The Coordinator, TB/Leprosy Control Programme of the clinic, Mr Umar Bako, said TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, which mostly affects the lungs and could also affect any organ in the body. Bako said that TB prevalence in the area was on the increase due to HIV and AIDS prevalence rate, adding that most people living with HIV were prone to TB. He also bemoaned lack of space

for effective management of the TB patients in the clinic, adding that the clinic does not admit TB patients because the facility was too small. ``HIV and AIDS as well as Tuberculosis patients access their services in the same unit. ``It’s on the increase, you know with the HIV prevalence rate, and you know TB and HIV; they are working hand in hand. ``Before, TB was almost on the decrease, but with the coming of HIV the prevalence rate has gone high, of course, very high. ``In Gwagwalada , at the end of every year, we used to have more than 300 plus; for this last quarter and this quarter, we are almost getting to 300; almost

every day we get patient, at least, one or two. ``We have some defaulters; there are a lot of them that they don’t even care to come to the clinic and it’s a great danger to the community and even to the whole people living in that community and even in the whole Gwagwalada Area Council, including Abuja as a whole because they will infect other people.’’ “It is a problem when they don’t come to take their drugs, and there are a lot of people like that, so it’s one of the challenges that we have currently; and also in terms of space, we don’t have much space for treatment; like here where we have our TB unit

By Adeola Tukuru


he Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed has affirmed that the e-payment has blocked leakages of revenue coming into the coffers of the FCT Administration. Senator Mohammed emphasized that the cashless policy will surely remediate and rehabilitate the ills of the society thereby boost economic and social activities in the country. He however called for very serious and aggressive enlightenment to ensure that common man is well educated to derive the utmost benefits, which the new policy promises to reduce especially, crimes like robbery and kidnapping. The Minister thus appealed to the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria to assist the FCT Administration build capacity to bring about perfection of the new policy. While expressing his support for the new policy, Senator Mohammed said that such assistance should be in a form of training and orientation. It would be recalled that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had preached the gospel of cashless Nigeria that is expected to take off in FCT by July 1, 2013. The Governor reiterated that the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced the policy to modernize Nigerian economy in tune with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

A young girl hawking groundnut along Utako market, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-owo

in this township clinic. “The office is just small, we have HIV people there and we have TB people in the same place and they come to take their drugs and other services.’’ He solicited the support of government to enable them reach out to the patients in their communities, adding that `` some patients do not attend clinic due to lack of support”. Bako said that the clinic also enlisted the services of community leaders to educate their people on the dangers of the disease, adding that the TB unit also partner with some NGOs to create more awareness among communities on the early signs of the disease and its treatment. According to him, there are two types of TB; the extra pulmonary and the pulmonary TB. He said extra pulmonary TB affected any part of the body such as the bone, skin and the brain, while pulmonary TB affected mostly the lungs. ``Because lung TB is productive; one can cough it out and when that is the case, someone may inhale it through dust. ``The person will start to have symptoms of TB, especially if the immune system of the person is not strong.” Bako said that the major sign of TB was cough; sometimes with blood, sneeze, chest pain and fever among others, adding that these signs might last for more than two weeks. He, therefore, advised people to go for TB screening for ensure early detection and management of the disease, adding that those already on treatment should endeavour to adhere to the treatment course to avoid drug resistance. He said that the treatment for TB was for six months, noting that patients who adhere to the complete treatment could be completely cured.

Artificial milk exposes pre-mature babies to infections - Paediatrician


Paediatrician with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Dr Mamman Ibrahim has advised that premature babies should not be given artificial milk at the initial stage after birth. Ibrahim told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that starting infants with artificial milk exposed them to infections like necrotising enterocolitis. The Online Library of Science says necrotising enterocolitis occurs when the

lining of the intestinal wall dies and the tissue falls off. ``Breast milk is easily digestible than any other thing for babies, and because their gout is not fully mature you do not want to be giving them extra thing, if you start by giving them artificial milk there are some holes in the intestines, we call it pose. ``The artificial milk tends to opens it up, it opens a barrier up for infection, and then with artificial milk you tend to have high incidence of diarrhea and a lot of infections.

``like pre mature babies now if you start by giving them artificial milk before breast milk they stand the risk of developing what we call necrotizing enterocolitis which is not good. ``Breastfeeding should be exclusive and when we mean exclusive, we mean six months of breast milk only, no water, nothing else. ``Some mother can say that it’s an impossible tasks, when you breastfeed your child you delete the incidence of infections like bronchulatis

and then with breast milk you tend to pass anti body down from the mother to the baby.’’ Ibrahim said it was hard for infants between zero and six months of age, who were exclusively breastfed to come down with malaria. He said after breastfeeding a child, mothers should rub the baby’s back until the baby belched. He also advised that when putting the baby to sleep, it should be sideways, to avoid the baby vomiting the milk and choking on it. (NAN)




Foreigner jailed for causing grievous hurt


Karu Chief Magistrates Court in FCT on Wednesday sentenced a Nigerien, Abdul Alhassan to three weeks imprisonment for injuring one Sule Usman. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Hadiza Dodo, sentenced Alhassan after he pleaded guilty to the onecount charge of causing grievous hurt on Usman. Dodo, however, gave Alhassan an option to pay a fine of N5,000 but added that if he failed to pay he should spend an extra three weeks in prison. Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Abiola Oyewusi, told the court that the convict had a misunderstanding with Usman on June 11, which led to a fight and in the process, he used a sharp object to stab him. He said the convict’s actions caused serious injuries on Usman and was admitted at the Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital for treatment. The prosecutor said that the convict confessed to have carried out the act out of frustration adding that the police also recovered the knife used in stabbing Usman. He said the offence is contrary to section 241 of the Penal Code.(NAN

Taxi drivers arraigned for allegedly defrauding female passenger of N220,000


he police on Wednesday arraigned two taxi drivers, Dogo-Dogo Ibrahim, 28, and Friday Eke,39, at a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates Court for allegedly defrauding a female passenger of N220,000. The prosecutor, Mr Abdullahi Adamu, told the court that one Felicia Kumba of Dutse Alhaji, Abuja reported the matter at the Wuse Police Station on June 28. Adamu said the accused persons and others now at large, connived and tricked Kumba into giving them N220,000 on June 19, with a promise to make it double for her. He said the offence contravened sections 79 and 322 of the Penal Code. The section provides three years imprisonment or a fine or be punished with both. The prosecutor prayed the court to remand the accused in prison to enable the police to carry out more investigations into the matter. The Magistrate, Mr Abdullaziz Anka, ordered the accused to be remanded in prison until July 10 when the matter comes up for hearing. (NAN)

You can’t cheat nature; a middle-aged man taking a nap, yesterday in Nyanya.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Woman remanded in prison for receiving 4-months-old stolen baby


n Abuja Chief Magistrates Court on Wednesday ordered one Christiana Zaka to be remanded in police custody for allegedly receiving a four months old baby, stolen from the Evangelical Reform Church of Christ (ERCC) Kado, Abuja. Zaka, 43, of Auta Balaifi Village in Nassarawa State, is standing trial on a one-count charge of receiving a stolen child before Chief Magistrate Fati Tafida. The chief magistrate ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody for 15 days to enable the police complete investigations. Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Philip Apollos told the court that the accused was arraigned on alleged theft of a

four month old baby at the E.R.C.C. Kado village, on June 30. Apollos said the baby was stolen by one Julie Markus of Angwan Cement, Life Camp Abuja, and taken to the accused’s shop at Auta Balaifi Village in Nassarawa State. He said Mr Obadiah Idi of Kado Village, reported the matter to the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja, on June 30. The prosecutor said while the complainant was in Church with his family, one Julie Markus deceived his eleven year-old daughter Rebecca Obadiah who was holding the baby and ran way with the child to an unknown destination. He said that during police investigation the accused confessed to

the crime. Zaka however pleaded not guilty to the charges in court and the prosecutor asked for a date that would enable the police to conduct thorough investigation into the matter. Counsel to the accused, Kenneth Omorogbe, prayed the court to grant his client bail citing Section 341(2), 341(3) and 129 of the Criminal Procedure Code. According to Omorogbe the accused will not prejudice investigation if granted bail. He said his client would not jump bail, nor obstruct the course of justice and would fulfil all conditions set by the court. Omorogbe said that the accused would not commit any offence

or similar offence if granted bail, adding that his client had no previous criminal record. Prosecutor Apollos objected to the request for bail, saying the offence is a serious one and is becoming very rampant in the society. He further argued that the accused would jeopardise investigations into the case. Counsel to the accused countered the arguments of the prosecution, citing Section 36(5) of the constitution which said anybody charged with an offence is assumed innocent until proven guilty by the Court. Tafida, adjourned the matter till July 22, 2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

Police arraign man for alleged N40, 000 theft


he police on Wednesday arraigned a 30-year-old man, Obinna Okoye, before a Karu Senior Magistrates Court, FCT, for allegedly stealing N40,000 from his employer. Police prosecutor, Cpl. Umar Mohammed, told the court that Peter Ikeson, the accused person’s employer, reported the matter at the Karu Police Station on May 13. Mohammed alleged that the

accused person stole the money from the complainant’s car after using a master key to gain access to the vehicle. He said Ikeson had parked the car outside a shopping mall and went inside to buy some goods. The prosecutor said that on Ikeson’s return from the mall, he discovered that his car door was open and that N40,000 had been removed from it.

He said that when Ikeson enquired from people around, a woman told him she saw the accused open the car and picked something which she could not identify. Mohammed stated that the accused person was apprehended and handed over to the police for investigation. The accused is facing a one count of theft under section 288 of the Penal Code.

It carries a maximum of seven years imprisonment with an option of fine or both. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Bashir Alkali granted him bail in the sum of N50,000 and two reliable sureties in like sum who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. The case was adjourned till July 7, 2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

Accountant, 32, in court for allegedly issuing a dud cheque


he police on Wednesday arraigned a 32-year-old accountant, George Adeniyi, before the Wuse Zone 2 Chief Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly issuing a dud cheque. The police prosecutor, Cpl Francis Tanko, told the court that on June 24, Ihearindueme Charles of Banex Plaza, Abuja, reported the matter at the Wuse Zone 3 Police Station. He said that Adeniyi resides at

No. 17, Mopol Quarters, Mararaba, Nasarawa State. Tanko said the accused deceived and fraudulently collected the sum of N140, 000 from Charles under the pretence of procuring a tax clearance certificate for him. ``Instead of procuring the certificate for Charles from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Abuja, the accused dishonestly converted the money to his personal use.

``The accused later issued a Guarantee Trust Bank cheque No. 43658314 in the sum of N140, 000 to Charles,’’ Tanko said, adding that on presenting the cheque at the bank, it was marked and treated as a dud cheque. The accused pleaded not guilty. The counsel to the accused, Mr Chigozie Onah, applied for bail for his client, saying that he would not jeopardise investigation into the

matter. He said his client would be available for his trial and would also produce a reasonable surety. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Usman Shuaibu, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 and a reasonable surety in like sum. He said the surety must be a civil servant of not below Grade Level 10, and adjourned the case to July 31 for hearing. (NAN)




Chinese taking over Nigerian businesses- MAN From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


anufacturers, under the aegis of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) yesterday said the incursion of Chinese into distributive business activities is gradually taking businesses out of the hands of Nigerians. Speaking at the 41st annual general meeting (AGM) of the

association in Lagos, MAN President, Chief Kola Jamodu described as a worrisome development the incursion of Chinese into small-vendor businesses such as retail trading, textile , electronic among others. MAN also expressed worry over Chinese are faking carried out in the process of importing their wares. “While we appreciate Chinese

investment in the country, we don’t think they should be allowed to venture into distributive trade; we therefore urge the Federal Government to look into this situation,” Jamodu said. Speaking on other challenges facing the real sector, Jamodu said Nigeria faces a significant infrastructure gap which is a major bottleneck to the

L-R: Director-General, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh, new President, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Dr. Abdu ndanusa, and Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, at the investiture of Ndanusa as the 24th President of ICSAN in Abuja. Photo: NAN

FG to sign-off N480bn Chinese loans

By Stanley Onyekwere


resident Goodluck Jonathan will travel to China next week to sign-off on $3 billion (N480 billion)in Chinese loans to build infrastructure in the country, Coordinating Minister of the economy and finance stated on Wednesday. The agreed loans will come from the Chinese government and will be based on interest rates of less than 3 percent over a 15-20 year period, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala said. According to Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Nigeria needs $10 billion a year of investment to improve infrastructure like roads and electricity to keep up with a rapidly growing population of almost 170 million, and to sustain economic growth at around 6-7 percent. “We know that China fuelled its growth by really keeping one step ahead in terms of infrastructure … we need roads, we need power, we need help on aviation, agriculture,” Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters news agency at the Presidential Villa in

Abuja. The loans are part of a $7.9 billion external borrowing plan approved by the National Assembly last year as government seeks to up cheaper external borrowing and limit domestic debt. Okonjo-Iweala said the delegation travelling to China on July 7 would also be discussing China’s interest in oil from Nigeria, an OPEC member and Africa’s top producer. “They want more oil and gas … we have something they want now and they have something we want, so you have grounds for negotiations,” Okonjo-Iweala said. China has already made a string of loans to Nigeria in the past few years, some of which includes $500 million to build airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano; and over $700 million to build a hydroelectric power plant in Niger State. It also includes $600 million to build a light railway in the capital Abuja, most of which has already been invested on a project due to

be completed early next year. Lending at below market rates to fund infrastructure projects using Chinese firms has enabled Beijing to cement relationships in Africa while subsidising its construction industry. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi recently warned African governments that China’s pursuit of raw materials and markets for its manufactured goods on the continent carried “a whiff of colonialism” similar to that introduced by Europeans in centuries past. But the Minister of Finance does not agree with such claim saying, “I’m not of the school that says ‘look, this is colonialism’ … We should be open to whoever wants to invest and help us finance our needs,” she said. U.S. President, Barack Obama launched a $7 billion initiative at the weekend, to help Africa with electricity shortages but this is dwarfed by the $20 million in loans China has promised the continent.

productivity of the private sector and businesses generally. “The country’s infrastructure deficit is evident in a number of areas- power port service, road network , transportation and social infrastructure. Facilities need to be accelerated” He said Nigeria requires substantial expenditure of almost $14.2 billion per annum over the next decade or about 12 per cent of the country’s GDP to close the infrastructure. “The country needs about $10.5 billion to fix Federal infrastructure alone, especially power, against the current expenditure of about $5.9 billion per year on Federal infrastructure, which is equivalent to about 5 per cent of the GDP” He said power poses a major challenge, which if successfully addressed would reduce the cost of doing business in the country drastically. He said other constraints to business includes non availability of long term funds at single digit interest rate, multiple taxation, non patronage of Made in Nigeria products, among others. Responding, President Goodluck Jonathan assured that the Road Map for the power sector reforms, highlighted by the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) is very much on course. President Jonathan, who was represented by Minster of State for Trade and Investment Dr. Samuel Ortom said priority attention has been given to the rejuvenation of generation and transmission networks with view to mordernising the nation’s power sector for optimal reliability and service. This, he said, is to bridge the infrastructural gap arising from many decades of neglect, substandard solution and endemic corruption. President Jonathan said his government has strategically injected more funds for the restoration of the old narrowgauge rail network.

Self assessment can drive growth in - Pg 21 2013

13% derivation: Oil producing communities advocates setting up of C’ttee - Pg 22

Ramadan: Prices of food items, fruits increase in Gombe - Pg 22 CBN

Exchange Rates

as at 4th July, 2013 Selling Buying












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Use social media in your next presentation


ocial media has changed how presentations work. Your audience can have conversations while you’re talking and project your words far beyond the room. It’s your job to participate in these discussions and gain people’s trust. Here’s how: Provide a channel. Create a Twitter hash tag for your presentation and invite audience members to use it to chat about your message. Encourage social-

media discussion before, during, and after your presentation; display your hash tag on an introductory slide. Ask for their input. Try presenting a partially developed idea and asking people to help you refine it through social channels. Engaging them in this way focuses their activity on contributing to your presentation, not criticising it. Source: Harvard Business Review


Biz Interview Company News

Nigerian Stock Exchange


here are indications that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may further widen the scope of its index circuit breakers to check free fall of the All-Share index. The new rule is to check the fall of the All-Share Index by as much as five per cent in a day. Circuit breakers are measures used by stock exchanges to check large sell-offs of in stocks that can trigger panic selling. The NSE currently has one circuit breaker that allows 10 per cent daily price movement (up or down) in a day by all the listed equities.

Legacy Pension Managers


egacy Pension Managers, one of the foremost Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in the country has announced an increase in its assets under management by 32.93 per cent to 120.03 billion in the financial year ended December 31, 2012. This record is against N90.3 billion recorded in 2011. The company’s also announced an increase of 24.68 per cent in its Net Profit before tax from N418.93 million in 2011 to N522.34 million 2012 while Profit after tax also grew by 24.6 per cent from N278.07 million to N346.47 million. The company also reported a growth of 15.3 per cent in enrolment figures which stood at 222,544 as at December 2012.

UBA Foundation


s part of its commitment to promoting the safe driving in Nigeria, UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc, has launched a campaign against texting and driving. The awareness campaign programme tagged, ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ was flagged off on Tuesday June 25, 2013 in Abuja with the donation of 60 Elite Pad 900 handheld tablet devices by the Foundation, for tracking and enforcing the traffic laws, to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The donation coincided with the launch of the e-ticketing initiative of the FRSC for proper tracking and management of road traffic offences.


Kebbi International Airport, a long awaited dream of Governor Sa’idu Dakingari – Hon. Uba Hon. Garba Umar Uba is two-time lawmaker representing Yauri/Shanga/Ngaski federal constituency of Kebbi from 2003-2007 and came back 2011 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He spoke to our aviation correspondent, Suleiman Idris on the importance of Kebbi Airport and other laudable achievements made by the governor. Excerpts:


ould you say the Kebbi airport’s upgrade is coming at the right time, or late? Yes; the Birnin Kebbi airstrip that is presently undergoing renovation, if I may say almost completed, by the governor His Excellency, Sa’idu Dakingari is a laudable achievement, done in order to be upgraded to international standard. It is a welcome development and a long-awaited dream of the governor and the people of Kebbi state. How will it help the people of Kebbi state in the area of economic development? There are so many ways that the airport will help the people. First, it will help the people to pick up their business and commercial activities in order to boost the already existing economy and tourism in the state. Most of the resources that are yet untapped will be harnessed and many doors will be open to investors that will want to come and transact business in the state; Indeed, the state will be a hub for all kinds of activities and the socioeconomic life of the people would be improved. When will the airport ready for commissioning? It will be commissioned very soon; like I told you the International airport when commissioned will also accelerate economic activities and thousands of jobs will be created. The state governor needs to be commended for doing all he can to complete the project this year; infact, he has turned the fortunes of the state through many laudable projects that has giving Kebbi state a new facelift. The state has been known for its tourist potential; how has it been harnessed? Birnin Kebbi, as you all know, was one of the major urban centres of Sokoto caliphate with the administrative headquarters in Gwandu before it was created

Hon. Garba Umar Uba

a state; it was a force, in terms of political and economic importance. Among the states that were created in 1991 Kebbi state is the only viable state that is known for its fishing festival (Argungu Fishing Festival), with abundant human and material resources that are yet to be fully tapped. The soil is fertile, the climate is favorable and the environment is conducive for agricultural activities. In short, a lot of people

With an international airport in place now, the state will witness the influx of people and standard hotels will be built to complement the already existing ones, in order to meet the needs of visitors

travel to Kebbi to buy crops such as onions, beans, rice, tomatoes and pepper, which is very cheap compared to other states. Apart from that, the state is blessed with some mineral resources such as Quartz in Zuru area, Potassium in Binza and Suru areas of the state, although exploitation is yet to commence on them and the governor is still maintaining the tempo, by ensuring that tourist potential are maintained; he is at the moment developing other potentials to make the state more attractive for investors to come in and invest. And it is in this view that the International airport will attract both citizens and foreigners that would want to come and harness these resources for the best interest of the state, in order to boost its tourism potentials. With an international airport in place now, the state will witness the influx of people and standard hotels will be built to complement the already existing ones, in order to meet the needs

of visitors; this will enhance development on a fast lane and improve the living condition of the people as well as link the state to other parts of the world. The airport will regenerate and stabilize the state tourist sector as well as create additional wealth to the state and also empower the people, through their local produce; items such as hand-made bag, shoes and clothes will be sold as well as provide lots of employment opportunities to the teeming youths. It is in this regard that I call on investors that would want to take advantage of the International airport to come and invest in Kebbi so that its potentials will be fully harnessed. The new airport will open room for farmers to export their farm produce to any part of the world, while also help to reduce the suffering of the indigenes who go on pilgrimage to the holy land every year.



Tax Alert

Self assessment can drive growth in 2013 By Frank Obaro


any tax jurisdictions now rely on self-assessment as the major means of tax collection; it has become a tax modern administration trend. Indeed it is now a measure of how up-to-date a tax authority is. By way of definition, it is a tax regime whereby the taxpayer is granted the right, by law, to compute his own tax liability, pays the tax due (at a designated bank, as is the case in Nigeria) and produces evidence of tax paid to the Tax Office, at the time of filing tax returns, on due date. On the part of the tax authority, it accepts the tax returns as filed, subject to completeness, and carry out audit in due course. Very much unlike an administrative assessment were the tax authority raises an assessment where a taxpayer has failed to file returns and pay taxes due on or before the due date or where there is an understatement of tax in the returns filed. With the taxpayer’s assumption of the role of assessing self, an obligation arises for the tax authority to ensure that the taxpayer understands the procedures involved in tax administration and how to compute tax liabilities and complete tax returns (if the option is selfservice). In addition to taxpayer enablement, it is the responsibility of the tax authority to ensure compliance with all tax administration processes especially accuracy of declarations made and the timeliness of tax returns. In Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) introduced the self assessment regime in 1992 following the enactment of the appropriate law in 1991. The FIRS Board, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 61 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007, with the approval of the Minister of Finance gazetted a Regulation dated 19 December 2011 modifying the processes and procedures for self assessment returns. The Regulations cover tax returns under the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA),

Education Tax Act (ETA), Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPTA), Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), National Information Technology Development Act (NITDA), and Value Added Tax Act (VATA). However the method has not been as successful as envisaged. Many will argue that risk based audit which is a major feature of self assessment has not been not been fully optimized. Risk based audit assist in risk identification, analysis, assessment, evaluation and prioritization, with the pre-determined risk ratios drawn from a risk framework, every tax return is subjected to risk analysis and assessment. This in itself is a departure from the government assessment of best of judgement where time and capacity impeded 100% audit. Under risk based audit, resources are applied to areas of risk in the order of the weight attached. Fundamentally, automation of the filing process will encourage taxpayers to file their returns independently instead of using the outdated administrative assessment or best of judgement. In this regard the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) project being undertaken by the FIRS will play a key role. FIRS will need to fully exploit technology to endear efficiency in the process of Self-Assessment. Also for the benefits of Self Assessment to be fully optimized a more robust mechanism whereby compliance checks are conducted through risk based case selection for audit; In which case, all Tax returns have equal chance of being selected for audit. This approach is a demonstration of transparency in tax administration and is expected to encourage self disclosure and clearer disclosure benchmarks also need be to put in place. Another key driver will be to have a strong Audit and Compliance department that can ensure the validity of disclosure. Using the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a global case study of the self-assessment system, the claims a taxpayer makes in their tax return are accepted by the (ATO), usually without adjustment, and an assess-

FIRS boss, Alhaji Kabiru Mashi ment notice is issued. Even though we may initially accept the tax return, the return may still be subject to further review. To ensure the integrity of the tax system, the law provides the ATO with a period where it may review a return (and make sure all

income has been included) and may increase or decrease the amount of tax payable. The ATO has powers to amend an assessment up to two years (or four years for taxpayers with more complex tax affairs) after tax become due and payable under the assessment. Where anti-avoidance provisions apply, the period is four years. Where the avoidance is due to fraud or evasion, there is no time limit on amending the assessment. If the FIRS can push such laws through it will certainly ensure and endear voluntary and honest filing of returns. Generally speaking, the adoption of self assessment principles reflects a desire to move away from in-house administrative assessment procedures in favour of more comprehensive and targeted approaches to providing help and assistance to taxpayers, and to the systemic verification of reported tax liabilities through risk-based desk and field audits and computerized matching of income reports. In countries where self-assessment has been adopted, it has generally been initiated with the objective of improving overall compliance with the laws and increasing operational efficiency by collection

of tax revenue on time, streamlining the system of returns processing and reducing the incidence of disputed assessments. Self-assessment ultimately reduces administrative costs for tax authorities and aided by modern technology, most economies have adopted the principle to drive down cost and ensure timeliness in filling return and Nigeria can benefit from this trending revenue collection system. Self-assessment also reduces the discretionary powers of tax officials and reduces opportunities for corruption. However, self-assessment needs to be properly regulated and implemented, with transparent rules, an automated reporting process, and penalties for noncompliance and risk based assessment procedures for audit procedures. Also, the FIRS need to embark on media sensitization campaigns to achieve a change in behaviour of both taxpayers and tax officials in favour of a taxpaying culture through strict application of sanctions. This way non-compliance will be dealt with timely and will be deterred. Internal and external stakeholders’ engagements will key in implementation and success of Self-Assessment regime.




Ramadan: Prices of food items, fruits increase in Gombe


ew days to the commencement of the Ramadan fast, prices of food items and fruits have slightly increased in Gombe, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. A NAN check in some markets in Gombe yesterday shows that a bag of polished rice which was sold at N12, 500 now attracts N12, 700, while the brand that cost N8,500 had increased to N8, 700. Similarly, a tin of vegetable oil now cost N1,300 as against the former price of N1, 250 while a tin of powdered peak milk had increased from N750 to N800. A rice dealer, Alhaji Umaru

Garba, attributed the increase in the prices of polished rice to the approaching Ramadan season and the hike in cost of transportation. ‘’Normally during Ramadan and festive periods, transporters increase transport fares which lead to increase in prices of commodities.’’ Malam Mustapha

Mohammed, a dealer in provisions, also attributed the hike in prices to the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Malam Adamu Manu, a fruit dealer, said that the transport fare for goods from the Southern part of the country had been increased. According to him, the fares have in the last four days

jumped from between N100, 000 and N120, 000 to N125, 000 and N127, 000 depending on the truck and the nature of the goods. He said a big size pineapple which cost between N400 and N450 is now being sold at N500 and N550, while a small size water melon is up from N200 to between N250 and N300. (NAN)

Etisalat takes High Speed 3.75G campaign to states By Chris Alu


ael Ammar explained that the reason behind the campaign is for current and potential subscribers to experience first-hand the quality and speed Easyblaze. Etisalat is in partnership with Qualcomm, a leading manufacturer of wireless chipset and software technology and the Opera Group, makers of the world’s most famous mobile browser opera mini, social networking site, including Facebook. According to him, the campaign is designed to give both current and prospective customers the opportunity to fully experience the Easyblaze broadband service on a variety of internet-enabled devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, & MiFi hotspots). He further said that Easyblaze 3.75G offers high speed data of up to 42mbps, allowing Etisalat customers achieve high speed internet access, faster file downloads, video calling and streaming and other related activities. Etisalat is now set to take ‘speed to town’ with the experiential tour campaign to major cities in the country. “Since its launch in September 2011, we have aggressively rolled out the Easyblaze service in major cities in the country offering seamless internet service to our customers,” and. “We are witnessing a rapid growth in data usage and we want our consumers to understand the need for a quality and reliable network in the 3.75G network he stated. The first phase of the Easyblaze Experiential Campaign will cover major centres in Lagos, Uyo, Suleja, Warri, Benin, Aba and PortHarcourt and move to other part of the country thereafter.

Fruits displayed for prospective buyers in a local vegetable market in Gombe

Photo: NAN

NUPENG strike: NNPC intervenes By Etuka Sunday


he Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry yesterday adopted 12-point resolution to address the issues submitted by the industrial unions in the industry. This was contained in a statement issued by the NNPC after a meeting jointly organised by the Ministers of Petroleum Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu. The meeting also had in attendance, the National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, his counterpart in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Babatunde Ogun, the National Deputy President of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Chief Ayoola Sadiq. According to the statement, “In the 12- point communiqué jointly endorsed by representatives of all stakeholders, far reaching decisions were adopted on all

…adopts 12 point resolution to avoid future strikes the items put forward by the unions as areas of concern. “On the question of insecurity and pipeline vandalism/oil theft, the Forum announced that Government has put in place a Committee to x-ray the issues while stating that PENGASSAN and NUPENG will be further engaged by all the relevant Government Agencies and other Security Institutions on the progress being made. “The subject of bad roads also received attention. It was noted that Government is already dealing with the issue extensively including applying resources from the SURE – P, therefore it was resolved that poor access road to the Port Harcourt Refinery would be captured in the on-going reconstruction of the East – West road. “On the question of unfair labour practice, it was resolved that the unions should submit the list of all unfair labour practices to the 13- man committee headed by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources. “On the alleged breaches of the Guidelines on Contract Staffing

an Outsourcing in the Oil and Gas sector, the Trade Unions were encouraged to make available specific cases on such breaches to the 13 – man committee and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity. “On the question of Unionization, the forum was unanimous in their resolved that “unionisation is an inalienable right of workers as established by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Standards of the International Labour Organization’’. “It was agreed that all issues of casualization, contract staffing outsourcing, contract service and Collective Bargaining Agreements should be referred to the 13-man Committee headed by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources. “The Forum also resolved issues of; Nomenclature / Harmonization, PIB, Pension as well as the NARTO, Petroleum Tanker Drivers and Federal Inland Revenue Service imbroglio -where FIRS agreed to pay NARTO members all verified claims within 14- days from July 3, 2013.

13% derivation: Oil producing communities advocates setting up of C’ttee By Abdulwahab Isa


s part of agitation by oil communities to take over payment of 13 % derivation from oil producing states, the oil communities have requested setting up of a National Derivation Committee. The request is contained in a letter by oil producing communities to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). According to the letter, signed by 14 leaders of the communities the group, it also proposed the setting up of state management committee for the funds, so that the fund is received by the National Derivation Committee and disbursed to the states. “ The National Derivation Committee will not award contracts but will supervise and monitor the use of the 13 percent derivation fund on constant basis in all the state management committees. The state management committees will execute the project and services for the oil and gas producing committees. “ The chairman and members of the envisaged committee shall be appointed by Mr. President on the advise of,the leaders of the oil and gas producing communities of Nigeria including a member of RMAFC, while each state will select the chairman and members of the state management committee” they stated. The group warned that the oil and gas producing communities have tenets on sanctions that would sanction any erring or defaulting member of any of the committees, adding that there would be enough checks and balances in the administrative committee system. They said administrative committee system has been used in the past by the Fedeal Government to implement derivation fund to,oil and gas producing communities. “The 1.5 per cent derivation was never paid through any state government account, it was utilised throw the administrative committee system. This is our renewed position on the direct payment of 13 per cent derivation fund to oil and gas producing communities . This is the best option which will ensure greater sense of belonging and patriotism in the oil and gas producing communities for greater participation in the protection of the oil facilities and flow stations that bring the 13 per cent derivation fund” the group added.



Stock Watch

Report as at Thursday, July 4, 2013




Ramadan annotation A

llah says: “Ramadhan is the (month) In which was sent down the Qur’an, As a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and Judgment (Between right and wrong). so every one of you who is present (at His home) during that month should spend it In fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not Want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him In that He has guided you; and Perchance ye shall be grateful.”[al-Baqarah: 185] In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. As we approaching Ramadan in full speed, and with our preparation in earnest to its commencement, I feel there is need to get ourselves acquainted and familiarized with some common words used in Ramadan than any other month. The only excuse I beg from you is that based on my present circumstances and schedules with the approaching Ramadan, I will not be able to arrange them in alphabetical orders, rather in their importance, and probably and usages. Thus, because of this plea,

I will not call it glossary, dictionary from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual intercourse or allowing or vocabulary . Ramadan is a very special period liquid, substance and smoke to in which all the Muslims around the stomach through the gullet or the world, unite and perform throat from dawn until sunset. It is common rites and rituals. In it one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims become more Muslims observing it compulsory or wajib. Imsak: Abstaining or than the rest of years. Devotion and Commitment to their beliefs become the common sign of the moment. Men and women become closer to their Lord in both close and By Husain Zakariyya open. Satan and its Yawale cronies become very isolated and more +234-8052952900 (sms only) disappointed. Their wards and bands vanished to become solemn to Allah, at least in that Refraining from something either for a given period or for forever. month; Ramadan! R a m a d a n : T h e w o r d In Ramadan it means refraining Ramadan comes from the Arabic from eating, drinking and every root ramida or ar-ramad, which conjugal intimacy from dawn to means scorching heat or dryness. dusk. That means in Ramadan it is Some linguist claim that it is one of for particular period. Suhur: Any solid food or the names of Allah. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual nourishment taken before fajr or sightings of the crescent moon. dawn during Ramadan. Eating Fasting is fard or obligatory for or taking suhur is Sunnah of the adult Muslims, except those who Apostle of Allah (pbuh). Thus, it is are ill, travelling, or going through highly rewarding to take something antenatal or menstrual bleeding, however small in quantity it may though they are expected to repay be just before the appearance of the dawn. To avoid it intentionally the missed days after Ramadan. Hilal: Is the baby moon. It is a big minus on someones act of is called crescent or new moon. worship for the month. Iftar: This the meal or drink Ramadan starts when the hilal or crescent is sighted by at least two which marks the end of the day’s upright Muslims. Sometime an fasting. It is highly recommended upright person’s sighting can be to take something before the accepted when scrutinized and commencement of the maghrib endorsed by the Muslim leader of a prayers. By tradition, many given community. Similarly, when Muslims break their fast with the crescent of Shawwal is sighted, dates, water or milk just before the the end of Ramadan becomes maghrib. All solid and heavy meals real. Every month commences are usually taken at home or after with the appearance of new baby the maghrib prayers. It is permitted moon or hilal regarded as the to over eat or drink on account that you have fasted, as that will make commencement and end Sawm or Siyam: Abstaining one heavy or lazy.


Tarawih or Taraweeh: This is a special congregational prayers offered only in every night Ramadan after Isha prayer. It is regarded as a special and unique peculiarity of the month of Ramadan. It is sunnah that community to perform it in early period of the night. It is usually ten raka’ats or units. Though some people increase up to twenty and above. It is not sunnah to complete the whole Qur’an during the Ramadan w h e n performing it. Tahajjud or Qiyam: This is another unique prayers that is only performed every night. It is not a prayers that is only performed in Ramadan as the Tarawih. So, observing it only in Ramadan is a bid’ah or innovation. The Messenger of Allah and his companions never stop saying every night till their demise. May Allah bless them! However, the new event in which women leave their homes and small children to go to a particular mosque in the darkness of the night for the purpose of the qiyam, is not also the sunnah of the Apostle of Allah (pbuh)! Allowing such has bred many fitnah of indecency and dishonesty, and in many cases flirting and unfaithfulness amongst the members! There is also the issue of disturbance and ‘noise’ making at very odd night time. Traditionally, night prayers is suppose to a humble secret meeting in total privacy with one’s Lord. It is not suppose to advertise or pronounce to the hearing of even your neighbours that you live with them under one roof! Therefore, rehearsing the

Qur’an aloud by public address system to the hearing of the neighbourhood, including not only our Christian neighbours, even the Muslims who prefer to say their own at home, which is better and more rewarding, are disturbed, as they are denied the right to sleep soundly! Such behaviour in the name worshipping Allah, becomes nullified with the side effects of public disturbance and annoyance! According to sunnah, all recommendable prayers are not only preferred to be performed at home, but are more rewarding by Allah (SWT) I’tikaf: The tradition of spending at least half a day to ten days during the last ten days of Ramadan for the purpose of complete devotion to Allah in mosque where Jumua’h prayers holds. The essence is that one should not miss an obligatory prayers for the sake of a sunnah act of worship. However, if the days one chooses to observe it, Friday is included. If one intends to observe it, he must provide enough sustenance for his family, and himself while in the mosque. It is not allowed for one to travel away from his or her abode of residence in order to perform it except if it in Mecca, Medina or bait-ai-Maqdis in Jerusalem. Women are not allowed without the consent their husbands or guardians. But, where that will breed a new fitnah, they should not be allowed completely. It is required for an intending observer to make clear and clean his or her intention in her or his bid to go closer to Allah throughout the state of the I’tikaf. No radio set, newspapers, magazines or novels should read in order to while away time. I’tikaf is a spiritual retreat spent at a mosque in a state of worship, repentance, reflection and Qur’anic recitation. To be continued


ANALYSIS By Abdullah Al-Arian


t’s déjà vu for the Muslim Brotherhood and a failure of the democratic process for Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has been here before In the fall of 1954, the Muslim Brotherhood put its faith in the revolutionary transition in place after the 1952 military coup, backing the wrong horse in General Muhammad Naguib, and was ultimately outmanoeuvred by Nasser. In one fell swoop, the organisation was outlawed, its offices burned down by angry mobs, its newspapers shut down, and its leaders imprisoned, executed, or exiled. For the next two decades, the group was virtually absent from society and subjected to an intensive vilification campaign that portrayed it as an alien, subversive, and violent force within Egypt that had to be eradicated. It was only after his suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood that Nasser consolidated his control of the Egyptian state and society. The group re-emerged in the mid-1970s, rebuilt its organisational structure, recruited a new generation of Islamic activists, and steadily reclaimed its mantle as the country’s leading social organisation. It continued to thrive in spite of major periodic crackdowns and the emergence of anti-state violence by rival Islamist groups into the mid1990s. Given its propensity for accommodation rather than confrontation, and occasional engagement with the regime, the Muslim Brotherhood was well positioned to play a significant role in a post-authoritarian political order. As such, it was not much of a surprise that Egypt’s first democratically elected president came out of the nation’s longest standing and best-organised oppositional force. But if Mohamed Morsi’s rise to the presidency was a remarkable achievement for a once outlawed opposition movement, his sudden fall at the hands of a military coup backed by a mass revolt in some ways signifies an unprecedented low point in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only does it face the prospect of enduring banishment at the hands of a cold and calculating military regime yet again, it will do so to the thunderous applause of millions of Egyptians. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are undoubtedly responsible for much of the unpopularity they generated over the course of the post-Mubarak transition. There is something to be said, however, of the ways in which large swaths of the Egyptian public seem to have internalised decades of demonization of the group by the former regime and its propaganda arms, which continued to operate unabated throughout Morsi’s term in office. It is now clear that the Muslim Brotherhood, which judged its own reputation solely by its ability to win at the ballot box, underestimated the extent to which a significant number of Egyptians had developed a healthy reserve of revulsion for the group, irrespective of its political performance. The visceral and disproportionate reaction with which many of Morsi’s admittedly imprudent policies were met should have alerted him early on that his presidency would be held to a far higher standard than if any of his political rivals had won. The intense presidential race against Mubarak-era remnant Ahmed


International Egypt’s Democratic outlaws

The protest to oust the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi sets a precedent that bodes poorly for Egypt’s democratic future. [Getty Images]d Mo Shafiq, which Morsi won only by a slim margin, was a clear sign that there were millions of Egyptians who preferred a symbol of the former regime over its chief victims. In apprehending Morsi late Wednesday evening, reportedly on charges of escaping prison during the 25 January revolution, the Egyptian military has fulfilled one of Shafiq’s most notorious campaign promises. The road to Egypt’s unceremonious disposal of its president was fraught with distrust, alienation, incompetence, and gross miscalculation on the part of all parties involved. When it became clear that the popular revolution called for by millions of Egyptians in early 2011 had given way to a military-led transition to a gradually reformed Egyptian state, that was to graft democratic institutions onto pre-existing authoritarian ones, the Muslim Brotherhood and most other opposition groups accepted the parameters. With the constitution suspended, the nation’s political factions consented (however begrudgingly) to the ad hoc nature of the transition. They competed repeatedly in elections to establish their legitimacy, replacing that of the ruling military council, which had not ceased its

campaign of repression and continued to shield leading culprits from the old regime from public accountability. Even as they disagreed with the electoral outcomes of these steps toward democratic governance, millions of Egyptians acknowledged the necessity of the process and the importance of a common frame of reference to arbitrate their differences, especially given the growing polarization across society and the spectre of military rule hovering above. Even after the Muslim Brotherhood alienated the remaining revolutionary forces, contributed its fair share to the deepening social divisions, and proved unable to deliver immediate results in its brief time in power, clear mechanisms existed to take the group to task. The millions who turned out for Morsi’s overthrow could have proven enough to reject his proposed constitution during last December’s national referendum. Failing that, they could have mobilised their energies toward upcoming parliamentary elections, won the majority, and proceeded to amend the constitution and empower a prime minister to take on a greater share of policymaking than Morsi - a key feature of the reviled

constitution, incidentally. Of course the opposition did none of these things, passing up multiple opportunities to put the Muslim Brotherhood on its heels through mutually accepted means that the group would have no choice but to accept. Perhaps one of the many tragedies of these latest events is that we have lost, possibly forever, the opportunity to witness the Muslim Brotherhood humbled through its preferred method of political contestation. In sharp contrast to the present scenario, that development would have come with numerous advantages, not the least of which is the continued affirmation of democracy as the governing principle among all of Egypt’s political factions, and the continued semblance of unity, however fractious, in the face of relentless efforts to subvert the nation’s transition from authoritarianism. It remains to be seen whether those elements have succeeded in destroying Egypt’s still nascent revolution but it is clear that, in forcibly removing an elected president from power, antidemocratic forces have won the day. The alarming speed and efficiency with which the military moved to repress the Muslim Brotherhood in the immediate

Also the countries now involved in Snowden’s travel have clearly expressed a lack of intent to help America bring the whistleblower to justice.

aftermath of Wednesday’s events suggests a high degree of premeditation and coordination. Consumed by their euphoria, the anti-Morsi movement has failed to see the dangerous path that lay ahead. If contending with a fierce and unyielding counter-revolution was already a seemingly insurmountable task for a revolutionary movement representing virtually all segments of Egyptian society, it will be doubly so with the impending exclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood. Contrary to the wishful thinking on the part of the anti-Morsi opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters and sympathizers will not be boarding a spacecraft and departing for some alien planetanytimesoon.Despiteallattempts to paint them as foreign invaders, they are part and parcel of Egyptian society and their marginalisation will only serve the interests of those wishing a return to the repressive politics of the old order. Moreover, the ruling military council’s decision to suspend the constitution and rule by decree after Mubarak’s overthrow was one of its most widely detested decisions and served as a battle cry for protests against it. Yet it was cheers that greeted the defence minister’s announcement Wednesday that Egypt would be once again without a constitution until further notice. If the military rulers proved more than capable of abusing their authority in the face of widespread opposition, they are far more likely to do so with the belief that their suspension of the constitution has popular support. It will also be critical to observe the emerging ruling dynamic, given that several of the military’s civilian partners have no legal basis to speak of, and instead owe their newfound positions of power to their military benefactors. Source: Aljazeera




Egypt swears in interim president T op judge Adly Mansour has been sworn in as Egypt interim president, hours after Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in a military coup following huge protests against his one-year rule. Adly Mansour took the oath of interim president on Thursday, as his democratically elected predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, was held in an unspecified military barracks along with senior aides. Before the constitutional court, Mansour said: “I swear by God to uphold the Republican system and respect the constitution and law... and safeguard the people and protect the nation.” “The revolutionaries of Egypt are everywhere and we salute them all, those who prove to the world that they are strong enough, the brave youth of Egypt, who were the leaders of this revolution.” Separately, Mansour was made head of the supreme constitutional court ,a position he was due to take on June 30, when protests against Morsi’s one year in power began in earnest. Morsi was overthrown by the military on Wednesday. According

to a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi was being held in a military facility with top aides. “Morsi and the entire presidential team are under house arrest in the Presidential Republican Guards Club,” Gehad El-Haddad, the son of a top Morsi aide, told AFP news agency on Thursday. Haddad’s father, Essam El-Haddad, widely seen as Morsi’s right-hand man, was among those held, he added. Less than an hour after Mansour was sworn in, Egyptian prosecutors issued arrest warrants for the Brotherhood’s top leader, Mohamed

Badie, and his deputy, Khairat elShater, judicial and army sources told Reuters news agency. Shater was the group’s first choice candidate to run in last year’s presidential election. He was disqualified from the race due to past convictions. HundredsofMuslimBrotherhood officials were also reported to have been arrested, with many senior leaders being held in the Torah prison in Cairo,the same prison holding Hosni Mubarak, who was himself deposed in the 2011 revolution. At least 14 people were killed when

Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour

opponents and supporters of Morsi clashed after the army announced his removal, officials said. Eight of those died in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh, including two members of the security fources. Three people were killed and at least 50 wounded in Alexandria, state news agency MENA reported; a woman stabbed in the stomach, and two men killed by birdshot. Three people were also killed and 14 wounded in the southern city of Minya, including two police, MENA said. Speaking shortly after The army’s announcement, liberal opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said the “2011 revolution was re-launched” and that the roadmap meets the demand of the protesters. Egypt’s leading Muslim and Christian clerics also backed the army-sponsored roadmap. Pope Tawadros, the head of the Coptic Church, said the plan offered a political vision and would ensure security for all Egyptians, about 10 percent of whom are Christian. Egypt’s second largest Islamist group, the Nour party, said in a statement that it agreed to the army roadmap in order to avoid further conflict.

Family confirms Mandela on life support


elson Mandela’s family has confirmed media reports that the antiapartheid leader was on life support, according to court documents. The documents were submitted by Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela; his wife, Graca Machel; and 14 other relatives as part of an ongoing dispute within the

family over where the former South African president should be buried. Daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, told a court that her father’s condition is “perilous”, and that he is breathing with the help of a life support machine. “The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds,” the City Press newspaper quoted the court

papers as saying. The government has neither confirmed nor denied whether Mandela is or was on life-support. Makaziwe was giving evidence during a case involving Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela, who removed some family members’ remains from their graves without permission. Mandela, who remains critically ill in what is now his

fourth week in hospital, had expressed his wish to be buried in Qunu, and his daughters want to have the children’s remains transferred so they can be together. Mandela was South Africa’s first black president and stepped down in 1999 after serving one fiveyear term. He is globally hailed for promoting peace with his former oppressors and fostering racial reconciliation.

Somalia accuses Kenya over Kismayo clashes


n apparently accidental publication of a diplomatic letter has exposed a rift between the Somali government and Kenyan troops - supposedly allies. The letter, verified as genuine accuses the Kenyan army of causing recent faction fighting that left at least 65 dead in the port of Kismayo. Kenyan troops are part of the African Union force battling Islamist militants in support of the UNbacked government. The Kenyan authorities have not yet commented on the letter in detail. Some regional diplomats say Kenya is trying to create a buffer state, known as Jubaland, inside Somalia run by local politicians it can control. The letter is from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fawzia Yusuf Adam, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister. It is headed “Extremely Urgent - Kismayo conflict”. A diplomat in Mogadishu said the letter appeared to have been emailed to journalists in error. It seems, the diplomat said, that someone mistakenly added the prime minister’s “press contacts” into the email recipients’ list.

Zimbabwe’s top court to decide on poll date


he Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe is expected to rule on whether the country’s general elections will proceed on July 31, as it started on Thursday to hear cases on the poll date. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe in June proclaimed that harmonized elections, which combine presidential, parliamentary, and local council votes, will be held on July 31, but the veteran ruler instructed justice minister to appeal for a twoweek extension heeding the recommendation of regional leaders. However, Mugabe’s longtime rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai contested the appeal, saying that two weeks are not enough to implement reforms to ensure a fair and free election. Mugabe and Tsvangirai, forced into an inclusive government four years ago after the disputed presidential election in 2008, both registered to run for the president in the upcoming poll. Three others have also been qualified as presidential candidates but analysts say this year’s election is likely another Mugabe- Tsvangirai game as in 2002 and 2008 elections. Mugabe, already Africa’s oldest ruler at the age of 89, is seeking to extend his 33-year rule of the country since independence in 1980. Tsvangirai has been challenging Mugabe since a decade ago but without outright success.

Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fawzia Yusuf Adam

A senior official in the president’s office confirmed that the letter was genuine. The communication accuses the Kenyans, who are part of the African Union peacekeeping force, AMISOM, of not being neutral peacekeepers. It says the Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) backed one Somali faction against others, arrested a senior Somali government army

officer and used heavy weapons in areas containing civilians. What the letter bluntly called the “incompetence” of the Kenyan commander of AMISOM in southern Somalia is said to have caused an outbreak of recent fighting in the southern port city of Kismayo that had led to a “preliminary” count of 65 dead and 155 injured. The Kenyan AMISOM contingent was recently reinforced

by several hundred troops from Sierra Leone. But the Sierra Leoneans are “embedded” inside Kenyan units, so the KDF is very much the dominant force in this part of Somalia, which is known in AMISOM jargon as “Sector 2”. The letter calls for the “immediate deployment” of a multinational African peacekeeping force in southern Somalia.





South Korea proposes talks with North


outh Korea has offered working-level talks with the North on reopening the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone. Seoul made the proposal a day after Pyongyang said South Korean officials could visit the closed complex to inspect and maintain equipment. Work at the factory park, which was a rare symbol of North-South co-operation, was halted in April amid high regional tensions. Attem pt s t o hold hi g hlevel talks last month failed on procedural grounds. “The government wants talks to be held at the truce village of Panmunjom,” South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said in a statement. “Seoul’s stance remains consistent and centres on government authorities resolving all outstanding issues through

dialogue.” It said the offer of talks was made via a North-South hotline that was cut by Pyongyang in June but has now been restored. North Korea has yet to respond to the offer. Prior to operations being suspended, there were around 120 South Korean businesses in the factory park, which had provided the North with a source of muchneeded hard currency. On Wednesday, North Korea said it would allow South Korean companies to enter the complex, which is located just inside North Korea, to protect their equipment from damage in the rainy season. The offer came after some South Korean firms threatened to abandon the zone entirely and relocate their equipment. A spokesman representing electronic and machinery makers in Kaesong had said: “Kaesong must be reopened or [the factories]

Syria opposition meets to find leader

S South Korean President Park Geun Hye

have to move elsewhere”. Pyongyang withdrew its 53,000 workers from the complex in April, apparently angered by tightened UN sanctions in the wake of its nuclear test in February, and annual South

Korea-US military drills. North Korea also prevented South Korean workers from entering the joint commercial zone. The last South Korean workers left the zone on 3 May.

Australia PM heads for Indonesia asylum talks



ustralian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is heading to Indonesia with talks on asylum policy set to top the agenda. Mr Rudd, who ousted Julia Gillard as Labor Party leader last week, will meet his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Bogor. Asylum is expected to be one of the key issues in Australia’s general election, due later this year.

The number of people arriving by boat via Indonesia to seek asylum has increased sharply in recent months. Most come from Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. They make their way to Indonesia and from there head to Christmas Island, the closest part of Australian territory to Java. Last year, the government reintroduced a controversial policy

under which people arriving by boat in Australia are sent to camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea for processing. It said the move was needed to prevent people making the dangerous journey to Australia on overcrowded and rickety boats, several of which have sunk in recent years. But the policy - identical to one which Mr Rudd dismantled in 2008 - has been strongly criticised by rights groups and has so far failed to deter new arrivals. The Indonesia trip is Mr Rudd’s first overseas visit since he became prime minister last week after defeating Ms Gillard in a party ballot. An election had been scheduled for 14 September. Mr Rudd has indicated he will move the date but has not yet specified when polling will take place. Opposition leader Tony Abbott, who leads Mr Rudd in the polls, says under him boats would be turned back to Indonesia when safe to do so. Mr Rudd has said this risks

damaging ties with Indonesia, an important ally and trading partner. Both political parties have argued that some of the arrivals are economic migrants, not refugees - but this was rejected earlier this week by Australian Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs, who said 90% of asylum seekers were found to be genuine refugees. Speaking as he set off for Indonesia, Mr Rudd said the meeting was about consolidating ties rather than reaching a deal on people-smuggling. “It will be completely wrong and I think disrespectful to the Indonesian president to create any expectation of any immediate change at all,” Mr Rudd said. “Don’t hold your breath for some sort of bright and breezy announcement out of Jakarta... that everything is all fixed and back to normal.” Mr Rudd arrives in Jakarta on Thursday afternoon and will hold formal talks with Mr Yudhoyono on Friday.

Japan begins upper house election campaign


ampaigning has kicked off for Japan’s upper house elections, which will take place on 21 July. The parliamentary vote will be seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling party. Mr Abe currently enjoys high approval ratings, and his Liberal Democratic Party is expected to do well. A conclusive LDP win would end years of parliamentary deadlock. Currently, opposition parties are able to block government bills in the upper house. The poll will select legislators for half of the 242 seats in the upper chamber. Japan’s upper house, while not as powerful as its lower house, is able to block legislation introduced by the government.

No one party has a majority, although the opposition Democratic Party of Japan has the highest number of seats. Opposition parties have had enough combined seats to control the upper chamber in recent years, leading to what has become known as a “twisted parliament”. “Because of a twisted parliament, rebuilding has not progressed speedily, revitalisation of the economy has not progressed speedily,” Mr Abe said on Thursday as he kicked off his party’s campaign. Mr Abe has relatively strong public support for his proposals for economic reform, which have become known as “Abenomics”. However, he wants Japan’s nuclear reactors to be restarted - something many in Japan are opposed to.

Asia & Middle East


yria’s fractious opposition coalition meets on Thursday under pressure to name a new leader and prove to its Western and Arab backers it can be trusted with advanced weapons to beat back a concerted offensive by President Bashar al-Assad. The opposition’s inability to unite has made Western countries reluctant tosendweapons,evenasAssad’sforces have seized initiative in recent months and Washington and its European allies have vowed to aid his enemies. Rebels are under siege in the strategic city of Homs and trying to hold on to swathes of territory across the country, while the opposition in exile has been unable to exert authority on the ground and halt strides toward radical Islamism. The Syrian National Coalition has been without a leader for months after its head quit over disagreement about potential talks with Assad’s government. It aims to agree on a new unified leadership at its talks in Istanbul. Coalition insiders say its international backers want to avoid a repeat of a near debacle a month ago when last-minute intervention by senior officials from Turkey and Western and Arab countries was needed to keep it from disintegrating. A new leadership for the body of mainly exiled politicians will also need to show that it can forge stronger links with the activists and rebel fighters inside Syria, the sources said. “The best solution is to create a civilian-military council and move into Syria, with the coalition remaining as an assembly,” said Kamal al-Labwani, a senior member of a liberal bloc of the coalition. More than two years into a war that has killed more than 90,000 people, momentum has shifted in recent months in favour of Assad, especially since he gained the support of fighters from the seasoned Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Western countries opposed to Assad were predicting at the end of last year that the Syrian leader’s days were numbered. But they now fear for the survival of the rebellion after Hezbollah fighters helped capture the rebel-held town of Qusair. The West has had to balance its desire to aid the rebels with its worry that the rebellion has become dominatedbymilitantSunniIslamists, including groups allied to al Qaeda. SaudiArabiahasassumedacentral role in backing the opposition and has begun limited delivery of sophisticated weapons to the rebels, with the United States playing a bigger role than before in supervising such shipments to keep weapons out of Islamist hands, diplomats in the region say.




Joint EU-US group to assess US spying



joint EU-US expert group will investigate the alleged US spying on EU officials and report its findings in October, the European Commission says. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said the group would meet this month to begin assessing the “proportionality”oftheUSsurveillance programmes. Shecalledthesurveillance“awakeup call for us to advance on our data protection reform”. There could be no EU-US trade

deal without mutual trust, she warned. The operations were revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, nowafugitivefromUSjustice,whowas last reported to be in the transit zone at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Ms Reding said the working group would focus on the US Prism operation under which, according to Mr Snowden, the US National Security Agency (NSA) systematically collects vast amounts of phone and internet data, including communications at EU offices.

She said she had also asked UK Foreign Secretary William Hague to clarify the scope and proportionality of the UK Tempora programme - a vast surveillance operation allegedly run by the UK spy agency GCHQ and co-ordinated with the NSA. “The fact that the programmes are said to relate to national security does not mean that anything goes,” Ms Reding said. “A balance needs to be struck between the policy objective pursued and the impact on fundamental rights, in particular

the right to privacy... privacy is a fundamental right, it is not negotiable.” She was speaking in a European Parliament debate on the NSA spying allegations, in which several MEPs voiced alarm about Mr Snowden’s revelations and demanded a full explanation from the US authorities. The parliament, Commission and EU governments are currently negotiatingamajorrevisionoftheEU’s data protection legislation. Manfred Weber, a German MEP in the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), said “you don’t spy on friends” and the US actions were “not acceptable”. “Our trust has been shaken, but we still have shared interests. We in the EPP believe a free trade agreement [withtheUS]shouldbeconcluded.”He added: “The battle will be played out in the field of data protection.” Sophia in ‘t Veld, a Dutch MEP in the liberal ALDE group, said: “We have to guarantee to citizens that they’re covered by European, not US, law. “The bugging of offices, blanket surveillance of millions of citizens that’s not national security, I don’t buy that anymore,” she said, calling for US President Barack Obama to give an explanation directly to the European Parliament, representing the EU’s 500 million citizens. She said it would be “misguided” to suspend the long-awaited EU-US tradetalks,settobeginthismonth,“but it’s absolutely clear we cannot sign an agreement with a partner we cannot fully trust”.

Russia criticises EU countries over Bolivia jet row


ussia criticized France, Spain andPortugal on Thursday for delaying the Bolivian president’s flight home from Moscow this week over suspicions that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was on his plane. There is no evidence Snowden was on board and, after the initial refusals to let the plane enter the European Union member states’ airspace, President Evo Morales was able to fly home on Wednesday after a forced stopover in Austria. “The actions of the authorities of France, Spain and Portugal could hardly be considered friendly actions towards Bolivia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement

published on its website. “Russia calls on the international community to comply strictly with international legal principles,” it said. Morales had been attending a summit of natural gas exporters in Moscow, where Russian officials say Snowden has been in an airport transit area since flying in from Hong Kong on June 23, hoping to be granted political asylum in a third country. The United States has been trying to get its hands on Snowden since he revealed details of secret surveillance programs and Morales has said he would consider granting the American refuge if requested.


where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is living. EcuadornamedaBritishcompany

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Ecuador asks UK for help on embassy bug cuador has asked the UK to help an investigation over alleged spying at its embassy in London

Julian Assange (L), alongside Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino (R)

it claimed planted a listening device in their ambassador’s office but this was denied. Mr Assange has been staying at the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. He is wanted there for questioning over allegations by two women of sexual offences - which he denies. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told a news conference in Quito the bug was found last month when Ecuadorean technicians reviewed the embassy’s wiring. The purpose of the bug, which was hidden inside an electrical socket, was to listen to the conversations of Ambassador Ana Alban in her office, Mr Patino said. Mr Assange lives and works in a different room in the embassy.

Mr Patino said: ``We have reason to believe that the bugging was carried out by The Surveillance Group Limited, one of the largest private investigation and covert surveillance companies in the United Kingdom.” The system worked with a Sim card and could be activated by a call from any mobile or fixed-line phone, he added. The Surveillance Group, which is based in Worcester, Herefordshire, said Mr Patino’s allegation was “wholly untrue”. Chief executive Timothy Young said: “We have this morning heard an accusation the source of which is apparently Ricardo Patino, the Ecuadorean foreign minister suggesting that we have bugged the Ecuadorean embassy.

Europe and Americas

Portugal battles to ease crisis


ortugal’s prime minister faced a day of talks aimed at shoring up his coalition, reeling after the resignations of two senior ministers. Pedro Passos Coelho is anxious to keep his conservative partners on board, to defuse a political crisis and avoid the turmoil of an early election. His coalition is under intense pressure to stick to the tough austerity targets dictated by Portugal’s bailout. But the interest rate on Portuguese bonds has dropped back below 8%. Yields on 10-year Portuguese bonds fell to 7.26% on Thursday. The sharp spike - topping 8% on Wednesday - had revived market jitters about instability in the Eurozone. President Anibal Cavaco Silva will meet Mr Passos Coelho and other political leaders later on Thursday. The president is known to be keen to avoid calling early elections, Alison Roberts reports from Lisbon. Left-wing opposition parties are demanding early elections, and opinion polls suggest the ruling conservatives would do badly. The Communist Party held a big anti-government rally in central Lisbon on Wednesday. The crisis began on Monday with the resignation of Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar, who for two years had overseen the unpopular austerity policies. The prime minister’s choice to replace him, the former treasury secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque, is seen as just as wedded to austerity. It was that fact that the foreign minister and junior coalition leader, Paulo Portas, cited in tendering his resignation on Tuesday. Portugal’s president is clearly putting pressure on the coalition to patch things up, given the very adverse reaction to the crisis in the markets. The European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, said he was following the situation “with concern”. Portugal received a bailout worth more than 78bn euros ($102bn; £67bn) in May 2011, on the condition it implemented austerity measures. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in recent days to protest against planned austerity reforms. Portugal has b e e n i n recession for two years and the economy is expected to contract by 2.3% this year.



Strange World

Baby jumping festival of Castillo


nown as El Colacho in Spain, the Baby-Jumping Festival is a popular event that takes place in Castillo de Murcia near Burgos, every year since 1620. It’s basically all about infants laying on a blanket and adults dressed as

devils jumping over them i a procession that’s supposed to cleanse the little ones of all evil doings. Doesn’t sound like it works, but hey who am I to contradict tradition? I just wonder if in history any of the devils tripped and fell over the

poor babies… I for one wouldn’t have my kid jumped over by a grown-up like this, even if they’d allow me to keep my hand over him as protection. If that guy falls my hand isn’t going to break his fall, the baby might though.

Two-face baby worshipped in India

Would you let someone jump over your infant like this?

This baby is seen as a reincarnation of a god by her villagers


his little girl was born with two faces and now the locals in India think she is the reincarnation of one of their gods. Ever since she was born in a

hospital in Delhi, the villagers from the little girl’s village have been singing and dancing, offering her money and asking for her blessings. Doctors say the baby girl and

her mother are healthy at this moment, but the parents want to ask help from the Indian government for the problems she will likely be confronted with as she grows up. We wish her well!

The tree-man


Turning into a tree must be a horrifying experience

ede is a 35 year old Indonesian fisherman who until recently thought he would be killed by the tree-like warts covering most of his body. It all started after he accidentally cut his knee as a teenager. Small warts started appearing on his hands and feet and, in time, they got so big and numerous that he lost use of his hands and couldn’t perform any household activity. His wife walked out on him and he had to take care of his children in terrible conditions. He was forced to join a local freak show, alongside people with different, peculiar diseases, just to put food on the table. The local doctors could do nothing to help him and he was sure he was going to die from his condition, as the warts started to spread all over his body. Thankfully, a famous US dermatologist, from the University of Maryland, learned of his condition and thought he could help. He came to Indonesia, examined Dede, took blood samples and discovered that this terrible condition, that’s literally turning a man into a tree is caused by the common human Papilloma virus responsible for the small warts people get on their hands.

Can you eat 68 hotdogs in 10 minutes?


t’s a dogfight, a roast, a frank encounter, a contest to win in the worst way. In short, it’s an event that devours puns with relish. The annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest was set to, well, roll Thursday in Coney Island, with chomp champs Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas defending their respective men’s and women’s titles. Chestnut, 29, is a six-time winner who set the record – 68 weiners and buns in 10 minutes – in 2009 and tied it last year. Thomas, 45, powered through 45 dogs to take the women’s championship last year and also won in 2011, the first year women competed separately. They likely will be tough to beat. But this competition can never rule out an upset – stomach, at least. “Tomorrow’s strategy: just

“chomp champ” Joey Chestnut

find my rhythm really quickly,” Chestnut, the 210-pounder nicknamed “Jaws” from San Jose, Calif., said after the ceremonial weigh-in near City Hall on Wednesday as he munched on a frank, the only thing he’d eaten that day amid a preparatory fast. Chestnut said his pace has been uneven in the past, but “this year I’m trying to eat a little more gracefully, conserve my energy.” Thomas, a 100-pound dynamo known as the “Black Widow” of competitive eating, says the challenge of shoveling down dozens of franks is actually “more mental than physical.” “I have to fight with myself, so I’m going to try to really focus,” said Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., where she manages a fast-food restaurant. And no, it doesn’t serve hot dogs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at the weigh-in for his 12th and final year in office, aimed to set a record of his own by stuffing more than a dozen hot-dog-related puns into an elaborate sentence that started with “let’s be frank” and ended by looking forward to congratulating the “weiner of the contest.” Now in its 98th year, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest generally draws a crowd of thousands to marvel at contestants cramming frankfurters down their throats.



Weekend Revue Film Review


ohnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in a revisionist adventure with franchise and theme park intentions written all over it. After proving himself a crack shot on his first pranky Western, the animated Rango, Gore Verbinski appears not to have had enough ammo left over to score as well with ‘The Lone Ranger’, a moderately amusing but very uneven revisionist adventure with franchise and theme park intentions written all over it. Floated conceptually and commercially by another eccentric comic characterization by Johnny Depp, this attempt by Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to plant the flag for another ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ scaled series tries to have it too many ways tonally, resulting in a work that wobbles and thrashes all over the place as it attempts to find the right groove. There’s enough entertainment value inthisvastlyoverlongextravaganzatoput it over commercially, although whether it can reach Pirates levels of profitability and warrant three sequels is another matter. Without Depp’s willingness to trade in Captain Jack Sparrow’s eyeliner and bejeweleddreadlocksforTonto’scracked white face paint and dead crow headgear, no one would have been remotely interested in reviving this vintage radio standby, which clocked 2,956 episodes between 1933 and 1954, and boomer TV favorite, which ran from 1949 to 1957 and also spawned two feature films. A previous try at a big-screen origins story, ‘The Legend of the Lone Ranger’, in 1981, was a total bust and the only film ever made by the actor who played the title character, Klinton Spilsbury. The title notwithstanding, the scenario for the new film, concocted by the Pirates team of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio along with Justin Haythe, focuses principally upon Tonto (the Spanish meaning of which is joked about). No doubt cribbing from Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man (1970), the yarn spun here is related by the surviving centenarian


The Lone Ranger Armie Hammer

“noble savage” to a white boy in cowboy gear (mask included) in a San Francisco carnival tent in 1933 (nice backdrop here of the Golden Gate Bridge under construction, even if the project wasn’t as far along at this point in time). Looking more like a mummified Christopher

Johnny Depp

Walken than like Depp himself, Tonto, backed by an Old West diorama, the leathery relic responds to the kid’s curiosity by jumping back to the day in 1869 when he met lawman John Reid. Although Tonto’s sudden springingto-life in a historical exhibit spurs some tentative initial laughs, Verbinski doesn’t sufficiently set the tone and rules of the game from the outset, the uncertainty over which ripples throughout the film to deleterious effect. What is Tonto telling the kid, a tall tale? A politically corrected version of the conquest of the West as the boy presumably understands it? A confessionalabouthisownmisdeedsthat led to a very weird life? Just a wild story, the product of an addled mind? The answer never becomes clear, which encourages the view of just taking it all as a romp, although this isn’t entirely right either, given some of the serious underpinnings. But suddenly we’re on a train, where clean-cut prosecutor Reid (Armie Hammer), flashing a copy of John Locke at the predominantly religious passengers, is delivering to justice notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). Another prisoner onboard is Tonto who, once Butch’s gang showsuptofreeitsboss,forciblygetspaired with the righteous lawman on the first of several Bond-sized railway action scenes designed to justify the production’s laying of six miles of track in New Mexico and buildingtwonewlocomotivessoitcouldall be filmed real rather than with CGI. Still, it takes nearly an hour of setup for the two to officially become a team. John Reid’s arrival in Colby, Texas, reunites him with his bounty hunter brother Dan (James Badge Dale), whose wife, Rebecca (Ruth Wilson), used to

be John’s sweetheart. Lording it over everyone, in a way that all too closely matches the sociopolitical setup in Rango, is railroad tycoon Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson), who anticipates the imminent completion of the crosscountry tracks and schemes to take over the whole system himself. When Tonto’s not around, the personal drama, politics and violence are all played pretty straight, almost as if they’re in a different movie. Dan anoints his brother a Texas Ranger so he can join the posse formed to hunt down Butch. And when the lot of them are gunned down in an ambush (splendidly staged in Canyon de Chelly), the brutality and vivid bullet impact sound effects are sobering. Taking him for dead, Tonto tries to bury John along with the others. But when the resilient big guy comes to, they team up to hunt down the bad guys, with John donning the black eye mask to go along with the big white hat he donned to start the journey. SeveralTVepisodes’worthofincident ensues, including Butch’s fiendish grab of the richest silver mine in the West, Latham’s treachery to control the rails and an appealingly tragic revelation of Tonto’s original sin that explains the two black lines running down each side of his face,hisoutcaststatusfromhispeopleand perhaps why he’s a bit loco. As has been thecaseonscreensinceLittleBigManand occasionally before, the treaty-oblivious U.S. government, the Army and manifest destiny-minded whites are certainly the biggest bad guys. But it’s refreshing to see that part of Depp’s comic shtick here is to deflatethesolemnseriousnesswithwhich NativeAmericantraditionsandmysticism areusuallyenveloped.Sometimescocking

his eyebrow and looking at John to see if he’s buying his latest line of crap, Depp establishes a certain fundamental dignity for Tonto that’s otherwise embellished by nutty detailing, the result of which is neither a truly coherent character nor one as funny as Jack Sparrow sometimes was, at least at the beginning, but most surely registers due to its idiosyncratic strangeness. The madly handsome Hammer certainly delivers the Ranger’s requisite rectitude and straight-arrow determination, but the balance between full-on hero and camp figure teeters at times, a problem symptomatic of Verbinski’s difficulty in finding the right pitch for the project as a whole. Perhaps Rango was liberating in that working in animation freed the director from realistic constraints, thus giving him confidence to unleash the wild, wacky and surreal impulses that lifted that surprising work comically and visually. There are moments of absurdist humor here, as when Tonto and the Ranger find themselves buried in the ground up to their chins and the former advises his partner not to get an itch on his nose, whereupon they find themselves coveredwithscorpions,butthedevil-maycare attitude of the director’s last film is significantly diluted here. The bloat factor also weighs in after the two-hour mark, at which point there’s yet another half-hour to go. Still, the averagelengthofthe Pirates films was 149 minutes, precisely the duration of The Lone Ranger, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Bruckheimer & Co. decided on this as their ideal running time. Source: Hollywood Reporter



Weekend Revue Shina Peters in alleged breach of contract against Hajia Dangaji


f information available to is anything to go by, then a war is brewing up between Juju Maestro, Sir Shina Peters and the newly elected PMAN president, Hajia Aminat Dangaji over a breach of contract. According to inside source, the imbroglio that endured between the two started sometimes back when the one-time Juju star, SSP as Shina Peters is fondly called, planned to launch his latest album and he was said to have contacted the business woman, Hajia Daganji for some financial help. Being a shrewd business woman, gathered that she promised to bankroll the event on a condition that the proceeds of the event would be shared on an agreeable percentage. Sources said shortly after the event, Star as Shina is also called by close fans and friends instructed one of his band boys to immediately evacuate with the money so that the woman would not have access to whatever amount they realised on that day. The woman was said to have felt so cheated and dissapointed by the action of the Afro Juju crooner. Right now, Hajia has kept mum on the whole issue, one of her aides said, madam has promised to deal with Sir Shina Peters when the time comes.

Popular singer, Tope Alabi accused of immorality N has reported that leading yoruba gospel singer, Tope Alabi has been having a messy fight with her spiritual leader, Prophet Iretiola Ajanaku for months now over cases of immorality. It added that Prophet Ajanaku has made a shocking revelation about the respected Tope Alabi when talking with Biodun Kupoluyi. The popular prophet said his trouble with Tope Alabi started because of sex. He alleged that “She actually met me 11 years ago when she came to church crying that since she married she had no child. I told her that by the grace of God when we shall be holding another anniversary she will come and dedicate her child before God. I have pictures of the child dedication, I christened the child Deborah. “There are many things concerning her and the husband that I will never tell anyone, never ever. If she had not said that she met me only six years ago, I would not have called you to show all these pictures. And if I say what God has used me to do in their lives,with proofs and medical test records in their hands, they will be ashamed of themselves. “I’m wondering if she’s being foolish or just stupid. I remember when she was putting pressure on me to have sex with her. She did

Tope Alabi

Prophet Iretiola Ajanaku not hide her urge to have sexual relationship with me. At a point she could not control her urge to do that but I declined, I said never, not me”. On news making the rounds that he fathered the same child in question, he said “I can never be involved in such a dirty act. Then what do we call that? Where is

that written in the Bible? Is it in Habbakuk or where in the Bible is that written? Where do we start the foreplay? I have survived many beautiful women here in this house and I have never had anything sexual with them but attended to their needs. “Besides there are young girls around if one actually

My dad killed himself because of Michael Jackson’s sexual abuse – Wade Robson Wade Robson

Michael Jackson


Shina Peters

wanted to have such a relationship that is for those who wanted to do that. Why go to a grandma? She went as far as begging people to convince me to have sex with her but not me in the name of Jesus”. Meanwhile, Tope Alabi and her husband, Soji, are denying the Prophet’s allegations.

ade Robson, a popular dancer, claimed that his father killed himself in torment over the alleged sexual abuse his son suffered at the hands of Michael Jackson, Hollywood Gossip has revealed. It added that the Australianborn Robson revealed his secret family anguish in an amended complaint against the late King of

Pop’s estate, obtained by Radar. Wade, 30, had become estranged from his dad, who died in 2002. According to the Filling, the former ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ judge said his aunt told him that MJ’s abuse of Wade was “a source of anxiety and depression for his father.” Before the suicide, Wade’s dad

had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and his relationship with his wife Joy had “deteriorated,” the Filling said. Wade told the court that his father had been with him when he first traveled to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch for a weekend retreat in 1990. It revealed that “The first night of the weekend, on or

about February 3, 1990, Plaintiff [Robson] and his sister slept in Decedent’s bedroom (a two floor bedroom suite with beds both in the downstairs and upstairs areas), in the same bed with decedent downstairs”. “The rest of the family,” he adds, “slept in the separate guest quarters.” The next night Jackson’s sexual abuse of Robson began, it’s alleged. Days later, the Robsons left the ranch to continue a road trip, but Wade’s father and mother allowed their son to stay behind with Michael Jackson. “Plaintiff slept in Decedent’s bed every night and the sexual abuse took place every night,” says Wade, who alleges that Jackson had a child molestation alarm installed. Robson’s family returned to stay with the Plaintiff at the ranch the following weekend, but again, Wade slept in the bed with Jackson while the family slept elsewhere. “The sexual abuse continued on each of those nights,” it’s alleged.



Feature Repositioning Nigeria’s tourism, aviation and justice sectors By Chijioke Okoronkwo


narguably, tourism and aviation are veritable drivers of economic growth; hence the huge attention which the sectors are receiving under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The ministers of tourism and aviation, who featured at the 2013 Ministerial Platform, underscored the importance of these sectors to Nigeria’s development when they chronicled their achievements in the last two years Besides, the inter-connectivity between justice, security, fair play, rule of law, equity and national development was also brought to the fore as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice stepped up to the podium at the platform. In her presentation, the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah, said that the ministry was partnering the private sector to establish a national carrier by September. She said that the national carrier would undertake domestic, regional and intercontinental flights. ``It will further complement the existing airlines operating in Nigeria and we expect the national carrier to partner with Africa’s focused aircraft leasing businesses. ``It is expected that this will result in Nigeria’s passenger numbers exceeding 25 million by 2018 and 30 million by 2012,’’ she added. Oduah, however, noted that the DANA air crash on June 3, 2012 spurred the ministry into fast-tracking the safety component of operations in the sector. According to her, safety in aviation is not a destination but an ongoing process. She said that the ministry had deployed world-class technology to enable it to provide air coverage within and beyond Nigerian territorial boundaries into the contiguous air spaces. Consequently, she said that the ministry had initiated the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), with a view to modernising the air traffic management infrastructure. ``It has automated approach area control components as follows: Primary Surveillance Radar(PRS) STAR 2000; Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar; Integrated Flight and Radar Data Processing Eurocat C and other associated equipment at the four major airports of Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port-Harcourt.’’ Besides, Oduah stressed that Nigeria had achieved total VHF Radio Coverage of her airspace, saying that the feat brought the country at par with the standards and recommended practices of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). On accident prevention, the minister noted that efforts had been made to enhance the capacity of the ministry in this regard via the establishment of an accident and investigation laboratory to analyse cockpit voice recorder and black box. She added that the laboratory was

Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah Orientation Mr Edem Duke, ``the first of its kind in West Africa’’. Furthermore, Oduah said that an Air Tracking System (AGPS) has been established to enhance real-time weather and aircraft tracking in the country’s airspace and boost rescue operations. In a bid to make the country’s airports more viable, the minister said that plans were underway to build aerotropolis around some major airports. ``Aerotropolis is a mega city with commercial clusters built around the airport, connecting passengers, workers, suppliers, goods and services to and from the global marketplace and to all lifestyle amenities on location. ``Aerotropolis are attractive locations for time-sensitive manufacturing concerns, distribution facilities, hotels, entertainment, retail, convention, trade and exhibition complexes, office buildings and so on.’’ Oduah noted that the aerotropolis would be built in Lagos, Abuja, PortHarcourt and Kano. On the payment of claims to dependants of the victims the DANA air crash, the minister said that the Federal Government has given DANA a December deadline to pay up the benefits or face sanctions. She said that plans were also underway to convey perishable goods

such as fruits and vegetables via cargo planes to mitigate waste, curb ruralurban drift, provide food security and create jobs. In his presentation, Mr Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, said that the ministry had successfully conducted the embellishment of 10 Nigerian missions in the last two years. He said that the missions were in South Korea, Russia, Algeria, Poland, France, Cuba, Turkey, Mali, Venezuela and Spain. He also said that the ministry, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union (AU), organised a Rock Arts Exhibition and a Colloquium on Pan-African and African Renaissance in Addis Ababa. He said the resultant effect of the activity was the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between Nanjing Province of China and the ministry. ``In furtherance of our cultural diplomacy, Nigeria has established cultural centres in Brazil and China. ``Nigeria is also in the process of establishing two centres in South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago,’’ he added. On the recovery of the country’s stolen artefacts, the minister stressed that efforts to recover the lost artefacts

from countries across the world had yielded some positive results, citing a recent recovery from France as an illustration. ``Our request for the return of our vast treasure of cultural property strewn all over the world has yielded great result with the return of five Nok Terracotta objects dated between 1400 BC and 700 BC(about 3,000 years) by the government of France,’’ he added. Speaking on the recent Annual African Arts and Craft Expo organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture, Duke said that it recorded 18, 704 participants from Nigeria and 15 countries as well as 200 nongovernmental organisations. He said that the programme impacted positively on the arts and crafts sector, while promoting international understanding. Reacting to speculations about plans to sell the National Theatre, the minister said that the Federal Government was only planning a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) concessioning arrangement for the management of the edifice. Duke said that the government was also planning to develop those areas adjacent to the National Theatre that were hitherto not well-utilised. ``The areas include that section of the National Theatre where people

In 2011, our close liaison and negotiations with the Island of Jersey led to the recovery and repatriation of the sum of £22.5 million, confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey from Raj Arjandes Bhojwani, an Indian national and associate of Gen. Sani Abacha on account of his money laundering transactions from Nigeria,’’

are rearing swine; that section of the National Theatre which is now a lump harbouring reptiles and that section of the National Theatre which is being used as an open-air beer parlour. ``Those sections will now have to be developed into hotels, shopping malls, recreation parks so that they can draw people to the National Theatre; and this will definitely strengthen the theatre. ``And the sentiment of Nigerians is that it must not be given to one individual; that is why we are sentimentally more disposed to a PPP concession, rather than 100-per-cent privatisation,’’ Duke said. Also speaking, the AttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN), said that 75 terrorism cases were treated in the last two years. He said that 16 of the cases had been concluded with eight convictions, while 35 cases were struck out. ``During the period under review, a total number of 75 cases of terrorism and Boko Haram insurgency were received and prosecuted. ``Sixteen of the cases have been concluded with eight convictions, while 35 were struck out. ``A good number of the terrorism cases were struck out because the accused persons escaped during attacks on prisons in Bauchi and Maiduguri,’’ he added. Besides, the minister said that a total of 244 general offences, including culpable homicide, rape and armed robbery as well as traffic offences were also handled by the ministry during the period under review. Adoke said that £22.5m worth of stolen assets abroad had been recovered during the period. He said that the money was recovered from Raj Arjandes Bhojwani, an Indian, who was an associate of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. ``In 2011, our close liaison and negotiations with the Island of Jersey led to the recovery and repatriation of the sum of £22.5 million, confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey from Raj Arjandes Bhojwani, an Indian national and associate of Gen. Sani Abacha on account of his money laundering transactions from Nigeria,’’ Adoke said. Observers extol the three ministries for their achievements within the last two years, but they, nonetheless, urge the aviation ministry to make tangible efforts to protect Nigeria’s airspace. They insist that most of the aircraft in the fleet of the country’s airlines appear to be old or refurbished. In the area of culture, the observers frown at the infiltration of foreign cultures into the country’s cultural mores and ethos via the organisation of carnivals where foreign costumes dominate. They also underscore the need to promote the basic tenets of democracy by safeguarding principles such as the rule of law, fundamental human rights and separation of powers as well as the independence of the judiciary. Source: NAN




Curbing recurrence of flood disasters in Nigeria By Tiamiyu Arobani


ast year’s flood was one of the most devastating natural disasters in Nigeria, as several states across the country were then ravaged by the flood, in which many lives and property were lost. The Ministry of Environment said the floods affected more than seven million people, while more than 363 persons lost their lives, apart from the 597,476 houses that were destroyed. Also, the Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammed Sani-Sidi, at a recent forum on Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland, said that Nigeria lost about N2.6 trillion to last year’s flood disaster. Observers, therefore, insist that the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) has a role to play in efforts to curb future flood disasters by enlightening the public ahead of the envisaged disaster. Just as it did last year, NIMET has sent some warning signals to some states and local governments across the country on the likelihood of having torrential rains that could result in flooding. ``Based on the condition that is prevalent at the time of making the prediction, we are predicting that the rainfall pattern in 2013 will not be different from what we saw in 2012,’’ the agency announced in a recent statement. NIMET said that the rains could cause some dams to overflow their banks, which might cause loss of people’s lives and destruction of their means of livelihood. Following this prediction, the Federal Government has advised citizens across the country to take necessary precautions in the event of flooding. Analysts, however, contend that although flood could not be prevented from occurring, its effects could, nonetheless, be controlled via the adoption of coordinated and proactive strategies. In line with the analysts’ suggestions, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been organising consultative workshops on flood prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response across the country. At the inauguration of the workshop in Abuja, NEMA’s directorgeneral called on governments at all levels to put in place proper refuse disposal mechanisms, while undertaking regular cleaning of drainage systems and water reservoirs Sani-Sidi also called for the provision of navigational aids at airports, adding that storm barriers and end dykes should also be erected on river banks and coastal areas. He noted that, in spite of the sensitisation, only 224 local government areas across the country had functional emergency management committees, stressing that states and the remaining local government areas should improve their disaster management capabilities. In her remark, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, the Minister of Water Resources, called on people living in flood-prone communities to take precautionary

NEMA DG, Alhaji Muhammed Sani-Sidi

measures against flooding. Due to the fact that water released from Ladgo Dam in Cameroun largely contributed to the flood disaster which Nigeria experienced in 2012, the minister emphasised that relevant Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities were discussing how to prevent a recurrence of the incident. Mr John Shamonda, the leader of the Technical Mission to Cameroon, noted that Nigeria was considering the construction of a dam in Dasin Hausa, Adamawa, to control flooding in the region. Media reports indicate that Nigeria had, in 1978, planned to construct the dam before Cameroon constructed the Ladgo Dam. Shamonda stressed that the dam’s construction would particularly check the incidence of flood in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi, Anambra, Delta and Bayelsa. He also observed that Dasin Hausa dam would serve as a buffer to contain any excess water released from Ladgo Dam. To avoid a recurrence of flood disasters in Nigeria, Shamonda said that the Federal Government

Ministry of Environment, Hadiza-Ibrahim-Mailafia

had given the dam project a priority attention. Besides, the Ministry of Environment, in a statement, said that it has strengthened its environmental education and awareness campaigns across the country to forestall flood disasters. The ministry said that as part of efforts to curb indiscriminate blockage of water channels and minimise the impact of flooding, it would enforce regulatory provisions on property development on flood plains. Moreover, it said that automated community-based flood early-warning systems have been installed near major rivers in flood-prone areas for real-time flood forecasting. All the measures notwithstanding, NEMA warned that if the states and local governments failed to initiate aggressive flood prevention strategies, all the efforts would be in vain. It stated that the strategies should include the clearing and expansion of drainage systems as well as the evacuation of people from floodprone areas.

Ms Magareta Wahlstrom, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, stressed that the Federal Government should go beyond the adoption of short-term measures to tackle flooding and other recurrent natural disasters.

The agency also observed that indiscriminate dumping of wastes in drains and the erection of buildings on flood-prone plains were some of the factors responsible for the occurrence of flood disasters in the country. It said that it was collaborating with the media to establish a national emergency information centre to dish out timely and accurate emergency information to the public. NEMA pledged that it would continue to embark on aggressive sensitisation campaigns in vulnerable communities by engaging traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects to the need to avert flood disasters. Malam Mohammed Abdulsalam, the NEMA’s Coordinator (North-Central zone), said that 4,000 volunteers had been recruited in Benue, 3,500 in Plateau and 3,000 in Nasarawa State as the first respondents in the event of flooding. All the same, Ms Magareta Wahlstrom, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, stressed that the Federal Government should go beyond the adoption of short-term measures to tackle flooding and other recurrent natural disasters. Walhlstrom said that Nigeria should shift its approach towards developing the capacity of local communities in disaster risks’ reduction. She also underscored the need for proper coordination and central planning functions in all disaster management tasks. All in all, observers urge all the relevant stakeholders to develop a virile synergy in efforts to engender a proactive approach to preventing, mitigating and responding to anticipated flooding in any part of the country. Source NAN




Taste and smell: What is it like to live without them? By Denise Winterman


ouble Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell says he is unable to smell or taste very much due to a brain injury he suffered. What is life like without these senses? Duncan Boak lost his sense of smell in 2005 after a fall resulted in a serious brain injury. With smell said to be responsible for 80% of the flavours we taste, the impact of losing it has been huge. “It’s so hard to explain but losing your sense of smell leaves you feeling like a spectator in your own life, as if you’re watching from behind a pane of glass,” he says. “It makes you feel not fully immersed in the world around you and sucks away a lot of the colour of life. It’s isolating and lonely.” Like Boak, double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell suffered a serious brain injury. He was hit by a petrol tanker while riding a bike in the US in 2010. In an interview with the Radio Times this week he said he was now unable to smell or taste very much. Eating is just something he has to do to survive, like putting petrol in a car. The loss of taste, known as ageusia, is rare and has much less of an impact on daily life, say experts. Most people who think they have lost their sense of taste have actually lost their sense of smell. It’s known as anosmia and the physical and psychological impact can be devastating and far reaching. “Studies have shown that people who lose their sense of smell end up more severely depressed and for longer periods of time than people who go blind,” says Prof Barry C Smith, co-director and founder of the Centre for the Study of the Senses. “Smell is such an underrated

sense. Losing it doesn’t just take the enjoyment out of eating, no place or person smells familiar anymore. It is also closely linked to memory. Losing that emotional quality to your life is incredibly hard to deal with.” Sue Mounfield lost her sense of smell three years ago after having the flu. She says the smells she misses the most are not to do with food. “It’s things like smelling my children, my home and my garden. When they’re gone you realised just how comforting and precious these smells are. They make you feel settled and grounded. Without them I feel as if I’m looking in on

my life but not fully taking part.” Losing your sense of smell also makes the world a much more dangerous place. Even in the womb smell and taste are “gatekeepers” for allowing things into our bodies and rejecting harmful toxins, says Smith. It nearly had extremely serious consequences for Alan Curr, who lost his sense of smell after knocking himself out in a gym lesson when he was eight. “When I was at university someone left the gas on by accident. I was home all day but never noticed. At about 3pm my flatmates returned and I was in a bit of a daze but had no idea why.

Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell damaged his sense of smell in 2010

They smelt gas as soon as they walked in the door.” Boak says he only really started to understand why he was feeling depressed six years after his accident. He started to read about the sense of smell and had a “road to Damascus” realisation that it was the reason he was feeling such emotions. He has now set up the UK’s first anosmia support group, Fifth Sense. There are no official figures for how many people in the UK suffer from the loss of smell or taste, but estimates for the US and Europe put the number at 5% of the population. Losing smell happens for several reasons. Some people are born without a sense of smell, it can be the result of a frontal head injury or something as mundane as an infection. Old age is also a factor, with smell and taste deteriorating rapidly after the age of 75. Unexplained disturbances in smell and taste can indicate the onset of brain illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, often years before other more recognisable symptoms emerge. “An unexplained loss of smell or taste acts like a canary in cage, it is a warning that something is wrong,” says Smith. “People need to get it checked out quickly but they don’t.” Often the problem is dismissed as trivial by the medical profession, adds Smith. Sufferers agree they are regularly turned away doctors who dismiss the loss of smell as trivial and say there is no treatment.

“Because you’re not in pain many doctors basically just tell you to live with it,” says Mounfield. Outside the medical profession people often find it amusing and something of an oddity. The physical consequences can also be extreme. People often lose weight because they no longer get any pleasure from food. Boak says he has been contacted by people who have been hospitalised because they find eating so difficult. Whether or not anosmia can be cured depends on the underlying cause. Smell can improve for some people but never return for others. It can come back but odours might have been re-coded by the brain so things don’t taste the same. Chocolate can smell like beef. But unlike sight and hearing, you can improve your smell by training it, say experts. Studies have also shown this applies to anosmia sufferers. Research by Professor Thomas Hummel, who runs the Smell and Taste Clinic at the University of Dresden in Germany, found that smelling certain strong odours including rose oil, lemon and cloves - repeatedly over a 12-week period resulted in some improvement in olfactory function. But for Boak it is a case of working with what he has left. With his taste buds still working he can bring out things like the sweetness and saltiness of food. Textures have also become important. “I can even detect the different texture of different types tomatoes,” he says. “Not something I thought I would ever have mastered before losing my sense of smell.” Source:



Ex-lawmaker advocates 7-year single tenure

You have no respect for elders, Tukur tells Anglican Bishop

ndependence Ogunewe, former member of the House of Representatives yesterday advocated for a seven-year single tenure for political office holders in the country. Ogunewe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that seven years would ideally replace the earlier six-year tenure proposed by the Senate. The senate Ad-hoc Committee had proposed a six-year single tenure in the ongoing process of the country’s constitution amendment. ``We should find something that would be fairly accurate for the present system. ``Assuming you were running the four-year two tenure system, the one year you take out perhaps is the one year the person will spend in preparing for a reelection. ``That makes it up to seven years; that is my own reasoning,’’ he said. Ogunewe said the sevenyear tenure ``will be one of the best things for the nation’s democracy’’, if it was adopted. While noting that the proposal was based on the belief of sufficient period to perform, he said that the seven-year single tenure would provide more time for elected public officers to work. ``I believe it would be the best thing that can happen. In my own opinion, anything needed to be achieved can be done within that period.’’ Ogunewe also noted that the increasing pursuit by political office holders to serve a second term was overheating the polity. Besides, he suggested that the seven-year proposal should start in 2019, if considered. ``I am very firmly of the view that it should commence in 2019 because starting it by 2015 would amount to changing the goal post in the middle of the game. ``Majority of the current governors would have opted to run for the governorship race, having it in mind that they would have an opportunity to a shot at the game, if the people still want them,’’ Ogunewe added. (NAN)

ational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday chided Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rev. E.O.Chukwuma, of lacking in respect for elders for urging the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the Chairman, PDP Board


By Lawrence Olaoye


of Trustees (BoT), ChiefTony Anenih, to resign their positions on account of old age. Tukur, in a statement signed on his behalf by his Special Assistant on media, Oliver Okpala, stated that it was unbecoming of a clergy of Chukwuma’s status to discountenance African culture and disparage old men in the society.

Tukur who accused the clergyman of dabbling into politics said “It is therefore amazing and bizarre that a man of God like Bishop Chukwuma who recently met and danced off his 24 years episcopacy should cash off his cassock to descend into the political fray. Respect for elders is part of our African heritage and tradition, therefore a supposed

Members of Adamawa state House of Assembly in a group photograph, during a three-day workshop on Constitutional and Immunity of the Legislature, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

man of God who has no respect for Elders is not worth his calling and shouldn’t have made those unguided statements. “It is therefore paramount on Rt. Rev Chukwuma who parades himself as a man of God to appreciate the import of the outstanding commandment in the Bible which is “Respect for one’s parent so that one will also attain old age”. There is everything wrong and repulsive that a man of God should show blatant disrespect for Elders. “There is no Country in the World which dispenses with the experience, knowledge and wisdom of her Senior Citizens. On the contrary the Elder Statesmen are respected, revered, honoured and appreciated. “Nelson Mandela is a case in point as he has been honoured and respected at home and abroad even as a nonagenarian. Nobody has written him off as a dead wood simply because he is old and sick. “Bishop Chukwuma may be young today, but he prays to be old. That he is regarded as a political Bishop with controversies trailing his single footsteps is no reason why he should continue to fish in troubled political waters. We recall that it was not long ago that he was embarrassed even on the pulpit for descending into the political arena by one of the Deputy Governors in the SouthEastern States who advised him to come out and test his popularity by putting off his cassock first and joining politics.”

Govs opposed to financial autonomy for legislature are dictators-Kwara Speaker From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


peaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Barrister Razak Atunwa, has said that any of the nation’s governors opposed to the proposal for financial autonomy for all the 36 State House of Assembly in the ongoing Constitutional review should be regarded as a dictator. The Speaker who made this observation in Ilorin while receiving

a delegation of DFID and United Kingdom based State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI), which championed financial autonomy for State Legislature on a sanitization visit on the review of the 1999 Constitution, said such independence would not only ensure prudence, accountability in governance but enhance quality legislation. He said since legislature provides the needed platform for good

governance, no governor should object to granting autonomy to their House of Assembly as this, according to him, would make their state to enjoy more dividend of democracy. Atunwa who commended the team said the House of Assembly was overwhelmed with the support the proposed amendment received which would further enhance the legislature duties. In his remark, a two term

member of the National Assembly, Hon. Celestine Oghanze expressed confidence that the proposed fiscal autonomy for the State legislature would engender good governance and performance of legislature duties. He expressed confidence that democracy had come to staying in the country but enjoined his colleagues to entrench pillars that would strengthen the institution.

Bauchi: Opposition parties urge court to order conduct of council polls From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


pposition parties in Bauchi state have urged the court to compel the Bauchi state Government to conduct Local Government election in the state. Two opposition parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), had earlier sued

the state government and three others over the inability of the state government to conduct local government elections in the state. The aggrieved parties however resolved to settle out of court. Counsels to the ACN Nd the CPC yesterday asked the Bauchi State High 1 to join the All Nigeria Peoples Party ANPP and the 20

Local Government Caretaker committee Chairmen in a suit asking the court to, as a matter of urgency, compel the Bauchi state Government to conduct Local Government election in the state. Counsel to ACN, Barrister Lawal Hussein and Counsel to the CPC Barrister Sale Bakaro told the court that they have filed a motion

asking the court to join ANPP as an interested party as plaintiffs in the suit, they also asked the court to join the 20 council chairmen as defendants because whatever judgment the court may pass will directly affect the council chairmen. Counsel to the Bauchi State Government Aliyu Shehu said he

was not aware of the motion filed by the opposition asking the court to join the ANPP and the 20 council chairmen in the suit because nobody serves him with the motion. The Presiding Judge, who is also the State Chief Judge Justice of the state, Mohammed Ibrahim Zango said the state attorney be served directly.



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Nasarawa collaborates with World Bank, DFID for youth empowerment From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


s part of its commitment to develop and empower youth in the state, the Nasarawa state government has concluded arrangements to partner the World Bank through its Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) and the DFID through the Mercy Corps programme, to train unemployed youth in the area on entrepreneurial skills. The Governor’s Special Assistant on Youth Empowerment, Murtala Adogi, disclosed this

yesterday in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the World Bank’s Social Protection Specialist, Mr. Stanley Garuba and the DFID Conflict Adviser, Mr. Adams Drury, as part of his on-going meeting with development partners and key stakeholders. Murtala who serves as facilitator and a coordinator on youth empowerment projects, said that government was deeply committed to empowering the youth through sustainably access to entrepreneurial skills and employment opportunities for self reliance and income security.

he said that government was also working towards addressing number of social, political, and economic factors that influence youth propensity towards violence. According to him, “shortterm employment generation programs for youth can serve as quick wins for stabilizing violent situations. “But sustaining such stability requires investing in longer-term job creation that addresses young people’s underlying grievances about the lack of meaningful and viable economic opportunities.” Responding, Garuba said

YESSO was aimed at supporting the provision of immediate work opportunities and skills development for unemployed youth and women from poor households. He described youth employment was one of the bank’s global priorities in the country noting that one in five of all new job seekers in Africa is a Nigerian. On its part, the DFID Conflict Adviser said that his organisation through the Mercy Corps programme was engaged in five north central states including Nasarawa.

Plateau killings: Reps urge FG to check activities of STF By Umar Muhammad Puma


oncerned by incessant attacks and the recent killings of about 70 people in Magama, Bolgang and Karkashi areas of Langtang South local government area of Plateau state, the House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committee on Defence to check the activities of the Special Task Force in the area. The House also called on the Federal Government to set up a panel to address the growing incidence of attacks on citizens with a view to curbing further occurrence. It further directed its Committee on Police Affairs to ensure the completion of the Kadarko Police Mobile Barracks which would strengthen security presence in the area. The House also directed its Committee on works to ensure the completion of the Sabon-Gida to Ibi road linking Langtang South and Taraba state, to open up access and reduce vulnerability of the communities. Earlier in a motion under the matters of urgent public importance, Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau) had noted that, “there has been an upsurge of loss of lives in Nigeria, particularly in Langtang North and South.” According to her, the June 27 attacks left about 70 persons dead, most of whom were elderly men and women, along with children while over 100 homes were destroyed and 7000 people displaced.

Commission dismisses judicial officers over judgement leakage By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (centre), launching of fertiliser sales and distribution for 2013 rainy season at Rabah local govt area, Sokoto state, recently

Bauchi pays workers N2bn monthly From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state government said yesterday that its monthly wage bill is about N2 billion for the over 30,000 civil servants. The Head of Service, Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin, who disclosed this a t a press briefing warned that government was set to unleash the full wrath of the law on civil servants found engaging in corrupt practices. According to him, “our workers now enjoy jumbo salary because the Governor Isa Yuguda administration has implemented all the salary structures introduced by the Federal Government. “We have implemented the CONTISS for all the tertiary institutions, upward review of salaries and allowances of civil servants thereby replacing the so called Bauchi state formula with a living wage with the implementation of Federal Government’s circular on the review of allowances of all Health workers adopted in the state. “The others include

implementation of the consolidated judicial staff salary structure known as CONJUSS. “The most recent of them all being the N18, 000 minimum wage. “Our workers now enjoy take home pay, they can now get home with their pay which was not like that because they were always afraid to go home after collecting salary

because they cannot account for it.” Abdon said that government would no longer tolerate corrupt practices explaining its decision to employ the services of the EFCC and the ICPC to probe cases of corruption so as to ensure accountability in all government transactions. “Before the coming of this administration, there were

fraudulent activities in the state civil service that made government to be indebted. “After clearing all the debts by the previous administration, government set up anti-corruption agencies within the ministries and g agencies to ensure credibility and transparency in all its transactions,” he said.

Sokoto subsidises fertilisers for farmers From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


he Sokoto state government in collaboration with the Federal Government has procured 15,500 tons of fertilisers for sale to farmers at subsidized rates. Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko disclosed this yesterday at Rabah local government area during the launch of this year’s sale of the commodity. According to him, “by this subsidy, MPK fertiliser will cost N1,700 while urea type would be sold at N1,800.”

Governor Wamakko warned those entrusted with the sale of the commodity to be just and honest as only genuine farmers should benefit from the exercise. He said Government had continued to subsidise the agricultural sector so that farmers would produce more food for the country and also improve their income. The Governor said government purchased some hand held farming implement to replace the use of agelong hoes. He urged farmers to take advantage of the new implements

and improve seed varieties in order to modernise their farming activities and boost production. He also noted that his administration introduced a number of incentives to farmers as well as establishing a college of agriculture, all in an attempt to boost agriculture production. Wamakko noted further that government has disbursed N3 billion to farmers as part of measures to also boost agriculture adding that arrangement has been concluded to disburse additional sum of N2 billion for rice farmers.


he Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) has dismissed five Supreme Court workers and a staff of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal for their involvement in the leakage of an undelivered judgment in the case of Senator Alphonsus Uba Igbeke Vs Lady Margery Okadigbo and 3 others. Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Sunday Olorundahunsi, said in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday that the Commission decided to discipline the erring officers because they were found, through internal and the Nigeria Police investigation to have conspired amongst themselves and two outsiders to leak out a judgment before it was delivered on May 31, 2013. The statement explained that the FJSC considered their act as serious misconduct that runs contrary to Regulation 48 (1)(xi) of the Federal Judicial Service Commission Regulations, Regulation 49 and Regulation 60 (1)(i). Meanwhile, the Federal Judicial Service Commission has requested the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation to further investigatethemotivebehindtheleakage and possibly take legal action against Igbeke and Mr. Collins Okechukwu for allegedly masterminding the leaked undelivered judgment.



News Extra

Group wants IGP to sanction Rivers Police Commissioner From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he coalition of concerned citizens, indigenes and nonindigenes resident in rivers state has protested the alleged face-off between the Rivers state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The group in a petition to the Inspector-general of Police regretted that the “imbroglio” has impacted

negatively on residents in the state. According to the petition “due to the misunderstanding between the two principal security officers, the Commissioner of Police has aban doned his primary assignment in the state and declared in public his intention not to co-operate with the governor especially on matters of security.” “It is not in doubt that this has led to an increase

in the rate of kidnappings, armed robbery and the likes especially in areas where the usual security earlier deployed has been withdrawn by the Commissioner. “This has created a feeling of insecurity in the minds of the Rivers people. “More alarmingly is the recent abduction of three National Youth Corps members in Ahoada East local government area.” The group further cited the

case of a shoot-out by armed men who besieged the ever busy Waterlines bus stop. The group added that in f June, several acts of security breach occurred in the state, including 16 kidnap incidents, seven armed robbery cases, and 16 car-theft cases, among others. The group appealed to the Inspector General to use his good offices to conduct an investigation on the “excesses” of the Commissioner.

‘20 million women commit unsafe abortion’

Oyo urges FG to strengthen NYSC


he Oyo state has called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to ensure that the current challenges facing the country are not allowed to wreck the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Waheed Akin Olajide, sated this on Wednesday when he hosted members of the Governing Council of the NYSC, led by Tijani Adediran Adekanmbi. “The Scheme remains the only opportunity outside the statutory uniform agencies for young Nigerians to mingle and interact,” the SSG said. From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

UNIBEN student killing: Edo accuses police of shoddy investigation


From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


total of about 20 million women from developing countries have been identified to engage in unsafe abortions with lifethreatening. The figure does not reflect the acceptable global standard of sexual and reproductive rights heath index, a Senior Technical Officer on HIV preventive care and treatment, Dr. Joseph Obaitua. Obaitua gave the hint while delivering a lecture at workshop during the 5th African conference on Sexual Health and Rights, organised by Youth Empowerment and Development Centre (YEDEC), on Wednesday in Benin-City. According to him, 800 women die daily due to pregnancy and child birthrelated complications, adding that 222 million women in developing countries do not use modern methods of contraceptives in preventing pregnancies. He said that this contributes to 80 million unplanned pregnancies to global population. He also identified effective monitoring and evaluation plan as necessary to address the problem from degenerating. Obaitua said that there should be advocacy by policy makers in tackling perceived religious and ethnic barriers in society where less attention is paid to population growth and sexuality education like Nigeria. The coordinator of YEDEC, Aisiri Christian who appealed to health partners and the governments at al level to lend support in raising the template for a better Nigeria, stressed that plans are underway to take sexual heath and rights to rural dwellers and the hinterland.


L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Chairman Rivers State Chapter Prince Felix Obuah, PDP, Deputy National Chairman Hon. Chibudom Nwuche,and Rivers State PDP, Secretary Mr. Walter Opuene, during the Rivers State PDP’s meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Abuja. Photo Joe Oroye

Tata donates materials to lessprivileged women in Katsina From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


renown Katsina politician and philanthropist, Alhaji Umar Abdullahi Tata, has donated working materials to lessprivileged women in Malumfashi and Kafur local government areas of Katsina state. Donating the materials to the

beneficiaries, on Wednesday in Malumfashi, Tata noted that 100 beneficiaries were selected from Kafur and 375 from Malumfashi. The materials include 100 sewing machines, 50 grinding machines, 200 spaghettimaking machines, 50 knitting machines, 40 refrigerators, and 20 motorcycles.

Tata lamented that the massive turn out of women at the ceremony shows the high level of poverty ravaging the state. He noted further that widows dominated the list of beneficiaries. “Since my childhood I have been more preoccupied with the thoughts of how I will assist my people,” he said.

Zamfara effects 20% reduction in number of intending pilgrims From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


he Zamfara state Committee on Hajj taskforce, has effected the 20 per cent reduction in the number of intending pilgrims from the state for the 2013 Hajj. With the development, about 336 intending pilgrims who had

earlier registered will not perform the Hajj, out of a total of 5,000. The state Deputy Governor who is the Chairman of the committee, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad, noted that, “we have 4,088 intending pilgrims to perform this year’s Hajj if the registered number is reduced by 20 per cent.”

According to him, the 336 intending pilgrims who were screened out comprised those who had performed the Hajj in previous years. He said they had the option to either collect their money or leave it against next year’s Hajj operations.

do State government has accused the Nigeria Police of carrying out shoddy investigation in connection with death of a student of the University of Benin, Ibrahim Momodu, who was allegedly shot on May 27, 2013 by the officer in charge of Ogida police station. The Commissioner of Justice, Henry Idahagbon, made the accusation on Wednesday when a group of students, the bereaved family and civil society organizations led by the Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Reverend David Ugolor, protested the killing at the Ministry of Justice. “The case file has been returned by the DPP to my office because the police is yet to do a thorough investigation that can grant prosecution for murder,” he said. By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

Nigerian US group to honour Yar’Adua, Achebe


igerians living with disabilities in the US are to honour the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe, during the UN General Assembly in September. A High-Level meeting of the General Assembly on September 23 will discuss, “World’s Disability and Development.’’ The President of Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities International, Chief Eric Ufom, told the UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that 13 state governors who had started the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will also be honoured. According to Ufom, the states are Plateau, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Lagos, Ekiti, Anambra, Abia, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Imo, Enugu, Kano and Benue. He stated that Plateau was the first state in Nigeria to successfully pass into law, the “Plateau State Indigenes with Disability Rights Commission Law 2005”, on Dec. 21, 2005.




Constitution amendment: FCT indigenes support NASS on mayoral status


L-R: Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Mr. Jibrin Ibrahim, House of representative Members on the Committee on Civil Society and Donors, Hon. Dawari George and Hon. Nkoyo Toyo, during the Summit on the role of Civil Society in the Formation and Implementation of Public Policies and Programmes in a Development Democracy, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Nasarawa collaborates with World Bank, DFID on youth empowerment By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday told the Action Congress of Nigeria ( ACN) leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, that he has no power to bar anyone from contesting he Ekiti state governorship election next year. The party in a statement released by its National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Tony Caesar Okeke accused Tinubu of carrying his despotism too far by seeking to bar some persons from contesting the Ekiti state governorship election in 2014.

According to the party, it is extremely “wicked and undemocratic” for Tinubu to order a House of Representatives member from Ekiti state, Hon Opeyemi Bamideke, to forget his governorship ambition adding that such smacks of tyranny and outright disdain for democracy. “By ordering a House of Representatives member from Ekiti state, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele to forget his governorship ambition in the 2014 governorship election, Tinubu has once again displayed his despotic tendencies and utter disdain for democratic process.

“This is extremely wicked and indeed the height of tyranny and outright disparagement for the people and their right to choose their leaders as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution as amended”, the statement said. Reminding Tinubu that he is not from Ekiti state and as such should not decide for the people, the PDP urged the people of the state “to rise up to the occasion and defend their rights by rejecting the usual practice of allowing god-fathers to select their leaders for them. “In openly endorsing Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for

a second term and ordering Hon. Opeyemi to forget his ambition, Tinubu has clearly shown his resolve to truncate laid down electoral processes so as to retain the system through which the resources of the state are being diverted to private purses,” the party said. Noting that the ACN has shown that it is not ready to respect the rights of the people, the PDP urged all lovers of democracy to come over to the “national party where no individual sits in his room and decides who will be candidate for an election”.

Ex Abia deputy governor calls for legislation on mental healthcare


hief Acho Nwakama, Board Chairman, Federal NeuroPsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, yesterday called on government to come up with legislation to enhance mental health care delivery in Nigeria. Nwakama, a former Deputy Governor of Abia, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Umuahia. He said that treatment and welfare of psychiatric patients

required so much that relatives of victims needed assistance to surmount the challenges. ``If you move along the streets today, you will see many of these street psychotics loitering everywhere, looking funny and all these does not portray our society in good light. ``We need a legislation at federal and state levels to protect the sanctity of man and that we can only do by tackling the problem faced by

psychiatric patients,’’ he said. Nwakama also appealed to education institutions to step up the training of personnel in the sector, considering that the field currently lacked manpower due to the stigma. ``When people see a psychiatric doctor, they look at him as if he is a psychiatric patient himself, not to talk of the patients; such stigma must be addressed by the legislation,’’ he said. The board chairman urged

government to build more rehabilitation centres for mental patients, noting that most advanced countries which Nigeria copied from, already had such centres. Nwakama said members of the board he headed would soon begin advocacy visits to governors of the five South-East states of Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia on the need for states to equally come with legislation for the protection and care of psychiatric patients.

riginal Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) yesterday expressed support for the National Assembly’s proposal for election of a mayor of FCT with executive powers. The proposal is part of the reccommendations by the National Assembly in the on-going constitution amendment. The President of the association, Mr Danladi Jeji, announced this during the FCT Indigenes Day, organised by the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), in Abuja. “The Senate proposal for an elective mayor, with governorship power, as contained in the constitution review is hereby accepted by OIDA.`` “But we plead that for the FCT, the democratic institutions of a second tier administration (the state) should be unambiguously entrenched in the constitution when finally amended, “ he said. The FCT indigenes had proposed the removal of ``an unconstitutional democratic deficit’’ imposed by the military regimes in their memoranda to the constitution review. Jeji commended NASS for respecting the democratic tenants of rule of law and constitutionality by satisfying the yearnings and aspiration of indigenes of the FCT. He said there was a need for the creation of two additional senatorial districts and four federal constituencies in the FCT, to have a resemblance of other states of the federation. ``Perusing the activities of government, vis-a-vis progressive practice globally, it has become abundantly clear that the indigenous communities of FCT have been seriously short-changed. ``Government has responded to the demands of the Niger Delta for revenue allocation based on the principles of derivation. ``It established a Niger Delta Ministry and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the FCT indigenes have not been so treated, `` he said. He appealed that 20 per cent of all sales accruing from land proceeds within the FCT and 40 per cent of all land allocation to individuals should be given to indigenes. ``Major streets in the FCT should also as matter of policy be named after indigenous heroes and traditional leaders.`` (NAN)

Perm Sec calls for speedy passage, implementation of child rights act


ajiya Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Women Affairs yesterday in Abuja called for the speedy passage and implementation of the 2003 Child Rights Act. Lawal made the call at a workshop on implementation of the 2003 Child Rights Act in partnership with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs. She said although only 22 states had passed the law, it was important

for the remaining 14 to do so, without delay, to enable children to enjoy their full rights. She said the ministry had advised states that had not passed the law to do so, even if it was to remove those issues unfavourable to their culture and religion. She said the act ensured the survival, development, protection and participation of children in issues that affected them. She said the ministry spearheaded

the enactment of the act, to give legal backing to Nigeria’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. ``We have followed the ministry’s commitment to the above cause with advocacy visits, sensitisation, awareness campaigns as well as celebration of annual events for children. ``in spite of these efforts, I regret to state that some states have yet to pass the child rights act into law, thereby denying children in their states full

enjoyment of their rights. ``We must therefore do all we can to ensure their survival, development and protection, to enable them to grow as responsible and useful members of the society as they grow into adulthood.” Lawal commended the 22 states that passed the law and urged them to establish family courts, to ensure speedy implementation. She said a communiqué would be issued at the end of the workshop to ensure

implementation of the provisions of the law in all states of the federation. Mrs Olufunke Baruwa, Desk Officer, Gender, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, called on states to implement the law, to improve the wellbeing of children. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants were drawn from all the states of the federation. (NAN)


NJF to pick Benin Republic bound judokas in Ibadan

Official says 2013 Women Federations Cup starts July 17


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has fixed the first round matches of the 2013 Women Federations Cup will start on July 17. The General Secretary of the federation, Musa Amadu, said in as statement that six matches would hold on the said date at different venues across the country. Accordingly, Dynamic Sports FC of Anambra and Ibom Angels of Akwa Ibom will slug it out at the Aba venue. FC Real Dynamos from Lagos will face Oginni Queens of Osun in Ibadan, while God City Queens of Abia and C.I. Angels will meet at Rojenny, Oba in Anambra. Abuja venue will host Taraba Queens and Yaba Queens, while Adamawa Queens and Shettima Babes of FCT will lock horns in Sokoto. The last match of the day will be in Akure between Martins White of Edo and Florence Babes of Oyo. Some 22 clubs are participating in the 2013 edition of the competition whose winner will be decided on July 27. Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt clinched the 2012 title 5-4 on penalties against Inneh Queens of Edo.

Winner-TakesAll: Players appeal for consolatory prizes


udokas that would represent Nigeria at an international competition in Benin Republic later in the year would be selected at a three-day National Judo Open competition, which began yesterday in Ibadan. Dr Musa Oshodi, the VicePresident, Nigerian Judo Federation (NJF), disclosed this at the


Indoor Sports Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan where the tournament is taking place. No fewer than 20 states are featuring in the competition, which he said, would also feature seminars and lectures for coaches and officials. Though he declined to be spe-

cific on the number of judokas that would be selected, he stated that the competition is meant for grading of judokas and added that it was just one of the six planned for this year by the federation. He regretted that it had suffered a series of postponements because of lack of sponsorship from corporate bodies and the gov-

West slams Obuh's Flying Eagles, says performance disappointing By Patrick Andrew


lying Eagles at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey were not only disappointing but far from being a fair representation of youth talents in the country. This was the submission of ex-international, Taribo West, who frowned at the performance of the players and the want of technical depth in their plot and execution of same. West was disappointed that the quality of the junior Eagles paraded by John Obuh was “questionable” stressing that they lacked the technicalities of a good team and added that the bunch were disappointing. “The players were disappointing, their performance was nothing to write home about, this is the lowest performance I have seen this year. ``We technical department lost it, we lacked everything a complete team should have, it was a disappointing tournament. A player can only give what they have, they just didn’t have it in them, only two players stood out for me,’’ West said. The Flying Eagles crashed out of the tournament after they lost their match against Uruguay 1-2. Olarenwaju Kayode praises God after his brilliant goal against Uruguay


ome squash players participating at the ongoing ``Winner-Takes-All Minna Squash Tournament’’ in Minna yesterday appealed to the organisers to give consolatory prizes to other participants. The organisers have said that the winner of the male and female categories of the tournament will be rewarded with Ford Focus saloon cars at the end of the event tomorrow. No fewer than 40 players,

made up of 16 female and 24 male players, are participating in the competition that served-off on July 3 in the Niger capital. Though the players expressed delight with the new Board of the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) for their bold efforts to reposition the game, they pressed for consolatory prizes to encourage others. “Winner-Takes-All is good, but just a little prize money will be fair as consolatory prizes. It will encourage the players,’’ Abubakar Moshood said.

Mary Edem, a Minna-based player, wondered why the monies used for the purchase of the cars could not be converted into cash prizes for the various winners noting that it would be unfair to leave players that came from different parts of the country to return empty-handed. ``I honestly don’t like the winner-takes-all tag of this competition; they should have spread the money to give consolatory prizes too,” Edem said. Reacting to their plea, Adamu

ernment and noted that members had to commit themselves and contributed funds to host the tournament. “We cannot continue to wait for funding from government and corporate bodies in vain, so for the game not to die and the federation thrown into oblivion, we need to do something,’ he said.

NNL sets up 5-man committee to investigate match-fixing cases


he Nigeria National League (NNL) has set up a five-man investigative committee to look into alleged match-fixing cases in the league. A communiqué, made available to newsmen at the end of its board meeting held on Tuesday, gave the name of the committee chairman as Emmanuel Ochiagha. Other members are Paul Bassey, who is a technical committee member of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and Isaac Danladi, the Chairman of Nasarawa Utd, as well as Charles Ojugbana and Toyin Ibitoye. According to the communiqué, week 29 and 30 matches have been postponed to allow NFF’s Disciplinary Committee to treat outstanding cases and for outstanding matches to be replayed. It added that the last two matches would be handled by the Premier League referees and match commissioners and that the board would closely monitor the venues. The communiqué also stated that the league condemned the rising wave of hooliganism and assault on match officials, and advised clubs to control their supporters.

Erena, President of the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF), the sponsors did not meant it to be punitive but to bring out the best in the players. ``This competition is more like a reality check for players to know where they belong. This is part of our reform programme for our players. ``I understand their plight, but we must do this to test their abilities as players and rate them accordingly,’’ the president said.



Sports Bolt advises Blake, Gay, others to wait till 2017 for World, Olympics gold By Patrick Andrew with agency report


sain Bolt has asked all 100m and 200m World and Olympics contenders to wait for their time because he intends to dominate in these areas until sometime after 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “I want to continue dominating until the next Olympics. I have to work hard, train hard and stay focused. I’ve won everything already, but now it’s to show that I can be a dominant sprinter. You want to dominate for the rest of your career,” Bolt said on Tuesday. Further, he said he is not in a hurry to relinquish his cherished titles. “I want to go for Rio to be three out of three. If I want to get there, I have to make sure every year I’m on the top of things. I can’t jump off any season. I have to make sure every year I keep pushing myself to keep a certain standard,” Bolt said. “ The six-time Olympic champion, who will be competing at the Areva meeting in Paris tomorrow, said he is in supreme form and ready to beat anyone on the block.

Peoples Daily Sports recalls that American sprinter Justin Gatlin defeated the world and Olympics champion at the Golden Gala on June 6. However, Bolt recovered from that shocking defeat to win the 200m at the Bislett Games and also ran 9.94 seconds on home soil over 100 metres at the Jamaican trials on June 21. With these performances, he clearly wants to keep that form going and seems motivated to sustain the shape and form ahead of next month’s World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Bolt, who turns 27 in August, has stepped up preparations for the world championships in Moscow and has raced the 200 metres in Paris, the ninth leg of the Diamond League. It’s a meet where he will face compatriots Warren Weir and Nickel Ashmeade, along with former 200-metre European champion Christophe Lemaitre of France. And it’s a meet he is clearly relishing. “I really enjoy running big races before championships. It tells you where you are and tells you what you need to work on. I know these young guys are

stepping up and they’re going to come running and pushing you to the limits,” he said. Tomorrow, he faces a strong field of a new generation of sprinters including Weir that won the 200m in Shanghai and New York in May, and clocked 19.79 in Kingston last month. “It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be challenging because there’s always going to be younger, faster kids coming up and challenging you. I look forward to the young kids coming up and I look forward to beating them also. “I think I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. You learn that some things you can’t do. When I was younger, I used to do a lot of different things. But now I have to sacrifice a lot more ... because the older you get, the more your body reacts to certain things. So I think I’m going wiser definitely,” Bolt said. After the Areva meeting, Bolt will compete in the 100 and the 4x100 relay in London on July 26-27. That will be his final major meeting before the worlds, which start on August 10 and where Bolt plans to win three gold medals. And he is still sparing a thought for 2016, and defending his Olympic titles at the Rio de Bolt is in no doubt about his ability to dominate until after the 2016 Janeiro Games. Olympics Games in Rio, Brazil

Revenge on the card for Price


David Price displays his Commonwealth heavyweight title

avid Price will have revenge on his mind in Liverpool tomorrow night at the Echo Arena when the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion faces American veteran Tony Thompson in a return match. Price, a 29-year-old who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, was beaten in two rounds when they met in February this year. He seemed to be in control in the first round, keeping the 41-year-old Thompson on the outside. But he allowed his concentration to slip in the second round and was caught with a right hook to the side of the head. The blow burst his eardrum and sent him down to the canvas. He beat the count but was wobbling around the ring and the referee had no option but to stop the fight. The 2.03m Price has a record of 15-1, with 13 inside the distance. He has good skills and an effective jab, and works well from the outside. And his 81 per cent knockout ratio shows he has power. Thompson’s professional record stands at 37-3, including 25 knockouts. He is 1.96m tall and an awkward southpaw with

power, good skills and more experience than the Briton. His only defeats were to Eric Kirkland 13 years ago and two against Wladimir Klitschko, who stopped him twice. Because he is such a dangerous counter puncher he can make Price pay by drawing him in close. It is a must-win fight for price to get to challenge one of the Klitschko brothers for a title. On the same card, British junior welterweight champion Darren Hamilton defends his title against Adil Anwar. It could be a highly entertaining bout. The 34-year-old Hamilton, who has a record of 13-2, with 3 stoppage wins, has won eight of his last nine fights. He lost only to Dave Ryan, on a disqualification in 2011, during this run. Anwar, 25, who is from Yorkshire, has a record of 19-1; 7. In Hartford, Connecticut, former IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib (35-2; 21) returns to action when he faces Mike Oliver (25-3; 8), a former WBA and WBO middleweight champion. Veteran Felix Sturm (37-3-2; 1) will try to get his career back on track when he fights Pedrag Radosevic (27-0; 9) from Montenegro over 12 rounds in Dortmund, Germany.

CHAN: Ivorian Elephants hit Kaduna


he 26-man delegation from Cote d’Ivoire comprising of 18 Elephants and eight pofficials flew into Kaduna yesterday afternoon for tomorrow's 2014 African Nations Championship qualifier against Nigeria. Coach Norbert Saraka leads the Elephants who were recently on a tour of Ghana to prepare for the encounter. The Ivorian delegation, led by Koffi Roger Yao, includes seven other officials. LIST OF ELEPHANTS: Sylvain Gbohouo, Badra Ali Sangare, Tiecoura Coulibaly, Akesse Mathias Kassi, Ange Baresi Gloudoueu, Mahan Marc Goua, Ousmane Ouattara, Cheik Moukoro, Topio Coulibaly, Mohamed Kaba, Romeo Zahouo, Dogui Gael Lakpa, Fousseny Coulibaly, Roger Assale, Kevin Zougoula, Nanga Mamadou Soro, Koffi Davy Boua.




I nte n ternational r national Transfer Tran s fer Moyes may sign Thiago today as speculation grows over player's switch


very close Man United source has hinted that David Moyes could announce Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara as his first major signing even as speculation in Spain grows over the player's future. Publicly, Barcelona has remained adamant that no such deal exists, with club spokesman Toni Freixa telling Marca that "there is no news” regarding Thiago and that the 22-year-old remains a "Barca player with a valid contract". However, there have been various signs to sug-

gest that it’s just a matter of time before Thiago leaves the Camp Nou to join the Premier League champions. Sports daily AS reports that the player’s father Mazinho,World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994, has put his Barcelona restaurant Campechano on the market ahead of an imminent move to England. The paper also points out that, having used Thiago in the advertising campaign to launch the team’s new kit, Barca have since published the same photo on Instagram, cropping the midfielder from the shot



City eye Negredo as Tevez replacement



Juventus, Napoli battle for Nani

anchester City are interested in bringing in Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo as a replacement to the recently departed Carlos Tevez, who joined Serie A Champions Juventus. Negotiations are still yet to unfold but it has been suggested that the Spanish international is a keen target for new coach Manuel Pellegrini, who is willing to fork out £18m for the move. Pellegrini tried to sign Negredo when at Malaga, but, now, after having already built a bridge with Sevilla following the transfer of Jesus Navas, it seems the City manager wants to try lure him to the Etihad. The 27-year-old had been due to sign for Atletico Madrid this week, but the deal stalled over the fee with Sevilla demanding £21.2m from their La Liga rivals. City are eager to bring in a proven striker after it seems that Chelsea will pip them in the race to sign Napoli’s Edinson Cavani.

erie A giants Juventus and Napoli are reportedly interested in Manchester United winger Nani, according to the Mirror. The Portuguese international fell out of favour at Old Trafford last season, and it remains unclear whether or not his future still remains at the club even though David Moyes has replaced Sir Alex Ferguson. According to The Mirror, there is a trio of Italian teams interested in bringing in the temperamental player to their squad, with Roma being the latest club to join Juventus and Napoli. It is understood that new coach Rudi Garcia is desperate to make Nani his first major coop of the transfer window. With Nani’s burning desire to return to regular action in order to make a bid for Portugal’s 2014 World Cup squad, he could be tempted in a summer move to Italy.


areth Bale looks set to stay at Spurs for the coming season after Real Madrid conceded defeat in the battle to sign him. Tottenham’s Welsh wizard was a £80million target for the Spanish giants. But Bernabeu bosses announced last night that Tottenham were unwilling to let them buy the star this summer. However, they are confident Bale will move “into the big time” in 12 months. But for now it seems as if Bale, 23, will remain at White Hart Lane this term. That is great news for Tottenham, who feared they might lose their most prized asset. Real were confident they could land him after the north Londoners finished fifth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League. And they also revealed they had a “special relationship” with Spurs following the capture of Luka Modric last season. But Spanish newspaper Marca — said to be Real’s mouthpiece — reported yesterday: “Real Madrid have decided to put the Gareth Bale signing on hold. “After receiving yet another ‘no’ from Tottenham, Florentino Perez and his

team have decided to call it a day and now see the signing of Bale this summer as impossible. “Daniel Levy, the English club’s president, is not open to negotiation, and faced with such inflexibility, reaching any sort of agreement is not viable.” Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City have also been monitoring Bale’s situation with interest. But now the frontrunners from Madrid have been turned down, it seems highly unlikely the Wales playmaker will move elsewhere. Tottenham have insisted all along that Bale would not be leaving this summer. And the player is said to be extremely happy to remain with the club.


Cardozo close to Fenerbahce switch


Besiktas submit offer for Adebayor


esiktas have made an offer for Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor, according to the Turkish club’s director AhmetKavalci. The 29-year-old joined Andre Villas-Boas’ side on a permanent deal from Manchester City in August 2012 after impressing during a season-long loan spell at White Hart Lane. But the former Arsenal player struggled for form last season, hitting just five goals in 25 Premier League appearances, and now Besiktas claim to have made a substantial offer for the forward. “It is certainly true that we are looking at the idea of a transfer. We have made a serious bid for Adebayor,” Kavalci told Fanatik. “That, in turn, has given us a figure for the player, which is slightly above the amount that we imagined. “However, making a signing as big as this immediately is nothing but a dream. Negotiations always take a long time. I hope that we will get a chance to have a Adebayor meeting soon.”

Real lost out in Gareth’s chase


enfica striker Oscar Cardozo is closing in on a deal which would see him joinFenerbahce, his agent has revealed. The Paraguay international, who scored 31 goals in all competitions for the Portuguese side last season, has been linked with Manchester City and Cardiff in recent weeks, but a switch to Fener is appearing most likely for the striker. “The negotiations between the two clubs are going well and the agreement is practically closed,” Pedro Aldave told Fanatik. Benfica have already bolstered their attacking options in the transfer market, signing forward Lazar Markovic from Partizan, winger MiralemSulejmani from Ajax and midfielder FilipDjuricic from Heerenveen. Cardozo’s contract expires with the Eagles in the summer of 2016.





By Henry Adamu


y most accounts, the just concluded All-Nigeria/ Cross River Open Athletics Championships in Calabar somewhat gave credence to the ability of the organisers to produce formidable teams for future sports events. In spite of the dexterity with which the organisers package the championship, there are concerns in some areas where there were obvious lack. Analysts have argued that without carefully addressing such areas every other efforts would have little effect. The main thrust of their concern is on the build-up events to qualification for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships holding in Moscow, Russia, in August. The analysts describe the failure of most athletes in meeting the IAAF qualification requirements for the championships as a glitch in the country’s efforts to participate in international sporting events. They argue that the open athletics championships in Calabar, held between June 19 and June 21, represented a convergence of the country’s finest athletes, drawn from both home and abroad, for the competition. Although most athletes failed to meet the requirements, Blessing Okagbare lived up to the bookmakers’ expectations by sweeping all the honours in her categories and she later proved that her performance was no sheer fluke when she defeated Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Carmita Jetter –the Olympics and World champions in 200m at the Birmingham Diamond League. The athlete made history as

Blessing Okagbare

Preparing Nigerian athletes for IAAF championships

Noah Akwu the first woman in modern times to win the Nigeria Open 100-metre race gold in five consecutive times. Okagbare, who at the moment stands out as the country’s most globally recognised track athlete, coasted home with three

Tosin Oke

gold medals in the three events she participated in; winning the women’s 100 metres race, 200 metres race and the Long Jump in a convincing style. This guaranteed Okagbare’s place at the Moscow championships and gave her the opportuni-

ty to restore her pride after falling shy of an impressive performance at the last Olympic Games in London 2012. In another sterling performance, African Championship’s bronze medalist Kenechukwu Ezeofor won two gold medals and one silver medal in the men’s shot put, javelin and discus events respectively. U.S.-based Noah Akwu also pulled an eye-catching performance when he won a gold medal in the men’s 400 metres race in an impressive personal best of 45.61seconds to dethrone Abiola Onokoya, the winner in 2012, who finished in second position. Besides, Akwu won gold in the men’s 4x400-metre event and also claimed the silver in the 200-metre final. Egwero Ogho-Oghene, whose performance and acceleration rate keeps brimming over with confidence, won the men’s 100-metre race with a time of 10.18 seconds to reinforce claims that he is Nigeria’s fastest sprinter. However, it is somewhat pertinent to note the athletes’ inability to either match or beat existing national records during the Calabar championships. Personal best records were few and far between; a performance that has made stakeholders to express further concerns. Enefiok Udo-Obong, a member of the 4x400-metre men’s relay gold medal-winning team at Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, said that the proper assessment of the athletes’ performance was

Egwero Ogho-Oghene

somewhat difficult because there were some areas of concern. ``It’s easy for me to assess the championships but it’s harder to assess the performance of the athletes. It was what we expected: an indication of what to expect and what not to expect. ``We always have concerns when we feel that we are not doing averagely what it takes to win a medal at the world level. ``Its not all about winning gold, silver or bronze, it’s about the individual indices of the athletes and how an athlete has improved over time that we’re looking at,’’ Udo-Obong said. James Godday, a bronze medalist in the 4x400-metre men’s relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, said that he was particularly impressed with the men’s 400-metre event but noted there was still much work to be done in other events. ``I was actually impressed with the return time of the men’s 400-metre; so far it appears to be positive; what we’re often particular about is the level of improvement in an athlete’s finishing time or distance,’’ he said. Richard Ogunleye, a Kadunabased athletics coach, said that it was unfortunate that many athletes failed to qualify for the world championships and noted that no national record was broken during the tournament. ``It is unfortunate that many of the athletes didn’t hit the qualification mark for the world championships or even set a personal best record for themselves; we need to see an improvement. ``It’s also disappointing that no national record was broken in any event in this year’s competition and it’s even more difficult to comprehend when you realise that some of the national records have stood for a decade and beyond,’’ Ogunleye said. With the developments at the championships in Calabar, the current concern of sports authorities and enthusiasts is how to prepare well for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The concerns raised by the stakeholders are indications that there is need for more serious preparatory programmes for the athletes in the lead-up to the 2014 and 2016 games. They underscore the need to make concerted efforts to restore the country’s glory in athletics. By and large, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has released a provisional list of 19 athletes for the games. The list, compiled after the national championships held in Calabar, include ``Standard A’’ and ``Standard B’’ athletes; that is, those who had met the qualification benchmark as well as those who were placed under probation. Some athletes who failed to meet the qualification requirements but were close to the mark were given three weeks to brush up and qualify for their respective events. Sports analysts hold the belief that with this arrangement, most of the stakeholders’ concerns about the quality of Nigerian athletes in the coming international sports competitions will be adequately addressed. Culled from NAN




Some Interesting Facts

outh Africa is now the only country in the world to have hosted the Soccer, Cricket and Rugby World Cup! *Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world and one of the planet’s 12 main energy centres, radiating magnetic, electric or spiritual energy. *The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the world’s six floral kingdoms – and the only one which is wholly contained within a single country. *Some countries have deserts; some have subtropical forests, right? South Africa has: deserts, wetlands, grasslands, bush, subtropical forests, mountains and escarpments. *South Africa’s drinking water is rated 3rd best in the world for being “safe and ready to drink”. *Water is not all there is to drink in this thirsty country! South Africa’s Cape Winelands have around 560 wineries and 4 400 primary producers. Included in the Cape Winelands region is Route 62, considered the longest wine route in the world. That alone is good reason to visit South Africa if you haven’t yet been! *What about beer? South African brewery SABMiller ranks – by volume – as the largest brewing company in the world. Saffers love their beer…but the real reason the brewery is so big? SABMiller also supplies up to 50% of China’s beer. *South Africa is the only country in the entire world that

has voluntarily abandoned its nuclear weapons programme. *The world’s largest themed resort hotel in the world – The Palace of the Lost City – is found in South Africa. Surrounding the Palace is a 25 hectare manmade botanical jungle with almost 2 million plants, trees and shrubs. *South Africa is extremely rich in mining and minerals and considered the world’s leader with nearly 90% of all the platinum metals on earth and around 41% of all the world’s Gold! *South Africa is home to the oldest meteor scar in the world – the Vredefort Dome in a town called Parys. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. *The South African Rovos Rail is considered the most


luxurious train in the world. *South Africa is home to the highest commercial bungi jump in the world at 710 feet. *General Motors South Africa is the only place outside of the USA to build the Hummer H3! *Despite the country’s statusasademocraticrepublic, the Province of KwaZuluNatal has a monarchy, specially provided for by the Constitution. Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is the King of the Zulu Nation, has 27 kids and 6 wives and lives, literally, like a King! *There are more than 2000 shipwrecks off the South African coast, most dating back at least 500 years. *The oldest remains of

modern humans were found in South Africa and are well over 160,000 years old. *The Karoo region in the Western Cape is home to some of the best fossils of early dinosaurs. In fact, it is estimated that some 80% of the mammalian fossils found to date were found in the Karoo. *SA has three capital cities: Pretoria is the Executive Capital, Cape Town the Legislative Capital and Bloemfontein the judicial Capital. *Can you think of any other place in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners lived on the same street? Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

Say what?



. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, JULY 5, 2013

QUOTABLE QUOTE This President isn’t popular because he is embarking on some deep (and painful) reforms that could transform the country. — Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Information on why President Goodluck Jonathan isn’t popular in the country

SPORTS Fiscal Responsibility Commission– LATEST

FIFA gives Cameroon World Cup lifeline, then suspends them indefinitely


IFA yesterday found Togo guilty of fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against Cameroon and then awarded the East African country three goals and three points against Togo. But in the same breath, FIFA also suspended Cameroon indefinitely because of government interference in the country’s football federation. The earlier decision means that Cameroon, who lost the game 2-0, will go top of African Group I, one point clear of Libya with one match to play. The four-time African champions will now have 10 points from five games ahead of the final World Cup qualifier is due to be at home to Libya on September 6, In the later decision, FIFA’s emergency committee placed a provisional ban until necessary changes are made in accordance with its statutes. “The FIFA emergency committee has decided to provisionally suspend the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) with immediate effect on account of government interference,” world soccer’s governing body said in a statement. “The FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.” FIFA said a committee would be set up to revise FECAFOOT’s statutes and organise elections. It said the suspension would be lifted “once the country authorities allow the new normalisation committee to enter the FECAFOOT headquarters and to carry out its activities unhindered”. Soccer’s ruling body FIFA said Togo fielded Jacques Alexys Romao when he should have been serving a one-match suspension for yellow cards accumulated in previous games.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter


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The sleeping watchdog A few days ago, the minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala warned that economic activities may be shut down and that the Federal Government may be unable to pay its workforce by September if government failed to resolve the lingering problems with the 2013 Appropriation Act. The fact that the Federal Government is still talking about this year’s budget seven months into the year is indicative of weak fiscal practices and management at all levels of government. Sadly, the effects of government inertia would worsen matters for economically vulnerable Nigerians – a group that has grown significantly in size since President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office. Considering how dependent the Nigerian economy is on government activities, it is inevitable that the budgetary inertia will further exacerbate poverty and unemployment and slow down what is essentially a jobless GDP growth in the face of increasing poverty. How did things get to this stage? Are there no mechanisms in place to check the attitude of government and its numerous agencies to fiscal responsibility? Actually, there are several agencies of government charged with this task, except that perhaps taking a cue from the head of government, many of them are asleep, and if anything and have themselves, become part of the problem. It is therefore imperative that we examine some of these MDAs in a bid to highlight their purpose, effectiveness and productivity since their establishment. In continuance of our analysis of MDAs set up by the Federal Government, the first spotlight will be on the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC). It was then Vice President Atiku Abubakar that first persuaded the National Economic Council to approve a fiscal management framework for the federation in 2001, along the lines adopted by the Brazilian Federation. The Fiscal Responsibility Bill was thereafter initiated by the Obasanjo Economic Team (20032007) to ensure the coordination of national economic policy between various tiers of government, and enable monitoring of agencies that are ‘off-budget’ but whose activities have significant impact on fiscal policies. The Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) was enacted in 2007 ‘to provide for prudent management of the Nation’s Resources, ensure longterm Macro-Economic stability of the National Economy, and secure greater accountability and transparency in fiscal operations within the Medium Term Fiscal Policy Framework. The FRA established the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to ensure the promotion and enforcement of the Nation’s Economic objectives; and for related matters’. However, it was not until 2008 that the chairman and members of the commission were appointed, under the leadership of Alhaji Aliyu Jibril Yelwa.

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The FRA in itself is a laudable legislation if it is implemented to the letter as conceived by the Economic Team. However, five years since the establishment of the commission, are there any achievements to show for it or is it just another drainpipe for the nation’s resources? Is the current administration enabling the commission to fulfill its obligations or is it a stumbling block to its overall productivity. Is the FRC an agency that is necessary or is it just another institution with substantially overlapping functions of another in existence? We shall try to answer these and assess the commission’s performance thus far vis-à-vis its statutory mandate. In clear terms, the FRC is responsible for monitoring budget implementation in the various MDAs at both the Federal and State levels to avoid mismanagement of public funds. The commission is also responsible for ensuring that annual budgets are derived from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) prepared by the Ministry of Finance for a period of three financial years, and approved by the National Assembly. According to the FRA, every government corporation is required to establish a general reserve fund where 20% of its operating surplus is allocated annually while the balance is to be paid into the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. The commission is also required to publish, on a quarterly basis, a list of each of the tiers of governments in the federation that have exceeded the limits of consolidated debt, indicating the amount by which the limit is exceeded. So far, attempts at implementation of the FRA are mainly at the Federal level. This is grossly insufficient given that the sub-national governments (states and local governments) control over 50 percent of nationally-shared revenue. Available data collated in 2010 indicated that only 20 out of the 36 states in the Federation had initiated the process of Fiscal Responsibility legislation. Apart from enacting the fiscal responsibility laws, there is a major problem with implementation. There still exists sickening mismanagement of public funds across MDAs with huge figures appropriated in the budget and no corresponding capital investments to show for it. The FRC which is the body responsible for ensuring fiscal responsibility and the due implementation of budgets and

projects is lax about fulfilling its role. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives revealed that 60 government agencies generated N9.3trn in three years (2009-2012) but only remitted N174.9bn to the coffers of Federal Government. In its report titled, “Poor Remittance of Internally Generated Revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) by Government Owned Agencies”, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Authority (NIMASA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and National Pension Commission (PENCOM) are among the defaulting agencies being scrutinized. It was discovered that they habitually under-projected their revenues and over-estimated their expenditures thereby ensuring that their remittances to the CRF were minimal, if any at all. Just last month, the Federal Ministry of Finance threatened to close accounts of agencies which had failed to remit revenues to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). Apparently, the practice is for these government agencies to invest the excess funds generated in dodgy and unapproved accounts which yield high interest for the few engaged in these shady deals. Sadly, the above cases of misappropriation of public funds were not queried by the FRC whose primary responsibility it is to carry out such activities. It is public knowledge that the FRC had sometime last year demanded that NIMASA render audited accounts, but the FRC’s demands were blatantly ignored, without any consequences. What is the purpose of the FRC if it can only bark but not bite? Several countries such as India and Brazil have enacted Fiscal Responsibility laws to strengthen their fiscal institutions and establish a broad framework of fiscal planning successfully. In India, the union government passed the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act in 2003, a year later, all 28 states replicated the Act. Brazil passed a Fiscal Responsibility Law in 2000 which applies uniformly to the federal, states and municipal governments. The Brazilian law set out borrowing criteria and penalties for default of this rule. It placed limits on public spending, the size of the

fiscal deficit, and public debt, and disallows debt refinancing between the state and central governments. It was the Brazilian success that Nigeria sought to learn from. As expected, in India, the fiscal responsibility law positively improved the management of public debt both at the Federal and State Government levels and within the first six (6) years of its operation, India recorded a 4.4% and 4.8% reduction in Central and State Government debts respectively. Brazil on the other hand, 9 years after strict adherence to the Fiscal Responsibility laws, occupies ninth position in the league of the most 20 developed countries in the world. In the case of Nigeria, the external debt stock has doubled from $3.3bn in 2007 when the FRA was enacted to $6.7bn by March 2013. What then, is the purpose of this legislation in the Nigerian instance, if our debt stock is on the increase? Incidentally, two years ago, the federal government set-up a committee headed by then Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Orosanye, to restructure and rationalize the public service. One of the expected outcomes was the reduction of the cost of governance by reducing the duplicity and overlapping functions inherent in the current structure of the Public Service of the federation. According to the Orosanye report, there exists about 541 government agencies and parastatals which have huge financial implications for the nation especially when their productivity does not measure up to their running costs. Some of the recommendations of the report included merging, reversing and abolishing certain Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). It is opined that if the recommendations of the Orosanye report are implemented to the letter, it would potentially save the country N862bn by 2015, nearly a fifth of the annual federal budget. The Orosanye Committee report rightly observed that the FRC has a similar mandate with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) whose function is to “Monitor the accruals into and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account”. With a 2013 budget of N592m for a commission whose responsibilities are partly being carried out by the Ministry of Finance, House of Representatives and the RMAFC, it is questionable is this is money well spent. The structure, implementation process and weak leadership are encumbrances to the FRC living up to its maximum potentials. The authority of the commission in ensuring fiscal responsibility is neither acknowledged nor adhered to. The commission on its part has been lethargic in identifying, investigating and prosecuting MDAs and tiers of government that are suspected of squandering the nation’s resources. The reported amount of funds unaccounted for in the last 3 years alone is almost equivalent to the federal budget for two years! Then again, this state of affairs may just suit President Jonathan and the party at the helm. When everybody in government is bathing in mud of funds diversion, who can point the accusing fingers?

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, Friday 05, July, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 05, July, 2013