Page 1

Vol. 9 No. 63

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 .

. . putting the people first

Zhul-Hajj 22, 1433 AH


Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann finish U.S. Vice President Joe Biden holds the hand of his grand daughter Natalie filling out their ballots while voting during the U.S. presidential election as he arrives with his family to vote during the U.S. presidential election in Greenville, Delaware in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Senate wants $235m fine on BA, Virgin Lawmakers split over national carrier status for Arik

Richard Ihediwa & Ikechukwu Okarforadi


he Senate is now considering whether or not to approve a fine of N20.9 billion ($135 million) and N15.5 billion ($100 million) recommended against British Airways and Virgin Atlantic respectively by its committee on aviation which probed alleged exploitation and violation of Contd on Page 2

Steer clear of Boko Haram, CPC cautions Buhari

Alison-Madueke delays passage of PIB – Reps >> PAGE 3

By Richard Ihediwa & Ikechukwu Okaforadi, with agency report


he leadership of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has cautioned its leader and Presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to steer clear of issues concerning the Boko Haram sect and not to accept to act as a mediator in sect’s proposed negotiation between it and the Contd on Page 2

Obama, Romney tie in US first poll results >> PAGE 2

Alhaji Hassan Hadejia dies at 80 >> PAGE 5


6th Nov., 2012

CBN RATES BUYING SELLING $ 154.74 155.74 £ 247.259 248.857 EURO 197.94 199.222 CFA 0.2885 0.3085 RIYAL 41.267 41.5 PARALLEL RATES BUYING SELLING EURO 206 208 £ 257 258 RIYAL 40 42 $ 157 158





















Police kill okada rider in Lagos From Matthew Aramude, Lagos


yet to be indentified okada rider was yesterday shot dead by a team of policemen at Ilupeju by pass, Lagos. Hundreds of motorcyclists, took to the streets of Lagos to protest the alleged killing of their member. They made bonfires in the middle of the road daring police to come out of the station. The incident which took place at about 10am, occurred along Ilupeju bypass, Lagos. Eyewitnesses alleged that the okada rider was shot dead at close range by the police after efforts to confiscate his bike failed. But police said nobody died as a result of the incident. The police said both the policeman and the okada rider sustained injuries and are currently undergoing treatment in an

undisclosed hospital. But witnesses who dismissed the police position as a blatant lie and an attempt to cover up for their own, said the victim died as a result of bullet wounds sustained while his passenger escaped unhurt.

He was also left in a pool of his own blood for several hours before his body was taken away. “Other riders quickly mobilised and took to the street demanding for the suspects to be handed over to them, failure of which might result to the

burning of Ilupeju Police Station’’ they added. An okada man who identified himself as Etim Ekpe, alleged that the police hide under the cover of the new traffic law to brutalise okada riders.

Obama, Romney tie in US first poll results By Abubakar Ibrahim with Agency report


he first presidential election results are in - and it’s a tie reminiscent of the 2000 contest between Democratic candidate Al Gore and his Republican counterpart George W. Bush in nationwide outcome. President Barack Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, each received five votes in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. The town in the state’s northeast corner has opened its polls shortly after midnight each

election day since 1960 - but yesterday’s tie was the first in its history. The result was unexpected, said town clerk Dick Erwin. The town has two registered Democrats, three Republicans and five independents. “Considering the way things are polling around the country, we may have been the first tie of the day,” said town clerk Dick Erwin, noting the national polls showing a virtual dead heat in the race. “Keep your eyes on the news reports, because it’s going to be a wild ride.” The town, home to about a dozen residents, has drawn national media

attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known. Unlike some parts of the country, election officials never have to worry about lack of interest. Dixville Notch has had 100% voter turnout since it started its first-in-the-nation voting tradition. Under New Hampshire voting law, a polling place can be closed once all registered voters have officially cast their ballots. With all 10 registered voters on hand, the community had its tally shortly after midnight yesterday.

Senate panel wants $235m fine on BA, Virgin

Boko Haram: The road to peace, Page 4











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Contd from Page 1 aviation laws in the country. This is just as some senators yesterday kicked against moves to name Arik Air as the nation’s national flag carrier. The Senator Hope Uzodinma led committee had in its report tabled for debate yesterday said the fine it recommended against the two foreign airlines which totaled N36.4 billion naira followed findings that they ripped Nigerians off through inflated airfares charged for flights originated from Nigeria. The committee also recommended that the Senate should direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to compel the airlines to refund their Nigerian passengers the excess charges as they did in the United States and the United Kingdom. The committee said the fines were in line with the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and urged the Senate to get the relevant agencies of government to ensure that the airlines paid the fine to the Federal Government.

However, senators were divided over the recommendation to make Arik the national flag carrier with many of them arguing that the airline was not qualified for the position. Others also questioned the criteria used by the committee to single out Arik amongst other airlines for the position. The committee had argued that Arik airline has over 26 new aircraft in its fleet and had operated in the country for more than five years. It said any other local airline with similar capacity which must have operated in Nigeria for a minimum period of 5 years should be granted National flag carrier status. However disagreeing, Senators Danjuma Goje, Isa Galaudi among others argued that Arik was not in the best shape for the position but their view was countered by other senators including Senator Ali Ndume who backed the recommendation. Others including Senator

Olubunmi Adetumbi blamed the woes of the aviation sector on the failure of regulatory agencies and called on the Senate to get them to sit up. However, commenting on the issues, Senate President David Mark lambasted the aviation regulatory agencies including the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for failing to ensure best practices in the sector. He said the huge exploitation of Nigerians by foreign airlines results from the lack of implementation of the regulatory laws in the industry, though the laws were inadequate. His words: “We have to reorganise our airports properly. With the airports we have at the moment, for foreign airlines to come here they are doing us a favour. Because as soon as you get to our airport, it is so obvious. You get to the luggage section it is just confusion, come to immigration, passport control

and custom areas there is even bigger confusion. “We need to do our work well before we begin to point accusing fingers and blaming other people for our problems. Because we are not identifying the problems we cannot accept the blame then we won’t make progress. There are a lot of the recommendations that are truly our own problem. We have failed in what we ought to do so we should not be blaming other people. We should get back home and do our homework properly we will be better off,” he said. Meanwhile the Senate has ordered it’s aviation committee to investigate rumors that the Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Odua has refused to allow Emirate Airline operate in other parts of the country except in Enugu state. The Senate President charged the committee to look into the issue and get back with facts on the operations of the ministry with regard to the airline.

Steer clear of Boko Haram, CPC cautions Buhari Contd from Page 1

Federal Government. Buhari was recently reported to have been named by a spokesperson of the sect to serve as its mediator in the negotiation it proposed to hold Saudi Arabia. However, cautioning the former military head of state not to allow himself to be dragged into the issue, the Chairman of the party, Prince Tony Momoh in a chat News Agency of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja said there was no need for Buhari to attend the meeting saying the party does not see where Buhari comes

in on the matter. “There is no need for any other person to attend a meeting between the Federal Government and Boko Haram for whatever grievances they say they have. We in the CPC do not see where Buhari comes in; we are concerned by the way the name of General Buhari is being dragged into this affair. “Another thing is that nobody reached out to General Buhari to say they have been nominated or is being nominated along with others, to mediate or be witnesses to discussion between Boko Haram and the Federal

Government,” he said. Momoh said Buhari had not told anybody or the party that he was interested in the nomination adding that his party “would not associate with issues that involved criminality.” He blamed the security problem in the country on abuse of democracy by government adding that providing true democracy was the panacea for the challenges facing the country. Momoh’s caution however came on the heels of insistence by the CPC National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, who

in a statement last Thursday denied that the group appointed Buhari as a mediator. Fashakin said that the reports naming Buhari as link between the Federal Government and the sect was aimed at tarnishing his image. He said that Buhari has never been contacted by either Boko Haram or government to mediate any talks and blamed the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for what he described as “cheap propaganda”. According to him, Buhari has never been directly or remotely connected with any insurrection or insurgency in the country.


JTF did not kill Shuwa, says army chief By Joy Baba


he Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika has debunked reports that the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF), may have killed Maj. Gen. Mohammed Shuwa whom he described as respectable statesman and army general. Ihejirika, represented by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj. Gen Bitrus Kwaji stated this in an interactive session with journalist in Abuja yesterday. He said his door is open to any journalist who wants to interview him on any issue bothering on the army. He described the JTF as a serious minded body that is manned by a Major General who is battle tested and sought continuous support from the press in his reappointment. The JTF, he stated is doing all it can to ensure that law abiding citizens in the North-east are able to go about facing their daily challenges of providing for their families without fear. He encouraged journalists to come forward and confirm any report they get from anywhere from the Public Relations unit of the army before going public. On the Amnesty International (AI) report that JTF abuses the rights of Nigerian citizens especially in the North-east, the army chief said the report was based on information they got from visits to Maiduguri, Kano, Bauchi and FCT. The report he said also contained interviews from members of the public and from the Boko Haram group. He maintained that AI did not get the views of any security agency before making the report public, thereby faulting the methodology of the report.


Alison-Madueke delays passage of PIB – Reps By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives, yesterday, declared that it could not go ahead with the consideration of the contentious Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) because the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Dieziani AllisonMadueke, has yet to brief the leadership of the House. The debate which was listed on the House Order Paper was postponed till next week to enable the minister brief the leadership. The postponement

was the second time the debate would be put off for the same reason. Asked to lead the debate on the Bill yesterday, the House Leader, Rep Mulikat AkandeAdeola requested for more time because she had no details having not been properly briefed by the executive. Responding to the Leader’s request, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said: “House Leader has requested that we step down consideration until she gets briefing from the Petroleum Minister. We will begin debate


t least two students of the College of Education, Katsina-Ala, Benue state, have been killed during a clash between rival cult groups in the institution. An eyewitness told our reporter that crisis erupted last Saturday in the institution when the cultists who were in possession of dangerous weapons including axes, guns and knives clashed on campus for reasons yet to be known. “The crisis started on Saturday and by evening the lifeless body of a student was discovered on campus with several others sustaining

member bill sponsored by a member, Kaka Kyari Gujibau, titled: “A Bill For An Act To Establish the National New Frontier Exploration Agency, for the purpose of exploration and production of oil and gas in the frontier of Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Imo Basin, Benue Trough and Sokoto Basin”. The Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Albert Sam-Tsokwa moved the motion that resulted into the House resolution to consolidate the two bills.

L-R: Mr. Guus Heim, Head of Division, West Africa, Sahel, Caribbean, European Investment Bank (EIB); Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; Ms Sola Yomi-Ajayi, Divisional Head, Correspondent & International Financial Organisations, UBA Plc; Executive Director, Risk Management, UBA Plc, Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom, during the signing of Eur50 million Regional Funding Initiative for Small Scale Enterprises in Africa on Tuesday at UBA House Marina, yesterday in Lagos.

Flood: World Bank to conduct post disaster needs assessment By Sunday Etuka & Morufat Ojulari


iven the unprecedented flood disaster which affected 28 states across the country recently, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in collaboration with the World Bank and some international donor organisations will soon conduct a post disaster needs assessment.

This is necessary in view of the plans to embark on rehabilitation and reconstruction of communities affected by the disaster. A release issued by Yushau Shuaib, the Head, Public Relations of NEMA, said the agency’s Director General, who was represented by Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Hakeem Akinbola, stated this at

Cult clash leaves two students dead in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

on PIB next week. Honourable members intending to contribute are to drop their names with either of the Whips”. The first time the House refused to debate the PIB was on the eve of the House’s two months break. The House while rejecting the bill wondered why the Presidency was sending it at the onset of a two-month recess, adding that the act was not only mischievous but also an effort at blackmail. The House also yesterday resolved to merge the Petroleum Industry Bill with a similar

various degree of injuries”, he narrated. The witness who simply gave his name as James, added that the death of the student heightened tension which spilled over to Monday and the subsequent reprisal attacks by the feuding cult gangs led to the death of another student. “When the crisis erupted, the authorities of the institution beefed up security within and around the institution but it did not help matters as the rival groups continued to engage each other in a free for all outside the school”. “The fighting intensified, and by yesterday (Monday)

another very violent clash erupted between the groups outside the campus and another student was also gunned down”, he stated. The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ezeala, confirmed the death of the two students, intimating that the police has already arrested two persons in connection with the crisis, adding that investigation into the matter has commenced. Meanwhile, Provost of the institution Dr. Hans Senwuan has ordered an immediate closure of the school till further notice while all students have been directed to vacate the campus.

the orientation workshop for officials of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), state ministries of agriculture and state ministries of environment and housing yesterday in Abuja. The NEMA boss said the orientation workshop would also afford the Federal Government and international community the opportunity to execute plans and actions for rehabilitation,

reconstruction and recovery of communities affected by flood disasters. UN country Resident Coordinator, Mr. Daouda Toure, disclosed that “the post disaster needs assessment seeks to assess the impact of natural disaster on infrastructure as well as people and it results in a joint recovery strategy and framework that includes the full financial costs of recovery and reconstruction”.

PRONACO wants arrested Biafrans freed From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Pro-National Conference Organisation (PRONACO), has called for the immediate release of members of Biafran Zionist Movement arrested on Monday in Enugu by men of the Nigerian Police for asserting their rights to self determination and political autonomy. Speaking through its spokesperson, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi in Lagos yesterday, PRONACO said it is shocked by the action of the police to gag the aspirations and rights of the Igbo people in a democratic dispensation. The group however averred that the struggles for self

determination and political autonomy in Nigeria, which was rekindled recently by the progressive actions of the Ogonis, Bakassi among others, is legitimate and recognised in international law and cannot be a basis for apprehending and maltreating the Igbo selfdetermination group currently being hounded into detention. PRONACO said rather than abate the situation, such despicable actions to frustrate the quest for self determination, has a great potential to exacerbate the Nigerian nationalities question, except a peoples’ national conference of the constituents of Nigeria is allowed to urgently resolve the crisis.


Boko Haram: The road to peace T

he offer for a ceasefire to the Federal Government by Boko Haram must surely come as an early Christmas present for the denizens of the North, especially the human species living in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and Jos towns. For people in these places, life, to quote the 16 century English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, is ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’, thanks to the murderous campaigns of Boko Haram and the not infrequent barbaric reactions of the various Joint Task Forces (JTFs) operating in the North. In the past, both government and the sect have spurned overtures for dialogue brokered by some leading clerics in the North. A day before his death, Mohammed Yusuf, along with about 300 of his followers, had managed to escape as Nigerian security forces shelled his compound in Maiduguri, in which about 100 people were killed. His father in-law and alleged financier of the sect, Buju Foi, and other members were also killed in questionable circumstances. After Yusuf’s death, Boko Haram carried out its first terrorist attack in Borno state in January 2010 and four people were killed. From that time, neither the group nor the security agencies have looked back in their bid to outdo one another in unleashing terror on the populations. While the sect has specific targets, security operatives, on the other hand, are often indiscriminate in their supposed search for the sect members. Also, they often employ scorched-earth approach in the pursuit of Boko Haram members. Timeline of Boko Haram’s activities *June 2009: Boko Haram members refused to follow a motor-bike helmet law. Clashes with joint military and police occured, and 17 Boko Haram members were killed. Mohammed Yusuf released a video recording to the president where he threatened revenge attacks. *July 2009: Mohammed Yusuf, leader of Boko Haram, is captured by the Nigerian army and handed over to police. He is found dead later and the police claimed he was killed while trying to escape. However, residents and human rights groups claim that he was assassinated. *July 2009: Boko Haram attacked Maiduguri police stations. Hundreds were killed. *September 2010: Boko Haram members attacked a prison in Bauchi and freed hundreds of prisoners, including about 100 members of the sect. *December 2010: Attacked Army barracks in Abuja. *December 2010: Governorship candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Borno state and seven others were shot dead by gunmen suspected

Since the death of its founding leader Mohammed Yusuf in May 2009, allegedly in the hands of security operatives, the insurgent group, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, better known as Boko Haram, has been trying its best to make the Northern part of the country unlivable. Except for the occasional forays away, the sect has concentrated its campaigns of murder and general destruction in Borno, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna Bauchi and Plateau states, in the process of which hundreds of lives have been wasted and properties of inestimable monetary value lost. For the traumatized region and its people, the road to peace has been littered with dead bodies and wasted and properties, writes Abdu Labaran Malumfashi.

President Goodluck Jonathan to be Boko Haram members. *December 2010: Suicide bombings in Jos, Plateau state and Maiduguri, Borno state killed about 80 people. *June 2011: Police headquarters in Abuja was bombed. * June 2011: Muslim cleric critical of Boko Haram, Ibrahim Birkuti, was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle. *August 2011: Federal government rejected negotiations with Boko Haram. *July 2011: Federal government stated that it would create a panel to initiate negotiations with Boko Haram. *August 2011: UN headquarters in Abuja was suicide-bombed resulting in the death of 23 people. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb. *September 2011: Babakura Fugu, brother-in-law to Mohammed Yusuf was shot dead two days after attending a peace meeting with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. Boko Haram denied any involvement in the incident. *November 2011: Series of bomb and gun attacks rocked Borno and Yobe states. *November 2011: Boko Haram rejected to hold talks with the government until all members of the sect, who have been arrested, were released.

Leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau *December 2011: Christmas Day bomb attack on Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger state, near Abuja. One policeman was killed in a failed bomb attack on a church in Jos, Plateau state. *January 2012: President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in 15 local government areas in Borno, Yobe and Plateau states and also ordered the closure of land borders in the North. *January 2012: President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram had infiltrated government, including the executive, National Assembly and the judiciary. *January 2012: Boko Haram launched bomb attacks and heavy gun battles in Kano targeting the police headquarters. Over 150 people reported killed. *June 2012: Suicide and reprisal attacks in Zaria, Kaduna metropolis and Gonin Gora, a settlement on the outskirts of Kaduna, led to the death of 25 people with 162 others injured. * October 2012: 12 people died and 145 wounded in Kaduna church bomb blast and reprisal attacks. However, it is not only the activities of Boko Haram that have been attracting the headlines. In May this year the

Northern Elders Forum felt compelled to call on the president to call the various JTF’s to order over their alleged abuses rights of innocent people and destruction of properties in many parts of the North. Specifically, the group raised alarm over the increasing frequency and ferocity of the extra- judicial atrocities being committed by the various Joint Task Forces (JTFs) operating in the North. Citing Maiduguri, Kano, Damaturu, Gombe, Azare and Mubi, among others”, the NEF told the President that “available records indicate the figures of those that were killed by the JTF to be in the thousands, most of whom were first arrested/apprehended before they were extra judicially executed”. The group also alleged that the “JTF has now resorted to burning down the private residences of people in any neighbourhood where a suspected Boko Haram is claimed to reside”, claiming that “the JTF has razed to the ground not fewer than fifty houses in the neighbourhood of Shehuri North, Korongoso and Abbaganaram Wards of Maiduguri”. And only last week, Amnesty International released the report of its investigations into alleged human rights abuses by security

agencies in Nigeria titled, “Nigeria: Trapped in the Cycle of Violence” . The report accuses the armed forces of carrying out summary executions and increasing the current level of tensions with Boko Haram. Amnesty International claimed that Nigeria’s military of showed “little regard for the rule of law or human rights” in its campaign against the extremists. Speaking at the launch of the report in Abuja, Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty said that, “You cannot protect people by abusing human rights and you cannot achieve security by creating insecurity.” She added that, “The cycle of attack and counter-attack has been marked by unlawful violence on both sides, with devastating consequences for the human rights of those trapped in the middle.” Apart from loss of lives and properties, economic and other vital activities have virtually grounded to a halt in some parts of Maiduguri and Damaturu, the Yobe state capital. Although enemies of peace in high places have been urging government not to dialogue with Boko Haram, the State would do well to ignore them, because this is not the firt time it will sit on the round table with deadly insurgents.


Corps advocates modality to curb restiveness By Patrick Andrew


he National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPEC), says use of force will rather aggravate than abate recurrent youth restiveness and other forms of security challenges in the country. Instead of frontal attack on restive youth and other aggrieved groups that pose security challenge to the nation, the Peace Corps says civil mediation through frank dialogue and persuasion is the only panacea to curb all such malaise. This was disclosed by the Commandant-General of the Peace Corps, Prof. Humphrey Ogoegbunam, at the passing out ceremony of 400 corps members at the Area 3 Sports Centre, Abuja. Ogoegbunam, who lamented the increasing spate of social unrest and other forms of socioeconomic destabilisation in recent

times, says only use of civil approach would guarantee peaceful resolutions of existing conflicts. Accordingly, he says that NUPEC had used the ‘civil functionality modality’ to curb social destabilisation during the 1996/97 Warri War, Otuocha/ Aguleri disturbance, OkrikaEleme deadly conflicts, the 2006 cultists/militants clashes in the Niger Delta, stressing that peace was restored because the corps opted to intervene through civil functionality modality. “Prevalence of youth restiveness and such other security challenges across Nigeria can only be halted and normalcy successfully restored with civil mediation, not use of force. We have seen so far that use of brute force – rather than ameliorate the crises, has tended to aggravate, and thus defeat the intention of the government…”


Niger gov proposes Northern Elders, ACF merger From Iliya Garba, Minna


he Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and governor of Niger state, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has suggested the merger of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), and the Northern Elders Forum both socio-political organisations with membership drawn from the northern part of the country. He said this in Minna yesterday when he received “the Road Map for Peace Unity and Development of Northern

Nigeria” prepared by the ACF. According to him, the merger of the two bodies will give the North the opportunity to speak with one voice on all issues. The governor stated that the ACF has been in existence far longer than the Northern Elders Forum and as such, the ‘ACF should swallow the NEF’ pointing out that he discussed the suggestion with the leadership of the Northern Elders Forum when they met recently. On the issue of security, Governor Aliyu said he supports any move that will bring peace to

the region including dialogue with the leadership of the dreaded Boko Haram sect but said “we should know who we are talking to, we should not allow 419 people to hijack the process”. “We should confirm who we are dealing with, we should talk to them but we should talk only to genuine people”. He admonished the political leadership of the north to fight poverty and put in place a massive plan for employment especially in the north eastern part of the country as one of the ways to solve the security problem in the region.

FG employs technical assistants for LGs MDGs projects By Adeola Tukuru


he Federal Government has employed 64 new technical assistants to take charge of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) in local government areas across the country ahead of the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the MDGs targets. It will be recalled that states and local governments under the CGS provide matching funds to the Federal Government’s

MDGs debt relief grant to step up the execution of MDGs projects in the rural areas where the MDGs indices are low. Speaking in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a one-week training for the new officers along 60 others who were retained, Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, said that apart from 113 local government areas where the conditional grants scheme were already ongoing, additional 148 had been added for 2012.

Unity Bank finance Amber Residence Hotels open in Lagos


frican Sun, a South African hotel management chain, has commissioned a multi-million naira hotel in Lagos known as Amber Residence. The hotel was financed by Unity Bank Plc in partnership with AFREXIM Bank. Speaking during the commissioning of the hotel, the Bank’s Executive Director, Lagos & West, Mr. Lanre Fagbohun, said the over 200-room hotel is the latest hospitality project

undertaken by the bank. “This is the most recent in the history of the bank. We have done something like this before, but not on this scale. We are working on a couple of hospitality businesses in the country. It is a growing sector in Nigeria, and our contributions have been wonderful in this regard. In South Africa, there exist over 400 holidaying hotels where people come and enjoy their break. Nigeria is just starting to tap into this growing industry”, he said.

Hassan Hadejia dies at 80 From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Alhaji Hassan Hadejia, Shettiman Hadejia, has passed on. He died yesterday in a private hospital in Kaduna, at the age of 80. A businessman and founding chairman of the Board of Directors of Leadway Assurance Company, Hadejia was until his death, life president of the Kaduna Polo Club. He was also a member of the board of Sultan Bello Mosque. Late Hadejia’s first wife, Hajia Hauwa Tasidi, had earlier died on

Sunday while receiving treatment in a hospital in Egypt, a development which family sources hinted may have caused his own death. His was laid to rest yesterday afternoon at the Isa Kaita cemetery, in accordance with Islamic rites. According to a member of the family, ”he had diabetes. He had a relapse on Monday and went into shock on hearing the news of the death of his first wife in Egypt. We rushed him to a hospital that Sunday and he died this morning (yesterday).

L-R: Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, elder statesman, Yusuf Maitama Sule and the Chief of Staff, Prof Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, during a visit to the governor at the Government House, yesterday in Minna.

NAF redeploys promoted officers By Joy Baba


ollowing the recent promotion of senior officers, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has redeployed the affected officers. A release signed by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Y Anas, yesterday, stated that the new senior appointees include two commandants, three air officers

commanding (AOCs) and five branch chiefs at the NAF headquarters. The AOCs are: Air Vice Marshal Chimechefulam Onyemaobi formally the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Headquarters, now AOC Tactical Air Command, Makurdi; while Air Vice Marshal Olufemi Idowu takes chargeas the new AOC Mobility Command, Yenagoa. Air Vice Marshal Isiaku Umar moves to

headquarters, Training Command, Kaduna as AOC, while AVM Dickson Dilliomono takes over his place as Chief of Training and Operations, headquarters. Air vice Marshal Ibrahim Kure is now the Commandant of Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, while Air vice Marshal Nick Spiff takes over from him as Chief of Administration, headquarters, amongst others.

AGF berates lawyers over bad image of judiciary By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, yesterday, accused lawyers of contributing to the negative image that the nation’s judiciary has suffered in recent times. “It would appear that the sacred duty or responsibility of the Bar (lawyers) to protect the Bench (judges) from unwarranted attacks or assault from those with a score to settle has lost its significance”, Adoke said in a speech he delivered at the 2012/2013 Legal Year ceremony of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory

(FCT). Adoke said the attendant consequence of this development is that the traditional reverence with which the Bar held the Bench in the past has diminished and gradually dwindled to unacceptable levels; he pointed out that the ethics and discipline at the Bar in terms of comportment and respect for the Bench has taken a downturn. The Chief Law Officer lamented the way and manner Lawyers routinely launch unwarranted attacks on Judges in the media, noting that judgments are criticized to the glee of the press even before the reasoning of the court is read

and understood. “In fact, it is safe to conclude that it has become fashionable for some lawyers to label any judge they disagree with as corrupt”, he said and called on lawyers to eschew these vices that have crept into the legal profession in order to restore dignity to the profession and respect for judges. In his remark on the occasion, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Lawal Hassan Gumi who restated the commitment of the FCT judiciary in the provision of first class services that would satisfy court users and to sustain the rule of law, in the interest of the society.



Performance contract: ‘Only 25 ministries have signed so far’ By Maryam Garba Hassan


he chairman, National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, has said only 25 out of the 32 ministries in the country have so far signed the"performance contract" as ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan when he signed the agreements with ministers on the 22 of August, 2012 and directed them to do same with their permanent secretaries, directors and head of agencies. Usman made the disclosure in Abuja at the signing of performance agreement between the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina and the ministry's permanent secretary, directors and heads of agencies. He said 31st of December is the deadline for the first reports for this year's assessment of the ministries adding that since the agreement between the President

and the ministers was signed in August, it will be backdated to January. Usman further explained that the National Planning Commission is organising a training programme for some key directors who will be directly involved in the evaluation of the reports by next week. Fielding questions from the media, he said the evaluation process will be done electronically

adding that the commission has developed the capacity to process the results in good time. Reacting to a directors' remark that he will perform well if resources are made available for his department, Usman warned that such attitude will not be condoned by government and urged the staff to work hard to ensure the success of the ministry.

In her remarks, the Minister for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, emphasised the seriousness attached to the initiative by the present administration and solicited the co-operation of staff to ensure the success of the initiative. For the initiative to succeed in the Ministry, she said, greater synergy and coordination of efforts must be built by all stakeholders.

Jonathan restates commitment to revolutionise agriculture From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


resident Goodluck Jonathan has restated the Federal Government's determination to revolutionise the agricultural sector, so as to achieve self- sufficiency in food production, as well to provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the country. "Agriculture is the main economic backbone of the country. Agricultural

NEMA warns flood victims over communicable diseases From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he National E m e r g e n c y Management Agency (NEMA), has warned victims of recent floods across Nigeria to be careful when returning to their homes because of possible diseases as a result of contaminated food and water. The NEMA Coordinator, Abuja operations office, Mr. Ishaya Chonoko who disclosed this in his

keynote address during a sensitisation and awareness raising programme on cerebrospinal meningitis and other flood related diseases organised by NEMA for the people of Kwara state, said the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, lassa fever, measles and other skin diseases as a result of the recent flooding was possible. He said: "The fact is that the flood waters have contaminated other natural sources of water

of various communities. The usage of this contaminated water by the flood affected people for drinking, bathing, washing due to shortage of potable water can lead to disease outbreaks", he said. He therefore, advised Nigerians to ensure proper ventilation of their homes, adding that "potable water should be well kept and properly covered and periodic washing of hands should be encouraged". The Assistant Zonal

Co-ordinator of NEMA Abuja operations office, Mr. Slaku Lugard Bijimi in an interview with journalists, disclosed that the Federal Government may permanently relocate victims of the recent devastating floods in some states of the federation from their ancestral homes to guarantee the security of their lives and property. He said a proposal has been sent on the need for the permanent relocation of the victims to the Presidency.

revolution is the only means to combating poverty and creating jobs for the teeming youth; it's the main focus on our programme". The President stressed that "For us to create wealth across the length of the country; we must revolutionise agriculture. That is an area we are working very hard and I believe before we leave office the vision will be very clear to most Nigerians". He spoke in Dutse yesterday during his twoday official visit to the state, stating that "I am looking into many areas, but our emphasis will be focusing on agriculture in order for us to get to where we want to be. We will also make sure power is stable in the country that will encourage small and medium entrepreneurs". Mr. Jonathan explained that he was impressed by the commitment of Governor Sule Lamido to the development of the state, stating "Lamido's working relationship with the people of the state has yielded positive change and I am really impressed".

Kano to boost agriculture for employment, food security From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


ano state government has embarked on rural and urban agricultural programmes to boost agriculture for employment opportunities and food security in the state. This was disclosed by Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, at the 46th annual conference, "Kano 2012", organised by Agricultural Society of Nigeria (ASN) at Bayero University Kano. The governor said his administration has so far embarked on establishing

agricultural institutions for the development of agriculture in the state. He also said the government has introduced an agricultural programme to source and distribute agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, chemicals and other agricultural inputs at subsidised rates. Kwankwaso enthused that Kano has received merit awards for two consecutive years as number one state in agricultural development in the country. "The commitment of the government in the agricultural sector has made Kano the first for two consecutive years in agricultural merit award in the nation".

The governor also appreciated the effort of ASN in agricultural development in the state and the nation as a whole. He also urged ASN to engage on discussion on strategies which will benefit the nation on food security and job creation for the development of the nation. Speaking at the occasion, the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Tijjani, urged the ASN to make the Agricultural Journal, published by ASN and lunched by him, to serve as reference in academic and agricultural institutions for future use.

Kwara gov warns council chairmen not to sack workers From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state governor, Alh. AbdulFatah Ahmed, has warned local governments chairmen in the state not to retrench their workers. Governor Ahmed who stated this in Ilorin, the state capital during his monthly media chat tagged "The Governor Explains", said the current revenue profile of the 16 local government areas in

the state "is good enough to enable them pay their staff's salaries as and when due". He announced that the state government has set aside between N60 and N70 million for a 'temporary' rehabilitation of the Ajase-IpoOffa, Erin-Ile road; a federal government road. The governor said his administration has taken upon itself the task of assisting the councils in the execution of capital projects to enable them have funds to meet their obligations to their

workers. He said his administration has committed N2 billion to the construction of rural roads, which he said was the responsibility of the councils. The governor, who pointed out that the Federal Government owed the state the sum of N12 billion on some of the federal projects in which it has intervened, said that "we've decided to once again rehabilitate the Ajase-Ipo, OffaErin-Ile road to make life more comfortable for our people who ply and live in the areas".



Benue chieftain urges negotiation with Boko Haram From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


L-R: Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Alhaji Hassan Musa, Representative of the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Olu Ayemo and Principal, Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Mrs. Olufunke Awofisayo, during the Flag-off ceremony of capacity Building for English Language, Mathematics and Science Teachers, organized by Ministry of Education Step - B project office, yesterday in Suleja, Niger State. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

German experts educate Osun farmers on new technologies From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he team of German experts on a one-week visit to Osun state has promised to teach the farmers in the state new farming technology that would increase their yields. Spokesperson of the team, Prof. Peter Wyscle, said the team was impressed with what they saw in the various farm sites visited on Monday and offered to introduce the farmers to new techniques and technology for the improvement of agricultural practice in the state. The don noted that his team would teach farmers how it is done in Germany and how they (farmers) can access funds from the government to expand their agricultural base. “We have seen what they have planted, the maize and the cassava which is encouraging. “With mutual cooperation, we will teach the farmers how they can improve on the current system as it is being done in Germany. We will educate them also on how to access funds from government to expand their agricultural business,” Wyscle said. The German team’s first point of call was the Olupo Cooperative Farmers, a multipurpose farm in Olupona, a palace cooperative farmers’ society which was initiated by the head of the community 12 years ago with only five members and later registered with the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives in 2010 with 10 members. The total size of the farm

Oyo lawmaker shot, hospitalised From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


member of Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Ojo, has been shot by unknown gunmen in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. The lawmaker, who represents Ibadan South-east II state constituency in the Peoples Democratic Party

(PDP), was attacked by a gang of armed robbers on Sunday morning near Egbeda area of Ibadan city. The first term lawmaker not only sustained severe gunshot injuries but his Toyota Avensis car was snatched along with valuable items by the bandits. Our correspondent reliably gathered that Hon Bamidele is

presently hospitalised at the intensive care unit of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. Sources from the hospital revealed that the lawmaker has been slated for second surgery today (Wednesday) adding that appreciable number of bullets were extracted from his body during the first surgery.

Ethics: NEXIM staff drags Risk Mgt boss to CBN By Stanley Onyekwere


ome staff of the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank under the auspices of Bankers Against Indiscipline, have dragged their colleague and AGM & Head of credit Insurance and Gurantee Management of the bank, Mrs. Saratu Umar, to the nation’s apex bank for alleged gross misconduct, unethical behavior. unprofessional habits and indiscipline which they claim are capable of tarnishing their collective image before their customers. According to the group, Mrs. Umar has brought the image of the bank into disrepute for refusing to pay

her rent and flagrantly disobeying a court judgment and causing the bank to be garnished in a law suit with wide media publicity. In a letter signed by one Mohammed Gambo and sent to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the group is imploring the major shareholder and supervisory body of the bank to step in with the big stick to discipline Mrs. Umar as the act of misconduct and indiscipline she allegedly has a precedence in the bank where a former staff simply identified as Lapai, who was involved in act similar to this in the past was dismissed based on her (Mrs. Umar’s) recommendations. “We are calling on the

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the right thing is done as Mrs. Umar has continued to maintain an untouchable posture in the bank where her command is seen as a law”, the group alleged. The petitioners said they have no confidence in the Managing Director to thoroughly discipline Mrs. Umar again, citing her alleged total disregard for directives in the bank, adding if her action not properly investigated and treated a negative precedence would be set thereby eroding the confidence of customers on the bank. Efforts to reach Mrs. Umar over the issue were unsuccessful.

Don’t strangle opposition, group urges Shema From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina coalition of nongovernmental organisations in Katsina state has called on Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema to be tolerant of the opposition in the state and not to take any action that could strangle them. A statement signed by the chairman of the group, Alhaji Abubakar Saulawa, noted that any attempt to strangle


opposition in the state would harm the tenets of democracy, freedom of speech and breed anarchy. The group made reference to the series of litigations filed by the state governor against the erstwhile secretary to the state government, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa as an attempt to silent the opposition in the state. According to the statement,

rather than resorting to court action, the governor should in the name of accountability and transparency enlighten the people of the state on how their resources are being managed. The statement frowned at the use of private legal practitioners to pursue the case against the former SSG, stressing that this action amounted to the use of public resources to pursue a personal vendetta.

chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, has thrown his weight behind Boko Haram’s request to negotiate with the Federal Government in Saudi Arabia. Chief Shuluwa who gave his support in an interview with journalists yesterday in his residence in Makurdi, lamented over the high rate of deaths recorded as a result of the activities of the sect, adding, “Nigerians are tired of death of innocent citizens”. He urged the Federal Government to heed to the conditions set out by the sect, observing that the choice of former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is apt since the group believes that he is a neutral person. The PDP stalwart however, expressed fears that Buhari may be blackmailed by the FG as sponsor of the sect and this could invariably deny him, a chance to contest for the presidency in 2015. While insisting that Boko Haram is a creation of erstwhile head of State Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, he recalled that in 2003 Obasanjo worked for the emergence of Modu Sheriff of All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP) as governor of Borno state. “It was Sheriff who formed the militant group that later metamorphosed into Boko Haram. The group also exists as result of poverty. FG should commence negotiation with them even if it means going to the moon to do so. What Nigerians are interested in is for the killings to stop”, he said. Shuluwa said in the event that Jonathan refuses to negotiate with the group, then he should be bold enough to spell out his conditions, maintaining that this would translate to mean that he and the southern part of the country have ulterior motives to secede. “Already the agitations and declaration of sovereignty by Bayelsans, Ogoni and MASSOB without any action taken by the FG are clear indications that they want to secede. Nigerians have to be careful. They know that this is the only opportunity they have to do so with a minority on seat”, he noted. Commenting on the recent drama during the presentation of report of the Ribadu Committee, the former member of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, described the rejection of report by Orosanye as a ‘plot’, aimed at deceiving Nigerians, contending that he (Orosanye) would have written a minority report before the day of presentation of the final report.



L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Akwa Ibom State Governor,Chief Godswill Akpabio and Akwa State Deputy Governor, Lady Valady Ebe, during the town hall meeting on the Federal Government Back-to-School Programme for Southern Nigeria, yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

L-R: Chairman, African Conference of Commandants of Command and Staff Colleges, Brig.-Gen. Shedrack Molio; Commandant, Armed Forces and Staff College, Jaji, AVM. Ahmed Mu'azu, and Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, at the 6th African Conference of Commandants of Command and Staff Colleges in Abuja on Monday.

R-L: Director Army Public Relation, brig-Gen, Mobolaji Koleoso, with Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Major Gen, Bitrus Kwaji, during the Press briefing on the Army Activities, yesterday in Abuja.

L-R: Public Affairs Manager WAPCO, Mr. Sunday Awofodu, President, Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, Mr. Busola Awojobi and Product Development Manager, Larfage Cement WAPCO, Mr. Femi Yusuf, during the Annual Conference of Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, yesterday in Abuja.

L-R: Director, Peace and Civic Education, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Wulma Damlong, The Director General NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri and Ataoja of Osogbo, His Royal Highness, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun, the Larooye II, during the Interfaith meeting of Peace, yesterday at Oba's Palace in Osogbo, Osun State. Photos: Mahmad Isa, Justin Imo-owo & NAN



Debt: FG floats $1bn Euro, $100m diaspora bonds By Lawrence Olaoye


inance minister and Coordinating minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Oknjo-Iweala, Monday declared that the government has concluded plans to float $1 billion Eurobond as well as another $100 million Diaspora funds as a

measure to control the nation’s deficit financing proposed in the three year Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) passed recently by the National Assembly. Okonjo-Iweala, while defending the 2012-2014 MTEF before the House of Representatives’ Committee on

Aids, Loans and Debt Management, put the nation’s total external debt at $6.2 billion as at the end of September. She added that all debts were meant to promote serious infrastructural development. Announcing the amendments to the external borrowing plan as contained in

UNICEF donates food fortification equipment to NAFDAC ByA’isha Biola Raji


n ensuring the simplest way of providing fortified food for children and mothers, especially in rural areas, UNICEF has donated I-test-kit equipment for vitamin –A fortification in processed food such as sugar, flour, vegetable oil and other food items to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Receiving the donation yesterday, the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, Orhii said food is the major area of regulation by

the agency but due to danger of drug counterfeiting, the agency had concentrated more on drugs. He said, “If we regulate food very well, Nigerians might not have need for drugs.” He however commended UNICEF for being there for the agency right from inception . “UNICEF has been working with us, training our staff especially in salt iodization fortification,” he said. Presenting the equipment to NAFDAC DG, Nutrition specialist Dr. Omotola David said UNICEF would continue to ensure that food in Nigeria met

Rice import undermines local production – Commissioner


he importation of rice has “seriously” undermined local production of the commodity, the Sokoto State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Jabbi Kilgori has said. Kilgori, who made the statement during a visit to the District Head of Goronyo, Alhaji Muhammadu Sambo, noted that Nigeria spent billions of naira on the importation of the staple food. Goronyo, the host community of the multi-billion naira Goronyo Dam, is one of the largest rice producing areas in the country. “We are importing rice from India and Thailand, thereby developing their economies, while we are killing ours. “The earlier this obnoxious situation is redressed the better for all of us.’’ He commended the Federal

Government on its recent imposition of a 50 per cent duty on imported rice, adding that the move would enhance local production of the commodity. He said the state government would assist rice farmers with subsidised fertilisers, farm inputs and implements. “Food security is next to nothing and we are determined to ensure that all year round,” the Commissioner said. The District Head, in his response, commended the Federal and Sokoto State Governments over plan to establish rice processing mills in the state. He urged the three tiers of government to further assist farmers with soft loans and agricultural inputs to produce more food for local consumption and export. (NAN)

the required standard. According to him, each of the 36 kits though mobile, is a complete laboratory on its own, that immediately tests and show result in 10 minutes. He said the equipment cost several thousands of dollars but the intention was to support different agencies of government to do their roles efficiently. “As a global body, it is our responsibility to bring the best technology available to the fore front,” he said. He emphasized that the I-testkit equipment, manufactured in Germany was an improvement over HPLC which was used before.

the MTEF the Minister said “We are proposing three amendments to this external borrowing plan. We have an amendment to add water supply project for Rivers state to the tune of $200 million. This will be supported through the ADB to be a concessional loan. 40 year of duration, ten years of grace. 0.7 per cent charge. “We also propose to swap some of the existing loans in this plan to take them out and substitute in their place, a facility to kick start Housing mortgage finance in Nigeria. And we are thinking that this will be to the tune of about $300 million . “And the final thing is to bring to the notice of the Committee the plan that we have been developing all along for a EuroBond of one billion dollars. You will recall that during President Yar’Adua’s administration plans were initiated for the first EuroBond. Preparation started and it was successfully floated at the beginning of January 2011. It has been highly subscribed. It was 200 per cent over subscribed. And this established a yield curve for Nigerians and thereby helped to be able to go and float Euro-bond themselves. So this Euro-bond is a

continuation. We just wanted to bring that to your attention that in addition to this borrowing plan, there is a plan for EuroBond of a billion dollars. There is also a $100 m of a diaspora bond to attract people in the diaspora to bring their money back to invest in infrastructure. So those are the proposals we would want to put before you.” she added. The minister also hinted that Nigeria’s total internal debt was N6.3 trillions at the end of September, 2012. She however cautioned against politicizing the disagreement between the PResidency and National Assembly on the oil benchmark issue. According to her, in other countries, there existed committees of experts that decide the issue of bench mark. Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said that the debt/GDP ratio of 18.87 per cent is below the critical threshold of 40 per cent prescribed for countries in NIgeria’s category. The DG also stated that the country planned to borrow a total ofis$9.3 billion dollars within the two years period.

L-R: Director, Establishment Inspection, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), Mrs. Hauwa Keri, Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, Nutrition Specialist of UNICEF, Dr. Omotola Davis and Dr. Alo Isiaka Steven, during the presentation of Vitamin A test Kit donated by UNICEF to NAFDAC, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Nasarawa SUBEB holds advocacy meeting with PTA From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


n recognising the role of parents as major stakeholders in the education sector, management of the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), yesterday, held an advocacy meeting with members of the state chapter of the National Parent Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN). At the meeting held at the conference hall of the NAPTAN secretariat in Lafia, the board chairman , Malam Abdulkarim

Mohammad Abdullahi, said the meeting was necessary to enable parents participate actively in the activities of the board to ensure that quality and procedure are maintained in handling projects in their localities. While commending the association for its contribution to the development of education in the state, Malam Abdulkarim warned members to be wary of detractors determined to tarnish the image of the board, stressing that the management has

resolved to openly conduct its affairs and to submit itself to scrutiny. He said the meeting was necessary for the board and NAPTAN to interface, with a view to further enhance the educational sector, adding that as parents, they have a major role to play in repositioning the sector. “Education is too important to be left in the hands of politicians or administrators,” Mal. Abdulkarim stated. The board chairman charged

members of NAPTAN to, among others, to monitor the board’s activities, evaluate the quality of its teachers and proffer suggestions on how to improve school management. Responding, state chairman NAPTAN, Alhaji Umaru Ebenya, described the visit by the SUBEB management to the association’s secretariat as unprecedented and a marked departure from what obtained in the past, where officials of the board had distanced themselves from members of the association.

“This is a demonstration of your resolve to relate with us and also appreciate effort toward promoting the education of our children and wards,” Ebenya said. He said NAPTAN had been complementing government’s effort by providing classrooms, examination halls, laboratories, libraries, hostels and teachers, among others, pledging the association’s determination to partner with the board to further enhance the quality of education in the state.



Benue motorists I groan under fuel scarcity

NYSC Foundation empowers 6 states with N35m By Albert Akota

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


otorists and residents of Benue are groaning under the scarcity of fuel that has hit the state resulting in the increase of transport fares. Our correspondent's investigations reveal that a litre of petrol sells for over N130 at the filling stations while it sold for over N200 at the black market. It was further gathered that most independent marketers were hoarding the product and refusing to sell to motorists just as long queues were witnessed in all the petrol stations including the NNPC Mega

Station. The filling stations are believed to be selling the products to black marketers at night. For instance a drop by motorbike popularly called okada has hiked by over 100%. A short distance which could cost N30 now costs N70 while distances which normally cost N50 are now charged between N100 and N150. Similarly, the fare to Otukpo is now between N700 and N800 as against the old fare of N500 while fare to Abuja has shot up to N2000 from N1000. When sought to comment on the scarcity and the effort the State Pricing and Monitoring

Committee to ensure that filling stations stopped hoarding fuel from motorists, team leader of the committee and Special Adviser to Governor Suswam on Public Utilities, Mr. Ekpe Ogbu did not answer his call. However, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Utilities Mr. Gaddafi Asemanya, said most independent marketers source fuel from private refineries outside the state and that explains why they sell above the official pump price, maintaining that for the major marketers they must be issued with 'Aquila' from the NNPC depot before they take the product to town.

n continuation of its empowerment programme, the NYSC Foundation, weekend, donated items worth over N35million to six state directorates of the scheme in Abuja. The Foundation in a statement, said the donations were in line with its determination to continue planning and executing programmes and activities that would enhance its integrity while also ensuring an NYSC scheme that would continue to inspire service. The statement quoted Maj. Gen. Sam Dule on behalf of the chairman Board of Trustees, Mr. Remi Olowude, as saying that the donations were intended to support the scheme in its efforts at nationbuilding and to inspire the workforce and corps members to do more. According to Dule, the donated items which included N5million to Cross River state to build VIP toilets, 500 double bunks to Abia state,

20KVA generator to Ogun state, four 40ft containers to Nasarawa, one collapsible podium, 500 plastic chairs and 25 tables, are meant to complement those of the scheme. Other states that benefitted from the foundation include Gombe which got N2million for the construction of VIP toilets, 150 double bunk beds with 300 mattresses for FCT. Also, desk officers in the 36 states of the federation including the FCT were presented with laptop computers each to facilitate their work. Dule charged the various states and desk officers to put the items to good use while urging judicious use of the funds for the projects they are intended for. The NYSC Foundation was established by ex-corps members and has ex-director generals and staff of the NYSC as its board members and directors for purposes of ensuring support for the NYSC scheme. The benefitting states were drawn from the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Kwankwaso charges heads of MDAs on transparency By Etuka Sunday & Morufat Ojulari


ano state governor, Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso has charged heads of ministries, agencies and parastatals in the state to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of public funds. The governor who made the call during a meeting with heads of MDAs in the state at the Government House in Kano described transparency and accountability as keys to good governance. He told them that his administration is committed to fulfilling its campaign promises, pointing out that it was because of

this that the government is paying attention to critical sectors of development like health, agriculture, infrastructural development and education among others. A release signed by the governor's Director of Press and Public Relations, Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, stated that Kwankwaso restated his determination to complete on-going road projects, and charged contractors handling the installation of street lights to complete them on schedule. According to him, the government will soon start the renovation and equipping of some general hospitals in the state, explaining that work has already started on Gwarzo General Hospital.

‌inaugurates Kangis steering c'ttee


L-R: Yariman Kida of Biu, Dr. Habu Mohammed, congratulating Justice Tijani Abubakar, during their swearing-in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, at the Supreme Court, on Monday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

ano state governor, Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, has said that the establishment of Kano Geographical Information System (KANGIS) is aimed at modernising land management and simplifying the process of land acquisition in the state.

Expert links environmental hazards to population explosion


he Executive Director, Admiral Environmental Care, an NGO, Mr. Shedrack Madlion, has attributed the recent flood disaster in some parts of the country to population explosion and poor planning. Madlion said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos. He said the failure of relevant agencies to ensure proper environmental planning was partly responsible for the level of devastation recorded nationwide. "Our growing population distorted the original master

plans of our flood plains. Any nation that does not look at the environmental implication of population explosion, farmers' settlements, rural-urban migration, is bound to go through what we are experiencing today. "So it shows that we lack competent people in the federal ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture and Environment who should have actually worked together to come up with a comprehensive policy to be able to mitigate the challenges of climate change and policies affecting the environment". The environmentalist said that the recent flooding should not be seen as natural disaster,

adding that it had started taking its toll on the agriculture sector. "Farmers did not get their crops harvested before these floods ravaged about seven to eight states. "And then it should not be seen as natural disaster; it should be seen as part of negligence of the authorities for not doing what they ought to have done. "The grazing reserves in the country are all dead; our livestock have been displaced; our farmlands, rice farms have all been washed away by water stretching from Katsina to Taraba to Adamawa. "The worst aspect of the disaster is that most of the affected places

are vegetation producing areas where special kinds of foods are being produced because that's what the people produce there. "We do not have enough reserves to meet up with the food requirements. We consume N1 billion worth of rice every six hours". He said that the North-central and South-east were the worst affected because of the gully erosion that had ravaged the areas in the last 15 years. Madlion called for synergy among the relevant agencies to mitigate the effect of the flood disaster in the affected areas through an effective food security measures. (NAN)

Governor Kwankwaso who stated this while inaugurating the state steering committee on KANGIS, lamented that it is unfortunate that wanton sale of unplanned plots has defaced the state capital. He therefore stated that the Geographic Information System would facilitate urban planning, enhance security, sanitise land management and open up more revenue prospects for the government. The governor therefore appealed to people in the state to desist from acquiring unplanned plots as government would not condone such practices, stressing that KANGIS is an opportunity for them to register their plots. Turning to members of the committee, Governor Kwankwaso urged them to use their wealth of experience to make KANGIS the best of its kind in Nigeria. Earlier, the Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, Surveyor Muhammad N. Yahaya explained that among other things, the committee will fashion out ways of simplifying land registration in the state.



How to start sachet water production Compiled By Muhammad Sada


ure water as it is popularly called in Nigeria is one of the products out there that is in high demand. Hundreds of millions of sachets are consumed every day, and the demand of Pure Water supply is always on the rise as the population keeps increasing. Go to any major city in Nigeria, you will see how the streets are littered with empty sachets of pure water which is the testimony to the quantity that is consumed every day. A smart investor knows that the best product to deal on is the product in high demand that automatically placed pure water production business "Investors Choice" any time. The demand doesn't seems to go down very soon as it has become the most credible alternative means of getting anything close to clean drinkable water for the average Nigerian. Therefore, how do you cash in on the demand of sachet water to make money for yourself? The business of pure water production is quite simple, and here I'm going to run down the step by step guide how anyone who is interested in this business can get started easily without much stress. In water business just like every other business, the number one priority should be service to humanity then, the money will come naturally. Like any other consumables, life is involved so try and put everything in place properly. Here are the things needed to get started: • Get a place of business: You need to acquire a property or rent a place, getting your own property and developing it is the most desirable option as that will save you cost in the long run. • Register your business name: The name your water products will be known for. Branding is very important in business, so in addition to your business name, design a very professional logo for your product because perception is the best sales man. Make your brand stands out among

Quote In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later – Harold Geneen

Sachet water others. • Sink a Borehole: The most common source of water for commercial drinking water production like sachet water and bottled water is borehole, let there be borehole within your premises for constant water supply to your pure water production factory. • Install Overhead Tanks: This will serves as reservoir to supply water to the distillation system; it has to be overhead to ensure proper pressure to be able to pump down the distillation chamber. • Install Distillation System: This could just be a micro filters and cup filters depending on your start up

capacity, but if you can afford it, then you go for more comprehensive distillation system. Otherwise, use Purification process known as Ultra Violet sterilization bulbs process. After distillation, you need to take your product (the resultant water) to the laboratory for results. • Get NAFDAC Approved: NAFDAC is the agency that supervises food and drugs in Nigeria; you need their approval to carry out business that involved consumable products of which water is one of them. • Acquire Automatic Sealing Machine: Automatic sealing machine

cost between N400, 000 to a Million Naira. Go for the ones that seals or produces about 40 sachets per minute. • Employ Staffs: You will need minimum of five persons to work in your factory for a start then increase with time as the demand may be. • Distribution Mechanism: Buy truck for your distribution of rent but renting can be expensive and disappointing most of the times. My recommendation is that you buy your own truck if you can afford it at the beginning. • Get Power Generation: You kno w t h e s i t u a t i o n o f power supply in Nigeria, except if things changes

Reason why this business is a must to anyone one who can afford it:


overnment has failed to provide the basic drinking water need of every household in Nigeria. So, everyone make provision for themselves and buying pure sachet water is one of the most reasonable options. The more the population increases, the more the need for people to drink water, and the more the demand for the product of sachet water. There is not going to be a day, people will stop drinking water. In fact, it is one of the most essential consumable products and the most consumed natural resources on earth. Sachet water currently has no close or partially close substitute in Nigeria where the majorities are poor to depend on bottled water which is more expensive. One can never run out of customers to supply to. The more the producers, the more the consumers of sachet water. The popularity of sachet water is growing on alarming rates even in towns and villages

tomorrow. If not, you will need a standby power generating set, and 25KVA will be just perfect for the job. With all these in place, you are good to go! For a start up and depending on what you already have like land and other things, you may need up to five million naira for a start up in order to get the sealing machines, nylon and other materials, and pay for labour for about some months before it begin to yield profits. Your cost could be higher if you are also paying for rent and hiring trucks. Assuming you have only one Automatic sealing machine that produces your sachet water and you can afford to have only one delivery van that distribute your products. One automatic machine (at 100% utilization) Capacity: 40 sachets per minute i.e. 2,400 sachets in 1hour Which is equivalent to 120bags in 1 hour. Let's conclude that; on the average, you produce 100 bags in 1hour, and assuming you was able to work for 4hours in a day. I.e. one machine producing 400 bags of pure water in a day. (Sincerely, an average sachet water factory in Nigeria today produces between 700 bags to 800 bags per machine in a day) so it all depends on you. Still based on our assumption of 400 bags in a day and a bag is being sold between N70 and N80. So, let's also assume N70 per bag; 400 bags x N70 per bag = N28, 000 per day. N28, 000 x 28 working days in a month = N784, 000 per month. Wait and see; N784, 000 x 12 months in a year, = N9, 408,000 Source:

How to start dry cleaning and laundry business in Nigeria on small scale (1)


laundry business is another good and profitable venture any smart Nigerian could make money from easily. You see, the businesses that make millionaires their millions in most cases are not necessarily one big business like that. Sometimes, it may just be ordinary services like this Dry Cleaning business we're talking about here., Haven't you heard about a Lagos based Business Man who is making millions constantly from 'SHIT' business?




Issues in Gov Suntai’s plane crash M

r. Danbaba Suntai, in his second term as the “reluctant” governor of impoverished Taraba, is recovering, we are told, from serious injuries he sustained in a plane crash on October 26 in Yola, the capital of neighbouring Adamawa state. He piloted the small Cessna 208 plane, with registration number 5N-BMJ, having been certified to fly in 2010. Three people were also on board the ill-fated flight: his ADC, Dasat Iliya, Chief Security Officer Timo Dangana and Chief Detail Joel Danladi. While the governor was transferred from a German hospital in Yola to the National Hospital, Abuja few hours after the crash and two days later (October 28), was flown to Germany for closer observation and treatment, his aides spent a harrowing 70 hours (five days) in Yola apparently so stabilize their condition said to be worse than the governor’s. Public outcry, including a threat by the families of the three, forced the Taraba government to move them to the National Hospital from where they were flown out November 2 to, also, Germany. The government and people of Taraba state have the true sympathies of those of us at Peoples Daily. We pray that Governor Suntai recovers sufficiently and quickly enough to return to his duty post in Government House, Jalingo. However, we dare say that the Suntai saga does raise serious moral, socioeconomic and political/constitutional issues. The obvious question to ask is why were all four victims of the crash not moved to Abuja the same day. The state government’s argument that the injuries of the governor’s three aides were much more severe and they had to be stabilized before being moved doesn’t hold much water. Even medical experts will say a bad case should always get quicker attention. The message the

government has managed to pass across is that it is okay to dispense with three lives to save one because that one happens to be governor. How morally disgusting! We didn’t expect the aides to be flown in the same air ambulance as the governor because of space constraint but we didn’t expect the shabby treatment they received either. What stopped two air ambulances taking off the same day for Abuja? The second question is: does very poor Taraba, with the worst infrastructure deficit than any state in this country, need

We dare say that the Suntai saga does raise serious moral, socio-economic and political/constitutional issues. The obvious question to ask is why were all four victims of the crash not moved to Abuja the same day a plane that takes off and lands only on the grounds of Government House? Civil servants there were on a strike for much of last year over poor pay and many final year students in public schools are unable to write their qualifying examinations because their parents cannot afford WAEC and NECO fees. The state doesn’t get much from the federation account neither does it generate enough revenue of its own. Where did Suntai get the extra money to set up his so-called Taraba Airline that took off with an Embraer ERJ.145 jet plane? A third question is how it is that the governor has been able to create time

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from his supposedly busy schedule to indulge in flying adventures at such high costs to the state? It is a shame that to him, his personal idiosyncrasies come first, and his responsibility to the state a distant second. His opting to fly even over a short distance as that between Jalingo and Yola is a personal indictment for his government’s failure to repair the state’s roads. But there is the bigger political, even constitutional, lacuna that the governor’s presence has created in Taraba, this not too dissimilar to that created by late President Umaru Yar’adua’s long absence from the country due to protracted ill health. However, in Taraba Suntai already messed things up even before he had the accident. He instigated the impeachment of his former Deputy, Alhaji Sani Abubakar, and brought a replacement, Alhaji Umar Garba who is not a politician but a business man located outside the state. He has not been able to connect with the state’s political elite; it is therefore understandable that in the first two days of Suntai’s absence from Government House the state was rudderless. It is a huge relief that some normalcy has been restored. Even so, we urge the state House of Assembly to do the constitutionally correct thing which it has so far avoided, which is to allow Garba to be properly sworn in as acting governor in Suntai’s unexpected absence. Garba says it doesn’t make much of a difference if he continues in office as deputy governor but exercising the executive powers of governor. But this is not the point; it is not his loyalty to Suntai or lack of it that is the issue. Section 90 (1)(2) of the Nigerian Constitution demands that he take the oath of office as acting governor. That should be done; we insist.









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Our mosquitoes are not as big as that By John Igoli A mother will not give to her baby any food so hot that her baby cannot take it - An African proverb


he story is told of an NGO’s trip to an African village to sensitise the people on the scourge of malaria and the need to use treated mosquito nets. Using Power Point projections on to large screens they passed their message to the people. After they were gone, the people murmured amongst themselves “our mosquitoes are not as big as those ones they showed us!” The message was lost due to the magnification of the mosquitoes’ images on the screens. This is one of the problems we have in Nigeria, when a problem is highlighted or brought up either as a comment at a public forum, on the pages of a newspaper or online, the sequence of government’s news delivery starts. In Nigeria government news is sewn and it is always clothed and worn. It is also served as a three course meal; first is the appetiser or denial (it never happened or it is

not possible), next is the main course or rebuttal (their own version of what actually happened or what the “actual” state of affairs is) and finally is the dessert or warning (Government cannot condone or any one threatening the peace and security or…). If you go on after that then you must be a saboteur, a hired writer or one who has joined camp with the opposition. The attack quickly slips from the issues you raised to your person and your “hidden agenda” (though hid from you) is brought to light. Writers, public commentators, editorials and every means of communication with the Government without being inside Aso Rock has been deployed to tell the Government the true state of affairs in Nigeria but their defenders or paid supporters will always drown the truth and point you in another direction altogether. Tell them the roads are bad, they tell you how much this Government has spent on roads and the contracts that have been awarded. Tell them all is not well in the Banking sector, they tell you the awards and ratings our Banks, their

managers and CBN officials have just received from foreign agencies! Tell them our educational system is comatose, they tell you how a new road map has been rolled out, how workshops have been held, the fact that there has been no strikes in the sector for so many years. Talk about air safety and they tell you how our airports have been rated or are the busiest in Africa etc. etc. Talk about poverty, food, security, elections, corruption, fuel, refineries and it is all excuses and excuses and pointers to what government has done, approved, released or awarded or score cards from external examiners, membership of foreign organisations, appointment of personnel in to bodies of foreign organisations. Papers presented, workshops held, policies signed in to law. Government has released but the facts remain the same: people are poor, our graduates cannot write, there is food scarcity, no health facilities in any hospital in Nigeria that can withstand a sick “big man”. No schools good enough to train the children of the rich or a funding good enough not to depend solely

on foreign intervention or aids. We always generate score cards without waiting for the results or even bothering to attend the examination. Certainly in Nigeria, gaining an opportunity to sit and “share” or “take as much as you want” government funds, no matter how you get there, is such a huge success that you can never fail in anything you have done previously, you are doing presently or wish to do in the future. In those days we sold our old bicycles to but motorcycles, then we sold our old motorcycles to buy cars, now we sell our old cars to buy SUVs (bad roads) and presently we are selling our SUVs to buy second hand aircrafts (no roads). Our aviation ministry is now running glorified parking lots as airports. Aircrafts are parked on the tarmacs and the waiting cars are parked outside. The message is still not clear. We spend almost the equivalent of our national budget for education in sending our children to foreign schools still the message is not clear. We import over half of our food complete with toothpicks still we are doing better than expected! Our leaders

return from foreign health trips amidst fanfare yet we are not healthy enough to see the condition of our hospitals. Presently it is too dark to write about electricity in Nigeria, no fuel to power our microphones to talk about it and no network to even discuss it or post issues on internet media. It is in Nigeria we type or write by candlelight (the laptop is running on its battery and you need the candle to illuminate the keyboard). The more we project our problems or proffer solutions to them, the more the government will continue to say our problems are not as big as we have made them! They will continue to serve us with reports, facts and assurances that are too hot for us to take. The biggest task now is how to replace the ageing top politicians including many of their young members with wellgroomed new breed of Nigerian politicians and leaders to take over at the appropriate levels of governance. Only then will the message sink in and we can begin to, hopefully, come up with solutions or adopt measures that have worked for other nations. John Igoli wrote in from Lagos.

How can Sarkin Yamma assault PHCN staff? By Muhammadu Dan Toro


he latest news in town is about Kaduna power distribution company, DisCo, as the only Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s (PHCN) distribution outfit that has not attracted any bidder in the ongoing privatization of the assets of the unbundled PHCN – that is, of all the DisCos across the whole of Nigeria. As if that alone is not a moral question mark enough for the management and staff to ponder upon, the week after the various bids were opened that left the Kaduna DisCo in limbo, its Managing Director came out to address the press and threaten to plunge Sokoto state into darkness. The MD unabashedly alleged that this was because the state Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako, Sarkin Yamma, had allegedly personally assaulted PHCN staff!!! The likelihood that the story is not true after all apart, the fact that the Managing Director of a PHCN distribution company can come out to openly make such an allegation against a sitting Governor publicly raises many serious questions. One is the issue of the personal credibility of the MD himself: for how and under what circumstances can a state Governor in Northern Nigeria (of all places) descend so low as to personally assault such lowly persons as the staff of the PHCN? Any one who knows the paraphernalia of a state Governor’s office knows that such is an impossible thing to happen in northern Nigeria, and especially in Sokoto, one of the

few places in Nigeria, where people still have a residue of respect for authority, and authority still has a residue of respect for the people. The normal distance between the state Governor and the PHCN staff under any circumstances, and the number of personal and security details between them, is such that makes this allegation to be too simplistic to be believed. But Wammako was said to have protested against the ‘economic sabotage’ by Kaduna PHCN staff - meaning the crippling of his people’s businesses deliberately just so the Kaduna PHCN can extort money from them. Just because he decided to express his displeasure and disagreement with the popularly known stock-in-trade of the management and staff of the Kaduna PHCN - which is to disrupt and destroy small businesses, including destroying small business’ electrical installations through contrived power surges, all in a bid to be in a position to extort as much raw cash from hapless customers as possible directly into their pockets and that of their management rather than that of the PHCN – just because he decided to take note of this, and intervene to protect the helpless citizens of his state, the MD of the Kaduna DisCo came out making wild allegations against His Excellency, and threatening to plunge everybody in his state into darkness. So this now raises a most pertinent question: is Kaduna DisCo a personal estate of the MD to do with it as he likes? If not, then are there not enough

institutional avenues for seeking remedy, if truly as he alleged the governor did indeed assault his staff (which is most unlikely)? Then the next question: is it not a measure of the impunity with which all the corruption in the Kaduna DisCo is being perpetrated that the MD himself can make such a threat to punish millions of citizens for the alleged offence of a single fellow? The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other law enforcement agencies should really take note of the threat publicly made by the MD of the Kaduna DisCo to plunge the whole of Sokoto state into darkness just because he has a quarrel to settle with the state Governor. Is this MD not taking the laws into his own hands? Is what he is threatening, namely, to deliberately plunge the whole of Sokoto state into darkness not an economic crime for which the EFCC is well equipped to arrest and prosecute? How many businesses will this MD cripple before the law catches up with his lawlessness? And is it not also true that the impunity with which the

MD is threatening the whole of Sokoto state is a direct function of the fact that most appointments in the Kaduna DisCo are done by godfathers and not on merit, a fact which accounts for the rank and open corruption which afflicts their daily operations, and which the Sokoto state Governor sought to duly confront? One very well known fact, attested to by even the immediate former MD of the Kaduna DisCo in one of the papers he presented to potential bidders, is that customers in this particular PHCN distribution zone, consume the least amount of electricity in Nigeria - lower even than the north-eastern zone, which is acclaimed to be the poorest in the country. This DisCo, so said the former MD in his paper, also serves the least number of households compared to other DisCos in the country. Yet, this is also the DisCo that is afflicted with the largest number of breakdowns of brand new equipments, freshly installed (inc luding transformers), all because of either an unquenchable

The normal distance between the state Governor and the PHCN staff under any circumstances, and the number of personal and security details between them, is such that makes this allegation to be too simplistic to be believed. But Wammako was said to have protested against the ‘economic sabotage’ by Kaduna PHCN staff - meaning the crippling of his people’s businesses deliberately just so the Kaduna PHCN can extort money from them

penchant for corrupt practices (which includes tempering with equipment just to ‘artificially’ trip supplies to someone or some people from whom raw cash is to be extorted), or simply because of the number of untrained hands appointed to man sensitive equipments, people who cannot even do the simple calculus of input versus capacity, against all the very well trained and equipped indigenous youths that roam the streets in search of the very same jobs. Again of all the DisCos in Nigeria, it is a well known fact that the Kaduna DisCo has become quite exceptional in the difficulties they always put on the path of any customer who tries to acquire a pre-paid meter. This is because acquiring such a meter is like opting out of the racketeering by which the management collects raw cash monthly from customers in the name of PHCN ‘estimated’ bills. Final question then: is it any wonder then that in the current privatization exercise, no one has come forward neither a Nigerian nor a foreigner, to acquire the Kaduna DisCo and invest in it – knowing full well as they do, that so long as the present management and staff remain in place, nobody but a desperate gambler with too much cash at hand and who wouldn’t mind losing his money will buy into this DisCo? There is not a doubt that Governor Wammako is not the problem of the Kaduna DisCo, rather it is the corruption of the management and staff that is their problem. Muhammadu Dan Toro resides at 6 Emir Yahya Road, Sokoto


By Uddin Ifeanyi


xasperated, we (Nigerians) are wont to describe “corrupt practices” as the only “industry” that thrives in the country. Ignored by official bean counters, anecdotal evidence of corruption abounds. An effete population’s recourse? Against the huge sums of money cited as stolen by the prosecution in the James Ibori case (in the UK), the Central Bank of Nigeria’s successful prosecution of some bank helms people, and the fact that Nigerians now account for more private jet ownership than any other nationals on the continent, we hold up the shameful circumstance in which the large number of our people eke out a deteriorating living. The empirical effects of an otherwise improperly run state are more vivid yet. A different reading of the script recognises that as an economy, we have made the difficult transition, along with other advanced economies, from the noticeable presence of manufacturing (3.95% of GDP as at the second quarter of this year) activity to a service (circa 21%) economy, without creating any real value in the process. We have signally failed to By Ahmad Salkida


nly few years ago, cross border trading used to account for a dominant part of the economy in Borno, and partly, in Yobe and Adamawa states in the north-east. The states’ defining outline landmarks are a significant part of Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, Niger and Chad Republics respectively. Intense large scale haulage of goods is a daily routine that oils an elaborate economic livelihood in these areas. The defining everyday life of the Banki, Gamboru Ngala, Mubi and Machina border routes in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states comprises unbridled trade and services. Official revenue figures accruing from immigration and custom collections were quite handsome. Today, the same roads and borders are deserted, no thanks to the engaging volleys of violence unleashed across the state and region by the Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram. According to the Nigerian Ambassador to Chad, Alhaji Abdullahi Omaki, “the volume of trade, largely unrecorded between the two countries is about 80 per cent in favor of Nigeria. Most of the goods and services coming into Chad, 80 per cent come from Nigeria with less than 20 per cent coming from Cameroon. If the borders were not closed and you go through the Banki and the Gamboru Ngala roads you will see the number of trailers that are plying those routes on a daily basis.” Many traders, artisans, farmers and drivers in the North


Between corruption and efficiency build the physical and social country any more. And on the to pipeline damages and infrastructure without which an back of all these (or just may be expended thereafter on the economy will find it hard to in spite of them), corrupt repair of same. Although the oil companies are supposed to pay a supply products and services to practices thrive! Or so I thought until recently. gas flaring penalty, no one meet its people’s demand. Our bureaucracy is prominent not for That was before I read the knows how much this penalty is what it does, but because we no samizdat version of the Ribadu (whether N10 per cubic feet or US$3.50), nor for longer have a that matter is sense of what there an it can or ought accounting for to do. What how much gas is passes for the Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text flared. In the end, private sector messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written no one pays lampoons the contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 anything, and notion of words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and no question is i n d u s t r y a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed a s k e d . generally. No to: Furthermore, less venal than the dissonance the public The Editor, b e t w e e n sector, its Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, subsidiaries of the genius lies in NNPC and their its ability to 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. banker (CBN) on leave beneath Email: let payments into the radar of SMS: 07037756364 the former’s p u b l i c account would indignation. Communal relationships on the Report on the alleged knavery in have been plain comical were it other hand, breakdown slowly, the oil and gas industry. Now, I not also derisory. When then it is bruited and nowhere is this more wonder how true this claim is. We apparent than in the low- may not be as corrupt as we about that Nigeria is losing a Criminally certain amount of its daily crude intensity war being waged by imagine. Definitely! oil production to bunkerers, Boko Haram’s combatants incompetent? against the state. But even more Examples? Apparently, the what does this mean, specially significant, there is growing Nigerian National Petroleum when no one appears to be evidence of decay in Corporation (NNPC) backs out metering production in the first interpersonal relations. Nothing from its remittances to the federal place? One argument that I have seems to be working in the coffers all monies purportedly lost heard for these macabre goings-


on is that corrupt practice require significant levels of incompetence and indolence to facilitate it long its preferred path. True, many of the practice incongruities that emerge when evidence of corrupt practices is aired in any sector of the economy are consciously engineered to make the resulting theft/defalcation possible. But there is a space for wondering if even in our practice of the corrupt we might just be as incompetent, as our endeavours in other spheres bear testimony. I am not sure for instance that the Italian Cosa Nostra, or any such organised crime syndicate would, seated atop the Nigerian oil and gas sector, permit so much leakage. The bookkeeper, and the diligent accounting associated therewith is at the heart of organised crime. My sense, therefore, is that even as a people predisposed to filch and to misappropriate, we remain bungling and inept. Hardly surprising this, for our inability to count is generally recognised, and especially implicated in our favourite excuse for not being able to turn up at functions on schedule. Ifeanyi Uddin is on Facebook.

Counting the costs of BH insurgency East of Nigeria are directly or indirectly dependent on transborder trade to eke out a living on daily basis. But all that have dramatically changed with the continuing escalation of violence enveloping every legitimate designs and enterprise by the law abiding residents. Since the outbreak of sectarian violence in 2009, the north east, Borno and Yobe states in particular, has ceased to know civil normalcy. Intermittent suicide and car bombings have become the part of their daily lives. Hate-filled adherents of the extremist sect, called Boko Haram and other criminals assuming their identity wielding semi-automatic riffles speed through streets at intervals to shoot down, randomly at their ever widening targets. As evidence that the violent harbingers mean to cripple all manners of civil conduct in Nigeria, they took very bold steps to spread their bloodletting enterprise. One of their very audacious steps in this direction was early on Christmas Day 2011, in a sprawling neighborhood, Madalla on the outskirts of Abuja, the Federal Capital City. Here, a Toyota Camry Sedan drove furiously into a huge Christian congregation, detonating a monstrous ensemble of explosives. Similar bombings were successfully directed at the Nigeria Police headquarters in Abuja as well as at the United Nations office in Abuja. Since then the bombings have been going on,crippling growth in the most affluent states of Kano, Kaduna, Adamawa, Gombe,

Bauchi and Borno. The desperate efforts by the Federal Government to contain incessant violence in the northern region have not been without criticisms within and outside the country.Often the Joint Task Force on terror, the platform of government’s field confrontation with the insurgents has not been without stories of misplaced aggression and often unjustifiable crudity. An instance is two- year old Shuaibu Mahmud is battling to survive from injuries in Maiduguri sustained from bullet wounds. Caught between the heartless reign of terror unleashed by the extremist sect and the over reaching desperation of JTF, residents are hardly in the frame to choose between both means of dying. The lives of many law abiding and productive youths have been caught short by the bullets that ought to have protected them. According to four security agents interviewed here, no where in the world can anyone kill a soldier or Police and don’t expect a reprisals, and “since we don’t know them by face, anybody that fits the profile of a Boko Haram becomes a suspect.” The profile of a Boko Haram, according to one soldier (names withheld) is “a Muslim, mostly between the ages of 15 to 40, living mostly in areas considered as flashpoints”. Such persons have to choose between two evils, the official backed terrorism and the illegal terrorism. According to a recent Human Rights Watch report and Amnesty International on

the crisis in northern Nigeria, Nigeria’s security agencies and Boko Haram militants have committed war crimes. HRW said both the Nigeria Police Force and the military have a long record of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings. The official line states that since July 2009 insurgents have killed at least 1500 people in the northern and central part of Nigeria but the number killed by the security agents remained a mystery. Several residents interviewed insisted the number of those killed by security agents outweighs that of the insurgents. The Nigerian constitution provides that every individual is entitled to “respect for the dignity of his person,” including the right not to be subjected to torture. However the rule of law is the biggest casualty in this ongoing conflict in the north. Women and children have watched helplessly as their breadwinners were beaten, tied and slaughtered like animals before their very eyes. The only reason the insurgents give for this inexcusable action is that, during raids by the JTF very little caution is taken by the operatives to save from harm their own women and children. Many school age children in some parts of the northeast have joined those already out of school to stay back at home for fear of attack. The psychological impact on these children are unparalleled. Commercial motorcycle business, popularly called Okada or Achaba, the most readily available employment for many youths and the dominant means of

transportation in the region is banned, when few motorcycleriding men began to launch attacks and flee. An 16 year old girl, Zahra Musa in Damaturu said she left her husband’s house barely a month after the ban on motor cycles and four months into her marriage because he could no longer cater for her needs. It is of course a truism that the insurgency in the north has had a devastating effect on families and livelihood of many economic groups. The massive destruction of infrastructure, the destruction of telecommunication facilities, frequent attacks on markets and businesses, short business hours, have made many to relocate to other safer parts of the country, bringing down incomes and increasing poverty levels. “It is very difficult to travel or do business in the north. Trips that usually take few hours have turned to long, frustrating hours because of check points on highways and in streets in many parts of the region. You can hardly make calls, the networks are terrible and banks only operate for four hours or thereabout in many states” said Mr. Johnson Nwankwo, who recently relocated from Kano to Lagos. Sadly, politicians in the adversely affected states have abandoned their constituencies and moved to Abuja for fear of attacks. Corruption that has led to the current levels of insecurity in the region is at its peak with insecurity being used by many politicians to loot under the guise of security votes. Ahmad Salkida is a freelance journalist.



When will Jonathan condole Shuwa family?


did not see the death of General Mamman Shuwa coming in this brutal way but I saw the federal government’s levity in handling heroism coming. One always wonders what have heroes and heroines done to Nigeria that their effort is washed into the sewer of history? Drawing analogy with how late Col. Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu was honoured with state burial and full military honours to boot, I predicted in one of my recent articles, Season of Dichotomies, that the surviving civil war heroes who fought for the nation’s unity would hardly get the same or a semblance of Ojukwu’s honour. “When Ojukwu was honoured with a state burial,” I wrote in the piece, “another novel instance of dichotomy appeared in our polity. With sense of disappointment, I then thought of Generals Mamman Shuwa, Benjamin Adekunle (the Black Scorpion), Muhammadu Magoro, Col Sani Bello and many surviving military personnel who fought against Ojukwu in order to keep Nigeria one. Will the FG organise state burial in their honour?” Predictably, FG did nothing in honour of Shuwa. In past few days, I rummaged through newspapers and online news platforms with a view to seeing President Jonathan extending condolence message to the family of General Mamman Shuwa, the slain civil war veteran who fought for the unity of Nigeria. I didn’t see anything like that. Somewhere in the late 80s, when the nation honoured some of its citizens for their contributions to nation building, one of the names missing in the list was Major By SOC Okenwa


he November 6 presidential election in the United States of America is very significant in many ways. It is strategically important for nations and observers and analysts around the world simply because Uncle Sam is involved in yet another 4-year ‘ritual’ of replacing or retaining the executive occupant of the White House in Washington DC. As the only superpower still standing and the greatest democracy nurtured by patriots and heroes, America interests the world at large. From Moscow to Beijing, Abuja to Brazilia, London to Paris, Caracas to Bogota allies and foes alike are tuned in to find out who will replace President Barack Obama or whether the out-going blackAmerican will be succeeding himself. I believe Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are both quality presidential materials worth occupying the White House after Americans themselves decide, come Tuesday, who is best suited to begin another 4-year domination of global politico-economic affairs synonymous with their blessed rich country under God. The race for the White House is clear now as two intellectual giants lock horns for the 4-year occupation of the powerful presidential palace in Washington DC. Whenever Americans vote for the powerful position of number one citizen and leader of the free world the world pays serious attention. For one, whoever wins the presidential poll automatically becomes unofficially

Emmanuel Ifeajuna, who was not only the first Nigerian but the first African sportsman to clinch the first gold medal in a major global sport event, the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada in 1956. Despite the fact that he was seen as a felon, the military regime of IBB was criticized for excluding the name of Ifeajuna. The government later apologized and said that it was an act of “oversight”. Whether it was an act of oversight or PR gaffe by the President Jonathan handlers, what is apparent is that the action was a deliberate attempt to take heroism to cleaners. The presidency can go ballistic on trivial issues but lose voice when the voice is direly needed. When National Assembly or an elder statesman criticize the government, they go gaga, dishing out all manner of statements. Penultimate week, Sheila, the wife of the late iconic educationist died, and the presidency released a glowing tribute. In what can pass as an epitaph, Jonathan said the nation would miss Sheila’s “unparallel commitment, discipline, expertise, prowess and astuteness”. Perhaps General Shuwa’s ‘lacking’ in similar qualities is what informed the refusal to send condolence message to his family. Nigeria is always a funny country, always full of oddities.

Of course I don’t have problem with describing Sheila Solarin in glowing terms – she was educationist and had rendered contribution to the development of education in the country. My grouse about the issue is the president’s inability to condole the family of the late general. Even if he died in his sleep, the general deserves a tribute from the president – let alone when the cause of his death was this pathetic.

the global policeman, a Commander-in-chief of the most powerful military institution in the universe. As the only super-power still standing post-cold war America proudly leads the democratic forces across the world and safe-guards the new world order! The President of Uncle Sam is quite unlike the president of any other nation for obvious reasons: she is the richest and omnipotent country, globallyspeaking, from all indications. The incumbent President Barack Obama and the Republican challenger former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, at the risk of repeating myself, are great presidential materials given their profiles and pedigree. While Obama has done his best in the last four years (having been swept to power by the ‘Obamania’ in 2008) steering the ship of state Romney looks every inch like another George W. Bush — brash, arrogant, haughty — out to prove a point and write his name in gold. Mitt casts the image of a strong man with strong will — eager to assert his willingness to stand up for America at all times and seasons and stamp his authority in a complex world with everyday daunting challenges of dreadful dimensions. He seems ready to lead and show the way! On Facebook a fortnight ago I had engaged in a robust rare online discussion with Kennedy Emetulu, a friend in London, about the American presidential poll and he made some good points and preferred Obama to Romney. (I say

I tried several times to figure out what is under the president’s hat that he forgets things easily. Jonathan’s tragic miscues always tell us the man we have as a leader. He has cheapened the position of a president such that even a busker can boast of taking up the challenge. During his visit to Jigawa Monday, the president described Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State as “Dr Sule Lamido, the Adamawa State governor.” Anyway, his publicists may argue that even a onetime most powerful man in the world, former US president George W. Bush once mistakenly said at a welcoming ceremony that Queen Elizabeth first visited America in 1776. Good. Even

Jonathan’s subsequent gaffes while addressing the pupils of a model school in Governor Lamido’s village, Bamaina, can be likened to Bush’s famous faux pas: “Is our children (sic) learning?” And went on to give a terrible answer: “Childrens (sic) do learn.” You see, Jonathan is not alone, the spin doctors would argue. Sometimes even clowns like Femi Fani-Kayode strip the comic gear and talk sensibly. In his tribute to the slain general, FaniKayode was at best eloquent. “General Mohammadu Mamman Shuwa was not only an absolute gentleman but he was also perhaps the most respected, effective, disciplined, restrained and successful battle commander in the Nigerian Army during the civil war. He was in command of the 1st Division of the Nigerian army and it was the 1st Division that managed to defeat the Biafran Army and enter the east from the northern front. “Unlike many other commanders on both sides of the war, Shuwa was known for his immense compassion for the civilian population quite apart from his extraordinary courage and fighting skills. It is a matter of historical record that, unlike with other commanders, no massacres of civilians were carried out under him or by his 1st Division throughout the entire course of the war,” said the talkative politician.

But one wonders why the president is short of words whenever his words are needed for healing. Only a day to the president’s recent broadcast, an estimated 30 civilians were massacred in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State and spiritual hub of violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram. A week before the broadcast, the ivory tower had its wave of bloodshed when 25 students of Federal Polytechnic, Mubi were gunned down. The bloodletting streamed down to Aluu, the surrounding community of University of Port Harcourt where four students were extra-judicially killed and cremated. The president did not consider these worthy of mention in the broadcast, which centers mainly on flood. The comical side of it all is that in wake of mounting public outcry, Jonathan smuggled in the condolence on Mubi and Aluu tragedies into his budget speech. The president should have availed himself of the opportunity of Jigawa visit to fly a few miles to Yobe or Borno State in order to either condole Shuwa family or see for himself the enormity of destruction caused by Boko Haram. Like former Japanese Justice Minister Minoru Yanagida, who said his job was “easy and he didn’t know why he had it,” Nigeria’s presidency is cheapened by a president who doesn’t know why he is there. If the president would approve a state burial with full military honours in honour of someone who fought against the unity of Nigeria, attend his burial and appoint his widow an ambassador, that same president is expected to at least send a condolence message to the family of someone who fought to keep Nigeria one.

‘rare’ up there because I am not so much into the Tweeting and Facebooking ‘business’). While one would love Obama to prevail over “Romnesia” the prospects of winning could be determined largely by pigmentation or by the present economic worries of Americans. Again, the Obama minor ‘failures’ at homefront and abroad in terms of his administration’s policies could sway voters to want to ‘try out’ another guy, another alternative no matter how imperfect or untested. Both candidates are superbly qualified for the top job and as devoted husbands and fathers one believes in each man’s capacity and patriotism. They have in their various public services distinguished themselves. But only one man must go on to become the 45th President of the free world. And only the American voters have the prerogative to decide who that man should be come next Tuesday. Whomsoever they chose postTuesday must embrace himself for the great task ahead in a volatile world where conflicts and terrorism are threatening daily our collective existence. Mitt Romney’s controversial business past and bank accounts in foreign lands are issues dogging his campaigns. His Mormon church membership is yet another. His foreign policy inconsistencies and sommersaults happen to be another area of worry for pundits. On the other hand the subtle gay marriage ‘endorsement’ (even in his private

individual capacity) can hurt Obama electorally. Biblically we are taught that it is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Damian! One cannot stop wondering why Barack ‘kicked against his prick’ by picking homosexuality over responsible family life between a man and a woman. Why marry Michelle and have kids then? He should have married Michael instead! The truth is that Obama’s controversial prohomosexual declaration could hurt his re-election bid big time. For me the issue of homosexuality goes beyond seeing same as ‘another right’ of the other person worth respecting as Emetulu had argued. I refuse to respect such ‘right’ because I believe gays are worse than dogs, animals! This dirty practise that seeks to question the natural order of things especially procreation attracts nothing but scorn and derision from me. I hold them in the lowest esteem! No good thing can ever come from anal sex! Sodomy is as bestial as it is repugnant to everything noble. And those involved must not, through their abominable acts, bring another Sodom and Gomorrah unto us. The billionaire Donald Trump is backing Romney vociferously and fiscally even referring recently to the out-going President as “the least transparent president in the history of this country”. Trump even went as far as putting his money where his mouth is by declaring: “I have a deal for the president ... If Barack Obama

opens up and gives his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records I will give to a charity of his choice—inner-city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants—a check immediately for $5 million.” The question is therefore prompted: Is there anything Obama is hiding from Americans? President Obama, 51, charismatic, lucid, affable and elegant, is likely to lose the election on four accounts: gay, pigmentation, economy and foreign policy. And Gov. Mitt Romney, 65, rich, ebullient, cerebral and power-hungry might pull an upset because of his successful business management past, his aggressive foreign policy stance and above all, his colour. Even though he is somewhat naive when it comes to international affairs as compared to Obama what may decide crucially the outcome of the Nov. 6 vote could be America’s relation with Israel, Russia, Iran and employment at home. The only conclusion a distant observer like me could draw in this charged electoral atmosphere in the States is to wish that the best candidate wins! But one thing is clear (and no one should entertain any illusion here about that): whatever happens and whoever wins America can only get better —more prosperous, more powerful and greater in the foreseeable future! SOC Okenwa is reachable on

US 2012: And the next President is...



FCTA bans meat haulage, rickety vehicles in Abuja T

FCTA to impose fines for poster pasting in Abuja By Adeola Tukuru

By Adeola Tukuru


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration (FCTA) on Tuesday banned the use of rickety vehicles and motorcycles popularly known as Okadas in the haulage of meat in the Federal Capital City, Area Councils and Satellite Towns. Under a new policy rolled out by the Administration, the mode of meat haulage in the FCT is now through dedicated meat vans and special purpose-made tricycles with meat haulage compartment. The Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, made this known while launching the first phase of the FCT Meat haulage Programme at Karu Abattoir in Karu, Abuja. Akinjide, who was represented by the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mrs. Olvadi Bema Madayi, said the new policy was part of measures to ensure wholesome meat consumption in the FCT. The minister stated that the tricycle meat vans were to be used to convey meat to distances not more than 3km from the slaughter points while the four wheel meat vans would serve for meat haulage to longer distances. “The specifications for acceptable vehicles required for meat transportation are solely Dedicated meat Vans which are being commissioned today and special purpose-made tricycles with meat haulage compartment. “The internal coverings of the meat compartment of the vehicles are stainless steel sheets. The emphasis on stainless steel coverage is to ensure nonmetal contamination of meat. This measure is in line with

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) standards,” Akinjide said. The FCTA, she noted, viewed with disdain the existing way of meat transportation in rickety vehicles and motorcycles. “The importance of consumption of hygiene food in improving the quality of life of the populace cannot be overemphasized. Meat, being a perishable produce, must be handled right or it may endanger the public health,” she stated. The minister directed the Nigeria Police, NAFDAC, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Federal Road Safety Corps and Directorate of Road

Traffic Services to enforce the new meat haulage regulations of the FCT. She added, “The effective enforcement of these regulations is an important thrust in ensuring best practices in meat handling.” She disclosed that the FCT Administration had concluded arrangements with a private investor to build and operate an ultra modern abattoir in Tungan Maje. She noted that the Abattoir would serve the Federal Capital City and also introduce meat processing and packaging in the territory. In her welcome address read by the Director of Admin and Finance, Agriculture and Rural

Development Secretariat, Mr. John Obiahu, Madayi explained that the FCT Meat haulage Programme was being operated under a public private partnership arrangement between the Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat and Lead Automobile Company Limited. “Lead Automobile Company Limited has been an important key player in the Meat Haulage Policy actualization. The company made a substantial input to the formulation of the policy,” Madayi said. She blamed the lack of alternative means of meat transportation for the shortcoming in addressing early the meat haulage challenge.

A meat seller (mai-suya) roasting meat in One Man village along Abuja-Keffi road. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Maternal mortality needs integrated approach, says FCT PHCDB By Etuka Sunday


ollowing an increasing rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Primary Health Care Development Board (PHCDB) has said that there was need to move from stand alone vertical campaigns to a more integrated approach like the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health week and promotion of health facilities based activities for a considerable reduction. The Executive Secretary, FCT PHCDB, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed noted this during the State Level Training on the

Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Week said the training was one of the key interventions in all the Area Councils with focused awareness and service delivery on maternal, newborn and child health care. Dr. Rilwanu said that the intervention through the maternal mortality week was carefully designed by the Federal Ministry of Health and stakeholders to train the health workers using an integrated approach to reduce maternal mortality, adding that FCT was the first State to have started it. ”It is a facility based intervention so there was need we trained the health workers to know how to make an input.

We need to give them quality training. And also the intervention drugs; Vitamin A, Albendazole and Iron Folate; all these drugs are now available for distribution to all the primary health care centres. FCT is the first State that has started it,” he said. Rilwanu explained that ”545 per 100,000 live birth, infant Mortality Rate of 75 deaths per 1000 live births, Child mortality (age 12 months to 4 years) of 88 deaths per 1000 live births and an overall underfive mortality rate of 157 deaths per 1000 live births.” He appealed to people especially women and children to embrace the programme. “I

want to use this opportunity to reiterate the urgency and need for all of us to embrace this programme. I rely on everyone here to take up not just the role of a service provider but also that of an advocate and a mobiliser. No eligible woman, newborn or child should miss any of the interventions that will be provided,” he said. Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director, Disease Control of the Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Matthew Ashikeni urged the health workers at the training to take it seriously in order to achieve the goal for which the programme was meant to achieve.

he Federal Capital Territory, FCT is set to impose fines against any religious institutions and various bodies defacing the walls in Abuja as a result of pasting posters and other notices. The Assistant Director in charge of Aesthetics and Amenities in the Development Control department (DCD), Engineer Richard Aderinwale stated this when he led officials of the department on a cleanup exercise yesterday. Richard lamented that most of the pasting that were normally done at night is being perpetrated by religious bodies and politicians, as a law will soon be enacted to stop such acts in the city. He said a hot pressure machine has just been purchased to be used in cleaning up the city. He blamed churches for pasting on any available space to announce crusades and night vigils to residents. He said the dirty act should be discouraged by all means, stressing that a legislation should be passed to disqualify politicians whose posters are found pasted on the streets from contesting in elections in the city. He said if there was an enabling law, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) can enforce same law on politicians and the defacing of the capital city would stop. He lamented that it was embarrassing that up till now there was no law against pasting of posters. He advised residents to contact registered bodies before they embark on such exercise in the city.

Man, 40, jailed for stealing meat in Kuje By Amaike Beauty with agency news


n Area Court in Kuje in the FCT, yesterday sentenced Bahago Sarki of Sauka village, Kuje, to two months imprisonment for the parts of a Ram, belonging to one Mrs Mariam Suleiman. The Presiding Judge, Nuhu Ibrahim, however, gave the convict an option to pay N4,000 fine. The convict was also ordered to pay N4,000 to the complainant. Police prosecutor Samuel Ochefu had told the court that Mrs Mariam Suleiman of Mopol Barracks, Kuje, reported at the Kuje Police Station that Sarki stole her meat. Samuel said that during investigation, it was discovered that the accused went to Mariam’s house and stole the head and legs of a ram. The convict pleaded guilty to the charge.



3 persons in court for abducting, selling minors


hree persons, Kingsley Linus, Martina Owelikpe and Ngozi Nwoha, were on Monday arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for alleged criminal conspiracy, abduction and selling of minors. The prosecutor, Mr Udochukwu Jonathan, said that Linus of no fixed address, Owelikpe of 51 Crescent, C

Close Kubwa, Abuja, and Nwoha of Umuchigbo, Enugu State, had been in the business for a long time. Jonathan, in a First Information Report(FIR) against the accused, told the court that they had lured one Prisca Asugwo and three other females with their babies to Abuja. “The accused persons between the months of August and

September, had lured Asugwo, and the three other ladies with their babies to Abuja with Linus promising to marry and take care of them. “They conspire and keep them against their will and eventually sell the babies for ritual and other purposes afterwards,’’ Jonathan said.

He said that the offences were contrary to sections 97, 272, 273, 278, and 74 of the Penal Code. The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Binta Mohammed granted them bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with a reasonable surety each in like sum. The sureties must be civil

servants, Mohammed said, adding that they must live within the jurisdiction of the court and present to the court a copy of their last promotion letter and last utility bill as evidence. She adjourned the case to Nov. 21, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Indigenous contractors hail FCT ministers for working in harmony


he Association of Indigenous Contractors of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has commended the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and the Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide for working together in harmony towards realizing the vision of the founding fathers of Abuja. In a statement signed by their Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Ehikwe, Vice-Chairman, Alhaji Musa Mohammed and Secretary, Sir Martins Ezendu, the indigenous contractors categorically stated that they were not aware of any rift between the two ministers. The Executive Committee of the Association rose from its crucial meeting held on Monday 5th November, 2012, to express its surprise over media reports alleging that there was a rift between the Minister and the Minister of State over the payment of contractors. They stressed: "To the best of our knowledge, the relationship existing between the FCT Minister and the Minister of State is cordial. We enjoin them to continue to work in harmony towards realizing the vision of the founding fathers of Abuja, our centre of unity." The contractors reaffirmed their appeal to the FCT Administration to continue payment of indigenous contractors based on due certification of jobs as they usually do. They pledged to continue to execute their jobs excellently according to specification and contractual terms. They argued that the offsetting of their outstanding payments would enable them to pay back the bank loans with which they executed the jobs. The contractors expressed their appreciation of efforts by the FCT Minister and the FCT Administration to settle their outstanding payments. They appealed to the Federal Government to approve enough funds for the FCTA to pay indigenous contractors taking into cognizance the fact that they employ thousands of artisans and active youths in the territory in line with the job creation policy of the present administration. The indigenous contractors declared, "As indigenous contractors and stakeholders in the Nigerian project, we the indigenous contractors shall always remain partners in progress of the government, particularly the FCTA in the implementation of the transformation agenda of this administration."

Wheel barrow pushers out for business in Mararaba, Abuja.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Body of SANs blames legal lapses by FCTA officials on absence of Attorney-General By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Abuja chapter of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) yesterday said the absence of the office of the Attorney General in the legal structure of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is responsible for the legal lapses by bureaucratic and overzealous public officers in Abuja. In a speech delivered on behalf of the body by Chief Adegoyega Awomolo (SAN) at the 2012/2013 legal year ceremony of the High Court of the FCT, the body regretted that: “No order of the court is seen to be obeyed by any responsible person in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. “Court orders and judgments meant nothing. Nigerians are dissatisfied with this state of affairs”, the Body said and noted that recently, a whole lot of properties sufficient to accommodate a half of some state capitals were demolished in disregard of court order. “No Attorney-General was there to be held responsible or answerable for the impunity in the administration of FCT, Abuja”, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria noted and added that the absence of the office of the Attorney-General in FCT’s political structure is not in line with section 150(1) and (2) of the constitution.

As a result, he said the office of the Chief Law Officer, who is constitutionally and legally responsible and can be held accountable for all legal matters of the executive is missing as a mandatory office under the constitution and that all legal lapses by public officers cannot be curbed. In the past few years, the Body recalled that the number of cases filed, heard and judgments delivered in Abuja High Court concerning FCT Administration have continued on geometric increase and that decisions in almost the cases showed that the absence of Attorney-General has reflected in avoidable and wasteful litigations, particularly in the administration and management of land matters within the territory. He advised Abuja branch of the NBA to table the grave constitutional defect at the public hearing of the National Assembly for the review of the constitution. In his speech, the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Lawan Hassan Gummi highlighted some transformational work undertaken by the FCT judiciary to ensure effective discharge of its roles and responsibility as a central pillar of the society. Gummi said within 2011-2012 legal year; concerted efforts were

made to make rules of court for the enforcement of the original jurisdiction on chieftaincy matters conferred on the Customary Courts of Appeal, Abuja by Act No. 5 of 2011. The CJ however said, within the same year in review, armed robbers unleashed coordinated attacks on some customary court buildings and a total of nine 60KVA power generating sets were stolen from each of the courts. This, he said was in addition to

the outright vandilization of the properties of the courts, pointing out that four security guards on duty were killed and one rendered permanently incapacitated from gun injury. To ensure adequate security, the FCT judiciary has installed a 30 camera CCTV system to cover the entire High Court premises, in addition to the bomb film protector already installed along side handheld explosive detector systems for use in major FCT High courts.

Driver docked for stealing 4 goats By Amaike Beauty with agency news


he police on Monday arraigned a 24 year-old driver, Abubakar Umar, before a Karu Senior Magistrates Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing four goats. Prosecutor Francis Udofia told the court that the accused stole the goats belonging to Isaac Abraham of Deidei, Abuja, on Oct. 26, 2012. “The accused stole the goats in Deidei and was caught in Mararaba market where he was selling them. One of the goats was recovered from the accused person during police investigation,’’ he said. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Umar, however, admitted stealing only one and not four goats as contained in the First Information Report. “I have never stolen before. I needed some money during the festive season that was what led me to steal. “I urge the court to please pardon me. I promise never to engage in such devilish act again,’’ he said. The Senior Magistrate, Chinyere Nwecheonwu, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50, 000 and a surety in like sum. Nwecheonwu said the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to Nov. 21, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)



Children fetching water from a broken pipe yesterday in Bwari, Abuja.

Local drummers entertaining people at a function, recently in Garki, Abuja.

Road side barbing saloon in Apo, Abuja.

A boy hawking sugar cane,yesterday in Karu, Abuja.

A wheel barrow pusher conveying baskets of tomatoes in Bwari, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-owo






- Pg 22

Top 10 riches politicians

Mob: 08033644990

Kaduna Electricity Company NNPC receives environment compliant loses N27.4m to vandals company of year 2012 award


he Kaduna Elecriticity Distribution Company yesterday said it lost N27.4 million to vandals between January and October this year. The Managing Director of the Company, Alhaji Idris Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, that the vandals had been targeting electricity supply facilities in the zone. He said their illegal activities had been frustrating the company’s efforts towards ensuring steady power supply to Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kebbi. M o h a m m e d

said eight transformers, comprising five 500 KVA and three 300 KVA transformers, were stolen stolen in the zone while 550 metres of core cables were damaged. “The spate of vandalism on PHCN facilities in the zone has became a source of concern to all of us.” He urged residents to form vigilante groups to check the activities of the vandals and ensure regular power supply, saying, “PHCN resources are scarce and it cost the company so much to get the damaged facilities replaced.” (NAN)

By Muhammad Nasir


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has received the ‘African Most outstanding health and safety environment compliant (HSE) Company of the year 2012 Award”. A statement issued yesterday by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs division of the NNPC, noted that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the African Leadership Magazine, organizers of the event with the theme: “Building Sustainable Safety And Security

Infrastructure For Growth And Development”, stated that the award is in recognition of NNPC‘s commitment to strong HSE policy implementation through corporate environmental protection and safety management, compliance with corporate safety standards, HSE awareness campaigns, HSE training and maintaining effective synergy with all units for effectiveness. The ceremony, which took place at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel Accra Ghana was attended by top Government functionaries as well as Security organisations from across Africa. Dignitaries at the event included General J H Smith, Minister of Defense Republic of Ghana, Dr. Joyce Aryee, former President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines; the Ghanaian Ambassador to Brazil, Mr. Modou Lamin Camara, and CEO Metro Security services Gambia, and members of the press. In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the

NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu re-affirmed the NNPC’s commitment to eliminate all unsafe acts and conditions in all NNPC operations. He expressed the desire of the NNPC Management to pursue the attainment of GOAL ZERO initiatives of no harm to people and no harm to the environment in all NNPC operations. The GMD, who was represented by the general manager HSE Engr. Rabiu Suleiman, thanked the African Leadership Magazine for the recognition and promotion of NNPC’s efforts in raising the HSE Performance Standard in the Hydro-carbon business value-chain. He said the award reaffirms and confirms the team spirit, determination, dedication and excellence of NNPC staff. He dedicated the award to the entire staff of NNPC especially staff of HSE. Previous recipients of the HSE award include Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), First Bank group Nigeria, and Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd.

FG to hike 2012-2014 external borrowing by N208bn – Okonjo-Iweala

N L-R: Acting MD/CEO of Trust Fund Pension ,Mrs. Helen Da-Sauza, Chairman, Board of Trustees Fund Pension, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Olojeme and the Company Secretary, Musa Nasir at the Company's Annual General Meeting held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja yesterday. Photo: Joe Oroye

igeria’s finance minister has asked lawmakers to increase planned external borrowing over the 2012-2014 period by $1.3 billion to $9.2 billion (N208bn). The additional debt would cover a $1 billion eurobond next

year, a $100 million diaspora bond and $200 million for a water project in the oilproducing Rivers state, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday. The minister made the proposal to the national assembly on Monday. (Reuters)

NACCIMA seeks hand over of Lagos Int’l Trade fair


he National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged the Federal Government to hand over the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex to its Lagos chapter. The President of the Chambers, Herbert Ajayi, said on Monday in Lagos that the Federal Government should hands off the running of the complex. Mr. Ajayi said that the advice is necessary as the concessionaire has not met the expectations of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPP), on the management of the complex. The ongoing 26th Lagos International Trade Fair is taking place at the Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, complex instead of the spacious trade fair complex along Badagry

expressway. “When we left this arena (TBS) nearly ten years ago, one of the reasons we left was that the international trade fair complex was ready to accommodate us. “But as you can see now, it is really very tight.’’ He proposed that, like Kaduna and Abuja which exhibit on their respective permanent


sites, government should hand over the international trade fair complex along the Badagry expressway to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce. “We need trade fair complexes and the one at the Badagry Road should be rehabilitated and should be handed over to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, because it appears that

the concessionaire is not satisfying the Bureau for Public Enterprises. “They (BPE) are the one who concessioned it to them (the concessionaire). So we are expecting that they would review… if the man (concessionaire) is doing well we won’t be here. “Some of these people are not doing well if they are not doing

Management Tip of the Day Make the most of a bad job

f you’re unhappy at work, you don’t have to live with it. And you don’t have to quit. Here’s how to make the most of an imperfect job situation.· Be clear about what you don’t like. You likely can’t alter your job description, but you may be able to minimize

the time you spend doing unwanted tasks.· Make social connections. Stronger emotional ties to your co-workers can have a positive effect on your attitude. Spend time with colleagues you like, and avoid those you don’t.· Keep your options open. You may be stuck

due to a bad economy or limited openings in your industry, but circumstances may change. Be sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile are up to date and that you are continually meeting people in your field. Source: Harvard Business Review

well with our assets then we review it, sanction them or take it over.’’ Mr. Ajayi said that trade fairs were for trade promotions that attract investment opportunities into any country. “This is a very attractive investment opportunity but it does not depend on the goods alone. It depends on how it is arranged. “It depends on how well arranged, how people can access what they want and how they can have some comfort. He said the country could provide a trade fair arena of international standard given the available human and natural resources. The Lagos State Government has also, in the past, demanded that the Federal Government hand over the trade fair complex to the state for proper management.





s it gears up for operations after the unfortunate crash, Dana Air has reiterated the airline’s commitment to the provision of safe and reliable world-class services to air travelers in Nigeria The airlines’ Head of Corporate Communications, Tony Usidamen, restated Dana Air’s commitment while outlining steps taken by the airline for the safe and smooth return to operations. He said, following the lifting of the suspension on our operations by the Federal Government on September 5, 2012, the airline commenced a rigorous process of recertification by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).



eading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria has announced plans to host select influential personalities at a high profile event that will feature Fareed Zakaria, renowned journalist, internationally acclaimed author and host of popular Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN. The event tagged, Airtel’s Night of Influence, is a distinct platform that will provide a great networking opportunity to prominent international personalities, very successful Nigerians and the Airtel brand. It will hold on Sunday, November 18th, 2012 at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos. Fareed Zakaria, who has confirmed to speak on the theme: Africa’s Political Economy: The Challenge of Leadership, will bring on hand rich insights into the continent’s economy and its interactions with the global socio-economic and political landscape.

Solar energy


he Minister of Science and Technology, Prof Ita Okon has advocated the use of solar energy technology devices to make electricity moreaffordable to Nigerians. Okon made the call in Enugu recently, at the 3rd International Workshop on ‘Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development’. He said that popularising solar energy would also help to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce high cost of electricity in the country. The minister pledged that the government would continue to provide enabling environment and adequate funding for researchbased organisations.

Deepening deposit insurance in Nigeria, the Umaru Ibrahim way By Bashir Ibrahim Hassan


espite its growing popularity and obvious benefits, deposit insurance scheme (now operative in 111 countries), is not without critics as some people even questioned its necessity. The debate between the proponents and opponents of deposit insurance has a long history dating back to the 1930s in the US. It was a tug-of-war between Branch-banking conglomerates of the South and the Unit Bank entrepreneurs of the North. It is a fact from that history that bank insurance was once not the exclusive domain of the government. In the 1920s, coinsurance arrangements among bank clearinghouse members was the order of the day, especially among the branch-banking groups. Bankers under this private insurance arrangement agreed to make market in each other's liability, ensure interbank loans and coordinate suspension and resumption of convertibility to mitigate disruption during financial crisis. But, the rise of the Unit Bank movement in the US in the same periods and their push for Unit Bank laws (which in essence prohibits branch banking) weakened the position of proponents of the private insurance of deposits. No doubt the rise of small banks (unit banks) makes coinsurance very difficult because banks are now geographically isolated thereby making coordination and mutual monitoring impossible. Under this scenario confusion over small shocks in one isolated bank can easily spread panic in the system. In the absence of private coinsurance, the state of New York became the first to adopt bank obligation insurance programme in 1929, which was a precursor of today's US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). There is no denying the fact that, the central role of Government in providing protection against systemic collapse of the banking system even by proponents of private insurance of deposits is critical. The major reason of governments that adopted the deposit insurance to date has always been the social costs associated with disruption to the economy's payment system arising from financial panics during banks' insolvency crisiswhich is a re-occurring phenomenon in history and across geographical boundaries. The proponents of private deposit insurance criticises government backed deposit insurance as encouraging risktaking by banks on the one hand and by high networth depositors on the other. They argue that the "discipline of the market, which would have prevented such stakeholders from engaging

NDIC MD/CEO, Umaru Ibrahim in excessive risk taking. According to such critics "depositors of insured institutions have little incentive to discriminate with respect to where and with whom they place their fund". However, despite these seemingly valid arguments, the trend the world over is towards explicit deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) by governments. In fact, the inevitability of deposit insurance made economists to presume a de facto implicit deposit insurance scheme (IDIS) in all countries, since governments are looked upon for relief at the outbreak of a large banking crisis. The United States is the first in history to adopt the EDIS in 1933-a year famous for banking crisis. It was followed in 1960s by nine countries-Canada, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, India, Lebanon, Norway, Micronesia, Philippines. Today, EDIS has become the ready tool used by governments in an effort to assure the stability of banking system and to protect bank depositors from incurring large losses due to banks' failures. Nigeria joined the league of world deposit insurance schemes in 1988. Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) was established as part of the economic reform measures taken by the General Babangida administration, to strengthen the safety net for the banking sector following the implementation of the 1986 Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986. The mid-eighties to early nineties was a particular difficult period in Nigeria's financial history. This was the period the country witnessed the phenomenal increase of banks from 40 in 1986 to 120 in 1992. Soon distress in the banking sector became manifest. Thus, NDIC came into existence at a period when risks facing depositor's funds were at their peak. Increased competition amongst rising number of banks led to sharp practices in the industry. People of questionable integrity found their ways into ownership and

managerial positions in banks while inadequate manpower threatened the quality of services offered. Under these circumstances even the most passionate advocate of private insurance cannot possibility close his eyes to the need of a strong government regulatory institution to sanitize the industry, which the NDIC was poised to offer. The impact of NDIC during those difficult years and beyond is clear for any careful observer of Nigeria's financial scene. Through its supervisory actions, NDIC ensured harmony between owners and managers in fierce boardroom fights. During the same difficult periods it placed Holding Actions on 33 distressed banks to restrict operation and encourage selfrestructuring. Particularly in 1989, the year the Corporation commenced operation, NDIC, in collaboration with CBN, granted facilities to the tune of N2.3 billion to ten banks mired in liquidity problems. And between 1991 and 1996 it literarily took over the management and control of almost 30 distressed banks, while between 1996 and 2000 it supervised the handing over through acquisition and restructuring of seven distressed banks to new investors. The days of the incumbent MD/CEO, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim at the helm of affairs saw the Corporation continually building on its past successessuccesses which he has been part and parcel of having joined the Corporation since its inception in 1989. Worthy of note is the strengthening of Risk-Based Supervisory (RBS) approach in its supervisory role, which is in line with international best practice. The new approach allowed for the optimization of supervisory resources, as well as encouraged prudent risk management in banks. Determined to avoid the repeat of the 2008 banking crisis in the country, the NDIC under Alhaji Ibrahim, who was appointed MD/CEO in 2010, is pursuing vigorously the examination of insured institutions. This can be seen from the dispatch with which the Corporation is handling maiden examination of the three recently acquired banks by AMCON, which commenced on Monday 7th May, 2012, all in an effort to promote safe and sound banking practice and also engender depositor confidence in the financial system. The examination was meant to assess the regulatory compliance and financial condition of the banks in the first five months of their existence. The good news coming out of the financial system, especially in the last one year is that the

banking industry is well capitalised, adequately liquid with improved asset quality. For example the off-site supervisory activities of the Corporation revealed that the financial condition and performance of the banking industry improved in the current financial year compared to its performance as at 31st December, 2011. The banking industry total assets grew by 5.38% from N18.20 trillion in December 2011 to N19.18 trillion as at 31st August, 2012. Similarly, Net Loans and Advances increased by 16.20% from N6.42 trillion as at 31st December, 2011 to N7.46 trillion as at 31st August, 2012. Industry total deposit liabilities also grew by 6.57% from N12.33 trillion as at 31st December, 2011 to N13.14 trillion as at 31st August, 2012. All banks met the CBN prescribed minimum liquidity ratio of 30% during the current financial year. Similarly, much progress has been recorded by the corporation in its role as liquidator of the closed insured banks through asset realisation and payment of liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors and other eligible claimants of the closed insured banks. In a recent submission to the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, the Corporation reported that "a cumulative recovery for deposit money banks (DMBs) from 1994 to September 2012 stood at N23.334 billion as against N22.260 billion recovered as at 31st December, 2011. That showed an increase of N1,074.36 million, representing 4.83% in debt recovery between January and September 2012. Similarly, total cumulative recoveries from the closed MFBs as at August 31st, 2012 stood at N30.66 million against N13.57 million recovered as at December, 2011. That showed an increase of N17.09 million, representing an increase of almost 126% over the December 2011 figure". With the above highlighted examples of the achievements of the Corporation since its inception and in the last two years, the imperatives of a strong state-backed deposit insurance scheme in Nigeria cannot be over emphasised. The purpose of deposit insurance may vary across countries but, typically, it involves promoting financial stability and protecting small savers from loss in the case of a troubled or failing bank. Deposit insurance can and do enhance financial stability as we are witnessing in Nigeria today. It is quite scary to think of financial system in today's world without an explicit deposit insurance scheme (EDIS). Bashir Ibrahim, a Business Development Executive, writes from Abuja (



Decaying facilities at Arts and Crafts village a minus on tourism By Miriam Humbe


he Art and Crafts Village located adjacent to the Sheraton Hotels and Towers in the central area of Abuja no doubt enjoys a constant flow of high profile visitors most of whom are members of the international community and their families to its premises on a daily basis. In 2003, the village received as guests, the Head of the Commonwealth and Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II and wives of Heads of Governments from across the globe. Unfortunately, the state of infrastructure at the village, which is expected to be Nigeria's tourism site of pride is presently an eye-sore due to years of neglect. Although the village is situated very close to Sheraton hotel, its significance is rather diminished due to the rot that has become its lot. For instance, upon entry into the premises, the first building that welcomes the visitor is the thatched hut on the left side at the entry, which is a toilet, is a good definition of an unsightly palace. The smell that oozes out of the dilapidated toilet with its doors, which have remained wide open for the past few years is capable of making a healthy man instantly go for medical attention. The refuse that litter the premises unattended to and the overgrown bushes are story for yet another day. Even with these inconveniences in place, the Art and Crafts village still records a high turnout of patronage from foreigners who have continued to crave for the arts and crafts of Nigeria. Sadly, the only tales they may have to tell of the nation's tourism upon return to their countries as far as the village is concerned, may be those of woes. This is in spite of the supposed efforts of the minister of tourism, culture and national orientation, Chief Edem Duke at

Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke making the tourism sector viable as to rank next to the oil and gas sector as revenue-earners for the country. The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), a parastatal of the ministry which is the body saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the affairs of the Arts and Crafts village, has grossly failed in its duty to instil life into the village and make it a viable tourism centre. When our reporter visited the village yesterday, a source disclosed that the only three new buildings in the premises were built some two years ago to serve as shops but have been abandoned. Some youths in the centre have taken up residence there. With the dwindling resources accruable to the nation from its present mono-economic dependence on oil, and the imperative of sourcing for alternative means of sustainable economic development, it is expected that by now, efforts

geared towards contributing to the realization of the Gross Domestic Product of the nation would become more transparent.

Executive Secretary, National Council for Arts and Culture, Malgwi Maigugu Only last month, while speaking in Ilorin to declare open the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), Executive

Secretary of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Malgwi Maidugu described the tourism sector as an "an enviable

One of the dilapidated structures in the Arts and Culture village, Abuja

An open waste dump within the premises

industry" capable of "contributing to the overall achievements of the Transformation Agenda of the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan". Ironically, even with this declaration by the Executive Secretary, facilities at the Arts and Crafts Village under the care of NCAC have remained in a state of shambles. No visible efforts are being made to revamp the village which had once hosted the Head of Commonwealth and Queen of England and wives of Heads of Governments around the world during CHOGM, and which has remained strategic in the tourism sub-sector but is turning out a negative factor to the sector as the year draws to a close.



Top 10 richest politicians Even though there are hundreds of politicians all around the world, only a handful of them fall under the category of richest people in the world. It's not only the business which makes a man rich, but sometime politics also. Even though the number of such politicians are too much in the Arab nations but the trend was started by Queen Elizabeth. The following is the list of 10 richest politicians in 2012:


e is the supreme Prime Minister of United Arab emirate (UAE), and has a personal wealth estimating more than $80 billion (N12.8 tr). He is known for his lavishing lifestyle and love for horse-racing. He is also said to be highly humble and well-known for his huge donations to various United Nation (UN) and social organisations.


Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum


e comes from the beautiful country of Thailand. He is the longest ruling King of Thailand with a personal wealth valued more than $35 billion (N5.6 tr). Bhumibol Adulyadej is no doubt

rich and powerful but his interest lies in various fields including writing, painting, music as well as photography. You will be surprised to know that he has authored many books.


ven though the Egyptian unrest and world pressure made him quit his presidential post, Hosni Mubarak is still amongst the richest politicians in 2012 amassing wealth more than $70 billion (N11.2 tr). A lot of people however blame that the wealth that he has amassed is a result of corruption from various government contracts.

3 Vladimir Putin


e is one of the most well known faces of the politics not only in Russia but throughout the world. This young leader is said to be having a wealth of more than $40 billion (N6.4 tr). Criticised by his opponents because of his lifestyle, Putin has been ruling Russia for quite some time now.


Hosni Mubarak





e is known more for s*x scandals then his personal wealth. Though not very popular among masses in Italy due to alleged role in corruptions and scandals, he has a personal wealth which is counted as more than $9 billion (N1.44tr). Bhumibol Adulyadej Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz

he only female in the top 10 list is Sonia Gandhi. This Italian-born lady is one of the most recognized faces of the largest democracy in the world. She was voted as amongst the most women in the world and has a personal wealth of more than $19 billion (N3.04 tr).

7 Sonia Gandhi


e adds to another name in the list of the richest politicians from the Arab countries. Having a wealth of $18 billion (N2.9 tr), he is well known in politician circles of the United Arab emirate (UAE). The beautiful Burj Dubai tower, which is amongst the tallest buildings in the world, is named in the honor of the Sheikh.



6 5


e is the supreme king and leader of the oil rich country Saudi Arabia. He is among the elitist people residing in the Arab county with a fortune of more than $21 billion (about N3.4 trillion). He also enjoys good foreign relations with almost all the countries and has a major role in several overseas investments.

Hassanal Bolkiah


s per the records, Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Hassanal Bolkiah, owns several thousand cars. His wealth is not only limited to the number of cars that he owns but also assets worth more than $20 billion (N3.2 trillion). He spends lavishly and loves to travel all around the world.

Hans-Adam II ans-Adam II, the Prince of Liechtenstein, started off as an investment banker and slowly rose to the powers to become a political leader. The Prince is nearing 70 and owns the LGT banking group which is having a fortune of more than 7.5 billion dollars (N1.2tr). His personal wealth is accounted at $4billion (N649bn). He loves art and holds an extensive collection.

8 Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Culled from http://



Stakeholders call for a law to make housing a “right” in Nigeria

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Abuja residents rush for Integax Experts Jubilation Housing Schemes identify obstacles to housing development in Nigeria Pg 27

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On the presidential retreat on housing PR OPER TY PROPER OPERTY C ome next Monday, November 12, 2012, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, there will be a Presidential Retreat on Housing. President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his cabinet whose responsibilities affect housing development will hold a day-long brainstorming session on how to tackle Nigeria’s acute housing problem now reaching crisis proportion. Also expected at the session are leaders of relevant committees of the National Assembly. With slums rising in major cities in Nigeria and the nation suffering a housing deficit of over 16 million units, coupled with the emerging homelessness among the no-income and low income earners, the retreat cannot be coming at a better time. Shelter is the third most important need of man; after food and clothing. Housing is so important to human existence that it is declared as one of the fundamental human rights. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, Housing, medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control”. Every government therefore

has a mandate to ensure that the citizens it governs have access to and can afford the minimum standard of housing adequate for healthy living. Unfortunately, virtually all regimes that have held the reigns of power in Nigeria have relegated the issue of housing Nigerians to the back-burner. Although housing is a major indicator of the development of a nation and her people, the benefits of housing development seem not to have been appreciated by erstwhile administrations. That is why there is palpable hope that the interest being shown by the Jonathan administration in housing development will not fizzle out as did the efforts of his predecessors. This is because apart from providing the citizens with their rights to decent housing, housing development itself is a sure route to the industrial and economic development of any nation. Housing is probably the highest creator of jobs in any economy and any country that has a rich stock of modern houses will usually have an enlightened citizenry with multiple employment opportunities. Housing development has the propensity to transform any economy, Nigeria’s inclusive. A typical housing project puts to work many professionals, skilled and unskilled labour, including architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, accountants, bricklayers, carpenters, block


Udenna Orji, 07055652553 moulders, masons, electricians, plumbers, welders, tillers, painters, food vendors, building materials sellers, building materials manufacturers, bankers, project management professionals, estate surveyors and valuers, iron benders, furniture makers, diggers, drivers, security men, etc.

What Nigerians do not expect is another committee that may be set up to review the recommendations of the countless committees and review committees that Jonathan and his predecessors have been setting up all these years without implementing their recommendations

Manufacturing companies k e e p growing, employing m o r e people. Living standards rise and there is m o r e disposable

income. Great nations like the United States of America, Great Britain and Canada rose to industrial and economic stardom majorly on robust housing policies that gave rise to massive housing construction and homeownership programmes. These countries have strong financial systems with tentacles in every continent of the world. The United States housing sector was so strong and its economy depended on it so much that when overzealous bankers got too carried away and gave out more mortgages than they could recover, the default on these mortgages led to the collapse of the world economy in 2008, infamously known as the global economic meltdown. Such is the power of housing development. In the United States, Great Britain and Canada, the housing sector contributes between 30% and 70% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Investment in housing accounts for 15% to 35% of aggregate investment worldwide.

This sector employs approximately 10% of labour force worldwide. But the housing sector in Nigeria contributes an insignificant 0.38% to its GDP. Our vision 20:2020 and Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS2020) have assigned special roles to the housing sector, expecting it to drive the financial system and contribute not less than 20% to the GDP by the year 2020. As the President and his men meet next Monday on housing development, it is important to remind them that Nigerians are expecting concrete decisions and actions to drive the housing sector forward in line with the provisions of the new National Housing Policy and Financial System Strategy 2020. Nigerians also expect concrete actions for the take-off of the much talked about Social Housing. What Nigerians do not expect is another committee that may be set up to review the recommendations of the countless committees and review committees that Jonathan and his predecessors have been setting up all these years without implementing their recommendations. What Nigerians expect from the presidential retreat is the commencement of the implementation of the recommendations of these committees and any other decisions taken at the retreat. It is now time for implementation. However, kudos to President Jonathan on this laudable retreat on housing.

Interior decorating secrets

Leave cabinets open An open cabinet is more interesting than a closed one. Let people into your secret world.

Wallpaper is easy The fastest way to make over sliding closet doors is to wallpaper them, like Melissa Warner did to turn a bedroom into her office.



Stakeholders call for a law to make housing a “right” in Nigeria

Bill on Social Housing out soon

By Udenna Orji


ousing stakeholders in Nigeria have called for a constitutional provision that will make it mandatory for the various tiers of government in the country to provide decent and affordable housing for all Nigerians. A call has also been made for the commencement of social housing in Nigeria to ensure decent accommodation for noincome and low income earners. These calls were made at a one-day seminar on Social Housing held in Abuja last Thursday. It was organized by the Forum of Advocates on Social Housing (FASH) and had in attendance the Honourable Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, Chairman, Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim, members of the National Assembly, property and construction professionals, bankers and members of the public while some of the resource persons were drawn from Nigerians in the diaspora with specialization in social housing development and management. Participants unanimously called for “a comprehensive Housing Provision Law on the recognition and inclusion of

Tata poised to develop India’s cheapest housing units


ata, the Indian company that made worldwide headlines with its $2,000 (about N300,000) Nano car plans to build 1,000 tiny apartments outside Mumbai that will sell for $7,800 to $13,400 each. The company plans to roll out low-cost projects outside other major cities. Tata’s housing division is targeting a segment of the market that was largely overlooked during the housing boom. India’s builders were concentrating on building shiny new high rises after profits, but they were also trying to justify their fast-accelerating land costs, especially in and around Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and other major cities. But some business consultants (most prominently renowned management expert, C. K. Prahalad) were arguing that companies would profit handsomely if they target the “bottom of the pyramid” where the bulk of consumers are. It looks like Tata is taking that advice.

Social housing in China “Housing Right” like Civil Rights as a specific provision in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not just as a preamble in the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy”. They argued that Nigeria is a signatory to the United Na tions Declaration of Human Rights which also recognizes housing as a human right and as such should join her developed counterparts in putting in place policies that will boost homeownership among

Nigerians and develop social housing for the no-income and low-income earners in the country. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, Housing, medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in

circumstances beyond his control”. Senator Ibrahim assured that the National Social Housing Bill before the senate would be passed by the senate in a few weeks, adding that virtually all the members of the senate were committed to the commencement of social housing in Nigeria. He said President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly were determined to kick-start a housing revolution in Nigeria hence the holding of a

Presidential Retreat on Housing next Monday. Social housing is an umbrella term referring to housing which is owned and managed by the state, not-for-profit organizations, or a combination of the two, usually with the aim of providing affordable rental housing. It is the provision of affordable, non-profit driven, mass produced houses that could be occupied by low income earners, who may wish to save towards eventually buying such houses with time.

Foreign investors swoop on real estate opportunities in Nigeria


nterestingly, despite the recent global meltdown and turmoil in Dubai where property prices are coming down, discerning investors, with eyes on the future are building more portfolios in real estate. And following the approval of a new National Housing Policy and a new Urban Development Policy by the Federal Executive Council last June, foreign capital has been flooding into the country for housing development under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) through which the

federal government intends to build one million housing units annually under the new housing policy. The reason for the blossoming real estate sector in Nigeria, according to Seyi Oyetunde, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Continental Estates, is because “real estate cannot crash, it stabilizes. Demand is higher than supply in real estate. I tell you there is nowhere else like real estate. The richest men in the world, if you look at their wealth, the bulk of it comes from real

estate. I can’t remember exactly now but I know about 90 per cent of the world’s richest men thrive in real estate. Even when they do other things, it is based on their stock of real estate. They own corner shops everywhere, corner shops that enjoy appreciation. Because they own their own shops, they don’t rent and if at all they’ve got to rent, maybe it’s out of compulsion. But 90% or 95% of their locations are out rightly owned. People whose wealth is phenomenal and will last about four generations without effort

are in real estate. I tell you it is exodus syndrome that happens in Nigeria. With the direct foreign investment into the Nigerian market too, many shops are opened, so many people globally are beginning to realize that the local market in Nigeria is attractive for their various businesses. One of the first things they will need is commercial real estate and then maybe back it up with one serious luxury apartment for the CEO and then the other managers can be given housing allowances and the rest of them.”



Abuja residents rush for Integax Jubilation Housing Schemes Integax launches Operation Become an Abuja Landlord in 2013 By Udenna Orji


n meeting Nigeria’s housing needs, housing finance has always been the major problem. Mortgage development in Nigeria is low and only a few Nigerians can meet up with the necessary requirements to secure a mortgage loan. This has continued to increase Nigeria’s estimated deficit of 16 million housing units. For anxious Nigerians wishing to own a home in Abuja, a rare opportunity has come. One of Abuja’s foremost estate developers, Integax Jubilation Homes Limited, has introduced some housing finance schemes that have kept many Abuja residents besieging the sites and offices of the reputable developer to choose choice homes. Joy, gladness and thanksgiving is the testimony of the nearly 1000 Abuja homeowners, who have secured their dream homes through the award-winning estate developer. The company’s track record of integrity and excellence is verifiable. At no point in Nigeria has homeownership been made this simple. Serious aspiring homeowners, with average incomes, can now buy homes from the various beautiful estates of Integax Jubilation Homes, spread in many districts of Abuja; and on unbelievably flexible payment terms. All it takes is probably the effort to visit the sites and offices of the Abuja-based developer and listen to explanations on the various home finance schemes to enable you choose the one that is best suited for

you. There are homes for the average Nigerian and homes for the super-rich. And to own any of these homes is as simple as ABC. Take for instance the developer’s Jubilation Landlord’s Owner-Occupier Programme. This housing finance model is the first of its kind in Nigeria. Under this programme, with only 5% Investment, you secure a home with a low interest, hassle-free financing. It is a rent-to-own programme that converts your rents to ownership equity until

the home becomes yours within 5 – 10 years. There is also the company’s BuildEasy Flexi-Pay Scheme. This is a scheme for serviced plots of land in their well designed estates with provision for first-class infrastructure. This scheme allows you to invest by installment on a plot allocation or more in any of their estates under the scheme, over a period of time. You will take possession for construction on meeting the target of just 40% of the expected

total investment on each unit. The company’s various housing schemes have freed many Abuja residents from the rental prison and they are proud homeowners today. It is this disposition to simplify homeownership for Nigerians that has earned the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Awards of Excellence “in recognition of his contributions to the development of the housing sector in Nigeria and community services in

Nigeria”. The erudite architectturned ace developer and mortgage expert is using his vast knowledge of the construction industry and housing finance to bring jubilation and thanksgiving to many families. The Integax Jubilation HomesLtd has now launched OPERATION BECOME AN ABUJA LANDLORD IN 2013.And a new rush is on again to their sites and offices; for high quality exquisite homes with unbelievably flexible payment terms.

Experts identify obstacles to housing development in Nigeria


state surveyors and real estate practitioners who concluded a two-day international conference on housing held at Lagos have identified the following as obstacles to housing development in Nigeria. Low Income Nigerians have a per capita income of about $1000, about half our National per capital income in 1975. Despite the high oil revenue of the last three decades, poverty has remained with us in Nigeria. Poverty in Nigeria used to be ruralbased but between 1985 and 1992, the number of the poor in rural areas fell sharply from 25.3 million to 22.8 million while those in urban centers rose from 9.7 to 11.9. A low income is a big constraint in accessing affordability because mortgage is all about the ability to service loan when due. For this reason the majority of Lagosians live in rooming houses (73 per cent) as tenants. Singapore which was our

peer in the early sixties has managed to house up to 85 percent of its citizens in owner-occupied flats and houses. Dearth of Long-Term Funds High rates of interest and inflation have been typical features of our volatile economy since the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986. The Naira has suffered extensive depreciation averaging 45 percent per annum between 1987 and 1993, from an exchange rate of N1.0 to $1.0 in 1987 to N120.0 to $1.0. Because most of our building materials have traditionally been imported, the effect of this depreciation has been a rapid rise in cost of construction. Interest rate has been similarly high at times as high as 72 percent in 1995: became stable around 18 percent after conclusion of the banking consolidation; but now on the rise again as a result of current global financial meltdown. The combined effect of these has been a

sharp rise on the price of homes. The inability of Nigerian banks to harness savings from the people has been a major reason for the lack of long-term funds in the economy. The commercial banks have traditionally served only the mercantile class and lately the oil and manufacturing sector. The Primary Mortgage Institutions and microfinance teams are recent efforts to harness savings from the masses but they are mainly urban based and operate more or less like banks with very high appetite for quick profit. High Cost of Construction Our refusal to build houses with locally available materials has been a major cog in the wheel of housing delivery. A look at our urban centers will show that our houses are built mostly of imported materials (cement, iron rods, aluminum roof). Low Level of Economic Activity Statistic recently release by

Nigerian Insurance Commission indicates that only about 15 million Nigerians are in regular employment. The vast majority are still employed in subsistence agriculture or in menial services like okada riding. The level of industrialization is low so also is commerce which is characterized by street trading. Though the oil industry is strong but it is unfortunately not linked to the local economy. The combination of these factors is that the disposable income of the average Nigerian is low to build a house or qualify for mortgage assistance. Access to Land The main objective of the Land Use Act was to facilitate access to land by the generality of Nigerians. Unfortunately the act has had the opposite effect. Though it has made it easier for the elite to acquire land, it has made it much harder for the majority of Nigerians to access land.




2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

n April 3, 1973, Motorola researcher Martin Cooper made the first call from a handheld mobile phone. The prototype weighed 2.5 lbs., and measured 9 inches long, 5 inches deep and 1.75 inches wide. This revolutionary phone had a talk time of just 30 minutes and took a whopping 10 hours to charge. Today, we'd call it a brick. These old phones felt big, heavy and cumbersome - in much the same way as a hybrid vehicle does today. Manufacturers have struggled for a hybrid driving experience that engages, leaving you feeling compromised in order to achieve the desired benefits. And that was the same with the original bulky cell phones. But as we turned the corner into the 21st century, eventually, the mobile phone did indeed appear "normal." When you think hybrid, you think Toyota Prius - a beige billboard showcasing the owner's bitter hatred for all things automotive. But hybrids have advanced. Audi won the Le Mans 24-hours with their R18 E-Tron hybrid racecar, Porsche have showcased the 918 hybrid supercar and Ferrari are about to follow suit with a hybrid replacement to the allconquering Enzo. But while the cream of the crop has evidently figured out how to make hybrids fast and exciting, the sedan market is still littered with hybrids capable of educing its driver into a coma. Volkswagen has promised the 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid will be different. It's a "no compromise, sporty" hybrid. But, when you consider the 229 lbs. the hybrid has gained compared with the 2.5L Jetta automatic, surely a compromise must be inevitable. But have VW engineers been able to move past the weight gain and create a hybrid compact sedan that actually feels like a car, and not a squidgy marshmallow blob on wheels? From the outset, the Jetta Hybrid looks remarkably Jetta like -- minus a custom blackenclosed grille, mini spoiler, custom wheels and a rear diffuser. Inside, the cabin remains comfortably pleasant, de-cluttered and spacious for a hybrid. Holding the steering wheel is like touching an infant Beluga whale -- its soft, suppleness is by far the cabins best feature. Pressing the start button coaxes the 27-hp electric motor to life, allowing you to accelerate gently for 1.2 miles -- up to 44 mph in E-mode -- in a deathly silent creep, making a hybrid the perfect car for teens attempting to sneak out of their parents driveway undetected at night. Once you become a little less delicate with the throttle, the 150hp 1.4L turbocharged engine fires up, making a combined 170 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Acceleration is prompt for a hybrid, managing a 0-60 mph sprint in 8.6 seconds, and the engine decouples between the

electric motor and gas motor as surreptitiously as with our covert driveway stealth mission. A buttery smooth 7-speed DSG dual clutch automatic transmission is mated to the electric/gas concoction, and fuel efficiency is estimated at an impressive (albeit shy of the 50-mpg Prius) 45 mpg combined. Entering the turns, braking feels a little unpredictable - par for the course with many braking

systems trying to balance recapturing energy with stopping the car - but missing the lifelike feel of the new Ford Fusion Hybrid's pedal. The crossover between the regenerative braking and friction braking is a smidge too noticeable, making slow speed stopping somewhat jerky. Handling, however, feels remarkably engaging. It does an admirable job of fooling you into believing you're sat behind the

wheel of a regular Jetta, rather than the compromised stereotype of old. But before you get too excited, the weight gain that occurs by adding a heavy electric motor and a bulging 222-volt lithium-ion battery (weighing 80 lbs.) is, unsurprisingly, noticeable. In hard cornering body roll kicks in, and the car feels slow in changing direction. It's like a tired heavyweight boxer, swinging

wildly. It floats in a way that exudes potential, yet it's masked by excess fat. Still, the Jetta Hybrid is suspiciously un-beige, and regardless of its sluggishness -invites you to corner harder and explore its prominent right hook. That's something that cannot be said for many (if any) of the Jetta Hybrid's competitors. So, with the Jetta Hybrid offering a solid Prius alternative, a question stems regarding VW's rather tasty Jetta TDI. The 34mpg combined turbodiesel munches around 21 percent of all Jetta sales. But will the inclusion of a far more efficient hybrid cause a feeding frenzy that will only dilute the success of the TDI? VW expect only five percent of all Jetta sales will amass from the hybrid, and the fact is a hybrid buyer is unlikely to consider a smoky diesel as a legitimate economical alternative - making the reasoning for combining a diesel and hybrid in the same model lineup plausible and, more importantly, non cannibalistic. Pricing starts at $24,995 for the base hybrid, ramping up to $31,180 for the SEL Premium. And while the base model offers leather seats as standard, venturing in excess of 30k grants you LED headlights, a Fender audio system, rearview camera and a tasty set of alloys. The Jetta Hybrid behaves in a decidedly non-hybrid way. It could (almost) be perceived as normal. And while it is far from being groundbreaking like the original iPhone, it does feel like the hefty bricks of old are gone, leaving us to finally turn the corner into the 21st century.



Appraising “Single Mother Of Five: Insights For Fathers, Mothers And Counsellors” (I) BOOK REVIEW By Patrick E. Iroegbu Introduction was contacted to review the book, Single Mother of Five: Insights for Fathers, Mothers and Counsellors, written by Dr. Rose Joshua, for the occasion of its public launch on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at St. Edmund’s Catholic Parish, Edmonton, Canada. It dawned on me to scrutinize the book and make sense of it around our lived marital challenges, social, religious and economic realities for Nigerian and African families and elsewhere. First of all, the entire book, which I am about to review is captured by an Igbo proverb which says, Onye ajuru anaghi aju onwe ya! (this literally means, when one is forsaken, one does not let up, but to face it and move on). In a recent third edition of Author’s Forum held in Ibadan of Nigeria captioned ‘How to make People Love Books’ reported by DAMIETE BRAIDE of the Daily Sun (July 14, 2011), it was held that there is a need to develop the culture of public reading as a way of getting a lot of people to read. It was also observed that in Asia and the West, authors make more money through public readings because it helps to publicize their books. Publishers and book sellers are encouraged to organize book launches and public readings, which in turn would boost sale of books. Common in Nigeria, for example, is the call to bring back the culture of reading and campaign for the return of books. Professor Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo, who chaired the occasion, said this, “I love books and I have always loved where books are discussed. There was a time when books were rare in the country but today, books are everywhere. I cannot imagine today a world without books; books construct wisdom, inspire, shape values and interests, empower and represent a repository of knowledge and they should be celebrated. Reading is one thing that should be encouraged and reading should not die. In the West, they read a lot; so, a young child who discovers the world of books is very enchanting.” The African people are often cajoled by the westerners for the fact that to read books is to trouble them. Therefore to hide knowledge from the African, write it in books. They won’t read it has become a common catch-phrase! The coming of internet, namely electronic writing and communication, may appear to have replaced books. It is not true. Books are still relevant despite the use of modern


technology like e-book. Like physical books, electronic devices simply add to the ways of learning what books teach. Not long ago, Dr. Rose Joshua contacted me from Calgary via facebook and requested to be helped to settle down to her new job in Edmonton. Dr. Rose Joshua had lived in and studied in several cities in Canada and of course in USA too. Poised I did become after reading her exciting and intimidating resume on the internet. Not only did I quickly place a phone call on one of the Real Estate guys here but I also went over to say hi, there is a great guy coming from Calgary to settle down here in her new employment. But she is seeking for help to find a temporary accommodation until she will sort out what she will require in the area of housing. Just take it up and help. Choices were offered and here we go, she settled down and has been awesome with reaching out to the community. Dr. Rose Joshua has just settled down here in Edmonton with a strong purpose. Her settling down in the city coincided with the rough moments Nigeria Association of Alberta (NAA) was having with the so-called unpopular Caretaker Committee and the NAA Board as at then. The rest of the story is history as all of us know where we are in the trend of things – to be or not to be. I am not going to review the book – Single Mother of Five – based on the circumstances of Nigerians in the Diaspora such as the history of NAA and its present predicaments – much like in a broken family. But I will offer a review based on the mindset of a scholar and community responsibility to make sense of the book. Why Is a Review of this Book Necessary? People often ask, why do we have to review books, can’t readers do it themselves? Good question. Reviewing books is an important way of bringing the knowledge of a book to the fore. A review is a highlight of the book. It helps to give authority and credibility to the work. Reviews offer both critical comments and praises of the work. Not only that reviews put value to a book, they also redirect the focus for intellectual skill, social policy and market value. Since libraries can’t buy books unless they have been reviewed and/ or recommended, and even many individuals won’t buy books unless they have read a review, reviewing books can definitely shine light on the book and advance the field of the author. To review a book therefore demands from the reviewer to be an active reader of the book. A reviewer is a reader who reads meaning into

and beyond a book. Having said that, my task today is to share a comment about the book Single Mother of Five. That brings me to thequestion, why is this book written? What inspired it? How is it written, what circumstances surrounded the writing of this book. What is the book’s central argument? Did the book do what it set out to do? Is the book well written? How accurate is the information provided? What course can it be used for? Who will benefit from reading this book? More importantly, what critical message and lessons can we draw from the author’s approach, perspective and experiences shared in the work? In short why are books written, especially why is the Single Mother of Five written? Why also should a literature like this be launched? Books are judged, I need to mention, not by the reviewer’s intentions but essentially by the author’s goal and approach. More importantly a review tries to assess if the book has covered a good ground by standing out as a genuine contribution to the field, and indeed, adds to our knowledge. The most important element about a book review is that it is a commentary, not just a summary and quotations from the book. Even though critical reviews will point out areas not covered by a book or

references deserving of inclusion but ignored by the author, it matters to keep in mind that the reviews evaluate the overall thesis of the book and its validity through explanations, interpretations and analyses. Yet book reviews, unlike reports which discuss content, can vary in length, scope, intended audience, and complexity. There are many answers one can offer in response to the above questions. Social analysts and pundits have ways of mirroring a book such as the Single Mother of Five. More importantly when a book is written by a scholar like Dr. Rose Joshua, some readers attempt to view such books to be out of their reach or comprehension. People read books or articles for different purposes. I need to tell you one thing, some people read books written by people they know to default them, not to appreciate the work. For example, some will read a book to criticize the style of writing – that is the use of language by the author. Others will read it to scrutinize the life and troubles a writer may have had in life. Yet others read a book to capture the idea of the author and lessons intended of the book. In one way or the other, a book has something to offer and it depends on what the reader is prepared to take out of a book.

Authors like Dr. Rose Joshua, and a whole lot of African, Asian, Middle-eastern, European, Canadian, American and entire western and non-western writers have one thing in common – the desire to communicate an experience, a thought, idea, a lesson, a research finding, a subject of interest and, in deed, a story – true or fiction. Keep in mind that the popular novel,Things Fall Apart written by Prof. Chinua Achebe was written as folklore – being an account of the missionary and colonial encounter with the Igbo people. He was not the only one who experienced the circumstances of that historical come-across – was he? Not at all, but because he felt there was a need to tell that story in his own perspective, so he wrote it. Things Fall Apart was rejected by all most all major English Publishers in UK as at the time because it was reviewed as untellable and non-sellable material in the sense of what mattered in the then English literary domain and world. Until one professor who just returned from African university tour of duty was approached to read the book. In his review reply, that is what evaluators call assessment and relevance for academic knowledge and market value, he said “this is the best of any ‘African writer and topic’ he has read and deserves to be read by the world about African knowledge system and the western world”. There you go; the success story of Things Fall Apart that has become the most read book out of Africa today written by an Igbo person began. Changes like you know have occurred on how manuscripts are assessed by publishers before they hit the press. Today we have selfpublishing made possible by the electronic and internet resources. Self-publishing requires heavy publicity network which includes book launching to bring the work to the attention of readers and users. The First & Current Edition I did not have the opportunity to read the first edition of Single Mother of Five. When the author was asked about what significant changes occurred that warranted the second edition, she opined that there was not a radical break away from the first edition but the second arose out of the need to add feedbacks and reinforce some of the arguments raised by readers’ of the first edition. I am happy the second edition has been able to address the readers increasing quest to have out there a standard book to address motherhood, fatherhood and counselling in the face of doing it alone.


BOOK REVIEW By Adam Nossiter


umors of Nigeria’s demise have been somewhat exaggerated. This turbulent and magnetic African megastate endures despite its intense regional, religious and other divisions (the country has an estimated 250 ethnic groups and more than 500 languages). Nigeria did fracture once, however, and it is this story that Chinua Achebe, a giant of African letters, tells. His memoir of the moment describes when the country, yoked together artificially by British colonizers, split apart at a cost of more than a million lives. Nigeria is the Texas of Africa: it’s big and loud and brash, a place of huge potential, untapped talent, murderous conflict and petroleum riches. It also has a singular capacity for irony and self-reflection that is both cultural habit and survival tactic. It is difficult and often dangerous to get by in Nigeria unless you are a fortunate member of the infinitesimally small and mostly corrupt oil-fed elite. Acute awareness of your surroundings is a necessity; along with it goes another Nigerian trait, thinking and dreaming big. All these characteristics were in play when the nightmare for weak nationstates became reality in 1967. Seven years after Nigerian independence, the prosperous Ibos, dominant in the eastern part of the country and targets of persecution and pogroms, declared their independence. Led by the charismatic Oxfordeducated, Shakespeare-loving Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu, the fledgling nation called itself the Republic of Biafra. Achebe, an Ibo himself and the new country’s pre--eminent intellectual, a product of Nigeria’s finest -English-style schools and author of “Things Fall Apart” — soon went to work at Biafra’s Ministry of Information, serving as special envoy and chairman of a committee charged with writing a constitution for the new country. The architects of Biafra were correct in their frustration with the Nigerian government, which did not intervene as thousands of Ibos were massacred. But they were deluding themselves that Biafra was viable. The nascent state had virtually no chance of survival once the authorities in Lagos decided they were going to stamp out the secession in what they called a “police action.” Was Biafra ever really a “country,” as Achebe would have it? It had ministries, oil wells, a ragtag army, an oftenshifting capital, official cars (Achebe had one) and a famous airstrip. But as a “country,” it was stillborn. Nonetheless, for over two brutal years, the Biafran war


There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu dragged on at the insistence of Ojukwu — described as “brooding, detached and sometimes imperious” in a 1969 New York Times profile by Lloyd Garrison — and meddling international players. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed. As many as 6,000 a day starved to death once the federal government blockaded the ever diminishing Republic of Biafra. But Ojukwu refused to give up. The final death toll was estimated at between one and three million people. It was the first conflict in Africa to draw much outside media attention; the photographs of starving Biafran children with distended bellies became symbols of African suffering, and they triggered an extensive Western relief effort. We get glimpses of this immense human tragedy in Achebe’s characteristically plain-spoken narrative: the millions of citizens escaping the war zone, targets of the federal Nigerian planes even as they fled; the men and women driven mad by the grinding, endless war who “could often be seen walking seemingly aimlessly on the roads in tattered clothes, in conversation with themselves”; the federal soldier, who “wandered into an ambush of young men with

machetes” and was murdered and mutilated “in a matter of seconds.” But mostly Achebe’s account is tinged with odd nostalgia for the ephemeral moment when Biafra seemed to birth a national culture. “One found a new spirit among the people, a spirit one did not know existed, a determination, in fact.” This feeling — evidently alive for him a half-century later — recalls the spirit that imbues his most celebrated work, “Things Fall Apart,” itself a fairy-tale-like recreation of self-sufficient, indigenous nationhood. Literature for Achebe had a didactic function; working for officialdom thus was not a stretch. It is clear that the writer, long a resident of the United States and now a professor at Brown University, recalls this period as a golden age. “During the war years one never really unpacked,” Achebe writes, but despite the hardships, he paints it as a time of unequaled excitement and stimulation. His committee produced a landmark speech for Ojukwu, the “Ahiara declaration,” “an attempt to capture the meaning of the struggle for Biafran sovereignty.” Yet when Achebe praises Ojukwu’s “gift for oratory,” the colors in the new nation’s flag or the accomplished design of its

new currency it is sharply at odds with the haunting images of the suffering engendered by the war: the famine, the bodies “rotting under the hot sun.” His nostalgia seems jarring and misplaced. And that nostalgia, in turn, is a kind of justification for one of this book’s underlying themes: bitterness over what Nigeria became after independence from Britain in 1960 — a stance familiar to those who follow the country and Achebe’s regular critical pronouncements on it. “There was enough talent, enough education in Nigeria for us to have been able to arrange our affairs more efficiently, more meticulously, even if not completely independently, than we were doing. . . . Nigeria had people of great quality, and what befell us — the corruption, the political ineptitude, the war — was a great disappointment and truly devastating to those of us who witnessed it,” he says. Writers faced political repression and “found that the independence their country was supposed to have won was totally without content. . . . Like the head of John the Baptist, this gift to Nigeria proved most unlucky.” Worse, after the end of civil war, “a new era of great decadence and decline was born. It continues to this day,” he laments. The country is a “laughingstock.” His disappointment fortifies his belief that “the British governed their colony of Nigeria with considerable care.” Achebe is careful to say that he is “not justifying colonialism.” But this partially rose-tinted view of the colonial past — a view one sometimes hears from other elderly Nigerians confronting the chaos of daily life — surely has much to do with the favored status enjoyed by Her Majesty’s onetime brilliant subject. Like his nostalgia for Biafra, Achebe’s judgment on contemporary Nigeria seems excessive — more the products of a writer’s jaundiced backward glances than a coming to grips with the reality of what was and what is. Nigeria today is a seething caldron, maddening in its contradictions and capacity for self-destruction but full of promise too, in its immense energy and human resources. As for judgments on Biafra — perhaps we should rely on Nigeria’s other great man of letters, Wole Soyinka, whose blunt appraisal is that secession was “simply politically and militarily -unwise.” Adam Nossiter is West Africa bureau chief for The Times and the author of books on France and Mississippi. Source:


When she passes through these parts The Iron serpent resting the ground Violently comes to life morning becomes A noisy Trap interrupted by her careless churn A raging bull ranting below her And the onlookers will tell you nothing less They have been witnesses to their consummation So even here the need for explanation ceases to exist Because by now you must know what it means As for me I am still waiting to see her Pass through here hopefully in my lifetime And surely the next time I come here.

QUO TE UOTE “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it.” – Malcolm X



The dogs of war are barking diplomacy, 81 percent supporting direct talks between Washington and Tehran.



t's the consensus among the pundits: Foreign policy doesn't matter in this presidential election. They point to the ways Republican candidate Mitt Romney has more or less parroted President Barack Obama on just about everything other than military spending and tough talk about another "American century". The consensus is wrong. There is an issue that matters: Iran. Don't be fooled. It's not just campaign season braggadocio when Romney claims that he would be far tougher on Iran than the president by threatening "a credible military option". He certainly is trying to appear tougher and stronger than Obama - he of the drone wars, the "kill list", and bin Laden's offing - but it's no hollow threat. The Republican nominee has surrounded himself with advisers who are committed to military action and regime change against Iran, the same people who brought us the Global War on Terror and the Iraq War. Unlike with Iraq in 2002 and 2003, they have it easier today. Then, they and their mentors had to go on a sales roadshow, painting pictures of phantom WMDs to build up support for an invasion. Today, a large majority of Americans already believe that Iran is building nuclear weapons. President Obama has helped push that snowball up the hill with sanctions to undermine the regime, covert and cyber warfare, and a huge naval presence in the Persian Gulf. Iran has ratcheted up tensions via posturing military manoeuvers, while we have held joint US-Israeli exercises and "the largest-ever multinational minesweeping exercise" there. Our navies are facing off in a dangerous dance. Obama has essentially loaded the gun and cocked it. But he has kept his finger off the trigger, pursuing diplomacy with the so-called P5+1 talks and rumoured future direct talks with the Iranians. The problem is: Romney's guys want to shoot. Unlike Iraq, Iran would be an easy sell Remember those innocent days of 2002 and 2003 when the war in Afghanistan was still new and the Bush administration was trying to sell an invasion of Iraq? I do. I was a Republican then, but I never quite bought the pitch. I never felt the urgency, saw the al-Qaeda connection, or worried about phantom WMDs. It just didn't feel right. But Iran today? If I were still a Republican hawk, it would be "game on", and I'd know I was not alone for three reasons. It continues to stick with its opinion that Iran once had such a programme, but closed it down in 2003. US, European and Israeli officials consistently say that Iran does not have an ongoing programme and hasn't even decided to pursue one, that at most the Iranians are hanging out near the starting line. Iran's supreme leader himself issued a fatwa against building nukes. Why, then, is the American public so certain? How did we get here? There are three main reasons, only one of which is partially innocent. What's in a name? The first is linguistic and quite simple. Say these words out loud: Iran's civilian nuclear programme. Does

The problem with Romney is that "he hangs out with the wrong crowd" - the regime-change brigade, many of whom "steered the ship of state toward Iraq for George W Bush" [EPA] that sound familiar? Do those words look normal on the page? Chances are the answer is "no", because that's not how the media, public officials or political candidates typically refer to Iran's nuclear activities. Iran has a civilian nuclear power programme, including a power plant at Beshehr that was founded with the encouragement and assistance of the Eisenhower administration in 1957 as part of its "Atoms for Peace" programme. Do we hear about that? No. Instead, all we hear about is "Iran's nuclear programme". Especially in context, the implied meaning of those three words is inescapable: That Iran is currently pursuing nuclear weapons. Out of curiosity, I ran some Google searches. The results were striking. "Iran's disputed nuclear weapons program": 4 hits "Iran's possible nuclear weapons program": about 8,990 hits "Iran's civil nuclear program": about 42,200 hits "Iran's civilian nuclear program": about 199,000 hits "Iran's nuclear weapons program": about 5,520,000 hits "Iran's nuclear program": about 49,000,000 hits Words matter, and this sloppiness is shaping American perceptions, priming the public for war. Some of this is probably due to laziness. Having to throw in "civilian" or "weapons" or "disputed" or "possible" makes for extra work and the result is a bit of a tongue twister. Even people with good reasons to be precise use the shorter phrase, including President Obama. But some of it is intentional.

The proselytising Republican presidential candidates The second reason so many Americans are convinced that Iran is desperately seeking nukes can be attributed to the field of Republican candidates for the presidency. They used the spectre of such a weapons programme to bash one another in the primaries, each posturing as the biggest, baddest sheriff on the block and the process never ended. The hyperbole has been impressive. Take Rick Santorum: "Once they have a nuclear weapon, let me assure you, you will not be safe, even here in Missouri." Or Newt Gingrich: "Remember what it felt like on 9/11 when 3,100 Americans were killed. Now imagine an attack where you add two zeros. And it's 300,000 dead. Maybe a half million wounded. This is a real danger. This is not science fiction." The regime-change brigade Even if they're not exactly excusable, media laziness and political posturing are predictable. But there is a third reason Americans are primed for war: There exists in Washington what might be called the Bomb Iran Lobby - a number of hawkish political types and groups actively working to make believers of us all when it comes to an Iranian weapons programme and so pave the way for regime change. Numerous conservative and neoconservative think-tanks pump out reports, op-eds and journal articles suggesting or simply stating that "Iran has a nuclear weapons programme" that must be stopped - and that it'll probably take force to do the job. At the old Cold War group the


Committee on the Present Danger, Iran is "marching toward nuclearisation". Retired general and Christian crusader Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council even told Glenn Beck, "I believe that Iran has a nuclear warhead now." The MEK brought Israeli intelligence about Iran's then-active nuclear weapons programme into the public eye at a Washington press conference in 2002. Since then, it has peppered the public with tales of Iranian nuclear chicanery, and it ran a major lobbying campaign, paying dozens of former US anti-terrorism officials several of whom are now in the defence industry - to sing its praises. Hagee's own book, Countdown Jerusalem, suggests that Iran already has nuclear weapons and the ability to use them, and he aggressively advocates an attack on that country. To many mainstream Americans, Hagee, his followers and others with similar religious views may seem a bit nutty, but he is not to be discounted: his book was a bestseller. The supporting cast Republican-friendly media have joined the game, running blustery TV segments on the subject and cooking the books to assure survey majorities that favour military action. Take this question from a March poll commissioned by Fox News: "Do you think Iran can be stopped from continuing to work on a nuclear weapons programme through diplomacy and sanctions alone, or will it take military force to stop Iran from working on nuclear weapons?" Absent priming like this, a majority of Americans actually prefer

Remember those innocent days of 2002 and 2003 when the war in Afghanistan was still new and the Bush administration was trying to sell an invasion of Iraq? I do. I was a Republican then, but I never quite bought the pitch.

The problem with Romney All of this means that the public has been primed for war with Iran. With constant media attention, the Republican candidates have driven home the notion that Iran has or will soon have nuclear weapons, that Iranian nukes present an immediate and existential threat to Israel and the US, and that diplomacy is for sissies. If Obama wins, he will have to work even harder to prevent war. If Romney wins, war will be all the easier. And for his team, that's a good thing. Kagan's fellow directors at the FPI are also on Romney's team: Bill Kristol, Eric Edelman (former staffer to Cheney and Douglas Feith's successor at the Pentagon) and former Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor, who has become Romney's most trusted foreign policy adviser and a rumouredcontender for national security adviser. The FPI's position? "It is time to take military action against the Iranian government elements that support terrorism and its nuclear programme. More diplomacy is not an adequate response." Indeed, Romney is said to turn to the "Cheney-ites" when he seeks counsel, while giving the more moderate Republican internationalists the cold shoulder. And Cheney wanted to bomb Iran. In a Romney administration, expect this gang to lobby him hard to finish the job and take out Iran's nuclear facilities, or at least to give Israel the green light to do so. Expect them to close their eyes to what we have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan when it comes to "blood and treasure". Expect them to say that bombing alone will do the trick "surgically". Expect them to claim that the military high command is "soft", "bureaucratic" and "risk-averse" when it hesitates to get involved in what will inevitably become a regional nightmare. Expect the message to be: this time we'll get it right. Kenneling the dogs of war No one likes the idea of Iran getting nukes, but should the regime decide to pursue them, they don't present an existential threat to anyone. Tehran's leaders know that a mushroom cloud in Tel Aviv, no less Washington, would turn their country into a parking lot. War with Iran is an incredibly bad idea, yet it's a real threat. President Obama has come close to teeing it up. Even talk of a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is delusional, because, as just about every analyst points out, we wouldn't know if it had worked (which it probably wouldn't) and it would be an act of war that Iran wouldn't absorb with a smile. In its wake, a lot of people would be likely to die. But Romney's guys don't think it's a bad idea. They think it's a good one, and they are ready to take a swing. Jeremiah Goulka, a TomDispatch regular, writes about American politics and culture,focusingonsecurity,race, andtheRepublicanParty.Hewas formerly an analyst at the RAND Corporation,aHurricaneKatrina recoveryworker,andanattorney at the US Department of Justice. Source: Tomdispatch



Marikana mine killings: South African police ‘planted weapons’

striking miners in August, leading to widespread shock. The police say they were acting in self-defence. The bloodshed occurred on 16 August, days after the deaths of 10 people, including two police officers who were hacked to death. Judges are holding an inquiry into all 44 of the deaths. The inquiry was presented with

photographs showing the bodies of the miners after the shooting - the most deadly police action since the end of apartheid in 1994. In one photograph, a dead man is seen lying on rocky ground near the mine. A second picture, taken later the same day, is identical except a yellowhandled machete is now lying under the man's right hand.

"The evidence clearly showed there is at least a strong prima facie case that there has been an attempt to defeat the ends of justice," lawyer George Bizos told the inquest, according to the Sapa news agency. Lawyer for the police Ismael Semenya told Sapa that the national police commissioner Riah Phiyega had begun an investigation into the allegations. He said police authorities had been aware of the photographs since they were handed to the inquiry two weeks ago. The shootings caused huge shock in South Africa and led to comparisons with apartheid-era policing. In the immediate aftermath, authorities sought to portray the miners, who were striking illegally, as responsible for the violence and bloodshed. Some 270 of the striking miners were arrested and charged with murder, though the charges were later dropped. The strike ended in September after workers agreed a 22% pay rise with the mine's owners, platinum giant Lonmin.

use the new banknotes - she spent 160 rand, about $18 (£12), at her local shop in the capital, Pretoria. She said that Mr Mandela was delighted with the design. She also noted that South Africa tries to update its currency every seven years for security reasons. Mr Mandela's face is on one side of all the new banknotes, while the "Big Five" animals lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant - remain on the reverse. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his campaign against white minority rule

and was elected president the following year before stepping down after a single term.

Known affectionately by his clan name "Madiba", he has now retired from public life.

Illegal Somali charcoal shipments continue


frican Union peacekeepers who control one of Somalia's most strategically important ports have allowed ships carrying charcoal to leave, violating a UN Security Council ban, a presidential order and Somalia's own laws. Local witnesses and security sources said at least three freighters and 10 dhows departed from Kismayo on Monday, most carrying charcoal, under the watch of Kenyan soldiers who are serving with the peacekeeping force AMISOM. The Kenyan troops and fighters from Ras Kamboni - a local militia seized Kismayo from al-Shabaab fighters early in September. Al-Shabaab profited from the charcoal trade that environmentalists say has done enormous damage to the fragile ecosystem. In February this year, the Security Council banned the trade to stop both the flow of money to alShabab and slow the environmental damage. Local businessmen who smuggled charcoal out of Kismayo while it was under al-Shabaab's control, have continued to build the stockpile, now said to be at least four million bags worth an estimated $20m. Since the rebels left, the businessmen say there is no need to keep the ban in place and have lobbied hard to have it lifted. But President Hassan Sheikh ordered the port to remain closed to all commercial shipping until the delicate question of who should control the port is resolved, and agreement is reached over what should happen to the charcoal. Charcoal exports are also illegal under a 1969 statute. An Amisom spokesman did not deny that charcoal exports had taken place despite the bans and presidential order, but he said the peacekeeper's mandate "does not extend to stopping the charcoal trade".

Kenyan troops and fighters from Ras Kamboni seized Kismayo from al-Shabaab early in September [Al Jazeera]

Clashes between miners and police led to the deaths of 44 people in August


outh African police have been accused of planting weapons near the bodies of workers killed during strikes at the Marikana platinum mine. Photographs taken by police suggested large knives had been placed near the bodies after they had been shot, a lawyer told an inquest into the deaths. Thirty-four miners died when police opened fire at

Nelson Mandela banknotes issued in South Africa


he first banknotes featuring the face of Nelson Mandela have gone into circulation in South Africa. They are the first South African notes to bear the image of a black person - they replace notes with wild animals and rural and industrial scenes. President Jacob Zuma says the banknotes were a "humble gesture" to express South Africa's "deep gratitude". Mr Mandela, 94, is one of the world's best loved figures after spending 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid. Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus was the first to

Wild animals remain on the reverse of the new notes

…Johannesburg jail van blast: South African officer held


South African police officer has been arrested over last month's attempted jailbreak, in which three inmates were killed. The officer is accused of passing an explosive device to the prisoners in the court where he worked. An explosion ripped through the van carrying the inmates as it returned to Johannesburg Central Prison. Two escaped but were quickly recaptured. The officer faces three charges of murder and 29 of attempted murder. He will also be charged with

The explosion happened just outside the prison

unlawful possession of explosives and aiding and abetting escape from lawful custody, said Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini Mr Dlamini said that the 29year-old officer would appear in court on Wednesday. Four prisoners have already been charged over the attempted jailbreak, which South Africa's National Commissioner of Correctional Services Tom Moyane described as South Africa's most "daring escape attempt". The explosion took place just metres from the prison,


Asia and Middle East


audi Arabia has appointed Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as interior minister, marking a significant move towards a new generation of leaders from the kingdom's ruling family. Prince Mohammed, a son of the late veteran interior minister Prince Nayef, who died in June, is best known


Saudi Arabia names new interior minister as Saudi Arabia's long-time security chief, and has garnered the praise of Western countries for his role in the campaign against al Qaeda. He replaces his uncle, Prince Ahmed, who was only appointed as Interior Minister in June. "Prince Ahmed is relieved of his position as Interior Minister at his own request and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is appointed," said a royal decree carried on state media on

Monday. Security chief The new minister, who had served as assistant minister for security affairs since 1999, effectively led the kingdom's crackdown on Al Qaeda following a wave of deadly attacks between 2003 and 2006. A main element of his strategy to rout al Qaeda from the kingdom was the introduction of "rehabilitation

centres" for former militants. The move lifts the prince into a critical role for the ruling al-Saud family and one that has until now only been held by the current ruling generation. Unlike in European monarchies, the Saudi line of succession has so far passed along a line of brothers and is determined within the ruling family who weigh both the seniority and capability of leading

Dozens killed in Iraq car bombing


car bomb has killed at least 27 people at the entrance to an Iraqi army base as potential new recruits were massing at the gate, security and medical officials say. The blast struck at around midday (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday in the town of Taji, 25km north of Baghdad, an interior ministry official and a medic said. The blast struck as troops were leaving the base in Taji, police said, also injuring more than 40 people. Nineteen soldiers were among the dead, and several vehicles were damaged, they said. Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said that this attack appeared to be aimed at young men attending an army recruitment day. "Our police source said that the attack was a parked car bomb, and not a suicide blast," she said. The casualty toll was high because the attacker blew up the car while large numbers of soldiers were walking to and from a parking area for waiting minibuses that take them to and from work, officials said. They warned the death toll could rise further because several of the injuries were serious.


UN adds Haqqani network to blacklist


Bin Nayef, center, has effectively led the kingdom's security agencies since 1999 [Reuters]

Syria violence rages as opposition meets t least 50 Syrian army soldiers have been killed by a suicide car bomb in the central province of Hama and at least 20 rebel fighters were killed in an air strike in the northwest province of Idlib, activists have said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombing in the village of Ziyara in Hama province was carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra, an armed group that has claimed several attacks on regime targets. The bombing killed more than 50 people, according to the Observatory, a claim which cannot be independently verified. In Damascus, a car bomb exploded in the western district of Mezzeh killing 11 and wounding dozens more, staterun news agency SANA reported. Residents said senior security and military officers of Assad's regime live in the area targeted late on Monday. The Observatory also said at least 20 rebel fighters were killed when Syrian air force jets bombarded the town of Haram in the northern province of Idlib.

candidates. The interior ministry employs more than half a million Saudis and runs the police, civil defence, domestic intelligence, prisons, the border services and the kingdom's sophisticated security forces. King Abdullah, the late Prince Nayef, Crown Prince Salman and Prince Ahmed are all sons of Saudi Arabia's founder King Abdulaziz who was known as Ibn Saud.

Military recruits are a favoured target of attacks by anti-government fighters in Iraq [GALLO/ GETTY]

The Haqqani group is named after its patriarch and founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, right [Reuters]

he UN Security Council's Taliban sanctions committee has added the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, accused of several major attacks in Afghanistan, to a UN blacklist, US officials say. The Security Council committee's move on Monday also singled out Qari Zakir, an operational commander involved in many of the group's highest-profile suicide attacks, Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, said in a statement. "These sanctions oblige all UN member states to implement an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against Zakir and the Haqqani Network," she said. New additions to the Taliban sanctions list are relatively rare, since such moves are usually agreed upon unanimously. Council diplomats said it was especially significant that Pakistan, a member of the 15-nation council until the end of 2013, did not stand in the way of the move. Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said that the move by the UN to blacklist the Haqqani network "won't make a lot of difference" because it operates over such a vast area. "The Haqqani network operates inside of Afghanistan even though there are allegations that they are using Pakistan as a base," he said, adding that there has been no immediate reaction to the sanctions by the Pakistani government. The UN blacklist now contains 131 individuals, including Zakir, and three entities, one of which is the Haqqani group. The US designated the Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation in September, a move the group's commanders said proved that the US was not sincere about peace efforts in Afghanistan. US officials have long accused Pakistan of supporting the network, an allegation the country denies. The Haqqanis, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban, are some of the most experienced fighters in Afghanistan and have carried out several high-profile attacks on Western targets. "Today's action by the Security Council expands upon these [UN] sanctions and confirms the international community's resolve to end the Haqqani Network's ability to execute violent attacks in Afghanistan," Rice said in her statement.


Europe and Americas Laos to start building controversial dam


Polls open in tight US presidential election

appearances in the key swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Barack Obama, the democrat incumbent, meanwhile, was in Iowa, where he began his first bid for the White House. The Iowa appearance was Obama's final campaign event, and he will be spending election day in his home city of Chicago. Just after midnight on Tuesday, polls opened in the tiny northeastern villages of Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, in the

swing-state of New Hampshire. The vote was tied 5-5 in Dixville Notch, while in Hart's Location Obama won with 23 votes to Romney's nine. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, also received a vote. The two villages have enjoyed their first-vote status since 1948, but are not seen to be a national bellwether for the direction the election will go. Both candidates have spent the past few weeks storming through a handful of key swing states .

arisen in connection with this, I have made the decision to dismiss Defence Minister Anatoly Eduardovich Serdyukov, and appoint someone else in his place," Putin said. "The future head of this extremely important - one of the most important ministries in the country - must be a person who can continue everything positive that has been accomplished in recent years, and provide for dynamic growth in the country's armed forces, fulfil state defence requisitions, and our army's other grandiose plans for modifying the army's weaponry. In connection with this, I think that you could be this person. And I propose that you take over the position of the Russian Federation's defence minister."

Shoigu said that the appointment was unexpected, but that he would do his best in his new position.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow on Tuesday, said that Shoigu is considered to be a "safe pair of hands".

Environmentalists fear Mekong fish species will become endangered if the dam is built

Polls have begun to open in a tight US presidential race between Barack Obama, the incumbent, and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger.


oters in 25 US states, including battlegrounds New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, were casting ballots by 7:30am eastern US time (12:30 GMT) on Tuesday. The two candidates were on separate whirlwind tours of key swing states on Monday, with Romney's campaign events in New Hampshire lasting long into the night. Romney will continue to campaign on election day, making


ilitary prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for a US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers when he ventured out of his camp drunk earlier this year. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 39, had allegedly been drinking whiskey and watching a violent action movie with comrades before heading out of his base twice to massacre victims including women and children in two nearby villages. The shootings in Afghanistan's Kandahar province in March marked the worst case of civilian slaughter blamed on an individual US soldier since the Vietnam War and eroded already strained USAfghan ties after more than a decade of conflict in the country. The lead prosecutor, Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Morse, said he was submitting a "capital referral" in the case, requesting that Bales be executed if convicted. The soldier's wife and lawyer have claimed that Bales, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, could not remember what he did on the night of March 11 in the Panjwayi district. But prosecutors refuted that at the start of a so-called Article 32 hearing, held to determine whether there is enough evidence to hold a full court martial over the killings.


aos has said it would start construction of a controversial multi-billion dollar dam this week, after adapting the design to calm environmental concerns from neighbouring nations. The $3.8 billion hydroelectric project at Xayaburi has sharply divided the four Mekong nations Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand - who rely on the river system for fish and irrigation. Building work on the main project, led by Thai group CH Karnchang, has been stalled for about 18 months over concerns relating to its environmental impact. "After two years of preparation the Laos government will have a groundbreaking ceremony on November 7 and will then start working on the dam itself in the Mekong river this week," Deputy Energy Minister Viraphonh Viravong told the AFP news agency on Monday. Viraphonh said some aspects of the dam's design had been changed to "reassure neighbouring countries", but he insisted that objections would not derail plans to finish the project by the end of 2019. The mooted 1,260 megawatt dam, the first of 11 on the key waterway, has become a symbol of the potential risks of hydropower projects in the region. Communist Laos, one of the world's most under-developed nations, believes the dam will help it become "the battery of Southeast Asia" by selling electricity to its richer neighbours. Thailand has agreed to buy most of the electricity generated by the project, but Cambodia and Vietnam fear the dam could decimate their farming and fishing industries. Environmentalists say the dam would be disastrous for the 60 million people who depend on the river for transportation, food and economy. They fear Mekong fish species will become endangered as vital nutrients are trapped and dozens of species are prevented from swimming upstream to mating grounds. In July, Viraphonh told the staterun Vientiane Times that it would be "one of the most transparent and modern dams in the world", but promised that construction would not go ahead until fears from neighbouring countries had been assuaged.

US soldier in court over Afghan massacre

Putin fires Russian defence minister


ladimir Putin has dismissed the Russian defence minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, and replaced him with a loyal ally two weeks after after the ministry was drawn into a corruption scandal. The Russian president was shown on television on Tuesday meeting Sergei Shoigu, a former emergencies minister who had briefly been governor of the Moscow region, and discussing his new role as defence chief, in which he will oversee reforms to modernise the armed forces. "You know about the circumstances which have unfortunately arisen recently surrounding the Defence Minister. In order to create the necessary conditions for an objective investigation, all issues which have

Serdyukov was brought into the defence ministry in 2007 to oversee military restructuring [EPA file photo]

Cameron holds talks with Gulf leaders


Cameron said discussions with the UAE and Saudi Arabia would show 'respect and friendship' [Reuters]

avid Cameron, UK prime minister, has sought to balance British concern over human rights in Gulf Arab states with winning lucrative arms deals for his country as he started a tour of the region. Cameron on Monday supported calls for greater democracy in the Middle East and said that the British government was engaging Gulf states - some of which are facing political unrest - on their human rights record. But discussions would show "respect and friendship", he said, recognising that governments

have resented foreign criticism. Cameron arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Monday and will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday before travelling to another destination in the Middle East. High on his agenda will be selling the BAE Systems-built Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet. BAE officials say the UAE has shown interest in ordering up to 60 Typhoons. He will also talk to UAE officials about how to develop a "strategic air defence relationship", including collaboration on military aerospace equipment.



Meet Koshik, the elephant who can speak Korean

Gandalf the owl gives up the wild for a bird's eye view of the action


great grey owl called Gandalf has given up life in the wild to move indoors, where he now spends his time bird watching. Photographer Mark Bridger had to do a double-take when he spotted Gandalf's wise pair of eyes checking him out from a window. Mr Bridger managed to capture the hilarious picture at an outbuilding at Knowsley Safari Park in Prescot,

Merseyside, on Monday. 'It transpires he lives in that outbuilding,' said Mark, 44, from West Malling, Kent. 'I went up to the park on Monday to photograph reptiles and noticed that Gandalf was happily watching the birds flying around out of the window of his house. 'He lives at Knowsley Safari Park. They said he loves watching the birds and the dogs through the window.'

Say hello: Koshik has a vocabulary of five words, scientists discovered


lephants are well known for their intelligence, sociability and outstanding powers of memory. Until now, however, nobody expected one to speak. But say hello to Koshik... and he will say hello back. Koshik, who talks by putting his trunk in his mouth, was recorded at a zoo imitating human speech. He can say five words which are spoken in Korean and translate as 'hello', 'sit down', 'no', 'lie down' and 'good'.

It is not thought he means what he says but even his limited language skills could provide an insight into the biology and evolution of vocal learning, scientists report in the journal Current Biology. Elephant communication expert Angela Stoeger, of Vienna University, Austria, said: 'Human speech has pitch and timbre, and Koshik is capable of matching both patterns. He accurately imitates human formats as well as the voice pitch of his trainers.

'This is remarkable considering the huge size, long vocal tract and other anatomical differences between an elephant and a human.' It is thought Koshik learned to 'speak' in his early days at Everland zoo in South Korea when humans were his only contacts. He could have adapted his vocals in a bid to strengthen social ties. Last month, researchers in California released recordings of a white whale which could mimic human sounds.

Gangnam Style duo interrupt live Superstorm Sandy news report


wo practical jokers brought some light humour to the devastating events in the US when they interrupted a live Superstorm Sandy news report with a Gangnam Style dance. A freezing weather girl had braved the cold on a beach in Norfolk, Virginia, as the hurricane-turned-superstorm made its way across the US east coast to New Jersey. However the special news report took an unexpected twist when two hooded pranksters turned up in the background of the shot showing off dance moves made popular by South Korean rapper Psy. Despite a quick-fingered producer hastily cutting away from the light-hearted duo, it was spotted by enough people for the video to become an overnight internet hit. The clip has already racked up over 420,000 hits on video-sharing website YouTube, receiving thousands

of likes. One amused user wrote: 'This is monumental.' While another added: 'That was beautiful. Psy has impacted so many of us we're doing it despite the threat of superstorm blizzardcanes.'

Psy's smash hit Gangnam Style has garnered more than 500million hits since July. The song has inspired a number of parody tribute videos, with popular versions including one from Eton College students and the Crystal Palace cheerleaders.

The Gangnam Style duo interrupted a live news report (Picture: YouTube/ showtimeplayer)

Gandalf the owl enjoys watching other birds and dogs through the window (Picture: Mark Bridger/Rex Features)

Friendly helicopter pilot makes boy's day by rescuing his toy plane


keen-eyed helicopter pilot who spotted a boy crash his brand new toy plane into trees close to his house flew down and rescued it for him. The two-man chopper was passing by a mansion in the US surrounded by woodland when they saw the boy crash the plane. The scaled-down P51 Mustang was snagged at the very top of the trees and the pilot knew that it would be unlikely to get the plane back from the ground.

So, swooping low, the pilot whose name is Jimmy hovered over the tree-tops while his co-pilot picks up the top plane and they land. 'Do you think I'll have permission to land now,' he jokes as they take the chopper down. The boy and his family rush to greet them, and can hardly believe their luck. The rescue has been viewed on YouTube more than one million times since it took place last month.

The pilot holds the chopper steady while his co-pilot retrieves the plane (Picture: YouTube)



aking up sport in middle age could boost your brain power, say researchers. A study of overweight men who exercised regularly for just a few months found that as their waists shrunk, their mental agility grew. The men, who had an average age of 49, did two weekly sessions of high-intensity interval training, in which short bursts of hard exercise are interspersed with rest. They also did other types of exercise, including lifting weights, cycling on exercise bicycles and circuit training. Four months on, the men performed better on mental tasks, including tests of attention, processing speed, short-term memory and flexibility of thought, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress heard. Experts at the University of Montreal believe the men’s brains benefited when the health of their arteries improved. Their brains also made better use of oxygen. ‘The participants’ cognitive functions had greatly improved thanks to the exercise,’ researcher Anil Nigam said. ‘You can give someone a cholesterol-lowering pill, you can give someone blood sugarlowering medicine, but they have no impact on cognitive function. But exercise can do all of that – and more.’ Brain functions are improved significantly in middle-aged people with cardiovascular risk after they undergo a highintensity training program. Scientists say high-intensity interval training involves alternating between short periods


New study: Sport makes middle aged people smarter of low and high intensity aerobic exercise - such as a series of 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of walking or jogging.

Sports boost: A study of overweight men who exercised regularly for just a few months found that as their waists shrunk, their mental agility grew.

Participants all had a BMI between 28 and 31 (overweight) and one or more other cardiovascular risk factors.

Scientist discover why statins aren’t effective in 40% of patients


tatins are taken by millions of Britons, yet nearly half of patients are resistant to their cholesterol-lowering effects. Now scientists think they have pinpointed the cause - a protein called resistin. A team from McMaster University in Canada said their research suggests high levels of resistin in the blood could stop statins from working effectively. The protein is secreted by fat tissue and causes high levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol also known as lowdensity lipoprotein or LDL. This accumulates in the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease. The researchers found that resistin also degrades LDL receptors in the liver. As a result, the liver is less able to clear ‘bad’ cholesterol from the body. It not only causes high levels of LDL, but also counteracts the beneficial effects of statins - the main drug used to tackle the problem. Dr Shirya Rashid, senior author of the study said: ‘The bigger implication of our results is that high blood resistin levels may be the cause of the inability of statins to lower patients’ LDL cholesterol,’ said Dr Rashid. She noted that a staggering 40 per cent of people taking statins are resistant to their impact on

lowering blood LDL. However, she believes their discovery could lead to revolutionary new therapeutic drugs, especially those that target and inhibit resistin and thereby increase the effectiveness of statins. Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr Beth Abramson said: ‘The possibilities for improved therapy for the causes of cardiovascular disease are very important.’ Dr Abramson noted that the research reconfirms the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and cholesterol level, two critical factors in the prevention of heart disease. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It can lead to a buildup of plaque in the artery walls and narrowing of the arteries, causing a condition called atherosclerosis which can make

Dr Anil Nigam, of the University of Montreal, said: ‘We worked with six adults who all followed a four-month program of

it more difficult for blood to flow through the heart and body. Being overweight also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure and diabetes, compounding the risks of heart disease and stroke. Dr Abramson added: ‘Fortunately, we know a great deal about heart disease prevention and how to reverse some of the risks.’ She urged people to maintain their heart health through regular visits to their doctor, monitoring their weight and waist size, eating a variety of nutritious, low-fat foods and being physically active, adding: ‘It’s equally important to take your medications as directed by your physician to help further reduce risks.’ The findings were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. Source:

The researchers found that resistin also degrades LDL receptors in the liver. As a result, the liver is less able to clear ‘bad’ cholesterol from the body

More than five million Britons are taking statins, most of whom are over 65

twice weekly interval training on stationary bicycles and twice weekly resistance training. ‘Cognitive function, VO2max and brain oxygenation during exercise testing revealed that the participants’ cognitive functions had greatly improved thanks to the exercise.’ The tests included tasks such as remembering pairs of numbers and symbols, and to see what was actually happening in the brain, researchers used near-infra red spectroscopy (NIRS) - a technique that works with light in the nearinfra red range sent though human tissue that reacts with oxygen in the blood. They say it is so sensitive that it detects the tiny changes in the volume and oxygenation of blood that occurs in brains when people exercise or think. Dr Nigam said: ‘After the program was finished, we discovered that their waist circumference and particularly their trunk fat mass had decreased. ‘We also found that their VO2max, insulin sensitivity had increased significantly, in tandem with their score on the cognitive tests and the oxygenation signals in the brain during exercise. Insulin sensitivity is the ability of sugar to enter body tissue (mainly liver and muscle.)’ Source:



North East Forum passionate about peace in the region, says Ciroma INTERVIEW

By Lawrence Olaoye

Mallam Adamu Ciroma, a former Minister of Finance under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and the Chairman Board of Trustees of North East Unity Forum for Development, in this interview with reporters in Bauchi expresses the readiness of the Forum to tackle the challenges of insecurity in the region. Our Bauchi Correspondent, Ahmed Kaigama, was there. Excerpts


here were allegations that the leaders of the Forum had held various positions and they did not use their position to develop the region now they came back looking for the ways out for the region…. Cuts in… No our duty is to look at the problems that affect us in the north east; that affect us in Nigeria. It’s not the correct approach to keep on blaming people. As long as we are alive, we have a duty to solve the problems. Life is a continuum; as you live, you struggle and you wish to get better condition by dealing with the problem you have now. Sometimes you are successful in dealings with problems; sometimes not, but there will always be problems as long as people are alive there will be problems. So there is nothing new that today we have problems; our duty today is to deal with the problems that we know in the process, we may be creating new problems. But, the fact is that we have a duty and some of us here have more or less completed our life cycle. We have been through the educational system, the economy and the administration and soon, but today things are worse. So we

must help the leaders of today to solve the problems that are here today that may be here tomorrow. Majority decisions of the forum were merely advisory because you have no power to execute anything considering the political situation in the country. How do you think you can succeed? Of course we know. We know that many of the problems we cannot solve them without the cooperation and the involvement of people who are holding power now. So our business is to advice, where we can act ourselves we do; where it’s the business of government we tell the governors; where it’s the business at the federal level, we tell the Federal Government. But some people are asking whether those in power will ever implement your recommendations If you are old enough, you would realize that if you give advice to an individual it is not reasonable for you to say he is going to implement a hundred percent of your suggestion? So, for us its again whatever advice we give; whatever part of it they use, we make sure it’s in the interest of the ordinary people


Mallam Adamu Ciroma How do you intend to tackle the problems of the North East? The Security issue is affecting everything else in this country. Because without security, it’s not possible for the economy to operate well; people cannot trade; people cannot farm, people cannot go about their normal business. In 1998, the security problem was about armed robbers and so on. Today it’s engulfing everything else in this country and other ways of life in this country has been affected. This North East has become, in some ways, the centre of some of this problems and so individuals from this part decided that since this area used to supply manpower and other solutions to the problems of the north, it’s now important to gather the people together to think

about the problems and to provide solutions to these problems. If we are able to deal effectively with the problem of the north east, it means we are contributing hugely in solving the problems of Nigeria, and it’s this initiative which brought about the gathering which we have today. Some people are seeing the summit as one to achieve political goal rather than solving the problems of the North East Everything in life is political. So you cannot isolate something and say it’s political; economy is political, education is political, anything you do to solve the problems of people is political. So you should not run away from the fact that just because somebody says it’s political, you stop trying to do the right thing.

Oshiomhole to presents 2013 budget tomorrow From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


do State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, will on tomorrow present 2013 Appropriation Bill to the State House of Assembly. A letter endorsed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Simon Imuekemhe on behalf of the governor to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Uyi Igbe, sought the legislators' permission to

present the 2013 Appropriation Bill to the house for approval. The governor's letter which was presented on the floor of the House on yesterday by the Deputy Clerk of the House, James Omoatama stated "Request for urgent attention to present the 2013 budget estimate by the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. I have been directed by the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams

Obey local content laws, Reps tell investors

Oshiomhole to request the honorable House to grant him audience during the plenary session of the house on Thursday November 8, 2012 to present the 2013 budget estimate to the House of Assembly." Meanwhile, the House simultaneously attended to a second letter by the governor dated November 1, 2012 requesting for the amendment of the law establishing the Agency for

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT). In the request, the sections to be amended include sections 4, 5 and 7 which deal with the composition of the agency, and the appointment of Managing Director and Directors that should be appointed by the governor subject to the confirmation by the state House of Assembly and the latter that has to do with remuneration, pension and gratuity to staff of the agency.

he House of Representatives yesterday called on all investors in the country to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Local Content Laws in their operations. The Chairman of the House Committee on Local Content, Rep Asita Honourable, made the call when the Managing Director of Frieslandcampina WAMCO Nigeria, PLC, Mr Peter Eshikena, led other management team of the company on an advocacy visit to the House. While commending the company for providing employment for the nation's teeming youths, Honourable said "This present House pays so much attention to the electorates. The welfare of the people is utmost in our hearts. The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is alarming, that is why this committee will continue to insist on enforcement of local content by investors". He also noted that the appointment of Eshikena as the first Nigerian to head the company was a step in the right direction. The committee however charged the company's boss, to do his best and live up to expectations as well as ensure that the company adheres strictly to local content policy of the country in its operations. "Nigeria laws protect investors and the National Assembly will continue to support and protect credible investors, because we want our economy to grow by creating employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths". Eshikena had earlier told the committee that the company would continue to operate in line with the laid down rules and regulation of doing business in the country just as he implored the lawmakers to continue to make laws that would help business grow in the country. He however stated that the company had been facing lot of challenges in its area of operations, such as bad roads, poor electricity supply, among others but that efforts have been made through the Ministry of Agriculture to address all the challenges.



Addressing issues on removal of immunity clause ANALYSIS By Chijioke Okoronkwo


pinion is divided on whether or not to remove the immunity clause in Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution. The section provides inter alia that: “No civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against a person to whom this section applies during his period of office. “A person to whom this section applies shall not be arrested or imprisoned during that period, either in pursuance of the process of any court or otherwise. “No process of any court requiring or compelling the appearance of a person to whom this section applies, shall be applied for or issued.’’ The public officers who are protected under the section are the President, the VicePresident, the Governors and the Deputy Governors. Speaking in support of the retention of the immunity clause in efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution, Mr Nkereuwem Akpan, a lawyer, insists that it is a worldwide practice to protect public office holders from unnecessary litigation while their tenure lasts. “All over the world, certain government officials are given immunity from prosecution while they are in office. “The reasons for that are not far-fetched; we have a lot of meddlesome interlopers and busybodies who will like to drag the officials to court in order to distract them from performing their duties. “Under our laws, the president, the vice president, the governors and their deputies only have immunity from prosecution while they are in office and not investigation. “You can investigate them, and then keep the files in view until they vacate office; the demerits of this, however, is that the memories of the witnesses could have been blurred, a lot of files would have changed hands, while some witnesses would have been compromised. “Nevertheless, if you look at the larger picture, it is better we leave it that way for now,’’ Akpan says. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr. Emeka Ngige, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), underscores the need to retain the immunity clause in the constitution, saying that that some detractors of public

President Goodluck Jonathan office holders would want the officers jailed while in office. “If immunity clause is allowed to go, it would be abused. For instance, the governors would be unnecessarily harassed,’’ he says. Nevertheless, Prof. Peter Nwangwu, a former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), argues that the immunity clause should be removed from the constitution because “it has done more harm than good. “No political office holder, including the president and governors, should have immunity from prosecution while in office. “Immunity from prosecution for any criminal offence, including stealing, or for contravening the law in anyway, should not be allowed. “The provision has been abused repeatedly with impunity, so the immunity clause needs to be removed as part of efforts to fight corruption in high places. “Anyone who does not like the removal of the clause should stay away from serving in any public office,’’ he adds. Mr Ikechukwu Odo, a public affairs analyst and a lawyer, also expresses support for the removal of the immunity clause. He stresses that the immunity clause amounts to over-protecting public office holders, who are also bound by the provisions of the constitution. Odo, however, concedes that there is a tendency for mischief makers to foment trouble if the immunity clause is removed, adding that there should be

Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Chairman NGF restrictive clauses attached to the clause, if it must be retained. “There should be conditions attached to it; particularly when it is apparent that the person in question has committed a crime or breached the public trust. “In order words, in criminal and financial matters, where a prima facie case has been established against public officers, they should not enjoy immunity from prosecution,’’ he says. Odo, nonetheless, believes that independent bodies should handle investigations in cases like that. Dr Iro Uke of the Department of Political Science, University of Abuja, emphasises that Nigeria is not yet mature for the immunity clause. He insists that public officers should be made to explain any irregularity noticed in the course of their duties because they are solely accountable to the people.

“Immunity clause is given to leaders because it is assumed that such leaders would be selfless in their attitude to service. “But in a country like Nigeria, where the democratic culture is just developing, I don’t think that any of the leaders should enjoy immunity from prosecution. “There should be a way of calling them to order when they are still in office; they should be questioned on any issues; issues that require explanations on accountability. “When we mature to a point where those in government are selfless and accountable enough; then, the immunity clause will be desirable and should be introduced in the constitution,’’ Uke says. Mr Willy Ezugwu, the Secretary-General of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), is also an advocate of the removal of the immunity clause.

However, these chief executives should have no immunity when it comes to criminal matters. If investigated and subsequently impeached, affected chief executives should be tried in a court of law

Ezugwu stresses that the immunity clause is a hindrance to efforts to tackle corruption in the country. “It has proven to be a stumbling block to the effective investigation and prosecution of some persons suspected to be corrupt. “What is even more worrisome is that this immunity has now been transferred to persons who ordinarily have no such protection under the constitution,’’ he says. At the recent Senate Retreat on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution in Asaba, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) warned against the removal of the immunity clause. The Chairman of the NGF, Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers, said that if governors were not allowed to enjoy immunity from prosecution, they would be easily distracted from performing their duties because of numerous court cases. “Nigerians are discussing the immunity clause because they are frustrated by what those of us in government are doing. “ We want the National Assembly to tell us one country in the world whose constitution does not provide for immunity clause,’’ he said. Prof. Isawa Elaigwu, a Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Jos, who also spoke at the retreat, suggested that the chief executives at all tiers of government, should be immune from litigation on civil matters. “However, these chief executives should have no immunity when it comes to criminal matters. If investigated and subsequently impeached, affected chief executives should be tried in a court of law. “Criminal matters may amount to gross misconduct and cannot be left till the end of such executives’ tenure of office,’’ he stressed. Whichever way the argument tilts, observers are of the view that sentiments and parochial interests should be eschewed in efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution, while national interests ought to be upheld. They particularly underscore the need to weigh all the issues regarding the immunity clause critically before a position which will promote nation building is finally adopted. Okoronkwo works with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)



Commission to probe 16 agencies over illegal recruitment


he Federal Character Commission says it has started investigations into 16 federal government agencies for employing people in violation of the Federal Civil Service guidelines. Mr David Fakeye, the Director, Monitoring and Enforcement in the commission said this yesterday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The director identified the agencies as the Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC), National Parks Service; Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education. In addition, the National BioTechnology Development Agency, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Also listed are the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission; the National Commission for Refugees; the National Assembly Service Commission; the National Boundary Commission, and the National Orientation Agency (NOA). Others are the National Commission for College of Education; Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency. ``The commission has constituted monitoring squad to monitor and investigate incessant and secret recruitment in 16 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs),'' he said. Fakeye said that the monitoring squad conducted on-the-spot checks on the MDAs identified to have been engaged in the secret recruitment exercises. He said that the squad had started visiting the MDAs involved, adding that their reports were being collated. ``Any erring MDAs found to have violated the commission's principles will be penalised in accordance with the commission's enabling Act. ``These are pro-active measures by the commission to ensure adherence to the principle of the FCC in the recruitment exercises by the MDAs,'' he said. He said that the commission had the power to monitor compliance with the guidelines at all levels as contained in the constitution and the enabling Act. Fakeye said that the commission also enforced compliance with its guidelines and formula in the areas of the provision of employment opportunities. He said that the Act empowers the commission to ensure that all MDAs had clear criteria, indicating the conditions to be fulfilled. ``We provide comprehensive guidelines on the procedure for determining eligibility and the procedure for employment in the public and private sectors of the economy. (NAN)

L-R Kogi State Governor Captain, Idris Wada and his Deputy during their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House Abuja, recently. Photo: Joe Oroye

Resign now, PDP tells Ekiti governor From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West has told the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to save the state from ridicule, by turning in his resignation letter without further delay. The party said the refusal of local government workers in the state to heed the governor's directive that they should resume work on Monday and the lacing of all Local Council secretariats with juju rituals, which prevented even the Local Councils Caretaker Committee members from entering the councils was a further confirmation of the governor's rejection by Ekiti people.

Zonal Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Kayode Babade, in a release issued made available to newsmen said; "With his rejection by Ekiti people especially Teachers, Local government workers, health workers, judiciary workers and students, Fayemi should be honourable enough to resign and let a more competent person take his place." The PDP, which described Fayemi's two years as governor of Ekiti State as "years of locusts" said he has already lost every moral rights to continue as governor of the State. The party said it was worried that all primary health institutions in Ekiti state are grounded and people are dying of cholera, yet the governor is saying he does not give a damn and that the health workers can

remain on strike for two years. The statement read "Thrice, Fayemi directed teachers in Ekiti to write Competency Test, but they refused. He ordered the teachers not to celebrate the October 5 World Teachers Day but the teachers flouted his order. "Ridiculously, Fayemi got his agents to arrest and detain Mr. Lere Olayinka, a member of our party and Chief Press Secretary to our National Vice Chairman (South-West), Chief Segun Oni, saying he (Olayinka) was the one who prevented the over 20,000 teachers in Ekiti from writing the test. "Last week, judiciary workers refused to turn up for the celebration of the commencement of this year's Legal Year.

"Yesterday (Monday), Local Council workers ignored the governor's directive that they should call off their seven weeks old strike action and resume work. They even went further to lace entrance of all the Council secretariats with juju rituals. "That Monday action of council workers in Ekiti State is to say the least the height of Fayemi's comedy of governance in Ekiti and time has come for the governor to return to his NGO business and leave Ekiti state for more competent person to govern. Or does a governor who is no longer being obeyed by teachers, local council workers, health workers, judiciary workers and others have any moral right to remain in office? The party asked.

Jang signs State Emergency Management Agency Bill into law


ov Jonah Jang yesterday in Jos signed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) bill into law. While performing the ceremony, Jang warned against the diversion of relief materials meant for victims of emergencies. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that stakeholders, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over had severely criticised Plateau over its inability to establish a SEMA, in spite of its numerous manmade and natural disasters. Shortly after signing the bill, the governor said:``I believe this bill I signed into law is holistic and positioned to be relevant to the present realities of global trends in disaster management.

``Signing the bill is a reflection of the lesson learnt from recent disasters and I expect that we must step up our disaster management capacity and structures.'' Jang described natural disasters such as the recent flood that hit the state and other parts of the country as a ``global challenge`` which had to be taken ``very seriously`` so as to save lives and property. The governor directed the 17 local governments of the state to establish similar agencies in their areas, noting that domesticating the law would ensure the attainment of its goals. Jang pointed out that no amount of relief could replace losses by persons hit by disasters, saying that government's efforts

were usually to cushion the effects and help the victims to recover quickly and continue with their lives. He said that that government had expended millions of naira to procure and distribute assorted foodstuff, beddings, toiletries, building materials, clothing and medicaments to disaster victims, and thanked individuals and organisations for their assistance. Jang acknowledged the receipt of N500 million from the Federal Government for onward delivery to the victims, and promised that the funds would be used to rehabilitate displaced people. While thanking the Federal Government for the gesture, Jang warned officials charged with distributing relief materials

against diverting them as defaulters would face the wrath of the law. “We will no longer tolerate such attitude; any official involved in such a shameful acts will be severely dealt with,`` he warned. The governor also warned against blocking drains, building near flood-prone areas, indiscriminate dumping of waste and bush burning, especially with the onset of the dry season. Jang advised Plateau residents to respect the provisions of the bill, stressing that the law would remain ``just a document'', if its provisions were not adhered to. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill was passed by the state House of Assembly on Oct. 10, 2012. (NAN)





UEFA Champions League

Barcelona, United 90 minutes away from last 16 finals berths


arcelona and Manchester United are at the verge of securing places in the last 16 finals of the prestigious UEFA Champions League. The duo can sail through today if they triumph over their opponents. For United, it would not only be a sweet revenge of the embarrassment of last year’s Champions League group stage exit, but a clear statement of intent and seriousness to progress from the group stage. On the other hand, Barcelona can also secure their passage to the knockout stage by beating Celtic. There will also be a crunch tie between defending champions Chelsea, who face runaway Ukrainian league leaders Shakhtar Donetsk, while beaten finalists Bayern Munich are vying to keep pace in Group F as they host Lille. United recovered from an early two-goal deficit to beat Braga 3-2 at Old Trafford a fortnight ago to record their third win in as many matches in Europe’s top club competition, having yet to reach

top gear. Successive league wins over Chelsea and Arsenal has seen United climb to the top of the Premier League table and defensive stalwart Rio Ferdinand

believes there is more to come from the Group H leaders. “I don’t think we have hit a real purple patch yet, which we are really searching for,” he was quoted as saying on the club’s

Robin van Persie, Man Utd

Juan Mata, Chelsea

Nations Cup: Get serious now, Minister orders, Maigari, Keshi By Patrick Andrew


ports Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, has warned the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation and the technical crew of the Super Eagles against dilly dallying with preparations for the 2013 Nations Cup, scheduled for January in South Africa. Yesterday, the minister summoned the president of the executive committee of the NFF Aminu Maigari together with Head Coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi directed them to get cracking on the preparations. The minister accordingly directed them to desist from trivialities but to concentrate on the business at hand by meticulously preparing for the continental fiesta to be held in South Africa. According to sources yesterday, the minister at a meeting with both frowned at Keshi’s plan to throw open the camp of the Eagles for fresh pairs legs for trials ahead of the fiesta. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that Keshi had said that he would hands invitation to new players with a view to picking some three or four of them to team up with the squad he intends to take to the South Africa. But the minister thinks otherwise and stressed the need for Keshi to concentrate on the bunch at his disposal and urged him to dismiss the lure to give fresh pairs of legs a chance to showcase their skills for possible inclusion in the main squad. Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has worked with dozens of players from the domestic league as he tries to rebuild the team after they sensationally failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Malam Abdullahi demanded that the real business of preparing for the Nations Cup should begin in earnest, even as he reminded the football federation boss that nothing should hinder President Goodluck

Jonathan’s cup victory demand. “The minister made it clear to Keshi and the top NFF officials led by Maigari that with less than three months to the big kick-off in South Africa, everything should now be channelled at working on the team and not trying out new players,” a top official was quoted by a wire service to have said. “This will be the second time that the minister has invited Keshi and made it very clear that the government wants a third Nations Cup trophy in South Africa.” Abdullahi is under increasing pressure to deliver on the job after the country’s dismal showing at the recent London Olympics, where Nigeria failed to win a medal. Both the commission and the NFF have also been locked in talks over Aminu Maigari the funding for the Nations Cup campaign as everything will be put in place to ensure a very smooth preparation leading to the tournament. Two-time champions Nigeria will begin their Nations Cup quest on January 21 in Nelspruit against Burkina Faso. Zambia and Ethiopia are the other teams in their Group C. Stephen Keshi

website. Despite a solid defensive display in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph over the Gunners, United’s profligacy in front of goal prevented a more convincing scoreline and Ferdinand stressed the importance of “getting it all in one package and doing it all in ninety minutes at the right times”. Spanish giants Barcelona also have maximum points after three rounds and may welcome back long-term absentee Gerard Pique after the defender was included in the squad for Wednesday’s tie in Glasgow. A 3-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend propelled Barca to their best start to a league season and the Catalans own the distinction of being the only side to have defeated Celtic at Parkhead in the tournament’s modern era. Jordi Alba’s stoppage-time winner broke Celtic hearts at the Nou Camp two weeks ago and another triumph for Tito Vilanova’s side would secure their progression to the last 16, leaving Celtic with plenty of work to do after a promising start to Group G. Chelsea will be out for revenge at Stamford Bridge against Shakhtar after their first taste of Ukrainian opposition ended in a 2-0 defeat on matchday three. Group E leaders Shakhtar are searching for a first victory on English soil, while second-place Chelsea know they cannot afford to cede any more ground if they are to repeat last year’s improbable success. The Blues are just a point ahead of Juventus, who are in action against Danish minnows Nordsjaelland, and must still

travel to Turin later in the month. Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata billed Wednesday’s clash “like a final”, underlining the importance of collecting three points “if (Chelsea) want to finish first in (their) group”. Meanwhile last season’s runners-up Bayern Munich find themselves level with Valencia and BATE Borisov, who meet at the Mestalla in midweek, on six points in Group F. The German heavyweights will be aiming to regain control of the group when they host strugglers Lille at the Allianz Arena, while Rudi Garcia’s French charges must avoid defeat to prevent an early elimination. Romanian outfit CFR Cluj can tighten their grip on the second qualification spot alongside United in Group H as they welcome bottom side Galatasaray to Transylvania. Elsewhere Benfica are out to stop the rot against visiting Group G rivals Spartak Moscow in Portugal. Spartak’s 2-1 win in Moscow earned Unai Emery’s side their first points of the campaign, while Benfica who have lost two consecutive European home fixtures are bottom with just a point to their name.


Valencia v BATE Benfica v Spartak Braga v Man Utd B/Munich v Lille Chelsea v Shakhtar Celtic v Barcelona Juventus v FC Nordsjaelland CFR Cluj v Galatasaray

Eko 2012: Security Subcommittee tours Games Village, other venues


he Security Sub-committee for the 18th National Sports Festival yesterday began a tour of the Games Village and several other facilities to ascertain the security needs of the venues for the event. The Chairman, ACP Vincent Brown, confirmed in Lagos that they would also determine the number of policemen to be deployed to the venues. Although he confirmed that the police authorities had made available 18,000 policemen for the event, Brown disclosed that part of the purpose of the inspection is to determine if the number of security personnel would be enough and how best to engage them optimally. “The security of all athletes and non-athletes taking part in the competition is an issue the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umar Mako, is not taking lightly. “My Committee is working according to the guidelines given to me which does not in any way

jeopardise the state’s interest,’’ Brown said. The venues inspected yesterday were the Games Village at Surulere, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere and the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The sub-committee’s chairman said that before the arrival of states contingent from Nov. 25, all the security arrangements would have been made. He added that the venues had their peculiar security challenges and that there was need to tailor security plans along those lines. The security chief, who declined to reveal the detailed security arrangements, assured participants of their safety during the biennial Games holding from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 in Lagos. The committee will continue the inspection at Yaba College of Technology and Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Yaba today.



Coach lauds athletes performance at 4th Lagos Inter-tertiary Games he said. Adu, noted that the Games were geared toward discovering and grooming athletes to represent the state and the country in the future. “It is part of Lagos State initiative of discovering talents and grooming them. There is hope for these athletes and the governor, Babatunde Fashola, is really interested in this competition,’’ he said. He said the first and second in 100m would be given the chance to represent the state at the 18 th National Sports Festival holding from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 in Lagos. “The first and second in the women 100m will join other athletes in camp and if they prove themselves worthy, they will represent the state at the festival,’’ he said. Sanusi Adetunji, the Chief Timekeeper at the Games, also said the time recorded by some of the athletes was

Bolt, Rudisha, Allyson, three others up for IAAF award


ladimir Klitschko says victory over Mariusz Wach will be for Emanuel Steward, his former trainer. The WBO, IBF, IBO and WBA heavyweight champion takes on the Polish challenger in Hamburg, Germany, this weekend. Klitschko, whose brother Vitali holds the WBC heavyweight title, said on Monday a victory would be for his long-time mentor who died recently. “It is a big blow to everyone,” said the Ukrainian, wearing his trademark red tracksuit at a news conference. “It felt strange in preparation ... but we know what he would do and what he would have wanted us to do. “It is a fight without Emanuel Steward but I will be going into the ring on Saturday with his presence to defend those titles we gathered together.” The 68-year-old Steward worked with several world champions at his Kronk Gym in Detroit. He joined forces with Klitschko in 2004. Johnathon Banks, a former heavyweight who used to spar with Klitschko and also trained at the Kronk Gym, has been training Klitschko since before Steward’s death. Klitschko beat American Tony Thompson in July to retain his titles. Now 36 years old, he has a record of 58 wins and three defeats. He will face a taller opponent for the first time in his career. Wach is 2.02 m tall; 4 cm taller than the champion. The 32-year-old Wach is undefeated, with has 27 victories from 27 fights. Klitschko expects the Pole

to be an agile opponent. “He is skilled. He can go the distance, there is no doubt about that. For his height he moves very well. “But I will say one line that Emanuel used to say,” said Klitschko as he turned to the Pole sitting near him: “Welcome to big-time boxing.” Wach, dressed in a black shirt and grey suit, looked unfazed and thanked the Ukrainian for giving him a shot at his titles. “On Saturday you will see a different Mariusz Wach; a Mariusz Wach who will want to take those belts,” said the softly-spoken challenger. “You will remember that fight not for hours later but for days and months to come. If I need twelve rounds then twelve rounds it is. I am prepared for everything.”

Merritt won the 110 hurdles at the Olympics. The American set a world record of 12.80 seconds at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels in September. Rudisha of Kenya won the 800 at the games in a world record of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds. Also, in the women category, New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams, Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis of Britain and US sprinter Allyson Felix have been shortlisted for the female Athlete of the Year award, according to the ruling athletics body IAAF. Adams, who is 28 and was born in New Zealand to a Tongan mother and an English father, successfully defender her Olympic title in London after gold medalist

Usain Bolt

Wladimir promises to beat Wach for Emanuel

orld and Olympic 100m and 200m champion, Usain Bolt along with Aries Merritt and David Rudisha have been shortlisted for the World Athlete of the Year award. Track and field’s governing body said on Monday that the trio gathered the most votes following a three-week poll and were therefore the right nominees for the award. The winner will be announced during a ceremony as part of the IAAF’s centenary celebrations in Barcelona on November 24. Bolt became the first man to retain both 100- and 200metre titles earlier this year at the London Olympics. The Jamaican holds the world record in both distances.

CAF Champions League

Red hot Pillars out to shock Africa, says Gambo


ano Pillars’ forward, G a m b o Mohammed, said his side have served notice to rule Africa with the victory at the four-team invitational in Niamey, Niger Republic. The Nigerian champions over the weekend emerged winners of the Niger invitational tournament after the Pyramid City lads saw off the opposition of Olympic FC, ASFAN and the Niger Under-20 team. The forward said his side are prepared to surpass the semifinal feat of three

seasons ago in the CAF Champions League to clinch the title in next year’s campaign. “The message we served in Niamey, Niger, is that Kano Pillars are here to rule Africa. The last time we campaigned in the Caf Champions League we exited in the semifinals but this time we’re ready to surpass the performance to be crowned champions. “The four-team invitational is a test case of our resolve to rule Africa, we played three matches and won all. There weren’t

cheap games, most of the teams we played had a large presence of Nigerians. “We played well and deserved to be champions and above all we used the occasion to tell whoever wants to hear that Pillars will win the African title come next year,” he said to The Kano Pillars’ hit man, who learnt of his Eagles call up in Niamey, said he will make the final list to face Venezuela in November 14 international friendly in Miami, USA.

Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus failed two drug tests at the games. Ennis, 26, won gold in the London games heptathlon event, a discipline in which she also holds the British record. Felix, 26, won three gold medals in London - in the 200 metres, the worldrecord setting 100-metre relay as well as the 400metre relay. On Monday, IAAF announced the men’s

shortlist, which comprises Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt, hurdler Aries Merritt and middle-distance runner David Rudisha. The athletes received the largest number of votes in a poll among the IAAF Family. The winner will be selected by the council of the International Athletic Foundation and announced during the IAAF centenary celebrations on November 24 in Barcelona.

Allyson Felix

W Wladimir Klitschko

encouraging. Adetunji said that with the supervision of coaches, the athletes would be better. “They are trying, but they have to work a bit harder to meet the national timing. With more supervision by their coaches, they can improve,’’ he said. Cecilia Francis of YABATECH returned 11.6 secs to win the women’s 100m and her school mate Nkem Ezeala was second with 11.7 secs. Goodness Thomas of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) took third with 11.8 secs. In the men’s 100m, Bamidele Taiwo of YABATECH came first after returning 10.3 secs, Henry Azike of LASPOTECH took second with 10.5 secs and Oyeniyi Abejoye of UNILAG was third with 10.7 sec. Ten tertiary institutions in Lagos State registered for the Games.

David Rushida


ruemu Adu, the Head Coach (Athletics), Lagos State Grassroots Sports Development of the Governor’s Office, says participants at the 4th Lagos Inter-tertiary Games have shown promise of being stars. Adu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) venue of the Games that with adequate training the athletes would improve. The Lagos Inter-tertiary Schools Games began November 1 and will end on November10 at YABATECH, University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Kuramo Beach, Victoria Island. “They are doing fairly good; they can do well in national events with adequate training. From what I have seen so far I am impressed. We have seen some of them making 10.3 secs in 100m which is not very bad,’’





Linet Masai

Imane Merga

NGF sponsors 2 budding talents to St. Andrews

Merga, Masai top list of IAAF XC Permit season in Atapuerca


eigning World Cross Country champion Imane Merga of Ethiopia will be the headline act at the ‘Cross Internacional de Atapuerca’, the opening race of the 2012/ 2013 IAAF Cross Country Permit Series, on Sunday 11 November 11. Merga, who followed up his early 2011 success in Punta Umbria with a bronze medal in the 10,000m at the World Championships in Daegu later that year, kicked off his 2011/12 Cross Country campaign with a victory in race and will again face a strong challenge. The men’s field will include his Ethiopian compatriot Dejen Gebremeskel, the 2011 World Championships 5000m bronze medallist and 2012 Olympic silver medallist over the distance. Kenya will come armed with Vincent Chepkok, the 2011 World Cross Country bronze medallist, and Emmanuel Bett, who lead the world this season over 10,000m courtesy of his early September 26:51.16 run at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels. Meanwhile Eritrea will also be wellrepresented by Teklemariam Medhin, the 2010 World Cross silver medallist. Heading the women’s field is Kenyan Linet Masai, one of the most consistent Cross Country runners in recent years. Still just 22, Masai has captured the silver medal at the last three World Cross Country Championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She’ll be joined by compatriots Priscah Jepleting, a World Cross silver medallist in 2006, and rising star Mercy Cherono. Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Hiwot Wude, who both finished fifth in this year’s Olympic 10,000m and 3000m Steeplechase finals, will also be in the field. Ireland’s Fiounnala Britton, the reigning European champion, and Portugal’s Sara Moreira, are also expected.





he Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) said on Monday that its grassroots development programme committee has sponsored two budding talents to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, for tutelage. Patrick Abobi, the NGF Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the aim was to ensure that the players were thoroughly groomed for competitions in the sport. He stressed that the NGF had been unrelenting in its grassroots development programmes geared towards the systematic harnessing of talents for big time golf competitions. “In terms of grassroots development, we want to ensure that we try as much as we can to groom budding talents to become future stars. “Our development committee, known as the ‘Nigerian Kid Golfer,’ has sponsored two kids to participate at the international level at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland, for exposure. “In 2013, we are raising kids to participate in the U.S. Golf

Academy, to ensure that they get well-rounded in the game,’’ the secretary said. When asked about the absence of golf from the forthcoming 18 th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos, he described it as ‘unfortunate’ and injurious to its programmes. NAN reports that golf was one of the sports that featured at the 17th NSF, which was tagged “Garden City Games,’’ in Port Harcourt in 2011. Abobi was, however, optimistic that golf would feature in subsequent editions of the festival. “Before now, golf had been fully integrated in the sports festivals, including the last one

in Port Harcourt, I don’t know why Lagos State has decided to shun golf. Maybe, golf is not their passion. “I am very positive that there won’t be a repeat of this omission in subsequent editions. “Golf has being recognised as an Olympics sport, which shows that we need to tap into the potential. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, golf will certainly partake in it,’’ he added. NAN reports that the St. Andrew’s Links in Scotland, is the home of Golf and has the oldest Golf Course in the world, which was set up in the 15th century by some Scottish noblemen.

Salisu Yusuf takes over Enyimba


nyimba have appointed Salisu Yusuf as new coach ahead of the 2012/2013 season. The former Super Eagles assistant coach signed the dotted lines with ‘The People’s Elephant’ at the weekend. He takes over from former Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen, who quit the Aba outfit before the end of last season. He is expected to lead Enyimba back to reckoning next

season after they failed to win any major honour for the second straight season. Yusuf has coached Kano Pillars who he and kadiri Ikhana led to a first-ever Nigeria Premier League championship, Lobi Stars and FC Taraba in the lower Nigeria National League (NNL). He has been linked with the top jobs at Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa United before his appointment by the six-time Nigeria champions.

18th NSF: squash federation to verify players’ ages


he Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) has said that it was working on the data base of squash players, to select genuine cadet players for the forthcoming 18 th National Sports Festival (NSF). The federation’s President, Olufemi Ajagbe, confirmed in Lagos that the essence of the biometrics, was to avoid needless controversies. “We are working on the data base of our players because all the players that will be competing in the festival will have their database with us. “If any state is fielding ineligible players, we will be able to checkmate them. We want to ensure that this festival helps us to be able to reach out

to the grassroots,’’ the president said. Ajagbe, who is also the VicePresident of the Squash Federation of Africa, explained that as part of the federation’s preparations for the 18 th NSF, the federation is organising a clinic for its technical officials. He said that the clinic would help to keep the officials to keep abreast of developments in the sport, stressing that the federation has scheduled an international training clinic for its technical officials in Calabar from Nov.15 to Nov.18. “The clinic is meant to acquaint our technical officials and coaches with current trends in the sport. Especially those that will be officiating at

the festival, to ensure hitchfree officiating at the two-week fiesta,’’ Ajagbe added.

Chief Patrick Ekeji, DG, NSC

…Team Nasarawa to use customised kits, says Commissioner


eam Nasarawa is to adorn customised jerseys and kits at the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos, to enhance its performance, the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Mr Daniel Ogazi, said yesterday. He said that the customised jerseys and kits were manufactured by a sporting outfit based in Austria. The commissioner said the jerseys and sporting shoes were designed in consonance with the prevailing weather situation in Lagos. “We had to send them the exact temperatures in Lagos, to enable the manufacturers to be able to develop the kits. As we speak, most of the consignments have arrived in Lagos. “It might interest you to know that the bicycles our athletes will use in Lagos, for instance, are the type used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” he added.

Ogazi said over 70 athletes would be representing the state in 11 sports at the festival, stressing that a Local Organising Committee (LOC) was being constituted by the state government, to ensure a successful outing for the team. The commissioner, however, urged corporate organisations operating in the state to support the team. He added that efforts were on to get financial institutions in the state to give some support to the contingent, as part of their corporate social responsibility. Ogazi noted that the burden of funding ‘Team Nasarawa’ was enormous, saying that government was seeking the support and assistance of willing partners to its sports development initiatives because they were capital intensive.



2013 Nations Cup finals

Elephants on rampage ahead of tourney reviews the performances of Ivoirian internationals ahead of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. What’s hot? ilfried Bony’s brace against Ajax Amsterdam Vitesse Arnhem won their away game on Saturday against Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 in the eleventh week of the Dutch Eredivisie, thanks to a brace by Ivoirian international striker Wilfried Bony (38’ and 46’). The former Sparta Prague player has already scored twelve goals this season. Max Gradel and SaintEtienne’s top class performance against Paris Saint-Germain AS Saint-Etienne and their Ivoirian winger Max Gradel outclassed PSG 2-1 at the Parc des Princes, on Saturday in the eleventh week of the Ligue 1. This is the first championship defeat of the season for the club from the capital. Lille and Salomon Kalou’s win against Evian The LOSC were victorious in their away game against Evian TG 2-0 on Saturday. Kalunho found himself in the starting line-up on the right wing and had a fantastic match against his compatriots Brice Dja Djedje, Eric Tié Bi and Yannick Sagbo. He had a goal disallowed in the 80th minute for an offside position. Didier Ya Konan’s goal with Hanover 96 against Augsburg Hanover 96’s Ivoirian striker Didier Ya Konan opened the score for his team in their 2-0 win over Augsburg on Saturday in the tenth week of


Ghana confirm pretourney friendly against Cape Verde


he Ghana Football Association has confirmed next Tuesday’s international friendly against Cape Verde. The match will be played in the Portuguese capital Lisbon at the University of Lisbon Sports Stadium. Both countries will use the match to prepare for the next Janaury’s finals in South Africa. Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah will use the test match as guide to name his final 23-man squad for the tournament. “We have arranged a friendly against Cape Verde as part of our intensive preparations for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations,” Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantaky told “Cape Verde showed the strength of their side by edging past giants Cameroon to qualify for the Nations Cup and this shows that they are a tough side. “In many ways they are similar to our group opponents at the Africa Cup of Nations and we are happy that they have agreed to play us. “We want to leave no stone unturned with adequate preparation for Africa’s flagship football event to ensure success for the Black Stars.” Ghana have been drawn in Group B to play DR Congo, Mali and Niger in Group B. Cape Verde, who will be making their debut, were handed hosts South Africa, Angola and Morocco.

the Bundesliga. This makes it two goals this season for the former ASEC Mimosas player, whose club is now lying in sixth position in the league standings. Arthur Boka’s solid performance against Borussia Dortmund In their away game, VfB Stuttgart held Borussia Dortmund to a goalless draw on Saturday in their Bundesliga clash. The Elephants left back Arthur Boka and teammates thus put an end to a series of 28 matches during which the German champion had always scored at least one goal at home. Didier Drogba’s goal in the final week of the Chinese Super League The Captain of the Ivoirian Elephants opened the score for Shanghai Shenhua during their 3-0 win over Qingdao Jonoon in the last week of the Chinese Super League. The former Chelsea striker and his team thus end the season in ninth position. Yet another goal by Lacina Traoré for Anzhi Ivoirian striker Lacina Traoré scored his eighth goal of the season during Anzhi Makhachkala’s 3-1 victory over Terek Grozny on Sunday. Samuel Eto’o’s teammates are still in second place on the log, just a point behind CSKA Moscow. What’s not? The Tourés’ draw against West Ham Kolo and Yaya Touré both featured in Manchester City’s starting line-up during their away game against West Ham United during week ten of the Premier League, but had to be content with a draw as they saw their rival Manchester

United jump into first position in the league standings,

following the Red Devils’ 2-1 win against Arsenal.

Max Gradel

Arthur Boka

Blue Sharks to train at Dobsonville, Princess Magogo


ape Verde will Gold Reef Dobsonville ahead of the opening 2013 Africa Cup of South Africa.

be based at City and Stadium game of the Nations in

The tournament debutants, who will play against the host nation in the opening game at Soccer City on January 13, will stay at the Gold Reef City resort in Southern Johannesburg.

They will use the Dobsonville Stadium, home to current MTN8 champions Moroka Swallows, as their training facility. For the remaining group

matches against Angola and Morocco in Durban, the Islanders will then stay in a Hotel in Umhlanga and use the Princess Magogo Stadium as their training venue.

Stallions post warning signals for Eagles, Chipolopolo What’s hot? nother brace by Moumouni Dagano with Al Sailiya Five days after his brace against Al Rayyan, Al Sailiya’s Burkina Faso international striker Moumouni Dagano provided another on Thursday against Al Arabi, during the sixth week of the Qatar championship. His team finally had to share points following their opponent’s equaliser at the end of the clash, but the Stallion will be happy with his five goals in six matches this season. Abdoul Razak Traoré’s seventh goal with Lechia Gdansk Burkina Faso striker Abdoul Razak Traoré struck again in Poland on Sunday in the tenth week of the championship. His team went on


Moumouni Dagano

to suffer a defeat at home against Lechia Varsovia 1-2, but the international Stallion cannot be displeased with his seventh championship goal of the season. Charles Kaboré’s assist with Marseille Olympique Marseille finally enjoyed the sweet taste of victory again on Sunday during the eleventh week of the Ligue 1, when they outclassed Ajaccio 2-0. Burkina Faso’s defensive midfielder Charles Kaboré provided the assist for André Ayew for the first goal of the match with a skilful header. Lyon and Bakary Koné’s ace performance against Bastia Despite their numerical inferiority following the expulsion of Dejan Lovren at the half-hour mark, Lyon and their young

Burkina Faso defender Bakary Koné nevertheless gave Bastia a hiding 5-2 on Sunday in Gerland, during the eleventh week of the Ligue 1. Jonathan Pitroipa’s performance against Reims Rennes and their Burkina Faso striker Jonathan Pitroipa beat Reims 1-0 on Saturday, during the eleventh week of the Ligue 1. The very agile Stallions international provoked the expulsion of Senegalese defender Pape Ndiaye Souaré in the 15th minute of play. What’s not? Alain Traoré’s match exit and injury Lorient and Alain Traoré were outclassed 2-0 in Brest on Saturday in the Ligue 1. After suffering a thigh injury, the Stallions midfielder had to leave the pitch in the 69th minute.

Jonathan Pitroipa



PICTORIAL 1\ Ajax winger Ryan Babel believes Manchester City lack team spirit due to the number of egos in the squad. Ajax claimed a 3-1 victory at the Amsterdam ArenA to leave City’s hopes of progress to the second round of the Champions League hanging by a thread. 2\ New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams, Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis of Britain and US sprinter Allyson Felix have been shortlisted for IAAF award. 3\ European Ryder Cup feel is everywhere these days, and the 2012 Gary Player Invitational (GPI) is no exception with legends Ian Woosnam here ready to join the field in fund-raising extravaganza. 4\ Roger Federer began his bid for a seventh ATP World Tour Finals title with a comfortable win over Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic. With loud backing from a big following at London’s O2 Arena, the defending champion eased to a 6-3 6-1 win. 5\ Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, has revealed that Ronaldo was one of his heroes - but not his Portuguese rival. “Ronaldo was my hero,” Messi was quoted as saying in the latest edition of British football magazine FourFourTwo, referring to the Brazilian Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, not Real Madrid’s Cristiano, with whom he is vying for the FIFA Ballon d’Or.








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* The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer. * Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than the entire Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined. * Marilyn Monroe had six toes. (rumour) * All US Presidents have worn glasses. Some just didn't like being seen wearing them in public. * Walt Disney was afraid of mice. * Pearls melt in vinegar.

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Yesterday’s answer

. . . putting the people first


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE The general view in the National Assembly is that power must not be excercised by any individual excerpt if the legislature...takes a decsion about it. – Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman Senate Finance Committee on the President's massive waiver powers

SPORTS Mango people in a Banana Republic LA TEST LATEST AWC semifinals

Banyana fired up for Falcons


anyana Banyana will adopt a 'no fear' approach' when they face Nigeria in the semi-final of the 8th CAF African Women Football Championship, to be played at the Nkoantoma Stadium in Bata today. South Africa have played the Nigerians twice this year in international friendly matches, which ended 1-1 in Rustenburg and goalless in Lagos. Veteran Banyana midfielder Portia Modise, who scored in the international friendly played in Rustenburg on June 3, said the Nigerians fielded their full strength team during the friendly matches and believes Banyana can break the mental block to record their first-ever win over the Super Falcons. Banyana finished as the bronze medalists at the African showpiece event two years ago, going down to Equatorial Guinea in the semi-final, but beating Cameroon in the play-off match for third spot. At this year's tournament, the South Africans finished second on the Group A log, recording wins against Senegal (1-0) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (41) and went down (1-0) to the hosts, Equatorial Guinea in the opening fixture. Against the Falcons though, they would need more than talk to beat the Precious Dede led squad that is poised to sustain their conquest over them. Stella Mbachu, Perpetua Nkwocha, Esther Sunday and others are sure to want to keep the fire burning against the South Africans and thus secure the ticket for the final. The Nigerians want to retain the trophy they won two years ago incidentally at the expense of South Africa in when they hosted. Coach Kadiri Ikhana was mandated to win the trophy as pre-condition for retaining his job. Equatorial Guinea, the hosts, will take on Cameroon in the second semi-final to be played in Malabo. UEFA Champions League results Man City v Ajax Dynamo Kiev v FC Porto Olympiacos v Montpellier Schalke 04 v Arsenal Anderlecht v Zenit Real Madrid v B/Dortmund PSG v Dinamo Zagreb AC Milan v Malaga


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803


ave you seen the one who is haggling over the price of a hosepipe while his house is on fire? That’s the Federal Republic of Nigeria for you! Malam Mohammed Haruna, that very factual and influential writer who has mentored so many in Journalism, described the issue as “easily the most important and most controversial of all assumptions of the year”. He is talking about the raging dispute between the legislative and the Executive arms of the government on whether the price of crude oil, which is the chief means of money for the country, should be projected at USD75 per barrel in the 2013 budget as the government wanted or priced at USD 80 as the lower chamber of Parliament insists. The Senate, which sought to close the gap between the two, bench-marked the crude price at USD 78. My issue is with the Parliament and the government. Is this the most important problem confronting the country as to warrant all this time and energy? As if someone was determined to show the world that we live in shameless times and that corruption is our way of life, the major characters on a factfinding committee on oil revenues chose the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa to stage a play that tells the story of Nigeria’s decline in propriety and moral standing. By the way, I hope that the bitter exchange between the chairman of the committee, Malam Nuhu Ribadu and the the Vice Chairman, Steven Oronsaye, will ring a bell to the President, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck that government officials, under his watch are no longer ashamed of scams given the in-your-face debauchery in the oil sector. Isn’t it simply amazing, compounding and incomprehensible that at the time the whole world has been jolted by the leaked Ribadu report of the mind-blowing corruption going on in the country’s oil sector, our officials seem not to care but are, instead, focused on inter-personal and ego wars and engaged in academic debates about whether oil should be projected at this or that price. Of what significance is this debate? If oil at USD150 did not deliver food, water, and basic infrastructure to the teeming masses, what benefit do the ordinary people expect to get with oil at USD75 or 80? Does it make sense to anybody at this time that both parliament and

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Garba Shehu

Malam Nuhu Ribadu the executive get engrossed in a shouting match on whether oil is sold for 75, 78 or 80 dollars when the proceeds of sale are lost, squandered, frittered, pocketed, or remain unpaid with the oil majors? Does it matter to Nigerian masses at what price when 60-70 percent of every dollar is mismanaged or outrightly stolen? Reports say that the Ribadu Committee of 21 produced a 141page report which they earlier handed to oil minister, Alison Madueke. The Nation, in an editorial published on Tuesday, accused the Petroleum Minister of attempting to cover up these findings. In that leaked report, first published from London by Reuters, the operations of the Nigerian government agencies charged with managing oil and gas resources have been “fraught with lack of accountability, weak legislation and huge losses as a result of oil theft, and shortchanging of government by oil firms through unpaid royalties and signature bonuses”. Government agencies are required to refund a whopping sum of N2.8 trillion which they unlawfully removed or held back from the federation account. The National Mirror, quoting from the report, said that there were inconsistencies in the

pattern of allocation of 445,000 barrels per day to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and prices paid for the allocation over the 10 year period covered by the investigation. In this area alone, government may have been shortchanged of the amount of five billion United States Dollars. The Ribadu Committee found that the exchange rate used in arriving at the Naira equivalent of the amounts payable for the domestic crude allocation were different from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official sales for six of the 10 years reviewed. The potential underpayment under this section is estimated at N89.6billion. According to the report as quoted by the National Mirror, there are billions of dollars of unpaid debts from signature bonuses and royalties. It is unthinkable but yet true that international oil traders buy crude oil without any formal contracts. Multi-national oil companies, Addax and Shell reportedly owed Nigeria USD1.5 billion and USD874 million in unpaid royalties. It is clear from the Ribadu report that a conspiracy exists between Nigerian officials and oil companies and such traders to just help themselves to our oil assets. There is a free-for-all going on in the oil sector and no one seemed ready to do anything about it. Deducible from the report is also the fact that in this country, both government and bureaucrats jointly plot to exploit the common people. They use agencies such as the EFCC to create some drama to fool the people and show the world that we are a mango people in a banana republic. This was until January this year when the Nigerian people poured out on the streets to protest the unilateral decision of the government to remove oil subsidies. The government which set up the Ribadu Committee, along with two others upon the instinct of survival had chosen to sit on the report and in our usual tradition

do nothing about them until the sense of patriotism in one of the members led him to leak it to the Reuters. Now, as it is, you cannot use your palm to cover the sun. The report is out there in the open and nobody should dare to cover anything of it. This government is under the shadows of the Peoples Democratic Party which claims that it instills probity and honesty and stands for such policies. So far, the ruling party has remained mute as its government continues to sidetrack reforms and policies that were once the hallmarks of the PDP. Economic offenders walk the streets free. Political leaders are accumulating money like sky rockets. Surely the party needs to explain these contradictions. As things stand, the average Nigerian man, especially from the village, thinks that the whole system, not just the oil sector is in the hands of demons. Anyone in that party headquarters who wants to be taken seriously talking about reforms and change should pick up the broom (okay, mop if they dislike the broom) to start cleaning up the oil sector. The Government and the legislature must stop their shadow – boxing over the cost price of crude oil. It is of no use in a situation where the proceeds of oil sales are squandered and lost. Let them show their serious side by saving the country from the rapists and demons riding roughshod over the oil sector. When he came hard on the former bank chief executives that were diverting depositors’ funds into their private business and engaged in heavy risk investments with customers’ money, Nigerians commended CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s guts to deal with these seemingly untouchable bank chiefs. At an award ceremony to honour him for the banking reforms, which was organized by Silver Bird Communications, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said it is only in Nigeria that you need courage to punish a crook. Impunity is at the root of growing corruption and government’s paralysis to deal with high profile crooks. It is not surprising why crooked businessmen and other offenders seek shelter under the roof of the ruling parties in Africa to avoid accountability by donating billions to the party in power. President Jonathan should, however, demonstrate courage to deal decisively with these scams in the oil sector, no matter how connected the perpetrators are. Can he? Will he?

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: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 07, November, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 07, November, 2012 Edition