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Vol. 8 No. 100

Friday, August 10, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Ramadan 22, 1433 AH


Insecurity: Gaidam urges Damaturu residents not to flee By Richard Ihediwa


obe state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, has urged residents of Damaturu, the state capital, not to flee the city, assuring that strategic steps were being taken to ensure security of lives and

property in the area. This is coming against the backdrop of reports that residents of the state capital were leaving for other parts of the state following rumours that the Boko Haram sect will launch further attacks on the city. The governor who said that

the rumors had caused panic in the minds of hard working, law abiding residents thereby affecting normal day-to-day business and social activities, however urged the residents to remain in the city and go about their normal, legitimate businesses.

He said his administration will continue to support the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) in their effort at restoring in the state and called on the residents to remain calm and stay confident in the security measures adopted to safeguard life and property. Gaidam, in a statement signed

by his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, urged the people of the state to cooperate and show understanding and patience with regard to ongoing JTF operations around even as he assured that everything necessary will be done Contd on Page 2

Crisis: Hausa/Fulani leaders reject Jang panel report ď Ź Ask Jonathan to implement only Lar, Abisoye reports By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


eaders of the Hausa/Fulani community in troubled Plateau state yesterday rose from a crucial meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan insisting that the report of the committees set up by the Plateau state government must be thrown into the trashcan for peace to reign. This is coming barely 48 hours after the President held a similar meeting with Berom leaders, who on their own part, demanded for the implementation of the Jang panel report as well as those of the other panels. The President's meeting with the Hausa/ Fulani leaders, which started Wednesday night lasted until the early hours of yesterday with the delegation led by a former Minister of state for Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Na-kande, maintaining that government should implement only the Abisoye Investigative Panel report and the report of the Advisory Committee headed by Chief Solomon Lar. Justifying his group's position in a chat with State House correspondents, Nakande noted that the commissions of inquiry set up by the Plateau state government under Governor Jonah Jang had lost contemporary relevance and

Clinton tasks Jonathan on insecurity >> PAGE 2

hence should be discarded. “Most of the commissions of inquiry, especially those that had been set up by Plateau government, have lost contemporary relevance but we are confident that the ones that had been set up by the federal government, especially the retired General Abisoye report as well as the Advisory Committee on Jos Crisis headed by Solomon Lar; we are comfortable with that. The rest are in fact subjudice and therefore, cannot be implemented�, he argued. The rejection of the report by the committee set up by the state followed insistence by the Hausa/ Fulani community that it was lopsided and does not inspire peaceful coexistence of the various dissenting groups in the state. Addressing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, the Protem National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, gave insight into some of the grievances of the Hausa Fulani community which included disagreement over cattle grazing reserves as well as the indigenes/settlers dichotomy in the state. He appealed to the federal government to hasten action on the provision of grazing reserves for herdsmen in Plateau saying Contd on Page 2

R-L: President Goodluck Jonathan, U.S. Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, during her visit to the President, yesterday at the State House in Abuja. PHOTO: JOE OROYE (Story on Page 2)

Insecurity: Residents flee Okene >> PAGE 3

Why investors fail in Nigeria, by World Bank

Ramadan Timing for Abuja

>> PAGE 3

See other towns on Page 3

Magrib 6.50

Alfijr 5.10





Clinton wants Jonathan to take tougher decisions on insecurity



By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem





resid ent Goodluck Jonathan yesterday at the State House, Abuja held talks with the United States Secretary of State, Hilary Rodlam Clinton, on the security situation in the country and other crucial matters. Clinton charged her host to take tougher measures in combating insecurity in parts of the country, especially the ongoing insurgency of the Boko Haram sect, pledging the support of the United States government in all efforts taken to fight terrorism in Nigeria. The Secretary of State, who is on a tour of seven African countries, assured President Jonathan that the United States would stand by and work with Nigeria to ensure the success of on-going reforms. She expressed delight that President Jonathan appreciated the commitment of President Barack Obama to the partnership between Nigeria and the US, saying "we intend to remain very supportive on your reform efforts. “I appreciate that you know how committed United States and the Obama administration is to our partnership with your













Kogi to soon join oil producing states, says Kogi lawmaker, Page 37

International 32-34 Digest








WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU The Peoples Daily wants to hear from you with any news and pictures you think we should publish. You can send your news and pictures to:

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country. We consider it absolutely vital to our biNational commission which as you have mentioned has helped us to expand and deepen our cooperation on full range of issues. “We are working on economic matters, the improvement of productivity in agriculture, education and health, security, diversification of your economy and so much more. “Thank you for mentioning the work we did together on the election. We were also very supportive of anti corruption reform efforts, more transparency in the work that you and your team are also championing because we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless but the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all NigeriansSouth, East, West, every young boy and girl to have chance to fulfill his God given potential. “We want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary,” she assured. Speaking earlier, President Jonathan praised Mrs. Clinton for raising the relationship

between Nigeria and US since assumption of office four years ago. He noted that “within this period of being Secretary of State, she has raised the relationship between Nigeria and America to a very high level that we have never reached for quite some time”. “She has been very supportive. And of course the President of America, President Obama is also quiet passionate about Africa and Nigeria. He has always been very supportive of us for the past four years. “From the days I came in as Vice President especially that period when we faced a lot of challenges due to the illness of my late boss. “And the support they gave us helped to stabilise this country. When we insisted we must conduct an election that is free and fair, they were very supportive. “They gave us moral support, technical support to INEC and assisted us to make sure that we conducted elections that national and international observers declared it as quiet free and fair.” On arrival at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Mrs. Clinton was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olusegun

Ashiru and Nigeria's Ambassador to US, Prof Adobowale Adefuye. She immediately headed for the State House. She arrived at the Presidential Villa around 3.52pm and proceeded upstairs, where she held a one-on-one meeting which lasted about 15 minutes with President Jonathan. The meeting was later expanded to accommodate members of the National Security Council. The expanded meeting, it was gathered, discussed the security challenge confronting the nation. Even though, details of the discussion were not available, it was learnt that the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram sect featured prominently. In attendance were the National Security Adviser; Col Sambo Dasuki, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin; Chief of Army Staff; Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The Secretary of States also held meeting with officials of anticorruption agencies in the country at the residence of the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terence McCulley before leaving for Accra, Ghana last night.

Hausa/Fulani leaders reject Jang panel report Contd from Page 1 such would address the protracted communal conflicts between farmers and herdsmen. “The issue of the conflict between cattle herdsmen and farmers which some people have basically said is responsible for some of these crises, we have appealed to Mr. President to address this issue. This is so that the cattle herdsmen in Plateau state, especially those in problem areas like Jos South, Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Bassa, have the grazing reserves. With the grazing reserves, the conflicts between cattle herdsmen and farmers will be reduced to a minimum level and when that is done, reprisal attacks will end”. Bayari also urged the

government to address the issue of indigenes/settlers dichotomy in Plateau, saying that Fulani herdsmen were not settlers in Plateau. “The Fulani man has been living in Plateau state for 7,000 years; he is still within Plateau, but every year on seasonal basis, he moves from one place to the other. He does not settle in one place because he does not have the luxury of staying in one place because he has cattle to look after. This does not mean that because he cannot stay in one place but based on his occupational style, you say that he is a settler or he does not belong there.” President Jonathan had in the midnight of Tuesday held a similar meeting with elders of

Beroms in the state who called for the implementation of all the reports of the various committees of inquiry constituted by both the Plateau and the Federal Government on the crisis. The Berom elders, led by former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service and Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Buba Gyang, had told the President that implementing the reports of all the previous probe panels were germaine to the resolution of the lingering crisis on the Plateau. A source at the meeting however revealed that the leaders of the two groups were told to submit a written report of the exact provisions they want implemented.

The Hausa/Fulani leaders will also be expected to submit their own report which will be studied before a general meeting of both communities with the President is scheduled. When newsmen asked Gyang to name the particular report which the elders suggest the government implement, he said with emphasis, “All of them are relevant. There are the judicial commission reports, there are some administrative committee reports but they carry some information, all information is very vital for the resolution of these problems. So we will suggest that government set up a committee to see what they can dig out of those reports and the way forward”.

Gaidam urges Damaturu residents not to flee Contd from Page 1 – and will be done within the bounds of propriety – to ensure normalcy in the state capital. The statement reads in part; “The attention of the state government has been drawn that some residents of the state capital, Damaturu have in the recent days been leaving to other parts of the state. “Available information shows

that these people were leaving on the basis of rumours being spread in Damaturu that the Boko Haram sect will launch further attacks on the city. These rumours have caused panic in the minds of hard working, law abiding residents thereby affecting normal day-to-day business and social activities. “The Yobe State Government wishes to call on all residents of

the state capital to remain in the city and go about their normal, legitimate businesses. “The state government will continue to give every necessary support to officers and men of the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) in their effort at restoring security and ensuring the protection of life and property of the people in Damaturu and all across the state. “The governor assures the

people that everything necessary will be done – and will be done within the bounds of propriety – to ensure normalcy in the state capital,” the statement read. The statement also quoted the governor as urging the people to use the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan to pray fervently to God to restore peace and security in the state and the nation in general.




R-L: Minister of Culture and Tourism Chief Edem Duke, giving a charity trophy presented by 5th Chukker Polo Club, Kaduna in honour of Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, yesterday at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Why investors fail in Nigeria, by World Bank By Abdulwahab Isa


he World Bank yesterday acknowledged that Nigeria is a fertile ground for investment but listed lack of infrastructure, access to credit and corruption as major factors accounting for investments failures in the country. The assessment of the global bank stemmed from investment climate survey it conducted on 26 states of the federation for the year 2011. The survey reviewed the experiences of over 3000 business owners in the states, focusing on the areas that adversely affected their businesses. The report from the survey was launched in Abuja by the World Bank Country Director, Ms. Marie

Francoise Marie-Nelly in an event that was attended by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga and Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state. She said the biggest problem in Nigeria was that of poor infrastructure, especially the prevalent epileptic electricity supply as well as lack of access to credit. “Nigeria has the most attractive environment for investment because Nigeria is a large market in the continent; it is the second largest economy in the continent. It is a market that any investor cannot ignore with over 160 million people and a gateway to the ECOWAS. For me, while we say the country’s current investment climate could be better

in terms of providing electricity, access to finance and other things, you should also look at the huge opportunities for investment in Nigeria. She continued: “The basic lesson from the World Bank Assessment Report titled “Nigeria, An Assessment of the Investment Climate in 26 states,” is that there are critical constraints in Nigeria that impede the development of the non-oil sector. Some of the critical issues include electricity, which affects the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises.” She observed that the cost of labour in Nigeria is actually lower than most of Nigeria’s competitors such as Brazil and South Africa and urged the governments at all levels to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities that exist in the country to foster economic growth.

Residents flee Okene as security men comb town for terrorists By Richard Ihediwa with agency report


esidents of troubled Okene, in Kogi state are now fleeing the town for neigbouring towns in Edo, Ondo and Ekiti state as soldiers and policemen comb the area in search of weapons said to have been stolen from the soldiers killed by gunmen in the town on Tuesday. Eyewitness said the security

men embarked on house-to-house search for the said weapons even as they mounted intensive manhunt for the culprits. Also, reinforced checkpoints have been mounted at strategic points in the town while vehicle and passengers were thoroughly searched. The two slain soldiers were among those detailed to restore order after the Monday killing of 20 worshippers at the Deeper Life

INEC gets 3 new commissioners


hai rman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega on Thursday in Abuja swore in three new states Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC). The new RECs are Mr. Habu Zarma-Hanni from Gombe State, Mr. Ikoiwak Abasi (Akwa Ibom) and Baritor Kpagih (Rivers). Jega urged the new appointees to see their appointments as very

challenging and part of efforts toward repositioning INEC to respond to its challenges. He said their appointments were coming at a time when INEC was being reorganized to prepare for improved elections in 2015 as INEC was working toward meeting the expectations of Nigerians on deepened democracy based on the delivery of credible elections. (NAN)

Bible Church by gunmen. Kogi Police Public Relations Officer, Simon Ile, said that policemen were sent to Okene for what he called a “mop up” exercise. He said the security agents would sustain the operation until all the culprits behind the killings are apprehended and the arms stolen from the dead soldiers recovered. The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mohammed Katsina, said on Wednesday that four persons had been arrested in connection with the killings. “The Inspector General gave us a marching order to get those responsible for the recent killings in Kogi. We have so far arrested four people including a woman. We trailed them to their hideout,” Katsina told Reuters by phone. Currently, there is tension in the town as shops banks, eateries and other businesses were closed.




Aba Abakaliki Abeokuta Abuja Akure Argungu Ankpa Auchi Azare Bama Bauchi Benin Bichi Bida Birnin Gwari Birnin Kebbi Biu Calabar Damaturu Daura Dutse Enugu Funtua Gombe Gwoza Gumi Gusau Gwadabawa Hadejia Ibadan Ife Ilorin Jalingo Jere Jos Kabba Kafanchan Keffi/Nasarawa Kaduna Kano Katsina Kontagora Lafia Lagos Lokoja Maiduguri Makurdi Malumfashi Minna Port Harcourt Potiskum Ringim Shagamu Sokoto Warri Yola Zaria Cotonou-Benin Ndjamena-Chad Niamey-Niger Younde-Cameroun

6.46 6.44 7. 03 6.50 6.54 7 .0 5 6.46 6.51 5.42 6.28 6.41 6.53 6.50 6.55 6.53 7.07 6.30 6.41 6.35 6.50 6.46 6.46 6.54 6 .37 6.28 7. 02 6.55 7. 03 6.44 7.01 7. 00 7.01 6.33 6.49 5.44 6.54 6 .4 7 6.44 6.51 6.49 6.54 6.58 6.46 7. 02 6.51 6.30 6.44 6.54 6.54 6.46 6 .37 6.49 7.01 7. 03 6.52 6.29 6.51 7 .0 5 6.33 7 .1 6 6 .27

5.12 5.12 5.29 5.10 5.21 5.13 5.10 5.17 4.53 4.40 4.59 5.22 5.01 5.15 5.11 5.16 4.41 5.13 4.46 4.58 4.58 5.13 5.06 4.53 4.42 5.13 5.06 5.11 4.53 5.26 5.23 5.22 5.03 5 .0 7 5.02 5.17 5.05 5.05 5 .0 7 5.00 5.02 5.16 5.05 5.29 5.14 4.41 5 .0 7 5.02 5.12 5.18 4.52 5.00 5 .2 7 5.11 5.22 5.25 5.05 5.34 4.44 5.22 5.01

RECOMMENDED DU’A FOR DAY 22 Pray a 8 Raka’at, after Nawafil. In every Raka’ah, after the recitation of Al-Faatihah, recite Sura Al-Zilzaal or any Surah. After the Salaam recite 100 times: “Allaahumma Swalli ‘Alaa Muh’ammadin Wa Aali Muhammad.” Then say this DU’A: Allahummaf-tah lee feehi abwaaba fadhliKa wa anzil ‘alayya feehi barakaatiKa wa waffiqnee feehi li-muujibaati mardhaatiKa wa askinnee feehi buhubuu-haati jannatiKa Yaa mujeeba da’watil-mudh-dharreen. Meaning: O Allah throw open the doors of Thy generosity for me in this month, and make available to me multiplying blessings, keep me attached with that which obtains Thy pleasure, allot a central place for me right in the middle of the Paradise, O He who hears the cries of the distressed needy. Source: Mafatihul Jinan



Thug stabs traffic marshal to death in Gombe


suspected political thug, Suleman Abubakar, on Wednesday stabbed a Traffic Marshal, Ado Abubakar, to death for undisclosed reasons. The victim was one of the 1185 unemployed youths rehabilitated and trained by the Gombe State Government to serve as traffic and environment marshals. Abubakar was attacked at about 12.30 p.m. on the fateful day at the premises of Gombe State Transport Service (GSTS), otherwise called Gombe Line. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Fwaje Atajiri, confirmed the incident. He said the deceased was stabbed with a knife by the suspect, who is now helping the police in their investigations. “Yesterday, at about 12.30 hours, there was an incident at Gombe Line park, where one Ado Abubakar, Male, was stabbed by one Suleman Abubakar, who lives in Tudun Wada, Pantami area of Gombe.” Atajiri said the policemen on special patrol rushed to the scene and apprehended the offender, having received the information about the incident. In recent times, there have been several of the incidences involving the rehabilitated youths and those still involved in thuggery in the state.(NAN)

Pharmacy is key to health sector – VC From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


he Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Hayward Babale Mafuyai, has said without pharmacy, healthcare delivery will have no credibility. The VC stated this at the opening ceremony of the 37th annual national convention of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students held at the University of Jos. The VC who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Professor Ibrahim Musa, said the pharmacy profession was key to healthcare delivery as they are highly needed in the health sector not only in Nigeria but the world over. According to him, “pharmacists are celebrated and highly needed in Healthcare service delivery not only in Nigeria but the world over and because of that, upcoming pharmacists must take the profession seriously to make themselves relevant in the profession”.

You are a fake Awoist, PDP slams Bisi Akande T From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the SouthWest has described the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande as a fake Awoists, saying; “it is an insult for a figure-head chairman of a party of money launders, ex-convicts, certificates and identity forgers like the ACN, who himself sacked thousands of workers when he was Osun state governor to be sermonising about Awoism.”

PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, said it was laughable that Chief Akande, who never joined late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s political family until 1978 would be calling anyone a fake Awoist. The PDP said; “It is on record that Chief Bisi Akande was not a member of the Action Group (AG), the original Awolowo party during the first republic. Instead of AG, he was in Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s National Council of

Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). “It is also on record that Chief Akande opposed the progressive Awolowo’s government in the defunct Western Region. Even when NCNC and AG formed United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), he didn’t join. He only joined Awolowo’s party, Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in 1978. When the late Orangun of Ila, Oba William Adetona Ayeni was leading the AG, Akande and others were leading the NCNC onslaught against Awolowo in Ila Orangun.

Famine: Ibaji community calls for NEMA intervention From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he people of Ibaji local government area of Kogi state have called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist them to address the impending famine in the area. They made the appeal through their local council Liaison Officer 1, Mr. Ogu David, during the visit of the Vice President Zone D of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Mr. Nathaniel Omale to the area. Ogu said the ravaging flood in the area has washed away their farms and other valuables thereby leaving them with no means of survival. “Famine is imminent in the area unless the Agency (NEMA) and the state SEMA do something urgent to provide relief for the people", he said. They said they are being gradually cut off from the rest of the state, saying that the issue requires urgent and decisive measure to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

Kogi Speaker condemns killing in Okene From Sam Egwu, Lokoja

T L-R: Kaduna state Governor, Patrick Yakowa, welcoming National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Malam Mohammed Garba to his office, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

FG approves local manufacturers of students’ PCs By Muhammad Sada


here are strong indications that the market for locally manufactured personal computers in the country will soon get a huge boost as the Minister of Communications and Technology, Omobola Johnson recently unfolded plans by the Federal By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Ministry of Works has received a total of N44 billion for construction of roads even as it said it has achieved 96 percent implementation of its 2012 budget. Works Minister, Mike Onolememe disclosed this yesterday while briefing State House correspondents after making presentation on his Ministry's budget performance to President Goodluck Jonathan. The Works Minister said the Highways Department got N38 billion and already expended about N37 billion on projects and programmes which represents

Government to partner with Nigeria-based indigenous PC manufacturers, including Beta Computers Limited, on a students PC ownership scheme. Johnson gave this indication when she visited Speedster Computers brand manufacturing plant of Beta Computers Limited.

She disclosed that the scheme was a public-private arrangement expected to equip Nigerian students in tertiary institutions for the first phase, with notebook computers, relevant content and broad band connectivity needed to face the challenges of bridging the digital divide and emerging world knowledge economy.

he Speaker of the Kogi state House or Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello has condemned in strong terms the attack on the Deeper Life Church and the killing of two soldiers in central area of the state. The Speaker equally commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Kogi state governor, Captain Idris Wada, for their prompt actions which has brought about calm in the area. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa-Amoka, the Speaker also called on the liaison officers across the five local government areas of Kogi central, to work with the security agents to bring the situation under control.

Works ministry gets N44bn, achieves 96 percent budget implementation about 96 per cent performance. According to him, no fewer than 12 road projects have been completed while 156 are ongoing. Mr. Onolememe, who was flanked by his Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, said "today we made a presentation to Mr. President on matters arising from the implementation of Ministry of Works 2012 budget. We briefed him on our projects and Programme and our outlook for 2013."Specifically, in the

High Ways Department, about N38 billion has been released and we have expended about N37 billion on projects and programmes which represents about 96 per cent performance. We also briefed Mr. President that 12 roads projects have been completed and 156 are ongoing". The Minister said his ministry was committed to achieving the key performance indicatorsreducing travel time by 30 per cent, reducing cost of maintaining vehicles by at least

25 per cent as well as reducing accidents rates on our roads by as much as 30 per cent. He also talked about roads that are being given priority such as the Benin-Ore-Shagamu Expressway, LokojaAbuja expressway as well as Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Lagos-Ibadan expressway the minister said is very topical sayin “we are engaging the concessioner. The government is determined to deliver that road in the best interest of Nigerians," he assured.


Police recovers arms From Matthew Aramunde in Lagos n August 6 at about 4.48 pm, policemen attached to Trinity Police Station recovered one K2 and two AK-49 rifles in a scrap Daewoo Racer S/Car with Reg. No. AZ 234 MUS. This much was revealed by the Lagos State Police Command Image-maker Ngozi Braide. The vehicle according to her, was reportedly sold by one auctioneer, Alhaji Momoh Gani of No.37, Ibafo Street, Olodi Apapa to one Yahaya Idris of No.75, Bale Street, Ajegunle. The transaction was said to have taken place in a mechanic workshop at Ajegunle. The case is under investigation at State C.I.D Panti, Yaba and those arrested would be arraigned as soon as investigation were concluded.



Edo seals NTA, PPMC, NIPOST over tax default By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


do State Board of Internal Revenue has sealed up the Benin Network Centre of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), along TV Road, and transmission station located at Aduwawa over alleged tax default running into millions of naira.

Other federal establishments operating in Benin City that were also sealed by the Board include the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) as well as the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST). Director of Tax Intelligence and Enforcement of the Internal Revenue Board, Mr. Victor Okube

said a court order empowering them to seal the defaulting establishments was obtained by the Board, adding that a month’s notice was served on the establishments, after which two months' grace was further given before they decided to embark on the exercise. "This is just the beginning,

we will continue tomorrow. We will not relent until they pay up their tax arrears," he said. There were indications that more federal offices would be sealed if they failed to comply with notices served on them to pay up their tax arrears. NTA and some other federal establishments were also shut last year over similar offence.

Dana Crash: Negligence of flight crew responsible for crash - Witnes From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


retired pilot with the defunct Nigerian Airways, Alexander Omaghomi, yesterday, told the ongoing Coroner's court investigating the fatalities that occurred as a result of the June 3 Dana plane crash, that, the negligence of the flight crew to adhere to required emergency guidelines led to the tragedy. Omaghomi, also known as Captain Tito who said he had more than 32 years' experience as a pilot, yesterday told the court presided over by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe that his opinion of the preliminary report of the Accident Investigation Bureau was that the pilot and his crew neglected to keep to necessary checklists to prevent fatalities. Omaghomi, while being led in evidence by Femi Falana (SAN), explained that checklists are items and actions you take in the operations of a plane. The ex-pilot said his view of the AIB' s report was that "it was a disorganised cockpit" and that "It became a flight that nobody had control". According to Omaghomi, the pilot did not call for help when he should have done, that is at the time when the plane had already lost two engines. He further stated that the rules are that no pilot flies for more than 100 hours in a month.

Pensioners protesting delay in payment of their entitlements, yesterday the Federal Secretariat, in Abuja.

Photo: Joe Oroye

I dies as clergy knocks down hawkers in Lagos From Mathew Aramunde, Lagos


wo young roadside hawkers, Ifeanyi Alegu, 18, and his brother Chinedu Alegu were reportedly knocked down by a vehicle on August 7 at about 11am while they displayed their wares. The car, a Toyota Camry saloon with Reg. No. BF 29 BDG driven by one Reverend Michael Adewale of Anglican Church Badagry, hit the hawkers in the meandering traffic on the busy Badagry Expressway. Sympathizers were said to have rushed the victims to a nearby hospital and before medical help could reached the duo, Ifeanyi died. His corpse has

been deposited at the public mortuary for autopsy while Chinedu is sa id t o b e r es p on d in g t o t r ea r tm e nt . T he c a se is u n de r i nve st i ga t io n a t B ad a gr y Police station. Mea n wh i le , po l ic e me n attached to Ijeshatedo Police Station on August 5 at about 12 pm, engaged some armed robbers in a shootout along Odo-Olowu Street, Ijeshatedo and in the process, one of the robbers was shot dead while o th e rs e s ca p ed wi t h bu l le t w ou n ds . T he ro b be r s h a d e ar l ie r robbed one Mustapha Kareem o f No .2 A, O lu b un mi A lo ng e S tr e et , Ij es h at e do of hi s motor bike.

Two live cartridges and the stolen motorcycle were recovered from the robbers.

The case is under investigation at State CID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

Group seeks peace in Kogi From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


group known as the Kogi Youth for Peace and Development Forum (KYPDF), yesterday, called on the Kogi state government to probe the violence in Okene. President of the forum, Comrade Onogu Collins Monday in a statement issued in Lokoja and made available to journalists said in view of the prevailing security challenges facing the state from terrorism and other crimes, there was need to find the remote and immediate cause. He said it is not enough for the

government to issue directives and refuse to implement them "as in the case of recent attacks on the Deeper life Church which confirmed that the perpetrators stay and live in the area". Onogu alleged that some politicians were not happy that appointments eluded them after all their efforts in the last election for Capt Idris Wada and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said after providing guns to "the boys" during election; the politicians abandoned them to their fate which brought about this untold violence on the state.

Psychiatrist attributes surge in depression to societal changes


consultant psychiatrist with the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Moses Audu, has attributed the rise in depression cases to rapid societal changes, job pressures and insecurity. Audu said yesterday in Jos that the relatively younger generation appeared more prone to depression because the society was changing ``very, very fast''. He said, "Such changes come

with lots of difficult demands, which people cannot cope with. "People have to meet with all kinds of demands - time, uncertain future, insecurity and the collapse of the extended family system that had left many fending for themselves. All these factors increase depression cases.'' According to the physician, the turnout of patients, who come to the hospital with depression cases have doubled in the last two years.

He listed other factors responsible for depression cases to include substances abuse - alcohol or hard drugs, as well family histories. Audu said, "Most people in our present society set unrealistic goals and targets for themselves, while others allow the tolls of their daily lives get a better part of them. "These usually lead to stress, and when this stress is not managed properly, the outcome can be

clinical depression.'' He said that every one occasionally felt stressed, but that the feeling was usually fleeting and could pass within a couple of days. Audu also said that aside stress, there were other factors that could increase the chances of depression in an individual. "Certain medications can lead to depression, especially the drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure.

"Once an individual, who takes such drugs begin to experience symptoms of depression, it is wise to see your doctor so that a different prescription can be given," he explained. The Consultant Psychiatrist said that depression could be treated before it could lead to further health complications " via the administration of anti-depressant drugs and the use of psychotherapy (talk therapy)". (NAN)



Tourism road show to strengthen bilateral ties - NTDC By Etuka Sunday

T L-R: Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onolememen, and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Rueben Abati, briefing journalists after their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the State House in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

he Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism D e v e l o p m e n t Corporation (NTDC) Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has described the Nigeria Tourism Road Show to U.S. as a wonderful experience, adding that it would strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. The NTDC boss stated this during the tour, which included stops in Jacksonville, Fla., Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. and featured visits with representatives

Group advocates relocation of destitutes in Kogi From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


gainst the backdrop of security challenges in Kogi state, a group, under the aegis of Kogi Re-birth (KRB), has called on the state government to relocate the destitute, and street urchins who have recently besieged Lokoja, the state capital from various states, saying they

constitute health and security hazards to the residents of the town. Chairman of the association, Mark Salihu, in a statement advocated that in view of the prevailing security challenges facing the state, there is need for proper scrutiny of those seen around public squares and government buildings.

He said that it is not proper for the government to give directives and refuse to implement it them, citing the case of recent order to flush out suspected hoodlums living in undeveloped properties and buildings in the state capital which was not carried out. Salihu alleged that some of the destitute seen in the town may sometimes be spying for

their sponsors, despite disguising as mentally deranged thereby diverting security attention when they want to create havoc. When the state commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mameh Memuna Patience, was contacted, she said her ministry is already looking for a way to tackle the situation.

Nigeria needs new constitution, says Don From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


university don, Prof. Kolawole Ogundowole has asked Nigerians to reject constitution amendment and rewrite a brand new constitution as the only recipe for the current challenges confronting the nation. The retired Prof. of Philosophy from University of

Lagos dropped this hint while delivering a lecture at the 55th anniversary of Self Government in Western Region organised by Atayese group in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. The guest speaker, who spoke on the theme "1957 Self Government: The Foundation for Yoruba Demand in the Ongoing Constitutional Review Process", charged traditional

rulers to lead the Yoruba in calling for the rejection of the present constitution amendment, insisting that Nigerians should fashion out a new constitution that would truly belong to Nigerians. Ogundowole also said Nigeria could not amend a structurally bad constitution but to rewrite what would reflect the true reality as well as redraw the

political map of the nation. He drummed support for Sovereign National Conference (SNC) saying the National Assembly could not rewrite a new constitution as many groups or tribes are not represented, adding that the National Assembly was a game of numbers and cruelty that could only be enjoyed "if you can force yourself into the system".

Clark challenges IBB to take a stand on Boko Haram By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, with Agency report


l d e r statesman, Chief Edwin Clark has challenged former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida to a public debate on national issues free from interference or aides. He also demanded that as a

prominent leader in the North, the former president should make his stand clear on the Boko Haram menace ravaging the region. Chief Clark posed the challenge in Abuja on Wednesday following a statement released by General Babangida on Monday, the 6th of August, describing him as “senile and senseless" in his

reaction to Mr. Clark's clamour that Babaginda should come out and condemn Boko Haram. The former Minister of Information observed that the former Head of State was yet to openly condemn the killings by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, which has claimed over a thousand lives. The Ijaw leader noted that General Babangida is yet to

take a stand on the matter, quipping that he (Babanginda) should instead redirect his outburst towards finding a permanent solution to the Boko Haram menace in the north. Chief Clark recalled the role he played as an Ijaw leader, in the struggle to ensure that the amnesty programme for the militants is brought to fruition in the Niger-Delta.

from the U.S. media, sports and travel organisations. According to Runsewe, “Nigeria, the most populous West African coastal nation, offers travelers spectacular beaches, unique wildlife and vast expanses of unspoiled n a tu r e . During the road show, delegates from the destination met with American contacts from multiple outlets, including the PGA Tour, to discuss developing golf tourism opportunities in Nigeria.

Kwara govt tasks media on nation building From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has charged the Nigerian media to be more patriotic and to protect Nigeria's democracy which they have so much laboured for. Speaking during a courtesy visit to him in the government House by the crew of an international film, 'Monkey Men', being shot in the Kwara state capital, the Governor emphasised that Nigeria is not a failed state or about to become one. Ahmed, who acknowledged the multifaceted challenges facing the country, said that these challenges could be surmounted by building confidence in the people rather than creating a state of helplessness. He also said the establishment of a film village at the Kwara State University, Malete, was to boost the development of art and entertainment industry in the country and bridge the information gap about Nigeria in the developed world. Earlier, one of the crewmembers, a Hollywood actress, Stephanie Macbain, described Nigeria as a wonderful country full of opportunities despite the negative publicity accorded the country in the international media.

FG awards MMIA-Apakun road for N297.7m By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, approved the award of consultancy services for design of the second Niger Bridge and the expansion of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport- Apakun road in Lagos. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, stated this while briefing State House

Approves design of 2nd Niger Bridge correspondents after the Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. The second Niger Bridge project the minister said is a critical national infrastructure linking the southwest to South-East and connecting cities of Onitsha and Asaba. The contract for the transactional advisory services for

Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) of 2nd Niger Bridge was in favour of Messrs Roughton International Ltd in the sum of N325,638,828 with 16 months completion period. According to Maku, “MMIAApakun road is an important gateway to Nigeria and the City of Lagos. Government is therefore

concerned about the deplorable condition of the 2.8km dual carriage way. “It is because of the above that the Council today considered and approved the award of contract for the Transaction Advisory Services for Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) on MMIA-Apakun road, in favour of

Messrs Roughton International Ltd in the sum of N297, 74 6, 20 3” . Also, sequel to another memo brought to Council by the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, Council ratified President’s anticipatory approval of additional works on the subsisting contract No 5879 ( Dualisation of KanoMaiduguri Road Section 11: Shuwarin-Azare for the extension from Dutse-Kwanar Huguma.



L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, former  Minister of  State for Information and team Leader of Hausa Fulani  in  Plateau state, Hon. Dasuki  Nakande,  Alhaji  Sale  Bayeri, Alhaji Sanusi Mato, and Dr. Aliyu Tilde, during the Hausa Fulani peace meeting on Jos crisis with the president , yesterday at  the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Oyo state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi (2nd left) welcoming Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 11, Mr. Orubebe Ghandi Ebikeme (2nd right), during AIG’s visit to the governor, yesterday in Ibadan. With them are the state Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo (left), and the state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Tambari Yabo Mohammed (right). A photo-journalist with LEADERSHIP newspaper, Mr Benedict Uwalaka, assaulted during the release of the bodies of the DANA plane crash victims at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), on Wednesday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

L-R:  Guest Lecturer, Ustaz Abdulfatah Adeyemi, Chairman of the occasion, Senator Abubakar Sodangi, and special Guest,  Imam  Nurudeen Dindi, during the inauguration of new executives of Abuja Muslim Forum, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo




Achieving success in life S

uccess is not all about how you fall but about how you rise after each fall” here are some tips on success and how to bounce back after getting laid off: Getting laid off is never fun, but there are things you can do to make the period shorter and learn  on  how  to  device ways of achieving success from: as  a  British  philosopher once said, “ creative intelligence, its forms and activities is what makes a man” Jim Harvey Robinson. Try these tips and see how you can achieve success in life:  1.  Be  Proactive; reach out to business contacts and friends alike. I found by being honest and upfront about my situation, most were sympathetic and offered to help. If you feel comfortable, ask them, “Is there anyone else you know who I should be talking to?” This can be a very useful way to network without feeling pushy. 2. Some will say they will try to help you but then don’t followup; never take it personally.  People tend  to be  wrapped  up  in their own situations. 3. Employers are sympathetic to those who have been laid off; emphasize that your lay-off wasn’t performance related if  you can honestly say that is true. 4. Be open to diverse 1- Maintain a to-do list reate a to-do list and make it a habit to continually update it. Include urgent and non-urgent items so you’ll never forget or overlook anything again. Carry your list with you at all times, either in your iPhone or  your  daily agenda. Also, be sure to break down your projects and assignments into specific action points. For instance, instead of noting “Prepare Performance Reviews,” write: • Research absenteeism records on employees • Review personal files • Read employee goals • Assess performance • Prepare “Performance Review” documentation • Meet with employees to discuss reviews 2- Allocate your time Include an estimated time frame for each action point and the date by which the task must be completed. If the order in which you perform the tasks doesn’t matter, you might be able to accomplish something during unexpected pockets of free time. For instance, you could research information on the internet while waiting in your office for a conference call to begin. 3Set and respect deadlines Be realistic about setting deadlines and  strive  to meet them. It’s true that any task takes the exact amount of time allotted to it. Have you ever


e m p l o y m e n t opportunities; it helps to narrow down your focus but remain open to different industries and positions. If you are further along in your career, emphasize that your skills are transferable to the industry you are applying for

and give specific examples. 5. Take advantage of recruiter services; recruiters are well versed in their respective industries and will make sure you are prepared before interviews with potential employers. 6. Tap into

industries that  you  are passionate about and utilize recruiters who specialize in these areas. Read online resources and trade magazines to get “up to speed.” 7. Do n’t be afr aid to us e i n f o r m a t i o n a l int ervie ws t o  l earn   mo re

Sticking to plan noticed how quickly you can blitz through paperwork, delegate assignments and make decisions on the last day before your vacation? Although we tend to get a lot done when we’re under pressure, it is a lot less stressful and considerably more professional to establish and stick to an action plan. Avoid wasting time 4- Use your time wisely Consider accessing your email only at certain times of the day and let your voice mail pick up your calls to give you an uninterrupted hour or two. If possible, never touch the same piece of paper or e-mail twice. Do not open your mail unless you

have time to read it and take action on it; that is, reply to it, delegate it, file it or discard it. 5- Get organised Organize your desk, your hard-copy and computer files and your e-mail folders so you can find things easily. Far too much time is wasted searching for lost information. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “A place for everything, everything in its place.” 6- Stay on task Have a clearly designated “in” basket so people do not put things on your desk randomly. Have you ever returned from a meeting to find extra files, letters and documents all over your

desk? Instead of following your own schedule, you probably became sidetracked by someone else’s priorities. 7- Avoid disruptions If you have a door, close it occasionally. Having an “opendoor policy” for your staff is selfdefeating if you don’t have the time to really listen to their questions and concerns. If a coworker comes  to  your  desk when you’re too busy to chat, ask to set an alternate time to meet. Streamline teamwork 8Collaborate and cooperate Colleagues will expect your work to be done on time, so be sure to avoid any delays. You’ll have the same expectations of them. To be safe, build extra time into the project time line to counteract unexpected snags, miscommunications or missed deadlines. If your presentation

about a company or industry, or even to get your foot in the do or. Ca ll u p in ter esti ng pe ople an d  se e  i f  t hey’re willing to talk to you. If you de mons tra te y our in tere st th rou gh a n i nfo rmat ion al int ervi ew, many peop le w ill re memb er you wee ks or mo nth s l ater wh en an op por tun ity be com es a vai l a bl e . 8. Try  something  new; if the position isn’t a fit you can always switch again. 9. Once you have secured employment, think of your first three months on the job as a working interview.  You  want  to  make  sure  you  are the right fit for the position (and vice versa), as does the e m p l o y e r .     T a k e i n i t i a ti ve   a n d   c o m mu n i c a t e professionalism in  everything that you do. 10. After you have secured new employment, continue to network and  keep  strong relationships with recruiters and HR reps at companies you are interested in. This will prove particularly helpful should a lay-off ever happen again or should you later want to make a career move. Here are some tips to help you become active and proactive with your time in preparing the grounds for achieving success. Source: Proshare-Nigeria date is the 25th of the month, make sure you have everything scheduled for completion by the 23r d. 9- Avoid unnecessary follow-ups If you pass the buck or assign work to  someone  else,  let  it  go unless it is your specific responsibility to oversee it. Too many men waste valuable time listening to or reading reports about someone else’s project. If your colleagues’ research or business responsibilities do not impact your day-to-day work, job performance or career goals, you should only express an interest by way of supportive conversation. 10Cancel routine meetings Determine if meetings are absolutely necessary. If they are, establish an agenda and stay on track — start and end on time. If your presence is not essential for the entire weekly operations review meeting, ask your boss privately if it might be appropriate for you to excuse yourself early. Source: Wealth Report

QUOTE “A man who is furnished with arguments from the mint will convince his antagonist much sooner than one who draws them from reason and philosophy.” – Joseph Addison




The squandermania in Oyo state


ith every passing day, political leaders in the country give us reasons to be all the more convinced that they are indeed the problem with Nigeria. Their actions betray them as a lot who lack the commitment and the vision to fashion out enduring policies that will improve the living conditions of their impoverished people. It is this entrenched rudderless way of governance, over the years, that has made it possible for some of our state executives, for example, to be celebrating the building of roads as an achievement in this day and age. One clear case of misplacement of priorities was on show about a fortnight ago when the Oyo state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, took 15 of his commissioners and aides on a junket to the ongoing Olympic Games in London on the pretext of looking for foreign investors. Observers, however, say that the trip which was alleged to have cost the state government a staggering sum, in the range of N50 million to N60 million, was nothing but a shopping trip for the governor and his entourage. It is difficult not to agree with this viewpoint, considering the fact that the Olympics are hardly the right time to hold meaningful discussions with serious investors. The sheer number of the delegation also lends credence to this assertion. We are appalled by Governor

Ajimobi’s seeming recklessness in administering state resources more so that not long before this needless jamboree, the state suffered severe flooding which claimed about 100 lives with uncountable properties lost as well. Common sense should have dictated to the governor that victims of the disaster needed far more

While it is in order for opposition parties to keep the ruling party on its toes, they will be losing the moral high ground if they are seen not to be above board themselves attention than a trip in search of elusive foreign investors. The governor’s action is the more condemnable coming also a few weeks after the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Monsurat Olajumoke Sunmonu, ferried wives of the 31 members of the Assembly on what was described as “’wife support”’ training. The trip which was funded from the public till and drew the ire of many a

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

concerned citizen was approved by the state governor regardless. We are very disturbed by the seeming recklessness and apparent breach of the Constitution regarding the application of funds in the state. Such a trip which is not sanctioned by the Constitution ought not to have been approved by any governor who has a sense of duty to his people. We are curious as to why the rather active opposition party in the country, the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN], has not deemed it fit to call its governor to order as they are quick to do when other parties, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], step out of line. Of late, the ACN has been calling on the Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, to quit his position over the alleged involvement of his son in the fuel subsidy scam but seems to have ignored what is going on in Oyo state. While it is in order for opposition parties to keep the ruling party on its toes, they will be losing the moral high ground if they are seen not to be above board themselves. Although it is often said that resources are scarce, we are convinced that a more judicious use of what is available will go a long way to truly transform the fortunes of the people for good. What is needed are leaders who are prudent and have a vision and plan to actualise such vision.









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The curse of August had struck again By Martin Walker


ust five years ago Monday, the financial crisis started when the American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. filed for bankruptcy. Recognizing the property bubble was about to burst, hedge funds began to sell. BNP-Paribas froze two if its funds, barring investors from taking money out. On Aug. 10, 2007, the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank and the Banks of England and Japan responded with a coordinated flooding of the system with some $300 billion to fend off the tightening credit crunch. For a while, it seemed to work. What is it about this wretched month when the masters of the universe are on their yachts and private beaches? The great inflation began Aug. 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon went to Camp David for a weekend with his top financial advisers. Faced with a balance of payments crisis, Nixon overruled the contrary advice of

the then head of the Fed, Arthur Burns, and began to dismantle the Bretton Woods system, which had governed and stabilized the global economy since 1945. Nixon announced the first wage and price freeze in peacetime, imposed a surcharge on all imports and closed the gold window, finally ending the dollar’s last link to gold. Inflation followed. The Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries met in Beirut to adopt Resolution XXV.140. Noting that Nixon has in effect devalued the dollar, OPEC resolved to “take necessary action ... to offset the adverse effects on the per barrel real income of Member countries.” For the first time, the Saudi Oil Minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, in negotiations with BP and Exxon, first raised the prospect of an Arab oil embargo. The Yom Kippur War provided the opportunity, the oil price tripled and the inflationary tsunami flooded the rest of the decade. August has other somber

echoes. It was Aug. 3, 1914, that Germany launched the first world war by declaring war against France. Britain joined in Aug. 5. A quarter century later — Aug. 31, 1939 — Hitler ordered his Wehrmacht to invade Poland, launching World War II. War had become inevitable Aug. 23, when the totalitarian states of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany signed the RibbentropMolotov pact, agreeing with gruesome cynicism to carve up Poland between them. Echoes of these events are tenacious. Last week, one of Italy’s leading newspapers, Il Giornale, owned by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, ran a massive front-page headline proclaiming “The Fourth Reich.” It was accompanied by a photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel making an arm gesture that could be interpreted as a fascist salute. The story was the refusal of the ECB’s governing council to announce any painless new rescue package for Spain and Italy, for example, by buying up

Spanish and Italian bonds. The ECB said that it was prepared to help but only if the Spanish and Italian governments agreed formally to ask for support, which would require them to meet certain financial and policy conditions. Il Giornale saw this as an example of German financial bullying, in which the newspaper was palpably mistaken. The head of the ECB, who announced that support would require conditions, is Mario Draghi, an Italian. The one dissenting vote to Draghi’s plan came from Jens Weidman, the head of Germany’s Bundesbank. Weidman used to be Merkel’s personal economic adviser but since becoming the youngest head of the Bundesbank he has proved to be a classic guardian of German financial orthodoxy. It isn’t easy to see any feasible alternative to the Draghi plan, which would also require Europe’s political leaders to take the key decisions to make the various rescue funds fully and speedily available and to sell the rescue

plan to their dubious voters. And without the strict conditions of structural and budgetary reform, no rescue plan has much chance of success and even less of persuading the markets that they should ever again invest in Spanish or Italian bonds. The overall European economy continues to shrink. Markit’s latest Purchasing Managers’ Index signals a contraction in output for the 10th time in 11 months. The worst performers by far were Italy and Spain. The rate of contraction in France slowed marginally, while the downturn in Germany was the steepest for three years. So even if this August of 2012 avoids the horrors of war, the financial crisis rolls on into its sixth grim year. It makes one wonder why T.S. Eliot wrote in his poem “The Waste Land” that “April is the cruelest month,” when August seems to have a much grimmer record. Martins Walker is UPI Editor Emeritus.

Hillary Clinton: Safari or policy driven trip? By Emeka Chiakwelu


illary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, is on a rollercoaster trip to Africa that has already taken her to Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. She was being expected in Nigeria yesterday and from here she will head for Ghana where she he will attend the funeral of late Ghanaian President Atta Mills. From what we were gathering from the media she will be placing greater emphasis on the sustenance of democracy on the continent and China’s strong influence in Africa. Therefore, it is not a leisure or safari driven trip but policy orientated. But why is it necessary to fly to Africa to remind Africans that democracy is important? America has made the spread of democracy the centrepiece of its foreign policy and Africa is no stranger to this. Many African countries have accepted democracy in principle but not in practice. With weak democratic institutions and strong men the promise of true democracy is still a mirage in Africa. Africa is endowed with natural resources and it is potentially rich but the reality is that it is underdeveloped with inferior, shanty and dilapidated infrastructures; struggling with many earthly problems including food shortage, poor governance, poverty and diseases. As a U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton is the principal facilitator of America’s foreign policy and visibly the face of Obama’s foreign policy. President Obama is almost

completing his first term in office and his policy has not changed from his predecessors who are also emphasizing democracy and peace in Africa. The much difference is unlike former presidents of America, President Obama is not doling out cash to Africa neither he has a special project that is ongoing in the continent that requires funds infusion. Former President George Bush (43) made available $15 Billion to fight AIDS/HIV in Africa and the result was affirmatively overwhelming, cutting down the numbers of Africans dying of the dreadful disease. It was one of the most successful programs in Africa financed by United States. Africa is thankful to former President George Bush for his humanitarian gesture to the continent. Africa in spite of her natural resources needs fund to develop these resources and at this point in time United States, a credible and reliable friend of Africa is not in the position to dole out cash to Africa. United States at this time has its share of problems – the slow growth of the economy, mind blowing deficits and $15 trillion debt. America cannot afford to be giving out foreign aids as it does in the past. Americans are asking their government to look inward and solve their internal pressing needs that requires lots of money. China has come to aid of the continent and has been financing many projects in Africa without asking questions about misrule and lack of human rights in Africa. China does not run a charity based enterprise and Chinese are not

in Africa for zero-sum game. China has a massive industrial empire that needs natural resources to administer. China recognized quite well that her growth will not continues without finding new markets to trade with. China has a mammoth population of over 1.2 billion living and breathing citizens that must be fed and cloth. Chinese capitalists and investors are now investing in farming and farm lands in Africa. Food produced from those farming places in Africa can be exported to China. Clinton may not succeed in convincing Africans to be at lookout in their relationship with China. It is becoming clear, if not self-evident that Africa and China are beginning to understand each other interest. Initially, the relationship may be little rough but with time and frequent interactions the rough edges will be made less frictional. Africa and China are having reciprocal venture and mutual relationship: Africa has natural resources and China has cash to dole out. As each of them keeps their eyes on their respective interest, the economic and commercial ties become manageable and sustainable. But what does Africa really need from United States and West? Encouragement and Empowerment to foster Freedom and Liberty: Africans must live in the system of government that encourages freedom and justice. The respect for fundamental human rights must be instituted and adhered to; an environment that provides self-help, selfimprovement and self-

innovation must be encouraged. Only freedom can make these things possible and make free enterprise a reality, so that free people can create wealth and advance human dignity. The United States should encourage and support governance that accommodates checks and balances in Africa. This will in turn guarantee accountability and respect for human rights. What Africa needs mostly include elimination of dictators and socialist regimes, establishment of virile/free political platform and economy, rule of law and respect for individual rights. All these things do border on fundamental issues which foreign aid alone cannot redress. Until these issues are properly put right, the story of the optimum utilization of these billions of dollars from foreign aid will always remain a mirage. Anti-corruption legislation: The responsibility of fighting corruption is too complex and gigantic to be left for one party. Both Africa and West must partake in the fight against corruption. The West must enact banking laws that will fish out bankers that accept laundered money and tainted wealth from corrupt African leaders and bureaucrats. Illgotten wealth must be returned to Africa without much ado, while the culprits must be exposed and prosecuted. The West must work together with African governments on the war against corruption and bribery. Corporations and transnational companies operating in Africa must not induce politicians and bureaucrats by bribes in their quest for contracts.

Elimination of wars and promotion of peace and conflict resolutions: The West can work with African union in finding solutions to the cessation of conflicts and wars. Wars (especially internal strife) are ubiquitous in the continent. Some African governments and warmongers commit their resources to executing endless wars. The West must frown upon the sale of arms to these parties by checkmating their natives’ arms industries. The West must encourage fair and equitable trade with Africa. The giving of aid must not be the only means to defeat poverty and alleviate quality of life in Africa. The promotion of trade can be possible when concessions are made to infant industries in Africa. The West can improve technological developments by investing in areas of science and technology that can sharpen the technicalknow-how in the continent. The West must stand for fair trade at the World Trade Organization by conscientiously removing agricultural subsidies given to their own agricultural sectors that adversely affect the traffic of commodities from Africa. Only trade can be the panacea to poverty in Africa, this wills by and large booster a higher GDP and a decent standard of living. Clinton’s trip is perhaps a goodwill tour that probably will not have any substantial impact on the continent but she should be commended for having Africa on her mind – in an election year in the US. Emeka Chiakwelu is Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization.



Odds against building classy aviation infrastructure By Yakubu Dati


he beauty of our nascent democracy is the power citizenS have to hold an elected government accountable; however, this leverage often has been abused either for malicious reasons, partisan politics or plain mischief.   The  aforementioned reasons can only be the motives for the recent highly strung criticisms of the of the several landmark aviation projects across the country. Before the current reconstruction efforts of the Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Odua, successive administrations paid lip service to the issue of Aviation infrastructure, our Airports and Terminals had existed for almost 40 years without any upgrade in terms of facilities, as such they were not only decayed but were an eyesore to any one either foreign or local who passed through them. It is pertinent to note this simple analogy –an airport that has no functional toilet facilities is not one that should be in the business of flying. It was this dysfunctional and national embarrassment that ensured that the Minister embarked on this noble exercise. However, the project managers of these several projects have reiterated their commitment to ensure that best practices are applied in terms of the engineering designs and drawings; some of which it was discovered during conception By Tochukwu Ezukanma


ne time United States of American Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, referred to Nigeria as “the poorest oil rich nation” in the world. What an oxymoron? How can a country be oil rich and yet, extremely poor? This is because her wealth is looted by conscienceless power elite given to stealing everything within reach. They steal public funds with the impunity and ruthlessness that will stir the conscience of even the most dangerous armed robber. Paradoxically, they pretend to be sentinels of the public good and paragons of moral rectitude. In their hypocrisy, they ignore their own moral problems and make believe that they have the moral authority to lecture Nigerians on morality and to enforce the laws of the land. In his denunciation of hypocrisy, Jesus Christ urged the hypocrite to “first cast out the beam out of thine eyes” before offering to “pull out the mote out of thine (brother’s) eye.” The import of that admonition was that if the hypocrite can first remove the beam in his own eyes, he will see clearly, and consequently, realize that there was really nothing in his brother’s eye. He thought there was a mote in his brother’s eye because what was in his own eyes was obstructing his vision, and therefore,

were competing favourably with these Projects and utilise the BASA waivers were obtained there can similar ongoing airport projects funds the National Assembly is be no escaping due process units around the world. empowered to exercise control by as this is the only of ensuring that A clear instance of the giving or withholding Approval. all those involved abide by the aforementioned is the near life For the records the Ministry tenets of probity and threatening case of power outages followed the statutory guidelines accountability. These include at the Nnamdi Azikiwe and obtained the requisite getting approvals from the International Airport in Abuja Approvals before accessing the National Assembly, (because the which has 70 % Projects came dependence rate after the 2011 on Generating Appropriation Plants because Act) BPE, the public power Ministry of Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text source PHCN Finance etc. messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written always does not These are contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 meet the power s t a t u t o r y words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and requirements of re qui re men ts a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed the Airport. The that the to: Ministry has Ministry and f i n i s h e d Contractors are The Editor, conceptualising obliged to Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, a permanent comply with; as solution that will such this 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. soon be n a t ur a l l y Email: let implemented. delayed the SMS: 07037756364 Some of the timeline of the Ministry’s projects. traducers looking for straws to hold funds. However, the most on to have gone to the Another point worthy of note embarrassing cause of delay in Appropriation Act for validation; is the courage the minister had to the execution has been the however they may wish to note overcome bureaucratic red tapes distractions caused by all the that even the act makes with her declaration of Emergency petitions and allegations over exemptions in certain cases. The programs in addressing these Projects. Instead of fact is the current Minister dilapidating airport concentrating in the execution of assumed duties in July 2011 infrastructure in Nigeria this she the projects, the minister, the several months after the achieved by applying to the permanent secretary, Directors Appropriation Bill 2011 had been provision under the Procurement of the Ministry, the contractors passed. Act of the Bureau of Public and the agency heads have been The National Assembly then Enterprises BPE under which the tossed between several appropriated part of the funds to requirement for advertisement committees of the National the Ministry in its Appropriation and bidding was waived to fast Assembly and other agencies of Act 2011 while the balance was in track the duration of conception to government to answer the existing BASA Account which completion of the numerous allegations in petitions by resides with the Ministry. To aviation infrastructure. Nigerians over the projects. Work access the appropriated funds for However, even though the has effectively been delayed or


Enough of this hypocrisy distorting his perception. The Nigerian power elite, through their underpaid and unappreciated band of illmotivated and lethargic men and women (Nigerian Police Force), are fighting crime in Nigeria. But they need to awaken to the incontrovertible reality that there is really no crime to fight in the Nigerian society. What they perceive as the crimes of the Nigerian society are only reflections of the criminality of the Nigerian power elite. It is the ruling class, and not the masses, that are in desperate need of reformation. If they can vigorously assault their own issues of lechery and lawlessness, greed and graft, cupidity and corruption, cruelty and cold heartedness and dishonesty and downright thievery, they will come to a consternating realization that the Nigerian people have no problem. Thus, that the evils they, all along, attributed to the people are actually only a mirror image of the ills of the ruling class. Children, without knowing it, behave like their parents. The parents’ influence on their children is so pervading and profound that even when the children are away from home, it continues to define them. It defines the kind of students they are, their attitude towards work, money, romance, and essentially,

everything. It is only when parents fail in their roles as parents that they find psychological refuge in blaming their children for what is, in effect, the failures of the parents. Similarly, the masses, subliminally, behave like their rulers. Rulers by their actions shape the behavior of the masses. Over the years, Nigeria became a very lawless country because our rulers, by their every act, trampled the law and undermined the moral standards and ethical ideals of the Nigerian society. From their deeds, the society learnt that hard work, honesty and respect for the law do not pay. That it is only the weak and stupid that play by the rules. The astute and privileged disregard the law and acquire enormous wealth from corruption, fraud and outright stealing. In other words, that fraud, theft and all forms of lawlessness are not punished but rewarded, especially in the powerful and prominent circles. Taking a cue from them, Nigerian society degenerated into a vast anarchistic system riddled with crooks, ritual killers, thieves, fraudsters, drug dealers, etc. The problem of Nigeria is a failure in leadership. For their failure, our rulers found psychological refuge in hectoring and harassing the masses in the name of law enforcement. For example, I remember

some legislators pontificating on the need to severely punish drug dealers with up to 15 years imprisonment. But are those of them in the corridors of power any better than a drug dealer. In my view, a drug dealer is a more decent person than a corrupt and stealing “Honorable” or “Excellency”. Drug dealing is illegal. On the other hand, it may not be immoral. After all, it is a business transaction between two consenting adults. There is no theft, falsehood, deceit, fraud or betrayal of trust. Secondly, there is no hypocrisy, as the drug dealer does not pretend to be a model of probity or the personification of honor and excellence. He does not strut around posturing as the excellent and the honorable. On the other hand, stealing is both illegal and immoral. So, stealing is worse than drug dealing. Secondly, stealing by the power elite is associated with deceit and betrayal of trust because they fastidiously cling to sanctimonious titles, like the Excellency and the Honorable. They posture as disciplined, responsible and financially honest men and women; not susceptible to monetary inducement and other sirens of life. They pretend to personify the best of the society and can therefore be entrusted with the

stopped by these. It is to be noted that the “regular “ Contractors in the Industry responsible for the over thirty (30) years of rotten decay of the Infrastructure are very upset that the Minister did not award these Projects to them and thus have been at the forefront of petitions, sponsored advertorials outright insults and name calling. It is quite sad that Nigerians who are accusing the Executive for non implementation of the 2012 Budget are responsible for the delay in the Execution of Projects that ought to have been commissioned and put to use. It is however gratifying that all the Petitions have been nullified as containing no substance. It should be noted also that no one has complained about the quality of work being done at the airports, no one is unhappy with the fact that for the first time the Projects are not concentrated in Lagos but are spread to Yola, Kano, Owerri, Benin Kaduna etc. A mere whitewash cannot undo the dilapidation of ages, the Ministry of Aviation is ensuring that a thorough job is done; the projects are there for anyone who cares to inspect them. Stakeholders must insist that the detractors of this rejuvenation taking place in aviation sector is not derailed, if we aspire for greatness our airport terminals must be the best as we welcome the world to our shores. Yakubu Dati resides in Abuja, FCT.

resources of the country and the fate of the entire populace. But then, they prove themselves to be irresponsible, corrupt and thieves of public funds. Which is, in effect, manifest falsehood and patent hypocrisy. In the words of Sir Robert Thompson, “a nation draws its will principally from the examples of its leaders”. Therefore, any genuine moral and ethical revolution in Nigeria must be spearheaded by the personal examples of our leaders. That is, the revolution must start from the top and filter down to the bottom. It will do Nigeria a lot of good if these hypocrites that populate the Nigerian corridors of power reform their evil ways. Such a reformation will be momentous because it will filter down to all facets of the Nigerian society. It will restore the respect for the law in the Nigerian society. It will tremendously lower the level of corruption and bring about a moral and ethical elevation in Nigeria. It is so uplifting to think of what respect for the rule of law, curb on corruption and elevated moral and ethical standards can do for Nigeria. It will unrecognizably transform the country. It will inexorably nudge Nigeria towards a renaissance that will herald her joining the ranks of the civilized and prosperous countries of the world. Tochukwu Ezukanma is reachable on


By Sani Abubakar Sadiq Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out – Art Linkletter Event 1 It was a lovely Thursday night in Barnawa Complex area of Kaduna. I stood beside a house waiting for a friend, the weather was very perfect and bright stars adorned the skies in an intricately arranged pattern. As I stood there appreciating such a wonderful work of nature and reminiscing on a wonderful day I had earlier, tire screeches just a few meters away from me brought me back to life. It was a very rickety Opel Vectra car that over took and forced to stop a very sleek and posh Honda Accord and for a split second it resembled a robbery. But the argument that ensured proved it was a quarrel caused by misinterpretation of traffic rules by both parties. As the arguments raged, one can be able to discern that the guy driving the Opel Vectra car is a Christian; this can be deduced from the stickers that adorned his car while the guy driving the Honda Accord fits the stereotype of a Hausa/Fulani Muslim from his dressing and accent. As crowds began to gather, the situation took a very dangerous dimension, the Muslims that were there took side with the Muslim while the Christians that were also there took side with a man of their faith; and all of the taking of sides took place without hearing from the other party’s side before apportioning blame to the other party. Such is the hatred that runs


We are living on edge in the blood of most Nigerians towards those that are of different faith from there’s Event 2: Typical of all Fridays, I set out of my house dressed up in a flowing caftan like the normal Hausa man and decided to venture into a nearby market in order to buy food stuffs. It was a very busy market day as almost all the stalls and market stands were occupied by customers, noises from bargains, car horns and other noises associated with markets combine to make up a very dangerous level of decibels that were very rough on my ear drums. I located a very good and healthy looking measure of tomatoes and decided to go and see if I can have a good bargain. As I approached the stall, the woman there looked every inch a Yoruba woman. Her face bore facial marks attributed to Yoruba people and she was speaking Yoruba to a customer of hers. The Yoruba customer bought two measures of those tomatoes, paid and left. I asked for a price of another two measures, which are of exact specification as to what that other Yoruba customer bought. I asked for the price of which the market woman called an entirely different price, much higher than what the Yoruba customer paid. I asked the market woman in vernacular why was my price different from the other lady that left, and she looked at a friend of hers and made a very disturbing remark in pidgin English thinking that I can’t speak. They clapped hands and

said see this bloody Hausa man, does he think he is of same caliber as a Yoruba? Such is the disdain with which Nigerians treat people that are of different tribes from theirs. I took the pain to cite the above examples so as to show the level at which Nigerians distrust and regard each other without necessarily judging an individual as to his individual character but as a stereotype of the faith or ethnic group he/she comes from which in most times reach to false conclusions. Nigeria is a very diverse heterogeneous multi cultural and multi religious society. Ordinarily this should have provided the perfect building block for a great nation because diversity brings about the congregation and stream lining of ideas for effective growth and development. Right now Nigeria as it is, is a society of confused masses who are being continuously made more confused by leaders the masses elected. The executive is busy stealing the nation blind, the legislature is nothing but a group of selfish self serving legislators that organize probes to intimidate and blackmail government officials to give them bribes while the judiciary has shamelessly made justice become a commodity only meant for the highest bidder. All these leaders are left to go on on this dangerous terrain because the masses are being continuously being confused and blinded by ethnic and religious sentiments. This gloom is further compounded by calls for a Sovereign

National Congress by a set of selfish elites who once got access to the national cake and could not find their way back. Worldwide the trend right now is globalization and destruction of boundaries for easy movement of ideas which has led to the diffusion of ideas and unprecedented growth. Should Nigeria not consider this option too? Nigeria’s problem lies with the masses and once we can straighten up our acts, no leader can have the guts to steal with the kind of impunity they are doing right now. Nigeria’s leadership can only be responsible if the leadership knows that it’s being confronted by a united populace that needs nothing short of excellence. That leaders do things with impunity only because they know that whenever there is a threat of them being persecuted they can play the ethnic and religious cards and get away with their largess while the same masses whose sentiments were stirred to help protect them are left to wallow in abject poverty. What baffles most observers in this kind of instance is the way with which the conscience of the masses is being manipulated in such a way that they cannot be able to perform the simple reasoning of differentiating what is right and what is not; as no culture or religion abhors wrong doing in any form. Nigeria’s leadership can be forced to be upright if ordinary Nigerians can be able to reset their conscience to that default setting of identifying

wrong from right, and having the discipline to stand by the right choice. A closer look at all the developed nations of the world will reveal that they achieve their developed status as a result of diverse cultures. All they did was to tap into the positive attributes of each individual culture and then blend it to produce a perfect growth strategy. America will never have developed if the whites are still segregating the blacks or the indigenous Indians are still fighting the white settlers. China will have never been the world’s largest exporter if the numerous tribes and clans that make up modern China are still at war with themselves. Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources and all that is needed for the country to take its rightful place in the comity of developed nations is the ability of its citizens to appreciate the political sagacity of the average northerner with which we can be able to conquer the diplomatic world, the commercial sense of the average Igbo man with which we can be able to sell off the country’s mineral resources and the intellectual ability of the Yoruba people to be able to chart a very productive path for a great Nigeria. All these can further be spiced up with the resilience and hospitality of the minor tribes to produce a very conducive atmosphere with which we can be able to attract foreign investments. God bless Nigeria. Sani Abubakar Sadiq wrote from Darmanawa, Kano state and is reachable on

We should now look beyond the PDP By Anthony Ebitimi Owei


itterness and anger is all over the faces of Nigerians. They have suffered untold hardship for decades, this you cannot contest. Everyone is virtually crying out for help in the midst of plenty. All they hear is billions have been spent without seeing or feeling the effect or trillions stolen. Roads are in bad state. Air travel is not safe. Rails are in comatose. Schools are declining in both quality of teaching and infrastructure. Hospitals are nothing to write home about. Inflation is high and economic hardship in at its peak. Your wealth is now measured by the size of your power generating set. There is frustration on the faces of University and Polytechnic graduates who roam our streets in their millions without jobs. Not everybody can be an entrepreneur so do not start with the rhetoric of “become job creators and not job seekers”. Some people need the experience from paid employment to get the push. Crime is on the increase and bombs now go off at will. They say over 60% or about 112 million are living below the poverty line in a country of almost 170 million people. The anger is against the ruling party. After all, our deceptive federal republic is unitary with almost all the economic and military power concentrated at the centre. Therefore, those under performing state governors and local government chairpersons are

having a nice time with little or no criticism while sitting on billions they get monthly from the federation account. There was a debate on Twitter in the recent past about the fiery Lawyer and Serving Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare. The motive of this article is not to question his actions. However, worthy of note is that he is speaking out against bad governance and thus exercising his constitutional right as a Nigerian. Yes! We need more of our religious leaders to emulate this. At least, some of our ruthless politicians still give them some respect. Religious faithful are their members. If they genuinely care about the wellbeing of their members, why not speak out against those making life unbearable for them? My problem however is what I consider a shortsighted or biased approach to saving Nigeria from the claws of the wicked. Yes! I call it looking beyond the PDP. PDP stands for Peoples Democratic Party, the self-styled largest political party in Africa. They have been at the helm of affairs of our great but incapacitated nation since 1999 when we welcomed the fourth republic after many years of very inhumane military rule. Politicians all over the world will always join a political party to advance their political careers or ambition and Nigeria has never been different (the 1999 military-imposed constitution does not allow for independent

candidacy). Some politicians were members of PDP before leaving for other political parties for reasons best known to them. They are exercising their rights and freedom of association. A lot of us are now critics, social and political analysts or even activists especially on social media and just recently, Senate President, David Mark called for the “regulation” of social media because it is used to demean our leaders. I wonder the kind of planet the number three man in Nigeria lives. Evidently, Nigerians who have embraced social media in order to engage government are increasing by the day and they (government) are feeling the heat. It is as simple as accessing the internet, create a Twitter or Facebook account and nowadays blogs, just like mine. We are exercising our freedom of speech to its peak. Some individuals take it further, by walking the talk and creating platforms for change. That is good for our democracy, even though it ought to be constructive and not all about spreading falsehoods and advancing self interest by covering with being vocal and fighting for social justice. Notwithstanding, our leaders need both the good and bad criticism because it is our way of expressing this wound of anger, frustration and bitterness that gets bigger daily. To some, freedom of speech does not restrict them from expressing their opinion in whichever way they want to. While some are doing this for the love of their country and humanity,

others are opportunists looking to profit by ranting and attract attention for individual favours. We have seen vocal individuals who end up in government and speak from both sides of their mouth without remorse. Many people are after getting rid of PDP come 2015 general elections, including me. Our problem, however, as a nation needs remedy beyond taking PDP out of the picture. Our problem are those individuals who are so short sighted that they dwell in vanity. Their style of public leadership is to enrich themselves, families, friends and associates at the expense of all of us. The fact is, they are not only in the PDP, and as we are eliminating PDP, we should do away with those looters who may leave the PDP or are already out to come woo us in the garments of other political parties. Bad eggs are everywhere. Selfish leaders exist in all political parties. Opposition parties have been in control of some states of the federation. Appraise them and see what they have offered their respective states since 1999. The tag of ‘opposition parties’ cannot cajole a large number of Nigerians. We have been fooled for so long that we can hardly trust our leaders, be it PDP or not. We want a better Nigeria and care less about your party even though a democratic and prosperous Nigeria will thrive with truly democratic and policy driven political parties. The barber down my street or the woman selling

tomatoes at the nearest market to you wants a society, which offers dividends of democracy regardless of the political party. On a lighter note, those who think politics is a dirty game are not aware that they are throwing the future of their children, grand children and generations yet unborn away and should have a re-think. Politics affects our lives. If you believe you have the vision, passion and competence to move Nigeria forward, do not stay in your closet and keep lamenting about how you can proffer solutions. Come out! Offer yourself for service and sell your brand. The people will decide if they want you or not. Not everyone will contest in elections to serve their nation. There are those who exhibit excellent traits of good followership and those ready to express themselves through their votes. The best you can do as a citizen is to exercise your franchise (vote or be voted for). YOU CANNOT STAY ON THE FENCE! Stand up to defend your votes to ensure it counts and demand good governance from whoever emerges the winner regardless of their political party as far as it is the people’s vote who brought them in. Do not just fight the PDP but battle bad leadership perpetuated by individuals, groups of persons or political parties who sing the song and dance to the tune of wickedness, greed and calamity. God bless Nigeria. Anthony Ebitimi Owei is on Twiiter@TeeWhyOwei



Kutunku residents decry lack of basic amenities By Adeola Tukuru


esidents of Compensation Layout in Old Kutunku in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT yesterday decried over the lack of social basic amenities that can improve the standard of living of the people in that area. Some of the residents told newsmen that there are unavailability of accessible roads, portable water supply and electricity supply, which has placed the community in perpetual darkness since the inception of the community.

A resident, John Hassan in the community, said that the community has not felt the impact of the council on the area of those basic amenities that are supposed to give the residents of the community a sense of belonging, saying that it is as if the leadership of the council has forgotten the existence of the community. In his words: “It is very painful when you see other communities around you enjoying the dividends of democracy, while your own community remains neglected as if it has been cut out of existence, because of the

absence of things that are supposed to make you have a sense of belonging. “We voted for the present Chairman of the council, Hon. Zakari Angulu-Dobi, because we know that he has the interest of the people at heart, we are appealing to him to come to our rescue and remove us from this social suffering, and make life meaningful to us,” he said. Another resident and also a trader , Tolu Jacob, a trader stressed that the leadership of the council should come to the aide of the community by first extending electricity supply to

the community, after which other social amenities should follow. “Light represents life; the council chairman should extend power supply to this community, because the source of economic growth is the availability of electricity supply, which will definitely improve the standard of living in this community, because we need electricity to do our businesses in this community. The council should come to our aide, because the essence of the leadership is to make meaningful to everyone you are leading,” she said.

Civil servant prays court to dissolve his 16-year marriage


civil servant, Mr Sule Danjuma, residing at One Man Village, Karu, Nasarawa State, on Wednesday prayed an Upper Area Court in Mararaba to dissolve his 16year-old marriage. Danjuma told the court that he married Victoria Sule 16 years ago and had five children from the relationship but he had never had peace of mind. He said it had always been one trouble or another and based on that, the wife usually scandalised him, resulting in neighbours not respecting him. The petitioner said he was seeking for an end to the marriage because of his wife's attitude. However, the wife denied the allegation, saying she had never troubled or caused trouble for him. The judge, Mr Abdullahi Ibrahim, adjourned the matter to Sept 11, 2012 and instructed the petitioner to present his witness or witnesses on the next adjourned date. (NAN)

Two women arraigned for public disturbance

T Motorist, after the heavy downpour, along Mabushi bridge, yesterday in Abuja.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Man, 31 charged for reckless driving


he police yesterday arraigned one Terna Tankyaa, 31, of Millennium Builders Plaza before an Abuja Magistrate’s Court for alleged reckless and inconsiderate driving. The police prosecutor, Buba

Irimiya, told the court that the offence was committed on Aug 1, 2012 along Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway, Abuja, when the accused drove in a very careless manner which resulted in an accident. Irimiya said in the course of the

reckless driving, the accused hit a BMW car belonging to one Adamu Abdulahi of Area 8, Garki, Abuja.   He  said  the  offence  contravened sections 28 and 29 of Road Traffic Acts (RTA). The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Presiding Magistrate, Musa Jobbo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 and a surety in like sum who must have a fixed and reliable address, and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. Jobbo adjourned the case to Sept. 19 for hearing. (NAN)

Welder arraigned over breach of trust


he police on Wednesday arraigned one Godwin Demudia, a welder, of Durumi area, Abuja, before an Abuja Upper Area court for alleged breach of trust and cheating. The Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Christian Munonye, told the court that the case was reported

by Dennis Nybian, also of Durumi area, Abuja, at the Durumi Police Station on July 28, 2012. He said that sometime in the month of May, Nybian gave Demudia a job of gate and fence welding which both agreed at the price of N320, 000. Munonye added that Demudia promised to deliver the job within

a month but did not do the job, instead, he diverted the N320, 000 to his personal use. The police prosecutor said that the accused was charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating, contrary to sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Presiding Judge, Mr Adamu Wakili, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N300,000 with a surety in like sum. He said the surety must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned the case till Sept. 26 for further hearing. (NAN)

he police yesterday arraigned two women before a Mararaba Senior Magistrate's Court in Nasarawa state for disturbance of public peace. The accused, Elizabeth Chukwu, 20, of Aunty Alice Road, and Ekwutosi Okoyi, 22, residing near the Redeemed Church, both in Mararaba were reported to have engaged each other in a fisticuff. Police Prosecutor Samuel Okoro told the court that the case was reported by the first accused, Chukwu at the Sani Abacha Police Station, Mararaba on Aug 4, 2012 that the second accused beat her up but when the case was investigated, it was discovered that both of them engaged themselves in a fight. He said that as a result of the fighting, the two sustained bruises on their faces, saying that the offence contravened section 113 of the Penal Code. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs V.D. Ishaku, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety, of reasonable and reliable person, residing within the court's jurisdiction in like sum. She however, advised the accused to live in peace and adjourned case to September 13, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)



Woman jailed for cheating A

n Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday sentenced one Hadiza Biu of No. 80, Zone B, Apo Quarters, Abuja, to one week imprisonment for cheating a taxi d r ive r . Biu who pleaded guilty to the charges read before her in court and begged for mercy, stating that she was hungry on the day of the incident. “That was why I took the items. I admit my mistake and I am pleading for forgiveness. “My parents are late and I have a younger sister to take care of. I have also spoken to the taxi driver and

••• “I was hungry, that was why I did it”, says convict promised to pay him back in installments,” she said. Prosecutor Emmanuel Adikwu explained to the court that Biu boarded Adamu Ibrahim’s taxi sometime in July, 2012 at Wuse II. Adikwu said that the convict asked the complainant to take her to Cedi Plaza in the Central Business District of Abuja. “ Biu collected N1, 200 and an LG cell phone valued at N13, 000 from Ibrahim,adding that she entered a

pharmacy at the plaza and did not return,’’ he said. He added that Ibrahim reported the matter at Maitama Police Station on Aug. 7,2012. The prosecutor alleged the convict had earlier stolen a radio worth N1, 500 at the Exclusive Stores in Wuse II, Abuja. He added that Bui also attempted to dupe another taxi driver on Aug.6,2012 in the same pharmacy, where she was subsequently caught. Biu pleaded guilty to the charge and

begged for mercy. The magistrate, Mrs. Njideka Duru held that Biu struck her as someone who had developed a habit of stealing and therefore, sentenced her to one week imprisonment but with an option of N1, 000 fine. The magistrate ordered the convict to pay a compensation of N14, 200 to the complainant. She said that the sentence would serve as a warning to her and others like her. (NAN)

Hausa community chief doles out gifts to 56 chiefs in Abuja By Adeola Tukuru


Women display fruits and pepper waiting for customers, at Kubwa market, in Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Security man docked for alleged negligence By Stanley Onyekwere


he police have arraigned one Igbene Michael, of Nigid security service, Wuse zone 4 before an Abuja senior Magistrates court for alleged negligence on duty when thieves broke into one De-Maria Italian, in Wuse2 and stole the sum of N278, 385 and $ 200 USD and other valuable properties. Michael, 28, who appeared before Magistrate Aminu Eri, on Wednesday,

was an employee of the said security service, and was posted to De-Maria Italian as a security guard prior to when the alleged incident occurred. The Police prosecutor, Francis Tanko told the court that the accused person was to bear the responsibility to secure the properties of the restaurant, instead negligently allowed the thieves to gain access into the place with the said amount from the restaurant’s electronic save. Tanko said, one Akweji Godwin

Ogbeche, a staff of the restaurant reported the case at Wuse Zone 3 Police station on August 3, 2012. The Prosecutor explained that the offence contravened section 196 of the Penal Code. After the Police charge sheet was read out in the court, the accused pleaded not guilty. Eri granted the accused person bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case to August 29, 2012 for hearing.

School director urges parents to contribute to their wards development By Usman Shuaibu


he Director of Paiseco International School Dakwa in Bwari Area Council, FCT, Mr. Donatus A. Eban has called on parents and guardians to contribute their quota towards the development of their children and not rely on only the

school teachers. According to him parents should endeavour to devote their time toward the education of their children. He stated this during the just concluded Speech/Prize giving day Ceremony, held at the school premises. He assured that his administration would continue to recruit qualified teachers in the school, so as to equip

the students/pupils with knowledge all the times and the management of the school would remain committed to provide quality education to students/ pupils in the area. Eban further advised the graduating students/pupils to face their studies squarely and warned them against any anti-social be ha vi ou r.

he Chief of Hausa Community in Jiwa under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Alhaji Mohammed Bello Saidu yesterday offered gifts to over 56 chiefs from all the six area councils to boost their socio-economic statues in their respective domains and villages. At the ceremony in Jiwa Chiefdom, the Chief of Hausa Community, Alhaji Mohammed explained that the essence of these gifts is to encourage other chiefs to be a good representative of the people, as well as plan on how to carry out development in their domain for the general interest of the people. Alhaji Saidu who described himself as a philanthropist further explained that he always derives joy whenever he tries his best to ensure that people are empowered socially ,economically and religiously adding that that his generous gesture has always been to demonstrate love, care and kindness to those of lower means of livelihood irrespective of tribe , religion and skin colour. The traditional ruler also used the opportunity to remind all the Muslims in the FCT of their religion obligation of sharing with the poor, stating that without that Allah will bless all that contribute toward the survival of the needy in the territory no matter the measure. Some traditional local chiefs awarded lauded their host for the gift items and called on other leaders in position of leadership to imitate his exemplary life style, so as to empower the poor, the less privileged in the society. While conversing support from the Hausa chiefs in all the six area councils of the territory to lead them under the capacity of ’ Hausa Chief’ noted with regret that after the demise of the former Hausa Chief Alhaji Mohammed Birma said most of the Hausa interest have not been properly represented in the territory. Also the Deputy Chief of Hausa in Jiwa,Alhaji Suleiman Bala Sambo called on the people of the FCT to support to his boss in order for him to contribute more for those in need . Alhaji Sambo also lamented over low education level of some local chiefs in the territory.



Young girls hawking groundnut, yesterday in Utako District of Abuja.

A tailor doing what he knows best, yesterday in Nyanya. A cobbler polishing his client shoe, yesterday in Garki village, Abuja.

A tailor mending clothes, yesterday in Kubwa, Abuja.

Apprentices learning the art of auto repairs, yesterday in Area 1, Garki, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo





- Pg 21

Facebook steps up mobile advertising push

Mob: 08033644990

CBN auctions N176bn in T-bills


L-R: Head, Department for International Development (DFID), Nigeria, Mr. Richard Montgomery, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, and Anambra state Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, during the launch of 2011 Nigeria Investment Climate Assessment Report, yesterday in Abuja. By Aminu Imam


new 2012 Global Food Security Index  report issued yesterday ranks Nigeria 80 out of 105 most foodsecure countries in the world. The Global Food Security Index 2012 report, which was sponsored by DuPont, US, Denmark, Norway and France are the most food-secure countries in the world. “A combination of ample food supplies, high incomes, low spending on food relative to other outlays, and significant investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) put these countries at the top of the 105-nation index”, it stated. According to the report, “The food supply in advanced countries averages 1,200 calories more per person, per day, than in low-income economies. The average individual needs 2,300 calories per day to live a healthy and active life.  ”Among  wealthy  nations, there is enough food for each person to eat 1,100 calories above that benchmark; in low-income countries, national food supplies fall, on average, 100 calories short of it”, the report added.

Global food security index: Nigeria ranks 80  out of 105 Several of the sub-Saharan African countries that finished in the bottom third of the index, including Mozambique, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Niger, will be among the world’s faster growing economies during the next two years. Although still poor in absolute terms, the report said rising incomes suggest that these countries may be in a position to address food insecurity more forcefully in coming years. The report further states that

China experienced the least volatility of agricultural production during the last 20 years, and three North African countries—Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria —among the most. According to the report, countries with wide variances in annual farm output were considered less food secure and scored less well in the index. ”Landlocked  countries  fared nearly as well as those with a coastline. The 22 landlocked countries in the index on average

From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

NAHCO profit down 40% in Q1


igerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) has announced its Q2 result on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showing a marginal 7.9 percent drop in revenue to N3.1 billion from N3.4 billion. The company’s cost of sales also dipped by 15 percent from N1.8 billion in 2011 to N1.5 billion. Also profit before tax nose


9th August, 2012 BUYING 0.2721 190.6112 242.0303 41.2916 154.83

SELLING 0.2921 191.8423 243.5935 41.5582 155.83


BUYING 207 258 40 165

SELLING 209 260 42 169

to raise fresh capital. Already, the company has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of the resolutions that was taken during its board of directors meeting in April. The resolve however, is subject to the approval of shareholders at the forthcoming yearly general meeting slated for June 7, 2012 .

Management Tip of the Day



dived by a sharp 40 percent to N426 million in the year under review to N711 million, while profit after tax saw a 42 percent drop to N280 million from N484 million in the previous year. Meanwhile, in a bid to further consolidate on the company’s on-going diversification agenda, the company has concluded plans

scored only seven points lower than those that are not landlocked. This suggests that although small countries without seaports may be particularly vulnerable to food shocks, being landlocked in itself does not translate into a signiûcantly greater degree of food insecurity”, it stated. The Global Food Security Index warns that while the world, on balance, is richer and better fed than it was 50 years ago, those gains are now under threat.

Explore a new career with an informational interview


f you’re contemplating a career change, it can be hard to know how happy you’ll be in a new position or industry. Find out more about your next move by finding three to five people who are doing the kind of work you’re interested in. Contact them to set up informational interviews.

If you don’t know anyone, find people through colleagues or social media. Don’t feel timid about contacting someone. People are usually flattered when you ask for their opinions, and most enjoy talking about what they do. You can always offer to take the contact to lunch to sweeten the pot.

Before the meeting, prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask the interviewee. These may range from “What do you like most about your work?” to “What’s an average day like for you?” to “What does someone have to do to get ahead in your field?” Source: Harvard Business Review

he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold N176.1 billion ($1.1 billion) in treasury bills, more than expected, and increased the yield it offered on the shortdated paper to mop up liquidity to support the currency, the central bank said yesterday . The bank said last week it would auction N142.1 billion of treasury bills with maturities of between three months and one year. It gave no reason for the additional N30 billion of issuance. The naira surged 1.1 percent to a more than twoweek high on the interbank market yesterday following the sale and after the NNPC sold $450 million to banks in exchange for the local c u r re n c y . The CBN said it had sold N50 billion of 182-day Treasury bills at a yield of 15.30 percent, higher than 14.94 percent at its previous auction last month. Total subscriptions for the bills were N422.82 billion. (Reuters )

DMO to offer N75bln FGN bonds on Aug. 15


he De bt Ma nag eme nt Of fic e (D MO) sa id ye ste rda y th at thr ee tr anc hes of the Fe der al Go ver nmen t’s bo nds wor th N75 billion would be offered to in tere ste d in ves tor s ne xt wee k. Th e Ne ws Age ncy of Ni geri a ( NAN) rep ort s th at th e bo nds have a te nor of between five and 10 years. Th e DMO, in a ci rcul ar posted on its website, said that bids for the bonds would open on Aug. 15. A breakdown of the offers sh owe d th at the fi ve, seven and 10-year bonds were worth N25 billion each. According to the circular, the five and seven-year bonds have a coupon rate or a total yield return of 15.10 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. The coupon rate on the 10year bond is pegged at 16.39 per cent. The DMO said that the five and seven- year b onds w ould ma tur e in Ap ril 201 7 a nd Jun e 20 19 re spec tive ly. Ja nua ry 202 2 i s t he maturity date for the 10-year bond. (NAN)





ld Mutual Plc, the London-listed insurance group, has put aside concerns about the eurozone crisis to focus on expansion in Nigeria. On Wednesday, the group announced it was considering opening a general insurance unit in Nigeria through its Mutual & Federal business. It further added that it was already in talks with life insurer in the country.

First Hydrocarbon Nigeria

Nigeria, Jamaica to revive technical cooperation in oil By Muhammad Nasir


amaica and Nigeria are set to strengthen ties and revive technical cooperation in oil. Addressing a press conference recently at Jamaica House, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simson Miller said both countries have agreed to revive technical cooperation in oil. “We are also looking to further cooperation through the conclusion of an air service agreement allowing for Jamaica to serve as a gateway for Africa into the wider

Caribbean region as well as a hub for goods and services,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said. Among other areas of agreement that will be pursued is the resumption of the Nigeria Technical Aid Corps Programme which allowed Nigerian professionals to be deployed to Jamaica to share their skills in fields such as nursing and education; energy, trade, air services, sports, culture and the resumption of the JamaicaNigeria Joint Commission and the Nigeria/Jamaica Business

Forum. “Cultural and educational exchanges, the sharing of best practices in sport and the boosting of trade, business and investment between our two countries are also areas in which we have agreed to explore for further cooperation. I am confident that following our earlier discussions on these matters, our two countries will work fervently to move our cooperation agenda forward. This will be facilitated by the next Jamaica-Nigeria Joint


irst Hydrocarbon Nigeria Company Limited (FHN) has announced the winner of the best Environmental Sustainability Project at the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Challenge in Lagos. The competition marks the second year that FHN has sponsored the SIFE national competition. The team with the best Environmental Sustainability project, Bayero University, Kano, is involved in a truly relevant project that supports their local communities in efforts to eradicate malaria, combat desertification and create jobs for disadvantaged citizens through the cultivation and manipulation of the Neem tree, which grows in abundance in the region.


LPG home delivery


he Bannergas has flagged off door-to-door tricycles for Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) home in Nigeria, describing the measure as a revolution to save mothers, wives, sisters and daughters from kerosene hazards. The company also asked the Federal Government to tap into the LPG to prevent wasteful spending on fuel subsidy. According to the company which claimed it has over 14 LPG retails outlets and it planning to establish another 15 of such retails outlet by October for the Lagos consumers and by December it would come up with additional 13.

Facebook steps up mobile advertising push By Muhammad Sada


acebook is stepping up its mo bile ad ver tisi ng e f f o r t s an d i s t o st art a tri al service that will insert adverts into users “news feeds” when di spla yed on the ir mobi le phones. Facebook has struggled to mo neti ze its mob ile tr affi c, un like ri val Twi tter , a nd i ts ad vert isi ng t ria l is no t th at dissimilar to the system used by Twitter, which also inserts ad vert s i nto the str eam of me ssag es disp lay ed on t he mobile phone screen. In a brief statement on its de vel oper bl og, Fac ebo ok invited advertisers to sign up to a limited trial. The service in clu des a ran ge of de mogr aph ic targ eti ng op tio ns base d on t he in for mat ion pro vid ed by Facebook users.

PZ ollowing a number of years of rising raw material costs together with significant wage inflation in emerging markets, the PZ Cussons group has been developing programmes to ensure that its’ supply chain cost base remains at a competitive level. The company said it had also seen Nigeria’s continued insecurity and recent fuel subsidy removal impacting negatively its sales as well as consumer disposable income.

Commission which Jamaica expects to host in the near future” Mrs. Simpson Miller explained. The Prime Minister said it was agreed that Jamaica would participate in the First African Global Diaspora Summit as the country completely supports the movement towards greater cooperation, solidarity and involvement of the African Diaspora in development of the continent. Jonathan’s visit to Jamaica followed a two day state to Trinidad and Tobago.

Brent at threeNaira, 3-yr bond yield up on liquidity shortage month high of $112 on he Naira and the yield on maturities to fund naira weaker global demand. . its most liquid 3-year bond positions,” one dealer told Finance Minister, Ngozi both surged on yesterday, Reuters.”The naira is so illiquid. Okonjo-Iweala said on supply fears after state-owned energy firm Bonds are on a sell zone.” Wednesday that Nigeria’s Bauchi state "Waste to Wealth" plant workers bagging raw materials for manufacturing of plastic wares, on Wednesday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN


NNPC sold $450 million to some lenders amid a central bank squeeze on liquidity. The Naira was up more than 1 percent to a 2-week high on the interbank market yesterday, trading at 158.35 naira to the dollar at 1130 GMT, firmer than the 160.10 to the dollar it closed at on Wednesday. Dealers said central bank action yesterday to tighten liquidity led to a shortage of naira cash to buy dollars. The central bank on yesterday sold 142.1 billion naira ($879 mln) in treasury bills and $318 million at 155.83 naira to the dollar at its bi-weekly foreign exchange auction, both aimed at mopping up naira liquidity. Yesterday’s move also led to a spike in overnight lending rates to more than a two-year high of 35 percent. Bond yields are responding to the illiquidity in the system. Investors are selling the shorter

Meanwhile yield on the most liquid 3-year bond spiked to 16.45 percent, from 15.23 percent on Wednesday. While 5-year and 10year papers were trading marginally flat. However, Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi has shown his determination to support the naira using aggressive monetary measures in recent months, despite calls from some in the private sector for him to ease interest rates to aid the growth of the economy. Sanusi said last month that loose monetary policy was not the answer to spurring growth and would only risk higher inflation, currently running at 12.9 percent, according to the latest June figures. He said Nigeria, spends too much of its budget on running the government and should allocate more to development and to a savings buffer against the risks of lower oil output and

cabinet had agreed to increase spending by five percent but reduce the fiscal deficit in next year’s budget, which will be sent to parliament for approval next month. But the minister’s oil price assumption of $75 per barrel, up from $72 in this year’s budget, worried analysts. If the oil price projection is too optimistic, the government tends to raid oil savings to meet the shortfall. The CBN two weeks ago raised the cash reserve requirement for lenders to 12 percent from 8 percent and reduced net open foreign exchange positions to 1 percent from 3 percent, to restrict the money supply to support the currency. Last week, the CBN also barred banks that borrow naira funds from its official window from using those funds to buy dollars at its by-weekly auction, a bid to crack down on currency speculation. (Reuters)


rent crude hit a threemon th hi gh of $112 af ter US go ver nme nt da ta reveale d a fa ll in inventories, adding to supply concerns amid a fall in North Sea production. Th e fo cus shi fte d fr om geopolitics to physical supplyan d-d eman d c onc erns , a nd ICE September Brent rose 14 cents to $112.14 a barrel after hi ttin g $ 113. 27, alm ost 30 per cent above this year’s low of $8 8.49 a bar rel in Jun e. The data came as prices have se en u pwa rd p res sur e fr om the fall in North Sea output. The latest production data revealed that the four North Se a o il stre ams us ed to calculat e the price of Brent, wi ll d ecl ine next mo nth to 72 0,00 0 b arre ls a da y, t he lowest ever and down from an already depressed 774,000 b/ d in A ugu st. (So urc e: Financial Times)



Guiding principles for stakeholders: Roles, responsibilities and relationship between the stakeholders (6) Relationship Stakeholders



he tax policy does not intend to set out a rigid set of guidelines regulating the relationship between Stakeholders. However, it is recognized that in order to have a workable and sustainable Tax system, there should be frequent interaction and engagement between the various Stakeholders along the following lines: The Executive and Legislature shall co-operate on fiscal issues and all fiscal matters shall be accorded priority and given the necessary attention by each arm of Government. There should be regular for a discussing tax policy and legislation and disputes which arise between the two arms of Government shall be resolved amicably. Where necessary, disputes shall be referred to the Judiciary for adjudication. In this regard, the Judiciary shall be the final arbiter of all disputes and its decisions shall be binding on all parties. In addition, all tiers of Government as well as the tax authorities are expected to provide guidance and information to the taxpaying public, which should elicit higher compliance and co-operation from the taxpayers. A more structured information-sharing arrangement should also be estimated between the tax

authorities and relevant Government agencies in order to properly identify and engage taxpayers to ensure full compliance with tax laws. The Federal and State Ministries of finance shall be responsible for all tax policy matters, including initiating proposals for amendments to tax laws by the National assembly and providing direction and approval for policy issues when necessary. Federal and State tax authorities shall have a harmonious and co-operative relationship amongst themselves and with the relevant Federal and state Ministries or agencies of government as may be determined. The tax system should provide a foundation for healthy competition amongst States towards the improvement of investment activities in the states and enhancing the internally generated revenue in the states. The relationship between the tax authorities should be coordinated by the Joint Tax Board (JTB).In this regard, the JTB should effectively discharge its advisory role to the Government and the tax authorities and ensure harmonization of tax administration and the standardization of tax processes and administration in Nigeria. Overtime, tax authorities should be expected to also function as tax law enforcement

Acting chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabiru Mashi

agencies. However, they are expected to establish formal cooperation with relevant law enforcement agencies to assist them acquire skills and competencies in investigation and enforcement matters. The tax-paying public, corporate organisations, organised private sector and trade unions shall work closely with and co-operate with tax authorities and other stakeholders shall be treated as customers by the tax authorities and be accorded the necessary attention and assistance. There should be proper tax payer education and regular forums for engagement of the tax-paying public by tax authorities and relevant government agencies involved in tax administration. Oversight over the tax system shall be multi-pronged and be driven ultimately by the National and state assemblies. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as the use of appeal tribunals and other formal and structured mechanisms shall be encouraged. The tax-paying public shall have the right and duty to make necessary contributions for the development of our tax system. Professional bodies, tax consultants and practitioners shall also contribute to the overall development of the tax system and work to establish necessary linkages with other stakeholders. (Concluded)

Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Assessment (1) 1.     Why is the Service migrating from government assessment to selfassessment? The Service is not migrating but strengthening self-assessment because the Service did not get the policy right at the beginning.  2.     What is the difference between Administrative Assessment and Best of Judgement? Administrative Assessment means an assessment raised by a relevant tax authority where a taxpayer has failed to file returns and pay taxes due on or before the due date or where there is an understatement of tax in the returns filed. Best of Judgement (BOJ) is an administrative assessment, however in issuing it shall be based on spot audit, third party information to identify material fact upon which the assessment will be raised.  3.     Is Spot Audit provided for in the tax law? Spot Audit and third party information is provided for by Section 26 of the FIRS (Establishment) Act.

4.     What is the difference between Administrative Assessment and Government Assessment? There is no difference between Administrative Assessment and Government Assessment. They are terminologies used interchangeably as assessment raised on behalf of government by the relevant tax authority. 5.     Will an objection arise under a selfassessment system? Ordinarily under a selfassessment system the taxpayer may not object against his own assessment, however he may object against an assessment raised adm inis trat ivel y. 6.     How does an Assessment Program differ from a Filing Compliance Program? Assessment program is used to raise assessment for taxpayers who fail to file on due date. However, Filing Compliance Program is used to

enforce compliance to ensure all taxpayers file their tax returns and make payment of tax due on or before due date. 7.     What should be the relationship between RPP/ Audit/RAU? There must be collaboration between them and the chain must not be broken. RPP receives returns; carries out arithmetic checks and passes them to Tax Audit for RAU- a subunit of Tax Audit to carry out analysis for case selection.  8.     What are the KPIs for RAU? The Key Performance Indicators shall be set in line with the Risk Assessment benchmarks and agreed from time to time. i)      The  time  spent  on  risk profiling of taxpayer data. ii)    The  report  generated  on weekly basis not later 2-day after a week. iii)  The  tax  yield  of  the report.  9.     What should you do

when you notice the basis period is not correct? It is RPP’s responsibility to correct the basis period, recompute and notify the taxpayer for payment. 10.  Should all tax returns be risk profiled? Yes, all tax returns should automatically be risk profiled. After data entry, the taxpayer file is forwarded from RPPU to the Head of Audit for the Selection Criteria Analysis.  11.  Should RPPU be communicating directly with taxpayers? RPPU can communicate directly to/with taxpayer by notifying him when an error is observed during the review of returns.  12.  What action is to be taken when tax returns are not submitted on due date? FDAEU should visit the taxpayer immediately with a demand for the returns and inform the taxpayer the consequences of having failed to comply due date.

Administrative assessment procedure will commence after the visit. 13.  What happens to the seized books of a Taxpayer who was distraint; at what point do you return the books that were seized? Make copies of the seized documents and ensure it is endorsed by the taxpayer then return the books immediately in line with the provisions of Section 26 and 30(2) of FIRS (Establishment) Act, No 13 2007.  14.  When an Additional Assessment is raised, should it be back-dated to the due date of filing/ payment? Yes, it should be effective from the time the payment was due.  15.  The penalty for late returns and penalty for late payment do not appear to be equitable. Could this be reviewed? A recommendation has been made for the review to make it a percentage of tax due.



Profile of 5 most powerful and influential Nigerian CEOs We present people who helped and are still helping shape Nigeria’s business community. They are the Nigeria’s business leaders, empire builders, moguls and high-flying chief executives who possess clout and wield the most widespread influence in the nation’s business and economic circles. These are the corporate titans and leaders who set the Nigerian economic agenda. Their voice are never ignored within, and indeed outside the country’s business and political circles. Banking

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede Group Managing Director/ CEO, Access  Bank  Plc


igboje Aig-Imoukhuede’s banking career spans over two decades. He spent over 10 years at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GT Bank) and resigned in 2001 to lead a dynamic team of accomplished bankers as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc with the mandate to transform the bank into a worldclass financial services provider. In October 2007, Aigboje was ranked amongst the Top 10 Most Respected CEOs in the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers ‘Most Respected Companies and CEOs Survey’, documented testament of his leadership expertise. In 2012, he emerged the winner of the “2011 Ernst & Young West Africa Entrepreneur of The Year” award. Aigboje has served the nation in different capacities where his contributions and insights have facilitated the achievement of set goals. This includes his recent membership in the National Economic Management Team. Energy

Femi Otedola Chairman, Afrizon Petroluem


r. Femi Otedola is a former Nigerian billionaire and Chairman of African Petroleum. Mr. Otedola is also the chairman of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, Seaforce Shipping Company Limited, Atlas Shipping Agency Company Limited, F. O. Transport Limited, F.O. Properties Limited, Swift Insurance Brokers Limited and Garment Care Limited. In 1994, after consolidating his fathers businesses, Mr. Otedola diversified and set up his own company, Centreforce Limited, specializing in finance, investment and trading. In 1999, he ventured into the oil and gas sector and incorporated Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, an indigenous company engaged in the procurement, storage, marketing and distribution of petroleum products i.e, Petrol,

Diesel, Kerosene, Gas, Fuels Oils and Lubricants. Mr. Femi Otedola was appointed member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), in January 2004. In December 2004, he was appointed a member of the committee with the task of fostering business relationship between Nigerian and South African private sectors. In March 2005 he was appointed a pioneer director of the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and also elected president of the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping in April 2005 and he is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Shipping. Commodities

Aliko Dangote Chairman, Dangote Group


igerian commodities titan, Aliko Dangote is also Africa’s cement king. In February, Dangote announced the opening of a new $1 billion (N160 billion)Nigerian cement plant, which is expected to increase his company’s production volume by 40% in that country. In late 2010, Dangote listed the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, integrating his cement investments across Africa. It’s now the largest company on the Nigerian exchange. He also invested $4 billion (N640 bn) to build a new cement facility in the Ivory Coast and is building a $115 million (N18.4 bn) cement plant in Cameroon, plus owns plants in Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa. The venerable philanthropist has given away millions to education, health and social causes and also expended  a  whooping N15.5billion as part of the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works in 2011.   Infotech

Chief (Dr) Mike Adenuga Jnr CEO, Globacom Group


t age 26, Adenuga had already become a millionaire with connections in high places. With

his unique flair for risks and sheer tenacity of purpose, in no time he started reaping profits in billions. He owns Equitorial Trust Bank and Consolidated Oil, which carries out crude oil drilling, refining and marketing. His first shot into the consciousness of Nigerians was when his company, Consolidated Oil became the first indigenous company to strike crude in December1991. He recently made foray into the telecommunications sector. In 2002, the government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), organised new auction for the GSM licence, his Communications Investment Limited (CIL), participated and was one of the four that won the bid through his Globacom Limited. The SNO has a wider range of operations as Globacom has the right to operate as a national carrier, operate digital mobile lines, serve as international gateway for telecommunications in the country and operate fixed wireless access phones. Adenuga’s estate business and company shares traverse several countries in Western Europe, North America and the Middle-East.

Aliko Dangote

Femi Otedola

Chief (Dr) Adenuga Jnr

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede


Ben Bruce


Group Chairman, Silverbird Group


en Murray Bruce is the Founder of the Silverbird Group (Nigeria’s leading entertainment and TV company) and has served as a member of the National Arts Theatre Management Board, The Federal Film Censors Board, The Board of the Nigerian Film Corporation, National Film Distribution Company, Nigerian Anti-Piracy Action Committee and for four years was the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)-Africa’s largest television network. Currently, Ben is Group Chairman of the Silverbird Group, which consists of 3 FM stations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, 1 Television station in Lagos and Nigeria’s first and only Cinema multi-plex with 5 screens.


Ben Murray Bruce




The environment is a loan to us, we must take care of it – DG, NESREA C

an you outline the milestones attained by NESRE A si nce 2007? Well, I don’ t even know wha t to star t wit h; o ne, NES REA has b ecom e a hou seho ld na me; e very one knows what NESREA means and that is o ne ma jor achievement. We have been abl e to trans form the Nig erian envir onment to mak e it more sust aina ble and tha t is by en forc ing env iron ment al l aws and reg ulat ions . Si nce the beg inni ng o f th is y ear, we hav e been st ron g on enforcement because in the last five years, we had been dia loguin g wit h peop le, talking to them about taking car e of the ir e nvir onme nt, to love the ir e nvir onme nt, wha t they need to do to pro tect the envir onme nt, an d al so p ut o ut reg ulat ions , gu idel ines to assist them to do what is good for the envi ronme nt. Nig eria has been unde r a trade ban for contravening the Conve ntion on Int erna tion al T rade in End ange red Spec ies (CI TES); we h ave b een banned because we violated thi s in tern atio nal

Dr. Ngeri Benebo

The National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) is a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment created to enforce compliance with environmental regulations. The agency’s Director-General, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, in this interview with Aminu Imam and Mohammed Kandi, gives an insight into how well the agency is meeting this expectation. Excerpts: con vent ion b ut t hen NESREA was able to meet all the obl igat ions the y as ked Nig eria to disc harg e; t hey gave us some conditions for lifting the ban and NESREA was abl e to ens ure all the conditions were met and the ban was lifted last August; tha t is o ne ma jor a ch i e ve m e nt . On e-wast e, we ’re aware that your agency last held an international conference in 2009. Has there been any follow-up; if so, what next? The issue of e –waste is important: people shouldn’t jus t bri ng no n-fu nctio nal electri cal/ electroni c goods to the country; there was a

container we said should be sent back to the place it came fro m bu t my offic er c ame back to say that the Customs in Lagos said they were yet to get instr uctio ns f rom Abuja to repatriate it. What hap pene d   w as  t hat  the imp orte r bro ught in u sed ele ctri cal/e lect ronic goo ds. We   have  guidelines  for  that, you bri ng in good s wh ich must be functional but in the ent ire p ackag e in the container if we find one that is non func tion al, we j ust sea l up the c onta iner and sen d ev eryth ing b ack, we rep atria te, th at is the law and that is t he g uidel ine that we have given to them and thi s one flou ted it;

bec ause when my o ffic ers went to inspect it, they found out tha t it con tain ed s ome non fun ctio nal good s in it and we don’t inspect alone, we do it with a committee , th e na tion al d og watch committee,  including the Cust oms, NIMA SA, Nig erian Port s Au thori ty, the Poli ce, t he N avy, SSS and NE SREA, who al l have the rig ht to go and inspect and whe n we find any non fun ction al ele ctron ic go ods which is at the end of its life, we note it a nd ev eryb ody signs the r epatriatio n form and rep atria tion will be applied, so there is one right now at the ports, so we have sto pped that, we h ave

stopped the i mportation of two stock engine, even now, our insp ectio n age nts abroad, will not give you the ver ific atio n ce rtif icat es, they will not allow you to go and recently I got a copy of a l etter writt en by one shippi ng company i n Hong Kong to all its subsidiaries ins truc ting the m th at t hat anyone that wants to carry use d el ectr ical goo ds m ust mak e sur e it has the national certificate with the uni que n umber beca use eve ry cer tific ate ha s a num ber a nd w hen y our certificate expires, it is still tha t sa me nu mber that we wil l gi ve y ou; it i s no t a mat ter of us g iving you ano ther n umber and t hat num ber is wh at is in our sys tem so, whet her you present certificate or not, it does not matter to them, all they will do is, go into our system and check what it is from the internet and they will find out that co mpany xyz , with numb er xxx is allowed because we put it in there, and they will see the exp iry date and onc e it is expired, they will not carry the good s, so whe ther you show them certificate or not, they just go on the web and they check that to be able to stop such things. We are able to see that ind ustr ies conform to that; the telecom industry has done so. They com plai ned that NES REA was doing too much because all this whil e no one had stopped them; what they or their principals will not do in their count ries they are doing it here. Talk about the con struct ion c ompani es, wha t th ey wi ll no t do in the ir p aren t co untr ies abr oad, they are doing it her e. Bu t th ings are cha nging now. We h ave dra wn u p reg ulati ons for peo ple to know what the rul es are ; we have d one what we can to have a levelpla ying gro und for eve rybo dy. W here you are

coming from do you break the law? No, there are laws and ignorance of the law is not an excuse to break the law and env iron ment al l aws are fun dame ntal, whet her you are a S outh African, Indian or where ver y ou a re fr om, there are laws. Fe w we eks ago, a conflict in regulatory roles eru pted betw een t his agency and the Nigerian C o m m u n i c a t i o n s Commission (NCC) when you seal ed u p a b ase station belonging to one of the nation’s telecom firms in Abuja, alleging that its location breached the 10met re d ista nce benchmark. Has the faceoff with NCC b een resolved? There is no conflict at all; should I call it ignorance or wha tever. Gover nme nt se t up the NESREA and said this is what NESREA should do. It e nf or ce s e nv ir on me nt al po li ci es an d en vir on me nt al re gu la ti on s w hi ch i nc lu de ai r qu al it y an d an yt hi ng th at w il l deg ra de w he th er water, air or s oil. So, if you put your base station and it di st ur bs t he ai r qu al it y of the next person, whether by no is e or fu me s fr om ge ne ra ti ng se ts , it i s an envir onmental problem and so, that is to be determined by N ESREA, but i f you talk about the quality of the iron or the metal used to build the bas e sta tion, the n NES REA does not have anything to do with it, it is the NCC; but so long as the base station does not disturb the environment bu t if i t di st ur bs t he en vi ro nm en t, we w il l te ll yo u no  a nd   w e  ha ve   g iv en re gu la ti on s as t o wh er e it should be so that it does not aff ect the envir onme nt. So, it i s th at r eg ul at io n th at NE SR EA i s enf or ci ng a nd no th in g sh ort o f th at a nd nothing more than that and the supposed conflict, which I didn’t see in the face of a conflict, two ministers have

been brought into it and it ha s b een res olv ed a nd we put it over us and I just said th is f or th e re co rd s, be ca us e ev ery bo dy k ee ps asking, otherwise, there is no c onf li ct in ou r law s at all.        This agency took steps towards ensuring that Nigerian ports are no t be in g u se d as a du mpin g gr ou nd f or ha za rd ou s pro du ct s; wh at i s the pre se nt position? Our ports are not being us ed as d ump in g gro un ds be ca us e we a re c lo se ly wo rk in g wit h Cu st om s. So me ti me s t hi ng s sl ip through and when they get to the C ustom s th ey se ize them and invite to come in. Ironically, we are not even at the ports but Customs is co -o pe ra ti ng w it h us 1 00 percent so I want to use this medium to say a big thank yo u  to  t he   C om pt ro ll er Ge ne ra l of C us to ms because we’ve never had it as g oo d as th is , we a re working and I believe it is in t he s pir it r es pe ct of th e t ran sform ation ag en da .  Any th in g  th at co me s in an d is wi th in  t he  wo rk   v ie w  of NE SR EA , th ey c al l us in  an d  sa y c ome   and   ha ve a look at this so and then, l i k e   t h e   c a s e

of the container  I  said,  they have called us, and we have seen it and we have said take it back but you know, those that are okay we allow it in. Ar e th er e ch al le ng es hi nd er in g th e ag en cy from achiev ing its  vision and what meas ures are you taking to ov er come them? We k ee p te ll in g pe op le th er e is a w ay o f re dr es s; if  y ou  d on ’t   s ay   s om et hi ng is w ro ng , n ob od y wi ll kn ow ,  we   ar e  th e  on es we ar in g  th e s ho e  an d  we are the  ones  that  wi ll  know which toe it hurts; you see, NE SR EA h as be co me a ho us eh ol d n am e, b ut a nu mb er o f pe op le a re double-tongued, in the sense th at  t he y  m us t  ha ve co ll ec te d r en t fr om a te le co m o pe ra to r, le as ed  t he  pl ac e  to   t he m, sa y ok ay , let m e ge t th is telecom people to come and pu t th ei r ma st h er e an d, th en t he y p ay t he m, ev er yb od y ha s sh ar ed t he money ,the money has been co nsu med and th en y ou go to t he m an d s ay g iv e us another money and they say no t il l n ex t y ea r, th en y ou say I’ll deal with the m. I’ll re po rt t hem . It is my property, if  I  feel  that  I  want it t he re , the re i s no l aw th at  t he  g ov er nm en t  wi ll

We keep telling people there is a way of redress; if you don’t say something is wrong, nobody will know, we are the ones wearing the shoe and we are the ones that will know which toe it hurts; you see, NESREA has become a household name, but a number of people are double-tongued

Dr. Ngeri Benebo come and tell a man in his house that  thi s  mast  is  too cl os e to y ou , NE SR EA h as no t co me t o t ha t an d we do n’ t wa nt to d o th at be ca us e we kn ow w e ha ve in fr as tr uc tur al p ro bl em s, bu t el ec tri ci ty h as im pr ov ed I m us t te ll y ou be ca us e my ge ne ra to r at home the batt ery has been ru nn in g do wn be ca us e of disuse and I don’t leave in d ce nt ra l ar ea s , I le av e in d ou ts ki rt s.  S o  wh at   I ’m sa yi ng i s we h av e al l th is challenges so if we now say this mast should not be here an d th e pe op le a re n ot co mp la in in g, t he n we a re de pr iv in g th em fr om  t he  s er vi ce   t he y  wi ll ge t fr om t he ma st b ei ng th er e, t he ma st t ha t we ha ve p la ce d a s to p wo rk order on or sealed are as a re su lt of p ubl ic o utc ry n ot on r ou ti ne i ns pe ct io n of pu bl ic o ut cr y be ca us e we are Nigerians and we know wh at it me an s; even  t h e con s t ruct ion c o m p a n i e s , al l  th e  en fo rc em en t  we ha ve d on e ar e ba se d on co mp la in ts b ec au se a s we ar e att en di ng to  t he  c om pla in ts .  We   a re also other people this is what we s ho ul d d o, r eg ul ar co mp li an ce mo ni to ri ng because every day our staff in the sta tes are goi ng o ut so t he y ar e u si ng t ha t to tel l th e in dust rial   fac ilit ies wh at th ey are s upp ose d to do r ig ht b ut wh er e pe op le ha ve c om pla in ed , we be co me a l it tl e bi t mo re serious we say you must do it w it hi n sa y 2 we ek s or wi th in a ny sp ec if ie d ti me an d if y ou do n’ t, y ou

will be sanctioned  but  when people have not complained, we will tell you that you are no t do in g thi s ri gh t, a nd wh en yo u s ay oka y w e’ ll do it and we come back and you ar e no t do in g i t, w e’ ll n ot sa nc ti on y ou, b ut w e wi ll st ill te ll you wh y d on’ t y ou do this first if you cannot do all, and we will help you and guide you what  to  do  and  we wi ll a pp ea l t o yo u bu t if people complain, because we ar e be in g p ai d wi th ta xp ay er s mo ne y, w e mu st ta ke i mm ed iat e ac ti on a nd th at i s th e tru th a bo ut i t. Bu t w he n p eop le co mpl ai n, we must step in like we have ba nn ed 2 -s tro ke e ng in e, ba nn ed i mp ort at io n, b ut tw o st oc k en gi ne s is s ti ll be in g us ed in t he c ou nt ry and will continue to be used un ti l we c an’ t fi nd s pa re parts to repai r again and it be co me s e- wa st e bu t if some body w ants t o brin g it in, we say you can’t bring it in, keep it in your country. What are the results of th e re gu lar d ia lo gu es NESREA has been hav ing wi th s ta ke ho ld er s, especially with a v iew to building partnership? We are engaged in public awareness push all the time; officers go out 3 times a week in A bu ja a nd tw ic e a we ek in  t he  s ta tes ,  we   g o  to sc ho ol s, m ar ke t, w e go a ll over an d when they go into th e in du st rie s, t he y al so ed uc at e, w e d o a lo t of se ns it is at io n pr og ra mm es an d th at ’s wh y NE SR EA ha s  be co me   a   h ou se ho ld nam e be cause of the sensitisation programmes we do in th e sch ools , par ks, mar kets.  We  h ave  19  st ate

offic es and t hey go o ut on e n v i r o n m e n t a l sen siti satio n pro gram mes twi ce a week . We part ner wit h all relev ant org anisat ions and st akeh olde rs, we partner with the academia, media practitioners whom we call in once in a while and when we do a revie w of our doc umen ts, we b ring in these people, all the experts. One of th e key areas of strategy is partnership; we bui ld pa rtne rship in env ironme ntal educat ion and capa city buil ding. We have sealed up the premises of Arab C ontra ctors, we hav e sea led u p Jul ius Ber ger; we sa nctio ned them. After they paid their fin es, we un seale d th em; they paid the same day we san ction ed th em; w hen the y came , we told t hem this is what you have done wrong and we have warned you befo re, a nd t hey s aid oka y, how much are we to pay? We told them and they went and brought the drafts and paid.You see, if we are not doing anything, people will complain about us, it is bec ause we are lett ing everybody know that this is not good for our count ry, stop it, we will not accept it. What is your vision of the age ncy in t he n ext three years? It is p eopl e co mply ing (wi th s tand ards ); m ore gre enery in the environment and Nigerians loving and caring for their env ironm ent b ecau se it is all we hav e; like you s aid, the envi ronme nt i s a l oan to u s like our ch ildren yet un bo rn .



My name is Ramadan... I am here again! (IV) Allah says: We have indeed revealed This (message) In the night of power: And what will explain to Thee what the night of power is? The night of power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand: Peace!...This until the rise of morn! [al-Qadr: 1-5)


n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. Assalamu alaikum my brothers and sisters in Islam! Today the take on the days of my grand finale; the last ten days of Ramadan that are even more blessed than the rest of Ramadan. In it is a night that Qur'an tells us is better than 1,000 months! When i said something about me, I talking with authority! i know everything said about that are true, and the those that fabrication. The opening Qur'anic chapter which I began my discussion with you is the final authority attesting to my significance which Allah, our lord has accorded me since eternity. You see Qur'an was first revealed in me; and i acknowledge this with humility to Allah as an unmeasurable honour. I am humbly thankful to Him! Another importance showered on is the inherent of the night of power and majesty; Lailatul Qadr. This night is a divine gift from Allah to this Ummah of our beloved Messenger of Allah also since time memorial when no creation was made. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” (Narrated by al-Nasa'i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as). My advice to at this critical moment is that time is of the essence; every second counts. Whatever you need to do for the

next ten days to make the most make the best use of this last ten in good deeds, rehearsing the days or nights of my departure. Qur'an, celebrating the names I will try to be very precise and and attributes of Allah, direct to the point because and supplication, charity, etc., want you to utilize every second rewards are going to be of many folds. Because of the importance of this days are well known by By Husain Zakariyya the Messenger of Allah, Yawale Imams AlBukhari and +234-8052952900 (sms only) M u s l i m narrated from 'Aishah (RD) that when the last to accrue rewards and closeness ten days of Ramadan began, the to Allah at every tick of it. Prophet (SAW) would stay up at Read the Qur'an: night, wake his family and tie The Messenger of Allah has his lower garment tight told us that the Quran will (mi'izar). And according to intercede for those who read it Ahmad and Muslim: "he (SAW) at night either during their would strive hard in worship tahajjud or from the Book. He


during the last ten nights of Ramadan as he did not do at other times". My plea to you is that you strive and use every so-called idle time some of you thought, in doing good deeds. The bare fact i want warn you with is that satanic insinuation which drives young men like you, and even some old men, is assumption that next year is another opportunity. This is only a wishful thinking that may not realizable except if we are still around and are in good health and shape to make use of it. Even if we are sustained by the grace of Allah, we are still one year behind and bearing the sins and losses of the past on our shoulders. There is also the life's normal trials and tribulations to face the coming year; you never can assume perfectly. So, there is no better time to move closer to Allah and ask Him to make all that easier than at this moment at your disposal Therefore, I want tell how to

was reported to have said according to the narration of Ahmad from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Fasting and the Quran will intercede for a person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, 'O Lord, I deprived him of his food and his desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.' And the Quran will say: 'I deprived him of his sleep at night so let me intercede for him.' Then they will intercede.” In the naration of Abu Musa: The Prophet was reported as having said, “The example of a believer who recites the Qur'an is that of a citron (a citrus fruit)

which is good in taste and good in smell. And the believer who does not recite the quran is like a date which has a good taste but no smell. And the example of an impious person who recites the Qur'an is that of Ar-Rihana (an aromatic plant) which smells good but is bitter in taste. And the example of an impious person who does not recite the quran is that of a colocynth which is bitter in taste and has no smell.” Now listen to to this bonanza from our Lord specifically for this blessed generation of the Prophet of Allah; Muhammad (SAW): “Whoever recites ten aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will not be recorded as one of the forgetful. Whoever recites a hundred aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will be recorded as one of the devout, and whoever prays a thousand aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will be recorded as one of the muqantareen (those who pile up good deeds).” (Reported by Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban. Al-Istighfaar: Because we are made to err and committing mistakes are unavoidable, we must set a moment either during day time or night to ask the forgiveness of Allah for sins we have committed in our encounter with our daily lives. For example in the Musnad Ahmad it is narrated that Thawban said: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “A man is deprived of provision (Rizq) because of the sins that he commits.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah) Hunting the night of Majesty; Lailatul qadr: For your information my brothers and sisters in Islam, there is no better offer that this in the waiting: One of the best dua's that can be recited on Laylat al-Qadr is that which the Prophet (SAW) taught 'A'ishah (RD). It was narrated by al-Tirmidhi that 'A'ishah (SAW) said: I said: "O Messenger of Allah, If I know which night is Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say?" He said: “Say: Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibb al-'afwa fa'fu 'anni (O Allah, You are AllForgiving and You love forgiveness so forgive me).” I'itikaaf or seclusion for the purpose of worship Allah: If you can take a short leave and try to experience it even for once. It is an experience worthy of experiencing. It enliven the soul, emit away all the animalistic desire and instincts to a soul that is full with love of Allah, and adoration. You take a day or more. Remember to perform it a Jumu'ah mosque if it will cut across Friday; for fear of missing it. Well I am afraid I have to stop here for other equally important engagements. Next week we will sign out into another month, Insha Allah. Wasslaam


By Bukola Adetoye


ver the years, financial experts have consistently bemoaned Nigeria’s overdependence on oil revenue. The experts describe the development as unhealthy and appeal to the government to explore other sources of revenue, particularly taxation. They, however, note that the current tax regime in the country is somewhat weak, urging the government to devise means of taxing individuals and organisations appropriately. The campaign for a restructured tax system to boost the country’s revenue is particularly spearheaded by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), which has also been calling on governments at all levels to harness their revenue sources. For instance, the CITN, during its 2012 annual conference in Abuja, which has “Taxation as a Tool for Economic Transformation’’ as its theme, reiterated its position on tax matters. President  Goodluck Jonathan, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the conference, shared similar sentiments with the institute, conceding that the government needed more revenue to enable it to fulfil its obligations to the people in a pragmatic way. “Our country’s dependence on revenue oil over the years has worsened the situation,’’ he said, adding: “This accounts for government’s efforts in recent times to change the tide by encouraging productivity in other sectors of the economy.’’ Jonathan stressed that unsteady oil prices in the global market had made it more imperative for the country to diversify its revenue base. The CITN President, Mr Sunday  Jegede, emphasised that taxes had formed an integral part of the economies of the developed countries, adding that Nigeria should not be an exception. He, however, underscored the need to constantly review the country’s tax policies for them to be in tune with perceptible trends in economic gr ow th . Jegede stressed that solid economies usually had sound fiscal and monetary policies, structured to drive growth in critical sectors of the economy, such as energy, transportation and financial sectors. “Taxation is a vital component in this chain, as it helps to define the shape and direction of government policies, which usually drive economic development,’’ he said. The CITN president suggested that the national tax policy should be strengthened, while membership of state boards of internal revenue should be professionalised Jegede, nonetheless, noted that the current security challenges facing Nigeria might hinder efforts to derive substantial revenue from taxation.


Exploring new tax sources to boost Nigeria’s revenue

Ag. Chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Mashi He particularly lamented that potential investors, especially the foreign ones, might not be willing to invest in the country if the current security challenges persisted. Reiterating that the current security situation in the country would affect tax revenue in Nigeria, Jegede urged the Federal Government to urgently initiate strategies that would ensure the safety of the people’s lives and property. “Many people and keen observers who have been following recent happenings in

Nigeria are wondering if Nigeria is becoming a failed state. “Although, Nigeria may not have reached the unenviable status of Somalia; regrettably, however, the state of security in the country seems to be pointing steadily toward the direction of a failed state,’’ he added. As a way out, Jegede urged the Federal Government to adopt measures, akin to the ones it used in tackling the militancy in the Niger Delta, to address the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency. “We recommend that the same dialogue method should be used to resolve the Boko Haram crisis quickly in order not to scare foreign investors away from the country,’’ he said. However, Ms Marilyn Ogar, the  Deputy  Director  (Public Relations), State Security Service (SSS), said that Nigerian women had vital roles to play in tackling the current security challenges facing the c o u nt r y . “Women sleep and wake up

Many people and keen observers who have been following recent happenings in Nigeria are wondering if Nigeria is becoming a failed state. Although, Nigeria may not have reached the unenviable status of Somalia; regrettably, however, the state of security in the country seems to be pointing steadily toward the direction of a failed state

Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

with their husbands; they are closer to their children and they should know what they do,’’ she added. Ogar appealed to mothers to properly monitor and guide their children, while encouraging their husbands to be law-abiding and peaceful. All the same, Prince Kunle Quadri, the President, West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI), commended the steps so far taken by the Federal Government to address the current security situation in the country. He, nonetheless, urged the government to redouble its efforts to check the rising menace of bombings and gun attacks across the country. Going from the general to the specifics, Quadri also commended the government for giving priority attention to taxation issues. “WAUTI is delighted that the National Tax Policy document has finally been launched and made public for adoption and administrative implementation by all tiers of go vern men t. “Also worthy of commendation is the signing into law of the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011,’’ he said. Quadri, however, proposed that obsolete provisions in Nigeria’s tax laws should be constantly reviewed so as to restructure the laws to meet the development needs of the c o u nt r y . He recommended a yearly review of tax laws and the reflection of the review in annual Appropriation Acts, as practised in countries like Britain and South Africa. According to him, tax rates and allowances should be structured in tandem with current economic realities. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Babatunde Fowler, the Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Board, advised the Federal Government to deal with issues that could hinder the country from getting the desired revenue from taxes. He observed that revenue generated from many sources, including oil, was largely determined by international market forces. “The Federal Government should deal with factors that may prevent the country from harnessing the full benefits of taxation for economic growth,’’ Fowler said. The general consensus of opinions, however, is that the Federal Government should heed the advice of the financial experts and exploit the numerous tax sources for the country’s economic development. Source: NAN


By Sani Adamu


hat the Niger Delta region ranks among the most polluted regions in the world is an incontrovertible statement. A report submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan on Aug. 4, 2011 by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on the extent of oil pollution in the region corroborates the claim. The report revealed that it would take Nigeria more than 20 years to clean up pollution in the region. The scientific assessment which was conducted at the instance of the Federal Government, revealed that oil firms contaminated 1,000 sq km. of Ogoniland. In carrying out the studies which lasted 14 months, UNEP examined more than 200 locations, surveyed 122 km. of pipeline rights of way, reviewed more than 5,000 medical records and engaged more than 23,000 people at local community meetings. In all, more than 4,000 samples were analysed, including water taken from 142 groundwater monitoring wells, drilled specifically for the study and soil extracted from 780 bore holes. “The Ogoni community is exposed to hydrocarbons every day through multiple routes. While the impact of individual contaminated land sites tends to be localised, air pollution related to oil industry operations is all pervasive, affecting the quality of life of close to one million people,’’ the report stated. The report also stated that maintenance of oil field infrastructure in Ogoniland was inadequate, while Shell Petroleum Development Company failed to comply with its own procedures, thus creating public health and safety issues. “The oil industry has been a key sector of the Nigerian economy for more than 50 years, but many Nigerians have paid a high price, as this assessment underlines. “The environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wideranging and long-term oil cleanup exercise ever undertaken, if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be sanitised. It recommended immediate restoration of the polluted Ogoni environment by Shell, with the hope that the clean-up exercise would remedy the multiple health and sustainable development issues facing the people However, residents of the polluted  communities  have expressed concern that the relevant bodies have not started implementing the report. Ogoni community in Rivers recently staged a peaceful protest against the non-implementation of the report. The protesters took over the gate of the corporate headquarters of Shell Petroleum


Checking environmental pollution in the Niger Delta

A man walks near the spilled crude oil on the shores and in the waters of the Niger Delta swamps. Development Company in Port Harcourt, and obstructed vehicular movement. “Shell, clean up Niger Delta”, “Implement UNEP report”, “Ogoni say no to Shell”, were some of the inscriptions on their placards. “We will continue to protest until we do something stupid. We are trying to be very peaceful for now, but I assure you, we are going to do something very stupid very soon,” Celestine Akpobari, the National Coordinator of Ogoni Solidarity Forum, said. “UNEP’s recommendation on Ogoni environment should be implemented without further delay. This is the appeal of the people to the Federal Government.” says Sen. Magnus Abe, who represents the Ogoni at the National Assembly. Rt Rev. Solomon Gberegbara, Bishop of Ogoni Diocese, Anglican Communion, recalled  that streams and rivers which hitherto sustained the economic well-being of the inhabitants through fishing, had been polluted. Environmentalists are also concerned that gas flaring is still going on in the Niger Delta and want a specific time frame for its end. Mr Nnimmo Bassey, Chairman Friends of Earth Nigeria, an NGO, has decried the high rate of gas flaring from the oil and gas fields in the country. He wondered how the operators, who have since outlawed and ended gas flaring

Government should take d r a s t i c measures to compel the oil majors to operate at par w i t h international best practices in the oil and gas sector to safeguard the environment. “Gas flaring has been illegal since 1984 and a High Court declared that it i s unconstitutional and against the human rights of the people of Nigeria. “It does not Niger Delta Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe require months in their home countries for more of preparation. Where there is no than 20 years ago, could justify infrastructure to convert the the practice in Nigeria. wasted gas into power or other A recent report released usable forms, production of crude by the  NNPC  on  the  state  of  gas to which the gas is associated can flaring in  the  Niger  Delta  region, simply be shut down. as at January 2012, showed that “That would guarantee the Mobil Petroleum flared 9.85 stoppage of flaring at such billion standard cubic feet (bscf) locations,” the of gas in the month under environmentalist said. review. However, the Minister of The report said the oil firm Environment, Hajiya Hadiza produced 38.64 bscf and utilised Mailafiya, said the National Oil 28.77 bscf of its associated gas for Spill Detection and Response fuelling its operation, re- Agency (NOSDRA) would study injection and sale to industrial the report on behalf of the users. Federal Government. Bassey said  the  Federal “With the release of the report

on oil pollution in Ogoniland, it is the responsibility of NOSDRA to handle such reasonability. “The case of Ogoni is an international case; we have to look at the report, it was just submitted to Mr. President, until we look at the report, it will be preemptive to say more.” Shell  Petroleum  Company, which is at the centre of the oil pollution in Ogoniland, claimed it spent $3 billion in the past 12 years on associated gas gathering infrastructure, aimed at reducing gas flaring in the Niger Delta. Mr Andy Brown, Shell’s Director of Upstream International, corroborated the claims, noting that the company reduced gas flaring by 60 per cent, from 0.6 billion cubic feet a day to about 0.2 billion cubic feet per day. ‘’The SPDC venture has continued to be at the forefront of gas development and utilisation since the 60s. “The venture has the presence and experience to collaborate with other parties to help achieve this important national aspirations. ’’ As advised by UNEP, environmentalists and energy analysts, all the necessary machinery should be put in place to implement the UNEP report. This is the surest way to guarantee sustainable social, economic and political peace in the polluted communities, they say. Source: NAN



Mother hiccups up to 100 times a day for almost five years after falling pregnant F or most of us a bout of hiccups is annoying, but lasts no more than a few minutes. Spare a thought, then, for Lisa Doherty who has suffered from hiccups every day for almost five years. Ms Doherty, 24, began hiccuping in January 2008 while pregnant with her daughter Emily, and has continued to hiccup up to 100 times a day ever since. When the young woman visited the doctors she was told hiccups were common in pregnant women, and dismissed it from her mind. But although she gave birth to Emily in June 2008 and went on to have a second daughter, Sophie, in May this year, the pesky gulps have shown no sign of stopping. Ms Doherty, who lives in Lincoln and runs her own mobile casino company, has tried all the known hiccup remedies from holding her breath to drinking water upside down - but to no avail. She said: ‘I started hiccuping when I was around four months pregnant with Emily. I went to the doctor and I was told it was a part of pregnancy and a hiccup could be a way of getting air to your baby quickly. ‘So I thought nothing of it, until three months after having Emily I

still had hiccups. ‘It’s not usually fits of hiccups but just one very loud hiccup every hour. At worst I’ve had up to 100 hiccups a day, I’ve even started hiccuping in my sleep occasionally. ‘I can hiccup really loud, so it can be a bit embarrassing, some people say I sound like a dinosaur. ‘I get some very funny looks, especially from old ladies because if I’m quite close to them when I hiccup I can often make them jump. ‘I’ve tried everything to cure the hiccups, all the old wives’ tales from holding my breath to drinking water upside down, to asking people to scare me. ‘My partner Matthew still jumps out at me every now and again to try and help but nothing works.’ Ms Doherty has continued to visit the doctor in a bid to find a cure but medics are baffled as to the cause for her unusual ailment. She is currently waiting to have a gastroscopy, a procedure where doctors use a fibre-optic camera to examine the inside of the gullet and stomach. With luck, the procedure may finally shed some light on the cause of her unusual condition.

Ms Doherty said: ‘I’ve been passed from pillar to post. One doctor even told me I had the hiccups because I talked to much and that I should try talking less.

‘I’m waiting for a referral for a gastroscopy which will hopefully find out what’s causing the hiccups and put a stop to them. ‘The hiccups have become a

regular part of my day-to day life, I often don’t notice them anymore. ‘But I wouldn’t like to have them for another four years.’ Source:

Drink up, mum! Chronic hiccuper Lisa Doherty tries out an old-fashioned cure with the help of her daughter Emily

Divers discover 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck so well preserved even the food is intact


ne of the best preserved shipwrecks ever found has been discovered off the Italian coast. Divers say they have discovered a ship off the coast of Italy which they believe is about 2,000 years old. The ship, which was found in the sea off the town on Varazze in the province of Liguria, is thought to be a Roman-era commercial vessel. A search for the shipwreck was launched after local fisherman revealed they kept finding pieces of pottery in their nets. The divers found the wreck so well preserved even the food, still sealed in over 200 pots, is intact. ‘The peculiarity of this is that

the wreck could be almost intact,’ Lt Col Francesco Schilardi of the police divers’ group told the BBC. ‘We believe it dates to sometime between the 1st Century BC and the 1st Century AD,’ Researchers believe the mud on the seabed protected the wreck. Test on some of the recovered jars revealed they contained pickled fish, grain, wine and oil. The foodstuffs were traded in Spain for other goods. ‘There are some broken jars around the wreck, but we believe that most of the amphorae inside the ship are still sealed and food filled,” said Lt. Col. Schilardi. The ship is thought to have travelled on trade routes between Spain and what is now central

Italian police bring ashore a pot recovered from the 2,000 year old wreck. they have now banned other divers from visiting it to protect the site.

Italy and was loaded with more than 200 clay amphorae likely to have contained fish, wine, oil and grain. The ship, which dates to

sometime between the 1st Century B.C. and the 1st Century A.D., is hidden under layers of mud on the seabed, which has left the wreck and its cargo intact.

The vessel will remain hidden at the bottom of the sea until Italian authorities decide whether to raise it or not. Source:

Divers examine one of an estimated 200 pots found on a shipwreck off the coast of Italy. The pots are so well preserved food still remains inside them.



Iranians and Indians lead in snapping up Burj Khalifa’s (tallest tower) luxury apartments


ranian and Indian investors are leading the charge in spending millions of dollars snapping up luxury apartments and shop space in the world’s tallest tower. Dubai’s government has revealed that more than $128million from Tehran has already been blown on the 828m high Burj Khalifa in the last six months. Many of the 358 mystery money-men have used cash to get around strict Western sanctions designed to limit their access to banks. And even more money has arrived from India, where investors are said to be keen to exploit the $700 to $1,000 per sq ft price, which is up to ten times cheaper than prime London locations. Dubai’s land department also revealed that foreign investors had bought property worth around $7.6billion in the first half of 2012. This was 36 per cent up on the previous year and, authorities said, showed Dubai’s property market was slowly stabilising after home prices slumped by more than 60 per cent from their peak in 2008. The prowess of Indian investors comes as no surprise as the nation quickly develops into one of the economic powerhouses of the world. But what is curious is the prevalence of the injection of cash from Iran, where economic sanctions aimed at curbing a disputed nuclear programme have cut off links to international banking systems. A Dubai-based real estate broker said: ‘Iranians have problems getting finance, which is why they are mostly involved in cash buys. We have sold three

High and mighty: Iranian and Indian investors are splashing the cash on property in Dubai's Burj Khalifa. floors on the Burj and this involved Iranian buyers.’ Dubai, 100 miles across the Gulf, has been a major trading hub for Iran for more than a century with an estimated 8,000 Iranian traders and trading firms registered in the emirate. Oliver Essex, a consultant with Powerhouse Properties, which specialises in Burj Khalifa property, said: ‘Iranian investors have been in Dubai for a long time.

‘They have money here which can be easily invested Iranians usually buy property through their company due to sanctions.’ Maybe it should not be such a surprise, given that Iran can actually be seen from the top of the tower on a clear day. The land department added that Britons were the third most active buyers while UAE citizens came in fourth. Pakistani buyers rounded out the top five. Construction of the $1.5billion tower began in 2004, with its official opening in January 2010. Initially called the Burj Dubai, its name was changed to honour

Abu Dhabi leader Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan after he bailed out indebted Dubai to the tune of $10billion. It boasts the world’s first Armani hotel on the bottom floors, houses 900 Dubai residences, 37 floors of office space, a fine dining restaurant and an observation

deck. It has the most stories and highest occupied floor of any building in the world, and ranks as the world’s tallest structure. Visitors can look out from the highest observation deck in the world on the 124th floor. Source:

Cash rich: Britons were the third most active buyers, with UAE citizens and Pakistani buyers fourth and fifth.

They have money here which can be easily invested Iranians usually buy property through their company due to sanctions. Maybe it should not be such a surprise, given that Iran can actually be seen from the top of the tower on a clear day

Money men: A total of 358 Iranian investors have spent more than $128million on flats and shops.



Syria rebels retreat under heavy Aleppo fire Turkish

military bus ambushed


ree Syria Army commander says rebels withdrew from Saleheddin district to prepare counter-attack against military. The Syrian army has renewed its heavy shelling of rebel-held areas of Aleppo, the country's commercial capital, antigovernment activists have said, forcing the armed opposition to withdraw from at least one neighbourhood. Intense bombardment rocked the neighbourhoods of Saleheddin, Hanano, Saif alDawla, Shaar and Shakur on Thursday, anti-government groups have said. The army attacks are part of the government's continuing air and ground assaults on Aleppo, which is being defended by armed members of the movement to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. The battle for the city has now raged for more than two weeks. The fighting in Aleppo has focused mainly on the neighbourhood of Salaheddin, where heavy clashes have taken place in recent days between the Free Syrian Army and government forces. On Thursday morning, FSA

T A Syrian fighter plane fires a rocket during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, north of Aleppo commanders said that they were withdrawing from some parts of the neighbourhood, under heavy government fire. "The FSA has withdrawn from two streets where there has been fighting in recent days," said Hossam Abu Mohammed, commander of the Dara alShahbaa Brigade. "The fighters are withdrawing to [nearby]

Sukari district, where they are preparing a counter-attack against the army." "A large number of civilians were killed, as were some 40 rebels," said Abu Mohammed. "Forty buildings have been flattened." Another FSA commander in Salaheddin confirmed that the rebels are staging a tactical

withdrawal. "We will open new fronts in Saif al-Dawla and Mashhad districts," to the east of Salaheddin, said the FSA's Wassel Ayub. Mohamed Saeed, an opposition activist in Aleppo, told Al Jazeera that Syrian forces were using air and artillery fire to assault Salaheddin. He said that the fighting was "the worst" that

...Assad appoints new prime minister Wael Nader al-Halqi has reportedly replaced the previous prime minister, who defected and fled the country [EPA]


yrian President Bashar alAssad has appointed Wael al-Halki as prime minister, according to reports by state television reported, after the defection earlier this week of Prime Minister Riyad Hijab. Halki, born in 1964, is from the southern province of Deraa where the 17-month-old uprising against Assad erupted. He replaces caretaker premier Omar Ghalawanji who was

appointed hours after Hijab's defection. Married with four children Halki graduated from Damascus University's faculty of medicine in 1987. Like Hijab, Halki is from Syria's Sunni Muslim majority. Sunnis have been the driving force of the 17-month-old uprising. On Monday, Assad suffered the embarrassment of seeing his prime minister, Riyad Hijab,

defect after only two months in office. Hijab fled to Jordan with his family. Yet even such high-profile defections and outside diplomatic pressure seem unlikely to deflect Assad from what has become a bitter struggle for survival between mostly Sunni Muslim rebels and a ruling system dominated by the president's minority Alawite sect, an esoteric offshoot of Shia Islam.

New French government moves against Roma camps


rench police have been dismantling illegal Roma (Gypsy) camps after the new Socialist government promised action on public health grounds. Two camps near Lille were closed on Thursday morning, following similar moves in Paris and the Lyon area. About 240 east European Roma were put on a flight to Bucharest after agreeing to return to Romania voluntarily. Critics say the Socialists are copying the mass clearances under conservative ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement on Wednesday that court orders to remove illegal camps

would be executed "with firmness". Unsanitary camps were unacceptable, he said, adding that they posed a challenge to community

life in the working-class areas where they were often set up. He stressed that he had instructed officials to consult local politicians and

Riot police were used in the camp closure near Lille

associations with a view to rehousing especially vulnerable people such as children and pregnant women. Mr Sarkozy's demolition of illegal Roma camps and expulsions in the summer of 2010 drew protests from France's neighbours and the European Commission. As part of the new crackdown Following the closures around Lyon, about 240 Roma were put on a plane at the city's Saint-Exupery airport on Thursday morning after agreeing to leave France voluntarily, in return for payments. A Roma rights campaigner, whose name was given only as JeanPhilippe, told France 3 television the voluntary returns were "expulsions in disguise".

US school ends classroom ban on pregnant students


US school in Louisiana has said it will change a policy that forces students suspected of being pregnant to take a test, and then bans them from class if found pregnant. The move comes after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue. No-one at the Delhi Charter School in rural north-east Louisiana realised the policy was wrong, said its chairman. Students found pregnant and

wanting to carry on with their studies had to be home-schooled, the rules said. School board chairman Albert Christman said the policy has got "everybody up in a roar". On Tuesday, the ACLU wrote to the school, saying the policy violated a section of the 1972 federal education law, which requires equal opportunities for both sexes. The policy says: "Any student who is suspected of being

pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counselled to seek other educational opportunities." Mr Christman said "just a handful" of students had been affected by the policy, which dates to 2006. All of them "came back to school

and finished their school," he said. Too many schools do not realise pregnant students should receive equal treatment, the US National Women's Law Center said in a June report. The school had required students testing positive to be home-taught

he vehicle was ambushed on its way to a naval base in the western province of Izmir in an attack which police said also wounded at least 11 people. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Dogan news agency reports that Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels detonated explosives on the road before opening fire on the vehicle at around 8am local time (05:00 GMT) on Thursday. The attack took place near Foca, a small resort town on the Aegean coast where there is a naval base. The soldiers in the bus returned fire, the news agency said. Police declined to comment on who could be behind the assault. Attacks on military vehicles are common in southeast Turkey, but are rare in the west of the country. Television images showed the bus with its windows blown out and glass strewn across the road, and investigators in white overalls searching the scene. Wounded soldiers were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, a police spokesperson said. It was unclear if the 11 injured people included any civilians. The attack came at a time of intensified clashes between the army and the PKK, which has fought a 28year separatist conflict in Turkey in which more than 40,000 people have died, most of them Kurds. The rebels have fought for autonomy in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. Turkey, the United States and the European Union list the PKK as a "terrorist organisation". With fighting centred close to the Syrian border, Turkish officials believe Syrian President Bashar alAssad is arming PKK rebels, following a deterioration of ties between the two countries since the start of the Syrian uprising 17 months ago. Thousands of Syrian refugees have been fleeing into Turkey, as the crisis continues to escalate [Reuters] Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been one of Assad's most vocal critics. Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, repeated the allegations about Assad arming the PKK while travelling to Myanmar overnight, according to the Turkish media. "Assad gave them weapons support. Yes - this is not a fantasy. It is true. We have taken necessary measures against this threat," he said. Turkish armed forces have clashed with PKK fighters around the region of Semdinli, close to the borders with Iraq and Syria, since late July. Erdogan said 115 PKK "militants" had been killed in the fighting there so far. Journalists and other nonresidents have been barred entry to the area. Murat Karayilan, the acting PKK leader, last week said the group was changing tactics with its battle in Semdinli, according to Firat News, a website close to the rebel group. Instead of their traditional hitand-run ambushes on Turkish security forces, PKK fighters will remain positioned in Semdinli in an attempt to form a stronghold there, he said.



Libyan council hands power to new assembly Libya council hands power to new assembly

South Africa anger over ‘beard and Bin Laden’ killing


outh Africans have reacted with outrage to the killing of a Muslim man in an alleged Islamophobic attack. Two white men beat Mohammed Fayaaz Kazi to death in the town of Magaliesburg, after insulting him over his beard and calling him "Bin Laden", a survivor of the attack, Ansaar Mahmood, said. Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa's former intelligence minister, said the attack carried the "stench of Islamophobia". Religious violence in South Africa is rare, analysts say. A leading South African Muslim advocacy group, the Media Review Network, called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to ensure a speedy investigation into the 27-year-old Mr Kazi's death. Researcher Ibrahim Vawda said there was widespread anger in the Muslim community. "We strongly urge all members of our community to exercise restraint and patience and to allow the normal process of the law to take its course," he added.

UN chief urges sanctions on Mali rebels


an Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has called for sanctions against fighters who have taken over northern Mali. The UN chief asked the Security Council on Wednesday to consider financial and travel sanctions against rebels and fighters linked to radical Islamist groups, including several who are allied with al-Qaeda. Ban said that the 15-member council should "give serious consideration to the imposition of targeted travel and financial sanctions against individuals or groups in Mali engaged in terrorist, religious extremist or criminal activities". He also termed the destruction of historically significant shrines in Timbuktu by Ansar Dine, an alQaeda-linked group, a "callous" act. A March 22 military coup in the West African country set off a chain of events which led to Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine taking over most of northern Mali. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) refused to recognise the new coup leader and forced him to cede power to a transition government.


ibya's National Transitional Council has handed over power to a new assembly in a symbolic move marking the first peaceful transition after more than 40 years of rule by the late Muammar Gaddafi. "I hand over the constitutional prerogatives to the General National Congress, which from now on is the

legitimate representative of the Libyan people," NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said at a late-evening ceremony on Wednesday. He passed the reins to the oldest member of the 200-seat legislative assembly elected on July 7 at a ceremony that was scheduled late in the day because of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month when believers

fast until dusk. A conference room was arranged in an upscale hotel in the Libyan capital as a makeshift venue for the assembly, which is due to begin its work a week from now, according to the official LANA news agency. The authorities put in place tight security measures for the ceremony, in view of the ongoing violence in the

eastern city of Benghazi and in the capital, where a car exploded during a marketplace gun battle on Saturday. The interior ministry said it had cordoned off the hotel and that "all the roads near or leading to the conference will be closed" between 1700 and 0100 GMT. Representatives of civil society groups and diplomatic missions in Libya, as well as NTC and government officials, are due to attend. Tarik Yousef, Libyan and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Al Jazeera that the NTC "has had a pretty patchy record of delivering on the ground of being transparent". "This National Congress assumes power today while at the same time being expected to act, and act soon... to deal with issues that Libyan people see as essential to the country," Yousef said. "Many of them [assembly members] have enjoyed friendships and business dealings... but never have 200 people come together to work in an open, transparent and democratic process as the national legislature." The General National Congress, the outcome of last month's ballot, will be tasked with choosing a new interim government to take over from the NTC, and will steer the country until fresh elections can be held, based on a new constitution, to be drafted by a constituent authority of 60 members.

New fossils point to ‘more human species’


hree new fossils have been found in Kenya which show that there are two additional pre-human species besides the one that eventually led to modern humans, researchers say. A team led by Meave Leakey, daughter-in-law of famed scientist Louis Leakey, found facial bones from one creature and jawbones from two others in northern Kenya that led the researchers to conclude that man's early ancestor had plenty of humanlike company from other species. The new bones were found between 2007 and 2009 about 10km away from the old site near the fossil-rich Lake Turkana region, Leakey said. These would not be Homo erectus, believed to be our direct ancestor. They would be more like very distant

cousins, who when you go back even longer in time, shared an ancient common ancestor, one scientist said. The research has been published online on Wednesday in the journal, Nature. But other experts in human evolution are not convinced by what they say is a leap to large conclusions based on limited evidence. It is the continuation of a longrunning squabble in anthropology about the earliest members of our own genus, or class, called Homo. And much of it stems from a controversial discovery that the Leakeys made 40 years ago. The scientist team says that none of their newest fossil discoveries match erectus, so they had to be from another flat-faced relatively large species with

big teeth. The new specimens have "a really distinct profile" and thus they are

"something very different", said Meave Leakey, describing the study in Nature.

The new bones were found between 2007 and 2009 near the fossil-rich Lake Turkana region of Kenya [AFP]

Sinai: Egypt sends reinforcements as offensive builds


gypt has deployed extra troops, tanks and other armoured vehicles to the Sinai peninsula in an escalation of its military offensive in the area. The reinforcements follow the killing of 16 border guards by suspected Islamist militants on Sunday. The army has also begun sealing off tunnels into Gaza, according to Egypt's Mena news agency. Earlier reports that fresh fighting had broken out in al-Arish have been denied by a source quoted by the agency. According to Nile News TV, violent clashes had broken out between police and armed men outside a police station in the town. At least a dozen military transporters, each carrying two armoured personnel carriers, passed

Egypt's 1973 war with Israel and a small crowd of locals stood by staring. One man told us he hoped the army would come down hard on Islamist militants, describing the killing of 16 Egyptian border guards

us on the main coastal road in alArish. We watched as they unloaded at the main military base here. Sights like this have not been seen in the Sinai Peninsula since

A heavy military presence is building up in al-Arish

last weekend as "heinous". Others in al-Arish have expressed more cautious opinions, pointing out that in the past there has been a heavy-handed approach from security forces when dealing with the local Bedouin population. Tensions are likely to rise as action is taken to destroy the smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. There are said to be hundreds of them used mainly to transfer fuel and goods into Gaza, but sometimes to move weapons and people illegally. After years with little economic development, many North Sinai residents rely on the tunnels trade. But a security source told Mena the shots had been fired into the air by a man driving an unlicensed car.



Colombia drug lord ‘Sebastian’ arrested C olombian police have arrested one of the country's main drug lords, Erikson Vargas, who is also known as Sebastian. He was the head of an underworld organisation called the "Office of Envigado", based in the Medellin area of northwestern Colombia. Police said Sebastian was detained at his ranch in the early hours of yesterday morning. President Juan Manuel Santos described the arrest in Antioquia province as "a superblow to crime." "A triple jump against that

criminal network and a gold medal for the police for the arrest of alias Sebastian," Mr Santos said in a message on Twitter. Erikson Vargas is believed to have taken command of the "Office of Envigado" (Oficina de Envigado) in November 2011, when its previous leader Maximiliano Bonilla, known as Valenciano, was arrested in Venezuela.

Colombia's Defence Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon, said the organisation "killed more people than any other criminal network in Colombia in the last 10 years". He said there was an extradition order against Sebastian and that the authorities intended to send him to face justice in the United States. "Sebastian was the main

target of the Colombian police. This is the hardest blow against Colombia's criminal organisations this year," said Mr Pinzon. The organisation was set up by one of Colombia's most notorious drug lords, Pablo Escobar. Its main job was that of collecting debts on behalf of the Medellin Cartel. Those who failed to pay their debts were often brutally killed.

Brazil approves affirmative action law for universities


he Brazilian Senate has approved a bill that reserves half the places in the country's prestigious federal universities to state school students. African-Brazilian Senator Paulo Paim said most Brazilians would benefit as only 10% of students graduated from private schools. President Dilma Rousseff is now expected to sign the bill into law. But the measure has attracted criticism, as it also sets up quotas based on racial background. The reserved spots will be distributed among black, mixed race and indigenous students according to the racial make-up of each Brazilian state. The racial quotas will be discontinued in 10 years. Brazil has the biggest black population anywhere outside of Nigeria, but private schools are still predominantly white. Private school students are usually better prepared than pupils from the public school system for the tough university entry exams. They get most of the places in federal universities, which paradoxically are heavily subsidised and virtually free of charge. But many argue that a US-style affirmative action policy should not be implemented in Brazil, where most of the population is mixed race. Brazil is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world and many Brazilians regard their nation as a "racial democracy" where there is little overt racism. Nonetheless black Brazilians, the descendants of African slaves brought over during Portuguese colonial rule, are much more likely to be poor and rarely reach the top levels of business or politics. Senator Aloysio Nunes, who voted against the bill on Tuesday night, said federal universities are centres of excellence which should select the students with the best marks, regardless of race or class. "The measure straightjackets universities because it violates their management autonomy," Mr Nunes said. Senators in favour of the bill argued it would preserve social justice.

Sebastian had ties with Mexican drug gangs, such as the Zetas

Black activists have campaigned for racial quotas in Brazil

Swedish activists who dropped the bears say they had no assistance from the Belarusians arrested

After the death of Escobar, shot dead by Colombian police in December 1993, the Envigado organisation expanded its activities. Under the command of Escobar's heir, Diego Murillo, it grew into a multi-million dollar business, with a monthly income from drugs, extortion and money-laundering estimated at $20m (ÂŁ13m) a month. In 2008, Murillo, who also went by the alias Don Berna, was extradited to the US to face drugtrafficking charges.

EU calls urgent talks on row between Belarus and Sweden


he EU is to hold urgent talks on Friday over the diplomatic row between Belarus and Sweden, which followed a political stunt involving teddy bears. Belarus effectively expelled Swedish diplomats after a Swedish PR firm parachuted toy bears bearing pro-democracy messages over its territory. Sweden responded by taking action against diplomats from Belarus, one of Europe's most authoritarian states. It is thought that new EU sanctions may be discussed in Brussels on Friday. The ex-Soviet republic has been subject to EU sanctions since 1996, two years after Alexander Lukashenko became president. More than 200 Belarusian individuals are currently barred from entering the EU and their assets have been frozen by EU banks. Twenty-nine companies linked with three businessmen closely associated with Mr Lukashenko are also subject to sanctions. Belarus will be the only subject on the agenda of the EU ambassadors' meeting on Friday, an unnamed official in the European diplomatic service told the European Voice news website. Washington has condemned the expulsion of Swedish diplomats, saying the action only served to deepen Belarus's "selfisolation". It called on Belarus to immediately release and rehabilitate all political prisoners, and end "the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition". 'Serious escalation' Diplomats in Brussels expect a decision to be taken to recall EU ambassadors from Minsk en masse, a diplomatic source told the EU Observer news website. "Recalling the EU ambassadors for consultations [to their home capitals] is the minimum that we can do," the source said.



Johannesburg snow fulfils couple’s white wedding dream P

ortuguese emigre Rui Moca and Monique Joubert had planned to wed next year, but when South Africa’s biggest city was shrouded in a rare blanket of snow on Tuesday, Joubert’s sister called Jacaranda FM to tell them about the couple’s dream of a “real” white wedding. The radio station leapt into action, organizing a minister, lawyer, photographer, flowers,

cake and limousine, and the couple were married on air in the studio in the early evening with Moca’s family listening in from Europe over the Internet. “The entire wedding with all the bells and whistles was organized in just three hours,” Jacaranda DJ Martin Bester said. The snowfall was the first in Johannesburg in five years and

the heaviest since 1981. Newspapers ran front-page photographs of snow-clad palm trees and a lion sitting disconsolately in its enclosure at

Johannesburg zoo with snow gathering in its mane. The cold snap also disrupted travel in Africa’s biggest economy, with drifting snow

and sub-zero temperatures shutting the motorway between the main port of Durban and the economic hub of Johannesburg for at least 24 hours.

Pakistani policemen suspended for parading people naked


our Pakistani policemen have been suspended after allegedly parading a man and two women naked in a town in the deeply conservative Muslim country, police officials said on Sunday. It was unclear clear why the three were naked while being escorted to the police station in the southern town of Gambat on July 28. The man, businessman Mumtaz Mallah, 52, told Reuters police were punishing him for refusing to pay him a bribe. Irfan Baloch, a senior local police officer, said all three were part of a prostitution ring and authorities were responding to

community pressure by arresting them. The trio were already naked when police raided Mallah’s home, he said. “The main arresting police officer’s mistake was that he should have covered them up,” said Baloch. Town residents took video footage of the arrests which shows Mallah trying to put clothes on. Mallah has been released on bail. The two women are still in police custody, Baloch said. (Reporting by Anam Zehra in Islamabad and Hamid Shaikh in Hyderabad; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

A South African couple married this week after a bout of unusually cold weather allowed them to fulfill a light-hearted promise to tie the knot the next time Johannesburg was covered in snow.

The Budget Conundrum (I) – Budgeting Process Contd. from Back Page This is followedby producing a medium-term fiscal framework (MTFF), mandated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2007. The MTFF shows projected expenditure andrevenue plans for a few years in advance. It is important to note that the FRA explicitly states that aggregate expenditure should not exceed aggregate revenuesby more than 3% of national GDP. Next in thebudget preparation process are stakeholders’ consultations. This entails consulting with the international financial institutions, donors and National Assembly (NASS) leadership on the broad budget direction, size and proportions. Then Ministry, Department and Agencies’ (MDAs) expenditure ceilings are set;that is each MDA is given an envelope – a maximum amount available for itsrecurrent and capital expenditure needs for the following year. The medium termsector strategies (MTSS) for MDAs are then prepared by the Budget Office, which translate into Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for presentation and approval by the Federal Executive Council. It is expected by then that the

NASShas approved the MTFF which will be the foundation for the annual budget. After all theabove is done, the Minister of Finance then issues a budget call circular whichis like a framework for the MDAs to prepare their budget proposals, but withintheir ‘envelopes’. When the MDA budgets have been verified to comply with the requirements, the draft is forwarded to the President for his approval after which if satisfied, is presented to a plenary session of the Federal ExecutiveCouncil for approval. The President then forwards it to the two houses of NASS. The budget is a ‘moneybill’ which is required by our constitution to be passed by the two houses, butclearly, the House with its 360 members and more representative of the Nigerian population, has the upper hand in event of disagreements with the Senate. Our Constitution gives the Senate a greater say in presidential appointments, butconfers inherent superiority to the House with respect to appropriation ofpublic funds. Like every bill, the Budget – referred to as Appropriation Billor Supplementary Appropriation Bill – goes through

a First (or Introductory) Reading and debate in plenary sessions. It is then referred to the Appropriation and other sector committees for more detailed review and scrutiny to move theBill to the Second Reading. At this point,the various MDAs are invited to justify and defend their draft budgets in a way similar to “public hearings”. For instance, the Minister of Information and his staff defend the budget of his ministry and its

parastatals before the NASS committees on Information or Media and so on. And it is at this point, MDAs ‘lobby’ NASS committee to increase their allocations, re-introduce projects that may have been screened out or rejected by the Executive Branch and promises of financial “quid pro quo” for budget distortions negotiated and agreed. The respective projects and numbers which constitute the revised budget are now

The importance of focusing on the national visioning and development planning process and their link to the budget cannot be over-emphasized. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Nigeria. As a consequence, at all levels of government – federal, states and local government, budgets are at variance with government’s visions and plans

referred back to the two houses for debate and passage in plenary sessions. It is unlikely that the two houses will come up with the same list of projects and numbers which make up the budget for presentation to the president for assent. Some degree of harmonization is often necessary and the two houses usually appoint a Conference Committee to undertake this with equal membership from each. In the unlikely event that the Conference Committee fails to agree, the two houses go into a join thouse to vote on the budget – a process that ensures that the House version of the Money Bill is passed for assent. As soon as the budget has been harmonized, the finalized Appropriation Bill is sent to the President for his assent within 30 days. In the event the President fails to assent, the Bill lapses unless passed by two-thirds majority of the NASS thereby no longer requiring presidential assent. Once enacted the budget becomes a national law which cannot be changed or modified in any way without recourse to the legislature. The States and FCT go through a similar process ofbudgeting. What then happens after this point?



Even low levels of stress puts you ‘more at risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke’ L ow level stress can raise the risk of fatal heart attacks and stroke by twenty per cent, scientists have warned. Research has found symptoms of anxiety or depression, known as psychological distress, increases mortality rates from several major causes. But, alarmingly, the risk rose among those at the lower end of the scale who would not usually come to the attention of mental health services - about a quarter of people. Dr Tom Russ, of Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘We found psychological distress was a risk

factor for death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and external causes - the greater the distress, the higher the risk. ‘However, even people with low distress scores were at an increased risk of death. Currently these people - a quarter of the adult population - are unlikely to come to the attention of mental health services due to these symptoms and may not be receiving treatment.’ Previous studies investigating the association between psychological distress and mortality have been small and unable to reliably measure thresholds of risk. So the researchers analysed data from more than 68,000

Researchers have found being stressed puts you at a higher risk of dying from stroke or heart disease.

The research measured the role of anxiety and stress in deaths from all causes, heart disease, cancer and external causes occurring over eight years. Pictured are defibrillator paddles used to treat heart disease victims.

over 35s years who took part in the Health Survey for England from 1994 to 2004 and measured the role of anxiety and stress in deaths from all causes, heart disease, cancer and external causes occurring over eight years. Psychological distress was calculated using a recognised scale ranging from no symptoms to severe and death certificates were used to record the cause of death. Dr Russ said: ‘If you score one, two or three on this scale you may be suffering some form of social dysfunction or loss of confidence but your GP will not diagnose you with psychological distress. ‘But the risk of death among this group of the population from cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and stroke,

and external factors such as accidents or suicide rose by an average of a fifth. ‘For those at the highest end of the scale with severe symptoms of anxiety and depression the risk almost doubled.’ Dr David Batty, of University College London, said: ‘These associations also remained after taking into account other factors such as weight, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption and diabetes. ‘Therefore this increased mortality is not simply the result of people with higher levels of psychological distress smoking or drinking more, or taking less exercise.’ The study published online in the British Medical Journal is the largest to show a dose-response relation between psychological

Two cups of coffee a day could help relieve shakes caused by Parkinson’s disease


study of more than 60 patients has found those given caffeine supplements experienced an improvement in symptoms for Parkinson’s disease. Scientists trialling the substance say just a couple of cups of coffee a day can relieve the shakes associated with the disease. Patients given caffeine averaged a five-point improvement in symptoms compared to those given a placebo. Professor Ronald Postuma, of McGill University in Montreal, said: ‘This is a modest improvement but may be enough to provide benefit to patients. ‘On the other hand it may not be sufficient to explain the

relationship between caffeine non-use and Parkinson’s since studies of the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms early in the disease suggest a five-point reduction would delay diagnosis by only six months.’ Previous research published three years ago showed people who drank two or three cups of coffee-a-day regularly were 25 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson’s. A similar study around the same time also suggested the drink could protect against developing Alzheimer’s. Professor Postuma and his colleagues said while caffeine does not appear to help improve sleepiness among people with Parkinson’s it may have a benefit in controlling movement. He said: ‘Studies have shown

people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease but this is one of the first studies in humans to show

A new study has shown coffee helps reduce the shakes of Parkinson's Disease.

caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease.’ Participants with symptoms of daytime sleepiness and some motor symptoms were given either a placebo or a pill with 100 milligrams of caffeine two times a day for three weeks and then 200 milligrams twice a day for three weeks. This was the equivalent of between two and four cups of coffee per day, said the researchers whose findings are published online in Neurology. After six weeks the half that took the caffeine supplements averaged a five-point improvement in Parkinson’s severity ratings compared to those who didn’t. The caffeine group also averaged a three-point

distress and mortality and has potentially important implications for treatment. Dr Russ added: ‘The fact an increased risk of mortality was evident, even at low levels of psychological distress, should prompt research into whether treatment of these very common, minor symptoms can modify this increased risk of death.’ Professor Glyn Lewis, of the University of Bristol, reviewed the findings for the journal and said they add to evidence suggesting a causal association between psychological distress and heart disease, although it is not clear how to intervene. Source:

improvement in the speed of movement and amount of stiffness compared to the others. But caffeine did not seem to improve daytime tiredness and there were no changes in their quality of life, depression or sleep. Professor Michael Schwarzschild, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who reviewed the research for the journal, said: ‘The study is especially interesting since caffeine seems to block a malfunctioning brain signal in Parkinson’s disease and is so safe and inexpensive. ‘Although the results do not suggest caffeine should be used as a treatment in Parkinson’s disease they can be taken into consideration when people with Parkinson’s are discussing their caffeine use with their neurologist.’ The researchers said the length of the study was short and the effects of caffeine may lessen over time. Source:



Kogi to soon join oil producing states in Nigeria, says Kogi lawmaker Hon. Christopher Atule Okoche who represents Ibaji constituency in Kogi House of Assembly in this interview speaks about the oil wells discovered in his constituency which needs government to identify and prepare for exploration. He spoke with Sam Egwu. Excerpts:


s it true that oil has been found in your constituency? That is very true. There is oil in Ibaji and it has been long it was discovered right from 2007 and the state government is aware and has been following the development as there is this insinuation that the governor has taken the issue to the Presidency. Initially they were not keen on the matter. They did not believe that there was oil in the area. There is oil there. Recently, Anambra announced that very soon she will join the league of oil producing states, what is your take on that? Yes, I cannot say they cannot join if they have oil but if they are joining using location 1, location 3 and location 4 in Ibaji in Kogi state, it is figment of their imagination through those locations. It is Kogi that will soon join league oil producing states. But if they have oil in their own place, I won’t know; and I want to specifically say that Kogi will soon join oil producing states in the country. What has been the result of the committee set up by the community over the issue of oil in your area? The committee actually was set up by leaders of thought as regards the issue of oil having come from Ibaji. But the committee was initially not known because it came through the back door, but the stakeholders have really

Hon. Christopher Atule Okoche identified with them and they are already working. They have gone to all the locations to see where they belong. The committee discovered that the location one Orient is laying claim to as boundary with Enugu at a distance and not Anambra. Anambra has boundary with Echenno at some other distance, so Location One is in Odeke. The committee has also invited Orient oil several times and together they have even seen the Governor. Whatever their

challenges could be in trying to achieve meaningful result, I will stand by them. And I promise to assist them anywhere my assistance is needed. What was the outcome of their meeting with governor? The governor, after being properly briefed about the oil in that part of Kogi, has taken the matter to the Presidency and they are making sure that no stone is left unturned to ensure

that the issue is resolved amicably, knowing full well the sensitive nature of the issue. All the traditional leaders from the area are on top of the matter. Let me remind you, it has been tasking to hold the youths of the area down all this while because they would not watch any group encroach into their own territory. I am not saying that, with understanding, we will not settle it amicably but the youths will not watch any group take over their fatherland.   You have seen the condition of the road networks in Ibaji where large quantity of rice is being harvested, how are you planning for the road? I must sincerely say that journalists who followed that road in quest of story have done quite enough for perseverance and endurance. From Odogu through Odeke to Echeno is a tasking journey. As a member representing the constituency, I’ve cried over and over again to the state government to come to our aid. I’ve moved the motion on the floor of the House and am still appealing that they should come to our rescue as the road is beyond our economic scope. If they want us to belong to Kogi properly, the ring road in Ibaji must be taken care of. Look at the rice field in the area, the tubers of yams that come from the area, that’s exactly a food basket. If the road from Odogu-OchuchuEcheno back to Onyedega and from Odogu to Odeke then Echeno to Onyedega are fixed, you have

got the roads in Ibaji right. Ibaji, despite the economic viability of the area seems to have been forgotten completely, but thanks to the former governor who took the challenge up by constructing the road from Idah to Onyedega. We are imploring the present governor, Capt Idris Wada, to continue from where Alhaji Ibrahim Idris stopped to launch Ibaji to the mainstream of Kogi state by embarking on the road construction in the area. The governor has promised to take up the challenge and we will continue to remind him repeatedly. Ibaji with all the potentials available, if properly harnessed, would help the state to be selves independent. The farm produce does not easily come out because of the bad road You have been in the House of Assembly since 2007, what is the particular thing you would point at as the major achievement? The first tenure we all learnt some lessons, it is time for us now to harmonize. I believe that the discovery of oil well has been your major challenge in the House It is painful to hear that a state that does not share boundary with you would play on the intelligence of another to lay claim to a portion. I pray it does not go beyond our comprehension, because Kogi is adjudged North Central is now set to join the league of oil producing states.

PDP to sanction Airhiavbvere's supporters From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


do South Senatorial District Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s Chairman and former Deputy Governor in Edo state, Lucky Imasuen, has vowed to set up a disciplinary committee to sanction the supporters of the party's governorship candidate at the July 14th gubernatorial election in the state, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, for resolving to challenge the victory of the winner of the election, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in court. A statement issued by Imasuen who absolved the party and declared the meeting illegal

however 're-affirmed that the July 14 2012 governorship election was well-conducted; most organised and free from all forms of electoral manipulations and violence'. According to him, "Therefore, Edo South PDP wishes to join the PDP state chapter and the Federal Government to congratulate Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole for his well deserved landslide victory. Meanwhile, the State Publicity Secretary, Mr Mathew Urhoghide has said the party will not stop members bent on contesting Governor Adams Oshiomhole's re-election from doing so. Urhoghide said some of the

members now fighting to upturn the election result should have instead worked hard for victory when it mattered most declaring that it would be impossible to upturn the outcome of the July 14 state governorship election. But he insisted that "The party cannot stop any member who feels aggrieved over the outcome of the governorship election from going to court. It is their fundamental right, but the party has taken a position that it will not go to court. "That decision flows from the national body of the party and that was why it was issued by the state party Chairman (Chief Dan Orbih). It is only the state

chairman that is a member of the National Executive Council, and that is why I don't want to comment much on the matter. "It is not only Edo South Senatorial district that makes up the party, but anyone can exercise rights and PDP will not stop them. There are antecedents. The CPC said it will not go to court following the outcome of the 2011 Presidential Election, but Buhari went ahead with his litigation, and the party did not stop him," he said. Speaking on chances of those rooting for litigation, he said "What are the chances of winning at the court? The only charge that can probably be pursued is certificate or no

certificate, and that is very hard to prove. "Our own Senator Yisa Braimoh did the same thing when he took Senator Domingo Obende to court over certificate, but did he win? People challenged Governor Suswan's election based on the same issue, what was the outcome? "The best we can get is nullification of results, but there is no other way PDP can say it defeated Oshiomhole at the poll. Some of our members when it mattered most did not put in their all. "To hire a SAN will cost nothing less than N50m; that multiplied by at least five, ask where that will come from."



ANPP's committed to unity, not violence By Umar Mohammed Puma


he National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the party was committed to the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians, and would not in any form support violence in the co untr y. The Chairman said this yesterday while receiving the members of the Nigerian Youth Summit Group (NYSG) who

paid him a courtesy visit in his office. He said "Nigeria is a rich nation; it is heavenly endowed with all form of resources, except that we were unable to use them judiciously." He added that the party was ever ready to work with any group to redeem the image and the lost glory of the country. According to him, what country needs at this critical time is change, and can only be achieved through the youths who were filled with

love, enthusiasm, commitment, and eager to contribute their quotas to national development. The Chairman equally assured the group of its total support so long as it is for the unity and progress of the country on the planed summit that is due to hold in September. He said it was sad that virtually all the sectors had collapsed, especially in the areas of health and education;

"Nigerians now had to go to neighboring African countries for medical treatment and for further their studies." In his remarks, the Chairman of the group, Mr Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, said the group was dedicated to the oneness of Nigeria, irrespective of the diverse socio-political, ethnic,

ACN condemns spokesman's mother, brother murder in A/Ibom From Adesoji Oyinlola and Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he lifeless bodies of Mrs. Erasmus Effanga and Mr Basil Effanga mother and brother respectively of ACN's Spokesman in Akwa Ibom State Mr Francis Effangawere found in a room in their residence in Mbinkpa Atan village Akwa Ibom State on Sunday the 5th of August 2012 the Action Congress has disclosed. ACN's National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement in Lagos described the gruesome murder as further proof of the culture of violence and the systemic decimation of its members in Akwa Ibom state and called on the Presidency to rise above partisan politics and direct the relevant security agencies to apprehend the killers of the duo. "It will be recalled that in the run-up to the 2011 general elections Akwa Ibom held unenviable record of being the

L-R: Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, congratulating Mr. Habu Zarma Hanni from Gombe state after he was sworn in as an INEC commissioner, yesterday, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Group wants Kebbi PDP chairman removed From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


group under the aegis of Ibakkana Association in Zuru Emirate, Kebbi State, has called on the state government, the Presidency and the general public to ignore the campaign of calumny being embark upon by the Kebbi PDP chairman against his members in the state. The group, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji

Alhassan Garba Mikailu, said the Kebbi party Chairman, Alhaji Mansiru Sheahu, should be removed for working against the interest of the people. The association alleged that the PDP chairman was working against the chance of Zuru Emirate to produce the next Defence Minister. Mikailu further lamented that the unguided utterances by the chairman against the people of the emirate has clearly showed his incompetence to hold

such an exalted position of a state chairman of a great party like the PDP. According to him, the Association represents the voice of the Zuru people as he warned that the people must beware of misinformantion coming from the PDP state cha irma n. He said that the people of Zuru Emirate know General Ushe and are solidly behind his nomination for the position of a minister in Jonathan’s cabinet.

Tambuwal condemns Kogi killings By Lawrence Olaoye


peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has condemned the killing of innocent worshippers at the Deeper Life Bible Church as well as some security agents in Okene LGA of Kogi State. He described the incidents as senseless acts whose perpetrators must be brought

to justice. The Speaker in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said what is happening in Kogi State and other parts of the country at the moment is not only worrisome but requires that all men of goodwill join hands to see to the end of these brazen acts of terror visited on our communities. According to him, "we have

an obligation to come together and support our security agencies in order for them to tackle the problem." While reiterating the pledge of the House of Representatives to do every thing within its power to ensure a more secured nation, Tambuwal tasked all groups with any grievance against the state or its citizens to embrace the offer of dialogue made by the Federal Government.

religious background of Nigerians. According to him, Nigeria is faced with challenges ranging from insecurity, corruption, kidnapping, robbery and terrorism, which were not in its culture in the past. He, however, urged the Federal Government to tackle these menace, especially the security challenges.

goriest killing field in the entire country, and the ACN's spokesman in the state Mr. Francis Effanga was a thorn in the flesh of the PDP rampaging machinery of oppression and destruction of lives and properties, a role which earned him unjustified persecution, arrest and detention. "This latest gruesome murder of Mrs. Effanga and Mr Basil Effanga has once again confirmed that the reign of politics of intolerance, assassinations and kidnappings of the PDP in Akwa Ibom state, which has so far claimed over 100 lives, is far from over and President Goodluck Jonathan should forthwith direct the relevant security agencies to investigate and fish out the culprits because strong determination in the fight against impunities is absolutely crucial to deter further crimes, uphold the rule of law and protect public trust in the justice system," the party noted.

Enugu state development plan becomes vision 2020


he Enugu state government says it has modified its initial Fourpoint Development Agenda into what it now calls Vision 4-2020. By the vision, the state government expects Enugu State to rank among the four most developed and self-sufficient states in the federation by the year 2020. The Executive Secretary, Enugu State Economic Planning Commission, Mr Dan Onyishi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday. Onyishi said vision 4-2020, was in line with the Federal Government's Vision 202020 and would be driven by physical infrastructure development. He also said the establishment of the infrastructure would be expected in all the sectors of the economy. ``When the issue of Vision 202020 came on board, we now looked at the framework and used it as a direction that will guide us in preparing our own vision. ``At the end, we were able to produce what we call Vision 42020. So our vision for the state is to see ourselves among the four most developed and self-sufficient states of the federation. ``We have goals, which will be

driven by physical infrastructure, which drives other sectors of the economy. ``We have a goal too to ensure that we increase our IGR from the level at which we are now up to 50 per cent of our resource envelope, which will now improve the resources available for us to confront developmental challenges in the state,'' he said. Onyishi said that with the review of the plan, the implementation of the policy would take effect from 2012 to 2015. He added that the governor had asked all the commissioners of the various ministries in the state to produce their work plans for effective implementation of the new vision. On the performance of the reviewed Four-point Development Agenda, the executive secretary said its implementation had reached 94 per cent. He also said that during its implementation, the government was able allocate resources to key sectors of the economy in the state. ``We have been able to address and allocate resources to key sectors. And even the actual performance indicates a holistic improvement in some of those sectors where the state is committed to addressing,'' he said.



We are not responsible for your crisis, PDP tells CNPP By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday absolved itself of responsibility for the crises currently rocking the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) insisting instead that they were self inflicted. The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said it should not

be held responsible for the CNPP’s inability to discipline its members. According to him, “The fact that fringe political associations have been unable to manage even the slightest disagreements amongst themselves is a clear evidence of their unpreparedness to administer a complex society like Nigeria. It only goes to show that the associations lack the basic democratic tenets of sacrificing individual

interests for the larger gr oup .” While admitting that the ruling party has had its fair share of internal crises, the PDP said its edge above other parties was its ability to enforce party supremacy. PDP disclosed “The reason why other political Parties get torn apart by internal strife is simply because they are formed to serve narrow selfish and ethnic interests. They do not possess the ability to

mobilize a national consensus. They are indeed extensions of the personal empires of the clique that run them.” While we welcome the concept of a virile and strong opposition in a democracy, we wish to state that we do not exist to solve the self inflicted problems of our opponents, We urge those in the CNPP to look elsewhere in their search for the reasons of their travails and refrain from unnecessary name calling.”

Kebbi SIEC organizes workshop for ad-hoc staff From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Kebbi State Independent Electoral Commission (KESIEC) has organized a workshop for the training of ad -hoc staff in preparation for the forthcoming local government council election slated for 15th September 2012. The workshop held at the state School of Nursing Auditorium, Birnin Kebbi, had in attendance all the principal officers in the Commission as resource persons. In her remarks the Commission’s Chairperson, Hajiya Ada Sani Ka’oje tasked the recruited ad-hoc personnel to bear in mind that they were selected amongst their contemporaries to provide an impartial service to the Commission and the electorates. “In this regard you are expected to meet some standards which include but not limited to the following: independent from influence by political parties, candidates or any other vested interest; non partisan in establishing a level playing ground for all parties and candidates and professionalism in the ability to manage and administer the electoral process efficiently and effectively,” she said. According to her, the resource persons for the workshops are not only versed in the field of election administration but also have the grass-root knowledge. She therefore urged the participants to be serious with the training so as to learn from their wealth of experience. Hajiya Ada further stated that her Commission is committed to ensuring free and fair election to some established standards, adding that the election must not only be free and fair from the election managers’ viewpoint but also to be seen as such by the observers and general public.

L-R: Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, and National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Dansuki Sambo (rtd), after their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

ANPP is committed to good governance, Chairman


he National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, says the party is committed to the unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians. He made this known in Abuja on Wednesday when the Nigerian Youth Summit Group (NYSG) visited him. Onu said the party was ready to work with the group to redeem the image and the lost glory of the country. He expressed regret that since independence, the country had faced challenges, which rather than being addressed, became even worse. He said that Nigeria needed a change which could only be achieved through the youths who were filled with love, enthusiasm, commitment, and eager to contribute their quotas to national development.

`` We believe that with the youths, the problem that the country have today will be solved. `` We are also happy that you are visiting us today at a time when the nation is passing through a very difficult time." The ANPP chairman assured the group of its total support in whatever projects the NYSG wanted to embark upon, provided it was for the unity of the country. He described Nigeria as a great country that was supposed to lead not only Africa but the world as a whole. According to him, this is because of the abundant natural resources which if properly utilised can make Nigeria one of the best countries in the world. He said it was regrettable that virtually all the sectors had collapsed, especially in the areas of health and education, people now go abroad for medical

treatment and for further their studies. `` We in ANPP have been calling on all Nigerians to give us the necessary support, many of the problems confronting the nation are self inflicted and the problems can be solved. `` Nigeria can be united and prosperous, that is why we are calling on Nigerians to give us the support to reposition the country for the betterment of Nigerians," he said In his remarks, the Chairman of the group, Mr Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, said the group was dedicated to the oneness of Nigeria, irrespective of the diverse sociopolitical, ethnic, religious background of Nigerians. According to him, Nigeria is faced with challenges ranging from insecurity, corruption, kidnapping and robbery, which he noted, were not the case in the past.

Al-Makura directs LGs to allocate 10 hectares for tree planting


ov. Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa state has directed all local government councils and development areas in the state to allocate 10 hectares each for tree planting over the next five year Al-makura gave the directive at Nassarawa-Eggon in Nasarawa State while inaugurating the 2012 tree planting campaign in the state on Tuesday. The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dameshi Luka, said the tree planting initiative would enable the state meet the United Nations' standard of 25 per cent forest cover by 2017. He said his administration had indicated interest in the National Renewable Energy Programme as part of efforts aimed at ensuring the sustenance of the state's natural resources. ``This government has also expressed interest to participate in Reducing Emission from the Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) programme of the United Nations. ``It is my hope and expectation that the state will derive maximum benefits from these programmes, as well as access carbon credit opportunities in the near future," he said. Al-Makura said the state government was making concerted efforts to establish a zoological garden in Lafia with a view to conserving the wildlife resources in the state. He said the venture would not only promote tourism consciousness of the people, but would also boost economic activities in the state capital. The governor urged the people of the state to desist from indiscriminate felling of trees for fuel and timber. According to the governor, such activities often contributed tremendously to the alarming rate of climate change and global warming. He, therefore, called on the people of the state to minimise the exploitation of the state's forest resources ``Everyone must make it an obligation to plant and nurture at least five tree seedlings annually,'' the governor said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2012 tree planting campaign is: ``Healthy Soil Sustains Your Life: Let's Go Land Degradation Neutral.''



With Maryam Garba Hassan and Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Olympics 2012: Spice girls to reunite at closing ceremony


he Spice Girls will reunite at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games along side George Micheal, Pet Shop Boys and Simon Cowell boy band, One Direction for what is dubbed "the greatest afterpa rty ." Kate Bush one of the biggest music names mentioned is also to perform at Sunday's starstudded closing ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Also featuring in the hotlyanticipated mix is X-Factor U.K. boy band finalists and Simon Cowell progeny One Direction, an appearance by Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye and a turn from singersongwriter Ed Sheeran. Madness and the Pet Shop Boys, according to reports, have also been added to the

stellar bill of music stars, with Paul McCartney tipped to make an appearance to sing another Beatles hit following his role in the opening ceremony. The music director of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, David Arnold, told The Telegraph that he thinks the closing ceremony "should be the greatest after-party in the world." Arnold, who has written an original score to tie together all the booked acts, told the Telegraph the show aims to mark a celebration of Britishness in terms of the arts. That includes "design, fashion, fine art, poetry and playwriting all sitting fairly and squarely on popular music." The closing ceremony on Sunday will feature more than 4,100 performers.

Spice Girls

Actress Mercy Johnson expecting first child


lmost a year after she married her boyfriend of many years, Prince Odianosen Okojie, the talented actress is expecting her first child confirmed by her publicist. The actress who is still acting and currently on set of a movie, is said to be in her first trimester.

Beyonce and Jay-Z named world's highest-paid celebrity couple


orbes Magazine just named Jay-Z and Beyonce the highest paid celebrity couple in the world. Together they made $78 million - from May 2011 to May 2012. According to the magazine, singer, Beyonce Knowles, who took a break from her hectic touring schedule in 2011, to give birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter, still collects big paychecks from old hits. Besides, the singer's new album went platinum in the U.S., not to mention her nonmusical ventures and endorsement deals, which all helped to bring her total earnings between May 1, 2011 and May

1, 2012 to $40 million, according to data from the latest Celebrity 100 list. Her husband Jay-Z isn't far behind his wife as he earned $38m. The hip-hop mogul made millions from Watch the Throne, his musical collaboration with pal Kanye West, and even more from the tour that followed. Add to that a bevy of non-musical enterprises such as ad firm Translation and cosmetics company Carol's Daughter and the result is a staggering $38 million that he has brought home in twelve months, putting the couple's annual income at $78 million.

Bad girl image affecting Rihanna, Singer dropped by Nivea

B Prince Odianosen Okojie and his wife Mercy Johnson

Last flight is the No. 2 film in West African cinemas now

ad girl image is affecting her brand. Smoking ganja publicly, repping thug life, partying hard,posting uncensored tweets, which gives her bad image is affecting her brand. On Wednesday one of the brands she endorsed, Nivea, dropped her as their ambassador. The head of Nivea's parent


N i geri an mo v i e Last fli gh t t o A bu j a, based o n t erri fy i ng real ev en t s su rro u n d in g an ai r di sast er, pro du ced by O bi Emelo n y e i s rat ed as t h e No. 2 film in West African ci n emas and seco n d t o H o ly w o o d mo v i es li ke Avengers, Mad agascar, Ice Age et c. T h e fi lm w h i ch i s a thriller based on terrifying real events surrounding an ai r d i sast er, feat u res O mo t o la Jelade, H akeem Kae-Kazim, Jim Iyke, Uru Eke and many more.

Reknown music icon Rihanna

company Beiersdorf revealed to German Media that they would not be re-signing Rihanna because she doesn't fit their family image. 'Rihanna is a no go. I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna. Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.'



NFF plans friendlies for Flamingoes ahead women’s 2012 U-17 World Cup


he NFF says it has lined up friendly matches for the U17 women national team, the Flamingoes, in preparations for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. NFF’s Technical Director, DR. Emmanuel Ikpeme, who disclosed this in Abuja, said that the friendlies would be played at local and international levels before the World Cup tournament scheduled to hold from September 22 to October 13. “The FA already has a programme for them, based on the earlier programmes sent by the chief coach of that team; we are working on it. There is no two ways about it because after their local preparation, they will also be given an opportunity to go for a training tour. “That I cannot specifically say for now, but we are working towards that. Definitely, we’ll ensure that they will have some quality friendly matches here with some of the league clubs in the country. “And we’ll also see the possibility of giving them friendlies with some nearby countries in West Africa before they move out to whichever training camp we are likely to get for them before they move to Azerbaijan.’’ Only last weekend 35 players were invited to camp by the Chief Coach of the female team, Peter Dedevbo. According to Dedevbo, all the players have reported to camp and the team has begun training twice daily to test its members’ fitness level. The Flamingoes have been drawn to play in Group A with the host country, Azerbaijan as well as Colombia and Canada.

Oyo Academicals to represent Nigeria in Under17 football competition

T Reuben Gabriel

Godfrey Oboabona

Domestic league will profit from home-based Eagles, says Keshi he Chief Coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi has revealed that the re-building of the senior national team round the domestic players will help the league to grow as well as creating valve for the players. The former Mali and Togo gaffer who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja said the domestic Nigeria leagues have enough resources to produce outstanding players but regretted that over the years it was neglected for some inexplicable reasons. According to him, the resolve of the present Super Eagles technical crew to draw the core of the squad from the domestic league players was intended to re-jig and boast the league adding that the end result would be to the advantage of the league. Keshi said since he started rebuilding the Eagles largely round the domestic league players, the quality of performance from the players has improved tremendously and stressed that should the trend continued it would

rekindle the kind of flair and competence the league had been known for in the past. Further, Keshi reiterated that the domestic league have the skill, zest, determination and are quite docile but only required confidence, support and proper structure for them to strive on. ‘Big Boss’ as he is fondly called said experience has shown that the Nigerian league players are capable of holding their own against those from other leagues and had at various instances march them skill for skill and grit for grit. “I want to build the Eagle round the domestic league players because when I was playing the bunch of the Eagles players were from local leagues, the likes of (Felix) Owolabi, (Christian) Chukwu, (Segun) Odegbami, Muda Lawal and others formed the core of the then Green Eagles. “Let’s keep sentiment aside, I will invite foreign-based players to join the team only because during my time, my coach normally invites some foreign-based professional players to join the team. The likes of Chigozie, Andrew Atuegbu Nwankocha and Banjo and several others were playing in aboard,” he said.

Philip Asuquo

Sunday Mba

By Albert Akota


Fed Cup semis now August 22


illars striker NamoThe semi-finals of the Federation Cup have been moved by a week to August 22 after complaints from three of the clubs, officials announced. NFF director of competition, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said

yesterday that the shift in the dates of the cup semi-finals followed complaints by three of the clubs that they have a good number of players in the national team who will play a friendly in Niger also on August 15. “The new date for the semi-

finals will now be August 22 with the final four days later in Lagos. This was also done in accordance with the statutes of the game which allows for teams to request a change in date should they have as many as four players in the national team at the time of these

matches,” Sanusi announced. Cup holders Heartland will take on surprise team Prime FC in Ilorin, while Kano Pillars and Lobi battle in Calabar on August 22. The winners of these matches will clash in the final of the cup competition on August 26 in Lagos. The winners of the Federation Cup will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.

he Oyo State Academicals football team departed for the U.S. to represent Nigeria at the Under-17 Youth Competition holding in South Carolina. A statement signed by Mr Festus Adedayo, the Special Adviser to the Oyo State Gov. on Media in Ibadan, said that the team comprised 18 players and five officials. The statement said that the the delegation would be led by the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Dapo LamAdesina. Others are Mr Temilola Adibi, Chairman of Oyo State Sports Council, Mr Gboyega Makinde, Director, State Sports Council, Mrs Olubisi Adegoke, Director, Sports Administration, State Ministry of Youth and Sports and a representative of the National Sports Commission. The team qualified to represent Nigeria after winning the maiden Nigeria Academicals Football final hosted by Oyo State in June.

FIFA U-20: Okon axes 4 from squad


alconets’ chief coach Edwin Okon has axed four players from the list of 25 players that are currently in South Korea preparing for the FIFA U-20 Women World Championship to be held in Japan from August 19 through September 8. Those trimmed off the team are Grace Aluko, Prudent Ugoh, Ugochi Okafor and Stella Henry. According to a release issued by the NFF on behalf of the coach, Okon listed three goalkeepers, seven defenders, four midfielders and seven strikers. The goalkeepers are Whyte Ibubeleye, Nwankwo Chioma and Akano Damilola. The defenders are Edoho Blessing, Ofoegbu Gloria, Njoku Ugo and Osawaru Jennifer, Adeyemo Fasilat, Chukwunonye Josephine and Okoro Chidinma. The midfielders are Nku Cecilia, Okobi Ngozi, Oshoala Asisat and Igbinovia Osarenoma, while Sunday Esther, Orji Ebere, Oparanozie Desire, Eyebhoria Winifred, Ordega francis, Adule Charity and Oluwakayode Abosede are listed as strikers. The final list had been approved by FIFA, the world football governing body. The Falconets are in Group B with Brazil, Italy and Korea Republic. The Falconets qualified for Japan by beating Zimbabwe and DR Congo 6-0 and 7-0 on goals aggregate respectively.


Chigozie Agbim


Gabriel Reuben

Coaches task Super Eagles on quality friendly matches


ormer Nigerian football coaches have reacted sharply to the Super Eagles’ 58th position in the latest FIFA rankings and charged the technical crews to improve on the rankings by playing quality friendly matches.

It would be recalled that in the rankings for July, Nigeria maintained its 58 th position  in  June  but dropped one place from its 10 th  to  11 th  in  Africa.  Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria were in the first, second and third positions respectively in Africa.

A former Super Eagles coach, Paul Hamilton, said the country’s position in the rankings, particularly in Africa was worrisome, adding that the team needed to be actively involved in competitive matches. He said that Nigeria

needed to focus on building a formidable team that would rekindle its lost glory in world football. “We have not been actively involved and these ratings are done based on how you engage your team in friendly matches. The ranking does not necessarily reflect a country’s development but we need to make progress by playing more matches,” he said. In his reaction, a former Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Joe Erico, said that Nigeria did not deserve a better position because nothing had been done to improve on it. He said that the Eagles should wake up and live up to the task ahead of them to be better rated both within the continent and in the world. “We did not work for it, so we deserve to be where we are. We need to wake up because it appears we are still sleeping. We should build up our rating by engaging in more competitive matches. That is the only way we will earn global respect in football,” he said. Also, a former Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan coach,

Fatai Amao, described the situation as sad, adding that Nigeria was supposed to be improving rather than dropping on its position in Africa. He advised that the Eagles should stop taking other teams for granted and ensure that the best players were used in every match. “It is sad that we are not rated among the top 10 teams in Africa. We have found ourselves in a descending position instead of ascending. “But the talents are there and we can still build a solid side that can take the country’s football out of such ratings,” he said. Amao added that the upcoming Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Stars of Liberia in September would be a good avenue to improve on the country’s ranking.

18th NSF: Ondo weightlifters ready to shine in Lagos, says Matthias

CAF Champions League: Sunshine will qualify from O group stage, Coach assures


hief Coach of Nigeria’s flag bearers in the prestigious CAF Champions league fiesta, Sunshine Stars, Coach Gbenga Ogunbote, has assured that the team is working assiduously secure semi-finals qualification from the group stage of the championshiop. The Nigerian representatives are in Group A of the competition, alongside Etoile-du-Sahel of Tunisia, Aso Chlef of Algeria and Esperance of Tunisia. Sunshine, in its three matches played so far, lost 0-2 at home to Esperance, drew goalless with Etoile-du-Sahel in Tunis and defeated Aso Chlef 2-0 at home. The club in the return-leg matches would meet both Aso Chlef and Esperance away, but would be at home to Etoile-du-Sahel and Ogunbote assured that the club would continue to work hard in the league, to keep the country’s flag flying. “More is still required from us to enable us to qualify

Sunshine Stars

from the group stage to the next round of the Champions league. “It’s a collective responsibility for the players and we, the coaching crew, to achieve this goal. Our focus now is on our next away match in Algeria against Aso Chlef,’’ he said. Ogunbote added that it has been difficult combining the CAF league competition with the determination to also win the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) title. “We still have some matches to play in the NPL and we also want to finish at the top four of the table. The league matches are also helping us to prepare for our continental matches. So a lot is expected from us as a team,’’ he said. Sunshine FC are currently seventh on the NPL table with 49 points, with five matches to go, including an outstanding one against Rangers FC of Enugu. He then urged Nigerians to continue to support the club, to enable it to be able to keep the flag flying.

ndo State weightlifting coach, Sunday Matthias, has declared that all the weightlifters representing the state at the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos were gold medal hopefuls. Matthias said in Akure that the state had talented and well-equipped weightlifters, capable of winning gold at ‘Eko 2012’, in November. “We have athletes that can make our aspirations come true and can make Ondo State weightlifters shine in Lagos. We are going there to win gold in different categories; our main focus now is just the festival and we are on top of our preparations,” he said. Adams Yakubu, last year’s silver medalist in the 94kg category in Port Harcourt, also expressed delight with the fitness levels of the state’s weightlifters for the festival. “We are already in good shape for the impending festival. In Port Harcourt, I won silver, but I am set to win the gold in my category in Lagos. “I can guarantee the state that weightlifters in both male and female categories are training hard to make the state proud in Lagos,” he said. At the last festival in Port Harcourt, the state won three silver and four bronze medals.

Federation Cup: Ogunjobi dismisses Heartland, talks tough for Prime FC


aiwo Ogunjobi, the Chairman, Osun Football Association, has dismissed Heartland FC of Owerri as a serious threat to the chances of Prime FC in the 2012 Federation Cup semi-final. Prime FC, a Nigerian National League side, would sometime next week tackle Heartland, the 2011 Federation Cup winner, at Ilorin in one of the semi finals of the 2012 tournament. Speaking yesterday in Ilorin, Ogunjobi, boasted that the lower division side has whast it takes to be crown champions of the Federation Cup and would therefore not harbor any fear for Heartland despite their acclaimed pedigree. According to the former Nigerian International, Prime FC will pull another surprise against Heartland, a Nigeria Premier League side, by qualifying for the final of the 2012 competition. “Although, Prime are just coming up, they had been tested. We beat Rangers, Sharks, and Enyimba; so, Heartland should not be our headache. “We are also happy that we are playing in Ilorin; it is like playing at home. Our chance against Heartland is very big,” Ogunjobi said. He, however, urged football fans in Kwara to come out en mass and support the team, saying that Prime, an emerging club, needed a lot of encouragement. Prime FC last week lost 0-3 to the National U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, in a friendly match played at Ilorin. The friendly was ahead of the Eagles’ second leg clash with the Ngorogoro Heroes of Tanzania in the 2013 Africa Youth Championship qualifier on Aug. 12.

Taiwo Ogunjobi


Transfer The season is over. Clubs are counting their blessing as well as losses and would like to make amends and even beef up their squads where noticeable lapses exist. And the transfer market is agog barely 24 hours after major European leagues dropped the curtain. And so to keep abreast with latest rumours, we begin daily doses of movements within the market both for players and coaches like.

Barcelona coy Arsenal hit man rumors


arcelona manager Tito Vilanova has refused to entertain speculation that the club is interested in signing Alex Song from Arsenal, insisting he will not comment on any transfer rumours. Reports in the Spanish press in recent days have suggested that the Catalans are ready to

Clubs trial Owen


everal Premier League clubs are interested in signing former Manchester United striker Michael Owen, according to his agent. Stoke City are understood to be one of them, but a clutch of teams believe the out-of-contract 32-year-old can still deliver at the top level. Owen was released by United this summer after three seasons at Old Trafford. But he is staying fit for the coming season using a personal programme designed by the club’s coaches. He is also drawing on the services of experts, such as former Liverpool physiotherapist Mark Browse, as he bids to continue his career in the top flight. The England striker has also drawn attention from clubs in the Middle East but the Premier League is still the preferred option. Some of the deals are understood to depend on movement elsewhere in the transfer market. Owen tweeted in July to say that he would not drop down to the Championship and hinted at retirement if his desires were not met. Owen joined Manchester United from Newcastle on a free transfer in 2009, and he scored nine goals in his first season - including the winner in his side’s 4-3 victory in the Manchester derby.

Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku won’t join Fulham —Agent


helsea striker Romelu Lukaku will not be joining Fulham on loan,

Manchester United in preseason friendly in Gothenburg. It is not clear where Song would fit in at Barcelona, who already boasts an embarrassment of riches in midfield with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and Thiago Alcantara among Vilanova’s options.

according to the player’s agent. Lukaku, 19, struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge after joining from Anderlecht last summer for a substantial fee, and he is expected to spend the 2012-13 campaign elsewhere to further his development. It had been reported that he was set to join Chelsea’s West London rivals Fulham, but it appears he is bound for another English club. “Romelu will go on loan. I cannot say which team he will join, or when it will happen, but things are progressing.” Henrotay said Lukaku had spoken to Fulham but added: “We have spoken to many clubs. Those journalists at The Sun spread those rumours without even checking with me.”

Liverpool may replace Agger with Godin


iverpool is understood to have made a £15 million bid for Joe Allen, triggering a release clause in the Swansea midfielder’s contract. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that the offer - an increase on an earlier £12.5 million bid - will land the Wales international, which represented Team GB at the Olympics. The Northern Irish manager had agreed not to make any approaches for Swansea players for 12 months as a condition of his move to Liverpool. However, a technicality in Allen’s contract allows him to join one of five clubs, including Liverpool, for £15 million, and with the Merseysiders having met the asking price he is free to hold talks over a move. Rodgers has made no secret of the fact that he is keen to add to his squad, with his only signing so far this summer being striker Fabio Borini, who arrived from Roma in an £11 million deal.


eal Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has told AC Milan they must pay a transfer fee if they want Kaka to return to the San Siro. Mourinho was speaking after Madrid had hammered the Serie A side 5-1 in a friendly at New York’s Yankee Stadium. Kaka, 30, appeared as a substitute for the final half hour game, laying on Madrid’s third goal for Cristiano Ronaldo and then taking the corner from which Sergio Ramos headed the fourth.

‘Llorente won’t renew with Bielsa’

swoop for Song, who enjoyed a fine 2011-12 campaign for Arsene Wenger’s side. The speculation has been prompted by Wenger’s apparent interest in Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin, but Vilanova remained coy when asked about Song after Barca’s penalty shootout victory over

Liveerpool move closer to Allen deal

Mourinho: Kaka won’t go on cheap



Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said that it was possible the Brazil playmaker could return to the Rossoneri, where he won Serie A, Champions League and FIFA Club World Championship titles between 2003 and 2009. The former World Footballer of the Year’s most memorable contribution was missing a penalty in the shoot-out against Bayern Munich as Real exited that competition at the semifinal stage. Earlier this month, Mourinho hinted that Kaka would feature even less regularly for Madrid in the 2012-13 seasons.


he experienced U r u g u a y international Diego Godin has been regularly scouted by the Merseysiders over the past 12 months and has emerged as the chief contender to supplement the defence if they cash in on Agger. Rodgers is not believed to be interested in moving for Swansea City captain Ashley Williams and, although he is a huge admirer of Steven Caulker. Rodgers' top target is

F Alex Song

Godin, 26, who is a cornerstone of Uruguay's national side and highly regarded in Spain. However, Atletico are believed to be willing to listen to offers for the centre-back because of their financial problems. Godin was watched by Liverpool before they signed his countryman Sebastian Coates 12 months ago soon after Uruguay won the 2011 Copa America. Arsenal and Chelsea have also made enquiries for Godin.

Manchester United offer Van Persie Rooney’s wage


anchester United will give Robin van Persie wage parity with Wayne Rooney to conclude the major transfer saga of the summer. Manchester City appearing to accept defeat in the race for the Arsenal striker, and Juventus baulking at the player’s wage demands, United are moving quickly to conclude a deal. Their willingness to match the £220,000 a week wages earned by Rooney has tipped the balance in their favour. The financial rewards will be staggering for the 29-yearold Dutchman at Old Trafford, and somewhat unprecedented given the stage of Van Persie’s career. Sir Alex Ferguson’s determination to reclaim the title from City, as he enters the twilight years of his managerial reign, could not be clearer. For the United manager to parade Van Persie, while Mancini frets about missing out on a player he had made clear he wished to add to his squad, will be a bold reassertion of Old

Trafford spending power. City’s Premier League win in May was a euphoric climax to years of Abu Dhabifinanced rebuilding, albeit at a lavish price, but the excessive expenditure has been curtailed so far this summer as the newlycrowned champions look to run their business more sensibly.

ernando Llorente’s contract saga took another twist when reports claimed he was unlikely to renew with Athletic Bilbao while Marcelo Bielsa is manager of the club. Llorente, 27, has played his entire career with Athletic but is said to be unhappy with the regime under Bielsa, which has seen the club’s philosophy entirely change, with the manager focusing on a quick passing, high-tempo style of play. It has not suited the target man, who thrived under Joaquin Caparros when he was the focal point of the team’s play. The striker, who has 20 caps for Spain, only has one year left on his current deal and is one of the most soughtafter players in European football, being linked to an array of top clubs, such as Manchester City and Juventus. Llorente has become one of the club’s most popular figures, and has consistently been their top goalscorer in recent seasons, but he is taking on a powerful adversary in Bielsa, who took Athletic to two cup finals last season, giving the supporters hope that the zurigorri could return to their glory days of the 1970s and 1980s.

Milan capture Villarreal’s Zapata on loan


illarreal has announced an agreement with AC Milan that will see Colombian international defender Cristian Zapata move to the Italian giants on a season-long loan. The Colombian defender, 25, will return to Serie A after leaving Udinese for the Yellow Submarine last summer. The 15-times capped defender moved to Villarreal on a five-year deal for a reported €8.5million (10.5 USD). However, Villarreal were relegated from La Liga

on the final day of last season. Milan has an option to sign Zapata permanently next summer.

Cristian Zapata

Canales makes Valencia move permanent

R Robin van Persie

eal Madrid has confirmed the departure of midfielder Sergio Canales to Valencia in a permanent deal. The 21-year-old spent last season at the Mestalla on a temporary basis after a two-year loan deal was agreed. The  deal  contained  a  double  clause  which  allowed them to sign Canales permanently for a fee which was reported at the time to be €12million, and granted Real a repurchase option reported at €18million. Santander-born Canales has represented Spain at every age group from U-16 to U-21.



London Olympic medal

Team Nigeria’s dream, our mirage! ‘


f wishes were horses even beggars would ride'. Well, this' a popular refrain. How apt it seems now for Nigeria and Nigerians who had dreamt of Olympic medals. Spearheads of Team Nigeria had been boisterous. They had reasons to be. Unlike previous Olympics, funds were released rather earlier than usual: four months before the games. Besides, they hoped to parade a team with more than superficial prospects. They had acquired new mechanics with the knack to craft the machine into shape, apply proper lubricant to forestall whatever mechanical friction they might be, and tune them up for the energetic ordeals the Games may throw up. And they were availed the right exposure in different locations plus the fact that the authorities had prudently limit the number of events to those which, in their considered opinion and expert knowledge, the nation had comparative advantages. For the first time, the athletes would attend an event


record 2.1 million tickets have been sold for the London Paralympics, outstripping the previous record set four years ago in Beijing by 300,000, London organisers said on Wednesday. The success of Britain’s

of such magnitude devoid of the discomforting distraction of government delegation. So, even the remotest idea of a jamboree was ruled out. All Hailed Bolaji Abdullahi, the youthful Sports Minister and veteran journalist turned politician to whom many have doffed their hats for his brilliant supervision of the ebbing National Sports Commission. Perhaps, they were too hasty in their conclusions. Why, for no-matter the care and expertise with which he attended to his task, if the primary purpose (development of sports) remains elusive then what is the parameter for judging his success? He remains lumped in the same mire of ignominy as were his predecessors. Of course, a well tended garden will blossom as a wellbreed nubile would attract suitors. In sports, this translate to winning medals, trophies and displaying flair, dexterity and competence in whatever brand of events an athlete vies for honours. Nigerians had been

sufficiently gingered to dream, hope and expect the most. Why, the authorities had chanted to no end certain medal prospects: We have world beaters in this and that and we are confident this would be Nigeria's best Games, they had said in essence. And so we dreamt and hope. We have waited and are still waiting. Some 14 days into the Games and with barely two more days to drop the curtain on the fiesta, the waiting game for the medals to arrive in torrent and in whatever complexion or make-up has continued. It's like waiting for Godot. Yes, sure, certain expectancy that snarls the heart: A vain quest, unrealizable target, a deluded expectation. Like in the play 'Waiting for Godot': One long-winding wait for the object of their occupation that never materializes and is unlikely perhaps in our own case to yield anything other than despondence. Albeit, it had a putative central theme that dwelt on the search for the reconciliation

with God, Samuel Beckett's literary works well envisioned man's hopeless faith in mere illusion. Yes, the invalidity of anchoring one's faith in what isn't real and therefore a wasted endeavour. Now, it seems slaughter. appropriate to recoil in shame concrete planning for the In London, officials of the as the nation waits in vain for future, bickering, decay, NOC scared of the general the medals from London. All but corruption, despotism and avarice and backlash awaiting them have one of the real prospects have nepotism, for selfresorted to the game of fallen by the way side. They proclivity desperation. And it's on the were all pretenders as the facts aggrandizement. Eventually, they left the ship high. Beer parlour banters have has now dawn on us all. it that Nigeria would be happier And yet Nigerians are rudderless, adrift and bereft of deeply involved in medal anchor. London Games tended to be decorated with Transparency International's presentations at the Games. to have further laid bare the usual medal: No 1 in corruption. Sad, that they have chasm between the reality of That would suffice! After all, accompanied their peers from the Nigeria sports and the medal is medal. other climes to applaud projection of the men on whose shoulders the responsibility of Now, whatever colour of winners from these climes. medal they might be, Nigeria Sader still that they hold shaping policies and guiding would, just to be ranked among offices of esteem both at the sports developments have been the winning nations, embrace International Olympics entrusted. Weep not for the empty- with open-arms such medal and Committee (IOC) and the bestow the winner with the international federations that handedness of the athletes; nation's Member of the Order detect what happens in sports rather mourn for the fate of Nigerian sports for instead of of the Niger (MON) or Officer on the global scale. of the Federal Republic (OFR). Ironically, these men and taking holistic appraisal of the What dream they had! But what women were in charge at the decline, the Lords of the Manor a mirage the dream has turned home front few years ago. Yet in the NSC had repeatedly scapegoats to to! what was their legacy? lack of chosen

WATCH DOG By Patrick Andrew

Olympics-London sells record 2.1 mln Paralympic tickets Olympic athletes, who have already notched up their best gold medal tally since 1908, has helped boost sales, with 600,000 Paralympic tickets sold in the past month. About 400,000 tickets are

still available, including for the opening and closing ceremonies. A further batch of so-called contingency tickets, calculated after camera positions have been worked out, are also likely to

be made available before the Paralympics start in three weeks. “To have sold the most ever tickets for a Paralympic Games three weeks before the opening ceremony is absolutely fantastic and shows the insatiable appetite the public has for top class eite sport,” Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said in a

statement. “Our aim now is to sell every single ticket. It would be a fitting that when the Paralympic Movement returns to its spiritual birthplace in three weeks time it does so in front of packed sold-out venues.” Britain, which has traditionally excelled at the Paralympics, will be hoping to replicate the success of their Olympic athletes.

Tunisian sports up and running again after revolution

T Segun Toriola and Edem Offiong, Nigerian table tennis players at the London Games

unisian wrestling coach, Zouhair Seghaier, could not believe how quickly he was able to get his athletes back into training, after the democratic revolution that launched the Arab spring. The long road to the Olympics has been an arduous one but taking part has been a victory in itself.

T/Tennis coach rates European players better because of exposure


ichael Oyebode, a Nigerian table tennis coach based in Italy, has observed that the prowess of African players would have been unmatchable if they were exposed to better training facilities. Oyebode made the remark reaction to Nigeria’s poor performance at the London Olympic Games. He stressed that European countries were considered better because of the state-of-the-art equipment at their

disposal and the sophisticated training conditions they were exposed to. “There is no magic over there; it is all about training, training and retraining, under a very conducive environment : p h y s i c a l l y , psychologically and technologically. “For instance, in Africa, and in Nigeria, in particular, we have lots of problems to contend with, but they have less contentious issues to deal with in the developed

world. “That is why we cannot really contend with them in many aspects, not just in sports, but also in many other areas of life,’’he said. Oyebode noted that African athletes had to contend with the fundamentals of everyday life, stressing that such issues usually affected their productivity, even in sports. The coach of A.S.D. Tennis-Tavolo Norbello in Italy said that he came to assist Lagos State to

prepare its table tennis players for the 18th National Sports Festival in November. He said that the athletes have been responding well to training. The coach said that the players were gradually shaping up for the task ahead and assured that they would certainly deliver medals for the state at the national sports fiesta. The 18th National Sports Festival will hold in Lagos from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9.

The athletes, he said, are still trying to comprehend what democracy is all about, but can at last express themselves freely. Seghaier is clearly savouring every minute of London 2012, even though his team did not land any Olympic medals in the Greco-Roman wrestling. Speaking eloquently at the wrestling stadium of the upheavals in his North African homeland, he said: “We had our revolution, we were the first. Well done, quickly done.” The clean break paid rich dividends for the wrestlers. “We were able to take up training again after seven days. That’s the truth. We were frightened, but after seven days, I called up the athletes - boys and girls - and they came to train every day as usual. Everything worked quickly, quickly,” he said. “Thank God, there was not too much damage in Tunisia. The tourists are back.” The people’s revolution began when street peddler, Mohammed Bouazizi, set himself on fire on a street in December 2010, after a policewoman confiscated his goods. He died the next month.

Some sports fans, frustrated by the complicated ticketing system for the Olympics, have chosen to buy Paralympic tickets instead. “The Olympic Games have shown us that the UK has taken the Games to their heart and with the tickets sold so far and more still to come I look forward to even more people getting the hance to join and to form memories that will last a lifetime,” London organising committee (LOCOG) Chairman Seb Coe said in a statement. The inspiration for the modern Paralympics is the Stoke Mandeville Games, held in 1948 at a rehabilitation facility for World War Two veterans.

Japan’s Icho wins third successive gold


apan’s Kaori Icho cruised  to  her third successive Olympic gold in the 63kg women’s freestyle wrestling at the London Olympics on Wednesday. She easily beat China’s Jing Ruixue to complete a hat-trick of golds after success in Beijing in 2008 and Athens in 2004, when women first competed in Olympic wrestling. Icho, wearing a bright red leotard emblazoned with a roaring tiger’s head, waved to the hundreds ofJapanese supporters in the packed wrestling arena. A seven-time world champion, Icho had been the clear favorite to retain her title in the second heaviest Olympic weight class.



Quick CrossWord (4)


Igbo kwenu!


n Edo man invited his friends for his mother's burial, after lowering the coffin, they put yam, rice, meat etc, into the grave. An Hausa man asked why? The Edo man smiled & said, "According to our tradition, the dead go on a long journey & need all the food items they can get". The Hausa man dropped N100,000 inside and said, "When the food finish, buy more". A Yor uba ma n a ls o dr oppe d N50,000 and said, add this in case it is not enough. An Igbo man who was present at that time smiled, brought out his cheque book and wrote a cheque of N200,000. He dropped it in the coffin and took the N150,000 notes as c ha ng e, the n s aid, "Nwanne , withdraw when you reach dia is going to be a dangerous journey, we don't know how many robbers are out there and no one will be there to save you so just manage the check" Igbo kwenu! ACROSS 8 Another word for navy bean (7) 9 Glossy celebrity magazine (5) 10 Theatrical entertainment (5) 11 Sleeping place beneath or above another (4-3) 12 Symbol of lasting affection (8,4) 16 Cutting tool with a short, strong replaceable blade (7,5) 20 Unshaken (7) 23 Dreary song (5) 24 Do very well (5) 25 Traditional activities (7)

Nigeria policeman


igeria policeman arrested a man urinating at a place clearly marked "Do not urinate here, fine N500. The offender gives the policeman a N1000 note, The policeman turns around, fumbles a bit and says to the man, 'Oga now, urinate again, I don't have change...'

Photo Of The Day

DOWN 1 Degree of colour (5) 2 Afternoon snack (5,3) 3 Elongated cream cake (6) 4 Sharp pain (4) 5 Narrowly (6) 6 Glutinous lump (4) 7 Slavery (7) 13 – League, group of prestigious US universities (3) 14 Of flower rank (8) 15 Self-confident (7) 17 Boisterous (7) 18 Practice of going unclothed (6) 19 Taunt (5) 21 Considerably (4) 22 Mallard, for example (4)

Yesterday’s answer

"I was holed up in Boring, Oregon, wondering whether I should try someplace different. So I hopped in my car and drove to Why, Arizona, to figure things out. After a few days I found my answer in Whynot, Mississippi: I needed a town with some life to it. I made a beeline for Disco, Tennessee, where I danced so much, I wore out my shoes. The next day, I headed to Loafers Glory, North Carolina, for a new pair..." Source: Reader's

. . . putting the people first



Bolt wins 200m to make Olympic athletics history


sain Bolt became the first man to retain both Olympic sprint titles as he led home a gold and green Jamaica clean sweep in the 200m. Bolt matched Michael Johnson's then world-record time from the Atlanta Games of 19.32 seconds as he held off training partner Yohan Blake in silver and Warren Weir in bronze. Blake had beaten Bolt at the Jamaican trials, his last race over the distance before London, but the double 100m champion ran a brilliant bend from lane seven to lead by a metre coming into the straight. Blake's 19.44 secs was a season's best, while 22-year-old Weir set a new personal best with 19.84 secs to complete the Jamaican party.

Usain Bolt

Rudisha breaks 800m world record in Olympics win


avid Rudisha became the first athlete to set a new world record on the track at London 2012 as he won 800m gold. The 23-year-old Kenyan stormed to victory in his debut Olympic final to become the first man inside one minute 41 seconds, clocking 1:40.91. Botswana 18-year-old Nijel Amos took silver, with another teenager, Kenya's Timothy Kitum, in bronze. Amos clocked 1:41.73 - the 11th fastest 800m of all time to become the fourth-fastest man ever over the distance. Only Rudisha, Wilson Kipketer and 2012 Games chief Seb Coe have run two laps of the track faster. Rudisha has set the three fastest 800m times of all time and managed six of the fastest eight 800m ever.


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

QUOTABLE QUOTE Nigeria is facing a surge of violence and lawlessness that has blighted the lives of thousands of Nigerians. Nigeria’s leaders need to confront this violence, whether committed by Boko Haram or security forces. — Daniel Bekele, Africa director, Human Rights Watch (HRW)

The Budget Conundrum (I) – Budgeting Process T

he nation’s attention has once again been captured by controversy over budget implementation. Indeed, the House of Representatives has passed a motion sponsored by my brother Femi Gbajabiamila threatening the commencement of impeachment proceedings against President Jonathan unless the administration rapidly improves on budget implementation. The Jonathan administration reactedin the hapless ways we have all become accustomed to. Honourable Gbajabiamila was accused of a non-existent offence, convicted by the PDP and called upon toresign, while high percentages of budget implementation were claimed by theexecutive branch. Both turned out to be indefensible at best and usual Jonathanian falsehoods at worst. So what is thetruth? Should policy directions anchor national and sub-national budgets? Howare budget priorities determined and who does? How are budgets prepared, reviewedand implemented? What do all the jargons like expenditure warrants, Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIEs) and Cash-Backing mean? And what does sound budgeting mean for our political economy and progress as a nation? What can we learn fromthe past when things worked slightly better? And what country experiences areavailable for Nigeria as lessons for the future? We intend to spend the next couple of columns explaining budgeting and addressing some of these questions. Our hope is that our citizens will be better enlightened about the subject and demand accountability from those in power. In the past several weeks, we have analyzed federal and states’ budgets; their context,content, effectiveness and relevance to critical development challenges. We came across wasteful spending, wrongful priorities and the absence of clear cut developmental visions and plans for the states and the federation as a whole. While the Federal Government has a statement of intentions for 2011-2015 encapsulated in a pathetic-27 page “Transformation Agenda” and a dodgy Medium Term

311 689 606 327 454

7458 1765 3308 1969 0344


Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Expenditure Framework (MTEF), most of the states did not even attempt that, andcertainly had no articulated visions, plans and medium-term programmes to anchor their annual budgets. Development theoryand experience support the proposition that budgets need to be predicated onlong-term visions, economic strategies and plans to be effective instruments of societal progress. Unfortunately, this is not the case for mostof post-Independence Nigeria. Either the national or states’ government budgets are not anchored on coherent visions and plans or where there are development plans,the budgets are at variance with the visions. We will summarize our nationalexperience in development planning and budgeting to throw some light on this disconnects between vision and budgeting which has become exacerbated since2007. Worse still,besides policy

incoherence and perhaps in consequence of implementation discontinuities, Nigeria has been plagued by the phenomenon of abandoned projects. Recently, a Federal Government committee found that N2.7 trillion has been expended on about 11,800 abandoned projects which currently require another N7.28 trillion for completion. According to the House of Representatives, the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) only completed about 1,550 out of 5,100 contracts, a 30% performance without even analyzing the quality of the projects and spending. Similarly, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is alleged to have wasted over N300 billion on uncompleted projects in the four barelyfunctioning petroleum refineries. These and other examplespoint to a fundamental malaise – our failure to articulate a national

vision, coherent economic strategy, national development plans and annual budgets totranslate these into concrete outcomes and progress. The importance of focusing on the national visioning and development planning process and their link to the budget cannot be over-emphasized. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Nigeria. As a consequence, at all levels of government – federal, states and local government, budgets are at variance with government’s visions and plans. While the federal government has had various national development plans, at the state levels, governments do not have any articulated development visions and plans. In the last fifty years, a handful of countries have transformed their countries from low to middle and high-income through careful visioning, sound development planning and focused implementation under competent leaderships. China has not only grownat more than 10% per annum on average for 30 years, but lifted more than 400 million people out of poverty since the leadership began implementing economic reforms from 1978. The five step process to replicate this feat is (1) articulation of national vision of progress and prosperity (2) consensus on a national economicstrategy to attain the vision (3) preparation of mediumterm development plans pursuant to the agreed strategy (4) preparing and legislating annual budgets to translate the development plans into real outcomes, and (5) the disciplined and focused implementation of the budgets and feedback to the next development plans. We will first describe the federal government budgeting process today, which is also similarto what obtains in the states to enable us benchmark it against what has resulted in real progress in other countries. The first step in budget preparation begins around August of the preceding budget year. The President issues directives to the Minister of Finance and Budget Office to propose a budget in line withthe federal government’s vision for Nigeria. Contd. on Page 35

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



Police nab fraudster impersonating Suswam’s brother From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


fraudster who specialises in duping public officials has been arrested by the Benue state police command. Led by one Samson Tsevende, son to a People Demorcritic Party (PDP) chieftain in the state and immediate pa st ch a ir ma n o f Be nue Sta te Uni ver sal Bas ic E du ca t io n Bo a rd , (S UB EB ), Mr. Da vid T se ven d e, th e suspect has duped some local council chairmen in the state of sums am o u nt i ng to o ve r N15million using the name of G ove rn o r G ab r ie l S u sw a m' s e ld e r br o th e r, Dr . T er k ul a S us wam . It was gathered that at one

i ns ta nc e t he s u sp ec t u se d a Glo line alleged to be that of D r. Su s wa m a nd as k ed th e affected chairmen to deposit into Samson's Diamond Bank a cc o un t t he su m o f N5 m il li on each w hi c h t h e c ha i rm e n u n kn o wi n gl y complied with. Ho we ver , luc k r an ou t of t he fr a ud s te r w h en th e c ha i rm a n of Us h on g o Lo ca l Gover nme nt Are a, Mr. C yr il Gajir lodged the said amount i nt o t h e Di a mo n d B an k a cc o un t a n d i m me d ia t el y c al l ed to th e g ove rn o r' s brother to intimate him; but the latter out rightly denied d ir e ct in g a n yb o dy to l o dg e money into his account. A t t hi s p o in t, Mr . G a ji r

q ui c kl y a l er te d t h e b an k officials who wasted no time i n i nvit i ng th e p o li ce an d S am s on wa s a r re s te d a s h e a tt e mp t ed to wi t hd r aw th e m oney. Mea nw h il e , tw o of Samson's accomplices are said to be on the run, according to security sources. Confirming the incident to j ou r na l i st s , t he go ve rn o r' s e ld er b r ot he r, Dr. Terkula Suswam, expressed shock at the nefarious act of the fraudster using his name to siphon money from local government chairmen. When contacted, the Benue Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Eezala, said the matter was not before the comm and.

Plateau ALGON boss tasks STF on performance From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


he Plateau state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), has expressed concern over the failure of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises to bring to an end the persisting unrest in the state. The chairman of ALGON in the state, Hon. Emmanuel Loman, said: "Just last week the Fulanis killed three Tarok people in Langtang axis of the state. Also some people in Gashit district who went to apply fertiliser on their farms were attacked as well". Loman who is the management committee chairman of Barkin Ladi local

government area, stressed that "you see the problem I have with the ongoing operation is the way and manner they set out to carry out the exercise in the first place. How do you explain a situation where they went on air to announce their plans to go after the terrorists before carrying out the operation proper. Will the enemy be there waiting for the soldiers to come and swoop on them? So it smacks of lack of genuine desire on their part to apprehend the terrorists who had been killing the villagers with impunity". He tasked the STF to tell the people of Plateau what they have achieved since they started the operation.

Power supply raised by 1,437 MW


L-R: Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Bem Angwe, Imo state Governor, Chief Rochas 0korocha, and former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, during the national dialogue on effective leadership and good governance, organised by NHRC, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Traffic officials impound unregistered vehicles in Jalingo From Ysha'u Alhassan Jalingo


he Vehicles Inspection Office (VIO) of Taraba state Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, has impounded a substantial number of commercial vehicles operating as town service taxis in the state capital. Investigation by our correspondent shows that the vehicles were impounded because

their owners failed to register them with the VIO before operating. The vehicles were parked in the premises of the ministry while their owners or the operators were seen settling the stipulated fine and the registration fee to claim them back. Majority of the impounded vehicles were used initially as private cars before the ban on

motorcycles in the state capital. In his reaction in an interview, the Director of Traffic in the ministry, Sunday Garba confirmed the report emphasising that the exercise was aimed at sanitising the town service business. Garba said registered vehicles for town service have been given code numbers for easy identification whenever the need arose. Assembly warns LG chairman over negligence


he chairman of Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba state, Danazumi Agbu, has explained that the local government is capable of settling land disputes in the interest of peace. The chairman made the explanation yesterday when he appeared before the Taraba State House of Assembly Committee investigating the petition against the District Head of Tsokundi, Yahaya

Salla, over the seizure of land belonging to farmers in T u na r i . He told the committee that he was only aware of the problem last week when he received a phone call from the chairman of the committee, Charles Maijankai who informed him of the petition. Agbu , pleaded with the committee to allow the council settle the matter at home considering the fact that all the

parties involved belong to one family hence the need for peaceful resolution of the m a tt e r . In his remarks, the chairman of the committee expressed dismay at the manner in which the local government chairman paid less attention on land matters leaving it in the hands of the traditional rulers which according to him was causing serious dispute.

he several Udenna Orja billions of dollars spent on the resuscitation of Nigeria's electricity sector may be yielding fruit with the announcement by Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji that public power supply in Nigeria from last Monday hit a peak capacity of 4,237 mega watts (MW), the highest output ever generated in the country's over 50 years history. Prof. Nnaji said when President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in May, 2010, the quantum of power generated in Nigeria was about 2,800MW. This translates to an increase of 1,437 MW added to the national grid by Jonathan since he came to power. While announcing the news to his ministry's directors in Abuja, the minister said the 4,237 MW excluded "spinning reserves". He attributed the sharp increase to gas availability and praised the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-

Madueke, for delivering on the promise to supply gas to the thermal plants. Nnaji also said that although water levels have also improved at the dams, hydro power plant managers at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro were operating a management system designed to ensure that there is water for power all year round. The figure spiked by1,000 MW within one year, mostly through recoveries from existing plant capacities. By January 2012, the generation capacity peaked to about 4,100MW. The minister had in April assured that there would be considerable improvement in power supply from the end of July 2012 because of the scheduled increase in natural gas supply from the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and in the volume of water at the lakes in the nation's three hydro power stations at Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba.

CAN declares fasting, prayers for slain Okene worshipers From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kogi state chapter, has declared three days of fasting and prayer to solicit divine intervention in the security situation of the country. Archbishop Emmanuel Egbunu, the state chairman of CAN, made the call on Wednesday in Lokoja while addressing newsmen on the killing of 17 Christians at the Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite in Okene on Monday. Egbunu who is also Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lokoja, said while the attack was not an isolated one against Christians at worship in recent times, it was a new and dangerous dimension in Kogi.

"Our hearts are heavy over the cold-blooded murder. This unprovoked attack against unarmed, innocent citizens right in the place of worship leaves us in no doubt that it was a premeditated, calculated and clearly targeted attack", he said. "We call on Christians to observe prayer and fast in their assemblies between Wednesday and Friday to implore divine intervention in our nation and state. This should be continued in the foreseeable future. The CAN chairman reminded the perpetrators that "the Creator will call everyone to account for every unprovoked bloodshed in times of peace and His justice cannot be escaped however long it takes", he added.

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, August 10, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, August 10, 2012 Edition

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