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Vol. 10 No. 31

Monday, February 11, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Rabiul Akhir 1, 1434 AH


Maitama Sule, Air Force to tackle Tension in UNIABUJA Al-Mustapha weep as bandits in Birnin as students protest supporters storm Kirikiri Gwari today >> PAGE 2

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Super Eagles beat Burkina Faso 1-0 to become

Champions of Africa — Page 2

Nigeria's players hold the Africa Cup of Nations trophy aloft after their 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso, yesterday in Johannesburg.



















Education 27-28 Health


Super Eagles soar to 3rd AFCON crown By Patrick Andrew


igeria overcame the dogged challenge of underdogs Burkina Faso to clinch her third Africa Cup of Nations with domestic league player Sunday Mba's goal ensuring that the Super Eagles won for the second time outside home shore. It was the Enugu Rangers player's second goal in the tournament. He had scored a crucial winner against top favourites the Elephants of Cote d' Ivoire in the Herculean quarterfinal to seal the Eagles semi-final spot. In yesterday's final, Mba in one moment of sheer individual brilliance flicked the ball over From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


My disagreement with OBJ on principle and ego, says OGD, Page 37















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riends and supporters of the former Chief Security Officer to the late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, yesterday stormed Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons to inaugurate an Ultra Modern Central Mosque and Quranic School he renovated within the prisons. Al-Mustapha, who was last year sentenced to death for his role in the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, mobilised funds from friends and associates for the reconstruction of a mosque in the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons in Lagos. The prisons premises witnessed an unusual crowd which was almost uncontrollable for officials of Nigeria Prison Service who lamented the large turnout of guests for the

defender Mohamed Koffi and then stretched to tug the ball with his left beyond the reach of goalkeeper Daouda Diakite to register the first and only goal on the 40 minutes. Before then, the Eagles had dominated in their usual sleek, short passes with Mikel Obi, Onazi Ogenyi and Mba dominating the midfield to cut off any link between Bance and Jonathan Patriopa in the forward line of the Stallions. Expectedly, the Eagles, missing the energetic presence and influence of injured Emmanuel Emenike, created chances in torrents but Ikechukwu Uche and Brown Ideye seem to lack the bite to bury the Stallions.

The Burkinabes though were no easy pushovers. As underdogs they were far from being overawed as they attempted to use their sheer physique to advantage but often met roadblocks in the rugged yet calm defence line of the Eagles marshaled by Godfrey Obobana and Kenneth Omeruo, while Efe Ambrose's dribbling runs down the right flank posed no little threat. In the second half though the Eagles opted to concede possession to the Stallions and for some quarter hour soaked up pressure with some sporadic incursions that often found the defence line of the Stallions exposed. But that final bite was missing. Ahmed Musa came on

for injured Elderson Echiejile as did Joseph Yobo for Mba. Victor Moses, the player of the tournament, Ideye, substitute Ahmed Musa took turns to missed glaring chances, even the Diakite was forced to make some safes. Burkina substitute Wilfried Sanou drove a first-time shot from a tough angle just wide of the far post in the 74th minute. Tried they could though the Stallions were unable to draw level as they did in the group game as Nigeria celebrated her triumph. The victory meant Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi became only the second man to win the tournament as player and coach.

Maitama Sule, Al-Mustapha weep as supporters storm Kirikiri

ceremony. Many other invited guests had to be locked outside the prison. The event which was chaired by Dan Masanin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule and Senator Ganiyu Solomon, had other personalities in attendance including the representative of Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Garuba Akinola, founder Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederic Fasehun, Prince Doyin Sijuade, northern politicians among others. However, the Dan Masanin Kano was unable to control his emotions when he approached Al-

Mustapha who had kept a low profile among other inmates as both men hugged, and exchanged few words and cried hysterically. Supporters of Al-Mustapha however added more drama outside the prison walls when they began to call for the release of the embattled former CSO, chanting: “Sai Al-Mustapha, Free Mustapha”. An official of the Prisons Service who pleaded not to be mentioned in press said crowds in large numbers from the northern parts of the country had started to arrive the prison quaters since Friday for the event. He said only 700 guests could

be allowed to access the prison yard, while hundreds of invitees mostly, including journalist where turned back form witnessing the official inauguration ceremony for the mosque. The northern community in Lagos also sent a delegation of about 200 people lead by Alhaji Yerima Shetima. Chaplain of the Muslim Community, Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri Imam Adio Mulid Misbandeen, told our correspondent that the mosque had been in bad condition for years until Major Al-Mustapha approached him to be allowed to renovate it.

Korean doctors’ death: IGP orders protection for medical personnel NMA, Gaidam, Mark condemn killing By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Tobias Lengnan Dapam, Lambert Tyem


ollowing last Friday’s and yesterday’s attacks on health workers in Kano and Yobe states respectively, The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday ordered immediate special security protection for all medical personnel both Nigerian and expatriate – especially those involved in immunisation and other special medical services. Police spokesman, Frank Mba in a statement, said "to this end, Command Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Zonal AIGs especially those covering the northern states have been directed to devise customised and tailor-to-suite security strategies to ensure that no further attack on innocent health workers occur. Unknown gunmen had stormed a house in which three Korean doctors were quartered at T Junction Area, Potiskum local government area of Yobe state and murdered them. Yobe state police commissioner, Alhaji Sanusi

Rufai confirmed the incident. Rufai told the News Agency of Nigeria in Damaturu that the health workers were killed in the early hours of Sunday. He said the workers, comprising three men and one woman were posted to the Potiskum General Hospital. The commissioner said when they were posted and assumed duties as expatriates, the police were not notified to give them adequate security coverage. “As I am talking to you now, I am in Potiskum. The three male health workers have been confirmed dead while we are still working to uncover the details”, he said. Sanusi explained that investigations had commenced to unveil those behind the murder of the expatriates. “For now, we cannot say with certainty those behind it or what exactly happened”, he said. In its reaction, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the state condemned the killing of the Korean health workers. This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Adamu Umar, the state chairman. It stated: “the NMA in Yobe is

saddened by the news of the gruesome murder of the three Korean health workers in Potiskum”. Similarly, Yobe state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, yesterday, condemned the killing of three doctors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Potiskum. A statement issued by the Special Adviser Press Affairs and Information to the Yobe state governor, Abdullahi Bego, indicated that the doctors, working for the state government were killed in the early hours of yesterday at their residence by unknown gunmen. “The Yobe state government strongly condemns the murder of these doctors, who have contributed immensely to improving healthcare service delivery in the state. Arrangements are being made with the Korean coordinator to transfer the remains of the deceased to their home country as soon as possible", the statement said. Also reacting to the incident, Senate President David Mark has called for a synergy between the

various security agencies, as a measure to contain the killings which he described as senseless. In as statement issued yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark charged the security operatives to redouble their efforts to arrest the people behind the crimes, and as well, secure lives and property in the country effectively. According to him, “this is barbaric. This is sacrilege. It is unimaginable that those who were offering services to save lives were themselves murdered in cold blood. Something has gone wrong. This is inhuman”. He emphasised that the attacks and killings of the polio vaccinators must not be swept under the carpet, saying all right thinking persons in the society must rise up to the challenge. Mark argued that no matter the level of anger in a man's mind, taking the life of another human being cannot be justified, adding that there are many lawful channels through which aggrieved persons can seek redress rather that resorting to violence.



Don't get promoted through fraud, Army warns officers From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


hree hundred and twenty officers of the Nigerian Army from units and formations in the country have been warned not to get promoted through fraudulent ways. The Army’s examination president, Brigadier General Abdul Sani Mustapha, gave the warning at the Practical Promotion Exams for Lieutenant to Captain being hosted in Kaduna by the headquarters of 1 Division, Nigerian Army.

According to him, "the task ahead needs no emphasis but the success in this exam will determine the success in your chosen career. “We are not here to fail any of you so you should show confidence and composure during your presentations”, he stated. He emphasised that such successes should not be gotten through fraudulent means stressing that there can only be three attempts to pass in the exam and urged the officers to get at least a pass in the first attempt.

He assured that there is no sentiment attached to the promotion of officers in the Nigerian Army, adding that promotion is based on the outcome of such examinations. On his part, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Garba Wahab, charged the officers to be dedicated to the careers they have chosen. Represented by the Chief of Staff of 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ohifeme Ejemai the GOC said despite the security

challenges, "all measure have been put in place to ensure a hitch free exercise. He explained that "because of the security constraints we are conducting the exams at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp, I want to advise that you confine yourselves to the camp and try and concentrate on why you are here". He urged them to keep their discipline and face their examination as it will determine their promotion to high ranking officers in the army.

L-R: Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Nigerian High Commissioner to UK, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, during a visit by the Archbishop to the Emir, at the weekend in London. Photo: NAN

NIREC is no lame duck – Prof. Oloyede From Mike Etim, Uyo


head of a two-day meeting of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC), holding in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state from tomorrow, the national coordinator and executive secretary of the body, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has dispel the notion widely held that NIREC is a lame duck which impact is not felt in the country. Oloyede, a former vice chancellor of the University of the Ilorin who discounted the notion while fielding questions from journalists in a press conference in Uyo to kick start the body’s meeting, asserted that without NIREC the religious crises and the spate of insecurity in the country would have grown worse. He added that if Christians and Muslims in the country were left alone to carry out their activities without coming together to discuss, even if it meant disagreeing, there would have been more problems than the country is facing now.

Fire renders 25 Ilorin residents homeless From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


Tension in UNIABUJA as students protest today By Stanley Onyekwere


alpable fear and tension pervade theUniversity of Abuja over a threat of protest by some students aggrieved

by the non-accreditation of courses in the institution, having resolved to occupy its halls and premises and disrupt its second semester examinations for 2011/2012 academic session due to commence

today. Disclosing this yesterday to our reporter, one of the affected students, Adewole Tope Solomon, a 600-level Chemical Engineering student, said the students are battle ready to

resist what they considered as an affront on their collective intelligence and injustice to them if the management goes ahead to hold the exams for non-affected students without them knowing their fate.

Killings crippling our economy – Northern govs cry out From Iliya Garba, Minna


hairman of the Northern States Governors' Forum (NSGF), Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu has lamented incessant killings and rate of insecurity in most northern states, saying the trend has taken its toll on the economy of the region.

Apparently reacting to the recent killings of nine polio vaccinators by yet to be identified gunmen in Kano, the governor called on citizens of the region to support security operatives to bring to end sectarian killings which have had adverse effects on the region. People who patronise several

major markets in the region have reduced their patronage due to the insecurity, Aliyu said during the grand reception held in honor of some distinguished citizens of Niger state on Saturday. “It is disheartening that, Kantin-Kwari market in Kano which makes well over N255

million in its daily transactions before the crisis now makes a paltry N11 million daily”. Governor Aliyu mourned the deaths of the polio vaccinators and three Korean doctors that were killed yesterday, stressing the need for something urgent to be done to put to an end such butchery.

ire outbreak in two locations within Ilorin metropolis, the Kwara state capital have rendered over 25 persons homeless while property worth millions of naira lost. The incidents occurred at Taiwo Isale and Opo-Malu areas at about 1:30 am on Saturday but no life was lost. Eye witnesses revealed that a 30-room compound at Taiwo Isale was razed by the fire while 10 people at Opo-Malu area were said to have being rendered homeless by the midnight fire. The cause of the incident could not be confirmed but sources speculated that it may have been from electrical sparks from high tension cables. Special Adviser to Kwara state governor on Emergency and Relief Services, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, said the government would provide immediate succour to the victims. He said: “We have paid a visit to the two areas to sympathise with the victims and assure them of government’s support to cushion the effect”.

Air Force to tackle bandits in Birnin Gwari From Nasiru Mu’azu Isa, Kaduna


hief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, has expressed the Air Force’s resolve to collaborate with Kaduna state government to rid the forest of Birnin Gwari and environs of the bandits that have terrorised the people of the local government and

three neighbouring states. According to a statement issued by the Director General, Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, the Chief of Air Staff revealed this in Kaduna during a courtesy call on the Governor, Alhaji Muhktar Ramalan Yero in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. Badeh said Kaduna state is a mini Nigeria, as it is a home to all

ethnic, religious and political groups in the country and also home to any military officer who adorns the air force uniform. The air force chief reiterated his resolve to utilise the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna to precipitate innovations that would turn things around for the nation. He urged the state government to take advantage of

the institute by sending more students there for training as well as intervene in the Air Force/ Barakalahu crises. He assured that by the time the state government concludes it plans, the Air Force would ensure that the area becomes peaceful and safe for all to go about their normal business without any hindrance.

In his remark, Governor Muhktar Ramalan Yero assured of his full cooperation with the air force adding that the issue of Birnin Gwari is very dear to him and has been discussing with all security chiefs to map out strategies. He assured that he will get in touch with the air force for the collaboration to dislodge the bandits.



Nigeria's national football team players (from top L) Nigeria's midfielder John Obi Mikel, Nigeria's defender Godfrey Oboabona, Nigeria's defender Efe Ambrose, Nigeria's midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, Nigeria's defender Elderson Echiejile and Nigeria's forward Brown Ideye, (from bottom L) Nigeria's midfielder Victor Moses, Nigeria's defender Kenneth Omeruo, Nigeria's forward Ikechukwu Uche, Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Nigeria's forward Sunday Mba pose ahead of the kick off of the 2013 African Cup of Nations, at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

Nigeria's forward Sunday Mba (middle) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso's goalkeeper Daouda Diakite (left) looks at the goal scored by Nigeria's forward Sunday Mba (unseen).

Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama (left) saves a shot next to Nigeria's defender Elderson Echiejile (middle) and Burkina Faso's midfielder Prejuce Nakoulma.

Nigeria's forward Brown Ideye (left) and Burkina Faso's defender Bakary Kone fight for the ball during the 2013 African Cup of Nations final football match between Burkina Faso and Nigeria.



FAAN security men arrest passengers with firearms From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


viation Security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) apprehended a passenger with a pistol in his luggage at the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. The passenger who flew in from Maryland enroute Atlanta Georgia, USA, arrived the MMA at about 4.00pm on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 aboard a Delta Airlines plane. However he claimed the gun was brought in from the USA for his personal protection while in

Nigeria saying he declared the gun to the airline before checking-in his luggage at the airport of departure. Cooperate Communications General Manager of FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said security reports indicate the pistol did not pose any threat to any passenger at the time of seizure. In a related development, another passenger who checked

in on an Aero Contractors flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt last Thursday, was also apprehended by AVSEC officers at the MM2 terminal, for possessing firearms. The pistol was discovered in his checked-in luggage while the passenger said he bought the pistol from the USA for personal protection during his holiday in Aba where he would spend his

holiday. The passenger tendered the receipt for the purchase of the gun but has since been handed over to the security agents for further investigation. Again, FAAN security personnel, nabbed two Hungarian citizens, Miss Szabone Balatoni Hajnalka and Miss Porge Szabina when intelligence officers in the

Directorate of Aviation Security accosted them last Tuesday on their arrival on a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight from London. The two passengers, who did not appear to have any genuine reason for being in the country, were later handed over, with their Nigerian accomplice, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further investigations.

Dangote graduates 100 ‘super drivers’ By Aminu Imam


fter three months of intensive training at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria, the first batch of the 2,000 Dangote Graduate Drivers have graduated. The graduates who were issued with certificates and automatic employment into the Dangote Group of Companies, were very excited during the ceremony which took place last Friday at the NITT Zaria, Kaduna state. The Graduate-Driver Training Scheme is the first of its kind in Nigeria, the Director General of NITT, Alhaji Aminu Musa Yusuf said. According to him, the programme was delivered in partnership with Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Federal Vehicle Inspection Office (FVIO). He said the ‘super’ drivers have the advantage of becoming members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, which is the lead professional body for the regulation of logistics and transport practice worldwide. Speaking, Group Chief Human Resource Officer, Dangote Group, Mr. Paramjit Pabby said the graduates were selected through a rigorous process. He said the aim is to make Nigerians safe on the road, adding that “As graduate drivers, you are expected to run our newly formed super fleet with a professional touch, putting into practice all that you have been taught here.” In her speech, Nigeria’s first female commercial pilot and rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Captain Chinyere Kalu, said the training programme is part of Dangote’s corporate social responsibility scheme and a response to road safety which poses threat to peoples’ lives and businesses. The only female graduate, Ms Mba Mabel Akwugo, said she was elated, while commending the Dangote Group for the opportunity.

L-R: Oyo state Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, the state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola, Alao, during the 2013 Eid-El-Maulud celebrations organised by the state government, yesterday at Government House, in Ibadan.

Reps’ Deputy Minority Leader declares for Kano governorship By Umar Muhammad Puma


eputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, (ANPP Kano) has declared his intention to contest the Kano state governorship in 2015. Sumaila who represents

Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency made the declaration in the Kano at the residence of the former governor of the state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, in Nasarawa GRA. Kawu said he will be a listening governor if elected and promised to restore the

lost economic fortunes of the state. The third term lawmaker further disclosed that he will establish a Shura committee that will comprise of people from all facets of life that will be responsible for advising government on policies and programmes.

Military patrol team kill notorious robber in Katsina From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


military patrol team on surveillance in Safana local government area has killed a notorious armed robber, popularly known as Lauje, who had been terrorising the residents of the area. Army spokesman in Kano, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, From Nasiru Mu’azu Isa, Kaduna


Sharia Court Judge in Kaduna, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Inuwa will tomorrow Feb 12, 2013, hear a motion for staying of proceedings in a criminal case against one Abdul Wasiu of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kaduna. The accused was taken to court by five persons, Bala Musa, Ado Rigasa, Shuaibu Lawal,

confirmed to newsmen in a phone interview that his men killed the notorious robber while on routine patrol in Safana. An eyewitness in the area who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, stated that Lauje was sighted in Safana town while accompanying an old woman for an unknown mission in the area.

He added on sighting him the vigilante group in the town swooped on him where they arrested and handed him over to the military patrol team in the area. After collecting him from the vigilante group the military patrol team took him to the outskirts of the town where he was shot dead.

IPMAN to introduce skill acquisition programme for youths From Nasiru Mu’azu Isa, Kaduna


hairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN) Kaduna state chapter, Alhaji Mohammadu Ndakogi, has pledged to introduce skill acquisition programme among some youth in the state. Ndakogi disclosed this yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Kaduna. According to him, “we are planning to introduce the programme, in order to complement Kaduna state government’s efforts to address poverty among the youth of the state”. He added: “Our association is also worried about the number youth that are roaming the streets without jobs”. He called on his members not to relent in the efforts towards ensuring the progress of the association in the state, so as to move it to greater heights.

Civil Defence cop arraigned in court Sadiq Musa and Salisu Sani all of Badikko Village who made a direct complaint to the court alleging that the accused should be convicted for criminal intimidation, assault, force and defamation of character. The complainants alleged before the court that the accused sometimes last year, assaulted the five of them at Badiko Village by calling uniformed men to beat

them up for no just course. Counsel to the complainants/ respondents, Barrister Zion Oche, told the court that his clients were allegedly beaten up on the instruction of the accused and were taken to army barracks where they were humiliated and brutally assaulted. He also told the court that the five men suffered untold hardship in the hands of the uniformed

men hence their direct criminal complaint before the court. Earlier the accused counsel had approached a Kaduna High Court in suit No KDH/KAD/ 1134/2011 to strike out the criminal case against his client because the Sharia Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case. Justice A. U Sukola however refused the motion


PDP wants Ekiti, Lagos speakers to resign over alleged fraud, sex scandals From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest has called for the immediate resignation of the Speakers of Ekiti and Lagos state Houses of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin and Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji respectively over their alleged involvement in fraud and sex scandals. In a release signed by its zonal publicity secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, the party said the duo of Omirin and Ikuforiji no longer have moral rights to continue to preside over the affairs of honourable men, saying they must either tender their resignation letters or be impeached. Dr. Omirin was allegedly involved in sexual escapades with a female member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Wunmi Ogunlola while Hon Ikuforiji and his personal assistant, Oyebode Alade Atoyobe, are facing trial for allegedly conspiring between April 2010 and July 2011 to collect money from the House of Assembly without going through financial institution and also making various cash payments in aggregate sum of N503 million from the House of Assembly without going through any financial institution. Wunmi Ogunlola's husband, Mr. Tunde Ogunlola had already petitioned the House of Assembly, accusing Dr. Omirin of sleeping with his wife. On the Lagos Speaker, the PDP said; "it is strange that the same ACN that was all over the place calling for the removal of someone that was only investigated by the anti-graft agency has not deemed it necessary to ask Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who is facing trial for N503 million to resign, close to two years after he was charged to court.


Drug trafficker nabbed at Lagos airport By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


fficials of Aviation Security (AVSEC) at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, have apprehended a man suspected to be a drug courier and disguising as an airport staff while attempting to board a Turkish Airline.

The suspect, who hails from Oshogbo, the capital of Osun state with passport No. A00578030, was found to be posing as staff of a maintenance company at the airport. He was nabbed wearing a reflective jacket over a caftan dress and barged with a Staff-On-Duty Card no. 34980 belonging to one

V.U. Ekene of Bromfield, a maintenance company at the airport and was escorted to the foot of one of the avio- bridges at the "E" wing of the apron by one U.E. David, a female staff member of EMMANPOP Cleaning Company with staff-On-Duty Card no. 33984, through the crew/staff gate. AVSEC officials had earlier

L-R: Professor Pat Utomi, Chief Philip Asiodu, Alhaji Maitama Sule, Professor Ben Nwabueze, Dr. Bola Kuforiji Olubi, and Mrs. Ganiyat Fawehinmi, during the Meeting of Project Nigeria on the State of the Nation, at the weekend in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Kogi govt seeks Mortgage access for citizens From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ogi state government has disclosed that it will work towards setting up an inter-ministerial committee towards ensuring that indigenes of the state who are in the informal sector access the cooperative housing development loan of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. Governor Idris Wada stated this when he received the Assistant General Manager and Head of the Informal Sector, Federal Mortgage Bank

of Nigeria, Shehu Usman Osidi, who was on an advocacy visit to the state. Deputy governor, Yomi Awoniyi, who received the team, said the present administration is resolute in providing housing to the people of the state. The governor disclosed that the efforts to provide housing became more intense after the flood disaster that ravaged the state last year. "Government, is building houses on higher grounds to enable people living along the flood prone areas of the state to

relocate". Capt. Wada commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for ensuring delivery in the provision and achieving of social housing for the people, stating that the state will partner with the bank to ensure that its laudable objectives are realised. The governor lauded the existing partnership between the bank and the state government which has culminated in the ongoing construction of a Housing Estate in Felele area of Lokoja.

North-west governors most unfriendly to LGs- NULGE From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


ational president of National Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE), and Comrade Ibrahim Khalil has alleged that with the exception of Jigawa state governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido all the other governors in the North-west geopolitical zone are unfriendly to local government operations. Comrade Khalil who made the allegation while addressing

sought to know from U.E. David the identity of the person she was escorting. In reply, U.E. David was said to have claimed that the person (Adetunji Oladeji Joseph), was a newly employed staff of EMMANPOP Cleaning Company on familiarisation tour of the airport. After being convinced that he had beaten all security checks, as assisted by his escort, Adetunji yanked off his reflective jacket as well as the On-Duty-Card and sneaked through an unauthorised access to the avio-bridge.

a press conference, at the weekend in Katsina, noted that the governors in the zone created unnecessary vacuum at the local councils by not conducting elections. He added: "No matter what, it was only the Jigawa state governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido that ensured no vacuum was created at the local government level by conducting democratic elections. But the rest clung to the undemocratic practice of appointing

caretaker committees". Similarly, the NULGE boss debunked arguments by some governors that the local governments were a mere appendage of the state government, adding that the call for the scrapping of local government as the third tier of government was selfish and blackmail. Comrade Khalil decried t h e alleged abuse of local government funds by the state governors and the bastardisation of their administrative

structures, alleging 'most of the local councils funds were misappropriated and misapplied by the governors'. He also took a swipe at the states houses of assembly for their ineptitude in controlling the excesses of the governors whom, he alleged, have turned them into errand boys and mere extension of the executive arm. Comrade Khalil noted that without autonomy local governments cannot function well and serve.

ACF condemns killing of health workers in Kano By Sunday Etuka


rewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has condemned the attacks and killing of polio workers in Kano by gun men, which took place last Friday. In a release issued by Anthony Sani, ACF's publicity secretary, the forum described the incident as "unacceptable". It also condemned the recent attack on the convoy of the Emir of Kano, which resulted in the loss of lives. "The two attacks were meaningless in the sense that consciously directed efforts at eradication of polio in Nigeria could not reasonably be taboo to any of the known religions, or groups, considering polio is yet to be eradicated in only three countries of Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan". The forum also stated: "At his age the Emir of Kano could not constitute a menace to any religion or any group. Therefore, ACF would not be tired of condemnation of the mindless resort to violence as a means to resolving perceived grievances, however strong the feeling. To that end, ACF appeals to such group of people to lay down their arms and embrace the civilised ways of addressing their concerns".



Plateau dismisses fake ‘commissioner’ P

lateau state Government has dismissed the officer who posed as a fake commissioner and drew salaries and entitlements for that office for “quite some time”. Mr Yakubu Jang, the Special Adviser to the Plateau Governor on Special Duties, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos yesterday. “We discovered the officer that claimed to be a commissioner and dismissed him from service after a thorough investigation. “We took him through the civil service disciplinary procedure and showed him the way out”, said Jang, who is also the Chairman, Biometric Data

Capture Committee. He said that the ministry of justice had been directed to prosecute the dismissed officer. The special adviser described the situation as “very scary”, and expressed surprise that an officer could engage in that high level of criminality. Jang said that other officers involved in that incident were still being investigated to ascertain the levels of their complicity and promised that none of them would escape justice if found culpable.

“Government is still doing its work to ensure that all concerned are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others”, he said. He said that the committee had attained a high level of success in its efforts at cleansing the system and revealed that some of the discoveries were “simply disgusting’’. He advised civil servants in the state to place the public interest above their selfish desires, pointing out this was the only way to promote growth, stability and progress.

“But apart from seeking out and ridding the system of such bad eggs, we have also embarked on the massive training of civil servants to enhance productivity and restore the pride that should be inherent in public service”. Jang also spoke on efforts to engage youths into positive ventures and expressed government’s commitment to restoring hope in the psyche of every Plateau youth. “We have tried to make every youth useful to himself

L-R: President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; his wife, Bola; First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; and President Goodluck Jonathan, cutting the cake, during the launch of Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, on Friday night in London.

Woman bags eight months jail for trespass, theft From Uche Uche, Damaturu


he Senior Magistrate Court in Damaturu, Yobe State has sentenced a housewife on three count charges of trespass, theft and possession of stolen properties. Police prosecutor, Corporal Bulama Maina told the court that the suspect, Hadiza Mallam Hassan of Dukumari ward in Damaturu town was arrested on January 7, 2013 at about 7 am hours based on information received by the police. He told the court that when the home of the accused person was searched by the police, many properties were recovered. He also said that on interrogation, the suspect voluntarily confessed to have trespassed people’s houses in Nayinawa Kandahar area of Damaturu, the state capital and stole some of the properties. He told the court that later, four women surfaced at the police station where they identified some of the properties stolen from their individual houses. Some of the stolen properties include rubber kettles and basins, standing fan, Ecolax bag among others worth N99, 520. Others include 1 bicycle, 1 sewing machine, 2 refrigerators, 2 televisions, 7 DVD players, 3 bed sheets, and mattresses among others that she could not give satisfactory account of. The prosecutor told the court that the offences were punishable under sections 352,354,288 and 319. She pleaded guilty to first charge of trespass, theft and possession of stolen properties but pleaded not guilty on the second charge of house breaking. Convinced that the prosecution has proved the charges against the accused person, the trial judge, Hadiza Lawan Musa, convicted the accused and sentenced her to 8 months imprisonment without any option of fine and to pay a fine of N3000 or another 2 months imprisonment.

and the society; to do that, we have classified them according to the levels of their knowledge and had steadily engaged them. “We have the graduates, the skilled youths and the unskilled ones all captured in a data based. We try to engage them in assignments commensurate with their qualifications. “When we award contracts, we encourage the handlers to engage youths according to their skill”. (NAN)

From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada, has described Alh Sani Abdulrazak Mohammed Omolori Ataba, the newly turbaned Ciroma of Ebiraland as a selfless individual whose love for the nation and the state in particular knows no bound. The governor revealed this Saturday at the turbanning

New Chiroma turbaned in Ebiraland ceremony of Alhaji Sani Omolori by the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alh Ado Ibrahim, as the Chiroma of Ebiraland . Represented at the occasion by his Deputy,Yomi Awoniyi, he called on the Chiroma to strive for the unity of the State and Ebiraland in particular.

He commended the contributions of Alh Sani Omolori to the unity of the nation and people of Ebiraland and urged him to sustain his quality of service and noble virtues to the growth and development of his father land. The Ohinoyi , Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, said the Chiroma title

confers more responsibilities of ensuring unity and growth of Ebiraland on the shoulders of Omolori, stressing that he must sustain the confidence reposed in him. The new Chiroma pledged to work towards the unity, peace and growth of Ebiraland.

Land: Court to hear suit against Saraki, others March 21 From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara State High Court will start hearing in the case filed by three indigenes of Ilorin on March 21,2013 over alleged sale of land belonging to Ilorin community by the state government to Arte Industry Limited. The claimants are Dr. Saliu Ajibola Ajia, Dr. Saad Omoiya and Alhaji Saleh Duro Garba while Governor of Kwara state, Attorney General of Kwara State,Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Director General, Bureau of Lands, Arte Industry Limited and Mrs. Toyin Bukola Saraki are defendants. The plaintiffs want the court to decalare that defendants have no power to change or convert the public ownership status and structure of Ilorin Old Eid praying ground and now the site of Ilorin Amusement Park from public ownership to private ownership either by sale or

transfer . They also want the Court to decide that the sale or transfer of Amusement Park through the 6th defendants by 1st-5th defendants was wrong, illegal and unconstitutional and in breach of the fundamental rights of the claimants entrenched in the Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria and the Land Use Act,1978. Faulting the transfer steps, the complainants averred that the 7th defendants used her influence as the Governor’s wife and connived to sell, transfer the Park to Arte Industry Limited where 80 percent purchase shares by 6th defendant was

alleged to be owned by 7th defendant. They argued that the Park was meant to serve as recreation and tourism centre for the people wherein a mini zoo where animals are kept and also serve as venue for Army remembrance day events and communal purposes among others.

Bauchi sets up c’ttee to register unemployed youths, women From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state government has set a committee for the registration of unemployed youth and women in the 20 local government councils of the state targeting 10,000 youths The Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Aminu Hammayo disclosed this while addressing newsmen in

Bauchi, saying that registration would commence on the 18 of February 18 to the first week of March 2013. According to him, the state government wants to have a complete data of the unemployed youth and women in the state for proper planning and job creation adding that, the exercise would give all the relevant agencies the needed information on employment.

He said, the committee has already gone round the six emirates in the state to sensitize the traditional rulers on the needs for the exercise and solicit their support towards the success of the exercise. Hammayo said advocacy and sensitization visit on the exercise would be carried out in all the local government areas of the state.



NUJ urges resolution of budget impasse between NASS, FG. From Nasiru Mu'azu Isa, Kaduna


resident of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Mallam Muhammad Garba has advised the Federal Government and National Assembly to put their differences behind and harmonize the 2013 budget with view a allowing the socio- economic development of the country to benefit.

Mallam Garba disclosed this during a press conference in Kaduna, noting that the delay in signing the 2013 budget by the federal government would cog the wheel of socio- economic development despite the fact that the budget has been passed on time by the National Assembly. He said the delay in signing the budget would setback some priority areas such as health,

education, road and agriculture . On the 1999 constitution’s review, Garba commended the Leadership of the National Assembly for conducting the exercise in a transparent and orderly manner. According to him, the NUJ was proactive during the constitution amendment exercise but, surprisingly, when it came to the harmonization of the amendment, the exercise

was suspended by Speaker of the House of Reps due to some reason adding that this would portray the credibility of the House in bad light. He therefore called on the leadership of the National Assembly to complete the exercise so that the nation's democracy could prevail since the amendment has been accepted by majority of Nigerians .

L-R: Team Leader, Nigerian Navy recruitment contingent to Yobe and Borno states, Commander C.A. Isah, Yobe state Deputy Governor, Engineer Abubakar D. Aliyu and Secretary to the Yobe State Government, Alhaji Babagoni Machida, during the team delegation visit to the Yobe state government, at the weekend.

Bauchi traditional leaders support NHIS From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


raditional rulers in Bauchi state have reiterated their support for proper implementation of National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) in the state. The traditional rulers of Bauchi, Misau , Katagum, Dass , Ningi and Jammare emirates of Bauchi State indicated this when the implementation committee members of the NHIS in Bauchi paid advocacy visits led by Alhaji

Ahmed Sale Jarmajo who is the Permanent Secretary, General Administration Office of the Head of Service Bauchi state and the Northeast Zonal coordinator of NHIS Alh. Ma’aji Abdu, last week. Jarmajo said, “we are here to solicit your support advise and your prayers for the success of state government to continue with the implementation for the health insurance cover to its state civil servants. “We also need your assistance towards mobilizing the masses

especially on the issue of Community- Based Social Health Insurance Program that is design to cover the health need of people who are not earning fixed income such as farmers, artisans, traders and so on”, he said. Chairman of the Committee also stated that Bauchi was the first to commence the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme to its civil servants in July, 2008 in the whole North free of charge but could not continue because of some

contingences . He stressed that considering the immeasurable importance of health, the state government wants to continue the programme with civil servants expected to contribute their quota. The Zonal Coordinator NHIS, North-east, Alhaji Ma’aji Abdu said the NHIS was designed to cover all the segments of the Nigerian population including the civil servants, students of tertiary institutions, rural dwellers and the most vulnerable groups in the society.

Presidency tasks UniAbuja VC on accreditation By Usman Shuaibu


enior Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Youths and Students Matters, Comrade Jide Imagwe, has appealed to the ViceChancellor of University of Abuja, Prof. James Sunday Adelabu to urgently work out modalities for the accreditation of Engineering, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine courses which were suspended by the Federal Ministry of Education. He also urged the ViceChancellor to re-double his efforts to provide infrastructural

facilities laced by the University of Abuja for so long now. Imagwe, who made the appeal during the interactive session between the management of the institution and the students, called on the management to always gear towards the progress of the university. The Special Adviser pleaded with the students to keep calm saying that their demands would be looked into by the appropriate authorities. In his address at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. James Sunday Adelabu, said the institution is

working hard for the accreditation of the said courses. He explained that the leadership of Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) had given the university’s authority go ahead to run a clinical programme in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He also said that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had given approval for the establishment of the full-time mode of the four engineering programmes at the university. The Vice-Chancellor further said that the leadership of the university was able to put in place facilities for the college of Health

Sciences, adding that a big laboratory complex is underway for completion. Adelabu assured that his administration would continue to focus on the developmental projects in the institution and called on the stakeholders in education sector to join hands with him to repositioning the university. Meanwhile, some of the aggrieved students who spoke to Peoples Daily appealed to the senate of the university to accredit the said courses to enable them to graduate on time from the institution.

The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has also extolled the virtues of the key players in Nigerian politics and urged them not to relent on their efforts in moving the nation's democracy forward.

Minister of Special Duties assumes office From Umar Dankano, Yola.


he newly appointed Minister of Special Duties, Barrister Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, has assumed duty in the Special Duties Ministry with a challenge to its staff to double their efforts towards achieving President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. The Minister was speaking weekend in Abuja during his maiden meeting with the top management staff when he received some briefs from the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Henry Akpan. He said he is a team player ready to carry everybody along to achieve the mandate of the Ministry. Barrister Turaki enjoined the staff to maximize their potentials in the line of duty to ensure maximum output, as every human being is endowed with certain qualities which when harnessed, could bring out the best for the betterment of the society. “We must strategize to surmount challenges and any impediment in the course of our duties because challenges would strengthen our resolve to achieve results”, he added. Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Henry Akpan briefed the Minister on the activities and core mandates of the office pointing out some teething challenges of the office which include inadequate funding and lack of office accommodation, among others.

Plateau set to replace damaged water pipes in Jos


n an effort to improve the supply of drinking water in Plateau state, works on the replacement of damaged water pipes in Jos and Bukuru communities is to begin by April this year, The Sstate Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Idi Ibrahim Waziri disclosed this in Jos weekend. Many parts of the state capital currently do not have pipe-born water mainly because of timeworn and defective pipe network, a situation the state government has since undertaken to correct. Waziri who spoke to Peoples Daily after the inauguration of a high-powered inter-ministerial committee to look into the issues relating to compensation of land, structures and crops affected by the water infrastructure being developed in the state by both the Federal and Plateau state governments, at the headquarters of the state Ministry of Water Resources in Jos, said new water pipes would arrive in April, immediately after which ground excavation to lay them would start.



Borrowing wisely C

redit can be a blessing or a curse. It can help you purchase things you might not otherwise be able to afford, such as a house or a new car. But it can also sock you with debt, and that can be a drain on your finances. Just because a lender is willing to make a loan doesn't mean you should automatically borrow that amount. Here are a few things to consider before taking on debt: How stable is your income? How secure is your job? What are your regular

expenses? How much cash do you need on hand each month to feel comfortable? What are your long-term financial goals? For instance, will you be able to afford that dream vacation? Will you still have money on hand in case of an emergency? Will you be able to save money even with the increased debt load? The costs of borrowing Credit costs money. When borrowing, try to get as low an interest rate as possible. For a

mortgage, this will be equal to the Prime Rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve. For a credit card, it's the prime rate plus the lender's margin rate (whatever percentage it chooses for a particular card offer, such as 2.5 % for people with good credit or 10 % for those with low credit scores). Methods to calculate interest Lenders have different ways of calculating interest, and this can have a big impact on how much you'll spend over the life of the loan. It's important to know these

methods well enough to identify them in the fine print of a loan contract. Adjusted balance is the amount owed at the beginning of the billing period minus any credits and payments you made during that period. New purchases are not counted. Average daily balance, one of the most common methods, adds your balances for each day and divides that total by the number of days in the billing period. Payments and credits made during the period are subtracted. New purchases may or may not be included. Two-cycle average daily balance uses the average daily balances for two billing periods to calculate the finance

charge. Payments and credits will be accounted for and new purchases may or may not be included. Previous balance bases the finance charge on the amount owed at the end of the previous billing period. The costs over time The Bankcard Holders of America (BHA) calculated the finance charges on one account four different ways. They calculated a scenario in which a $1000 charge and a minimum payment were made one month. The following month another $1000 charge was made. Then the entire balance was paid off.

Explaining the activity; paid survey is basically a type of statistical survey where members are rewarded for completing surveys. There are cash rewards and gift cards depending on the points you scored with each survey. Companies both big and small use this system to collect quantitative information about things such as products (To assist them serve customers better), entertainment, economic habits and your personal likes. Some websites explain in detail step-by-step methods to understanding and joining the train of paid survey money makers. These days, it is just not enough to sit at home and agonize at Company A or Company B not calling you for a job after series of interviews; it is not an excuse that despite

your many degrees, you still cannot afford some change in your pocket; all you need to do is get with the trend that even people without huge degrees under their belts practice. Are you computer literate and intelligent? Do you have an opinion (Everyone does)? Do you want some money coming in every now and then while you either wait for the monthly salary or wait for that call to resume work? Take a right step today by reading up on paid surveys and then get started. It really will not cost you anything. Surf the web also for much more online alternatives and try very hard to avoid falling into the hand of scammers. Having some cash trickle in without too much effort is much better than having nothing come in after exerting a lot of effort.

Do you know you can get paid for taking surveys


echnology and the internet in general have evolved so much that those who move along with the trend get to absolutely profit from it. Being technology and internet savvy in this age and time means you do not have to pace the streets with an envelope heavy with resume seeking any job that will hire you. Many online alternatives have emerged that can help you make money without breaking a sweat literally. One of such is by participating in paid surveys. This you can do while relaxing, watching a television show or perusing the web from the comfort of your home. You basically get paid for giving your opinion. While you cannot expect to become a millionaire by this method, it is a good nudge to not ever having to say you are broke.

Working out: What's best for your budget A

s a baseball player, I have to work out a lot. Right now, I do so at a local college because I'm a volunteer assistant for their baseball team. When I'm staying at my parent's house, I work out in their rec room. I also have friends who love going to their local gym. There are many options for staying in shape. When it's time to work out, where do you turn? At home Working out at home is a great way to save time and money. You don't have to drive to the gym, nor do you need to pay for a membership. If you're a runner, all you need is a pair of shoes to get started. There are also a number of ways to get a full body workout using only your body weight. If you need more motivation, DVD trainers have become

Quote People are definitely a company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps - Mary Kay Ash

increasingly popular. Programs like P90X and Insanity have given many users great results without breaking the bank. Depending on where you buy these programs, you shouldn't have to pay more than what you can budget for it. If you want to work out at home, the options don't end there. Yoga is a great way to exercise both your mind and body, and it's easy to find free sessions on the internet. Or, you could create your own home gym. My parents supplied their rec room with a weight rack, free weights, a treadmill, a physioball and a Bosu ball. If you'd

like to do this in your house, the cost of the equipment will depend on its quality and age. Though this carries a higher initial cost, you'll avoid the ongoing monthly cost of the gym. Going to the gym The gym is a great place to get an all-inclusive work out. Though it varies by location, many include fitness classes, weights, a pool, a spa, and sometimes basketball and racquetball courts. For avid exercisers, the gym is a great way to get a diversified workout. Of course, the gym carries a monthly fee, which can be anywhere from around $15 to

over $100 per month. Typically, you get what you pay for; the pricier gyms offer expansive areas with more classes and perks, while the cheaper ones may only offer a small weight room and some cardio equipment. What's best for you? Deciding where to work out depends completely on the level of fitness you'd like to attain, your financial situation, and your personal preference. I've seen a number of people benefit from using DVDs and simple body weight workouts in their homes. I've also seen people get great results from the many options provided by a gym membership.

If you want to work out at home, be sure to try out different things to avoid getting in a rut. Scour the internet for exercises that appeal to you - YouTube has workouts that would fit a wide range of people. If you prefer going to the gym, you need to find a place that suits your wallet and your needs. Take into account the monthly cost, and compare it to the features. Then decide what your priorities are. Are you most interested in lifting? Cardio? Classes? It's also a good idea to search for a gym that has members like you. Places that attract similar people will most likely satisfy you and your needs.

Does insurance for health, life replaces disability cover?


s an employee working in a corporate organisation or as individual, you may have got health insurance and (or) life insurance policy, meaning that you and your family are covered for medical expenses, and in the event of the unexpected your family will get compensation. The question is, is that enough insurance for all

you need? The answer is real "NO". Suppose you suffer an injury or long-lasting illness that makes it impossible for you to work, what happens? While your health insurance coverage will take care of your medical expenses, and your life insurance provides for your family, you will be facing debt

and potential financial instability if you have no way of replacing your income while you are disabled. Disability insurance is one of those things that no one ever thinks he/she needs. But you need to know that you could still pay your bills if you were to become temporarily or permanently disabled.

In this situation, the three types of insurance are necessary and no one replaces the other. Ask your insurer for life insurance cover and disability insurance cover, whereas your Health Management Organisation (HMO) will take care of your health insurance. ( S o u r c e :





Food wastage in face of growing hunger

ecently, the BBC carried an extensive report by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, London, revealing that 4 billion tons of food are produced in the world, but more than a half of it "never gets eaten". In the United States alone, "a lot of food gets thrown away". This in a world where over 1 billion in a population of 9 billion and still growing "go without food". Why this contradiction? Dr. Tim Fox, head of the IMechE's energy and environment unit, said in developed countries, the wastages occur at the market and consumption end of the food chain. In this case, often farm produce is rejected by big food supermarkets for not meeting so-called market standards such as strict sell and use-by dates and consumer freakiness including preference for cosmetically produced food that is more appealing. In contrast, in developing countries the problem is at the production end. Lack of infrastructure, including storage and transport facilities, ensures that a lot of food does not get to end-users. The ImechE report estimates that in Nigeria, for example, 35 percent of tomatoes produced by local farmers "are thrown away" because of lack of storage and transportation capacities. "The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is [overwhelming]. This is food that could be used to feed the world's growing population - as well as those in hunger today," Fox lamented. The release of this report is timely because it is an early warning to policy

leaders in both advanced and developing countries. It is more so in a world whose population is growing rapidly and much of the arable land is under cultivation already. Take the United States. Once regarded as the land of plenty, today it is no more. Here, one in seven citizens is believed to be on food stamps and a frightening number is reliant on food banks that complain of shortages. A small quantity of the food thrown away by American supermarkets and even rich consumers finding its way to empty dining

In Nigeria, food security has become more of a swan song in the corridors of power. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and UNFPD, this country imports over 1 billion dollars worth of food annually, almost 5 percent of its GDP tables will make quite a difference in the fight against hunger in the United States, says the report. We dare say the difference will be even greater in developing countries ravaged by conflicts that fuelled by greedy Western governments and multinationals. Instead of shipping weapons to Congo rebels, for instance, why not transport the food being wasted daily to the hungry civilians that bear the brunt of the conflict? No, they

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”

won't do so because keeping the conflict in the Dr C, rich in minerals, going is in their own economic interest. In Nigeria, food security has become more of a swan song in the corridors of power. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and UNFPD, this country imports over 1 billion dollars worth of food annually, almost 5 percent of its GDP. The UNFPD particularly warns of imminent famine in the country. An indication of this is the growing number of street children scavenging for food in rubbish-bins in our urban centres. This should not be so. Our agriculture may be largely subsistence, but our farmers are hardworking and productive. The northern part of the country whose economy is agrarian can be the nation's food basket if only its farmers receive adequate government support in the form of credit to expand their acreages and storage capacity. Tons of vegetables and oranges litter the ground in our markets because of lack of storage facilities. Fresh tomatoes in particular are scarce during the dry season and therefore expensive because last rainy season's harvest was destroyed. The amount of food wasted in the field and markets is scandalous. We cannot talk of achieving food security anytime soon in this country if we cannot end the wastages. Fox's report calls on governments in developing countries to introduce better technology and storage facilities to their farmers, as well as better land, water and energy usage. We at Peoples Daily cannot agree more.









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Nigerian politicians' craze for recognition By Uche Igwe


he tragedy of the Nigerian political class is multidimensional. They are greedy, dubious and desperate. They are gullible almost to the point of foolery. They also have a false impression of themselves because they assemble various grades of charlatans, perpetual sycophants and praise singers around them who see nothing wrong in everything they do. Many of them are not exposed, they talk before they think, yet they conduct themselves in a dubious messianic manner. They crave for recognition at all costs- anyone, everyone. It is public knowledge that they procure some of them from all over the world with public money just to continue to insult our psyche with their faces in the media as do-gooders, undeservedly. The story of drama around the purported Mo Ibrahim award to the former Governor of Yobe state, Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim, exactly mirrors the mindset of the Nigerian political class. This big man woke up and informed his colleagues at the Senate that he had won the Mo Ibrahim Exemplary Leadership Quality Award, for his efforts in the alleviation of poverty. He was so certain that he deserved to get such a globally coveted award without even thinking about the congruence between what he stood for and what Mo Ibrahim personified in the continent. I was told that even Nigerian Senate President David Mark congratulated him at the floor of National Assembly. His friends even took advertorials in the media and started putting together a delegation to accompany the award winner for the investiture in Cape Town, By Boniface Chizea


ecently it was reported that the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. James Onyeriri on an occasion during which The Chartered Institute of Bankers ( CIBN) was performing an induction ceremony of pioneer members of Bank MBA program, served notice that one of the key agenda of the Committee in 2013 is to divest the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of its supervisory function of banks and to vest this function in the Financial Supervisory Committee of the CIBN. He argued that the CBN should be encouraged to focus on monetary policy and leave banking supervision to an independent body. It will be in order to observe that this proposal coming from the House Committee this time around is not as outlandish and farfetched as the one for which a hearing was recently held aimed at a restructuring of the Central Bank recommending that the Governor be the only executive representative on the Board of the Bank. In my more than ten years as the Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of the Treasurer; a quarterly publication of the Money Market Association of Nigeria, we had on more than one occasion deliberated on the possibility of divesting the CBN of its Banking Supervision functions and most recently during the preparation of the Financial Sector Vision 2020 strategy document by the CBN

South Africa before it was discovered to be false. But who is Senator Abba Ibrahim? I must confess that I have not met this senator before and have only read his comments on national issues in the public arena. I recall that he is of the Committee on Housing and had made interesting comments on the relationship between the insecurity in the North, poverty and budgetary allocations by the federal government. I will return to that shortly. I am also aware that his third wife, Hon Khadija, is a current member of the House of Representatives. However, this is what former finance minister, his kinsman, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, had to say about him and his phantom award: "This man is one of the worst governors that have ever ruled any part of this country. Yobe is one of the wretched states in Nigeria. What happens is that some people who have no honour will meet and create something and send it to somebody and ask him to finance

the offer. The man receiving it is not worth it. You can never see me receiving any of these awards because a lot of them are worthless". According the European Union, 2.1 million of the 3.4 million that make up the total population of Yobe state live below the poverty line in 2011, lacking in infrastructure, healthcare and safe water. Eighty four percent of the women population are uneducated and 105 babies die out of every 1000 deliveries. So how come a man who superintended over these squalid situations could ever imagine that he will receive an international award? Really? Who could have nominated him? Why are Nigerian politicians always struggling to procure award international awards when their homes are on fire? Who are they trying to deceive? Are the awards actually given in recognition of verifiable achievements or some other considerations? Has it just become another thriving industry for


Are the awards actually given in recognition of verifiable achievements or some other considerations? Has it just become another thriving industry for wheeler dealers? It is something like an annual ritual in whichmedia houses and politicians compete for 'honour' and are ready to part with huge sums in exchange. If you visit the offices of many of them, you will see plaques of all sizes and shapes displayed on the walls. What for?

wheeler dealers? It is something like an annual ritual in whichmedia houses and politicians compete for 'honour' and are ready to part with huge sums in exchange. If you visit the offices of many of them, you will see plaques of all sizes and shapes displayed on the walls. What for? Now we can see that some of the awarding organizations do not even exist or rather exist only on letter headed papers. I remember many years ago, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had more than six factions. What was central to the NANS crisis and fictionalization, among other things was the issue of awards and how to share the money that accrued from gullible politicians. Many students who were dismissed from tertiary institutions across the country relocated to Abuja and found a new business in selling unmerited awards to the likes of Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim. In the National Assembly, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim does not guise his motives, as a sectional politician in word and in practice. He is always quick to align with anything and everything potentially divisive and unpatriotic. He is one of those who are viciously opposed to the principle of derivation for resource bearing communities in the Niger Delta as contained in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and has vowed to mobilise against its passage. As a governor, he was one of those who supported and allegedly bankrolled the infamous third term bid of former President Obasanjo. Often he has publicly defended the activities of insurgents in the North and even threatened that as far as the Federal government continued to allocate paltry sums as budgetary allocations to North East Zone, the

insecurity situation will continue. Hear him: " Boko Haram is product of poverty. It is a product of unhappiness. We are unhappy with Nigeria. Unless something is done to address it, Nigeria should expect bigger Boko Haram insurgency Insha Allah". At another time he said "Injustice is the basis of the entire crisis in the world. Insecurity comes from injustice, if injustice continues, there will be no peace. We are being ignored, we are being considered as if we are not part of Nigeria and continuous injustice will bring more and more insecurity". Almost true to his prediction, our country has sadly witnessed more and more attacks. Thousands of lives have been lost and millions of properties have been destroyed. The economy of Northern Nigeria is threatening to shut down as many businesses have deserted the region. Poverty is quadrupling and children are too frightened to go to school. The most recent of the attacks targeted the respected Emir of Kano, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Bayero. How does such distasteful commentary and unsavoury posture of such individual Senators affect the public perception of the Senate? Is it not time that the Senate evolves its own way of dealing with issues that could impinge on its collective image? Now in a sane, civilised society where there is rule of law, where patriotism is valued above parochialism, where will such a man as Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim be by now? Travelling around the world collecting phantom awards or somewhere else? I leave you to judge. Uche Igwe is a governance researcher, based at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He can be reached on

Divesting Central Bank of banking supervision during which I was retained as a consultant on Quality Assurance this issue was broached and this is at a program which was being driven by the CBN itself and therefore this topic, as far as I am concerned cannot be considered a no go area. If an institution has been charged with the responsibility of regulating and supervising the banking sector and you have had issues of bank distress and failures, then in the search for a solution one of the points of focus will be to interrogate if this function could be better performed by an independent body. We should therefore be prepared to engage in discussions with an open mind so that what is best for Nigeria will be done. A take-off point will be to look at the complement of functions undertaken by CBN in performing the banking supervision function to be able to consider the logicality of progressing with this recommendation to move banking supervision elsewhere. It must also be noted here that in some other countries banking supervision is carried out by a body different from the Central Bank. If one is interested in commencing banking operations in the country one needs to obtain a license issued by the CBN. And before this is done, a feasibility study would be prepared detailing proposed location, the background of the promoters of the bank and the financials demonstrating time of breakeven

and commencement of profit for vetting by the CBN. The CBN, if satisfied, will issue a license asking for compliance with the provision of minimum capitalization. And since the CBN issued the license it is permitted to revoke the license with the approval of the President if the bank infringes upon any of the critical tenets that informed in the event of a default. With regard to operations the Central Bank would usually issue prudential guidelines regarding critical operating ratios; cash reserve, liquidity, capital adequacy etc. which it would regularly monitor for compliance as part of its on-site supervisory exercise. And usually where there is a breach specified sanctions which often include the payment of fines and penalties are invoked. No bank is allowed to open or close any branch anywhere in the country without the express approval of the Central Bank through this process the CBN guarantees an inclusive spatial distribution of banks in the country with an eye to ensuring that bank branches are sited in areas removed from the dominant financial and business centres to continue to deepen the cultivation of the banking habit in the country. To better guide operations the CBN issues a code of Corporate Governance in the country which banks at the risk of incurring stiff penalties are obligated to observe. And ensuring compliance in most

cases is the responsibility of the Banking Supervision Department of the Central Bank. Other aspects of the Department include: championing efforts by the CBN to avert credit crunch in the country, curbing the activities of illegal fund managers/wonder banks, building capacity where there are observable gaps such as was the case with the micro-finance sector through the administration of a micro-finance certification program, supervising the activities of other operators in the financial sector such as finance companies, bureau de change, discount houses, various development banks. It also monitors efforts aimed at compliance with the implementation of the Basel Committee requirements. This is a committee of banking supervision authorities established by the governors of central banks of the Group of ten countries in 1974 which provides guidelines and standards on capital adequacy, the core principles for effective banking supervision and cross border banking supervision. This is not the sort of activityou can domicile in a member Institution which is not placed in a position to be able to discharge some of these functions even if you decide to revisit and review the CIBN Act. When this matter came up during the preparation of Financial Sector Vision 2020 Strategy, what

was considered was to move the supervisory function of banks to The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation. It was established as a regulatory body in 1988 with functions which include the insurance of the deposits of licensed banks and other finance institutions, assistance in the resolution of distress, the payment of the minimum insurance in the event of the liquidation of a bank and to generally bolster confidence on the part of the bank depositors. The preferred future in this regard will be to set up an independent body with its Board of Directors having the Governor of the Central Bank as the Chairman, with a Vice Chairman also selected from the CBN including other members of the Board drawn from outside who are retired and vastly experienced persons with banking supervision experience albeit gained at the level of individual banks to constitute the Board of Directors. The expectation is that by adopting this recommendation more independence could be achieved from the formulation of monetary policy. And the institutional memory of the Central Bank in this regard which spans a period of over fifty years would still be available to be leveraged upon. Boniface Chizea, a management /financial consultant, wrote from P.O. Box 32650, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos



Lagos' finances and Alpha Beta Ltd By Seyi Olu Awofeso


aji Fashola's government in Lagos produces college illiterates like sausages; and now clips at the heels of neighbouring Oyo state - adjudged the second most illiterate in Nigeria. Three years ago, the United Nations assessed the continuing 80-90% school failure rates in Nigeria's 36 states as meaning that Nigeria is the 9th most illiterate country in the world. A later World Bank Survey of 2011 declared Lagos state to be worse and more degraded than in the 1970s. In contradiction, the government of Raji Fasjola and that of Bola Tinubu before it declared Lagos state the praline place of excellence, and their Action Congress (AC), a progressive political party. But the duo's dissent bears no disproving facts of Lagos' dolorous narrative. As it is, Lagos' medium term future is in doubt, not least because its future taxes cannot be raised from the millions of illiterate and un-skilled youths who will rather likely press violently for free social services to further tie up the State's finances already hobbled by over $500 million debts. Overlaying all of this is Bola Tinubu's absolute personal control of Lagos state government. For never in history has any parliament adjourned its official proceedings and marched to the private residence of a politician not holding public office

By Ebenezer Obadare


he controversy triggered by Mallam Nasir el-Rufai's comments about Jesus Christ on Twitter is instructive at several levels. In the first instance, it is a sordid demonstration of the deterioration of public debate in Nigeria. Given the quality of most of the arguments (sic) on display, especially from so-called Born Agains, it makes perfect sense that successive governments continue to get away with frequent assaults on our collective intelligence. Second, and more poignantly, it perfectly encapsulates the capacity of religious bigotry to detract from what is important about politics and social life in the country (or any country for that matter), substituting in its place an indulgent moral outrage over a purported injury to the sacred. This is an unfortunate situation, especially when one takes a longterm view of things. In the short term though, what the Christian Association of Nigeria's (CAN) attack on the former FCT Minister (for retweeting a sarcastic tweet on how President Jonathan's aides might have reacted to Jesus' criticism of the current administration) has accomplished, is to create a farcical diversion from the real issue: former Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili's comment on the fate of monies said to have been left by the OBJ administration in the country's Excess Crude Account, and the totally obtuse response by some of President Jonathan's spokespersons. As a result, and no thanks to the Christian Association

Assistance to pledge the Centre sued on Parliament's October 25, un-conditional 2011 for an allegiance to Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text order of that politician. messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written mandamus - in But that's terms asking exactly what contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 the Ikeja High happened in words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and Court to compel June 2007 a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed that Lagos State immediately to: A s s e m b l y after the Lagos discloses the State Assembly The Editor, State's postw a s Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, b u d g e t inaugurated by 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. expenditure. the new Email: But the High Governor; Raji SMS: 07037756364 Court Judge Fashola - when assigned the case 99% of the State ( Yetunde Parliamentarians rushed to Bola Tinubu's private with Bola Tinubu's hand-picked Idowu) struck it out on 14th residence to pledge the Lagos' successor - Raji Fashola - that he March, 2012, on a tenuous ground Parliament's allegiance to Bola (Randle) has never been able to that the case should have been filed Tinubu in his then private make sense of Lagos State finances within thirty days from "when the capacity, with the incumbent and he's been asking for the Lagos Assembly ignored the details but was group's letter dated July 14, 2011, Governor Raji Fashola merely account asking for details of accounts". looking on, having been pawned continuously denied it. Spare a thought for Mr. Whereas, Judge Yetunde Idowu to remain in hock. Till now, Bola Tinubu's private Randle who was by then at the herself made no finding of the exact ownership of Lagos government end of his tethers. Beginning date that the ignoring of the continues without as much as a 1999, Lagos State government petition dated 14th March ceased whimper by any wing of Nigeria's has yearly announced and or stopped - being a continuing fact Civil Rights Movements. "Civil published its budget at much - to enable her court feasibly apply Rights Groups in Nigeria have no fun-fared events, but a budget is the short statute of limitation to intellectual direction", said Global a mere proposal - not an reckon the thirty (30) days Witness; a highly respected anti- accounting statement, and so, required to bring a lawsuit. fraud organisation based in Mr. Randle's jeremiad is right Nigerian court judgements, of America. In truth, not all that there's no publicly known course, typically follow this pattern Lagosians have been sitting on account of Lagos State - for as long of begging the question. Regardless of that squelching their hands. One candidate at the as Lagos State refuses to publish 2011 Governorship elections; Mr. its post-budget expenditure and court order, Lagos state's finances J.K Randle; an experienced income. To close that gaping hole continue to nag curious residents, after a Senate accountant, had groaned on for continuing financial fraud in especially national teevee during a debate Lagos, a group known as Citizens investigation in 2011 returned a


CAN versus Nasir el-Rufai of Nigeria (CAN), what should have been a timely opportunity to discuss the administration's overall fiscal strategy has been allowed to mutate into a sterile 'debate' about the definition of blasphemy. The role of CAN in this perverse trivialization should worry all Nigerians. As the pre-eminent organization of Christians across the country, CAN wields enormous symbolic power, and it is precisely because of this that its word carries a lot of weight. At least, there was a time it did. However, over the past two decades, CAN has all but surrendered its moral right to be taken seriously as an institutional intercessor on behalf of longsuffering Nigerians - Christians and non.

The el-Rufai controversy, specifically the statement released on CAN's behalf by Dr. Musa Asake, its National General Secretary, is proof that the association has totally lost its way. For a proper appreciation of what is at stake here, let me recapitulate briefly the chain of events that eventuated in the current controversyand CAN's statement. Clearly worried by the reported depletion of Nigeria's foreign reserves under this and the immediate past administration, Oby Ezekwesili, delivering the convocation lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, had challenged the Jonathan administration to explain the whereabouts of Nigeria's oil revenues. The response of President


Jonathan spokespersons, mainly Information Minister Labaran Maku and Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs Doyin Okupe, was classic ad hominem. Both spent more time divining the former minister's political motives than grappling with the substance of her accusation. T his, of course, is totally in character with this administration. Its record of ascribing abstruse political motives to the fairest of criticisms has become legendary. El-Rufai most probably got the message, hence his retweeting of what, essentially, was a joke cracked at the expense of the Jonathan government and its spokespersons. Does the decision by the FCT Minister to retweet (a decision that helped bring the original tweet to a larger audience

The role of CAN in this perverse trivialization should worry all Nigerians. As the pre-eminent organization of Christians across the country, CAN wields enormous symbolic power, and it is precisely because of this that its word carries a lot of weight. At least, there was a time it did. However, over the past two decades, CAN has all but surrendered its moral right to be taken seriously as an institutional intercessor on behalf of long-suffering Nigerians - Christians and non

verdict of Lagos' indebtedness of $460 million - equivalent to half as much again of the state's yearly financial revenue, excluding other gross liabilities on the back of the over-expansion of the size of Lagos government with huge future consequences on the state's pension bills. Taking a cue, and sensing a cover-up, a Lagos resident (Dr. Ademola Dominic) petitioned the Lagos State government directly on the 24th of October 2012, asking for a disclosure of public accounts as pertain the tax consultancy fee the Lagos State government pays out monthly to a private company named Alpha Beta Consulting Limited. Dr. Dominic, as petitioner, invoked the Freedom of Information Act. To back its refusal, Raji Fashola's government declared in its reply letter to Dr. Dominic's petition that Nigeria's Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the government in Lagos because the right to public information is a law made by the National Assembly in Abuja, without any effect in Lagos state, since the Lagos House of Assembly did not enact it. In effect, and for the first time in Nigerian history, an elected government declares nonaccountability as its governing principle by readying to brazen out the dire consequences. With or without any law, the duty to render account to a levied or taxed person exists in ethics as a compelling habit of honesty and continues as a legitimate expectation in all civilized human relations. Seyi Olu Awofeso is a legal practitioner in Lagos and the attention of the media) translate into an endorsement? Probably. After all, El-Rufai is a relentless critic of this government, and he has never disguised his contempt (which millions of Nigerians happen to share) for the way President Jonathan goes about the business of governance. In any case, in the hierarchy of jokes out there about the Jonathan administration, Bukola's certainly does not rank very high. I have come across some deadly ones, and believe me, this one does not even come close. But that is beside the point. The non-funniness of a joke may stain its aesthetic quality. In the digital age, it most certainly will stymie its capacity to go viral; but who cares? A joke is a joke, and, after all is said and done, it is its political import that matters. In the specific case of this joke, the political target is obvious. It is the Jonathan administration and its bumbling ways, and the fact that it went instantly viral must have caused the administration considerable unease. It was at this point that CAN entered the fray, and its intervention was nothing short of a political gift to the Jonathan administration. At least, in terms of sheer diversion, the administration could not have asked for more. Astonishingly, in its statement, CAN did not have anything to say about the initial accusations that prompted the original tweet. Ebenezer Obadare teaches Sociology at the University of Kansas in the United States



Power sector reform: Suggestions for new power minister By Tunji Ariyo


t face value, the contract between the Federal Government of Nigeria to cede the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to Manitoba Hydro International of Canada appears to be a good one. Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) is a real company. Its owner (the parent company) has proven experience in generation, transmission and distribution operations. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro (MH) of Canada, which in turn is fully owned and closely regulated by the provincial government of Manitoba, Canada. I warned, in a 4-page brief that I sent to Prof. Barth Nnaji in May 2012 through his Technical Adviser on Media and Communication, Ikeogu Oke, that as is typical with the Nigerian state, we seemed to have again embedded landmines in an otherwise potentially good concept. While Nigeria's penchant for solving problems by creating newer problems is legendary, another past time of Nigeria is the capacity to complicate simple things. A better model for the operation of the national transmission backbone is to end the era of treating the entire transmission system as a monolithic structure by dividing the transmission backbone into at least six (6) autonomous clusters or transmission corridors within a single but flexible national grid system (look at it as regional grids as in Canada). This suggestion takes into consideration; the transmission practice in other countries, Nigeria's large population, the reality of the ageBy Bayo Oluwasanmi


ne of the greatest mistakes of President Goodluck Jonathan is putting together a team that reflects only him. That's why they think alike, talk alike, and act alike. It's a trap that makes them think all is well with Nigerians. The president's team lack inspiration, imagination, trust, honesty, and steadfastness of purpose. Greed, timidity, and lack of vision are rampant among the current crop of pseudo intellectuals of Aso rock.To a great extent, leadership is like beauty, it's hard to define but you know it when you see it. The Aso Rock propaganda machine is so insane that it is hard to satirize. The erstwhile World Bank Chief, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili in a convocation lecture at her alma matter, the University of Nigeria Nssuka stated that the administrations of late President Umaru Yar'Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan squandered $67bn from Nigeria's foreign reserve account. She then invited Jonathan's administration for a national debate on this important fiscal mismanagement to set the record straight for the nation. Doyin Okupe, special assistant on public affairs to the president denied the foreign reserve was frittered away as alleged by Dr. Ezekwesili. The Okupe president's attack dog saw the debate challenge as a red meat and he immediately went on the prowl for Dr. Ezekwesili. "It is obviously preposterous for Ms. Ezekwesili to be asking for a National debate on the outlandish and reckless disinformation she made to incite the Nigerian people against the

long difficulty of the Nigerian bureaucracy to successfully manage chains of processes. It is particularly important to note that the Manitoba Hydro experience in the province of Manitoba in Canada is such that the company is saddled with the management of transmission in that province only. Other Canadian provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut have different companies in charge of transmission. Basically, Canada has three power grids: the Western grid, the Eastern grid, and the Quebec grid, which includes Atlantic Canada while transmission lines in a given area may be owned by a single company or by a number of different companies (look at that as some quasi-consortium). This model wherein transmission companies operate independent of generation and distribution companies and in conjunction with them where practicable has been successfully practiced in Canada and the United States. Instead of a management contract to oversee the TCN, each of the six clusters in Nigeria would then be concessioned or outsourced to separate private companies as transmission cluster operators with each operator bearing its name! E.g., South-East Transmission Cluster outsourced to a consortium of Manitoba HI of Canada and Emeka Offor Eastern Power Ltd, North-East Transmission Cluster concessioned to a Consortium of Scottish Power UK and Dangote Power Nigeria, South-West Transmission Corridor concessioned to a consortium of

General Electric US and Glo Energy Nigeria etc. Each will get paid using a sharing ratio approved by NERC upon TCN recommendation on per kWh (taking into consideration the kV transmitted) thus ending need for government to be making any payment (as currently envisaged in the TCN-Manitoba contract). This is a strategic incentive for the expansion of generation capability in that zone because naturally, the more kWh, the more profit to the cluster operator (and the more electricity supplied to the homes of our people). If the nation adopts existing national geo-political zones because of contiguity, this would promote efficiency and mitigate risks by isolating, limiting and curtailing them (E.g., a consortium of Chevron Grid Limited and EbeleEtiebet-Wilberforce Power Limited

would likely better handle transmission infrastructure issues including vandals and saboteurs in the South-South than a company with headquarters in Abuja or Lagos overseeing the 910.768 sq km national space). Such a company is also likely to be interested in expanding its generation capability by investing in generation knowing full well that is it to its direct benefit if it is able to provide steady supply to distributing companies. The implication of this is that instead of a single transmission backbone operator called Manitoba, there would be a minimum of six such companies (or more as TCN may decide) managing different regional transmission corridors or clusters while the role of the TCN will be deprecated to that of a market facilitator and sector owner - but remaining chiefly a


If the Manitoba and TCN deal has attained an irreversible status, then very little could be done at this stage until perhaps the initial contract runs its course. If, however, it is not final yet as several newspaper reports continue to suggest, then I will strongly recommend that the new minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, take a look at this alternative as well as other ideas that other knowledgeable engineers on the subject matter would be passing to him

government entity - while actual technical and operational conducts with regard to the national grid in the various clusters are being executed by private sector players with the technical know-how and wherewithal. This model will see the TCN playing the role of a sub-sector midwife for these transmission corridor operators and helping to facilitate their smooth relationship with existing generation companies in their zones through the Bulk Electricity Trading Company (this should never have been a company though. It should have been a self regulatory business and legal process) and relating actively with NERC on bureaucratic issues especially in relations to helping with initial facilitation of relationship among cluster transmission managers and local distribution companies. If the Manitoba and TCN deal has attained an irreversible status, then very little could be done at this stage until perhaps the initial contract runs its course. If, however, it is not final yet as several newspaper reports continue to suggest, then I will strongly recommend that the new minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, take a look at this alternative as well as other ideas that other knowledgeable engineers on the subject matter would be passing to him and readjust the envisaged relationship with this company. The Minister should also lead the charge on the need to amend enabling law to empower direct state and local government ownership and participation. Tunji Ariyo can be reached on

Okupe and Aso Rock: The lonely crowd government," said Okupe. Is anything "completely contrary to nature, reason, or common sense, absurd, utterly foolish," for a concerned citizen to demand accountability from her/ his government on how a particular fund from our commonwealth was spent? Seeking information on important national subject such as foreign reserve is now deemed "outlandish," "reckless," and "disinformation"? Well then, if Dr. Ezekwesili's statement is "preposterous," "reckless," "outlandish," and a "disinformation," that's the more reason any right thinking person would have grabbed the offer for a debate before the Nigerian people and clear up the doubts and fears on the issue. To Okupe and Aso Rock, democracy means "inciting people against the government" whenever a citizen insists the government come clean of any malfeasance, misappropriation, misuse, or outright embezzlement of money. Okupe said: "This was a deliberately calculated albeit unsuccessful effort to bring the Jonathan Administration disrepute unjustifiably." This sounds familiar. Channels TV investigative reporting of the rot at Ikeja Police College was also a calculated attempt to embarrass the government and tarnish its image. By the way, what reputation of the Jonathan administration is Okupe talking about? Reputation for doing nothing? For cluelessness? For not

leading? For misplaced priorities? For inability to govern? For aiding and abetting corruption? I think we need a debate on the reputation of Jonathan's administration. Dr. Ezekwesili "decided to divert attention from the issues she raised by calling for a National debate on issues that are not in contention," said Okupe. Seems he is mixing other propaganda issues on his laundry list. Calling for a national debate in order to shed light on a controversial issue is a diversion? Who defines or decides whether the foreign reserve is in contention? "I regret to say that Mrs. Ezekwesili should show dignity and character by letting the Nigerian people, whom she sort (sic) out to fool, to know the source of her figures otherwise, she should be honourable enough to retract her statement and apologize to the government and people of Nigeria, " said Okupe. It takes not only dignity and character but audacity and love of a country to dare a government that's pro corruption to a debate on how are resources are being managed. When we talk of dignity and character, we know Dr. Ezekwesili but who is Doyin Okupe? "Else she should be regarded by all as a wilfully perjured individual not worthy of any respect or recognition whatsoever," said Okupe. For him to accuse Dr. Eezekwesili of perjury is hilarious and hypocritical. Needless to say, she's not looking for respect or recognition; she's an acclaimed

citizen of high repute and regard. Dr. Ezekwesili's demand for how and when the foreign reserve was depleted touches on the important issue of the kind of political structure we operates. It's no secret that the political structure in place is one in which power is apportioned without intelligence. It's a structure where the government is totally immune from accountability. Our own form of democracy is governed by advocates of unreason who believe badgering, hammering, and haranguing of critics and opponents of the government is the best way to defend policies and actions of the government. The emotional impulse to "get the better of one's opponent" as demonstrated by Okupe in the insults and aspersions cast on the person of Dr. Ezekwesili is not only troubling but a misplaced scape-goating. The undemocratic nature of this regime to patent cover ups, lies, fraud, corruption, intimidation with brazen shamelessness is a constant irritation and apprehension for Nigerians. In pursuit of political agenda, officials acting on behalf of governments will submit their opponents and critics to long unspeakable anguish. History is replete with examples. Remember what the Nazis did to the Jews at Auschwitz? What about the mass cruelty that followed the expulsions of Germans ordered by the Russians? What of the years of smoldering reign of terror visited on South Africans by the Apartheid regime?

How democratic is our democracy? Mr. Jonathan has redefined democracy to mean license and anarchy. Our rights have been trampled upon and our civil liberty assaulted and threatened. He an sent army of occupation to Lagos to crack down on critics on the removal of the imaginary fuel subsidy and to quash the "Occupy Nigeria" protesters. Most recently, his s smoldered rage was not for the rot at Ikeja Police College but for the effrontery of Channels TV to air in public the dirty linen of his administration. Dr. Ezekwesili as a Nigerian has every right to criticize the government. As former World Bank chief, the doubts she raised about the volcanic dwindling of our foreign reserve ought to attract the prompt action of the government. As usual, the Jonathan administration missed another opportunity to clear the air by refusing to debate Dr. Ezekwesili on the accusation leveled against his administration on the misspent of our foreign reserve. Jonathan's administration has a reputation of being on the wrong side of issues. And it's no wonder Okupe and Aso Rock make up the lonely crowd. What's wrong in having a Socratic dialogue asking the right questions at the right time in order to discover the truth about the $67bn foreign reserve? This is exactly what Dr. Ezekwesili asked for. Bayo Oluwasanmi can be reached on


INSIDE FCT COURTS Driver, conductor gets 7 strokes of cane over attempted crime By Beauty Amaike


driver, Joseph Godday, 22 and Emeka Boniface, conductor 32 of no fix address receives seven strokes of cane each before an Upper Area Court Karu for attempting to commit an offence. Police Prosecutor, Jerry T. told the court that on January, 30, 2013, a team of police detectives led by Corporal Jinan Nimyel attached to Nyanya police station Abuja while on surveillance patrol within Nyanya area along grand view hotel. He further stated that when the accused was questioned, they could not give a suitable account of themselves. He said that the offence contravene the provisions of section 95 of the penal code. However the accused pleaded guilty to the charge. Meanwhile, the Presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko sentenced them to seven strokes of cane each and urge them not to behave in a suspicious manner.


Pastor docked for allegedly eloping with man’s wife A n Upper Area Court in Mararaba, Nasarawa state at the weekend continued hearing in the case of one cleric, Peter Ododa, who allegedly eloped with a member of his church, a married woman. The Complainant’s Counsel, Mr Sunday Ijiga, said that his client, whose name he gave simply as Mr Okpara, got married to his wife on March 28, 2008, only for her to disappear in 2012. “He said his wife Grace Okpara

had shortly after their wedding joined the Holy Family Praying Ministry in New Karu. He said also that after he was once invited by his wife to the prayer house, he had since then been uncomfortable with the place. “His wife continued visiting the prayer house, and suddenly started behaving strangely. Later in September 2011, she abandoned her husband and eloped with the accused who is the Lead Pastor at the church,’’ Ijiga said.

The counsel said that Okpara later reported his ordeal to the District Head of New Karu, who summoned Ododa and made him Grace to her husband. Ijiga said that from investigation, it was revealed that the pastor eloped with Grace finally in 2012. “In spite of all the interventions and warnings from different parties, he refused to produce Okpara’s wife for him,’’ the lawyer said.

In his response, Ododa pleaded not guilty and insisted that Grace was not in his custody. The Judge, Mr Vincent Gwahemba, ordered Okpara to produce his witnesses at the case’s next hearing date. He also invited the district head to be at the next hearing of the case. The judge asked for further investigations into the case and adjourned the matter to Feb. 20 for ruling.(NAN)

Court remands man for alleged fraud


30-year-old man, Taju Panal, 30, of Uke in Karu LGA of Nasarawa state at the weekend appeared before a Senior Magistrates Court i n M a r a r a b a f o r alleged criminal breach of trust, mischief and cheating. The complainant, Mr Abah Patrick, a civil servant, residing at Tundu Wada Uke in Karu, told the court that he gave the accused his Honda Concerto car to repair in September 2012. “The accused person drove out the car and had an accident with it. The damage was extensive. I bought most of the damaged parts for the accused to repair the car but he had not done so since October 2012,’’ he told the court. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The Senior Magistrate, Mr H.A. Abundaga, said the bail application by the accused would be determined at the next hearing of the case. Abundaga ordered him to be remanded in prison and adjourned the case to March 13, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

L-R: Chairman, Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Zakari Angulu, presenting keys to a Toyota Hilux donated to Zuba Divisional Police Headquarters by the council to CSP. Femi Adelegan, the Divisional Police Officer, on Saturday, at Zuba, in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Guard charged for alleged criminal breach of trust, theft By Beauty Amaike


security man , Abdulhak Yusuf, 48 of AIT junction Asokoro Abuja has been alleged before an A Upper Area Court for criminal bridge of trust, theft. The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Philip Akugbo told the court that

onJanuary, 24, 2013 that one Mustafa Judum of Asokoro district Abuja came to the police station and reported against the accused. Akugbo further stated that sometimes in 2011, the complainant entrusted his following items to the accused. The items, according to the prsecutor include 4 bags of nails valued N20, 000, 55 pieces of iron

rods valued N126, 500, 4 binding wires valued N22, 000, 120 pieces of planks valued N24, 000, 1 bundle of zinc valued N10, 000, 6 plastic chairs valued N12, 000, 2 plastic tables valued N3, 000, 2 long tape valued N2, 400 all items valued N219, 900, adding that the accused sold the items to unknown buyers. He said that the offence contravene the provisions of

Cashier in Keffi Prison over theft of N380,000


receptionist and cashier at Calbert Lodge in Area 8, Garki, Abuja, Chinelo Uzor, 27, has been ordered by an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court to be remanded over alleged theft of N380,000. The presiding Magistrate, Mr Aliyu Shafa, who handed down the judgment, refused to grant the bail application of the counsel to the accused, Mr Eze Vin-Martins and order that Uzor should be remanded in Keffi Prison.

Uzor was alleged to have stolen N380,000 and given it to her boyfriend, one Henry who is now at large, to enable him travel abroad. According to Shafa, the offence committed by the accused is not ordinarily bailable and “the discretion of the court cannot be judiciously used at this early stage of the matter. “For the court to do this, it must be convinced; therefore, I advice the counsel to make his case by way of a motion’’.

He thereby adjourned the matter to March 11 for further hearing. Vin-Martins, who cited Sections 341(2) (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, urged the court to use its discretion to grant the accused bail. According to the counsel, the accused will not jump bail and she will also present to the court a responsible surety. The Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Amby Ayuba, had told the court that the matter was reported at the Garki Police Station on Feb. 4 by one Eboye

Section312 and 287 of the Penal Code. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Meanwhile, the presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko granted the accused bail in the sum of 30,000 and a reasonable surety who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to March, 12, 2013 Bartholomew, a manager at the lodge. Ayuba said the accused raised an alarm that the money in her custody had been stolen and the same date, the case was reported to the police. The prosecutor said during Police investigation, it was revealed that Uzor was the one who stole the money and gave it to her boyfriend to assist him travel abroad. He, however, opposed the application for bail by the counsel on the ground that the alleged offence was not bailable. (NAN)



Abuja centenary village planned for 1,500 houses By Josephine Ella Ejeh


A little girl patronizing road side fish seller, yesterday in Dutse village, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Presidential order: PHCN installs transformer in Kubwa community By Miriam Humbe


he Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN), in compliance with a Presidential directive last Thursday, installed the 300KVA relief transformer supplied to the John Agbo community in the Phase 2 Site 1 area of Kubwa on the site allocated by both PHCN and Development Control. The action was taken in conformity to an order from the Presidential Task Force on Power stating that all the 19 transformers brought in from Lagos last week to boost power supply in communities within the Federal Capital Territory,

FCT, and environs be installed within one week. PHCN Business Manager for Kubwa district, Engr. Usman Usman who confirmed this to Peoples Daily said “the Presidential Task Force on Power ordered that all the transformers we received including the one at John Agbo community be installed within one week. We are working towards energising it any moment from now”. The installation may have finally laid to rest, the lingering disagreement between Dr. Godwin Owoh, the Landlord of Plot 138, Cardinal John Onaiyekan Street, formerly called Bauchi Street, located

within the John Agbo community and leaders and members of the community over the choice of the space located outside the fence of his compound which had been selected for this purpose by the government agencies. Peoples Daily had exclusively reported in its January 23, 2013 publication how the choice of the site proposed by PHCN and Development Control as a service area suitable for installing the transformer was causing a brawl between Dr. Owoh who opposed to the project site outside his fence for the transformer and the community who were in dire

need of the transformer for constant power supply. The landlord had petitioned the community before the National Electricity Regulatory Agency, NERC, the DPO at the Kubwa Police station as well as the Commissioner of Police, Aderenle Shinaba at the Police Force Command Headquarters in Garki in a bid to stop work on the project. As at the time of filing this report, the Presidential Task Force on Power had inspected the project on Friday for an assurance that the transformer had been fixed and was functional while PHCN had commenced work and was waiting to power it.

Council donates two operational vehicles to police


hairman Gwagwalada Area Council, Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Alhaji Zakari Angulu, on Saturday donated two Toyota Hilux vehicles to the two police divisional headquarters in the council. Angulu, who presented the keys to the Divisional Police Officers in charge of Zuba and Gwagwalada, called on the police to show greater commitment to duty. He said the donation as well its fuelling of the vehicles by the council was in line with his administration’s commitment to

ensure security of lives and property. “We donated the vehicles to assist the police to be able to do their work efficiently, particularly to enhance prompt response to distress calls from various communities. “I was made to understand that the crisis that rocked Gwako community late last year between the Gwaris and Fulanis would not have escalated if police had good vehicles. “For us as a focused administration, we saw it as a challenge to ensure that vehicles were made available to the police

to address such challenges,” he said. The council boss said the security of lives and property could hardly be achieved in any society without providing needed logistics for police. Angulu said the council had since the inception of his administration refurbished several vehicles for police in the two divisions. He pledged continued support to the police operations in the council. “We want to see improvement in police operations in the council since we have provided new

vehicles to enhance their operations. “I want to believe that police in the council will not have excuse of saying either there is no vehicle or no fuel to carry out their duties because we will also assist them in fuelling the vehicles.” CSP Femi Adelegan, Zuba Divisional Police Officer, commended the council for the gesture. He said the vehicles would enhance police operations, l particularly in remote communities where they had difficulties to access in the past. (NAN)

plot of land has been earmarked by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration for construction of 1,500 houses for the Abuja Centenary Village to upscale its Social Housing Scheme. The FCT Minster, Senator Bala Mohammed made this known while receiving the Polish Deputy Marshal, Region of Wielkopolska, Poland, Mr. Leszek Wojtasiak who led a business delegation to his office at the weekend. According to him, although the houses will be built to commemorate the 100 years of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorate of Nigeria by the British colonialists, the houses will used to reduce the housing need of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory. He said the administration has unbundled the land administration of the Federal Capital Territory, which has been opened for full participation of the Organized Private Sector, consortiums as well as foreign investors. Senator Mohammed added that the unbundling of land has culminated to the Abuja Land Swap Model initiative where about 13 investors are already partnering with the FCT Administration to open up about 10 new districts by providing infrastructure and recouping their investment from the sales of such land. The Minister called for closer collaboration with the Polish government as well as its crème of businessmen through the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) and the Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre (AIIC) for the mutual benefit of both nations. “The FCT Administration has opened its doors to all genuine investors in consonance with the vision of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his Transformation Agenda which has been rewarded with direct foreign investment of over 6.6 billion US Dollars (about N1.086Trillion) into the Federal Capital Territory, including the sum of 2.6 billion US Dollars foreign direct investment for the Abuja Town Centre Development and over 1 billion US Dollars now being expended on the on-going construction work at the Abuja World Trade Centre,” he said. He called for bilateral relation with the capital city of Poland, Warsaw to share experiences especially in city management. Earlier, Polish Deputy Marshal Region of Wielkopolska, Poland, Mr. Leszek Wojtasiak appreciated the warm reception accorded him and his business delegation. Wojtasiak explained that they were in Nigeria, especially Abuja to rub minds and find areas of collaboration and partnership for collective.





Kaduna Refinery empowers 405 youths


he Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), has offered skills training to 405 youths as part of its corporate social responsibility. Its Managing Director, MrBolanleAyodele said on Thursday in Kaduna that the beneficiaries were trained under the company’s Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme, started in 2008. He said at the presentation of certificates to 105 participants of the 2012 programme, that the company had set up a grant with a micro finance bank in Kaduna to be accessed by any of those trained to establish their own businesses. Ayodele explained that the partnership with the bank was due to the “low success rate” recorded in assisting those who graduated earlier.The managing director expressed appreciation to the host communities for providing “harmonious and peaceful environment” for the company’s operations. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants acquired skills in 10 trades, including construction, poultry and fisheries. In his speech, Gov. MukhtarYero commended the KRPC for its support in addressing the unemployment challenges in the state, and pledged to tap its experience in the implementation of similar programmes by the state government. Accoording to him, the state government will create 6, 000 new jobs this year by training and empowering 150 men and women in each of the 23 local government areas.He advised the graduates to apply their new skills to enhance their economic and social status. The Minister of Youths D e v e l o p m e n t , AlhajiInuwaAbdulkadir also commended the company for the initiative.He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to addressing youths restiveness through the exploitation of new opportunities which would assist them to actualise their dreams of making positive contributions to nation building. The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubudescribed the scheme as an instrument of attitudinal change for the youths.Yakubu said, in a message to the ceremony, that apart from tackling unemployment, the initiative would also address current security challenges in the state. (NAN)


- Pg 20

CBN to resolve grey areas with microfinance banks

Mob: 08033644990

CBN to extend cashless policy to FCT, Rivers, Kano, Abia from July 1 By Abdulwahab Isa


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has concluded plans to extend the cashless policy to Rivers, Kano, Anambra and Abia states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from July 1. CBN Deputy Governor (Operations), Mr. Tunde Lemo, stated thislast Wednesday in Abuja, that the aforementioned states and the FCT were chosen

because of the large volume of cash transactions in some of their major cities such as Aba, Kano, Port Harcourt and Onitsha. The cash-less policy, whose implementation began in Lagos in January, last year, is aimed at reducing the dominance of cash in the system. The policy specifies penal charges for individuals and corporate organisations that want to withdraw or lodge cash above prescribed limits. Under the policy, the CBN

pegged the daily cumulative cash withdrawal or deposit limit for individual accounts at N500,000 per day and N3 million per day for corporate accounts. Responding to questions on complaints that many PoS in Lagos are not functional because they are faulty, Lemo said: “Nigerians like to generalise when they say most of the PoS in Lagos are not working! I receive PoS transactions daily and there is hardly any day that we don’t do

about 15,000 transactions valued at over N300 billion. “If most of the PoS machines in Lagos are not working, we would not record that number of transactions. Yes, like I told you before, we still have issues around GPRS and there are certain spots in Lagos that are not well connected. But that is outside of central banking, it is outside of commercial banking, it is all about technology infrastructure”, he stated.

L-R Mrs. Mba Mabel Akwugo,Nigeria 1st Lady Graduate Driver, Mrs. Chiyenre Kalu 1st Nigeria LadyPilot, Dangote GroupChief Human Resources Officer, Mr. Paramjit Pabby at the closing ceremony of Dangote Graduate Drivers Training programme, Nigeria Instute of Transport Training Zaria Kaduna State

Ropeways to launch cable cars in Lagos from 2015 From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


ormer Managing Director of Virgin Nigeria Airlines and the Chief Executive Officer of Ropeways Transport Limited, Dapo Olumide at the weekend said the proposed Lagos cable cars will start operations in 2015. Speaking as a guest on a TV programme at the weekend, Mr. Olumide said the cable cars will operate around on three routes around the Adeniyi Adele axis.According to Mr Olumide Ropeways Transport is investing $500 million (about N81 billion) to launch a cable car mass urban transit system in the nation’s

commercial capital, Lagos. The cable car transit system is the first in the quest in Nigeria to provide commuters affordable, safe, timely and stress-free mode of transportation, particularly in urban centres like Lagos. Already, Ropeways Transport Limited has signed of a 30-year Franchise Agreement with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and the Lagos State Government for the execution of the project. Under the terms of the agreement, Ropeways Transport will this November, begin the construction of towers, stations and connecting network cables

along various routes covered in the first phase of the project, namely, Ijora – Iddo, Iddo – Adeniji, Apapa – Oluwole, Oluwole – Adeniji, Adeniji – Obalende, Obalende – Falomo, and Falomo – Victoria Island. The project is expected to be fully completed and commissioned by early 2015.According to him, when completed, the Lagos cable car transit system would incorporate several standard safety features, including auxiliary drives and hydraulic brakes to prevent passengers being stranded, lightening protection on towers, ropes and

Management Tip of the Day

Avoid technology glitches at your next presentation


quipment tends to malfunction during speaking events — for example, your microphone could stop working or your slides might not come up on the screen. These glitches even happen to techsavvy people. Next time you’re getting ready for a big

presentation, do these three things to help it go smoothly: Get to know the AV person. Learn his name, treat him well, and trust his advice. He’ll work extra hard for you if he likes you. Test all the equipment. Do a dry run using the projector, the clicker, and any audio

equipment beforehand. Make sure it all works. Bring backups. If a piece of technology is critical to your talk, bring your own if possible. That includes accessories like cables and any additional gear you’ll need. Source: Harvard Business Review

stations, as well as solar panels on each cabin roof, to provide power for cabin interior and exterior lighting. There will also be passenger monitoring with CCTV and audio communication links and passenger address systems.The project will be powered by several sources namely, IPP’s, dual-fired primary power turbines and dual-fired back up power turbines, with sufficient number of static inverters to provide 30 minutes of backup power. Doppelmayr cable car technology has successfully been used in locations like Merida, Venezuela; Roosevelt Island, New York, USA; Caracas, Venezuela; Medellin, Columbia; Portland, Oregon, USA; and Tlemcen, Algeria. Others are Constantine, Algeria; Koblenz, Germany; Ngong Ping, Hong Kong; Sentosa Island, Singapore and Sky Rail, Australia. The company is also presently executing similar projects in Bosporus, Turkey; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; La Paz, Bolivia and recently in London, England.




he Director-General (DG), National Agency for Food, Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, on Thursday said the agency would rid Nigeria of unwholesome and substandard products. Orhii also gave an assurance that the agency would remain undeterred in its operations in the overall interest of the citizenry. The D-G said this in Ilorin at the NAFDAC Consumer Safety Club (NCSC) for secondary schools in the state. He said that NAFDAC would use the club as a re-branding tool that would make every young person a change agent at safeguarding the future of Nigeria.

Calabar Port


he Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Malam HabibAbdulahihas said that the Federal Government had awarded the contract for the dredging of Calabar Port. Abdulahi gave the information when he paid a courtesy visit to the Acting Governor of Cross River, MrEfiokCobham, at the Government House, Calabar. The managing director, who was in Calabar as part of his familiarisation tour of ports across the country, said that Nigeria was increasing efforts toward expanding trade with other countries. He said that the Federal Government was happy with the collaboration of the Calabar Government to bring the port to operation. According to him, the prices of goods will drop around the zone since cargoes will not have to travel long distances to their destinations.

Samsung Corporation


onsumer electronics manufacturer, Samsung Corporation, is keenly considering establishing a mobile phone manufacturing plant in Nigeria in no distant time. The Managing Director of Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Brovo Kim, who made this known on Thursday, said the sheer size of the Nigerian market was enough incentive for any foreign handset maker to set up a phone factory, but added that there were critical drawbacks hindering such moves. Last year, Omobola Johnson, minister of communications technology, had proclaimed that Nigeria’s competitive telecommunications market and its attendant potentials were viable grounds for phone makers to establish handset factories in the country.


Provisions of IPSAS by FG to meet the financial needs of public sector - AGF From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Accountant-General of Federation (AGF), Mr. J.O Otunlahas declared that the provisions of the International Public sector Accounting Standard, (IPSAS) by the Federal Government in the three tiers of government is to meet the financial reporting needs of the public sector. Otunla made the disclosure in Bauchi during a four-day workshop for officers from the North-East geo-political zone involved in public financial management. According to him, the Federal Government’s move to adopt IPSAS as its financial reporting From NgoziOnyeakusi, Lagos itibank is seeking to expand its private banking business in Nigeria, with Private Equity (PE) firm, Blackstone being brought in to help facilitate the move. Blackstone, which currently manages a fund for Citibank’s wealth management arm, made a presentation to 15 high networth individuals in Lagos recently. “Citi brought them (Blackstone) in to discuss prospects in the Nigerian market. They are still studying the market, right now they have made minimal investments in the continent specifically in Ghana, but they are looking at expanding into Nigeria, that is in the future,” a top ranking Citi official said. Africa may have as much as 200 “hidden” billionaires


standard to meet the trend of global expectations on modern financial reporting is targeted to train critical officers on the importance of public financial management in Nigeria. The AGF, who was represented by the Bauchi State Accountant-General, AlhajiAdamu Umar Gokaru, said that the Federal Executive Council , (FEC) at its meeting of the 28th, July, 2012 approved that Nigeria should adopt the provision of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards(IPSAS) for the public sector. “The Federal Account Allocation Committee, (FAAC) at its meeting held on the 13th

June, 2011 set up a subcommittee to provide a roadmap for the adoption of the standards in the three tiers of government in Nigeria”, he said. “To properly ensure the adoption of IPSAS, the subcommittee has come up with a unified National chart of Accounts,(COA), the format of the General Purpose Financial Statements,(GPFS) and Accounting Policies to be used by the three tiers of government in Nigeria. In addition, the subcommittee has set dates for the adoption of IPSAS in Nigeria with IPSAS Cash Basis for 2014 and IPSAS Accrual for 2016. This has thrown a big challenge to all stakeholders involved in Public

Financial Management”, he further stated. In his comment, the Secretary of the FAAC on Road Map for the adoption of IPSA in Nigeria, (FAAC), James F.Y Nongo,(FCA) stated that IPSA is a new project running round d the world with the aim of ensuring transparency in all federal, state and local government transactionsHe said the sub-committee on the roadmap for the adoption of IPSAS are touring the six states of Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Borno and Taraba, to train operators in financial management at the federal, state and local government levels.

Citibank, Blackstone reveal private banking interest in Nigeria operating in the unofficial economy, investor. Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to expand an average of 6 percent a year for the next five years, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) data. This is seen as benefiting the rich, helping to guarantee a market for the likes of Citi, as they serve wealthy individuals seeking to actively manage their money. The current value of the Nigerian private banking market is estimated at over $60 billion and the country has the continent’s richest man, AlikoDangote, having a total net worth of $13 billion, according to Forbes. In terms of numbers,

about 460 of the over 160 million people account for the $60 billion. The positive macro-economic backdrop is also making Nigeria attractive to PE firms such as Blackstone. Local banks that have invested in the private banking business include United Bank for Africa (UBA) with its prestige banking and First Bank of Nigeria Plc with its private banking division. Nigeria joined the JP Morgan Government Bond Index-

CBN to resolve grey areas with micro-finance banks By Abdulwahab Isa

T Inflation rates from Jan, 2012 to Dec, 2012 Max = 12.9 %, Min = 11.3 % for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 12 % Source:CBN

Emerging Markets (GBI-EM) last year; the second African country to join after South Africa, which analysts say is likely to generate “substantial capital inflows.” At the beginning of November,2012 rating firm, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) raised Nigeria’s rating by one notch to BB-, with a stable outlook. Nigeria’s dollar reserves increased 33.6 percent, to $44 billion by year end 2012, from $32.92 at the beginning of last year.

he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Association of Micro Finance Banks (NAMB) have agreed to set up a technical committee to resolve “grey areas’’ in the recapitalisation of micro finance banks (MFBs). The national president of NAMB, MrJethroAkun said the two reached the agreement in a meeting, chaired by CBN governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The meeting, according to him, also discussed challenges

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

facing operators of Micro Finance Banks in complying with the revised microfinance policy framework. The CBN had given MFBs up till December the 31st, 2012 to comply with its new stipulated minimum capital requirements.The policy provides for three categories of MFBs, namely unit, state and national.

UBA tasks new employees on ethics, professionalism From Ngozi, Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Group Managing Director of United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) Phillips Oduoza, has tasked new employees of the institution on the need to embrace high ethical standards and professionalism in the course of their duties. The UBA boss, while speaking at the bank’s convocation ceremony of the new set of 93 management trainees who completed the third edition of the banking school programme of UBA Academy as part of the bank’s pre-requisite for gainful employment in the institution in Lagos on Thursday, urged the new employees to embrace very high ethical standards supported with robust corporate governance, in order to sustain the rising profile of the bank.



NSE gains 0.750 billion new shares Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


ransaction on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) has remained on upward trend leading to gaining of 0.750 billion new shares on investment. A turnover of 3.572 billion shares worth N24.692 billion in 39,321 deals were traded last week, in contrast to a total of 2.813 billion shares valued at N22.188 billion that exchanged hands in 33,123 deals the previous week. This development was attributed by analysts to investors’ renewal of confidence in the market. Specifically, the NSE AllShare Index (ASI) appreciated by 901.63 points or 2.78% to close on Friday at 33,313.49 compared with the previous week’s figure, which increased by 828.37 points or 2.62% to close at 32,411.86. Similarly, the market capitalisation of the listed equities appreciated by 2.78% to

….as investors renew confidence close at N10.659 trillion against 2.65% appreciation, to close at N10.370 trillion recorded the previous week. An analysis of the activities showed that the financial services sector sustained its dominance as the most active during the week, contributing 70.75%, 66.16%, 58.71% to the total equity turnover volume, value and number of trades respectively in 2.527 billion shares valued at N16.338 billion exchanged hands by investors in 23,085 deals. Similarly, the banking subsector of the financial services sector was the most active during the week (measured by turnover volume), with 1.780 billion shares worth N13.050 billion traded in 16,104 deals. Volume in the banking subsector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Unity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, and

UBA Plc. Trading in the shares of the three banks accounted for 800.442 million shares, representing 44.96%, 31.68% and 22.41% of the turnover volume recorded by the subsector and total turnover for the week, respectively. The conglomerates sector followed with a total turnover volume of 473.147 million shares worth N1.051 billion in 2,341 deals. Volume in the sector was largely driven by the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc with a turnover volume of 465.210 million shares valued at N803.042 million in 1,826 deals. Also traded during the week were 539 units of NewGold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) valued at N1.382 million exchanged hands in 4 deals in contrast to a total of 234 units

valued at N595, 491 transacted last week in 5 deals.In addition, 1,670 units of FGN bonds valued at N2.087 million were traded during the week in 41 deals. However, there were no transactions in the State/Local Government Bonds and Corporate Bonds/Debentures sectors. All the NSE sectorial indices appreciated: Bloomberg NSE 30, Bloomberg NSE Consumer Goods, Bloomberg NSE Banking, Bloomberg NSE Insurance, Bloomberg NSE Oil/Gas and NSE Lotus II appreciated by 2.63%, 2.47%, 3.40%, 14.21%, 1.70% and 4.11% res Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria Plc topped the gainers chart gaining N6.20 kobo followed by Guinness Nigeria Plc gaining N5.38 kobo while Nestle Nigeria led the losers table shedding N5.03 kobo followed by Nigeria Brewery losing N1.50 kobo.

PenCom, NAICOM to tackle issues on annuity


he Acting DirectorGeneral the National Pension Commion (PenCom), Mrs.ChineloAnohuAmazuhsa stated that PenCom and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) would, through the review and the implementation of the guidelines on life insurance policy and the regulation on annuities, expose insurance and pension operators to a better understanding of the rudiments of annuity and group life insurance policy, as well as their responsibilities. Speaking at a workshop organised by the two commissions in Lagos, AnohuAmazu noted that one of the challenges clogging annuity business, is inadequate sensitisation and public enlightenment on the roles operators and stakeholders were expected to play towards the successful implementation of the guidelines. According to her, “The Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004, allows a retiree to utilise the balance standing to the credit of his Retire Saving Account (RSA) for programmed withdrawal through the pension fund administrator, or annuity for life purchased from a life

insurance company. “While it is the mandate of NAICOM to regulate the annuity and life insurance markets, it is the responsibility of PenCom to ensure that the modalities for the administration of retirement benefits through life annuity as well as terminal benfits involving group life insurance policy are strictly followed to

guarantee payments as at when due”. She noted that the colloboration between PenCom and NAICOM would help address challenges like misinformation, reporting requirements and other operational issues encountered in implementing the guidelines/ regulation.

Assistant Director, NAICOM Inspectorate, Sam Onyeka, said NAICOM is determined to ensure that insurance firms providing annuity live up to their responsibilities. He noted that NAICOM would continue to support the operators so that they could provide improve services to retirees who buy annuity.


Flour Mills of Nigeria


lour Mills of Nigeria reported a 2% year-onyear (Y-o-Y) growth in 9 month revenues to N205.5billion though First Quarter (FQ) 3 13 revenues were 9% lower than the corresponding period in the first half-year (FY) 12 indicating some underlying weakness from deceleration over the seasonally strong period. 2012 performance contrasts with growth patterns in previous years and though the company has yet to provide segmental breakdown, a relatively robust food business in financial H1 and quarterly growth pattern does suggest its cement business probably contributed to weaker FQ3 revenues in response to the impact of the FGN restrictions on cement importation. The company had reported stockpiling products that were sold through FQ2 13 and these were likely exhausted in FQ3, which falls in at the start of the dry season when construction work typically picks up. Incidentally FMNL expects to cease reporting on this segment from FY 14.


Pension operator targets 20 m contributors by 2017 Exchange Traded


he Association of Nigeria Pension Fund Operators (PenOp) has resolved to raise the number of contributors from the current 5.5 million to 20 million by 2017. The association said it is leveraging on the integration of businesses to achieve the said target.Speaking in Lagos, through its president, Mr. Dave Udeanu stated that several additional incentives are being proposed to make the pension scheme more beneficial to persons working in the informal sector, who accounts for over 60 per cent of the working population in the country. According to him, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has released an exposure draft of the framework for the participation of persons operating

in the informal sector, stressing that the draft is currently being finalised.He noted that the framework once released, would ensure the participation of persons working in the informal sector and effectively increase the coverage of the scheme. Udeanu further stated that PenCom will also, before the end of the first quarter of this year, incorporate a multi-fund structure for Retirement Saving Accounts (RSA) funds, into the amended investment guidelines. He said: “The decision to introduce the multi-fund structure in the first quarter 2013, is to allow enough time for public education and sensitisation by the commission and also allow operators enough time to be ready to implement

the structure. “The multi-fund would be primarily differentiated by their overall exposure to variable income instruments and a contributor’s choice of funds may be limited based on the age of the contributor. Also, the multifund structure would likely also allow for the introduction of a non - interest or ethical fund”, he added. On the pension contributory recovery agents, the Managing Director, ARM Pension Managers Limited, Sadiq Mohammed said the agents have visited over 5,584 firms out of 15,750 firms identified as non-complaint, adding that over N2.5 billion is expected to be recovered from the identified defaulters.



he N12 gain recorded by NewGold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) placed it ahead of other securities in the gainers list after yesterday’s trading at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). NewGold ETF rose from N2, 547 to N2, 559, followed by Flour Mill which rallied from N85.05 to N89.90, after it gained N4.85. The bourse closed further high by 0.12 percent evidenced in the movement of the benchmark performance indicators –the NSE All Share Index (ASI) and market capitalisation.

Savannah SugarCompany Ltd


Source:Pro-share Nigeria

angote Sugar Refinery announced the acquisition of a 95 percent equity stake in Savannah Sugar Company Ltd. The deal, according to a notice filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was executed through a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with Dangote Industries Ltd. through the acquisition of N2.14 billion ordinary shares of N1.00 each in Savannah Sugar Company.



Is it time to move to Nigeria? African continent while Angola will cement itself as a "significant partner". Ballim said that where Angola's economy is now a third of the size of South Africa's, in the next ten years it will grow to half the size of our economy. "You could ask the question whether South Africa is becoming the big small economy?" he said, adding that the trend is there that this could become a


aybe not yet, but perhaps you should set up an office there It's old news that Africa's economy has been growing at more than 5% per annum on average for the last decade. But perhaps you have missed that it is the first time ever that the African economy did not lag the rest of the world's recovery rate after a recession, with economic growth only slowing (and not turning negative) after 2008 and then recovering back to above 5% in just about 18 months. GoolamBallim, Group Chief Economist at Standard Bank, said in economic outlook briefing that this last point shows something about the underlying nature of African growth and maybe even something about the potential stability of that growth. Sub-Saharan Africa's economy has quadrupled in size in the last decade, something that previously took these economies 30 years to achieve. Most entrepreneurs and corporates have cottoned on to the fact that this growth translates into opportunities for their businesses and are looking to the continent for expansion and business prospects. For 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Standard Bank research data predicts growth of around 3.4% for the globe. Asia is the leader of the pack at predicted growth of 7.2% (2012 around 6.6%) and sub-Saharan Africa is second in the race at 5.6% (2012 around 4.8%). But although South Africa's economy is the mammoth on the continent at about $400bn, it is a clear laggard in terms of the pace of growth. This year Standard Bank expects growth of 2.5%,

is craving representation, with Ballim stating that, as evidenced in the number of major service delivery protests, South Africa has been experiencing a "low intensity Arab Spring" for nine years already. Ballim indicates that there is some good news with the ANC "throwing its arms" around the National Development Plan and also the election of Cyril

President Goodluck Jonathan perhaps recovering to 3.5% in 2014. This, while the top ten Sub-Saharan African economies, outside of South Africa, is growing at 6.5%. Even at 3.5% it is almost half of the rate of growth of some of the growth jewels on the continent. Following reports in the last couple of weeks that Nigeria's economic size might have been underestimated, many commentators have again reiterated that Nigeria might overtake South Africa as


the regional economic powerhouse in the next couple of years. The country is expected to release rebased GDP figures soon. Ballim also said that whether this happens this year or in the next five years, there will be "tectonic shifts" regarding the economic makeup of the continent and "that you deny those tectonic shifts at your own peril." Ballim said Nigeria will become the "dynamo" on the

Even at 3.5% it is almost half of the rate of growth of some of the growth jewels on the continent. Following reports in the last couple of weeks that Nigeria's economic size might have been underestimated, many commentators have again reiterated that Nigeria might overtake South Africa as the regional economic powerhouse in the next couple of years. The country is expected to release rebased GDP figures soon.

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala reality. It might, however, still be better to be a South African at the moment, due to its higher wealth levels, despite faster growth elsewhere on the continent. When it comes to opportunities for your business, the fact is that our neighbours to the North have substantial potential - if you are willing to live with the risk factors of political instability and the possibility that the projected population growth will not fuel growth, but impede it if a new generation of jobless, dependent citizens are added instead of working, entrepreneurial African citizens. These challenges, of course, also exist in South Africa. On top of that, credit ratings agency downgradings have sent a message that all is not as rosy as it was in the past. There is evidence that the population

Ramaphosa as deputypresident of the party, but said the 'State of the Nation' Address and the Budget will send clear messages to the world on policy direction and intent. On top of the policy uncertainty South Africa's economy is also currently struggling with another fault line - the current account deficit. Whether it is around 5.9% where it is currently, or slightly improving to 5% (Standard Bank forecast) in 2014, this is still "a bad number", Ballim said. Especially in a world where the country is a little less "enchanting" for foreign capital inflows through equities and bonds. Perhaps not time to pack for Luanda or Abuja yet, but keep your eyes trained north if you want to share in the growth of the continent. (Source: Forbes)



Yobe Govt urged to improve French, languages study in the state From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he School authority of French language centre in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital has called on the state government to uplift the standard of the language in the state, to enable it compete favourably with other centers in the country. The coordinator of the centre in Damaturu, Bukar Kingimi who made the appeal while speaking with our reporter said the center was establishment in December 2000 when the state government and the French embassy in Nigeria signed a cooperative agreement on the teaching of French language in the state. He stated that after the signing of the agreement, two French pilot secondary schools were introduced which includes, Government Girls College Damaturu and Army Day Secondary Schools, Nguru. He pointed out that from its inception to date; the center has contributed tremendously in the promotion of both teaching and learning of the language in 12

senior secondary schools that has produced candidates for both NECO and WAEC examinations. He noted that the center organizes workshops for French teachers within and outside the state, adding that it also inspects French teachers and conducts

interviews for employment their employment. He however requested the state government to give enough funds for the smooth running of the activities of the center, introduce new programmes in both French and Kanuri

languages in order to create awareness to the public on the activities of the center. He also wants the state government to among other things, employ more French teachers to teach in all the junior and senior secondary schools in

the state, establish a well equipped French language library in the center to facilitate the teaching and learning of the two languages, and a utility bus to transport students and teachers for organized competitions and workshops.

JIBWIS to sponsore education of vulnerable in society


he National leader of the Jamatul Izatul Bidia Wa Ikamatis Sunna , JIBWAS Shiek Abdullahi Bala Lau charge directorate of education of the group to find a way of assisting orphans, less privilege and children in the society. Bala Lau made the urge at the Directors of Education of the thirty six states and Abuja meeting in Bauchi held in Gwallaga Jummat Mosque at the weekend . He said the move to help the vulnerable in the society will go a long way in improving the wellbeing of the orphans and the less privileged in the society Sheik Bala Lau said the aim of the meeting was to design a uniform curriculum and plan for all schools under the organization, from Nursery to tertiary level. The Islamic Cleric commended the state chapter of the organisation for ensuring quality education in their schools and hope that tempo will be maintained Responding, the Directorate of Education, Sheik Alhassan Said Jos, expresses his appreciation to the leadership of the Group for convening the meeting and assured that they will justify the confidence reposed in them Alhassan assured that the directorate will implement the idea on scholarship of the vulnerable in the society

L-R: Director, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Mr. Mehmet Ali, and Public Relations Officer, Savas Tuylu, during the facility tour of the university by the media, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Unilorin appoints new Registrar T

From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin

he Council of the University of Ilorin, at its 136th meeting, endorsed the appointment of Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi as the Registrar-designate of the institution. The University’s Deputy Director Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun in a statement issued yesterday said, “The appointment, which followed the recommendation of the Selection

Board raised to assess applicants for the position of Registrar, was one of the highlights of the decisions taken at the Council’s meeting held on Saturday February 9, 2001.” The statement stated that Obafemi, who is currently the Deputy Registrar, Academic Support Services, will take over from the incumbent Registrar, Mrs. Olufolake O. Oyeyemi, whose tenure expires on April 28, 2013. The Registrar-designate

according to the statement joined the services of the University of Ilorin on September 28, 1981 as Assistant Registrar Information, after her graduation in 1977 at the University of Ibadan. He has been, at various times, Senior Assistant Registrar and Principal Assistant Registrar in various units of the University administration. In 2006, Mr. Obafemi was promoted to the position of Deputy Registrar and he served

in various units such as Establishments Office, College of Health Sciences, Students Affairs Office, Council Office and Academic Support Services. As Registrar, he will be responsible to the ViceChancellor for the day-to-day general administration of the University and serve as Secretary to the University Council, the Senate, Convocation and Congregation of the University.

NTIC, NMC organises 10th annual national mathematics competition By Maryam Garba Hassan


igeria Turkish International Colleges, in collaboration with the National Mathematical Centre (NMC)is organising its 10th annual national mathematics competition for primary 5 and 6 pupils.

A statement from the school and signed by the college’s Principal, SabriUnal, stated that this year’s Competition is slated for 16th of February, 2013 across the nation. The statement further explained that as one of the leading educational institutions in the country, the colleges, has

in the last 15 years organised numerous successful national and international competitions for schools in the country. The statement added that some of the successful competitions the colleges have organized include, International Mathematics and Science Olympiads, Pan African

Mathematics Olympiad, International Project competitions, national Olympiads, Cowbell Mathematics Competition among others. The colleges have registered more than 20, 000 pupils yearly to participate in the competitions, the statement said.



Minister set to eradicate educational problems From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia,


he Minister of education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, has said that most of the challenges facing the education sector are being addressed, with a 4-year strategic plan as a road map to guide the activities of the sector already in place. Prof. Rufa’i stated this in an addressed she presented on the occasion of the 8th combined convocation ceremony of the Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, which held at the weekend.

The Minister who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Dr. Mac John Nwabeala, while observing that numerous challenges facing the sector in the areas of funding, access and equity, capacity building for teachers, strengthening of institutional management, technical and vocational education among others, are being tackled, she warned however that it will take more than the government to provide solutions to all the challenges, especially in the

area of funding. While noting the significance of science and technology education in the growth and development of the nation, with the polytechnic sub-sector a major driver in the process, the Minister enjoined all stakeholders especially captains of industry to complement the efforts of government in the area of research, structural development, award of scholarship, capacity building and employment of graduates. She is of the view that the efforts of these stakeholders in

partnering with the government will greatly enhance the achievements being recorded through agencies ran by her ministry such as TETFund, PTDF and international development partners. In his speech, Rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Pius Salami, described the ceremony as unique, stating that a total of 11, 432 students, made up of six sets of graduands (2005/20062011/2012), who have satisfied all academic requirements were convocating. He announced the decision of

the institution to confer its Fellowship awards on three eminent Nigerians whose statesmanship and track records of service make them worthy of the honour. The Rector gave the names of those to be honoured as; Alhaji Ahmadu Tanko, founding Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution, Hon. Ahmed Musa Mohammed, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly and Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, Clerk to the National Assembly.

Katsina FG Varsity Commend Ktsg on Support From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ice-Chancellor of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Professor James Ayatse has commended Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema for committing about N1 billion on erections of structures at the university site. The Vice-Chancellor made the commendation while speaking on the occasion of the formal handing over of construction sites to the contractors handling different construction project at the permanent site of the university. Similarly, Professor Ayatse disclosed that the federal government gave the university the sum of N1.50 billion for the development of its take-off campus, adding that all in all the sum of N2 billion was committed at the take-off campus. He added that it was in line with the federal government effort to develop the permanent site that President Goodluck Jonathan according to him, approved additional sum of N2 billion to the university. Professor Ayatse stated that the contract awarded include the construction of central administration building, construction of library building, construction of ICT Centre and construction of two faculty building. ‘We are informed that the funds for the projects are sourced from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the funds will be released to the National Universities Commission (NUC) for payment to contractors and consultants,’ he added. The Vice-Chancellor assured all the selected contractors of the university’s support in the discharge of their contracts, and called on them to ensure standard and quality in the discharge of their jobs.

L-r: Vice-chancellor, university of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Chancellor and Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu Menu-toyi 1, Minister Of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa'i, Acting Pro-chancellor, Professor Walter Eneji, And Rivers State Governor, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, During the 29th convocation ceremony of the university, on Saturday in Port Harcourt. Photo: NAN

World webometric ranking of institutions: Again FUNAAB Emerges 2nd best in Nigeria From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


he Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has emerged the 2nd Best University in Nigeria and 29th in Africa, according to the January, 2013 edition of Webometric Ranking of World Universities. FUNAAB, in the latest ranking, conducted by Cyber metrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de investigacoues (CSIC), Spain, came 2nd out of 120 tertiary institutions in Nigeria and 29th in the league of 814 higher educational institutions in Africa. It would be recalled that last year, FUNAAB came 2nd and was 35th in Africa. But this time around, it is not only second, but rose six points higher to clinch 29th in Africa, translating into

an impressive performance improvement. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, topped the latest ranking in Nigeria and it was followed by FUNAAB, University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), University of Ibadan (UI), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in that order. Other institutions which made the list of the first ten in Nigeria are, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, University of Benin, Benin and Covenant University, Ota. The Head of the University’s Webometric Centre, Dr. Olusegun Folorunso, attributed the feat to the ingenuity and commitment of Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewoleled Management, the dedication of the University Information and

Communication Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC), as well as the cooperation of the entire staff and students. Dr. Folorunso assured that the University would not relent in its efforts to be the best in Nigeria .No teacher will be victimised in certificate verification exercise in Edo state. The Edo Government has said that ongoing verification of certificates of teachers in the state is not to victimise any teacher. Rather, the government said, the exercise was in line with its programme of building a database of all public servants in the state. Mrs. Gladys Idahor, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin.

Idahor explained that the database would also assist the government with information about all public servants, including ascertaining those needing specific training. ``The verification is as simple as I have explained. It is not to witch-hunt any teacher or worker. For the certificate aspect of the exercise, nobody is using it to victimise or retrench anybody. ``The essence of the primary six certificates and all the certificates we are asking for is to build up a data base for the public servants in Edo,” she clarified. She advised teachers with missing certificates to go to the ministry of education, where it would be confirmed through records if such certificates were ever issued. (NAN)



Why have some nurses stopped caring? An investigation into crisis-hit NHS ByRos Cowar


y 89-year-old mother has suffered with dementia for the past seven years. Over that time she has been in and out of hospital. Some of her care has been excellent, but some has been shocking. Once, when she collapsed, she was taken to Kingston Hospital, in South-West London. After a long and stressful evening in A and E, a bed was eventually found for her at midnight. What a relief, I thought she was safe and I could go home. As I stooped to whisper goodbye, a nurse shoved something in my face. 'Sign this,' she said bluntly. It was a form to absolve the hospital for any loss of my mother's valuables. Instead of relief, I now had to worry that someone might wrench her wedding ring off her finger, so much for a place of safety. If her admission was worrying, it was the manner of her discharge which was particularly shocking. Although I had told the ward I would collect her when I finished work, the nurses dressed her and allowed her to leave alone. When I arrived at the hospital a nurse told me that my mother had said she would go home by bus and they had let her go. I rushed off to see if I could find her but without success. The hospital then alerted the police. She eventually turned up at her home, four hours after she had left the hospital. I never witnessed any deliberate cruelty towards my mother during her many spells in hospital. Yet aspects of her care were still horrifying. Some of the staff were ignorant, apathetic or both. Nor was there proper continuity between the different people who saw her, or clarity about who had overall responsibility for her case. It's a telling reflection on our hospitals today that whenever my mother seems ill now, I try to avoid any actions that might lead to a hospital admission. Evidence has been piling up recently to suggest that something is seriously, and systemically, amiss in our hospitals. This week, the scathing report on the Stafford Hospital Scandal, after abuse and neglect led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of patients said 'fundamental change' was needed in the NHS. It condemned 'failings at every level' and contained 290 recommendations for reform. However, Robert Francis QC's report was merely the latest damning indictment of the health service. In November 2012 the Care Quality Commission found that ten per cent of hospitals and 15

per cent of care homes weren't treating their patients with respect. Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, warned that cruelty and neglect had become normal in some hospitals and care homes. So endemic is the problem that the country's chief nursing officer, Jane Cummings, has been forced to tell nurses that they must put patients first, releasing guidelines which remind them that compassion and care are part of the job. As shocking and ineffectual as this may seem, the comments are long overdue. Reports in 2011 from Age UK and The Patients' Association exposed some horrendous instances of abuse and neglect not only enforced incontinence and unanswered buzzers, but patients left hungry and thirsty or in soiled bed-linen. In one dreadful case, a desperate patient had drunk the water in a flower vase. The Care Quality Commission's subsequent investigation made it clear that these failings were widespread. How have we reached this situation where our hospitals, which ought to be places of refuge and care, seem frightening and potentially dangerous? What's happened to nurses who were once the embodiment of compassion? How could people employed to care, leave elderly patients confused, frightened and hungry?

Liz Pryor witnessed the appalling treatment of her 79year-old mother, Anne Robson, in West Suffolk Hospital after a minor fall. She believes her mother died because of the neglect she experienced in hospital, and thinks that the failings there come from a failure at a deep social level from a failure of kindness. Liz's mother was admitted to a ward where the norovirus infection was present. As a result, Liz was barred from the ward, where her mother became increasingly confused as she waited for decisions about her treatment. Nurses told Liz that her mother was 'unfit for theatre' and needed to be kept in hospital until she was fit. But after a few

days, it emerged that they'd misread the doctor's notes which actually said 'not for theatre' (the doctor established that no bones had been broken). By then, Anne had developed a stomach upset and was moved to an isolation room. Desperate to see her, but forbidden to enter the room, Liz wrote her mother a card, expressing her love and trying to explain the situation. She handed it to a nurse who promised to read it to her and to make sure her mother had water. Until this point they had been able to speak by phone, but a problem with the transfer of telephone credit meant her mother was initially unreachable in her isolation room. The family desperately


Deeply worrying, too, that some nurses, including one I spoke to for this article, say they don't feel it's safe to blow the whistle on incompetent colleagues.

tried to find out what was happening and were given contradictory information about Anne's condition. Since no operation was actually needed, Liz is convinced that her mother's stay in hospital was unnecessary. She also believes it was fatal. When the family finally reached her by phone, they were horrified to find their'coherent, stoical and uncomplaining' mother had become confused and distressed. Weeping, she told them she had been left in a wet nightie, handled roughly, not had anything to drink and had no idea what was happening to her. A few days later, Anne was suddenly released onto the ward even though Liz had been told that her mother would have to have been free of the virus for 72 hours before she would be allowed out of isolation. More surprisingly, Liz was suddenly told that Anne was well and fit for discharge. In fact she was parched, horrifyingly thin and incoherent. The family hired a private ambulance to get their mother back to what they now saw as the safety of her care home but sadly, Anne Robson died just hours later. Liz was broken-hearted that what had been a hospital admission for a minor fall ended in the death of her mother isolated, confused and seemingly deprived of human compassion. The final straw was discovering her unopened card among her mother's belongings. The nurse had never read it to her. So, do these distressing stories reflect a society which has lost its moral compass? Where kindness and compassion are no longer even part of a caring profession? Or is the reason more structural? Is it poor training or poor management? Or is it new pressures on nurses? On occasions with my own mother, I witnessed wonderful nurses acting with the generosity of spirit always associated with their profession. Television series show nurses dealing with demanding situations, often responding with touching devotion. In a way, that makes these accounts of cruelties all the more puzzling. It is deeply worrying that bad practice crops up so often when many nurses still have the right values. Deeply worrying, too, that some nurses, including one I spoke to for this article, say they don't feel it's safe to blow the whistle on incompetent colleagues. Talking with a cross-section of hospital staff, older nurses told me where they feel the problems lie. They say it is not so much a question of cruelty and neglect, although they acknowledge that this can exist but more that ward culture has changed.



MNH: Journalists charged on positive reportage celebrate report health care providers that are heroes and heroines respectively in order to encourage other service providers hence saving lives of mothers and babies. "Mamaye campaign wants to share untold stories of these wonderful people and how they have been striving to protects mothers and their babies." Stressing further, he said the aim of the website is not to 'antagonize' government but to bring about accountability through a 'score-card mechanism.' "We will trace what they promise to provide for women and children using indicators thereby encouraging more positive performance." In her words, Hajia Hadiza Babayao, Adviser, E4A, called on the use of positive side of stories by media in bringing hope to mothers especially in the rural areas. According to her, survival

By A'isha Biola Raji


igerian journalists reporting health issues, especially as it bothers on maternal and child health, have been advised to centre their reports on the positive aspect in order to bring about positive change. This call was made last week at a media workshop on MNH issues, organized by Evidence for Action (E4A), aimed at creating accountability and efficient use of social media through Mamaye website. According to the Country Director E4A, Dr. Tunde Segun, Mamaye campaign is to draw attention to the survival of mothers and newborn babies rather than the negative stories centered on childbirth. "We want people to know that, being pregnant does not translate to probable death." He said there is need to

stories concerning MNH need to be showcased. She said, "There is need to dispel fatalism associated with Africa, deny inevitability of mortality instead of promoting resourcefulness and celebrate high standard of quality care." She however called on media to write stories that would compel policy Makers spring into action not depressing stories which rather spell doom hence bringing about dormancy in the development of maternal health. Evidence for action is a five year program aimed at improving maternal and newborn survival and also bringing a lasting change in maternal and newborn health service. It covers six countries in Africa; Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Health tips for an expecting mother S

omeof the best moments of a woman are when she becomes a mother. When a woman conceives and is due to deliver in nine months there are a number of anticipations and worries along with happiness and excitement in one's mind. Every pregnant woman wants to have a healthy child. Taking good care of yourself and your child during pregnancy is of utmost importance. Mothers-to-be have special health requirements. They need to consume food for two people- for themselves and the baby that is growing in the womb. It is therefore required that a pregnant woman eats healthy. A good nutritious diet comprising bread, fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products, protein food and meat is very important for the body. Your body will go through a lot of changes in the months after you conceive. It is required that you get a lot of rest. Also, lot of water must be taken. You can ask your doctor to fix a diet plan to know the amount of food that you need to consume. It is required that pregnant women take in folic acid supplement regularly. It's generally present in most of the prenatal vitamins. Other nutrients including Vitamin B and Calcium are also present in these prenatal supplements. Foods that have high calcium content should be consumed on a regular basis. Some good sources of calcium are dried beans; almonds, vegetable that are dark green in color such as sardines, broccoli and spinach, milk and milk products, and peas. It is absolutely important

that you remain fit during your pregnancy, and that you keep in close contact with your health insurance provider to make sure all your expenses are covered. You would do well to get some exercise for your body. Walking in the morning is the best exercise for the body. It helps to increase blood flow and also brings about an increase in the oxygen levels in the body.

Avoid heavy lifting and doing sit-ups or tummy exercises. A perfect combination of good diet and easy workouts is very beneficial for your health as well as the health of the child. Most of the pregnant women suffer from weight gain. They overlook the necessity of a healthy diet and exercise and accumulate unwanted fat in their body.

It is absolutely taboo to smoke when you are pregnant and you also need to stay away from people who smoke. Smoking is risky as it can lead to the baby being born prematurely or having a low birth weight. Alcohol is also very bad for the health and can affect your unborn baby. Also avoid any kind of chemicals. Don't inhale any kind of weed

killers, sprays, pesticides, or any other kind of chemicals. You should also talk to your doctor on a regular basis. You are having a special time in your life and there are special requirements, vitamins, eating habits, etc to be taken care of. It is important that you take very good care of yourself at this point of time in order to have a healthy body.

Head, Health Promotion Division of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Mrs. Mercy Akinwande (1st right), leading the staff of NPHCDA, during the walking for life, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa



Tunisia and the emergence of the counter-revolution

Tunisia has been hailed as the "model" for the Arab revolutions because of the speed with which the revolution was institutionalized.

ANALYSIS By Corinna Mullin


he tragic assassination of well-known leftist politician and human rights defender Shokri Belaid in Tunis last Wednesday is one of a series of incidents of political violence to hit the country in recent months. Belaid's assassination has left the nation reeling and the political scene more polarised than ever. Though the specific narrative of events varies from person to person, depending on factors like political loyalty and geographical location, it seems there is one thing that everyone is in agreement on: that these are the acts of counterrevolutionaries. Divergence exists not regarding if, but who. That a counter-revolution is emerging in Tunisia is not surprising. History is full of examples of the reversal, or at least attempted reversal, of revolutions due to the machinations of both internal and external actors who struggle to come to terms with the reality of the new order. Perhaps the most well-known counter-revolution is that of the pro-monarchy forces that opposed the 1789 French Revolution. In the words of one of the movement's leading protagonists, Joseph de Maistre, the revolution was a "great national crime of an antireligious and anti-social insurrection crowned by a regicide". What concerned the French counter-revolutionaries most was the threat posed to stability by this radical new form of governance. The call for a counter-revolution, to their eyes, was not a call for a "revolution in the opposite direction", but rather a desire for the "opposite of a revolution" (le contraire de la RĂŠvolution). If one

considers that structural change is at the heart of revolution, then it is the status quo ante that is its opposite. In this sense, it seems apt to call what is happening now in Tunisia a counter-revolution. What we are witnessing is a re-emergence of the practices of the status quo ante, marked by excessive use of state violence. The heavy-handed police response to the peaceful protesters on Avenue Bourguiba on February 6, 2013, was yet another reminder that old habits die hard. Bleak reminders of the past also include an increasing tendency towards political exclusion. Rather than addressing the root causes of developments that may threaten national security, such as the emergence of armed groups outside of government control, the (re)emergence of Ben Ali's "Islamist threat" discourse merely adds to social and political polarisation. In addition, through the rights violating practices that such a discourse has the potential to produce, as with the Ben Ali era 2003 anti-terror laws, it may paradoxically exacerbate, rather than alleviate, unresolved social tensions. In order to understand why these developments are "counterrevolutionary" one must first think back to what were the original aims of the revolution. Having recently watched the documentary Degage by Tunisian

director Mohamed Zran, an exhilarating ethnographic visual study of how the (mostly young) revolutionaries liberated public space from Ben Ali's police state, I was reminded of these aims: social and economic justice as well as opening the political sphere to meaningful societal participation. Behind the grievances expressed by revolutionaries was their frustration with longstanding structural issues. These included the government's distorted budget priorities, with too much money invested in repressive security apparatuses and a diminishing amount in infrastructure and social goods such as healthcare, education, as well as job creation based on merit, not nepotism. In addition to this state neglect were restrictive labour policies and a suffocated public sphere, which distorted wealth concentration and widened the developmental gap between coastal areas and the interior. Tunisia has been hailed as the "model" for the Arab revolutions because of the speed with which the revolution was institutionalised, with elections, deemed largely "free and fair", held in October 2011 resulting in the formerly outlawed and heavily repressed moderate Islamist party Ennahda winning a majority (42 percent) of seats. This was followed by the formation of a coalition government with two secular,


centre-left parties. However, beyond the praise and glory, postBen Ali Tunisia has confronted many obstacles on its way to realising the aims of the revolution, on both political and socio-economic levels. Though almost no one would deny that political liberties have increased exponentially in the two years that followed the revolution, there are, as many international and local human rights organisations have pointed out, still many areas that require improvement. In particular, in relation to freedom of expression and political pluralism. Obstacles to the development and functioning of an open and democratic polity include the lack of institutional reform of key ministries, most importantly the judiciary and interior, which have resulted in a continuation of many of the illiberal practices of the old authoritarian state. On the socio-economic level, though they have by no means dismantled the economic paradigm of the former regime, the ruling "Troika" have nonetheless made some positive advances towards redressing the pathologies associated with neoliberal authoritarianism, as demonstrated in its spending priorities for the 2013 state budget. Government spending is due to increase over the next

Behind the grievances expressed by revolutionaries was their frustration with longstanding structural issues.

year by 4.9 percent, much of it going to programmes that seek to reduce regional disparities and stimulate job creation. The government was also recently praised by the head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for signing a "landmark social contract" with union and employer representatives, which he said would pave the way "for improvements in areas such as labour legislation and industrial relations, employment policies, vocational training and education, social protection, as well as balanced regional development". However, with average unemployment rates at 18 percent nationwide, with unemployment among graduates almost twice as high, reflecting the lack of highly skilled jobs available, and with a large percentage of the population in temporary, or "precarious" employment, it is not surprising that protests, sit-ins and labour unrest have become an almost daily reality across the country. It goes without saying that the Ennahda-led government is not entirely blameless in regards to the increasing polarisation of the political environment, in which a dynamic of political violence has been set in motion. It certainly should be questioned over allegations by Belaid's wife that his pleas for security protection over the past few months were denied by the government. However, the Ennahda-led government has also had some success in terms of safeguarding the revolution. In addition to their attempts to address deep-seated socio-economic issues, they have also acted pragmatically to enshrine certain protections in the country's new constitution, which, as a recent New York Times article pointed out, has "circumscribed the role of Islamic law, allowing Tunisia to avoid the arguments over basic legal matters that have led to protracted unrest in Egypt". In the midst of the current conflict over what sort of political formulation will follow the recently dissolved government, one should also bear in mind the numerous historical firsts that the Tunisian case presents: the first democratically elected Islamist government to head a North African state, the first government anywhere, as far as I am aware, to have eight former political prisoners heading ministries, ditto regarding the creation of a Ministry for Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Also, one should consider the international and regional contexts the government must contend with, which includes a world economic crisis, uprisings, protracted conflicts and foreign intervention on or near their borders, the attempts of various governments, international and non-governmental bodies and organisations with mixed motives and intentions to influence the outcome of the post-revolution economic and political processes. Not to mention numerous disgruntled individuals within Tunisia's borders who were perfectly happy with the way things were under the ancien regime. Considering all this, one might even be tempted to give the government of this small, and relatively resource-poor, country some credit. Yet from whichever perspective one views the Ennahda ledgovernment - either glass half full or glass half empty - most agree that a counter-revolution is under way. The majority of Tunisians stand to lose as a result. Source: Al Jazeera



New fighting in borderland between Sudan and South Sudan


t least 24 people have been killed in fresh fighting in the volatile borderland between Sudan and South Sudan, the southern army and rebels said on Saturday. South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer said his troops killed seven fighters from a militia supported by Khartoum which had crossed the poorly-defined border. The South's army captured a Sudanese army truck used by the fighters during the skirmish in Obed in Upper Nile state in the northeast of the country, Aguer said. Sudan's army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid could not be reached on his mobile phone. In separate violence on Sudan's side of the border, rebels from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) accused a militia from South Sudan, supported

by Khartoum, of having attacked a village and killed 17 people. The militia also wounded 35 civilians during their attack in the area of Abujibeha in oil-producing South Kordofan state, SPLM-North

spokesman Arnu Lodi said. Sudan and South Sudan came close to war in April, their worst fighting since southern secession in 2011 under a peace deal which ended decades of civil war. Both countries agreed in

September to end hostilities by withdrawing their armies from the disputed border and to resume cross-border oil exports. But neither side has implemented the agreement and the two countries accuse each other of backing rebels in their respective territories. The African Union is next week hosting another round of talks between the neighbors aiming to set up a buffer zone, a precondition for Sudan to restart oil exports. South Sudan shut down its output of 350,000 barrels day a year ago in a row with Khartoum over pipeline fees. Oil is vital to both countries' beleaguered economies. The AU twice brought together Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir in Ethiopia last month but there has been no sign of progress.

due to mature wells. "Oil production will continue to rise in 2013... we expect a production increase of about 9 percent," Adolphe Moudiki, chief executive of the state-run oil National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH), told Reuters. "Operators Addax and Glencore have announced

discoveries they made respectively in two different offshore blocks: Iroko (Padouk-1 well) and Bolongo (Oak-IX well)," Moudiki said. He said measures have been taken to drill all wells in 2013 after a lack of drilling rigs delayed work at several wells in last year. Cameroon's oil production peaked at 185,000 barrels per

day in 1986 but had since declined steadily to stand at 63,900 barrels per day in 2011. Moudiki said the country plans to boost production to about 90,000 barrels per day in 2013. Though a cocoa, coffee and bauxite producer, crude oil is the country's main export product, accounting for 39 percent of exports and about 45 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer

Cameroon crude oil production to grow 9 pct in 2013


ameroon's oil production is expected to rise 9 percent in 2013 as new wells came into production, the head of the central African nation's state oil company SNH said on Friday. The country's modest oil production rose 3.5 percent in 2012 to 22.37 million barrels last year as new wells came on-stream after slumping the previous years

Second suicide attack foiled in northern Mali


suicide bombing at an army checkpoint in the northern Malian town of Gao has killed only the attacker, military officials say. The attack late on Saturday came a day after a similar attack on the same checkpoint. No other people were wounded in the blast. "It was a suicide bomber who blew himself up," said a soldier, who was at the checkpoint at

the northern entrance to Gao, which French-led forces reclaimed from al-Qaedalinked rebels on January 26. A Malian government source told Reuters that soldiers fired at the attacker before he reached the the checkpoint, prompting him to detonate his explosives. The bomber's severed head was still lying on the ground at the scene Sunday morning.

The explosion shook the city, the largest in northern Mali, at around 11:00pm local time (23:00 GMT). Troops from Mali and Niger had already increased patrols and fortified checkpoints with sandbags and heavy machine guns after Friday's suicide attack, in which a young Tuareg dressed in a paramilitary uniform drove up to the checkpoint on a

A Malian soldier conducting security checks on the streets of Gao.

motorcycle and detonated an explosive-rigged belt. He failed to detonate a larger bomb he was carrying, and no one else was killed, though a Malian soldier was lightly wounded. The attack was claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of a trio of hardline religious groups that seized control of northern Mali for 10 months. In a new statement issued on Saturday, before the second suicide bombing, MUJAO had warned of new attacks. "We are dedicating ourselves to carrying out more attacks against France and its allies. We ask the local population to stay far away from military zones and avoid explosions," spokesman Abou Walid Sahraoui said. On Sunday the army had closed the road where the blast occurred, which leads from northeastern hub Gao to Bourem and Kidal, two other key towns in the region. After Friday's attack, the number of soldiers at the checkpoint had been doubled, two walls of sandbags placed 300m apart to protect them and surrounding trees cut down to increase visibility.

Tunisian president's party quits cabinet


he secular party of Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki has withdrawn its three ministers from the country's government, saying that its demands for changes in the cabinet have not been met. The decision on Sunday by Marzouki's Congress for the Republic Party deals a further blow to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali's government, already reeling from last week's assassination of secular opposition leader Shokri Belaid. "We have been saying for a week that if the foreign and justice ministers were not changed, we would withdraw from the government," party official Samir Ben Amor told Reuters. "This decision has nothing to do with the prime minister's decision to form a government of technocrats," Ben Amor said, referring to Jebali's declared intention to name a nonpartisan cabinet to run day-to-day affairs until elections can be held. Jebali has himself threatened to resign unless his Ennahda party and other parties accept his proposals for an interim government of technocrats. Jebali, who is in dispute with his party over his proposal for a new government, said on Saturday he would present his new cabinet "by the middle of next week by the latest," the official TAP news agency reported. If the team was accepted by parties represented in the country's constituent assembly without being put to a vote he would remain on as prime minister, Jebali said. Otherwise, he said, he would resign. Jebali first made the announcement on Wednesday, hours after the assassination of opposition leader Shokri Belaid outside his home by an unknown assailant. Ennahda rejected that idea soon afterward. Jebali said on Friday that he was confident he could gain his party's support. It remains unclear how he plans to pull enough support to his side.

President Moncef Marzouki


Asia and Middle East


undreds of thousands of people have marched through the Iranian capital and other cities chanting "Death to America" as Iran marked the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that toppled the US-


Iranians march to mark 1979 revolution backed Shah. In Tehran, crowds waving Iranian flags and portraits of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini walked towards the landmark Azadi [Freedom] Square, in a government-sponsored rally on Sunday. Marchers also chanted "Death to Israel" as they headed for the

square, some waving posters of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the crowds in the square that Iran was now a "nuclear state" and added that Western countries were hampering genuine reform in the country.

"Iran has become nuclear, and so Iran's enemies are unhappy," he told cheering crowds. Iran is holding similar rallies nationwide, especially in large provincial capitals such as Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz and Kerman. At the Tehran rally, foreign media were being closely monitored

and allowed to cover the event from officially designated areas only. The rally marks February 11 when the army declared solidarity with the people, turning its back on Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Ten days beforehand, Khomeini returned in triumph from exile in France to lead the revolutionaries to power.

Dunford takes charge of NATO in Afghanistan


he command of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan is changing hands, with Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford taking over from General John Allen. Dunford is expected to be the force's last commander, with the US committed to removing its combat troops from the country by the end of 2014. "Today is not about change, it's about continuity. What has not changed is the will of this coalition," Dunford said in a change-ofcommand ceremony for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul on Sunday. Afghan forces are expected to take over the lead role for security in Afghanistan this spring. The international force plans to hand

over full responsibility for security to the Afghans by the end of 2014, with most international combat forces being withdrawn. Former Iraq commander Dunford will assume command of 68,000 US troops who make up the bulk of the coalition force of about 100,000, and will be the fifth top allied commander in Afghanistan in a five-year period. He has served in Iraq and has been assistant commandant of the Marine Corps since October 2010. Despite the persistence of the Taliban's bloody battle against President Hamid Karzai's government and NATO forces, Allen, who leaves to become NATO's supreme commander in Europe, said the coalition was "on the road to winning".

Celebrations mark start of Lunar New Year


ore than a billion people have ushered in the Year of the Snake with a cacophony of fireworks and celebrations, with a Chinese televised gala kicking off a week of festivities. From Australia to South Korea, millions of people travelled huge distances to reunite with their families for Lunar New Year - the most important holiday of the year for many in Asia - indulging in feasts and celebrations. As the clock struck midnight on Sunday, Beijing's skyline lit up with colour as residents braved freezing temperatures to set off loud fireworks, traditionally believed to ward off evil spirits - a scene repeated across China. This year saw a sharp reduction in the sale of fireworks, however, as heavy smog in recent weeks has stoked fears that Beijing's notorious air pollution levels could touch dangerous highs during the festival. More than 260,000 boxes of fireworks were sold in the city in the days leading up to the New Year, a 37 percent drop compared to last year's sales, after the smog left citizens "worried", the official Xinhua news agency reported. State broadcaster CCTV aired its annual gala variety show during the countdown to the New Year - which rakes in hundreds of millions of viewers - featuring a gamut of megastars including Celine Dion, who sang a folk song in Mandarin. Chinese leaders have made few public appearances in recent days, although the state broadcaster said new Communist Party leader Xi Jinping visited on Saturday with policemen, subway construction workers, taxi drivers and street cleaners in Beijing to thank them for their service.

Israel's Lieberman scoffs at Palestinian deal


close ally of Israel's prime minister has called peace with the Palestinians "impossible", saying the conflict between them and Israel can only be "managed". Former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in a television interview on Saturday linked the more than twoyear-old impasse to political turmoil in the Arab world. "Anyone who thinks that in the centre of this socio-diplomatic ocean, this tsunami which is jarring the Arab world, it is possible to arrive at the magic solution of a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians does not understand," Lieberman told Israel's Channel Two. "This is impossible. It is not possible to solve the conflict here. The conflict can be managed and it is important to manage the conflict ... to negotiate on a

long-term interim agreement." In a bid to restart negotiations, US President Barack Obama has announced that he will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming spring. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas broke off talks in late 2010 in protest at Israel's settlement in the occupied West Bank. He angered Israel and the US in November by securing a UN status upgrade implicitly recognising Palestinian independence in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel insists it will keep East Jerusalem and swathes of West Bank settlements under any eventual peace deal. Most world powers consider the settlements illegal because they take up land seized in the 1967 Middle East war.

The capsule that was sent into space containing a live monkey in January is displayed during a rally in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Outgoing International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) commander General John Allen (L) hands over a flag to US General Joseph Dunford during a change of command ceremony at the Isaf headquarters in Kabul.

Lieberman (R) with Netanyahu.



Europe and Americas EU leaders agree to historic budget cut


uropean Union leaders have agreed to a significantly reduced seven-year budget worth $1.28 trillion - the first cut in spending in the 27-member group's history. "Deal done!" Herman Van Rompuy, European Council president, announced on Twitter on Friday after more than 24 hours of tough talks between the bloc's 27 heads of state and government. The final deal sets spending "commitments" for the next seven years between 2014-2020 at $1.28 trillion, but the actual spending will be capped at the lower total of $1.21 trillion - it's an historic three percent drop on the previous seven-year budget cycle. At a news conference shortly afterwards, battling to stay alert after nearly 36 hours awake, Van Rompuy said the agreement was a budget of moderation that reflected straightened times. "We simply could not ignore the extremely difficult economic realities across Europe, so it had to be a leaner budget," he said. "For the first time ever, there is a real cut compared to the last multiannual financial framework." The deal must now be approved by the European Parliament, where leading legislators have already expressed opposition. Securing parliamentary approval is likely to take several months. It will be the EU's first austerity budget in six decades, with initial reports indicating a tentative agreement to trim spending by three percent. Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan, reporting from Brussels, said not every member state got what it wanted from the summit. "It doesn't work like that in EU politics. What it comes down to now is convincing the public in each country that they got what they wanted... But we are waiting for the final document." Francois Hollande, French president, sought broadly to paint the agreement as a win for Europe - calling it a grand compromise that safeguarded important shared programmes and values.

European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy.

German minister quits over 'plagiarism'


erman Education Minister Annette Schavan has resigned after a university stripped her of her doctorate for plagiarism. Duesseldorf's Heinrich Heine University voted last Tuesday to remove her doctorate following a review. Ms Schavan, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, insisted she would still fight the university's ruling. In 2011, Defence Minister KarlTheodor zu Guttenberg also quit after allegations he plagiarised his thesis. Johanna Wanka, the culture and science minister of the state of Lower Saxony, has been appointed as Ms Schavan's successor. Part of the education minister's brief is to oversee German universities. Addressing Mrs Merkel with the words "Dear Angela,", Ms Schavan thanked the chancellor for her friendship. "I think today is the right day to leave my ministerial post and to concentrate on my duties as a member of parliament," the 57-year-old said. "I will not accept the

university's decision and will take legal action. I have never copied nor plagiarised. The accusations hit me very hard." Ms Schavan added that her main priority was to protect her department and the government.

"First the nation, then the party, then myself," Ms Schavan said, citing words used by former state prime minister Erwin Teufel. "When an education minister sues a university, then that comes with strains, for my office,

for the ministry, and for the Christian Democrats. I want to avoid just that." The university of Dusseldorf decided to look into Ms Schavan's 1980 doctoral thesis after an anonymous blogger raised questions about it.

Education Minister Annette Schavan(R).

Russian police detain over 270 in security sweep


ussian police have detained 271 people, most of them from the North Caucasus and central Asia, in an investigation into involvement in "terrorist activities", authorities in St Petersburg said on Saturday. Russia is concerned that Islamist militants could become a greater threat outside the heavily Muslim North Caucasus region, plagued by an

insurgency rooted in two postSoviet separatist wars in the republic of Chechnya. In a statement, the regional investigative committee in St Petersburg said that most detainees were from the North Caucasus and the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan. An Egyptian and an Afghan were also detained. The committee said they

were detained "in order to check if they had legal grounds for being in St Petersburg and their possible involvement in terrorist activities." They were detained during an overnight raid on St Petersburg's oldest market. Authorities said security forces had been searching for extremist literature, weapons, drugs and documents related to a recently-launched criminal

case in connection with "public justification of terrorism and incitement of hatred". The authorities did not say whether any of those detained were suspected of involvement in plotting or carrying out attacks. Many market traders in Russian cities are from the North Caucasus or central Asia. Local media said police had initially detained 700 people.

Venezuela devalues currency by 32% against the dollar


enezuela is devaluing its currency by 32 percent against the dollar on the orders of President Hugo Chavez, in part to reduce the country's budget deficit. The bolivar will go from 4.3 to the dollar to 6.3 at the official exchange rate. The move was announced on Friday by Jorge Giordani, planning and finance minister, who said it will take effect on Wednesday. The goal is to "minimise expenditure and maximise results", he said. One effect of a devaluation is

to make a country's exports cheaper and thus more enticing to buyers. But another effect is to cut the deficit, which in Venezuela last year was estimated to be nearly 10 percent of GDP. The economy grew 5.5 percent last year and inflation was 20 percent. That was down seven points from the previous year and hit the government target, but was still the highest official inflation rate in Latin America. Venezuela is South America's largest oil exporter and has the

world's largest proven reserves. Its oil transactions are dollardenominated, so the bolivarvalue of those sales will now be higher, boosting state revenues on paper. The change had been widely expected by analysts and business leaders since last year. This is Venezuela's fifth currency devaluation in a decade. Giordani said the government would honour dollar-purchase requests made before January 15 at the old exchange rate. Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who visited Chavez this week, said on Friday that Chavez was concerned about the V e n e z u e l a n economy and called for a "major effort" to maintain its pace of growth. C h a v e z e s t a b l i s h e d currency controls in 2003, and the government sets the rate to curb capital flight. But the existence of a strong The devaluation of the Bolivar is expected to have an impact on an already black market for the dollar shows the rising inflation.

continuing desire for hard currency. The devaluation announcement drew strong criticism from Henrique Capriles, opposition leader, who said that the government's heavy spending was to blame for the situation and that officials were trying to slip the change past the public at the start of a long holiday weekend. "They spent the money on campaigning, corruption, gifts abroad!" Capriles said in one of several messages on his Twitter account. He also criticised Maduro's handling of the situation. "They give Mr Maduro a little more time in charge and he finishes with the country," Capriles said. "Look at the inflation in January, and now the devaluation." Jesus Casique, an economist, said the devaluation would have a major inflationary side effect and the government should not see it as the main tool for reducing the deficit. The devaluation comes amid growing uncertainty in Venezuela over the future of Chavez, who is convalescing in Cuba, where he underwent a fourth round of cancer surgery on December 11.


From Umar Dankano, Yola


damawa State House of Assembly’s Speaker, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has refuted alleged political rivalry between him and the deputy governor Bala James Ngilari as well as Ahmed Ali Gulak, Special Adviser on Political Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan. He said the rumour was perhaps the handiwork of those who perceive him as a threat to their ambition and secretly rooting for war with him. The trio hail from Madagali local government area. There was disquiet in Adamawa due to what pundits described as 'personality conflict' over who could become the next governor of the state from among interested political figures and the 'cold war' between Ngilari, Fintiri and Gulak was said to have further fueled the political crisis in the state. The feud is said to have pitched loyalists of the deputy governor and the speaker against one another. This could be seen from the outcome of the recent PDP primaries in the area where supporters of the two camps decided on who to back in the ongoing crisis rocking the party. Fresh facts show that the political battle between the deputy governor and the speaker over the control of Madagali local government is yet to be over as one of the PDP local government aspirants had rushed to court seeking nullification of the election of the 'speaker's political son',


Adamawa Speaker denies feud with deputy gov Mr James Abawa Watharda. Mr. Maina Ularamu, the deputy governor's backed aspirant, had filed a suit at the state High Court sitting in Yola seeking nullification of the election and nomination of Watharda as Madagali local government council chairman.

But the speaker in a statement issued by his chief Press Secretary, Solomon Kumangar said that people of the area have become tired of , "these set of yesterday's men who only know to blame other people for their dwindling political relevance except themselves'' .

According to him, "Fintiri is not at conflict with anyone because he respects each and every politician whose stake is to advance good governance and the rule of law. He is also amenable to joining a class of forward thinking people who are not haunted by their past failures".

As all efforts to hear from the deputy governor and Gulak proved abortive. Prior to this, the local government congress of the PDP in Madagali had produced two chairmen of the party, following alleged internal squabbles among three key political figures from the area.

Katsina NUJ sets up electoral committee From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


equel to the expiration of the tenure of the present executive members of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Katsina State Council, a ninemember electoral committee has been set-up to conduct a fresh election. A communiquĂŠ signed by the Secretary of the union, Comrade Abdullahi Aliyu'Yar'adua and two others noted that the members of the committee include, Muntari Abba Usman, Rabi'u Ibrahim, Tukur Hassan Dan Ali, Ibrahim Bello Tsagem, Abba Sama'ila, Muhammad Kabir Attaka, Auwal Halliru, Ibrahim Shehu Kankia and Abdullahi Muhammad (TK). The committee would be formally inaugurated on Wednessday, March 13, 2013 while the out going executive members would soon embark on a thank you visit to all the chapels in the state. The union acknowledged the progress so far recorded on the conduct of the IIJ Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes in the state and appreciate the state government sponsorship of selected journalists to the training. NUJ noted the commitment of the state government to restore the implementation of the WeighIn Allowance and the financial support to an ailing member of the union, Alhaji Jare Illelaboye.

L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri; Deputy Governor of Kogi state, Arch Yomi Awoniyi; and Chief of Staff to Kogi state Governor, Chief Joseph Daniel; during the foundation laying ceremony of NOA Kogi state directorate, recently in Lokoja. From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


he Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Science and Technology will hold its annual Lagos State Science and Technology (LASSTECH) this week. Speaking on the highlights of the programme with journalists at the

Lagos to hold Science & Tech week Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT) Centre at the State Secretariat, Alausa, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Adebiyi Fatai Mabadeje said the programme was aimed at creating an avenue and

opportunity for various stakeholders to exhibit their products, interact with one other and exchange ideas towards the development and utilization of science and technology for the overall development of the State and the

...As commissioner advocates scrapping of some public service cadres


agos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, has tasked the National Council on Establishments to recommend the scrapping of some cadres in the public service which have no relevance to contemporary times. She gave the charge weekend at the opening ceremony of the meeting of the Standing Committee on Schemes of Service of the National Council on Establishments hosted by the State Government at NECA House, Central Business District, Ikeja.

"In the present technological age, some career structures within the service have outlived their relevance, hence the need to review extensively what operates now and we should not hesitate to recommend the cessation of such careers that have no relevance to contemporary times", the Commissioner stated. She, therefore, urged the Committee to continue to use the platform to work out modalities towards further improving the conditions of service of all Civil/ Public Servants nationwide and also injecting new ideas into the management of human resources

in repositioning the public service to meet the challenges of the 21st century. She enjoined the Standing Committee on Schemes of Service to come up with new challenging careers that would make the civil service in the federation comparable with their counterparts in developed nations. The Commissioner explained that the State Government had over the years implemented most of the recommendations of the Council, particularly as they add value to the system while ensuring a highly motivated workforce.

country in general. He added that the LASSTECH week would showcase indigenous technology and research products with a view to promoting their development and provide a forum for upcoming entrepreneurs to interact and learn from successful businessmen with a view to motivating youths towards acquiring entrepreneurship skills. The Week would also to promote the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools as well as provide a platform for interaction between inventors and investors, he said. Speaking on the programme which will hold between Tuesday, February 12 and Friday, February 15, 2013, at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Mr. Mabadeje disclosed that the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola will declare the event open, adding that there will be exhibitions, lectures and innovators/ inventors'forum as part of the activities lined up for the event.



My disagreement with OBJ on principle and ego, says OGD ANALYSIS Former Ogun state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in this interaction with newsmen and the Civil Society, tells the story of his stewardship just as he states that his main disagreement with former President Olusegun Obasanjo borders on principle and ego. Our Lagos Correspondent, Ayodele Samuel, was there. On his interaction with the EFCC he former governor described his prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as political persecution, saying he was “a victim of the environment.”He denied most of the allegations contained in the 38 counts under which he was charged by the anti-graft agency for allegedly stealing public funds, bribery, fraudulent conversion of public property and false declaration of assets. EFCC had alleged that the former governor stole N211.3 million between 2004 and 29 May, 2011 and also converted government’s land in various parts of the state to his family’s use. But Daniel said the state had no money he could steal at the point he was at the helm of affairs. He said the way he ran the state made it very difficult for either him or any member of his cabinet to steal. According to him, his persecution was the result of a well researched and orchestrated ploy by the opposition to bring him down. “And they won,” he declared. Giving details, Daniel said he left a liability of N49.2 billion in office, never borrowed any money on behalf of the state, but decided to run the state with what the state could afford. He lamented that the current administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun had continued to feed the people with lies that it inherited debts off between N59 billion and N100 billion. “In all my years of governor of Ogun State, I did not borrow a dime from any bank. Even the present government has come to say that the debt profile is N3.75 million. This is the figure from the Ogun State government. When I was in office, the system of government which I ran made it nearly impossible for fraud to take place. There is absolutely nothing like debt accumulation in Ogun State. Before we handed over, we took it upon ourselves to provide a compendium, a full report of our activities in a book


from 2003 – 2010, which we handed over to the incoming government.” “I have not seen any government out of the 36 states in Nigeria that has been able to produce a report where every kobo that comes into government coffers was put in a report”, adding that, “there is difference between what you called liability and debt. We are magnanimous to have a liability of N49.2billion, out of which N13.9 billion was outstanding money left behind as debt. What made up of the liability, which you cannot regard as debts were arrears of tertiary institutions subvention, arrears of running cost, money you give to schools for routine maintenance, arrears of pension, which all sums up to the total N49.2billion liability. I mentioned earlier. On false declaration of assets On the allegation of false declaration of assets, the former governor said he was the first governor to declare his assets after the President and the Vice President. “I would have been the first political office holder to publicly declare his assets but I didn’t want it to look like I’m proud. So I waited for President Umaru Yar’Adua, followed by then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, then I publicly declared mine,” he said. On alleged assassination attempt on aides Daniel said he was betrayed by some of his close associate in his government who were being used by the opposition. One of such traitors, he said, had claimed that he escaped assassination by people sent by the governor and that he ended up killing two of them with his pump action rifle while driving. He wondered how that could be possible and asked where the corpses of those killed were dumped. ”The issue of assassination you are talking about Wale Adebayo, Tunde Oladunjoye; we thank God for two Judas Iscariot out of 300 hundred people that worked with us. They said Daniel want to kill them, why is it that none of them

Otunba Gbenga Daniel has died. What you read was that they abducted him around IlisanIjebu Ode and they started shooting and two of them were gunned down and he escaped. Who are the people that were gunned down? For God’s sake what is the motive for killing him? is it that he is holding my money and I do not want people to know he is holding my money and even if he is holding my money is killing him that will pay me my money? On the day of inauguration of the new governor they said 56 people were killed, where are their bodies? We have sent them to the pit; no relative protested no human right activism and no platcards and then Nigerian believed. “The project ‘bring OGD down’ is a project, well-funded, researched and articulated and in the process of funding this project some of our people fell for it and they won because they took over Ogun state. But the people lost because it I in the future that we begin to review what happened and now know whether it is truly change we are looking for; and that is the whole game and they make no mistake about it. Closure of House of Assembly He also denied that he prevented members of his state House of Assembly from sitting for eight months even though he said the crisis was beneficial to his government as some of the lawmakers made frantic efforts to get him impeached for not making more money available to them against due process. “I did not close the Assembly for one day, whether you want

Olusegun Obasanjo to believe it or not, the administration I ran in Ogun state, the judiciary was separate, the legislature was separate, the local government was separate. Let me tell you, the issue of local government in all of my 8 years allocation, there was no one occasion where I touched a dime in the local government allocation and in all the 8yrs I didn’t have any means to call any judge and say this is the way it should go and in the same way in all my 8yrs there was no paddy-paddy with the House of Assembly and I did not close down the Assembly,” he stressed. Daniel said he had looked back at his administration and had told himself that he did his best to put the state on a sound footing even in the face of heavy public condemnation cooked up by the opposition in their desperation to take over the state. Comments on PDP crises I have no comment because there is no party that does not have its own crises, it is just that you media help some party to manage their crises. I know the crises between ACN, it’s I just that you media will not write it. I will not say am in PDP and I will not say am not in PDP. Bola Ige was the one who wrote the constitution of PDP and when they wanted to lunch it, they saw some people on the high table and they said they cannot sit with them. So he went back to AD and wrote AD Constitution, he saw same there and went to APP. So, virtually all the parties constitution are the same and their problems are similar. I’m a social democrat. When I went to PDP part of the challenge

between me and some people who believe they own PDP was ideological. I didn’t go to PDP because I want to go and get something there. I thought there are jobs to be done and, to the best of my knowledge, we are not performing and as part of the member of the inner circus of that party we all knew that something drastic had to be done. I had no regret of going to PDP; those things that I wanted to touch in Ogun state I did; whether anybody likes to rewrite history, we have turned Ogun state round. In Abeokuta, you will be shocked it is only rental business that they do. They rent chairs and canopy to bury their dead and to do their weddings; the same thing in Ijebu, but we have turned around the fortunes of Ogun state. Everybody now talks about Abeokuta and becomes a happy man and I know very soon the proper history will be written, whichever way you want to write it. Comments on Obasanjo OBJ I think is the luckiest and the most influential Nigerian politician that has ever lived but if you hear that there is any issue between I and OBJ, first make up your mind that it’s principle and ego battle. This is because when he came to Ogun state on a visitation, I have his quotation here, he said we came we saw and conquered. It is very clear, my duty is to uphold the rule of law no matter whose ox is gored. My duty is to deliver the dividend of democracy and that is what I did in 8 years with limited resources and everybody is emulating it.



PDP commends Jonathan on FCT development By Lawrence Olaoye


he leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has praised President Goodluck Jonathan for the rapid infrastructural development of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja under the current administration. This is coming as the ruling party refuted the reports that some of the governors on its platform are planning to dump the PDP for the newly formed Alliance for Progressive Congress (APC). PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement yesterday, said the party is impressed with the massive

…says no governor plans defection to APC

infrastructural development and maintenance of existing projects under the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed. Recalling that lack of maintenance culture has always been the bane of the nation's development, the party said in the FCT, the minister, through massive rehabilitation and resurfacing of all major roads in the city even before the appearance of pot holes has shown that the PDP-led administration is confronting the issue of maintenance culture. It said such is a testament to President Goodluck Jonathan's

resolve to fundamentally alter the sad trajectory of poor maintenance that had bedeviled the Nigerian state at all levels. "The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commends President Goodluck Jonathan for the achievements recorded by the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The party is highly impressed by the rapid infrastructural development of the FCT under the current administration which has not only given new looks to the city but brought a huge relief to the residents.

On the reports that some PDP governors are planning to defect to the APC, Metuh said all its governors are working with the party leadership and the President. It said there was no cause for any one of them to contemplate leaving the ruling party for the APC that is yet to have an operable structure. The party stated that the fact that the PDP took the high moral ground of decency to congratulate the opposition on the formation of the APC does not cover the new party's inadequacies and its destiny to fall apart in no time. "Nobody leaves a moving train

to join an inoperable one. That the PDP took the high moral ground of decency that we are known for, to congratulate the opposition parties on the formation of their new party does not cover its inherent inadequacies. "So there is no PDP governor that will leave a stable and national party such as the PDP to join the APC. All our governors are working with the National Chairman and the National Working Committee and the President and there is no reason for anyone of them to contemplate leaving PDP for APC", the statement said.

Bauchi youth group plans Sen. Gumba’s recall From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


isturbed by its alleged poor representation in the Senate and lack of visible constituency projects since Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba, representing Bauchi South at the Senate assumed office in 2010, a group of youth under the aegis of Movement for Democracy (MD), have rolled out a plan to recall him. A press release made available to journalists in Bauchi signed by leader of the group, Babangida Muhammed Isa Narabi, stated “Since Senator Gumba’s election in 2010 to complete the tenure of Senator Bala Muhammed and his re-election in 2011, he has failed woefully to follow the footstep of his predecessor in the implementation of constituency projects, economic empowerment initiative and employment drive. His representation is neither felt nor seen as witnessed before”. The group added that past Senators from Bauchi South Senatorial zone from 1999 – 2010 had initiated several economic empowerment and constituency projects that touched the lives of the electorates positively. “But from 2010 when Senator Bala joined the Federal Executive Council and a byelection held to fill the vacancy created, Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba is yet to justify the mandate he enjoys. He is in the Senate abusing the trust reposed in him through poor representation, hide and seek tactics and other game plans that have to be checked at this appropriate time.” “We have already appointed a powerful committee under the chairmanship of Barrister Lawal Hassan Ibrahim with Honorable Chindo Abdu as Secretary and Comrade Abdu Yelwa as Director Mobilization to facilitate the project as constitutionally required,” he disclosed. Meanwhile, the group has appealed to the electorates of the affected senatorial zone to extend hands of cooperation for the success of the effort in the interest of justice, equity and good governance. Before filing in this report, all efforts to reach the embattled Senator proved abortive as his mobile phones were switched-off

L-R: Secretary to Kaduna state government, Alhaji Ishaq Damahawayi, the state Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga and the state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero, during the swearing-in ceremony of new Kaduna state PDP Chairman, on Wednesday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

Yola Appeal Court uphold Kugama’s Exco From Umar Dankano, Yola


n Appeal Court sitting in Yola, the state capital upheld the earlier judgment of Justice Bamare Bansi of the state high court on the prolonged legal battle against the Adamawa state Executives of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party by dismissing the case for lacking in merit and substance. The Presiding Judge and her colleagues unanimously dismissed the suit nfiled by Alhaji Halilu Domdaz, against Minijiyawa Kugama led state executives.

Justice S O Tonye Dentom West in her ruling corroborated the judgment of the lower court that the appellant lacked merit in the suit in view of the fact the grounds were not filed as originating summon instead of summon of writ. Domdaz approached the court, challenging the process that brought Kugama led Exco on the ground that the fundamamental human rights of some prominent members of the PDP were trampled upon. According to him, Kugama led Exco that assumed office was occupying the office without people mandate and therefore prayed the

Appeal to redress the injustice and declared Kugama led exco as illegal. However, in her submission, Justice S O Tonye Dentom West said the court has the right to address the issue of trampling on the complainant fundamental human right by his political party. But she corroborated the judgment of the lower court that the suit lacked merit in view of the fact the grounds were not filed as summon of writ but through an originating summon, adding that the court is not obliged to teach him how to pursue his right. She added that the right process

should be followed in the pursuit of such rights by the complaint which she said was lacking in the case filed by Domdaz and seven others against PDP. However, the Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr P.P. Elisha, commended the court following the declaration that it could deal with a case of further mental human right among party matters Elisha maintained that by the appeal court ruling, a further boost has been given to Nigerian democracy, adding that the era of hiding under the banner of a political party to infringe on its members’ right is out of fashion.

Kogi Assembly is broke House of Assembly is broke From Sam Egwu, lokoja


eturning from three weeks recess, there are indications that the Kogi state House iof Assembly is broke as members could not deliberate on any meaningful issue as almost all the cooling systems in the House are malfunctioning. The split air-conditioners

installed since the commencement of the Assembly about 20years ago have shown evidence of depreciation with erratic power supply to the Assembly Cobwebs and dusty louvers dots the main building and lack of proper maintenance were the order of the day on the walls of the building with the

convenience completely closed down It became even more evident when even some minor financial responsibilities could not be met in the Assembly. Motions, votes and proceedings were not enough for even the reporters covering the House to write stories. Some members have refused to resume sitting ostensibly

staying away because of the poor condition of the hallowed chambers. This is coming as a federal lawmaker described Kogi Assembly as the worst House of Assembly in the country. Observers said the leadership should braze up to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the electorates so as to avoid being rejected at the polls come 2015.


ACN explains APGA’s stance on merger From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has clarified the situation under which APGA was included in the membership of the All Progressive Congress (APC), saying it was an act of good faith based on available information and prevailing circumstances, rather than a deliberate act to mislead Nigerians or railroad APGA into the merger. Reacting to APGA’s published disclaimer of the APC, ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday that the new party has absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups on whether or not to associate within a democracy. Explaining how APGA was included in the list of parties that consummated the merger, it said: ‘’We recognise the person and status of Gov. Rochas Okorocha, who as Imo Governor has been a great player and figure in Nigerian political landscape, as well as Senator Annie Okonkwo, a seasoned politician and respectable lawmaker. ‘’We believe in their representation that APGA is interested in the merger, hence we worked with them in good faith. They participated effectively and positively in the meeting of all governors of the parties concerned and in the meetings of the merger committees of the parties, leading to the communique released by all the governors endorsing the merger and the one by the merger committees announcing the formation of the APC. However, the ACN said going by the statement signed on behalf of some APGA members by Dr. Tim Menakaya, the APC had come to the full realization that there is dissent in the rank and file of the party (APGA). “In spite of this, and since democracy is about choice, alignments and re-alignments hinged on the fundamentals of individual freedom of association, we respect their position, and will like to describe as unfortunate whatever misconception the purported full involvement of APGA in the merger may have generated. ‘’We also assure APGA that we are willing to work with the party whenever it normalizes its internal process and is ready to join the platform. We all remain brethren within the Nigerian Family and our doors remain open, in the spirit of the new party,’’ it said. “We proudly inform Nigerians that APC is large enough to accommodate all those who are tired of the sorry state of our nation today and are ready to join in the quest for a positive change that will benefit all Nigerians. “‘We do not intend to shut our doors to anyone who wants to be part of the APC, a platform for all progressives, irrespective of party affiliation, to help steer our nation’s ship of state, which is currently being battered by turbulent waves, to safety since the captain and the rest of the crew have either escaped below the deck or are busy fighting themselves, having lost all initiatives to safe the ship,’’ the party said.


Reps slam Uniuyo VC for shoddy financial transitions By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives at the weekend slammed the Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Professor Comfort Ekpo, for engaging in shoddy deals leading to loss of funds to the government. The House Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Rep Solomon Adeola Olamilakan in the course of investigating the audit queries raised against the Uniyo VC in 2009 financial year discovered that the University paid out a sum of N28.1m to various commercial banks as Cost of Transfer (COT) within a year contrary to Federal Government financial regulation forbidden commercials banks from charging government agencies on any transaction.

Olamilekan and other members of the committee while describing the transaction as illegal and criminal act gave the Vice Chancellor a 31 day ultimatum within which to recover the amount from the affected banks and pay same back into the Federal Government Consolidated Revenue Account and that the evidence of payment within the period should be brought before the Committee. In a related development it was also discovered that the University paid out another N51m before raising vouchers for it. This the Committee described as illegal transaction and ordered the Vice Chancellor to produce the Institution's Bursar and Internal Auditor as well as the original vouchers for the transaction before the Committee by

tomorrow (Tuesday). The Committee equally discovered that the salary account of the University was not audited for five consecutive months; the practice, it said was open to sharp practices and fraud and therefore ordered that the account should be audited immediately and the report submitted before the committee for verification. The Committee also gave the Vice Chancellor a 72hour ultimatum within which to submit before it the fixed asset register of the university containing all the institution's items since inception, saying that it was very saddening for the institution not to have a valid fixed asset register since 1991. Though the Vice Chancellor disclosed that necessary measures had been put in place to correct

the anomalies discovered in the financial transaction in the institution on assumption of office two years ago, the Committee described her defence as unacceptable and that she must account for all the funds released to the institution by the Federal Government. In a related development the Committee has directed the Provost of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Professor Adeyemi Idowu, to immediately refund the sum of N4.3million illegally paid to a consultant who assisted the institution to recover a sum of N11.3m from some commercial banks earlier charged as COT. He was also directed to explain the rationale behind the payment of a sum of N9.4m without the necessary vouchers to back it up.

R-L: Senate President David Mark ,Bauchi state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Adaku Onwiliri, during the departure of Nigeria delegation to South Africa to cheer Super Eagles in the AFCON final match against Burkina Faso, on Saturday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Don’t politicize 2013 budget, PDP Reps tell opposition lawmakers By Lawrence Olaoye


embers of the House of Representatives on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend warned their colleagues in opposition against playing politics with the current disagreement between the executive and legislative arms of government on the 2013 budget Bill. The PDP lawmakers who spoke under the umbrella of PDP Renaissance Group noted that making offensive statements at a time the leadership of the National Assembly and the Presidency were meeting to resolve their differences in the budget bill could spell doom for the economy of the country and jeopardize the welfare of Nigerians.

The group, led by Rep Kaka Kyari Gujbawu (PDP, Borno State), admonished the two chambers of the National Assembly to strike a favourable balance among the various interests currently delaying the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and come up with an Act that best protects the over all economic interest of the country. It accused the opposition law makers of trying to distort the economic policy of the PDP-led Federal Government by seeking to negatively restructure the 2013 budget. It stated “The only problem is that fundamentally, what the opposition want us to do, is to fundamentally alter the very foundation of the budget. That is going to lead to a very big

structural problem; and that will not be acceptable. I do not think the 200 PDP members of that House will be hood-winged by the antics of the opposition. We stand by our leadership because it is in the interest of Nigerians and we have the mandate to lead Nigeria to join the committee of developed nations.” Following the refusal of the President to assent to the N4.987 trillion 2013 budget bill as passed by the National Assembly, series of meetings and negotiations have been going on between the two to resolve the grey areas. But at a press conference last week, opposition lawmakers in the House led by House Minority leader, Femi Gbajabiamilla, rose from a meeting threatening to mobilize members to override the

President’s veto on the Budget Bill. The PDP Renaissance Group described the threat as not only empty but an attempt to frustrate the economic policies of the Federal Government pointing out that such moves would be totally destructive to the interests of members of the 360 federal constituencies that the House represents. “The advice I want to give stakeholders in this budget issue, I mean both my colleagues in the National Assembly and the executive, is to let us put the country first. Let us take our selfish interests out of this. And by the time each and everyone of us, both from the executive and legislature, decide that Nigeria comes first, I am sure we are going to fix this thing easier and earlier than we thought without rancour.”



Nasarawa: The antics of false critics By Rayyanu Bala


onstructive criticisms helps one to seat-up to the responsibilities reposed in him, there is therefore no doubt about it that any one saddled with responsibility but becomes aversed to criticism especially constructive ones will certainly not end well. Most of our leaders who were today in the bad side of history, if we look at their reign critically, we will discover that they happen to be so aversed to criticism. It was Sidney Greenberg; I think who once said 'A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him' Indeed, from Sidney Greenberg observation, criticism whether constructive or destructive or even distractive has some potentials for one to lay a foundation or build upon it to become successful in life. However some criticism especially in this our part of the world, comes neither in form of constructive nor destructive or even distractive, the criticism only comes, out of burning desire to attract attention or out of envy, hence if you study such criticism you will find out that they possess nothing to which one will lay a foundation to become successful. It is in this context that sometimes one becomes tempted to condemn or rather dismiss that kind of criticism that possesses neither elements of constructiveness or destructiveness as baseless and unfounded. In this wise, I personally see all the criticism so far leveled, against Governor Al-makura as neither constructive nor destructive or distractive, all the criticism were as baseless and unfounded as one can think of. Most of the criticisms against Al-makura led administration were only aiming at drawing attention or out of envy of the achievements his government was able to record within a short time that he is in power in the state. For purpose of this discuss, I shall however restrict my self with those criticism against Al-makura which were aiming at drawing attention with the view to either join the government or enjoy the patronage. Indeed, readily available example of this type of criticism were the ones constantly been air by one Hon Nurudeen Umar, a purported ACN top stalwart in Nasarawa state. In his latest diatribe against Al-makura in a Newspaper interview (Leadership 05/02/2013) Hon Nurudeen Umar was quoted as saying that Al-makura has not achieved anything since he came on board as Governor of Nasarawa state. He in fact specifically said since Al-makura came no single class room was constructed; no single primary health care was constructed in the whole state. Though Mr Nurudeen is entitled to his opinion but I think for him to decent as low as making such utterances smacks of either total ignorance of developments that is taking place in Nasarawa state or been hypocritical or both. However for the purpose of putting the records straight, Al-makura led administration within just less than two years in office; redeemed the entire state counter-part fund to MDG, an action which resulted in the constructions/ rehabilitations of dozens of primary health care clinics spread across the state. As for the General hospitals, at the moment, constructions/rehabilitations work is on going at 5 General hospitals in the state namely; Arikya in Lafia east development area, Awe in Awe local government, Akwanga in Akwanga local government and Mararaba in Karu local government as well as Toto in Toto local

Nasarawa State Governor

Umaru Tanko Al-Makura government. For primary schools in the state, it is instructive to note that since Al-makura led administration came on board, government has invested heavily in the sector resulting in the construction of 144 UBE classrooms across the state, in addition to the settlement of liabilities inherited from the previous government which stood at over N700million for construction of 163 primary schools. Only recently government awarded contract worth over N1.1bn to the state relevant technology board for the furnishing of old and newly constructed primary schools in the state. In terms of capacity building for primary school teachers, government is also doing a lot in this area as the entire counter-part fund for ECCD and GJSS for the last three years were also promptly settled. As if all these were not enough, Governor Al-makura out of his personal pocket renovated among other schools, LGEA primary school Ashige, St James primary school


As if all these were not enough, Governor Almakura out of his personal pocket renovated among other schools, LGEA primary school Ashige, St James primary school Lafia and St Williams primary school also in Lafia as well as LGEA primary school at Tudun Wada. From the above brief achievements recorded by Almakura led administration in the two subsectors which Mr Nurudeen expressed his concerned over them, you will indeed discover that his criticism were only aimed at attracting attention but succeeded only in exposing himself as not only ignorant of development that is taking place in Nasarawa state but also exposes himself as been hypocritical and mischievous

Lafia and St Williams primary school also in Lafia as well as LGEA primary school at Tudun Wada. From the above brief achievements recorded by Al-makura led administration in the two sub-sectors which Mr Nurudeen expressed his concerned over them, you will indeed discover that his criticism were only aimed at attracting attention but succeeded only in exposing himself as not only ignorant of development that is taking place in Nasarawa state but also exposes himself as been hypocritical and mischievous. Equally mischievous and hypocritical were his allegations to the effect that it was Al-makura's daughter who executed the contract for the supply of official cars for members of the state House of Assembly without following due process as well as his allegations which bothered on 'it is only the governors cronies, sycophants, family and friends that are being given contract in the state' These allegations were indeed, products of not only a lazy man but a products of one desirous of recognition. As for the appointments which Al-makura did which include; his brother and in-law indeed, I did not see anything unconstitutional or immoral in it, as both his inlaw and brother eminently qualify to hold such offices by reasons of educational qualifications and requisites experience. The secretary of the state UBE board who is an in-law to Al-makura is an MSc graduate of urban and regional planning of 13 years standing and served the state in various capacities and until his present appointment was a senior lecturer with the state polytechnic. And for the avoidance of doubt, the office of chief of staff has since been abolished in the state. Nobody is answering chief of staff any more in the state and the immediate occupant of that office was Dr Shehu Othman, a non relation of the governor and he has since resigned voluntarily. Governor Al-makura's younger brother is but SSA (Special duties) He was until his appointment a Diamond Bank branch manager in Keffi. As a matter of policy, nobody gets any appointment under Al-makura led administration without been merited. Being from private sector, Al-makura knows and appreciates the values of merit in governance and as he noted himself in an address to permanent secretaries recently 'merit can not be altered or compromised in all we engage in' I have never come close to Hon Nurudeen but those who know him described him as one who cherishes lies and always find delight in deceit. Indeed, with this character in a person what else can one expect? I was informed reliably that Mr. Nurudeen decided to take to this dishonorable path against Al-makura because of Almakura's refusal to support his candidature in CPC for House of Representative in 2011 general election. And after CPC won election I was told, he made frantic efforts to be enlisted on board but all his efforts yielded no result, which explains why he turned to peddling lies against Almakura led government and also resort to deceiving the unsuspecting public about his false credentials and stature in Nasarawa state. Even within his ACN fold he is being regarded by many as inconsequential. The Nasarawa south zonal chairman of ACN, Alhaji Abdul Al-rahman, in an interview with newsmen recently decried the attitude of Hon Nurudeen and concluded that he is no less an agent of the PDP. Bala wrote in from Lafia<>



Peoples Daily CLASSIFIED

Ryan Giggs has continued his record of scoring in every Premier League season by breaking the deadlock for Manchester United aganist Everton at Old Trafford.

Dermot Corrigan was at Santiago Bernabeu as a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick masked Real Madrid's issues ahead of their clash with Manchester United.

Ireland host England in the Six Nations as both sides look to build on solid wins in their opening fixtures.

Anya Shrubsole takes five wickets as England race to a convincing seven-wicket win over South Africa in the World Cup Super Sixes.



ong-time Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou says it will be his last term in charge of the continent’s football body if he is re-elected - as expected - next month in Morocco. The 66-year-old Cameroonian is currently the only candidate for CAF’s presidential election in Marrakech in March after he brought about rule changes that only allow current or former members of his executive committee to stand against him. Hayatou, who has been in charge of African football for more than 25 years, appears likely to win a final term unopposed. “If I’m elected, this will be my last term,” Hayatou said in comments from a meeting on Friday and posted on the African Cup of Nations website on Sunday. Ivory Coast’s Jacques Anouma, a member of FIFA’s executive committee but not CAF’s, wants to stand against Hayatou and is challenging the


Hayatou seeks last term if re-elected rule changes at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. A decision is expected in the next few weeks. Liberia’s football federation already failed with an appeal to the court to prevent the rule changes, which blocked Hayatou’s expected rivals from challenging him. Hayatou, who is also a FIFA vice president and once challenged Sepp Blatter for the leadership of world football, made just one unrestricted appearance for the media at the African Cup of Nations in South Africa -when he declined to comment on criticism of the rule changes at a news conference. Since then, Hayatou has not appeared at any of CAF’s official briefings at the continent’s showpiece tournament. He gave an interview to selected reporters in a small meeting in Johannesburg on Friday, when

he apparently made his commitment that he would not stand again after this year’s elections.

That meeting was “closed” to The Associated Press, CAF said in email correspondence last week and ahead of the meeting.

Malians satisfied with team’s performance, says coach


ali’s head coach Patrice Carteron has said the citizens of the troubled West African nation are satisfied with the performance of its senior national team, The Eagles, at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nation in South Africa. Mali finished third after beating one of the pretournament favourites Ghana 31 in the third place match on Saturday. Mali also finished third at the last edition of the tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea last year.

“I’m proud of the achievement of my players. They worked hard to get the bronze medal. I think the people back home will be very happy with the team’s performance,’’ the Frenchman said after the match. Malian players had expressed their willingness to perform well at the tournament to make their compatriots back home happy. That was in view of the situation in the country where armed Islamist groups have been battling the country’s forces assisted by an international intervention force.

Eagles celebrating Sunday Mba’s goal

Patience was the secret, says Keshi Stories by Patrick Andew


he rebuilding process of the Super Eagles was painful and slow, according to coach Stephen Keshi, who said patience was the essential ingredient that saw the team through. Keshi was reacting to yesterday’s victory over the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the final of the 29th AFCON where Nigeria won for the third time. The Eagles failed to qualify for

the 2012 edition leading to the sack of Samson Siasia with Keshi handed the mantle to rebuild the team. He did using largely local league players. He was severally criticised but he stock to the guns and yesterday had his resilience and perseverance crowned with victory of the Nations Cup trophy. “We have lot talents in the local league. What is lacking is the patience to identify and groom them, which we tried to

do in the last 10 months. Well, we are still a work in progress and will continue in the

rebuilding process,” he said while speaking to the media at the post-match conference.

Enyeama, Emenike win honours, make CAF 11


uper Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper was named AFCON 2013 goalkeeper of the tournament while Emmanuel Emenike was the golden boot winner with four goals. Chelsea’s wing forward, Victor Moses was the most valuable player of the tournament. The Eagles players are equally listed in CAF 11.

Toro, Kurfi laud Keshi, urges focus on 2014 qualifiers


ormer NFF scribe, Ahmed Sani Toro and business man Aminu Kurfi, have praised Head Coach Stephen Keshi for his doggedness in the rebuilding the Super Eagles back to reckoning. Sani Toro particularly lauded Keshi for ignoring initial lack of trust in his rebuilding efforts even as he urged him to celebrate little and quickly to return to field to prepare for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. “Keshi should concentrate on 2014 World Cup qualifiers. He should not be satisfied with the Nations Cup victory. The World Cup is the greater party and that should be his focus. “Also, whatever had happened between him and the NFF, he must not be in a hurry to resign, instead he should concentrate efforts in building a team that will be up his profile,” Toro said. Similarly, Kurfi expressed delight that Keshi has restored pride and confidence to Nigeria football after a painful depression. “We are happy and Keshi has done well to in spite of all odds rebuilt the Eagles to win the most coveted African crown. “Keshi has done what other local coaches never did: give confidence to domestic league players. The likes of Godfrey Oboabana, Sumnday Mba, Uzoenyi Ejike and others featured in the tournament. This means with encouragement, the local players will form the nucleus on the new Super Eagles,’’ he said even as he urged multinational corporations to identity with the Eagles for good. Both urged the NFF to support Keshi’s rebuilding process rather than insisting on winning tournament. They also want the government to build on the victory by doing everything necessary to stabilized the Eagles.


Say what?


Some Interesting Facts •Dr. Seuss pronounced "Seuss" such that it rhymed with "rejoice." •"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt." •Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors. •During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that's the weight of about 6 elephants. •Einstein couldn't speak fluently when he was nine. His parents thought he might be retarded. •Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason. •Eskimo ice cream is neither icy, or creamy. •Even if you cut off a cockroach's head, it can live for several weeks. •Every person has a unique tongue print. •Every time Beethoven sat down to write music, he poured ice water over his head. •Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie. •Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic." •February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon. •Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails. •Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, in 1918, by Charles Jung. •Gilligan of Gilligan's Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired pilot show. His first name was Willy. The skipper's real name on Gilligan's Island is Jonas Grumby. It was mentioned once in the first episode on their radio's newscast about the wreck. •Giraffes have no vocal cords.


Friday’s solution


Amazing test of dental strength: A man lifts a plough with his mouth at the Rural Olympics in India


. . . putting the people first



Manchester United win opens up 12-point lead


anchester United extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points with a routine victory over Everton 20 at OId Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson's side took full advantage of champions Manchester City slipping up at Southampton on Saturday evening to open up a commanding gap as they go in search of their 20th title. Everton never looked likely to repeat last season's feat of clawing back a two-goal deficit to draw 4-4 at Old Trafford. That was a comeback that fatally damaged United's title chances but this time they never seriously threatened such a shock. Manager David Moyes suffered a setback just before kick-off when experienced defender Sylvain Distin pulled out with a virus after feeling unwell in the warm-up, forcing the Scot to draft in John Heitinga after he struggled so badly in the 3-3 draw against Aston Villa. United should have taken an early lead when the pair combined to open up Everton's readjusted rearguard. Wayne Rooney played in Van Persie, who rounded Everton keeper Tim Howard but proved his fallibility by striking the outside of an upright from the angle. Everton did not survive a second time shortly after when Van Persie escaped the ponderous Heitinga in the area to set up Giggs, who scored from 12 yards via the inside of a post. Everton had played a dangerous game as Van Persie was caught narrowly offside on a number of occasions but there was no flag to rescue the Merseysiders as he raced on to Rafael's pass, evaded Howard once more and scored despite Heitinga's best efforts on the line. Old Trafford was emptying long before referee Mark Halsey's final whistle and this increasingly looks like the weekend when United took an unassailable lead over their title rivals.


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE They (British colonial administrators) established institutions: the police, the judiciary and the civil service, but we have run down these instittutions over the years since independence. — Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, praising the British for what they left for Nigeria on their departure

Trouble dey sleep… Something unpleasant is coming when men are anxious to tell the truth Benjamin Disraeli, 1804 - 81


or the next few months, Nigerians will thoroughly scrutinize the contents of Malam Nasir el-Rufai's book, The Accidental Public Servant. The portions of the book made public have already become subject of intense controversy, but may very well be only the tip of the iceberg. Major players whose lives, records and deeds or misdeeds have been chronicled in the book are lining up to respond to el-Rufai's version of events. There will be many who were generally part of the critical periods or events mentioned by the author, who may simply reserve their comments. The problem with a book is that comparatively few Nigerians will read it. Majority will lap up selected portions, sensationalization and interpretations of others. There will be many opinions on the selected parts of the book, and Malam elRufai may spend a considerable amount of time explaining his opinions or defending them. This is generally what happens when a man like el-Rufai, who has covered much mileage in a relatively shorter lifespan, decides to let it all out. The major players in a complex and controversial series of events and developments all tend to be alive and kicking. And kick they will, particularly if Nasir's version of events will harm their interests. The exact point which the author aims to achieve is difficult to identify. If it is a midlife record of a high achiever, an icon the world cannot wait to hear from, you will expect a narrative that is focused on rudiments of qualities, breakthroughs and achievements. If it is intended as a specific narrative around an event or development, you would expect a focused and intense comment on the issue, and less on the author. Stubborn and strong-willed as he is generally perceived, it is safe to assume that el-Rufai must have measured the value of exploding a bombshell that will overshadow a narrative on an exemplary rise through life, against a restrained or a measured delay. As it is, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the book was intended more as a provocation than a record of the life of a bright and accomplished young man who was thrust into the inner recesses of power, and spent all his time there stepping on toes. It could not have escaped Nasir's attention that he has been in the eye of the storm for more than a decade, and in that period has made an awful amount of enemies, as well as friends who admire his courage and intellect. Former Vice President Atiku

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Malam Nasir el-Rufai Abubakar has already hit back against el-Rufai. It would be most strange if Atiku does not, especially since both of them are now politicians in opposing camps, desperate to acquire power and attention. There are others like Malam Nuhu Ridabu who may be harmed by revelations that he was involved in fishing for evidence against Yar'Adua, at a time he prefers to be seem in a light that enhances his records of personal integrity. Atiku has his eyes firmly on 2015. Malam Nuhu Ribadu is a chieftain in ACN, and will like to be seen as the face of the future in Nigeria politics. The queue of people who may feel maligned by el-Rufai's book is long. President Obasanjo has not had his say yet. President Yar'adua's people may feel the urge to respond to comments made about him when he is not available to respond. President Jonathan's people, who have already made a vocation of trading punches with el-Rufai are likely to have a hefty go, but may wait until the ground is softened by other critics. There are key players, Ministers and shadowy but powerful people who once walked the power corridors with el-Rufai in Jonathan's camp. If, as he claims, many of them envied or resented massive powers which Obasanjo gave him then, you can be sure they will provide some ammunition in a fight back against a former colleague and friend who now takes on their principal as a daily routine. Then you have families of people like Justice Bashir Sambo, and thousands of families whose shacks and huts were bulldozed by elRufai's F.C.T restoration schemes who will use the book as another

opportunity to hit back at him. There are also hundreds of thousands of hostile twitters, facebookers and other young people who feed daily on a staple of el-Rufai bashing, as much because it carefully choreographed, as for the fact that he has a pronounced, partisan and an in-your-face presence in the political terrain. And it will get very dirty. elRufai is already being primed by some sections of the Christian community as disrespectful of their faith, following a re-tweet he posted, over which he profusely apologized. Those elements will now pounce, as did Atiku, on elRufai every time he breathes. His adversaries in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) now in a proposed merger will use soured relations between el-Rufai and Atiku and Obasanjo to freshen-up their warnings to General Buhari that el-Rufai is a serial betrayer who should be kept well beyond arm's length. It is fair to ask therefore, what persuaded el-Rufai to publish a book that will most likely earn him a lot more enemies than friends. A politician that he is should ordinarily court sympathy, admiration and support, and avoid dissipating goodwill and good image. An autobiography will pass harmlessly by if it does not ruffle major feathers in the lives of those who share the same space with the author. el-Rufai himself says he wrote the book to throw light on governance, and set a standard on openness. He admits it is frank precisely because that is the only way Nigerians will see and appreciate the complex interrelationship between politics and governance. The book, clearly, is intended to chronicle failures and achievements of people and institutions at a period when Nigerians desperately needed a democratic process which will be a marked improvement on the past. Unfortunately, much of the positives in achievements will be known only by those who read the book. Many of these are part of an elite from whom el-Rufai draws the bulk of his enemies. If el-Rufai had written a book on the challenges of managing a and a political economy characterized by dominance of

powerful leaders with massive egos and dangerous ambitions, deep and spreading corruption and the effects of failures of core values to limit damage, it would have been a valuable contribution to an understanding of contemporary challenges of leadership and governance. If he had written an autobiography of a life of a bright and ambitious Nigerian who had chalked up a lot more in his youth than accomplished Nigerians, the book would have served as a reference material in mentoring and developing values of hard work and commitment among the young. As it is, el-Rufai chose to write a book that will raise a storm, make him a little more money, and earn him a lot of enemies. It is possible that he will gain a few more admirers as well, but they will have to fight many layers of hostile interests to get to him now. Just reflect on this. Five of the most powerful people whose image, integrity, interests, ambitions or fortunes will be affected by this book are all around. Obasanjo, Jonathan, Atiku and Buhari and Ribadu will all have something to say. Buhari is mentioned, because he had been on record as showing an uncharacteristic level of trust and affection towards el-Rufai. He now has to revalidate his faith and trust in his younger protégé, or create some distance between them. The greatest value of el-Rufai's book is that it reminds Nigerians that our nation has not moved far from its most basic problems. Obasanjo, whose exit, according to el-Rufai was anything but an example of how leaders should leave power in democracies, is still a dominant influence in Nigerian politics. Yar'adua's controversial, if brief emergence and stay in power, and its spin-off in the Jonathan presidency is still haunting the nation. Atiku's ambition to become President is stronger now than it has ever been. Buhari lost three elections, but no one can say if he will not give it a shot again in 2015. Nuhu Ribadu may be tempted to ask for another mandate from Nigerians. A former Minister who walked the corridors of power with el-Rufai is demanding that Jonathan explains what happened to trillions in foreign reserves. It will be useful if the positive elements in el-Rufai's book can be grasped, because the book could end up looking more like an accidental discharge than the memoires of a former technocrat who found himself in powerful positions by accident. Above all, it will be useful if others will publish their version of events. This way, the search for what is wrong with the systems we run will be easier to accomplish.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 11, February, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 11, February, 2013 Edition