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Vol. 11 No. 40

Friday, July 12, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Ramadan Timings Jubilation as for Abuja GSM ‘returns’ MAGRIB


6.57 p.m.

4.57 a.m.

to Adamawa >> 3

Ramadan 3, 1434 AH


Chinese ϐirm eyes Ajaokuta Steel >> 19

13 killed in Lagos, Kaduna building collapse From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos, Mohammed Ibrahim, Femi Oyelola, Kaduna & Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


wo infants were confirmed to be among 13 people killed yesterday when two buildings-one in Lagos and the other Kaduna-collapsed. While a six-month old baby was listed among the dead in the building collapse in Lagos, a four-day old infant also lost his life in the Kaduna incident. The body of the six-month old baby was one of those that were recovered from the debris of a 3-storey building which collapsed on 29B Oloto Street in Ebutte Meta area of Lagos, Lagos state yesterday. Although some sources at the scene of the incident in Lagos told one of our correspondents that only seven dead bodies were recovered, a BBC Hausa service correspondent in the city reported other eyewitnesses as saying those who died in the Contd. on Page 2

Yobe killings: Govt relocates school

Auto crash claims 18 in Edo

A victim being rescued from a collapsed three-storey building on Oloto Street, Off Herbert Macaulay Way, Ebute-Meta in Lagos. The building collapsed at about 2.30 a.m. yesterday.

By Joy Baba


he Yobe state government yesterday announced plans to relocate students of Government Secondary School Mamudo, which was attacked by unknown gunmen last Sunday, to a new boarding school built by the Gaidam administration. No fewer than 22 students and a teacher were officially confirmed killed when the gunmen invaded the school at about 3.00am on Sunday. The Yobe commissioner for education, Alhaji Mohammed Laminate said Governor Ibrahim Gaidam will soon set up a committee to look at the secondary education sector and propose ways to better protect staff and Contd. on Page 2

Sympathisers at the site of the collapsed three-storey building on Hadeija Road in Kaduna, yesterday.

Photos: NAN

JTF battles insurgents in Sokoto, kill one, arrest one

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News CONTENTS News Editorial

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Stockwatch S/Report Islam Int’l

23 24-25 26 27-30

Strange World 31

How climate change highlights environmental issues in Nigeria, Page 4

















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Reps urge FG to compensate victims of Boko Haram By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives yesterday called on the Federal Government to compile the names of all the victims affected by the Boko Haram violence in order to compensate their families and alleviate their sorrows. The House also urged government to beef up security in the states, especially public places. The House also called on the National Refugees Commission to make its presence visible in the affected states by taking pro-active

measures to ensure that the rights of the refugees in the affected states are protected, preserved and catered for. Two members of the House, Abubakar Mahmud Wambai and Muraino Ajibola moved two separate motions on the plight of the refugees in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, and on the gruesome killing of 10 Ibadan traders in Borno state. According to Wambai, “unless this ugly trend is nipped in the bud, the refugees’ situation in these states and country may degenerate to alarming proportions.”

Appeal Court rules on Al-Mustapha’s death sentence today


he Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos will today deliver judgment on the appeal filed by Maj. Hamza al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha; and his co-accused, Lateef Shofolahan, against the judgment of a lower court. Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan had appealed against the judgment of the Lagos High Court which sentenced them to death for the June 4, 1996 murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.

13 killed in Lagos, Kaduna building collapse Contd. from Front Page incident as at yesterday were 11. Also, another eyewitness told one of our correspondents that the death toll could be higher. At the Lagos incident, seven persons were lucky to be rescued alive from the rubbles of the building which collapsed early hours of yesterday, with many occupants of the house believed to be trapped up to press time last night. It was estimated that about 100 people lived in the building, but it could not be ascertained how many were inside as at the time it collapsed. A spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Lagos, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, disclosed that the incident occurred at about 2.35 am, trapping 10 people. He also confirmed that seven people have been rescued so far, while operations were ongoing to get out the remaining victims. While operations by the police, men of the state fire service and volunteers were ongoing to rescue the remaining residents, relatives and friends of victims stormed the site of the collapse building wailing. Eyewitness accounts claimed that occupants of the building heard some sounds around 1am, prompting most of them to evacuate after noticing some cracks on the walls. They returned into the building at about 2am, only for the entire structure to collapse shortly after. One of the survivors, Miss Dalikis Abdulhamid, said she was on the balcony of the second floor when the incident happened. She disclosed that her mother and her four siblings were rescued, but had been rushed to hospital.

According to her, occupants of the building had been noticing cracks on the walls of their rooms, but that they used to patch them up with cement. “We did not know that the building will collapse. By about 2am when the building came down, some of our co-tenants were trapped, while some were dead’’, she said. The head of the local vigilante group, Mr. Musbau Agbodimu, who led a team of his men to assist in the rescue operation said, “this is sad. Just two days into the Ramadan fast and we are having such a terrible thing!” Also yesterday in Kaduna, a three-storey building along Hadeija Road, opposite Nuruddeen Mosque, collapsed and killed one person with several others trapped, including a 4-day old infant. Subsequently, reports have it that the 4-day old infant eventually lost his life, while his mother was among the four people rescued from the collapsed building. The fate of others trapped in the rubbles of the affected building was hanging in the balance, as at the time we went to press. Our correspondent who visited the scene saw various security personnel, including soldiers, police, members of Civil Defence Corps, Road Safety and officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), at the scene. But it was observed that for more than one hour, there was no attempt by these security men and the SEMA officials to rescue the people believed to be buried under the rubbles of the collapsed building due to lack of “working equipment”. Faced with the helplessness of the security officials, some youths in the area decided to climb

the building to see if they could rescue anybody inside the house. Many parents were seen in tears lamenting that their children were inside the collapsed building. The father of the dead infant was speechless as he was surrounded by sympathizers who were trying to console him. “Five of my children are missing as I learnt the house collapsed minutes after they returned from school. I don’t know what I will do if something happens to them,” another father, Mustapha Oremomade lamented. It took the intervention of security men to calm him down as he tried to enter the house by force. One of the shop owners who simply identified himself as Mohammed, said he was lucky to be alive because he was by the building when it collapsed. “We just finished praying around 1:05pm when I went out of my shop to the nearest shop when the building fell down. I thank Allah for saving my life”, he said. Another eyewitness said angrily: “Can you imagine that these socalled security men and the SEMA officials could not do anything to save the people inside the compound? “They were just watching and the governors are there fighting each other in the country when they are supposed to be providing equipment for emergency responses. We are in a mess in this country”, he said. There were unconfirmed reports that some of the victims buried in the rubbles of the collapsed building were using their cell phones to call for help. Kaduna state governor, Muktar Ramalan Yero, arrived the scene

around 3:30pm in company of other government officials in the state. Our correspondent reported that it was about 30 minutes after the governor’s arrival at the scene that a crane was brought there for rescue operation. The governor left the venue without addressing the newsmen as the crowd began to complain over the late arrival of the rescue equipment. Those rescued were rushed to different hospitals near the scene of the incident. Our sources said the threestorey building was built in 1982 by a renowned businessman, Alhaji Shitu Titilayo Adebayo, now late. Meanwhile, a multiple road accident which occurred along the Benin-Lagos bye-pass yesterday claimed 18 passengers with several others sustaining various degrees of injuries. Vehicles involved in the accident included a truck carrying drinks, a tipper (truck) and a fully loaded 18-seater bus. Eyewitness accounts said the truck veered off the road and had a head-on collision with the tipper before the bus hit the tipper from behind. According to reports, three persons in the tipper lost their lives alongside 15 others in the bus. Three others were reported to be seriously injured. Public Relations Officer of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Benin, John Aniedi, who confirmed the accident said six persons were confirmed dead at the point of rescue, even as he said he had yet to receive full details of the accident as at the time of filing this report.

Yobe killings: Govt relocates school Contd. from Front Page students, and also improve teaching and learning. A statement issued yesterday by spokesman to the Yobe governor, Abdullahi Bego said, Alamin disclosed that the state government is equpping 17 new boarding schools recently completed, and that the committee will look at how to merge smaller secondary schools and move them to some of the newly built boarding schools. “GSS Mamudo is one of many (schools) built by previous

administrations but not equipped to standard. We are now devoting large amounts of resources to fence some of these schools and provide them with needed facilities. We have renovated 16 now and work will continue. But we feel it is better to merge some of them and move them to the new boarding schools we have built”, he said. Alamin added that the Yobe government has already started liaising with security agents and community leaders around the state to find a way to ensure adequate

security for the schools. “This is why His Excellency, Governor Gaidam ordered for the closure of the school until the new academic session in September. We will work within this period so that when school resumes, we will have a conducive, secure environment for all our students and their teachers”, he said. The recent attack on the public school in Yobe state has attracted widespread public outrage, with reputable global bodies like the United Nations Education,

Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Amnesty International challenging both the federal and state governments in Nigeria to do everything possible to protect the lives of students and their teachers. Similarly, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), while condemning the incident, urged the federal government to reverse its ban on mobile telephony services to enable people caught in distraught situations like the Mamudo mayhem to seek for help.



JTF battles insurgents in Sokoto, kill one, arrest one From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


he Joint Task Force in Sokoto yesterday raided a hideout of suspected terrorists in GidanDare quarters at Kalambaina Road, a suburb of the Sokoto metropolis. Addressing newsmen on the development, the Commandant of 1 Brigade Sokoto, Brig-Gen. Muhammad Tasiu Ibrahim, said as a result of a tip-off, the Joint Task Force (JTF) undertook a joint operation which lasted for eight hours. Ibrahim said during the operation, one suspect was killed

while another was captured along with five women, two of them pregnant and five children. He said among the items recovered were six AK 47 rifles, 13 magazines of ammunition, seven Improvised Explosive Devices, 329 volt batteries, four handsets, 56 SIM cards and three memory cards. He listed other items to include 10 cartons of milk, 56 detector cables, three handset chargers, 701, 7.62mm ammunition, 12 local bombs, two pistols of 9mm, five packets of electrical cables, one wrist watch, a vehicle plate number (BL 795 ABJ) and N76,685.

Ibrahim stated that from the items recovered, the suspected terrorists did not mean well for Nigeria and therefore commended the people of Sokoto for the continuous support accorded the security agents. In a related development, the Sokoto police has cautioned the people to remain vigilant as the security operatives are working throughout the nooks and crannies of the state to fish out bad eggs. The Command’s spokesman, ASP El Mustapha Sani, said yesterday that there was 24-hour surveillance of the state.

Jubilation as GSM services ‘return’ to Adamawa By Joy Baba, Abuja & Umar Dankano, Yola


he Defence headquarters has authorised the restoration of GSM services in Adamawa

state. This is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Brig-Gen Chris Olukolade, in Abuja yesterday. Olukolade said the release was sequel to positive indications in the on-going security evaluation of the situation in the states affected by the state of emergency. According to the statement, “this development is in line with the planned phased restoration of the

facility in response to the reality of the situation in the States. “Accordingly, the services will be subsequently restored in the other states as soon as the evaluation indicates sufficient clearance for the release. He further said this measure was also in consideration of various appeals and need to reassure the public that the measure is purely for security reasons, as well as the need to ease the situation in line with the Ramadan season. Following the restoration of the network services yesterday at about 1.30 pm, residents of Yola expressed their joy as the celebrated the development.

A resident, Idris Dimlakem, said the restoration of the networks in the state was a welcome development considering the “survival of our people out of this legion of doom.” Dimlakem added that, despite the fact that the state is under state of emergency the mobile network services have defaulted their various subscribers because they are in to contractual agreement which by legal background they suppose to be given due explanation before the network seizure in whatever situation thereof. As of the time of filing in this report yesterday, Peoples Daily observed that residents were seen everywhere making calls apparently to make up for the days missed.

Boko Haram: Borno seeks special intervention fund From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


o r n o state government yesterday urged the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to appropriate special intervention funds for the state in order to fully address the series of socio-economic decay it was plunged into following the Boko Haram insurgency. Governor Kashim Shettima made the call while hosting top officials of the commission who paid him a courtesy call at the Government House. Shettima noted that the state

was in a dire need of Federal Government’s intervention regarding financial allocation as various infrastructures were either partly or completely destroyed as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency. The Governor expressed worry that presently government has diverted huge funds of its funds in renovating and re-building of the destroyed structures. According tohim, “we are in a serious dilemma on how to embark on new projects and complete the ongoing ones as large share of our funds from the Federation Account is being spent on resuscitating

the various public structures comprising of schools, health centres, government agencies and other properties destroyed by the insurgents”, he further decried.” He noted that the state would soon come out with memorandum on new effective revenue sharing formula and solicited the support of the Commission in its bid of getting more funds. In his remarks, the Federal Commissioner representing Borno who led other management of the Commission, Shettima Abba Gana, said they were in the state to sensitise relevant stakeholders on the proposed revenue formula.

Alleged N20bn pension fraud case: Three SANs protest delay By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


hree Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) yesterday staged a walk-out to protest an usual delay of trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf, hearing the trial of the alleged N20 billion pension fraud case, two hours after the official 9: 00am sitting time of the court.

Even though a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Rickey Tarfa (SAN), had all taken their seats, there was no sign of the trial judge; neither was there any form of communication on the delay, whatsoever. Worried by the unusual

delay, Awomolo, Tarfa and Ologunorisha stormed out of the courtroom and the junior counsels that appeared with them, followed in their trail. Blaming the situation on “pressure” of work on judges Agabi said, “the nation is not efficient and we must stop being corrupt, because if we stop being corrupt, the system will work.”

News Ramadan Timing Day 3 TOWNS Aba Abakaliki Abeokuta Abuja Akure Argungu Ankpa Auchi Azare Bama Bauchi Benin Bichi Bida BirninGwari BirninKebbi Biu Calabar Damaturu Daura Dutse Enugu Funtua Gombe Gwoza Gumi Gusau Gwadabawa Hadejia ` Ibadan Ife Ilorin Jalingo Jere Jos Kabba Kafanchan Keffi/Nasarawa Kaduna Kano Katsina Kontagora Lafia Lagos Lokoja Maiduguri Makurdi Malumfashi Minna Port Harcourt Ringim Shagamu Sokoto Warri Yola Zaria Cotonnou-Benin Ndjamena-Chad Niamey-Niger Younde-Cameroun

MAGRIB 6.52 6.50 7.09 6.56 7.01 7.10 6.49 6.57 6.48 6.33 6.47 6.58 6.56 7.01 6.59 7.13 6.36 6.46 6.41 6.57 6.52 6.51 6.00 6.41 6.34 7.08 7.01 7.10 6.50 7.06 7.05 7.06 6.39 6.55 5.50 6.59 6.53 6.56 6.57 6.55 7.01 7.04 6.49 7.07 6.56 6.34 6.49 7.01 7.00 6.51 6.52 7.07 7.10 6.57 6.35 6.56 7.10 7.25 7.23 6.31

ALFIJR 5.02 5.04 5.21 5.02 5.13 5.01 5.03 5.09 4.44 4.31 4.50 5.14 4.51 5.07 5.02 5.07 4.32 5.05 4.37 4.48 4.49 5.05 4.57 4.44 4.33 5.04 4.57 5.01 4.43 5.18 5.15 5.16 4.45 4.58 4.53 5.09 4.57 4.52 4.58 4.51 4.52 5.07 4.57 5.21 5.21 4.32 4.59 4.51 5.04 5.10 4.49 5.19 5.01 5.14 4.41 4.56 5.26 4.25 5.14 4.54

Source: Society for Propagation of Islam Kaduna)


The Page 4 Report

How climate change highlights environmental issues in Nigeria By Mohammed Kandi and Evelyn Okakwu


or Nigeria to be listed among countries with acute environmental problems around the world is to say the least, considering the devastating impacts of various degrees of ecological disquiet most part of the country has experienced in recent times. Although environmental issues are everywhere and are seemingly not insurmountable, the zeal and commitments infused by stakeholders—governments, organisations, communities and individuals in the efforts to contain any threat to their immediate environment are highly momentous. Unlike Nigeria, some industrialized societies are conscious of the fact that most environmentally induced disasters are linked to the society’s industrial activities and therefore prepare ahead of tragedies using sophisticated devices that could forecast, provide information and ways of mitigating emergencies in the country. Nigeria, possibly most blessed nation with abundant human and natural resources that are capable of overturning the economic fortune and better the lots of its citizens on the continent is not free from some ‘highly-notorious’ ecosystems carrying dangerous and killer substances when poorly managed. The peculiarity with the Nigerian situation is the inability for actors in the environment sector to properly manage the country’s ecological issues which includes natural and synthetic. As mentioned earlier, there are numerous environmental problems such as deforestation, illegal logging, bush burning, over grazing, desertification, industrial pollutions, oil pollution- including oil spills, toxic wastes and gas flaring. Other related especially to mining issues includes solid waste management-medical wastes; electronic wastes and plastics. There acute erosive actions due to gully, coastal erosions. Nigerian ecological problems are inexhaustible just as the recent tales of untold hardship from the incidents of 2012 floods. Floods and droughts alike have become great challenges most Nigerian communities have had to contend with in the recent times most of our cities lack drainage plans and the rural communities are at the mercy of the elements. There are environmental issues associated with poor government policies on say water pollution, sanitation, land grabs and false climate solutions – agrofuels, REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). We can add noise pollution to this list. While successive governments have contributed towards addressing some of these environmental problems, a few ‘bottlenecks’ still exist and has constituted severe environmental challenges to the country. For example, several policies were introduced in 1992 by then Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development under programmes of water supply, sustainable food production and

Landslide on Oron axis of East-West road in Akwa Ibom state on Wednesday. rural development. These Policies were aimed at curtailing the problems affecting environment in Nigeria. One of such was the formulation of the Irrigation Policy for Nigeria in March 1992, which was aimed at achieving the Nationwide River Basins Irrigation Planning Study in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in irrigation development in the country. Also, there was the Great Green Wall initiative which was launched in 2006 in Abuja, and adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2007, while its National strategic plan was implemented in2012. The programme was more or less an integrated rural development approach to check erosion and desertification, restore eco-balance, create employment opportunities and improve the socio-economic status of the rural communities. It covers a contiguous distance of 1500 kilometers by 15 kilometers width in eleven desert frontline states. However, proper implementation of these programmes would have provoked positive action on the prices of food in the present day Nigeria based on governments past efforts. Also, it would not have been out of place to suppose that these past policies will ensure the protection of

our soil from damage brought about by flood and erosion. Most unfortunate is the fact that after 21 years of reeling out seemingly vigorous policies the situation has not really changed even with slight colouration by successive governments. These bizarre of environmental depletion especially due to the climate change phenomenon have ushered in an era of low rate food production thereby forcing out of their farmlands the youth population that could have prompted Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in food production and national food security. What this means is that despite reports of government efforts in attempt to conquer these problems, facts on ground prove that there is more to be done than would have been anticipated. Yet, the unprecedented increase in population and rapid rate of urbanization has brought about fussy settlement problems of housing, overcrowding, traffic congestion, environmental degradation, inadequate infrastructure and services, among others. Even the federal capital territory is not left out as the high rate of immigration to the territory coupled with the Government’s relentless effort towards making the area befitting

More so, a prominent environmental disaster that left more questions unanswered in Nigeria’s recent history was the outbreak of lead poisoning in Zamfara state. This occurred as a result of unsafe practices in the artisanal ore processing for gold in the area.

of its status has unfortunately created, despite its many “Pluses” a huge “Minus” in that the prevailing problem of transportation within the FCT is in simple terms: “Nothing to write home about”. Moreover, many citizens will not forget in a hurry how widespread floods experienced in many states and local government of the federation brought serial agonies upon families. Reports indicated that the floods affected over seven million people, displaced 2.3 million people, killed over 363 people and destroyed or damaged about 597,476 houses. Total value of losses as a result of the floods has been put at N2.6 trillions which brings to mind the question as to whether or not these past policies really yielded any result. More so, a prominent environmental disaster that left more questions unanswered in Nigeria’s recent history was the outbreak of lead poisoning in Zamfara state. This occurred as a result of unsafe practices in the artisanal ore processing for gold in the area. These and many more environmental problems are still yearning for government’s attention despite reported efforts being made to address the issues in the past. Hitherto, issues regarding the effect of oil spillage on land and water can never be over-emphasized just as land degradation had remained the greatest problems in Nigeria. Till date, we still witness high levels of water and air pollution while efforts to reduce the rate of natural resources depletion and desertification are yet to yield significant result, especially, within the Niger- Delta region where the impact are mostly felt. It is a known fact that the delta covers 20,000 km² within wetlands of 70,000 km² formed primarily by

PHOTO: NAN sediment deposition. As home to over 20 million Nigerians with about 40 different ethnic groups, this floodplain makes up 7.5% of Nigeria’s total land mass. It is the largest wetland and maintains the third-largest drainage basin in Africa. The Delta’s environment can be broken down into four ecological zones: coastal barrier islands, mangrove swamp forests, freshwater swamps, and lowland rainforests. This incredibly well-endowed ecosystem contains one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, in addition to supporting abundant flora and fauna, arable terrain that can sustain a wide variety of crops, lumber or agricultural trees, and more species of freshwater fish than any ecosystem in West Africa. The region could experience a loss of 40% of its inhabitable terrain in the next thirty years as a result of extensive dam construction in the region. The carelessness of the oil industry has also precipitated this situation, which can perhaps be best encapsulated by a 1983 report issued by the NNPC, long before popular unrest surfaced: Although recent reports from the Environment ministry indicated a slight improvement in the sense that there have been an enactment of several regulations on oil spill and oily waste management, cleanup; the remediation and damaged assessment, compensation guidelines and standards for Nigeria. These laws aimed at tracking down notable problems of environmental pollution in the affected areas should be properly considered and duely implemented in order to avert a huge menace of economic downturn that these problems are likely to cause Nigeria.




Rivers Assembly crisis: IGP sets up probe panel By Lambert Tyem, Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Abuja & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ollowing the crisis that rocking the Rivers state House of Assembly recently, the Inspector-General of Police MD Abubakar, yesterday set up an investigation headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Operations Philemon Leha, to unravel the circumstances surrounding the impasse. Abubakar described the

incident in Rivers state as most unfortunate. According to him, “the Police High Command uses this medium and opportunity to remind the citizens of the state, irrespective of their ideological leaning, of the need to play by the rules. “While the Force continues to do everything within its constitutional powers and means, to provide a safe, impartial and conducive atmosphere for legitimate social, political and economic activities to thrive in the State, it will not tolerate any form

of lawlessness or acts amounting to threats to public safety and public order.” “Jonathan wants to declare state of emergency” But the Progressives Governors’ Forum yesterday traced the the political crisis in Rivers state to an alleged plot by President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in that state. The governors in a statement signed by the Ekiti state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the crisis is an “ill-disguised attempt

R-L: Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam, receiving keys of three ambulances from Zenith Bank Regional Manager, Adamu A. Lawan, during the official handing over of ambulances donated by the bank to the Yobe government, yesterday in Damaturu.

Man bags 30 years in prison for N17.5m theft From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


ustice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday sentenced a 37-year-old stock broker, Ayoola Coker to 30 years imprisonment for stealing the sum of. N17.5 million belonging to his clients. The trial judge sentenced Coker after he pleaded guilty to the charges during his rearraignment of the 15-count

charge of stealing, issuance of dud cheque, forgery and uttering preferred against him. Onigbanjo sentenced him to two years imprisonment on each of the counts bit directed that the sentences are to run concurrently starting from December 1,2011. The judge before pronouncing the sentence said that Coker made efforts to restitute the victims, Mr. Saheed Gbadamosi, and his son, Taiwo.

He said Coker had transferred the title deed of his landed property at Idimu, Lagos worth N8 million and a car valued N1 million to the victims. “He was arraigned earlier on June 6,2011 and pleaded not guilty. “The voluntary changing of his plea to a guilty plea has demonstrated sufficient remorse as to warrant the leniency of the charge,” Onigbanjo said.

to create a state of emergency in Rivers state by plunging it into a needless and avoidable crisis.” The statement noted further that the crisis “represent acts sponsored by anarchists whose interest include subverting our democracy and exposing the lives of democratically elected representatives to great danger. “It is very clear to all discerning Nigerians that the crisis in Rivers state is a product of intolerance and highhanded attempts to undermine our rights as governors acting under the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to freely choose our leaders. “We strongly call on President Goodluck Jonathan to not only exercise his moral authority, but also apply his constitutional responsibilities to ensure the restoration of peace and protection of the Governor and all citizens.” It’s lack of leadership qualities On its part, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) also yesterday accused Jonathan of lacking in leadership qualities and equally poited accusing fingers on him for the Rivers state crisis. The CPC in a press statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, described the incident as bearing all the trappings of “trappings of executive recklessness and impunity embedded in the nation’s Presidency.” The statement called for the prosecution of the five lawmakers involved in the fracas, for contravening the Constitution by faking the mace. “The President, through subterranean means, had unduly increased the entropy level of the political firmament in Rivers state for self-conceit and this, we believe, is unbecoming of a statesman.” Jonathan, a civilian dictator And, for Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), the Rivers state issue should be blamed on the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, with the backing of her husband. Speaking at a joint press conference, Soyinka and Falana urged Jonathan to call his wife to order.

Jointly addressed by the duo in Lagos, Soyinka call on President Jonathan to call his wife to order. According to Soyinka, “you cannot be a First Lady without being a lady. “She cannot be getting away with murder in the country without her having the backing of her husband who is the President. “We have gotten to a stage where an unelected or a mere domestic appendage can seize control of a place for 11days and because of her presence, the Governor of that state could be told by police officers that you cannot pass through this place. Falana on his part called on the Inspector General of Police to remove and sanction the current Commissioner of Police in Rivers state, in the line with the new codes of ethics drafted by the IG in February 2013. Show respect for Constitution, Jonathan urges Also reacting to the developments in Rivers state, Jonathan called on all those involved “in the regrettable acts of political violence to show greater respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.” a statement by presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, said that, “President Jonathan urges members of the Rivers state House of Assembly and all other political gladiators in the state to put the interests of the state and the nation above their personal egos and ambitions that seem to have gotten in the way of their expected commitment to uphold the principles of democracy and good governance. “The President calls on all those who were remotely or directly involved in heightening political tension in Rivers State to put an immediate end to their actions which are capable of plunging Rivers state into public disorder and strive to settle their political differences without further recourse to barbaric acts of violence.” “President Jonathan certainly did not instigate the crisis in the Rivers state House of Assembly and as President of the nation, he will never support any actions that negate his avowed commitment to the rule of law.”

Group demands impeachment Army parades 60-year-old suspected ByJonathan’s A’isha Biola Raji the Nigerian democracy from

police inspector for robbery From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he 4-Brigade, Nigerian Army yesterday at its headquarters in Benin City, paraded a suspected Inspector of Police, Nanagha Aduoumeni, for alleged involvement in armed robbery around Orhoror Junction along Bomadi road in Delta state. Speaking to newsmen yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the Brigade, Captain Roselwyn Managbe, said the

self-confessed police officer who claimed to be attached to ‘A’ Department, Nigeria Police Force Bayelsa State from Ayakuruma area of Delta state was caught blocking the road with woods while she said other members who were armed took cover in the “thick bush” along the road. “When they sighted the Nigerian Army Quick Response group driving towards them, Inspector Nanagha tried to withdraw into the bush, but he

was caught while other members of his gang escaped into the creeks”. Admitting his crime, the 60 years old father of two said he joined the police force on May 1, 1982 and “I joined them to rob. “This is my first time, only once I have participated and it is the ASP that introduced me to it. “He informed me that I should come to Bomadi so, when I got there, he told me we want to do road block.”


coalition of civil society organizations, pressure groups, youth and student organizations have decided to organize a protest in which it will point out at hence call on national assembly to commence impeachment process on President Goodluck Jonathan. The rally which is expected to take place on Thursday July 18 will kick off at 10 am from the Berger Junction, Abuja and terminate at the National Assembly Complex. The aim of the rally is to call people especially youths to come together with a goal of saving

imminent collapse. According to a statement cosigned by Comrade Isah Tijjani Mni and Comrade Debo Adeniran, the United Nigeria Group has it on record that, since inception, the current government has been in pursuance of what it termed “unfocused policies,” hence causing havoc on the nation’s growing democracy. “Since he assumed office, President Goodluck Jonathan has been pursuing series of unpopular, ineffective and unfocused policies, there is need to reclaim Nigeria democracy” the statement said.



10 killed, 15 injured in Bauchi auto crash

From Ahmed Kaigam, Bauchi


en persons were confirmed killed while 15 others sustained various degrees of injuries in an auto crash along Darazo /Gombe road, about 75 kilometers from Darazo local government area of Bauchi state. The State Sector Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Sunday Henry Olatunji, confirmed to newsmen in Bauchi that a total of 25 persons were involved in the accident. According to him, “out of the 25 persons involved in the accident, we have 15 males, four females, five female children and a male child”. He said when officers of FRSC received the information about the accident, they rushed to the scene and evacuated all the corpses and injured persons to Dukku General Hospital in Gombe state. He attributed the cause of the accident to dangerous overtaking and lack of patience on the part of the two drivers of the commercial vehicles. Our correspondent gathered that the accident, which occurred around 5am, involved a Peugeot J5 with plate number XF 56G KTN and a commercial Toyota Hiace bus with plate number XK 162 KMC.


FG reaffirms ban of smoking in public By A’isha Biola Raji, Abbas Aminu Bamalli, Abuja, Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Federal Government is insisting on ‘no smoking of tobacco law’ while it issued its first ever report on the use of tobacco especially as it affects the youth. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) was yesterday unveiled in Abuja at an event marking the official release of the result. President Goodluck Jonathan who was represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said effort is being made to control

...4.5m Nigerians are tobacco addicts, says Report tobacco use in Nigeria due to its menace on health. He said, “tobacco use, whether smoked, chewed, sniffed or whichever way it is consumed, constitutes major threat to public health.” The numerous life losses as a result of tobacco use, has necessitated the need for the GATS project. According Jonathan, available data show that, over five million people die yearly from health

conditions associated with tobacco use. The President continued, “we are all aware of the nuisance which tobacco smoke perpetrated by smokers in our public places in contravention of the ‘no smoking in public law. He called on nonsmokers to stand up for their right by calling for a smoke free environment. “We must all realize that as ‘partner smokers’ (second hand smoking), we are equally at risk to

FG, Chinese firms sign N300bn deal for Makurdi-Enugu road, others


Lagos set to review death penalty law, sets up committee From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


he Lagos state government has called for a review of death penalty in the nation’ s constitution. To this end, the state is ready to set up investigative committee on death sentence with a view to determine whether or not death sentence served as appropriate deterrent to criminals. Attorney-General of the state and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, disclosed the position of the state at the monthly ministerial briefing held at Alausa yesterday. Ipaye while addressing the press said the committee would check whether there was an increase or a decrease in cases of armed robbery. According the Commissioner, the outcome of the investigation will assist Nigerians to take a stance on the vexing issue which has stand at limbo for some times now He also debunked reports that under aged persons were being kept in prison across Lagos state on the orders of a state Magistrate Court for 390 days. According to him, investigation into the matter showed that the 162 persons arraigned at the Magistrate court were above 18 years and that both the Magistrate and the Registrar further took the step of requiring the prosecutor and the defendants to confirm their ages individually.

the harmful effect of tobacco use,” he said. Meanwhile, a survey on global adult tobacco use shows that 4.5 million adult Nigerians are tobacco addicts. The survey which was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics in partnership with some international organisations also show that while the eastern part of the country has high cases of smokeless tobacco usage, the north has high cases of tobacco smokers.

Weapons recovered from suspected insurgents by JTF, yesterday in Sokoto.

hinese construction companies are to extend the Keffi-Lafia dual carriage way through Markurdi to Oturkpo down to Ninth Mile in Enugu state, under a N300 billion agreements which the Federal Government initiated with them. Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, and his counterpart from the Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, disclosed this on the sideline of President Goodluck Jonathan’s State visit to Beijing, China, which ends today. They also indicated that government has concluded arrangement through external funding from the Chinese Export and Import Bank for the completion of the East West road project extension, from Oron to Calabar in Cross River state. Onolememen said they were meeting with the Chinese Exim Bank, having completed all documentation and once an agreement is reached, the project will come on stream in Nigeria. He also said the project will help to provide better access to that flank of the country especially between the north central and the south eastern part of the nation. According to him, China Harbour Engineering Limited is also participating in the public private partnership bid for the expansion and modernisation of the access road to Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.

Nigeria must diversify economy to survive – Jonathan


resident Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday in Beijing that the increasing exploitation and utilisation of shale gas and other alternative sources of energy by the United States and other advanced nations of the world has made it more urgent for Nigeria to move faster towards the diversification of its economy. Speaking in an interview with China Television, Jonathan said that the increasing utilisation of alternative sources of energy was a matter of concern for Nigeria and other oil exporting nations. According to him, “that is why we

havetoincreasethepaceofdiversifying our economy and moving our country away from dependence on the oil and gas industry. “We must work towards greater industrialisation, add more value to our agricultural products, develop our solid minerals potentials and other sectors of our economy before the time comeswhencrudeoilmaynolongerbe dominant as a global source of energy.” At a meeting with the Nigerian community in China, Jonathan commended the National Assembly for its on-going process of expanding the coverage of the Local Content Act to sectors other than oil and gas,

saying that the move will further stimulate domestic industrialisation and contribute significantly to the desired diversification of Nigeria’s economy. Responding to concerns raised by a member of the community about Nigerian professionals having to compete with expatriates from China and other countries for employment opportunities in Nigeria, the President said that Nigeria’s immigration laws and expatriate quotas provide adequate protection for Nigerian workers. “If our immigration personnel do their job as they are expected to do it,

then you are all adequately protected,” he said. Jonathan urged Nigerian students and professionals in China to imbibe the positive traits of the Chinese and come home to contribute to national development. “Youareinacountrythatisasuperpower, a country that is technologically developed, a country of hardworking people who work day and night. If you imbibe this culture and pass through their training, you will all be in a position to come home and help us to develop our own country,” the President told students and professionals at the interactive session.


Photos Splash

R-L: Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, and his Benue state counterpart, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, during a peace meeting, yesterday at the Government House, in Lafia.


L-R: Nigerian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Dr. Ishaya Majambu, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Chairman, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Governing Board, Mrs. Grace Clark, and Director, Market Development Department, NEPC, Mr. Sabo Bello, during the inspection of Nigerian’s pavilion at the 37th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair, recently in Tanzania.

President Goodluck Jonathan (2nd right), cutting the tape to inaugurate the new Nigerian Chancery Building, yesterday at the Nigerian embassy, in Beijing, China. With him from left are the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Aminu Wali, governors Theodore Orji of Abia, Peter Obi of Anambra; Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan (right). Photo: NAN

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative (FBIN), Barrister Nkiruka Nnaemego, Associate Country Director, Oxfam, Ms. Tomi Ademokun, and Country Director, Oxfam, Dr. Chichi Okoye, during a workshop organized by FBIN to mark 2013 World Population Day, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Fiscally challenged receiving food, during Ramadan Iftar organised by UFUK Dialogue Foundation, yesterday at the National Mosque, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa




Half of out-ofschool children live in conflictaffected countries, says UNESCO By Lawrence Olaoye


new document by UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report shows that half of the 57 million children out of school live in conflict-affected countries. Released in partnership with Save the Children to mark the 16th birthday on 12 July of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in October 2012, the paper shows that urgent action is needed to bring education to the 28.5 million primary school age children out of school in the world’s conflict zones. Globally, the number of out of school has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. However, the benefits of this slow progress have not reached children in conflict-affected countries. “They now make up 50 per cent of children who are denied an education, up from 42 percent in 2008,” the report said. The paper, ‘Children battling to go to school’, shows that 44 per cent of the 28.5 million children affected live in sub-Saharan Africa, 19 per cent in South and West Asia and 14 per cent in the Arab states. According to the report, the vast majority, 95 per cent, live in low and lower-middle income countries. Girls, who make up 55 per cent of the total, are the worst affected as they are often victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts. The report said, “in addition to the boys and girls out of school, almost a third of the world’s outof-school adolescents (20 million) live in conflict affected countries. Some 54 per cent of these are women.” “Education seldom figures in assessments of the damage inflicted by conflict”, said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. “International attention and the media invariably focus on the most immediate images of humanitarian suffering, not on the hidden costs and lasting legacies of violence. “Yet nowhere are these costs more evident than in education. Across many of the world’s poorest countries, armed conflict continues to destroy not just school infrastructure but also the hopes and ambitions of a whole generation of children.” The EFA Global Monitoring Report’s paper also shows that the share of humanitarian aid for education has declined from two per cent in 2009 to just 1.4 per cent in 2011. Not only does it receive a small share overall but it also receives the smallest proportion of the amount requested from humanitarian aid of any sector.

L-R: Secretary General, West African Students Union (WASU), Comrade Bamikole Oladele, CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Mrs. Sarah Alade, Director of Finance, WASU, Diplomat A. Koumedhsi, Director of Gender, Christabella Jackson, and Head of Parliament, Diplomat Emmanuel Sabio, during the conferment of the Kwame Nkrumah Award on Mrs. Sarah Alade by WASU, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

APC registration: Court strikes out AD application By Ejike Benjamin


ustice Kolawole of the Abuja Federal High Court yesterday threw out the Alliance for Democracy (AD) application seeking to be joined as a defendant against the registration of the AOD a robyn by the INEC.

The judge described the application of AD as frivolous, abuse of court process and a calculated attempt by the applicant to waste the time of the court as they did not show any cause of action. This is coming as the judge later discovered in his file another application filed

by Femi (SAN) for another group bearing the name African Peoples Congress (AOC) claiming to be a nongovernmental organization. The new group is also seeking a stay of proceedings by the court as they have filed their notice of appeal in the Court of Appeal. The group sought to quash

the decision of the Federal High Court in granting the plaintiffs leave to seek judicial review against INEC. But judge descended heavily on the application of Femi Falana saying that it was smuggled into his file without a date on it and served on only the plaintiffs without serving INEC.

Senate sets up 13-man ad hoc committee to oversight SURE-P By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


pparently worried by the waning popularity and lack of confidence by Nigerians on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of government, the Senate has set up a thirteen-man Ad Hoc Committee to oversight the investment of the revenue generated from subsidy removal since 2012. The committee which is headed by the Deputy Majority leader of the Senate, Abdul Ningi, has Ganiyu Solomon as the Vice Chairman, in addition to other ten members. Inaugurating the committee

yesterday, the Senate President, David Mark, charged the committee members to thoroughly oversight the investment of the subsidy funds. He warned them that their success or failure would be very glaring, hence their roles are such that impacts directly on the lives of Nigerians, arguing that the impact of the programme in youth empowerment, infrastructure development, must be measurable. “Government must be able to indicate in clear terms that these projects are executed with SURE-P funds because for Nigerians to support subsidy removal again will depend on what they have seen,” Mark said. While urging them to

commence work immediately, he also enjoined them to ensure that they regularly brief both the senate and Nigerians generally on their achievements. In his address, Chairman of the committee, Abdul Ningi, said if the programmes and projects articulated in the mandate of the SURE-P are fully implemented, they will go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians. He expressed hope that the vocational training aspect of the programme has the potentials to tackle the problem of youth unemployment. However, he called for a change of attitude in implementing the programme, in order that its objectives would

be achieved. “We would like to stress that the committee will put in its best to ensure adequate oversights, probity, transparency, accountability and see to it that the various projects or programmes in the purview of SURE-P are implemented to the optimum benefit of the Nigerian populace,” Ningi said. While calling for cooperation of ministries, departments and agencies of government that have stake on SURE-P funded projects, the chairman vowed to monitor every penny appropriated to SURE-P Board to ensure that funds are not embezzled and to guarantee value for money in projects executed.

Aliyu wins 2013 Global Empowerment Award


overnor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has won the 2013 Global Empowerment Award of the Empowerment plus Institute of Huston Texas in the United States. The award to Aliyu makes him the first state governor in the world to be so honoured, as the recipients in the past had been heads of governments and Presidents of countries. Aliyu was so recognised because of the way his administration has

been able to reduce the rate of unemployment among youths and women since he became governor in 2007. The Senate of the State of Texas has also passed a resolution on the award given to Aliyu, saying that, “has throughout his career served the people of Niger state with dedication, courage and integrity and he is truly deserving of recognition for his outstanding achievements.” “Known for his eloquence and

wit, this distinguished statesman is in much demand around the world as a lecturer,” the Senate resolution signed by President and Secretary of the Senate added. The award was received on behalf of the Governor by a three-man delegation led by the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Dr. Muhammad Bashir Nuhu. Speaking after the delegation presented the award to him at the Government House, Minna on

Wednesday, Aliyu dedicated it to the people of Niger state and all those who have worked for the transformation of the state. According to him, “if one makes a little effort and adds prayers to it and have faith, one would certainly reap the reward.” He noted that the recognition by the Senate of the State of Texas will spur him and other officials of his administration to continue to do more to uplift the living standard of the people.



Money Sense

Make sure you are putting your money to work…don’t just save


hen it comes to savings, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It ultimately depends on your needs. Most people in our society just go to the bank to put their money in form of savings without asking some simple questions that could add additional kobo to their purse more than what the bank should have ordinarily given them. If you are in this category of people who don’t ask simple questions like “What benefit is in this account for me?” then take it that you may have been losing money for either your ignorance or negligence. Simple! If you are saving for a large purchase or something predictable a few months or years down the road, you can probably find better rates with Certificates of Deposit (time deposits) or possibly a money market fund. This belief is that a savings account is the most convenient place to save money, but it might not be putting your money to work. Ask questions like, “What is the interest rate?” This helps you to choose the account you would like your money to be in, depending on where you bank and what type of account you have, but I know that

Money Tip: Ways to save money Buy clothes and presents in the sales So you need a new suit and the one you like comes in at a cool N75,000. Wait! The chances are that you can pick it up in the sale - and there’s always a sale just around the corner - for N37,500. The same applies for birthday and Christmas presents. Buy in bulk in the sales and you not only save money, but you enjoy stressfree pre-Christmases and no last-minute birthday worries. HowsavingN12,500amonthnow can save you N30,000 next year Doyoupayyourinsurancepremiums by monthly instalments? If you do, then consider this: you are probably being charged a premium of between 15% and 20%fortheprivilege.Inotherwords,ifyour home and car insurance bill for the year is N150,000, you’re paying up to N30,000 a year in interest by paying monthly. If you areinapositionthisyeartosaveupfornext year’s premiums in advance, you can save money by paying the whole lot in one go. Bin the ready meals If TV chefs can knock up a meal from a bag of random groceries including an aubergine and a packet of sultanas - so can you. Ready meals may be convenient, but preparing your own food saves money. A visit to your library will reveal scores of books dedicated to cooking proper meals in minutes.

Quote “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” Epictetus: Ancient Greek sage, philosopher

there are other accounts that could put your money to work. According to Jeremy Vohwinkle, a personal finance analyst, “there are many different savings vehicles available, but not all of them are appropriate for

every situation. “Most likely, you have already established a savings account at your local bank or credit union, and you may have this linked up directly to your primary checking account to make transferring

money to savings easy. A savings account is the most convenient place to save money, but it might not be putting your money to work,” Vohwinkle added. “When using a savings account, it is important to look

at the interest rate. Depending on where you bank and what type of account you have, you could be earning anywhere from less than 1 percent up to 4 percent or more. The problem is that many banks only provide high interest rates for significant balances over a certain amount. If you find you are only earning 0.65percent, after accounting for inflation, you are actually losing purchasing power,” Vohwinkle said. The expert further said: “The best thing about savings accounts is that they are completely liquid. This means you can access your money on very short notice. You may be able to go online and transfer money from savings to checking, withdraw from an ATM, or stop into your local branch.” For many people, it comes down to having a mix of multiple savings vehicles. There will be part of an emergency fund in a savings account at the bank, possibly some cash in a money market fund in an investment account, and bonds stashed away for longer-term savings. Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure your money is working as hard as it can.

Emergency financial crisis: How prepared are you?


requently, in our private or business life, we get hit by emergency financial crisis which we did not expect and we do not know what to do or where to seek help from. When this kind of situation arises, the first thing to do is to relax your mind. Though

this might be a difficult task at the moment, it will surely help make you more composed and coordinated in taking decision. Secondly, try to investigate the cause of this emergency crisis; did it arise as a result of a disaster? Either natural or man-made, or was it your cause, simply because of excess

spending that your income can not handle anymore. Whatever it is, just make sure you identify it, and then dealing with the root cause is the next step. In the face of the present economic difficulties, facing an emergency financial crisis is no small thing to deal with. However, the first would be to prioritize expenses. A list has to be drawn of all expense with food and shelter top of such list while other exotic spending such as having that exotic weekly dinner has to be curtailed, all other expenses that will lead into a deeper financial mess should also be cut-off After curtailing spending and you still cannot meet up with the expected cash to deal with the crisis, then you should need the services of a lender. Unfortunately, people seem to wait till the financial difficulty becomes critical before they go seeking assistance of the money lenders. And at that point they become reluctant dealing with you and if they decide, they will increase the lending rate so high knowing full well you cannot do without them at that particular time. So it’s advisable you approach them earlier when the crisis has not really deepened. Ideally, it’s expected that everybody desire to have an emergency reserve where they can always go to withdraw at times like this, however due

to harsh economic situations this wish seem to have eluded most people, hence in the event of still having difficulty meeting up with financial demand, it is advised you try to seek assistance from friends and family members who would be willing to help out. Though most people seem to be uncomfortable with this option it’s not much of a bad idea considering that a little assistance from a loved one might be all you need to scale through that financial stress. Though you might have money available in investments or in retirement accounts, generally speaking withdrawing money from your retirement account is a bad idea as it can put your retirement security in jeopardy. At difficult periods, it is still possible to find relief from many other sources and would not be a bad idea; if your financial crisis was borne out of job loss you may be entitled with some unemployment benefits in some jurisdictions. If you were involved in an accident at work, ask about workers compensation, and in some situations you may even qualify for state benefits. If you are through with the present situation, it is advised you try to curb such situation from surfacing next time by saving up an emergency fund which you can withdraw from if it happens again or preferably, get an insurance policy.




he month of Ramadan is once again with us. For the Muslim Ummah around the world, the importance of the month of Ramadan cannot be over emphasized. It is the third of the five pillars of Islam, next after Faith (Iman) and (the five daily) prayers (As salat). The two others are Zakkat and Hajj. It was in the month of Ramadan that the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an was made to the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH). The month of Ramadan is a period when Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and smoking from dawn to dusk in obeisance to the Qur’anic injunction enjoining them to observe the fast. In chapter two: verse 183, God, the Most High, said, “o ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint”. The month is also a period for deep spiritual reflection, intense prayer and magnanimity to neighbours, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and the indigent in the society who are less fortunate, by way of kindness, charity, generosity and hospitality. This means that Muslims should try as much as possible to extend not

only a helping hand, but one of friendship too, to the adherents of other faiths in the country, because kindness, in whatever measure, goes a long way in healing social wounds, removing mistrust and misunderstanding and cementing relationship among one another. It is significant that the fasting


Ramadan Kareem

Muslims have double reasons to, in the spirit of the season, truly live up the virtues the month seeks to inculcate - spiritual edification, national cohesion and general development period has arrived, not too soon, at a time when Nigeria is in clear need of prayers in view of the economic, political and, especially, security challenges threatening its corporate existence. It has come at a time when the political leadership clearly is out of touch with the rest of the society. It is also a time when the leadership of the two dominant faiths in the land need

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”

to show more restraint and less belligerence in their actions and pronouncements towards one another. Therefore, this time around, Muslims have double reasons to, in the spirit of the season, truly live up the virtues the month seeks to inculcate - spiritual edification, national cohesion and general development. Peoples Daily also wishes to urge traders in essential commodities and, specifically, fruits, to tamper the profit motive with mercy in the spirit of the month so that as many people as possible can access their commodities with ease. It has become a worrying habit of marketers, especially those engaged with trading in essential commodities like grains and other foodstuffs to, unjustifiably, hike up their prices at the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan. Greed, needless to say, is a vice not a virtue, which makes it doubly unfortunate that some Muslim traders would turn their back on all the many eternal rewards that derive from doing goodness in this holy month, on the altar of temporal profit. As Muslims at home and abroad observe the first days of this special month, we say: Ramadan Kareem.











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Opinion Why teachers detest their profession By Abdullah Musa


undreds, if not hundreds of thousands, have had cause to comment on the teaching profession and its practitioners. It is not that people were looking for places to dump surplus accolades, and decided to heap them on the teaching profession. The analyses were mostly negative. If a hospital keeps churning out corpses after admitting patients, few can be charitable to call it an excellent medical facility. Teachers are not a fortunate lot, like conventional office civil servants. Nobody measures tje performance of civil servants, at least for public consumption. Poor teacher! WAEC and NECO have been created to test the products of our secondary schools. The dismal performances over the years confirmed that our teachers are not doing their jobs well. But is it because of the negative commentaries that teachers are made to hate their profession? No! The reason teachers hate their profession is that they make comparisons. Those in offices may make a lot of money, buy houses and cars, while the teacher is in perpetual debt. In a nutshell, untamed and unpunished corruption is the number culprit

that turns teachers into enemies of society. The values system of our society goes along way in making teachers to lose self-esteem. look down upon themselves. If ever there was a period when honesty was accorded reverence then that period was a generation ago. A successful rogue commands more respect in society than an upright teacher. Therefore if a teacher can only cater for his wife and children and no extended family then that teacher is considered a societal failure. In Hausa-Fulani society, having a history of belief in magic and spirits, if there is respect for teacher it is to one versed in the Qur’an only. More reverence if he can kill spiritually! But with corruption, with

stupendous resources at their command to dispense patronage, office civil servants join the rank of traditional rulers. They become yallabai even though it may last only while they are in the office. The teachers may find an alibi in lack of teaching materials, over-crowded classes and the like. But a stronger alibi is found when office civil servants pay themselves salaries and deny the teachers, (since they are outside the system). Another class of teachers (they are called lecturers) is that of those employed by universities and other tertiary institutions. Like their juniors, corruption affects them negatively. On their part they are in competition witj the political class. They see a secondary school leaver or a diploma holder having

remuneration package nearly ten or twenty times the ones they receive. As to the measure of their output they are luckier than their secondary school counterparts. At university level the students are more mature; girls are women, and they csn purchase their degrees with bottom rather than top. Also the university system drops students along the way, such that mass failures are not seen. How do we turn the table? So far it seems impossible to stop corruption, unless we give benefit of doubt to the new cashless system that is unrolling. But I am of the opinion that those teachers who hate their profession are in reality not qualified to be teachers; they were poorly trained. So if we can train better teachers both

How do we turn the table? So far it seems impossible to stop corruption, unless we give benefit of doubt to the new cashless system that is unrolling. But I am of the opinion that those teachers who hate their profession are in reality not qualified to be teachers; they were poorly trained. So if we can train better teachers both academically and ethically then you will have quality output. How on earth would someone envy a thief? Why should we not take pride in our hard-earned income?

academically and ethically then you will have quality output. How on earth would someone envy a thief? Why should we not take pride in our hard-earned income? Should we look up to armed or pen robbers just because they are not caught? Remuneration is definitely important. But you cannot purchase patriotism or self worth with money. Do we not see people of European descent risking their lives in the depth of either oceans or jungles just to pursue their subject of interest? If money is needed by them it is for equipment and logistics. But definitely leadership is indispensable. You can hardly stay sober for long where your succession of leaders is drunkards and sensualists. We naturally imbue the character of our leaders. We cannot have quality leaders until society, or the majority of it, comes to terms with this Western system of development and its education. Were there to have proper political parties rather than election platforms, they would have a great role to play in shaping society. Same could have obtained were the private sector intellectdriven, rather than the current juju- driven trader economy. Abdullah Musa wrote in from 557K Nassarawa, Kano City.

Kano: Tackling insecurity through house numbering By Yusuf Kabir Nadabo


t the peak of an appalling surge in crime the United States, the Bureau of Federal Investigation (FBI) was officially detailed to take a graphic account of streets and residential areas gripped by scourge which had taken a heavy toll on the resources of the federal government. It was the gory findings of the FBI that mafia linked gangsters had taken the advantage of streets without proper identification and names to perpetrate all sorts of abominable crime, knowing that it was hard to know their identity and base under such a mysterious circumstance. The Kennedy administration thought it wise to come up with a workable blue print aimed at keeping the criminals at an arm’s length. With the successful head count and the naming of urban streets across the united states, the dastardly act of terrorists and criminal gangsters was put in checked with succour coming to the way of all those who believe that it was the absence of an all encompassing blue print on streets naming and house numbering that led to the mess. It is common across the globe that urban policy must be made to tally with the objectives of any responsible government that feels that, streets had to be named and houses numbered for one’s identity to be fully established. One of the beauties of democracy is to have a listing government put in place where the safety of one’s life could be guaranteed, devoid

of lending credence to primordial considerations. The issue of security and bursting crimes is an enormous task that lies at the anus of a responsible government, making concerted effort to project a good image for itself. Under the present democratic setting, kano can be said to be endowed with a leader whose penchant for excellence in the productivity is noticeably according a human face to all known sectors of a clear and sustainable development. He came on board to put things in proper shape no matter whose ox is gored. He had also striven to ensure the fact that laws governing the state are not flouted with impunity. The establishment of Kano Roads Traffic Agency (KAROTA) is part of his urban renewal programmes aimed at giving a marvellous look, knowing the inescapable fact that it must be made to answer it’s cosmopolitan status and it’s prime position as a commercial nerve

centre. Obstacles standing in the way of easy flow of traffic were jettisoned courtesy of KAROTA’S presence and traffic offenders no longer take solace in committing their nefarious acts. With KAROTA’s efforts even the rate of accident has been reduced to the barest minimum as hospitals and clinics in the state are no longer inundated with victims. With the most regrettable tragedy that has befallen Kano in the wake of the boko haram onslaught, the issue of security is of paramount importance to the Kwankwaso’s administration, knowing that it is a Herculean task on the shoulders of a responsible leader to ensure that, he is up and doing security wise. Starting with issue of crimes bursting, the state government saw the compelling need to renovate all the major streets light in all the nooks and crannies of the metropolis which had been abandoned by successive regimes with the attendant darkness posing

a security threat. With the security light constantly illuminating, agents of criminal banditry are now finding it a hard nut to crack as far as hiding under the cover of darkness to commit a crime is concerned. Coming to the issue of house numbering and the streets naming, and identity cards projects being initiated by the kwankwaso’s administration, one is compelled to believed that the nagging issue of insecurity would adequately be tackled, as the genuine identity of all residence would be established and the hideout of hardened criminals uncovered. Kwankwaso in his usual characteristics had told all those who cared to listen that his government has a good intension on the new policy he introduced as it was never aimed to offend anyone. His intention came to the open at the formal flagging off of the exercise which was well attended by ministers, traditional rulers, stake holders and

With KAROTA’s efforts even the rate of accident has been reduced to the barest minimum as hospitals and clinics in the state are no longer inundated with victims. With the most regrettable tragedy that has befallen Kano in the wake of the boko haram onslaught, the issue of security is of paramount importance to the Kwankwaso’s administration, knowing that it is a Herculean task on the shoulders of a responsible leader to ensure that, he is up and doing security wise.

the representatives of the ulama taking into cognizance the fact that it behoves the world to know that Kano is on pedestal of a sustainable policy of urban renewal which sought to do away with ramshackle structures. Delivering a speech on the occasion, the governor traced the origin of such an important drive dating back to the days when revered Emir of Kano, AbdullahiBayero, saw wisdom in designing the blue print which was abandoned by successive governments. It was governor Kwankwaso’s contention that it will be foolhardy for his government to allow things to drift again by according people the right to build houses without proper planning. His road map on combating crimes and entrenching a formidable security system in the state is explicit and supported by those who see it as a mark of progress at a time kano is presently in engulfed by serious security challenges. His staunchest critics should begin to realize the fact that every policy he conceived is not without a premise.The house numbering and the street naming is so important in the light of the fact that every house’s number plate according to the governor is sophisticatedly designed and given free of charge. With governor’s commendable initiative the stage is now set for experts in organized crimes to know their fate as the security of every society is sacrosanct. Yusuf Kabir Nadabo, a property expert, wrote in from Kado Estate, Abuja



Online Comments Wives of council chairs not committed to women empowerment We would like to see them as supporters of women empowerment. Each and every woman has to be empowered to be useful to themselves and society at large. Bhanu Didi ****************

2015: North ready to bargain All bargaining should wait till 2019. Adamu Ahmed ****************

Boko Haram accepts ceasefire deal Is Nigeria tending towards a failed state or we have already failed? Life has become short and brutish. How can we explain the massacre of innocent school children in cold blood and the president jetting out of the country “in search of investors”. He has graduated from the usual rhetoric of “we are on top of the situation” to “we shall hunt them down”. May God save this country! Shakede Oinah Please tell us the truth bcos am sure somebody is hiding something if the same BokoHaram people that have killed many Nigerians now signing agreement with government, confirming that you really know these people or who hold the signing pen? Who for? The person he knows? Did we really have a constitution in this country? Murderers are now signing with government Joe ****************

Checkmating oil theft through community participation Rather than have them confine their empty thoughts on Boko Haram which has been killing Nigerians like goats they are here talking about oil; the only way to end it is resource control. Paula

If the Brits holler, let them have it

As always, issues well thought of and brilliantly

bad roads, unemployment everywhere. Why can’t you give chance for younger people to help? Nelson Mandela did

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: SMS: 08134607052 delivered. The ink in your pen shall never run dry. UK’s bond issue should serve as a wake up call and not what should make us feel terribly worried. The message beneath their action is, we should focus attention on how best to develop our own country. Let’s look inward and see how we can develop our dear country. Abdullahi Yunusa ****************

Agric Research: ABU releases 37 varieties of improved maize, other crops What is the biological value of SAMCOTT 11, 12 and 13? Suleiman Musa ****************

You have no respect for elders, Tukur tells Anglican Bishop Nelson Mandela only ruled South Africa once and respectfully resigned, knowing that he had achieved what he wanted. Tukur and Anenih, what else do you want from Nigeria that you cannot go home and rest. It’s time we heard new names in Nigerian politics, not old names. Augustine Uche Sir, the man of God did not disrespect you but he simply was saying that the country is not moving forward; who else can tell you the truth if not the man of God; you have been in government for very long, still people are suffering. Lecturers not paid, old and poor facilities in schools, no steady electricity,

not finish his presidential terms and decided to give way because he knew younger people could do the job better. Now you are talking about respect rather than admit the truth from the man of God or do you all want it the way of Jerry Rawlings in Ghana before all of you can allow this country to move forward? Don’t worry something is coming very soon. John I remember a song from Sunny Okosun, “Which way Nigeria?” It’s better to divide this country called Nigeria so that people that are killing poor people who can not be protected by this country will stop. Yes, those people in Abuja only THINK of their protection alone and are busy embezzling money daily and the poor are suffering to death because of insecurity. I advise this Nigerian government to focus on security: equip the police as in South Africa where each policeman has his gun and bullet proof vests, 2 policemen control one police vehicle. Government should make sure that electricity is steady so that cameras can be monitoring the environment. I am very sure that our politicians do travel and see how other countries tackle insecurity, but they are only busy embezzling the money that is supposed to be used to protect people, believing that Boko Haram will not come to Abuja or near their residences. But I’ll tell you something worse than Boko Haram will soon visit Abuja if government won’t use people’s money to protect them. Huh!! My poor people are dying because of this name Nigeria. God will surely do something with u leaders of Nigeria. Mark my

word as blood of innocent poor and dead is now b4 god and you are busy talking about respect. Joe He only gave candid advice and that is the truth. What are the likes of Anenih and Tukur doing in the corridors of power? They belong elsewhere. I wonder when you will be a leader if these people continue to lead you. Maybe in your death! Alexander Orji *********************

The Ebira girl in me I am very proud of this writer. May God Almighty bless you abundantly. I am a true son of the soil; I reside outside Kogi state and have been married to an Ebira girl for over 6 years. I have never had any cause to regret my marrying her. So don’t mind what people say. Omeiza ****************

7 must-have (free) mobile apps to do your job better Do you mind if I quote several of your articles or blog posts as long as I provide credit and sources? Back to your blog: I’ll also make sure to give you the appropriate anchor-text hyperlink using your website title: 7 must-have (free) mobile apps to do your job better. Be sure to let me know if this is ok with you. Thank you. Kurtis ******************

In defence of Okonjo-Iweala This is a more sensible write up than the ramblings of Sahara Reporters. Yusuff ***********************

Family urges SSS to release Berende

Get those he killed back to life, maybe, maybe they will free him. Black Lord *********************** The economic benefits of using cassava flour for baking bread I am looking for where to get good processed cassava flour for bread making; better still, a mix of cassava and wheat flour. Thanking you in an anticipation. Ann Abah ***********************

Anambra 2014: LP sends 100,000 membership cards as Uba flies flag This is good news for Anambra state. Let’s have a feel of true democracy not the backbiting, mudslinging and press war we have witnessed in the past months. The Anambra state government should, please, put our common wealth to better use rather than share it to some people to prosecute press wars against those pursuing their legitimate aspirations. ChikelueNwizu ***********************

I advise this Nigerian government to focus on security: equip the police as in South Africa where each policeman has his gun and bullet proof vests, 2 policemen control one police vehicle. Government should make sure that electricity is steady so that cameras can be monitoring the environment.



Comment What does two-party system mean? By Anthony Akinola


rofessor Attahiru Jega, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and professor of comparative politics, was spot on when he said recently that a twoparty system only evolves, it cannot be imposed. In a society where everyone is a political scientist, not least because they have read newspapers, the professional intervention by Professor Jega should now put to rest the assumption that a two-party system can be manufactured from some political factory. With books hardly available in our universities, I intend here to restate the theories that have been advanced to explain the two-party system as a phenomenon in democratic politics. Such an academic exercise, I believe, will be helpful to our political science students with interest in the study of political parties, and also the policy makers in their search for the appropriate party system for Nigeria. Although a two-party system, desirable as it may or may not be, is a rare feature among democracies, it has attracted a great deal of analysis

and a considerable number of explanations, helpfully grouped by Frank Sorauf into four main categories: institutional, dualist, cultural and consensual. The institutional theorists, best represented by E.E. Shattsneider and Maurice Duverger, argue that single-member, plurality electoral systems result in twoparty systems” unlike multimember constituencies and proportional representation” and that an executive president acts as “a catalyst for coalition among interests that would normally be at loggerheads”. This contention is supported by Clinton Rossiter as a result of his comparative analysis of elections in the German Republic of 1919-33. In 1930 the system of proportional representation produced 10 parties with 19 or more seats in the Reichstag, but since the presidential election turned the nation into one vast constituency, all the parties were forced into three, two coalitions and the Communists. The dualist theorists, among who is V.O. Key, postulate the dichotomy of interests in American society. From historical perspectives, they point out that prior to the adoption of the

Constitution in 1787, the country was divided into two camps along economic and political lines, and that thereafter the division over the nature of constitutional government presented two opposing schools: The Federalists and the AntiFederalists. Appraising the British experience, George Kousoulas points out that political groupings were initially confined to members of the aristocratic elite and revolved around religious and dynastic issues: “the 17th century Puritans, organised in opposition to the Crown and the so-called royal prerogative were a precursor of modern political parties”. Their two major political parties of today, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, still exhibit the historical proand anti-monarchical tendencies. Cultural theorists, however, remind us that political maturity is a major determinant of the two-party system. As Sorauf points out, the Americans and the British “are willing to make the kinds of compromise necessary to bring heterogeneous groups of voters into two political parties”. Rossiteremphasises that America’s two major parties are “creatures of compromise, coalitions of interests in which principle is muted and

often even silenced”. Political maturity for the purpose of clarity, includes the competence of election managers as well as the general behaviour of polticians and the voting public. Finally, there are the social consensus theorists who explain the successful operation of various two-party systems by the absence of irreconcilable ideological divisions, even though the leading spokesmen may have adopted dogmatic positions over certain issues, such as the economy, the nature of the constitution, and even the question of religion. Leslie Lipson argues that the secondary nature of divisive interests among Americans makes the case for compromise easy. As echoed by Duverger “...a two-party system cannot be maintained if one of the parties seeks to destroy the established order. At least it cannot endure unless the party remains always in opposition”. From the above review, one is able to understand that a successful two-party system is a product of evolution, something which cannot be imposed as General Ibrahim Babangida had once attempted to do in his introduction of the defunct Social Democratic Party

and the National Republican Convention. A two-party system, if one must repeat here, does not mean there are only two political parties. A two-party system simply means there are two dominant political parties each capable of winning major elections, while others are regarded as minor political parties or third parties. The institution of the presidency, as we may have observed, can bring a two-party system about. In 1999 when the presidency was zoned to the South, the Northern-based All Peoples Party (APP) co-operated with the ethnic-based Alliance for Democracy (AD) to challenge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The main reason the self-styled progressives are determined to coalesce into a single political party, the All Progressives Congress, is for them to be able to challenge effectively for the presidency in 2015. A Nigerian two-party system, which does not necessarily mean a system of only two political parties, can help our drive towards integration if complemented with a zoning policy that derives its authority and legitimacy from the national constitution. Anthony Akinola is on LinkedIn

Implications of Nigeria LNG, NIMASA feud By Ifeanyi Izeze


igeria as a country of absurdities and this is typified by the ongoing row between the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the issue of nonpayment of mere levies and charges which NIMASA claims are due to it from NLNG. Nigeria LNG is owned by four shareholders- the Nigerian Government represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49 per cent); Shell Gas BV (25.6 per cent); Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 per cent); and Eni International (Nigerian Agip) (10.4 per cent). NIMASA is a federal government agency. And the same federal government owns almost half of NLNG and therefore gets nearly half of its profit which runs into billions of Naira or even dollars. What is NIMASA trying to prove? And if actually this is a tax or rather revenue generation issue, are there no better ways to engage companies such as NLNG than this senseless muscle flexing? This dispute between NIMASA and NLNG started as a result of a conflict in the enabling Acts establishing both organizationsthe Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act, on one hand, the NIMASA Act and Merchant Shipping Act; and Coastal and Inland Shipping Act on the other What is the case? NIMASA is insisting that certain levies

were applicable to NLNG but the company has refused to pay as it’s insisting it was exempted from such levies and charges by virtue of the NLNG Act. According to Nigeria LNG, the company is duly protected by the provisions of the NLNG Act against the payment to NIMASA of the Sea Protection Levy, the three per cent freight levies on cargo exports shipped by NLNG; and that the two per cent cabotage Levy on LNG carriers is inapplicable because the company’s LNG vessels are not involved in coastal trade or cabotage. NIMASA had filed a suit against NLNG in 2010 claiming entitlement to these levies. After preliminary proceedings were taken and concluded, and the matter was ready for hearing, NIMASA filed an application to withdraw the suit on May 3, 2013 and then resorted to self-help by blocking the Bonny Channel preventing entry and exit of NLNG vessels citing NLNG’s disregard and unwillingness to abide by the country’s maritime laws, especially the section of the NIMASA Act that mandates payment of levies based on the gross tonnage on exports and imports and the cabotage law. On June 21, two NIMASA boats with 15 naval officers on board ordered that one NLNG vessel LNG Imo, and one chartered vessel, Torm Thames, should remain at NLNG’s loading bay, while another NLNG vessel- LNG Oyo,should remain outside the Bonny Channel until further notice. NIMASA subsequently issued ship detention orders on June 22, detaining three

NLNG ships - LNG Enugu, LNG Oyo, and LNG Imo and also barred the three vessels from accessing or leaving the NLNG’s loading bay. Does it not occur to NIMASA that denying NLNG vessels access to their loading points in Bonny Island would results in a huge loss of revenue to the federal government to such an extent it will dwarf the levies and charges NIMASA is pursuing? Denying NLNG chartered vessels, in and out, access to their destination in addition to the attendant huge financial losses, goes with very serious reputation damage to Nigeria as an unserious and unsafe country. Due to the blockade, the gas company on June 28 declared a force majeure on gas exports, an inability to fulfill contractual obligations. Here is it: This unnecessary flexing of muscle by NIMASA is said to cost the NLNG $22 million daily in penalties for default, demurrage for chartered LNG vessels and the actual cost of the gas that would have been delivered. And so for the 18 days this blockade lingered, the NLNG lost about $396 million. And of this amount, the federal government will pay almost half of it. Meanwhile, NIMASA said it decided to seal-off access to the Nigerian LNG Bonny facility because to collect the cumulative levies of few million dollars which the gas company allegedly refused to pay. Is it not funny? If the dispute between NIMASA and NLNG was over non- payment of taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and all other

relevant government agencies, that would have been okayed. But this case of NIMASA is that its demand is not an income tax or a derivative of income tax, but charges and levies which both parties are yet to establish in the court whether the enabling Act establishing the NLNG continuously exempted it from such. The danger is that this sort of dispute creates avenues for corruption and manipulation of our national interests by the NLNG because whatever they claim they are losing as result of the blockade, nobody can contend with them. It is very unfortunate that most of our people in top position in government and its agencies are so myopic in their views and cannot extrapolate how actions and pronouncements in their little niches can affect issues and projects across the economy. How can this dispute between the NLNG and NIMASA be allowed to degenerate to its current level especially now the country is on its knees begging stakeholders to rejig interest in the Brass LNG Project that has remained at eternal planning stage? If a federal government agency can treat the LNG Project we have on ground with such gaucherie, what signal are we sending to the now obviouslylukewarm and shale gas-distracted investors in the Brass LNG Project? Why should this dispute be allowed to degenerate to this level when our Gulf of Guinea neighbours, Angola and Mozambique are opening up their frontiers with mouth-watering incentives to LNG investors?

Why should the Nigerian government allow the misunderstanding between NIMASA and the NLNG deteriorate to the level of sealingoff egress and ingress of chartered LNG vessels and even detaining some vessels? What signal are we sending to the international community- that we are a nation that does not adhere to the rule of law? Where were the supervising Ministers to the ministries/ agencies in this dispute? Is the disagreement between NLNG and NIMASA so big that it was impossible for the Ministers of Petroleum Resources, Transport, and Justice (the Attorney General of the Federation) to sit down, if necessary, with the President to resolve without recourse to the ongoing very unnecessary court cases if for nothing, at least to avoid sending wrong signal to the would-be stakeholders in the Brass Project? As the Nigeria LNG Limited has often claimed that the issues it has with NIMASA over payment of any levy, charge or impost has little to do with the amounts involved, but more with the principle of the rule of law, so that it can safeguard its international business which rests squarely on its reputation as a law abiding company, the Federal Government with its agencies should equally do well to protect its reputation in the global community as a country that has rules and obeys them. Ifeanyi Izeze via iizeze@



Court remands 2 men in prison for alleged theft


Food sellers preparing for the day’s business yesterday at Utako village, in Abuja.

Photo: Emmanuel Eko

Tailor, 24, bags 2 months imprisonment for picking pocket


n Abuja Senior Magistrates Court on Tuesday sentenced a 24-year-old tailor, Taiye Okedeji of Utako village, Abuja to two months in prison for theft. The Presiding Magistrate, Mr Aliyu Shafa, in his judgment, however, gave the convict an option of N3, 000 fine. Shafa said the sentence

would serve as deterrent to other offenders that might want to be in the same shoe with the convict. The convict, who pleaded guilty to the offence, prayed the court for mercy. “I am very sorry for committing the offence; it was the work of the devil. I promise not to commit such offence again,” he said.

The Prosecutor, David Udeh, had earlier told the court that the case was reported to the Wuse police station by one Daniel Attah of Gidan Zakara in Nasarawa State on July 4. Udeh said, on the same day, while Attah was trying to board a vehicle at the Wuse bus stop, Okedeji picked his pocket. Citing the First Information

Report (FIR), Udeh said the convict stole Attah’s LG X330 cell phone worth N8, 000 and N3, 000. He added that during police investigation, the cell phone was recovered from the convict. The prosecutor said that the offence against Okedeji contravened Section 287 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

Police arraign 5 persons for alleged extortion


ive persons were arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for allegedly trying to extort money from articulated vehicles. They are: Salihu Yerima, Yunusa Nuhu, Ofoma Samuel, Abdukadir Yunusa and Edward Achil, all members of the National Freight Haulage Association, Abuja. The police prosecutor, Sgt.

Philip Apollos, told the court that a team of police detectives, led by SP Christopher Peter, reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station on July 3. Apollos said the accused were arrested near Idu Yard in Life Camp area of Abuja, while trying to stop and extort money from articulated vehicles under the pretext of selling emblems belonging to the

association. The accused pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge, and the prosecutor prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the police prepare for trial. Mr Onyechi Egwuonwu, the counsel to the accused, prayed the court to grant the accused bail on liberal terms, promising that they would not jump bail.

The Senior Magistrate, Mr Abdullahi Illelah, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 with a reasonable and reliable surety each. He ordered that the sureties must have known addresses and live within the jurisdiction of the court. Illelah adjourned the matter to July 17,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Police arraign man, 2 women for allegedly causing hurt


he Police on Tuesday arraigned a man and two women in a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates Court for allegedly beating-up a woman. They are Chidi Worenwu, 17, Esther Nwarinwa, 34, and Mary Olatunji, 37, all of Dei-Dei, Abuja. The three accused persons are standing trial on a three-count charge of joint act, force and assault and causing grievous hurt. Prosecutor Andrew Aichenede told the court that Adaobi Okwuolisa of Tomaloes Junction, Gwagwa,

Abuja, reported the matter to the FCT Command in Abuja on Feb. 12. Aichenede said that on Nov. 6, 2012, Okwuolisa went to dump refuse at a refuse dump in Fili- Dabo Area, Abuja, and the accused persons attacked her. He said the trio beat Okwuolisa and inflicted a severe injury to her left eye. The prosecutor said the offence contravenes sections 79, 265 and 247 of the Penal Code. If convicted under these sections, the accused persons could be

imprisoned for a maximum of 10 years or fined or be punished with both. The three accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their counsel, Mr Sunny Worenwu, prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms. Worenwu said the accused were first offenders and were not likely to commit a similar offence if admitted to bail. He said his clients would not jump bail and were still innocent

until proven otherwise as stipulated in Section 36(5) of the Nigerian Constitution. The magistrate, Mr Christopher Oba, granted each of the accused persons bail in the sum of N200,000 with a surety each in like sum. Oba said the surety must possess a reasonable means of livelihood and have a traceable address within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to July 15, 2013 for hearing and ordered the prosecutor to be in court on the same date to present his witness. (NAN)

n Area Court in Kuje in the FCT yesterday ordered that two men, Jacob John, 19, and Daniel Ajagbile, 36, to be remanded in prison custody for alleged theft of mobile phones. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused were arraigned on a two-count charge of joint act and theft. The prosecutor, Cpl. Ocheche Samuel, told the court that a written complaint was lodged against John, a farmer and Ajagbile, a labourer, at the Kuje Police Station. He said Nurudeen Azeez of Gui Village, Kuje, FCT, lodged the complaint on July 8. Samuel said that the two, both of Gui Village, entered the complainant’s room and stole his Nokia, Samsung Galaxy and a Blackberry mobile phone, all valued at N56,000. He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 288 of the Penal Code. The prosecutor said it was discovered during investigation that the accused stole the phones at night when Azeez was asleep. John and Ajagbile pleaded guilty to the charges, but the presiding judge, Mr Nuhu Ibrahim, ordered that they be remanded in Kuje Prison and adjourned the case to July 11, 2013 for judgment. (NAN)

Man bags 1 year imprisonment for stealing motorcycle


Mararaba Senior Magistrates’ Court in Nasarawa State has sentenced a 25-year-old man, Musa Gemu of Nyanya Checking Point in Abuja, to one year in prison for theft. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict was arraigned before the court for stealing a motorcycle valued at N35,000. The Senior Magistrate, H.A. Abundaga, however sentenced him to one year in prison with an option of a N10,000 fine. Police prosecutor Samuel Okoro had earlier told the court that Alhaji Shehu Garba of Tudun Wada in Mararaba had on July 8 lodged a report about Gemu at Mararaba’s Sani Abacha police station. He said the convict stole the complainant’s motorcycle which he parked at the Mararaba branch of Keystone Bank Plc. Okoro, who said the offence contravened Section 287 of the Penal Code, disclosed that when Garba raised alarm, the convict took to his heels. ``He was chased by some persons, and was arrested immediately. ``At the police station, the convict confessed to the crime, and said he did not know what came over him,’’ Okoro said. (NAN)




NDIC urges judiciary to tackle legal bottlenecks - Pg 20

R-L: Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice-President, Alhaji Abubakar Kachalla, Vice-President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama and Director, Solicitors Department, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Olusola Moore, during the meeting of the National Council on Privatisation, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Africa’s economy seeing fastest growth - AfDB


frica’s economy is growing faster than any other continent, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB). According to the new report from the AfDB, one-third of Africa’s countries have GDP growth rates of more than 6% and that middle income countries now account for nearly half of African states. The costs of starting a business

have fallen by more than two-thirds over the past seven years, while delays for starting a business have been halved. The continent’s middle class is growing rapidly - around 350 million Africans now earn between $2 and $20 a day. The share of the population living below the poverty line in Africa has fallen from 51% in 2005 to 39% in 2012.

Africa’s collective gross domestic product (GDP) per capita reached $953 last year, while the number of middle income countries on the continent rose to 26, out of a total of 54. The AfDB’s Annual Development Effectiveness Report said the growth was largely driven by the private sector, thanks to improved economic governance and a better

business climate on the continent. “This progress has brought increased levels of trade and investment, with the annual rate of foreign investment increasing fivefold since 2000. For the future, improvements in such areas as access to finance and quality of infrastructure should help improve Africa’s global competitiveness,” the report said.

Chinese firm eyes Ajaokuta Steel - Minister

Aminu Imam with agency report


hinese state-owned metals trader, Sinosteel is in talks to take over state-owned Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill and expand its capacity to 5.6 million tonnes from 1.3 million, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Mohammed Sada said yesterday during a visit to Beijing. The steel mill sale and upgrade would mean investment into Nigeria of around $6 billion, the minister told Reuters. Sinosteel did not confirm or deny the talks when contacted. Nigeria is looking to China for cheap funding to help it move up the value chain from exports of raw materials, a goal that has been hampered by woeful infrastructure. A delegation of over a dozen ministers, led by President Goodluck Jonathan is presently visiting China soliciting loans for infrastructure that Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said last week could amount to $3 billion. “We have had discussions with

Sinosteel... We would hope they will be able to reach some agreement and transfer the management to them,” he said. The government holds 80 percent of the mill, with the remainder held by employees and the local community. Nigeria is delineating its iron ore deposits with a view to opening bids by the end of the year, he added. “We have a steel programme to produce steel within the country, but the size of the deposits we have of iron ore is more than what we can consume locally, so there is also (a need for) infrastructure development,” Sada said. During the visit, China ExportImport (EX-IM) Bank agreed to lend $500 million to Nigeria to build airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano. The 20year loan is at a 2 percent interest rate with a 30 percent local content provision, Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah said. “It’s free money, so we’re happy,” she said. China, the world’s most populous country and secondlargest economy, has made several

cheap loans to African nations in the past few years as it competes with Western powers like the United States for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources and growing market for imported goods. Nigeria is seeking Chinese help to develop petrochemicals, metals smelting, roads and port infrastructure and even add cold-storage capacity at airports for exports of fresh agricultural products, to maintain economic growth that has averaged 7 percent a year for the past five years - but which economists say has been too dependent on crude oil. China and Nigeria signed a framework agreement between the China Development Bank and Nigeria’s First Bank, details of which were not provided, as well as accords covering visas, cultural exchange and economic and technical cooperation. The lending is part of a $7.9 billion external borrowing plan approved by the National Assembly last year, as the government seeks to increase cheaper external borrowing

and limit domestic debt. Chinese firms are already active in road-building, mining and construction in Nigeria, all of which require more steel. But a glut of steel capacity in China may make it more economic to sell steel to Africa than to build new mills there.

Unity Bank takes banking to streets - Pg 22


Exchange Rates

as at 10th July, 2013 Selling Buying












Parallel Rates Buying














How to handle an abusive


ome clients are demanding; others are downright rude. If you’re not in a position to stop working with a difficult person, prepare yourself instead. Expect your greedy, selfish, or angry client to act poorly so you won’t be caught off-guard. When you sense that he is about to say something hurtful, say to yourself: “Here it comes.” After he delivers the blow, take a deep breath and pause until

he realises he hasn’t provoked you into losing your cool. Then say something like, “Say that again?” or “Do you really mean what you just said?” This is often enough to cause him to reflect on his behavior and change his approach. If not, at least you didn’t get flustered. The conversation may still be stressful, but preparing keeps you from being blindsided. Source: Harvard Business Review



Economy Company News

Arik Air


igerian commercial airline, Arik Air, on Wednesday took delivery of Airbus 330-200 – a twin-engine aircraft; bringing the total number of its fleet to 24. Arik’s Deputy Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi said the new aircraft will complement the long haul operation of the airline. Arik intends to use the new-generation plane to service its bilateral designated routes such as the United States, China, UAE and Europe.

NDIC urges judiciary to tackle legal bottlenecks By Aminu Imam


xcessive litigations and lack of proper understanding of the distinction between the legal status of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) as a corporate entity and its role as liquidator have been identified as critical challenges confronting the Corporation in discharging its mandate. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, who made

this submission in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the NDIC Sensitization Seminar for Appeal Court Justices, said the Corporation had been experiencing the execution of court judgments against its assets over the liabilities of banks in-liquidation, adding that the Corporation had also faced difficulties associated with the recovery of debts owed to failed banks. Alhaji Ibrahim therefore appealed to the judiciary to

address these legal challenges to enable the Corporation achieve its mandate of depositor protection and stability of the Nigerian banking sector. “We recognise that no matter how robust the legal framework operated by the NDIC is, the Corporation cannot achieve much without the cooperation and vital input from the Nigerian Judiciary”, he said. The NDIC Chief Executive also described the role of the Court of Appeal as a critical



elecommunication giant, MTN Nigeria has partnered with neXva Inc. to launch of the MTN Nigeria NextApps Store to its customers. The store, powered by neXva, consists of free and premium applications and is available online athttp://nextapps. and initially for Android smartphones. According to a statement, the store features “one-click” billing that enables MTN’s customers to purchase applications and have the purchase price taken from their pre-paid account or added to their phone bill. MTN Nigeria Chief Marketing Officer, Larry Annetts said the neXva was chosen to deploy the store because of its ‘robust technology platform’.

Resort Savings & Loans


esort Savings & Loans Ltd, on Wednesday disclosed that it is set to invest N200 million in the Federal Government’s proposed Mortgage Refinancing Company (MRC), which will support mortgage originators-Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) - to increase mortgage lending by refinancing their loan portfolios. According to a 38page document titled: “Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for the Operation of a Mortgage Refinance Company,” posted on CBN’s website in March this year. It also stated that: “The MRC shall commence operations with, and maintain at all times, a minimum paid-up capital of N5 billion or such higher amount that the bank may prescribe.”

L-R: Group Executive Director (Gas and Power), NNPC, Dr David Ige, representative of Director, Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Oliver Okparaojiako, and President, Nigerian Gas Association, Mr. Saidu Mohammed, during the 2013 Annual General Meeting/BusinessForum organised by the Nigerian Gas Association recently, in Lagos. Photo: NAN

President Jonathan eases way for Chinese investment in Nigeria By Abdulwahab Isa


frican business leader and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu joins President Goodluck Jonathan as part of a high powered delegation accompanying the Nigerian leader on a state visit to China from yesterday to today, 12 July, 2013. The visit, which will include a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, will have Mr. Elumelu and other business leaders, including Folorunso Alakija, Femi Otedola and Oba Otudeko, representing Nigeria’s business interests, thus emphasising President Jonathan’s commitment to leveraging the private sector to drive both development and trade and investment links between China and Africa. Speaking at the investment forum, which attracted over 700 potential investors, their Nigerian counterparts and several governors as well as the Ministers for Trade and Investment, Aviation and Power, President Jonathan said: “Nigeria today is like China 20 years ago it is entering into a high growth

phase. The economy is suitable for private sector involvement; we offer the best incentives and we have put the right structures in place to reduce the cost of entry into Nigeria. All of this is to encourage private sector participation in Nigeria”. Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the pan-African proprietary investment company, commented further: “The China-Africa relationship has historically been characterised by government-to-government engagement. However, Nigeria’s leadership - and increasingly that of a number of African countries is embracing an Africapitalist approach where the private sector is leading transformative growth. China’s presence in Africa is important, but we would like that involvement to be more inclusive of the private sector to ensure a sustainable development path for the continent.” Elumelu’s call comes on the back of the Chinese government’s drive to minimise its role in its own economy and reform state owned enterprises (SOE), which

are still dominant. However, private sector companies are increasingly contributing to China’s overall GDP growth and the Chinese government is creating policies that will allow them to flourish. “Globally, there is powerful evidence that the private sector is critical in driving a country’s economic growth and China is recognising that locally,” said Elumelu. “We hope President Jonathan’s state visit will mark the start of a private sectordriven approach to China-Africa bilateral relations. The onus is now on us as African business leaders to ensure that future engagements will call for, and unlock opportunities for the private sector.” According to the OECD, trade between China and Nigeria reached nearly US$18 billion in 2010, almost ten times more than just a decade ago. During the visit, Mr. Elumelu met with leading Chinese investors and business people to raise awareness of the numerous strategic projects under development in Nigeria and the opportunities for investment that they present.

arm of the judiciary, given its constitutional appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the State and Federal High Courts where most of the failed banks related cases were being handled. He urged the judiciary and legal practitioners to play their respective roles effectively, which would thereby empower the Corporation to discharge its mandate in the interest of depositors and the Nigerian banking system. The seminar for the Court of Appeal Justices with the theme: “The Challenges to Deposit Insurance Law and Practice” was the fourth in the series of the capacity building programme embarked upon by the NDIC, to sensitise the judiciary and other stakeholders on their roles in the discharge of the deposit insurance law and practice in the country. The first run of the seminar was jointly organised by the Corporation and National Judicial Institute (NJI) for Judges of the Federal and State High Courts, while the second run was organised in collaboration with the Federal High Court for all Judges of the Federal High Courts and the third run was organised for External Solicitors of the Corporation.

60 million analogue TVs to go by January 1st 2015 - NBC Boss


he new Director-General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Chief Emeka Mba, has said that more than 60 million analogue television will be made useless by the deadline of the switch over from analogue television to digital transmission broadcasting which is schedule to take effect by January 1st 2015. Mba stated that the set-up boxes will be ready from the middle of next year and advise people to get prepared to buy the set up box for the digital transmission which will allow more room for spectrum expansion for the nation’s broadband and internet penetration. According to him the set-up boxes will be subsidized by the federal government to enable every home to afford, adding that companies will be licensed for Signal Distributors of the transmissions coming from the television stations in the country which will soon engage in a bidding process.



Tax Alert The role of ICT in emerging tax administration

By Frank Obaro


nformation and communication Technology (ICT) has for a long time been the way of life in many developed countries of the world. It has spread its tentacles to many human processes and functions. ICT has aided the manner of doing things in virtually all human endeavour, e.g., health provision(hospital information systems);manufacturing and engineering(modeling, computer aided design);fina nce,budgeting,auditing and banking(Peachtree, Sage, DA Casy,sun,Orchard,futureBank, Globus,etc);financial/business analysis,forecasting,education and training(digital library, computer aided instruction, presentations);administration and personnel(human resource) change management(contact centre management);aviation and space engineering(real time seat reservation systems, airspace control systems, satellite networks)just to mention a few, the list is as long as the many areas of human endeavour. ICT has made life easier for everybody including the housewife. A simple domestic software will manage the kitchen for her, reminding her of re-order times of cooking stuff like seasoning, cooking oil, eggs etc,whenever it has been fed with the correct data. One important feature of ICT implementation is it accuracy. Computerisation of ICt development must provide accurate and consistent results at all levels. This is dependent on the kind/ quality of data fed into it otherwise known as Garbage in Garbage out (GIGO). Other brilliant features/benefits of deploying ICT solutions in processes are the speed of processing, ability to store large volume of data and information for a very long period of time (almost permanently),versatility being able to multi-task in the face of complex business processes and functions. The bedrock of any ICT solution is the ability of the system to collect quality data in a well structured database. There cannot be a good business without quality data and information about business and the environment in which it operates. All business strategies thrive on the availability of reliable data and information. Tax administration cannot be an exception. The introduction of iCT in governance such as tax administration is to make life easy for both the taxpayer and the tax administrator. Taxpayers will be better informed on their true obligations to government and vice-versa. Through an efficient ICT deployment, the processes and procedures in tax admin-

istration, viz-a-viz policies, assessments, collections, enforcements, efficient and reliable. For an efficient system of tax administration to evolve, a tax authority must have enough data and information about the taxable profile/database, either manual or automated, no tax administrator/authority can succeed in its duties. A robust taxpayer profile/ database is all a tax authority requires to carry out its statutory functions on Personal Income taxes, property Taxes, Road Taxes, Value added Tax, will assist the revenue authorities in forecasting the annual collectible revenue (either in taxes alone or global revenue) from year to year thereby helping to plan the economy based on these facts. It is in the spirit of creating a robust taxpayer record that the Unique Taxpayer Identification (UTIN) Project of the Joint Tax board (JTB) was initiated and is currently being implemented. The project is to plan, desing and implement a system to uniquely identify all entities in Nigeria by assigning a number called UTIN to corporate organisations and individuals. TIN will be issued to everyone all whether or not they are currently eligible to pay tax. The UTIN will become a prerequisite to do a lot of things in the economy, particularly business transactions. There will be a good relationship between JTB and other external stakeholders such as the Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, National population Commission, Fedral Road Safety Commission, financial institutions and other corporate organisations. These stakeholders are expected to key into the UTIN system in order to share data on the economy, for proper government planning and taxpayer

identification. It would get to a level when you may not be able to bury your dead relations if both the dead and the living do not have their UTIN.It is simply for the overall benefit of all to move our nation forward. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has been laying a very good platform in this regard and a lot has been achieved in its ICT blueprint. Very few states in Nigeria are following this trend. Even though operating on a smaller scale compared FIRS, there are few, if any states that have truly implemented a good system for integrated tax administration. They are either stalled midway due to inadequate funding, lack of focus/proper planning or the systems have been completed but without any meaningful impact on the sates economy (revenue).Other revenue authorities in Nigeria should take a cue from the JTB and FIRS initiatives, particularly the State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs). Among cases where ICT deployment (careful and well thought-out deployment) has had significant impact on government revenue and consequently the economy is (see the table below).In some of these projects, guides and policy frameworks were provided by the IMF and/or the World Bank to ensure that an efficient system was achieved. In order to implement an automated system of tax administration, the following is required: Customized software since administration of taxes varies from border to border; Robust network and operating systems; Server computers, workstations/clients (desktops and laptops); Network equipment, etc.

The number and sophistication of these equipments depends on the scope of the project. The skills set is also very important, the software and hardware cannot completely drive themselves without human intervention for best practices in maintaining, monitoring and controlling activities in order to ensure accuracy, consistency and reliability of results. The ICt personnel, in addition, must also ensure that the system is running at an optimal capacity(installed capacity). Skill sets such as network administrators, database administrators, systems administrators, data entry officers,etc are indispensible .However, the remuneration package in almost all the revenue authorities, particularly that of the SBIRs cannot compare with the average package in the ICT industry. This is the reason why most of the tax authorities do not have the basic ICT department and where it exists at all, about 75% of the staff are without the appropriate skills. It is high time revenue authorities begin to see ICT as a veritable tool for revenue administration due to its benefits: Among the many benefits are: Transparent transactions, blocked loopholes, easy transactions/simplified tax filing, collection made easy, effective means of communication between the taxpayers and tax administrators, speedy generation of necessary management reports for decision making, data mining, revenue/target budget planning, and increased revenue. ICT departments in revenue authorities are seen to be support services units, whereas there is supposed to be a serious marriage between tax person-

nel and ICt personnel or better still, between tax skills and ICt skills. This is part of the reasons why the JTB will only train staff from the SBIR,FIRS and JTB on computer appreciation courses. JTB has never trained computer personnel from tax authorities on their own standard curricular as regards the ICT schedules and role of database administrators, network administrators, system administrators, application developers, data entry staff, web development and management,etc. Recommendations: All revenue authorities should setup IT or ICT departments (at least with a minimum/basic IT structure).Competent staff with the required skills should be recruited. Revenue authorities should find a way to work out modalities to improve the reward package of IT staff. JTB should include ICT syllabi in its periodic training to cater for the upgrade/development of the ICt professionals as against the current practice where only tax administration skills are run. On-IT staff that indicates interest in such can be selected to attend.Th ICT knowledge areas are so dynamic that without continuous training, the personnel may lose touch with current trends in the industry. JTB should set up an IT department to conform to modern organizational setup requirements and international best practices. This department should actually be saddled with the responsibility of establishing and monitoring ICT standards (framework) and policies for JTB, particularly those of the SBIRs; it will set the standards for all that matters in the marriage of tax administration and ICT. The department would midwife all ICT solution designs and implementation in the tax authorities and also monitors compliance on a regular basis. The existence of such a standard will ensure easy data and information sharing amongst all revenue authorities. When these agencies share data and information, it will be for the overall benefit of all. It is in line with the transformation agenda of the President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan s when he told the security agencies that data and information concerning security should be shared among all of them instead of the independent efforts that yield little or no results. Let the same be done in revenue administration to achieve overall government goals and objectives in revenue generation and consequently impact positively on the living standard of Nigerians.




Unity Bank takes banking to streets By Abdulwahab Isa


nity bank Plc is making good its commitment to grow its stature as one of the foremost retail bank in Nigeria by taking its services to the streets in the country. As a demonstration of this commitment, the bank in the last four weeks organized and held Road Shows in five major cities across the country in the first phase of the massive programme. The Road Shows held in Lagos, Abuja, Bauchi, Port-Harcourt and Dutse the capital of Jigawa state during which bank staff took to the streets to deliver the message of its latest Savings Promo headlined as 3-in-1 Savings Advantage. During the shows, the bank provided entertainment via music and dances, comedy, skating and durbar (festive horse rides show) to the delight of customers and prospective bank customers over a period of about seven hours on the streets of the designated cities. The participating staff and volunteers provided free financial advisory services, distributed information leaflets and opened Savings Accounts for a number of bank services consumers. At the launch of the 2nd season of the bank’s Aim, Save & Win promotion last month, the Managing Director of the Unity

bank Plc, Ado Yakubu Wanka had indicated that the bank would be taking steps to re-emphasize its retail banking orientation and would do everything to explore the niche. Mr. Wanka said that the Promo headlined 3-in-1 Savings Advantage because of its threepronged value proposition of growing money, winning valuable prizes and business tools as well as scholarships for children, would help grow national economy by encouraging savings for massive capital formation. The bank Chief maintained that it was part of Unity bank’s way of rewarding loyal customers and encouraging banking habits. Unity bank is offering five variants of its savings products namely, General Savings, Target Savings, Business Empowerment Thrift Account (BETA), Double Edge Account and Unity Kids Account on the Promo which will last six months. It will be recalled that the bank gave out five Hyundai cars among other prizes in the first edition of the Promo held last year. The Promo has the regulatory support of Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria (CPC), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria.

Aerotropolis: Aviation ministry woos Chinese investors From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


ollowing the successful signing of the $500 million Loan Agreement to finance the construction of four new International Airport terminals in Nigeria, the Aviation Ministry has now turned its attention towards the drive to woo foreign investors to buy into the Aerotropolis project. Addressing the NigeriaChina Investment Forum in Beijing yesterday, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriesi expressed the desire of the ministry to partner with the Chinese Investment Community for the development of Aerotropolis in the Nigerian Cities of Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano. Uriesi said the Aerotropolis hold tremendous promise of good return on investment for any investor, and called on the Chinese investors to take advantage of the huge opportunities which the initiative presents to boost the expansion of their business interest on the African continent. “We want to partner with you as we develop our aerotropolis in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano. There is so much more that Chinese companies can do to leverage our drive to position aviation as pivotal to the growth of the Nigerian economy through the airport cities concept, otherwise known as Aerotropolis”, the FAAN MD declared. The MD said Nigeria is prized

to take its rightful place in the comity of successful aviation service providing nations of the world through the upgrade of its aviation infrastructure. He added that the Ministry wants to establish Nigeria as an aircraft maintenance hub on the African continent and called on Chinese investors to take the opportunity and establish Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in the country. With a population of over 167 million people and a projected passenger growth of 50 million by 2026, Uriesi said Nigeria is a huge, untapped market waiting to be harnessed by investors with an eye for guaranteed return on investment. He further spoke of the huge potential which the perishable cargo/fresh produce initiative holds for any investor, stressing that to grow this segment of aviation in Nigeria, about 13 perishable cargo terminals are being constructed across the country. The Investment Forum, which was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, was attended by a very large investment community which expressed readiness to expand its business interests in Nigeria. The Forum climaxed a 3-day State Visit of President Jonathan to China, which witnessed the signing of over 15 Agreements and MoU’s, including the $500 million loan agreement to finance of the construction of four airport terminals.

Unity bank staff explaining the Promo to traders in Dutse

Review high interest rates charged on loans, Senate President tasks banks By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


resident of the Senate, Sen. David Mark, on Tuesday charged the banking sector to review the high interest rates charged on loans in order to create conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the country. Senator Mark, who made the call in Abuja, when he played host to the Chairman and members of the Board of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, (CIBN), said that the high interest rates and unwillingness of the institution to lend to small scale entrepreneurs was unhealthy for the economy. “This is not healthy for a developing economy like ours. Even the famers who should be encouraged through such facilities

are worst hit,” He stated. According to Senator Mark, “We cannot claim to be promoting the economy when small scale entrepreneurs cannot access loan on account of high interest rates or other impossible conditions. “I cannot rationalise a situation where banks reel out statistics of an improved economy when lives of the ordinary man or petty traders have not improved. Such wonderful statistics of improved economy should reflect on the lives and businesses of the people otherwise such figures makes no meaning.” He told the banking sector to create a favourable business environment that would make businesses thrive and ultimately transform the lives of the citizenry. Senator Mark promised that

the National Assembly would give priority attention to the amendment proposed by the Chartered Institute of Bankers needed to correct the grey areas in the operations of the sector. Earlier, the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Segun Aina requested the National Assembly to consider the proposal for the amendment of the Act establishing the Institute in order to harmonise the various organs of the sector and make it much more professional and effective. Aina pointed that the crisis in the Banking sector was necessitated by the dearth of professionals, a development the proposed amendment seeks to correct.

WAIFEM DG tasks African leaders to tackle poverty, unemployment By Abdulwahab Isa


he Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) Prof. Akpan Ekpo has said that for the Africa continent to attain development, it has to tackle the twin issues of poverty and unemployment. In another breath, he said that the inclusive growth and the rise in the GDP which its leaders mouth often do not reflect realities of poverty on ground, and urged African leaders to rise to the challenge of tackling poverty and providing employment for the jobless millions. The former Vice-Chancellor

University of Uyo canvassed this position in an interview yesterday with Peoples Daily shortly after the launch of the 2013 Economic Report on Africa (ERA), which has as its theme ‘ Making the most of Africa’s commodities’: Industrialising for growth , jobs and economic transformation. The report focused on economic potential of each country in the continent and the success achieved in the area. Speaking on the growth espoused on the report, Ekpo during the interview, he said, “What we knew was growth and development; everything you grow, if you bake the cake you now ask for how do you share it - that

is development, because you can grow and not develop; but you cannot develop without growth so over the years, all our sectors have been growing but there is still unemployment, there is still poverty. Instead of dealing with those issues they created a new term called inclusive growth. Deal with the issue of development, create jobs, give good health, give education and these are areas are yet to improve in Africa continent”. In his contribution, DirectorGeneral, National Economic Summit Group (NESG) Mr. Frank Nweke lauded the report and advised policy makers whom it was addressed to take its implementation very seriously.



Stock Watch

Report as at Thursday, July 11, 2013




Tips for a comfortable Ramadan By Sharmila Dhal


ating the right kinds of food to end fast is key to maintaining balanced health during Ramadan. According to Wafa Ayesh, Head of Clinical Nutrition at DHA, a few basic tips go a long way to ensuring a comfortable fasting cycle. What and how to eat *Stick to slow digesting foods which last up to eight hours, rather than fast-digesting foods which last for only three-four hours. Slow digesting foods include grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, whole meal flour, unpolished rice etc. *High-fibre foods like bran, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, spinach, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit, especially dried apricots, and prunes, almonds, etc should also be eaten. *Make sure that your meals contain major food groups such as bread, cereals, milk and dairy products, fish, meat, poultry. Foods to avoid *Anything hot, spicy, hot or

salty. Too much salty food will make your body retain water and give you a bloated feeling while spicy foods induce thirst. *Sweets and sugary foods are fast-burning and will only last for three-four hours. More-over, these will turn into fat, increase

cholesterol levels and increase weight. *Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heartburn and weight problems. What to drink *Sufficient water between Iftar

and bedtime to avoid dehydration. *Drinks with high caffeine content (coffee, tea, chocolate, sodas and even decaffeinated teas and coffees) should be avoided. Caffeine leaches calcium from your system, which means you feel less full all the time. *Avoid drinking tea at suhoor (dawn), as tea increases salt excretion in the urine, which is needed for your body during fasting. Do not skip sahur *The morning meal is a must to get you through the day. Many people eat a late night meal and sleep until the dawn prayers. This is not advisable. *Eat sahur just prior to dawn. Do not overeat, and concentrate on foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, fruits or vegetables, and drink plenty of water. Stay cool and rest During the hottest part of the day, stay in cool areas (indoors or in shade) and limit your physical activity. Rest if possible.

Follow the sunnah *End fast with dates, continue with a light starter such as soup. During the early evening (after maghrib), have a healthy and balanced dinner. Do not overeat, and be sure to drink a few more glasses of fluids. *During the evening, resist drinking tea, coffee and soda aiming at reduction, not totally stopping them. Instead, drink more water. Do some exercise Engage in some kind of light exercises such as walking for 30 minutes in the evening. Other tips *Continue to brush and floss your teeth several times a day; get enough sleep *Guard against headaches by avoiding caffeine. *Consume enough liquids, aim for eight glasses of water by bedtime to avoid dehydration. *If you have a health problem, consult a doctor. Source:

Katsina state’s ‘no future’ budget Contd. from Back Page There is a N12.5million provision for training and staff development and another N2million for in service training and workshop, however these provisions were also made in the 2012 budget with no actual expenditure as at December 31st the same year. One wonders what good these provisions are if they are simply recorded and not actually expended. Delaying or deferring training of staff is suicidal in this century. Katsina’s budget appears to be for debate and passage by the legislature but not for focused implementation! Katsina has a JSS enrollment rate of about 33% and is the second lowest in the North West zone; Jigawa has the lowest enrollment rate with 22%. Zamfara has the

highest enrollment rate with 53%, Kebbi 43%, Kaduna 38%, Kano 34%. Of 21,389 pupils from Katsina State that sat for the 2012 University and Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), only 3767 scored 200 and above. It is clear that the state suffers a grave education deficit; the government has to channel its resources both financial and physical to training and re-training teachers and increasing school enrollment rates. The health of Katsina citizens seems even worse than education in budgetary terms. According to the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), Katsina State has the highest incidence of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria with 65% of all cases recorded nationwide. In contrast, Edo State

has the lowest rate at 2.9%. Mortality rate in Katsina is also high; the current teenage mortality rate is about 0.822 per 1000 women and the bulk of recorded incidences are from the North, with factors ranging from unsafe abortions, pregnancy complications, poor antenatal care that lead to the increase of birth related deaths which abound in Katsina. Katsina was one if worst places in the world to be a teenage girl based on the NDHS of 2008 under Shema’s watch. The state has shown some efforts to stemming this tide though, even if too little too late - some N180 million is set aside for purchase of drugs and dressing, N400 million for staff training and development. A 169 bed Turai Yaradua maternal and child hospital has been completed

at a cost of N860.5 million, a N552 million provision is also made for a 270 bed orthopedic hospital which would reportedly cost the state N1.6 billion upon completion. All these include about N185 million that was spent in 2009 to purchase 34 mobile ambulances which have thus far eased the provision of health services to rural communities. The spending priorities of the Shema led government puts road construction as its first priority, this is hardly ideal considering that the state has a high disease burden, the country’s highest poverty rate and a crumbling education system. What Katsina needs more of is not roads but more education and healthcare investments. Road contracts are easy to award to party apparatchiks and well-connected construction

firms, while raising quality of human capital is harder and less profitable. The choice is up to Shema to make. The state must refocus its priorities beginning with a slimmer and cost efficient government. It must also as a matter of urgency allocate more funds to education, health and agriculture. It must invest more in providing potable water for the population as well as to farmers for irrigation. Katsina must lower its cost if doing business and evolve innovative ways to begin the exploration and export of its abundant mineral resources. That is the only way to secure the future of Katsina’s young people. The current approach only makes Shema and his small circle of political actors happy while the future looks bleak for the many.


ANALYSIS By Sam Bollier


n July 3, 17 people were killed and many more wounded by a US drone strike in the badlands straddling the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, an attack apparently targeting fighters of the Haqqani network. The strike was the deadliest this year in the US’ wide-ranging drone campaign to kill alleged members of hardline anti-American groups, from Pakistan’s mountainous tribal areas to Yemen and Somalia. Drones’ effectiveness has left those in their crosshairs scrambling to find ways to defend themselves. Rudimentary drones have existed for almost as long as aircraft themselves, and were often used in the 20th century as targets to train fighter pilots. But in the 12 years since the first US armed drone strike in Afghanistan, unmanned aerial vehicles have become far more numerous and sophisticated, conferring overwhelming advantages on the attacker. Acknowledging the deadly precision of drones, a new Englishlanguage magazine - apparently published by a Taliban-linked group - said neutralising UAVs was a priority for the Muslim community, or Ummah. “With the death of so many Muslim assets, this is one of the utmost important issues that the Ummah must unite and come up with an answer to,” implored the first issue of Azan. “Any opinions, thoughts, ideas and practical implementations to defeat this drone technology must be communicated to us as early as possible.” Snipe it, hack it, jam it, flee it It’s unclear whether the ideas generated by Azan’s clarion call will ever be made public - but a document found in northern Mali this February by The Associated Press revealed how some fighters plan to defend against drones. Written in Arabic by one Abdullah bin Mohammed, a commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQIM), the document spelled out 22 ways that AQIM members could counter drone attacks. The tactics included jamming the frequencies drones use for communication, using snipers to shoot drones down, and evading drones by using underground shelters, hiding in the shadows of buildings, or burning tyres to create plumes of black smoke. A few of the tactics take a broader view of the drone war, recommending AQIM seek out and kill spies who may be helping to guide drones to their target, or kidnap Westerners to use as a bargaining chip to halt the strikes Items on the list, says Robert Densmore, editor of Defence Report, “make sense and are relatively easy to do. You don’t need a lot of equipment or knowhow to do these kinds of things”. More sophisticated tactics have been tried out on a few occasions, though, with some degree of success. The Wall Street Journalreported in 2009 that fighters in Iraq had hacked US drones with off-the-shelf software costing as little as $25.95, which gave them access to the aircrafts’ video feeds - though not



Fighting back against the drones

US armed drone strikes have killed thousands of people since the first such attack in 2001 [AFP] control over the drones themselves. And in 2011, an RQ-170 Sentinel drone flown by the US crashed in northeastern Iran. Although the US government said the drone had simply malfunctioned, Iran claimed its cyberwarfare unit had commandeered its navigation system and landed it. It’s unclear what exactly happened, but Densmore speculates that Iran may have interrupted the drone’s GPS signal, causing the aircraft to either crash, or revert to a crash landing. “This is the weak link of nonautomated technology: that there will always be a communications link and a GPS link” that can be disrupted, he said. “From a technology standpoint, all you need to do something like that is the right frequency and enough power and know where the target is … It’s not super-high technology, that’s just physics.” The US military’s drone advantage won’t last forever, says Densmore, who predicts those on the receiving end of the strikes will eventually devise more advanced and technologically savvy ways of thwarting the machines. Yet it’s not just armed fighters dodging drones. Unmanned US aircraft have likely killed hundreds of civilians, mostly in Pakistan, though the exact number is unknown. The attacks have permeated the culture

of those who live in the dronelands: Pakistani balladeers write songs about drones, Yemeni mothers reportedly warn their kids that drones will get them if they don’t behave, and mental trauma in areas where drones are active is said to be widespread. Civilians in these areas have come up with their own ways of avoiding attacks. BaraaShiban, a member of Yemen’s National Dialogue and a project coordinator with human rights group Reprieve, said Yemenis he has spoken to in Maarib and Abyan governorates avoid gathering in large groups, standing out in the open, and associating with people suspected of affiliation with hardline groups. Shiban added he and others in the National Dialogue were drafting legislation to include a ban on drone strikes killing people “outside of law” in Yemen. Homeland insecurity? Despite the many civilian casualties abroad, Americans overwhelmingly support their country’s drone war. Yet US civilians have their own worries. Legislators such as Rand Paul have voiced concerns that the Obama administration may launch drone attacks on American citizens on US soil. In March, Paul blocked Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to lead the CIA, demanding in a 13-hour-long speech that the

administration clarify whether it claims the right to use armed drones within the US. Though armed drone strikes in the US are unlikely, some worry about being watched from above by unmanned aerial vehicles. Legislation signed earlier this year directed the US Federal Aviation Administration to permit drones to fly in US airspace by September 2015. Police departments and other law enforcement agencies will likely be the biggest users of the unmanned aircraft - and about three dozen police departments already have obtained permission to use drones, says Benjamin. This development has spurred some entrepreneurs to market defence mechanisms. New Yorkbased fashion designer Adam Harvey said he has invented “antidrone garments” that purportedly makes the wearer invisible from drones’ thermal imaging systems. One of the items for sale is based on the burqaand hijab worn by some Muslim women. “Conceptually, these garments align themselves with the rationale behind the traditional hijab and burqa: to act as ‘the veil which separates man or the world from God,’ replacing God with drone,” reads a description of the clothing on Harvey’s website. Peter Singer, an expert on modern warfare at the Brookings Institution, isn’t optimistic about

“This is the weak link of nonautomated technology: that there will always be a communications link and a GPS link” that can be disrupted, he said.

this approach, however, explaining that “thermal imaging is not the only way you can be detected by a drone sensor. They also still use video cam and radar, plus you have coming shifts to multi-sensors that blend it all together,” he told Al Jazeera. And a start-up company in the US state of Oregon called Domestic Drone Countermeasures plans to sell devices that are “non-offensive, noncombative and not destructive” to stymie unmanned aerial vehicles. “We understand the nature of the equipment drone manufacturers are using and understand how to counter their sensors,” said Timothy Faucett, a lead engineer for the company. “We’re not going to be countering Predator drones that are shooting cruise missiles, but we’re talking about local law enforcement drones and commercial ones that people might be using for spying.” Medea Benjamin, an anti-drone activist and founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, says that because Americans “haven’t really had to deal with [drones] concretely yet, there’s all kinds of posturing about it. That posturing goes from: ‘I’m gonna shoot one of them drones out of the sky,’ to the hacking community saying, ‘Bring ‘em on: we’ll just hack ‘em down’. But that’s a bit of bravado.” The legislative path may be the most practical option to counter drone surveillance. Forty-one US states have already proposed laws limiting the use of drones for surveillance, says Benjamin, and five - Florida, Idaho, Montana, Tennessee, and Virginia - have already passed such legislation. “We’re actually in a very unique situation where since the airspace hasn’t been opened up to drones yet, we’re in a preventive mode,” Benjamin told Al Jazeera. “What’s so fascinating about [the opposition to drones] is that it is truly bipartisan and if anything, it’s the conservatives who are on the forefront of this, because of their concern about privacy issues.” Source: Al Jazeera




Zimbabwean police intimidating populace ahead of elections – Amnesty By Abdulkadir Isa


fficers of the Zimbabwean police have continued to target and intimidate human rights defenders ahead of elections later this month according to a new report by Amnesty International. In a research conducted by the body, it presented “details how the police have conducted systematic raids on offices, arbitrarily arrested human rights defenders and seized equipment to intimidate and disrupt the work of organizations carrying out election related human rights work”. .“The clampdown on the work of human rights defenders is a worrying indicator that government agencies remain actively hostile to civil society,” said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Programme Director. “Zimbabwe’s security

…calls for investigation of human rights abuse forces must respect and protect fundamental freedoms as the country prepares for a high stakes election at the end of July.” He added. Owing to speculations at the end of 2012, that Zimbabwe would hold elections as early as March 2013, Amnesty International documented increased targeting of human rights defenders and civil society organisations. The findings revealed that, “since November 2012, at least five police raids of NGO offices have been conducted and dozens of human rights defenders unlawfully detained. Many are appearing in the courts on trumped-up charges that are widely considered to be politically motivated”. Amnesty speculated that “Though the prosecution of human rights defenders doesn’t necessarily result in convictions, they effectively

paralyse the organizations through regular court appearances of the leaders; draining finances through high legal fees; and generating fear of long term imprisonment”. The document also showed what it called “clearpartisan support by high ranking members of the country’s security services, who have openly pledged their allegiance to President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party”. Kututwa said “Such conduct is unacceptable and explicitly prohibited under Zimbabwe’s new constitution, given Zimbabwe’s history of state-sponsored violence it is guaranteed to generate fear among the population, particularly among communities that experienced serious violations in the 2008 election.” We can recall that the runup to the June 2008 second round of the presidential

election cost the country at least 200 lives, while thousands were tortured and beaten in a wave of political violence that engulfed the country, often with the acquiescence or active involvement of, the police, army and intelligence services. Amnesty International calls on the SADC and the African Union as coguarantors of the GPA to take all measures necessary to ensure non-repetition of state-sponsored violence during the 31 July harmonized elections. This includes, sending election observers to meticulously document human rights violations, in particular those committed by government agencies, and by making a clear public statement that human rights violations will not be condoned.

Egypt’s interim PM to form cabinet by Sunday


gypt’s interim Prime MinisterHazem al-Beblawi has said a new government will be formed by Sunday, a week after the popular military coup toppling Mursi. Beblawi said yesterday he would not rule out posts for Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood in the new cabinet. But the Brotherhood rejected the offer, demanding Mursi’s reinstatement and calling for fresh rallies on Friday against what it called “a bloody military coup”. Beblawi, who was appointed by the military on Tuesday, said: “So far I haven’t approached anyone,” adding that he wanted to decide on the best candidates before asking them to join the government. RawyaRageh, reporting from Cairo, said the new leadership was moving quickly on announcing a new cabinet because it was under pressure to transfer power from military to civilian rule. But the country remained deeply divided, as the military-backed government continued to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood, ordering on Wednesday the arrest of its leader Mohamed Badie and other senior figures in the movement. They are wanted on suspicion of inciting clashes near an army


building on Monday which killed at least 51 people, mostly Mursi supporters, judicial sources said. The army said soldiers came under attack by “terrorists” and armed protesters. The Brotherhood, for its part, accused the army of “massacring” its supporters. Mursi’s overthrow after nationwide protests demanding his resignation has plunged Egypt into

violent turmoil. The latest development came as US officials said Washington will go ahead with plans to deliver four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks. The US has neither welcomed the toppling of Mursi nor denounced it as a “coup”. A US decision to brand his overthrow a coup would, by US law,

require Washington to halt aid to the Egyptian military. The jets, which will likely be delivered in August, are part of the annual aid package, a US defence official told Reuters news agency on Wednesday. Another eight F-16s, built by Lockheed Martin Corp, are due to be delivered in December, the official said on condition of anonymity.

stay until authorities broke up an armed force, known as the Supreme Security Committee (SSC), which says it is backed by the interior ministry. The SSC is composed of militiamen, which are the former rebel fighters from the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. “The government had formed a ministerial committee to solve the crisis and it succeeded in getting the

ministry back last night,” a ministry official, who declined to be named, told the Reuters news agency. “We don’t know what agreement was reached but right now workers are checking the building and it is in good condition.” State news agency LANA said the ministry was calling for workers to come back to the office. Armed groups made up of former rebel fighters from different

parts of the North African country have grown in power and ambition since Gaddafi’s ouster and the weak central government has struggled to impose its authority over them. Fighting had erupted on June 8 this year after dozens of demonstrators stormed a base in the eastern city of Benghazi belonging to the Libya Shield brigade, a group of militias that is understood to be aligned with the Defence Ministry.

Libya government takes back interior ministry


he Libyan government has taken back control of its interior ministry from an armed group that had besieged the building for a week, a spokesman has told the AFP news agency. The group had ordered staff to leave the ministry on July 2 and its men had remained there for days. They had closed off the compound’s main entry with mounds of sand. One of them had said they would

German foundation to honour two Nigerians for peace initiative By Abdulkadir Isa


h e D e u t s c h e AfrikaStiftunge.V. (German Africa Foundation) is to honour two distinguished Nigerians on their initiativesfor lasting peace in the country. In a press stamen by the German embassy Abuja, The duo of Dr.MuhammadNuraynAshafa and Pastor Dr. James MovelWuye both spiritual leaders from Kaduna are the first set of Nigerians to bag this honour since its inception in 1993. It said “In 2013 the German Africa Award for the first time goes to Nigeria to honour the two spiritual leaders who encouraged the peaceful co-existence of people and actively worked for overcoming ethnic, economic and religious conflicts”. This recognition comes to them owing to the role both have played in mending fences,“Previously enemies, they continued their path of reconciliation with the establishment of the Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC), which laid the groundwork for an ongoing dialogue for tolerance and respect and against violence”. “For their commitment to peace and reconciliation, they will be awarded the German Africa Award on the 12th of December 2013 in Berlin” it added. Former awardees include Professor Dr. Alpha Omar Konaré, former President of Mali and former President of the African Union Commission as well as former President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Mohammed IbnChambas, Ghana. German African Award is presented annually to outstanding African personalities who have contributed in a remarkable way to peace, democracy, human rights, development and culture on the African continent. With the award the Deutsche AfrikaStiftung is also aiming at strengthening and promoting the relations between the people in Africa and Germany and to disseminate a modern and realistic picture of Africa. It is hoped that the award will serve as a motivating factor to others either leaders or followers to move towards peace and drive for economic partnerships to move the continent forward.




No deal reached on Koreas industrial zone


orth and South Korea failed to reach an agreement on reopening a joint industrial estatebuiltasasymbolofreconciliation, with Pyongyang accusing Seoul of insincerity, but they will meet again next week. The two sides separately agreed in principle to hold discussions about restarting family reunions, as they focused on dialogue after months of high military tensions. The Kaesong estate just north of the border opened in 2004 but shut down three months ago as relations approached crisis point. At a rare weekend meeting the two sides agreed in principle to reopen the estate, where 53,000 North Koreans worked in 123 Seoul-owned factories producing textiles or light industrial goods. Talks Wednesday at the estate failed to reach a firm agreement on a restart but the two sides will meet again next Monday. “We both agreed that the complex should be maintained and further developed,” the South’s chief delegate Suh Ho told reporters. “The North argued that it should be resumed as soon as machinery checkups are finished, while we pointed out that the same situation could be repeated even after the reopening if there is no firm guarantee

apan’s nuclear regulator says it believes radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima power station is

India delays first Delhi gang-rape verdict


Two South Korean owners who run factories in the suspended inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex react to the impasse.

on preventing a recurrence (of the shutdown). “So it was decided that this issue would be discussed at the next meeting,” he added. The North said it made “sincere efforts” to reach an agreement. “But the south side insisted on unreasonable assertions to shift the blame for the suspension of the operation in (Kaesong) onto the north

side ... and intentionally threw hurdles in the way of the talks,” its official news agency complained. The North in April withdrew its workers from the complex, an important source of hard currency for Pyongyang, citing military tensions and what it called the South’s hostility. The South now wants firm safeguards from the North against shutting Kaesong down unilaterally, to

keep the estate insulated from changes in relations. This would be a bitter pill for the North to swallow as it means it would accept responsibility for the April closure. The talks - even though fruitless so far - were a contrast to months of crossborder friction and threats of war by Pyongyang, after its February nuclear test attracted tougher UN sanctions.

leaking into the Pacific, and urged operators to act to prevent further contamination. Shunichi Tanaka, head of

the new Nuclear Regulation Authority, said that he believed contamination of the sea had been continuing since the March 2011 catastrophe. “I think contamination of the sea is continuing to a greater or lesser extent,” Tanaka said. “It was contaminated at the time of the accident, but I think it has been continuing for the last two years. Coming up with countermeasures against all possible scenarios is a top priority.” Fukushima’s operator, Tepco, has acknowledged problems are mounting at the plant north of Tokyo, the site of the world’s worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Tepco said it was checking Tanaka’s comments and could offer no immediate comment.

On Tuesday, the company said radiation levels in groundwater had soared, suggesting highly toxic materials from the power station were getting closer to the Pacific more than two years after three meltdowns triggered by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. Observation between the damaged Reactor No 2 and sea showed levels of radioactive caesium-134 and ceasium-137 had soared over the weekend, the company said. In the days after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a plume of radiation from explosions fell over wide areas of the land and sea. Toxic materials, such as caesium, were later found to have leaked through channels in the ground on the side of the station by the sea.

Meikhtila and to add three more security companies to auxiliary forces in Nay Pyi Taw and states and regions. After modifying the current anti-riot manual, the Myanmar Police Force will work out a new manual and organize training courses to train police forces in states

and regions, the report said. The Meikhtila riot was sparked by a brawl between buyers and sellers over a bit of gold clip at a gold shop in the township on March 20. The riot spread to three other townships, prompting the declaration of state of emergency since March 22

Radioactive leak reaching Pacific - Japan


Asia & Middle East


juveniles’ court in New Delhi has deferred announcing the verdict of a teenager suspected of taking part with four others in the fatal gang-rape of a student on a moving bus, which triggered an outcry in India last year. “The court has completed the hearing. The order has been deferred to July 25,” public prosecutor MadhavKhurana said as he emerged from court on Thursday. The juvenile, aged 17 at the time of the brutal assault in December can be sent to a correctional facility for a maximum three-year term, which includes the time he has already spent in custody while waiting for the verdict. The verdict is likely to cause further anger in a country attempting to turn a rising tide of violence against women and which has passed a new law toughening sentences for adults convicted of sex crimes. The victim’s family led calls for the teenager to be tried as an adult, alongside five men initially arrested over the savage crime on December 16, which led to weeks of protests in the capital and elsewhere. The trial of four adult suspects continues but is expected to wrap up in the next few months, with the men facing a possible death sentence if convicted of rape and murder. The fifth adult, alleged ringleader Ram Singh, died in jail in an apparent suicide. A government panel set up after the Delhi gang-rape to recommend changes to sex crime laws rejected calls to lower the age at which people can be tried as adults from 18 to 16.

India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Myanmar jails more rioters


yanmar district and township courts have sentenced 20 more rioters to 2-15 years in prison with hard labor respectively for being involved in a deadly riot in Meikhtila in northern Mandalay region in March, official media reported Thursday.

In April and May, 10 other rioters, including three main instigators, were sentenced to 2-17 years in prison. Meanwhile, police battalions had been formed to quell violence and riots and plans were underway to form one more battalion in

up to now. Myanmar police force has claimed arrest of 68 suspects linked to the riot that left more than 11,000 people homeless. In the latest development, order has been gradually restored to these riot-torn areas.




Luxembourg PM resigns over spying scandal T

he Luxembourg government resigned on Thursday, brought down by a spying and corruption scandal that shook the tiny country better known for wealthy bankers than political intrigue. Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister since 1995 and the

European Union’s longest serving government chief, tendered his resignation to Grand Duke Henri, the royal head of state who himself has been implicated in media reports of espionage. The government was forced to resign after junior coalition partners withdraw their support

in protest at Juncker’s apparent failure to rein in a secret service spiraling out of control. Juncker has proposed holding a general election in October, seven months ahead of schedule. The catalyst for the resignation was a parliamentary inquiry published last week that said


Luxembourg’s security agency illegally bugged politicians and members of the public, purchased cars for private use and took payments and favors in exchange for access to influential officials. In a scene reminiscent of a spy novel, former security chief Marco Mille recorded a conversation with Juncker in 2008 using a microphone in his watch. Mille told Juncker he had reliable reports that Grand Duke Henri was in constant contactwith Britain’s secret services, according to one newspaper. The Grand Duke’s office has denied the allegation. The government was already under pressure due to renewed interest in a mysterious series of sabotage bomb attacks in the 1980s, known as the Bommeleeer affair, whose targets included electricity pylons and an airport radar system as well as a newspaper office. Two former members of a special police force went on trial for the attacks at the start of this year. Last month, the government and Finance Minister Luc Frieden survived twin votes of no-confidence in parliament over accusations that the minister had put pressure on investigators to close their inquiry into the bombings.

Boston bombing suspect pleads not guilty


oston bombing suspect DzhokharTsarnaev has pleaded not guilty on all charges in connection with the April attacks, some of which could carry the death penalty. In his first court appearance, the 19-year-old entered the federal courtroom in Boston in handcuffs, shackles and wearing an orange jumpsuit. “Not guilty,” said the US citizen, whose family hail from Chechnya. He repeated his plea

repeatedly as the 30 counts were read out at the arraignment, which lasted seven minutes. Tsarnaev was arrested five days after the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15. His brother, Tamerlan, was shot dead by police during a city-wide manhunt following the blasts. The courtroom was packed with victims of the bombings, some of whom needed canes to walk.

Also in court were many journalists and a few people who identified themselves as friends of Tsarnaev. He is accused of using a pressure cooker bomb - termed a “weapon of mass destruction” by US law - in the attack, which left three people dead and more than 260 wounded. He is also charged in connection with the shooting death of a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology during the brothers’ wild overnight getaway attempt. Seventeen of the counts against him are punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment. The attacks stunned America with scenes of carnage and chaos at one of the country’s premier sporting events. The bombs were packed with metal fragments to cause maximum damage, injuring about 264 people, with many losing their legs.

Portuguese President rejects early vote


ortuguese President AnibalCavaco Silva has rejected opposition parties’ demands for an early election. “The current government has all the authority to exercise its functions,” he said in a televised address. He also urged all main parties to reach a compromise that would allow Portugal to see out its bailout period next year without needing a second bailout. Portugal was plunged into political crisis when the finance and foreign ministers resigned last week. Vitor Gaspar was seen as the architect of austerity and quit because of a lack of support for his approach. Foreign Minister Paulo Portas was unhappy with the extent of the austerity measures needed to comply with the conditions set in the

78bn euros ($102bn; £67bn) bailout received in May 2011. The austerity cuts are widely blamed for keeping Portugal in recession over the past two years, angering trade unions and left-wing parties and causing a wave of street protests. On Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho put together a deal between his Social Democratic party and its junior partner, the centre-right Popular Party (CDS-PP). In his televised statement, President Cavaco Silva did not give explicit backing to the government reshuffle, which involves CDS-PP leader Paulo Portas coming back into the cabinet as deputy prime minister. But he said adhering to opposition demands for early elections would be “extremely negative” for Portugal’s

credibility - which he said had been hit by the finance and foreign ministers’ resignations with one year left before the end of Portugal’s bailout terms. He instead urged the ruling


coalition parties to put aside their differences and reach a broad agreement with the opposition Socialists on holding elections after Portugal exits the bailout period.

Europe and Americas Latin American nations seek spying answers from US


S allies Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile have joined other Latin American nations in demanding answers from Washington over spying allegations. Brazilian media reported earlier this week that the US had seized web traffic and phone calls across the region. Spying targets included oil and energy firms, Venezuela’s military purchases and information on Mexico’s drug wars. The reports, based on leaks by fugitive Edward Snowden, said the US ran a “data-collection base” in Brasilia. The O Globo newspaper said the US facility in the Brazilian capital was part of a network of 16 such bases maintained by the National Security Agency (NSA) around the world to intercept transmissions from foreign satellites. The paper said it had evidence that the base was in operation until at least 2002, but it was unclear whether it still existed. Brazil apparently remains the main target of US snooping in Latin America, with major firms and foreign visitors routinely targeted. The surveillance was allegedly conducted through partnerships between Brazilian telecoms firms and US agencies, although the reports did not name any companies. On Monday Brazilian President DilmaRousseff urged the US to explain, and has ordered an investigation into the claims. She said if true they would represent “violations of sovereignty and human rights”. During angry exchanges in parliament on Wednesday, senators suggested Brazil should give Mr Snowden asylum, while others said Brazil should cancel lucrative defence contracts with the US. The allegations on O Globo detailed claims of US spying across Latin America, sparking an angry reaction from traditional American foes in the region like Venezuela and Ecuador. But analysts say the US will be much more concerned with the irritation the revelations have caused in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Chile. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the foreign ministry had asked “quite clearly” for an explanation about the spying allegations. “And we want to know if this is the case, and if it is so, it would obviously be totally unacceptable,” he said. Officials in Chile and Colombia made similar statements earlier in the week.



Strange World

Bugs made into bread, biscuits


ntomologist Skye Blackburn breeds edible bugs and sells them as novelty gifts. The businesswoman puts crickets and mealworms into lollipops or covers them with chocolate as a ‘tasty’ treat. “Eating insects is a fairly new concept,” she told Sky News. “It is a little bit unique and most people wouldn’t expect to get a gift like this but they have been really popular this Christmas. “We try to put the bugs in an edible form which people would recognise.” Ms Blackburn grinds up roasted mealworms and uses the flour-like powder to make other foodstuffs like banana bread and biscuits. While some people may find them hard to swallow, she says she has regular customers including doctors and university professors.

They buy the bugs in frozen form to mix them into curries and stews. “They use it in their everyday diet,” she said. “They are really aware of the nutritional value of the bugs compared to some of the meat products people get.” Ms Blackburn, who breeds them at an insect farm near Sydney, says she prepares the bugs in a way which meets Australia’s strict food hygiene laws. She said: “We kill them ethically, we freeze them which puts them to sleep so they don’t feel any kind of pain. “We keep them in a very sterile environment feeding them organic grains and vegetables which increases the flavour of the bugs themselves. “Some people will never quite understand but they are entitled to their opinion, most people though are quite receptive.”

Samples of powder from mealworms goes into making bread and biscuits

The chewy creatures, which have a crunchy, biscuity taste, have proved so popular that Ms

Blackburn says she is planning to expand her menu in the new year.

She said: “We are adding water bugs, scorpions and even tarantulas.”

enjoyed the process. “When we were not in the hotel and discussing arrangements, we were going out in the city and having a bite to eat and having a drink and actually a few laughs as well!” One of the mediators who guides couples through the weekend is Anne Marie Van As. She said: “Today, more and more is known about the damaging effects of a fighting divorce especially... on children. “So a concept which binds mediation with a comfortable environment in a relatively short space of time in which a divorce can be finished is a brilliant concept.” It is also a brilliant concept for TV and the multi-Emmy Award winning Base Productions is pitching a series to television networks in the US, and several are said to be interested. Producer Mickey Stern says rather than a reality TV show (a genre born in the Netherlands) they are proposing a high-gloss documentary series examining couples as they

go through the process and how conflicts are resolved as the spoils are divided. And the obvious potential for expansion into other countries is also being explored by the creator:

the US and Germany may be next to experience the check-in check-out road to divorce. The cheap and speedy legal solution is perhaps appropriate for these times of austerity.

ante Autullo remained conscious after the selfinflicted injury and initially believed he had only brushed his nail gun against his head. The 32-year-old, who is recovering in hospital, even continued doing handywork around his Chicago home for the rest of the day and chatted to his family. But he was taken to hospital the following afternoon after waking up from a nap feeling ill. An X-ray revealed the nail lodged in his brain – but Mr Autullo was still well enough to post an image of the scan on Facebook

during an ambulance ride between hospitals. Doctors explained the nail had barely missed the portion of the brain that controls motor function, meaning he was able to carry on with his day. Although there are painsensitive nerves on a person’s skull, there are none in the brain itself. Following the surgery on Friday, Mr Autullo’s 33-year-old wife Gail Glaenzer, with whom he has four children, said: “He feels good. He moved all his limbs, he’s talking normal, he remembers everything. “It’s amazing, a miracle.”

The Divorce Hotel: Divorce made quick and easy


t is a concept called the ‘Divorce Hotel’ and helps husbands and wives to arrange all the necessary legal documentation to end their marriage over the course of just two days. They meet a mediator and series of lawyers behind closed doors who will split assets, agree alimony payments and arrange visitation rights - all for a fixed fee. The brainchild of entrepreneur Jim Halfens, who said he spotted a gap in the market in a country where the average divorce can easily run into five figures and take months to complete. “When they leave the hotel, all work is done,” he told Sky News. “The only thing that happens then in Dutch law is that they have to show the agreement to a judge in the Netherlands and that takes a couple of weeks. “They walk divorced out of this door and to make it official takes a couple of weeks.” He uses a number of high-

end boutique hotels around the country, including the smart Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague. Sales manager NinkeBons explains that the couples, who often check in together, but mostly choose to stay in separate rooms, are handled with care by the staff. “We treat them as any other guests, we just try to keep a closer eye on them or make sure they are not wandering around by themselves,” she says. “Just as an example - we would normally enquire if a guest enjoyed their stay at the hotel. Well, obviously that’s not very appropriate in the case of the ‘Divorce Hotel.’” Couples have to apply to use the process and are rigorously screened by the divorce hotel legal team. If the husband and wives are squabbling, or barely on speaking terms, they are deemed unsuitable for the process. A businessman called Hans spoke to Sky News off-camera about his experience in the hotel. He and his soon to be ex-second wife actually

The Divorce Hotel makes the process quick and easy

US man survives nail to the brain D

An X-ray of a nail embedded in the brain of Dante Autullo



Weekend Revue


A glimpse in to Maltina dance all I

t was indeed a breathtaking spectacle recently at the atrium of the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island Lagos, when unsuspecting movie goers, shop owners and shoppers alike witnessed the sudden emergence of a group of colorfully dressed dancers who delighted them with dexterous dance moves. The dancers gave a sublime performance depicting dance styles from the 1960’s to the present dance era. It was an ingenious flash mob deftly executed by Maltina, the premium non-alcoholic malt drink from the stable of Nigerian Breweries plc to herald the commencement of the 2013 edition of popular family reality TV show, Maltina Dance All season 7 aptly tagged “The Evolution”. Speaking after the flash mob presentation, Mr. Edem Vindah, Corporate Media and Brand PR manager who represented Mr. Ageni Yusuf, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries plc said “the dance performance we have just seen is a tip of the iceberg from this season of Maltina Dance All. “As we all know, it is the foremost experiential and sponsorship platform of the Maltina brand renowned for promoting togetherness with friends and loved ones. The TV show, which made its debut in 2007, has remained Nigeria’s first and only family dance TV show featuring families from various regions across the country”. He added that the show is “about the emotions, excitement, fun and the unbreakable bond that ten families will showcase when they challenge themselves by learning and performing various dance styles from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and to the present day in the famous Maltina Dance All academy.

Dance step at Maltina Dance All This according to him is going to be evolution of dance from time past to the present. The winning family will go home with the grand prize of a whooping sum of N6 million and a brand new car. The first and second runners up will also get N1 million and N500, 000 respectively. The show will bring to the fore, the Nigerian people’s essence and values of sharing, happiness unity, cooperation, vitality and creativity”. Also speaking, Mrs. Ngozi Nkwoji, Senior Brand Manager, Maltina, stated that building any brand is a very long journey, “We are glad with where we are with Maltina today. We are very excited about the 7th season of MDA, 7 years is a long time

Another step dance at Maltina Dance All

for a show to still be relevant and we’re very glad Maltina through MDA continues to bring the brand experience of sharing happiness and fun to the consumer. “The MDA Evolution is something not to be missed. We put a lot of work into it. Every year there is something bigger and better. What we are doing with Maltina Dance All is to “share happiness” and to also create more emotional connection with consumers because families and dance are two winning components in the Nigerian environment. “Nigerians love to dance. Maltina is continuously nourishing millions of Nigerians. It’s still the most fortified malt drink in the market. It’s also the biggest

malt brand in the market. For this year 2013, we already have MDA 7 the Evolution; we also shared happiness this year at the Lagos Carnival. We have a couple of surprises for our consumers as the year goes by” The show proper will be preceded by regional auditions which will kick off in Port Harcourt at the Atrium Event Center on July 19th - 20th; Lagos - National Theatre on July 25th, 26th and 27th and Abuja - Nicon Luxury Hotel on August 2nd - 3rd . Nigerians who intend to participate can go online and register at www. or they can register at the venues of the auditions. They can also visit officialmaltinapage for more information and to stay connected with online competitions and much more. During these regional auditions respective family members also stand a chance to win any of the numerous

regional dance competition prizes; Blackberry phones, 21” Flat screen TV sets, Home theatre systems and lots of refreshing Maltina drinks. The TV show will be aired from 1st of September this year on major TV networks and video uploaded on YouTube and Facebook. Also, viewers can participate and win fabulous prizes through the interactive SMS platform during the show. It would be recalled that the 2007 edition produced the Onye family; in 2008 it was the Opuwari family that carted away the star prize; in 2009 the nation’s best dance family were the Ibiams, in 2010 the Adejoh’s held sway and in 2011 the Ekuboh’s showed Nigerians why they were crowned the number one dance family. In 2012 the Greens were crowned the best dance family with the unforgettable swinging moves of Opus and his sister. Source: Linda Ikeji’s blog

Family performance at Maltina Dance All



Weekend Revue

2Face is a debtor -Blackface fumes


ormer member of the defunct music group, Plantashun Boiz, Blackface, seems to be ready for a showdown with another former member of the group, 2Face Idibia over the controversial hit song, ‘African Queen,’ which the former claimed he co-wrote with the latter, has said. It added that Blackface was insisting that he had a share in the glory and is entitled to whatever revenue 2Face earns from the song. Though 2Face Idibia has been taking credit for the hit song, which was used as a soundtrack for a Hollywood movie, Phat Girlz, released in 2006, and which featured

American star, Mo’Nique, Blackface has now cried out that he is also part of the song. It would be recalled that shortly after the Plantashun Boiz broke up, the relationship between the duo was still intact, and it was believed that only Face had a strained relationship with the other members of the group. The strain in the relationship between Blackface and 2Face became obvious during the April 2013 wedding of the latter in Dubai, which the former didn’t attend. When asked by a follower on Twitter why he was not at 2Face’s wedding in Dubai, which was attended by Face, Blackface simply replied that he doesn’t go to where he is not invited.



Blackface’s response raised questions and confirmed that the two erstwhile friends might not be on speaking terms. Speaking with Channels TV some days ago, Blackface stated that he was yet to receive any

money from 2Face despite his incessant cry on the matter. “I still haven’t received any payment from 2Face because we have to backdate it, they have to check the revenues of the music, what it has generated,

Kim Kardashian won’t get married again soon


Kanye West and Kardashian Kim

he ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ star as said that the twice-divorced Kim, 32, who recently welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her rapper boyfriend, Kanye West, shouldn’t tie the knot with him so soon after her divorce from Kris Humphries was finalised. A family friend told gossip website “Kris is encouraging the couple not to get married. “After Kim’s last, 72-day marriage, Kris feels like the Kardashian brand does not need another marriage disaster on its hands. She is telling them to take their time, to really think about it. A third divorce for Kim, is not something Kris wants for her daughter or her family business. Kris Jenner has advised Kim Kardashian not to get married again in the near future. “There is no doubt that everyone in the family wants to see Kim happy, but at the same time they are assuring her that she doesn’t need to be married to find happiness. “Kim adores Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, which is why her mom is using them as an example of how you can be a solid, committed couple, without having to say ‘I do.’ Kris originally used Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell as an example of a great couple that never got married, but Kim had no idea who these two were” Kim was previously married to music producer Damon Thomas for four years until 2004, and her divorce from Kris was finalised last month when they finally settled their court battle, which began in late October, 2011.

what is due to the co-writer and all that, all those things are just still hanging, but I still have one or two things that I am doing to find out what the issue behind all these stuffs are,” the singer said.

Popular Yoruba actor, Olayiwola’s daughter, is missing


nformation reaching indicated that the daughter of a popular Yoruba actor, Olayiwola has gone missing. It said that the daughter, Damilola, left Oyo town for Ibadan by 2pm Tuesday, and has not been seen since then. The father, according to information, has lodged a complaint at the Police station. Members of the public with useful information re urged to contact any nearest police station or 08072778872.



Feature Protecting the copyright industry By Katurak Yashim


y most accounts, the Nigerian entertainment industry is threatened by the high rate of copyright

piracy. Stakeholders bemoan the development and argue that the entertainment industry will crumble if nothing is done to address the menace. Copyright gives the creator of an original work the exclusive rights on the work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation, but after an agreed period, such work is said to enter the public domain. While holding the right; royalties and revenues from a copyrighted work are paid to the owners of the works whenever an authorised copy of their work is sold or used. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Nigeria because of the activities of pirates; a development which observers describe as inimical to the growth of the country’s entertainment and arts industry. In spite of this, Mrs Tarja Koskinen-Olsson, an international copyright consultant, described the growth of Nigeria’s creative industry as one of the best, when compared to other sectors in the country. She noted that with the type of Nigerians’ creativity, the country’s economy could grow through public and private investments, promotion, sales and pragmatic approach to eliminating piracy. Koskinen-Olsson, however, urged the country’s film and creative industry to take steps in working on its rights so as to strengthen the copyright industry. Sharing similar sentiments, Prof. Helge Ronning, the Chairman of Norwegian Copyright Development Association, said that the copyright industry in Nigeria could contribute more to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). ``If copyright is taken seriously, the economy will improve immensely, as the copyright industry in the UK provides more than 2.3 million jobs and 8.4 per cent of the GDP annually,’’ he said. Ronning underscored the need to protect the cultural, moral, social, political and civil rights of creators, adding that the global recognition accorded to the Nigerian culture was part of the factors that made the country great. He called on the Federal Government to initiate pragmatic policies that would boost the protection of the entertainment industry as a viable sector. In an apparent response to such calls, the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) recently inaugurated the Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for music to foster the rapid growth and protection of the industry. Besides, the NCC, in May

A client checking some movie CDs at a video club in Lagos 2010, approved the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as the operator of the CMO to act on behalf of musicians. The society has the mandate of promoting and protecting the copyright of practitioners in the Nigerian music industry. Observers note that this development has promoted the growth of the music industry and the interests of Nigerian artistes, as musicians now receive royalties for the commercial use of their works more than ever before. They add that it has also enabled actors, filmmakers, producers and marketers to enjoy royalties in line with global best practices. Mr Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of COSON, said that with the involvement of CMO in the royalties’ collection, the society was able to distribute more than N25 million to artistes in 2011 and N100 million in 2012. Okoroji noted that the payment of royalties by commercial users of music works

was vital to the survival of the industry. He explained that the massive and continuous abuse of intellectual property rights had discouraged investments in the music industry, while causing a drain on the nation’s economy. He, therefore, pledged to enforce the statutes regarding the payment of royalties by commercial music users, warning that those that refused to comply with the regulation would be made to face the wrath of the law. However, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji, the General Manager of COSON, said that the society was still making efforts to change the erroneous public perception that ``music is free’’. He noted that most people still claimed ignorance that they were not aware that commercial music users ought to pay certain royalties. Chukwuji warned that persons, who broadcast musical works without obtaining a prior permission, were robbing the artistes of their rights and

privileges as creators. ``Most people think that music is free but the truth is that music is the creative work of someone and the artistes should be compensated for their creativity and labour,’’ he noted. Chukwuji noted that in its efforts to enforce royalty payment in the country, COSON had filed law suits against some hotels, radio stations and organisations. ``The suits were filed for unauthorised copying and communication to the public of musical works belonging to members of the society. `` Although the law suits were dropped after an agreement was reached with the society; it showed that the society would not relent in efforts to enforce the copyright of artistes,’’ he explained. However, Mr Vincent Oyefeso, the Assistant Director (Public Affairs) in the NCC, said that the fight against copyright infringement could not be won without the active support of the public.

``If copyright is taken seriously, the economy will improve immensely, as the copyright industry in the UK provides more than 2.3 million jobs and 8.4 per cent of the GDP annually,’’ he said. Ronning underscored the need to protect the cultural, moral, social, political and civil rights of creators, adding that the global recognition accorded to the Nigerian culture was part of the factors that made the country great.

``Another major problem which the industry is facing is that copyright owners do not produce enough copies of genuine works and this gives the pirates the leeway to produce them for sales. ``The demand for books and literary works in the market is higher than the supply of the works itself and so, if the genuine works are not available, pirates begin to mass produce extra copies at cheaper rates,’’ he said. Nevertheless, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, the Dean of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, Abuja, said that most people were not aware of their rights and as such, they could not fight for such rights whenever the need arose. He emphasised the need to educate the media and public about the rights of the people involved in creative works. ``There is also need for partnership between institutions, politicians, associations, lawmakers, organisations and the police,’’ he advised. Biakolo said that the partnership would enhance respect and appreciation for creative works and copyrights, as people would be more aware of the potential input of industry to employment creation and the GDP. Calling for the creation another CMO for the film industry, Mr Ifeanyi Dike, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Actors Guild of Nigeria, alleged that films produced by actors and film makers were used freely, mostly by television stations. He stressed that the establishment of a CMO for the movie industry would enable the actors and movie makers to receive royalties for the commercial use of films. ``Protecting the rights of original work creators in the country has been a constant battle but the battle will be won,’’ he said. Dike, however, bemoaned the habit of some artistes who allegedly gave their original works to pirates to mix with works of other artistes. ``Most artistes do that to ensure that their works reach the market fast but they fail to realise that they are engaging in copyright infringement,’’ he said. All the same, Mr Chris Nkwocha, the Lagos Zonal Manager of NCC, said that that the commission was working towards the establishment of a CMO for the movie industry. Nkwocha, nonetheless, called on writers, musicians, authors and others in the creative industry to make concerted efforts to report those who infringed on their rights. All things being equal, stakeholders in entertainment industry believe that the sector could be developed to generate appreciable revenue and boost the country’s GDP if pragmatic policies are initiated and implemented by the relevant authorities. Source: NAN




Nigeria’s efforts to eradicate hunger create problems By Olayemi Okeniyi


nce upon a time, the generally accepted image of an African child was that of a skinny child whose flesh could barely hold up the few scraps of clothing he was wearing. In today’s global village where correct information is easily accessible on the web, the image of a starving African child with a swarm of flies surrounding him still persists in some foreign nations. To a degree, this is an accurate representation of some hapless children in few African countries where hunger is the major cause of deaths of under-five children but Nigeria is not one of those countries. Certainly, Nigeria is one of the 38 countries that have been able to fulfill the anti-hunger aspect of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The objective of MDG One is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in the world by building sustainable food systems, doubling productivity and income and preventing food from being lost or wasted. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Nigeria has met the internationally-set hunger eradication targets to halve the percentage of hungry people by 2015 By all means, this achievement is commendable but looking at the bigger picture, 2015 is fast approaching and the other aspects of MDG One as well as the remaining four MDGs have yet to be achieved. All the same, Nigeria’s efforts to reduce hunger have led to an unexpected and disturbing trend in the country. For instance, while many citizens are no longer starving; malnutrition persists as many people are not getting enough nutrients from the foods they consume. A side-effect of the 21st Century civilisation is a busier schedule for families and in the process of working, schooling and running around; most people only have time for fast foods. The implication of this is that many Nigerians have now resorted to eating processed foods and even traditionally prepared meals are now subjected to repeated freezing and microwaving to the point that most nutrients are lost. Grabbing a quick meat-pie, instant noodles or fried chips at a nearby restaurant may provide quick meals for individuals with busy schedules but in the long run; these foods are taking a toll on the people’s health. Doctors call this kind of food the Western diet -- a diet rich in red meat, processed foods, sugar and saturated fats but low in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood and poultry. Medical experts, however, insist that this convenient diet contributes to premature aging, adding that it has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes, obesity and colorectal cancer. It is for this reason that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been urging developing countries to make pragmatic efforts to tackle the emerging threat of childhood obesity. According to a statement by Francesco Branca, the Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, 75 per cent of overweight children live in developing countries, with the prevalence in Africa almost doubling in the last 20 years. ``While it is vital to maintain efforts to reduce malnutrition, the world needs to do much more to prevent and care for the growing number of people that are overweight or obese, living in low and middle income countries. ``A food system that does not deliver a sufficient amount of quality food can lead to poor growth or excess weight gain. ``A child, who has grown poorly in his first years of life, may turn into a short but overweight adolescent and then later in life, develop a chronic disease as an adult,” Branca said in the statement. The WHO official underscored the need for policy makers to focus on improving the nutritional status of the next generation, so as to avoid a massive explosion of nutrition

L-R: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, discussing with Professor Yuan Long Pin, on how to obtain rice varieties that yield as much as 7.5 metric tonnes per hectare, yesterday in Bejing, China. problems in the coming generation. To this end, WHO has presented a package of 24 essential nutrition programmes. These include improving nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding women, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, continued breastfeeding up to two years and promoting appropriate solid foods for young children. The global health agency noted that the implementation of these actions in Brazil, Ethiopia and Peru had been highly successful. Prof. Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba, said that ``in food security, there must be enough food to eat and then, the knowledge of what food to eat.” The traditional ruler, who is a former Professor of Nutrition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S., expatiated that while not everybody could afford available food items, there were healthy foods that could be obtained on a small budget. Edozien said that sound education would enable families to decipher the kinds of healthy foods which they should procure and the changes they could make to boost the dietary content of the children’s foods. He noted that this approach worked in the past, saying: ``In the old days, kwashiorkor was prevalent because in most homes, the parents ate the meat and fish and gave the soup to the children because they didn’t know the importance. ``What we did then was to educate mothers whenever they came to hospital,” he added. Edozien said that informed parents were in a better position to make sacrifices that would enhance their children’s health through proper dieting. Sharing similar sentiments, Prof. Phillip Abiodun, a nutritionist at the University of

Benin Teaching Hospital, stressed that dietary decisions made in infancy could have future consequences. Beginning with breastfeeding, Abiodun explained ``how studies show the breast milk reduces the likelihood of being obese by about 20 or 30 per cent.’’ He said that in the past, people attempted to help children with low birth weight to catch up with their contemporaries by giving them baby formula in addition to breast milk. ``Those who were on the formula at that time were growing too fast and people detected that these children developed hypertension, diabetics and other diseases, which we thought were adult diseases,” he said. He said that if a two-year-old child was obese, the child was likely to become obese in the future. He said that in the case of obesity, Nigeria could also suffer some economic disadvantages like the cost of treatment and the loss of labour force because of early deaths brought about by obesity. Abiodun concluded that no baby formula could provide as much nourishment as breast milk but added that in situations where the formula became expedient, the one with reduced protein and more amino acids was the best option. After establishing a good foundation for a child’s development with breast milk, the next step is to aid the child to develop good eating habits early in life. However, Prof. Emmanuel Ekanem, a paediatrician, urged parents not to relent in efforts to ensure that their children ate balanced diets. ``Picky eating among children is a serious condition that should not be ignored, as it has the tendency to affect their physical and mental development later in life,” he said.

Picky eating among children is a serious condition that should not be ignored, as it has the tendency to affect their physical and mental development later in life

He explained that picky or choosy eaters were often selective with regard to the kinds of food they ate. He said that such behaviour among children could be temporary, warning, however, that if efforts were not made to deal with it appropriately and on time, it might lead to serious health problems. Ekanem noted that children, who were picky eaters, were often unwilling to try new foods, adding that they habitually maintained a narrow range of foods which they would accept and often complained at the meal table. He said that such children usually had a liking for foods that were not rich in macronutrients, while rejecting new foods and taking a long time to eat. The professor urged parents to be vigilant during the period when the child was being introduced to new foods and when the child was acquiring independent eating skills because that was the phase when picky eating usually became visible. He suggested a two-pronged approach to tackling the menace of picky eating, saying: ``Firstly, parents should be good role models because their child is watching how and what they are eating. ``Secondly, parents should involve the child in the selection and preparation of foods; let the child see that he or she is part of that process. ``If that is not effective; then, parents should introduce nutritional supplements, beginning with fruits and vegetables as well as vitamins-containing tablets so as to bridge the gap in situations where recovery is slow. ``Picky eaters tend to be deficient in important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D, iron and calcium; all of which are strong contributors to health and mental development. ``It’s important also to give the child adequate time to eat. On the average, the child will require 20 to 30 minutes to have a good meal and most importantly, the child should avoid distractions during mealtime,” he said. Ekanem said that distractions such as television, computer games and cell phones during meals should be discouraged. He also appealed to parents not to force the child to eat faster, adding that children should also not be compelled to consume all the food on their plates; as such approach could trigger rebellion in the children. Source: NAN




Taking high doses of vitamins could reduce your life expectancy

Taking vitamin pills containing high doses could be bad for your health new research suggests By Emma Innes aking vitamin pills in high doses could be bad for your health, say scientists. A study found that voles who were given a lot of vitamins C and E had a reduced lifespan of up to a quarter. Researchers said the findings, published in Biology Letters, raise questions about the benefits of popping the supplements. The human body does not make or store vitamin C and gets its supply from fruit and vegetables. It only needs 40mg a day to keep cells healthy and promote healing. Vitamin E helps maintain the structure of cells and is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and cereals. A man needs just 4mg a day and a woman should have 3mg. But tablets containing up to a hundred times this amount are available in health food shops.


Researchers fed field voles large quantities of Vitamin E or C from the age of two months and compared their longevity to groups given a regular diet. They say that voles were used for the study as giving such high quantities of vitamins to humans would be unsafe. High doses of dietary antioxidants, such as vitamins, are commonly suggested to slow the process of cellular ageing by lessening the damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA. Previous research had shown the lives of mice could be extended by giving them supplements, but the opposite was found to be true in voles. They had much shorter lives on average if given extra Vitamin E or C. But despite these effects, the vitamin supplements had some effect in decreasing damage caused by aging. Professor Colin Selman, of Glasgow University, said: ‘When we

began our research we expected voles’ lifespans would be boosted by the vitamin supplements in a similar way to the mice we had tested previously so we were surprised to see that was not the case. ‘Our findings suggest major differences exist in the effects of high doses of antioxidants on oxidative damage and lifespan across species.’ Britons spend £175million a year on supplements and pills containing antioxidants claimed to help combat disease. Most popular are Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene - the pigment found in carrots, tomatoes and broccoli which the body converts into Vitamin A. Ten million Britons take these vitamins regularly but some scientists have dismissed them as useless while others have branded them dangerous.

Professor Selman said: ‘There’s been a lot of research suggesting at best vitamin supplements produce no benefit and at worst can have deleterious effects. ‘Vitamin E pills have been linked with prostate cancer and an increased risk of all-cause mortality for example. ‘Most of the benefits have been shown in lab rodents so it’s interesting the supplements were reduced the lifespan of voles which usually live for about 500 or 600 days. ‘What we did not look at is what they actually died of so it would be important to discover that in the future.’ Professor John Speakman, of Aberdeen University, said: ‘It’s unlikely randomised controlled trials examining the effects of antioxidant supplementation on

human lifespan would be possible so we are dependent on the results of animal studies. ‘It’s impossible at this stage to extrapolate the results from this small amount of data we have on voles and mice but it does suggest caution is warranted in the use of high doses of antioxidant vitamins.’ Graham Keen, Executive Director of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association commented: ‘The vitamin and mineral supplements industry has an exceptional record of both safety and efficacy, in the UK and worldwide. ‘Figures published by the Food Standards Agency showed that there were only 11 reported reactions to food supplements over an 11 year period, the majority of them in the lowest category of harm.’ Source:

Scientists think it is safer for people to get the vitamins they need by eating a healthy and varied diet, rather than by taking supplements

How exercising self-control is ‘the key to happier living’ By Sadie Whitelocks


he ability to resist anything from an extra slice of cake to a spending splurge is one of the keys to happier living, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that levels of self-control and life satisfaction were inextricably linked after analyzing self-report surveys completed by 414 adults. Instead of agonizing over whether to indulge in something, those with strong willpower simply found it easier to make the right choices while those who gave into vices were plagued with regret. Study co-author Kathleen Vohs, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota, said people with greater selfrestraint are, in essence setting

Time to strengthen your willpower: The ability to resist anything from an extra slice of cake to a spending splurge is one of the keys to happier living, according to a new study

themselves up to be happy. This is apparently because they learn how to ‘avoid problematic desires and conflict.’ Along with the surveys the researchers also turned to data from a study in which 205 adults were given smartphones and asked to report their emotions at random intervals throughout the week. At the same time, they were also asked to state whether they were experiencing any desires, and if so, how hard they tried to resist them, and whether they ended up seeing them through. Again findings shows those who refrained from acting on impulse were generally more cheerful in the long run. The paper defines self-control as ‘the ability to override or change one’s inner responses’ and lead researcher, Wilhelm

Hofmann, describes it as ‘among humankind’s most valuable assets.’ Dr. Nick Nacarri, a psychologist who was not involved in the study, points out that the immediate gratification of giving into desires can wear off quickly and leave people unhappy. He says a better approach would be to take time and give some thought before giving in. ‘So it’s not like denying yourself entirely, but being more selective about when and how and under what circumstances, because when you do that it makes the things more enjoyable,’ he explained to Fox News. The recent study was published in this month’s Journal of Personality. Source:


Kwara Central Senatorial district election: Saraki knows fate today By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, will today deliver judgment in the legal battle between Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Alhaji Lasisi Ayinla Kolawole Jimoh over the disputed Kwara Central Senatorial District election. The appeallate court slated today to determine the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2011 General Election between the two PDP chieftains. The court yesterday issued a hearing notice on the judgment to the chambers of counsels engaged by parties in the legal action. At the last hearing of the matter, Saraki had asked the Court of Appeal to decline jurisdiction in Jimoh’s appeal on the ground that the appellant lacked locus stands to institute the case against him. Saraki had told the court that the appellant did not participate in the last National Assembly election in Kwara State and therefore cannot challenge the outcome of the election. He also argued that the primary election that produced him (Saraki) was a domestic affair of the PDP, which cannot be inquired into by any court. Saraki, who was the immediate past governor of Kwara state, faulted the suit that brought about the appeal, claiming that it was instituted at the federal high court six days to the constitution of the Kwara State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal. In his response, filed by his counsel, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Saraki insisted that since Jimoh instituted his case after the election, he ought to have gone to the election petition tribunal and not any regular court to ventilate his anger and grievances. He asked specifically that the Appeal Court should hold that it has no jurisdiction in the appeal case because, it was a post election suit that must first pass through an election petition tribunal before the appellate court. Saraki then asked the court to dismiss the suit. Jimoh had filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the nomination of Saraki as the PDP flag bearer on the ground that a bye-election that produced him was not conducted in accordance with the law. The trial court sitting before Justice Ibrahim Auta, upheld Saraki’s nomination by PDP and dismissed Jimoh’s suit for being baseless, frivolous and disclosing no cause of action.


PDP’ll probe Rivers Assembly crisis, Tukur assures From Umar Dankano, Yola


ational Chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday gave the assurance that the party would investigate the immediate and remote causes of the recent fracas in the Rovers state House of Assembly. The PDP boss who made this disclosure in Yola, Adamawa state in a chat with newsmen also condemned the incidence adding that whoever is found culpable would be dealt with accordingly. Tukur noted that while the lawmakers have the constitutional right to hold opinions and ventilate their views, such must be done within the ambit of decorum

and democratic tenets. He expressed his disappointment over the unfortunate behaviour of the lawmakers in Rivers state insisting that his party will not condone any act of indiscipline by any of its members even as he stressed that the party will investigate a situation where five lawmakers embarked on a battle of supremacy in their quest to oust the Speaker. “I am yet to be briefed on what really happened in Rivers State Hosue of Assembly but my party will investigate the matter to put record straight,” he assured. While conceding to the fact that it is common parliamentary practice world over for lawmakers to disagree and agree among

themselves, Tukur noted that the Rivers Assembly matter had taken a dangerous dimension. Tukur however, regretted that his party members were the ones involved in the political razzmatazz, adding that the presidency and the party leadership are not in any way involved in the mayhem as being speculated by oppositions of the party. According to him, though the action of the Rivers State lawmakers is annoying, “such scenarios where you have differences as individuals in a party as big as the PDP which is rooted in all nooks and crannies of the country, supposed to have resolve their differences with a democratic approach.”

L-R: Member, House Committee on PIB, Hon. Rofikat Onabamiro, Deputy Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor, and Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osage, during the public hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

“People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is a family where big things are happening. The party is so big that a lot of things could happen in it, the good, the bad and ugly”, he submitted. Tukur pointed out that fighting in the legislature has become a culture in the world “For instance, even in Japan, in the House of Parliament, they fight; in Britain legislatures have their own issues. What has happened in Rivers State has nothing to do with the leadership of the party or the Presidency. Therefore I want to educate the people that, what happened on Tuesday has nothing to do with political parties. The parties are the one that put the governors and the lawmakers but do not dictate to the members how to run the House of Assembly.” Commenting on the quagmire in Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the PDP National Chairman said the forum is not constitutionally recognised but was constituted by the governors to serve as avenue for social interaction among them which they use in addressing issues that are affecting them. He explained that the governors will work out modalities in solving their problems because of their wealth of experience, maturity and zeal to leave lasting legacies even as he pointed out that Nigerians are watching their various interests in all ramifications. He expressed optimism that his leadership style has yielded positive results in his home, adding that the former Governor of the State, Boni Haruna who was the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) has returned to the party based on the sanity and confidence that are entrenched into the party based on his reconciliatory approach.

We’ll fight back, sacked Taraba SSG, others vow From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos and Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


acked Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Taraba state, Emmanuel Njiwah, and other five state Commissioners axed with him by Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, yesterday vowed to fight the injustice leading to their dismissal. Speaking in a phone conversation with Peoples Daily in Jalingo, Njiwah said the report of the House of Assembly was doctored to discredit him and his committee. Njiwah who faulted the Assembly report said he is coming

out with his full position on the issues very soon. He linked his sack to the ongoing politics to stop ailing Governor Danbaba Suntia from returning to power after recovering from the plane crash. “It was an embarrassment to my name, how will I do such? I have been serving government with integrity. It is just politics; we are victims of the ongoing politicking of Governor Danbaba’s health but very soon I will make our position public,” he assured. Similarly, the sacked Commissioner of Agriculture in Taraba State, Anthony Jalleson, said the action of the Taraba state Acting governor was not a

welcome development. Jalleson said “though the Acting Governor has power to sack us but the action taken by the state House of Assembly is inhuman” He said the members of the Assembly has smeared them and they would take the necessary action to protect their rights. The former Commissioner said the money given to their committee on flood victims by the Federal Government was not up to N4 million but just N3million. Another affected commissioner who spoke with our correspondent anonymously said their sack was political and related to the ailing governor politics of return.“When the time comes we(the affected

commissioners) would speak, its too early to talk now but I want you to know it’s politics, they believed we are anti Umar, because the said report is shady. Who set up the investigating committee? When was the investigation done? Why is it now that Governor Danbaba is about to return we were sacked on phantom probe. We would talk very soon, for now we are studying the politics” However the leadership of the state chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) said their sack was long overdue, following the negative roles they played especially in worsening the situation of the flood victims.



Politics ACN behind Rivers crisis - Lagos PDP alleges From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party PDP has described the reaction of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to the recent violence in the Rivers State House of Assembly as alarming, hypocritical and in bad faith. The party in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, stated that the ACN has deliberately toed the line in an attempt to blackmail PDP as anarchist when in actual fact it is the incursion of ACN into the Rivers

state politics that is the immediate cause of the new wave of politics in the state. The party’s position is supported by her observation that it is the trademark of ACN to instigate, forment or exaggerate crisis in the state that they are interested in winning. It said this was noticed in the cases of Osun, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states in which many lives and property were lost. The PDP described the ACN as “An Alarmist Party who indeed are themselves worse in character and should remember that he who lives in a glass house should not

throw stones. They really need more education in this game” The party also reminded the Lagos ACN leadership of the physical attacks on Hon Risikat Adegeye on the floor of the state House of Assembly; the attack on Hon. Kazeem Adeyinka, Leader of Oshodi Local Government legislative Council and the Councillors attack on Hon. Tajudeen Ajide, Chairman Surulere Local Government, to mention a few. It wondered why the Lagos ACN did not ‘fish out’ its members who participated in the attacks if indeed it is not an aider and abeter

of anarchist. It thus submits that the Lagos ACN is only attempting to play kindergarten politics out of the Present situation in Rivers State. The Lagos PDP maintained that the ACN is indeed the biggest threat to the nations democracy. “The over ambitious attempt by ACN to win the presidency is the root cause of the recent bad politics within the NGF and some states in the federation. We are warning that unless Nigerians rise up to condemn ACN style of agent provocateur, the 2015 presidential election is threatened”.

L-R: Rivers state Governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, deputy governor, Mr Tele Ikuru, and Speaker, Rivers House of Assembly, Hon. Otelemaba Amachree, when members of the state House of Assembly paid a solidarity visit to the governor, Wednesday in Port Harcourt. Photo: NAN

CPC wants NASS to pass Petroleum Industry Bill


he Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has advised the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to create an enabling environment for the sector. The CPC National Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh, gave the advice recently in Abuja, during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Momoh said that CPC would always promote any decision in the

country that would grow national economy. The national chairman also urged NASS to see six years single term for the president and governors as an opportunity for the executives to grossly engage in corruption. He said that such step could only prevent the progress of the nation, adding that that could increase insecurity and other corrupt practices.

Momoh appealed to all Nigerian citizens to advocate for the alternative that would uplift and sustain the integrity of the nation. The national chairman said that the party believed that Nigeria would grow from strength to strength anchored on fairness and justice. He urged Nigerians to uphold justice for the development and sustenance of “true democracy” in the country.

Momoh also called on Nigerian citizens to see the existence of Nigeria beyond 2015, adding that true democracy would make the nation to wax strong with equity, fairness and justice in place. He told NAN that All Progressive Congress (APC) that was formed by the merging parties was set to offer better opportunities to Nigerians in terms of providing basic needs. (NAN)

PDP chieftain seeks traditional institutions’ involvement in crime fighting


lhaji Usman Alaliya, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina state yesterday called for increased involvement of traditional institutions in the fight against crime Alaliya, who made the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Funtua, stressed that the institutions were closer to the people, especially at the grassroots. He explained that most of the

crimes being perpetrated in the cities were planned outside the targeted areas. Alaliya urged the security agencies to concentrate on unravelling the whereabouts as well as places where such crimes were being initiated. He added that involvement of traditional institutions in the monitoring of activities around them, including the influx of people in their respective domains, could help reduce

the current security challenges. He said channel of information dissemination and surveillance should be improved to incorporate community, religious, security and other government establishments for prompt response to suspicious movements. Alaliya explained that colonial administrations, as well as subsequent regimes, had made proper use of such institutions which had contributed to

ensuring maximum response to crime activities. He said that there was the need for collective efforts between individuals and organisations on tackling the security challenges. Alaliya, who advised youths to shun violence, urged government, at all levels, as well as non- governmental organisations, to provide skills and empowerment schemes for the youths. (NAN)

Jonathan has ridiculed the Presidency, says ex NBA chairman From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he former Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Kwara State, Barrister Salman Jawondo, has said that with the alleged involvement of current Presidency in Rivers state crisis, suspension of party leaders and state governors, President Goodluck Jonathan had ridiculed the Presidency. Jawondo, who stated this in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin, observed that the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, during his tenure, did not ridicule the office of the Presidency like Jonathan stressing he applied maturity in dealing with party and state crises. He noted that if Presidency could be alleged to be behind Rivers State House of Assembly crisis, using Soldiers, Police and other merceneries to cause chaos for Governor Rotimi Ameachi, his perceived political enemy, then, he had ridiculed his office. “Those who are saying they have impeached the Speaker have been suspended, they are still in Court over their suspension. Then, how come five suspended members could impeach Speaker? If something like this could be happening in Rivers state, a volatile state with militants and closer to Bayesa state, where President hails from; one would wonder what will happen in 2015 election” He added “we have President who did not care, and if he did not care for Nigeria, Nigeria will care. Nigerian will elect new President who will care for the country and ensure united Nigeria. The Rivers state crisis shows the kind of leaders we have in Nigeria. They are not different from animals because animals believe in jungle justice.”

CPP urges amicable resolution of PDP crises


hief Sam Eke, National Chairman, Citizens Popular Party (CPP), has urged the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to resolve the party’s internal crises amicably. Eke gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. The national chairman said that the need to resolve PDP crises became imperative to avoid further escalation and other consequences on the country. He also called on other political parties to see the crises in PDP as a lesson for them to always evolve precautionary measures against crises, to protect the nation’s democracy. Eke said that being a party with the majority of votes and members, PDP did not need the support of any other party for it to resolve its crises. He said that factions would not do political parties any good, adding that PDP should do all within its power to resolve the crises. (NAN)



News Extra

First Lady receives commendation over women emancipation

L-R: First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, discussing with her host, wife of Chinese President, Mrs. Peng Li Yuan, during a visit to the wife of the Chinese leader, on Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People, in Bejing, China.

By Namy Kadir


he First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan has commended Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan’s commitment to improving the lot of women, through her NGOs, A. Aruera Reachout Foundation and “Women for Change and Development Initiative.” She acknowledged her advocacy for the inclusion of women in governance and mobilising support for the implementation of 35 per cent affirmative action for women. Liyuan spoke in Beijing, China when she met with her Dame Patience Jonathan on the sideline of the bilateral talks between Nigeria and China as part of the five-day state visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to that country. The First Lady of China noted Jonathan’s efforts towards poverty alleviation, gender equality and women empowerment. Liyuan expressed satisfaction with what she described as the the excellent relations between China and Nigeria and expressed optimism that the visit will further enhance the opportunities for mutual cooperation. She told Dame Patience Jonathan about her appointment as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador and her readiness to work with Nigeria in achieving the zero-target for HIV transmission in the world. Responding, Dame Patience Jonathan restated her commitment to ensuring effective participation of women in the socio-economic and political activities. As she put it, “A. Aruera Reachout Foundation has trained about 4,000 men and women in various skills and vocations to make them selfreliant and help contribute to national development. “Women for Change and Development Initiative” seeks to empower women economically, socially and politically.” She noted that Nigeria boats of admirable percentage of implementation of the action plan agreed at the 10th World Conference on women which held in China in 1996. She also briefed her host on the activities of the African First Ladies Peace Mission and the efforts to bring succor to victims of violent conflicts in parts of Africa.

Yobe school attack: Group wants NASS to strengthen terrorism laws By Jude Moses


itizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria has urged the National Assembly to update the nation’s laws to meet the threats of terrorism. The group spoke against the backdrop of the recent killing of students in a secondary school in Yobe state. The Network in a statement yesterday described the attack as the most painful incident of terrorism in recent times.

According to the statement signed by the group’s Director, Media and Public Affairs, Olu Adekunle, the attacks on various schools in the region within the spate of one month points clearly to the fact that every Nigerian is a potential victim, whether a Muslim or a Christian. The statement said that, “Islam is known to be a religion of peace and does not accept violence and crime in any form. “We wonder therefore what the Boko Haram sect really stands for as they clearly promote no logical

religious doctrine nor do they advocate any positively inclined political ideology. “These insurgents represent no nation and defend no territory save the few communities they have held hostage and from which they launch their nefarious attacks against unsuspecting Nigerians. “Such characters cannot and must not be allowed to go free. We therefore call on the Federal Government to bring the master minds of this terrible act to justice. “In so saying, we wish to

Ibadan varsity students protest, demand resignation of Education Minister From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


or several hours yesterday morning, students of the University of Ibadan, grounded vehicular movements at the popular Mokola roundabout, protesting alleged insensitivity of Federal Government to the education sector. As early as 7:30 am, the students in their thousands, matched on from the university gate down to Mokola, chanting

anti-government songs. They took off to address the public at Sango junction, Elewure junction, veterinary junction and terminated the lecture series at Mokola Interchange. Armed with varying inscriptions such as “Nigeria: Giant or Dwarf of Africa,” “Adieu to education sector in Nigeria,” “ASUU don’t betray this struggle with earned allowance,” “Education is dead in Nigeria” among others, the students

demanded the resignation of Minister of Education, Rukayat Rufai. The peaceful protest was supervised by Divisional Police Officer of Sango, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Akinfenwa, who commended the students for their peaceful conduct. While supporting the ASUU strike and calling for early resolution, the UI Student Union Government (SUG) President UI, Babatunde Badmus, called

Nigeria tops Africa fertility list as experts list causes of teenage pregnancy By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


igeria was yesterday ranked the highest in fertility rate in the continent, with 121 births per 1000. The United Nations (UN), Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Resident Representative, Daouda Toure, gave this indication during the occasion to mark the World Population Day. Toure described the figure as alarming “when compared seven live

restate our support for the offensive launched by the Jonathan administration against these miscreants who seek to impose the darkness of tyranny and terror upon us all. “We encourage President Jonathan not to waiver in his determination to bring security, peace and reconciliation to the north. “This incident is a clear sign that we must all close ranks and fight this threat to our collective struggles for freedom and liberty as enshrined in our constitution.”

births per 1000 in Algeria, 63 live births per 1000 in Ghana and 64 live births per 1000 in Togo.” He noted that the major drivers of adolescents’ fertility in Nigeria are poverty, sexual abuse, ignorance, socio cultural and religious factors. On his part, Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Eze F.Odimegwu, represented by the Chairman Technical Management Team of the Commission, Festus Uzo, Odimegwu, called on community leaders to help project the campaign

at the grassroots. Earlier at a sensitisation programme organized by the NPC, speakers identified negligence by parents who are low income earners as responsible for the increasing cases of teenage pregnancy in the country. Speaking on the causes of teenage pregnancy, the Founder/Executive Director, Sexual Offences Awareness and Rehabilitation (SOAR Initiative), Chinyere Eyoh, observed that the girl child mostly fall victim of molestation and rape to people close to them.

“It is unfortunate that molestation of the girl child usually starts from the home. “Most of the uncles these days are advocates of child molestation. “They take advantage of the girls whenever their parents are not at home. “Parents should educate their children on sex so that they will not learn it from outside. “It is everybody’s responsibility to help in the fight so as to create a greater future for the girl child in the country”.

on government to honour the agreements signed with the academic staff union. In a communiqué read after the protest, Badmus urged government to ensure that the budgetary allocation to the education sector is increased to 26 per cent in line with UNESCO minimum standard While urging ASUU to prioritise the revalitisation of quality of education, the students’ body bemoaned what they called ‘unnecessary establishment more mushroom tertiary institutions in Nigeria while the available ones suffer miserable neglect’ The students decried what the also described as government’s unserious commitment to funding education in Nigeria, adding that, apart from the demands of ASUU, government must embark on construction of modern hostels and must facilitate the establishment of research laboratories by private investors in Nigerian universities. The students later hijacked four intra-state vehicles belonging to the state government tagged “Ajumose Shuttle” to convey them back to campus.



News Extra

SMEDAN identifies 17m micro, small, medium enterprises From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


irector-General of the SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Umar Masari, has said that there were 17.2 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Masari state this on

Wednesday while on a courtesy visit on the Katsina state Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, at the Government House. He noted that the MSMEs provide employment to some 32 million people. Masari added that the council would provide linkages and

synergy between and among MSME stakeholders for the purpose of ensuring a seamless implementation of the programme in the sector which he said had the capacity of moving the nation forward. According to him, “SMEDAN along with the state government

officials will conduct the needs study in local; government areasLGAs as well as guide in the formation of cooperative groups, provision of entrepreneurship skills and formulation of business plans to ensure access to finance for start-up and existing enterprises.” Masari stated that the

agency would partner with state governments in implementing programmes that include One Local Government One Product (OLOP), Establishment of Mini Industrial Parks to accommodate 50 MSMEs, Micro-Credit System and implementation of National Policy on MSMES.

Briefs Nasarawa begins allocation of houses to workers


asarawa state government has said that it would soon commence the allocation of the 500 housing units in Lafia to its civil servants. Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura stated this when he paid an inspection visit to the housing units along Doma road. He said that infrastructural facilities were in place while work was being intensified to provide electricity to the houses. From Maaji Dandaura, Lafia

Benin NSCDC confiscates 200,000 litres of petrol


do State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday announced the seizure of 200,000 litres of petroleum products in the past six months. Ferdinand Esiegwu, Deputy Corps Commandant of the Agency disclosed this in Benin-City in a paper delivered at a one-day seminar with the theme, ” Zero tolerance to vandalism: a key to sustainable development.” He said that over 13 tankers were burnt on the directive and supervision of the government and noted that a total of 24 different cases with 37 suspects unlawfully dealing with petroleum products were also recorded by within the period. By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

Insecurity: Yobe Gum Arabic farmers lose N1.5bn


he Gum Arabic Farmers and Marketers Association in Yobe, on Thursday said over N1.5 billion worth of Gum Arabic trees have been cut down by firewood vendors in the last three years. Alhaji Jafaru Ayuba, spokesman of the association disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu. He explained that, “due to the prevailing security challenges, wood poachers from within and outside the state descended on Gum Arabic farms because they were scared of going far into the bush for firewood.”

L-R: Member, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, and Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises ( BPE ), Mr. Benjamin Dikki , during the committee’s oversight function to BPE, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NBC commends Nasarawa over broadcast station digitalisation From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has commended the digitalisation of Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS) in Lafia and the sub-station at Keffi. Director of the of the Abuja zone of the NBC, Mrs. Francisca Aiyetan, who led a delegation on inspection of the two stations gave the commendation, saying the project has upgraded

broadcasting services at NBS to meet international best practices. Yusuf Musa, the Acting General Manager of the Nasarawa Broadcasting Services, informed the team of inspectors that the station restructured its programmes to meet current trends in broadcasting. Peoples Daily recalls that Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, last year, visited Pinnacle Harris Communications Limited, in Illinois, in Chicago, United

States of America (USA), and invited them to visit his state, where a contract of N2.1 billion was signed for the execution of the digital system, which was commissioned in May this year. The digital system was executed in compliance with the directives of the NBC, which declared that all broadcast stations in the country must go digital before 2015, in accordance with the declaration of the African Communications Commission (ACC), in Nairobi, Kenya.

N47 billion theft: Akingbola asks court to quash charge From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola, on Wednesday asked Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja to quash the theft charge of N47 billion preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Akingbola, made the request through an application filed by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN). He argued that the charge against him was unconstitutional, incompetent and illegal.

The former bank chief who is standing trial alongside Bayo Dada, the General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited were charged to court by the EFCC for allegedly stealing the money belonging to Intercontinental Bank Plc. Olanipekun told the court that EFCC had no powers to prosecute criminal matters before a state high court without a fiat issued by the state’s Attorney-General. He further contended that, “we are saying the Federal Government cannot prosecute a case of stealing before a Lagos High Court under the Lagos State Criminal Code.

“If Your Lordship overrules us on this issue, it means the Federal Government can come before the state high court to prosecute a case of reckless driving or environmental offences.” He said the proof of evidence did not disclose the offence of stealing against his client, saying that this was a sufficient ground to quash the charge. But the EFCC counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the application, stressing that the state Attorney-General had no monopoly to initiate criminal proceedings before the state High Court.

FG begins pest control in North -west From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Federal Government has commenced pest control operations on farmlands in the north-west sub-region as part if measures to protect food crops against trans-boundary quelea birds and grasshopper invasion. The operation was flagged off on Wednesday at Tuga village near Bagudo in Kebbi state where quelea birds continue to wreak havoc and cause nightmare to farmers in the zone. Mr. Jude Omorhegie, the Zonal Coordinator of the Pest Control Programme said that government was committed to ensuring increased food production for sustainable food security. According to him, “the exercise is to cover Argungu, Ngaski, Dandi, Augie, Arewa, Yauri, Shanga, Koko Besse, Bagudo, Lolo, Suru, Bunza and kamba in Kebbi state; Silame, Wurno, Goronyo, Isa, Gwadabawa, Gada, Illela, Binji, Bodinga, Tureta, Dange Shuni and Rabah in Sokoto state and Bakura, Talata Mafara and Maradun in Zamfara state respectively.” Omorhegie further explained that given the migratory flight pattern of the birds across international boundaries, there was the need for closer collaboration between Nigeria and its Northernmost neighbours to curtail the menace on a sustainable basis.



Keshi calls up four Hockey league begins in August, says Ukah new faces for CHAN T


ormer Flying Eagles’ defender, Ganiyu Ogungbe and Alhaji Gero of the current junior Eagles squad and two others were the new faces Stephen Keshi gave the nod to join 20 others to battle for shirts for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final leg qualifier against the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire. The others are Kano Pillars’ midfielder Rabiu Mohammed and Osadinye Joseph of Warri Wolves. They will rub shoulders with Sunday Mba, who scored two goals and made two others

in the commanding 4-1 win last weekend during the first leg. Expectedly, skipper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Chibuzor Okonkwo, as well as midfielders Olufemi Oladapo and Ayo Saka, and forwards Muhammad Gambo, Ifeanyi Edeh and Dele Olorundare, were all returned to then squad. Having never previously qualified for the African Nations Championship – the flagship tournament for players plying their trade

in their country’s domestic League in the continent – Nigeria has a firm leg in next year’s finals in South Africa, and Coach Keshi has promised there would be no room for the Ivorians to attempt a spectacular come-back in the return leg at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on July 27. All the players are expected to report in Abuja on Monday, July 15. Only 20 players will make the trip to Cote d’Ivoire’s industrial and economic capital on July 24.

he Nigeria Hockey Federation (NHF) yesterday announced a new date for the commencement of the 4th International Energy Insurance (IEI) National Hockey League. The NHF President, Mr Patrick Ukah, said in Abuja that the league, which was earlier scheduled for July, would now take place in August. Ukah said the reason for the postponement was because of the Ramadan fast, which started on July 10. ``We deliberately shifted the date to next month because of the Ramadan fast which started on July 10. ``We postponed the kick-off of the league so as not to clash with the Ramadan fast, as some of our players will be affected. The league will now stretch to the

Ramadan Kickboxers reduce training in Lagos

Rabiu Ali

T Ezekiel Bassey, CHAN Eagles defender

first week of August.’’ He added that the qualifiers for the IEI National Hockey League have been scheduled to take place in Abuja and Ijebu Ode, respectively. ``The qualifiers for the IEI National Hockey League i.e. Savannah and Atlantic Conferences, are scheduled to hold as follows: ``The Savannah conference will take place in Abuja from Aug. 13 to Aug. 18, while the Atlantic conference will take place in Ijebu Ode from Aug. 20 to Aug. 25. ``The final phase will be played at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium Hockey Pitch, Port Harcourt, from Sept. 15 to Sept. 21,’’ Ukah added.

he training schedule for Lagos kickboxers has been reduced to enable them cope during the fasting period in this month of Ramadan. The fast began on Wednesday. The Technical Director, Lagos State Kickboxing Association (LSKA), Adegboyega Adeniji-Adele, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calender during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Adeniji-Adele told NAN that the training had to be reduced to enable Muslim athletes to cope with the fast. ``The intensity of our training has been slashed down as a result of the annual Ramadan fast observed worldwide; we don’t want to overwork them. ``The turn out for training is impres-

sive; however, we start early and close early so that they can go home early enough to rest and prepare for tomorrow,’’ he said. He added that the state of health of the athletes had to be ascertained daily before commencement of training. ``We don’t compel athletes to train, especially when they complain of weakness,’’ he said. The Technical Director gave the assurance that the reduction would not affect the association’s long-term programmes. ``They had been training strenuously before the commencement of the Ramadan fast,’’ he noted, adding the LSKA would organise training exclusively for athletes observing the fast to make up for any training skipped. He advised athletes to be disciplined and abide by the association’s rules to be successful.

Jos Stadium now to cost N11.3bn

F Olufemi Oladapo, CHAN Eagles midfielder THE FULL LIST: Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC) Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves FC); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars FC); Ganiyu Ogungbe (Kwara United FC); Kwambe Solomon (Sunshine Stars FC); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers FC); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars FC); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); Ezekiel Bassey (Lobi Stars FC) Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers FC); Rabiu Mohammed (Kano Pillars FC); Olufemi Oladapo (Shooting Stars FC); Ayo Saka (Enyimba FC); Mohammed Jiya (Bayelsa United FC) Strikers: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Gomo Onduku (Bayelsa United FC); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Ezekiel Mbah (Akwa United FC); Abdullahi Gero (Enugu Rangers FC); Osadinye Joseph (Warri Wolves FC); Haruna Babalo (El-Kanemi Warriors FC); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves FC); Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars FC)

ollowing the addition of other facilities, the contract for the construction of Jos Stadium has been reviewed upward. The stadium, which construction was initially valued at N 3 billion, will now cost almost 300 percent amounting N11. 3billion. This was disclosed by the Plateau Government, which announced the additional facilities to include the construction of a second football pitch, an Olympic size swimming pool, two tennis, volleyball, basketball courts each and a squash pavilion. The Commissioner for Sports, Mr James Yakubu, who announced this while addressing newsmen in Jos, said the review was done by the State Executive Council at its meeting. “The approved additional work was to ensure that the stadium stands out with any other in the world; its roofing

will be completely covered. “The initial contract sum was for N3 billion but with the additional works approved at the stadium, it has been reviewed to 11.3 billion. We now have an increase of N8 billion to make sure that the stadium is completed in a very modern way,’’ he said. Yakubu said the stadium was abandoned for more than 30 years, adding that the hope of its completion had been raised by Gov. Jonah Jang. He said the governor was determined to complete all ongoing projects and ``he has promised that any job that he has started will be completed before 2015’’. The commissioner said that the Plateau squash team won the male and female categories of the Winner-Takes-All Squash Tournament concluded in Minna on July 6. He said that the winners in both categories were awarded a car each.



Sports Bonus Row: We’ll not interfer with NFF’s job, says committee


kin Oshuntokun, a member of the committee to investigate the match bonus row in the Super Eagles, said yesterday that the committee would not interfere with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF’s) job. Osuntokun said this in Abuja after the inauguration of the seven-member panel by the Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi. The body is to unearth the cause of a recent bonus row in the Super Eagles. According to Oshuntokun, who was a former Managing Director (MD) of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the panel will only abide by its terms of reference. He said that the issue on

Bolaji Abdullahi, Sports Minister

ground was not complicated for the committee to handle or for Nigerians to see their job as clashing with that of the NFF. ``I don’t understand what people mean by `government interference’. Government interference in football is not an end in its self; it depends on the purpose that interference is serving. ``If the government provides a plane to take Nigerian players to New York, is that a bad interference? So, it is what that interference means and what it seeks to achieve that matters,’’ Oshuntokun said. He said the lack of ethics guiding football in the country might have necessitated the action of the players. ``As the minister said, maybe because there is no codified ethic guiding the conduct of football. ``So, we should have a set of rules that governs that so that it will be easy to determine who violates and who is at fault, so as to mete out appropriate sanctions,’’ Oshuntokun said. He urged Nigerians to see the setting up of the panel as a lasting solution to the perennial problem associated with the financial

Table tennis player targets Commonwealth, All Africa Games


aniyu Ashimiyu, a table tennis bronze medallist at the 2012 National Sports Festival in Lagos, on Thursday expressed his determination to represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth and the All Africa Games. Ashimiyu, 22, a player with Lagos State, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after his routine training at the Knock-Up-Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. ``My set goal is not limited to national tournaments in Nigeria; I am sincerely passionate about representing my distinguished country in Africa and in the world. ``I am determined to represent Nigeria at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and the 2015 All Africa Games in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. ``I do not need to relent in my aspirations. The National Sports Festival is not the end of life; I need to move up and fly the country’s flag high in international competitions. ``I strongly believe that it is hard work and determination that will get me there, which is

the reason behind my constant training and commitment,’’ he said. Ashimiyu said that, although, he could only settle for bronze at the 2012 festival, his profile had risen then with his regular training. The 22-year-old player urged sports administrators in the country to ensure the provision of facilities for the growth of the sport, to encourage existing and upcoming athletes. ``Sports administrators must come out with full commitment to restore the glory of table tennis in Africa and beyond by providing good facilities for training, across the country ``Good training facilities will boost athletes’ morale and increase the zeal and passion for the game; it will even attract upcoming players to give their very best,’’ he said. Ashimiyu, who urged corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the game’s development, also appealed to foreign-based players to donate kits for the use of players, so as to encourage them.

benefits of Nigerian athletes. Segun Adeniyi, Chairman, Editorial Board of Thisday Newspapers will serve as chairman of the committee, while Shehu Dikko, a member of the League Management Company, is its secretary. Other members of the committee include Onochie Anibueze of the Vanguard Newspapers and Aisha Folade of the African Independent Television. The rest are Garba Lawal, a former member of the Super Eagles squad and Abdulkadir Nasir. The committee, which has two weeks to submit its report, has three terms of reference among which is to develop a code of conduct for players on national assignments. It will determine the immediate and remote causes of the match bonus row in the Super Eagles camp in the World Cup qualifying match against Namibia, in June. The committee will also make other recommendations deemed necessary for solving the problems associated with match bonuses. Vincent Enyeama, insists bonus row not over

Nasarawa FA probes scandalous 79-0 scoreline


he Nasarawa Football Association (FA) yesterday inaugurated a four-man committee to investigate the scandalous scoreline involving Akurba FC and Plateau United Feeders during the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) promotion play-offs. Alhaji Alikali Mohammed, Chairman of Nasarawa FA, confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that they opted to investigate the result because of the involvement of the state’s team. The play-off between Plateau United Feeders and Akurba FC ended 79-0, while Police Machine FC demolished Babayaro FC of Gombe 67-0 at the Bauchi cemtre. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had on Wednesday placed indefinite suspension on the four clubs involved in the scandalous scorelines during promotion play-offs into the NNWL. Alikali said he appreciated

the decision of the NFF to suspend the four clubs, adding that any act that would tarnish the image of Nigerian football should not be tolerated. ``I really appreciate and support the decision of the NFF in banning the four clubs and I will honour the suspension of the teams. ``On our part at the state level, I have inaugurated a four-man committee that will investigate Aminu Maigari, embattled NFF president what happened. ``The committee will determine who was there at the scene to participate in this act that could to tarnish the image of

football in the country,” he said. According to him, anyone involved in the act, after the investigation, will face a severe penalty.




Everton complete Deulofeu loan deal from Barcelona


verton have completed a loan move for Barcelona whizzkid Gerard Deulofeu. The Spanish champions have high hopes for the talented 19-yearold winger and have wanted him to gain experience of playing in a more physical environment. Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal also showed interest but key for the player and Barcelona is Everton’s Spanish manager Roberto Martinez and the prospect that he will gain valuable playing time. Deulofeu is widely regarded as one of the most exciting prospects to come out of Barcelona’s academy yet he also has the potential to be the most frustrating, having been described as ‘a raw Cristiano Ronaldo’, and Martinez will need

all his coaching skills to hone the teenager for the English game. Born near Girona, Catalonia, Deulofeu joined Barcelona’s youth academy in 2003, aged just nine. He made his debut for the B team in 2011 while still registered with the juniors and a month later was called up to the senior squad for La Liga match against Real Sociedad. He has had a few flirtations with the senior side since but has caught the eye in Barca’s B team where he scored 18 goals last season and was one of the star Everton boss Martinez has already signed Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz from Wigan and added Joel Robles from Atletico Madrid yesterday.

Sunderland sign Ba for three years deal


underland has signed France Under-20 international midfielder El Hadji Ba on a three-year deal. The 20-year-old was a free agent after leaving Le Havre last month, where he scored once in 13 games. Ba joins fellow signings Jozy Altidore, David Moberg Karlsson, Cabral, Modibo Diakite, Valentin

Roberge and Duncan Watmore at the Stadium of Light. And Velez Sarsfield say leftback Gino Peruzzi is set to meet with Sunderland after the two clubs agreed a deal. The Argentine club has confirmed on its official website, and say the 21-year-old will travel to England to discuss terms.


Vidal denies Juve contract talk


uventus midfielder Arturo Vidal has denied reports that he has signed a contract extension with the Serie A champions, while revealing it is “an honour” to be linked with a move to Real Madrid. Vidal, 26, joined Juve in 2011 and went on to play a vital role in helping the club claim back-to-back Scudetto titles. Such form has led to speculation that the Bianconeri had offered the Chile international a new deal that he had accepted Elsewhere, there has been talk that Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has identified the former Bayer Leverkusen man as a possible addition to the club’s midfield, with rumours mounting that Xabi Alonso could be leaving the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. But despite being flattered by Madrid’s interest, Vidal was quick to point out that he was already at a big club and happy to stay there “for many years”. The midfielder also took time to express his excitement at one of Juve’s new arrivals, saying: “Tevez can help us triumph in Europe.”


Villarreal to sign dos Santos Shakhtar sign Ferreyra from Velez


illarreal have confirmed the signing of Mallorca forward Giovani dos Santos is imminent, with reports suggesting the Mexico international will agree to a fouryear deal. Mallorca were relegated from La Liga last season after finishing just one point away from safety, with Villarreal promoted to the top flight after finishing second in the Segunda division. Dos Santos, 24, was reportedly keen to remain in Spain and rejected strong approaches from MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy. It is believed the former Tottenham striker will complete his move to El Madrigal on July 18, where he is set to link up with former Mallorca team-mate Tomas Pino.



hakhtar Donetsk have signed Argentine striker Facundo Ferreyra from Velez Sarsfield after the clubs agreed on a $9 million deal for the 22-year-old, the Ukraine champions confirmed. The five-year contract for Ferreyra was announced on the same day Shakhtar’s Armenian international attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was officially unveiled as a Borussia Dortmund player. Ferreyra, who scored 31 goals in 80 Argentine first division games for Velez and previous club Banfield, admitted he was delighted to have an opportunity to compete in Europe’s premier club competition. Ferreyra


Norwich land Sweden defender Olsson


remier League club Norwich has signed Sweden international Martin Olsson from Blackburn for an undisclosed fee. Olsson moves to Carrow Road after agreeing terms on a four-year contract following a six-year spell with Championship outfit Blackburn. The 25-year-old leftback was a long-term target of Canaries manager Chris Hughton, who is reported to have paid £2.5m (€2.9m) to seal the deal. Hughton has already splashed out a club record

£8.5m for Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel, while England U-21 winger Nathan Redmond arrived from Birmingham last week and defender Javier Garrido signed permanently after last season’s loan from Lazio.






1. With just two games left of Turkey 2013, the destination of the golden boot is yet to be determined, with players from each of the remaining four sides out to dethrone Portugal’s top-scorerelect Bruma. 2. Jessica Ennis-Hill has withdrawn from this weekend’s British Championships in Birmingham as she continues to struggle with an ankle injury. 3. Former world heavyweight champion David Haye says he believes his fight with fellow Briton Tyson Fury will capture the public imagination and is great for British boxing.


4. Kristian Walsh has decided it is high time to ignore the endless chatter that is emanating from Luis Suarez. 5. Marcel Kittel beat Mark Cavendish in a tight sprint to win stage 12 of the 100th Tour de France in Tours.

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Fasting no barrier to excellent sports performance


ednesday was the first day of the fasting month, better known as Ramadhan, for Muslims; during which Muslims observe the call to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking during the day. Although understandably the reduction in the intake of food and fluid affects fasting Muslims to a certain extent, almost all those who fast get through their day jobs without significant loss of productivity. After all, Islam discourages its devotees from using fasting as an excuse to reduce their worship and daily routines. However, it must be acknowledged that the same does not hold true for Muslims who engage in more physically strenuous activities such as professional footballers. Whereas in Muslim-majority countries the football season takes a break during the fasting and the subsequent Eid months, matches in Europe go on as usual. In addition to this, a number of matches in the top leagues of Europe take place during the day, the time during which Muslims fast. And as the influence of Islam the influx of Muslims are growing by the day in Europe, the practice of fasting has gone from novel incidents that are reported in the sports section sporadically, to a cultural practice that warrants some accommodations from the footballing fraternity itself. Muslim players in Europe employ several ways to stay ahead in the game, while still observing an integral part of their faith. There are players who simply avoid fasting on match days, such as Malian striker Mamady Sidibe who used to play for Stoke City, according to a report on the BBC website. In Islam, exemption from fasting is only given to special cases such as the sick and those who travel a long distance, and even then they are expected to replace the days they do not fast after Ramadhan finishes. Although there is a debate among Muslims on whether playing football is something that is important enough to be allowed exemption from fasting. In 2010 Germany’s Central Council of Muslims took the pre-emptive step of granting permission for professional footballers to not fast on important days, as long as they replace those days after Ramadhan ends. The same strategy is also employed by Egyptian star Ahmed Hossam, or more popularly known as Mido, who revealed this when asked by Goal UK’s Amar Singh. For Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil, he insists that the consumption

Demba Ba, Cisse ...Demba Ba has defied the notion that fasting was affecting his play with an amazing goal tally, Franck Ribery, a devout Muslim who hardly misses Ramadhan of water and food is necessary to keep his overall fitness level, and not just on match days. He simply cannot risk it. However, a great number of Muslim players choose not to exempt themselves. Arsenal’s Abou Diaby stated in a BBC article that the club prefers if he didn’t fast, but they ultimately left the decision up to him. Former Tottenham player Frederic Kanoute is another who insists on not being treated any differently during the fasting month, and to perform as well as when he is not fasting. He also added that to Muslims, Ramadhan is not simply about refraining from eating and drinking, but also a time during which Muslims should extend their devotion through acts of charity and donation. However, it is not all smooth sailing for Muslim footballers, as some managers are reluctant to let them jeopardise their performance for fasting. Amr Zaki, despite insisting in a Goal UK interview that he performs more strongly when fasting, admitted that there were times when he had to lie to the team manager that he was not fasting in order not to be benched. When Jose Mourinho managed Inter Milan in 2009, he drew the ire of Muslim clerics in Italy when he suggested that a dip in Sulley Muntari’s form was caused by him fasting. The clerics lashed

at him to ‘talk less’, perhaps one of the rare times someone has successfully gotten the usually outspoken Portuguese manager to stay quiet. Chelsea’s Ibrahim Ba seems to have struck a fair compromise between his faith and his footballing duties. He continues to fast while playing, and lets the manager decide on his performance. If the manager thinks Ba’s not doing well due to him fasting, then he feels that he deserves to be benched. And for his steadfastness, he has received support from the unlikeliest of places. In 2011 while playing for Newcastle United, manager

Alan Pardew hinted that the act of fasting was affecting Ba’s play. Newcastle fans then responded by keeping tally of the goals he scored during Ramadhan, and following each goal with a special chant of its own. Meanwhile in Malaysia, professional football fixtures already take Ramadhan and the subsequent Eid festive month into account, which means that the football season usually takes a break for a month or so during this period. But players still need to maintain their fitness which is affected by fasting, and by going on a long stretch without

any competitive matches. To this effect, the standard practice is for Malaysian teams and clubs to hold their training sessions at night, as opposed to the normal time; late afternoon. Some coaches are even known to make the Muslim players in their team perform their nightly Ramadhan prayer, Tarawikh, together before the training session at the training facility. Although fasting is known to affect a player physically, it is theorised that fasting also improves the personality and mental strength of those who fast. The article by Bhana also revealed that a study had been conducted by Dr Zerguni, a member of the FIFA and CAF Sports Medical Committees, with the collaboration of the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, on the effects of fasting on player performance. In the study, it was found out that the effect of fasting on performance depended on the mental strength of the players, and how quickly their body can adapt to playing in a new condition. However, teams, managers and players alike will be spared the headache of maintaining a winning performance during this year’s Ramadhan. Due to the fact that the Islamic calendar has 10 less days than its western counterpart, Ramadhan and other Islamic celebrations take place earlier than they did in the previous year, if one goes by the Gregorian calendar. This means that Ramadan in 2013 coincides with the off-season of most European top leagues, and the upcoming season will take place after their Muslim stars have completed their fasting obligation.



Some Interesting Facts


or a butterfly to fly it must have a body temperature of no less than 86 degrees fahrenheit or 30 degrees celsius. • The largest milk producing country by volume in the whole world is India. • It is a fact that the first game of chess has been traced back to have originated in northern India. Like other 1,000+ year old games, it would have been played differently than todays rules. It’s thought that todays rules have been around since sometime in the 1400′s A.D. • In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has an employees handbook for the collections division unit. Here’s the interesting part, in it are instructions which guide employees on how to collect taxes after a nuclear war. Kinda scary! • If you are severely scared of going to the dentist or having dental work, you may actually have a phobia called odontophobia. • Almonds are members of the rose flower family or rosaceae family. The peach is also a member of the rose family. • The tallest girl in the world ever recorded was 8 feet 2 inches tall and died at the young age of 17. • The average human with a full head of hair contains

between 85,000 to 150,000 hairs. • Jupiter is the largest planet in the earths solar system. I should’ve known that one. • Squirrels forget where about 50% of the nuts they’ve hidden are. Useless, Hahaha. • Did you know the first bullet proof vest and windshield wiper blades were both invented by women? Cool! • Cold weather makes fingernails grow faster. Weird! • Only humans cry because of feelings. Awesome! • Mohammad is the most common birth name in the world. There’s only 54 more interesting facts on this page.


• It takes about 7 minutes for the average person to fall asleep. If you’ve read all the interesting facts to this point you’re amazing! • You can give change for a dollar in 293 different coin variations. Good luck! • About 1 out of every 2 million people will die by falling out of bed. Be careful, not funny. Most who will die this way are either very young children or elderly people. • The construction on the Parisian Notre Dame Cathedral began in 1015 A.D and it took over 400 years to complete, It was completed in 1439 A.D. It’s a well known historic Roman catholic church in Paris.

• If the human stomach doesn’t produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks it will totally digest it’s self. Weird! • 75% of the world’s population wash themselves in the shower from the top to the bottom. Head first, feet last people. • There are 31,557,600 seconds in a year. A leap year has 31,622,400 seconds. Amazing! • Approximately one fifth of all the publications from Japan are comic books. • Did you know a slug has not only one nose but four? What a lot of people call a nose on a slug is actually a breathing pore called a pneumostome.

Say what?


Full: It might prove a rather difficult task to squeeze any more money into this box for ‘especially difficult children’


. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013


Drogba to build hospitals in Cote d’Ivoire


ormer Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has announced he will build five clinics in his homeland Ivory Coast to cater for children and women’s health. The announcement was made by the secretary of his Didier Drogba Foundation, Guy Roland Tanoh, in Abidjan early this week. Tanoh said 2.5 billion CFA francs ($5 million) will be invested in the projects, with one facility to be built in each of the five major cities of the West African country namely Abidjan, Yamoussoukro, Man, Korhogo and San Pedro. “The gala held in London helped us raise $ 2 billion CFA francs ($4 million),” Tanoh said. “The other 500 million francs ($1 million) will no longer be a problem to see this project come to reality, which has been Drogba’s greatest heart desire.” Tanoh also revealed the foundation had given support to orphanages and several structures that address issues relating to underprivileged children. The Didier Drogba Foundation was founded in 2007 and planned the construction of a £3 million hospital a year later, which is yet to see the light of the day. Tanoh did not clarify whether it would be one of the five new clinics. The 35-year-old, who now plays for Turkish club Galatasaray, had said the £3 million meant for the initial hospital project came from his image rights .



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QUOTABLE QUOTE Boko Haram has denied responsibility for the (Yobe school) killings and for us, it is left to the security agencies to determine that they were not responsible. — Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee on Dialogue on last Saturday’s killings at a secondary school in Yobe state

Katsina state’s ‘no future’ budget


n the days and weeks leading up to the faux pax that became the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election, the Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema was mentioned severally as a possible compromise candidate, largely on account of what some perceive as his ‘performance’ as governor. The same was said of late Umaru Yar’Adua even though most residents of the state vehemently disagreed then, and now. Shema is being touted as the likely running mate of President Jonathan if he is able to secure the nomination of his party to run for another term as president. What is it about this man Ibrahim Shema - that elicits such strongly ambivalent reactions? What is his style of governance and financial prudence, and why is it that so many think there is more to him that meets the eye in the way he runs Katsina state? How are the state’s finances and budget managed? If Shema is doing well in this area, why did the state house of assembly suspend the minority leader because he criticized the government’s poor budget implementation? We will analyze the 2013 budget of the state today to assist our readers answer some of these questions. Barrister Ibrahim Shema claims to focus his administration’s six development priorities; Education, Agriculture, Human Development, Infrastructure, Health and Crafts. It appears that in Katsina lingo, human development does not equal investments in education and healthcare, as the three are treated separately. Beyond this definitional incompetence however, a look at Katsina’s 2013 budget reveals a level of policy misdirection, indeterminate political will to address the priorities of the state, allocation of funds to areas where monitoring is difficult, and level of non-implementation of past budgets that amounts to impunity. First, a little history. Carved out of old Kaduna State in September 1987, Katsina is located in Nigeria’s North West and borders Niger Republic, Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa States. Its land mass is approximately 24,000 square kilometers with a population of about 5,801,584 people in 34 Local Government Areas. Its capital is Katsina City. The state has commercial deposits of kaolin and asbestos. Then Colonel Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar was the first governor of the state (September 1987July 1988), and was succeeded by other military governors. The first civilian governor was Saidu Barda, while immediate past President Umaru Musa Yaradua governed the state from May 1999- May 2007. Katsina is home to two past presidents; MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari and Umaru Musa Yaradua. Other Katsinawa dignitaries include late

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Gov. Ibrahim Shehu Shema General Hassan Usman Katsina, Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, former Chief Justice of the Federation Mohammed Bello, two past Inspector’s General of Police: Mohammed Dikko Yusuf and Ibrahim Coomassie, and pioneer Chairman of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Hamza Rafindadi Zayad amongst others. Katsina is home to some of the best and brightest of Nigerian public servants, politicians and military top brass. Will the state’s current budgetary practices produce such quality elites in the future? Let us present the data and you answer the question! The total budget for Katsina State in 2013 is N112,757,487,475 (One Hundred and Twelve Billion, Seven hundred and Fifty Seven Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Seventy Five Naira only). The budget would be financed through some N14, 561,712,643 or 12.9% of the proposed budget realizable from internally generated revenue and some N74.5bn (66.7%) receivable in Federal Allocation. With total revenues at N89bn, what is evident is that the state would need to borrow some N23bn or 20% of its budget from external sources - loans and grants. The capital provision is some N80,931,809,320 (Eighty billion Nine hundred and Thirty One million, Eight hundred and Nine thousand, Three hundred and Twenty thousand naira only) which is a commendable 71.7% of the entire budget. The State has about 43 MDAs which would cost taxpayers some N31,825,678,155 (Thirty One billion Eight hundred and Twenty Five million, Six hundred and Seventy Eight thousand one hundred and fifty five

thousand naira only) or 28.2% in recurrent expenditure - an average of about N700 million per MDA. Personnel costs would gulp some 17.2% of the entire budget sum or N19,434,384,200 (Nineteen Billion Four Hundred and Thirty Four Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand Two Hundred Naira Only) while overhead costs are N7,975,267,830 (Seven Billion Nine Hundred and Seventy Five Million Two Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty naira only) some 7.07% and consolidated revenue charge is apportioned N4,416,026,125 (Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixteen Million, Twenty Six Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Five naira Only) 3.9%. With its projected internally generated revenue of N14,561,712,643, Katsina State has to rely on external loans or Federal allocations to fully fund its personnel cost or staff salaries which are only a part of its total recurrent budget. Plainly put, the state spends more than it earns on government bureaucracy, and falls in the class of “parastatal states” that cannot stand on their own without a lifeline from Abuja. A sectoral breakdown of the capital allocation of the budget reveals the following structure: N31.3 billion (27.8%) for the economic sector, N16.5 billion (14.6%) for social services, N26.9 billion (23.9%) for regional development, N2.9 billion (2.6%) for general administration, N750 million (0.6%) for the legislature, a provision of N2 billion (1.7%) for miscellaneous expenses and a measly N341.4 million (0.3%) for the judiciary. At N21.6 billion, the largest departmental allocation is for road construction, Education is allocated some N13.6 billion, Health got N1.6 billion, Agriculture which employs the majority of Katsina’s working population is allocated only N7.8 billion, and Water Supply some N9.5 billion. Are these capital investments enough to register sectoral improvements in the face of poverty challenges the state faces? According to the Nigeria Poverty Profile (2010), the North West Zone has the highest incidence of absolute poverty in Nigeria with a 70% prevalence rate, the North East 69%, the North Central 59.5%, the South East 58.7%, the South

South 55.9% and the South West 49.8%. At 74.5% Katsina State has the highest poverty prevalence amongst all states in the region and the Shema-led administration thus far has taken no deliberate steps to address this. Under the economic sector there is a paltry capital allocation of only N276 million (0.2%) to manufacturing, a paltry N214,019,000 (0.1%) capital provision for Women Empowerment under the Ministry of Women Affairs and only N100 million (0.08%) under the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the states Youth Empowerment Program (Youth Action Plan). These figures are absurd, demonstrating that there is no political will to address the endemic poverty facing most the population in the state. From the private sector angle, the state shows even more damning figures. The state has virtually no functioning private agro-allied and manufacturing facilities. According to the World Bank 2010 Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria rankings, the state is ranked 25 amongst the 36 Nigerian States and the FCT, it involves 9 procedures and would take 37 days to start a business in Katsina State. In light of the foregoing, it would be expected that the government would be investing heavily in small and medium enterprises, encouraging and incentivizing businesses to set up shop in the state through tax breaks and infrastructural investments with a view to creating a more conducive business climate. Sadly, this is not the case. Capital allocations for the 2013 fiscal year are N350million (0.3%) for Small and Medium Enterprises, only N280.8million (0.2%) for economic affairs, N1.3billion (1.2%) for finance, and low level of investments in providing municipal services and transportation that could lower the cost of doing business in the state. Investments in education are ambivalent. While the Shema-led government deserves commendation for the expansion and modernization of classrooms in the state and for being the only Nigerian state with a Department for Girl Child Education and Child Development, teacher quality in the state is one if the worst in Nigeria. According to the UBEC 2010 education profile the qualified teacher to student ratio in Katsina State is 1 teacher to 208 students, its neighbor Kaduna has a ratio of 1 teacher to 58 students. And there is no indication of things getting better; in 2013, only N124,731,000 would be spent on recruiting new teachers, N55million would be spent on teacher welfare and N900million on grants and subventions. There appears to be no special and significant programme to raise teacher quality through training and other incentives. Contd. on Page 26

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

People's Daily Newspaper, Friday 12, July, 2013  

People's Daily Newspaper, Friday 12, July, 2013

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