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Vol. 12 No. 76

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

. . . putting the people first

Angry mob attacks SAS in Maiduguri >> Pg 4

Rabiul Awwal 13, 1435 AH


Attack on Rep: Court summons Sen. Yarima, others >> Pg 2

Tukur dares Jonathan  Says 'you can't remove me'  9 NWC members shun meeting with chairman  Babayo, Mu'azu top replacement list >> Pg 2

Some workers of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), protesting over non-payment of their entitlements, yesterday in Lagos.


Nigeria crinimalises same-sex marriage  Homos to bag 14 years jail term P  US condemns action >> Pg 2

By Hassan Haruna Ginsau resident Goodluck Jonathan has signed the Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Bill passed by the

National Assembly into law, thereby criminalising samesex relationships in Nigeria. Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, confirmed the Contd. on Page 2


<<<< Page 3




Nigeria crinimalises same-sex marriage


Contd. from Page 1 passage of the Bill in an interview with Reuters yesterday, though he did not disclose when the president signed it into law. The law contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison for any violators, and bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups. The law was passed into law last year by the Nigerian parliament. Under the existing law, sodomy is punishable by jail, but the new bill legislates for a much broader crackdown on homosexuals and lesbians. “Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction














Stockwatch S/Report

23 24,25







to a term of 14 years in prison,” the bill says. “Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.” As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, there is a lot of anti-gay sentiment, with many other African countries seeking to tighten laws against homosexuality. But Nigeria yesterday came under attack from the government of the United States of America, following the report about the criminalization of gay relationships. US Secretary of State, John

Kerry, expressed deep concerns by his country, following the new measures. “Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly ... and expression for all Nigerians,” he said in a statement. “It is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines ... democratic reforms and human rights protections”, the American secretary of state stressed. Explaining President Jonathan’s decision to pass the Bill into law, however, Abati, who is special adviser to the president on media and publicity said: “More than 90% of Nigerians are opposed to same sex marriage, so, the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a

people. “I think that this law is made for a people and what the government has done is consistent with the preference of its environment. It is because of this that President Jonathan signed off the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill”, he stressed. Nigeria passed the law at a time when European countries, most recently France, have moved to offer same-sex couples the same legal rights enjoyed by heterosexuals. Britain and some other Western countries have threatened to cut aid to governments that pass laws persecuting homosexuals, a threat that has helped hold back or scupper such legislation in aid-dependent nations like Uganda and Malawi.

Tukur dares Jonathan ...Says only party convention can remove me By Lawrence Olaoye


Tambuwal sues for peace, harmony –Page 5















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new twist was yesterday added to the unfolding drama over whether or not Alhaji Bamanga Tukur should quit as National Chairman of the crisis ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with Tukur daring President Goodluck Jonathan, saying not even the president can oust him from his plum job. Responding to the insinuations that his removal had already been perfected ahead of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for Thursday, Tukur said in a terse statement he personally signed that only a well constituted National Congress of the party could remove him from office. Tukur, in the well circulated statement, dismissed the allegation that he had been ordered to resign by the president. He maintained that such rumour was being planted by the opposition to cause disharmony in the party. According to him: “I am an elected National Chairman; I have my certificate of return, I cannot resign. The convention brought me, so it has to take the convention that brought me for me to resign.” He maintained that there was no basis for him to resign as no one

has successfully proved any allegation of wrong doing against him. There were indications earlier yesterday that the days of Tukur as chair of the party are numbered, as the odds keep rising against his continued headship. This became even more evident yesterday when nine of the 12 members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party shunned the executive meeting summoned by the national chairman at the party’s Wadata House National Secretariat. The meeting scheduled to hold by 10am was cancelled when quorum was not formed as critical members of the party’s NWC stayed away. Apart from Tukur who convened the meeting, only the National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo and the party’s National Auditor, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju were present. It was gathered that while Tukur and his close allies were busy waiting for the other members of the NWC, the remaining were camped in one hotel monitoring developments at the national secretariat. Frustrated by the absence of the other members, it was learnt that the embattled national chairman had to call-off the meeting even as some members of the party’s NWC

appeared in their various offices when Tukur was gone. Those who failed to attend the meeting include the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh; National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha; National Treasurer; National Financial Secretary, Elder Bolaji Anani; National Women Leader, Mrs Kema Chikwe; National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwom, and National Youth Leader, Abdullahi MaiBasira were all absent. Similarly, the Deputy National Secretary, Onwe Solomon Onwe, was said to be absent because he was still in the South-east. Meanwhile, there are speculations that some stakeholders, including some governors on the platform of the PDP have begun to search for his replacement at the mid-term convention of the party billed to hold by March this year. As an interim measure, there are indications that the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Prince Secondus may be asked to take over control of the party as the Acting National Chairman untill March. It was learnt that the former National Secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo, who contested the chairmanship position with

Tukur some two years ago, is one of those being considered as his replacement. According to the source, Babayo is being considered first because he hails from the Northeastern part of the country where Tukur hails from. Again, he is being considered because of his vast experience in party management, having served as the former national secretary of the party, the source said. It would be recalled that Babayo was initially endorsed to become the party’s chairman by stakeholders in the North-east region before he was made to step down for Tukur at the party’s National Convention in Abuja about two years ago. Another party man being considered as possible replacement for Tukur is Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mua’zu, the former governor of Bauchi state. According to the source, he is being considered for his wide political tentacles and his acceptable mien, especially among the governors in the country. The two PDP stalwarts are being considered in response to the clamour from stakeholders from their region that the party national chairmanship position be not be zoned out of the North-east.

Attack on Zamfara lawmaker: Court orders Yarima, 29 others to appear From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


he Zamfara state High Court IV sitting in Gusau, presided over by Justice Bello Tukur Gummi yesterday, ordered Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima and 29 other accused persons charged with criminal conspiracy in relation with the mob attack on a member of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, to appear before it on February 20. This followed the absence of the

accused Senator and many others in company, as against the directive given by the court which scheduled the 13th of February to serve for hearing in response to the application filed in by the Police Counsel, Oloye Torugbene, on 29th November 2013. Counsel to the defense, Barrister Sani Katu, who told the court that the accused, Senator Ahmad Sani and twenty nine others were ready to appear before the court as directed, had contended that they

were not virtually served with the copies of charges read against them yet. Barrister Sani Katu said, the presence of six out of thirty one accused persons in the court, has clearly indicated the readiness of them to respect an invitation for defense against the number of charges labeled on them by the Police Counsel. He assured to make his clients available before the court on the required date provided they would be served with the copies of charges by

the prosecuting party. Barrister Torugbene told the court that the accused persons, who have been under Police Administrative Bail {PAB}, were served with arraignment notice, assuring that they would also be served with the copies of charges before the adjourned date. Justice Bello Tukur Gummi adjourned the case to the 20th of February during which the presence of all the accused persons would be needed for mention.




Mark harps on national security  Cautions against overheating the polity By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


enate President, David Mark has again implored Nigerians to put aside ethnic, political and religious differences and collaborate with each other to build a united and peaceful nation where everybody will feel free and safe. In a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark also advised politicians against making inflammatory statements or casting aspersions on opponents ahead of the 2015 polls. He said politics should be a call to serve for the public good and not a call for battle, noting the myriads of challenges facing the nation and submitted " With the cooperation and collective efforts of all- the government and the governed, we can surmount our problems. We can achieve this by adopting a give and take approach ". Mark urged Nigerians to be apostles of love and peaceful coexistence between and among citizens so that we can be truly acculturated as one people bound by a common destiny.

L-R: Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador James Entwistle, and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika, during a workshop on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Angry mob attacks SAS in Maiduguri ...calls him Shekau From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he seemingly political rivalry between Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and his predecessor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (aka SAS) took another dimension yesterday as hundreds of angry youth pelted the latter with stones, causing serious pandemonium along the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi in Maiduguri. This came barely 48 hours after Governor Shettima had suffered the same treatment by some political thugs believed to have been sponsored by some prominent politicians The yesterday’s incident occurred when the youths who have line-up the street leading to the Shehu of Borno palace as if they had congregated to give the erstwhile governor, a befitting welcome immediately on sighting the long

convoy of Sheriff insisted that they should turn back. One Abba Kolomi, a resident of Shehuri told journalists that the youths numbering over 100 attacked the long convoy of the former governor and insisted that they do not want to see him around in the state. He said the youths challenged the former governor to stay away as he has done at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis when he could make no appearance in the state. Kolomi, describing the scenario, said the youth described the former governor as a coward who chose to take advantage of the relative peace enjoyed in Maiduguri to launch his political tirade that is not in the interest of the generality of the residents of Borno state. Another resident of Shehuri, Modu Ibrahim told journalists that the youths were seen lining up the streets as early as 1pm when news filtered that the former governor

was paying a visit on the Shehu of Borno. Ibrahim said the former governor was sighted at about 3pm with his long convoy and was greeted by the irate youths who were supported by the residents of the area to boo Sheriff and throw stones, sachets of water and fire woods at his convoy. He said, “as soon as he was (Sheriff) was sighted the youths threw stones, sachets of pure water and firewood at his convoy. They tore his posters and threw it at his convoy.” He further narrated that “the youths shouted we do not like you get out of here. You are the cause of our problems, you are the cause of Borno problem, you brought Boko Haram crisis on the state.” Ibrahim said the former governor had to be ferried into the palace of the Shehu by his security details amidst the emerging violence of the residents of the area.

He said the erstwhile governor who spent few minutes with the ruler had to be driven away from the palace in another vehicle as the car he came in was vandalized by the irate youths. the source said 21 cars were destroyed in Sheriff’s convoy and that his pair of shoes is currently in the palce of the Shehu of Borno, adding that youths are taking it to the museum today. All attempt to get the response of the former governor was unsuccessful, both his close political associate who does not want his name mentioned insisted that the attack on Sheriff was the handiwork of political associates of the present governor who had alleged that the early attack on him was instigated by the former governor. He claimed that the former governor remains a popular figure in Borno and wanted by the old and young ones alike.

PDP sues Tambuwal, others . . . As PDP’s lawyer writes over leadership change Jonathan over Tukur’s fate By Ikechukwu Okaforadi & Umar M. Puma


he People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has brought a suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja asking it to restrain the leadership of the House of Representatives from changing the leadership structure in the lower chamber. In the suit, PDP asked the court to restrain the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, including other principal officers of the green chamber and its defecting members in the House from taking any step further “to alter or change the leadership of the 1st defendant (PDP)”. PDP prayed the court to declare that in view of Section 68(1) (g) of the Constitution and the pending case marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/621/2013, the defecting lawmakers “cannot lawfully vote and contribute to any motion for the removal or change of any of the principal officers” of the House.

It also wants the court to declare that the defecting lawmakers, who are plaintiffs in the earlier suit before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the same court, “are not competent to sponsor, contribute or vote on any motion calling for the removal or change in the leadership of the House or the removal of any principal officers of the House.” It also want the Court to determine whether, in view of the mandatory provision of Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution, and in view of the pendency of an earlier suit by the defecting law makers, they (the defecting legislators) can participate in any proceedings to remove the House’ principal officers. Meanwhile, when contacted to react on the matter, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed (APC Kwara), said he would not comment on the issue. "I have no comment on this matter", he said.

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


top lawyer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede has written President Goodluck Jonathan over the reported plan by the Board of Trustees to sack the National Chairman, Alh. Bamanga Tukur. In the letter dated January 13 letter, Oluyede stated that Tukur cannot be removed based on a subsisting valid court order of a Federal High Court, Abuja, issued on April 25, 2013. In the suit referred to by him, which, he filed on behalf of the PDP against the Independent National Electoral Commission, Justice Adamu Bello had ordered parties to maintain status quo by not taking actions that would lead to the removal of the then national officers. The party had gone to the court for a declaration that the tenure of the National Officers elected at the 2012 National Convention could not be truncated. This was after the INEC alleged irregularity

in the election saying that the nominations of the officers who were unopposed at the 2012 convention were invalid because they were affirmed by voice votes instead of “open secret ballot”. The legal practitioner said he wrote the letter to Jonathan because he is the constitutional leader of the PDP and that it was reported that he (Jonathan) attended the BOT meeting where the plan to remove Tukur was hatched. He said, “My attention has been drawn to reported proceedings of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, which culminated in the decision to remove Dr. Bamanga Tukur from the position of Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party. “This removal is to be achieved either by pressurizing him to resign or by some vote of lack of confidence to be procured against him at a planned National Working Committee meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party. Oluyede said he decided to write the presi-




Police nab notorious armed robber in Lagos From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


ne of the most dreaded notorious armed robbers who has been on the wanted list of the Police in the South -West of Nigeria has finally been arrested The robber Samuel Mayiegun who goes by the alias Asiwaju who was paraded by the Lagos State Police command with his other gang members ac-

cording to the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Unaru Manko was the mastermind of the infamous robbery that took place at the office of a bureau the change within the precinct of the Murtala Mohammed Airport on the 1st of February 2013. Speaking further Manko said on the 13th March 2013, information got to him that the dreaded gangs were at the Ikorodu axis of Lagos putting

finishing touch to launch a mega robbery operation and that he immediately instructed the the Officer -in Charge of the State Anti -Robbery Squad, Abba Kyari a Superintendent of Police (SP) to swing into action and that the move paid off as the gang were rounded up by the crack detectives. He gave the names of the gang as Samuel Mayeigun aka Asiwajum, Abiodun Adebayo, Ezekiel Anthony, Ibrahim Sado,

and Femi Osiyelu. He said in the search conducted on the robbers’ hide-out, one general purpose gun, one AK47 rifle with registration No 533124, two double barrel locally made pistol, ten GPMG magazine fully loaded, eight AK47 magazine fully loaded and 30 live cartridges. Waste disposal: Kano State Govt slams N1m fine each on 2 firms The Kano State govern-

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo (left), and FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed (right), jointly cutting the tape to flag-off the Operation Light-up Rural Nigeria, during the inspection and flag-off ceremony, yesterday at Shape and Durumi communities, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Family says prisons officials poisoned Charles Okah By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he family of Charles Okah, the alleged mastermind of October 1st bombing in Abuja, in 2010, has accused the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) of poisoning Charles Okah into imbecility.

In a statement issued jointly by Felix Amaebi Okah and Dadiowei Okah, the Okah family urged the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Human Rights Watch to carry out an independent probe on all parties involved in the alleged plot. “We suspect strongly that the

Jigawa APC elects interim leaders From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa state Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) yesterday elected its state interim executive members who would temporarily run the party affairs in the state till the formal state congress. A statement jointly signed by the three head of the defunct political parties that formed the party (APC) in the state and made it available to Peoples Daily in Dutse said Alhaji Badaru Abubakar had been elected as the state interim Chairman, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan Hadeja secretary, Honourable Farouk Adamu Aliyu would serve as Treasurer. Other elected officers as indicated by the statement include Honourable Nasiru Garba Dan-

tiye as Organising Secretary and Malam Murtala Abubakar Taura as Public Relations Officer. The three statement signatories were the Chairman Badaru Abubakar who was former ACN gubernatorial candidate, secretary Barrister Ibrahim Hassan was ANPP gubernatorial candidate and Farouk Aliyu the Treasurer was CPC gubernatorial candidate in the 2011 general elections. Stating further in the statement the newly elected leaders have paid a courtesy visit to the Kano state governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankoso and informed him about the development and he in turn expressed happiness and promised to attend the inaugural ceremony of the executive in Jigawa state”.

Nigerian Prison service (NPS) with an antecedence for poisoning political prisoners from orders from above, have deliberately and systematically poisoned Charles Okah into becoming an imbecile”, the family said in the statement. They further said that Charles Okah has always been desirous of having an impartial trial conducted to clear his name and was confident that unless influenced, he would be vindicated, discharged and acquitted of the charges relating to the October 1st 2010 bomb attack.

“He wanted a forum to dispel the lies told by the SSS spokeswoman, Ms Marilyn Ogar who announced on National Television on Tuesday October 19th 2010 shortly after Charles Okah’s arrest that ‘our investigations have revealed that Charles Tombra Okah is Jomo Gbomo the Spokesman for Mend’”, the statement said. However, the family expressed concern over what it described as, “continued inhuman incarceration and deteriorating man-induced mental health of Charles Oyintombra Okah”.

From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto

Bill, which is happily passed by the house,” he said. He said the cardinal principles which guide the budgetary implementation is geared towards ensuring probity, accountability, and transparency in executing of governments programs and projects. While expressing gratitude to members of the State House of Assembly for the cooperation in expediting action which facilitated the smooth passage of the 2014 budget, expressed the hope that they will effectively exercise their oversight functions for the glory of the state.

Sokoto Assembly passes 2014 budget into law


okoto State House of Assembly yesterday passed in to law the 2014 appropriation bill of N125 billion for this fiscal year. The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Lawali Zayyan told newsmen at the floor of the house yesterday that the consolidated budget was known to be a constitution requirement without which the budget will not be put into implementation. “We are standing here again for the purpose of assenting the

ment yesterday imposed N1 million fine each against two industries for their failure to utilise their treatment plants in an environmentally-friendly way. The Chairman of the state Task Force on Sanitation, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas said the companies, Gashash Tannery situated at Bompai industrial Aaea and African Textile Manufacturers (ATM) at Challawa industrial area were made to pay the fines by the mobile court of the sanitation committee. Abbas, who is also the Commissioner for Environment, said the companies were sanctioned for their refusal to utilise their treatment plants despite several warnings. “The committee has given Gashash Tannery an ultimatum of six months to construct a plant and a three-month ultimatum to ATM to restore its unutilised plant, and both companies have signed undertakings to comply with the order,” Abbas said. NAN reports that members of the communities living in the industrial areas of Kano had lodged complaints on the impact of the illegal discharge of toxic waste on the environment. (NAN)

Tambuwal sues for peace, harmony By Sunday Ejike Benjamin Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has enjoined Nigerians to imbibe the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and strive to live with one another in peace and harmony. In a message to commemorate this year’s Maulud Nabiyyi issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said just like the birth of the Prophet in Mecca ushered in a new dawn for humanity, Nigerians should view the occasion of this year’s Maulud Nabiyyi as opportunity for a new beginning for their country. He said all citizens must rededicate themselves to promoting unity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. According to him: “I believe that we will make faster progress towards the realisation of our shared vision of a strong, united and prosperous nation if our people imbibe the prophet’s lessons of peace, tolerance, honesty, selflessness, sincerity, justice, equity and peaceful co-existence with others, including fairness to all”. While congratulating Muslims the world over, Tambuwal said Prophet Muhammad’s life was an example in forthrightness, diligence, hardwork, and commitment to set objectives, adding that when imbibed, these virtues can help propel any nation towards rapid growth and development.



News Fashola signs N489.69bn budget into law From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


agos State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday, signed the 2014 budget of N489.69 billion into law. The budget is aimed at completing the on-going projects, and consolidates on the previous chievements. Fashola who appended his signature to the 2014 budget at the State House in Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, with the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Kolawole Taiwo and the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze. “With this signing today, we are giving this budget the required push to ensure optimum implementation. This signing is a signal that we must get ready to commence full work.” Fashola added, “I want to thank the Lagos state House of Assembly for the work that they have done during the holiday period by postponing their December recess in order to bring us this far. I must commend their work and I must on behalf of the people of Lagos, convey their appreciation to you.” For the first time since 2007 when Governor Fashola assumed office, the state is running a zero deficit budget surplus with N234.665 billion as Recurrent Expenditure and N255.025 billion for Capital Expenditure. The 2014 budget is 3.43 per cent lower than the last year’s budget of N499.105 billion. Speaking earlier, Akabueze said that the budget will assist the state government to fast track the infrastructural development in the state. Explaining the allocation of budget, the commissioner said “the allocation of the largest percent of the budget to the ministry of works and infrastructure was in line with the state government commitment to address the state infrastructural deficit.” He added that giving the largest share of the budget to the ministry of works and infrastructure has always been the constant feature of the state budget. “It is the reflection of the government commitment to infrastructural development renewal. And as we work down the deficit, we will begin to see expenditure shift to social infrastructure.”

Gbangbagi community in Niger state to get succour soon From Yakubu Mustapha,Minna


overnor Muazu Babangida Aliyu has directed top officials of three government parastatals to assess the needs of the people of Gbangbagi community and report to him within two weeks, for action to be taken to address their plight. Aliyu who gave the order when the elders of the community in Lavun Local Government of Niger state who paid a solidarity

visit in government house Minna, appealed for more delivery of dividend of democracy in their community. The heads of Niger State Road Maintenance Agency (NIGROMA), Engineer Umar Sani, Chairman of Universal Basic Education Board, Alhaji Hassan Uba Kuta and General Manager, Niger State Rural Electrification Board, were ordered to, as a matter of urgency, to visit the community to assess their plight, for quick intervention from the

state government. Among the requirements of the community was the reconstruction of the only bridge linking the area with other towns in the local government area which collapsed more than 30 years ago, the construction of a primary school, as well as the provision of electricity and the construction of the road leading to the village. The Village Head of Gbagbangi, Alhaji Mohammed Ndana Maiyaki, in an interview with

L-R: Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, his wife, Mrs. Victoria Gowon, former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, representative of Etsu Nupe and Jakardiya Raba Nupe, Mrs. Comfort Kashi Saba, and representative of Niger state Governor and Secretary to the Government of Niger state, Hon. Saidu Ndako Idris Kpaki, during a special church service to mark the centenary birthday of Mrs. Alice Ramatu Angulu (Mama Doko), on Sunday at the St John Anglican Diocese of Bida, Niger state.

Police boss tasks Nigerians on NIN to eradicate crime By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


nspector General of Police (IGP), M.D Abubakar has tasked Nigerians and members of the police force on the need, to key into the National Identification Number (NIN) to help eradicate crime in the country. Abubakar said the measure was imperative to eradicate crime, fraud, identity theft and to make it difficult for

criminals to use multiple ghost identities. The police boss, who spoke in Abuja yesterday after successfully enrolling for the National Identity Number at the police headquarters, pledged its support for the commission, hence calling for mutual co-operation between the Nigerian Police and the NIMC. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Director,

Corporate Communication of NIMC, Anthony Okwudiafor, called on Nigerians and all legal residents in the country to take advantage of the enrolment centres in their states, and Local Government Areas across the country to register. The statement said the commission had set-up a preenrolment portal which would allow individuals to access the pre-enrolment form through the portal for self-enrolment.

NTI DG advocates training for Science, Mathematics teachers From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ational Teachers Institute (NTI) Director General, Dr Aminu Ladan Sharehu yesterday disclosed that the institute is ever ready to train Science and Mathematics teachers across the country in 2014. To show their commitment, the institute met with stakeholders in education on how to sustain the training of mathematics and science teachers across the country. Speaking during the 1st Cohorts

newsmen expressed appreciation to the government for the positive steps taken, and expressed the hope that the officials will speedily submit their reports, so that, actual work will start in earnest. The Chairman of the Niger state Universal Basic Education Board, Alhaji Uba Ahmed, assured the community that their report will be submitted on time adding that, once approval was given and necessary financial support released, actual work will commence.

Cycle ll training Opening Ceremony at the NTI headquarters in Kaduna, Sharehu said NTI is expected to train 65 teachers in each of the cohort and that there will be 7 cohort in this year which will produce 325 teachers. “We are happy we are conducting the first cohorts of the cycle ll training which is expected to be in 7 cohorts throughout 2014. In 2015 we will conduct the last cycle which is cycle lll and also in that cycle we are expected to conduct 7 cohorts.

“Our believe is that, just this cycles is not going to be enough to produce the right quality teachers in science and mathematics for our country. To have quality teachers, we need to continue with the training. “Our hope is that after we round off three cycles, we will discuss with the major stakeholders in Science and Mathematics strengthening in Nigeria, to find ways on how the program can be a continuous process, so that, we can be able to produce teachers in Science

and Mathematics with desire qualities for our country Nigeria,” he explained. The DG further added that, NTI is expected to train 412 Science and Mathematics teachers across all state of the federation in 2015. Earlier in his remarks, the National Coordinator of SMASE, Mr Chimezie Aguiyi assured the institute that the SMASE program which will end by February and will be sustained by the federal government, adding that the program has come to stay in Nigeria.

CAR: Adamawa govt integrates 218 indigenes with relatives


he Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA) said it had integrated 218 indigenes evacuated from Central Africa Republic (CAR) with their families and relatives. The Executive Secretary of the agency, Malam Haruna Furo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola yesterday that all the evacuees had been reunited with their families. Furo said the exercise followed their verification, adding that the integration cut across various local government areas in the state. “Shortly after their arrival and camping at the state NYSC camp in Girei local government area of the state, the security agents started verifying them. He said Mubi local government area had the largest number of the evacuees and all of them were handed over to their various families in good health.(NAN)




7 suspects nabbed in Adamawa for murder of Igbo business man

From: Umar Dankano, Yola


he Adamawa state police command has arrested and paraded seven suspects in connection with the gruesome murder of an Igbo businessman in Mbulo village of Jada Local Government Area of the state. The suspects included a father, Haruna Daban and his son, Samuel Haruna. Parading the suspects yesterday in Yola, Adamawa State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mohammed Ibrahim, told

newsmen that the deceased one innocent Onkwugiujiaku, a grains merchant was murdered in his sleep while on business trip to the area. According to the Police PRO, the deceased who had visited the area severally for the business made his last trip in the first week of this month. He disclosed that one Samuel Haruna and his father, Haruna Daban have been accommodating the deceased each time he was on business trip to the area until the ill-fated trip. The police image maker

explained that the deceased had withdrawn N700, 000 to purchase grains in the area and settled for the night as usual in Samuel Haruna’s room, but little did he know that there was conspiracy to kill him overnight. He added that Samuel Haruna’s friend on discovering that the businessman had brought the money for him to buy grains in the next market day conspired among themselves to kill Mr. Innocent and buried him in a shallow grave in the bush. “The family of the victim raised an alarm when his

telephone numbers were not going through. The matter was reported at divisional level and later transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). On investigation, one Samuel Haruna who came down with the Igbo man from Enugu to buy the said grains also disappeared but was later arrested in Enugu. Samuel confessed that himself and six others conspired and killed the man, Mr. Innocent. He Samuel said it was Abdulrahman Njidda who master minded the killing of Mr. Innocent.

The suspected armed robbers paraded by Kwara state Police Command, yesterday in Ilorin.

Kwara police arrest four armed robbers,7 hoodlums From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


he Kwara State Police Command has arrested four suspected armed robbers and seven hoodlums suspected to be members of the group that caused crisis in Baboko area and killed one Babatunde Suleiman. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Agboola Oshodi-Glover who disclosed this while briefing Journalists yesterday at Police Headquarters in the state said the

suspected armed robbers were charged with criminal conspiracy and armed robbery. Glover revealed their names as; Adekunle Ishola, Dele Cletus, Simony Ogundeji and Dare Suleiman and disclosed that one Toyota Corolla car with registration No. Lagos FE 464 APP valued at N1, 785, 000, three sharp cutlasses, three motorcycles and two guns were found in their possession. The commissioner said “on

01-01-2014 at about 1700hrs, the above captioned case was transferred from ‘E’ Division Police Station, Kunlende Ilorin to the State CID Ilorin for discreet investigation. “Also, on 13th December, 2013 at about 0800hrs, one Lawal Adewale Dare, behind Ministry of Agric, Mubo face II, Ilorin reported at ‘E’ Division Ilorin that on the same date at about 0600hrs,some gang of armed robbers, numbering about six

armed themselves with guns and cutlasses, and invaded his house, attacking him and his family. “As a result, Techno handsets, Jewelries, one Toyota Corolla car with Reg. No. Lagos FE464 APP all valued at N1, 785,000 were carted away by the hoodlums”, he said. The Police Boss said during the investigation, the suspect, Adekunle Ishola was identified by the complainant who led to his arrest and member of his gang.

We never disrupted church service-CP From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Mr. Olufemi Adenaike has refuted allegations that men from his command stormed the ECWA church in Ise pango village close to Jere in Kagarko Local Government Area, disrupting and stopping the Sunday service abruptly. Adenaike said his men actually got wind that one of the wanted suspects, Ayuba Daro aka Kakaraka in connection to the recent attack of the Chief Jere, Dr. Usman Saad was hiding in the village. “When our men got close to

his house, the suspect on sighting the police team jumped out of his house and started running towards the church. He actually ran through the church creating a state of confusion. Our men stood outside and when the congregation also sighted the police they started running and in the process, the suspect escaped the arrest. I can authoritatively confirm to you that my men did not go into any church”, he expalined. Giving credence to the CP’s statement, the Divisional Crime Officer of Jere Division, Umar Mohammed who led the team of policemen to arrest the suspect, told news men that the suspect’s

house was ‘a stone throw’ from the Church and he took advantage of the worshippers in the church to escape. The PRO also confirmed that the police escort attached to Chief of Jere shot the principal suspect, Ayuba Barde when he was trying to struggle and collect his serving pistol. “The said Ayuba Barde had been traced to a hospital in Abuja where he was said to be undergoing treatment. When our men got there and saw his condition, we asked the hospital authority to continue with the treatment while the police keep a watch on him. “During the interrogation

of his wife, she confessed that her husband actually brought the police serving pistol to the house and buried it under a palm tree close to his house where we finally recover the pistol,” the CP said. Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State, has accused the police of invading and interrupting services at the ECWA church. CAN in a press briefing addressed by its Secretary, Mr. Sunday Ibrahim said the association is set to drag the police to court to explain why it invaded and disrupted the Sunday church service.

Niger NDLEA arrests 143 suspect, 2,157.48kg of banned substance in 2013 From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


he Niger state Command of the National Drugs, Law Enforcement Agency {NDLEAsaid its officers arrested 143 suspects comprising 140 males and three females in its operation in 2013. The state Commander of the Anti-Drugs agency, Mallam Abdullahi Abdul stated this in a statement yesterday in Minna. Abdul said that the operational activities took place at Suleja, Makwa, Kontagora, Kainji, Kagara and Babanna area commands of the agency within the period. He explained that in the period under review, a total of 2,157.48 Kilogrammes of illicit drugs were also seized, while 2,148Kg. of the total drug seized during the year was Marijuana[ Cannabis Sativa} adding that 8.5 kg of the drugs was Psychotropic substance and 18 Pinches/ crack of powdery substance suspected to be Cocaine. The statement further stated that other seizures made in the year 2013 included 600grammes of Marijuana seeds which was seized in Babanna border area of Borgu Local Government of the state including one locally made Pistol and two Single Barrel Guns with 10 live cartridges. Abdul said the three suspects arrested in connection with the arms and ammunition were transferred to the Police Area Command office in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state, saying that the Command also arrested and transferred four fake medical personnel to the Niger state Ministry of Health for appropriate action. “The command filled charges against all the suspects at the Federal High Court, Minna and it secured conviction against 46 of the suspects who were sentenced to various jail terms at the same Court, while other cases are at different level of completion”, he stated He further noted that the Command, in the period under review stepped up her public enlightenment seminars / workshops, which included talks and lectures as a drug abuse preventive strategy to reduce demand for hard drugs in the state.



Photo Splash

Nomadic Fulani women going to market, on Sunday in Toungo Local Government Area of Adamawa. Photo: NAN

Pupils and teachers of Russell International Group of Schools, during their morning assembly as they resumed, yesterday at Ugbowo, in Benin City. Photo: NAN

Members of National Union of Electricity Employees in a peaceful protest over non-payment of severance entitlement, yesterday in Ibadan.

Erosion site, yesterday at Nekede community, in Owerri West of Imo state. Photo: NAN

Photo: NAN

Osun state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right), inspecting the construction of the ongoing East Pass Road, yesterday in Osogbo, the State capital.



Jigawa State Government Being a Speech Delivered by His Excellency, (Dr.) Sule Lamido CON During the Presentation of Year 2014 Appropriation Bill to the Jigawa State House of Assembly, Tuesday, 7th January, 2014 Protocols. . . Assalamu Alaikum and Good Morning to you all.

over 70% of this, amounting to about N198 billion would be expended over the medium term in the key sectors of the CDF including agriculture, critical infrastructure, consisting of roads, transport development, power, education, health, environment, water and sanitation. The balance goes to General Administration and Stabilization Fund amongst others. As usual, it is worthy of note that the medium term sector plans developed by key sectors and the 2014 proposed budget are consistent with each other and with our long term development agenda.

2. It is with high sense of duty and fulfillment that I address you this afternoon to present the 2014 Appropriation Bill. Let me first express my gratitude to Allah Subhanahu-Wata’ala for His guidance and protection which has enabled us to persevere, and excel in the arduous task of societal transformation. Let me also express my sincere appreciation to the Honorable Members for your continued support and commitment to our vision and mission. The significance of this occasion cannot be overemphasized - As we unfold our fiscal plans for the next twelve months, the occasion gives us the opportunity to reflect on our progress and challenges. As usual, the Appropriation Bill that I will submit to The 2014 Budget and its the House is our proposal to implement a Policy Direction. very pragmatic public expenditure plan that 7. Mr. Speaker, let me at this is consistent with the overall yearnings and Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa presenting the 2014 Appropration Bill to stage seek your indulgence to aspirations of the people of Jigawa State. the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Hon Adamu Ahmad Sarawa briefly highlight some of the key I therefore enjoin Honorable Members to policy objectives and priorities conscientiously scrutinize it and ensure that that informed the preparation of it remains realistic and retains its potency of impacting positively on socioeconomic the 2014 Proposed Budget as follows: wellbeing of the people. • Continuous improvement in access to - and quality of - public services, these include 3. Let me at this stage briefly recap the fiscal operations of the outgoing year. educational infrastructures and Health Care Delivery Systems at all levels. Inherent in The 2013 Appropriation Law - including the supplementary appropriation passed this is our resolve to promote gender equality and inclusive development; in September - envisaged that the sum of N122.834 billion would accrue into the • Pursuit of initiatives that would continue to generate economic growth. This would consolidated revenue fund of the state for the funding of various expenditure components involve implementation of pro-poor projects and programmes that generate employment of the budget. The records indicate that as at the end of the year approximately N110.8 and create wealth. Indeed, following the outcomes of the First Jigawa Economic and billion has actually accrued which, is a first-rate performance. As regards the expenditure Investment Summit held in May last year, we intend to accord priority to areas that component, the interim report also indicates an overall aggregate actual expenditure would ultimately help unlock the vast resource potentials of the state and put in place a of almost the same amount - that is N109.3 billion. On the whole, the preliminary dynamic and competitive state economy. performance appraisal gives a budget implementation rate of about 90%. Measured • Our next major priority during the 2014 Fiscal Year is to broaden ongoing against the original appropriation of N115.4 billion, performance would be close to governance reforms particularly in the area of policy and strategy; public expenditure 99%. Our accomplishments in transforming the socioeconomic and physical landscape and financial management; and public service management. As part of this process, of Jigawa State are very evident even to the most casual observer. It is therefore with high Government intends to review and update the Jigawa State Comprehensive Development sense of fulfillment that I say these feats are rooted in our political will and commitment Framework CDF. to serve humanity; It is also a practical demonstration of our political philosophy that democracy and political power are about constructive engagement and responsible The 2014 Appropriation Bill leadership that promotes societal wellbeing. 8. In line with the provisions of Section 120 of the Constitution, I present the 4. Let me at this point inform Honorable Members that our premier State University 2014 Appropriation Bill to the Honorable Members proposing to appropriate the sum at Kafin Hausa is set to commence its academic programmes having met most of its of One Hundred and Fourteen Billion, Seven Hundred Million Naira (N114.7 Billion) hard and software requirements. The State Television Project with a state-wide coverage for the fiscal year ending 31st December 2014. This represents a slight decrease of 0.6% is on the verge of completion and commissioning. Similarly, progress with regards to compared to the amount originally appropriated in 2013. Funding for the proposed the State Airport Project was very satisfactory as take-off and landing was successfully budget is envisaged to be from various sources including: test-run during the last pilgrimage. It is our plan that, by Allah’s grace, this project [i] Internally Generated RevenueN8,407,000,000 would be commissioned during the first quarter of this year. Let me also inform the [ii] Statutory Federal Transfers including Statutory Allocation and Value Added Honorable Members that last year, we received evidence of our contribution to the Tax N56,500,000,00 Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund with an initial funding of $1.0 billion, which is managed [iii Local Government Contribution for Financing Primary Education, Primary by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. The Certificate of contribution attest to Health Care, Staff Redeployed to Gunduma Councils N16,619,000,00 the fact that Jigawa State Government has made a contribution of $6,920,711.29 while [iv Capital Receipts Mainly Capitalized Periodic Excess Crude Proceeds, SURE-P the 27 Local Governments have made a total contributed of $5,867,812.75 to the fund. Transfers, IDA Loans and Other Miscellaneous Capital Grants N33, 174,000,000 9. Out of the total expected income, the sum of N1.7 billion is proposed to be 2014 - 2016 Medium Term Fiscal Framework. set aside as Stabilization Fund. This leaves a retained revenue of N113 billion to be 5. As part of the annual budget and planning process, a Medium Term Expenditure appropriated to the various expenditure components of the budget as follows: Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) were prepared to provide the [i] Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges N3,609,000,000; context of the proposed 2014 Appropriation Bill. These provide estimates of the fiscal [ii] Personnel Cost N36,350,000,000; targets including the underlying assumptions for the fiscal projections. It is pertinent [iii] Overhead Cost N18,461,000,000; to note that, most of the variables that affect our fiscal projections are exogenously [iv] Capital Expenditure N53,880,000,000; determined either at the national or global levels. Notwithstanding, these have been [v] Contingency Funds N700,000,000; taken into account in our revenue and expenditure projections in order to arrive at an 10. Mr. Speaker, let me crave your indulgence to briefly highlight further on some of informed and realistic budget framework. these expenditure components. Starting with the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges, 6. Against this background, the revised and updated common funds fiscal Continued on page 10 projections for the period 2014 - 2016 is about N280 billion. It is projected that slightly



Being a Speech Delivered by His Excellency, (Dr.) Sule Lamido CON During the Presentation of Year 2014 Appropriation Bill to the Jigawa State House of Assembly, Tuesday, 7th January, 2014 these are the first charges to the CRF largely consisting of the recurrent expenditures of the Judiciary; Pensions and Gratuities and Public Debt Charges. As regards personnel cost, the proposed estimates of about N36.4 billion represents almost 32% of the total budget. Even as the size of the budget is slightly reduced, provision for personnel cost is still relatively higher than in 2013 by about 8.3% which is mainly as a result of provisions for recruitments in critical areas. The overhead cost has an increase of over 13%, this constitute a relatively higher increase in the proposed recurrent spending in the year 2014. This is in tune with our commitment to maintain a more productive, effective and efficient public service in which the machinery of Government is adequately funded. Capital Development Programmes 11. Mr. Speaker, the proposed capital investments for the 2014 Fiscal Year is exactly which N53.88 billion which is equivalent to 47% of the entire estimates. Relative to 2013 approved estimates, this is a drop of 11% - which is a reflection of our commitment to budget realism. In terms of focus, it is worthy of note that over 80% of the proposed capital budget is earmarked for projects and programmes that constitute the major planks of our socioeconomic development strategy namely: critical infrastructure consisting of roads, transport development and electricity; human development comprising of education and health; agriculture and environment; and economic empowerment. Also worthy of note is the fact that, in line with our commitment to complete all on-going projects during the lifetime of this administration, considerable proportion of the proposed capital expenditure is in respect of ongoing projects. Let me at this juncture briefly highlight further on the sectoral allocations of the proposed capital investments. Economic Sector 12. The sum of N30.14 billion representing 56% of the capital budget is proposed to be expended on various projects and programmes. As would be noticed shortly, the sector comprises of projects and programmes vital to pro-poor economic growth, sustainable development and provision of a robust investment climate. Even as this sector has consistently consumed a sizeable proportion of our capital investments, so far, infrastructure deficit still exists requiring sustained funding. it is noteworthy that accelerating economic growth and development at sub-national levels is a function of several exogenous variables including the national macroeconomic environment; national investment and business climate; good governance; and the performance of such vital sectors like power and energy. While it is acknowledged that these issues are being addressed, the tasks ahead remain herculean. At about 24%, unemployment still remains a major source of concern in our country particularly among the youths. For us at the state level, we would continue to accord high priority to this key sector, in our determination to address the issues. 13. It is in pursuit of this, that we undertook the first Jigawa Economic and Investment Summit in May last year to unlock the proven potentials of a vibrant economy that abound in Jigawa State. As a follow-up to that, an Advisory Council on Economic Management and Investment Promotion was established with the mandate of coordinating the implementation of the summit recommendations and pursuing other initiatives aimed at mobilizing private sector investments in the state particularly in such areas as Agriculture and Agricultural Value Addition, Solid Minerals Development, Micro and Medium Scale Enterprices, Commerce, ICT and other Services. While we remain optimistic of an improved national investment climate and business environment attractive to foreign direct investment, we would continue to pursue our local strategies aimed at mobilizing investments and accelerating growth and sustainable development. A runddown of some of the major projects and programmes across the economic sector is provided as follows: (i) Agriculture and livestock development is allocated the sum of N2.9 billion largely to be expended on areas that would impact on improved production and food security. These include procurement and distribution of agricultural inputs, high-quality extension service & agricultural research, rehabilitation and expansion of existing irrigation infrastructures and implementation of the National Fadama Development Programmes; (ii) Rural Electrification – This is earmarked the sum of N500 million for rural electrification projects in ten locations rolled-over from 2013. These include Arki, Sara Wuya Shakwato-Bulangu, Garin-Urema, Giwa, Kyambo, Mijingini, Banaga, Unguwar Kaya, and Ruru. The provision includes solar-powered projects and production of 20,000 modernized energy-saving wood-stoves by the State Alternative Energy Agency; (iii) Roads & Transport Development – This is earmarked the sum of N24.74 billion representing about four-fifth of the allocation to the economic sector. This is primarily proposed for the completion of several ongoing projects including the completion and commissioning of Dutse Airport Project, State Capital Roads and a number of ongoing township roads. As Honorable members are aware, some of the road projects were taken in phases. Consequently, for some of such projects, the proposed budget is intended to complete the first phase and commence the second phase while for others, the proposed amount is only intended to complete the first phase. Even though road construction is still the greatest demand of the people, in line with priorities of the moment, greater emphasis is now placed on completion of all ongoing State and Township Roads. Consequently, the only newly proposed road projects are: • Bamaina - Zazika; • Kazaure - Roni - Takwardawa;

• Gagarawa – Bosuwa through Damaski, Maishada, Malam Ada; Makerabu; Madaka, Malam Baki and Kangarwa with a spur from Madaka to Maikilili. • Kyarama - Gasakoli - Dadin Kowa - Dan Makeri - Dandi - Sankara - Amaguwa. (iv) Commerce and SMEs – This sector is allocated the sum of N960 million. As earlier mentioned, following the May 2013 Economic and Investment Summit, more than ever before, there is now a renewed commitment to take a leading role in providing the necessary enabling environment that would support and facilitate the development of commerce and industry in an accelerated manner. Indeed, this is what informed our recent aggressive pursuit towards the mobilization of private sector investments particularly in the area of small & medium scale enterprises. Consequently, in addition to ongoing initiatives aimed at building robust investment climate in the state, we would continue to institute other complementary measures that make the business environment conducive and attractive. It was in this respect that the State Government recently signed a memorandum of understanding with a DFID-funded Growth & Employment Programme to provide technical support towards Tax and Land Reforms and investment promotion which are very critical to the development of private enterprise. Some of the key projects earmarked for funding include: • Implementation of an entrepreneurship development scheme on business development & value addition for prospective small scale entrepreneurs; • Revival of the Small Scale Industrial Equipment Leasing Scheme; and • Solid Mineral Development which would involve the conduct of a substantive Social and Economic Feasibility Studies for some selected mineral deposits in the State; (v) Economic Empowerment - economic empowerment initiatives with focus on skill acquisition, creation of job opportunities and providing means of livelihoods would continue to remain cardinal in our socioeconomic liberation strategy. Provision for this in the 2014 budget is N1.04 billion which would cover the regular skill acquisition programmes in the six existing Skill Acquisition Centres, as well as other specialized economic empowerment programmes. In addition, to expedite progress in job and wealth creation, it is planned that some twenty-four Local Governments would be supported during the 2014 fiscal year to establish what we call mini skill acquisition centres. 14. Social Services Sector - This sector comprises of critical components of our human development strategy including education, health, women and social development. While I believe that any recent estimate of the human-development index in Jigawa State would indicate considerable progress, there is no doubt that challenges still remain. Even as access to qualitative education from the basic education level to tertiary institutions has never been better, there are still issues to be addressed. At the basic and senior secondary education levels, there are still concerns with pupil-teacher ratio and the quality of teachers. The picture is somewhat similar with respect to the health sector - Since arriving on the scene, we have made giant strides towards improving access to affordable, effective and efficient primary healthcare delivery systems throughout the state. The hitherto intolerably high infant, child and maternal mortality rates are now in the downward direction courtesy of the ongoing free maternal and child healthcare programme for pregnant women and under-five children. 15. The total allocation for the social services sector is N13.78 billion representing about 26% of the entire capital expenditure outlay. Consistent with our priorities and policy stance, education and health constitute a significant proportion of the overall sectoral allocation. In fact, from the perspective of the entire budget, these two human development sectors account for almost 42%; 30% for education sector and 12% for the health sector. Understandably, the human resource elements take a large chunk of the budgetary provision for the two sectors. Let me at this juncture elaborate further on some of the specific areas that would be funded to deliver the intended outcomes. [i] Education - As just mentioned, over 30% of the entire budget is proposed for the education sector of which over 20% is for recurrent expenditure comprising of both personnel and overhead costs. In absolute terms, this leaves a balance of N8.18 billion to be invested on various aspects of the educational sector as follows: • Basic and Nomadic Education N2.188 billion • Senior Secondary Education including Science & Islamic Education N1.249 billion • Tertiary Education including the new State University N4.533 billion • Adult / Non-Formal Education and Library Services N210 million [ii] The Health Sector – Also as earlier highlighted, this sector is earmarked almost 12% of the total budget which is over N13.2 billion. This is consistent with Government’s commitments to continuously improve the health status of the people through sustained accessibility to affordable and qualitative healthcare services. Of the total sectoral allocation, about N9.4 billion is for recurrent spending while only N3.8 billion would be for capital investments. The paradoxical challenge of critical manpower shortages in the face of unbearable and continuously rising personnel cost is indeed very alarming in the health sector. While we believe implementation of a special salary structure and continuous improvements of our health training institutions would be long-term measures of meeting our health manpower requirement, this however also has its own paradox. The institutions would continue to roll-out trained manpower a number of which the system may not necessarily absorb principally because of the salary implications. Let me at this stage, place on record, Government’s appreciation to some of our development partners for their support towards addressing some of the health manpower issues I raised previously. In particular, I would like to mention the Continued on page 11



Being a Speech Delivered by His Excellency, (Dr.) Sule Lamido CON During the Presentation of Year 2014 Appropriation Bill to the Jigawa State House of Assembly, Tuesday, 7th January, 2014 DFID funded PATHS and PRINN-MCH and the new Women for Health Programmes for their unrelenting support for the health sector. 16. Mr. Speaker, as earlier mentioned, N3.8 billion would be available for various capital investments in the health sector. While this is only 27% of the allocation for social services as a whole, the allocations to the various components of the sector take full cognizance of priorities identified in the medium-term strategic health plan and 2014 - 2016 medium term sector strategy developed for the sector. Key among the specific investments include: • Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital earmarked the sum of N250 million; • Maternal and Child Healthcare Programmes for which the sum of N350 million is provided specifically to cover the cost of ongoing free maternal and child health care services in the state for pregnant women and children under the age of five; • Improvement and Expansion of Primary and Secondary Health Facilities is allocated over N1.3 billion including provision of medical equipments; • Health Training Institutions comprising of College of Nursing & Midwifery and School of Health Technology are earmarked N350 million; • HIV-AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases Control Programmes are earmarked N700 million; Presently, HIV-AIDS prevalence in Jigawa State is among the lowest in the Country while substantial progress has been made in the last few years in dealing with the scourge of Malaria and other diseases like TB and Leprosy. Government would continue to invest resources in these areas; [iii] Information, Women and Social Development - The sum of N1.8 billion is proposed to be expended in this sector. Principally, this will be devoted to: • Completion and commissioning of the State Television Project; • Scale-up of Safe Motherhood Initiative Program - the popular “Haihuwa Lafiya Programme and continuation of other Women Empowerment Initiatives. 17. Urban and Regional Development - These consist of Water Supply; Housing; Town and Regional Planning; and Environment. The amount proposed for the sector is N6.65 billion distributed among the key components of the sector as follows: (i) Water Supply - N1.87 billion is proposed to be expended on three major areas namely: • Rural Water Supply and Sanitation N300 million; • Small Towns Water Supply N580 million; and • Urban Water Supply N990 million; (ii) Housing – Shelter, being one of the basic needs for a decent living, would continue to attract direct Government investment. There is no doubt, significant strides have been made in the last few years particularly in the State Capital where private estate developers have also complemented Government efforts in meeting the housing needs of a gradually emerging cosmopolitan city. The amount earmarked in this regard is N1.52 billion. This would cover construction of a Banquet Hall, Completion of State Legislators’ Residences and ongoing Housing Authority Programmes; (iii) Urban and Regional Development – The sum of N1.9 billion is allocated for this. Major amongst the projects and programmes proposed to be implemented include: • Environmental Protection & Development • Provision of Street Lights along newly constructed roads in Dutse and other Urban Centres; and • Payment of compensation in respect of Land and Properties affected by public works projects such as schools, roads, etc; General Administration 18. Government investments within the General Administration Sector is aimed at the provision and maintenance of institutions and structures of governance and public service delivery in all the three arms of Government. Projects and programmes so far undertaken within the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial arms have led to the creation of government institutions that are properly repositioned to efficiently deliver effective services to the public. 19. The amount allocated to General Administration is N3.31 billion. This is to facilitate the provision of a pleasant governance environment and further institutional development within the executive, legislative and the judicial arms. Some of the major areas where the amount is proposed to be expended include: [i] Completion of outstanding furnishings in the New State Secretariat Complex including completion of data and internet connectivity; [ii] Improvement and expansion of structures under the State Judiciary; [iii] Rehabilitation of Jigawa State Government properties located in Kano, Abuja and Kaduna; [iv] Expansion of Jigawa State Manpower Development Institute; and [v] Procurement of Official and Utility Vehicles for Government Agencies. 20. Mr. Speaker, that is the outline of the Proposed Budget for which I submit the 2014 Appropriation Bill. You would notice that the proposed budget is realistically modest and logically connected to the underline philosophy of our vision. As I earlier observed, while there are grounds for optimism, the fiscal terrain during the forthcoming year may still be rough. However, securing real and lasting improvement in the lives of the people of Jigawa State remains our ultimate goal. I therefore urge us all to remain resolute in this resolve. Surely, Allah will always be our guide. The Local Government Budgets 21. As usual, in line with our comprehensive approach to development, I am presenting the budget of the State Government alongside that of the 27 Local Governments. As you are aware, all the Local Governments have developed their Local Government Economic Development Strategy which defines their overall development agenda. Indeed, this is also in line with the provisions of section 7 Sub-section 3 of the

Constitution which makes it mandatory for the local government councils to participate in economic planning and development of the State. 22. Mr. Speaker, even as we are making preparations for the conduct of Local Government elections in the next few days, constitutional imperatives demand for the preparation and submission of the Local Government proposed estimates. As legislators, you are all aware of the provision of Section 7(i) of the Constitution which reads inter-alia “… the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed…”. It is thus in the spirit of the Constitution and as true democrats, that we have consistently ensured that our Local Councils only operate under a democratic dispensation. 23. The consolidated revenue and expenditure position of all the 27 Local Governments indicate that almost N65,439,000,000 would accrue from various sources to finance the expenditure programmes of the Local Governments. Over two-thirds of the revenue is expected to accrue from statutory transfers while the balance would be from internal revenue and other capital receipts. The consolidated expenditure position indicate that about N41.8 billion equivalent to almost 64% of the total income would be expended on recurrent expenditure consisting of personnel and overhead costs. The balance of 36% is in respect of Capital Investments equivalent to about N23.7 billion. 24. The capital expenditure programmes largely cuts across projects and programmes that complement our efforts in ensuring quality in the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people. This perfectly fits with one of the statutory functions of the Local Government Councils which require them to actively participate in the planning and economic development of the State. You would also recall that Local Government Law No. 7 of 2007 [as amended] was enacted by this Honorable House to provide for specific roles and responsibilities for the LGAs. It is in line with this, that several projects and programmes were proposed under the capital component of the LGA Budgets to enhance collaboration and provide a common framework for the development of Jigawa State. These include among others: • Completion and furnishing of the residences of Local Government Council Chairmen; • Construction of mini Skill Acquisition Centres in 24 Local Governments Areas; • Capital contribution for State & Local Government joint funding of major state-wide capital development projects and programmes; • Payment of Local Government share in the re-capitalization of Jigawa Savings & Loans Limited in which the 27 Local Government Councils have 14% stake; and • Implementation of Millennium Development Goals Conditional Grants in a number of the Local Governments; 25. Details of all the proposed revenue and expenditure estimates of both the State Government and the 27 Local Government Councils would be found attached to the respective Appropriation Bills submitted herewith. Conclusion 26. Mr. Speaker - that is the proposed budgets of the State Government and the 27 Local Government Councils for the 2014 Fiscal Year. There is no doubt, that the budgets as proposed, are realistic and in tune with the yearnings and aspirations of our people. I therefore urge you to consider the proposals with a high sense of duty and responsibility. 27. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members before I hand over the budget details of the State Government and that of the 27 Local Governments, allow me to reflect on the life of this administration, as to see where we a coming from, where are we now, and where we intend to be in the future. In my inaugural speech on May 29, 2007 I captured in the most succinct way the status of our dear state, and I quote … “As you all might be aware, our state manifests the worst indices of underdevelopment. I was born and raised here and have spent most part of my adult life in the state. I have also been actively involved in the affairs of the state since my PRP days. Nevertheless, it was the recent electioneering campaign tour that exposed me to the problems of our people in the most pathetic degree. In summary, the campaign tour brought me face to face with uniquely unmitigated case of underdevelopment call Jigawa State”. That was where we were six years ago in 2007. And to capture the fright in me of the herculean task ahead, I almost indulged in self pity and I quote from the same speech…… “This reality was worsened for me by the out pouring of emotions from the elderly men, women and youths, some of them weeping in many cases. This is something I interpreted as a subtle reminder to me of the material and social helplessness of their lives. How they came to conclusion that I can make a difference in their lives baffles me! But I accept it as an invitation and an expression of their belief that somehow, I can make the difference, that together, we can fight poverty” end of quote. Alhamdu-Lillah, six years on today we can confidently say yes we have made a difference; yes, Jigawa of today is Jigawa of Peace, Love, Security and Stability; yes, Jigawa citizens are no longer timid or shy; yes, Jigawa people are confident, proud, happy and honor; yes, Jigawa people are Jigawa people. INDEED, WE HAVE TODAY MADE THE DIFFERENCE. As I stand before you, here all, this is the last full year’s budget I shall be presenting to you as we approach the concluding life of this administration as your Governor. By this time next year, January 2015, I shall be presenting to you the full year’s budget, which I will partly implement during the period of January – May, 2015 with our Governorship Candidate, who In-Sha-Allah will be our next Governor of Jigawa State to carry on where we stopped. 28. Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to hand over to you the Jigawa State Government and Local Governments Appropriation Bills for the year 2014. 29.





Niger’s compulsory medical check-up policy G immediate concern is putting a meal on the family dining table. This is why we often hear of a sudden death from “ordinary headache”. People collapse and die on the road or at the workplace, not because they have been hit by a sudden illness but because they

overnor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, on Jan. 7, issued an executive order making this year one of “compulsory medical check-up” for the state’s public servants. He said too many people, he included, have become nonchalant about their health. “Many of us, including myself, are lousy about our health and doing exercises”, the governor was quoted as saying. “I know many people don’t want to go for medical check-up because they do not want to know their status. “If you ask people to do HIV test, they are so afraid. They prefer not to know. So maybe we will take this year as a year of (medical) test for every civil servant, no matter how much it will take us. We must do it as a record and foundation to know who may need further medical attention and who may not.” A good initiative the Niger governor has taken, but he needs to know why many people “prefer not to know” their state of health. If we must tell him, it is because a good number of Nigerians, working or not, are too poor to afford a medical check-up which sometimes runs into thousands of Naira. This is not to talk of paying for treatment if a major, life threatening ailment is diagnosed. For this category of impoverished citizens, the

We hopetests” the “year of medical is not just a vote catching slogan with elections up in a year’s time.

have been “managing” it for years. As for public servants, the monthly salary is not sufficient to pay children’s school fees, buy food and new clothes. Worse, the money does not come as when do. Many state governments are in arrears with their workers’ salaries. The case of retirees is even more pathetic; many have not been paid their gratuities years after they left the service. That was the story of Hajiya Bilkisu Mahmoud, a former officer of the Niger state emergency management agency, who reportedly collapsed in the

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waiting room of the governor’s office in Minna while waiting to see him in connection with her unpaid disengagement entitlements. A report has it that Bilkisu was an asthma patient and had a crisis in the governor’s office. She slumped there and was rushed to Minna General Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Reacting to the 46-yearold woman’s death, Gov. Aliyu implied that she was negligent about her health. “Doctors said she died of cardiac asthma, even though she had been receiving treatment for pulmonary asthma,” he said. “I am sure if she had gone to seek second opinion, another doctor would have found out that the drugs she was given were not the ones she should have been given”. If the governor must know, Bilkisu badly needed money for treatment, a fact that took her to his office in the first place. It is lamentable that it had to take the death of that middleaged woman for the government of Niger state to recognize its duty to its workers, including ensuring they are in the best of health. “Sometimes one person’s death can make many corrections”. All the same, we hope the “year of medical tests” is not just a vote catching slogan with elections up in a year’s time.











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Opinion Between Okonjo-Iweala’s economy and Nigeria’s real economy By Charles Onunaiju


n President Goodluck Jonathan’s open reply to former President Obasanjo’s letter to him, he urged the latter “to tell Nigerians the true story of questionable waivers of signature bonuses between 2000 and 2007”. The President didn’t need to ask former Obasanjo on the regime of waiver scandals that plagued both the Obasanjo administration and his own. There is one key figure in the economic management of the two administrations that is best placed to unravel the muck of scandals and corruption that characterized both. Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala was both the finance minister of the former president and even parades a bigger portfolio in the Jonathan administration. Both Obasanjo and Jonathan are merely playing to the gallery to be seen to be at each other’s throat on questions of economic policy, management and result. The central figure in the hollowing out of the real economy, which was the

real content of their economic policies, was Okonjo-Iweala. She has continued to exert even bigger influence in the current administration. In his reply to Obasanjo’s letter, Jonathan, with evident relish, recounted the mantra of economic statistics that is at the heart of Okonjo-Iweala voodoo economics. According to him, “today, Nigeria is holding 18% of all foreign investments in Africa and 60% of all foreign investments in the ECOWAS sub-region...” The questionable 7% growth rate that the administration bandies about is mainly derived from the oil sector that has modest secondary and tertiary implications in the overall economic chain and is, therefore, patently unsustainable in driving economic growth. Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr. Haleimarian Desalegn, had good grasp of the tenuous hold of an extractive industry-led growth and told an international news magazine in Addis Ababa recently that “our growth strategy is focusing on the

productive sector - agriculture, manufacturing and the whole industrial sector”. The extractive sector-driven but unsustainable growth, the Jonathan administration bandies about is evidence of a storm in a teacup that lacks the capacity to trigger productive economic activities, but rather fills the coffers of political rent-collectors distributed among a tiny cabal of state minted entrepreneur class, clerical establishment and ethnic political syndicates. The explanation by the NNPC that nearly 10 billion U.S dollars were used for sundry expenses, not captured in its statutory budget estimates, underscores the extent of the hemorrhage in of the national economy. It is no wonder, therefore, that an explosive growth rate of nearly 7% fuelled by the sector has absolutely no impact on the overall economic development of the country. Among the MINT countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey considered as future emerging markets - only Nigeria maintains a trend of sustainable poverty, among its more general

population while growth in other countries means pulling more people out of poverty. The Okonjo-Iwealaled economic management team has focused on a thin frame of economic growth, without any attention to the more socially sensitive Human Development Index (HDI), a more inclusive indicator that tracks overall capacity building and the critical human capital development. Unfortunately, the Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala GDP growth rate assessment does not feature income distribution. In the eight years of former president Inacio Lula tenure in Brazil, an estimated 30 million people were pulled out from absolute poverty to relative prosperity. Turkey, straddled between Europe and the turbulent Middle East, since ending military rule, about two decades ago, has been closing the infrastructure gap between it and Europe and has built a sound financial system that has earned her the sobriquet of the “China of Europe” to emphasize its role as a manufacturing hub. Turkey has its share of electrifying political drama,

but it does not treat corruption with kid gloves. Recently, more than a dozen ministers resigned in a corruption scandal in which they were not directly implicated and nearly 300 police officers were shown the way out of the force for related issues. In spite of all these, Turkish economic fundamentals are sound. It exports more 200 agricultural products to more 150 countries and agriculture contributes 15% of its national economy. Marketing boards and generous subsidies are still part of Turkey’s agricultural productions landscape, yet Turkey is indisputably a liberal economy with an abiding ambition to join the European Union. The problem with Nigerian economic reforms is the evident intellectual deficit of the management team, to contextualize economic reforms in our unique socio-economic environment. This aspect of the missing link in Nigeria’s economic reforms is our Achilles heels which the naïve presidency is incompetent to comprehend. Charles Onunaiju is a journalist based in Abuja.

Nigeria’s deep waters run shallow (I) By Toyin Akinosho


il is big business. In Nigeria, it is the life of the economy, blood as oil pumping through the veins of pipelines. But the production sharing contracts (PSCs) that replaced the Joint Venture (JV) agreements between the cash-strapped state hydrocarbon company (NNPC), and oil companies, have facilitated a loss of $5 billion annually from deep water extraction; Nigeria’s total production of crude oil fell by 100 million barrels between 2006 and 2008, increasing by the same volume between 2008 and 2011. But while the proportion of production coming from Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) surged, relative output from acreages licensed as joint venture (JV) operations was on the decline. This trend indicates an increasing relevance of the PSC as a form of operating arrangement, according to a six year audit by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). The caveat, however, is that as PSC production increases, mainly from deep water field developments, the state’s revenue profile comes under stress. Royaties and taxes to the state coffers may, in fact, decline. JV share of production decreased from 76.5% in 2006 to 70.6% in 2008. PSC contribution, meanwhile, surged from 18.6% to 25.3% in the same period. JV production share increased slightly to 73.2% in 2009, only to plunge

sharply to 59.6% by the end of 2011. By that time, the proportion of PSCs production in the mix had increased to 34.4%. The bulk of Nigerian crude oil production is shared between the PSCs and the JV licences, while service contracts, sole risk contracts and marginal field licences make up a minuscule, at most 5% collectively. “The reduction in the JV production share is as a result of Federal Government not meeting their cash call obligations, thereby resorting to alternative funding arrangement”, NEITI notes in its report of the financial audit of 2009-2011, released in June 2013. Nigeria ventured into production sharing contract arrangement after the Arab oil embargo of 1973, which contributed to a profound seismic shift in the relationship between oil producing countries and their oil consuming counterparts. It is not a coincidence that the country’s first PSC arrangement was with Ashland Oil Company in 1974. (Those assets were acquired by Addax in 1998

and are still being operated by that company through PSC agreement, today) . The PSC became popular worldwide as producing countries sought to gain better control of the industry. The thinking was that it would benefit the state more than the old, traditional Joint Venture agreement. The main features of a generic PSC agreement, considered, in theory, are: Exploration risk borne by contractor (exploration and production firm provides expertise and financing It provides total control of petroleum resource retained by the host governments). Development and production costs borne by the contractor. Upon commercial production, oil produced is allocated in the following manner: Cost oil goes to the contractor’s costs; royalty oil allocated for payment of royalty; and tax oil: Allocated for payment of taxes. Profit oil: PSC stipulates a sharing formula between the host government and the contractor. Several years after the Ashland agreement of 1974, the predominant

contract model for exploration, development, and production of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources remained the joint venture (JV) arrangement, under which the Government, acting through the state hydrocarbon company (NNPC), contributes substantial counterpart funding (cash calls) to meet equity participation in the joint ventures (JV), in which the state holds majority shares. The trigger for the decision to go all the way to production sharing agreements came in the form of NNPC’s consistent inability to pay the cash calls. “The issue first ballooned into a crisis for the first time in 1993, when we owed, I think, $1.2 billion”, recalls Funsho Kupolokun, a retired Group Managing Director of the NNPC. Kupolokun was a Group Executive Director of the corporation in 1993. In the same year, Nigeria was opening up its deep water terrain, joining, in the process, the global deep water campaign which took off in the mid-80s in the US Gulf Of Mexico. The government chose

The trigger for the decision to go all the way to production sharing agreements came in the form of NNPC’s consistent inability to pay the cash calls. “The issue first ballooned into a crisis for the first time in 1993, when we owed, I think, $1.2 billion”, recalls Funsho Kupolokun, a retired Group Managing Director of the NNPC. Kupolokun was a Group Executive Director of the corporation in 1993.

the PSC arrangement in awarding licences for over 20 acreages in the deep water, mostly to International Oil Companies. The dominance of the JV arrangement in Nigeria thus became contested. The newness of the deep water frontier and the poor understanding of the geology of the terrain at the time informed some of the most generous PSC fiscal terms anywhere in the world for the Nigerian deep water licences.“An investmentfriendly graduated rate of royalty payment dependent on water depth was provided for” in the contracts, notes Patrick Okonjo, Principal Partner in the Lagos law firm of Okonjo & Okonjo. The rates, legalised by a Military Government decree of 1999 decree, now an act of law of the National Assembly in the current civilian democracy, are as follows: 205-500 meters water depth: 12%; 501-800 meters water depth: 8%; 801-1,000 meters water depth: 4%; above 1,000 meters water depth: 0% This means that if a hydrocarbon charged reservoir holding a billion barrels of oil was found in excess of 800 metre water depth, the royalty to government accruing from the development of the field would be less than 5%. And if it was in excess of 1,000 metre water depth, the contractor company would pay nothing as royalty. Toyin Akinosho’s professional profile is on linkedIn To be continued




Is APC failing to seize the day? By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba


arly last year, a group of opposition parties formed the All Progressive Congress (APC) party. Many hoped that a new era of Nigerian politics has set in. These optimistic Nigerians hoped that come 2015 Nigeria would have a new president who is not a member of PDP. Recent events seemed to suggest that optimism was not founded on solid rock. The opportunity may be slipping from APC’s hands. What is becoming manifest is that APC was conceived by some political leaders each of who had ambition to become president and was merely looking for allies who would help him achieve this specific goal. None of the leaders had a concrete set of beliefs about government. Lacking any set of beliefs, the leaders had nothing for others to sign on to. Each believed that he (they were all he) would somehow out maneuver the others and seize the presidency. This maneuvering is taking place before our eyes as we approach 2015. Political parties from the north joined APC with a view of using their southern partners to wrestle the presidency from the south

as they seemed unable to do in their ANPP, or CDC. Each political party leader from the south joined the enterprise with a view of capturing the presidency from PDP with the help of their new northern friends. The larger problem was that neither the north nor the south had chosen

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a leader. Each person wanted to be that leader. As if things were not convoluted enough, late in 2013, a set of PDP leaders, sensing that they would not land the presidency in the party,decided to try their luck in APC. Since APC does not have any set of “carved in stone” ideology it could not test them for ideological purity. APC quickly admitted these disgruntled PDP leaders perhaps in the hope that their defection would destabilize PDP and strengthen APC’s hands. The expected destabilization did occur in the PDP but the

strengthening of APC’s hands has not occurred and may not happen. Three factors account for the destabilizing influence in APC of the decamping governors. The first is that the new members joined as individuals not as a unit with a leader. The second is that each governor wants/ted to be the president or failing in that, to be the VP flag bearer. The third is that the founding fathers of APC are not willing to relinquish the trophy to these JJC’s. The result is instead of 5 possible presidential aspirants (each from the founding political

parties) there are now 10 presidential aspirants. The new members want to be rewarded for joining. They forgot that the founders came together for that same purpose. Each governor also wants to be

the APC leader in his state, a position he held in PDP. But existing APC state leaders would have nothing to do with that. It is similar to admitting somebody into your household who now wants to he the head of your family. It is not going well with APC. The old establishment leaders are unhappy at the thought that they would play second fiddle to a new comer and the new comer is resentful that he would abandon his state leadership in PDP to play second fiddle to a APC state apparatus. There is enough anger to go around.

The losers at this point are the decamping governors who are caught in the middle or in a no man’s land. Each is having problems with the legislators in his home state especially when PDP is controlling the legislature. Most have not experienced dissonance with the LG chairmen because these chairmen hold their positions at the mercy of the governor. But time might come when even the LG chairmen would pose some problems. Until APC determines how to absorb the power hungry governors from PDP and settles which old party leader should carry APC’s presidential flag it is beginning to look as if 2015 political battle will be one waged by a fractured APC and a fractured PDP. The result would bribery and corruption at a scale that would be a surprise even in Nigeria. Lots of money would change hands among the big wigs and nothing would trickle down to the citizens. I will bet on PDP winning because of incumbency. A harbinger could be the seen on how easily GEJ had beaten back OBJ’s insurgency. Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba wrote in from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

CBN and institution building By Ifeanyi Uddin


he pyrotechnics notwithstanding, the hijinks last week around the fate in office of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, did have a useful part. For an economy like ours, with its many pretensions to greatness, we cannot place too high a premium on the quality of our institutions, and the enforceability of contracts. In the CBN governor’s case, (and on the first count), the Jonathan administration has failed, abysmally. Five years ago, we all knew that the first term of the current CBN governor would end by June this year. We were also aware that the new law under which he was appointed (concerned to guarantee the operational and legal autonomy of monetary policy management) provides for the appointment of a governor by the president, subject to the Senate’s confirmation. The live telecast of Sanusi’s Senate confirmation hearing (the first of its kind for that office, as far as I am aware) was one of the highlights of 2009. In addition, and to his credit, Sanusi did make it clear, and quite early, too, that he was not interested in being re-appointed. In other words, we had plenty of time to prepare for the appointment of his successor. We did not. Instead, government pussyfooted. Over the last five years, the CBN under Sanusi turned out

to be the most important cog in the machinery that supports the economy’s smooth running. Its quasi-fiscal interventions across key sectors of the economy were welcomed with ballyhoo that belied government’s claims to be working. AMCON (funded almost without recourse to taxpayers’ funds) and its huge portfolio of bad debts, and bonds was a “new frontier” initiative. The CBN’s balance sheet ballooned out of all proportions as the apex bank bought treasury bills (through its open market operations) in a bid to manage money market volatility. Moreover, the tight money policy that has held the policy rate at 12% for more than a year, forced inflation into the psychologically important singledigit range, and supported an inflow of portfolio investors (any value between US$10bn and US$12bn). If it is important that the Nigeria Stock Exchange has

yielded a year-to-date return of around 43%, and if it is true that close to 45% of activity on the exchange has been supported by this inflow of speculative cash, then the moral of the CBN tale is clear. We cannot afford to act in a way that spooks the market into precipitate flight! There are other lessons. We need to build institutions (not around, but) with competent personnel. And we need to ensure that these institutions work in ways that everyone understands. This is the bit about transparency, which often sees it cast as part of the bulwark against corrupt practices. However, useful, though, this particular reading of transparency is, the biggest boon of predictable ecosystems (no matter how large) is that they anchor all parties’ expectations properly. On this score, again, the Sanusi-led CBN did a number of useful things.

Government boosters may well point to inflation having remained in the single digit range for much of last year as evidence of the unusual effect of the Jonathan administration on domestic macroeconomic outcomes. Some of us mutter that in declining output numbers lies the main explanation for falling consumer prices. If the people are getting poorer, and not buying as much as they used to, prices would fall, of course. Still, it is hard to ignore the role played by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC, the CBN’s rate-setting body) in anchoring domestic price movements. Not just did this committee hold its meetings as scheduled. It published communiqués on each meeting’s deliberations in the afternoon after the meetings’ close. It also included in its communiqués, each voting member’s arguments in support of their vote. This process helped

We need to build institutions (not around, but) with competent personnel. And we need to ensure that these institutions work in ways that everyone understands. This is the bit about transparency, which often sees it cast as part of the bulwark against corrupt practices. However, useful, though, this particular reading of transparency is, the biggest boon of predictable ecosystems (no matter how large) is that they anchor all parties’ expectations properly. On this score, again, the Sanusi-led CBN did a number of useful things. Government boosters may well point to inflation having remained in the single digit range for much of last year as evidence of the unusual effect of the Jonathan administration on domestic macroeconomic outcomes.

the markets understand the rationale for each meeting’s decisions, and allowed those who cared about such things anticipate where policy was headed. It was beautiful as well as very useful. Again, the government may have missed the import of all of this. By appearing to want to force Mallam Sanusi (whatever his other shortcomings might be) out of office ahead of the agreed timelines, the federal government will hurt the CBN’s efforts over the last five years to build some degree of transparency and predictability into its operations. Worse, by failing to renew the appointments of the five members of the MPC, whose tenures expired in December 2013, the federal government missed a decent opportunity to indicate its support for the efforts at building quality institutions in the country. On January 20, the MPC meets for the first time this year. The markets are looking to the outcome of that meeting. Without those five (independent) members, the meeting’s quorum will comprise central bank bureaucrats. Can we trust these farther than we can throw them? On the other hand, however desirable it might be, would an MPC meeting with those five members present be properly constituted? Ifeanyi Uddin, an economic historian and finance expert, wrote in from Lagos.



Comment That our youth may live By Ose OyamendanEimakhu


here is a saying that “the young shall grow.” Hidden in that concept is that they will not only grow but they will grow into a better world and take it over. It’s a legacy a previous generation owe the coming one. It’s a reason why parents pray their children outlive them. I think it’s also a reason why I may be the sole reason my mother may have had a high blood pressure when I was younger. The poor woman believed I was always conniving with myself to try kill myself. I always felt it an odd accusation. Then the Abacha regime made my mother a sage. If a man can be picked up from a newsroom and charged with conniving to plot a coup then I reasoned a boy can connive with himself to kill himself. My mother got a ironclad proof a few years ago when she heard I’m now into skydiving. The poor woman couldn’t understand what kind of child would want to jump out of plane. In my part of the country, it’s not uncommon for a mother to blame such “wayward” behavior on what Mormons call “sister-wives”. But, it’s

also a function of our state of development. Trust mothers, they know how to blackmail you into a stationery position. The woman made me promise her I won’t try to kill myself again. I refined the deal and promised her I won’t let her know I was trying to kill myself. Now, I think some people are trying to kill me. It’s so bad I run a lot to Nigeria these days because these folks are across the Atlantic. You know when you’re in Nigeria, your mother don’t have to worry about you jumping from the plane. She’s deathly scared enough of the planes coming down. What they call adventurism in other places is stuff you go to night virgin for in Nigeria. But it’s not adventurism that’s trying to

kill me. It’s another word. They call it technology. Life is moving at such a fast pace these days you barely have time to keep up. If you can think of something it’s likely its there in the market. There are appliances that talk to you! Forty years ago, that was called witchcraft. I finally have proof of tech-assassination a few years ago when my busy body had caused me to wander into a function where they were talking about space tourism. This being Los Angeles and everyone else in the room being white, I was singing the song “come and see American wonder” in my heart when someone asked if I would be interested in registering for a tour of space. I screamed, “God forbid”

inside me and faked my best fake Hollywood smile as I filled out the information of the spouse. She loves singing R. Kelly “I believe I can fly”. This may be a chance for her to really fly. Since then I’ve often wonder what space looked like. I know it would be cool to see it. And, I know once I can talk a production company into letting me on a team to do some filming in the south pole, my next thought would be, “seen the end of the world, why not see the world from outside the world?” Strange thing is you can’t even see Nigeria well enough from Nigeria. It’s tough to get on those roads with potholes that can help train future Olympic swimmers. It’s scary to get in the air sometimes when the lords and ladies

of aviation only care about where to park their private jets and not the health of the big birds in the air. It’s tough to have any hope when the “ogas” have hope buried under their oriental rugs. I look at the band of politicians today and shake my head. In most cultures where the system is not working, the opposition rolls their sleeves and unfurls a road map to progress. And, the youth of today are the ones that suffer from the ills that ail the minds of the youth of yesterday that are the leaders of today. When I was younger, Nigeria seemed to be on the verge of something great. Kids would talk over several yards with the aid of a rope strung on the ends of milk cans. The older kids will unveil metal contraptions that Strange thing is you can’t even see Nigeria well enough from Nigeria. It’s move like a sputtering minitough to get on those roads with potholes that can help train future Olympic car. Inventors were coming out of the woodworks. But, swimmers. It’s scary to get in the air sometimes when the lords and ladies of the government took one aviation only care about where to park their private jets and not the health look at them and carted the of the big birds in the air. It’s tough to have any hope when the “ogas” have funds that would have aided development into foreign hope buried under their oriental rugs. I look at the band of politicians today banks. You got to pity the kids and shake my head. In most cultures where the system is not working, the today who sometimes think being born in Nigeria is akin opposition rolls their sleeves and unfurls a road map to progress. And, the to a curse. youth of today are the ones that suffer from the ills that ail the minds of the Ose OyamendanEimakhuiam, a filmmaker, youth of yesterday that are the leaders of today. lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Facebook, Nigerian Presidency, and freedom of speech By Adeolu Ademoyo


ended 2013 with an essay on how ethics and ethnicity play a major role in the Nigerian public space in 2014 and beyond. People are often surprised, or even derisive, when one raises the question of ethics in public governance in Nigeria. After decades of abuse, especially through the use of poverty as a grinding tool of blackmail, Nigerian politicians have managed to breathe the lack of ethics into the DNA of the populace. Whenever I open any story critical of President Jonathan’s government on Premium Times, I will notice a message emblazoned in Facebook setting that “this X, Y, Z story/essay is unreachable…” In other words, technically, readers cannot reach the essay via Facebook. I am a teacher. So I checked what it means to be “unreachable”. “Reachable” means “to get in touch with”, “extend”, “outstretch”, “hold out” “contact” etc. So “to reach” is to “speak to”. To be “unreachable” is not “to be able to speak to”. In other words, whoever or whatever makes someone to be “unreachable” violates one’s freedom to “speak”. This is too much. I have cut and pasted some of the warning messages for readers to see: Let me give examples of what

is happening in Nigeria in the 21st century, which were made “unreachable” via Facebook when they were published. In the last governorship election in Anambra state, it was reported and alleged (INEC needs to investigate this and confirm) that INEC, the electoral umpire, registered a bowl of rice as a voter in the election. The bowl of rice had a voter’s card, PIN number, a profession, and a gender. And allegedly, the bowl of rice actually voted at a polling booth in Nigeria! I wrote about this to help Nigeria get out of this shameful practice. Why will any country register a bowl of rice as a voter and the same bowl of rice must have voted? If the

bowl of rice voted, what is the moral credibility of such election? And why will an American originated company Facebook, bound by the Fourth Amendment Act technically collaborate with Nigerian presidency to make the report that a bowl of rice voted in a Nigerian election to be unreachable? In other words why will Facebook technically prevent this from being known, reached, read and spoken about? The alleged registration of a bowl of rice as a voter in my country’s election shows that Nigeria does not conduct real elections. Here are a number of examples to give a vivid illustration of the problem: The collaboration

between the Nigerian state and antidemocratic forces such as Dokubo Asari. How about the failure of Nigerian state to properly disclose its covert collaboration with Elbit, the Internet security company? How indeed is the case of Mr. Olabode George (a PDP Nigerian politician, and former chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority) and his team, where the Nigerian Supreme Court changed the argument by ruling that Olabode George’s deployment of his public office(in Ports Authority) to enrich himself was not an abuse of office? All these issues were made “unreachable” when they were published in the essays at that time.

Although it appears that there is a thaw in this censorship practice-this “technical” “problem”- in the last few days, I do not know if Facebook is aware of this. It will be interesting to know if Facebook does this deliberately whenever it happens. Were this to be so, it will clearly amount to consciously collaborating with President Jonathan’s government and his media crew. Such a blatant violation of the freedom of free expression of a human being as facebook and the media handlers of Nigerian presidency seem to have done is a serious matter. When critical essays become “unreachable” on Facebook without any explanations, it will amount to vicariously doing the bidding of the Nigerian presidency, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Although it appears that there is a thaw in this censorship practicethis “technical” “problem”- in the last few days, I do not know if Facebook is aware of this. It will be interesting to know if Facebook does this deliberately whenever it happens. Were this to be so, it will clearly amount to consciously collaborating with President Jonathan’s government and his media crew. Such a blatant violation of the freedom of free expression of a human being as facebook and the media handlers of Nigerian presidency seem to have done is a serious matter. When critical essays become “unreachable” on Facebook without any explanations, it will amount to vicariously doing the bidding of the Nigerian presidency, either knowingly or unknowingly. Inadvertently, Facebook may be violating the Fourth Amendment Act. This is a serious ethical issue, which should be of concern to Facebook and the world beyond Facebook. Unlike President Jonathan’s government and his media team who either do not know or know, but do not care, I want to believe that Facebook, though a company, ought to be aware of the ethical issues which are at stake. Adeolu Ademoyo can be reached on



AMAC: Taxi drivers lament 100% increment in levy By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


drivers in the Abuja metropolis have lamented purported increment in daily levy from N100 to N200 by the authorities of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). Some of the drivers who spoke with our reporter said the 100 % increment was unfair to them, considering the harsh economic situation of the society. A driver, Stephen Onu said drivers were taken aback and disturbed by the new development. “AMAC is supposed to reduce the levy considering the economic situation in the country. But unfortunately, it suddenly increased from N100 to N200”. Also, another driver, Hassan Umar, who described the measure as unthinkable, said the levy attracts payment of N7, 000 as penalty to offenders. He said that authorities did not consult with them before imposing the new tariff measure on them. “It is dictatorial and unfair

to drivers who are striving to earn a living”, Umar expressed. Umar suggested that the amount for the penalty against defaulters should be reconsidered, so as to make it a bit fair to the drivers. Similarly, a transporter, Mr. Yemi Ade, lamented the

development, also pointed out that the authority of the council were not supposed to increase the fee without giving them reasons for the new development. However, Mallam shehu Idris, told our reporter that the rationale behind the


he chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abubakar Jibrin Giri, has distributed about N5 million to 300 indigent Students studying at various tertiary institutions in the country. Giri, who commenced the disbursement of scholarship award at the council chamber, said that the gesture was to support parents and guardians in the area. He noted that the objective of the award was to assist indigent students of the council and to complement their parents’ effort in the quest for academic knowledge. The chairman who assured the students that the event would be an annual thing, however, called on them to consider their educational pursuit as one of the cardinal principal of life. According to him; “Education is an instrument to success and

levy. When our reporter contacted a top female official in the revenue unit of AMAC claimed acknowledge of the complaint over the development but however declined further comment on the issue.

Pupils of Festival Road Primary School, resuming after Christmas holiday, yesterday at Garki, in Abuja.

Gwagwalada chair disburses scholarship worth N5m to students By Usman Shuaibu

increment is not unconnected to the AMAC thinking that the drivers are making a lot of money from their passengers. “Imagine the hardship people are passing through this is just January, people came back from holidays and meet the increment of the

development of both self and the entire society.” He also urged parents and the entire residents of the council to cooperate with his administration adding that it has commenced one of its several policies. In a remark, the committee chairman of the scholarship, Alhaji Sule Dobi, advised the students to ensure proper use of the money given to them. He therefore challenged parents to send their wards to school saying that it would be for the growth of the country. One of the beneficiaries, Ms Ramatu Hassan, a student of Theatre and Cultural Arts, Nassarawa State University, who got N18, 000 said students had waited for the scholarship for long. She, however, commended the council for its effort in giving the scholarship and promised to make good use of it. Another beneficiary Mr. Rashed Abubakar, studying

Agriculture at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who got N20,000, also commended the council for its effort and encouraged the council to make it a yearly event. The students’ union leader, Gwagwalada branch, Mr Aliyu Dobi said the award was timely now that the school had resumed. He added that students had waited for such exercise for over 10 year and thanked the council making the scholarship a reality. It was gathered that the money was distributed according to the study course of the students across the 10 political wards of the council. Students at the Medical sciences got N 30,000, Arts and Social Sciences got N 20,000, students studying at the polytechnics and colleges of education were given N 18, 000. Also, students studying Arts at the colleges of education were being given N 15, 000 each.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

… as principal tasks parents to inculcate reading culture in children


n order to promote effective learning, the Principal of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Bwari, Abuja, Mrs. Anna Bamaiyi, has advised parents to always dedicate time to teach their children to imbibe reading culture. Bamaiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bwari, that the attitude of children being too playful contributed to poor habit of learning outside their school environment. According to her, a child is any person under 18 years of age, and people within the age bracket need proper care and guidance under any learning condition. “There is the tendency that children will always act according to their age, leaving them alone encourages them to be playful, rather than focus on reading their books.” She commended the role played by parents in ensuring a better future for their wards by giving them formal education, saying, “it is the right step in the right direction in the drive to train future leaders for the country.’’ Bamaiyi said that learning was

most effective when learners have the opportunity to think and talk, adding that parents should encourage their children to read at home. “We recognise the role parents play in the life of their children as very important, especially while in school. ``That is why we have setup various strategies to involve parents in the teaching and learning processes of the children by giving our students assignments to engage them during the holiday period. “Parents must always monitor the academic performance of their children; teach them to read regularly to keep them away from being playful and help them remember all they had learnt in school.” Bamaiyi said that the task of getting students to always obey rules and regulations could sometime pose a challenge to the school teachers due to the poor value orientation given to them from the home. “Parents and teachers must live up to their responsibility by showing good examples to children and by inculcating good values in them. NAN reports that the college which admits female students in both junior and senior secondary categories, aimed at promoting excellence in girl-child education in the country. (NAN)


History was made last week Thursday, when a former Nasarawa State Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and a chieftain of PDP, Ambassador Suleiman Azos, were officialy decorated with APC flags by the state Governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, at Government House, in Lafia.


Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (3rd right), decorating Senator Abdullahi Adamu (2nd right), and Ambassador Suleman Azos (3rd left) with APC flags, at Government House, in Lafia.

R-L: Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Gov. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Amb. R-L: Gov. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, General Suleiman Azos, Gen Ahmed Aboki and Arc. Stanley Buba during the Ahmed Aboki, and Arc. Stanley Buba, discussing after decorating Sen. ceremony. Abdullahi Adamu with APC flag.

Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (middle), Sen Abdullahi Adamu, Gov. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura ( right), decorating Amb. Suleiman and Amb. Umar Suleiman Azos, after official decoration of Sen Azos (middle) with APC flag, being assited by Gen Ahmed Aboki at Abdullahi Adamu and Amb. Umar Suleiman Azos with APC flag. the ceremony,in Lafia.

Gov. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura ( right), decorating Amb. Suleiman Azos (middle) with APC flag, being assited by Gen Ahmed Aboki at the ceremony,in Lafia.

Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (right), and Gen Ahmed Aboki (Rtd) presenting Sen Abdullahi Adamu, with APC flag and broom, during the cermony, at Government House, in Lafia.




Chef bags 2 weeks in prison for stealing employer’s $50,000


n Abuja Magistrates’ Court yesterday sentenced a chef, Yohana Friday, of Durumi, Abuja, to two weeks in prison for stealing 50,000 dollars and 600 Euros belonging to his employer. The Magistrate, Mrs Grace

Friday after he pleaded guilty to stealing his boss’ money. She sentenced the convict without giving him an option of a fine. Adebayo-Eisape said the punishment was to serve as deterrent to others. The convict, in his plea,

adding that he was an asthmatic patient who needed constant medical care. Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. Monday Akor, told the court that Mr Afolabi Ajidohun, of No. 43, Colorado Street, Maitama, Abuja, reported the case to Maitama Police Station

Akor said that the complainant returned from work on that day with the foreign currency and the convict stole 50,000 dollars and 600 Euro from the complainant. Akor said the offence

Police arraign 5 men for criminal trespass, smoking Indian hemp


Police officer arresting g suspected thief, yesterday at Area 10, in Abuja. j

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

House girl in court for stealing money, N1m jewelry


19-year-old house girl, Blessing Ochigbo, of Mpape, Abuja, yesterday appeared before a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing money and jewelries worth over N1 millon from her employer. The prosecutor, Sgt Mohammed Ahmed, told the court that on Jan. 7, Ms Amina Othman, of No. 11,

lodged a report against the accused at the Maitama police station. He told the court that Othman had reported that on Jan. 6, she discovered that the accused who was her house girl, entered into her bedroom and stole some of her properties. Ahmed said that some of the items reported to be stolen included N150,000

of jewelries worth over N1 million. He said that the accused is standing trial for the offence of ``theft by servant’’ contrary to provisions of Section 289 of the Penal Code. The section stipulates that “Whoever, being a servant commits theft in respect of any property of his employer, shall be punished

term of seven years or with fine or with both’’. After the charges were read to her, the accused pleaded not guilty. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs Chinyere Nwacheonwu, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N100,000 with one reliable surety in like sum who must live within the FCT, She adjourned the case to

Court remands 2 abattoir workers for alleged theft


Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba yesterday ordered that two abattoir workers be remanded in Keffi Prison. Bashiru Yakubu, 22, and Hassan Adamu, 23, all of Guantanamo in Mararaba, Nasarawa state are charged with alleged criminal conspiracy and theft.

The presiding judge, Mr Albert Maga, gave the order on the ground that the accused persons have previously appeared in same court charged with another crime. Maga adjourned the case to Jan. 16 for hearing and ordered the prosecution to produce its witness. Earlier, the prosecutor, PC Friday Adaji told the court that

the Ms Tina Okechukwu of Aku village, Mararaba, lodged complaints against the accused on Jan. 5 at the Aso Pada Police Station, Mararaba. He alleged that on Jan. 5 at about 1 p.m., as the complainant stopped by at the Aso Pada junction to buy some food stuff, the accused conspired with another and snatched her purse.

The purse, he said, contained cash of N1,020 and a bunch of keys. He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code. If convicted on the two-count charge, the accused could spend up to five years in prison or option to pay a fine or both. (NAN)

he police yesterday arraigned five unemployed men in an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ A C Court for criminal trespass a and smoking substance ssuspected to be Indian H Hemp. Those arraigned are IIbrahim Alfa, 25; Patrick O Onyene, 22; Sani Friday, 28; A Abu Samaila, 32 and Habilla K Kachalla, 22, all of no fixed address. They are arraigned on two ccounts of criminal trespass and constituting public a n nuisance. The prosecutor, Cpl Simon Emmanuel, told the S ccourt that a team of police d detectives on patrol, led by ASP. Ubake Cyprian of the A Life Camp Division, Abuja, L a arrested the suspects on Dec. 27, 2013. D Emmanuel alleged that the a accused persons criminally a and unlawfully trespassed iinto Godab Estate and A Angwan Rogo respectively, a and were arrested smoking hemp, while IIndian cconducting themselves in an ``unacceptable manner’’. The prosecutor said the offence contravened the o P Penal Code. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the p ttwo-count charge. Counsel to the accused, Mr Ike Ugwoke, urged the M ccourt to admit his clients to bail. b The Senior Magistrate, Mr Abdullahi Illelah, admitted A tthem to bail for N50,000 eeach and one surety in like ssum. He ordered that the ssureties must have a means of rreasonable llivelihood, a traceable work and home address and must a rreside within the jurisdiction o of the court. Illelah adjourned tthe matter to Thursday, J January16, for further h hearing.(NAN)



INSIDE, 08033045613

NSE market indicators appreciate by 0.14% - Pg 20

Rating agencies affirm stable outlook for Unity Bank Abia state Governor, Chief Theodore Orji (right), receiving a gift from Director, Marketing, CGC Construction Company, Mr. Fan Xaojing (left), during a visit by the management of the construction company to the governor recently, in Umuahia. With them is Engineer Darlington Anyanwu (middle).

Actionaid wants increased budgetary allocation to agriculture


ctionaid Nigeria, an NGO, has called for more budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector, to ensure food security in the country. Country Director of the organisation, Dr Hussaini Abdu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. Abdu said that in the last five years, only 3.5 per cent of the national budget had been allocated to agriculture annually. He noted that the Federal

Government had increased attention to agriculture in recent years with the introduction of policies to boost productivity but that budgetary allocation and spending on the sector had remained woeful. ``Nigeria’s budgetary allocation and actual spending on agriculture are woefully inadequate to reduce poverty, especially on the key services needed by smallholder farmers. ``Nigeria spends little on agriculture, a sector that is a major

branch of the economy, which provides employment for 70 per cent of the population.” According to him, the agriculture sector is the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing about 40 per cent “yet it faces massive challenges”. The NGO’s director stressed that the government was neglecting smallholder farmers, particularly women, who constitute the majority of that category of farmers in the country.

SHON links capital market growth to expectations of enhanced 2013 results


resident, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) Mr Emeka Madubuike,, has attributed the growth by the nation’s bourse to investors’ expectations of improved companies’ results in 2013. Madubuike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that investors were increasing their stakes in the market in anticipation of higher dividends and better financial results from companies. He expressed optimism that the market would continue to experience slow, but progressive growth irrespective of the slowdown in economic activities. Madubuike said that the 47 per cent growth recorded by the

Nigerian stock market in 2013 had boosted the confidence of foreign and local investors. According to him, the Nigerian stock market has emerged as one of the best performing frontier markets in the world. He urged the Federal Government and regulators to pursue friendly policies to ensure sustainable growth and development. Madubuike also called for quick passage of the 2014 Appropriation Bill to fast track economic activities and development. Meanwhile, a turnover of 1.72 billion shares worth N22.44 billion were recorded in 29,600 deals on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week.

These were against the two billion shares valued at N15.91 billion exchanged in 17,378 deals in the preceding week. The financial services sector remained the most active with 1.19 billion shares worth N10.85 billion traded in 15,134 deals. The oil and gas sector followed with a turnover of 182.28 million shares valued at N2.22 billion in 4,866 deals. The conglomerates sector came third on the week’s activity chart, accounting for 124.13 million shares worth N665.14 million in 1,982 deals. NAN reports that the NSE AllShare Index grew by 30.14 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 41,480.62 compared with 41,450.48 posted in the previous week.(NAN)

He blamed the widespread poverty in the country on the failure of successive governments to fund agriculture appropriately. He faulted the government‘s recent drive towards private sector investment focusing on commercial agriculture, saying it was unrealistic and would further increase poverty. According to him, smallholder farmers, who are not being encouraged in the process, produce 90 per cent of Nigeria’s food. Abdu claimed that most poverty alleviation policies in the country lacked special provisions for women, especially those involved in agriculture. He said that only fractions of the agricultural research budgets were targeted at women. “Although the government has a number of schemes that promote credit, none as far as we are aware, specifically target women farmers.’’

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Huawei launches latest mate2 Smartphone in market -Pg 22 Exchange Rates CBN as at 7th JANUARY, 2014 Buying





253.93 255.63


211.08 212.44










MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Virtual work isn’t for everyone


hen putting together virtual teams, remember that not everybody is suited to virtual work. Entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, and technical skills are necessary for a remote worker to thrive, as are: Self-sufficiency: Remote workers are not able to turn to others as easily as their co-located counterparts. They must be able to tolerate ambiguity — which could include everything from a terse email that might be taken negatively to not knowing project details as quickly as on-site

workers. Communication skills: Remote workers have to express themselves well and update project documents quickly and consistently. Distance and time lags are an inevitable downside of working remotely. There’s no room for personality conflicts or information hoarding. Connection: All employees, remote or on-site, need to feel connected to others within the organization. For effective virtual teams, choose self-directed people who can engage with each other easily. Source: Harvard Business Review



Business Tin Can Island Port records NSE market indicators 16.35% increase in revenue appreciate by 0.14% T


quity transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened for the week yesterday on the upbeat with the market indices growing marginally by 0.14 per cent. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the All-Shares Index rose by 56.82 points or 0.14 per cent to close at 41,507.30 against 41,450.48 achieved on Friday, Jan. 3. The market capitalisation, which opened at N13.265 trillion, appreciated by N18 billion or 0.14 per cent to close at N13.283 trillion. Analysis of the price movement chart showed that Dangote Cement recorded the highest gain to lead the gainers

table by N4 to close at N224 per share. It was followed by Guinness with a gain of N2.95 to close at N239.95 per share. Nigerian Breweries appreciated by N1.99 to close at N167.99, while Union Dicon gained N1.23 to close at N13.31 per share. Conversely, Nestle topped the losers’ chart, losing N12 to close at N1, 170 per share. Forte Oil trailed with a loss of N2.64 to close at N90 per share. Oando depreciated by N2.59 to close at N24.07, while CAP lost N1.75 to close at N46.70 per share. NAN reports that the volume of shares traded decreased by

37.83 per cent with an exchange of 326.06 million shares worth N2.91 billion traded in 5,365 deals. This was in contrast to the 524.46 million shares valued at N4.21 billion traded in 5,496 deals on Friday. NEM emerged as the most traded stock with 37.43 million shares valued at N33.72 million. It was followed by UBA with 36.17 million shares valued at N340.14, while Japaul Oil traded 29.28 million shares worth N19.29 million. ETI sold 28.53 million shares valued at N493.85 million, while Unity Bank accounted for 22.46 million shares worth N11.23 million. (NAN)

he Tin Can Island Port Command of Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) yesterday said that it realised N240.16 billion revenue in 2013. Mr Chris Osunkwo, Public Relation Officer of the command, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos the revenue was higher by N33.74 billion over the N206.412 billion recorded in 2012. According to him, as a vehicle port, the revenue came mainly from import duties paid on vehicles, levies paid on common external tariff , sugar, wheat flour, wheat grain and bulk goods. He said that the revenue generated from these goods in December was N20.06 billion. The command spokesperson attributed the increase to digitalisation and automation of the NCS activities at the port. Osunkwo also traced the increase in revenue to motivation

and hard work of officers, who he said, struggled to achieve the desired goals. He said that the command initially feared that the introduction of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) would create hiccups and cause reduction in revenue. ``Any importer or agents who claimed to be delayed today in the port do not understand the new PAAR method. ``It enables an importer to clear goods faster because the person would have processed his document electronically or on-line before the arrival of the cargo,’’ he said. The public relations officer said that the officers at the Tin Can Island port were motivated to work harder because of government’s circular on the introduction of PAAR to take care of all exigencies. (NAN)

Auto dealers decry hike in price of second-hand vehicles


ome auto dealers have decried the new price hike on imported second-hand vehicles popularly called “tokunbo”. The dealers blamed the new price hike on the implementation of the new automotive policy being introduced by the Federal Government. The policy is aimed at encouraging the use of new vehicles and discouraging importation of

second-hand vehicles. Mr Yemi Savage, Managing Director, Royal Motors, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the proposed hike in import tariff from10 per cent to 35 per cent would have adverse effects on auto business. ‘’We have beginning to experience the ripple effects. The prices of cars have risen to ridiculous amounts from dealers in

Cotonou. ‘’It is becoming difficult to add our own commission to the price of the vehicles to make them affordable to our customers. ‘’I wonder what the experience will be by the time the policy is fully implemented,’’ he said. Mr Chucks Egbunike, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Express Motors, expressed concern that the implementation of the policy might

lead to increased smuggling of used vehicles. Egbunike appealed to the Federal Government to create enabling environment for assembling and manufacturing vehicles in the country. ‘’Formulating a policy is not enough; government should give us affordable alternatives to “tokunbo vehicles”,’’ he said. President Goodluck

Jonathan has assured that the implementation of the policy would not inflict pains on the people. Jonathan gave the assurance when he received a delegation of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last weekend. He said that the policy would help to revive the local automobile sector. (NAN)

NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Plot 447 / 448 Constitution Avenue, Central Business District, Abuja E-mail: Website:

ADDENDUM TO ADVERTISEMENT The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC) wishes to draw the attention of the general public to its advertisement in the Punch of Monday, November 18, 2013, Leadership of Monday November, 2013 and Federal Tenders Journal inviting competent companies with good track record to Express Interest as a Marketing Agent for the Corporation. The closing date and time for submission is Monday 27th January, 2014 at 2.00pm.Consequently the opening of tenders would be on Monday 27th January, 2014 at 2.00pm immediately after the closing. The venue of the Tender opening is the Corporation’s waiting room, Ground Floor, NDIC Head Office Building, Abuja. All interested companies and organization to note please. SIGNED: MANAGEMENT



ICT Huawei launches latest mate2 Smartphone in market Stories by Chris Alu


he Chinese manufacturing company -Huawei technology has debuted in to market, two latest Smartphone known as Ascend Mate2. 4G. The Smartphone comes with a 6.1-inch screen and quad-core 1.6 GHz processor, as well as with an upgraded chipset built in a more storage, and bigger front camera. Speaking at the launch Mr. Richard Yu, Huawei Consumer Chief Executive Officer stated that the Ascend

Mate 2 has an upgraded frontfacing camera for “selfless,” and a new “intuitive” interface that simplifies the Android operating system. According to him, the Smartphone features a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor (MSM8928), along with an Adreno 306 GPU and 2GB of RAM. He explained that it runs on top of Android and featured a 13-megapixel autofocus HDRcapable f/2.0 rear camera, and a 5-megapixel f/2.4 frontfacing camera which comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage,

as opposed to 8GB. Yu also said Huawei has also upgraded the Ascend Mate’s radio, hence the 4G moniker, with LTE-support up to 150 Mbps download, and 50 Mbps upload. He said the Smartphone has a touting two day battery life, though it sports the same 4050 mAh battery. Notably, a ‘reverse’ charging feature has also been included, allowing the phone to be used to charge other devices. Yu also announced that the Chinese telecom giant aims to sell 80 million Smartphone

in 2014, as it boosts its brand name worldwide and makes a new push for US consumers. Huawei is battling for the number three spot in global Smartphone sales, but has only limited presence in the United States. He said Huawei technology has faced criticism in the United States over the extent of its ties to the Chinese government and military, is seeking to boost its brand presence among consumers, moving away from manufacturing for other labels.

Huawei Ascend Mate 2

Nigerian computer society to host 25th conference January


he Nigeria Computer Society has said that it will host the 25th international conference this month with the theme; “Building a Knowledge-Based Economy in Nigeria: The Role of IT”. The body made this known at an interactive session with news men with the president of the association professor David Adewumi, saying that the umbrella body of Computer Professionals will add value this time to the country’s economy and society through the Information Technology

(IT) profession and industry. He said the conference is Nigeria’s largest annual gathering of stakeholders in IT from business, industry, education, government and social communities. Professor Adewumi said that NCS seeks participation and submissions of papers, products, innovations from academia, industry and civil society related to the theme and sub themes of the 25th National Conference. “Share insights and experiences towards building knowledge based economy in Nigeria.

What is the role of information technology? What are the priority issues? What are the critical success factors? Be sure to include the NCS Conference in your 2014 program,” the newsletter read. Professor David Adewumi, NCS president, had towards the end of 2013 said that Nigeria’s developmental challenges call for vision that is both audacious and innovative. Achieving social and economic development requires significant IT driven change in finance, education, health, agriculture, governance and other critical sectors.

With strategy and action the innovative vision connects IT to growth opportunities for job creation, income generation, enterprise development, capacity building and export. “Focus areas to enable such growth in 2014 include mobile apps, e-government, social media, software education and entrepreneurship, local content development, youth innovation, research/ development and IT security. A strengthened and strategically positioned IT sector is integral to progress, Adewumi stated.

South African telecom revenue decliningreport


eport from Business monitor indicated that South Africa telecoms markets are tumbling low, according to its latest released yesterday. The report said that Vodacom reported a 1% decline in Q213 revenue compared to the previous quarter, while MTN reported a 1.4% drop in revenue in H113 compared to H212. According to Business Monitor, both operators attributed the weak results to price competition and the interconnection rate cuts in March 2013. And therefore believes that the trend is unsustainable amid rising operating costs therefore expect operators to aggressively develop new revenue streams that will be less reliant on the consumer market in view of the risk of further ARPU erosion from the proposed telecoms pricing policy. The report shows that Vodacom and MTN are already pursuing a service diversification strategy with investment in non-voice solutions such as M2M and cloud computing. We expect other operators in the market to seek similar opportunities in the enterprise market to sustain long-term growth” Business Monitor reported. It said that South Africa telecom dropped two places to third position for Sub-Saharan Africa, with an aggregate score of 53.3, compared to 55.7 in the previous quarter. It also said that South Africa’s Industry Rewards rating dropped due to falling ARPUs, which it believes are related to the regulator’s imposition of asymmetrical MTR cuts. The report said that the growth in mobile market over the years turns out to be slower than many of its neighbors within the last quarter of the year 2013. In September 2013, Bloomberg reported that Vodacom has entered into exclusive talks with Tataommunications, which owns a majority stake in Neotel, to acquire the fixed-line operator in a deal valued at around S$502million. Business Monitor believes the takeover of Neotel, if completed, would open new growth opportunities for Vodacom, particularly in the corporate segment, and creates new competition dynamics that could challenge Telkom’s dominance of the fixed-line sector over the long-term. The South African government plans to introduce a transparent pricing policy in the telecoms sector as part of its ongoing programme to reduce the cost of communications.




Rating agencies affirm stable outlook for Unity Bank By Abdulwahab Isa


wo renowned rating agencies- Global Credit Ratings (GCR) and Data Pro Limited have rated Unity Bank plc of possessing adequate protection factors and adjudged it sufficient for prudent long term investment. The agencies -GCR and Data Pro Limited affirmed to the bank BBB-(NG) with a stable outlook a

statement by the bank confirmed yesterday. The rating is an indication that the bank has adequate protection factors and considered sufficient for prudent long term investment. In addition, GCR rated Unity Bank A3, while DataPro rated the Bank A2 for Short Term debts on the national scale. According to DataPro, the Bank shows fair balance sheet strength, operating performance

and business profile. “This institution, in our opinion, has an ability to meet its current obligations,” Datapro was quoted by the bank declaring. In its corporate credit rating report, Data Pro also said the Bank’s strength lies in its good asset quality, geographical spread and robust and secured technological platform. “The bank has also advanced its risk management practices

evidenced by complete overhaul of its Enterprise Risk Management policies, certification into the prestigious ISO27001:2005 and Payments Cards Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) in order to ensure that customers’ information are always secured”. The rating took into consideration all relevant factors to arrive at the assigned rating, and information used was based on industry and market

intelligence including public perception. The risk factors were assessed using the company’s capitalization, earnings profile, liquidity, quality of assets and sustainability of subject’s current healthy profile in the medium to long term period. According to the reports, the bank grew its shareholders’ funds from N43.8b in 2011 to N51b in 2012. Accumulated losses also declined from N18.9b in 2011 to N14.5b in 2012. The improved financials lead to an increase in the Bank’s capital base by 17% which is one of the highest percentage growths in the industry during the period. Equity as a proportion of total assets also increased from 12% in 2011 to 13% in 2012 and Regulatory Capital Adequacy Ratio also improved from 12% to 13% within the same period. The minimum expected is 10%. The Bank also overhauled the credit process through the development of an internal credit risk rating framework to assess the credit worthiness and likelihood of default of individual clients.

NCRIB sensitises insurance brokers on merger, strategic partnership

P Adamawa state Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment, Malam Aliyu Abubakar (right), addressing beneficiaries during the disbursement of loans to micro entrepreneurs, yesterday in Yola. Photo: NAN

Financial expert seeks more investments in critical sectors of economy


financial analyst, Mr Titus Okorounmu yesterday advised the Federal Government to invest the 27 per cent earmarked for capital expenditure in the 2014 federal budget on critical sectors. Okorounmu, a former Director at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), gave the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. NAN reports that of 27 per cent of the N4.6 trillion Federal Government budget for 2014 is

earmarked for capital projects, while the recurrent expenditure is about 72 per cent. According to him, the government should set aside N500 million for small and medium businesses as part of ongoing economic transformation programme. “The small businesses should have access to this pool of funds to grow and develop the sector. “It is a fact that the small businesses are the engine of growth and development in every

economy,” he said. Okorounmu said that the government could expand the economy by rehabilitating the refineries and increase their current capacities to meet domestic demand for petroleum products. “The existing capacity can also be expanded and the excess of the products exported to some West African countries. “Since refineries in the sub region are not commensurate with the population of the region,

automatically the countries are large markets for our products,” he said. Okorounmu also urged the government to introduce macroeconomic policies to support local manufacturers. “Indigenous manufacturers should be given some import duty waivers in order to crash their cost of production. “The waivers could come inform of machineries and equipment that support production,” he said. (NAN)

resident, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Mr Ayodapo Shoderu has urged insurance brokers to consider mergers as survival option in 2014. Shoderus told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the advice became imperative following challenges confronting insurance business worldwide. According to him, the council is already looking seriously at the need to continually sensitise brokers on the option of mergers, strategic partnerships and shared services. “No one will continue to do things the same way and expect different results. “Brokers must begin to be creative and ingenious in their operations and survival strategies,” he said. The NCRIB president said that the council would also encourage brokers to expand their scope of operations and revenue earnings through enlightening on risk management. He said that the idea was to ensure the growth of insurance broking firms which would enable them employ more hands and reduce unemployment in the country. (NAN)



Stock Watch

Report as at Monday, January 13, 2014




Special Report

Fighting human trafficking via international cooperation


y most accounts, h u m a n trafficking is a form of modernday slavery, which has affected many countries of the world, including Nigeria. Human trafficking has been a growing source of concern to the Federal Government, which has set up a specific agency to tackle the menace. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) was established by the government as part of designed efforts to stamp out the crime. This is because Nigeria has assumed a notorious reputation of being a transit, source and destination country in the nefarious trade in humans. Commenting on the development, Mr. Arinze Orakwe, NAPTIP’s Assistant Director (Media and Communications), said: ``It is a shame that 100 years after the abolition of slavery, the crime has sneaked back on us in other variances, including trafficking in persons. ``Nigeria is a transit, a source and a destination country. Unfortunately, that is the tag we have to live with presently because of this particular scourge.’’ Over the years, countries have been looking into pragmatic ways of dealing with human trafficking, as the social problem deprives people of their human rights and dignity. The UN Trafficking Protocol and the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons encourage international cooperation among all countries in efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The global plan particularly recommends operational measures that draw on other international instruments, political commitments and good practices to facilitate the implementation of a comprehensive anti-human trafficking response. From the general to the specifics, NAPTIP has been seeking international cooperation in efforts to stamp out human trafficking in the country. The Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-

Agba, said that international cooperation was an essential tool in efforts to combat transnational organised crime, adding that Nigeria attached great importance to the consolidation of international efforts to combat human trafficking. As part of efforts to foster international cooperation in the anti-human trafficking crusade, NAPTIP signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service on the development of non-operational cooperation on Dec. 6, 2011. The deal was aimed at establishing and strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the fight against human trafficking. Jedy-Agba said that the agreement would aid efforts to develop and strengthen national capacity in extradition, mutual legal assistance, joint investigations and international cooperation. “It will further put in place measures required to develop institutional and technical capacity to design, implement and assess antihuman trafficking policies and strategies,” she added. Jedy-Agba said that one of the programmes which had been so far implemented under the agreement was the training on monitoring, profiling and risk analysis (airport and boarder control). She said that the other programmes included training on gathering digital evidence and phone forensic, criminal intelligence, basic investigative skills and witness protection, among others.

continuity. Fighting crime, fighting trafficking in persons takes a long, sometimes, very long breath. “To keep breathing, we need continuity in the Dutch police and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service; we need continuity in NAPTIP as well,’’ he added. Besides, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adokesigned a MoU with the National AntiMafia Bureau of Italy on Nov. 11, 2003. The deal was on the campaign against human trafficking and other related organised crimes as well as the laundering of proceeds from same. In 2004, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Nigeria signed a MOU with NAPTIP to cooperate in the area of technical support, awareness raising, direct assistance to trafficked persons and training. The Chief of Mission of IOM, Mr. Martin Ocaga, said that the organisation had established two shelters in Edo and Lagos states, adding that the shelters

were currently managed by NAPTIP. “Supported by the governments of Italy, Netherlands and Norway, IOM Nigeria, in collaboration with NAPTIP, also supported the development of an integrated referral service delivery system on social protection and socioeconomic reintegration for victims of human trafficking. “They also carried out visible primary prevention services in endemic source areas in Edo State,’’ Ocaga added. Besides, on Nov. 17, 2004, the Federal Government and the British Government entered into a pact to prevent, suppress trafficking in persons, while punishing perpetrators. A similar agreement was also signed on June 9, 2005 by the Federal Government and the Government of Republic of Benin, as part of efforts to stop trafficking in persons, particularly women and children. Beyond that, the Federal Government signed a deal on migration matters with the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on March 28, 2006.

Lastly, the National AntiMafia Bureau of Italy and NAPTIP signed a Memorandum f Understanding (MoU) on Dec. 15, 2010 to strengthen the fight against human trafficking and laundering of proceeds from crimes. NAPTIP was also privy to the national plan launched by the Head of Switzerland’s Department of Justice and Police, Simonetta Sammaruga, to combat human trafficking in that country. NAPTIP’s Executive Secretary said that the partnerships with these countries had enhanced the synergy among Nigerian law enforcement agencies via personal contacts and professional efficiency, while fostering inter-agency cooperation and leadership development. Jedy-Agba said that the training given by the governments of various countries to Nigerian law enforcement agents had strengthened their capacity to identify human traffickers and their victims at various departure and entry points in the country.

“Partnership with these countries has also led to the donation of investigative equipment to NAPTIP to equip our forensic laboratory and enhance our service delivery,’’ she said. Adoke, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, said that his office had established a unit, as part of efforts to combat trafficking in persons. He stressed that the unit would help to review, evaluate and respond to requests for mutual legal assistance and extradition in a prompt and efficient manner in line with global best practices. Adoke conveyed the Federal Government’s commitment to work closely with the international community to ensure the effective implementation of the global plan of action on the fight against trafficking in persons. All in all, experts are of the opinion that structured and sustained international cooperation will aid efforts to put an end to human trafficking. However, the experts insist that Nigeria is not found wanting in such international collaborations. (NAN)

Innocent youths who are victims of a ‘new slavery’ on display by the Nigerian Immigration Service officials recently A seminar on: “International Cooperation and Judicial Assistance for

Law Enforcement Officers’’ was also organised between Oct. 23 and 24, 2013 by NAPTIP, in

The only way to push back this gang and put it effectively out of business was to seek cooperation with Nigeria. So, we came over and a long-lasting strong partnership between our two countries was established.

collaboration with the Dutch National Police Agency and National Public Prosecution Service and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Nigeria. The National Public Prosecutor on human trafficking in the Netherlands, Mr. Warner Ten-Kate, particularly underscored the need for countries to learn from each other’s best practices in the campaign against transnational crime. He traced the history of the partnership between Nigeria and the Netherlands. “In the Netherlands, we discovered from 2005 onwards, a lot of young Nigerian girls came into the Netherlands through Schiphol Airport in

Amsterdam unaccompanied, and they later disappeared after some weeks. “We started investigating them as criminal cases and later found out that they turned up in street prostitution scenes in France, Spain and especially in Italy. “They were trafficked by a criminal gang operating in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Nigeria and some EU countries. “The only way to push back this gang and put it effectively out of business was to seek cooperation with Nigeria. So, we came over and a long-lasting strong partnership between our two countries was established. “The Koolvis case, which

was initiated to investigate the criminal process, continued for many years and it generated fruitful collaboration between Nigeria and the Netherlands. “Even recently, one of the prime suspects was convicted and imprisoned for seven years. Many others have to serve long prison terms in Italy, even up to 12 years. “Besides, Nigeria moved up to Tier 1 category in the U.S. Trafficking in Person Report as a result of this case. Ten-Kate, however, stressed the need for continuity in ongoing efforts to stamp out trafficking in persons. “I want to mention another important word in our relationship and that is

Trafficked by criminal gangs, young Nigerian girls are debased on the streets of France, Italy.




Seed pods, worth more than gold in Argentina’s arid north

By Fabiana Frayssinet


ired of the drought driving away their men and killing their livestock, the women of Guanaco Sombriana, a town in northern Argentina, have found a new source of income by using the seedpods of native trees that up to now merely provided shade in this arid landscape. The football pitch is a graphic symbol of this semiarid region in the department of Atamisqui, 120 km south of Santiago del Estero, the capital of the province of the same name. Two goalposts made of dry branches are set amidst the thin vegetation of cactus plants and low bushes on the white saline soil of this rural district of some 10,000 people. The empty, unused pitch reflects a bleak reality: the players – husbands, brothers, sons and fathers – have gone off again to find seasonal work, this time harvesting maize and blueberries, in the south of the country. “I have been left on my own with my seven kids for up to eight months a year,” says Graciela Sauco. “To get by I raised cows, baby goats, baby pigs and chickens. We would sell them, and have something left for our own consumption. But because of this drought we’ve been suffering for the past two years, many animals have died.” Locals say this is the worst drought they have seen in a decade. There is no money for fodder, and the animals die as the farmers look on, helpless. They are poor, with farms up to 50 hectares in size, passed down through the generations but without legal title deeds. Nor can they plant squash or maize to feed the livestock, as they used to, because there is no water. “I would like my sons to have better work, so they wouldn’t have to go so far away. I miss them,” says Sauco, between sobs. Eleuteria Ledesma says “My last son left today for the maize harvest in Buenos Aires. They live in prefabricated little houses; they suffer from the heat and sleep on cots.” For the year-end holidays, “they didn’t give them permission to come home” – making things even sadder for the women of Guanaco Sombriana. But now there is a new feeling of hope in the air. A decade ago the women organised, setting up the Association of Small Farmers of Salinas Atamisqueñas (APPSA Guanaco), which today groups 80 families in this village of 566 people. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, says Lastenio

Treolinda Coronel gathers ‘algarroba’ pods with her granddaughter in San Geronimo, Santiago del Estero Castaño, an extension worker with the agriculture ministry’s Undersecretariat of Family Farming. “Sometimes there’s no water, not even for people’s consumption, let alone for the livestock or for watering crops,” he says. “The only thing that can be raised here are goats. But even though they are hardy animals, a lot of goats have died in the last few years.” Nor does the local flora – scrub forest consisting of open,

low vegetation – offer many alternatives “for any kind of productive enterprise,” he tells Tierramérica. “There is very little variety of species.” But the local farmers hope the adobe shed they built will be “a place to store harvested wild fruits and pods as well as grains, to provide balanced feed for their livestock,” Castaño says. APPSA, with support from the Undersecretariat and from the Unit for Rural Change (UCAR), also has a small mill to produce

flour from the seedpods of the ‘algarrobo blanco’ (Prosopis alba), known in English as the Argentine mesquite or white carob tree, and the ‘algarrobo negro’ (Prosopis nigra), the black mesquite or black carob tree typical native trees that even appear in the Santiago de Estero provincial folk songs. In the past, the seedpods were only used in Guanaco Sombriana as livestock fodder when times were tough. But the members of the Association took courses on how to produce flour and baked goods using the pods, which are popular now in organic food markets and shops. The flour is aromatic and sweet, with a taste similar to cacao, and is rich in fibre, protein, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, pectin, tannins and vitamins. “We used to grind up the pods with a mortar and pestle,” says Lili Farías. “But with the new mill, we can grind up a lot really quickly. Not just the pods, but anything we want to grind, including maize.” Tierramérica is visiting the APPSA building on a busy day in December, in the middle of harvest season. A pickup truck full of bags of seedpods pulls up outside the building. The Association now has enough funds to buy

In the past, the seedpods were only used in Guanaco Sombriana as livestock fodder when times were tough. But the members of the Association took courses on how to produce flour and baked goods using the pods, which are popular now in organic food markets and shops.

harvested pods from other villages. The women weigh the bags and keep the accounts in a small notebook. Others grind the pods, in a race against time. Temperatures can get up to 50 degrees C at this time of year – the southern hemisphere summer - and the pods can be full of pests, they explain. To keep their accounts, they use the calculators on their cellphones, “which are only good for this and for taking pictures, because we have no signal here,” complains Marcela Leguizamón. Each member of the Association brings a bottle of water from their well. The women are drinking mate - a traditional caffeinated herbal brew that is popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – and celebrating the milling of some 2,000 kg of flour. Castaño says they need to improve the distribution and transportation of their products, as well as access to basic services like electricity and piped water. With a revolving fund of around 21,000 dollars for Guanaco Sombriana and other communities, APPSA is able to buy livestock fodder and grant micro-loans for projects, says Farías. The revolving fund is financed by UCAR’s Rural Areas Development Programme, an initiative with national scope aimed at strengthening “social and productive cohesion” among small farming communities, with an emphasis on local and regional economies. APPSA’s members dream of having computers “to keep records of everything, because papers sometimes get mislaid,” says Leguizamón. The incomes of local families have begun to improve. The extra money is spent on food, clothing or motorcycles, the mode of transport par excellence in this region, where roads are often impassable because of desertification.




Teenage pregnancy: Who takes the blame? By Stellamaris Ashinze


second-year medical student, Amarachi Sunday, recently got pregnant for a blind man, Festus. Although Festus claimed that he loved Amarachi, her parents, who are both lecturers in the university, did not approve of their relationship. They described it as an affront on their 19-year-old daughter to marry Festus, who is poor and physically challenged. They persuaded Amarachi, their only daughter, to reject Festus, have the baby alone and return to school afterwards. To their surprise, Amarachi jettisoned their advice, dropped out of school and got married to Festus. Amarachi’s parents eventually rejected her before she gave birth to a baby girl and shortly after that, she became pregnant again. Unfortunately, Festus’ attitude suddenly changed towards Amarachi, as he started maltreating her. He became very touchy and started punching her; beating her up to such an extent that she had a miscarriage which led to the removal of her womb. Strangely enough, Festus later sent the hapless girl out his home and brought in another wife. Amarachi’s plight somewhat reflects the troubles of several other teenagers who got entangled with unplanned pregnancies. Observers note that teenage pregnancy is on the increase in Nigeria, conceding, however, that it is more of a global menace, with African countries mostly affected. They cite a report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which indicates that more than 16 million girls, between the ages of 15 years and 19 years, as well as over two million girls under 15 years give birth every year worldwide. They also note that the report reveals, among other things, that an estimated three million girls from age 15 to 19 years undergo unsafe abortion every year. They observe that the WHO statistics on Nigeria in 2010 indicate that the country accounts for 22.9 per cent of teenage pregnancies globally. From all indications, the situation appears grim, compelling concerned observers to call for the introduction of appropriate measures to alleviate the growing menace of teenage pregnancy. Miss Barisi Elizabeth, a student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, blames the occurrence of teenage pregnancy on parents,

particularly mothers, who are too busy to watch over their children’s upbringing. She also says that some parents are too harsh to their children, making it impossible for their children to confide in them on issues concerning sexuality. ``Mothers are supposed to teach their children sex education so as to guard against their making costly mistakes and getting accidental pregnancies,’’ she says. Sharing similar sentiments, Mrs Norah Ugokwe, a retired civil servant, also blames the rising menace of teenage pregnancy on parents, particularly mothers. She frowns at a situation where many women leave their

children in the care of relations or nannies. Ugokwe identifies peer pressure as another factor that contributes to teenage pregnancy, citing an instance of a student who got pregnant as a result of negative influence by her peers. However, Mrs Grace Ketefe of Women Advocate and Research Documentation Centre, Lagos, attributes the phenomenon to the lack of basic knowledge of sexuality. Ketefe, a lawyer, bemoans a situation in which teenagers get pregnant because of lack of sex education, stressing that if teenagers are well tutored at home or in school, teenage

pregnancies will be reduced to the barest minimum. Echoing similar views, Mrs Aluko Olokun, the President, African Female Lawyers Association, notes that many teenagers succumb to unwanted pregnancies due to their nonexposure to sex education. “Those who are victims are not well-informed about their sexuality, either at school or by their parents; so, they are lured into having unprotected sex,’’ she says. Olokun pledges the commitment of her association, among others, to educating teenagers on sexuality, especially during the World Child’s Right Day celebrations.

She, however, insists that the inclusion of sex education into the school curricula will help teenagers to reject sex and scream for help they are assaulted sexually. All the same, Mrs Shekarau Hauwa, the National President, International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), blames the rising incidence of teenage pregnancy on the society and parents. Shekarau attributes the menace to absence of sex education, peer pressure and sexual violence, as well as the craze for money by some parents. She says that many parents often leave their boys and girls on their own to discover their sexuality, instead of guiding them. “The truth is that most of our children know more than we can imagine, especially with this age of information technology where information is at our fingertips,’’ she says. Shekarau laments that negative peer pressure has made several girls to experiment sex, adding: ``If such girls refuse to conform, they are either rejected or ostracised by their peers. “The fear of being ostracised makes them to give in since they are not informed on how to control their sexual urge,’’ she adds. Shekarau, nonetheless, stress that another source of concern is the rising menace of sexual violence, including rape and incest, in the society, calling on all the citizens and relevant stakeholders to tackle the menace. Beyond that, the FIDA president condemns early marriage, stressing that the Child Right Law prescribes 18 years as the minimum age for marriage. “Under the Penal and Criminal Codes, sexual intercourse with a minor, whether with the consent of the minor or not, is statutory rape. “In other words, a minor has no capacity to consent to any sexual act; therefore, having sexual intercourse with a juvenile is rape. “Unfortunately, how many convictions do we get for the constant rape of our young daughters? ``Sexual violence is generally on the increase; what we are reading in the media today is only a tip of the iceberg,’’ she says. All in all, the experts insist that the incidence of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria will reduce considerably if concerted efforts are made to uphold criminal justice and punish offenders accordingly. Source: NAN




Ban on fish importation long overdue — Farmers By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report


atfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) have expressed their backing for the Federal Government’s partial ban on fish importation. The National Secretary of CAFAN, Mr. Rotimi Oloye, told journalists in Lagos that fish farming was imperative in generating income that would boost the country’s economy. According to him, “local fish consumption is about 1.5million

metric tons with an annual fish import figure of about 700,000 metric tons.” He said: “The country has been derailed by the Dutch Syndrome, which means a situation where one sector of the country’s economy is used to silence other sectors. Nigeria has used the oil sector to silence others, particularly the agriculture sector.” Oloye, who was optimistic that fish farming is one of the fastest growing agricultural enterprises in Nigeria, also informed that “the fish farmers alone generate a rea-

sonable amount of naira to the nation’s revenue yearly which contributes to the overall economy, and also provides employment to the jobless.” “The contribution of fisheries to the nation’s economy is very significant in terms of employment, income generation, poverty alleviation and provision of raw materials for the animal feed industry. “Nigerians are high fish consumers with total current consumption figures of about 1.5 million metric tons with an an-

nual fish import figure of about 700,000 metric tons. “The country remains the highest importer of fish and fishery products in Africa,’’ Oloye said. He said that domestic aquaculture had a high potential of 2.5 million metric tons per annum. Oloye noted that aquaculture was doing less before the recent government intervention by supplying 4.2 million juveniles to farmers in 10 states. He said the scheme was also supported with 42 metric tons of feed subsidies and N105 million.

“This has really contributed to the increase in fish production by farmers who benefited from the support scheme than the previous years. “The local fish farmers will do better if given protection which the minister is trying to do by the gradual ban on fish imports,’’ Oloye said. He pleaded with the government to place a 100 per cent ban on all imported fish products, adding that Nigerian fish farmers had the capacity to meet the domestic demand.

Farmers to restore cassava processing plant in Kebbi By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report


hairman of the Association of Cassava Growers in Kebbi State, Hussaini Abdullahi, recently said the group was making efforts to revive the declining cassava processing plant to enhance the production of the crop in the state. Abdullahi told journalists in Birnin-Kebbi, that stimulating the plant which had been let loose for the association was a great challenge. He said: “The plant has the capacity to produce pellets, chips, industrial and domestic starch as well as attract regional and international market.” Abdullahi, who stressed the need for cassava growers to multiply the production of the crop in the state, also said that, “the state government had assisted about 1, 488 cassava farmers with loans to increase production of the crop.” According to him, “The association will exploit opportunities to establish additional processing plants to prevent over working the only existing plant.”

Woman with her harvested cassava on her farm at Doma, Nasarawa state, recently

Delta to empower fish farmers with nets,


he Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Delta State Sunday said it would distribute 10,000 fishing nets and accessories to artisan fish farmers under its Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme. The Director in the ministry, Mr Felix Kehis, was speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba. Kehis said that the gesture was part of government’s efforts to empower fish farmers in the

riverine communities across the state. “This January, we are going to distribute 10,000 fishing nets and other accessories free to artisan fishermen, in the fishing communities in Delta under GES initiative. “We also have artificial fishing ponds for distributing to fish farmers at the agro service centre, Koko, in Warri North Local Government Area,” he said. He said that the ministry would also distribute 1,700 units

Farmers-herdsmen conflict: Emulate the Jigawa initiative, minister urges By Mohammed Kandi


inister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called on other state governments who experience Farmer-Herdsmen clashes to embrace a similar conflict resolution scheme, initiated by the Jigawa State Government.

Akinwumi, who made the called while speaking with farmer groups at Adaha community in Jigawa state, also commended the state government for its commitment to agricultural development in the state. According to Adesina, the initiative which comprised of “development of grazing lands, demarcation of cattle routes, and

establishment of various committees had fostered peace in the state,” saying worthy of commendations are “the provision wind mills and pasture.” He said: “It is a good thing which should be emulated in other states. In Jigawa, you have an interesting module to check farmer/herdsmen clashes,” the minister stated.

of improved plantain and banana suckers to farmers in the state. He recalled that last year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA), through the ministry, distributed fingerlings and fish feeds to the farmers affected by the 2012 flood disaster in the state. He said that the organisation,

in a bid to boost agriculture in the state, trained 13 agricultural extension workers at the Amadu Bello University, Zaria. “These agents will be deployed to work with the farmers in their respective communities; they will give farmers informal education on planting methods, harvest and post-harvest operations,’’ he said.

. . . As 159,226 farmers benefit from GES in Edo


o fewer than 159,226 farmers in Edo state have benefited from the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) of the Federal Government, an official, has said. The official, Mr Wellington Omoragabon, a Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on recently. He said that 39,226 farmers were registered for the scheme in 2012, while120,000 were registered in 2013.

He attributed the increase in the numbers of farmers registered in 2013 to the `Optical’ map readable method used for the registration. He said 192 enumerators were sent to 192 wards in the state to ensure that farmers were registered. Omoragabon said the state government and the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state sponsored one enumerator each for the registration. “Out of the 120,000 farmers registered in 2013, only 84,000 farmers participated in the GES programme last year.” (NAN)



Agriculture Association, Chinese firm sign MoU on rice farming in Kebbi


he Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kebbi Chapter, recently said it had signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to train farmers in the state on new methods of culti-

vating rice. An official of the association, Alhaji Sahabi Augi, spoke this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi. NAN reports that the firm,

Chinese Green agriculture for West Africa, has already established its presence in Ngaski Local Government Area, one of the rice producing areas of the state in line with the transformation agenda of

the Federal Government, which planned ban of importation of rice in 2015. “With the vast land and human resources, we can be able to feed ourselves and export the

commodity,” Augi said. He said the partnership would focus on breeding new variety of rice and innovation, which included seeds multiplication, processing and marketing. (NAN)

Adamawa intesifies fight against animal diseases By Mohammed Kandi


he Adamawa State Government said in a recent announcement that the state had in 2013, worked vigorously in the treatment and control of ‘deadly’ animal diseases in the state. Speaking recently at the presentation of the 2013 Best Veterinary Award to Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state, in Yola, the Chairman, Nigeria Veterinary Doctors, Adamawa branch, Mr Edgar Amos, said the state government had also recruited more than 200 veterinary doctors in 2013. According to him, “the efforts of the state government will ensure the treatment and control of animal diseases that are dangerous to human lives.” Amos said veterinary doctors in Adamawa State are involved in public health protection programmes to ensure availability of animal proteins at affordable prices, as well as determine animal safety for consumption for the people. Receiving the award, Governor Nyako said the state government was making consultations with some international livestock producers on how to improve handling of livestock from tradiA collaboration to boost rice production in Nigerian . tional to modern techniques.

Entrepreneur donates tractor, hectares to Unilorin


he Chairman of Origin Group of Companies, Lagos, Mr Samuel Samuel, recently in Ilorin, donated a tractor and 2, 000 hectares greenhouse to the University of Ilorin. Greenhouse is a glass building

used for growing plants that need warmth, light and protection. Samuel, who handed over the items to Prof Abdul Ganiyu Ambali, the Vice Chancellor of the university, said it was in recognition of the institutions “transpar-

ent commitment and dedication to agriculture”. He said two other universities - the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti- would also receive similar donation.

The entrepreneur disclosed that graduates of the universities employed by his company were “brilliant” in their fields. Samuel said his company would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the univer-

sities to promote a five-year programme in agriculture. According to him, a greenhouse can yield 170 tonnes of tomatoes worth N6 to 8 million annually, with 75 per cent profit. (NAN)

Africa: New UN initiative tackles food losses


hree Rome-based United Nations agencies are teaming up on a $2.7 million project to tackle the problem of food losses in developing countries, beginning with pilot programmes in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda, a statement on UN News has said. Globally, around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes – enough food to feed 2 billion people – according to a joint news release by the Food and

Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The three-year project by the agencies is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and focuses on food losses in developing countries, which can occur during harvesting, processing, transportation and storage as a result of inadequate infrastructure or lack of skills and technology. It will focus in particular on reducing losses of grains and pulses such as maize, rice, beans and cow

peas – staple foods that play a significant role in global food security and have a major impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers. Grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone are worth potentially $4 billion a year and could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people, according to a 2011 report by the World Bank, FAO and the United Kingdom’s Natural Resources Institute. The project will, among other things, identify critical points for

losses in pulse and grain supply chains in Burkina Faso, DRC and Uganda, and identify and test potential solutions to issues such as ineffective harvesting and handling, storage moisture levels, attacks by rats, birds and other pests, and insect damage. “When some 840 million people are going hungry every day, we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that food produced is in fact consumed and not lost or wasted,” said Jong Jin Kim, Director of FAO’s Programme Support Division, speaking on behalf of the

three agencies. “Reducing food loss and waste will make significant amounts of additional food available, and at lower environmental costs, which is also critical in view of the need to produce 60 per cent more food by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.” In total, food losses and waste account for about 30 per cent of cereals, 40-50 per cent of root crops, fruit and vegetables, 20 per cent of oilseeds, meat and dairy, and 30 per cent of fish produced each year, according to FAO.



News Extra

Suswam, Yero facilitate with Muslims From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

T L-R: National Publicity Secretary, Northern Patriotic Front, Alhaji Musa Zubiaru, National Chairman, Northern Alternative Forum, Malam Gidado Ibrahim, and National Coordinator, Northern Youths Congress, Mr. Abdulmumini Tijani, during a news conference on the state of the nation, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Eid-el Maulud: Jonathan assures successful completion of projects By Edoamaowo Udeme


resident Goodluck Jonathan has assured all Nigerians, that his administration will not be distracted from working diligently, to bring all of its priority developmental programmes and projects to a successful conclusion In a press statement by the

Special Adviser on Media & Publicity to the President, Dr Ruben Abati, commemorating the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, the Messenger of Almighty Allah, Jonathan, urged Muslims to offer special prayers for greater peace, unity and progress in Nigeria”. “As this year’s Eid-elMaulud fortuitously comes just

a day before the nation’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, he urged all Nigerians, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to seize the opportunity to offer special prayers for officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, who do their best to protect the nation’s territorial integrity and achieve greater security in all parts of the

country”. He added that, his administration will continue to work with INEC and act on its belief that only free, fair and credible elections can make democracy in Nigeria truly meaningful and useful, as the country prepares for the next elections.

FG scales up child mortality prevention programmes


he federal government yesterday assured that it would scale up its nutrition and anti-malaria programmes to reduce child mortality in the country. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, told newsmen that government was poised to achieve better results in its efforts towards improving

maternal and child mortality in 2014. He said malnutrition and malaria were among the leading contributing factors to child mortality. “There are challenges. One area we are going to upscale up this year is nutrition. We are going to work hard on nutrition. We are going to work hard on

malaria. “Government will ensure that it supplies commodities, not only for family planning, but the rest of life-saving commodities that were recommended by the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities’, he said. Some of the life saving commodities are female condoms, emergency contraceptives,

misoprostol, magnesium sulfate and injectable antibiotics. Others are antenatal corticosteroids, chlorhexidine, amoxicillin, oral rehydration, zinc, and others. The minister said the Federal Government would also scale up interventions for the Preventionof-Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV. (NAN)

...offers overseas scholarship to 35 Niger Delta youths


office, Mr Larry Pepple, he said the purpose was to develop the capacity of youths in the area. The presidential aide urged the beneficiaries to behave well while pursuing their studies, adding that the beneficiaries got the scholarship because their

communities were affected by militancy and oil exploration. Mr Eugene Abels, Head, Education Unit in the office, urged the beneficiaries to always save some money to avoid hardship in the event of delay in the payment of their stipends. (NAN)

he Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Kingsley Kuku said yesterday in Abuja that it had offered scholarships to 35 Niger Delta youths. Kuku, who said this at the Offshore Orientation and

Departure Programme organised for the beneficiaries, added that the scholarships were for under graduate and post graduate programmes in universities in the United Kingdom. Represented by the Head of Reintegration Department in the


Committee set to review penalties, issues on violation of EIA provisions –Chairman

he Ministerial Committee on the Review of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act No. 86 of 1992 is set to review penalties and issues bothering on flouting the provisions of the act. The Chairman of the committee, Dr Oluwole Ameyan, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the committee would also consider the administrative machinery needed for the proper implementation of the act. Ameyan said that the committee would work in line with the Terms

of Reference (TOR) given to it by the Federal Ministry of Environment. According to the TOR, the committee is also to review the powers of states and Local Government Areas (LGAs), in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. ‘’The committee will recommend and replace missing

sections in the current Act and address areas of conflict with other laws such as the Town Planning Act, the demand for EIA by other bodies, among others. ‘’It will review the Act to cover areas such as policies and plans which have long term effects on the environment and also review provisions for project exclusion.

‘’It will also review enforcement powers and bodies, violation charges and make provision for repeals of all other Acts in conflict with the EIA Act,’’ the document stated. According to the document, the new act should define the role of the public, private and civil society in the EIA process. (NAN)

he Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero felicitates with Muslim Ummah on the celebration of Eidel Maulud and tasked them to always live in peace with people of other faiths in the state. Governor Yero called on Muslims to imbibe the teachings of the Holy Prophet hinged on the imperativeness of peace and unity for the sustenance of mankind, because according to him, “Our differences are not meant for us to engage in conflicts but rather to appreciate ourselves better and to live peacefully in accordance with the principles of Islam.” He also prayed for peaceful coexistence saying that, “that is the only way to ensure meaningful development and provision of democracy dividends to the people.” Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, in a separate statement signed by his Director, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. James Uloko, has tasked Muslims on love, re-dedication to nation building. He lamented over the current security quandary in most part of the North, stating that it is caused by some extremist elements who have misinterpreted the tenets of Islam to satisfy their narrow and myopic end, a situation that defies logic and sense of purpose. Suswam added that, “rebuilding the Nigerian State is not optional but the responsibility of all, regardless of religious persuasion, political affiliation and ethnic or tribal background. Also, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has called on Muslims to imbibe the virtues of humanity, love and kindness as exemplified by Prophet Mohammed Governor Ahmed, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba said these were some of the qualities that endeared Prophet Muhammed to humanity of all races and faith, and this should be a sober reflection for all Muslims and to pray for good governance and inter religious harmony. While reiterating his administration’s commitment to ensuring equity and justice in the pursuit of programmes that will enhance the welfare of the people as well as deepen religious harmony in the State, he called on “Nigerians, irrespective of our religious and ethnic diversity, to at occasions like this, always reflect on issues that can strengthen our nationhood”.




t must be hard, being the US and having the nations you invade - sorry, “liberate” - let you down so badly. This, at least, is the reading presented by chunks of the US media over the current crisis in Iraq. As Fallujah and Ramadi, in Iraq’s Anbar province, are reported to have been seized by al-Qaedalinked groups, civilians caught in a deadly stand-off between extremists and the government are pouring out of those cities and seeking refuge elsewhere. And so US commentators have been explaining how utterly devastating all this is - for the US. “Violence in Iraq threatens to undo US effort,” explained a Washington Post headline, thereby eliding the obvious point that the current violence in Iraq primarily threatens Iraqis. “Who lost Fallujah?” ran a Time magazine headline last week, with the stand first explaining that alQaeda had taken over an “Iraqi city that cost 100 American lives a decade ago” - oddly omitting to note how many Iraqi lives were lost at the same time. US reports focused on the US’ “bloodiest combat since Vietnam”, and explained why the current scenes from Anbar province are a “bitter disappointment” to many Americans. Of course, US soldiers, who lost friends or were injured and traumatised by those battles of 2004 when US forces stormed Fallujah, are anguished that their sacrifice might have been in vain. While soliders do not devise the savage policies they are sent to execute, still, it is revealing that this has become the news story. Because to tell it another way would, of course, necessitate a recasting of the US’ role in Iraq. For if American soldiers died in vain, what of the people of Fallujah, hundreds if not thousands of whom were killed in an assault that used cluster bombs and white phosphorous, poisoning the city and reducing it to rubble? Those assaults, often described as massacres at Fallujah, are still crippling the city today, with its population facing an epidemic of birth defects and cancers. Meanwhile, to claim Fallujah as a past US victory is to almost wilfully misread the legacy of the US’ illegal war on Iraq. Leaving half a million Iraqis dead, the US-led invasion dismantled the government, police and security apparatus and then further hobbled the country by backing the corrupt, authoritarian Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister. His government is routinely accused, among other misdeeds, of incompetence and of fermenting sectarian tensions - privileging one group over another and using anti-terror laws to target Sunnis. The ensuing chaos and mistrust, corruption, lack of electricity and other basics, insecurity, unemployment and



US in Iraq: They broke it but didn’t fix it

ISIL fighters

unacknowledged injustice is the perfect breeding ground for alQaeda - which, it cannot be stated enough, did not exist in Iraq prior to the 2003 assault. Now operating as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and strengthened by the civil war in Syria, it is stepping up bloody attacks in both countries; over 8,000 Iraqis were killed in violence such as roadside bombings last year, according to the UN. But severed from this essential backstory, the current crisis in Iraq is now portrayed as a bitter sectarian war playing out across longstanding Sunni-Shia fault lines. “People think that Iraqis have always hated each other, but that doesn’t correspond with Iraqi history or with reality today,” says Zaid al-Ali, analyst and author of The Struggle for Iraq’s Future. He cites a study at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in 2009 involving a cross-section of

Iraqi academics and professionals, which reported that sectarianism is a foreign concept in Iraqi history, but was propagated by the US during and after its 2003 invasion. Today, despite the political provocations, Iraqis are still working together where possible. “Whenever there has been an opportunity for people to go out and work across sectarian lines and across community lines this is what has happened,” says al-Ali. “It never makes the media, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.” Apparently, it also doesn’t fit the preferred narrative to keep banging on about the US’ ruinous record in Iraq. When journalists at a press conference tried to ask a US state department official about Iraqi policy in 2011, the spokeswomen refused to go into it because she said: “We’re focused on 2014 and where we go from

here…” and because to look at past events would not be “a helpful discussion”. But if we do as we’re told and focus on 2014, we see that the US position is, military assistance notwithstanding: “This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis,” as Secretary of State John Kerry said. This glides over the small matter that US support for al Maliki has constantly fuelled this fight, distorted it and made it worse. In his book on Iraq, al-Ali writes: “The story is a familiar one: Western powers are largely indifferent to governmental practices in Middle Eastern countries, so long as nothing is done to threaten a number of vital interests, including natural resources.” This toxic combination of historical myopia and disappointment with postinvasion outcomes is nothing new - it is, after all, a standard

Meanwhile, to claim Fallujah as a past US victory is to almost wilfully misread the legacy of the US’ illegal war on Iraq.

trick for imperialists of all stripes to ruin countries and then blame the locals for the ensuing political dysfunction. “It’s a complicated mix of being hurt, rejected and affronted by ‘natives’’ refusal to co-operate,” says the writer and historian, Alex von Tunzelmann. She adds that, as well as the desire for power and resources, imperialism is rooted in a sort of well-meaning paternalism - the kind that results in civilizing missions. “If ‘the savages’ throw it back in your face, you feel hurt,” she says, citing examples from the British empire through to US imperial ventures in the Caribbean. “That comes across a lot in a lot of empires, and it still exists - there’s still this idea that the West knows best how to run a country and a society, which is what it all comes down to.” It doesn’t matter how many times this is disproved; even as news from Iraq is overwhelmingly of death, suffering and despair, the US still asserts that its ravaging venture in Iraq was designed to bring stability and democracy. It’s as though Iraqis, dealing with the senseless devastation of their country and longing for a normal life, are supposed to remember, above all, that the US is a force for good and that - well, it really means well. Source: Al-Jazeera



International New CAR leader says chaos is over Egyptian anticharter activists face charges


even Egyptians, who were arrested while hanging posters against a constitution promoted as defending civil rights and freedom of expression, are facing charges ahead of a nationwide referendum on the document. Charges handed to the members of the centrist Strong Egypt party range from alleged involvement in terrorism, attempting to overthrow the regime and engaging in incitement against the police and army. The activists, who were arrested in three separate incidents, were interrogated by prosecutors and police during which “questions fixated on the posters and the men’s political views,” the Human Rights Watch said in a press statement issued yesterday. The activists were taken in after finding them in possession of posters calling for a “no” vote in a two-day referendum starting January 14 on the military-backed constitution. The referendum is also seen to be a vote on the military-led July coup, and its leaders. “Egyptian citizens should be free to vote for or against the new constitution, not fear arrest for simply campaigning for a ‘no’ vote,” said Joe Stark, the watchdog’s deputy director for Middle East and North Africa. “Protecting the right to vote requires safeguarding the right to free expression.” The constitution, which is an amended copy of the Islamistbacked charter approved in a 2012 referendum, is expected to pass by a landslide amid wide calls to boycott the vote. “The arrests of the Strong Egypt activists fit an increasingly prevalent practise of police detaining political activists solely on the basis of peaceful expression,” the human rights watchdog said. Changes made to the document include a bar on religious-based political parties, a depiction of the power shift that has seen the fall of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in July, when the army toppled its member Mohamed Morsi, who was also the country’s first democratically elected president. Alterations to the charter is part of a road-map put forth by the army outlining the country’s post-Morsi transformation to democracy. Since July 3, expression of dissent has been met with force, as hundreds of Morsi-supporters were killed and thousands were jailed, including prominent liberal activists who supported his oust.


he interim president of the violence-wracked Central African Republic has declared that “the party is over” after weeks of deadly sectarian violence as deserting troops and police returned to duty. Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, speaker of the country’s provisional parliament and interim president, vowed yesterday that the “anarchy” that has gripped the country would be swiftly brought to an end. He also issued a stern warning to warring fighters from the mostly Muslim Seleka group and the antibalaka Christian fighters set up to oppose them. Speaking at a police headquarters in the capital Bangui, he said: “To the ex-Seleka, to the anti-balaka and the lovers of looting, I’m giving you a severe warning: The party is over.” Nguendet, whose parliament has been charged with finding a new transitional president within two weeks, declared: “The chaos is over, the pillaging is over, the revenge attacks are over.”

The return of soldiers and police to duty was another encouraging sign for the Central African Republic after weeks of horrific sectarian violence including reports of cannibalism. Sunday night was “particularly calm” with no reports of looting, according to residents contacted by AFP news agency. The troops, many of whom had fled their units for fear of being killed, heeded a call from chief of staff General Ferdinand Bomboyeke to return to barracks by Monday. “They came in very large numbers and they’re still coming,” Colonel Desire Bakossa, who supervised the registration, told AFP. “They answered the general’s call. It’s a relief. It’s a very good sign.” Similar centres have opened in Bangui for police to register after many of them deserted too. Nguendet said the police, completely absent from the streets of Bangui in recent weeks, would be “redeployed within 72 hours and would take part in the


disarmament process” under way in the city. “I’m very happy to see again my brothers in arms,” said adjutant Jacky-Morel Gbabja, who fled his unit in December to take shelter with his family. Nguendet’s speech came the day after scenes of reconciliation in the southern Bangui neighbourhood of Bimbo as rival fighters struck a truce and embraced. The interim president also went to the airport where some

100,000 people were sheltering to urge them to return home. Ten months of violence have displaced a fifth of the country’s population, and the sectarian flare-up has killed more than 1,000 people in the past month alone, despite a French military intervention and the presence of an African peacekeeping force, MISCA. France has deployed 1,600 troops in the country to support MISCA, which is meant to have up to 6,000 troops but has not yet reached 3,500.

fighting broke out in South Sudan one month ago. “Bor is still in the hands of the rebels but our forces are... moving towards it,” Colonel Philip Aguer said yesterday. The conflict in South Sudan has raged for weeks between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and a loose coalition of army defectors and ethnic militia nominally headed by Riek Machar, a former vice president and seasoned guerilla fighter. Government troops recaptured the key northern oil city of Bentiu last week, but have since grappled with rebel fighters closer to the capital Juba. The rebels also claim they are close to retaking Malakal, the capital of the biggest oil-

producing state, Upper Nile. Meanwhile, mediators were meeting separately with negotiators from both sides of the South Sudan conflict in an effort to reach a ceasefire deal. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said mediators needed to minimise the number of conditions that parties wanted fulfilled before they could commit to signing a ceasefire agreement. Until now, the main obstacle has been the fate of political detainees being held in Juba, but other conditions include the withdrawal of Ugandan forces allegedly deployed to help Kiir and the lifting of the state of emergency imposed on Unity and Jonglei states.

towel were found in the safe of the hotel room where his body was discovered, they said. Mr Karegeya’s co-founder of the

Rwanda National Congress, Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, has survived two assassination attempts, also in South Africa.

South Sudan troops advance on Bor


overnment troops in South Sudan have been advancing on the flashpoint town of Bor, the last state capital still in rebel hands, according to an army

spokesperson. Bor, situated about 200km north of Juba and capital of the restive Jonglei State, has already changed hands three times since


Rwanda’s President, Kagame, warns ‘traitors’


wanda President Paul Kagame has warned that those who betray the country will face “consequences”. He was speaking less than two weeks after the body of former intelligence Chief Patrick Karegeya was found, apparently murdered, in South Africa. Mr Karegeya had fallen out with the Rwandan leadership and set up an opposition party. His allies said he had been killed by government agents - a charge denied by the high commissioner to South Africa. Without mentioning any names, Mr Kagame told a national prayer breakfast meeting: “You cannot betray Rwanda and get away with

it. There are consequences for betraying your country.” “I cannot be apologetic about that if you know the grenades that have been thrown on our streets killing Rwandan children,” he said. Mr Karegeya had been convicted in absentia of threatening state security and promoting ethnic divisions, in connection with a series of grenade attacks in the capital, Kigali. “Anyone who betrays our cause or wishes our people ill will fall victim. What remains to be seen is how you fall victim,” Mr Kagame said. South African police say Mr Karegeya, 53, might have been strangled. A rope and bloodied




International Asia & Middle East “Shutdown Bangkok” Iran nuclear protests meet no resistance deal to enter


ens of thousands of antigovernment protesters occupied parts of central Bangkok yesterday, ratcheting up a two-month agitation to force the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and meeting no resistance. Police and soldiers maintained a low profile as the “Shutdown Bangkok” drive got under way in the city of about 12 million people. The mood was festive, with many protesters singing and dancing in the streets. Major intersections that normally teem with cars and trucks were blockaded, but trains and river ferries were operating, most shops were open and motorbikes plied the roads freely. “Don’t ask me how long this occupation will last,” protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said in a speech to supporters carried by the movement’s BlueSky television channel. “We will not stop until we win.” Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra invited leaders of anti-government protesters and political parties to discuss an Election Commission proposal

…PM calls meeting on election timing to push back the date of the snap election she called from February 2, a senior aide said yesterday. Ministers have until now said a delay would be impossible under

the constitution, but the Election Commission has said it could be pushed back and one member has suggested May 4. “The prime minister thinks that

there are still some unclear points in the EC’s proposal. The best way is to meet and discuss it,” Suranand Vejjajiva, secretary-general to the prime minister, told reporters.

An anti-government protester looks on from above as others march in Bangkok

into force on 20 January


n interim agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear programme will enter into force on 20 January, it has been announced. The deal, agreed in talks with world powers in November, envisages easing of some international sanctions on Tehran. US President Barack Obama welcomed the news but said more work was needed to strike a longterm deal. He threatened new sanctions if there was a breach. The West accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, but Tehran has consistently denied that. The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the world powers would now ask the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog (IAEA) to verify the deal’s implementation. Baroness Ashton represents the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - US, Russia, China, France and Britain - plus Germany in the talks with Iran.

India marks 3 years polio-free


An Indian child receiving immunisation

ndia is marking three years since its last reported polio case, a landmark in the global battle against the disease. It is seen as confirmation of one of India’s biggest public health successes, achieved through a massive and sustained immunisation programme. India’s health minister hailed it as a “monumental milestone”. In 2012 the World Health Organisation removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria remain on it.

outside parliament - the Knesset - in Jerusalem. ‘Giant of this land’ Amid final prayers, Mr Sharon’s coffin was placed in a plot at the Sycamore ranch he owned near Sderot, close to Gaza. He lies beside his wife Lili, who died in 2000. Earlier, some 20 foreign delegates and hundreds of Israeli dignitaries attended the state memorial service. They included US VicePresident Joe Biden, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Middle East international envoy Tony Blair, Czech PM Jiri Rusnok and German Foreign Minister

Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Delivering the first speech at the memorial, President Shimon Peres said Mr Sharon was a “living military legend” who also always dreamed of peace for Israel. He said Mr Sharon’s shoulders had “borne the weight of the security of our people”. Mr Netanyahu said Mr Sharon’s “unique contribution to the security of the state is engraved in our historical writings”, adding: “Your memory will be part of this nation forever.” Mr Biden described Mr Sharon as an “indomitable bulldozer... The security of his people was his

The list refers to countries in which the virus is circulating freely and the transmission of the infectious disease has not been stopped. Despite India’s success, health experts fear a resurgence of polio in other parts of the world. “This monumental milestone was possible due to unwavering political will at the highest level, commitment of adequate financial resources, technological innovation ... and the tireless efforts of millions of workers including more than 23 lakh (2.3 million) vaccinators,”

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters. The WHO is expected to formally certify India’s polio-free status next month after testing its last samples. “India has now set other important public health goals as a result of the confidence that the country has got from the successful eradication of polio,” Nicole Deutsch, head of polio operations for the UN children’s charity Unicef in India, told the AFP news agency, citing a new measles eradication goal.

Sharon funeral highlights conflicting views I srael is holding the burial service of ex-PM Ariel Sharon at his family ranch in the Negev desert. Earlier, speakers at the state memorial described him as an “indomitable” man devoted to the security of his people. PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Mr Sharon was “one of the greatest military commanders the Jewish people have had”. Mr Sharon, regarded by many Israelis as a great statesmen but widely loathed in the Arab world, died on Saturday aged 85 after eight years in a coma. Thousands of mourners paid their final respects on Sunday, when Mr Sharon’s coffin lay in state

unwavering mission”. Describing Mr Sharon as “bold, unorthodox and unyielding”, but also “warm-hearted, humorous,

charming and passionate”, Mr Blair called the former PM “a giant of this land” who would “take his place in the history of Israel with pride”.

Israeli forces carry the Sharon’s coffin



International Europe and Americas

Man charged with murder over chess game


man has appeared in court in Dublin charged with the murder of a man allegedly following a row over a game of chess. Thomas O’Gorman, 39, was severely beaten and stabbed to death at his home in Beechpark Avenue, Castleknock. SavarioBellante, 34, originally from Italy but who works in Dublin and was lodging with Mr O’Gorman, was remanded in custody for a week. A police officer said he replied “I am guilty” when charged with the murder. In court yesterday, the accused said he was representing himself. A judge directed that he be medically assessed in custody. Detective Garda Patrick Traynor told Blanchardstown District Court that he arrested MrBellante to charge him at 23:33 GMT on Sunday at a police station. MrBellante, who is from Palermo in Sicily, replied: “I am guilty” after he was charged, the detective said. Judge McHugh noted the defendant had no solicitor representing him in court and he said he would let the case stand in the list for him to be informed of his rights. However, a police officer told the judge this had been discussed and “he’s happy to represent himself”. “She questioned me if I wanted to represent myself and the answer is yes”, the defendant told the court. Judge McHugh remanded him in custody to appear in court again on 17 January. Mr O’Gorman was severely beaten and stabbed to death in his home. Police described his death as “gruesome”, and believe the killing was linked to a dispute over the movement of a chess piece during a game. Detectives were called to the house at about 01:50 GMT on Sunday. According to the Irish Independent they found Mr O’Gorman’s “mutilated” body inside the house. It has been reported that police had been called by MrBellante. It is believed Mr O’Gorman had been stabbed with a knife and beaten with a dumbbell. The victim, who was single, was a researcher at the Catholic lobby organisation the Iona Institute. He was a former journalist with The Voice Today, a Catholic newspaper. It is the seventh killing in the Republic of Ireland since the start of the year and the fifth in the past week.

US, Russia propose Syria truce


op diplomats have discussed the possibilities of a Syrian ceasefire, with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that President Bashar-Al Assad is willing to open aid access to devastated areas. Yesterday’s meeting in Paris, attended by Lavrov and his US counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, broached the subject of “localisedceasfires” in cities such as Aleppo, which have been

badly hit by shelling and rebel infighting. “We talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire. Maybe a localised ceasefire in Aleppo,” Kerry told a press conference after the meeting. While Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the talks with Kerry had been “constructive,” he once again stressed the importance of including Iran in the Geneva II

talks, which are due to take place later this month. The AFP news agency reported that Kerry had said Iran was “welcome” at the Syria talks if it agreed to a transition of power in the war-torn country - an issue that has long been a sticking point in negotiations. Kerry told reporters that the process in Geneva to end the crisis was going to be difficult, but that it had to begin right away. The discussion with

(L-R) Brahimi, Kerry and Lavrov during yesterday’s friends of Syria meeting

Lavrov and UN special envoy LakhdarBrahimi also included the possibility of a prisoner exchange between the warring sides. Kerry said Lavrov told him the Assad government was also prepared to open certain areas up for humanitarian access, including the besieged are of East Ghouta. Lavrov said the talks with Kerry had been “constructive,” but once again stressed the importance of including Iran in the Geneva II talks, which are due to take place later this month. The AFP news agency reported that Kerry had said Iran was “welcome” at the Syria talks if it agreed to a transition of power in the war-torn country - an issue that has long been a sticking point in negotiations. About two dozen nations plan to send foreign ministers to a daylong gathering on January 22 at a Montreux hotel. The peace talks will then start on January 24 at the UN’s headquarters in Geneva with meetings between Assad’s delegation and Syrian opposition groups. The meetings will be moderated by Brahimi.

Bomb blast erupts at Budapest bank


bomb blew up at the Budapest branch of the Hungarian CIB Bank yesterday morning, but police said no one was injured. The device went off shortly after 4 a.m. (0300 GMT), police said. The explosion ripped off a large part of the wall of the building in which the bank’s branch is located. “Based on preliminary data, the explosion was caused by an explosive device of unknown structure and substance,” police said in a statement. They said they were looking for a motorcyclist who drove off from the scene, but gave no indication

of any possible motive for the attack. CIB Bank is a unit of Italy’s BancaIntesa. A CIB spokeswoman declined to comment. There are also other banks nearby, including the next-door branch of Budapest Bank, a unit of GE Capital, which was also damaged. Banks are generally unpopular in Hungary after encouraging hundreds of thousands of households to take out foreign currency mortgages that were relatively cheap before the 2008 financial crisis, but have become very expensive as the forint’s value has fallen.

The government has implemented various schemes to help indebted households and is

planning a further measure that banks fear could cause them big losses.

A general view of a destroyed facade of CIB bank building is seen in Budapest

Mexico vigilantes seize drug cartel bastion


group of vigilantes in Mexico has seized the small town of Nueva Italia after clashing with alleged members of the

Knights Templar drug cartel. More than 100 men entered the town in western Michoacan state on Sunday morning and disarmed

Mexican vigilante in a gun battle with cartel members

local police. There were exchanges of fire with alleged gang members before the vigilantes occupied the town. The vigilante group was set up by residents who say the army and the police have failed to protect them. The Knights Templar has been fighting the New Generation cartel, from neighbouring Jalisco state, for control of criminal activities in the area. Vigilantes, also known as selfdefence groups or community police, have been active in several Mexican states. In Michoacan they control

several towns. A few days ago they launched an offensive, occupying the towns of Paracuaro and Antunez. They say they are advancing towards Apatzingan, the alleged headquarters of the Knights Templar gang. Federal troops were nowhere to be seen during the invasion of Nueva Italia, according to the AP news agency. In Paracuaro, local reports say they were initially backed by the local population. But later, residents rioted and set fire to many of the vigilantes’ vehicles in a failed attempt to expel them.



Strange World 80-year old Iranian man hasn’t bathed in 60 years



0-year-old Haji believes that “cleanliness brings him sickness.” That’s why he hasn’t bathed at

all in the past 60 years. He lives in isolation in Dejgah village, in the Southern Iranian province of Fars.

Fadiouth – A unique island made entirely of clam shells


oal-Fadiouth is a small fishing village located at the far end of Petite Côte – a stretch of coast in Senegal. Joal is situated on the mainland and Fadiouth is an island just off the coast. A narrow, 400-meter wooden bridge links the two areas. Fadiouth is special – it is almost entirely covered with clam shells. For centuries, the inhabitants of Fadiouth have been harvesting molluscs. They scoop out the meat and use the shells to construct almost everything, even the island itself. The millions of seashells accumulated over the years have been held strong by the roots of mangroves, reeds and giant baobabs. Empty shells litter the streets; you can hardly step anywhere on Fadiouth Island without hearing a cracking sound from under your feet. Shells are also seamlessly incorporated into the

architecture of the island. One of the main attractions is the local cemetery – the walls and the graveyard are completely buried in shells. The landscape of shells stretches miles across, occasionally interrupted by a gravestone or a few trees. 90 percent of Fadiouth’s 40,000 residents are Christian, a few are Muslims. The villagers pride themselves on a strong sense of religious harmony and this is the only cemetery in Senegal where both Christians and Muslims are buried. The origin of this unique island is unclear; we do not know exactly how humans came to inhabit the shellisland. The main sources of income of Joal-Fadiouth are fishing, agriculture and tourism. If you ever feel the need to feast your eyes on millions of sea shells, head straight for this sleepy little West African village.

Haji hates contact with water. Even the suggestion of a bath makes him very angry. And all these years of escaping

bath time have taken their toll – Haji is almost the color of earth. He has managed to completely blend in with his surroundings. In fact, it’s easy to mistake him for a rock statue if he sits very still. It’s not just bathing that Haji dislikes. His disgust for fresh food and clean drinking water is unmistakable. Instead, he prefers his favorite meal of rotten porcupine meat. He drinks 5 liters of water a day for health purposes, but only from a large rusty oil can. He likes to fill his smoking pipe with animal feces instead of tobacco. To trim his hair he doesn’t use clippers; he just burns it off over an open flame. An old war helmet keeps his head warm during the winter Haji doesn’t really have a house – the earth is his home. He lives in a hole in the ground, much like a grave, to keep him grounded and in

touch with the reality of life. Sometimes he sleeps in an open brick shack that the villagers constructed for him out of pity. Locally, he is known as Amou Haji. ‘Amou’ is the Farsi term of endearment for a kind old man. Haji’s lifestyle of choice is very unique. The villagers say that he had suffered severe emotional setbacks in his youth, which led him to make these extreme choices. Even so, he does seem a lot happier than some people who live in large homes with comforts and conveniences. Haji doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. He has nothing to lose, nothing to fear. Makes you think about what’s really important in life, doesn’t it? Haji isn’t the only person in the world who hates bathing. Two years ago, we wrote about Kailash Singh, an Indian man who hadn’t taken a bath in 38 years.

‘Corpse’ wakes up in Kenyan morgue

Paul Mutora visited by relatives after he was rescued from the morgue

K A house in Fadiouth

enyan authorities have launched an investigation into how a man declared dead in a hospital woke up alive in its morgue the next day. Shocked mortuary workers at Naivasha hospital ran away when the body stirred and was seen to be breathing. Paul Mutora, who had tried to kill himself by swallowing insecticide, was pronounced dead on Wednesday night. The chief medic said the drug used to treat him slowed the heart beat, which may have led to the mistake.

The mortuary attendant and a worker took to their heels screaming” “This might have confused medical personnel, but the victim was saved before he could be embalmed,” Dr Joseph Mburu, the superintendent in charge of Naivasha District Hospital, was quoted by Kenya’s Standard newspaper as saying. According to the paper, Mr Mutora’s father and other relatives visited the morgue on Thursday morning to view the body and then returned home to start funeral arrangements. “But in the afternoon we were

informed, he was alive and were left in shock,” the father said. A witness told the Star newspaper that when noises were heard inside the cold room: “The mortuary attendant and a worker took to their heels screaming.” Journalists photographed Mr Mutora later recovering on a male ward in the hospital in the lakeside town, 90km (55 miles) north-west of the capital, Nairobi, “This was a mistake from the start and I apologise to my father,” the patient said. BBC Africa




Children who watch too much TV may have ‘damaged brain structures’ By Robin Yapp

definitely caused the changes. Scientists also cannot be sure whether missing out on activities such as reading, playing sports or interacting with friends and family as a result of watching TV could be behind the findings, rather than TV being directly to blame. But they did say that the frontopolar cortex area of the brain has previously been associated with ‘intellectual abilities’.


atching too much television can change the structure of a child’s brain in a damaging way, according to a new study. Researchers found that the more time a child spent viewing TV, the more profound the brain alterations appeared to be. The Japanese study looked at 276 children aged between five and 18, who watched between zero and four hours TV per day, with the average being about two hours. MRI brain scans showed children who spent the most hours in front of the box had greater amounts of grey matter in regions around the frontopolar cortex - the area at the front of the frontal lobe. But this increased volume was a negative thing as it was linked with lower verbal intelligence, said the authors, from Tohoku University in the city of Sendai. They suggested grey matter could be compared to body weight and said these brain areas need to be pruned during childhood in order to operate efficiently. ‘These areas show developmental cortical thinning during development, and children with superior IQs show the most

Source: Too much TV can change the structure of a child’s brain in a way which can lead to lower verbal intelligence

vigorous cortical thinning in this area,’ the team wrote. They highlighted the fact that unlike learning a musical instrument, for example, programmes we watch on TV ‘do not necessarily advance to a higher level, speed up or vary’. ‘When this type of increase in level of experience does not occur with increasing experience, there is less of an effect on cognitive

functioning,’ they wrote. The authors said the impact of watching TV on the ‘structural development’ of the brain has never before been investigated. ‘In conclusion, TV viewing is directly or indirectly associated with the neurocognitive development of children,’ they wrote. ‘At least some of the observed associations are not beneficial

researchers said. The study of more than 7,000 women, published in the journal Rheumatology, found that breastfeeding - especially for long periods - was associated with a lower risk of developing the condition. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes pain and

swelling in the joints. Sufferers are most likely to be affected in the hands, feet or wrists, but other parts of the body can also be affected. The condition, which is estimated to affect more than 580,000 people in England and Wales and occurs more frequently in women than men,

and guardians of children should consider these effects when children view TV for long periods of time.’ The children in the study were an almost even split between girls and boys. The findings, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, highlighted an association between TV viewing and changes in the brain but do not prove that TV

Children who watch the most TV have the most profound changes to their brain structure

Another reason why breast is best By Emma Innes


reastfeeding could help stave off arthritis, a study has suggested. Mothers who choose to breastfeed their children are around half as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as women who have never breastfed,

The longer a woman has breastfed for, the lower her risk of developing arthritis

Women who have breastfed are half as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as those who have not

can sometimes be very painful, making movement and everyday tasks difficult. Researchers asked the women, all aged 50 and over and from south China, about their history of breastfeeding and examined them for any signs of the condition. Around one in 10 were deemed to have rheumatoid arthritis. Women with arthritis were significantly more likely to be overweight and less likely to have ever breastfed their children, the authors said. Those who had at least one baby and had breastfed were around half as likely to have rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers said. They wrote: ‘We found

a dose-response relationship between an increasing duration of breastfeeding and lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in this large sample of middle-aged and elderly females in an urban South Chinese population. ‘This is the first study to demonstrate a link between breastfeeding and a lower risk of RA in a Chinese population, where breastfeeding is common practice and more prevalent than in many Western populations.’ Latest NHS figures suggest that almost three-quarters of new mums in England begin breastfeeding after having their babies. After six weeks the figure dips to around half. Source:



Reps condemn attacks on Magnus Abe, Ndume  Call for the creation of state police By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives yesterday condemned in strong terms Sunday’s attack on the Senator representing Rivers Central Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, and Sen. Ali Ndume representing Borno south by the security operatives. Chairman House Committee on media and public affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammed (APC Kwara), said at a pre-resumption media briefing in Abuja that the attacks has shown that the Nigerian security operatives lack proper training and expertise to handle such situations. According to him, the creation

of state police is the only way to stop the reign of insecurity in the country."With the event of the recent past, and because of the security challenges that we are having now, state police would not be out of place. The implication is that if something is happening in my village, you would need a DPO or CP to take his order from Abuja people and people would have lost their lives alone the line.". "We need to have a localized police like the developing countries where they have Sheriffs that know who live around the communities and who would work hand in had with the federal police. Nigeria is so vast in

terms of geographical location for a federal police to handle". On the constitution review report, Zakari said the committee is in the final lap of its assignment and the amended constitution would be ready by early June this year, and it would be applied before general election in January 2015. On the consideration of the budget, the lawmaker said that they are not loosing sight of the need to mount proper check on the executive arm of government adding that the constitution review process would be concluded so as to pave way for its adoption by the Federal Government

Zakari announced the postponement of the House resumption of plenary from the earlier scheduled date of Tuesday January 14 to Tuesday January 21st 2014 due to the public holidays declared by Federal Government in order to mark the Eid 'el Murud on Tuesday and the Armed Forces rememberance day on Wedneday this week. The House also announced that its priority upon resumption would be the consideration of the 2014 budget laid on Thursday 18th December 2013 at the National Assembly by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Zakari Mohammed (middle), addressing journalists on the resumption of the House, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. With him are Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. James Ojo (middle), and and his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr. Andrew Ota (right). Photo: Mahmud Isa

Crisis looms in Benue APC over constitution of harmonization c’ttee From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he All Progressive Congress (APC) in Benue State is currently enmesh in another deep crisis following the constitution of the Harmonization Committee at the weekend. During a meeting held at the Royal Choice Inn which was attended by he Senate Minority leader, Sen. George Akume, ACN deputy governorship andidate at the 2011 election, Alh. Abubakar

Usman aka 'Young Alhaji', former Senate Leader, Sen. Daniel Saror and other top notchers of the opposition parties in the state, the former governor hand picked his political lackey,Targema Takema, as chairman of the committee. His nomination was vehemently opposed by Young Alhaji who walked out of the meeting on the ground that Takema has not held any position either at the state or National Executive Council of the Action

Congress of Nigeria, ACN. According to him, a certain Mrs. Gendaga H. who had served as National Auditor of the ACN was deemed suited for the position. Responding to the claim that he imposed his boy on the APC, Akume insisted that as leader of the party in the state, he has the prerogative to nominate whoever he wants to be chairman of the Harmonization Committee, adding that Young Alhaji was a

lone voice out of 39 prominent members of the party in attendance. It could be recalled that Young Allhaji and Senator George Akume have been at dagger's drawn over the leadership of the party; a situation that led to the expulsion of the former from the APC. He has even instituted a court case against the party challenging the action and hearing continues today.

Taraba people complaining on Ag. governor's performance – Civil Societies From Samuel Ayodele, Lagos


ivil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) yesterday said the people of Taraba State are not happy with the performance of the Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar. CSNAC Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, while speaking in Lagos at a press conference on political developments in Taraba State said the people are not getting quality leadership and governance based on the ongoing political impasse in the state. He said religious factors has crippled into the crisis and frustrating the acting givernor's efforts at performing to the peoples expectation. Suraju said based on the report received from the state, the people complained about how service is not being delivered; the people are not happy with how the state is being governed; they are complaining about how the dividend of democracy is been delivered to them. The group said the crisis between Governor Danbaba Suntai and his deputy has dragged development in the state backward. "Suntai and his backers should free Taraba State from their stronghold now as the next budget presentation is almost due," he said. The group said the planned resumption of office by Governor Suntai is a welcome development but "the people of the state deserve to see and hear the governor and not synchronised media reports." The group urged Suntai to avert imminent crisis and finally resolve the political imbroglio in the state by addressing his state House of Assembly.




Gulak, a political liability, says Nyako From Umar Dankano, Yola


overnor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State yesterday described the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on political matters, Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak, as a political eunuch that has not won any election in the fourth republic. Nyako, who made the statement through a release signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mallam Ahmed Sajo, described Gulak as living in the past as he has completely lost touch with the current realities of Adamawa politics where he cannot win any election. The statement added that Gulak’s recent attempts to occupy political office has ended up in

disaster as he failed woefully when he contested for House of Representatives seat in the FCT under ANPP just as it said Gulak’s attempt during the nomination process in Adamawa state under PDP ended up in tragedy as he was only able to garner two votes during the exercise. “We challenge Gulak to prove otherwise. We equally challenge him to produce one picture of him campaigning for President Jonathan in Adamawa State in 2011 or to publish the results of the 2011 elections in Gulak his home. “It is on record that all the candidates he supported lost in his unit in Gulak. He campaigned against Senator Bindow Jibrilla who is now in

the Senate, the Member House of Representatives is an APC candidate, he is mortally opposed to the current Speaker who is from the same Gulak ward with him but he is there. He is at loggerheads with Governor Nyako, yet he won in Gulak. So who is he deceiving?” Nyako queried. The statement cautioned Gulak to stop deceiving himself because of the position he occupies as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly during the aborted 3rd republic saying he could not last as speaker as his tenure was short-lived following his impeachment. “His reference to his election in the aborted 3rd Republic where he became the Speaker of the State House of Assembly only re-

enforced the fact that he is just living in the past. “He should have as well gone ahead to tell the public that he did not end that process as the Speaker because he was impeached within a short time due to greed, avarice and gross incompetence. The record of his tenure and his impeachment process is still available and if he dares us we shall publish them raw.” Nyako noted. Nyako added that Gulak's belligerence towards Nyako betrays him as an ingrate because Nyako was part and parcel of the process through which Gulak became the then speaker of the State House of Assembly. “The process that saw his emergence as a Speaker was

superintended by an Armed Forces Council as the highest law making body in the land, and Murtala Nyako was part of that Council. “It only takes an ingrate of the highest order to turn around and pour insults on one of his benefactors in the manner done by Ali Gulak. Moreover, technically speaking, at the time Gulak was Speaker, Murtala Nyako was his boss because the whole political process at that time was controlled by the AFRC of which Nyako was a senior member” He further warned Jonathan to be wary of Gulak as he builds his friendship only on convenience and will deemed no compunction to ditch the Oresident after wrecking him.

Gov. Obi inaugurates newly elected council chairmen


overnor Peter Obi of Anambra yesterday inaugurated the 20 newly elected chairmen of local government councils in the state. Obi, while congratulating them for emerging victorious in the elections, urged them to provide quality service to the people, saying ``it is call to service’’. He said that his administration respected the Nigerian Constitution that local government system should be democratised every two years, but many obstacles delayed it in the state until now. The governor said the state government worked tirelessly because of its importance to ensure that the local government system in the state was democratised. “Some reactionaries did everything to stop it and we fought hard to conduct the elections. We have done everything to make local government work. “And today, the dream of the third tier of government is on the right path of progress with the completion of many new projects,’’ he said. Obi said the election of the new chairmen was an invitation to service, pointing out that ``they are expected to be servants of the people’’. According to him, the mandate you have today is from the people, everything available in your council belong to them, including the resources. NAN reports that the APGA won 20 chairmanship seats out of 21 as well as 304 councillorship seats out of the 327 wards. (NAN)

L-R: Chairman, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Prince Jide Adeniyi, convener of the meeting, Chief Richard Akinjide, and former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, during the PDP South-West Leaders and Elders meeting, at the weekend in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

2015: Factional APC adopts Amosun for second term From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


faction of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ogun state yesterday in Abeokuta adopted the Governor Ibikunle Amosun for the second term. The adoption was made at a meeting held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokta, which was organized for all stakeholders of the party from all the three senatorial districts of the state to chart the way forward ahead of the 2015 general elections in the state. Some chieftains of the party at the meeting commended the achievements of the governor at the meeting after which Honourable Olakunle Oluomo

a State House of Assembly representing Ifo I State Constituency stepped forward and moved the motion which was seconded by one Folrunso Elias. Senator Biyi Durojaiye was invited to seal the motion, but uncomfortable and unsatisfied with the process of adoption, he educated the members of the party at the meeting that what they did was not binding on the larger house of the party. He said members of the party present at the meeting should work towards how the governor would be elected as the party's candidate at the party’s primaries. Durojaiye explained that he was an ardent supporter of Amosun, emphasizing that they should all work towards

his victory at party’s primaries even as he urged members to get registered when the party registration exercise commences. It was observed that all members of the National Assembly from the state were absent at the meeting. Another chieftain of the party, Chief Samuel Durojaiye, deferred from others, positing that the other faction of the party should be approached and ensure that they are all united before the general election. He declared that the party would be better positioned if they settle their rifts and come under the same umbrella. Addressing the crowd after his adoption, Amosun revealed that he was caught unaware by the adoption motion, saying hat it

was not part of the programme, saying that he attempted to stop the proceedings but his microphone was not activated. The governor explained that the meeting was not convened for his adoption, but rather to ensure that the people of the state are aware that his administration is committed to making life better in the state. Though the governor was silent on whether he accepted his adoption or not, he declared that there was no rivalry between himself and Chief Olusegun Osoba, whom he referred to as “his leader”. He, however, stated that he was not afraid of standing for primaries in the party just as he enjoined all members to participate in the forthcoming registration of party members.



News Extra Northern Govs felicitate with Muslims on Maulud

NGO tasks leaders on prudent management of resources

From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin



s Nigeria celebrates 100 years of it existence, a nongovernmental organisation, Economic and Social Rights Development Initiative has called on leaders at all levels to be prudent and transparent in the management of the nation’s resources. Making the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Pastor John Ujah said Nigerians have no reason to suffer in the face of the abundant human and material resources that the country is blessed with. While charging Nigerians to uphold the dreams of the founding fathers of the country, Ujah urged Nigerians, irrespective of religion to say no to violence and ensure peaceful coexistence in the country, as, according to him, there cannot be meaningful development if the country is not peaceful. “Let’s all say no to violence, corruption, greed, rape, election malpractices and vices that would throw the country into confusion”, he said and appealed to leaders to lead by example, pointing out that, by so doing, the youths will learn from them how to be responsible in the future. Ujah enjoined the federal government to do everything possible to put an end to the destruction of lives and properties by the Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of the northern states of Nigeria.

L-R: Bishop of Katsina Anglican Communion Church, Rt. Rev. Jonathan Bamaiyi, Bishop of Anglican Communion of Gwagwalada, Rt. Rev. Tanimu Aduda, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda, during the two years memorial service for the senator’s mother, late Mrs. Jummai Aduda, on Sunday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Marketers in Nasarawa decry spate of robberies From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


arketers in Nasarawa state have decried the spate of robberies across major roads, mostly in the southern senatorial zone, blaming the trend for the hike in prices of commodities in markets across the state. Chairman of the Marketers and Traders Association, Alhaji Shammasu Dantsoho, disclosed this yesterday, to Peoples Daily shortly after a meeting involving members of the association drawn from the affected areas, which held at the MTA secretariat in Lafia. Alhaji Dantsoho lamented that previous armed conflicts that bedeviled the state have left arms in the hands of undesirable persons who now

resort to blocking major roads to rob marketers of their hard earned capital. He listed areas mostly affected to include; Awe, Adudu, Agwatashi, Agono, Obi, Keana, Doma, Assakio and Ashangwa, stressing that hardly a day passes by without robbers attacking members of his association, divesting them of huge sums of money. He disclosed further that as a result of the activities of the men of the underworld, marketers coming to do business in the state have threatened to stage a boycott because of severe loose encountered in the hands of robbers. “Some of these companies have threatened to stop doing business in Nasarawa mostly because of these robberies”, he said.

Alhaji Dantsoho stated that due to the prevalence of robbery attacks, there has been a rise in prices of commodities across the state. “Farmers have been displaced as a result of conflicts. Transporters charge doubly because of insecurity. All these factors combine to lead to a hike in price”, he explained. He then called on the state government to come to their help by taking measures to curb the activities of armed robbers mostly in the rural areas. The state chairman of the marketers’ association added that he is embarking on a sensitization drive towards educating members on the need for peaceful coexistence among the diverse people of the state.

FG commends US $300,000 intervention for Immigration, Fire Service, others By Tobias Lengnan Dapam & Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he federal government yesterday, commended the United States (US), government for offering to assist in the reform and transformation of the nation’s Fire Service, Immigration and Prisons Systems. The US government through its Ambassador, James Entwistle

said the government was offering to help Nigeria build and upgrade about 227 fire stations and training of firemen in modern firefighting technologies to the tune of $300,000. Commending the gesture, Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro said Nigeria would always remain indebted to the United States for showing concern and for intervening to resolve some of the problems

the country was facing in delivering reliable services to the people. Moro, said the effort aimed at revamping the country’s Prisons and Immigration system to stand on the same page with the US, would help reduce the challenges faced by the agencies. He commended President Barack Obama’s recent declaration of Boko Haram as

an international terror group as well as his decision to place a ransom on information that would lead to arrest of leaders of the dreaded terror group. In his response, Ambassador James Ebtwistle, who was at the minister’s office for formal introduction two months after resumption in Nigeria, stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral relations between both countries.

overnors of the 19 Northern states have felicitated with Nigerians, especially Muslims, as they planned celebration of Eid-el Maulud, which commemorates the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Chairman of the forum, Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, urged true believers to see the occasion as a period of sober reflection on the numerous challenges facing the country, and to renew their faith in Allah (SWT) and also pray for solutions to them. In a statement signed by Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, it urged Muslims to continue to follow the exemplary life of the noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) so as to engender the peace needed for growth and development of the nation. The statement noted that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) lived a complete life worthy of emulation by all. Aliyu then called on Muslims to imbibe such exemplary qualities so as to earn maximum reward in the hereafter. The forum also called on Nigerians to pray for the nation’s fallen heroes and officers and men of security agencies who are currently battling to contain the insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.

Unknown gang stab teenager to death in Gombe From David Hassan, Gombe


nidentified criminals at the weekend, stabbed a seventeen year old girl Lillian Samuel Mato, to death and took away her mobile phone in Tunfure area of Gombe metropolis. The teenager who was coming back to her house after escorting her friend, Sera around 8 pm, had her right thigh slashed with a knife by the attackers, few metres to her house. According to her father, Mr. Samuel Mato, it was the screams of the young girl in front of their neighbour’s gate that attracted Lillian’s mother who came out to meet her daughter in the pool of her own blood. It was learnt from her relatives that Lillian gave up the ghost at the Gombe State Specialists Hospital few minutes after 9 pm. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Gombe State Police Command, Mr. Fwaje Atajiri, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the attack and said the Police were already on the lookout for the criminals.


Photo Splash

Delegates at the Peace Foundation Conference, yesterday in Abuja.


Photo: NAN

Kaduna state Commissioner of Police, Mr Olufemi Adenaike (left), addressing a news conference, yesterday in Kaduna. With him is the Deputy Commissioner of Police (CID), Mr Gazali Muhammed (right). Photo: NAN

R-L: Chairman, Nigeria Legion, Gombe state, Warrant Officer Ibrahim Madaki (rtd), decorating Colonel Albert Lebo of 301 Artillery Regiment, during the 2013/2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Emblem Appeal Fund ceremony, yesterday in Gombe. Photo: NAN

L-R: Consultant Peadiatrician, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Professor Kikelomo Osinusi, Vice-Chancellor, Umaru Yarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;adua University, Professor Muuta Ibrahim, and Consultant Peadiatrician, Guyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and St Thomas Hospital London, and Founder of Score, Dr Baba Inusa, during the launch of Sickle Cell Cohort Research (SCORE), yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

R-L: Out-going Commander of 302 Artillery Regiment, Brigadier-General Taritimiye Gagariga, handing over to his successor, Colonel Jibrin Fagge, yesterday in Onitsha. Photo: NAN


Brazil 2014: Eagles will shake the world, says Maigari



igeria Head Coach Stephen Keshi believes his charges received a baptism of fire in their Group A opening match of the African Nations Championship (Chan) against Mali in Cape Town and will bounce back in the next round. “The pressure was massive and I expected this type of happening but I am certain they (Nigeria) now know they have to satisfy themselves and have confidence in themselves,” Keshi said after losing 2-1 to Mali on Saturday. “We have lost the opening game and we have to forget that and fight for qualification from the remaining two games.” Keshi said the players were desperate, not only to convince himself and the technical crew of their potentials, but also the majority of Nigerians and the world that they could be part of the World Cup party. He said most of the players were on the big stage for the first time and it showed in the manner in which they played. The reigning African Coach of The Year told his team, during the interval, to loosen up and enjoy their game instead of trying so hard to impress. “The team will definitely get better in the second half,” Keshi said. Defence kingpin Azubuike Egwuekwe said his teammates

Super Eagles will bounce back – Keshi

needed to wake up to the reality of playing on the big stage. “We didn’t play well at all [against Mali] and we all know it but we have decided that we will come back stronger and better. I plead with Nigerians to give us another opportunity, “ Egwuekwe

said. Ejike Uzoenyi, who was impressive on the wing, said experience counted in the game against Mali but assured fans all hope was not lost. “We will be back and better in the next game” Uzoenyi said.

Eagles will play under pressure against us- Mozambique coach believes

M Aminu Maigari Stories by Albert Akota


he President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, yesterday expressed confidence that the Super Eagles would “suprise the world” at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Maigari told newsmen in Lagos that the dividends of the association’s long term preparation would yield results in Brazil. The Eagles were on Jan. 9 awarded Africa’s National Team of the Year for 2013, during the GLO/ CAF Awards held in Lagos. “I won’t specifically predict how far Nigeria will go at the World Cup but what I’m certain about is that the Eagles will do wonders. “Nigeria will shake the world and I’m being optimistic that the Eagles will do what I can describe as a turn around to the favour of this continent. “I think the team has improved tremendously and can hold their

own against some of the best football nations. We’ve developed rapidly over the last two years,” he said. Maigari assured that the Eagles would be engaged in top friendly matches that would strengthen the team ahead of the World Cup. “We had a remarkable 2013 and we are doing all the best within our capacity to consolidate on last year’s performance. “This year is going to be a much more eventful year because of the World Cup, therefore, we’ll also ensure that the Eagles play some top friendly matches,” he said. The 2014 World Cup is scheduled to hold from June 12 to July 13, with the host, Brazil, taking on Croatia in the tournament’s opening match. Nigeria will play in Group F of the World Cup, alongside Argentina, Iran and Bosnia Hezegovena. The Eagles will play its opening match of the group against Iran.

ambas of Mozambique Head Coach, Joao Chisano yesterday assessed the chances of the teams in group A of the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN), and came to the conclusion that Nigeria is the most pressured of all the teams, even as Nigerian Head Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, says his boys can handle the pressure. Chisano, whose team is sharing the same Garden Court De Waal hotel with the Eagles says he made the assertion because his team if beaten by the Eagles have nothing to lose but the reverse will be the case if Nigeria were to lose to his side. “The Eagles are the big brothers in Africa, the African champions and the Coach is the African Coach of the Year, we don’t have any of those accolades, so pressure is on Nigeria not Mozambique. On likely qualifiers from the group, Chisano said even if his side were to be beaten on Wednesday, the Eagles still has an uphill task against Bafana Bafana on Sunday. “With their massive fans and the Vivuzelas, Nigeria will again be under pressure to perform as African Champions”. The youthful coach said he will however not be surprised if his team was eliminated from the first round, because according

to him the pitch in Cape Town is very poor and that accounted for his side’s 3-1 loss to the host in the opening match. He also said he’s looking to build a strong side in the future that his countrymen will be proud of. On his part, Keshi said he has been talking to his players along with team psychologist, Robinson Okosun and other officials for the players to forget the past and concentrate on Wednesday’s game.

Joao Chisano

“Gradually, they are getting off it but I must admit that only three players played well in the last game and that was why we lost, we expect eleven players to play well on Wednesday for us to get the result we want”. On Bafana Bafana game on Sunday, Keshi simply said, “We won’t talk about that game now, after the Wednesday game we can talk about that, for now the focus is on the Mambas game”.




Bosso commends LMC’s desire to improve NFPL


he Head Coach of Bayelsa United FC, Ladan Bosso, yesterday commended the League Management Company (LMC) for its desire to improve on the Globacom Premier League in 2013/14 season. He said that he wished there would not be too rigid conditions and laws for the clubs that would feature in the competition. The LMC had demanded from the 20 clubs for the new season their corporate, legal and governance attributes required for typical business practice and sports development. “We have to start from somewhere. I am glad the league is taking shape for the best but it is going to be a gradual process to make it a thorough success. “I believe the LMC means well for the clubs but I wish they can just tone down a bit on the rules as every club is trying its best,’’ he said. Bosso also said that for the league to grow there were processes involved and that change is an ongoing process which should not be rushed. “This is a transitional period for the league. Laws should be passed and obeyed; emphasis should be made not only on an area but the league as a whole,’’ he said. On Bayelsa United preparations for the 2013/2014 league, he said the team was in high spirits. “We are getting ready and anticipating the kick off of the league. We just hope the league body can come up with a favourable date,’’ Bosso said. The competition will begin in February after the ongoing Championship of Africa Nations (CHAN) in South Africa at a yetto-be determined date. The LMC and club owners met yesterday in Abuja to agree on a kick off date for the new season.

Ladan Bosso

U-17 World Cup: Coach to submit provisional list to FIFA


Stories By Albert Akota lamingoes, Coach, Bala Nikyu, yesterday said the provisional list of 30 players for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will be submitted to FIFA on Jan. 31. The U-17 female national team coach said in Abuja after the team’s morning training session that currently he had 35 players in camp. The team resumed camping on

Jan 6 in preparation for the fourth Jan. edition of the U-17 Women’s World Cup. The tournament will hold in four Costa Rican cities from March 15 to April 4. “Currently, we have 35 players in camp and we will be working with them until the end of the month when we will submit the provisional list to the football world governing body. “So, after the submission, we will

drop five of the players in camp who will remain on standby in case, God forbid, something terrible happens to one of the 30 picked. “And anytime, there is need for any of them to come back, we will know who exactly to call in terms of their positions of play,’’ Nikyu said. The Flamingoes coach said the players were responding well to training compared to last week when they were new in camp.

“The players are responding well to training now compared to last week that was used as the conditioning week. “This week we intend to go into the game proper, not playing per say, but to ensure that the players understand each other. “As a player, I should know what my team mate can do and what he cannot do and we will also start to teach them the tactical aspect of the game,’’ he said.


LOC pledges financial rewards to Nigeria medalist at AJTC qualifiers


he Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Africa Junior Tennis Championship (AJTC) qualifiers Aminu Kurfi yesterday pledged N100, 000 rewards to Nigerian gold medalists. Kurfi made the pledge at the ongoing AJTC qualifiers at the National Stadium in Abuja. He said the rewards was

to encourage the players representing the country for their efforts, noting that any player that get a silver medal would get Fifty thousand naira each. “I know we have trained well and if we succeed in qualifying, personally, I will support whoever that wins a gold medal in any of the categories for Nigeria.

``I promise any gold medalist One hundred thousand naira, while any silver medalist will get fifty thousand naira. “If we are so lucky, we get all the tickets, am ready to give them this amount from my pocket, `` he said. The LOC chairman said the championship would be used as an avenue of unity among the players

by creating room for interaction. He said the players would be taken on excursion to Nigeria tourist centres to showcase the beauty of the country and its cultural heritage. Nine countries including Nigeria is participating in the third edition of the West and Central AJTC qualifiers, scheduled to hold between Jan. 12 to Jan. 20.

Keshi submits 40-man World Cup list to NFF


he Nigeria Football Federation has demanded a 40-man list from Coach Stephen Keshi preparatory to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The NFF technical committee have asked Keshi to make available a list of players from which he will pick his final 23-man squad for the World Cup in June. “We expect the coach to send through this list at the latest after the CHAN,” a member of the committee said. It is expected that the core of this 40-man squad will come from the bulk of the players who featured at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and also qualified the country to a fifth World Cup. It is left to be seen if Keshi will recall skipper Joseph Yobo, who has seen limited action at Turkish club Fenerbache after he fell down the pecking order, and England-based striker Osaze Odemwingie. Osaze has had major fallout with Keshi after he was sensationally overlooked for the 2013 AFCON. It would also be interesting to see some of the other players Keshi is now considering for the tournament. Ukraine-based midfielder Lukman Haruna, Chinedu Obasi, Raheem Lawal and Joel Obi are believed to be among those to be given a chance to fight for a place on the flight to Brazil. Nigeria’s World Cup training camp will open on May 25 most likely in Keshi’s preferred choice of Miami in the United States of America. They take on Mexico on March 5 in a warm-up match in the United States of America.

Joseph Yobo




12 players that ManU should send parking M anchester United must spend £200m if they are to rebuild their squad to the standard that once made sides visiting Old Trafford feel helpless. United lost for the third time in a row with defeat at Sunderland on Tuesday and I think as many as 12 of the 27 players who regularly feature for them are now on borrowed time. Wayne Rooney tops the Premier League’s assist-makers this season but he is the only United player in the top 40. Manchester City, meanwhile, have eight players on the same list. The players are getting shot at by people like me, but they should look at themselves. Are they running hard enough? Are they tackling hard enough? Are they putting the same effort in as they did for Sir Alex Ferguson? These are the questions I’d like to ask them, because they do not seem to be. The fear factor I had to deal with at Old Trafford when the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and David Beckham were lining up for United has gone but I think a dozen players should make way as part of the rebuilding job manager David Moyes faces. Good goalkeepers There were question marks at first about David De Gea but he has matured into a fantastic Premier League goalkeeper. Understudy Anders Lindegaard is a good back-up. Both should stay. Changes at the back Chris Smalling: I am not convinced by him. His passing is not good enough for a Manchester United player. He should go. Alexander Buttner: I’m surprised he is there in the first place. He is not good enough to be a Manchester United player and has not played enough games for that reason.

Fabio: He is not as good as his brother Rafael. He did not do it at QPR, so what chance has he got of doing it at a club like Manchester United? Not at the level he needs to be at and has to go. Rio Ferdinand: He has been one of the best central defenders in the Premier League and a great servant for Manchester United, but injuries and age have caught up with him. There has to be a role for him at the club, but not as a starting member of the first team. I would suggest he joins the coaching staff. Nemanja Vidic can help blood a young centre-half despite his best days being behind him, while Patrice Evra’s experience remains an asset, though defensively he is vulnerable. Rafael and Jonny Evans are in good shape, but Phil Jones must settle into one position soon if he is to fulfil his potential. Marouane Fellaini: I am not sure what his best position is. He is not good enough to play for United in the middle of the park and not quick enough or dynamic enough to play off the front. He should go. Anderson: They paid a lot of money for him back in 2007, but the Brazilian has played just four league games this season. In my view, he has not recovered from the injuries he has suffered and cannot hold down a regular first-team place, so he should go. Ryan Giggs: The best Premier League player ever, but if they are going to rely on a 41-year-old to produce the goods next season, it does not say a lot for the rest of the midfielders. He will stay on as a coach and possibly be the next manager, but, playing-wise, he should go. Nani: I’m surprised he got

a new five-year contract. He has not scored or created a goal in eight league games this season. He’s just too inconsistent and should go. Ashley Young: At times, he looks great and scores some great goals, but he’s only completed one league game this season. That says to me he is inconsistent, so what is he in the team for? To produce goals? He has not been doing that enough, so he should go. Tom Cleverley: Has played in all but four of United’s league games this season, but I am not sure what he contributes. Does he pass it well? Does he score goals? Does he tackle? What does he actually do? He plays for England and I think he is good, but I am not sure what he contributes and, for me, is not a Manchester United player. Antonio Valencia: I was torn on this one. I am not sure he has ever recovered from his injuries. He had a blistering yard of pace in the past, but I think he has lost it and does not get around the full-back enough. He should go. Who stays: Michael Carrick’s consistency makes him indispensible in this current squad. Darren Fletcher is a quality player if he has overcome his health issues and I want to see what Shinji Kagawa can do, as he is proven at a top club in Borussia Dortmund. Wilfried Zaha should be allowed to prove he belongs at the top level, while Adnan Januzaj clearly does. Javier Hernandez: Does not perform well consistently enough when he starts games. He is a good impact player but is no Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are the only world-class players in the United squad, while Danny Welbeck offers an alternative option.

Ryan Giggs

Marouane Fellaini

Nemanja Vidic

Robin van Persie


Chris Smalling





Australian Open 2014: Robson,Watson clash out


aura Robson and Heather Watson were beaten as British interest in the women’s singles ended swiftly at the Australian Open. Both players took on higherranked opposition in the first round, but the manner of their defeats differed sharply. Robson spent just 50 minutes on court in a 6-3 6-0 thrashing by 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens the Briton’s first full match of the season following a wrist injury. Watson, in contrast, kept 31st seed Daniela Hantuchova occupied for two hours and 34 minutes

before going down 7-5 3-6 6-3 to the Slovakian. With both Robson and Watson scheduled among the opening matches, it took less than three hours for Andy Murray to be left as the lone Briton in singles competition. Robson, who turns 20 next week, arrived in Melbourne with a wrist injury but said before the match that it was no longer causing her any pain. A lack of match sharpness was certainly clear from the outset on Court Three, as she opened with four straight errors to drop serve

and lost the first nine points in a row. There was a big cheer for the Australian-born Robson when she finally got on the board but Flipkens, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, was much the stronger. Robson simply could not find her range and racked up 32 errors to her opponent’s four as she lost eight straight games and became the first player to go out of the tournament. While Robson trooped unhappily back to the locker room, Watson was only just getting going on the nearby Court Two against Hantuchova.

Australian Open 2014: Djokovic, Williams win


efending champion Novak Djokovic overcame the stubborn resistance of Slovakian Lukas Lacko to reach the second round of the Australian Open. The Serbian second seed battled through the first two sets but cruised through the third to win 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-1. Women’s top seed Serena Williams thrashed Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-1. Sixth seed Petra Kvitova lost 6-2 1-6 6-4 to Thai world number 87 Luksika Kumkhum, while Germany’s Julia Goerges beat seventh seed Sara Errani 6-3 6Djokovic, who is seeking his fifth Australia Open title, will next face Argentine Leonardo Mayer. Williams took 57 minutes to overcome 17-year-old local hope Barty in the showpiece evening match. The American world number one, who is seeking an 18th major title, extended her winning streak to 23 matches. David Ferrer, a semi-finalist in Melbourne in 2011 and 2013, made

light work of beating Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez, taking just two hours and five minutes to reach the second round. Wawrinka, who lost 12-10 in the fifth set to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round in Melbourne last year, had no need for a marathon match on this occasion, with Golubev succumbing to a calf injury. After beginning the year by

Novak Djokovic

reaching the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, Venus Williams was hopeful of putting recent injury problems behind her. She began well, breaking her opponent’s serve three times in taking the first set, but Makarova responded to take the second. Williams led 3-0 in the decider but 21 unforced errors in the set proved her undoing.

Laura Robson

Australian Open: Robson set to bounce back after injury


aura Robson played down her wrist injury and set her sights on getting fully fit after a heavy defeat in the first round of the Australian Open. The British number one was beaten 6-3 6-0 by Belgian 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens in 50 minutes in Melbourne. It was 19-year-old Robson’s first full match of the season after she picked up a wrist injury. Ranked 48th, Robson has won just six matches since reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon, and she will lose further ranking points after failing to match last year’s run to the third round in Australia. The manner of her defeat by

Flipkens will serve as an extra incentive to turn the situation around. Former British men’s number one Jeremy Bates, who is head coach for women’s tennis at Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), said Robson’s injury was a major factor in her disappointing display in Melbourne. Among Robson’s immediate targets is a return to Fed Cup duty with Great Britain in Budapest next month. Judy Murray’s team will include Heather Watson, who also lost on Monday, but be without Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong, who have both retired.

Mohammed rejects Godolphin as trainer


heikh Mohammed says the trainer at the centre of a doping scandal which blighted his Godolphin racing team will never work with his horses again. A British Horseracing Authority inquiry found that 22 horses trained by Al Zarooni had been given illegal steroids, including St Leger winner Encke and 1,000 Guineas contender Certify. All those horses were banned from racing for six months, and assistant trainer Charlie Appleby later took over the running of Moulton Paddocks. In September, there was fresh controversy centred on endurance racing, with

former London police chief Lord Stevens called in by the sheikh’s wife, Princess Haya, to oversee an internal inquiry into the sheikh’s worldwide equine interests. The move followed the seizures of illegal veterinary drugs from stables near Newmarket and a private jet at Stansted Airport. Al Zarooni claimed he thought the substances were allowed out of competition, as was then the case in countries like Dubai and Australia. Sheikh Mohammed said that the use of anabolic steroids in all equine sport throughout the UAE had now been criminalised.






1. Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that, following his sacking by Tottenham Hotspur, he will take time out before returning to football and showered Pep Guardiola in praise. 2. Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri is out for eight weeks after suffering a medial knee ligament injury against Newcastle on Sunday. 3.Struggling AC Milan sack coach Massimiliano Allegri, with the club 30 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus 4. Saracens lose 21-11 at Pool Three leaders Toulouse but remain in with a shot of reaching the Heineken Cup last eight.


5. Gemma Steel won the final race of the day to help propel the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team to victory at the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry.

2 3





Sports Ronaldo superb was dynamic in Portugal World Cup qualification, says coach W

hat are you expecting to find, in terms of the level of passion and excitement, when you go to the World Cup in Brazil as Portugal coach? Above all else, I’m expecting to be able to enjoy this World Cup, which is a great competition and one we really wanted to be involved in. After that, within the boundaries of the talent and quality we have, we intend to try and go as far as possible. First of all, that means getting through the group stage and into the Round of 16 and, once there, we need to battle to go as far as we possibly can. Portugal were beaten to top spot in their qualifying group by Russia and thus had to qualify via the play-offs. What was your assessment of the campaign as a whole? The fact we didn’t qualify directly [by winning the group] wasn’t just down to Russia. It was also down to the mistakes we made against other national teams, such as Israel or Northern Ireland, and which meant we had to go through the play-offs. Once there though, we hit really high standards and ended up sealing qualification. We certainly had an inconsistent campaign; if that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have had to contest a play-off. Even though we lost one of the games against Russia, we put in two good performances, but there were three other matches in which we didn’t play so well. How did you approach the playoff matches v e r s u s Sweden, given how much was at stake? We were both confident and convinced that we had more quality, both individually and as a team, than our opponents, but we knew they could cause us problems.

The players already had experience of play-off situations and we had a huge amount of support from our fans, even though we are a nation that can veer from despair to elation and back again with ease. Even so, the Portuguese people really got behind us. He’s a guy who’s approachable and easy to talk to, a good team-mate who is extremely competitive. The tie was largely depicted in the media as a duel between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Did that have any impact on you in coaching terms? That’s out of the teams’ control. Both the players and myself as coach have to think about the collective, about how we want to play as a team. After that we can focus on getting the very best out of our individuals, which of course is where a player like Ronaldo comes in, as well as being aware of all the qualities a player like

to, a good team-mate who is extremely competitive. These good qualities spread to his colleagues, who can see he’s got what it takes to captain the national side.

Ibrahimovic has. But the most important thing is a l w a y s the team dynamic. Y e t Ronaldo ended up being truly decisive, s c o r i n g all four of Portugal’s goals in the tie. E v e r y coach out there and every fan, whatever their level of interest in the game, appreciates what Ronaldo can do. They all value his quality, his talent and his effectiveness. We Portuguese are enormously proud and tremendously pleased to have a player of that quality and who is that effective, whether it’s for his club or his country. Individual talent like his can help solve a lot of a team’s problems. What are his biggest strengths, on and off the pitch? His professionalism, above all else. He leads by example and that spreads to his teammates and to the whole staff. He’s a guy who’s approachable and easy to talk

individual talents we’ve got, but the team is always the most important: without it, even the biggest talents can’t shine. That’s what we’re looking for at the World Cup: a strong and united team first and then the talent can come to the fore.

How will Portugal go about tackling this World Cup?

Should that be the case, how far can Portugal go at Brazil 2014?

My footballing philosophy is simply to try and play well and win games. Whichever team plays better has more chance of winning the match. My main objective as coach is to try and get the team as wellorganised as possible in tactical

We’ll be aiming and trying to go as far as we possibly can. What we’ll strive for is getting to the Round of 16 and, from that point on, trying to knock out one opponent at a time. Other teams might have a different approach and perhaps, because of how they strong they are and the pedigree they have,

terms, as well as finding a balance in personal and professional terms in order to build a group able to handle both good and bad times. That togetherness is vital when the going gets tough.

it’s right for them but, for us at least, this is the best way to go. It’s what we did in 2012 and it’s what we’ll do in 2014.

Do you think this will be a World Cup where talented individuals can shine or will well-drilled teams hold sway? And in that context, how will Portugal set out their stall? Every team has a few talented individuals that can help come up with solutions in certain situations, but as part of a team dynamic. That was the case with us at EURO 2012: we played really well as a team and were very organised at all times. Everybody knows the

There will be three Portuguese coaches at this World Cup, as Fernando Santos will be there with Greece and Carlos Queiroz with Iran. What does that say about the Portuguese school of coaching? First and foremost, it shows just how good Portuguese coaches are. In this case, we’re going to be one of the countries with most coaches at this World Cup and, what’s more, we’ve got coaches at leading European clubs. It’s clear that Portuguese coaches have ability and are well-prepared.



Some Interesting Facts About 40% Proportion of all Valentine card purchases which parents account for. • First Stock Exchange of America was in Philadelphia & it was established in 1791. • Girls however are slightly more likely than boys to use home computers for e-mail, word processing and completing school assignments than playing games. • A normal person laughs five times in a day. • Approximate 300 million film tickets are sold every year in India. • In Britain 70% mothers go for work. • More artists live in California than any other state in the United States. There are 10,000 arts organizations in California. • Alfred Southwick developed the idea of using electric current & Professionally he was a Dentist (MDS, DDS). • A man says average 4850 words in 24 hours. • The world’s populaton is approximately 6.53 billion (2006), India & China represent 36.92% of the world’s populations. • Look at your zipper. See the initials YKK? It stands for Yoshida Kogyo kabushikigaisha, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer. • 40 percent of McDonald’s profits come from the sales of Happy Meals. • 315 entries in Webster’s 1996 Dictionary were misspelled. • Chocolate can be killed dogs! True, chocolate affects a dog’s heart and nervous system. A few ounces is enough to kill a small sized dog. • Ketchup was sold in the 1830’s as a medicine. • Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the

other at the same time. • Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood. • There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos. • Leonardo da Vinci invented scissors. • Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to slow a film down so you could see his moves. That’s the opposite of the norm. • The original name for the


butterfly was “flutterby”! • By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can’t sink in quicksand. • Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there. • Dentists recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. • The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley’s gum. • Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than the entire Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined. 44 -Adolf Hitler’s mother seriously considered having an abortion but was talked out of it by her doctor.

Say what?


Landscape: French photographer Emmanuel Coupe was behind this stunning shot of the Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland


Leap of faith: British photographer Cat Vinton was commended for this image of a sea gypsy spear fishing on the Andaman Sea


. . . putting the people first

QUOTABLE QUOTE Look at the North-east that has been allocated N2 billion in this year’s budget; N2 billion is what Mr. President allocated to non-APC states for supporting him while N111 billion has been given to the Southwest and South-south. This is not close to fairness. –Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state

SPORTS A country not worth dying in? LATEST

Ronaldo named Ballon d’Or winner


ristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or after a stunning year that saw him net an astonishing 66 goals in 56 games. The Real Madrid talisman’s achievements saw him surpass Hugo Sanchez in his club’s scoring charts and equal Portugal legend Pauleta at the top of his country’s list with 47 in 109 games. Fourteen of his goals came in the Champions League as Madrid reached the semifinals before being beaten by Borussia Dortmund and that total eclipsed the record of 13 achieved in the season before by the shortlisted Lionel Messi. His 2013 goal tally has overshadowed those of his two Ballon d’Or rivals, Messi and Franck Ribery, and he is the top scorer in all of Europe’s biggest leagues. Ronaldo, accompanied by Florentino Perez, Zinedine Zidane, Emilio Butragueno and Sergio Ramos, flew to the Zurich ceremony from Madrid after training on Monday morning. Speaking after Madrid’s 1-0 win at Espanyol on Sunday, Ramos told Madrid’s official website his teammate would be a deserving winner. “If I had my way, I would give it to Ronaldo,” he said. “There are a lot of people who think so around the world. The statistics are there to see, and he has broken almost every record out there. Maybe this year he deserves it more than others.

cristiano Ronaldo


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ake a look at the table below. It’s a simple five-cell affair with the names of twenty-five recently deceased Nigerians drawn randomly from various walks of life, including ages at time of passing, countries where each death took place, the causes of death (where available), and the year of transition. The names are presented in a simple alphabetical order, with no distinction between those who lived or had a home abroad, and those who traveled expressly to secure medical care. However, as far as I can tell, only two, possibly three, of the 25 people on my list belonged in the former category. What is at issue for me – and something I propose to think with in this brief piece – is the information in the third cell: where the deceased were at the time of death. The most interesting observation is that none of the 25 individuals listed here died in Nigeria or in a Nigerian hospital. Eleven died in the United States; 10 in the United Kingdom; 2 in India, and 1 each in Spain and South Africa. What is the import of this pattern, and what does it tell us about life as it is lived in contemporary Nigeria? What, precisely, is the sociological narrative here, and what are the socio-economic, cultural and political forces driving the trend? Let’s start with the most obvious take-away, which is that the two countries at the top of the list- the United States and the United Kingdom respectively- are also the same two countries that many young Nigerians are, literally, dying to enter in order to remake their lives. As Yemisi Ogbe notes in a recent essay, “Birthing the American,” about a related phenomenon, for majority of the younger generation, “American was the most desirable thing to be, British was second best, and Nigerian completely unpalatable.” This is the underlying explanation for the craze

311 689 292 327 454

7458 1765 9046 1969 0344

GUEST COLUMNIST Ebenezer Obadare

among the Nigerian family of means for dispatching their pregnant women to clinics and hospitals in those favored countries at the first signs of labor. Made in Nigeria. Hatched in Arkansas. Those who cannot afford the cost of travel and associated logistics to their preferred choices ‘make do’ with South Africa (whose presence in the table is more than symbolic) and, increasingly, India. The result of this unfettered appetite for all things ‘Abroad’ by the rump of the Nigerian middle class is an active apathy towards, and continued social disinvestment in public health in particular, and public welfare in general. The totally predictable outcome of this- hospitals that, to varying degrees, lack the capacity to diagnose

simple ailments, regularly misdiagnose, lack qualified medical personnel, and are poorly funded and riddled by corruption – is the fundamental reason why, and as attested to by the table – it has become rare for any Nigerian of some means to either seek medical attention in, or die in Nigeria, let alone a Nigerian hospital. Unless of course such people happened to be involved in a fatal air or road crash or fell to the bullets of hired assassins. This fact is even more astonishing when we realize that the list does not include the hundreds of individuals who, in quiet desperation, seek medical help outside the country, only to be sent back home to die; either because they could not afford the cost of continuous treatment in foreign hospitals, or because

their diagnoses came too late in the day to make any impact on their ailments. Nor does it include the members of what I call the Sunset Class (mainly retirees and others) who greatly desire to return to the country, but are forced to stay because separation from some vital prescription or recurrent treatment is certain death. If you are a Nigerian reading this, you are bound to recall someone from your immediate social proximitya relative, an uncle, a sibling, a parent- who belongs to either category. An additional observation here is the prevalence of various forms of cancer (11 out of the 25 cases here) as the proximate cause of death. This brings up some critical questions: do our hospitals have the necessary equipment for early detection of cancer? Do they have the capacity to treat it? How many of the 11 cancer-related deaths here could have been avoided if our hospitals had the necessary capacity? I admit cancer may not be the best example. After all, nearly half of total American deaths are caused by cancer, and many do not approach the ages of some of the people on my list. Yet, although cancer is still, relatively speaking, a medical black box, the prognosis for cancer patients is much better in the West. By contrast, thousands of Nigerians die of completely curable conditions, most dying too young to ever achieve the kind of fame or notoriety to which all the individuals on my list had a decent claim. In all of this, one thing at least is clear: what we are witnessing is the tragic manifestation of decades of neglect of our health sector; and given that there is as yet scanty evidence that those currently in the saddle recognize the severity of the crisis, the reality is that things will only get worse in the foreseeable future. Professor Ebenezer Obadare teaches sociology at the University of Kansas, in the United.

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 14th January, 2013