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Subsidy probe: Prosecute culprits, NLC tells FG as Reps vow to enforce compliance

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Vol. 8 No. 21

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jimadal Ula 29, 1433 AH

N150

INSIDE

Row over ‘appointment’ of nuclear agency’s Ag. DG >>PAGE

UNAMIL queries Nigerian troops’ cowardice 5

Dankwambo denies Frustrated MRS profit drops involvement in applicant attempts by 29.7% subsidy fraud suicide in Abuja

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PDP govs snub Bamanga Tukur By Lawrence Olaoye

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ajority of the governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday snubbed the meeting scheduled to hold with the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee (NWC). Out of 23 governors on the platform of the party, only six of the governors were present while three other governors were represented by their deputies. The six governors in attendance include those of Enugu, Delta, Kogi, Plateau, Kaduna and Kano states. Their counterparts in Katsina, Niger and Taraba states were represented by their deputies. Those who failed to attend the meeting and were not represented include Adamawa, Sokoto, Benue, Abia, AkwaIbom, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Rivers, Gombe Contd on Page 2 PRESENT: Enugu, Delta, Kogi, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Taraba ABSENT: Adamawa, Sokoto, Benue, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Gombe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Ebonyi

R-L: Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, Secretary to the Kaduna state Government, Alhaji Samaila Lawal Yakawada, and Director-General, National Teachers Institute (NTI), Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu, during the resuscitation of technical teacher training and distribution of field-activity vehicles to the 14 participating universities and institutions at NTI headquarters, yesterday in Kaduna.

FG opens secret prison for Boko Haram By Abubakar Ibrahim, with agency report

 As Jonathan vows to crush sect

igeria is opening a secret detention centre to hold and interrogate suspected high-level members of the Boko

Haram sect, a security official has told The Associated Press (AP). While the facility could create a more cohesive effort among

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disparate and sometimes feuding security agencies in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, it raises concerns about its possible use for

torture and illegal detentions. Nigeria's security forces have notorious human rights records, with a documented history of

WWW.PEOPLESDAILY-ONLINE.COM

abusing and even killing prisoners. The prison is in Lagos, far from the violence plaguing the North, where Boko Haram carries out frequent bombings and ambushes, Contd on Page 2


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

CONTENTS

Gunmen shoot 2 policemen in Kano

News

From Edwin Olofu, Kano

2-11

Editorial

12

Op.Ed

13

Letters

14

Opinion

15

Metro

16-17

Business

19-22

S/Exchange

23

S/Report

24

Islam

26

Record Newsxtra

27-28 30

Appraising Zamfara’s roadmap to industrial development, Pages 24, 25

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest

36

Politics

37-40

Sports

41-47

Columnist

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

Phones for News: 070-37756364 09-8734478

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unmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram shot two policemen in Kano yesterday.The incident which coincided with the visit of the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed

Abubakar occurred in the afternoon. Eyewitness account said the two gunmen were riding on a motorcycle and opened fire on the policemen who were manning a check point close to one Chula filling station along Eastern bye-

pass. In the ensuing shootout, a loaded petrol tanker was shot and fuel poured out – a situation which caused panic in the area. Men of the state fire service promptly mobilised to put out the fire in the event of fire outbreak.

Kano state Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris confirmed the incident but said the two policemen who were shot only sustained minor injuries one on the leg the other one in his hand and have been discharged from hospital.

Suit against Jonathan: ‘Case not struck out’ By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

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arrister Osuagwu Ugochukwu, counsel representing a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Cyriacus Njoku in the suit seeking to stop President

Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential election has denied reports that the case has been struck out. Contrary to media reports yesterday, Njoku’s Counsel said in a statement made available to newsmen that the suit has

never been withdrawn. “I, on behalf of my client, Cyriacus Njoku wish to deny and debunk misleading reports by some electronic and print media that my client withdrew his suit against President Goodluck Jonathan and two others pending

before Justice M. Oniyangi of FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja”, Ugochukwu said. According to him, “It is also erroneous to allege that my client proposed an out of court settlement. In fact it was the other way round.”

PDP govs snub Bamanga Tukur Contd from Page 1 Bauchi, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara and Ebonyi governors. The meeting scheduled to hold between the leadership of the party and the 23 PDP governors on the platform of the party at its National headquarters was moved to the Legacy House also in Abuja. It would be recalled that majority of the governors were not in support of his emergence as the national chairman of the party. The mode of Tukur’s emergence after all his co-contestants were prevailed upon to step down was indicative of the fact that he never really enjoyed the support of some of the governors. The absence of his home governor and those from Bauchi and other states was a confirmation of his rejection at

the North-east Zonal Congress few days before the PDP National Convention when the zone unilaterally endorsed the former Acting Secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo, as the adopted candidate for the position of the party’s National Chairman. But, President Goodluck Jonathan then insisted on having Bamanga Tukur as the party’s National Chairman in spite of the fact that some of the governors from his zone had adopted another candidate. The absence of his home governor, Murtala Nyako, who though travelled to Germany with President Jonathan, but was not represented at yesterday’s meeting, equally indicated that Bamanga may not

have been fully reconciled with the party leadership in Adamawa state. However, briefing newsmen after the meeting was called off by the National Chairman on account of the poor attendance, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, explained that majority of the governors could not make the meeting because of communication gap. He said the information got to some of them late while others were on official trip outside the country with President Jonathan. He disclosed that the meeting has therefore been postponed indefinitely till such a time the governors would be available as he added that critical issues affecting the party would be discussed. Speaking to newsmen after the

meeting, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau also claimed that the meeting flopped because of communication gap even as he said the governors have confidence in the leadership of the party. Meanwhile, the party has scheduled a meeting with the House of Representatives PDP caucus for Monday at the same venue. The party in a letter signed by its National Chairman and directed to the House through Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was read at the plenary before its commencement yesterday. The party in the letter said the meeting would discuss important issues relating to the progress of the party.

FG opens secret prison for Boko Haram Contd from Page 1 said the security official, who is directly involved in the project. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the facility with journalists. “All suspects arrested will be taken to the centre and would be interrogated by a security group,” the official said. He declined to say exactly where it is or how many inmates it can hold. He said authorities are arranging to transport suspects to Lagos. The detention centre was created at the orders of the National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, the official said. AP was unable to contact Azazi for comment because his telephone number is unlisted. The director-general of the State Security Service (SSS), Ekpeyong Ita declined to comment yesterday when the AP asked him about the prison but minutes later, SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar called an AP journalist and said anyone with information about the purported prison should go to the courts instead of talking to journalists. She refused to confirm or deny the prison’s existence. “Whatever we do, we're running a democratic system that

respects the rule of law,” the spokeswoman said. Police officers shot and killed Boko Haram's former leader Mohammed Yusuf in 2009 while he was in their custody, underscoring the lack of respect for human rights among the security forces. Security agencies have been unable to find and arrest the sect's current leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, who posts taunting videos on the Internet promising more violence. “The problem we have is lack of synergy among the security agencies,” the security official told AP. Those agencies include the police, the military, and intelligence agencies like the State Security Service. Relations between the agencies are testy at times as each fights for its own budgetary allotments and there are suspicions that some have been influenced by ethnic or religious factors in this nation of more than 160 million people with two dominant religions and more than 250 ethnic groups. Suspected sect members have been arrested and kept locked up for months without being charged. Authorities also routinely arrest women and children related to suspected Boko Haram members

in attempts to draw them out. Amnesty International has said some Boko Haram suspects have been "subject to enforced disappearances." This record leads to fears among human rights groups that the secret detention centre could see more suspects disappear, deprived of the right to challenge their detentions in the courts. "Attacks by armed groups do not absolve the Nigerian government of the responsibility to conduct security operations in a manner that complies with national and international law," Amnesty International said in a statement yesterday. "Widespread unlawful, incommunicado detention must cease immediately," it stresed. Ogar appeared later yesterday on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) before the AP published its story. In an interview, she said that a "group of disgruntled people have gone to the foreign media to say that Nigeria has now produced another Guantanamo Bay," referring to the U.S. military detention camp in Cuba. It is unclear whether any foreign governments have offered Nigeria advice or assistance in

opening the detention centre. U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Terence P. McCulley, speaking to journalists April 4, said the U.S. is "working with the Nigerian government to help them develop a counterterrorism strategy that includes perhaps a centre even to better coordinate information and intelligence that they receive." But Deb MacLean, a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, told the AP that she was unaware of the new detention centre and said that the U.S. had no role in it. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has again vowed to rein in the Boko Haram sect. President Jonathan, on a visit to Germany centred on strengthening economic ties, conceded yesterday that investors ask about the country's "security challenges." But he offered assurances that his government "is working very hard and that we'll bring this under control." Jonathan said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Nigeria could envision foreign help with "training our manpower" and providing technology to monitor terrorists.


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Gunmen attack bakery, kill 5 in Maiduguri

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy Regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan, and Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, Hon. Solomons Olamilekan, during a press briefing on the report on subsidy probe, at the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

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Pension scam: Director siphoned N1.54bn through filling station account – EFCC By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

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ormer Director, Pension Administration in the o f f i c e of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu who is currently standing trial along with others over an alleged N4.56 billion pension scam, used his abandoned fuel filing station bank account to siphon N1.54 billion pension funds, some court documents revealed. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in its proof of evidence filed before a Federal High Court, revealed that Shuaibu’s Riba-Ile Petroleum Limited was discovered in the course of its investigation to have a turnover of over N1.54 billion in the account, with several cash deposits, while the filing station has not been operating. EFCC said the person whose passport photograph appeared on the account opening package of the filing station’s bank account with a fictitious name, Egbunu Attah was found to be

Danjuma Yusuf. The anti-graft agency further stated that when it invited Yusuf for questioning, Yusuf confessed that Shuaibu simply used his passport for the opening of the bank account, adding also that Shuaibu is the person who controls the movement of funds in and out of the account. EFCC had earlier shown in the proof of evidence how Shuaibu used the pension fund to buy Brifina Hotel in DurumiAbuja for N359.25 million. In the proof of evidence, the anti-graft agency said that the findings of their investigation team showed that the whole N359. 26 million paid to own the Brifina Hotel was solely from the pension money. The EFCC had on March 26, 2012 announced the seizure of six properties including the Brifina Hotel belonging to Dr. Shuaibu, following an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja sitting before Justice Adamu Bello. The court granted the order, “restraining all persons

including persons hereinafter referred to as Receivers in the schedules hereto attached, by themselves directly or through another (whether natural or otherwise) including, but not limited to all parties listed in all the schedules hereto attached, whether or not named in Charge No FHC/ABJ/ CR28/2011, that is to say and such other persons yet to be identified, from removing, alienating, disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of, assets or property being suspected proceeds of crimes or otherwise, held or

owned by or in the names of persons suspected of the alleged financial crimes in charge no. FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011. “That the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is hereby permitted to seize and retain custody of all such property or assets of persons listed in the schedules attached to this motion, which assets are suspected proceeds of crime or the value thereof until the final determination of Charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/28/ 2011”, the evidence read.

s the wave of violence and serial killings continue in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, five persons were gunned down yesterday morning when unknown gunmen raided a local bakery. It was gathered that yesterday’s attack happened at about 8.45am when two gunmen stormed Jiddari Polo Ward and fired several shots in the air to scare residents, before entering the baking factory and opened fire on the workers. The shootings caused commotion as everyone scampered for safety, while the area was immediately deserted. Witnesses say the assailants who, disguised as normal customers, walked to the factory before they suddenly took everyone unawares and started shooting sporadically, killing five persons on the spot, while one another sustained gunshot injuries. Borno state Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan, while confirming the incident to newsmen, said the gunmen had attacked the factory, when innocent people were conducting their legitimate businesses.

CJN debunks speculations of resignation By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

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he Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher has debunked speculations that he has resigned his appointment. Speaking through his Media Adviser, Mohammed Adamu in a statement, the CJN said he had on April 11, 2012, written to the National Judicial Council (NJC),

to give three months notice of his retirement from service as a judicial officer. The statement said the CJN's letter to the NJC is to enable necessary processes for early swearing of a new Chief Justice by July 16, 2012. "It is public knowledge that by the provisions of Section 291(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the CJN shall cease to

be a judicial officer come 14th July, 2012 when he would be 70 years", the statement said. It would be recalled that Justice Musdapher was confirmed substantive CJN by the Senate in September 2011, about one month after presiding over the nation’s judiciary in acting capacity following the retirement of his predecessor, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

Subsidy: Labour wants culprits prosecuted as Reps vow to enforce compliance By Lawrence Olaoye and Muhammad Nasir

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he Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, called on the Federal Government to ensure the prosecution of the culprits indicted in reports of the House of Representatives probe into the nation’s subsidy regime. This is coming on the heels of the House’ assurance that it would ensure government implements its resolutions after the consideration of the reports on

subsidy probe committee chaired by Rep Farouk Lawan. The NLC in a statement signed by the Acting General Secretary of the NLC, Owei Lakemfa, stated that some of the findings of the House report clearly indicated criminality; just as he added that it was not enough for private and public organisations like the NNPC and PPPRA to be asked to make refunds, but that government has a duty to bring the officers of such organisations and their supervisors to justice. NLC also

requested that Ministers in the Finance and Petroleum Ministries and their lieutenants under whose watch the NNPC made unconstitutional deductions from the country’s oil income before dumping the balance in the Federation account be investigated for culpability. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has vowed not to allow the resolutions of the probe to be treated with levity as done with several reports in the past. Addressing newsmen yesterday

on the resolve of the House to ensure that the resolution is implemented by the executive, chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed said the House would encourage the executive to adhere strictly and implement the resolutions. He said: “We cannot waste time and money and allow the reports to be thrown into the dust bin; the executive will come to us for something and we can make it a precondition for the House resolution to be implemented before we grant its request”.

Commenting, Rep Lawan admitted that there were pressures from every quarter, including government officials and oil marketers on the committee to not to unearth the rot in the sector but the members were resolute in accomplishing the national task. According to him, some of the oil marketers offered to bribe members of the committee in order to do a shoddy job and cover their misdeeds but such were vigorously rebuffed in national interest.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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Army sanctions 4 8 remanded for killing cop, officers for brutality bank robbery in Bauchi From Blessing Tunoh, Yola

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he 23rd Armoured Brigade has sanctioned four of its officers for brutalising a suspected gun runner in army custody. The Brigade Commander, Brigadier General John Nwaoga disclosed this while briefing the press on the fate of officers and men of the brigade investigated over the manhandling of a certain Nancy James arrested for gun running in March this year. Peoples Daily checks reveal that the investigation was sequel to video clips posted on the internet in which the offenders were seen unleashing terror on the suspect with a knife and

other inhuman objects. Nwaoga explained that the investigation panel set up by the brigade found the four unnamed soldiers guilty of manhandling the suspect and they were immediately sanctioned in line with military rules and regulations. He therefore warned his men against unethical practice in the course of their official duties while assuring the public of army’s readiness to protect their rights, life and property. It may be recalled that Nancy was nabbed in Numan council area of the state with concealed guns in four bags of cassava flour popularly called garri on her way to Taraba state for delivery to her collaborators.

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

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ight suspects have been remanded in prison custody by a Bauchi state Chief Magistrate court for the murder of a policeman, criminal conspiracy, bank robbery and unlawful possession of fire arms and explosives. The presiding Magistrate, Adamu Mohammed Kafin Madaki remanded the suspects and adjourned the suit toApril 25, 2012 for further mention. Earlier, the Police prosecutor,

Sergeant M Garba told the court that all the suspects who hail from Yobe and Borno States,criminally conspired and armed themselves with sophisticated weapons and prohibited fire arms and other explosive devices and launched attack at the Gamawa Police station where they shot dead Corporal Istifanus Thomas with file no 353163 attached to 10 Police Mobile Force and took away his AK 47 rifle no 356849 with 30 rounds of live ammunition. Sergeant Garba added that

they simultaneously attacked a Microfinance Bank in the town and robbed it of N534,000 cash, desk top monitors and other valuables. They allegedly attacked First Bank in Gamawa but could not gain access due to the bullet proof security doors, but damaged the bank building with bullets contrary to section 96,221,of the penal code laws and section 1(1)(2)(a)&(b)3 of the robbery fire arms special provision act cap R11 and section 3,8,and 27 (1)(a) of fire arms act cap F28 LFN 2004.

We’ll only retain officers who pass exams, says IGP From Bala Nasir, Kano.

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he Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar has warned that henceforth Inspector and ASP cadet trainees from the Police Academy, Wudil must pass their examinations and training before they will be accepted in the force. The IGP was speaking to the officers under training at the Academy yesterday when he and the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain (rtd) Caleb Olubolade paid a one day working visit to the Academy. The IGP said, gone were the days when officers trained at the Academy but failed in their exams or their training and still remained in the police. He stated that he and the Minister of Police Affairs were at

the Academy to see for themselves the readiness or otherwise of the Academy to offer degree programmes. According to the police boss, the current security challenge in the country is being faced squarely by the Federal Government and so, the institution has a great role to play through high quality officers. He urged contractors handling various projects in the Academy to make sure that the September 2012 target set out for the Academy to become a degree awarding institution was achieved by completing their jobs within time. Also, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain (rtd) Olubolade Caleb stated that their visit was a testimony to the seriousness attached to the project by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Relocation of LG headquarters: Sayawa community sues Yuguda, FGN, NASS From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

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he Sayawa community in Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state has sued the Governor of Bauchi state, Malam Isa Yuguda, AttorneyGeneral of the Federation; National Assembly and the Bauchi state House of Assembly over the relocation of headquarters of the Tafawa Balewa local government area to Bununu. It could be recalled that on February 8, 2012, the Bauchi state House of Assembly passed a resolution ordering the relocation of the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa to Bununu in the interest of peace and harmony in the state. The plaintiffs are seeking for a mandatory injunction directing Yuguda and the state Assembly to restore the name of the local government as provided in the relevant laws

establishing the local government. A suit with no FHC/ABJ/CS/ 125/2012 filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja by Reverend Samaila Banike and nine others on behalf of the people and ethnic groups of Sayawa, Jarawa, Ngas and Sigdawa extractions in Lere district of Tafawa Balewa local government area and a copy was made available to newsmen in Bauchi urged the court to declare that Governor Isa Yuguda and the Bauchi lawmakers have no power under the 1999 constitution to alter the name of the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa local government area from Tafawa Balewa to Bununu. They asked the court to declare that the resolution of the state Assembly purporting to change the name of the headquarters from Tafawa Balewa to Bununu was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no legal effect.

Yobe state governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam (standing right), watching as newly appointed chairmen of caretaker committees of local government councils take their oath of office, at the Wawa Hall of the Government House, yesterday in Damaturu.

Gaidam tasks new LG chairmen on rural devt From Godswill Uche, Damaturu

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obe state governor Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has challenged chairmen of local government councils in the state to use resources that accrue to their council areas to provide social services and alleviate poverty. Speaking yesterday in Damaturu at the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed chairmen of caretaker committees of local government councils, Gaidam said people at

the grassroots expect a lot from the council chiefs, adding that the confidence that their people and the government reposed in them must be justified. The governor asked the chairmen to focus a lot of attention on the provision of potable water, agriculture especially Fadama farming, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation. He said unemployed youth should be supported to acquire skills in skill training centers

across the country so that they could set up their own businesses and support themselves and their families. The Governor also warned the new chairmen not to allow their personal interests to interfere with their official conduct. He said they must be guided by the imperatives of transparency, accountability and probity and the fear of God as they pilot the affairs of their councils. to recruit fresh school graduates who roam the streets without work.

Building barracks will stop killing of cops, says Kaduna COMPOL From Lawal Sadiq Sanusi, Kaduna

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aduna state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar has said that only protective accommodation by way of building more barracks can protect policemen from incessant killings in the state. In this regard, he appealed to the Inspector General of Police to provide the Force with barracks to stem the situation. The CP also tasked the IG and

Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna state to provide his command with more vehicles and metal detectors to enable the police combat crimes more effectively, detect explosive devices more easily and crackdown on terrorists and other criminals in the state. Speaking yesterday when he received the leadership of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna state council in his office, the commissioner said his

command has devised further plans to combat crimes and criminal activities in the state. He however appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to continue with the planned change of police uniform in the country to enable the Nigerian police reorient themselves adding that the black uniform which was foisted on them some decades back has also affected their integrity and performance adding that a change in uniform will positively change their attitude.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

FG has achieved much despite security challenges, says Maku By A'isha Biola Raji he minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr. Labaran Maku, has said that Nigerians have reasons to celebrate Democracy Day in spite of the current security challenges the country is facing. The minister stated this yesterday in Abuja at a media conference organised to announce programmes for Democracy Day celebration. He said this year's celebration, which also marks one year in office of the present democratic dispensation, will involve every citizen of Nigeria as it is aimed at taking stock of all what had been or had not been achieved in the past year. He said, "every minister and head of agency listed their goals at inception of office, there is need to find out how far they have gone and it is the duty of every well meaning Nigerian to be part of the programme." He said starting from 24th April, ministers will take turns to dialogue with the citizens through the media to showcase all that have been achieved so far and also get peoples' reaction especially on where the government is lacking. "A lot of programmes have been and are still being executed by this government even though media have recently diverted attention to reporting only the negative side," he declared. He said the anniversary will not be complete without sharing with the general public policies of the present government and seeking their opinion on it.

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UNAMIL queries Nigerian troops’ cowardice By Emmanuel Iriogbe

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espite denials by the Federal Government and the military authorities that Nigerian troops did not surrender weapons to

rebels in far away Darfur province in South Sudan, facts have emerged that the United Nations - African Mission in Darfur might have queried the Nigerian military authorities over the 'unprofessional' conduct

of 31st Battalion of Nigerian Army contingent in Darfur who allegedly surrendered their arms and UN vehicles to the rebels. Twice, in one month, attempts by Mr. Herve Ladsous,

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L-R: Special Envoy of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Margherita Boniver receiving a gift from Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, during the envoy visit to the Deputy Senate President, at the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Row over ‘appointment’ of nuclear agency’s Ag. DG By Aminu Imam with agency report

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here are simmering doubts in the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), over the appointment of the Director of Nuclear Safety, Dr. Martin Ogharandukun as Acting Director-General (D-G) of the agency. According to an online report yesterday, on May 31, 2011, Dr. Ogharandukun allegedly made himself Acting D-G/CEO of NNRA after a management meeting and proceeded to change the

signatories to the authority's accounts to include his name. The report said he also posted on the authority's website (www.nnra.gov.ng) that the management of NNRA has appointed him the Acting DG/ CEO pending the appointment of a substantive DG and went ahead to change the authority's letter headed papers to reflect his new "appointment". He has since then been allegedly carrying out the full functions and duties of an Acting DG/CEO of the Authority awarding contracts and

approving payments. His action has already attracted the attention of a human rights/good governance group, Human Rights and Accountability Initiative (HURAIN), which has already written him over the matter. The law setting-up NNRA, the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act 1995 Part 111, 8 (1) vests the power of appointing a Director-General for the Authority on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The vacancy for DG in NNRA arose following the retirement of

Hajj: Group asks NAHCON to resolve chaos By Mariam Garba Hassan and A'isha Biola Raji non-governmental organisation has called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to resolve the chaos and confusion surrounding the distribution of hajj seats by some state pilgrims welfare boards across the country. The Independent Hajj Reporters, a non-governmental organisation, said it is disheartening the way and manner the distribution was

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United Nations Under Secretary for Peacekeeping and Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye to meet and resolve the operational and cross-cutting peacekeeping issues with the Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru Mohammed had not worked out due mainly to the cancellation of visits by the United Nations delegates amidst United States' Embassy's warning of possible attack by Boko Haram on government buildings in Abuja. Sources at the Foreign Affairs Ministry told newsmen that the bilateral meeting may include discussion of the nonwithdrawal of 31st Battalion of the Nigerian Contingent in Darfur, alleged to have "unprofessionally" surrendered arms and UN vehicles to the Justice and Equality, rebel movement in Darfur. The United Nations had also reportedly complained about the use of substandard contingent owned equipment by the Nigerian 32 and 33 Battalions in Darfur. Officials of the Federal Ministry of Defence said yesterday that the Minister of Defence has re-scheduled a visit to Darfur next week to get first hand information on the situation. In another development, the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada has said that she did not make any confirmation "that such sophisticated weapons, which include surface-to-air launchers and other dangerous arms, found their way into Nigeria," from Libya, Reacting to a publication in a national daily, Mrs. Obada said she was quoted out of context.

handled in some states of the federation where media reports indicated that some of the intending pilgrims lost their lives while several others injured in the process of scouting for hajj seats. This was contained in a statement signed by its Secretary General Ibrahim Muhammed and National Publicity Secretary Abubakar Mahmoud. The group said, "It is observed with growing concern the manner in which some of the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards (SPWB)

across the country are handling the distribution of hajj seats to intending pilgrims. The situation in some states is very chaotic, devoid of transparency and mired with allegations of corruption against the pilgrim boards." According to the statement, the group is concerned about the allegations of corrupt practices against the board officials who are allegedly involved in hoarding and diverting the allocated seats. It therefore urged NAHCON to resolve and devise ways of addressing the issue, saying "As a regulatory agency of all hajj

activities in the country, it is necessary to look into the controversial development with a view to instill sanity, fairness and transparency in the process." Hajj Reporters commended NAHCON's various efforts of setting up various mechanisms towards a successful conduct of 2012 hajj operations. "The inauguration of Airline Carriers Screening Committee for 2012 Hajj is a laudable development that will go a long way in ensuring that only competent and capable airlines are allowed to airlift pilgrims to the holy land.

the pioneer Director-General, Professor S. B. Elegba, who served two five-year terms as DirectorGeneral from 2001 to 2011. He handed over to Mr Bulus Yabaya, the then Director of Administration and Finance, who acted from April, 2011 till he died of alleged food poisoning on May 27, 2011. The conditions for what is called "acting appointments" are in Section 6 of the Public Service Rules, PSR, and clearly spelt out in Rules 020601, 020602, 020603, 020605 and 020606. Under these rules, the Federal Civil Service Commission must be notified and the appointment gazetted with the dates of commencement and cessation of the acting appointment clearly stated. These conditions were allegedly not followed. Furthermore, under Rule 020604, such an acting appointment must not exceed six months. But the report said Dr. Ogharandukun has been acting since May 31, 2011 to date - for over 10 months. He has also been collecting the allowance of an Acting DG/CEO of the Authority. During this period, sources say, he has been lobbying to be confirmed as DG.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Subsidy: Dankwambo denies fraud From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe

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ombe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, has denied involvement into the fuel subsidy fraud as indicated in the House of Representatives committee report submitted to the House. The governor made the denial yesterday during the signing ceremony of the state fiscal responsibility law at the Government House. The governor urged the

people of Gombe state not to be disturbed by the publication and said he has never been involved in fraud throughout his reign as the Accountant-General of the Federation. The House committee, has in a report, blamed the office of the AGF during his reign for authorising the subsidy payment of N999milion 128 times within 24hours. He said, the office of the Accountant General of the federation does not pay subsidy and explained that the has

enquired and found that, the statement used by the committee was that of the PPRA for which the AGF has no control over. He explained that, the AGF only pays one line payment from the source, either the Consolidated Revenue Account or the domestic excess crude for which is the source of the payment into that account to be monitored and to be paid by the PPRA". He emphasised that, as AGF since 1999, he had done his best to

demonstrate accountability and transparency in the way he operated and said he would never be involved in fraud. "Don't forget Dankwambo is today also a politician, so there can be many factors that will be added to ridicule Gombe state's name, but be clear in your mind that, Dankwambo had never committed and will never be involved in fraud" The governor pledged to get to the root of the matter in order to clear his name from the wrong misconception created by the report.

L-R: Bauchi state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Sani Malami, the victim whose genital organ was severed by suspected ritualists, Ayuba Halilu, and the state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, when the governor visited the family, on Wednesday at Maraban Liman Katagum in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

We’ll resist appointment of outsiders to lead us, says Katsina lecturers From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina

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ecturers of tertiary institutions in Katsina state under the umbrella of Joint Consultative Forum, have vowed to reject the appointment of outsiders to head the three state governmentFrom Nankpah Bwakan, Jos.

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he Chairman of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) chair at the University of Jos, Professor Ajabaji Emmanuel Ogezi, has predicted the complete dry-up of Nigeria's oil in 40 years and suggests further exploitation and extraction of oil to increase the oil reserves. Ogezi stated this while presenting a paper entitled "Geology, Petroleum, Mineral and Environmental Resources of the Benue Trough, Nigeria Opportunities and Challenges" at the PTDF professorial chair endowment in Geology seminar held at the University of Jos.

owned tertiary institutions A statement signed by the chairman of the association, Malam Tukur Dahiru Bakiyawa and his secretary, Malam Mukhtar El-Kasim stressed their commitment to support the right person for the job. It added that the institutions have come of age to internally

produce chief executives, lamenting that they had bitter experiences with outsiders appointed to head the institutions. The association also frowned at the non-implementation of the 2012 annual increment , six month unpaid salaries of some newly

appointed staff of Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic and Yusufu Bala Usman College of Legal and General Studies. It similarly lamented the withholding of promotion and non-implementation of those released for over a year and non release of union check off dues for the last four months of 2011.

Nigeria’s oil will dry up in 2052 According to him, there are high chances of discovering petroleum in the North-east part of the country and identified Wase, Kanam and Langtang local government areas of Plateau state as having the potentials of becoming oil producing communities. He disclosed that already oil wells have been drilled in Bauchi, Gombe and Benue states but that the process takes between 15 to 20 years though it is capital intensive adding that when extraction of the product commences properly, youths from the oil communities

would be gainfully employed. Professor Ogezi advocated the abolishment of excess crude oil account which governors are only interested in sharing rather than diversifying sources of revenue generation. "The oil will finish and our governors will then not have money to share again. All African counties depend on earth resources and we need to know how to use and avoid conflict like the one in Niger Delta region". "The past challenges of inadequate finding and participation

access to data, sites and equipment, student sponsorship and supervision, would be reduced. "The end result would be greater diversification of the country's revenue base, wealth and job creation, improved national security and even more socioeconomic development in Nigeria", he said Professor Harward Mafuyai, Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos urged Professorial chairman of PTDF to properly work out incentive for the host community in order to avoid conflict in society.

We are handling the NECO crisis, says Minister From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna

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he Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufai has said the ministry has intervened in the leadership crisis at the National Examination Council (NECO) noting that the situation is under control. The minister who spoke with reporters in Kaduna yesterday said the crisis in NECO was not up to the magnitude reported. She was in Kaduna for the launch of the resuscitation of the Technical Teachers Training Programmes (TTTP) and presentation of field activity vehicles to 14 participating institutions from across the country, at the National Teachers' Institute (NTI). According to her, "the fact that we have not said anything about it (NECO) publicly does not mean that we are not doing anything. "If we have to be going to the public every time to address these issues, you will not have time for us. We know where the problem is coming from. "The SSS in Niger state has done their work and has given us a report which we are looking at. "The problem is not up to the magnitude you are talking about and it is not true that the ministry is not doing anything about." She noted that the resuscitation of the TTTP is an indication of the commitment of the present government to the development of the education sector. She attributed the suspension of the programme to non release of funds to support both the students and the participating institutions. According to her, the Federal Ministry of Education, the NTI and the 14 participating institutions have obtained about N163.5 million to settle the outstanding debt to the participating institutions and their students as well as to take some positive measures to fully resuscitate the programme. As she put it, "I am very happy to be part of this event of bringing back programmes that are of great value to the nation which was abandoned, which we now have cause to resuscitate and bring back". "I am particularly happy because it involves teacher education. We know that our major problem in the sector has to do with teacher quality and teacher development. We hope to expand this programme in the near future", she said. She added that "anything that is not budgeted for, you cannot spend money on it. That is why I said that we will make sure that it is fully captured in the 2013 budget". "All the same, we will partner with individuals, corporate bodies as well as international development partners and see whether we can have a kind of approach to see what we can do within the year. Otherwise, for government funding, it has to be next year", she concluded.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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First Lady, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan (middle), wife Deputy Senate President, Mrs Nwaneka Ekweremadu (right), wife of Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Hajiya Umma Abubakar (left) and some children of embassy officials, during an interactive section by President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday in Berlin, Germany.

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L-R: Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Barclays Ayakoroma; Director, Admin and Human Resources, Mr. Abayomi Oyelola, and Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Festus Ihenetu, during a pre-event news conference, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

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Some intending Muslim pilgrims listening to lectures before balloting for Hajj slots for 2012 pilgrimage, recently in Kafur local government area of Katsina state. Photo: NAN

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Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero (middle), in a group photograph with members of Green World, during a visit by the group to the emir in his palace, yesterday in Kano.

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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

NICO hosts Peace Confab for traditional rulers, LGs Culture, Peace and National By Miriam Humbe

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L-R: Member of United Action for Democracy (UAD), Mr. Gbenro Olajuyigbe, National Convener of UAD, Mr. Jaye Gaskiya, and Chairman, Joint Action Front (JAF), Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, during a press briefing on corruption and poverty, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa By Mohammed Kandi

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i g e r i a ’ s agricultural sector has received a major boost following assurances by the World Bank, expressing readiness to support it with huge finances totaling 900

he Executive S e c r e t a r y , National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Barclays Ayakoroma, has announced the intention of the institute to host traditional rulers, local government Service Commissions, and local government chairmen to a National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security in pursuance to the entrenchment of peace and security as a panacea for progress and development in the country. While addressing journalists in a pre-event briefing in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Secretary said the conference themed:

Security, the Role of Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen, was organised in keeping with the Institute’s mandate to sensitise and orientate Nigerians in the area of culture. The conference which is expected to hold between May 7th and 8th will have in attendance, President Goodluck Jonathan who is expected to declare the event open, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo who will be chairman of the occasion while the Chief Servant of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu will present the keynote address. Royal Father of the Day will be Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnemeka Achebe.

World Bank pledges $900m support for Nigerian agriculture million US dollar to enable it carry out effectively the

agricultural value chains in specific crops. The Minister of

Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Ayodeji Adesina, while addressing the press on his trip to the United States of America, assured that the sector was ready to improve as the mainstay of the national economy. Adesina, who disclosed that the World Bank has also indicated interest in transforming the country’s agricultural research institutes, however, noted that it is willing to sustain the value chains particularly in staple food such as rice, cassava, sorghum and

cocoa. On agro-businesses, the minister stated that, the US investors have shown interest in devoting huge resources developing rice farm of about 25, 000 hectares, just as another fruit processing company (Cargill) pledged its support for Nigeria’s agricultural sector. Expressing his regrets that the country has only 20, 000 functional tractors, Adesina stressed the need for Nigeria to embrace mechanised farming system. The minister, who noted that the country

needed at least 300, 000 functional tractors for agricultural activities, said one of the largest producers of tractor in the US (Agco) had agreed to assist Nigeria, even as he held that the ministry was planning to set up tractor plants in strategic locations in the country. He said the sector contributes 44% income to the national Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP) with 7.8% earnings yearly, but admitted that it was not enough to generate employment for over 4 million chunks of graduates and job seekers.

UN, NEMA to assess more state’s on DRR By Mohammed Kandi team of experts from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the United Nations in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are to visit four more states to carry out a c o m p r e h e n s i v e assessment on the national Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). This followed the initial assessments of some states in February and March to determine their level of preparedness and

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readiness of governments at all levels to contain disasters in the country. The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Sidi, while addressing participants yesterday at a meeting in Abuja, said the essence of such assessment was co-opt expertise approach to serve as the basis for the DRR in the country. Represented by the Director of Training at the agency, Mrs Clementina Aisueni, the DG who noted that it became necessary to move the face of the DRR ahead of time,

however, assured that the agency will partner with other necessary stakeholder to achieve success. Team leader of the OCHA group, Ayo Ajayi, said the team will in this assessment exercise cover four more states of Kano, Lagos, Ibadan and the FCT. Ajiyi, who noted that the team will corroborate the earlier information obtained by the first group after which it would align and present them for the purpose of generating positive plans for Nigeria.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Peace between Edo, Kogi threatened, says lawmaker From Sam Egwu, Lokoja

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L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Dere Awosika, Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, and Chief Executive Officer, Power Sector of Siemens, Dr. Michael Suss, after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on power strategies between Nigeria and Siemens, yesterday in Berlin, Germany.

SNC: North can survive alone, says Ango Abdullahi From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna

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chieftain of the Arewa Elders Forum (AEF), Professor Ango Abdullai yesterday disclosed that the North could survive independent of the South should the proposed Sovereign National Conference (SNC) recommend that Nigeria split. The former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Food Security while speaking on the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), said

agriculture would sustain the region if the country splits. This is coming on the heels of the resolution of the Forum in Abuja where the Elders disclosed that the North was ready for the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference. The Forum had equally condemned the spate of insecurity in the country urging President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently resume talks with the dreaded Boko Haram sect. Abdulllahi said “We know this

is an old call, it’s been long for over 20 years, they have been saying this corporate existence of the country, that the Federal system is faulty. They are keen in sitting down to discuss what kind of arrangement would be conducive for Nigerians… this is an old call and it is not a new thing,…..some people are hiding under the guise of this agitation to show that they are tired of staying in a united Nigeria,” he said. “Therefore, we have resolved that we are not going to be the cause

of Nigeria breaking up but if others decided that the country should be divided, and they insisted that Nigeria should break up, we won’t say no because we realised there is nothing we are getting in the current arrangement that other sections of the country are not getting .If they insist, why don’t we sit down and talk? If at the end everybody agrees that Nigeria should be divided, if at the long run, everybody is satisfied that the country should break up, let it be,” he said.

SGF urges stakeholders to partner FRSC on best road practice By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

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ecretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, has urged stakeholders all over the country to partner with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in ensuring proper road use as obtained in other parts of the world.

Anyim, who made this call at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja, during the FRSC summit on strategy for 2012-2016, added that ensuring accident-free roads was the responsibility of all stakeholders who should disseminate the message to others who are ignorant of road ethics. He revealed that the present administration is

working hard towards constructing standard roads and to empower other road maintenance agencies in the country to assist the FRSC in ensuring accident free roads. Similarly, the special guest of honour and Minister of National Planning, Dr. shamsudeen Usman, harped on the need for stakeholders to educate the citizens

on their conduct while plying the roads, as accidents occur owing to drunkenness and disobedience of traffic signs. Earlier, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Osita Chidoka in his welcome address, said the summit was necessitated by the rampant cases of accidents in the country which has forced many to their early grave.

NIPR condoles ‘Boko Haram, more of an environmental problem’ being consumed by desertification and gully erosions By Emmanuel Iriogbe Kano Emir environmental challenges. Our that have eaten deep into the

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resident of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations NIPR, Mal. Muhammed Abdullahi has described the death of Madakin Kano as a great loss not only to Kano Emirate but to the nation in general. In a condolence message which was delivered to the Emir at his palace by the Kano state chairman of the institute, Mal Sule Yau Sule, he urged the emirate and the entire people of the state to take solace in the fact that madaki lived an eventful and transparent life. He prayed Almighty Allah to grant him Aljana Firdausi.

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n environmentalist, Dr. Kabir Abdulkadir, has added his voice to the growing number of people that believe that the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern part of the country has more to do with issues other than religion. Speaking to select journalists in Abuja, yesterday, Abdulkadir who is the founder of the Greenshield of Nations, an NGO, said that the struggle for the few available land in the country is the cause of the many security challenges facing the nation. According to him, “we are

cities are full of young people from the arid zone where land is scarce because of the effect of desertification. These young people know nothing but farming. “When these settlers start getting political power, then the original land owners bring up the issue of settlers and land owner which throw up crises. I state emphatically that there are no religious but environmental crises in the country. As a way out of the present imbroglio, Dr Abdulkadir canvassed for a holistic look at the jatropha plant which he says remains the solution to

country’s land mass. “The jatropha plant has components to make trees grow wherever it is found, it also makes gully erosion impossible in an environment it is planted. This is aside that the fruit of the tree brings out oil with the same characteristics with diesel oil, this makes it a good substitute for petroleum products.” Meanwhile, Abdulkadir’s pet project, ‘the Baganzamawa project’ will on Thursday, April26 graduate the first batch of trainees in Katsina on how to make different products from the jatropha plant.

nless a peaceful dialogue is initiated between some communities in Kogi and Edo states to find solution to a lingering land dispute, peace and tranquility in these border communities is threatened. A matter of urgent public importance read on the floor of Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday, sponsored by the member representing Okene 1, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello and the member representing Okene 11, Jamiu Lawal, urged the government of the two states to curb the trespass. They said Oguda farmland in Ohu-Odumi of Okene local goverment had been under the control and utilised by Ebira community from Okene from time immemorial, noting that Okpella people had contested the parcel of land with Odumi people in 1985 but failed. According to the motion, following the court judgment in favour of Ebira people in 1985 at an Area court in Offa, then in Kwara state, everybody had forgotten the matter, but recently, it further stated, Okpella people invaded the farmland to the chargrin of the people. To avoid break down of law and order in the two states, the government of both states have been intimated to nip the seed of discord being allegedly sowed by Okpella community, in bud, stating that the current security challenges were enough crisis for the states and country.

Faskari LG awards N25m contract From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

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askari local government of Katsina state has awarded contracts worth N25 million for the execution of various projects across the area. Awarding the contracts, yesterday in Faskari, the caretaker chairman of the area, Engineer Isiyaku Faskari noted that the contracts include the construction of drainages, culverts and water supply. He similarly stated that the contract which was to cover all areas was specifically initiated to address peculiar demands of each benefitting community. According to him, the council would continue to use the meager resources at its disposal to solve some of the problems facing communities in the area. He similarly tasked people in the area on maintenance culture and the need to embrace peace and security as veritable tools for the growth of the area. Faskari praised the commitment of Katsina state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema in the judicious management of the state resources which he stressed had translated into the even development of the state.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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Doctors/nurses face-off paralyses activities at FMC, Abeokuta From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta

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he power tussle between doctors and nurses of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), IdiAba, Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital has paralyzed medical services in the last four days, investigation revealed. Peoples Daily investigations revealed that the two bodies were at loggerheads over differences in

the course of carrying out their official duties, hence innocent patients have turn out to be victims of the face-off. Findings by our correspondent revealed that the genesis of the crisis emanated from a medical doctor in the hospital who was allegedly found wanting in his duties by abandoning patients on his beat. This was brought to his notice by a Chief Nursing Officer of the hospital.

However, the medical doctor, according to sources, frowned at the effrontery of the CNO in correcting him and verbally insulted the nurses' boss, a development the nurses saw as an insult on all of them. A complaint was then lodged with the hospital management but the management was alleged to have failed to take appropriate action against the doctor. As a result, the Nursing Association of

the hospital, mobilized themselves and downed tool in protest. As at the time of filing this report, the situation, which was in its third day, still remain unresolved when our correspondent visited the hospital. The protesting nurses are yet to resume work, insisting that the "right thing" be done first by the management. Peoples Daily observed during

a visit to the hospital that the absence of the nurses is having negative effect on the patients, as there were no nurses to attend to the in-patients especially. When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Hospital, Segun Orisajo declined comment on the issue, as he claimed to be on leave, "but what I heard yesterday was that, the matter will soon be addressed, so I can't make any official statement now".

Niger state sets up c'ttee on rice production

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L-R: Oyo state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs. Sekinat Idowu, Deputy Director, South West Area Office, Mr. Gabriel Ibe, Director, Corps Mobilisation, Mrs. Mercy Kolajo, Oyo state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and NYSC Director-General, Brigadier-General Nnamdi Okore-Affia, during a visit by the NYSC boss to the governor, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Dankwambo vows to develop rural towns From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe

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he Gombe state government is to spend over N4.8 million on the construction of 3.2 kilometre roads in Balanga local government area of the state. Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo who disclosed while speaking while flagging-off the road projects in Bambam town,

expressed his administration's determination to develop the state capital, but all towns in the state with street lights, drainages and parks. The two roads which were combined into one lot and awarded to Datum Construction Nigeria Limited, would be completed within nine months The governor urged contractors to maintain high

AFP elevates staff By Tobias Lengnan Dapam, with agency report

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ssociate France Press (AFP), has appointed Pierre Celerier as Deputy Global News Director with Florence Biedermann elevated to the position of Director for Europe/Africa while Christian Chaise is the new Director for Middle East in Nicosia. Celerier, who was the Technical Editor In-Chief, is to replace Juliette Hollier Larousse, who has been appointed Director for Latin America in Montevideo and would assume his new position on July1, 2012. Celerier, a former freelancer

for the agency in Russia and the USA was a Moscow correspondent from 2000 to 2004. He covered among others, the war in Afghanistan before joining the economy desk until 2005, when he was appointed head of the Teheran bureau for four years. Pierre served as head of web and mobile production from 2009 to 2011 before accepting the position of Technical Editor InChief. Similarly, Biedermann former Editor In-Chief joined the agency in 1982 and served as a Bonn correspondent before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, after which she was posted to Nicosia.

standard and timeliness in executing the projects, and assured them that the administration would continue to pay all certificates of valuation promptly so as to ensure increased work tempo. Also speaking at the occasion, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad explained that the Cham and Bambam township road

projects were part of the administration’s plan to ensure even spread of development to the grassroots adding that other towns including Billiri, Dukku, Bajoga and Kaltungo would benefit from the projects. The commissioner said the scope of work in all the roads would involve the construction of asphaltic concrete paved roads with concrete lined drains.

Women asked to brace up From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe

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he National President, Tangale Waja Development Association (TAWADA), (women's wing), Mrs. Finney David, has called on women in the area to rise up and be counted among great women of Nigeria. Mrs. David, who stated this while speaking during the award ceremony and Annual General Meeting in Billiri town in Gombe state, urged women in the area to change the course and plight of the disadvantaged womenfolk in the country especially in the North. She added that the maiden

ceremony would be an annual event by the women wing of the Senatorial District popularly known as Tangale/Waja, adding the award ceremony was aimed at rewarding hardwork and successes achieved by the women folk of the area. The immediate past Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri and Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Serah Pane were among 12 prominent women of Gombe South Senatorial District that were honoured by the Association .

he Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has constituted a committee headed by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Minna, Professor Mohammed Yahaya Kuta to look into the possibility of partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on massive commercial production of rice in the state. Governor Aliyu set up the committee at the Government House, after a power point presentation by the Central Bank of Nigeria on Nigeria Incentive Risk Sharing System in Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) , a programme organised by the Development Finance Department of the CBN. He gave the committee three weeks to submit its report to council and charged members of the committee to look into the idea of restructuring the state ministry of agriculture with a view to meeting the salient issues raised in the presentation by the Central Bank. The Chief Servant, as he is fondly called, asked the Ministry to go beyond the purchase and sale of fertiliser and integrate the affected farmers with the CBN programme, adding that government would not resettle any village involved, a press release issued by Danladi Ndayebo, Director General, (Media & Public Affairs) stated. Earlier, the Branch Manager, CBN Minna, Mohammed Kabir DanGusau had explained that the new agriculture lending policy was a new scheme aimed at enhancing agriculture as a business venture, a source of wealth and job creation. Alhaji DanGusau maintained that the aim of the programme was to prepare farmers in the state to produce between 2 - 3 million tonnes of rice and that the CBN would broker suppliers agreement between the input companies and agro-dealers in the state, so as to raise the productivity level of the small and medium scale farmers. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria would serve as guarantor to the farmers as well as to convince the commercial banks to give loans to the farmers, adding that about N9.9. billion would be required to finance the programme.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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EDIT ORIAL EDITORIAL

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Still on police brutality and impunity

his is an obviously well beaten path that any further comments on it would appear trite. But, as the saying goes, whatever is worth doing is worth doing not only well, but repeatedly too. This is especially true in respect of campaigns to reform the society. On Thursday last week, a mobile police man on guard duty in front of a bank along Zoo Road in Kano ruthlessly beat a 31-year old woman for no reason other than the lady's attempt to board a commercial tricycle at the parking area of the bank. In the presence of eye witnesses, including one Wasiu Sanusi, the driver of the tricycle, the uncultured police man, not only physically assaulted the lady, Madina Shehu, but also pointed his corked gun at her and threatened to kill her, telling her that her mother could give birth to another child. It took the intervention of his colleague to mollify the rogue officer. But not before he and the colleague vandalized the "offending" tricycle. The incident was captured by a quick thinking eye witness on the camera of his mobile telephone, and the picture and story were published by some newspapers the following day. Sadly, eight days after the mindless and brutal assault on the lady, the police authorities have yet to take action about it and the culprit is still free to continue his rogue ways with innocent Nigerians; a trait that has long become a pastime for many in uniform, often with fatal

consequences. But in far away Israel, a senior army officer, who smashed a pro-Palestinian protester in the face with his gun, was instantly suspended and subsequently dismissed after footage of the horrific incident appeared online. The officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner, was seen ramming his M-16 into the face of Danish national, Andreas Las, as

not a few of these criminally-minded people in uniform somehow found themselves in a service whose raison d'être is to rid the society of their ilk activists took part in a bicycle rally in the occupied West Bank. In his prompt condemnation of the military officer's action, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "'This behaviour is not characteristic of IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers and commanders and it has no place in the IDF or in the state of Israel." Clearly, this is as it should be; leaders having the courage and presence of mind to promptly condemn the untoward

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

actions of their subordinates, especially where the image of the nation or service is threatened. It is our belief at Peoples Daily that the reason for the spate of abuses on innocent civilians on these shores is because the culprits almost always go scot-free with not so much as a pat on the wrist. If anything, their superiors always rush to their defence by explaining away the not infrequent abuses, often fatal, on innocent civilians, as acts of self-defence even when the victim is unarmed. Too, not a few of these criminally-minded people in uniform somehow found themselves in a service whose raison d'être is to rid the society of their ilk. Many of them, we sadly observe, seem only in their element when brutalizing unarmed innocent citizens, even when some of them shamelessly shed their uniform to walk the streets for fear of Boko Haram members. We are also saddened by the silence of the police leadership over this incident, because it does not rhyme with Acting Inspector General M.D. Abubakar's initial tough talk about not tolerating bad eggs in the force. It is not enough to claim that the authorities have acted; they must be seen to have acted appropriately. With its silence over this heinous crime against an innocent citizen, the message the police hierarchy is sending is that; in the service, it is still business as usual, despite the IG's tough talk on assumption of office.

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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

By Engr. A. S. Idris

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t was the legendary Alexander the Great ( 355BC = 322BC ), who declared on assumption of kingship, after the murder of his father, that "the dream of the Greek for the conquest of the world was very much alive and that the only thing that had changed was the name of the King! "Nigeria today is at the cross-roads. Many of its citizens today believe that the problem of the country has to do with the name of the king. President Jonathan has spent less than one year in office out of his first term of 4 years, yet his southsouth pressure groups have declared that there will be no vacancy in the presidency in 2015. Manypoliticians of northern extraction are promising fire and brimstone if power does not return to the north in 2015. The stage is being set for a competition that would be unhealthy andunnecessary. The truth is that what Nigeria

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Sovereign National Conference: The only viable option left for a strong, united Nigeria needs either now or in 2015 is a leader who can solve its multifarious problems and set it on the path of sustainable growth and development. If President Jonathan can do this, he will surely elicit the support of the entire country and not only hat of his native south - south. Nigeria's developmental problems are known to most of its citizens and a large section of the international community. Presently the major problems include-poor security situation, inadequate utility supply, poor state of infrastructure, irregular payments of salaries, wages, gratuities and pensions; nonimplementation of most of the agreements between government and organized private sector and non-settlement of huge debts owed to contractors and consultants.

Any Nigerian leader that can tackle these aforementioned problems headlong would succeed in drastically reducing the levels of insecurity, corruption, unemployment, electoral malpractices, ghost worker syndrome, recurrent expenditure, contract inflation and wasteful public sector expenditure. There would simply be no idle funds to steal or to misapply to circumvent the system. The system operating in Nigeria today consists of a powerful cabal that holds the presidency hostage, a strong executive arm of government, a weak legislature and a weak judiciary. Under such a system change becomes impossible or slow and the country continues with its downward slide. It is this sad state of affairs that makes the idea of a Sovereign

National Conference (SNC) attractive and indeed inevitable. It should be convened. The modalities could be worked out and the earlier the better. The only settled issue in Nigeria has always been the unity of the country. There hasn't been any serious agitation for the break up of the country since the end of the civil war in 1970. A Sovereign National Conference, if held will be capable of giving Nigeria a new Constitution that enshrines the true separation of powers by giving complete independence to the legislature and the judiciary. The SNC could also settle the vexed issue of revenue sharing formula. In the first Republic it was based on 50% derivation. It served the country well. If the formula is reintroduced, it will serve Nigeria

even better now; by-fizzling out all agitations for more States and LGAs, diversifying the economy by forcing non--oil producing States to revamp their neglected revenue yielding sectors (by forging strong partnerships with genuine investors and businessmen); and increase the level of productivity in the country by stimulating economic activities in all the 36 States instead ofthe current indolence caused by over-reliance on monthly handouts from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). Based on the foregoing points, shouldn't a properly convened SNC do Nigeria a lot of good? Engr. A. S. Idris Management Consultant abdulkad2004@yahoo.com 08037021814, Minna, Niger State.

Budget 2012: What’s in it for SMEs? (II) By Fred Chiagozie Nwonwu Also of interest to SMEs and provided for in the budget are: • The provisions of tax rebates for companies that create jobs, which will serve as incentive to hire for companies that are in need of experienced hands, but until now lacked the motivation to hire. • The drive to encourage utilisation of locally produced commodities by introduction of a fiscal policy. • A proposed review of the muchdebated Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and a passing of the bill into law in 2012 should be beneficial to SMEs in the petroleum sector. b) Inhibited access to money and the capital markets There appears to be an attempt to minimise issues relating to inhibited access to money and the capital markets, but sadly only for the agric sector where government is guaranteeing 70 per cent of the principal of all loans made for the supply of seeds and fertiliser by the private sector. The government will also subsidise agricultural loans, bringing it down from 15 per cent to 7 per cent. In addition, Agricultural equipments get zero duty from January 31, 2012; a ban on importation of cassava flour will take off late January or after the budget is signed into law and the duty on polished rice will be reviewed upwards to 50 per cent in January and further up to 100 per cent by December 2012. Though it is expected that the price increase resulting from the reviewed duty will impact positively on local production, the fact remains that local production, as it stands, cannot meet the country’s demand. All the same, the protectionist policies, which also affects wheat—50 per cent duty from January—would expectedly create many opportunities for agriculture based SMEs, as would the zero duty on agricultural equipments and the agriculture loan schemes. Perhaps in line with the thematic leaning of the budget, the government appears to be very keen in revamping this much-neglected

sector. c) Poor infrastructural facilities With 72 per cent of the budget committed to recurrent expenditure and infrastructure development predicated on removal of the contentious petroleum subsidy, the issue of infrastructure may well remain a nagging one, with unfavourable impact on SMEs. The allocation of N161.4 Billion to the power sector, about 3.4 per cent of total expenditure, indicates that the government is serious in its bid to deregulate the power sector and is not inclined to invest in hard power sector infrastructure. How this impacts on power production and distribution is another aspect that is open to speculation. However, if the worst happens and the power production drops lower than the level it is at present, SMEs, many of which depend on electricity to for production, would feel the pinch. Inflation and Removal of fuel subsidy One of several fallouts of the removal of petroleum subsidy is the expected rise in inflatioan across the country. Though the government indicates that it will keep the inflation at 9.5 per cent, it did not outline how it would do this, in view of the expansive fiscal policy that will surely impact the Naira’s exchange rate and the removal of subsidy on fuel. The issue of fuel subsidy is a very contentious one and the impact on SMEs will be enormous. Already we have touched on power generation and distribution, and the fact that the government, going by the budgetary allocation to that sector, does not intend to provide the massive investment needed to revamp and modernise that sector. With this in mind, it would not be farfetched to say that the operational environment for SMEs will be negatively impacted as the cost of generating electricity from petrolpowered generators to run businesses will shoot up significantly, thereby pushing up cost of production of goods and services. In addition, the effect of the subsidy removal will go beyond

increased electricity cost and its attendant impact on cost of production. Goods and services that would see price increases include agriculture produce, clothing, transport, housing, as well as utility costs, thereby putting pressure on employers as employees begin to press for salary reviews based on the prevailing economic climate. While some percentage of the expected price increase will be as a direct result of the percentage increase in fuel price, inflationary trends would surely account for a large percentage. Perhaps, if the government phases the removal of the petrol subsidy the percentage increase in inflation would be better controlled and the figures stated in the budget would be more realistic. Already, with the partial removal of fuel subsidy in effect business owners have started feeling the impact of the inflation that may prevail throughout the year. “It goes beyond the expected increase in cost of production as a result of higher fuel prices. Transport costs have doubled and the cost of goods and services have followed in their wake. As such, I am more particular about the psychological effect on people and how this will affect productivity,” says Mr Chris Okafor, technical director or Briscoe Technologies. For Ageless Aoko, proprietor of Ageless Physiotherapy Clinic, the fear, and anger, was more palpable, “everything is gonna go up. I don’t understand their (government) calculations. You don’t make such decisions at this time if your aim is to fight inflation, because the market will respond with high prices that only serve to increase inflation,” Mr Aoko said. Support for research and development Although the agricultural sector and bakeries received priority attention in the 2012 budget, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Communications Technology Sector got N30.84 Billion and N18.31 Billion respectively. It is a tale of diminishing allocations as both the Communications Technology sector

and the Ministry of Science and Technology saw their allocations slashed by N12.08 Billion and N17.89 Billion respectively. These sums, apparently “paltry” when compared to the N921.91 Billion allocated to security, does not constitute great news for ICT based SMEs that would have benefited more from a bigger allocation. This meagre allocation will greatly hamper SMEs in the research and development sector and Nigeria’s hope to become a global player in the ICT sector— something for which Kenya is getting some renown. Clearly, the 2012 budget does not indicate any conscious effort by government to take the huge potentials in the ICT and software market serious enough to warrant ample budgetary allocation to it. It is noteworthy that rather than growing, the budgetary allocation to National Information Development Agency (NITDA) has dropped drastically in the last two years. It is not known if this will be the case this year, but the prognostics are not bright for the industry whose worth the Director of the NITDA, Cleopas Angaye, put at US$6 Billion in June 2010. Going forward As stated before, the 2012 budget does not include any sector specific allocation for the SME sector. While many industry insiders would have preferred a situation where SMEs would get priority attention, especially as job creation is one of the key themes of the budget. This does not however mean that the sector is missing out entirely, at least agriculture based SMEs are not. The point might be made that the expected positive outlook of provision of tax breaks for organisations that create jobs would also benefit SMEs, how this will be worked out is vague and organisations would have to wait for the passage of the budget and actual implementation to find out. All over the developing world, SMEs are the major engines of growth and Nigeria should not be an exception. There is need for government to address the

constraints facing SMEs in Nigeria. Financing SME growth To ensure the success of the millennium development goals of the Federal Government, the following aspects that would push for growth within the sector must be looked into: • Prioritise the SME sector and extend sector specific budgetary allocations to the SMEs • Ensure easy access to investment loans and provided loan schemes similar to those extended to the agricultural sector in the 2012 budget to SMEs • Provide special interest rate for SMEs • Government guarantee of up to 50 per cent of start up loans for SMEs • Create a policy that mandates banks to have at least a 10 per cent portfolio for SMEs These steps are not farfetched as they are in consonance with what is obtainable in other developing nations with priority policies regarding SMEs and It is time Nigeria adopts global best practices that have been tested and proven to be viable in similar demography. SURE-P, additional prospects for SMEs Against the backdrop of expected negative fallout of the removal of fuel subsidy, the Nigeria government launched Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), which is expected to channel subsidy savings to infrastructure development and other key areas. According to the government, the aim of SURE-P is to not only alleviate any hardship that might be inflicted on the masses by the removal of fuel subsidy, but also ensure that the mistakes made in the past are not repeated. For SMEs, SURE-P appears to toe also the leaning of the 2012 budget by not recognising the need to empower SMEs specifically. However, like with the budget, SURE-P, which is foreseen as a 3-4 year program, offers opportunities for sector specific SMEs. Fred can be reached through frednwonwu.blogspot.com Concluded


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By Sabiu Abdul Taluyo

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f recent, there is a renewed interest in the Almajiri systems of Islamic scholarship in the north. Senimars, conferences and symposia. Conferences and symposia have been held on the topics in which many scholars and analyst proposed many different measures that might possibly help to address the issue. Among the various recommendations proffered was the indegration of Tsangaya (Almajiri) system of learning with the western structure of education. Hence, the federal government is said to have spent more than N5bn on 35 model Almajiri schools established nationwide, since the project began in December 2010. Infact, president Goodluck Jonathan has just inaugurated one of the federal government

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Almajiri schools: how sincere is the government? model Almajiri school in Sokoto. This is out of the 400 Almajiri school across the 19 northern states as approved by the federal government council. Speaking at the occasion the president reiterated that the Almajiri school project was part of the program initiated by the federal government to combat the poor education of youth in the north, which is believed to see one of the reason for security breach in the region. He said the exercise was in fulfillment of his promised to tackle the almajiri synthrone in the northern state. From all indications, this gesture looks well-meaning. If one considers the alarming

statistic of children who are roaming the streets begging in the name of Quaranic education. According to statistics by the Arewa Youth mobilization, a non-governmental organization about 30 per cent of northern Nigeria youths are street beggars. The NGO’s secretary general, Yusuf A. Barau, said “ we have conducted a research and our statistic have shown that over 30 per cent of northen youth between the ages of 4 to 13 are street beggars. These youths are children who do not know anything or think for themselves. Sabiu Abdul Jalingo is reachable on 08031322577

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: let ters@peoplesdaily-online.com SMS: 07037756364

VON – FRCN re-merger: One step forward, two steps backward By Ben Egbuna

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have followed with keen interest news emerging from or generated by the work of the Steve Oronsanye-led Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government parastatals and agencies. It has, for instance, been reported that the committee is recommending a merger of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), as well as the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Voice of Nigeria (VON). The committee’s denial that it has made such recommendations has not doused the debate on the merit or otherwise of such mergers. In fact, the debate has drawn in two former Chief Executive Officers of FRCN and VON – Eddie Iroh and Taiwo Allimi. For obvious reasons, many stakeholders in broadcasting have urged me to add my voice to the debate (as if it will sway government either way.) This is not the first time a merger (I think re-merger should be more appropriate because VON was part of FRCN) of VON and FRCN has been touted and it will not be the last. As I write this piece I find myself humming that old Reggae song by Max Romeo: “One step forward, two steps backward.” For all you know, if the merger goes ahead this time, there will be agitation for demerger under a different administration. Decisions such as this in Nigeria are usually not guided by enduring principles but by whims and caprices. That explains why, for example, the ministry of Information soon becomes Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Information and Sports, Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Ministry of

Information and Communications, and back to simply Ministry of Information! The comments I make here on the question: should VON and FRCN be re-merged, are informed by my service experience in the two organizations. I was in the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (which later became FRCN) when VON was the External Service of Radio Nigeria, that is an arm or a department of FRCN until 1990 when it was excised from FRCN and granted autonomy. I was a pioneer staff member of the new and autonomous VON and returned to FRCN in 2006 from where I retired from public service in 2008. This brief introduction is necessary to dispel any suspicion of partisanship on my part. And I must add that neither FRCN nor VON pays my pension; I am under the new (contributory) pension scheme. I therefore owe none of them any obligation to canvass or promote their viewpoint on this issue. As I have already stated, VON at inception in1961 was the External Service of Radio Nigeria (the on-air name of NBC/FRCN). Initially, its service was limited in terms of reach and programming but this was gradually expanded. By the early 1980s VONs signal had extended beyond West Africa to cover the world. But its success graph soon began to decline and by 1990 Nigeria’s voice was virtually muted. Even in its bright and booming days, the External Service was more or less a programmes department. The station had no news unit of its own; its news bulletins were compiled by journalists of the Home Service. This was a structural missing link whose did not help the cause of external broadcasting. News bulletins broadcast on the External Service were compiled

by staff of the National News Department assigned on a weekly basis to the “External Desk.” The “External Desk” in the Newsroom was considered a “Siberia” of sorts and invariably most of those deployed to that desk were those whose competence was in doubt. Often they simply re-typed news stories lifted from the National News bulletins for the External Service news; re-writing was scarcely done. This situation changed when VON gained autonomy in 1990; a news directorate was created alongside the programmes directorate, and the journalists have imbibed the external news writing style and orientation. It must also be noted that the management of FRCN concentrated supervisory and professional attention on the “Home Service” through which government evaluated the station’s performance since the signal of the External Service could only be accessed outside the country easily. It was no surprise therefore that by the mid-1980s the External Service was in serious distress from years of neglect. By the end of that decade, it had gone off-air as its transmitters had collapsed one after the other. It was against this background that the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in 1990 decided to excise VON from FRCN and grant it autonomy. The new VON was given the power “to the exclusion of any other broadcasting authority or any other body in Nigeria” to broadcast “externally by radio, Nigeria’s viewpoint to any part of the world.” It was given the specific duty to “promote Nigeria’s foreign policy and image” through its news and programmes. VON has since grown from the neglected girl-child that it seemed to be under FRCN to a matured, full blown station, discharging its

functions as an international broadcaster with greater focus and dedication. Its news and programmes are written and packaged for audiences outside Nigeria, with its transmitters (it recently installed a state-of-theart transmission facility at Lugbe in Abuja, directed towards targeted regions of the world. How would a re-merger with FRCN affect the tremendous progress that has been recorded in FRCN since 1990 and VON in its 21 years of autonomy? Are there new and compelling reasons to revoke the autonomy granted VON in 1990? The main reason for empanelling the Steve Oronsanye-led Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government parastatals and agencies as stated by government is the perceived duplication in the functions of some of the agencies and the need to save cost of running government. It has nothing to do with the performance or the lack of it by the agencies. True, VON and FRCN are engaged in broadcasting, but they have different mandates and constituencies. While FRCN is a domestic broadcaster, VON is an external broadcaster, just as we have the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. How rational would a merger of the two ministries be even in the face of scarce funds? I admit that recent technological developments in the media industry have tended to eliminate the dichotomy between external and domestic broadcasting. The digital technology especially has knocked down the barrier such that an FM station can be received anywhere in the world via live streaming on the World Wide Web. In fact, at least four of FRCNs FM stations are on the web just like many other

such stations in the country. In this regard, the uninitiated could conclude that VON has become irrelevant. But this will be wrong because in content and language, these FM stations still address their domestic audiences regardless of the fact that the internet has given them the potential for wider/international broadcast reach. Our contention is that because the mandate of VON – to promote Nigeria’s foreign policy and image - remains germane VON as an organisation remains relevant. I had canvassed elsewhere that VON is under the wrong supervising ministry. The functions assigned to VON by the law establishing it place the station within the foreign policy implementation community but curiously it has been under the supervision of the domesticfocused ministry of Information. Apart from this disconnect from its proper environment, VON under the Ministry of Information has had to deal with the problem of domestic application of international news by its journalists compounded by senior ministry officials who fail to understand or recognise the distinction between VON as an external broadcaster and FRCN as its domestic counterpart. The current restructuring exercise by the Federal Government should be an opportunity to place VON where it belongs – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There it will have the regular background briefings and information it needs to enhance the pursuit of its mandate of promoting Nigeria’s foreign policy and image. VON as part of the Foreign Affairs Ministry will be better placed to carry out its mandate of promoting Nigeria’s foreign policy and image. Ben Egbuna Is the Publisher/Editor in Chief of Digicast Magazine


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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Third best GDP growth versus zero jobs - daring our sensibilities By Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick

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he Nigerian government and the two Washington financial institutions (The World Bank and the IMF) projected 7% (seven percent) GDP growth for Nigeria last year; this growth, however, was to have zero job creation in attendant; we are talking about the world 7th largest oil exporting nation here. To foreclose irritating questions to the authorities on what that means, it was explained that it does not have to translate to job creation. They seem to dare our sensibilities. The report we got last week, true to predictions, was that the Nigerian economy actually grew by 6.8% last year; very close. Thanks largely to the price of oil - the only tangible contribution to that economic growth. The Nigerian government, however, beat its chest last week for a credit that it does not deserve. That is very deceitful; unless we are trying to re-invent economic wheel. Maybe we are intoxicated with drinking too much oil. Gross domestic product is defined as the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year. Oil still remains over 96% of Nigeria’s external earnings, and maybe slightly less than 86% of the goods produced within Nigeria in dollar term. Other non-oil exports was only $2.765 billion, about 4%. The remaining 14% of production will account for other goods produced and the epileptic, substandard, services provided. This means, the

productivity of you and I, outside the oil sector, is less than 15%, in spite of our daily 8 to 5 hustle and bustle; and we sure really hustled. This calls for great concern, especially when the country dreams of becoming one of the twenty largest economies in 2020. What is there to celebrate, when there is no light, no road, no rail, no water, no security, no hospital, no quality education, and above all no jobs? I agree that Nigeria has the potential, because the resources (manpower and wherewithal) are there abundantly. What is lacking is the political will to do the right things. This is not about removing subsidies to provide palliatives, without which we are told these things should not be expected; it is about redirecting resources. Nigeria does not have to go and borrow, as our experts believe; nature has lent us enough through vast oil reserves, good weather, fertile land, and large population. However, the country’s leadership does not seem to believe that Nigeria can make it; otherwise they will not be stealing what is needed to multiply the country’s wealth. Even if they must steal, why can’t they wait for the country’s external annual earnings to grow to over $300 billion, instead of the paltry $65 billion that is mostly from oil? They could then steal as much as they could and the people might not notice. For Nigeria to move forward economically, it needs reforms in tax system and the insurance industry; as well as a revisit to

the exchange rate mechanism. However, my son, an economics postgraduate at Brandeis University, Massachusetts, argues that the warped exchange rate is caused by the distortion in the market forces, which can easily be addressed by effective tax reform. He believes that the forces at play at the forex market are excess naira liquidity that government ought to have mopped up by taxing the rich adequately. Those willing to buy forex with a lot of naira can afford to do so because they are grossly under taxed. An example is the present imbroglio between the government and the British air carriers (British Airways and Virgin), on the overcharging of the rich between Lagos and Nigeria; it has buttressed the arguments that the rich in Nigeria are embarrassingly under taxed. It is why the rich people pay those exorbitant fare without batting an eye. That excess money ought to have been mopped up by government by taxing them. The foreign airlines are only cashing in on the defects in our tax system that produces excess liquidity. This is the biblical “seeing the speck in other people’s eyes and not noticing the log in our eyes.” Nigeria’s tax issue are all rhetorics. The National Assembly ought to sponsor and pass a Tax Bill urgently to give the exercise the force of law. In America, you cannot dodge Uncle Sam (not paying tax) without consequences. If we don’t fix tax, there will be damaging economic consequences. Take, for instance, the issue of fuel subsidy removal - a waist of time and ill-

conceived exercise. I have always suspected the motives of our so called experts. Fix the tax and the phantom subsidy removal will disappear. President Jonathan can still redeem the strained people’s affection of him by going fullforce after tax dodgers, particularly the rich (earned or stolen wealth) in our midst. It is their potential tax that will create good road, rail, light, jobs, etc. Jonathan can still be the Robin-Hood of our time. Robin Hood, however, had shoes, while Jonathan did not; our President now has several pairs. Jonathan should Just Do It - the slogan of one of his many acquired brands. Apart from tax, the other key area is the insurance industry. In capitalism, there is this thing called the cost of borrowing other people’s money. It is a function of supply and demand; it can, however, be tempered by government intervention through legislation. Banks’ business is about deposits and depositors dictate the cost of borrowing. In Nigeria today, individuals are the largest depositors in our banks, and they dictate the interest rates. That situation can be reversed, by making the insurance industry the largest depositors in Nigerian banks through legislation. Every government’s duty is to protect the interest of everybody; and for that reason, government makes it imperative for its citizens to take insurance on their economic activities in order to protect the third party (other people). Insurance serves as economic

security for individuals also. The economic benefit to the nation is the premiums (little drops of water) that become the largest deposits (oceans); and soon dwarf the deposits of individuals in banks. With that, government would have, by legislation, created a pool for government and the people to borrow from at lower interest rates; and it will still have control over the rates. What I reiterated above are the basics of economics that we wittingly or unwittingly ignored, which our experts have turned into a puzzle; or maybe deliberately frustrating us. The proposed tax bill will have to take cognisant of our level of corruption and should prescribe the stiffest penalty to tax collectors, as deterrent to collusion with tax evaders. There is no running away from these two fundamentals of economics. It by shying away that we got into our miserable position in the first place. The IMF and the World Bank had advised same in the early 1980s, but has been on the shelf for so long. The initial success of the devaluation of the naira deceived Nigeria. With the government awash with so much of ever depreciating naira, we thought we had invented an economic master piece; then, suddenly, corruption loomed to some unbelievable dimension; we then got stuck in the mud. Unless we go back to brass tags, by running government largely on tax; oil dependency doomsday maybe in the offing. Sanusi also warned. Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick wrote in from Lagos.

Journalists’ brushes with Nigerian judges (I) T By Emmanuel Onwubiko

he practitioners of the pen profession or media workers in Nigeria are usually addressed in the fanciful title of members of the fourth Estate of the Realm to depict the symbolic essence of the functions of the workers in the media houses of both electronic and print who gather and disseminate factual stories objectively in compliance with the time tested ethical code of balance, truth and the realization by the practitioners that NEWS is sacred but personal opinion of writers are free. Journalists occupy the position of those who watches over the members of the other three estate of the realm namely the executive, judiciary and the legislature. Because of this legendary supervisory power of the media the practitioners were called the WATCH DOGS of the society because like the good vigilant DOG, the journalists are expected to be vigilant and

actively awake to their sacred duty of reporting accurate and truthful information that will inform, educate and entertain the citizens. With the coming to being of the 1999 Constitution and the emergence of the democratic dispensation, the media workers have occupied a very strategic position in the hierarchy of those professionals that are expected to meaningfully monitor the activities of the actors in the political and economic fields essentially and report their factual findings to the reading public made up principally by the citizenry who are the true owners of the Sovereignty of Nigeria from where those in position of political power and authority derive their legitimacy and mandate to govern the polity in compliance with extant provisions of the law. The framers of the constitution of 1999 were well aware of the key role the media workers play in preserving the

integrity of the nation’s sovereignty so much so that the media was singled out for specific mention in the supreme body of law and told primarily in section 22 to act as the nation’s conscience and the real vanguards of the nation that should monitor and ensure that those in position of authority in the polity serve the public interest and public good in strict compliance with the tenets, letters and spirit of the constitution and other validly passed laws and statutes in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Opinions are unanimous that the media in Nigeria has to a large extent continued to discharge this onerous constitutional task enshrined in the constitution and media owners, media managers and media workers are constantly put on their toes by the general public and constantly reminded of their sacred duty to the people of Nigeria even as those members of the media that detract or deviate from the fundamental

ethics that govern the practice of the media profession are dragged before the relevant organs and ombudsmen or rather institutions set up to provide remedial redress for acts of omission or commission that offends the ethics of the media profession in Nigeria and media laws in Nigeria are so explicit in that journalists who willfully violate the sacred code of conduct and the media ethics by ‘wounding’ or offending the public standing of any individual member of the society without sufficient factual evidence are brought before the competent courts of law to face judicial proceedings that border on libel or slander. Individuals who have in the recent recorded history especially in the contemporary times in Nigeria felt that their good names and image have been tainted or damaged irretrievably by certain publications they viewed as untrue or outright falsehood have had to file and proceeded with judicial cases

against journalists and media managers that are so indicted and in most of the cases, the judiciary have turned in decisions either in favor or against the plaintiffs or the accused. There are several decided cases on matters of libel and other alleged violations of media laws that are in operation in Nigeria but this is not the focus of this piece and so we will not delve into citing those authorities from the decided cases that have had to be taken to the highest court in Nigeria which is the Supreme Court of Nigeria.The late legal expert Chief Gani Fawehinmi[SAN] did a very excellent work by documenting detailed evidence of some of these landmark media related cases that stretched upto the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the past five decades or so. Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria writes from www.huriwa.blogspot.com.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Applicant attempts suicide at FCTA secretariat By Josephine Ellaa

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arely one month after one Musa Inuah Dalhatu climbed a telecom mast located within the Federal High Court Headquarters in Abuja, attempting to commit suicide, an unemployed man Darlington Uzowuru, yesterday, embarked on a similar suicide mission at the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) secretariat at Area 11 in Garki. Dalhatu had climbed a telecom mast located within the court, saying he would commit

suicide unless the Chief Judge invoked his powers and compels former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who he had alleged, own him N15 million to pay him the debt. This latest episode, which occurred at about 10 am yesterday, within the FCTA secretariat, resulted to panic from staff of the administration when the man, who appeared to be in his late thirties, was sighted atop the mask. Eye witness account has it that Uzowuru, gained access into the secretariat and climbed to the top of the mast as he

threatened to kill himself over the refusal of the FCT administration to employ him after several applications. Narrating the drama to journalists, a security guard attached to the secretariat said: "We told him that he will have to wait till 2 pm before he can go in because he is not a staff member but he showed us some documents, saying he applied for a job and had been invited for an interview and that was why we let him in". Uzowuru, claimed to have applied to six different departments of the

Rescue team led by men of the Civil Defence Corps attempting to bring down the man

administration for a job but was not considered for any position despite his qualification. The security man, who pleaded anonymity, said officials gathered at the foot of the mast, pleading with him to come down, assuring him that his complaints would be attended to no avail. According to him, it took a combined effort of the police, Vehicle Inspection Officers and other private guards at the secretariat, who had to climb the, to bring him down. He was said to have been taken to the FCDA police post afterwards, where he was detained for interrogation. When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule denied knowledge of the incident. It could be recalled that the recently released unemployment rate figures in Nigeria reeled out by the National Bureau of Statistics put the figure at 23.9 %. However, a lot of Nigerians have expressed doubt over the veracity of the actual figure, given the fact that there is no tangible system of data gathering in the country. Critics have pointed out that the true and accurate figure should be higher but that the Federal Government deliberately suppresses the actual figure because of political reasons. Meanwhile the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that thousands of applicants have besieged the Federal Civil Service Commission in Abuja daily in search of jobs. NAN reported that the Acting Chairman of the commission, Dr. Akpama Mbang saying it has been mandated by the Presidency to employ 984 applicants annually for the next five years. According to him, the ministry requested for graduates from the 36 states to teach mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry and geography.

FCTA tasks health providers on quality services By Josephine Ella

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he Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) administration has threaten to de-accredit health care service providers that fail to provide adequate drugs to staff of FCT administration. Speaking at a one-day workshop organised for desk officers and health care providers by the FCTA Health Service Scheme (FHSS), the FCT Secretary for Health and Human Services, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya warned that

patients who visit the health care providers must be attended to promptly and treated too. “You must ensure that our enrollees get the right and adequate drugs in a well equipped and standard hospital. Failure may lead to deaccreditation of such providers,” he warned. He explained that the workshop was aimed at giving stakeholders the opportunity to rub minds on the activities of FHSS with a view to smoothen grey areas since the scheme became operational in 2009. Dr. Onakomaiya stated that the FHSS was in fulfillment of

the presidential mandate to achieve universal health coverage to all Nigerians by 2015. He pointed out that the desk officers were expected to serve as an eye for the FCT secretariats, departments and agencies (SDAs), being well versed in their activities. He added that they were equally expected “to take full responsibility as well as informing the FHSS about all enrollees and such other matters that may require attention from time to time, giving detailed information about each activity”.

While commending Health Management, Organisations (HMOs) for their supports towards ensuring the success of the scheme, the secretary assured them that capitation would be reviewed and paid promptly as prepayment. In a remark, the Project Director, Dr. Grace Aganaba, while highlighting the importance of desk officers to the FCT Health Insurance Scheme, emphasised that they were the priority and partners in progress of the scheme as they would anchor the enrolment and handle information flow with respective SDAs.

Dear readers, Metro welcomes human interest stories in your neighbourhood. Please call or send SMS to 08065327178 or e-mail jomarch4@yahoo.com to inform us about happenings in your area. Share your experiences or those of your friends and neighbours with fellow readers.

Board to set up committee to tackle environmental problems

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he Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has called on the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to collaborate with it to set up a committee to tackle environmental problems in the city. Mr Isah Shuaibu, the Director of AEPB, made the call on Thursday in Abuja when he paid a courtesy call on Mr Terver Gemade, the Managing Director of FHA. Shuaibu said the job of keeping Abuja clean would be easier if the two organisations join hands to tackle the problem of waste being generated daily by residents of the city. He said the illegal occupation of some districts of Abuja by villagers, especially the Gwarinpa District, had contributed to the poor sanitary condition of the District. He said that Gwarinpa was not properly planned and that villagers living in the district dispose their waste indiscriminately, thereby making it difficult for officials of the AEPB to evacuate the waste. ``It is much easier to manage waste in an environment that is properly planned. ``It is part of the mandate of the board to ensure that all matters relating to housing are properly addressed, including post-development management, which is very critical.'' Shuaibu said that 75 per cent of the residents of Gwarinpa had no waste collection bins, while about 98 per cent of those who have were not paying their waste collection bills He said that henceforth it would no longer be business as usual, and that the board would take appropriate measures against defaulters. Responding, Gemade pledged to support the AEPB in its efforts to keep Abuja clean, and described the proposed committee on environment as a welcome idea. “If you plan well, you can manage well and if you don't plan, that becomes a problem" he said. (NAN)


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Mobile Tailor at work in Lugbe in the outskirts of Abuja

PAGE 17

Frying beans cake at Aco Estate, Lugbe, Abuja yesterday.

Preparing yam floor for food at Lugbe village in Abuja PHOTOS BY JOE OROYE

A pick-up van conveying some building materials along Sabon Lugbe, Abuja.

A gulf Sedan car carrying sleeping foams atop its roof along Gosa road, Abuja


PAGE 18

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

ABUJA DIARY with Josephine Ella Jomarch4@yahoo.com 08065327178

FCT fishing festival: Setting agenda for next edition

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he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration is cognisant of the huge benefit that could be derived from tapping the abundant natural resources deposits in the territory. This informed the staging of the maiden edition of the FCT fishing festival in 2005, which aside the tourism potentials, would encourage fishermen to increase fish production. Sequel to the approval of the festival by the then FCT Minister, Mallam Nasiru elRufai, the Yankara Reservoir in Yaba, Abaji Area Council was chosen as the permanent fishing festival site for the FCT. The administration's choice of the site is not unconnected with its beautiful lush green scenery with slow water flow which is said to be safe for ceremonial fishing expedition. This edition of the Abuja Diary will be running through the pitfalls which accounted largely for the unexpected outcome of the 2nd edition of the FCT fishing festival, held on April 14 in the Yankara Reservior, Yaba, Abaji and what the organisers, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat and the FCT administration must consider if they must record success in the next edition. That the 2nd edition of the fishing festival failed to meet up with expectations despite the huge fund committed into the project, is stating the obvious. Not a few observers described the festival as a 'waste of time and resources'. This was evident in the various media reports by many journalists who covered the event. The unfortunate outcome of the festival further backs up the adage that 'those who fail to plan, plan to fail'. With proper planning and organisation, which was lacking in the 2nd edition, no doubt, the festival would be a success story in the next edition. However, the Agriculture secretariat and the FCT administration must in their plans towards the next edition, ensure that

FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed trustworthy and committed officials are appointed to headship and members of the respective committees that would handle different aspect of the festival. The one million question begging for answer after the failure of the last edition of the fishing festival is; how did the Agric secretary manage the N21m that was budgeted for the festival? In view of the fact that there was nothing at the scenery to justify that this huge amount of money was fully committed to the festival, there are suspicion from some quarters that the fund might have been misappropriated. Participants capitalised on the absence of coordination, which reflected in all the competitions featured at the event and the grand fishing expedition as well to play fast ones on the judges. This was responsible for the confusion, cheatings and unruly behaviours by contestants at the event, since there were no rules for the competition, resulting in fights, and leaving some participants with injuries. Organizers should therefore; set the rules for the competitions and most importantly, the grand fishing expedition, rather than introducing new rules or changing rules during the game as witnessed in the last edition of the fishing festival. The professional fishermen, who participated in the competition failed to net in fish deserving of the event.

The biggest catch of the day was according to the judges assessment weighed in at a miserable 4kg. Outside this, what other contestants were able to come up with were mostly, fingerlings. These left spectators wondering what went wrong. Contestants attributed this development to the timing of the fishing competition pointing out that the best time for fishing was during the morning hours or evening period and not in blazing sun. This may not be far from the truth because the fishing competition actually featured in the afternoon due to the late coming of some of the important dignitaries that graced the event. In addition, the possibility of the fishes going into hiding during the period could not be ruled out since the water had been disturbed with the initial displays, such as the wild duck hunt, Tulu race, Gora race, embarked upon by contestants before the grand fishing competition. For this reason, the fish competition should be held at the appropriate time and when the water is still calm, before other displays are staged. With this, it is believed that there will be big catches for spectators to take home at a price at the end of the event. Also, there were no adequate boats to go round contestants. This resulted to organisers stepping down the boat race when a crisis broke out on account of this. To forestall this kind of situation, the Agric secretariat must ensure that adequate fishing apparatus and other things needed for the competitions are provided for all participants. Similarly, basic facilities like water, was not provided in the temporary convenience deployed to the venue, there were eateries, although a segment was marked out for this purpose. Many spectators and participants went home hungry, after spending close to 8 hours or more at the event as the only food vendor, who brought in food for sale sold at a highly exorbitant price that many could not afford. Those who could afford the food went home disappointed at the quality of the food which they described as tasteless. To forestall a repeat of this anomaly in the food section, a professional caterer should be contracted by the organisers to operate Bukataria on the site in the next edition. Stepping up the number of participants above the numbers which took part in the competitions and inclusion of exhibition of farm produce and fishing equipment would make the event more colourful

Workers struggling to enter bus after a day work, yesterday, at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja. Photo Mahmud Isa

Mpape killing: Again, Judge shifts judgement to May 2 By Stanley Onyekwere

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ustice Ufot Inyang, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Apo has postponed delivering of judgement in the civil suit brought before it against the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and two others over the alleged murder of late Mrs. Doris Okere, in Mpape. The judge, who had on April 5, the first slated date for judgement postponed same to yesterday due to

the failure of one of the respondents counsel to submit cited Law Report to the court for verification, further deferred the delivery of verdict to May 2 on personal ground when he met with counsels to the suit in his chambers. While briefing journalists who were at the court, Counsel for the Plaintiffs, Barrister Kalu Onuoha, explained that the judge informed, that he has been working on the judgement and that it is almost ready but was unable to do so as he

was bereaved, and had to travel. “His lordship informed us that he will not be ready to deliver the judgement today but that by May 2, immediately after the workers Day celebrations, which is the definite date when the judgement will be delivered�, Onuoha said. It would be recalled that the Plaintiffs had jointly filed a N400, 184,000 claims against three respondents in April 27, 2011.

Man, 52, arraigned for cheating

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he Police on Thursday arraigned a 52-year-old businessman, Adiafu Egby, of Aso Mararaba,, Nasarawa, for cheating. The Police prosecutor, Silas Napan, told the Chief Magistrates’ Court that the crime was reported to the police by one Richard Ahamefule, of Area F Nyanya, Abuja, on April 9. Nanpan said that sometime in 2011, the

accused sold 300 pieces of sewage treatment powder to Ahamefule valued at N900, 000. He said that after the complainant used the said powder, he discovered that the powder did not work. Nanpan added that since then, the accused ran away to unknown destination, till April 9 that he was seen and arrested. According to the

prosecutor, the offence of cheating contravened Section 322 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Nkamdimi Buba granted the accused bail in the sum of N150, 000 with one surety in like sum. Buba adjourned the case to May 9, for hearing. (NAN)

2 docked over allegation of theft, mischief

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mmanuel Ebi, 18, and Onuegbu Israel, 20, on Thursday appeared before an Abuja Magistrates' Court on a four-count-charge of joint act, criminal trespass, attempt to commit an offence and mischief. Police prosecutor Philip Appollos told the court that Mr Emmanuel

Kaduna of Dape Village, Abuja, reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja, on April 13. Appollos said the accused stole a Nokia cell phone valued at N15,000 from the complainant's house, and that during investigation, the phone was recovered from them.

He said the offences were contrary to Sections 79, 348, 96 and 327 of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor asked for a date for hearing, in view of the plea, and Magistrate Habiba Bello adjourned the case to April 23. (NAN)


BUSINESS

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Email: amunuimam@yahoo.co.uk

PAGE 19

INSIDE

- Pg 20

MRS Oil 2011 pretax profit down 29.7 % to N2.03bn

Mob: 08033644990

FAAC allocation for the month of March 2012 S/N

BENEFICIARIES

SUB-TOTAL (N)

1

FG (52.68%) States (26.72%) L/govt Councils (20.72%) Derivation (13% of Mineral revenue-oil/gas) Value Added Tax (VAT) & Transfers

620.7 billion

Nigerian Stock Exchange wants oil majors to list

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oreign oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp should have secondary share listings in Nigeria and planned new energy laws could push them to agree, the stock exchange regulator has said. Speaking at the Reuters Africa investment summit, DirectorGeneral of Nigeria’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh said 80 percent of government revenues come from the oil industry but it makes up only 5 percent of the stock market. By persuading the Niugerian National petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and foreign oil companies to list a portion of their joint ventures the stock market would better reflect the economy for investors and Nigerians could have greater ownership of oil firms.

Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30 ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10 ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00 LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08

IRS AIRLINES

“We’re in discussion both with NNPC as well as the oil majors as to listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Oteh said in Abuja. Although doing business in Africa’s most populous nation isn’t easy, the country is viewed as a promising frontier market. Industrial firms and banks make up most of Nigeria’s current stock market capitalisation. Oteh said oil companies could be encouraged to list shares by the pending Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which aims to increase local participation among sweeping changes. Oteh said it could focus oil firms on when to list on the exchange. But the has been blocked in parliament for years. Few think it will pass this year despite President Goodluck Jonathan’s order to get it get it through quickly. Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest oil exporter is hoping to overhaul its woeful electricity supplies by privatising its power sector this year and Oteh said a plan was also needed for the listing of power distribution and generating companies. The government has said it will privatise 17 companies in the sector although the plan is months behind schedule and faces opposition from powerful vested interests in the country of 160 million, where most people live without electric light. “It is important to democratise the success of these companies and we believe power is going to be bigger than telecommunications,” Oteh said. Nothing has demonstrated Nigeria’s promise as a market more than the success of telecommunications companies like South Africa’s MTN. Oteh said she also wanted MTN and local telecommunications companies such as Glo, owned by Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga, to list on the exchange. (Reuters) EXCHANGE RATES

CBN CFA • £ RIYAL $

LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30

• £ RIYAL $

Air Nigeria to commence London, Johannesburg flights From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

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igeria flagship airline, Air Nigeria yesterday announced the commencement of its international flight operations into London Gatwick in the United Kingdom and the O.R Tambo International Airport in South Africa effective May 16 and 17th respectively, with a modern Airbus A33o-200 aircraft on both routes. The airline said the development is coming just as Air Nigeria is currently implementing a growth phase strategy initiated by Barrister

BUYING 0.2913 203.1211 246.762 41.25 154.7

SELLING 0.3113 04.4341 248.3571 41.5167 155.7

BUYING 210 254 40 158

SELLING 212 256 42 159

Jimoh Ibrahim who acquired the airline two years ago. Briefing journalist at the cooperate headquarters in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer of Air Nigeria Mr. Kinfe Kahssaye said: “After the successful turnaround of the airline over the last two years, the airline is now well positioned to compete favourably on the international market”. He noted that the recommencement of the longhaul flights confirms Air Nigeria’s commitment to boost business and tourism travels through regular growth and innovation that will meet the aspirations of the travelling publics.

Bonny light falls to near 2 year low

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ifferentials on Nigerian Bonny Light fell to the lowest in nearly two years yesterday due to slow demand for sweet barrels since April. Some traders said one or two suezmax tankers have been anchored off Nigeria, having loaded crude oil earlier in April. "Demand is quite slow and some April and May Nigerian cargoes are still not sold," a trader said.

"It has not developed into massive floating storage yet because of the backwardation in the market. But volume could increase." Trafigura offered Bonny Light for May 10-11 loading at dated Brent plus $1.40 a barrel, the lowest level since late May 2010.An April loading cargo of Escravos, which had been stored at sea, had been sold to Spain, traders said. (Reuters)

He said “Passengers will have distinctive onboard experience on the flights as indigenous meals and variety of movies will be offered as the airline is committed to delivering quality services at an affordable price.” According to him, the recommencement of the longhaul flights mark a historic moment for Nigerian aviation and in the West African sub-region as passengers now have a wider array of choice and more than ever before, and can conveniently connect onwards to London and Johannesburg and points beyond. The airline’s flights to London will be operated from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport to the South Terminal of London Gatwick Airport where passengers will have the ease of connectivity across Europe as well as onwards to North America while London bound passengers will have excellent links to London, the North of England, and the South coast. Mr. Kahssaye also announced that the Board of Directors has appointed Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun as Executive Director, International Operations.

Management Tip of the Day

17th Apr, 2012

PARALLEL RATES

ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45

L-R: An economist, Mr. Yakubu Aliu, Niger state Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Mohammed Ali, and Director-General, NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, during a seminar on Good Governance and post Fuel Subsidy Appraisal by NOA, on Tuesday in Minna, Niger state.

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Practice being a leader

eadership is not an innate trait that you're born with. It can be learned. The key is to practice before you have the official title. Start by focusing on the choices you make now, such as who to put on your team or what vendor to use for your project. Recognise that you likely don't

know everything. Making decisions based on incomplete information is a skill that every leader must master. Once you've acted, ask yourself: Was that the right decision? Could you have done something differently? This will get you comfortable with making decisions, acting upon them, and

reflecting on their outcomes. Then, learn from your inevitable mistakes. You will build knowledge and skills as you work up to the larger decisions with broader consequences that all leaders have to make. Source: Harvard Business Review


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 20

COMPANY NEWS U.S. govt votes N9.6bn to boost farmers’ productivity in Nigeria

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he United States Government has voted $60 million (about N9.6bn) for the take-off of the second phase of its project, targeted towards increasing the output of Nigerian farmers and help them commercialise six targeted commodity groups.

Total to invest in power, domestic gas development in Nigeria

There’ll be shortfall in fuel subsidy – CBN

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igeria’s 2012 budget allocation to pay fuel subsidies will run out before the end of the year, risking the country’s economy raiding its oil savings and borrowing more, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor told Reuters. The 2012 budget signed by President Goodluck Jonathan last week allocated 888 billion naira for fuel subsidy payments. If this is insufficient they will have to find more money or stop paying, which is unlikely given public reaction in January. “With oil prices where they’ve been since the beginning of the year I’m sure that we will be exposed to that amount long before the year

runs out,” Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit. “If I was asked for advice I’d simply say pay what you have in the budget and simply stop paying. (If not) They take the money from the excess crude account (or) you’ve got to borrow money.” Jonathan came to power last April promising to tackle Nigeria’s wasteful governance, and Sanusi praised the budget last month for being more fiscally disciplined. Africa’s biggest crude oil exporter is supposed to save money over a benchmark price, which was $72 a barrel in the 2012 budget, into an excess crude

account to cushion the economy against potential oil price shocks. But the account has been repeatedly raided by politicians and despite record high oil prices it contained only $3.5 billion earlier this year, down from some $20 billion in 2007. It won’t last long if subsidy payments overshoot. Nigeria’s total debt is about 20 percent of GDP, which is comfortable compared with other African countries, but, Sanusi argues, poor for a country pumping as much oil as Nigeria. Debts are rising despite high oil revenue and economists are concerned that borrowing is increasingly internal, which means from banks and pension

W

ith its landmark achievement in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, which was recorded at its offshore Usan field, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, has stated that it will invest more in power and participate in the domestic gas development in Nigeria.

Osun allays fears over N60b bond proposal

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sun state Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Development, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro has allayed fears of the public over a N60 billion bond proposed to be sourced from the capital market.

Govt raises panel to audit performance of free trade zones

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fter many years of talk about reforming the nation’s free trade zones, the Federal Government has raised a committee to review and audit the 27 licensed free zones to determine their effectiveness.

Fidelity earns N70b in 2011, to pay 14 kobo dividend

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ith its earnings rising by 25 per cent from N56 billion to N70 billion, Fidelity Bank Plc has resolved to pay its shareholders a dividend pay out of 14 kobo per share.

Board condemns illegal takeover of Okitipupa Oil Palm

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he management of Okitipupa Oil Palm Plc has been taken over by Ondo state government, the action, which its board described as illegal, because of the state’s minority shareholding in the company.

L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun, first Chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Chief Akintola Williams, and the state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; during a visit by Chief Williams to the governor, yesterday in Abeokuta.

Non- oil export sector to become prime contributor to Nigeria’s economy, says NEPC By Muhammad Nasir

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he non-oil sector is one of the expected prime contributors to growing the Nigerian economy to belong to the world’s top 20 by the year 2020. This was disclosed by the Executive Director/CEO of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), David Adulugba Esq. at a recent media interactive session with bureau chiefs, noting that the non-oil sector has tremendous contribution and achievement to the development of the country. According to Adulugba, if proactive activities such as the export promotion partnership training series are supported as a tool to enhance human capacity building programme, export will be ready and successful without any hitches. He also noted that the promotion of services export through Nollywood films will further enhance the penetration of Nigeria movies in Africa and the Promotion of commercial Agricultural Development Programme will aim at achieving an integrated, holistic and expertise activities requisites

for moving selected products in value chains from farm to port, as well as secure market access and market linkages for exporters. He also stated that in 2011,Nigeria exported non-oil products worth 1,186,034.20 metric tonnes valued at US$ 2,765.393 million, which gave a 19.15% increase over the figure of US$ 2,320.954 million recorded for year,2010 and 61.97% over that of year 2009, which stood at US$ 1,325 million. He however said that the figures are however a far cry from what it should have been, but for the high incidence of recorded export which is a major challenge to accurate reporting of the performance of non-oil export in Nigeria. He noted that with an average annual growth of 20% in the last five years, it is projected that the Non-oil Export from the formal; source will hit US$ 3 billion in 2012 and well over USD4billio by 2015. He added that Nigeria’s nonoil export is not only growing, the markets and products are diversifying. Noting that, two years ago, the country exported 90 different products to 103

countries, while at present, 117 products are being exported to different countries and is still dominated by raw commodities with a few products with value addition. Adulugba said there is need to step up the value-chain, diversify from commodities and empower the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), through entrepreneurship development as they constitute the bulk of the actors in the non-oil export sector, adding that in future, focus will be on agro-allied industries and improvements of packing, packaging and labeling standards.

funds. If the government fails to pay then other parts of the economy are at risk. (Reuters)

Absence of industrial policy, bane of Nigeria’s economic development - Don By Abdulwahab Isa

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South-African-based Nigerian PoliticalEconomist, Dr. Omano Edigheji said it will be practically impossible for Nigeria to attain her desired economic development in the absence of clear industrial policy. Dr. Edigheji, who spoke with Peoples Daily in an exclusive interview that touches broader issues, including but not limited political and social and economic development of Nigeria and Africa continent.He referred to industrial policy as a clear cut policy that gives directional guidelines to sectoral investments preference. He said it was rather disheartening that Nigeria which claims to be a leading light of Africa continent does not have a policy on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) noting that its (industrial policy) remains the bane of poor economic direction. “It’s unfortunate that Nigeria has no industrial policy on the basis to decide which sector to target and such policy enables how to engage FDIs such as MTN and other foreign investment coming to the country”, he said. He said the Nigeria economy needs urgent transformation, both in the area of human capacity development to achieve the desired growth. Edigheji, a consultant to NEPAD decried monetary cash reward introduced to the amnesty program for NigerDelta militants as according such gesture tend to fuel criminality as a prosperous means of survival. “I’m not against amnesty but ther aspect where you introduced cash reward should be discouraged. I’m a political Economist, and I’m not aware that exist. You don’t give people cash for engaging in criminality so the program is wrongly focused because it basically encourages people to take up arms against the state if you want to be rewarded.” he cautioned.

MRS Oil 2011 pre-tax profit down 29.7 % to N2.03bn

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RS Oil, formerly Chevron, yesterday said its 2011 pre-tax profit dropped by 29.75 percent to 2.03 billion naira ($12.89 million), from 2.88 billion naira in 2010. Its turnover also fell 5.12 percent to 70.95 billion naira, compared with 74.78 billion naira in the previous year, the

company said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The company is proposing a dividend of 0.70 naira payout per share from its net profit. Chevron Nigeria, formerly downstream arm of unit of Chevron Corp. was taken over by MRS Oil in a deal in 2010.(Reuters)


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 21

GT Bank targets top 3 profitable banks in Africa By Aminu Imam uaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigerian leading bank has set a target to become one of the top three most profitable banks in Africa by 2016. The bank which has been consistently rated as most profitable in Nigeria grew its profit after tax by 37.32 per cent in 2011 at N52.65 billion. The bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr Segun Agbaje told journalists during a presentation on its 2011 result in Lagos recently, that the bank’s profitability was driven by a converted effort to improve efficiency in an increasingly competitive operating environment. With 23.03 per cent capital adequacy ratio, he said the bank was “adequately capitalized for near term expansion opportunities that may arise.” The bank grew its loan book in 2011 by 20.64 per cent, compared with the previous year, while deposit also grew by 35.72 per cent to N1.03 trillion. Agbaje said that as the bank continued to record improve results over the years, GT Bank ensured

G

Flags-off Francophone expansion that shareholders were adequately rewarded, hence the recommendation of final dividend of 85 kobo for the year. Having paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo before, shareholders would be getting total dividend of N1.10 per share for the year. He further said the bank is approaching its African growth with the expansion in the Francophone region, starting with GTB Cote D’Ivoire this month. The bank already has subsidiaries in Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the UK. He said the bank was able to cut its non performing loans to 3.73 per cent in 2011 from 6.74 per cent, with N77.01 billion sold to AMCON. While Zenon loans accounted for N36.88 billion of the ones taken to AMCON, he said the bank had taken 50 per cent provisions for the controversial loans to HiMedia, the operator of HiTV which is now under receivership, adding that GTBank “does not envisage any further sales to AMCON.”

Agbaje said the bank was aiming to solve the problem of large crowd of people at GTBank across Nigeria with technology such as ATM, Mobile money, Internet banking among others. Already, he said the bank has 22 ebranches, which would be increased to 76 by the end of the year. Currently, he said over N60 billion transactions were conducted through the bank’s ATMs every month. He added that GTBank’s commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy led to the allocation of 22 per cent of the loan portfolio to the manufacturing sector in 2011. On the state of Nigerian banks, he said he believed that it was healthy, and that the provisions for bad debts by most banks were normal practice everywhere, as long as it’s below 5 per cent. With the trend of development in the Nigerian banking industry, he envisaged a resemblance of what is existing in South Africa where the industry is dominated by very few banks.

projects could cost some $4 billion," he said during a speech at a London event on sustainable energy the firm put up on its website. "We expect these to be completed in the 2014 to 2015 timeframe." Investment by oil companies in Nigeria has been held back by a lack of clarity on regulations and oil theft, leaving some predicting that production will start falling soon. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to overhaul everything from fiscal terms on

projects to the state oil company has been blocked by political wrangling for five years. Flaring is a major complaint of inhabitants of the oil-rich Delta, whose labyrinth of creeks and swamps are often lit up at night by the bright orange glow of gas flares. "SPDC (Shell's joint venture in Nigeria) flared some 20 percent less gas in 2011 than in 2010, while increasing its oil and gas production by 7 percent in 2011," Voser said. (Reuters)

Shell assessing N640bn Nigeria oil projects

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oyal Dutch Shell Plc is assessing projects that could be worth around $4 billion (about N640 bn) to boost oil production in Nigeria and cut flaring of associated natural gas, Chief Executive Peter Voser said in comments published on the company's website. The projects should be completed by 2015, he said. Oil companies such as Shell have been criticised for flaring gas instead of trapping it to sell as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or to supply to Nigeria, which suffers huge power shortages despite being Africa's top energy producer. Voser did not give details of the projects but said their completion would be subject to approval by Shell's partners and security in the volatile Niger Delta, where Shell operates. "Shell is assessing new projects for onshore Nigeria, which will add new production and reduce flaring. These

Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser


PAGE 22

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

TAX ALERT

FIRS, firm in improved revenue deal T

Income tax - the basics By Muhammad Nasir

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ncome Tax is a tax on income and is only on ‘taxable income above a certain level. However, there are other reliefs and allowances that can reduce your Income Tax bill and in some cases, you have no tax to pay. What counts as taxable income? Taxable income includes: 1.Earnings from employment 2. Earnings from selfemployment 3. Most pensions income (State, company and personal

pensions) 4. Interest on most savings 5. Income from shares (dividends) 6. Rental income and; 7. Income paid to you from a trust. Non-taxable income There are certain sorts of income that you never pay tax on. These include certain benefits, income from tax exempt accounts, Working Tax Credit (WTC) and premium bond wins. These income sources are ignored altogether when working out how much Income Tax you may need to pay.

he Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has begun moves to upgrade its tax collection portal in order to effectively block leakages in the country’s tax system thus generating more revenue for the Federal Government. The action, according to the coordinating director, field operation group of the FIRS, Mr. Samuel Ogungbesan, is part of the reforms being carried out by the service in the tax system. Ogungbesan, while speaking on the sidelines of the Telnet/FIRS end user forum in Abuja, said “Since we started

this partnership, it has been smooth sailing because it enables us to safeguard the revenue of government. So, as we collect, we don’t touch the money but we can see it flow from the point of payment to the lead bank to the central bank of Nigeria and at the end of the day, every part of government knows how much has been collected. “It also enables us to process our work; and we not only get the report of collection, we can also match that to assessment details and we can also do proper reporting in a seamless flow and we are trying to consolidate on

that now for greater expansion.” He said the tax collection portal, which had been on six years, was upgrade to suit the current economic realities. The group Managing Director of Telnet, Mr. Gbenga Odujirin, said the portal had simplified tax payment for Nigerians. He said,” with this portal, the era when bankers go after people to collect cheques for cash is gone because there is no room for diversion anymore, thereby ensuring that government’s money is in government’s coffers.” He added that the system had been integrated with the Nigerian Customs Service.

Understanding and checking your tax calculation By Muhammad Nasir

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f you receive a tax calculation, it’s important to check it. If the tax calculation is wrong you need to tell HM, Revenue and Customs (HMRC) right away for modification. Receiving your tax calculation A taxpayer is expected to get a tax calculation form number SA302. 1. If you sent in or made a n amendment to a paper tax return, ask HMRC to work out your tax 2. If you sent in a tax return, but HMRC doesn’t agree with your tax calculation Your tax calculation covering letter A Taxpayer needs a tax calculation covering letter in order to have accurates data required. The covering letter tells you about: 1. The tax year the calculation refers to, 2. The Total Income Tax due for that tax year should be taken from the accompanying calculation pages, 3. Any changes HMRC has made to the figures on your tax return, 4. Any advance payments on account, there is need to pay for next year Taxpayers should note that, the letter and accompanying calculation are not tax bill, but if

any of the figures look wrong, he/ she should notify the HMRC know as soon as possible. If a taxpayer think the calculation is wrong, it’s important to check the figures and contact HMRC as soon as possible for corrections. If you cannot get in touch with the Revenue a n d Customs (HMRC), the HMRC will use the t a x calculation figures on your Self Assessment Statement. This is a statement that you receive later that asks for payment if you owe tax, or tells you that you are due to some tax. Understanding the entries on tax calculation pages Look at each entry in your calculation to make sure you fully understand it. Income received before tax was taken off. This lists all your taxable income for the year, including the gross amounts before tax was deducted for things like: 1. Pay, minus any allowable expenses you can claim, 2. Any taxable benefits and expenses you received through work, 3. Profits if you are selfemployed or a partner in a business partnership, 4. Savings interest and 5. Dividends, where the amount shown will includes the 10 percent of tax credit.

Some participants at a reform campaign organised by the Modernisation Department of FIRS recently.

FIRS raises alarm over LGs’ failure to remit taxes in Enugu

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he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has raised alarm over the nonremittance of withholding tax by local governments in Enugu state. The Controller of FIRS in the South-East, Mr. Sani Adamu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that none of the 17 local governments in the state had remitted any tax to it since this

year. Adamu said the service was aware that the local governments deducted the five per cent tax on projects from their contractors but converted same to their use rather than remit them to the agency. He said the situation had become endemic since January this year after new councils were sworn-in in many of the local

governments. He described the situation as a disservice to the tax population of the country. On plans to recover the taxes, Adamu said that FIRS had entered into dialogue with the LGs. He said dialogue was the only option in the interim since FIRS could not sue the LGs as government organs. (NAN)

How to register as a taxpayer By Muhammad Nasir

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egistration of a taxpayer, according to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is one essential procedure that needs to be done by an FIRS Tax office, given the necessary details that must be provided by the taxpayer on demand. It is noted that registration is important because the conclusion of it enables the tax office to generate a Tax Identification Number for the potential taxpayer. Taxpayers should have it in mind that Documentation is

required to complete their registration with any FIRS tax office. The taxpayer must provide the following documents: 1. A Certificate of Incorporation issued by corporate Affairs commission (CAC) and bearing an RC Number (Registration Certificates). 2. A Taxpayer must present Necessary documents showing the correct Business address. 3. He/she should be able to furnish the office (ITO) with the correct Commencement date. However, there is always a

registration officer in every Tax Office (ITO) to attend to taxpayer’s registration matters. Hence, it is the prerogative of this officer to do the registration for an Individual, Enterprise or a Company under the different registration modes. Also, note must be taken that Individuals and Enterprises are registered under Individual Registration, while Companies register under Corporate Registration. After all this is completed, a Tax Identification Number (TIN) will be issued to the taxpayer to enable him/her pay his tax liabilities at the bank.


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Appraising Zamfara’s roadmap to industrial development By Umar Yari

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vailable statistics on Nigeria’s economy indicate that Zamfara is one of the poorest states of the country in spite of its vast arable land, abundant mineral deposits and other natural resources. Observers say that it is more of a paradox that its abundant mineral and natural resources notwithstanding, Zamfara State is still adjudged as a poor state that survives mainly on monthly allocations from the Federation Account. As a matter of fact, a recent survey conducted by the state government revealed that more than 100 minerals of high quality are located across the state in commercial quantities For instance; the study confirmed that gold is available in large deposits in Anka, Maru, Bukkuyum and Maradun Local Government Areas of the state. The precious mineral is, however, currently exploited by artisanal miners and the small-scale mining operations have some challenges such as lead poisoning, which has caused several deaths in the areas in recent times. Apart from its huge deposits of mineral resources, Zamfara is also blessed vast arable lands across its 14 local government areas, compelling observers to assert that the state could become a leading producer of various agricultural produce, all things being equal. Observers, nonetheless, note that efforts to harness the various mineral and agricultural resources and use them to foster the state’s economic growth have been haphazard and largely based on patch-work methods.

Illegal gold miners in Zamfara state. Carting away billions of Naira that ought to accrue to the state

Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, an agricultural economist, says that most of the agricultural activities in the state involve subsistence farming, adding that livestock production is also aimed at satisfying only domestic needs. “For Zamfara State to experience any remarkable economic growth, tangible efforts should be made to develop its agricultural sector. “Mechanised farming should be promoted, while small-scale farmers should be encouraged with wellpackaged incentives to enable them to increase their

production,’’ he says. However, in the area of minerals’ exploration and exploitation, the government has been making concerted efforts to standardise mining

operations. Such efforts notwithstanding, mining operations in the state have remained largely artisanal regardless of the fact that

The attitude of the registered mining companies has somewhat made it difficult for both the federal and state governments to derive maximum and appropriate benefits of their operations

hundreds of mining companies had been licensed to engage in mining activities by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. Analysts, nonetheless, note that the accredited companies have either not shown considerable interest in operating in Zamfara or have been conducting their mining activities in a clandestine manner. “The attitude of the registered mining companies has somewhat made it difficult for both the federal and state governments to derive maximum and appropriate benefits of their

operations,’’ says Mr Saheed Zubair, a mining consultant. Zubair recalls that the state government has repeatedly expressed reservations over the lackadaisical attitude of the companies in plans to promote transparent mining operations and generate royalties for the governments. In spite of these drawbacks, hopes to put Zamfara State on a sound footing for a pragmatic economic and industrial growth are still bright. The state government says that it has designed a blueprint for the state’s

industrial development. To that end, the government’s programme is aimed at facilitating the utilisation of the natural resources for the state’s economic development, jobcreation and povertyalleviation efforts, while reducing the level of the state’s dependence on allocations from the Federation Account. Alhaji Hassan Mohammed Zurmi, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, says that the industrial master plan is aimed at establishing a cottage industry in each of the state’s 14 local government areas this year. He says that an action plan for implementation has also been designed so as to monitor the implementation of the industrial development plan properly. “With the establishment of 14 industries in all the local government headquarters, it is expected that no fewer than 20,000 jobs will be created, while a lot of economic activities would spring up from there,’’ he says. Zurmi laments that many people are wallowing in abject poverty because of the failures of past state administrations to harness the vast mineral and agricultural resources of the state for economic prosperity. “Our idea of establishing the industries in the rural areas is aimed at checking rural-urban migration and providing job opportunities for our teeming youths in those areas,’’ he says. The commissioner says that feasibility studies and raw materials’ surveys have been conducted to ensure that each local government area has an

Governor Abubakar Yari of Zamfara state

industry that could conveniently use raw materials that are locally obtainable. Zurmi says that the state government, in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI) and other financial institutions, will spend about N2 billion on the establishment of the cottage industries on a 50-per-cent counterpart funding ratio. “Arrangements have been

concluded for the signing of memorandum of understanding between BOI and the state government to kick-start the initiative. We hope that the industries will commence production early next year. “We realised that Zamfara is blessed with assorted mineral and natural resources which could facilitate our economic development. We are,

Foreign buyers purchasing gold from illegal miners

therefore, poised to harness the resources for the economic transformation and selfreliance of our state,’’ he says. Besides, Zurmi says that the state government is planning to organise a “Madein-Zamfara goods’ exhibition’’ in April this year, as part of efforts to showcase the state’s industrial potential and attract investments. He says that during the exhibition, products such as calabash oil, marble stones, gold, rocks, leather and wood works, shea butter, beads and body lotion, among others, would be displayed. As part of efforts to encourage private entrepreneurs to set up small-scale businesses, the commissioner says that the state government has earmarked N1 billion as loans for small-scale businesses, so as to further enhance the state’s economic development. Zurmi, however, bemoans the situation in which some entrepreneurs have defaulted in the repayment of loans, totalling over N300 million, which were given to them by previous administrations in the state. “The default in loans’ repayment has made the government to be extra careful in giving out new loans. We are now looking at ways of getting collateral from prospective beneficiaries before releasing the money,’’ he

says. In spite of the desirability of the industrialisation programme, observers stress the need to strictly monitor its implementation so as to ensure its success. A public commentator, Alhaji Abba Abubakar, commends the government for charting a new course for the state’s industrial growth. He, however, notes that the problem with Nigeria’s development is not the dearth of good programmes but the absence of willpower to execute the programmes according to specified specifications. “Zamfara State Government should commit all it takes to ensure the accomplishment of the industrial blueprint, while monitoring its implementation and guarding against extraneous factors which could frustrate its success,’’ he says. Sharing Abubakar’s sentiments, observers stress the need for the government to co-opt opinion leaders in each of the local government areas into the programme’s implementation process. The leaders should be encouraged to participate in the management of the cottage industries through channels such as cooperative organisations, some of the observers suggest. NAN Features


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The seven most prosperous people on the resurrection day (VI) Allah says: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, to Him will we give a new life, a life that is good and pure and we will bestow on their reward according to the best of their actions.” [an-Nahl: 97]

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n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, is His servant, and messenger. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. The Apostle of Allah was sitting one day with his Companions discussing their affairs, and one of the issues deliberated was about the condition of the Day of Resurrection was on seven people that Allah will shade under his Throne from the unbearable heat of the sun, as it will be brought very close to the mammoth gathering, frying them. The hadith reads: It is related from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there is no shade but His shade: a just Imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque, two men who love each other for the sake of Allah alone, meeting for that reason and parting for that reason, a man who refuses the advances of a noble and beautiful woman, saying, 'I fear Allah', a man who gives charity and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives, and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears.” [Sahih alBukhari and Sahih Muslim] The next category of the most fortunate people whom Allah will shade on the Day of resurrection when the sun will be brought very close to human skulls and stir fry them into black colour completely, is “...who gives charity and conceals it such that that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives...” This category like the aforementioned ones in the previous weeks, seems also easily attainable, but that is on the surface. If we analyze this segment we will arrive at the following results. Firstly, “...one who gives...” That means someone must have access to the wealth, attain self sufficiency and then spend the excess for the sake Allah in return for eternal dividend. This is because you cannot give what you do not have. More so, Islam has laid down rules on how to acquire wealth. Amassing wealth in Islam is not a open- ended competition without legitimacy. Only halal possessed wealth can earn the reward of

Allah. An ill-gotten or haram Allah, and anticipate recompense wealth is a source of Allah's wrath from Allah on the resurrection day. in both worlds. In a very popular If anyone forgets how he or she tradition the Apostle of Allah said, acquires his or her wealth, Allah “Verily Allah is Pure and does not never forgets! Allah says: accept, but what is pure” Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that A l l a h ' s Messenger (SAW) said, “If one gives in By Husain Zakariyya charity what equals one dateYawale fruit from the honestly earned +234-8052952900 (sms only) money and Allah islamexplained35@yahoo.com accepts only the honestly earned money Allah takes it in His Right “On the Day that Allah will raise (hand). And then, enlarges its reward them all up (again) and Show them for that person (who has given it), as the truth (and meaning) of their anyone of you brings up his baby conduct. Allah has reckoned its horse, so much so that it becomes as (value), though They may have big as a mountain.” [Bukhari, Vol. forgotten it, for Allah is witness to all 2, Hadith: 491] things.” [al-Mujadalah: 6] That is to say it is not the Secondly, is the giving or

ISLAM EXPLAINED

quantity of the charity that matters, but source and the sincerity. Allah says in the Qur'an: “And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it As bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a Little of (other) people's property.” [al-Baqarah: 188] The very first step to giving charity or spending in the cause of Allah is to acquire it from legitimate sources. Any wealth sourced from illegal means is rejected by Allah, out-rightly! Thus, wealth attainment is an act of worship and must be done in the way and principled the Shari'ah enshrined clearly. Every step towards affluence must be in cognizance with teachings of the Sunnah. Lets no one steals, defalcates or embezzles wealth entrusted in him stealthily and think he can deceive Allah by spending part of it in the cause of

spending what was legitimately attained. There are similarly rules and regulations concerning how one spends his or her money. Let no one expects that he or she is at liberty to spend his or her wealth anyhow and on anything! The crux of the matter in Islam, is that you and your possession are Allah's properties. He commands how to attain and spend it! he is the lawgiver, and thus, He commands as he wishes without restriction. In fact, even where the wealth is possessed in halal way, the spending must strictly follow suite otherwise one is liable to retribution before Allah. this is chiefly because spending for Allah must be as result of strong iman. And iman is like anbuilt policing of every deed of a Muslim. Thus, one cannot presumed that he or she is a true and sincere believer until he or she trades the path of honour and

morality. The Qur'an is explicit right from the first verses, Allah says: “A.L.M. This is the Book; In it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. Who believe In the Unseen, are steadfast In prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them.” [al-Baqarah: 1-3] The next step prioritizing the spending in accordance with the Qur'anic laws, thus: “They ask Thee what They should spend (in charity). say: whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those In Want and for wayfarers. and whatever ye do that is good, (Allah) knoweth it well.” [al-Baqarah: 215] Similarly, one should not spend all his wealth in the cause of Allah, and the next day he or she becomes a pauper to start begging people for sustenance. Allah enacts: “... They ask Thee How much They are to spend; say: ‘What is beyond your needs.’ Thus doth Allah make Clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may consider.” [al-Baqarah: 219] And: “Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.” [al-Isra'i: 29] Also, one should spend for the purpose of attracting crowds and popularity in order to achieve any worldly objective at any time in the future. Spending must be solely for winning the face of Allah! The Qur'an says: “Not those who spend of their substance, to be seen of men, but have no Faith In Allah and the Last Day: if any take the evil one for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate He is!” [an-Nisa'i: 38] And furthermore states: “And the likeness of those who spend their substance, seeking to please Allah and to strengthen their souls, is as a garden, high and fertile: heavy rain falls on it but makes it yield a double increase of harvest, and if it receives not heavy rain, light moisture sufficeth it. Allah seeth well whatever ye do.” [al-Baqara: 265] Thus, while spending in accordance with the prioritized Shari'ah ruling and for the sake of winning the pleasure of Allah in strengthen one's faith, is rewardable immensely in both worlds, spending for any other objective attracts His chastisement. This is the incontestable fact. That is the main reason why spending becomes an act of worship solely based on the strength of one's belief. In Islam, intention is most influential matter of every deed; if it is for Allah, it is for Him to recompense, otherwise wrath awaits offenders. it does not matter if one gives the wrong person, provided there was no apparent reason to refuse or not give. it is only Allah Who knows the hidden. The following hadith explains further: Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: (A man said, "Tonight, I shall give charity.'' He went out with his

charity and (unknowingly) gave it to an adulterer. The next morning the people said that alms were given to an adulterer. The man said, "O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I gave my alms) to an adulterer. Tonight, I shall give alms again.'' He went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to a rich person. The next morning (the people) said, "Last night, a wealthy person was given alms.'' He said, "O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I gave alms) to a wealthy man. Tonight, I shall again give charity.'' So he went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to a thief. The next morning (the people) said, "Last night, a thief was given alms.'' He said, "O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I have given alms) to an adulteress, a wealthy man and a thief.'' Then, someone came to him and said, "The alms that you gave away were accepted. As for the adulteress, the alms might make her abstain from adultery. As for the wealthy man, it might make him take a lesson and spend his wealth that Allah has given him. As for the thief, it might make him abstain from stealing.''[Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith: 167 8, narrated by Abu Sa`id al-Khudri] The golden rule here is the sincerity in the intention for which the charity is given; notwithstanding the quantity and the end receiver if there is any hindrances, but the cause. However, there is no sin in giving charity openly to the needy or in the cause of Allah, whatsoever! The only apprehension in openly spending in the cause of Allah is the creeping of 'riya', that is show-off, to stealthily becloud one's intention. “Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by Day, In secret and In public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall They grieve.” [alBaqara: 274] Thus, the methodology of giving is not the issue but the very intention while administering it. Allah has explicitly warned, thus: “What They spend In the life of This (material) world may be likened to a wind which brings a nipping frost: it strikes and destroys the harvest of men who have wronged their own souls: it is not Allah that hath wronged them, but They wrong themselves.” [aal-Imran: 117] In essence, to give charity in a discreet manner is more rewarding as it entails, deep and sincere iman in Allah, His limitless knowledge over everything, His encompassing mercy and compassion, and above His assurance in recompensing the good deeds of all His servants. The one who gives openly was seen by two on-lookers (Allah and His servants), while the person who stealthily spends for His sake, simply trust in the witnessing of the Unseen; Allah! That is the epic of iman! hence the eligibility to be shaded along other six most prosperous believers that Day! Finally, the charity in discourse here is not the compulsory alms or mandatory expiations, it is optional charity to the poor and the needy or to a good cause. Any charity without fulfilling the obligatory ones, is simply a ruefulness!


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Subsidy probe: Culprits must not go unpunished – Committee (I) CHAPTER ONE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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ollowing the removal of subsidy on PMS on the 1st day of January, 2012 by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the attendant spontaneous social and political upheavals that greeted the policy, the House of Representatives in an Emergency Session on the 8th of January, 2012 set up an Ad-hoc Committee to verify and determine the actual subsidy requirements and monitor the implementation of the subsidy regime in Nigeria. The Federal Government had informed the nation of its inability to continue to pump endless amount of money into the seemingly bottomless pit that was referred to as petroleum products subsidy. It explained that the annual subsidy payment was huge, endless and unsustainable. Nigerians were led to believe that the colossal payments made were solely on PMS and HHK actually consumed by Nigerians. Government ascribed the quoted figures to upsurge in international crude price, high exchange rate, smuggling, increase in population and vehicles etc. However, a large section of the population faulted the premise of the Government subsidy figures, maintaining that unbridled corruption and an inefficient and wasteful process accounted for a large part of the payments. To avert a clear and present danger of descent into lawlessness, the leadership of the House of Representatives took the bold and decisive action of convening the first ever Emergency Session on a Sunday (8th January, 2012), and set up the Ad-hoc Committee to verify the actual subsidy requirements of the country. The Committee decided that the scope of this investigation should be for three years 2009 2011 for the following reasons: • The actual budget expenditure on subsidy for both PMS and HHK was tolerable, being N261.1b in 2006, N278.8b in 2007 and N346.7b in 2008. 5 companies including NNPC were involved in 2006, 10 in 2007 and 19 in 2008 contrasted to 140 in 2011. • Secondly, in line with accounting practice, the Committee decided to investigate three years activities of the scheme. • The Committee could have chosen to limit the investigation to 2011 alone given the scale of escalation of subsidy in that year alone but decided to take three years to establish a trend. The Ad-Hoc Committee held Public Hearings from 16 th of

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke January, 2012 to 9 th of February, 2012, taking sworn testimonies from 130 witnesses, receiving information from several volunteers, and receiving in evidence over 3,000 volumes of documents. In the course of the investigations the Ad-Hoc Committee was able to establish the following: 1. Contrary to statutory requirements and other guidelines under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) Scheme mandating agencies in the industry to keep reliable information data base, there seemed to be a deliberate understanding among the agencies not to do so. This lack of record keeping contributed in no small measure to the decadence and rots the Committee found in the administration of the PSF. This is evident also in the budget preparatory process by MDAs where adequate data is not made available to the National Assembly. The Committee had to resort to forensic analysis and examination of varied and external sources (including the Lloyds List Intelligence) to verify simple transactions. In this regard, the PPPRA is strongly urged to publish henceforth, the PSF accounts on quarterly basis to ensure transparency and openness of the subsidy Scheme. 2 . We found out that the subsidy regime, as operated between the period under review (2009 and 2011), were fraught with endemic

corruption and entrenched inefficiency. Much of the amount claimed to have been paid as subsidy was actually not for consumed PMS. Government officials made nonsense of the PSF Guidelines due mainly to sleaze and, in some other cases, incompetence. It is therefore apparent that the insistence by top Government officials that the subsidy figures was for products consumed was a clear attempt to mislead the Nigerian people. 3 . Thus, contrary to the earlier official figure of subsidy payment of N 1.3 Trillion, the Accountant-General of the Federation put forward a figure of N1.6 Trillion, the CBN N1.7 Trillion, while the Committee established subsidy payment of N2,587.087 Trillion as at 31 st December, 2011, amounting to more than 900% over the appropriated sum of N245 Billion. This figure of N2, 587.087Trillion is based on the CBN figure of N844.944b paid to NNPC, in addition to another figure of N847.942b reflected as withdrawals by NNPC from the excess crude naira account, as well as the sum of N894.201b paid as subsidy to the Marketers. The figure of N847.942b quoted above strongly suggests that NNPC might have been withdrawing from two sources especially when the double withdrawals were also reflected both in 2009 and in 2010. However, it should be noted that as at the time the public hearing was concluded, there

NNPC GMD, Engr. Austen Oniwon were outstanding claims by NNPC and the Marketers in excess of N270billion as subsidy payments for 2011. Whereas the mandate of the Committee was necessitated by the removal of subsidy, the Committee found out that subsidy payment on kerosene formed an Integra part of the total sum. 4. On its part, NNPC was found not to be accountable to any body or authority. The Corporation, in 2011, processed payment of N310.4 Billion as 2009 - 2011 arrears of subsidy on Kerosene, contrary to a Presidential Directive which removed subsidy on Kerosene in 2009. The Corporation also processed for itself, direct deduction of subsidy payment from amounts it received from other operations such as joint venture before paying the balance to the Federation Account, thereby depleting the shares of States and Local Governments from the distributable pool. Worse still, the direct deduction in 2011 alone, which amounted to N847.942 Billion, was effected without any provision in the Appropriation Act. 5. While NNPC feasted on the Federation Account to bloat the subsidy payable, some of the marketers were involved in claiming subsidy on products not supplied. PPPRA laid this foundation by allocating volumes of products each quarter to the marketers which it knew were not in conformity

with its own guidelines for participation. 6 . Our investigation further revealed that certain marketers collected subsidy of over N230.184 Billion on PMS volume of 3,262,960,225 litres that from the records made available to us were not supplied. Apart from proliferation and non-designation of bank accounts for subsidy payment, PPPRA and the OAGF were unable to manage in a transparent manner the two accounts they chose to disclose. There were indications that PPPRA paid N158 Billion to itself in 2009 and N157 Billion in 2010. When confronted, the OAGF was unable to submit details of the bulk payments arrogated to PPPRA and the account from which the bulk sums were disbursed to the supposed beneficiaries. 7 . Curiously too, the particular Accountant-Generai that served during the period 2009 was found to have made payments of equal instalments of N999 Million for a record 128 times within 24 hours on the 12 th and 13 th of January 2009, totalling N127.872 Billion. The confirmed payments from the CBN records were made to beneficiaries yet to be disclosed by the OAGF or identified by the Committee. We however discovered that only 36 Marketers were participants under the PSF Scheme during this period. Even if there were Contd. on page 28


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Subsidy probe: Culprits must not go unpunished – Committee (I) Contd. from page 27 128 marketers, it was inconceivable that all would have imported the same quantity of products to warrant equal payments. 8 . In order to arrive at a probable figure of daily consumption of PMS, the Committee took the entire volume of 14,787,152,340 litres imported by marketers and NNPC in 2011 as recorded by PPPRA and then deducted what we suspected as overinvoiced volume of 3,262,960,225. Thus, the actual volume imported for year 2011 was 11,510,202,347. This manifested into an average daily PMS consumption of 31.5 million litres. 9 . However, in 2012 marginal increment of 1.5 million litres a day is recommended in order to take care of unforeseen circumstances, bringing it to 33 million litres per day. And to maintain a strategic reserve, an additional average of seven (7) million litres per day(or 630million litres per Quarter) for the first quarter of 2012 only is recommended. Thus, PPPRA is to use 40 million litres of PMS in the first quarter as its maximum ordering quantity per day. In subsequent quarters PMS daily ordering quantity should be 33 million litres per day. For Kerosene, the Committee recommends a daily ordering quantity of 9 million litres. 1 0 . On the issue of kerosene subsidy, the Committee strongly advocated for a Government policy to immediately recommence subsidy payment on the product by urging withdrawal of the 2009 Presidential Directive. 1 1 . We also proposed a budget amount of N806.766billion for the 2012 fiscal year for payment of subsidy on PMS and Kerosene. 1 2 . For the 2012 Appropriation Act, the Committee’s recommendation is based on the following follows: PMS: 33,000,000 Litres x N44 (subsidy) x 365 days = N529,980,000.00 Provision for strategic reserve for 1 st Quarter of 2012: 7,000,000 x N44 (subsidy) x 90 days N27,720,000.00 HHK 9,000,000 Litres x N101 (subsidy) x 274 days = N249,006,000.00 T o t a l N806,766,000,000.00 Note: Commencement of kerosene subsidy is as from the second quarter of 2012, since the Committee is of the opinion that the product is still not under the subsidy regime. Therefore, the Committee

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Faruk Lawan

Chairman, PPPRA, Dr. Ahmadu Ali

recommends the sum of N806.766billion as subsidy for year 2012. 1 3 . With regards to the 445,000 bpd allocation to NNPC, the Committee believes that with the current refining capacity of 53% and the SWAP/ Offshore processing arrangement of the balance of 47%, it is sufficient to provide the nation with the following products: a. 40 Million Litres Per Day (MLPD) of PMS, b. 10 MLPD of Kerosene (HHK) c. 8.97 MLPD of Diesel (AGO), d. 0.62 MLPD of LPG and e. 2.31 MLPD of FO It is only AGO whose average daily consumption of 12 million Litres per day will not be achieved in full. Since AGO has been deregulated, other marketers can make up for the 3.03 MLPD AGO shortfalls. The implication of this finding is that if NNPC properly manages the allocation of 445 bpd efficiently, the availability of the products can be achieved by the NNPC alone. This contrasts the situation where in 20092011 NNPC got the daily allocation of 445,000bpd and the nation still had to import through Marketers. Curiously, although NNPC confirmed that it makes some savings of about =N= 11.00 per litre refining locally than import, it could not be established that the Corporation reflects this cost

Had the staff of various agencies and government officials not compromised and colluded with certain marketers, the level of corruption would have been minimal. The Committee viewed this fact with serious concern and has suggested measures to ensure that impunity is no longer condoned. Therefore, marketers that had short-changed Nigerians were identified and recommended to make refunds within a timeframe of three months; civil servants were to be sanctioned in accordance with the Civil Service Rules as well as under extant Laws; management staff and top government officials were, based on the gravity of their offences, to be reprimanded, re-deployed, dismissed and, in specific cases, prosecuted for abuse of office and fraudulent practices. 1 6 . The Committee recommended the refund to the treasury the sum of N1, 067,040,456,171.31 trillion from the under listed for various violations. i.) NNPC (Kerosene Subsidy) N310,414,963,613.00 ii.) NNPC (Above PPRA r e c o m m e n d a t i o n ) N285,098,000,000.00 iii.) NNPC (Self discount) - N108,648,000,000.00 iv.) Marketers (Total violations of PSF) N8,664,352,554.00 v.) Companies that refused to appear N41,936,140,005.31

differential in its claims to subsidy. The Committee recommends that NNPC be unbundled to make its operations more efficient and transparent and this we believe can be achieved through the passage of a well drafted and comprehensive PIB Bill. All those in the Management and Board of the NNPC directly involved in the infractions identified for the years 2009-2011 should be investigated and prosecuted for abuse of office by the relevant anti-corruption agencies. 1 4 . Part of the funding sources of the PSF Account is over-recovery from marketers. This accrues when product landing cost is lower than the Ex-Depot price. The Committee observed that: i. In 2009, there was an overrecovery of N2.766 Billion. This was expected to have been credited to the PSF Account but was not traceable to the official PSF Account disclosed, ii. Furthermore, in the presentation made by Akintola Williams Deloitte it was claimed that the sum of NGN5.27Billion was established as overrecovery in 2009, however, there was no evidence that this money was credited to the PSF Account. 1 5 . It is our view that the Guidelines of the PSF Scheme, even as watered down by the Board in 2009, could have salvaged the Scheme if they were observed and enforced.

vi.) PPPRA excess payment to self N312.279.000.000.00 TOTAL N1.067,040.456,171.31 The Committee believes that if the PSF scheme was properly managed, this sum of N1.070trillion would have been available to the three tiers of Government for budget enhancement. 1 7 . The Committee recommends that the following transactions be further investigated by the relevant anti-corruption agencies and determine their level of culpability with a view to making further recoveries; i. Payment of N999m to unnamed entities 128times to the tune of N127.872b ii. Companies who collected Forex to the tune of $402.610b whose utilization is questionable to the Committee. iii. The 72 Companies listed under the financial forensics are hereby recommended for further investigation by the relevant anti-corruption agencies with a view to establishing their culpability and recovering the sums indicated against their names totalling N230, 184,605,691.00. iv. The Over recoveries of N2.766b and N5.27b which were not accounted for by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, v. The cases of double deductions by the NNPC for subsidy payments in 2009,2010 and 2011 mentioned in this Report.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 29

Lagos: Sound govt, sensible budget Contd. from Back Page

I

n the 2012 budget, there was an increase from the previous years’ budget of N450.8 billion to N491.9 billion (9%). The total revenue for 2012 is estimated at N399.8 billion and impressively, the ordinary revenue (Lagos IGR, other IGR, dedicated revenue, etc.) of the state is N289.7 billion which is about 73% of total revenue. This is more than double of the N110.2 billion that Lagos expects from the federation account in 2012. Lagos is therefore not one of the numerous “parastatal states” that cannot pay salaries unless the FAAC meets in Abuja! Compared to some other states whose budgets have grown astronomically with no commensurate growth in IGR, the budget of Lagos state has steadily increased alongside its IGR as shown by an 8% (N262.6 billion to N289.7 billion) increase in ordinary revenues between 2011 and 2012. So while the federal government preaches fiscal consolidation without practicing, it is Lagos State that is practicing it without all the noise! Comparing both years’ budgets, there is a projected increase in ordinary revenue (IGR inclusive) by about N27 billion between 2011 and 2012. Taking the case study of Bauchi state whose budget was analyzed last week, its projected increase in IGR for this year was just N1 billion! Unlike the case of Bauchi state where the government spends money on maintaining many commissioners and 924 aides that it’s IGR cannot support, Lagos state Government has 23 commissioners and 20 Special Advisers, and yet is performing much better. In fact, looking at the revenue earning capacity of Lagos in comparison to many states of the federation is going from one extreme to another. Capital expenditure for 2012 is N258.3 billion (53%) while recurrent expenditure is N233.6 billion (47%) of the total budget. Although the ratio does not meet the best practice of 70% for capital expenditure, it must be acknowledged that Lagos enjoys the dual advantages of limited geographic spread and legacy of inherited federal infrastructure, and therefore does not need as much greenfield infrastructural investments as other rural states. What it needs though is high levels of spending on maintenance and running costs. These are perhaps reflected in the higher recurrent portions of the budget.

The government, in 2012 increased its recurrent expenditures on education from N28.4 billion in 2011 to N35.4 billion and justifiably too as there has been continuous increase in both volumes and pass rates of SSCE candidates from Lagos. The number of candidates who obtained five credits in WASCE including English and Mathematics has improved from a miserable 7.58% in 2007 to an impressive 21.11% in 2010. The 2010 National Literacy Survey also shows that Lagos has the highest literacy rate in any language. Increased allocation of funds to this sector is definitely a commendable step in the right direction. The environmental subsector of Lagos state which receives about 6% of the overall budget allocation, recorded a huge leap from the N335 million revenue generated in 2011 to projected N2 billion in 2012. This is one sector which the residents of Lagos have felt a visible difference. There was a slight increase in health allocation from N32.9 billion in 2011 to N33.3 billion in 2012. In spite of the increase, the health sector is expected to double its revenue from N393 million to N655 million. Works and Infrastructure received 18% (N88.1 billion) of the budget reflecting investments to address existing infrastructure deficits. The transportation sector however, dropped in projected revenue by about N400 million whereas its budgetary allocation increased by about 11% for the same reason. The personnel cost budget for the entire Lagos state government for 2012 is about N81.6 billion. This is less than one third of its IGR and less than 5% of the Federal Governments (N1,600 billion) staff costs, yet many would say that Lagos runs better than Nigeria these days. Departments such as lands, environmental protection, works and infrastructure, transportation, and even the

judiciary earn sufficient revenues to cover their personnel costs. In fact, the lands department earns enough to cover all its recurrent expenditures while the state’s Ordinary Revenue (N289.7 billion) can cover its total recurrent costs (N233.6 billion) with a surplus of N56.1 billion. That is how a federating unit’s finances should be! In year 2011, Lagos state High Courts alone made revenues of about N700 million and are expected to earn about N1.2 billion in 2012 which is higher than the IGR of most states of the federation now depending on the Federal Government for monthly handouts. The lesson and experience of Lagos is this - each MDA is a revenue as well as a cost centre. Each government department that offers services charges some fees to cover all or part of the cost of the service. That is how to run a department, state, or country! My admiration for the business-like way Lagos is run is clear by now. Lagos is only state in the country which can survive solely on its incomes from taxation. However according to the World Bank Doing Business rankings 2010, the state was ranked 25th out of 37 in Nigeria in terms of ease of doing business. Lagos is not an agrarian state, neither is it endowed with any mineral resources. It is therefore disturbing that despite the huge amount of private sector investment and potential, the business environment is far from friendly. The authorities need to create a thriving environment for businesses in Lagos especially since taxes and land charges are the major source of fiscal sustenance of the state. All our states should learn lessons from Lagos not only in the areas of budget transparency but fiscal independence from Abuja, delivery of public services, investment in education and even governance succession. With these outlier qualities, it is not surprising that Lagos is run by a party other than the PDP of today!

Taking the case study of Bauchi state whose budget was analyzed last week, its projected increase in IGR for this year was just N1 billion! Unlike the case of Bauchi state where the government spends money on maintaining many commissioners and 924 aides that it’s IGR cannot support, Lagos state Government has 23 commissioners and 20 Special Advisers, and yet is performing much better


PAGE 30

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Bashar and Asma handing out food to victims of figh city he is bombing

F

ootage of Syria’s brutal leader and his wife packing up food parcels has been broadcast on state TV - after they were derided for ordering luxury goods on the internet while their country burns. Pictures were broadcast last night showing Bashar and Asma Assad receiving a rapturous welcome at alFahya stadium in Damascus. They joined hundreds of volunteers boxing cartons full of flour, sugar, cooking oil and pasta for victims of fighting in Homs, where the president’s The Assads have long worked to manage their image, but it backfired a year ago when a glamorous photo shoot and gushing profile of Asma, 36, appeared in Vogue magazine just as her husband launched a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Those images are now part of a YouTube campaign led by the wives

of United Nations ambassadors from Britain and Germany, which alternates stylish shots of Asma with gruesome pictures of dead and injured Syrian children. For her latest TV appearance Asma avoided any hint of glamour, dressing down in a sheer pink sweater over a simple dress with her dark blonde hair soberly braided and pinned up. Her tall, gangly husband looked relaxed, towering above his admirers in a polo shirt with an identity pass on a ribbon around his neck like other volunteers. The two packed boxes sealed them with Scotch tape and carried them over to stacks of aid awaiting distribution. Emergence of the footage came as Syria was slammed by the United Nations for failing to keep to the terms of a peace plan and continuing to station troops and heavy weapons in

All smiles: Bashar and Asma Assad were shown packing up food boxes in a Damascus stadium.

Helping out: They have been slammed for ordering luxury goods on the internet while their country burns.

Ridiculous: The pair shook hands and grinned as they 'helped' in the footage broadcast on state TV.

Dressing down: For her latest TV appearance Asma avoided any hint of glamour, dressing down in a sheer pink sweater over a simple dress with her dark blonde hair soberly braided and pinned up

Violation: Smoke and fire billows from a building as shells rain down in the flashpoint city of Homs.

towns. In a letter to the Security Council UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Syria was failing to send a ‘clear signal’ about its commitment to peace, underlining Western fears for the week-old truce. Despite these fears, the UN today signed an agreement on the terms of a future ceasefire monitoring mission, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said. It could see up to 300 observers entering the country. UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan said the Syrian government and the UN had agreed a basis for a ‘protocol’ on the deployment of more monitors. ‘This agreement outlines the functions of the observers as they fulfil their mandate in Syria and the tasks and responsibilities of the Syrian government,’ Ahmad Fawzi, Annan’s spokesman, said in a statement. Fawzi said Annan’s team was holding ‘similar discussions with representatives of the opposition on the tasks and responsibilities of the armed opposition groups.’ A survey by the United Nations has found that the number of civilians uprooted inside Syria has jumped by some 230,000 since the start of the

uprising last year. A report by the Norwegian Refugees Council and the Genevabased Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says more than 600,000 people are now internally displaced inside Syria, including some 400,000 from the country’s 1967 war with Israel. Tens of thousands more have fled to neighbouring countries, making them officially refugees. The increase makes Syria the country with the eighth highest number of internally displaced people in the world. Colombia has the highest number of these refugees, with up to 5.2 million displaced, followed by Iraq, Sudan, Congo and Somalia. The 15-member U.N. Security Council will meet at 1pm GMT today for a briefing by Annan’s deputy, JeanMarie Guehenno. It is seen as crucial in determining whether the conditions are right for deploying a larger monitoring mission to Syria. U.S. and European diplomats on the council have suggested that Syria’s lack of full compliance with its obligations to end the violence may make it difficult for them to support a new resolution that would be needed

to deploy an expanded observer mission. In the first progress report since the Security Council passed a resolution on Saturday authorising the deployment of observers. Secretary-General Ban proposed an expanded mission of 300 personnel to monitor a shaky ceasefire between forces loyal to President Bashar alAssad and opposition fighters. Ban said this week that 250 observers were too few in a country of 23million where the United Nations says at least 9,000 people have been killed in the past 13 months. He sought European help in supplying planes and helicopters. But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid alMoualem said 250 was a ‘reasonable number’. But he added that they should be from countries such as China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa - all more sympathetic to Damascus than are the West or the Arab League. He also dismissed any need for UN aircraft. The monitors’ mission, however, will be a perilous one. Yesterday gunfire and protests broke out near a team of UN observers. Source: Dailymalil.co.uk


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 29

Lagos: Sound govt, sensible budget Contd. from Back Page

I

n the 2012 budget, there was an increase from the previous years’ budget of N450.8 billion to N491.9 billion (9%). The total revenue for 2012 is estimated at N399.8 billion and impressively, the ordinary revenue (Lagos IGR, other IGR, dedicated revenue, etc.) of the state is N289.7 billion which is about 73% of total revenue. This is more than double of the N110.2 billion that Lagos expects from the federation account in 2012. Lagos is therefore not one of the numerous “parastatal states” that cannot pay salaries unless the FAAC meets in Abuja! Compared to some other states whose budgets have grown astronomically with no commensurate growth in IGR, the budget of Lagos state has steadily increased alongside its IGR as shown by an 8% (N262.6 billion to N289.7 billion) increase in ordinary revenues between 2011 and 2012. So while the federal government preaches fiscal consolidation without practicing, it is Lagos State that is practicing it without all the noise! Comparing both years’ budgets, there is a projected increase in ordinary revenue (IGR inclusive) by about N27 billion between 2011 and 2012. Taking the case study of Bauchi state whose budget was analyzed last week, its projected increase in IGR for this year was just N1 billion! Unlike the case of Bauchi state where the government spends money on maintaining many commissioners and 924 aides that it’s IGR cannot support, Lagos state Government has 23 commissioners and 20 Special Advisers, and yet is performing much better. In fact, looking at the revenue earning capacity of Lagos in comparison to many states of the federation is going from one extreme to another. Capital expenditure for 2012 is N258.3 billion (53%) while recurrent expenditure is N233.6 billion (47%) of the total budget. Although the ratio does not meet the best practice of 70% for capital expenditure, it must be acknowledged that Lagos enjoys the dual advantages of limited geographic spread and legacy of inherited federal infrastructure, and therefore does not need as much greenfield infrastructural investments as other rural states. What it needs though is high levels of spending on maintenance and running costs. These are perhaps reflected in the higher recurrent portions of the budget.

The government, in 2012 increased its recurrent expenditures on education from N28.4 billion in 2011 to N35.4 billion and justifiably too as there has been continuous increase in both volumes and pass rates of SSCE candidates from Lagos. The number of candidates who obtained five credits in WASCE including English and Mathematics has improved from a miserable 7.58% in 2007 to an impressive 21.11% in 2010. The 2010 National Literacy Survey also shows that Lagos has the highest literacy rate in any language. Increased allocation of funds to this sector is definitely a commendable step in the right direction. The environmental subsector of Lagos state which receives about 6% of the overall budget allocation, recorded a huge leap from the N335 million revenue generated in 2011 to projected N2 billion in 2012. This is one sector which the residents of Lagos have felt a visible difference. There was a slight increase in health allocation from N32.9 billion in 2011 to N33.3 billion in 2012. In spite of the increase, the health sector is expected to double its revenue from N393 million to N655 million. Works and Infrastructure received 18% (N88.1 billion) of the budget reflecting investments to address existing infrastructure deficits. The transportation sector however, dropped in projected revenue by about N400 million whereas its budgetary allocation increased by about 11% for the same reason. The personnel cost budget for the entire Lagos state government for 2012 is about N81.6 billion. This is less than one third of its IGR and less than 5% of the Federal Governments (N1,600 billion) staff costs, yet many would say that Lagos runs better than Nigeria these days. Departments such as lands, environmental protection, works and infrastructure, transportation, and even the

judiciary earn sufficient revenues to cover their personnel costs. In fact, the lands department earns enough to cover all its recurrent expenditures while the state’s Ordinary Revenue (N289.7 billion) can cover its total recurrent costs (N233.6 billion) with a surplus of N56.1 billion. That is how a federating unit’s finances should be! In year 2011, Lagos state High Courts alone made revenues of about N700 million and are expected to earn about N1.2 billion in 2012 which is higher than the IGR of most states of the federation now depending on the Federal Government for monthly handouts. The lesson and experience of Lagos is this - each MDA is a revenue as well as a cost centre. Each government department that offers services charges some fees to cover all or part of the cost of the service. That is how to run a department, state, or country! My admiration for the business-like way Lagos is run is clear by now. Lagos is only state in the country which can survive solely on its incomes from taxation. However according to the World Bank Doing Business rankings 2010, the state was ranked 25th out of 37 in Nigeria in terms of ease of doing business. Lagos is not an agrarian state, neither is it endowed with any mineral resources. It is therefore disturbing that despite the huge amount of private sector investment and potential, the business environment is far from friendly. The authorities need to create a thriving environment for businesses in Lagos especially since taxes and land charges are the major source of fiscal sustenance of the state. All our states should learn lessons from Lagos not only in the areas of budget transparency but fiscal independence from Abuja, delivery of public services, investment in education and even governance succession. With these outlier qualities, it is not surprising that Lagos is run by a party other than the PDP of today!

Taking the case study of Bauchi state whose budget was analyzed last week, its projected increase in IGR for this year was just N1 billion! Unlike the case of Bauchi state where the government spends money on maintaining many commissioners and 924 aides that it’s IGR cannot support, Lagos state Government has 23 commissioners and 20 Special Advisers, and yet is performing much better


PAGE 30

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Bashar and Asma handing out food to victims of figh city he is bombing

F

ootage of Syria’s brutal leader and his wife packing up food parcels has been broadcast on state TV - after they were derided for ordering luxury goods on the internet while their country burns. Pictures were broadcast last night showing Bashar and Asma Assad receiving a rapturous welcome at alFahya stadium in Damascus. They joined hundreds of volunteers boxing cartons full of flour, sugar, cooking oil and pasta for victims of fighting in Homs, where the president’s The Assads have long worked to manage their image, but it backfired a year ago when a glamorous photo shoot and gushing profile of Asma, 36, appeared in Vogue magazine just as her husband launched a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Those images are now part of a YouTube campaign led by the wives

of United Nations ambassadors from Britain and Germany, which alternates stylish shots of Asma with gruesome pictures of dead and injured Syrian children. For her latest TV appearance Asma avoided any hint of glamour, dressing down in a sheer pink sweater over a simple dress with her dark blonde hair soberly braided and pinned up. Her tall, gangly husband looked relaxed, towering above his admirers in a polo shirt with an identity pass on a ribbon around his neck like other volunteers. The two packed boxes sealed them with Scotch tape and carried them over to stacks of aid awaiting distribution. Emergence of the footage came as Syria was slammed by the United Nations for failing to keep to the terms of a peace plan and continuing to station troops and heavy weapons in

All smiles: Bashar and Asma Assad were shown packing up food boxes in a Damascus stadium.

towns. In a letter to the Security Council UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Syria was failing to send a ‘clear signal’ about its commitment to peace, underlining Western fears for the week-old truce. Despite these fears, the UN today signed an agreement on the terms of a future ceasefire monitoring mission, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said. It could see up to 300 observers entering the country. UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan said the Syrian government and the UN had agreed a basis for a ‘protocol’ on the deployment of more monitors. ‘This agreement outlines the functions of the observers as they fulfil their mandate in Syria and the tasks and responsibilities of the Syrian government,’ Ahmad Fawzi, Annan’s spokesman, said in a statement. Fawzi said Annan’s team was holding ‘similar discussions with representatives of the opposition on the tasks and responsibilities of the armed opposition groups.’ A survey by the United Nations has found that the number of civilians uprooted inside Syria has jumped by some 230,000 since the start of the

uprising last year. A report by the Norwegian Refugees Council and the Genevabased Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says more than 600,000 people are now internally displaced inside Syria, including some 400,000 from the country’s 1967 war with Israel. Tens of thousands more have fled to neighbouring countries, making them officially refugees. The increase makes Syria the country with the eighth highest number of internally displaced people in the world. Colombia has the highest number of these refugees, with up to 5.2 million displaced, followed by Iraq, Sudan, Congo and Somalia. The 15-member U.N. Security Council will meet at 1pm GMT today for a briefing by Annan’s deputy, JeanMarie Guehenno. It is seen as crucial in determining whether the conditions are right for deploying a larger monitoring mission to Syria. U.S. and European diplomats on the council have suggested that Syria’s lack of full compliance with its obligations to end the violence may make it difficult for them to support a new resolution that would be needed

to deploy an expanded observer mission. In the first progress report since the Security Council passed a resolution on Saturday authorising the deployment of observers. Secretary-General Ban proposed an expanded mission of 300 personnel to monitor a shaky ceasefire between forces loyal to President Bashar alAssad and opposition fighters. Ban said this week that 250 observers were too few in a country of 23million where the United Nations says at least 9,000 people have been killed in the past 13 months. He sought European help in supplying planes and helicopters. But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid alMoualem said 250 was a ‘reasonable number’. But he added that they should be from countries such as China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa - all more sympathetic to Damascus than are the West or the Arab League. He also dismissed any need for UN aircraft. The monitors’ mission, however, will be a perilous one. Yesterday gunfire and protests broke out near a team of UN observers. Source: Dailymalil.co.uk


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 31

Political dynasties (Romney, Bush, Kennedy) betray basic American values

Former Presidents George Bush Senior and junior

ANALYSIS By Walter Rodgers

F

amilies like the Kennedys, Bushes, and Romneys will likely ever seek political power - and the public may well respond with a certain star-struck awe. But hereditary ambition and home-grown royalty run counter to the American Revolution premise 'that all men are created equal. Once again, America's leading political dynasties are holding high the family standard in an election year.

In Massachusetts, another Kennedy is racing toward Congress. This time, it's Democrat Joseph P. Kennedy III, the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, hoping to fill the vacancy of retiring Rep. Barney Frank. "I'm very proud of my family's record of public service to the Commonwealth and the country," the young Mr. Kennedy has said. I don't doubt his desire for service, but he's also trading on the family name - and fundraising and other powers and privileges that go with it. That's not what the Founders envisioned for the new republic. Meanwhile, in Texas and Florida, the Bushes are using their

Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate endorsement clout in an attempt to wrap up the messy Republican primary. It's time for "the party to get behind" Mitt Romney, former President George H.W. Bush says. His wife, Barbara - who referred to her son George W. as "the chosen one" before he even became president - has recorded a robocall for Mr. Romney's campaign. Jeb Bush, another son and a former governor of Florida, has also endorsed Romney. (A reasonable question: If Romney loses to Obama, will Jeb run in 2016? It's a job he has said he has wanted since he was a kid.) The United States has seen its share of political families: the Adamses, at the beginning, and in modern times, the Browns of California; the Cuomos of New York; the Daleys of Chicago; Ron Paul and his son Rand, now a US senator from Kentucky; not to mention Romney and his late governor father, George. But over the past half century, no two families have been as powerful as the Bushes and Kennedys. They share deep New England roots and a seeming sense of entitlement to the White House.

The Kennedy taste for dynastic prerogative has at times been shameless. Sen. Robert Kennedy challenged a sitting president of his own party and tried to seize the presidential nomination - seeking to recapture his brother John's lost legacy and rekindle the myth of Camelot. (Parallels can be drawn with the younger Bush president in attempting to finish off his father's war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.) Even after the Kennedys suffered two assassinations, the family's ambition continued to soar. Brother Edward tried (and failed) to unseat his party's president, Democrat Jimmy Carter. So strong was the family's belief that the White House belonged to them, that a defeated Teddy petulantly refused to shake hands with President Carter at the 1980 Democratic convention. The youngest Kennedy brother never made it to the Oval Office, but he helped Barack Obama get there, acting as kingmaker along with his niece Caroline, as they pointedly favored Mr. Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton (from a would-be dynasty).

“

"I'm very proud of my family's record of public service to the Commonwealth and the country," the young Mr. Kennedy has said. I don't doubt his desire for service, but he's also trading on the family name - and fundraising and other powers and privileges that go with it. That's not what the Founders envisioned for the new Late President J. F. Kennedy

This practice of hereditary ambition and home-grown royalty betrays a basic premise of the American Revolution, "that all men are created equal." Andrew Jackson's defeat of incumbent John Quincy Adams swept away much of our earlier faith in ruling families, and successive waves of immigrants made a mockery of it. The Europeans spent centuries, sometimes knee-deep in blood, eliminating czars and kings. Yet in the past 50 years in America, we have had to ride out allegations of rape, manslaughter, drug abuse, infidelity, and drunkenness in our "royal families," overlooking all this on the medieval assumption that those with better bloodlines are somehow beyond reproach or the law. And, like kings of old, today's royals seek to maintain position and power by plying supporters, friends, and family with gifts, whether they be tax breaks or cabinet posts. At their peril, they forget that stability in any kingdom involved a delicate balance between the crown and nobility, and the people. The republic could again use the same disdain for pretense employed by an earlier patriot who once said he wished that "wadding of the cannon fired to salute President [John] Adams would hit him in the seat of the pants." The progeny of political families will likely ever seek political power - and the public may well respond with a certain star-struck awe and hope for favorable treatment. But in this country, we ought to judge a candidate on merit. That's what we were raised on. Culled from Christian Science Monitor Walter Rodgers is a former senior international correspondent for CNN.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 32

Bashir vows to take fight to South Sudan …call South’s leaders insects Egypt refers ban on presidency candidates to court

E

gypt's military rulers have asked the constitutional court to rule on whether top officials from Hosni Mubarak's era can run for the presidency, a judicial source said yesterday, after the parliament passed a law banning them. Last week's new law must be passed by the ruling military council to take effect. MPs drafted the legislation in response Mubarak spy Chief Omar Suleiman's decision to run for the presidency. Suleiman has since been disqualified on the grounds that he failed to secure enough voter endorsements to run. The legislation, if approved, could disqualify former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq - in power during Mubarak's last days. The Supreme Constitutional Court is expected to issue its ruling within 15 days. A minister in the army-appointed government last week described the law as "a deviation" that targeted one or two people. The presidential election starts on May 23 with two days of voting and is expected to go to a June runoff between the top two candidates. Front-runners include the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, former member of the Islamist group Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh and former Arab League chief and Egypt's foreign minister for a decade, Amr Moussa.

… As Presidential hopefuls launch campaign

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he number of candidates in Egypt's presidential election has been almost halved to 13, and an appeal by 10 candidates who were barred has been rejected by the election panel. Some have welcomed the Electoral Commission's decision, particularly those who have seen the odds on their favoured candidate improve dramatically. Supporters of Amr Moussa, the former head of the Arab League, have launched his campaign just hours after the Electoral Commission confirmed that 10 candidates were excluded from running for president. He is now one of the frontrunners, the most prominent of those campaigning on a purely secular ticket, and one who may well pick up the many votes that were likely to go the way of the former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, who is vigorously opposed to any religious influence in politics.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses supporters during a rally at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) headquarters in Khartoum, April 18, 2012.

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udan's president has said he will "cut" the hand of aggressors and retake the disputed oil-producing Heglig region as his country continues to clash with its southern neighbour South Sudan. Omar al-Bashir told a rally in Sudan's North Kordofan state yesterday he would not surrender "an inch" of the country and that he would firmly deal with the enemies. "We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it," Bashir told thousands of people in ElObeid, North Kordofan's capital. "Heglig is in Kordofan," he said in the speech broadcast on state television, dancing and waving his walking stick. The region accounts for 50 per cent of Sudan's oil production. Al Jazeera's Peter Greste, reporting from Bentiu, South Sudan, said officials in Juba, the country's capital, had dismissed Bashir's statements as rhetoric. "They [Sudanese authorities] never really accepted the cessation of the South", Barnaba Benjamin, the South Sudanese minister of information, told our correspondent,

referring to the referendum that led to South Sudan becoming an independent state. Benjamin said the South was not interested in war with Sudan and that the country was only trying to defend its "territorial integrity". Meanwhile, Ban Ki Moon, UN secretary General said yesterday that South Sudan's seizure of an oil field in neighboring Sudan was an "illegal act" and called on both countries to stop fighting. "I call on South Sudan to immediately withdraw its forces from Heglig. This is an infringement on the sovereignty of Sudan and a clearly illegal act," Ban told reporters. "I also call on the government of Sudan to immediately stop shelling and bombing South Sudanese territory and withdraw its forces from disputed territories." Our correspondent Greste said Bashir's statements were complicating diplomatic efforts. "The scaling up of the rhetoric is something that is worrying diplomats," our correspondent said. "The challenge for the diplomats is to try to find [a way of] of resolving

this dispute ... " Bashir threatened on Wednesday to overthrow the "insect" government in South Sudan following the attack on Heglig, Sudan's most important oil field, by troops from the south who seized it eight days ago. "Our main goal is liberation of the southern citizens from the SPLM," he told members of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the ruling party in South Sudan. "We call it an insect ... trying to destroy Sudan, and our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely," Bashir said. "There are two choices: Either we end up in Juba or they end up in Khartoum. The old borders cannot take us both." "In a few hours you are going to listen to good news from your brothers in Heglig. Heglig will not be the end. The end will be in Juba." Bashir made the remarks as his audience sang songs about jihad, or holy war. While Bashir forecast a swift victory, a foreign ministry official

said Sudan was pursuing both military and diplomatic measures to remove South Sudan from the area. "Military steps are under way ... and they are calculated measures," Omar Dahab, head of the ministry's crisis team, said. "At the same time, they are taking into consideration the diplomatic efforts regarding the ending of the occupation. We have to end the occupation by hook or crook, by either way." Sudan's military has released virtually no information about the situation on the ground, but South Sudan has vowed to hold its positions in Heglig, despite air strikes. Clashes broke out last month in the Heglig area and escalated last week with waves of aerial bombardment hitting the South and South Sudan's seizure of the oil centre on April 10. The UN, the US and the European Union have criticised the South's occupation of the north's most important oil field, equally denouncing Sudanese air raids against the South. South Sudan claims the raids prompted the invasion of Heglig. There are widespread fears that the fighting, which began with skirmishes in the same area in late March and intensified last week, will spread. It is already the worst episode since South Sudan won independence in July after a 19832005 civil war which killed two million people. Bashir's comments follow a UN Security Council meeting which discussed possible sanctions on Tuesday against Sudan and South Sudan in a bid to halt a wider war. "Council members expressed grave concern over the situation and committed to make every effort to convince the parties to cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table," Susan Rice, the Security Council president, said. But Dahab, of Khartoum's foreign ministry, said penalising both the aggressor and the victim would be wrong. "It is clear that that is not fair," he said. "Logically it should be directed to the aggressor." Although South Sudan disputes it, Heglig has been internationally recognised as being part of Sudan.

Libya PM says Gaddafi son in good health

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ibya's prime minister met war crimes prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo yesterday and reassured him that Muammar Gaddafi's detained son is in good health and that his government is determined to give him a fair trial. "I assure the world that Saif (al-Islam) is being given a humanitarian treatment with respect and according to human rights guidelines," Abdurrahim El-Keib told reporters after meeting the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor, in Libya to investigate Gaddafi's son who is wanted by the ICC. Earlier this month a senior defence lawyer at the ICC asked the court to report Libya to the U.N. Security Council over its failure to extradite Saif al-Islam

to The Hague. Xavier-Jean Keita said the wanted man had been physically attacked and was suffering dental pain. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam in June 2011 after prosecutors accused him and others of involvement in the killing of protesters during the revolt that eventually toppled and killed his father. But Libya says Gaddafi's British-educated son should face justice at home rather than stand trial in The Hague. He was caught in November disguised as a Bedouin tribesman in the Sahara desert, months after telling his father's opponents they would be exterminated like rats. He is still being held in a secret

location in the town of Zintan, 160 km (100 miles) west of Tripoli by the former fighters who

captured him and who have so far declined government requests to hand him over.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is seen sitting in a plane in Zintan November 19, 2011.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Syria-UN sign agreement on monitoring mission

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yria and the United Nations signed an agreement yesterday on the terms of a cease-fire monitoring mission, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said. "This preliminary agreement aims to facilitate the task of the observers within the framework of Syrian sovereignty," the statement said. A statement from UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan said the Syrian government and the United Nations had agreed a basis for a "protocol" on the deployment of more observers. "This agreement outlines the functions of the observers as they fulfil their mandate in Syria and the tasks and responsibilities of the Syrian government," Ahmad Fawzi, Annan's spokesman, said in a statement. Fawzi said Annan's team was holding "similar discussions with representatives of the opposition on the tasks and responsibilities of the armed opposition groups." The 15-member UN Security Council will meet at 9:00 a.m (1300 GMT) on Thursday for a briefing by Annan's deputy, Jean-Marie Guehenno, which will be crucial in determining whether the conditions are right for deploying a larger monitoring mission to Syria. US and European diplomats on the council have suggested that Syria's lack of full compliance with its obligations to end the violence may make it difficult for them to support a new resolution that would be needed to deploy an expanded observer mission.

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Blasts in Baghdad, northern Iraqi cities kill 30

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ombings struck several areas in Baghdad and to the north yesterday, killing at least 30 people in the

first major attacks in Iraq in nearly a month. The violence stoked fears that insurgents were trying to undermine confidence

in the Shiite-led government amid rising sectarian tensions. In all, officials said extremists launched 12 attacks in the Iraqi

People gather near the remains of a vehicle used in a bomb attack in Baghdad's northern district of Kadhimiya.

Bin Laden family deportation hits more snags

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he plan to deport Osama Bin Laden's three widows and their nine children from Pakistan ran into more bureaucratic hurdles on Wednesday, making it uncertain when they would leave, their lawyer said. The family was detained by Pakistani authorities last May after US Navy SEALs raided the compound in northwest Pakistan where the AlQaeda chief was hiding and killed him. The American commandos left Bin Laden's relatives but took his body, which they later buried at sea. Pakistan interrogated the family members and eventually charged the widows and two adult daughters last month with illegally entering and living in the country. The five women were convicted at the beginning of April and sentenced to 45 days in prison, with credit for about a month served. Their prison term, which was spent at a well-guarded house in Islamabad, ended Tuesday. They were scheduled to be deported after the completion of their sentence, but their departure has been held up for bureaucratic reasons, said Atif Ali Khan, who took over as their lawyer Wednesday.

Syria's Deputy FM Faisal al-Miqdad (R) and General Abhijit Guha, the Deputy Military Adviser in the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping.

A man rides a bicycle past a police guard outside the house where bin Laden's family is believed to be detained in Islamabad.

capital and in the cities of Kirkuk, Samarra, Baqouba, Dibis and Taji. Mortars were fired into the northern cities of Beiji and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, but no injuries were reported there. Nearly 100 people were wounded in the rapid-fire explosions that unfolded over an hour and 15 minutes. Half of the bombs struck at security forces and government officials - two frequent targets for insurgents still seeking to undermine Iraq's efforts to normalize after years of war and violence. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Baghdad military command spokesman Col. Dhia Al-Wakeel said they resembled those carried out by Al-Qaeda. "They want to send a message that they can target the stability that has been achieved recently," Al-Wakeel said. "This will not discourage our security forces." The strikes marked the first major attacks in Iraq in nearly a month, although ongoing political battles between the Shiite-led government and top Sunni and Kurdish officials have threatened to inflame simmering sectarian disputes. Iraq's Sunni Vice President, Tariq Al-Hashemi, is wanted on terror charges that he says are politically motivated, and Kurdish regional leader Massoud Barzani has compared the government in Baghdad to a dictatorship. Aides to Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a Shiite, have dismissed the criticism as baseless. Sunni lawmaker Hamid AlMutlaq blamed the political wrangling for what he described as Iraq's deteriorating security. "We hold responsible all the government security forces and the leaders of the political process for today's attacks," said AlMutlaq, a member of parliament's defense and security committee. The single deadliest bombing Thursday came in Dibis, located near the northern city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad. Kirkuk Police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir said a parked car exploded in the Sunni Arab village, killing six passers-by and wounding four. The day of violence began at dawn with a car that exploded in residential area in the Diyala provincial; capital of Baqouba in eastern Iraq, killing one and injuring 13 people. Within two hours, bombs cropped up across Baghdad, killing eight across the Iraqi capital - mostly in Shiite neighborhoods. Baghdad police said roadside bombs and car explosions targeted security patrols and the nation's top health official, Health Minister Majeed Hamad Amin, as his convoy was driving him to work. Amin, an Iraqi Kurd, was not hurt in the attack on his convoy in the


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Norway terrorist ‘planned to kill many more’

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he Norwegian terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik on trial for killing 77 people last July has said that his original plans included decapitating the country's former prime minister, bombing a royal palace and killing the entire government. The mass murderer also told an Oslo court yesterday that he trained himself using a computer wargame to help plan the attacks on the fourth day of his trial. Breivik killed eight people in a car bombing outside the ruling Labour Party's headquarters in Oslo and then shot dead 69 people on the island of Utoya, where the party was holding a youth summer camp. "The aim of the attack on the government buildings ... was to kill the entire Norwegian government, including the PM ... and everyone in the building," Breivik told the court. Jens Stoltenberg, the current Norwegian prime minister, was not at the offices on the day of the attack. He also described how he planned to kill everybody on Utoya, culminating in the filmed beheading of former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan, reporting from Oslo, said Breivik had told the court how he started playing wargames for up to 16 hours a day after moving in with his mother in 2006.

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

UN’s Ban lashes at South Sudan over seizure of Sudan oil field

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N chief Ban Ki-moon yesterday termed South Sudan's seizure of a disputed oil field in Sudan an "illegal act" and called on both countries to stop border clashes spiraling into war as the United States warned of a "worrying" escalation in rhetoric. Clashes along the ill-defined border between the former civilwar foes has led to a standoff over the Heglig oil field after it was seized last week by troops from South Sudan, which declared independence last year. "I call on South Sudan to immediately withdraw forces from Heglig. This is an infringement on the sovereignty of Sudan and a clearly illegal act," Ban, the U.N. secretary-general, told reporters. "I also call on the government of Sudan to immediately stop shelling and bombing South Sudanese territory and withdraw its forces from disputed territories," he said. "I have impressed on both governments the necessity of ending the fighting and returning to negotiations. They have yet to heed our call." Mounting violence since Sudan split into two countries last year has raised the prospect of two sovereign African states waging war against each other openly for the first time since Ethiopia fought newly independent Eritrea in 1998-2000. Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir all but declared war against his neighbor on Thursday, vowing to teach South Sudan a "final lesson by force" after it occupied Heglig, while Juba

accused Bashir of planning "genocide." "The escalation of rhetoric on both sides is indeed worrying and it's only fanning the flames," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, the president of the U.N. Security Council for April, told reporters. "The effort ought to be made to reduce the flames, douse them, and return to the table to resolve

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investigation into local businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini to include Berlusconi. Magistrates have accused Tarantini of giving false testimony and holding information from them during an investigation concerning the suspected procurement of prostitutes for parties at the former prime minister's residences. They want to determine if Tarantini made the allegedly false

Italy"s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a meeting of the European People"s Party (EPP) ahead of a two-day European Union leaders summit in Brussels March 1, 2012.

loggerheads over the position of their border, how much the landlocked south should pay to transport its oil through Sudan, and the division of national debt, among other issues. Both are poor countries - South Sudan is one of the poorest in the world - and the dispute between them has already halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speaks after addressing the Sustainable Energy summit in Brussels April 16, 2012.

Berlusconi under investigation in prostitution case ormer Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing a new investigation by magistrates looking into his relationship with a man who is charged with procuring prostitutes, a justice system official said yesterday. The official, who declined to be identified by name, said magistrates in the southern city of Bari had extended an existing

the outstanding issues that have made relations between north and south so difficult in the wake of independence," she said. On Tuesday, the 15-nation U.N. Security Council discussed the possibility of imposing sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan if the fighting does not stop. Distrust runs deep between the neighbors, who are at

declarations at Berlusconi's behest. Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said he had not yet received any formal notification that his client was under investigation in Bari. Leading Italian newspapers, including Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica, said the magistrates suspect Berlusconi may have paid hundreds of thousands of euros (dollars) to Tarantini to withhold evidence. Berlusconi has always maintained that parties at his homes were respectable, that he has never paid for sex with a woman and that he did not know women taking part in his parties were prostitutes. Prosecutors have linked Tarantini with Italian businessman Valter Lavitola, who was arrested earlier this week when he returned to Italy after eight months as a fugitive in Latin America. Lavitola was an unofficial aide and fixer for Berlusconi and occasionally accompanied him on state trips abroad although he had no government role. Naples prosecutors ordered Lavitola's arrest on charges of fraud connected to 23 million euros in public financing for L'Avanti, a socialist newspaper.

US condemns soldiers’ actions in Afghanistan

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enior US and NATO officials moved quickly to condemn the troops' behaviour even before the photos were published on Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times, which received them from another soldier. At a meeting of NATO allies in Brussels, Belgium, Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, apologised for the actions depicted by the photographs. "This is war, and I know war is ugly, and is violent. And I know young people sometimes caught up in the moment make some very foolish decisions," he said. "I am not excusing that." Panetta said: "My apology is on behalf of the department of defence and the US government ... Again, that behaviour is unacceptable." He also said he regretted the decision of the Los Angeles Times to publish some of the photos, which he said might trigger retaliatory violence against foreign soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Separately, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretarygeneral, condemned the behaviour depicted by the images, saying they "don't in any way represent the principles and values that are the basis for our

mission in Afghanistan". Earlier, General John Allen, the most senior commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement that an investigation into the incident was under way. "The actions of the individuals photographed do not represent the policies of International Security Assistance Force or the US army," he said. The appearance on the Los Angeles Times website of some of the 18 pictures, taken in 2010, comes at a sensitive time in US-Afghan relations, following release of a video in January that showed four US marines urinating on Afghan insurgent corpses. The burning of copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, at a major NATO airbase also triggered a week of riots that left 30 dead and led to the deaths of six Americans. And, in March, a US army sergeant went on a night shooting rampage in two southern Afghan villages, killing 17 civilians and prompting Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, to demand foreign soldiers confine themselves to major bases. Such incidents have complicated US efforts to negotiate a strategic partnership agreement to define its presence once most foreign combat troops pull out by the end of 2014.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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‘I want to be alone’: Japanese man, 76, braves typhoons and biting insects living naked on tropical island Sun seeker: In the early nineties Mr Nagasaki decided to shun mainstream society to set up base on the little island of Sotobanari, translation ¿Outer Distant Island¿ to while out his final years

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emote spot is just a kilometre wide Currents are so dangerous fishermen hardly ever cast nets in the area 'I've decided here is the place for me to die' He rarely wears clothes and eats almost nothing but rice cakes but Masafumi Nagasaki says the small inhospitable Japanese island he chose to live on two decades ago is where he wants to die. Where most people look forward to winding down when they retire, nothing was further from the mind of this sun-scorched 76-year-old who gives a new meaning to the term golden oldie. In the early nineties Mr Nagasaki decided to shun mainstream society to set up base on the little island of Sotobanari, translation 'Outer Distant Island' to while out his final years. The remote spot, which is just a kilometre wide, is in Japan's tropical Okinawa prefecture but is located closer to Taiwan than Tokyo. It is a world away from a traditional retirement home in the sun. The currents that surround the kidney-shaped

island are so dangerous local fisherman rarely cast nets in the area. There is no natural water and since setting up home there Mr Nagasaki has had to brave powerful typhoons and biting insects. Such difficulties have not deterred the wiry hermit who no longer wears clothes apart from for his once a week trip to a nearby island to pick up water and rice cakes with a small $120 donation sent from his family. He said: 'I don't do what

society tells me, but I do follow the rules of the natural world. You can't beat nature so you just have to obey it completely. 'That's what I learned when I came here, and that's probably why I get by so well.' Ironically Mr Nagasaki says he spent years in the limelight working in the entertainment industry before he decided to get far away from civilisation. His resolve was tested relatively soon into his stay when a massive typhoon swept through Sotobanari, removing most of the vegetation that he

had relied upon for shade, as well as carrying away the simple tent he lived in. 'I just scorched under the sun,' he said. 'It was at that point I thought this was going to be an impossible place to live.' For the first year he lived there he says he threw on clothes whenever boats passed his way, but slowly the island stripped away his embarrassment. He added: 'Walking around naked doesn't really fit in with normal society, but here on the

For the first year he lived there he says he threw on clothes whenever boats passed his way, but slowly the island stripped away his embarrassment. He added: 'Walking around naked doesn't really fit in with normal society, but here on the island it feels right, it is like a uniform. If you put on clothes you'll feel completely out of place.'

island it feels right, it is like a uniform. If you put on clothes you'll feel completely out of place.' His staple food is rice cakes, which he boils in water, eating whenever hunger strikes sometimes four or five times a day. Water for bathing and shaving comes from rain caught in a system of battered cooking pots. Each day is conducted according to a strict timetable, starting with stretches in the sun on the beach. The rest is a race against time as he prepares food, washes and cleans his camp before the light fails and insects come out to bite. It isn't the healthiest of lifestyles, he concedes - but that isn't the point. 'Finding a place to die is an important thing to do, and I've decided here is the place for me,' he said. 'It hadn't really occurred to me before how important it is to choose the place of your death, like whether it's in a hospital or at home with family by your side. But to die here, surrounded by nature - you just can't beat it, can you?'


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

The laser operation that banishes varicose veins for good and with no scars

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s the summer approaches, the prospect of baring legs will strike fear into the hearts of a large group of women: those who have varicose veins. The unsightly condition – caused by the failure of valves in the leg veins to open and close properly, leading to a build-up of pressure – may conjure up images of the elderly. In fact, one in five of us will suffer, and the condition can strike even in adolescence. Women are seven times more likely to suffer than men – and even celebrities are not exempt, with Britney Spears and Sex And The City’s Kristin Davis reported to have sought treatment. ‘Serious varicose veins can lead to varicose eczema, when the skin becomes flaky because of poor oxygen supply,’ says Constantinos Kyriakides, consultant vascular surgeon at The Private Clinic, and Barts and the London NHS Trust. ‘Varicose veins can bleed heavily if the leg is cut and sufferers can also develop venous ulcers or even deepvein thrombosis.’ Traditional treatment involves cutting into the groin to find the top of the offending vein and tying it off, then passing a wire through from below the knee and pulling the vein downwards to strip it out. This leaves the patient with two scars – a big one at the groin and another at the knee. The stripping can result in bleeding, bruising, thrombosis and infection, often in the groin area. It is usually a painful procedure that can require patients to take three weeks off work. Twenty-three per cent of the veins grow back within a year and 82 per cent in five years. Now a new treatment, Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLA), can eradicate

varicose veins for good in less than two hours. One patient to benefit is 23year-old Alice Garner, who suffered from varicose veins since the age of 16. She says: ‘Initially they were just a few little bumps, but they rapidly became pronounced and knobbly. ‘By the time I was 20, I refused to bare my legs in public. I avoided going swimming and would only ever wear long skirts. ‘For a young woman this was really depressing.’ Last summer, Alice had EVLA treatment. The procedure uses a laser to target affected veins and is effective in more than 90 per cent of cases. Under local anaesthetic, a catheter is put into the vein, near the knee or ankle. Then a long sheath is sent through the vein. An ultrasound scanner is used to get the positioning exactly right. ‘A laser fibre is passed inside the sheath until it comes out, and then switched on. The laser energy makes the walls of the vein collapse. The sheath and laser are pulled back, destroying the vein as they go, without damaging the surrounding tissues. Smaller varicose veins branching off the main vein are removed via microphlebectomy – where a small needle punctures the skin and a fine hook removes them. The patient is able to walk out of the clinic the same day. After her procedure, Alice’s legs were wrapped in surgical bandages to minimise bruising. ‘I was told to walk around to reduce the risk of blood clots,’ she says. ‘After the procedure, my legs ached for a couple of days, but were easily treated with painkillers. ‘I only had to take two days off work and my varicose veins had completely gone.’ Source: Dailymail.co.uk

The laser energy makes the walls of the vein collapse

Daring to bare: But Alice Garner, 23, hid her legs after varicose veins struck at 16. Last summer, she had Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLA) treatment.

Nagging is good for you Y ou may not feel like thanking your family and friends who insist that you need to get fit, but a new sport psychology study shows such nagging does work. The study from the University of Lincoln, is the first to address the range of social influences affecting levels of physical activity among people aged between 30 and 60. It found through a series of interview with adults from across the UK that the least active people actually appreciated pestering by spouses and children. One participant said: ‘We might be sat comfortable, reading or something, and my wife might say ‘Let’s go and do something’. And when I’m at the cross-roads, 50:50, I need that’. Another commented: ‘My daughter is just full of beans, she’s always like ‘Come on Dad let’s do this’ - and then I need to sit down! She tells me to chase her and she actively gets me involved!’. The media and GPs appear to play a similar role, providing ‘alarm bells’ to shock those who were unfit or inactive about the potential consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. The study focused on modifiable social influences on motivation towards physical activity, rather than fixed factors used to predict health such as gender and ethnicity.

These included giving impetus is that the study suggests once you (by nagging); supporting progress are active and healthy, you no with emotional and moral support; longer need nagging. Most logistical support (such as looking importantly, however, the after the children for an hour); and suggestion that ‘nagging is good’ making activity itself a social should only be applied to getting endeavour (such as going with healthy and active!’ friends). Source: Dailymail.co.uk Study author Dr Richard Keegan, said: ‘The aim of this study was to help people examine their lifestyle as a whole and establish what the key factors are in influencing their activity levels. ‘The most common barriers to active lifestyles were work, long commutes and provision of facilities. However, it became clear that if you know who to ask, it is also possible for your social network to help you be more active, for example, by going for a run with colleagues straight after work. Motivating: Nagging was found to work at getting ‘The good news people more active


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

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Ibori’s UK Conviction: A blow against corruption- HRW

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he Human Rights Watch (HRW) has described the conviction of former governor of Delta State, James Ibori in a London court as a landmark in the global fight against corruption. A statement by Mr Daniel Bekele, Africa Director at HRW in Lagos, said Ibori was one of Nigeria's enduring symbols of criminality and impunity. Ibori was on Tuesday convicted and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment by a London court after he pleaded guilty to seven counts charge of money laundering of about 50 million pounds. "The world has just got smaller for government officials, who believe they can loot their country's resources with impunity. "By prosecuting Ibori, the UK authorities have struck a blow, not only against financial crimes at home, but also against impunity for corruption around the globe. "This case is not just about financial transactions in British banks, but about acknowledging global responsibility for helping to stop the devastating human cost of corruption in Nigeria," HRW observed. It noted that Ibori was one of Nigeria's most powerful and wealthy politicians from the oil-rich Niger Delta, whose eight years administration received billions of dollars in oil revenue but with little to show for it.

New Taraba PDP exco inaugurated From Yusha'u Alhassan, Jalingo

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he new executives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba state have been inaugurated by the zonal working committee of the North East zone. At the inaugural ceremony yesterday at the Jolly Nyame's Stadium Jalingo, Chairman of the party for the North East zone, Senator Gingir Lawan said PDP under the leadership of Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai has transformed the state both in terms of physical structures and harmonious co-existence among the different set ups in the state. He advised the executives of the party and its members to be obedient to their leaders, respectful to one another irrespective of their levels in the society. Speaking at the occasion Governor Danbaba Suntai congratulated the new executive council on their victory. He described the new chairman, Victor Bala as a hardworking person who will deliver the sixteen local government councils in the state in the forthcoming local government election. Governor Danbaba charged the state working committee to take the party to greater height by uniting the people.

Some Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)’s Caucus members at the National Assembly during a Press Conference on the purported security report on Osun state, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Jonathan condoles with Belgore on wife’s death

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has condoled with retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, on the death of his wife, Fatima. In a statement issued yesterday by the Special

Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, Jonathan said the late Hajiya Fatima served the country diligently through her work in the health sector. The president said that the deceased also showed her

diligence by providing a stable home for her husband. He prayed that God would comfort the entire Belgore family at this time of grief and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. The president also extended

condolences to Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, the government and people of Kwara state. Hajiya Fatima, 70, a retired Deputy Matron at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, died on Thursday morning in Ilorin. (NAN)

Kaduna legislature assures LGs of adequate funding

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he Kaduna State House of Assembly yesterday assured local councils in the state of adequate funding this year. The Speaker, Alhaji Mu'azu Gangaran gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna. There are 23 local government areas and 46 development areas that are currently being managed by unelected management

caretaker committees. Gangaran said that, that followed the presentation of a Bill for a law to appropriate funds for the councils by Gov. Patrick Yakowa to the legislature. The bill passed through second reading at the state House of Assembly on April 11. He added that the executive bill proposed N80,101,383,870 for the recurrent and capital expenditure of the councils. Gangara said the bill had been referred to the House

Committee on Appropriation and Implementation for indepth study. According to him, the committee will report back its findings on May 3, for adoption and possible passage. He urged his colleagues to expedite action on it because of the significance of the budget on the lives of the local people. On the Easter explosion in Kaduna metropolis, he sympathised with the victims, prayed for the repose of the

deceased and urged God to grant the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. The Speaker also prayed for the speedy recovery of those who sustained injuries and rehabilitation of victims by government. While commending security agencies for containing the blast, Gangara however urged them to redouble their proactive efforts in forestalling security breaches. (NAN)

Zamfara governor bars sole administrators from contesting council elections

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overnor Abdulaziz Yari has barred the 14 local government councils' sole administrators from contesting the councils election slated for July. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yari appointed the sole administrators to manage the councils' affairs in July 2011 for six months. But the state House of Assembly extended the tenure to terminate in July 2012. Following lobby by sole

administrators through their political associates to allow them automatic tickets to contest the election, the governor directed the sole administrators to discountenance such moves. Yari, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Alhaji Sani Tsafe, told NAN in Gusau on Thursday that in order to provide free democratic environment, sole administrations should be unbiased umpires in the election. ``If there is any sole

administrator, who is interested in contesting the council election, he should resign his appointments both as a civil servant and as a sole administrator before the April 23,'' he said. He further said that the directive also affected civil servants wishing to contest in the election, as they were asked to resign their appointments before April 23. ``With this development, this administration has shown that

sufficient level playing ground has been provided for every resident of the state to aspire to any political office,'' he said. He also restated that Yari had no intention to dump his party, ANPP for the ruling PDP, describing the insinuation as mere political propaganda by opponents of his administration. ``The governor is not under any pressure from any quota to dump ANPP for any party as he said repeatedly,'' he said.


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Plateau ACN boss tasks members on party financing

Appeal Court dismisses Ondo ex-chairmen’s suit

he Plateau State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has charged members to strengthen the party by contributing more toward its financial upkeep. Mr James Haruna, the new Chairman of the party, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Thursday that the members must see their party as their own and demonstrate a more practical level of commitment to its success and survival. “We have to strengthen the political structures if we want a strong democracy; members must truly own the parties so as to work more toward capturing power so as to influence decision

he Court of Appeal sitting in Akure recently dismissed an appeal filed by former chairmen of local governments in Ondo state over their removal from office two years ago. The appellate court also affirmed the June 4, 2009 judgment of Justice Nelson Adeyanju of an Akure High Court which declared as ``illegal and unconstitutional'' the Dec. 15, 2007 local government election which brought them into office. The former council bosses were sacked by Gov. Olusegun Mimiko on March 4, 2009, an action which they challenged at the lower court. Dissatisfied with the outcome at the lower court, they headed for the appellate court seeking an order to set aside the dissolution and for their reinstatement. In a judgment by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, read by Justice Chinwe Iyizoba, it was held that the appeal failed on the ground of non-compliance with

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making.'' Haruna challenged Nigerians to define what they wanted in a democracy, stressing that all must collectively say no to money politics. “We must reject a situation where a few individuals use the influence of money to hijack the party's machinery. “We should also begin to look at a party based on its manifesto and quality of candidates being presented to stand elections. “As the new chairman of ACN in Plateau, I will work towards restructuring the party to give it direction.'' Haruna said that all members must be regular in

paying the N60 monthly dues, saying that the dues would be used to run the party, host campaigns activities, and maintain offices. He criticised the practice of using public funds to run political parties and described that as unlawful. The chairman challenged journalists to always point out such anomalies, stressing that newsmen must beam their searchlights on such evil practices so as to end them. “Journalists should also investigate and publish their findings on use of public funds to finance elections so as to free the public funds for more development projects.''

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the provisions of the laws guiding the conduct of local government election. ``It is clear that the appellants gave only 9 days notice instead of the 150 days prescribed by the Electoral Act. 150 and 9 days cannot be read to be the same. ``The lower court is now vindicated by taking that standpoint on the matter. ``Since we are bound by Supreme Court decisions, it is hereby affirmed that the local government election conducted on Dec. 15, 2007 which brought the appellants to office was not only illegal, unconstitutional, but null and void.'' The court which further held that the appellants agreed in their submissions that their tenure had lapsed in December 2010 due to the function of time, ruled that they were not entitled to any benefit of the office. The court also said that there was nothing that could be done about what they had earlier earned as chairmen.

Rivers legislators call for revival of Ahoada Industrial Estate

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L-R: Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Suleiman Abdulrahaman Kawu, Speaker of House, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, being welcomed by Ciroman Kano, Alhaji Sunusi Lamido Ado Bayero, during the Speaker’s condolence visit to the family of Late Madakin Kano and former Chief Judge of Kano state, Alhaji Sanusi Ciroma Yusuf, recently in Kano.

embers of the Rivers House of Assembly have called for the revitalisation of the Ahoada Industrial Estate to boost industrialisation in the State. The legislators made the call in a motion at the plenary session on Wednesday in Port Harcourt. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ahoada Industrial Estate in Ahoada West Local Government Area was established during the military era but has since been abandoned by successive administrations in the state. Mr Chigbo Eligwe urged the house to ensure that the state

Gov Dickson tasks new commissioners to be prudent

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overnor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has advised the newly inaugurated commissioners in the state to be transparent and prudent in the management of the affairs of their various ministries. The governor, who gave the advice on Wednesday in Yenogoa at the swearing-in ceremony of the commissioners, urged them to see their appointment as a call to service and not for personal

aggrandizement. He said the swearing-in signalled the commencement of his restoration agenda and urged the commissioners to key into it. Dickson, who apologised for coming to the programme about four hours behind scheduled, attributed the reason to the fact that some of the appointees were yet complete the filling of their code of conduct forms. He urged commissioners to be

focused on service delivery, adding that the task facing them in their various ministries was enormous. ``There is a blue print for the development of the state in your various ministries. I believe we will surmount the various challenges the state is facing." Dickson expressed concern over the bloated wage bill of the state, saying that Permanent Secretaries would be held responsible if the names of under-aged and ghost

workers appeared on the payroll. ``My duty is to do what is right, even if others before me did not do so. ``As a government, we are open to public scrutiny. Today, there is clear departure from the ugly past." Dickson revealed that some senior officers of the state Treasury were currently in custody of security agents over bloated wage bills.

government revived the abandoned estate to generate revenue and create employment for the youths in Ahoada and Rivers in general. Mr Augustine Ngo, representing Abua/Odual constituency, said that the revival of the Ahoada Industrial Estate would help to decongest the city of Port Harcourt. Supporting the motion, Ngo said that it would draw the attention of the Rivers government to the huge business opportunities that abound in Ahoada West constituency. Martins Amawhule, representing Obio/Akpo constituency, while supporting the motion, urged the House to liaise with the State government to ensure the revitalisation of the moribund company. He called on the House to refer the issue to the relevant committees to properly assess the level of decadence for further action by the assembly. Describing the motion as a welcome development, the leader of the House, Mr Chidi Lloyd, said that if the estate was revived, businesses without permanent locations could use the place.

Akpabio warns commissioners, aides against corruption

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overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom has warned the newly sworn-in Commissioners and Special Advisers in the state against corruption He gave the warning during the swearing-in of 20 Commissioners and five Special Advisers in Uyo on Wednesday ``Whether you are a Permanent Secretary, Commissioner or Special Adviser, you must abhor corruption. ``There is a reward for hard work

and good services; we are here to serve the public,'' he said. The governor stressed that his administration would not hesitate to discipline anybody who erred, adding: ``If you are not prepared to join us, then leave us.'' He, nonetheless, vouched for the competence of the appointees but cautioned them against allowing undue sentiments and parochial interests to taint their service delivery.

``'Note that you are not just sworn in as a Commissioner or Special Adviser for your village or family, you are sworn in to serve the interests of the entire AkwaIbomState. ``In your hand, you were holding the Bible -- the supreme book we all believe in. You were not facing me but you were facing God while you were taking that oath. ``Therefore, in all your actions, remember the oath you have

taken: the oath to serve all, irrespective of tribal or ethnic sentiments. ``You have to take decisions that are fair and just for the progress and development of the state,'' he said. Meanwhile, the commissioners have been assigned portfolios. A statement, signed by Mr Umana Okon Umana, the Secretary to the State Government, said that Mr Ekpenyong Ntekim was in charge

of the Ministry of Justice; Mr Don Etim would head the Ministry of Works; Mr Eno Akpan, Ministry of Lands and Town Planning and Mr Aniekan Umanah, Ministry of Information and Communications. Others are Mr Bassey Dan Abia, Transport, Dr Bassey Antai, Health; Dr Clement Bassey, Culture and Tourism; Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, Housing and Urban Renewal and Mr Enobong Uwah, Environment and Mineral Resources.


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Lack of funds may stall NTTF U-20, Singles, other championships

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he Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) said yesterday that its National U-20, Club and Singles Cup Championships slated for this month might not hold because of lack of funds. NTTF secretary, Segun Oguntade, revealed in Lagos that the federation was yet to get funds to organise the programmes which are meant to identify players for subsequent grooming. “For now, we are not certain about the tournaments because of the financial challenges the federation is facing; however we are still sourcing for funds. “The federation is worried about its financial state because we know the importance of the

competitions to the progress of table tennis in the country,” he said. According to him, the programmes are planned for April to enable players, who are still in school, to participate so that their academic activities will not be disturbed. “We chose April because most schools would have been on vacation allowing interested students to be able to participate in the tournaments,” Oguntade said. He noted that the competitions had in the past helped the federation to identify talents who had represented the country in international championships. Oguntade disclosed that the NTTF had other national

championships in its programme of activities but was being hindered by lack of funds. Some of the playerssaid they had been training for the competitions which helped them to improve their skills. Bolaji Sobayo said he used the annual competitions as an opportunity to compete against other players. “We meet different players during the competitions who display good skills and we gain experience which helps us.’’ Another player, Babatunde Mohammed, said the competitions helped to keep players busy as well as help them to know their national rankings and level of improvement. “Participating in competitions is the major avenue to facilitate our rankings, so it is important

NIPOGA: Hosts Ede, Nasarawa Poly qualify for soccer final

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Chief Patrick Ekeji, DG, NSC the competitions hold for the benefit of players and growth of table tennis,’’ he added. They, however, said that they would continue to train and appealed to the NTTF, corporate bodies and philanthropists to support the development of the game.

Lack of funds may stall NTTF U-20, Singles, other championships

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he Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) said yesterday that its National U-20, Club and Singles Cup Championships slated for this month might not hold because of lack of funds. NTTF secretary, Segun Oguntade, revealed in Lagos that the federation was yet to get funds to organise the programmes which are meant to identify players for subsequent grooming. “For now, we are not certain about the tournaments because of the financial challenges the federation is facing; however we are still sourcing for funds. “The federation is worried about its financial state because we know the importance of the competitions to the progress of table tennis in the country,” he said. According to him, the programmes are planned for April to enable players, who are still in school, to participate so that their academic activities will not be disturbed. “We chose April because most schools would have been on vacation allowing interested students to be able to participate in the tournaments,” Oguntade said. He noted that the competitions had in the past helped the federation

to identify talents who had represented the country in international championships. Oguntade disclosed that the NTTF had other national championships in its programme of activities but was being hindered by lack of funds. Some of the playerssaid they had been training for the competitions which helped them to improve their skills. Bolaji Sobayo said he used the annual competitions as an opportunity to compete against other players. “We meet different players during the competitions who display good skills and we gain experience which helps us.’’ Another player, Babatunde Mohammed, said the competitions helped to keep players busy as well as help them to know their national rankings and level of improvement. “Participating in competitions is the major avenue to facilitate our rankings, so it is important the competitions hold for the benefit of players and growth of table tennis,’’ he added. They, however, said that they would continue to train and appealed to the NTTF, corporate bodies and philanthropists to support the development of the game.

CAF Executive Committee: Adamu stalls Nigeria’s nomination By Patrick Andrew

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Amos Adaamu

he Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation has suddenly developed cold feet over the nomination of Nigeria’s candidate into the CAF Executive Committee no thanks to alleged directive to that effect from a self acclaimed god father of Nigerian sports. Impeccable sources disclosed to

Peoples Daily Sports that the NFF was directed to stop forthwith processes aimed at putting forward the name of Nigeria’s candidate for the position hitherto occupied by suspended CAF and FIFA executive committee member, Dr. Amos Adamu. Former NFF presidents retired Brigadier General Dominic Oneya, Alhaji Ibrahim Galdima, former Secretary General of the NFF, Honourable Ahmed Sani Toro, CAF Media Committee member, Paul Bassey, and the incumbent president of the football federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari among others, were said to have expressed interest in the replacing Adamu. Consequently, meetings were held and interests realigned by the would-be candidates including direct approach to the Supervising Minister of Sports and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for endorsements of their candidatures. However, our sources disclosed that Adamu reached out to Maigari and directed that his board must

not proceed with the processes to replace him on the grounds that his suspension from all football activities would soon elapse. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that Adamu was indicted by the FIFA Ethics and Appeal committees over alleged complicity in 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid bribery scandal. He was subsequently suspended for three year s from all football by FIFA. Though he sought to establish his innocence by taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, (CAS), in Switzerland, the verdict of FIFA’s Appeal committee was up held, meaning that he had to serve out his punishment. It would also be recalled that Adamu was one of the six members of FIFA that lost their seats over alleged sleazy deals which cast doubt on the integrity of FIFA and subsequently necessitated several reforms aimed to ameliorating corruption in the August football ruling organ. However, whereas he was ousted from the executive

committee of FIFA, he seems to have unofficially retained his CAF seat because CAF president Issa Hayatou had severally said that the seat was not vacant until 2013. “Amos Adamu directed the board to stop all processes that would lead to the nomination of a candidate to replace him on the seat. That’s why Maigari board cannot continue with moves to that effect. “Adamu, we were told has told them he was only suspended and not banned from football and that since the suspension would soon elapse nest year, he does not see any reason why a new candidate should be put forward to replace him,” the source with links in CAF and FIFA said. However, when Peoples Daily Sports sought the response of the president of the NFF, Aminu Maigari, he simple said the processes of nominating a candidate was a long one which requires time and very serious consideration. “The process is on. We are working on it. With time we shall be through and then I will tell you what we are up to,” he said on Wednesday out rightly denying any external interference in the nomination processes.

he Federal Polytechnic, Ede, and Nasarawa Polytechnic have qualified for the final of the male football competition at the ongoing NIPOGA Games at Ede, Osun. Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Wednesday defeated Federal Polytechnic, Offa, 2-0 to reach the final, while Nasarawa Polytechnic got to the final by defeating Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, 2-0. In the first semi-final match involving the host team, Abubakar Muyideen scored the first goal in the seventh minute of play, while the second goal scored in the 83rd minute by Victor Nwobiko. In the second semi-final match Ayuba Bwandi scored the first goal for Nasarawa Polytechnic in its encounter with LASPOTECH in minute, while the 43rd Abdulmutalib Bilal crowned the victory with another goal in the 52nd minute of the match. Meanwhile, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, has taken over from LASPOTECH in the medals table; as it is currently occupying the first position. The institution is leading with 10 gold, three silver and three bronze medals, ahead of Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, with six gold, five silver and six bronze medals. YABATECH is occupying the third place with five gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals.

NUGA, OAU to sign MoU on hosting of 24th NUGA Games

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he Nigeria Universities Games Association (NUGA) and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure the successful hosting of the 24th NUGA Games. The Public Relations Officer of OAU, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, said in a statement on Thursday in Osogbo that the MoU would be signed on April 25 during a meeting between both parties. According to the statement, the university is set to successfully host the Games which are being planned for December. It said that the meeting would address issues of common interest between the university authorities and NUGA management. Dr Ken Anugweje, the President of NUGA, is to sign for NUGA, while the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole will endorse it on behalf of the institution, it said. “After the signing of the MoU, the exact dates of the Games will be fixed and the team will inspect the sporting facilities available for the competition in the university,” the statement added.


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Rangers gear up for title push, Five-A-Side: Coaches blame hard surface as new signings impress for teams’ poor

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angers continued their preparations for a better performance in the second stanza of the Nigeria premier League (NPL) beating non-league side, Enugu United 6-0, on Wednesday as they stepped up their build-up for a first major trophy in 28 years. Emeka Eze opened scoring on the half hour, before new signing Ifeanyi Edeh doubled Rangers lead after 38 minutes, while new boy Alhaji Gero helped himself to a brace in the 40th and 42nd minutes with another new signing Jude Aliyu-Chata and Efe Yarhere completing the rout in the 56th and 83rd minutes. Enugu United paraded former Rangers star Uche Okereke and former El-Kanemi Warriors defender Danlami Dickson, but were blasted off the park by the firepower of title-chasing Rangers, who are second on the NPL table with 32 points. Rangers captain James Okwuosah later told a wire service that the team was building to challenge the likes of Kano Pillars, Dolphins, Sunshine Stars for the coveted trophy. “We are just enjoying our game and hope we continue to get this number of goals when the league resumes. I strongly believe that this will be our season to lift this trophy that has eluded the club for as many as 28 years.” Two-goal hero Gero said he hopes to extend his form when the league resumes this weekend. “It feels good scoring goals because that is what I am paid to do. It can only get better no matter the opposition,” he said. “Having been assisting my fellow attackers to score goals in my last club, Kaduna United, it is my time to have my name on the score sheet for Rangers and I hope to hit a double digit before the end of the season to help Rangers win the league.” The coal city side were scheduled to play another test game with the Rangers Juniors yesterday as they prepare for the second round of the NPL and the Federations Cup state playoffs, which kicks off on Monday in Enugu State.

Okey Emordi, Rangers Coach

Akwuegbu returns for domestic league, joins Heartland

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ormer Super Eagles striker Benedict Akwuegbu has joined Heartland as assistant general manager. Akwuegbu’s appointment was conveyed in a letter dated April 18 signed by the Imo State sports commissioner Kenneth Emelu. The former international will therefore assist general manager Fan Ndubuoke and he is expected to bring his vast wealth of experience garnered

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from playing in France, Belgium, China, Germany and Austria. He featured for Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup and was part of the Eagles squad who were beaten in the final of the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations by Cameroon. “I’m humbled by the confidence reposed in me by Governor Rochas Okorocha and his able commissioner for sports, comrade Emelu. This is a call to duty and I will give everything to make a success of it,” Akwuegbu was quoted by a wire service.

adiri Ikhana’s appointment as the new Head Coach of the Super Falcons is the best idea that will develop women football in Nigeria, according to Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedima, the Chairperson of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL). Speaking at the unveiling ceremony of Ikhana on Wednesday, Onyedinma said the appointment of Ikhana was well thought out because the former Green Eagles defender has the depth and wealth of experience to produce the kind of Super Falcons that the football federation dreams of. “Ikhana has a wealth of experience that will help in developing the senior women national team, and by extension the women football game. We need such people to handle our teams. “Based on his antecedents and achievements in the past as the coach of Nigeria Premier League (NPL) teams, such credit will have a positive effect on the NWFL generally,’’ Onyedinma said. She also described the 3-0 defeat of the Zimbabwean under-20 women team by their Nigerian counterparts last Sunday in Harare as a good development. “The Falconets’ victory is a good one that will take the country to the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals later in the year. It will really help us in getting the team ready. “The team has also been able to give the country a sense of belonging in the women’s national game,’’ Onyedinma who is also a member of the NFF board said. She pledged the readiness of the NFF and the NWFL to take the women football league to a glorious end in the 2012 season.

The former U17 and U20 star has been developing football at the grassroots in Imo State with his pet club Mbaise Lions. Several ex-internationals are currently holding down top managerial positions in Nigerian football. They include Tijjani Babangida, who is chairman of Nigeria National League (NNL) FC Taraba, Mutiu Adepoju is club manager at Shooting Stars and Garba Lawal is on the management board of Kaduna United.

Women’s league boss hails Ikhana’s appointment

performance

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oaches at the ongoing maiden Eko Five-A-Side Football Tournament and Coaching Clinic have blamed the wooden floor at the venue for their players’ poor performance. They said that the players were familiar with playing on sand and grass and could not display their skills on the hard surface at the Molade OkoyaThomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Bello Olalekan, the coach of Lasora Soccer Academy Agodo-Ijaiye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that most of his players were used to playing on the sand and grass. “My boys are not used to the ground on which they are playing now coupled with the fact that they are not acquainted with the mode of the game. This is the first time we are playing a Five-A-Side competition and my boys are not finding it easy to put the ball in play without falling.’’ The coach of Double Star Ijora, Ganiyu Oluwatobi, said his players complained that they were not comfortable playing on a hard surface and needed time to adjust to it. “We were faced with the difficulty of the hall’s flooring and we had to adjust to it before our opponents take the advantage. Luckily, we won our game and it seemed like our opponents also faced the same challenge but were unable to recover on time.’’ Joy Etim of Surulere-based 36 Lions FC also said that her players were slipping every now and then as they had to adjust to playing on the floor. “I am happy that we have qualified for the second round, although my boys complained bitterly about the hard surface.’’ Ahmed Sulaimon of Damilola Taylor FC of Ebute-Meta said that his boys only played normal football but were yet to learn the Five-A-Side game and improve on it. “To my surprise, we are catching up fast as we have qualified for the next round. I am impressed with the way we played even though it is the first time we are playing a Five-A-Side competition.’’

3SC interview Ikhana, Esu

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Kadiri Ikhana, Super Falcons Head Coach

oach Esu interviewed NPL side Shooting Stars have interviewed Falcons coach Kadiri Ikhana and Godfrey Esu for their top coaching post. USA-based coach Henry Abiodun has also been grilled for the 3SC coaching position, officials have said. Festus Allen has been suspended until further notice after a poor run of results in the first round of the league and his assistants, Tunde Odubola and Busari Hakeem, have since been in charge in an interim capacity. Former Enyimba and Kano Pillars coach Ikhana has since taken over as coach of the Nigeria women’s team and it is left to be seen whether he could now combine both jobs. Esu, who last season handled Crown FC in the NPL, won Shooting Stars an historic league and cup double in 1995. Abiodun, on the other hand, is highly recommended for his work with youth players and was once at the now defunct Exide FC of Ibadan. It was learnt that the coaching situation at the Ibadan club is expected to be clearer in the coming week.


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Heartland Again, Murray starves off French challenge at Monte Carlo Masters place seven on A transfer

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esperate to secure the domestic league shield, former CAF Champions League semi-finalists, Heartland of Owerri, have effected surgical operation on its squad leading to seven players being asked to seek greener pastures elsewhere. In the same vein, they have handed a trial to Cameroonian Kelvin Agbor even as they seek to prune down a big 38-man playing squad ahead of the second round of the season. Media Officer Cajetan Nkwopara told KickOffNigeria.com that two defenders, two midfielders and three forwards have been transfer-listed, but declined to disclose their identities. “It is our in-house policy not to give out the names of players that have been placed on transfer,” he said. Nkwopara was however more forthcoming on the fate of Cameroonian trial list Agbor, who he says is impressing the coaches so far. “He was due to join us two seasons ago, but there was a communication problem with his then club Coton Sport, and he ended up joining Askia. But now, he is doing well, and it is up to the coaches to decide whether he’ll get a contract or not.”

ITF hands out first two Games wildcards

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tephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein and Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg were on Wednesday handed the first two wildcards for the London Olympics tennis tournament at Wimbledon. Vogt, 22, was awarded a second invitation having had to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics though injury. The world number 258, who has played 12 Fed Cup ties, will become the first player from Liechtenstein to compete in the Olympic tennis event. Royg, 20, has played 24 Fed Cup ties and broke into the world’s top 200 for the first time this year, currently standing at 212. She will be the first player from Paraguay to contest the Olympic tennis tournament since Rossana de los Rios in 2000.

ndy Murray’s apparent jinx on opponents continued on Thursday at the Monte Carlo Masters, with the third seed advancing 6-5 into the quarterfinals as Frenchman Julien Benneteau went down with an ankle injury. Murray got a rare two walkovers last month in Miami, when Canadian Milos Raonic was injured before their third-round encounter and Rafael Nadal was unable to play their semifinal five days later due to the knee problems which continue to haunt him. Murray was fighting through a lengthy first set with the number 31 Frenchman which was nearing the 90-minute mark, when Benneteau took a tumble, rolling his right ankle.Grimacing in pain, Benneteau was patched up and tried to play on, but gave it up in vain to end the abbreviated contest after 11 games.

Benneteau had reached his best career showing at Monte Carlo after falling in the first or second round in all eight previous main draw appearances. In the second round, he had beaten Austrian 15th seed Jurgen Melzer, a 2011 semifinalist. Murray was tested in the early stages, earning a break but losing it as Benneteau squared at two games apiece after Murray had saved four break points. Top seed Novak Djokovic was bidding for the quarters against tricky Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, while second seed and seventime champion Rafael Nadal was to give his injured left knee a further test as he faced Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Nadal has not lost in the Principality since 2008 and has won the last seven editions.

Blake relishes year’s best 100m performance

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he 100m rave of the moment, Yohan Blake is relishing setting a new season’s best time. The reigning world 100-metre champion set the fastest time in the world this year in his 2012 debut at the distance, winning in 9.90 seconds in cold and rainy conditions, last weekend in Jamaica. Blake cruised to win in what he dubbed a “surprise” time at the UTech Classic athletics meet on Saturday in Kingston and said he was ahead of last year’s schedule. The Jamaican and pairing partner of Olympic champion, Usain Bolt, hit the limelight in Daeku, South Korea last year when he became the youngest world 100m champion by winning the final after Bolt was disqualified due to a false start. The sprinter, who surpassed Darvis Patton’s previous world best this year of 10.04, also joined world 100m record-holder Usain Bolt on the Racers club relay that captured the 4x100 relay in 37.82 seconds, also a 2012 world best. Blake, his long hair braids bobbing in the rain, made up for a less than perfect start with an extended drive phase to outclass a 100 field that included World University Games champion Jacques Harvey, who was a distant second in 10.10 seconds. “A good little run,” Blake said. “I just came here to have fun, as you can see in the 4x100. I am in pretty good shape and given the conditions this was a good run.” Blake said he could have produced a faster time but obeyed the instructions of coach Glen Mills to “just go out and take it easy” in the rain and leave the

race without an injury. “I am a bit ahead of schedule but coach is pulling me back a bit,” Blake said. “Everything will work out fine. I am looking forward to running in London so the conditions here don’t bother me.” Blake led four runners who broke the old 100m meet record

Yohan Blake

of 10.20 seconds set three years ago in 2009 by Barbadian Andrew Hinds. Also running a 2012 world best was Beijing Olympic 400m finalist Rosemarie Whyte, who won the 400m in 51.13 seconds to replace Sherone Simpson’s 51.42 atop the season list.

David Rushida

…As Rudisha set to make US debut in June

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enyan 800 metres world record holder David Rudisha will make his US debut at the June 9 New York Grand Prix Diamond League meeting, organisers said on Wednesday. The race will be one of three before the Olympics for the twice Athlete of the Year and 2011 world champion who will be aiming for

his first Olympic gold medal in London. He also will compete in the Doha Diamond League meeting and at Ostrava in May. “I’ve run in many great cities and countries and to finally come to New York is exciting for me,” Rudisha, 23, said in a statement. He will be the first 800 metres world record holder to run in the United States since Sebastian Coe,

chairman of the organising committee for the London Games, competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, organisers said. Coe won gold in the 1 500 metres and silver in the 800 in the California city. The meeting also will feature 100 metres world champions Yohan Blake of Jamaica and Carmelita Jeter of the United States.

Olympics ticket beckons on Semenya at SA Open tonight

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wice Caster Semenya has failed to meet the Olympics qualifying time for the London Olympic Games this summer, a development that has agitated the minds of many of her teeming fans. But she has remained largely undaunted in the belief that she could still secure a place in South Africa’s athletics team for the London Olympic Games. Tonight though she has another opportunity to convinced officials of the South African athletics federation that she has what it takes to represent them with high prospect for medal. She joins fellow two-lap spcialist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi as they go in search of the Olympic qualifying standards at the SA Open Championships in Pretoria tonight. The former 800 metres world champion must twice set the standard of one minute, 59.90 seconds (1:59.90) in her event before the June 30 qualifying deadline. “Qualification is simple for me, and if I continue the way I’ve been doing at training, then I’m in,” Semenya said on Thursday. I don’t feel the pressure of qualifying because as an athlete I know what to do, and that is to dip under two minutes.” Semenya clocked 2:03.60 in hear season debut over 800m in Potchefstroom last month, and was only slightly quicker, crossing the line in 2:02.68, when she retained the national title in Port Elizabeth last week.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

PAGE 47

Still without sponsors T he domestic league remains the bedrock of Nigeria football being the oasis for the growth of the game and indeed the avenue for the abundant talentsprodigious or otherwisewho could be found on many soccer pitches in Nigeria, flourish their talents and earn a lesson. Of course, the league also offers administrators ample avenue to learn sundry organizational skills as they grapple, on daily basis, with the management of the clubs. Such running of the league is made easier by the provisions of funds by sponsors. The funds address various problems in addition to ensuring that the practitionersplayers, coaches and relevant elements who

make a living through the game- are catered for. Sadly, this has proved to be an ordeal for Nigerian clubs, players, technical and other administrative officials because the necessary oil to lubricant the machinery is missing in action. Yes, lack of sponsorship has been the bane of the domestic league especially the elite league which ideally should be professional in all aspects: organization, packaging, quality on display and crowd attraction. But the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has been without sponsors for three seasons now. No, it had a sponsor and the sponsorship fee had raised the bar. Then, the NPL became the torch stone for even leagues in the

continent which were rated far higher than Nigeria's on account of better structure and organization. At a time we were rated second best in Africa, next only to Egypt. But the party soon hit the rock. The sponsorship was halted midway. The reason may have been justified: the league body was unable to justify the huge sums poured into league because rather than attract crowds to the stadiasomething that would correspondingly boost the image of the sponsoring outfitthe crowd were daily thinning out. In veiled terms, the sponsors doubted that they would ever reap from the expected clout if any and so thought it wise to breach the contract.

That was ungentlemanly. It was unfair, it was a return to the dark days w h e n professional football was alien to Nigeria. A l m o s t three seasons owoidoho_ng35@yahoo.com on, the situation has not changed. Though the faces who were responsible made to understand, one Nigerian outfit the for the initial hiccups would have thought that interest of Nigeria comes have, the institutions the issues which hindered first, then they owe the have remained. Well, one the league body from country a duty to walk its has tended to avoid being securing sponsorship had talk or let another repetitious because the been resolved to clear the company step in to offer issues involving path for sponsorship. its services. That way, Globacom's sudden Again, one wonders why Nigerians would see for decision to back out of a an institution that places themselves and judge deal it voluntarily entered premium on its image, between the two who had and the subsequent tussles indeed business integrity, served their interest over the title sponsorship would rather prefer to be better instead of and or right of first offer enmeshed in irritant pontificating in the are within public domain. controversies over corridors of power. However, with the deliberate or inadvertent The second stanza of the intervention of the breach of agreements. league is scheduled to Presidency as we were No, if they say that as a begin on April 24.

WATCH DOG By Patrick Andrew

Maigari celebrates Falconets with N250,000

P Ebere Orji

resident of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari yesterday celebrated Falconets recent victory over their Zimbabwean counterparts the Mighty Young Warriors by rewarding them with N250,000. “It is not an easy feat for a visiting team to travel to its opponents country and win a

Champions League: We have shamed our critics, Di Matteo explodes

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helsea manager Roberto Di Matteo says Chelsea victory over Barcelona in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal, narrow though it may have been but which could be vital, has shamed critics of the Blues who believed that they were finished. “In the past, a lot of people have had the opinion that our boys were over the line and too old to play at this level,” he said. “It was not just Didier, but a lot of players in our squad, that they said couldn’t play two games in such a short period of time. They gave their answer on the pitch tonight.” Didier Drogba scored the only goal just before the break that puts the Blues in pole position to reach the final at Munich’s Allianz Arena next month. Coming just three days after they hammered Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final, it was another superb performance from Di Matteo’s side, which the Italian feels answered those who claimed his squad was too old. “We watched Barcelona against AC Milan and Real Madrid, top European clubs, and they did exactly the same to them. They have a unique style of play, with quality players. They are the only team in the world who can do that.” “The semi-final on Sunday was going to be our biggest test, then tonight, now next week,” he said. “We are facing a lot of tests at the moment. “I am very pleased with this result but it is only half-time. Nothing has been decided yet and we need to play another game like this one if we are going to get through,” he said stressing that his senior players responded to the challenge in a fashion only they could have done. Meanwhile, coach Pep Guardiola has conceded Chelsea are now favourites to reach the final in Munich on May 19. “One-nil is a very good result for them,” said Guardiola. “They are the favourites.”

match. It requires a lot of determination and guts which you demonstrated in Harare. You went there and you conquered. You have not only made the federation proud but equally Nigeria too,” he remarked. “ l do not want all of you to get carried away by the victory as

you prepare for your next game against either Congo DR or Mali which is the crucial stage due for next month. This is not the time for you to underrate your opponents. Discipline must be your watchword at this material time,” he said and proceded to announce the gift to them Maigari, who was accompanied on the visit by the

We’d win every game if it all was about possession of the ball because our average is more than our opponents. But the most difficult thing in this game is putting the ball in the net, and that’s what we couldn’t do this evening. We have to focus on the next game now and try and create the same number of chances. “It won’t be simple. They’ll have 10 men behind the ball, they’ll defend, they’re stronger than us, they run, they jump more than us. But we have to try and take the game under control and discover a way of scoring the goals.” Barcelona’s problem is that they have an energy-sapping La Liga confrontation with Real Madrid on Saturday evening as they bid to hold on to the domestic crown they have worn for three seasons. “Only winners are remembered,” Guardiola said.

Roberto Di Matteo

Pep Guardiola

NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, fellow board members, Barrister Chris Green, Alhaji Shehu Adamu, Barrister Olaleye Adepoju and Director, Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, used the occasion to congratulate the team on its deserved victory and urged the players to keep up the spirit.

Confed Cup: Black Leopards storm Warri

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outh African club Black Leopards are due in Nigeria next week Thursday ahead of a CAF Confederation Cup tie against Warri Wolves. The 25-man Leopards delegation will be led by Khorombi Nemavhola and would include former Heartland winger Joshua Obaje. The CAF Confederation Cup round of 16 first leg game will be played at the Warri City Stadium on Sunday, April 29. According to Confederation of African Football (CAF), Senegalese match officials will take charge of the encounter. They are centre referee Ousmane Fall, assistant referee 1 Diakhate Moussa, assistant referee 2 Thiare Mamadou Faililou, reserved referee Gueye Daouda, while the match commissioner is Inyangi Bokinda from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Enyimba can claim double this season, says midfielder

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nyimba FC of Aba midfielder, Rasheed Olabiyi, says he is confident that with the calibre of players in the team they can claim double victory this season. Olabiyi told newsmen on Thursday in Aba that Enyimba had quality players to win the Nigeria Premier League (NPL)

and the Federation Cup, formerly known as the FA Cup. Olabiyi, who is proud to be an Enyimba player, said that the team was keen to win “something” this season after failing to win a trophy last season. The midfielder who was groomed at the Pepsi Football Academy, Lagos, said: “We have

talented players this season which I am happy to be a part of. “The squad is full of good players and we are capable of winning the league this season and the Federation Cup too. We know that it is going to be difficult because other clubs want to win trophies too, but we are ready to work hard to achieve our target.

“Enyimba remains a club with a tradition of winning trophies. Last season we didn’t win anything even though we came close to winning the Confederation of African (CAF) Champions League before we lost in the semi-finals. “This season we want to win something and I believe we are

in a good position to achieve our ambition,” he said. Enyimba have won trophies, including six from the league and two FA Cup titles in their 36 years existence. They also won the CAF Champions League back to back in 2003 and 2004 under coaches Kadiri Ikhana and Okey Emordi respectively.


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE There is something that is much more scarce, something rar er than a bility arer ability bility.. It is the ability to recognize ability —R ober Rober obertt Half

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

SPORTS LA TEST LATEST

FCT SWAN elects 7-man executive c’ttee

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he FCT chapter of the Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN) yesterday in Abuja elected a seven-man committee to drive its activities for the next three years. Mr Kayode Adeniyi of the NTA won the position of chairman by 50 votes, defeating the incumbent Chairman Victor Iroele of Silverbird Television who had 30 votes. Mr Chidoka Udubueze of the Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN) was returned unopposed as Vice Chairman while Mr Hycienth Umeh won the position of Financial Secretary with 69 votes. Mr Martins Odiete of The Moment newspapers became Secretary with 32 votes, defeating Ezeocha Eze of The Guardian newspapers and the incumbent, Chinedu Ohanusi of FRCN, who had 25 and 20 respectively. Mr Bunmi Haruna of the Independence Television won the position of Assistance Secretary with 59 votes. Mr Bamidele Jones of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) became Treasurer with 47 votes, defeating Mr Rapheal Akpan and Chris Onopegu, both of Nigeria Pilot newspapers. The new Chairman, Mr Kayode Adeniyi,said it was a glorious moment for him because he contested three years ago but lost to Iroele and promised to be fair in dealing with members and bring the association back on course. “We are going to make sure that we rebuild the relationship between us and stakeholders.” The association’s Assistant Secretary, Haruna, promised to make it worthy of emulation. “We are going to be role models and make FCT SWAN acceptable anywhere in the world because we're going to do something nobody has done before.”

Mohammed Garba

ADVERT: BUSINESS: NEWS: LAGOS:

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Lagos: Sound govt, sensible budget

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n continuation of our focus on state budgets’ with a view to analyzing their viability, fiscal prudence and accountability to citizens, the spotlight this week is on Lagos. Lagos state is one of the 13 states in the country which have presented a fiscal responsibility bill to the state House of Assembly, but unlike some states which have enacted the law and barely implemented it, Lagos state exhibits a high level of transparency and accountability in its budget presentation which is detailed and available on the Lagos state government’s website. Lagos state was created on May 27, 1967 by virtue of State (Creation and Transitional Provisions) Decree No. 14 of 1967, which restructured Nigeria’s Federation into 12 states. Prior to this, Lagos Municipality had been administered by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Lagos Affairs as regional authority, while Lagos City Council (LCC) governed the City of Lagos. The metropolitan areas (Colony Province) of Ikeja, Agege, Mushin, Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry were administered by the old Western Region. The state took off as an administrative entity on April 11, 1968 with Lagos Island serving the dual role of being the state and Federal Capital. However, with the creation of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja in 1976, Lagos Island ceased to be the capital of the State which was then moved to Ikeja. With the formal relocation of the seat of the Federal Government to Abuja on 12 December 1991, Lagos Island ceased to be Nigeria’s administrative capital. Mobolaji Johnson was the first Governor of the state; however Alhaji Lateef Jakande was the first elected Governor of the state who served from October 1979 to December 1983 under the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). More recent and significant Governors of Lagos are Buba Marwa (19961999), Bola Tinubu (1999-2007) and Babatunde Fashola who was elected in 2007. Babatunde Fashola is a lawyer by profession who excelled in his professional career which spanned over a decade and a half leading to his recognition as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. In 1999, he joined the public service and served in various capacities with the Lagos state government until his rise to the position of Chief of Staff to Governor Bola Tinubu. In his first

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NASIR EL-R UF AI EL-RUF UFAI ON FRID AY FRIDA elrufai@aol.com

Gov. Babatunde Fashola four years in office, marked improvements were noted within the state - the cleanliness of the metropolis which residents and visitors could attest to, improvements in roads and traffic within the state, improved transportation systems with the introduction of BRT and ferry services across the state - Fashola is without doubt, one of the few “performing” governors in the country and it must be credited to Tinubu that politically, his succession strategy has worked. The ground work for most of what is visible today in Lagos was jointly laid by Tinubu and his team including the current governor Fashola. The result is focus and continuity in governance rather than “witch-hunting” of

predecessors which has bedeviled other "anointment arrangements". Fashola's comparatively stellar performance in office makes many wonder if professional politicians are best suited to deliver on the difficult job of good governance! Lagos is the most populous state in Nigeria with over five per cent of the national population estimate. Ironically, it is the smallest state in terms of land mass; the state has an area of 356,861 hectares of which 75,755 hectares are wetlands. Interestingly, of this population, Metropolitan Lagos, an area covering 37% of the land area of Lagos State is home to over 85% of the State population making it a densely populated state. UN estimates that at its present growth rate, Lagos state will be third largest mega city in the world by 2015 after Tokyo in Japan and Bombay in India, with a population nearing 30 million! According to the World Bank and DFID, Lagos’ 2009 GDP is estimated at N4.163 trillion. Lagos which is a mega-city is the largest contributor to the national GDP at 18%. Lagos’ GDP ranks 6th after Cairo ($98 billion); Johannesburg ($79 billion); Cape Town ($75 billion). Its GDP equals that of Kenya ($29.5 billion) which has a higher population (30million) than Lagos. Lagos

All our states should learn lessons from Lagos not only in the areas of budget transparency but fiscal independence from Abuja, delivery of public services, investment in education and even governance succession. With these outlier qualities, it is not surprising that Lagos is run by a party other than the PDP of today!

boasts of a higher GDP than Cameroun ($20.6 billion), Cote d’ Ivoire ($19.6 billion) and Ghana ($15.2 billion) which have populations of 19, 21 and 24 million people respectively. The South-west zone of Nigeria is the most prosperous part of the country. According to National Bureau of Statistics Poverty Profile 2012 which studied poverty incidences nationwide using 2009 and 2010 data, poverty is classified in four categories; absolute poverty (based on daily food intake), relative poverty (determined by household expenditure) and purchasing power parity (dollar per day). 59.1% of the people in the region live above poverty line which is appreciable given the humongous 77.7% in the NorthWest region that live well below poverty lines. 50.1% of people in the South-West survive on about a dollar a day while only 25.4% are absolutely (food) poor which is impressive compared to other states in the country. Gini coefficients are used to measure income inequalities and in Lagos, a coefficient of -26.2% indicates a decrease in income inequalities within Lagos state between 2003 and 2010 - something the governors should be proud of! Lagos has the highest percentage in Nigeria (85.4%) of people who can feed themselves. Statistics also indicate that 40.8% of the population in Lagos live above poverty lines. Though there is room for improvement in the poverty indices, it is much better than states like Bauchi and Sokoto where only 16.3% and 13.6% respectively live above poverty lines! Lagos state is one of the few in the country which has a well detailed and structured budget made available to the public on the state Government’s website which is fully functional. The budgets are properly explained and broken down by the MDAs with expenditures and revenues properly accounted for. Also, the state posts its budget performance reviews online which indicates transparency and accountability in governance. It is ironic that even with the enactment of freedom of information and fiscal responsibility acts, most State Governments still hide their budgets and breakdowns from the citizens of their states and the general public. Contd. on Page 29

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


Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, April 20, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, April 20, 2012 Edition

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