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Vol. 10 No. 22

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Rabiul Awwal 17, 1434 AH


‘Boko Haram’ Insecurity is why northern Senators announces ceasefire leaders shunned peace divided over submit – chairman state creation >> PAGE 3

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Recruitment, promotion irregularities rock Army By Agaju Madugba and Joy Baba


he Nigerian Army (NA) may have abandoned its cherished application of professional ethics in the conduct of its affairs as investigations reveal high level ethnic bias, favouritism and corrupt tendencies in promotion of officers and admission into the various

Army training schools across the country. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, who was appointed into that coveted seat in 2010, does not seem to help matters following his alleged repeated flouting of certain decisions of the NA Council. The council recently approved

the retirement of 11 majorgenerals but the COAS retired 12, along with 26 brigadier generals instead of the approved 25 and 13 colonels instead of 12. Also in 2010, reports show that the Ordinance Corps presented four brigadiers for consideration for promotion to the rank of major general and Army Headquarters, contrary to the defined rules,

picked the most junior, Brigadier Ugwu of NDA Course 25, ahead of Brigadier Kachallah of NDA Course 22, Brigadier Oginni of NDA Course 23 and Brigadier Martins of NDA Course 24. The situation was not different in the Armoured Corps where in the appointment of a Corps Commander, ethnic considerations might have played

a dominant role with the appointment of Brigadier Nwogbo (NDA Course 25) as Corps Commander, against Brigadier Oshinowo (NDA Course 24). “Ihejirika is prosecuting an unwholesome programme designed to put officers from his ethnic zone in the Army ahead of the other areas,” a source within Contd on Page 2

N26.2bn Police pension scam: Director jailed two years ...but could avoid jail by paying N750,000 fine By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


ollowing his guilty plea to a threecount charge in the on-going trial of the Police pension scam suspects by one of the accused persons, John Yakubu Yusufu, a Director at the Police pension board, an Abuja High Court yesterday convicted and sentenced him to two years imprisonment or an option of a fine of N750,000. Yusufu, the 8th accused person on the charge sheet, specifically pleaded guilty to counts 18, 19 and 20 where he was alleged Contd on Page 2


28th January, 2013


BUYING 154.72 24576 205.99 0.2953 41.25

SELLING 155.73 24735 207.32 0.3153 41.52


BUYING 208 254.50 42 157

SELLING 210 257.50 43 158

15 Russians arraigned before a Magistrate's Court, yesterdy at Tinubu, in Lagos for alleged illegal possession of arms and ammunition. Photo: NAN



CONTENTS News 2-10 Editorial 12 Op.Ed 13 Letters 14 Opinion 15 Metro 16-18 Business 19-22 S/Exchange 23 S/Report 24-25 Defence 26-27 Agric 28-29 Feature 30

2015: Jonathan has served two terms – Shehu Sani P From Nasiru Mu'azu Isa, Kaduna

resident of the Civil Rights Congress, Comrade Shehu Sani has stated that President Goodluck Jonathan has no right to contest the 2015 presidential election because he has already served one term and is serving his second term now. Comrade Sani made the statement during an exclusive interview with our reporter in Kaduna. He said Jonathan had failed and continues to fail as a leader of the nation. "President Jonathan is a failure, he has failed politically, socially and economically and has failed in all his promises and pledges to

the Nigerian public. It is true that a lot of northerners have been appointed to the government of Goodluck Jonathan but he has shown that his interest is only on appeasing and pleasing the people of Niger Delta, observed Sani. In his view, issues raised by sons of the Niger Delta such as Asari Dokubo have always been personal because he was not awarded an oil bloc. On the threat issued by MEND with regards the conviction of Henry Okah, Sani said such should not be ignored as they have always made real their threats and as such the government should

expect a reaction from Okah’s group. Comrade Sani said violence and killings by terror groups is not restricted to the north alone and Okah's conviction and sentencing will have far reaching repercussions than is being seen now. Also speaking on the suggestion of offering amnesty to terror groups such as Boko Haram, he said has been a strategy of buying peace instead finding a lasting solution to the violence. He called on government to be honest and sincere in their quest for peace, saying the dishonesty of the government is one of the major challenges

towards ensuring peace in the North. Comrade Sani said government's argument that Boko Haram is faceless is baseless because he has facilitated talks between Obasanjo and Boko Haram and if they are honest in their quest for dialogue people like him and others are willing to help out. Sani reiterated his view of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) as lackeys of the government and said the stance of the Catholic Church is in line with the interest of the country. He called on Islamic religious leaders to take steps in distancing themselves from leaders that are unable to stand in defense of justice, freedom and truth.

Recruitment, promotion irregularities rock Army

Power generation: One step forward, two steps backward, Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest






Contd from Page 1 the NA council alleged, a seemingly logical insinuation, considering similar developments there. According to the source, “it appears that the Chief of Army Staff is on a specific mission, most probably, sponsored by some sinister dark forces bent on destroying the Army and setting the country on the path of serious conflagration. “From all indications, Gen. Ihejirika is deliberately and recklessly pursuing a plan to destroy the career of senior nonIgbo officers while at the same time embarking on a massive recruitment of soldiers of Igbo stock in order to eclipse all other ethnic groups in the Nigerian Army”. As if to justify the allegation, the Supply and Transport Corps in 2011 recommended four brigadiers for promotion out of which Brigadier Agha Okoro (NDA Course 28) was selected,

ahead of his senior colleagues, Brigadier Baidon (NDA Course 25), Brigadier Magaji (NDA Course 26) and Brigadier Nienger (NDA Course 26). Some of the alleged lopsided positions approved by the COAS also include those of Brigadier Okoro as Sector Commander at UNAMSIL ( Liberia), Brigadier Duru, Director of Logistics at the Nigerian Defence College (NDC), Brigadier Chioba, defacto officer in charge at the Army Headquarters (AHQ) Policy and Plans, Brigadier Egwuagwu, Director at AHQ in charge of recruitment, positioning and promotion of all soldiers, Brigadier Ebenebe, Director of Operations at AHQ, Brigadier Okoh, Acting Chief of Logistics at AHQ, among others. The source explained further that, “in course 30 of the NDA, four officers were presented but none was promoted and Gen. Ihejirika preferred a junior officer from course 26, the idea again

being that for every promotion he must insert an Igbo”. The alleged “Igbonization” programme, from investigations, also indicates that recruitment into the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, has tended to follow a certain trend under Ihejirika, from Abia state. Abia with a population of only 2.8 million has so far had the largest share of recruits, 450, far above Kano with a population of 9.3 million and Lagos with a population of just over nine million and Kaduna with a population of about seven million. These states have 259, 255 and 382 recruits respectively. Although 377 persons were recruited from Ebonyi with a population of 2.2 million, Oyo state with a population of 5.6 million had only 282; Katsina with a population of 5.8 million had only 248; and 271 recruits from Plateau state which has a population of 3.2 million.

And on a zonal basis, the South-east, with estimated population of 16.3 million, has the largest number of 1925 recruits, the north-west with a population of 35.8 million has 1949 recruits; the South-west with a population of 27.6 million, has only 1561 recruits. The source warned that, “a disgruntled officer corps is a recipe for disaster because the Army will lack unity, cohesion and purpose. It will be pre-occupied with fighting itself, as the terrible experiences of 1966 -67”. When contacted, immediate past Director of Army Public Relations, Major Gen. Mobolaji Koleoso, said “no comments from me please. I have not heard about such allegations in the Nigerian Armed Forces of which the NA is an integral part. “I am not covering anything up, mind you, but I believe the Nigerian Army under the current leadership is beyond such allegations”.



N26.2bn Police pension scam: Director jailed two years



Contd from Page 1 to have connived with Mr. Essai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma, Sani Habila Zira, Mrs Uzoma Cyril Attang and Mr. Christian Madubuike, to convert the sums of N24.2 billion, N1.3 billion and N1.7 billion respectively, belonging to the Pension Office to their own use, an offence punishable under section 309 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007. While delivering his judgement, the trial Judge, Justice Mohammed Talba put into consideration the submissions of the counsel to the convict, Mayaki Theodore Bala who prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the convict. He further stated that section 309 of the Penal Code under which the accused persons were charged

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provides for 2 years imprisonment with an option of fine or both. Consequently, he sentenced Yusufu to 2 years imprisonment for each of the counts or N250, 000. The jail terms run concurrently. He told the court that the convict, who had no previous criminal record, voluntarily pleaded guilty to the charges for which he was standing trial and has agreed to forfeit the money he stole as well as the property he acquired with the ill-gotten money. Justice Talba held in his judgement that even though the convict was remorseful and did not waste the time of the court by pleading guilty to the charges, has a duty to Nigeria which have been bedeviled by the monster of white collar frauds which have denied Nigerians of better living conditions.

The Judge therefore sentenced the convict on count 18, to two years imprisonment or an option of a fine of N250, 000.00, same applies to counts 19 and 20, to which the convict pleaded guilty to and that the terms should run concurrently Meanwhikle, the other accused persons in the matter which is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) maintained their earlier plea in the matter, insisting that they were not guilty. In the amended 20 counts charge, bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust brought against the accused persons by EFCC, two more persons; Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang and Mr. Christian Madubuike who were not included in the earlier charge were introduced in the matter. The Perm Secretary of the Pension Office, Mr. Atiku

Abubakar Kigo, was initially docked alongside Mr. Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yufufu, Sani Habila Zira and one woman, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Oyegbula in 2011 on a 16 counts charge before the charge was amended to include Mrs. Attang and Mr. Christian Madubike. The judge had earlier granted each of the accused persons bail in the sum of N10 million, with two sureties in like sum, one of whom must not be less than an officer on grade Level 14 and that the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court. Other conditions for their bail, the Judge held was that the sureties must depose to affidavits of means, which must be verified by the EFCC. The accused persons are also to deposit their national passports before the court.



Gunmen kill eight in Borno, one in Kogi

…as youths avenge woman’s death, destroy nomads’ settlement nknown gunmen, launched another attack in the early hours of last Sunday in Borno state, killing eight persons, including a deputy treasurer of a local government area. This came barely four days after similar incidents in which 12 persons were killed in separate areas of the state. The latest spate of violence occurred when over 10 gunmen stormed Gajigana village in Magumari local government council, which is about 55 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the capital city. Witnesses said the assailants who raided the village in a commando style around killed the deputy treasurer of the local government, a woman and six others. Spokesman of the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF) Lt- Col. Sagir Musa confirmed the incident in a statement issued to newsmen, but said he could not ascertain the exact number those killed by the assailants. Also, suspected hired killers on Saturday in Anyigba, Dekina local government area, Kogi state, killed a staff of Grimard Hospital in the area, Mr. Luke Egwu. Sources informed our reporter at Anyigba that the gunmen numbering four, stormed the premises along old Egume Road

around 2 am and went straight to their victim’s room, shot him in one of his eyes. The source further stated late Egwu who was a senior nurse with Grimard Hospital had just resumed work after a one month leave. Narrating the ordeal to police, one of the sons of the victim who survived knife cut on his shoulder stated that the four gunmen came in through the back door; shot the father in the eye till he bled to death before any help from the co-tenants could come. Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi who confirmed the story, said the police was on top of the matter, noting that search for the killers was on. In another development, irate youths invaded and destroyed a settlement occupied by Fulani herdsmen in Tumbarangabili village, Michika local government area of Adamawa state. The unrest between nomads and farmers, investigation revealed, started when a missing woman farmer was found dead in a forest named Kuburgilu where the nomads usually graze their herds. An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said “the diseased woman left home to harvest her farm produce but did not return home for two days which led to a search.” Confirming the incident, spokesman of the police in the state, DSP Ibrahim Muhammad, said he was yet to be briefed fully on the matter.

When contacted to comment on the sect’s claim that it held meetings with government over the issue, special adviser to Governor Shettima on communications, Isa Unar Gusau said: “Well, I’m just hearing that from you but you will agree with me that the issue is that of national security, I’m not competent to speak on national security issues”. “We have a security council in Borno state, and I’m not a member of that council… you will also agree with me that no governor will speak on such critical security issues, so I cannot

speak on the matter. But what I know which you can also confirm as journalists that have following the activities of the governor is that from the day he became a governor elect, even before he was sworn-in, he was the first to speak on the need for dialogue as the best way out”. Reacting to the development yesterday, JTF spokesman, LtCol. Sagir Musa, described it as a welcome development. He said JTF will continue to maintain law and order and protect the lives and property of citizens in its area of operation.

From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri, Sam Egwu, Lokoja & Umar Dankano, Yola


Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-makura (left), addressing internally displaced persons, who returned to their homes on Sunday, at Iggah in Nasarawa-Eggon local government area. Photo: NAN

Senators divided over state creation By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


trong indications yesterday emerged that the upper legislative house is divided over state creation which is currently before the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution. As it appeared, state creation which Senate President David Mark has variously advocated does not enjoy acceptance of senators from opposition parties. This was made manifest yesterday during a briefing on state creation by selected senators,

during which an ACN senator from Ekiti North, Adetumbi Olubumi, argued against the position of a PDP senator from Nasarawa state, Sulaiman Adokwe, saying economic viability should be the determining parameter in state creation rather than satisfying the political desires of few minority kingpins. He said that the emphasis should rather be on adequate funding for the existing states rather than state proliferation for political reasons, adding that in the place of state creation, the local governments should be made

more viable. While arguing that Nigeria fared better during regional era, Adetumbi emphasised that creating more states will only increase the cost of governance in addition to the already expensive presidential system. Earlier in his speech, Senator Sulaiman Adokwe who is the Chairman of the Committee on Senate Services, maintained that the motive behind state creation is to give a sense of belonging to the minority groups with regards to occupation of some sensitive political positions.

“For sometimes now, we the members of Jamaatu Ahlil Sunnati Lidaawati Wal Jihad have recently had a meeting and dialogue with the government of Borno state where we resolved that giving the prevailing situation, there is the need for us to ceasefire. We, on our own, in the top hierarchy of our movement under the leadership of Imam Abubakar Shekau, as well as some of our notable followers agreed that our brethren in Islam, both women and children are suffering unnecessarily; hence we resolved that we should bring this crisis to an end”. “We therefore call on all those that identify themselves with us and our course, to from today lay down their arms. Let every member who hears this announcement relay it to the next member who hasn’t heard. We have met with the Borno state government on two occasions and the fallout of the meeting is to embrace dialogue”. He added that the sect has also told the government to heed its demands, comprising the immediate release of its members being detained across the country, hoping that this time around, government will not betray the conditions of the truce, saying “because we all know that it was because of the continued detentions

of our members that this crisis continued for this long. And if government fails to meets the demands then this conflict will never be brought to an end as we will never give government another chance”. Commenting on the speculations that there is splinter group in the sect, he said: “Of course there is a faction within us, but the larger faction of our movement is the one in support of the ceasefire moves. Moreover, once top members of our group including Imam Abubakar Shekau are in support of the need for dialogue, other smaller factions can be dealt with easily”. Idris also exonerated the group from the recent attacks and killings in Maiduguri, saying the onslaughts were perpetrated by other criminals who hide under it to commit evils. “Let me confirm to you that the recent assassinations of civilians were not carried out by us, rather some elements, do so for their selfish interest, but God willing the ceasefire we have declared will vindicate us. People should know that henceforth, we should not be held responsible for a single bloodshed, rather government and its security operatives should conduct thorough investigation to fish out the perpetrators”, he argued.

‘Boko Haram’ announces ceasefire

From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he Jamaatu Ahlis Sunna Lidaawati Wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram, yesterday, declared an immediate ceasefire, beginning from yesterday (Monday) and resolved to lay down arms to embrace dialogue so that normalcy can be restored to the North-east region and other northern states, which suffered several attacks , which claimed hundreds of lives and properties. Speaking to newsmen in a telephone conference in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, Sheikh Mohammed Abdulazeez Ibn Idris, who claimed to be the second in command of the sect in charge of Southern and Northern operations, said the group decided to abandon violence and bloodshed in pursuing its course following series of meetings held with representatives of Borno state government on how best to bring an end to the wanton killing and destruction of property in the state and other parts of the North. The group added that it also resolved to put a halt to its violent campaigns as government has agreed to facilitate the release of its members being detained by security forces. The statement t reads in part:

...We are not in haste, says FG By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government has said it will only make pronouncement after it must have critically studied the conditions given by the Boko Haram sect while announcing its unilateral ceasefire. An impeccable government source who pleaded anonymity said yesterday that government was not in a hurry to jump at the offer made by the sect. The source who said government was yet to take a formal position on the matter noted that "from our experience,

the sect is not reliable and their words cannot be taken at face value. "All facets of governmental apparatus would be consulted before a final decision would be taken on the matter. We are not in a hurry to jump at their offer", the source said. The source went further to state that while government was committed to dialogue, it was not going to negotiate with any group on a position of weakness and proactive security measures would continue to be taken to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.


Power generation: One step forward, two steps backward


n June last year at the 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), President Goodluck Jonathan gave the assurance that power supply in Nigeria will be among the best 20 in the world by the year 2020. The President, who spoke through the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom stated that, "we will do everything possible to address the structural weaknesses standing between us and revolutionising the power sector. Some of the problems are deep, but not beyond the government. We are currently reviewing the lapses in the power sector to make it one of the best in the world in the year 2020. Nigeria is on the threshold of history, ready to join the world economic powers in the very near future." And towards the end of December last year, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) announced in a statement that electricity generation in the country had reached 4,500 megawatts. Signed by the Assistant General Manager of TCN on Public Affairs, Dave Ifabiyi the statement gave credit for the achievement to the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to fulfilling his promise of improved electricity supply. "A new power generation peak of 4,502.2 megawatts was achieved on Dec. 21, 2012, and was efficiently wheeled by TCN," the statement proclaimed. But against the backdrop of the Jonathan's professed commitment to up power generation in the country, the President proposed a whopping N5.5bn for the fuelling and maintenance of generators in government offices and the Presidency in the 2013 budget. Another N200 million was voted for the same purpose at some of our foreign missions, in countries where they do not know the meaning of power outage. The President apparently knew what he was doing when he voted these amounts for servicing generators in the country and at Nigeria's foreign missions abroad because the current power outage in the country is quiet in conflict with the supposed attainment of 4,502.2 megawatts announced by the Transmission Company of Nigeria last in December year. It is also in disagreement with the President's claim in his recent CNN interview that his

Power generation in Nigeria these days would seem to be like what the Hausa people refer to as "Tafiyar Kura" (Hyena's gait); one step forward, two steps backward, writes Abdu Labaran Malumfashi

President Goodluck Jonathan government had recorded success, especially in power generation where "every Nigerian, even the civil societies, are happy about". This is unless those living in Katsina state and Utako District in the Federal Capital Territory are not part of the President's "every Nigerian". In these places, where this reporter alternates his working and non-working days, power outage is as irritating as it has ever been. Which is why not only the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), but even foreign observers saw through the President claim for what it was; an attempt to make a political capital out of the CNN interview. According to ANPP in a statement signed by its national Publicity Secretary Emma Eneukwu, "The President's assertion on power patently shows that either he is not properly briefed, or he is not in touch with the reality on ground in the country. "This was an obvious deflated ego trip, effectively shot down by the fact that stable power supply still remains a mirage in our great nation, and could not be ameliorated even by any contrived public relations mileage that could be garnered

Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, Minister of State for Power via a world renowned media channel like the CNN. "Officially, Nigeria's power generation has dropped from its December 2012 figure of 4,502 megawatts to 4,286 megawatts, though there are suggestions from various informed quarters that the actual generation is 3,700 megawatts. In fact, we make bold to aver that most of the Nigerian citizens are not feeling the impact of any increase in power generation, and the figures bandied around by the PDP-led government does not

have any impact on the lives of the ordinary citizen". The ANPP's assertion was completely taken by Ghana News, which said the President was economical with the truth in his claim about improved power generation in Nigeria. According to the on line medium, the most amazing and appalling of all, is the President's take on the energy issue. He said electricity generation and distribution has greatly improved; that the power sector was relatively


In the final analysis, the AMANPOUR Interview further revealed that the President is neither in charge nor on top of issues; he seems to have lost touch with reality, and he clearly has lost control, because the Nigeria he spoke of last night certainly does not exist; it exists only perhaps in his dreams".

stable and that if you ask Nigerians on the streets of Lagos and Abuja, they will testify to that. But that is totally untrue, and residents in both Lagos and Abuja, as well as elsewhere, will confirm this. In short, there has been no improvement in power supply at all; a close look at the indices will reveal that the nation is yet to exceed the 4,000megawatts (MW) it was generating three to four years ago. There has been no increase in megawatts; what we have got is simply a change in energy distribution policy. The present government has simply re-allocated distribution of more megawatts to select areas around the country; so if one is living in those choice areas, it will create the false impression that there is improvement in electricity generation and distribution. Yet, the nation is still on 4,000MW. "In the final analysis, the AMANPOUR Interview further revealed that the President is neither in charge nor on top of issues; he seems to have lost touch with reality, and he clearly has lost control, because the Nigeria he spoke of last night certainly does not exist; it exists only perhaps in his dreams".


Food shortage: Don recommends integrating home economics, agric From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


professor in the Department of Agric Extension and Rural Development, University of Ilorin, Prof. Oluwasegun Adekunle, has recommended the integration of home economics and agricultural extension to allow involvement of women in direct farming and solve the problem of food scarcity in Nigeria. Adekunle who made this recommendation during the 120th inaugural lecture he delivered at the institution, noted that out of 72 million hectares of land available in Nigeria, 34 million are currently under use. He said the Federal Government needs to appoint qualified Agriculture Extension specialist to head Agric Development Projects (ADPs) and other extension organisations if government is serious about the problem of food shortage in the country.


Insecurity is why northern leaders shunned peace submit – chairman From Edwin Olofu, Kano


he chairman of the Northern Development Focus Initiative (NDFI), Alhaji Usman Farouk has offered an insight on why northern leaders shunned the peace confab in Kano at the weekend, saying majority didn’t show up because of the insecurity situation in the state. Farouk who was addressing newsmen after the 3-day peace summit, explained that the attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero instilled fear in the minds of majority of the invitees who had earlier signaled their intention to

attend the conference. He added that apart from former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who took excuse that they would be away during the conference, most of the leaders didn’t even offer any explanation to the organisers on why they couldn’t make themselves available. The former governor of the North-western state added that the ban of motorcycles in the state didn’t help matters, because there were rumours that achaba riders were going to protest the ban, which put off so many guests.

He however, said the decision of the conference is binding on all the leaders that were unable to attend especially the northern governors who will help in implementing the resolutions. Farouk said the conference has resolved that: “Northern states and the Federal Government should institute compulsory and free education at the primary and secondary school levels for all school-age children and introduce a free pupils feeding programme like in Kano state. “Governors of the northern states should increase budgetary allocation to the educational sector

to 30 percent...” He further stated that the conference recommended that: “Given the spate of ethno-religious conflicts and prevalent insurgency, the summit recommended that a judicial commission of inquiry be setup to establish the remote and immediate causes of these conflicts; all persons identified to be involved in sponsoring, benefiting or involved in all forms of terrorism and insurgency be prosecuted; reformation and rehabilitation programme to involve repentant Boko Haram insurgents unconditionally”.

Robbers kill Bauchi AIT/ Ray Power security guard From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


security guard with AIT/ Ray Power broadcasting station was allegedly shot dead by people suspected to be armed robbers at Tirwun suburb of Bauchi on Sunday night. The man named Malam Idris Yusuf , was said to have come across the robbers along Tirwun village in Bauchi metropolis after closing from duty between 1011pm on Sunday night. Reports have it that the robbers who were said to have sought for his assistance after their car ran out of petrol but shot him in his abdomen when the owners of the stolen car trailed the robbers and raised an alarm. They were about to run when Idris grabbed one of the suspects who shot the security man. He was rushed to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital where he gave up around 4 am. The head of station of the AIT/ Raypower Mr. Terver Tsav described the deceased as a Good Samaritan who wanted to use his money to buy the fuel for the stranded men not knowing that they had stolen the car. The deceased was buried at the Gombe road burial ground according to Islamic rites.

L-R: Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Ambassador of People's Republic of China to Nigeria, Mr Deng Boqing, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, and Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, during the commissioning of Federal Staff Hospital, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Sambo commissions National Staff Hospital By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


ice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has commissioned the National Staff Hospital, Abuja donated by the Chinese government. At the commissioning ceremony, yesterday Sambo said that the Jonathan administration places high premium on providing affordable and world class healthcare services to Nigerians. Arc Sambo who stated that the health sector was a critical priority

of the UN MDGs, added that its importance was also reflected in the country’s national development objectives, particularly in the Vision 20:2020 and the Transformation Agenda. “This administration is committed to the provision of quality and affordable healthcare for all Nigerians, the improvement of the quality of life, and the achievement of defined goals and targets.” He therefore stated that the administration through a

deliberate policy of improving technology, human capital, and infrastructure and in collaboration with the private sector, is improving all healthcare institutions across the country, adding that this is yielding positive results. Vice President Sambo while acknowledging the longstanding relations between Nigeria and China, which span over four decades, said “the construction of this hospital which will serve very useful purposes in improving the

health status of millions of Nigerians, marks yet another milestone in Nigeria-China relations. This is why today's commissioning ceremony is very important to us as a country”. He also used the opportunity to express the gratitude of Nigeria to the government and people of the Peoples Republic of China, saying “China has been a very reliable ally of Nigeria in her development quest for several decades, not just in the health sector but also in other areas of national life.”

Benue police commissioner declares war on criminals From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


enue State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Christopher Katso, has declared total war by the command in combating violent crimes and other vices in the state. Katso who made the declaration yesterday in his office

in Makurdi during an interaction with newsmen, maintained that the command would improve on its relationship with the communities and other security agencies as well as emphasize discipline of officers that has remained one of the factors hindering the productivity of the service.

Speaking against the backdrop of last weekend’s crisis in Otukpo which led to the murder of three Fulani herdsmen, burning of houses and slaughter of 8 cows, the police commissioner assured that his men would apprehend the culprits, adding that maximum security has been enhanced in

the area. “My men have been given a lead on those who committed the heinous act and we are on their trail. I assure you that we will arrest and prosecute them”, he boasted. The CP promised to sustain the local government peace meeting initiated by him last year

especially between the Fulani people and their host communities to ensure peaceful co-existence amongst the tribes. He also pledged that the police will guarantee the protection of lives and property of Benue people and urged them to go about their lawful businesses without panic.



Kogi commissioner, LO docked for thuggery From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Commissioner for Commerce and industry, Ali Ajuh and the Liaison Officer 1of Omala local council, Omale Simeon have been arraigned before a chief magistrate court sitting in Kogi for alleged criminal conspiracy, public disturbance, thuggery and attempted culpable homicide. They were also charged with inciting disturbance, failure to give notice or information, negligent conduct and causing death and hurt. The accused persons were alleged to have used thugs to cause mayhem at Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala local government during a prayer session for former governor Ibrahim Idris. The prosecutor, Otowu Gabriel told the court that on January 26, the commissioner of police received information that Aminu Atabor and Ali Ajuh criminally conspired with thugs armed with guns, clubs and cutlasses to unleash mayhem at Omala in an attempt to kill persons. The prosecutor further told the court that the thugs blocked Abejukolo-Anyigba road, destroyed two cars and injured several persons and also stole N200,000 and property He added that Aminu Atabor and Ali Ajuh had prior knwoledge of it but refused to inform the police, saying that they have also refused to produce their thugs who allegedly caused the mayhem. According him, one pump action gun, 28 life catridges, one pistol magazine with six live ammunition, clubs and cutlasses were recovered.

Jos High Court fixes 'Wonder Bank' suit for Feb 6


Jos High Court has fixed February 6 to hear a suit filed by more than 7,000 investors of Access Investment Company, Jos. The investors dragged the failed ``wonder bank'' to court to press for the release of their monies trapped in it. The company, which had operated as an investment house, collapsed in July 2012 after allegedly collecting huge investors' fund running into millions. Justice Yakubu Dakwak, who mentioned the case on Monday, adjourned the matter to allow the plaintiffs to effect service on all respondents. One of the respondents, Union bank of Nigeria, had told the court that it was yet to be served, while the Plateau State Government had also applied to be joined as co-respondent. Mr Charles Obishai, SAN, counsel to the plaintiffs, had earlier urged the court to hear the matter due to the number of persons affected. He told the court that ``a quick release of the trapped fund located in Union bank, Jos would bring a huge relief to the investors.'' Dakwak, while adjourning the matter, said that further proceedings would continue after all parties had been served. (NAN)

L-R: Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Chief Samuel Ortom, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, and Canadian Minister of International Trade, Mr. E. D Fast, during the Nigeria- Canada Bi-National Commission meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Sudan crisis: Jonathan convenes AU Heads of State meeting By Abdulrahman Abdulrahman

...As Libya reopens Nigerian embassies

resident Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday night convened an enlarged meeting of prominent African Union Heads of State primarily targeted at finding peaceful resolution to the crisis between Sudan and South Sudan. Also, the frosty relationship which had existed between Libya and Nigeria over maltreatments of Nigerians resident in Libya

following the crisis that dethroned Colonel Muammar Gaddafi appeared resolved as it has reopened Libyan embassies in Lagos and Abuja. The peace meeting brought together the Presidents of the two hostile nations namely, South Sudan President, Salva Mayadit and Sudan President, Omar AlBashir. The two presidents had earlier


on Saturday night individually met with President Jonathan at different locations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This was one of the outcomes of a bilateral meeting Sunday night between President Jonathan and the Prime Minister of Libya, Ali Zeidan. On Sudan, Sunday's night meeting received a boost as the duo were in attendance along with

other Heads of State including Cote D'ivoire President, Alassane Ouattara; South African President, Jacob Zuma; South Sudan President, Salva Mayadit and Sudan President, Omar AlBashir. Others who were in attendance include Representative of Ethiopia Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn and Representative of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

Suit against Labour Minister, RTEAN dismissed By Augustine Aminu


he National Industrial Court has dismissed the suit filed by Abubakar Sadiq-led faction of the Road Transport Employees' Association of Nigerian, RTEAN, against the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity challenging the official recognition accorded Alhaji Sabo Mohammed Tanko's administration. The Sadiq faction of RTEAN had last year dragged the labour ministry before the National

Industrial Court (NIC) after the federal government handed fuel subsidy palliatives to RTEAN through the Olufemi Ajewole's administration. Ajewole was later allegedly expelled from the association for a different allegation. The aggrieved claimants under the leadership of Abubakar Sadiq had asked the court for a declaration that in view of the inter-union disputes, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity was wrong in granting recognition to the Tanko's leadership which succeeded Ajewole.

The claimants also want all the vehicles received by the association under the fuel subsidy palliative programme from the federal government to be shared among the factions. Ruling on the preliminary objection filed by the defendants, Justice M.N. Sowe noted that the core issue before the court borders on inter-union disputes which the National Industrial Court had the opportunity to pronounce upon earlier in 2009. She said that the appeal challenging the decision of the

Bauchi primary teachers suspend one week strike From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


rimary school teachers in Bauchi state have announced the suspension of their one week indefinite strike action and directed all teachers to report to their places of work on Monday January28, 2013 for full academic activities. A statement signed by the state NUT Chairman, Comrade Muhammad Kawu Modi and Secretary, Comrade Musa G Ali

made available to newsmen in Bauchi, yesterday stated that it was in the best interest of development of education in the state. According to the statement, primary teachers refused to open schools ince January 7 due to the disagreement between the teachers and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) over board effort to sack over 5,000 allegedly discovered unqualified teachers back to school. The statement said they

suspended strikes after they listened to the voices of elders and other concerned citizens of the state and commended Governor Isa Yuguda for allowing all teachers to submit themselves for verification of credentials and pledged their cooperation to the exercise. Meanwhile, the Bauchi state government had last weekend in Bauchi, issued a statement directing the teachers to open school Monday or consider they disengaged from the service.

NIC was still pending before the Court of Appeal Kaduna, Division. "Even though, in the instant case, the names of the claimants were different from those that filed the earlier suits, the objective of the two suits was same," she ruled. The judge also said that it was very clear that the changes in the names of the claimants were due to internal disputes. According to the judge, the subject matter of the instant suit was same as the appeal pending before the Court of Appeal, Kaduna. Aside, Justice Esowe further ruled that the claimants have not exhausted the conditions precedent for settling internal dispute before coming to the court. The judge regretted however that the internal wrangling in RTEAN has created additional problem for the transportation sector in the country, particularly in the road subsector where the federal government wanted them to drive its growth. She advised them to amicably resolve their differences.



Sprawling market at the abandoned Apete bridge, yesterday in Ibadan.


Business administration and accounting departments, Gombe state university, gutted by fire, yesterday in Gombe.

Bauchi state teachers during their screening exercise at the ministry of education, yesterday in Bauchi.

L-R: Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, Dr Ekiti state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr James Abiodun Olotu, briefing State House correspondents after the meeting of Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company with VicePresident Mohammed Namadi Sabo, yesterday in Abuja.

Some youths at Omu-Aran, Kwara, protesting against alleged illegal billing and extortion by PHCN yesterday.



Kwara to create 14,500 jobs before May 2015 From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


wara State government has disclosed that it would create 14,500 jobs before May 2015 as part of its effort to reduce crime in Nigeria. Special Adviser to Kwara State Governor on Youth and Employment Matters, Alhaji Saka Babatunde who disclosed in Ilorin while presenting

paper at the retreat organised by National Youth Council(NYC),Kwara State chapter, said youth unemployment has increased the rate of crime, insecurity and other social vices. The governor’s aide explained that neglect of youth in the area of jobs also led to stagnancy in economic development ,reduction in per capital Income which has

multiplier effect on poverty. “Youth unemployment and underemployment impose heavy social and economic costs, resulting in the loss of opportunities for economic growth and underutilized investment. “The recurrent social and economic problems associated with poverty and unemployment in Nigeria; and in particular, their

devastating effects on the youths have continued to attract the attention of the Governments, NonGovernmental Organizations, Voluntary and International Agencies, Corporate Organizations and individuals on the urgent need to accord Youth Development a priority attention in order to arrest the scourge”.

L-R: UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Executive Director, UNFPA, prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, President Goodluck Jonathan, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, and President Joyce Banda of Malawi, during a campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

N30m fraud: Court grants deputy Speaker, 6 others bail


he Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna, yesterday granted bail to the Deputy Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Dr. Mato Dogara and six others arraigned over a N30 million fraud allegation. The other accused persons in the case are Kabiru Tahir, former Interim Committee Chairman of Lere local council; Ahmed Yahya, its former Director of Finance and Billy Graham, a former Director of Works. Others are Yushau Aboki, an ex-Director of Personnel; Hannatu Iliya, the Head of Health, and Eric Alhassan, a former acting Chairman of the council. The seven were charged before the court, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday January 14, for alleged conspiracy and fraud amounting to N30 million. The court, presided by Justice Marcellus Awokulehin, granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N1.5 million each. The court said the deputy speaker must present two sureties on the level of Director

in the Federal Civil Service, while the six others should each present two Assistant Directors in the state civil service as sureties in Kaduna. Justice Awokulehin adjourned the case to Feb. 10 and 11 for continuation of hearing. The EFCC had through its counsel, Sa’ad Hannafi, filed a sixcount charge of conspiracy and fraud against them. The commission said the offence was contrary to Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004, Hannafi told the court that the offence was committed between March 2011

and February 2012, when the seven conspired to defraud the council of N30 million. The EFCC had also told the court that Tahir, the deputy speaker and three others had conspired “with the intent to defraud the state”. According to him, they obtained the sum of N17 million via fraudulent award of contract for the renovation of Government Lodge Saminaka, the property of the Kaduna State Government. The EFCC also alleged that the suspects obtained N8 million via Voucher No: 4165 for the supply of hospital equipment, which they

knew was false. The EFCC told the court that the accused persons forged a receipt, titled Austino Pharmaceutical Ltd, dated May 15, 2011, to effect the payment of N8.01 million for goods that were never supplied. The deputy speaker was also accused of receiving N5.37 million as 10 per cent kick back from one Alhaji Umaru Dangi. He explained that the transaction was conducted between June 2011 and May 2012 through a fraudulent contract for the resurfacing and redressing of Malali road. (NAN)

NAGAFF pledges to assist Katsina on security From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ational Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders of Nigeria, (NAGAFF), Katsina State chapter, has pledged to assist government in checking insecurity in the country. The state chairman of the chapter, Alhaji Bello Magaji Ingawa made the pledge yesterday in Katsina, shortly after a visit to the State Security Service (SSS), headquarters in Katsina.

He noted that because Katsina is a major border state, members of the association have a major role to play in ensuring that contrabands and arms were not smuggled through the border. “We are facing security challenges and you know that from Sokoto to Adamawa, our border in Katsina is the most functional. We would therefore as clearing agents, make sure that the border is not used for smuggling arms”, he added. Ingawa stated that the

association has also resolved to assist government on improved revenue generation through the blockage of all sources of waste. According to him, the Katsina chapter was the only functional chapter in the northern part of the country, which was specifically initiated to assist business owners in clearing their imported goods. Ingawa however advised people using the border to shun smuggling and embrace a more legitimate way of legally clearing their goods.

Wada admits challenges From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he present administration in Kogi State said it has witnessed great challenges within the last one year, but has been helped by God to record modest achievements in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people. The state governor, Capt Idris Wada acknowledged the challenge at an interdenominational service held to mark his first anniversary in office. Represented by his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi he reflected on the physical, legal, social and security challenges witnessed by the administration witnessed, and commended the Lord’s mercies that the administration was not consumed. The governor solicited the support of people in ensuring that the administration achieved its set objectives. The governor disclosed that his administration was however determined to address those issues squarely. In his sermon, State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria,CAN, Most Rev.Bishop Emmanuel Egbunu, , said the challenges faced by the state within the last one year, was aimed at challenging the leaders to prove their mettle. Bishop Egbunu called on the present administration to among other things, strive to provide quality education adding that government should rehabilitate and return mission schools to their owners. The CAN chairman appealed for the transformation of the landscape of the state, and work towards the welfare of the citizens by bringing democracy dividends to their doorsteps.

Ex-PTDF boss launches mass transit scheme From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


arely three weeks after launching a scholarship scheme, the immediate past executive-secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, (PTDF), Engineer Muttaqa Rabe Darma, has launched a mass transit scheme. Launching it yesterday at the emir’s palace in Katsina, Darma noted that the mass transit scheme would be kick-started with 15 buses. He stated that he used part of his retirement benefits to purchase the buses as a way of bringing succour to the less privileged in the society. Similarly, Darma who noted that the transport fares would be subsidised at 50 percent, said the buses would cover all parts of the state and beyond. Speaking at the launching ceremony, the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, praised the initiative of Darma by bringing succour to the poor in the state.



Agency's zonal boss accused of diverting appointees letter From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


L-r: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Dr Godknows Igali, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, and World Bank Country Director, Ms Marie Francoise Marienelly, during the championing water utility workshop, Yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

r. Khalil Zaria, the Zonal Co-ordinator of Ethics and Values with office of the Special Adviser to the president, Mrs, Sarah Jibril, has been accused of diverting appointment letter of Alhaji Usman Abubakar who was recently picked as the coordinator of ethics and values in Kebbi state. Usman Abubakar told newsmen in his residence at Nassarawa in Birnin Kebbi at the weekend that he sought the appointment through an application he sent to the special adviser's office sometimes in July last year but when the appointment letter came up, the zonal co-ordinator, according to

Similarly, Governor Kwankwaso also paid a visit to MEDANTA, one of Asia's largest specialty medical institutes in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, which was founded by an eminent cardiac surgeon, Dr. Naresh Trehan. During a meeting with the Chairman/CEO of the institute, the governor highlighted that Kano has three new hospital buildings, which the state government plans to use as centers of medical care, clinical research, education and training, in collaboration with interested investors. He said that the state has the right potentials for Public/Public Partnership in the health sector, explaining that Kano's population, strategic commercial

position and government's political will, among other things, makes the state a leading investor's destination in Nigeria. On his part, the Chairman/ CEO of the institute, Dr. Naresh Trehan promised to send a delegation to inspect the tree hospital buildings in Kano for possible partnership in setting up a specialised hospital and medical university. Also, during his four-day working visit to India,Kwankwaso visited some public and private organizations and participated in presentations by potential investors including KewalramChanrai Group, JAIN Irrigation Ltd., Skipper Electric Company and EDCIL.

Kwankwaso visits India, woos investors From Edwin Olofu, Kano


ano state Gvernor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state was among dignitaries from across the world that attended the 3-day India International Garment Fair 2013 held at the Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi, India last week. Organized by India Apparel Export Promotion Council, the event, which was the 50th in the past 23 years, is a specialized business fair that offers a platform for showcasing the latest trends in the garments/accessories and fashion jewelry industries. Kwankwaso was specifically at the fair to source for facilities and expertise ahead of his government's planned

establishment of 44 craft schools as well as the remodeling of some agricultural supplies stores in local government areas of the state to garment production centers. Speaking during the event, the noted that India had vast experience and technology in the garment production sector that could be tapped to revolutionize production of clothing in Kano and open up more job opportunities for the teeming youths of the state. He took time off to visit RAJKNITTERS, a leading garment and fabric industry in the country, where the Managing Director, Mr. Sanjeev Nagpal promised to look into ways of collaborating with the Kano state government for the establishment of a similar industry in Kano.

NIMET's weather gadgets begin work at four airports From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), says its weather Instrument Calibration Laboratory in four airports across Nigeria are now operational.

The airports include Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; and Port Harcourt International Airport. The director general of, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, who disclosed

this to newsmen in Abuja, that the Instrument Calibration Laboratory was built and equipped last year. According to Anuforom, have also been trained on the laboratory last year to man the equipment. The NIMET boss emphasised the significant role of the laboratory describing it as a

component that enhances safety by giving accurate measurement of the weather conditions. He explained that the weather calibration laboratory was designed for correcting instrument errors through calibration, for more accurate measurement of weather variables.

Mixed reaction trails NOA's 'keep to time' campaign


ixed reaction continued to trail the recently launched ``Keep to Time Nigeria'' campaign by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), with some citizens describing it as a jamboree while others lauded the initiative. Some residents in the Federal Capital Territory believe it was time for Nigerians to change their attitudes to time keeping, while others are skeptical about success of the campaign.

A contractor, Malam Muhammed Sani, expressed doubt on the campaign saying that "most Nigerians preferred to be late for appointments, which they usually referred to as ``African time''. A civil servant, Miss Kate Yusuf said that it was time Nigerians valued the virtue of keeping to time. She cited her experience when she was in Germany on a course, adding that what she saw there

made her change her orientation about time. ``When I first got to Germany, I saw everybody rushing and in a hurry to get to where they were going.' ' A journalist, Mr, David Bako said that the campaign should start with government officials who had formed the habit of coming late for events. ``Our ministers and other government officials don't keep to

time, when they call us for 2 p.m. event, they will not turn up until at 3 p.m.'' The NOA had on January 17 embarked on a roadshow across the country to sensitise Nigerians on the significance of keeping to time. Its Director-General, Mr. Mike Omeri led his workers on the roadshow tagged ``Keep to Time, Nigerians'', as part of the sensitisation campaign. (NAN)

him, diverted the letter to another candidate. Usman Abubakar added that when his appointment was approved, somebody from the Special Adviser's office called and informed him that he was appointed as Kebbi state coordinator on ethics and values and that his appointment letter will soon be sent to him. '' But surprisingly last week, one Ibrahim Master Yauri called me on phone and told me that my letters of appointment are with him but, on his way from Abuja to give me, somebody called him and said he is directed to collect the said letter from him and when asked who sent him, he replied that it was from the zonal office of ethics and values'', said Abubakar. He revealed that the appointment letters are now with one Kabir Argungu who is currently the co-coordinator of ethics and values in Kebbi Kebbi state. The zonal office has however asked Abubakar to take charge of the office of treasurer which he rejected. He pledged to report the matter to the concerned authority soon.

NDDC to complete abandoned projects in Akwa Ibom By: Mike Etim, Uyo


he Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC has assured Akwa Ibom State of completing all its abandoned projects in the area. Mr. Imaobong Inyang, the commissioner representing Akwa Ibom State on the board of the commission made the pledge while inaugurating two solar power water projects at Etebi Idung Assan Akwata in Esit Etek Local Government Area and Anyam Nsit in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of the State. Briefing the communities on the workings of the solar panel, the NDDC Commissioner said it was designed to address the problem of electricity in the area adding that the commission as an intervention agency, was equally carrying out medical services, education, environmental protection and human capacity building. He reiterated NDDC's resolve to continue to promote the living conditions of the rural people and providing basic social amenities and urged the Local Government Councils to maintain the facilities provided by the commission. The Commissioner however denied rumours that the commission abandoned the Akwata/Okosi road in Esit Eket and NNPC inability to complete several projects in Nsit Ibom L.G.A explaining that with the present board of the commission, no project would be abandoned. The commissioner commended state governor, Godswill Akpabio for always ensuring that what was due to Akwa Ibom from the commission was always provided.



Is your landlord responding to petrol subsidy removal? Start planning now E

ach day, week or year starts with its peculiar challenges. This year is not different, if for no other thing, it has come with challenges occasioned by New Year petrol subsidy removal. Everybody is responding to the changes in market place, with increase in the prices of items, services including house rent. Landlords who have built their houses many years back, earning from the rent since then are also complaining of increase in the cost of building materials as reason for increase in tenants' rent. I got home during the weekend to see a letter from my caretaker instructing of a rent increase by 25 percent, stating that the landlady has instructed him to notify me and the other tenants. "I have been directed by your landlady to inform you of the new adjustment in the rent of which you have been paying‌The landlady considered so many things including, among others, the present harsh economic realities before arriving at this slight increment. I therefore advise you to cooperate with her and wish you success in your undertakings," the letter read. Success wishes indeed. That is the truth. Another increment will come whether you like it or not, so, this is the time to think and plan. Planning here is affirmative. Not that you are thinking about it, but that you have started building on an acquired land or planning to buy a land or you are contributing into a scheme that would guarantee you an apartment in the long run. Many people have been taken unaware and before you know it, they are either not able to pay for their rent any longer or are forcefully ejected from their apartment. Most of these have happened because people take for granted the challenges of tomorrow; concentrate on enjoying city fun without thinking that it may not be all bed of roses. Godwin worked with a bank until three years ago when he was asked to resign following a fraud in his department, and has lived most of his working years in Surulere, a relatively high brow area in Lagos. His thinking was that one day he would have enough money to buy a class house in Ikeja or Lekki area where he thought befits his status. Godwin had enough money years back to buy, at least, a small property or build one in other lower end of the property market within Lagos but never bothered, because he felt, it was not yet time. But when the house where he

Quote The NBA is never just a business. It's always business. It's always personal. All good businesses are personal. The best businesses are very personal - Mark Cuban

used to pay about N450, 000.00 annually was sold and all tenants including him was given quit notice to pack, it dawned on him that he may have wasted his years after all. His concern is not that he was ejected, but that he can no longer pay such amount of money on

rent, and even to live in Ikeja or Lekki where he thought life was grand. Godwin has contacted an estate agent in at Egbeda in Alimosho area of Lagos and the response he got was that the kind of house and environment he is looking for is not less than N300,

000 per annum and he has been advised to consider other areas like Ijegun or Iyana Ipaja. The Estate Agent, Baba Ishola simply described Godwin as a foolish man who has no vision. "He wasted his working years when he could have built a house in any low end area in Lagos and put

tenants if he didn't want to live there or just as it has happened now, he could have told a tenant that the landlord wanted to move into his house. And that is all. Now tell me, no money, no job, how is he going to cope? This is a lesson for everyone; we can also be victim of wrong priorities.

Going into tax planning? Your 'reference words'‌very vital


ne area in which planning is important is taxation, which as a matter of fact has become an integral component of our cost of living as individuals, as well as cost of doing business in an economy. In today's reality, the list of possible influence on willingness to pay taxes is doubtless incomplete. The reasons why some comply with tax regulations and others resist them are bound to be complex, so complex that no amount of further research is likely to unravel all the reasons conclusively. Most tax experts have already likened tax planning as a subset of tax avoidance depending on the context in which one finds oneself. When you are going into tax planning, it is best you understand the simple process through these reference words "who", "what", "when", and "where." According to Taofeeq Abdulrasaq, partner, Saffron Professional Services, "who" in tax planning may involve the careful selection of the particular

taxpayer who will for example, receive the income or realise a loss, thus, it may be another member of the family with little other income or relief, or a subsidiary of a company. "What"; with care, it may also be possible to influence the type of receipt; whether capital or income, or one type of income rather than another - example,

employment income or business income. "When"; timing is also important; and paying attention to timing may enable the taxpayer to postpone a liability to tax, for example, by taking advantage of a deferral rule; or to avoid being caught by an artificial tax rule which forbids, for example, the carrying back of an

unused capital loss. The tax expert went further to note that in tax planning, one must take note of the "where" which means location. "Location is important since placing income or assets outside the taxing jurisdiction may mean no liability to Nigerian tax, or no liability until income is remitted to Nigeria. The downside of this is that liability may be incurred under the foreign tax system. The foreign tax system may be different to the Nigerian system, and the exploitation of gaps between tax systems is the forte of the international tax specialist," Abdulrasaq said. "It should be noted that while there has been legislative (and occasional judicial) activity to prevent from converting income into capital, there has been none to stop conversion in the opposite direction," he told participants in his lecture titled "Tax evasion, tax criminality, and tax avoidance," during the 25th induction ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

New Year resolution: Prioritising goals keeps you focused


he ritual New Year resolution is here again. It is a time to reflect on the changes you want or need to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Irrespective of how successful you have been in following the resolutions last year, you can make fresh resolutions for this year with full determination and will. The starting days of New Year are the most crucial in order to plan for the entire year. These are the days when most of the people sketch a graph for the whole year. To materialise the things thought of is somewhat difficult but still some people manage to do so. New Year resolutions provide a sort of direction to people to lead the coming year. However, experts advise that you rather than engage in the ritual New Year resolution this year, you should be realistic in setting achievable goals. They are of the view that it is important to break down large goals into smaller ones. Above all, aim for things that are truly significant to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you. In order words, prioritising your targets can help you to be focused in accomplishing them.

Omenuwa Dennis, microfinance practitioner, is determined to set goals and agenda this year. His priorities include expanding his microfinance business in order to empower the low income earners in the country. He also wishes to open branches of his financial institution to create employment opportunity for Nigerian citizenry. One would think whether Omenuwa would go for a job that, perhaps, would give him fat salary so as to accomplish his set targets this year. Rather than that he is resolute on improving his present profession. His words: "I will set goals and agenda for this year. My priorities for 2012 are to expand my business to empower the active poor in my environs, and to open up branches to create employment opportunities. I will be focused. My strategy is to make God my chairman; hope on him for direction, for it is neither by power nor by might. I don't need to change job but improve on what I have now." In our last week edition, we agreed that unaccomplished goals in 2011 can form the basis of this year's. This is the case of Balogun Kehinde, business analyst. His

priorities this year are the goals he was unable to accomplish last year. "I am just going to check what goals I have not achieved in this 2011 and carry them over to the next year. You could say I will set new goals for myself having in mind the ones I could not meet the previous year. My priorities this 2012 are the goals I was unable to meet in the previous year. I have always prioritised my goals just so I could be more satisfied with myself. Prioritising goals is so important. It cannot be over emphasised. I will just set my goals and come up with a plan to meet them. The most important of all these is to ensure that I remain focused all through the year. I will also need to have a quarterly appraisal done to ensure that I am on track," he said. He might need to change his job or diversify in order to meet his goals but where his goals are not monetary, "then it won't matter whether or not I remain in my present job." Experts recommend that you create immediate plan to make a difference in your goal setting. They admit that setting a goal without formulating a plan is merely wishful thinking. Apart from making your New Year goals, it is also appropriate to review it from time to time. You

may choose to review it monthly or quarterly, whichever; it will help you not to fall off the track of accomplishing it. According to Gbenga Jegede, a publisher, "I do not have a ritual New Year resolution, so to say. My annual ritual is to set goals, prayerfully. What I mean is that I go before God and tell Him what I want to achieve in the New Year. When the goals are set I think up the actions to take and move on them as opportunities avail. This is different from prioritising because if all opportunities are open I move. If no opportunities I create as they appear easier in ranking. My strategy is to review the goals from time to time, seeing the level of achievement and praying for wisdom to take the necessary actions. This has worked over the years but the goals that are not met are brought forward and reviewed annually." ----Goals To start a business To invest in stocks To build house To invest in property To get married To have a baby To spend more time with family To retire To save more money To travel abroad To acquire more knowledge e t c . S o u r c e :




Gruesome Ezu River discovery


enultimate Saturday, the people of Amansea community in Awka North local government area of Anambra state awoke to a gruesome discovery of over 30 dead bodies floating in Ezu River, which separates Anambra and Enugu states. Nearly two weeks after the decomposing bodies were found by fishermen and sand excavators at the old EnuguOnitsha road axis of the river, the authorities are no closer to solving the mystery than on the day the bodies were found. But amazingly, while investigations to unravel the source of the bodies and possible cause of death were ongoing, most of the bodies were hastily buried without the benefit of an autopsy or a compelling religious reason, as if the authorities in Anambra have something to hide, no pun intended. We, therefore, laud the decision of the government to exhume those bodies that were not subjected to autopsy for the purpose as announced by the Anambra state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lawrence Ikeako, during a meeting with the traditional ruler and people of Amansea community last Saturday.

At a time when the nation has become a helpless hostage to innumerable security challenges, what with armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy, religious insurgency and cultism, not to mention sundry criminal activities, it would be foolhardy of the authorities to bury the bodies without ascertaining the cause

That as many as, 30 bodies could be dumped in a river without the security agencies being any the wiser, speaks volumes about the apology we have for security personnel or causes of death and where they originated from. This is especially so in an area (the South-east) where mysterious deaths, often attributable to cultism, are not uncommon. But after all is said and done, the inexplicable discovery of the bodies is a sad statement on the efficiency of our security agencies, especially the police.

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That as many as, 30 bodies could be dumped in a river without the security agencies being any the wiser, speaks volumes about the apology we have for security personnel. Surely, the dead bodies could not have walked themselves to the river for them to avoid detection by security officials. Here lies the possible reason for the haste in interning the bodies without the benefit of an autopsy. As the authorities continue to grapple with the whats, whys and hows of the gruesome finds, there is an urgent need for haste to come to the aid of the Amansea community, whose only source of water, for drinking and other domestic uses, has been contaminated by the decomposing bodies. In this wise, while calling on the governments of Anambra and Enugu states, NEMA and other corporate organizations and individuals to come to the aid of the community, Peoples Daily commends the Obinna Uzoh Foundation for doing the right thing at the right time by promptly donating over 20, 000 cartons of sachet and bottled water as well as two tankers of water to Amansea community.









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CPC is merging into oblivion By Abdullah Musa


hen will the world end? This question may sound absurd to those who believe in re-incarnation. However, Muslims and some Christians do believe that there is a terminal date for all human affairs. If you believe that there is going to be an end to this physical world, and you are a Nigerian political actor, it will seem wise to hasten and take the reins of governance in Nigeria, so as to save it before the apocalypse. Many political commentators are of the opinion that Nigeria has been governed by the same political group right from independence to date. They trace such governance from NPC to NPN and now to PDP. The botched Babangida transition programme might not be unconnected to the fact that it was SDP rather than NRC (would-have-been successor to NPN) that was poised to win. From Mallam Aminu Kano to Chief Awolowo to Abubakar Rimi to Balarabe Musa, none of those who wanted to challenge the status quo succeeded. Since the return to democracy in 1999, the PDP has held power at the centre; and opposition parties like AD, ACN, ANPP and recently CPC, have been unable to wrestle power from PDP. Vote rigging, misuse of the security

By Bashir Bello & Musa Mubama


t is not uncommon for top political office holders like governors to be targets of critics, guided or misguided. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero cannot be an exception. Criticisms, if measured and fair, are healthy for functional democracy, especially in developing polity like ours. However, unfortunately many such critics only cover behind the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression to raise dust, either prematurely or in purely suspicious circumstance. A curious article and a separate news item were given prominence in a National Daily on Thursday January 17, 2013, from an apparent faceless group: Southern Kaduna Progressive Youth Movement. In a press conference purportedly delivered by the president of the movement, one Caleb Samuel Abott, it was insinuated that Kaduna State Governor Yero is indeed behind the travails of the state Deputy Speaker Dr. Dogara Mato. Similarly, the movement pessimistically projected what they termed the imminent death of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, in the state come 2015, because the chairmanship of the party is not yet allocated to the southern Senatorial Zone, which they claimed is the standard practice if the governor comes from the Northern part of the state. The movement also lamented that the state "is bleeding" and should not be allowed to be in perpetual anemia. Abott then concluded that the recent appointments of the Governor seemed to have excluded citizens of the Southern part of the state. He specifically mentioned the

apparatus, and with the 2011 elections, use of tribalism and religion, were believed to have been the factors that denied the opposition victory. Now, in order to consolidate their resources into one single, formidable, killer punch, notable opposition parties intend to merge. If I remember rightly, their current political weight as per states captured in the 2011 elections is: ACN (5); ANPP (3); CPC (1). The arithmetic does not look good to me - 9! (There are 36 states in Nigeria!). A national newspaper carried a news story which quoted Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim (former governor of Yobe) as saying the other parties should collapse into ANPP, as it is the

oldest amongst them. Even if the final arrangement does not accord with the Senator's wish, after the merger, CPC would be swallowed by ANPP in Kano State. It had never a credible structure in the South-west to challenge Tinubu's ACN, such that there, ACN will only collapse into itself. PDP had tried its best to dislodge ANPP from Borno and Yobe to no avail. Yariman Bakura was able to re-claim Zamfara from PDP. As such, in these states, into whatever form ANPP collapses, it is the current actors who will hold sway. What is CPC about: It is all about General Muhammadu Buhari. And what is the General about? He is about good governance and anti-


The Hausa folklore of an alliance between the tomcat (muzuru), and a mouse, should be illustrative to General Buhari. In that story, the mouse agreed to pool resources with the tomcat for mutual survival. In the end, the tomcat ate all the stored resources and gobbled up the mouse also

corruption. But why then are majority of the political actors not comfortable with him in their midst? In near-harmonious counries like Ghana, Niger, Sudan and South Africa, General Buhari may not find it difficult selling himself as a presidential material. But Nigeria is different. Apparently, some Nigerians might prefer their lives and country to be ruined, rather than willingly choose through the ballot box someone who has been smeared as a religious bigot, or diehard Northerner. Those in CPC who favour merger with other parties believe that with an expanded base, their leader (General Buhari) may be able to make it to Aso Rock. But who will bring more votes to the table? Apparently ACN and ANPP. But why did the South-west vote for (impliedly)Obasanjo in 2004, and President Jonathan Goodluck in 2011? Why did ANPP field Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau in that same 2011, when he knew that the General was the political godfather who smashed all obstacles for him to make it to Kano state's Government House in 2003? Granted that General Buhari is a vote-catcher in the core North, but will ACN really deliver presidential votes to Buhari from South-west? If the power brokers in the new party to emerge remain

Governor Yero and his critics offices of Chief Security Officer, Chief Detail; Aide-de-Camp; Principal Private Secretary; Chief of Staff; Secretary to the State Government; Director General; Media and publicity; Directors of Finance/Accounts and Admin/ Supply; the Government House Transport Officer; as well as the Chief Driver. From the surface, the movement could delude itself into believing that it is championing a sectarian cause. Realities of the moment however indicate that elevating sectarianism makes things more volatile and drags back the wheel of progress in this country. Take the case of the office of the party chairman which became vacant when its occupant was elevated to the office of the state Deputy Governor. Is it not too early to start throwing banters, especially that it is clear the party has procedures and rules and regulations in its constitution guiding the filling of such gaps? No one has yet filled this vacancy except in the party's constitutionally determined acting capacity, which in consistent with the laws of the party, more so that the vacancy was barely only two weeks old when they started complaining. Can't the Movement wait to see what the party would do, especially in this challenging period of its existence? It is on record that most of the offices the movement complained about are those regarded as those of the personal staff cadre to the governor, which the constitution accords him the absolute discretion in their selection. Furthermore, some of these personnel are of security

background like the CSO, CD and ADC, which belong to Federal Arms that could come not only from any part of the state if need be, but even from any part of the country. As a fact, many of the state governors' security personnel are nonindigenes whose choice is never on sentiments but on expedient performance considerations. For instance, the late ADC of Kogi State Governor that died during a recent accident was from Zaria, Kaduna State. The present ADC of Gombe State Governor is from Adamawa State. In fact, the records are clear that there are more non-indigene ADCs, CSOs, and CDs across the country for strategic reasons. Why should Kaduna's be different? Even in other appointments, whether political like the SSG and COS, or in the regular civil and public services like DFA and DAS, it is the Government House that has better knowledge of expedient reasons for selecting those to occupy such offices or postings, which surely an outsider Movement may not have the advantage of knowing the compelling inner reasons for those chosen. It normally stunts the growth of democracy and good governance if appointments are erroneously interpreted or characterized on sectarian sentiments rather than on merit or service expediency. On the case of the Deputy Speaker, the Movement did not even speculate on any good reasons why the Governor, with so much onerous task on his laps to give the state the dignified lift, should purportedly descend so low as to join issues with the Deputy Speaker. Neither have they provided any tangible evidence of

the so-called "rising profile" of this officer who is not even from the Southern Senatorial Zone, their primary constituency, but representing Lere in the Northern Zone where the governor himself comes from. The Nigerian Law is very clear that there are no sacred cows provided there are good reasons and evidences to prosecute a citizen, no matter his status provided it is not covered by statutory immunity. It is on record that Governor Yero has promised to uphold the legacies of his late boss, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. The time is even too short to start reading meaning into the few appointments he has made, more so that many more are likely in the offing. If also Kaduna citizens will be fair to this government which only came in by sheer providence, then they

those who would otherwise dine with Buhari only with a long spoon, or those who fell out with him like Shekarau or those who never hid their disdain for him like former Governor of Borno, Ali Modu Sheriff, would Buhari ultimately not be a beached whale? Buhari should have taken off where Aminu Kano left: nurture a party with a mass appeal, and show why that party is different. How come Mimiko is able to survive with Labor Party? Or is it, as some allege, due to his hidden understanding with President Goodluck? Worthy of note is the fact that both ANPP and ACN are adept at Nigeria's politics: capture power and corner resources for future fights. It might be due to such 'realism' that Shekarau backed away from Buhari. The Hausa folklore of an alliance between the tomcat (muzuru), and a mouse, should be illustrative to General Buhari. In that story, the mouse agreed to pool resources with the tomcat for mutual survival. In the end, the tomcat ate all the stored resources and gobbled up the mouse also. In the proposed merger what Buhari brings is integrity. Supporters of ANPP and ACN have hordes of cash. The followers of Buhari never ran a government from which to loot. When they come into the new party, they will be out 'nairaed'! And right before their eyes their lion will be caged, a force immobilized by cunning! Abdullah Musa wrote in from Kano City, Kano state. should not equate genuine loyalty with only fully retaining the status quo. God has made this time to be different, and Yero should be allowed to settle down so that the good citizens will give him the chance to freely contribute his developmental quota. If however the movement would want to be fair and taken seriously, then it should have also facts and figures of both the representation in public and civil services based on sectarian classification, which anyway is never helpful. If the movement wants to help Kaduna state, let it come up with proactive suggestions that can cement mutual relations; bridge ethnic, religious and social gaps; as well as join in suggesting a truly workable Blueprint of action on how to move the state and indeed the nation at large to the next aspired level. Bashir Bello & Musa Mubama are of Kaduna Justice Initiative


It is on record that Governor Yero has promised to uphold the legacies of his late boss, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. The time is even too short to start reading meaning into the few appointments he has made, more so that many more are likely in the offing. If also Kaduna citizens will be fair to this government which only came in by sheer providence, then they should not equate genuine loyalty with only fully retaining the status quo



Need for sanity on Abuja roads By Ibrahim Biu


here have been mixed reactions to the new transport order introduced in Abuja's city centre by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). Though the new measure was introduced by the Senator Bala-led administration to arrest the worsening traffic situation in the city centre, many commuters and some members of the mini buses transport union see it from a different perspective and have even risen against it. The order restricts high capacity buses and mini buses to certain routes in the city centre. More than 500 high capacity buses have been secured to ferry commuters from one part of the city to the other. Specific areas will be plied by the new buses to usher in sanity in the Abuja transport sector as actions by some motorists, especially the drivers of mini buses, often make things difficult for commuters and the general public. Less than 24 hours of the introduction of the new transport order and especially after action had been taken on the issue by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), owners of the mini buses angrily reacted to the new policy and engineered a lot of confusion in the city which necessitated the temporary suspension of the policy by the FCTA. Owners of the mini buses and their drivers ganged up, recruited touts and street boys to chase away the high capacity buses. In order to properly review the policy and allow for proper sensitization on the new scheme, the FCTA minister postponed the take-off of the policy for three weeks. FCDA official, especially those of the AEPB insist there was need to put a

FCT. But this stop to the information is activities of the not true. While mini bus drivers introducing the and touts which new system last had hindered Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text week the FCT the smooth messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written Transport operation of contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 Secretary p r e v i o u s insisted that it is words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and transport aimed at policies in Abuja, a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed sanitizing the resulting in to: present confused continued state of the sufferings for transport The Editor, commuters and system which transport Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, did not favour o w n e r s 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. commuters. He generally. It was Email: said the policy reliably learnt SMS: 07037756364 will also be that on the day friendly to the the new scheme people and that was introduced, touts and the mini owners used system is therefore intended to commuters will be better off under weapons to chase away owners of checkmate the activities of these the new policy as jointly planned the high capacity buses in the touts and mini bus drivers apart by the FCTA and the private bus Nyanya, Mararaba and Karu axis. from the fact that it will strengthen owners. The touts were even said to have the movement of vehicles within The FCT minister had spoken threatened to burn the new buses the city and also drastically reduce about serious intimidating and the owners fled to save their criminal activities in not only the security challenges and the need lives. city centre but the whole FCT. Even to sanitize the entire transport Officials of the Abuja Transport though the new policy is intended system for the benefit of the Association had shown their anger to bring about orderliness among generality of Nigerians especially over the new system when they motorists and to correct the existing the FCT residents who use buses as mobilized their members and other clumsiness on Abuja roads, the issue their means of transportation to aggrieved commuters to stage a has not gone down well for the mini- and from their places of work or to peaceful demonstration in Abuja. bus owners and some commuters market and other places of social They disrupted bus services on who regard it as a deliberate act to engagements. The need to major routes, notably the Julius deny them their means of livelihood alleviate commuters' sufferings Berger roundabout in Wuse, Amino and survival. But what is really the actually informed the decision to Kano Street and some roads in Wuse grievance of the bus owners and introduce the scheme, he added. II adjourning the Barnex Plaza end their drivers? This group of people His views were supported by Engr. of the street in Maitama. Motorists have complained that over 20,000 Adamu Ismaila, the Executive and commuters who ply roads in persons or so will be rendered jobless Secretary of the FCDA the FCT and its environs have if the new system is allowed to takeNo wonder, there was jubilation always suffered incessant off since the mini buses would lose among some commuters and harassments and attacks silently at their customers. motorists who have heaved a big the hands of these touts and even The owners of these buses are sigh of relief immediately after new motorists who extort money from not comfortable with the new policy was announced followed by them while hiding under the guise system as they see it as aimed at the quick action initiated by the of being members of the Abuja marginalizing them and management of the Environmental Transport Workers Union. eventually easing them out of the Protection Board. The happiness of The introduction of the new road transportation business in the these people was obviously due to


the long period of sufferings on our roads silently. The happiness of this group was captured by one of the commercial drivers, Mike Odey, who said the roads will now be free from inconsiderate group of people who have for long showed no feelings or respect for commuters. He said they have made life very unbearable to people. Another commuter wondered loudly that the action of the FCTA will also bring down transportation fares in the FCT. I think I agree with this fellow too. The new policy should take off soon as many commuters seem to be saying now according to one of my colleagues who visited the Utako motor park recently. Many stakeholders of the Abuja project including lawmakers at the National Assembly have openly and publicly commended the FCTA management for introducing the new transport policy. In introducing the new system, it is necessary for the FCTA/FCDA and other stakeholders to make sure that the new buses should be adequate in number and its fare should not only be reasonable but affordable to the poor masses especially in view of the fact that majority of workers in the city centre are poor or middle income earners who reside in the satellite areas of the FCT. They travel long distances every day to and from their places of work. They need relief. The bottom line has to do with indiscipline which prevented the successful take-off of the project despite the fact that it was on the drawing board for a long time. Lack of discipline was responsible for the mini bus drivers and their touts chasing away and operators of the high capacity buses from plying the routes agreed upon by all the parties involved in the new scheme. The high capacity buses will NOT replace the mini buses, to be sure. Ibrahim Biu resides in Abuja, FCT

Talbanomics and educational development in Gombe By Dahiru Hassan Kera


he hope of every responsible parent is that our school system will help to develop his child's potential in life and this can only be achieved if our government is ready to provide the resources. Where this has not been possible it is easy to see youngsters being recruited by empty politicians to intimidate their more visionary opponents. In Gombe state, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Tolban Gombe) is one name that has become synonymous with good governance, excellence and performance everywhere in the country for his ability to match words with action. First, he declared a state of emergency in the education sector. Now he is following up with real action to bring the sector alive. He is deploying the meagre resources of the state into developing the sector. In 2011, when the state was in dire need of focused leadership, the elites, youths and common people of Gombe State who had envied his brilliant stint at the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for almost seven years, speak plainly that the man they urgently deserve was Ibrahim Dankwambo. To many aspirants that had amassed large economic prowess to confront the people's moving train, Dankwambo whom they thought was nothing less a

young man with little or virtually no experience to challenge their intentions. However, his emergence as the gubernatorial flag bearer of PDP emanated from a most credible primary election and subsequently as a governor, has proved them wrong. However, the experience of the state in the hands of Gov Dankwambo from that time to date is not short of their dream that mere political speeches could transform the almost dead state to Eldorado through various policies and implementation mapped out by the sector based committee of expertise. Gombe State is living a matchless moments of its history because Dankwambo offers honest combination of wisdom and conviction that the state needs to compete with others in terms of using education as a tool for economic, human capital and rapid infrastructural development. The most successful men or women anywhere are, paradoxically, those who never forget where they are coming from, who cling to values bred into them by family, faith and community. As one of the many sons of Gombe, Dankwambo learned early in life what it means to seek common ground in the society and give back good tidings to the same society that brought him up. Not many Nigerian political leaders have been able to survive the tricky political skirmishes.

Dankwambo has conquered in the past. In Nigeria where ideological politics is still at its infant stage, many people dump their principle especially when it conflicts with certain primordial interest. But the story is not so for Dankwambo that sees himself as a sacrificial lamb that must lead his people to the desired destination. It is a reality that is far away from the mere myth, when he steps in office, he immediately order for the construction of 15 models primary and secondary schools each and equipped with international learning facilities, approved the establishment of school for basic and remedial studies at Kumo and Dukku local government areas respectively. Education also received another impetus with the establishment of a collage of education at Billiri and a joint remedial programme for Gombe indigenes at the University of Maiduguri where more than 50% of them have already gained admission to study various courses of their choice. He also approved N120 million to Gombe State Scholarship Board for disbursement and introduction of e-wallet to curtail corruption in to the scheme and Marshall plan on Almajiri/ Islamiyya school system. It has become a settled case in history, Dankwambo possesses extraordinary qualities that are very rare in nowadays leaders and should be harness for the general good of the society.

Dankwambo is a leader with intellectual depth and an unusual capacity for hard work. Considering how the youths have become tools in the hands of desperate politicians, he decided to approve the establishment of the College of Islamic and Legal Studies in Nafada; a polytechnics at Bajoga in Funakaye local government area and he approved N500 million for the purchase of equipment for the college of medicine and faculty of pharmaceutical science in the state university. The state government is sponsoring 200 Gombe indigenes to study at Maritime Training College at Oron, Akwa Ibom state. Dankwambo has also established four technical colleges, renovated and constructed 40 primary and secondary schools across the state, procured over 250 JAMB forms and distributed them to secondary school leavers to help them secure direct admission into tertiary institutions of learning. The central lesson of Dankwambo's effort to revive our economy through education and other key sectors is that a leader must be knowledgeable in all fields of human endeavour. Of course, one does not need to be a jack-of-alltrade but it is important that a leader at that level should be informed about governance. be acquainted in all areas of governance. Dankwambo is a good example.

The people controlling the centre of national politics and the ordinary Gombian have come to agree that Dankwambo is a mobilizer and motivator of people for active participation in democracy for effective change. As a motivator, Dankwambo mobilizes people to turn their weakness into strength, transform their apathy into positive action and turn laziness into energetic pursuit of given goals. Good examples are the old ugly days where the only functional industry in Gombe state was for people to gather at the gate of the government house to share pantry sums of money for doing nothing or threatening other people. An average Gombe person became a praise singer not minding if there were schools for people. The nationalistic posture of Dankwambo as the people's governor everywhere in the country is derived from his commitment to the peace and unity of the country as one entity even as the country has been battling security challenges especially in the northern part. He has made Gombe a home to all irrespective of religious or ethnic backgrounds. The state capital has become an infrastructure destination where many other state governors regularly visit to tap from his wealth of experience. Dahiru Hassan Kera is reachable on dahiruhkera99@gmail.



The ‘rain maker’ of Nasarawa Varsity


bout three years ago this column, then appearing in a Kaduna-based weekly, featured a piece entitled 'The Magic Maker from Ilorin'. Prof. Shamsudeen Amali, the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, mounted barely one year earlier, and that article dwelt on his remarkable stewardship at the University of Ilorin. Recently I was in Keffi for a religious programme and later used the opportunity make an onthe-spot check at the university. What did I witness there? What did I hear? And what did I think and feel about the situation on the ground there? Before we come to that, it is pertinent to take a brief perusal of the aforementioned article, if only to put the whole thing in proper perspective: A few years ago the University of Ilorin used to stand out as a veritable centre of excellence. At a time when crises, hallmarked by frequent disruption of academic activities, was the rule rather than the exception in most Nigerian universities, Unilorin stood out by virtue of the tranquility, discipline and professionalism that reigned there from one academic session to the other. Needless to say, many people within and without the academic arena could not but wonder how that institution was able to conjure such a rare feat, more so

as some other remarkable transformation was being witnessed in many areas there. For perhaps the first time in that university's chequered history, legions of visionary projects were now being executed at about the same time, despite the limited resources at hand. Who was the brain behind this "magic"? How was that person doing all these at a moment when his counterparts in s i m i l a r institutions could not perform up to half of that level despite the fact that many of them had more resources than Unilorin? The "magic maker," it turns out, was none other than Professor

Shamsudeen O. O. Amali, the university's then vice chancellor. Ironically, when his appointment was announced way back in 2002, not a few people had written off the gentleman,

a higher level, he did so in style, performing beyond a legion of people's expectations. Despite that, however, some still wondered whether the renowned academic would be able to replicate his chequered feat elsewhere. Which apparently explains why when the man's appointment as Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University was announced earlier this 0803-2159-249 (SMS only, pls) year, his critics salivated, waiting patiently to see insinuating that he was not whether he would either prove his capable of delivering the kind of mettle as a peerless professor and leadership Unilorin was yearning acclaimed administrator. Or for. But the rest, as they say, is whether he would fumble. "Give now history. Not only did Prof. him a few months on the job at Amali catapult the institution to Nassarawa State University and let's see if he would be able to deliver," was their common refrain. As someone who is not only familiar with the history of Keffibased institution but had done a number of articles on it during my tenure as editor of Leadership Weekend newspaper and later as Associate Editor of ABUJA INQUIRER newspaper, I developed some measure of interest in the unfolding development, waiting to see whether the new broom would turn out to be the messiah, or whether he would merely be a run-of- the-mill actor.


Amali threw his hat into the ring. As one of his staff put it, "he is someone who does not believe in 'impossibility', he always emphasizes that with faith and determination anything is possible

Ordinarily, Nassarawa State University would not be attracting much attention, given that it is a relatively new institution. But its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as the headline hugging events that had characterised its birth and development (the good, the bad and the ugly alike) all ensured that it remains in the spotlight, at least every now and then. Little wonder, by the time Amali took over from his predecessor, Prof. Adamu. D. Baikie, he was under pressure to either swim or sink with the institution. To put the matter in perpective, let's switch back to the courtesy visit paid the Vice Chancellor, shortly after he mounted the saddle, by the Emir of Keffi, Alhaji Muhammadu Chinedo Yamusa and Jama'atu Izalatul Bidi'a wa Ikamatus Sunnah, Keffi branch, among others. While congratulating Prof. Amali who was recently honoured with the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) national award, they all urgred him to endeavor to perform according to expectations. Spurred by what he regarded as the "challenging circumstances" confronting the relatively new institution, Amali threw his hat into the ring. As one of his staff put it, "he is someone who does not believe in 'impossibility', he always emphasizes that with faith and determination anything is possible." *To be concluded next week

Remembering Murtala Mohammed 37 years after By Charles Ikedikwa Soeze


eneral Murtala Ramat Mohamed, former head of state and commander in chief of armed forces , federal Republic of Nigeria was assassinated on Friday, February 3, 1976 in Lagos through an abortive coup led by Lt Col. Bakar Suka Dimka including Captain Dauda and Sergeant Clement Yilda. He was born on 18th November 1938 in Kano. One can say that among all the military heads of state that ruled Nigeria, none made great impact within a short time like the late General Murtala Mohammed. It is on record that during his tenure as head of state between 29th July 1975 and 13th February 1976, he pursued vigorous policies of return to civil rule, reorganisation of the Federal government structure, accountability in public service, discipline, state creation vibrant economic plans and a dynamic diplomacy. He had his early education at the Cikin Gida and Gidan primary schools in the ancient city. Mohammed proceeded to Government College Zaria for his secondary school education before enlisting in the Nigerian army. After his training at the Sandhurst Royal Academy in England, he worked briefly in the Army signals corps in that country. General Mohammed was part of the Nigerian contingent to the

United Nations Peace Keeping force in Congo, when civil war threatened that country. He commanded the first brigade signal troop in Kaduna in 1963, Later left the country to England for further military training. When he came back to Nigeria, he was appointed commanding officer, one signal squadron and in November, 1965, acting chief signal officer. Based on his promotion to lieutenant colonel, he became the inspector of signals in Lagos. A civil war hero, General Mohammed commanded the second infantry division and fought seriously to put the Biafra force under check. After civil war in Nigeria, he attended the joint services staff college, England. As a Brigadier- General, Mohamed was made the Federal Commissioner of Communications from August 1974 to 29th July, 1975 when he and his colleagues overthrew Yakubu Gowon, the then head of state. Murtala's removal of Gowon came at a point when Gowon reneged on his promise to hand over power to democratically elected government in 1976. At that period, the civilian populace were no longer interested in Gowon's military administration. This is because Gowon and his military governors were accused of massive corruption. They had a lot of money to play with due to the oil boom. Consequently, Mohammed sacked all the governors with the

exemption of Brigadier General Oluwole Rotimi and Mobolaji Johnson.of Western and lagos state respectively. His investigations revealed that all the military administrators and governors (with the exemption of Rotimi and Johnson) that served under Gowon had betrayed the trust and confidence reposed in them by the nation. In the words of Mohammed, those of them who wore uniforms betrayed the ethics of their profession and they are a disgrace to their profession. They should be ashamed of themselves. Mohammed's purge of the civil public service was sharply criticized because it became a tool for witch-hunting and robbed the public service of permanence and continuity. The process was suspended on the 21st of November

1975.The exercise was appraised in the military in politics from AguiyiIronsi and Ibrahim Babaginda edited by Dinkson Agegha: ''As it turned out to be, the great purge has perhaps remained till date, the most impact making purification ever carried out by any Nigerian government on the country's civil service and leadership. The Buhari -Idiagbon purge was perhaps something near it''. His radical foreign policy, however, made him a darling of the oppressed, especially his position on Angola. In 1975, he announced Nigeria’s support for the Soviet- backed popular movement for the liberation of Angola because, according to him, South Africa supported the rival National Union for the total Independence of Angola (Uniao Nactional para a

His radical foreign policy, however, made him a darling of the oppressed, especially his position on Angola. In 1975, he announced Nigeria’s support for the Soviet- backed popular movement for the liberation of Angola because, according to him, South Africa supported the rival National Union for the total Independence of Angola (Uniao Nactional para a independencia Total de Angola). That irked the United States

independencia Total de Angola). That irked the United States. Professor Patrick Wilmot, the West-Indian academic who once taught at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said that one could only rightly assess the significance of Murtala Mohammed in Africa if one read his speech of 11th January 1976, delivered in Addis Ababa, at the Organistion of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU) Summit. Wilmot said Mohamed recongnized the strategic importance of the South African struggle for the rest of the continent. He saw the attempt of the South African regime to avert the struggle and he saw Angola as a test case of the struggle. When the Portuguese were defeated, the South Africans, and the Americans, using UNITA, tried to forestall the victory by declaring war against MPLA. The Nigerian leader defeated the fallacy of African leaders calling for a national government. Murtala recongnized that the FNLA and UNITA were not true liberation movements and that they were being promoted by South Africa. Having realized this, he supported the MPLA". According to Wilmot, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed made it clear that Africans interests could not be compromised, ''He told Henry Kissinger to get lost ''. Kissinger was then US Secretary of State. Charles IkedIkwa Soeze is



Fake taskforce official nabbed A 37-year-old man, John Joseph of Gwagwa village, Abuja has been sentenced to three months imprisonment by an Abuja Magistrates Court for impersonating as taskforce official. Magistrate Binta Dogonyaro

handed down the sentence after Joseph pleaded guilty to the charge. Dogonyaro, however, gave Joseph an option to pay N2,000 fine. Police Prosecutor, David Udeh had told the court that Ufot Dick,

of Taskforce, Wuse Zone 5, reported the matter at the Wuse Police Station on January 21, 2013. Udeh said the accused was arrested by task force officials following a tip-off that he was parading himself as a task force official with a fake identity card.

He said that during investigation, the convict admitted that he committed the crime. Udeh added that the offence contravene the provisions of Section 132 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

INSIDE FCT COURTS Three vigilante men allegedly assault lady By Beauty Amaike


Work continues on this building intended as a plaza which was originally a residential plot in spite of the stop-work mark by Development Control as contravening the Land Use of the Kubwa Master Plan. When completed, it may be responsible for traffic congestion in the Phase 2 site 1 area due to its location. Photo: Miriam Humbe

Woman in prison for breach of trust, criminal intimidation By Beauty Amaike


ne Miss Esther Ekpeyong of Grand Mirage, Area II Garki, Abuja has been ordered by an Upper Area Court in Karu to be remanded for breach of trust and cheating. Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Mohammed Garba told the court that on January, 21, 2013, one Mrs. Blessing Osom of house 16 Efab Estate Apo in Abuja came to the police station and reported that between July and December 2012, the accused fraudulently took over possession of the complainant restaurant on the pretence that she would manage and remit the sum of N500, 000 to the complainant which she failed to fulfilled. He further stated that on January, 23, 2013, the accused

intentionally resisted her lawful arrest for the offence and during police investigation it was discovered that she was liable. Garba said that the charges are contrary to Sections 312, 322, 397and 172 of the Penal Code. Meanwhile, the accused

pleaded not guilty to the charges. Garba in response to the accused denial of the charges, said that the allegation against her is not bailable quoting Sections 349 of the code criminal procedure. Presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, however asked

the accused “Do you have any reason why you should not be punished”? The accused did not respond to the question and as a result of that he remanded her to in prison custody. He adjourned the case to February, 26, 2013 for hearing.

Carpenter in remand for theft By Beauty Amaike


Karu Upper Area Court, Abuja, has ordered the remand of a carpenter, Yakubu David of Kubgo timber shed for theft. The presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, however gave him an option to pay N6, 000 fine or one month imprisonment. Police Prosecutor,Umaru

Mohammed told the court that on January ,1, 2013, one Abutu David of plot 782 Wuse Zone 6 came to the Nigeria Police Divisional Headquarters in Karu Abuja and reported that the accused on January,19,2013 dishonestly made away with his vibrating machine valued N75,000 from his site at Kugbo. Kagarko also ordered the accused to pay the compensation of N75, 000 to the nominal complainant

Mohammed further noted that the accused fraudulently sold the vibrating machine to one Baba Bola whose name and address are address are yet unknown and at large at the rate of N3, 000, adding that during investigation he confessed to the act. He said that the charge contravenes the provisions of Section 288 of the Penal Code. However the accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

hree suspects have been brought before an Upper Area Court in Karu, Abuja for alleged joint act and assault. The trio are Dantola Danladi 35, Ishiaka Ahmadu 40, and Suleman Umar 18, all of vigilante group Nyanya Federal Housing in Abuja. Police Prosecutor, Silas Nanpan told the court that on January, 23, 2013, one Dooshima Akula of Nyanya Federal Housing came to the police station and reported that when the nominal complainant was coming back from work, the three accused stopped her and when she was telling them that she was coming back from work they started beating her. Nanpan further noted that as a result of the beating, the complainant sustained injury on her face. She was taken to Nyanya general hospital where she spent the sum of N4, 200 for treatment. He said that the offence was contrary to Sections 79 and 264 of the Penal Code. Meanwhile, Suleman Iman Jega interpreted that the complaint lied against the accused in Hausa and they pleaded not guilty to the alleged complain. Nanpan also said the three accused are threatening the life of the complainant. Presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagargo caution the three accused. He said: “Be it true or not I am giving you the benefit of doubt”. Kagarko granted bail them bail in the sum of N30, 000 each and a surety each in like sum. He added that the sureties must be reasonable, reside within the jurisdiction and also reliable. He adjourned the case to February, 26, 2013 for hearing.

Teenager accused of inflicting injury on 30-year-old man


teenager, Mansir Muazu, 18, of no fixed address has been brought before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for allegedly causing grievous hurt. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Monday Akor, told the court that on January 18, at about 2.30 p.m.,

one Ezekiel Nuhu, of Karimo Village, Abuja reported the matter at the Maitama Police Station. Akor said that Nuhu made the report on behalf of one 30-year-old Danladi, of Maitama Extension, Abuja. He told the court that on the

same day, the accused went to a site at Maitama Extension and inflicted serious injury on the right lap of Danladi. He further told the court that as a result of the injury, Danladi was rushed to the Maitama District Hospital for treatment, the cost of

which was yet to be determined. Akor said that the offence of causing grievous hurt contravenes the provisions to Section 245 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence. The presiding Magistrate, Mr

Aminu Eri, granted the accused bail in the sum of N5,000 and a surety in like sum. He added that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to February 13, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)



Community leader calls for better health care centre for Mabushi residents A minu Esu Akuyi, the traditional chief of Mabushi, a community in the FCT, has called on the government to provide a better health care centre in the community. He made the call when the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) visited Mabushi community. The chief complained about the state of the health care facility, saying that it was inadequate to cater to the more than 3000 people living in the community. “The clinic here is even too small for the community because we are the people in the community that built this hospital. Even the time they built it, I was very young; up to now, government hasn’t done anything about this clinic; even the roofing sheets were supplied by the community; when the roofing sheets get old, we replace them. “Some National Youth Service Corps members used to come here to help us; just last week one NYSC member came here and painted the clinic. There was even another NYSC member that came here and supplied the beds. “We need help, so that drugs and other equipment needed are supplied; sometimes when you come for treatment, you are referred to Gwarimpa General Hospital or to the one in Wuse because there are not enough facilities here,’’ he said. Akuyi added that the community also lacked water and people had to buy water at a cost of N100 for a 25 litre keg. The traditional ruler noted the fact that the Federal Ministry of Works was close to the community, but had not provided water pipes. “Water is life. Unless you have

your money and dig a borehole you cannot get water, we do not see the benefit of the community being right in the heart of Abuja,’’ he said. He said that during town hall meetings, women were encouraged to attend ante-natal clinics and the response was good because the clinic was usually full to capacity on such days. The chief added that women from Gishiri, Bada and Utako communities also came to the health care centre to attend antenatal clinics. He said that the health centre was usually over-crowed, though

the men in the community had been sensitised to ensure that pregnant women in the community attended ante-natal clinics. The nurse at the primary health care centre, Ms Lucy Yunana, told NAN that the response to ante-natal clinic attendance in the community was good, saying at least 10 women attended the ante-natal clinic weekly. Yunana, however, said that prevention of mother–to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS treatment was not available at the centre and women were usually

referred to Gwarimpa General Hospital for such treatment. She added that most women who attended ante-natal clinics at the centre were not delivered of their babies there because the clinic operated only during the day time. Her words: “We do refer them to Gwarimpa General Hospital because we don’t have the treatments here. We can only run the tests for them. “Once we notice that the person is HIV positive we will refer the person, so that she will take the treatment there and the person will also attend ante-natal clinics there. We don’t allow them to deliver here.

Academy organises sports competition to fish out talents By Usman Shuaibu


A road side barber attending to his client in Garki village, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

FCTA sets up c’ttee on enforcement of buses’ route delineation By Josephine Ella Ejeh


n enforcement committee has been set up by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to ensure a successful implementation of route delineation for mini and high capacity buses in the Federal Capital City. According to a statement by the Special Assistant(SA) to the FCT Minister on Media, Mr. Nosike Ogbuenyi, the stakeholders committee set up last week by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has broken into five sub-committees. He said the sub-committees are saddled with Enforcement and Monitoring, Pricing and Palliative, Security, Public Enlightenment and Strategy, adding the five panels which have members drawn from all the operators and stakeholders in the FCT transport sector would work under the main committee headed by the FCT

“You know that we are only running shifts, we don’t sleep here, so that is why most of our women, once they are about nine months into their pregnancies, we will give them their cards, they will go to the general hospital. “Some of them, if they come in the morning we can deliver them, but as from the evening when we are not around in the night they can go to other places’’. The nurse said that the major challenge faced by the clinic was its small size, which was inadequate for the community. Yunana added that the environment was dirty, saying “we usually go from house to house to educate residents about personal hygiene and how to take care of the environment.’’ She said government should build a bigger and more conducive health care centre in the community with adequate facilities to meet the needs of the people. (NAN)

Permanent Secretary, Engr. Anthony Ozodinobi. Ogbenyi said the composition of the committees was announced by Ozodinobi at the second meeting of the main implementation committee. All the licensed operators for the four categories, namely mini buses, high capacity buses, taxis and car hire services, he said were represented at the meeting and had their members in the subcommittees. He listed the licensed mini bus operators represented to include the Self-employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA), Abuja Transport Cooperative Society Limited (ATCS) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Meanwhile, the licensed high capacity bus operators at the meeting included the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO), SHAANXI Limited, FABREM Limited and ATCS among others. The SA said the Pricing and

Palliative sub-Committee has the Director of Transport, Engr Kola Garba as Chairman, the Public Enlightenment is headed by the Senior Special Assistant on Information Management Systems, Hajia Jamilah Tangaza while the Special Adviser on Security Matters to the FCT Minister, Col. Abdullahi Kudu (rtd) chairs the Security committee. The Monitoring and Enforcement Committee is chaired by the Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mallam Isa Shuaibu and the Strategy committee by Engr. Wilson Unaogwu. He said the delineated routes are distributed in such a way that the mini-buses have 10 routes assigned to them and the high capacity buses allotted seven routes to ply. He further listed the routes currently allocated to the minibuses are the following: Mombassa – Michael Okpara – Olusegun Obasanjo – Moshood Abiola Area 1; Area 1 – Gudu – Apo Mechanic

Village; Area 1 – Cemetery – Apo Mechanic Village; Jabi – Mbora – Kaura – Gudu Market; Jabi – Mbora – Suncity – Apo Mechanic; Jabi – Mbora – Lugbe; Gwarinpa – Life Camp entrance – 1st Gate; Bwari Town – Dutse Alhaji – ONEX Expressway; Kubwa 2nd Gate – Gado Nasko Road – Kubwa 1st Gate; Mpape – Murtala Muhammed Expressway Junction. Furthermore, he said the minibuses are not permitted to ply the following routes which have been allocated to high-capacity buses: Wuse Market – Eagle Square – Asokoro – AYA – Nyanya; Area 3 Junction – Tafawa Balewa – Herbert Macauly Way – Berger Junction – Jabi; Gudu Market – Apo Quarters – Ahmadu Bello Way – Federal Secretariat – Gwarinpa; AYA – Shehu Shagari – Federal Secretariat – Transcorp – NICON Junction. Under the policy, the services of tricycles (Keke) have been restricted to Gwarinpa Estate; Life Camp; Kado and inside all large estates and the satellite towns.

cience Academy in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) has held its 4 th Annual Inter-House Sports competition with a pledge to continue to encourage students in sports competition in a bid to fish out the hidden talents. The Principal of the school, Mr Peter Mcleod, who made the commitment while fielding questions from the newsmen during the event, said that the management of the school, as well as teaching staff would deem it necessary to assess the students for their academic pursuit every week. He said that his administration would take everybody along for the overall progress of the institution towards continuous academic excellence of its students. Also speaking, one of the board directors of the school, noted that the annual sports competition was being organized among the students every year in order to develop them in sporting activities. Commenting on the academic performance of the students, the director rated the students high in their studies. At the end of the competition, prizes were presented to overall best house and other winning competitors.



As Nasarawa Deputy Governor launches free medical treatment for his people By Ali Abare Abubakar


or the Congress Progressive Change (CPC) administration in Nasarawa state, under the leadership of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, bequeathing a functional health system has been a cardinal objective, with the governor resorting to sponsoring free medical treatments to make health care available, with so far uncountable number of mostly less privileged persons, benefiting from such interventions. It is in this respect that the state deputy governor, Hon. Dameshi Barau Luka, towing the line of his boss, sponsored a two-day free medical treatment, in collaboration with the Nasarawa state Association of Pharmacy Students' of Nigeria (NASAN), University of Jos chapter, in a bid to make such services available to the people at the grass roots, particularly members of his immediate community. In a brief ceremony to launch the exercise which held at the LGEA primary school Ningo, Akwanga local government area, and his country home, Hon. Barau Luka, reiterated the decision of the present administration to make the available health facilities in the state functional, stressing that the CPC administration has made the health sector top priority. He told journalists at the function that when the president of the association contacted him to facilitate the programme, he immediately saw the opportunity not only to demonstrate the stance of the state government but also assist the members of his community who mostly cannot access quality healthcare. While declaring the exercise open, shortly after touring the component units of the exercise, the deputy governor, hailed the students for the initiative, saying it is his hope that many that will benefit from the exercise may attain long life, urging members of the association to make the exercise an annual event in order to benefit more people. He disclosed that he took it upon himself to foot the cost of the drugs to be distributed during the exercise, as well as logistics to facilitate the smooth take-off of the programme, adding that the gesture, though modest, is aimed at providing medical care for the people. "We look into the possibility for the association to make this exercise a yearly routine, so that many people can benefit from this humane gesture," he said. On her part, president of the students' pharmacy association, Miss Ichukwu Ombugadu Bala, informed journalists at the event that members of the group took it upon themselves to reach out to the general public, guided by their motto; "building a healthy society". She stated that her association thought it better to reach out to the less privilege in the society through the organisation of free medical treatment, which she said has been ongoing for the past years in Plateau state, with NASAN conducting the exercise for the first time in Nasarawa state. She observed that being indigenes of the state, members of the association thought it wise to come back home and assist the people, especially the less privileged members of the society. "On the request by the deputy governor, we have agreed to make the exercise a yearly event but with his support," Ms Bala stated. She explained that the services to be provided during the exercise comprises of a de-worming exercise for all beneficiaries, HIV and hepatitis screening and counselling, general diagnosis and the distribution of

Hon. Luka Barau undergoing medical checkup during the exercise. free drugs, while cases beyond the ability of the team, would be referred to competent healthcare facility for prompt attention. Explaining further on the nature of the exercise, the president said the first point of call for intending beneficiaries will be the registration point and taking of vital signs, such as the blood pressure and blood sugar, followed by screening and testing point, where HIV and hepatitis test and screening will be conducted, then a diagnosis and consultation point , where experienced doctors and nurses are on ground to assist, with the last point of call being the drug distribution point. As part of the team, Ms Bala stated that experienced doctors, pharmacists, nurses and lab technicians, have also been drafted to provide adequate medical attention, stressing that the association outsourced the medical professionals to make the exercise a success. Taking up on the promise by the deputy governor on the likelihood of the state government coming in to assist the association in its subsequent exercise, the


Mrs Halima Daniel, a mother with her two kids who were seen at the venue of the exercise, expressed her gratitude to the deputy governor, for facilitating the exercise, explaining that after been examined for both HIV and hepatitis, for which she was found to be free, she was given free drugs to take home

youth leader pleaded with the government to assist the association financially and to invite other influential members of the society to reach out to the group, "so that we can do this annually, as well as attain a wider coverage." For the people of Ningo and the surrounding villages, estimated at over 2000, the free medical exercise could not have come at a better time. For most residents of the agrarian community, accessing medical facilities has been herculean, with most patients having to travel as far as Akwanga to be able to access a health facility. Mrs Halima Daniel, a mother with her two kids who were seen at the venue of the exercise, expressed her gratitude to the deputy governor, for facilitating the exercise, explaining that after been examined for both HIV and hepatitis, for which she was found to be free, she was given free drugs to take home. On his part, Godfrey Bame, a resident of Ningo, told our correspondent that he attended the event in order to access the free medical service. While praying for the success of the exercise, he also thanked the state deputy governor for making the exercise a reality. Madaki Anthony, district head of Ningo, while appreciating the gesture, which he said has brought untold relief to the people, appealed to the organisers to sustain the effort so that many people, mostly rural dwellers, can benefit from the exercise. As a parting gift, Hon. Barau Luka, informed the students' group of his intention to convey the request of the association for official recognition, to his boss, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, saying, "when they first contacted me, I decided to personally sponsor the programme so that I can assess the effort of the association. But now that I have seen what the group can do, I will not hesitate to talk to my boss on their behalf, so that government will assist them in their subsequent exercises and so that they could reach wide coverage." More than 2000 people are expected to benefit from the two-day free medical treatment in Ningo.






- Pg 20

Total moved staff out of Nigeria, Algeria - CEO

Mob: 08033644990

NACCIMA tasks FG to address growth-retarding issues now From Samuel Ayodele, Lagos


igeria can ill-afford to drag its feet in addressing the challenges besetting business operations in the country, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has said. Specifically, NACCIMA tasked the Federal Government on the need to implement policies that would aid the ease of doing business in the country, especially in respect of the Micro,

Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Essentially, the private sector operators canvassed enabling environment for their operations, especially in the areas of power generation and security, in order to bolster the attainment of government’s development objectives. President of NACCIMA, Dr. Herbert Ajayi, who briefed journalists on the state of the country’s economy in Lagos at the weekend, said: “The present state of power supply in the country has continued to

constrain capacity utilisation in industries and also increased cost of doing business. “The economy will move faster and record a higher percentage in implementation this year, if security and power challenges are addressed. Many businesses, especially the MSMEs are groaning under the high tariff of electricity, while continuing to spend more on generating power through fuelling of generators.” Ajayi listed some of the challenges currently facing operators to include poor and

high cost of infrastructure, insecurity and dumping of substandard goods into the country, stressing that a lot still needed to be done in areas such as power supply, modernisation and expansion of the nation’s railways, inland waterways and urban metro network, for rapid mass transit and rapid industrial development. He also added that lack of adequately equipped enterprise zones, industrial clusters and parks at both state and local government levels have also

been hindering the growth of the private sector. He identified lack of patronage of Nigerian products and services, as an issue that urgent attention. Ajayi urged the ministries and parastatals to show example of encouraging local production through the patronage of locally produced goods, stating that the economy is heavily import-dependent, both for industrial raw materials and finished products.

IMF predicts world economic growth forecast for 2013


L-R: Gombe state Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Alhaji Abdulkadir Mabudi, member, state House of Assembly, Hon. Sagir Haruna, and Gombe state Deputy Governor, Mr Tha'anda Rubainu, during the launch of Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment programme (Sure-P) community services youth and women empowerment scheme, last Friday in Gombe. Photo: NAN

FIRS nets N5tr in 2012 By Aminu Imam


he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has closed the 2012 financial year with a total collection of N5.007 trillion, according to an official statement issued by the Service. The statement, signed by Mr. Emmanuel Obeta, the Director, Communications and Liaison Department of the service, at the weekend in Abuja noted that it was the highest cumulative tax collected in the history of the FIRS. According to the statement, N1.806 trillion about 36.07 per cent came from non-oil taxes. “Oil taxes contributed N3.201 trillion (63.93 per cent and was N3.070 trillion in 2011.These sums are significantly higher than the budget target N3.635 trillion for all its taxes.’’ It stated that compared with 2011, the all-taxes figure grew by N379.4 billion or 8.20 per cent. FIRS collected N4.628 trillion in 2011. The contribution of non-oil taxes increased from N1.557 trillion or 33.65 in 2011 to N1.806 trillion or 36.07 per cent in 2012. “This performance reflects the service’s unwavering

…as non-oil tax hits N1.8tr commitment to its vision of making taxation the pivot of national development.’’ It is noted that compared with the N715.4 billion collected in 2011, Companies Income Tax (CIT) returned N847.5 billion in 2012. The statement said that the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N710.5 billion as against N659.15 billion in 2011, while Education tax (EDT) recorded N188.43 billion from the N130.74 billion in 2011. According to the statement, the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDF) accounted for N9.13

billion as against the N8.67 billion it returned in 2011. “The sum of N51.59 billion was realised from Personal Income Tax (PIT), PreOperational Levy (POL), Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Stamp Duty (SD), it said, adding that all was pooled together in the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund account.’’ However, the statement noted the total tax yield with the inclusion of Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) for the year ended 2012 stood at N5,007 trillion compared to N3.635 trillion of the annual provisional budgets. oil prices record longest weekly gains since 2009


rude oil prices completed a seventh weekly gain in New York, the longest run of advances in almost four years, on speculation that stronger economic growth will boost demand. Brent for March delivery settled unchanged at $113.28 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 20 per cent above the 100-day average. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $17.40 after contracting to $15.16 on Jan. 17, the narrowest in almost six months. Prices were little changed today as the euro strengthened to an 11-month high against

Management Tip of the Day


Stop surfing the Internet now

ow much time do you spend checking Facebook, sending and reading Tweets, and buying things you don’t need online? If the answer is “too much,” try these two ways to battle your internet addiction: Eliminate temptation.

Choose specific times each day when you’ll turn off all technology. Mornings are ideal, when you’re likely to have more energy to get challenging tasks done. Carry a notebook. Write down ideas that come to you, things you want to Google, or

he International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa to reach 5.8 percent this year from 4.8 percent in 2012. This is however likely to drop to 5.7 percent in 2014. The predictions are contained in the funds latest World Economic Outlook. Global growth is forecast to be 3.5 percent in 2013 from 3.2 percent in 2012. Emerging markets and developing countries are expected to fuel the growth. (Reuters)

emails and Tweets you want to send. Keep this running list rather than opening your browser whenever an idea strikes you. Later, at a designated time, you can knock several things off at once. Source: Harvard Business Review

the dollar after the European Central Bank said banks will hand back a greater amount of loans than analysts estimated and German business confidence rose for a third month in January. U.S. oil demand grew last week by the most in a month, government data showed Sunday. “The German confidence number is a pretty good sign that the economy is improving,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “We have a better economic outlook and more people are expecting stronger growth and higher oil demand.” The Brent-WTI spread widened by $1.83 on Jan. 23 after Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) said capacity was limited at the Jones Creek terminal on the Seaway pipeline, cutting shipments from Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures, to the Gulf Coast. The delivery point in Katy, Texas, has allowed Seaway to “make up the difference” from the restrictions, the company said at the weekend. (Bloomberg)




Jim Ovia Foundation


n recognition of the immense role software plays and can play in growing the economy, the Jim Ovia Foundation in ICT has initiated a ‘Prize for Excellence,’ dedicated to software startups in Nigeria. Besides, the Foundation informed that the initiative would also empower and launch the army of Nigerian youths into digital entrepreneurship. The Jim Ovia Foundation in ICT, which said that the plan was to resolve the missing link in the nation’s knowledge capacity development space, added that this was done by invigorating a proactive strategy to enthrone software start-ups.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


olicymakers, regulators and finance professionals must help small businesses to adopt sustainable business practices, even as their huge impact is currently being overlooked, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has said. The body, in its assessment, said despite the fact that SMEs represent more than 90 per cent of global businesses and account on average, for 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 63 per cent of employment.

Insurers list gains of local content policy From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


wo years after the Nigerian Oil and Gas Local Content Development policy cameinto operation, indigenous underwriting companies are gradually taking control of the business, monitoring the whole process of risk assessment. Industry operators said that this is a significant departure

from the past where few insurance companies were fronting for the foreign multinational companies. An insurance technocrat and Chairman EHI Consulting (Insurance Oil, Gas Strategy), Deacon Tom Ogboi, told The Guardian that the industry has recorded significant benefits from the local content policy from a position where insurance

companies were merely fronting, but today they are actually in control, monitoring the whole process of risk assessment in the sector. According to him, there have been developments of human capital in the industry. Prior to this time, he said, we did not have Nigerians who understood anything about oil and gas underwriting,

Total moved staff out of Nigeria, Algeria - CEO


rench oil major, Total has moved its staff from the Nigerian capital, Abuja following the kidnapping of a French national last month, Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said on Friday. This is the first time in recent history that a company has said it has evacuated foreigners from Nigeria’s capital due to security concerns. Western diplomatic sources told Reuters earlier this week that embassies were not planning to remove families of their staff from Abuja. “What we do first is to limit the number of expatriates, not because they have more rights to be protected than the others, but because they are a more interesting target, if I may

say,” de Margerie told France 24 television. He did not elaborate on the number of staff moved. “In Nigeria, we have three installations ... We moved our people from Abuja, which is the city that is most at risk, to Lagos and Port-Harcourt, and if necessary, we move them back to Paris,” he told the TV channel on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Nigerian Islamist group Ansaru kidnapped a French national last month in the remote northern town of Rimi, close to the Niger border. The group threatened to continue to target the French because of the country’s support of military action in Mali and its

decision to ban the full face veil. Ansaru claimed an attack on a military convoy taking troops from Nigeria to Mali last week in Kogi state, south of the capital Abuja. The group’s full name is Jama’atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan, which roughly translates as “Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa”. The group, thought to be a breakaway from better known Islamist sect Boko Haram, has risen to greater prominence in recent weeks. It claimed responsibility for a dawn raid on a major police station in the Nigerian capital in November, where it said hundreds of prisoners were released. (Reuters)

Local oil firms win 87 per cent of industry contracts, says Minister


Jos Metropolitan Development Board


os Metropolitan Development Board generated more than N12.7 million revenue in 2012, the General Manager, Mr. Mathias Hata has said. Hata told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos yesterday that the revenue was the highest ever generated by the board since its inception. “Our performance in 2012 is 200 per cent above the previous years and this is an indication that we are contributing to the state meaningfully. In the years before 2012, our revenue generation was always around three to four million but in 2012 we broke that record”, he said. Hata said that revenue was from properties, shops, processing of building plans, permits for right of way as well as fees and probate violation fines.

everybody avoided it, nobody wanted to go into it because we did not understand it. But today, he said, there have been a lot of training and retraining in the industry. Insurance companies have been sending their staff for training locally and abroad, we now have Nigerians who have a fair idea of oil and gas underwriting, that exposure is a great benefit not only to Nigeria but to Africa. Collaborating Ogboi, the Managing Director and chief executive officer, LASACO Assurance Plc, Olusola Ladipo Ajayi agreed, “Our position has improved drastically from where we started. Our strength, knowledge base has improved tremendously. But we cannot achieve 70 per cent overnight, because we cannot legislate financial capacity into existence; the capacity is being built up gradually. He said “The insurance industry has benefited from all the policies, more and more insurance companies are subscribing, training and retraining of expertise are ongoing and the experience has been rewarding and encouraging.”

L-R: Director-General, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture, Mr Vincent Nwani, Chairman, Crown Natures Nigeria Limited (CNNL) Brigadier-General Gisk Emdin (rtd), Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu, and representative of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Rukayyat Akiode, during a public presentation/unveiling of Nigeria innovative caps and hats, recently in Lagos. Photo: NAN

WAPCo may record N384 bn loss from vandalised sub-regional pipeline


he West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) may record a gross loss of $2.4 billion (N384 billion) within four months if the vandalised subregional pipeline remains unrepaired by the end of this month. The Managing Director of the company, Charles Adeniji, had told journalists during a media briefing on the damaged pipeline, that the incident had resulted in a daily loss of between $500,000 to $600,000 to the company.

WAPCo is the operator of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAPGo), which was breached in August, truncating supplies to Ghana’s power plants. The company was uncertain when it would resume flow of gas from Nigeria to neigbouring African countries. The pipeline suffered a set-back in October, when it experienced a fatal accident during the recommissioning of the Takoradi Regulating and Metering Station in Ghana. The pipeline was shut

down in August last year after experiencing a loss of pressure around the Lome segment of the facility. The West Africa gas pipeline, the first sub-regional natural gas scheme in sub-Saharan Africa, was initiated by the governments of Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Togo to supply gas from the Escravos region of Niger Delta, to feed gasfired generating plants of the three participating countries, was completed four years behind schedule.

he push to ensure Nigerian companies execute most contracts in the nation’s oil and gas sector is yielding positive results as indigenous firms have won about 87 per cent of contracts in the sector in the last one year. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, who stated this in Abuja at a meeting of the governing council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said insistence on the usage of Nigerians in the industry has deepened the local supply chain. The Minister, who is also the Chairman of the council, maintained that the rare feat is a first step towards domiciliation of spend and local value addition. Her words: “The board has to a large extent achieved consensus in most aspects of Nigerian Content implementation to the extent that there has been no major dispute amongst stakeholders on interpretation of provisions of the Nigerian Content Law. “Stakeholders are also responding positively to the need to do things differently in the industry, for the benefit of all. This clearly demonstrates that we have been carrying the industry along in the implementation of the Act.” Alison-Madueke also assured that the Federal Government will continue to support the Board and its numerous local value addition initiatives, aimed at deepening indigenous participation in the industry.



ITAN boss seeks special fund for ICT sector


hile commending Bank of Industry (BoI) for its single digit interest rate for the ICT sector, the Information Technology Association of Nigeria, (ITAN) has called on the Federal Government to set aside fund for the ICT sector so as to encourage growth of small local ICT companies in the challenging market environment President of ITAN, Engr.

…lauds BOI’s single digit interest rate Florence Seriki stated this recently while taking stock of Omatek Ventures and the Road Map for 2013 noted that the fund would serve as a bail out for the ICT sector battling with foreign vendors. Seriki, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Omatek Ventures Plc said that by lending funds to SMEs in the industry at a single digit

lending rate, the bank would have helped the growth of the industry. “We have approached BoI to explain the state of the industry and BOI created a desk for the ICT industry and will fund any player that is interested at a single digit or at most 10 per cent interest rate. BOI gives concession to ITAN members on funding.

Smartphones sold highest in 2012


he smart mobile phone market grew 1.9% yearover-year in the fourth quarter of 2012 , as it sales raised shipments among all the phones worldwide to levels nearly equal to those of feature phones, said Kevin Restino , senior research analyst. According to him, vendors shipped a total of 482.5 million mobile phones in 2012 compared to 473.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 in which Smartphone top most sales. And for the full year2012, the global market for mobile phones was essentially flat, declining 0.2% on shipments of more than 1.7 billion units yet Smartphone’s sales records

were quite impressive. In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 219.4 million units in 2012, which represents 45.5% of all mobile phone shipments, the highest percentage ever. The 36.4% year-over-year growth was slightly below IDC’s forecast of 39.5% for the quarter. On an annual basis, 545.2 million smartphones were shipped globally in 2012, which was 10.1% more than in 2011. “The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research

analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain market share, especially in emerging markets. A good example is Huawei, which overtook LG as a Top 5 vendor in the overall mobile phone market and passed HTC to become a Top 5 smartphone vendor.” “The fact that Huawei and ZTE now find themselves among the top 5 smartphone vendors marks a significant shift for the global market,” noted Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team.

FG targets infrastructure growth in telecoms industry – Minister


he Minister of C o m m u n i c a t i o n Technology, Omobola Johnson said government is on the driving seat of improving and developing the ICT industry in Nigeria to meet up with countries like India, Malaysia, claiming the Ministry has set Key Performance Index targets for itself. In order to achieve this and more, the minister said the ministry is actually going into circulating internet connectivity across the nation and strengthening ICT business economy in the ranges of Small, Medium and Large scale enterprises which will be ICT focused and contribute to the nation’s GDP. “In terms of the KPIs we’ve got some very clear targets that we have set for ourselves in terms of connectivity (broadband infrastructure) across Nigeria and ICT economy’” The Minister said the ministry is keying into the potential of an ICT-driven economy in a developing economy like Nigeria, which will highlight development in the


s the days draw closer for the kick-off of the mobile number portability of all operating net work in the country by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), MTN has said that it is ready to implement the Mobile Number Portability (MNP), in consonance with the policy of the industry regulator set by NCC. NCC has recently announced plans to flag-off mobile number portability in the first quarter of this year, which might start by March ending 2013. MTN CEO, Brett Goschen said the company has put all necessary arrangement for the kick off and is ramping up

efforts to make number portability a reality for mobile phone users in the country. “We have put the necessary infrastructure for the take-off of the program of this project,” said Goschen. “We are also confident that NCC will give us the necessary cooperation, he stated Goschen disclosed that a series of tests had been carried out on the company’s systems and infrastructure, adding that more tests will be carried out in the days ahead to ensure that the project takes off without any hitch. “We are excited that customers who wish to join the network with the most coverage of Nigeria will now be able to do so without worrying about losing

their mobile numbers. As you know, we have made far more investment in our network than any other operator in Nigeria has done, with the result that we are today the clear leader with effective network coverage of more than 85 percent of Nigeria’s land mass and population. “We have nearly 100 percent coverage of most major highways in Nigeria and we are gradually moving towards the final laps of a massive, nationwide network modernisation and swap-out exercise that is bound to give the network unequalled capacity and much improved quality of service. We have no doubt in our minds that mobile phone users on other networks in

economy and governance as well. Talking about the sustenance of these policies with a focus on improvement in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, the Minister said “the ministry is working with the World Bank, Ministry of education and the USP Fund in providing higher Institutions in Nigeria with a 10GigaByte fibre optic link and afterwards connect them all to the internet so research and development can be easy for these institutions”.

Stakeholder seeks adoption of local content in ICT


he Federal Government has been urged to as a matter of urgency, enact and release a local content policy for the country this year. Chief Executive Officer of Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who made the call recently said that it was imperative for government to act now, owing to the perceived

MTN Nigeria set for number portability in March, says CEO Stories by Chris Alu

Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson

Nigeria will be eager to port into MTN to avail themselves of these and other benefits they can only find on the MTN network,” he said. Apart from its massive investment in its core services, MTN remains the only operator that has created a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle, MTN Foundation, to implement life-impacting social projects across the length and breadth of Nigeria, Goshen said. He added that the company through MTNF had invested over N5 billion in such social projects which have directly and indirectly impacted millions of lives in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment

implications of non-use of local content from Nigeria, in developing the Nigerian information and communications Technology (ICT) sector, coupled with the continued loss of revenue to foreign countries, through importation of their products for use in Nigeria. According to Ekuwem, the enactment of local content policy and its implementation would put an end to importation of items that could be developed to standard in Nigeria and address the issue of capital flight, had made Nigeria lose so much money that could have been generated as revenue from local content development in the country. Apart from addressing revenue loss and underdevelopment caused by overdependence on foreign goods, Ekuwem said strict implementation of local content policy would create jobs, wealth, reduce poverty and enhance productivity among Nigerians. In technical parlance, local content development and adoption in the ICT industry, is the use of available components or materials or resources in the ICT industry that could be sourced in Nigeria. They include components of hardware, software, integrated technology, and physical structures like towers, masts, racks, cell site enclosures, as well as technical expertise.



Nigeria has highest cost of funds in the world By Ibrahim Kabir Sule


study by Meristem, which looked at the financial market in 2012 showed that Nigeria has the highest cost of accessing funds for development in the world. This gives insight into the declining investment in the real sector of the economy, in favour of the service industry. The study also revealed that the naira was the best performing currency in the world, having gained 0.64 percent during the period. According to Meristem, among the next 11, Nigeria has the highest MPR, at 12 percent, compared with countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey. Base rate is the rate at which banks borrow from the apex banks for onlending among themselves and fund users. Comparing the base cost of funds in the country with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and developed nations, it costs manufacturers more to secure funds in Nigeria than in these other countries. In Brazil, the benchmark interest rate is 7.25, Russia 8.25 percent, India 7.00 percent, China 6.00 and South Africa 5.6 percent.

Base rates in the US, ECB, UK, and Japan, are 0.25 percent ECB 0.75 percent , UK 0.50 percent and Japan 0.50 percent respectively. Interbank rates monitored around the world also show that Nigeria’s interbank rate of 13.83 is the highest compared with China’s CHIBOR 4.40

percent, Egypt’s EGDIR 10.50 percent, Europes EURIBOR 0.54 percent, , Japan’s TIBOR 0.42 percent, South Africa JIBAR 5.46 percent, UK LIBOR 1.01 percent and US BBA LIBOR 0.84 percent. Analysts say that with such interest rate profiles, it is cheaper for foreign direct

L-R: Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Mukthar Ramalan Yero, Abia state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abubakar Kachalla, during a meeting on Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Feeds company plans to mop up excess eggs in Plateau


rand Cereal Nig. Ltd, a Jos-based producer of poultry feeds, has promised to mop up excess eggs in Plateau between February and March. “We shall do that as we have always done every year as part of our corporate social responsibility,’’ Mr. Nanscel Gambo, a manager of the company said in Jos yesterday. Gambo, Assistant Brand Manager in-charge of the poultry feeds in the company, announced the plan at the monthly congress meeting of the Plateau Chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN). Gambo explained that the mopping up of eggs by the company had become an annual event to check against egg-glut in a bid to help farmers

sell off their surplus eggs and make profit. He added that the measure was to encourage Nigerians to eat eggs as a major source of protein. “For us to stay in the business of making feeds, poultry farming must be made lucrative through high patronage. If we do not help poultry farmers dispose their surplus eggs, no one will buy our feeds. “We will mop up the eggs and distribute them to students of primary and secondary schools as well as orphanages. This is as part of our corporate social responsibly, “ Gambo said. Mr. Julius Gusan, the Chairman PAN in Plateau, thanked Grand Cereal for the kind gesture extended to the poultry farmers.

“You have done it before, we are glad you are going to do it again,’’ he said. Gusan called on other organisations to emulate the steps of the company, adding that such partnership and support would move the economy forward. He pleaded with the company to first consider PAN registered members before extending the gesture to unregistered farmers to attract farmers to join the association. He also pleaded that a “reasonable price’’ be considered during the exercise to enable farmers to make profit and stay in business. Gusan called on poultry farmers to register with the association to benefit from the gesture and other benefits accruing to members. (NAN)

Julius Berger to begin Phase II rehabilitation of Oshodi/Apapa expressway


he Director, Federal Highways (South-West), Alhaji Kabir Abdullahi has said that Julius Berger Plc will soon begin work on Phase II rehabilitation of Oshodi/ Apapa Expressway. Abdullahi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the weekend in Lagos that the rehabilitation of the highway was a top priority for the Federal Government. “We have several projects in the South-West on our priority list for 2013 but the

investors to set up shop in other countries than in Nigeria, and attribute current FDI inflows to the stable exchange rates and reform measures taking place in various sectors of the economy. Investment analysts say that if the trend persists , the country may attract more of portfolio investments,

immediate ones are the Lagos/ Ibadan Access rehabilitation and Phase II of Oshodi/Apapa Expressway reconstruction. “We are in the process of awarding the contract and we hope that by next week, the process for the award would be completed.Julius Berger would handle it and God willing, would start work on the bad portions in the next couple of weeks”, he stated. He further said that the company had concluded work on Phase 1, adding that the

road had been overlaid and drainage channels constructed and covered. He added that Messrs Borini Prono Nig. Ltd was currently working on the other stretch of the road. Also, the engineer supervising the Project, Mr. Godwin Eke, told NAN that the phase II of the project would cover about three kilometres and would be reinforced to cater for the heavy traffic on the road. (NAN)

including hedge funds (otherwise called hot money) induced by high return on investment. As hot money is usually the first to take flight, in the event of economic and market crisis. Other experts including Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor, said high cost of funds was not as much of a problem, as unstable exchange rate and high inflation. At the 2012 Economic Summit, Sanusi said one of the worst problems confronting the real sector was infrastructure decay. His view is that if infrastructure was not fixed, available funds would not be appropriately deployed. But other economic commentators say reducing the cost of funds in the Nigerian economy would attract more investments and also reduce prices of locally produced goods, which are currently unable to compete with foreign goods produced in low cost environments. The stability of the local currency is seen as good for planning and capital repatriation for foreign investors looking for alternative window of returns, especially with declining margin of returns in the mature economies of Europe and America.

NBC denies ban on musical videos


he Nigerian Broadcast Commission (NBC) yesterday denied banning the broadcast of on some musical videos by Nigerian artistes. The Acting Public Relations Officer of the Commission, Mrs. Maimuna Jimada told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the commission was not aware of the ban. She said NBC was not in charge of banning musical videos, adding: “NBC has not banned any videos as we are not in-charge of placing a ban on music videos.” Some newspapers had reported that the commission had banned some new musical videos from being broadcast in the country. The report named some of the affected artistes as Psquare, Wande Coal, Timaya, Flavour, D’prince, Goldie, Chuddy K and Tillaman. The report said the videos were banned for containing offensive materials. Jimada said NBC was solely responsible for ensuring that musical videos and audios made for public consumption were safe. “ If a music video or audio has content that is not suitable for broadcast we tag these videos and audio as ‘not to be put on air’’. Also we inform stations across the country not to

broadcast them,” she said. She said that if a video was tagged as not to be aired, its producers could still reproduce them with better content for broadcast. Commenting on the matter, Mr. Yunusa Tanko, the Deputy Director and Head of Corporate affairs, National Films and Video Censors Board, said the board was unaware of such ban. He said although the board was in-charge of censoring the content of musical video, artistes failed to bring their works to the board for proper check before broadcast. He explained that since the videos were produced for broadcast, it was also the duty of NBC to monitor their contents. “The board has collaboration with NBC and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) in matters of copyright, piracy and censorship. “Most times these issues could fall under any of our jurisdiction because our functions overlap. “NBC has the mandate to regulate content and music videos are supposed to be classified. “Though piracy is supposed to be handled by the copyright commission, the censors’ board works to ensure that all content that passes through the board are classified,” he explained. (NAN)




Mpape killing: A victim’s cry for justice and its grinding wheel Two years after the brutal murder of Mrs Nonye Okere Doris by a trigger- happy mobile police officer near Zenith Bank, in Mpape, a suburb of Abuja, the victim’s husband’s quest for justice appears elusive even as an Abuja high court declared the killing unconstitutional and a gross violation of the deceased’s right to life, and awarded over three hundred million naira in damages against the Nigeria Police Force, Stanley Onyekwere writes.


oris, who was a cashier at the then Bank PHB, Wuse Zone1 branch, became another victim of the many incidents of extrajudicial killing by security operatives in Nigeria in the name of enforcing the law. The shooting happened in the early morning of January 31, 2011 when the alleged killer, Cpl. Olotu Owoicho of the Squadron 44

attached to the bank, opened fire on a taxi hired by the deceased to take her to her work place. Then she was nursing an eight-month-old baby boy. Owoicho was said to had reacted angrily, raining bullets on firing his rifle, bullets at the vehicle because the driver allegedly ignored his warning not to make a Uturn in the vicinity of the

bank; and the bullets from his gun instantly snuffed the life out of Doris, an incident which incensed sympathizers who besieged the bank building and set it ablaze. However, in what appears to have been a move by the police to appease the angry residents of Mpape, two days after the incident, the then Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Hafiz Ringim,

Now apart Mr. Eugene Okere & the late Doris Okere, after their wedding in 2009.

directed that a criminal suit be instituted against the suspect. Obviously, the deceased, did not get any chance to say good bye to her husband, Mr. Eugene Okere, a public servant, their eight monthold baby, Chidiebere Okere and a host of other families and friends. And on February 19, 2011, her bullet ridden body, after medical

examination, was laid to rest in her husband’s home town, Ohekelem, in Ngor- Okpala LGA of Imo state. Following the brutal killing of his wife, Okere and his son, Chidiebere Okere (through a lawyer friend, Barr. Eze Onyekpere, on April 27, 2011, jointly filed a civil suit which sought in addition to monetary compensation, a declaration that the killing of Doris was unconstitutional and a gross violation of the deceased’s right to life. And with the help of National Human Rights Commission Centre for Social Justice and under the watchful eye of the media, the matter decided at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Apo on May 4, 2012. Hon Justice Ufot Inyang declared the killing of Doris unconstitutional and a violation of her human right and awarded over three hundred million naira as damages against the Nigeria Police. The police, through their counsel in the suit, C. A. Mishel, declared their intention to appeal against the May 4, 2012 verdict delivered by Justice Ufot Inyang, in a 400 million naira suit against the alleged killer, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants. A source close to the widower, Eugene Okere, told our reporter that even after the “90 days window” available to the Nigeria Police Force to seek a reversal of the landmark

FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed judgement by the victim’s family legal team, nothing was done by the police. The source said: “the police lawyer had told them that they will serve the family the appeal notice at the time before the widow for appeal elapses, but so far nothing has been done or heard about it.” According to a human rights group Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) report on extra judicial executions in Nigeria 2010-2011, on the average, six persons were unlawfully killed every day Many observers are concerned that despite the high number of killings, only eight per cent of the cases were prosecuted within the period, resulting in an impunity rate of 92 per cent

and their victims do not get redress or remedy of any measures. Meanwhile, human rights activists and groups have stressed the need for the Federal Government to set up a high level judicial commission of inquiry into

extra-judicial executions and summary killings in the country with a view to identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators and provide redress to families of the victims. Also, some have several have called on the government to immediately overhaul the police and other law enforcement authorities in order to cut down drastically on the increasing insecurity and lawlessness in the country, in particular human rights abuses of this nature. However, to compound the agony of the deceased’s family, is the government’s intrigues silence on the matter, especially the victim’s family’s struggle to get justice two years after her brutal murder. This is in spite of the fact that a court of law entered judgement in their favour in the said civil suit. There is no denying that the oblivious slowing down of the wheel of justice in the slain Doris’ family’s cry for justice raises eyebrows as to the competence and capacity of relevant institutions to ensure that when people who

The police lawyer had told them that they will serve the family the appeal notice at the time before the widow for appeal elapses, but so far nothing has been done or heard about it

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar are to safeguard the security and welfare of the citizens end up doing the opposite are punished and their victims do get redress or remedy. Observers say that when government cannot provide and protect lives of its citizens, and punish those who truncate the right to life of others, then the government has failed in its primary responsibility to its people.

But importantly, the issue remains that as Mrs. Okere rests in her grave, not a few persons hope and pray God to touch the hearts of the police and government to fast-track the wheel of justice in the case as an honour to late Doris by duly punishing her killer and compensating her family left behind, in the hope that this will console them. Therefore, going by most

accounts, government must take urgent steps to address the situation with a view to ensuring that families of victims receive adequate compensations and diligent prosecution of culprits of unlawful killings to serve as a deterrent to officers of the Nigeria Police Force and reduce incidents of extrajudicial killing in the country.



Army gets new spokesman, redeploys 316 officers Stories by Joy Baba


ollowing the recent retirement and as part of the ongoing transformation effort with the recently promoted senior officers, 317 Army officers including the Army spokesman, Maj. Gen Mobolaji Koleoso have been redeployed. A statement signed by the outgoing Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR) Maj. Gen Mobolaji Koleoso in Abuja

yesterday said the redeployment was necessary so as to fill the vacuums created from the retirement and enable the new generals take effective command structure in different Army units, formations and the Defence Headquarter. The former DAPR, the statement said is now the Chief of Civil Military Affairs (CCMA) while Maj. Gen Bitrus Kwaji who was erstwhile the CCMA has been redeployed to the Nigerian Army Welfare Limited and

Guarantee as the Group Managing Director. The new Army Spokesman is Brigadier-General Ibrahim Attahiru formerly of the Defence Headquarters. Other senior officers redeployed according to the statement include erstwhile Chief of Training and Operations, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Ngubane who is now at the Defence Headquarters as the Chief of Training and Operations while former

General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, Maj. Gen Jack Nwagbo is now the Chief of Training and Operations Army Headquarters. Others include; former GOC 2Division, Maj. Gen Mohammed Abubakar now Chief of Army Administration (COAA) at the Army headquarters; former Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation, (CASE) Maj. Gen. Shehu Abdul-Kadir has been appointed the Force Commander of the African- led

International Support Mission for Mali and the new CASE is Maj. Gen Paul Isang. The new Commander for the Nigerian Army Training Doctrine Command (TRADCO) the statement further said is Maj. Gen Babagan Monguno, Maj. Gen Daniel Kitchener, the new Chief of Logistics at the Army Headquarters while Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bassey becomes the Chief of Policy and Plan. The statement also named four new GOCs. Maj. Gen. Ebiobowei Awala, new GOC 3 Division, Maj. Gen Ahmed Jibrin, new GOC 2Division, former Commander, Nigerian Army Engineers, Maj. Gen Ashimiyu Olaniyi ,GOC 82 Division and Maj. Gen. Obi Umahi as the new GOC 81 Division.

NDC Alumni Association holds national security seminar


he 3rd annual seminar on national security of the Alumni Association (AANDEC) of National Defence College (NDC) will begin in Abuja tomorrow and run till Wednesday. Briefing newsmen on the activities lined up for the event over the weekend, Chairman Seminar Organising Committee Maj-Gen Alexander Mshelbwala, said the seminar would be co-hosted by AANDEC and the National Defence College. The theme for this year’s seminar according to Mshelbwalla is “Contemporary National Security Challenges: Policy Options. He said the seminar was designed to serve as a bridge between the current participants of the college and the Alumni Association of the college. In his words “the objective therefore, is to bring the experiences of the members of the Alumni Association to bear on the academic learning of the participants. “This is in order to galvanise them for the daunting work awaiting them in the field with respect to national security, ‘’

he said. According to him, the philosophy of the AANDEC was to bring field realities to bear on the academic programme in this direction as a prelude to their re-induction into higher responsibilities. He further said the seminar became necessary because the vanguard for national security is the armed forces as the main purpose for their establishment was for the defence of the territorial integrity of the nation. “To the armed forces, the survival of the nation is not only fundamental but indeed not negotiable, none the less, it is the people that make or unmake the efficacy of the military in this direction. “Realising this therefore, the seminar has been carefully structured to harp on the critical sectors of national endeavours with a view to distilling the security support components inherent in them. The seminar he also said will provide policy options as palliatives or outright solutions to the security problems. LOC chairman disclosed that the Manufacturers

Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Jonah Lokoson Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other stakeholders had been invited to brainstorm on how the country could improve especially in the manufacturing sector so as to

have more people gainfully employed and improve their living standards. He noted that the seminar, would prepare current Course 21 members of the College, who

are future Service Chiefs, as well as technocrats of strategic sectors of the country for the realities that were bound to meet on the field and how to address them.

Nigerian Air Force commissions 114 cadets


Some of the new cadets on parade during their passing out ceremony in Kaduna, weekend.

he Nigerian Air Force over the weekend commissioned 144 cadets into its Direct Short Service (DSS) Addressing the new officers at the passing out and piping ceremony at Air Force Base in Kaduna , Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Sabandu Badeh said the challenges of tackling the spate of terrorism and other internal security threats in the country remain the highest priority of the federal government and by extension the Nigerian Air Force. He said the new officers will be deployed to crisis prone areas and other parts of the country to assist the military in protecting lives and properties of the citizens. Badeh also said though their primary responsibility is to

defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria from the air, “the prevailing security situation in the country has seen the NAF involved in roles aiding the civil authority. The Air Chief said the participation of the Nigerian Air Force in the ongoing effort to flush out rebels in Mali has earned the service the reputation of an effective and dependable force. “As Nigeria continues to tackle the challenges of internal security, let me stress that the security of lives and properties remains the highest priority of government, consequently, as young officers, you may sooner than later find yourselves deployed for internal security operations in any part of the country.”

Also speaking at the occasion, Kaduna state governor, Muktar Ramalan Yero commended the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force for ensuring peace and security in the state. “We have good partnership with them (NAF) and that is one of the reasons we have to participate in their programmes and they have also been helping us a lot, especially with the ground troops that form part of the state’s Operation Yaki as well as providing air surveillance in the state” Yero added. The 144 Short Service Course 21 cadets, which consist of 16 female officers were commissioned as flying officers after the passing out ceremony.



Crude oil Theft - JTF Seizes three vessels, destroys 362 illegal refineries Stories by Joy Baba with agency report


he Joint Task Force, JTF, code named Operation Pulo Shield, Saturday, launched an operation along the creeks and waterways of Delta and Bayelsa states, leading to the seizure of three vessels and destruction of 362 illegal refineries. The operation was scarried out simultaneously in the Kolokolo, Bisigo, Igbomatoru, Sagana areas of the two states. Also raided by the men of the JTF were the Ogbokodo creek and the Ugbokolo area of Delta State. The spokesperson for the JTF in the region, Lt. Col. Oyeama Nwachukwu, said the action was new as it is part of the strategy of the newly deployed commander, Major General Bata Debiro. “The operation led to the destruction of 362 illegal oil cooking ovens usually referred to as local refineries in Kolokolo area and Bisigbo in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta

State; Igbomatoru, in Ijaw South Local Government and Sangana in Bayelsa State,”Nwachukwu stated. “Three vessels and seven barges engaged in oil theft were also scuttled by troops of the JTF in Opobo River, Bonny Local Government of Rivers State and Tomkiri in Brass Local Government of Bayelsa state.” “The operation also led to the scuttling of 75 wooden boats (Cotonu boats) conveying illegally siphoned petroleum products at Ogbokodo creek and Ugbokolo areas of Warri South West of Delta state. 175 suspects were arrested in the operation and handed over to prosecuting agencies for litigation.” The JTF spokesman also noted that the new commander of the JTF, Debiro, had unfolded his strategy to stamp out illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta. “The new commander averred that he would be highly mobile and fluid in the fight against illegal oil bunkering. He stated that sitting like a lame duck in the office is not his

Members of Joint Task Force (JTF) destroying illegal refineries approach and had already embarked on an appraisal tour of troops’ deployments including Naval Forward Operational

Commodore O.O. Osinowo being decorated with his new rank of Rear Admiral by Chairman, Senate C’ttee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu and his wife, Mrs Tonia Osinowo in Abuja recently.

Nigerian soldiers left in Bamako with no combat role


ore than a week after they arrived Mali as part of an African-led force to help fight Islamist insurgents in the north of the country, Nigerian soldiers are still stuck in the capital, Bamako, and have not been assigned any combat role. The seeming redundancy of the Nigerian contingent contrasts with soldiers from Chad and Burkina Faso that arrived Mali a couple of days ago with fewer men, but have been assigned combat roles alongside French soldiers in the forefront. Speaking on the non assignment of combat roles to Nigeria troops, the Director of Defence Information, Mohammed Yerima, said the first batch of 160 soldiers are helping to secure Bamako and are preparing grounds for the arrival of a larger contingent.

“Our main body has not gotten there. It is only 160 that have reached there and they are the ones providing security for Bamako. It is when the main body arrives there that they will be deployed” Despite the raging conflict in the north, Bamako has remained peaceful and is yet to come under any attack from the Islamists. Col. Yerima also said it is not the responsibility of the Nigerian military authorities to decide when and where the soldiers are to be deployed. “We don’t have any business with that. Our own is to give them (the West African Force) soldiers. It is their responsibility to determine when to deploy them (soldiers) and where to deploy them. We have no business with them. We have handed the (the soldiers) over to them.”

It is not yet clear whether the refusal to assign Nigerian soldiers to combat positions is connected to the assessment of the Nigerian army by European military experts. Last November, a senior European military expert assigned to plan the military ousting of the Islamists told the U.K. Guardian newspapers, that the Nigerian army is in “a shocking state” that it can only be relied upon for “manning checkpoints and loading trucks.” “The Nigerian Forces lack training and kits, so they simply don’t have the capability to carry out even basic military manoeuvres. They have poor discipline and support and are more likely to play a behind-thescenes role in logistics and providing security,” the source said.

Bases (FOB) in Brass, Bonny, and Escravos. The tour also took him to Nigerian Navy Ship Delta in Warri, and to amphibious troops of 3 and 146 Battalions and 343 Regiment of Nigerian Army deployed in Warri, Bonny Island and Nembe respectively,”he said. “The commander of the multi-agency security outfit, while on courtesy visit to military formation commanders, security agencies and traditional rulers’ council in Bayelsa State Capital, Yenagoa during the week, General Debiro stated, unequivocally, that his mission is portrayed in the four-word directive of President Goodluck Jonathan

to the task force to ‘stop illegal oil bunkering’. Nwachukwu quoted Debiro as saying that “Nigeria is the only country where people engage in crude oil theft with the connivance of our country men and we must put an end to it.” He pointed out that crude oil theft is tantamount to economic sabotage and a threat to the economic security and future generations of Nigeria. Nwachukwu stated that the commander had vowed to tackle the menace of oil theft vigorously noting that Debiro had warned operatives of JTF to sit up and face the challenge before the Task Force.

•••As Navy arrests 12 foreigners for alleged oil theft


igerian Navy has arrested ten Indians and two Ghanaians for alleged oil theft after it intercepted a vessel near the oil rich southern Rivers state. The suspects have been handed over to the country’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and prosecution. The Flag Officer Commanding Nigeria’s Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said the suspects were arrested near Port Harcourt, the capital of oil rich southern Rivers state. “The suspects were arrested on a vessel MT Ashkay which was intercepted by a naval ship NNS Predator off Sangana River with cargo suspected to be stolen crude oil,” Olutoyin said. According to Olutoyin, the product on board MT Ashkay

is suspected to be stolen crude of about 157,822 litres and they didn’t have papers to justify the cargo,” he said adding that the tanker does not have the Nigerian Port Authority’s bunkering permit, nor the joint task force, Operation Pulo Shield certificate of registration. Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru throwing more light on the issue of illegal bunkering at African Union summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia appealed to foreign countries to enlighten their citizens on the dangers of illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria. “Most of the ships arrested for crude oil bunkering in the past belonged to foreigners. If there is no willing foreign buyer, there won’t be a seller,” Ashiru said adding that any foreigner caught for bunkering would automatically face the Nigerian court process.



Agricultural transformation and rural development through mobile technology (I) By Dr. Oyeleye Olukayode


rominent among the various factors responsible for the backwardness of agriculture in Nigeria is the fact that the farmers, majority of which are rural-based, are poor and dependent on old-fashioned tools. Their poverty, which has been pervasive, has generally been attributed to their remoteness from financial centres in the urban environment and from government policy makers and implementors, poor access roads that waste much time and increase transaction costs, leading also to increase, although sometimes arbitrarily, in prices of agricultural produce. The farmers have, for the most part, been operating at the mercies of weather, at the whims of middlemen and creditors, under the ruthless influence of pests and diseases and, have been operating mostly at deficits, but kept doing the farming business for lack of alternatives. Those who could not cope further, or decided to take risks outside agriculture, have ventured into towns and cities, looking for other means of livelihoods, no matter how unsure. Add all of these to the ageing population of the farmers, and you will be able to predict what the future portends for agriculture, food security and the economy of Nigeria. Although an integral part of the real sector of the economy, agriculture in Nigeria has, for decades not been reckoned with as a strong pillar of the economy and so has remained in the informal sector. While this lasted, the planners, policy makers, researchers, development organisations and NGOs had been churning out conflicting and mostly estimated figures on the state of rural infrastructure, agricultural employment, volumes of food produced and the sector's contribution to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The farmers remained backward, isolated, remote, poor, disenchanted and disconnected from the national economic radar. Yet, Nigeria's food import profile rose on annual basis and billions of naira frittered away on food importation. Nigerians, over time, developed tastes for imported products that could very well be produced at home, to generate huge volume of employment for Nigerians and reduce capital flight. Under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Jonathan's administration, it is time to do things differently, as the president has once put it. The financial institutions have huge roles to play, especially in guaranteeing money movement, to boost rural and urban economies. Nigerian banks have been declaring profits running into billions of naira annually from narrow areas of business,

particularly those they considered less risk-prone, notwithstanding the fact that they are not necessarily sustainable. For the country, the unbanked and underbanked represent a large and potentially profitable untapped market. Traditionally, commercial banks have concentrated overly on risks in agriculture as reasons for not lending to the sector, and are overlooking very huge business

societies and 6.7 million adults use village associations. Nigeria is not alone in this trend as a recent research by Deloitte Consulting LLP shows that financial institutions around the world compete against one another trying to attract and retain the same middle- to upperincome retail customers year after year. Yet a common finding is that there is an enormous market that most banks are ignoring - and that

commercial drivers or their conductors are susceptible to highway robberies and thefts. Money sent through letters and parcels of the courier companies may be stolen. Other challenges include delays and long queues, network limitations, insolvency of branches, unreliable communication and misdirected parcels. Structural weaknesses in the formal financial industry, however, limit the access to

Agricalture made east with the aid of cellphone. opportunities while they give disproportionate attention and services to the urban centres and other volatile investment options. Their activities betray a clear absence of research-based corporate business decisions and an absence of needs assessment studies as basis for developing their operational plans. The robust economic growth of the past decade, and even before it, has not trickled down to the people, and banks' outlook played a significant part: only large corporate and guaranteed wage earners in the public and private sector in the urban centres have been having access to credit. Majority of the populace are rural dwellers that do not have access to basic financial services and are poor. This class of people is made up of peasant farmers and petty traders. According to a report by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), 63.5 per cent of Nigerian adult males and 76.8 per cent of adult females are unbanked, while 78.8 per cent of the country's rural populations are largely unbanked. About 59.3 million adults are unbanked due to irregular income, unemployment and distance to the bank branches. Currently, in Nigeria, 23.8 million adults choose to save money at home, 12.9 million adults use informal

nonbank competitors have begun to cultivate effectively: the world's 2.5 billion adults who are either unbanked or under-banked. Differentiating the categories, experts at Deloitte identified the unbanked customers as having no checking, savings, credit, or insurance account with a traditional, regulated depository institution. Under-banked customers, on the other hand, have one or more of these accounts, but conduct many of their financial transactions with alternative service providers, such as cheque-cashing services, payday lenders, and even pawn shops - and still use cash for many transactions. Nigeria is a big country, with many far-flung towns, villages and even hamlets. Sending or receiving money for buying and selling agricultural inputs and farm products, payment of salaries or school fees, settlement of business transactions, or family support is common among businesses and individuals. It requires efficient, reliable and affordable money transfer services in which money can be deposited in one location and withdrawn in another in both urban and rural areas. The informal systems of money transfer such as individual traders carrying money on themselves or sending

money transfer services, especially in rural areas and for low-income people. Banks are concentrated mainly in urban centers, operating under conditions that constitute barriers to the use of their services. Mobile money solutions will play a major role in integrating Nigeria's hugely informal economy, which is driven by small-scale farmers, traders, craftsmen and other types of small and medium-sized businesses, into the formal economy. The desire to spur progress in smallholder agriculture has historically led to search for new models of agricultural financing that address the constraints faced by farmers. Among these models are interventions that provide agricultural finance to farmers in groups and attempts to use the Grameen lending model. The beneficiaries, which are mainly rural and remote, still face daunting hurdles in accessing such supports. Other efforts include establishment of credit and microfinance platforms based on collateralised lending. Indeed, the emergence of rural micro-finance organisations and Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) has been based on the premise that smallholder farmers need unique services that are close to them.

These models have had limited success due to factors such as high transaction costs of delivering the services to small and widely dispersed farmers, high covariate risks, missing markets for managing weather and market risks and the lack of suitable collateral. These factors limit the ability of smallholder farmers to save, borrow as well as access remittances. Encouraging banks and other financial institutions to embrace alternative transaction channels (internet, POS, mobile phones etc) is timely now. These channels are a convergence of banking and telecommunication sectors, designed to ensure ease and convenience for the users. Mobile money merges the regulatory environments of both telecommunications and banking into a new paradigm that ultimately demands a collaborative dialogue among providers to balance intervention for risk mitigation with market innovation. The widespread diffusion of ICT, particularly mobile phones is known to have the potential of bridging the digital divide as well as alleviating poverty through the direct and indirect job creation. Mobile money has now become an imperative factor for financial inclusion and the key driver of funds from the informal sector to the formal/banking sector. Mobile money campaign in Nigeria, as done presently, tends to concentrate largely at the urban cities and the banked segment. Western Union and MoneyGram, which operate through commercial banks, are used almost exclusively to receive money rather than send it. Despite the network of these formal providers throughout the country, rural areas and client segments such as low-income earners tend to be excluded. The availability of financial services in the rural areas has suffered a setback since the mid-nineties when there was a massive failure of banks and commercial banks closed down less-profitable branches especially in rural areas. Such gaps left by formal providers have typically been bridged by informal means and services. These include transporting the money by oneself or sending it by a friend or through an unlicensed service. Most financial organisations tend to be located in commercial centres where there is enough clientele to make their operations profitable. Such centres, however, tend to be inaccessible to the remotely located smallholder farmers. The lack of access to a broader set of financial options in rural areas represents a potential constraint to entrepreneurship and the ability to undertake socially and privately profitable investment projects. Participants are geographically scattered, financial transactions are small and rural incomes tend to be unstable.


By Mohamed Kandi


inister of State for Agriculture and Rural development, Bukar Tijani, has urged rice farmers in the Bakolori irrigation area of Zamfara State to encourage their young wards to embrace paddy rice production, even as he announced the resolve of the Ministry to launch massive wheat production in the country. Tijani, according a statement, made the appeal while rollingout the distribution of subsidised and free agro-inputs for the accelerated dry season paddy rice farming in BirninTudu village, Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara State. The Minister was assisted during the crowded roll-out ceremony by Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Abubakar Yuguda, the representative of the Minister of Water Resources, top officials of the Zamfara State Ministry of Agriculture and the Emir of Bakura, Engineer Bello Sani. He said that each of the 11, 000 farmers registered for the dry season accelerated paddy rice production in the area will be given a 50-kilogramme bag of improved rice seeds free of charge and three 50-kilogramme bags of assorted fertlisers, which the Federal Government subsidised by 50 per cent as incentives. Tijani urged farmers in the area to encourage their young wards to embrace rice farming in the dry season and seek their fortune at home instead of travelling to the cities where jobs were not available. "The youth should stay here and farm. They can become rich through dry season and wet farming season,'' he emphasised. The Minister said that the dry season accelerated paddy rice production programme was part of the Agricultural


Minister urges farmers to encourage their wards to embrace rice farming Transformation Agenda (ATA). And ATA is part of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. Tijani urged the Zamfara State Government to support the farmers in its way and assured that President Goodluck Jonathan will continue to support Nigerian farmers in fulfilment of his promise and the desire to transform the agricultural sector. He disclosed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will soon conclude arrangement and come out with a programme for massive wheat

production in order to boost the nation's self-sufficiency in the commodity. in his remarks, Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Abubakar Yuguda said that the N250 million released to the Zamfara State Government by President Goodluck Jonathan to assist the victims of flooding and the 750 metric tonnes of assorted relief grains sent to the state by the Federal Government were manifestations of the President's commitment to improve the wellbeing of the people of Zamfara state. He reminded the multitude of

cheering farmers at the ceremony that a farmland was given to President Jonathan and a number of livestock's by the people of the state during a visit. "The President is farming and rearing the animals. He is one of you as a farmer." The Emir of Bakura, Engineer Bello Sani commended the Federal Government on behalf of the 12 communities served by the Bakolori dam and irrigation infrastructure and assured that the farmers in the area would produce rice in large quantities in order to contribute to the country's achievement of self-sufficiency in the staple food.

He called on the Federal Government to expand the irrigable land in the area by providing additional channels and clearing of more land for the farmers, pointing out that 12, 000 hectares of land which should be under irrigation has not been developed. The Emir, himself a large scale farmer, urged the Sokoto Rima Basin Development Authority to deploy more extension officers to the area to expose farmers on how to properly use the improved seeds and teach them new farming techniques.

Rice farm in Northern Nigeria

FG to construct dams for irrigation farming By Mohammed Kandi


he Federal Government is to construct more dams for irrigation and flood control in the country, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe said. She said this in a speech read on her behalf by Alhaji Halidu Yusuf, the Managing Director of the Sokoto Rima Basin Deveopment Authority in BirninTudu village, Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Tuesday during the rollout of the dry season accelerated paddy rice production programme. "The Federal Ministry of Water Resources will continue to construct dams for irrigation and flood control, water treatments plants and boreholes for rural and urban water supply for the benefit of the people," she emphasised. She said that the Bakolori dam has made huge contributions to the production of various crops, poverty

reduction, and economic and social transformation among farmers in the area. Ochekpe assured that, "the Ministry of Water Resources will continue to collaborate with the Government of Zamfara State and other stakeholders who were concerned with the mandate of the Ministry to transform the

agricultural sector." She urged farmers in the area to come out enmass for the dry season farming, especially the paddy rice production programme, which the Federal Government is creating an enabling environment for its success. "It is our hope that our farmers will continue to grow

rice for Nigerians and for export," she said. The Minister said that the wheat being cultivated in the Bakolori and Jibia areas through irrigation was done well and would provide the foundation seeds for massive wheat production in the country in the next cropping season.

The Managing Director of the Sokoto River Basin Development Authority, AlhajiHaliduYusuf said in his own remarks that the water rate chargable per farmer for the dry season farming remains N5, 000.00 and farmers should not pay a kobo extra to anybody.

Fadama III disburses N12m loan to fadama user groups in Bauchi


he Fadama III Project in Bauchi State has disbursed N12 million as loans to 56 user groups to expand their agrobusinesses in Dass Local Government Area, an official said. The Desk Officer of the Project, Alhaji Sani Bello, made the fact known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dass on Sunday. Bello said that the user groups contributed N3 million as counterpart-fund to establish agricultural processing projects. He said that some of the projects had been inaugurated and functioning while others were

ongoing. Bello named TAKDAN Rice Processing Centre as one of those currently producing parboiled rice, which could compete favourably with foreign rice. He said the centre was using bio-fuel obtained from cow dung as energy source for its operation. Bello described bio-fuel as environment friendly because it does not emit carbon-monoxide. He described the rice processing centre as "one of the best in the North-East geopolitical zone". Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Centre, Hajiya Hajara Bello,

said the Fadama Women User Association was formed in 2008 with 23 registered members. Hajara said the association metamorphosed into Fadama Users Women Group in 2010. She said Fadama III project had assisted the association with 85 per cent of its project cost or N1.55 million. Hajara said members of the association raised N350, 000 as counterpart-fund for the project. She said the centre currently produced 10 bags of 50kg of parboiled rice from 20 bags of 100kg of unprocessed rice daily. ``Apart from the one we are

processing, we also process for individuals, who come from neighbouring towns and villages. ``Our major market is Bauchi town s and other neighbouring towns and village but we have started having buyers from outside the state, including Abuja,'' Hajara said. She said that 50kg of processed rice cost N4, 000, adding that the rice tasted better than imported rice. Hajara appealed to the state government to assist the centre with N500, 000 to re-capitalise and expand its production capacity. (NAN)


By Oluwafunke Ishola


mong the cases that dominated the Magistrates' Court of Lagos State in 2012 is rape. More worrisome, however, is that many of the rape cases have underage as the victims. Rape is having a sexual intercourse with a woman or girl without her consent or with her consent if the consent is obtained by force, threats or intimidation or by means of fraudulent representation. It contravenes Section 357 of the Criminal Code of the Federation and attracts a penalty of life imprisonment. According to Sections 359 and 380 of the code, attempts to commit rape and indecent assault on females attract 14 and two years' imprisonment respectively. Also, abduction of a girl under 16 years with or without her consent is punishable with two years' imprisonment. Punishment for rape in most countries today is imprisonment, but until the late 20th century, some states of the U.S., for instance, could apply the death penalty in cases of aggravated rape, indicating the severity with which the crime was viewed. Castration is sometimes a punishment for rape in the U.S. and, controversially, some U.S. jurisdictions allow shorter sentences for sex criminals who agree to voluntary chemical castration. In Britain, a person guilty of rape is liable to imprisonment for life or for any shorter term. In Denmark, a person who engages in intercourse with a child under 15 years is punished with up to eight years' imprisonment. If the child is under 12 years, or if the perpetrator has gained intercourse through force or threats, the punishment may be up to 12 years. In the Netherlands, he who commits sexual penetration with someone younger than 12 years will be punished with up to 12 years' imprisonment Some rape cases pending before the Magistrates' Court of Lagos State include that of a 25year-old man, Chukwuma Iheme, charged with rape of his church member. The case is before an Ogudu Magistrates' Court. Also, 30-year-old Abiodun Adeboye is standing trial before an Ojokoro Magistrates' Court, Lagos on a two-count charge of rape. Equally, seven men were arraigned before an Ebute Meta Magistrates' Court over alleged rape of a teenager. The defendants are -- Seyi Lajuwomi, 25; Opeoluwa Okedairo, 30; Pius Okwuada, 29; Dada Sheriff Jimoh, 23; Gbenga Olaewe, 23; Monday Augustine, 26; and Sunday Oladapo, 36. In the same vein, 20-year-old Umaru Ismail is facing a count charge before an Ejigbo Magistrates' Court for alleged rape of 12-year-old JS1 female student Analysts are worried that in spite of the weight of the penalty


When an underage is raped

Underage rape victims for rape, the crime appears to be on the increase. They also believe that a larger number of rape cases is being unreported and blame the surge on alleged failure to punish offenders. Mr Ăƒdesina Adegbite, Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, blames the menace on the society, family and the process of justice administration. ``The truth of the matter is that the society has condescended to almost a state of anarchy and indecency. ``This has, in a way, reverberated in the activities of young ones. ``Parents do not instill the right values in children; indiscipline and immorality are prevalent among the youth. ``The inability of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the offence was committed makes most rape cases unsustainable in the court. ``The court delivers judgment based on facts and evidence before it. ``If the prosecution is unable to prove beyond reasonable doubts that rape was committed, the charge cannot be sustained. ``To prove penetration in a rape case, there must be a medical doctor's testimony, semen of the accused and witnesses with information that will aid prosecution,'' the lawyer explains. Adegbite adds that Nigerians' conservative nature also hinders prosecution of rape cases. ``Parents will find it difficult to go to court and testify in a rape case of their children because they consider it shameful. He appeals to prosecutors to do their best to conclude rape cases in spite of the challenges. ``Prosecutors should remember that their allegiance is

to the state and society. ``Whatever they let go will bounces back on the society at large," he warns. According to a medical doctor, Mrs Peace Nwankwo, rape is also fuelled by the failure of many victims to report the matter because of ignorance and fear of stigmatisation. ``Most victims of rape prefer to put the traumatic experience behind them rather than have it publicised because of fear of stigmatisation. ``Moreso, some of the victims are ignorant of the fact that they should go for medical examination and treatment within 48 hours of the assault. ``Most rapists capitalise on these facts, and have, thus, become serial rapists, the doctor says. She is sad that even some reported rape cases are not being properly prosecuted. The doctor discloses that rape has a traumatic effect on the victim which most of them do not overcome. She consequently calls for prosecution and adequate punishment of rapists to serve as a deterrent. ``I will advise that the police and judicial system be strengthened to tackle this.

``A man raped a six-year-old girl in Edo State and was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of N80, 000 fine. ``What does that communicate? The judgment leaves the rapist to do more because he goes free and feels that the law is spurious," she says. An expert in Family Life and Sex Recovery, Mr Praise Fowowe, attributes the rising wave of rape to what Nigerians hear and watch on radio and television stations and the social media. He is convinced that feeding one's eyes and ears with obscene materials can stir a man's body to desire sex by all means. ``We have agencies that ought to screen music and videos that people are exposed to before they hit the airwaves, but we find out that lyrics of many of the music are still lewd. ``There are so many sites on the internet that people could access for pornography. ``A lot of these sites are dedicated to incest and rape. When you whet the appetite of youths, naturally, rape will occur, Fowowe says. The expert is advocating the compilation of an online sex


An expert in Family Life and Sex Recovery, Mr Praise Fowowe, attributes the rising wave of rape to what Nigerians hear and watch on radio and television stations and the social media.

offender register with pictures and data of rape convict. ``The purpose of the register is to expose the rapist to public stigmatisation as against the victim being stigmatised,'' Fowowe says. Fowowe also advocates introduction of martial act in the primary school curriculum to empower the Nigerian child to have a self-defence technique. He notes that the most vulnerable to rape are girls between ages five years to 12 years. ``Taekwando and Karate should be taught in schools so that they can wriggle out of any awkward situation. ``Parents will not always be there to protect," he argues. A cleric, Imam Odunayo Olutosin, blames the menace on inadequate reproductive health education. Olutosin, the Chief Imam and Missioner of the Ansar-ud Deen Society, Ikorodu, Lagos Branch says: "A lot of parents have not educated their children about sex. ``Appropriate sex education should be introduced early to our children. ``Not giving our children sex education exposes them to a lot of things." Olutosin canvasses equity and fairness in criminal justice administration, urging that there should be no sacred cows. Pastor Kenneth Adebola of the Transfiguration Chapel Church, believes that rape thrives because of the sexual permissiveness common in the contemporary society. He says, ``Indecency and evil have become the bane of our society'', warning that rape has a devastating effect on all. Analysts urge commitment of all members of the Nigerian society in eradicating rape, especially that of the underage Source: NAN



The government of science ANALYSIS By Dan Hind


e give huge amounts to science through our taxes. Isn't it about time we had some say in what the money was used for? In my first two pieces for Al Jazeera this year I wrote about the related matters of communication and money. Recent events have made it clear that democratic control of the economy requires a much greater degree of public participation in monetary policy. But it is also clear that the current organisation of knowledge in the major media makes this participation impossible in practical terms. Though the origins and nature of money are not uncanny or complicated, the media contrive to make them a matter of deep mystery. This fact alone makes reform of the systems of communication an urgent priority. To communication and credit we should add a third area where unaccountable power has hidden behind both real and invented complexity. In the decades since the Second World War states and their corporate lieutenants have made science into a valuable instrument for the pursuit of their interests. In the process they have denied the rest of us important opportunities to shape the world in which we live. The money spent on science has an impact on economic development that is only rivalled by bank-created credit. In a previous column I quoted Harvey Brooks, who explained in his book The Government of Science that the 2 percent of GDP the government gave to scientists had "disproportionate social and economic leverage, since the whole thrust of the economy is determined by scientific and technical research". Brooks was writing in the 1960s but science continues to receive huge subsidies from taxpayers. And we still have almost no say in how this money is spent. In the United States the military controls much of the science budget directly, but even when the science is nominally civilian, the National Science and Technology Council seeks to "orient science and technology toward achieving national goals". These national goals are not widely publicised, much less debated. And while the details differ, other countries that spend significant amounts on science take a similar approach. Committees of senior scientists, industry representatives and government officials make the decisions behind closed doors

A low-loader drives a rocket out of the manufacturing plant for launch. and a veil of complicated jargon. The consequences surround us. The consumer economy is littered with the fruits of military research, from the silicon chip to the internet, by way of mass air transit and satellite communications. And if the engine of progress isn't raison d'ĂŠtat it is profit. Drug companies spend public subsidies testing new molecules that can be patented. The proliferation of questionable treatments for more or less fictitious disorders

merely implicit, but it is in fact quite final." More recently the financial sector has, in the words of Philip Augar, "wrapped its tentacles around the relevant parts of the academic world". The interests of the funders have a pervasive effect on the distribution of prestige in the social sciences. Media studies and sociology, which constantly intrude on matters that the powerful wish to keep under wraps, are treated with derision in the wider culture. Mainstream economics,


An unlikely alliance of the New Age and the Old Testament, in Francis Wheen's phrase, is out to get us, they tell us, repeatedly. has nothing to do with any serious assessment of the public good, yet the sector continues to receive billions in direct and indirect subsidies, no questions asked. In the social sciences too money talks. As long ago as the 1930s the economist and politician Harold Laski warned of the influence of the industrial foundations on the university: "it is merely the fact that a fund is in reach which permeates everything. The college develops along the lines that the foundation approves. The dependence is

which reliably tells a story that suits the powerful, is held up as the pinnacle of the social sciences, for all its manifest failings. Indeed while economists insist that their discipline bears comparison with the natural sciences, their complicity in the debt bubble gives their pretensions a farcical quality. It is as though the world's most prestigious physicists had spent their days manhandling elephants up the stairs of their departments and throwing them off the roofs, only to express surprise and

disappointment at the consequences. Meanwhile those economists who saw the economic crisis coming still struggle to secure a fair hearing. Though their ideas have proven predictive power they remain on the fringes. For the most part the selfdeclared champions of science pay little attention to this state and corporate domination.Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens and many others have had tremendous fun warning us that the light-filled city built by reason is under siege from the armies of darkness. An unlikely alliance of the New Age and the Old Testament, in Francis Wheen's phrase, is out to get us, they tell us, repeatedly. It is all very JRR Tolkien and, like Tolkien, appeals to a certain kind of male adolescent imagination. But while, despite Peter Jackson's recent efforts, I remain very fond of The Hobbit, it is not a particularly helpful model for understanding the threats to reason in the real world. The present constitution of science is riddled with conflicts of interest, corruption and abuse. The enemies of free inquiry that really matter, in other words, are already inside the gates. As in the realms of communication and credit the solution can only be found in greater public participation. We are not all scientists or engineers, any more than we are all journalists or bankers. But one way or another we are paying for science as we are

paying for journalism and finance. Though the details of particular processes may be beyond the understanding of the public, we have every right to a say in setting the objectives of science. In order to do that we must exercise some direct control over how funds are distributed. Even quite small sums could have an important effect, through creating new opportunities for scientists to do work that does not meet with state or corporate approval. Taken together communication, subsidy and credit do much to shape the nature of our shared world. They determine what becomes practically possible and what remains an idle or wistful dream. They determine who is feted and admired, who is ignored or despised. At present too often these great mechanisms join together in a kind of Sadean clockwork that exalts the contemptible and crushes the magnificent. I wonder if we are generous and wise enough to take control of this fever of gears and pulleys, and put it in the service of another world. These then are the areas in which we must assert ourselves as a sovereign public through the acquisition and exercise of new powers. Next week I turn to the world of work, and the arrangements necessary if we are to take on the labour of government, the only sure means of securing our freedom. Source: Al Jazeera



Malawi's Joyce Banda auctions presidential jet M

alawi's government has invited bids for its 14seat presidential jet, which is being sold off as part of cost-cutting measures.The office of President Joyce Banda says

the plane will be sold to the highest bidder. Her predecessor, the late BinguwaMutharika, was strongly criticised for buying the jet five years ago at a cost of

about $13.3m (ÂŁ8.5m). Donors cut aid to Malawi by $4.4 million after the purchase. Mrs Banda has refused to travel in the jet since she took office last April, following Mr

President Joyce Banda.

Mutharika's unexpected death. She has said money from the sale of the Dassault Falcon 900EX would be used to provide basic services for Malawi's poor. The notice said the jet was in "perfect flying condition" and can fly a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,380 km) non-stop. "The bids will be opened and offers read out in the presence of interested buyers or their representatives and any member of the general public on 20 February." When Mr Mutharika purchased the jet, he said it would be "cheap to run". However, the opposition and donors accused him of wasting money. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa. It was hit by widespread protests over the rising cost of living towards the end of Mr Mutharika's rule. Since taking over, Mrs Banda has taken several steps to improve relations with Western donors.

Violence flares in Egypt after emergency law imposed


man was shot dead on Monday in a fifth day of violence in Egypt that has killed 50 people and prompted the Islamist president to declare a state of emergency in an attempt to end a wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world's biggest nation. Emergency rule announced by President Mohamed Mursi on Sunday covers the cities of Port Said, Ismailia and Suez. The army has already been deployed in two of those cities and cabinet approved a measure to let soldiers arrest civilians. A cabinet source told Reuters any trials would be before civilian courts, but the step is likely to anger protesters who accuse Mursi of using high-handed security tactics of the kind they fought against to oust President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's politics have become

deeply polarized since those heady days two years ago, when protesters were making most of the running in the Arab Spring revolutions that sent shockwaves through the region and Islamists and liberals lined up together. Although Islamists have won parliamentary and presidential elections, the disparate opposition has since united against Mursi. Late last year he moved to expand his powers and push a constitution with Islamist leanings through a referendum, punctuated by violent street protests. Mursi's call for a national dialogue meeting on Monday to help end the crisis was spurned by his main opponents. They accuse Mursi of hijacking the revolution, listening only to his Islamist allies and breaking a promise to be a president for all Egyptians.

Islamists say their rivals want to overthrow by undemocratic means Egypt's first freely elected leader. Anti-Mursi protesters were out on the streets again in Cairo and elsewhere on Monday, the second anniversary of one of the bloodiest days in the revolution that erupted on January 25, 2011, and ended Mubarak's iron rule 18 days later. Hundreds of demonstrators in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez, cities which all lie on the economically vital Suez Canal, had turned out against Mursi's decision on Sunday within moments of him speaking. Activists there pledged to defy a curfew that starts at 9 p.m. (1700 Riot policemen beat a protester along Qasr Al GMT). Nil bridge

French-led troops 'enter Timbuktu' F

rench-led troops in Mali have entered the historic city of Timbuktu, French and Malian military sources say. The troops encountered no resistance as they headed towards the city, where a building housing ancient manuscripts has reportedly been set on fire. Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande declared that the joint forces were "winning this battle". French and Malian troops have been pushing north in their offensive against Islamist rebels. They seized Gao, north Mali's biggest city, on Saturday. Most militants seem to have fled into the desert. Islamists seized the north of

the country last year, but have been losing ground since French forces launched an operation earlier this month. Most militants appear to have moved out to desert hideouts, says

the BBC's Thomas Fessy in the capital, Bamako. The advance comes as African Union (AU) leaders are meeting to discuss sending more troops to Mali.

French and Malian troops cross the desert to Timbuktu at night.

On Monday afternoon, a French military spokesman said troops had moved into Timbuktu after blocking roads surrounding it. Meanwhile, a Malian army colonel told the AFP news agency: "The Malian army and the French army are in complete control of the city of Timbuktu. Everything is under control." French army spokesman Col Thierry Burkhard had told the BBC earlier that "substantial airpower" had been used to support about 1,000 French and 200 Malian forces in their offensive against militants in Timbuktu. He said French forces had taken access points to the city during the night.

Two thousand flee as battle engulfs South Sudan town


t least two thousand people were forced to flee to a U.N. base after a battle between South Sudanese soldiers and the guards of a former rebel commander laid waste to a small town, the United Nations and witnesses said on Monday. South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011 but the government has been struggling to assert control over an impoverished country the size of France that is full of weapons after decades of civil war with the north. The latest fighting took place on Sunday in the small town of Pibor in the eastern state of Jonglei, between soldiers and bodyguards of former rebel commander James Kuberin, witnesses said. Kuberin used to be a commander of a group led by David YauYau, one of several militias fighting the government of the new African republic, but he defected to the army in December. Witnesses said Kuberin went to Pibor's market to get a haircut and was told by an army patrol not to walk around with armed guards. Witness Peter Gazulu said one of the soldiers had a hand grenade. "Somebody tried to take it and they wrestled with it and it exploded. The guy died. Then the other men opened fire on the bodyguards and they escaped," he told Reuters by telephone. "The army fired all over the place and burned half of Pibor town, particularly in the south. They were firing at civilians," he said. "In a house the father of my friend was burned alive. The body is still there." Several people had been injured, he said. About two thousand people fled the town, mainly made up of thatched houses, to seek protection at a U.N. peacekeeping base, U.N. spokesman KouiderZerrouk said. Army spokesman Philip Aguer said one soldier had been killed in the battle, and that Kuberin had fled with his guards afterwards. He declined to say whether the army had fired on unarmed civilians. Medical organization Medecins Sans Frontieres, one of few charities operating in Jonglei, said it had treated four people for gunshot wounds.


Asia and Middle East


court in India has ruled that one of the six people accused of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi last month is a minor. The Juvenile Justice Board said it accepted the accused's date of birth as


Delhi rape: Court rules suspect to be tried as juvenile 4 June 1995, making him 17 years old. He will be tried in a juvenile court. If convicted, he faces a maximum of three years in a reform facility. Five other suspects have gone on

trial at a specially convened fast-track court and face the death penalty. The case has shocked India and sparked a debate about its treatment of women.

China says concerned by Japan's move to boost military


hina expressed concern on Monday after Japan unveiled plans to boost the number of its military personnel, as a bitter territorial dispute between the two countries drags on. Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Sunday the government would increase the number of personnel, now standing at about 225,000, by 287 in the next fiscal year starting in April, the biggest rise in two decades. The figure represents an expansion of about 0.1 percent. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Japan should pay greater attention to regional concerns, alluding to Japan's at times brutal behavior during World War Two which China considers Japan has not done enough to atone for. "Due to historical reasons, Japan's neighboring countries pay great attention to its military developments," Hong told a daily news briefing. "We hope that Japan pursues a path of peaceful development, respects the concerns of countries in the region, take history as a mirror and does more to benefit regional peace and stability," he added.

Many demand death penalty for rapists.


Police said the assailants beat both of them, and then raped the woman. She suffered massive internal injuries and died nearly two weeks later. On Monday, the Juvenile Justice Board accepted the elementary school records of the suspect as proof of his age, the AFP news agency quoted a lawyer who was present in the court as saying. The Delhi police, who had demanded a bone ossification test as confirmation, said they would challenge the verdict in the High Court. Experts say the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, may be released within six months if he is convicted, because adults cannot be detained at juvenile reform facilities. The ruling shocked the victim's father. "A sudden current ran through my body in disbelief. I can't believe this," the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying. "How can they declare him a minor? Do they not see what they did?" Although the court based its ruling on the suspect's school records, its headmaster told BBC Hindi that he could not really be sure of his age. "There is no concept of producing birth certificates in village schools at the time of admission. People just bring their children and tell us their approximate age.

Dhaka police and protesters clash over war crime trials


Iran successfully sends monkey into space

he primate travelled in a Pishgam rocket, which reached an altitude of some 120km (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight before "returning its shipment intact", the defence ministry said. Iranian state TV showed images of the monkey, which was strapped into a harness, being taken to the rocket. Western nations have expressed concern that Iran's space programme is being used to develop long-range missiles. Such missiles could potentially be used to carry nuclear warheads. Iran denies it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes. In 2010, Iran successfully sent a rat, turtle and worms into space. But an attempt to send a monkey up in a rocket failed in 2011. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in 2010 that the country planned to send a man into space by 2019. A domestically-made satellite was sent into orbit for the first time in 2009.

The victim, a physiotherapy student who cannot be named in India for legal reasons, and a male friend were attacked on a bus on 16 December.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei

Image of the monkey that made the flight.

angladeshi police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse Islamist activists protesting at the trial of their leaders for war crimes allegedly committed during the independence war. At least 50 people, many of them police, were injured in the clashes. Supporters of the country's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-eIslami, say the trials are politically motivated. Bangladesh says more than three million died when troops were sent to stop East Pakistan becoming independent in 1971. Police and hundreds of activists fought pitched battles in Dhaka's main commercial district on Monday. Protesters also set off crude explosives and threw bricks at police, the BBC's AnbarasanEthirajan reports from Dhaka. A number of cars and buses were damaged. There were similar protests in several other towns across the country. The Jamaat-e-Islami wants the trial of its leaders for crimes allegedly committed during the 1971 independence war to be stopped. The latest protest came a week after a special tribunal sentenced a former member of the party to death in absentia.



Europe and Americas Russia to ban North America meat overfeed additive

Argentina and Iran create 'truth commission'


ussia warned on Monday it might soon bar imports of U.S. and Canadian beef and pork if producers do not certify them free of the feed additive ractopamine. The potential ban could jeopardize more than $500 million a year of exports to Russia and coincides with mounting U.S.-Russian tensions over trade and human rights. Alexey Alexeyenko, the spokesman for Russia's Veterinary and PhytoSanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS), said chilled products could be banned from February 4 and frozen meat by February 11. Ractopamine is a growth stimulant used to make meat leaner which is banned in some countries because of concerns that residues could remain in the meat and cause health problems despite scientific evidence stating that it is safe. The VPSS said last week it was considering tougher measures on U.S. and Canadian meat imports because they continued to arrive without certification requested by Russia. An earlier statement left unclear whether frozen meat would be restricted. The VPSS had said it did not receive test results for chilled meat before it was sold. Alexeyenko said frozen meat was addressed in a separate letter to North American regulators. Alexeyenko said the certification requirements are no more onerous on producers than regulations in place in the European Union.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman(R) with Iranian counterpart,


rgentina and Iran are to jointly set up a commission to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (Amia) Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. The commission will be

made up of five independent judges, none of whom will be from either Argentina or Iran. Argentine courts have blamed Iran for the attack, which killed 85 people. Iran has always denied any involvement. Israel's foreign ministry

said it was "surprised" by news of the commission. Spokesman YigalPalmor told the AFP news agency that it was waiting "to receive full details" from Argentina. Amia and another key Argentina Jewish organisation were meanwhile

Latin America to rally behind single WTO candidate


atin American candidates bidding to head the World Trade Organization could step down from the race and rally behind the regional figure with the best chance of being appointed, Mexico's candidate to lead the trade body said. Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica have nominated candidates to replace Pascal Lamy as director general of the WTO, which is struggling to remain relevant after repeated failures to revive global trade liberalization talks. A total of nine candidates are running to take over when Lamy's term expires in August. "We're convinced that, ideally, the new director general of the WTO should come from Latin America," Herminio Blanco, a Mexican trade negotiator who led talks over the North American Free-Trade Agreement, said late on Saturday.

"The arrangement between the three of us is 'let things take their course'. When we see what's going on with the selection process, which will have several stages, we'll see if it's possible for all of us to get behind whoever is doing best," he said in an interview during a summit of European and Latin American leaders in Chile. Brazil has nominated Roberto Azevedo, an experienced negotiator who has represented Brazil at the trade club, while Costa Rica has proposed Trade Minister Anabel Gonzalez. Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, presented a candidate to lead the 157-member organization in 2005, but splits within the region over who to support weakened the challenge. Blanco said his experience, which also includes closing trade deals with

the European Union, Japan, Nicaragua and Bolivia, would be helpful in getting the deadlocked Doha round of world trade talks back on track.

Herminio Blanco, Mexican trade negotiator who led talks over the North American FreeTrade Agreement.

Berlusconi commends Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day


taly's gaffe-prone former premier Silvio Berlusconi has stoked controversy by praising Benito Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day - despite Il Duce's anti-Jewish laws. Mussolini had been wrong to pass anti-Jewish laws but had otherwise been a good leader, said Mr Berlusconi. He was speaking at a Milan ceremony commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He has not ruled out another stint as PM if his party wins polls next month. His People of Freedom (PDL) party is hoping to form a centreright coalition government with another party after elections on 24-25 February, but have not named a candidate for prime

minister. The media tycoon stepped down from a third term as prime minister in November 2011, when he was replaced by the technocrat

Silvio Berlusconi

Mario Monti. "Obviously the government of [Mussolini's] time, out of fear that German power might lead to complete victory, preferred to ally

itself with Hitler's Germany rather than opposing it," said Mr Berlusconi, who heads a coalition that includes groups with fascist roots. "The racial laws were the worst fault of Mussolini as a leader, who in so many other ways did well," he added, referring to the 1938 laws that barred Jews from Italy's universities and many professions. The comments were swiftly condemned by the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which is ahead in the polls. "Our republic is based on the struggle against Nazi fascism and these are intolerable remarks which are incompatible with leadership of democratic political forces," said PD spokesman Marco Meloni.

reported to be vehemently opposed to the move. Iran agreed last July to cooperate with Argentina in the investigation, which it said "was going down the wrong way". Such negotiations have alarmed Israel's government and Argentina's sizeable Jewish community, who fear Argentina is weakening in its resolve to put suspects on trial. "We warned the Argentines from the start that the Iranians would try to set a trap for them and that they should beware," Mr Palmor was quoted by AFP as saying on Monday. The news agency also quoted a joint statement by Amia and the Delegation of Israelite Argentine Associations as saying that the new move would "imply a decline in our sovereignty". "To ignore everything that Argentine justice has done and to replace it with a commission that, in the best of cases, will issue, without any defined deadline, a 'recommendation' to the parties constitutes, without doubt, a reversal in the common objective of obtaining justice," the statement said. However, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called the agreement "historic". "It guarantees the right to due process of law, a fundamental principle of international criminal law," Ms Fernandez said. She said Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and his Iranian counterpart had signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia. It still has to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries. The commission would "analyse all the documentation presented to date by the judicial authorities of Argentina and Iran", Ms Fernandez wrote on her Twitter account. According to Mr Timerman, the agreement will make it possible for Argentine legal officials to question Iranian suspects in Tehran. Among the suspects named by Argentine prosecutors when they made their case in 2007 is Iran's current Defence Minister, Gen Ahmed Vahidi. At the time of the attack, Gen Vahidi was the commander of a special unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Argentine prosecutors said Iran planned and financed the attack, and that the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah carried it out. No-one has been convicted of the car bombing which destroyed the seven-storey cultural centre.



Couple Glues 39,000 Pennies to Bedroom Floor


ike many young couples, Ryan Lange and Emily Belden were looking for inspiration while deciding how to renovate the bedroom of their Chicago home. That inspiration finally came from a quick glance at a jar of change. "We'd been looking up options and were thinking about being green when I said we should just tile the floor in pennies," Lange, a entrepreneur and selfdescribed design freak, told NBC Chicago. Belden wasn't completely on board at first, but before she could put her two cents in, the project was off and running. "I came home one day and found a small corner was done, so I thought 'I guess we're doing it,'" she recalled. Thus began four months of painstaking work they dubbed "pennying," which involves laying down a special glue that acts like grout and individually placing the pennies heads up on the floor of the 380 square-foot room in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood. It turned into a nightly form of relaxation for the pair accompanied by "Spotify Premium and pinot noir" - but it does have drawbacks. Handling that many dirty pennies turns your hands pitch black. But all in all, they consider it time well spent. "Once we were halfway done, we were kind of over it, but I knew it was something that one day we could look back and laugh at it," Lange said. An estimated 38,903 pennies were used to completely cover the

The bedroom floored with Pennies. floor, which was then sanded down to a shiny copper sheen and cemented in with a clear coat as smooth as a sheet of glass. They spent close to $1,000 on the project, which made for a lot of trips back and forth to the bank for more pennies. And created more than a few odd glances from the tellers. "After we told them what we were up to they started tracking the

project themselves, and I was always passing my iPhone through the glass window to show them pictures," Lange said. Within the bulk of pennies came some rare finds - a 1944 WWII 440 steel penny that was created due to a copper shortage, and a 1873 penny featuring an Indian head instead of Abraham Lincoln. Both pennies are worth enough money

to pay for the project, but they also ended up on the floor. "It's turned into a fun party game where we challenge our guests to find the rare coins," Belden said. The couple has been posting the photos on their social media accounts and created a blog about the project.

Office worker fined £400 for dropping small sachet of SALT in front of litter warden


young woman has been fined £400 for dropping a packet of salt on the ground in a car park. Office worker Laura Howells, 24, dropped the tiny sachet measuring just 2.5cm by 5cm - as she ate her lunch from a KFC takeaway. But she was spotted eating in her car by a litter enforcement officer from the local council who handed her a £75-on-the-spot fine. Miss Howells said she picked up the salt packet - claiming it was just an accident. She said: 'I couldn't believe it - it was only a salt sachet. 'I had been to KFC with friends

Salt sachet dropped by Laura.

and we were sitting in the car having food and I must have dropped it by accident.' But when she failed to pay the fine, she was hauled up in front of Carmarthen Magistrates Court. She pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990m and was told that as well as the original fine she would have to pay £316.85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. She added: 'I felt sick when I found out how much the fine was it is definitely over the top. 'If I had been caught a couple of times then it is fair enough, but that's not the case at all. I am not

the type of person who ever litters.' Miss Howells, from Kidwelly, West Wales, was caught by Carmarthenshire C o u n c i l ' s environmental enforcement officers in the B&Q car park in Trostre, Llanelli. Jim Jones, the council's executive board member for environmental and public protection, said: 'I hope this acts as a warning to others. 'Cleaning our streets of litter, dog fouling and fly-tipping costs the council £2.2 million a year. 'Dropping litter is against the law, whether it is discarding rubbish from a vehicle, throwing cigarette ends or spitting out chewing gum. 'We do not want to fine people but we are determined to clean up Carmarthenshire and we will not hesitate to prosecute those that break the law in this Laura Howells way.'

"A friend pointed out that thousands of people have now seen the inside of my bedroom, which kind of creeps me out a bit," Belden said. And in case you're wondering, they're buying their home, not renting, which means no pennies lost in the form of a deposit check if they decide to move.

New Yorkerfaked own kidnapping to extort ransom- Cops


uthorities say a 31-yearold man in upstate New York faked his own kidnapping to extort ransom from his girlfriend. Police in Plattekill in Ulster County tell the Times HeraldRecord of Middletown that Mark Rodriguez left for work in his girlfriend's car on Jan. 14. Officials say the woman later received a telephone call from a stranger saying her boyfriend had been kidnapped and she needed to hand over $2,000 or he would be killed. She contacted police, who tracked other calls made to her. Police began a search and found Rodriguez and an accomplice inside the girlfriend's car in the city of Newburgh. He was unharmed. Rodriguez was arrested on Tuesday and charged with attempted grand larceny. He has been released from jail after posting bail.It couldn't be determined if he had a lawyer.


By Amanda Williams

The secret to happiness is turning off your mobile phone and concentrating on your friends and family rather than text messages and emails


Want to be happy? Just switch off your phone, says expert T

he secret to happiness lies in turning off your mobile phone and concentrating on your friends and family rather than text messages and emails, an expert on happiness has said. Professor Paul Dolan, of the London School of Economics, believes that the popularity of iPhones and other smart phones has seen people constantly having their attention drawn away from their nearest and dearest and to the devices instead. He warned that unless people changed their behaviour, they could suffer mental illness as a result. He told an audience at the Hay Festival - a celebration of culture and social responsibility - in Cartagena, Colombia that there are also now mental conditions called internet addiction and Phantom Vibration Syndrome where you have a phone in your pocket and you think you have got a text message but have not. He said: 'We're constantly having our attention distracted and distraction is a cost. 'When you switch tasks it requires attention. Paying attention to what you're doing and who you are with and turning your phone off and enjoying being with your friends

is much better for you than constantly checking your phone and checking emails', The Telegraph reports. Prof Dolan was once a member of the Cabinet Office's Behavioural Insight Team - or Nudge Unit. It was set up to suggest small ways that people could change their way of life to improve it. He said the solution could lie in introducing small changes to the environment in which people use their mobile phones. He used an American game called 'Don't be a d*** at dinner' where people put their phones and tablets in the middle of the table as an example. The first one to use it has to pay for everyone else's meal. He said it was easier to 'change the environment you were in rather than the person you are'. In his talk on happiness, Prof Dolan also pointed to research that people who are married or have religious faith are happier than single people or atheists. But he did warn that married couple's happiness is relatively short-lived lasting for about 'three years'. Prof Dolan added separation was much worse for married couple's happiness than divorce because of the uncertainty it caused.

His advice to anyone going through a break-up would be to 'make decisions quickly' adding that once a divorce is finalised people's happiness quickly rises. Prof Dolan said happiness can have little to do with people's wealth. A recent survey rated Columbians as the happiest people in the world, despite having an average income of just ÂŁ5,000 a year each. He said that middle-aged men in their forties are among the unhappiest that levels of satisfaction start to rise once people reach their fifties.

Recent research showed that monkeys have mid-life crises too, he said. Prof Dolan's concerns about the effects of modern technology were echoed at the festival by Mario Vargas Llosa, a Nobel prize winning Peruvian author. The author told an audience that unless high culture reasserted itself in the face of television and computers, society would face the prospect of an 'authoritarian nightmare of a world controlled by technology.' Source:

Professor Paul Dolan warned the extraordinary popularity of smart phones has seen people constantly having their attention drawn away from their nearest and dearest and to the devices instead

Why you should exercise before breakfast - you'll burn 20 per cent more body fat By Claire Bates


arly risers who exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast can burn up to 20 per cent more body fat, according to new research. Researchers sought to find out whether the known benefits of exercising after an overnight fast were undermined by an increased appetite and eating more food later in the day. A team from University of Northumbria asked twelve active men to perform a bout of treadmill exercise at 10am, either after they

had eaten breakfast or in a fasted state having not eaten since the evening before. Following the exercise all participants were given a chocolate milkshake recovery drink. Later in the day, participants were provided with a pasta lunch which they were asked to eat until they felt 'comfortably full'. Their lunchtime consumption of energy and fat was assessed and calculated, taking into account the amount of energy and fat burned during the morning period. The researchers, led by Dr Emma Stevenson and PhD student

Dr Emma Stevenson and Javier Gonzalez (left) found that exercising on an empty stomach burns 20 per cent more fat

Javier Gonzalez, discovered that those who had exercised in the morning did not consume additional calories or experience increased appetite during the day to compensate for their earlier activity They also found that those who had exercised in a fasted state burned almost 20 per cent more fat compared to those who had consumed breakfast before their workout. This means that performing exercise on an empty stomach provides the most desirable outcome for fat loss. Mr Gonzalez said: 'In order to lose body fat we need to use more fat than we consume. 'Exercise increases the total amount of energy we expend and a greater proportion of this energy comes from existing fat if the exercise is performed after an overnight fast. 'Our results show that exercise does not increase your appetite, hunger or food consumption later in the day and to get the most out of your session it may be optimal to perform this after an overnight fast.' Dr Stevenson added: 'This research is very important in helping to provide practical guidelines relating to food intake to individuals who are exercising to maximise fat mass loss. Source:

Rise and shine! Getting out before breakfast will help you burn more fat during a workout



2015: Disquiet in Ogun ACN as imminent break-up looms From Bolaji Olasunkanmi


here afe indications that the Ogun state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), is facing imminent break-up if emerging factions in the state are not immediately harmonized. Already, there are two factions with one loyal to the incumbent governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun and the other loyal to the former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba. Prior to 2011 general election in the state, Amosun candidacy was not acceptable to the legion of aspirants who vied for the oval office of the governor under the platform of the party. Party elders of the party objected to his candidature but contrary to all these, an external force in person of ACN Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was alleged to have forced Amosun upon the party leaders in the state. In the last local goverment election in the state, Amosun was alleged to have imposed some of his loyalists who decamped with him from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) as chairmen and it was reported that the faction loyal to Osoba stormed the Southwest secretariat of the party in Ibadan to register their displeasure over what they termed dictatorial attitude of the governor. One of their grievances is that most of the party members who toiled over time to make the party popular and acceptable for Amosun to leverage on to attain his current status have been abandoned to their fates. The three serving senators in the state, most of the House of Representatives members and the larger parts of the House of Assembly members are loyal to Osoba. They always floor the unilateral and unpopular decision always taken by the governor. For instance, the governor’s plan to scrap the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijegun Ijebu Ode (TASUED) attracted condemnation from the Ogun Assembly lawmakers, Obas, indigenes and the stakeholders in education sector. A Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Adegbenga Kaka, threatened to sue the governor over the matter. Meanwhile, Rep Abiodun Akinlade, member of the House of Representatives representing Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency, who was prevailed upon to step down for Amosun in the 2011 governorship election in the state has nit hidden his determination to govern the state come 2015.

L-R: Member, House of Representatives, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozongbachi, Chairman, Godfrey Okoye University Capital Projects campaign team, Obiora Ike, Vice -Chancellor, Godfrey Okoye University, Professor Christian Anieke, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, during the launch of Godfrey Okoye University Capital Projects Campaign, at the weekend in Enugu. Photo: NAN

South Africa to investigate the killing of a Nigerian By Lawrence Olaoye


ut-going South African High Commissioner, Mr Kingsley Mamabolo, yesterday assured Nigerians that the South African authorities would investigate the alleged killing of a Nigerian recently in South African. Mamabolo made the promise in his office yesterday in Abuja when Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa-led House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora Affairs met with the High Commissioner. He said that the South African government would look into the reported case of Nigerian killed in

South Africa and blamed the protest in South Africa on the matter to lack of adequate information and wrong perception. “A lot of times, story such as this was based on lack of information and wrong perception’’, he said. He said constant interaction between Nigeria and South Africa as well as citizens of the two countries would minimise the misinformation and wrong perception. “If South Africa and Nigeria come together, they will be giants of Africa’’, he said. He stressed the need for

collaboration between Nigeria and those in the Diaspora especially in South Africa to minimise any form of protest or crisis in the future. Mamabolo, whose tenure as High Commissioner in Nigeria would expire on Wednesday, assured Nigerians that South Africa would not condone injustice. “This latest case will be properly investigated and there would be no cover up. There is no special law in South Africa for citizens and non-citizens alike. The law is equal for anybody’’, He said. Earlier, Rep. Abike DabiriErewa said the committee was worried about the recent killing of a Nigerian in South Africa and

wants the case properly investigated and justice done. The lawmaker advised that there was the need to create awareness for the younger South Africans to know the role Nigerians played in the apartheid struggle. “If they know the roles Nigerians played in the apartheid struggle in South Africa, the hostilities to Nigerians will be reduced’’, She advised. While advising Nigerians living abroad to be law abiding in their respective countries of residence, she said that more Nigerians in South Africa are excelling than those getting into trouble.

No member of NASS is opposed to passage of PIB, says lawmaker


member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Gerald Irona, has said that no member of the National Assembly is opposed to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Irona (PDP-Imo), the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Gas Resources, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. He was reacting to the opposition of some Northern lawmakers to the proposal to reserve 10 per cent of all oil and gas earnings exclusively for the oil producing areas. The North believes that such

proposal could further polarise the country, and that the additional funds being proposed for the oil producing states, should rather go to the treasury for the benefit of all Nigerians. The lawmaker said, “I don’t think any member of the National Assembly is keen not to support the passage of the PIB. “I am talking to you as a deputy chairman of the gas committee and as a member of the ad hoc committee set up to look into the PIB. “It is erroneous to say that a section of the country does not want the PIB passed.

“Every member is desirous of ensuring that there is a document that will holistically solve the legal, physical and environmental framework for the operations of oil and gas companies in Nigeria.” Irona, who is also a member of the ad hoc Committee on PIB, explained that members were only opposed to certain proposals in the bill and not the bill as a whole. He insisted that members would not support the bill in its present form and state, until further work was done on it. He said, “We want to give the bill some legislative touches; that is

why it is a bill; until we finish with it and send it to the President for assent.” According to him, the committee is working to ensure that oil exploration and mining are given prominence in the proposed bill. Irona urged the Federal Government to garner enough political will to promote such exploration activities. He said, “There must be a deliberate effort to make sure that all the oil farms in all the nooks and crannies of the country are exploited.” (NAN)



Al-makura dissolves Nassarawa cabinet From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


ollowing an emergency council meeting, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state has dissolved his cabinet by sacking the Secretary to the State Government, all commissioners, as well as all Special Advisers. This was contained in a press release issued to journalists yesterday and signed by the Director of Press top the governor, Malam Iliyasu Ali Yakubu. While directing the officials to hand over to their respective Permanent Secretaries, Almakura, in the statement, thanked the former exco members for their immeasurable contributions to the development of the state. L-R Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen, Head of Service, Alhaji Sali Isa Bello, and Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, during their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, recently at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Accord Party urges electorate to shun money bag politicians in FCT

CPC expels Sen. Nazeef Gamawa from party T From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


amawa Local Government chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Bauchi State has declared the expulsion of Senator Suleiman Nazeef Gamawa from the party. The letter from Gamawa south ward, which was signed by the Chairman, Mall. Mamuda Idris Sarkin Makera and Secretary, Mamman Bello, stated that the party resoved to expel the Senator in order to instill discipline and prevent factionalisation in the party. The second letter was signed by

the Gamawa Local Government Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Abdu Shamaki and Secretary Alhaji Sale Janare Raga. The letters were made available to newsmen in Bauchi. The local government CPC chapter endorsed the decision of the ward chapter. The local government chapter of the party alleged that the reply to query sent to the Senator showede no remorse and it will not augur well for the growth of the party and its efforts to reconcile their differences. The State chapter of the Party informed Nazeef in a letter signed by Chairman Caretaker Committee of the party, Alhaji

Aliyu Sa’idu and Secretary Ibrahim Mahmood that “Our continued effort to get you to recognize the caretaker committees of the party at all levels of the party as the only legitimate party authority in the state has only met your aversion and disrespect to constituted authority” Gamawa was the former senator representing Bauchi North Senatorial district in Bauchi state and also contested as a gubernatorial candidate of the party in the state In his swift reaction to expulsion from the party, Gamawa’s political adviser,

Garba Akuyam, said the Senator could not be sacked from the party because no wrong doing has been traced to him. Akuyam said “We consider the expulsion of senator Nazeef as null and void because it goes contrary to the constitution of party’s Article 8 which stipulates discipline measures for any erring member if any wrong doing is established against him; and in CPC Gamawa, we have factions; I don’t know which faction sacked Gamawa and going by the constitution, only National Headquarter of the party can sack a member at the National convention”

Chime, Suntai: PDP commends Enugu, Taraba party officials By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commended the leadership of the party in Enugu and Taraba states including the Acting Governors, party chairmen, Speakers of the Houses of Assembly, state caucus members, members of the National Assembly from the states as well as government appointees in the states for holding forth and ensuring smooth running of government affairs in the absence of their governors. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement yesterday said the fact that government activities have been going on smoothly in these

states shows that that PDP governments have direction and focus in line with the manifesto of the party to ensure the welfare of the people at all times. "We want to commend our party leadership and government officials in Enugu and Taraba states; the Acting Governors, the Speakers of the Houses of Assembly and other state caucus members and government appointees in these states for holding forth in the absence of Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu state and Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state, who are out of the country for medical attention. "The fact that government activities are going on smoothly without altercations shows that

the PDP governments in these states and indeed across the country have direction and focus, which is to ensure the welfare of the people in line with our manifesto", Metuh said. Stating that the party is deeply saddened that the governors have been away for health reasons, Metuh also thanked the people of the two states for their steadfastness in praying for them adding that with prayers, they will soon return to work. "It is sad for somebody to be ill, but we are all human. So the party commends the people of Enugu and Taraba states for their understanding and steadfastness in praying for their governors. We commend them

for the night vigils they held in seeking divine intervention for the governors. We know that God answers prayers and we believe that with all our prayers the governors will soon be back", he said. The party said the monumental achievements made by Chime in developing his state stand out for him adding that it was satisfied with the manner in which the state officials have continued to ensure that the tempo is sustained even in the absence of the governor. It urged the people of the two states to continue to be united and support the PDP administrations in their efforts to ensure the stability, peace and progress of their states.

he FCT Chairman of the Accord Party, Alhaji Yusuf Abdulkarim, has appealed to the electorate in the FCT to shun money bag politicians, as the council election in the FCT draws near. Abdulkarim told the News Agency Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesternday, that the call became necessary to ensure that the money bag politicians did not buy their votes. He said that his party in the FCT had gone to the grass roots to mobilise the people to shun such politicians, who did not mean well for the democratic process in Nigeria. “We are going to the grass roots to mobilize them, sensitize them to know that money bag politics is no more obtainable in Nigeria,” he said. He also urged eligible voters to ensure that they vote for the candidates of their choice based on their credibility and not on the basis of political parties. Abdulkarim said that the Accord Party had put in place some political strategies to ensure that it would win in most of the six area councils in the FCT. He said, “The Accord party is a peaceful party, the party and its supporters will not engage in election malpractice and other political activities that can scuttle the election process. “We will manage our members, we don’t need to hire a crowd of people to be at the polling units on the elections day,” he said. He said that the party was working closely with the FCT INEC to ensure that party members, supporters and the electorate are sensitized on good conduct to make the council elections hitch free. (NAN)


Catholic varsity names Auditorium after Tambuwal By Lawrence Olaoye


n recognition of his sterling leadership qualities and efforts at promoting interreligious harmony in the country, Godfrey Okoye University, owned by the Enugu Diocese of the Catholic Church, has named an auditorium after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. The decision to build and name the school auditorium after Tambuwal was made known last weekend by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Reverend Father (Professor) Christian Anieke, during the institution’s Capital Project Campaign held at University’s temporary campus, Enugu. A statement by the Speaker’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, quoted Tambuwal as commending the institution for the gesture, saying it would spur him to do more for the upliftment of the standard of education in the country. Speaking at the event, Tambuwal also described as worrisome, the glaring absence of academic activities in majority of Nigeria’s institutions of learning. He said the country’s education sector is facing imminent collapse, adding that all hands must be on deck to salvage the situation. He however assured of the resolve of the House of Representatives to continue to come up with legislative interventions that would guarantee educational excellence in Nigerian schools. He said in line with the House’s Legislative Agenda, the lawmakers are working to ensure that all Nigerian children get better and qualitative education for the betterment of the society. Tambuwal equally commended the Enugu Diocese of the Catholic Church for establishing the university and urged other dioceses and religious bodies to emulate the initiative by setting up schools that would help raise better trained and morally upright people in the society. On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Reverend Father Anieke, said the overall interest of the church in education was what inspired the Enugu Diocese to establish the University. He said the presence of Speaker Tambuwal at the Capital Project Campaign launch underscored his commitment to education and strengthening if inter-religious harmony in the country.


2015: Youth group endorses Atiku for presidency From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


rewa Youth Foundation for Development and Empowerment has endorsed the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for the Presidency in 2015.

The group National President, Hon. Halliru Dauda Jika, revealed this to newsmen in Bauchi saying that the foundation has been making consultations since last year in an effort to push forward a credible northerner who can turn around the fortune of this country and Nigerians

irrespective of sectionalism, tribalism and nepotism. He stressed that Abubakar had in his capacity as Vice President during the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration shown zeal and action in saving the lives of ordinary Nigerians without bias.

L-R: Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and United States consulate-General, Lagos, Mr Jeff Hawkins, during his visit to the Senator, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

“We have been making a lot of consultations since we founded this foundation because our biggest problem at the time was how and who our foundation could support for the presidential election in 2015. This was a great challenge because there are so many of them and this needed careful assessment. That is why it has taken us so long to come out with one contestant and our candidate is the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,’’ Jika stated. The group leader said that his foundation was searching for the right candidate that should be between the ages of fifty and sixty years. He said Yar’adua/Goodluck Jonathan’s degrees have impacted very little on the lives of Nigerians adding that their youthful age when they assumed office was a disgrace to Nigerian youths. Jika who was the impeached Bauchi state House of Assembly Speaker in the administration of Governor Isa Yuguda believed that Abubakar is the only leader that can lead this country into achieving its desired goal in recapturing its lost glory. He said the former Vice President was instrumental for mobilization of people to vote for Obasanjo during the party’s presidential primaries in 1999 while the campaign machineries was headed by Atiku and was the power that restored democracy in some African nation.

Rep urges Gov Yero to run an all-inclusive govt


ep Simon Arabo (PDP, Kaduna) has advised Gov. Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State to run an allinclusive government with each stakeholder as equal. “We expect the new governor to be fair to all and treat everyone as an equal stakeholder in the quest for a greater and better Kaduna State.’’ Arabo was speaking in an interview with the News

Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos yesterday. He said that the governor should “get feelers and aggregate the opinions of key stakeholders from all the local governments before making key appointments. “The governor should also equally extend a hand of friendship to all stakeholders in the award of contracts and other sensitive issues.” According to him, “Yero

will defuse tension if he runs an open administration and operates with an open door. “It is to the late Gov. Patrick Yakowa’s credit that he navigated the state very well and kept all interests and groups together. “ Yero should emulate that and build on such solid foundation. “I am confident that it won’t be difficult for Yero to emulate that style of

PPA directs state chairmen not to engage in merger talks


he National Chairman of Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), Mr Sam Nkire, has directed state chairmen of the party not to engage in merger talk with any political party in their states. Nkire made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. The national chairman refuted the rumour that the Abia PPA chairman was aligning with a particular political party in that state.

He said that if there should be any alliance talk, it would be done at the national level, adding that the party would not allow the chairmen alone to engage in such negotiations on its behalf. Nkire said that the PPA had adopted strategies that would enable it to win the governorship elections in Anambra and Ekiti in 2014. “The elections in the two states will be won on the basis of the quality of candidate and not on the basis of name or size of a political party,” he

said. He called on members of the party to be more committed and loyal in order to make the party virile and formidable across the country. According to him, this is necessary for the party to bounce back to limelight in the political landscape of the country . Nkire said that the PPA would continue to promote commitment, loyalty and hard work in its members in order to ensure its success in future elections. (NAN)

administration,’’ Arabo added. The lawmaker also advised members of the public to give Yero the needed support and avoid a hasty judgement about his decisions. He called on the governor to always dialogue with all sections of the people so as to remove any fear or suspicion. He commended the governor’s commitment to completing the projects started by his former boss, and particularly called for the speedy completion of the Kwassam-Geshere road in Kauru constituency. “Yero’s boss promised to construct the 15-kilometre Bakin-Kogi – Kamaru road as soon as the Kwassam project is completed. We expect Yero to fulfill that promise,’’ he appealed. The lawmaker said that Kauru Local Government was essentially rural and called on Yero to make the area a priority in the award and execution of road and bridge projects. According to him, that will link the inhabitants with the rest of the world. (NAN)



Nwodo urges Nigerians to support state of the nation Bill


L-R: Member, House Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley Mamabola, Chairperson, House Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa, and Member of the Committee, Hon. Nassir Ali Mohammed, during the committee's visit to the South African High Commission, yesterday in Abuja over a Nigerian recently killed in South Africa. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Oyo ACN blasts PDP for "road construction illiteracy" From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has lamented what it called "road construction illiteracy" of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), maintaining that it was this lack of knowledge that affected the state in the party's years of rule in the state. The ACN made this known in a release issued by its State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Dauda Kolawole, in a reply to an earlier release by the PDP comparing the cost of construction of the Ibadan fly-over bridge being constructed by the state government and one commissioned in Ogun state recently and attacking the former

as over-inflated. The PDP had raised alarm over what it said was the wide gap in the cost of constructing the overhead bridge costing the Oyo government the sum of N2.5billion and its claimed 2.5 kilometer Lalubu-Ibara-Totoro overhead bridge in Ogun State which was widely reported to have cost Ogun state government the sum of N1.5billion. According to the ACN, the PDP should be ashamed of itself for having imposed its naivety about road/bridge construction on the generality of the people. "We are awe-struck that a political party could advertise its naivety this shamelessly. What the PDP ought to have done was to

demand the details of the two bridge constructions in both states and the details would have shocked it and avert this shameless plunge that it has made," said the ACN. Kolawole said that the truth of the matter was that the bridge that was commissioned in Ogun State is 400 meters in length, while the one being constructed in Oyo State is 640 meters. The party also said that part of the Oyo State contract in the construction of the over-head bridge which distinguishes it from that of Ogun State, is that, apart from the wide differences in their lengths, the inclusion of provision of ancillary facilities to the bridge also mark them apart. According to the ACN, these

include construction of roads on both sides of the bridge, rehabilitation of adjoining roads to the bridge, drainage works on both sides of the roads of the overhead bridge, beautification of the length of the road, landscaping and streetlighting. "It is apparent that the PDP is too illiterate to understand these facilities-rolled-into-one in the construction of the over-head bridge. For instance, the upgrading of all the adjoining roads of the walk-ways is included. This also includes a standard onemeter-by-one-meter reinforced concrete drainage. In the history of the PDP reign in Oyo State, it never had a road construction of that quality," said the ACN.

4 parties call for scrapping of states electoral commissions


our political parties have supported the call for the scrapping of the states independent electoral commissions (SEICs) because they are instruments of political manipulations. Speaking in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, Mr Chambers Okorie, a United Progressive Party (UPP) Chieftain, said SEICs had outlived their usefulness. He said it was so unfortunate that SEICs had not lived up to their responsibilities because they had contributed to apathy, and political instability at the grassroots level.

“SEICs are not interested in conducting credible elections, or inspire trust and confidence through impartiality, transparency, and civility,” Okorie said. According to him, SIECs do not respect the wishes of oppositions in their various states. Okorie said it was so unfortunate that SEICs had allowed the state governments to use them as agents of political settlements at the detriment of democracy at the grassroots. “SEICs have contributed to political corruption in Nigeria, they have never conducted free and fair

elections,’’ he said. Okorie said the activities of SEICs should be transferred to INEC because the “Jega led INEC team has brought credibility to bear in the conduct of elections in the country’’. The Chairman of Labour Party in the FCT, Mr Adejobi Peter, said he was in support of political parties positions in Nigeria calling for the scrapping of SIECs. He said that labour party was in total support of such decision because SEICs was not democratic and their activities were unhealthy for the development of democracy. Peter said it was so unfortunate

that SEICs had rendered local government elections uncompetitive in the country. He said SIECs had denied the electorate their rights to good governance because their votes did not count. Peter said this system had made it difficult for the local governments to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroots level. The Deputy Chairman of APGA in the FCT, Chief Anyegnunamu Okoye, said politicians in the FCT were lucky not to have anything to do with the SEICs. (NAN)

hief Charles Nwodo, a former National Chairman of de-registered Progressive Action Congress (PAC), has called on Nigerians to support the ‘State of the Nation Bill’ in the interest of the nation. Nwodo made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday in Abuja. “It is necessary to establish communication between the people and the government in order to reach out to the citizens, so that they can be carried along in the process of governance. “Some presidents normally address their nations on weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, but ours is not like that. “It is not a bad idea for the National Assembly to pass a law making it mandatory for the president to address the nation at least on quarterly basis,” Nwodo said. According to him, that alone will douse the suspicion that has been going around in the process of governance in this country and reduce corrupt practices in the country. Nwodo said that if accountability was established at least on quarterly basis in this country, there would be no way an individual or a group of people would be looting this country as it was being done now. “We believe it is the right thing to do, especially at this time of our country when we have high level of insecurity, corruption and other social vices. “If the people cannot understand what their leaders are doing, then the essence of leadership is being defeated,” he said. “We also believe that it will afford the government to make amend of the past, to explain to the public the details of the government programmes. “It is not only the president that should be addressing its citizens, but also the chief executives like the ministers, CBN governors and others to explain to the nation about their activities,” Nwodo said. According to him, it is regrettable that every day you read in the pages of newspapers how billions of naira are being stolen from the nation’s treasury and nothing is happening at the end of the day. A bill for an act that will make it mandatory for the president to present the account of his stewardship for public scrutiny has passed second reading in the Senate. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who led the debate, said that democracy was not just about elections, irrespective of how free and fair they were. Ekweremadu said beyond election was governance, the bill sought to uphold the right of the people to hold their president accountable, take stock of the nation and make governance more open and participatory. He said that when the “State of the Nation Address Bill’’ became law, it would usher Nigeria into an old democratic convention in both advanced and fledgling democracies around the world. (NAN)



NSSF, NASCON harp on grassroots sports development


he National School Sports Federation (NSSF) and the National Academicals Sports Committee of Nigeria (NASCOM) have harped on the need for government to pay adequate attention to grassroots sports development. They made the call at the ongoing 5th National School Sports Festival in Port Harcourt, in which more than 7,000 athletes and officials from 22 states are participating. The national President of NSSF, Malam Ibrahim Mohammed attributed the decline in the national sports teams over time to the neglect of youth sports, but said that the trend could be reversed if the government pay adequate attention to school sports. He deplored the idea of coaches going for already

established athletes for age ompetitions and the falsification of age, all in a bid to win competitions. “If we must achieve meaningful development in our nation and in sports in particular, we must come to the grassroots. The youth are the bedrock of our nation; we have to support them in order to see the Nigeria of our dream. “The problem is that our coaches want to achieve success without working for it; that is why they cheat instead of coming around to spot young talents at school sports competitions,” he said. Similarly, Mr Yemi Idowu, the Chairman of NASCOM, said its committee would double its efforts to support NSSF, YSFON and other youth sports bodies, to discover more talents.

Idowu said the committee would address some of the major problems of finance and awareness bedevilling grassroots sports. “We will help these bodies to source funds, create awareness and mobilise support. We will harmonise their activities and achieve a unified calendar on how to groom these young talents effectively and develop them to the elite stage. “So we are calling on government at all levels, parents and organisations to join and recreate sports in the country,” Idowu said. The fifth national sports festival was declared open on Sunday with 22 states, including the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja participating. It will end on Feb. 3.

358 athletes to feature in maiden edition of AYAC, says Nesiama N o fewer than 358 athletes have registered for the maiden African Youth Athletic Championships

(AYAC), scheduled for April in Warri, Delta. Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, the Technical Director of the Athletic

Federation of Nigeria (AFN), announced this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

Nesiama said that a total of 24 Africa countries were expected to participate at the championship, adding that Nigeria had the

highest number of entries. “The number of entries is quite encouraging and I am happy that we are having the highest

Nigeria’s 4x400m relay team -Omolara Omotosho, Idara Otu, Bukola Abogunloko and Regina George-celebrates after qualifying for the 3rd round of the London Olympics relay race. The AFN hopes to use the Youth fiesta to discover more talents for the country.


he acting General Manager, Osun State Sports Council, Akin Adio, said on Monday that to excel at the 19th National Sports Festival in Calabar in 2014, the state had begun preparations. Adio said said in Osogbo yesterday that the council was re-positioning all sports to guarantee an

19th NSF: Osun begins preparation for ‘Calabar 2014 Games’ excellent outing, noting that inadequate preparation contributed to the poor performance of the state’s contingent at the Lagos Games. He decried poor officiating at the last festival and

Ondo govt to sell Rising Stars FC, Sunshine Queens Segun Adagunodo, Chairman, Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA), said yesterday that the body had concluded plans to sell the state-owned Rising Stars FC, if prospective buyers met its value. Adagunodo disclosed in Akure that the Gov. Olusegun Mimiko was much more interested in

Sunshine Stars FC and the state-owned Football Academy and added that the state’s female team, Sunshine Queens FC might also be sold. Adagunodo said that the Mimiko administration was much more interested in the clubs that would yield money for the state government.

number of participants,’’ he said noting that as host, Nigerian athletes would not disappoint the country at the event. The country has registered a total of 80 athletes, consisting of 40 male and 40 female athletes, to participate in 20 events. Ethiopia has the second largest number with a total of 42 athletes made up of 21 males and 21 females, followed by South Africa, with 30 athletes consisting of 15 males and 15 females. Similarly, Egypt registered 24 athletes, made up of 13 males and 11 females; Senegal, 20 athletes, consisting of 10 males and 10 females, while Chad registered 14 males and 6 females. Morocco will be represented by 10 male and 8 female athletes, while 17 players consisting of 10 males and 7 females will represent Kenya. Uganda will be represented by 11 athletes; Gambia, 10; Democratic Republic of Congo, eight and Rwanda, six; Lesotho, four; Burundi, 12; Eritrea, eight; Mauritius, eight; and Angola, Comoros, and Sao Tome and Principle, two athletes each. Similarly, Mozambique registered four athletes, Guinea, Botswana and Cape Verde, two athletes each, while 24 athletes will represent Mali at the championship.

“The governor, Olusegun Mimiko, is much more interested in Sunshine Stars and the academy, the organs of ODSFA that can make money for the state. “Even Sunshine Queens may even be sold, all these decisions are not taken based on sentiment, and they are realities which we must

face. But as I speak with you now, the club still remains the property of Ondo State,” he said. Rising Stars, Sunshine Queens, Sunshine Stars and the Ondo State Football Academy are all under the supervision of ODSFA. The Rising Stars FC of Akure are currently playing in the Nigerian National League.

lamented that it was the reason Team Osun contingent could not win gold in boxing and other events at the Games. It would be recalled that Osun won only two gold, one silver and seven bronze medals at the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos. He disclosed that coaches and organising secretaries of the various sports had begun work on how to improve on their performance. Adio said that local competitions in some events had begun so as to discover new talents. “The council is equally working on how to generate funds to complement government’s allocation, to make the council sufficient monetarily. “We plan to solicit support from individuals and organisations within and outside the state, to ensure that our sportsmen and women are motivated through timely payment of their allowances,’’ Adio added.







1] Mario Balotelli is "still a Manchester City player", according to first-team coach David Platt, amid speculation the Italy striker is set to join AC Milan. 2] Cristiano Ronaldo says Real Madrid's Copa Del Rey semifinal clash with Barcelona will not be easy, but missing players cannot be used as an excuse for not getting a good result. 3] Hurricane Fly wins a third successive Irish Champion Hurdle in blizzard conditions at Leopardstown. 4] Britain's Dwain Chambers starts his indoor athletics season with victory over 60m at the Glasgow International. 5] British number one Andy Murray says defeat in the Australian Open final is easier to take in light of his fine recent form.



6] Tiger Woods closes in on his 75th PGA Tour victory at the fog-delayed Farmers Insurance Open.




Super Eagles must score plenty goals, says Emenike Emmanuel Emenike, scorer of Super Eagles’ two goals so far in the AFCON tournament, says Nigeria cannot afford to be proficient in front of goal, particularly against Ethiopia today. The big Spartak Moscow of Russia striker has scored twice in the competition, but he has now said the team as a whole must kill off their next game by scoring more goals on their way to the last eight.


igeria face Ethiopia in a win-or-bust game on Tuesday. How are you looking forward to the game? It is going to be a tough game, but we just need to be focused and let our burning desire be to qualify


from group stage goes on. It’s a battle and we are ready for it. A lot of Nigeria expected an easy ride for Eagles in this first round group. Did you envisage any difficulties when the draw was made? I knew from the onset that our group will be a most interesting and tough group, but no matter what, we just need to be optimistic of our qualification. As it is now, only victory against Ethiopia can give us the ticket. That means our destiny lies in our own hand and that is why we must give everything on Tuesday. Nigeria have scored two goals in two games, what do you think is the problem? We need to be more ruthless in front of goal, maybe 1-0 could not be enough to claim victory, so we will do our best to score more goals in our next game. You scored on your AFCON debut, how was the feeling? It is always a thing of joy when a striker scores, but my happiness would have been more complete had we won all three points against Burkina Faso.

What should we expect from you as the competition progresses? Like I have said before, my best is yet to be seen, this is just the beginning. I will always do my best to get the goals whenever I am in position to do so. My goals are possible because I got assists from my team mates, I appreciate everybody’s effort to make it happen. Together we will make Nigerians happy. Are you promising goals against Ethiopia? I won’t make promises, but I will do my best as usual to lift my team by contributing my quota, but the ultimate for us in this game is to get the three points no matter the scorer. We just hope that we keep going to seal our much-awaited victory. What do you want to say to the fans? Nigerians should keep their faith in us and we promise that the team will fly past Ethiopia on Tuesday. We have a lot to offer the country. We can do much more than what we did against Zambia and we will do that against Ethiopia.

Brown Ideye

Moses, Yobo doubtful for Ethiopia tie he Nigerian duo of Victor Moses and Joseph Yobo could be left out of their Afcon Group C clash with Ethiopia in Rustenburg today. Moses, 22, made his debut at the Africa Cup of Nations against Zambia but showed signs of still struggling with his hamstring.

The Chelsea attacking winger played for 78 minutes in the game against Zambia before he was substituted for Brown Ideye and is yet to recover from the injury, according to head coach, Stephen Keshi. Captain of the Super Eagles, Yobo is also a huge doubt owing

to an ankle injury after missing the 1-1 draw with Zambia in Nelspruit on Friday. “Victor Moses is still under observation. He’s been training but not at 100 percent right now. Same goes for Joseph Yobo who missed the last game,” said Keshi.

But the Nigerian manager is not ruling out both players from the crucial game against Ethiopia. “They still have a good chance of making the squad for the game as they have been training with the team. But if they are not healthy enough we will seek

other options,” he said. was also informed that Warri Wolves’ defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe, has recovered from illness that has kept him out of the Nigerian squad. Nigeria’s Super Eagles need an outright win against their Ethiopian counterparts, the Walya Antelopes, in their last group game to have any chance of advancing to the quarterfinals.

dokiye Amiesimaka, a member of the Green Eagles squad that won the 1980 AFCON said on Monday that the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde Islands were the biggest revelation of the ongoing AFCON. Amiesimaka says he has been impressed by the quality of play exhibited by the Nations Cup

debutants adding that they will remain a force to be reckoned with subsequently whether to

they survive the knockout stage or not. Though he is worried that poor officiating at the championship could mar the credibility of the continent’s flagship football tournament, the former leftwinger urged the CAF to put stringent measures in place to curb incidents of poor officiating. “The officiating has not been up to standard, we have seen terrible faulty decisions, and we should not wave that aside because it is part of the game: although mistakes can occur but not frequently. “Apart from officiating, it’s been very exciting, as I said a fortnight ago, the FIFA and CAF ranking will not be of importance anymore. “Take a look at Cape Verde, they have proven themselves as a strong contender. I am thrilled

by their performance, so far, they are the revelation of the tournament,’’ he said. When asked to assess the performance of the Super Eagles at the ongoing tournament, he says he has not been impressed by the team’s

performance. “I am not surprised that we are not doing so well, as I have always said, there are certain things that we are still not doing and until we go back to the basics, we won’t get it right,’’ he added.



Amiesimaka says Cape Verde biggest tournament revelation

Angola captain Manucho looks ahead


ngola skipper Manucho says he was disappointed not to have scored at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but believes he can atone for that in future competitions. Angola crashed out of the championship on Sunday after losing 2-1 to debutants Cape Verde and they finished bottom of Group A with just one point from a 0-0 draw with Morocco. Former Manchester United striker Manucho hopes to return to the tournament and make an impact. “I’m a natural goal scorer and so I’m disappointed not to have scored in this competition,” admitted the

lanky, dreadlocked striker who captains his country. But I’m still a young player and there are a lot of matches and tournaments ahead.” Manucho, who has been in superb form for Spanish La Liga club Real Valladolid this season, said the Palancas Negras (Black Antelopes) were unlucky during the tournament. “We need to show a lot more concentration, and we failed to defend our lead against Cape Verde. “We are all to blame,” he said of the poor showing by Angola, who also made a first round exit from the 2012 tournament in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea.

Fernando Neves, popularly known as Nando is the skipper of the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde



Everton agree deal for Leroy


verton have agreed a deal to sign Netherlands international Leroy Fer from FC Twente, according to a statement on the club’s official website. Fer, 23, is heading to Merseyside to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms, with a view to joining David Moyes’ team before the end of the transfer window. The midfielder started his career at Feyenoord before making the switch to Twente where he has made 29 appearances, scoring ten goals. Fer has made two appearances for Netherlands at

Leroy Fer

Galatasaray announce Drogba signing


he former Chelsea star has made the move to Turkey from Shanghai Shenhua after months of speculation linking him with a move away from the Chinese Super League The Chelsea legend has long been linked with a return to Europe after leaving Stamford Bridge for China in the summer, and, despite rumours of interest from Italy, the Turkish champions have won the race for his signature. “Big clubs can reach for higher targets with bigger goals,” the club’s president Unal Aysal commented on the deal. “Drogba said that he was very happy to play for a big club like Galatasaray in the future. Drogba met our coach and decided to come to Galatasaray.” The Cote d’Ivoire icon will earn •2 million for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, and •4m for the duration of the 2013-14 campaign, with an additional bonus of •15,000 for each match he plays. Both AC Milan and Juventus had been closely linked with a January move for Drogba, but Gala announced yesterday that they had opened talks with the player.

Rodgers confirms talks over Inter starlet Coutinho


he Liverpool boss admits that there have been negotiations between the Reds and the Italian side for the Brazilian midfielder, but no deal has yet been agreed confirmed over the weekend that the Reds have agreed an £11.7


million fee with the Nerazzurri for the Brazilian playmaker, although Rodgers was keen to stress that the deal is a long way from being completed. “There’s been talks between the clubs but that’s about it, so nothing to report,” the Northern Irishman told reporters.

Rodgers saw his side dumped out of the FA Cup at the hands of League One side Oldham on Sunday, but he dismissed claims that such a defeat meant he would have to bring new players in, instead claiming that it could be used to improve the players he already has.

The news does not mean the 20-year-old is likely to stay at Malaga for the long term, but should ensure that the cash-strapped Qatari owned club receives a fee higher than his

previous •21 million release clause when he does leave. Isco’s sparkling displays in his first Champions League campaign have brought interest from Chelsea and Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s future club, Bayern Munich; have also been mentioned, while Tottenham were reportedly close to meeting his current release clause last summer. Last week, Malaga sporting director Mario Husillos said a new deal was in the pipeline but would not necessarily mean the player stayed at the club for the contract’s full duration.

Isco agrees new Malaga deal


alaga’s coveted attacker Isco has agreed a new contract, including a release clause of around •40 million, with the La Liga club.


Lewis Holtby

Schalke star joins Spurs


chalke midfielder Lewis Holtby will join Tottenham during the January transfer window, rather than at the end of the season after the two clubs agreed on a fee. Holtby, 22, has already signed a five-year contract at White Hart Lane and was set to leave the Royal Blues on a free transfer in the summer. However, with Spurs midfielder Sandro now ruled out for the rest of the season, the English club sought to push through a new agreement with the Bundesliga side and Spurs’ second offer, believed to be around •1.5 million, was accepted. A statement on the Spurs website read: “We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Schalke for the immediate transfer of Lewis Holtby.” Schalke are now believed to be bringing in Lyon winger Michel Bastos, with the German club only prepared to make an offer once the Holtby deal is completed. According to Bild, Bastos will undergo his medical at the club on Monday and sign a loan contract until 2014. Schalke will pay •1.85 million, with a further option to make the deal permanent at the end of both seasons.

Arsenal open formal talks with Barcelona to sign David Villa


unners’ contract negotiator Dicky Law has been in

West Brom rejects Odemwingie bid est Bromwich Albion has rejected a second bid from Queens Park Rangers for wantaway striker Peter Odemwingie. An opening offer thought to be as much as £2.5 million was turned down earlier this month, and QPR boss Harry Redknapp has carried out the promise he made after Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to MK Dons to step up his efforts at strengthening his squad. But Redknapp may have to look elsewhere to bolster his frontline, following another knockback from The

international level and is reportedly known as ‘the Bouncer’ for his physical appearance, while he has also been compared to former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira in style. Everton, who are looking for options to replace Marouane Felliani if he departs, are ready to spend around •10 million on the midfielder. Fer hit the headlines last year when he splashed out £22,000 on a horse for his girlfriend, forgetting that she lived in a block of flats and would not be able to care for it.

Hawthorns despite an increaded bid believed to be worth £3.25 million. The Nigeria international is also likely to be facing disciplinary action over his recent Twitter outburst at the club, despite offering his apologies. Although the former Lokomotiv Moscow man has shown contrition, he may still face a fine of two weeks’ wages, with the Baggies confirming that statements by players on the social network site form part of the club’s disciplinary code of conduct.

Spain to negotiate a permanent transfer after the Catalan giants softened their stance on selling the striker this month The Londoners were knocked back by Barcelona when they made an approach for Villa earlier this month. But Arsene Wenger has refused to accept defeat in his pursuit of the forward and has been encouraged that the runaway La Liga leaders have softened their stance on selling him in recent days. Spanish sources have told that Villa is “very keen” to join Arsenal after growing frustrated with his lack of opportunities at the Nou Camp. Wenger is a long-time admirer of Villa, who turned 31 last month, and is prepared to pay up to £13.8 million to sign him on a permanent deal and

match his current £110,000-a-week wages. Negotiations have centred on the construction of the deal, with Barcelona still owing Arsenal scheduled payments for the transfers that took Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song to Camp Nou in the summers of 2011 and 2012. Arsenal have made bolstering their strikeforce which already have Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. The Gunners tabled a bid of around £10m for Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez but they are now concentrating their efforts on pushing through a deal for Villa. Villa, who missed much of last season after breaking his leg, is Barca’s secondleading scorer in 2012-13 with 10 goals, behind only Lionel Messi, who has netted an astonishing 44 times.

Xavi Hernandez

Xavi signs new Barcelona contract


avi Hernandez has signed a new contract tying him to Barcelona until 2016. The Catalan club confirmed yesterday afternoon that the two year extension, agreed late last year with the player’s agents, had been signed by the midfielder and World Cup and double European Championship winner Xavi made his Barcelona debut in October 1998 and has since made a club record more than 650 competitive first-team appearances, winning 20 senior trophies (two World Club Cups, three Champions Leagues, two European Supercups, six La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey and five Spanish Supercups). Xavi’s team-mates Carles Puyol and Lionel Messi have also agreed long term deals recently. Puyol signed his extension until 2016 last week, while Messi is expected to complete the formalities on a new contract running until 2018 in the coming weeks. Contract negotiations with Victor Valdes have proved less fruitful. The Barca goalkeeper’s agent, Gines Carvajal, announced in mid-January that his client would not be extending his current deal, which ends in less than 18 months time.



My family, Santos will decide my future, says Neymar H

Neymar was recently named South American Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row. A succession of titles have come his way already in his short career, among them the 2011 Copa Libertadores, and as he prepares to win yet more in the year ahead, he gave a wide-ranging interview to at the recent FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala.



ow do you feel about taking part in the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala for a second time? I’m very proud and happy to be here. To be taking part in such a big party as this, with all the world’s best players here and to be side by side with my heroes, is something that I’m thrilled about obviously. You were nominated for the second time running for the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year. Is scoring great goals another of the objectives you set yourself every year? No, no. That’s just how it’s worked out, and it’s not like I’m out there on the pitch trying to score fantastic goals. Thanks to God I’ve managed to score some very nice ones and more than anything else they’ve been good enough to get me to the Gala. Do you enjoy scoring goals as much as providing assists? I enjoy both. If I can’t score, then creating a goal makes me happy too. To tell you the truth, every time I play a pass and a team-mate scores from it I get the same feeling as I would if I’d scored. Let’s turn to football now. What was your personal highlight of 2012? It would have to be the Brazilian championship game against Cruzeiro (Neymar scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 win for Santos last November), when I got a round of applause from all the opposition fans. It was a very emotional moment for me. I felt very honoured, I have to say, and it made a big impact on me. Tell us about your experience at the London Olympics, where Brazil lost to Mexico in the final. It’s a tough one because it was a very happy time but sad too. I learned an awful lot from it. A lot of athletes go to the Olympics in search of a medal, whether it’s a bronze, silver or gold, and we came away with a silver. It’s not what we expected but for a sportsman it’s still wonderful. It was a shame to lose the final but I’m also happy to be a medal-winning athlete. You’ll be facing Mexico at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. Is that a chance for revenge? A little bit! (laughs) We’re really up for it after losing that final, though we don’t have anything against them obviously. That’s football. In every final there’s a winner and it went their way that time. I think they deserved it too. What do you owe former Brazil coach Mano Menezes? Mano brought me into the team. He gave me my first call-up, and I learned a lot of things with him. Every coach you work with has their own way of doing things and you learn a little from each of them. It was no different with Mano, and I learned a lot too. How do you feel about Luiz Felipe Scolari’s arrival? There’s a huge amount of expectation. He’s a great coach, whom I’ve played against, and he’s also a great person. I hope we can show that when we play and win all our games. Scolari was the last Brazil coach to win the world title at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™. What memories do you have of that competition? I remember it clearly. I was ten and I’d get up very early because it was morning in Brazil when the games were played. I cheered them on all the way and shouted my head off in the early hours. I remember all the goals, especially the ones in the final. How important will the FIFA Confederations Cup be bearing in mind Brazil haven’t played much competitive football in the last few years? It’s a really important tournament and we’ll be facing some top-quality teams. It’ll help us prepare for the World Cup, and we need to make the most of it by building a team with a new coach and getting used to a totally different approach. For the good of the team we need to do that as quickly as possible. Are you ready to cope with the pressure of playing two major competitions in front of fans as demanding as Brazil’s? The pressure is huge. It’s always there, no matter where we play, but it’ll be even bigger at home. We’re aware of that but we like it. It’s nice pressure. I’ve been fortunate enough to win finals in different tournaments and it’s fantastic to feel that pressure to succeed. We’re prepared for all of that. Brazilian players just accept it, and we’re preparing for that moment. Do you agree with Ronaldo’s recent comment that Brazil are not among the top five sides in the world right now? If you look at the Ranking, Brazil aren’t in the top five at the moment. But we’re working hard on the team’s identity and at becoming more of a unit. We haven’t been playing together for that long. The team’s been through a lot of changes and it needs time to forge that identity and reach the top again. What are your objectives for 2013? To help Santos first of all by winning titles any way how, whether it’s with goals, passes or sliding tackles. That’s what matters. And the same goes for the national team: to win titles and take it back to the top. Will you still be at Santos after the FIFA World Cup? Even I don’t know that. My contract runs to 2014 but there’s still a long way to go before the World Cup. I don’t know if I’ll renew it or not. It’s a personal issue and I’ll have to talk it through with my family and Santos. We’ll definitely speak about it further down the line. Dani Alves told us he’s always telling you to sign for Barcelona. (Laughs) Dani’s always embarrassing me! He’s put me in a tight spot. Do you think staying in Brazil for so long will delay your development as a player? No. You can develop and improve your game whether you’re in Brazil or not. Personally I feel I’m becoming a better player and getting more experience as every year goes by. Some people say you have to leave to develop but I don’t agree with that. You’re only 20 so how do you handle all the success you’ve already had and being world-famous? I know a lot of things are going on in my life and that everything’s happened too fast up to now, but I do feel prepared for what’s to come. Whenever an opportunity has come my way I’ve worked hard to make the most of it and that’s why I’m so happy. My aim now is to win more things, both with Santos and Brazil. My goal is to keep growing as a player and as a person too.



Ghana dump Niger, draw Cape Verde in quarterfinals

Emmanuel Agyemang Badu of Ghana challenged by Boubacar Talatou of Niger during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations match between Niger and Ghana yesterday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Port Elizabeth.


hana cruised to the quarterfinals as Group B leaders after a comprehensive 3-0 thrashing of Niger in Port Elizabeth yesterday and in the process book a clash against surprise of the tournament Cape Verde. The huge win cleared doubts surrounding the Black Stars title winning credentials and confirmed their status as one of the firm favourites. The clash with the Blue Sharks will be the second within two months as they had earlier beaten them 10 in an international friendly. Meanwhile an early penalty goal by Democratic Republic of Congo striker Mbokani was cancelled out by Mahamadou Samassa of Mali to pave way for them to qualify for the last eight finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. With the 1-1 draw, Mali moved on to confront South Africa in the quarterfinals while DR Congo will return home latest tomorrow. Hosts Bafana Bafana had booked a spot on Sunday after forcing Morocco to 2-2 even as Cape Verde shocked Angola 2-1 to qualify for the knockout stages in their first time of asking. QUARTERFINALS FIXTURES

South Africa vs Mali Ghana vs Cape Verde

No excuse against Ethiopia, NFF warns Keshi By Patrick Andrew


he Super Eagles take its destiny in its own hands today as they confront the Walyas Antelopes of Ethiopia knowing that nothing short of a comprehensive victory will keep them in the race for a sip in the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations trophy. Besides, the nation’s soccer ruling organ, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has warned the head of the technical crew, Stephen Keshi, and his charges against compromising Nigeria’s desire for podium honours, a privilege they last had in 1994 in Tunisia. Reading the riot act yesterday, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, said: “This team has received tremendous support from the government of Nigeria, the football federation. There is nothing the players or the Head Coach and his crew have requested for that we have failed to provide. “Everything that is needed to spur players and officials on have been provided for them. All that is left now is for the team to go all out and show high level of commitment and patriotic fervour by getting the job done,” Inyama said stressing that the team would have no excuse doing otherwise. Consequently, the Eagles are condemned to win against the Antelopes, who, though have played some exciting football, have shown tepid in the last quarter of the pitch. Albeit the Eagles have fared slightly better, the squad is laden with talents and could explode if the players dare to up the ante. Against the Stallions of Burkina Faso, the Eagles were in ascendency and showed lot of gut and temerity but were bereft of impact in front of goal. They paid for the many chances they frittered away when the Stallions drew level with 10 seconds left on play. It was repeated against the defending champions, Chipolopolo of Zambia. Now, Keshi, who opted to resign after being told of his technical blunders on Saturday, looks set to ring changes and breathe into the squad for the desired vibrancy, and hopefully comprehensive victory. Today, the Eagles may have to play two point-men in Ikechukwu Uche, usually sleek and Emmanuel Emenike, the bulldozer in the team. It is obvious the Ethiopia are weak in the midfield meaning that Mikel Obi and colleagues could do lots of damage if they pile up pressure therein and supply the attack with enough amulet to fire. The Eagles need goals, though a win with a single goal may well be okay provided the Stallions hold Chipolopolo to draw. Should this scenerio occurs then Nigeria and Burkina Faso go through as second and first respectively. But if the Zambians win and Nigeria also beat Ethiopia both will go through to the next round. A win for Stallions will put an end to Zambia’s quest to defend the trophy as Burkina Faso and Nigeria will march on.

Ikechukwu Uche

We have to win, says Renard


he question for us in the match against Burkina Faso is simple; we have to win and we have the ability to do it, says Chipolopolo trainer Herve Renard. The African champion coach said Zambia knew what was at stake and did not need the help of any other team to secure qualification stressing that “destiny is in our hands”. “We’re under pressure than Burkina Faso because they only need a draw to qualify. But I can tell you, we are strong enough because we have been in this situation before. In Angola in 2010, we drew our first match against Tunisia, and then lost to Cameroon. We needed to win against Gabon in our final game and we played a good match and won,” Renard told a pre match press conference at the team hotel in Mbombela. “We have been in this situation before. We have destiny in our own hands. The question for us is simple like I said. We have to win and we are able to do it.” The reigning and defending champions of African take on a hugely confident Burkina Faso at the Mbombela stadium Tuesday night. Going into the final round of Group C qualifiers, all teams in the group have a chance of progressing and have destiny in their own hands. Burkina Faso, who lead the group on four points need only a draw to go through and deny Zambia. Nigeria, also on two points and Ethiopia on a point clash in Rustenburg and the winner of that tie goes through. A draw in that match and victory for Zambia over Burkina Faso would see Chipolopolo win the group and Burkina Faso going through as runners up. Zambia is unbeaten in eight African Cup of Nations matches stretching back to the finals last year. “



Some Interesting Facts


UNBELIEVABLE BUT TRUE •If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Americas and 8 Africans. Only 1 would own a computer. •All elephants walk on tiptoe, because the back portion of their foot is made up of all fat and no bone. •Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. •Hawaii has the only royal palace in the United States. •Chicken liver can be used to change A type blood to O type blood. •It takes only 8 minutes for sunlight to travel from the sun to the earth, which also means, if you see the sun go out, it actually went out 8 minutes ago. One man and his dog: Sam Davis gives his dog Meg a piggy back through flood water in Cleveland. Source:


Yesterday’s solution

•The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. •An octopus has 3 hearts. •If the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction. •The hair on a polar bear is not white, but clear. They reflect light, so they appear white. •Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. •The combination "ough" can be pronounced in 9 different ways; Read this: "A rough-coated, doughfaced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed." •The blue whale has a heart the size of a small car and its blood vessel is so broad, that a person could swim through it.

Say what?

•A left-handed person finds it easier to open a jar than a right-handed person because they can supply a stronger anticlockwise turning force than a right-handed person. However a right-handed person will find it easier to tighten the jar up afterwards. •The orbit of the Moon about the Earth would fit easily inside the Sun. •A chameleon can move its eyes in two directions at the same time. •Typewriter is the longest word that can be made only using one row on the keyboard. •Because of the rotation of earth you can throw a ball farther to the west than to the east. •The name of all the continents ends with the same letter that they start with. •Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. •There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar (euro, pound).

. . . putting the people first



Manchester United become first $3bn club


anchester United has become the first sports team in the world to be valued at more than US$3 billion (£1.9bn). According to American business magazine Forbes, United are comfortably ahead of the world's second-mostvaluable sports team, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, worth US$2.1bn (£1.4bn). United sold 10% of shares in the club in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in August when the Glazers - their owners - hoped to achieve a price of $20 each, which could have valued the club at $3.3 billion (£2.06 billion). However, United's commercial growth appears to be driving the share price up, with the club announcing several new sponsorship deals since August, qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages, and with the prospect of the new bumper Premier League television deals that are coming on stream from August.

Woods target Farmers Insurance Open title


iger Woods closed in on his 75th PGA Tour victory by stretching his lead to six shots with 11 holes remaining in the final round of the fog-delayed Farmers Insurance Open. Woods, a six-time winner of the Torrey Pines event, was 17 under when play was suspended for the day in fading light. Nick Watney was tied for second, after eight holes, with defending champion Brandt Snedeker, who had completed 13. “I've got to continue with executing my game plan," said world number two Woods, who will complete his round yesterday. “That's the idea. I've got 11 holes to play, and I've got to go out there and play them well." Woods is bidding to win a third different PGA Tour event for a seventh time. He has already recorded seven victories apiece at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE It appears there is a grand plan by some people to secure for the accused person (Rep Farouk Lawan) cheap judgement of acquittal because once this frivolous private prosecutor fails the accused will be discharged and acquitted and be free forever. — Prosecutor Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN)

Police as beast of no nation F

rom the pictures I saw of President Goodluck Jonathan at the Police College, Ikeja, I think he came very close to freezing up with sadness. Whether that was genuine or contrived is another matter. A week or so before Channels Television began airing its documentary on the Ikeja Police College, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, proudly launched a new code of conduct for the police. Coincidentally, Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomole, one of the dignitaries that graced the occasion, lambasted and indicted the police over the murder of his private secretary. The IG responded with a classic police line: the governor did not know what he was talking about and that the police would respond at an appropriate time. But we all know that an appropriate time will never come. It is just a trick to make things go away with time. Nevertheless, I wondered what the IG's new code of conduct for the police was all about and just how much the new code was expected to change the orientation of the police. Don't the lawyers always say that you cannot build something on nothing? I have therefore classified the code under a new "sheriff is in town" syndrome which every new IG displays once they are confirmed. They give us the impression that they have come to reform the police when in fact they are there to "claim" their blessings. A senior police officer once told me that it is only about 25% percent of funds meant for running rank and file operations that actually gets released by the "big men" of the Nigerian Police. An anecdote from the book Paradise for Maggots confirms just how things are with the police. The story was that the Nuhu Ribadu, pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission went to Force Headquarters in Abuja for some business. There was light out in the area and the lift was therefore not working. But he knew that there was supposed to be a standby generator. He wondered why the generator was not put on to power the place. When he got to the office of one of the senior officer, the fellow was sweating so much that he pulled his shirt. Another officer did not only pull his shirt, he also pulled off his singlet. So, Ribadu

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GUEST COLUMNIST Philemon Adjekuko

Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar asked, "Is the standby generator faulty." "No" said the senior police officer. "Why is not on then?" "There is no diesel to power it." "You mean no provision was made for the purchase of diesel?" "You will have to ask IG that question." The story was that the office of Tafa Balogun, the IG then was powered by a small generator while the rest of the huge building was without power. Ribadu's experience at the force headquarter that day was

part of what lead him to investigate and successfully prosecute Tafa Balogun who had stolen billions belonging to the Nigerian Police. Now, take a good look at the lower rank policeman you meet on the street. Compare his dressing to that of a senior officer at Force Headquarters. And then compare him to an equivalent rank at the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps. You may also want to compare the average police officer to

You may also want to compare the average police officer to security officers of private security firms who are paid an average of eighteen thousand naira a month. In all, the police man on the street is at the bottom of the personal appearance ladder. Some police officers look like runway kids who spend their time under city bridges in big towns across Nigeria. Sometimes, you cannot but wonder whether the Nigerian Police Force is cursed.

security officers of private security firms who are paid an average of eighteen thousand naira a month. In all, the police man on the street is at the bottom of the personal appearance ladder. Some police officers look like runway kids who spend their time under city bridges in big towns across Nigeria. Sometimes, you cannot but wonder whether the Nigerian Police Force is cursed. Yet it is these "beasts of no nation" that are saddled with the enormous responsibility to protect us. When we heap blames on street police officers, we hardly think of them as people who have been stripped of any form of self worth and denied the basic tools of operation. We hardly think of the fact that it is more dangerous to be in the police than to be in the army, navy or air force. When we accused the average police officer of lying, we forget that the police command programs every officer to be an expert in lying. And that any police officer who attempts to tell the truth does so at his own risk. Now, I hear the Ministry of Police affairs will argue that the Police College is directly under the control of the Police Command. On the other hand, the Police Command will argue that the Police is not well funded. The Police Service Commission will press for the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs. The National Assembly also wants a piece of the action with a planned probe of funds released to the police. Meanwhile, the documentary by Channels and the President's unscheduled visit to the place has led to some form of national outrage and mourning for the police. Nevertheless, when will the president pay an unscheduled visit to every police station in any part of the country so that he would know that police officers don't have pens and papers to take statements from complainants and accused person; or to see that there are no ceiling fans or desks for police officers; or to see that our 21st century officers don't know how to use computers nor have access to them; or to see how battered police patrol vehicles are? Until the President does all of these, I would like to be spared this sudden national crocodile tears about the rot at the Police College, Ikeja. Philemon Adjekuko is Chief Operating Officer at Ome Associates Ltd, Abuja.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 805 727 9862. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 29, January, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 29, January, 2013 Edition