Confusion over killing of 12 policemen in Bayelsa From Adamu Abuh (Abuja), Isa Abdulsalami (Jos), Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri), Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt), Willie Etim (Yenagoa), Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri), Adebisi Olonade (Lagos) and Kehinde Olatunji (Ibadan) MID efforts by the police A authorities to unravel the killing of 12 of their officers in Bayelsa State at the weekend,
the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) yesterday claimed responsibility for the tragic inci-
• MEND, others bicker over roles in death • Gunmen attack Maiduguri church • Controversy persists over planned amnesty for Boko Haram dent in Azuzama community. MEND spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, said the attack was
predicated on government’s dismissal of its threat to launch fresh attacks on un-
specified targets in the country. Gbomo said that security agents had described the
group’s planned attack, tagged Hurricane Exodus, as an “empty threat.” But another group of militants led by one Adaka Boro (Jnr) claimed responsibility for the killing, dismissing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, April 8, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,520
PDP alleges plot to oust Tukur, NWC • ACN warns of crisis over 2015 From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja) and Wole Oyebade (Lagos) TILL fuming at what they Sconvention consider as a faulty national that produced Bamanga Tukur as the leader of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), some politicians are planning to remove him from office, according to the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh. Besides, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday warned that the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was promoting policies that would plunge the nation into crisis, scuttle the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Pardon, part of my plea-bargain, says Alamieyeseigha - Page 5 Wife of Ekiti State governor, Bisi Fayemi (left); mother of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Adetutu Famuagun; Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi and father of the deceased, Chief Festus Famuagun, during the couple’s condolence visit to the Famuaguns over the demise of the deputy governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka in Ado-Ekiti… yesterday.
Misuse of N1.51tr special funds jolts Senate From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh and Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja N alleged misuse of N1.51 A trillion has prompted the Senate to process a bill seeking a minimum jail term of two years for public officials
• Seeks two-year jail term for offenders • Rejects alleged move to scrap UTME, NECO who abuse special funds’ accounts. The bill, targeted at ensuring
transparency in the use of the special funds, also seeks a N500,000 fine.
The Senate is also processing an Act to amend the Public Procurement Act to provide
for a time-frame of 60 days within which the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) must conclude the procedure for due process to enhance easy and fast budget implementation. The Senate also yesterday de-
scribed the alleged government’s plan to scrap the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) as a policy somersault that was capable CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
ACN accuses PDP of plot to cause crisis over 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 2015 elections and even lead to the declaration of a state of emergency in some parts of the country. But in a reaction to the ACN’s position yesterday, the Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the allegation was baseless since the Jonathan administration had a reputation of conducting credible polls. A statement from Metuh said that the PDP had “uncovered plans by a tiny clique of undemocratic elements to use cohorts in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and bad eggs in the Judiciary to discredit its leadership and destabilise the party.” The statement reads in part: “We wish to alert Nigerians to a destructive plot by certain reactionary forces who working hand in glove with collaborators in the INEC have manufactured a spurious report, specifically aimed at destroying the credibility of the party’s 2012 national convention which brought in the current National Working Committee (NWC) using judicial officers
of questionable integrity. “Such a maniacal re-visit of the 2012 national convention over a year after it was held to a popular acclaim of all party members was a measure of the desperation of some politicians to achieve selfish ambition even at the risk of destroying their party.” According to the statement, “till date, the PDP remains the only political party in the country that conducts transparent internal elections which start with the ward, local council and state congresses culminating in the national convention. The 2012 exercise was not only unique in the level of participation of party members but in the rancourfree, sports-like attitude which various contestants exhibited. “The current NWC since inauguration has maintained a sound working rhythm with the members and critical stakeholders - the President, the National Assembly which the party controls and the PDP state governors whose newlyformed forum which the party’s leadership engineered, is already sending cold shivers and causing collywobbles in
the opposition camp.” Tukur’s leadership of the PDP, which began just slightly a year ago, has been having very rough times. From within the NWC itself, there were instances of cracks, which led to the controversial removal of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as party’s National Secretary. The ACN alleged that the PDP had started the race for 2015 “in earnest and it is a do-or-die affair.” “All means foul and unfair are on the table to cripple the opposition, by ensuring that nothing will be left of the integrity of its key leaders even if they are fortunate to make it to 2015.” The ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told reporters in Lagos yesterday that the PDP, keenly aware that it had failed Nigerians in the provision of social amenities and standard infrastructure, ensuring the security of lives and property, provision of jobs for teeming unemployed youths and generally ensuring better life for the people, “has decided to go for broke: either there will be
no elections in 2015 or the polls will be conducted in an atmosphere of chaos, thereby paving the way for it to rig the elections.” Some of the events, according to Mohammed, that corroborate the party’s position include the fact that the Boko Haram crisis which had been restricted to some parts of the North, was now extending to areas that have been largely peaceful, with suspected Boko Haram members arrested in Lagos, specifically at a house belonging to the government of Bayelsa State; the multi-billion naira contract for the protection of oil pipelines in the South-West region, the beneficiary of who is an individual who seeks to revive the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), formed by the respected statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He questioned whether the contract was meant to provide the seed money for the promoters of the UPN party and whether as it is being alleged in certain quarters, that the essence of the contract is to recruit 30,000 youths who become ready hands to foment violence on demand in the South-West.
Gambouru, Zajeri and PoloJiddari wards in 2011 and early last year. At the weekend, suspected Boko Haram members shot dead the district head of Auno (names withheld) and a policeman on patrol on the outskirts of Maiduguri in separate attacks. Auno is 22 kilometres west of Maiduguri. The gunmen, according to an anonymous resident of Auno, came in two unmarked Golf Volkswagen cars at 8.35 p.m. on Friday and drove straight to the district
head’s palace and fired several gunshots to scare away people in the village. And worried about the endless orgy of violence and killings, particularly insurgent groups in the northern part of the country, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has called on lawyers to assist by giving learned opinion on how to end the crises. Speaking at the weekend during the presentation of a book, Essays on Contemporary Issues in Law, which was writCONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Gunmen attack Maiduguri church CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 MEND’s position. The Bayelsa State Police Commissioner, Mr. Kingsley Omire, yesterday confirmed the attack but insisted that the policemen were only missing and could not be declared dead until the final outcome of the ongoing search and rescue operation in the sea. Among the 12 declared missing were two inspectors, four non-commissioned officers and six constables. And in Borno State, gunmen
suspected to be members of Boko Haram, attacked the Ekilisiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) Church in Bulunkutu Ward of Maiduguri and shot a policeman at 11.12 a.m., while the pastor was preaching. The gunmen, according to a church member, came in a tricycle and fired at men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) attached to EYN Church. He said this was the first attack launched on EYN by the suspected Boko Haram gunmen, one year after several churches were attacked in
Senate rejects alleged move to scrap UTME, NECO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 of stalling progress in the educational sector. Speaking through its Chairman, Committee on Education, Uche Chukwumerije, the upper legislative chamber advised the government to focus on key problems of the sector, which include access, quality, funding and institutional management rather than spend energy and resources attempting to scrap the two examination bodies. According to Chukwumerije, if the proposed scrapping is implemented, it will not require a seer to forecast a reversal of fortune in the educational sector in the next five years. The special funds’ accounts are the Stabilisation Account, Ecology Account and Natural Resources Account. The bill, sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Lawan Ahmed and five others, also stipulated, among others, that “approvals for funds from the Stabilisation Fund Account shall be subject to
recommendation by the National Economic Council (NEC).” It also provided that “the Accountant-General of the Federation shall prepare and submit to the National Assembly, not later than March 31 in each year, a report on the activities and projects undertaken with funds from the special funds accounts during the preceding year.” A recent investigation by the Senate into the management of the special funds accounts showed that the operations of some of the accounts were grossly abused. The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which carried out the probe, stated that within the period of 10 years, which the investigation covered, N1.51 trillion accrued to the three accounts. Of this amount, N580.01 billion was released as a loan out of which N347.997 billion is yet to be recovered from various loan beneficiaries. “A total of N329,329,745,916 was granted as a loan out of which N200,790,991.64 is still
outstanding under the Natural Resources Account. “In the Derivation and Ecology Account, a total of N61,000,000,000.00 was granted as a loan out of which N30,000,000,000.00 is still outstanding, “the report further revealed. The report, which would be debated after the resumption of the Senate from its Easter break, stated among others that: • “Several approvals of funds from the Special Funds Accounts do not conform to the purposes for which the funds were established; • “There were no operational guidelines for the administration, regulations, approvals and procedure for the release of money from the funds; • “The funds are practically being operated as loan granting pools; • “Several beneficiaries of the funds utilise the fund for purposes that are not contemplated by the motives for the funds; and • “The socio-economic development and environmental integrity of Nigeria are threatened by the continuous misapplication of the monies from the Special Funds Accounts to unrelated purposes.” The Senate had in a motion to draw attention to the deteriorating situation in the solid minerals sub-sector of the economy, heard that the Natural Resources Fund, which is 1.68 per cent of the Federation Account meant for the funding of solid minerals development, had never been used for the purpose.
A senator alleged that in 2012, over N250 billion of the funds was withdrawn and utilised for different reasons. The Stabilisation Fund Account is to provide for unforeseen contingencies and economic downturn while the Derivation Ecology Fund Account is to intervene and co-ordinate the general ecological problems in the country. On the Public Procurement Amendment, a bill sponsored by Senator Danladi Sankara, which has already been admitted by the Senate, states among other things: “The Public Procurement Act is hereby amended to stipulate specific time-frame of sixty days within which to complete all procedures for “Due Process.” It stated that all “Due Processes” for any contract should be concluded within sixty days from the date of advertising the projects by the Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA). The bill, which is one of those awaiting debate as soon as Senate resumes, seeks to provide further legislative framework for improved budget implementation by trying to speed up the processes that would facilitate timely projects execution by contractors within the financial year. The Guardian learnt that this was one of the ways in which the Senate tries to provide solution to the perennial faceoff between the Legislative and the Executive arms of government on poor budget implementation.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
INEC okays APGA’s national convention From Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka) and Ezeocha Nzeh (Abuja) T last, the Independent NaA tional Electoral Commission (INEC) has given the nod for the Maxi Okwu-led faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to hold its national convention slated for today at the Women Centre in Awka. Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ibrahim Carefor, had dragged the chairman of the opposition merger committee, Tom Ikimi, to a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court over his alleged inclusion of the name of his party in the proposed merger of opposition parties into the All Progressives Congress (APC). Also, APGA chairman, Dr. Tim Menakaya, has congratulated the party executive and members for successfully conducting a peaceful congress in Anambra State thereby laying to rest the seeming squabbles within the leadership of the party in the state. INEC had earlier refused to endorse the request by the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, to hold the national convention, arguing that the APGA constitution vests the powers to convene a national convention only on the National Executive Committee (NEC) But contrary to the INEC earlier position, the interim chairman, Maxi Okwu, in a letter to the electoral body, dated March 11, 2013, posited that the planned convention was in line with Article 22 (1) of the party, which he filed with INEC, arguing that with
• Party chief sues Ikimi over APC the Enugu High Court’s dissolution of the Victor Umeh-led NEC, the party had no other option than to hold a national convention, where it will elected its new National Executive Committee as it cannot remain without a NEC. Okwu also argued in his letter to INEC that the strength of the March 11 letter for a national convention was in pursuant of Article 85 of the Electoral Act (as amended). INEC, after going through Ok-
wu’s letter, responded in another mail issued last Friday, which was signed by its secretary, Abdulahi Kaugama and made available to The Guardian approving the party’s claim on the need to hold its national convention. The commission in the letter with Ref. No. INEC/DPPM & L/APGA/003/T/87, which referred to the APGA’s letter of March 11, noted the scheduling of the party’s congress nationwide and national
convention, adding that it will send monitors to the congress and national convention as scheduled by the party. The APGA chieftain in a case filed through his lawyer, Tony Ogbulafor Esq, had demanded, among other things, an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from including the name of APGA in the proposed opposition merger, as well as demanding the payment of N50 million by the defendant as damages for the use of the name of APGA as being part of the opposition merger.
Menakaya, who spoke with The Guardian in Awka at the weekend, said as a grassroots party man, the peaceful congress held in Anambra shows that the future of APGA is bright, arguing that the exercise was legal. “With the election of new officers, the old order has passed away and a new ones have come to state. What we have done is in order. Our ambition is to install APGA government in the South-East and other states across the nation”, he noted.
Oluwole Awolowo’s burial panel named EMBERS of the Oluwole M Awolowo burial committee have been named with Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu as chairman. Other members of the ninemember committee are Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, Secretary to the Ogun State Government (SSG); Segun Awolowo; Venerable Foluso Olugbenga Babatunji; Mrs Yejide Badmus; Honourable Salako Tajudeen, Chairman, Ikenne Local Council of Ogun State; Senator Sola Odumosu. Others are Mr. Kenny Osude and Mr. Edward Dickson, Managing Director/Editorin-Chief, Tribune titles, who is the secretary of the committee. The remains of Chief Oluwole Awolowo will be buried on Friday, April 19, 2013.
Traders petition army chief over demolition From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan GGRIEVED traders whose A shops were demolished by the Oyo State Govern-
Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Olugbemiro Jegede (left); Senate President David Mark; Senator Robert Borroffice; his wife, and Honourable Ezekiel Adaji, during the thanksgiving church service to mark the 65th birthday of Mark in Utukpo, Benue State … yesterday. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO
Controversy persists over planned amnesty for Boko Haram CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 ten by the Imo State AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Soronnadi Njoku, he noted that the victims were
mainly innocent Igbo resident in the north. Okorocha spoke just as the traditional ruler of Ajatanigu in Ikwuano Local Council of Abia State, Eze King Larry Ogbomnaya Agwu, endorsed the Federal Government’s reported plan to grant amnesty to Boko Haram members provided that doing so would end their hostilities. Also, a top cleric and National President of Christian Welfare Initiative (CWI), Archbishop Magnums Adeyemi Atilade, has advised the Federal Government to consider amnesty for the Boko Haram if it would stop the mindless killing of innocent Nigerians. However, another ruler who preferred to remain anonymous, queried why mem-
bers of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have remained in detention awaiting prosecution, and were not considered for amnesty even when they did not kill anyone or destroy public property. According to him, the case of MASSOB members and other groups suffering a similar fate across the country should also be addressed for the sake of justice. Meanwhile, Omire disclosed that “50 policemen set out on the assignment to Azuzama. On their way, one of the boats’ engine developed a fault and was isolated and became a soft target.” He added that the police had launched an investigation into the incident, with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr. Tuesday Asayamor, in charge.
According to Gbomo, heavily armed MEND fighters, at about 5.00 p.m., on Saturday, intercepted and engaged government security forces in a fierce gunfight lasting over 40 minutes at Azuzama, Southern Ijaw. “The clash, which happened in the river, left over 15 security forces dead as we also lost two of our fighters in the battle,” Gbomo said. “We hope this encounter will serve as a lesson to the Joint Task Force (JTF) from making careless utterances that cannot be backed as we remain resolute in our resumption of hostilities.” MEND advised “all oil companies and the public to ignore the false sense of security being peddled by the JTF as well as the false comments from “Comrade Azizi” who claims to be the spokesman for the
ment in execution of its urban renewal project have petitioned the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division of the Nigeria Army, Odogbo, alleging misuse of military personnel. In the petition made available to reporters in Ibadan and copied the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Presidency, counsel to the aggrieved traders, Victor Adewole, asked the GOC to investigate the allegation. The petition titled ‘Complaint against gross misuse of Nigeria Military Personnel to victimise, harass and terrorise harmless and innocent citizens in Oyo State: A Need to Investigate and Swiftly Checkmate Same’ alleged that the military personnel were aiding and abetting the state government to disobey a subsisting court order. Adewole recalled that an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the state government from “ejecting, alienating or in anyway disturbing the traders’ peaceful enjoyment and possession of the land at Kilometre 2, New Ibadan/Ife Road in Egbeda Local Council” has been made by the court.
Ekiti deputy gov died peacefully in my hands, says husband By Ade Ogidan ITH manifest efforts to ‘W control his emotions, the husband of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Lanre Olayinka, said his wife died peacefully in his hands on her hospital bed on Saturday. “Her last moment was peaceful. Nothing dramatic. She died in my hands,” he dis-
closed as the widower described the late deputy governor and ex-banker as “one in a million wife”. He added: “She was a sister, friend and confidant. I found her to be a very reliable, courageous and dependable partner. If I have to do it all over again, I will still marry her”. Olayinka would not want to recount details of his wife’s illness. “It’s painful recalling the Olayinka
course of her illness. I should be spared the ordeal of recounting it all. She, however, bore everything in her characteristic courageous disposition. She was a priceless jewel that will really be missed. Recalling fond memories of their relationship, Olayinka said they met in their respective teen ages. “She was 17 and I was 19 when we met before
we travelled out of the country to United States (U.S.) for our studies. There was never a dull moment in our relationship. She was an exciting woman to be with, strong in character and purposeful. Mrs. Olufunmilayo Aduni Olayinka (nee Famuagun) was born in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State in Nigeria on June 20, 1960. She attended Holy Trinity Grammar School, Ibadan, where she obtained her first school-leaving certificate with distinction. She subsequently proceeded to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo State, Nigeria, where she obtained her Higher School Certificate (HSC). She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) from Central State University, Edmond, Oklahoma, United States. She was three times winner of the Dean’s Honour roll.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Pardon, part of my plea bargain, says Alamieyeseigha HIEF Diepreye C Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa State, has said that the state pardon recently granted him by President Goodluck Jonathan was part the plea bargain between him and the Federal Government, then headed by Umaru Yar’Adua. In an interview published in the April current edition of the London based NewsAfrica magazine, Chief Alamieyeseigha said his own part was to deliver on peace in the Niger Delta by convincing the militants to accept the Federal Government’s amnesty programme. And this he did. I convinced the militants to accept the FG’s amnesty and I have not stopped ever since. The country owes the peace in the Niger Delta partly to my efforts. Till today, every day, I get one re-
port or the other and I intervene because they all see me as their father, leader and governor general”. This pardon did not start from Goodluck (President Jonathan). It was part of the agreement with the government. Because Goodluck knows the story from the beginning, he was just carrying out part of an existing agreement’. He said he was prepared to fight the corruption charges against him to the end but accepted the plea bargain for three reasons (which he had also said in the court then before the judge passed the sentence}: ‘one because of my age and deteriorating health; two because of the escalating violence in the Niger Delta, the loss of the lives of the youth protesting that I had to be released’. The third reason was that he saw Yar”adua as a man of in-
tegrity. Speaking for the first time on the plea bargain which saw him plead guilty without spending a single day in jail in 2008, Alamieyeseigha said he was in Dubai on medical treatment when Nuhu Ribadu, the then chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) generated a letter purportedly from the government that he ’was persona non grata and planned to overthrow the government of Nigeria”. The allegation came about after his five of his former colleagues and Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President, visited him at the hospital. The Federal Government then sent security men to whisk him back to Nigeria and straight to the EFCC cell, although he was in the middle of his medical treatment. “I could not even walk be-
cause I had a metal implant in my groin’. He said: “Ribadu said he did not care if he died there. The following night, Ibrahim Lamorde, (the present EFCC boss) brought a phone to me and said it was President Yar’Adua who wanted to speak to me. He (Yar’Adua) said ‘Ginuwa (his traditional title in Katsina), I cannot be President and see you die because they will kill you. I am the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not Olusegun Obasanjo (anymore). The information available to me suggests that they will kill you. So come out. Do not contest anything’. Asked by the magazine who he thought the ‘they’ were, he responded ‘forces in government’. According to Alamieyeseigha, Yar’Adua, promised him that ‘you are
not going to spend one day in prison. I will give you pardon. Come out and help solve the Niger Delta problem. But I know how stubborn and difficult you are when you believe in something. So, I am going to send your younger brother (Goodluck Jonathan) the Vice President to you: to speak to you and to convey my decision’. The former governor said the Vice President came following day and was shocked to see his state of health: ‘He (Jonathan) made a statement, “This is the man in this state that wants to overthrow the government of Nigeria? He conveyed Yar’Adua message. I slept over what the President and the Vice President said and I felt they were making sense’. On why Yar’Adua did not give him the pardon before he died, Alamieyeseigha said
the then President had asked him to apply but the political forces against him then generated a security report that he was paired with Atiku to contest the 2011 election against Yar’Adua and Jonathan. “They advised him to step it down till the duo got their nominations from the PDP. “I laughed because there was no way under the heaven that I could contest election against my younger brother, Goodluck Jonathan.” In comments that may reveal one of the reasons Yar’Adua removed Ribadu from office, he said he had gone to Abuja to thank the President for freeing him when Yar’Adua asked “when I will be ready to take up ministerial office to help him solve the Niger Delta problem. I told him I had a metal implant in my groin and needed to go and remove it.”
Path to success of firms, others, by bank chief By Adeniyi Adunola O organisation in the N world can be profitable if its customers do not be-
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (middle); flanked by the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Dr Segun Oshin (right) and Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Saburi Adesanya (left) in a group photograph with recipients of Doctorate Degrees at the 22nd Convocation ceremony of the university in Ago-Iwoye on Saturday
lieve and support its vision, African Banker of the Year and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, has said. According to him, “there is a direct relationship between a company’s level of profitability and public perception about its brand. When people see a brand as a valued partner, they continue to do business with it, which ultimately translates to profitability. Companies on the other hand have a responsibility to ensure their customers are satisfied at all times and treated with respect. This knowledge is the base rock upon which our
Fayemi declares seven days of mourning
ACN, Afenifere, Mark, Soyinka, others mourn Ekiti deputy gov
Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado-Ekiti
By Our Reporters
the death of RIBUTES have continued FMrsOLLOWING Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Tto pour in for the late Funmilayo Aduni Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Olayinka on Saturday, Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday declared a seven-day mourning, during which all flags will fly at half mast in the state. Fayemi, in a state-wide broadcast said, the death of Mrs Olayinka occurred after a long but spirited battle with cancer. According to him, “In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of seven-day mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast. During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended. “This is indeed a trying period in the life of our dear state. We have been aware of the health challenges of our deputy governor which culminated in the government issuing a statement a month ago when she commenced a sick leave during which we requested that you remember her in your prayers. In the course of her ailment, she battled gallantly and availed herself of the best medical services within and outside Nigeria.”
Mrs Olufunmilayo Olayinka who passed on last Saturday. More eulogies came yesterday from the South-West zone of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Prof. Wole Soyinka, Senate President David Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, as well as House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. Others included Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Governors Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Sullivan Chime (Enugu). Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, Chairman, Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities (CAANU), former Governors Segun Oni (Ekiti) and Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia) as well as Ekiti State Chairman of Action
Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Jide Awe and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe. Mark in a condolence message to the government and people of Ekiti State described the late Olayinka as an indomitable amazon, who stood to be counted when it mattered. Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu in a condolence message enjoined Governor Kayode Fayemi and the people of the state to be encouraged by the fact the late deputy governor lived an inspiring and a fulfilled life. In a statement signed by Governor Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum urged members of the deceased’s family to be consoled by the fact that the late Funmilayo departed after a life of dedication to service of God and humanity. In a condolence message to Governor Kayode Fayemi, the Nobel laureate, said: “I have just picked up the news on the Internet. My most sincere condolences. I met your late deputy,
Funmi Olayinka, only a few times, but was instantly struck by her unassuming grace, intelligence and political commitment. Her departure will be felt as a great loss to your administration, to the people of Ekiti State, but most especially to her family, to whom I request that you be so kind as to convey my message of fortitude in the face of this grievous bereavement.” ACN in a statement by its South-West Director of Publicity, Ayo Afolabi described late Olayinka as a totally loyal and committed party member who used all her personal resources to nurture the party in the state and outside especially among the women folk in the zone. ARG in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, the group described the deputy governor’s death as a great loss to the state in particular, the African women in general and ARG which she was a founding member. Describing her as an amazon, ARG said her passion for the emancipation of the South-West through Development Agenda for
Western Nigeria (DAWN) document, had no bound, adding that she would be greatly missed when the implementation proper of the programme begins. Also, the Osun State ACN Acting Chairman, Adelowo Adebiyi ain a statement yesterday in Osogbo said the death of Mrs Olayinka was a colossal loss not only to Ekiti State but the entire South West. Also, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state yesterday commiserated with Governor Kayode Fayemi as well as the government and the people of Ekiti State over the death of Olayinka. The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said:``It is quite unfortunate and regrettable that we lost Mrs. Olayinka at this time. She was not only gentle, unassuming and articulate, she was also a seasoned banker and an administrator par excellence and a progressive-minded personality. In the same vein, the State’s ACN has condoled with Fayemi, the government and the people of the State over the unfortunate incident.
2012 performance is hinged.” Agbaje, who spoke just days after the bank published its audited 2012 results, attributed its successful outing during the financial year to customer loyalty. GTBank’s results for the 2012 financial year showed a Profit Before Tax of N103 billion, the highest for any Nigerian bank from continuing operations at both bank and Group levels. The Group’s results also show improved Gross Earnings of N221.9 billion and 69 per cent improvement in Profit After Tax to N87.3 billion; (2011: N51.7 billion). The bank closed the 2012 financial year with an OnBalance Sheet size of N1.73 trillion (2011: N1.608 trillion) while total assets and contingents stood at N2.26 trillion (2011: N2.14 trillion) representing a growth of 8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Additionally, the bank’s stance as an upstanding social citizen and commitment to full disclosure was evidenced by its 2012 tax liabilities, which came to over N16.3 billion, while total dividend payment for the financial year is projected at N45.62 billion (N1.55 per ordinary share of 0.50 kobo each). Agbaje confirmed that the bank would continue to introduce products and alternative channels that will allow the public to undertake their banking activities quickly, safely and conveniently. It was established in 1990 and has over 200 branches within the country and has banking subsidiaries in Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. In recognition of it service standards, management quality and financial performance, it has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years that most recently include the Best Bank in Nigeria Award for the fourth consecutive year from Euromoney Magazine and the Best Bank in Nigeria Award from EMEA Finance.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Clark, SPDC, others to boost UNIBEN infrastructure From Alemmma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City UCCOUR may have come SUniversity the way of flood ravaged of Benin (UNIBEN) and its infrastructure needs as Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Ijaw national leader and pioneer Prochancellor of the university, Chief Edwin Clark, over the weekend pledged financial support for the school. While Clark gave the university N10 million, SPDC pledged N150 million as two years’ budget for the school’s Centre of Excellence for Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering. The donations were made at the fourth Endowment and Development Fundraising Dinner/Distinguished UNIBEN Personality Award, where Clark also warned against indiscriminate conferment of honorary awards to individuals of unknown background. Clark, who was chairman at the occasion, called on well meaning Nigerians and alumni of the school to contribute to its development.
‘Agitations against Boko Haram amnesty committee unnecessary’ From Saxone Akhaine (Northern Bureau Chief) and Seye Olumide (Lagos) ECRETARY General of the SDevelopment United Niger Delta Energy Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), Mr. Tony Uranta, yesterday described the agitations trailing the Federal Government’s Amnesty Committee as unnecessary, stressing that only the restructuring of Nigeria would guarantee end to terrorism in the nation. Speaking at a press conference, Uranta said the agitations and criticisms that have trailed the amnesty committee were uncalled for, stating: “I am amused at the level of agitation over the Federal Government’s decision to set up a committee to work out modalities for a possible amnesty to Boko Haram.” In a similar vein, leader of the Northern Civil Society
• Programme may fail, says Shehu Sani Coalition, Mallam Shehu Sani, has warned President Goodluck Jonathan not to waste the nation’s resources by sinking billions of naira into amnesty for Boko Haram unless the insurgents agree to a ceasefire. Besides, he said, the insurgency in the North might continue unless the leader of Boko Haram, Sheikh Shekau, and members of the Islamic militant sect accept the move and are incorporated into the committee being set up by the Federal Government for amnesty. Insisting that the Federal Government’s step was good, Uranta, however, said the feasibility and success of the plan depended on Boko Haram ending the hostilities. He said people should understand the terms of the committee first before condemning it,
noting: “I find it unbelievable that discerning pundits equate this to the Federal Government granting Boko Haram amnesty. If I ponder over taking a wife, does that mean I’m married? “Who will be the Boko Haram that will dialogue with anybody? Has Al-Qaeda ever dialogued? Do you see any terrorist in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and others lining up to be biometrically registered?” Reiterating his earlier position that the terrorists’ threat to Nigeria was not merely Nigerians-driven but influenced also from outside the country, he added: “I see the committee issue as government showing putative goodwill, but I foresee the whole thing being an exercise in futility because of the fundamentals of this type of sectarian terrorism worldwide.”
Meanwhile, Sani, who spoke yesterday in Kaduna in reaction to the calls for amnesty for the group, pointed out that “those who are currently agitating for amnesty for the sect were doing so for selfish reasons, “and we all are witnesses to the fact that there were past moves and promises made by the same traditional rulers and northern leaders, only for the bombings and attacks to intensify later.” According to him, “the insurgents are most likely to dismiss the committee set up by the Federal Government and the amnesty as long as it is not constituted with their input. And again, Nigerians must be very cautious about setting up an amnesty commission, which will simply be conduit pipe for siphoning billions of tax-payers’ money in the name of rehabilitating insurgents
and militants.” He added: “Amnesty will make no meaning until and unless the leader of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau, gives his approval for it because all insurgents take directives from him and their council.” According to the civil rights activist, for any such programme to succeed, “there is need to set up a committee that is recognised by government and accepted by the Boko Haram sect, and the committee should also comprise the leaders of five Islamic sects in northern Nigeria,” he said. Sani listed the Islamic sects to include the Izala, Derika, Shittes, Hamadiyya and Tijaniyya, adding: “There should be a representative of the Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) and Supreme Council of Shariah in Nigeria and a freelance journalist, in the name of Ahmed Salkida.”
Govt to redesign airspace for easy traffic
Enang supports scrapping of JAMB, NECO
• Experts x-ray challenges with Nigeria’s radar
From Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo
By Wole Shadare
HE Federal Government’s T recent plan to scrap the Joint Admissions and
OR the multi-billion naira FNigeria Terminal Radar Coverage of (TRACON) to work opti-
Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) has received the endorsement of the Senate Chairman, Rules and Business, Ita Solomon Enang, who urged government to fully implement it once it is passed by the National Assembly. Speaking at the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, while fielding questions from journalists, Enang said that sending the proposal to the National Assembly would afford NECO, JAMB, vice chancellors and other stakeholders, like students bodies and parents the opportunity to contribute to the debate, which would guarantee an informed decision. “But I would urge the President not to implement this first because all these are established by law. He should first of all bring the proposal to the National Assembly so that we can look at it and unless we repeal the law, the proposed scrapping cannot come into effect,” he said. “I don’t want it to be like the matter of the University of Lagos, where the pronouncement was made and it was later sent to the National Assembly and there was opposition”, he added.
Director, Economic Planning, Research and Statistics, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Ari Isa Mohamed (right); Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide; Permanent Secretary, FCT, John Obinna Chukwu and Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mrs. Bema Olvadi, at the signing of agreement in Abuja…at the weekend PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY-ELUKPO
Institute’s registrar sues Health Minister, others over suspension By Joseph Onyekwere HE embattled Registrar and T Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCN), Jay O. Oghifo, has sued the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchukwu Chukwu, at the National Industrial Court (NIC), praying it to order that his suspension by the defen-
dants should not be given effect. Also joined in the suit filed on his behalf by Albert Akpomudje (SAN) are the Ministry of Health, ICCN, Chairman of ICCN Council, Prof. Felix Okieimen, and a management staff, Sylvester Obinyan. In his motion on notice, the claimant sought for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from preventing him from performing his function as ICCN registrar pending the hearing and determination of the suit. Supported by a 25-paragraph affidavit, the claimant averred that by a letter dated July 16, 2010, he was employed as registrar of the institute for a period of four years, adding that he had been performing his duties creditably without blemish until he proceeded on annual leave on December 27, 2012, from which he was due to resume on January 28, 2013. He swore that while on leave outside Lagos, he received a mail from his personal secretary with three attachments emanating from the first and second defendants, wherein
they abused their powers by purportedly suspending him as registrar and directing him to come to Abuja with the most senior officer in the institute in addition to submitting his credentials for verification. According to him, until the time he filed the action, he had not officially received the said letters purportedly written by the first defendants but in order to forestall any illegal removing from office, he was constrained to file the action. “Prior to when I was on leave and in performance of my duties as chief executive of the institute, a certain disciplinary matter came up, which resulted in the suspension of about seven members of staff, namely: Bammodu T.O, Mr. Atanda O.J., Mr. Akwaowo I.R., Mr. Umar Bello Maigari, Mr. Abdulsalam M.A, Mr. Olubowale W.A and Mr. Bassey Etim,” he said. “In order for one of those persons suspended, by name Maigari, not to face disciplinary action and to divert attention, he maliciously, without any basis, wrote a petition to the Head of Service of the Federation without due process, alleging certain wrong-doings against me.
“The Head of Service, in turn, wrote me demanding an explanation, which I graciously did. Satisfied with the points raised in my letter on the irregularities of the petitioner, the Head of Service, by a letter dated July 20, 2012, wrote another letter stating that it had a right under the Public Service Rules, when copied a letter to make inquiries, and concluded that he was awaiting the outcome of the decisions of the disciplinary committee sitting on the suspension of the petitioner. “Consequently, I replied the Head of Service on the outcome of the exercise.” However, to his greatest surprise, he said, the first and second defendants to whom the petitions were not copied and in breach of their statutory duties, set up a panel to investigate the allegations, claiming that the Head of Service informed them of the petition. He averred that they lacked the powers to set up such panel to investigate allegations against him, being part of disciplinary procedure, but that such act was the responsibility of the ICCN Council, which employed him.
mally, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) should have a third control centre in Warri, Delta State, and two area control centres in Lagos and Kano respectively to cater for the huge traffic for helicopter operations in the Niger Delta. Also, the aviation sector is redesigning the nation’s airspace to distinguish incoming route from departure route in order to ease congestion in the airspace. In the light of that, NAMA has been urged to cut off from what air traffic controllers instruct pilots to do. Airspace management expert, Mr. Sam Akerele, gave the advice when a group of aviation experts, the Aviation Round Table (ART), inspected the airspace safety tool at the weekend in Lagos. Akerele, who is also the ART Secretary General, maintained that the equipment still had some challenges, but noted that with NAMA determined to tackle those challenges, the system would help greatly in aviation safety. For quite some time, the agency had been on the edge over complaints by air traffic controllers and pilots that more still needed to be done to make radar system function efficiently, as one of the vital components of the system - like communication - is said to be in bad shape. “I have also recommended that they (NAMA) should have a third control centre, maybe in the Warri area, to take care of the flights over the oceans and then, they will make more money now,” he said. “We have only two area control centres - in Lagos and Kano - but with this great traffic and the Niger Delta helicopter operations, we need to put one around Warri to handle the traffic so that they don’t leave Calabar and start calling Lagos. “It is quite a long distance and they have their range, so put an area control centre in Warri and then it will control that traffic and transfer to Lagos. They are redesigning the airspace.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Kwara awards three road contracts for N2b WARA State Government K has awarded contracts for the construction of three major road projects and an additional work on an on-going project at a cost of over N2billion. Also, the state government approved over N357million for the purchase of medical equipment for the five general hospitals currently at advanced state of remodelling and rehabilitation. The state’s Commissioner for Works and Transport, Dr. Abubakar Amuda Kannike and his Health counterpart, Alhaji Kayode Abdul Isa announced these over the weekend during the post state executive council meeting press briefing. Kannike identified the approved road contracts as the 18.6kilometre ArandunRore-Aran Orin-Ipetu road at the cost of over one point five billion Naira with a 12 month completion period, beginning from this month, 1.8kilometre Umar Audi road which was awarded at the cost of N434.388.69.30 with a 6 month completion schedule.
Mark, epitome of patriotism, says Jonathan From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan has described the Senate President, Senator David Mark, as an embodiment of patriotism, whose actions were worthy of emulation. In a congratulatory letter to Mark, who turns 65 years today, the president commended Mark for exhibiting great faith and commitment to peace, unity, stability and progress in Nigeria in the various capacities that he has served the country in a glittering career of public service. He saluted the Senate President “for consistently demonstrating exceptional patriotism and competently leading the National Assembly into productive partnership with the executive arm of the Federal Government in the overriding interest of national progress and development. The President wrote, “I write to convey my goodwill and warm felicitations to you on the occasion of your 65th birthday anniversary.
Family, friends remember Esuene April 14 From Anietie Akpan, Calabar LL roads will on April 14, 2013 lead to Afaha Eket in Eket Local Council as Akwa Ibom and Cross River states gather to remember their first Military Governor of the then South Eastern State, Late Brigadier Udoakaha Jacob Esuene. The ceremony is the 20th memorial/thanksgiving service of the late General put together by the widow, Senator Helen Esuene and the entire members of the family. Late Esuene, the Attah of Ekid, who hailed from Atung Udoakaha in Afaha Eket, Eket council lived between 19361993. Until his demise, Esuene was the first military governor of South Eastern State, a distinguished statesman, politician and an astute community builder in which today’s Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State give credit to most of the existing social and economic infrastructure.
Okonjo-Iweala, govs, Utomi tie growth to youths By Tunde Akinola and Victor Olushola, Ikogosi-Ekiti IGERIAN youths have been advised on the importance of participation in the country’s political process if the economic
transformation of the country is to be realised. This call was made by a host of political leaders over the weekend, at the Ikogosi Warm Springs and Resort, Ikogosi-Ekiti, during the sec-
ond edition of the Nigeria symposium for Young and Emerging Leaders, organised by The Future Project in partnership with Enough is Enough (EiE), under the theme: “Project 2015: The
Bishop of Oke Osun Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Akinlalu Abraham (left); Bishop of Ika, Peter Onekpe; Bishop Diocese of Lagos West, Rt Rev. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi; his wife Caroline; Reired Bishop of Remo, Diocese Emmanuel Ogundana; Bishop of Sokoto, Augustine Omole and Bishop of Ilesa, Samuel Sowade during the closing ceremony of second session of the 5th Synod, Anglican Communion at Bishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral Church, Ikeja GRA, Lagos …yesterday PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
‘No decision yet on Achebe’s burial’ From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) EADERS of the South-East geo-political zone rose from a closed door meeting in Enugu yesterday, declaring that it could not reach a decision on the burial of the late renowned novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe because of the need to consult with wider stakeholders. The leaders also received a report of the 11-man committee set up in February this year to look into the remote and immediate causes of the post-election crisis rocking the leadership of the apexIgbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo. Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State briefed reporters at the end of the meeting which took place at the Enugu Government House and attended by
Governors of Abia, Theodore Orji; Enugu, Sullivan Chime; Ebonyi, Martin Elechi; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Chief Anagha Ezeikpe, Eze Agom Eze, MAO Ohuabunwa, Senator Ben Obi said among others that the meeting deliberated on three issues. The three issues he said, included the issue of the crisis in Ohaneze, Achebe’s burial and another that bothered on the security and general infrastructure in the South east. The meeting, which started at about 12:30 p.m. ended by 6:48 p.m. Sunday. On Achebe, Obi who is also the chairman of the Governors’ Forum said the
meeting could not fix the date for the burial of the late literary icon because of the need to consult with relevant stakeholders. “We need to reach out to all the stakeholders, including President Goodluck Jonathan, the people of Ogidi his hometown in Anambra, the various states in the south east. The essence of this is to ensure that everybody is carried along,” Obi stated. He, however, assured that the burial would involve the Igbo nation. On the Ohaneze crisis, the governor said the South east leaders would take a critical look at the report of the Senator Ben Obi’s committee with a view to ensuring that peace returned to the organisation.
Amosun asks councillors to co-operate with chairmen From Gbenga Akinfenwa, Abeokuta GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has cautioned the 236 councillors across the 20 council areas in the state to shun confrontation with their chairmen in a bid to achieve the political set goals that would engender socioeconomic development of people at the grassroots. Amosun gave this charge at the weekend at a one-day workshop put in place by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, OkeMosan, Abeokuta to re-orientate the councillors on their constitutional roles and the need to work harmoniously with their respective chairmen to collectively deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. The workshop was also used to discuss resolution of cases of rancour between some chairmen and councillors over clash of interest and misconception of councillors’ constitutional powers querying some chairmen over their executive functions.
Amosun who hinted that local government is the most important tier of government and the closest to the grassroots, said: “We should be able to appreciate and understand what the law says about our roles, both executive and legislature, local government is the most important aspect of government and also in political setting because they form the grassroots and are acquitted with their people more than anybody.” The governor charged the councillors to pay more attention to the programmes of the workshop as it would increase their knowledge on oversight functions as well as the role of the public servants in sustaining democracy and their political functionaries in their various council areas. He emphasised that they were the mouthpieces of the government at the grassroots and that they must be sound and knowledgeable at what they were constitutionally assigned to do in their respective constituencies. While urging the council-
lors to live up to their responsibilities as the spokesperson of the people in their respective jurisdiction, he told them to be diligently and desist from confronting their chairmen but rather follow peaceful channels in resolving issues in order to achieve a successful tenure. Earlier, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Basorun Muyiwa Oladipo while welcoming the councillors to the workshop, affirmed that the importance of the third tier of government could not be quantified in view of its proximity to the people and the enormous expectation from their end to deliver dividends of democracy. The commissioner further said that they should ensure that adequate collaboration exist among the individual and corporate stakeholders in the local government administration, adding that to attain the objective, critical appraisal of the value system and mode of operations at the local government level should be put in place.
Character of Our Involvement,” which held for two days. Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister for Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated that the participation of the youth in the restructuring of the country is important because they are the most powerful agents of change in any society. According to OkonjoIweala: “This formidable group called the Nigerian youth is more than twice the size of Ghana’s total population, yet their demographic, social, political and economic importance is often insufficiently acknowledged. And to make matters worse, the Nigerian youth also appears to have deviated widely from the roles associated with it, especially when one looks back at the remarkable contributions made by the young Zik or Africa, Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Shagari, Obafemi Awolowo and other young Nigerians at the time, towards our development as a nation.” She acknowledged the potency of the youth of any country, citing how the single act of an individual, Mohamed Bouazizi, ignited the Arab Spring. She described the youth as “engines of economic transformation, noting the impact of the youth in the development of the Asian Tigers. Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is also the host, emphasised the need for youths to be involved in partisan politics in order to contribute to the development of the country. According to him, the youth should desist from “agonising” but “organise” their ideas in order to achieve the change they desired. He stressed that instead of complaining of bad leadership, the youth
should look for ways they can make a difference in any way they could. “People say politics is dirty but I do not see anything dirty about politics because I am not dirty and I know some politicians that are not dirty as well. I am not advocating everybody should be in politics but we need committed youth to contribute to good governance of Nigeria. When I engage young people I do so because they have a crucial role to play in transforming the country,” Fayemi said. He added that he does not belong to the school of thought that views politics as ideological, rather, “what is required is the movement that has nothing to do with your party or personality. I believe in the total transformation of our country is possible if we can have a clear ideas of the developmental strategies to imbibe.” According to River State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, country’s youth needed to position themselves at strategic points if they truly want to be involved in participatory politics. He emphasised that it was not enough to start a process of change without concluding or achieving it. Amaechi noted that the kind of approach adopted by the youth might not achieve anything tangible because they were not ready to sacrifice their lives for the country. Citing the January 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest as an example, he stressed that the youth were not ready to die for what they believed in. “The moment the Federal Government staged soldiers at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park at Ojota Lagos, during the fuel subsidy protest, everything died down.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Lagos warns on measles’ outbreak
‘S’West MDGs’ target on track, insecurity mars growth in North’ From Joke Falaju, Abuja S Nigeria counts 998 days to achieving its target on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, has said the South-Western states in the country are on track to achieving the global development programme. Gbeneol decried that insecurity challenge in the North has significantly affected achievement of the MDGs in the area. She spoke at a briefing organised by the Office to mark 1,000 days to end the MDGs framework at the weekend in Abuja. Gbeneol said: “The SouthWestern part of the country has achieved MDGs. We don’t want women to die. Women are not supposed to die while giving birth. Every part of the country is supposed to be crashed to zero mortality rate by 2015”. Gbeneol, who stated that some regions in the country have achieved the goal on maternal health, listed some of the states faced with security challenges to include: Yobe, Bauchi, Borno, Kano and Kaduna. However, she noted that the Presidency was aware of the crisis situation and would assist the affected states. “We cannot do it alone. That is why we are calling on all stakeholders to support us in achieving the set goals. It is not our prayer for our mothers to die at childbirth but the Federal Government is already working on the security situation in these areas. Government is doing everything possible to
restore peace,” she said. However, Gbeneol added that the Federal Government has approved N25 billion in the 2013 budget to support 65,000 poor households in the rural communities. The fund will be disbursed under the Conditional Fund Transfer, wherein the Federal Government is to provide N10 billion; the states, N10 billion while the local government contributes N5 billion. She noted that the fund would go a long way in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger in the households.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (third left); eldest son of the late Okere of Saki, Kazeem Olarinre (second left); a former Commissioner for Justice in the state, Adebayo Shittu (left) and a member of the League of Imams and Alfas in Sakiland, Alhaji Yunus Olayiwola (right) at the burial of the late Okere of Sakiland, Oba Kelani Olarinre 1 at the Okere’s Palace…on Saturday
Global Islamic-compliant assets hit $1tr this year By Bukky Olajide HE global Shari’ah-compliT ant assets under management having grown from $150 billion in the mid-90s, is expected to exceed $1 trillion this year. In Nigeria, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Lotus Islamic Index, has already recorded a 25.55 per cent rise in the quarter of 2013, while in the year 2012, the index appreciated by 44.41 per cent, even higher than Bloomberg NSE Consumer Goods Index at 42.29 per cent. The NSE said the impressive performance of the index has attracted considerable interest from local and international investors and market watchers. Islamic Capital Market is a subset of the entire capital market that is screened for Shariah compliance. The Islamic Index known as NSE Lotus Capital Islamic Index (NSE LII) is a capital
By Seye Olumide ORRIED by the reports of the outbreak of measles in some states across the nation, Lagos State government has advised members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspected case, dead or alive, to the nearest health facility or the Directorate of Disease Control under the state Ministry of Health. In a statement yesterday, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, explained that reports of alleged outbreak of the disease calls for immediate action because some of the immediate causes of the disease such as over-crowding due to high population density, are peculiar to Lagos. The commissioner also enjoined mothers and caregivers to take measures that will reduce the risk of their children being infected by the disease. Listing some of the precautionary measures, Idris recommended exclusive breastfeeding of babies for the first six months after birth before introducing complementary feeding thereafter; taking children for routine immunisation and ensuring that the schedule is completed by the child’s first birthday (measles vaccine at nine months), ensuring the administration of Vitamin A from the age of six months, and administering proper care to sick children at home, away from school and play, in order to rest and prevent infecting other children.
market indicator developed by Lotus Capital for the NSE. This index shows a five-year record of Islamic (Shari’ah Compliant) stocks outperforming the NSE All Share Index. Officially launched on July 2, 2012, the NSE Lotus Islamic Index tracks the performance of 15 Shari’ah compliant equities, which have met the eligibility requirements of a renowned Shari’ah Advisory Board. The component stocks are rigorously screened and reviewed bi-annually to ensure their continuous compliance for inclusion and the index is based on the market capitalisation methodology. The NSE told The Guardian that the index was launched to attract investors and fund managers interested in businesses that are compliant with Shari’ah laws. The Exchange also expects to earn revenue from the creation, listing and trading of financial products created from the index, such as Exchange Traded Funds. Therefore, experts said if harnessed properly, Shari’a compliant capital market investment products would benefit
Nigeria. Experts, who spoke with The Guardian, said there would be more foreign investments into Nigeria, as well as a developed capital market in its diverse product offering, which means that Nigeria will become a financial hub for all types of financial transactions as available in developed economies. According to them, professionals in the capital market will have more deals and charge more fees, while some Nigerians who decided not to invest in the capital market because their faith forbids, will now bring in their funds to grow the market. There will be more jobs for Nigerians and more funds for companies to use, as well as cheaper funding for the country in general. It is noted that most countries including Germany, USA, UK now borrow from the Middle East because it is cheaper, through Islamic modes of Capital Market products like Sukuk. But Nigeria cannot borrow because she has no Sukuk for the international investors, hence she now borrows at an inertest rate as high as 15 per
cent. The market expansion makes sense and is beneficial to all Nigerians. Taofiq Agbaje of Investment and Research Department of the Lotus Capital, explained that two levels of screening are employed for shares in the capital market intentionally. According to him, the first is qualitative, so every company involved with taking and giving interest: manufacturers of arms, dealers in alcohol and pornography and so on, are taken out. His words: “Those companies on the capital market which pass the qualitative screen are then subjected to a quantitative screen to now get the Shariah compliant equity investments. “Other products that will be available in the capital market for Shariah compliant investments will include Islamic Bonds (or Sukuk). There will also be Shariah compliant mutual trust, advisory services, issuing houses and so on. In short, the product offering of the capital market will be expanded. There will be no creation of a special capital market that will be called Islamic.
Why we are enforcing ban on tinted glass vehicles, by Police From Karls Tsokar, Abuja HE Nigeria Police High Command has said with the security concerns in the country, it becomes expedient to ensure strict enforcement of the need for people with tinted glass vehicles to obtain security permit before driving such cars. Justifying the decision, Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said: “In Nigeria at the moment, the decision by the Police High Command to ensure a strict enforcement of the relevant laws prohibiting unauthorised use of vehicles with tinted glasses on our roads is predicated on the need to effectively tackle contemporary security challenges in the land and ultimately serve the common good of all Nigerians”. The Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) added: “Intelligence reports and empirical statistics at the disposal of the Police Command indicate that majority of crimes relating to terrorism, suicide bombing, kidnapping, gun-running, human trafficking, armed robbery and other related offences are committed by people who
ride in vehicles with tinted glasses. Perpetrators of these heinous crimes hide under the cover of tinted glasses to carry out their nefarious trade”. “It has, therefore, become a matter of urgent national security importance that indiscriminate use of vehicles with tinted glasses be checked in accordance with our laws”, he added. Men of the Nigeria Police have swung into action, arresting cars owners who they deemed have “broken the law”. The release made available to the media on Thursday, April 4, 2013, reminds Nigerians of the relevant law regulating the use of tinted glasses’ vehicles in Nigeria, under the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glasses) Act of 1991. It states that except with the permission of the appropriate authority designated for the purpose of this Act and for such good cause as may be determined from time to time by the appropriate authority, no person should tint, or treat in any way fitted glasses on a car “so that the objects or persons in the motor vehicles are rendered obscure or invisi-
ble”. It went on to read that “not withstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law or enactment, any person who without the permission of the appropriate authority, causes any glass fitted on a motor vehicle to be treated in any manner specified…commits an offence under this Act and shall be punished in the manner set out in this Act”. Under the Act, it is also an offence to aid, counsel or procure the commission of the offence. And the punishment includes either the payment of N2,000 or six (6) months’ imprisonment or both upon prosecution. It is no news that the expeditious implementation of legally biding instruments in Nigeria has always been an issue of long-term discourse, even if such is in the interest of nation. Nigerians are used to the dilly-dallying and selective implementation of such framework, hence majority of the car owners were taken unawares when uniformed armed policemen jump into their cars and order them to the station without telling them why, talk less asking if they have the required permit.
Taraba-South wants gov’s slot in 2015 From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo S 2015 election year draws nearer, people of southern geo-political zone of Taraba State have intensified their bid for the number-one position in the state. Political leaders from the area are complaining of marginalisation since the creation of the state 21 years ago, in spite of their wealth of experience and their contribution to the rapid growth of the state. Baring the minds of the people to The Guardian yesterday in Jalingo, the 2011 Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) governorship candidate for the state, Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya, expressed regrets that the zone, in spite of its peace-loving nature, had been relegated to the background.
Dickson tasks council chairmen on accountability From Willie Etim, Yenagoa WO weeks after the successful conduct of elections in the eight local council areas of Bayelsa State, the elected chairmen were formally sworn-in at the weekend with a stern warning from Governor Seriake Dickson that they should not turn the monthly allocation and other funds accruing to the council to their ‘pocket money’. Dickson, who gave the warning at the inauguration ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yenagoa, cautioned the new council chiefs to be financially disciplined, as he would not tolerate any act of indiscipline. His words: “As we are (the state government) neither deducting nor authorising any form of deductions from your council funds, we will also ensure that you (the chairmen) particularly do not use council funds as your own personal pocket money”.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
WorldReport John Kerry warns Iran after nuclear talks’ deadlock Begins Middle East peace process revival WO days after the latest T round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and world
Pope Francis (middle) celebrates a mass in Rome’s Saint John Lateran Basilica, the official seat of the bishop of Rome, during which he presides over a ceremony in which he formally takes possession of the church. PHOTO: AFP
Pope Francis completes installation with emotional mass HE leader of the world’s 1.2 T billion Catholics, Pope Francis, yesterday completed his installation as pontiff at an emotional ceremony in which he formally took possession of Rome’s St John Lateran basilica – the official seat of the city’s bishop. The pope, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported, was driven around the square in front of the basilica in an open-topped car with a crowd of thousands chanting “Long live the pope!” and one group holding up a banner reading: “We Love You!” He smiled and kissed children held up to him by members of his security detail. The strong wind forced
God’s patience has to call forth in us the courage to return to him, however many mistakes and sins there may be in our life… In my own life, I have so often seen God’s merciful countenance, his patience. Francis to take off his white skullcap as he waved to the faithful before the mass. Inside the giant basilica, Latin America’s first pontiff took time to speak to and embrace a long line of elderly and disabled people in wheelchairs in emotional scenes that drew rounds of applause from the congregation. “God always waits for us, even when we have left him behind,” the first nonEuropean pope in nearly 1,300 years said in his homily,
adding: “We hear many offers from the world around us but let us take up God’s offer instead.” “God’s patience has to call forth in us the courage to return to him, however many mistakes and sins there may be in our life,” he said. “In my own life, I have so often seen God’s merciful countenance, his patience,” he said. With a series of significant symbolic gestures, the 76-
year-old has shown that he intends to bring the Church closer to ordinary people, to reach out to the needy and to shake up Vatican traditions. Experts are watching closely for the pope’s appointments to key Vatican posts in the coming days, however, for signs of concrete action on challenges including the need for root-and-branch reform of the scandal-hit Vatican bureaucracy. The pope, who named himself after St Francis of Assisi saying he was inspired by the saint’s actions to alleviate poverty and promote peace, appointed the Spanish leader of the main Franciscan order to a top post on Saturday.
Son of American pastor, Rick Warren, commits suicide ATTHEW Warren, the M youngest son of popular pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, United States (U.S.), Rick Warren, has committed suicide. The late young man – one of three children of Warren and his wife, Kay – killed himself on Friday, the evangelical pastor revealed in an emotional letter to his church members. Warren, the popular author of The Purpose Driven Life, said in the letter that “at 27
years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many. “Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts.” Continuing, Warren wrote: “No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. “He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was
most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them. “In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counsellors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided. Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.” However, the pastor added that he and his wife “mar-
velled at his courage” to fight “relentless pain.” “I’ll never forget how, many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said, ‘Dad, I know I’m going to heaven. Why can’t I just die and end this pain?’ but he kept going for another decade,” the pastor indicated. Warren thanked church members and supporters for their “love and prayers,” telling them “we love you back.”
powers ended without an agreement, the United States’ (U.S.) top diplomat, John Kerry, has warned Tehran that time is running out and that such talks could not go on forever. The U.S. Secretary of State, who spoke at a news briefing in Istanbul, Turkey, said though the White House remained hopeful of a peaceful end to the standoff, he added that negotiations were not an “interminable process”. “This is not an endless process ... You can’t just talk for the sake of talking,” he said. Iran and six world powers – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – failed to break the deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear drive. The new development came amid growing calls in Israel for the setting of a deadline for Iran to halt its enrichment of uranium or face military action. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister, Yuval Steinitz, said yesterday that such an armed response should be taken within “a few weeks, a month” if Tehran refused to comply with demands that it cease its nuclear programme. But Kerry, speaking in Turkey at the start of a 10-day trip to Europe, the Middle East
and Asia, called for patience over the talks, saying “diplomacy is a painful task.” However, Kerry landed in Tel Aviv yesterday for three days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a bid to seek ways of reviving the frozen peace process, according to a report by Agence France Presse (AFP). He flew in from Turkey, touching down at Ben Gurion airport at around 1450 GMT, and was expected to travel directly to the West Bank city of Ramallah for evening talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Meanwhile, Israel’s lead peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, yesterday ruled out Turkey taking an immediate role in reviving talks with the Palestinians. Livni spoke shortly before the U.S. Secretary of State flew in. Asked if Turkey could play an important role in the peace process – an idea raised by Kerry at the media briefing earlier in the day in Istanbul, she told public radio: “The idea is interesting, but it could take time.” Livni, who is also justice minister, has been charged with heading up Israel’s efforts to renew direct negotiations with the Palestinians which fell apart just weeks after they were launched in September 2010 in a spat over settlement building.
Donors, others meet on Darfur’s rebuilding strategy TAKEHOLDERS including Sgroups donor countries and aid met yesterday to endorse a strategy to rebuild Sudan’s Darfur region, where a decade-long conflict shocked the world with atrocities against civilians. Opening the two-day meeting attended by some 400 delegates, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani, said: “Peace time has begun in Darfur. A peace that will be protected by development, not by force.” The conference, which has faced criticism inside Darfur itself, was agreed under a July 2011 peace deal, which
Khartoum signed in the Qatari capital with an alliance of rebel splinter groups. It seeks support for a development strategy requiring $7.2 billion (5.5 billion euros) for a six-year effort to move Darfur away from food handouts and other emergency aid, laying the foundation for lasting development through improved water facilities, roads and other infrastructure. “This conference is a unique opportunity for Sudan and Darfur to turn the destiny of this conflict-ridden region,” said Jorg Kuhnel, team leader of the UN Development Programme in Sudan.
China decries ‘troublemaking’ as North Korea prepares for ‘missile test’ HE new leadership in China T has warned against “troublemaking” on its doorstep, in an apparent rebuke to North Korea just as the United States (U.S.) said it was postponing a missile test to help calm high tension on the divided Korean peninsula. But South Korea’s government said yesterday that it believes North Korea may test a missile about April 10, citing as an indicator Pyongyang’s push for workers to leave the Kaesong Industrial Complex by then. Seoul “is on military readi-
ness posture,” South Korea’s Blue House spokeswoman, Kim Haeng, said in a briefing. She said national security chief, Kim Jang-soo, also based the assessment on North Korea’s hint to foreign diplomats in Pyongyang to send personnel out of the country. The Blue House is the office and residence of South Korea’s president, similar to the White House in the United States. “As of now, nothing out of the ordinary has been detected,” she said on Kim’s behalf. “If limited war is to break out, North Korea should bear
in mind that it will receive damage many times over.” The North, led by 30-year-old Kim Jong-un, has been issuing vitriolic threats of war against the United States and its ally, South Korea since, the United Nations (UN) imposed sanctions in response to its third nuclear weapon test in February. Pyongyang’s anger appears heightened by U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises. But most analysts said it has no intention of starting a conflict that would bring its own destruction and instead is out
If limited war is to break out, North Korea should bear in mind that it will receive damage many times over to wring concessions from a nervous international community. The North told diplomats late last week to consider leaving Pyongyang because of the tension, but embassies appeared to view the appeal as more rhetoric and staff have stayed put. South Korea said it was ready for any kind of action that the North’s unpredictable leaders
might make - including a possible missile launch - by Wednesday, after which the North said it could not guarantee diplomats’ safety. China, North Korea’s sole financial and diplomatic backer, has shown growing irritation with Pyongyang’s warnings of nuclear war. Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing a forum on the southern island of Hainan, did
not name North Korea but said no country “should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain”. Stability in Asia, he said, “faces new challenges, as hot spot issues keep emerging and both traditional and non-traditional security threats exist”. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed similar frustration in a statement late on Saturday, relating a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon. “We oppose provocative
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Politics Yoruba to redress ‘marginalisation’ in 2015 polls By Seye Olumide S President Goodluck Jonathan makes up his A mind whether to contest the 2015 presidential election, the Yoruba ethnic nationality has thrown him a challenge: he should not count on the support of its people if he refused to address the issue of marginalisation of its kinsmen in his cabinet. The Yoruba have accused the Jonathan-led administration of persistent and deliberate sideling their people in his government since he assumed power in 2011. They described the government action as an insult and a betrayal of the trust invested in the Jonathan project in 2010 and 2011. Specifically, the Yoruba leaders claimed that the president has refused to honour the provisions of section 13 of the 1999 Constitution, which bothers on federal character principle. Instead, the government indulged in removal and replacement of their people from key government positions, lopsided recruitment into the Federal Civil Service and imbalance in the appointment of cabinet members. The Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), an umbrella body for other Yoruba sociocultural groups, has been championing the cause, and calling on other Yoruba people, including the governors of the Southwest states, particularly the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to join in the crusade. However, not all the Yoruba share the opinion that President Jonathan is marginalising them. To those in this school of thought, the questions are: What has the Jonathan-led administration done so special to his South-South region that he has failed to do to the Yoruba since he assumed power in 2011? What special benefits have any other ethnic nationalities gained under the administration that the Yoruba were deprived? And what has the Yoruba nation benefited from her people who held federal appointments in the past? Whatever the situation, though, the issues remain very sensitive and President Jonathan is expected to take a second look at it ahead of the 2015 election. At the last general meeting of YUF in Ikene, Ogun State, the hometown of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the focus of discussions was basically on the marginalisation, and how to redress it ahead of the next elections. In her opening remarks, the convener/host Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Dideolu Awolowo, urged the Southwest leaders to guard against making poor political choices in the 2015 general elections. She lamented that the support the zone gave to the actualisation of Jonathan’s presidential ambition in 2011 appeared taken for granted with the alleged marginalisation of the Yoruba in his administration. She enjoined the Yoruba to be wary of all forms of deceit in their political negotiations and bargaining for 2015. Insisting on the need for the Yoruba to put their house in order and address the division among them, Mr. Awolowo said: “It is imperative of the Yoruba to get its act right during the next round of elections in the country. “Rather than negotiating for selfish purposes, Yoruba leaders must pursue and settle for decisions that would be beneficial to the entire Yoruba race. Yoruba must think well and take proper decision.” She also warned against Yoruba politicians walking astray in 2015 so that the same story would not be repeated. “The journey of 2011, which we all embarked upon, has clearly taught us lessons. We played a leading role in the last presidential election but when it was time to share positions, we were marginalised. We should all learn.” The Secretary General of YUF, Senator Tony Adefuye, said the marginalisation of the Yoruba could not be corrected simply by appointment to key positions in the public service. “The action, though desirable and a demand by the forum, is perceived as a necessary action by government to right the wrongs of the past and a first step by government to ameliorate the effects of the injustice meted to the Yoruba nation over the years,” he said. Projecting a long-term solution to the matter, the YUF scribe called for a comprehensive and fundamental address to issues relating to the deliberate marginalisation in the recruitment of young graduates and middle-level personnel of Yoruba origin to the public service.
From left, Chief Falae, Bishop Gbonigi and Senator Bode Olajumoke during a meeting of the forum recently He decried the deliberate career truncation of the Yoruba resulting from arbitrary transfers or removal from office without due process. “This must be thoroughly investigated and all anomalies rectified as this negatively affected Yoruba representation in the public service,” he said. Stating other demands, Adefuye urged that the Federal Government must ensure the principle of federal character is reflected in all employment; put in place a policy setting aside 10 per cent of all recruitments in addition to what should be the Yoruba quotas into public service for the next 10 years beginning from 2013; and halt the systematic discrimination, stagnation and arbitrary removal from office of Yoruba officers in public office. He asked for the reinstatement of all Yoruba officers, who were arbitrarily removed from office while those alleged to have violated any civil service regulations should be refereed to the Federal Civil Service Commission. Chairman of the meeting, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, noted that the disenchantment by the Yoruba leaders was not another whining and idle ranting of marginalisation and secession threats by political jobbers, but one backed by facts and collective support of the Southwest zone. He argued that the Yoruba had been excluded from apex political seats, control of principal economic and financial agencies, control of the judiciary, anti-corruption, educational and management agencies, security services and so on. He tagged these as, “ethnic cleansing and other discriminatory acts against the Yoruba in the federal service.” The bishop said the YUF leaders were acting in defence of commensurate political relevance for their people and not appointment for themselves. Apparently aware that the marginalisation calls have not been unusual among the diverse ethnic groups lately in the country, former Secretary of the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, said their complaints “about the systematic marginalisation of the Yoruba” could not be equated to the usual cries of marginalisation from all geopolitical zones, which the President referred to sometimes ago while swearing in some new members of the Federal Character Commission. “While other zones may make routine complaints of marginalisation with a view to having a better deal, the degree of marginalisation of the Southwest zone borders on an attempt to excise the zone out of the Federation,” he said. Like anecdotes, marginalisation claims are often greatly exaggerated or greatly misunderstood. However, to show that neither would apply in this case, Falae presented a YUF fact sheet titled: ‘Partial documentation of evidence of
Yoruba marginalisation in President Jonathan’s administration.’ Falae’s position was clear; the Southwest people had been deprived of their rights to equality of treatment as Nigerians, much to the displeasure of the people. According to him: “The Yoruba are a patient, long-suffering and very self-reliant people who have learnt to survive without undue dependence on government. “Still, as an integral component of this our country Nigeria, with a population of about 30 million, or about 22 per cent of the country’s population, they must be accorded the rights and entitlements commensurate with their number and status as free and equal citizens of Nigeria.” Falae, presidential candidate of the All Peoples Party (APP)/Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999, observed that no Yoruba is included in the current list of 12 topmost positions, from the President to Head of Service of the Federation that constitute the apex of the political power hierarchy in the country. “These people constitute the source from which all other powers flow. Thus, the absence of any Yoruba at the top of the political hierarchy has consequential adverse effects on the Yoruba in respect of appointments and job security throughout the federation,” he said. “For example, the committee set up by the president in October 2011 to review and work on the appointments to board memberships of Federal Statutory Corporations and Agencies included no Yoruba person, because it was composed primarily of members from the above apex.” He said the implication of such omission is: “Whoever is not represented at the cake sharing exercise will at best get the crumbs. Also, Yoruba in the Service are being constantly subjected to humiliating sacks and postings because they have no one at the top of the hierarchy to plead their case.” Falae stressed that not all the 12 positions listed at the apex of the power hierarchy are elective; hence, the president could have filled at least one of the purely appointive ones with a Yoruba of his choice, to accommodate the federal character principle. The forum also berated the president that in the 36 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) identified, which substantially control the economic and financial direction of the country, only three, that is eight per cent, are headed by Yoruba. “There was a fourth Yoruba person heading one of the agencies until last November when she (Dr. Bola Onagoruwa) was ceremoniously dismissed as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, the agency responsible for the privatisation of public companies,” Falae said. The fact sheet also identifies that of the 11 officers who control the Judiciary and the anti-corruption agencies, there is no Yoruba; of the 17 educational
PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM management positions, only two are occupied by Yoruba; of the 10 widely recognised positions dealing with National Security, only one is occupied by the “marginalised group,” among others. Falae said that it was an irony that the Yoruba should find themselves in their present predicament, citing that “in the dying days of the Umaru Yar’Adua Administration, when he was incapacitated by illness and there was a lot of reluctance to make Jonathan acting president, it was predominantly Yoruba activists who led the march on the National Assembly to force the lawmakers to pronounce Jonathan Acting President. “When the then Acting President Jonathan chose to run for president, he got the enthusiastic endorsement of many Yoruba progressives, especially the leadership of YUF,” Falae said. “Die-hard Awoists pushed his acceptability to the Yoruba by portraying him as an Awolowo protégé, and as a fulfillment of an earlier Awolowo prophesy regarding the Ijaws and the Presidency… “In the presidential election, many Yoruba openly demonstrated their support for him, as opposed to his party by voting for him, even though they had massively rejected his party in the earlier elections. The Yoruba vote, more than those of any other part of Nigeria, gave his election credibility and universal acceptability.” Falae queried: “Why, in spite of all these, would President Goodluck Jonathan choose to turn against the Yoruba now? He is the president of all Nigerians, not just of his party men, nor even of those who voted for him or his party. “We implore Mr. President to rise to the demands of his office and rule as the president of all Nigerians, including the Yoruba people.” A PDP chieftain, Senator Bode Olajumoke, who felt the imbalance must be redressed, said all Yoruba, irrespective of political affiliation, were bothered about the marginalisation, adding that plans were on the way to meet with the president. But The Guardian was made to understand that several overtures made to Jonathan over the issue had not yielded any result. “On two occasions, we had tried to meet with President Jonathan but for one reason or the other, he could not meet with us,” said a source. On what the next line of action if there were no change in fortune or the implication for 2015 general elections, the YUF chorused that they would not be distracted from the motive of the meeting. A former member of the House of Representatives, Olusegun Sadiku, insisted that Yoruba couldn’t continue to deal with the issue as if they were begging for what they were entitled for under the Constitution. Referring to section 13 of the 1999 Constitution,
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Why Delta pursues self-reliant, self-dependent economy, by Ogeah Mr. Chike Ogeah, Delta State Commissioner for Information, spoke to Tunde Akinola on the mid-term achievement of the administration of Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan. HAT impact are the various W projects across the state making on the transformation of the economy? We are satisfied that people are appreciating these projects, which are scattered across the state. The development vision, which had given birth to the projects, has been going on for a long time. Now, investors are coming from outside. The era of electoral litigation is over and it is all about development. We have pressed on with what has to be done because the mandate of the current administration is for a certain length of time and it is already mid-term into that tenure. Many of our projects are mega ventures. I say so because they require different budgetary cycles to be actualised. Despite this fact, and as gigantic as these projects are, the people are already feeling their impact. Could you list these projects? We keep reminding people that Delta is a multi-city state unlike states where you can count only one or two cities. The unique fact about the state is that whatever you use as a yardstick/standard in Asaba must also be the case in Ughelli, Agbor, Warri, Kwale, Burutu, Patani and Bomadi. In this light, an infrastructural revolution is taking place simultaneously in these places and all over the state. We also have social programmes in areas such as healthcare. The state government has initiated a free healthcare programme for children under five; a free maternal healthcare and rural healthcare programme as well as massive efforts to sustain the programmes. Similar attention is given to the education sector. There is scholarship award for first-class graduates. The sector has witnessed major infrastructural improvement in schools. We have delivered 50 model schools of world-class standard. In addition, over 200 schools are being renovated to this standard, including schools in very remote parts of the state. In all the nooks and crannies of the state, you will find these school projects. A lot of money is going into this and it is because the state government appreciates the importance of human capital development. Another aspect is the welfare of teachers. Our schools need firstclass teachers because we want our children to have the best of education under the right environment. We want them to develop the knowledge and confidence required to become world-class citizens. Now, you can reconcile this with the need to have very high teaching standards in the right environment; hence, the training and retraining of teachers. The Micro Credit Scheme has been globally acknowledged with awards. It is a runaway success for Delta State. We have stopped going for the CBN Award (after winning it several times) so that other states can develop. The state’s micro credit scheme is a revolving credit, which the government provides for the citizenry through micro-finance banks. It is a great initiative because it is for the poor. Evidently, the scheme is impacting positively on the wellbeing of the most vulnerable segment of society, including the physically challenged, such as the blind. The last Good Governance Tour acknowledged these developments taking place across the state. There was massive exhibition of the development strides. These included
Ogeah areas such as agriculture (fishing, farming and food production such as spices, which are being sold all over the world). These products are being exported and this helps the beneficiaries to repay the loans. There is said to be a high repayment rate among the women being empowered. This is another part of the success story. In culture and tourism, what we are doing is also at the centre of the state government’s three-point agenda. These are Infrastructural Development, Human Capital Development, Peace and Security. This vision is one way we are repositioning the state beyond oil, and tourism is a major plank for its realisation. To this end, we have developed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative in the sector. This is responsible for the massive park in Oleri, Udu Local Government Area. There is a British-based company championing the development of the facility. What the state government has done is to provide the kind of environment needed for its actualisation in terms of infrastructure, without which it would be impossible to actualise the project. A bridge has been constructed there due to its terrain. Being a marshland, it was totally reclaimed and the large river that was separating the land now has a bridge across it. This has produced a conducive atmosphere for serious development to take place. There is a team park, malls, a fivestar hotel and a three-star hotel, shopping halls and I assure you that everything is going to be fine there. It is going to be our own Disney Land, as it is our desire to attract tourists to the state. Foreign earnings will be boosted in the state by the time we finish the project. There is what is now called Medical Tourism. And because of this, the Delta State University Teaching
Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara, has witnessed a level of revolutionary development. It has facilities for knee and hip replacement surgery and the needed facilities for all types of surgeries. It also has equipment for scans. The government has signed an agreement with a university in the United State of America (USA) for movement of top personnel and all levels of the highest consultancy services we need would be readily available in Oghara. There, we now have state-of-the-art facilities. Those who go to countries such as India to spend foreign reserves can now do it in DELSUTH in Oghara. The idea behind this is to open up the economy and this is the way we are going in all the sectors. We have made massive investments in the transportation sector. Look at the Warri Free Trade Zone. We are developing the ports in Koko and Warri. There is the airport in Asaba. We are going to have in place a ring road axis and side by side with the Asaba-Ughelli road dualisation, we want to form a ring road around the state. Why are we doing this? Asaba is so strategically located. Onitsha is, perhaps, the biggest market in subSaharan Africa and it is just five to 10 minutes away. We also want the airport to be a cargo airport. The cargo section is going to be handled by the Federal Government; it has nothing to do with the state government. Aren’t you just blowing your trumpet? We are not blowing our own trumpet. They are the ones who have realised the kind of farming activities and cash crops in this area. Asaba can be the hub for this. So, this is ongoing. Also, considering the industrial base of Onitsha, you can imagine the kind of investment traffic we are talking about. Same thing will happen when the Ughelli/Asaba
road dualisation is finally completed. At its three sections, work is going on simultaneously. It is one of the projects where we are using the bond; it’s tied to it. The efforts will reduce the overreliance on the port in Lagos. Big ships can berth in Warri and Koko. The only problem for now is that some level of dredging needs to be done and obviously, that is a Federal Government project. It can facilitate commerce and the people in the Southeast can start using Warri Port for businesses instead of going to Lagos for their containers and all that. There is also the Warri Industrial Park. The state government was only supposed to be a facilitator when the idea was muted, but the company that was behind the huge idea did not have the resources to take it to the height it is supposed to be. Government saw it had already committed itself to the project — and also with the fact that it is a noble project — has become the chief driver. The Warri Industrial Park is to complement the EGTL (Gas to Liquid) project in Escravos, which already employs over 10,000 people. The park will add another 20,000 people. We will have massive clients coming there because it is an industrial park where all kinds of companies and heavy manufacturing concerns will be brought under one umbrella. We have witnessed a lot of problems concerning compensations for the land but I think all that is gone now. We have a lot of infrastructure projects to put in place there and I know that a lot of the clients are coming in and development of the projects has started, such as buildings that this wonder of a project will occupy. So, all these are what the present administration under Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is doing to lay a solid foundation for both the
Sometimes, you cannot divorce politics from the economy. By the time the governor was taking over in 2007, there were many issues. Some were highly distractive. There was the determination in some quarters to get him out at all costs for perceived sins. This is capable of hindering progress and development but with God on his side, he overcame that period. You will remember that he read the riot act to us, the commissioners, when we joined the government. He told us that with the elections over, we should go the whole hog having lost quite an amount of time over electoral litigation.
industrial and economic wellbeing of Delta State. Would you say these projects took off early in the life of the administration or they came late? Sometimes, you cannot divorce politics from the economy. By the time the governor was taking over in 2007, there were many issues. Some were highly distractive. There was the determination in some quarters to get him out at all costs for perceived sins. This is capable of hindering progress and development but with God on his side, he overcame that period. You will remember that he read the riot act to us, the commissioners, when we joined the government. He told us that with the elections over, we should go the whole hog having lost quite an amount of time over electoral litigation. He charged us to go full swing into development and this is why every commissioner has one thing at the back of his/her mind, which is maximum output. You can see the Commissioner for Environment with this full zeal. He is reviving the urban areas across the state and making sure the environment is protected. You are aware of the terrible experiences brought by last year’s flood. Some persons were blocking water channels and building on waterways and even on sewages and under high-tension cables but these practices have been made a thing of the past. The beautification of our major cities is also ongoing. Flyovers are going to be built in Warri and Asaba to ease traffic in vital areas. Government’s massive investments in the sector also include the purchase of buses and speedboats. This was done because Delta is about 40 per cent of riverine areas and government also considers the welfare of the residents. We have the Delta State Economic Management Team, which is made up of eminent Deltans. They are professionals who are not in government and sit together from time to time. We tell them how the ship of state is going and they give us their ideas. The members are very successful people and they offer this service at no cost to the state. Its chairman is Mr. Bismarck Rewane. This shows how we plan and that we are committed to short, medium and longterm development of the state. Why is the government investing so heavily in these areas? It is clear that in going forward, Nigeria is going to be truly many states in one country. What I mean is that already, we have 36 States but the individual states will move at their own pace, which is the real meaning of federalism. There are choices that different governments and different states will have to make to go forward. This is why we have decided against over-reliance on oil. We want to become self-reliant and set our economy towards self-dependence. If you come down to Asaba, another of the great projects we are using to actualise the Delta Beyond Oil initiative is the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Park. Already, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has started building its bridge institute at Ugbolu as well as massive infrastructure work by the government. As I said, many of these projects are gigantic, and may extend beyond the life span of this government. However, where this would be the case, the present administration would have taken them to a level where they will be no going back. The projects will benefit the people of Delta State in such a way that jobs will be created. We want to make sure that with the provision of infrastructure, they will just be creating jobs for the teeming youths. This is our plan.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
TheMetroSection Hamza’s dream shattered by death • Father of teenage student seeks justice over son’s mysterious death in Military School
Briefs Family marks 10th anniversary of Atinuke Ige’s death THANKSGIVING service to A mark the 10th anniversary of death of Justice Atinuke Ige, Bola Ige’s wife, holds on Wednesday, April 10, at St. Anne’s Church, Molete, Ibadan, Oyo State, at 11.00 a.m. According to a release by the scion of the Bola Ige Dynasty and Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Muyiwa Ige: “ She lived a wonderful life worthy of emulation. She was a distinguished jurist and an epitome of humility and honour. These are the reasons why we continue to celebrate her glorious life”. “ We will then go to The Vale College, Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan where we will dedicate a School Hall in her memory. There will be a presentation of a book written in my mother’s honour by my wife, Oyindamola Ige. Moreover, we have also put together a book of tributes that will be a keepsake”. Dignitaries expected at the event include ministers, governors, senators, House of Assembly members, business moguls and other friends and loyalists of the late Chief Bola Ige.
The late Hamza
From Murtala Mohammed, Kano
Whenever he put on his military fatigue, he used to tell us about his dream to lead soldiers to the war-front as a commander one day LL that promising Hamza Muhammed Dan Azumi aspired for in life was to be counted among the most gallant soldiers of the Nigeria Army. Indeed, he had even envisaged how he would rise through the ranks to become a General of the Nigerian Army. To actualize that goal, he joined the famous Nigeria Military School (NMS) Zaria in 2010. It was a rare opportunity for Hamza, who did not actually secure it on platter of gold. Hamza had to score the required merit points to fulfill the requirements to secure admission into the Nigerian Military School (NMS), Zaria. Right from the day he stepped his foot on the soil of the NMS, all those who knew Hamza from his formative years attested to the fact that he had the passion and the zeal to excel in his chosen field of human endeavour. Muktar Idi, his childhood friend, recalls: “He was so happy, so excited about his entry into the military school. Whenever he put on his military fatigue, he used to tell us about his dream to lead soldiers to the war front as a commander one day.” The mysterious death of 14-year-old Hamza, a JSS 3A, Lagos Company, with Registration Number NMS/2010/6830
The late Hamza and his father, Mohammed Dan Azumi
recently in his Zaria Military School has shattered such dream. Hamza’s decomposed body was found in a stagnant river near the Military School. It was believed that unknown person(s) gruesomely murdered the lad. His corpse was discovered on Wednesday, March 27, after the school authorities informed Hamza’s father, Malam Mohammed Ali Dan Azumi that his son had been missing from school since March 24. The scene turned horrible when the father got to Zaria on March 27, to pick Hamza only to discover his son’s body inside a stagnant river. Narrating the ugly experience to The Guardian from his Brigade Quarters base in Kano, Mohammed Dan Azumi, the father of late Hamza, a retired Banker with First Bank said it never occurred to him that when he took his son to school at the start of the term recently, he would be called upon by the school authorities to come and take away his son’s corpse within a few days. Dan Azumi, who is still in shock over the sudden demise of his promising son, stated that explanations offered by the Commandant of the Military School on the “mysterious death is not convincing enough.” He alleged that his son must have been murdered, as he pointed accusing fingers at one Lieutenant Odoh, an Officer in the school. Dan Azumi said although the school authority told him Hamza escaped from the Guard -room where he was detained for several days to serve punishment for breaking school rules, he was at a loss as to
how his son would bypass heavy military presence to go out of the school to the scene where he was murdered. Dan Azumi particularly claimed that he was aware of stories of how one Lieutenant Odoh had been unduly meting out punishment to his son. According to him: “Anytime Hamza called home, he would not stop complaining about this Lieutenant Odoh. I also have a friend that stays in Zaria who used to help me check on Hamza and he also complained to my friend on several occasions. He also informed me about that woman and how she begged for money. I can also remember late last year when I visited the school and, after departure, Hamza called to inform me that this woman was abusing him that I did not drop anything for her, to the extent that he said he normally ran away from her.” Reminiscing on the condition that he met Hamza the last time he visited the Military School, the distressed father claimed that before he heard of Hamza’s death, “ Hamza was locked up in guard room even during the examination but I was consoled by the Commandant who assured me that the punishment would not affect Hamza’s performance in the examination.” Dan Azumi urged the authorities to wade into the mysterious death of his son and bring whoever is the culprit to book. He noted: “ Why I will insist on justice and hold Odoh responsible. A day to the vacation, this woman called me asking me if I knew the whereabouts of Hamza and I asked her how I was supposed to know when I was not in the school. Then she told me Hamza had been missing since Sunday and that
was why she decided to call to find out. Well, I told her that since I would be in Zaria to pick Hamza for vacation, there was no problem that we would sort things out.” All efforts to speak with the Commandant of the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Col. Abdullah Lawal Faskari on the development proved fruitless as the Commandant did not pick several calls to his line and did not reply text messages sent to his cell phone. Also efforts to obtain the autopsy result of late Hamza from the authorities of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) also met brick walls. Dan Azumi expressed dismay over the continued delay of the autopsy result by the Pathology Department of the hospital, insinuating possible connivance with the NMS to frustrate efforts to unearth the circumstances surrounding the death of his son. “ I don’t know how long it usually takes to produce autopsy result, but for now, the hospital is not specific as to when we can come back for the result. The test was conducted on March 28 and they asked us to check back on April 2. When we got there the Doctor told us we still needed to come back for the final result of which they cannot predict when it will come out,” Dan Azumi explained. While all hopes to uncover the mystery sounding the death of Dan Azumi rests on the final authentic outcome of autopsy still with ABUTH, the Dan Azumi family insists that until justice prevails over the death of their son, they will not rest the case.
CIBN director loses father HE death has occurred of T Prince Joshua Adeoye Ogunnowo Awojobi (aka Baba Alaago) and Baba Ijo of Methodist Church Nigeria, Oke Arowa, Ago-Iwoye. He died on November 28, 2012 at the age of 91. Commendation Service holds on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at Methodist Church Nigeria, Oke- Arowa, Ago Iwoye, at 10.00a.m. while funeral service is on Saturday, April 13, 2013, Methodist Cathedral, Imere, Ago- Iwoye, Ogun State. He is survived by wife, children among whom is Mr. ‘Seye Awojobi, (FCIB), an Assistant Director/Group Head, Ethics and Professionalism, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), grand children and other relations.
Accident kills family of six on Calabar-Ikom highway From Anietie Akpan, Calabar FAMILY of six at the weekend perished in a ghastly road accident along Calabar-Ikom highway in Central Senatorial district of Cross River State. A witness said members of the same family were travelling in the Toyota Camry Saloon, which was crushed by an oncoming empty trailer as the Toyota was trying to overtake at a sharp bend.
Villagers of Ehom community in Biase, Cross River state rushed out in shock for possible rescue on hearing the sudden bang but were helpless as the mangled lifeless bodies of four females and two males of the popular Osim family in Ikom trailed the scene of the accident The driver of the Toyota Camry, Mr. Bernard Osim, an anesthetic technician at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, who was the elder
brother to the Special Adviser to Senator Liyel Imoke on Political Affairs, Mr. Fred Osim, his wife, Mrs. Mercy Osim, mother, Agada Osim, niece, Faith Odigha, younger sister, Delight Osim and an unidentified younger brother all died in the accident. The villagers wailed uncontrollably at the as one of the victims who was rushed to a nearby hospital died.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
A policewoman undergoing a check-up during a free health programme organized by the Neo-Black Movement (NBM) of Africa in Warri, Delta State ...at the weekend.
Suspected rapists infect 12-year-old with HIV in Jigawa From John Akubo, Dutse HE Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Jigawa State Command, has arrested six suspects in connection with the rape of a 12- year-old girl in Kantakara area of Maigatari town. The Jigawa State Sector Commandant, Alhaji Muhammed Gidado Fari, who made the disclosure to newsmen over the weekend, said the six suspects who conspired to rape the 12-year-old girl, were already in their custody, adding that they would soon be arraigned in court for prosecu-
tion. He said the rape victim was confirmed to have been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) after the medical examination by a doctor. “According to the medical report by the doctor, the girl has become infected with HIV/AIDS as a result of the rape. “In view of this, serious measures have to be taken against future occurrence.” Fari said his command would ensure that “the mat-
ter is treated to its logical conclusion to serve as deterrent to others who might have similar evil tendency towards young girls in the society.” The commandant assured that the command would not rest on its oars in ridding the society of criminal activities, adding that his command had taken the security of people serious in line with the Command’s mandate. He said those arrested in connection with the rape incident had been found to be specialists in the act of raping young girls.
Be conscious of environmental safety, Nigerians told By Isaac Taiwo IGERIANS have been urged to be more environmental safety conscious by de-emphasizing bad habits that are inimical to environmental safety and embracing those habits that guarantee, promote and sustain safety in the environment while the government has also been enjoined to awaken to the reality that it is better to prevent disaster than to respond to it. This call was made by the President/Chairman of Council of the Institute, Senator Levi Nwokeafor during the induction/investiture ceremonies of five fellows, 40 members, 17 associates and
four corporate members of the Corporate Institute of Risk and Safety Management with the theme: “Environmental Safety Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” which took place in Lagos. Nwokeafor, who was represented by the Vice President of the Institute, former Chief of Army Staff, General Ogomudia Alexander, said the need to create national awareness with a view to sensitizing the average Nigerian on the importance of being more environmental conscious, becomes very necessary because Nigeria of today is under threat at all fronts of its existence. “The birth of Corporate Insti-
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, his wife, Bisi (left)and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during the minister’s condolence visit to the governor over the death of his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka at the GovPHOTO: NAN ernment House, Ado Ekiti...yesterday
tute of Risk and Safety Management (CIRSM) is aimed at being a change agent in the silent revolution to meet the yearning of our country’s men and women for a secure environment for life and property.” “ The Guest Speaker, Principal Lecturer, Department of Health, Safety and Environment, Gateway Industrial and Petrogas Institute, Ogun State, Kadiri Shamusideen declared that “it is what we give to the environment that the environment gives back to us and man himself is the root cause of the universal worry of climate change.”
Registrar, Mrs. Oluyemisi Gbadebo (right), Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Israel Babalola, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, former Communications Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili and Mrs. Bola Obasanjo at the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria during the College of Natural and Applied Sciences College Lecture Series VII with the theme: “National Transformation: The challenge of our time ” delivered by Akunyili at the University’s Multipurpose Hall... PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO
Guinness gets award for supporting water sector initiative HE Federal Ministry of T Water Resources and Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative (RWASI) has commended Guinness Nigeria Plc, for its pivotal role in supporting the government in the attainment of the Millennium De-
velopment Goals (MDGs), safe water and sanitation in the country. In acknowledgement, the ministry presented a recognition award of Most Socially Responsible Private Sector Company to the company.
Briefs Auchipoly holds confab on leadership, management HE Department of Mass Communication; Auchi Polytechnic, T Auchi, Edo State would tomorrow and Wednesday hold a twoday national conference in honour of the school’s rector, Dr. (Mrs) Philipa Idogho. A statement by the Convener/Coordinator , Pastor Idowu Ojo, said the theme of the conference is: Effective Leadership: A tool for achieving organisational goals for national development. He said papers would be presented by eminent scholars while Governor Adams Oshiomhole would be the Special Guest of Honour.
Solomon Opeibi dies at 87 HE death has occurred of T Chief Solomon Alabi Opeibi at the age of 87. Opeibi, a former Councillor, Ikeja Local Council, was also the Head, Amule Village, Ayobo, Ipaja, Lagos. A statement, on behalf of the family, by Associate Professor (Dr.) Tunde Opeibi, Senior Special Assistant-HE (ODG), Lagos State, said funeral arrangements would be announced by the family.
Speaking during the 2013 Water Awards in commemoration of the World Water Day in Abuja, the Minister for Water Resources, Mrs. Serah Ochekpe described the Guinness Plc as one of the most socially responsible private sector company in the country. According to her, “Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to improving access to potable water and sanitation in rural and urban areas of the country through integrated water resources projects is commendable. The company has shown outstanding commitment to the development of the water sector by delivering effective and efficient water projects to a large number of Nigerians. The Managing Director , Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Seni Adetu represented by the Head of Sustainability and Responsibility, Mrs. Adrianne Nwagwu said: “The company remains a leader not just in the alcoholic beverage industry, but also in the Corporate Social Responsibility space, and has also remained the benchmark for innovation and performance in both spheres of influence in Nige-
Peoples Warden, Bunmi Osunrinde (left); Bishop of Lagos Mainland Diocese, Rt. Rev. Samuel Ajayi, Vice Lay President, Lagos Mainland Diocese, Babatunde Odufuwa, Provost, African Church Cathedral Salem (ACCS), Ven. Samuel Bamiselu and the Chairman, Planning Committee, Mr. Adetoro Osunrinade during the first Diocesan Praise Fiesta concert at the Lagos Mainland Diocese, ACCS, in Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN
Council members of Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD): Mr. Ola Azeez, ex-oﬃcio; Mr. Steve Olayinka, treasurer; Mrs. Janet Jolaoso, second Vice President; Mr. Kayode Ogungbuyi, president; Mr. Oluyide Falusi, ex-oﬃcio; Mr. Francis Akinyemi, P.R.O.; Mr. Ojo Olayinka, ex-oﬃcio and other newly elected during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the institute held in Lagos ...
14 THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011)
Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial Reforming criminal justice system and plea bargaining HE attempt by the House of Representatives to reform the administration T of criminal justice generally, and plea bargaining in particular, is a welcome break from the many self-seeking legislations that have occupied its attention of late. Useful as it may be as part of justice dispensation machinery, plea bargaining has been subjected to abuse in a way to trivialise serious criminal conduct and indeed encourage the looting of the treasury by public officers. And the conduct of criminal prosecution is still too slow and against international standard. If these lapses are what the members of the House of Representatives are seeking to rectify in the new bill they are debating, it will be worth the time spent on it. That the country’s criminal justice system is primitive and therefore overdue for reforms is an incontrovertible fact. The constitution envisages quick dispensation of justice when it provides in Section 36 (4): “Whenever any person is charged with a criminal offence, he shall, unless the charge is withdrawn, be entitled to a fair hearing in public within a reasonable time by a court or tribunal.” it is however common knowledge that criminal cases take unduly long period of time to decide in court, notwithstanding the popular principle that justice delayed is justice denied. Politicians and political office holders standing trial for corruption and abuse of office are the greatest beneficiaries of this deficit in criminal justice system. Often, trial drags to the point that conviction becomes unlikely, as witnesses may no longer be readily available; and where they are available, some facts relating to the case would have been distorted. Incredibly, some of the accused persons sometimes win election in the course of trial, into an office where they can enjoy immunity from prosecution. For this reason, the current bill deserves commendation. Among others, the bill seeks to limit adjournment of cases to five times and not more than 14 days intervals between the adjournments. If this law is given effect, it has potential to bring suspects to book timeously, and thus aid the battle against corruption. The House recommendation on plea bargaining is also instructive in recognising that the idea is not inherently wrong as a doctrine, particularly where the offence involved is not grievous. Apart from helping the state to conserve resources and time that would otherwise have been dissipated on a long trial, it also helps in averting prison congestion. This conforms with the current trend of cutting down on custodial sentences in less serious offences. However, what is despicable is the abuse it has suffered in the hands of practitioners, including judges who make themselves willing tool in the hands of politicians desperate to pervert the concept. That the new bill places stricter checks and balances on plea bargaining by demanding that police investigation be taken into consideration and that public interest must be paramount in determining its appropriateness or suitability in any given situation is a positive development. This checks the blanket discretion of the judge who at present determines singlehandedly what principles to apply or what to take into consideration. The danger of this unfettered discretion came to the fore in virtually all the corruption cases before the courts where the accused persons were favoured. Many of them were convicted to just a few days in prison for an offence that ordinarily warrants several years of imprisonment. Some others were set free. Yet what they were made to return to the state out of their loot were so paltry compared to what was stolen. The House should go further to ensure that for anyone to be entitled to the plea, he must first and foremost be willing to divulge on oath all the details of the crime at issue and his loot, including the names of his accomplices. In addition, he must be ready and willing to give up a reasonable part of what was allegedly stolen. No one, whatever his status, must walk away unscathed, in the name of plea bargaining, where he has been found guilty. There must be adequate recompense for the offence committed. However, there are existing legislations enacted purposely to ensure speedy dispensation of justice. One of such laws is the Lagos State Magistrates’ Courts Law 2009, which in Section 42(4) provides that “the Magistrate shall endeavour to conclude all criminal matters within ninety (90) days from the date of arraignment.” The truth, however, is that no criminal case gets decided within a year or more in spite of this provision. This is because beyond the legislation, there is no capacity – human or material to ensure the realization of its lofty objectives. It is therefore not enough to legislate speedy dispensation of justice, it is also important to ensure that adequate support system is put in place to bring this to pass. Speedy dispensation of justice will be aided where there are enough courts with environment conducive for trial, equipped with electronic recording devices, adequate manpower, and other facilities. Without these, the noble intention, which the proposed legislation represents would be another mirage.
Indecent dressing on campuses The spate of indecent and be aroused by merely seeing SmaleIR:provocative dressing among sensitive parts of a mature and female students in lady. university campuses in the name of fashion and modernity is quite alarming. But the fad is rampant among the females. Ladies in higher institutions have thrown away values and culture as Africans, to embrace the Western ways of dressing. They seem to have forgotten that a typical African or Nigerian woman is cultured and is expected to always cover sensitive parts of her body and not making a public show of the body to attract harassment and rape, as it has been medically proven that a man could
Every culture in Nigeria disapproves of indecent exposures; sadly, some mothers and elderly women who should be custodians of our culture are now towing the line. Even female celebrities, especially actresses who should be role models to the young ones are guilty of seductive and provocative dressing. Girls who wear revealing clothes should know that those they think they are trying to impress are not impressed; instead they help make them look stupid.
Parents ought to be good moral exemplars to their children, give them attention and regulate the films they watch at home just as the mass media should promote good moral values; religious leaders must also preach against this trend. Some institutions in Nigeria, in trying to curb the menace of indecent dressing on their campuses, have taken commendable steps in enforcing dress codes for their students, such as the University of Lagos, University of Ilorin and Ambrose Alli University. This should encourage others. • Fatima Abdullahi,
Adieu, scion of the Awolowo dynasty IR: The Vice Chairman of SBishop Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) Bolanle Gbonigi and the entire members of the organisation commiserate with the founder and chairman of the organisation, Yeye Oodua Chief Mrs. H. I. D. Awolowo and the entire Obafemi Awolowo dynasty on the passing away into eternal glory of the scion of the family, Evangelist Chief Oluwole Awolowo. The YUF received with deep shock but with gratitude to God Almighty the news of the death of Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who lived a very simple life. He was a very hard-
working man and a silent achiever with unobtrusive personality. For about four decades, he held forte successfully as the Publisher and Vice Chairman of the inimitable Tribune titles, effectively steering the ship of the organisation. Even in very difficult times for the print media in Nigeria, Oluwole Awolowo was always on top of the situation ensuring that the Tribune titles remain vibrant and independent. In the tradition of the Awolowo heritage, he was a detribalised Nigerian patriot and a very committed Yoruba leader. In the last two decades, he
devoted his time and resources to the work of God propagating the gospel as a renowned evangelist. He was a philanthropist, always ready to assist the needy. It is heart rending and most painful to believe that my good old friend “Unbreakable” is no more. In this period of grief, May God Almighty grant Mama, Yeye Oodua in particular the matriarch of the family and the entire Awolowo dynasty the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. • Kunle Olajide, Publicity Secretary, YUF.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
N30 billion Lagos road extension project for commissioning next year By Taiwo Hassan HE Lagos State Government, in conjunction with its technical partners- the World Bank and the French Development Agency, has said the ongoing Mile 12-Ikorodu town BRT extension project would gulp N30 billion, on completion in 2014. Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) made this disclosure at a press briefing on the project in Lagos, over the weekend, explaining that the multimillion Naira project was designed to extend BRT service from Mile 12- Ikorodu, while also improving the Ikorodu road network infrastructure. LAMATA’s Director of Public Transport, Olugbenga Dairo, an engineer, said that the Mile 12-Ikorodu BRT extension project was a new pilot scheme from other existing ones, designed as median running with bilateral bus station configuration and will be linked to pedestrian bridges on the route. According to him, the project scheme would be concrete in nature and on completion, will extend BRT network from Ikorodu to CMS (about 36 kilo metres). He explained that the
change in the BRT corridors to concrete might not be unconnected with the present deplorable condition of the existing ones, adding that this one is in line with international standard. Dairo explained that Ikorodu town is fast becoming a city as its population is
growing on a daily basis, according to survey, adding that government has to embark on the new project to cater for rising demand for public transportation because the existing ones are “inadequate, unsafe and operate as informal sector. Majority of the people in
Ikorodu are low and middle class income earners, which use public transport. The existing transport infrastructure has deteriorated and become inadequate.” Breakdown of the road project showed that there will be provision of traffic lanes (13.5 Kilometres) and walkways
on either side of the existing roadway; construction of BRT lanes; rehabilitation of existing roadway; construction of BRT stations. Others are construction of a five modern bus depots at Majidun; provision street lighting; provision of concrete side drains and exten-
sion of pipe and box culverts; construction of new bridges at nine locationssingle lane and double bridges; provision of laybyes for other public transport services; provision of Uturns at 12 locations six number per direction; lane markings and road signalisation.
Sub-Saharan countries attract more private equity finance CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 Africa’s growth opportunity”, adds Okubadejo. Quoting the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) report, which said about $1.1 billion of new investments were made in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), in 2012, and about $1.4 billion was achieved in fund raising, Okubadejo noted that “this could increase further, with growing confidence in the market as more companies look to Africa for alpha returns.” Investment in new and emerging markets is never without its challenges. On this, the KPMG official said, while some investors have made direct investments into new and uncharted regions or countries, more
cautious PE houses and fund managers have used their existing investments and portfolio companies in South Africa - where about 40-50 percent of all African PE funds are currently invested - to springboard their investments into the rest of the continent. “Whenever we speak with investors or potential
investors about Africa, we always advise that Africa is about having the right riskversus-reward approach,” continues Okubadejo. It is true that Africa faces many risks and challenges ranging from weak infrastructure, government bureaucracy and weak legal and regulatory framework especially the judicial system but with a
long term investment horizon, the risks can be broadly evaluated against significant growth potentials and investment incentives available to investors in many African countries.” As many PE firms jostle for deals, coupled with strong interests from strategic investors and DFIs, the PE landscape in Africa is chang-
ing fast. “Successful PE firms now have an uphill task of demonstrating their true value proposition. Its not just about providing capital but forming the right partnerships with portfolio companies and providing adequate operational support that will yield significant value uplift through strong earnings growth,” Okubadejo noted.
Director, Laboratory Services and Representative of Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Louise Njoku (left); Chief Executive, Proton Security, Captain Ayodeji Bamgbose (rtd); and Sectional Head, Management System Certification, SON, Tessy Ojomo, at the award ceremony of ISO 9001:2008 certificate to Proton Security, in Lagos, on Thursday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
Poor focus on job creation, poverty alleviation worries ICAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 ensure prompt release of funds and perform its oversight functions more robustly to ensure that a reasonably high level of budget implementation is attained”, the participants stated. They urged the government to include chartered accountants in project monitoring and evaluation teams in order to have value for money. “Growth in the economy should be strictly measured by actual performance rather than in terms of the quantum of monies released.” The participants deplored the rising spate of corruption and lack of transparency in governance. They observed that the foundation for monumental frauds might unwittingly be laid through bloated budgets as estimates are not often based on any scientific and verifiable actual data. This, in their view, partly explained the profound variance between actual and budgetary figures, which were often exploited at the expense of the public interest. They urged the government to
deliberately identify and address reasons for variances. They further recommended that the war against corruption should be intensified in order to promote transparency in all facets of our national life, including using actual data for the preparation and implementation of budgets. To reinforce its anti-corruption crusade, the Government was urged to put in place adequate protection and compensation measures for whistleblowers. The participants observed that no one has ever been blamed or sanctioned for poor budget performance in the nation. They therefore advocated a performancebased budgeting, which will make public officers accountable for their actions and/or inactions in implementing budgets. Beside recommending the enforcement of laws designed to hold people accountable for their actions and/or inactions, the participants urged the President to implement the contents of the performance contract he signed with his cabinet mem-
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Business Interview: Need for states’ survival beyond oil resources (P.54)
ICAN scores govt low on budget performance By Bukky Olajide HE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has bemoaned poor performance of 2012 federal budget, especially as the issues of job creation and poverty alleviation were largely unaddressed. The institute also noted the acute infrastructural deficiency in the country, with lingering energy crisis, poor transport system, grossly inadequate health-care facilities and poor road network among others, compromising effective economic development and growth. ICAN, in a communiqué issued at the end of a symposium on the 2013 federal budget last week in Lagos, observed that the poor per-
Decries poor focus on job creation, poverty alleviation formance of 2012 budget gravely militated against productive economic activities and by extension, economic growth, with the participants urging the government to expeditiously conclude the on-going reforms in the power sector, as this can profoundly drive the process of development. The participants urged the government to carefully examine the factors that hindered the implementation of 2012 budget with a view to avoiding a recurrence in 2013. They observed with dismay the evolving tradition of late approval of national budget in recent times and therefore called for timely presentation
Growth in the economy should be strictly measured by actual performance rather than in terms of the quantum of monies released. to, and expeditious consideration by the National Assembly, such that it would be signed into law preferably before the commencement of the fiscal year. According to the accountants, “successive budgets were prepared merely on the basis of estimates as actual figures were never available. The poor performance of the budget was traced to this unscientific method of preparing budgets.” They therefore strongly rec-
ommended that the budget preparation should be more scientific and more professional. Budget should rightly be based on actual figures to minimize wide variances. “Also, there is no reason, why thorough feasibility studies and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of projects cannot be conducted before capital projects are approved for implementation in order to reduce incidence of spurious and abandoned projects.”
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi (middle); Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo (second left); Chairman, Akinsola Akinfemiwa (second right); Director, Mrs. Joyce Amanambu (left); and Director, Tony Madojemu (right), cutting the commemorative cake at the opening of Heritage Bank’s branch in Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday.
‘Nigeria, South Africa, others attract $1.1 billion private equity finance in 2012’ By Adeyemi Adepetun IGERIA, South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries attracted over $1.1 billion private equity finance in 2012. A new survey by KPMG made available to The Guardian at the weekend, revealed that though Africa’s private equity (PE) landscape is uncharted and at an early stage of development, however, it is growing steadily and giving good returns. The survey stressed that
about 25.7 billion rand ($3.03 billion) in PE fund from Africa was returned to investors in 2011, up from R18.1 billion in 2010. According to the partner in charge of Corporate Finance & Financial Advisory Services at KPMG Nigeria, Dapo Okubadejo, “Africa is now viewed by PE houses and fund managers as a priority investment destination. As growth in other economies have slowed in recent years due to the 2008/9 recession and current crisis in the
Eurozone, investors have been looking to emerging markets and economies that will provide higher return rates and Africa is continuously proving its business case for investment.” Okubadejo said Africa is currently one of the fastest growing regions in the world – where according to the International Monetary Fund by 2015, seven of the world’s top ten fastest growing economies are expected to be in Africa and gross domestic product (GDP) for the conti-
nent is expected to grow to $2.6 trillion by the year 2020. “We are seeing growing interest and activity from both international and African-based PE investors, in raising funds and targeting a range of markets and investments opportunities - including energy and natural resources, infrastructure, consumer goods, financial services and the entire agriculture value chain for instance – that capitalise on CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
The slight tilt of the budget in favour of capital expenditure was commended by the participants. However, they advocated for a much higher increase in percentage allocation to capital expenditure in future years because of its catalytic potentials. The government was also encouraged to summon the political will to harmonise/merge the MDAs in order to reduce recurrent expenditure and cost of gov-
ernance in general. The participants called on the National Assembly, the Institute and other stakeholders to engage the Executive arm of government on budget implementation through effective monitoring. Its words: “To avoid poor budget implementation, the National Assembly should CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Osun seals trade, investment pact with Malaysian firm SUN State has signed a O Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Malaysian company— Asa Palmilk in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The MoU is targeted at cooperation and collaboration between the state and Asa Palmik in the area of trade and investment, particularly in the areas of agriculture and agro-allied industry (agricultural produce processing), with cocoa based food product. The signing of the MOU took place on Friday at the KLCC Twin tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The MOU was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and Director General, Office of Economic Development and Partnerships, Dr. Charles Akinola on behalf of Osun government, while
Executive Director, Nor Azlinda Dato’s Shaari signed on behalf of Asa Palmik. Asa Palmlink is a manufacturing company involved in chocolate processing for domestic and international market under Small Medium Industry (SME). It is part of the Asa Group of Companies, which includes ASA Niaga Sdn Bhd, ASA Niaga Projekt Management Sdn Bhd, ASA Niaga Harbour City Sdn Bhd, ASA Palmilk (M) Sdn Bhd, ASA Niaga Pelabuhan Barter Trade Sdn Bhd (JETI), Shaari Jihin & Associates, and ASA Niaga Shipping & Forwarding Sdn Bhd’s. The signing ceremony that was attended by top officials of Asa Palmik and UCSI University, Malaysia also had in attendance top government functionaries of the state on leadership development tour of Malaysia.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Revenue from VAT rises by over 400 per cent By Chijioke Nelson HE Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said revenue from the Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded an increase of over 400 per cent, from N163.3 billion in 2004 to N659.1 billion in 2011. It also said the increase recorded within the period under review moved VAT revenue to the third highest contributor to tax collection in the country, with only the petroleum profit tax and companies income tax ahead of it. Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Kabir M. Mashi, who made the disclosure at the “Nationwide Value Added Tax Enlightenment Campaign”, said that the only way to improve further tax revenue was to increase tax awareness, adding that
some who are willing to pay but are not properly educated on tax matters. “The idea for the campaign came from a realisation that there is a wide knowledge gap among taxpayers and the general public in several areas of taxation, hence FIRS needed to provide direct enlightenment in specific areas of taxation to the public, as part of our overall taxpayer education process and we decided to start with VAT. “Over the years, especially since the reforms of the nation’s tax system started in 2002, Nigerians have become more familiar with various concepts of taxation. This awareness so far, is responsible to an extent, for the improved level of tax compliance, leading to increase in tax collection
CBN refutes claims over recruitment exercise HE Central Bank of Nigeria the reputation of the CBN, T (CBN) has disowned the and defraud unsuspecting purported recruitment exer- members of the public. cise being carried out by it and the agency that claimed to be acting on its behalf. In a statement by the apex bank, signed by its Director of Corporate Communications, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, CBN warned the general public against falling prey to the deceptive strategies of fraudsters. The statement read in part: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to a job recruitment advertisement titled, ‘Central Bank of Nigeria Recruitment 2013’, posted on the website: jobsnigeria2013.com and claiming to be acting on behalf of the CBN. “We wish to warn members of the public that this website and the so-called recruitment exercise it claims to conduct, have nothing whatsoever to do with the CBN. “In recent times, there have been deliberate efforts by some criminal elements using the internet to tarnish
“CBN has its own process of conducting recruitment exercises, which is always publicised on the bank’s official website: www.cbn.gov.ng.
over the years, but in our day-to-day operations as tax officers, we still observe a general lack of in-depth knowledge of taxation by majority of taxpayers,” he said. VAT was introduced by the Decree No. 103 of 1993, as a consumption tax on specified goods and services and paid by the ultimate consumer, which affects us all in one way or the other. “Unlike personal income tax, companies income tax and education tax that are only paid by persons who earn income under those tax laws. VAT is, however, different as it is paid by anyone who consumes goods and services on which VAT is imposed. “Notwithstanding this impressive performance from VAT, we believe there is significant room for increasing tax collection from it and this is why we have interactions of this nature with taxpayers “We are aware of the challenges faced by taxpayers in complying with the VAT law and currently, we are in the process of reviewing the Act, which will soon come up with a draft VAT Amendment Bill, to resolve the issues,” he added.
Chairman, Keystone Bank, Moyo Ajekigbe (left); and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Philip Ikeazor, during a training on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, for the board and senior management of the bank in Lagos
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Cocoa traders reject rise in registration fees From Niyi Bello, Akure
HE recent increase of registration fees of Licensed Buying Agents (LBA) by the Ondo State government has drawn the ire of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) which described it as “insensitive to operators of the cocoa economy”. The LBAs who are important element in the procurement chain of cocoa beans constitute the link between cocoa exporters and processors and the farmers scattered in far-flung plantations in the state cocoa belt A recent announcement by the state government incresed the yearly renewal of license fee of the LBAs by about 600 percent from N15,000 to N60,000 while regiatration fee was raised from N80,000 to N250,000. National president of the association, Sayina Riman, said although CAN was aware that government needed money for developmental projects, such money should not be made from local farmers. He said government should not apply the same system that was used to increase fees on other sectors to agriculture, saying the sector is the highset employer of labour in the state. According to him, increasing the fees payable by farmers meant increasing their poverty levels agriculture had been used to alleviate poverty among the people of the state. Riman however stated that
A recent announcement by the state government incresed the yearly renewal of license fee of the LBAs by about 600 percent from N15,000 to N60,000 while regiatration fee was raised from N80,000 to N250,000. National president of the association, Sayina Riman, said although CAN was aware that government needed money for developmental projects, such money should not be made from local farmers there was the need for government to give concension to agriculture, particularly cocoa when it comes to payment of various fees in the state. The CAN president said such an indiscriminate increase was “inhuman and insensitive and does not take the farmers into consideration”,
saying that government should return to status quo ante. Riman however said the members of the association were ready to support and cooperate with government on its quest to develop the state as members are important stakeholders in the development of the state. The association therefore
pleaded with government to rescind the decision in the general interest of the state and hat of the farmers in particular.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013 Published in association with
InvestmentWatch Value Investing Introduction ll investors in the stock market have one thing in common; the desire to pick or select stocks that will earn optimum returns on their investment. With several stock selection strategies available to investors to choose from, none can be said to be the best given the dynamic nature of the stock market. In tune with our last article on “The Art of Investing”, we shall present some of the popular stocks selection strategies utilized by renowned investors around the world. Value Investment Value investment is the strategy of selecting stocks that trade for less than their intrinsic value (i.e. true value of the investment exceed its current market value) with good margin of safety (i.e. the difference between the intrinsic value of a stock and its market price). It generally involves buying securities whose shares appear underpriced by some form of fundamental analysis. Such securities may be shares in public companies that trade at discounts to book value or tangible book value, have high dividend yields, have low price-to-earning multiples or have low price-to-book ratios. Value investors are objective investors focusing on the history and estimation of the future growth, cash flows, present assets/earning among others of the business. A value investor invests with a long term perspective and is principally concerned about the potentials of the business, not on its stock price or market. They are meticulous investors, often spending long hours in detailed analytical study of the business fundamentals. Value investing is an investment philosophy that derives from the ideas on investment that Ben Graham and David Dodd began teaching at Columbia Business School (US) in 1928 and subsequently developed in their 1934 text Security Analysis. Warren Buffet, a proponent of value investing, is reputed to be one of the world’s most successful investors. Warren Buffett, for example, buys stocks with the intention of holding them almost indefinitely. He once said "I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years." You will probably want to sell your stocks when time comes to make a major purchase or retire, but by holding a variety of stocks and maintaining a long-term outlook, you can sell your stocks only when their price exceeds their fair market value (and the price you paid for them). The major feature of value investing includes: • Buying Businesses Value investors buy businesses, not stocks. They ignore trends in stock prices and other market noise. They look at the fundamentals that the stock represents and devote their time to research and find businesses selling at a good price based on probable future performance. The management style of the business is also very important; for good management can add value beyond a company’s hard asset. • Ignoring The Market Completely Value investing encourages investors to con-
sistently ignore trends in the market and focus on when they enter or exit a market. Investors should hold unto stocks as long as it meets their investment strategy; they should be slow to sell as they are to buy. For erratic selling exposes your portfolio to capital gains costs which usually requires selling a loser to balance it out, both of which comes with a transaction cost. • Buying More of The same Stock When investors find businesses with very good margin of safety (principle of buying securities when the market price is significantly below its intrinsic value), value investing posit they buy as much as they can (presently undervalued stocks abound in the Nigeria capital market). The objective of the value investor is not diversification, but concentration of investment interest in businesses they have spent time studying and understanding their fundamentals. • Long Term Strategy Value Investing is the corner stone of long-term growth. Those who practice it survive the ups and downs of the market and are more likely to emerge wealthy than those who ride the market. • Good Book Value Ratios Investing in firms with low price to book value ratios is key to value investing because studies have shown that firms with price to book value ratios significantly outperformed those with higher ratios. This is because in the long-run, stock prices move in a way that represents the intrinsic value of a firm. Benefits The benefits of value investing are numerous and evident in the history of the capital markets all over the world. Warren Buffet remains the best testimonial of the benefit and potency of value investment. Value investing also conserves energy drained by pursuing multiple stock options and saves money paid out as transaction and capital gain costs from several selling transactions. The mixture of common sense and contrarian thinking are hallmarks of value investing which has made more investors richer and fulfilled all over the world. The bottom line remains that all investors seek to earn maximum return on their investment, whether in the short term or long term, applying the 80:20 Pareto principle (please watch out for our next article for more information on this principle) works best when an investor applies value investing guidelines in making their investment decisions. The Risk Involved Though value investing when properly executed is a low-to-medium strategy, the possibility of losing money still exists. This segment of the article will highlight the key risks to be aware of and offer guidelines on how to mitigate them. • Listening to Emotions It is difficult to ignore your emotions when making investment decisions. Even if you can take a detached, critical standpoint when evaluating numbers, fear and excitement creep in when time comes to actually use part of your hard-earned savings to purchase a stock. More importantly, once you have purchased the
stock, you may be tempted to sell it if the price falls. You must remember that to be a value investor means to avoid the herd-mentality investment behavior of buying when a stock's price is rising and selling when it is falling. • Overpaying One of the biggest risks in value investing lies in overpaying for a stock. When you underpay for a stock, you reduce the amount of money you could lose if the stock performs poorly. The closer you pay to the stocks fair market value - or even worse, if you overpay - the bigger your risk of losing capital. Recall that one of the fundamental principles of value investing is to build a margin of safety into all of your investments. This means purchasing stocks at a price of around two-thirds or less of their inherent value. Value investors want to risk as little capital as possible in potentially overvalued assets, so they try not to overpay for investments. • Overlooking Extraordinary Gains or Losses Sometimes, companies will experience unusually large losses or gains from events such as natural disasters, corporate restructuring or unusual lawsuits and will report these on the income statement under a label such as "extraordinary item - gain" or "extraordinary item loss." When making your calculations, it is important to remove these financial anomalies from the equation to get a better idea of how the company might perform in an ordinary year. However, think critically about these items, and use your judgment. If a company has a pattern of reporting the same extraordinary item year after year it might not be too extraordinary. Also, if there are unexpected losses year after year, this can be a sign that the company is having financial problems. Extraordinary items are supposed to be unusual and nonrecurring. • Ignoring the Flaws in Ratio Analysis The problem with financial ratios is that they can be calculated in different ways. Here are a few factors that can affect the meaning of these ratios: they can be calculated with before-tax or after-tax numbers. Some ratios provide only rough estimates. A company's reported earnings per share (EPS) can vary significantly depending on how "earnings" is defined. • Basing Calculations on the Wrong Numbers Since value investing decisions are partly based on an analysis of financial statements, it is imperative that these calculations be performed correctly. Using the wrong numbers, performing the wrong calculation or making a mathematical typo can result in basing an investment decision on faulty information. Such a mistake could mean making a poor investment or missing out on a great one. If you aren't yet confident in your ability to read and analyze financial statements and reports, keep studying these subjects and don't place any trades until you're truly ready. • Not Diversifying Conventional investment wisdom says that investing in individual stocks can be a highrisk strategy. Instead, we are taught to invest in multiple stocks or stock indexes so that we have exposure to a wide variety of companies
and economic sectors. However, some value investors believe that you can have a diversified portfolio even if you only own a small number of stocks, as long as you choose stocks that represent different industries and sectors of the economy. Famous value investor Benjamin Graham suggested 10 to 30 companies is enough to adequately diversify, but value investing experts recommend investing in only a few companies and watching them closely. Of course, this advice assumes that you are great at selecting winning stocks. • Depending on Fraudulent Accounting Statements To Make Investment Decisions After the accounting scandals associated with world renown companies that went under, it would be easy to let our fears of false accounting statements prevent us from investing in stocks. Selecting individual stocks requires trusting the numbers that companies report about themselves on their balance sheets and income statements. Sure, regulations have been tightened and statements are audited by independent accounting firms, but regulations have somewhat failed in the past and some accountants have been found wanting . • Not Comparing like to like Comparing a company's stock to that of its competitors is one way value investors analyze their potential investments. However, companies differ in their accounting policies in ways that are perfectly legal. When you're comparing one company's P/E ratio to another's, you have to make sure that EPS has been calculated the same way for both companies. Also you might not be able to compare companies from different industries. If companies use different accounting principles, you will need to adjust the numbers to compare apples to apples; otherwise you can't accurately compare two companies on this metric. • Selling at the Wrong Time Even if you do everything right in terms of researching and purchasing your stocks, your painstakingly crafted strategy can fall apart if you sell at the wrong time. The wrong time to sell is when the market is suffering and stock prices are falling simply because investors are panicking, not because they are assessing the value of the quality of the underlying companies they have invested in. Another bad time to sell is when a stock's price falls because its earnings have fallen short of analysts' predictions. The ideal time to sell your stock is when shares are overpriced relative to the company's intrinsic value. However, sometimes a significant change in the company or the industry that lowers the company's intrinsic value might also warrant a sale if you see losses on the horizon. It can be tricky not to confuse these times with general investor panic. While value investing philosophy is the darling of investors around the world, it comes with an amount of work that the busy professional cannot devote the requisite time. As investment advisers, we believe in serving our clients’ and partners’ insightful market information that would guide them in making research based stock investment decisions.
Your decision to call a professional investment adviser may just be what you need to help you navigate the investment waters successfully. Please join us next week Monday to learn about other investment that can help you achieve your investment goals. Kindly let us know if you have found this article useful by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Insurance CIIN supports regulatory enforcement to improve productivity in industry By Joshua Nse
HE Chartered Insurance T Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) has supported the policy of strict enforcement of insurance regulations and partnership with regulators to improve financial performances in the industry. Besides, the institute believes that training and retraining of all cadres of staff in the industry holds the key to drive efficiency and productivity in the present volatile business environment in the country.
The President of council, CIIN, Dr. Wole Adetimehin, addressing participants at the 2013 media retreat organised by the institute at the weekend in Ibadan, Oyo State, said that the industry needed to move beyond mere statement of requirement, to strict enforcement of insurance regulations and guidelines in partnership with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to enforce ethics and discipline in practice to improve financial performances of insurance entities in the industry.
According to him, the industry must borrow a leaf from other regulators in the financial services industry and insist on accountability and transparency in the financial management of insurance entities. The CIIN president cited as an example, ‘no premium, no cover’ regulation that insists on payment of insurance premium in advance as a good example of regulatory enforcement that is going to propel good financial performances and organisational efficiency in the industry.
He believes that in no distant future, the policy will improve financial performances of insurance stocks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange as well as enabled operators meet obligations to all stakeholders in the industry. The CIIN boss enjoined insurance entities to take the issue of training and retraining of staff more seriously. He cited the banking industry as a case in point, where all the banking institutions have training schools, and no staff can be employed without undergoing internal training
processes, and is working effectively to drive efficiency and productivity in the banking industry. He lamented that hitherto, NICON Insurance established training school that benefited the entire industry, but now the reverse is the case. He said “in the current volatile business environment, and to survive as an industry, we must do things differently, we have to drive awareness in partnership with NAICOM.” He told participants that the media retreat was initiated with a view to providing ample opportunities for interaction with the media on ways and means of promoting effective reporting of the CIIN and the insurance industry as a whole. He said: “I must express the appreciation of the governing council of the institute for your invaluable contributions both as individuals and as respected and
responsible representatives of your organisations. The institute has never doubted the sincerity and commitment of any of you nor harbors any reason to complain about your conduct. The media has always been perceived as invaluable stakeholders in governance in all its ramifications. Therefore, your contributions to nation building cannot be over-emphasized. In particular, your roles as arbiters and the epitome of the nation’s conscience will continue to place you in the forefront of constructive criticism of all national discourse. Everyone of you should continuously brace up with the onerous challenges of achieving excellence in your chosen career and profession because of your invaluable roles in national development. We therefore, solicit your continued co-operation in the coverage of CIIN events.
Niger Insurance unveils life annuity product into market IGER Insurance plc has the organization is more N unveils life annuity prod- concerned with rendering uct into the market as part of qualitative services to the
Managing Director, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Tokunbo Bello, (left); Zonal Commanding Officer, RS2HQ, Federal Road Safety Commission, Lagos, Ademola Lawal and Vice Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Lagos State, Michael Odugunle, during a Road Safety Campaign Rally in Lagos at the weekend
Cornerstone Insurance pledges support for road safety campaign ORNERSTONE Insurance C Plc has given its commitment to support activities of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) aimed at reducing road accidents in the country. The managing director of the company, Tokunbo Bello, speaking at the inauguration of Cornerstone/FRSC safety campaign rally at Ojota new carriage in Lagos at the weekend, said over 21 years of operation in the country, the name Cornerstone Insurance has become synonymous with strategic collaborations that are capable of bringing enduring benefits to the people. It is our own way of giving back to our host communities, he said, for instance, last year the company did not
only donate relief items to flood victims, but also visited those ones in the flood ravaged areas. This was borne out of empathy, which is one of our core principles in company. According to him, this year our company has been appointed as the official partner of ‘decade of action’ project by FRSC, Lagos Command out of recognition for our consistent social contributions to the society. Let me assure this gathering on behalf of Cornerstone Insurance that we take this appointment and project seriously, and we are committed to achieving its goals and objectives. This is because the project concerns the safety of the most important asset of any nation, the lives of the people.
It is a known fact that road crashes kill more people than HIV/AIDS and Malaria in Nigeria. In the past couple of years, the country has lost some of her best brains to the cold hands of death through various road accidents. This apparently calls for a change, and cornerstone Insurance is poised to be at the vanguard of this change, he said. The starting point, according to Bello, is the education and re-orientation of motorist and road-users alike by promoting positive beneficial shift and ultimately making our roads safer for all. In his remark, Lagos State sector commander, A.A. Irelewuyi, said today’s occasion represents another giant stride by the FRSC, Zone RS2HQ, to re-awaken our con-
sciousness to our individual and collective responsibility in reducing human and material carnage on our roads. He said “I would like to challenge us to make a positive difference in the aspect of safety on our roads by not allowing our safety to be in the hands of the other road user. This is one of the cardinal principles of defensive driving. Road traffic crashes do not just occur, they are caused by our errors and outright abuses. Nine out of ten road traffic crashes are caused by the human factor. As a result, positive attitudinal change, correct knowledge of traffic rules and regulations, as well as placing value on human life can go a long way to make our roads safer.”
efforts to ensure that retirees in the country are self-sufficient financially and live comfortably after their active working life. The company’s Managing Director, Kola Adedeji, who disclosed this while responding to questions from journalists in Lagos, stated that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has given the insurance firm an approval to roll out the life annuity product. Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act 2004 stipulates that a holder of a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) upon retirement, shall utilise the balance standing to the credit of his RSA for either programmed monthly withdrawals or annuity for life purchased from a life insurance company with monthly payments. The Niger Insurance boss said the company believes that the retirees deserve to truly enjoy their golden years with regular income for life. While there are different types of annuities in the market, he said, since it is only life annuity which provides guaranteed monthly payments for as long as the retiree is alive, that is recognized by the Pension Act, and this exactly is the type of annuity the insurance firm intends to offer the pensioners. Adedeji added that while the life annuity product will further assist the underwriting firm to improve on its fortunes in the market to the delight of its shareholders,
retirees as a socially responsible corporate citizen. The Niger Insurance boss noted that the plan offers policyholders the opportunity to save towards a deferred income, thereby providing a unique opportunity for retirees to earn a guaranteed regular income for life. He also allayed the fears in the minds of most workers that their savings might not be enough to cater for their needs at retirement, informing that Niger Annuity Plan will offer an income the holder cannot outlive no matter what happens in the future. In line with Niger Insurance’s tradition to ensure easy and prompt payment of benefits to its policyholders, he maintained that retirees who buy life annuity from the insurance firm can be rest assured that they will get their entitlement as and when due. He emphasized that the company’s resolve to ensure prompt payment of benefits to policyholders made it to open a dedicated account solely for claims and commission payment to prevent any undue delay in claims administration and settlement. Adedeji also reassured clients and other stakeholders that the underwriting company was being reengineered for better service and more innovative products which will better meet the needs of the insuring public and endear insurance to them.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Insurers forecast rising need for integration this year ROBABLY the most “P important trend for 2013 and beyond is the expectation by customers that you’re fully integrated across channels,” said Mirkovic, a former insurance VP at the B.C. Automobile Association who now heads Vancouverbased Square One Insurance, an MGA dealing exclusively in home insurance. “For many years now there’s been all this discussion about how you have to have a web presence. If you don’t have a web presence you’re not really in business.” Now even an Internet presence no longer does the trick, he said. “Increasingly that’s not even going to be enough, just having a storefront and a web presence. Customers are expecting that all of your channels, from the phone to the web to the storefront, are going to be fully integrated. What that means is that when someone starts an interaction with you-let’s say a quote-in person, they expect to be able to finish it online or by phone.” The new president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario said it is imperative for those in the channel to keep up with the rapidly changing customer attitudes regarding technology use. Today’s consumer wants to have a variety of interaction points, and therefore I would argue that they have adapted to using technology to connect with us,” said Debbie Thompson, of Beyond Insurance Brokers in Whitby.
“As brokers we just need to accept their offer. We have the ability to become social in the social media space. Something our competitors can’t do.” Meanwhile, the CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta said he believes the channel is losing customers to new Canadians, new entrants and new technology. “People want to do online transactions, and changes are when you go online you’re going to find a direct writer or a bank before you’ll find a broker,” George Hodgson said. That’s why IBAA is turning to
the my insurance shopper model, which is due to be up and running in the province by March 15. “We’re working feverishly to try and get the brokers signed up onto it and to get them involved in it,” he said. “When we do talk to them, in excess of 90 per cent actually then sign up. So it’s just a matter of us reaching each and every broker.” In an irony not lost on Hodgson, many brokers ignored or forgot emails about the new online service, and responded only when he or other IBAA representatives contacted them by phone.
IEI pays N1.2billion claims NTERNATIONAL Energy Iunderwriter Insurance Plc, a leading paid out a huge sum of N1.2 billion on claims within the 12 calendar months of 2012. This payment symbolises one of the company’s core values “Dependability” which is the hall mark of the company’s operations. This prompt payment of claims goes a long way to demonstrate IEI’s commitment to its policy holders that the company will always come to their aid when they suffer losses. Stressing on why IEI resolutely stands on delivering on its promises, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Roseline Ekeng, asserts that dependability is one attrib-
ute IEI cannot compromise. She affirmed that without transparency and dependability no company will continue to remain in business. You don’t say one thing and mean another. The huge claims paid by IEI are categorised into Motor, Fire, General Accidents, Marine cargo, Marine Hull, Bond, Oil & Gas, Industrial All Risks, Public Liability and Aviation. IEI is one company that got right its core strategic business direction …energy insurance. The company boasts of having the most technical and experienced energy underwriting unit in Nigeria. The company identified energy insurance as yawning gap in insurance offerings and prepared itself to fill it.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8 , 2013
Stockwatch In association with Lead Capital
Stock Market Report for the week Friday, 28th March to Friday 4th April, 2013 this week, the total vol- ANNOUNCEMENT AJOR equity markets around the Iandnume depreciated by 20% globe moved downwards as their M uring the period under review, forty six (46) value traded apprecivarious indexes lost marginal points. In stocks recorded price appreciation comD ated by 14.10%. A turnover our universe of sample equity markets; pared to thirty four (34) that depreciated in the the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones lost points by 0.64%, 1.04% and 0.06% respectively, at the end of last week. In Europe, The German Dax lost points by 0.06% while the FTSE 100 and France CAC 40 gained points by 0.66% and 0.17% respectively. In the Asia/Pacific region, Nikkei 225 gained points by 1.13%, while the Hangseng and BSE Sensex lost points by 0.57% and 1.04% respectively. In Brazil, the Bovespa lost point by 0.20% while Russia’s RTS INDEX lost points by 1.35%. On the local setting, NSE ASI closed at 34,339.64 recording 2.60% appreciation at the end of the week’s trading.
of 1.16 billion units of shares valued at N14.89 billion was recorded, in contrast to a turnover of 1.45 billion units of shares worth N13.05 billion that was recorded in the previous week. Volume this week was driven by activities in the shares of ZENITHBANK, W E M A B A N K , STERLNBANK, ACCESS, FBNH, UBA, FCMB, GUARANTY, TRANSCORP and FIDELITYBNK.
previous week, OKOMUOIL was first on the top gainers chart to close with 36.67%, followed by ABCTRANS with 31.15%, AFRIPUD with 15.88%, LIVESTOCK with 12.94%, TOTAL with 11.80% and JAPAULOIL with 11.76%. Other gainers in the top ten categories were STERLNBANK with 10.91%, FBNH with 10.31%, BETAGLAS with 9.91% and SKYEBANK with 9.52%. On the flip side, twenty eight (28) stocks depreciated in price last week compared to thirty nine (39) that depreciated a week ago. WAPIC led on the price losers’ table with 25.17%, followed by ROYALEX by 21.43%, NAHCO by 16.88%, NEM by 16.09%, PRESTIGE by 11.27%, AIRSERVICE by 11.21%, RTBRISCOE by 11.11%, IKEJAHOTEL by 10.00%, MRS by 9.97% and FTNCOCOA by 9.09%.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Lead Capital Stock Valuation
CONTINUE ON PAGE 51
THE GUARDIAN, Monday,April 8, 2013
Homes & Property Prices of world’s luxury property reach record heights Real Estate IMITED inventory, strong Ldemand, international buyer and High Net Worth Individual’s (HNWIs) increased appreciation for world class lifestyle offerings have pushed prices for luxury homes toward historic highs, a new study shows. The research from Christie’s International Real Estate compares the world’s top property markets including London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, San Francisco, the Cote d’Azur, Toronto, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Miami, to produce the firm’s first global indicator for luxury residential real estate. The Index ranks markets across key metrics including record sales price, prices per square foot, percentage of non-local and international purchasers, and the number of luxury listings relative to population. It shows that globally, top tier property sales achieved record prices in several cities, remaining immune to many of the economic concerns that drive the general housing market and that HNWIs are often more inclined to invest in an important global market than in another city within their home country for second or additional homes. It found that prestige residential real estate values would more likely follow growth trends of non-consumable luxury goods such as fine art more so than the growth trends of the general housing market. It also shows that cash transactions have dominated luxury property acquisitions across many cities but recent tax law changes in many of
Central Park Apartments, New York....one of the property markets attracting high prices
London topped the index for the highest home sale price at $121 million followed by New York at $88 million. Strong momentum in the luxury property market is being driven by scarcity of quality inventory and demand from international buyers in many of the world’s top destinations. these markets are expected to negatively impact on market activity in 2013. “With financial markets providing a limited return on investment, high net worth individuals are recognising the intrinsic value of investing in non-consumable assets such as prestige real estate and fine art,” said Bonnie Stone Sellers, chief executive officer of Christie’s
International Real Estate. “Strong momentum in the luxury property market is also being driven by scarcity of quality inventory and demand from international buyers in many of the world’s top destinations,” she added. London topped the index for the highest home sale price at $121 million followed by New York at $88 million the Côte d’Azur recorded the highest
percentage of both secondary home buyers, 95per cent, and international and non-local buyers, 90per cent. “Ultra high net worth individuals with significant cash on hand, such as many of our Russian clients, are not afraid to invest in Côte d’Azur real estate despite recent market volatility,’ said Niki Van Eijk of Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Michaël Zingraf
Real Estate in Cannes. Toronto’s real estate market, which has remained buoyant in recent years of global turmoil, recorded the lowest amount of days on the market for luxury listings at 46 days. However, the report says that this trend began to reverse in the second half of 2012 and the number of days on market is expected to lengthen in 2013 as a result of the implementation of new restrictions on mortgage financing intended to cool the housing market. Part of the success of the Miami market in 2012 was fuelled by South American buyers concerned with their own local economic condi-
tions. “International buyers, in particular have been purchasing Miami property as a result of uncertainty in their currencies, which have often been devalued against the US dollar,” said Ron Shuffield of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors, the Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in that city. While the report focuses on 10 indexed markets, it also provides insight into other luxury residential areas around the globe with a population of less than 150,000, such as St. Bart’s in the French West Indies, Salzburg in Austria, Aspen in Colorado and Jupiter Island in Florida.
Uncertainty trails Lagos Computer Village relocation plan Projects By Emmanuel Badejo LOUDS of uncertainty has continued to hover around the proposed relocation of the single largest Information, Communication and Information Village in Lagos State, as stakeholders are beginning to express worry over the execution of the plan. Notwithstanding the obvious dilly dally over the project including take off time of construction works on the new site, residents and property owners at the present site, Ikeja, are calling the state to expedite action
While some feel that the state government is not serious about implementing the relocation of the biggest ICT centre in the whole of West Africa, others, though agreed that the urban renewal project is foot dragging but believe that irrespective of the delays, it would be done on the project, which is over five years on the drawing board. The Ikeja Computer Village situated to the left of Kodesoh Street, when facing Oba Akinjobi Road towards the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, choked within a small area in-between Oremeji Street, Ola-Ayeni Street, Otigba Street, Olayi Tomori Street and Pepple Street, is the largest
Computer/Electronics market in West Africa. The vision to resettle the market had arisen under the former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu. The umbrella body of the dealers, known as Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), had initiated the proposal, on a premise of a need to get a befitting environment that would house ICT
hub and congestion on the other hand. In 1997, the market had begun with only 10 shops. But at the moment the market has well over 800 shops. As the market is unplanned, it has experienced growing pains. Some local residents are upset at the expanding market. Traffic around the area has become congested, and it is almost impossible to find a
WEMABOD launches S’Africa’s building system in Ogun project
Cement producers urge enforcement of building standards
place to park. Tinubu bought into the idea and gave the dealers a site at Kantagowa in Agbado-Oke Local Council Development Authority (LCDA), which till date still remains in its old state of disorganization and distressed. After several calls by the dealers and other stakeholders, the state government had in early 2011 called for tender for the development of new ICT Village and another business settlement as part of the state’s model city and urban renewal scheme within the metropolis. The proposed ICT Village to be sited at Kantagowa, would
replace the already congested popular Computer Village, located within the state capital, Ikeja, the coming business settlement will subsume the present Kantagowa Market. The market would be relocated to a settlement known as Amikanle. Both are in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area of the state. The new Computer Village will seat on a 21-hectares of land while the proposed Kantagowa market will occupy 15 hectares. The project would be delivered under Public Private Participation (PPP) module. It
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Court remands NGO chief over Abuja property deal
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Funding public infrastructure can boost development, says Bello Discourse CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK XPORT Credit Agencies (ECAs) or Investment Insurance Agencies are perhaps the worldâ€™s largest financers of big infrastructure projects in developing countries. All industrialized nations have these national agencies that provide financing for projects and programmes in poorer developing countries. They are public institutions that subsidize the foreign exports and investments of wealthy nations by providing government backed loans, guarantees and insurance to their oil companies, engineering firms and other domestic corporations that want to do business in developing countries. ECAs currently finance or underwrite about $430 billion of business activity abroad about $55 billion of which goes towards project finance in developing countries - and provide $14 billion of insurance for new foreign direct investment, dwarfing all other official sources combined (such as the World Bank and Regional Development Banks, bilateral and multilateral aid, etc.). As a result of the claims against developing countries that have resulted from ECA transactions, ECAs hold over 25per cent of these developing countriesâ€™ US$2.2 trillion debt. Start-up funds are usually available from venture capital (VC) groups and special purpose international investment funds. Venture capital companies such as Actis and African Capital Alliance specialize in providing funding for new enterprises and infrastructure projects.
In this concluding part of this discourse, Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Dr. Ghaji Bello says that private sector involvement in infrastructure provision has been widely considered and implemented as a preferred method of financing infrastructure provision globally. Financing from traditional VCs for new projects is not usually available for international infrastructure projects, due to the high cost of due diligence and limited exit options for these firms. Typically high rates of return, often 25-50per cent, are also required. Large pensions and insurance firms have created a number of special purpose international investment funds for infrastructure projects. Quite a number operate in Africa; The Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund (AIIF), Actis Infrastructure Fund (AIF), AIG Africa Infrastructure Fund (AAIF), and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). Others are Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) and EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership Trust Fund. Discussions have been ongoing for the activation of Gulf of Guinea Infrastructure Fund (GoGiFund). Pension Funds from the 23 nations of the Gulf of Guinea, including PENCOM, will be investing in this fund. Indications are that these institutions collectively hold in excess of US$12 billion. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) arrangements provide an opportunity for government to make use of private sector capital to finance infrastructure projects. The private sector benefits from the investment through service charges
from the public body or revenues from the project. PPP arrangements are usually long term in nature, and they also enable the private sector to play a greater role in the planning, finance, design, operation and maintenance of public infrastructure. For the public sector, it provides an opportunity to transfer risk to the partner who is best able to manage them. The major benefit of PPPs is their ability to deliver value for money in public service procurement and operations. They enable the public sector to raise capital and bridge the financing gap, whilst making efficiency gains in the process. For PPPs to be successful there must be thorough planning, detailed studies and analyses of lifecycle costs and revenues, good communication, strong commitment from all parties, guided by open and transparent process and procedures. Moreover, PPP projects must be selected from a coherent infrastructure investment programme anchored in an integrated National Plan. They also tend to be complex, often involving many parties and significant risks. As such, they have to be approached with great care, due diligence and a deep sense of responsibility and accountability. In addition PPP contract agreements involve long-term commitments. Consequently, there
Millennium Housing Estate, a new residential estate, which will increase the stock of housing units in the Lagos area, will be commissioned tomorrow. The project is located in the high brow Ikeja GRA and comprises 76 units of 4 bedroom maisonettes duplex. must be spirit of genuine partnership, full disclosure and sharing of information and concerns, and a commitment to work for a win-win situation. Evidence abounds the world over that PPP arrangement have yielded impressive results in both developed and emerging economies. For Nigeria, this presents a viable opportunity for the provision, up-scaling and sustaining infrastructure delivery in Nigeria. In recognition of this, the Government has made great strides in establishing the mechanisms and frameworks for PPPs, including the adoption of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory
Commission (ICRC) Act in 2005 and the subsequent establishment of the Governing Board of the ICRC in 2008, and approval of the National Policy on PPPs in 2009. Due to the novelty of the PPP approach, the impact of PPPs in Nigeria has been somewhat limited. There are still challenges such as the absence of a national infrastructure blueprint, unclear political direction and support, weak regulatory and enforcement powers of ICRC, and technical capacity gaps. Others are inadequate financial modelling to enable proper affordability and value for money assessments, lack of
institutional framework for PPP project preparation, and inconsistency in the PPP Project Pipelines. In the course of working with MDAs to develop viable PPP projects that would attract credible investors and financiers, we have also taken steps to learn from the experiences of other emerging countries like India, South Africa and Malaysia that have adopted a sound PPP framework to significantly scale up their national infrastructure and we have learned some important lessons: First, PPP projects that have CONTINUED ON PAGE 47
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Prime Estates WEMABOD launches S’Africa’s building system in Ogun project Projects By Tosin Fodeke
RONTLINE property firm, FLimited Messrs WEMABOD Estates has unfolded a costeffective building technology that reduces cost of construction by 40 per cent. The new formwork construction system, acts as an alternative to the conventional “brick and mortar” method of constructing houses. Called Moladi construction system, a test-run for the building system has already commenced at the company’s housing estate located at Ibafo in Ogun State. The system is lightweight and easy to move about and assemble, the entire super structure walls of a basic house can be completed in a matter of days. “With this system, the likelihood of delays, together with associated costs, is significantly reduced,” according to a senior official of the company. The formwork system constitutes the use of a removable, reusable, recyclable and lightweight plastic formwork mould, adopted from South Africa. It has the approval of South African Bureau of Standards and South African National Home Builders Registration Council. Officials of the firm
revealed to The Guardian that the estate is targeted at the low and middle-income earners who constitute the mass of the population living within that neighbourhood. “We have made provision for various types of payment, which include mortgage facility under the National Housing Fund scheme, installmental payment in three stages, and outright sale” They also revealed that use of the unique technology had quickened the process of construction even as 54 units in the first phase would be delivered by July this year. “Due to the rampant demand and need for accommodation average earning populace resulting from the rising population of about 15million in Lagos state to an estimation of about 25million by the year 2020, we have made available provision for a mortgage loan of minimum of 10 years where the first contribution of 40 per cent of the house cost.” The estate located on a 10 hectare parcel of land, is situated opposite mountain of fire and miracle ministries, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and is 10 minutes drive from Berger busstop and two minutes drive from the same express where entry is made via
Some of the houses under construction
existing access road and exit through the same route which links directly to the express without making a U-turn “Ibafo. The 150 housing unit estate also comes with spacious three bedroom detached and semidetached bungalows built with moladi construction
system on a deeply rooted foundation of 36 metres and incorporating the modern finishes to give a very superb structure befitting for convenient accommodation of masses. Facilities provided include; perimeter fence, borehole, electricity, 12meters width road, drainage system, refuse dis-
posals system, recreational facilities, security/gate house amongst other. The title to the land is a leasehold interest in excess of 90-years via a Deed of Sublease from the Gateway City Development Company Limited. Each set of moladi formwork panels can be re-used
50 times making the technology cost effective due to its repetitive application scheme, reducing the cost of construction and transportation significantly. The moladi system produces durable and permanent structures, which have been subject to numerous tests and independent reports.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Cement producers urge enforcement of building standards Building Materials From John Okeke, Abuja ONCERNED that building and construction industry has not embraced good professional practice to ensure sound quality and durable construc-
tion materials, cement producers have urged stakeholders to implement the National Building Code, which prescribed standards for professional practice. The Chairman Cement Manufacturers Of Nigeria
(CMAN) Mr. Joe Makoju, an engineer who made the charge at a one-day forum on concrete specification, applications and cement standard, stressed that knowledge about the professional practice among the practitioners would aid high quality
building and construction in the country Makoju noted that inspite of some outstanding concrete works done by leading construction companies in the country that the neglect to embrace the best professional practice remains a challenge in the
industry. He also noted that all over the world the regulatory authorities and practitioners in the building and construction industry develops standard and codes to guide construction professionals in effective specification of
Experts to explore new strategies to improve housing delivery Housing By Tosin Fodeke bid to propagate mitigaIingNtionadamages strategies towards checkto housing facilities, human settlement experts will later in the month converge in Lagos to fashion fresh options to the destruction of or damage of housing by extreme weather events.
The meeting point, which would be the 2013 Lagos Housing Fair, is being organised by Radio Lagos/Eko FM and Beachland Resources Limited, and will take place later in the month at Radio Lagos/Eko FM premises. According to the organisers of the fair, the gathering with the theme; “Climate Change and Housing Delivery.” will
direct attention to the need to highlight issues of mitigation strategies for climate change for developers, artisans, manufacturers, researchers as well as policy makers. Chairman, Lagos Housing Fair Committee, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, in a chat with the media explained that the choice of the theme is hinged on the need to beam searchlight on the implication of cli-
mate change phenomenon on housing development. “Specifically we intend to direct the nation’s attention to the harmful effects that climate change could have on all aspects of housing delivery. These include design, land use management, material usage/specification, construction methodology, infrastructure, as well as finance. He pointed out that the
Lagos abandons Computer Village relocation plan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 was learnt that a fresh bidding had to be called so as to allow for more interesting investors. However, several months after the call for tenders, some of the dealers worry why the state authorities are yet to come up with a concrete plan. A prominent figure in the struggle for the relocation, who preferred to be anonymous expressed disenchantment when The Guardian reached for his comment on the project last week. According to him, the government was not serious with the whole project, else by now the plan would have gone beyond this. The source, who said the whole till is frustrating and had decided not to comment on the
project anymore said: “Though I believe that the project would at the end of the day see the light of the day, I cannot just tell you when that will be. Already, contractors have been shortlisted but till date none has been selected. This government is not serious about the whole thing.” Expressing a situation of uncertainty, he added that he has an information that the national body of computer dealers is considering another ICT Park, saying this may jeopardize the proposed Computer Village. But Secretary to CAPDAN, Mr. John Oboro, believes in the project and said that it is on-going. “The relocation project is an ongoing thing and to the best of my knowledge, the government is committed in the very
quest to deliver on the relocation of the Computer Village to a commodious place. The involvement of CAPDAN cannot be downplay in the relocation process, more importantly so, as the major off-takers.” Reacting to doubt being cast on the present administration to deliver on the project, Oboro said: “ Government is continuum, wherever it gets to, any other in-coming government will takeover. What is very paramount here is that the dream of show-casing Africa one-stop shop ICT Centre has come a reality. It is also paramount to mention here that contractors have been duly interviewed and those qualified shortlisted and I am sure that before too long work will commence at the relocation site, God will-
ing.” Confronted him with a fresh proposal for another ICT Park, Oboro said: “There is nothing wrong if there are other mini computer villages around Lagos considering the mass of the people that made up the population of Lagos State. Also note that the sitting of the electronics markets at Alaba market does not restrict the business to the aforementioned; the more the spread, the better.” A senior official earlier said that a credible firm with the required financial capability and technical-know-how will be selected to handle the project, The government is methodical in approach by following due process.
increased intensity of rainfall could weaken the soil structure of communities in the mangrove swamp and fresh water vegetation areas along the coast adding that this could threaten foundation of buildings in Lagos State and the remaining seven states along the coast. Ogunleye further added that the key challenge for the Nigerian economy is how to adapt to the challenges being posed by climate change. He said, “It is evident that we require improved materials new construction technologies, revised city planning strategies and climate proven building design for Nigeria to be able to adapt to climate change” Ogunleye while revealing that the fair will be formally declared open by former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), said stakeholders would use the forum to discuss problems of mass housing development, particularly as they related to functionality, quality and safety. According to him, since inception over 110,000 people have visited the exhibition even as organisers have put in place arrangements to accommodate for a larger audience with the use of a 22, 000 meter space at the venue.
concrete grades and selection of cement type thus ensuring some degree of uniformity in the application of concretes in their countries. According to him, such standard and codes take adequate consideration of local factors such as environmental peculiarities, land level of economic development among others According to Makoju, the seminar is an effort to sensitize both the relevant regulatory authorities, practitioners in the existing field to develop new and update the existing codes and standards for concrete specifications and application in Nigeria. On the way forward, a senior official of Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria, Mr. Lateef Okunlola, recommended that contractors must acquaint themselves with the knowledge and application of all relevant standard rules and regulations as enshrined in local and international quality control of regulatory authorities and affiliate agencies. Okunlola also stressed that Government at all levels including private sector operators should urgently enforce the implementation of the provisions of the relevant standards specification in order to forestall incessant structural failures and to enhance the performance quality of facilities. For the immediate past president, Nigerian institution of structural engineers (NISE), Mr. Victor Oyenuga noted that a good concrete building or road or bridge does not only depend on a good designer or a clever engineer, but “depends on good materials, accurate batching, the right amount of water and thorough mixing; it also depends on well-placed reinforcement, well-made formwork, careful compacting and good finish.”
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
SPECIAL REPORT ON POWER GENERATION, DISTRIBUTION AND ELECTRICITY AUTOMATION EQUIPMENT
EXPERTS ADVOCATE EFFECTIVE PRIVATE PARTICIPATION IN POWER REFORM IMPLEMENTATION HE epileptic power supply in Nigeria T does not only pose a serious challenge to the economic and industrial development of the nation but also paved a way for many companies to go under, thereby increasing the level of unemployment on daily basis.
ing the expected results, the private sector, the hub of the nation’s economy, becomes the intervener by establishing companies that supply and service generators, solar energy packs and other energy related products as well as power stabilizing equipment. Their contributions have prevented a total collapse of the power sector and there is no gain saying that generating plants have helped to boast the Nigerian economy and improve the living standard of the people.
Despite the huge amount of money spent on the power sector, there is no commensurate result to show for it. However, the pronouncement that the capacity of the nation’s power stations have increased is still a far cry from the nation’s expectation. No wonder, many artisans, manufac- In other to minimize the level of unemturers and other businesses depending on ployment and achieve vision 20-20-20, the federal government should follow electricity perform below expectations. the power sector roadmap and intensify the implementation of power reform Since government’s efforts are not yield-
SAKR POWER GENERATION NIGERIA LIMITED … Offers Complete Solutions to Power problems Apart from manufacturing AKR Power Generation and selling of factory fitted Smember Nigeria Limited is a and high quality generatof the SAKR Holding; a company that specializes in Power Generation, with a scope of services covering the manufacturing, sales and rental of Power generation sets and the implementation of Turnkey Power Project (TPP). Over the years SAKR Power Generation has carved a niche for itself through innovative manufacturing and sales of high quality Sleiman Asmar generators of various capacities in Nigeria and other countries of the According to Mr. Slieman world. Asmar, “to give the best to our customers and at the As a one stop shop in same time sustain our leadpower generation in the ing position in the power country with a mission sector, we embark on what statement “to satisfy our is known as totally focuscustomers by providing ing on Power Project professional, pro-active and Solutions (PPS). The Power timely services throughout Projects Strategy is to offer our product range”, the high business value to our company’s expert team of customers. This PPS is actuengineers and skilled tech- alized based on our techninicians ensure rapid and cal capabilities, application trouble free on-site mainte- expertise and wide range of nance. fuel solutions, for typical In addition, the company’s end users or for cusproducts are factory fitted tomized applications. Fast and tested under high delivery, fuel flexibility and quality standards to withmodular design are feastand all types of weather, tures of our power plants, particularly, the tropical cli- offering competitive power mate with compliance production and operations standards to ISO anywhere in the world” 9001:2000, ISO 3046 AND ISO 8528.
ing plants from 10KVA to 5300 KVA with proven needs irrespective of the size or voltage, SAKR also uses a variety of engines such as PERKINS, CUMMINS, MBH, LISTER, MITSUBISHI, General Electric Transportation (GET) GE JENBACHER GAS (GEUJ) in selected markets with alternators from MBH, marathon, marelli, Leroy Summer from France etc. With strong commitment to satisfy its clients, SAKR Power also offer customized canopies and containerized solutions to meet the requirements of its various customers. The company’s enclosures are characterized by robust construction, high quality painting, convenient handling for transportation, easy accessibility, safety and security highlight, sound attenuation modular design. The soundproof containers are designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions (from extreme cold to extreme heat). To ensure customers obtain the maximum benefits from the company’s products, its qualified personnel provide training programmes for customers. SAKR premises are equipped with up-to-date technology to improve the training environment. Also, in order to provide adequate assistance to customers, the company set up a stock of spare parts in Nigeria in order to serve all markets. SAKR Power stocks an extensive quality of consumables and maintenance parts, thus ensuring reliable and efficient performance to its customers at all times. The company further provides competent first point qualified service supCONTINUED ON PAGE 36
programme, expedite action on the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and also lay down concrete plans for further expansion of electricity generation, transmission and distribution through the active participation of pri-
vate sector.` In this special report, we bring to you some private companies that have shown greater commitment in power generation in Nigeria.
SCOA POWER GENERATION …MEETING THE POWER NEEDS IN NIGERIA NE of the power O generation companies in Nigeria that has distinguished itself in the sales of reliable power generating sets is SCOA Power Generation (SPG). Scoa Power Generation is a division of Scoa Nigeria Plc., one of the foremost multinational companies in Nigeria. Scoa Power specializes in all aspects of electrical power solutions such as feasibility stage, environmental impact assessment, grail evacuation studies, hanky solutions from site clearing to commissioning of the plant, Diesel powered generators ranging from 10KVA to 5 MVA for all applications, Gas fired turbines (single or combined cycle systems,) Solar powered generation systems, rural electrification, turnkey solutions for independent power producers, supply of High Tension (HT) and low voltage (LV) equipment, and installation with all necessary acces-
standing of clients’ needs and customers satisfactory has made Scoa Power a first choice company when it comes to power generation products in Nigeria. Since inception Scoa Nigeria Plc has contributed immensely towards the growth and development of sories just to mention but a Nigeria economy, with its few. business activities covering most of Nigeria’s ecoTo maintain its leadership nomic life. position in the industry, Scoa Power also specializes As a Nigerian conglomerin the supply, construction, ate quoted in the Nigerian installation, commissionStock Exchange, Scoa ing of, servicing, mainteNigeria Plc complies with nance and spare parts of all the rules and regulaPerkins, Cummins, tions of the Nigerian stock Caterpillar, lveco, exchange and other reguMitsubishi Power latory authorities in Generating Sets and Nigeria. Siemens Transformers. To meet the needs of its It is worthy of note to state customers in the country, that Scoa Power is one of Scoa Nigeria Plc locates its the largest suppliers of head office at 157, ApapaDiesel generators in Oshodi expressway, Isolo, Nigeria and has been serv- Lagos with branches in icing the market since 1926. Abuja, Kaduna,Kano, Lagos, Long years of experience, Port-Harcourt, Warri and comprehensive underother cities in the country.
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
SPECIAL REPORT ON POWER GENERATION, DISTRIBUTION AND ELECTRICITY AUTOMATION EQUIPMENT
Complete Solutions to Power problems CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 port personnel, fast reaction time, quick on-site service, available spare parts and express spare parts delivery services. Another unique niche that makes SAKR Power a preferred Power solutions provider in the country is the introduction and efficient implementation of SAKR Energy Solutions (SES) by the company. SES offers a full range of Energy Solutions to serve temporary and mediumterm energy needs across the Middle East and Africa region. The target is to provide turnkey solutions to help customers maximize on productivity and profitability while minimizing on downtime and resources. With an experienced technical team of proven capabilities in meeting energy needs, the company offers complete solutions to match customers, requirements such as: wide range of silent and efficient generating sets and accessories, medium voltage qualified design and application engineering, installation expertise and expedient commissioning, operation and maintenance team with round the clock supervision with emergency response team to immedi-
ate and short cycle needs. Other complimentary power solution products of the company include LV Panel boards and MV switchgears. SAKR Power provides the highest quality power products and services covering a wide range of application up to 6300 Amps in three or four pole systems according to international standards ISO9001, BS, IEC, NEMA etc. The company also provides Automatic and Manual Transfer (ATS) switches 3 or 4 pole, synchronizing panels with or without grid, Double change over switches, totalizing and distribution panels. The Company manufactures a wide range of Medium Voltage Switchgears, up to a rated voltage of 24 KV and rated current up to 2500 Amps. Air insulated bus bar with air load break switches or SPG circuit breakers (fixed or withdrawal) are available. SAKR Power is committed to implementing the latest technological trends in power generation solutions. With its head office at Plot 15 Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
MIKANO INTERNATIONAL LIMITED …One Stop-Shop for Power Solutions in Nigeria IKANO International Limited is M one of the power generation companies in Nigeria that has distinguished itself through quality and dependable power generating products in Nigerian market. Since inception as a company in Nigeria, Mikano has made it a policy to give the best quality products to its customers. Indeed, the company has become traditional reference point whenever quality generating set is discussed in Nigeria. True to its mission statement “To provide our valued customers satisfactory solution for their power requirements with quality products at competitive pricing and commit ourselves to maintaining customer satisfaction by consistently meeting or exceeding their expectations”. The company adopted 3s policy on its daily operations. The 3-s service policy is the catch phrase of Mikano after sales services system when responding to after sales service request to customers. The phrase reminds the service team to provide the best possible minimizing time lost due to equipment breakdown. The three services (3-s) policy is embedded in speedy services, satisfactory services and Superior services. In addition, Mikano International
has put in place a well-equipped fabrication factory where it manufactures and fabricates sound proof canopies for all generators from 9KVA to 5000 KVA with high quality standard and low noise level. The company’s sound proofing is a low noise self-supported structure in pressure folded and soldered galvanized steel. The structure is reinforced with brackets made of steel sheets. It is subjected to anti-corrosive treatment and lined with sound and fire proof panels. The cooling system is strengthened with special procedures which permit generating sets to function effectively. To sustain its leadership position in the sector, Mikano International in association with Perkins Gas Engine UK has inaugurated the gas division to provide the natural power generation. The company’s Gas division provides wide range of gas generating sets nationwide, offers the supply, installation and services of Natural Gas Generating sets with various power output from 380KVA to 5000KVA. With gas generators, customers enjoy long lasting low prepaid power supply, low operating cost, low vibration, low BMEP, high product integrity and environmentally friendly low emission product. Mikano has a skillful and experienced team of multinational employees, both Nigerians and expatriates
trained to the highest standards on installation and maintenance of gas power generating sets. With access to a fully equipped workshop and several mobile workshops they are able to maintain an excellent after sales service with 24 hour support with highest professional standards. Apart from Gas generating sets, Perkins Diesel Generating sets are designed to supply electric energy in places where there are no other electrical energy sources. The company’s international corporate customer base, high quality world class products, competitive prices, prompt delivery and reliable after sales services has made Mikano a leader in alternative power source in Nigeria. All the units of the generating sets are water cooled with tropicalised radiator and a comprehensive AC/DC control panel. These units are built to strict quality standard and fully load tested prior to dispatch. The Company offers a fully customised service, giving options as automatic start/stop, automatic changeover sound proof, enclosures, synchronizing system and mobile trailer units. In order to give the best to its customers, Mikano also offers unlimited multiple generating sets synchronizing and load sharing using the latest and advanced micro processor control systems with remote monitoring option capability. Some of the company’s products are Low Voltage Control Gear and Switchgear: Domestic distribution MCB boards up to 250 A, PHC (NEPA) boards, Feeder pillars and lighting kiosks, up to 800A, main distribution free standing boards up 6000A, Power factor compensation boards; Generators Application switchgear and AMF Panels, Dual AMF panels, ATS panels, synchronizing panels, medium voltage switchgears; These include 3:3 to 11 KV Power distribution switchgear, ring main units, compact sub stations up to 1000KVA, H.T Metering Panel etc. Also, Mikano is official distributor of Hyundai’s range of construction equipments in partnership with Hyundai Heavy industries. These products include, Hyundai Excavators, wheel loader, backhoe loaders, and skid loader. The company assures customers of excellent performances at competitive price, fast delivery, 24/7 product support and customer service, availability of genuine spare parts, 12 months comprehensive warranty, free training for the end users staff etc. Furthermore, to meet the yearning of its customers nationwide, Mikano International Limited as established over 20 branches and dealers network, strategically located nationwide with the headquarters at Plot 34/35 Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja Lagos.
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Court remands NGO chief over Abuja property deal Litigation By Emmanuel Badejo LLEGING fraud, the A Nigerian Police Force have instituted a criminal proceeding against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Risk and Accident Prevention Society of Nigeria (RAPSON), Mr. Ben Koko Odohofre, over an Abuja property transaction. He was consequently remanded in Kuje prison for failing to meet bail conditions. The deal, struck with Udosen Consulting Company Limited, was a lease of a property comprising six blocks of three-bedroom flat, located at, 32 Okotie Eboh Crescent, Utako in the Federal Capital Territory. When the transaction was sealed, it was purely civil, which has now assumed a criminal dimension, following issuance of a postdated but dud cheque in the sum of N30 million for the rental purpose of the property. Though Odohofre, said that he informed his landlord of non availability of funds at the time of endorsing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), he added that he earlier pledged his company’s generator set, as collateral in the event of failure to meet the financial obligation. This, claim was not however, disputed by Udosen, which had since sought police’ intervention and eventual initiation of the criminal case, with two count charge before a High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The charge sheet reads: “That you Ben Koko Odohofre ‘m’ 44 years, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Risk and Accident Prevention Society of Nigeria, Utako District, Abuja, on or about November, 2009 at Wuse, Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division with intent to defraud Udosen Consulting Company Limited deceitfully entered into an MOU with Udosen Consulting Company Ltd., for a two year lease of their property comprising six blocks of three bedroom flat located at No 32 Okotie Eboh Crescent, Utako and issued a post dated cheque of Thirty Million (N30m) to cover the said rent, however, having taken possession of the property the cheque you issued was presented for payment and returned dishonourned for lack of funds and you also refused to move out of the property and also refused to pay the required rent. You thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 2006. “That you Ben Koko Odohofre ‘m’ 44 years, … on or about 21st January 2010 at about 1430hrs at Wuse, Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division issued to Mr. Udosen Consulting Limited, Suite 833 Mclewis Plaza IBB Way Wuse II, Abuja, a Fidelity Bank Plc
cheque No. 02934019 for the sum of Thity Million naira (N30m) only in payment for two years lease of six blocks of three bedroom flat … knowing fully well that you do not have money in the said account. You thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) of the dishonourned cheque Act CAP D11 LFN 2004. After a sitting, the trial Judge, Baba Useni, had remanded the accused in prison custody at Kuje for failing to meet the bail N2 million conditions. However, he was released next day after fulfilling the stipulated conditions. The matter has been adjourned to April 22, 2013. 32 Okotie Eboh Crescent, Utako, Abuja
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Ogun, residents hold talks over market project Projects ESIDENTS of Aro Love R estate in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State have been assured that their properties would not be demolished unnecessarily as the State Government plans to put up an ultra modern international market in the locality. Commissioner for Housing, Mr Daniel Adejobi who gave this assurance during a meeting with the residents, reminded that the Ibikunle Amosun’s administration was on a “mission to rebuild the State”. He pointed out that the decision to build the market in the area was a demonstration of government’s quest to further enhance economic growth and ensure that dividend of democracy gets to all the nooks and crannies of
the State. Adejobi disclosed that the multi-million naira project would be located within the precinct of Oba T.T. Dada market, adding that when completed, it would go a long way in improving commercial activities of the people and ultimately, enhance socio-economic life in the State generally. The Commissioner therefore enjoined them to support and cooperate with the State Government in its stride to bring more development to the area. “Let us give government all necessary support for development, which would be beneficial to all. I want to assure you that when completed, this multi million project would be mutually beneficial, government would gain, our people within t h i s community would gain,“ Adejobi stated.
In his response, the Olota of Ota, Oba Moshood Alani Oyede who spoke through the Ekerin of Ota, Chief Bamgboye Osinlabi, described the meeting as timely and a right step to restore peace in the community. He assured of the readiness of his subjects to cooperate and support government to establish the international market, expressing optimism that it would boost economic and commercial activities in the area. Speaking earlier on behalf of Aro Love Estate Landlords Association, Miss Bosede Sonuga, appreciated government’s idea in constructing an international market in the area, which she noted would bring development and recognition to the locality. She however appealed that their houses should not be d e m o l i s h e d .
that the initiative has been conceived to create an effective template for addressing the chronic housing shortage as well as poor access to housing finance in the country. This is with a view to creating a roadmap for private and public sector partnership for attaining the vitally important Vision 2020 objective of the Federal Government of Nigeria which is: Providing affordable homes for all Nigerians by year 2020. Notable panelists include Evans Kofi Essienyi of the Affordable Housing Institute, Ghana; Dr. Delphine Sangodeyi of AHI North and West Africa Associates,1st Vice President, Nigerian Bar Association, Stephen Terseer Abar, Executive Secretary, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Kayode Omotosho and Shelter Afrique’s Director of Business Development and Operations, Mr. Femi
Adewole. While the session on funding would consider avenues of securing funding for the creation of 500,000 housing units and the development of public/private partnership models for the realization of project, the Delivery and Infrastructure would explore current developments in innovative construction and building methods capable of creating Nigeria-specific dwellings that are affordable by the majority of the populace. The panel on Mortgages would for illustrate latest thoughts among regulators and practitioners on implementing effective and sustainable framework for mortgage lending in Nigeria, addressing capital rules, responsible lending, and consumer protection. Finally, the panelists on Legislation would consider among other issues, the contemporary relevance of the Land Use Act 1978 in the context of land use , development and maintenance of a reliable land database nationwide, property ownership rights, title, foreclosure in the context of supporting the delivery of affordable housing. The participants are expected to come up a communiqué that could assist stakeholders in the Nigerian housing industry, mould appropriate policy framework for housing development. According to the organisers, the event promises a worthwhile experience for all participants including opportunities for attendees to the exhibition to shop for the homes of their dreams.
ASO housing conference holds in Abuja Housing HE second edition of the T Aso Housing Exhibition and Conference, billed for the International Conference Centre, Abuja will begin on Thursday. The conference will be attended by stakeholders in the housing industry from the public and private sectors of the economy including policy makers in private and public enterprises, Federal and State government representatives, real estate investors, professional mortgage providers, urban and town planners, developers, architects, State and Federal housing authorities, house buyers and other members of the general public. Promoted by ASO Savings and Loans Plc, with the theme “Achieving Affordable Housing Delivery by creating 500,000 housing units by 2016, ” officials explain
NIESV, ESVARBON seminar Professional Practice HE Nigerian Institution T of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in partnership with Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) have announced plans to hold a one-day professional development seminar for its members. The programme, which is part of its Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Seminar, is themed: Transforming Nigerian Economy Through Effective Land Management and Property Taxation. The event will take place on the 9 of May by at the Assembly Hall, North Campus, The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State and will have as speakers, Professor A.S Asaju, Second Vice
President of the NIESV, B.J Patunlola and M.A Tomori. Other sub topics to be treated at the event include, Land Market Assessment and Property Tax Reform: A tool for improving urban economic productivity, Sustainable Local Government Financing and Urban Property Taxation: A panacea to transform the economy and urban development in Nigeria, and Financing Infrastructure and Real Estate Development in Cities: The case study of Lagos Land Use Charge.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Lagos targets August to deliver Imota asphalt plant Roads By Tunde Alao FTER surmounting the initial challenge, hopes were rekindled last week on the proposed asphalt plant in Imota, a suburb in Epe Local Government Area of the state, as construction works commenced on the site, with a target to complete and deliver by August 2013. The Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), which is handling the project, had some issues with a section of Imota community over the project, which forestalled its take off as earlier scheduled. But that has been resolved, which now paved way for
movement of the construction equipment to the site. Already, site clearing had been completed, ahead of the take off of the construction works. The plant, after completion, is expected to produce 120 tonnes per hour, thereby, enhancing maintenance activities on Lagos roads. Official statement had it that the purpose of the plant is to ensure activities of the agency are not necessarily focused on the metropolis alone, but also the suburbs. “In line with the mandate and the desire of Governor Babatunde Fashola, road maintenance should not concentrate in the metropolis alone, but rather, to all nooks and
crannies of Lagos, hence the need to make provision for one of the major material, which is asphalt”, said the Managing Director/CEO, Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Mr. Gbenga Akintola. The plant became necessary to reduce cost of road maintenance through reduction in the cost of transportation; it is timesaving and would avoid wastage. Similarly, another plant to be sited in Badagry is underway. The Badagry plant is expected to cater for about 400 roads, in Amuwo Odofin, AjeromiIfelodun, Ojo, Egna-Igandq, Badagry Township and part of Alimosho axis. At a stakeholders’ meeting
recently, the corporation hinted that while the installation of Imota asphalt plant would commence this month, the Badagry plant is expected to be installed before the end of second quarter of the year. Even while the installation of the equipment is in progress, plan of action for 2013 has started to yield results, especially, along the Ikorodu-Imota and Ito-Ikin-Epe axis. The community leaders in Agbowa, Epe, Imota, Temu and the adjoining communities have said. These routes have been under severe deterioration as a result of the activities of articulated vehicles and trucks by sand diggers in Epe, Temu, Ketu and Ikorodu axis, and community
leaders have made efforts to ban the operators from plying the routes. “However, we could not carry out the threat of banning them because they are also Nigerians and they are doing their legitimate businesses”, said Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed, a community leader in Epe, who commended the efforts of LSPWC, which he described as their “saviour”. Also, residents of Ketu-Ejinrin have applauded the efforts of the agency. According to the Chairman of one of the Transport Union, Epe to Ikorodu is a journey of less than 45 minutes. “But quite unfortunately, we are ending up spending between one and
half or two hours. Besides, the condition of the road is having negative effects on our vehicles, resulting to weakening shock absorber of our vehicle, damaging the exhaustive pipes and sometimes we get burst tyres. But with the intervention of the Lagos Public Works Corporation, we can now heave a sigh of relief”, said Mukaila Raheem. To ensure it deliver on its mandate, the Executive Chairman of the corporation, Mr. Gbenga Akintola, hinted that LSPWC is to double its night operations capacity in 2013. “With the delivery of additional five units of floodlight equipment, we would double CONTINUED ON PAGE 47
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
‘Public infrastructure funding can boost development’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32 been most successful the world over, have been characterized by thorough planning, detailed studies and analyses of lifecycle costs and revenues, good communication, strong commitment from all parties and are guided by open and transparent procedures. These procedures commence with proper project preparation, clarity in the specification of output requirements. The conduct of a thorough needs analysis of the service to be delivered and a careful consideration of all available options for delivering the service should be the first necessary steps. This must be determined by a thorough feasibility study that must also test the affordability and value-formoney of the project. It is necessary to identify all potential risks that may threaten the success of the project and determine which party in the partnership will bear which risks. This will ensure that the rewards conferred on partners are commensurate with the risks they bear. It is also important to consider all relevant stakeholders, including communities, labour and the environment, whose interests may be affected by the project and ensure that all key stakeholder interests are adequately addressed. Finally, in selecting private sector partners it is imperative that an open and competitive procurement procedure is followed. The important lesson in this is that successful PPP projects require a significant investment in time and resources to prepare, and an open and competitive procurement process will more likely ensure selection of the right partners. Second, PPP projects that are selected from a coherent infrastructure investment programme which is an integral part of a national development plan tend to add greater value to, and enhance overall national development more than projects that are conceived by private proponents outside the national plan and proposed to the public sector as unsolicited projects. Thus, it is preferable that unsolicited projects be the exception rather than the rule and where such unsolicited projects are found acceptable they must be subjected to a thorough review and analysis to ensure that they are consistent with the national plan. Furthermore, they must also be subjected to same tests as internally generated projects with regards to affordability, value-for-money, risk/reward balance and competitiveness.
Third, PPP contract agreements involve long-term commitments. They are also complex, often involving many parties and significant risks. They must, therefore, be approached with great care, due diligence and a deep sense of responsibility and accountability especially on the part of public sector officials who must recognize that they are acting under public trust. This is especially pertinent since officials involved in negotiating a particular contract is often no longer in service when the agreements begin to fall into dispute. It is also most important that senior public functionaries should endeavour to refrain from undue interference in contractual negotiations between public officials and their private sector partners. Such interference often makes it difficult to hold public officers accountable for any failed contracts. Finally, PPP arrangements involving long term relationships (10 to 30 years) must be approached by both partners with absolute seriousness. This is more so because despite every effort to plan and prepare these projects professionally and to analyze potential risks, it will not always be possible to anticipate all risks or mitigate them effectively. It is therefore imperative that both parties approach the contract in a spirit of genuine partnership, a commitment to work for a win-win situation and to always seek an outcome that ensures that the interests of all parties are recognized and pursued in an equitable manner. This requires a level of openness and transparency in negotiations in which there is full disclosure and sharing of information and concerns. It also requires the deployment of a high level of professional competence and skills in all aspects of the transaction – technical, legal, financial etc. For the public sector agency, this indicates the need to engage highly competent and experienced Transaction Advisers. While the foregoing lessons have all been fully incorporated in our National PPP Policy and guidelines, our experience in the past year clearly indicates an urgent need for our colleagues both in the MDAs and private sector partners, to recognize and imbibe these lessons if we are to succeed in using PPP to attract significant private sector investment in scaling up our infrastructure services. It is absolutely vital that all PPP projects be developed and procured in line with the National Policy on PPP
Imota asphalt plant set for completion in August CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45 our night activities in 2013. This is as a result of our quest to work more at night, given our sensitivity to the difficulty road users go through whenever maintenance work is being carried out, especially, on very busy roads.” He added that the adoption of outsource contractors is still maintained. The set of contractors have been complimenting the activities of the in-house maintenance gangs, the approach he said enabled the agency to reach many suburban communities. Other strategies include the expansion of in-house gangs and what he called “continued staff motivation”. The LSPWC boss, however
lamented the issue of vandalisation of manholes and gratings on the road. He said the vandals have been constituting nuisance to the activities of the agency in the recent time, thus, forcing it to replace the cast iron material to recycle plastic material made out of composite resin fibre. “This initiative has actually working well, since its introduction, because of its zero market value. This is unlike the previous ones that could be converted to other use”. The Corporation’s helmsman said 190 roads have been rehabilitated since the beginning of 2013, assuring that Lagos would witness improved activities before the end of 2013.
(N4P) and MDAs are encouraged to consult ICRC at the earliest stages for necessary guidance and support. It is also important that MDAs make adequate provisions in their annual budgets for the cost of project development that should be in the range of 3 – 5 per cent of the estimated project cost. MDAs are also advised to consult the Commission with regards to all unsolicited projects that they consider of interest before they engage the proponents in further discussions or make any commitments. The National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, designed to address the nation’s infrastructure needs in the 21st Century, is currently under development. This plan will adopt a coordinated approach to physical infrastructure development, strengthen the linkages between components in the infrastructure sector and the national economy, review, upgrade and harmonize exist-
ing sub-sectoral master plans and strategies in the infrastructure sector to ensure consistency with national development aspirations and prioritize projects and programmes for implementation in the medium to long term. The plan will in addition promote private sector participation in infrastructure development, strengthen the policy, legal and institutional frameworks for effective infrastructure development, enhance the performance and efficiency of the economy and mainstream green economy and sustainable development concepts and practices. Undoubtedly, Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit has stymied its economic growth, restricted productivity and limited its competitiveness. It has impacted negatively on the cost of doing business, investment and capital inflow into the country. Unfortunately, our domestic financial market, which is largely rudimentary, ensures paucity of long -term
finance, and reliance on government resources for funding infrastructure. The result is repeated cycle of underperformance and continued deterioration of existing infrastructure. Indeed, the private sector has large pools of resources from which they can seek funding, which governments may not have access to, or the capacity to access, including both local and international financial markets. As a result, private sector involvement in infrastructure provision has been widely considered and implemented as a preferred method of financing infrastructure provision globally. Governments all over the world have embraced PPP option as crucial to securing dependable and sustainable funding for infrastructure and reducing the pressure on fiscal budgets. Nigeria has taken the first necessary steps in this direction by establishing ICRC and approving the national PPP policy. PPPs must now move from the realm of
conception to actual delivery of infrastructure services. . The infrastructure market in Nigeria is vast and wholly undeveloped and unexploited. The sectors that Public Private Partnership initiatives are likely to play a significant role include roads and highways, light railways, ports, airports, dams, bridges and tunnels. Others are power, oil and gas pipelines, water and sanitation, telecommunication and indeed the entire spectrum of infrastructure services. The financial sector including the DFI, Pension, Private Equity and Infrastructure Funds and the capital market could quickly organize itself to exploit this emerging opportunity as either Debt Funders or Equity Funders for infrastructure development and operation. Opportunities also exist in the provision of PPP advisory services to the public sector agencies or the special purpose entities created by the private sector to deliver infrastructure.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
The Environment Global warming, a threat to planet, poorest people, says World Bank Climate Change ORLD Bank President Jim W Yong Kim said climate change was a “fundamental threat” to global economic development as he called for a major new push to reduce extreme poverty over the next 17 years. The bank is in the middle of an internal debate over how to reshape its role in a world where the major developing nations — the core “customers” for its loans and programs — have become increasingly middle class and where states caught in civil war pose an intractable development problem. At the same time, the impact of climate change disproportionately threatens the African and Asian nations that would find it hardest to cope. Policy makers everywhere pledge to support small businesses. But not every local and state government follows through on that promise. Kim said the bank, a sprawling institution that lends to everything from power plants to local governance projects, would try to tailor its work to focus on the elimination of extreme poverty and on easing inequality in countries that are doing better economically. Finding ways to avoid or lessen potential climate effects, he said, are central to that effort. “If we do not act to curb climate change immediately, we will leave our children and grandchildren an unrecognizable planet,” Kim said. “It is the poor, those least responsible for climate change and least able to afford adaptation, who would suffer the most.”
Air pollution from industrial facilities such as power plants, refineries, manufacturing combustion and industrial processes are major causes of global warming
The joint effort by the IMF and World Bank to elevate thinking about the economics of climate change has accelerated under Kim and Lagarde, pushed by evidence that the effects of a warming planet are already being felt in agricultural yields in some nations and the severity of weather events around the globe His comments are part of an emerging push by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to focus on climate change — something that IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Tuesday said puts global financial stability “clearly at stake.” The IMF last week published a report arguing that fossil fuels are subsidized to the tune of $1.9 trillion annually by gov-
ernments around the world and should be more heavily taxed. On Tuesday, the IMF and the World Resources Institute hosted a speech by British economist Lord Nicholas Stern, author of a controversial climate report for the British government and an advocate of fast and deep carbon emissions cuts. “We have to go zero carbon more or less where we can” to
meet the goal of limiting planetary warming to 2 degrees Celsius over the next 90 years, Stern said. The joint effort by the IMF and World Bank to elevate thinking about the economics of climate change has accelerated under Kim and Lagarde, pushed by evidence that the effects of a warming planet are already being felt in agricultur-
al yields in some nations and the severity of weather events around the globe. Both organizations often tout the power of advocacy and research in shaping countries’ policies, but their more direct influence may relate to their power over loans and financing. In the bank’s case, that power has declined as the flow of private money has increased around the globe. Still, in his first year as bank president, Kim set a date by which he thinks the world could virtually eliminate extreme poverty: 2030. By then, he said, the number of
people living on less than $1.25 per day could be cut from the current estimate of 1.3 billion to perhaps 200 million — a number World Bank officials say could then be addressed through solely local programs. “Now is the time to commit,” Kim said. With nations such as China and Brazil growing richer and expected to continue growing, “successes of the past decades and an increasingly favorable economic outlook combine to give developing countries a chance — for the first time ever — to end extreme poverty within a generation.” It is in the nature of the World Bank, perhaps the chief bully pulpit for economic development, that its president talks in far-reaching terms. In his valedictory news conference, longtime World Bank head James Wolfensohn also spoke of a generational effort “to fight poverty, to establish equality and assure peace.” But World Bank staffers argue that Kim’s statement differs by setting a specific goal — reducing poverty to a minimal or “frictional” level — and a timetable. It also points to some of Kim’s emerging priorities — and some of the bank’s identified quandaries. Major bank borrowers such as Mexico, Brazil and China have moved hundreds of millions of their citizens from poverty into the middle class, and while the bank has been involved over the years, that process has been driven by private capital and more-open trade relations with the developed world.
Govt raises panel on framework for climate services Climate Change From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja OLLOWING a United Fimprove Nations-wide initiative to and increase access to climate information, the Federal Government last week inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee on National Framework for Application of
Climate Services, (NFACS) that will provide accurate, relevant and user-focussed climate services in the country. An estimated 70 countries, many of them in Africa, have inadequate climate services and are ill-equipped to meet the challenges of both natural variations in the climate and human induced climate
change. The main goal of the NFACS is to enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale.
The committee, which is headed by the Minister of National Planning Commission, (NPC) Dr. Shamshudeen Usman, also has the Ministers of Aviation, Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Water Resources, Health, Works, Science and Technology and Transport as members, while the office of
China to spend $16b on Beijing pollution crisis Climate Change HINA will spend 100 billion C yuan ($16 billion) over three years to deal with Beijing’s pollution, an official newspaper said, as the government tries to defuse mounting public anger over environmental degradation. Beijing’s government has pledged to improve sewage disposal, garbage treatment and air quality, as well as crack down on illegal construction, the China Daily newspaper said, citing a three-year plan released last week. Air quality in Beijing, a city of around 20 million people, has mostly stayed above “very unhealthy” and “hazardous”
levels since the beginning of this year. Pollution was one of the key themes at the recent National Party Congress, where China’s new leaders were confirmed. Many Chinese feel the government lacks bite when it comes to enforcing policies designed to protect the environment. Beijing’s plan includes laying or upgrading 1,290 km (800 miles) of sewage pipeline, building five garbage incineration plants, setting up 47 water recycling plants and upgrading 20 sewage disposal plants, said China Daily. Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun called on the government to allow the private sector to participate in these investments.
The government also plans to curb illegal construction and land use, and will compile a list of illegal buildings for demolition next year, Beijing Deputy Mayor Wang Wei told China Daily. Most of China’s major cities are plagued by pollution of one sort or another. Earlier this month thousands of dead pigs were found floating in one of Shanghai’s main water sources. Air pollution readings in China‘s notoriously polluted capital were at dangerously high levels for the second straight day Saturday, with hazy skies blocking visibility and authorities urging people to stay indoors.
Local officials warned that the severe pollution in Beijing — reportedly the worst since the local government began collecting data a year ago — was likely to continue. The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center said on its website that the density of PM2.5 particulates had reached 700 micrograms per cubic meter in many parts of the city, a level considered extremely hazardous. By 5 p.m., the center’s realtime reporting showed the air quality indexes at or approaching the maximum 500 from some monitoring stations. The
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the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) is to provide the secretariat. Vice President Namadi Sambo, while inaugurating the panel at the Presidential Villa Abuja, said it is saddled with the responsibility of mapping out a national framework for application of climate services. Sambo said the raising of the committee had received the blessing of President Goodluck Jonathan following recommendations by the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, as a result of the early weather warning memorandum premised on last year’s rainy season’s flood disaster that has caused great losses to the nation. The vice president stressed that the warning was timely considering the observable effects of global climate change and its resultant consequences in the forms of rise in sea level shift in rainfall patterns and extreme weather conditions resulting in hazards such as floods and droughts. He said it has therefore become imperative for the nation to develop a national
framework for application of climate services, which could deliver several benefits including: Improved crop yield/enhancement of national food security; significant reduction in economic losses resulting from destruction of roads and other infrastructure; and ensuring that gains already recorded in the provision of infrastructure are not reversed by severe weather events. Others are reduction of weather/climate related health hazards; to reduce loss of life and vulnerability of the population to disaster risks associated with extreme weather. He advised the committee to take advantage of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) “Global Framework for Climate Services” which was adopted by the WMO in 2012 with recommendations and guidelines for developing and implementing the frameworks for climate services at regional and national levels. “In this regard, I have invited the CEO of NIMET to participate and assist the committee in this direction”, he said. Sambo stressed that
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Govt plans framework on climate services CONTINUED FROM PAGE 48 President’s desire and resolve is to ensure that the assignment and other related issues are adequately tackled. “I urge you to pursue this assignment with vigour and all the seriousness it deserves for its timely completion. It is expected that your report shall include short, medium and long term actions for implementation”. In his response Usman said expressed deep appreciation for his appointment. While underscoring the importance of the committee, Usman said, “The significance of environment is becoming more apparent. Though the country is not exposed to extreme weather, the flood of last year was enough warning that the nation could continue with business as usual, because those who plan to fail plan to fail. “This committee shows government’s proactive nature and on behalf of members, I assure that the vigour and timeliness as requested for by Mr. President will be adhered
Drought has been a major concern to all the parties to the Convention on Desertification
Canada’s pullout from drought convention ‘regrettable’, says UN The Environment HE United Nations said that T it is “regrettable” Canada will withdraw from a UN convention that fights the spread of droughts. Developed as a result of the Rio Summit in 1992, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is a unique instrument that has brought attention to land degradation and drought in one of the most vulnerable ecosystems and people in the world. Fifteen years after coming into force, the UNCCD is increasingly recognized as an instrument that is making an important contribution to the achievement of sustainable development, food security and poverty reduction Canada, a country that is frequently subjected to drought and where 60 percent of the cropland is in dry areas, is also a major actor in global efforts to address food security in developing countries. In addition to its annual contribution of about 3.127 per cent of the current Convention’s budget, the Government of Canada and Canadian civil society have played significant roles in moving the Convention to where it is today. In 2007, Parties adopted the ten-year strategy to enhance the implementation of the Convention as a blue print for a more effective and efficient process grounded on a strong and cutting-edge science. As a result, the scientific conferences of UNCCD are academically independent. The next gathering of the scientific conference, in two weeks, is expected to deliver a major breakthrough by presenting the first ever cost-benefit analysis of desertification and sustainable land management. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Canada was withdrawing from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) because the programme has proven too
Canada has notified the UN Secretary-General, the depositary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification of its decision to withdraw from the Convention. The UNCCD is the only legally binding instrument that addresses desertification/land degradation and drought. bureaucratic, and not worth the $350,000 contributed each year. The decision would make Canada the only country in the world not part of the convention. “The Convention is stronger than ever before, which makes Canada’s decision to withdraw from the Convention all the more regrettable,” the Bonn-based secretariat for the convention said in a statement Friday. The federal cabinet last week ordered the unannounced withdrawal on the recommendation of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, ahead of a major scientific meeting on the convention this month in Germany. The decision has led to widespread criticism of the Harper government from opposition parties, non-governmental aid agencies, civil society groups and former Canadian diplomats, including at least one former UN ambassador. The government’s decision also caught the UN secretariat that administers the conven-
tion off guard — a spokesman was informed through a telephone call from The Canadian Press on Wednesday. The government has said that it served formal notification to the Bonn-based secretariat and the United Nations Secretary General and posted the order on an obscure website, and was found by the The Canadian Press. The government did not issue a press release about its withdrawal plans. In Friday’s statement, the secretariat — also known as the UNCCD — said Canada has formally notified it. “Canada, a country that is frequently subjected to drought and where 60 per cent of the cropland is in dry areas, is also a major actor in global efforts to address food security in developing countries,” the UNCCD said. The UN body said Canada’s annual contribution of $291,000 — less than the $350,000 the government says it was paying — accounted for 3.1 per cent of its budget.
It said the Canadian government and “Canadian civil society have played significant roles in moving the Convention to where it is today.” In 2007, Canada along with the other 194 countries that are party to the convention agreed to a 10-year strategy to “enhance the implementation of the Convention as a blue print for a more effective and efficient process grounded on a strong and cutting-edge science,” Friday’s statement said. The government’s decision to pull Canada out of the convention came less than a month before a major scientific gathering to be hosted by the Bonnbased secretariat of the UN convention. The meetings, set to begin April 9, would have forced Canada to confront scientific analysis on the effects of climate change, droughts and encroaching deserts. The Harper government has been vilified an as outlier on climate change policy in past international meetings.
“The next gathering of the scientific conference, in two weeks, is expected to deliver a major breakthrough by presenting the first ever cost-benefit analysis of desertification and sustainable land management,” said the UNCCD’s statement. “Canada played crucial roles in both processes. Crucially, these processes have also moved the actions taken by parties to a result-based management approach where performance and impact are not only measured using indicators, but also assessed and monitored every two years.” Maude Barlow, head of the Council of Canadians, has accused the government of pulling out of the convention because it does not want to confront the scientific realities of climate change at the upcoming Bonn meetings. A spokeswoman for the Canadian International Development agency has said that even though Canada would make good on its $315,000 commitment for 2013, it would not be attending the upcoming science meeting in Bonn. Parties planning to opt out of the convention have to give one-year notice.
China budgets $16b for Beijing pollution crisis CONTINUED FROM PAGE 48 index runs from zero to 500 and accounts for the level of airborne PM 2.5 particulates — tiny particles considered the most harmful to health. Generally, the air quality is considered good when the index is at 50 or below, and hazardous with an index between 301 and 500, when people are warned to avoid outdoor physical activities. Those with respiratory problems, the elderly and children are asked to stay indoors. The air started to turn bad on Thursday, and monitors in Beijing reported air quality indexes above 300 by Friday. The monitoring center said Saturday that the pollution was expected to linger for the next three days and urged residents, especially the most vulnerable, to stay home as much as possible. The air quality data are the worst in Beijing since the municipal government began to track PM2.5 early last year, said Zhou Rong of the environmental organization Green Peace. Monitors at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing recorded an off-thechart air-quality reading of 755 at 8 p.m. Saturday and said the PM2.5 density had reached 886 micrograms per cubic meter.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8 , 2013 In association with
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The huge potential of the Nigerian real estate industry can not be over emphasised. Experts have predicted that the industry will What are the professional experience exponential growth through the fields in the Real Estate Industry? influx of capital from both local and internaThe Real Estate Industry comprises of four tional investors. This year has already witdistinct fields: Sales and Leasing, Property nessed an increased interest in Nigerian real Development, Property Management, estate as there has been visible increase in Property Acquisition and Analysis. We will be discussing the various the development of commercial structures, In Nigeria, the most popular field is the Sales the commencement of The Mortgage factors that affect the industry, cur- Who are the key players and Leasing as most parties believe that all Refinance Corporation (MRC), the introducrent trends and future projections in in the Real Estate industry? that there is to real estate is the buying, leas- tion of The New National Housing key players in the real estate industry, ing, and selling of properties. The least popu- Commission (NHF), change in the moduspracticing real estate in the 21st cen- The include investors, financiers, developers, build- lar field is the Property Acquisition and tury as the industry is continuously ing and construction companies, mortgage operandi of the real estate business with Analysis as this requires in-depth knowledge evolving and business is no longer banks, commercial banks, policy makers, real- of the market trends and also projections for more online presence, and much more. There is a gradual evolution in the industry tors, property managers, quantity surveyors, business as usual. future developments. and this shows signs that exciting times are lawyers, and tenants. These key players work Real estate holdings are one of the most Enjoy!!! coming. The question is, how prepared are hand in hand to ensure that the industry important asset classes, as it can be used as a we? hedge against inflation as well as to achieve diversification. Currently, real estate conREAL ESTATE TRIVIA tributes less than 2% to Nigeria’s GDP. This is EAL ESTATE plays a very significant role due to a range of factors like the lack of mortin our world and it is a vital part of the Question. What is the most expensive piece gage facilities, tax legislations, government essentials required to sustain mankind. of property ever recorded in the world? policies, hitches in land acquisition, poor There is hardly anything that is not susAnswer. In October 1988, the Mediya infrastructures etc which has hindered the tained by some form of real estate from busiBuilding in central Tokyo was quoted at growth of the real estate industry. This how- $248,000 per square foot. ever also shows that there is a lot of room for Please send your questions or comments to growth in the industry if these issues are email@example.com. properly tackled.
Intelligent Real Estate
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Weekly Lead Equity Ratings
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Exchange-traded funds INTRODUCTION XCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS (ETFs) can be a valuable component for any investor's portfolio, from the most sophisticated institutional money managers to a novice investor who is just getting started. Some investors use ETFs as the sole focus of their portfolios, and are able to build a well-diversified portfolio with just a few ETFs. Others use ETFs to complement their existing portfolios, and rely on ETFs to implement sophisticated investment strategies. But, as with any other investment vehicle, in order to truly benefit from ETFs, investors have to understand and use them appropriately. Understanding most ETFs is very straightforward. An ETF trades like a stock on a stock exchange and looks like a mutual fund. Its performance tracks an underlying index, which the ETF is designed to replicate. The difference in structure between ETFs and mutual funds explains part of different investing characteristics. The other differences are explained by the type of management style. Because ETFs are designed to track an index, they are considered passively managed; most mutual funds are considered actively managed. From an investor's perspective, an investment in an index mutual fund and an ETF that tracks the same index would be equivalent investments. For example, the performance of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF and a low-cost index fund based on the S&P 500 would both be very close to the to the S&P 500 index in terms of performance. Although index mutual funds are available to cover most of the major indexes, ETFs cover a broader range of indexes, providing more investing options to the ETF investor than the index mutual fund investor. Compared to mutual funds, ETFs are relatively new. The first U.S. ETFs were created by State Street Global Advisors with the launch of the S&P 500 depositary receipts, also known as SPDRs ("spiders"). Although the first ETFs tended to track broad market indexes, more recent ETFs have been developed to track sectors, fixed income, global investments, commodities and currencies. According to Morgan Stanley, by the end of 2007, there were 1,171 ETFs trading worldwide, with assets approaching $800 billion. ETFs represent shares of ownership of a unit investment trust (UIT), which holds portfolios of stocks, bonds, currencies or commodities. ETFs are often compared the mutual funds: • Like a mutual fund, an ETF is an investment structure that pools the assets of its investors and uses professional managers to invest the money to meet clearly identified objectives, such as current income or capital appreciation. And, like a mutual fund, it also has a prospectus. An ETF delivers a prospectus to the retail purchaser or provides investors a document known as a product description, which summarizes key information about the ETF. • A mutual fund investor purchases or redeems directly from the fund, at the mutual fund's net asset value (NAV), which is calculated at the end of each trading day. An investor who buys an ETF purchases the shares on a stock exchange in a process identical to the purchase or sale of any other listed stock. Although most mutual funds are actively managed a significant number of index funds are available. Although most ETFs are passively managed - designed to track specific indexes - a few actively managed ETFs have been introduced. • The creation and redemption process for ETF shares is almost the exact opposite to that of mutual fund shares. When investing in mutual funds, investors send cash to the fund company, which then uses that cash to purchase securities and issue additional shares of the fund. When investors want to redeem their mutual fund shares, the shares are returned to the mutual fund company in exchange for cash. The creation of an ETF, however, does not involve cash. The vast majority of ETFs are designed to track an index, so their performance is close to that of an index mutual fund, but they are not exact duplicates. A tracking error, or the difference between the returns of a fund and the returns of the index, can arise due to differences in composition, management fees, expenses, and handling of dividends. Let's take a look at some of these factors. Buying and Selling ETFs Can Be Good for the Small Investor - ETFs enjoy continuous pricing; they can be bought and sold on a stock exchange throughout the trading day. Because ETFs trade like stocks, you can place orders just like with individual stocks - such as limit orders, good-until-canceled orders, stop loss orders etc. They can also be sold short. Traditional mutual funds are bought and redeemed based on their net asset values (NAV) at the end of the day. ETFs are bought and sold at the market prices on the exchanges, which resemble the underlying NAV but are independent of it. However, arbitrageurs will ensure that ETF prices are kept very close to the NAV of the underlying securities. Although an investor can buy as few as one share of an ETF, most buy in board lots. Anything bought in less than a board lot will increase the cost to the investor. Anyone can buy any ETF no matter where in the world it trades. This provides a benefit over mutual funds, which generally can only be bought in the country in which they are registered. Treatment of Dividends - An ETF typically pays out dividends received from the underlying stocks on a quarterly basis. However, the underlying stocks pay dividends throughout the quarter. Therefore, these funds can hold cash for various time periods throughout the quarter, even though the underlying benchmark index is not composed of cash. With dividend-paying ETFs, the cash ends up in your brokerage account instead, just like the dividend on a regular stock. If you want to reinvest that cash, you have to make another purchase. Tax Efficiency - Because index ETFs are passively managed portfolios, they tend to offer greater tax benefits than regular mutual funds. They generate fewer capital gains due to low turnover of the securities, and realize fewer capital gains than actively managed funds. An index ETFs only sells securities to reflect changes in its underlying index. Traditional mutual funds accumulate these unrealized capital gains liabilities as the portfolio's stocks increase in value. When the
fund sells those stocks, it distributes the capital gains to its investors in proportion to their ownership. This selling results in greater taxes for mutual fund owners. Transparency - As mentioned, ETFs are designed to replicate the performance of their underlying index or commodity. Investors always know exactly what they are buying and can see exactly what constitutes the ETF. The fees are also clearly laid out. Because mutual funds only have to report their holdings twice a year, when you buy into a mutual fund, what you're getting may not be as clear. Fees and Commissions - One of the main features of ETFs are their low annual fees, especially when compared to traditional mutual funds. The passive nature of index investing, reduced marketing, and distribution and accounting expenses all contribute to the lower fees. However, individual investors must pay a brokerage commission to purchase and sell ETF shares; for those investors who trade frequently, this can significantly increase the cost of investing in ETFs. That said, with the advent of low-cost brokerage fees, small or frequent purchases of ETFs are becoming more cost efficient. Options - A number of ETFs have options that can be traded. They can be used to create different investment strategies in conjunction with the underlying ETF. This allows ETF investors to make use of leverage in their portfolios. Although indexing (a passive investment strategy) has been used by institutional investors for many years, it is still relatively new for the typical individual investor. Because ETFs use predominately passive strategies, the first question any investor should consider is whether to take an active or passive approach to investing. Rationale for Active Investing -The predominant investment strategy today is active investing, which attempts to outperform the market. The goal of active management is to beat a particular benchmark. The majority of mutual funds are actively managed. Analyzing market trends, the economy and the company-specific factor, active managers are constantly searching out information and gathering insights to help them make their investment decisions. Many have their own complex security selection and trading systems to implement their investment ideas, all with the ultimate goal of outperforming the market. There are almost as many methods of active management as there are active managers. These methods can include fundamental analysis, technical analysis, quantitative analysis and macroeconomic analysis. Active managers believe that because the markets are inefficient, anomalies and irregularities in the capital markets can be exploited by those with skill and insight. Prices react to information slowly enough to allow skillful investors to systematically outperform the market. Rationale for Passive Investing - Passive management, or indexing, is an investment management approach based on investing in exactly the same securities, and in the same proportions, as an index such Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500. It is called passive because portfolio managers don't make decisions about which securities to buy and sell; the managers merely follow the same methodology of constructing a portfolio as the index uses. The managers' goal is to replicate the performance of an index as closely as possible. Passive managers invest in broad sectors of the market, called asset classes or indexes, and are willing to accept the average returns various asset classes produce. Passive investors believe in the efficient market hypothesis (EMH), which states that market prices are always fair and quickly reflective of information. EMH followers believe that consistently outperforming the market for the professional and small investor alike is difficult. Therefore, passive managers do not try to beat the market, but only to match its performance. Passive or Active Management – Which is the Best Approach? - A debate about the two approaches has been ongoing since the early 1970s. Supporting the passive management argument are the researchers from the nation's universities and privately funded research centers. Wall Street firms, banks, insurance companies and other companies that have a vested interest in the profits from active management support the other side of the argument. Each side can make a strong logical case to support their arguments, although in many cases, the support is due to different belief systems, much like opposing political parties. However, each approach has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered. Active Management - Advantage/Disadvantage - The main advantage of active management is the possibility that the managers will be able to outperform the index due to their superior skills. They can make informed investment decisions based on their experiences, insights, knowledge and ability to identify opportunities that can translate into superior performance. If they believe the market might turn downward, active managers can take defensive measures by
hedging or increasing their cash positions to reduce the impact on their portfolios. A disadvantage is that active investing is more costly, resulting in higher fees and operating expenses. Having higher fees is a significant impediment to preventing a manager from consistently outperforming over the long term. Active managers, in an attempt to beat the market, tend to have a more concentrated portfolio with fewer securities. However, when active managers are wrong, they may very significantly under-perform the market. A manager's style could be out of favor with the market for a period of time, which could result in lagging performance. Passive Management - Advantage/Disadvantage - The main advantage of passive investing is that it closely matches the performance of the index. Passive investing requires little decision-making by the manager. The manager tries to duplicate the chosen index, tracking it as efficiently as possible. This results in lower operating costs that are passed on to the investor in the form of lower fees. A passively managed investment will never outperform the underlying index it is meant to track. The performance is dictated by the underlying index and the investor must be satisfied with the performance of that index. Managers are unable to take action if they believe the overall market will decline or they believe individual securities should be sold ETFs provide considerable flexibility in implementing various investment strategies or building investment portfolios. Strategies range from very simple, such as diversifying an existing portfolio, to sophisticated hedging strategies. Core Holding - An investor can consider using a few ETFs as core portfolio holdings. A low-cost diversified portfolio can easily be constructed with a few ETFs to cover the major equity asset classes and the fixedincome market. From that starting point, the investor can customize a portfolio with additional securities, mutual funds or other ETFs. Asset Allocation - With ETFs, building a portfolio for any asset allocation strategy is easy. It is even possible to buy an ETF that is already diversified across different asset classes. An investor can take a passive approach to asset allocation by rebalancing the portfolio only to ensure it returns back to the long-term or strategic asset mix. Alternatively, the investor can take an active role in asset allocation, by tactically rebalancing the portfolio, overweighting those asset classes that are expected to outperform in the shorter term and underweighting the others. Diversification - ETFs allow the investor not only to diversify across all the major asset classes, such as U.S. equity , foreign equity and fixed income, but also to diversify into investments that have a low correlation to the major asset classes. This includes areas like commodities, real estate, emerging markets, small cap stocks, and others. Hedging - The use of ETFs allows for a variety of hedging strategies. Investors who want to hedge against a drop in the market can purchase inverse ETFs or leveraged inverse ETFs, which rise when the market falls. An investor concerned about inflation can hedge it by investing in commodities or inflation-protected bond ETFs. Investors that have investments outside the U.S. can hedge their foreign currency exposure with currency ETFs. Of course, investors can short an appropriate ETF that can hedge against a very specific stock market exposure. Many ETFs have options that can be used for other hedging strategies, either separately or in conjunction with the underlying ETF. Cash Management - ETFs can be used to "equitize" cash, allowing investors an easy way to put their money in the stock market until a long-term investment decision is made. In this way, investors can ensure they do not miss out on price rises or forego income while their money is parked temporarily. Tax-Loss Harvesting - Tax-loss harvesting is a strategy of realizing capital losses in a taxable account, and then redeploying the sale proceeds among similar investments, leaving the investor's portfolio largely unchanged. The wash-sale rule prevents an investor from selling a security at a loss and then immediately repurchasing it by disallowing the purchase of "substantially identical" securities within 30 days of a sale. With the availability of a wide variety of ETFs, buying an ETF that is very similar to the fund or stock being sold is easy. The end result is a portfolio that closely resembles the one before the capital losses were realized without invoking the wash-sale rule. Completion Strategies - An investor might want to quickly gain exposure to specific sectors, styles or asset classes without having to obtain the prerequisite expertise in these areas. As an example, an investor who has no expertise in emerging markets can buy an ETF based on an emerging market index. Using ETFs allows an investor to easily fill the "holes" in his or her portfolio. Portfolio Transitions - Many investors move portfolio assets between different advisors, managers or funds. In the transition period, the assets might be allowed to sit idle in cash. ETFs allow investors to keep their assets invested rather than having Although the first exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were designed to track broad market stock indexes, since that time, ETFs have been developed to track industrial sectors, investment styles, fixed income, global investments, commodities and currencies. ETFs are now available to replicate just about any index available. All that is required is that there is enough investor interest to make the ETF profitable. An ETF trades like a stock on a stock exchange. However, like a mutual fund, the ETF has a structure that pools the assets of its investors and uses professional money managers to invest the money. Unlike most mutual funds, which are actively managed, most ETFs are passively managed. An ETF most resembles an index fund that tracks the same index and its performance should closely mirror the index it tracks. An investor who wants to buy ETFs has a myriad of options to choose from in equities, foreign stocks, fixed income and alternative investment. There are also many different strategies the investor can employ when using ETFs. Like other investments, it is important for the investor to evaluate the different options to ensure the right ETF is chosen for the job.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
BusinessInterview Survival, development of states hinge more on
Mr. Kenneth Okpara is the Commissioner for Economic Planning in Delta State. The financial expert and chartered accountant, spoke with Business Editor, ADE OGIDAN, on the need for states to rely less on oil revenue and develop options that would ensure a more diversified economic profile. Excerpts. ELTA STATE has been subjecting all D Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to scrutiny under its peer review mechanism. What is it all about? The peer review mechanism already in place in the state commenced about a year ago. During the 2012 Budget preparation, we realised that we needed ministries to present reports of their performance on a quarterly basis, which will be sent to His Excellency, the Governor. This will enable him know the level of performance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). There is a benchmark for performance of which the target is about what MDAs ought to have achieved and what has actually been done on a quarterly basis. Their performance is thus, assessed based on the projected budget of the MDAs. This is the budgetary allocations to them and the expectations. This initiative has the backing of the law, being part of the budget presentation that was approved by the State House of Assembly, and also, a requirement in the State fiscal responsibility act. Another major tool, which is a built-up from the quarterly report input, is the “Economic Dashboard”. This tool has automated processes which ensure that MDAs’ activities are captured and entered into a system which is the dashboard, and it automatically generates the
performance output for each agreed key performance indicator (KPI) and the overall. This shows whether a particular MDA is performing above or below set targets. We also know whether the MDA is moving towards the set target or has recorded 100 percent performance. We believe this is an incentive for performance, because the MDA knows that if it performs well, it will be rewarded with greater budgetary allocation but where this is not the case, that means it has not used its budget and cannot ask for more because performance is the only way to determine who is working and the funds will go to such places. So, if you can’t utilise what you have, you do not benefit from the incentive that comes from the process. Today, the system has assisted commissioners in articulating their position in the overall direction of the state rather than looking at their ministries in isolation. It has also helped the governor to connect activities of MDAs as well as co-ordination. This has ensured greater collaboration between ministries linked in the value chain. What is your reaction to views being expressed in some quarters that Delta State is oil-rich and can execute projects without seeking for funds from other revenue sources? This discussion is timely in the sense that every-
body thinks Delta is receiving huge allocations based on derivation and so, the state should not seek loans, credit facilities or grants. However, there has been unpredictability of funds from the Federal Government, which is caused by extraneous factors such as fluctuations in the oil price, Delta State oil production output, currency exchange rates, among other things. When there is a shortfall in production in Delta State, as well as fall in oil price, what comes to the state as Federal allocation reduces and this means the state will not even be able to carry on with its projects. As the expected funds are not coming, it runs into deficit and loans become an option. However, there is a limit to domestic loans one can access. Every government has a limit. In essence, we are able to meet our targets and to remain proactive in two ways. One is through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and the second is the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach. This means that if we have plans to spend, say N100 million on a project, we may be able to get investors to get involved and contribute N80 million, so we only bring in N20 million. We also patronise the bond market to raise funds for some key projects. In social welfare programmes, you
may not get private sector participation hence these are funded from bonds and grants/credits from development partners. For core infrastructure projects, industrialisation and development of the state’s economy, these are financed with funds from IGR or through the PPP. What we are doing, especially during this year’s inter-ministerial budget defence, is sensitising the revenue generating MDAs on the implications of not maximising the state’s revenue potentials. We are also using experts to look into our IGR generation capacity so as to create additional sources of revenue. For example, tenement rates in Delta State are supposed to be collected by local government areas, but currently what they are collecting is a small percentage of the potential revenue, and this is as a result of capacity and facilities constraints. Hence, we want a partnership between the local government areas and the state government, where the revenue can be increased by leveraging on the State’s expertise and revenue generating facilities. The state would be able to generate capacity from our current system by using its database as well as computerisation of the additional operations to ensure adequate data. Through this approach, we will be able to identify additional places where tenement rates should be paid. There is also a billboard initiative. I produced a billboard to congratulate the governor during Democracy Day, which was hoisted in my local government area. I asked about the cost and was told it is just what it cost to imprint the picture on the billboard and I had thought I would pay a rental amount. I kept thinking that this is an area we are missing out in terms of revenue. There is a lot of potential revenue accruable to the state and I think we can double the current sources. What we are doing in this direction is avoiding fluctuations in the inflow of revenue. Is that what inspired the state’s Beyond Oil initiative? What do you aim to achieve with it? Crude oil as a natural resource is an exhaustible one. In the not too distant future, oil will dry up. The impact the exploitation of that resource has had on the country is such that some people have termed it the oil curse. The bottom line is that Nigeria has managed this God-given resource poorly. Remember oil is on the exclusive list managed exclusively by the Federal Government. As an oil producing state, the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, recognises that if we do not plan well, the degradation of the environment will make our case worse when eventually oil is no longer there for the entire country to rely on. That is why he came up with this initiative of having an economy that will harness the benefits of earnings from oil to create an enduring economic base anchored on agriculture, especially aqua-culture, industrialisation, information and communication technology and other facets that have no direct bearing with crude oil. With the Warri Industrial Business Park, the ICT Park in Asaba, the Koko/Ogidigben Free Trade Zones, as well as numerous agricultural and small and medium scale enterprises, we are creating a new mindset and a clement environment that will spur investment in new areas with an inter-locking relationship. It is all about spearheading the journey towards a non oil-reliant Delta state through developing other sectors of the economy. What is the state government’s plan for its moribund industries? We are not just looking at what is owned by government but also at privately owned companies that have been out of existence for many years. This is because the state had a lot of industries, including government and privately owned businesses. Today, we can only count very few of them still in existence. This is also why we started the industrialisation park project, the Delta Beyond Oil initiative, and showcasing the business opportunities in the state within and outside the country. This will bring investors to the industrial sector. We are making efforts to find out the major causes of the death of the industries. Many of them had challenges of power supply, some had issues with raw materials availability. We want to carry out a study, which will tell us what went wrong, where we might have gone wrong and what can remedy the situation. This will help the private companies go back to business while those owned by government may be pri-
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
strategies beyond oil resources, says Okpara vatised. From our initial findings, many of the private businesses are looking for partners and we can help them get partners, which is the role the government can play. We are trying to project these industries as part of our investment opportunities. We have rubber, for example. Although the raw materials are there, the farmers don’t have the capital for modern machinery to process the rubber. These are some of the things we want to do as part of the state government’s Industrialization Agenda. Let me say here that the job creation agenda is the number one priority of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and by the time we revive these industries, more job opportunities will be available. What is the extent of disbursement of funds from the state government’s N50 billion bond? A greater part of the bond proceeds have been disbursed. It was meant to fund infrastructure. We have a window of opportunities to fasttrack these projects during the dry season, but the rains posed a limitation to our strides. However, we have made a lot of progress from the bond proceeds. Contractors are aware that the money is there to pay them when they complete the jobs and this propels them. You talked about four seaports that are largely underutilised, especially that of Burutu, which has a slipway for boat repairs and even building of ships. How are you going to exploit this opportunity? In the Constitution, state governments cannot own ports. They are owned by the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) manages them. What we are doing as a concerned state government is liaising with the NPA. We have companies that are coming in and they will need facilities to enable them export their products and import plants, machineries and raw materials. In fact one of Delta State’s comparative advantage in attracting investors is its location in a coastal area with four seaports. Hence, if these seaports are functioning well, it will facilitate imports and exports of goods. Are there any proposals by the state government with regards to better management of the ports? Governor Uduaghan has held meetings with the managing director of the NPA where he intimated him of the challenges at the ports. Some of these include dredging or expansion of facilities to ensure they meet global standards and serve the needs of investors who will be coming to utilise the ports. We have been engaging the NPA for these reasons and even brought in foreign consultants to carry out diagnostic studies of the ports. This is to provide knowledge on what needs to be done, the level of vessels as well as the level and size of vessels for investors to bring in plants and equipments. The consultants have already informed us from their studies that the state of the ports is short of the requirements. This means that measures such as dredging of the channels to enable vessels to come in may be necessary. We know that this costs a lot of money and the liaison with the Federal Government is to let them know that if partnership is needed, we are ready for it. The Economic Advisory Team had invited the Managing Director of Notore Petrochemical over partnership with the state government. What is this all about? Notore is a private company that produces agricultural inputs, including fertilizer. The company purchased the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) in Onne, Rivers State. They are the owners of the business. They came to inform the Economic Advisory team of their partnership with other states, which they would like to extend to Delta State. Such areas include fertilizer provision, improved stems for cassava and seeds for maize and rice. These are the three target areas proposed for the state. We learnt that their inputs are capable of over a 100 per cent yield compared to what farmers are presently producing. This will help to create jobs for the youths and other unemployed persons. They said for example, for 20,000 acres of land, a farmer, who may be a youth, can get five acres of land as well as inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizer and allowances. As for the farmer, we will still pay them because the scheme is with the state government. We will provide part of the funding. The company will pay some allowances as the
crops are harvested and sold. So, it is a very good opportunity and they will build capacity among the farmers in fertilizers application and through information and training. Also, after harvest, the company will buy the produce for either export or local use. That means farmers have a ready market. It is going to be a continuous thing and then we will be expanding. We will be creating avenues for selfemployment as well as increase our IGR because government is going to earn revenue from this. What are main issues in respect of the of the 2013 budget’s objectives? Our objective is to consolidate on what we have been doing and leave an enduring legacy by the time the governor leaves office in 2015. This means our focus will be to sustain ongoing projects. We are looking at 100 per cent completion of all on-going projects. Where there are urgent needs, we will incorporate new projects but the focus is on completion of all on-going projects before 2015. The Delta State Government had spread its tentacles to many projects and our aim is to complete all of them. Are you giving priority to any of the on-going projects? We have these projects in all the sectors. We have told the MDAs that they are the ones to decide the priority areas but there must be line with the governor’s vision. First and foremost, there must be the ones that will create more jobs as well as promote social welfare. Education is a priority in this area. Sustaining the award of scholarships to first class graduates of Delta State origin is a priority to the governor as well as other educational programmes he has initiated. We also have infrastructural projects such as roads as well as transportation, schools construction and rehabilitation, health and water, among others. These areas can create jobs and we are looking at them. A delegation from the state visited the United Kingdom recently to showcase Delta as an investment destination. What really transpired during the visit and what results were achieved? It was a business conference and the Delta State Government was invited to attend. The London Conference was organised by the Bank of Industry (BOI) to showcase the country’s investment opportunities. Delta State, with its Delta Beyond Oil initiative deemed it necessary to participate in that conference. It was thus an opportunity to showcase the business and investment opportunities in the state for which investors were invited to come and explore. We presented unique proposals and offers to investors based on our State’s comparative advantage. One of them is the comparative advantage based on our location in an oil and gas zone. As a result of this, we offered opportunities in the oil and gas sector such as potential investments in petrochemicals, fertiliser production and other areas. We were also able to let the investors know that they can come and actually locate their investments in Delta State. Here, they can get sufficient oil and gas for petrochemical and fertiliser production and this is just one area. This is unlike some other States, where investors will incur huge cost of laying pipes to transport gas for production. Another opportunity available from the state’s comparative advantage in terms of investments comes from its coastal location. There is the advantage of having four seaports in Delta State, including Warri, Sapele, Burutu and Koko. The seaports are avenues for export. Investors coming to Nigeria would prefer areas where export activities can be easily carried out. With these incentives, there is greater market and attraction for the investors, including the export potentials. So, these are two of the major areas where we have comparative advantage. We also talked about the state government’s vision, the “Delta Beyond Oil”. We used this to underscore our strategy of diversification to competitive manufacturing, with emphasis on agro-based industries. Basically, the emphasis is on agro-based industries because 60 per cent of Deltans are engaged in agriculture. So, we presented investors with various opportunities in agriculture and produce, which have export potentials as well as can serve the huge domestic market in the country owing to its population.
However, there is a limit to domestic loans one can access. Every government has a limit. In essence, we are able to meet our targets and to remain proactive in two ways. One is through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and the second is the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach. This means that if we have plans to spend, say N100 million on a project, we may be able to get investors to get involved and contribute N80 million, so we only bring in N20 million. We also patronise the bond market to raise funds for some key projects.
A greater part of the bond proceeds have been disbursed. It was meant to fund infrastructure. We have a window of opportunities to fast-track these projects during the dry season, but the rains posed a limitation to our strides. However, we have made a lot of progress from the bond proceeds. Contractors are aware that the money is there to pay them when they complete the jobs and this propels them.
Our objective is to consolidate on what we have been doing and leave an enduring legacy by the time the governor leaves office in 2015. This means our focus will be to sustain ongoing projects. We are looking at 100 per cent completion of all on-going projects. Where there are urgent needs, we will incorporate new projects but the focus is on completion of all on-going projects before 2015. The Delta State Government had spread its tentacles to many projects and our aim is to complete all of them.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
BondWatch DLM BOND WATCH: APRIL 8, 2013
June8, 6,2013 2011 THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
66 CAPITAL MARKET
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NSE selects ARM Securities, BGL Securities, others for ASeM operations By Helen Oji S part of its commitment to ensure effective operations of Alternative Securities Market (ASeM), the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Friday selected 14 companies out of 21 that jostles for the position of designated advisors for mid-sized companies that would access the capital market through the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM). These companies are: ARM Securities Limited, BGL Securities Limited, Capital Asset Limited, Cardinal Stone Securities Limited, EDC Securities Limited, Fidelity Securities Limited, and FSDH Securities Limited. Others include: Investment One Stockbrokers International, Magnartis Finance & Investment Limited, Marina Securities Stock broking Services, Morgan Capital Securities Limited, Partnership Investment Company Limited, Primera Africa Securities Limited and UBA Stockbrokers Limited.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had last month, unveiled plans to revamp its second-tier market to an Alternative Securities Market (ASM) to enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are emerging and showing good growth potentials to participate and access finance from the Nigerian Capital Market. Speaking at the official unveiling of the qualified designated advisors, Head, Broker Dealer Regulation of the NSE, Mr. Olufemi Shobanjo, confirmed that the selection process centered on the DAs who are Dealing Members of the NSE with expertise on Corporate Finance and Investment; InDepth Knowledge of Capital Market Rules and Operations; Intimate Acquaintance with the Disclosure and Listing plus Post Listing Requirements of The Exchange. “The selected DAs who were also cleared by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), went through a rigorous process carried out by
The NSE which took into account their Compliance History, Transaction Profile and Track Record of Subject Matter Experts (SEPs) presented by the Firms” said Shobanjo. He appended that “the NSE has received and processed applications for Designated Advisers from over twenty Dealing Member Firms and decided to announce the successful applicants ahead of the official launch of the ASeM Board slated for later this month”. According to Shobanjo, Designated Advisers will be required for all companies listed on the ASeM Board of The Exchange to ensure compliance with all the listing and post listing requirements of the ASeM Board. The NSE Executive Director for Market Operations, Mr. Ade Bajomo, explained that a total of 21 companies applied for the position and passed through some processes before selecting the 14 companies that met the NSE requirements. He stated that the official
unveiling of the qualified designated advisor was a milestone event as their services would help small and medium size companies coming to the Exchange in their decision making, adding that these companies would enjoy the services of designated advisors before and after listing.
The Executive Director Business Development of The NSE, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, stated that: “The Nigerian Stock Exchange is a staunch believer in the critical role of emerging enterprises in a developing economy and as such we have taken the bold move of providing a platform for sustainable growth and
development of these companies. The ASeM Board will allow issuers, especially indigenous companies the opportunity to inject relatively low cost and long term capital into their businesses through flexible rules that recognise their growth potential rather than the size of operation”, he said.
Executive Director, Market Operations Technology, Nigerian Stock Exchange, (NSE), Ade Bajomo (left); President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Ariyo Olusekun; and Executive Director, Business Development, NSE, Haruna Jalo-Waziri, at the announcement of selected Designated Advisers for all companies listed on the ASeM Board of the Exchange, in Lagos… at the weekend.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8 2013
Opinion Still on need to scrap JAMB (1) By Ike Onyechere DUCATION stakeholders have been calling E for the scrapping of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to allow tertiary institutions in Nigeria full autonomy to conduct their own admission examinations from start to finish. The harrowing and traumatic experiences some candidates are going through in trying to register for JAMB’s 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) give renewed impetus and urgency to this call. Beyond JAMB’s inefficiencies highlighted by the crises of registration of candidates for 2013 UTME examinations, there are 32 other strong reasons why JAMB should be scrapped. This letter highlights some of the reasons, including inherent social injustice associated with JAMB’s discriminatory practices against and disenfranchisement of some categories of candidates. JAMB’s cumbersome, convoluted and complex UTME and post-UTME processes open up candidates and their parents to extortion rackets to make the cost of seeking admission into institutions of higher learning in Nigeria the most expensive in the world. This leads to capital flight and unprecedented level of negative balance of education trade with other countries as Nigeria becomes a lucrative haven for recruitment of fresh students by institutions from other countries. JAMB by its inefficiency and insensitive responses is increasing the population of angry youths with attendant dangerous and good people of Nigeria. The Nigerian Tribune of Thursday, 14 March, 2013 quoted the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as saying that “Nigeria has some of the worst education indicators globally.” Even though the report is debatable, it underlines the fact that Nigeria’s education needs surgery rather than palliatives. It makes sense to start by disbanding gate keeping, bottleneck agencies like JAMB. The Nation Newspaper of Thursday, February 28, 2013 (pages 25, 26 and 40) reported how candidates from Lagos, Calabar, Awka, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Jos, Kano and Lokoja “may miss the 2013 UTME examinations coming up between April 15 and 27 due to no fault of theirs.” The paper told the incredible story of how candidates from Lagos are being sent to centres in Yobe State and candidates from
Calabar are being posted to centres in Uyo while Anambra candidates are being sent to Kebbi, Adamawa and Katsina. Ditto for other states. In its editorial of the same date titled “Traffic JAMB” The Nation Newspaper profiled the consequences of this anomaly: “candidates will be forced to undertake long journeys on Nigeria’s notoriously unsafe roads to strange towns and cities. On arrival, they will lodge in unfamiliar surroundings with all the associated security risks. In spite of the additional and mental stress of extended journeys they will still be expected to write the UTME…” It is a notorious fact that many parents have lost their loved ones as a result of accidents on long journeys to and from UTME and post-UTME examinations. Many female candidates have been sexually harassed in the process. What is happening in JAMB this year is not new. And it will not be the last unless JAMB is scrapped. For the major part of the 2010 examination processes, candidates in Lagos State could not access the JAMB website. Errors and mix-ups associated with allocation of electronic centres were rampant. Candidates from states where JAMB websites could not be accessed had to travel to other states to submit their forms electronically. By 2009, JAMB website was still hosting information relevant only to 2007 examinations. These events were well reported by the media. In her reaction to the reports in Vanguard Newspaper of Thursday October 18, 2007, the then P.R.O of JAMB admitted that “the operations of JAMB like that of other government agencies is not perfect and cannot be perfect.” But JAMB is not just another government agency. The inefficiencies of JAMB affect students and parents and reverberate through the entire tertiary education admission process in Nigeria with tragic consequences. The call by critical education stakeholders for the scrapping of JAMB has been on for some time. The Guardian Newspapers editorial of January 6, 2004 called for “a return to the old practice whereby each university conducts its own admission examinations.” The Nation Newspaper in its editorial of April 7, 2010 wrote, “…The ideal thing is for each institution to conduct its own admission examination…” In its own editorial of June 18, the Punch Newspaper held that “the ultimate solution to the recurring Post-JAMB screening crisis is to scrap JAMB and allow universities
to conduct their own examination.” Other media organisations hold similar views, which reflect popular public opinion. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has consistently drawn attention to the fact that “admissions are the responsibility of the Senate of universities anywhere in the world”. Professor Don Baridan, as Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt and Chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors held that “JAMB is no longer credible. It should simply be scrapped” (The Guardian, June 24, 2010). In an interview with The Nation on Sunday, the Registrar of JAMB dismissed the calls to scrap JAMB on the grounds that “those who call for the scrapping of JAMB never mean well for Nigeria.” (The Nation on Sunday, February 17, 2013, page 25). I beg to disagree with the learned professor that the Nigeria media (who feel and monitor the pulse of public opinion), ASUU, the Committee of Vice Chancellors and millions of other critical education stakeholders in Nigeria “never mean well for Nigeria”. The JAMB decree, promulgated in 1978 by the military government of General Olusegun Obasanjo, was a product of an era when the military had central control of everything: import licenses, banks, telephony, aviation, education, etc. The businesses of banking, telephony, aviation, etc have since been fully deregulated and democratised and Nigeria is better for it. It is time for the education sector to be fully deregulated by scrapping JAMB. It is a policy and legislative wonder that a country will license her universities to conduct first, second, Ph.D and post-doctoral degree examinations while at the same time preventing them from conducting matriculation exams for fresh students. It defies reasoning. Exam Ethics Marshals International estimates the cost of seeking admission into Nigeria’s tertiary institution at N136,000 per candidate on the average. This includes the cost of UTME and post-UTME forms, cost of scratch cards, cost of traveling and hotel accommodations, etc, etc. The convoluted UTME admission process opens parents and students up to all sorts of extortion rackets: payment for citing of scripts and results, payments for change of admission letters, change of course letters, late admission letters. Extortion rackets associated with post-
UTME include payment of fees for: “admission processing”; “accreditation”; “result reconciliation”; “clearance”; “opening of departmental and faculty files” etc. In fact the cost can be as high as N500,000 depending on the course and the institution of choice, example medicine and law. Compare the process and cost of seeking admissions in Nigeria with that of Ghana. To start with, all tertiary institutions in Ghana, including University of Ghana, have 100 per cent autonomy for admitting their students. There is no central admission gatekeeper like JAMB in Ghana. Ghanaian candidates seeking admission into University of Ghana, Legon, for example, pay a total of about 90 Ghana cedis (equivalent of N8,000). Foreign candidates pay a total of US$75.00 (equivalent of N12,000.00). The payment covers all processes including cost of dispatching letters to all applicants through FEDEX courier irrespective of whether or not they are successful. Seeking admissions in Nigeria is 2000 per cent (or 20 times) more expensive than seeking admissions in Ghana. You can confirm this by visiting University of Ghana website http://admission.ug.edu.gh. The suffering and traumatic experiences students are put through by JAMB are no guarantee that they will be admitted even if they scale through the examination with high scores. JAMB standards of assessment are not uniform. There are two standards: a lower standard for Educationally Less Developed States (ELDS) and higher standard for Educationally More Developed States (EMDS). JAMB admissions are allocated based on 45 per cent merit, 35 per cent catchment area/locality and 20 per cent for ELDS. In other words, candidates of ELDS states have a 20 per cent better chance of gaining admissions than EMDS candidates. Their cut off mark are adjusted downwards by at least 20 per cent. The 23 ELDS states, by JAMB categorisation include: Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebb, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara. Thirteen states and FCT fall under JAMB’s EMDS categories. They include: Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and FCT. • To be continued. • Onyechere is founding Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshals International.
Stolen crude: Imperatives for global cooperation By Patrick Cole IL theft featured prominently in discussions at the 2013 O Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, which held in Abuja last week. This is an encouraging sign of evergrowing awareness and debate around the issue, a necessary first step towards agreeing and implementing any lasting solutions. Beyond debate however, the Honourable Minister of Petroleum also disclosed during the conference that the administration has reached out to request the assistance of the international community – President Goodluck Jonathan raised the issue of oil theft in recent visits to the United Kingdom and France with a view to seeking the support of these countries. This is another mark of progress for which congratulations are due to the President and his team. As we have pointed out in our previous articles, though the Nigerian Government must play the lead role in tackling the illegal oil trade it remains an issue that has to be dealt with both locally and internationally. Mutual co-operation and acknowledgement of responsibility will be the key to success. Also arising from the same conference are calls by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) for the Nigerian Government to do more at home. Specifically, the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company maintained that oil theft is illicit big business, a well organised industry in which the money is controlled by highly placed persons who must be identified and prosecuted if the government means to effectively put an end to oil theft. Indeed the government has previously been criticized for being unwilling to take action against oil theft ‘sponsors’ and it is inferred that the vast resources they control (over $6 billion in national revenue is lost
annually to the illicit trade) enable them to exert a huge influence over government mechanisms meant to combat oil theft. To convince potentially wavering international partners, the Nigerian Government needs to actively demonstrate the political will to deal decisively with the issue at home over and above a willingness to work proactively with the international community to implement long term and sustainable solutions that apply globally. In an earlier article we already stated that collaboration with the international community to end oil theft cuts across various measures that can impact on the illegal trade, from improving maritime security through increased patrolling of international waters in the Gulf of Guinea and capacity building for the Nigerian Navy, to agreeing on sanctions for profitseeking companies or individuals that buy stolen oil and/or refine it to be sold legitimately. To be able to answer the question, “Who are the buyers of stolen crude oil?” the Nigerian Government will also have to ‘track the money’. The administration is already speaking up in favour of what some are calling a Kimberly Process Certification Scheme for crude oil (the concept of blood oil) – the crude oil finger print or chemical tag, which will make it possible to trace where the stolen crude is going. Monitoring and sharing information on the illicit financial transactions attached to oil theft is also key and potentially a much quicker and less complex solution. The cooperation of the international community is needed if the Nigerian Government is going to track the financing of the illegal oil trade or its proceeds because that trail is likely to end up well beyond the shores of Nigeria. Clearly then, international cooperation to address oil theft and identifying and prosecuting illicit financial transactions
tied to the illegal trade are not mutually exclusive measures. The Nigerian Government is on the right track in seeking assistance abroad. However asking for the cooperation of the international community must be matched by doing what is necessary at home to ensure that the collaboration with international partners is effective and yields the desired results. This means everything from allocating the required resources to ensuring the right legal, regulatory and policy frameworks exist within Nigeria to back such collaboration. It also means strengthening existing government mechanisms to combat oil theft and empowering the right institutions. Without a doubt, any investigation of financial transactions overseas requires the cooperation and collaboration of the Nigerian authorities, notably the law enforcement agencies. In fact, such an investigation is normally launched following a request from the local authorities. The leaked report of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force recommended the creation of a special Oil and Gas Sector Financial Crimes Unit for law enforcement. Unless and until such a unit is created however, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission appears to have the key role to play as it is specifically charged with the adoption of measures to identify, trace, freeze, confiscate or seize proceeds derived from economic and financial crimes related offences. The Commission must adequately position itself and be empowered to play its role. Without a recognizable and credible institution at home responsible for tracking illegal oil transactions and working with foreign authorities in that regard, there can be no real talk of investigation overseas. • Dr. Cole, a former Ambassador, is a Consultant to The Guardian Editorial Board.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Opinion Lesson from open university education By Maduabuchi Dukor HE challenges of higher education and terT tiary institutions in Nigeria are enormous and given the fact that the standard of education is falling in symmetrical proportion to the huge population of Nigerians without good education, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has become one out of many universities that could, as it were, be an iconic role model in tertiary education. The coming of an Open University into the Nigeria tertiary learning system is a welcome innovation and proactive action, although belatedly in the global community of nations. The lateness in the educational landscape has precedence in the hitherto lukewarm responses of Nigeria’s successive governments to development caused by historical antinomies of corruption and military rule or military mentality. Although there have been distance learning under different guises in the country, feeding fat from the capitalist ethos ingenuously disguising as military paternalism or liberal democracy and most often with their apron springs connected or designatively originating from U.S. and Europe, NOUN is a world of difference from other universities because of its state backing and populist equalitarian orientation. But this project of distance learning with its visions and dreams currently advertised by the founding fathers and applauded by many would have to be jealously guarded against the challenges currently facing university education in Nigeria. Despite the fact that the challenges facing ter-
tiary institutions in Nigeria are, by their incipient, systemic and structural nature of meandering and laying ambush against NOUN, her convocation ceremonies on 18th and 19th is a tact demonstration of a resolve by the management to fence off educational malaise and corruption from the institution. If all we saw and heard as Visiting vice chancellors or their representatives are worth the salt, believable and true, NOUN as an institution of distance learning seems matured, organised, disciplined, internationally credible, trustworthy as well as scientifically and rationally manageable. Even without an insight into the competence of her lectures spread at different unedifying centres in all states of Nigeria, the delivery in terms of classes of degrees seem to be balanced without the monoteity of unintelligible and frivolous award of first class and second class upper degrees. There was no first class out of a huge number, which in federal and state universities of today would have produced at least 50 first class graduates. The second class grade is quite few in proportion to the number of graduates, which if found in some federal and state universities would have resulted to a celebration of “1 too have 21”. Again the issuance of dated and signed certificates on the day of the convocation as presented by the Vice-Chancellor at the instances of the Minister of Education, the Executive Secretary of NUC and the Visiting Vice-Chancellors or their representatives is a wide innovative departure from the cases of most universities with three to 10 years old unbundled certificates that were never ready for sign-
ing from the dusts and cockroaches infected exams and records. Some of the rot and anathema to the modern Nigeria education are: inadequacy, incredibility, insufficiency and inconsistency of teaching coupled with near absence of knowledge generation. NOUN should be one institution without any room or space for breeding social ills like cultism and gangsterism, but the university’s orientation should continue to be upgraded to banish such ills as examination malpractices. Research and laboratory equipment acquisition and use are not usual because of multi campus structure of NOUN. This matter re-echoes the perennial issue of funding of federal projects and parastatals. Funding and research network could be encouraged through workplace monitoring of knowledge data in relation to research icons at Bachelors, Masters and Doctors of philosophy levels, that is, for those who work and do their post graduate courses in NOUN or in any distance learning field whatsoever. This could be a formidable equation of busy, peaceful and tranquil field of learning equidistant to the boisterous certificate and class of degree biased university system currently plaguing standard and quality in Nigerian education. The leadership organogram and the mode of appointments into NOUN should be a structural immunology against the incursion of unhealthy and unwary politics that has reduced our tertiary institutions to centres of mediocre. Distance learning tertiary institutions generally must be subjected to state
control with optimal emphasis on values and knowledge of philosophy and science instead of letting loose into the system of liberal democratic political freedom of corruption, greed and crisis. By political incursion we mean allowing all sorts of vested political interests to hijack and take over all the strategic positions of acquiring Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees. NOUN should not be an institution where title madness driven politicians could get their cheap doctorate titles and LLB degrees. However, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo remains a role model as he went back to school at NOUN to acquire knowledge and not to scout for a title. Suffice it to say that NOUN needs a special class of academic and non-academic staff to uphold the integrity of the institution. To this end, excessive engagement of lecturers from other universities who are more often interested in the salary should be discontinued in favour of lecturers and visiting scholars from industries, banks and ministries. It is important to point out that the convocation ceremonies of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) held at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos on January 18th and 19th, 2013, is a unique one devoid of ethnic colorations and cultural identifications. It is worthwhile for people of different nationalities in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria to converge under the banner and canopy of one institution to receive degrees and celebrate one another. • Dukor is a professor of Philosophy at Nnamdi Azikiwe University and President/Editor-in-chief of Essence Library.
Adieu, Achebe the literary giant By Charles Soeze T is possible to argue about who is the finest painter. It is “I possible to argue in this way about renaissance sculptors, more or less any sort of artist. However, if the question is who writes the best dialogues or who is the best poet and writer, cum story teller then there is no room for controversy. Professor Chinualumogu Albert Achebe has no peers”. “And let us not be weary in well-doing for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not. As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially them who are of the household of faith”. Gal. 6:9-10. In commencing this tribute and as a strict Christian like Mr. Okafor in Practical English Book 3 by P.A. Ogundipe (Nigerian) and T. S. Tregido (Ghanaian), I have to quote one of my favourite books in the Holy Bible and that is the book of Ecclesiastes. It should be for any one who actually believes that life is meaningless. In this direction, William Shakespeare was so apt in that famous quotation, “Out brief candle, life is but a walking shadow. A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Furthermore, when beggars die, there are no comets seen, but the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princess. Again, according to Shakespeare “the entire world is a stage and all men and women merely actors and actresses, they all have their entrances and exits, and one man in his time, plays many parts”. Hence, Professor Chinualumogu Albert Achebe died recently. It is generally believed that he was an embodiment of simplicity and gentility. In this connection, people see him as one who has no air of arrogance and pride but believed in fairness and openness. At this stage, it is perhaps apt to share the passion of Apostle Paul who in his epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:7) rhapsodized in ecstasy: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my cause, I have kept the faith. It is therefore appropriate to say that Professor Achebe has indeed fought a good fight and finished his earthly course and kept abiding faith in the goodness of the Lord. In addition, death is indeed the ultimate appointment everybody would be ready for because it is appointed for man to die once, after that, the judgment, Heb. 9:27. One day we will keep this appointment with death. Every living being is a potential corpse! In fact, poets and philosophers tell us that death can be life, a higher life, a regeneration of the self, in the same way, in fact that the flower is pruned to groom a greater foliage in the same way the egg is cracked to make omelet. We must all have strong conviction in life after death and the possibility of Professor Achebe continuing to serve after his death. The late Professor of political science Claude Ake made Achebe’s A man of The People required reading for his students. This showed at a glance the great influence of Achebe’s works on his fellow intellectuals. It is appropriate to say here that Things Fall Apart never transformed Achebe into a wealthy
author or millionaire, it only gave him international fame and aplomb and acclaim. No doubt, Achebe’s celebration as a literary legend has spread like a wild fire during the harmattan season and has received over 45 honorary degrees and awards. At the last count in 1999, Professor Achebe’s magnum opus, Things Fall Apart had been translated into about 60 languages with a phenomenal sale of over 10 million copies. As a result, this made Things Fall Apart the most popular and widely read novel that is educating, informing and entertaining of the twentieth century from the African continent. Surprisingly, Things Fall Apart, was almost a lost manuscript, some like to say that this good fortune was due to Achebe’s ‘Chi’, his personal god. The Igbo generally believe if your Chi says yes, no one can say no. It is gratifying to state that Achebe’s good fortune is also Africa’s, as his celebrated work has been variously described as a literary, anthropological and historical masterpiece that eloquently recaptures the dark days of colonial rule. During the military rule, Achebe also emerged as a critical voice that campaigned against the Babangida government in 1993. He openly said without mincing words, “The only path open to us now is for all Nigerians, all ethnic groups, all religious persuasions, all classes, to stand up as one and say solemnly to Babangida in the name of God and of Nigeria, please leave us alone and go”. Eventually, IBB stepped aside. As a true, accomplished and dedicated Igbo man, he spoke without reservation from overseas during the era of General Sani Abacha’s tyrannical administration. Whatever the case may be, he was a celebrated novelist and his greatness constantly reverberates, in particular as the author of Things Fall Apart. In the first chapter of his 1983 caustic pamphlet, The Trouble with Nigeria, prodigious storyteller and literary critic, Professor Achebe Identified the Nigeria monster in few words. For him, the problem with Nigeria is simply and squarely that of corruption. Subsequent chapters only served as explanations to the shattering revelation. The professor was 53 then. It is evident that some past leaders in Nigeria have ruined the nation and made it what great Chinua Achebe referred to as: “This is an example of a country that has fallen down; it has collapsed. This house has fallen”. The country has suffered and sunk into pervasive corruption, social catastrophe and economic dilapidation for a long time. Our much-respected values of patriotism and uncompromising emphasis on integrity and honesty have been thrown to the wind. Most of our leaders have lost their integrity and dignity because of money and they sometimes lose their sense of reasoning because of Naira if not “Nairases”. All these made him to withdraw from politics. A look into his early days reveals at a glance that Achebe had won a scholarship to study medicine at the University College, Ibadan in 1948. However, his instincts for story telling told him that he was on the wrong path, eventually he declined the scholarship, those were the days when medicine was seen as the ‘King’ of intellectual prowess. Later in life, he criticized the
country’s early academic policy for placing a greater emphasis on the humanities. At Ibadan, Achebe’s ‘Chi’ did not disappoint him, as his instinct directed him to the English department of the university as one of the pioneer undergraduates. It was here that he met such students and writers as Wole Soyinka, Chukwuemeka Ike, John Pepper Clark and the Late Christopher Okigbo. As he was busy studying British and European Literature, he began to query his past and asked fundamental questions regarding Nigeria’s history, tradition and literature. In the literature class, the British lecturer Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness are examples of colonial African Literature. As a result, Achebe’s worldview of Africa naturally revolted against the stereotypes of Africans in European Literature as ignorant and barbaric savages, of at best simple natives. He puts it thus, “Here there is an adequate resolution from me to espouse. To keep my society regains belief in itself and put away the complexes of the years of denigration and self-abasement for no thinking, African can escape the pain, the second in our soul”. Achebe and his classmates revolted and took up the challenge of the whiteman who said “if these novels were not right, then Achebe and his colleagues should write their own.” This was the initial reason for the writing of the epic novel, Things Fall Apart. From his confessions, Achebe had wanted as documented by Professor Robert Wren to deal fairly with the ancestors, to perform an act of atonement with his past, the ritual return and homage of a prodigal son. The idea of the novel as a story germinated in the young writer’s mind when he formed the good habit of listening to his elders, his father in particular. He lived and grew up in an environment where story telling was the method to pass on native intelligence, wisdom and morality. Achebe was born on the 16th of November 1930 at Ogidi in the present Anambra State. At the age of six he started his primary education at St. Philip’s Central School. At the age of 12, he moved to Nekede near Owerri in Imo State where he enrolled at the Central School. Eventually, he proceeded to the prestigious Government College, Umuahia. Later, he earned a classified degree in English, History and Theology at the University College, Ibadan. He taught briefly before he joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) in 1954. In 1961, he married Christiana Okoli, whom he met at the NBS and they are blessed with four children. Professor Chinualumogu Albert Achebe passed on at 82 in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America (USA) on Thursday, 21st March 2013 through a brief illness, according to his agent, Andrew Wylie. Adieu, literary giant. • Soeze, a public affairs analyst and Mass Communication scholar is also Assistant Director (Administration)/Head, Academic and Physical Planning of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THe GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
in association with
Oil & GasWeekly Remi Aiyela, Editor-in-Chief
Afren To Become Majority Shareholder in First Hydrocarbon Nigeria
FReNPlc has announced that it will acquire an addiA tional interest in oil mining lease (OML) 26 from First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) through a third party put option. The company said that, subject to shareholder approval, it would get an additional 10.4 per cent of FHN’s shares, equivalent to15 million shares, giving Afren a majority interest of 54.8 per cent interestinFHN.AfrenwillpayUS$37.05millionfortheshares under the terms of the put option, payable in cash. First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) acquired a 45 per cent interest in OML 26, onshore Nigeria, on 01 December 2011 from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), joint venture with Total e&P Nigeria Ltd (Total) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (Agip). FHN was able to secure finance of US$280 enabling it to complete the acquisition and its share of future capital requirements associated with the initial development of the block. The gross average gross average production on the block from its Ogini and Isoko fields totalled 6,010 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Production came in below expectation during the period owing to gas-lift compressor outage and maintenance and repair work on the SPDC operated Trans Forcados Trunkline during the first half of 2012. Full gas compression was restored by the end of June 2012, following which increased production to 10,500 bopd. An independent assessment of the reserve and contingent resource potential of the Ogini and Isoko fields for FHN in March 2013, has estimated the gross remaining 2P oil reserves at the fields at 134.6 million barrels and gross contingent resources at 68.0 million barrels (gross 2P & 2C reserves and resources 202.6 million barrels; 91.2 million barrels net to FHN). This represents a 231% increase on 2P reserves previously carried by FHN and a 10% increase on previously carried 2P & 2C volumes as at 31 December 2011. In addition, significant upside potential of 144 mmboe also exists within the undeveloped Aboh, Ovo and Ozoro discoveries, together with an estimated 615 mmboe gross unrisked prospective resources defined across multiple prospects that will continue to be worked up in parallel to, and integrated with, future development plans. The proposed forward work programme consists of the drilling of new horizontal wells in 2013.
Mira Resources Gearing Up For Development of Tom Shot Bank Field
IRA Resources, the owners of a 48 per cent interM est in marginal field, Tom Shot Bank (TSB) in oil mining lease (OML) 14 have confirmed that they are
finally planning to take the field to production. The Board of Directors has also decided that neither Mira nor its assets are for sale and that the process commenced with First energy Capital to investigate strategic alternatives has been halted. CeO and Director, Johnathan More, said: “We are very pleased to commence the immediate development of the TSB Field to production. Mira has a fantastic asset with over 22 MMBO in independently verified 2P Resources and additional resource upside potential. We are excited to continue working with our Nigerian partners, Associated Oil and Gas Services Limited and Dansaki Petroleum Limited, on a great opportunity to develop the Tom Shot Bank Field and to achieve initial production and cash flow in the near term.” The company said its next step would be to raise $5 million by way of a non-brokered private placement of 100,000,000 units at $0.05 per unit. each unit will consist of one common share and one full warrant to purchase one additional common share at $0.10 per share for a period of two years. The company said that it could be done through management financing. The private placement is not expected to result in a change
of control of Mira and is subject to approval of the TSX Venture exchange on which Mira is listed. President and Directorof thecompany,Tom Cavenagh has handed in his resignation. The company is building what is describes as “a world class management team with decades of Nigerian oil production experience” to assist in evolving Tom Shot Bank Field into a producing asset. OML 14 was originally held by Shell before the block was designated a marginal field and Tom Shot Bank was awarded in the 2003 marginal fields round to Associated Oil & Gas (51% & Operator) and Dansaki Petroleum (49%). Associated Oil and Gas was designated the operator of the field. The 25 square kilometre block, which is situated water depths of between 5 and 15m, is covered by 3D seismic, which was reprocessed in 2008. Two wells were drilled by Shell in 1980 and 1989. The first well reported 83 net feet of proven oil pay and was suspended. The second well was plugged before Shell relinquished the block. Gross contingent resources-contingent subject to redrilling verification of 8.7 million barrels of oil have been assigned to this discovery, with prospective resources already show the potential for more than 110 million barrels. The block is in good company, being north of Addax Petroleum’s OML 123 which is currently producing approximately 50,000 BOPD, near the ebok Marginal Field, which, operated by AfrenPLC, originally had an estimated 20 mmbbl of oil in place and is now reported to contain in excess of 102 mmbbl of recoverable reserves and it is also adjacent to OML 114 which is operated by indigenous producer Moni Pulo Ltd. which contains the Abana field with has estimated ultimate recoverable reserves of 55 mmbbl and greater than 1 tcf gas. Mira bought into the block in November 2010, acquiring a 48 per cent equity interest with a 54 per cent economic interest. Mira has paid $1.8mm in past costs of which $1.5mm is cost recoverable. They are responsible for 100 per cent of capital and operating expenditures, which are recoverable at 125 per cent through production.
OPEC Daily Basket Price Stood At $106.80 A Barrel Wednesday 03 April
Heprice of OPeC basket of twelve crudes fell sharply T to $106.80 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $108.16 the previous day, according to OPeC Secretariat calculations but virtually unchanged from the price last week Wednesday. Introduced on 16 June 2005, the new OPeC Reference Basket is currently made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait export (Kuwait), es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAe) and Merey (Venezuela).
Nigeria’s Crude Oil Loading Programme Reviewed For April
CHeDULeDplans for crude shipments for the month SGovernment of April may have been revised by the Federal as three Bonny light cargoes, two lots of
Brass River and one Okono consignment have been deferred to next month thus making the final figure a total of 66 shipments for the month of April. Information obtained by NOGintelligence reveals that the country planned to ship 11 consignments of Qua Iboe, nine of Forcados, eight each of Bonny Light and Agbami, five each of Akpo, Bonga and Brass River, four of erha, three each of Anenam, escravos,Usan and Yoho, two lots of Abo, Antan and Okwori, and each of eA Blend,Okono and Pennington in the month of April. In view of this development, the Federal Government, according to the final loading programme for the month of May is increasing crude oil exports to 76 cargoes, to accommodate this month’s shortfall. The May programme totals 65 million barrels, or 2.1 million barrels a day, as against 60.2 million, or two million a day scheduled for April. Loading programmes are monthly schedules of crude shipments compiled by field operators to allow buyers and sellers to plan their supply and trading activities. Industry analysts say the drop in the number of shipments for the month may not be unconnected to the rising case of oil theft, which prompted oil companies to declare force majeure on their crude exports. Thisgrowingmenacehasledtothelossofupto150,000 barrels of oil daily according to some reports. Royal Dutch Shell Plc just lifted a two-week force majeure on Bonny Light exports on March 19 while its Nembe Creek Trunk line which was attacked by oil vandals will now close in April to clear points along the link that are vulnerable to thieves. Similarly, Agip Oil, on Monday, announced the suspension of its operations in Bayelsa State because of
the high level crude oil theft perpetuated by vandals across its installations in the state. Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said it is working out measures to boost the exploration and export of crude, despite the massive oil theft going on in the sector. “The NNPC has been working on boosting crude export and the Group Managing Director sees this as very important,” said the General Manager, Media Relations Department, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Omar Ibrahim.
effective oil price would be. With the recent development, the government, according to the report, may no longer be able to meet its 2013 budget target at the current budget assumption but at a higher effective budget oil price. “The lower-than-targeted oil production - 2.53m bpd as against 2.3m bpd now implies that for government to meet its budget revenue target of N3.9 trillion, the effective budget oil price would be $87 per barrel, higher than the current budget assumption of $79per barrel,” he said. “This effective price though is still lower than the actual oil price of $114per barrel in first quarter of 2013, which implies that some oil proceeds will still be directed towards the excess crude account, but less than initially projected,” he added.
Nigerian Rig Fire, Others Force Chevron to Cut CEO’s Pay
NITeD States oil giant, Chevron Corporation has U cut the bonuses and other benefits of its Chief executive Officer (CeO) and two other top officials over accidents involving the company’s facilities in 2012, including underwater oil leaks in Brazil, a deadly rig fire in Nigeria and a blaze at a refinery in Richmond, California. KS endeavor, a drilling rig, operated by FODe Drilling Nigeria Limited, was drilling a natural gas exploration well in Chevron Nigeria Limited’s Funiwa Field in Block86inBayelsaState,whenitcaughtfireonJanuary 6, 2012. Chevron confirmed that 152 workers on the shallow water rig and associated barge were safely evacuated from the incident, which occurred about 10 kilometres - 6 miles from shore. Two workers who received medical care for burns were also discharged from the hospital. However, after three days of intensive search and rescue activities for two other missing workers, the Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria and Mid-Africa Strategic Business Unit, Mr. Andrew Fawthrop declared them dead, while the oil well continued to burn for several months after the drilling rig collapsed. Following these incidents, the oil giant reduced the bonus for Chief executive Officer, Mr. John S. Watson by 13 per cent, or $520,000, to $3.5 million. Chevron also cut bonuses by 15 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, for George L. Kirkland and Michael K. Wirth, both executive vice presidents, according to a filing with the Securities and exchange Commission. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Chevron’s board decided to cut the pay of Watson and other top executives in response to a string of accidents over the past year, including the deadly rig fire in Nigeria. The company said recently that directors “took into account certain 2012 operating incidents” in awarding compensation packages to Messrs. Watson, Kirkland and Wirth. The company nevertheless recorded its second-highest profit ever last year resulting in an increase in executive pay for this year.
Government’s Oil Production Target Looking Too Optimistic
He Federal Government’s oil production assumpT tion of 2.53 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) is gradually looking overly optimistic as the latest onslaught on oil installations, consequent shortfalls in production targets and force majeure declarations by the oil companies are beginning to take their toll. If last year’s average production of 2.36 million bpd against a production target of 2.48 million bpd is anything to go by, the country looks even less likely to meet the increased forecast. With oil making up for 15 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), two-third of Federal Government’s revenue and over 95 per cent of export earnings, the risk to oil output is bound to have material implications for the Nigerian economy. The nation’s budget figures for the year are likely to be affected which could set growth projections back. For instance, a recent report has indicated that the ‘force majeure’ declarations by oil companies in the first quarter of the year due to an increase in oil theft were sufficient to cause a downward adjustment of their oil production projections. “Floods in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a pick-up in oil theft in the first quarter of 2013 compelled us to revise our projections. We downwardly adjusted our oil production projection to 2.30m bpd, from 2.45m bpd, owing to the increase in oil theft. This implies that the growth projection of 6.9 per cent to seven per cent in 2013 is more likely, than our initial 7.1 per cent forecast,” the report said. Bex Nwaudu, a director at CBO Capital who spoke to NOGintelligence on the issue said that the current situation calls for great caution from the government considering the fact that the twin issues of oil production targets and oil price both have a huge effect on the budget target. He said that the “formulated” oil price by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is bound to have a greater impact on what the country’s
Heritage Oil Shares Fall After Arbitration Ruling Over Sale of Ugandan Assets
eRITAGe Oil Plc, the London Stock exchange listH ed exploration and production company, which recently acquired a participating interest in Nigerian oil mining lease (OML) 30, has suffered a partial defeat in its ongoing arbitration proceedings with the Ugandan Government. Heritage is embroiled in international arbitration proceedings in London with the Ugandan Government over tax rulings relating to the sale of Heritage’s interests in Blocks 1 and 3A in Uganda in July 2010 for $1.45 billion. In the confidential arbitration proceedings, the company had challenged the discretion of Ugandan tax authorities to impose certain taxes on the company in relation to the sale. The tribunal decided that it did not have the jurisdiction to hear arguments relating to these tax matters. Heritage has tried to play this defeat down, concentrating instead on the limited success they achieved. NOGintelligence gathered that the tribunal rejected the Ugandan Government’s challenge to the tribunal’s jurisdiction to look into the merits of the company’s argument that the Government had changed the terms of their production sharing contract which resulted in a claim of $400 million. The company claims that a stabilisation clause in its contract with the Ugandan authorities meant that the deal was protected from future adverse changes in the tax liability of the company. This development is coming few months after public outcry greeted the company’s acquisition of a participating interest in OML 30 from Shell and its joint venture partners, following allegations about the background of the Chief executive Officer of the company, Mr. Tony Buckingham who was rumoured to have been involved in some coup plots in Africa. Heritage says it is still reviewing the decision of the arbitration panel. The company said in a statement: “While the arbitral tribunal concluded that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear arguments relating to the underlying substantive Ugandan tax matters, Heritage is delighted that the tribunal has rejected the Ugandan Government’s challenge to jurisdiction to determine the central question as to the propriety of the alleged imposition of tax with reference to contractual stabilisation clause protection invoked by Heritage together with the breach of other contractual obligations.” According to the company, the international arbitration will now continue and move to deal with the merits phase of Heritage’s contractual claims against the Ugandan Government, while the underlying substantive Ugandan tax matters remain under appeal in the Ugandan courts. The company further disclosed that it has placed $283.4 million in escrow with Standard Chartered in London. Additionally, it has deposited $121.5 million with the Ugandan Government against an adverse ruling in the complicated tax dispute. Heritage says with all the cash substantially reserved, the outcome of the case will have no impact on the Company’s current cash situation. “As such Heritage’s position remains unchanged,” the company said. Unfortunately, it appears that investors are not quite as bullish as the company over the arbitration proceedings, which have been going on since 2010. The company’s shares fell 7 per cent closing at 165p on 04 April. The arbitration with the Ugandan Government is only one part of the matter. The company has also been hauled to court in London by its former partners in the divested Ugandan assets, Tullow Oil. Tullow made a capital gains tax payment of $313 million to the tax authorities in Uganda following its purchase of the blocks from Heritage. Tullow is now claiming a refund of the mone from Heritage, saying that the capital gains tax liability was on Heritage. The case is ongoing.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Media How to build robust media-military relations for improved security Issue By Gbenga Salau and Florence Utor HE Nigerian media was one of the major T stakeholders that drove the military back to the barracks after they seized power and occupying political space for a long time. It was a tough battle and the relationship between the military and the media then was that of cat and mouse. Now, the military are fully in the barracks, and as an organisation that is regarded as a very discipline one, it is striving hard to regain its battered reputation. It wants to be reckoned with as the pride of the nation, a body that performs its duties professionally. In its bid to regain its lost respect among the civil populace, the army under Lieutenant General O. A. Ihejirika as the Chief of Army Staff, is repositioning itself with the setting up of new departments including Army-Civil Relations. In realising its goal, the department last week organised a three-day interactive session on military-media relations in Nigeria with the theme, ‘Enhancing Military-media Relations towards Improved Security’. Two experts made peresentations daily, although there were interactions after each presentation. At the opening ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff, Ihejirika, stated that the increasing role of the media in warfare took root in the dynamics of the global security environment as the global preference of democratic governance and the sweeping effects of globalization that had brought radical changes in the concept of warfare. According to him, warfare now encompassed tactical and information manoeuvres, where information manoeuvre refers to the shaping of public opinion and views with respect to events. This, he said, was why the theme of the conference was carefully chosen to underscore the important role of the media across the entire spectrum of its counter-terrorism efforts. In explaining that terrorism was a global phenomenon, which required the close cooperation of all countries to contain it, he said activities of Boko Haram sect and other terrorist groups in Nigeria had continued to threaten peace and security with their modus operandi posing serious challenge to security forces in the country. While observing that Boko Haram operated in packets or cells and relied on media propaganda to entice new followers and draw sympathy across the Muslim world, he said it was why terrorists carefully select the places where they carry out their attacks to get the best media coverage. He further observed, “Apart from this, terrorists use the media to publicise their political causes, convey the motives for their terrorist deeds and explain their rationale for resorting to violence. They also use the media to edify their leadership. On the whole, terrorists rely on the media as a tool to shrink the power asymmetry between them and the governments they fight, create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, legitimise their acts and reach greater audiences. “All these attributes have come to play in the activities of Boko Haram sect in Nigeria and that explains why we need to continuously partner with the media to deal with the menace.” Ihejirika also said checking the activities of Boko Haram before they strike was critical to winning the war against terrorism in Nigeria. And to successfully do that, he said it would require intelligence gathering not only by the military but also from the citizenry. He noted that the media was close to the people therefore it should collaborate with the army in providing intelligence information that could aid its operations in checking the activities of terrorists The army boss pleaded with the media to avoid sensational reporting that could cause the public to panic and thus further the cause of terrorists, noting that it was important not
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General O. A. Ihejirika and the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Major General Bola Koleoso on the second day of the event at Officers’ Mess… in Lagos made up the society. to cover news or use words in such a way to con- od”. He noted, “In the course of our professional Mayaki further stated that terrorism was a tribute to the existing dichotomy in terms of crime against humanity and a war against it was pursuit, we should be so close and circumethnicity, religion and politics. Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Raji Fashola, while divinely justified with everyone in the battleline spect to the extent that any negative act or contributing, queried the media for allowing and not only the military and the media. He sug- tendencies should be well investigated and threats from leaders of groups that do not have gested that the two organisations should build when they are found to be capable of comauthority of the state to get published in front more friendship association, which could be promising security, the appropriate authoripages. He enjoined the media to commend the achieved through regular visits and coopera- ty should be alerted.” Explaining that training was critical and military when they made in-roads, adding that tion. strategic for media personnel for the detec“Friendship allows two sides to understand sometimes crime prevention lay with the citieach other and pin-point areas of agreement in tion of any security breaches and acts capazens. Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola terms of ideologies or even disagreement”, he ble of compromising security, the Daar Obada argued that the relationship between noted. “If this is done in an open-minded man- Communication boss advised security agenner, a balance can always be reached. They can cies to partner with media operatives so as to the media and the military must be symbiotic. Acting Director-General of the Nigerian also join forces together in organising capacity empower them in the task of reporting and Television Authority, Mallam Musa Mayaki, in development conferences and seminars as ways detecting security breaches. He further stressed, “Media organisations his paper, ‘Military-media Relations as an of tackling technical issues that emanate in the Effective Tool in the Fight against Terrorism’, process of duty. This should be a deliberate should improve and enhance beat reportorigave a background to the activities of terrorists move as such helps professional development.” al operations, where media operatives operate in specialized aspects of journalism and around the world and the different definitions N his presentation, Chairman, Daar become professionals and experts in such of the word terrorism. He noted that terrorists Communications, Chief Aleogho Dokpesi, beats and ultimately, the organisation and explored the media to amplify their activities and attract attention. He also looked at some spoke on ‘Innovative Approach to Improving the country reap from such vast wealth of major violent acts and how they transformed Nigeria’s Security: The Role of the Media’. After experience. A journalist that reports Aviation commending former Military President, or Maritime over the years will obviously into terrorism in other parts of the world. In zeroing on Nigeria, Myaki opined that Boko General Ibrahim Babangida for allowing private know when there is problem and he or she is Haram was a loose organisation, which was why broadcasting stations to set up, he argued that able to write on such challenges from the it was difficult to counter them. He, however, the recent security challenge could be traced to vantage position of knowledge rather than said that the media could play a major role in the civil war. Managing Director, Raypower being speculative.” To him, media-military periodic interactive intelligence gathering, which was he main- Radio Service, Mr. Kenny Keke Ogungbe, who tained that the collaboration between the represented Dokpesi, noted that the war was the sessions were also imperative for national media and military was important. While call- origin of the friction between military and the security, as such discussions should be held ing on the media to provide information to the media, as it was premised on mutual suspicion behind closed doors where truth and nationmilitary to process into intelligence tools, between the citizens and the military high com- al interest should be the operative guidelines Mayaki said that three areas the media and the mand, which was then the instrument of with both parties realising the sancrosantic military could partner were in gate-keeping, oppression and suppression by the colonial and patriotic roles of each other in such sessions. social responsibility and agenda-setting. He masters. Dokpesi further added, “As media practiHe observed that the perception of hate psychoalso said that there was need for the media and logically built the wall of divide between the tioners, our role in the new civil-military relathe military to dialogue regularly. According to Mayaki, “There are quite a lot that civil populace and their military brothers and tions is to see ourselves as partners in can be done and we want to believe that we all sisters, noting that in the days of yore, military progress for our society. This does not tantahave a duty to protect the country no matter membership metamorphosed the individual mount to the policy of self-censorship but a what we do. The general public on its own from being a neighbour, family member and strategic policy of self-containment and should always be ready to volunteer informa- friend into a merciless personality who repre- selective processing in information dissemination. tion to help in the fight against terrorism. Also, sented oppression and alienation. “The era of sensationalism and negativism, He, however, argued that the media must play they should always be assured of the protection the role of an arbiter with the dawn of a new era most especially on security issues, should be of their identities when they give information. “Though we share in the wisdom that the mili- in the civil-military relationship, and consider- carefully articulated from the prism of patritary-media relationship is a master key in tack- ing that media practitioners by their job, are otism and national pride. The military on its ling terrorism, intelligence is more than ever very close to the people and various communi- part should extend a hand of fellowship to before vital at this point in the history of our ties that make up the country. This closeness, he the media as collective effort is more effectudear nation, Nigeria. The nation relies so much said, was the magic wand necessary for the al than the egoistic trip of heroism and the on these two arms of society at this critical peri- attainment of a secure society since individuals ‘we know all syndrome’”.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
The GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Sports Rangers reach CAF Champions League second round
Handball: Nigerian teams draw, lose at World Challenge Trophy Be Adeyinka Adedipe he Nigerian male team to the International handball Federation (IhF) World Challenge Trophy played a 30 -30 draw against Senegal in their opening match yesterday in Djibouti. The female team was, however, not lucky as it lost to Congo Democratic Republic 13-24 and will need to improve its performance to qualify for the World event in Sweden. Vice president of the handball Federation Nigeria (hFN) Musa hamza said that the female team still had the chance of qualifying while assuring that the male team would win its next game against Djibouti today. he said that the early struggles of the Nigerian team was as a result of late preparation and expressed confidence in their ability to improve as the event progresses. Secretary General of the hFN, Olusola Luke said that the female match nearly ended in a brawl as the DR Congo players were red-carded for rough play. he praised the girls for playing within the rules of the games and condemned the Francophone referees who handled the match for favouring the Congolese. The girls take on Madagascar on Tuesday.
• Pillars out, Lobi loses 7-1, Heartland ‘walked over’ in Gabon By Christian Okpara T was a weekend of mixed results for Nigerian clubs in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions with only one team, enugu Rangers, making the second round of the Champions League, while the entrants in the Confederation Cup, Lobi Stars and heartland, have been kicked out of the competition. Also knocked out, Kano Pillars blame biased officiating for its loss in the CAF Champions League on the away goals rule in Congo. Pillars lost 3-0 yesterday to AC Leopard to tie 4-4 on aggregate, but the Congolese progressed having scored a goal in Kano in the first match. The Congolese team scored its winning goal from the penalty spot in stoppage time. In the Confederation Cup, heartland may yet get reprieve in the Confederation Cup as it has petitioned CAF following its ‘walk over’ on Saturday by Gabon’s Union Sportif Bitam. At the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, enugu, yesterday, Rangers defeated Burundi’s Vital’O of Burundi 2-0 to move to the second round of the Champions League. The Flying Antelopes held the Burundians to a goalless draw in the first leg a fortnight ago, and completed the job with goals with first half goals scored by Uche Oguchi in the third minute, and efe Yarhere in the 16th minute. Oguchi opened scoring for Rangers from the penalty
box following a rough charge on Seun Taro inside the box, with Yarhere delivered an unstoppable shot to make the game safe for the homers. What would have been a consolation goal for the Burundians when they were awarded penalty, following an infringement by Yarhere was saved by Goalkeeper Godwin Ayalogu. Nigeria’s other representative in the Champions League, Pillars, were expected to overcome AC Leopard of Congo having won the first leg 4-1 in Kano. While the Champions League teams did enough to move into the second round of the competition, it was a bad weekend for the Confederation Cup teams, Lobi Stars and heartland. Lobi Stars was thrashed 7-1 Mozambique’s Muculmuna on Friday to end the tie 8-4 on aggregate, as the Nigerians had won the first leg 3-1. The Makurdi team played much of the game with 10 men after goalkeeper, John Lawrence was sent off for dissent. he was replaced by Ikenna hillary to replace him, who could do nothing to keep the rampaging Mozambicans at bay under weather under 20 degrees. In Gabon, heartland was walked over by Union Sportif Bitam, who refused to shift the game to yesterday following the Nigerian team’s late arrival for the game heartland had flight problems and could only arrive in Libreville on Saturday, the same day the match was scheduled by the home team.
ICC WCL Division Seven Play-Off
Fiji beats Nigeria, as Ayannaike replaces Bejide By Christian Okpara IJI defeated Nigeria by three wickets in their opening game of the ongoing World Cricket League Division Seven Championship holding in Botswana. Fiji’s Tukana Tavo took five wickets to skittle Nigeria for 69 runs. Nigeria lost three early wickets to be struggling at 38 for four, before Olajide Bejide was forced to retire with a broken thumb on one run. A further three wickets fell for three runs, and Nigeria was soon all out for 69. Opener Ricky Sharma top scored with 13. Speaking after the game, Nigeria’s Adekunle Adegbola said, “we were just unlucky and I could just say it was a bad day for the team, but as we all know the best team has to win. Win or lose, the sport has to be played within the spirit.” Nigeria faced Ghana in
their second game of the competition. Meanwhile, the event Technical Committee of the competition has approved Joshua Ayannaike as a replacement player for injured Jide Bejide.
Chelsea’s Torres (left) and Mikel Obi celebrating yesterday’s defeat of Sunderland at the Stamford Bridge.
Federations’ elections timetable out this week From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja he National Sports Commission (NSC) has disclosed that it would release the timetable for elections into the executive boards of the sports federations this week. The NSC, which has released the final guideline for the election, said electoral bodies would also be set up next week, according to the NSC Director of elite Sports, Bolaji Ojo-Oba. he also told The Guardian that the commission has fixed April 15 to 18 for the purchase and submission of forms by candidates, while the screening of candidates would begin on
April 19. Ojo-Oba revealed that the commission has been working hard to ensure a smooth election, adding that it has completed the necessary requirements for the election to take place. he affirmed that the election would begin at the zonal level, where all the six geopolitical zones would elect one candidate each before the national election, adding that there would be other representatives from NAPheR, Police and other agencies that are relevant to spots development in the country. he disclosed that the commission has set out certain
criteria that must be met by candidates seeking for certain positions, adding that the offices and services of the sports federations’ secretaries are still operational as against the earlier report that they have been withdrawn by the NSC. “At our own level we are ready. The next phase will be for us to release the timetable, which will contain the time and process of purchase and return of forms by candidates, also time will be given for petitions to be received and treated also it will contain the date for screening and the main elections.
English Premiership: Chelsea leapfrog Tottenham into third place heLSeA leapfrogged C Tottenham hotspur into third place in the Premier League yesterday after coming from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1. Chelsea’s fightback enabled them to take advantage of Spurs’ 2-2 draw with fellow Champions League hopefuls everton at White hart Lane, where Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a late equaliser to rescue the hosts in a pulsating game. Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea moved up to third place with 58 points from 31 games, ahead of Spurs on goal difference but with a game in hand. Fifth-placed Arsenal
are two points behind, while sixth-placed everton have 52. Chelsea had fallen behind just before halftime when Cesar Azpilicueta steered Sunderland defender, John O’Shea’s header into his own net. The visitors returned the favour two minutes after the restart with an own goal of their own by Matthew Kilgallon following a dangerous move by Chelsea substitute Fernando Torres before Branislav Ivanovic sealed victory in the 55th minute. earlier, Liverpool lost ground on the group chasing Champions League spots when they were held to a 0-0
draw by West ham United at Anfield, leaving them in seventh place with 49 points from 32 games. Newcastle United also pulled themselves further away from trouble with a 1-0 win at home to Fulham, thanks to Papiss Cisse’s stoppage-time winner. Victory lifted them to 13th place with 36 points, a point behind West ham. League leaders, Manchester United, who are 15 points clear, host second-placed champions Manchester City today. Fans were still taking their seats at White hart Lane when Adebayor struck with
just 34 seconds on the clock the second fastest Premier League goal of the season after Robin van Persie’s 31-second effort for Manchester United against West ham in November. The Togo striker stuck out his leg to meet a low cross from Jan Vertonghen on the left to put Spurs in front. everton, whose dreams of playing in europe’s elite club competition next season are alive but becoming faint, did not let the early setback get to them too much and Phil Jagielka pulled one back in the 15th minute with a header.
Glo Soccer Academy boys commence training in Manchester he Glo Soccer Academy T ‘Dream Team’ arrived in the city of UK last Thursday and commenced training immediately at the Manchester United training schools in Carrington. The training session kicked-off with a Manchester United FC workshop entitled: “The training ground” at the Gladstone conference room of Bolton holiday Inn. The workshop focused on ideals and values of Manchester United Football Club and what drives the team to achieve results. The team later had a detailed training session at the Manchester United training school in the evening for over three hours with the activity focusing on “Dominating the 1 versus 1 in the game and dribbling challenge.” The Team was also taken through the rules of challenge, free kicks as well as conditioning on the field of play. Training activities continued at the Swift Academy outside Manchester as the team continued to learn the rudiments of modern football. The Swift Academy is the old training school of Manchester United Football Club before Carrington was built. The Glo Dream Team is made up of 16 players; including 10 Nigerians, four Ghanaians and two Beninese that emerged at the end of the academy in February 2013.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Abdulahi reveals peace moves, hails FIFA over decision on qualifiers From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja INISTER of Sports/ Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdulahi has sued for peace in the Super Eagles’ camp following the rift between captain, Joseph Yobo and the team’s Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi. Yobo has publicly criticised Keshi for omitting him from his recent teams and also not speaking with him as the captain of the Super Eagles. The minister said at the weekend that he has called the Super Eagles’ captain to sue for peace, adding that as a father to all the players and the technical crew, he would not fold his arms while the team is in crisis. He said he was delighted by the quick intervention of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), adding that everybody connected to the team must understand the great task ahead and do what is needed to return unity in the team. “The point is that the NFF
has the final responsibility to deal with the matter and I am delighted to see that they have waded into it. So I will wait for their report, but I am sure that everything is under control and I have spoken with Yobo and everybody understands and has accepted to do what is to be done,” he disclosed. Abdulahi also revealed his delight in the decision of world football governing body, FIFA to quickly re-adjust its time table for the Super Eagles’ group in the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying series following a protest by the NFF. He noted that the decision by FIFA to allow all the group matches to be played on the same day has proved that it was not interested in determining, who picks the group ticket, stressing that the decision would now throw the group ticket open to all the contending countries. According to Abdullahi, “Nigeria is an important
member of FIFA, even as the African champions, that alone has positioned Nigeria in the top list of international football. “I am happy that they were able to listen to the protest of Nigeria and have been able to re-adjust the World Cup qualifying matches time to give all the countries equal opportunity for the group ticket. I must also commend the NFF for making that representation.”
Akpara Akita of Dodan Warriors going for a dunk against Lagos Islanders during the DStv Basketball League Final 8 held recently at the Indoor Sports Hall of National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
DSTV BL: Inspection team storms Lagos stadium By Adeyinka Adedipe HE commencement of this T year’s DSTV Premier Basketball League seems to be close, as the joint team of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and DSTV/Supersport official undertake a final inspection of the sports hall of the National Stadium today.
The inspection team will assess the state of the facilities before fixing a date for the beginning of the league. According a letter signed by the NBBF Secretary General, Francis Gbiri and made available to The Guardian, the team would text run the lightening system and scoreboard for possible repair or improvement.
MediaVision celebrates 10th anniversary with Corporate Olympics ORPORATE Nigeria Games C organisers, MediaVision Limited, is marking a decade
Super Eagles’ former captain, Austin Okocha (left) and Heineken representative, Koye Oyeyinka, at the Champions Planet…last week.
Heineken Planet thrills Okocha, as race for UEFA final ticket begins UPER Eagles former was indeed electric for many SOkocha Captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ supporters of Jose Mourinho, is elated with the whose Real Madrid side comexcitement that envelopes the Heineken Champions Planet, where live viewing of the knock-out stage of the UEFA Champions League attracts society’s crème de la crème. The former Nigerian midfield maverick, who is an official UEFA Champions League Ambassador, was The Heineken Legend of the night on April 3. As he mixed freely and interacted with other guests, he expressed that he always looked forward to the near-stadium environment created at the Heineken Champions Planet. “Heineken Champions Planet to me is a concept that has enabled many of the fans to have a direct connection with the glamour and excitement of the competition,” Okocha said. According to Okocha, “I was part of this viewing experience last season and I am really amazed by the aesthetic work done here since then. This gives everyone here a rare opportunity to be in an environment almost similar to the stadiums where the live matches are being played.” The atmosphere at the Heineken Champions Planet
prehensively beat ambitious Galatasaray 3-0 in the first leg quarter- final match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The other match of the day ended goalless with German side, Borussia Dortmund, holding a slender advantage, as they will be the home team when the return match is played on Wednesday night. “I feel sorry for many fans here in the Heineken Champions Planet that were looking forward to a surprise result against Real Madrid. Many would have expected the emotional confrontation of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, who were former favorites of Mourinho, to do the damage at the Bernabeu. “However, with this result, it is going to be a major tournament upset if Galatasaray should turn the result around next week in Istanbul,” Okocha said during a discussion with guests in the house. He, however, disclosed that his greatest regret playing football was his inability to win the ‘African Footballer of the Year’ award that eluded him on two occasions to Samuel Eto of Cameroun and Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire.
of its founding with the introduction of the country’ first Corporate Olympics Games and Corporate Games monthly ranking. Chief Executive Officer of the company, Fela BankOlemoh unveiled the plans at a media luncheon and said a number of other innovations have been planned to celebrate 10 years of organising games for corporate Nigeria. “We have reached a milestone in our existence as the leading Events Management and Sports Marketing company specialising in providing niche opportunities for Corporate Nigeria to keep healthy and compete in an atmosphere of fun,” declared Bank-Olemoh, adding, “we are committed to raising the bar by continuously evolving new platforms for sports and social engagement for the Corporate Nigerian.” He announced that the Corporate Olympics would hold in the last two weekends in April with winners in the 2012 Bankers Games, Insurance Games, Telecoms
Games and FMCG Games. He listed Skye Bank, Sovereign Trust Insurance, MTN Nigeria and PZ Cussons as the four teams that will participate in the football event at the Corporate Olympics this year. “What we have done is to invite the teams that won in the football event of the 2012 Corporate games to play in what also is Corporate Nigeria Champions League while all individuals that won in other games including athletics will compete against one another,” explained Bank-Olemoh. This year, according to him, would also usher in the MX Games, a youth-oriented games that tasks the extremes of individuals skills and physical abilities. “We are poised to create engagement platform for students through a schools athletics competition, which will start in Lagos and the MX Games, which is fast gaining traction with youths,” he said. This year, according to him will also usher in the MX Games, a youth-oriented games that tasks the extremes of individuals skills and physical abilities.
Also to be checked are the state of the playing surface, the dressing room and the toilets to ensure that the hall, which will host the opening game of the league, is in good condition. The DSTV/Supersport officials are also expected to determine the level of branding required in the hall and how the same would be extended to other venues. Meanwhile, the NBBF has already inspected the home venues of the new teamsPlateau Rock and Oluyole Warriors for certification. The teams from the Savannah and Atlantic Conference are also expected to nominate a representative each to join other members of the league board, which is being reconstituted. The NBBF has also assured
that as soon as the inspection was concluded the new season’s fixture reflecting the new commencement date would be released. However, the observation of the team would be put into consideration before the fixture is ratified. President of the NBBF, Tijan Umar assured that every step was being taken to ensure that the season begins with a bang. He said the federation has always worked closely with the sponsor to deliver a good league. He said that it was better to get everything right before the league kick off. “It good that we are this stage where everything is being done to begin the league. As soon as the inspection is done, the date for the league would definitely be announced.”
15 youths make Ogun Uplifting Talent-hunt all-star team youths of between FbeenIFTEEN 13 and 15 years old have picked for the all-star team of the first Uplifting U15 programme initiated by Ogun State Governor’s wife, Olufunso Amosun. The grassroots football talent-hunt competition is for Ogun State students between the ages of 13 and 15. At the final game of the competition held at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, on Saturday to see the future stars in action were Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, state government functionaries and other football enthusiasts. The 15 boys selected by a renowned scout for the English Premiership League
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun (middle), and his wife, Olufunso Amosun (left), presenting a symbolic trophy to one of the best players, Mudasiru Idowu, at the just concluded UPLIFTing Under-15 Grassroots Competition at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta...at the weekend
in the United Kingdom, Jim Colston, former Nigerian international, Segun Odegbami, and Football Ambassador, John Fashanu, are Sodje Abayomi Daniel, Mudasiru Idowu, William Blessing, Abimbola Abiodun, Dosunmu Caleb, Adedeji Ojo Adeniyi, Akiode Ayomide; Kuyoro Olamide, Udoh A. Davids, Abiola Kazeem, Suleiman Adams, Oladipupo Adeola, Ajao Ahmed, Odetola Eniola and Ipaye Michael. Uplifting Under-15 Grassroot Football was designed to identify young people with flair and passion for the game of soccer and to help them build their skills and expose the best players to international opportunity. Having identified these talented footballers, Mrs. Amosun promised to give them opportunity to enhance their football talents, as well as, their education outside Nigeria. About 300 male talented students between ages of 13 and 15 from all the 236 wards in Ogun State took part in the competition. The screening process was very thorough and exciting. For one week, all the players were camped in Abeokuta and had opportunity to train with Colston and his team, and undertake a premier league standard scouting assessment exercise. They were taken through drilling exercises amongst other criteria, which led to the elimination of the players until the last 30 players.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Second Greensprings Kanu Football Camp kicks off
Egypt, Algeria ahead of Nigeria at ITTF African Junior Championship By Olalekan Okusan HE coast is now getting clearer that the dominance of Egypt over Nigeria in table tennis will continue for a very long time, as the Khalid Assar-inspired Egyptian side swept virtually all the gold medals at stake at the just concluded International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sanctioned African Junior Championship held in Nabeul, Tunisia. Aside Algeria’s Yannis Douifi, who won the Junior Boys’ singles event ahead of Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo, Egypt, claimed the highest honours in all the events. Douifi’s feat prevented a clean sweep of titles by Egypt, as it was the only competition to escape Egyptian clutches. But the remaining 14 gold medals on offer, all finished in the hands of the Egyptians and this also followed the bronze medal won by the men’s team at the Times Property World Team Classic in Guangzhou one week ago. This meant that Egypt is enjoying a memorable epoch; one for the nation’s sporting archives. As the number two seed, Douifi overcame Nigeria’s Omotayo in the final 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 5-11, 8-11 to be crowned the worthy champion. The number one seed, Egypt’s Shady Madgy and winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles title the previous week at the Tunisian Junior and Cadet Open was forced
to withdraw through injury in his quarterfinal duel against Nigeria’s Omotayo. Although, he had lost the first two games (11-7, 11-6) the Egyptian had to concede the contest to the Nigerian. Algeria’s Douifi had to beat Egyptian players on his way to the final. He overcame Ahmed Darbous in the quarterfinals (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 1513), before ousting Mahmoud Nabil (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8) to book his place in the final, where he overcame Nigeria’s Omotayo. After accounting for Shady Magdy’s exit, Omotayo also defeated Egyptian Mahmoud Fathy in his semi-final duel (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5). The top step of the medal podium for Algeria but on the concluding day of action, all other events saw Egypt rule supreme. Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo had to settle for bronze in the boys’ U-21, while Nigeria’s revelation at the tournament, Esther Tosin Oribamise fell to Egypt’s Amira Yousry in the cadet girls’ singles. Yousry overcame colleague Ruwida Ali in the semi-finals (11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5) to book her place in the final against Nigeria’s Oribamise, who had beaten compatriot, Onyinyechi Mbah (11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8) in her penultimate round duel. A testing opponent awaited but Amira Yousry was ready for the challenge. She ended the hopes of Oribamise in three straight games (11-2, 116, 11-7) as the most impressive performance.
LCC dominates Ikoyi Club one-day squash tourney LAYERS from the Squash P Section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, (LCCI) flew the section’s flag high when they took on their counterparts from Ikoyi Club 1938 and Unilag Senior Staff Club, winning two of the four categories competed for in a oneday tournament hosted by Ikoyi Club. The competition, which featured very skillful players from the participating clubs paired in grueling encounters, saw the Lagos Country Club team displaying incredible dexterity game after game. It had four clusters – Cluster 1, the most prestigious, Cluster 2, Cluster 3 and Cluster 4, meant for the veterans. After hours of tough games, Lagos Country Club’s Haniel Hadison won the Men’s Cluster 1 beating Tunji Agbeleye of Unilag Senior Staff Club in a very enthralling final. Sodi Pepple of Ikoyi Club 1938 was declared winner in the Men’s Cluster 2, while Boye Oyerinde, also of Ikoyi Club 1938 won the Men’s Cluster 3. The veteran cluster, Cluster 4, produced Taiwo Sanni, another skillful player from the Lagos Country Club as winner. Ikoyi Club Squash Section Chairman, Tokunbo Ogundipe, expressed satisfaction with the level of the games, officiating and the players’ enthusiasm. He commended the participants’ spirit of sportsmanship
and urged all the players to ensure the love and camaraderie that exist in squash fraternity in Lagos is sustained. Also speaking at the event, Vice Chairman, Lagos Country Club Squash Section, Demola Olusunmade, lauded all the players, who represented the club during the competition for giving a good account of themselves. He maintained that they were able to prove that his section is a force to reckon with in squash having won laurels across the country during different invitational competitions.
HE second edition of the T yearly Greensprings Kanu Football Camp will today
Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo in action at the just concluded ITTF African Junior, held in Tunisia at the weekend.
kicks off at the Lekki Campus of Greensprings School. The one-week clinic will have youth coaches drawn from English Premier League (EPL) and the Dutch league as well as coaches from the Lagos State Football Association. The coaches were drawn from Liverpool and West Brom with Gary Judge from Liverpool, while West Bromwich Albion have David Lawrence and Liam Wall. Lawrence is West Bromwich Albion’s Football Development Officer and the Albion Ladies first team coach with a B-licence, who is currently working towards his Alicence. Wall is West Brom’s community coach and Girls’ Centre of Excellence U-15 coach, pursuing his B-licence at present. Also David Shepherd, a sports agent and UEFA Licensed agent will be part of the team coming to Nigeria for the camp. The Dutch coaches are Mark Von Zon, Carlo Danny Rietduk, and Jerino Lekatompeessy, who are expected to bring their experience to the camp. According to Greensprings’ Director of Education, Prof. George Hickman, this year’s camp, which has a blend of English and Dutch expertise, will surpass the previous edi-
NSC plans high performance directorate O ensure the actualisation T of President Jonathan’s vision of making Nigeria one of the biggest sporting nations on earth, the National Sports Commission (NSC) is creating a High Performance Sports Directorate (HPSD) that would develop and manage elite athletes’ programme for Nigeria’s participation in international competitions, especially the Olympics and Paralympics. Disclosing this while briefing the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the performance and challenges of sports in the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan last week, Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi said the NSC has designed a framework for the HPSD and commenced the process of engaging worldclass experts to fill the position as part of ongoing initiatives with the Office of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME). According to the minister,
the High Performance Sports Directorate structure would be made up of a high performance director at the top with directors of Wrestling, Boxing, Weightlifting, Shooting and Track and Field below him. There would also be three national coaches each for Wrestling, Boxing, Weightlifting and Shooting. Track and Field will also have coaches for the jumps, middle and long distance races and the sprints. According to the adminis-
trative structure of the HPSD, Abdullahi said, the coaches would report to the directors who will report to the High Performance director. “Funding of the Directorate will be from a dedicated fund for high performance sports development for individuals, coaches and managers,” he revealed, adding, that the NSC has established a funding strategy to guide the disbursement of funds across the various sports and to shift focus from funding Sports Federations to funding sport-
ing activities. This, he said, would ensure efficient and creative application of resources; performance-driven funding and competitive disbursement of funds. “Under the new arrangement, there will be three funds. One is made up of funds dedicated to promoting sporting activities at the grassroots level and to stimulate mass participation in sports, especially among school age children through facilitation of Sports clubs.
Stakeholders want Lagos to take charge of National Stadium HE decision of the Federal T Government to concession the National Stadium in Lagos has prompted stakeholders to urge the Presidency to allow Lagos State Government take over the sports city.
Athletes compete at the maiden Premier Lotto Lagos Schools Athletics Championship held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
They hinged their call on the rehabilitation work done by Lagos State government at the stadium before and during the last National Sports Festival tagged: Eko 2012. “It is justify if the Federal Government can hand over the National Stadium to Lagos State because the state has done a lot to ensure that the edifice did not rot away. I could remember during the tenure of the former Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele, he made a request to the Federal Government to take over the stadium so that Lagos can manage the stadium like others in the state.” “Even the state government also did a lot to rehabilitate some part of the stadium during the Eko 2012 and this alone showed the interest of Lagos at ensuring that the sports city is in top shape,” one of the stakeholders, who pleaded anonymity said. He added, “Lagos has more stadia that any state in the country and all these stadia
are well maintained and what stops the state from taking care of the National Stadium if the Federal Government handover the edifice to the state. Lagos remains the only state across the country that pays attention to its infrastructure and National Stadium will not be an exception. “So, I don’t know why the government should not handover the stadium to Lagos. If other stadium are concession to state government, why not also do that for Lagos by giving the National Stadium to them to manage.” They also urged the government to unveil the companies that will take over the stadiums in order to ascertain their ability to manage the structures. It would be recalled that the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi told State House reporters after last week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) was already working out the process of the concession of the stadia.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Real Madrid form thrills Ronaldo RISTIANO Ronaldo C believes Real Madrid have found their best form of the season in time to put together a run to the Champions League final. A much-changed Madrid side enjoyed a 5-1 rout of Levante on Saturday night, just days after they beat Galatasaray 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Although early-season stutters have left them too far adrift of Barcelona in La Liga, the club’s long-held ambition of regaining Europe’s top prize remains in sight. “This is possibly the best form that the team has been in this season,” Ronaldo said. “We have a full squad with everyone available and that is very positive news, the coach
can pick the best team. “We have to respect his decisions. In football many things are possible, we have to have the desire to win because it gives us a morale boost for the Champions League.” Ronaldo was on the bench on Saturday, but came on in the second half and scored their third goal. “My aim is always to help Real Madrid with assists or goals,” he added. “To be going at a goal per match makes me very happy, this is my profession and I try to always do my best. I feel good and I want to continue like this until the end of the championship.” Speculation has continued to surround the Portugal international, who has been
linked with a summer move, but he batted such questions aside. “I still have a lot to give to Real Madrid and the club can count on me because I’m always available,” he said. “The important thing is winning, playing and Real Madrid and my future does not matter.” Assistant Coach Aitor Karanka was happy with the display. “We have a lot of quality players and when our opponent lets us have the ball in the Bernabeu, matches go well for us,” he said. “We are coming to the important part of the season, the team is doing really well and it shows in matches like Wednesday in the Champions League and today
Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league match against Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid at the weekend.
Points gap a mystery to Garcia ANCHESTER City’s Javi can be so far ahead with M Garcia insists the gap at time running rapidly out in the top of the Premier the season. League table will mean nothing in today’s Manchester derby. The reigning Premier League champions are in second place, 15 points behind fierce local rivals Manchester United. The Blues have lost four games in the current campaign, including the derby at the Etihad Stadium in December when Robin van Persie’s late free kick snatched a dramatic victory for United. But points dropped in eight drawn games have not helped City’s cause, although midfielder Garcia is still baffled that United
“None of us can believe that we are so far behind United,” said the Spanish 26-year-old. “We won’t be going to Old Trafford feeling inferior. We will be going there with something to prove - both to ourselves as players and to the fans of both clubs. “I can’t explain why we are
so far behind, apart from the simple reason that we have lost and drawn matches against the so-called lesser teams. We have been involved in too many crazy matches and that has come back to bite us on the backside.” Today’s derby will be City’s first visit to Old Trafford since their astonishing 6-1 win there in October 2011.
We played better before Fiorentina’s red card, Allegri claims ASSIMILIANO Allegri said better before La Viola had a M his side only had its to man sent off. blame after AC Milan threw Despite Fiorentina having away a two-goal lead against Fiorentina, and the Rossoneri boss admitted his side played
Barcelona’s French defender, Eric Abidal (right); with midfielder, Thiago Alcantara, during the Spanish league match against Mallorca at the Camp PHOTOS: AFP Nou stadium in Barcelona over the weekend.
Nenad Tomovic red-carded, two late penalties rescued a point for Fiorentina, and the Milan coach bemoaned the missed chance to finish off the win and take a step forward in the race for Serie A’s Champions League places. “The second half was not positive, as we were caught napping. It’s a shame, as this could’ve been a very important victory to cut Fiorentina out of the race for third,” Allegri told reporters. “We need to stay calm now, as we do some great things and the mistakes are part of the maturing process of this side.” Allegri also admitted his frustration that his team did not step up a gear when the opponent was reduced to 10 men. “Paradoxically, Milan played better against 11 men than 10,” Allegri said. “We let ourselves go in terms of intensity and were halfasleep. We need to improve in terms of determination and effort.” Milan remains in third place in Serie A, one behind Napoli and six ahead of Fiorentina.
RSENAL Manager, Arsene A Wenger believes his playGunners’ fight pleases Wenger ers showed they are willing to fight for a result following Saturday’s win at West Brom. A double from Tomas Rosicky had put the visitors in control of the game at The Hawthorns before James Morrison converted from the spot after Per Mertesacker had been sent off for fouling Shane Long. The win keeps Arsenal firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish and Wenger was delighted with the performance against strong opposition. “It was a difficult game against a good West Brom side, who were really up for it,” he said. “They fought until the last second and we have shown two aspects of our game today. “One that was very in control and with technical quality, and one that is less known - fighting spirit, a resolute attitude and battling qualities that reflect well the spirit we have in our side. “I’m very pleased because it was three big points for us.” The Gunners seemed to be coasting to victory until Mertesacker was sent off by referee, Howard Webb. Wenger had no complaints about the decision to dismiss the Germany international but was upset he had to wait to introduce captain Thomas Vermaelen to fill the gap in his back four. “There were many things that I did not understand, many decisions,” Wenger added. “But we had to take that on the chin and win the game. We couldn’t bring him on. I don’t know why. I don’t complain for the sending off. “It was a professional foul. He was the last man. It was a penalty and a red card.” Vermaelen has been left out of Wenger’s starting XI in recent weeks with Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny impressing in his place but the Gunners boss
was pleased with the Belgian’s impact after replacing Gervinho. “He did very well when he came in,” said Wenger. “I have three quality centre
backs and I rotate. “In recent times I played only Koscielny and Mertesacker because we won the games and there was no obvious reason to change. Thomas is a quality player.”
Arsenal’s Czech midfielder, Tomas Rosicky (left); beats West Bromwich Albion’s Argentine midfielder, Claudio Yacob during the English Premier League match at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, at the weekend. Arsenal won 2-1.
I thought Abidal won’t return, Zubizarreta admits NDONI Zubizarreta has A described Eric Abidal’s return for Barcelona against Mallorca as “good for life in general,” admitting that he worried the day would never come. The Frenchman received a rapturous ovation from the Camp Nou crowd after coming on as a 70th-minute sub-
stitute during the 5-0 win on Saturday — his first appearance in 14 months after receiving a liver transplant. “Six months ago I would have thought it impossible to see his return,” Zubizarreta told AS. “This is good for football and for life in general. It shows that you
can beat these diseases. “These battles are very complicated, and we must give everyone in these situations our full support. He (Abidal) remembered his cousin, who was the one who donated part of his liver, and the medical profession, but the credit is his for his great pleasure.”
Bayern will get even better under Guardiola, says Netzer UNTER Netzer has con- son rightly removed a most expensive transfer in Coach (Jupp Bundesliga history. G gratulated Bayern good “It was a successful Munich on securing the Heynckes) and in Pep German title and says he expects further improvement under Pep Guardiola. Die Roten secured a 1-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt - an 11th consecutive win - to reach an unassailable 20-point lead over Borussia Dortmund and win a 23rd Bundesliga crown with plenty of time to spare. Writing in his column for Bild, Netzer praised the quality of the Bavarians whilst stressing that he anticipates that they will continue to develop under their new boss. “The Bavarians have responded to last season superbly and with great success,” Netzer stated. “But the development of this team is not complete. To help achieve this, they have for the coming sea-
Guardiola taken on probably the best coach in the world. “He helped (Barca) to play the best football in the world. And if you combine this with the possibilities at Bayern then, sooner or later, there will be an improvement.” Netzer, casting his eye over the champions’ squad, was particularly keen to highlight the impact of Javi Martinez, who arrived from Athletic Bilbao last summer for a domestic record fee of 40 million euros. “Bayern have, over the past decades, been reputable and very successful,” the 68-year-old former playmaker continued. “And that puts them in a position to do business, with Javi Martinez the
undertaking. Martinez has helped the team gel and to stabilise its structure.” Netzer was also quick to stress that he sees even more success for the impressive Bavarians this season with the DFB Pokal and the Champions League still attainable trophies. “The Bayern players were able to get used to the idea of winning the championship for a long time,” Netzer said. “That could have led to inefficiency but at Bayern it sharpened the senses and that title was not enough for them. They feel that more is possible. Therefore, they have also placed a lot of focus on other competitions too. They legitimately aspire to more.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, April 8, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
OME time back in Sreported the news, it was that “illiterate corpers were rejected by NYSC”. In that news piece, it was stated that three students who graduated from a higher institute of learning in Nigeria, displayed glaringly By Owoyemi Olorunfemi “lack of academic ability and intelligence level expected of genuine Nigerian graduates.” These graduatecorps members were found incompetent and of low intelligence level which ranged from inability to complete registration formats correctly to not being able to teach pupils at nursery school level.” One of them, Okochi, could hardly write the Roman figures from one to ten in words neither could she write three states and their capital. The story gets sadder as I make bold to say that only three out of several hundreds of thousands have been caught. I was involved in a discussion with an undergraduate in a highly-respected university in the country. I asked her, jokingly, how many continents there were; she was mute and would not answer. I asked her to name the continents she knew and her answer was baffling – America, Canada, London, UK! I asked her what continent she was in and she confessed that she had no idea. For me, that was the height of it! This incident took place two years ago. The bulk of my piece is filled with experiences I have had in the course of my vast interactions with people. The advent of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, My Space etc. has, over the years shown how deplorable our educational system is. These days, it’s quite easy to find undergraduates and even graduates from several institutions who can barely speak good English. Some don’t even understand it at all when spoken to. Social media is an active platform that thrives on communication and the things that reel across these platforms can be devastating. Consider this: “Hi, all thing life are easy do, e.g. sweet thing, sweet word, praying, salat etc. But why sweet people like you is difficult to find, may your whole life b as sweet as you.” Here is another: “my hobies is to read and study, I spent my time in normal way and I attended my lecturing class of my choice.” Here is yet another: “mass killing in Fataskum resulted 60 innocent lives in cattile market the leader of miyatti Allah organisation call jet to compensated all the victims otherwise to take action about the following action its including ban of any cattle selling in Nageria…..” Let me spare you the headache of trying to figure out what these people have to say. I’m sorry I had to put you through it in the first place. But the hard truth is that this is the reality on ground. Chika Unigwe, winner of the 2012 NLNG Prize for Literature posted this on Facebook: “I have been sent interview questions by a certain Nigerian ‘magazine’. I started responding, then I realised that every single question had a grammatical fault or a spelling mistake (very often, both). Sometimes, the structure is so bad that it renders the question unintelligible…” When a journalist can be so faulted as seen above, and with graduates who can barely speak good English taking over offices, I believe we’re sitting on a keg of gun powder in this country. I have spent part of my life living with senior citizens who had no higher degrees than Grade II from Teacher Training colleges and yet they speak quite impressive English and very intelligently too. It is devastating that even in their late seventies and 80’s, their command of the English language is more impeccable than what’s spoken by many of young undergraduates and graduates being
I have spent part of my life living with senior citizens who had no higher degrees than Grade II from Teacher Training colleges and yet they speak quite impressive English and very intelligently too. It is devastating that even in their late seventies and 80’s, their command of the English language is more impeccable than what’s spoken by many of young undergraduates and graduates being churned out by our higher institutions today.
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Making profit while killing our educational system
Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i
churned out by our higher institutions today. Ikhide Ikheloa, a prominent Nigerian literary critic, born before the civil war, talked about his father elegantly thus: “He was an autodidact, he did not advance past the 8th grade but the quality of the education of his time was such that he could today put many PhDs to shame when it comes to reading and writing.” All fingers point to only one thing: A serious decline in our educational system. While it is important to understand the state of our educational standards, it is more important to consider how we came to this pass, and what the way out is. Standards are, no doubt, falling and crashing so hard and no one seems to care enough to take action to arrest and remedy
the situation. Teachers in schools today can’t even save the situation; many of them need to be saved first. We have a plethora of schools without any standards whatsoever. This is not a problem to be tackled at the tertiary level. It has everything to do with the foundation of the students. A couple of blocks from where I grew up is a private primary school. The school consists of a block of abandoned building. The building had been abandoned since I was a kid, yet some hungry proprietor chose to take over the building and use it to start a school. A question I ask myself is: What caliber of teachers will he employ to teach in this school? He cares less about the quality of education that his pupils get; he cares more about how much
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he makes. That’s what owning a school has become now: A money making venture and not a value-giving venture. They see that the fad is for parents to prefer private schools to public schools so they establish schools so that they can benefit from the fad. Between value and profit, profit is of the essence. Little wonder therefore, that the Ekiti State government shutdown 131 substandard private schools in the state. If government agencies in every state will do a thorough screening of the schools in their states, it will shock you what staggering figures will emerge. Sadly, the government is just as much guilty of negligence as the get-rich-quick proprietors are. Between the private schools and the public schools, the public schools are, in fact, worse! There are public schools in several parts of the country where subjects are taught using local languages. This may not be bad in itself if it is a national policy and there are already mechanisms to back the policy such as availability of textbooks are in local languages. If the government is quick to pick on private schools, it should also look into its own house. Hardly ever does the government run any system that functions as it ought to. Many governments focus on free or subsidised education but I ask: “Of what good is free education when the quality of education is crap?” What quality of teachers do we have teaching in our schools at all levels? Back in the colonial times and even into the first decade of independence era, our teachers were topnotch. Being a teacher, back then, was prestigious and very few ever became teachers. Somewhere along the line, however, something went wrong. More people pressed to join the profession and quality was compromised. Being thorough became not so important. A little compromise for one or two candidates and, just like that, a chink was created in the armor. Colleges of Education were created and government funding for them in several cases was cut so that they had to be self-sustaining. The drive for self-sustenance plus the increase in the number of people who tried to join the prestigious teaching line gave rise to compromises and alas, quality gave way for profiteering. The chain has gone on like that ever since. I make bold to say that today, many graduates of the Colleges of Education can barely converse in English language and not commit grave grammatical blunders. A recent graduate of one of the best colleges of education while speaking to me said: “the man have get me accommodation….” Another wrote to a friend the following: “I am washing film on my phone when you call me”. How will these new generation of teachers ever be able to teach their pupils the right usages of the language? Back in the nineties, the best teachers public schools were where were found. Some of us attended public schools and we had a crop of sound, intelligent and committed teachers to lead us on our paths to our destinies. Whatever happened to the best teachers, it’s high time we fetched them back and replicated many more best teachers for our schools. The warped spoken English of a child can be traced to his foundations – the elementary school years. If we are really determined to fix this quagmire that we are in, we have to start from the basics. We need primary schools that are built to standard and filled with teachers who are sound in what they teach and are dedicated to their jobs. We need teachers who are committed to the true and total development of the pupils. We need a government that is willing to formulate and implement educational policies that will set optimum standards of education and also be diligent enough to ensure that there’s absolute compliance with the policies both by private and public schools. With corruption within the bureaucracy, compromises will be made for a few thousand naira notes and we’ll head back to where we began. A form of continuing education programme and retreats, workshops and conferences should be organised for teachers. It will also be helpful if proprietors and proprietresses focus more on the kind of education their schools impart rather than thinking about just the profit they can rake in. If truly, our educational system means anything to us and we so desire to save it, it is all in our hands to do. If we are waiting for the best time to initiate the change, no time is better than now. Let’s save our country the embarrassment of showcasing graduates that are defective on every side. We should always remember that education will only be the best legacy when it is the right one.