Issuu on Google+

TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,536

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

No permanent enemy but only permanent interest… Supposed political enemies banter while their supporters feud. Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the 2012 Ondo gubernatorial election , Olusola Oke (right); Governor Olusegun Mimiko; his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and counsel to the Labour Party, Yusuf Alli (SAN), during the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure … yesterday.

Soldiers invade Bayelsa community over killing of policemen From Mohammed Abubakar, Terhemba Daka, Bridget Chiedu Onochie, (Abuja), Willie Etim (Yenagoa) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) (with agency report) BAYELSA community is on A edge as it wonders if the tragedies of Odi and Zaki Ibiam will be replicated in it. Odi

• Residents search for missing relatives after Borno clash • Rescue workers battle to reach bloodbath site • Senate, Reps seek probe, military defends self • Jonathan replaces Sani with Wakil on amnesty panel also in Bayelsa and Zaki Ibiam in Benue State were commu-

nities invaded by soldiers in retaliation against the killing

of security operatives. Now, Azuzuama is tense, but

hoping to wake up and discover that it has only been hemmed in by soldiers in a nightmare. The soldiers have one mission: To avenge the killing of 12 policemen by suspected militants. Azuzuama is in Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State. Since Monday night, it has been thrown into confu-

sion following the invasion of the community by operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta codenamed Operation Restore Hope ostensibly in pursuit of suspected kidnappers and sea pirates. It was learnt, however, that the operation may actually be in search of those who killed 12 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

2 NEWS

Amaechi, others get deadline to recall suspended council executive By Kelvin Ebiri and Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt)

• Gov swears in caretaker panel

HE Rivers State Chapter of T the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened

was taken without recourse to due process, as barefaced display and abuse of power by the governor and the House. According to him, it is appalling and disgraceful for the governor and the lawmakers to trample on the mandate of the people of Obio-Akpor Local Council through political victimisation. “The party hereby call on the House of Assembly to take appropriate step to review its decision within 48 hours with a view to reinstate the council chairman, vice chairman and the 17 councillors of Obio-Akpor in the interest of justice, otherwise, the party may be constrained to take appropriate disciplinary and legal action to check the excesses of Amaechi and some members

disciplinary action against Governor Chibuike Amaechi and some state lawmakers if the suspended Obio-Akpor Local Council executive and legislators are not reinstated by tomorrow. Meanwhile, Amaechi has sworn-in a seven-member caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of Obio Akpor Local Council. Reacting to Monday’s sack of the Obio-Akpor Local Council Chairman, Timothy Nsirim, his deputy and 17 councillors by the House of Assembly, the newly-inaugurated state PDP chairman, Felix Obuah, in a statement issued yesterday said the party views the lawmakers’ action, which he said

of the House of Assembly,” Obuah said. He alleged a plot by the Assembly to suspend five of its members for expressing their views on issues bordering on internal party democracy, warning that if this is carried out, severe sanction will be meted out to erring lawmakers. Irrespective of the party’s threat, the Assembly yesterday screened members of the Obio-Akpor Local Council Caretaker Committee and were later sworn into office by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Feyii who represented the governor. The committee members are Dike David Chikordi as Chairman, Yellow Ernest Ogbonda as Vice Chairman,

Ihunwo Ovunda, Wogu Chima, Ejims Chinkweru, Stanley Ehoro, and Friday Owhor Kinikanwo. Amaechi urged members of the committee to exhibit high sense of diligence in carrying out their assigned responsibilities and exercise due diligence in the management of the council resources to achieve desired results. Responding, Dike said he intends to dissolve all standing committees in the council and embark on new projects that would improve the lives of the people, alleging that the former executives performed below expectation. Twenty-five out of the 32 members of the House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, have vowed not to recognise or work with the Obuah-led state executive of the party. The Speaker told journalists

Residents search for missing relatives after Borno clash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 policemen a fortnight ago at Lobia II, also part of the community. The heavily-armed soldiers were backed by two gunboats and a military helicopter that provided aerial cover and identification of likely hideouts of the hoodlums who carried out the killing. The invasion, however, led to panic and mass movement of indigenes to neighbouring communities and the mangroves as many buildings were alleged to have been destroyed, among them that of Jackson, aka Virus, the alleged mastermind of the killing of the policemen, now of the Adaka Boro group. Buildings said to belong to his uncles and others were also destroyed. The policemen were on their way to Azuzuama to provide security at the wake of the late mother of ex-militant leader, Kile Selky Toughedi, a.k.a. Young Shall Grow, when they were ambushed and killed by gunmen who allegedly had parted ways with Toughedi over sharing of funds accruing from the Federal Government’s amnesty programme for repentant militants. Azuzuama community, it was learnt yesterday, had been deserted with most of the natives taking refuge in the mangrove swamp. But the JTF, through its spokesman, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu, said the raid was a routine exercise targeted at riding the region of miscreants. He dismissed suggestions that the JTF operatives invaded the community to search for the killers of the 12 policemen, insisting that the operation was to dismantle criminal hide-outs where kidnappers and sea robbers hibernate. He said four of such places had been destroyed at Azuzuama. His words: “Painstaking investigations by our operatives revealed that kidnappers, sea robbers and other criminals have clandestinely developed hide-outs in some parts of the creeks along Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State, from where they launch attacks on unsuspecting victims going about their legitimate businesses in the water ways. “Given our mandate to rid the Niger Delta of criminality, we are spurred by this unwholesome development to commence today, a clean-up operation of criminal hideouts where kidnappers and sea robbers hibernate.

“Our troops have successfully clamped down on four criminal hide-outs at Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw. “All law-abiding citizens must steer clear of such criminal hide-outs and partner our operatives in ridding the region of criminals.” Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday demanded a full investigation into last weekend’s massacre in the border town of Baga Village, Borno State, that left over 185 people dead and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Three standing committees of the Senate, Police Affairs, Defence, National Intelligence and Security have been given the order to investigate the alleged massacre and turn in a report on the incident for consideration by the entire Senate within two weeks. The upper legislative chamber in a reaction to a motion by Senator Maina Maji Lawan, who represents Borno North where the massacre allegedly took place, mandated the joint committee “to look into the matter with a view to confirming reports being aired by the media on the massacre.” A clash between members of Boko Haram insurgents and members of the Joint Task Force in Baga metropolitan community of Borno State last weekend was said to have left over 185 people dead, over 2,000 houses burnt and property destroyed, leading to the desertion of the community. Although the President of the Senate, David Mark, kicked against debating the matter on the floor of the Senate since the Federal Government had earlier set up an enquiry into the massacre, he described the killing of such a number of innocent civilians as unacceptable irrespective of who perpetrated the act. Accepting that the JTF operation in the area was quite a difficult task, Mark, however, condemned cases of extra-judicial killings in all their ramifications. According to him, it is contrary to the military rule of engagement. The House of Representatives has also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the Monday killing . This came following the adoption, without debate, of a motion brought by Mohammed Tahir Mongonu who raised the alarm on the urgent need to probe the circumstances that led to the killing as a matter of urgent attention on the floor,

noting that about 200 houses were burnt in the ensuing confrontation. Consequently, the House presided over by the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday also called on Boko Haram members to embrace the amnesty offered by the Federal Government, just as it further urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the victims who lost their property. Also, the parliament yesterday directed its Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs to investigate the alleged breach of the Federal Character principles in the appointment and inauguration of 120 Nigerians as chairmen and members of the governing councils of federal universities. This was sequel to the adoption of a motion introduced by Bitrus Kaze who decried the alleged discrimination against the people of Plateau State by the Federal Government in the said appointment in which he lamented that no person from the state was considered. And with barely 24 hours to the inauguration of the recently-named Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North and Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, the Federal Government has added a fresh name to the list. She is Aisha Wakil. This is just as the Presidency yesterday brought forward the inauguration of the committees by one hour. The inclusion of Wakil, a lawyer from Borno State, may have been necessitated by the decline of Malam Shehu Sani, a civil rights activist and Dr. Datti Ahmed, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Shariah Affairs (SCSA), to serve on the Kabiru Tanimu Turakiled committee. She is said to be representing the civil rights group, just like Sani. But it was not clear yesterday if the Presidency would add another name to complete the initial 26-member committee. Besides, rescue workers yesterday struggled to reach Baga where the Monday bloodbath took place. Red Cross disaster management co-ordinator, Umar Abdul Mairiga, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that relief workers had struggled to reach Baga because the military had not been able to guarantee their safety amid continuing tension. “Now, they have given us per-

mission to move,” he said, adding that a full team was expected to deploy early today. Much of the town remains deserted after the fighting on Friday, which forced thousands of people to flee, said a resident who asked that his name be withheld. “Baga is still under military siege,” he told AFP.“The town is at a standstill with little food and water, which has forced even those of us that stayed behind to start leaving.” The residents of Baga are still in search of their relatives who have gone missing. The Guardian also learnt yesterday from the town that searches were continuing for some of the unspecified number of fleeing insurgents from the fishing community. Some of the residents of Baga who sneaked into Maiduguri yesterday told The Guardian that they had found it difficult to get to their people in the troubled town as they had to run for their safety against the insurgents. One of them, who simply identified himself as Aisami, said all attempts to get to the people back home had proved abortive. He said the last he heard from them was that many people were still missing and that there was “house to house” search for the group’s members. In a related development, the military yesterday came out with the total number of casualties recorded in the two-day clash at Baga. In a statement yesterday by its commander, Brig.-Gen. Austin Edokpaye, claimed that 37 persons, including a soldier, were killed, including 15 persons, five soldiers and 10 civilians. Among the Baga residents killed, Edokpaye said 30 were Boko Haram insurgents while the other six civilians were caught up in the cross-fire. He further disclosed that recovered arms and ammunition included three rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two rocket-propelled grenade bombs, four Kalashnikov rifles, 435 ammunition, several quantities of IED materials; and three damaged Land Cruiser vehicles belonging to the terrorists. The commander said contrary to media speculation that hundreds of houses were burnt; it was the explosion from the Boko Haram terrorists’ bombs that triggered the fire that torched “30 thatched houses in the predominantly fishing community of Baga town.”


NEWS | 3

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

News ACN, northern elders condemn killing of 185 people in Borno By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief HE Action Congress of T Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the reported killing of

Afenifere Chieftain, Chief Olu Falae (left); General Secretary, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, the leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti. Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin and former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Chief Iyiola Omisore at the briefing on the State of the Nation in Lagos … yesterday.

Reps intervene in Anambra-Kogi boundary dispute HE House of T Representatives yesterday directed its committees on Special Duties and Disaster and Emergency Management to liaise with the National Boundary Commission on the lingering clashes between the Enugu-Otu, Nkpunado and Eziagulu-Otu communities of Aguleri in Anambra East local council and Olu communities of Ibaji local council of Kogi State over the ownership of a piece of land hosting crude oil. The parliament’s decision came following a motion sponsored by Chriscato Amaeke, which sought the intervention of the chamber. Amaeke who represents Anambra East and West in the House, introduced the motion under matters of urgent national importance.

Ondo election tribunal ends hearing From Niyi Bello, Akure HE Ondo State Election T Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure over petitions arising

from the conduct of last October 20 gubernatorial poll in the state rounded up hearing on matters raised yesterday with adoption of written addresses of the litigants. With the adoption of the addresses which were witnessed by the three major contestants in the controversial polls and their myriads of supporters who filled the courtroom to the brim, the tribunal has now reserved final judgment till a date that would be communicated to the litigants. It is however, expected that the judgment day would not exceed the end of this month, which makes it about six days from today, if the tribunal would stick to the 180 days recommended by the new electoral law as the time frame within which to dispose of matters arising from elections.

EFCC files fresh charges against Shuaibu, others HE Economic and Financial T Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed separate charges before a Federal High Court in Abuja, against 40 suspects implicated in alleged N4.56 billion pension scam. According to a statement by the anti-graft agency, those facing the new separate charge are a former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu, nine other accused and 30 companies. Apart from Shuaibu, others are Mohammed Ahmed Katun, Garba Abdullahi Tahir, Abdul Mohammed, Emmanuel Olanipekun, Aliyu Bello, Abdullahi Omeiza, Phina Chidi, Franklin Okey Nwankwo and Omoefe Eric Uduesegbe. The suspects have been standing trial on a 24-count charge bordering on stealing before Justice Adamu Bello. But at the resumed hearing yesterday,

The suspects have been standing trial on a 24-count charge bordering on stealing before Justice Adamu Bello. But at the resumed hearing yesterday, the prosecuting counsel, Godwin Obla informed the court of his intention to constitute separate trial for all the accused, and that he had filed seven separate charges against the accused persons. the prosecuting counsel, Godwin Obla informed the court of his intention to constitute separate trial for all the accused, and that he had filed seven separate charges against the accused persons. He also informed the court that all 10 accused persons have been duly served with the new charges. Counsel to the 1st accused, Sunday I. Ameh, however, objected to the oral application made by the prosecution to amend or withdraw the previous charge, saying the prosecution has not placed sufficient reasons before the court to justify the action. Ameh also claimed that his

client has just been served with the new charge and will need time to study it and raise objection, if necessary. He therefore called for an adjournment. Other defence counsel aligned themselves with Ameh. However, Justice Adamu Bello ruled that it is within the prosecution’s right to withdraw any charge before the court or file a new one where necessary. He therefore dismissed the defence objection to the new charges as baseless and lacking in merit. With the new charges, the suspects are expected to take fresh pleas.

185 people, mostly women and children, in the town of Baga in Borno State during a clash between suspected members of Boko Haram and the Joint Task Force (JTF) recently. Meanwhile, Arewa leaders under the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) have ended the animosity within their ranks as they met yesterday to deliberate on how to end the Boko Haram insurgency. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also warned the JTF against engaging in extra-judicial killings, saying the security agencies must respect the relevant rules of engagement in their ongoing onslaught against the sect in order to spare the lives and property of innocent civilians. ‘’Without jumping to any conclusion on what really transpired in Baga, we hasten to say that the military, in fighting an asymmetric war against insurgents, must ensure a strict observance of its rules of engagement to avoid the kind of deaths that were recorded in the border town. ‘’No matter what defence the military may put forward, the mass deaths and destruction in Baga during the JTF-insurgents clash portray the Nigerian military as having little or no respect for human rights and the sanctity of lives. This is not a flattering portrayal for a military that has made its mark in global peacekeeping,’’ it said. The ACN also criticised the Federal Government’s handling of the killings, calling it slow and disrespectful to the sanctity of human lives. ‘’In the first instance, it took the government almost 48 hours to comment on the killings, as the presidency only

issued a statement on Monday evening over the clash and the deaths which reports said started on Friday. ‘’Secondly, even the tone of the statement amounted to further victimizing the victims of the clash. Saying that the death toll was ‘’grossly exaggerated’’, as the presidency statement claimed, is simply wrong, because the killing of even one innocent person is one killing too many,’’ the party said. The age-long differences between the two northern elders’ groups over superiority seemed to have ended when the members of the NEF visited the ACF secretariat in Kaduna yesterday, to join hands with the ACF towards resolving the insecurity that has torn the region apart. At the occasion, the leaders of NEF chided the military for using maximum force on innocent citizens during the weekend’s clash in Baga, while urging the President Jonathan-led government to constitute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry over the massacre. Speaking at the ACF Secretariat, a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and spokeperson of NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi said that what happened at Baga where over 200 people were killed is condemnable and not how a military operation should be. “This certainly is not the way an operation like this should be conducted. That is why we believe the President needs not just a probe. We need a judicial commission of inquiry to unravel what has happened in Baga. The commission on inquiry should have expanded terms of reference for people to come before it to raise issue that have been happening in Borno and Yobe States,” he said.

Kano, Kaduna, Yakassai oppose PIB, want minister’s powers checked From Saxone Akhaine (Northern Bureau Chief) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) OME northern elders and governors have expressed opposition to any passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which they say may further sow the seed of discord in the fragile polity. Former Political Adviser to erstwhile President Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his counterpart in Kaduna, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero were among those who objected to the passage of the PIB at the North West forum organised by the Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives on PIB in Kaduna yesterday. Meanwhile, the move by the House of Representatives to get input of Nigerians in the contentious PIB suffered a set back in the South East zone as Abia, Ebonyi and Imo states shunned the zonal public

S

• Enugu, others seek special fund for oil communities hearing which was concluded in Enugu yesterday. In his presentation, Yakassai cautioned the oil producing states against clamouring for further oil revenue from the Federation Account through the PIB, saying such agitation is capable of disuniting the country. Yakassai who claimed that the North singlehandedly promoted the unity of Nigeria with the resources found in the region right from preindependence period to Civil War era, argued that those agitating for the passage of the PIB “should be their brothers’ keepers”. Citing the recent paper presentation, he noted that “the revenue the northern region was contributing to the central purse is more than the revenue of the entire southern protectorate or southern

region was contributing for a period of 34 years. And the expenditure of the central authority or Federal Government in those years was far less than financial contribution of the North. In the 1959/60 constitutions, the revenue allocation was based on derivation, only 50 per cent on tax and rent. Not on the entire revenue that accrued to the federation account. Today, the 13 per cent that was given is in respect of the entire revenue accruing into the federation, this should be noted. “You help your brother at the time of need. When it is your turn your brother should help you. While we are making this major case against allocating specific revenue for the oil baring states, to me there is nothing like oil producing states. No state is producing oil. Oil in Nigeria is found by the

Almighty God, and not by the effort of anybody from Sokoto, or from Rivers or Bayelsa. So, we should be our brother’s keeper”. Presenting the position of Governor State, Kano Kwankwaso explained that the continuous agitation by the South-South people for increase in revenue allocation has been to the detriment of the North whose region has been under intense pressure of poverty and disease. He also pointed out that “for a long time, the effort towards reforming the petroleum sector was marred by challenges arising from high level corruption, conflicting interest of powerful political and economic blocs and general perception of insincere commitment on the side of the political elites”. Urging the National Assembly against passing the PIB for sake of national unity, equity, and fairness,

Kwankwaso said “we would like to inform the members that the major problem of the petroleum industry, and indeed the nation in general, is failure to get rid of corruption in our private and public lives. “If we try to adjust by being patriotic, honest and prudent, Nigeria will be a different place to live.” Supporting Kwankwaso’s view, Yero explained that “the host communities fund created by the PIB 2012 is the most controversial provision of the bill”, stressing that “the constitution of Nigeria recognises only three tiers of government and does so more particularly on revenue accruing to the Federation Account, to create a host communities fund therefore, will not only be tantamount to creating a fourth tier of government, but make provisions that will further alienate other parts of the country economically.”


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4 NEWS

CPC flays Baga killings, holds North-West convention in May From Adamu Abuh (Abuja) and Bashir Bello (Kaduna) PPOSITION Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday expressed outrage over the massacre of no fewer than 195 persons in the faceoff between suspected Boko Haram insurgents and soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Baga, Borno State. In a statement yesterday, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, lamented the unfortunate incident that led to the wanton destruction of lives and property in Baga, a suburb of the Maiduguri metropolis. The party condemned the JTF soldiers for such a vicious attack that affected hapless citizens under the pretext of smoking the insurgents out of their hide-outs, stating that such high-handedness was fast becoming the hallmark of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It urged the Federal Government to ensure that military engagement within the nation pursues peace, just as it commiserated with the families of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of the wounded. Meanwhile, the CPC NorthWest Zone members in the Senate, House of Representatives, states’ assemblies and local councils have thrown their weight behind the merger plans ahead of 2015, stating that all issues surrounding the merger would be ratified at its convention in May. The member representing Katsina South Senatorial District, Senator Abu Ibrahim, disclosed this in Kaduna when members of the zone met to study the APC draft constitution and manifesto. Ibrahim, who doubled as chairman of the meeting, said the merger was the only way to save Nigeria from mismanagement and destruction.

O

Lawmakers debate Lagos terrorism bill

Govt probes teaching hospitals’ funds From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja HE days when internallyT generated revenues (IGRs) in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are unaccounted for seem close to an end, going by indications from the Federal Government yesterday. In fact, the Ministry of Health yesterday commenced the probe of the accounts of government-owned hospitals to ensure that their IGRs were accounted for accordingly. The audit, according to information released to reporters, would start with the nation’s oldest teaching hospitals. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said at the inauguration of the governing boards of federal tertiary hospitals and agencies of

Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-Ife, and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.” Chukwu said the boards were being inaugurated to strengthen the health sector in the implementation of the National Strategic Health Development Plan and the Vision 20: 2020. According to him, “the Key Performance Indicators the chief executives of the institutions signed with the minister also provide additional guidelines for the management boards. “I invite you to get copies of these documents from the management of your institution. Needless to add, those indices must be achieved within the stipulated time. The task ahead is not light when con-

sidered against the backdrop of the quantum of work required for the comprehensive transformation of the health institutions. “Let me start by urging you not to betray Mr. President’s confidence and trust. Your role as chairman or member of board should be clear from the outset. This is adequately defined by laws, rules, regulations, policies and guidelines.” He urged the board members not to be involved in the day-to-day management of their establishments, as that function resides with the chief medical directors and medical directors of the hospitals as well as chief executives of the agencies. “The main function of the board is to provide oversight

Former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen (left); National Co-ordinator, Women for Change and Development Initiative, Rabi Ibrahim and Senator Nanadi Usman, during the fund-raising for NCWS Motherhood Centre in Abuja… yesterday.

on the management to ensure the implementation of government policies, the effective and efficient utilisation of resources and the observance of extant laws and regulations, and to ensure accountability for funds and performance,” he said. “However, in discharging their responsibilities, the boards must be mindful of the need for efficiency in the management of relatively scarce resources. Indeed, it is the expectation of government that each board will strengthen the resource-base of its institution, increase revenue and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their use.” Stressing the need for the board members to be professional in the discharge of their duties, Chukwu said the ministry would organise a retreat for the boards on government’s policy direction and Procurement Act. “The policy of government for hospitals is that the ratio of clinical to non-clinical personnel should be 55:45. If there is going to be any change, it should be in favour of clinical manpower. On no account should the percentage of nonclinical personnel exceed 45 per cent of the total workforce. “Where such are extant, this should be corrected as workers retire from service. SERVICOM is a major policy of government. I am happy to note that a number of our parastatals have re-launched SERVICOM.” He added: “For the Board of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), you should note that the present administration insists on zero tolerance to fake, counterfeited, expired and adulterated drugs. “It is expected that the board will reinforce the present efforts of NAFDAC management and eliminate substandard, adulterated and expired drugs from Nigerian market.”

Court to hear Aribisala, Fidelity Bank applications jointly By Joseph Onyekwere

By Wole Oyebade JUDGE of the Lagos High CTS of terrorism and reA lated offences would be ACourt, Igbosere, JusticeAdefope-Okojie, seriously dealt with in Lagos Oludotun State if the bill seeking to criminalise them, already being debated by the House of Assembly, succeeds. At a plenary yesterday, the lawmakers hailed the presentation of the bill as timely in respect of terrorist threats and kidnappings in the state. Speaking at the second reading of the bill, the Chief Whip, Rasak Balogun, said the bill was auspicious and takes cognisance of different acts of terrorism that were not anticipated in the existing Lagos State Criminal Law. Another member, Gbolahan Yishau, said the bill also provides for the right of the accused, while placing responsibility of vigilance on the public. Howeverm he urged the House to ascertain whether terrorism falls under exclusive or concurrent list, and whether crimes like kidnapping, murder, rape and armed robbery could be classified as acts of terrorism. Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, while noting that terrorism must be totally condemned, informed members that the constitution limits the state’s capacity to handle terrorism.

the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja yesterday that government hospitals would now be made more accountable than before. “It is your duty to ensure that the management of the institutions account for the internally generated revenues,” he told the reconstituted boards. “The Federal Ministry of Health will conduct special audit of the internally generated revenue of our hospitals, starting with the six oldest teaching hospitals”. These are, the “University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin, Obafemi

said yesterday that she would hear together the application filed by Chief Ajibola Aribisala, who was recently suspended from using the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and a preliminary objection filed by Fidelity Bank challenging the jurisdiction of the court. The judge took the decision in a Bench ruling after listening to arguments canvassed by counsel to both parties on which of the applications to take first. In his preliminary application dated March 7, 2013, Aribisala had prayed the court to order a mandatory injunc-

tion restraining the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) from stripping him of the rank of SAN. Aribisala’s counsel, Chief Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN), yesterday urged the court to take the application for a mandatory injunction against the LPPC and the preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court together. Ayanlaja submitted that taking the applications jointly would save time and speed up hearing and determination of the suit. He further said that in line with a judgment of the Supreme Court, delivered in 2009, the court was expected to take the two contending applications together and deliver a ruling, adding that any of the parties not satisfied could then

appeal. However, counsel to Fidelity Bank, Chief Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), disagreed, rather urging the court to hear the application challenging its jurisdiction first before considering any other application. He argued that the preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court was the only application ripe for hearing. However, the trial judge, Justice Adefope-Okojie, ruled that the two applications would be heard together and a joint ruling delivered on them. The judge subsequently fixed May 7 for their hearing. Aribisala had, in the suit he filed against the LPPC and Fidelity Bank Plc, prayed the

court to reverse the verdict of the committee. While the LPPC did not file any response to the suit, Fidelity Bank, in its preliminary objection, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit, noting that by the nature of the case, only the Federal High Court could hear it. However, Aribisala, in his Motion on Notice dated April 9, 2013, asked the court to dismiss the preliminary objection filed by the bank challenging the court’s jurisdiction. He contended that the mere mention of federal legislation or matter in the exclusive legislative list does not give the Federal High Court exclusive jurisdiction to entertain the case. In his statement of claim, he

asked the court to nullify his suspension from the rank of SAN with its accompanying privileges, as decided by the second defendant on February 26 despite the pendency of an application dated October 19, 2012. The October application sought a restraining order of interlocutory injunction against the second defendant in that regard, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. He is also asking the court for an order of mandatory injunction for the immediate restoration of status quo ante bellum as at October 22, 2012, when the first and second defendants were served with the originating processes, including the Motion on Notice of October 19, 2013.

Master Bakers, has appealed to the kidnappers to release his father, whom he said has been sick due to old age and was always straining to walk to the mosque for prayers. The latest abduction brought the number of such cases in the Ondo State capital to about four in the last six weeks, with families of the victims allegedly parting with various sums of money to secure their release. Recently, the family of a female newscaster with the

Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Akure, Mrs. Olubunmi Oke, who was abducted on her way home from office, paid N1 million to secure her release while those of Mrs. Taye DavidWest, daughter of the late Asamo of Akure, paid N3 million to have her freedom. A source at the Ondo Police Command, who said the police was winning the war against kidnappers, as several of them had been arrested lately, assured that the old man would be rescued.

Gunmen abduct Akure nonagenarian From Niyi Bello, Akure N a move that betrays worse Icherished fears for a future without values and acceptable norms, a three-man armed gang early yesterday kidnapped a nonagenarian, Alhaji Musa Adisa, popularly known as Labaika, at a short distance from his residence at Isolo Street, Akure, Ondo State. The former president of the Ondo branch of Master Bakers Association of Nigeria was said to be on his way to early

morning prayers at a mosque about 20 metres from his home when the gang, which had parked a red Toyota Camry car beside the mosque, pounced on him. An eyewitness, who had earlier arrived at the mosque to call the faithful to prayer, said the old man was forcibly taken by two members of the gang, who covered his mouth and forced him into the waiting vehicle that drove off immediately under a hail of gunfire to scare residents

away. The matter was immediately reported to the Ijapo Police Station, which dispatched a team of detectives to the scene to commence preliminary investigations. Search parties put together by residents of the area had combed the vicinity and the Akure Plaza route, which the abductors took, but no trace of him was found. Meanwhile, one of his sons, Alhaji Musibau Iyiola, who took over as president of the


NEWS 5

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NSA wants national grazing routes to end clashes From Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE National Security Adviser to the President, Col. Sambo Dasuki has recommended the establishment of national grazing routes in the country to end the recurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers, which often result in heavy casualties. Dasuki, who bared his mind during a meeting yesterday with the Eziuche Ubani-led House Committee on Climate Change, blamed the menace of kidnappings, activities of Boko Haram and other criminal incidents in the country on climate change. The NSA who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Intelligence, Prof. Soji Adelaja and other senior officials including Gen. T.T. Waya, Director of Internal Security, Mr. A. Nyam, Amb. L. Laseinde and the Director of Communications in the NSA office, Amb. Haruna Wando argued that there was a connection between climate change and criminality in Nigeria.

T

Bayelsa community petitions UN, alleges oil spillage by Agip, Shell From Willie Etim, Yenagoa ITING alleged destructive C oil exploration activities of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC), in their community the Paramount Ruler and elders of the Nembe Kingdom in Nembe local council of Bayelsa State yesterday wrote a petition to the United Nations describing their years of oil exploration in the area as “wicked” and “filled with painful stories of death and dis-

eases”. The indigenes of Nembe Kingdom therefore, demanded for the sum of N1billion from the oil exploration companies as compensation for years of destruction on its environment and alleged deaths recorded over the years. According to the petition dated April 16, 2013 and signed by the Chairman of Nembe Kingdom Oil and Gas Committee, Chief Nengi James and Secretary, Comrade Francis Furo, the years of oil exploration in the kingdom

has provoked incessant cases of destructive gas flaring, wanton pollution and diseases from oil spillages and dumping of industrial wastes. According to the community, though it is a known fact that the Nembe Kingdom account for over 200,000 barrels of oil per day, the kingdom lacked electricity and portable drinking water due to high pollution of water ways and creeks in the area, “the companies not only denied them employment but also compensation for the environmental despoli-

Niger Delta states seek development of region From Itunu Ajayi, Uyo HE nine states of the Niger Delta region comprising of Rivers, Cross Rivers, Imo, Delta, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Yenagoa alongside other interest groups have resolved that infrastructure development of the area would serve as the catalyst to uplift the area. While presenting memoranda to the National Council of Niger Delta at its maiden conference in Uyo yesterday, stakeholders posited that the main thrust of the action plan, which is infrastructure and human development can only be achieved by the efficient use of quantifiable measures for proof of development and not what politicians and agencies claims. They argued that improvement in living standards of the people, improved life expectancy, growth in the GDP of the region, consolidated and sustained peace and reduced military support and intervention measures are indices that can be used to measure whether the area is growing or not, adding that these indices are what people can see and lay hold on. They maintained that the broad of the action plan could only be achievable when the ordinary people in the area are testifiers to the fact.

T

Plateau Police foil bombing, seize arms cache From Isa Abdulsalami-Ahovi, Jos LATEAU State Police Command said yesterday that it had recovered a cache of arms and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) set to be detonated in the suburb of the state capital. The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, who disclosed this in his office while briefing journalists yesterday, said the discovery was made following a tip-off by concerned members of the public, adding that the police would soon embark on a house-to-house search for arms where attacks and counter attacks have become prevalent.

P

Deacon Joshua Okeowo Oderinde (left); Archdeacon, Christ Church Elere Agege, Ven. Ola Ayejofo; Bishop, Co-Adjutor, Rt. Rev. James Odedeji and outgoing Bishop Diocese of Lagos West, (Anglican Communion, Rt. Revd. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi on arrival during the send-off ceremony organised by Agege Archdeaconry, Iju-Isaga Archdeaconry and Abule-Egba PHOTO: OSENI Archdeaconry for the outgoing Bishop of Lagos West, Dr. Peter Adebiyi in Lagos … yesterday.

ation being unleashed on their environment. “We, the people of Nembe Kingdom have a cause to cry out loud to you, because, we are seriously aggrieved over the shoddy treatment meted to us by the oil companies operating in our land. If we fail to call your attention to our plight now, there is the likelihood that we may not be able to tell our story after some years as we may have been slowly exterminated by the effects of oil spills, gas flaring and improper disposal of toxic wastes and materials in our kingdom. “Therefore, it becomes imperative for us to alert the world body of our predicament before it becomes too late. As a result of gas flaring, frequent oil spillages and dumping of industrial toxic wastes, the life span of the average Nembe man and woman has been drastically reduced to forty years. This is just too low and calls for serious investigation. “In the light of the above, we want the United Nations to come to our kingdom for investigation and analysis of the environment and subject their findings to high level expert interpretations and opinions. These tests and analysis must encompass our land, rivers, creeks, streams, oil spill sites, toxic waste dumping sites and even the air we breathe so that, the truth of our claims would be made

Nigeria gets N136.7b to fight AIDS, TB, malaria By Chukwuma Muanya, Lagos, Emeka Anuforo, Abuja and Anietie Akpan, Calabar HEAD of the World Malaria Day (WMD) tomorrow, Nigeria has so far through the funding of public health programmes and institutions as well as non-governmental and civil society organisations’ health programmes, received a total of about $829 million (N136.7 billion) from the Global Fund on AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) to fight the three killer diseases out of a total approved funding of $1.4 billion (N231 billion). Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement yesterday ahead of the WMD said 50 of the 99 countries with ongoing transmission are now on track to meet the 2015 World Health Assembly (WHA) target of reducing incidence rates by more than 75 per cent with malaria mortality rates having fallen by more than 25 per cent since 2000. The global theme for the WMD for 2013 and the coming years is “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.” Executive Director of the Fund, Dr. Mark Dybul, during a courtesy call to the office of Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday in Abuja said that the purpose of his visit was to know how countries supported by the Fund were faring, the value of money the Fund is investing in Africa and Nigeria in particular on the three diseases, and to also look at the proportion of Global Fund’s contributions to the control of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis (TB) and malaria

A

Experts urge National Assembly to approve more funds in the country. Dybul recalled that the GFATM was created to complement government resources to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, three of the world’s most devastating diseases, and to direct those resources to areas of greatest need. “To date, through funding of public health programmes and institutions as well as nongovernmental and civil society organisations’ health programmes, Nigeria has received a total of about $829 million from the Fund out of a total approved funding of $1.4 billion,” he said. In another forum the Federal Government is said to be losing about N132 billion yearly on malaria management alone even as experts have called on the National Assembly to come out with legislation on more funding for malaria control in Nigeria. These positions were made known yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State at an event to begin this year’s World Malaria day. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Community Health in Cross River State, Dr. Iyam Ugot said that the Federal Government loses an estimated N132 billion yearly on malaria alone “in terms of malaria treatment, control, prevention and absenteeism form work in totality”. In Cross River alone, Ugot said that the Roll Back Malaria office in the state had distributed over 1.4 million Long Lasting Mosquito Insecticide Treated Nets (LLIN). Prof. Martin Meremikwu of Department of Pediatrics, University of Calabar said

National Assembly’s legislation on more funding to reduce Malaria scourge in the country would go a long way in checking the scourge. Meremikwu said, “Cross River is doing very much in the control, treatment and control of malaria in the state. But there was the need for the National Assembly to legislate on more funding for malaria treatment, prevention and control in Nigeria”. He said that lack of funds was partly responsible for low

level of research in the area of malaria prevention, control and treatment in the country and “for us to succeed in the fight against malaria scourge in the country, there is the need to get the politicians to do what they are suppose to do”. Chukwu, however, assured the GFATM of the Federal Government’s commitment to the fight against HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria. According to the WHO, a major scale-up of vector con-

manifest. It is also our demand that there should be an end to gas flaring, as we are tired of putting up with its dangers and negative effects all these years. Besides, we want a total clean-up of our environment including our rivers, forests, creeks, streams and land to enable people live the lives they were hitherto used to. “We also want the United Nations to prevail on these oil companies to pay the Nembe Kingdom the sum of $1billion for all the damages done to our environment, our people, for all these years for their acts of negligence, impunity and atrocities, particularly, for their gas flares, avoidable oil spillages and dumping of toxic materials that are continually shortening the lives of the people and sending us to our early graves. “This, indeed is the purpose of this letter as the oil companies have continually treated our problems with levity and reckless abandon all these years. Where our demands are not addressed; we may be forced to take certain measures that may be unsavory to the oil companies operations in our land. We solicit that the oil companies afore-mentioned be called to order timely to save our people from possible extinction from the surface of the earth and we thank you immensely for your anticipated understanding of our grave complaint to your most esteemed office.”

trol interventions, together with increased access to diagnostic testing and qualityassured treatment, has been key to this progress. WHO said: “We are not there yet. Malaria still kills an estimated 660, 000 people worldwide, mainly children under five years of age in subSaharan Africa. Every year, more than 200 million cases occur; most of these cases are never tested or registered. A decline of international funding has slowed down progress, and emerging drug and insecticide resistance threaten to reverse recent gains.”

Ekiti dep gov’s burial rites begin From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti HE final rites of passage for T the late deputy governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka began yesterday in Lagos with a service of songs at the Haven Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos. The event, which was attended by family members, friends, colleagues and associates of the late Olayinka would be followed by a commendation service at the Anglican Church of Ascension, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos today (Wednesday) before the funeral procession to Ado-Ekiti. Olayinka died on April 6, this year in a Lagos hospital after a protracted battle with cancer. Meanwhile, the state government has declared Friday as work-free day to enable workers and students pay their last respect for Olayinka whose remains would be buried at the newly constructed Hero’s Park near the Government

House in Ado Ekiti. Eminent Nigerians and organisations yesterday have continued to condole with Governor Kayode Fayemi over the death of his deputy governor. The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi and the National Vice Chairman, South South ACN, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu have described Olayinka as a model of leadership that the nation needs at this crucial period of its development. NANS led by its President, Comrade Yinka Dada, said the departure of Olayinka was a monumental loss because the deceased was not just a leader but also “an agent of positive change.” Dada said the late Deputy Governor was a key player in the transformation of Ekiti State and had contributed so much to the development of Nigeria; stressing that she

should be immortalised so as to encourage up-coming generation to make selfless service their watchwords. Responding on behalf of Fayemi, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi said the late Deputy Governor was an exemplary leader who had served the state well in her life. He, however, urged the students to emulate Olayinka’s selfless lifestyle so that they too would be remembered positively. Ikimi, during his condolence visit to Fayemi, said he was shocked on hearing of the news of the Deputy Governor’s death because many people were not aware of Olayinka’s ailment since she always carried herself with elegance”. The former minister said her departure is not only a loss to the ACN but also to the women folk whom she had represented with dignity and selfless service.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

6 NEWS

Govt decries random drilling of boreholes From Joke Falaju, Abuja CHOING its negative effects on the environment, the Federal Government yesterday raised alarm on the danger of indiscriminate drilling of boreholes in the country. Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, stated this when members of the Association of Water Well Drilling Ring Owner and Practitioners visited her in Abuja. She said indiscriminate drilling of boreholes could result in over abstraction of ground water, which effects land subsidence, salt intrusion, aquifer depletion and water quality degradation, among other environmental hazards. Stressing the need for proper and effective regulation of ground water abstraction, the minister noted that the public needs to be sensitised on this. She noted that progress was being made in the development of framework for water use regulations, which would soon be finalised by the ministry.

E

Ekiti PDP aspirants, agency differ on billboards From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado-Ekiti S Ekiti State Advert and Signage Agency yesterday removed billboards that their owners were alleged not to have paid the charging fees, some governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have accused the state government of victimisation. But the agency’s Director General, Adewole Ajakaye, refuted the allegation, explaining that billboards of the PDP aspirants, who had paid all the fees were not removed, urging those alleging victimisation to stop crying wolf. The aspirants said the agency’s action was an attempt to give people coming for the burial of the state’s late Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, impression that the party was not popular in the state. Some of the affected aspirants are former the governor, Ayodele Fayose; Dr. Peter Obafemi, Wale Aribisala, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Mr. Bisi Omoyeni, among others.

A

Treatment for lead poisoning victims begins OCTORS Without Borders D (MSF) said yesterday that it had begun treating children exposed to the worst-ever lead poisoning epidemic, after long-delayed government’s financing to clean up the area was finally delivered. According to the Agence France Presse (AFP), the lead poisoning crisis in Zamfara State that first came to light in 2010 was “the worst outbreak ever recorded,” MSF said, with an official death toll saying 400 children were killed across the state. Before it could treat the children, medical workers first needed to clear affected areas of the toxins through a process called remediation. The promised $3 million (2.3 million euros) for remediation met with repeated delays and the Federal Government faced mounting pressure from activists, saying more children were unnecessarily put at risk. Most of the funds were released late January and on Tuesday, MSF announced that remediation had been completed in some areas.

Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda (left); Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr. Okwa Etah, and Chairman, Board of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Andy Aghaji, at the inauguration of boards of VON and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: NAN

Lagos Assembly opposes proposed public-private partnership bill By Wole Oyebade ROPOSAL by the Lagos State government to repeal and re-enact the state Public Private Partnership (PPP) law suffered a setback on Monday as members of the House of Assembly faulted its new provisions. Debating the PPP Bill 2013 at its second reading, the lawmakers were unanimous that the bill would be against public interest without checks and balances of the legislative arm of government. The bill, besides its attempt to amend typographical errors in the body of existing PPP law, also sought to remove lawmakers’ approval and influence from PPP agreements and activities in the state. At another sitting on Monday, about eight members who spoke on the bill raised concerns on the Legislature’s withdrawal clause. Opening the floor, Chief Whip of the House, Rasak Balogun, said the bill, which sought to create an avenue for PPP to thrive in Lagos, was the way to go because the state could not afford to provide all essential infrastructure. Balogun, however, frowned at the proposal of the bill to remove the control or input of the House in a lot of PPP dealings. The lawmaker representing Surulere II noted that the executive must have believed that legislative guidance could impede agreements and also slow down investment into the state.

P

“But in my view, this is not the time to talk about merits of the bill without its demerits. In as much as private partners are coming to invest in our state, they are businessmen and they want maximum return on their investments. But we as representatives of the people have to think of the interest of the people that we represent and how it will affect their lives in the long run,” he said.

Balogun also observed that the bill, contrary to global best practices, opens all sectors to PPP, including those amenities that are exclusive responsibility of the government. “Also in this bill, all the burden of infrastructure - good or bad - is on the shoulders of the state. There is no PPP where that is done. “Lagos State sets the pace for PPP in this country. So, we must be very cautious that

we don’t set a faulty precedence in the country,” he said. Apparently in agreement with Balogun, the lawmaker representing Agege I Constituency, Mudasiru Obasa, said the House needed to look at issues of physical administrations, equity and indebtedness that could await incoming generation with some PPP projects. He added that the constitution was clear on the roles of

the legislators, as representative of the people, “but to make PPP’s activities exclusive of lawmakers’ approval will be unconstitutional.” “PPP cannot be legally left to the whims and caprices of the executive alone,” he said. Another lawmaker representing Apapa II, Wahab Jimoh, observed that advocates of the bill had earlier cited examples of PPP in countries like South Africa, India and Mauritius to buttress their claims.

Businessman, police chief differ over land dispute in Asaba By Joseph Onyekwere and Odita Sunday HAIRMAN of New Millennium Investments Limited, Dr. John Jideonwo and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba, have disagreed over land ownership. While Jideonwo called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, to ensure that justice prevailed in the dispute, Aduba said the petitioner was a blackmailer who was evading arrest over his alleged criminal acts. Jideonwo, who alleged intimidation and harassment by Aduba, frowned at the allegation that the case file, which was sent to Abuja, had been returned to Asaba, Delta State, for further investigation. He pointed out that it would be out of place for a man to be a judge over his own case. He described such action as an error of judgment, adding that “the strangest part of it is that when he was asked about

C

what was happening, Aduba claimed that the file had been sent back to him to continue his work and that “the IGP had approved everything he had done in this matter.” “If this claim is true, then the IGP may have unwittingly committed an error of judgment, which will lead not only to the miscarriage of justice but could also lead to the judicial murder of a Nigerian citizen because of his “stubborn” insistence that his property rights (which the police swore to protect) should not be violated. “We believe that it runs against natural justice that Aduba, the CP Delta Command, should be allowed to preside over a petition that is directly against him. This is never done! There are enough police formations that can handle the issues dispassionately. “The events, since the case was purportedly sent back to him, also betray a determination to deal decisively with both

Jideonwo and his lawyer to satisfy the state governor and the Asaba Sports Club who want to take the landed property belonging to the new Millennium Investments Limited by force”, he declared. Jideonwo had earlier sent a petition to the National Security Adviser where he claimed that his company owns the property at Pinnocks Beach along the River Niger waterfront in Asaba, which is the subject of the dispute. He stated that he also petitioned the IGP on August 24, 2012, praying that he (IGP) intervene to save him from the ‘misuse and abuse of the police powers’ exhibited by the state Police Command. He alleged that Aduba sent a team of policemen from Asaba on August 14, 2012, to arrest him for an alleged offence of “malicious damage to the property of Asaba Sports Club,” without a warrant of arrest or a simple letter of invitation. But Aduba when contacted,

said Jideonwo has been running from pillar to post, adding that the incident happened before he became the Delta State Police Commissioner. “On a plot of land Asaba people leased to UAC and later built a Sports Club, Jideonwo went and demolished structures on it over a case that was in court. Already, they are in court. The demolition was illegal. He is not happy with the way I handled the matter because I stood for the truth. The IGP ordered that Jideonwo should be charged to court and we are looking for him to charge him to court. “We want to declare him wanted. Both himself and his lawyer have gone into hiding. They are nowhere to be found. Even the state government is not happy over this matter. He is a common criminal. He went to a former DIG and Police Service Commission but all the people he ran to asked him to report himself to the Police, which he has not done

My Pikin teething mixture had contaminants, says witness By Joseph Onyekwere PROSECUTION witness A for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Momodu Segiru-Momodu, yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that a laboratory analysis conducted by the agency revealed that My Pikin teething mixture contained deadly contaminants. Segiru-Momodu, who was giving evidence at the resumed hearing on the suit

filed by NAFDAC against Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Limited, producers of the alleged killer teething syrup, My Pikin, said the analysis was professionally conducted. Segiru-Momodu is the director of chemical and evaluation research of NAFDAC. Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Aminu Alilu, the witness told the court that on January 2009 at the Yaba office of NAFDAC, he received a sealed package containing samples of My Pikin teething mixture with batch number

02008. The witness stated that he was deputy director in charge of laboratory at that time and, therefore, took the samples for laboratory analysis. The witness told the court that the samples were analysed in line with slated procedure involving microbiological and physiochemical assays. According to him, after the analysis, the product was found to contain contaminants called “diaethylene glycol”.

He added further that the samples were again taken to the NAFDAC central laboratory at Oshodi for confirmation by a qualitative and quantitative estimation of the products. He said at Oshodi, an advanced analytical technique was employed using an instrument called “gas liquid chromatograph”. The witness added: “The result of the analysis at the Oshodi central laboratory proved to be the same with that conducted in the sister-

laboratory at Yaba. As a result, we came to a conclusion that My Pikin baby teething mixture was contaminated with diaethylene glycol”. The witness told the court that “diaethylene glycol” is a toxic substance, which is unacceptable in food or drug preparation. “Diaethylene glycol belongs to a group of substance called glycol and there are four closely related glycol with common characteristics.”


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NEWS

Police avert clash in Edo over council polls From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City UT for the timely intervention of the police, a bloody clash would have ensued yesterday between suspected supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State over last weekend’s local council elections. However, despite the protests against the polls in some quarters and the postponement of the exercise in four councils to today and tomorrow, the Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP) and Accord Party (AP) yesterday lauded the election. Meanwhile, a PDP councillorship candidate in Ward 2, Etsako-East Council, Sanusi

B

• CRPP, AP laud exercise Ayuba, has petitioned the state electoral body over alleged attempts to announce the ACN candidate as the winner of the election despite scoring the majority votes in the eight polling units that make up the ward. The petition signed by the wards’ collating supervisor, Moses Agbukor, said he was hounded into a military vehicle from the wards’ collation after receiving all results from the units and that as at yesterday, the official results, which should return the PDP candidate as the winner of the election was yet to be released. The PDP supporters, who took to the streets around

the Ring Road axis of Benin City, the state capital, paralysed economic activities in the area. The protesters said they were aggrieved by the outcome of the elections in which the ACN won the 14 councils. They littered the highway with dirt from dustbins around the area and mounted a bonfire. But the atmosphere became tensed when suspected ACN supporters stormed the same area apparently on a possible reprisal mission. To avert any bloody clash, the police, led by its Edo State Commissioner, Folusho Adebanjo, dispersed

the protesters. The AP and the CRPP endorsement of the polls came less than 48 hours after the PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, at press briefing, said it had in consultation with other opposition parties rejected the outcome of the election, calling it a charade. Addressing journalists yesterday in Benin City, National Secretary of AP and the CRPP’s chairman, Samson Isibor, commended the Chairman of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), Solomon Ogor, who he said despite the hitches, displayed a high level of sincerity in his mission. “The election is adjudged to be the best local council polls ever conducted in Edo

State. Though you cannot rule out human infallibility, the hitches experienced were due to logistics problems devoid of electoral malpractices such as ballot-box snatching, stuffing of ballotboxes, using guns to scare away eligible voters, there was none of such”. He said the AP had accepted the results in good faith and congratulated the winners. The petition signed by the wards’ collating supervisor, Moses Agbukor, said he was hounded into a military vehicle from the wards’ collation after receiving all results from the units and that as at yesterday, the official results, which should return the PDP candidate as the winner of the election was yet to be released.

7

Doctors seek protection over insecurity From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin EMBERS of Kwara State M chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have cried out for help to the government and other stakeholders in the state over alleged insecurity at both the governmentowned hospitals and the privately-run clinics in the state. The NMA members, while underlining the need for them to defend the Hippocratic Oath sworn to, to defend lives, said if the insecurity situation persisted, they would be forced to shun some emergency calls that could endanger their lives. At a press briefing yesterday in Ilorin, the NMA state chairman, Prof. Olayinka Buhari, said many hospitals in the state were no longer safe for his members to discharge their duties, especially those on emergency calls. He said in the last few weeks, 10 of his members lost their vehicles to robbers in the course of their duties.

Centre holds workshop on risk management

HE IoD Centre for CorpoT rate Governance will tomorrow hold a corporate

Acting Director General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr. Samson Shuaibu (left) and other members of the FRCN Board during their inauguration in Abuja…yesterday

Court rules on registrar’s suspension May 6 Joseph Onyekwere HE National Industrial Court (NIC) on Monday said it would decide whether the purported suspension slammed on the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCN), Jay O. Oghifo, by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, will be of effect or not on May 6, 2013. The court fixed the ruling

By

T

date after listening to arguments from Oghifo’s counsel, Albert Akpomudje (SAN), to that effect and counsel to the minister and Health Ministry, Paul Ogbu. Oghifo had approached the court, praying it to order that his suspension by the defendants should not be given effect. Apart from the minister and the ministry, others joined in the suit as defendants are ICCN, Chairman of ICCN Council, Prof. Felix Ok-

ieimen, and a management staff, Sylvester Obinyan. Urging the court to declare the suspension of his client of no effect, Akpomudje, who tried to puncture some of the issues raised in the defendants counter-affidavit, argued that the first and second defendants (the minister and the ministry) were aware that the claimant was challenging the process and still went ahead to suspend him even after being served with court processes.

“The defendants are already aware that there are processes in court. In spite of all that, they asked somebody who was on suspension to resume. I am saying this because in their counter-affidavit, they said the action of replacing the claimant was already concluded. Its incorrect”, he argued. Akpomudje further stated that the claimant could not be investigated twice under the same allegations.

Stakeholders task journalists on good governance From Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia) and Lillian Chukwu (Abuja) TAKEHOLDERS have urged the Nigerian media to transform lives and increase capacity to produce content that encourages accountability, participation and dialogue for good governance. Meanwhile, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State yesterday pledged to build what he tagged “digital legacy” state secretariat for journalists. Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the British Broadcasting

S

• Orji pledges new office for practitioners Corporation (BBC) Media Action training on global grant project stakeholders’ forum for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Head of Training of the unit, Oyebola Adeyinka, stressed the relevance of the media in societal change. She noted that the BBC Media Action “believes in the power of the media to change the society and to inspire and support individuals in need.

“Use media to help reduce poverty and promote human rights around the world and work in local partnership to provide access to media to help the poor and marginalised people know their rights,” Adeyinka added. Executive Director, Community Action for Popular Participation, Kyauta Giwa, stressed the importance of an interface between government and the citizens.

Assistant Project Manager, BBC Media Action, Damian Ihekoronye, said the Global Grant Project was a five-yearold programme funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) to be implemented in three regions in Africa, Asia and the Middle-East and Europe. Ihekoronye urged the media to help identify specific governance issues in the FCT in areas of accountability, participation, dialogue and conflict.

According to him, the defendants claimed that they only suspended him in order to investigate allegations against him in their counter-affidavit whereas the letter of suspension read in part that his suspension was as a result of the recommendations of an investigative panel. He wondered how a new panel should be set up again on the same issue and added that in any case, since the claimant did not interfere with the activities of the first investigative panel as a sitting chief executive, there is no reason to suspend him on the ground that he needs to vacate office to allow for a proper investigation. “When the first panel sat, the claimant was on sit and he did not interfere with the panel’s investigation. So why now suspend him in order to set up another investigation panel? They can as well go ahead with the investigation while he sits on his office”, he declared, urging the court to protect his client’s right by suspending the suspension order.

governance training on risk management at Four Points By Sheraton, Oniru Estate, Lekki Expressway, Lagos. The risk management workshop which is divided into two sessions will have an advocacy session in the morning. This session is free of charge but for invited guests only. The second session which is the training session will be facilitated by risk management professionals and is for paid participants only. Expected as resource persons are; Director General, Nigeria Stock Exchange,(NSE) Oscar Onyema, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission,(CAC) Bello Mahmud, Funke Osibodu, former Managing Director, Union Bank Plc and Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Crusader Insurance Plc, Tola Mobolurin.

Taraba lawmakers on recess From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo ARELY 48 hours after impeaching its Speaker and other principal officers of the House, the Taraba State House of Assembly yesterday proceeded on an indefinite recess. The recess, according to some of the lawmakers who spoke to The Guardian, was to enable the new leadership of the House to put things in order “For now, I don’t want to be quoted. But the gospel truth is that a lot of things need to be put in order before we can resume proper sitting. You will agree with me that certain things and changes need to be put in place if we are to work effectively” said a lawmaker. Citing the need to renovate the offices of the principal officers, plans to that effect, he said have been concluded stating that “definitely we have to give the impeached officials time to vacate their offices for the new ones” “After that, we have to renovate the offices which I am sure would definitely take some two to three weeks.”

B


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

8

AfricanNews Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF moves to seize stakes in foreign mines RESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s without cost whatsoever from P party in Zimbabwe has re- enterprises that exploit their portedly proposed a measure God-given natural resources,” to seize majority stakes in foreign-owned mines without paying compensation, ahead of an election expected this year. A draft seen by Reuters claimed that Mugabe’s ZANUPF wants to change laws compelling foreign companies, such as the world’s top two platinum miners, to turn over majority stakes to local blacks by removing any obligation to pay for the stakes. The empowerment drive is part of Mugabe’s re-election campaign and also ties in with ZANU-PF’s plan to portray itself as a black liberation movement recovering assets seized by white colonialists. “The motivation for this position arises out of the desire to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe benefit fully, and

part of the notice said. The proposal faces hurdles in parliament, but even if it does not pass it is likely to stoke concern from foreign investors about 89-year-old Mugabe’s plans if he extends his 33-year rule in a vote expected in the second half of the year. When his party seized whiteowned farm lands more than a decade ago, investor confidence was undermined, sending the economy on a downward spiral. Shepherd Mushonga, an opposition Movement for Democratic Change lawmaker who chairs the parliamentary legal committee, said it would be unconstitutional for the government to take over shares in foreign mining companies without paying compensation.

S’African court delays Malema’s graft case HE expelled leader of youth T wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), Julius Malema, will return to court in June after his corruption case was postponed yesterday. Magistrate Janine Ungerer delayed the case until June 20, when she is expected to set a date for the trial to be moved to a High Court. The ex-ANC firebrand is facing charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering, based on allegations that he arranged lucrative government contracts for cronies in return for kickbacks. He was charged with four of his business associates and faces up to 15 years in prison. The financial affairs of the once influential 31-year-old, who is known for his extravagant lifestyle, were subject to a

probe last year by the public watchdog. Some of his assets, including a farm and household goods, have been seized by the taxman to cover over $2 million (1.5 million euro) in unpaid taxes. A one-time staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma, Malema is now in the political wilderness after he was kicked out of the ANC last year for sowing divisions in the ruling party. Malema has maintained that his prosecution was a political ploy to silence him from criticising Zuma’s leadership. He is one of post-apartheid South Africa’s most divisive figures, notorious for his racially charged statements and his calls to nationalise mines and redistribute land and wealth to the black majority.

France condemns car blast outside embassy in Tripoli RANCE has condemned a FTripoli, car bomb at its embassy in Libya, which yesterday

injured two guards and wreaked havocs on the mission and adjoining houses. The development brought new violence to a capital that has not seen attacks on diplomats like that which killed the United States (U.S.) ambassador in Benghazi last year. Since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled by Westernbacked rebels in late 2011, Tripoli, like the rest of the sprawling desert state, has been awash with weapons and roving armed bands. But violence in the city has not targetted diplomats before in the way Western envoys have been shot at and bombed in the east of the country. “This is an attack that targets not only France but all countries that fight against terrorist groups,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Paris before flying out to inspect the damage to the embassy. One of the two wounded French guards required emergency surgery in Tripoli, he added. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan joined him at the scene of the explosion and together they also visited the damaged homes of residents nearby. Authorities said security would be stepped up across a region where France has taken a leading role of late, first in pushing for a NATO air campaign to defend the Benghazi-based rebels from Gaddafi’s forces, and most recently mounting its own assault in its former colony of

Libyan security forces and civilians gather across the street from the French embassy in Tripoli following a car bomb blast Mali against Islamist insurgents who have profited from arms and fighters coming over the Sahara border from Libya. In his reaction, President Francois Hollande said: “France expects the Libyan authorities to shed light on this unacceptable act so that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice.” Libya’s government, struggling to exert its authority, said it was a “terrorist act” aimed at destabilising their country, and ministers said they would work with French investigators. There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the hours after the early morning blast, which caused extensive

France expects the Libyan authorities to shed light on this unacceptable act so that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice. damage, but al Qaeda’s north African arm, AQIM, threatened retaliation for the French intervention in Mali as recently as last week. Interior Minister Ashour Shuail told a media briefing he could not say whether the strike was linked to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi last year, but said a commission had been set up to investigate the blast. The minister added a diplomatic security force would be active in the country within days. Westerners in the region

have been on alert since January’s bloody mass hostage-taking at the In Amenas natural gas plant in Algeria, close to the Libyan and Malian frontiers, during which militants demanded Paris halt operations in Mali. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Philippe Lalliot, said France had not received any specific threat against the Tripoli embassy but it had been aware of a generally increased risk, adding that the embassy was now out of action and staff would move elsewhere.

Sudan, South Sudan agree to open border crossings Khartoum, rebels in new southern Darfur clash HE authorities in Sudan T and South Sudan have agreed to open 10 crossings along their joint border to boost travel and trade after a recent thaw in relations between the long-time foes, Reuters reported yesterday. Sudan had closed much of the 2,000-kilometre boundary after South Sudan’s secession in 2011 – hitting traders and communities on both sides of the disputed line. Almost a year after the split, border skirmishes brought both countries close to fullblown war over unresolved disputes over oil, territory and other issues. But the African neighbours agreed last month to resume cross-border oil flows and ease tensions following talks brokered by the African Union. Meanwhile, Sudanese forces and rebels yesterday clashed in southern Darfur, both sides said, the latest unrest in a region where the government has warned about insecurity. Both the army and the Sudan Liberation Army’s Minni

Almost a year after the split, border skirmishes brought both countries close to full-blown war over unresolved disputes over oil, territory and other issues. But the African neighbours agreed last month to resume cross-border oil flows and ease tensions following talks brokered by the African Union. Minnawi faction claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on each other in Monday’s battle at Marla, about 50 kilometres southeast of the country’s second city, Nyala. In another incident, on Sunday night, the rebels shelled “in the area” of the Nyala airport but aviation was unaffected, said Hussein Minnawi of the rebels’ political bureau.

Army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad confirmed the fighting around Marla but had no immediate information about an incident near the airport. The Marla clash is the latest reported in the area outlying Nyala. Last week the Minnawi faction said they killed troops in an attack on the Donki Dreisa base, about 50 kilometres south of the city. A week earlier they claimed to have moved through Ishma village, 30 kilometres east of Nyala, which is the capital of South Darfur state. On April , 14 Vice President Ali Osman Taha “confirmed the importance of security and stability”, justice and the rule of law in South Darfur, official media reported, after the state’s civilian governor was replaced by a retired general. But the verification of the pullout from the border buffer zone has to await the arrival of more than 1,000 United Nations peacekeepers, a UN commander said in documents released yesterday.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

|9

WorldReport Pakistani ex-ruler, Musharraf, in court over Bhutto’s killing T

HE maxim that power is transient played out in Pakistan yesterday as the country’s former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, appeared before an anti-terrorism court for the first time over the murder of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto. According to agency reports, Musharraf was driven to the court in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the army he once led, from his plush villa on the edge of Islamabad where he is serving a two-week arrest order for other charges dating back to his 1999-2008 rule. The former military leader is accused of conspiracy to murder Bhutto, who died in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007. It is one of three cases he is fighting in the courts since returning home last month after four years in self-imposed exile. His arrest and disqualification from contesting elections on May 11 were humiliating blows for the former ruler of nuclear-armed Pakistan, previously a key ally of United States’ (U.S.) former President George W. Bush in the “war on terror”. Police late yesterday said they had recovered an explosivesladen car on the road leading to Musharraf’s house. “A small Suzuki car was found abandoned on the road more than a kilometre away from Musharraf’s farmhouse”, local police officer Abdul Ghafoor told Agence France Presse (AFP). Police told reporters it carried detonators and “high and low grade explosives” but did not give the quantity or other details, saying an investigation

The former military leader is accused of conspiracy to murder Bhutto, who died in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007. It is one of three cases he is fighting in the courts since returning home last month after four years in self-imposed exile.

was underway. A photographer said the grey Islamabad-registered car had explosives stuffed under its back seat and in cavities of the doors. The Pakistani Taliban had threatened to kill the former

military ruler who escaped three assassination attempts during his rule. Agency reports also claimed that despite a heavy police and paramilitary presence, scuffles broke out between lawyers and Musharraf supporters,

who threw stones and beat each other with sticks outside the court building. About 150 lawyers shouted: “Dog, dog, Musharraf dog!” while two dozen supporters chanted, “Long live Musharraf!” “Today, it was routine hearing of Benazir murder case and General Musharraf appeared for the first time in this case,” his lawyer Salman Safdar told AFP. Musharraf spent around 15 minutes in court and then

Britain to stop recruiting 16 and 17-year-olds to its armed forces, a practice that has been abandoned by most countries. The groups said Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) wasted up to £94 million ($143 million, 110 million euros) a year by recruiting minors, who it said were twice as expensive to train as 18-year-olds. But the MoD said the report ignored the benefits that a mil-

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf (middle) is escorted by soldiers and police commandos as he leaves an anti-terrorism court after a hearing in Islamabad … yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

itary career offered young people, and said it had no plans to change its policy. Child Soldiers International – which campaigns primarily against the use of child soldiers in armed conflicts in Africa and Asia – said fewer than 20 countries continue to recruit soldiers from the age of 16. “The large majority of countries worldwide now recruit only adults aged 18 or above into their armed forces,” the London-based charity said. “The UK is the only member of

the European Union and only permanent member of the UN Security Council still recruiting from age 16.” In a new report co-authored by the British campaign group, ForcesWatch, the charity said under-18s were more likely to join the infantry, where the risk of fatality in Afghanistan has been five times that faced by the rest of the army. Young troops were also more likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual harassment and bullying, it claimed,

while money is wasted on training minors because they take longer to develop their skills and have a higher dropout rate. The report argued that while under-18s are banned in Britain from many activities considered harmful – including drinking alcohol and smoking – they are allowed to risk their lives in the military. The Ministry of Defence denied that it was wasting tens of millions of pounds a year by recruiting minors.

Spain arrests two suspects with Al-Qaeda links

operatives in Spain SoneECURITY yesterday arrested two men – Canadian court bans publication in train terror case with an Algerian root and the other is of Moroccan origin – over alleged links to Al-Qaeda militants in Mali. The interior ministry said the two had a “similar profile” to the suspects in the Boston bombings – though a judicial official said they had no proven ties to the Boston Marathon attacks in the United States (U.S.). Also yesterday, a Canadian court issued a blanket ban on publishing details of proceedings against two Al Qaeda-

make France the 14th country legalising same-sex marriages. But opponents to the law vowed to fight on. In its second and final reading yesterday, the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, voted 331 to 225 to adopt the bill allowing homosexual marriages and adoptions by gay couples. The bill must still be signed by President Francois Hollande and is to face a challenge in France’s constitutional council. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira immediately hailed the adoption of the bill as a “historic” moment in French history. “It grants new rights, stands firmly against discrimination (and) testifies to our country’s respect for the institution of

horizons of many of our citizens who were deprived of these rights,” she said. But shortly after the vote, lawmakers from right-wing parties said they had already filed a legal challenge with the constitutional council. It will have a month to make a ruling and opponents are hoping that in the meantime they can build up enough pressure to force Hollande, who has been steadfast in supporting the bill, to back down from signing it. Former president Jacques Chirac shelved an unpopular employment law that had been passed by parliament in 2006, but Hollande is seen as unlikely to follow that precedent. The government is also confident that the constitutional challenge will be dismissed.

HRW launches campaign to ban ‘killer robots’ should never be built,” said GLOBAL rights group, AHuman Rights Watch Steve Goose, arms division (HRW) has launched a camdirector at Human Rights

Britain urged to stop recruiting minors for armed forces WO campaign groups, Child T Soldiers International and ForcesWatch, yesterday urged

French parliament adopts landmark gay marriage law HE French Parliament has marriage,” she said in a stateT defied months of protests ment shortly after the vote. by approving a bill that would “This law... brightens the

linked foreign nationals accused of plotting to derail a passenger train in the Toronto area. A defence lawyer asked for the ban at a bail hearing in Toronto for one of two accused, Raed Jaser, 35, who was arrested Monday along with Chiheb Esseghaier, 30. The judge agreed. The two foreign nationals arrested on suspicion of what police said was an Al-Qaeda-backed plot to derail a Canadian passenger train in the Toronto area made their first court appear-

ances yesterday. Police said the two suspects planned to carry out an attack on a Via Rail train. The accused were charged with conspiring to carry out an attack and conspiring with a terrorist group to murder persons, though very few details about the alleged plot have so far been revealed. Canadian police said the suspects were “receiving support from Al-Qaeda elements located in Iran” – a claim quickly

rejected by Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as “truly ridiculous.” The bail hearing is expected to come up on May 23. Meanwhile, the two men apprehended in different parts of Spain, were “suspected members of a radical cell related to the terrorist organisation AQIM,” Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has carried out attacks and kidnappings across North Africa, the ministry said.

paign to ban Terminator-style “killer robots,” amid fears the rise of drone warfare could lead to machines with the power to make their own decisions about killing humans. The group said it was creating an international coalition to call for a global treaty that would impose a “pre-emptive and comprehensive ban” on artificially intelligent weapons before they are developed. The New York-based group also warned of a possible “robotic arms race” if even one country took the step to allow such machines to enter service. “Lethal armed robots that could target and kill without any human intervention

Watch, said at the launch in London of the “Campaign To Stop Killer Robots”. “A human should always be ‘in-the-loop’ when decisions are made on the battlefield. “Killer robots would cross moral and legal boundaries, and should be rejected as repugnant to the public conscience,” Goose added. The campaign includes several non-governmental organisations involved in previous successful efforts to ban anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions, and blinding lasers. Activists wheeled out a home-made robot outside the Houses of Parliament in London for the launch of the campaign.

‘Netanyahu can’t confirm chemical weapons use by Syria’ NITED States (U.S.) of deadly chemical weapons USecretary of State John against the rebels in a numKerry yesterday disclosed ber of incidents in the last few that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not been able to confirm to him that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against rebels. “I think it is fair to say (the prime minister) was not in a position to confirm that in the conversation,” Kerry said, explaining that he had telephoned Netanyahu following reports of their use. “I do not know yet what the facts are,” Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted him as telling a media conference. Earlier yesterday, senior Israeli army officials said Damascus had used chemical weapons against rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, a development, which Washington has said would be a red line, completely changing the nature of the conflict. “To the best of our professional understanding, the (Assad) regime has made use

months,” said Israeli Brigadier General Itai Brun, head of the research and analysis division of military intelligence. Speaking to delegates at a Tel Aviv security conference, he cited an incident on March 19 in Aleppo province in which 31 people were killed. Brun said the nerve gas sarin had apparently been used, adding: “The regime is also using chemical weapons that neutralise and are not fatal.” Kerry, plainly aware of the sensitivity of the issue, said that allegations made about the use of chemical weapons “have to be thoroughly investigated.” A spokesman for U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is on a visit to Israel, was equally careful. “The United States continues to assess reports of chemical weapons in Syria,” Hagel spokesman George Little said in a statement.


10

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Politics How 2015 politics tears Rivers PDP apart From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt HE raucous political infighting within the T Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has shown no sign of calming down. This follows the sack of the Godspower Ake-led state executive council by an Abuja High Court, which declared Felix Obuah as the authentic chairman of the party. While party stalwarts across the divide  have engaged  themselves in verbal fireworks, analysts have expressed concern that the crisis would have detrimental effect on Rivers’ political stability. The current crisis is all about the battle for political power, for the right to have more members in the cabinet, and for other perks of office that come with political control. Justice Ishaq Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on April 15, 2013, sacked the Ake-headed state executive, which is pro-Governor Chibuike Amaechi and declared Obuah, who is a staunch ally of the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, as the winner of the March 2012 state congress. Wike was Amaechi’s Chief of Staff and chairman of his re-election campaign in 2011. Thus, his decision to desert the governor’s political family and back Obuah, who the state Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, has accused of not participating in said congress, is seen as the outward signs of turbulence within the party, in which several rival factions are competing for their political survival beyond 2015. A source revealed to The Guardian that the crisis threatening to tear the party apart is all about the 2015 politics and it had started to play itself out subtly before  Governor Amaechi’s re-election in 2011.  The source explained that just before the election, Wike, who played a crucial role in Amaechi’s battle to regain his mandate in 2007, asked the governor to run for a single term, to enable him realise his own (Wike’s) governorship ambition. Alarmed by his Chief of Staff’s seeming uncontrolled appetite for power, the governor had asked what would become of him (Amaechi) if he became governor.  The source said the Chief of Staff promised to make Amaechi a minister or support him to become the senator for Rivers East senatorial district.  Though Wike had denied nursing governorship ambition, Amaechi’s public assertion that his fellow Ikwerre man would not succeed him as governor, tend to add credence to the claim that the minister wants to be a governor. Asked over the weekend in Port Harcourt if his governorship ambition was the reason he has fallen apart with his friend and kinsman, Amaechi, the minister asserted that it is the right of every Rivers State indigene to aspire to be a governor, even though he had not told anyone that he aspires to be a governor. His words: “Every Rivers State person has a right to have ambition. Everybody has a right to have ambition; so, nobody should prosecute you if you have an ambition. Having ambition is a different thing from actualising your ambition. “And no one person can say you cannot be because that will be taking the power of God. It is only God who says who will be this and who will be that. “I can also say that a lot of people said Amaechi would not be governor in 2007, and by His special grace, he became governor. So, if anybody also says you will not be governor, that may not be right… I have also not said to anybody that I want to be governor.” To avert any imminent crack within his political family, the governor, after the 2011 election, decided to nominate Wike for the state’s ministerial slot. Initially, Wike was aggrieved because he felt the governor had ulterior motive, which was to ostracise him from his political base. But with equanimity, he had accepted his nomination to the federal executive since that is the pivot of Nigeria’s politics. The relationship between the governor and the minister further degenerated when Amaechi eventually appointed Wike’s political adversary, Tony Okocha, as his Chief of Staff. These decisions have proven to be the governor’s most grievous political mistakes so far. Since Wike was made a minister, the din of dissidence within the previously cohesive Amaechi’s

Amaechi political structure has reached a crescendo. The infighting has shown up in an area that hurts most: the sack of the Ake-led state executive and installation of a pro-Wike party executive, thus, making it axiomatic that the worst in politics emerges when there is a fight for survival. It will be recalled that in 2010, Amaechi’s political adversaries had made a similar move to dissolve the Ake state executive. In a petition to the then national chairman of the PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, the petitioners, who included former Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo; former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Austin Opara; and judiciallysacked governor of the state, Celestine Omehia and others, had accused the governor of scheming to deregister perceived opponents in the party and imposing handpicked party officers in the state. But contrary to allegation that the officials of the party were handpicked, the PDP actually held a congress on the February 28, 2008 and this took place without any form of perceptible rancour and Ake, Mr. Adokiye Oruwari and others were returned by popular affirmation by a majority of party delegates. Sources across the political spectrum said the current infighting is aimed at preventing Governor Amaechi from being the sole determinant of who becomes the next governor of the state in 2015. His political opponents believe that by wresting the party structure from the governor, he will be forced to negotiate with the various rivaling political factions within the party. Speaking on the political upheaval in the state, Wike, on a live audience radio programme in Port Harcourt at the weekend, denied he has any personal grouse with Governor Amaechi. He, however, admitted that they have differed on some political issues such as the governor not acknowledging  the Federal Government intervention  in the education sector in Rivers State. He said: “Why will I have supported (Amaechi) from the beginning and I won’t support him to the end. My local government gave the highest number of votes in the state. So, what kind of support will you want? “Having supported him to win election, will I now say he should leave the office?  Certainly not! I don’t have any personal problem with Amaechi but you expect that as politicians and public officers, we may differ on certain issues and which is very correct.” The minister also claimed that Obuah was the duly-elected chairman of the party in the state, but had been denied the right to assume his rightful position since 2012. According to him, before Obuah proceeded to the courts, he

Wike had exhausted internal mechanism of the party to resolve the problem. “Look at the scenario. In 2007, Rotimi Amaechi was denied his candidature and we said no. This wrong we must have to fight against it and I led it. Rivers people know who was in charge. “Anybody could be in charge today; it does not matter. As at 2007, I was in charge and I never turned my back, I never closed my eyes and everybody knows we did that. “The same thing today — somebody has been denied his rightful position and the person complained to the court. I cannot sit and close my eyes when I fought the same thing in 2007 and I now say this same person should not be given his rightful position.” But the state Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, has described the declaration of Obuah and Mr. Ibibia Opuene Walter, as duly elected chairman and secretary, respectively of the state PDP, as  a desecration of the temple of justice. “I was part of the congress that took place on March 27, 2012; the votes were counted and the results revealed,” he said.  “When certain people die, their eyes will remain open for doing evil.  They will be buried with their eyes open because they refused to say the truth. “Any day the common man goes to court and cannot get justice, that country is lost. I, therefore, call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to give attention to this matter.” Similarly, the senator representing Rivers SouthEast senatorial district, Magnus Abe, said the unfolding political maneuvering is a ploy designed by some persons, who perpetually want to dominate the political space in the state. “The problem is that there are people who want to be gods,” Abe said. “They say they are the ones who did everything for this administration, instead of giving the glory to God. We will not allow their selfish motives to override the overall interest of Rivers people. “The challenge we are facing today is the PDP congress of March 27, 2012. Everybody knew there was a congress and Chief Godpower Ake was duly elected.  How could they present somebody (Chief Felix Obuah), who did not pick intent form for the PDP congress?” The leader of the Rivers House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, said the verdict of a High Court of Rivers State, in the Okehi judicial division in a suit No. OHC/70/2012 between Barrister Kingsley Ajuziogu versus the PDP and Hon. Azubuike Nwanjoku, declared that the Ake-led executive, whose tenure will end in 2016, was the duly-elected one. Lloyd added: “Truth will prevail. Do not be pushed into doing things that will make you to fight or quarrel. The PDP is united under the leadership of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Wike and Obuah want to truncate democracy in Rivers State. We will not allow them to declare

emergency rule in the state.” Stepping up the heat, local government chairmen in the state, under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), have vowed never to accept or work with the newlysworn state executive committee led by Obuah. ALGON chairman, Chimbiki Akarolo, in a statement endorsed by ALGON spokesperson, Edward Pepple and secretary, Ojukaye Flag-Amakiri, said the essence of the Obuah-led faction is a grand ploy to create an environment to warrant the declaration of a state of emergency and illegally remove Governor Amaechi from office. “The clinical implementation of the above plot did commence with the several failed attempts to remove the Governor of Rivers State as chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum contrary to the will and aspirations as expressly indicated by majority of members of the Forum,” Akarolo said. He explained that  in perfection of this plan, Rivers State had been victimised, deprived and alienated by the Federal Government of its resources and due benefits, such as unlawfully ceding of the state’s oil wells to Bayelsa State and the refusal to develop or repair federal infrastructure in the state. “The climax of the grand plot was executed by the sack of the duly-elected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state executive council, Rivers State and the illegal swearing in of a group that never contested elections as the new executive members, relying on an Abuja High Court judgment,” he said. To this end, the council chairmen resolved that as members of the third tier of government and leaders of their party in the local government areas, they would not accept or condone any illegal executive council to be foisted upon them. They insisted that they took part and led the delegates, who duly voted for and elected the Ake executive council of PDP in the state, and whose election had been validated by a High Court judgment in the state. “Therefore, we shall not support, recognise or do any business with any other state executive council of the PDP except one duly elected by us and the accredited delegates from the various local government areas,” ALGON said. “The unfortunate decision of the Abuja High Court is a bad luck to democracy in Rivers State and in Nigeria.” The chairmen have so far reaffirmed their unflinching support for Governor Amaechi, as leader of the party in the state and the Ake-led executive council. They appealed to their party stalwarts to remain law-abiding, as what they described as the “indefensible judgment” had been appealed at the Court of Appeal.


POLITICS

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

11

Nigeria heading for the cliff, says Afenifere Being text of ‘State of the Nation’ address by the Leader of Afenifere, Chief R.F. Fasoranti (OFR) on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in Lagos. HIS morning, I want to address T you on the Sate of the Nation, but before then, let me start with the happy development in Afenifere household where the Almighty God, in His own time, has brought cohesion, as cracks in our walls have been largely cemented, given what you can see around me. While appreciating these vibrant gentlemen for returning home to their kit and kin, I cannot but salute those who stayed with me steadfast through thick and thin, through stormy weathers and rough seas. It is my fervent prayer, too, that the few members of the family, who are still outside the fold, will return as we strive to bring all to the table of brotherhood and rebuild our solidarity. But I cannot say the same happy development about the state of our country, which, about 53 years ago on independence, held hopes for the black race but which today has become almost a joke and a concern for humanity. Hence, this addresses to see what we can still do to arrest its downward and precarious drift to disintegration. And I want to start with the unprecedented insecurity of life and property in our land. Insecurity: Never in the history of our country, except the Civil War years, have our people been more insecure than they are today. Hardly is any news segment complete without the word, ‘kill’ in it. Life has become short, nasty and brutish like in the Hobbesian state of nature. There is little or no value again for human life in our country, as casualty figures would have to be in scores for any tragedy to make front headlines in our bulletins. It is such high rate of killings that warrants presidential promise of “we shall find the perpetrators” that we hear. Referring to the incident in Anambra recently, one of the leaders of our National Assembly remarked that there was nothing we could do on scores of dead bodies flowing on water “since nobody reported their relations are missing.” The regular killings of defenceless and innocent citizens by bloodthirsty Boko Haram terrorists have been unfortunately complemented by the nefarious activities of kidnappers, assassins, armed robbers and other petty criminals who, seeing themselves as deprived and abandoned, are always poised to take a pound of flesh. Sadly, there have not been any concrete, serious and effective efforts to nip these crises in the bud and assure our people that they can sleep with their two eyes closed. It became so bad that some people, with weird sense of joke in the midst of these tragedies, came up with the formula for crossing the road in Nigeria: “check left and right that a kidnapper’s car is not approaching; look up that a plane is not dropping from the sky; and look carefully at the culvert that a bomb is not planted near it.” Unfortunately, in the last three years, we have devoted a substantial proportion of our national budget to security — with all the money — without being able to buy safety. For instance, we agree that granting amnesty in the Niger Delta Region per se is in order. But we find it hard to defend the monumental abuse going on, especially among the elite managers of the scheme and are disturbed as to whether the scheme will bring a lasting peace given episodic restlessness still being demonstrated. Yet, we have created a set of emer-

Fasoranti gency billionaires from amnesty while the conditions in the creeks remain virtually what they were. It is with this at the back of our mind that we have been so sceptical over the so-called amnesty for Boko Haram, which is a much more dangerous group than the Niger Delta insurgents, who were known and demands were clear. Gentlemen, it would be a tragedy if we embark on another moneysharing spree in the name of “amnesty” with the blood that has been shed. Granting amnesty to dare-devil, blood-thirsty insurgents, whose identities and grievances are yet to be properly ascertained, is preposterous, offensive to common sense and retrogressive in its entire ramifications. Our stand is that any decision on Boko Haram should be holistic. We should not just be talking of the insurgents but also their victims and the causes of this menace with a view to ensure it doesn’t happen again and again. Crippling corruption: There have been worrying signals of late that corruption may have become the Fifth Estate in Nigeria, given the way it is being promoted almost like a directive objective of state policy. It is not only that state officials are corrupt, but corruption has become official. In years past, people talked of corruption in millions of Naira; today, they refer to it in billions and trillions with reckless impunity. We saw how a pension thief, who confessed to stealing N32b, was recently given a slap on the wrist N750,000 fine in a country where a thief, who stole N5,000 worth of vegetable in Abeokuta, was given three years imprisonment. Another “Oga on top” in pension scam thereafter got a perpetual injunction against investigation, arrest or prosecution. Our elected and appointed officials continue to live large on unearned income in the midst of mass misery of our people. The anti-graft war in the country has been put on comatose, confirming the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi of blessed memory’s

prediction seven years ago that a day was coming that when EFCC officials knock at financial criminal doors, such people open the door and say, “Sit down. What can we offer you — soft drinks or alcohol?” Nothing riles more than the recent state pardon granted to former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was convicted of corruption and still a wanted man for financial crimes in the United Kingdom. While we recognise that our constitution provides for prerogative of mercy, it is our position that such has not been exercised judiciously and for public good in the present instance. And it has bombed our sense of value, sound judgement and wise discretion in conduct of public affairs. Is it any wonder that a robbery suspect on media parade by the police, asked for the moral standing of our society to deal with petty criminals, “when everybody, including politicians, are busy stealing. We are all robbers.” What an ironic message from a thief! Another immoral pardon granted alongside that of Alamieyeseigha was that of Major Bello Magaji, who was booted out of the army for sexually abusing young male children of fellow soldiers in the barracks. He appealed the decision up to the Supreme Court, which unanimously upheld the army authorities’ decision. But such a man has now been reintegrated into the society. The question that must be answered is: what values does this country hold dear? Threat of another fuel subsidy removal? The recent statement by the President in Lagos, which was later denied by presidency officials, of an impending total removal of fuel subsidy, is quite disturbing to us in Afenifere, as the government has yet to convince the public what constitutes fuel subsidy; thus, giving credence to the opinion that what the government calls subsidy is the cost of corruption in the mismanagement of the economy.

This line of thought is further reinforced that in spite of the facts that came out during public inquiry by the House of Representatives that close to N3trn was stolen in the name of subsidy when we appropriated only N245b for same, not one official of government resigned over the scam and the so-called trials of subsidy thieves have been fitful, inconclusive and comical. The government has also failed to explain to the country why having functional refineries has become a rocket science for the seventh largest producer of crude in the world; whereas Niger Republic that found oil three years ago, has built a refinery and now exporting to some parts of Nigeria. Given the opaque conduct of government on the management of the oil sector, the failure to show tangible proofs of deliveries on SURE-P (Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme) promised as palliatives to the shocks of the last price increase, the worsening poverty (70 per cent), which has made it impossible for our people to absorb further attacks on their living standards; we advise the government to shelve the idea of further increase in the price of petroleum products, as it may lead to social upheavals, which we can ill-afford given the many tensions across the country at the moment. We advise government to ensure transparent management of the oil sector by implementing key recommendations of the House and Ribadu committees.’ The two reports contain sufficient panacea to the crisis in the sector. High unemployment rate: A major fall-out of the mismanagement of the economy and wanton corruption is the denial of opportunities for enterprise to flourish and stunting of economic activities. This has led to a situation where an estimated 60 million youths are unemployed in our country. This is quite frightening, as we have built a large factory for all sorts of negative activities such as robbery, kidnapping and even terrorism. Many victims of violent crimes, who are lucky to survive, have described their assailants as mostly young and educated. This was the message President Clinton was getting across to us when he said that any country that does not give hope to its young people cannot but have some of the challenges we are going through. The time has come for government at all levels to critically examine ways of generating gainful employments for our young people as against youth abuse presently going on with all kinds of joke schemes paying ridiculous starvation wages to even university graduates. A major key to driving the economy in the direction of creating job opportunities is fixing the power sector. A stable power supply will create a revolution in the industrial sector and a flourish of the informal sector that will take millions of youths off the streets. The fact is that with a large army of unemployed, we now sit on a keg of gunpowder that can explode anytime. Centenary celebrations: Ordinarily, nothing is particularly wrong or awry in setting aside a day in the year in human existence for a modest celebration. But when such remembrance is held with pomp and pageantry, out of decorum as if all is well, and marked out of step and tune with prevailing circumstances, then, indeed, something is wrong with the psyche of celebrants. Today, as mentioned, our country lies almost prostrate with palsied unemployment problems of graduates and able-bodied youth, debilitating insecurity of life and property, rife and festering corruption

in our body polity, wanton killings and assassinations, indiscriminate bombings, senseless kidnappings for existence, discordant drums of impending religious wars, et cetera, et cetera. We ask: do we have to celebrate our failures or reflect on them? Then, think of it, too: the said Amalgamation we are planning to celebrate is riddled with controversies. It was enacted by the fiat of a colonial bureaucrat without any consultation with the people. How can we honestly celebrate the arbitrary and ill-considered creation of a country plagued by growing insecurity, injustice, corruption and worsening poverty? Perhaps, we can only thank God for surviving, so far. That is why if we must celebrate, it has to be done with deep empathy for the downhearted and extreme caution with the hope of salvaging an already prostrate situation. We are opposed to any elaborate and costly celebration, which, at the end of the day, will only foul the air and throw up more corrupt and fraudulent individuals. Such will further embitter and infuriate, in particular, our endangered species— the unemployed, frustrated youth, and in general, all rightthinking Nigerians. We, therefore, suggest a celebration based on sober reflections of our lives, using such an occasion to ruminate on where we have missed our ways and proffer solutions. Tension ahead of 2015: We are also worried that a large section of our political class pretends not to understand the signs of the time and what needs to be done. We have in our hands a country that appears to be preparing for a war but almost all are pretending that it is all build-up to the next elections. The saber-rattling going on among some major party and political actors is not healthy for the democratic project, as most of the noise going on is not even about solving any of the major challenges confronting the country but power mongering. Rather than creating an enabling environment for rational discourse and contestation of ideas for the electorate to be able to make informed choices, many of the political actors are making inflammatory remarks to inflame passion and deepen the divisions within our country to make political gains. Afenifere warns these actors to desist from over-heating the polity, as no one can predict the outcome of the drive to the cliff that they are propelling the country toward. What the country needs at the moment are statesmen-politicians, whose preoccupation should be next generation and the survival of the polity, not just only the next elections. Let it be known that we in Afenifere are committed to bringing about moderation to bear in the midst of the chaos we are in, work with like minds across the zones who are committed to the wellbeing of Nigeria and its people in the project of restoring order, progress and development to our country. We shall intensify building consensus for a national dialogue that will see Nigeria return to a proper federation that would keep all the federating units busy, rebuilding from the ruins of years of militarism and unitarism as against the present rat-race to capture the centre and use its concentrated powers to the exclusion of others. We remain firmly committed to fairness, justice, equity and fair play. These are what define us as Afenifere in that the good we seek for ourselves we seek for our neighbours. That is the imperishable heritage from our immortal Leader, Obafemi Awolowo.


12

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TheMetroSection ‘I lost everything that I laboured for’ • Victims of Ibadan inferno count their losses

Briefs Fela’s trumpeter, Okemezie, dies at 82 HE death has occurred of T Stephen Ukem Okemezie (Fela’s trumpeter) and Okems

From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan

Innocent Okemezie’s brother, at the age of 82. Funeral Mass holds on Friday, May 10, 2013, at Blessed Sacrament, 15, Vaness Place, Newark, NJ 07108 at 7.00p.m. Reception follows after the mass at Sacred Heart Church, at 537 Grove Street, Irvington, NJ 07111, from 8.00p.m.2.00a.m. He is survived by his wife, Victoria, children and a grandchild.

What came to my mind was how to survive with those very vulnerable ones under me, including my child ...And we all survived, by the grace of God, but I lost everything that I laboured for over the years. I join my people to appeal to the government not to abandon us in this terrible moment OLLOWING the late Monday evening FIbadan, inferno at Omitowoju area of residents and sympathizers yesterday trooped out to take stock of the loses incurred in the unfortunate incident as victims recounted their ordeals and counted their losses. The inferno occurred when a fully loaded petrol tanker lost control at Omitowoju-Inalende end of the densely populated area, spilling its contents, which instantly exploded and caught fire. One of the victims, Aminat Oyawale who sells provisions and household items in wholesale said goods worth about N.6 million was lost in the inferno as her shop was completely razed. She was, however, grateful to God for sparing her life and that of her baby who is less than a year old. Oyawale said she was attending to customers when she suddenly saw people running helter-skelter. “At first, I thought they were pursuing someone but I suddenly heard a loud bang followed by a thick smoke and my instinct told me to run. Apart from my baby, I had two teenage children in my care and I was worried on how to escape with all of them, but I thank God that somehow, we managed to escape though the shop was completed razed.” She recalled: “I was attending to customers late in the evening when I saw people running, as I was about to ask them what the problem was, I suddenly heard a loud bang followed by a thick smoke, I dropped what I was holding, grabbed my baby and the two teenage children in my care and we ran for our dear lives. . “What came to my mind was how to survive with those very vulnerable ones under me, including my child

Okemezie

Foundation holds lecture AYFORD Alile Foundation H (THAF) will today hold a public lecture at the Nigerian

Sympathisers at the scene of the fire...on Monday Reacting to the incident, the Chairand we all survived by the grace of God, but I lost everything that I man of Ibadan North-West Local Govhave laboured for over the years. I ernment area, Wasiu Olatunbosun, join my people to appeal to the who was sighted among the crowd, government not to abandon us in described the incident as devastating this terrible moment, ” she and disheartening and wondered why such could happen in an inner part of pleaded. Another victim, Austin, who was the metropolis. Olatunbosun, who blamed the incirejoicing with his friends on the purchase of a Toyota Camry just dent on negligence on the part of the about a metre to where the offen- tanker driver, however, expressed sive tanker stumbled, could not gratitude to God that no life was lost believe his eyes when his car went despite the magnitude of the situaup in flames as the tanker ex- tion. To mitigate the losses suffered by the ploded. One of the landlords in the area, people, he disclosed that he had sumYunusa Amuda, was in his room moned the meeting of all the Mogajis resting when the fire started and to give the local government the list of by the time his tenants and sym- what they think should be done, pathisers realised that he was in- which he said he had received. On the part of the council and as a side and made efforts to rescue him, he had sustained serious in- pro-active measure to prevent the afjuries although he managed to es- fected residents from drinking polluted water as a result of the fuel cape death by whiskers. It was discovered that the fire spillage, he said an order had been that trailed the fuel, which was given for a tanker of drinkable water flowing through the gutter, con- to be stationed in the area for people sumed all the houses and shops at to fetch and use. the setback by the right hand side Meanwhile, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has paid a sympathy visit to the afof the road. fected area where he pledged govern-

ment’s assistance to the victims. The governor, who was also moved by the extent of injury sustained by one of the landlords in the area, Alhaji Yinusa Ajibade, directed the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, to immediately arrange for his treatment at government’s expense. It was a gory sight as the governor took time to inspect, one after the other, the various houses and shops affected by the inferno, most of which were burnt to ashes, before addressing the residents and the victims. While describing the situation as “most unfortunate’’, Governor Ajimobi said he could feel the pains of the victims as he had also experienced a similar incident in 1992 when his newly-built house in Lagos was reduced to rubbles by fire. Governor Ajimobi told those affected that he had asked some officials of government to compile their names and indicate the property lost to the fire, warning them however to be honest in the compilation in order not to jeopardize government’s plans towards them.

Photonews

Marketing Manager, The Lacasera Company Plc., Benson Abraham (left), Marketing Manager, LBTI, Bayo Obarotimi and General Manager, LBTI, Gari Carton at the launch of Lacasera’s new theme campaign in Lagos...

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole (left) and Mrs. Lucy Omagbon (right) during her swearing-in as Chairman, Ovia North East Local Council, at the Government House, Benin City...on Monday

Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos at 10.00 a.m. With the theme: Effective education for National development, the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, NdufeAlike, Ebonyi State, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe , will be the guest speaker.

Church begins convention HE Church of God Mission T Int’l Inc., Ojodu Province, will hold from tomorrow to Sunday hold its provincial convention tagged Unlimited height: Dare to believe. It will feature seminar, musicals, ministrations and lots more. The National Presbyter, Revd Atchor Matthew is the host while the Bishop of Lagos, Rt. Revd S. F. Ugbah will minister.

Jacob Okparanta, 98, for burial Saturday A Jacob Ahamefule AkwukP waegbu Okparanta, who died on January 21, at the age of 98, will be buried on Saturday, April 27, in his compound at Umuezerola Agbala Umuawa Alaocha in Umuahia, Abia State. Before his death, he was a former President, Umuawa Alaocha Town’s meeting, Lagos; secretary, Umuezerola Family Union; and a dedicated member of the Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife, Comfort Ogonnaya Jacob, children and grand children including Jonah Okwudiri Jacob.

Okparanta


THE GUARDIAN, Wenesday, April 24, 2013

METRO 13

Photonews

President/ Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) of Nigeria, Mr. Victor Famuyibo (left) and Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, CIPM, Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, during the press briefing on the Special Human Resource Forum, which will hold tomorrow in Lagos …yesterday

Briefs Lagos waives movement restriction on Saturday for UTME HE Lagos State government T has waived the restriction of pedestrian and vehicular movement on Saturday, April 27, 2013. This is to allow students, invigilators and others participate in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) organized by Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) across the nation that day. The Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, who stated this yesterday, noted that it became imperative to waive the restriction order so as not to jeopardize the future of innocent Lagosians who will write the same examination on the same day. A statement by the Ministry’s spokesman Fola Adeyemi, said the commissioner reiterated that the state monthly sanitation exercise was backed by a law passed by the House of Assembly and, as such, must be respected. Bello urged examination bodies like West African Examinations Council, JAMB and others to respect the state laws and not fix their future examinations on the state sanitation day. He told Lagosians to actively participate in the exercise despite the lifting of the restriction of movement order, by cleaning the drains in their frontages.

Samuel Opiti, 88, for burial Saturday HIEF Samuel Tobi Opiti is C dead. He died on February 11, 2013 at the age of 88 . A Service of Songs holds on Friday, April 26, 2013 at his residence. He will be buried on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at his residence, at Umuaja in Ukwuani Local Council of Delta State. He is survived by wives, children, grand and great-grand children and relatives.

Opiti

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shetima (left) handing over Certificate of Occupancy to Managing Director of Federal Morgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Gimba Ya’u Kumo in Maiduguri, Borno


14 THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TheGuardian 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 Trivialising amnesty HE news that 5,000 repentant criminals in Abia State are seeking ‘amnesty’ (with the monetary grant that comes with it from the Federal Government) is not only absolutely ridiculous, it trivialises such a serious national issue as the Amnesty Programme and compels a total re-appraisal of the said programme already in place or being proposed. Indeed, this demand of the Abia ex-criminals boldly advertises the flaw in the conceptualisation and implementation of the amnesty concept even in respect of the Niger Delta militants, and the proposal of same for the Boko Haram militants. It points out the many abuses that the programme has been subjected to and its limitless capacity for becoming real fuel for crime. Since the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III suggested that amnesty be granted to members of the  Boko Haram sect wrecking havoc in the northern part of the country and threatening to  extend their hold to  the  nation’s business capital of  Lagos,  amnesty has become the new fad in town. Some have even in jest, suggested that persons who have been accused or found guilty of corrupt practices (meaning who have used their official positions to rob their country) should be granted amnesty. Such is the level to which the idea of amnesty has been reduced to a joke. It is no wonder then that kidnappers, armed robbers, political thugs, and criminals of sundry hues who are now supposedly repentant or retired, want to be included in the discourse and possibly the largesse that may fall out from it.  In respect of Abia’s case, two points must be made. First, an amnesty was granted to the Abia youths not by the Federal Government but by the Abia State Government through a proclamation by the governor, Theodore Orji. It is reasonable to assume that this idea may have been borrowed from the Niger Delta experience in either a wholesale or a modified form. Since this is purely a state affair, if the Orji government has in any way failed to meet its terms of agreement with the youths, it stands to reason that the youths should submit their petition to the state assembly. Second, and deriving from the first point, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Uzor Azubuike, with his committee members in tow, were  quite  right to  raise the matter with the governor as “the petition (by the youths) is a fallout of your action when you offered the youths amnesty to make them drop crime”. But they were absolutely wrong to shift the burden of resolution on the government at the centre: unless the Federal Government was carried along in the process. Meanwhile, it must be stated that the management  (some would say mismanagement) of the amnesty scheme in the Niger Delta is distorting the import and understanding of what amnesty is all about in principle and in practice. By simple definition, amnesty is a pardon for offences committed against the state or government. But it is the end of a process of cessation of hostility; dialogue (which the Sultan alluded to when he said “it is only when we dialogue that issues will become clearer”), negotiation and agreement on acceptable terms – including pardon for crimes admitted. The monetary reward component of the Niger Delta amnesty programme has proven to be a grave mistake, at least in the way it has been handled. The instant millionaires or billionaires that the programme has made of principals in militancy and the material comfort it has given to others is the reason every group of criminals springs up only to demand amnesty after committing heinous crimes. It is not wisdom to pay supposedly repentant criminals a monthly allowance many times the national minimum wage and  more than what university graduates earn,  for the mere act of  abandoning  crime. This is in a way glorifying criminality. And this is the reason Abia youths want to take their case to the central government, as explained by Orji that “when they heard that the Federal Government had provided largesse to their colleagues (in crime), they abandoned their camps”. Of course these are some of the consequences a nation reaps when a policy is not sufficiently thought through, and not implemented with the purest motive. The proponents of eventual amnesty for groups that engage in immoral and criminal acts must keep the foregoing in mind so that ‘Amnesty’ does not become Nigeria’s contribution to the world of crime and anarchy.

T

LETTERS

Rid Lagos-Badagry Expressway of refuse IR: I want to use your wideSGuardian ly read newspapers, The to appeal to the Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola, to find a way to bring sanity to the LagosBadagry Expressway before it is too late. This road has been undergoing tremendous expansion of recent from its former narrow way to gigantic 10 lanes with light train railway. When fully completed it will be one of the best roads in Africa, if not in the world. However, what prompted this write-up is the fact that many Nigerians seem not to appreciate the good efforts

by our leaders. Traders litter the roads by throwing refuse indiscriminately, thereby blocking the drainage facilities. If this is not checked, by the time this project is completed and put into use the drainage channels might have been blocked. The newly constructed pedestrian footbridge at Alafia busstop has become a dumping ground for refuse. This carefree attitude is demeaning, especially before foreigners who come from neighbouring countries daily for commercial purposes. Cleanliness should be a culture to be imbibed by our children start-

ing from schools. The monthly environmental sanitation exercise throughout the country is inadequate to instil the spirit of environmental awareness in Nigerians. There is the need to look for alternative option. We should realise that every infrastructure government puts in place is for public comfort and should be properly taken care of and not vandalised. There is no good in doing that. Therefore, something urgent needs to be done to sanitize Lagos-Badagry Expressway before it is too late. • Sunday Yovo, Lagos.

Why students fail English and Mathematics Teachers appear to be the IR: The West African ments of our examination S(WAEC) Examination Council bodies that the problem is major problem. Since most is a body formed out traceable to schools, peer students learn the culture of of the concern for education in Africa. Available statistics shows that the percentage of student non-performance is usually more than 75 per cent of the total candidates each year. English and Mathematics are mandatory subjects that all students must pass for the validation of their senior candidate exams. Passing all subjects without Maths and English renders the examination void, as many courses in higher institutions require more than a pass in both Maths and English. It appears from the com-

groups, parents and recently the Internet and the intensely popular e-mails, Facebook, and other social networks. Many schools pay lip service to studies. Apart from badly arranged time tables and tutors with only paper qualifications, the co-curricular activities arranged to promote the subject is hardly given prominence. Furthermore, deliberate efforts are not made to discourage pidgin English and other bad languages. Many schools have nothing to assist the students in the practical application of English.

reading or self-study, every good teacher must appreciate the need to reform his or her methods for motivating students. Peer groups and the society generally also contribute to students’ failure in exams. Students engage in all sorts of life style, simply because of pleasure while forgetting to read extensively. They are urged to put more effort in their studies in other to get good grade and also get the required materials, which will guide them in their exams. • Queen Nathan, Taraba State University.          


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

15

Business IndustryWatch P40

Energy P47

Manufacturers seek review of fiscal policy

Uncertainty trails govt’s proposed N8.1 trillion refinery project

MTN seals N470b loan syndication from 24 banks By Adeyemi Adepetun HE investments profile of T Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, swelled by $3 billion (N470 billion) following a loan syndication agreement between MTN Nigeria and 24 commercial and investments banks. The loan is comprised of

Zenith Bank led local support with N55 billion $1.8 billion in additional facilities and $1.2 billion in restructuring and rollover of existing facilities. Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, yesterday, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Brett

Goshen said that loan the would help the telecommunications firm to expand its network infrastructure, coverage and be able to deliver best of services. The signing of the loan deal signposts another strategic

collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local and international financial institutions, aimed at deepening telecommunications services in Nigeria. The MTN CEO said it would deploy the proceeds to vari-

Group Managing Director. GTBank, Segun Agbaje (left); Chief Financial Officer. MTN Nigeria, Andrew Bing; Executive Director Corporate Banking UBA plc, Emeke Iweriebor; Chairman, MTN Nigeria. Pascal Dozie; and Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Brett Goschen at the Singing of N470 million Syndicated Medium term facilities by MTN Nigeria and consortium of Banks in Lagos PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Nigeria ranked high in entrepreneurial challenges in Sub-Sahara Africa By Roseline Okere new survey by a South African-based Omidyar Network Africa in partnership with Monitor Group, ranked Nigeria high as most difficult business environment in SubSaharan Africa. The report, which was presented to entrepreneurs, investors and government officials in Lagos yesterday, listed inadequate electricity supply, access to finance and infrastructural deficiency as some of the challenges militating against entrepreneurs in the country. The survey, which was carried out in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa, showed that Nigerian banks demand higher collateral from investors than every other country in the Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, which was presented by the Managing Director of Omidyar Network, South Africa, Malik Fal, disclosed that 58 per cent of respon-

A

dents believe that the physical infrastructure available in the country does not provide sufficient support for new and growing firms, the most negative result amongst benchmarked countries. It noted that inconsistent electricity supply across the country has resulted in backup generators forming a key part of any business’s assets, albeit at a significant additional operating expenses. “In fact, only 12 per cent of respondents believe that new and growing firms can afford the costs of using the physical infrastructure available in the country. These findings highlight the impact of Nigeria’s well-documented infrastructural challenges on new business owners”, it added. In the survey, challenges related to accessing finance drew mixed perception from both the demand and supply sides. The report stated that while many Afro-entrepreneurs bemoans a limited supply of capital, financiers point out

that many projects are not fundable. “Seventy-one per cent of respondents believe that there is an insufficient supply of equity capital to start new firms. While the majority of Afro-entrepreneurs in five of the six countries indicate that they know of organisations and programmes that can direct them to sources of capital, they cite the cost of funding as a primary reason they are reluctant to access, or even explore, different avenues of funding. 70 per cent of the respondents believe that the cost of debt capital hinders company formation and growth. “The cost of capital charged by banks and investors is often so high that it impedes the entrepreneur’s profitability. In the same cases, banks require 150 per cent of the borrowed amount in collateral, thereby automatically disqualifying many from funding eligibility.” The report noted that Afroentrepreneurs express that

bank lending policies favour more well-established firms compared to new companies given their limited or nonexistence historical financial and bank records. It stated: “Nigeria respondents cited access to finance as a key challenge for starting and growing small businesses. In particular, the requirements for obtaining capital are prohibitive. Nigeria marginally lags its Sub-Saharan African countries peers with regard to financing, while the gap to global peers is more pronounced in-depth interview participants indicated that collateral of up to 120 per cent is often required for debt financing. As a result, 67 per cent of respondent believe that bank-lending policies for newer companies are more challenging than for wellestablished firms. There is also a perceived shortage of equity capital with only 15 per cent of respondents believing there is a sufficient supply of equity capital for starting new firms”.

ous network expansion initiatives across the country. But industry observers believed that the move was informed by the need for telecommunications operators in the country to brace up for possible new competition in the industry, especially with the commencement of mobile number portability scheme. Goshen recalled that MTN has built up a track record of successful partnerships; including a $395 million arrangement in 2003 outside of South Africa, stressing that the deal won Project Finance magazine’s African Telecoms deal. Similarly, the MTN boss said in 2007, the telecommunications firm partnered with various local and international institutions to raise $2 billion to fund its expansion operations. In 2010, MTN Nigeria partnered with 15 local financial institutions and two international lenders to raise another $2 billion. It was described as the largest corporate financing deal in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa”, he added. The essence of these deals, according to Goshen was to enable MTN make the necessary capital investments to expand the network infrastructure and meet the growing demands of its customer base. The local facilitating banks includes, GTBank; Zenith Bank; Access Bank; UBA; Diamond Bank; Ecobank; First Bank Plc; FCMB; Diamond Bank; Union Bank; Stanbic IBTC Bank; Citibank; Keystone Bank; Mainstreet Bank; FSDH and Standard Chartered. The International banks include three from China (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; China Development Bank and China Construction Bank); two from South Africa (Rand

Merchant Bank and Export Development Bank). The deal also saw the inclusion of KFW-IPEX Bank of Germany and Canada and NedBank Limited. Further investigations into the local financing revealed that Zenith Bank Plc led by N55 billion; GTBank provided N40 billion; First Bank N40 billion; Access Bank N35 billion and Fidelity Bank gave N26 billion. Giving more insight into the deal, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Bing said the total debt profile is $3.3 billion, adding that the funding will be used for general purposes and capital expenditure on network expansion. Bing, who said the funding is insecure because the lenders have strong confidence in MTN, stressed that the repayment period is between five to seven years. According to him, the International Banks would provide about $900 million in all, while N329 billion will come from the local partners. The MTN Nigeria CEO noted that mobile penetration is still relatively low, but that there is sound economic growth; lower cost of ownership for consumers and the insatiable growing demand for data services. “The restructured and additional facilities will enable us to continue with the aggressive investment in our network…over $1.5 billion in 2013 alone, to take advantage of the demands of our customers and the growth opportunity. Speaking on the deal, the Deputy Managing Director of FCMB, Segun Odusanya said the financing would see that the telecommunications sector witnessed another round of development, stressing that FCMB was happy of being part of the deal.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

16 BUSINESS

Aviat Networks earns $500 million in backhaul services in Nigeria By Adeyemi Adepetun ITHIN the last 15 years, Aviat Networks has earned in revenue about $500 million from the usage of its products and services in Nigeria. Aviat Networks, the United States of America based firm, which specializes in backhaul infrastructure services, said Nigeria is its biggest market in Africa and second globally after the USA. Speaking to The Guardian in Lagos, Aviat Networks Director of Marketing, Gary Croke said two regions remains very critical to its global strategy, which are North America and Africa, with Nigeria playing a significant role. Croke, who said the compa-

W

ny has been in Nigeria since 1998, said Aviat Networks can boast of about 50 customers in the country and has installed over 56,000 radios in the country. “Aviat has been doing business in Nigeria since 1998. We have had over $500 million in revenue, with about 50 customers. We have installed about 56,000 radios in the country since we start doing business here. “We have over 100 employees in Africa, seven offices and approximately 50 per cent of the workforces are in Nigeria. This country is our largest market in Africa and second largest country by business volume in the world, after the USA. It is very strategic to us. We sell majority of our radio

products here. We also have deployment of our full speed engineering services in field support”, he stated. According to him, the company does most of its business in mobile, with many large mobile firms in Nigeria being their customers, saying about 30 per cent of their businesses are done in private market in Nigeria including defense, oil and gas among others. He said the company’s strategy is focused on help customers to lower cost, while not compromising standards. “We see the biggest contributor to total cost of ownership being operational expenses, which gulps between 50 to 80 per cent. This includes tower expenses,

leasing, loading, and maintenance. This also includes shelter cost. The cost of spectrum maintenance is also included.” According to him, Aviat’s solution revolves around three things; products advantages, especially trunking solutions; radio frequency performance and services support for clients. Talking about the Microwave backhaul services market in Nigeria, the Aviat

Network Director said the market is extremely strong, with huge opportunities in Nigeria. “When I landed in Abuja on my arrival, my neck is strained when I had to look side by side from what I was looking. Also when I got to my hotel room, from my view I counted about 29 microwave towers, most of them fully loaded with microwave backhaul. So I see that there is huge opportuni-

ty here for the market. Mobile operators really depend on microwave backhaul. Even when I got to Lagos, I saw more of those towers”, he stated. According to him Aviat’s has about eight per cent share of the microwave market globally, which makes us the largest independent supplier across the globe, but in Africa and North America, where we have huge strength, the market share is above 20 per cent.

Aganga tasks industries, investors on cluster system By Femi Adekoya O address infrastructural challenges encountered by many industries, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has tasked industries and private investors to look into developing industrial clusters that would aid industrial growth. According to the Minister, developing industrial clusters would aid the realization of the objective of the nation’s industrial plan as well as value addition processes to raw materials in the country. Clusters are concentration of industries in a particular location or dispersed locations, but joined by a network and carrying out similar operational activities. They face common opportunities and challenges, such as using the same or similar raw materials, technologies, expertise and markets. Aganga who disclosed this during the WEMPCO Steel Mill Company Limited’s 5-stand Tandem Cold Rolled Steel Plant at the company’s plant in Magboro, Ogun State,

T

recently, explained that the concept of industrial cluster needs to be embraced by industries and investors in order to drive the growth of their businesses in the country. The minister, who said that the cluster development would be developed based on the areas where the country had comparative and competitive advantage, stressed that the initiative would boost economic development through job creation and wealth generation. He said: “Industries are key to driving economic development. Importation of raw materials will not make us a rich nation but this can be achieved by adding value to the raw materials. Now we have an industrial revolution plan which places emphasis on areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage. “Today, the bulk of Ogun State’s internally generated revenue comes from industries within the state. The state hitherto used to be the 23rd in terms of revenue generation

but they now the second position after Lagos Statea. Many industries are moving to where they have access to adequate infrastructure. For instance, the WEMPCO group attributed the success of its power supply to unhindered power supply from the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC). They now generate at least 33MW of power. “What we are promoting here is the concept of industrial clusters where many industries are concentrated for production. Private sectors should look into cluster formations and see which one suits their industry and government on its part would try to provide the enabling environment for investments to thrive. When industrial clusters are promoted, production of various goods would be fostered, especially in the carious states and cities. For instance, the presence of the iron and steel industry in Ogun state has seen the emergence of other industries in the value chain sector of the iron and steel sector. This can be replicated in other areas.”

CBN seeks foreign investments in skills, infrastructure By Chijioke Nelson HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed the need for foreign investments in the areas of skills and infrastructure development to create a meaningful impact on

T

the economy. The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, made the appeal yesterday, when he hosted a team of foreign investors and their Nigerian technical part-

ners at the bank’s headquarters. Moghalu told the delegation that the apex bank had undertaken far reaching reforms in the banking sector to make it strong, resilient and able to serve the needs of the real economy, which was a total departure from the past where some individuals enriched themselves to the detriment of the economy. It noted that development in the two areas would help in driving the economy, sustain the gains of the current banking sector reform and boost real sector activities. The ten-man delegation led by Chief Tony Osagie Hicks of Anita Energy Limited, said that the purpose of the team’s visit was to bring massive investment of about $100 billion to the country. “This is expected to add value to the transformation agenda of the oil and gas infrastructure, power generation, fast speed train, telecommunications and the establishment of a Merchant Bank,” he said. He added that this would be done in partnership with APEC Logic Investment Limited, an Australian funding investment partner and SINOPEC, one of the largest oil and gas corporations in China.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

17


18

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ForexWatch FXTM FINANCIAL WEEKLY DIGEST 15th April - 21st April, 2013

19

in association with


20

Insurance&You

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013 Published in association with


BUSINESS 21

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Govt earmarks N450 billion for small scale farmers From Nkechi Onyedika (Birnin Kebbi) HE Federal Government T through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set aside about N450billion to support small scale farmers across the country who want to go into agriculture. Besides, efforts are being made increase the capacity of the Bank of Agriculture to enable it meet the needs of framers in the country. Meanwhile, the federal government is to complete the construction of the N4.1billion Strategic Grains Reserve in Bulasa, Kebbi state by June

this year. The Silos which has attained 95 percent completion, has the capacity to store 100,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains. The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who disclosed this when he led the National Good Governance Team on an inspection of Labana Rice Processing Mill being executed under Public Private Partnership, observed that the present administration is looking into the agricultural chain of cropping, storage, processing and marketing, adding that the nation’s agricultural policy has been redesigned under the present

agricultural transformation programme of the Federal Government. He said, “Before now, agriculture was segregated, there was no provisions for processing and marketing of agricul-

tural produce. The abolition of the marketing board was the most disastrous policy Nigerian government has ever taken, as it completely cut off farmers from commercial traders and that affected

Unless we begin to process rice in a modern way, Nigerians will still prefer imported rice. We are bridging that gap by supporting rice processors to establish modern plants across the country. We don’t want government rice mills because it will never work, if government establishes rice mills, it will appoint bureaucrats or politicians and they will run it down

the process of purchase and processing. Bank of Industry is giving support to commercial agricultural entrepreneurs at a rate that is cheaper”. Maku who decried the billions of Naira being spent annually on rice importation noted that Nigerian farmers have the capacity to produce enough rice for local consumption, adding that the target of the federal government is to ban rice importation by 2015. He said, “ Unless we begin to process rice in a modern way, Nigerians will still prefer imported rice. We are bridging that gap by supporting rice processors to establish mod-

ern plants across the country. We don’t want government rice mills because it will never work, if government establishes rice mills, it will appoint bureaucrats or politicians and they will run it down”. Also speaking, Kebbi state governor, Alhaji Sa’idu Dakingari, said that his administration has spent about N4billion on rice farming between 2010 to date. Dakingari said his government intends to establish five new rice processing plans in addition to two established by the former governor of the state and three being established by the Federal Government.

BPP saves N420 billion from contract vetting HE Bureau of Public that there was transparency ing. They have to do their T Procurement (BPP) has in the bidding process for analyses in conformity with saved N420 billion for the contracts in the country. the needs of the new informaFederal Government in the last 15 months through the vetting of contracts of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Director-General of the BPP, Emeka Ezeh, said at the closing ceremony of a three-day retreat for chief executive officers of Federal Governmentowned departments and agencies. The retreat, held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry, Lagos had the managing directors and chief executive officers of the MDAs in attendance. . Ezeh said the vetting of various contract sums by the BPP had further emphasised the core value of the bureau, was to ensure prudence in public expenditure. He said that the bureau would continue to ensure

“The BPP will continue to work hard to ensured that the cost of doing business in Nigeria is reduced through the elimination of multiple registration of contractors, pre-qualification and tendering process, to give chance for competence and capabilities. “All competent contractors will be given a level playing field to demonstrate their capacity to deliver,’’ he said. Ezeh explained that the bureau had gone far in the registration, classification and categorisation of contractors and consultants working or intending to work on Federal Government projects. “This is covered in the Public Procurement Act, 2007 which expects the bureau to maintain a national data base of the particulars of federal contractors and service providers for ease of information sourc-

tion age,’’ he said. The BPP boss added that “public officials are now beginning to see public funds as monies to be spent with care, and with a high sense of responsibility. Added to these gains, he said, are a resultant improved budget implementation and performance in terms of project delivery. “It is our hope that as the programme develops, the cost of doing business in Nigeria will be reduced through the elimination of duplication of awarded contracts,’’ he said. Ezeh also said that there were plans to consolidate ongoing collaboration with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Washington-based International Law Institute(ILI).

Chairman, Seven Energy International, Phillip Ihenacho (left); Executive Director, Corporate Banking, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA); Ifeatu Onejeme and;  Managing Director, Accugas, Stephen Tierney, during the signing ceremony of Accugas $225 million re-financing and e-Expansion facility, arranged by UBA and four other Banks in Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

22

MoneyWatch Managing transactions cost: New banking strategy for patronage With the enthronement of free Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions, there seem to be more “attractions” in the offing for bank customers, just as Commission on Turnover (COT) is set to follow. CHIJIOKE NELSON writes. HE principle of “small profit, T quick turnover” may be setting the stage in Nigeria’s banking operations, as cost reduction strategies are being employed in various activities of the financial institutions. But now, banks are forgoing some revenue avenues and/or reducing charges to attract more patronage. After the financial crisis, the strategies started with the pruning down of banks’ workforce and reduction in emoluments, although it was considered a pathway of economic retrogression. There was also an observation of reduction in the cost of operations in areas that involve paper work, like deposit slip and withdrawal slip. For example, some banks were and are still using a single paper as deposit and withdrawal slip and some do photocopies, against the usual three-paper deposit and withdrawal slips before the crisis. A former bank executive who pleaded anonymity said that banks’ cost of operations is still borne by customers, adding that there was sense in cutting down anything that can increase cost. Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a guide to charges for banks and discount houses, which was aimed at regulating costs to bank customers and reducing frequent bickering and argument over assessed numerous charges being levied on banking transactions. But of note too was the timeline being given to end charges on current account withdrawal, popularly known as COT. Specifically, in the guideline, COT, which applies to customer-induced debit transactions on current accounts, would now attract N3 for every N1,000 in 2013, against N5 that was charged before now. The timeline for the end of the charge, according to the guideline, would also reduce further the charge to N2 for every N1,000 in 2014; N1 for every N1,000 in 2015 and in 2016, it becomes zero COT. The cost of COT might be insignificant to many, especially as many are associated with current account transactions, but a critical analysis of the bulk of thousands withdrawn on daily basis from one bank to the other and the cumulative value of these charges, run into millions. Perhaps, in a year, this would be recording billions of Naira. This indeed, is a great marketing advantage for the deposit money banks. Yet, the question is, could banks key into the opportunity for expanded deposit base through free COT ahead of the deadline in 2016? That may be part of corporate social responsibility and business development strategy as well. Unlike that of the cash-less initiative, which opened up window for

Sanusi more revenues, this one is giving back to the society and bearing cost to attract more business. So, which bank is ready to go into it? Last week, Heritage Bank, started zero COT services to its customers, with a pledge that “there shall be no hidden charges.”  According to a statement from the bank, it said that its legacy is to remain at the forefront of events, noting that it did it first with the pioneering of the ATM in the country under the Societe General Bank of Nigeria. “Effective from Monday, April 15, 2013, Heritage Banking Company offers zero COT services. This huge selling point will boost our deposit base and we must all be ready to serve customers as they come in their numbers. There is more for customers, as they can also enjoy interest on their accounts within certain maintained balances.” The Guardian’s investigation on the general acceptability of banking with free COT being operational, showed a positive response, as respondents indicated readiness to switch over to the bank. They noted that it is a huge sacrifice on the part of the bank and a sign of corporate Nigeria, whose interest is not solely for profit, even though in profitmaking business. A respondent, Ugochukwu Nwosuagwu, a business man in Festac Area of Lagos, queried: “Is it possible for any bank to do something like this, considering the huge revenue it will lose and the fact that the deadline for the commencement of the free COT is still far? That could be a generous proposition if they could implement it as promised and Nigerians would make such bank their toast. But speaking on the sustainability of the strategy and the motivating factor, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, said: “I don’t want to tie myself as a niche banker. I want to take people from ordinary banking

to real banking. If I can achieve that in five years, it is okay. There are lots of value and opportunities in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). Most banks don’t have the skill to mentor this scale of businesses. Money is not the first thing to get business right. There are things that must be put in place first before money. So, we intend to work with the SMEs and nurture them so that as they grow, we also grow with them. We would like to see the SMEs grow and become household name like the Dangote, Femi Otedola, among others. When we created International Energy Insurance (IEI), there was no known energy insurance company in this country. People thought it won’t be possible. We took engineers who are petroleum engineers and taught them insurance and grew that market size. It looked impossible, but it worked out. There are ordinary people like us, who can strive to be better off tomorrow and that is one niche. We might be small today, but if we have 20 people like us growing gradually, then tomorrow, we will grow to become big companies and that is what we are saying. We are ready to work with enterprises that are ready to grow with us. “Heritage Bank is expected to grow by 13 more branches by June this year, from three branches it started with. We are targeting to have 16 branches by June and from there, we will grow further. Although, having many branches is not the ultimate because we are going to use technology to drive our business. There is mobile money, ATM and online banking transactions, all driven by technology. We will deploy adequate technology as point of presence matters a lot. “We would show point of presence rather than building many branches. If you can transact your business seamlessly without difficulty, it is better. You can get a loan from the comfort of your home by asking for

Sekibo it. If I want N10 loan as a small business to start a trade of pure water, should I go and do documentation for trading and go and bring my grandfather’s land because I want to take small loan? No, there are other alternate channels of delivery. “The SME is a sector we believe can grow this economy and it has been a philosophy that we believe inphilosophy of possibility, tenacity, hardworking and so on. For instance, as a journalist, if you need a recorder to do your work efficiently and you come to us to assist you, we should be able to help you get it. We would start by asking you why you need it and how you intend to use it do your job. “So, you get value for using tape recorder. Our job is to help people actualise their dream in life by supporting them not only financially, but in other ways. Though it could take you five, 10 years to get exactly where you want to be, but you have to start somewhere. So, our job is to assist entrepreneurs to grow and by so doing, the entrepreneur will trust us as a partner. If we are able to do this, then we would have done our job as a bank”. 

Also speaking, the Chairman of the bank, Akinsola Akinfemiwa, said: “We are going to be focusing majorly on small and medium businesses to ensure that we boost their operations. We are not here to compete with the so-called big banks. Our services are going to be quite different from what other banks do. We will work closely with the small and medium businesses to nurture them to greater height. “We will be enlightening them on how to keep proper books of accounting, how to manage their businesses and make them grow. Our services are going to be technology driven. We may not have many branches, but we are going to deploy technology to reach our customers. It should be noted that Societe General Bank pioneered ATM in the country, which many thought will never work. But today it is working and making withdrawal easier for people. We are going to do same as we have resumed operation. Our employees have been trained and we attach importance to technology, excellence, professionalism, innovation, dynamism, tenacity and solutions.”

NUGGETS:Debt/Equity Ratio HIS is a measure of a company’s debt/equity ratio would be 3,000 T financial leverage. Debt/equity divided by 12000 = 0.25. It is imporratio is equal to long-term debt (loans, tant to realize that if the ratio is leases, bonds, debentures) divided by common shareholders’ equity (net worth). Typically, the data from the prior fiscal year is used in the calculation. Investing in a company with a higher debt/equity ratio may be riskier, especially in times of rising interest rates, due to the additional interest that has to be paid out for the debt. For example, if a company has longterm debt of $3,000 and shareholder’s equity of $12,000, then the

greater than one, the majority of assets are financed through debt. If it is smaller than one, assets are primarily financed through equity. Financial leverage is the degree to which an investor or business is utilising borrowed money. Financial leverage is not always bad, because it can increase the shareholders’ returns on investment and often, there are tax advantages associated with borrowing.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

23 In partnership with

Shipping UPDATE

INTERACTIVE

COMMUNIQUE

EVENTS

‘Sourcing Reliable Tanker A PAPER PRESENTED AT A SEMINAR ON 27TH MARCH 2013 BY CAPT. DO LABINJO (THE GENERAL SECRETARY) OF INDIGENOUS SHIPOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (ISAN) INTRODUCTION Maritime transportation has always been the dominant support of global trade. By 1200 BC, Egyptian ships were quoted to have travelled as far as Sumatra, representing one of the longest maritime routes of that time. However, European colonial powers mainly Spain, Portugal, England, the Netherlands and France were the first to establish a true global maritime trade network. With the development of the steam engine in the mid nineteenth century, the role of maritime transportation expanded considerably as ships were no longer subject to dominant wind patterns. Recent trend which has brought about change in international trade and seaborne trade are interrelated. Maritime transportation, like other types of transportation, is a derived demand. As at 2006, seaborne trade

accounted for 89.6% of global trade by volume and 70.1% by value THE ADVENT OF TANKERS An oil tanker (or a petroleum tanker specifically), is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transportation of oil. They are relatively new concept, dating from the later years of the 19th century. This is because; earlier technology had simply not supported the idea of carrying bulk liquids. The market was also not geared towards transporting or selling cargo in bulk; therefore most ships carried a wide range of different products in different holds and traded outside fixed routes. Liquids were usually loaded in casks—hence the term “tonnage”, which refers to the volume of the holds in terms of the amount of tuns of wine (casks) that could be carried. Even potable water, vital for the survival of the crew, was stowed in casks. Tankers can range in size of capacity from several hundred tons, which includes vessels for servicing small harbours and coastal settlements, to several hundred thousand tons, for long-range haulage. Besides ocean- or seagoing tankers there are also specialized inland-waterway tankers which operate on rivers and canals with an average cargo

capacity up to some thousand tons. A wide range of products are carried by tankers, including: • hydrocarbon products such as oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG) • chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, and styrene monomer • fresh water • wine • molasses There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude oil tanker and the product tanker. The Crude Oil Tankers move large quantity of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product Tankers generally much smaller, are designed to move petrochemicals from refineries to points near consuming market. Generally, there are 11,127 tankers in circulation worldwide. However, there are only 129 tankers in Nigerian Registry (NIMASA). Let That Search Stop Here - Nigeria Yes! Nigeria can indeed provide that Source for Reliable Tanker Supply. As

Nigeria is gradually being recognized as a key figure in international trade, the time has come for all stakeholders in the maritime industry to consider ways of making Nigeria a reliable source of tanker shipping. This can be realized when: there is a commitment provide attractive business environment for the construction of oil tankers in Nigeria by some Asian, Japanese and Chinese builders. Providing grants to interested professional organizations/individuals in Nigeria to partner with foreign investors in the area of petroleum tanker construction. CONCLUSION From the foregoing, oil tankers play a key role in moving the oil that moves the economy of any country including Nigeria. Searching for dependable tanker supply therefore should be done with critical consideration of the NSF ‘93 Form, the flag and classification rules. With the available resources in Nigeria, we can narrow the search by bringing the oil tanker construction companies here. That, we are surer of what we get.


24

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Report Of The Meeting Between Shell Nigeria Exploration And Production Company And Nigerian Chamber Of Shipping Held At The Freeman House Building, Marina Lagos On Friday, 12th April, 2013

From the Desk of the DIRECTOR GENERAL

Dear Readers , N our last edition we brought you pictures and I‘Understanding information of our 4 day Workshop, Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry’. We had a very full house of participants from different relevant corporate organisation involved in Maritime business, financial institutions, legal firms and a host of others from different part of the country. As the outcome of the training workshop, a group visit was arranged for the star prize as the group that gave the best presentation of the Team Challenge competition. The visit exposed members of the group to a practical perspective on how Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) ran their Local content operation. Also included as promised is the paper on Maritime Security presented by Rear Admiral G.S.A Ombo, and more pictures from the training workshop. As stated earlier, it was my dream, 10 years ago to advocate for Maritime Desks in our Financial Institutions. Today I can say that dream has come true. It is my desire now to initiate a niche for ourselves within the local content to take control of the Marine services in the upstream sector of the Oil and Gas Arena. I believe this can be achieved. It is our aim to foster and promote member businesses operating within the Nigerian maritime industry. In the past we have operated with various objectives in line with the prevailing industry situation, presently it is our vision and mandate to now boost and enhance ship management in the Nigerian maritime industry. It is the goal of the NCS to boast of 100-500 ship management professionals and businesses operating within the sector in 5years. In accordance with this mandate, we must stress that we fully represent our members with IOC’s, government agencies, member companies and individual members to ensure conducive business relationships and synergy between members; this is our sole responsibility. Please we are happy to receive your intellectual input on any maritime topic. Your comments are also welcomed. Thanks for your patronage. Have a good read. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele Director General Nigerian Chamber of Shipping

N outcome of the sucA cessful NCS training workshop held in partner-

ship with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company between 25th 28th March, 2013 at the Civic Center, Lagos under the theme “Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream)”, a visit to the Local Content Department of SNEPCO was arranged for Group 1 as a prize for making the best presentation in the Team Challenge competition held during the workshop.

The meeting was attended by the following: NCS TEAM Ify Anazonwu-Akerele (Mrs.) Nnamdi Eronini Vivian Azubuike Chike Ibegbu Tonye Lloyd Membere-Otaji Brendan Dumpe SNEPCo TEAM Mr. Austin Uzoka Mr. Rob Goodwin Mrs. Emmannuella Akpoigbe WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS Mr. Aniekan George Ikott Mr. Nicholas Nkanang Director General General Manager Marketing/Public Relations Executive Technical/Operations Executive I Accounts Manager Technical Operations Executive II Manager, Local Content Production Operations Marine Lead Business Communication/Campaign Implementation Udo Udoma & Bello Osage.

Royal Exchange PLC The meeting started at about 11:30 with Mr. Uzoka running

everyone through the HSE briefs. He gave a brief history of SHELL and their operations in Nigeria. He also gave a brief about SNEPCo as the deep water arm of SHELL. The DG NCS gave a summary of the just concluded training workshop “Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry” emphasizing that the objective of the workshop was to build up professionalism in Ship Management in Marine Services in the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector. She thanked SNEPCO for the role it played in the successful organisation of the program. She hoped that something tangible would come out of the existing synergy for members of the Chamber of Shipping and marine practitioners in general. She also presented the SNEPCo team with a Letter of Appreciation. Mrs. Akerele then introduced Mr. Aniekan George Ikott who was the leader of Group 1 which won the Team Challenge. He thanked the Chamber of Shipping for organising the event and thanked SNEPCo for the privilege of granting them audience. He spoke extensively on the benefit of the program to him and his organization, Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie- A law firm which was also involved in the drafting of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). According to him, during team challenge, he tried to marry the Cabotage Act and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Act. He further requested Mr. Austin Uzoka to explain how SNEPCo manages the Local Content provisions of the acts to achieve the objectives of Local Content. Responding Mr. Uzoka said SHELL since 1978 had devel-

oped Local Content long before the National Assembly enacted the NOGIC Act in 2010. In Upstream operations, SHELL was the first to give out 5 year contracts to Nigerian Companies. As a result, the Banks confidence have gone up in funding vessel acquisition by indigenous companies. The problem that still persists is in matching what the industry needs to what people buy. Many indigenous companies buy vessels that are out of the specifications of the Industry and because the industry is unforgiving, it cannot compromise its standards due to the high risk and cost involved in upstream operation. He therefore encouraged stakeholders to check the specifications that SHELL and other OICs want before buying vessels. In trying to determine the level of compliance, Mr. Aniekan asked if Nigerian companies had met SHELL specifications. Mr. Uzoka replied by stating that if they meet the specs, they will get the job and their vessels will be engaged, but that Nigerian Companies need to become global players. In his words “Local Content should not be a cocoon where companies will hide their deficiencies and try to get contracts because they can lay claim to an Act”. Mr. Rob Goodwin shed more light on the issue stating that SHELL has been accused of raising the specification beyond the reach of Nigerian Companies. He said, though SHELL is a global company, it still operates locally and wants to empower indigenous companies. He said he proposed to NAPIMS that

Nigerian be given longer term contracts of up to 10 years, but NAPIMS sees the idea as creating monopolies and has not supported the idea, but so far, they have succeeded to get 5 year contracts. He said he will provide the Chamber with SHELL Specifications for Vessels that will engage in upstream operations. Mr. Nicolas Nkanang, another member of the winning group, spoke on the need to engage the Nigerian Insurance Companies in upstream contracts. Responding, Mr. Uzoka informed him that SHELL does not buy these vessels but accepts vessels from Nigerian Companies that meet their specifications; therefore the issue of Insurance will be better addressed to the Nigerian Companies that purchase these vessels. He also said that the only vessels that SHELL buys for and on behalf of the Federal Government are the FPSOs. Mr. Goodwin while contributing to the issue said Nigerian Insurance companies’ need to grow capacity to meet the industry need. According to him, the minimum allowable P & I cover for a Platform Support Vessel is 150 Million Naira. At the end of deliberations, the need to reduce contract cycle time was placed centre stage. The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping was saddled with the responsibility of discussing with the relevant institutions (NCDMB, NAPIMS, and NIPEX) in a bid to proffering solutions to the issue. The meeting came to an end with a vote of thanks said by the GM NCS, Mr. Nnamdi Eronini.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

25

CompuLife Mobile operators cautioned against using de-marketing tactics in number porting regime • NCC to bar unregistered SIMs By Adeyemi Adepetun ITH the birth of Mobile Number PortabilW ity (MNP) in Nigeria, a scheme expected to streamline operations in the telecommunications industry, stakeholders have urged telecoms operators to eschew shady deals such as de-marketing and the likes to make the venture worthwhile. Though, the MNP scheme is coming about three years after it was mooted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the task before the regulator, according to stakeholders, is how to ensure a seamless intra-network transition. Speaking to The Guardian, the President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, said the initiative provides a win-win situation for the subscribers, stressing it will heighten competition in the industry. According to him, what the regulator must do now is to fashion out a strategy that will ensure that subscribers are not deny the opportunity to migrate from one network to another. “There is need to ensure that subscribers are not denied the opportunity to migrate. The industry is about to witness another revolution that will reposition it and make it more competitive. We cannot afford to be left behind in the global market.” While commending the leadership of the NCC for the initiative, the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Dr. Chris Uwaje, said ideally, the issue that must be looked into is its objective, which is to create a better service platform for subscribers. “Having said that, there are many factors that hinder quality services, which MNP may not be able to resolve. Though, it provides freedom of choice, the parameters for the usage must be given. The regulator must disclose the capacities on the various networks. “There is need for NCC to ensure that subscribers know the present capacity of the various operators - the number of lines on the network; the Base Transceiver Stations; manpower capacities among others. This will ensure that the migrating subscriber is not moving from fry pan to fire. There must be parameter guide for would be subscribers. All these must be on the roadmap.” According to Uwaje in an interview with The Guardian, to avoid issues such as de-marketing, there should be national consumer forum, where a national language migrating symbol would be introduced for number porting. “You know that about 70 million of the over 100 million subscribers in the country resides in the rural areas. For them to understand and not to be hoodwinked or block from migrating, there should be software in (local languages) that will explain each steps to these subscribers. Then we can say NCC is working.” For the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, MNP will give customers choice of where to go, but the satisfaction derived from such would form their experience. Stressing, however, that the MNP is not the real solution to the current challenges of the sector, he said: “MNP will give customers more choices, but it is the experience on the network that will determine their satisfaction. I don’t see MNP as alternative to the challenges we have in the sector.” On the readiness of ALTON members, Adebayo said: “ALTON subscribed to MNP. We have provided all the support as required by the NCC. Every one has gone to Interconnect Clearing House. We have made a lot of investments in manpower, engineering, hardware and software, among others. In a swift defense of the process against any illegal act from operators, at a post event

Chairman, Interconnect Clearing House, Alison Madueke (left); Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Eugene Juwah; Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya; and former Vice Chairman NCC, Earnest Ndukwe, at the flag-off of the mobile number portability scheme in Lagos...on Monday. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU

briefing on the launch on Monday, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Eugene Juwah, said the commission has put in place a strong monitoring mechanism. Juwah explained that in a situation where a porting process was initiated and reported to have failed within the 48 hours, an enquiry should be instituted, stressing that there are processes and modalities for such. According him, method to seek redress are on the commission’s website. He said the commission would guard against any act capable of hindering the process. Juwah, who said there are rules governing the process, stressed that no operator is allowed to deny any subscriber the request to port out of such network. Shedding light on the N6.1 billion ongoing Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) registration and the impact on the MNP, the NCC EVC said the process is at the concluding stage, but informed that at the completion, every unregistered SIMs will be barred and wont be able to participate in MNP. To the Chairman, Interconnect Clearing House, appointed operator for the scheme, Real Admiral Allison Madueke, MNP was borne out of the need to enhance service delivery to the telecommunications sector, which gives subscribers latitude to walk into any better service operator. Madueke, who assures of close monitoring on the various porting operations to avoid any issues, said the new scheme provided upgraded telecoms sector and satisfied subscriber base. Indeed, the Nigerian telecoms sector, with an active subscriber base of 113 million, a teledensity of 81.7 per cent, a combined 226 million lines capacity and an investment of about $25 billion, is currently adjudged as the fastest growing telecommunications sector in Africa. Pledging their support for the scheme, the MNOs assured of seamless porting regime. According to Airtel Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, the process provides an opportunity for customers to “migrate to network that works. This is a survival instinct for us. NCC’s role will be to create a right environment for its success.” For Brett Goshen, MTN Nigeria’s boss, this is a significant milestone achievement in the history of Nigeria, “we are ready and sure of

improved service delivery in this MNP regime.” According to Globacom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Jameel, represented by Olayinka Olafihan, this is a new dawn in Nigeria’s telecoms sector, “we are changing our strategy to ensure seamless transition.” For Etisalat’s CEO, Steve Evans, the MNP service has been anticipated. Evans, represented by Ndidi Okpaleke, it provides huge potential for Nigerians, which include the power of choice; service improvement and QoS upgrade.

“All stakeholders have got huge roles to play in making the scheme a success and Etisalat has pledged to abide by the rules.” Interestingly, The Guardian checks revealed that Singapore was the first country to begin number porting in the world. It started in 1997. UK, Honk Kong and Netherlands did theirs in 1999. USA joined others in 2004. South Africa was the first country to start the process in Africa in 2006; Kenya was in April 2011 and Ghana launched MNP on July 7, 2011.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

26 COMPULIFE

Growth in data, services creates new ICT regulatory challenges By Adeyemi Adepetun HE International T Telecommunications Union (ITU) is highlighting the increasingly global nature of information and communication technology (ICT) regulation and the crucial link between effective regulation of the ICT sector and the range, quality and affordability of ICT services available to consumers and business users alike. Focusing on ‘Transnational Aspects of Regulation in a Networked Society’, their latest report reveals an increasingly complex and interlinked legal and regulatory environment in which decisions taken in one market can have a major impact on neighbouring countries and even markets far

away. The report confirms continued rapid expansion of technology markets worldwide. Rapid growth of broadband has seen global IP traffic skyrocket from around one petabyte 20 years ago to an estimated 44,000 petabytes (44 exabytes) at end 2012. As an indicator of the sheer volume this represents, that amount of data would take 1,100 years to download over a 10Mbps broadband link - or more than 200,000 years over a dial-up connection. In 2013 alone, IP traffic is expected to grow by around 14 exabytes per month - the monthly equivalent of twice total cumulative global traffic for the whole decade from 1994 - 2003. The report revealed that traf-

fic volumes are being driven by the ever-growing number of connected people and connectable devices, the trend toward multiple device ownership, an abundance of highly diversified and mostly free online content, and increasingly widespread consumer access to fixed and mobile broadband networks capable of supporting high-bandwidth services like streaming video. The total number of people connected to the Internet is expected to surpass 2.7 billion in 2013, while the total number of applications downloaded over all types of devices will exceed 50 billion. Data continues to generate of 90 per cent of all consumer traffic, with the largest volumes associated with file sharing,

Toure

video streaming, video calls and online gaming. New mobile devices providing a higher quality user experience are driving faster uptake of gaming and video

NASA sends three android smartphones into space HREE smartphones destined T to become low-cost satellites rode to space Sunday aboard

the maiden flight of Orbital Science Corp.’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. The trio of “PhoneSats” is operating in orbit, and may prove to be the lowest-cost satellites ever flown in space. The goal of NASA’s PhoneSat mission is to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics of a capable, yet very inexpensive, satellite. The hardware for this mission is the Google-HTC Nexus One smartphone running the Android operating system. Transmissions from all three PhoneSats have been received at multiple ground stations on Earth, indicating they are oper-

ating normally. The PhoneSat team at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will continue to monitor the satellites in the coming days. The satellites are expected to remain in orbit for up to two weeks. “It’s always great to see a space technology mission make it to orbit — the high frontier is the ultimate testing ground for new and innovative space technologies of the future,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “Smartphones offer a wealth of potential capabilities for flying small, low-cost, powerful satellites for atmospheric or Earth science, communications, or other space-born applications. They also may open space to a whole new generation of commercial, academic and citizen-

resolution cameras, GPS space users.” receivers and several radios. Satellites consisting mainly of the smartphones will send information about their health via radio back to Earth in an effort to demonstrate they can work as satellites in space. The spacecraft also will attempt to take pictures of Earth using their cameras. Amateur radio operators around the world can participate in the mission by monitoring transmissions and retrieving image data from the three satellites. Large images will be transmitted in small chunks and will be reconstructed through a distributed ground station network. NASA’s off-the-shelf PhoneSats already have many of the systems needed for a satellite, including fast processors, versatile operating systems, multiple miniature sensors, high-

calling, both of which are expected to continue to notch up over 40 per cent year-on-year growth between 2010-2015. For regulators striving to create a level playing field and ensure non-discriminatory practices and transparency of market information, this period of transition to a truly transnational market for ICT services is creating a need for stronger cross-border, regional and international cooperation. “These are interesting times for regulators, with the full impact of the long-term trend towards globalization of services now beginning to be felt.

“The challenge every regulator faces is to create the right environment for service development and competition that ensures the best quality services and best-value offerings succeed, and that consumers ultimately reap the benefits”, said Secretary-General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré. The report into the current state of regulatory frameworks and technological developments worldwide, this year’s Trends in Telecommunication Reform opens with a concise overview of the ‘megatrends’ reshaping the ICT landscape.

OAU to commission software engineering academy N recognition of the enorItance mous potential the imporof science and technolo-

gy in advancing Nigeria’s economic quest, the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is set to commission the Centre of Excellence (CEoX) in software engineering at the campus. According to the Project Manager and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Ayobami Salami, said the CEoX in Software Engineering seeks to address among others paucity of educational software that utilise teaching aids such as simulations, animations and graphics to the teaching and learning of Science and Technology post basic courses, and the problem of inadequately prepared postbasic teachers to cope with the 21st century S&T challenges. Salami, who said S&T sector has been largely responsible for the scientific and technological breakthrough of many developed countries of the

world, stressed that S &T based post-basic education is one of the key factors to this breakthrough. In his comments, the Director of Information Technology and Communications Unit, Prof. Sola Aderounmu, said the centre will create an enabling environment for imparting knowledge in S&T using ICT driven, participatory and student-centered teaching and learning approaches. According to him, the programmes within the centre will build national capacities (through postgraduate trainings, post-doctoral researches, short term trainings, conferences and workshops) in software engineering particularly in the areas of educational software development and application, networking, development of Internet and web applications, simulation, graphics, remote experimentation, hardware design, implementation, and maintenance.


COMPULIFE 27

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Minister unveils national ICT Incubation programme By Adeyemi Adepetun HE Minister of T Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola

Johnson over the weekend launched the National ICT Incubation Programme tagged iDEA (Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator) in Lagos. The Minister emphasized that the goal of iDEA is to support Nigerian ICT Entrepreneurs create successful businesses by offering support to promising ICT entrepreneurs through ICT incubation centres that will be established in a selected number of cities. The second centre will be launched soon in Calabar. She said that while these centres are being initially established and funded by government through the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEVF), they would subsequently be

funded and managed independent of government through iDEA under the guidance and supervision of the Governing Council, which was inaugurated earlier in February. The minister disclosed that the primary goal of the iDEA Incubation Centre is to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015 and catalyse the ICT Industry by helping Nigerian ICT Entrepreneurs create successful businesses. She added that the centre will also support the interactions between software entrepreneurs/start-ups and their partners, thus developing indigenous skills and capabilities. It will also act as hubs of innovation that support the development and maturity of a local software economy. The IDEA centre she added will provide incubates business and technical training, access to software develop-

WITIN plans forum for girls on ICT development

mostly private sector and government constituted to develop Incubation operational blueprint. In February, we inaugurated the Governing Board of the program (iDEA), comprising of industry players and experts with Mr. Dotun Sulaiman as the Chairman. This is a right direction for us to take to ensure sustainability of this program’’ On access to funding, the Minister disclosed that ‘’We are setting up a venture capital fund in conjunction with priJohnson vate equity investors to be solement tools at no cost, use of ly focused on ICT businesses. facilities and computing Initial and final close of $15 milresources for development pur- lion and $30 million respectiveposes, mentoring, assistance ly with N500 million/ $3.5 milwith marketing and promotion lion Seed Capital secured from and access to finance. NITDEVF; while the remaining On the sustainability of Idea, fund will be sourced through Johnson stressed that ‘’Our IT private equity. She added that a Incubation Centre journey fund manager has been selectstarted in 2011 when we consti- ed to manage the Fund and distuted an IT Incubation bursements will commence Committee comprising of April 2013.

HP plans improved server market in Nigeria By Bankole Orimisan P has vowed its effort to transform of server market in the Nigerian IT space. The firm said this when it unveiled ‘Odyssey’ in Lagos Recently has described ‘Odyssey’ as a project that would redefine the future of mission-critical computing with a development roadmap to unify UNIX and x86 server architectures. This, it stressed, would lead to increased performance and uncompromising client choic “Organisations need the availability and resilience of

H

UNIX-based platforms along with the familiarity and costefficiency of industry-standard platforms,” the firm said. Using advanced technology across a common, modular HP BladeSystem architecture, the firm said it was developing platforms to enable clients to choose the best environment aligned to their organisations’ needs without compromise, while also helping to ensure investment protection. HP’s new development road map includes ongoing innovations to HP Integrity servers, HP Non-Stop systems and the

HP-UX and OpenVMS operating systems. The road map also involves delivering blades with Intel Xeon processors for the HP Superdome 2 enclosure and the scalable c-Class blade enclosures, while fortifying Windows and Linux environments with innovations from HP-UX within the next two years. “Clients have been asking us to expand the mission-critical experience that is delivered today with HP-UX on Integrity to an x86-based infrastructure,” the Senior Vice-President

and General Manager, Business Critical Systems, HP, Mr. Martin Fink, said. “HP plans to transform the server landscape for missioncritical computing by using the flexibility of HP BladeSystem and bringing key HP technology innovations from Integrity and HPUX to the x86 ecosystem. Unlike the competition, HP offers an open, integrated, single platform approach,” he added. For more than 25 years, HP said it had powered the most demanding workloads by

OMORROW, Women In just concluded Technovation Technology In Nigeria T challenge. (WITIN) will join the world to

According to her, keynote speakers include Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Diaspora Committee of the Nigeria Federal House of Rep. representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Minister of Science and Technology and Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology at the US Department of State under the chairmanship of Chief Oma Eyewuoma, Exec. Vice-President, Technical Conoil Producing Ltd, Nigeria. Ann Mei Chang pointed out that “Women and girls continue to be dramatically underrepresented in the ICT field around the world.  Not only is this an issue of opportunity for individual women and girls, but as the ICT sector continues its outsized growth it will increasingly contribute to a talent gap which leaves critical jobs unfilled.  Girls often lack role models and may be discouraged from pursuing ICT by parents, teachers, or building a robust and proven peers.  Girls in ICT Day is an franchise of technology and service innovations for mission- important event to raise visicritical computing. bility of the many successful “Intel’s continued innovation women who have pursued with a multi-generational ICT careers” Itanium processor road map, Other speakers include combined with existing and Njideka Jack of MTN Nigeria, future mission-critical capabili- Folakemi Olawolu of Phase3 ties of Intel Xeon processors, Telecoms, Chinyere Edward allow HP and Intel to provide Azike of Signal Alliance customers with greater flexibil- Limited, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi ity and choice,” the Viceof YNaija, Martha Omoekpen President and General Alade of Women in Manager, Datacenter and Technology in Nigeria and Connected Systems Group, Samuel Eyitayo of the U.S. Intel, Mr. Kirk Skaugen, was Consulate General, Lagos. quoted as saying mark the International Girls in ICT day, an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to advance a universal environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to pick up careers in the growing information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector. WITIN is organizing a oneday conference themed— Women and Girls in Technology-Expanding Horizons”. According to the President of WITIN, Mrs. Martha Alade said this inaugural conference will bring together high school students and women in Nigeria to discuss how to foster women’s contributions and empowerment through ICT as well as to celebrate the feats of young girls in the


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

28 COMPULIFE

‘Broadband facilities under-utilised in Nigeria’ Johnnie Coleman is the Chief Technical Officer, MainOne Cables Company, an indigenous submarine firm. Coleman, in this interview with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN AND BANKOLE ORIMISAN, said more regulatory roles would unlock Nigeria’s broadband landscape. Excerpts… at the prevailing operating environLcableOOKING ment in Nigeria; power supply downtimes, cuts and so on, can you give us an insight on what you have put in place to ensure that you have 100 per cent uptime in your service? We have spent a lot of time planning to make sure that every T and I were crossed and dotted to make sure that our planning was effective. Then, managing the execution, making sure that people could deliver on time, with external relationships, so all these played an essential role in putting this facilities together and sustaining. So the combination of all these, the design, the perfection of execution, the great team we have, the teamwork and partnership with external bodies, NIMASA, Navy, Port Authorities and other agencies, have all come together to make sure that we are able to deliver the kind of uptime we built into this network. It’s by no means an easy task, but when you have a good team, you are able to do such. So much, has gone into this project, money, resources, human capital, huge project, so what maintenance culture has been put in place to ensure that this investment is protected and sustained for a very long time? We started off with a good level of expertise and team, and as the company has expanded its systems, its clear we need people at all levels. We weren’t able to find the expertise locally, so having found people that were competent in whatever they were doing at the time but didn’t know enough about telecoms or subsea systems, we trained them in America, Nigeria and Ghana. What we have now in Lagos is a network operations centre with a fully trained team, it is replicated in Ghana as well. They work on a 24/7 basis every day of the week, if a fault occurs, it’s captured electronically and administered by humans to make sure what the fault is, and we also have contracts with the original suppliers, to provide our people with the support internationally, should that be required during an anomaly. So it’s a matter of building in resilience to the network, as much as training of those individuals controlling them. Also, we have signed up for long-term maintenance contracts with some of our key vendors, like Alcatel. Bernard has personally worked with Alcatel and Tyco, who are the two biggest submarine cable vendors in the industry, so with a lot of push, today we have a vessel close by such that we’ve shortened the time that it takes for repairs. In previous instances, it was that a ship had to come out from South Africa, Europe, and that process was going to take a week, and another week for repairs, and so on. We ensure that we have the maintenance culture backed by our partners. We ensure that they are able to support us, that we have spares on hand, and in some of these cases for example; we have experts who are in America or Europe, who we make sure have visas valid for Nigeria, so that if they need to come in to provide support to the local team, they are able to get on a flight and come in. So these are some of the levels we have in terms of procedures to ensure that we are able to run this network efficiently. What are the security measures put in place for the security and protection of the physical cable infrastructure? For the submarine, its buried under the water and the Automatic Identification System (AIS) that we have put in place allows us monitor up

Coleman

to 40 nautical miles or beyond of all our shore ends; Portugal, Lagos and Accra. These systems are able to detect vessels when they come in. We have also worked with legislators and other authorities to have a path that is protected for our cable at anchor zones. We also have with Tyco, one of our suppliers, a backup monitoring where they also sit 24/7 in North America, providing backup support in this regard. For terrestrial cable, we have route patrols and have teamed up with the security authorities locally, the Police, Community Watchdogs in terms of where the infrastructure passes through communities, empowering the youths and giving them an opportunity to make a living by giving them some work to do. So they look after our cables at the times we are not there. We go on routine patrols at least three times a week, taking pictures, looking at our infrastructure, looking at our environment, knowing if things are changing, are people constructing or doing anything that will bring external aggression to our systems, and this is how we are able to keep a watchful eye on this infrastructure. If there is a cable system failure, though we pray that doesn’t happen, what measures have been put in place to ensure that we still have some level of connectivity within that period? We do a couple of different things, obviously having a major disaster like a cable breaking hasn’t happened to us at all, but a cable has broken on land and therefore you gain experience on what to do. We have practices whereby we simulate a fault of a cable break happening, then monitor how they would use the written processes that we have already taught them, both to restore services and initiate a repair, what their reactions are, how quickly they were able to rectify the simulated faults, so these things happen regularly and we build them as they say without telling them before hand, because there is nothing more than being prepared for a break today, and therefore you are sitting there waiting for it at 2pm in the after-

noon. We would monitor that and retrain when required, or change our procedures if it was found that it was not an efficient way of working in the actual simulated form. So that’s one area we undertake. We have demonstrated to some of our fellow cable operators, our ability to restore their services by providing them with alternative connectivity over our submarine cable systems, and that has led to reciprocal restorative agreements, allowing us to be able to also utilize their infrastructure to restore critical services that run on our network, in case of the unlikely event of such failure. What share of the market are you controlling in Nigeria, in terms of capacity? When we first arrived selling capacity in Nigeria in 2010, the price of capacity was sky high, so the smaller businesses were unable to afford such capacity. Part of our policy is to try to enable increased usage of the capacity, so we have been able to bring prices down by at least 80 per cent since we joined the market in 2010. Our growth has been 300 per cent since we were lit in 2010. So, yes we have expanded tremendously, but exactly what percentage of the market is difficult to ascertain, because you will have to ask our customers. All I will say is, our expansion plan over the next five years will see us at least taking 30 per cent per cent of the wholesale and Enterprise market place. With Nigeria, it’s not so much about today’s capacity, it’s about being able to reach others not experiencing this capacity, so for us its about reaching more towns, terrestrially, to bring more people into the 21st Century. We have over 160 million people in Nigeria and we know that there is only about 15 per cent reach in that number of people, currently either able to be on a mobile phone or use internet services, so that has got to change and we are certainly one company that is striving to make that change.    Main One is building a Data Centre, we don’t know if the project has commenced, what’s the potential of that infrastructure in terms of strengthening Nigeria’s ecosystem, what value will you add in terms of

Nigeria searches for local e-content innovators for UN award tober 23 through 25, 2013. The World Summit Award (WSA http://www.wsis-award.org/) is a global initiaThis year’s edition will be hosted by ICTA, the tive to select and promote the world’s best eInformation and Communication Technology Content, started in 2003 in the framework of the United Nations’ World Summit on the InforAgency of Sri Lanka. mation Society (WSIS) with the 1st WSIS conferWith UN WSA database opened for nominations, Nigeria’s nominations and national pre- ence held in Geneva. The award which takes place on a biannual Selection contest starts from April 18th to June 30th 2013; contestants from the six geo-political basis, in collaboration with UNESCO, UNIDO, zones are expected to submit their e-content in- UN GAID is done through national contests, a novation projects for their Nigeria’s pre-selec- global contest, held every two years, and nution of eight best. The ultimate highlight of the merous content-focused national and internaglobal WSA 2013 is celebrating international e- tional conferences and workshops. The UN World Summit Award is being coordiContent delicacies at the WSA World Congress nated in Nigeria to promote an increased im2013. With the great support of ICTA, WSA is going pact of Nigeria’s technological innovations on global stage by the WSA National expert for to host the smartest and most creative e-Content producers in Colombo, Sri Lanka from Oc- Nigeria, President of Programos Foundation,

IGERIA has begun search for local e-content N that has global relevance for the United Nation 2013 World Summit Award.

Mr. Amos Emmanuel, Speaking in Lagos at the weekend to flag off the 2013 UN WSA, the national expert coordinator for Nigeria Mr. Amos Emmanuel told IT Journalists that Nigeria is looking for local econtent products from eight categories with global relevance. The categories being: e-Government and Open Data, e-Health and Environment, e-Learning and Science, e-Entertainment and Games, e-Culture and Tourism, e-Media and Journalism, e-Business and Commerce and e-Inclusion and Empowerment Emmanuel, who is also the 1st Vice-President, Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria, ITAN and Chief Software Architect/CEO, Programos Software Group, explained that the WSA is a global activity to select and promote the world’s best e-Content and most innovative ICT applications.

strengthening online businesses in Nigeria? Yes, we look at it as a value added service. During the build of the cable station, we believed that Data Centre and hosting would be viable businesses, however at that time, that was not our focus. However, we created limited space as a teaser, and that space is completely sold out, to financial institutions and other large national operators, who appreciate the enabling environment in terms of air conditioning, power, reliable services, fibre optic submarine cable and terrestrial fibre connectivity etc. So it’s an attraction that they do not have to repeat the investment in what we are doing, and not only the one time investment in terms of capital infrastructure but in terms of personnel efficiencies as well. They are able to take advantage of what we have done, use our infrastructure and focus on their business. The new data centre is a 3,000 square metre data centre, 2 floors, and has the capability to house 600 racks, it’s the first Tier 3 -4 data centre in West Africa and we are looking to expand the services that we are providing to financial institutions to more enterprises. Unreliable infrastructure and services in terms of power means that a lot of companies ordinarily who would have been able to host their service are not able to do that and this represents the opportunity for us to do that. It’s the first of several flagship data centres we will build; we would build another one in 2015 to provide resiliency for our customers. Right now, we have a lot of Nigerian companies hosting their data offshore, and it is impacting the experience of the users because everybody has to travel all the way into London and America and some other parts of Europe to fetch the content online. This is going to bring a reversal of that traffic, we have the ability to now host content internally, the user experience is going to be better because it’s a shorter time for the content to be fetched and even our infrastructure has attracted international content providers who have put in their content service in our network to serve this content locally. What value have you derived from connecting your traffic to the exchange point? Well, its more of what value we have brought to the consumer. A local exchange point promotes keeping local traffic local. The diversity of operators and termination points internationally means that even if you are on ISP A in Nigeria and either want to push or retrieve traffic from ISP B, depending on their termination point, one may be terminating in US or London.      There was no gain in taking all that traffic out just to be routed back through another international connection; the experience was not the desired one. It was just natural we connected to the IXP based on the fact that we are carrying so much local traffic to benefit other customers within the country connected to the Exchange. However, we have seen quite a growth in the local traffic exchange based on that. We have also done that in Ghana, and we have a regional exchange between Ghana and Nigeria in terms of traffic, which we keep local within the region, so these are some of the benefits that we’ve brought to our consumers by connecting to the local exchanges. We have also connected to the London Internet Exchange, creating direct peering relationship, improving the experience from our customers by bringing the content directly to them through our partnership with other content providers in this exchange.

Nokia 105 now available in Nigeria OKIA has announced the arrival of Nokia N 105 in Nigeria. According to Nokia, the phone is a successor to the Nokia 1280. A statement from the firm explained that Nokia 105 features quality handset design, a durable, one-piece keymat and a long-lasting battery, making it ideal for first-time buyers, or for people in search of a reliable back-up phone.  The new handset is available in cyan or black and features a color screen, which makes it unique when compared to other phones at its price point. Featuring a 1.45-inch true color screen with a user-friendly interface, the single SIM Nokia 105 comes with productivity and leisure tools like; FM radio; Pre-loaded games; Nokia Life service for tips on education and health, as well as entertainment topics among others. Speaking on the development, Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, Nick Imudia, said the launch of the Nokia 105 is in line with Nokia’s mission of connecting the next billion mobile phone users, many of whom live in Africa. “The Nokia 105 highlights Nokia’s on-going commitment to bring relevant and reliable products to our valued consumers.” “With its bold colors and beautifully simple design, the Nokia 105 is a standout phone at a price point that makes it accessible to most consumers,” adds Imudia.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

COMPULIFE

Firm launches apps to deepen mobile marketing experience By Olawunmi Ojo

USION Blocks Management, Inc. has launched a new location-based coupon mobile app, Bokupon on Android, Blackberry and iPhone devices to help Nigerians instantly get shopping items via mobile coupons and discount vouchers from merchants. Bokupon is a groundbreaking application that empowers consumers to achieve significant discounts at their favourite retailers in fashion, electronics, groceries, restaurants and bars, cinemas, hotels, sporting goods, among others. Speaking on the app, the Chief Executive of Fusion Blocks, Lukeman Cole, said Bokupon is a free application for the Blackberry, iPhone and Android devices that removes the need for consumers to carry promo flyers or print out emails with promo codes because all deals nearest to their location are pushed direct to consumer’s devices. “When a consumer sees a deal he/she likes, they enter the shop, pick up the item and simply show the barcode and digital mobile coupon/discount on their device at checkout to redeem the discount on their purchase. And with hundreds of location-based, fresh deals each day, Bokupon consumers are much more likely to find compelling discounts when they need them most “While traditional forms of pushing promotions to consumers such as texting, newspaper ads, flyers, insertions, and the like, may still exist, Bokupon tends to be innovative and smarter as its offers can be updated instantly and targeted

F

per region or particular store location,” he said. Cole added that Bokupon doesn’t only provide the consumer with amazing savings and discounts, it also provides merchants the ability to monitor performance on a daily, upto-the-minute basis using the merchant analytics. At the moment, the service is only available in Lagos. But since its launch, Fusion Blocks has been signing up more merchants and adding new categories of products. Bokupon is tightly integrated into social media by allowing consumers to share hard-toturn-down and favourite savings opportunities via Facebook, Twitter, Email and Text. With its launch into the

Nigerian market, the mobile app has potentials of taking mobile marketing to a new level with a hyper-local approach. Businesses, both large and small, can drive increased foot traffic and brand loyalty by offering compelling discounts to mobile consumers near their retail location. Bokupon leverages the best elements of location-based services to make using the App an engaging experience by minimising the number of location lookups and server requests required to deliver the desired information. Bokupon is available for download in the Blackberry Apps World, iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Appzone, Keystone Bank partner on technology workshop for MFBs EYSTONE Bank has partK nered Appzone, the financial services technology provider to present the industry-leading BankOne platform to a forum of microfinance banks in Kwara State. This is in line with the bank’s vision to expand its bouquet of products tailored for microfinance institutions. For several years the top brass of the Kwara State Association of Microfinance Banks has sought to transform the state’s fledgling microfinance sector by tackling challenges created by the level of technology adopted by most of its member firms. Some of these problems include time consuming and

error-prone manual operations, a lack of geographical spread and the inability to process cheque-based and electronic inter-bank transactions. A statement from Appzone informed that BankOne was showcased as a technology platform that provides microfinance banks with the capacity to implement endto-end banking automation through multiple electronic and physical channels. The workshop highlighted BankOne’s ability to transform microfinance banks into efficient and integrated financial services firms without steep infrastructure costs.

29


30

THe GUArDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

COMPULIFe

Visa study reveals benefits of consumer awareness on Mobile Money growth in Nigeria By Bankole Orimisan IGerIAN market has potential to lead the world but only 35 per cent of Nigerians are N aware of mobile money, the Visa-owned mobile money platform, recently declared the results of the Visa Mobile Money Study for Nigeria.

According to the firm there are 110 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria but only a 56 million people have bank accounts making it one of the most exciting mobile money markets in the world. Despite the staggering market potential the Visa study reveals that only 35 per cent of respondents are aware of mobile money versus

an average of 56 per cent  across all six of the emerging markets surveyed. The Visa analyzed that the  financial services needs and expectations of mobile money among nearly 2,500 consumers, mobile money agents, and merchants in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan. The global study highlighted  consumers’ needs for financial services are far more sophisticated than previously believed and go well beyond the established transaction set offered by mobile money services today. The Visa study suggests that the success of mobile financial services is determined by how deeply a mobile money provider understands its customers and tailors

the service to the needs of consumers and mobile money agents – from service menus, to marketing and education. To raise awareness and drive adoption providers need to educate consumers on the key benefits and uses of mobile money services whilst tackling barriers to uptake. According to the Visa study, 83% of respondents in Nigeria cited “safety of not having to carry around a lot of cash” as the primary benefit of mobile money. The ability to quickly send moneyto family members (86%)is the principle intended use. “Whether the family you send money to will know how to get or receive the money” is the number one barrier to adoption in Nigeria.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

31


32

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

33


34

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

35


36

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


ThE GUaRDiaN, Wednesday, april 24, 2013

MaRiTMEWaTCh

37

China Mobile profits stall despite higher revenues hiNa Mobile has posted the smallest rise in quarterly profits C in the past three quarters as higher costs ate into the gains from an increased subscriber base. Net profit for the first quarter was almost flat at RMB 27.9 billion ($4.5 billion), compared to RMB 27.8 billion a year ago. The company has been hurt by increased handset subsidy costs as

more consumers upgrade to smartphones. The company faced “unprecedentedly intense market competition and more apparent substitution of traditional communication business by new technologies and new businesses,” China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said in a statement. Revenues however rose by 5.7 percent to RMB 134.7 billion.

China Mobile added 26.4 million 3G users — taking its total 3G customer base to 114.4 million subscribers. The company’s total customer base exceeds 700 million. The company also recently announced that it would increase its investment in LTE based networks by nearly 50 per cent this year. Total capex is expected to exceed $7 billion.

Ovum warns telecoms operators not to rush into additional countries T is more beneficial for iinvest telecoms operators to in growing their cus-

tomer numbers in fewer countries than to expand horizontally across more countries, says Ovum. This delivers an important message to Europe’s telcos and authorities as they consider consolidation, convergence, and the creation of a pan-European network or regulation/licensing regime. The global industry analyst firm also believes that it explains why operators such as aT&T and Verizon are outperforming their European peers. in a new report, Ovum compares the performance of 20 large telco groups from 2000 to 2011 as they expanded or shrank their international footprints. The report outlines the benefits associated with economies of scale, economies of scope, profitability to shareholders, and the cost of financial distress. its statistical analysis shows that variations in footprint size strongly correlates with net debt, number of employees, revenues, capital employed, and EBiTDa. however, the findings also show that performance metrics such as EBiTDa margin, return on capital employed, earnings per share, and net debt/EBiTDa are weakly correlated to footprint size. “Conventional wisdom suggests that whenever a telco enters a new market, the resulting synergies will make the venture worthwhile. Telcos looking to boost their performance should focus on acquiring the needed assets and capabilities, which in some cases may come from expanding their footprints. however, in many other cases it won’t,” says Emeka Obiodu, principal analyst at Ovum. “in these cases, pursuing further expansion might actually spread a telco’s managerial resources too thin, which could lead to poorer overall performance.”

Smart classroom

Nigerian business technology tools are getting cheaper, says expert By Bankole Orimisan hE 360di Company limited, has urged SMEs  in T the country to maximize technology in expanding their businesses in the Nigerian market. according to the Director of EDc, the pan african university, Peter Bankole, a business expert has highlighted the cost of technology that is no longer an issue limiting small businesses in Nigeria from expanding, as several business tools are becoming cheaper in the market. Bankole who was speaking at the “Lagos to Global: Digitizing Your Business across Borders” conference held in Lagos said: “The cost of broadband has crashed by 80 per cent, smartphones are very affordable.” he noted that Nokia has launched a very affordable high-tech device that only costs US$200 and some BlackBerry devices cost less than NGN15,000 (US$94). in addition, he said technology is revolutionising other sectors including education. Concerning business, he said a new challenge of

going global has been posed to serious business owners. “Going global is essential for businesses,” he said. This does not necessarily mean being everywhere but using e-channels. “Whatever you are doing, do it in the physical and e-channels. This is how you can reach anybody and everybody,” Bankole said. To go global, he encouraged business owners to maximize cloud services and e-channels. “if you are not on the cloud or e-channels, you are just deceiving yourself,” he said. another issue he stressed is to understand the standards in all the markets business owners are getting into. he noted that credibility is an issue that business owners in Nigeria with global intentions are battling with. This he said is as a result of inactivity of credible business owners, leaving the web space to those perpetrating fraudulent businesses. “More good people are needed online because bad people are more active. For one bad person

online, we need more than 10 credible business owners online,” he said. Expert calls on Nigeria’s SMEs to maximize technology in expanding their businesses. an iT expert is encouraging Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to fully utilise technology in advancing their businesses. lami attah, of 360di Limited, was speaking while welcoming participants to the From Lagos to Global: Digitizing Your Business across Borders conference. according to her, there are numerous tools that small businesses can make use of including tracking customers, recording transactions, making digital lists and predicting customers’ habits. attah,  said: “[SMEs] can also use technology for internal communications. These and several other tools can be used by the SMEs to put them on the global map. imagine if there is commotion everywhere and only businesses that are online can exist.” She said most of the tools being used by the multinational corporations are also available to small businesses.

Samsung to launch Galaxy S4 smartphone May 10 By Gbenga Salau NLiNEwith its commitment of facilitating economic growth and development in Nigeria, Samsung Electronics, is offering five young, ‘upand-coming’ Nigerian fashion designers an opportunity to showcase their designs at the upcoming launch of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone on May 10. Through its ‘Galaxy S4 Design for Life’ initiative, a programme aimed at harnessing and promoting local talent in the fashion industry, the company is providing young talents access to skills, training and support that are pivotal to ensuring that they achieve both commercial and creative success. Participants in the programme were required to submit evening wear design proposals for Samsung Brand ambassadors, Kate henshaw and Banky W via Samsung’s website. Of the submissions received, 18 entries were initially chosen by a panel of fashion experts including brand ambassador, Kate henshaw, Chief Executive Officer of Beth Model Management africa, Mrs. Elohor aisien; Creative Director of CLaN, Ms. Teni

i

Sagoe and hakeem Balogun of Kimono Kollection. a second and final selection process took place in ikoyi, Lagos, on Saturday, april 20, 2013, with five lucky designers emerging as winners of the competition. The five finalists will be given the opportunity to present their collections to buyers, consumers, the media and the general public at the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in Lagos on Friday, May 10, 2013. Samsung Electronics West africa’s Business head for hand held Products, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas, described the programme as an avenue for the company to provide emerging stars in Nigeria’s fashion industry with the muchneeded pre-requisites for success, including publicity, mentoring services and networking opportunities. “at Samsung, we are committed to providing an enabling environment for Nigerian youths to pursue their dreams and passions, as we believe that this would help to unlock the country’s huge economic potential. We are very proud to support Nigeria’s growing fashion industry with our

‘Galaxy S4 Design for Life’ programme,” he said. in addition to providing the five finalists with the opportunity to showcase their collections at the launch of the Galaxy S4, Samsung also organized a workshop on Sunday april 21 to enrich and expand the overall fashion experience of the participants in the programme. The workshop encompassed training and mentoring by fashion icons Teni Sagoe and hakeem Balogun, as well as networking opportunities to equip the emerging, creative talents with the necessary tools for launching and managing a fashion business. also speaking, Samsung Electronics West africa’s Marketing Manager for hand held Products, Ms. Olajumoke Okikiolu said, “The new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone is a combination of innovation, class, style and beauty; and what better way to launch it into the Nigerian market than to showcase Nigerian designers’ sense of style and creativity. We are happy to support this very important initiative because we value every opportunity where we can contribute to the community; it is more so

for this programme because it is a sustainable one.” “We are also happy to be promoting and cultivating local talents while simultaneously providing avenues for them to become productive and responsible members of the society. Who knows, the next big name in the global fashion scene might come from Nigeria and might have been discovered from participation in this programme,” Okikiolu added. The “Galaxy S4 Design for Life” initiative is one of several community development projects undertaken by Samsung Electronics West africa over the past few years, as part of its corporate social investment initiatives. Other projects include the Samsung-Chelsea FC ‘Dream the Blues’ Youth Football Clinic, an expansion of Samsung - Chelsea FC Youth Football Camp programme, which has already benefitted  more than 5,000 children across the world and the company’s construction of its Engineering academy in Lagos and Ekiti States, with a view to developing 10,000 electronics engineers across the continent by 2015.


38

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MaritimeWatch Facilitating trade through technology

Jonathan By Moses Ebosele E don’t initiate policies. We only implement policies handed over to us (Customs) by the Federal Government. We are set to take over from service providers. The structure is in place. We have computerised our system. You don’t need Customs agent to clear your goods. You can clear anything from your office. All you have to do is follow laid down procedures”. With those words, the Nigeria Customs Service (NSE), at the weekend explained in details the role information technology is expected to play as from June this year when Risk Assessment Report (RAR) currently operated by Destination Inspection companies pave way for Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR). Earlier scheduled to end in December 2013, Destination Inspection was extended to June this year by the Federal Government. According to the NCS, PAAR was developed in 2012 as part of measures to respond adequately to the increasing volume of trade with limited human and financial resources. Under the arrangement, the  PAAR application system will be complimented by a Ruling Centre located at the NCS Headquarters, Abuja with trained officers and operators-assuming the following roles: • administrators of NCS-PAAR application scrutiny-officers; • final document verification officers; • valuation and classification Officers, and;

“W

Dikko

Okonjo-Iweala • risk profile Officers. Besides, commercial banks are scheduled to work with their own system based rules. Available information indicates that the Customs operations functions 24 hours. “There are four shifts of six hours each. A building designated and known as Refreshment Centre has already been commissioned by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, for the use of officers of PAAR and Nigeria Trade Hub Centres”. Already, NCS explained that it has trained the required numbers of workers, adding that it was collaborating with Federal Government agencies to make the project a huge success. Giving further details, information made available by NSE said: “The desire of all economics from the pre- industrial era to modern industrialised society is to continuously create an economic paradigm or portal that will anchor government policies in the process of creating wealth, infrastructures and welfare packages for her people with minimal cost devoid of delays and administrative bottlenecks”. It added: “From 2009, the NCS adopted an internal transition plan to take over from the Service Providers with intensive training, retraining and massive employment of young graduates between the ages of 25-27 years mostly with IT (Information Technology) background and could serve in the next 30 years to take charge of a complete transformation of all Customs operations to e- regime. “In order to perform the service effectively and

efficiently, the Pre- Arrival Assessment Report was designed and developed by the Nigeria Customs Service officers in accordance with the Nigerian import business requirement and International best practices. “The Pre-Arrival Assessment Report generation system, which in line with international best practices is essentially to enhance trade facilitation, economic competiveness, revenue collection and border security “It is introduced to manage these import requirements with certain flexibility and predictability in order to facilitate the movement of goods. It allows importers to submit pre-arrival of cargoes so that customs can conduct documentary and Risk Assessment in advance. “Pre-Arrival Cargo Assessment further expedites the release of cargoes through documentary examination prior to cargo arrivals, while reserving the right of Customs authorities to conduct further examinations where necessary and maintaining appropriate security control with the use of the risk management concept. “The Pre-Arrival Assessment regime has been in existence in a number of developed countries indicating that this regime has been well accepted and recognised as an effective measure for trade-facilitation”. The document explained that in the history of the establishment of the Nigeria Customs Service in 1891, “this is the first time that an indigenous software was developed, manned and sustained by the Service Personnel”. The PAAR regime, according to NCS provides

documentary review, “Customs valuation; tariff classification and Risk Assessment will be conducted before the arrival of cargoes. Traders will be notified whether documentary verification, scanning or physical inspections are required or not before the arrival of cargoes “PAAR facilitates the release of goods for those not requiring physical examinations/inspections or further intervention upon arrival “It is a system that targets the high risk consignment before arrival. This is to check for the likelihood of hazardous importations that could threaten environmental life and National security” Dikko also explained recently that there is no need to be physically present before good can be cleared under the PAAR regime. Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Garba Markafi, who spoke on behalf of the Customs boss said: “Importers can clear their cargoes directly in their office provided the declaration is genuine. When you access the system, it will tell you whether you need Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) attention or National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) attention or the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) attention. Everything has been done correctly. If your declarations are genuine, the importer will just receive an SMS from Customs to come and pick his cargo. Everything is on ground for the eventual takeover from the Destination Inspection companies in July”.

IMO approves guidelines on dealing with crimes on ships RAFT  guidelines on the D preservation and collection of evidence following an

allegation of a serious crime having taken place on board a ship, or following a report of a missing person from a ship, and on pastoral and medical care of victims  has been approved by the Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at its 100th session. The draft guidelines, which focus on what can practically be carried out on board a ship to preserve and/or collect evidence and protect persons affected by serious

crimes, until such time that the relevant law enforcement authorities commence an investigation, will now be submitted to the IMO Assembly 28th session, in November 2013, along with an associated draft resolution, for consideration with a view to adoption. According to the global body, the   primary purpose of the draft guidelines is to assist masters in the preservation of evidence and in the pastoral and medical care of persons affected and, when appropriate, in the collection of evidence, during the period between the report or discovery of a possible serious crime

and the time when law enforcement authorities or other professional crime scene investigators take action.  The draft guidelines further state that the master is not a professional crime scene investigator and does not act as a criminal law enforcement official when applying the guidelines, adding that the guidelines should not be construed as establishing a basis of any liability, criminal or otherwise, of the master in preserving and/or handling evidence or related matters. The draft guidelines include sections covering co-opera-

tion and coordination between interested States and parties; the role of the master; missing persons; and pastoral and medical care.  Guidelines to assist countries in meeting reporting requirements under the 2010 International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious substances by Sea, 2010 (2010 HNS Convention) were   also endorsed by the committee. The guidelines are expected to help in overcoming one of the main obstacles preventing states from ratifying the

protocol, namely the difficulty of complying with this reporting requirement, particularly in view of the enormous variety of HNS substances that are potentially subject to the reporting requirement.  The committee noted information provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the number of pirates captured and handed ashore for further investigation. Among the views expressed in relation to the judicial aspects of piracy, it was noted that transparency in identifying problems related to the

apprehension of pirates was beneficial to all parties involved in combating piracy or struggling with the consequences of this crime. They also commented that IMO is the primary forum within the UN system responsible for coordinating efforts of the wider international community in its fight against piracy; and that states had full sovereignty in their territorial waters, consequently measures such as using privately armed guards on board ships should be adopted for combating piracy CONTINUED ON PAGE 39


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MARITIME WATCH

39

Cargo vessel

‘Ignorance, bane of Nigeria’s maritime sector’ By Moses Ebosele ARITIME lawyer, Mike M Igbokwe, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has identified ignorance and nonchalant attitude of some operators and investors as the bane of Nigeria’s maritime sector. According to Igbokwe, for investors to attain set goals, there is need to rely on and use the advice, opinion and services of professionals and experts. “They (experts) must be trained/educated in the areas in which they want to operate in order to thrive without problems that would make them sink or run bankrupt”, said Igbokwe.

Explaining further in his paper at the just concluded Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) in Lagos, Igbokwe said: “This is a matter whose importance cannot be overemphasized because operating in an industry as complex as the Nigerian maritime industry with cheap or inexperienced expert and opinion before signing relevant maritime documents is akin to floundering about in a morass”. In his paper titled, “Doing business in the Nigerian Maritime Industry: Constraints and prospects”, Igbokwe said some investors operate under the impression that they can handle issues instead of engaging experi-

enced maritime legal practitioners “who can deliver qualitative legal advice and guide them”. He added: “Some of them wrongly think that it is only when there arises a litigation on their maritime disputes that they should involve maritime lawyers when they ought to have involved or retained these lawyers in order to avoid or overcome maritime disputes when they arise. “In some cases, investors run fowl of applicable laws in the maritime industry because they are not conversant with them and are penalised when their use of and reliance on proper legal advice and opinion could have saved them

the inconveniences and fines. “Section 51 of the Local Content Act mandate operators, contractors and other entities in the Nigerian Oil and Gas and Gas industry to retain the services of only Nigerian legal practitioners whose offices are located in Nigeria and provides for 50 per cent threshold of Nigerian content for legal services relating to projects management and consulting services. “This provision further underscores the crucial importance of sound legal advice from legal professionals who are familiar with the legal terrain and can offer invaluable advice to investors and should not be toyed with.

“Maritime legal services are costly mainly because it is a specialised area of law requiring expensive specialised education, training and books. Nothing good come easy and investors and operators may be avoiding greater complication which may have arisen had they not solicited for proper legal advice and opinion before plunging into any maritime business or signing any maritime document. “From experience, operators who try to find a way round using experienced maritime lawyers because they do not want to pay for correct legal services or wrongly believe that it is only when a dispute or litigation arises that maritime lawyers should be

engaged get their fingers burnt. “We see maritime investors or operators signing agreement containing foreign jurisdictions, foreign law and foreign arbitrations clauses without first reading them or seeking legal advice on their implications and when they file suits in Nigeria they are subsequently faced with antisuit injunctions based on which they or their directors are threatened with imprisonment and /or seizure of their assets in the United Kingdom, they start shaking and quickly withdraw the Nigerian suits but due to paucity of funds fail to defend the suits against them in the United Kingdom.

IMO okays guidelines on dealing with crimes on ships CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38 in places that are not subject to the jurisdiction of any state. Meanwhile, a  new  IMO  film promoting the role of women in the maritime sector has been launched during a conference on the Development of a Global Strategy for Women Seafarers. The conference, held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from April 16 to 19 2013, organised and funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), and hosted by the Korean Institute of Maritime and Fisheries Technology (KIMFT), together with IMO, adopted a declaration of intent towards the development of a Global Strategy for Women Seafarers. Shipping has historically been a male-dominated industry and that tradition runs long and deep. However, through its global programme on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS), IMO is making

a concerted effort to help the industry move on from that tradition and to help women achieve a representation within it that is more in keeping with twenty-first century expectations. The film, “Women at the helm” shows how the work of IMO, and others, is promoting positive change for women in shipping, and highlights first-hand experiences from those who have already succeeded. Participants at the conference included women seafarers and government officials from 13 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, two World Maritime University (WMU) lecturers and representatives from two “women in maritime” regional associations. Senior Deputy Director, Technical Co-operation Division, Mrs. Pamela Tansey,  said the conference had provided a unique opportunity for women seafarers and policymakers to come together to identify

policies and systems which will promote new opportunities for women seafarers and encourage the exchange of experiences and best practices which enhance women seafarers’ education, competency and career development.

“The Republic of Korea is an excellent example of a country for which maritime development has been key to economic development. However, the best technology in the world is useless and can even be dangerous in the hands of an untrained officer. For that rea-

son, this conference strikes at the very heart of the shipping industry, by addressing ways of meeting the predicted shortage of trained and competent seafarers,” Tansey said. She added: “This is directly in line with the IMO’s IWMS programme, now celebrating its 25th year, under which the

foremost priority has been to encourage IMO member states to open the doors of their maritime institutes to enable women to train alongside men and so acquire the high level of competence that the maritime industry demands”.

British warship arrives in Nigeria, trains Navy personnel By Odita Sunday O boost the cordial relationT ship between the  United Kingdom (UK) and Nigeria, a British warship ‘Her Majesty Ship, HMS ARGYLL’, a type 23 frigate, at the weekend arrived Nigerian waters. The ship had made similar visits to navies in other West African countries on its way to Nigeria. During her stay in Lagos, HMS ARGYLL and its crew would train some officers and ratings of the navy on relevant tech-

niques in sea defence. According to the commander of the ship, Tim Neild, the visit would afford them the opportunity to train personnel of the Nigerian Navy (NN) as well as help them to learn some strategies that would help British navy perform better. The commander who made this  known at the Western Naval Command Headquarters, Apapa, Lagos, said they are partnering with countries friendly with the

UK  with a view to ensuring security in the maritime sector. He also urged mutual cooperation with Nigeria to deal with maritime insecurity. Neild maintained that the challenge of insecurity has become a common problem confronting  nations, adding that the challenge was not peculiar to Nigeria.   He listed fire fighting, damage control, marine engineering, ship searching and boarding, logistics and med-

ical as part of the trainings they would offer the Nigerian Navy personnel during their stay in Nigeria. In response, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ibok Ibas, while welcoming the team to Nigeria, said both countries had comparable programme in terms of training and operations. He also said the Nigerian Navy had common heritage with the  UK as the Nigeria Navy was an offshoot of the Royal Navy.


40

THE guARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Industrywatch Manufacturers seek review of fiscal policy By Femi Adekoya ANuFACTuRERS under the aegis of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have tasked government on the need to review fiscal policies in order to effectively revive moribund industries and stimulate real sector growth. The Ikeja branch of the association, during its consultative forum held in Lagos, recently, hinged the slow real sector growth in the country on the failure of the current monetary policy framework to address realities in the sector. Specifically, the manufacturers raised concerns about the continued retention of the Monetary Policy Ratio by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the high interest rates, describing them as burdensome, making the nation’s products lack competitive advantage. The chairman of MAN, Ikeja branch, Isaac Agoye, described the theme of the forum, “Salvaging the Nigerian Economy” as a wake up call to stakeholders in the economy on the need to enhance economic growth through an active real sector. According to him, the real sector, which drives the economy, has become handicapped due to unfriendly monetary policies of government. He said: “The truth remains that no country in the world has ever developed with an interest rate as high as 25 per cent as this has made it almost impossible for investors to access the funds needed for investments. The insecurity in the country, especially in the northern states has led to a high inventory of unsold goods and massive loss of jobs. “Inconsistent government policies, dearth of basic infrastructure, multiple visitation by regulatory agencies cum multiple taxation from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), high lending rate of double digit, and unfavourable monetary policies have made

M

kogi, BuA partner on sugar refinery By Babatunde Oso ITINg its land resources and agriculture as incentives to investors, kogi State government has allocated land to BuA Sugar Refinery company for the establishment of a sugar refinery in the state. In a statement signed by Mariah Anyamele, the governor, Idris Wada gave the approval when the group Executive Director of BuA Sugar Refinery, Alhaji kabiru Rabiu, and his team paid him a courtesy visit in Lokoja last weekend. Wada said the state is blessed with abundant resources and urged investors to take advantage of the enabling environment provided by his administration to develop the state. He also said the land was allocated for the establishment of the sugar factory because agriculture is one of its priorities. Rabiu in his opening address had earlier requested from the kogi government a piece of land for the establishment of a sugar industry in Bassa Local government area in the State. BuA group started business over 24 years ago as a Private Limited Liability Company specializing in the importation and marketing of iron & steel, agricultural and industrial chemicals. Since then it has rapidly developed into a fullyfledged, diversified business with a stake in a

C

Coordinating Minister of Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala cost of doing business in Nigeria as one of the highest in the world. The need to salvage our economy is now even more resounding than ever more.” In a communiqué made available at the end of the forum, the association noted: “We note that the current payment system, in terms of revenue allocation in the country, is responsible for the eternal specter of excess liquidity in the money market. The presence of this surplus cash in the system is responsible for CBN’s MPR of 12 per cent and the prevailing high and burdensome anti-

Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga industry interest rate regime that makes Nigerian products uncompetitive. It has also led to the closure of several factories and contributed to the high level of unemployment in Nigeria. “We recognize the dastardly blows dealt to the survival of manufacturers by smugglers; however we note with concern that the band of smugglers, looters of the treasury and other commercial speculators fund their dollar requirement from the $2 billion or more CBN dollar allocations to Bureau De Changes every month.”

The association, based on its observations, however called on the CBN to reduce its monopoly on the foreign exchange market in order to aid the real sector’s access to funds at low rates and stimulate its growth. To them: “Reducing monopoly on the Forex market would result in the evolution of a stronger naira that would drive down the cost of raw materials and machinery to industrialists, thereby further reducing inflation rate; interest rates will fall to single digit, bringing cheap funds to Small and Medium Enterprises and conse-

Ondo bars farmers from forest reserves From Niyi Bello, Akure N order to stop further depletion of its forest reserves, the Ondo State government has given quit notice to all farmers operating in the reserves. Specifically, the Ondo State forest reserve is reputed to be the largest reservoir of flora and fauna in Nigeria with enormous economic potentials in form of timber and medicinal plants, The government through its Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Marcus Aloba warned farmers who refused to

I

quit within the stipulated period to be ready to face the full wrath of the law. According to him, the government’s forest reserves are not meant for farming activities and government properties should not be used for the purposes they are not meant for. Aloba expressed government’s displeasure with some farmers who have converted the government reserves to farmland despite various warnings from the government. Citing the state government’s displeasure with the state of its forest reserves, Aloba restated the State’s resolve not to negotiate with anybody destroying the state’s econom-

ic resources. Aloba directed farmers encroaching in the forest reserves to vacate immediately saying that the government would deal anybody who disobeys with its directives. The government urged all stakeholders including community leaders, monarchs and Timber Trade Associations to cooperate with government in ensuring that the forest economic resources are not destroyed in the interest of the present and future generation. Aloba added that anybody caught in the forest reserves would be treated as economic saboteurs.

Mouka ‘mattress swap’ initiative goes nationwide OukA Limited has announced the extension M of its Mattress Swap Initiative introduced recently within Lagos metropolis to other parts of the country. The scheme, which allows numerous customers to replace their old mattresses with new ones at discounted rate, has now been extended to Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Rivers states. Mouka ‘Mattress Swap’ initiative which was introduced last month as part of activities to mark the 2013 World Sleep Day 2013 would see the firm rewarding many consumers. Explaining the rationale for taking the campaign across the country, Managing Director, Mouka Limited, Mrs. Peju Adebajo said the feedback from the pilot scheme was what prompted

the company to extend it to other states in the country. According to Adebajo, “Nigerians residing in other parts of the country want to experience the Mattress Swap scheme. So we had to expand the collection points across Nigeria so as to enable more people swap their old mattresses with new ones and experience restorative sleep”. Adebajo stated that the swap initiative gives consumers an opportunity to experience comfort without a significant disruption to their cash flow. Specifically, customers are expected to take their old mattresses to the nearest designated outlet across the country, where the mattress will be weighed to determine the value of the returned mattress, following which the consumer is issued with a discount which will be

redeemed instantly to purchase a new mattress at a reduced cost. On the benefits of the scheme, Adebajo stated that customers have the opportunity to own brand new mattresses at a discounted prize. “It is also an environmentally friendly way to dispose of old mattresses as well as enjoy the comfort provided by Mouka mattresses for first time users, she said. Head, Commercial unit, Mouka Limited, Jude Abonu said that the mattress swap is not limited to Mouka products alone as customers can bring other brands of mattresses for the scheme. ‘The discount will be equivalent of the amount that the old mattress is worth and the customer will then add the balance of the price of the particular Mouka product that he or she wants’, he added.

Lafarge restates commitment to real estate growth S part of measures to A address Nigeria’s urban challenges, Lafarge group, one of the key players in the cement industry, has introduced its “Building better cities” programme to this end. According to the group, the programme, which is now embedded in a modernized logo, is the firm’s ambition and has been driving its innovation. In a statement made avail-

able to The Guardian, recently, Lafarge citing the united Nations report on World urbanization prospects, stated that by 2050, close to 70 per cent of the world’s population, estimated at 9 billion people, will be living in towns and cities, compared to just over 50 per cent today. “urbanization on such a scale will be a challenge and an opportunity for the entire construction indus-

try, and especially for Lafarge, present throughout the world, but most particularly in emerging countries, where the group is strongly established. “Lafarge, a major player with its cement, aggregates and concrete businesses, has placed innovation and performance, at the heart of its strategy. Its ambition is to contribute to building better cities by developing value-added products, and

construction systems, as well as solutions and services to meet some of the great challenges of urbanization. The group explained that in addressing five main challenges, it hopes to provide solutions contributing to more housing in cities, to address the issue of housing for all, including affordable housing; more compact cities, with the construction of vertical buildings which help reduce urban sprawl;

more durable cities, with long-lasting constructions and by taking full account of environmental concerns, including energy efficiency of buildings and water preservation; more beautiful, enabling architectural creativity and performance; and more connected cities, with a special offer for roads, airports, stations, bridges, tunnels and all infrastructures in gener-

al. The group noted that its ambition to contribute to building better cities, will be supported by innovation, which targets additional earnings devoid of interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of €450m million in its 2012-2015 plan, a feat the group attributes to its new offers, new services, new market approach and commercial excellence objective.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

41

Group Picture of dignitaries, officials and participants at the Workshop.

Vice President , NCS: Mr Andy Isichei and Director General NCS, Mrs Ify Anazonwu-Akerele

Dr. Chris Asoluka, Chairman, Board of Directors, Oil & Gas Free Zone, Onne delivery the Gift Lecture during the opening ceremony of the 4-day workshop

Mr. Emeka Ndu, MD/CEO, C&I Leasing (right), Adm GSA Ombo (Rtd), Dr IE Douglas, HOD, Marine Engineering Dept., Rivers State University of Technology, Capt. DO Labinjo, Executive Secretary, ISAN & Barr (Mrs.) Margaret OnyemaOrakwesi, Chairman, NIMAREX 2013.

Mr. Rob Goodwin & Mrs Ify Anazonwu-Akerele addressing the class

Robert Goodwin of SNEPCo giving a lecture on Ship Management

Action in the the Lecture Room


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

42

New Course Introduction A thorough knowledge of the increasing technicalities involved in the upstream oil and gas sector and its associated support structure is needed for one to successfully engage in any form of business in this sector. The wake of the Coastal and Inland shipping act and the Nigerian Oil and gas industry development act are indicators for a much needed training in line with these regulations. To bridge the need for the much needed training, the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping is introducing a week long course titled:

Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream).

The course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of the Maritime/Oil and Gas upstream business in Nigeria. Whether as a Bank who wants to finance the acquisition of offshore vessels, or an indigenous operator who wants to build upon existing knowledge, a new entrant that needs the fundamental knowledge of the maritime/upstream oil and gas business, an International Oil Company dealing with Local Operators or individuals who have a purely academic interest in gaining knowledge that will assist with their own personal and professional development; you will find the course very comprehensive and valuable. In the end, you will have a broader knowledge of Contracts, Investments and Vessel Financing in the Upstream Oil and Gas sector.

Core Modules include: 1. The Development of the Maritime Industry in Nigeria/Legislation 2. Overview of the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria 3. Finding a Vessel 4. Vessel/Equipment Inspection (Physical and Classification Surveys) 5. Vessel Registration and Working within the Regulatory Framework (Cabotage & Local Content) 6. Funding your Contract 7. Understanding Marine Insurance 8. Maritime law and Arbitration 9. Ship Management 10. Environmental Issues 11. Maritime Security

1. COMET SHIPPING AGENCIES

N150,00.00

2. BOURBON INTEROIL NIG LTD

N150,00.00

3. RANGK LTD

N150,00.00

4. JEVCON OIL & GOS LTD

N150,000.00

5. AIH SAYYAU DANTATA (MRS)

N250,000.00

6. FIDELITY BANK PLC

N250,000.00

7. OKHAI AKHIGBE & CO.

N250,000.00

8. IDEKE SHIPPING LTD

N150,000.00

9. FAIRWAY OFFSHORE

N300,000.00

10. BOURBON INTEROIL NIG

N500,000.00

11. SIFAX NIG LTD

N150,000.00

12. DIAMOND BANK PLC

N250,000.00

13. ACCESS BANK PLC

N250,000.00

14. STERLING BANK PLC

N250,000.00

15. PETER MARITIME CONSULTING

N250,000.00

16. INTELS NIG LTD

N250,000.00

17. SKYE BANK PLC

N250,000.00

18. VISCO PRODUCTION

N250,000.00

19. LOMNALCO NIG LTD

N500,000.00

20. INTERNATIONAL MARINE & LOGISTICS

N150,000.00

21. HELKO MARINE SERVICES LTD

N300,000.00

22. FOUNDATION CHAMBERS

N250,000.00

23. DADDO MARINE SERVICE LTD

N250,000.00

24. STARZ5 MARINE & ENGINEERING

N250,000.00

25. CENTURY ENERGY SERVICES Ltd

N150,000.00

26. EVULUKWU IGBEAKU UKWUEGO

N200,000.00

27. ZEEK SHIPPING NIG LTD

N100,000.00

28. SUNBLESS MARINE LTD

N350,000.00

29. SEABULK OFFSHORE

N250,000.00

30. FYMAK MARINE & OIL SERICES NIG. LTD

N150,000.00

Our facilitators are seasoned professionals with enormous experience in the industry, some of them are; Chief Chris Asoluka (PhD.): Managing Consultant, FM&T/Consulting Nig. Ltd Olisa Agbakoba and Associates: Maritime Law Dr. I. E. Douglas: Head- Department of Marine Engineering, RSUST. Mr. Toby Eve: Maritime/Shipping Expert and MD Maritime Transactions. Mr. Rob Goodwin: Master Mariner, Production Operations Marine Lead, SNEPCo Mr. Austin Uzoka: Manager, Nigerian Content Development, SNEPCo Rear Adm. GSA Ombo (Rtd) OON: Maritime Consultant Mr. Peter Olorunfemi: Maritime Finance Consultant, Peter Maritime Consulting Services Facilitator from NCDMB / NAPIMS We are confident you will find that this unique course provides you with the much needed knowledge that will benefit you and your company as well as give you the needed skill in contract sourcing, financing and execution. Kindly indicate interest by sending us an Email to: info@nigerian-shipping.org, brendan.dumpe@nigerian-shipping.org, Or call: 01-8922289, 08033861289, 08060504587, 08068844822. Visit our website www.nigerian-shipping.org or follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/nigerianchamberofshipping

SNEAK REVIEWS ON THE MODULES: UNDERSTANDING CABOTAGE AND LOCAL CONTENT IN THE NIGERIAN OIL & GAS INDUSTRY (UPSTREAM) FUNDING YOUR CONTRACT CREDIT POLICY AND FINANCE DEFINITIONS Credit Policy Definition Factors Influencing The Choice Between A New Built And A Second Hand Vessel Vessel Charter SENIOR DEBT Types of Senior Debt – Overview Financing Vessel Types Lending Methods Borrower Structures Transaction Assessment Why Do Banks Need To Have This Information? Documentation Ship Finance Options SHIP FINANCE Introduction To Hedging Introduction To Securitisation Mezzanine Project Financing Introduction To Leasing Introduction To Islamic Finance SHIP MORTGAGES Details Of The Ship The Mortgage Transfer of Mortgage Discharge of Mortgage LOAN DOCUMENTATION Compiled and Edited by Nnamdi C. Eronini


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

43


44

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

BrandWatch

45

in association with


46

IFRSWatch

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ENERGY

47

Energy Uncertainty trails govt’s proposed N8.1 trillion refinery projects By Roseline Okere HE plan by the Federal GovT ernment to build about 10 refineries in the country is facing serious challenges as some of the international investors are threatening to pull out of the deal due to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), lack of fi-

nance and inconsistency in government policies. The Federal Government had signed a N51.8 billion (N8.1 trillion) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various local and international investors between 2011 and 2012 to build 10 refineries across the country, which is expected to save the country

from fuel importation. But, The Guardian gathered on Monday, that the Federal Government has not been able to achieve much progress, as some investors have not been able to meet deadlines and progress to the next level of negotiation. In 2002 the government issued 18 licences to private

companies for refinery construction, but progress has been slow on these facilities. Challenges have included high local financing costs; an absence of government guarantees to attract external financing and a lack of confidence on goverrnment. A more substantial promise came in 2010, when Nigeria

Director-General National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Peter Idabor (left) and the National Coordinator, HYPREP, Mrs. Joy Okunu, during her recent visit to NOSDRA in Abuja…recently.

Oil production resumes from Umusadege field By Sulaimon Salau ART Resources has announced that crude oil production from its Umusadege field in Nigeria has resumed following the completion of pipeline maintenance and repairs. The Calgary-based company and its co-venturers Midwestern Oil and Gas Company Plc., which operates the field, and SunTrust Oil Company, in a statement, advised investors that production from the multiple-horizon hydrocarbon reservoir field resumed last Wednesday, following notice from the pipeline operator of the completion of

M

maintenance and repairs to the export pipeline. According to the statement, production and deliveries into the export pipeline from the field are expected to ramp up to normal levels over the next several days. It stated: “The field started oil production in 2008 and as of May 2011, production increased to approximately 10,525 barrels per day. “The shutdown of the pipeline, which began in late February, meant field production and deliveries into the export pipeline ceased for the whole of March.  “The Umusadege oil field, an

onshore oil and gas field located in the North Central area of the Niger Delta basin, contains 13 known reservoirs and substantial hydrocarbon reserves potential, according to data derived from 3-D seismic surveys and evaluations based on existing wells.  The field was awarded to Midwestern and Suntrust at a ratio of 70:30; both companies subsequently entered into agreements with Mart under which the company provides technical and financial services.  Mart, one of the first foreign companies to establish partnerships with local Nigerian

oil companies under the indigenous and marginal field programmes, is very focused on assets in the prolific Niger Delta. The news of the pipeline’s repair and consequent revival of production on the Umusadege field comes on the heels of Mart’s recently arranged $100 million secured term loan facility with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, intended to finance capital expenditures related to further field development activities as well as the company’s ongoing requirements for working capital.

National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), signed an MoU for a $28.5 billion project to construct three new refineries, as well as a petrochemicals plant. The refineries, which were to be situated in the Lagos Lekki Free Trade Zone, Bayelsa and Kogi states, were expected to come online in 2017 and have a capacity of 250,000bpd each. However, plans were subsequently scaled back, reducing the total to 400,000bpd. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was to provide 80 per cent of the $11.3 billion equity finance. Up till now, there has not much progress, according to information from NNPC. Also, the Federal Government signed a MoU in 2012 with United States -based Vulcan Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Company Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve (PFRS). The agreement envisages six new refineries with a total capacity to refine 180,000 bpd and an investment of $4.5 billion. All the six refineries were to be on line within 30 months, two in a single year. All the funding was supposed to be secured from outside of Nigeria. Again, the Federal Government recently signed an MoU with Epic Refinery and Petrochemical industries for a project at Oporoma in Bayelsa State, to be carried out as a joint venture between Epic and its partner Sino Asia Energy Group. Aside from a 180-outlet filling station chain, petrochemicals facility and 500mw of electricity capacity, this project would involve a 100,000bpd oil refinery and investments of $7.5 billion. It was gathered that the investors involve in the various project are skeptical about the viability of the projects because of the unresolved issue of deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. The Guardian also learnt that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) driving investment in refineries are

reluctant to risk their money in the project because of some provisions in the PIB, which they said is not in their interest. One of the investors was quoted to have said: “Right now, I must tell you that investors are worried that the passing of the PIB in its current form will automatically reverse the earlier agreements. “The provisions of the PIB cede too much power to the government at the expense of the investors. There is also this feeling among the investors that when the PIB is eventually passed the host communities’ equity participation in the upstream oil and gas industry will be increased. The eight per cent the IOCs think is right going but the PIB will increase it to 10 per cent.” NNPC has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt (PHRC), and one each in Kaduna (KRPC) and Warri (WRPC). The refineries have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 bpd. A comprehensive network of pipelines and depots strategically located throughout Nigeria links these refineries. The PHRC is made up of two refineries, located at Alesa Eleme near Port Harcourt with a jetty (for product import and export). The jetty is located 7.5km away from the refinery complex. In 1983, the Port Harcourt refinery with 60,000 bpsd name plate CDU capacity and the tankage facilities were acquired by NNPC from Shell. Subsequently, a new 150,000 bpsd export refinery was built in 1988 and commissioned in 1989. Therefore, the current combined installed capacity of PHRC is 210,000 bpsd. The installed capacities of KRPC and WRPC are 110,000 bpsd and 125,000 bpsd respectively. NNPC, through its subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), supplies only to bulk customers. Over the years, these refineries have not been able to meet the demand for refined petro-

NDPHC commissions biggest power transmission station in Nigeria By Sulaimon Salau UCCOUR is on the way for Sgos,electricity consumers in LaOgun states and its environs, as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) delivers the biggest transmission substation in Nigeria, under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) scheme. The plant, located in Oke-Aro, a boundary town between Lagos and Ogun state, is an automated 330/132/33 MVA transmission station that has 2x300 MVA transformers to

improve and radiate more power for Lagos and Ogun states and ease the load centres in Maryland, Ikeja-West and even Akoka and Ijora area of Lagos. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDPHC, James. Abiodun Olotu, who officially energised the sub-station at Oke-Aro at the weekend, to mark the delivery of the project among several distribution projects, said the completion of the plant was in line with commitment of NDPHC to com-

mission many projects before the end of the year. “This is the biggest transmission station and the first of its kind in Nigeria. It has the capacity to wheel out 480 MVA on the 330/132 and 120 MVA on the distribution side feeding mainly Ikeja and environs,” Olotu said. He continued: “Olotu however cautioned the members of communities to desist from erecting structures on its right of way, which is already being encroached. The Assistant General Man-

ager, TCN, Olawale Olaide, said: “I feel very happy that this project is coming to reality today, considering the fact that 2x300 MVA transformer is no joke by any standard, especially when you look at the facilities inherent like, the 6No 33kv feeders can radiate from here and 10No 150kv line can go out from here. It’s a great achievement. “The immediate beneficiaries of the project are the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Discos. Ikeja Electricity Distribution Com-

pany have some facilities around here. We have the water works 33/11 injection substation and another GT 33/11substation. On 132kv, we are fortifying Ikeja West. Two lines going to Oworonsoki from Ikeja West can come in here, and then another two can now move from here to Oworonsoki giving succor to people in Lekki, so that we improve supply in Lekki area. Before now, Oworonsoki was being supplied from Lekki axis, so we have now taken that chunk away, it can even

go as far as Akoka so as to relief the Lekki axis, so, it’s a massive facility,” he explained. It could be recalled that Olotu last week commissioned nine distribution injection substations under Ikeja and Eko Distribution Companies, comprising NRC, Ijora Causeway, Orile Igamu, Ojo TS, and Isolo which has 3No 1x15 MVA the highest number of substations to be commissioned in one site under Eko Electricity Distribution Company.


48 ENERGY

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DPR to sanction IOCs over ‘man overboard’ compliance By Roseline Okere HE Department of PetroT leum Resources (DPR) has vowed to sanction oil companies that have refused to comply with its directives on Man Overboard (MOB) prevention and response in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. A source in DPR told The Guardian that the agency would definitely ensure that it clamped down on International Oil Companies (IOCs) that have not complied with the new directive on offshore safety 10 months after it was issued. According to DPR, it has concluded plans to embark on close monitory of the offshore oil companies through its monitoring device. DPR had issued a directive to improve the levels of personnel safety for all workers in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.  According to the DPR, this directive was focused on reducing the risks associated with MOB incidents, helicopter ditching incidents, marine vessel accidents and platform disasters as well as improving the ability to respond to such incidents in Nigerian waters. The Guardian gathered that there have been numerous MOB and other incidents in Nigeria where there was no record of the event until the employee was due to go-off shift. “So not only was there no attempt to rescue these individuals but the personal consequences to family not even having a body to bury for closure creates further heartbreak.  Personal insurance policies also have lengthy delays in paying for the loss of life where a body has not been recovered”, DPR said. Analysis of accident statistics of DPR from 2005 to 2011 identified that one third of the fatalities in the offshore industry resulted from the man overboard incidents. This includes incidence of helicopter ditching, supply boat mishaps, crane failures and

other marine incidences. It also said the incidence of MOB has cost the industry huge losses running into scores of millions of dollars annually, as “the potential cost to an organisation experiencing a single man overboard incident without the MLD in use may be as high as $642,000.” The Guardian learnt that local indigenous companies are the early adopters of this new directive, whilst there has been a concerning lack of interest shown by most of the IOCs. The compliant companies include three of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) subsidiary companies the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, (WRPC); Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC; Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, and two other indigenous companies, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited; and Olivecrest Resource Services Limited. Last June, the DPR in a letter to all exploration and production companies, all service companies, and all downstream companies, expressed concern over the poor compliance by industry operators to the new regulation. The letter dated, June 6, 2012, with Reference No: DPR/SE/7206/Vol.1/3, stated that all offshore workers (swamp locations inclusive) shall have capability of response in case of incident of man overboard, through assurance and compulsory use of life jackets at all times while within the marine environment; all such life jackets in use in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria shall be equipped with very high frequency (VHF) maritime survivor locating device. It added that all existing life jackets, which do not have incorporated in them marine survivor locating devices, should be retrofitted with the device should any operative wish to continue with the use of such jackets. The letter, also directed that the device must be designed

to withstand the rough and demanding situation in the offshore environment, and also incorporate a strobe light to assist visual homing for use in the harshest marine environment. In addition, the device must have in-built capability to use VHF radio to automatically transmit distress alert to multiple receivers up to 10 nautical miles away as well as be able to provide a precise Global Position Satellite, GPS that will help in directing rescue at such a distance. DPR explained that it had to introduce the MOB/MLD policy to help operators and service providers to, “significantly reduce resulting costs in the areas of legal expenses, reputation and productivity and transit time,” in the face of rising operational costs in the industry. It added that using the Locator Device would also, “reduce the likelihood that an MOB event results in a fatality can achieve specific savings in insurance and has the potential to negotiate better ongoing insurance premiums.” It also argued that the use of such a technology would limit the negative financial implications to the offshore oil and gas industry in Nigeria, and provide speedy recovery of the MOB casualties from the water. The DPR said that after careful review of the Best Available and Safest Technology, (BAST), the department deemed it necessary to complement the Offshore Safety Permit program with the use of a VHF Maritime Locating Device. “This approach will greatly assist in the fast recovery of MOB casualties; it enables swift selfrecovery by the casualty’s own crew and in the case of helicopter ditching or rig abandonment, provides incoming Search and rescue assets with direct, accurate position data to locate survivors in the water, since time in the water is directly related to a casualty’s chances of survival, rapid re-

Lagos seeks support from UK on energy, solid mineral development By Sulaimon Salau HE Lagos State governT ment is seeking the assistance of the United Kingdom (UK) in attracting investors to the energy and solid mineral sectors in the state. Besides, the state has unveiled plans to adopt the clean energy system, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to fuel transportation scheme. Specifically, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral resources, Taofiq Ajibade Tijani, said the scheme, which had already started in a state in the country, would soon be introduced as a pilot scheme to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the Lag bus vehicles in Lagos State. Tijani, who disclosed this in his office while hosting the British Deputy High

• Plans to adopt CNG for state transport scheme Commissioner, Peter Carter, said the use of CNG will greatly reduce the demand for petrol and diesel which are not environmentally friendly and already been priced out of the reach of the populace. The commissioner sought the assistance of the Deputy High Commissioner in attracting investors in the energy sector especially in renewable energy, waste to energy project, captive power project and solar energy deployment in the state. Other areas of attracting investors according to the commissioner include the development of the solid mineral and the oil and gas subsectors of the state. Carter, while discussing various business opportuni-

ties, which abound in UK, promised to keep the ministry updated on areas of mutual interest. He advised the commissioner to take advantage of the UKTI-SHELL chain engagement programme, to showcase the ministry and the state at large to potential investors all over UK that had been invited to the programme. The Deputy High Commissioner said he plans to visit other key ministries to seek areas of cooperation between UK investors and the state. In attendance at the visit were the Tijani, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Iyabode Regina Obasa, the Director, Finance and Administration, Mrs. Ojosipe Ogundimu Jokotola and others.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

49


50

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


51

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Opinion God’s mercy and human pardon (1) By John Cardinal Onaiyekan HERE is a well-known saying, which goes like T this: “God always forgives, human beings sometimes forgive, nature never forgives”. This statement is an expression of the fact that the issue of forgiveness is quite complex and not so straightforward as it may appear to be. In this message I intend to talk about the mercy of God and human pardon. I leave for a different forum the discussion on nature and its implacable laws. All that we need to say in this regard is that we can never consistently go against the law of nature and expect to go scot-free. This is a lesson which modern science must learn as it delves into ever new areas of life. Similarly, contemporary democratic developments must take the natural law into serious account: man must not presume to approve and “legalize” what God has condemned in the natural law. Current cases in point are the debate over the legalization of abortion and same sex unions. In this message, I wish to reflect on the issue of God’s mercy and human pardon, especially in the light of two recent news items, which have raised considerable debate in our land. The first is the call for amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists allegedly made by His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar. The second is the announcement by President Goodluck Jonathan of a presidential pardon to certain high level convicted persons, in particular, the case of the former governor of Bayelsa State. That the discussion has been rather chaotic is largely due to the fact that there is little or no clarity in the terms of the debate. I believe therefore that we need to carefully analyze the issues at stake. Pardon, forgiveness, amnesty: these are beautiful concepts. It is often said that, “to err is human, to forgive is divine”. Pardon, forgiveness and amnesty belong to the divine. Of course God is just but he is also merciful. It is precisely through the Omnipotence of God that He can reconcile His justice with His mercy. The Old Testament says clearly that God shows His almighty power above all by His mercy, offering a forgiveness that wipes out our offences as if they never took place. Only

God can do this. It is also a basic tenet of the New Testament and of our Christian faith that we worship a God that is a God of mercy. I understand too that in Islam, the mercy of God is a most important aspect of His qualities and appellatives. God’s mercy however, is not without condition. Normally God forgives whoever is repentant. Repentance includes the commitment not to repeat the offence, as well as a readiness to amend the havoc caused by our bad behaviour. This is very clear in the New Testament. The prodigal son whose story is well known, (Lk 15:1132) was forgiven by his father the moment he realized that he had made a big full of himself and decided to go back to beg his father for forgiveness, “I have sinned against heaven and against you, I do not deserve to be called your son”. (Lk 15:21) That was what he said when he met his father, who however, immediately embraced him and welcomed him fully into the family household.   The forgiveness from God also entails that we make up our minds not to sin any more. The story of the woman caught in adultery in the Gospel is instructive in this regard. (Jn 8:3-11) After all her accusers had gone because none of them had the moral credential to accuse her, Jesus who could have condemned her said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. (Jn 8:11) Yes, go and sin no more! While Jesus was very lavish with his mercy for this woman, he also demanded of her that she should not continue in her sinful ways.   As regards restitution and amendment, we have the story of the call of the tax collector, Zaccheus. (Lk 19:1-10) As soon as he repented, he promised: “If I have cheated anybody, I will pay him back four times the amount” (Lk 19:8).   To continue to wallow in our sins, claiming forgiveness of God because of his mercy is tempting God and running grave spiritual danger. Under the right conditions, God’s gate of mercy is always open. The Psalmist tells us that our God is “slow to anger and rich in mercy”. (Ps 145:8) There are no limits to the number of times that God can forgive us. Our new Pope Francis

referred to this in his first Sunday Angelus to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square. He reminds us that God is always ready to forgive our sins, never tired of forgiving us. Therefore, we, he says must not be tired of asking for forgiveness. What about human pardon? This is highly recommended, in imitation of God’s own virtues of forgiveness but also in consideration of our own indebtedness not only to God himself but to one another. This is clearly spelt out in the famous Lord’s Prayer, the “Our Father”, where we ask God to “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. (Lk 11:2-4) It is as if we are giving God himself a condition to forgive us namely that he should forgive us only if and to the extent that we forgive those who sin against us. The seriousness of this commitment is perhaps not well appreciated by many who recite the Lord’s Prayer so often. Christ further teaches this in the parable of the unforgiving servant, who after receiving a most generous pardon from his master, refuses to forgive a minor debt owed to him by a fellow servant. (Mt 18:23-35) Jesus teaches this in very clear terms when he says: “If you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.” (Mt 6:15) As human beings, we have to pardon whoever comes to us repentant. Pardon wins us friends. The alternative of pardon is to seek revenge. But unfortunately, revenge does not cancel our hurt; it rather increases enmity. That is why even the non-repentant should be forgiven. Someone once said: “If you think forgiveness does not work, try revenge”! Even from point of view of the dynamics of human relations, revenge can only try to create a balance of injuries and anger, while pardon neutralizes the venom of hatred and builds friendship and harmony. It is also in line with the supreme example of Jesus, who on the cross prayed for his murderers; “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing”. (Lk 23:34) In other words, we must try to find excuse for those who hurt us. Perhaps they are acting out of ignorance or error of judgment. Of course we have a right to seek justice and to claim our rights when we are injured. But to pursue vengeance is quite another thing, because

vengeance deepens and doubles the hurt. God himself says: “Vengeance is mine. I will repay”. (Dt. 32:35-36) We know that this is easier said than done, especially in cases of grave injury which calls for redress in one form or the other; whether by just punishment or by seeking vengeance. But there is a limit to the redress that we can obtain for grave injury done to us. Have can one adequate redress for the life of a dear one taken in cold blood? Killing the murderer will not bring back the dead. At the end of the day, the full balance can only be restored through an element of gratuitous forgiveness. Human pardon is not only personal. It can also operate on the basis of group relationship. This brings us to the issue of state pardon. The duty of the State is to ensure justice, rewarding good behaviour and punishing evil actions. It starts with making just laws to regulate good relationship within the society and to apply those laws justly. In a democratic setting, this is the noble role of the legislature: a duty that must be taken seriously. The greatest source of injustice is when bad laws are imposed on the people. It is a sacred duty for the legislators to ensure that our laws are just and fair to all, especially to the weak and the voiceless. This is important not only in the content of the provisions but in the form and procedure of administration of justice. It is the duty of the judiciary to exercise the office of judging, to acquit the innocent and convict the guilty. The autonomy of the judiciary is precisely to enable it to freely carry out this duty, without undue interference from any quarters. If judges at any level fail in this duty, acquitting the guilty and convicting the innocent, passing judgments out of fear or favour, good order cannot be sustained in the society. At times, judges have the prerogative of tempering justice with mercy, reducing a sentence or commuting it to a lesser punishment. But even then, they should act in the spirit of the law. Tempering justice cannot be allowed to become tampering with the law. • To be continued. • Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Archbishop of Abuja delivered this as the 2013 Easter message.

Foreign policy: New realities, changing world (1) By Olugbenga Ashiru HAVE always held the view that Nigeria’s foreign policy must be anchored on a strong domestic Isupport and understanding. The more of this support we get and more consensus we are able to build behind Nigeria’s foreign policy exertions, the better the guarantee of its success. We live in changing times. The world continues to present a dynamic environment in which the interests of nations have changed over the years. In the case of Nigeria, the fundamental principles of Nigeria’s foreign policy have been fairly consistent since they were first espoused shortly after independence in October 1960. Yet the specific interests, priorities and emphasis of Nigeria’s foreign policy have continued to change and evolve in the context of the domestic and international environment. The main elements of the changing world and context include the following: • The end of the cold war, the emergence of the United States as a dominant super-power; as well as the emergence of multiple centres of power, especially at regional levels; The birth of the African Union with new philosophical foundations for inter-state relations and engagements in Africa, including the jettisoning of time-honoured principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states, non recognition of unconstitutional change of government among other normative principles enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act; • The rise of democratic forces and the demise of dictators in several countries in North Africa and the Middle East; • The importance of economic issues in the conduct of foreign policies; and • New challenges such as international terrorism, piracy, oil theft, illegal bunkering, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, transnational crimes, irregular migration, climate change, stalled multilateral trade negotiations. Several scholars and commentators alike have spoken about the dynamism of Nigeria’s foreign policy, or the lack of it. Those in the latter group failed to take into consideration the changing environment in which foreign policy decisions are made in today’s world. What should be paramount is the extent to which foreign policy advances the

core interests and values of the country and the people. It is this interface between the country’s goals and aspirations and the proactive manner in which the foreign policy machinery pursues these objectives that should determine dynamism and not the simple label that is devoid of reason, logic, realism and a full appreciation of the country’s national interests. With the successful conclusion of the decolonization agenda and the emergence of a postApartheid geopolitical environment in Africa, it became imperative to review and re-direct the orientation and aims of the country’s foreign policy. The outcome of this exercise led to the clear articulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives, as specified in the 1999 Constitution, which is the promotion and protection of the national interest; the promotion of African integration and support for African unity; the promotion of international co-operation for the consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect among all nations and elimination of discrimination in all its manifestations; respect for international law and treaty obligations as well as the seeking of settlement of international disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication; and; the promotion of a just world economic order. In pursuit of these objectives, the present administration has identified, as main priorities the maintenance of unity, peace and security of Nigeria, particularly in the wake of current security challenges; job and wealth creation for Nigerians; the promotion of trade and investments; promoting the welfare of Nigerians both at home and abroad, protecting their interests. The others are improving the profile and image of Nigeria abroad; enhancing Nigeria’s representation and visibility in international organisations; enhancing Nigeria’s leadership role in West Africa in particular and Africa in general; among others. While Africa has been the centre-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy from the onset, successive governments have certainly adapted its principles, objectives and priorities to the prevailing circumstances. The Afro-centric posture of our foreign policy meant that the founding fathers of Nigeria had to anchor the country’s foreign

policy thrust on the decolonization of the African continent and the promotion of African unity. Thus the deployment of substantial resources in the eradication of apartheid in Southern Africa and other theatres of the liberation struggle in Southern Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and South Africa. Today, one of the questions frequently asked is why the populace cannot derive greater benefits from the huge investments made to the cause of Africa. In response to this enquiry as well as the global realities and changing times, we now effectively make Nigeria the centre-piece of our foreign policy. This entails that every foreign policy decision must pass the litmus test of how far and by how much Nigeria’s specific and general national interests are being promoted, pursued and served. We have therefore sought to deploy foreign policy to support and promote the economic development of Nigeria through job and wealth creation, empowerment and the development of critical infrastructure for the benefit of the Nigerian people. Making Nigeria our primary focus in terms of issues bordering on our national security, economic prosperity, youth unemployment and infrastructural development, does not translate to a reduction of our commitment to Africa. Within the overarching ambit of the set objectives and the felt need for a new foreign policy thrust geared towards the maximisation of benefits of good governance to Nigerians, it became imperative to prioritise our foreign policy choices. Nigeria’s foreign policy will continue to be dictated by the political and economic programme at home. The current Transformation Agenda of Government on the domestic front has given the platform to execute good economic and social policies; the foreign policy of Nigeria will be more robust. The nexus between domestic and foreign policies cannot therefore be over-emphasised. Nigeria’s brightening economic outlook is an accurate reflection of its positive political agenda. It is in light of the foregoing considerations, as well as the bright economic prospects of the country that we are encouraged by the recently released report by Price Waterhouse Coopers, which forecasts the emergence of Nige-

ria as the 13th top economy in the world by 2050. Indeed, a recent study classified Nigeria, together with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey, as members of MINTs, in recognition of our emerging economic prospects and as the new centres of global economic growth. These assessments are not only reassuring but are pointers that Nigeria is on the right path and must redouble our efforts in attaining the objectives of Vision 20:2020. Consolidation of democracy in Nigeria and Africa Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa has been influenced largely by destiny. Not only must Nigeria always take the lead to ensure political stability in the region, but she must be actively involved in the economic development and integration of the continent. Nigeria’s support for the promotion and consolidation of democracy, good governance and human rights in Africa is not in doubt. In partnership with the African Union, strenuous efforts at entrenching democracy in Africa are being made, including uncompromising adherence to democratic tenets and values, good governance, human rights, among others. Our stance is anchored on the firm belief that a stable and democratic Africa is in Nigeria’s national interest. Consequently, Nigeria has provided material and other forms of support to the democratic electoral processes in Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Niger, among others. In Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria’s strong voice to uphold democracy, evidenced in the support given to the winner of the presidential election, prevented a bloodbath in that country. Our strong and unwavering support for democracy made the EU, UN and the U.S. to follow Nigeria’s lead, while the AU had no choice but to come on board and support Nigeria’s position for the winner of the elections in that country. Nigeria’s position was not in support of any outside power but a step taken in line with President Jonathan’s policy to defend democracy in Africa. With over three million Nigerians, the intervention in Cote d’Ivoire was in our national interest. Today and for the first time, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire are on the same side of the coin, working together to resolve the challenges in our continent. A number of Nigerian businessmen have since taken advantage of the very cordial relations between both countries. • To be continued. • Ambassador Ashiru is Minister of Foreign Affairs.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24/, 2013

52

Opinion Constitution and sanctity of peoples’ views By Oke Epia HE House of Representatives on ThursT day, April 18, 2013 made history. On that day, the Green Chambers of the National Assembly unveiled the aggregated views of all Nigerians on issues and areas of concern in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution. The occasion was the public presentation of the collated results of the peoples’ public sessions honourable members facilitated in the 360 federal constituencies of the country on November 10, 2012. This was the first time in the history of constitution making in Nigeria that every Nigerian in far away nooks and crannies of the country had a chance to have a say in the remodelling of the country’s grundnorm. The myth hitherto sustained in some quarters that constitution making is a preserve of the (political) elite was shattered as artisans, petty traders, tanker drivers, middleclass citizens and students, amongst an array of other categories of Nigerians had their views sought and duly reflected in how they want to be governed on major issues of national coexistence. The people expressed their preference and/or choices on a basic 43-item template of issues distilled from the plethora of memoranda received by the ad hoc committee on constitution review of the House of Representatives. It is of great significance that the collated results clearly reflected the pulse of ordinary Nigerians on the street on virtually all the issues, thereby strongly dispelling fears by some persons that the outcome of the sessions may be subjected to manipulations by vested interests. Unfortunately, the postponement of the presentation of the results on the very day it was earlier billed for unveiling helped to feed such fears and indeed led to speculations and unfounded allegations that the outcome of the sessions had been compromised during the process of collation.

It is gladdening to note that those fears and allegations faded off voluntarily and speedily once the collated results was eventually presented on that eventful Thursday at the House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly before a packed expectant audience comprising representatives of civil society groups, professional associations like the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), students, youths and women groups amongst others. It is noteworthy that these stakeholder groups and associations were an integral part of the organisation and implementation of the public sessions as members of steering committees and they also sent in representatives to monitor the collation exercise at the committee secretariat in the National Assembly. Thus, seeing that the presented results duly reflected what transpired on November 10, 2012 and in the collation room subsequently, the sense of satisfaction and self-gratification of having been part and parcel of the unveiled success story filled the air. But this did not stop the deputy speaker as chair of the committee from adverting the minds of the public to the possibility of marginal percentage error that may be noticed on the results as according to him, “this process may not be perfect, but I dare say, that it is the first time in the history of this country that Nigerians at the grassroots have been made part of the Constitution Review Process in a practical and transparent manner.” Rt. Hon. Ihedioha said further: “We have responded as best as we can within the limits of the constitutional and legal framework to the demands of Nigerians for greater voice and involvement in the constitution amendment process.” The results showed that the collation was done in a scientific, thorough, painstaking and diligent manner such that chances of ambiguity and/or misrepresentation were almost non-existent. The masterful way Mr. Clement Nwankwo, acclaimed civil rights activist and lead consultant to the commit-

tee, led the audience in a step-by-step unveiling of the results further reinforced the understanding and appreciation of the collated views of Nigerians expressed at the public sessions. This is why stakeholders who spoke that day spoke glowingly of the initiative, process and outcome of the public sessions while showering praises on the House of Representatives and the Ihediohaled committee for a good job well done. Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi described the entire process and the outcome as historic and unique, saying the results duly addressed calls by some Nigerians for a (sovereign) national conference. Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, Head of the West African Office of the Ford Foundation commended the House of Representatives, saying the collation of the peoples’ views on the constitution is a step in the right direction. Representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the British Department for International Development (DFID) also spoke in similar vein. Some of the speakers did however not fail to call for vigilance on the part of Nigerians following through on the next processes of the constitution amendment exercise, echoing a sentiment earlier expressed by the deputy speaker in his welcome address. The people have spoken and the next challenge is how to continue to make their voices count as the amendment process enters more critical stages like bills consideration, harmonization of work between the Ihedioha committee and its senate counterpart led by Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as well as the interface with state legislatures as stipulated by the constitution. This is where all Nigerians must maintain strict vigilance to ward off possible interferences and attempts to distort the people’s wishes by vested interests.       But how was the unqualified success of April 18 achieved? It took the unwavering

commitment (in spite of all odds) of the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha who led the ad hoc committee to record this feat. In mooting the idea of the peoples’ public sessions, the deputy speaker did not delude himself, his colleagues in the committee and the entire membership of the House that the task would be an easy one. The multi-cultural and ethnic diversity, varied political persuasions as well as peculiar economic conditions prevalent in different parts of the country are usually some of the hurdles that constrict constitution amendment process as history of constitution making in Nigeria has shown. These inherent difficulties coupled with current security challenges in some parts of the country made the idea of the public sessions a tall order. Not a few were taken captive by the scary challenges of turning a motley crowd of constituents into organized town hall meetings for fruitful discussions on an issue as fundamental as the constitution of the country. But undaunted, Nigerians bought into the project and for once in the history of the country, everyone irrespective of cradle, creed and status has come out to have a say on how he/she wants to be governed in the entity called Nigeria. Agreed, this is one of several steps of amending the constitution but the point must be made that this is the first time in the history of the country that life was given to the meaning of democracy in the Grecian fashion as much as practicable. This is the sanctity of the peoples’ voice and the credit for achieving this must be given to the Ihedioha committee. Hon. Ihedioha mobilized his colleagues and indeed the general Nigerian public from scepticism to positive affirmation. And now the toast of the success is for all Nigerians to cherish. This is the spirit that should engage the remaining processes of the constitution amendment exercise. • Epia is Media Adviser to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

A ‘bringer’ of peace By Olusola Balogun ‘The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the leader adjusts the sails’ – John Maxwell CTOR Andy Whitfield is a consummate performer who has starred in several movies. But in ‘Spartacus’, an overly violent seasonal film, he earned himself the nickname ‘the Bringer of Rain’. He got the name in the highly intriguing movie, which saw officials in ancient Rome misuse and debase their slaves. According to the storyline, the heavens over the empire were inexplicably sealed and there was no rain for a prolonged period. This sparked anxiety and fears of the outbreak of epidemic. In an attempt to appease the gods, Spartacus, a gladiator from the House of Batiatus, along with another fiery-fighter, Crixtus, were paired against a monster called Tiakolis. The problem is Tiakolis was regarded by the Romans as the ‘Shadow of Death’ for his viciousness and ruthlessness in the arena. He was believed to be invincible. Nobody gave Spartacus and Crixtus a chance in hell to overpower the rugged Tiakolis. But Spartacus prevailed even with his strike partner already down half-conscious. He dealt several lightening quick blows on Tiakolis and eventually beheaded the supposed harbinger of death. But as the famed ‘shadow of death’ yielded the ghost, the heaven suddenly opened up and the long awaited rain poured in torrent. The opening up of the heavens was, interestingly, attributed to the feat of Spartacus. He was held in awe from the Romans – elites and slaves alike. Like in the ancient Roman Empire, peace has been in short supply in Ogun State for quite awhile. It was always hyggledye piggle-dye sparking trepidation that lawlessness might have gained permanent residency in the state. However, as it was in ‘Spartacus’, there was an un-expected paradigm shift. Ibikunle Amosun, from the stable of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), tore all political permutations to prevail in the 2011 gubernatorial election. After the victory, he came

A

face-to-face with twin monster of lack of peace and insecurity. Before the advent of his administration, Ogun State was always in the news for the wrong reasons. Political brigandage was commonplace; incidences of cult-related attacks were rampant on its campuses, politically motivated killings and assaults were almost a second nature. Violent clashes between transport union leaders were the norm rather than aberration. Armed robbers raided residents with effortless ease. Political faceoff forced members of the state legislature to close shop for close to a year. It was so bad that many thought Ogun was working so hard to rival the ignoble ‘wild, wild west’ days of the first republic. Residents were peeved that peace, that essential ingredient for development, has finally taken flight of their state. But before they threw up their hands in surrender, they look afield and spotted a resilient accountant and handed him their mandate. Since he assumed office, Senator Amosun has demonstrated that it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to maintain peace in a state. The governor ensured that all transport union leaders rein their errant followers by displaying that whoever breaks the law would face the music irrespective of political leaning. He also positively discouraged cultism in the tertiary institutions in the state. The government gave stern instruction to the management of the institutions to oust the menace and this has so far worked magic. It was however easier for the school authorities to attain the target because neither the governor nor any of his aides were backing the cultists. Cultists were put on notice that there won’t be any escape from justice should they be found in the dastardly act. Suddenly, guns are no more booming on the campuses. Political brigandage, a major scourge on the people of the state, suddenly became history. Residents no longer woke up to behold machete-wielding thugs canvassing the position of one political patron or the other. Ritual killings that

was almost becoming commonplace stopped. The governor also liberalized the political space that opposition and critical voices were allowed to ventilate their views. Senator Amosun regards criticism as a challenge to better service rather than antagonism. This is a unique development in the annals of a state where political intolerance was a norm. For the first time in a long while, political officeholders saw themselves as servants of the people and not their lords or emperors. Armed bandits, who were running riots in the state, were promptly put in chains by security agents. Before the advent of Governor Amosun, policemen were largely incapacitated by lack of requisite equipment and political will to deal with criminality. But the governor changed all that. He invested heavily in security equipment in a manner never seen in the history of Nigeria. In one fell swoop, the state government imported 13 state-of-the-art Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for use of policemen. The governor also bought 1,000 AK-47 rifles, two million rounds of ammunition, 500 bullet proof vests, 500 bullet proof helmets as well as 200 patrol vans fitted with communication gadgets to ensure the mobility and presence of security officers. The effect was that crime statistics in the state plummeted to the relief of residents as robbers flee the state. Even some ill-informed kidnappers who seized the wife of the Speaker of Osun State and decided to hibernate in Ogun territory met their waterloo. The result was that residents of the state could again breathe easier in a relatively insecure country. A former minister of FCT, Aliyu Modibbo, who said he was very conversant with the state, hailed the attainment of peace in the state. To him, “the greatest achievement anyone can have is security and peace. Without peace you cannot have any development, but he has restored that. I am not a member of APC or ACN but I should not fail to point to this feat and call for support for the government.” • Balogun is a Media Aide of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 23/4/2013

53


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

54 CAPITAL MARKET

NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 24/4/2013

PRICE GAINERS

LOSERS

SMEDAN urges NSE to make ASem listing less stringent to attract more participation By Helen Oji MALL and Medium Enterprises Development Association of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has urged the Nigerian Stock Exchange to ensure that Alternative Securities Market (ASem) listing conditions are less stringent than what is obtainable in the second tire market. Besides, the Association also called for a more partnership between the capital and money markets. The Director General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Muhammad Umar speaking at the official launch of the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) in Lagos yesterday explained that when the conditions are made less stringent, it would go a long way to attract more participation in the scheme. He added that synergy between the capital and money markets was essential to improve the growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. He disclosed that from

S

next year the Association will have business centers located in each local government in the country to create more awareness for the overall development of the economy. Umar listed challenges facing SMEs to include multiple taxation, weak business capacity in terms of knowledge and skills, weak or absence of human resource policy including lack of clear succession, irregular and insecure local demands, and low synergy among three tiers of government, among others. The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema said ASeM is a specialised board to accommodate small and mid-sized companies with high growth potential seeking to access the capital market Onyema noted that the initiative seeks to address major challenges of emerging businesses in Nigeria, such as difficulty in accessing long term capital due to high cost of fund as a result

of perceived high risk, informal nature of operations and inadequate accounting standards, controls and management of resources. He listed key initiative to ASeM to include development of brand essence towards launching of the

board with identity, purpose and target company criteria, reviewed listing requirements, making listing on ASeM readily accessible and affordable to a wide range of viable emerging businesses, introduced Designated Adviser (DA)

Programme to support companies listed on ASeM in complying with post listing obligations and maintaining their listing status, introduced ASeM Growth Ambassador (GA) Programme to project the ASeM brand and support the

advocacy and quotations drive of The Exchange and introduced a bouquet of value added services, including Institutional Services, to assist listed companies to maximise benefit of their listing Status.

NSE’s market capitalisation depreciates marginally by 0.01 per cent qUITy transactions on E the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed on a downturn yesterday, occasioned by price losses suffered by most blue-chip companies, as the All/Share index slide marginally by 0.01 per cent. Specifically, at the close of trading yesterday, the market capitalisation of listed equities dropped by 0.01 per cent to close at N10.576 trillion against the N10.577 trillion recorded on Monday while the All/Share Index, which opened at 33,090.05, lost 3.77 points or 0.01 per cent to close at 33,086.28. On the price movement chart, Livestock and John Holt topped the losers chart

with 9.70 per cent to close at N2.70 and N1.49 per share respectively while Constain West Africa followed with 9.43 per cent to close at N1.44 per share. Royal Exchange Assurance shed 9.38 per cent to close at N0.58 per share. WAPIC dropped 9.17 per cent to close at N1.09 per share. Unity Bank lost 8.96 per cent to close at N0.61 per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria dropped 8.33 per cent to close at N8.80 per share. Mansard, AIICO and IHS also dropped 7.1,5.56 and 5.56 per cent to close at N2.50,N0.85 and N1.70 per share. that the market would con-

tinue to experience mixed performance until the release of the remaining 2012 audited results of some top banks. On the other hand, LearnAfrica led others on the gainers chart with 9.58 per cent to close at N1.83 per share. AG Leventis followed with 9.22 per cent to close at N1.54 per share. Prestige Assurance added 8.77 per cent to close at N0.62 per share. Paint Company of Nigeria gained 8.12 per cent to close at N1.73 per share. C&I Leasing added 7.55 per cent to close at N0.57 per share. Dangote Sugar Refinery gained 5.69 per cent to close at N7.80 per

share. NEM insurance, Honeywell, Wema Bank garnered 5.63,5.17 and 4.41 per cent to close at N0.75,N2.85 and N1.42 per share. Analysts attributed the drop in indices to profit taking by investors on the NSE. They expressed that the market would respond positively to the financial results of some banks if they met investors’ expectations. The banking sub-sector maintained its dominance in volume terms with 141 million shares worth N1.5 billion followed by the insurance sub-sector which traded 67 million units val-


ARTS

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

55

Midweek Art AMAA 2013… Nigeria shines with Confusion Na Wa, Esiri, Akanni, too By Cuks Nwanne

T

HE sleepy town of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, came alive over the weekend as top celebrities, movie stars, musicians, filmmakers, film enthusiasts and stakeholders in the motion picture industry from different parts of the world stormed the state for the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). From the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos, to the Port Harcourt International Airport from where the guests were moved in convoy to Yenagoa, excitement filled the air. While foreigners and first timers got the opportunity to see the home state of Nigeria’s president and also witness the rich culture of the Bayelsa people, for the regulars, the trip was just another opportunity to update them with the ongoing infrastructural development by the new administration. But as far as the residents are concerned, bringing AMAA back to Yenagoa is a big relief; it has always been an opportunity to make brisk business. Held at the Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, the glittering ceremony, which opened with a special red carpet reception, paraded notable Nigerian stars such as Kanayo O Kanayo, Kenneth Okonkwo, Chioma Akpota, Chinedu Ikedieze, Osita Iheme, Rita Dominic, Foluke Daramola, Saidi Balogun, Beverly Naya, Richard Mofe Damijo, Grace Amah, Uche Ogbodo, Segun Arinze, Nse Ikpe Etim, Zarch Orji, Paul Obazele, Victor Osuagwu, Uti Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, Governor Seriaki Dickson of Bayelsa State and wife at the event Nwachukwu… the list was sooooo long. Also on the red carpet were movie stars from other African countries such as Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, United States, United Kingdom and others. Leading the Bayelsa team was the state governor, Seriake Dickson and wife, his deputy Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, members of the State Executive Council, members of the State Legislative Council and other dignitaries. Declaring the event open, Governor Dickson, who spearheaded a fund raising dinner in Abuja OME tomorrow, the mystery surfor AMAA, expressed his satisfaction with the partrounding The Ultimate Arrival movie nership with AMAA, especially the resolve to host will finally be revealed. At exactly 10:30 the glamorous event in the state this year. pm that evening, the movie that has “I thank all the people that helped to raise over been shrouded in secrecy, will premiere N800 million for this event. Beyond the glamour, on AIT Network, Silverbird TV, ONTV, AMAA is vital in the development of the culture Star Times and Galaxy TV simultaneousand tourism of Nigeria in general and Bayelsa ly. Here’s the catch: the movie will be State in particular. I’m elated tonight about this aired on TV only once! event. In our new Bayelsa, we say that every good The promoters of the movie have also human being is a good Bayelsan; you are welrevealed that the movie is being backed come,” he said. by one of the biggest brands in Nigeria. In support of the entertainment industry, the And in what could be described as a governor announced a N250 million Bayelsa Indigenous Film Trust Fund, which will be avail- Nollywood actors Kanaya O Kanayo and Kenneth Okonkwo with their Special Recognition Aards at AMAA 2013 deviation from the norm however, the able for young Bayelsans in the showbiz industry producers of the movie have chosen to to access. media to change the mind of Africa about Africa. Fuelling Poverty, a Nigerian documentary won launch it on TV screens. This is a shift “We are working on several projects to maximize “We’ve been able to achieve a lot through our Best Documentary Film, while Obi Emelonye’s Last from the current practice of premiering our tourism potentials. We are currently laying partnership with Bayelsa State. Africa needs to Flight To Abuja emerged Best Film By An African in theatres. the foundation for the Yenagoa film & entertain- look inside; we need to begin to make our govern- Abroad. Blood And Henna, another Nigerian work, Promos of the movie’s premiere have ment city; we’ve made available plots of land for ment responsible to the creative industry; around bagged the Achievement In Costume Design begun running across various media stars so develop accommodations in the state. If the world, creativity is making us proud. I want to award. Though she lost the Best Actress award to channels including print, radio and onyou observe, nightlife has returned to Yenagoa; thank the governor for bringing AMAA back to South Africa’s Florence Masebe for her role in line. The promos only disclose the date we want to package Bayelsa as a major tourism Bayelsa and I thank Mr. President for his continual Elelewani, Rita Dominic’s The Meeting won (Thursday, April, 25), time (10:30 pm) destinations in the country,” he said. support for AMAA,” she said. Achievement In Make-Up, while Nigeria’s Heroes and TV stations (AIT Network, Silverbird Representing President Goodluck Jonathan, the Addressing the gathering, American actor and And Zeroes won the award for Achievement In TV, ONTV, Star Times and Galaxy TV), Minister for Culture & Tourism, Chief Edem Duke film producer, Mario Van Peebles could not hide Editing. which would premiere the movie. TV charged African filmmakers never to relent in his joy on the success story of the African motion In recognition of their role in the industry, viewers are advised to tune in to these telling the true African story. picture industry through the AMAA project. Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to stations to watch the full-length movie. “It’s is our responsibility to tell the true stories “This is my first time in Nigeria and I thank folks filmmakers Tunde Kelani, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, There is, however, a twist to the movie. of Africa that made Africa what it’s truly is. It is in Pan-African Film Festival, who encouraged me Sir Ositadinma Okeke Oguno (Ossy Affason), Ayuko important to be constructive and supportive of to come. When you fly over Lagos to Port Harcourt, Badu and Chief Pete Edochie, while Special The promo does not reveal the cast or one another. I’m happy that today, our stars are you wonder why beautiful people should be Recognition of Pillars of Nollywood awards were production crew. The suspense is collaborating with their international counter- pressed down. The minute you come together, we given to Emem Isong, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Kenneth heightened by the fact that it revolves parts, which is good for the industry. It is my hope are all going to continue to be here. We just start- Okonkwo and Film/Video Producers and Marketers around a male figure, most likely the that the nominees and winners will see them- ed making films about us; our children want to Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN). Ninah’s Diary, a movie’s main character, whose face is not revealed. He is shown overlooking a selves as the culture representative of Africa.” see the success they see in our films. It is out duty Cameroonian movie got the prestigious Special brightly-lit cosmopolitan city. The Speaking through the country’s High to show them love, the heroes; they are going to Jury Award at the event. promo materials already revealed Commissioner in Nigeria, South African presi- follow. Most importantly, thank you for bringing Anchored by Comedian AY, Dakore Eguson- describe the main character’s force as dent, Jacob Zuma, recalled the role Nigeria played us home,” he said excitedly. Akande and Ama Asabere, the ceremony was magnetic. The movie’s tagline then during the apartheid regime in the Rainbow With the theme, Africa One, this year’s AMAA is spiced with performances by the Bayelsa State nation. surely a good harvest for Nigeria as Late Village Cultural Troup, Kwalatebza group from South reads: Your World Revolves Around His “Nigeria made it possible for us to be talking to Headmaster, Justus Esiri emerged Best Actor for Africa, Magic Groove band from Malawi, Waje, Timi Mystery. Supporting characters are described you today as a free nation. We also share the his role in Assassins Practice. Niji Akanni emerged Dakolo and Flavour, who wrapped up the performtrenches with the people of Nigeria, the trenches best Director for his work, Heroes And Zeroes, while ances. Comedians such as Funny Bone also got accordingly: His Woman, His Guys, His Barman. Audiences nationwide will have of fight against poverty. I see Africa making a rev- Confusion Na Wa, a Nigerian film, won the AMAA slots to crack ribs at the event. olution; advancement in culture is revolution. 2013 prize for Best Film. For his role in Hoodrush, Though the AMAA project has grown beyond to wait until 10.30 pm tomorrow when This is an important occasion that will bring Gabriel Afolayan was adjudged Best Actor in a sup- expectation, attracting visitors from Africa and the cat will be let out of the bag, to enjoy about integration in Africa,” he said. porting role, while Nigeria’s Belinda Effah tied beyond, logistics remains a big barrier to the initia- the full length thriller - for this once-inIn her remark, the CEO of AMAA, Peace Anyiam with Kenya’s Joseph Wairimu in the Best tive that has put Nigerian and African movies and a-lifetime viewing experience. Osigwe tasked Africans to see a way of using the Promising Actor category. its stars on the international platform.

Ultimate Arrival premieres on TV tomorrow

C


56

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GuARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

57

Sports Siasia set to thrill fans at Heineken Champions Planet

Agbim’s return excites Shorunmu

Super Eagles FtheORMER coach and a member of uSA 94’ World Cup debutant team for Nigeria, Samson Siasia will be the ‘Legend of the Night’ at the Heineken Champions Planet tonight, as guests get the opportunity to interact with him during the second semi final first leg match of the uEFA Champions League. The Beijing 2008 Olympics silver medal winning coach, who also piloted the Flying Eagles of Nigeria to a runner up feat behind Argentina at the FIFA under-20 Championship in Holland in 2005, during the week confirmed his intention to be part of the premium viewing experience at the Heineken Champions Planet in Victoria Island, Lagos.

• Enyeama, Ejide under radar him play for Rangers last

From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja uPER Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu, has expressed joy over the return to action of homebased Eagles captain, Chigozie Agbim, who was at the post for Rangers International FC of Enugu during last weekend’s continental encounter against Recretivo Libolo of Angola. Shorunmi, who commended the managements of Warri Wolves FC and their Rangers counterparts for saving Agbimscareer noted that his been out of action for some time now may have affected his form which he noted was very high before the super eagles AFCON glory in South Africa. The transfer saga involving the two Premier League clubs finally came to an end when the Flying Antelopes fielded the Eagles homebased captain in the CAF Champions League clash last weekend, after allegedly securing his service from Wolves with a transfer fee of N8 million. Reacting to the development in a telephone chat yesterday, Shorunmu said that he was satisfied watching Agbim’s reflexes, adding that constant action would improve his chances in the competitive Super Eagles goalkeeping department. “I feel very happy watching

S

weekend. It is good that the whole controversy between Warri Wolves and Rangers over the ownership of the players has come to end. I was impressed with his reflexes and fitness generally. I have no doubt that his return would improve his game with the Super Eagles,” he said. The former Eagles first choice keeper also revealed that he was equally monitoring the other goalkeepers that were invited for the teams busy June schedule. He noted that there was no serious update on the preparation with the absence of the Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, who is currently holidaying in the uSA. “There is no update on the team’s preparation for now because you know we are still waiting for the Big Boss to come back from his trip to America. We are not, however, sleeping and snoring while waiting for him. We are exploring every technical avenue towards improving the team. “Certainly, we are monitoring them especially the ones we invited for the June busy schedule. We watch their matches on television and the good news is that they are fit and doing well. We pray they all stay injuryfree.”

CAN Under 17: Garba may stick with winning team OACH Manu Garba may inclusion ahead of Taiwo Cstick to the Eaglets starting Awoniyi in the starting line line up that defeated Congo up against the hapless Junior the 7-0 massacre on Saturday when the Golden Eaglets tackle Tunisia today at Grande Stade Marrakech in the second semi-finals of the on-going Morocco 2013 CAN under-17 Championship. Manu hardly gamble with his team unless it is inevitable and has admitted as much after the team’s training on yesterday. “Of course, all the players are ready and fit to go and that means we can still call on the same players that did us proud against Congo,” he said. “But we have to wait till tomorrow (Wednesday) to know who and who is ready for the task against Tunisia.” He added: “We are at a delicate stage of this campaign because it’s a winner-takes-all match and for that reason, there is no need to gamble.” The duo of Success Isaac and Kelechi Iheanacho may play in a twin-attacking formation to cause problems for the Tunisians. The two marksmen have scored 10 goals out of the team’s 17 so far in the tournament. Iheanacho, justified his

Red Devils of Congo when he grabbed a hat trick to add to his solitary strike against Ghana. Success has cemented his position in the team and he is the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals.

Another FIFA executive committee member quits says executive commitFof IFA tee member, Nicolas Leoz Paraguay has resigned for

Agbim

Suarez has not learned his lesson, Bakkal claims Suarez’s remains “out LhisuIS of control”, according to previous bite victim  Otman Bakkal who was stunned to see the Liverpool striker sink his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic’s arm on Sunday. The former PSV Eindhoven player, now at Dynamo Moscow, was bitten on the shoulder by the uruguayan while he was at Ajax in November 2010. It proved to be Suarez’s final game for the Dutch side as he incurred a sevenmatch ban before signing for Liverpool less than two

months after that violent outburst. Following the incident on Sunday, Bakkal believes the Reds forward still hasn’t dealt with his anger management issues. “At the time Suarez said it was a one-off gesture, but now he has repeated it,” the 28-year-old told reporters. “In those years he has not learned his lesson. Suarez needs to control his nerve and temper on the pitch. “I have played against him and he talks too much.” Bakkal, a former Netherlands international,

was left with a nasty wound on his collarbone after Suarez’s bite. He says he has never encountered a footballer quite like the 26-yearold in his 10-year professional career.  “I know about the new case only by what I have read — I am surprised,” he continued. “I never provoked him (during the incident in Holland). He was very angry and the reaction was to bite me on the shoulder. He uses everything to try to distract defenders. “I’ve never known anything like it as a professional.”

FIFA Confederations Cup

Nigeria envoy to Brazil, NFF meet over Eagles HE Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Brazil, His Excellency, Vincent Okoedion at the weekend visited the Secretariat of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Abuja, as both the NFF and the Embassy put finishing touches to arrangements for Nigeria’s participation at the FIFA Confederations Cup. “The whole of Brazil is presently animated for the FIFA Confederations Cup. Hotels and transportation services are being booked ahead, as so many people are showing big interest in the tournament. “Even within Brazil, the quest for the hospitality and transportation services, as

T

well as tickets for the matches, is high. I have come to the NFF so that we can harmonize our strategies to be able to cater for the large contingent of Nigerians expected for the event,” Ambassador Okoedion said. The FIFA Confederations Cup, which features the champions of the six continents of the world alongside the host nation and one other, traditionally comes as dress rehearsal for the FIFA World Cup finals, and is staged exactly one year before FIFA’s flagship tournament in the same country hosting the World Cup. This year’s showpiece, which takes place from June 15 to 30th June, will welcome

Spain (World and European champions), Nigeria (champions of Africa), uruguay (champions of South America), Mexico (champions of North America), Japan (champions of Asia), Tahiti (champions of Oceania), host Brazil and Italy (Europe’s number two). Nigeria, the last to qualify after winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in February, tackle world champions Spain, South American champions uruguay and Oceania champions Tahiti in Group B. The Super Eagles’ only previous participation at the competition was in 1995 in Saudi Arabia, when it was still known as Intercontinental

Tournament for the King Fahd Cup. Host Brazil, with five FIFA World Cup wins and fourtime world champions Italy, are favourites in a Group A that also has Mexico and Japan. “We are happy with Ambassador Okoedion’s visit. Of course, the NFF and the Nigeria Embassy in Brazil have been working on several areas of services to be provided at the competition. The Ambassador’s visit only underscores the fact that the Embassy and ourselves are working assiduously for a hitch-free participation by Nigeria at the tournament,” NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said.

health reasons. Leoz, who is 84 and has undergone several rounds of heart surgery, has been a member of FIFA’s board since 1998. He has been president of CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, since 1986. Leoz leaves FIFA in the same week that its ethics judge is expected to announce decisions stemming from an investigation into a World Cup kickbacks probe. Leoz was identified during a Swiss criminal trial in 2008 for receiving payments from FIFA’s former marketing partner ISL. The agency collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001. FIFA says ‘’CONMEBOL will now have to decide immediately on the replacement of Nicolas Leoz as one of its representatives on the FIFA executive committee for the remaining period of office.’’

Temiloluwa, Onaopemipo win Biyi Mabadeje Junior Squash Tourney OP junior squash players in T Lagos State converged yesterday at the popular O’ Trafford Squash Club, Ikoyi to vie for honours in Adebiyi Mabadeje Junior Squash Championship. Sponsored by the Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon Adebiyi Mabadeje, the tournament is open to all top junior players across Lagos State who feature in two categories – under 19 and under 15. After hours of thrilling games that saw the young players displaying skills, which left no one in doubt that the future looks very promising for the game in Nigeria, 15-year old Adegoke Temiloluwa emerged champion in the under 19 category, beating 16year old Pratt Olanrewaju 3-1. Okechukwu Ezeh, who is 15 years, came third.


THe GUardIaN, Wednesday, april 24, 2013

58

CricketWeekly

Gayle

Chris Gayle hits fastest-ever century HrIS Gayle set a new C record for the fastest century in professional cricket by reaching 100 off 30 balls. The West Indies batsman, 33, beat australian andrew Symonds’s 34-ball ton in 2004 and he went on to record the highest Twenty20 score of 175 not out. Gayle smashed 17 sixes and 13 fours in a 66-ball knock, beating Brendan McCullum of New Zealand’s 158 not out. His royal Challengers Bangalore side hit a T20 record 263-5 and beat Pune Warriors in the Indian

Premier League. That score eclipsed the previous best of 260, set by Sri Lanka against Kenya in Johannesburg in September 2007. Gayle also took two wickets late in the Pune innings as they scored 133-9 in reply, with royal Challengers winning by 130 runs. He told ITV4: “I’m lost for words. It was just one of those days. It’s a good wicket and I started well. “I got a good total. I can’t say it’s a decent total - it’s a good total. all I had for breakfast this morning was a plain

omelette, two pancakes and a hot chocolate.” In November last year, Gayle became the first man to hit a six off the opening ball of a Test match - the left hander hit Bangladesh debutant Sohag Gazi for a maximum in the first Test in dhaka. Symonds set the previous record for the fastest century in 2004, playing for Kent against Middlesex in the Twenty20 Cup. Pakistan’s Shahid afridi hit the fastest century in 50over cricket in 1996, reaching a ton in 37 balls against

Sri Lanka in Nairobi. he fastest century in Test cricket belongs to Gayle’s fellow West Indian batsman Viv richards, who needed 56 balls to achieve the feat against england in antigua in 1986. India captain Mahendra dhoni, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, expressed sympathy for Pune’s bowlers after Gayle’s record innings as he tweeted:  “Life is all about taking the right decision. Seeing Gayle bat today, I think I took the right decision being a wicketkeeper.”

ICC chief wants Butt, Asif to ‘come clean’ He International Cricket T Council (ICC) has asked banned pair Salman Butt and Mohammad asif to “come clean” and help fight spot-fixing. The Pakistan duo were found guilty of “spot-fixing” in 2011 and lost their appeals against their bans at the Court of arbitration for Sport last week. ICC chief, dave richardson said: “I would urge them to start the process of rebuilding their lives and reputations by apologising for their actions and meeting with ICC’s anticorruption officials to come clean.” Butt, asif and Pakistan teammate Mohammad amir were found to have deliberately

bowled no-balls as part of a betting scam during the Lord’s Test against england in august 2010. all three were subsequently convicted and jailed. Butt is banned for 10 years by the ICC, with five years suspended, while asif is banned for seven years, two of which are suspended. amir has admitted his guilt, while Butt and asif have always maintained their innocence. However, the Court of arbitration for Sport (CaS) says Butt, described as the orchestrator of the plot, has admitted his role. richardson said: “The guilt of these men has now been established on three separate occasions, in three separate sets of

proceedings and in three separate forums. “The time has now come for them to stop misleading the members of the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy. “In addition to the CaS finding asif a party to the conspiracy to act corruptly, it is also pleasing to note from the decisions that Butt acknowledged his part in the fix before the CaS panel. “I am certain that both Butt and asif have information that can be of great assistance to the (ICC’s) anti-Corruption and Security Unit and its ongoing fight against corruption in

cricket.” “We are pleased to note that the CaS panel rejected each and every one of the allegations that were made of prosecutorial misconduct by the ICC, and bias and incompetence on the part of the independent anti-Corruption Tribunal. The CaS decision also justifies all of ICC’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts. “In my opinion, the single biggest threat to the viability and strength of the sport of cricket, both at international and domestic level, is that posed by those few unscrupulous individuals who, for unlawful financial reward, choose to engage in corrupt practices.”

John Mooney out of Ireland’s Pakistan ODI after Thatcher tweet all-rounder, John IforreLaNd Mooney has been banned the one-day international against Pakistan on May 23 following his tweets after the death of Baroness Thatcher. Cricket Ireland “severely reprimanded” Mooney for the tweet in which he hoped that the former UK Prime Minister’s death had been “slow and painful”. Mooney, 31, will also be banned for two Irish InterProvincial matches. However, he will be eligible for the second game against Pakistan on May 26 Mooney quickly apologised for his tweets after the controversy broke, admitting that they had been “offensive”. However, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren deutrom described the comments as “crass, insensitive and offensive” and some form of disciplinary action was inevitable despite the player’s apology. The dubliner was found to be in breach of clause eight of his Cricket Ireland contract, which prohibits any comment, which “denigrates, is derogatory, or is prejudicial to the interests of cricket; or is of a nature which brings the game of cricket or Cricket Ireland into disrepute”. Speaking yesterday, deutrom said that Mooney had “accepted that the tweet was offensive and inappropriate”.

“We took into consideration the fact that he issued a fulsome and swift apology and that he is genuinely remorseful for his action,” added the Cricket Ireland chief executive. “However given the breach of his contract and nature of the tweet, we felt it appropriate that a three-match sanction be imposed. “We have also severely reprimanded John and reminded him of his duties and responsibilities as a high profile international cricketer.” In addition to the opening one-day game against Pakistan, Mooney will be banned for Leinster’s interprovincial games against the Northern Knights on May 6 and the North West Warriors on May 14 to 16. Mooney, who plays for club side North County, won his

Mooney


THE GUArDIAn, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

SPorTS 59

Our fears, concerns for tennis in Nigeria, by Imonitie, Abdullahi By Olalekan Okusan AVID Imonitie and Sadiq Abdullahi may have played for nigeria but the duo is not happy that the game that brought them to limelight is been left to nose-dive. Also since the exit of players like Imonitie, Abdullahi, Tony Mmoh, and nduka “Duke” odizor), nigeria has defaulted badly in the production of great and exceptional tennis players. In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Imonitie particularly blamed the dwindling fortune of the game on lack of development. “Tennis in nigeria has had its ups and downs. With a large population like ours there are talents abound in the country and it is a case of trying to harness them. We are struggling to produce top players today because we took our eyes off the ball. We stopped developing the players and only focused on the top and left a vacuum at the base, which is a reflection of what we have now. Most of the big tennis nations have focused on a big base and as such been able to nurture through the most talented players from the strong base they have. Tennis has to be accessible to everyone with the provision of equipment and making cheap to those kids from the poor background,” he said. He added: “In order to get back to those glory days, the focus has to shift from what we have

D

now. The structure has to change and reflect what we have in the past. What we have now is too much focus on the high level players as opposed to the development side of things. Back in the days all the states in nigeria were producing players and each state was trying to outdo each other. The state tennis associations were also supportive and you had the state sport councils contributing. The structure of the tournament has to change as well with junior tournaments right from the coloured balls to the regular balls. Back in the days there was junior tournament in almost every state. The coaches have to be trained and retrained so they are well equipped with up to date techniques.” For Abdullahi, there must be a change. “nigerian tennis has lost its continental and international appeal. As you will recall, in the 1980s we competed vigorously in continental and international competitions to showcase our talents and skills, and our culture to the world. We were nigerian tennis ambassadors of goodwill. In order for nigerian tennis to regain its edge in continental and international competitions, the nigerian Tennis Federation will have to reevaluate and refocus its grassroots, tennis-in-school, and elite development programmes,” he said. on the forthcoming election, Imonitie said: “Tennis is now a business all over the world. The

people that should be at the helm of affairs should be able to negotiate with sponsors and other stakeholders. Also go out to look for sponsors to stage different types of events, be it coaching clinics, tournaments. The incoming administration should also look to work with the national players so that their needs can be catered for. The officiating officials need to be up-to-date with new rules of the game and this can be done by the new administration organising refresher courses from time to time. The ex players need to help the incoming administration with fresh ideas and also mentoring of upcoming players. Ex players who are involved with coaching abroad should bring their expertise to the fore.” “In order for nigerian tennis to regain its edge in continental and international competitions, the nigerian Tennis Federation (nTF) will have to reevaluate and refocus its grassroots, tennis-in-school, and elite development programmes. The selection of candidates into the board of the tennis federation should be made on merit and set guidelines. Federation presidents tend to rule the federations from the traditional top-down dictatorial and authoritarian approach. The new thinking calls for a scientific, inclusive, collaborative, interactive, goaland results-oriented, and democratic methodology, using the systems approach,” Abdullahi said.

Mba may move to Arsenal Wolves suspend official over role against Irabor-led LMC By Gowon Akpodonor FrICAn nations Cup hero, Sunday Mba, may be heading for the Emirate Stadium in England any moment from now, if arrangements by the management of Warri Wolves are anything to go by. In another development, the club’s Vice Chairman, Alex Amudo, has been suspended with immediate effect for his alleged role in the sacking of the nduka Irabor led League Management Committee (LMC). Amudo was suspended for anti-club activities and has been replaced by Kenneth nwomucha. It was learnt yesterday that the Gunners have extended invitation to Mba through the management of Warri Wolves to report at the Emirate latest by this weekend. An official of the club told The

A

Guardian yesterday that they had communicated to Mba the request made by Arsenal, adding that it is left for the player to make up his mind whether or not to accept the offer. He, however, did not give details of the offer. According to the official, Mba remains the property of Warri Wolves. “He is our player and we are in touch with him on every arrangement we make with Arsenal concerning the transfer. It is a good deal and I expect Mba to consider it. A flight ticket from Arsenal is waiting for Mba,” the official added. It would be recalled that Wolves offered goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim and Mba to rangers FC, but have retained Mba hoping to cash on his proposed move to Arsenal. Wolves had through a letter signed by the Club Secretary,

Lawrence omowho, suspended the club’s Vice Chairman and Chief Executive officer, Amudo, for indiscipline and insubordination, having gone contrary to the view of Delta State Sports Commission, who are the custodian of the club. The letter also nullified whatever discussion Amudo had in Abuja during the meeting held by the chairmen and managers of the 20 premier league clubs, who sacked the nduka Iraborled LMC. Wolves has washed its hands off the sacking of the LMC board and claimed that what Amudo did not consult with it before going for the meeting. The suspended vice chairman has been directed to handover all club properties in his posses-

Milo Secondary School Basketball Championship

Rivers returns to Lagos finale, targets laurels By Olalekan Okusan or years, rivers State has not presented any team for the grand finale of the yearly Milo Secondary School Basketball Championship, but at the weekend in Enugu, the Coach Tekena okumgbaled rivers State University of Science and Technology International Secondary School broke the jinx by qualifying for the Lagos finale. Although, the qualification was not without any effort, as the team had to beat Bayelsa’s Winners International Academy Secondary School, Yenagoa, 54-41 points to emerge winner at the Atlantic Conference final held in Enugu.

F

The match also brought out the best in the team with pep talk from Coach okumgba, which aided their triumph. Both sides fought hard in the first quarter of the encounter, which ended 9-9. But the second quarter went in favour of the rivers team with the stanza ending 21-19. The points were increased in the third quarter with rivers leading 38-27 and the team went ahead to win 54-41 points to lift the coveted trophy in Enugu. An excited Coach okumgba could not hide his joy after the encounter but he was beaming with confident that his lads would be unstoppable when they visit Lagos in June.

Mba

One of Nigeria’s longest serving players, Shehu Lawal, at the last Lagos Governor’s Cup. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Match rustiness, inept administration caused our poor continental outing, says Owumi By Eno-Abasi Sunday the recent past, nigerian Ithenclubs proved their mettle in Confederation of African (CAF)-organised Champions League and the Confederation Cup. This was when the right atmosphere was in place. But with the pitiable state of the domestic league as well as alleged ineptitude of the

Board of the nigeria Football Federation (nFF), the country is paying dearly for it as reflected by the shock ouster of three out of the four teams representing the country in the above named championships. And for former chairman of the nigeria Premier League (nPL), Davidson owumi, rustiness and administrative ineptitude of the nFF arrowheads played parts in the dismal performance of the country’s flag bearers in this year’s tourneys. owumi, in an interview with The Guardian said: “What is happening to our teams is just a confirmation of the saying that you don’t give what you don’t have because the crisis in our domestic league did not allow us prepare for continental action. He continued, “our teams are just coming out of a sevenmonth long holiday, so playing against teams that have been playing competitively for almost a full season was going to be an arduous task because they will be more coordinated. I don’t think our teams were coordinated, neither did they gel or blend enough to make any positive impact in their continental engagements. “If a team has not played together consistently for a reasonable period of time, as is the case with our teams, who have played just about

six or so games, how do you think they will blend? Modern football is not played like that because you must be involved in competitive games week in, week out. That is how players get into form. So for nigerian teams that just went into continental encounters barely prepared, there is no way they would have been in form like their counterparts, who have been involved in competitive actions for months. He stressed that football being a team sport, a single team member that is not in form, is capable of causing a serious disaster in the entire team and by extension the country he represents. “That is why I continue to say that the nFF messed up the league by the singular action they took in 2010 by nullifying the election that brought us into office and, which would have enabled us continue with the progress we were bringing into the league. “During my time in office, I brought contracts worth a total of n5b into this country, but the present nFF Board rejected it. Today, three years after, nigerian domestic league has not gotten a kobo. now, money is the name of the game now and without it, the result is the catalogue of woes on our door and this is because of the administrative naivety of the nFF.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

60 SPORTS

European Round-Up

Mourinho, Real Madrid CL success will be special, says Salgado INNING the Champions League with Real Madrid W would be Jose Mourinho’s biggest achievement, says former Bernabeu defender Michel Salgado. Mourinho, who is hoping to become the first manager to win the trophy with three clubs, must first get past Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final. “It is not the same winning the Champions League with any other club as it is with Real Madrid,” Salgado said. “Real Madrid are really demanding and expectations are very big.” Despite a disappointing La Liga campaign, with Real currently 13 points behind leaders Barcelona, Mourinho, who is yet to decide on his future in Spain, remains one of the most respected coaches in Europe. He has won league titles in his native Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, and has enjoyed Champions League triumphs with Porto and Inter Milan. “The Champions League is really special for this club. It

means a lot for the history of Real Madrid,” Salgado, who was in the last Real team to be champions of Europe in 2002, told BBC Sport. “Winning the Champions League here for Mourinho would prove a lot. It would be his biggest achievement - the top thing in this world is winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. “It has been a long time. All the Real Madrid fans, the club, the players, are desperate to get to the final and to play one more Champions League final.” Real, who have won a record nine European Cups, travel to the Westfalenstadion for the first leg of their semi-final against Dortmund today. But Salgado, who made more than 250 appearances in 10 years at Real before leaving for Blackburn Rovers in 2009, believes Bayern Munich are the team to beat. “Barcelona without Messi, they struggle, Real Madrid without Ronaldo is similar. Bayern are different. They have got something special, they have got everything.

Van Persie up there with Man United greats, says Ferguson than a year into his LandESS Manchester United career Robin Van Persie has already guaranteed himself a place in the pantheon of greats to have worn the famous red jersey. Manager Alex Ferguson lauded the Dutchman on Monday after his hat-trick in United’s title-clinching 3-0 win against Aston Villa, saying the 29-yearold’s impact since his arrival from Arsenal was already comparable to the likes of Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Van Persie has scored 24 Premier League goals this season, one third of his team’s total, and it is hardly an overstatement to suggest that the title would probably have been retained by Manchester City without him. Ferguson has worked with some of the world’s best players in his 26-year reign at United, but Van Persie’s capture has arguably been his greatest transfer coup. “In terms of impact he has had as big an impact as anyone I can imagine,” Ferguson, who has won 13 Premier League titles for United, said after the club took its overall tally to 20. “Eric Cantona was an incredible impact player and I have been very, very lucky in that I have had some fantastic strikers right through, probably 10 great strikers at the club. “I think we had an expectation of Robin because his performance last year for Arsenal was sensational. We saw him last year and knew he could gel into the way our team was, and he has never disappointed us.” Van Persie’s second goal on Monday, an unstoppable firsttime volley as Wayne Rooney’s

long pass dropped over his shoulder, made the 24 million pounds ($36.59 million) United paid Arsenal seem like a bargain. “It was a marvellous hit, head down, over the ball, perfect timing - a magnificent strike,” Ferguson added. “Of all the great goals we’ve scored over the years, from David Beckham through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Eric Cantona, that goal has joined that. “He’s been unbelievable. His early form in the first six months was fantastic. He had the spell where he didn’t score but he was unbelievable against Villa.”

Robert Lewandowski (right) of Borussia Dortmund and Luka Modric of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League group D match Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 6, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. It ended 2-2.

Lewandowski knock unlikely to dent Dortmund focus N injury scare to A Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski is unlike-

ly to derail unbeaten Borussia Dortmund’s focus ahead of their Champions League semifinal first leg against Real Madrid today as they bid for their first final spot since 1997. Poland international Lewandowski, who scored for a 12th consecutive league game in their 2-0 win against Mainz 05 on Saturday, picked up a knock on his thigh but said he hoped to be fit in time for the match in Dortmund. “I felt some pain in the final minute (after a first-half knock) and hope it does not

swell up,” he said after Dortmund secured their Champions League spot for next season. “I hope there’s enough time until Wednesday.” Lewandowski is Dortmund’s most prolific scorer in Europe this season with six goals and two assists in 10 games. “The game against Mainz was strange because we also kept thinking of the Madrid game. I want to score at least one goal every time I play and if I can achieve that against Madrid then even better.” For coach Juergen Klopp’s young team, which won consecutive Bundesliga titles in

2011 and 2012, it is a career highlight, with the 1997 Champions League winners back in the last four for the first time in 15 years. “This is the biggest game so far that my boys will have to play,” Klopp told reporters. The last time they reached this stage - in 1998 - it was Real who eliminated them en route to the title. The nine-time European champions are no strangers to Dortmund this season either with the Germans beating them in Dortmund and Real escaping with a last-gasp 2-2 draw in Madrid in the group stage. With central defender Mats

I wanted to prove a point against Chelsea, Sturridge insists ANIEL Sturridge has have known I was a bit angry D revealed that the anger he with Chelsea and wanted to has for former club Chelsea prove a point against them,”

Manchester United’s Dutch striker, Robin van Persie celebrates scoring his team’s first goal against Aston Villa during the English Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on Monday.

improved his performance for Liverpool during Sunday’s 2-2 draw. The 23-year-old moved to Anfield for a reported fee of 12 million pounds after struggling for first-team opportunities with the Blues this term, and the weekend clash was the first time he has come up against his former side. Sturridge came on at halftime with Liverpool trailing 1-0, and nearly assisted an equalizer for Steven Gerrard before hitting the post from 30 yards and scoring himself within seven minutes of his introduction - and he believes ill feelings toward his former employer aided his performance. “I was disappointed not to start because the manager would

Sturridge told the club’s official website. “It was strange playing against them because I only left three months ago so I kind of knew their weaknesses and what their team was all about. “I was itching to get on and the team performed well in the second half. We started attacking a lot more. In the first half we were a little bit defensive. The game opened up and we showed what we’re all about - it was good.” Sturridge notched five goals in his opening six games for Liverpool but has struggled with niggling injury concerns of late, with his goal on Sunday his first since February - and the striker was relieved to end his two-month drought.

Hummels and Jakub Blaszczykowski gradually hitting top form after their injury breaks, Klopp has a full squad to choose from. “We are ready to give it everything we have against the biggest club in the world because if you reach the semifinal then you obviously want to get into that final,” Klopp said. Real’s 3-1 La Liga victory at home to Real Betis on Saturday came at a cost, with fullback Marcelo and midfielder Luka Modric picking up muscle injuries. Goalkeeper Diego Lopez and forward Karim Benzema complained of knocks but assistant coach Aitor Karanka said neither seemed serious. With right back Alvaro Arbeloa suspended, coach Jose Mourinho will have to shuffle his defence and is likely to switch Sergio Ramos over to replace his Spain team mate and bring France centre back Raphael Varane into the middle alongside Pepe. Still only 19, the pacy and athletic Varane, who was introduced to the club by former France and Real player Zinedine Zidane, has impressed with a series of mature performances this season, particularly against Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona. “This is a key position, and you must bring some security, that’s very important,” Varane told the club website (www.realmadrid.com). “You must also communicate well and have a good sense of positioning. In this position you play a lot with your head, you have to think a lot, these are important skills to possess.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

61


62

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

63


TheGuardian

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Francis O. Nmeribe OME years ago, nobody asked a young person which career he or she would like to pursue.  Parents and senior siblings most of whom had no inkling about the passion and drive of the youngster whose life was being decided upon made career decisions.  These decisions were made based on the supposedly monetarily lucrative careers or careers that connoted honour such as in medicine, law and engineering to mention but a few.  Even to this date, many parents, including the educated elite still brazenly or covertly try to choose careers for the children. One of my lecturers in the university recounted how his father nearly disowned him when he learned that he had gained admission to read philosophy.  The old man lamented that his son was ending to no good given that he had never heard of anybody find food to eat as a philosopher.  Well, philosophy was the course of study that suited my lecturer. He loved teaching.  He is very good at it and all of us who passed through him loved his ability to deliver in class and in research and presentations.  He has since gained several degrees in philosophy, is now a professor and travels round the world lecturing and writing books.   As a person, my lecturer is highly fulfilled. What we choose to do with our lives, the careers we pursue, whether imposed upon us by patronising parents and senior siblings or chosen by ourselves also defines what we would get from life.  Our careers would bear heavily on whether we end up happy or frustrated with our lives. Because of the important role our career choices play in our lives, it has become critical that these issues be well considered by all and sundry, especially the youth who have the burden of the future on their shoulders. Here are major considerations for career choice, which every youth should factor: Purpose, Passion and Service. The purpose of life A purpose also means the reason for. Generally speaking, the purpose of life is to learn to be happy.  On a personal note, the purpose of your life in the material sense is your perceived reasons for your life, which becomes meaningful only when you can align your perceived reason for your material life with your innate desire to be happy.  Everyone must discover his or personal purpose in life to be able to be successful in achieving it. There are strategies for discovering your life’s purpose.  It is recommended that as you consider or plan your career path or change your present career, you first work to understand the purpose of life and your personal place in it. When people engage in careers outside their personal angle of the purpose of life, they end up unsatisfied with life and may end up with mental and physical health challenges that take away the joy and peace they would have had in their lives. Your passion The most positive synonyms of passion are fervor, excitement, enthusiasm, ardor and zeal.  Passion is also connected to love.  If while choosing a career you look inwards and find out those activities of life you are excited about or things we love to do, you would be making very wise and empowering career decisions.  When people pursue a career on a subject area to which the only connection they have with it is that it makes lots of money or has social status, one is headed for a life of misery.  We are all endowed with some innate passion connections to all that we can do while on earth. The key to success is to find that linkage between what we want to be and what we love to do.  There are strategies for finding one’s passion in life and for connecting same to the choice of career we pursue.  You may engage coaches to hold you accountable in your efforts to discover and follow your passion.  On the other hand, you can research for these

S

Please send reactions and feedback for YOUTH SPEAK to:

editorial@risenetworks.org and 07067976667- SMS ONLY

Considering your career path and change

strategies yourself, study and practise them with equal or reasonable hope of success. Those at the crossroads of finding their purpose and passion or deciding which career path they would like to follow to achieve the true enrichment of their lives are highly encouraged to engage coaches.  A good coach would do better for you than you could do for yourself in discovering, pursuing and really living your purpose and using your passion to identify the career path that would lead you to successful living. Service as key to power Often, we fall into the trap of looking for lucrative career paths.  We focus on careers that are known to have made

lots of money for those who were in it. This is one of the most common mistakes of those seeking a career path or a change in their careers. The real key to choosing the right career either as a young start up person or those planning to change their careers is to focus on serving the people.  Seek out what people need and find ways within your passion and purpose to provide it for them and they would pay you handsomely for it. When you serve people, they depend on you.  When you serve people well, they wait for you.  When people wait for you to guide them, you have power to guide them in such ways that would put money into your bank account.

The YOUTHSPEAK Column which is published daily is an initiative of THE GUARDIAN, and powered by RISE NETWORKS, Nigeria’s Leading Youth Development Centre, as a substantial advocacy platform available for ALL Nigerian Youth to engage Leadership at all levels, engage Society and contribute to National Discourse on diverse issues especially those that are peculiar to Nigeria. Regarding submission of articles, we welcome writers‘ contributions by way of well crafted, analytical and thought provoking opinion pieces that are concise, topical and non-defamatory! All articles (which are not expected to be more than 2000 words) should be sent to editorial@risenetworks.org To read the online Version of this same article plus past publications and to find out more about Youth Speak, please visit www.risenetworks.org/youthspeak and join the ongoing National Conversations’’. Also join our on-line conversation

RISE GROUP

@risenetworks

21676F3E

Published by Guardian Newspapers Limited, Rutam House, Isolo, Lagos Tel: 4489600, 2798269, 2798270, 07098147948, 07098147951 Fax: 4489712; Advert Hotlines: Lagos 7736351, Abuja 07098513445; Circulation Hotline: 01 4489656 All correspondence to Guardian Newspapers Limited, P.M.B. 1217, Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail letters@ngrguardiannews.com; www.ngrguardiannews.com

Editor: MARTINS

OLOJA

.

ABC (ISSN NO 0189-5125)

What we choose to do with our lives, the careers we pursue, whether imposed upon us by patronising parents and senior siblings or chosen by ourselves also defines what we would get from life.  Our careers would bear heavily on whether we end up happy or frustrated with our lives. Because of the important role our career choices play in our lives, it has become critical that these issues be well considered by all and sundry, especially the youth who have the burden of the future on their shoulders.

One popular dictum with service is that if you give 20 people something for free, you have actually set out to have 100 people pay you for the same service.  What if you give that same thing free to 100 people? All the multi-millionaires and successful people you admire got their power, success and money by providing other people with what they want and getting paid for it. Therefore, as you consider a career path, think about what you can do well with your bare hands and intellect.  Identify them clearly by writing them down on a paper or journal or notebook or in your computer.  Then look around your neighbourhood for those who might use the idea or skill or service you have created or developed.  Take it to them and offer it for free and you would be surprised with what would happen in just a matter of months that you started. All who must come to success and power must be servants first.  Succeeding as a servant is the sources of obtaining the stewardship of power, success and money. In the next edition, we would be discussing how to know and establish your purpose in life and make it a tool in your success kit. • Nmeribe is an industrial security practitioner, personal transformation coach and author, lives in Lagos. • Editor’s Note: This article is being repeated following demands from our readers.


Wed 24 Apr 2013 The Guardian Nigeria