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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,892

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Zenith Bank’s $500m Eurobond over-subscribed ENITH Bank Plc has recordZ ed an over-subscription of 200 per cent in her $500m Eurobond issue under a $1billion Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) Programme announced on April 1, 2014. The bank’s weeklong investors’ roadshow, co-ordinated by Goldman Sachs and Citibank, received an overwhelming endorsement by a diversified group of global investors from Europe, the U.S., Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Investors’ perception of Zenith’s domestic market leadership and its strong balance sheet defined by its liquidity, asset quality and capital adequacy are among the major factors driving the overwhelming acceptance of the bank’s first ever debt issue. The bank is considered to be highly innovative but prudent and customer-service focused. This has also elicited investors’ appetite for its shares currently trading on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange (through a GDR programme), a patronage which has been reflected in the over-subscription of the its first debt issue. Also, the bank’s conservative approach to banking exemplified by its robust Capital Adequacy ratio of 26 per cent as at December 31, 2013 Strong Liquidity ratio of 64 per cent, prudent Loan to Deposit ratio of 55 per cent and Strong Risk management culture confirms Zenith as the strongest Credit in the Nigerian banking clime. As an affirmation of the confidence reposed by investors on the bank, two leading rating agencies, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings, rated both the programme and the first tranche of $500 million issued as BBand B+ respectively. It is also worthy of note that Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services had in its 2013 Issuer Rating of Zenith Bank noted that “the main constraint on Zenith’s Ratings is the Sovereign ratings of Nigeria...” The GMTN Programme gives Zenith the opportunity to rise up to $1 billion out of which a first tranche of $500 million has been issued. This offer is priced at a coupon rate of 6.25 per cent payable every six months; the first $500 million tranche has an effective date of April 22, 2014 and maturity date of April 22, 2019 and is 100 per cent redeemable on maturity.

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) and Senate President David Mark at the hospital during their visit to one of the Abuja bomb blast victims… yesterday.

71 feared killed, 124 injured in Abuja terrorist bombing From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Emeka Anuforo, Karls Tsokar and Joke Falaju (Abuja) (with agency report) HERE may be no end in T sight to the orgy of violence across the country as about 71 persons were feared killed while 124 others sustained injuries in an early morning bomb blast which rocked the busy Nyanya Mass Transit Park, Abuja. Meanwhile, government has directed major hospitals where victims are being kept to set up help desk to enable interaction with families and friends of relatives, provide counselling services and help them identify their relatives.

• Govt calls for blood donations • Sets up help desk for victims’ families in hospitals • Mark condemns incident, shelves Ibadan trip In the same vein, Senate President David Mark has condemned the blast that left scores of citizens dead, just as he told the perpetrators to rethink “because this is a needless war.” The Nyanya Park is a transit point for residents of Mararaba, Nasarawa State and satellite communities of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The park is used by vehicles

belonging to Abuja Mass Transit Company and intercity transporters. The police said the explosion affected 16 high capacity buses as well as smaller commercial vehicles, some of which had loaded and were ready to leave. Confirming the figure yesterday, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, said the police and other security agencies are on

red alert in and around the city to enable comprehensive investigation. While speaking with reporters at the scene earlier, Mba said “we may not be able to give the casualty figure, the reasons are obvious, a lot of people are in hospitals and our detectives are visiting hospitals and taking count. We want to give you figures that we can back up with fact.”

However after the President had visited and left the scene, Mba described the incident as sad and said “we can now confirm that 71 people were killed in the explosion and 124 others were injured. “FCT police are already on red alert, security in and around Abuja is being strengthened; we are paying very close attention to all vulnerable points. We are paying close attention to motor parks, we advise the public to avoid unnecessary huge crowd, we are also paying close attention to government buildings. We want to appeal for calm, we want to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


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Terrorism in Nigeria’s Federal Capital: A Timeline By Tope Templer Olaiya ECEMBER 31, 2010: Mogadishu Military Barracks bomb-blast left 11 people dead at a bar near the barracks. The

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explosion occurred in a market where soldiers and civilians often gather to eat and drink. The market is near the Sani Abacha Barracks.

Though officially renamed the Mogadishu Cantonment, the barracks is still known to many by its old name. It is located in Asokoro District, home to the presidential palace and one of the capital city’s most secured areas. August 26, 2011: United Nations (UN) Building Bomb blast, which left over 23 people dead according to official records. The car bomb explosion in the diplomatic zone in the city centre also wounded over 60 people. The car bomb broke through two security barriers and its driver detonated the bomb after crashing into the UN reception area. The bomb caused

devastation to the building’s lower floors, which is said to be the headquarters for about 400 UN employees in Nigeria. June 16, 2011: Nigeria Police Headquarters blast killed eight persons. An explosion rocked the Police Force headquarters also known as Louis Edet House when three bombers on a suicide attack drove an explosives-laden vehicle into the car park. The then Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, said the bombers had carefully followed the convoy of a police DIG into the police headquarters before setting off their explosives in the car

park. December 25, 2011: Christmas day bombing at Madalla in a church service killed over 40 people. The attack, which occurred during a mass at St. Theresa Catholic Church, injured over 60 people in the co-ordinated series of bombings that occurred on Christmas day during church services in Jos, Gadaka and Damaturu. The church, which can hold 1,000 people, was badly affected by the blast. April 26, 2012: Abuja THISDAY newspaper office. According to Red Cross reports, over 37 people were reportedly killed. Twin blasts hit two the

newspaper offices in Abuja and Kaduna simultaneously. The first blast was the Abuja ThisDay office in Jabi area which was carried out by a suicide bomber who drove into the media house before detonating the bomb that blew away the building’s roof. June 22, 2012: Crystal Lounge, a popular Abuja Nightclub, was hit. A bomb exploded at the nightclub in the Wuse II District. According to eyewitnesses, a man entered a crowded food court, planted the bomb and ran away. No casualties were recorded but five cars were destroyed in the attack.

Zamfara has only 10 qualified doctors, says Rep From Adamu Abuh, Abuja MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, has claimed that there are only 10 qualified government-sponsored medical doctors serving in Zamfara State. The lawmaker, who represents Gusau/Safe Federal Constituency in Zamfara State, blamed successive administrations in the state for the pathetic situation which

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had exposed the people of the state to untold suffering and avoidable death. He spoke yesterday when he appeared on the ‘hot seat’ interview programme put together by the House of Representatives Press Corps in Abuja. He specifically blamed Governor Abdullaziz Yari for compounding the situation by failing to provide conducive working environment for doctors and nurses

in the state who were left with no option but to seek greener pastures in other parts of the country. Gusau, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), claimed that the situation was not different in the provision of basic amenities like road, water and educational facilities which has confined the state to the least educationally-developed state in

the country. Gusau, who is angling for the governorship seat of the state on the platform of the PDP at the 2015 poll, maintained that he remains the candidate to beat. He added that his being from Zamfara Central Senatorial zone, coupled with the marginalisation of the people of the state and the abysmal performance of the APC-led administration have placed him at an advantage.

Mark condemns bomb blast, shelves Ibadan trip CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 appeal for co-operation and patience.” He said the blast, which affected 16 high capacity buses with other cars and motorcycles, occurred at about 6.55a.m. He noted that investigations have begun with “experts from the Bomb Disposal Squad on ground and the police working with other security agencies.” Though the police did not confirm the car that carried the bomb, some witnesses said the driver did not die in blast, but went out of the park in a guise to look for change when the blast occurred. Several dead bodies and human parts littered the ground in and around the park after the attack. At 10.00 a.m., more than 100 victims of the blast, made up of the dead and the injured, had been deposited at the National Hospital, Mrs. Rabia Labaran, an assistant information officer at the hospital, said. The Chief Medical Director of Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Sotimehin Adetohun, confirmed that 14 dead bodies and 37 injured persons were brought to the hospital, while two persons in critical conditions were transferred to National Hospital. Men of the Anti-bomb Squad of the Nigeria Police, Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) personnel arrived at the scene 20 minutes after the attack. Rescue workers battled to take the dead and injured to nearby hospitals, including Nyanya General Hospital. However, eyewitnesses gave different accounts of the in-

cident. The car at the scene burnt beyond recognition but the number 26AS 9730302621 was still conspicuous on the chassis. It is not clear as at press time if the suspect was anywhere near the blast, but it is certain he was out of the car at the time of the explosion. Some of the victims were rushed to the theatre for medical interventions. One later died on the theatre table, bringing the total deaths at the National Hospital to 15 as at press time. At the Asokoro Hospital, the authorities confirmed that 27 persons were brought in dead, while 25 others were receiving treatment for various critical injuries. Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who monitored the development at the National Hospital, Abuja, pleaded with people to donate blood at the various health facilities in Abuja. He told journalists: “We have been trying to co-ordinate things since morning, at least look at how we are managing every victim, whether dead or alive, whether injured or not injured, and the relatives themselves. “It is too early to be able to give you definite figures. We are still collating figures and we want to avoid double counting. Definitely before the end of the day, we will be able to give you real figures in terms of how many people are dead, how many people are injured and how many people have been treated and discharged in the various hospitals within the FCT and how many people are still on admission. For now, what we can only tell you is that we have quite large number of deaths, and victims who are in various hospitals now.

“Here at the National Hospital, so far, on their record, they received all together 47 patients alive and they also received 14 who were brought in dead. Since those 47 came in, one that was so critically injured, who was taken to theatre, couldn’t make it because he was so badly injured. That has increased the mortality to 15.” He said the hospital was not overwhelmed by the number of patients, stressing that the National Hospital and others attending to victims had the capacity to handle cases. He said: “They (victims) are being attended to very well. Many are in the theatre, and would be admitted in the intensive care unit thereafter. Since morning, we have been able to get many agencies to begin to work. Some of you may have noticed that officials of the National Blood Transfusion Service have been visiting various hospitals working with the hospital authorities there. Blood should not be an issue. They have placed announcements in some of the radio stations, asking volunteers to come and donate and people are actually coming here to donate blood. We believe that blood should not be an issue. If any patient requires blood, the hospital authorities will ensure that such a patient receives blood transfusion. “We have also been told of other agencies like the International Committee of the Red Cross that are bringing supplies to assist in whatever way. Through this way, the hospital has been coping, and we are happy about it.” On the management of families and relatives who were anxious to identify those dead and alive, he stressed: “One other issue is the relatives. We need to manage the relatives. Families will be looking for their loved ones,

those who are missing at each hospital. We are going to have a place, a designated desk. Already, the National Hospital has established one. Attempts are being made to work with the families to identify victims whether alive and those who were brought in dead. There would be need to provide psychological support to families and friends because it is not an easy thing.” Chairman of the National Hospital Board, Dr. Tony Okam, stressed that over 90 medical consultants were on hand to attend to situations at the hospital. Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital Abuja, Prof. Bello Bala Shehu, said three of the victims were in the intensive Care Unit (ICU). “It is hard to believe that this is happening to us. No matter the anger or grievances in anybody’s mind, this war on defenceless citizens is uncalled for. This is inhuman and unarguably ungodly”, the Senate President said in Abuja. Mark, who was already at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way to Ibadan, Oyo State capital to receive a chieftaincy title from the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, suddenly put off the trip when he heard of the Nyanya bomb blast. The chieftaincy title for Mark was to be part of the activities planned to mark the 100 years birthday celebration of the Olubadan. The Senate President sympathised with the victims and reminded Nigerians of the need to be their brothers’ keepers at all times. Mark called on security operatives to collaborate with others even as he counselled them to be more proactive in order to end this menace.


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Nigerians condemn Nyanya blasts, PDP blames opposition From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and Omotola Oloruntobi (Abuja) ONDEMNATIONS have continued to trail yesterday morning’s blasts at a Nyanya motor park in Nasarawa State, which killed scores of commuters and wounded many more, with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describing the act as barbaric, monstrous and extremely wicked. The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metu, said yesterday that the party was shocked and has remained grief-stricken since it received the news of the gruesome attack and killing of persons pursuing their legitimate endeavours. “The PDP weeps,” the statement read. “We are indeed grief-stricken. Our hearts go out to the bereaved, especially those who have been orphaned and widowed and those now deprived of their breadwinners by this evil act. We share in their pains, their anguish and their loss and pray that those behind their grief must not escape justice.” Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has condemned the blast, describing the attack as cowardly and barbaric. In a statement in Calabar, Cross River State capital, by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal urged all Nigerians to join hands to end the spate of wanton killings in the country. According to him, the pattern of previous attacks in the country demands that security agencies should beef up surveillance around motor parks and related areas all over the federation. He further urged security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice, adding that the gains recorded by the security agencies in their battle against terror should be consolidated in order to protect the citizens at all times. Similarly, the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has decried the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians and called on the Federal Government to step up action towards curbing insecurity in the country. Speaking with journalists in Abuja, President of the council, Mrs. Nkechi Okemini-Mba, lamented that women and children

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We are indeed grief-stricken. Our hearts go out to the bereaved, especially those who have been orphaned and widowed and those now deprived of their breadwinners by this evil act. We share in their pains, their anguish and their loss and pray that those behind their grief must not escape justice have been turned to sudden widows and orphans. She appealed to those perpetrating the act to accept dialogue instead of wasting innocent lives. She said: “We are pleading with those involved in this act to come for dialogue. They should come to the NCWS or the First Lady’s office, which is open, if they find it difficult to reach the President. “We are here to receive them and see to their problems instead of killing innocent souls. We, Nigerian women, are saying enough is enough to the killing of women and children. Those that died are our children and husbands and we are at the receiving end.” Stating that the attacks cannot be justified under any guise, the PDP maintained that they were politically motivated and could be traced to the utterances and comments of desperate persons seeking to undermine and discredit the present administration and make the nation ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan, by instituting a reign of terror against the people. “We stand by our earlier statements that these attacks on our people are politically motivated by unpatriotic persons, especially those in the All Progressives Congress (APC), who have been making utterances and comments promoting violence and bloodletting as a means of achieving political control,” it said. “Nigerians are also aware of utterances by certain APC governors, which have been aimed at undermining our security forces and emboldening insurgents against the people. “Those who have been promoting violence through their utterances can now see the monster they have created. They can now see the end product of their comments: a country flowing daily with the blood of the innocent. “The question is: how do they feel when they see the mangled and blood-soaked bodies of their victims? How

do they feel when they hear the voices of the dying and the injured? Of course, they feel nothing. Their hearts have been hardened and they are embittered by the fact that they have been rejected by the people. “They are bitter because the people have chosen to rally round the government they love and voted for; but must they choose the path of violence and bloodletting as a response to the wishes and aspirations of the people?” Urging all well-meaning Nigerians to join President Jonathan in his efforts to check terrorism in the country, the PDP cautioned those fueling the attacks to retrace their steps, rid themselves of bitterness and desperation and seek forgiveness from God.

The party, in solidarity with the people, also shelved all official engagements while praying God to grant the bereaved the fortitude to bear the loss. For the former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, there should be a more advanced strategy to combat the scourge of terrorist attacks on innocent Nigerians. Reacting to yesterday’s dawn blasts, the senator said that by now, there ought to have been a solution to the problem if a holistic approach had been adopted. To that end, he recommended an urgent meeting of Nigerian stakeholders, irrespective of political divide, to discuss the problem and find a permanent solution to it. “It’s baffling and heartbreaking that scores were feared dead on a Monday morning attack in Nyanya in the outskirt of Abuja,” he said. “The growing insecurity, which has spanned over three years, has threatened the unity of the nation and weakened our socio-economic and political strength. “It is unfortunate that in the

face of these growing insurgencies, the Federal Government has been unable to overcome the challenge and provide adequate and holistic approach to security for the lives and property of Nigerians. “Beyond usual promises and consolations to the masses, the Federal Government should improvise and adopt advanced security measures and counter-terrorism strategies that can provide adequate security in the nation. “There is an urgent need for political cooperation across the board. I urge Mr. President to call a joint meeting of leaders from all political divides, religious and opinion leaders to deliberate on the nation’s security plight.” On its part, the SocioEconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said yesterday that “the unlawful and unnecessary killings of many Nigerians at the Nyanya Motor Park showed that government’s measures at tackling the Boko Haram phenomenon were inadequate and simply not working.” It, therefore, urged

President Goodluck Jonathan to “show leadership and urgently initiate fundamental changes in the security strategy to end the continuing civilian casualties and a climate of insecurity across the country.” In a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP noted that “Nigerians have heard promises from this government before that it would take all possible steps to prevent bombing tragedies and citizens’ deaths and injuries. “But if this government is to be taken seriously on its promises to protect the citizens, this latest explosion needs to be the last of its kind. The government must now come up with a blueprint to end continuing bombing tragedies. “As a first step, the government must swiftly, transparently and thoroughly investigate the killings, make the findings public and bring anyone suspected to be involved to justice. Nigerians are reeling from so much loss and this government should do everything possible to ensure that such disasters are not repeated.”

Deputy Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Cathy Echeozo (left); Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Segun Agbaje; Non-Executive Director, Stella Okoli; Chairman, Egbert Imomoh and Company Secretary, Olutola Omotola, at the 24th annual general meeting of the bank in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

APC seeks national security summit over explosions, others HE All Progressives T Congress (APC) has urged the Federal Government to urgently convene a national stakeholders’ security summit towards finding a lasting solution to the spate of mindless killings in the country. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, against the backdrop of yesterday’s blast in Nyanya, which it described as “atrocious,” the party expressed shock and sadness at the savagery of the attack, while condoling with the families of victims and praying for quick recovery for the injured. According to the APC, “it is now obvious that all efforts

so far to tackle the insurgency have not yielded much fruits, meaning that this Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government lacks the capacity and has clearly run out of ideas on how to tackle the violence.” It said: “It is time for new thinking, new ideas to stop this insurgency before it consumes all of us. The attack, right on the outskirts of Abuja, which has been spared this kind of spectacular strike since 2011, means those behind it are getting bolder and bolder, and it’s time to stop them.” In the national interest and in the spirit of bi-partisanship, it said, it was willing

and ready to be part of any positive effort to end the daily loss of lives and the damage to property, which seem to have hit a new high since the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, the party has described as despicable the PDP’s attempt to trivialise the issue by making the opposition the fall guy for its own failure. It said: “The PDP and the government it leads at the centre should realise that this issue is beyond politics and partisanship. It “should reach out to other stakeholders to help find a way to end the insurgency that has now defied all measures, including a state of emergency. Trying to blame

the opposition for the attack cannot advance a genuine push to end the insurgency.” It wondered whether the PDP’s accusation was part of a sinister motive to call the dog a bad name just to hang it, adding: “PDP is so desperate that it will stop at nothing to plunge Nigeria into chaos just to achieve its objective of clinging to power at all cost. “Its baseless and infantile accusation, at a time of great national pain, may be a ploy to instigate a clampdown against the opposition. We are, therefore, calling on all our members, and indeed all the good people of Nigeria, to be vigilant in the days ahead.”


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Images from Nyanya, Abuja bomb blast

PHOTOS: PHILIP OJISUA


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One feared killed, houses torched in Bauchi From Ali Garba, Bauchi NKNOWN gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents yesterday killed one person, injured many and burnt down several houses in Wasasa village in Tafawa Balewa Local Council of Bauchi State. The incident, which occurred midnight yesterday left a pregnant woman with gunshot wounds, several injured and properties worth millions of naira also destroyed. Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen stormed the village when all the people were asleep and started shooting randomly to scare people and the attackers succeeded in burning houses and escaping into the bush before the arrival of security men. Speaking to newsmen, an elder of Wasasa community, Mr. Markus Tuna blamed the attack on failure of Governor Isa Yuguda administration to address the recurrent attacks on Tafawa-Balewa people who are seen as minority Christians. He further linked it to the relocation of the council headquarters to Bununu, maintaining this disrupted the hitherto peaceful atmosphere in the area. Tuna urged Yuguda to constitute a high-powered reconciliation committee before the situation goes out hand. The state police command spokesman, DSP Mohammed Haruna confirmed the attack to newsmen and said one person was killed, one injured while houses were burnt down in Wasasa village in Tafawa-Balewa local council.

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Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana (left); Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide; Minister of Information, Labaran Maku and Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina at the centenary birthday thanksgiving service of Olubadan of Ibadan at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Aremo, Ibadan… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Speakers seek special funds for N’East over insurgency From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Charles Akpeji, (Gombe) and Emeka Nwachukwu (Lagos) VEN as the country is still reeling from the bomb explosion in Abuja in which scores were feared killed, the Nigeria Speaker Forum has urged the Federal Government to allocate spe-

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• Oritsejafor, S’West CAN, others urge better action against terror cial funds to the North East zone to address the devastating effects of insurgents’ activities in the region. Chairman of the Forum, Inuwa Garba, who made this known yesterday, said the resolution to make the

request was reached at last week Thursday’s plenary session. To facilitate the aforementioned request, he urged the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency review the situation in the zone and recommend for the immediate release of not less than N10 billion to each of the six states in the zone so as to reduce the untold hardship the insurgence has heaped on the region. Garba, who doubles as the speaker, Gombe House of Assembly, observed that the request is reasonable enough for the Federal Government to grant as the devastating activities of insurgents had set back economic activities and social lives of the zone. Noting that the activities of the insurgents has led to wanton destruction of lives and properties especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, he pleaded with the Federal Government not to sleep over the request. According to Garba, the people of the affected region “are Nigerians and if something of that nature will come to this region, it’s not something new and we are not selfish. It is in line with the principles of governance. We are doing this on behalf of our people, and because of our peculiar situation. We are calling on all and sundry to support this agitation.” The Speaker further appealed to the members representing the states of the zone at the National Assembly to work tirelessly round the clock for the N10 billion grant to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states, to replace the N2 billion provided for the zone in the 2014 federal budget. “We are urging our representatives at the National Assembly to be very supportive of every effort of government and individuals in the state, especially as it regards this issue of insecurity,” the Speaker pleaded. The amount, when released, according to Garba, would

effectively be utilised in the areas of youth empowerment, agriculture and economic development. “All the states in the zone are working towards introducing special programmes on environment, agriculture, tackling insecurity and other sectors. That is why we have agreed to make a proposal of N10 billion for each of the six states in the North-East geopolitical zone, as an urgent intervention in this our region.” He further told newsmen in the state that the forum observed one-minute silence during the sitting, in memory of all those who lost their lives during various attacks in the zone. In another forum, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the government to support its military approach with effective intelligence gathering to fish out the insurgents, their backers and financers in the overall interest of Nigerians. In a communiqué issued at the end of meeting between the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the South-West leaders of the association, led by Archbishop Magnus Adeyemi Atilade at the weekend in Ikeja to deliberate on issues affecting Christians nationwide, CAN observed that the church of God in Nigeria has come under intense attack from what it called “the forces of evil with Christians being martyred daily in the Northern parts of Nigeria. “Christian schools are being closed down and churches are not being given approval or certificate of occupancy for development of churches.” The CAN therefore called on the Federal Government to make more efforts to address these problems that could lead to religious uprising in the country. CAN also urged the government to support its military approach with effective intelligence gathering to fish out the Boko Haram backers and financers in the overall inter-

est of Nigerians. The association called on members of the National Conference to return Nigeria to parliamentary system, stressing that the cost of running presidential system was too high and outrageous for the country to bear. “Presidential system gives no room adequate capital development because a larger chunk of revenue goes for recurrent expenditure benefitting only few people,” CAN said. The CAN observed with regrets that its members nationwide were showing apathy to political activities and governance to the detriment of their people. The church in Nigeria was also showing look warmness to Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), while the Northern church needs prayers and support. The CAN expressed worry that there was prevalence of arms and ammunitions in the hands of some members of a particular ethnic group who were not sanctioned or authorised by the government to bear arms and these were being used to attack innocent Nigerians. The government at all levels it said, needed to provide adequate measures to protect citizens. It added that political awareness and participation should be increased amongst Christians and they should make deliberate efforts to control the seven mountains of influence that govern the human society. The CAN insisted on the secularity of the nation. Towing the same line, former Secretary of Kwara State Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Dr. Olusola Ajolore has urged President Jonathan to device a veritable security network that would ensure the safety of lives and property of citizens of the country. Besides, he said the thrust of the oath the President swore to was to guarantee the security of lives and property, urging him therefore, to live up to the promise with all the resources at his disposal.

Prest pledges to boost tourism, names campaign aides USINESSMAN and guberB natorial aspirant in the 2015 election is Delta State, Tony Prest has promised to invest “strategically” in the tourism sector if elected in next year’s poll. To him, the state is blessed with popular tourist and research centres that can attract scholars and visitors from different parts of the world. Speaking with journalists in Lagos yesterday, Prest maintained that tourism in Delta is one of the most effective ways of redistributing wealth and to ensure the movement of money into local economies from other parts of the country and overseas. He also announced Ayo Binitie and Enotie Ogbebor as Directors of Innovation and Strategy and Campaigns as volunteers for Tony Prest Delta State governorship campaigns. He stressed that proper investment in tourism would bring income into a community that would otherwise not be earned. “Economic benefits resulting from tourism can take a number of forms including jobs. Employment may be associated directly, with tourism, such as tour guides or managerial positions; or in support industries like food production or retail suppliers. It can also bring about the diversification of the states economy. Tourism operators can play a role in highlighting the broad prosperity that it can bring to a community and will contribute to a greater understanding and respect for the value of tourism,” Prest said.


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Britain tasks Ekiti politicians on planned gov election From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti ONCERNED about the C spate of politically motivated violence in Ekiti State,

National Chairman, Block Makers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Rasidi Adebowale, Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Mr. Devakumar .V.G. Edwin and Chairman, Lagos State Block Makers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Okunola Abegunde at Cement Stakeholders’ Forum, held in Lagos…recently.

the Head of Politics, British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Edward has urged politicians in the state to refrain from desperation and violence to ensure successful conduct of the June 21 governorship poll. Edward emphasised that only a government that is constituted by the collective desire at the poll can muster the legitimacy to deliver on its electioneering promises to the people. The diplomat, who was in the state to meet all the stakeholders in the election, was in Iyin Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Council to visit the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele. Edward said the British, as a nation, is committed to the survival of democracy in

Nigeria and across the globe, noting that his visit to Ekiti is not only to ensure the success of the governorship poll, but to strengthen his country’s bilateral relation with Nigeria. “The international community, particularly Britain, is interested in the growth of democracy across the globe. That is why I am in Ekiti State to meet with all the stakeholders on the need to embrace peace for the success of the governorship poll. “It is always very desirable to allow the governed to elect who governs them. They should be allowed to dictate who leads the government. That was why great leaders around the world like Mahatma Gandhi were popular among the masses. “At times, as a politician, you may lose the battle and still win the war. I promise that we will work with other diplomatic corps to ensure that democracy in Nigeria survives,” Edward said.

Amaechi gets approval to source N50b through bond From Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt IVERS State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi has received the nod of the House of Assembly to source N50 billion bond out of the N100 billion bond earlier approved by the lawmakers.

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The governor yesterday wrote to the House requesting them to approve the money to enable the state government complete ongoing projects in the state. He also explained in the letter that the N50 billion bond is not a fresh loan, adding that

the money would be withdrawn from the N100 billion bond earlier approved by the House. Also, he informed that the bond would be accessed from Access and Zenith banks as a bridging facility for current projects in the state.

Debating on the Bill, the Deputy Speaker, Leyii Kwanee said that the projects, when completed, would improve the lives of the people. Kwanee stressed that it is the mandate of the lawmakers to make laws for the state, and would not be deterred by reac-

Ebonyi NSCDC impounds tanker with suspected adulterated fuel From Nnamdi Akpa, Abakaliki. HE Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ebonyi State Command yesterday intercepted and impounded a tanker loaded with 15000 litres of petroleum product suspected to be adulterated. Also arrested by the Command were Chimezie, Chibuzo and Francis because of their failure to provide the covering letter for the product and give clear information as to the source of the product. Briefing journalists on the incident at the Command

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Headquarters, the state Commandant of the Corps, Mrs. Ego Echendu said the three suspects and the tanker, with registration number Lagos KSF 213 XD, were apprehended by the command’s Anti Vandal Unit along Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway during a surveillance. She explained, “we got information through a tip off that a truck was coming into Ebonyi loaded with AGO and we suspected that it was adulterated and so our antivandal unit moved out to that direction immediately. “The truck was stopped and

questions were asked about their documents, which they were unable to produce at that moment; other questions as to where they had loaded from and where they were going to were not accurately answered by the suspects. “We had enough course to arrest them and find out exactly the content of what they were carrying. We arrested three suspects who are now in our custody, as well as the exhibit, the tanker. If they are found guilty, they will be charged to court.” She noted that after due

examination of the product by either Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) or any other legitimate laboratory in the country, the command would ascertain its genuineness, stressing that the command was ready to rid the state of adulterated petroleum products especially during this festive season. “It is one of our core mandates to nail anyone found wanting in this area, my warning to them is that we are on ground. We don’t compromise and as such if you get into our net, only the court will set you free,” she

Stakeholders insist on 42.5 grades for cement By Emeka Nwachukwu XPERTS and stakeholder groups have blamed the resistance to cement standardisation in the country on greed and profiteering, just as they called on cement manufacturers to upgrade the quality of cement they produce from the lower 32.5 cadre to 42.5 grades, in the in the interest of human safety. National President of Nigerian Block Makers Association, Alhaji Rasheed Adebowale, who stated this yesterday at a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, caution that, the insistence by some cement manufacturers on producing lower grades of cement is driven by their desire to maximise their profits at the expense of the lives of Nigeria. While absolving block makers of blame for building col-

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lapsed structure in the country, he urged cement manufacturers to upgrade the quality of cement they produce to 42.5 grades. Adebowale, who was a member of the technical committee set up by the Standards Organisations of Nigeria (SON) to review cement standards in the country, urged the government and other stakeholders to move beyond rhetoric and unnecessary politicking by coming out with a definitive upgraded standard for cement in the country. “42.5 grade had long been the accepted cement grades in the country but about 10 years ago, standards seem to have dropped to 32.5 grades and incidentally some of the worst cases of building collapse in the country had happened in the last decade, therefore underscoring the

importance of re- establishing 42.5 as the minimum acceptable standard of cement in the country,” he added. Also speaking at the forum, the Lagos State Chairman of the Block Makers Association, Alhaji Okunola Abegunde loathed the idea of placing the responsibility of failed structures in the country on block makers. He said a lot of technicalities are involved in the construction of building and in order to avoid the incidence of building collapse, he urged regulators to manage the quality of inputs from manufacturers all the way to the ordinary builders at construction sites. He noted that the good place to start the prevention of building collapse in the country is for the government to officially recognise

the higher 42.5 cement grades as the acceptable standard in the country. In his presentation, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, DVG Edwin expressed regrets over the massive misinformation going on in the public and wondered why some manufacturers will intentionally discredit the higher cement grade, just for the purpose of profit maximisation. “There is a lot of misinformation going on in the country. A lot of these unscrupulous operators try to state that a lower 32.5 cement grades give higher strength than the higher 42.5 grades. This is ridiculous and laughable. There is nowhere in the world where a higher quality and a higher grades product will perform less than a lower quality product.

tions from members of the public. Other lawmakers, including the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Josiah Olu, who contributed during the debate urged that the governor’s request should be given express approval. At the sitting presided over

by the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, 15 of the lawmakers present voted in favour of the request. Meanwhile, a new bill titled: Rivers State Chieftaincy and Council of Chiefs Bill, 2014, to repeal some chieftaincy laws in the state, has passed first reading.


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8 | NEWS Tuesday, April 15, 2014

‘No screening machines for Ebola virus at airports’ By Ibe Uwaleke HERE are indications that the Federal Ministry of Health has no screening machines yet for the dreaded Ebola virus and other communicable diseases despite the claim by the ministry that it is prepared to tackle the disease should it rear its ugly head in the country through her entry points. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said last week that the country had been put on red alert following the spread of the disease within the West African region, thereby making Nigeria a possible target of contact due to influx of people from the neighbouring countries into the nation. It was gathered that in all the air entry points to Nigeria, particularly the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, there is no single machine for screening of passengers to detect carriers of the virus to prevent them from entering the country. Though the ministry has stationed its personnel at the international wing of the airport, particularly all arrival halls, they are there to make observations and take complaints if there are cases, instead of doing random screening of passengers from mainly West African states where the disease has been reported. An official at the airport, who does not want her name published, told The Guardian that what the ministry had done

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was to direct all the airlines and agencies at the airport to notify health personnel when there is any sick person on board. Her words: “Even though we have no screening machines at the airport to screen passengers at random for Ebola virus and other communicable diseases, we rely on information given to us by the crew of the airlines or the complaints by patients. We also observe passengers entering the country when they arrive at the arrival terminal.” When asked whether the health personnel can carry out random screening of passengers when the machines are acquired, she said it is not possible to randomly screen passengers, noting that what they normally do is to work on information supplied by those concerned, except they observed that a particular person is showing symptoms. According to her, the ministry needs this support from all concerned because it is a requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the prevention of communicable diseases for airline crews. People need to report cases to us where a passenger is suspected to be carrying the virus. “Where a case has been confirmed of a particular passenger, we have an arrangement with the Lagos State government to quarantine if it is confirmed that it is Ebola virus the patient is carrying.”

Special Adviser to the President on Finance and the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi (left) and erstwhile Head of States, General Yakubu Gowon, during the marriage reception of the daughter of President Goodluck Jonathan at the International Conference Centre, Abuja…at the weekend

Kogi, others set to construct bridge across Niger, Benue rivers From Kolawole Timothy, Lokoja LL is now set for the conA struction of a bridge across the Rivers Niger and Benue by the Kogi State government, which will link the northern and eastern parts of the country and also reduce travel time, Governor Idris Wada has disclosed. Work on the proposed bridge is expected to commence in October this year and the sum of N49 billion

has been earmarked for the project, which is expected to be completed in the next 36 months. The project, which will be executed under Public Private Partnership (PPP), is expected to be supported by the Kogi State government while WALCOT Nigeria Limited is the main company that would handle the job, in conjunction with some financial institutions. It was gathered that the

money spent to construct the bridge would be recovered through the erection of tollgates at the entry and exit points. In his remarks, the Managing Director of WALCOT Limited, Mr. Christopher Ezea, who led a delegation of the company on a visit to Governor Wada yesterday, disclosed that they were proud to partner with the state government to bring the proposed bridge to a real-

ity. Wada said the bridge would open up Kogi for development, stressing that its construction would serve as huge advantages to develop Lokoja, the state capital. The governor promised that the government would support the project with solid political will, adding: “I will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the project is completed in 36 months projection by the company”.

How Enugu over-burdens its High Court judges, by CLO From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu HE Civil Liberties T Organisation (CLO) has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), alleging dearth of judges at the High Court Division of Enugu State. In the petition issued on Monday in Enugu titled: “Need to appoint more judges and the impropriety of judges sitting at more than one judicial divisions at a time”, signed by the SouthEast Zonal Director of the group, Olu Omotayo, CLO said the development is affecting the smooth, effective, efficient and speedy dispensation of justice in Enugu State. It noted that over the years, many judges have either retired from the state judici-

ary or been elevated to the higher Bench, thereby creating vacuum. The body noted that at present, a judge sits in more than one judicial division, a situation it claims, is not only unhealthy but lacks legal backing. Giving the breakdown of judges that sit in more than one judicial division, CLO said: “Justice A.O. Onovo sits currently in three judicial divisions, namely High Court, Nsukka, High Court Enugu-Ezike and High Court, Enugu. Justice F.C. Obieze sits currently in two judicial divisions, namely High Court, Enugu and High Court, Awgu; Justice Anthony A. Nwobodo sits currently in two judicial divisions, namely High Court Enugu and High Court, Oji River; Justice

L.O. Okereke sits at two judicial divisions, namely High Court, Enugu and High Court, Oji River; Justice R.O. Ozoemena sits at two judicial divisions, namely High Court, Enugu and High Court Oji River. “The question is why should these judges be sitting in more than one judicial division? We submit that it is stressful and unproductive to subject any judge to this type of rigorous torture, just because the state government failed to appoint new judges to cover all the judicial divisions in the state.” CLO said its investigations show that “there is no state in Nigeria where these strange practices exist except in Enugu State. We submit that this anomaly should not be allowed to continue as it

spells doom for the administration of justice in the state and the Nigerian judiciary as a whole. Though our investigations revealed that it is the state government that has, for political reasons, failed to appoint new judges to the Bench, we submit that the National Judicial Council should not shirk away from its responsibility to ensure effective and efficient judicial system in all the states of the federation.” CLO, therefore, called on the CJN and the National Judicial Council to urgently exercise their powers pursuant to Section 21 (c) of the 3rd Schedule Part 1(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and recommend to the governor, from among the list of persons submitted to it by the State Judicial Service Commission, persons for appointment as judges of the High Court. “We further demand that if the State Judicial Service Commission has failed to submit list of persons for appointment as judges of the High Court to the Council, the Council should direct the commission to urgently carry out its constitutional duty and submit the lists immediately to the council pursuant to the cumulative effect of the above-mentioned section and Section 6(a) of the 3rd Schedule Part 11 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, it added.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 9

PHOTONEWS

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola (third left); Chairman of the state All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary Nomination Committee, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (second left); Secretary of the Committee, Sir Emeka Akamukali (third right); members, Hajiya Ramatu Aliyu (second right); Chief Romanus Egbuladike (left) and Sunday Jacob, after Aregbesola’s emergence as governorship candidate of the APC in Osogbo.

The Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, Bayelsa, Rear Admiral Peter Agba (right) welcoming the Commander Joint Task Force ‘Operation PULO SHIELD’ Major General Emmanuel Atewe at the headquarters of the Command in Yenagoa.

Pastor Okeowo Oni, a minister in Rhema Church (left); proprietor, Ridos House Montessori, Toju Akharume; Chief Presenter, Toyin Runsewe and author, Ngozi Omolaiye, during the presentation of the book: “Beyond the Distant Clouds” in Lagos. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF

Regional Sales Manager (FCT /North), Ecobank Nigeria, Oyenmowo Ilawagbon (left); Consumer Protection Council (CPC) official, Gambo Liman; a winner at the Ecobank Card4Prizes promo, Ikurior Peter; Akhigbe Emmanuel, Cards & e-Banking, Ecobank Nigeria and Head, Personal Banking (FCT/North), Ecobank Nigeria, Awoniyi Laoye, at the promo draws in Abuja.

Customer Relations Manager, UACN Property Development Company, Onikepe Akinsanya (left); Project Manager, Vintage Gardens, Seun Ajala and Regional Sales Manager, South South, UACN Property Development Company, Uche Madufor, during the media briefing on the company’s Vintage Garden estate in Port Harcourt.

Head, Internal Audit, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Raphael Adebiyi (left); Head, Fundraising and Communications, SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria, Uche Odiase-Omozoye; Programme Director, SOS Children’s Village Programme, Isolo, Ayodeji Adelopo; Shift Manager, Hyacinth Okpechi and Communications and Engagement Manager, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc, Bolaji Sanyaolu, during GSK’s visit to SOS Children’s Village, Isolo, Lagos as part of the company’s CSR initiatives. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Executive Director, Toyota Nigeria Ltd, Kunle Ade-Ojo (left) Managing Director, Chandrasheker K. Tampy and Head Service and Technical of the Company, Victor Connaway at the Fornal announcement of body repair PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI and paint Center of the company in Oregun, Lagos

Members of St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church in procession to celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN


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AfricanNews Libya begins trial of ex-Gaddafi officials, sons absent IBYAN prosecutors opened L the trial of deposed leader, Muammar Gaddafi’s sons and more than two dozen of his ex-officials yesterday in a major test for the North African state’s transition to a democracy. Gaddafi’s sons Saadi Gaddafi and Saif al-Islam did not appear in the courtroom at Tripoli’s Al-Hadba prison, but the deposed ruler’s ex-spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi was among the former senior officials sitting in blue jumpsuits behind a fenced-off section. The men face charges ranging from corruption to war crimes related to the deaths during the 2011 uprising, which expanded into a civil war that eventually ousted Gaddafi. The former Libyan leader was later killed after being captured by rebels. Addressing the four judges, many of the defendants com-

plained they had not been given access to lawyers or only saw them at court appearances. “I want to be treated like other prisoners. I want visiting rights. I don’t have a lawyer,” Senussi said. Prosecutors said Senussi had been allowed to see relatives, but denied lawyers had been prevented from visiting their clients at the prison. Post-Gaddafi Libya has so far been defined by a weak interim government and growing unrest as former revolutionary fighters refuse to give up their weapons, and armed protesters blockade the country’s crucial oil exports. The trial began a day after Interim Prime Minister, Abdullah al-Thinni announced his resignation after an attack on his family and following the ousting of the previous prime minister barely a month ago. The International Criminal

Court and other human rights organizations are concerned over the fairness of Libya’s justice system although the government won the right last year to try Gaddafi’s former spy chief domestically instead of at the ICC.

‘Guinea Ebola outbreak under control’ UINEA’S Foreign Minister G Francois Fall yesterday said the west African country has brought the spread of the deadly haemorrhagic Ebola virus under control after more than 100 people have died. “We are pleased to say we have controlled the spread of the epidemic,” Fall told reporters after a meeting his South African counterpart, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria.

“We have even managed to cure some of those infected.” The outbreak is one of the most deadly, with 157 people infected and 101 deaths in Guinea alone. “We benefitted from help from the international community to stop the spread of the epidemic,” he said. International aid organisations last week launched a series of emergency measures in Guinea and across West Africa in a bid to contain one

Experts laud turnout in Guinea-Bissau elections HE people of Guinea-Bissau have voted in large numT bers, election officials and analysts said yesterday, as the country seeks to turn the page on years of political instability and military violence. Voters went to the polls on Sunday in the first presidential and parliamentary polls in the west African nation since a military coup in 2012. “The numbers are positive. Taking into account the voter

turnout in the various polling stations, participation would exceed 70 percent,” the commission’s president, Augusto Mendes, told reporters. He said the commission hoped to publish official results from Wednesday, but if confirmed, the figure would be well in excess of the turnout in the most recent presidential votes in 2009 and 2012, which were around 60 percent. The polls are the first since a former army chief of staff agreed in 2012 to hand power to a civilian transitional regime. But Guinea-Bissau has seen four decades of chaos, marked by a series of mutinies since the west African nation won independence from Portugal,

and commentators have called for the new regime to finally bring the military into line. In recent years, the country has been plagued by corruption and drugs, and since the latest coup, has been stagnating under the rule of a transitional government backed by the all-powerful military.

of the worst ever outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus. The outbreak began in the impoverished country’s southern forests, but has spread to Conakry, a sprawling port city on the Atlantic coast and home to two million people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described West Africa’s first outbreak among humans as one of the most challenging since the virus emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. “It is the first time we have faced this epidemic,” said Fall adding that despite acting “very quickly” to stem the tide of the epidemic, “sadly there were a hundred people dead.” Fall said strict measures are being taken to prevent it spreading. Everyone entering or leaving Guinea is checked for Ebola.

Nigeria hosts world navies By Odita Sunday AVIES of the world have N arrived Nigerian soil for a multi-national sea exercise tagged ‘Exercise Obangame Express’ aimed at checking

piracy and forms of robbery at sea. The exercise, which was a brainchild of the United States (U.S.), took place few years ago in Douala, Cameroun, where two Nigeria navy’s sea platform and Nigerian Air force Maritime patrol jet participated. Nigeria participated in ‘Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS’ for the first time in 2010 as an observer. At the 2011 edition hosted by Cameroun, the Nigerian Navy participated fully and made an impressive stint. Briefing newsmen on this year’s edition of the exercise, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade said Nigeria’s hosting of the international event attest to the confidence the international community reposed in the country. “The Exercise was hosted by Nigeria in 2012 and I am proud to say that Nigeria is hosting this year’s edition again, to attest to the confidence repose in Nigeria by other participating nations. The Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2014 started on April 10, with arrival and in-land training at the Joint Maritime Security Training Centre Ojo. The Exercise is being coordinated at a newly established Maritime Operations Centre in Western Naval Command Headquarters at Apapa. One unique aspect of this year’s exercise is that it will be conducted in three different zones at the same time. These zones are Gabon (Port Gentil), Cameroun/Calabar and Lagos where the entire scenario will be coordinated,” he said. The word “OBANGAME” comes from Camerounian Fang language and means “togetherness”. The Guardian learnt that African participants selected the name as proof of their commitment to promoting regional cooperation among navies of the countries in the Gulf of Guinea.


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WorldReport Germany sees ‘signs’ Russia backing militias in Ukraine ERMANY said Monday G there are many signs Russia is backing pro-Kremlin

People wait and sleep in the open sky in Managua yesterday, as tremors have not stopped in Nicaragua since April 10 when a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the country’s Pacific region. The quakes that struck Nicaragua in the past days killed one person, left 40 injured and damaged more than two thousand homes. PHOTO: AFP

Syria troops reclaim Christian town of Maalula WENTY four hours after T President Bashar al-Assad said the three-year old civil war was turning in his favour, Syrian troops yesterday retook the ancient Christian town of Maalula from rebels. “The army has taken full control of Maalula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamun,” a security official told AFP, referring to the region in which Maalula is

located. AFP reported that the Al-Safir hotel, which rebels had been using as a base, was almost completely destroyed, with a facade that gave on to a cliff having collapsed. Downhill from the hotel, the Mar Sarkis Greek Catholic monastery was also damaged, its walls pierced by mortar rounds, and icons and other religious objects strewn on the ground inside. Those residents who had not

fled Maalula in previous fighting were nowhere to be found. “The village was taken quickly. This morning we took AlSarkha village” on a hill overlooking the town, “then we came towards Maalula,” a soldier told AFP. Maalula’s capture comes after a string of successes in the strategic Qalamun region, including the seizure of the former rebel bastion of Yabrud last month.

Pakistani held for cannibalism after eating baby PAKISTANI man was arrestA ed yesterday on suspicion of cannibalism when the head of a newborn baby was found at his home, three years after he was jailed for the same offence. Police raided the house in a remote village in Punjab province after neighbours complained of a foul smell and found the head of the two-day-old baby inside. Householder Mohammad Arif admitted eating the child after his brother stole the body from a graveyard in Darya Khan village, around 300 kilometres (180 miles) south of Islamabad, officers said. Arif and his brother Farman

Ali were arrested for eating human corpses in the same village in April 2011 and served two years in prison, in a case that shocked Pakistan. “Arif has been arrested and he has confessed that his brother brought the dead body of the newborn from the nearby graveyard,” Ameer Abdullah, police chief of Bhakkar district where the village is located, told AFP. “Arif told police that both of them later cooked the dead body and ate it.” There is no specific law against cannibalism in Pakistan’s penal code, so as in the 2011 case Arif has been charged with desecrating a dead body and public order

Mass DNA tests at French school to find rapist ALE students and staff at a M French school yesterday began providing police with DNA samples in an unprecedented operation aimed at discovering who raped a 16year-old female pupil on the premises. The operation has raised concerns over rights violations after the prosecutor handling the case said anyone refusing to submit a sample would be considered a potential suspect. By mid-afternoon, 142 of the 527 boys or men who have been asked to participate in the operation had provided samples at Fenelon-Notre Dame, a private Catholic high

school in the port city of La Rochelle, on France’s Atlantic coast. “Nobody has objected and the samples have been taken in a calm and orderly fashion,” local prosecutor, Isabelle Pagenelle told reporters, defending her decision to order the tests. “To say this is a first, does not automatically mean it is not a legitimate operation,” she added. It was expected to take until tomorrow for all the required samples to be collected from a total of 475 male students, 31 teachers and 21 other staff known to have been on site at the time of the attack.

offences. In the earlier case police found the body of a 24-yearold woman who had recently died of cancer at the men’s house — minus a leg, which they had eaten.

The regime has prioritised capturing the area to protect the highway linking Damascus to Homs that runs through the region, as well as to sever rebel supply lines across the border with Lebanon.

militias who have seized government buildings in eastern Ukraine, including the arms, uniforms and appearance of their members. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman said Berlin “is worried about the further aggravation of the situation in the east of Ukraine”, and that Merkel had discussed the issue with Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron. “There are many signs that the armed groups active in eastern Ukraine are receiving support from Russia,” the spokeswoman said. “A look at the appearance, uniforms and weaponry of some of these groups hardly suggests that they are defence forces spontaneously formed by civilians.” Germany sees Russia as having “a particular responsibility to prevent a further escalation, and to contribute to stabilising the situation in Ukraine,” said Merkel’s spokeswoman Christiane

Wirtz. “This includes withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border, lowering gas prices and using moderate language. It must be clear that violence is not an option for resolving disputes, and this also goes for Russia.” Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, at an event commemorating World War I with French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, warned of resurgent nationalist forces both within Europe and “in its neighbourhood”. Gabriel said that good news several months ago from Ukraine, including an end to bloody violence against protesters — had since given way to “an ongoing military confrontation” and the realisation that “Russia is apparently willing to let tanks cross European borders”. “Suddenly, we are being dragged from the observer’s position into a long smouldering and incendiary conflict, which is also demanding a price from Europe in the form of sanctions against Russia,” he said.

Israel police arrest goat-sacrificing Jews SRAELI police arrested five Jews suspected of trying to Isacrifice a goat at Jerusalem’s highly sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem yesterday as the Jewish Passover holiday begins, a spokeswoman said. The five “extreme rightwing Jews” were dragging the goat towards the flashpoint compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount when they

were stopped and taken into custody, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement. The incident took place as the seven-day holiday, in which traditionally a lamb or a kid is sacrificed, was to begin at sunset. It commemorates the Exodus of the biblical Israelites from captivity in Egypt, including how God chose to kill all the first-born of Egypt to force the pharaoh to let the Israelites

leave. But he instructed the Israelites to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb so that he would know to pass over the first-born in them, hence the English name of the holiday. The compound, in the walled Old City, houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques, and is the third most sacred site in Islam.


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Politics THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Senior citizens at confab are assets, not liabilities, says Adetuyi By Abiodun Fanoro HE ongoing national conference offers a T unique opportunity for Nigerians to amicably resolve the myriad of problems facing the country and threatening its unity and future. Consequently, patriotic Nigerians are urged to make maximum use of the opportunity of the conference. Chief Samuel Adetuyi, a retired Commissioner of Police and a delegate at the conference, who gave this admonition in an interview with The Guardian in Lagos, noted that there was no alternative to dialogue except anarchy, which, he said, Nigerians could not afford. “Every Nigerian today has accepted the reality that the country is facing enormous problems that could not just be wished away,” he said. “Every Nigerian, irrespective of where he or she comes from, irrespective of his or her religion, his or her status now agrees that these problems must be resolved in the overall interest of the country. “It is also a generally accepted fact that the first step to the solution is to meet and talk to one another. “At a meeting like this, the various peoples would be able to come out to explain why they took certain actions, why they angry or what is annoying them.” Adetuyi, who served as Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Yobe and Rivers States, said there is no cause for alarm over the outburst and tension that trailed the first few weeks of the conference, describing the tensed moments as a normal teething period. His words: “No, no, I don’t agree (conference is not moving fast). It is not because I am a delegate at the conference. We must accept that rules that would guide the workings and operation of the conference have to be put in place. So, in the last three weeks, that is what we have tried to put in place. “There is no doubt that time is of essence. With the way we conducted the first three weeks of the conference, with all the disagreements and threats that trailed it, that gives me more reasons that we are on the right track, as it is in tandem with the Yoruba saying that, when two quarrelling brothers enter the room to settle their quarrel, if they emerge from the room with strong and long faces, it means they have told themselves the blunt truth but if they come out laughing, it means they have deceived themselves.” He said the conference was going to be different from others, “in the sense that we are going to talk to ourselves frankly.” “Of course, when people engage in frank and bitter talk, it would seem to many that they are fighting, but that is not the case with regard to what some observers have described as face-off at the confab. “People must also realise that for a parley of this nature, there would always be teething problems. Nigerians should realise that it is not a tea party and it must not be so if we are truly committed to solving the myriad of problems and crises facing the country that have made us enemy of ourselves. Notwithstanding these teething problems, we are on track.” ON the seeming religious differences that played out at the parley, Adetuyi said: “That has always been there even without the conference. Nigerians have come to recognise ethnicity, they have come to recognise tribe, they have come to recognise religion, etc. It didn’t start today and it wouldn’t just be wished away because there is conference. That is why many of us keep pleading with the delegates to put Nigeria first, not their religion or such other sentiments. And in any case, one of the reasons this conference is holding is to devise the means through which we would live together in harmony, where religion or ethnicity would not become a problem to our unity and common goals.” In Adetuyi’s view, the criticism that greeted

Adetuyi the payment of allowances to the delegates was unnecessary and in most cases uncharitable. He noted that some of the critics failed to take into consideration the enormous sacrifices the delegates, most of whom, according to him, have abandoned their livelihood for the conference, are making. “From what I have seen in the last three weeks at the confab, I think it would be unfair to the delegates to say they are not patriotic,” he said. “I am sure most people making this comment are not doing so based on facts. There are some delegates whose daily earnings are far and above the allowances they are paid at the parley. “Among this group are former governors, established lawyers, wealthy former senators, traditional rulers and even wealthy religious leaders. They have left all they are doing — their businesses — to attend the meeting. “Don’t forget that patriotism is of the mind; it comes from the mind. Even if a man is not receiving a kobo, he could still choose not to be patriotic. “How else could we measure patriotism if our senior citizens at the conference, Chief Richard Akinjide, Chief Olanihun Ajayi and even Chief Edwin Clerk would defy the hot weather to attend meetings till the last day of every week!” Adetuyi commended the contributions of senior citizens taking part in the conference, urging critics to appreciate them rather than condemning them. He described them as assets

rather than liabilities to the conference. “When Nigerians appreciate the saying that experience is the best teacher, then they would realise how invaluable these well-experienced senior citizens are to the confab and in resolving the various crises facing the country,” he said. “I quite agree that the representation of the youths ought to be larger than what it is at the conference, but that does not in any way detract from the fact that the experience of the elders could be wished away.” “The word of our elders is a word of wisdom. The Yoruba say that no matter how many new dresses a young man has, he cannot have more rags than the old man. “Don’t forget the Igbo adage that what a young man could not see from the top of an Iroko tree, the elderly man who is on the ground would see it.” WHILE recognising the enormous security challenges the country is facing, Adetuyi urged Nigerians to be rest assured that the parley would do its utmost best to find lasting solutions to it. “It is my fervent hope that at the end of the day, the issue of security would have been properly and adequately taken care of,” he said. “I was in the Police for 35 years and retired as a Commissioner of Police. As a Commissioner, I had the challenges of serving in three sates,

Let me use the opportunity to offer my humble advice to the President on the confab. No doubt Mr. President is a lucky man; he had this luck on many occasions. But I urge him to realise that the same luck must not be taken for granted. He should, therefore, see this confab as an opportunity to put himself in the group of eminent international statesmen, like the late Dr. Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Kwame Nkrumah and oth-

namely Kogi, Yobe and Rivers. “The totality of my experience is that government has not been fair to the Police, as an institution constitutionally charged to maintain law, peace and security. “Government has continued to shy away from its responsibility to provide necessary facilities and logistics required to have a thoroughly fortified Police. “In, 2003 when I was Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, the Command operated from a temporary office. When I moved to Yobe State as Commissioner of Police, we operated again from a temporary office. “As I am talking now, the Police Commands in those two states are still operating from temporary offices, nearly 20 years after the creation of the two states.” Adetuyi did not fail to bare his mind on the increasing clamour for State Police. “State Police is a very controversial issue, but whether it is controversial or not, it would not stop arguments for and against it,” he said. “State Police is not what would in itself provide security; State Police is a means to an end and not an end in itself. “There must be a paradigm shift in the attitude of the government to the Police, in the attitude of policemen to their job and in the attitude of the Police to members of the public, before security could be adequately enhanced.” Adetuyi noted that Police are operating from a very hostile and uncooperative environment, stressing, “it is when the people are truly ready to have a Police of their own, whether it is federal or state, that security would be truly guaranteed.” “The issue is not about federal or state police; the issue is that government must wake up from its slumber and perform its duties to the Police,” he said. “Having said that, there is one sacred fact that we could not deny, which is that, in any federal polity, one of the features of federalism is devolution of power, among which is State Police. “If we are practising federalism, it is simply logical that we talk about State Police. But we must not put the cart before the horse. “Be that as it may, my concern now, as ever, is for the conference to vote a system that will guarantee an efficient, effective and adequate security services in Nigeria. That is what Nigerians want.” Adetuyi debunked speculations that President Goodluck Jonathan has a hidden agenda for the confab, just as he advised the president not to fall for any of such advice even if he is offered by anybody. The confab, according to him, offers Jonathan a rare opportunity to write his name in gold. He said: “Let me use the opportunity to offer my humble advice to the President on the confab. No doubt Mr. President is a lucky man; he had this luck on many occasions. “But I urge him to realise that the same luck must not be taken for granted. He should, therefore, see this confab as an opportunity to put himself in the group of eminent international statesmen, like the late Dr. Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Kwame Nkrumah and others. “When I went to the United Kingdom recently, I saw the statue of Mandela in Central London. “President Jonathan, with this conference, has the opportunity to prepare himself for an event that could make his statue to be erected even in Washington, where people would come to identify him as the President who brings Nigeria out of the wood. “So, he must shun any advice that could make him to have any agenda than the agenda the conference is meant for. He should insist to see this conference as a rare privilege for his name to be written in gold.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014 POLITICS 13

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

‘Management of Ghanaian economy not helpful for the future’ Nana Ajufo-Ado, a Ghanaian politician, who contested the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections under the New Patriotic Party (NPP), does not think Ghana’s current administration is doing a very good job of handling the problems. He spoke to journalists in Lagos on issues in the Ghanaian politics. Seye Olumide and Tunde Akinola were at the interactive session. OW is the political situation in H Ghana after the last elections? • It’s difficult to understand Nigeria still has blackouts One thing that we will continue to be grateful for in Ghana is peace and stability. The political activity in the country is very vibrant, but largely lacking in social peace and that is an important matter to us. But as you can imagine, I am on the other side (opposition); so, my view of what is going on in Ghana is not very complimentary. I think there are major difficulties confronting our country and I don’t think the administration is doing a very good job handling the problems. The elections of 2012 are now history; our party and the population are getting ready to look at the next elections, which will be in two years’ time. Yes, the situation is quite active and we are hearing different voices. So, apart from the political parties, as you would expect, the civil society in Ghana today is very active in commenting on what is going on in our country. What are those issues? The economy is poorly managed and that is bringing difficulties to the people. We have had significant depreciation of our currency; it appears government is in a very serious financial crisis. Statutory payments that should be going to public bodies in Ghana are not being made. Teachers, nurses — important segments of the society, are not being paid. There are arrears of salaries being owed for many months; escalating cost of living; prices going up and in some cases being doubled; and serious balance of payment problems. Generally, the management of the economy is not the best and it is bringing a lot of difficulties for the ordinary people. That’s our concern. (Then power supply was cut (blackout). Do you also experience blackouts in Ghana? Unfortunately, we used to think that it was a Lagos problem, but it is also an Accra problem. We have something we call ‘doomsaw-doomsaw’, and that is blackout. Not too long ago, Nigerians were saying Ghana had achieved uninterrupted power supply. It is not true. We have not managed very well. The bringing up of our gas deposits and, generally, the financing of the energy sector have proved difficult for this administration such that the development of the infrastructure that we need is not taking place. So, you have a great deal of difficulties for our industries getting uninterrupted power supply; having a great deal of difficulties for domestic consumers. We are going through this process of load-shedding and, generally, the situation at the energy front is very difficult for the ordinary people of this country (Ghana), as well as the business community because, not being able to func-

Twice in a decade, we have been able to supervise peaceful transfer of power between the two main contending parties, from the NDC to the NPP and from the NPP back to the NDC. Those two events in 2000 and 2008 have really given a big impetus to the development of our democracy and shown our people that it is possible, without violence, without intervention of soldiers to change government if the government is, in the view of the majority, not going in the right way. On what Ghana can learn from Nigeria of today, I think that is, how best to make sure that resources that we have in our country are used for the benefit of our people. Some of us still find it difficult to understand how come Nigeria, with all its wealth, oil and all that, still has blackouts and these things that you know about. I think what we have to try and do is to make sure that we don’t go down that way!

Akufo Ado tion means the country is not functioning well. These are the difficulties; these are the issues that are animating the political debate in Ghana. T’S in the news that you are runIelection ning for the next presidential in 2016… That is a fact. How do you hope to address the issues you have raised? I am coming from a party that has a track record, which is very positive; that is the track record of the Kuffor era. When we came into office in 2001, many of the same phenomena that we are seeing today existed then. But within a period of eight years, a very major effort was made to bring stability into our exchange rate, bring stability into the rate of inflation and an environment that allowed businesses to function better than they are doing now. The issues are simple. First of all, we are borrowing in Ghana at a rate that is compromising the future of our country.

Today, interest payments on government debts are four times the oil revenue that we are getting. That is a very, very dramatic statistic because it means that going forward, looking at the future, we can’t even be looking at this particular source of revenue for the development of our country. What is the reason? Government debts in the period in which the National Democratic Congress —that is the ruling party in Ghana — has been in power these past four to five years have quadrupled, borrowing as if tomorrow will never come. That is the major problem of our country and we are not seeing the other side of the borrowing: what it is being used for? If we had seen major expansion of our infrastructure, roads, hospitals and social setup, then you can see what is being done. Let me give you another example. In the election year 2012, we had a deficit of $4 billion; and in terms of our GDP, it represented something like 11 per cent.

We used to think that it (power outage) was a Lagos problem, but it is also an Accra problem. We have something we call ‘doomsaw-doomsaw’, and that is blackout. Not too long ago, Nigerians were saying Ghana had achieved uninterrupted power supply. It is not true. We have not managed very well, the bringing up of our gas deposits and, generally, the financing of the energy sector have proved difficult for this administration such that the development of the infrastructure that we need is not taking place. So, you have a great deal of difficulties for our industries getting uninterrupted power supply; having a great deal of difficulties for domestic consumers; we are going through this process of loadshedding and, generally, the situation at the energy front is very difficult for the ordinary people of this country, as well as the business community.

Every year, the World Bank has calculated that we have an infrastructure deficit of $2 billion a year. And that year without meeting the $2 billion target, you are able to create a deficit of $4 billion. So, the question continues to be asked — it is asked by me, it is being asked by other figures in the opposition, what is happening to our money? All the borrowing that is taking place, what is it being used for? It’s true I am contesting. I have tried twice in 2008 when I was the candidate of the ruling party and then as the candidate of the opposition party in 2012. I have examined myself and feel that I have the support within my party, and also, within the country and I believe that I still have the energy and the drive and the commitment to try again. So, we will see. God willing, and if I am in good health, I will try again. Is it not because you are in the opposition that you painted this dire picture? No, the statistics are there. They are not my statistics. Make the investigations for yourself. It is difficult to massage statistics. The rate of interest, the rate of inflation, deficit and all those things are not things that can be manufactured. They are there in the public domain. Of course, the normal thing is for the opposition to oppose and to criticise, and it is good. It keeps governments on their toes and, in itself, that exercise is good for the society. But beyond that, you are journalists, it is your duty to be the watchdog; check the facts that I am giving you to see whether I am talking out of the back of my mouth or whether I am saying the truth. Those are the facts I have put before you, check them and see whether they are true or not. What is going on in the management of the Ghanaian economy is not helpful for the future. AVE you ever heard of Chief H Gani Fawehinmi? Of course, I have. Famous Nigerian lawyer, human rights activist and everything. To some people, you are like Ghana’s Gani Fawehinmi. Do you think Fawehinmi would have served Nigeria better if he had entered into active politics? That is a difficult one for me because I am not familiar with all the nuances of the Nigerian situation. He was a man all of us admired

very much because of his courage. He was a character, who was prepared to speak out when he saw things were going wrong and never worried himself about the consequences. I am, however, flattered by the comparison. What do you think Ghana can learn from Nigeria or what can Nigeria of today learn from Ghana? I think the most important thing that we have been able to do in Ghana is to grow our democracy to the extent that twice in a decade, we have been able to supervise peaceful transfer of power between the two main contending parties: From the NDC to the NPP and from the NPP back to the NDC. Those two events in 2000 and 2008 have really given a big impetus to the development of our democracy and shown our people that it is possible, without violence, without intervention of soldiers to change government if the government is, in the view of the majority, not going in the right way. You have not had that experience here; it has been so far one-way. People are telling us that this time around, it is going to be a closer contest, but I don’t know; I am not prepared to comment on that, but I think that that is an important phenomenon that nations need to go through. I believe that the next time or the time after, it would be a good thing to see that happens here in Nigeria. Please, don’t make a headline that I am calling for a change of government! I am not. I am just saying that if you are asking what you can learn from Ghana, I think that that (peaceful change of government) is the biggest lesson so far that Ghana can give. And I think that is why people are talking about Ghana as a beacon of democracy. We have been able, twice in the Fourth Republic, to have this alternative groups coming into office. What then can Ghana learn from Nigeria of today? This may not be very flattery to Nigeria, but I think that the most important thing that we can learn is how best to make sure that resources that we have in our country are used for the benefit of our people. Some of us still find it difficult to understand how come Nigeria, with all its wealth, oil and all that, still has blackouts and these things that you know about. I think what we have to try and do is to make sure that we don’t go down that way!


TheGuardian

14 | Tuesday, April 15, 2014

www.ngrguardiannews.com

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 Alarm over Ebola fever outbreak iThin three weeks, the haemorrhagic Ebola fever, which was first W reported in Guinea’s remote south in February reached the country’s capital, Conakry, from where it spread into neighbouring Liberia, Sierra Leone and even Mali. now posing a serious threat to the entire West Africa sub-region, it is quite appropriate that the nigerian government has been quick to alert citizens to the danger of a disease that could wipe out people in an area if not arrested on time. The World health Organisation (WhO) raised the concern that the West Africa Ebola strain is the most challenging variant the world has ever seen. it added that international aid organisations are battling to stop further spread of the disease, which could take another four months to contain. That the nigerian authorities have raised alarm over the outbreak of the deadly disease has therefore helped to sensitise members of the public to take precautionary measures. Minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, who acknowledged that nigeria is in danger has, happily, swung into action. in addition to the leaflets being produced for Lassa fever, emphasis he said would be placed on Ebola fever. Jingles would be produced for nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control, to be aired on radio, television and published in newspapers. in the absence of a potent vaccine, the disease poses real danger to public health. Although no case has been reported in nigeria, the disease is wreaking havoc in the affected countries. Reports indicate that Guinea has so far counted about 160 suspected cases of Ebola, in which more than 100 people have died. And in neigbouring Liberia, there have been 10 reported fatalities, with 21 other infections linked to Ebola disease. Luckily, no other country has reported deaths. Ghana’s Minister of health, Sherry Ayittey, debunked one case of a 12-year old girl who died of viral infection but was not due to Ebola. According to WhO, around 65 per cent of infected persons don’t survive the virus. Ebola virus’s high fatality rate is due to internal haemorrhage. The symptoms are similar to those of common flu or malaria. Generally, between two and 21 days after infection, a patient feels weak with headaches, muscle aches and chills. next is high fever, coupled with diarrhoea and nausea. The infected person then dies of severe internal bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, spleen and lungs and the virus is spread through exchange of blood and other bodily fluids. it is therefore advisable that people should see their doctor once there is a feverish condition. Adding Ebola infection to the even more native diseases like Lassa, dengue, yellow fever and cholera could compound the public health situation in nigeria. it is important to stress that Ebola infection is a vector-born disease carried by bats. having contact or eating bush meat could predispose one to Ebola. Besides, keeping the immediate surroundings clean and regular washing of hands are essential. Fruits and vegetables should also be thoroughly washed before consumption. So personal hygiene is very important. The outbreak of Ebola disease in West Africa has confounded the international community, for until now, the disease had always been confined to Central Africa, Sudan, Congo and Uganda. The disease was named after River Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was first discovered in 1976. Since then, there have been 15 Ebola epidemics in Africa killing more than 1, 300 people, according to WhO. Experts say certain specie of bat is the suspected carrier of the virus, which is why the fact that many people in West Africa consume bush meat as a main source of protein is a sign that many people may stand the risk of infection. however, travellers often contract the disease. The influx of immigrants fleeing across borders from the DR Congo into Chad and Cameroon, which are nigeria’s neighbours, therefore could be a potent source of infection. The latest Ebola outbreak is a challenge to the federal and state governments to be proactive and avoid being caught unawares. nigerians travel a lot. At the same time, there is an influx of a host of migrants from across West Africa. Basic social amenities that make for good hygiene in an improved environmental condition should be given priority even as people are nudged in the direction of high personal hygiene. it may not be in nigeria yet but the fear of Ebola should inform the wisdom of preparation.

LETTERS

My contribution to the national conference ir: i suppose that as a bona believers on both sides have religions. Both religions - and Snation, fide citizen of this great been opportune to make the other religions being practiced in i have the right, even trip up to four times, some the country, have other duties, the duty, to contribute to the on-going national Conference. i may not be a delegate, but i suppose that the delegates have the honour and the duty to deliberate on our behalf, all that we submit to them in the interest of the nation. i write concerning the national Pilgrims Board. This board is charged with the task of assisting nigerians who wish to visit the holy Land for religious obligations. however, only the two religions with supposedly the greatest followership are accorded this privilege:   Christianity and islam. Even at that, not all the adherents of these are given that privilege. indeed, while some

have no hope of going at all. What is more ridiculous is that the richer and more influential one is the higher the person’s chance of going any number of times. All expenses are made from the national purse. To common sense, this is absurd. i am yet to understand why it is a national preoccupation that individuals fulfill their religious duties, to such an extent that the national purse bears the cost. While it is desirable that the nation facilitates the fulfillment of religious obligations, it is not its place to bear the burden. The nation already facilitates this by granting national holidays on the sacred days of these

which the faithful carry out. As long as these duties do not infringe on the rights of the others, they are all welcome. Perhaps some poor persons in the land have been fortunate to make these pilgrimages on the national purse, but we all know that it is almost the exclusive preserve of the influential and rich.     if the Pilgrims Board is to be national, let it be run like the nYSC. it should be made compulsory, that every citizen, say at the age of 20, must go on religious pilgrimage. Otherwise, for the sake of common sense, the board should be scrapped and the money put to better national use. • Mary Ukachukwu, Lagos.

Calling hon. ikuforiji to use this medium to deplorable, poor shape and towards developing the area he iingwish call on the member represent- begging for his attention represents and now he is Epe Constituency 1 at the which never comes for his rumoured to have higher ambiLagos State house of Assembly and Speaker of the house, Adeyemi Sabit ikuforiji, to help us repair the damaged roads and spots in Odubote nitel Street, Oke-Posun, and Etitun Ayetoro road, all in Epe. Even the adjoining Etitun, Ajagonobe Street is not in a better shape at all. The state of the roads mentioned is totally awful and nothing to write home about despite the fact that the Speaker is representing the constituency and the constituents. Does the three-term lawmaker and the Speaker of the Assembly feel comfortable each time he visits his hometown in such a

over 10 years in the saddle as a Speaker? What will it take him to see to it that the failed portions that dot the areas are repaired so as to serve the people better? is it only hoisting flags of the All Progressive Congress (APC), on the streets and adjoining ones that he can do while overlooking the small matters of filling potholes on the streets mentioned? Even the solar-powered street lights on the Ayetoro-Lagos Road being done half way by the Chairman of the council, Segun hafiz Agbaje can barely give light in these areas, and the Speaker folds his arms

tions through this constituency? it is amazing how nigerian political leaders only care about their constituents during elections, and after the elections they jettison them. Why are our politicians and political office holders ungrateful lots? This is therefore calling on the Speaker of Lagos State house of Assembly, honourable Adeyemi Sabit ikuforiji to live up to the pledge he made to serve his constituents better by repairing without any further delay, the failed portions of Odubote, Etitun, Ajagonobe and Ayetoro roads. • Ademola Orunbon, Lagos.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

15

Opinion Defections and abuse of the Constitution is not in the national interest. What we are dealing with is a fundamental moral principle of freeGAINST the backdrop of crass impunity and dom, choice and responsibility. As humans, we disregard of the Constitution by some politi- are free and because we are free, we make choices cians since the advent of the present democratic but ultimately, we must be ready to bear the redispensation in 1999, the recent ruling by the sponsibility of our choices. Again, one must make Federal High Court, Abuja, that some 37 law- sacrifice to reach certain goals. makers, who defected from the ruling Peoples Whereas, defection, per se, is allowed by the ConDemocratic Party (PDP) to the main opposition stitution because it brings dynamism into the All Progressives Congress (APC) should resign polity and compels parties to seat up, the Constihonourably is a remarkable positive step to- tution allowed it only on condition of personal wards restoring the rule of law in the demo- integrity - the defectors must be responsible men cratic process. This democracy needs to be saved and women. For lawmakers both in the federal by politicians or we may lose it if care is not and state Houses of Assembly, the condition for taken. defection is resignation and vacation of seat. The PDP had dragged the House of Representa- However, the Constitution is silent on the defectives alongside the defecting lawmakers to tion of the president and his deputy as well as court, seeking among others things a declara- governors and their deputies. But this is curious, tion that the lawmakers resigned and vacated indeed, a serious omission. The law should retheir seats. Justice Adeniyi Ademola held that quire all elected persons to resign for stability in the lawmakers who defected to the APC from the polity. Otherwise, imagine what would hapthe PDP have no business again in the House of pen if the president defects to another party. The Representatives, since they left the party that defection of some governors has caused ripples brought them in. in their states. In all of this, the electorates lose Justice Ademola based his verdict on Section 68 out. (1) (g), which states, “A member of the Senate or Since 1999, lawmakers and other politicians have of the House of Representatives shall vacate his been defecting randomly from one party to anseat in the House of which he is a member if - be- other. There are defectors in the Senate, who are ing a person whose election to the House was now caught up by Justice Ademola’s judgment. sponsored by a political party, he becomes a Over the years, the PDP has benefitted more from member of another political party before the ex- defections, which is why the 37 lawmakers appear piration of the period for which that House was to hold their ground based on dangerous preceelected; Provided that his membership of the dents. But we need a break off from infamy; othlatter political party is not as a result of a divi- erwise, we are moving nowhere. The APC should sion in the political party of which he was pre- set example and prove that it is out for change. viously a member…” Otherwise, the cynicism by some that the APC is The lawmakers’ refusal to abide by the verdict essentially the same as PDP is given credence.

By Luke Onyekakeyah

A

If the 37 lawmakers resign, that would be historic and a show of uncommon integrity. No lawmaker would in the future nurse the idea of defecting without being prepared to vacate his or her seat. The fact that for the first time this matter is taken to court is an indication that henceforth, defection must go with responsibility. Unbridled defections without recourse or adherence to the Constitutional provisions are a major source of instability in the polity. Defections without responsibility are, certainly, not in the interest of the nation. Politicians have two options in the ensuing political drama - it is either they play by the rules and nurture this democracy to maturity or let everyone do what he or she likes and thereby kill the budding experimentation. The consequences of the latter would be unimaginable. It is unfortunate that the 37 lawmakers and others in the Senate exercised their Constitutional rights to defect but are unwilling to bear the responsibility as required by the same Constitution. It is important to realise that as far as the Constitution is concerned, resignation is a necessary adjunct to defection. The two go hand-inhand. You can’t choose one and leave the other. Otherwise, it is akin to one eating his cake and still wants to have it. By making resignation a necessary adjunct to defection, the Constitution’s aim is to stabilise the polity and curtail frivolous selfish cross carpeting by politicians. Unfortunately, the political players in Nigeria are rule breakers, inclined to selfish interest. Hence, they defect at will without the willingness to resign accordingly. The Justice Ademola ruling has the capacity to save Nigeria’s fledgling democracy – a democ-

racy that is in fits and bounds. The blatant refusal of politicians to abide by the rules as enshrined in the Constitution is inimical to the survival of this democracy. The deliberate flouting of the Constitution is capable of truncating this decade and four-year old experiment. As progressive politicians, the 37 affected lawmakers ought to have resigned voluntarily without court coercion, at least to convince Nigerians that APC is not attuned to our demented political past. The voluntary resignation of the lawmakers would have set the stage for a new political culture. Politicians would then think twice before cross carpeting. It would have checked the unbridled back and forth movement by politicians without regard to the Constitution. Our Constitution has been subjected to barefaced abuse by those who swore to uphold it. Impunity, a self-imposed political culture has become our albatross. This sort of impunity would make one exonerate the Constitution as being the cause of our problems. The problem is in the human elements. What is written in the Constitution is enough to make Nigeria great if the people are willing to abide by its provisions. The truth is that the culture of impunity will not allow even the best Constitution to thrive in this land. The wave of defections by politicians from one party to another and the refusal to resign or vacate seat in the case of lawmakers should be seen as a blatant assault on the Constitution and democracy. Any lawmaker who decides to defect should be man enough, show integrity and be ready to make sacrifice for his beliefs and convictions. That way, this democracy will grow to benefit all.

Economy: Undo Jonathan’s sealed failure (2) By Adaighofua Ojomaikre T that stage, the available resources will fuel an annual ecoA nomic growth rate that will outpace the 10-12 per cent projected for Nigeria as a prospective MINT economy. Towards that end, FA dollar accruals, which belong to the three tiers of government, should be duly allocated as earned but preferably through loot-exposing dollar domiciliary accounts of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries should freely convert any desired amount to oil earnings-derived naira revenue through deposit money banks. The DMBs are agents to the CBN, which should begin to act as a true naira monopolist. Then will emerge effortlessly and rapidly (within six to 12 months) the much desired conducive and internationally comparable basic economic conditions for competitiveness, which the 1971 economic error has postponed for 43 years now. Simultaneously, among other benefits, the skyrocketing and high service-cost excess liquidity fed national domestic debt will stop rising. Secondly, the corridor-dwelling monetary policy rate will disappear. And to make a triumphant return will be the minimum rediscount rate that will be set close to the very low inflation rate. Thirdly, low lending rates across-the-board will facilitate open access to plentiful and cheap bank loans. Lending rates will settle below what the so-called CBN special intervention funds (SIFs) offer. Note that the SIFs breach the law in several ways: They lack requisite legislative authorisation, they constitute extra and unappropriated deficit financing, the SIF interest rate is set lower than the monetary policy rate plus one per cent prescribed in the CBN Act and being rationed funds, SIFs are loaded with under-the-table charges. For instance, microfinance loans (part of which is SIF) are given at a minimum annualised ruinous rate of 72 per cent. The SIFs should therefore be discontinued. Given available cheap bank loans, special funding should merely entail concessional liquidation periods for any specific areas targeted. So, given the positive developments, how fast will the economy grow? We sketch the prospects with the aid of the latest available full-year CBN data. Firstly, aggregate government expenditure of the three tiers in 2012 was N10.1 trillion. Recurrent expenditure accounted for 58 per cent, capital expenditure 31 per cent with the balance lumped together. Because capital expenditure involves new investment that is associated with new jobs, there have been insistent calls by the public for government to spend the greater part of the annual budget on capital projects. Prudent spending and well-specified budgeting are desirable. However, it should be noted that where government budgets are properly classified, the recurrent expenditure component is always greater. Doubtless, the volume of government capital spending is inadequate for wiping out the high unemployment rate. As regards GDP growth, to raise government expenditure, which in turn will grow GDP, other things being equal, depends on an increased revenue base plus acceptable level of deficit spending that conventionally should not exceed three per cent of GDP. In effect, only limited GDP growth may result directly from government spending. To what extent will the private sector influence GDP growth? In

2012, (presumed bank) credit to core private sector (CCPS) stood at N14 trillion with CCPS as a proportion of GDP standing at 36 per cent. Suppose bank credit accounts for total private sector outlay on fresh investments and other business spending. The CCPS/GDP ratio or indicator with an ever-expanding GDP base may be expected to experience incremental change as witnessed in focused economies. For example, present-day CCPS/GDP ratios for Singapore and Malaysia are 95 per cent and 132 per cent respectively. In the absence of the faulty economic policies, both ratios were well within Nigeria’s grasp in 2012. (Note that this indicator in the per-financial meltdown 2000s rose to over 200 per cent and over 300 per cent in the U.S. and Japan respectively). In 2012 the deposit base of deposit money banks was N15.2 trillion. For this analysis, deduct public sector deposits put at some N3 trillion. (Ordinarily, public sector funds should be kept in the government treasury, but they escaped into the DMBs as one of the abuses spawned by the economic error of 1971. And for the sake of a sound financial system, public sector deposits should be wholly withdrawn from the DMBs.) Given the 2012 cash reserve ratio of 12 per cent and a prudent liquidity ratio of 40 per cent (it is currently 30 per cent), the private deposits of N12.2 trillion could support N60 trillion in bank loans to the private sector. Hence, in addition to the actual CCPS of N14 trillion, there existed in 2012 unutilised lending capacity (or potentials) of 76 per cent. That idle lending capacity could finance (Nigerian) CCPS/GDP (2012) = 95 per cent (that is N38 trillion) or even CCPS/GDP (2012) = 132 per cent (that is N53 trillion) with unutilised lending capacity to spare. Where is the justification or SIFs? The point to note is that annual bank financed private sector investments can reach several times the entire government budget with far much greater potential to create massive employment and grow the GDP. That is the road to a private sector-driven economy to which the Federal Government has been paying lip service. (The rebased 2012 GDP demands greater effort still. The CCPS of N14 trillion as a proportion of the GDP of N71 trillion falls to 20 per cent. The corresponding proportion of the maximum lending potential of N60 trillion drops to 84 per cent. Hence bank deposit base and lending by banks must rise markedly in order to meet the Singaporean and Malaysian levels.) Sadly, amid the yawning unutilised lending capacity that coexists with a dearth of funds for old and new businesses, government diversionarily concentrates on wooing foreign direct investments (FDI). In 2012, the country attracted a paltry N1 trillion in FDI, which as a proportion of GDP was just 2.8 per cent. Flows of FDI are volatile as they seek fair-weather and booming conditions that are already in place. Also portfolio investment worth N2 trillion (or five per cent of GDP) was attracted. Such relatively high presence of portfolio investment is indicative of an economy that has been thrown wide-open to exploitation by foreigners. Remember that because the tiers of government must purchase the preponderant volume of naira funds for their budget execution with FA forex accruals, the correct conversion process guarantees availability in the system of ample forex to meet the external requirements of fast expanding domestic investments. Therefore, FDI does not constitute any constraint to the country’s rapid economic advancement. As a policy, sponta-

neous FDI should be welcomed simply to supplement the country’s already sound development base. We return to the potentially fast climbing CCPS/GDP ratio. Anchored on low lending rates, rising bank loans to the private sector will allow existing establishments to produce at full capacity and/or expand while fresh investments will spring up. Bank nonperforming loans will become rare. The poverty level will begin to decline while the flourishing real sector will pay increased taxes for government use. For example, were the desirable conditions in place, that Nigerian Croesus would not have been forced to borrow $9 billion abroad in order to build a petroleum refinery at Olokola in Ondo State. That project should have been a boon to Nigerian banks rather than to foreign ones. The forex needs of that project would then be readily purchased via DMBs from FA dollar allocations to be sold by the various governments for the naira funds that they require for government business. Needless to add, therefore, funding for the various infrastructure deficits (whose projections the government both finds intimidating and uses to overawe the gullible public) is available in Nigerian banks for public-private partnership projects and not in FDI and Eurobond. Because the execution of infrastructure projects is spaced out over time, they become very convenient for banks to finance. Thus, so a well-managed financial sector where the CBN concentrates on taking measures for non-inflationary absorption of the ample cheap bank credit potential will empower the private sector to grow the economy at a far much faster pace than the country has witnessed. And given the country’s low GDP base (even after rebasing), this best-practice fiscal/monetary management approach could have since 2001 produced average annual GDP growth rate of not less than 15 per cent, Nigeria’s GDP per capita (1990 = 100) of N2926 in 2001 would have quadrupled by 2013. But ruefully, under the extant measures which retard the economy, the 2013 GDP per capita (1990 = 100) of N5,689 was below double the 2001 level. Economic advancement depends on constantly choosing the best option available. Strangely, Nigeria has deliberately been subjected to the opposite. Finally, we know the odds that we face. Under the present democratic dispensation, a sitting president has revealed the guiding principle of decision making by the Nigerian state. He said that for him to accept any proffered advise (include properly developed official memos) without his personal modification amounted to surrendering his leadership position to the adviser concerned. No wonder the landscape is littered with kinked (in political lingo: Maradona) policies and programmes. That was how the Nigerian state upturned firmly established economic principles in 1971. And that is how the Nigerian state has resolutely resisted for 13 years now the campaign for the restoration and observance of those economic principles whose inherent benefits have been outlined hereinabove and manifested in their splendor in the world’s leading economies. But we must not relent in proffering first-class advice to government and the country. Nigeria belongs to us all. • Concluded. • Ojomaikre is a visiting member of the Editorial Board of The


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Opinion Soka: Farce, fallacies in service of politics By Olumuyiwa Ayilara R. Ayodele Adigun, in the usual Nigerian M parlance, is a man you can refer to as an ex-this, ex-that: civil servant, permanent secretary for several years, commissioner and secretary to the Oyo State Government, he is a name in the state. He understands the terrain of the state like the back of his hands. This lofty pedigree, however, comes with a converse: the noticeable rot and decadence of decades that the state wallows in cannot be divorced from this retired civil servant who preens himself with the knowledge of the past. On not a few occasions, Adigun preens himself of this ‘knowledge’ like a turtledove and flaunts it at will while seeking to arrest his audience. The Achilles’ hill of this parade of feathers is, however, that Adigun brandishes ‘knowledge’ only to massage personal ego or in pursuit of self and his agenda. Immediately he left the service, his first port of call was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he worked under Governors Rashidi Ladoja and Bayo Alao-Akala. When Akala’s government ended, Adigun took flight to Ladoja’s Accord Party, at the prompting of promises that the old age of the party’s own Chairman Mao would make it cede the party’s flag to him. So Adigun avails the world of his ‘knowledge’ of Oyo State through periodic interventions in the media. A content analysis of these interventions nonetheless reveals them as self-serving. His views are never above politics and base personal sentiments. The March 24, 2014 discovery of a ritual den in Ibadan where scores of human skulls and decomposing body parts were discovered is Adigun’s latest beef. As usual, the nomadic perm sec, in a piece entitled Ibadan ritual den: facts, fiction, propaganda (The Guardian April 11, 2014), did not disappoint those who understand his gravitation towards self and political interest. It was so steeped in perverted lies and falsehood that its most fitting headline should have read: A potpourri of fiction, farce and fallacies in the service of Ladoja’s Accord Party.

This writer would not bother a highly perceptive reading audience with details of Adigun’s journey of faction in the piece. The summation of the said article was that the Oyo State Government, as against the perception of the whole world, should be held responsible for the Ibadan Soka human parts discovery. As I would hold at present, Adigun merely went on a junket of lies, hiding behind the proverbial one finger, in pursuit of a political party’s unwritten motto of using crude lies in the service of political propaganda. What the piece written by Adigun has succeeded in doing was to make the whole world a liar, especially the crop of energetic and painstaking journalists who make up the Nigerian media who have feasted on the news since it broke, as well as the inhabitants of the Soka area who witnessed live, man’s inhumanity to man in this regard. Let me go into details piecemeal. On a recent Ibadan radio programme anchored by Edmund Obillo, one of the respondents interviewed by him, a woman acquaintance of Lanre Salami, a motorcyclist whose disappearance and the rescue team in search of him led to the discovery of the den, the woman related how the team, bent on finding Salami, had stumbled on the den and heard harrowing cries of captives inside a shack at Soka shouting “please give us water/food, we are not mad people.” It was relayed to the world. Virtually all Nigerian and foreign newspapers, including The Mail of London, as well as radio and television houses, have done features, interviews and on-the-spot assessments of the Soka area. Indeed, the resilient men and women of the pen fraternity, who churned out news daily from the horror scene, gave graphic accounts from released captives, interviewed the community members and wrote gripping stories of fresh blood spillages, gallows where captives were slaughtered and sundry other revelations from the horror scene. Unfortunately, either out of oversight or a deliberate attempt to walk the known route of tar-brushing the party’s captives preparatory to their being roasted alive on the

wire gauze of political expediency, Adigun never made reference to the globally-condemned acts of these evil merchants who trade in human parts. His beef was with the Oyo State Government, which he, in his own solo world, believes must have taken mad men to the forest. Apart from the above discoveries at Soka, the media have shown us pictures of baby wear, shoes, garments, school children’s uniforms, identity cards and bank account statements that were found at Soka. We would need Adigun to tell us that these were his imaginary mad men and women whom he claimed that the government shepherded to the expansive land. Why would anyone play politics this brazenly and unmindful of the souls of the murdered at Soka? The ‘Super Perm Sec’ also went on a history of the expansive land of Soka and sought to absolve the government of his principal, Ladoja, from complicity in the abandonment of the land by successive governments but he made a very shoddy job of this. He told the story of revenue that accrued to government during Ladoja’s rule from the said area and that government of the time was using it for oxidation. However, the converse is that this information is a deliberately robed falsehood told from one side, a pitfall in argument, which comes when an interlocutor argues a part to presuppose the whole. The truth is that Soka area spans over 11,000 hectares of land and the so-called oxidation took place on a negligible, if not minute part of the land. Indeed, from information available to this writer, a brewing company giant whom Adigun claimed was using the land abandoned it in 2010. Callers on another Ibadan-based radio programme upbraided Adigun to stop politicising the fate of the dead and own up that Soka is a microcosm of abandonment that successive governments in Oyo State cannot acquit selves from. Adigun made so many libelous and callous allegations against the Oyo State government that only someone starved of blood in his veins would tread on such illogical path, all in the

name of politics. The question to ask the superknowledgeable perm sec is: Why is the world on the side of truth and he chose to queue by the side of partisan politics? This attempt to railroad the world from the path of sanctity and sanity, is it out of love for the people, love for the dead at Soka or love for a place in the Agodi Government House? The Oyo State Government never hid its love for the uplift of the aesthetics of the state, from the word go. Its urban renewal exercise and zero tolerance for insecurity are the lingo of the administration. This was why, from what I gathered, at a Security Council meeting sometime in 2012, when members of the council which comprised army, police, SSS and other security agencies’ top brass, expressed disavowal with the upsurge in the number of destitute in the state capital, a service provider who had been engaged in picking destitute from the streets and re-uniting them with their families was chosen for the exercise. Cases abound of supposed lunatics who beheaded innocent bystanders. The Oyo State government is said to have evidences of the service provider having united many of the destitute with their families, especially a letter from the Lagos State Government thanking its Oyo counterpart for its fraternal intervention. Oyo also said it never had an agreement with the service provider to provide a transit camp for the destitute and as such, it is illogical and self-serving to allege such as Adigun did. My appeal is to politicians to stick to politics and not turn political profiteers from the calamity of the people. Adigun should for once stand on the side of the masses who are accusing politicians of patronising human parts sellers for political advantage. Why was there no empathy for the people who are victims of kidnappers in Adigun’s piece? Was he trying to shift the attention of the world from the truth to a base sentiment? How come he knows this much about Soka and never volunteered it to the police? Human rights organizations and police must ask this super perm sec questions on the fate of the dead at Soka. • Ayilara is a human rights activist based in Ibadan.

Ireland and Nigeria: Time to soar By Patrick Fay AST month around 600 people gathered at the Embassy of Lin Ireland in Abuja and 100 people at the Honourary Consulate Lagos to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – Ireland’s national day.  St. Patrick is also, of course, considered as one of the patron saints of Nigeria and this is just one example – along with Guinness and the “Irish potato” of our strong bilateral links.   Ireland and Nigeria have enjoyed a long relationship going back many decades.  The missionaries were the first link in the chain.  The then Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Sean Lemass, attended the Nigerian independence celebrations in October, 1960.  The government had decided in June to open a resident mission in Lagos.  Five months later the post was upgraded to full Embassy status, a sign of Ireland’s recognition of the potential of Nigeria.  This was Ireland’s first embassy in Africa.   Ireland is well on its way to economic recovery.  At the end of 2013, we became the first Eurozone country to exit an EU/IMF programme of assistance.  We have made a full return to normal financial market funding, with €1 billion worth of 10-year bonds sold in March at a yield of 2.967 per cent, the first time on record that 10-year bond yields have fallen below three per cent, indicating significant financial market confidence in the

Ireland is well on its way to economic recovery. At the end of 2013, we became the first Eurozone country to exit an EU/IMF programme of assistance.  We have made a full return to normal financial market funding, with €1 billion worth of 10-year bonds sold in March at a yield of 2.967 per cent, the first time on record that 10-year bond yields have fallen below three per cent, indicating significant financial market confidence in the Irish economy

Irish economy. Ireland has performed well on many international business and economic rankings.  For example, it is the best country in the world for business (Forbes Best Countries for Business Report, December 2013); first in the world for the flexibility and adaptability of our workforce (IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013): first in the world for inward investment by quality and value (IBM Global Location Trends Report 2013). Trade has been the driver of our economic recovery, with export levels now significantly higher than the pre-crisis peak in 2007. Ireland launched the Africa Strategy at the First Africa Ireland Economic Forum in September 2011. The Africa Strategy calls for deeper economic and political links with Africa and the annual Forum provides a focus for discussions on business opportunities including trade and investment. The Third Forum was held in October 2013 and welcomed a large delegation of officials and business contacts from Nigeria. Delegates visited Irish companies and businesses in the fields of aviation, electricity generation and distribution as well as agribusiness including dairy, coffee and fruit processing. In 2013, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish trade promotion agency, organised a number of well-attended seminars on the telecommunications and financial sectors, including one on Doing Business in Nigeria and Ghana which was attended by 200 Enterprise Ireland client companies.   There are already some 70 Enterprise Ireland client companies engaged in business with Nigeria, including a growing number of Ireland’s third level educational institutions.   Irish exports to Nigeria in 2013 were just over €323 million, while imports into Ireland from Nigeria were approximately €211 million.  Of the exports, €182 million was food and drink products. Nigeria is by far the largest African market for Irish food and drinks exports.  Leading Irish dairy companies such as Glanbia, Kerry Group and IDB have a presence in Nigeria. In pursuance of the Africa Strategy, Ireland has been working to develop and strengthen these trade and business links be-

tween our two countries. Enterprise Ireland has been to Nigeria a number of times in the last two years and recently appointed a trade representative in Lagos. An Bord Bia, the Irish food agency, has also visited Nigeria a couple of times, most recently in March this year. Recognising that Africa will play a key role for the global food and drink industries, An Bord Bia in 2013 appointed a Manager for Africa.  In November 2013, the Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development, Deputy Joe Costello, visited Lagos, accompanied by representatives from Enterprise Ireland and 30 Irish companies from the financial and educational sectors.   This was the first such visit in recent times by a trade delegation and proved very successful. It is planned that the minister will return to Nigeria later this year with another trade delegation, visiting other cities in Nigeria and covering more sectors. The visit by the minister and trade delegation afforded Irish and Nigerian companies in the financial and educational sectors a chance to explore further opportunities for cooperation.  A few Irish companies signed agreements or memoranda of understanding with Nigerian companies. Other companies undertook to follow up with further contacts.  A further recent example of new business links is the licensing of Dorben Polytechnic in Abuja by the Irish Academy of Public Relations to teach three of its courses. The largest number of African nationals in Ireland is Nigerian. During his visit last November, Minister Costello noted that a number of the Nigerian Diaspora in Ireland are very keen to get involved in developing trade and business links between Ireland and their home country.  The minister has recently confirmed that he will host a meeting on the 25th April on Business and Diaspora in Dublin.  The potential for doing business in Nigeria is enormous.  There is a strong interest in Irish companies in coming here to do business.  This would be to the benefit of both our economies. With the strong ties that we have, it is time to soar! • Fay is the ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria. 


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Focus Delta Line buses

Gains, pains of sustainable transportation system Maintaining a sustainable transportation system in Delta State has been fraught with many challenges, despite producing impressive gains. But the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Rolland Igbakpa is not giving up. NALySTS have described the Delta state A government’s effort to provide its citizens with an efficient and sustainable transportation system as a mixed blessing. The methods adopted by the state’s Directorate of Transport in implementing the sector’s roadmap, have also attracted both praises and catcalls. On the positive side, the traffic census survey carried out by the Directorate to determine how many vehicles, their types and direction, as they pass through various roads in the state per day, has been useful. Significantly, it has been using the collated data to measure the flow of traffic and to also determine the priorities in terms of road expansion and improvement. Besides, some boats were purchased to aid the movement of persons living in the state’s riverine areas, while some buses were also acquired to ease transportation within and outside the state’s major towns. But several challenges remain, especially people’s uncaring attitude towards public assets. For instance, fears about what could befall the boats are preventing their release to the riverine communities, prompting several insinuations that they were not released because the beneficiaries have hatched a plan to take them away from Delta to other states and covert them to private use. However, at a recent briefing in Asaba, where the state’s Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Rolland Igbakpa gave a Mid – Term Report, he admitted that boats, unlike vehicles “are difficult to monitor.” He said: “you can’t monitor them. The moment they get on the water, you will be seeing them, but you can’t even come close to them. So, I cannot start what I cannot finish. I cannot track the boats down. That is why the boats are still there parked in the commissioners’ quarters.” The malfunctioning state of traffic light facilities, at Nnebisi and Summit roads, resulting in lawlessness by motorists plying them, is also a source of worry. But the Commissioner regretted that people’s appetite for doing the wrong thing was also a big challenge. He explained that while one of the traffic lights on Summit Road was caused by an accident when a vehicle rammed into it, the one on the other side of the same road was destroyed by the effect of thunder. “But we have collated all of them, and very soon as the file returns, they will be repaired. you know in government, due process must be followed.” But more questions were fired at the Commissioner. When motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada, were banned in the state, some Marcopolo buses were purchased to replace them. But not long after, the buses disappeared. What happened to the buses and why are they no longer in use? Besides, some buses were also purchased

Uduaghan and branded “Delta Line” for trips from the state to Lagos. Many of them are no longer in use and the some rickety ones have also been diverted to the Asaba-Benin route. Also, the maintenance workshops built specifically for the buses are in a very bad shape. The headquarters of Delta Line “is like a graveyard” while the condition of the terminals “is an eyesore.” A journalist also spoke on the level of depreciation of the buses. He said: “I want to tell you (Commissioner) that the rate at which these vehicles are depreciating is amazing. If these vehicles are new, and they came when they said they did, one wonders how they could have depreciated so rapidly in so short a time. And the question is, is it that Delta Line is running a franchise with some private individuals, who smuggle decrepit cars into it, and paint them in Delta Line colours so they could run on the roads as Delta line vehicles, or are there vehicles that you (Commissioner) didn’t really release to Delta Line that are plying and they are decrepit vehicles?” Responding, Igbakpa recalled that while commissioning the Marcopolo buses, the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan had directed that 35 of them be released to Agofure motors, which, he affirmed, are still working very well. He further explained that the 15 buses were retained in Asaba. He continued: “But soon after we started, something happened. We introduced the city shuttle, which took over from the long Marcopolo buses, because our people are in a hurry. Nobody wants to wait for Marcopolo. I know a lot of my friends that called me to say that the Marcopolo is blocking the road, and that we should remove it.” He explained that sometimes, when the bus

goes to Okpanam, it returns to Asaba with only one or no passenger, yet it takes an average of four drums of diesel to fuel the bus per day. The Marcopolo buses, he submitted, did not give the required result. But he pointed out that the city shuttle buses have taken over that responsibility. “In Asaba alone,” he said, “we have 20 city shuttle buses, apart from tricycles, and the normal public vehicles. That is why you are not seeing them in Asaba.” On the alleged rickety buses, he pointed out that buses, being normal machines, also depreciate with time. But he also tried to explain that there is a level of depreciation before you can discard and scrap a vehicle. He assured that any bus put on the road “is good,” and that “new buses will be deployed to the Asaba-Benin route.” He continued: “We have issues with Delta Line. We all know what Delta Line used to be in the past; and cleaning up such a mess is not what can be done overnight. Recall that when I assumed office as Commissioner, one of the first actions I took was to look at the workshop. Because I gathered a lot of reports and we looked at the workshop. At one point, there were 96 staff members in that workshop, and out of the 96, 10 of them knew nothing about mechanic work. They said these persons were brought in by politicians, who just gave the General Manager a marching order, ‘employ my person.’ “Then I said, if they don’t know what to do, they just have to go. We cannot keep them. We dropped about 46 of them after going back and forth with the labour union. They left. “Something later happened. I was made to understand that these persons were later called back for no reason. And we have the General Manager there. If your interference becomes too much, I know names were given to me. A local tabloid maligned me in a publication that I was collecting N20 million, and that because those people did not allow me to get N20 million, that was why (I didn’t want them). They claimed that I share the money with many big names in the state. The unfounded insinuation is highly regrettable. “Those that I removed, I understand that they are back, and they don’t really have anything doing, they don’t know what to do.” Also, Igbakpa said the Directorate sourced for a contractor for the workshop. And just about a month ago, he discovered to his dismay that the contractor had also been sabotaged. He was not provided with the spare parts to repair the vehicles given to him. He declared that the depreciation rate level of vehicles in Delta Line has to do with personal attitudinal problems of the workers, disclosing that the agency was given 150 buses, but that it was not encouraging to give them more vehicles since they were not being taken care of. “The agency is not paying and this is not really encouraging because Delta Line cannot

maintain its fleet of vehicles,” Igbakpa said. He however hinted that no fewer than 30 29-seater buses are being expected and promised to take care of the Ogwashi-ukuUmunede route. On the several complaints trailing the activities of Task Force members operating as traffic wardens, the Commissioner disagreed with those who refer to them as “hoodlums.” He described the task force members as “young men deployed to help ease the challenge posed by motorists who defy traffic rules.” He said: “They (task force members) have rules and regulations that guide their operations, which they discharge with a high sense of responsibility. They are not hoodlums, they are our brothers. There are 15 of them working now with the mandate to help ensure that motorists obey traffic regulations.” He announced that the proposed constitution of the Delta State Traffic Management Authority, the bill of which is already before the State House of Assembly. When the bill is passed into law and the agency is established, Igbakpa said, it would create employment and take charge of traffic management in the state. On the trailers parking indiscriminately on Oko road, the commissioner said the Directorate has now taken delivery of heavy duty towing trucks, pledging to take appropriate action against erring drivers. However, Igbakpa declined to answer the question on how much was spent in buying vehicles, buses, cars and keke napep since the inception of the Uduaghan administration. He said he would not know since he was not the commissioner when the purchases were made. But for the budgetary allocations to the Directorate, he said that since his assumption of office, not only was the budgeted money used to buy cars and buses, some bus stop shelters and mega bus terminals were also constructed, while the VIP cars, are also being maintained from there. He said: “For the cars, I don’t know, I was not on the seat then. But I know a lot of the cars have been hit by depreciation, and so they are no longer there.” He confirmed that many individuals have been sanctioned for defaulting in respect of the codification law. Codification became necessary because of the incessant use of commercial vehicles of different categories for nefarious activities and the need to create a database to aid officials of the Directorate and security agencies to bring the activities of the commercial vehicle operators under check. “And we have actually raised a lot of revenue for government from the coding exercise,” Igbakpa disclosed. On when the next phase of okada restriction would take place, Igbakpa said he could not say, pointing out that that is the prerogative of the Governor to


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TheMetroSection Woman found guilty in 1996 killing of former husband FTER spending years abroad living a lavish A lifestyle across Europe, a once-prominent socialite has been convicted in the 1996 car bomb killing of her ex-husband in southern Arizona. Pamela Phillips was convicted last Tuesday of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder after less than three days of deliberations that began last week. She faces life in prison at her May 22 sentencing hearing. Phillips, 56, can’t receive the death penalty because of her extradition from Austria, which has a treaty with the United States that won’t allow anyone to be extradited for prosecution if they face capital punishment. Phillips shook her head after the verdict was read in Pima County Superior Court. Her attorneys said they would file an appeal. “We have now two people who are going to be serving imprisonment for something they didn’t do,” defense lawyer, Paul Eckerstrom told KGUN-TV, referring to Phillips and convicted hit man Ronald Young. “They’re innocent.” But prosecutor Nicol Green said Phillips’ head shaking after the verdict “went right along with the reasons she felt that she could do this and get away with it.” During the trial that began in February, Phillips’ lawyers told jurors their client had nothing to gain from the death of businessman Gary Triano and that she was the victim of overzealous authorities who failed to follow other leads. They said Phillips was already a successful real estate broker with her own money, and suggested that Triano had numerous other enemies. But prosecutors described Phillips as a gold digger who hired a former boyfriend to kill Triano to collect on a $2 million life insurance policy so

Pamela Phillips she could maintain her extravagant taste for the good life. It’s been nearly two decades since Triano died when his car exploded as he was leaving a Tucsonarea country club after playing golf. Authorities said Phillips paid Young $400,000 to carry out the hit. Young, who was Phillips’ ex-boyfriend, was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to two life terms in prison, but jurors weren’t allowed to consider his case while determining Phillips’ fate.

$400,000 for assistance with business ventures and financial planning, prosecutors argued the money was clearly payment for the hit. Triano was a developer who made millions investing in Indian bingo halls and slot-machine parlors in Arizona and California before Congress authorized tribes to open full-blown casinos. But after the real estate market declined and he lost control of his gambling interests, Triano went broke. That’s around the time Phillips filed for divorce, prosecutors said. The couple, who had two children together, separated, but Phillips remained the beneficiary of Triano’s insurance policy, paying the premiums herself. She eventually moved to Aspen and worked in real estate before meeting Young, and prosecutors said the two would later hatch a plan to kill Triano and collect on the policy. After the killing, Young was on the run from a warrant for his arrest in Colorado on fraud charges while Phillips was sending him money for the hit, eventually adding up to $400,000, prosecutors told jurors. The investigation into Triano’s killing stalled until Young’s arrest in 2005 in Florida on the fraud charges. That’s when both Phillips and Prosecutors presented a portrait of a woman Young became the key suspects in the killing. Auwho grew accustomed to the high life and thorities say he kept detailed records of his finanfound herself struggling financially with an easy cial transactions with Phillips, including recorded $2 million way out. telephone conversations and invoices. ProsecuThe state’s case against her hinged largely on tors said police also found divorce records pertainthe purported secret arrangement between ing to Phillips and Triano in a van rented by Phillips and Young, whom the defendant dated Young. while working as a real estate broker in Aspen, By then, Phillips had received the $2 million inColo., after she divorced Triano. surance payout and had left Aspen for a life overseas. While Phillips claimed she had paid Young the She was arrested in Austria in 2009 and extraCulled from AP

Lagos begins free goitre surgery for Badagry community By Wole Oyebade

an “alarming” high prevalence in the Badagry community. ESPITE may have come the Findings revealed that the conway of some residents of dition is prevalent among resiAjara, a Badagry rural commu- dents between 30-59 nity of Lagos, as the state govern- age-bracket, and common ment began free surgical among women. services on “neck swelling” con- Virtually all members of the dition, identified as goitre yes- community believe drinking terday. without a cup causes goiter, The beneficiaries, numbering which they call “Kojiji”. 48, are to undergo surgery at the While all patients seemed to Lagos State University Teaching have sought traditional remeHospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, as part dies without success, they reof the state government’s efforts signed to fate. Someone had to detect, arrest and control the lived with it for about 45 years disease condition. while those that are aware of Goitre, a swelling of the neck or medical solution could not aflarynx resulting from enlarge- ford the cost of care. ment of the thyroid gland, has Commissioner for Health, Dr

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Jide Idris, said a recent state-sponsored medical mission to the community in December 2013, revealed the prevalence and the state government’s decision on the need to develop a comprehensive strategy that would offer an effective and holistic approach against the condition. Since the medical mission episode, a combined team of specialised researchers from the State Ministry of Health, LASUTH and Lagos State College of Medicine embarked on the first phase of the programme, tagged ‘Badagry Goitre Control Programme’ since March 10, 2014. Idris observed that the first phase consisted of a clinical as-

sessment of the patients and an epidemiology survey of the community in order to determine the true extent of the disease burden, as well as investigate the determinants of the disease. The intervention is also aimed at instituting preventive measures that will reduce prevalence of the disease in Ajara, determine those patients that are suited for medical treatment with drugs, and provide selection criteria for patients more suited and stable for surgery. Idris added that following the review of a team of surgeons and endocrinologists, LASUTH is set to commence surgery for 48 patients over the next four weeks.

However, to reduce the incidence of the disease burden in the long term, the commissioner said further, “measures are being put in place to stem the root cause of this alarming number in the community.” “They may include measures such as health education of the community members, iodization of their salt and other processes that the public health professionals of the state may judge suitable,” he said. Lead Surgeon in the programme, Prof. Mobolaji Oludara, expressed that the programme was an eye-opener and education to the specialists, as he thanked the state government

for embarking on the initiative. He said about 18 surgeons would be operating on the selected patients, working three days a week, in the four week duration earmarked for the surgery. Each of the operation will cost about N140, 000, covering the cost of hospital bed, investigation, surgery and other treatments. Oludara observed that simple goitre is caused by lack of dietary iodine, which is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones in the body.

Lawyer petitions NJC over judge’s conduct in Oba of Lagos’ stool suit By Bertram Nwannekanma ITING what he called ‘unruly conduct’ of the judge, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Babatunde Fashanu, has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to sanction a Lagos State High Court Judge, Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson for “exhibiting conducts unbecoming of a judge and rudeness.” The judge, had while adjudicating on an eleven-year-old case challenging the legality of Oba Rilwan Akiolu’s accession to the throne of Oba of Lagos, shouted down Fashanu over out-of-court settlement move. The claimants in the suit, Prince Sammy Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile are praying the court to set aside the appointment and installation of Akiolu as the Oba of Lagos. Joined in the suit as respondents are Governor of Lagos State, Attorney-General of the State, Prince Babatunde Akitoye, and Chief Junaud Eko. At the last adjourned date, Fashanu had urged the court to adjourn the case for report of settlement or trial so as to put parties on proper leverage during the settlement talk. But the judge, who was visibly annoyed, had shouted down Fashanu, saying that he had the right in his court to decide what should be adjourned for. Irked by the development, Fashanu, in a petition to the NJC, is praying the apex judicial body to investigate the circumstances leading

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to the judge’s conduct, with a view to wielding the big stick on the judge where necessary. Fashanu, who is 12 years old as a SAN, said in the petition that he could not understand why the judge behaved in such a “rude manner.” Meanwhile, the petitioners in the suit have written a separate letter to the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Philips, demanding that the case should be re-assigned to another judge. They contended that what transpired at the last adjourned date, had clearly indicated that they could not get justice in Justice CandideJohnson’s court They added: “it is clear that the judge seems to be more interested in just adjourning the case for report of settlement than in alternatively proceeding to trial if the parties did not settle and the judge even got angry with our counsel for suggesting otherwise. “These facts show that His Lordship has an interest in the matter more than being a fair arbiter between the parties and any reasonable person will see that justice cannot be seen to be done by him to us the claimants in the case due to the open bias shown against us and our counsel,” the claimants alleged. According to the main suit, the claimants are praying the court to declare that only two ruling houses, being the Akinsemoyin and Ologunkutere ruling houses, were entitled under Customary Law to present candidates and fill any vacancy in the stool of the Oba of Lagos. They are also seeking for a declaration that the purported selection or

appointment of Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Akiolu as the Oba of Lagos by the kingmakers and approval of same by the Lagos State government was illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. The claimants are also demanding for enquiry as to whether it was the turn of the Akinsemoyin ruling house to fill the stool of Oba of Lagos . Besides, the claimants are seeking for a court order declaring that the Ologunkutere ruling house was stopped in law and it was the turn of the Akinsemoyin ruling house to present a candidate to fill the Stool of Oba of Lagos after the demise of Oba Adeyinka Oyekan. The claimants stated that Oba Akiolu’s branch of Ologunkutere ruling house, was unqualified under the Oba of Lagos Customary Law to succeed Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II, who also hailed from the Ologunkutere ruling house. They explained that after the demise of Oba Oyekan from Ologunkutere ruling house, the Akinsemoyin ruling house was the only ruling house entitled to present candidate(s) for the consideration of kingmakers of Lagos to succeed the late Oba Oyekan. The court was further prayed to declare that the purported selection or appointment of Prince Akiolu as the Oba-elect of Lagos by the kingmakers (other defendants in the suit) and the subsequent approval by the Lagos State Executive Council were invalid, null and void.


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Umunede club gives medical aid to the poor By Odita Sunday RONTLINERS Club of Umunede, Ika Local Council of Delta Fof Umunede State has given medical aid to the less-privileged indigenes community.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rotary Club of Ikeja donates chairs, tables to school in Lagos

The club also distributed medicines of all sorts and insecticide treated bed nets free of charge to mothers and elderly women of the community at the Umunede Health centre. Eyes and blood tests were also carried out on some members of the community at the event. Speaking during the distribution of the drugs, National President of the club, Deacon Peter Eluehike noted that the only way Nigeria could move forward is when private bodies assist government to ameliorate the sufferings of the people. According to him: “ Our club realized that government alone couldn’t do it, that is why we have put our resources together to reduce the sufferings our people by providing this medical aid. This is not our first time of giving medical aid to our people and we shall continue to do more to ensure that diseases which often take the lives of members of our community are checked.” Over one thousand indigenes benefitted from the medical aid.

The President, Ikeja Rotary Club, District 9110, Mr. Goke Olayinka, Chairman and Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, Mr. Babatunde Oke handing over 100 chairs, 100 desks and 10 chairs and 10 tables to the Head Mistress of the School, Mrs. Esther Oyesile Opebi Primary School, Ikeja... PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO covered some classrooms did By Isaac Taiwo supplied. He added that his not have tables and chairs. We successor would continue T was the turn of Opebi Prialso saw some classrooms, from wherever he stopped. mary School, Ikeja, Lagos to where a lot of damaged furniHe also revealed that most of benefit from the magnanimity ture were deposited while a the projects the club emof Rotary Club of Ikeja, District few classes that were occupied, barked upon were self-sustain9110, as the club donated 100 were over-populated. ing projects, though the club chairs and 100 tables for the “Based on this and in consowas still inspecting some of the pupils and 10 chairs and 10 ta- nance with the teachers who projects to ensure that the benbles for the teachers, worth agreed that it would be a nice eficiaries were having maximore than a million naira. idea to start with chairs and ta- mum benefit of the projects. According to the President of bles, we then embarked on He enumerated some of the the Club, Goke Olayinka, the what we are donating today. projects carried out on health donation was made to mark “We just decided to pick a issues to include visitation to the month of March desigschool in Ikeja since we are Ro- Lagos State University Teachnated as month of literacy and tary Club of Ikeja and luck ing Hospital on Christmas Day numeracy by Rotary Internafavoured Opebi Primary where equipment worth over a tional. School. Ikeja Senior High million naira was donated to “Rotary International has six School at GRA also benefited the hospital. areas of focus to assisting the from a similar gesture in the “We donated treated mosquito less- privileged and one of past,” he said. nets to members of the comthem is education/ literacy. Olayinka, who disclosed that munity at Olusosun about a “According to our tradition, to the donation of chairs and tamonth ago and we have done ensure we meet the immediate bles to the school was the besome other projects too, which need of our beneficiaries ginning of their rapport with we cannot mention one by through conducting a need as- the school, said the school reone,” he said. sessment, on arrival at the quired total renovation in addi- Olayinka made reference to a school, we went round and dis- tion to the chairs and tables lot of seminars on education

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A cross-section of members of the club at the event

Patent medicine vendors warned against stocking fake drugs ICENSED patent medicine vendors in Ogun State have Ldrugs been advised to always stock genuine and wholesome as well as adhere strictly to rules and regulations guiding their business in accordance with the National Drug Policy. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, who gave this charge in Abeokuta at the weekend, pointed out that this becomes imperative in order to further safeguard the lives of citizens. Soyinka, represented by the ministry’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Qudus Yusuf, made this known at the opening ceremony of the 5th orientation seminar for the licensed patent medicine vendors in the state. According to him, patent medicine vendors are the first point to contact for basic needs in communities, but it was important to enlighten them on their limitations, roles and operational responsibilities. He disclosed that in its quest to vigorously pursue affordable and quality healthcare and ensure sanity in drug distribution, the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led-administration has proposed to adopt the National Drug Distribution guidelines, assuring that the ministry’s pharmaceutical inspection committee would be unrelenting in the clampdown on drug hawkers and illegal pharmaceutical premises. In his presentation, the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Gloria Abumerer, represented by James Iyiola, revealed that the council had finalised arrangements to enforce operational guidelines and provide signposts for licensed patent medicine vendors. Doing this, she said would help reduce intake of unwholesome drugs, as only licensed patent medicines shops would patronized by members of the public. Welcoming guests earlier, the state chairman, National Association of Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED), Comrade Adeniji Fatai, commended the state for its efforts on regulatory activities and capacity building for members, saying that the trend has helped to maintain standard practice among them.

Agnes Oboh, 65, for burial April 25 rites for FwhoUNERAL Agnes Otubure Oboh, died at the age of 65, began on Saturday with a social wake in Lagos. She will be buried on Friday, April 25, after a Funeral Mass at St. Andrew”s Catholic Church, Ibrede, Ndokwa East Local Council of Delta State at 11.00a.m. A thanksgiving service holds on Sunday, April 27, at the same church at 9.00a.m. She is survived by Mr. Franklin Efetobo Oboh, Mrs. Helen Ejire Oyinki and Mr. John Othowora Oboh Oboh.

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that Rotary Club had embarked upon after which papers were sent to relevant authorities responsible for policy formulation. The Chairman, Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, Mr. Babatunde Oke appreciated the gesture of Rotary Club of Ikeja for what it did for the school. “We thank you and we are still asking for more. When we came to inspect the condition of the school, the structure was our initial concern but when we entered into some of the class rooms, we discovered we had a lot to do as one could not even put chairs in some of those class rooms. “At present, we have 18 primary schools under the local council and eight of them are in the Cantonment. “After the incident of bomb blast, the government refused to do anything there but we have been able to renovate five of those schools. “I am pleading with the club to come to our aid,” he said. The Headmistress, Opebi Primary School, Mrs. Esther Oyesile also expressed gratitude, on behalf of Lagos State, the School and the School authority. “We appreciate your donation, which came at the appropriate time. “We love you and appreciate your coming here to spend your time and money after visiting the school more than three times. “Rotary Club has done what other organizations should emulate since the government cannot do it alone. “We thank Education Foundation of Onigbongbo and all the dignitaries that are present here today. “Once again, we thank members of the Rotary Club of lkeja for the time, money and love as no love is greater than what they have demonstrated,” she said.

The Elevation Church elevates Zumratul Islammiyyah Primary School in Lagos HE Elevation Church, Lekki, T Lagos, Church has donated a block of 10 classrooms to Zumratul Islamiyyah Primary School II, Epe. It is the vision of the church to ‘make greatness common’ by positively impacting and developing its environment in tangible and measurable ways. Having witnessed the poor learning environment at Zumratul Islamiyyah Primary School II, Epe, the church decided to improve the lot of the school by constructing 10 classrooms with toilets, sinking a borehole and also providing 300 sets of student furniture for the constructed classrooms. The Elevation Church completed the project and proceeded to commission and hand over the new structures to the Lagos State Government in trust for the children. Dignitaries who were present at the commissioning ceremony were, Lagos State Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Olabisi Oladunjoye, rep-

resented by Dr. Mudasiru Raji, Deputy Missioner (Lagos State) Zumratul Islamiyyah Society, Sheikh Jamiu Balogun and Chief Aniola Tobun who represented the Elepe of Epe. The Lead Pastor of the Eleva-

tion Church, Godman Akinlabi in his address said that good deeds must transcend religious bias. Drawing from the popular Bible teaching on ‘The Good Samaritan’, he reiterated the fact that a true neighbour was

one who would help out a brother in need regardless of race, religion or class. The project was hailed as an admirable act by all the guests and community members present, and was noted to be an excellent way to bridge the gap between

Deputy Missioner (Lagos State), Zumratul Islamiyyah Society, Sheikh Jamiu Balogun (right), Mr. Mudasiru Raji, who represented the Lagos State Commissioner of Education; Chief Aniola Tobun, who represented the Elepe of Epe; Pastor Godman Akinlabi & Pastor (Mrs.) Bolarinwa Akinlabi of the Elevation Church, Lekki and the Headmistress Zumratul Islamiyyah Primary School II Epe, Mrs. S. Abgayo, at the event...

Trailer drivers block Lokoja highway over revenue collection From John Akubo, Lokoja RAILER drivers, in solidarity with one of their own, blocked a major highway that passes through Lokoja at the weekend following a seeming misunderstanding between their colleague and produce revenue collectors who deflated some of the tires of his truck. There was serious chaotic traffic situation in the early hours of Sunday in Lokoja,

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Kogi State capital as most of the vehicles from the eastern part of the country passing through Lokoja were diverted to the old market road within the town. The revenue mobilisers were nowhere to be found when The Guardian visited the scene. The driver of the affected lorry with registration number AS 316 BGD Lagos, Usman Garuba, said there was nothing to tell the press. He said it was the usual hurdle on Nigerian

roads. Keneth Ekene, another tanker driver conveying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Port Harcourt to Keffi, said government should do something about the illegal checkpoints. He asked, “How many of such checkpoints would drivers be made to part with money in the name of revenue collection?” He said it has made their job so tedious because the owners

of the vehicles would not understand what the drivers were passing through. The police at the scene were pleading with the truck drivers to move their vehicles for free flow of traffic. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Emeka Emeh, promised to get back to The Guardian but later calls to his line for his statement were not responded to.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Business IMF’s reforms agenda hit deadlock EFORMS to the R International Monetary Fund (IMF) have hit a deadlock despite a declaration from global financial chiefs that they would move forward without the United States if it fails to ratify the changes by year-end, a G20 official said on Sunday. The inability to proceed with giving emerging markets a more powerful voice at the IMF and shoring up the lender’s resources appeared the most contentious issue for

officials from the Group of 20 leading economies and the representatives for all IMF member nations who met over the weekend. In a final communique, G20 finance ministers and central bankers said they were “deeply disappointed” with the U.S. delay. “Some said that we need to give the U.S. more space,” the official, who participated in the G20 talks and spoke on conditions of anonymity, said. “I say we are at a dead end.”

Any attempt to break the package of reforms, proposed by the G20 in 2010, would be disastrous not only for the United States, but for the whole group, he said, because most countries have already gone through the ratification procedures. “If you pull the 2010 package apart, you will have to start anew,” the official said. “And this factor cannot be overcome. How to overcome it? Nobody wants to go again through this process for the

second time.” Other officials were not immediately available for comment. Emerging markets, most handicapped by the lack of reforms, expressed exasperation over the weekend that a four-year wait for the reforms is asking too much of them. But it is unclear what moves could be taken to overcome the impasse. There could be some ad hoc measures taken to achieve at least some of the governance

overhaul for the global lender without formal U.S. approval. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said developing nations may demand changes to the IMF’s emergency borrowing mechanism if the United States does not approve the overhaul. Most of the solutions, however, giving the structure of decision making at the IMF, could not be implemented without the U.S. approval. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said President Barack

IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde (middle); First Deputy Managing Director, David Lipton (left); and Singapore’s Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting, during the IMF and World Bank’s 2014 yearly Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

Obama’s administration would do its best to push IMF quota reforms through the U.S. Congress this year. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said it is too early to talk about alternatives. “Plan A is going to be explored to the end, and in depth, but if that plan A doesn’t work, then we will worry about the plan.For now, the G20 official said, there is no plan B. “There is nowhere to go,” he said. “Initially, you have a discussion, but then when you move to details, there is nothing.” The impasse in the reforms has already had some side effects, including the increase in regional funds that act on a smaller scale, but which altogether could potentially undermine the role of the IMF in the future. At the G20 meeting over the weekend, officials tried to stay optimistic that the U.S., despite complaints from some Republicans have that the changes would cost too much at a time Washington was running big budget deficits, will come forward. But the prospects are not promising, the G20 official said. “It is impossible to defend national interests, and we are all forced to do so, and not offer a breakthrough solution that would respond to current needs,” he said. “At a time when the world has become multi-polar, why should one country should have the veto power?”

Nigeria compensates Ghana over shortfall in gas supply By Sulaimon Salau, with agency just about 30 MMBtu/d. The Director of Planning report HANA has received a compensation of $10 million from Nigeria over the failure of the latter to meet supply of gas agreement between the two countries. The agreement required Nigeria to supply Ghana with 123 Million Metric British Thermal Units (MMBtu) per day. However, Nigeria was alleged to have failed to meet that target, supplying

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and Business Development of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Kofi Ellis, told a local television station that Ghana has been paid some damages by Nigeria over the shortfall as stipulated in the contract. “The contract already stipulates some liquidated damages for reduction in supply. I know that already we have been paid some damages for the reduction in supply.” Ellis said.

Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Beks Dagogo-Jack, recently confirmed that Nigeria has been paying liquidation damages to the West African Power Pool (WAPP) for its inability to meet its gas supply contract value to 14 of the 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Although, the amount was not stated, Dagogo-Jack, explained that the Federal Government failed to fully meet its contract percentage

because it chose to first address soaring domestic demand. “Currently, we are paying liquidation damages. We are giving them less than 60 per cent of the contract value, and the country is paying for not giving them what the contract says, simply because we want to meet domestic demand. So, it’s not like we are giving them 100 percent,” he said. A recent visit of the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi

Buah, to Nigeria culminated in West Africa’s biggest gassupply nation promising to supply a constant 50 MMBtu/d. Ellis commended the intervention by government, admitting that inasmuch as Nigeria would want to help Ghana, they are also facing challenges. “I guess Nigerians also share in our problems. They understand. The unfortunate thing is that this is a commodity that both countries need for themselves. So,

it is a matter of trying to see how best you can help your neighbour.” He said the contract signed “many years ago” will not be abrogated though one party is facing challenges in meeting the terms. The recent below-expectation supply of gas from Nigeria has been cited as one of the causes of challenges in the energy sector. Designed to ensure regional power systems integration and realisation of a Regional


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BUSINESS Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Govt pledges to complete projects in Borno, Yobe From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri LL Federal Government A projects in Borno and Yobe states will be completed on schedule despite the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast sub-region of the country, the Minister of State for Power, Alhaji Mohammed Wakil has pledged. The Minister made the pledge at the weekend in Maiduguri during his visit to the 33 KVA transmission site substation located on Damboa-Biu road in Borno state. Wakil said that the Goodluck Jonathan administration remains committed to make the people of Yobe and Borno states happy, in spite of Boko Haram attacks and killings in the two affected states. He also explained that; the briefing by project managers showed that the substation was almost eighty per cent completed with work ongoing to ensure completion at the earliest possible time, noting that the substation is designed to improve power supply to Borno state, which currently stood at only five megawatts. His words: “I am glad to announce that despite the insurgency, power projects and other federal projects are ongoing. Our people are undaunted in their determination to benefit from the transformation agenda of Mr. President. I commend the project team for not bowing to terror. This is a demonstration of commitment that I cannot describe,” he said. He said that the progress

of work on the substation and other federal projects showed that the security situation in the state is not as bad as been painted, while commending the presidency, the security agencies, the civilian JTF, the state government for joining hands to restore security to Borno state. Wakil who also inspected the perimeter fences and rural electrification projects ongoing in the area expressed happiness that the sites are well secure by both civilian and military JTF, while appealing further to security agencies to beef up security around projects site in the state to avoid been taken by surprise by insurgents. “Aside the transmission substation, a major transformer to boost power supply in the state will arrive latest by June or thereabout. All arrangements have been completed for immediate installations. Rural electrification projects of the Federal Government are also ongoing ,” he pledged. The Deputy Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku who was in the entourage of the minister, said the work on the transmission station about eighty percent completed. According to Atiku; “the implementation is progressing on schedule; the team working on the project is in high spirit despite the security challenges. On completion, the substation will ensure improvement in the power situation in Borno state.”

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle (left); President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Remi Bello and Chairman of the Afica Committee, Medef International/Head of Delegation, Patrick Lucas, during a working visit to the Chamber by a French Business Delegation, at the weekend.

‘Rebasing Nigeria’s economy to attract more investors’ HE World Bank Chief T Economist, African region, Francisco Ferreira, said the rebasing of Nigerian economy would attract more investors into the country. Ferrira made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in

Washington on the sideline of the Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It would be recalled that the rebasing of Nigeria’s nominal Gross Domestic Product placed it at $509.9 billion in 2013 from initial $285.56 bil-

lion. The rebasing then placed the country as the biggest economy in Africa, ahead of South Africa. The World Bank chief economist then said, “Nigeria’s GDP, which placed the country as Africa’s largest economy, has

G-20 Ministers, Central Bank governors plan new growth strategies By Chijioke Nelson HE Group of 20 (G-20) T Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors said there was need for a harmo-

nious working relationship with individual governments to ensure that growth strategies are realized. The unanimous decision was reached by the group

ahead of the planned unveiling of a comprehensive growth strategies at Brisbane Summit soon. According to them, the prospects of a strengthened

global economic growth in 2014 is a welcome development, but all must remain vigilant in the face of important global risks and vulnerabilities still lurking around.

In a communiqué by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the group affirmed that they were determined to manage these risks and take actions to further strengthen the global economic recovery, create jobs and improve medium term growth prospects. “We commit to working with our leaders and across our governments to ensure that our comprehensive growth strategies to be presented at the Brisbane Summit outline ambitious, realistic and concrete measures to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth. “We will develop these measures to support growth and create jobs in the context of maintaining financial sector stability and fiscal sustainability, including addressing tax avoidance and evasion. “To meet our Sydney growth ambition to lift our collective Gross Domestic Product by more than two per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming five years, we are committed to developing new actions that: build on previous G-20 commitments; address identified gaps in our policy settings; lift and rebalance global demand. “We would also work to achieve exchange rate flexibility, as well as increase growth potential; and create substantial positive spillovers to each other and the world economy,” the group said.

exposed its investment potential to the world.” He added that the rebasing had exposed sectors where Nigeria’s economy recorded dynamic growth, stressing that such areas would attract more investment inflows. He noted that apart from attracting investors, the rebasing would also expose those areas of the economy that had not witnessed astronomical growth. Ferreira called for aggressive regional integration drive to drastically reduce cost among African countries. He said, “A situation whereby different countries in the region pursue immigration and trade policies that hinder trade and movement is expensive and wasteful.” Earlier in his presentation on ‘Sustaining Growth in Africa: State of the Africa Nation’, the World Bank official said Africa had recorded about 20 years of resilient growth with per capita rates hovering around 2.4 per cent in the last decade. According to him, growth is investment-driven rather than consumption everywhere on the continent. He noted that fast-growing non-resource rich economies generally have solid balance of payment profiles, pointing out however, that there was no room for complacency. He added that growth was uneven across countries, adding that what he described as “growth spurt” was not recorded in 22 countries over the 1995-2012 period. “Among the 22 fast growers are oil producing countries, including Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Sudan and Chad, while non-oil resource nations in the fast growers scale are Liberia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Zambia. “In the category of nonresource rich fast growers are Mauritius, Cape Verde, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Rwanda, Lesotho, Ethiopia and Central African Republic.”


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Kwara seeks N23b facility to upgrade infrastructure From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE Kwara state government has announced plan T to secure a life line of N23 billion from capital market to bankroll social amenities for the people of the state. The loan will be repayable after a period of seven years.

According to the government during a press briefing jointly addressed in Ilorin by three Commissioners, Tunji M o r o h u n f o y e , (Information), Bode Olayemi (Housing and Urban Development) and Demola Banu (Finance) the fund was necessary due to the alleged

short fall in the Federal Government allocations to all the governments at the states level. Besides, without the fund, in Banu’s words, it would be difficult for the government to complete all the ongoing projects and initiate new ones in the state.

Specifically, the fund when secured would be used for repair of class rooms and construction of new ones. Repair of dilapidated roads and construction of new and essential roads would also take the larger chunk of the money. According to Banu, “drastic

reduction in the allocations going into states has affected many states finances. In spite of the shortfall in allocations the Kwara state has assured the citizens of its desire to fulfil its promises to them. We will construct new classrooms across the state and equip the Kwara State

13 WEF African global leaders to benefit from Dangote’s fellowship HIRTEEN from among the T 19 Africans recognized as Young Global Leaders (YGL) by the World Economic Forum (WEF) may benefit from the Dangote Fellowship instituted by the Dangote Foundation. The African youngsters were part of the 214 young leaders from 66 countries honored for leadership and service to society by the WEF; 109 are women; 19 are from subSaharan Africa. The Dangote Fellowship, created by the WEF and Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group was designed to increase the quality and quantity of young African leaders across the continent by supporting the engagement of African YGLs in the community, such as those from small enterprises or the non-business sector. The fellowship helps YGLs from Africa attend YGL and World Economic Forum events and funds the organization of an YGL Africa Education Module. Dangote said the institution of the fellowship award was his own way of contribution to the intellectual development of exceptional young people of African descent. The YGLs come from diverse backgrounds and bring a range of expertise to the community from across the world. Over 50 per cent of the new intake are women, half come from the private sector and half from the public sector, including academia, arts and culture, civil society, government, media and not-forprofit organizations. “The YGL Community assembles the world’s most outstanding next-generation leaders who have a proven record of extraordinary achievement and helps them further develop in their leadership journey,” said David Aikman, Managing Director and Head of New Champions at the World Economic Forum. “The community provides its members with a peer network that challenges them to not only do more, but to be more. Being part of the YGL Community is a transformational experience, where leaders turn their personal success into global significance and positive impact in their countries, industries and areas of expertise,” he said. The YGL Class of 2014 includes 49 individuals from East Asia, 46 from Europe, 16 from Latin America and the Carribean, 18 from the Middle East and North Africa, 49 from North America, 17 from South Asia and 19 from sub-Saharan Africa. The YGL Class of 2014 was drawn from a pool of over 2,000 candidates who were evaluated by Heidrick & Struggles and screened by a selection committee chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The candidates were evaluated according to specific criteria including their proven track record and commitment to society. The YGL Community has more than 900 active members, representing every region of the world. The YGLs convene at an annual summit, held this year in Beijing and

Tianjin, the People’s Republic of China. It would be recalled that Dangote had recently on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Dangote Foundation empowered the Foundation with a fresh N200 billion to a secured and steady funding to carry out its mission as it scales up its work.

The entrepreneur also announced the reconstitution of the Foundation’s board naming members of the new board to include Sani Dangote, Halima Aliko Dangote, Olakunle Alake, A B Mahmoud, SAN, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Angela Adebayo, Hajara Adeola, Yvonne Ike and Adhiambo Odaga, Managing

Director to grow the Foundation team. He had said then that the Foundation : “Going forwardfrom the second quarter of this year, we will lay greater emphasis on youth and women empowerment through large scale efforts that cultivate meaningful change in their lives.”

Vocational Training Centre at Ajase Ipo. “Besides, all the ongoing road projects will be completed before the end of this tenure. These include, Patigi/Pada, Share/ Oke-Ode, Ara-Orin/ Ipetu and Offa/Ira roads. The government will also renovate the Indoor Hall of the state sports stadium and equip it with modern equipment. We equally plan to use solar energy to power all our streets light with occasional supports from generating sets.” Olayemi said the government has decided to sell the state’s Legislative 32 Housing units to its legislators, under the state’s monitization policies. The buyers are expected to effect full payment of the houses before the expiration of the tenure of the present administration.


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26 BUSINESS TUESDAY, April 15, 2014

‘Govt needs to encourage investment in value

Odunayo

Babatunde Odunayo is the immediate past Executive Vice-Chairman and pioneer Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. In this interview with FEMI ADEKOYA, he spoke on the challenges of manufacturing in Nigeria and how he was able to build a Honeywell Flour Mills brand from mere plots of land to a reputable flour milling firm in Nigeria. Excerpts. IGERIAN manufacturing sector seems to be bedevilled by a lot N of challenges. Very few industries have been able to surmount these challenges. How can these challenges be addressed? As a zonal member of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the body’s Apapa branch Chairman, I believe manufacturing in Nigeria can be better encouraged with government doing better planning. For instance, hardly do people patronise made-inNigeria goods due to the perceived quality that many have about foreign goods as well as lack of investments in the value chain process. The problems in manufacturing starts with education as there is no love for science subjects at the secondary school education level. We need a deliberate strategy to encourage them. We should give room for technical training rather than educational training. Today, everybody would like to have a degree in engineering and those who go to polytechnics feel inferior. What we need to do is to provide the avenue for those who want to do technical training and be properly rewarded. From secondary education, we need to lead people into apprenticeship for those who don’t want to take academic degree programmes. We need to establish strong standards for the acquisition of technical skills. Today, we have technicians whose skills are not defined as well as their level of competence. So we need strong technical skills that are defined and tested by government and the graduates of such institutions have avenues to actualise themselves so that no one feels inferior that he has technical skills. For manufacturing, there is need to encourage investments in the value chain process. If you want to make a tiny screw in Nigeria, I don’t think we have credible organizations that make that and this is high tech and most of them are imported. I know that there are many manufacturers in Nigeria but quality has to improve. We need a situation where we have a manufacturing base at which those who make it to the university will be thinking more of design. Make it based on local content. Today, we are importers of everything including the technology, whereas, in order to increase the GDP of this economy, we need to be self sufficient to some extent. So we need that manufacturing base at that subsidiary level where engineers can make designs based on the various inputs to arrive at a final component. It is a

system of education, encouraging apprenticeship by government and encouraging investments at every level of the manufacturing value chain to generate interest of stakeholders. This is the way we can grow our manufacturing. But today, we start with end products and shop for equipment abroad to produce that end products. So we miss all the intermediate stages as a nation that can lead us to that manufacturing sector that can produce the desired products. That is why as simple as a button on your jacket is not made in Nigeria and it is not as if we don’t have the raw materials, we are a nation endowed with raw materials, but we are a nation that is yet to be able to convert raw materials to various intermediate products used at a higher level. So our cocoa goes out because we don’t have the technology to turn it into a products. All our products go out, so we are a nation that is only able to export raw materials that comes straight from nature. We are yet to produce technology that can convert these materials into usable products. The cassava programme is a very laudable programme, which I personally love not just because my background falls into that field but it will also support this industry. But the major drawback of this very laudable event is that the technology to turn cassava tuber to powder is not developed in Nigeria. Only a few have a prototype and they have to be encouraged because this prototype introduces a process for the purpose of technological innovation. What the prototype does is to lead makers of the various components into going out and preparing for industry demand. Today, in order to accelerate the cassava project, Nigeria has to look abroad for equipment that will help us process the cassava tuber to flour, because there is a technology gap at the lower level that we are unable to tap into. Can you describe the challenges, success and your journey as the pioneer Chief Executive Officer of this company? In any business, especially in manufacturing, you can expect a lot of challenges but in respect to this industry, the challenges are quite unique to the management and unique to me. As the Chief Executive Officer, I was given the chance of mid-wiving the company from a mere piece of land to building a firm that many have come to reckon with. There are challenges in the manufacturing process and some of these are unique particularly in the area of

power, water supply. They are unique in our case but today we have three power stations to supply power to the factories and business. These power stations are what we rely upon and it is entirely for running the factory. Over the last 18 years in this company, from commencement of business we have never used public power system and for a business that runs for the entire year apart from stopping for maintenance, you can already validate the challenges we have faced and how we overcome it when you consider that our production runs through the year. We have been able to overcome it at a huge cost considering the need for a maintenance staff for the power plants, the spare part inventory for the plant, large diesel plan for storage, heavy overheads, heavy capital outlays among others. I feel fulfilled leaving a company that is standing 18 years later, even though I have served in the Honeywell group for 22 years. So, the legacy is that I am leaving a company that started from zero level to what consumers and stakeholders want to reckon with. The level of brand equity that we enjoy from stakeholders can be used to measure the success of the brand. I believe we have succeeded in breeding one of the finest management that any company can nurture and breed. This again forms part of our success story. Nothing is possible without the machines and customers. We speak but people can explore them to the greatest advantage. The people taking over started with me 18 years ago as trainees but today, they have keyed into the dream and vision of the company in building a brand that is locally and globally recognised for flour milling. I am very proud of that legacy and some of the people that are holding forth today joined us from notable factories in Nigeria and they have found it excited enough to remain in the services and to join in achieving the dream that have been set out for the business. Behind any endeavour, there must be a very clear objective; doggedness to every strategic objective we set in life. We set out to produce high quality brands and to be the number one in the industry. The secret lies in getting strong managers to support the objectives, recruit them, train them, ensure you produce high quality brands that are not determined


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chain process to drive manufacturing’ alone in your laboratory but by what the customers say. So, we have worked very close with the consumers to give them exactly what they want over and above what they see being given to them in the market place. This is to ensure that in making a choice, preferences are given to our brand. We define success as the ability to find the customer and retain them in a sustainable and profitable manner. Can you identify some strategies applied in aiding organizational growth? We were able to develop a reading culture in the organisation for at least 10 years now. Each time I travel, I buy many books and deliver them to managers to study and make presentations. So we have a long list of topics that have been delivered by management staff. We read whatever we need to develop roadmaps for the organization. I will tell you what we did on our own which found confirmation in one or two companies in Nigerians afterwards. In the course of traveling and reading books there was a new concept about making human resources as a business pattern in an organization and many books have been written about partnerships. We bought the first book that was presented in seminar and this led to the introduction of the concept of Human Relations partnership in the organisation. Today, we have five business partners who are resident in different departments supporting the HR functions in the department and reporting to the head and it helps the human resources function well. What is your position on government’s backward integration policy in the sector, particularly on wheat importation? Does the firm have plans to automate its processes? Backward integration is a good thing and we like the initiative of the Minister of Agriculture to ensure that wheat is locally sourced and can be included in food production and we are in support of it. On the need to automate our processes, I would like to say that you can produce with automation or without automation. Value proposition is about the product quality and the price particularly down the value chain. In any industry and as part of competition, nobody teaches a producer to try and scale up because he knows that being able to offer better value in terms of quality is what aids customers to make a selection based on preference for alternative products. You can see it among car manufacturers as they strive to offer different models of the product to consumers every year. So the question of qual-

ity is inherent in competition and the flour mills industry, we have a very healthy competition in terms of so many players. The strength here is the quality of our people. We hope to maximize our factories to full capacity because if you do not explore your capacity, the company losses. So full utilization of capacity is the most desirable and the cost of investment is so high. But, I know that no businessman will set up to achieve part capacity utilization but if he achieves half, it is because of failure in the market place. How ready is the company for the export market considering the growth in bilateral trade between Nigeria and several regions? We are ready for the export market because it differentiates each business man and entrepreneur. We have a very large population, which we are yet to satisfy as a food producing company. As a nation we are yet to be self sufficient in food production. Our export can only be geared today by our own people in diaspora who still desire food from the country. That is not to say if we do that we have satisfied the local demand, we can do that on the profit motive because of the value of the foreign currency so we have export market geared so that is specialize market, it doesn’t get to the entire world and because I don’t know if Nigeria’s manufacturing standard is ready for the world because we have this major gap in our technology. For us to be ready for the world, we have to bridge the gap, to continue to innovate in that manner and improve on the quality of our products. In the international market, the seed of success is innovation

and behind it is technology. There is no other way. For Nigeria, the future is bright with government support and policy. For us to have a more robust manufacturing sector that can contribute significantly to our GDP even with oil, there should be a less focus on oil as oil revenues can be matched by other export. Unless we get to a stage that oil becomes less significant, we need to take all those steps that lead to manufacturing to be a large foreign exchange earner for the country. Today, government needs to support manufacturers in the areas of tariff support, road infrastructure, so that people can move the product from the factory to consumers as well as sort for raw material from the inner land to the city, power infrastructure and tariff support. We need to encourage manufacturing rather than importation if we hope to move forward as a nation. What are your plans after retirement? I can assure you that I’m not going into retirement as such to eat, sleep and wake up as that would amount to compelling one to death sentence. However, I am withdrawing myself from Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on account of service so that younger people can put in their own skills and own their responsibility to drive the business forward. Having been the Chief Executive Officer for 18 years, I can’t do it for life. So, there is a point in time to bow out, so this is what is happening now. I’m not going to be idle but only clear my head and determine what to do. So if you catch me along the time, I will be able to give appropriate account of what my hands can do.


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Europe’s top banks lay off 80,000 more workers in post-crisis overhaul UROPE’S largest banks cut their staff by E another 3.5 per cent last year and the prospect of a return to pre-crisis employ- As business picks up, firms often find themment levels seems far off, despite the region’s fledgling economic recovery. Spurred into action by falling revenue, mounting losses and the need to convince regulators they are no longer “too big to fail”, banks across the globe have shrunk radically since the 2008 collapse of U.S. bank Lehman Brothers sparked the financial crisis. Last year, the tide of bad news began to turn for European banks, which are among the region’s largest employers. Helped by recovering economies and receding fears for the euro zone’s future, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index .SX7P rose 19 percent, outpacing the 17.4 percent increase in multi-sector stocks. But despite the improved outlook, Europe’s 30 largest banks by market value cut staff by 80,000 in 2013, calculations by Reuters based on their year-end statements showed. Recruitment consultants warn workers’ hopes for a turnaround this year could be misplaced, bad news for countries like Spain where tens of thousands of bank layoffs have helped drive unemployment to 26 percent. However, while painful for the people who have lost their jobs, the reduction of large banks’ workforces through a combination of asset sales and redundancies means banks won’t have as big an impact on overall employment in future crises. Antoine Morgaut, chief executive for Europe and South America at recruiter Robert Walters does not expect the industry’s employment to ever return to what it was in its heyday of 2008. Then, the 25 of the top 30 banks with comparable figures employed about 252,000 more than the 1.7 million they do today. “It’s been a bubble for 20 years,” said Morgaut.

selves with quite specific and definable skills gaps in certain areas and banks have definitely started to try to address that “In specialty areas we are seeing a bit of an upside but it is quite marginal and it will stay like that for the next six to nine months,” he added. The most dramatic of last year’s job cuts came from major restructurings, such as Spain’s Bankia which shed 23 percent of its workforce to help meet the conditions of its 41 billion euro ($56.9 billion) European rescue. Italy’s Unicredit which reduced the highest number of staff, 8,490, said in its annual report that some of the reductions were the result of a project to outsource IT functions to joint ventures. Belgium’s KBC cited asset sales as a major reason for its 7,938 reduction in headcount, 22 percent of its workforce. The bailed-out bank sold Russian offshoot Absolut Bank and Serbian business KBC Banka. Staff figures for Absolut Bank were not available, while KBC Banka’s most recent figures show 501 staff at the end of 2012. Spain’s BBVA also cited asset sales as the driver of its 6,547 reduction in staff, or 23 percent of headcount, which came in a year when the bank sold operations in Latin America. At Bank of Ireland where a 6.3 percent fall in headcount was the fifth-largest in the region, a redundancy program was the main reason. The pace of staff reductions approximately halved last year and most banks are now coming to the end of disposals and cutbacks agreed during the crisis.

However, upcoming European Unionwide tests on whether banks need to hold bigger capital cushions could trigger another wave of asset sales and cuts. Routine streamlining continued last year. HSBC the biggest employer in the pack, cut headcount by 6,525, or 2.5 percent of its global total. The bank came through the crisis without a bailout, but has slimmed down over the last three years by closing or selling dozens of businesses. Only three of the banks - Barclays Handelsbanken and Deutsche Bank added jobs last year, and those totaled less than 770. Banks are hiring in a few areas, however, with some recruiters citing rises in specialist compliance roles such as anti-money laundering, cyber security and internal audit as lenders have to deal with increas-

ing demands from regulators determined to avoid a repeat of the crisis. “The regulatory pressure is a cost drag on the banks but if a role is required by the regulators, then all senior management can get out of the way, and you can pull the trigger and hire that person,” said Hugo Gordon Lennox, a managing director at Webber Fox, a UK quantitative and risk management recruitment specialist. Others said banks were beginning to address problems created by previous cutbacks, particularly amongst the sparse ranks of more junior employees. “As business picks up, firms often find themselves with quite specific and definable skills gaps in certain areas and banks have definitely started to try to address that,” said David Leithead, managing director for banking and financial services at recruitment firm Michael Page. Even so, big jumps in the numbers employed by banks could take a while to come. “It’s the whole oil tanker analogy - it’s slow to stop and slower to speed up,” said Miles Stribbling, director of strategic partnerships and head of Phaidon Consulting Services UK at recruiter Phaidon International.


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South Korea sees rising interest rates as global risk ISING interest rates pose a R risk to the global economy, said South Korean Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok, whose country is grappling with record household debt. The speed and degree at which major economies taper monetary stimulus and the “interest rate increases that will follow should always be monitored,” Hyun, 63, said in an interview in Washington D.C., where finance and central bank officials from Group of 20 nations are meeting. Foreign-exchange rates are

set by economic fundamentals and capital flows, he said, declining to comment on the won’s level. South Korea’s economy faces headwinds from a gain in the won that Credit Suisse Group AG said could see continued support despite Bank of Korea intervention. Record household debt, with more than 80 per cent of mortgages set to floating rates, also poses risks to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, as global yields face upward pressure amid the winding down of stimulus by the Federal Reserve.

National Bank of Greece planning EU2.1b capital boost HE National Bank of T Greece, the country’s biggest lender, is planning to increase its share capital by as much as 2.1 billion euros ($2.9 billion) to cover a shortfall identified in the national regulator’s stress test, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The lender will decide on the proposal at a board meeting on April 15, said the person, who spoke of condition of anonymity because the plan is still being discussed. On March 7, the bank said it would present a plan to address its capital shortfall without raising new equity. The Bank of Greece, which regulates the financial system, declined to accept that plan, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions with the commercial lender. The governor of the Bank of Greece, George Provopoulos, said in an interview on Skai television station April 11 that the National Bank of Greece could tap private investors successfully if it chose to. “National Bank is seizing the opportunity to benefit from the demand for Greek assets to recapitalize quickly, with the added bonus of implementing at its leisure an asset disposal plan that might otherwise have be done in a fire sale,” Thanassis Drogossis, head of equities at Pantelakis Securities in Athens, said in a telephone interview today. National Bank’s board will propose an increase in the share capital of 2.1 billion euros through payment in cash and the cancellation of the pre-emption rights of the bank’s ordinary shareholders, including Greece’s bank recapitalization fund HFSF, the person familiar said. The bank will also propose the buyback of 1.3 billion euros of preference shares currently held by the Greek government. To finance that, the lender will sell some assets, two people said. Two other Greek lenders, Piraeus Bank SA and Alpha Bank AE, last month raised

nearly 3 billion euros, mostly from foreign investors, to plug a capital shortfall identified in the regulator’s stress test. Piraeus also sold 500 million euros of threeyear bonds, in the first public debt sale by a Greek lender since 2009. Greece ended a four-year exile from international markets last week with a bond sale of 3 billion euros, more than the government estimated.

“The G-20 needs to take into account spillover effects of developed economies’ policy changes” and the potential for the effects on developing economies to “spill back” to the rest of the world, Hyun said. The won rose 0.5 per cent to 1,035.35 per dollar in Seoul yesterday, marking a third week of gains, after reaching its highest level since August 2008 the previous day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. South Korea’s exports increased 5.2 per cent in March from a year earlier, the biggest gain for that month since 2011. The government is counting on improving domestic demand and overseas shipments to drive an acceleration in growth this year, even as it cites risks from potential volatility in capital flows as the Fed pares stimulus and China’s economic expansion slows. The economy may achieve four per cent growth this year, Hyun said, in line with the latest forecast by the BOK, which on April 10 kept its key interest rate unchanged while signaling a brighter outlook that could lead it to consider tightening. While weakness in emerging economies and Fed tapering are risks, growth will pick up to near potential

and inflation will accelerate into a target range this year, said Governor Lee Ju Yeol. The BOK may consider lifting its rate when demand starts to drive consumer price pressures, Lee said. The governor’s “hawkish” remarks prompted Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Kwon Goohoon to drop his call for a rate cut and instead forecast the central bank would remain on hold this year. The BOK will raise its benchmark rate to 2.75 per cent by the first quarter of next year from 2.5 per cent now, according to the median forecast of 17 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Fifteen of the estimates were as of March 25. Higher rates could put pressure on households, which had 1,021.3 trillion won ($986.4 billion) in home loans and credit outstanding at the end of December. Just 15.9 per cent of mortgage loans had fixed rates at the end of 2013, the Financial Services Commission said in a statement on Feb. 27. The government is seeking to increase the portion of fixed-rate, amortizing mortgages to 40 percent of total mortgages by 2017, a plan that requires borrowers to refinance at higher rates. Hyun, in a Feb. 21 interview, said the likelihood of systemic danger from household debt wasn’t high.


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Worries over money flows for global economy a bunch of people who FomyOR just agreed the global econis doing better, top officials from the world’s rich and poor nations sound rather worried. For poor nations, the easy monetary policies in advanced economies are leading to big swings in capital flows that could destabilize emerging markets. For rich countries, the hoarding of currency by developing nations is blocking progress toward a more stable global economy. Those tensions, which have been brewing for years, seemed to be rising as finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 economies gathered last week in Washington, as evidenced by harsh words from Washington and Delhi. Both rich and poor say they are acting in their own self interest, and what makes the

conflict so intractable is that both have very rational arguments. Even though the G20 agreed the global economy was on better footing, the tensions suggested little progress ahead in rebalancing the global economy away from a state where the rich world borrows massively to buy things from the poor world. “This is not a healthy place,” Raghuram Rajan, governor of India’s central bank, told a panel ahead of the G20 meeting. Rajan has become a leading agitator for reforming the global monetary order, and he urged central bankers in advanced nations to avoid experimental monetary policies that might hurt the global economy. He argued that years of easy money policies in the developed world had pushed emerging markets to hold

bigger dollar reserves so they can intervene in currency markets to protect their economies from big swings in capital flows. The need to hoard is only growing, as it now appears that the United States, Europe and Japan could keep easy money policies in place for several more years. “You have to consider the feedback or spillover effects on other economies,” Brazilian central bank chief Alexandre Tombini said of rich nation policies, speaking alongside Rajan. Developed countries, led by the United States, argue their stimulus efforts are in the best interest of emerging nations because they lift the global economy. They say the poors’ reliance on currency interventions is holding the world back. Emerging markets often build dollar reserves by keep-

ing their currencies weak to spur more exports, forcing developed economies to borrow to cover their import tab. Many economists feel heavy borrowing by the world’s biggest consumer, the United States, fueled the asset bubble that sparked the 2007-09 financial crisis. “Resistance in many emerging markets to moving more quickly to market-determined exchange rate regimes are hindering the rebalancing needed to ensure a lasting, strong global recovery,” a senior U.S. Treasury official told reporters. Officials in rich countries have largely rejected a call by Rajan call for increased coordination of monetary policy.

Vitor Constancio, the vice president of the European Central Bank, said a more cooperative approach among policymakers would work if emerging markets allowed their currencies to strengthen more, but that this had already failed. “There was never the acceptance of some degree of appreciation in the emerging economies,” he said, speaking on the same panel as Tombini and Rajan. The root problem could be that central bankers are trying to do too much because their governments are doing too little. Most economists think politicians around the world could do a lot more to help their

economies grow. But rich nations are hesitant to rely on deficit spending and poor countries habitually lag in promoting competition in their markets. If the governments stepped up, monetary policies wouldn’t have to play such an outsized role in spurring economic growth and maintaining financial stability. Eswar Prasad, an economist at the Brookings Institution and Cornell University, said this bodes poorly for future global growth. “We end up having the central bankers fight proxy battles on behalf of politicians who are feckless and not willing to do the right thing,” he said. “I don’t see this moving in a productive direction.”

Ukraine rejects gas price as Putin waits on prepayment KRAINE has reduced gas U imports and halting payments for natural gas imports from Russia over price “aggression” before the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel cuts supplies, raising the risk of disrupted flows to Europe. Ukraine has also decided not to buy gas to pump into underground storage for the heating season or pay for March imports until a price agreement is reached, Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said in Kiev on Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin told his cabinet today to wait for further talks with Europe and Ukraine before demanding prepayment for supplies to Ukraine, which owes more than $2.2 billion for gas it imported through March. About 15 per cent of Europe’s supplies flow through Ukraine’s pipelines from Russia, making the country a linchpin in the continent’s energy security. Ukraine, which buys half its gas from Moscow-based OAO Gazprom, is seeking alternative supplies, including imports from Europe. Putin has used gas as a tool to pressure the government in Kiev to abandon attempts to reori-

ent the economy toward the European Union. “Europe can relax until September,” Alexander Paraschiy, an analyst at Concorde Capital in Kiev, said by phone. “If Poland and Hungary begin gas deliveries to Ukraine soon, like last year, Ukraine can survive without Russian gas, and transit to Europe won’t suffer.” Gazprom’s price increase of more than 80 percent in April amounted to “aggression against Ukraine,” Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said last week. The move threatens supplies to the country and transit shipments to Europe, Prodan said yesterday, according to Russia’s Interfax news service. Putin, speaking at his residence near Moscow, told Gazprom and the government to seek additional talks before demanding prepayments from Ukraine. He criticized Europe for failing to provide financial support to Ukraine, even while recognizing the government in Kiev. Russia “continues to provide economic support and subsidize Ukraine’s economy with hundreds of millions, billions of dollars,” Putin said. “This situation, of course, can’t go on forever.”

Ukraine plans to import fuel via Slovakia, using a pipeline in reverse, Prodan told reporters. While the plan is technically possible, pipeline officials from both countries will hold talks next week to clear remaining legal obstacles, he said. “We have full backing from the EU,” Prodan said, citing talks with the EU energy commissioner yesterday. “It will help to solve question with reverse gas supplies from Slovakia.” Russia canceled discounts it had offered to Kiev, raising the price to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters in two steps this month from $268.50 in the first quarter. Gazprom has said Ukraine may be required under its contract terms to make payments in advance because of its debt. Ukraine, which is seeking financial aid from the International Monetary Fund, hasn’t paid for March deliveries from Gazprom, Prodan said today. Putin is discussing the “extraordinary” situation with Ukraine economic cooperation and gas during the government meeting, his spokesman said yesterday. Russia exported 549 million cubic meters of gas to Ukraine in the first week of April, according to the Russian Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit.

U.S. lending plunges to 17-year low as rates curtail borrowing .S. mortgage lending is U contracting to levels not seen since 1997 — the year Tiger Woods won his first of four Masters championships — as rising interest rates and home prices drive away borrowers. Wells Fargo (WFC) & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the two largest U.S. mortgage lenders, reported a first-quarter plunge in loan volumes that’s part of an industry-wide drop off. Lenders made $226 billion of mortgages in the period, the smallest quarterly amount since 1997 and less than one-third of the 2006 average, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington. Lending has been tumbling since mid-2013 when mortgage rates jumped about a percentage point after the Federal Reserve said it might taper stimulus spending. A surge in all-cash purchases to more than 40 percent has kept housing prices rising,

squeezing more Americans out of the market. That will help push lending down further this year, according to the association. “Banks large and small are going to have to adapt to a new reality because mortgage origination volumes going forward aren’t going to support the big businesses they’ve had in place for the last few years,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “They’re going to have smaller, leaner operations, and we’re seeing them make that shift.” At Wells Fargo, home-loan originations exceeded $100 billion for seven straight quarters, ending in June 2013. The figure plunged to $36 billion in the three months through March, the San Franciscobased bank said April 11. Wells Fargo’s results show the shift in the housing market away from refinancings as

interest rates climb. Just 34 percent of its originations went to customers refinancing loans, compared with 69 percent in the same period of 2013. Timothy Sloan, Wells Fargo’s chief financial officer, said a combination of forces, including tougher standards following the housing crash, account for the falloff in lending. “It’s too early to call it a secular shift,” Sloan said in an interview. “This recovery has just been more complicated because of the impact of rates being low, and now they are backing up a little bit. We’ve had a lot of regulatory changes, we’ve had a change in underwriting standards that the market is getting used to.” The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.34 per cent last week, up from 3.54 per cent a year ago, according to a statement from Freddie Mac.


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Appointments Challenges of compensation scheme implementation

From Collins Olayinka, Abuja the beginning of creFhasROM ation, the human person always confronted danger in the place of work in his continued bid to eke a livelihood for himself and family. However, as the gulf between the urgent need to balance the pendulum between employers of labour amassing wealth and expand their business systematically grew over the years, the need to protect workers’ interest both in terms of take-home-pay and wellbeing also rose side-byside especially with the involvement of the International Labour Organization. Thus, the birth of many of the conventions and recommendations of the ILO, seek to promote, not only the welfare of workers worldwide, but also safety measures aimed at pro-

tecting workers from sustaining injuries at the workplace. However, since occupational hazards cannot be totally prevented from occurring, the need to seek compensation for workers who sustain various degrees of injuries in the course of their work has become more compelling than ever before. While Nigeria has made concerting effort towards fulfilling this obligation, government replaced the Workmen Compensation Act with Employees Compensation scheme, which is implemented by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). The NSITF, under the leadership of Munir Abubakar as the Managing Director, had since hit the ground running and the Federal Government demonstrated its willingness to ensure the success of the scheme by paying for its

employees. Abubakar, said the payment by the Federal Government has two sides. He explained: “There are two sides to this payment. The MDAs that are Treasury-funded have been paid by the Federal Government where the sum of N5billion was given. We are still working with both the Budget Office and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to reconcile the number of employees covered and the MDAs involved. The second category of the Federal Government payment comes from the MDAs that are not Treasury-funded. Most of these MDAs are paying on their own and the payment comes in tranches. There are those that are yet to start making any remittances but are working hard to ensure that they start paying including

Fayemi to create more jobs for Ekiti youths From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti KITI State Governor, Dr. E Kayode Fayemi, has promised to create more jobs for the citizens of the state if he is re-elected in the June 21 gubernatorial poll. The Governor who made the pledge yesterday when his campaign train hit Ilejemeje Local Government Area, said creation of more jobs is paramount in his administration’s agenda if he succeeds in securing second term. Fayemi addressed rallies to drum support for his re-election in communities like Ipere, Ijaro, Eda-Oniyo, Iludun, Obada, Iye, Ijesamodu and Ewu where he charged voters to use their votes to ensure continuity of good governance being witnessed in the state Members of ethnic communities including Tivs and Ebiras who are resident in the towns also pledged their support for Fayemi whom they described as a “sincere and performing governor who has touched lives positively in the last three and half years”.

Omar

Abubakar

Kaigama

Speaking in Iludun, Fayemi noted that his administration has created lots of jobs since he mounted the saddle in October 2010, Fayemi said there is need to create more jobs for the youths in the state. To this end, the governor said his administration has reached out to more investors to establish industries and other businesses in the state to absorb more unemployed people in the state. “The first thing we hope to do is to create more jobs for our youths because job creation is of paramount importance to us and we are determined to create more jobs if we are re-elected by the grace of God and your support. I have discussed with many investors who are willing and ready to establish businesses in Ekiti and we have assured them of many incentives to attract investors”, Fayemi said. The governor had earlier at Eda-Oniyo alluded to his administration’s resolve to create more jobs for the citizens of the state.

According to him, the entire people of the state have seen the roads, schools, palaces, town halls, electricity and other public infrastructures but job creation and economic empowerment of citizens will receive adequate attention during his second term. His words: “This government is concerned about creation if more jobs for our people. We will employ more civil servants, teachers and other jobs that will make our people contribute positively to our economy. “We are going to deploy more resources to job creation and economic empowerment if we are re-elected by our people. “I want you to vote for a party that cares for you and you must stay with this government hat has positively touched your lives and utilized the available resources to take care of you”. He said the entire Ilejemeje Local Government Area has been transformed by his administration through execution of various projects, which have made life easier for the people.

the

arrears

they

owe.”

On the coverage of state governments in the scheme, Abubakar hinted that the Fund has indeed made in-roads in ensuring states come on board. Specifically, he said the Acting governor of Taraba State, Garba Umar, had approved that NSITF organize

interactive sessions with his key staff towards joining. The NSITF boss hinted that the Fund has also had fruitful discussions with Edo and Lagos states while efforts are on to carry out advocacy visit to the governors of Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states. He also added that getting

states and local government councils to participate in the scheme is an on going exercise, adding, “Presently, we have intensified advocacy visits to MDAs that are yet to key into the scheme.” Abubakar also explained the

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Challenges of compensation scheme’s implementation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 rationale behind hiring of collection agencies despite continuous employment of workers. His words: “Let me correct an impression. We have not recruited thousands of workers. It is true we have employed some workers in the last few months, but appointing collection agents is a complementary effort aimed at ensuring that collection is made in those areas that are difficult to penetrate. The staff you referred to have other jobs that are prescribed for them. In the implementation of the scheme, there are various aspects that are expected to be executed by

various sets of professionals and stakeholders. “The collecting Agents we appointed are firms and individuals that have experience in this type of business. They have operated for several years as tax consultants/collectors, financial experts, professionals in their own rights, etc. no matter what happens, we cannot on our own, collect in certain difficult areas. But these experts, through their connections, professionalism and many years of experience have been doing very well in that regard. Apart from that, the staff we recruited will concentrate on other key areas of our job, such as inspection, enlightenment, rehabilitation, benefit payment among

other responsibilities.” The NSITF Chief also said recruitment of workers is an on-going concern saying the Fund is still seeking to attract appropriate workers that will deliver quality service. He stated that it is premature to disclose how many staffers on the payroll of the Fund owing to its formative stage and the continuous need for specialized workers. He added: “Though we have been implementing some level of social security system before now, what the NSITF was operating then was quite different from what we are operating today. Therefore, there was no large reservoir of staff that is ready to be tapped into.

Experts brainstorm on future of work in Africa By Toyin Olasinde XPERTS in the corporate E world have lamented the possibility of Africa being left behind in the changing landscape, tools, behavior and expectations of work going on all around the world. At an event tagged, “Future of Work Africa: the talent acquisition perspective,” leading talent hunters and employers, met to discuss and proffer solutions to what they described as ‘the emerging work perspective.’ Speaking at the event Talent Acquisition Manager, Europe and Sub-Sahara Africa, Halliburton; Tola Ogunbiyi, said that ‘’there is a misconception about talent and skills.

She says though “talented people are innovative and persistent”, when hiring, the focus shouldn’t only be on knowledge and grades, but on using the practical approach of “matching the right person with the work culture of the organization.” She added ‘’there is a need to understand what the future is saying about work and how it should be done in todays Internet age as opposed to what was obtainable pre- technological evolution. Also speaking a consultant and a participant at the event, Richard Olatoye, said ‘’he was glad to be part of the conversation and that it was an insightful experience. “I came to tap into the future of talent acqui-

sition for job seekers and to have a glimpse of what future is for recruiters”. The event was put together by Career Solutions Africa, a Social Enterprise providing career advisory to individuals and organizations, which hold recently in Lagos. According to the organizers of the event, Head, Human Resource, Samsung West Africa, Kunle Olaifa, ‘’expressed his delight at the insights gained from the event. In his words, “this conference has opened my eyes to endless possibilities that exists in talent acquisition in Africa, it’s amazing what we can achieve when experts come together to address pressing issues related to their fields”

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Rotary trains 71 Nigerian leaders in effective administration From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja VER 71 Presidents of various O Rotary clubs spread across District 9125 gathered in Abuja last week for Presidents Elect Training Seminar (PET), a compulsory capacity building forum for leaders of Rotary International across the world. The leaders, drawn from over 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory were trained in leadership and management, including effective administration, project/ program management, communication, related skills. District Governor Elect for District 9125, Tolu Omatsola stressed how the training for Rotary leaders, provides information, inspiration, and fellowship, stressing that it was structured to meet the needs of incoming Club Presidents, and other key officers and committees. The Training also had in attendance be Assistant Governors, Past Assistant Governors, Past District Governors and Governor Nominee. The purpose of the presidentselect training seminar (PETS), he noted, is to develop and assist club presidents with the necessary skills, knowledge, and motivation to lead an effective club. “ Using inspiring speakers and experienced discussion leaders, this event is designed to encourage participation. It is an intensive training seminar, structured to enable the participants to extract maximum benefits from the materials presented as well as from each other,” he noted. He stressed how Rotary had grown from 4 members in

1905 to over 1.2 Million members today in over 200 countries. Renowned leadership and management trainer, and District Governor Nominee, Mike Omotosho, took Rotarians through classes that enabled them identify skills needed for effective club leaders, and among other things, identify potential challenges in leading Rotarians, and develop strategies for handling them. Another resource person, Mr s Jumoke Bamigboye stressed how Rotary International and Rotarians are guided by ethics and conduct that makes the organization’s message reachable and acceptable. Rotarians, she added, must develop acquaintance, maintain high ethical standards in their business and professions, which dignifies the Rotarian occupation; and, applying them as opportunity to serve the society and communities they reside. According to her, “Rotarians must be fair in all dealings with others and treat them with respect, offer opportunities for young people, work for the relief of special needs of others, and improve the quality of life in their communities. Rotarians must not seek from fellow Rotarians; a privilege not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship “In a nutshell, a Rotarian must live a selfless service life for others through Service to Mankind, using personal resources, energy, time, intellect, contacts, influence to help the Society.”

In a message to Rotarians across the world, and circulated at the meeting, Rotary International President- Elect, Gary C.K. Huang communicated his choice of Light Up Rotary as his theme for 2014-15 (starting July 1). He noted: “There are so many problems in the world, so many people who need help. Many people say, ‘There’s nothing I can do.’ So they sit there doing nothing. Meanwhile everything stays dark,” Huang told the 537 district governors and their spouses and partners who are attending the 2014 International Assembly in San Diego, California. “The Rotary way is the Confucius way. The Rotary way is to light a candle. I light one, you light one, and 1.2 million Rotarians light one. Together, we light up the world,” said Huang, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei in Taiwan. Addressing the status of the fight against polio, Huang noted that with the current momentum Rotary is on track to achieve full polio eradication by 2018. “When we eradicate polio — and we will — we will have proved ourselves an organization capable of great things. And we’ll be even better equipped for the next challenge we choose to take on. We’ll have given the world a gift that will endure forever,” he said. By continuing to fight against polio, setting an example in local communities, and growing membership, Huang hopes to see Rotary shine brighter than ever.


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Late budget approval delays payment of allowances From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Presidential Amnesty T Office has explained that the delay in the payment of intraining allowance for some 153 UK trainees was due to the late passage of the 2014 budget by the National Asembly. Information from the Office at the weekend indicated that it had however sought funds to pay the allowance of 500 trainees out of the 653 in the UK. Head of Communications at the amnesty ofice, Daniel Alabrah said that recent media rwport that it neglected its delegates studying in higher institutions in the United Kingdom owing to non-payment of their allowances was incorrect. The PAO said of the 653 delegates in over 60 institutions in the UK, only about 150 of them were yet to get their in-training allowance at the time of that report, owing to the late passage of the 2014 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly and delay in remitting foreign exchange through the banks. “It is a known fact that the National Budget for 2014 was only passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly about 48 hours ago. This had resulted in some funding chal-

Alabi named 2014 Yale World Fellow By Gbenga Salau HE former Africa Managing T Director of M-Net, Biola Alabi, has been named a 2014 Yale World Fellow; joining 15 other World Fellows selected this year from thousands of applicants across the world. Alabi, who served as M-Net’s Africa Managing Director for five years until January 2014 when the continent’s leading television content provider appointed her Director of Special Projects, with her nomination becomes the seventh Nigerian selected for the prestigious fellowship since the programme’s inception in 2002. Attending Yale’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut, for five months, Alabi will take part in specially designed seminars in leadership, management and global affairs; receive individualised professional development training; attend courses and engage in discussion with a wide range of distinguished guest speakers. In a release made available to The Guardian, as the Africa’s Managing Director, Alabi spent the past five years increasing and enhancing M-Net’s African portfolio, her achievements including the launch of Africa Magic Hausa, Yoruba and Swahili and the expansion of the Africa Magic brand to eight channels. She also oversaw four editions of the popular reality series Big Brother Africa as well as the Face of Africa Finale fashion and modelling extravaganza held in Nigeria in 2 0 1 0 . A 2012 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, last year, Alabi was voted West African Businesswoman of the Year as well as one of the 20 Young Power Women in Africa by Forbes magazine. “Spending five years at the forefront of the flourishing African film and television industry with a business as dynamic and visionary as MNet has been an incredible experience,” Alabi said.

lenges for the programme and its beneficiaries”, Alabrah said. The office explained that regardless of this daunting challenge, the PAP Chairman and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, made effort to secure some funds, which enabled it commence payment of the stipends and allowances of the beneficiaries while the National Assembly was still considering the budge t . It noted that the delay in the payment of in-training allowance was not peculiar to delegates in the UK as it also affected other beneficiaries studying at home and in 16 other countries. “What is however peculiar about the UK situation is the large number of our delegates there. There are 653 of them there at the moment, out of which no fewer than 500 of

them have received their allowances since the payment commenced in March. “The process appears slow because of the large number and the fact that the banks handling it have to bid for foreign exchange before the remittances can be made to

their individual bank accounts. But we have gone very far and that of the UK is almost done,” Alabrah explained He urged journalists to verify information they receive before reporting and that the media must respect the princi-

ples of fairness and balance as a situation where a top official of the Amnesty Office was quoted as confirming the nonpayment of the allowance when the reporter (not The Guardian) did not even contact or communicate with him.

“It smacks of journalistic mischief to claim to have spoken to the top official of the Amnesty Office when indeed the reporter never did. Journalists must always be guided by the principles of fairness and balance in their reportage,” Alabrah noted.

UNICAL graduates 500 on skill acquisition From Anietie Akpan, Calabar OT less than 500 final year students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have graduated from the University’s Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC). The students are the first graduands of the compulsory training programme of the University for all final year students. Some of the skills offered at

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the centre include water treatment, brewing, photography, paper production, tailoring, crop farming, printing, satellite installation among others. Speaking at the graduation ceremony at the University’s International Conference Centre, the Director of the centre, Prof Usang Bassey, said the centre was established to make students look beyond white -collar jobs.

He said, “the entrepreneurship centre was established to make students look beyond the one stretched white-collar job mentality and become more proactive.” He charged the fresh and pioneer graduands to indulge in critical thinking, recognise business opportunities as well as take interest in teamwork in order to make headway. On his part, the Chief

Executive Officer of Ekondo Microfinance Bank, Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong expressed his firm’s readiness to partner with the centre on mentori n g . While urging the university graduands to think less about white-collar job, he said his bank would partner the centre in order to mentor and encourage deserving graduands.


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Aliyu gives political appointees two week to resign From John Ogiji Minna HE Niger state Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu has given all political appointees interested in elective position in 2015 two weeks within which to resign their appointment. The governor handed down the directive to commissioners and other political appointees during the weekly executive council meeting, which took place at the government house on wednesday last week. The directed all those who have the ambition to contest any elective position in 2015 to prepare their hand over note on or before the 25th of April, 2014 and hand over same to the most senior officer in his or her ministry. The governor’s action to a source closed to the meeting is sequel to the provision in the new electoral act, which stipulates that anyone holding a public office must resign such position, six months before election if such is interested in contesting for a political office. According to a reliable source closed to the meeting, the governor made it clear to the all the political appointees, especially serving commissioners that he is not interested in changing any commissioner with less than one year to the end of his administration but the new electoral law must be obeyed. It was gathered that no fewer than six serving commissioners are expected to turn in their resignation letters in compliance with the governor’s directive because of their political ambition come 2015. Also expected to resign their positions are the secretary to the state government, Alhaji Idris Ndako Kpaki and the chief of staff to government house Dr. Joshua Bawa who are both eying House of Representative in their constituency. Also prominent among the commissioners expected to resign their position include that of ministry for works, Mallam Bawa Muazu who is eying governor for 2015, ministry for community development and chieftaincy affair, Mallam Yusuf Tagwai, commissioner for Fishery and

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Livestock, Dr. Yahaya Vatsa, commissioner for water Resources, Hajiya Hadiza Abdullahi, commissioner for planning, Alhaji Yahaya Dansalau, that of women affair Hajiya Hassana Adamu and commissioner for Transport, Alhaji Garba Mohammed. According to our source, this development will not lead to any cabinet reshuffle but rather, the governor may ask all the permanent secretaries to take over in the case of commissioners who may resign their appointment. But was further gathered that a woman is being tipped as a possible replacement for the secretary to the state government while Dr. Yahaya Kuta will be returned as chief of staff to the government, a position he last held before being appointed as commissioner

Wetherheads appoints Adesanya as GM deft move to reposition ItheNandaAdvertising consolidate its niche in industry, the management of Wetherheads Advertising Group Limited recently appointed Mr Adeyemi Adesanya as General Manager of its Out-Of-Home subsidiary. He holds a Bachelor of Technology from the Federal University of Tech. Akure and an MBA (Marketing) from University of Lagos. He has over 14 years cognate experience in various advertising agencies, starting as a Promotion/Marketing Executive at TownCriers Advertising in 2001, a brief stint at Marketing and Media Advertising and later Head of Marketing and Client Services at Optimum Exposure before joining E-Motion in 2011 and rose to the position of General Manager, Marketing, Client Service and Business Development. He is an active member of professional bodies such as Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) UK, National Institute of Marketing Nigeria (MNIMN) and a Registered Practitioner of APCON.

for information and integration. When contacted on this development, the Dirctor General Media and publicity, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, said that there was no such directive during the council meeting but however added that the governor does not need to remind anyone interested in elective office in 2015 to resign his or her appointment as they are ignorant of the electoral law . “I am not aware of such directive, but I think they should be aware of the electoral law, so I don’t think the need to remind them”. Also expected to resign their positions are the secretary to the state government, Alhaji Idris Ndako Kpaki and the chief of staff to government house Dr. Joshua Bawa who are both eying House of Representative in their constituency.

Also prominent among the commissioners expected to resign their position include that of ministry for works, Mallam Bawa Muazu who is

eying governor for 2015, ministry for community development and chieftaincy affair, Mallam Yusuf Tagwai, commissioner for Fishery and

Livestock, Dr. Yahaya Vatsa, commissioner for water Resources, Hajiya Hadiza Abdullahi, commissioner for planning,

Adewakun becomes Vitafoam’s board member ITAFOAM Nigeria Plc has V announced the appointment of Mrs. Adeola Adewakun as a Non-Executive Director of the company. Her appointment to the board was unanimously confirmed by Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of the Company held recently in Lagos. According to the Chairman of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Dr. Dele Makanjuola, Mrs. Adeola Adewakun Adewakun brings to the in manufacturing and an board, the dynamism of uncommon organisational youth, a wealth of experience ability from which hopefully

the company will benefit tremendously. Adewakun holds a Masters of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Portsmouth, Hampshire, United Kingdom. She is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the General Pharmaceutical Council of Great Britain. A United Kingdom registered pharmacist. Adewakun has held various management positions in different Pharmaceutical companies in the United Kingdom.


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Labour ILO, ITUC warn of growing global unemployment, inequality From Collins Olayinka, Abuja HERE is an urgent need for governments to boost household purchasing power to prevent the possibility of rising global unemployment, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned. In a statement delivered to the 2014 Spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder pointed out that if precrisis trends in employment growth had continued, 62 million more women and men would have been working in 2013 when global unemployment reached 202 million and that unless growth picks up, the jobs gap will widen to 75 million by 2018. Also, the General Secretary of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow, has called on the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to take concrete actions to follow through on their announced intentions to pay greater attention to employment and inequality issues. The ILO cautioned that the massive global jobs gap that opened at the height of the financial crisis is not closing, saying the gap will widen unless the global economy steps up the pace of growth to generate the jobs needed. Ryder submitted that the time has come for global leaders to put jobs and growth

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back at the heart of International policy making. “The global economy is not yet on a path to strong sustainable and balanced growth. Weak global demand is holding back job creation, wages and recovery even further and one consequence is a slowing of the pace of poverty reduction in the developing world,” he added. In 2013, the number of workers in extreme poverty declined by only 2.7 per cent globally, one of the lowest rates of reduction ever seen over the past decade. Ryder noted that income inequalities have also widened and the wage share in GDP has fallen in many countries, including the world’s largest economies

where wages have lagged behind growth in productivity for over 20 years. This trend was masked by unfettered household borrowing before the crisis and temporarily offset by financial market innovations that proved to be unsustainable. These long-term structural problems now weigh heavily on demand and slow down recovery. The ILO chief added: “The global economy must create many more jobs. Investment in infrastructure, support to small enterprises and boosting skills development, and restoring household purchasing power, particularly at the lowest income levels are essential to avoid falling into a low-growth trap.”

NASU resumes strike over welfare HE Non-Academic Staff T Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has resumed the suspended strike in College of Education until government accedes to the demand of the union. In a communiqué adopted at the end of the regular meeting of the Colleges of Education and other trade groups held in Ankpa, Kogi State, signed by the General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, said that the government did not make any effort aimed at the implementation of the migration of officers on CONTISS 11 and below within

the moratorium period of 60 days given to government after the emergency meeting of 2nd December, 2013 where decision suspending the then industrial action was taken. That threat of the implementation of the integrated payroll and personal information system (IPPPIS) in Colleges of Education which will essentially erode the autonomy of the Colleges still persists. That years after work was concluded on the scheme/conditions of service in Colleges of Education, government refused to release the document.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 NEWSXTRA

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE EXTRA

Open letter to the National Conference delegates By Chris Maduike S you settle down for the A National Conference I will like you to consider the follow-

ing proposals as you discuss the issues affecting our country. One of the political problems that divide this nation into ethic line is the issue where the president will come from and that have been with us for a long time. Now that we have the opportunity to talk to our selves, let’s use this opportunity to restructure our presidential system to suit our political environment. I am proposing a six-man presidential team that will be nominated by all parties for election and each from the six geo political zone for a six years term to be rotated among themselves yearly for six years as president and five vice presidents, with above, the issue of marginalization, non inclusion, north south/minority agitation for presidency will be a thing of the past and everybody will have a sense of belonging. That the federal government shall not have more than 25 per cent of revenue allocation. That the National Assembly

members should be paid by their states to make them carry their constituencies along in their legislative functions. The federal government will only be responsible for funding their secretariat. While the state pay their salary according to their income. That 80 per cent of all revenue from the federation account to the federal, states and local council should be tied to specific projects and only 20 per cent should be allowed for overhead experience. This will enable the states to look inwards to develop their resources and increase revenue instead of depending on federation allocation to survive. That the national uniform wages should be abolished to enable states pay according to their revenue and cost of living within their state. That the excess crude account should not be shared but should be build up to at list $100 billion and  reserved for the future generation of Nigerians. We have been sharing and sharing everything we have and nothing to show for it without thinking of our children’s future. These funds should not be

used as collateral for any loan or used for any other reason except with the approval of another national confab. Some sections of the NNPC should be privatized for efficiency and accountability and actual fuel subsidy should be removed as this has led to corruption. As a matter of national emergency, that all states in Nigeria be linked with rail lines as in other clime. Our major express roads should be given urgent attention. This will reduce our national fuel consumption to about 50 per cent  and reduce pressure on housing across the country as people can live anywhere and work anywhere, transportation costs would be cheap and our roads will last. While we will be saving billions of naira spent annually on road maintenance due to over-use of the roads. One the problems of this country is religion and I suggest that the  federal government should hands off all religious matters  for interest of peace and unity including Christian and Muslim pilgrimage and allow Islamic and Christian organisations to handle this.

The Ministry of Niger Delta should be operating from the Niger Delta region. While a Niger Delta city should be built in the region as part of the ongoing development of the area. Our heroes and those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country should be honoured. The former National Stadium in Lagos should be named after Sam Okwaraji in honour of the young man who died at the stadium in a   world cup qualifier match with Angola. This will encourage other Nigerians. Hope you find these proposals very useful. • Maduike lives in Lagos.

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MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 14-04-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


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MARKET INDICATORS

Tuesday, April 15 2014 MARKET REPORT 79

AS AT 14-04-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA

Benefits of multinationals listing on NSE, by stakeholders By Helen Oji O widen the scope of the T market, as well as enhance more investors’ participation, stakeholders on the Nigerian capital market have urged multinationals, especially in telecomms and oil&gas, operating in Nigeria to list in the nation’s bourse. They also stressed the need for the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to seek ways of making the listing requirements more attractive for companies in these sectors. The stakeholders, who lauded the management of Seplat petroleum on its decision to list its shares on the NSE, also expressed the need for these companies to leverage the increased market capitalization and the window of opportunities that exists in the market, in terms of increased foreign and local participation to list in the domestic market. Specifically, the Managing Director, Crane Securities Limited, Mike Eze argued that the financial institution has suffered a lot of setback in the past few year, adding that for the country to sustain its rating as the best economy in Africa, multinationals, especially those already listed in foreign bourse must be encouraged to list in the nation’s bourse. This, according to him would boost both local and foreign participation in the market. He however urged the NSE to make some of the listing requirements, noting that the value of ‘naira’ in 2009 is not same with the current value.

“The financial institution has suffered a lot of backlash and this is a good time for multinational to approach the market because the listing of Seplat would open window of opportunities for big investors both local and foreign to participate in the market.” The Secretary General, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Adebayo Adeleke said: “What is happening in the market currently is a welcome development. “If these multinationals approach the market for listing, the market capitalization will go up and other firms would be attracted to the market and in that way, the NSE would create sector for them and this would widen the scope of the market. NSE should grant incentives that would make the market more attractive.” He said. For the President, Renaissance Shareholders Association, Ambassador Timothy Olufemi, NSE should intensify its awareness campaign and continue to persuade these companies to list in the local market. He added that this would give Nigerians an opportunity to hold shares in the companies as is done in other parts of the world. “NSE should campaign seriously for these big companies to list. What they have done so far is encouraging but they should continue to persuade them. This is to give Nigerians an opportunity to hold shares in the companies as is done in other parts of the world.”

CIS organises forum in Abuja By Bukky Olajide S the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers[CIS] brings together key players in both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy to brainstorm, the pace is set for the generation of ideas which will serve as useful input to the national budget and enhance the quality of the policy making process. Speaking at the press conference to kick off the media campaign of the third yearly National workshop, the president of CIS, Ariyo Olushekun said the forum will also assist government agencies to track budget performance and showcase best practices in service delivery. Further, he said, the workshop will present an avenue to influence government policies thereby ensuring the growth and development of key sectors of the Nigerian economy. His words: ‘’Through this platform, we have in the past two years collaborated with and engaged key arms and agencies of government –The Presidency, The National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Finance, The Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, and The Nigerian Stock Exchange among others – as part of our contributions to national

A

What Happened? The NSE All-Share index declined by 25bps (0.25%) and closed at 38,987.50. This represents a year-to-date performance of - 5.67%.. Market Capitalisation however appreciated 2.13% to close at N12.821 trillion. Total value traded declined 62.90% to N1.48 billion and total volume traded declined 33.57% to 182.04 million units. Where? At the close of trading, the banking sector represented 63.92% of the total market value traded, while the breweries sector represented 2.29%. The Top 5 stocks as a % of total market value traded were: ZENITHBANK (13.73%), GUARANTY (11.01%), ETI (10.82%), FBNH (7.94%) and FCMB (7.01%). On a volume basis, the Top 5 most traded stocks for the day were: FCMB (30.52m), STERLNBANK (28.03m), SKYEBANK (12.75m), TRANSCORP (12.70m) and ETI (12.68m).

development. Earlier on, the chairman of 2014 National Conference, Albert 0kumagba explained that the re-occurence of agriculture in this year’s workshop is predicated on its importance to Nigeria’s economic growth and development. 0kumagba noted that critical factors that will bring about tremendous improvement in trade, investtment, energy and agriculture would dominate discussion at the workshop. He enjoined the financial press to continue to play supportive role in the stockbrokers’ collective efforts to assist the federal government realise the vision and mission of its transformation agenda. This year’s conference, holds from Wednesday, 23rd of April 2014 to Friday, 25th of April, 2014, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, with the theme, ‘Update on the Transformation Agenda and Expectations From the Public and Private Sector’. Focus will be on the Trade and Investment, Power and Agriculture sectors of the Nigerian economy. It goes without saying that these critical sectors hold strategic importance to the realisation of the vast potentials of the Nigerian economy, and reinvigoration of the capital market.


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Law

Quote of the week “Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.” -Bruce Coville

Institutionalising free legal service culture in Nigeria Last week, the Lagos State government celebrated Pro Bono Week to drum up support for its Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership (LPILP). It is a platform for the state to partner with private law firms and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide pro bono legal services to indigent citizens. The philosophy behind the provision of pro bono services in the state is to further secure the right of every citizen to justice, irrespective of his or her financial status. BERTRAM NWANNEKANMA writes that the event has re-awakened consciousness among lawyers to protect the legal rights of unprotected Nigerians.

FOCUS RO BONO PUBLICO, meaning for the public P good; usually shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. Pro bono service, unlike traditional volunteerism, uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services for those who are unable to afford them. The concept of pro bono was aimed at creating access to justice to indigents citizens, who suffer injustice because they cannot acquire the services of law. Since 2002, many United Kingdom law firms and law schools have always celebrated the yearly Pro Bono Week, which encourages solicitors and barristers to offer pro bono services and increase general awareness of pro bono service. Law Works (the operating name for the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is a national charity that works with solicitors and law students, encouraging and supporting them in carrying out legal pro bono work. It also acts as a clearing house for pro bono casework. Individuals and community groups may apply to the charity for free legal advice and mediation, where they could not otherwise afford to pay and are not entitled to legal aid. Advocates for International Development, which exclusively brokers international pro bono contributing towards the Millennium Development Goals operates from a London base. In the Republic of Korea, Korean lawyers are required to do, at least 30 hours of pro bono work (the local bar associations can reduce the hours to 20). Those who have a good reason not to fulfill the requirement may pay 20,000-30,000 per hour instead. In the United States, lawyers in the are recommended under American Bar Association (ABA) ethical rules to contribute at least 50 hours of pro bono service per year(s).(6) Some state Bar associations, however, may recommend fewer hours. Rule 6.1 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct strongly encourage lawyers to aspire to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono service each year and quantifies the minimal financial contributions that lawyers should aspire to make to organisations providing legal services to the poor and underserved. The Chief Judge of New York has also instituted a requirement that applicants who plan to be admitted in 2015 and onward must complete 50 hours of pro bono service in order to qualify. All attorneys who register must report their voluntary pro bono hours and/or voluntary contri-

Ipaye butions. The American Bar Association (ABA) has conducted three national surveys of pro bono service: one released in August 2005, the second in February 2009, and the third in March 2013. The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and its project, the Centre for Pro Bono, are a national source of information, resources and assistance to support, facilitate, and expand the delivery of pro bono legal help. The ABA Standing Committee also sponsors Pro Bono Week during the week of October 21-27. The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and Section of Litigation jointly sponsor the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which delivers pro bono legal assistance to enlisted, active-duty military personnel. In an October 2007 press conference reported in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, the law student group Building a Better Legal Profession released its first annual ranking of top law firms by average billable hours, pro bono participation, and demographic diversity.

“Lawyers are often complacent in rendering free legal service, because they feel they pay their taxes to government. But they should cultivate good spirit in contributing to a system that is under stress, even though there is no free lunch anywhere in the world”.

Rekosh The report found that most large firms fall short of their pro bono targets. The group has sent the information to top law schools around the country, encouraging students to take this data into account when choosing where to work after graduation. In Nigeria, lawyers rarely offer free legal services except for their families and friends, they cannot avoid. Some of them, with few exceptions, who engage in free legal service do it more out of compulsion than voluntarily. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the umbrella body regulating legal practice in the country merely encourage members to engage in pro bono service but there is no law or regulation guiding its operations. This has therefore put access to justice under pressure in the country. But an adjunct professor at Colombia University, New York, Prof. Edwin Rekosh, said Nigeria is not the only country where access to justice was under pressure. Encouraging voluntary pro bono services, he said, would be more helpful than compulsory pro bono services so as to fill the yawning gap that exist in the access to justice in Nigeria and every where in the world. According to him, countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States had cut of 30 per cent of legal aid funding in recent years. Notwithstanding, Rekosh said, government still had an obligation to render free legal services to its citizens who could not afford such services. “Lawyers are often complacent in rendering free legal service, because they feel they pay

their taxes to government. But they should cultivate good spirit in contributing to a system that is under stress, even though there is no free lunch anywhere in the world”. In continental Europe, Rekosh said there is growing awareness that if pro bono is institutionalised, it can harness many resources to help solve some cracks in legal aids through pro bono services. In this regards, Brazil is leading in institutionalising pro bono services after it passed a law prohibiting pro bono to individuals except NGOs, excluding most needy individuals. However, Sapo-Brazil last year signed to pass a new law in pro bono practice. Also in South Africa, four Bar Associations have passed a law that recommend pro bono for their lawyers, under the new law, all lawyers. signed up with the Bar association must show evidence of pro bono service. For the Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ade Ipaye, said the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership (LPILP), a relatively fresh project launched by the state governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), last was necessary to make access to justice bit easier since Nigeria is operating a borrowed legal system, which makes access to justice difficult unless one is a lawyer. According to him, so many people whose rights are trampled upon cannot therefore afford lawyers. Ipaye noted the legal aids project of the Federal Government has limitations especially in a place like Lagos with a bogging population fig-

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82 LAW Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jurisdictional issues pose threat in trial of former bank chiefs ISSUES By Bertram Nwannekanma o doubt, the ongoing criminal prosecution N of former Bank Chief Executive Officers by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has witnessed diverse challenges. Since their removal by the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in August 2009, over allegation of huge non-performing loan of their banks and their subsequent arraignment a month later at the Federal High Court, Lagos, a lot of twists and turns had occurred in their trial. The accused were former Managing Directors of defunct Bank PHB and Finbank, Francis Atuche and Okey Nwosu, former   Managing Directors of the defunct Oceanic International Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru; Afribank Plc., Mr. Sebastian Adigwe; Union Bank of Nigeria, Bartholomew Ebong, and Intercontinental Bank Plc.   (Now Access Bank Plc.), Dr. Erastus Akingbola. The former bank chiefs  were alleged to have violated the provisions of Failed Bank (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act, Cap F2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as well as other provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act CAP B3, Laws of Nigeria, 2004. Of all the cases involving the former bank chiefs, only one ended with conviction, while others in the Federal High Court are still at preliminary stages. Earlier in 2011, while the charges were still pending before the Federal High Court, the EFCC filed stealing charges against some of the bank chiefs before the Lagos High Court. But Nwosu, one of those affected, had in an appeal N0: CA/L/601/11, challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos High Court to entertain the theft charge preferred against him. The appeal arose from the ruling of Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, who dismissed Nwosu’s preliminary objection against the theft charges. However, in deciding the appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter because it arose from capital market-related transactions. The appellate court in the judgment delivered on November 21, 2013, also struck out charges of stealing preferred against former Managing Director of Finbank Plc., Mr. Okey Nwosu and other former directors of the bank. This judgement has then remained a litmus test in the trial of the ex-bank chiefs, since it questioned the jurisdiction of the Lagos High Court to entertain the matter. Atuche has already challenged his trial on the grounds of jurisdictional authority. Another challenge by Atuche in January 2014, at which time, the EFCC had appealed to Supreme Court against the judgment of the Court of Appeal on Nwosu, the presiding judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, adjourned the matter indefinitely on the strength of that pending appeal. Akingbola’s challenge two weeks’ ago is the third test. But this time around, he is not only relying on the same grounds as the preceding ones, he is also drawing the attention of the trial judge to the fact that all the counts, evidence and witnesses against him at the Lagos High Court were the same as the ones at the Federal High Court and that this simply amounts double jeopardy and persecution. But EFCC would have none of it and in its counter affidavit argued that the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the case, adding that the counts contained in the information do not relate, in any way, to banking transactions, shares or companies. The lead counsel, Chief Godwin Obla explained that the counts contained in the information before the court did not in any way challenge Akingbola’s conduct as bank Chief Executive nor any of his functions as a Director. Obla concluded that the application was an abuse of court process and should be thrown out. Akingbola, however, countered that it was misleading to describe the application as abuse of court process when its thrust relates to the fundamental and constitutional issue of Section 251 of the constitution relating to the exclusive

Akingbola

Atuche

jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. According to his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun the issues relate to shares, stocks, capital market, banking and allied matters, functions of a Chief Executive of a bank which are incorporated under CAMA, among several others. “It is submitted that only the Federal High Court to the exclusion of other courts has jurisdiction to entertain matters that are within the Exclusive Legislative List in Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution which by section 4 of the 1999 constitution only the National Assembly can legislate on,” argued Olanipekun. Citing the applicability of the Court of Appeal decision on Nwosu and the Supreme Court decision on Olabode George vs. FRN, Olanipekun contended that the decisions were binding on the court. In Olabode George’s case for example, the entire section 251 of the constitution in relation to the Federal Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority was considered and the Supreme Court held that the trial by the Lagos State High Court was a nullity. The fight for jurisdiction has remained a recurring decimal in the dispensation of justice. Recently, a long drawn battle on jurisdiction involving Access Bank Plc. had played out before a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, presided by Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson over the Bank’s registration in Nigeria of the London Judgement and accompanying orders of Mr. Burton of the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Divisions Commercial London. The judgement arose from a civil suit filed in 2009 by Access Bank in London against Akingbola in the wake of his removal by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Chief Executive Officer of defunct Intercontinental Bank. But in the judgment delivered in July 2012, Akingbola was singled out as being solely responsible for the substantial loss of about N212, 294,089,160.15 the defunct bank suffered when the stock market collapsed in Nigeria as a result of the global economic crisis. Akingbola was ordered to personally repay the judgment sum in the civil suit thus transforming corporate liability to personal liability Consequently, Access Bank sought to execute the judgment in Nigeria and on July 4, 2013 was granted an exparte order to register and execute the judgment debt, a decision swiftly challenged by Akingbola in September 2013. Ruling on the matter on February 18, 2014,

Justice Candide-Johnson set aside the London judgment, vacated the exparte order and subsequently struck out Access Bank’s application to register and enforce the judgment debt on the ground that the London Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case in the first place being a matter exclusively for the Federal High Courts. Said the judge: “In the final analysis, I hold that the High Court of Lagos State within the meaning of Madukolu V. Nkemdilim lacks jurisdiction and competence to have entertained, heard and/or determined any aspect of the Registration and Enforcement proceedings in respect of the Foreign Judgment and Accompanying Enrolment Order of Honourable Justice Burton….”   Prior to the ruling Akingbola and Access Bank had on January 16, 2014 exchanged legal argument with the Bank insisting on the enforcement of the judgment debt. Counsel to the Bank, Prof. Kanyinsola Ajayi (SAN) in his submission argued that the Bank had satisfied all conditions for the registration and enforcement of the judgment. He said Akingbola was served with all the processes filed at the English Court and that he submitted to the jurisdiction of the court and personally gave evidence along with other witnesses concluding that the court acted with jurisdiction when it gave judgment. But Akingbola countered in his submission with his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), arguing that both the English Court trial and subsequent judgment were riddled with multiple illegalities. First, Olanipekun, argued that the English Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case in the first instance. Quoting several decided cases both in United Kingdom and Nigeria including Supreme Court cases, to support his position, he advanced that a foreign court could not assume jurisdiction on a person who is transiently present within the jurisdiction in respect of assets outside the jurisdiction. According to him, it was the freezing order obtained by the bank in the United Kingdom against Akingbola that compelled his presence in London and stranded him there too. Second, the learned counsel also argued that Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to register the judgment since it could not have entertained the claim leading up to the judgment in the first place. Only Federal High Courts, he further, argued could handle civil causes and matters arising from Companies and Allied Matters Act, which is the subject of the judg-

An appeal is a constitutional right, which cannot be taken away from or denied an appellant. No court of law has the jurisdiction to take away from or deny an applicant his constitutional right to appeal

Nwosu ment. Not done, Olanipekun contended that the procedure adopted by the High Court of England in arriving at the decision was in conflict with the Nigerian Constitution and Law of Evidence. For instance, the trial was conducted over video, with the judge sitting in London while Akingbola and his witnesses were compelled to give evidence over video in a Lagos Hotel via video link. Also, the British trial judge tried to seek the assistance of the Federal High Court to compel the claimant’s witnesses resident in Nigeria to appear but the Federal High Court replied that the procedure being adopted was alien to Nigerian laws, as witnesses could not be compelled in a civil case. Not only was Akingbola denied his right to appeal the decision of Mr. Justice Burton of the High Court of England, the court also relied on hearsay testimonies of claimant’s four witnesses (Mr. Mahmoud Lai Alabi, Mr. Owolabi, Mrs. Folake Akingbade and Mr. Olusola Olayinka) to establish the truth of allegations made against Akingbola without producing them for crossexamination, he argued. All the claimant’s witnesses refused to come to court to testify on oath and be cross-examined on their witness statements. Following Mr. Justice Burtons’ judgment and accompanying orders in July and September, 2012 respectively, Akingbola had in exercise of his right of appeal applied to the same High Court of England for leave to appeal its decision but was refused. Dissatisfied, he made two separate applications to the Court of Appeal of England and was refused the right of appeal again.  Accusing the bank of not disclosing the foregoing facts to the court while bringing the application for registration, Olanipekun faulted the process, which produced a judgment while denying an accused right to appeal, fair hearing and using hearsay evidence to support a claim of this magnitude. Quoting several legal authorities again, he maintained in conclusion that the Supreme Court holds inalienable an accused right to appeal as set forth in Abubakar V Yaradua (2008) 4 NWLR (Pt 1078) 465 at 496 where it held as follows: “An appeal is a constitutional right which cannot be taken away from or denied an appellant. No court of law has the jurisdiction to take away from or deny an applicant his constitutional right to appeal” Consequently, Olanipekun concluded “If likelihood of bias does not vitiate a judgment in other climes, it certainly does in Nigeria; If hearsay evidence can ground a judgment in the United Kingdom (UK), same cannot ground a judgment in Nigeria; Furthermore, if fraud can be proven in UK on the balance of probabilities, such procedure is expressly forbidden in Nigeria”


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Court adjourns Atuche’s appeal to May 13 (FRN), in which the Atuches are co-defendants, pending at the Appellate Court. Dissatisfied by the decision, the Atuches raised four grounds for appeal, in their challenge of her decision. In their notice of appeal, the Atuches prayed the appellate court to set aside the trial judge’s ruling and in its place, grant their reliefs by dismissing all counts of the amended charge against them by the EFCC They averred that the trial court erred in law in dismissing their motion, which sought a dismissal of the charge for want of jurisdiction. They argued that the judge was wrong to have ignored a Court of Appeal’s decision and favoured a ‘flimsy excuse of a pending appeal to enable her continue the unlawful exercise of jurisdiction on the matter over which she no longer has such powers.’ The appellants claimed that the trial judge misdirected herself in law by failing to consider and determine the substance of the motion on notice for an order dismissing the charge for want of jurisdiction based on the appellate court’s decision in Okey Nwosu vs FRN (CA/L/601/2011), thereby depriving them their constitutional right to fair hearing. According to the appellants, the trial judge’s decision was highly prejudicial, as she did not advert her mind to the fact that not all the applicants before her were parties to the appeal.

FROM THE COURTS Stories by Bertram Nwannekanma THE Court of Appeal, Lagos, presided by Justice C.C. JanSankey, has adjourned to May 13 for definite hearing on appeal by former Managing Director of defunct Platinum Habib Bank (PHB), Francis Atuche and his wife, Elizabeth, over the theft charge preferred against them at a Lagos High Court, Ikeja. The appellate court has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of filing a defective application, which stalled hearing of the appeal last week. The court noted that instead of amending its respondent’s brief of argument, the commission filed a written address. Atuche and his wife had, through their counsel, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, to entertain the alleged N25.7b theft charge. Trial judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, had in a ruling dated December 16, 2013, assumed jurisdiction to hear the alleged fraud case brought against the Atuches by the EFCC. Justice Okunnu held that dismissing the charge would amount to judicial rascality based on another suit, Okey Nwosu and three others vs  the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Justice Bukachuwa, PCA

Agbakoba seeks injunction against states over council polls ORMER president of the F(NBA), Nigerian Bar Association Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, has filed an application for interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the Minister of Finance, the Accountant General of the Federation and the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee from allocating Public Revenue

from the Federation Account, to states that have not conducted local council elections. The application, seeking for injunction, was filed on March 27, 2014 and is to last pending the determination of the suit he filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging allocation of public revenue to the con-

cerned states and local governments. In the suit marked FHC/L/770/2013, filed before Justice C. J. Aneke, Agbakoba had urged the court to declare that the states that have failed to conduct local council elections, which he submitted, is the equivalent of a civil coup d’état, are not entitled to receive public rev-

enue from the federation account. He explained that the basis of the suit is that the Constitution guarantees a system of local government by democratically elected councils. At the last adjourned date, the court granted the plaintiff’s application to amend the originating summons to remove the names of states

that have conducted local council elections from the list of defaulting states, which is annexed to the originating summons. While the Minister of Finance and the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee have entered appearance and are being represented in court by counsel, the Accountant

General of the Federation is yet to enter appearance. There is, however, proof of service of the originating summons on all the defendants. Further hearing on the suit has been adjourned till May 12, 2014, to allow the plaintiff file and serve the amended originating summons on the defendants in Abuja.

some order documents, and they were admitted by the court. Counsel to the accused, Mr. Ibe Ogochukwu, in his allocutus, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing the convict. He told the court that the convict is a first time offender, who had no previous

criminal record and the first son of his aged mother. In his judgment, Justice Seidu sentenced the convict to two years’ imprisonment from when he was convicted (yesterday) and ordered the released of the seized drug to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for destruction.

Court sentences 38-year-old man for drug trafficking FEDERAL High Court, A Lagos, has sentenced a 38year-old man, Ifeanyi Sylvester Onuoha, to two years’ imprisonment for importing 1.7 kilogrammes of illicit drugs into the country. Onuoha, who was arrested with the banned substance at the Murtala Muhammed

International Airport, Lagos, in July 2013, on his arrival from Brazil, had earlier pleaded not guilty to the onecount charge. But at the proceeding before  Justice Saliu Seidu,  the prosecuting counsel, Mrs. Lily-wifa Oranyeli, informed the court of the intention of the con-

vict to change his plea. Consequently, when the charge was read to the convict in the court, Onuoha changed his plea and instantly pleaded guilty to the charge. The offence, according to the prosecutor, is punishable under Section 11 (a) of NDLEA Act Cap. N 30 Laws of the

Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The prosecutor called one witness in the person of Mr. Okechukwu Mambo, an exhibit keeper with the agency, to give the facts of the case. All exhibits tendered, which include the ECOWAS international passport of the accused, the drug seized, and

Oil marketer loses bid to stop arrest over alleged N1.3 billion-subsidy fraud N oil subsidy fraud susA pect, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, has lost his bid to stop his arrest by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) over alleged N1.3 billion-fuel subsidy fraud. Ogunbambo had, through his counsel, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, filed a suit before a Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking an injunction, restraining the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies from arresting him on the basis of the subsidy fraud charge, preferred against him before Justice Okon Abang. He also urged the court to hold that declaring him wanted, without reasonable suspicion of his complicity in the charges, amounted to a violation of his right to liberty. Ogunbambo, in an application with suit number FHC/L/CS/1676/2013, dated December 4, 2013, named the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police SFU as defendants in the suit. But Justice Musa Yunusa in his judgment struck out the application and held that the police had the

statutory right and duty to declare suspects wanted and arrest them. “Section 24 of the Police Act confers on the police the right to arrest, detain and prosecute offenders. “The police possess the constitutional right to investigate allegations of fraud or criminal offences levied against any individual including the applicant. “They can also arrest any suspect with or without warrant, and where investigations reveals a prima facie case against the suspects, he will be charged to court.

“It is my view that the applicant cannot restrain the police from carrying out its statutory duties. “The applicant is now an accused, a charge having been preferred against him. “This suit lacks merit and is accordingly struck out” he said. The matter has been adjourned till April 17, 2014, for his trial in charge No. FHC/L/CS/384c/2013, before Justice Abang. At the last adjourned date, counsel to the SFU, Mr. Dania Abdullahi, had urged the court to dismiss the

applicant’s suit. Abdullahi had argued that the applicant was only seeking for means to prevent the police from carrying out its lawful duties. He argued that all efforts to arrest the applicant had proved abortive as he is on the run in view of the overwhelming incriminating evidence against him. He had, therefore, submitted that the applicant was attempting to exploit judicial process to delay his prosecution and urged the court to dismiss the suit. Justice Auta,CJ, FHC

NEMA wins International arbitral award against Israeli firm HE National Emergency T Management Agency has won the sum of $6,897,725 (about N1, 082,942,825) in an arbitral award against an Israeli firm, LGC Co. Ltd in an arbitration proceeding at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Sweden. The Arbitral Tribunal chaired by Mr. Claes Lundblad with Dr. Ziya Akinci and Mrs. Olabisi Soyebo SAN as co-arbitrators in addition ordered the firm to NEMA interest on

the sum at the rate of four per cent until payment is fully made. The claimant, LGC Co. Ltd., was represented by Mr. Benjamin Leventhal, Ms. Daphna Fisher and Ms. Inbal Livne of Gideon Fischer & Co. Tel-Aviv, Israel, while NEMA was represented by Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN OF Alegeh & Co. Lagos. Proceedings were commenced by LGC, which filed a request for arbitration to the Stockholm Chamber of

Commerce on July 28, 2011. When the parties failed to reach an agreement on the issue of applicable law or rules, the Tribunal decided that the UNIDROIT Principles 2010 should be applied in the proceedings. The dispute arose from a contract between LGC and NEMA on November 23, 2009 for the supply of Mi-17 helicopters for search and rescue operations with equipment and spare parts. By Clauses 6 in the contract,

the parties agreed that in the event of a dispute arising from the contract, parties would submit to arbitration at the International Arbitration Court of Stockholm, Sweden. Dispute arose when LGC failed to supply the helicopters within 90 working days after the purchase price was negotiated, agreed and full payment made as stipulated in Clause 2.1 of the contract. After the award of $6,897,725, the tribunal fur-

ther ordered LGC to pay NEMA the additional sum of $211,765.84 and N3, 385,460.67 being 1/3 of the cost of the arbitral proceedings. All the other claims by parties in the proceedings were dismissed by the Tribunal. By the judgment, NEMA will be on record as the first Federal Government agency to win a major international arbitral award for which Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN has been receiving commendations.


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FamilyLaw

We are minor in everything but our passions.

Elizabeth Bowen

Concept of minors under the law (2) OWEVER, not all minors H are considered “juveniles” in terms of criminal responsibility. As is frequently the case in the United States, the laws vary widely by state. In four states, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Texas, “juvenile” refers to a person under 17. In most states, a juvenile is legally defined as a person under 18. Under this distinction, those considered juveniles are usually tried in juvenile court, and they may be afforded other special protections. For example, in some states a parent or guardian must be present during police questioning, or their names may be kept confidential when they are accused of a crime. For many crimes (especially more violent crimes), the age at which a minor may be tried as an adult is variable below the age of 18 or (less often) below 16. For example, in Kentucky, the lowest age a juvenile may be tried as an adult, no matter how heinous the crime, is 14. In most states, juveniles may not be incarcerated with adult inmates, even if the child is charged as an adult. This is also discouraged by the federal government, which prefers funding only if children and adults are housed in separate facilities. The death penalty for those who have committed a crime

while under the age of 18 was discontinued by the U.S. Supreme Court case Roper v. Simmons in 2005. The court’s 5-4 decision was written by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer, and Souter, and cited international law, child developmental science, and many other factors in reaching its conclusion. The twenty-sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1971, granted all citizens the right to vote in every state, in every election, from the age of 18. Main article: Minors detained in the global war on terror The U.S. Department of Defense took the position that they would not consider “enemy combatants” held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps minors unless they were less than sixteen years old. (verification needed) In any event, they only separated three of more than a dozen detainees under 16 from the adult prison population. Several dozen detainees between sixteen and eighteen were detained with the adult prison population. Now those under 18 are kept separate, in line with the age of majority and world expectations. Some states, including Florida, have passed laws that allow a person accused of an extremely heinous crime, such as murder, to be tried as an adult, regardless of age. These laws, however, have

been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union. An estimated 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States. For example, child imprisonment is a concept in criminal law  where people are considered not old enough to be held responsible for their criminal acts. The main problem in most countries is whether children should be punished as an adult for crimes committed as a juvenile, or if special treatment is a better solution for the offender. In some countries, a juvenile court is a court of special jurisdiction charged with adjudicating cases involving crimes committed by those who have not yet reached a specific age. If convicted in a juvenile court, the offender is found

“responsible” for their actions as opposed to “guilty” for a criminal offense. Sometimes, in some jurisdictions (such as the United States) a minor may be tried as an adult. Rehabilitation (counseling and psychiatric treatment) is seen by some critics as a soft option that will make children believe that they are spending short periods of time in a holiday camp. In the U.S., more than half the boys who were put under counseling orders after offences rather than under detention ended up re-offending during the period they were undergoing counseling. It is, therefore, better if whatever rehabilitation program is planned takes place in some sort of detention facility. They can still be separated from hardened adult criminals, but that does not mean they

should not be detained for similar periods of time. Child crime is different from adult crime in that the offenders are, in most legal systems, not deemed to be fully conscious moral individuals. As such, the best way to deal with them is through rehabilitation rather than punishment. The only long-term solution to juvenile crime is reform of the child. Children are more susceptible to reform and the rate of recalcitrance for child offenders under counseling in the US is significantly lower than that of adult offenders. Even if some end up re-offending, it does mean that just under half of those who had been given the chance to return to normal life took up that chance and did not reoffend. Putting them in a prison, and even worse with adult offenders is likely to increase the chance of recalcitrance because they will be in the same environment as other offenders who will be a negative influence on them. As a definition of the process for dealing with an alleged offender, the range of ages specifies the exemption of a child from the adult system of  prosecution  and punishment. Most  states  develop special  juvenile  justice systems in parallel to the adult criminal justice system. Here, the hearings are essentially welfare-based and deal with children as in need of compulsory measures of treatment and/or care. Children are

diverted into this system when they have committed what would have been an offense as an adult. Governments enact laws to label certain types of activity as wrongful or illegal. Behaviour of a more antisocial nature can be stigmatized in a more positive way to show society’s disapproval through the use of the word criminal. In this context, laws tend to use the phrase, “age of criminal responsibility” in two different ways: As the physical capacity of a child to commit a crime. Hence, children are deemed incapable of committing some sexual or other acts requiring abilities of a more mature quality. Thus, each state is considering whether any given child has committed an offense, and given that answer, what the most appropriate measures would be for dealing with a child who has done what this child did. It is noted that, in some states, a link is made between infancy as a defense and defenses that diminish responsibility on the ground of a mental illness. Distinctions between children, young offenders, juveniles, etc. are used to denote matching levels of incapacity. The majority view is that this linkage is not constructive in that it implies that children are in some way mentally defective whereas they merely lack the judgment that comes with age and experience.

Institutional free legal service culture in Nigeria CONTINUED FROM PAGE 81 ure. The concept of the pro bono service conceptualised through the LPILP, the commissioner said was to tap the resources in the private sector by endorsing the idea of pro bono, which is not aimed at taking away jobs from lawyers but making them to see it as a corporate social responsibility. To assist young lawyers give free legal services to the indigent members of the society and thereby create better access to justice in the state, a special fund, the first of its kind in the country, was also launched during the first pro bono week organised by the state. Such funds, he said, can be used for payment of the filing charges and transportation cost to fast track the justice sys-

tem, since lack of legal representation for accused had caused long adjournments in courts and cast shadows on the reputation of the judiciary. For Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, women and children are at the receiving end of unequal access to justice in the society. “Everyday, we read about gender-based violence, women and child abuses. Some of these women are so helpless that they do not even know what to do.” Adefulire said the population of Lagos had placed an enormous responsibility on the government, especially in the area of providing access to justice for all residents. According to her, the office of the Public Defender (OPD) established by the state to ensure access to justice by the indigent and render free legal

Corporate Pro Bono is on the rise throughout the world and the timing of this meeting could not be better because the difficult economic climate has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for free legal services from the underprivileged section of the society.

Omotola services are currently overwhelmed with number of cases coming before her, thereby making justice elusive to many poor Lagosians. The deputy governor, who said he received an average of 400 calls of gender-based violence,  urged legal practitioners and NGOs to sign on with the states Public Interest Law

partnership with a view to expanding the scope and culture of free legal services to the poor, “If you take 10 cases from the rich, take two from the poor because giving back to the society will not take away your jobs”, she noted She commended the 66 law firms and four NGOs for partnering with the state govern-

ment to actualise the objective of the Pro Bono services in the state. For Professor Lanre Fagbohun of the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), the opposite of poverty should not be wealth but justice. The don, who presented a report on the culture of pro bono in Lagos, said there were enormous challenges facing provision of equal access to justice for citizens. He observed that majority of litigants still appear in court without attorneys for economic reasons. He called for upgrade of facilities in the courts, as well as the creation of special days in the courts, establishment of mechanism that will help the courts identify pro bono cases, as well as the creation of awareness within the magistracy, in order to deepen competency in pro bono cases. For the Director, OPD, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, there is more for lawyers to buy into the ideals of the LPILP. Public and private sectors, she said, should collaborate as equal partners to advance the course of justice administration through improved access to justice. “There is a growing awareness among members of the pro-

fession and a desire to play their part in addressing this need and thus bridging the justice gap. “Corporate Pro Bono is on the rise throughout the world and the timing of this meeting could not be better because the difficult economic climate has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for free legal services from the underprivileged section of the society”, she added. According to her, since the inception of the LPILP, the Office of the Public Defender has partnered in this journey by serving as the clearing house for various cases and has recorded tremendous success by sending over a hundred (100) cases to the LPILP. “We know that there is a need to further develop the culture of pro bono legal services and to experience best practice with essential guidance to those wishing to become involved” she added. The LPILP currently boasts of 61 law firms and four NGOs as its partners. Through this partnership, 116 pro bono cases have been screened and transferred to the registered law firms and NGOs, thus providing a total of 423 indigent persons with quality legal representation free of charge.


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Okpara’s Contract Law – A New Approach in print BOOK REVIEW By Chukwuma Chinwo HE book: Contract Law – A New Approach T (Fourth Dimension Publishers, Enugu; 2013) authored by Vitus Nnamaka Okpara, presents the law of contract in an inventive and ingenious style. It is made up of 21 chapters, patterned in such a way as to flow seamlessly from one chapter to another. Chapter one, Introduction, undertakes an introduction to the law of contract. It gives an insight into the meaning, history of, and reasons for, the law of contract. Chapter two, The Essentials of a Valid Agreement, presents the fundamental ingredients of an agreement. Since a contract usually proceeds from an agreement, this chapter undertakes a holistic overview of the rules relating to agreements – offer, acceptance and their attributes. In this regard, the case of George C. Ashibuogwu v The Attorney General of Bendel State (1988) 1 NWLR (Pt. 69) 138, is critically assessed (p. 12). In chapter three, the author takes an admirably bold stride into the murky waters of Consideration, to which he wittingly dedicates three pivotal chapters. Chapter three, Consideration I: The Traditional Theory discusses the doctrine of consideration in its pristine nature. Its meaning and application is herein extensively explored and explained. The author’s brilliant discussion of Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria Ltd. v. Chief N.Y. Allaputa (2005) 5 NWLR (Pt. 931) 475, in relation to adequacy is quite compelling (p. 89). Chapter four, Consideration II: The Modern Theory of Sufficiency, focuses on the modern view of the doctrine of sufficiency. In this regard, the rule in Pinnel’s Case (1558-1774) and the case of Foakes v. Beer (1881-85), have been clinically diagnosed against the backdrop of recent developments as reflected in cases like Williams v. Roffey Bros. & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd. (1990) 1 All ER 512 and Re Selectmove (1995) 2 All ER 531. But of more interest is the author’s in-depth analysis of the case of Grayshot Enterprises Ltd. v. The Hon. Minister of Agriculture and 2 Ors. (2002) 9 NWLR (Pt. 771) 1. (See p. 112 of the book). Chapter five, Consideration III: Promissory Estoppel and the Future of Consideration, embarks on a cogent exposition of the doctrine of estoppel. In this chapter, the author makes a case for a gradual downplay of the strictness of the doctrine of consideration, and presents promissory estoppel as a formidable leverage to attenuate the ugly side of that doctrine. In relation to the operation of promissory estoppel, the case of Lanre Oladimeji v. Trans Nig. Assurance Co. Ltd. (1998) 12 NWLR (Pt. 576) 44, is also closely scrutinised (pp. 151-3). Of interest in this chapter is the painstaking manner the author undertakes a holistic reappraisal of the High Trees formula of promissory estoppel (pp. 145 et seq.). In chapter six, Intention to Create Legal Relations, the author examines the requirement of intention in the formation of contract. Issues like “honour clause,” usually employed in special contracts like pools betting are well addressed (see p. 175). Of note herein is the author’s treatment of the elusive expression: “Subject to contract,” which he has analysed with commendable erudition. In this regard, the author’s exhaustive dialogue on the Supreme Court’s decision in International Textile Industries (Nig) Ltd. v. Dr. Ademola Oyekanmi Aderemi and Ors. (1999) 8 NWLR (Pt. 614) 268, is both trenchant and perceptive. Also in this chapter, recondite topics like the “legal status of a priest” and “collective agreements” have all

been quite brilliantly addressed. Chapter seven discusses Capacity to Contract. As regards infants, the meaning of necessaries has been vividly explained (p. 201). In relation to illiterates, the author quite convincingly demonstrates that the judicial attitude towards the protection of illiterates has not changed one whit given the strong voice of the Supreme Court in Gilbert Ezeigwe v. Awawa Awudu (2008) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1097) 158. (See p. 230 of the book). Next is Formalities, chapter eight. Herein, the author has quite effectively retold the story of the Statute of Frauds, 1677. (See p. 243). And more importantly, he undertakes a pungent revisit to the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in United Bank for Africa v. Tejumola and Sons Ltd. (1988) 2 NWLR (Pt. 79) 662. Indeed, the author’s highly critical if graphic analysis of that judgment makes this book a delight for the inquisitive reader. (See p. 254). The author argues quite strenuously that Tejumola was rather an unfortunate decision; but points to the cases of Henrison Okechukwu v. Humphrey C. Onuorah (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 691) 597; and Nnanyelugo Samuel Bosah and Ors. v. Pius Oji (2002) 6 NWLR (Pt. 762) 137, as representing a change in attitude. In chapter nine, Terms of Contract, the author explores the techniques employed by the courts to identify the actual terms the parties had committed themselves to. Terms of contract may be express or implied. Express terms may be oral or written. In this regard, the “parol evidence rule” is well illuminated, and the illustration with the case of Union Bank of Nigeria Ltd v. Prof. Albert Ozigi (1991) 3 NWLR (Pt. 333) 385, is quite apt. (See p. 286). What is more, the author’s discussion of conditions, warranty, and indeed his re-appraisal of the “innominate term” formula is eminently didactic. Restraint of Trade is discussed in Chapter 15. The origin, historical development, and application of the restraint doctrine are discussed by the author with admirable dexterity. The basis of the modern doctrine is also well addressed. Two vital cases closely associated with the development of the doctrine as we know it today, namely Nordenfelt v. Nordenfelt (1891-94) All ER Rep. 1; and Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. v. Harper’s Garage (Stourport) Ltd. (1967) 1 All ER 699, have been analysed with intellectual candour. Besides, the author has been able to unearth several vital Nigerian decisions on restraint of trade. Chapter 16 discusses Privity of Contract. The author quite ably illustrates the modern offshoot of the privity rule by the decision of the Supreme Court in Attorney General of the Federation v. A.I.C. Ltd. (2002) 10 NWLR (Pt. 675) 293. The several exceptions that have developed to soften the harshness of the rule are well marshalled in this book. The author brilliantly discusses damages on behalf of others in relation to the decision in Jackson v. Horizon Holidays Ltd. (1975) 3 All ER 92 and the responses thereto in Woodar Investment Development Ltd. v. Wimpey Contraction (UK) Ltd. (1980) 1 All ER 571 and Linden Gardens Trust Ltd. v. Linesta Sludge Disposals Ltd. (1993) 3 All ER 895. (See pp. 506-8 of the book). Agency comes under Chapter 17. Herein, agency by estoppel is treated with extraordinary lucidity in the light of Trenco (Nig.) Ltd. v. African Real Estate and Investment Co. Ltd. and Anor. (1978) ANLR 124. (See p. 524). Also, the doctrine of undisclosed principal and the fiduciary duties of an agent to the principal are also given adequate attention (p. 537). And the effect of agency where the principal suffers

from mental illness is equally addressed from the point of view of the controversy surrounding Drew v. Nunn (1874-80) All ER Rep. 1144; and Yonge v. Toynbee (1908-10) All ER Rep. 204. Next is Chapter 18, which deals with Assignment of Choses in Action. The exceptions or mechanisms for sidetracking the general rule that a chose in action is legally unassignable have been highlighted. In relation to novation, the author further dissects the decision of the Supreme Court in Ashibuogwu v. The Attorney General of Bendel State and Anor. (1988) 1 NWLR (Pt. 69) 138. His analytical discussion of Udukason Enterprises (Nig) Ltd. v. Robinson I. Olisa (1972) 2 ECSLR 171, is quite astute. Under this chapter, further mention is also made of maintenance and champerty in relation to the assignability of a bare right to sue; and the issue of assignability of the salary a public officer and of alimony has equally been addressed with admirable pungency. In chapter 19, Discharge of Contracts, the author elucidates on the major methods of discharging a contract. In relation to discharge by performance, the author’s appraisal of the doctrine of substantial performance is highly educative. Under discharge by agreement, the author’s incisive comments on the doctrine of accord and satisfaction are quite commendable. Coming down to discharge by breach, the theory of anticipatory breach and indeed the issue of unaccepted repudiation, are subjected to juristic scrutiny. Finally, the doctrine of frustration of contract takes the centre stage, and the concept of frustration of a promise to marry is for the first time explored in a standard textbook on contract law. Indeed, the author has in this work quite ably taken the jurisprudence of frustration of contract to another level, what with his clinical treatment of the issue of foreseeability in relation to frustration. Chapter 20 deals with Remedies for Breach of Contract. Herein, the issue of damages is approached frontally. Of note here is the author’s deliberate postulation on the fallacy of “special” and “general” damages in contract. In this regard, U.T.C. (Nig) Plc & 2 Ors. v. Daniel Philip (2012) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1295) 136, is critically examined. Also, the meaning of loss is presented with

commendable deftness in relation to the decision of the Supreme Court in Neka B.B.B. Manufacturing Co. Ltd. v. African Contractual Bank Ltd. (2004) 2 NWLR (Pt. 858) 521. Equally addressed is the potency of mandatory injunction as was recently underscored in Military Governor of Lagos State and 4 Ors. v. Adebayo Adeyiga and 6 Ors. (2012) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1293) 291. In the concluding chapter (21), the author makes a bold and distinguished foray into the law relating to Quasi-contract. The basis of the law of quasi-contract is presented in quite a compelling manner. The various aspects of a quasi-contractual remedy are discussed with unparalleled simplicity. Above all, the concept of money had and received is brilliantly exposed (p. 675). Moreover, the intricacies of the doctrine of quantum meruit were laid bare in view of the decisions of the Supreme Court in Savannah Bank of Nigeria Plc. v. Oladipo Opanubi (2004) 15 NWLR (Pt. 896) 437 and Alfotrin Ltd. (the Owners of M.V. Fotini) v. The Attorney General of the Federation and Anor. (1996) 15 NWLR (Pt. 896) 437. On the issue of privity of contract in relation to quasi contract, the author’s discussion of the case of Adenugba Adesina and 2 ors. v. Madam Tawa Kola and 18 Ors. (1993) 6 NWLR (Pt. 298) 182, is quite incisive. The author further elucidates the theory of quasi-contract, and equally undertook a quick peep into the law of restitution. The book, Contract Law – A New Approach, is very unique in many vital respects. One salient point of interest, and which must not be glossed over in the general assessment of this book is that the writer did not pretend to present a register of the Nigerian law of contract, or even of the law of contract in Nigeria. He rather tries to offer a lucid appraisal of the general principles of the law of contract from the perspective of those who deal with it in Nigeria. Of note through the length and breadth of the book are the author’s timely references and indeed his deft analyses of the views and comments of juristic writers, which place the book on a very high pedestal in terms of research content. Also the vital references and engaging discussion of recent Nigerian decisions make the book a valuable resource for thoroughbred researchers. In the golden words of Hon. Justice C.C. Nweze (J.C.A.), “… its felicitous style makes the book a delight for the avid reader, page after page, there is always something new to learn … it is, actually, a dependable companion, a vade mecum, for legal researchers.” The production/presentation of the book is of very high standards. Very few print errors are noticeable, the most prominent of which is the missing last line on p. 443 of the book, which should have read: “… receive payment up to 50 per cent above his normal fees. It was held that these …” Nevertheless, the few errors in the book do not even slightly take the shine off this masterpiece. The book is highly rated by ardent critics and aficionados of contract law. It is, therefore, recommended to all as the new face of the law of contract. • Chinwo is of Faculty of Law, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt.

Rule of law: Socio-economic implications of default (1) By Ngozi Olehi ULE of law, also known as nomocracy, generally refers to the influence and authority of law, especially as a constraint upon behaviour, including the behaviour of government officials1. It has a primordial origin with its roots in ancient Greek philosophies with a preoccupation that is focused on governmental powers. In western philosophy, the ancient Greeks initially regarded the best form of government as rule by the best men. Plato advocated a benevolent monarchy ruled by an idealised philosopher king, who was above the law2. Plato flatly opposed letting the highest

R

officials wield power beyond guarding and serving the laws. Aristotle advocated the Rule of Law3. According to him, It is more proper that law should govern than any of the citizens, upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws4. A Roman statesman, Cicero, agreed with Aristotle and coined his belief in the Rule of Law in Latin thus: Omnes legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possumus, which means that “we are all servants of the laws in order that we may be free”. Indeed, the Romans had due

reverence to law in the middle ages, but the concept of a higher law exercised modulating influence on the arbitrary tendencies of the rulers then. It was, however, not until after the renaissance and the rise of middle class, individualism and capitalistic free enterprise that the concept of the rule of law began to assume its modern form there. In China, members of the school of legalism during the 3rd century BC argued for using law as a tool of governance, but promoted “rule by law” as opposed to “rule of law” meaning that they placed the aristocrats and emperor above the law5. Origins of and justifications

for Rule of Law were found in the theories of natural law and especially in John Locke’s theory of ‘the social contract’. He believed that the source of political power was derived from the people and not

Adoke,AGF

imposed from above. There were no laws, rulers or government in the pre-political society. However, as a result of transgression of rights by some of the citizens of that society it became convenient to establish a government to which everyone consented for the purpose of minimising strife and acrimony. Government can, therefore, only use power for the good of the people and cannot interfere with their inalienable rights, which was divinely their portion as the natural law theorists believed. The nexus between the ancient and the modern in the development of the Rule of Law began in the middle

ages. To be precise, that was in 1215 when Archbishop Stephen Langton gathered the barons in England and forced King John and future sovereigns, as well as magistrates back under the rule of law, preserving ancient liberties by the Magna Carta in return for exerting taxes6. When natural law became obsolete, its legitimising and restraining function was taken over by the common law in England, and a written constitution in America. Thus, the concept advocates the establishment of an ordered society where citizen are aware of areas in which they can freely operate without interference.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 NEWSEXTRA 89

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Reported plot to weaken EFCC untrue, says group NON-GOVERNMENTAL A Organisation (NGO), Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has described as mischievous, reports in the media alleging plots to weaken the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) via the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC) Bill currently before the National Assembly. Executive Director of the group, Mr. Walter Duru, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, further described the report as targeted at misinforming members of the public. Denying that creating the NFIC takes away the EFCC’s job, the executive director said the NFIC is necessary in order for the country to effectively check financial crimes, money laundering, terrorism financing among other dangerous practices. He said the proposed bill is designed to provide NFIC with operational independence, autonomy and greater ability to provide financial intelligence to all the relevant competent authorities in Nigeria and abroad in order to strengthen antimoney laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. It is an international requirement for Nigeria to be seen as a safe country. “The NFIU, as it is in Nigeria now, has severally been observed to be deficient by Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on many occasions. All the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria know the latter fact. Nigeria stands the chance of being blacklisted by GIABA during its forthcoming Plenary coming up in Niamey, Niger Republic between May 5 and 9, 2014 because of this anomaly, which has been going on for years. “All the bill seeks to do is to provide for those things that give the NFIU’s its operational autonomy and strengthen its legal framework in compliance with international standard and best practice. “This bill is aimed at establishing a national agency that will be responsible for the receipt of information from financial institutions, designated non-financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and other relevant persons, analyse the information for the purpose of turning them into financial intelligence and disseminate the latter to all law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities without discrimination. The bill will ensure that the NFIU is not tied to any agency. Rather, it has adequate measures to build an independent financial intelligence system. “Financial intelligence can also be used to assist the monitoring of balance of payments, use of foreign currency and prevent the abuse of the financial system by criminals. It should be noted that over 139 countries across all continents have established such independent

FIUs. Nigeria as a member of the international community needs to establish one in order to be able to exchange information with other FIUs.” On the report of an alleged U.S Intelligence Agency faulting the NFIC Bill, Duru described such as phantom and misleading, adding that the body’s (FinCEN) submission suggested further strengthening of some provisions of the bill. Duru further denied that a U.S. Intelligence Agency faulted the NFIC Bill, saying that FinCEN’s comments on the letter by the Chairman, Presidential Committee on FATF, “never expressed any reservations about the bill, but only advised that it be watertight in order to meet international standards.” Duru described the position canvassed by the EFCC

All the bill seeks to do is to provide for those things that give the NFIU’s its operational autonomy and strengthen its legal framework in compliance with international standard and best practice during the public hearing on the bill as insignificant, arguing that the interest and future of Nigeria is far above one individual or organisation’s interests, adding that out of about 20 stakeholder institutions, only the EFCC opposed the Bill. “At present, Nigeria remains disconnected from the Secured Web of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units due to the concerns expressed over the autonomy of the NFIU. What this means is that Nigeria can neither receive nor share financial intelligence with

other 138 member countries of the Egmont Group on money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as other related matters. “More worrisome is the fact that it is happening at a time when Nigeria needs the information most, considering the challenge of terrorism confronting the country at present. “The only way out is to have a truly independent and autonomous FIU, as it is in other countries of the world,” the statement concluded.

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EFCC cautions young lawyers on money laundering From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Economic and T Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned young lawyers in the country to avoid being used as conduit pipes for proceeds of money laundering by unscrupulous people who may pose as clients. The commission gave this charge at the weekend in Abuja at a seminar organised by the Young Lawyers Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja branch. Speaking at the seminar entitled: “Prudent Management and Handling of Clients’ Funds as a Means of Restoring Integrity Standard and Confidence in the Legal Profession”, Chief of Staff to the Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Kayode Oladele taught the young lawyers on the provision of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 and how to avoid the pitfalls of money laundering especially from supposed clients who may not be clean. He noted that the Act has charged the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) with the responsibility to sustain the fight against money laundering among the designated non-financial institutions which amongst others, include legal practitioners. He noted that while lawyers can accept cash payment from clients, under the law, “legal practitioners are not to make or accept cash payments above N5 million from individuals and N10 million from cor-

porate clients except through a financial institution.” He told the young lawyers to always establish and verify the identities of any such client and the nature of his business before depositing the client’s money into their client’s account. According to Oladele, the reporting obligation under the Money Laundering Act is a strict liability offence for which any non-designated financial institution that violates the law will be held liable. “While lawyers are not expected to report their fees to SCUML, the reporting obligations of law firms, notaries and other independent legal professionals shall arise when they render services to carry out transactions for any client concerning buying and selling of Real Estate (within or outside Nigeria), managing of client money, securities or other assets, management of bank savings or securities accounts, organisation of contributions for the creation, operation or management of companies and so on,” Oladele said. Lead speaker at the seminar, Paul Erokoro (SAN), said it was absolutely important to properly handle clients’ funds because the legal profession is charged with responsibility and as such, there must be a high sense of honour and the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility. Buttressing Oladele’s point on record keeping, Erokoro reminded that the Legal Practitioners Act in its Section 20 subsection 4

requires every legal practitioner to keep proper books of account. “A breach of these rules will constitute professional misconduct by the legal practitioner which will be used as basis for disciplinary proceedings against him. It is rather unfortunate that many Nigerian lawyers take this duty lightly”, he lamented. Coordinator of the Young Lawyers Forum, Yakubu Philemon in his welcome address, said that the seminar was one of the steps being taken to restore ethics into the legal profession, especially among upcoming lawyers. According to him, statistics at the disciplinary committee of the NBA reveals that a high percentage of petitions received were funds related, with lawyers getting disbarred “on a more occurring basis.” “As practitioners within the FCT, the reality we are confronted with is that with a simple mobile phone and a complementary card, a lawyer finds himself engaging directly with clients. The attendant consequence is that such a lawyer is exposed to dealing with the clients in circumstances where the funds are huge. “With the high cost of living, lack of proper guidance and sometimes lack of financial discipline, an embarrassing but avoidable situation where these funds are mismanaged by the lawyer emerges”, he said. Yakubu stated that the seminar was organised to address this problem.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 93

Sports Premiership can still be ours, says Demichelis

Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup

NFF still waiting for Keshi’s list By Alex Monye He Nigeria Football T Federation (NFF) is still waiting for the Super eagles’ boss, Stephen Keshi, to submit his provisional world Cup list of players, even as it insists that the May 31 deadline for the submission of the list still stands. NFF Media Officer, Ademola Olajire, explained that Keshi could be bidding his time in releasing the provisional list because he wants to take the best to Brazil. Denying the rumour that the list was being delayed because the NFF was meddling with the coach’s selection, adding that the NFF would ensure that the eagles had the best preparations for the Mundial Coupe. He revealed that the Technical Committee would

ANCHeSTeR City defendM er, Martin Demichelis, has vowed to fight to the end in the Barclays Premier League title race. City suffered a serious setback in their bid to reclaim the crown as they were beaten 3-2 at leaders Liverpool in a pulsating clash at Anfield on Sunday. The result left City third, trailing the Reds by seven points and second-placed Chelsea by five. But with two games in hand on the sides above them, City remain firmly in the picture and the battle looks likely to remain tight over the final month of the season. Demichelis told City TV: “we will fight until the end. Noone left the stadium thinking they were champions. “Obviously we are not happy about the result but we know we have still got matches ahead. “we have seen in football that we can still win and they can make mistakes. “Hopefully we will win the rest and there will be some mistakes from Liverpool.” City, who have six games remaining, famously clawed back an eight-point deficit in their final half-dozen matches to win the title in 2012. They will resume their quest when they host bottom side Sunderland in the first of their games in hand tomorrow.

meet with Keshi on Tuesday next week to deliberate on the world Cup preparations. “At this point in time, I don’t know when Keshi would release the list to the NFF. Keshi still has May 31 as deadline to release the provisional list and I think he may release the list next week Tuesday when he meets with the technical committee. “Immediately after the release of the list, preparations for the world Cup would gather more momentum,” Olajire said. Meanwhile, Super eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, has assured that Keshi would select the best possible players for the world Cup, adding that the former Anderlecht captain was still monitoring and discussing with some players he intends to invite to the national team camp.

Obiano picks Nnacheta as Anambra Sports Commissioner From Chuks Collins, Awka N his avowed drive to redisIAnambra cover and revolutionize sports and engage the restive youths of the state, the state governor, willie Obiano, has appointed Tony Nnacheta to head the ministry. Nnacheta, a foundation staff of The Guardian, was initially considered to head the Ministry of Finance, but was later taken Sports to give room for geobalance of key portfolios in the new administration. In a brief chat with The Guardian at his Awkuzu country-home at the weekend, Nnacheta said, “I wish to contribute to the goal of transforming Nigeria and I believe the moment is right. I hold also that it is feasible to achieve the key benchmarks where the political will is present and a critical mass of committed and knowledgeable Nigerians are empowered to drive it. “I am very keen on projects

implementation, service delivery and measurable results.” with a rich resume, he disclosed his job would be made easy by his ability to conceptualise and team up in multitask endeavours combining deadlines and budget lines and experience from very challenging national and international projects he has handled for blue-chip national and multi-national organizations. Nnacheta added that in line with the vision and plans of Governor Obiano, he was prepared to mobilize his vast experience from national football and sports administration; social advocacy roles and political movement, cross-cultural experience and international exposures to drive a rejuvenated Anambra sports sector. Nnacheta wrote the business pages of the maiden editions of the Guardian maiden editions, and analysed the national budget for the newspaper too, for some years.

Yobo

Sodje wants Yobo in Eagles’ squad OReA/JAPAN 2002 Super K eagles defender, efetobore Sodje, believes Norwich City star, Joseph Yobo, deserves a place in Nigeria’s team to the Brazil 2014 FIFA world Cup. A former Nigeria Football Federation technical director, Kashimawo Laloko, had argued that Yobo has outlived his usefulness in the team and should thus not be considered for a place in the Super eagles team to Brazil. But the Bandana tying Sodje, who played alongside Yobo in 2002, counters: “I strongly believe Yobo still has a lot to offer the eagles. “Apart from his experience of

playing at two world Cups, which will be invaluable to the team, Yobo is also playing regularly in one of the toughest leagues in the world. “He is playing against some of the guys he will face in Brazil at the world Cup. You can’t buy that in the market.” Sodje, who is now with Macclesfield Town in the english League Division Two as a player/assistant manager, warns Nigerians        not  to con  fuse the Africa Cup of Nations with the world Cup. “The FIFA world Cup is a bigger competition than the Nations Cup and it is a stage where you must bring your

best to compete. I strongly think Coach Stephen Keshi should also reconsider some of the experienced players playing regularly in their various clubs. He needs a right mixture of experience and youth in Brazil,” he said.  Sodje reveals that Yobo has been rock solid for Norwich since his loan move from Fenerbahce in January, adding that the Super eagles  captain has accounted for two of the three clean sheets Norwich have kept this year, including the 0-0 draw against Manchester City in February, where he was voted the man of the match.

Most successful Olympian, Phelps, to end retirement wIMMeR Michael Phelps, a single Olympics by winning shape physically, he also SOlympian the most successful eight golds in Beijing in needed to recapture the hunger to win medals again. in history, is set to

Phelps, who has won 22 Olympics medals, is training to be ready for the 2016 Games.

end his retirement. The 28-year-old American, who has won 22 Olympic medals in his career, is expected to compete for the first time since the 2012 Games in London at a meet in Arizona on 24-26 April. Phelps won 18 gold medals at the last three Summer Games. The Baltimore Bullet also broke Mark Spitz’s record for

2008. Britain’s Steve Parry, who finished third to Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the Athens Games in 2004, was surprised by the news of a comeback. “I cannot believe he has made the decision to get back in the water,” said Parry. “He has got nothing left to prove in the sport.” He added Phelps not only had to get himself back in

But he told BBC World: “If anyone can do it, then Michael Phelps can.” Rebecca Adlington, who won double gold at the 2008 Olympics, said it was “exciting” to hear that Phelps would be racing again. “All eyes will be on him, so no pressure at all,” added the Briton, who retired last year after winning two bronze medals in London.

Arsenal waits on injured players for tie against W’Ham RSeNAL will assess several A players after their energysapping FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over wigan ahead of today’s Barclays Premier League clash against west Ham. Midfielder Tomas Rosicky (thigh) and centre-half Laurent Koscielny (calf) could return after missing wembley, but Alex OxladeChamberlain (groin), and fullback Nacho Monreal (dead leg) are doubts, and forward Lukas Podolski, who suffered a dislocated finger, has also reported muscle tightness in his leg. Midfielder Mathieu Flamini serves out his two-match suspension while regular number one, wojciech Szczesny, is set to come back in for Lukas Fabianski who saved two penalties in the shoot-out. Midfielder Serge Gnabry (knee), Germany international Mesut Ozil (hamstring), england midfielder Jack wilshere (foot) are all still recovering, as are Abou Diaby and Theo walcott (both knee). west Ham skipper, Kevin Nolan, is a doubt for the trip across London. The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury during the recent 2-1 defeat to Liverpool and will be handed a late fit-


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94 SPORTS Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DStv Basketball League

‘Self belief gave us victory over Dodan Warriors’ By Adeyinka Adedipe O one gave Nigerian Customs Basketball Club any chance against Dodan Warriors. But at the end of the week six encounter at the National Stadium, Lagos, the Border Boys (Customs) emerged victorious (62-53) to the surprise of the scanty fans at the stands. Nigeria Customs shook off a lackluster first quarter performance to win the tie and move to three wins in six games. Speaking after the encounter, Coach Scott Nnaji, who plotted the victory, told The Guardian that self belief gave his team victory. He said: “It has always been a case of losing confidence before playing Dodan Warriors or any other big team in the league, but this time I told the players that they must continue to push on the final buzzer.” Despite trailing in the first quarter 7-17, Scott stated that he was not perturbed knowing full well that the game could change if his team improved their performance. “You know basketball is an unpredictable game even if a small team is paired with a big one. “When we were down in the first quarter, I told the players not to relent on their

N

Kwara Falcons’ Oziegbe Musa going for a dunk against Lagos Islanders during a 2014 Nigeria DStv Premier Basketball League game held at the Indoor Sports Hall of National Stadium, Surulere…at the weekend.

Team Nigeria needs funding to rule 2014 Commonwealth Games, says Anugweje By Gowon Akpodonor HE Chairman of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Doping Committee, Dr. Ken Anugweje, believes the country is on the right track towards achieving good results in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. But Anugwueje has advised the relevant authorities to release on time the funds needed by the various sporting federations to prepare their athletes for the Games. “I am confident Team Nigeria will do well at the Commonwealth Games if the various activities embarked upon by the federations, especially the AFN, receive appropriate support from the NSC. This means adequate funding,” Anugwueje told The Guardian. According to him, the country stands a better chance of improving on its medals position at past Commonwealth Games. “We are on the right track and I am very sure Team Nigeria will even surpass the target set by Mr. President at the Commonwealth Games.

T

Our track and field athletes are in the United States for training. But they also need to participate in national and international competitions for us to properly evaluate their standards,” the chief medical director of AFN said. As part of its build up to the Commonwealth Games, the AFN staged the first leg of the Golden League at the Abuja National Stadium at the weekend with Nigerian Prisons’ Obinna Metu and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)’s Peace Uko emerging champions in the men and women’s 100m events respectively. Metu ran 10.36 seconds to win the men’s 100m ahead of Egwero Ogho-Oghene of Delta, who posted 10.40 seconds to settle for second position. Onyeaku Chukwuma of University of Benin (Uniben) returned in 10.45 seconds to finish in the third position. In the female version, Uko ran 11.45 seconds to win the gold ahead of Goodness Thomas (11.59) of the Police and Ezealah Nkem (11.61) of

Lagos. In men’s 400m event, Tobi Ogunmola of NSCDC was first in 46.66 seconds, while Akerele Omeiza of Uniben, who posted 46.92 seconds, picked the silver, leaving Fasasi Rilwan of Bintas Club, who returned in 47.25 seconds, to settle for the third position In the female 400m, George Okon of Cross River finished in 53.07 seconds for the gold, beating Funke Oladoye of CDA, who posted 53.60 seconds to claim silver, while Afolake Junaid of Africa Youth Club with 54.69 seconds settled for the bronze. At the end of the event, the Technical Director of AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, said he was not impressed with the performance of some of the athletes,

saying that a majority of them performed below average in some races and field events. Nesiama, however, noted that there was room for improvement. “I hope to see better performance as the season progresses with the Golden League,” he said. On his part, AFN President, Evang. Solomon Ogba said that AFN and the NSC were working hard to ensure a glorious outing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Ogba said with the federation’s programmes for the season going according to plans, track and field will not only make podium appearances in Glasgow, but better what they did in Delhi 2010 where Ajoke Odumosu and Tosin Oke won gold medals in Women’s 400m Hurdles

Nestle, PZ Cussons hit Remita Corporate Champions Cup Semifinals Skye Bank, Etisalat also ORMER Super Eagles capFRufai, tain and goalkeeper, Peter was the special guest as Nestle Plc led three other qualifiers to the semifinals of the Remita Corporate Champions Cup in Saturday and Sunday games decided at the Onikan Stadium and Campos Square. Other qualifiers are PZ Cussons, Etisalat and Skye bank.

The championship kicked off with a colourful ceremony attended by Executive Director of SystemSpecs, Deremi Atanda, who stood in for the Managing Director, John Obaro and Fela BankOlemoh, CEO of MediaVision Limited alongside management staff of SystemSpecs, owners of Remita, the one stop e-payment, e-schedule, e-payroll and e-collection solution services.

Super Falcons’ Tochukwu Oluehi has joined Al Wahda FC of Abu Dhabi.

efforts. I equally advised that they should not lose focus, take their chances and keep it tight in defence. And at the end of the game, we came out victorious. “I am sure nobody gave us a chance against Warriors, but we have shown that we can hold our own against top sides in the league. It’s a matter of believing that our abilities will see us through in difficult games.” Nnaji expressed hope that the victory would change the fortunes of the team for good, as it eyes a fourth place finish to qualify for the Final Eight. “Nothing is impossible. The games are tight in the Atlantic Conference and the league is becoming very competitive and interesting.” Customs are now fifth on

the log, but the coach charged his players to keep up the good work and aspire for greater position on the league table. Meanwhile, Dodan Warriors appeared to have missed their inspirational proprietor, Sam Ahmedu, who travelled out for a FIBA Africa assignment in Senegal. But Coach Chris Nomigo says the team would come back for its next game against Police Baton on Friday. “It was painful to lose against Customs, but we need to move forward and hope for a better result against Police Baton on Friday. We will continue to train hard and hopefully qualify for the Final Eight at the end of the regular season.”

Ahead Africa Youth Championship

Flying Eagles coaches end players’ screening, seek more friendlies By Alex Monye LYING Eagles assistant coach Nduka Ugbade, says the U-20 national team coaches have shut the doors on new players as the team prepares for the African Youths Championship’s (AYC) qualifying series. Ugbade told The Guardian yesterday that the 40-man squad selected by the Flying Eagles handler, Garba Manu, to jostle for positions in the team were good enough for first team shirts, adding that the international friendly against Morocco was an avenue for the technical crew to expose the players international exposure ahead of the AYC preliminaries. Ugbade noted that the U-20 players still need more competitive games to gather enough experience for the challenges from other African teams when the qualifiers begin. He disclosed that the major  focus of the Flying Eagles handlers is to work hard on the players to adopt the playing pattern they want for the team, assuring  that coach Manu  would select the best legs for the qualifiers. “The Flying Eagles’ coaches have stopped screening players for the u-20 team. We have 40 players in camp, made up of foreign and

F

home-based players and since we don’t have much time left for us to screen players, we decided to end it for now. “Having played a friendly game against Morocco, the technical crew has been able to identify the areas to work on. You should understand that this is the first game the boys are playing after the screening exercise. “Based on the fact that most of the players were picked from academies, the coaches have to work hard to bring out the confidence in the players and make them adapt to the style we want them to play. “Coach Manu is still discussing with the NFF on the permanent training camp for the team, I think before the week runs out the NFF will decide on the venue,’’ he said.

Super Falcons goalkeeper, Oluehi, joins UAE club UPER Falcons’ second STochukwu choice3 goalkeeper, Oluehi, has departed the country for the United Arab Emirate (UAE) to sign for Al-Wahda FC of Abu D h a b i . Super Falcons’ Media Officer, Gracious Akujobi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that Oluehi, who did not reveal the details of the contract, left the country on Sunday. “The contract details will be made known after she has put pen to paper,” Akujobi said. She told NAN the deal would not affect the goalkeeper’s availability for national team a s s i g n m e n t s . Akujobi noted that Oluehi’s move would be of immense benefit to the Super Falcons, as it strives to fortify its goalkeeping position ahead of international engagements. She said that while Oluehi would work for the interest of the national team, she would also pursue her professional career. Capital Queens’ Precious Dede is the current number one goalkeeper for the Super Falcons.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 SPORTS 95

Ogwumike, Sims are WNBA’s consensus top two picks AST year had the ‘Big Three’ LDelle with Brittney Griner, Elena Donne and Skylar Diggins leading the way at the WNBA draft. This time it’s Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike and Baylor’s Odyssey Sims, who are the consensus top two picks. The Connecticut Sun were expected to select Ogwumike with the first pick in this year’s draft last night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., with Sims going to the Tulsa Shock at No. 2. “Everybody, who thinks it’s a foregone conclusion that Chiney is going to be here with us, we’d love to have Chiney, we’d love to have Odyssey,” Sun coach, Anne Donovan, said on a national conference call with media. “It just depends on guard or post, truthfully.” Tulsa coach, Fred Williams, confirmed he intended to take the player that was left. “We’re going to do the opposite of what you do,” Williams said to Donovan. “You’ve got the first call on that one there. Either player on that end is a good find and a good pick.” San Antonio selects third, followed by New York, Indiana, Washington, Seattle, Atlanta and the Fever again at No. 9. Chicago, Connecticut again and defending champion, Minnesota, complete the first round. If Ogwumike does go No. 1, it would be the first time in WNBA history that sisters were selected with top picks. Nneka Ogwumike, who also starred at Stanford, was taken No. 1 overall by Los Angeles on 2012 and went on to win rookie of the year honours. Chiney Ogwumike, a six-footfour forward, was a two-time AP All-American and averaged 26.1 points and 12.1 rebounds as a senior, while leading the Cardinal to the Final Four. She also finished as the Pac-12 conference’s career scoring leader (2,737 points) and leading rebounder (1,567). “With Chiney we already have the measuring stick with what her sister did in the league early on,” Donovan said. “They’ve both shown they’re great leaders, they’re great athletes. Their styles do translate to the WNBA. Chiney (is a) great rebounder, can play either post position, face up or back to the basket. Her

Chiney Ogwumike, like older sister, Nneka, was expected to be the number one WNBA draft…yesterday. sister, Nneka, probably a little bit stronger, more physical.” Sims, a 5-8 guard and also a two-time AP All-American, averaged 28 points in leading the Lady Bears to the NCAA regional finals and became only the second player to top 1,000 points in a single season. She fell just eight points short of Jackie Stiles’ record of 1,062 points. “I don’t know that Odyssey is not the most prepared player, skill-wise, to be the WNBA,” Donovan said. “She’s shown that she can pass the ball really well when she played three years with Griner. A lot of people are knocking her now because she takes too many shots. Well that’s what her team needs her to do this year.”

After Ogwumike and Sims, the top players available include: forwards Natalie Achonwa of Guelph, Ont., (Notre Dame), Natasha Howard (Florida State) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland); centres Stefanie Dolson (UConn) and Markeisha Gatling (N.C. State); and guards Chelsea Gray (Duke), Bria Hartley (UConn), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Shoni Schimmel (Louisville), and Meighan Simmons (Tennessee). Dolson, who helped UConn win its second straight NCAA title last week, was looking forward to continuing her whirlwind stretch at the draft. “It’s been a great four years here at Connecticut, but all

great things have to come to an end and I’m just excited and really anxious to get the next chapter of my life started,” said the six-foot-five native of Orange County in New York, who averaged 12.4 points and 9.3 rebounds this season. Schimmel, who grew up on a reservation in Oregon and — along with her younger sister Jude — attracted a large Native American following for Louisville’s games, hedged when asked if she was hoping to be drafted by Seattle. “It’s definitely in my mind because it’s close to home ... I know there’s a lot of Native Americans up in the West Coast area especially the Northwest,” said Schimmel,

who finished five three-pointers shy of matching Laurie Koehn’s NCAA career record of 392. “At the same time regardless of where I go, I think a lot of fans will go and support me in general. So it doesn’t really matter where I go.” Gray and Achonwa are both recovering from knee injuries and unlikely to play this season, possibly dropping their draft slot. “It’d be a little difficult for us to use our high first-round pick on someone like that who’s injured and can’t contribute,” New York coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer said. “But there’ll be some quality teams will take a whack at them, I’m sure.” Fever coach, Lin Dunn,

believes both players could still go in the first round. “They’ve both proven to be quality players and I think they have the potential to be future impact players,” she said. “I don’t see them going in the top five or six, but after that I think it’s possible.” Laimbeer also cautioned that teams have to be wary that if they select injured players and don’t sign them, and the players don’t sign to play overseas during the WNBA off-season next winter, they would re-enter the draft next year. Training camps open April 27, and the WNBA’s 18th season tips off on May 16. Culled from www.ctvnews.ca

German Open:

Chukwumerije hits last eight, garners points for world rating ARELY a week after winB ning a gold medal at the 35 Belgian Open, captain of th

Uche Perez Chukwumerije (left) with his younger brother, Chika Chukwumerije, at the 2013 Austrian Opens. Chika won a gold medal at the event, while Uche picked a silver.

Nigeria taekwondo team to the 2011 All Africa Games, Uche Perez Chukwumerije, at the weekend in Hamburg, made it to the last eight of the German Open. Chukwumerije, who had to fight through injury, which he copped on his way to victory at the Belgian Open last week, was impressive in his fist round fight against Serikzhan Abdrassilove of Kazakhstan. The tactical encounter saw the two athletes fighting safe, but the Nigerian’s superiority showed as he won the bout 21. His second fight was against current Military World Champion, Sajjad Mardani of Iran. The Iranian, who was one of the top rated athletes in the

men’s +87kg of the competition, had earlier this year won the gold medal at the 2014 Dutch Open when he defeated Olympics champion, Gabon’s Anthony Obame. But he knew he had to be at his best to overcome Chukwumerije. Despite signs of competition fatigue, Chukwumerije managed to hold his own for a while before succumbing 10-0 to the experienced Iranian, who also won a silver medal at the last 2013 World Cham-pionships in Mexico. With his efforts, Chukwumerije has garnered points to improve on his world ratings when the standings are released this month. Speaking from Hamburg, a disappointed Uche Perez reflected after the fight, “I did not get my tactics right, and I was a little tired from last week. In this sport, you get punished for not getting your

tactics spot-on. A huge positive is that I gained 2.6 ranking points from getting to the Quarter-finals, but I am a bit disappointed I could not secure the whole 10 points”. He emphasized the need for the young upcoming players, as well as the current Elite athletes, to compete more internationally to gain ranking points. “In the space of two weeks, I have gained about 12.6 points. By the time the next ranking comes, I would have moved up a lot of spaces on the World Ranking list. The more Nigeria taekwondo athletes compete and gain those points, the more likely we would qualify more people for the Rio 2016 Olympics, since top six in the world qualify automatically”. He noted that it was impossible to compete against nations that sponsor their teams for practically every

point-ranking tournament and canvassed for more private sector and public sector support/investment for taekwondo, which is getting massively popular every other day, especially amongst teeming Nigerian youth. President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), George Ashiru again sent his congratulations to the selfsponsored Uche Perez in Germany, urging him to maintain his current form until the crucial African Senior Taekwondo Championships, billed to hold in Tunisia on May 6 to 8, this year, where a massive 40 ranking points awaits gold medallists. Ashiru also urged other elite and upcoming athletes to be inspired by Uche Perez’s recent form, and seize every opportunity to gain global ranking points wherever and whenever they can.


TheGuardian

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Nnaemeka O. Ikemefuna ATIONS that work optimally are built on N and sustained by specific and identifiable values. Take away quality engineering from Germany and what do you have left? Quality engineering is based on precision, exactness, accuracy, correctness, integrity, knowledge, diligence, hard work, etc. All these are different shades of truth and industry. Take away banking from Switzerland and what is left? Would you put your money for safe keeping in the hands of an unreliable or untrustworthy person? Even a thief knows to safe keep his loot with the trustworthy. The bottom line of banking is trust and its perception. That’s how Switzerland was built and is perceived. Trust earns you good reputation - a core quality of banking. And where will Singapore be without discipline? Nigeria, without clearly identifiable values, will not work optimally or for the benefit of the most. Indeed, no nation will. Look at the ‘first world nations’ of the world. They took specific values, drew the architecture and built their nations on them. Over the years, these values have become so integrated into their national culture, institutions, political processes, economic systems that they don’t even appear obvious now. Some of these ‘first world nations’ are poor in natural resources but with clear and identifiable national values still forced their way into global reckoning, giving prosperity and dignity to their citizens. National values, then, are the true riches of any nation. The human and natural resources give great head-starts but without clear and identifiable values, they become a curse. Do we have national values in Nigeria? Surprisingly, yes. Our ‘National Anthem’ and ‘National Pledge’ are at least two authentic sources of our national values. When you study them critically, you find a surfeit not just of values but also the aspirations and convictions of this nation. Yet the way we live, you will think that we don’t have national values. This is because of four challenges facing our national values. These are the challenges of priority, definition, acceptance and application. Unless these challenges are sincerely and decisively confronted, we will continue to run a nation operating far below capacity while ambling towards implosion. Priority of values The ‘first world nations’ were built on values. They selected and stuck with few values that match and reflect their experience, realities and aspirations. Not many values but few. They prioritised. They decided on specific values and built their whole national life on them. Take the United States of America for example. ‘The American Dream’ was built on the tripod of liberty, equality and free enterprise. Every other value takes second place to these values. Germany has truth and industry. Switzerland has trust. Singapore has discipline. Really, you do not need more than three values on which to build a nation, indeed the fewer the better. This is what we must do in Nigeria - prioritise

‘The American Dream’ was built on the tripod of liberty, equality and free enterprise. Every other value takes second place to these values. Germany has truth and industry. Switzerland has trust. Singapore has discipline. Really, you do not need more than three values on which to build a nation, indeed the fewer the better

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How to make Nigeria work

President Goodluck Jonathan values. We have quite a number of them: Service, integrity, faith, duty, industry, justice, freedom, etc. But we must decide on the values that best reflect who we are as a people, and that can harness our diversity and direct

our enormous potentials to optimal ends. Nigeria is a mosaic of diversity. This makes ‘Unity in Diversity’ our ideal, reality and challenge. But how do you mediate conflicting primordial and parochial interests with the

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We must agree on what these values are. What is our definition of justice as a nation? What do we make integrity to be? Is there a nationally accepted standard definition of these values? You will be amazed at what you will get when different shades of definitions of these values are permitted. If we define these values from various view points, they will lack consensus, force and direction. We need and must have standard national definitions of these values and what they mean to us. aim of ensuring inclusiveness, unity, equality and progress? You may devise many institutions, initiatives, rhetoric, policies, legislations etc. But until these are built uncompromisingly on a value or set of values (three at most), the likelihood for sustainable success of such endeavours will be minimal. Definition of values It is not enough to prioritise values. We must agree on what these values are. What is our definition of justice as a nation? What do we make integrity to be? Is there a nationally accepted standard definition of these values? You will be amazed at what you will get when different shades of definitions of these values are permitted. If we define these values from various view points, they will lack consensus, force and direction. We need and must have standard national definitions of these values and what they mean to us.  Acceptance of values The next step is the acceptance of these values as our way of life. Do we as a people sincerely desire to live by these values? You cannot successfully live what you don’t believe. Your way of life reflects your values. If you believe appointment to public office is an avenue for personal enrichment and licence to empower your ‘bloc’ and not for national service, your rhetoric and remonstrations notwithstanding, you will not promote integrity as a national value. Application of values Theories, rhetoric and excuses will not do. Values are not meant to be talked about. They are lived out. They are tangible actions. Believing and not living out values are merely exercises in folly, self-deception and futility. If you profess integrity, your tolerance level for corruption will reveal it. Corruption is corruption; injustice is injustice, notwithstanding where and to whom these occur. Until we attain the level when deviations from national values are not only roundly abhorred but deservedly served with corresponding judicial penalties, we are deluding ourselves and are only making motions of movement without direction and progress. Conclusion Lord Lugard brought us together in 1914. That was quite a feat! And we have lived together for a 100 years. That’s another feat! But to continue to stay together and maximise our union, we must meet and overcome the challenges of priority, definition, acceptance and application of a set of national values that reflect our experience, realities and aspirations as a nation. If and when we do surmount these challenges, we will guarantee that this nation works optimally and her enormous wealth and potentials benefit all Nigerians. We will also be the giant of Africa, indeed, with the feet of iron, and not of clay.   Ikemefuna lives in Lagos and can be reached on elomeka@gmail.com. 

Tue 15 April 2014  

The Guardian Nigeria

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